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What it is the William Chronicles part 1.

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I’m not sure why I’m writing this at all. This is a choice I made. It didn’t start out that way. It started out as something beyond my control, beyond even my vaguest understanding. Once I decided to stay though I knew it was a choice to give up my life. To give up my chance at any happiness so that I could give happiness to others. Give others the escape I could never find.

My first memories are simple. The weight of his arms pulling me up under my armpits to make me toddle faster to where we were going. The darkness sealing me in along with the quiet like a blanket of protection as he shut the door behind me. Like a temporary tomb enclosing itself around me. A tomb of protection. I remember the screaming sometimes. The crying. Mum always yelling and Da replying in that hateful hiss. That lower glowering voice that meant danger, be careful.

There are many other things that I don’t remember, don’t know about I’m sure. But those are my first memories floating on my sub conscious like a dream long forgotten when I get stressed about something I’m doing presently. I don’t have the memories John has but, I am after all a different person if not trapped in the same world, raised by the same monsters clawing at our skin. I remember my first room alone. Being about six.

I remember the dark blue walls with a painted landscape a scene of midnight the full moon etched into the wall above the head of my bed the dark blue dotted with bits of white yellow to represent stars. A hilly country side filling out the lower half of the wall a train painted fixed into the wall as if traveling down a track by midnight. I remember staring at the train for hours. It only happened once a week or so but I remember wishing I was on that train somewhere far away where he didn’t touch me like that, where his hands didn’t make me feel funny and he didn’t run against my back or make those horrible noises. My first really vivid memory was John’s screams after Uncle Ben had put me to bed, grabbing my attention pulling me from a peaceful sleep. I ran out into the hallway peering through the railing to see into the living below me my heart stopping and throat closing as I saw Uncle Ben on top of him as he whimpered and shrieked, no words forming.

He was doing things like Da did to me only it was hurting him instead of making him feel funny. Making him scream instead of making him be awkwardly quiet. I remember wanting him to stop screaming at the same time as thinking how mean uncle Ben was and how I wished I could stop him but knowing he would probably only hurt me too. I remember wondering if that’s what it looked like when Da rubbed against my back at night telling me to stay quiet so I didn’t wake anyone up that I was a good boy and he was sorry it felt funny but that I would like it later. That it would feel good. The way uncle Ben moved his pants down his butt in the air as he throw back his head making weird noises like he was some type of animal. After a while I managed to look away allow myself to leave knowing John wouldn’t want me to see that. Want me to know that.

John didn’t speak for nearly a week barely looking at anyone going to school coming home and locking himself in his room to be quiet and do his homework. Coming out for dinner and then going back into his room without speaking a word. I got tired of the quiet. I knew why he wasn’t speaking I wasn’t stupid. Even then I could sense it was because Uncle Ben had hurt him even if I didn’t exactly understand how. I wanted him to talk. I missed him. Before that we would play sometimes. Go outside into the humid Florida air and play tag, ride bikes do the things normal little boys did which included trying to catch Anole that clung to the Ivy and Azaleas.

I wanted to play on the swing set and have him push me hard enough I would go high. High enough to feel like I was flying, like I could touch the sky. I knocked on his bedroom door lightly before I opened it. Finding him laying on his bed cross legged his math work book open in front of him as he looked up at me his bottom lip still between his teeth in concentration.

“Yeah?” He asked me his head not lifting up, not bothering to peer in my direction as I entered the dark blue room the mural on his wall long gone wit his increasing age. An age where it was harder to escape using just the ability of his mind which had long suffered from the strain of carrying the secret he hid from the world.

“You seem sad,” I answered.

“Not sad Will, just tired,” He answered, “I have a lot of school work.”

“I don’t think it’s school work I think it’s Da,” I said bluntly.

“Why would Da make me tired?” He asked finally looking at me,his eyes giving away his panic.

“Because he comes into bed at night,” I answered, “He makes your tummy feel funny and other things. He has to, right?”

“How do you know?” He asked putting down his pencil.

“He does it to me,” I answered.

“Why didn’t you say anything? I could have helped.” He asked me patting the space in front of him folding up his work book as I climbed up onto the bed to sit with him.

“Because you already help. I remember you helped a lot when I was little. I’m bigger now and you have your own things you’re dealing with,” I answered.

“You still should have said something,” He replied.

“He would hurt mum and do worse stuff. Stuff like Uncle Ben did to you in the living room,” I responded remembering that one night.

He flinched his complexion turning red his eyes going big with fear. He sat there quietly staring at me for the longest time like he didn’t know what to say. Like he was ashamed. After a while he sighed.

“Don’t tell mum you saw that, she doesn’t know,” He said quietly.

“Why wouldn’t you tell Mum how you got hurt?” I asked confused and curious. Not really understanding why he wouldn’t say anything especially when he was sure I should say something about Da coming to see me at night.

“Because she doesn’t know I got hurt and I’m not going to tell her until she needs to know.” He said furrowing his brow in frustration like it was something I didn’t understand that I would never understand. Like I didn’t get it was private that it would hurt her, scare her.

“So you’re yelling at me for not telling when you’re not telling? That’s stupid.” I replied.

Thinking it was unfair that he would want me to talk about the things that happened but that he wasn’t willing to. Why should I be alone in letting everyone know about it? That wasn’t fair.

“Well, I think I have to tell mum now,” He sighed heavily running his hands through his hair pushing it off his face.

“Want me to go with you? Are you going to tell her everything? Like how he ___” I started, volunteered hoping that maybe it would make him feel better, having to talk about it. Having to make mum feel bad.

“No, I’m going to tell her that he hurt me but I’m not going to tell her how bad it was. I can go on my own,” He said puffing up his chest in courage as he got up off the bed and walked out the door leaving me sitting there frowning.

I sat there not really sure what to do for a minute before I got up and went to my own bedroom. I hoped he’d make things better that him telling mum would mean I could tell mum and that she would try and get Da to stop and that it would make it so Uncle Ben never did that awful thing to me that he did to John that had made him scream and cry so loud. I remember forgetting about it for a while until mum came into my room that night to tuck me in. To tell me my bedtime story and her eyes were puffy like she had been crying, like she was beyond tired her pregnant belly hanging low and heavy as she rubbed her stomach.

“Is the baby kicking you? Did it hurt you?” I asked.

 I“No love the baby’s fine she’s sleeping want to feel?” She asked to which nodded my head shyly before she grabbed my hand and placed it on her night shirt right over the bump, “You feel that spot right there, that’s her head.”

“It’s a girl?” I asked quietly.

“Aye, a wee girl,” Mum replied smiling softly, “Your little sister. She’ll be here soon you know?”

“Yeah I know,” I said nodding my head, “If she’s not kicking you why are you crying?”

“Because I’m sad that’s all,” She answered me kissing my forehead, “Can I ask you something?”

“What mummy?” I asked confused and curious.

“Well, John said that Da hurts him does things to him that make him not feel so good and I was wondering if Da or Uncle Ben have ever touched you in a way that made you not feel ok? Made you feel bad or funny. Have either of them ever done that?” She asked me.

I was quiet for a minute. I didn’t know if John had told her or not or what he had told her if he had said anything at all. I wasn’t sure how to answer without upsetting her knowing that she was already so sad.

“I won’t be mad love I promise; I just need to know because I’m your mummy and it’s my job to keep you safe and if someone is making you feel not ok it’s my job to get them to stop doing that thing that makes you feel not ok. You understand?” She asked me softly stroking my head.

“Yeah,” I replied nodding my head, “Da comes into my room after bed sometimes. He takes off my pants and it makes my stomach feel weird and makes me feel weird down there. He doesn’t hurt me though but I don’t like it.”

“Ok,” She answered me quietly nodding her head and closing her eyes rubbing the pressure points in her temples as she tried to stay calm. Tried to make sure her emotions were under control, “Can you tell me how long he’s been doing that?”

“I don’t know,” I answered, “For a little while since after Christmas.”

“Ok,” She nodded her head again, “Ok love it’s time for bed. Try to get some sleep. I love you and I’m sorry that Da does that to you, I’ll try to have a talk with him ok?”

“Ok Mummy I love you too,” I said as she gave me a kiss goodnight and tucked me in.

Da came into my room that night the door creaking open lightly waking me up from my sleep. I rolled over hoping he would just leave me alone. As he sat down on the edge of my bed pulling my covers away. “Will Hun wake up,” He said to me shaking my leg lightly.

“But Da I’m so tired,” I moaned rolling over and rubbing the sleep from my eyes.

He always looked scarier at night. I remember thinking that. That he wasn’t my Da but someone wearing my Da’s skin because he talked to me and looked at me like my Da never would do. “Come on I have something to ask you about,” Da said shaking my knee again lightly.

“Daddy please,” I begged, “I’m so sleepy.”

“It’ll be quick I promise,” Da said, “Mum said that you talked to her about our alone time?”

“She asked me I didn’t…she already knew I know I wasn’t supposed to tell but she already knew and lying is bad you said, that, right? That I shouldn’t ever lie,” I answered suddenly wide awake heart pounding against my ribs.

“I’m not mad. What did you tell her?” he asked me.

“That you take off my pants sometimes. That you lay with me and it makes me feel funny,” I answered, “I’m sorry Da I know you said I shouldn’t tell her because she’d be mad but she said she wasn’t mad that I wasn’t in trouble that it was her job to know if someone was making me not feel ok,” I mumbled quietly.

“That doesn’t count with me. Sometimes you eat food that you don’t want to, right? Think of our alone time together like that. It’s something that you need to do to get big, to be strong. It teaches you things you need to know that girls don’t need to know. And it’s something I should teach you, that your uncle Ben should teach you. It only feels weird because you don’t understand it but trust me it’s good for you. You do trust me, don’t you?” He asked me rubbing my leg.

“Mum’s not a girl though,” I said frowning.

“Well, mum was a girl once. Boys and girls have different parts. I’m just showing you how your parts work. Girls have parts like mum has so yes, at one time believe it or not mum was just a girl at one point,” Da told me.

I remember feeling confused however I was only just around six. It didn’t really occur to me that mum had ever bene just a girl because she was my mum. I knew girls had different parts but I wasn’t sure what that had to do with making my pee place feel funny. I sighed as he pulled my legs over his lap opening his arms for a cuddle. I sighed knowing. I knew if I said no that I didn’t want to cuddle with him he would get mad. That he would hurt mum so I sighed and said up draping myself over his lap as he wrapped his arms around me as if I were an infant.

“Just know whatever I do I do it because I love you,” He said his hand snaking its way up my leg and past the waist band of my PJ bottoms rubbing my front gently making me gasp sending that gross wrong feeling through my body.

“Daddy please,” I said quietly.

“It’s ok,” He said, “I just want you to make me feel good ok? All you have to do is lay on your tummy.”

“Daddy please,” I begged again.

“No auguring just do it or else you’re going to make me very unhappy and you know what happens when I’m unhappy,” He said to me giving me that cold glare.

I nodded my head and swallowed crawling out of his lap and laying down on my stomach hugging my pillow. He rubbed the back of my head before pushing my legs together climbing on top of me. He humped me. Rubbing his hardness in between the closed space of my legs moaning making those horrible sounds. I hated the way it felt sticky down the back of my legs as he pulled away kissing down my back and then back up my neck and shoulders before moving so I could roll over onto my back. He kissed down my chest which was something he had never done before. Making my face turn red as my body arched into his kisses, “Yeah it feels good?” He asked me continuing his kisses and licks.

“Feels weird,” I answered honestly shaking my head this weird tickle spreading up my body that reminded me of the snow on a TV that had a bad signal. Starting out as a few specks of white fuzz and growing like a storm raging inside my body before his mouth went around me down there making me cry out.

“No, no honey you have to be quiet so we don’t wake anyone up all right?” He said pulling away looking at me closely, “I’m just going to show you how it works that’s all. It’s not a big deal you just need to relax,” He said licking my balls as I bit my lip to try and keep myself quiet.

I thought he was trying to eat me. The way he was licking and sucking at me like a lollipop. I hated the way it felt. Making my tummy tickle in a bad way as he did it my body feeling weird my private area feeling tight and making me cry silently as I bit back my sobs. He kept licking it and sucking until something weird happened to my head, my body getting really tight and uncomfortable before everything relaxed causing me to pant, as Da waited for me to catch my breath.

“Did that feel good?” He asked me to which I wasn’t sure how to respond because it didn’t feel good or bad really just weird and confusing, scary, “It’s ok if you’re still not sure honey. It’s not a bad thing it’s normal.”

“I don’t think it is,” I answered.

“No it is I promise would I ever lie to you?” He asked me to which I shook my head because as far as I knew he never had.

My six-year-old brain didn’t understand a lot of things. It understood that what Da did would make mum upset, make her mad at me or at least that’s what I believed. That when she got upset after hearing about it, it was because of me. It didn’t understand that he was the one that was wrong. However, it also understood that John didn’t like what was happening that John felt bad it was happening and like he should be able to stop it so then it must be bad. I remember feeling confused. Shortly after that night Catherine was born and Da quit coming into my room so much and I felt better. I didn’t understand why I felt better but I did.

We ended up moving back to London around that time. Going off to boarding school. I don’t remember much about it other than I was away from home besides on weekends and holidays free time was spend watching movies and there was two hours of required reading after meals. I think this is where I picked up the habit from. If I was reading I didn’t have to think about other things. To worry about socializing with those who I perceived to be normal where I thought of myself as not anywhere close to normal. I could ride away on dragons and float on barrels along rapidly moving rivers. I could fly on magic carpets or even with wings I had grown. All through the miracle of my imagination and the way that I could vividly picture everything going on in the book inside of my head. I read the hardy boys and fought crime and solved mysteries. I traveled to Narnia and grew up a King. I found it to be something I really enjoyed a place where those things didn’t happen. Where Da’s didn’t climb into their sons’ beds at night when they could and make their tummies upset. Make them feel funny and like something was wrong that they couldn’t really understand. Where they didn’t whisper in their ears that if mummy knew she would be mad and upset so it had a to be a special secret.

Where Da’s didn’t teach their sons they bodies weren’t something for the boy to touch but only for the Da. I knew the real world was different because of him. That the way my school friends described their families wasn’t the way my family was. For a long time, I was very confused about a lot of things. Because my Da wasn’t a bad Da when the sun was up but when it went down he turned into a bad guy. Like the outlaw the sheriff shoots in the old western movies. Something about him just changed when he climbed into bed with me rubbing up against me making me put my legs together tight and rubbing his penis in between my thighs until it got all wet and sticky and we both got up and went to clean up. And then in the morning he would act like it had never happened. Like we had never done those things.

The first time he raped me I remember being eight. He had gotten me from school that Friday afternoon, pulled me out of class. It was a special treat he had told me to celebrate because the celebration with my family would be that weekend when John and Mike and Matt came home from school for the weekend as well. I remember I had wanted to go ice skating but even though it was still a bit nippy in the air it had been too warm so he had taken me to the movies instead and then out to dinner someplace quiet. I don’t remember the restaurant but I remember eating traditional fish and chips.

After that I had expected to go home because he had told me I would be going home for the weekend but instead we ended up at a hotel. I remember feeling confused and curious as to what was happening, why we weren’t going home to mum and the babies but not being upset. “Da what are we doing?” I asked curious.

I remember looking up at him as he held my hand when we got into the lift and it sleek metal doors slid shut in front of us. I remember feeling so small my hand in his as he held it firmly looking down at me smiling. Something feeling wrong but not sure what it was. Not really sure if it was dangerous or how I should feel.

“Well, you’re not supposed to be home until tomorrow and I’m sure you want some peace and quiet at least a little of it so we’re going to stay here for the night just you and me all right?” He told me quietly smiling happily at me.

“What about the babies and mum?” I asked.

“They’ll be fine for one night. This is special just me and you ok?” He asked me.

“Ok but, I thought we were going home,” I said.

“Home tomorrow morning all, right? I have a surprise for you that you can’t share with anyone else. They might jealous if they knew so I’m going to give that present to you here ok?” He told me.

“Oh, ok. What is it?” I asked.

“How about we get settled in get you in the bath first and then we’ll watch some movies ok?” He said to me.

“Ok…” I said feeling uneasy as the lift opened and we walked to the room door.

When it opened, the room seemed huge. Everything was white besides the red comforter on the bed. He went into the bathroom and drew a bath. The bathtub being a round white jet tub and he helped me out of my clothes and put me into it. I don’t remember anything weird happening during the bath but his hands lingering in places that they shouldn't have.

“Da that tickles,” I said pulling away as his hand manipulated me the soap and water making it slippery smelling of lavender and something else his blue eyes watching me closely.

“Sorry honey,” he said, “I think your clean let’s get out.” He held a towel out to me and picked me up in it throwing me down on the bed softly making me laugh before he started drying me.

I remember his eyes not looking at my eyes but looking everywhere else. Making me feel really naked. Really exposed.

“Da is something wrong?” I asked confused.

“No, no, nothing’s wrong. Nothing at all,” He said still not looking at my face.

“Where’s my present?” I asked him which caused him to finally look at me smiling.

“You want it?” He asked me.

“Yeah,” I said.

I was eight of course I wanted a present. I thought it would be something exciting that no one else had like a remote-control car or a new bike to ride up and down the drive way. Something exciting that would make John and Mike and Matt jealous I didn’t expect what he gave me.

“Ok, close your eyes and keep them closed until I say you can open them,” He said to me.

I closed my eyes and held out my hand waiting for him to say something as I heard him move around the room. Waiting the feel the weight of something in my hand but that didn’t come. I started to get impatient when I finally felt his weight join me back on the bed his hands going to the sides of my face as he kissed me forcing his tongue past my lips making me whine in surprise. He tasted like some type of alcohol whatever beverage he had drank with supper as I turned my head and opened my eyes trying to get his lips away from mine.

“What?” He asked when he finally broke our kiss, “There’s nothing to be scared about honey it’s ok.”

“I-I don’t like this,” I said getting up trying to take the towel with me to wrap it around myself.

“Come here,” He said when I looked at him realizing he was naked too.

“Da I want to go home,” I said quietly shifting my weight nervously from leg to leg fidgeting.

I remember starting to feel scared then. Knowing something was different this time. That something wasn’t supposed to be happening that was.

“What’s wrong?” He asked me frowning in what felt like mock worry.

“I don’t want to do this,” I said, “Can we just go home please?”

“This is what big boys do with their Da’s though, you’re a big boy right?” He asked me, “John does it with me all the time. You can ask him if you like when we see him tomorrow.”

“He does?” I asked confused.

If John did it was it really that bad? But if it wasn’t bad why didn’t it feel right? I didn’t like it when he touched me like that. When he put his mouth down there. I remember feeling my face flush with confusion. I wasn’t sure how to explain to him what I felt but I felt like this wasn’t right like we shouldn’t do this and I didn’t know how to explain it exactly.

“Come here,” He said again hopefully patting the bed beside him.

“Are you going to put your mouth there and make me feel funny?” I asked timidly.

“No, let’s talk about it ok?” He said.

“Ok,” I said nodding my head and walking up to the bed and sitting down on it.

“Good, now when someone loves someone else very much sometimes they show it by hugging and kissing them. And other times they show them by becoming a part of them just for a little while. Sort of like how when you really really love a lollypop or an ice cream cone you put it in your mouth. Well, sometimes people when they really really love someone let the other person in their body like that only backwards. Do you really really love me?” My Da asked me grabbing something from under the pillow that I couldn’t see.

“I don’t know,” I answered confused and scared.

“Well, I’m your Da right? So, do you think you really really love me?” He asked me.

I thought about it for a minute. Did I love my Da? Yeah during the day, he was great. He took us to rugby games and football games and the cinema. He made sure we went to the park and the zoo on our weekends at home. He listened to what we had to say and helped us with our school work when he had time to. He was a good Da during the day and this was still day time, right? So, this was ok.

“Yeah, I love you,” I answered.

“Good,” He said, “That’s good. Lay on the bed on your tummy ok honey?” He said to me.

“Da I’m not sure I…” he cut me off.

“You just said you really loved me, if you really love me you’ll do what I ask you to right?” He coaxed me.

“Right,” I said nodding my head and laying down on my stomach putting my legs together figuring it would like all the other times before. He started by messaging my shoulders and working his way down my back his hands feeling hot and wet, slimy. I didn’t like it. I remember thinking that it was weird how he was squeezing me in all the different places how his thumbs and finger tips kept pressing into my back until I felt something wet touch the base of my neck as he licked me there quickly moving his tongue down my spine.

“Da!” I squealed the feeling making me panic a little on the inside.

He grabbed my arms by the wrist pinning them down on the sides of my head as his tongue moved down my spine and into the cleft of my butt. I remember wondering what he was doing. Why he was doing that. That tongues didn’t go there. That things shouldn’t go there. I remember telling him that. Telling him it felt weird and to stop as I felt his tongue circling my pucker.

“DA please that’s weird,” I said shaking my head.

“Shhh, it’s ok you really love me, right?” He asked me, “I just want to be inside you a little bit that’s all. I promise it will be ok.” His weight shifted his kissed on the base of my neck again. Dotting lightly across my shoulders to the right and then to the left and then back again until I felt something slide inside of me causing me to cry out the pressure scaring and confusing me.

“This don’t go in there,” I whined at him letting him know how I felt. That I wasn’t ok with that.

“Baby I have to stretch you out a little bit so it hurts less ok? I just want to be a part of you for a couple of minutes that it. It’s because I just love you so much just try to relax ok?” He breathed into my skin sending goose bumps into my flesh.

“Da it hurts,” I told him.

“No, no baby I know it feels weird but it’s ok, it’s going to be ok,” He told me adding another finger that made me cry out tears starting to fall down my face.

I remember at that point whimpering knowing that it didn’t matter what I said that he was going to do it anyway just like he did when he put his mouth down there. That I should just try and be quiet so that he didn’t get mad so that no one heard me.

Eventually his weight shifted and white hot pain bursts through me shooting up my tail bone into my spine like lightening. “STOP!” I screamed not able to control it.

“Shhh, it’s just me you’re ok. Just give it a minute and it won’t hurt so bad I promise.”

“Daddy it really hurts please,” I begged the pain too intense for me to even move.

I remember barely being able to speak the pain stealing all my air making breathing hard. The pain lessened and he pulled out slowly. I thought he was done almost sighing with relief until he pushed back inside again causing me to cry out again. “That’s it honey let me show you how much I love you,” He moaned into my back as he found the rhythm he wanted.

As he found something that felt good to him as I started bleeding, my insides feeling like they were on fire or getting a rug burn that wouldn’t go away anytime soon. After a while I think I managed to black out. Because next thing I remember I was back in the tub me sitting in his lap as he cuddled me. I wasn’t crying but I felt beyond sore. My whole body hurting the water stinging slightly against the skin of my butt and asshole his fingers making me flinch when they touched me. I fell asleep shortly after he got us back in the bed pulling the white sheets and red comforter up over us.

I probably feel asleep that night out of pure exhaustion. I have never felt pain like that before. Not ever. When we woke up he ordered breakfast in bed for us citing my need to have a soft surface to sit on before we headed towards home. He acted like nothing had happened while we ate me staring at him trying to figure out what had happened what was going on.

“What?” He asked me noticing the way I was looking at him as I tried to wrap my brain around last night. Around him putting his penis inside of me, him hurting me. If he loved me why would he want to hurt me?

“That hurt,” I told him.

“It’ll hurt less next time I promise,” He told me eating a strip of bacon.

“You’re going to make me do it again?” I asked.

“I told you you’re a big boy now that’s how big boys show their love. And you said you love me so yeah we’re going to do it again sometime. It might not be soon but at some point,” He said looking at me and stretching as he finished up his pancakes putting the plate back on the tray and setting it in front of him so he could get up off the bed.

“What was that?” I asked him.

“Sex,” Da answered, “I’m going to shower if you could join it would be a good idea because I’m pretty sure if you’re anywhere as sensitive as your brother you have a little bit of blood dried up in there. So, I’ll have to look.”

“No,” I said shaking my head.

“Honey I’m not going to do it again right now. You need to rest a persons’ first time is always a little hard ok? I’m aware it hurt and I’m sorry but it’ll be better next time. Next time you might even like it,” He told me.

“I won’t ever like that,” I swore to him.

“Ok,” He answered simply, “Let’s go shower and head home ok?”

I sighed standing up realizing how weird my feet felt under me as pain shot up my spine nearly knocking me off my feet. It felt weird. Full and sticky and like someone had hit me in the eye only it was my ass instead, each step feeling unsure and wobbly.

“Woah, I’ve got you you’re ok,” Da said grabbing me as I stumbled a little.

“Da I’m fine, it’s fine,” I lied.

“Will sweetie, I know this can hurt ok? I remember. Just take it easy on yourself,” He told me as we made it into the bathroom and he turned on the water the shower heads hissing to life the water pouring down as he adjusted the temperature before he pulled me under the streams into the middle of the shower. I remember thinking how nice that shower would be if I wasn’t so tired and in so much pain before Da pressed me against the wall using his body causing my heart to start pounding as I tried to breathe reminding myself that I should breathe slow like my roommate taught me whenever I had panic attacks in the middle of the night in the dorms.

“You said you wouldn’t,” I pleaded in a tiny voice.

“I’m not spread your legs,” He said which I submitted to knowing better than to disobey, “A little farther. There you go.”

I felt his body move away as I turned my head to the side so my nose wasn’t pressed against the cold tile and I felt his hands moving up the back of my knees as he probably got down on his. They slowly traveled up the back of my thighs feeling my skin gently as he moved slowly until his fingers got to my butt spreading my cheeks open making me want to sob.

“It actually doesn’t look too bad,” He told me, “That’s good it’s a little sore. Looks like you were bleeding but it doesn’t look like you are now. You should be ok in a day or two. Until then I can give you something to help you poop so it doesn’t hurt as bad ok?”

“Ok,” I said as he stood up and handed me a wash cloth so I could wash myself off as he grabbed another one, doing the same.

We bathed in silence him basically ignoring me like I was nothing as we finished bathing and I climbed out of the shower by myself and pulled my clothes back on. He smuggled a pillow out of the room for me to sit on for the ride home where everyone else was going to be waiting.

“We’re not going to tell mum about this right? Or John?” Da asked me after a few minutes of silence driving towards home.

The streets buzzing with down town London traffic as we got closer to the townhouse that we called home. The place where I now shared a room on the weekend with the twins but John had his own room for now. While the Nursery holding two tiny tots one with bright blond hair and other, my first little sister with her ginger hair that matched our brothers. The one thing I loved about coming home was seeing them. Holding them and playing with them. Doing something that made me feel like I mattered, like someone wanted me. Mum was always busy with the twins and always tired and John was always trying to be by himself not wanting to do anything with anyone while the twins preferred to spent their time alone together if they weren’t with mum and Da was working.

If I wasn’t reading by myself I was reading to Cat because while she whined a lot she seemed interested whenever I read aloud cocking her chubby little head in my direction like she was listening intently and James asked me questions. They were important to me. They wanted me but didn’t always seek me out more often going to mum or John. However, I enjoyed spending time with them, their gait still unsteady most of their walking a toddle of a run as they jumped up and down with excitement at everything the world had to show. I loved their enthusiasm for life. How everything was so important to them their eyes wide with wonder at everything no matter how many times they had seen it.

“No,” I said shaking my head.

“Good because John would be jealous you know? To know he’s not the only big boy in the house now,” Da said.

I nodded my head quietly and thought how funny that was. John wouldn’t be jealous and that wasn’t true I had been a big boy for a long time. I thought Da was silly probably spending too much time with the babies who didn’t really understand anything when I understood plenty that what he had done wasn’t right and not just because it had hurt. When we got home I went straight upstairs ignoring mum completely and going to the nursery, hugging Catherine and James tightly, “Hey guys.” I said quietly, “How was your week?”

“I played car,” James answered me.

“You played car?” I asked.

“With Daddy,” James said.

“Yeah was it fun?” I asked him.

“Yeah he put me on his back and I gots to drived him around the house and go zoom zoom,” He told me.

“Oh, that does sound fun,” I said as John came into the room.

“Are you ok?” He asked me.

“Yeah fine why?” I asked.

“Just you looked really worried when you came in and you didn’t say hi to me or mum. Are you sure you’re ok?” He asked me again.

I felt myself swallow the lump in my throat that kept growing bigger, “Yeah.”

“Mum got you a cake. She hired that cook they’re making your favorite chicken cacciatore,” John told me.

I sighed focusing on that. It had been a long time since I had been able to eat that and I loved it. The smoky and garlic flavors that danced together to make the tomatoes sing as they went to your taste buds, the tough bread that was prefect for dipping into the sauce that was simply the prefect balance of rustic and fresh.

“I think I’m going to read for a while,” I sighed kissing James on the head and getting up.

I still felt tired from earlier and I need an escape. One that would take me far away to a distant place where I could fly, I could dance. I went to my room to look through my bookshelf. All the books whispering my name like old friends who knew I needed comfort no one else could give me. Who knew I need to look inside of them and find something I was missing. Bravery.

I sighed as my eyes settled on the cover the boy holding his lantern aloft in the night. The trees open above him as he trampled the leaf’s underfoot in the forest and the dogs in front of him only a couple of steps, big and proud their long ears and red coats eyes alert. I pulled open the book and started reading. Thinking about how much I wished I had those dogs to protect me like they protected Billy. How they would rip the throat out of anyone or anything that ever tried to hurt me. How badly I needed those dogs. Eventually mum called everyone down for dinner and sure enough it was what John had announced it would be. I ate until I was full my belly bloated with joy and warmth as mum laughed at me and Da smiled.

“You won’t have any room for cake now,” Da laughed.

“I’m not sure I want any,” I said, “I think I know what I want for my birthday present.”

“Yeah what’s that?”

"A dog."

Da laughed and mum gave him this look before standing behind him rubbing his shoulders, “Well it’s not really a birthday present for you pre-say it’s not a dog but you are going to be getting something nine months for now…” Mum said slyly.

“You’re having another baby?” I asked her blinking.

“Mum why?” John sighed.

“Well your Da and I want a big family don’t you think it’d be nice to have another baby around?” She asked us.

“Mum,” John said, “You have two babies right now isn’t that enough?”

“They are hardly babies anymore John Catty is going to be using full sentences any day now,” Mum pointed out.

“That doesn’t mean she’s not a baby mum,” I said, “So I can’t have a dog because I’m getting a little brother or sister?”

“Probably,” Da answered.

“I don’t want another brother or sister. I have four brothers and one sister isn’t that enough?” I asked.

“Well it’s not up to you we’re having as many as we want,” Da answered.

“Please just a puppy that’s all Da that’s all I want for my birthday,” I asked again.

He furrowed his brow in anger looking at me closely. The look on his face communicating that he was displeased I had bothered to question his decision, to ask again. I sighed relenting in my request. I knew it would never happen because it wasn’t something he wanted. If he didn’t want it, it didn’t happen.

“It’ll be fine you’ll love having another baby or maybe two,” Da hinted.

“Two? Another set of twins?” I asked looking over at Mike and Matt. They were weird at that age. Always whispering amongst themselves even in the dorms at school when I had a chance to visit their hall where they kept the younger kids. Always in a some made up language that didn’t make any sense to anyone. They rarely spent any time apart. I didn’t want to watch that happen again, two kids that were stuck in their own world no matter how hard people tried to pull them out of it.

“It looks like it but it’s still a bit early love,” Mum answered, “Don’t worry about it though we’ll see.”

“Ok so what do you want to do for your birthday? Movies the park anything like that or are you happy with the dinner and the cake and ice cream?” Da asked.

“This is good I’m happy with this,” I answered, “Can you give me a book, the giver?”

“Sure if that’s what you want love,” Mum said.

“Thanks,” I said sighing looking around the table. My eyes fell on Da again his dark brown hair and blue eyes. I had to close my eyes after a moment remembering last night how he had forced me to do those things with him. How he had hurt me. And then I opened them again following his line of site that look on his face. He was looking at John. Always John. I didn’t know how mum couldn’t see it. Couldn’t see the way he was looking at him. The way Da looked at me like that sometimes too. How could she not see it? Not at all? It was so confusing.

Mum cleared her throat causing Da’s gaze to shift from John to her, “I think it’s time for cake for the birthday boy don’t you Connor?”

“Huh yeah of course,” Da agreed as I looked over at John who was shifting uneasily in his seat.

So, Da hadn’t lied. He had never stopped doing it to John. I shared a room with him I didn’t remember him ever doing it. So, it either did it somewhere else or late at night when he was done with me, after I had fallen asleep. Maybe he took John to a hotel like he had done with me. But that didn’t seem likely either. I sighed heavily getting stuck in my head for a moment in the mystery of how mum didn’t know.

“I don’t know I’m really tired. I kind of just want to go to sleep. It’s kind of late,” I said quietly.

“You sure love? It’s your birthday?” She questioned me, “And it’s not that late it’s only seven.”

“Well mum seven is down time in the dorms. A lot of kids do just lay down by then instead of spending time in the common room,” John pointed out.

“If you’re sure,” She said looking at me a frown of worry on her face.

“Yeah I’m sure mum, I’m just tired,” I insisted.

“Ok love give me hug,” She said and I walked over to her hugging her and allowing her to embrace me. She smelled like home. Like Lilacs and mangos like something comfortable and sweet. Something that was home.

“I love you mum,” I said wishing I could tell her but knowing I couldn’t. Knowing I couldn’t tell anyone that I wasn’t allowed to.

“I love you too, goodnight,” She said.

“Night,” I said turning away and climbing the stairs to go up to my room.

I really was tired and I was still sore. And I didn’t understand it. Not really I understood it about as much as I had understood any of the other things. All I knew was that I shouldn’t say anything to anyone. That no one should know about it. As I was pulling my shirt off John came into the bedroom.

“What’s…?” He trailed off looking at me, my back turned to him.

“What?” I asked him.

“There’s a weird mark on your back right…” I could feel him reach forward to touch the mark.

“Don’t touch me,” I said pulling my night shirt down over my head.

“Ok, sorry,” John said looking at me, “Are you ok?”

“Yeah, just tired,” I said climbing into bed, “Are you coming to bed too or did you just come in here to check on me?”

“No I’m going to bed, it’s easier,” John said to me.

“What is?” I asked confused.

“Sleeping at home than in the dorms,” John said.

I knew that was a lie. That was an obvious lie knowing John. Knowing what I knew about him but it was something we had tried to leave behind in States. The things Da had made John do. The things Da had done to him. I could tell he still didn’t trust Da and until he had told me the night before I thought it was something he had stopped doing.

“Oh right,” I answered nodding my head.

John didn’t like to talk about that. I could understand why especially if it hurt as bad as it did the night before. I didn’t understand how John could be ok at all with the things that Da did to him. The way Da looked at him. Especially if he kissed him like he had kissed me the night before. I thought it felt gross. Grosser then lime Jell-O.

I did end up falling to sleep easily that night. Even though my Da had raped me the night before but he hadn’t done it my own room at home. He had done it someplace I didn’t know. I think that helped me feel safer. That and John in the bed on the other side of the room where he was sleeping soundly. I don’t remember much else about that weekend other than the ache along my tail bone faded slowly and by the time we got back to the dorms I was beyond grateful. Having to sit at every meal with Da had felt like trying to swallow a brick. Watching him eye John like he did and finally understanding why that it was because he did those things with him all the time. He didn’t do it again. Not while we were in London that I can ever recall.

He did sneak into my bed one night about six months later and woke me up out of a dead sleep. I remember being so tired. “Da?” I asked sleepily my brain so tired I couldn’t even rub the sleep out of my eyes.

“Shh, it’s ok beautiful,” He said quietly kissing my neck his hands grabbing at me over the thin fabric of my shirt.

“Da, what are you doing?” I asked him rolling my head to the side trying to get him to stop get his head away from neck.

“It’s ok,” he said putting his hand down my pants immediately waking me up because while he did touch me this seemed different his touch not messing around not rubbing my thighs or legs but going straight into my underwear starting to rub my penis causing my heart rate to increase.

“Da what are you doing?” I asked him again quietly urgently wanting him to stop.

“I’m just going to make you feel good just lay down ok? Close your eyes,” He whispered into my neck moving us so I was laying flat on my back as he pulled my pants down pushing the covers to the foot of the bed. I didn’t want to do what I was told. I wanted to grab my superman sheets and wrap them tight around me to get his hands off me, but I knew I couldn’t that he would be mad at me and I knew he liked John better anyway. That he might go to John instead and John was tired. He was always tired. John didn’t do anything at home besides chase babies around and eat and sleep. John was almost like a second mum and so he was tired all the time just like mum was.

“I’m cold Da,” I mumbled my mouth feeling weird and used from his kisses from his tongue being in my mouth.

“I’ll warm you up don’t worry,” He said sliding his hands under my shirt onto my skin up my ribs his tongue following his hands covering the touch of his hands with the wetness of his tongue making my eyes go wide and my breath hitch my little body confused by what was happening my mind racing. I didn’t know why he was doing it. Why he wanted to make me feel bad. Because while he thought it felt good and to an adult it does to a kid it’s confusing. You don’t even at eight years old understand why your body is feeling that way. Why someone touching you like that makes you feel that way. Makes your heart feel funny and your brain speed up and slow down all at once. Makes that tickle spread across your skin like a ran or the water falling from a shower head that you find completely and utterly overwhelming. So, it doesn’t feel good it feels weird it makes you unsure it scares you. And I remember being absolutely terrified every time he touched me like that this time even worse because he was using his mouth a lot more than he usually did.

“D…” I barely managed to get out before he slammed his hand over my mouth as he sucked one of my nipples between his teeth making my body seize up under his.

I had been too loud, been too demanding in my protest my body freaking out as it felt things beyond my control beyond my eight-year-old understanding. Goose bumps spreading up and down my body as the tingling kept growing. The tickle intensifying as it filled every cell of my body like someone flooding me with water.

“Have to be quieter ok? Just don’t talk just close your eyes and relax ok?” He said his kissing continuing down my chest closer to that spot between my legs.

That spot where he was going to touch me, rub me, make my nerve ending explode with stimulation. I nodded my head closing my eyes trying to keep myself calm. He didn’t go down on me often but when he did I hated the way it made me feel like he was trying to suck something inside of me out, like he was trying to draw my soul from my body and leave me empty, soulless. When I felt, his mouth go around me I wheezed heavily my whole body tensing under his lips and tongue trying not to give him what he wanted and failing. I knew he could tell it felt good because he wasn’t stupid. He was smart. I might have hated him but I could never claim he was stupid not for a second.

I fought myself to be quiet the feelings flooding my body like a water balloon that was so full it was about to burst. My shoulders relaxing and re-tensing as my body couldn’t decide which way to best fight the sensations flooding it, whether to fight against it or relax into it and just it happen as I panted the tears streaming down my face past my closed eyelids the salt hitting my lips periodically. Suddenly my whole body went ridged the balloon becoming too full bursting under the pressure of too much water too much sensation until my whole body started shuddering and I wasn’t able to catch my breath.

He then stopped pulling away wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “You’re so good at that, one day I’ll actually get something out I think. I can’t wait for that. I really can’t wait until I make you cum,” He said as I panted my chest still heaving as my body started to relax, “Thank you honey I really enjoyed that.”

When I could close my mouth, I opened my eyes and nodded my head not looking at him hugging myself as he got up pulling the blankets up around me. I didn’t want to talk to him. I didn’t have anything to say to him my body still buzzing. There are a lot of things I don’t remember mattering after that. The way things moved through life. The way I felt about things. I remember feeling more and more like a spectator, someone that watches and waits for things to change. I remember feeling that way until I realized things were actually changing. How Da just kept getting more and more aggressive coming to my bed more nights than not even if he didn’t rape me. Even if he didn’t put his mouth down there. Until suddenly he didn’t anymore. He quit coming. I wasn’t sure what was going on but, I knew things were changing.

Then one weekend on break from school we found out. It had been over two years and I was ten. We were all sitting down to dinner, all of us together mum now heavily pregnant with more babies the other two having come sometime in the November after she had told us and another one around nine months after that. After I had asked for a puppy.

“When you boys go on break in August we’re going to be going back to the states,” Da said looking at all of us while mum rubbed her belly sitting down in her chair facing the highchair of Andy, his Brown head and green eyes turning to stare at Da almost like he understood what he was saying.

“Where to the states?” John asked his complexion turning pale, almost ashen.

“The house is almost complete so Florida and when we get back you’ll be registering for school in the US you guys might find it difficult but I have a job opportunity that will benefit all of us so I think it’s time we move back. Mum is going to take Cat, and the babies off the Paris to visit with your grandma for a while and then she’ll be coming to the states too,” He said.

“August is in like two weeks,” I told him.

“I know,” He said to me, “It’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it. I’m telling you now so you guys can say goodbye to your friends, get everything squared away.”

“But I don’t want to go Da,” John said quietly, “We’re in boarding school can’t you just turn us into full boarders?”

“No, mum and I think it’s time for us to be a proper family again because things are running better, smoother and you guys have more little brothers and sisters that look up to you. I’m sure they would like to see you around more so we’re all going. I know it feels sudden and I’m sorry about that I really am but, it’s for the best,” Da said to us.

We finished the rest of our meal in silence making sure our school work was done for when we headed back to school in the morning. We both went to our room early that night and I heard John sighing heavily as I read my book quietly in bed.

“Are you ok?” I asked without glancing up.

I could feel the anxiety radiating off him in waves. Waves there were impossible to ignore. I knew he was nervous and I could understand why he might be. All the things Da had done to him when we lived in that house last time. All the things I had seen.

“I’m not sure I want to go back to Florida and I wish I didn’t have to,” John said.

“Because of what happened?” I asked quietly putting my book down.

“Yeah. I got a letter you know?” John answered.

“No, from who?” I asked him curious.

“Uncle Ben,” John barely whispered, “He wants to see me.”

“See you as in…?” He cut me off.

“Yeah I think so,” John answered briskly.

“Are you going to be ok?” I asked.

“I have to be,” John told me, “I mean we’re not getting a choice. I mean at least if I behave everyone else will probably be ok.”

“I don’t think that’s true,” I answered, “I can understand why you’d be hopeful that’s the case though but, you have to take care of yourself. You can’t help us if you don’t take care of yourself John.”

“Well Da’s like different now, not as bad. So, that means I just have to worry about Uncle Ben really. I can handle him I did before,” John answered.

He was wrong but I didn’t have the heart to tell him. That Da hadn’t really changed all that much. That Da was still a horrible person who did horrible things he just didn’t rape everyone all the time but that was only because mum was there. Mum was there to stop him or watch him because this house wasn’t like the one in Florida, it was a small house with only two floors and four bedrooms unlike the seven bedrooms and three floors that we had in the house in Florida.

“He hurt you really bad before,” I mentioned.

“I know but it’ll hurt less this time. And I won’t fight as much so…,” John said quietly, “It’s smarter not to fight.”

“Just remember that just because you aren’t fighting doesn’t mean you want it to happen,” I said.

The air filled with a thick silence. I was saying that to remind myself as much as him. Because there were nights many nights where I didn’t fight where I just let it happen because I didn’t want to wake him up. Because I didn’t want anyone to wake up, to know what Da did to me. It was easier to deal with it alone so Mum didn’t worry so John didn’t worry or intervene by putting himself in the middle.

“I know it’s just easy to forget that sometimes,” John said quietly.

“You can’t want it, I mean,” I sighed, “When he did it to me I didn’t want it.”

“What when?” John asked me sitting up his body going rigid with fear and anguish.

“When we found out mum was having Andy and Laura. He took me out of school early for my birthday. Took me to the cinema and then to a hotel. It hurt. A lot. I didn’t expect it to hurt as bad as it did.”

“Why didn’t you say anything then?” He asked me.

“Because he was supposed to be getting better. After that though it’s not like he…it’s not like it’s all the time it was just that once,” I lied, “I mean you would probably know if it was more. We share a room,” I lied some more.

I didn’t lie to protect my Da but to protect John. Because John would have felt guilty for not waking up, for not stopping Da from doing those things to me. For being so close and yet not being able to do anything. He always felt like he should have been able to stop it from happening. To stop Da from hurting us. All of us. I didn’t want him to know that it had happened right beside him and he didn’t realize it.

“If it was more than just the one time you would tell me, right? I mean you have questions about it I’m sure,” He answered.

“Not really. After he did it you know how I got in school detention for like a month and I told you it was for fighting? I lied. I snuck out of hails berry hall in the middle of the night and went into the upper school section in the library and looked at a bunch of stuff using my flashlight. Miss Bobs caught me because I accidentally dropped one. I think they would have been meaner if they hadn’t all been text books,” I said.

“Looked up what stuff?” John asked.

“Like sex stuff. Stuff about how it all works. How you know girls have vaginas and when a man gets hard they can put their penis in there you know? It only makes sense that if you don’t have a vagina they might…put it in your butt so…I kind of just did some deductions and got my answers that way but a butt isn’t made for that so it hurts more. Apparently, a vagina is like wet inside where a butt isn’t. And the muscles of a butt are meant to push things out so they don’t let things in that well. Butt’s aren’t made for sex so it hurts,” I answered.

“Did you look up anything else?” He asked me.

“Yeah like when I’m going to…change like down there,” I answered, “Book said anywhere between 10 and 13 is pretty normal. You know when you start ejaculating. When the….” Joh cut me off.

“I know what seamen is I took sex ED last year remember?” He asked me.

“Right,” I nodded my head.

“You’d be taking it in September if we weren’t leaving,” John told me.

“Would it give you as much information as I know?” I asked.

  “Pretty much it goes over condoms too,” John said. 

“What are those?” I asked. You must remember I was nine or ten at this point. The books I had read didn’t have any information about contraception at all. Or safe sex only regular heterosexual reproductive sex and the rest I had managed to deduce on my own.

  “Condoms? They’re like rubber gloves for your penis so when you ejaculate it doesn’t go all over inside the person you’re doing it with,” John told me, “None of that stuff was in the books you found?”

“No,” I shook my head, “Does Da…?”

“Nope,” John said so I didn’t have to finish the question that he knew I was asking.

I asking if a condom was something Da had used with him because Da hadn’t used one with me, “Did the books say anything about oral sex?” He asked me.

“Not really. I mean I know what oral means so I’m assuming it’s someone’s reproductive organs in someone else’s mouth,” I said to him.

“Yeah,” John said quietly and then fell silent.

“He does it to keep us quiet you know?” I said and heard his weight shift causing me to look over at him.

He was pale his hands shaking as he raked them through his hair. That was something that was hard for him to talk about. All of it was hard for John to talk about because he had suffered so much more than I had. It scared him just like it scared me. The lack of control it gave you. That feeling of complete chaos running under your skin.

“You think so?” He asked me.

“Well yeah I mean think about it. It doesn’t really hurt and it feels kind of weird so…what’s the best way to keep someone quiet? If they don’t understand something if it scares them. Which people are always afraid of things they don’t understand,” I said.

John just nodded his head, not saying anything verbally. Maybe even not able to. I sighed afraid my question would upset him but needing to know. “John?” I asked quietly.

“Yeah?” He asked back just as quiet.

“Does he…did he when you were my age say that he was going to?” I exhaled loudly trying to calm the thumping of my heart against my rib cage.

“Did he what?” John asked me finally looking at me realizing how upset I was. How hard it was for me to get out, “Hey, hey it’s ok. You’re ok whatever you need to ask I won’t be upset I promise. I’ll try and answer ok?”

“Did he say he was trying to make you. Make you cum? Because he wanted your first time to be with him?” I finally managed to get out wiping at my eyes hard to hide the tears of shame.

“Yeah,” John answered without hesitation.

I nodded my head quickly. I didn’t want to think about it anymore. Think about how my Da wanted the first time I ejaculated to be while he was making me have sex with him. Making me lay there while he wrapped his hands or his mouth around me where it shouldn’t be. It made me feel gross just thinking about it.

John sighed heavily, “I’m tired could we not talk about it anymore?” He asked me.

“Yeah, I’m tired too,” I agreed, “I think it’s time to go to bed.”

“Yeah,” John said nodding his head getting ready to stand up.

“John?” I asked grabbing his hand making him flinch lightly because of surprise.

“Yeah?” He asked me.

“Can I stay in your bed; you stay in mine with me? Just for tonight?” I asked him.

“Sure,” He said, “I have to turn off my lamp though so hold on just a second." He walked over to his side of the room turning off the lamp as I made myself as small as possible scooting over to the right side of the bed so he could climb in and turn off the light. I needed him. Need to know he was there. That if Da came he was right there so Da wouldn’t touch me. Wouldn’t make me feel those horrible things.

“Thanks,” I said quietly.

“Mhm,” He grunted turning off the lamp and climbing into bed next to me, “Night Will.”

“Night,” I answered rolling over so we were back to back.

I remember feeling his breathing against my back. Listening to it as he curled himself into the fetal position behind me trying to protect himself against the memories against the assaults and the threats. Against all of it. I remember feeling horrible for him knowing that no matter how badly he felt how much pain he was in he would put himself in that pain again. Face it again and again to keep any of us from having to. To keep us as safe as he could if we were going back to that place. I remember falling asleep to the sound of his breathing. The feel of his body head and his straight back pressed against mine. Giving me the only comfort he knew how, the only comfort we were both comfortable with. 

Chapter Text

Da left the next morning for the states to make sure everything was in order as mum called the school to let them know that the coming week would be our last week in the dorms before we were pulled out of school all together to move back to America.
I remember not really being upset about going because I was leaving my “friends” because the truth was I didn’t have any friends, I had roommates and acquaintances but I didn’t have friends. I didn’t let anyone get close enough to me to be a friend. How do you have friends when you can’t tell anyone what your life is really like?

“So you’re leaving?” Sam asked me at the end of the day after supper as we both made it back to our room.

“Yeah, going to America,” I answered simply pulling what was left of my coursework out.

“You’re always so quiet, I’m going to miss it,” Sam told me.

“Thanks,” I answered, “You never minded I was quiet?”

“No I like quiet. That and you have mad computer skills. Like I’ve never seen anyone take to those things so fast. Half the time I don’t know what I’m doing,” Sam said, “You have any advice?”

“Depends on what you mean? They have books and what not you could read to help you out. With programing. If you’re talking other stuff honestly the best way to figure that out is to watch someone, listening to someone talk and then you’ll find away in.”
“What do you mean?” Sam said smiling at me and shook my head, “You mean like breaking into emails and what not?”

“Well,” I sighed heavily, “Yes.”

“examples?” He asked me smiling.

“Example? Say you wanted to read Mr. Haskins email for whatever reason I mean he’s a math teacher his life can’t be that interesting. Usually people use passcodes related to their life like a favorite color and probably an important day. His favorite color is blue or you could think it was because he has a lot of blue in his classroom. And then his birthday is like say for example June 3rd 1963 so his passcode could be something like blue1963 or blue0603 or something like that. It’s simple really,” I answered.

“Is that really his password?” Sam asked me smiling.

“Usually people go more complex at least smart people. My Da I know his password,” I answered shrugging my shoulders.

“What is it?” He asked me.

I sighed thinking it in my head, jb11286. “I’m not telling you.”

“Oh come on what does your Da do anyway?” He asked me.

“He’s a financial analyst,” I answered, “He’s worked at a couple different corporations like Exxon and so on.”

“Wow, that’s a pretty penny,” Sam commented.

I snorted. He had no idea. By this point I had already considered my Da’s yearly income and added it to inheritance. It was a lot of money was basically what I ended up finding out. And I had found out some other things about my Da as well. That someone was offering him a job for a lot of money if Da joined a cult. I didn’t know what type of cult it was at the time but it was someone he had befriended from class. Whatever class was.

“That little or that much?” Sam asked me.

“Why do you care? And it’s not like it’s my money anyway,” I answered.

“Not yet, will be one day when he kicks it,” Sam answered.

“I have 8 brothers and sisters and two more on the way you really think I’ll get that much of whatever he has?” I asked Sam.

“I thought you only had three brothers,” Sam said cocking a brow at me.

“I have three brothers that go to school here, three more at home along with two sisters. Most of my siblings are too young for school four of them are under the age of 5 and my brother James is about to turn six,” I answered.

“That’s a lot of brothers and sisters,” Sam commented, “How is it I’ve lived with you for the past year and I barely know anything about you?”

“I’m quiet. I’m quiet for a reason,” I answered.

“I just thought you were shy,” He said.

“No, I’m not shy. I’m smart. Smart people keep their mouths shut at least according to my Da. Smart people don’t share their personal information with others because then people know their flaws and can use their flaws against them. If you’re quiet, you learn.”

“Not a people person then?” Sam asked me.

“Not really. As you get older you’ll understand why,” I said turning to my course work I had to finish before bed.

“What does that mean you’re not any older than me,” He scoffed.

“Look you know those books they read you? The boxcar kids, Hardy boys? Those are lies kids don’t solve crimes very often adults don’t even solve crimes you know how they tell us we have the potential to be whatever we want? Very few of us will ever live up to that potential. You know the feeling of scared you get when you watch pet cemetery or Child’s play? That’s what the real world feels like all the time. It’s dark and it’s cold and no one is going to help you or care. You might as well learn that reality now,” I answered him.

“That’s not true my mum and Dad will always look out for me,” He answered.

“Only if they know something is wrong, if they aren’t the ones causing the problem. Not everyone has a happy life Sam,” I replied.

“And you would know this?” He asked me.

“My Da used to beat my mum. My older brother used to hide me in the closet so my Da wouldn’t hurt me. So yeah I know the world isn’t a nice place and I don’t ever expect it to be,” I answered.

“Did you ever tell anyone?” He asked me.

“Like who? He’s my Da all right? And we moved here for him to see someone to help with his anger issues,” I answered him, “He’s better now.”

All of that was a half-truth. We did move here for him to get help for not for his anger issues but for his impulses he had where he couldn’t keep his hands to himself. Where he felt, it was normal and healthy to molest his own children not that any of that had helped him. Mum thought it had and so did John but really all it did was put him touch with people who thought the same way he did. That it was healthy to teach your kids about their bodies, about how to use people sexually and how to use your sexuality to get ahead in life.

“Well I’m glad he’s better,” Sam said, “My neighbor his Da used to drink his parents spilt up. His mum and him are a lot happier now.”

“Good for him. Things are better for us too,” I answered.

“Doesn’t sound like it. Sounds like you hate the world,” Sam answered.

“No I don’t hate the world I just prefer books more than people. Another reason why I’m quiet,” I answered finishing up my work.

“If you’re done you should go to the common room because I’m not ready for bed yet,” Sam told me.

“That’s fine, this is my second to last night here anyway,” I answered closing my books and grabbing my reading book so I could head to common room.

“Do you mind going to the common room?” He asked me.

“Not really most people just leave me alone,” I answered.

“What about prickly Peter?” He asked me.

It was a nickname we had for the older head boy for our dorm house. He was weird sometimes. He would bother people rumors of him asking for different favors like chocolates and sweets if you got in trouble that sort of thing. There was even a rumor he took potoroid’s of some poor kid in his knickers for blackmail.

I laughed, “He’s never bothered me. I don’t get in trouble though so…”

“I can see why if you talked way more often a lot of people would like you a lot less,” Sam answered.

“I can be normal I’m just tired and stressed,” I answered, “I don’t pretend well when I’m tired and stressed.”

“Pretend?” He asked me.

“Yeah pretend to be a normal 10-year-old that doesn’t know how to read his Da’s emails or knows that his Da is a truly bad person,” I answered.

“You said he was better,” Sam frowned at me.

“I lied just like he’s lying,” I answered, “Not that it matters if you know anyway since I’m leaving in two days and you probably won’t ever see me again.”

“Fair enough, I wish you luck,” Sam said, “It was nice having you as a roommate though even if you are quiet and weird until apparently, someone gets you talking then you’re broody and angry.”

I smiled and laughed, “Thanks you were a good roommate too.”

That was the last time I talked to Sam or anyone else at school really before I went home. It was nice to be home without Da. To play with my siblings. To have tea party with Catty and James and to play board games with Mike and Matt while I helped mum with nappies on occasion. When it was time for us to leave Da took a plane back home as mum was packing things up so she could go spend time with an Aunt of hers in France before the babies were born.

“Mum I’m not sure we should go without you,” John said one night as I was walking into the bedroom.

“Love we’ve talked about this, he’s better now he’s changed he’s promised and you’re Uncle will be far away still,” Mum tried to assure him.

“Mum I don’t know. I don’t…”

“John he’s your father he loves you. He’s told me how sorry he is he let those things happen and that they won’t happen again. You must trust him. Has he hurt you at all in all this time? In the last year?” She asked him.

“No mum but…” John sighed heavily as she interrupted him.

“He’s your Da let him earn your trust back, I know bad things have happened in the past but we need to work on forgiving him otherwise he’s never going to be able to prove he’s different,” Mum said to him.

“Mum he’s still doing it, he did it to Will mum,” John said to which he looked at me.

“What? When?” She asked turning to look at me as well.

“Two years ago,” I answered.

“Has he done anything since?” She asked me.

I sighed and shook my head not wanting to verbally lie to her. It’s not like her fighting to keep us with her would help us in anyway. It would stress her out and make them fight. It wouldn’t stop him. It would just make things harder for her.

John looked at me and sighed his look saying “back me up on this I don’t want to go there.”

“Then please just try for me John. If there is any problem, just call me and I’ll try to come ok?” She said to him, “I know you’re scared but, he’s admitted his mistakes. He’s changed.”

“Mum, I really don’t trust him. Not with them. Never with them,” John said through gritted teeth fighting back angry tears.

“He’s not going to hurt them and he won’t hurt you,” Mum told him, “I trust you and I trust him. He’s gotten help. He doesn’t believe those things anymore.”

“He says he doesn’t that doesn’t mean it’s true,” John insisted, “Please don’t make us go with him.”

“You need to get settled in before school starts. So, you need to. I would be coming to if it weren’t for the babies all, right? It’s safer for me not to fly right now otherwise we would all be going. Great Aunt Catherine will be there to help me and once these two are born I’ll be coming home as soon as I can and we’ll all be together. Please do this for me. Give him a chance,” Mum said to him her eyes pleading as she grabbed his hands a squeezed them gently before sighing and rubbing her belly, “hush you two.”

“they’re kicking?” He asked her.

“Yes, wide awake the wee dancers,” She said smiling taking his hand and putting it on her belly, “When I come they’ll be out and ready to meet you. And I know you’ll do everything to keep them safe just like me and just like your Da.”

John nodded his head, “I’ll keep them safe. I promise.”

“I know love,” She said, “Is everyone packed for the morning?”

“Yes,” He answered, “We’ll be ready to leave tomorrow night after Da gets some rest.”

“It’s going to be a long flight. That’s why I’m glad you’re Da booked a late one hopefully almost everyone will sleep on the way there,” She said.

“It’s just going to be us James and the twins, it won’t be that busy,” John sighed.

“Yeah but it will help if they are tired, I need you two to get some rest. Goodnight,” She said kissing him on the cheek him scrunching is face in annoyance as she shut the door behind her.

“Why didn’t you back me up?” he asked me.

“We can’t stop this,” I answered, “We’re moving back to America no matter what we do. He has a job offer they are paying him a lot of money John. There isn’t any way out of this.”

“He’s going to be there when we get there. He said so. He wrote me a letter you don’t know what he’s like you barely remember him,” John said referring to Uncle Ben.

“I remember him hurting you. Is that what you’re afraid of that Da is going to let him hurt you?” I asked.

“Of course Da is going to let him hurt me. Da is going to let him hurt all of us,” John answered.

“And we’ll deal with that when it happens if it happens,” I said.

“Will, don’t lie for him anymore?” John said.

“I’m not lying,” I said, “He really hasn’t.”

“I want to believe you, I do but I find it hard to. If he’s not hurting me he must be hurting someone and if it’s not you it’s someone else,” John said.

“there wouldn’t be anything we could do anyway,” I answered.

“That’s not true. You know what he…” I cut him off

“Don’t even talk about that. John, you couldn’t handle it and it’s not your job. You’ve tried so hard your whole life to keep all of us safe. To keep me safe and you can’t do that. You’ll break. You know you will. So, don’t even think it. If he was hurting someone they would have said something,” I told him.

“Unless it was you because you feel like you owe me. If he is hurting, you if he’s …doing that to you still you need to say something to mum and say it tonight. Stop this Will,” John said.

“What good would that do but make him angry?” I asked him.

“I don’t know,” John said, “But maybe if I wasn’t the only one who said they were scared she wouldn’t make us go.”

“She would because she trusts that he’s changed, “I told him.

“Do you think he has?” John asked me.

“I didn’t say that,” I answered him.

“Then say something and stop this!” John said to me his eyes wide pleading, “he’s going to hurt me.”

“Only because you won’t let him hurt anyone else,” I said.

“Bloody right I won’t!” He hissed back, “You know how bad it hurts. You know what it feels like even if it was only just the once he did it. You want any of them to ever feel that way? I know you don’t. So, stop this. Work me and stop this,” John pleaded.
“I can’t. Mum won’t listen to you and she’s not going to listen to me. There is nothing we can do,” I said, “I’ll try to keep him from…”

“No Will, no it has to be me. It can’t be anyone else,” John said starting to cry, “I’ll do but I’ll hate it.”

“John it might be ok you don’t know,” I said.

“No it won’t be Uncle Ben will be there and it won’t be ok,” John swore, “You’ll see.”

I should have believed him. I wish I had believed him. That night passed and Da didn’t come visit me even though he was home. He didn’t come in and talk to us at all. The day passed by each hour I could feel John growing more and more nervous more tense and he refused to speak to mum for the rest of the day.

“Why can’t I go mummy?” Cat asked her at dinner.

“Because love you don’t need to start school yet where the boys need to get settled in before the school year so you’re going to spend time with me and Aunt Catherine and the babies,” Mum answered her.

“But that’s not fair I want to go!” Cat whined.

“We’ll be there around Christmas,” Mum assured her, “I know you want to go and your brothers will miss you very much I’m sure.”

“Yes,” I agreed nodding my head, “We’ll be all right though and we’ll try to call you once a week won’t we guys?”

“I’ll call you every night,” James assured her and I laughed.

“There’s a bit of a time difference so that might be difficult but I’ll see if I can figure out the math and make sure you two have time to chat every day,” Da said smiling in amusement.

“You promise?” Cat asked.

“I promise,” James said again, “It’ll only be a little bit Catty not forever. It’s only a couple of months and then we’ll all be together again.

“I’ll try to make sure he keeps you up on important things Catty,” I promised her, “You won’t miss anything it’s all about school work.”

“Will’s right darling,” Da assured her, “I promise the boys will be bored without you. Boys you are packed, right? We need to go.”

“Yeah everyone is packed up,” John answered before I could.

We had both made sure Matt, Mike and James were packed with clothes and whatever they needed that wasn’t going by mail. We left shortly after getting into the town car waiting for Da John’s anxiety beyond unbearable his whole being vibrating with it. I understood why he was upset, nervous. And I swore to myself that it wouldn’t happen that he wouldn’t deal with any of it alone.

By the time we got on the plane mum had proven herself right me being beyond tired as I was settled in next to Mike and Matt who had been sleep walking through most of the airport and only woke up and got excited long enough to watch take off through the window, watching the lights of London fade below us until there was nothing but darkness below us and Matt reached over and drew the blind down turning off the overhead lights and settling into sleep on my shoulder.

I ended up falling asleep as well shortly after that. The flight not being exciting in anyway shape or form. At some point John jumped in the seat in front of Matt startling me awake for just a moment and I heard him mumbling but I only ended up falling back to sleep until the attendant came on the intercom announcing that everyone should make sure their seat belts were secured and we were coming in for a landing.

I remember hitting the landing strip the bump finally forcing me fully awake as we pulled up to the airport and the hooked us up to it. When we left the plane, the stewardess pushed past us and started talking to a police officer in the corner who then approached my Da as I grabbed Mike’s hand heading towards baggage claim where there was a tall man standing there. With a trolley who frowned at me for a minute before speaking.

“William is that you?” He asked me.

“Uncle Ben?” I asked confused. No this wasn’t right he wasn’t supposed to be here. He was supposed to be away. This wasn’t how things were supposed to be.

“Yeah buddy you remember me?” He asked me.

“What are you doing here?” I asked feeling my heart skip a beat. John was right this wasn’t good this wasn’t supposed to happen.

“I’m just here to say hi. Help your Da out with you guys til your mum comes home,” He said smiling his eyes scanning me up and down making me feel uncomfortable the same look that Da gave John whenever he thought no one was looking, “you grew up.”

“Not really,” I answered.

The last time I had seen him I was six. So, it was lie even though at the time it didn’t feel like one. A person can change a lot in four years. Especially a child. But I didn’t feel that different really, taller and wiser maybe but otherwise I didn’t feel different at all.
“Oh no you’ve changed, you look good,” He said to me making me shift uncomfortably.

“You’re not supposed to be here,” I said quietly.

“Hey it’s ok. Your mum doesn’t know I’m here of course but that doesn’t matter. Everything will be fine you’ll see,” He tried to assure me.

My most vivid memory of him was him on top of John as John screamed his butt in the air on top of John moving, him grinding his hips into my brother while he swore and made weird sounds. Of me being terrified that he was going to kill him. I hadn’t realized how afraid of Ben I was until he was looking at me the way Da looked at John and that’s when I knew I had made a mistake in not speaking up. I should have told mum what Da did. I should have told John but now John thought he was alone and mum thought nothing was going on that Da was better when he wasn’t.

I remember thinking about how it was my fault. Realizing it was my fault. That I did this to us. To me and to John that I was a horrible person because I wanted to believe things would be different. They were going to be different all right.
“You ok bud?” Ben asked me frowning that same look still in his eyes.

I nodded my head numbly pulling Mike closer to my side. This was really bad. I remember not being able to speak realizing the mistake I had made. Wallowing in my own stupidity as I stood there Uncle Ben turning back to the baggage carousel looking for our luggage and grabbing it as it passed by while Da stood with John talking to the officer in the uniform who was laughing and making jokes.

“Who are you?” Mike asked from beside me.

“I’m your Uncle Ben you probably don’t remember me that well huh?” He said smiling at Mike.

“Mike quiet,” I said turning around and pulling him with me as Matt grabbed Mike’s other hand frowning as we turned toward Da and walked over to him Uncle Ben steering the luggage cart.

We walked up to where Da and the guy were standing Da saying something about how he had heard that Hank was a nice person. The guy in the uniform being Hank.

“Hey Johnny, how are you?” he Uncle Ben said to John with a terrible smile on his face, “Are we ready to get these boys home Conner?”

“I think so,” My Da answered him something about the tone in his voice making me feel sick to my stomach making me feel like I was going to throw up. Something was wrong. My brain screaming at me that this was a situation I shouldn’t be in. That this was really bad and I had gotten us stuck here. That this was my fault and something I could have prevented but it was too late now. That now I had to deal with it. Keep my mouth shut and do whatever it was I had to do to protect my brothers all of them especially my older brother who tried so hard to make sure no one else got hurt.

Da said goodbye to Hank the police officer and we walked to the car John and I sliding into the captain chairs in the van after we made sure James, Mike and Matt were strapped into the back seat as Da and Uncle Ben loaded the luggage in whispering to themselves and I heard my name mentioned in a barely there whisper.

“I’m sorry,” I said to John quietly who didn’t move didn’t even look over at me his whole body slack his eyes straight forward like he was numbing himself up. Trying to check out mentally because he knew something bad was about to happen.
“You know what John here did? He tired calling the cops on me, and that’s when I met Hank.” Da said to Uncle Ben climbing into the passenger seat up front laughing slightly.

“Oh Hank, he’s a great guy he’s a part of FFCL you won’t have any problems with him, I’ve met his boy Patrick,” Uncle Ben said as we pulled out of the parking lot, “Patrick is just a little bit older then John here I think. He’s a handful.”

Da laughed, “I’m glad I have good boys, they listen very well I was thinking we should homeschool at least John if not everyone until Danielle gets here. It would be easier that way. Would help us train up the younger ones a little bit.”

“Yeah, that would be a good idea they are precious, especially the little one, I mean just look at him sleeping back there knowing he’s untouched makes me hard.” Uncle Ben said turning at an intersection, “Either way I know you’ve been talking to some of the guys and I know you’ll break him in right. Even though you’re always so kind most of the FFCL guys aren’t that soft with their kids.” My Uncle replied.

“Yeah I know you take the more traditional approach but, that doesn’t mean anything. I would rather be able to do it again then not be able to touch them for a week because I was too rough you know?” My Da commented as I heard Mike whisper behind me
“What are they talking about?” He asked.

“Mike be quiet,” I hissed quietly trying not to be heard as I was eavesdropping.

“Yeah, I know what you mean, I’ve been working on my skills and I seem to be doing better with that. Now I’ll get plenty more practice with it. I agree with you it’s nice to be able to have more time with them instead of having to wait for them to heal if I’m too rough,” Uncle Ben answered Da back as we pulled up into the drive way stopping at a key pad on a gate.

Behind the gate was a house that looked more like a castle or mansion then an actual house. It loomed huge and white in the foreground in front of us. The smaller houses that I vaguely remembered being there before were gone the house taking up twice the amount of room I remembered it taking up before. It looked like it had grown two stories and the backyard had somehow managed to get bigger. It felt weird, not like home anymore but more like a strange place where bad things happened. The air around it feeling cold and dark, like something was wrong with it. Wrong with everything. I remember shooting John a nervous glance as he stared straight ahead his eyes big as his hand tightened on the arm rest of his chair.

James shouted “COOL!” loudly from the back causing John to jump and turn to look at him almost like he had sprouted an eye in the middle of his forehead causing me to look back and see the smile and big happy eyes like a kid on Christmas him not understanding what was happening. What that house would mean for us because of what I had refused to do just a mere 18 hours before.

Da glanced back smiling “You guys get your own floor, thanks to mom she said she had a code for the elevator somewhere I just don’t know where it is.”

“So it’s like just ours and no one else can go there?” I questioned feeling hopeful before the words don’t know where the code is hit me in the face like a splash of cold water meaning there was no way to escape whatever they had planned for us.
“Yeah buddy just for you kids, it’s in case someone tries to kidnap you, I don’t even have the code so you’ll be sleeping in guest rooms until mom gets here,” Da explained for us as Uncle Ben parked up near the garage door in front of what looked like a closed off green house and fenced in area in the back yard which upon getting out of the car I discovered was a big outdoor pool.

“Where are the guest rooms?” John asked as he undid his seat belt turning around to help James get out of his belt as well and Uncle Ben opened the sliding door. I stepped out onto the concrete looking around at how massive the house was, walking away a little.

“On the same floor next to mine and your mom’s room,” he said as everyone got out of the car and went into the house through the garage door.

The kitchen was twice as big as it had been when we had last been there. The room yellow and blue with white counters and cabinets a kitchen island standing in the middle of the room where the counter used to come out in an L shape at one point the only thing that was the same being the table from before. John turning pale when he saw it his body language changing, his stance becoming tense to hide the fact that he was feeling unsteady his brain replaying something in his head.

I could tell by looking at him he was panicking inside his hands probably squeezing James’ slightly as he stood there trying to breathe probably just struggling to think. I wanted to tell him how sorry I was again. How bad I felt but I knew there was nothing I could say or do that would make any of this better for him just like there was nothing I could do to make this better for myself. To change any of this.

“John, what’s wrong?” James asked shaking John’s hand slightly in his grip trying to get a reaction from his stock still form as he stared wide eyed and fearful at the table.

“Hey buddy, you can come upstairs with me ok?” Da said motioning us upstairs away from John who still didn’t move, reaching for James’ hand taking it into his leading us upstairs.

I turned back to look at John nervously my throat dry knowing this was bad that we should all stay together that I shouldn’t leave him alone as Uncle Ben started walking up behind him. I swallowed to try and clear my throat to say something to stop Uncle Ben from touching him.

“Will bud, come on upstairs John is all right,” Da said causing me to turn my attention to him and start climbing the stairs again, “He’s ok really.” He said putting his hand on my shoulder making me tense as I walked up the stairs away from John leaving him alone in the kitchen with Uncle Ben making my heart beat faster knowing he was going to get hurt. That something bad was going to happen.

“Da are you sure he’s ok he looks scared,” I pointed out quietly.

“Your uncle won’t hurt him he just wants to spend some time with him, like I spend with you,” Da said.

“Da,” I begged, “You shouldn’t…”

“I shouldn’t what?” Da said grabbing my shoulder tightly and squeezing making me bite my lips into a thin line as my brothers kept walking up the stairs in front of us, “You don’t tell me what I should and shouldn’t do not ever. You know better. I don’t want to hear it you understand me? I get enough of that from your mother and everyone else I don’t need it from you too.”

“I’m sorry,” I said quietly turning my eyes down to my feet not wanting to let him know he was hurting me that he was squeezing too hard the feeling of the pads of his fingers digging into my skin pressing into my muscle the skin bruising under his fingers.
“I accept that now help me get your brothers settled in ok?” He said, “I’m sure we could all us a few more hours of sleep in a more comfortable area.”

“Ok,” I said nodding my head, “What do you want me to do?”

“Just get Mike and Matt settled in and I’ll take care of James ok? Just get them to settle down,” He told me and I nodded my head as he let go of my arm and we made it up to the second floor. We turned the corner and he opened a room for us. The room being a powder blue with a big bed in it. I sighed as Da ushered me in behind Mike and Matt and shut the door behind me.

“Why isn’t Da showing us the house?” Matt asked me.

“I don’t know he said we should probably get more sleep so I think we’re going to lay down for a nap or something,” I answered.

“That’s stupid I’m not even tired,” Mike said.

“I know but we should do what we’re told,” I said.

“Why is Da being mean?” Matt asked me his eyebrows raising curiously.

“I don’t know,” I answered, “But I’m worried he’ll hurt us if we don’t do what we’re told. So just lay down and maybe you’ll fall asleep.”

“There’s only one bed,” Mike pointed out.

“Yeah but it’s a big bed,” I answered taking off my shoes, “Come on guys shoes off we’ll just lay down for a little while I’m sure we’ll fall asleep.”

They took their shoes off Matt lining his up next to mine neatly while Mike threw his at the wall them landing haphazardly in the corner behind the door. I sat down with them on the bed and soon their eyes were closed and they were sleeping when I heard a thump against the wall next to the bedroom.

I sighed getting up slowly trying to be careful so that I didn’t wake them when I opened the door and shut it slowly and quietly behind me the sounds from the other room still muffled but getting louder as I walked around the corner.
I could hear crying coming from inside one on the rooms painful gut wrenching sobs and babbled words as I heard a lower voice underneath them.

“It’s ok buddy, I’m just loving you. I know it hurts but it’s ok,” I heard Da coo through the door softly as the sobs started to settle from inside the room I was standing outside of.

I didn’t want to open the door because I knew what was happening but I couldn’t let him just do that. Not to James. It wasn’t right he didn’t deserve it. He was only little. He was only six years old. Two years younger than I had been that day that Da came and got me from school early. I didn’t even bother to be quiet about it flinging the door open it bouncing off the wall and almost back in my face.

“Will!” Da hissed no bothering to look at me, “Go lay down and take a nap.”

“It hurts Da,” James mumbled his sobs having gone quiet as he whined pushing at Da’s body to get him off his back.

“It’s ok bud just relax,” Da said running a hand through the back of James’ hair.

“Da please,” I said begging him, “Please not him.”

“Why not?” Da asked pushing forward into my little brother the sheets moving around them as James squealed in pain.

“Da please,” I said again stepping forward and doing the only thing that came to mind that usually he said drove him wild lifting the hem of my shirt slowly teasingly blinking back my tears.

“Oh,” Da said cocking his head to the side, “You want to play? I’ve never seen you willing to play before.”

“Daddy it hurts,” James cried into the pillow my Da still inside of him pressed against him.

“I’m done buddy it’s ok,” Da said to him moving so he was no longer on top of him pressing him hard into the mattress below them. You stay here I’ll be back later, try to sleep ok buddy?”

“Ok Daddy,” James said still crying lightly, sniffling as he spoke.

Da got up not even bothering to put on clothes or hide his erection. As I pulled my shirt back down. He sighed looking down at himself noticing how wide my eyes got when I saw the blood before he grabbed me by the elbow and lead me down to the end of the hallway opening a set of double doors walking us into a huge room that was completely white on the walls with a TV and black love seat and white recliner in the middle of the room as he walked us past it opening another normal door and into a bedroom that had sky blue walls with a four-poster bed looming against the wall in front of us.

“Don’t mind the blood it’s just a hazard. I’m sure you don’t remember it but you bled too,” He said casually opening another door that lead to a bathroom and turning on the sink.

I stood there wrapping my arms around myself. Knowing what I was getting into what I was doing to save my little brother anymore pain knowing that the thrusting was the worst part how that first time it always felt like it was ripping you from the inside out tearing you open in a way that no one could ever fix.

When Da came out of the bathroom he was no longer erect but the blood that had been covering his penis was gone and he sighed looking at me, “You ok honey?”

I nodded my head lightly. I didn’t want this but I knew by lifting my shirt I was promising it to him. That I was making him come after me instead. That I was agreeing to it, to have sex with him so he wouldn’t make James do it.

I must have blanked out because before I knew it he was wrapping his arms around me making me freeze up even more, “It’s ok Honey I won’t hurt you. It won’t hurt like it did last time I promise,” He said quietly to me tipping my chin up so my gaze met his and he smiled softly, “there’s my boy huh?”

He kissed the top of my head leading me over to the bed pressing on my lightly forcing me to sit down his hands going to the hem of my shirt pulling my shirt up over my head and throwing it on to the floor as he rubbed my naked shoulders and neck making me start to shake. I didn’t want this but I had to do it. I didn’t have a choice anymore; I didn’t have a right to say no.

“Are you sure?” I asked quietly swallowing trying to keep myself from crying.

“Yes, I’m sure,” he said nodding his head nuzzling my neck before he kissed it slowly forcing me to lay back on the bed face up him kissing me aggressively biting my neck, sucking on the skin there his hands traveling down my sides and then back up counting my ribs with his fingers almost like he was feeling the keys on a piano making me wheeze as it tickled.

“It’s ok,” He said coming up looking at me closely, “Just lay back.”

I sighed trying to relax my body knowing what was going to happen as his hands went to my pants and he undid them. I laid there limply as he pulled them off with my boxer briefs letting them fall on the ground too somewhere. Leaving me naked and exposed laying straight as a board on the bed my hands to my sides not really sure what he was doing, why I wasn’t on my back if he was going to do that to me as he crawled onto the other side of the bed looking at me his hands running down my chest before his lips kissed on of my nipples making me jump.

“Da,” I cried out reaching out and grabbing one of his arms which he pushed back down.

“Shh it’s ok. You wanted to remember?” He said his kisses trailing lower.

He was going to do that thing. He was going to blow me and I didn’t want it. I wasn’t ok with that. That’s not what he was doing to James. That’s not what I agreed to.

“Please,” I begged him trying to keep myself still exhaling through my mouth and breathing in through my nose like they had taught us to do in gym class when we were out of breath.

“Relax,” he said as I started feel dizzy, “I’ll make it feel good maybe you’ll even cum for me huh?” He said his hand touching me there. Making my toes curl my whole-body tense as just that one touch send fire and tingles spreading up my spine from my groin.

I found I couldn’t breathe anymore. Not even in the slow deep breaths out my mouth and in my nose. I found I was panting closing my eyes as his mouth went around me. This felt different from last time. This felt even worse than last time every cell in my body on fire as the wet warmness hit me causing my back to arch and me to fist the sheets beside me to try and keep myself quiet keep myself from crying.

I didn’t like it. It was too much too intense his lips and tongue working up and down me sucking pulling me closer and closer to that place the tickling growing stronger and stronger as I tried to not to cry him taking me out of his mouth and sucking lightly underneath me making me moan before I could slam my hand over my mouth to keep myself quiet. He laughed ticking the sensitive skin of my scrotum.

“You can make noise it’s ok,” He said as I heard the amusement in his voice. I didn’t like this. I wanted to die because dying had to be better than the way it felt. I remember thinking that. Being 10 years old and thinking that. That my Da shouldn’t be able to make my body feel like that. That it was wrong and it made me dirty that he could do that to me.

I wanted to beg him to stop. I wanted to scream at him to claw at him but I knew I couldn’t because lifting up my shirt had told him I would and he would be angry because I wasn’t doing what I promised because I was going to fight him as my back arched into his touch into his mouth and he laughed happily his nose tickling my pubic bone as he took me back into his mouth me biting my lips closed as he moved wrapping his arms around my thighs to keep my legs open when I felt the pressure against my rectum before the tip of his finger breeched me, dry.

“DA!” I whined.

“No, no you promised,” Da said taking his mouth of off me, “It’ll blow your mind honey trust me.”

“Da,” I whimpered quietly this time as his finger started moving around.

“Almost got it I think,” He said kissing the base of my penis as his finger moved around before it brushed that spot making me whimper making me tense up, “There it is.”

It felt like I was being electrocuted every brush against it making my shoulders tense even more then I thought they could before and then relaxing again as he pulled his finger away before he hit it again making me twitch on reflex with no control over my body. My eyes started to burn as he kept hitting that spot. I could feel the pleasure he was getting from it feeling me twitch under him as he hit that spot with his finger before adding another one. As he raped me with his fingers and his mouth my face heating up my whole body becoming hot feeling like it was on fire and freezing all at the same time before he pulled his hands away pushing into me forcing my thighs up to his side holding on to them with his hands.

“There we go,” He said finding the spot almost immediately once he was settled into of me pulling out and then pushing in again hard the tearing not nearly enough to stop the tickling that was running under my skin, “Oh god yeah.”

I couldn’t do anything besides pant with my eyes closed trying to keep myself from crying as he forced my legs to wrap around his waist as best they could as he pushed in and out of me making my muscles expands and contract repeatedly from my neck and shoulders down to my toes.

I whimpered keeping my eyes closed and as he pressed into me, pressed against that spot, “That’s feels good huh honey?” He asked me, “If feels good to me, you feel so good honey god you feel fucking amazing.”

I throaty moan escaped from me as I tried to keep myself from screaming as I felt something weird happen between my legs something feeling wet just a little at first but the pressure building more and more until I couldn’t stand it and it felt like I peed on myself. To which my Da laughed and then gasped as my body contracted around him shaking and he came inside of me. When he was done, he collapsed on top of me kissing my forehead and face excitedly.

“You did it honey, you did it. Amazing, you’re so amazing,” He said kissing my face over and over excitedly, “That was beautiful honey just beautiful. God you’re so prefect.”

He climbed off me. His hand running over my penis making me flinch again as I panted finally opening my eyes, “Yeah you did it all right, god it’s not nearly as sticky as I thought it would be but it was your first time. You did a good job. I mean my stomach and yours is soaked.”

“Wha-what?” I panted still feeling out of breath.

“You ejaculated,” He told me kissing my ear after he whispered the words into it.

“What?” I asked again.

“You came honey, you came for me,” He laughed excitedly as my body started to calm down as I realized what he was saying. What he meant.

“Oh,” I said quietly.

“No, it’s great trust me,” He said still holding me, “You’re a man now.”

I mind flashed back to the last time he had said that. The first time he had raped me making me freeze as my breathing started to become less labored as I started to calm down, to will myself into numbness waiting for him to let me go so I could get up and shower.

“You don’t seem excited,” He said to me frowning.

“I-I. I don’t think it’s a big deal,” I answered quietly.

“It’s a huge deal! You know how exciting this is? And you did it just for me too. God that makes me feel so special honey that you would share that with me, thank you,” He said quietly pulling me into his chest.

“I, feel kind of sticky,” I muttered, “Can I go shower?”

“Oh, yeah sorry,” He said laughing lightly again, “Go ahead. I have some stuff I should probably take care of so how about you shower and then go and try to nap you’re probably tired now. I’ll see you later ok?”

I nodded my head. Not wanting to speak. Not wanting to lie to him. Not wanting to tell him I didn’t want to see him later that I would prefer to burn my skin off and castrate myself. Not wanting to voice that I felt like my body had betrayed me again like it always did. I stood up slowly knowing my body was going to be stiff, that my legs were going to feel like mush under me as I moved slowly towards the bathroom noticing the amount of blood that seemed to be dripping down the back of my legs mixed with something else as I stepped into the shower turning it on. Noticing how the water was tinted pink that it stung as it hit my backside again as I bend over biting my lips to muffle my screams as it stung. When I was done showering, I went to the guest room the same one James was in where he was sleeping grabbing a pair of sweat pants and pulling them on afraid that anything else would hurt too much.

“It hurts,” James whined into the pillow causing me to turn around and look at him.

“I know buddy,” I said climbing into bed and allowing him to hug me as he cried into my bare chest trying to hide the fact that I was crying too from him, “I know.”

“Why does he hate us,” He asked me.

“I wish I knew,” I said rubbing his back, “I hurt too so we’re going to try and sleep ok? Maybe when we wake up it will feel better?”

“Ok,” He sniffled into my chest as I curled my knees helping relieve some of the weird pressure and burning I was feeling inside of me as I closed my eyes listening to my baby brother sniffle against me. Knowing that he knew exactly how I felt, exactly how bad it hurt.

Chapter Text

Two days passed before I saw John again, pretty sure of where he was hoping that what I thought was happening wasn’t. I felt like it was my fault still. Like I shouldn’t have left him there alone. During the day when we left the room James was quiet. Not his usual self with dark circles under his eyes and during the night he cried into me as I held him closely rubbing my hand through his hair and soothing him talking to him quietly telling him it was ok even though I felt like it wasn’t. Lying to him to calm him down. His sobs every night slowly turning into whines that slowly faded to sniffles again before he finally grew silent his breathing evening out and slowing down as sleep claimed him. It was late the second day there when I saw John again, the sun going down fading softly from the sky as the door cracked open before it opened slowly, John squinting at me in the darkness of the room.

I moved very carefully supporting his weight with my arms as I got up, my body stiff and sore as I moved, protesting the idea of using my legs a searing pain traveling up my backside as I moved lowering James to settle into the mattress, ““Don’t wake him up I just got him to sleep,” I told John looking at him sighing heavily.

He looked tired worn down and I figured what had probably happened but, I didn’t want any questions he had to wake James up after hours of crying hours of panic and pain of telling me repeatedly that he didn’t understand why Da hated him, hated us why he had hurt him so bad and how he would try to be good in the future so it wouldn’t happen again.

I grabbed John lightly by the elbow pushing him out of the room and shutting the door behind us as softly as I could so we were standing out in the hallway, ““Where were you? We haven’t seen you since we got here. You know what da did to him? I walked in on da raping him, he’s six years old John, it shouldn’t have happened,” I said quietly trying to keep my voice down.

“I-I-I’m sorry Uncle Ben locked me in the basement,” John answered his voice quivering as he spoke fighting back tears.

I felt like I had been punched in the stomach I had known when I had walked away that leaving him there was a bad idea. That leaving him there was betraying him, leaving him to be raped but I had felt like I had no choice at the time. And what would have happened to James if I hadn’t of been upstairs at the time. Would Da have finished with him? Would da have hurt him so badly he would have never been the same kid I knew. The same brother I loved. I hated thinking about it.

“In the basement?” I asked quietly not able to look at him, not able to deal with my own guilt for leaving him down there in the kitchen hugging myself tightly trying to keep myself from being angry, from showing how stupid I was.

“Yes, in the basement where he FUCKED me over and over and over since I walked in that kitchen door!” John sobbed loudly slamming his hand over his mouth to quiet himself as he started breaking down.

“John …” I managed to say before Mike and Matt popped their heads out of the door down the hall looking in our direction.

“John said a bad word,” Mike and Matt said shocked looking at us closely.

“Yeah I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to, don’t tell ok? What about you two? Did anyone hurt you? What about you Will?” John said quietly looking at them.

“Yeah,” I sighed hating that I had to admit it but not wanting to lie anymore since my lies was what had gotten us into this mess in the first place, “Da, it wasn’t horrible. It didn’t hurt that bad it wasn’t like what Uncle Ben did to you when we were little.”

“Uncle Ben hasn’t changed much,” John sighed quietly.

“Da made us touch each other’s privates while he took pictures and it was gross. I thought it felt funny,” Mike said.

“Did he put his dick in your bottoms?” John asked Mike and Matt shocking me.

Why hadn’t I thought of that? That after Da left he might have been raping them. I felt my stomach knot waiting for their answer hoping it wasn’t a yes, hoping that Da hadn’t done that to them too. Hoping that he hadn’t broken all of them in, in one night.
“No,” Matt shook his head, “He said he has friends that want to meet us though. I’m not sure what he means but it made me feel weird.”

“Ok,” I nodded my head, “It’s going to be ok.”

“Well, good for now I guess,” John said holding the wall suddenly for support, “Will …I…I think I have to lay down."

“Ok,” I said nodding my head moving aside and opening the door for him as he swayed slightly stepping away from the wall, making his way to the bed where James was still sleeping and laying down next to him, closing his eyes as his chest heaved for a while before settling into a normal rhythm as he fell asleep.

I sighed standing there it only having taken John about five minutes to fall into some type of what seemed like a coma to me. Wondering where I was going to sleep because being as sore as I was along with how sore John probably felt didn’t seem like it would make for comfortable sleeping close together that and I knew for a fact John probably didn’t want to be touched by anyone older than six as James curled towards John’s warmth both in their sleep. I figured that I would probably sleep on the floor but decided I need a drink of water and the bathroom now that I was up. I went down stairs to the kitchen using the powder room to pee looking at the stripes and stars painting hanging on the wall behind the toilet wondering why on earth it was an American flag pattern and not the Union Jack. The flag I knew, the flag I was proud of even if I was born in America and therefore considered American.

I sighed flushing and washing my hands coming out of the bathroom and jumping nearly 10 feet in the air as I saw Uncle Ben sitting at the kitchen table a mug of something steaming lightly in his hands as he sipped from it staring at me, staring at the place where the bathroom door had only been moments before.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you,” He said smiling slightly his smile thin and jeering.

“It’s ok,” I answered quietly rubbing my hands on my pants to dry them properly before walking over to the fridge past him, him turning in his seat keeping his eyes on me. It made me feel weird, scared. The way he was looking at me even though I couldn’t see him properly in the dark. The way his body movement seemed to enable him to keep his eyes fully focused on me as I became completely aware of every movement I make trying to keep him in my eyesight as I grabbed the pitcher of water out of the fridge and set it on the counter.

“Oh,” He said standing up starling me coming up behind me, “You can just use a bottle it’s easier. Less work, no glass,” He said grabbing the pitcher up and moving so he was around me reaching into the fridge putting the pitcher back on the self and reaching into a drawer by my hip, “Here you go.”

He held out a bottle of water for me to take my heart thumping in my chest harder than I had ever felt it beat before. I was trapped, he was using his body to cage me and I knew it. I knew I wasn’t able to go anywhere.

“thank you,” I said quietly taking the bottle from his hand.

He brought his hand to my face touching my cheek gently caressing it making me jump, giving me a startle reaction.

“Shhh, it’s ok,” He said now close enough that I could see his eyes, the fridge emitting that low glow in the darkness making it easy to see that he was thinking about it. About the same things Da did when he looked at John.

“I’m tired I’m going to…” I said moving to go under his arm as he grabbed my elbow.

“Nah ha-ha,” He said making a clicking noise with his tongue and teeth, “I’ve been meaning to get reacquainted with you.”

“Reacquainted?” I asked.

“Yeah, you’re a big boy, now aren’t you?” He asked me.

I shook my head knowing that that implied. Knowing what it had meant when my Da had said it when I was eight. This was what they had been talking about in the car. Breaking us in. He wanted to do what Da had done and I didn’t want to.

“Don’t lie your Da keeps me updated you know? I talked to him last night while you were sleeping, he said you’re sweet. That you were good even sounded like you liked it. That you came for him and that’s the first time you’ve ever done that. Think you can cum for me?” He asked his hand going to my neck grabbing the back of it as he bent down forcing his tongue into my mouth shocking me.

I pushed against his chest trying to get him to let me go. I didn’t want this; I wasn’t ok with this. I didn’t want to do with Da and definitely didn’t want to do it with him. I started whining, crying under the taste of his tongue against my mouth the taste of mint and some type of sugary cream, the taste of tea. When he finally broke the kiss, I was gasping for air my tears falling so hard I couldn’t see.

“No,” I said shaking my head the word coming out more of a squeak than anything else, “no.”

“So you’ll be nice for Da but not for me? What makes him so special?” He hissed squeezing the back of my neck tightly making it hurt, “He gets everything, he gets John he gets you. He gets to fuck all of you first? When is it my turn? Huh kid? Huh?” He said yanking my head back forcefully burying his face into my neck biting me hard as I whimpered.

“You’re going to like it and you’ll cum for real. You’ll cum and it will be real not that Whimpey first time but the real thing. Creamy and salty the kind a guy can live off, you understand me? You’ll do it and you’ll do it if you ever want to see your brothers again,” He hissed yanking my head forward as he pulled me towards the basement steps and down them his grip on my neck never loosening making it hard for me to do anything but allow him to drag me forward as I cried.

I was still sore from before. I was still hurt from before and he had forced his tongue in my mouth and then dragged me by my hair down the stairs into the basement yanking my face down into the bed before I had a chance to see anything around me the lights dim and dark making my heart beat that much faster making me that more much terrified as he grabbed my shoulder hard forcing me to roll over sending a shooting pain across my shoulder blades. He climbed on top of me not giving me a chance to get away and I started kicking bucking trying to get him off me, trying to get him to stop I didn’t want this. I didn’t want any of this.

“Stop!” I begged as he pinned my wrist together in one hand pushing them above my head feeling my bones grind on each other as I begged him, trying to struggle to get him off me, to stop him from doing this, to make sure his hands didn’t go under my shirt or his weight didn’t shift so he could pull down my pants.

“Are you going to fight me? Or are you going to be nice?” He hissed into my ear rubbing his nose against mine as he squeezed my wrists even more.

“STOP!” I begged kicking out my legs as he grabbed one of my fingers in his other hand starting to bend it backwards making me freeze.

“You want to fight I’ll break every finger one by one and then go grab one of  your little brothers and fuck him instead. You want to fight? I’ll give you a reason to fight. you want to cry? I’ll give you a reason to cry. I can be nice though, this is all up to you. It’s in your hands now stop sniveling and make your choice,” He hissed practically spitting in my face his face nearly touching mine.

I stopped his body still on top of mine pinning me to the bed most of his weight supported by his own knees on either side of my waist as I swallowed my tears trying to stop myself from crying as he released the pressure on my finger. He was serious. He would hurt one of them just to hurt me. He would make them suffer so I could suffer and it would my fault. I swallowed nodding my head trying to keep my tears from spilling over. Trying to numb myself out as my chest heaved with every breath I managed to take my soul feeling like it was slowly dying as I knew what I was saying.

That I was going to have sex with him. That I was going to let him do things to me I didn’t want to do. That his mouth and his hands were going to go where they wanted to and that I couldn’t say no. If I said no he was going to hurt me. If I cried, he was going to hurt me so I needed to suck it up. Not only to keep myself safe but, to make sure everyone else was safe too.

“Good,” He said smiling satisfied with my nod, “You’ll play nice so I don’t have to tie you up?”

I nodded my head again which made his smile widen, causing my stomach to twist into a knot. He was going to make me take off my clothes and do things to me. And I couldn’t even cry about it, I wasn’t allowed to have any reaction but whatever one he wanted me to. I inhaled through my nose and then deeply through my mouth trying to keep myself calm.

“Do you know what you like?” He asked me, “You want me to blow you first or…just get to it?”

“Wh-what?” I asked dumb founded that he was asking me that not even really sure what he meant by blow.

“Put my mouth down…” He shifted his weight and cupped me through my pants, “here. He ran his thumb softly along me over top of my pants making me stiffen as I shook my head.

“Really?” He asked me, “It seems like your sensitive enough you would enjoy it. Maybe you prefer getting some back-door play?”

Now that reference I could guess and I shook my head vigorously. I didn’t want him touching me there either. He sighed shifting off me lifting one of his legs so his weight was no longer straddling my hips as he undid his belt still leaning on his knees on the bed looking at me as I laid there frozen him looking down at me with disdain.

“You can choose or I can, it’s up to you,” He said, “Either way I’m going to make you cum. And I remember how awesome that feels, having that mouth swallow you whole balls and all. It’s amazing. Maybe I should just choose huh?”

I felt myself trying to cry closing my eyes fighting back the tears as he tsked me, “No crying you cry I’ll give you a reason to cry I promise you. You know what I enjoy kissing it gets me going, want to kiss?”

He pulled his shirt off over his head and then stood up pulling off his jeans. He had no underwear on or socks or shoes standing completely naked in front of me causing me to sit up and pull myself against the headboard averting my gaze as my face turned red. I didn’t want to see him naked. It was weird. It wasn’t right. I wasn’t supposed to see anyone naked.

“Aww are you playing shy now? I know Daddy’s fucked you don’t pretend you’ve never seen a naked man before, it’s ok,” He taunted laying down beside me grabbing at the hem of my shirt making me pull away his smile falling.

“No, don’t be like that,” He warned, “Shirt off, I’ll do the rest.”

“Why?” I managed to barely find my voice, my question being barely audible.

“Because you’re beautiful. You remind me so much of him, all the things I loved about him once. Everything but those eyes. Those eyes are Dani’s through and through,” He said touching my cheek as I closed my eyes.

He was talking about my parents. Talking about how I looked like my Da but my eyes were mum’s. How I had the same blond hair Da had possessed when he was younger, around my age and how I was thin and tall. How I could one day be a good athlete. I never knew my Da to be quiet but more someone who demanded silence from others especially at night when he turned into that other person.

“No look at me, take off your shirt and look at me,” He said quietly his hand still on my cheek and I nodded my head shrugging his hand away slightly lifting my shirt up taking it off holding it in my hands as I realized how exposed I felt again, how wrong it felt to be like this, to be sitting on the bed next to him, him looking at me like that.

“How old are you?” he asked me suddenly his hand rubbing my collar bone gently.

“Almost 11,” I answered.


“So you’re still young,” He said and I nodded my head, “You think that’s why you’re so nervous?”

I felt my face heating up again as his hands went to my sides sliding down his fingers brushing my nipples as he slid me back into a laying position me exhaling through my mouth trying to remind myself I couldn’t cry, that I couldn’t say no. That I had to keep it all locked away otherwise bad things would happen to people I cared about, people I was supposed to protect.

“Sensitive huh?” He asked kissing my neck and throat his hands making it to my PJ pants pulling them down in one shift motion and off my legs, “Your skin taste good I wonder if the rest of you taste good.”

He rolled my boxer briefs down my legs letting them rest there was his lips touched my sternum. Making me whimper. I didn’t want him doing this. I didn’t want him to kiss me like that his tongue just poking out slightly licking a quick line down the center of my chest.

“Now, now no crying remember?” he reminded me to which I swallowed and nodded my head, “If you want to moan, and make nice sounds that’s up to you but no crying and no pleading ok baby?”

“Ok,” I barely whispered no able to look at him as he licked the rest of the way down my body his hand messaging me down there making me clench my thighs shut on his hand and he just laughed lightly.

“It’s ok, it’ll feel good. You know it feels good, you Da told me you did it two nights ago you remember how it feels. Just relax and it feels even better I promise,” He said causing me to gulp in nervousness my whole body shaking with anxiety, with the tears I wasn’t allowed to cry and the screams I wasn’t allowed to scream.

“Aww baby come on its ok, you’re ok,” He said looking at me using his body weight to counter act my contracting muscles prying my thighs apart with his fingers before he licked the inner part of them, a sensitive spot making me jump slightly as he ran his hands over the outside of them settling himself in-between them so I couldn’t close them again, leaning forward and kissing my base making my close my eyes again.

I hated that feeling my hands balling into fist as he continued to lick and kiss and suck my whole-body shuddering, my muscles contracting and expanding repeatedly again just like they had done with Da as the pressure built and I knew it was going to happen. That he was going to make me do it I wanted to tell him no.

I wanted to scream at him no and sob and I couldn’t biting into my bottom lip making sure I was quiet that I didn’t say or do anything I wasn’t supposed to trying to push myself into another place, to go somewhere else when I felt stars expand somewhere in my head everything just numbing out. I closed my eyes and felt like I was flying, I was moving so fast galaxies and universes were passing me by allowing my body to relax as my head dragged my farther and farther away from him before I crashed back into my body gasping feeling like I had just had the air knocked out of me finding my hand in his hair his arms wrapped around my legs gripping my butt as he sucked me that feeling of peeing moving through me like waves hitting a coast line my whole body shaking as he pulled away sitting up smiling at me happily.

“Nice,” he muttered simply kissing my jaw bone and neck as I laid there trying to be numb, mute even though I was back and I hated it. He leaned to the side grabbing something a tube of something, lube and used it on his fingers applying a generous amount before he shoved a finger inside of me making me gasps.

“It’s ok,” He told me, “Your Da said you enjoyed this the other night.”

I hated the pressure how it felt. I knew it would feel like a shock traveling up my body under my skin once he found that spot as he added another finger making me hiss in discomfort.

“You’re quiet,” He said to me moving his fingers around, “I don’t mind quiet but sometimes, sometimes screaming can be fun. Would you scream for me if I asked you to?” He shoved his fingers farther up into me hard making it hard to close my eyes hard to force myself to fade away somewhere this wasn’t happening.

He pulled his fingers out and slammed them back inside making a tear fall and he looked at me shaking his head, “Not cry, scream.”

I wasn’t sure how you screamed without crying unless you were having fun screaming because you were happy. He moved his fingers stabbing me hard with them forcing me open and that time I screamed. I screamed loudly as loud as I could trying to make sure I didn’t cry as he jabbed his fingers forward repeatedly before stopping and pulling them out laying on top of me.

“It’s ok baby,” He said kissing me forcing his tongue into my open mouth brushing against my tonsils. Making me stop screaming immediately silencing me with his tongue as his hands ran over my ribs, “See? I can hurt. Or I can be nice. It’s all up to you.”

I sighed deeply. I didn’t want this either way. At least he was done blowing me or so I thought as he his body smiling down at me towering over me as I continued to lay on the bed. My breathing heavy as I tried to make sure I didn’t cry.

“Hold on just a second, I need a condom,” he said getting up not bothering to hide the fact that he was hard. That he wanted me, “I wonder if you taste good on the inside to because boy do you taste good if not a little light on certain ingredients. If you know what I mean.”

He went and grabbed one putting it on excitedly before he pushed hard inside me making me hiss in pain. I didn’t like this, this didn’t feel good, this wasn’t ok. I closed my eyes again and gritted my teeth.

“No, open your eyes baby,” He said rolling his hips pushing himself out before he pushed in again making me want to cry but making me mewl through closed lips, “There you are beautiful. Those pretty eyes.” He pushed into me finally brushing against that spot gently enough to make me jump make me start to reharden in-between us. I wanted him to stop I desperately wanted him to stop but he didn’t grab my hips as he bucked in hard.

“There you go, oh god yeah,” He grunted as I tried to breathe, as I tried not to cry. I didn’t want him in my body, I didn’t want his hands on my skin and I wanted to scream, to cry to let him know that I wasn’t ok with this but, I he already knew I could tell by the way his eyes studied mine, by the way he held me to him so tightly throwing his head back and moaning every time he buried himself into me. I laid there trying to be numb trying to will myself to be silent until he was finished until he kissed my jaw again his voice sounding far away as his hands went there again and I couldn’t take it anymore my tears I’d been holding onto so tightly finally started to spill over. My mind done, my body done.

“You’re ok,” He said hugging me hushing me, “You’re ok. You did good. You did really good. Better than John maybe. God you’re so beautiful. Don’t cry ok? Don’t cry. It will hurt less next time. Maybe you’re cum will be more normal more full. That would be nice.”

I sat up hot and sticky my skin feeling like it was covered in a sheen of muck. Him rubbing my back and kissing my temple before he got up leaving me sitting there me grabbing the covers and pulling them around myself so I wasn’t nearly so exposed laying there naked in front of him.

“This was fun, we’ll do this again,” He said nodding his head before he grabbed his clothes and walked away shutting the door.

The moment he was gone I felt almost like I could breathe again before I realized how heavy my eyes felt, how tired my body was before I realized I couldn’t focus that my eyes were going cross. I had no choice but to lay back down. To allow myself to collapse. My eyes closing automatically as I started to fall asleep.

When I dreamed, I dreamed I was in a field that the world was gold. Everything around me. The sky, the wheat that was knee high, the clothes I wore everything. I could hear someone calling me, it sounded like mum and so I called out, called back to her but I couldn’t find her. I couldn’t see her. I started crying screaming for her, wishing I could find her, knowing she was gone and then I woke up. The air was cold feeling against my exposed skin my whole body shaking as I allowed myself to cry to sob because of so many things.

Because Ben hadn’t wanted me to, because I missed my mum and she couldn’t protect me, because I lied and it had cost my little brothers dearly as well as my older brother, because this was my fault. Because I had done this and I knew I deserved whatever happened to me. Because Ben had me made feel like it wasn’t because of Da but because of my body. Because of how I looked.

I allowed myself to cry and then I got up and pulled on my pants going upstairs where I took a shower. Where I hoped that Da would leave me alone, that Uncle Ben wouldn’t come looking for me. When I was done showering, I put my dirty pants back on and laid down the on the floor of the room Matt and Mike were sleeping in. Figuring that James had John with him, that he was safe from Da well if I left Matt and Mike alone they had no one.

I was woken up when Mike almost tripped over me, “Really?” I moaned rolled over realizing my neck hurt and sighing as I sat up.

“Why aren’t you with James?” Mike asked me, “You’ve been sleeping in the room with him for the last four day why did you come in here?”

“John is with him he’s safe,” I said.

“Safe from Da?” Matt said sitting up.

“Yeah,” I answered nodding my head.

“What about Uncle Ben?” Matt asked looking at me closely, “Is he like Da?”

I must have visibly shivered because he answered the question for himself, “He is.”

“Look, don’t worry about it ok I’ll do everything I can…” Matt cut me off.

“It doesn’t matter what you do,” He said.

“Are you ok?” Mike asked me.

“Yeah I’m fine,” I answered, lied.

“You’re not fine,” Matt said, “I know you.”

“I said I’m fine,” I insisted as there was a knock on the door and Da poked his head into the room.

“breakfast is ready guys,” Da said as I hugged myself where I was still sitting on the floor shirtless as he looked at me.

“Can we watch TV today?” Matt asked.

“We’ll see bud I was thinking you could all go swimming, just have some fun. Spend some time outside,” Da answered him.

“I don’t feel very good today Da I was wondering if I could just kind of sleep,” I said.

“We’ll see,” He said giving me a cold look, “You two head downstairs, John and James are already down there I need to talk with Will.”

They both nodded getting up and going downstairs still in their pj’s and Da left the door ajar behind them looking at me causing me to look away.

“You’re not sick. I know you’re not sick don’t lie,” he told me.

“Sorry Da, I’m tired,” I answered.

“He told me you were good for him,” Da said quietly, “I’m glad. He thinks you’re special you know?”

“Like you think John is special?” I asked him to which he shook his head, “Don’t question me. And that’s not your business. You pay attention to your uncle, mind him. He can be rough sometimes but if you’re good he’ll be nice I promise.”

“Ok,” I nodded my head.

“If he hurts you just remember he gets excited sometimes, too excited all right? It’s not his intention to hurt you he cares for you. He wants you to feel good it’s just it’s been a while since he’s had the opportunity to …spend so much time with someone so special ok?” Da said and I nodded my head again.

I didn’t feel like talking to him everything a veiled refence to my uncle wanting me under him, wanting to force his way into my body, to rape me. I wanted to yell at him to tell him it was wrong that the whole thing was wrong and that he shouldn’t do that to me, he shouldn’t let my uncle do that to me. I was tired my body was sore and my uncle seemed dangerous. I mean he was dangerous too but in a different way.

My uncle wanted complete control and he didn’t want it through coaxing. He wanted it through force and blackmail. That he had promised to hurt someone else if I cried even a little. That he wanted me to scream without shedding a tear otherwise he would hurt me. That’s what he had told me. Not that what he was doing hadn’t hurt anyway.

“Is …” I started to ask and then stopped. Was that really a word I should use? That’s what he made it sound like was he making me date him? For lack of a better word.

“What honey?” Da asked me.

“Is it like we’re dating?” I asked him.

“Well,” he said sitting down on the bed and patting the spot next to him causing me to look at him skeptically and stay where I was, “What do you know about dating?”

“I know that when people date they do those things together,” I answered, “Stuff like he …like him and I did last night.”

I was trying to watch the way I worded things. Because I was afraid of making him mad because mum wasn’t around to calm him down and sometimes he could be very particular about how things were said. If I said something to give him the impression that I wasn’t happy about the situation or willing to follow his rules he would be angry.

“Well yes, people who date do those things,” He said, “But so do Da’s and Uncles who are teaching the kids they care about how to use their bodies. You can think of it as dating if you like, if that will make it easier for you but, you can’t tell anyone that’s what it is or that’s the kind of relationship you have with us you understand why?”

I nodded my head. I knew it was wrong that normal people didn’t do those things because they were wrong because my body wasn’t mature and my brain wasn’t mature so it was hard for me to have rights. In the eyes of the law I didn’t have any rights I had to do what my Da told me to. So, that meant that I couldn’t say no but I also couldn’t say yes even if I had wanted to. I knew that people went to jail for having sex with kids all the time. Kids older than I was. I wasn’t stupid enough to tell anyone I was dating my uncle.

“Is the guy you’re working for like you?” I asked.

“What do you mean honey?” He asked me

“That he dates his kids or his nephews and nieces,” I answered.

“Well,” Da said, “He dates other people’s kids yes, not exclusively but yeah he enjoys spending time with them. Teaching them why are you asking?”

“I don’t know,” I answered shrugging my shoulders, “Is he allowed to hurt me? Uncle Ben I mean.”


“It might make you feel a little uncomfortable sometimes but it doesn’t really hurt you. Just do what he tells you ok?” Da said giving me a look of disbelief.

“What if he tells me to do something bad?” I asked him.

“You won’t get into trouble if you do what he says,” He promised me.

“What if he…,” I struggled to say the words.

“Well spit it out,” he said being impatient.

“I don’t like it when…when he puts his mouth down there,” I barely managed to get out.

Da laughed lightly, “He’s only done it once and why on earth not most guys love it?”

“It feels weird,” I said.

“Oh honey, that’s just your body telling you it likes it. You’re growing up that’s all that is I promise ok? If uncle Ben starts to hurt when he does that tell him. He told me he’s working very hard to be better at that because he cares about you so much so if anything, ever hurts when he does that tell him right away ok?” He said.

“Why would it hurt? Usually that just feels weird it doesn’t hurt.”

“Well there are lot of fluids involved when it comes to sex and that’s called seamen it’s a fluid ok? A lot of people use it to make a baby that’s what it’s for but some people both men and women like the way it tastes sometimes. So, they’ll try and drink as much of it as they can and after a while if someone keeps trying to get it, it can hurt. So just tell him it hurts ok?”

“What if I don’t want him to?” I asked him.

“To stop? That’s up to you but you’re going to be in a lot of pain and it’s going to hurt to pee,” Da answered.

“No, to…put his mouth there,” I asked him.

“Well, just do what he tells you to ok?” Da answered and I nodded my head.

I hated the idea of doing that with him more than anything else or so I thought at the time. How gross it made me feel having his spit on my skin even after I put my clothes back on. Having sex with him didn’t even cause as much turmoil as having to lay there while he wrapped his arms around my thighs and pulled my legs apart and licked and sucked and kissed. At least if he was raping me it didn’t always feel weird and sometimes was just painful and not something else. Not a mixture that set my skin on fire and my brain reeling from a lack of control.

“He likes you. He told me so,” Da said suddenly causing me to frown at him, “He says you’re very attractive and I agree but I don’t think I have made any ugly children.”

“No but you think John is the best looking,” I said.

“Hey I told you to leave that alone and John is special to me ok? You don’t need to worry about John,” Da said.

“If he’s special why did you let Uncle Ben hurt him?” I asked.

“Uncle Ben wasn’t hurting him,” Da answered me, “Uncle Ben was welcoming him back. It didn’t hurt him at all.”

“No da it hurts. It does,” I said shaking my head.

“Him? Not anymore you know how often he’s been used? He’s used to it I promise you. You don’t need to worry about him. He likes it. You can ask him anytime you like,” Da said to me.

I knew that was a lie. I knew because I felt what he felt. I had heard his screaming the first time I had walked in on Uncle Ben with him. I had listened to his sniffles as he tried hard not to cry at night when he found out we were coming back here. Coming back to uncle Ben.

Maybe it didn’t physically hurt him but, it tore him up in other ways, emotionally. It was like a wood chipper pulling him in and spitting him back out only for him to magically be repaired once it stopped just to have it all happen again the next night. I wondered how long it would take before the pieces no longer fit back together again. How long both of us had before things fell apart and we couldn’t protect ourselves let alone anyone else. Not that things seemed to be going in our favor anyway.
“Do you need to ask him? To believe me?” He questioned me.

“No,” I answered shaking my head, “I believe you.”

“Good. John came and talked to me yesterday. He said he wants me to be with him. If he didn’t like it why would he ask me to be with only him?” Da questioned me.

I knew the answer. Because he didn’t want Da to be with anyone else. He didn’t want to put anyone else through that. Through having Da on top of them saying those terrible things that Da probably said to him, that I knew Da said to me.

“I don’t know,” I lied not able to look my Da in the face as I did it.

“Has to be because he wants do there is no other rational reason for it. You’re smart Will you know this. So, can I tell your Uncle you’re good for it? That you agree you want him to teach you instead of me? I mean that doesn’t mean we won’t spent time together I’m sure we will but it just means you’ll spent that type of time with him ok?” Da said, “It’s called a contract. He still has to talk to me before he introduces you to people and he can’t make you do things with other people but, you’ll be his special boy ok?”

“Contract and other people Da? What are you talking…” he cut me off.

“Well you asked about my new job, right? I met a friend when we were in London and he offered me a lot of money to take this job because he saw pictures of you kids and he thought just like your uncle and I think that you’re very special and you deserve to be treated like you’re special. He has a group of friends that feel the same way. We moved here so that you could hang out with the boys of these men. So, you can grow up in a community of people who think the same way you do, have learned things the same way you have. You understand?” Da asked me.


“I think so,” I said nodding my head, “So I have to have sex with these other people?”

“It’s not sex they are teaching you honey. They are teaching you how to use your body how to be a man ok?” He said, “Don’t call it sex call it lessons or studying ok?”

“Ok Da,” I said.

“Good I’m glad you understand, your uncle said you were a good boy for him,” Da repeated, “You should be happy your uncle loves you so much sometimes it takes years for a boy to find someone special that feels the same way about him. Until then his Da in charge of who gives him lessons and sometimes especially when guys are busy like I am Da’s aren’t always super choosey with who teaches their kids. That won’t be a problem for you though because your uncle cares about you that much. It’s just too bad for my beautiful Johnny that a kids own Da can’t contract them.”

He got up and walked away. I didn’t know if he thought I was stupid or smart nothing be said directly but only hinted at. That other guys could have sex with me if he wanted them to. If my uncle wanted them to. That my uncle was the person I was supposed to have sex with and that he wanted that from me.

“Let’s go downstairs and eat huh?” He said to me and I nodded my head hoping he didn’t touch me when I got up off the floor. He didn’t. I moved to my suitcase and pulled out a shirt pulling it on and over my head as he waited in the door way for me to go downstairs and eat breakfast with my brothers.

Chapter Text

I remember feeling unusually small as I sat down at the table next to Matty. Uncle Ben smiling at me from the seat across from me as I sat down someone passing me the stack of pancakes that made my stomach turn just looking at them. I didn’t want to sit at a table with Uncle Ben, with Da. I didn’t want to be there. I was tired and my body was sore from the night before and having slept on the floor of the guest room.
“So, we’re going to swim today?” Matt asked Da as he sat down.

“Yeah, I think so it’s a nice day so we’ll go outside,” Da said, “Just have an outdoor type of day maybe play a round or two of tennis. What you boys think?”

I looked at John he looked exhausted just like I did. Swimming was not something I felt like doing that day nor was tennis honestly, I just wanted to sleep. Try and sleep away everything that had happened the night before including the talk that Da had given me about lessons and contracting and all the other crazy sounding shit he had said to me. I honestly just wanted everything to fade away and I felt like I couldn’t do that in a pool full of water.

“I don’t know Da,” John said quietly, “I don’t feel very good.”

“Me neither,” I agreed.

“Well how about you two lay down for a while just in case you’re coming down with something and Mike and Matt go swimming with Uncle Ben?” Da asked us to which we both shook our heads.

We didn’t want him anywhere with them alone. Not even close. I sighed looking at John knowing he was probably getting the worst of it, knowing that having to spend time with Uncle Ben would kill him.

“I think I feel ok enough to go swimming, I might need a nap later though,” I said to which Da smiled at me nodding his head.

“Good,” Da said, “And then you and Uncle Ben can work on those lessons later maybe?”

I shrugged my shoulder not wanting to answer. Knowing what he was talking about and knowing I couldn’t say no but not wanting to say yes. Not wanting to make it seem like it was something I wanted.

Matty wrinkled his nose, “He doesn’t need lessons he’s super smart. They skipped him ahead a grade.”

“Speaking of,” Da said, “Are you guys ready to start school? We have the school tour on Monday I think we’re only touring the middle and lower building on campus but I need to go over across the street to the saint Bernadette’s campus as well to look at their lower school.”

“What’s it going to be like?” Mikey asked.

“Well you’ll be coming home after school every day so that part is going to seem really different to you guys. You’ll be taught by priest mum said she didn’t want the American lifestyle to corrupt you so it’s a catholic school. You’ll still have uniforms like back home that you’ll wear and school work every night but you’ll sleep in your own beds here at home and we’ll be together as a family,” Da answered his question.

“Da?” John said quietly not looking up from his plate where his food had barely been touched, “I don’t feel very well.”

“Ok John you can go upstairs and lay down,” Da said nodding his head and touching John’s shoulder gently as he walked by Da’s seat to go upstairs.

I watched John’s shoulders tense and I felt something there but I wasn’t sure what it was. I was sure it was bad and something John didn’t want me to question but I wanted desperately to make sure he was ok. I felt tired too but I wasn’t about to leave the three of them alone with Uncle Ben. Uncle Ben whose blue eyes hadn’t left my form since I had sat down at the table. Uncle Ben who I knew wanted to see me naked and Da had made very clear that was the idea.

“I think we should go swim for sure,” Ben said smiling as he took a bite of food swallowing before he spoke again, “It won’t be long before school starts and there won’t be much time for swimming.”

“I wouldn’t mind it,” James said quietly speaking for the first time in days.

“Then that settles it we’ll go swimming, Will can you take everyone up and help James get his suit on?” Ben asked me and I nodded my head as I started to clear the plates and put them in the sink.

Ben came up close behind me grabbing the plates out of my hand putting his other hand gently on my hip as he whispered over my shoulder, “No I got it you’re ok go upstairs and help.” He said as I turned to see everyone else going up stairs.

When I caught up to everyone Mike and Matt were in their guest room and I could hear them talking and I knocked on the door to the room I had been sharing mostly with James and John to find half of James’ suit case scattered on the floor as he looked through his clothes for his swim suit.

“You’re making a mess,” I said.

“I know I’m just looking for it,” He said quietly frowning as he went through his bag throwing more clothes on the floor.

“It might be in John’s bag,” I said remembering John had helped me pack James’ clothes to which I went over and opened it finding a little plastic bag labeled Jay on the top and sure enough there it was tucked safely inside of it, “It’s right here Jay.”

“Oh, thanks,” He said grabbing it and looking at me reluctantly, “Where is John I thought he was coming upstairs to lay down.”

“I thought he was too,” I said quietly.

James looked at me as I grabbed my suit out of my bag before going to pull off my shirt. I looked at him knowing what was probably wrong. Knowing how I felt that first time for a while. How I still felt that way very often, “You want me to turn around or go into the bathroom?” I asked him.

He bit his lip and nodded his head. It felt weird being naked in front of people after even if it was just to change your clothes. I was glad he was speaking again and I didn’t want to scare him but I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it either.

“Ok,” I said, “I’ll change in the bathroom, you change in here ok? Let me know if you need help.”

“Ok,” He said quietly as I grabbed my suit heading to the bathroom down the hall.

I put my suit on quickly feeling naked without a shirt, knowing it would grab more attention than I wanted knocking on the door as I headed back into the bedroom to find James trying to tie the draw string on his trunks.

“Do you need some help?” I asked him quietly.

“I…yeah,” James said quietly.

“There’s nothing wrong with needing help,” I said to him. Leaning over and taking the draw string on his pants in my hands him sucking in his tiny six-year-old belly out of nervousness my hands being close to his skin as I quickly tied it for him before pulling away.

“You don’t think he’s going to hurt me, again do you?” He asked me drawing my attention back to him as I walked over to his bag with a handful of clothes off the floor putting them back in his suit case.

“I hope not bud,” I said not sure what to say. Not wanting to lie to him.

“Why did mum make us come here?” He asked me.

“Because she thought…she didn’t think it would be like this,” I answered him.

“What did I do? Was I bad?” He asked me.

“No,” I told him trying to figure out how to explain it, “Da is…he’s sick.”

“But he doesn’t have fever and he’s not coughing,” James said.

“Not that type of sick you know how sometimes you feel really sad or sometimes your head hurts but it doesn’t always come with a fever or a cough? Da is sick like that kind of he’s sick in his head. I don’t know if you can understand that but, it’s something we can’t see.”

“Is he going to get better soon?” James asked me.

“I don’t think there’s anything that can make him better,” I answered quietly, “We just have to be careful.”

“Careful how?” James asked.

“Don’t be alone with him if you can help it,” I answered, “Make sure you do what he says or you avoid him. I want you to try to never be alone with him. Not because you did something wrong to make him hurt you but, because he might hurt you because he’s sick ok?”

“Ok,” James said nodding his head, “I feel naked with no shirt.”

“Me too,” I agreed grabbing a white t-shirt out of my own suit case and pulling it on over my head, “Let’s go swim ok?”

He agreed and we went downstairs where Uncle Ben was standing, “You know what guys I think maybe we should swim inside,” He said suddenly taking us into the formal living room which had a set of double doors that lead off it into a giant room. It was a pool room the blood a glistening blue of still water ceramic tiles with little dolphins on it embordering the pool making it look fancy.

“This pool is awesome,” Matt said, “Better than the one at school.” He stuck his toe in it and then backed up getting ready to jump in.

“No, wait,” he said grabbing Matt’s elbow. This pool is special. The water is special so this pool needs us to be naked so we can swim in it.”

We all stopped looking at him. While we’d seen each other naked a million times Mike and Matt and James had never seen Uncle Ben naked and they looked at him confused as I crossed my arms over my chest. I didn’t want to be naked with him anytime soon and I didn’t think it was right to have my little brothers be naked in front of him.

“Why can’t we swim outside?” James asked.

“Because it’s a little hot out there,” Uncle Ben said taking off his swim trunks so he was naked, “Come on guys hop in.”

We walked down the stairs into the water looking at me moving his hands making the water wave slightly around him, “I bet you I can swim best.”

“I’m pretty sure you can,” I answered looking at him.

“You don’t want to race me?” He asked giving me this look that said he meant more than just a race.

“I’m good,” I answered quietly.

“Is anyone going to take off their suits and hop in?” He asked to which James moved behind me hugging my waist.

“Aww, don’t be shy guys come on, it’s not a big deal we’re all guys, right?” He said to which Matt and Mike looked at me questioning the requests.

“I-I think we should keep them on,” I said.

“William,” Ben said his eyes flashing, “Take it off and show your brothers it’s fine.”

I felt myself blush at the idea. I didn’t want to be naked in front of him, not with them, “I’m ok not swimming,” I answered.

“If you can’t do what I tell you, all of you can go to your rooms,” Ben said, “I’m in charge you do what I say. You want to swim you take off your suits and you get in the water or you go upstairs for a time out.”

I felt like a time out for me wasn’t going to be upstairs but I didn’t want to risk him touching me in front of them. Mike sighed sliding his shorts off and getting into the water going over to where it was up to his chest and looking at everyone.

“I don’t want a time out for being bad,” He said shrugging his shoulders as Matty walked into the water joining him.

“I don’t want to,” James said squeezing me around the waist tighter.

“I know,” I said nodding my head, “it’s ok.”

“Will,” Uncle Ben said moving towards Matt and Mike, “Are you coming?”

“I can’t leave him alone,” I answered quietly.

“But you would leave them alone?” He asked me guesting his head towards them.

“We’re not alone we’re with you,” Matty pointed out.

“How about James sits by the pool and you hop in William?” Ben asked me.

“I’m not…” He cut me off.

“Get in now.”

I sighed remembering what Da had said. Do what he says and you’ll be fine. I felt my throat go dry as I tried to swallow my hands going to the hem of my shirt grabbing the fabric in my hands nervously. I knew I couldn’t leave them alone with him. Knew that it would probably be a bad idea to do so but not wanting to leave James feeling alone.

“Hey bud if I do will you do it too?” I asked him before getting down on my knees next to him so I was closer to eye level with him, “I’m nervous too so could you help me feel a little better about it? We’ll get into the water at the same time ok?”

“Ok,” he said in barely a whisper taking the draw string in his hands and undoing his little tiny shorts sliding from his hips as I lifted my shirt up over my head undoing the button on the front of my own shorts pulling them off.

“What’s that dark spot?” Matt asked looking at my waist.

“Matt!” I scoffed realizing how close he was to looking at other parts of me.

“what? It looked weird,” Matt said and I looked down noting the round dark spot between my belly button and the base of my penis realizing what it was.

“It’s nothing,” I said grabbing James in my arms and getting into the water quickly.

“It looked like a bruise,” Matt said.

“It’s nothing,” I said holding onto James because he was still young and didn’t have water wings to wear as I felt Uncle Ben’s eyes on me, assessing me.

“James hugged me burying his face in my shoulder before he whispered into my ear, “He’s sick like Da?”

“Yeah bud,” I said rubbing his back as I bobbed with him in the water, “It’s ok though I won’t let him hurt you.”

“We’re not going to play weird naked games, are we?” Mike asked Uncle Ben which caused Ben to look at him.

“No,” Ben said, “We can race or play water tag if you want, Marco Polo anything you want.”

“I’ll play Marco polo,” Matt said before Mike swam a few feet away closing his eyes.

“I’m it first!” he said excitedly closing his eyes and spinning himself in a circle.

“Ok everyone stays in the shallow end,” Ben said swimming back over, “James you can cheat and be really quiet. Come here buddy I’ll take you to the stairs.”

He held out his arms for him and I sighed as James hugged me around the neck tighter trying to draw himself away from Ben’s hands.

“I got him,” I said turning and walking towards the steps and setting him down on it, “Stay right here ok? You don’t have to close your eyes or anything.”

“You promise?” He said, “Because if he’s sick like Da if I close my eyes he might…”

“I know bud that’s why you don’t close your eyes ok?” I said to him, “Unless you see him coming towards me then you close your eyes tight and you don’t open them for anything ok?”

James’ eyes went wide understanding what I was saying, what I meant, “They hurt you too?” he asked me forgetting that night, that I had said I knew how bad it hurt that I had hurt too. I wasn’t sure what to say knowing that this wasn’t the time or place to talk about it.

“We’ll talk about it later ok?” I said and he nodded his head.

“Ok everyone ready?” Ben said clapping his hands as Mike and Matt smiled and both closed their eyes.

Mike crowed from where he was standing “Marco!”

“Polo” Matt and Ben and I said in unison starting to move around the pool.

“Marco,” Matt said again moving as we moved.

“Polo,” we all said again as I noticed Ben moving towards me out of the corner of my eye and tried to move away.

“Marco,” Matt said again getting closer to Matt as Ben closed the distance between us grabbing me hard by the shoulders.

“Polo,” We both said him looking at me as Matt looked over at us and I hoped James was closing his eyes.

“He wrapped his arms around me and I could tell he wanted to kiss me. But I didn’t want to kiss him and Matt was watching at least I was pretty sure he was watching as he used his hand to tip my chin up gently.

“You’re beautiful,” he whispered me feeling frozen in fear as Matt faked a cough.

“Marco,” Mike said

“Don’t,” I whispered back his hand on the back of my neck.

“Just a little they don’t have to know,” He whispered back.

“Polo…” Matt said slowly.

“Matt is watching,” I pointed out in a whisper.

“Hey you’re all supposed to say it not just Matt,” Mike whined.

“Polo,” We both said.

“So, just tell him it’s pretend,” He said and I shook my head.

“Marco,” Mike said getting closer to us.

“I’m done,” I said quietly as he pushed me back hard against the side of the pool my back scratched against it making me hiss out in pain.

“You hurt him,” Matt said frowning coming up to us.

“You want him involved? Want me to spend time with him instead?” Ben asked me.

I shook my head. I didn’t want that of course I didn’t want that. I would have to be crazy to be willing to let that happen.

“Then get him to back off,” Ben said before he said loudly, “That’s enough playing in the pool for now guys let’s get out and get dressed.”

“What?” Mike said, “I haven’t even caught anyone yet”

He sounded disappointed with the whole thing but sighed getting up out of the pool, “Come on you guys lets go watch TV,” Mike said.

Matt looked at Ben and I where he was still standing somewhat close to us his eyes moving quickly between the two of us, “What’s…”

“Later,” I said looking at him as uncle Ben let me go but didn’t move away giving me space to leave or get out of the pool, “Just go.”

“Will?” James asked me quietly from where he was standing on the stairs.

“Its ok Jay go with Mike and Matt,” I said to which he sighed getting out of the pool grabbing his swim suit as Mike looked at us before grabbing James’ hand.

“Are you coming?” Mike and Matt asked in unison.

“Give us a minute and he’ll be up,” Uncle Ben said to which they both looked at me and I nodded my head not able to look them in the eyes knowing I wouldn’t be up until he allowed me to leave. Uncle Ben waited a minute and turned to make sure they were gone because he wrapped his arms around my naked waist making my heart pound making it hard to breathe.

“It’s ok,” He said running his hand down my chest, “You know I didn’t mean to bruise you, right?”

I nodded my head. I was scared to ask but I felt like I needed to know. Like it was important to know so I could check out. So, I didn’t have to be there mentally when I was caught by surprise.

“Wh-wh-what are go-going t-to do to me?” I asked him quietly.

“Nothing bad,” he said his eyes not leaving mine, “I love you I think.”

“Uncle Ben…” I barely managed.

“Ben baby, just Ben,” He said kissing my neck biting lightly.

“Ben, please…” I said closing my eyes digging my nails into his shoulders as I bit into my bottom lip to keep from crying.

“I know,” He breathed, “God you taste so good.” He said using the water and his body to force my legs around his waist keeping us pinned up against the side of the pool.

I was literally frozen. I hated this. I couldn’t say no. I couldn’t do anything to stop him as he rubbed his penis against mine making my eyes go wide as I whimpered into his shoulder.

“It’s ok, I don’t have lube so we can’t really do that much I just want to taste you ok? Feel you,” he muttered as I felt my face get hot, “You’re so sexy it’s really cute when you blush.”

I knew my breathing was shallow and fast that I was panting his hands rubbing up and down my spine as I tried to breathe. I wanted him to let me go but I knew I couldn’t push him away. That I wasn’t allowed to push him away. That I had to do what he said as he grinded against me. Lifting me up over the edge of the pool kissing my inner thigh.

“It’s ok,” he said nodding against my leg, “I just want to make you feel good that’s all.”

I shook my head closing my eyes making sure I kept my mouth shut as I felt his tongue pass over my tip. This was a nightmare. I didn’t want to do this. I didn’t want him touching me there, he took me into his mouth making sucking sounds making my whole-body tense, my back arching involuntarily. He put his hands on my thighs and I grabbed the tops of them trying to dig my nails in trying to get him to stop without pushing him away or verbally telling him no that I didn’t want to. That I wasn’t ok with him doing this.

I started wheezing. It got harder to breathe so hard, panting wasn’t working anymore. My breath kept stopping getting caught in my throat me making a rasping noise when I was finally able to pull air into my lungs every couple of seconds as I stayed quiet my eyes trying to roll as things got too hard. My body feeling too hot too much pressure ripping through me down there making me feel like I had to piss again my whole body feeling tight too tight to be comfortable anymore as I tried to focus on something else.

Anything else other than the noises he was making and the feeling of his tongue and mouth down there as he rubbed my thighs and butt grabbing my hips and the small of my back occasionally pushing me closer to him, making it easier for him to take me all the way into his mouth. My lower back scrapping against the textured tile scratching my skin as he kept dragging me back to the edge of the pool but the pain not enough to keep my body from responding like he wanted it to.

“Wa…” I managed before my eyes rolled my whole body shaking in orgasm before it went slack his sucking getting stronger for a minute before he pulled away kissing the inside of my left thigh and smiling at me.

“You taste so good,” He said using his arms to pull himself up over the side of the pool to lay next to me, “God I’d fuck you right now if I wasn’t afraid to hurt you.”

I turned over onto my side facing away from him my body still shaking. I hadn’t wanted to do that. I wasn’t ok with that. And my brother had seen, or at least seen him look at me like that. I wasn’t ok with that my whole body overly sensitive when he reached out and touched my shoulder.

“Come on, you’re mine don’t be like that,” He said to which I turned around not able to look him in the eyes. Knowing the look he was giving me. That if I wasn’t careful he’d probably bend me over and shove himself inside of me making it burn all over again when it felt like it had just stopped hurting from last time.

“Look at me sexy,” he said grabbing my chin tipping my face upward so my eyes met his, “You ok? Are you just still unsure because it feels a little weird before you orgasm? You’ll get used to it. I know it can leave you breathless. Hell, it still leaves me breathless and I’m almost an old man compared to you.”

I nodded my head trying to turn my head back down before he grabbed my chin again tilting it back up as I closed my eyes trying to keep myself from crying.

“No crying you’re a big boy remember?” He said to me and nodded my head, “God how are you so fucking sexy even when your near tears?”

He rubbed the back of my neck licking his lips lightly as he looked at me, “You’ve gone so quiet, can you tell me why?” He asked sitting back with his legs crossed giving me some space taking his hands off me.

“I don’t…” I squeaked and cleared my throat trying again, “I don’t feel like I have anything to say.”

“I like listening to your voice though,” he said, “Maybe we should work on not crying later? You seem like you’ll be easy to train so maybe we should take a break for a while from the not crying because you’re not making sounds at all.

“It’s…it’s hard to breathe,” I said.

“What do you mean baby?” He asked me.

“When…when…you…do that,” I answered him quietly.

“It’s called sucking you off. We’ll work on teaching you how to breathe through it ok?” He said and I nodded my head.

I didn’t want to learn how to breathe through it. I didn’t want him to do it. I knew I didn’t have a choice but I didn’t want him to do it at all.

He bit his lower lip smiling at me before ruffling my hair and standing up holding out his hand for me to take, “Come on, we’re going to go practice something ok?”

I didn’t want to take his hand but I thought about what Da had said. How I was his how I belonged to him and as long as I did what he told me to he wouldn’t hurt me. How Da had made it sound like he was dangerous like he could really hurt me if I didn’t do what I was told. So I sighed taking his hand and he walked me through the house naked down the basement stairs and opened up the door to the same blood red room he had taken me into before. The one where he had raped me before as he had told me how good I felt as he had made me body do those weird things, sending that tickling through my skin and just looking at the bed I felt my body wanting to shiver, to shake with fear as I stopped. Not wanting it to happen.

Chapter Text

“No come on its ok, I won’t hurt you,” he said turning to me and rubbing my shoulders as he shut the door behind me, “I promise I’ve been working very hard to make sure I’m gentle ok? You don’t have to worry about not crying now but we’re going to work on your breathing ok? Go lay down.”

I numbly moved towards the bed that looked like a normal bed instead of the other one with the square of mattress missing out of the foot. I sat down on the edge of the bed trying to brace myself against whatever he was going to do as he moved around the room talking to me saying things even though I wasn’t listening until a couple words caught my attention.

“Prostates are really sensitive,” He said, “More sensitive than even the tip of the penis those orgasms can be explosive so if you can handle that while managing the still breathe then you can manage penis play. So, we’ll start there.”

He turned around coming towards me setting a bottle of lube and some condoms on the bed beside me as he kissed my cheek sitting down next to me popping open the tube on the lube and putting some on his hands.

“Lay back and spread your legs,” he said causing me to sit up in surprise and fear.

I felt my eyes burn and lips start to tremble as I started to cry shaking my head. I didn’t want whatever he was going to do. He put his hand in the middle of my chest rubbing a small circle into my sternum with his fingertips as he started forcing me to lay down. I didn’t want this. I didn’t want him to do this. I didn’t want him on top of me. I didn’t want him to say those things to me.

“Shhh…it’s ok baby,” He said, “I won’t hurt you. It’ll feel weird but it’ll fee good after a little bit. Now just lay back and spread your legs.” He said kissing my cheek and then my neck before forcing his tongue into my mouth making me whimper grabbing his shoulders and squeezing my hands too small to really make a difference as he pushed me down using his body weight.

He pushed on my knees making them bend breaking the kiss as he reached over putting more lube on his hands a big glob on one of his fingers before he leaned down shoving it inside of me the feeling shocking me. It felt like my body was full like it was being invaded an uncomfortable fullness against my body the pressure too much as he started to move it in and out looking for something before he shoved another finger inside of me making me cry.

“It hurts!” I told him struggling against the feeling of having to crap as he pushed his fingers in and out of my body.

I wiggled moving my hips up trying to get away as he forced my body back down by putting his hand on my stomach smiling at me as I tried to relieve the pressure by moving a different way before he said something I wasn’t expecting, “That’s it baby fuck yourself on my fingers if that makes it feel better. It’ll make it feel good I promise.”

“Please, it hurts,” I told him again still moving my hips to try and relieve the pressure, to get his fingers out of me before he found my prostate making my back arch and making me moan with my mouth closed.
“That’s right baby, that’s right fuck yourself on my fingers,” He said again as I quit moving my hips not wanting to hear him say that but the pain and pleasure becoming mixed becoming too much as his fingers started moving in and out deeper and slower, “God you feel so good inside,” He said kissing my neck and chest.

“Please,” I whimpered, “Please…”

“Oh, I know baby I’m trying, I’m trying to make you cum,” He whispered into my neck, “If you fuck yourself on my fingers again it’ll happen faster.”

I shook my head covering my eyes with my hands not wanting him to see me cry. Not wanting him to know I was that easy to manipulate, to get me to obey what he told me. I felt myself fully harden under his touch even though his hand hadn’t touched my penis my body buzzing.

“God, I want to fuck you,” He said panting into my skin as he moved his fingers against my prostate, “I want to fuck you so bad baby.”

He stopped but only for a second, only long enough to push inside of me grabbing my neck forcing his tongue past my lips as I moaned the intrusion not hurting anymore but causing my discomfort to grow, sending my body reeling after a thrust or two as he found that spot again making me start to feel wet around my tip like something bad was happening as he continued to nibble and kiss on my chest and nipples.

“Oh, fuck yeah,” He moaned pulling away from my face bringing one of his hands to my hips, “You feel even better bare.”

I started crying, whimpering. I didn’t want this. I didn’t want him inside of me, I wanted him to go away to leave me alone. I felt like I would never be able to wash him off my skin when he was finished if he ever did finish.

“Oh, fuck you feel so good, another squeeze like that and I’m done for baby,” He said leaning back pushing his pelvis forward into me grabbing my thighs and wrapping my legs around his waist forcefully as something about his angle changed as he brought me closer to the edge the movement directly on top of that spot making me gasps before a little moan escaped.

“Feels good huh baby? That’s right moan for me let me know it feels good because I know for me right now you feel fucking amazing,” He said moving his hips forward burying himself in me as my whole body shivered my eyes rolling and he made some sort of strangled cry above me falling forward wrapping his arms around me as I felt a burst of hot liquid coat my insides.

“Oh, my fucking god so good,” He rasped kissing my chest and collar bone as I laid there limply, “You know what I wish I could do?”

He stopped, staring at me when I didn’t say anything. I just wanted him to leave me alone. This wasn’t my idea of anything pleasant, being trapped under my rapist as he told me what he wished he could do to me. I just wanted to leave. Wanted to find an escape of some kind. Find away where even if my body was trapped there I didn’t have to be there.

“You should answer when someone asks you a question,” He said squeezing my shoulder making me gasps in pain.

“Sorry,” I said quietly, “Wh-what do you wish you could do?”

I avoided his eyes the way they were looking at me. It told me whatever his answer was it was something I didn’t want to hear. That would make my stomach ripple and feel sour just as bad as hearing him call me sexy or him telling me I felt good.
“I wish I could suck your cock and fuck you at the same time,” He said, “You tastes as good as you feel inside. It would be the best of both worlds. And you’re still young enough if I wanted to I could make you cum again. I could make you cum again right now.

He leaned into my face, brushing his nose against mine kissing my lips as I cried silently, “What’ wrong baby? You’re crying can you tell me what’s wrong?”

He asked me his hands brushing up and down my rib cage as he laid directly on top of me pinning me underneath him. I felt like I was drowning, like his body was the water I was downing in as he kept me there pinned to the bed his hands all over me, moving lower and lower towards my waist and then back up his thumbs brushing against my nipples sending shivers down my spine.

“Please,” I whispered into his mouth closing my eyes so I didn’t have to watch his gaze dig into my soul.

“Please what sexy?” He asked me making me swallow as I tried to stop my eyes from burning.

“Please stop,” I finally said the word feeling his fingers tighten on my sides.

“You’re mine remember? I tell you what to do not the other way around. The only reason I’m not hurting you is because you asked nicely but I don’t want to hear that word from you again you understand baby?” He said and I nodded my head averting my eyes from his.

So, that’s how this was going to be. Like Da. With Da you weren’t allowed to tell him no on anything or to stop. John knew that well enough. Ben’s tongue dipped into my belly button before he kissed the hicky he had left below it making me close my eyes as I tried to keep myself calm knowing where his mouth was about to go. That he was going to make me hate myself.

I wanted to kick him in the face as he looked up at me smiling, “I didn’t mean to leave this here you know,” He said running his tongue over it in a circle making me pant as it tickled my skin causing goose bumps to rise all over my body, “You just tastes so good I got a little carried away. I didn’t even notice it until Matt pointed it out. Guess next time we want to go skinny dipping we have to be more careful huh?”

I made a hiccupping sound not looking at him laying flat on my back waiting to feel that wetness around me. Waiting was almost as bad as the actual act itself as he licked and kissed my pelvis biting it slightly in different places making me moan which made him excited gripping at my hips tight nipping my inner thigh.

“Ouch,” I muttered putting my hand over my mouth trying to keep myself quiet.

“No, no baby,” He said grabbing my hand and pulling it away from my face, “We’re working on making noises remember? That’s what we’re doing this for. No muffling them all, right? If you want to cry you can, or moan just no telling me what to do ok?”
I closed my eyes swallowing nodding my head as he settled between my legs fully his hands on my hips again one second and then the next wrapping his forearms around my thighs like he had before so I couldn’t close my legs, so I couldn’t block his access to my butt and genitals.

I didn’t want that. I didn’t want that I wasn’t ok with that. I wanted him to let me go but, I knew I couldn’t say that.

“Ahh…” escaped before I could stop myself my face turning red as he peered up at me through his eyelashes.

“That’s a nice sound,” he said before sliding his mouth over me my muscles tensing as I tried to relax my body tried to just go slack the task I had given myself seeming impossible as he deep throated me before pulling away and licking up and down my shaft making my mouth go wide as I made a little hiccup like sound my body reacting, the way he wanted it to making him laugh lightly as his tongue teased my slit before my whole body tensed up, getting ready to orgasm. Me trying to hold back as he sucked on my testacies before I nearly exploded him wrapping his lips back around me and sucking.

When my body was done shivering, and shuddering he pulled away sighing, “That was a dry one that’s ok though can’t expect it every time you’re still young.” He said brushing my hair back from my forehead, “God you’re fucking sexy, so sexy,” He said peppering my forehead and face with kisses as I kept my eyes closed my chest heaving, “You’re probably tired huh?”

I nodded my head licking my dry lips not bothering to open my eyes. I didn’t want to see him. See him watching me with that look in his eyes. That look of lust and satisfaction that he had stolen my breath and made me do what he wanted me to do. That he had gotten the reaction he desired.

“That’s mouth, those lips,” He said his thumb brushing my bottom lip making me stifle a sob.

I didn’t want anymore, I couldn’t do anymore. No longer able to control my crying. I another sob ripped free before I could stop it I just wanted him off me. I just wanted him to leave me alone.

“Oh, baby it’s ok, you did good I’m really happy don’t sob,” he said hugging me as it got even harder to breathe me just wanting space between my skin and his, “It’s ok, you’re ok.” He cooed, “You did so good you really did.”

He held me until I quit crying getting up and going into the bathroom for a minute as I tried to collect myself finally able to sit up pulling my knees into my chest and rocking trying to comfort myself wishing that mum was there so she could hug me tell me it wasn’t my fault that none of this, what they were doing to us was my fault. Because I needed to hear it. I needed to know that there was nothing wrong with me.

“You ready to go upstairs get some lunch, watch some TV? Maybe go my room and take a nap,” He asked me rubbing my hair.

I didn’t look at him just game him a curt nod as he handed me my trunks and I got up putting them on with shaking hands as he opened the door letting me out of the room and walked behind me up the steps him still naked. I could hear them in the kitchen before the door opened the four of them, Da and the twins and Jay. I sighed opening the door knowing they were going to know. Knowing they probably knew anyway.

All eyes turned towards the door as I opened them my throat going dry the moment their eyes were on me. I felt like they were all judging me. My eyes blood shot from crying, my nose a little stuffy making my breathing sound labored, heavy. I felt like they were probably thinking how much I deserved it for getting us into this mess and Jay frowned coming up to me causing me to take a step back bumping into Uncle Ben who put a hand on my shoulder.

“You’re ok there bud its just Jay,” Ben said behind me coaxing me forward by the shoulder and making me sit at the table a stiff dull pain shooting up my tail bone as I sat in the wooden chair.

“Are you ok?” Jay asked me frowning his eyes dark like he was going to cry, like he was afraid he had done something wrong.

I nodded my head before realizing he might need a verbal reassurance, “Yeah I’m ok.” I answered softly not looking at him.

“Ok Will here is your grilled cheese and soup,” Da said setting the plate down in front of me.

I didn’t even taste it as I bit into it taking a drink of water that was beside me. The thing could have been cardboard and I probably would have eaten it just to keep up appearances. I wasn’t hungry at all my body still feeling like static under my skin on a TV that’s signal had been knocked out by a storm even my hearing overtly sensitive as I tried to tune out, tried to ignore everything so I could just breathe.

Matt leaned towards me making me jump making my heart pound in my chest, “I asked you a question.”

“Wh-what?” I asked trying to control the shaking of my hands, trying to get my breathing back into a normal rhythm.

“Why did he do that to you?” Matt asked me, “Trap you like that.”

“Wh-what?” I asked again.

“In the pool. He pushed you against the side and he held you there with his arms. Made it so you couldn’t leave him. Is he like Da?” He asked me quietly as I looked around panic rising me thinking they were in the room watching us only to find it was just the four of us alone sitting at the table.

“Like Da?” I asked.

“Like how Da made us touch each other,” Matt said, “Did he make you do those things with John is that why you two are so weird now all the time?”

I sighed, “Matt I…”

I didn’t want to talk about it. It was too soon my body still feeling him on me, my brain still wishing I could have shut it out and being angry that I hadn’t been able to. That I had been trapped there feeling it happen, listening to him say those things to me that made me feel dirty. But, I couldn’t lie. They had the right to know because this wasn’t just my nightmare it was theirs too. And if Uncle Ben and Da hadn’t really done more than just make them touch each other yet they would soon. And they had a right to know what to expect.

“No Matt they didn’t make John and I touch each other, where is John?” I asked.

“We don’t know, Jay came into our room saying he didn’t want to be alone that he was scared and we asked him where John was and he said he didn’t know that he hasn’t seen him,” Mike answered, “Why are you so shaky?”

“I…my skin feels like bugs are crawling all over it,” I answered not able to look them in the eyes.

“Why?” Matt asked, “Is it because he made you go downstairs naked?”

I nodded my head. How did you explain to an 8-year-old that your uncle just raped you? That your body liked it in away and that’s why you couldn’t stop shaking? Why you could barely speak. I knew I had to tell them, that they had a right to know and needed to know they shouldn’t be with Uncle Ben alone. Ever if they could help it but I didn’t know what to say.

“Is it the bruise on your tummy?” Mike asked.

I nodded my head. The hicky he had ran his tongue over telling me he was sorry he had done that, that he hadn’t meant to. The hicky that Matt had pointed out in the swimming pool after I took my trunks off so I could swim.
“Did he hurt you like Da hurt me?” Jay asked me quietly causing everyone to turn towards him.

“Da hurt you? He didn’t just touch your pee pee?” Matt asked, “Because I didn’t think that hurt.”

“He stuck his in me,” James said shifting uncomfortably growing quiet after he said the words.

“Can you do that?” Matt asked raising an eyebrow in confusion, “Can you stick your pee pee in someone else?”

“Yes,” I answered not able to look at them balling my hands into fists under the table.

“How?” Mike asked me.

“He stuck it in my butt and it really hurt,” James answered him, “I told him that it hurt but he just kept telling me it was ok, that if I waited it would hurt less. And then Will came in and he stopped.”

“Is that true Will?” Mike asked me.

“Yes,” I nodded my head.

“Did Uncle Ben do that to you? Is that why you’re so weird?” Matt asked me.

“It’s called sex,” I answered, “You’re not supposed to do it with … it’s not supposed to happen yet.”

“What?” Mike asked me confused.

“We’re not old enough, but Da he…he thinks we are,” I said.

“Does it really hurt that bad?” Mike asked me.

“Yeah it hurt so bad, I cried and it felt like I had to poop and then burned like I had skinned my butt hole,” James answered, “I didn’t like it. It was wrong and it felt bad.”

“Is that what it feels like?” Matt asked me.

I nodded my head, “They do other things too. Things they’re not supposed to. They’re not supposed to do it.”

“The sex thing?” Mike asked and I nodded my head.

“You can’t be alone with them. If you are it’ll give them a chance to do it so try to not ever be alone with either of them,” I told all three of them finally looking up at them even though doing so made me feel dizzy and light headed making me thankful I was sitting down.

“So, that’s what Uncle Ben did? But his penis in your butt?” Matt asked.

“And other stuff,” I answered.

“Like what?” Matt asked curiously.

“His fingers,” I answered quietly looking at the table, “His mouth.”

“You can put your mouth in someone’s butt?” Mike asked frowning.

“Not in, on I think,” Matt said, “They can do that right?”

I nodded my head. I didn’t want to talk about how his tongue had went up my ass, how it gone around my dick. How he had kept going telling me how sexy and beautiful I was, how I felt good, tasted good. I didn’t want to talk about those things with them.
“I saw a movie once where this lady took a guy’s penis and put it in her mouth,” Matt said suddenly making me frown at him in surprise, “Did he do that to you? Or is that only something ladies can do?”

“He did bad stuff, just don’t be alone with him ok?” I said not wanting to talk about it anymore, especially in detail.

“Did he say weird things? Because I heard him call you baby I think and Da calls John baby and I’ve heard people on TV call the people they love and hold hands with baby,” James said, “That means he holds hands with you, right?”

“He said a lot of things,” I answered quietly looking at the spoon sitting on the table next to me. I didn’t want to talk about it anymore. How do you explain to a 6-year-old that type of thing is wrong? That no one should touch you like that unless you tell them it’s ok. That those things are wrong especially when you’re little.

“I think that would be gross wouldn’t they get poop on their penis because they stuck it in your butt?” Mike asked looking at me making me blink incredulously.

“I don’t know,” Matty answered, “I mean you would think so like that time I couldn’t poop so the doctor stuck his finger up there to make sure everything was ok and when he pulled his finger out there was poop on the glove, you would think that because a penis goes up there more when they pulled out there would be poop on it but I don’t know. Will is there poop on it?”

I wasn’t sure whether to scream, cry or laugh. Were they seriously asking me that? I didn’t know I hadn’t been looking I’d been trying my hardest to tune the whole experience out and pretend it wasn’t happening so it’s not like I was looking at him or what he was doing at all. Most of the time I had my eyes closed.

“Are you ok?” James asked, “You have a funny look on your face.”

“Yeah, it’s really red,” Mike pointed out.

“I really want to know did we do something wrong by asking?” Matt asked me.

“I don’t know if there was. I didn’t look,” I said quietly. I didn’t feel so good my stomach wanting to rebel against the sandwich I had just swallowed as I stood up.

“Don’t be alone with him you guys if he comes after you, you run either Da or Uncle Ben,” I said, “I think I’m going to go lay down, James are you done eating?”

“Yeah why?” He asked me.

“You’re coming with me,” I answered him, “Put your plate in the sink and we’re going to head upstairs ok?”

“Ok,” James said not questioning me as he did as he was asked.

I wasn’t mad at them I was just tired and didn’t know how to answer their questions. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with their curiosity at all but it wasn’t something I wanted to talk about or felt the need to talk about. I didn’t want to leave James on his own without me or John however so I figured if I was going to lay down I could get him to quietly sit with me in the room and everything would be ok for a while.

“Am I in trouble?” James asked quietly as we started up the steps.

“No Jay I’m just trying to keep you safe. I don’t know where John is and I would rather not give Da or uncle Ben the chance to hurt you if I can help it,” I explained to him.

“So, what Da did isn’t ok?” He asked me.

“No,” I answered, “No it’s not ok.”

He was quiet for a minute until I opened the door, “Da said it was that I should ask John because John and him do it all the time and that most people don’t think it’s ok but it really is. That it’s just how he loves us.”

“It’s never ok to make someone do something like that when they don’t want to,” I answered, “Da is going to tell you that it’s like eating vegetables that it’s something you dislike but have to deal with now so you can be better, so it can benefit you when you get older but, that’s not true ok?”

“How do you know he’s lying?” James asked his face scrunching up in confusion.

“Because vegetables might taste bad but they don’t hurt you. They don’t make you feel bad. These things scare you, don’t they? Make you feel bad, hurt?” I asked him and he nodded his head.

“It was scary yeah, I didn’t want to,” He answered.

“Exactly. I can’t stop him from doing it but I can try and make sure he doesn’t get a lot of chances to that’s why I told you to come up here with me because I’m tired,” I said laying down on the bed closing my eyes trying to relax myself.

“Why do I have to stay with you and Matty and Mikey don’t?” He asked me.

“Because you’re the youngest and they have each other to look out for one another. You don’t have anyone like that. You have me and John and that’s it so we’re going to stick together and look out for each other instead ok?” I asked him.

“I’m looking out for you?” He asked me.

“Yeah, it would really help me a lot bud,” I told him, “It’s not just to keep you safe but me too. Because I don’t think they’ll hurt us if we’re together or at least they will be less likely to.”

“Oh ok,” James said to me, “But I’m not tired.”

“I know Jay but I am, maybe you can play with your trucks quietly?” I asked him from where I was laying down on the bed to which he nodded his head.

“Ok,” He said going over to his suit case and pulling out some of his hot wheels.

I sighed my brain reeling. Where was John and how on earth was, I supposed to take care of three kids? I was only a kid myself. How had John done it all those years on his own? Protecting us from Da while mum went off to work or hang out with her friends. I had no idea what to do at this point but was thankful I was taking care of older children. Children who mostly took care of themselves.

I managed to close my eyes listening to James make vrooming sounds as he played with his toy cars and managed to fall into some sort of sleep curling myself into the fetal position facing the wall. I remember staying half-awake enough to listen to James play for the longest time until I realized I couldn’t hear him anymore and I turned around my eyes still feeling heavy.

“Jay?” I asked the air once I realized he wasn’t in the bedroom with me and I sat up my heart pounding.

Chapter Text

I went out into the hallway walking slowly carefully not sure where Uncle Ben was or what he was doing, “Jay?” I called out quietly checking the other guest bedroom before heading downstairs where I could hear young voices talking loudly.

“But you know how stupid that is? I mean Tim is the best Robin obviously,” I heard Matt say.

“I don’t think that’s true,” Mike said, “I like Jason, Jason was cool.”

“You’re both nuts,” I heard Uncle Ben laugh, “Dick is the best he was first and no one can move like him.”

At that I came sprinting into the room my chest heaving eyes wide with fear before I realized that Ben was sitting in a chair and they were both sitting on the couch James at their feet still playing with his cars. I tried to calm myself down. So, everything was ok they were just talking comics? But with him?

“Someone is awake,” Ben said looking at me causing me to fold my arms across my chest because I felt naked whenever he looked at me, “Are you feeling better?”

I nodded my head trying to keep calm trying to swallow back the lump in my throat as I looked at him and my brothers. He wasn’t sitting close to them but him just being in the same room with them made me nervous. What if he made them do those things too? The things he made me do? What would happen to them? They were just little they didn’t understand, not really.

“We’re just talking about Robins,” Matt said, “Are you ok?”

“Y-yeah,” I answered.

“He’s not going to hurt us, he’s nice,” Matt said.

“Wait he said I would hurt you?” Ben asked looking between us.

“Yeah like Da made us touch each other,” Mike said shaking his head at the thought, “It was gross.”

“That didn’t hurt, though did it?” Ben asked them.

“No but it was weird,” Matt said.

“Well, your Da was just teaching you how to make people happy, making them feel good and tickly it wasn’t to hurt you,” Uncle Ben said, “I think Will is just worried he’ll have to share me with you but that’s not true.”

“Share you?” Mike asked.

“Well Will and I …” I cut him off.

“Don’t,” I said shaking my head not wanting them to know any more than they already did. They knew he had done things to me. That I didn’t want him doing things to them too.

“Oh,” Matt said nodding his head at me to show he understood.

“You don’t want the truth?” Ben asked him.

“He said what happened,” Matt said shrugging his shoulders, “He even said it didn’t really hurt.”

“Some of it can be uncomfortable at first but as you get used to it, it hurts less,” Ben said.

“Did you get poop on your penis?” Mike asked and Ben’s eyes widened looking at him in surprise.

“Huh, hmm,” He said squinting like he was trying not to laugh, “Why are you asking?”

“Well one time I was sick and I couldn’t poop and so the doctor stuck his finger up my butt to make sure I was ok and it felt really weird and when he pulled his finger out there was poop on it,” He said, “So it just makes sense that there might be poop there because you’re sticking it up someone’s butt. I asked Will but he said he didn’t know because he wasn’t looking so I thought you might know.” Mike explained.

“Well, it happens sometimes but it’s nothing a shower can’t fix I promise,” He said trying not to laugh, “Some people actually enjoy that but, for me it’s not something I care about either way. If you’re wondering how your brother was…” He stopped looking at me smirking, “He takes very good care of himself.”

Matt coughed, “That’s gross I didn’t want to know that. That’s not why he was asking!”

“Well they do say curiosity killed the cat,” Uncle Ben said smiling.

“Mike don’t ask him anymore questions because I don’t want to know,” Matt said looking at our brother.

Mike shot me a little look like he was regretting asking the question at all. I had no problem with him being curious but I really felt like those were things he didn’t need to know that he was too young to really understand. However, life kept making it very apparent to me that we were anything but average.

“…Isn’t that right Will?” Uncle Ben asked tuning me back into the conversation.

“What?” I asked.

“That it’s important for them to learn, how to use their bodies and that’s all we’re teaching them. That there isn’t anything wrong about it? Isn’t that right Will?” He asked me again.

“I’m not sure…” I trailed off.

I felt trapped. This was some type of trick. I either said yes and convinced my brothers this was ok or I said no and ended up getting the shit raped out of me and god knew what else. I decided it was better to not say anything.

“Will’s already learned a few things, haven’t you?” Uncle Ben said standing up and coming towards me making me back away slightly.

He smiled at me that horrible smile. He wanted to right now? In front of them? I felt my face heat up and my heart start pounding. No way in hell. I wasn’t going to let him do that in front of them.

“I’m…I’m going to…to go,” I stammered pointing at the threshold behind me as I backed out not daring to turn away from him, “I will be…upstairs.” I nodded my head continuing to back out of the room and away from them trying to just catch my breath.
“Well,” I heard Ben say to them, “He’s shy about his lessons.”

“I just think some people don’t like it Uncle Ben,” I heard Mike say back to him.

“Yes, but it will really help you out like I said before. I’m going to go check on him ok guys? Just stay here watch TV play games…” He said as I saw his shadow move along the floor before he came out of the room
“What the fuck was that?” He hissed at me so low I could barely hear him.

I shook my head turning to run before he grabbed me by the back of shirt pulling me into his chest hard and pinning my body to his with my arms to my sides making it hard for me to move. I sighed. He was angry. I knew he was angry and I wasn’t sure what to do about it remembering Da’s warning, just do what he says and he won’t hurt you.

“Well I’m waiting for an answer William,” He spit into my neck.

“I-I don’t think that you should talk to them about…” He squeezed me around my center the pressure on my stomach hurting me.

“Don’t think I should talk to them about what?” He asked me.

“About me,” I managed to get out my voice shaky.

“I see,” He said sniffing the back of my neck before he kissed it, “What would you rather they think you have shit in your ass?”

“I’m not sure they even understand what they are asking,” I answered, “And my personal hygiene isn’t any of their business or yours.”

“Baby, it’s all my business ok?” He his hand sliding past the waist band of my pants.

“Don’t please, not here I’m asking you please not here,” I said making sure I didn’t make it sound like I was ordering him to do something but more requesting it.

“Ok,” he said moving his hand back up my stomach under my shirt, “Ok,” He said kissing the back of my neck making me shiver.

I sighed trying to stay calm knowing they were around the corner so they couldn’t see us but, they were around the corner and could very easily turn that corner and see what was happening. I felt sick to my stomach just thinking about it, knowing there wasn’t anything I could do to stop it from happening.

“You ok?” He asked me rubbing my shoulders making me gulp, “I get the feeling I make you nervous.”

“Mhm,” I managed to get out as his hand slid down my spine through my shirt.

“Is it because you don’t want them to see?” He asked me as I struggled to breathe.

“Can we please…” I started to ask when I heard someone’s footsteps coming down the hall.

“Ben not out in the open,” Da said looking at us, “Come here Will.”

“You said I could…” Da cut Ben off.

“You want to scare the other three is that your plan? I told you to keep your hands off them that doesn’t mean you get the establish a routine of open affection with their brother ok? Be more discreet,” Da said, “You don’t see my hand going up John’s shorts when we’re at the dinner table.”

“He’s my contract I’ll do what I want,” Ben replied.

“Will come here,” Da said again and Uncle Ben let me go and I walked forward away from my Uncles reach looking at my Da closely confused as to what he wanted other than to maybe protect me from getting groped he sighed looking at me, “Listen do you know how to cook?”

“They taught me some in school,” I answered confused by the question.

“Can you make everyone some dinner?” He asked me.

“Da I’m 10 I don’t know how to cook that well,” I answered.

“Huh, right what can you cook?” He asked me.

“Grilled cheese, mac and cheese from the box, scrambled eggs,” I answered.

“Ok make everyone some scrambled eggs I have to talk to your uncle about some stuff upstairs and his computer habits,” He said.

“Computer habits?” I asked him.

“Every time he gets on my computer something happens to it where it these ads pop up and I must restart it,” He said.

“Why not make him his own account that way you don’t have to worry about whatever he’s doing messing with your stuff?” I asked him.

“Account?” He asked.

“User account like you set up his own file area and what not, like a profile just for him,” I said.

“Ok,” He said, “Yeah why didn’t I think of that and then just make sure he doesn’t download stuff, that makes sense. Thank you. Well anyway make us all some scrambled eggs ok?”

“Yeah, Da,” I said nodding my head.

“Good thanks,” He said, “Ben come on we have to go upstairs we have a meeting.”

“What meeting?” Ben asked sounding annoyed before dawning crossed his face, “Oh ok.”

They headed upstairs leaving me standing there in hallway. I sighed with relief wondering how I was going to pay for this later. For daring to ask him not to do that in front of my brothers, for daring to walk away from a room he was in.

I gathered myself and walked into the kitchen to find it clean wondering if that was something Da had done earlier after I had gone back upstairs but pulled the eggs, milk and butter out of the fridge and set it on the counter. I remember looking at the eggs and wondering how many I should make and then deciding that I couldn’t make too many because there were seven people eating so I just used them all as I popped toast into the toaster.

“Will?” I heard James ask coming into the kitchen.

“Yeah?” I asked him.

“What do you think school is going to be like?” He asked me.

“Just like school I guess. I mean we’ll have to make new friends but otherwise pretty much the same. We already talked about how we’re going to be coming home after school and tomorrow we’re doing a school tour with Da if you remember right bud?” I said stirring the eggs as we talked.

“Will the kids be nice?” He asked me.

“I don’t know Jay I’m hoping they will be,” I answered, “It just depends really I guess. Just like back home some kids will be nice and some not so much we’ll be ok though I’m sure.”

I put the scrambled eggs on the table grabbing plates and trying to divide them evenly onto each plate with a piece of toast, “Guys dinner is ready,” I called out.

Mike and Matt came in their noses wrinkling as they looked at the food, “Eggs is a breakfast food,” Mike said.

“Think of it as breakfast for dinner maybe,” I said sitting down in my own spot.

“That’s just silly,” Mike said, “Why didn’t we have chicken for dinner?”

“Because I don’t know how to cook chicken,” I told him, “Da told me he was busy so I had to cook so I did now eat.”

They ate and started talking about batman again. I didn’t read many comics sticking mostly to books myself but I didn’t mind listening to the conversation. They kept talking about who was the best robin again and in listening in I learned that there had once been a female Robin however Mike and Matt seemed to agree she was by far the worst Robin because she was only Robin for a short amount of time and didn’t have nearly the honed physical skills of the other robins.

I felt tired. And my thoughts kept being pulled in a different direction towards John. I hadn’t seen John all day and wondered where he was. When I would get to see him again. How I was supposed to deal with these three on my own and keep them safe. By the time, they were finished Da and Uncle Ben came downstairs and sat down looking at their plates.

“Hey Will honey can you heat this up for us? It looks good by the way, thank you,” Da said as I went over and grabbed their plates putting them in the microwave as I listened to them talk.

“What exactly does he mean wait to do the branding? Why can’t we just do it now? He’s never made anyone else wait,” Ben said.

“Well apparently, they are looking at three new members to decide if they are really going to join and if that’s the case he wants to get the b’s all done at once,” Da replied back.

“Fine, but if we’re waiting for one what about the others?” He asked, “I mean he said they usually wait until they are around eight at least so does that mean we’re waiting until next year for the rest of them or just a couple of weeks after the first one or what…?”

“He made it sound like after John is done he’ll do the rest right away so I have no idea,” Da said, “He said that we have the best-looking ones though. I’m like so glad you set this up by the way thank you.”

“No thank you Connor it was your resume that really made it happen. I mean they’ve been looking for new members but your skills are what really made the deal for him. He’s a nice guy and with our status nothing bad is going to happen. Trips to where ever we want, parties, other perks, it will all be worth it not to mention all that hot little ass I’ll get for a discounted rate. And let me tell you,” he said looking at me before lowering his voice to a volume he thought I couldn’t hear, “He has a tight little ass. Tighter than even that Thai bitch. I love him really. He’s so fucking good. And he’s trainable.”

“Hey you said…” Da started to whisper back but he cut him off.

“Relax, relax ok. I’m just saying if you ever changed your mind on that he’s workable he has the personality for it ok? There are plenty of other ways I can meet those needs. Very easily now infect once we go through a branding or two. When I was in Thailand I met this guy Tanner, they adopt kids for that call them ones. Him and this guy he hooked up with they adopted a kid when he was four and they still have him and he’s good. He’s fucking prefect. You tell him to scream he’ll scream you tell him to moan he’ll moan they have him trained to a t. The kid doesn’t even think once you get him in the bedroom just does what he’s told,” Uncle Ben said.

“We agreed though remember? No rough housing,” He said, “Just teaching.”

“Yeah I know I promise. If he does things the way I want him to within reason he won’t be hurt. And he’s good at following directions I mean look at him,” Ben said and both their eyes landed on me before they turned back, “He’s fucking prefect. He feels fucking amazing you know that, right?”

“Yeah,” I heard Da answer him, “He would be a lot better at it if someone hadn’t gotten us caught and interrupted their lessons.”

“Caught?!” Ben said loudly, “That isn’t just on me you could have been more careful too.”

“I’m not the one who decided a four-year-old was ready and forgot the 10-minute rule,” Da said.

“I know are you kidding me I will never be able to live that down,” He said, “But anyway so they told you it’s no problem with us just waiting because of money?”

“Yeah that’s basically what he made it sound like,” Da said.

“Ok cool,” Ben said before sighing and standing up, “So we’re good for now and I can continue?”

“If he’s done cleaning,” Da said gesturing towards me.

“Will baby? Are you done doing the dishes?” Ben asked me.

I looked over at them. Not letting them know I had been paying attention the whole time. Not wanting them to know I had heard what they were saying. Trainable? People adopted kids for this type of thing. I was good at following directions and trainable? I had the personality for it. For what?

“Will, are you ok?” Ben asked me.

“Almost, I’m almost done with the dishes,” I answered numbly.

“Ok,” He said, “I’ll wait until you’re done.”

“Well,” Da said handing me his plate, “Dinner was great the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had thank you honey.”

“You’re welcome Da,” I said as he turned to Ben, “Now I’ll be back in a while don’t keep him all night please. I think the little one sleeps better if he’s not alone.”

“Ok,” Ben said looking at him slightly annoyed, “And in exchange…?”

“In exchange, you get nothing because I have other things going on. You have him, use him,” Da said walking away.

“Ok then geese Connor,” Ben muttered looking at me as I finished scrubbing Da’s plate.

I kept my head down letting the hot water run over my hands as I picked up the last two dishes thinking that if I went slow enough he’d be uninterested after a while. I was wrong feeling him come up behind me wrapping his arms around my waist.

“God you’re so hot bent over the sink like that,” He said grinding against me making me want to scream and push him away.

“I’m not done yet,” I said quietly.

“Don’t worry about it, I could just fuck you right here,” He said his hands going to the waist band of my pants again making me drop the dish I was holding into the sink my hands shaking.

“Please,” I begged him. I didn’t want to do it right there not out in the open and not in front of the kitchen sink.

“Come on just a little, I’ll use the lotion,” he said biting into the back of my neck like a dog or cat would before they mounted a female to breed.

“Ben please,” I begged him feeling like I was about to start crying, “Please just one more dish. Just one more dish.”

“All right, but then you’re mine understand?” He hissed at me.

“I understand,” I said nodding my head.

“Good because if you don’t understand I have ways to make sure you do and I don’t like being told what I can and cannot do,” He said.

“I understand,” I said again quietly finishing the last dish and putting it in the dish rack.

I turned off the water and turned around and before I could protest he was picking me up and setting me on the counter top. I didn’t want to have sex there. I didn’t want someone to walk in and see him on top of me but I looked at him looking into his eyes not daring to look away barely breathing. His hands felt like cold fire on my skin going under the hem of my shirt from behind pulling it up over my head and letting it fall to the ground.

“God your fucking body,” he said and I felt my eyes go wide as he started rubbing the back of my neck in slow circles, “A perfect fucking body.”

I gulped my throat dry as I looked at him, “I’m 10,” I reminded him.

“I know it’s not a big deal. I was six the first time your Da fucked me, and the first time my Da fucked me so… trust me 10 is nothing,” He said pushing his hands roughly up my thighs rubbing them through my clothes.

“What?” I asked confused.

“Your grand dad was into teaching us the way we’re teaching you guys. After a while you get used to it. He was a horrible son of a bitch though he’d hit if you told him no. I will never hit you without warning you first,” He said, “I might have given you a little more time if your body wasn’t so fucking prefect. Tiny and slim in all the right places but filled out exactly right.”

I went to look at the fruit bowl sitting next to me on the counter and he grabbed my chin gently tilting it back up to his face, “Can you tell me why I make you so nervous?”

“I don’t like the way it feels,” I said looking him dead in the eyes.

It was the truth. I hated the way it felt. The burning with the weird fullness or the tingling that I couldn’t get to stop. I didn’t like it and I didn’t understand how anyone could. Everyone said sex was supposed to feel nice, pleasant and it didn’t feel pleasant to me.

“What? you think it hurts?” He asked me, “Because I can make it hurt.”

“I didn’t say it hurts I just don’t like it,” I said.

“Well, you’ll learn to like it,” he said to me running a hand through my hair, “God I’m going to suck your cock so much you won’t be able to cum for a week.”

I shuddered. Just hearing it sounded like it would probably hurt. I mean you can bruise skin and make it hurt by sucking on one spot for too long so to me it only seemed logically that sucking on a spot down there for too long would probably hurt as well. I sighed frowning as I thought about that. I didn’t want his mouth down there at all let alone down there for long enough to do that.

He smiled at the wide-eyed fear on my face as I looked at him, “What doesn’t sound appealing to you?”

At that point he jolted forward at me grabbing me and throwing me over his shoulder holding onto my legs as he moved fast yanking the basement door open. I remember having to use my arms to shield my head to make sure I didn’t hit on the steps on the way down as he threw me onto the bed downstairs the one that had all the chains on it and the square piece missing out of the foot and he allowed himself to almost fall on top of me catching himself on his elbows above me his face inches from mine.

“We can have fun, you want to fight a little bit? Beg? Scream? I don’t mind a good fight sometimes,” He said before roughly forcing his lips to mine.

I pushed at his chest as his lips stuck to mine almost like super glue afraid to open my mouth to try and scream for fear of his tongue rolling across my tonsils. He had told me I could fight back so I was pounding on his chest with my fists wishing I wasn’t so afraid to scream to tell him no. That I wasn’t ok with this that I wasn’t willing to do this. That I wasn’t his that I didn’t belong to him no matter what my Da said his hands ignoring mine completely and yanking on the fabric of my pants around my hips pulling my pants down slowly almost rolling them as he pulled them down.

He moved his kissing into the crook of my neck and I whimpered still pushing at him and hitting him with my fists not getting anywhere, nothing working as he suctioned himself to my skin. I didn’t want this I wanted it to stop. I tried kicking him tried to bring my knee up between his legs, tried just about anything I could think of and none of it worked.

“Stop!” I whimpered, “STOP!”

“Yeah that’s right scream for me baby,” He mumbled shifting his weight up just long enough to yank my pants down to my knees as I started to kick out, “Oh fine ok yeah I said fight so go ahead and kick like a fucking five-year-old.”

“No, I don’t want to, I don’t want to, stop, please just stop I don’t want to, I don’t want to,” I shrieked as my kicking kicked my pants off my one leg to which he smiled laughing.

“Trying to undress for me huh baby?” He asked me to which my eyes went wide my chest heaving from the exertion of kicking and hitting and pushing that had done nothing to help me get out of my situation.

I stopped I don’t know if it was out of shock or because I just gave up because I knew fighting wasn’t getting me anywhere but I stopped trying to fight and just let him bury his face in my collar bone his small five o’clock shadow scratching at my sternum as I whimpered softly.

“Shhh, god I want to suck that cock,” He said his hand trailing down my stomach touching me and I tried to pull away, “No, no you’re mine no pulling away.”

He ran his face down the center of my chest not licking put just pressing his nose against my skin and I grabbed the back of his hair hoping it would stop him if I pulled hard enough but instead he mostly ignored it until I felt his mouth go around me making my whole body freeze up and eyes go wide. He started playing with my balls as I felt a sweat start to break out over my body.

“Oh shit,” I said.

By this time, I had been given several blow jobs and found out I liked each one a little less than the one before but this one I remember being paralyzing even though I had permission to fight back, to try and get him off me his finger shoving its way inside of me while he bobbed up and down leaving me in silent shock under him. I don’t even remember how many times he made me orgasm only that most of it was painful and when he was done my whole body felt like jello. I remember him climbing on top of me. Pushing inside and I remember it not really hurting but not feeling good. It felt like hours. It probably was.

When he was done, I was numb. I remember just being numb and him telling me to leave that I had been good. That I had been amazing. I remember scrubbing my skin and feeling like I wasn’t clean enough wondering where John was, wondering if this was all I was anymore. Wondering if Da had ever loved me at all to give me to Uncle Ben like this, to this to. I remember laying down in the bed next to James after spending half the night in the shower until the water ran cold. But I don’t remember falling asleep.

Chapter Text

When I woke up my whole body was still sore. I didn’t even want to move but Mike and Matt had jumped on the bed waking me up. I opened my eyes.

“What?” I asked.

“Da said he had to go to work so you had to make us breakfast and then tomorrow we’re going to school instead of today for the tour,” Matt told me.

“I don’t want to move go get John,” I moaned.

“Da said not to bother John until later,” He said to me.

“Has anyone even seen him?” I asked sitting up.

“No, Da said to leave him alone,” Matt said to me again.

“Do you know where he is?” I asked sitting up and stretching my shirt riding slightly up my belly and Matt reached out and poked my bruise making me freeze.

“Don’t touch me,” I told Matt angrily putting my arms down hugging my stomach tightly folding in on myself.

“What is that though?” He asked me.

“It’s a bruise but you don’t touch people without their permission understand?” I said to him as forcefully as I could manage my skin crawling just from being touched by my brother even if he hadn’t meant anything of it.

“How do you get a bruise there?” he asked me And I felt my face go red.

“It doesn’t matter, where is John?” I asked him.

“I don’t know Da didn’t tell me but he said he’s in the house and he’s fine,” Matt answered me, “Are you going to make us food now?”

“Yeah I’m getting up ok? I’ll make us some eggs,” I answered him standing up.

I made the eggs and got the three of them ready for the day and then we sat down to watch an after-breakfast movie and I ended up falling asleep. I was that exhausted from dealing with Ben and worrying about everyone else and whether Da and Ben were going to keep their hands to themselves and was woken up when I heard someone yelling something from the kitchen and felt someone pull on my head.

“Will wake up,” I heard James whine at me impatiently, “Da’s brought us chicken for lunch come on.”

I yawned opening my eyes. I remember feeling tired and my neck being sore because I had fallen asleep funny but blinking trying to pull myself into consciousness when Ben came into the room bringing me to instant alertness. I hated being around him, being the same room with him. I the wave of panic going through me made it hard for me to think to speak.

“You want some chicken Will?” He asked me.

It was a mundane question yet I felt the blush creeping into my face, my face feeling like it was heating up all the way down into the collar of my shirt. I felt like I was choking on air as he closed the distance between us James frowning at him, getting angry at Uncle Ben. I couldn’t control the way I started to feel breathless as he closed the distance between us.

“Leave him alone you’re making him sad,” James told Uncle Ben frowning.

“No, I’m not he’s fine, aren’t you Will?” Ben asked putting a hand on my shoulder.

“Y-y-yeah,” I said nodding my head trying to appear calm which was the farthest thing from what I was feeling, “Yeah bud, I’m all right.”

“No, you’re not, I can see it tell him you’re not all right,” James said folding his arms across his chest, “Uncle Ben leave him alone.”

“James not right…” Ben cut me off.

“Listen to me here bud I know you mean well that you’re worried about your brother I get that but, I’m the adult here. You two are the kids so you listen to me. You won’t understand this until you’re older but William is mine ok? He’s mine I take care of him, I help your Da take care of him so you don’t worry about Will that’s my job all, right?” Ben said to him harshly a deadly serious look on his face making James take a step back.

“Jay,” I said quietly not looking at him, “Go sit down ok? I’ll be there in a couple of minutes. It’s not a big deal I promise.”

“You promise?” He asked me his eyes wide as he nodded his head like he was trying to take in what I was saying.

“Yes, I promise,” I said dully, “Go I’ll be right there.”

“Ok,” he said giving me a hug that made me tense throwing his arms around my middle and then letting go quickly leaving to go into the kitchen.

“You don’t have to be afraid of me,” Ben said, “If you do what I say I won’t hurt you. And I won’t hurt them ok?”

“Ok,” I whispered not able to look at him my hands starting to shake. Was he going to rape me like he had before lunch yesterday?

“Come here,” he said grabbing my shoulders before wrapping his body around mine, hugging me feeling like he was trying to squeeze the life out of me. I didn’t want him hugging me where they could see us.

I didn’t want my brothers to know what I was doing with him or, what he was doing to me. I knew deep down it wasn’t something I was doing because I wanted to, it was something I was doing because I had to. Because if I really had a choice, I wouldn’t have been in the same country as him let alone his arms or sharing a bed with him.

“Don’t freeze up,” He said resting his chin on the top of my head.

“Don’t do this where they can see,” I pleaded with him.

“Showing them isn’t a bad thing. It teaches them the right things instead of that brain washed bullshit society as tried to shove on them. Let’s them see how normal it is, allows them to make their own choices about it,” Ben said kissing the top of my head sighing into my crown before his arms loosened around me, “Ok baby lets go eat some food huh?”

I sighed turning away towards the kitchen to find Da standing at the kitchen island pulling Kentucky fried chicken out of the buckets and putting it on plates where the sides where already portioned out, sides of corn and Mac and cheese, “Hey there Will you ok? You look tired.”

“I am tired.”

“He is tired.”

Ben and I said in unison and Da smiled happily, “Busy night?”

“Busy day yesterday,” Ben answered him.

“Ah,” Da said nodding his head as he took three plates and set them down at the table before going back over to the marble topped island and grabbing another three plates setting two down in front of the empty seats at the table as he took the other empty seat.

“So, we’re doing the school tour tomorrow for sure?” Matt asked Da.

“Yeah pal we’re actually doing it tomorrow,” Da answered, “I’m sorry I had move it but my boss called me in for something important, a conference call that I couldn’t skip out on. Tomorrow though I promise.”

“Will John be coming?” I asked dipping for fork into my Mac and cheese and licking a noodle attentively.

“No,” Da answered me, “John isn’t feeling well so he’s going to be staying home.”

“Where is he Da?” I asked summoning the courage to actually look my Da in the eyes to see and hear his response.

“He’s in my room. Don’t disturb him he’s not feeling well. He’s having trouble ok?” Da answered.

I nodded my head. I wasn’t completely sure what he meant but I had an idea. If his life was going anywhere close to the same direction as mine he was struggling. Just struggling to keep his head above the water as he drowned.

It felt like our lives were the opposite of the swan princess cartoon where the princess was forced to be a swan during the day, her human form only revealed by moonlight. Ours was the opposite, we were real humans during the day only to be turned into something less than human at night.

I swallowed some corn almost snorting it down my windpipe as Ben put his hand on my knee surprising me in a not good way. I sighed setting down my fork trying to calm my nerves that felt like they were shaking my whole entire body as I stared at my drum stick. I felt sick to my stomach his hand rubbing up and down the bare skin where my shorts ended right above my knee his fingers tracing patterns or letters sending goose bumps onto my flesh.

“Will, you need to eat,” Da said his voice drawing me out of my head, “Set a good example for your brothers.”

I nodded my head giving him a small smile picking my drum stick up and biting into it. The chicken didn’t taste like anything to me, my brain too focused on where Ben’s hand was on my leg, what it was doing and trying to keep calm. I managed to eat what was on my plate as Da talked with Matt and Mike about what school was going to be like the same questions coming up as before. Questions about what it was going to be like. What holidays might be like, if we were going to have the same summer holiday as before, how much was going to change, if the school work was going to be the same…

I was tired of hearing them repeatedly. Hearing them repeat the same questions as my life fell apart. School wasn’t important, things didn’t matter, nothing mattered besides keeping my mouth closed and making sure I didn’t piss anyone off. Making sure I toed their line to keep my little brothers safe.

When we were done eating I went outside to go for a walk. No one seemed interested in following me, the heat being close to 100 degrees according to the news. I ended up sitting down by the pool for a while before I jumped in fully clothed not wanting either of them to find me out there without clothes on.

When I decided, I’d had enough of that, enough of thinking of drowning myself and floating in the pool on my own I hopped out and started walking down the street with no destination in mind. I just walked for a while listening to nature, remembering what it was like to be a child. To have those images in my head of us chasing Lizards as the babies cried in the playpen in the front yard while mum and Da sat on the porch hand in hand in love or so it seemed at the time.
“Hey,” I heard a voice behind me and jumped a foot in the air as I turned around.

It was a kid a little older than I was probably around John’s age blonde hair and brown eyes frowning at me as he bit his chapped bottom lip. He watched me quizzically gold flecks in his eyes catching in the sunlight as his brow furrowed at me. I remember thinking of how the lines and wrinkles weren’t ugly but how the look on his face made me want to touch his forehead, to feel the lines under my fingers, to not just know but, to feel what he was thinking.

I didn’t know what to make of him. I didn’t understand why he was watching me so pensively and I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. I sighed turning back around to keep going on my way hopefully someplace far away where I could get lost.
“Did you just move into the McGregor house?” He asked from behind me, him not having moved to follow me but still calling out to me causing me to turn around to face him again.

“Well it is my family’s house,” I said, “So what do you think?”

He cracked a smile, “Nice attitude, keep a hold of that if you use it at the right time it might just save you.”

“And if I use it at the wrong time?” I asked.

“You won’t be using it again,” He said and I nodded my head thoughtfully thinking he must know Ben, “What’s your name?”

“Will,” I answered, “Who are you?”

“Cole. Cole, Gables,” He answered, “So you’re telling me that’s not Ben’s house?”

“No, it’s my Da’s, house, our house I guess he was just squatting in it kind of?” I shrugged my shoulders.

“You mean between his trips to Thailand?” Cole asked.

“Something like that. You know him well?” I asked Cole and he visibly shivered.

“I know him well enough,” He answered, “You?”

“I huh,” I swallowed, “I’m his nephew.”

“Is your Dad like him?” He asked me.

“I’m not sure what you mean,” I answered.

“Well, my Dad is friends with your uncle if your Dad is anything like the two of them it’s not a good thing,” Cole said.

I looked down at the cement under my feet scuffing the toes of my shoes against it as I shuffled nervously. I didn’t want to talk about this. Not if it was a conversation about what I thought it was.

“I’m sorry,” Cole sighed, “I’m sorry it’s stupid to talk about you probably don’t even…”

“No, I know what you mean,” I answered quietly not looking up at him, “I don’t know why it matters but yeah. The answer is yes.”

“That sucks,” Cole said quietly.

I nodded my head. Then it dawned on me. What an asset he was. The things I could learn from him. About whatever this was that my Da had gotten us into. About their rules.

“Do you have time to talk?” I asked him and he looked around.

“Yeah, if you come to the park with me,” Cole shrugged his shoulders and waving his hand at me to follow him.

I sighed picking up my pace to a slow jog to catch up as we crossed the street and ended up at a small park that was deserted. It had an iron rocket ship and set of swings along with a slide and what looked like a castle. He looked over his right shoulder to make sure I was following him before he climbed up into the rocket ship so he was covered within its tiny circular walls as I climbed up the ladder following him pulling myself into the tight little space.

“So, what do you want to talk about?” He asked me.

“What school do you go to?” I asked him.

“The same one you’ll go to if you want you say is true St. Matthews,” He answered, “It’s a brotherhood school most of the fathers that teach there either are into what the brotherhood is into or they look the other way while it happens. I know your uncle really well.”

“You keep saying that. I’m assuming you mean sex,” I replied.

“Rape,” Cole corrected, “Don’t let them start brain washing you already it’s rape plain and simple and that’s exactly what I mean.”

“Sorry,” I said quietly.

“It’s ok. I just don’t like to think of it as sex, sex is different trust me,” Cole said.

“So, are they going to let the priest at the school do things to us?” I asked him.

“Us?” He asked frowning.

“My brothers and I,” I answered.

“How many brothers do you have?” He asked me.

“Six soon to be seven,” I answered, “But right now it’s just five of us with Da and Uncle Ben.”

“Shit, how old?” Cole said, “And I’m assuming your mom is still in the picture?”

“The youngest with us is going to be six soon. I have one older brother and he’s 12 and he’s going to be 13 in December,” I answered.

“So, he’s my age, why haven’t I seen him?” Cole asked.

“Da says he’s sick. I don’t think he is but Da won’t let any of us see him,” I answered.

Cole bit his bottom lip thoughtfully and look on his face like he was in pain. Like he knew what these things meant. Like he understood something I didn’t making me sigh.

“Listen, be patient with your brother when he comes back,” Cole said “Just…”

I cut him off, “I know what he’s doing in there ok? He’s done it his whole life. And now I’m doing it too.”

“What?” He asked me.

“My uncle,” I said not able to look him in the eyes, “he’s…he and Dad said something about a contract so I hacked Da’s emails ok? I know what it means.”

“They’ve contracted you to him?” Cole said shaking his head me only able to see the movement through my bangs, “That’s not good. Listen you need to be careful ok? He’ll break ribs if you don’t do what he says. If you make him angry enough. Always do what he tells you. Always.”

“I know he’s my…” Cole cut me off this time.

“No, you don’t know. Not like I do but you will. If he wants to be really nasty he’ll break your arm or restrain you using a metal bar on your neck. You won’t be able to lift your head at all, you won’t be able to see him but you’ll feel him and he’ll make it hurt. Your uncle is nasty, he’s nasty piece of work.”

“He would barely let me upstairs yesterday,” I said to him, “Don’t tell me what he is. I already know. He went to go hug me as one of my little brothers walked out of the living room yesterday and I told him not to because he's easy to read, it’s easy to see what he’s thinking unless you’re stupid. And he told me it wasn’t my place to tell him what to do and that he needs to because he has to reprogram them and get rid of all the bullshit they’ve been fed by normal people.”

Cole snorted, “Yeah sounds like Ben all right. There are worse people out there like my Dad for instance or Pat’s Dad but your uncle can be horrible.”

“He says bad things. Sometimes I don’t think he even knows I’m me or that I’m a real person,” I said.

“Well, they don’t think of us as people I’m pretty sure. If they did they wouldn’t drill holes in people and then fuck them until they’re dead,” Cole said causing me to look up noticing his eyes were wet, “A friend.”

He said it so quietly I almost didn’t hear it. I could feel the pain radiating off him like the heat from the sun radiates off pavement long after the sun sets causing stream to hit the night air as you look at it. I wanted to comfort him, to tell him I was sorry. To tell him I knew. That I might not know personally but that I knew.

“A really good friend?” I asked quietly and he just smiled and nodded his head.

“We did everything together,” He said frowning at something above my head. The expression on his face like he was looking off in the distance if there hadn’t been a solid wall behind me, “I’d known him since before. He was my first sleep over, my first-hand hold, my first…” He paused wiping at his eyes, “my first kiss.”

“I’m sorry. They really kill people huh?” I asked him.

“Yeah, have you ever heard your uncle mentioned the Thai bitch?” He asked me.

“Yes,” I said, “What does that mean.”

“He was a kid, maybe 11 or 12. My Dad and your Uncle went to Thailand together. They went on a trip to find kids. They found a boy like I said maybe 11 or 12 and they kept him locked up for months. He used to scream my Dad said. Scream so loud just like he likes but your Uncle doesn’t like crying. He hates it usually. The kid cried too much and your Uncle paid my Dad to take care of it. My dad laughed as he recalled over the phone to your uncle how he broke every one of the kids ribs as he screamed and begged for him to stop and then he took a two by four and hit him over and over until his insides were outside. Just hearing about it made me gag.”

“So, they’re dangerous?” I asked him and he nodded his head.

“How many people are involved in this?” I asked Cole.

“I don’t know. I know a couple CEO’s, Senators, Judges, Police officers, my dad is a fucking social worker. So probably lots. I know the big L as we call him sometimes is a CEO of some kind but I don’t know of what. I just know he likes being with everyone but the younger the better.”

“What?” I asked shocked.

“Yeah, I mean he won’t take anyone with a v-card intact but, he likes them young, 10 and under are his favorite. Really anyone he finds attractive if they are potty trained,” Cole said.

“I have three little brothers at home right now that are 8 and 6 years old are you telling me some guy wants to rape them? That he wants to…”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying. I’m sorry but it’s the truth ok?” Cole said shaking his head.

“Is there anything I can do to stop them?” I asked him.

“Not that I can think of,” Cole answered, “Just keep an eye out for your brothers, especially your older brother. He really cares about you guys.”

“I know he does he’s been taking care of me my whole life,” I said again smiling at some of the good memories, “Life wasn’t easy when we were really little our mum and Da used to fight all the time. He used to take me outside, John and play tag with me if he could. If it was too late or they wouldn’t let him leave the house he’d hide me in the closet tell me, it was a game that the one who could be the most silent would win. And then he’d cough or something after a while, after the fighting stopped and give me a Reese pieces as my prize for winning. John’s good. He’s a good brother. He’s always tried to take care of me even when he’s hurting.”

“Seems like you might have been doing some taking care of him as well,” Cole said smiling sadly at me.

“Back home, in London I mean,” I sighed, “Da was…he liked touching me. He was there to get better but he wasn’t getting better. I shared a room with John but I was always so quiet he never knew. I’ll never tell him.”

“How old were you?” Cole asked, “I mean when your Dad…”

“When he just started touching me like that? I don’t even remember like five or six maybe. I know it was before they raped him, before we left here. I was eight the first time either of them ever…” I swallowed, “Just like John.”

“Weird, how much money does your Dad make?” Cole asked me.

“A lot,” I answered.

“Ok well, there’s like this weird level system in place in the brotherhood it’s based on a couple different things but the main thing is money. The more money a person has in the brotherhood the more privilege they have and in turn their sons or kids have. Or at least that’s what they want all of us to think. You’ll probably be a four or a five even though fives are rare like your Dad would have to have millions of dollars per child for you to be fives. You and your brothers,” Cole said.

“So, we’re fives then,” I said shrugging my shoulders to which Cole let out a long whistle.

“You might get treated better than probably explains why they didn’t rip up your v card when you were like 3. Even though I think they only do it that young to like ones and twos which explains why a lot of them die really young,” Cole said.

“I still can’t get over the fact they kill people,” I muttered to myself.


“Not people bottoms,” Cole said me hearing the word for the first time, “We’re bottoms we’re less than human until we hit 25. Our bodies, our minds, everything about us belongs to them. If you ever forget they will try their best to remind you really quick.”

“I already don’t feel human, I feel like a spit container,” I answered him.

“ you mean?” Cole asked raising his eyebrows at me and I felt the heat rush to my face.

“Is that not something they do?” I asked hugging myself.

“Oh no, they do just…you make it sound like he’s very liberal with it. I mean usually they use it as a tactic to keep you quiet. Make you think that it’s something you want. You want to know the secret? A body is a body it wouldn’t matter if you’re great Aunt Fiona was touching it she does it the right way it’s going to respond,” Cole said.

I frowned. I never talked about anyone in my family really and the idea he mentioned my great Aunt Fiona freaked me out. Who was this guy and how did he know that? He must have seen it written all over my face because Cole gave me a raised eyebrow look of confusion.

“What’s wrong?” He asked me.

“How did you know I have a great Aunt Fiona?” I asked.

“Oh,” He said then laughed loudly, “I didn’t it was a joke. And since I do I really hope she’s never…”

“No, she hasn’t it’s been forever since I’ve seen her and she’s like super old,” I answered.

“Ok but you get what I’m saying right?” he asked me gently concern in his eyes.

“Yeah I get it. But why all the time?” I asked him not able to look at him anymore out of shame.

“Some of them…well…they like doing it,” Cole said, “I’ve been contracted to guys before who… I mean sure it’s embarrassing but it’s not your fault. It’s a natural reaction. You think it’s intense now wait until you’re able to cum. You’ll hate it even more then.”
“I did,” I answered, “He…and I…he did.”

“Oh, kid I’m sorry,” Cole said.

“No, it’s…it’s not. I just hated it even more. Before I came here I’d only ever had sex with Da the one time.”

“How many times has it happened since you got here?” He asked me.

I sighed and lifted three fingers. I didn’t want to talk about that. I realized it was my new reality that it was something that would happen just like brushing my teeth. I wasn’t happy about it but, I thought I would live with it. I thought I would get used to it.
“And you’ve been here what a week?” he asked me.

“Almost two,” I said shrugging my shoulders.

“That’s towing the line of almost too much for someone your age,” Cole said shaking his head, “Listen I can…I have a friend he can get you some stuff. I mean usually I wouldn’t for someone your age but considering what’s going on in that house and who your uncle is I’ll do it if you want me to.”

“What?” I felt my face contort with confusion.

“Something to make it easier for you. Some chemical help,” He clarified.

“No,” I said shaking my head, “My younger brothers I have to clear headed to look out for them. I walked in on Da raping my youngest brother the night after we got here. It was…he was crying begging him to stop because it hurt. For me it doesn’t hurt as bad anymore but, I remember that feeling. Of what did I do? Why is he…why is he hurting me?”

“I’m sorry,” Cole said.

“Do you do anything besides run from people?” He asked me.

“I wasn’t running I was going for a walk because I couldn’t stand to be in the same house as him anymore,” I sighed, “I read.”

“That’s something most guys your age don’t do. What do you read?” He asked me.

“All kinds of things, Harry Potter, Lord of the rings, eye of the world, Northern lights, The Lion the witch and the wardrobe, Mists of Avalon, into the land of the unicorns, all kinds,” I answered.

“Why so much Fantasy?” He asked.

“Because I like it when the bad guy gets what he deserves because I have a feeling real life doesn’t work that way. Otherwise my Da would have already gotten caught,” I answered, “So I like to pretend that they get what they deserve the first time they hurt someone.”

“Yeah if only right? Too bad real life isn’t a place where things are fair because if they were my Dad would be dead. Justin would be alive, this would be better. Different,” Cole sighed, “If he’s your holder though you’re going to want to get back and my Dad is going to be wondering where I am for once in his life. Or at least Pat will be.”

“Who is Pat?” I asked curious.

“A friend not like Justin. Justin was my boyfriend but, a good friend,” Cole said giving a small smile.

“Wait boyfriend?” I asked.

“Yeah, I’m gay man,” Cole said his smile turning into a smirk, “You didn’t know?”

“You’re 13 you said so how can you know?” I asked him.

“Well, in about a year or so you’ll figure it out,” Cole said, “Does it bother you that I’m gay?”

“No,” I said shaking my head, “I went to boarding school.”

I had gone to boarding school and there were kids up to the age of 16 there. I knew what gay was. I had once walked into the bathroom and seen what gay was in action when I was seven and then the kids had explained to me that it wasn’t anything bad that they were making each other feel nice. I still didn’t believe it felt nice not after what my Da had done, how it had felt like I was being ripped in two how it was still uncomfortable when my Uncle did it.

“I’ve heard those rumors I didn’t think they were true,” He answered, “And aren’t you a little young?”

“It wasn’t me I walked in on some older guys. Not everyone does it but I guess it does happen sometimes,” I answered, “How can you like that though? I mean …”

“Well when you’re relaxed and it’s with someone you want to be with it feels a lot different you know that little zap as they hit your prostate? It can feel fucking mind blowing when you’re into it mentally isn’t just physical it’s mental too. Everything is better when it’s with someone you want trust me,” He said.

“It’s kind of hard to when to me it feels like I’m trying to crap in reverse,” I said making him laugh loudly again.

“God you’re funny,” Cole said shaking his head at me, “If you bear down like you’re trying to shit it actually doesn’t hurt that bad and it kind of like makes it easier for your body to collapse into it I guess would be a good way to put it because it helps open up your muscles so it’s easier for them to get in. That Usually gets it over with quicker.”

“Either way it doesn’t sound like fun to me,” I answered.

“Well no, being fucked by Ben is not fun but if you know how to push his buttons like he enjoys pushing yours you can get it over with faster. Want some pointers?” He asked me.

“Sure,” I answered.

“If you rub him before he starts, you know give him a handy it usually cuts off about two minutes or so and he can go for a long time so anything that will cut off some time is helpful. If you let him kiss you, and make yourself pliable it’s better, easier just let him tell you where to move or move you himself, try to stretch before he…you know. Huh, what else? Don’t fight back obviously unless he tells you to then give it everything you have those times he won’t last very long he likes the fight it turns him on. Don’t ever say the words no don’t or stop he doesn’t like hearing those very much but begging him just like a please…please…he enjoys that. He likes kissing. He likes showing off how much control he has over you. So, if you really wanted to or felt you could deal with the fall out let him make out with you in front of people, touch you, order you around it all makes it easier.”

“I can’t do that. I can’t let people just…” Cole cut me off.

“Oh, you mean your brothers? They’ll eventually see if whether you want them to or not. And your Uncle won’t be the only one they make you be with. The brotherhood passes us around like some people do trading cards. It’s not very fun or nice but it happens. Ben likes to host parties and guess who gets to be the party favors? All the bottoms he knows. So, get ready for that because it won’t be long before he makes you do stuff like that. You have maybe a couple months left where he won’t but after that he’ll throw other people into the mix, other bottoms, Ben is into orgies so…”

I cut him off, “What? Are you telling me he’s going to make me do it with other people? I can’t do that, I can’t even…with him barely how am I supposed to…? I can’t do That, I can’t,” I said starting to panic.

“I didn’t mean to upset you Will but, just get ready because it will get worse,” Cole said, “You should really go if you didn’t tell him you were leaving because he won’t be happy and he likes to whip when he’s mad so…”

“Yeah ok,” I said nodding my head and he allowed me to climb down first my legs feeling stiff when I got to the ground for having been in such a cramped space with him sitting in the same position.

“I’ll probably see you at school on Monday. I guess it really depends on what grade you’re in but, I’ll see you around for sure one way or another.”

“Yeah well like you said I should probably get going,” I said, “See you.”

I started walking towards home. I almost wanted to book it just because I wasn’t sure he was lying about the whipping part or not and I wasn’t sure I wanted to find out, however I was less than thrilled to be going back home. When I got to the kitchen door I waited a minute running a hand nervously through my hair before I opened it stepping inside the kitchen. I figured Cole was probably right, that I was in trouble but, I had no idea just how much until that moment.

Chapter Text

When I walked into the kitchen I froze like a deer in the headlights. He was sitting there a cup of coffee in one hand as he stared at the door his expression menacing as I walked in. I knew I was in huge trouble his eyes never seeming colder as he offered an angry strained smile slamming his coffee cup down on the counter coffee plopping over the edge of his cup onto the counter.

“And where the fuck were you?” He hissed at me.

“I…I went for a walk,” I answered him quietly my eyes down under the intensity of his gaze.

“Did I say you could leave? Did your Da say you could leave?” He spat at me coming over and grabbing me hard by the shoulders pushing me into the wall hard enough my head bounced off the wall behind me causing tears to instantly spring to my eyes, the pain blinding me as my brain felt like it rebounded off my skull.

“Well did he? Did I!” He asked again.

“No,” I said my eyes still trained on my feet afraid to look at him directly, afraid to see the hate there.

“You don’t leave without telling anyone you understand me? You don’t leave without asking if you can leave. You’re mine you understand me, this,” He said yanking me by my hair forcing my head up roughly, “All of it is mine! You understand MINE!” He yelled in my face before punching me in the stomach causing me to bowl over in pain grabbing my stomach as my legs gave out under me as my crying ceased for a minute the wind having been punched roughly from my lungs when his fist impacted with my stomach.

His foot came up above my side and he stopped in midair like he was about to stomp on me, cocking his head to side like he was thinking about it. He sighed lowering his foot back to the ground without making impact against my side instead bending down and picking me up carrying me down the basement stairs in his arms where he dropped me hard on my ass on the ground making me whimper quietly before I started crying again.

“I’M SORRY!!!” I managed to sob loudly as he grabbed me by my hair again tugging on it hard dragging me over to the bed by it and throwing me down face first into the mattress.

I didn’t dare lift my head instead opting to stay where I was burying my face into the comforter under me as sobs racked my body the bruises darkening by the second as he busied himself in the room doing something. After a minute I felt his weight straddle me something poking my shirt before I heard the snip of scissors cutting my shirt off my body.

“I don’t believe you’re sorry,” Ben hissed in a deathly whisper, “But you will be, I promise.”

I curled in on myself even farther until he punched me in the kidney yanking me to the side so that I rolled over, laying on my back him yanking off my still slightly damp jeans and underwear in one swift motion as he pulled his belt out of his belt loops. He looped it in his hand pulling it taunt a snapping sound hitting the air making me flinch and cower in fear.

“Should I? Or should I do something else?” He asked more himself than me as I dared a look at his face, “Yeah.”

He said it to himself again nodding his head as he shifted his weight pulling pillows off the bed and throwing them on the floor pulling me up towards the head of the bed by my arms not caring he was hurting me before he forced me flat into the bed something sharp and metal like being clasped around my neck like a collar holding me taunt against the bed.

“Wh-what are you doing?” I asked trying to find a hold on the collar to keep it from digging into my neck, trying to find a way to slip my fingers under it so I could put some room between the collar and my throat.

“You’ll find out,” He muttered leaving my line of sight as I tried to sit up my throat hitting the collar keeping me down causing me to choke as I whimpered shaking my right foot back and forth out of anxiety and to distract me from the pain in my side, stomach and head as I heard a humming noise coming from somewhere in the room.

My first thought was is that a drill? Has he gone like crazy pyscho dentist on me or something? Is he going to saw off my arm or something? I couldn’t figure out what the sound was and I couldn’t look to see what the source of it was either, the not knowing causing my panic to grow but me barely able to struggle at all.

“Please I’m really sorry, please don’t hurt me, please Uncle Ben I’m sorry I won’t do it again please,” I begged tears freely falling down my face as I gripped the sides of my head feeling my hair, not sure what else to do with my hands.
“No you’re not you little shit,” He hissed at me bending over me his face inches from mine the smell of his breath like coffee and something else, something hot and like cinnamon.

Whatever it was in his hand that was buzzing he put against my thigh and I tensed expecting it to cut me but found in only vibrated causing me to frown in confusion before he smiled at the look at on my face disappearing from my sight line and prying my thighs apart before he started to shove whatever it was roughly up my ass my whole body screaming as I screamed. It felt like I was being ripped apart like he was taking a knife and twisting it just as he pushed it inside working it slowly into my body making me screech in pain me barely able to breathe my snot and tears not helping at all. He turned whatever it was on full blast sending a shock of pleasure through my over used and abused system my whole body collapsing as I found my voice died.

“There we go,” He cooed running his hands through my hair, “There we go. That will make you feel better. Maybe you’ll be a good boy now? Huh?”

I didn’t like it. I didn’t like that it felt like it was making my insides jingle while everything around it burned but whatever it was touching inside tickled, my chest heaving with effort to breathe. Was he trying to kill me? What was he doing? I didn’t like it I hated it and I couldn’t see it and could only see his face above me his one hand sliding through my hair as I cried as I wanted to beg him to stop to take whatever it was out but I wasn’t able to find my voice my throat raw from screaming and sobbing, from begging and being squeezed too tightly by the collar holding me to the bed.

“This is what we call over stimulation. Your body is feeling too many things at once. It’s not sure what to do, you’re brain probably isn’t sure what to do either,” He said quietly, “Usually I’m not a fan of it but, maybe this will help the lesson stick, that you’re mind that you don’t do anything without asking me first. That includes leaving this house to go anywhere but school. Now I’m going to leave you here for a while and I want you to think carefully about that. To let it drill into your skull just gently enough it tickles you like this vibrator against your prostate you understand me?”

I would have moved my head and nodded if I could have but instead I was frozen, trapped inside my body that thing shocking me over and over as it moved against one of the most sensitive parts of me leaving me speechless and gasping. He moved out of line of sight and I didn’t see him again for what felt like forever. I didn’t hear him leave the room. I didn’t hear him come back.

IT felt like I couldn’t hear anything over the buzzing of the toy inside me. I was only made aware of when he came back when his hand started caressing my balls making me stop breathing completely for a second the sensation feeling like fire traveling over my skin from the inside starting at my toes and moving it way up making me make a small whimper my lips trembling and my tears becoming so consistent I wouldn’t have been able to see him if he had been in my line of sight.

I remember it almost stinging, that it was so intense it almost hurt right on the edge of that point where it was pain blurring into pleasure my brain screaming at me to do something, do anything to get to stop and me not being able to even speak, to tell him no that he was hurting me. That I didn’t want this, that I was tired and my head still hurt and it felt heavy and I just wanted it to all stop so I could sleep as my head started to pulse with my heart beat as I felt warmness engulf me causing my body to trembling and shudder his nails digging into my hips as he kissed and licked and sucked him not stopping until I had a shudder rip through my entire system twice, until I was close to a third and I started to feel light headed started feeling myself falling asleep and then I heard it turn off.

My eyes were starting to close when he smacked me across the face causing my eyes to snap open, “None of that baby, come on stay with me.”

I blinked at him confused. I remember feeling confused wondering why he was smacking me, why he hadn’t punished me enough. Wondering what he wanted. Wondering why, if it was because I had done something else wrong.

“Come on baby,” He said unlocking the collar from around my neck and pulling me up, “No sleeping yet ok? I think you might have hit your head a little hard against that wall, you look really tired.”

He pulled me into his lap spreading his legs so he could settle me between them resting my head on his chest using his body to force me into a sitting position the pressure inside of me shifting the thing still in there, “Can you talk to me baby? Say something?” He asked me his lips moving against my temple as he whispered the words into skin.

“I’m sorry,” I crocked out.

“I know,” He said nodding his head, “Me too. I’m sorry too. I was so worried about you though. What if something bad had happened to you? What if someone took you from me? I wouldn’t have known for hours. What if you had gotten hit by a car? Baby you have to understand I was more scared than angry ok?”

“My head hurts,” I mumbled.

“I know,” He said, “I’m sorry you smacked your head.”

“I’m tired,” I said my eyes starting to close again.

“No, no, no,” He said sitting up straighter causing me to sit up straighter, “You can’t fall asleep not for a little while ok? We have to make sure your brain is ok. Here, let’s stand up.”

“I can’t,” I muttered clutching his forearm as he shifted to get out of bed, “It hurts I can’t.”

“You have to baby ok? We’ll go get in the hot tub by the pool ok? It’ll help you relax but I’ll make sure you stay awake ok?” he said finally getting off the bed and pulling me forward supporting my weight as I felt his hand go up the back of my thigh.
“NO!” I moaned pitifully.

“I’m not going to do that, I’m taking it out ok?” He said pulling on the thing causing my body to burn again making me whimper, “I know, I know its ok. I was a little rougher than I should I have been I’m sorry. But that was just to show you what a stranger might do to you if they took you away ok? They might really hurt you. Just hold on it’s almost out.”

It slid out and he set it on the bed his finger almost breaching my hole before he pulled it away looking at it closely and smiling a little as he sighed with relief, “No blood that’s good. I was afraid maybe I had made you bleed. Ok, let’s get in the hot tub ok baby? It’ll help you not hurt so badly.”

I didn’t bother to respond as he picked me up in his arms again taking me up the stairs and through the living room naked and into the pool room him turning suddenly making my world spin like I was on a tilt-a-whirl.

“Oh, you scared me,” He sighed.

“What the hell did you do?!” My dad exclaimed, “I thought you said you had it under control Ben what the fuck?”

“He’s fine really, I got a little upset because he went for a walk and didn’t ask. We need to know where he is,” Ben replied.

“He looks like he’s out of it what did you do?” Da asked him.

“Nothing he won’t recover from I’m more worried that he hit his head on the wall honestly,” My uncle said.

“How hard?” Da asked him.

“Hard enough he bounced off it,” He answered.

“Ok,” Da sighed and I felt a hand on my head running through my hair, “A little bump on the back of his head. Will can you open your eyes for me honey?”

I felt like the room was spinning and I didn’t think opening my eyes was going to help me in any sense. I was tired my ass felt like it was on fire my prostate was doing something weird causing me to feel like my insides were twitching and my abs ached from where I had been punched and had the wind knocked out of me. I really wasn’t in the mood to open my eyes, speak or move my head. He sighed pulling my right eyelid open.

“I’m going to get my pen light and make sure his pupils are reactive if they aren’t we’re going to have to take him to the hospital,” Da sighed walking away.

“You’re fine aren’t you baby?” Ben muttered shifting my weight putting me on my feet having me stand.

“I feel sick,” I told him as my stomach started to churn the swaying of the room increasing to an uncomfortable level.

“Oh shit,” He said grabbing me catching me. I hadn’t even been aware I was falling, that I wasn’t holding my own body weight up my eyes wide was I tried to get them to focus my whole body shaking, “You’re ok, pull it together. Pull it together or we’re going to have to take you to the hospital ok? I need you to be a big boy baby come on…”

I shifted my eyes up to look at his face too quickly feeling my body react to the movement my stomach contents climbing up my throat before I threw up all over my Uncles chest, “Connor grab him some clothes we’re going to the hospital!” He shouted.

After that I don’t remember much. I remember the car moving, but I don’t remember them putting clothes on me, or helping me put any on myself. I remembering someone shinning a light in my eyes but I don’t remember them saying anything, I remember hearing people talking and bright lights every time I opened my eyes until I don’t remember anymore. My brain must have given out I guess, the throbbing pulsing pain too much for my body to handle.

The next thing I remember someone pulled my eyelid back causing my blink and try to pull away, “No wait a second there William I just need to check your eyes again make sure they are responsive,” A stranger in a white lab coat said above me smiling, “ok good you’re reactive I think you’re going to be ok.”

“Why did he throw up if he’s going to be ok?” I heard Uncle Ben ask.

“Well,” The doctor sighed turning away from me and towards him, “Sometimes when you smack your head, you get dizzy and sometimes being dizzy makes you sick to your stomach which would cause one to sometimes throw up. You see where I’m going with this Ben?”

“I’m telling you it was an accident,” Ben said from where ever he was standing.

“An accidental skull fracture because you accidentally shoved a 10 year old into a wall where he accidentally hit his head? You are so fucking lucky we have Hank to help take care of this or you would be in a world of trouble. You’re his contract holder it’s your job to take care of him. This isn’t Thailand where no one cares this kid isn’t a one, hell until he gets that brand he isn’t even in yet. You need to go back to Larkin or something, anything because this can’t happen again,” The guy said harshly.

“I have a skull fracture?” I asked interrupting Ben’s lecture.

“I’m Doctor Palmer, and yes, you have a skull fracture. Would you like to tell me how that happened?” He asked me.

I looked at my Uncle uncertain. This guy was obviously brotherhood or working for them but, that didn’t mean I could say what I wanted to. Saying the wrong thing might get me another punch to the stomach and I didn’t want that or worse yet that thing shoved back inside me again where I still felt raw.

“Go ahead, tell him no one can hear us the water tap is on,” My Uncle sighed from the chair he was sitting on.

“I left without asking,” I said not making eye contact.

“How did you get the skull fracture though?” He asked me quietly, “He won’t be allowed to hurt you again, not like that ok?”

“He was scared that something bad might have happened to me and he got upset. He pushed me into the wall and I hit my head then he hit me in the stomach and pulled my hair. He took me downstairs.”

Doctor Palmer’s eyes went back to my Uncle and I heard him grunt, “Are you kidding me? You dragged him down to your sex dungeon by his hair? What else did you do to him?”

“Showed him what some people might do if they got a hold of him,” Ben shrugged his shoulders.

“Did you at least prep him or did you just push in, ripping him? Because you said you had it under control and it’s seeming like you don’t,” The doctor huffed.

“It was a …toy,” I said barely above a whisper.

“Did he stretch you out first or did he just shove it in?” The doctor asked me this time.

“It hurt a lot,” I answered him.

“Ok,” He said going over to the wall and grabbing two latex gloves out of a box hanging on the wall, “I need you to lay on your stomach.”

“What?” I asked.

“I have to check, if you have a fissure or a tear it could cause problems so I have to check. You can either lay on your stomach or I can take the bed down and use stirrups but if I do that it might get me some questions so if you could lay on your stomach it would be better,” The doctor said giving me a small smile and I sighed and allowed him to help me roll over.

“Ok now, this is going to feel a little cold and uncomfortable as I’m sure you know I’ll try to be quick just breath in your nose and out your mouth as I take a look,” Dr. Palmer said, “And one…two…three”

He said counting me down as he stuck his finger inside me causing my breath to catch, “I know you’re doing well though I’m almost…and done.”

He removed his finger the stinging fresh setting my body on fire again as he put a sheet over my waist, “You did really good. There’s not tearing or fissures but it does look raw I’d say two or three days on a stool soften and then no sex for about a week.”
“You mean no anal?” Ben questioned.

“No, no sex period give the kid a break he’s tired look at him he has bags under his eyes. The kid needs some breathing space. And we both know you can get a little overzealous when you have a new boy so just give him some room ok?” Dr. Palmer said to him.

“Yeah, got it,” Ben said curtly.

“Tell Connor he needs to wake him up every four hours just ask basic questions, who is the president of the united states, ask him what the date his, his name, he’ll ask him to list his siblings and their names and ages that should be hard enough without a concussion so if he can do that he’s probably doing good. Have him take Motrin I’m going to give him 800’s every four hours or as needed because in the next couple of days he’s going to have the biggest head ache of his life,” Dr. Palmer said.

“Are we done then?” Ben asked.

“Yeah I’ll be back with after care paperwork in a second, don’t go anywhere,” He said turning off the faucet and opening the door.

“You know I’m sorry right?” He asked me not coming near me but staying seated where he was as I turned my head looking in his direction.

“I know,” I answered him quietly.

“Well, you’ll be happy to know that your Da thought of this when we drew up the contract. He wanted a three strikes clause and he told me as I loaded you into the car this was strike one,” Ben said.

“How does all of that work?” I asked him.

“You mean contracting? It’s basically your Da and me signing an agreement I get in a say in different things in your life. Where you go to school, if you have afterschool activities, which ones, who you can hang out with, which adults spend time with you. How much time I get to spend with you what games we can play, sometimes even diets are covered mine isn’t that comprehensive it just says mostly what I have a say in what I don’t have a say in and how I can and cannot treat you.,” He said, “I’m not supposed to be violent with you but if I do injure you I have a three strikes clause I injure you severely three times and our contract is void. This, well a skull fracture is a pretty big injury so it would be one strike. It won’t happen again though,” He summed up.

“Oh,” I replied not sure what to say.

So they basically had signed a piece of paper saying that Uncle Ben was in charge of my life. Of what I could and couldn’t do including whether I could go to school or not. Was it a legal thing of some kind of just an organization thing I wondered but was too afraid to ask? However, the word contract made it sound official to my ten year old brain, made it sound like it was a legal thing.

“Are you still mad at me? For leaving without asking you?” I questioned him.

“No, I’m madder at myself now because I hurt you so badly and I didn’t mean to. I let my tempter get the best of me and it was a mistake. I should have known better,” He said just as Dr. Palmer reappeared with a bunch of paperwork for Uncle Ben to look at and sign before he helped me down off the exam table and we walked out into the parking lot.

We stopped at Taco bell on the way home for some food for just the two of us and headed home him being extra nice to me as we did so. Keep his hands to himself and trying not to shoot lingering glances my way. I still felt nervous being that close to him, feeling the heat come off his body in waves as he gripped the shifter in-between us so hard his knuckles were white like he was fighting himself some impulse is was having trouble not giving into.

“So…,” He said after a while of silence, “Are you looking forward to your school tour tomorrow?”

“I guess,” I answered shrugging my shoulders. What was I supposed to say? Sure I’m looking forward to meeting the old men who want to grope me who you’ll probably share me with? I mean what kind of answer was he looking for.

“You guess? Your Da told me you loved school back in the UK,” He said.

“Yeah I liked school back home that doesn’t mean I’ll like it here,” I answered.

“True enough,” Ben said as we pulled into the drive way me grabbing my bag of two tacos and getting out going up to the room I shared with James and laying down on the bed eating my food.

I didn’t do much that night. My head hurt too much to really keep my eyes open but it also hurt too much to really sleep Ben coming in a couple times as James slept soundly beside me giving me a pill and making me take a sip of water or two before leaving again. He did actually make me list my siblings once or twice to see if I was aware. My head pounding on and off in the darkness as I tried to sleep.

Chapter Text

When I woke up I pulled off my shirt to go get dressed just as James was wiping the sleep from his eyes stopping with his fist half way to his face looking at me shocked as I turned to go out into the hallway and go to the bathroom.

“What?” I asked him.

“What happened to your tummy?” He asked me as I looked down at my black and blue stomach and sighed.

“I was bad so I got hurt,” I answered simply not wanting to talk about it or think about it thinking better of walking around the house shirtless and rummaging through my suit case grabbing a change of clothes before I attempted to leave again.

“What did you do that was so bad Da hurt you?” He asked me quietly.

“It wasn’t Da it was Uncle Ben,” I said, “Remember they took me away for a while yesterday?

“Yeah,” He said.

“I hit my head really hard. He got mad because I went for a walk and I hit my head really hard on the wall and he hurt my stomach so…,” I shrugged my shoulders.

“He did bad things too,” James said causing me to sigh and close my eyes tightly. Now wasn’t the time to have that discussion we had to get ready for our school tour. We had to pretend we were normal.

“Hurting me and making me hit my head on the wall is pretty bad,” I answered, “I’ll be back in a couple minutes you should get dressed. Lock the door behind me ok?”

“Because of them?” He asked me quietly.

“Yeah bud, just to be safe ok?” I answered him.

“Ok, is John coming with us too?” He asked, “On the school tour?”

“I don’t know,” I answered honestly, “I’ll be back in a little bit.”

I shut the door behind me and waited until I heard the lock slide into place before I went down the hall to the bathroom. I didn’t want anyone to have a chance to grab him, to throw him down and hurt him while they lied to him, told him he would be ok, that everything was fine. Nothing was fine. If things were fine I wouldn’t have to tell him to lock the door or worry about locking the bathroom door once I stripped off my clothes. I wouldn’t have to worry about where my older brother was and where they were keeping him prisoner, if he was ok or not.

I wanted desperately to see him, to tell him what was going on that Uncle Ben was hurting me. That he had broken my skull. That he could have killed me and the only thing he had to say about was that he was sorry and it wouldn’t happen again. That Da had said nothing on the matter at all. That I felt like that meant I didn’t warrant concern. That Da had given me to uncle Ben to have sex with, to make me feel like I was less than human, like I wasn’t important and that worst of all I knew it was my fault. That I had let it all happen.

I thought those things as I quickly showered and dressed opening the door to find Mikey standing outside it crossing his legs doing a dance that made me smile slightly, “Have to pee?” I asked him.

“Yeah, move!” He said pushing past me as I laughed shutting the door behind me.

I might have found them annoying and they might have bothered the crap out of me with their stupid questions that only god knows where they came up with those but I loved them. I loved looking at their faces their green eyes and dark blond hair, a completely different shade from mine and James’. I loved the fact that they were so short compared to me that I seemed almost as tall as John even though I was nearly fifteen months younger than he was. To me they looked like kids just like I thought I looked like a kid, limbs that seemed slightly too long for their tiny bodies and heads with cheeks that seemed a little too full even though they weren’t anywhere near fat. All soft edges and chubby faces and bodies. Nothing angular about any of us yet. Nothing sexy or handsome but, cute.

I went back to the bedroom and knocked on the door where James opened it fully dressed holding a hair brush and running it through his half brushed blond locks bristle side towards the ceiling making me smile, “Bud you’re using it the wrong way.”
“Huh?” He replied tilting his head up to look at it, “Oh.” He responded turning it back around continuing to brush his hair.

“I thought you knew how to brush your hair already,” I told him.

“I do you distracted me, but I still don’t get how you tie,” He said.

“You’re shoes?” I asked him.

“Yeah I keep trying but it’s hard,” He said.

“I wouldn’t worry about it too much still you have a little bit. And I thought you knew how to do that already too,” I answered.

“I did but, I forgot,” He said.

I snorted back a laugh as I dug through my own suit case looking for my comb, which I preferred to a brush, “How do you forget how to tie your shoes?”

“I don’t know, I just did,” he answer shrugging his shoulders, “So we’re going to school today right?”

“Yeah I think we’re going after breakfast,” I answered him.

“Uncle Ben isn’t taking you away after breakfast like he seems to like doing?” He asked me as I felt the heat rise in my face.

“Don’t talk about that,” I said shaking my head at him.

“Why? He does,” James pointed out.

“I’m not saying he doesn’t I’m just saying right now we shouldn’t talk about that. Ok? That should only be talked about at home when we’re staying at home when we’re going to go out somewhere we should just play pretend ok? Just act like it doesn’t happen,” I said.

“You mean like how Da said we should pretend John is sick so the people at the school don’t ask questions about why he’s not with us?” He asked me.

“When did you talk to Da?” I asked him.

“Last night at dinner after Uncle Ben took you to see the doctor because you got sick. He said we should tell anyone if they ask that John is sick too and that’s why he’s not with us. That’s why he’s not starting school when we start,” James answered me.

“What do you mean he’s not starting school with us?” I asked him my stomach dropping.

That’s when I knew something was really wrong. I didn’t know what it was but, that’s why they were keeping us from him, that’s why I hadn’t seen him in almost a week was because they were hiding something or because he really was that sick and they just didn’t want anyone to know. What was going on? Why couldn’t I have my brother? They had taken my mum from me, and my youngest siblings that made me feel happy so why couldn’t I be with him when he was right there? Why couldn’t I spend time with him at least he knew how I felt.

“Well, Da said he’s not starting school with us, he didn’t say why,” James answered me.

“Ok,” I said, “Are you ready to go downstairs?” I asked James and he nodded his head, “Do you think they’ll give us waffles? I’m tired of pancakes I don’t like them.”

“What? I thought you enjoyed pancakes,” I said to him.

“Not the kind here they make my tummy hurt,” He answered me, “I want waffles.”

“Well, I don’t even know who made breakfast for all I know I’m making breakfast and if that’s the case we’re having scrambled eggs and regular toast,” I told him.

“I’m ok with that, as long as it’s not pancakes,” He replied.

“Ok, deal,” I answered back taking his hand as we walked down into the kitchen.

When we got there food was already made Da sitting down with Mikey and Matty Uncle Ben nowhere to be seen. Breakfast was not pancakes but not waffles either. It was French toast which I helped James stack onto his plate along with his eggs and bacon as we sat at the table, me reaching over a pour syrup over his French toast so he didn’t make a mess.

“Ok everyone is here…” Da got out before I cut him off.

“Ben’s not here,” I said.

“Uncle Ben you mean?” He asked me raising an eyebrow and I shrugged my shoulders.

“No he’s out but we’re going to talk about how to behave during the tour. You don’t talk about home what goes on here. You don’t talk unless someone asks you a question ok? I think we’re only touring the lower and middle campus or here I suppose most public schools call them elementary school and middle school because that’s where you guys would fall until next year when John ends up in the upper campus which is high school. So just keep your chatter down and don’t mention you’re alone time with me or your uncle while we are there ok?” Da said looking at everyone.

“But if it’s normal why not?” Matt asked.

“Because there are people who might be around who wouldn’t agree with it so we’re going to only talk about that type of stuff at home,” Da answered.

“Why don’t they agree with it?” He asked Da.

“Well, there are some people who believe that because you guys are young you shouldn’t know those things about your bodies and that it’s wrong to teach you that stuff but, it’s been proven that knowing those things benefit you in the long run. However it’s a private matter for at home. Like you guys remember when we talked about how mum got the babies in her belly?” He asked my brothers.

“Yeah how you’re swimming men helped the egg become a baby?” Mikey asked him.

“Yes, learning about our bodies is one of those conversations like that, we only have it at home,” Da said and their eyes all lit up in understanding.

“How did the swimming men get up there again and help the egg become babies?” James asked.

“Well…” Da said setting down his fork.

“Da’s penis,” I answered not looking up taking a bite of my food.

“Yes,” Da said nodding his head.

“How did the penis get into mum?” James asked, “Did you stick it in her butt too.”

Da sighed and smacked his own cheek lightly like he was trying to figure out what to say. I sighed. I didn’t want to tell him and it wasn’t my job but, he was the one who decided that putting his penis in people was his right so it only made sense to me he should explain it to my little brother.

“No, mum has a vagina and that’s where a penis goes on women or girls when they are old enough and that’s where the mum keeps her eggs that the swimming men turn into a baby,” He answered.

“So girls have them too?” James asked, “Like Catty?”

“Yes,” I answered, “You used to bathe with her don’t you remember?”

“Yeah but I just thought she was weird because she didn’t have a penis I didn’t know that was normal,” he announced to everyone, “I just thought it fell off.”

At that I snorted with laughter. That was funny. I thought that was golden. This is what happened when you decided that showing and doing was better than talking, your kid thought people’s genitals just fell off like it was no big deal.

“What made you think her penis fell off?” Da asked him curiously.

“Well I thought it fell off too because when she was born it looked like she had a penis in her tummy but then it just disappeared one day,” Mikey answered.

“That was her umbilical cord, that’s how a baby gets food while it’s in the mummy’s tummy,” Da answered, “I can see how that might make you think her penis fell off though but, that is supposed to fall off and when it does it makes a belly button.”

“Mummy’s feed tummy babies through their belly buttons?!” James asked his eyes wide with wonder.

“Yes,” Da said smiling his amusement showing, “I think I’ll get you guys a movie to watch about it later to cover other questions. But no talking about that stuff at school ok?”

“What’s the movie about?” James asked.

“Well it will tell you about how babies are made, what they are doing while they are in mummy’s tummy and how they get out of her tummy,” He answered.

“That sounds boring,” Matt said finishing his food and getting up to rinse his plate in the sink.

“I think it sounds cool,” James answered eating a piece of bacon.

“So no talking about that at school and John is sick ok?” He said.

“He’s not sick,” I braved, “You just don’t want us to see him.”

“No, he’s sick he’s really not feeling well so we’re going to have him start school a little later,” Da said.

“If he’s so sick why hasn’t been to the doctor?” I asked him.

Da sighed and nodded his head, “That’s a very good question and actually I think I’ll be taking him to the doctor shortly, in a couple of days. But leave John alone ok? He’s really tired.”

“I want to see him,” I said.

“Well,” Da said, “I don’t think that would be a good idea right now. I’ll let you know when you can see him though. But just know he’s ok he’s just sick all right?”

“Is he going to make us sick? Is that why we can’t see him?” Mikey asked Da.

“Yes,” Da said almost too excitedly at the suggestion, “That’s exactly right, smart boy Mikey.”

I sighed. He was lying. It was obvious to me he was lying but I didn’t know what to say about it. I felt like this whole thing had lies written all over it but I didn’t want to make Da angry or give him any reason to leave me alone with Uncle Ben not that he needed to have one and not that it mattered because I was contracted to Ben and I understood that meant I was his. That he could do whatever he wanted to me.

“Ok, is everyone ready? Because if so we should get going because our tour appointment is at 10,” He said as I grabbed Jay’s plate and my own and rinsed them off in the sink.

The car ride there was filled with music from some old radio station songs Da knew because he hummed to them under his breath. We found the school was only a 15 minute drive so it didn’t take us long to get there. The building looking almost like a castle or a fancy mansion bigger than our house where we saw a banner hanging outside the front gate that said “open house” and there were people with tables standing on the front lawn and kids our ages running around.

Da pulled into a small circular drive way and some guy came up to him and knocked on the door “valet?” He asked.

“Yes? Are you student here?” He asked.

“Yes sir, are you a special appointment? If so I can get father Barren to notify Headmaster Watson,” The guy said.

“Yes, tell him Mr. McGregor is here with four of his sons,” He said.

The kid motioned to another guy not too far away who was wearing a pair of black slacks and a button down his head red and bald sweating in the heat as he made his way over, “Yes?” He asked the boy curtly.

“This is Mr. McGregor he said he has a special appointment with his four sons?” The boy asked timidly as Da hopped out of the car and I made sure everyone else got out as he handed the keys over the other guy.

“Mr. McGregor! It’s a pleasure to finally meet you,” The bald dude said, “I’m Father Barren, excuse my lack of proper attire today but as you can see it’s quiet warm. Usually I’ll be in collar when I’m teaching. I teach Math in the middle and upper campus your brother has told me so much about you.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you too,” Da said shaking his hand, “John is home sick sadly but these are my younger boys, this is William, Mathew, Michael and James.”

“Aren’t they handsome well behaved young men,” He said smiling brightly at us, “Well, I’ll take you to Mr. Watson before you start your tour are the boys going to be joining us?”

“Yes,” He said, “I didn’t have anyone to watch them so I figured they could probably get out of the house they know to behave don’t you boys?”

“Yes Da,” Mike answered quietly as the rest of us nodded our heads.

“Ok good, come along then,” Father Barren said as we followed behind Da walking through the main doors and taking a short right to a room that read “office” outside of it where Barren held it open for us and took us inside and knocked on a big wooden door that had a fancy plaque on the door that read headmaster.

“Come on!” We heard from inside before Father Barren opened the door.

“Mr. McGregor sir” He said, “And his sons.”

“Oh yes! Hello there Mr. McGregor I’m headmaster Watson,” He said getting up and shaking his Da’s hand, “It’s a pleasure to meet you I didn’t know you were bringing company.”

“The oldest is sick sadly and my brother had some errands so I had to bring them with me but these are my four younger son’s William, Mathew, Michael and James,” He said introducing us again as the skinny balding man shook each of our hands.

His hands felt like thin paper to me and it made my hand feel dirty just touching them. He didn’t seem too old in my 10 year old brain but he was older than my Da with glasses perched on his nose grey eyes staring out from behind them.

“Ok, well we’ll start the tour, if you could follow me this way gentlemen,” He said taking us back out of the office and to a short hallway that had double doors at all four ends almost like an intersection at a street light and he opened up the doors that said lower school clearly written on them, “This is our smallest wing it’s the lower school where I’m sure at least three of the gentlemen with us will be going to school. You’ll notice how this school seems to be split down the middle the set up to your right is going to be your music room and art room right out front and then if you turn right down this hall,” He said taking us down the hall is the gym, day care area for afterschool activities and library. The hall to the left has the classrooms,” He said turning around and walking the other way for a while.

“They are beautiful children,” I heard him mutter quietly to Da.

“Thank you,” He said smiling, “I didn’t marry Danielle for her brains.”

“Well, anyway, this room,” He said opening up a door, “Is our second grade room, sometimes the first graders will come in here for spelling and grammar as well it just depends on the fathers and what they are doing that week. Father O’Donnell and Father Carrington are our first and second grade teachers. This year we only have one teacher for third and fourth grad which is Father Mascot because the class had so few registrations. The gym doubles as the cafeteria where upper classmen from the upper school bring the food over from the kitchen in the upper wing and help serve for their extra credit hours. Now if you will follow me back, you’ll notice this wing is a little larger this is the middle campus. Its set up is much the same as the lower campus however if you go the very end of the hallway there is access to the track and then on the other side of the track is a door to the upper campus. We have a mentoring program during and after school hours for seventh graders where they spend some time with seniors hanging out and learning things, usually it’s how to write a paper, what’s expected of high schoolers. Sometimes they form really good friendships that help them feel more at ease when they finally do transfer to the upper campus.

“How is the middle campus set up? What age groups?” Da asked him.

“Fifth grade to 8th,” He answered, “I think that would be ages 10 to 13 usually.”

“So this is where you’re going to be going William,” Da said and Watson looked at me that glint in his eye making me shift uncomfortably.

“What do you think of it young man?” Watson asked me.

“It’s…its ok,” I said quietly.

“He’s shy?” Watson asked my Da.

“Yes, he’s quiet he can be shy,” Da said.

“Just means he’ll probably stay out of trouble. And next is the upper campus but, since none of your boys are in that age range we’ll have your oldest take the upper campus end of the year tour with the other kids going into 9th grade. Now if you follow me across the lawn we can tour our sister school…” He said and I allowed my mind to wander slightly wondering what was in the upper school that he felt we didn’t need to see.

I kind of wanted to know because it seemed like maybe there was something cool behind that door and that’s why he didn’t feel like showing us. Maybe it wasn’t really a school at all but just a giant room where all you did was sit around and hang out and eat junk food and to me that sounded like fun. I would have loved to spend a whole day away from my parents and brothers eating Twinkies and hoho’s. Even though the next year over I would get a chance to see it for myself anyway if the mentor program was real. We spend another hour or so there with Da and him talking quietly in-between rooms we toured.

“So you have good boys?” He asked Da at one point.

“Oh yes, very good I doubt you’ll see them in your office,” Da said.

“That’s too bad maybe I’ll have to make a home visit to see how they are adjusting?” He asked Da a slight smile on his face.

“Perhaps, we’ll see how it goes. If you want to talk with William though you’ll have to ask Ben about that,” Da said.

“Contracted?” He asked.

“Yes,” Da nodded his head and I felt my face go white.

Why were they talking about me like I wasn’t there? What if I didn’t want to talk to him? What if I had nothing to say and then it struck me that he didn’t really want to talk to me anyway. Not unless seeing me naked and touching me was now considered talking and I got nauseous from the thought. I didn’t want to be anywhere near that guy anymore grabbing James’ hand and forcing him to fall back a little with me.

“What’s wrong?” He asked.

“Nothing,” I answered, “I just think we should wait a second.”

“Don’t be weird,” he said, “I know something is wrong.”

“No, nothing’s wrong just wait a second ok?” I said to him through gritted teeth and something about the expression on my face must have told him not to question it because he kept his mouth shut and waited until I decided to move again us having fallen a bit of a distance down the hallway.

I made sure we kept that distance. Me not wanting to be any closer to the guy than I had to be. I didn’t want to think about what he would ask my Uncle about. How he could spend time with me is Ben said it was ok. Because even though the doctor had told him to leave me alone that didn’t mean he had to if he was in charge and I was just me and I knew that. I wasn’t stupid. I didn’t want to give this guy any reason to pay attention to me so I kept my head down for the rest of the walk around the girl’s campus and back to the car.

“Well that wasn’t bad what did you guys think?” Da asked us all.

“I thought it was boring but the library looked like fun,” Mikey said.

“I wanted to see the upper campus,” Matt said, “Why couldn’t we go over there?”

“Well the upper campus already has some classes going for the year because they start a week earlier so there really isn’t any reason to interrupt people from learning. You wouldn’t want some strange kids coming into your classroom that shouldn’t be there would you?” He asked Matt.

“I guess not, it would make it harder to listen to the teacher,” Matt answered after a minute.

“Well then now you know why we didn’t go see the upper campus that and the upper campus is years away for you guys. You’ll get to see it plenty at a later time I promise just not today,” Da said before he turned the radio back on taking us home.

After that things went back to almost normal for the rest of the week that being our last week before school started. There was a lot of swimming in the outdoor pool, a lot of TV some riding our bikes up and down the long drive way and Lego building. Da did get the video he promised and he watched us with it making us watch the whole thing before he would answer any more questions about babies and genitals because he figured it would answer almost everyone’s questions however James still couldn’t understand why you would stick a penis in a butt if it was meant to go into a vagina and Da told him because it felt good like when you stuck it in your hand. And then James asked if he could try it if that felt good and he told him no that James had to ask Da and Da would show him what it felt like and James went really quiet and didn’t ask again.

It seemed like both James and Mikey kind of knew that what Da was saying about teaching us, and how it was normal was a lie even though Matt didn’t seem to register that fact or didn’t care one way or the other. He just ignored it and pretended that if something was happening to them still it wasn’t. He didn’t seem to have any questions about it unless it was to cause someone discomfort almost like he wanted to watch the person squirm and see their reaction. Like he was taking enjoyment in watching others suffer.

Friday before our weekend our uniforms arrive and we were sorting through them, so we could get them separated onto the proper hangers and sent to the cleaners and Matt looked at me carefully.

“What?” I asked him thinking he had a question about our uniforms.

“What if someone else wanted to teach us like Da wants to teach us, would that be ok?” He asked me suddenly out of the blue.

“Wh-what?” I asked the question catching me off guard.

“You know,” he said, “What if someone said they wanted to show how good their hands can feel down there? Should we let them?”

“I don’t think you should no,” I answered.

“Doesn’t Uncle Ben teach you like Da teaches us?” He asked me.

I shook my head not looking at him, getting ready to walk away and come back later.

“I thought he was, I thought that’s why he took you downstairs sometimes but he hasn’t done that lately,” He said.

I hated knowing they knew. That they knew what he was doing to me and that Matt didn’t think it was a big deal. That someone touching you, putting their hands on you and making you feel sick to your stomach and gross inside wasn’t a big deal. That someone hitting you and tying you down while you cried and screamed wasn’t a big deal.

“No he hasn’t,” I answered after a minute or two of silence, “I’m going to go and huh…I’ll be back.”

“Is it that bad?” He asked, “When they stick it inside?”

I sighed. If I didn’t tell him it bothered me that badly how would he ever know? I turned around deciding to confront him, “Look you know how we’re not supposed to talk about it in public. I don’t want to talk about with you ok? I understand that you’re just curious and you want to understand but I don’t think its ok. I don’t think what they do is ok and so I don’t feel like…”

“Da says it’s ok,” He interrupted me causing me to balk at him.

“It’s not,” I said, “You can’t tell me it’s not until it’s you ok?”

“If they had done something to me how would you know?” He asked me.

“Have they?” I responded.

“If they had what makes you think I would tell you? Since you obviously don’t want to talk about it,” He answered.

“Have they?” I asked again.

“If they had would it matter to you? Because it seems like as long as it’s not you you’re fine with it,” he said shrugging his shoulders.

“Is that the only answer I’m going to get?” I asked him.

“Is that the only answer you’re going to give me? I don’t want to talk about it with you? How am I supposed to know anything else if someone doesn’t ask me about it? Tell me about it,” he asked.

“I’ve already told you it hurts ok? It hurts,” I said shaking my head.

“What about when they put their mouth down there? Because I didn’t think that hurt it felt weird but it didn’t hurt,” He said.

“Matt please?” I asked him.

“Fine, _” he said, “And now you know my answer to your question.”

“I’m sorry,” I said.

“It’s not a big deal it’s not like I’m the first,” he answered me, “Da said it doesn’t always hurt, only the first couple of times. When they stick it in.”

“It burns,” I answered not able to look him in the eye, “I don’t imagine it will ever not burn but it’s only for a minute or so.”

“Does it hurt after that though?” He asked me.

No. I answered in my head but sometimes I wish it did. Sometimes if it hurt it’d be better. I felt my throat tighten as I closed my eyes sighing.

“I’m going to go,” I said, “Just make sure your stuff is ready to run to the dry cleaners so Da can drop it off when he’s ready and pick it up tomorrow.”

“Ok, where are you going?” Matt asked me.

“Upstairs,” I answered calmly before I walked away leaving the three of them to talk amongst themselves in the living room.

I probably shouldn’t have left them alone but I didn’t know how to answer his questions and not be angry with him. Not be hurt that he wasn’t worried about how they made me feel, him asking me those things and expecting an answer. It also made me upset that I had somehow missed the fact that Da had raped him too. That John and I had both tried and failed to keep them safe and it made me wonder how long ago he had done it, whether it was something that had just happened or if it had happened back home before we ever left. I wasn’t sure which idea made me feel sicker.

I spent a lot of time in my room the room I shared with James that weekend coming out for meals and a little bit of TV but mostly choosing to hide. I knew I was probably almost healed the bruises on my stomach and side fading from a blue and black to a green and I knew pretty soon they would yellow and then be gone, my head hurting a little less each day my body feeling a little more normal and I knew it wouldn’t be long before he had me back in that room closing my eyes wishing he would leave me alone. That everyone would leave me alone to escape.

I liked being in that room by myself. I had always been a loner but this had only made me retreat farther into my own world. A world where it didn’t matter what he did to me. A world where I still had mum, and John and where I didn’t have to worry about them, where I didn’t have to worry about anything. A world that I left behind for reality every time I opened the bedroom door and stepped out.

Chapter Text

That first Monday Da woke us up James clinging to me in his sleep and his body stiffening against mine when Da leaned over him touching his forehead. I sighed opening my eyes wondering what Da was doing. If he was going to hurt us before we were allowed to leave for school or if he had decided he didn’t want us to go at all.

“Its ok bud,” da said to him noticing that my eyes were open, his gaze turning to me, “It’s time to get up and get ready for school guys.”

“Ok,” I said nodding my head sitting up slowly pulling James up with me putting my arm across his chest, “We’re getting up.”

“Don’t look at me like that I’m not going to hurt you,” Da said to me quietly, “I am after all a man of my word.”

“What does that mean?” I asked him.

“Nothing get up, get ready help James here,” Da said.

“Is John going to be coming to school with us?” I asked him.

“Now that, it not your concern and he’s sick remember?” He said.

“Da…” I started before he cut me off.

“Well, talk about it later,” He told me, “Now get up and dressed help your brother I’ll drive you for your first day.”

“Did they give me my placement?” I asked him.

“I got the email Saturday you tested into 7th,” Da told me, “Now up and moving come on.” He closed the door behind me leaving us there to get dressed.

“Are you ok bud?” I asked him feeling how tense his body was against my chest to which he sighed a nodded his head.

“Ok,” I said, “We need to get dressed and get ready for school then.”

I got up stretching and going to our closet where Da had given me our uniforms to hang up on Saturday pulling them out of the closet still wrapped in their dry cleaner bags the navy blue sweater vest tucked neatly around the white oxford button ups with the green and navy blue tartan ties trapped over the shoulders tucked under the collars of the shirts with the khaki pants hung on the hanger underneath. I took the smaller sized uniform and handed it over to James as he took it from me his nose wrinkling.
“Yeah I realize but, it won’t kill us. It’s almost exactly like albrington,” I said.

“Grey and black is nothing like Navy blue and green,” James said.

“Fair enough,” I answered as I dug and undershirt out of James’ suit case and threw it at him.

I pulled off my shirt and went to go grab one for myself sighing as I bent over my back side still hurting slightly.

“You have a big bruise on your back,” James said.

“Where?” I asked.

“Can I touch to show you?” He asked me.

“Yeah,” I answered, “Thank you, for asking I mean.”

“I don’t like it when people touch me anymore unless it’s you or John so I figured I would ask before I touched you,” James sighed coming up behind me and touching my back right above my waist on my right side, “Right there.”

“My kidney’s,” I commented, “He punched me in the kidney because it’s an easy way to make someone hurt."

“Why?” James asked.

“Because he was mad,” I answered, “It doesn’t matter why.”

“Oh, ok,” James said, “Can you help me?”

“Hold on,” I said tucking my under shirt into my pants and buttoning them up, “What do you need?”

“I’m not always so good at buttons,” He said, “When will that change?”

“You want to know a secret?” I asked him smiling, “There are some days where I’m not so good with buttons and I’ve seen it happen to John too sometimes. So I don’t think that ever really changes.”

“Really?” He asked me, “I’m not sure if that makes me feel better.”

“It’s ok,” I said finishing doing up his shirt, “Now let me get mine on and I’ll help you tie your tie ok?”

“Ok then breakfast?” He asked me.

“I did breakfast last night fruit bowls, it’ll be quick that way we aren’t late,” I said to him.

“Oh man I was hoping for eggs,” He told me.

“Well, just fruit maybe eggs tomorrow,” I told him as I did up my shirt and easily tied my own tie before putting my sweater vest on and fixing my collar doing the same for him, “Ok we’re good let’s go eat.”

“Are we going to be in the same school?” He asked me.

“Well yes,” I told him, “But I’m bigger so I’ll be in a different area of the building so we night not see each other until we get picked up but, I’ll still be around.”

We walked down the stairs to find scrambled eggs and bacon set out on the table and my two brothers with their ties and collars all messed up causing me to sigh. You would think my Da would at least help them with that. Tying their ties considering he was their Da too. It was his job to help them with those things not mine or John’s but his.

I came up behind Matty sighing, “Matty what did you do to your tie?”

“I tied it,” He said eating a bite of scrambled eggs.

His tie was tied like it was a shoe lace around his neck. Not anyway remotely close to what a tie should be tied like. I sat down digging into my own food sighing at him.

“Guys why didn’t you ask Da to help you tie them?” I asked.

“Because would you want Da touching you?” Matty asked.

“What’s wrong with Da again?” Mikey asked looking at Matt who shot him a death glare, “Find geeze don’t tell me. You usually tell me everything sometimes you don’t even talk.”

“It doesn’t matter Mike ok? I just don’t like people touching me,” Matty answered.

“I touch you,” Mike frowned.

“You’re different,” Matt answered.

“How is that different?” Mike asked.

“Mike you’ve been touching him since before you left the womb there isn’t a lot of room in there you realize?” I asked him.

“The room? What?” Mikey asked frowning and I laughed.

“Womb as in Womb like mum’s tummy,” I correct him, “You’re twins you came out of her belly at the same time. You were in there together. Did you think he just magically appeared once she gave birth or something?”

“No, I just never really thought about it. You are right though it isn’t a big belly even when she has a baby in it,” Mike said.

“Well yeah that’s why it looks like she swallowed a whale,” Matty said, “Because there is like five babies in there right now.”

“No, it’s only two,” I told him, “trust me I’ve seen her pregnant with you two as well as James and his brothers and then Laura and Andy.”

“I had a twin?” James asked.

“You have two brothers that makes you a triplet,” Matty said.

“Where are they now?” James asked.

“Sometimes babies end up going back to heaven before they are born and your triplet brothers did that,” I told him.

“Would I be weird if they would have lived?” James asked me.

“Weird?” I asked.

“Like us he means,” Mikey and Matty said in unison.

“Probably,” I answered, “You guys don’t remember how big mum’s belly was with them?

“No,” Matty answered, “I was little I don’t remember that. I barely remember Laura and Andy. I remember a lot of yelling from them but that’s it.”

“Crying,” I corrected, “Babies cry they don’t yell and you cried often as well.”

“Who cooked I thought you said we were having fruit,” James asked me.

“Probably Da,” I answered shrugging my shoulders before I looked at the time, “Ok, I have to fix some ties you two, please come here.”

They both sighed putting their plates in the sink before the came up and stood in front of me as I fixed their ties, “Now we’re not going to try it on your own right now because we have to go but you take the thin end and you let it hang just to right above your belly button like so…” I said showing Matt and Mike using Matt’s tie, “Next you’re going to cross it so the wide end is in back of the small end and then move the wide end so it’s on the right this side, and then after that you want to pull it up and into the loop you just made and then pull down to tighten it like so. If it’s not straight so the thin end is hiding perfectly underneath you need to do it again.”

“Cool,” Matt said looking at his tied tie.

I did the other one quickly just as Da came into the kitchen looking at us, “Are we all ready boys?” He asked us, “You don’t need lunch money because I pay it at the beginning of the week so you’re fine on that. So we should be ready to go.”

“Ok everyone let’s go to school,” I said making sure I grabbed book bags off the hook right next to the door.

The car ride was silent on the way to school where Da dropped us off in front of the building Matty and Mike helping James out of the car as Da stopped me from leaving by putting his hand on my chest. I sighed hoping he wouldn’t do anything bad. Knowing we were in public where plenty of people could see us. Not wanting to be touched.

“Be good ok? I know you’re one of the younger kids in your class going into 6th grade so you might get picked on but I want you to be on your best behavior Father Barney will be your teacher so I need you to just go to the teacher with any problems you might have. Don’t mention what you know ok? Pretend…”

“Don’t talk about the brotherhood or Ben or you at school I got it. John is sick if someone bothers to ask not that I know anyone anyway,” I answered.

“Good,” Da said nodding his head in satisfaction, “Be there for your brothers and I’ll come pick you up after school. I love you ok? Be good.”

“I’ll be good,” I answered nodding my head.

“Good, Ben said he misses you,” Da said.

“He’s been avoiding me I feel like. Not that I mind,” I said looking around bouncing up and down on the balls of my feet.

“ He feels, well I’m sure you know what he feels you’re smart,” Da leaned in close to my ear putting his hand on my shoulder making me shiver, “He’s afraid if he sees you he won’t be able to keep his hands off you.”

“Then I’d really rather not see him, wouldn’t I?” I said.

“When you get snippy your accent shows,” Da commented.

“Which one you do know I’m American right?” I asked him.

“Don’t go teen on me yet kid and I know you are but you’ve been back in the UK since you were five. You even still call the London town house home,” He said.

“I barely remember this house,” I answered, “I remember hiding from you and that’s about it.”

“Hiding from me?” Da said, “You mean John hiding you from me? Because I do recall those days but things are different now.”

“Yeah,” I said as the bell rang, “Well, I think I should get to class.”

“Yes, that would be a good idea. William, don’t behave like this again, it’s unbecoming.”

“Yes, Da,” I replied, “I’ll see you when you come to pick us up.”

I turned swiftly on my heel. He was right things were different now. I didn’t have to worry about him he barely looked at me since we had gotten home his eyes only on John since the first night where I stepped in to save James. He hadn’t touched anyone and I hadn’t seen John in nearly two weeks and that was worrying for all I could guess he was behind the locked door in the basement. I glanced at my class list again to check my room number before walking up to my classroom door 32M. I sighed as I walked in.

“You’re very close to being late Mr.…” The teacher said looking at me Father Barney written on the black board behind him.

“Mr. McGregor sir,” I answered quietly.

“ Ok Mr. McGregor don’t make a habit of it please,” He said as I sat down in a seat near the front, “Now this is your first year of middle school and I expect you to all behave like young men and not hooligans that you are going to be tempted to turn into. I will be teaching you you’re core subjects, Math, English, Science and Social studies which will cover a little bit of history as well as social issues. This year you will get sex education about reproductive health I won’t be doing that we’ll have a specialist come in for that. Now if you would please get out a pen and paper, I want you to write a short essay that you will deliver verbally to the class, four paragraphs telling us about yourself and what you did over your summer and go.”

He turned over a sand timer on his desk and it started running as he sat down behind it. I sat down not sure what to write about myself or what I did with my summer break. I wrote basically that I was younger than most of my classmates and that I had spent my summer holiday moving to America because I had. That this explained my slight accent. And then I sat there waiting for the timer to run down.

“Ok I hope everyone has written something down, Now we’re going to starts with Mr. Anderson and work our way through the Alphabet so Mr. Anderson please come stand up here and we’ll begin,” Father Barney said.

“Hello class,” The boy said turning to face us once he stood in front of the board, “My name is Mark Anderson and I will be 12 years old next week. I have one dog at home named skipper but no siblings. My Dad works as Lawyer at Dobbs and Son’s legal company. My mom is a homemaker. I don’t really know what else to say about myself. I enjoy playing on the Nintendo and walking my dog to the park where I hang out and swing on the swing set. I also like watching TV even though my mom watches a lot of cooking shows that annoy me,” He wiped his sleeve on his forehead at this point probably out of nervousness almost running a hand through his head of squishy curls as he peered up from his paper before continuing.

“This is only my second year at this school and I moved here from Massachusetts two years ago. When I was in Massachusetts I lived near Cambridge which is where Harvard University is located and where my Dad went to school. Did you know it one of the oldest universities in the United States? I didn’t know that until last year. I am hopeful I will make lots of friends this year but I do know Joel and Edward from last year and I noticed they are in this class too. We did hang out over the summer riding our bikes through the neighborhood and one day our moms took us all to the beach together. We had a really good time on that day. The only thing I didn’t like about that day was how much sand got into everything we brought to the beach.”

“Very good Mr. Anderson,” Father Barney said, “Ok Mr. Bennett you’re up.”

After that he called several other people until he got to a name I thought I knew, a name that sounded familiar, Larkin. Where had I heard that name? I was confused as I listened to the boy talk. His brown hair curling lightly around his ears his dark brown eyes peering out from behind his fringe timidly as he looked at the class before clearing his throat and reading,

“My name is Theodor Larkin and I’m 11 years old but, my friends call me Ted. I have lived in Union Park for most of my life even though my Grandpa has taken me all over the world. I have been too many different places with him and my older brother Ben including, Rome, London, Paris, Liverpool, Dublin, Florence, Venice, and Madrid. We’ve had lots of fun traveling all over the world together.

My older brother is the only brother I have and my parents are divorced. My Dad lives in Utah with his new wife Emily which I visited for two weeks over the summer. They got me a dog. My new dog is a German Shepard but it lives with my Dad. I wish my dog could come live with me here.

I like dogs and would really like to have one live here but my mom says we can’t have one. My grandpa is very rich and owns a lot of things including his own business. I’m not sure what he does exactly but if we have a parent day I think I might invite him instead of my mom to talk about his job because his job seems exciting. My mom is just a doctor for people who have head problems and that doesn’t seem fun to me at all.

When my parents got divorced my mom changed her last name back to her maiden name and mine and my brothers too. So this means that my brother and I don’t have the same last name as my Dad which is Lorde. I don’t know why my dad moved so far away after the divorce but I miss him being close and I miss having his last name because it’s the same last name as my grandpa that takes me to all the cool places he does.”

There was a Morello who went before me and then it was my turn, “My name is William McGregor and I’m certain I am younger than most of the pupils in our class I am only 10 years old. I just moved back here recently after being out of the United States for a while. I lived in the United Kingdom for four years and went to a boarding school where I would only come home to my mum, Da and younger siblings on the weekends.

I have a lot of younger siblings being the second oldest child in my family my older brother is John and he is 12 and then my next two siblings are a set of twins and their names are Matt and Mike even though we call them Mikey and Matty at home. After them is my brother James who is six. The rest of my siblings are with mum in Europe right now. The rest of my siblings are Catherine, Laura and Andy another set of twins, Malachy and then she is pregnant with another set of twins. They are 4, 2, 2 and one years old.

While I have only lived here and in the UK I have been to many different cities throughout my life. I have been to Belfast, Dublin, Inchibrackane, Paris, Limerick and Liverpool. Where the Beatles are from. Most of these cities are in the UK and Ireland where my mum and Da are from.

I lived in London in a townhouse for most of my school years so far. Even though I was born here. I don’t really know anyone here and I am hoping to make a lot of friends. I enjoy, reading, football and playing with my brothers and sisters.”

There were only two more classmates after that being a small class of only 13 students Julian Patterson and Andre Smith. They were both 11 and one of them had spent their vacation in Canada in a cabin and talked about how they thought it was weird there were bears that ate their trash one time and the other one talked about how he had three older sisters that he found annoying as his next door neighbor.

“Does anyone have any questions for anyone?” Father Barney asked the class as Andre Smith sat down.

“Where is that I place whatever it was called Will is it?” someone asked from behind me when I turned around to look finding it was Mark Anderson.”

“Ichibracken? It’s in Ireland my ancestors come from there. They build a castle there a long time ago that my grandparents still own. That’s why we went there. I spent a whole holiday break there when I was six so like four years ago?”

“Wait your family owns a Castle?” Kevin Green asked me.

“Yes,” I said, “It’s not a fancy Castle or anything we can’t do anything with it it’s just a historical site.”

“That’s still pretty cool,” Kevin said his eyes lighting up, “Did you actually get to see it?”

“Yeah,” I said nodding my head, “We have two actually the other one my grandparents actually live in and they have like old swords and stuff on the walls. It’s called Blackrock. Apparently it’s like a really big deal because it’s there because of some pirates that kept attacking the village. That one isn’t nearly as old as the one in Inchibrackane which is probably why it’s still able to have people living in it.”

“Where are they at in Ireland? Are they near like Dublin?” the kid, Morello asked me.

“No actually they in Cork county,” I answered, “It’s in the south of Ireland.”

“Are you related to like royalty then?” Someone else asked.

“I don’t know, I think so,” I answered, “I know we’re related to a Clan that migrated from Scotland during the Jacobite rebellion but that’s all I know.”

“What is a Jacobite rebellion?” Someone asked and before I could explain Father Barney cut in.

“It was a time during the reign of King James the second of England. A bunch of the Scottish men from the Scottish highlands called Jacobite’s decided he shouldn’t be on the throne and tried to put someone else on the throne. It’s a long story which maybe if we’re lucky you’ll all get to hear about. Now if you look at the time it’s almost time for lunch and you are…” Just then the bell rang, “Dismissed.”

A bunch of the guys came towards me as I left going to my locker to put some of my books away, “That’s kind of cool. That you’re like royalty or something I mean your family owns castles!” Anderson said.

“Honestly I don’t think it’s that cool,” I answered, “What about Ted he’s been to the Middle East.”

“Ted is weird,” one of the other guys said that was around me I couldn’t remember who he was.

“Why?” I asked.

“His mom is a shrink I think she gives him drugs that mess with his brain and his grandpa is creepy and spends a lot of time at his house. He’s not supposed to like his mom I mean that’s like his ex-daughter-in-law so why is he so close to her?” Mark asked me.

“My uncle lives with me,” I said.


“McGregor?” Ted said his head shooting up in my direction.

I swallowed. He knew something, what did he know? I wasn’t supposed to talk about this in front of people.

“Yeah,” I said looking at him nervously.

“Guys can you bother someone who doesn’t own a castle for a minute?” Ted asked the guys gathered around me, “I have a feeling he might be a little overwhelmed.”

“He’s fine aren’t you Will? What else do you know about being British?” One of the guys asked.

“I’m not really British I was born here just raised there and my mum is Irish. I was born in New York from what I’ve been told. Now if you don’t mind I would rather eat lunch with my book,” I said grabbing the giver out of my locker before slamming and walking away.

Everyone seemed to take that as a hint to leave me alone. Everyone except Ted who seemed to be following me while everyone else went to their own lockers. I sighed turning around.

“Don’t follow me,” I warned him.

“I know your Uncle,” Ted said quickly and quietly so no one would overhear, “My mum is his doctor. He knows my grandpa. I don’t like my grandpa nearly as much as I made it sound like just…didn’t know what else to say.”

“If you know my uncle then you know I don’t want to talk about this. And we’re not supposed to anyway,” I said.

“You’re his then?” He said still keeping his voice low.

I shook my head, “I’m not talking abou…”

He cut me off, “It gets worse. It always gets worse you think it can’t? You think you can do this alone?”

“I have siblings. I’m not alone,” I said even though I knew what he was saying. Da was keeping the only person who really knew how it felt from me. Keeping us separated leaving me to look after everyone else. To deal with everyone else on my own to cuddle them as they cried because they were sore and they hurt.

“Wait until he makes you start having sex with them. You think they’ll help you? You think you’ll still be friends with your brothers then?” He hissed at me.

“What?” I asked.

“Look you need friends ok?” He said changing the subject, “I’m offering to be your friend me and Chuck, we’ve never been a part of any other world. I can help you just think about it.”

“No what are you talking about?” I asked him my eyes wide disbelieving.

“Come on,” He said grabbing the sleeve of my blazer and taking me into the nearest bathroom checking all of the stalls before he spoke again, “They make you do things together. I don’t know why but things aren’t ever the same after they do that.”

“Like sex things?” I asked.

“Yeah,” He said tucking his hair behind his ear again his eyes wide, sad, “Chuck and me don’t really talk about anything like that anymore. It’s too weird. Knowing that we…we just can’t. We used to. We used to all the time talking about how badly we wanted them dead and how badly we wanted them to just leave us alone but it feels weird now.”

“What about your mum does she know?” I asked him.

“She encourages it. She sounds like them.” He put on a mock high voice mocking his mum, “Their just teaching you things that will help you in life. Teaching you things that you can use to your advantage allowing you the opportunity to go to any school, have any career you could ever dream of and succeed…my om is nuts. She’s beyond nuts.”

“I’m sorry. I think if my mum knew she would stop it or at least try,” I said.

“You’re lucky then most of us don’t even really have moms. Most of our moms leave or their dead,” Ted said, “I’m one of the few where my mom is around she’s just as crazy as they are. However my grandpas are both really good friends so it makes sense I guess. Two people who raised their kids to believe the same thing who successfully brain washed them. My mom doesn’t even love my Dad. I don’t think she can love anyone.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t imagine having a mom that hates me,” I said.

“Thanks, what’s your mom like?” He asked me.

“My mum. She loves people too much. She keeps giving me all of these chances to change. She wants to believe he has and yet when we came here there he was. He was at the airport waiting for us. I didn’t…know. I thought it might be like this once he looked at me, when he saw me but, I didn’t know,” I said feeling my eyes burn.

“Ben’s difficult,” Ted said quietly.

“He likes controlling everything,” Ted said, “that’s why he didn’t like me. Because there were certain things he wanted me to do that I couldn’t. Like not cry. I was seven. How do you stop a seven year old who is scared and in pain from crying?”

“It doesn’t feel very good that’s for sure,” I said not wanting to mention anything Ben had done to me. Not to him not to a stranger. I didn’t care how familiar he was with my uncle he didn’t know me and it was something I didn’t want to talk about with him.
Ted cleared his throat, “Well, anyway. Maybe this wasn’t the best way to start this conversation?” He said reading the look on my face.

“Probably not,” I concurred.

“Well you know I’m Ted are you Will or William or Bill, Billy?” He asked me.

“Will,” I answered.

“Can we try to be friends?” He asked me.

“Yes, I have to warn you though not many people like me. They say I’m moody and silent,” I warned him.

“Really? That’s how people say I am too and weird,” He answered, “So lunch?”

“Yeah Lunch,” I said nodding my head as I walked back out of the bathroom turning towards the cafeteria, “I haven’t gotten weird yet but, I’m still young.”

“Yeah, you are,” He said stopping to look at me, “How are you ten and in the seventh grade?”

“Well, they made me take a test and I tested into grade seven,” I told him.

“The education is that much better over there?” Ted asked me.

“I guess,” I answered, “I never really thought of it as that different or better it was the only education I really remembered I only went to school from like preschool to first grade here so it’s not like I had a lot of school experience when I left. I mean I still don’t have that much school experience now.”

“That’s true, you’ll be like 16 when you graduate unless they skip you again,” Ted mentioned as we finally made it to the lunch line and were handed trays of what looked like the lamest ham sandwich and salad in the world.

“So were you really going to read your book on your own at lunch?” He asked me.

“Yeah, I like reading,” I said.

“I like dungeons and dragons,” Ted said.

“Really?” I said, “I’ve never played.”

“It’s not for everyone,” He said, “I had a friend Gino in Italy he was into playing it. He made it fun.”

“Was it fun,” I asked him.

“I liked to enough I play it sometimes with a couple of…never mind,” He said looking towards the 8th grade table at a guy that was staring our way before we turned back to me.

“Who is that?” I asked him.

“Someone who hates me,” He commented taking a bite of his salad.

“Why?” I asked.

“Well,” He dropped his voice again so only I could hear him, “We have a ranking system and I’m a five and Lathan is a three.”

“I met some guy named Cole and he told me about that a little bit,” I said.

“Gables?” He asked me.

“Yeah,” I answered.

“He goes here I don’t see him today but if he’s not home he’s here somewhere,” Ted said.

“Do you know much about him?” I asked him.

“Poor kid is fucking brotherhood bait, another three. I don’t know a lot of them like the look of him like I’m sure they will like yours too,” he said.

“What the hell?” I asked him standing up and walking away.

“Dude, relax I was kind of joking,” He said as the whole room looked at us.

“That’s not funny,” I said shaking my head, “It’s not funny.”

Just then some redheaded guy walked up to us looking between the two of us nervously, “Is everything ok here guys?”

“Go away 2nd best we’re fine,” Ted said.

“2nd best?” I asked.

“Never mind that,” Dom said shaking his head, “This isn’t a rank racket ok? I’m just checking to see if he’s ok which by the way calling me that gave me a hint leave the kid alone Ted.”

“I don’t care how old you are 2nd best I’m making a new friend,” He said.

“What the hell?” I asked again, “Can’t we just be normal or is that too hard for you people?”

“Listen kid, I was just making sure you were ok. I’m sorry I stepped into whatever this is,” the guy named Dom said his eyes pleading me, even though they were hazel almost brown reminding me of John’s. A calm panic stirring behind them.

I sighed calming myself down. This guy if he really was a two was risking a lot of things to go up against Ted I was sure about that. Cole hadn’t told me a lot about the ranking system but Ted seemed like he was a higher rank then Dom at least that had to be the case if he was calling him 2nd best.

“I’m fine,” I answered quietly, “He’s just being a jerk.”

“Well you said people thought you were mean,” Ted said, “So now you’re saying I’m mean.”

“Maybe not mean but damaged. That wasn’t a funny a joke,” I said.

“What joke did he make?” Dom asked me quietly.

“He said they’d like the look of me,” I said.

“Oh he’s talking about fucking skin color,” Dom sneered.

“You would know wouldn’t you second best?” Ted mocked.

See while Ted was tan and looked like he had spent a good amount of time out in the sun with Chocolate eyes and dark brown hair, I was pale. Irish pale even though I did have a mum with red hair so maybe it was just genetics but I never tanned and had to swear sunscreen otherwise I’d become a lobster the same went for most of my family. I had blond hair and green eyes with a light dusting of freckles across the bridge of my nose.

“Why would you make fun of someone for that?” I asked him.

“I wasn’t. I was pointing out you’re unlucky,” He said, “Probably not as unlucky as him but still unlucky.”

“Why is that funny?” I asked him still confused as to why that would be something to joke about, why my uncle raping me was funny to him. I thought he had wanted to be my friend. Maybe this was why I avoided people?

“Because he’s maladjusted,” Dom muttered.

“Hey I don’t want to hear it you want me to talk to my grandpa’s?” He asked Dom.

“You know what? I’m leaving good luck I’m sorry you’re having a hard day kid I hope it gets better for you,” Dom said walking away.

“I’m done,” I sighed grabbing my sandwich and throwing away the rest of my tray as I walked off. I took my book and I walked away finishing my sandwich before I made it back to my classroom. When I got there the door was open and I walked in causing Father Barney to look up from his desk.

“Mr. McGregor?” he asked me and I nodded my head, “You left lunch early?”

“I’m…anti-social,” I answered sitting down at my desk.

“Must be hard,” He said.

“Sir?” I asked him.

“Being new. Not knowing anyone. I thought you and Mr. Larkin looked like you were hitting it off back there,” Father Barney said.

“Not really,” I answered, “Am I allowed to read a little before class Father?”

He sighed clasping his hands together on his desk before he looked up at me, “I’m not supposed to be in a room alone with students.” He said quietly.

“Huh, oh,” I said standing up.

“It’s not you my child it’s me,” He said.

“Can I leave then? Should I?” I asked him.

“I don’t want you to,” He told me that look on his face that made my throat tighten.

I stood up slowly not sure if I should move or not. Knowing that sometimes that look meant it didn’t matter how I moved every small twitch like an animal a hunter was watching waiting for the right moment to shoot. I grabbed my book in my hand and slid out of my seat to the side into the aisle backing away slowly.

“Father,” I said quietly, “You’re not going to hurt me are you?”

“I don’t want to,” He said, “I want to get to know you.”

“You mean kiss me?” I asked him, “You mean touch me?”

“Not if you don’t want me to,” He said, “We can be friends.”

“No,” I said slowly making my way towards the door, “Father we can’t. We can’t be friends you don’t want to know me. That is if you were allowed to know me at all.”

“Why do you think I’m not allowed to get to know you?” He asked me.

“Because I’m brotherhood,” I said.

“You don’t seem like it,” He said.

“I am,” I said, “New but still. I’m huh I hate myself no one needs to know me. If you need to know anything about me it would be that.”

I was almost to the door when he stood up causing me to drop my book out of fear. He was going to hurt me. I knew he was going to hurt me and I didn’t want him to but, I didn’t want to beg him not to either. I just wanted a normal day. A normal day where someone didn’t try to hurt me. Didn’t joke about the fact people were hurting me or tell me their sick little secrets. I just wanted to be ok. For things to be manageable.

“It’s ok,” he said, “I won’t hurt you.”

“No,” I shook my head still walking backwards toward the door. That was something he always said. Uncle Ben before he made me take my clothes off. Before he pushed into me that pressure burning, too much as he made me face him.

“I can be nice no one has to know,” He said as I backed out of the room slowly into the hallway my heart pounding. I wanted him to keep his hands away from me, “We don’t have long. Just a kiss that’s all.”

“I’m contracted,” I blurted out thinking of the word, thinking of something that would keep him away from me.

“Who? You’re not even branded yet,” He said stopping his approach blinking at me.

“It doesn’t matter that means you can’t touch me right?” I asked him.

Just then the bell rang and he sighed, “I’ll find out you could just save me some trouble and tell me.”

I turned and ran until I made it back into a bathroom locking myself into a stall. Why did they hate me? Why couldn’t they just leave me alone? Even school couldn’t be normal? I sighed trying to keep myself from crying. Trying to keep myself from freaking out. Even my teacher had the hots for me. Maybe Ted was right maybe it was the way I looked.

“Is everyone ok in here?” I heard Dom’s voice.

“Yeah I’m fine,” choked on the words.

“What’s your name kid?” He asked me.

“Will,” I said.

“The one Ted was bothering da? Come out here, let me see you,” He said and I sighed heavily opening the door.

“First you’re going to get in trouble for skipping if you stay here the whole hour and secondly Ted isn’t friends with anyone. Ted’s an asshole he might only be 11 but he’s a five and a lot of fives aren’t nice guys. I mean I know a couple that aren’t horrible but most of them are assholes. So I would stay away from him. What teacher do you have?” He asked me.

“Father Barney,” I answered.

“Ouch he’s a weird one I’d…” I stopped him.

“Yeah,” I said, “He asked if he could kiss me.”

“Really because usually he asks and then doesn’t understand the word no,” Dom said, “How did you get past that?”

“I told him the truth, I’m contracted,” I answered.

“You?” He said, “I’m sorry. That really fucking sucks. Who is it?”

“My Uncle.”

“Who is your Uncle?” He asked me quietly.

“His name is Ben,” I said.

“Ben McGregor?” He said his eyes going wide, “You’re how old? 11?”

“Ten,” I answered.

“Oh fuck,” He muttered under his breath and it looked like he was about to start crying, “Fuck. He’s bad news kid.”

“He gave me a skull fracture,” I said, “I don’t even remember what I did to deserve it.”

“Knowing him probably nothing he probably just felt like it,” Dom said, “Are you ok now?”

“Bruised,” I answered, “Killer headaches some doctor told him to leave me alone for a while.”

“Dr. Palmer? He’s not a bad guy just a guy stuck in a bad situation,” Dom said, “He might be able to get you out one day. Of this I mean. You’re way too young now but he might be able to help you disappear get away from all of this get you a new identity a new home where no one will ever be able to do those things to you again.”

“I have younger brothers and sisters I doubt I’ll ever leave them,” I answered him, “And my older brother. He’s protected me my whole life.”

“Not very well,” Dom said.

“As best he can,” I hissed.

“Woah, sorry I hit a nerve there,” Dom said.

“John tries my Da used to beat the ever living shit out of mum and do horrible things to John when I was little. John hid me, he protected me to make sure Da didn’t hurt me. He tries it’s…it’s just not working anymore.” I said.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to insult your brother. How old is he?” He asked me.

“He’s almost 13,” I answered.

“Why haven’t I met him then?” Dom asked me.

“I don’t know where he is. Da keeps saying that he’s fine, that John is fine but I don’t think he is. Something is wrong and Da won’t let me see him, he won’t let anyone see him,” I said.

“That has to be hard. The only person you feel like knows what any of this is like for you and you can’t even be near them? That has to really suck,” He said.

“I’m scared something bad happened to him,” I said, “And that Da just won’t tell me.”

“Why?” Dom asked me his eyes filled with worry for me.

“Da is…Da is different with him. Da whenever the family is all in a room together he only ever watches John, talks to John, looks at him wants to touch him. He …” I stopped I felt like I was saying things I shouldn’t. That they weren’t mine to talk about and it felt wrong.

“I know some people like that,” Dom said nodding his head, “It’s not common especially when it’s your own kid but sometimes a handler or contract holder has been known to fall in love with a bottom or two.”

“What!?” I frowned.

My Da in love with my brother? My brother?! His son?! That wasn’t right that was just gross that was beyond anything I could understand. How on earth could you be in love with your kid? Your own kid? That was disgusting. I felt my stomach jump. I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me before that moment but the more I thought about it the sicker it made me but the more it made sense.

Dom was right. The way he looked at him and Da seemed to use everyone else as a substitute of some kind of he couldn’t have John with him. The way Da ignored my little brothers and me to the point where I was basically taking care of us while my uncle took me and fucked me. But otherwise we were eating take away or I was cooking or I thought Da was cooking but maybe he wasn’t because you never showed any interest in feeding us at least not out right and it was always simple foods like grilled cheese and soup or Kraft mac and cheese. So maybe it wasn’t Da at all.

“It happens,” Dom said quietly, “It might actually make him safer depending on what your Dad is like. A lot of handlers or contract holders who fall for someone will protect them. I had a friend their Dad was…like that he moved to New York but his Dad hated taking him to parties and he could never contract him, not ever. Sadly Damon got involved with a girl and his Da wasn’t too happy about that. We were like 9. I miss Damon. He’s lucky it wasn’t a guy he fell for because they his Da might have killed him.”
“Yeah, someone else told me that,” I said, “If you fall in love with someone they don’t want you to, you die.”

“That’s because we don’t have brains. We’re theirs. We’re their toys. If we find one that’s nice to us we’re lucky. Most of us aren’t lucky at all,” Dom said, “I really hope your brother is ok.”

“My Da has a temper and John would never feel the same way about him. He hates not getting what he wants. He’ll punish John however he can if what you say is true,” I answered Dom.

“Well, tell your brother that he’s not alone ok? Make sure he understands he’s not alone,” Dom sighed, “Look I have to get back to class myself I’ve already been gone long enough. Don’t let father Barney find out who your contract holder is. If he gets permission he’ll do it. He will don’t doubt that. However, if he thinks you’re worth the time he’ll try to butter you up first, give you good grades, gifts whatever. Don’t fall for it.”

“I won’t,” I answered, “I don’t have any interest in that.”

“All right,” Dom answered walking away leaving me in the bathroom where I used the bathroom and washed my hands putting some cool water on my face before I walked back to our classroom where I found a note on my desk.

I’m sorry I upset you so much I wasn’t trying to be a jerk. I know that doesn’t excuse my not so funny joke. I’m having a party at my house a beginning of the year party where a lot of people will be guys and girls. I’d like it if you came party is at 5 on Friday let me know if you can make it.”

I looked over at him and nodded my head letting him know I was ok with going. If Cole was there I had no problem being around. I had liked Cole he had seemed like he was cool, someone John would like to hang out with and if I was at some party I didn’t have to worry about Ben watching me and I wouldn’t be worrying about what John was doing, where he was and stressing out about how I couldn’t help him. And how badly I needed him.

Chapter Text

The rest of the school day went by easy small breaks in-between subjects until it was time for the bell to ring leaving me standing at the drop off drive waiting for my Da. When I got there Da didn’t pull up but instead Uncle Ben making me hesitate when he rolled down the window of his car.

“You’re ok we’re going home get in,” He said briskly.

“I…,” I sighed.

I wasn’t ready to deal with him yet. Not with the way he’d been watching me whenever we ended up in the same room. Not with the way he’d been avoiding me, especially after Da told me why he had been doing it. Sure my head no longer hurt and it had been over a week since he had thrown me against the wall but that didn’t mean I wanted to be near him.

I wasn’t ok with him, with having to do what he told me. I knew the moment I got into that car I was his and I couldn’t stand that thought. I liked being my own person, belonging to myself. The moment I entered that car I knew that stopped for the day.
“Come on unless you want to stand here until your brothers get out in which case I’ll probably be driving them home too,” Ben said, “We only have what? An hour and a half. It won’t help you any.”

“Right,” I said nodding my head preparing myself for whatever it was that might happen.

“Ok Front seat please,” He said brushing his hair out of his eyes as he smiled at me, that cold smile.

“Ok,” I said nodding my head and climbing into the passenger seat doing up my seat belt.

I felt so small sitting there in his old beat up concord. I kept silent and as still as possible not sure what else I could do. Knowing that eventually his hand would make its way to my leg and probably someplace higher.

“So how was school?” He asked me.

“It was ok,” I answered.

“Make any friends?” He asked me.

“I wouldn’t call them friends yet but I talked to a couple of people. In first hour, English class the teacher made us write an essay about ourselves and read it out loud to the class. I talked about the places I’ve been and everyone got really excited when I mentioned our family has Castles,” I said as his hand went to my knee patting it gently before resting there.

“Well not every family owns Castles,” He said his index finger rubbing a small circle on my pant leg right above my knee making it hard to breathe normally. My brain started to cloud over just having his hand on my leg.

“I know,” I barely managed.

“You’re so ridged, can you tell me why?” He asked me.

What did I do? Did I tell him I was afraid of him, afraid of where his hand was going to move next, what he was going to do to me? Afraid he was going to force me to go downstairs once we got home. That he was going to make me have sex with him?
“I…” I tried to speak but found the weight of my tongue increasing. Found that it was too hard to speak. My brain moving too slowly.

“You don’t need to be nervous. I’m sorry about what happened ok? You just scared me is all. I’ll try to be better, to be gentle. I promise,” Ben said as he removed his hand from my knee taking my hand that was laying limply at my side and lacing his fingers through mine.

Like that was going to make things better. Like holding my hand and telling me he was sorry was going to make it all ok. It didn’t erase the fact that I knew he wanted to rape me. To do bad things to me.

I let him hold my hand not sure what else I could do. He drove us home and I remember not feeling like I was in my body by the time we got there but, more like I was watching things happen. Like I was watching my uncle hold open the kitchen door as I walked through it my heart pounding as I stepped through the door, his hand still entwined in mine.

“Let’s go upstairs huh?” He said letting go of my hand and grabbing my shoulders massaging them as he lead us up the stairs to the second floor. He didn’t stop when he passed my bedroom door but walked up to end of the hallway where the double doors to my Da’s room were and turned the corner.

There was a room there that I thought was another guest room it looked like another guest room from the outside but then he opened the door. The blinds were drawn making the room dark forcing him to turn on the light. The room wasn’t painted the off white that the guest rooms were on the other side of the hall but, were painted a gray instead. A gray almost metallic color with the bed facing the door.

Some type of geometric pattern made up the comforter in tones of orange and green with a gray background making up the main colors his sheets a bright red from the fitted sheet to the pillow cases. There was a rug under his bed, covering the white carpet which was a shag black, and a land scape of New York City wider than it was tall sitting above the headboard of the metal bed frame. So, this was his room. This was where he slept around the corner from my brothers and me.

In the corner opposite the bed was a tall dresser atop it a decent size TV that was state of the art. The doors to his walk in closet and en suite bathroom to the left a lounge chair sitting in-between them the leather of it looking worn and old. It felt surreal. Being in his room like that. Standing there waiting for him to say something knowing that he was going to do something to me. That he was going to probably hurt me.

I sighed closing my eyes as I heard him shut the door behind me, the lock sliding softly into place with a click before I felt him walk up behind me. He looped his arms around my waist his breath against the back of my head as he rested his face against my hair, me being a little over a foot shorter than he was him being around 6’2. He just stood there with me for a minute while I looked around the room, thinking of what it looked like thinking and this, this is where he rapes me this time.
“I don’t feel a bump,” He said to me quietly barely loud enough for me to hear the only reason I could understand it because he spoke it against the top of my head.

“It’s gone now. It’s been over a week,” I answered him.

“Is the headache still bad?” He asked me.

“Not too bad,” I answered sighing wishing he would just let me go instead of holding me like he was. Holding me like someone might hold a lover or someone else they cared about. Someone that I didn’t think should be me, that I knew shouldn’t be me.
“What about your bruises?” He asked me moving his arms and grabbing my blazer closely helping me pull my arms out of it.

“Like a yellow now,” I answered.

“Can I see?” He asked me taking my blazer and hanging it on the door knob of his bedroom as I turned to face him.

“I’d prefer to keep my…my clothes on,” I answered him.

“But you’re mine,” He said, “I won’t hurt you but, if I want to see you I can. You know that right?”

“That I can’t stop you?” I asked him quietly, “Yes, I know.”

“Does that scare you?” He asked me, “Because you don’t need to be scared. There’s nothing to be scared of baby ok?”

“I just want to be normal,” I responded not able to look at him anymore, ready to turn away.

I still felt like I was outside of myself. Like it wasn’t really happening. That I wasn’t standing in his room talking with him. Waiting for him to push me down and force me on the bed. Waiting for him to kiss me.

He came up to me cupping my cheek causing me to back up slightly. It felt weird having him close to my skin, I hated it. I hated the way he made me feel when he was so close to my skin as he looked down at me his eyes softening as I stared up at him, him undoing my tie and putting it on his chair between the two doors leaving me standing there in my white oxford, navy blue sweater vest and Khaki’s since I had taken my shoes off by the kitchen door.

I gulped. He wasn’t going to stop. Not until I was naked. Not until every inch of my skin was exposed.

“Don’t be nervous,” he said, “This is normal for us ok?”

I shook my head gulping again not sure if I was trying to gulp air or trying to pull the fear back down my throat. I felt frozen inside. Watching myself from somewhere on the ceiling as he pulled my sweater vest over my head undoing the first four or five buttons of my oxford dress shirt before he picked me up carrying me over to his bed.

He allowed himself to half fall on top of me his face buried in my neck as he started biting and sucking at the flesh slowly, gently as he moaned into my skin his hands still working my buttons, undoing them. I didn’t know what to do, what to say. I was 10. I was a little boy who was scared my heart pounding as my uncle did this to me. As he touched me his tongue against my jaw bone and then neck slowly swirling against my skin lower and lower into my collar bone as he go the last button undone pulling my shirt down my shoulders and off my arms his hand pulling my under shirt up hard enough to untuck it from my pants before he pulled it over my head.

I was still frozen solid. Not sure if I could tell him to stop or if I should try to push him away, knowing he might get mad, knowing me might hurt me as he stopped sitting up his eyes boring into mine, drilling in to see the very essence of my thoughts. He smiled lightly his hand running through my hair as he undid the belt on my pants and undid my pants all together grabbing the pant legs and pulling as he walked away putting them down neatly on his chair leaving me there in my underwear my torso exposed.

“You ok?” He asked sounding amused.

I pulled myself into a ball trying to hide myself. Trying to remember that I was ok. That I didn’t have to feel this. That if I could relax my brain enough I could go away, be somewhere else.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” He said again coming back over leaving his jeans and boxers in a pile on the floor at the foot of the bed.

It was the first time I had really looked at him. Looked at him before he started raping me, before his fingers started running over my naked body like snakes each touch leaving traces of venom on my skin to eat away at me. While his head had dark blond hair he down below his waist the hair was darker by a shade or two and curly. Nestled in the thick curls of his pubic hair was his penis red and swollen with excitement already making my stomach jump. I remember wondering if that was what they all looked like. Curving slightly to the left pointing straight out in front of him.

“Like what you see?” He asked noticing that I was staring at him, causing me to turn away my face blaring an obvious shade of red, “its ok you can look. I think yours is nicer but, I suppose mines not bad.”

That made me feel even worse. I don’t know if he said that to try and make me feel better but it didn’t help. I wondered how he even managed to fit into my body. The weirdness of thinking about it making it hard to breathe. I didn’t want him to but at the same time I remember the questions still being there right behind my eyes and him probably being able to read every one of them.

I felt like he could read my mind, thinking that just because the questions were there meant I wanted it with him. When I didn’t. I didn’t want it with anyone yet. When he climbed onto the bed next to me I jumped. Wanting to wiggle away as he put his hand on the base of my skull before his lips crashed into mine and I had no choice but to fight him for my breath as his hand rubbed me through my underwear before he broke the kiss trailing his way down my body to my stomach.

“You ok?” He asked me stopping to look at me, “Your eyes are so wide right now. Are you really that scared?”

I nodded my head closing my eyes trying to stop my heart from punching its way through my rib cage as he put his hand up against it leaning into me, “its ok baby I won’t hurt I promise. I’ll go nice and slow ok? Nothing to worry about.”

“Un…Ben please, I really…please,” I said before I could no longer find my voice as he pulled my underwear off leaving me in my socks taking one of his fingers and dipping it in a small tub of something before he pushed up on my heels gently forcing my legs to bend.

“It’s ok, this will help,” He said before I felt the cold slimy wetness against my hole causing me to tense up.

I didn’t want his finger in there. I didn’t want anything in there. My head was spinning why did I come up here? Why did I do something so stupid?

“It’s you or it’s Matty. So you need to take a deep breath in your nose and out your mouth and try to relax ok?” He said to me which I nodded my head in response to, doing what I was told grabbing a hold of the head board behind me.

I still wasn’t ready for the breech. The slow push inside the weird pressure as he finally pushed his finger in all the way to first knuckle moving it around before he added the other one me still squirming trying to breathe. Trying to make my body ok with it even though I knew my mind wouldn’t be.

“I love you when you do that,” He said smiling excitedly, “Fuck yourself on my fingers it’s so fucking hot.”

I squeezed the head board harder in my fist turning my knuckles white. Didn’t he understand I wasn’t doing that because it felt good but because it felt weird? Because it almost hurt having his fingers in there no matter what he was doing with them. It didn’t feel good, he didn’t feel good. He made it harder and harder to breathe the longer his skin was in contact with mine especially when he pulled his fingers out sticking his hand back in the tub before rubbing the contents excitedly all over himself.
“Ok baby,” He said pulling my hips up and forward so the small of my back was resting on his knees to elevate my hips slightly, “This is one of my favorite positions.”

I felt him line up with my body before he slowly started pushing in making me wheeze in pain and surprise my heels pressed into his chest with his knees under my back still supporting my weight. What was he doing? Why did it feel so weird?
“Oh fuck yeah,” He said as his body settled into mine rubbing my thighs as he waited for my body to adjust so he could start moving, “You feel so good inside. It probably feels a little tighter than usual to you. I’m using gravity to help us out here ok baby? Because instead of your pelvis being on bottom and me having to push into you gravity is pushing you down onto me and it makes it easier to reach that good spot. When I move if you watch your stomach you can see the difference in angle my cock moving inside you.”

He moved stealing my ability to do anything but lay there his angle hitting my prostate perfectly making me gasp and whimper as I closed my eyes. I hated it. I fucking hated it the way it seemed like my body was pulling itself down onto him the moment he quit supporting my weight with his knees impaling me on him rolling his hips just slightly so he never pulled out all the way making sure he kept contact as he rubbed his hand up and down my stomach brushing his fingers lightly across my own erection as he used his other hand to support his weight as he leaned backwards.

“God you feel so good baby,” He moaned as he moved inside of me making me want to scream, want to tell him to stop that I didn’t want it that I wasn’t ok with it. That this was wrong and it made me feel gross and sick and wrong.
I couldn’t find my voice. Even as the words spun around in my head crashing into each other I couldn’t make my lips work, make my tongue move in the way I wanted it to my mouth only opening in a silent around o and then slamming back shut as my whole body moved and twitched and rolled with his before a hiss escaped between my teeth just to repeat the whole movement a few minutes later.

“God I love you, you’re so fucking sexy, you feel so fucking good baby,” He yelled before leaning forward carefully grabbing my legs and using his one arm to shift my body weight forcing my legs to spread so he was in-between them leaning forwards before pulling out so he could adjust his angle and then slamming back into me nearly making my eyes roll as that spark bursts through every cell in my body.

“Are you going to cum for me?” he muttered.

He smiled into my chest before he jabbed himself forward into me one last time my whole body tensing as I tried to breath my jaw feeling like it was locking itself shut to keep me from screaming as I the feeling of pissing all over myself and him hit me and I felt him release inside of me silently his head buried in my chest before he pulled out relaxing beside me.

“That was amazing!” He said gleefully my whole body still stiff as stone as he hugged me, “Baby are you?...Oh baby don’t cry you were prefect. You were so prefect you felt so good. There’s nothing to be upset about ok? You did great. I love you. I love you, I love you.” He muttered kissing my face over and over and he rolled pulling me on top of him pulling my face into his sweaty sticky chest. I laid there numb as he used his hand to press my face against him.
I was tired I didn’t want to do this anymore. I wanted to escape, to go somewhere where I didn’t feel like I was slowly dying from the inside out. I felt like all the air had left the room as he held me before he sighed allowing me up, allowing me to pull my body slowly away from his.

I felt sore, sore in a way my thighs burning along my insides up into my waist and stomach making my legs feel stiff while my knees felt wobbly. I sighed deeply breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth a couple more times as he laid beside me both of us still covered in a thin sheen of sweat.

“You ok?” He asked me softly his eyes soft like he was concerned for my welfare.

I nodded my head at first, “My legs hurt.”

“Oh it’s huh, it’s a weird position it can sometimes stretch the ham string out and work your thigh muscles it feels weird and a little stiff for a while but, you should be ok,” He said and I nodded my head before getting to my feet.

“Can I…can I go?” I asked him quietly not looking at his eyes, not wanting to see him watching me as I wrapped my arms around my torso leaving the rest of me exposed for his eyes to roam over.

It was hard to tell when he was done especially in those first few months. To be able to tell what he wanted from me whether it was just a quick hour long fuck or something more heated, slow and deep and sometimes down right painful. He was unpredictable and impulsive his words always saying he loved me, that he cared about me and was just teaching me but sometimes his eyes cold and calculating or malicious and hell bend on destroying me atom by atom as I struggled under him.
“Yeah you can go. Make your brothers dinner when they get here ok?” He said as I stood up him grabbing my arm for a minute making me turn to face him freezing. Why had he told me it was ok for me to leave if he was going to stop me from leaving? The idea didn’t make any sense to me.

“Just a minute,” He said looking at me closely, “You’re so tense. I’m sorry it hurts you but, it gets easier.”

I nodded my head looking at my feet. It didn’t seem like it would get easier. My body was sore all the way from the center of my stomach down to the tips of my toes. I was tired and wary and didn’t see things getting better, easier. This was something I had allowed to happen and I couldn’t stop from continuing.

“No,” he said grabbing my chin forcing me to look in his eyes, “It does. You just have to accept it. Once you accept it, everything is better.”

“I understand,” I murmured quietly knowing that’s what he wanted to hear before he stood up pressing his lips to mine for a small peck before he left me standing there, him going into the bathroom and shutting the door behind him.

I heard the shower water turn on and sighed. I might not get to shower before I had to go downstairs but at least he wouldn’t be watching me get dressed. His eyes seeing everything we had done as he watched every inch of my skin disappear under my clothes.

When I got half way to the kitchen stair way I could hear them. Laughing quietly as they talked with each other as I turned the corner. I wanted to relax, to find that ease with which they still moved through life most of the time but, I couldn’t.

I decided not to bother them, to leave them to their school work as I turned around to dig into cupboard for boxed mac and cheese before I felt someone brush against my side making me jump and tense.

“Are you ok?” Matt asked me frowning from beside me.

“Yeah,” I lied, “Yeah I…I’m fine why?”

“I was just going to ask what was for dinner, are you sure you’re ok?” He asked me again.

“Mac and cheese and I swear to you I’m perfectly fine,” I said again.

“You’re walking funny though,” Mike pointed out as I took a step towards the stove.

“Guys, it’s not your concern now leave me alone,” I warned them.

They all fell quiet looking at me. I didn’t think I had been that stern but apparently the way I had said it had gotten my point across. That I didn’t want to be bothered about it however, their reaction made one thing clear to me. They weren’t buying my lies, they didn’t believe that I was ok.

“Will?” James said quietly after a while of me standing at the stove.

“Yes Jay?” I asked him.

“I’m supposed to work on my spelling,” Jay said, “Can you help me. I would ask John but Da says he’s still sick.

“Sure, I’ll help after dinner ok?” I told him.

“Thank you,” He said turning back to whatever he was working on his little face concentrating hard as he bent over his work book, his brow furrowed as he stuck his tongue out looking at it closely as I turned back to the pot of water.

When the water was done boiling I drained the pasta and put the packaged cheese into it mixing it until I felt it was creamy enough to serve and then put the bowls on the table one at a time sitting down next to James as I put a fork into my own bowl and started eating slowly. It felt good having that moment. Being normal with my brothers because those moments seemed to come with less and less frequency as the days passed by.

“So what words do you have to learn?” I asked him sitting down as he dug his fork into his bowl of processed noodles and fake cheese.

“These ones,” He said pulling a sheet of paper out of his work book with the words neatly typed and instructions on the back saying that flash cards were helpful and that each student needed to know how to spell all of the words by the end of a four week period. It was words like “Rabbit, Oyster, Cat, Feline, Wolf, Frog, Cow, Steer, Bull, Buck. All basically animals of some kind ranging from three to seven letters in length.”

I sighed looking at them, “Don’t you know most of these?” I asked him.

“All but that one,” He said, “Add vac?” He asked me.

“Aardvark,” I corrected, “We’ll work on it.”

“Aren’t those the things with the funny nose?” He asked me.

“A lot of things have funny noses, but it’s one of them yes,” I replied finishing up my bowl.

“Will?” Mikey questioned so quietly I could barely hear him.

“Yes?” I asked him.

“Never mind,” He said looking at me before he looked back at his bowl.

Something was on his mind but it was something he wasn’t sure how to bring up. I sighed not sure what I could do to help him. Like I said I had already decided any questions they had I would do my best to answer so they didn’t get misinformed by other sources, mainly our Da and Uncle but it was still hard for me to talk about. The things they did. How else were they supposed to know that what they were feeling was what everyone else in the same situation felt though? That their emotional feelings were valid.

“Hey, come here,” I said standing up and motioning him over to the hallway away from everyone which caused him to glance at me nervously, “you’re not in trouble Mikey.”

I wanted him to know that he had done nothing wrong since mum usually pulled us aside for one on one talks when we had done something wrong. I just thought it might be easier for him to tell me what was on his mind if it was out of the way away from everyone else. That he would feel less embarrassed or nervous about bring it up.

He sighed standing up and coming over to me, “What’s going on?”

“Never mind,” he said quietly.

“Mikey I won’t be upset with you ok? Did one of them hurt you? Da or Uncle Ben?”

“I…,” He stopped.

“Whatever happened it’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything,” I said quietly, “Do you have a question for me? You can ask me anything you want and I’ll try to answer.”

“I don’t want you to be mad,” he whispered his whole body tense and eyes wide with fear as he looked at me.

“I won’t be mad at you for asking,” I replied, “I promise.”

“You pinky promise?” He asked me.

“Pinky promise,” I nodded my head hooking my pinky around his, “Can you tell me what it is?”

“Da he…he wouldn’t stop rubbing my leg in the car and usually it’s not that weird but it made my tummy feel funny like my tummy feels when Matty touches me sometimes because Da makes him. And I ….I don’t like the way it feels.” He mumbled out.

“You mean that tight pressure in your lower tummy?” I asked him, “That makes your penis feel weird?”

“Yeah,” He said.

“That’s called an erection it’s just blood kind of flowing down there. I know it feels weird and uncomfortable but what’s the question about it? Are you afraid it’s not normal?” I asked him.

“Is it normal?” He asked me.

“When someone is touching you in certain ways or when you get older and you’re thinking about certain things yes it’s pretty normal,” I answered.

He sighed with relief his body visibly relaxing. He was worried he wasn’t normal. That that weird feeling in his stomach and pelvis wasn’t normal. What exactly was my Da talking to them about if he wasn’t talking about their bodies with them? Telling them that those things were normal and it was Da that was weird.

“So it’s ok? I’m not gross?” He asked me.

“No, Da’s the one who there is something wrong with. He shouldn’t want to touch you like that,” I told him, “so that’s what it was you were worried about?”

“Does it feel like that for you sometimes? When Da …” I cut him off.

“Yes, it does a lot of the time and I don’t like it either, it makes me feel weird and like I did something wrong but I haven’t. I know logically I haven’t,” I answered him.

“What about when…” he trailed off.

“When what?” I asked.

“When he…,” He said before covering his hand with his mouth and saying something grabbled in a whisper that I couldn’t understand.

“When he what?” I asked him swallowing afraid of what he was going to say.

“When he puts his mouth, when he kisses you down there,” He barely whispered.

“Da’s done that to you?” I asked him and he nodded his head not able to look at me, “Listen Mike, bodies are made to react to things like I said. And that is touching you in a certain way right?”

He nodded his head, “So it’s not weird?”

“No bud it’s not weird what’s weird is that Da wants to do it to you, your body responding to it, there’s nothing weird about that,” I answered him.

“Ok,” he said nodding his head, “Did I make you mad? Asking?”

“No,” I said shaking my head, “No you didn’t. You can tell me anything and I won’t be mad at you, I promise.”

“Sometimes you seem mad. When we ask things,” Mike said.

“It’s not I’m mad at, it’s the situation. The fact that you have to ask and this shouldn’t be something you deal with,” I answered him.

“You’re not ok you know?” He asked me.

I sighed, “That’s something different completely that you also shouldn’t have to worry about.”

“How is it different? You said they hurt you,” Mike said.

I smiled sadly, “Mikey, I know you care. I do it’s just there are things you shouldn’t have to worry about. You shouldn’t have to worry about Da doing that stuff to you let alone anyone else. I’ll be fine. Worry about yourself ok?”

“You don’t shake though,” He said.

“What?” I asked feeling brow go up and confusion.

“When I touched you, you shook. You shook like I was bad, like you were scared. You don’t do that when someone walks up behind you. John does he always has but not you. Never you,” Mike answered me.

“You just scared me that’s it,” I answered, “That’s all it was.”

“But after that your shoulders they kept…” I cut him off.

“Mikey I know you’re trying to be nice and that you’re just saying you’re worried but I need you to focus on you. Keeping yourself safe and ok until mum gets here and doing your school work. Don’t worry about me. If you need someone else to worry about other than yourself worry about John ok? Because you know what Da is like towards him. You know what he’s probably going through,” I said.

“You mean Da’s funny eyes? Yeah I know,” Mike answered glumly.

“You know what that looks means right? And that he looks at John like that all the time,” I said.

“Yeah he always…it means bad things,” He simplified for me and I nodded in agreement.

“I think that’s why John is sick because Da is doing too many bad things to him. So if you need to worry about someone worry about where John is. Keep asking Da when John can see us, tell Da you want to play with him, talk to him, and be with him. We all need to do that ok? That way maybe Da will let him out. “

“Ok,” He said nodding his head, “You want me to wash my plate?” He asked me, “I’m done with my school work.”

“How about I wash the plates and you dry them ok?” I asked him patting his head.

“Ok,” he said.

That night I listened to more comic book chatter as Mikey and Matty helped dry the dishes for me.

“I like Owl man better personally,” Matty said.

“You would, because you’re a Villain,” Mike said, “I’m still a bigger fan of the bat.”

“Why? Don’t you want people to die? Especially when they are stupid? I hate stupid people,” Matty said.

“Who is Owlman?” I asked frowning.

“Evil batman,” Matt answered.

“There’s an evil batman?” I asked.

“I thought you liked reading?” Matt asked, “How do you not know this?”

“I read books, I don’t read comic books,” I answered, “Ok so how can there be an evil batman?”

“Multiverse,” Matt and Mike said in unison.

“Ok I know the idea behind that,” I said nodding my head.

While I didn’t read comic books I was into quantum physics and mechanics. This states that time does not necessarily exist but is simply a measurement humans have given existence. That time does not stop it just continues to move. That Time is a living breathing being as alive as any one person is. That this creates infinite worlds with infinite possibilities. And that is what the “multiverse” is. It’s time carrying on and coming to different conclusions.

“Did you believe in the multiverse?” Matt asked me suddenly.

“I think so. I’d like to believe it’s real. That maybe somewhere else life isn’t like this for us,” I said.

“But the idea of the multiverse is there are other realities where nothing is what it is. Like say here I have you right and John and James and obviously Mikey but. Say in another universe your all girls or I don’t have you guys at all and it’s just me. Isn’t that what the multiverse means?” Matty asked me.

“Yes,” I said nodding my head, “its life’s way of exploring every possible outcome. Who knows maybe in some part of the multiverse you’re actually a dog. We have no way of knowing it’s a cool idea though.”

“So we could be superheroes in the multiverse?” Mikey asked looking at me and Matty his eyes wide with wonder and excitement.

“I wouldn’t go that far but, if it makes you feel better,” I answered.

“I don’t think I’d be a super hero,” Matty commented after a moment of silence.

“No you’d probably be a super villain,” Mike agreed.

“Why do you think Matty would be a Villain?” I asked, “Why can’t he be an anti-hero?”

“What’s an anti-hero?” They both asked at the same time.

“Well from what I understand an anti-hero does heroic things for the wrong reasons and don’t always play by the rules like how batman and superman refuse to kill people, an anti-hero would probably kill someone,” I answered them.

“So I can still kill people but not be bad?” Matt said, “Cool.” He said mostly to himself nodding his head as he came to terms with the idea.

That made me smile. Watching my brother decide he didn’t have to be a bad guy in his superhero day dreams. Matt was always different where Mikey seemed light almost like he wanted good things to happen, he wanted ice cream and innocence and seemed made of the stuff Matty was always darker somehow. Not saying he didn’t enjoy ice cream, he loved the stuff but he just always seemed to see things differently from everyone else. It seemed almost like where ever Mike wanted to watch a flower thrive Matty was standing by with the matches waiting to see it burn. Where ever Mike wanted things to be good and pure Matt was in the shadows waiting for things to collapse.

“So does an anti-hero do good things because he wants to help other people or because of other things,” Matt asked suddenly looking at me.

“Probably other things. Less it’s the right thing to do and more because…”

“He wants people to like him?” He asked me interrupting my thought.

“Yes, that’s exactly what an anti-hero does,” I heard his voice and I felt my body freeze over almost dropping the plate was I handing over to Mike.

Matt shot me a look as I avoided looking at them. He knew. He saw it just as much as Mike saw it that something was wrong. That I wasn’t ok.

“James are you still doing homework there bud?” Uncle Ben asked causing me to turn to him as he looked not at James but at me. The threat thinly veiled as he looked into my face. As if he was daring me to not do something to stop it. Like he was hinting that if I didn’t act exactly how he wanted me to someone was going to get hurt and it would be Jay.

“Yeah,” James sighed as Uncle Ben started walking over to him.

“Hey you guys we’re almost done, let me take the plates and put them away really quick ok?” I told Mike and Matt who both frowned at me.

“I thought we were supposed to put them away, usually we do,” Mike said.

“Well tonight I got it you can go watch TV,” I said nodding my head.

Matt smiled, “He’s letting us get out of it, come on before he changes his mind,” he said grabbing Mike by the hand and rushing from the room towards to living room as I put the dishes away going over to where Uncle Ben was sitting next to James watching him closely.

“No, what’s four plus two?” He asked pointing at the problem on the work sheet putting his hand on Jay’s back making both Jay and I flinch.

“I huh,” Jay said his brain blanking out before he looked at his finger.

“No, no hands pal come on you know this,” He said, “what is two plus two?”

“Four,” Jay said automatically.

“Add another two to that so it’s two plus two plus two,” Ben said.

“Six,” James aid looking at him questioningly.

“Good job that’s right, now write it down,” He said his hand rubbing down James’s spine causing him to sit up straight his eyes go wide.

“Don’t do that,” I said shaking my head.

“I’m not hurting him,” Ben told me.

“He’s doing his homework,” I pointed out, “It’s distracting when…” I faltered feeling myself blush.

He smiled happily at me standing up, “Yeah?”

“Leave him alone!” Jay said suddenly grabbing our attention, “He doesn’t want you to do that to him either leave him alone.”

“Jay don’t worry about it its ok,” I said.

“No it’s not, I know you don’t like it it’s not fair,” Jay stated.

“Jay,” I said sighing. Why didn’t he get it? Why didn’t he see it?

We were both young me only being ten but I could more than see it. He was using Jay to upset me and me to upset Jay. He was going to hurt one of us and I would rather it was me. Sure it hurt and I hated it but, my body could handle it better than Jay’s could and I knew it. I knew it was easier for me, that it would hurt less yet Jay was trying to protect me. Trying to keep me from being hurt and the idea of him doing that to Jay terrified me.

“What? He’s just being a kid,” Uncle Ben said coming closer to me forcing me to take a step back.

“Leave him alone!” Jay said again.

“Jay come here,” Uncle Ben said smiling his eye on me.

“Why?” Jay asked coming up to us and Uncle Ben put his arms around Jay’s shoulder, “How would you like to see what Will and I do up close?”

“NO!” I shouted startling all three of us, “I mean I’m ok. He’s a kid.”

“What do you do? He said you hurt him and that it makes his tummy feel funny,” Jay asked him frowning.

He leaned down hugging Jay before he buried his face in Jay’s hair, “You can feel it if you want to.”

“Don’t Ben please,” I said as calmly as I could, pretending to … just pretending I was ok that I was calm that I wasn’t freaking out about what he might do to my little brother.

“Ok,” He said standing up and coming over to me, “You want to show him?”

“What do you mean?” I asked him confused hugging myself.

“How I make your tummy feel funny,” He said putting a hand on my waist pulling me close. I closed my eyes feeling my throat closing up. He wasn’t going to do this here was he? Touch me like that in front of Jay?

Before I knew it his hand was on my face and then he was forcing his tongue in my mouth. I stood as still as possible not wanting to upset Jay but not wanting him to kiss me either his tongue rolling across the back of my mouth as I stood there feeling my whole body tighten in silent panic before he broke away from me.

“Eww,” Jay said looking at us.

“You ok baby?” He asked me my brain too numb to notice he didn’t use my name and I just nodded my head in response.

“Can I go?” I asked him not able to look at him.

“Jay can go,” He said to me, “Jay go watch TV with your brothers.”

“Why?” Jay asked, “What if I don’t want to watch TV.”

“You want to watch something else?” He asked Jay and I shook my head at him.

“Why are you shaking?” Jay asked me.

“I’m not,” I said quietly.

“You are I see it,” Jay said, “Uncle Ben he doesn’t like you. He doesn’t want you making his tummy feel like that.”

I saw the anger flash in Ben’s eyes and I knew we were in trouble if I didn’t stop him. I sighed not sure what to do before I grabbed Uncle Ben hugging him my whole body still shaking not wanting to touch him. Not after that my face still burning with shame my body shaking, “Let me talk to him.” I said.

“Oh you better,” Uncle Ben hissed in my ear, “because if you don’t fix this problem here I’m going to fix it and trust me neither of you want to know what I would do to fix it.”

“Hey Jay come here for a second,” I said as Uncle Ben walked away leaving us to stand there alone just the two of us.

“Well he’s hurting you,” He said.

“Jay, I need you to back off ok? He doesn’t see it as hurting me. I don’t know what to do but you telling him that I don’t like it isn’t going to help. I know you’re trying to help me but it’s not going to ok?” I told him.

“That’s not fair though he can’t do that you said that if it makes me feel funny and I don’t like it I should say something that I should tell them no and I know it makes you feel funny and he won’t listen to you so maybe if I…”

“Jay it doesn’t work that way,” I told him, “He’ll hurt you. He’s not a good person you can’t make him mad.”

I remembered him threatening to break every finger if I didn’t do it. If I didn’t let him have sex with me. How he was going to rape one of them and make me watch. I couldn’t let him do anything like that to any of them. Jay needed to understand what would happen.

“You remember how bad it hurt when Da made you do that thing?” I asked him trying to put it delicately.

“When he put his penis in my butt yeah,” He said his eyes going wide in fear, “Why?”

“Well, if Uncle Ben is mad he might…I don’t want him to hurt you ok? So when he does something or says something to me I need you to ignore him. You can’t make him mad ok?”

“Why? You said that we should say no, why can’t I tell him no for you maybe if I say it he’ll listen,” Jay said.

“Oh that’s cute you’re telling him I’m a bad guy,” Ben said coming back into the room, “You want me to be a bad guy? I can be the bad guy.”

He grabbed me forcefully by the elbow before he pushed me hard into the table making me fall backwards onto it before he punched me in the stomach making me fold into myself then he grabbed me by the hair yanking my head back as Jay screamed.
“Don’t hurt him! DON”T HURT HIM! NO STOP!”

“I’m not going to hurt you am I baby you like it don’t you?” He said before he shoved his tongue in my mouth and I heard James start sobbing as I grabbed at the hand attached to my hair my heart feeling like it was trying to escape through my throat. As I heard many footsteps pounding towards the room and then heard a bellowing from above us on the stair way.

“BENJIMAN!!! WHAT ON EARTH!!?” Da shouted, “BEN no excuse, none!”

“We’re just having fun right boys?” Ben asked me.

“You can’t do that to him let go of his hair,” Da said.

“The contract says no serious injury pulling his hair doesn’t count as a serious injury he’s mine Connor you gave him to me remember?” Ben said to which my Da sighed.

“Not here,” Da said, “You’re upsetting the boys.”

“Why is he doing that Da? Why is he hurting him?” Mikey asked frowning as my Da came down the stairs to grab James hugging him while he picked him up Patting Matty on the head to comfort him.

“He’s not hurting him for real,” Da answered Mikey smiling down at him, “Come on guys go watch TV ok? I’ll be there in a little bit.”

He waited until they were back out of the room both of them watching my brothers leave while Da held James trying to calm him down as he still cried in my Da’s arms. I sighed. This wasn’t good.

“All right fine, it was just a joke until someone had to say I was a bad guy that liked to hurt people,” Ben said letting go of my hair allowing me to move of my own accord rubbing my head.

“You do like to hurt people,” Da replied sighing as he tried to calm Jay down me still frozen in place on the kitchen table not sure if I should actually get up and move or stay where I was. Not sure which one would make them angrier.

“I’m getting better at not doing it, yeah I have a temper problem you can thank our father for that,” Ben muttered.

“We can thank him for a lot of things,” Da sighed, “Just don’t antagonize the kids ok? He’s yours I gave him to you but that doesn’t mean you get to beat the shit out of him in front of his little brothers and make everyone cry. I know it’s something you get off on, something you get from Dad but please we agreed we were going to go about this in a more delicate manner.”

“Yeah I know,” Ben said, “James I’m sorry I scared you ok but, Will is fine aren’t you Will?”

“Yeah,” I said nodding my head numbly not able to look at him as I rubbed my stomach through my oxford feeling the heat from where his fist had connected with my flesh through my shirt. I could tell by looking at James the tears drying on his face as Da held his little hand that he didn’t believe me. Or us whichever.

Watching Da with him, holding his hand made me nervous made my skin crawl remember how hard he was crying when I had walked into that room that night. I didn’t want Da touching him. Not ever, not even a hand hold.

“You’re not fine are you Will?” James asked me suspiouscly.

“Jay, I’m fine, really ok?” I said quietly.

“I’m not sure I believe you,” He said as Da let go of his hand, allowing him to walk towards me looking at me as I looked at Uncle Ben who smiled widely and nodded his head indicating it was ok for me to get off the table that I could come down.

“Is there anything Will can do to make you believe he’s ok?” Da asked James.

“I don’t know,” James answered him still looking in my eyes.

He was reading me. Seeing right though everything. Watching the way my muscles moved, my body language. When you grow up with someone you know all their mannerisms. You know how they move when they are uncomfortable compared to at ease you can see it in the way they move their eyes and purse their lips, in the way they move their shoulders and carry their own body weight and he was using those skills on me, using those skills to tell how uncomfortable I was. Which was very having just been punched in the gut and threatened with body harm against him if I didn’t do as I was told.

“Hey,” I said to him frowning, “Don’t do that.”

“Sorry,” James said.

“Do what?” Da asked me frowning as Ben furrowed his brow watching us closely.

“Nothing,” James answered.

“You boys just like your mum always seeing things others don’t,” Da sighed, “Look if he says he’s fine, he’s fine ok James?”

“Ok,” James nodded his head in response even though his eyes told me he didn’t agree with that sentiment at all, “Da can I go watch TV now?”

“Yeah bud go ahead, Will, Ben can I talk to you two?” Da asked us to which I just nodded and Ben came over to me coming up behind me and putting his hands on my shoulders making me stand still.

“Ben I need to you watch your actions a little better. We don’t want you scaring him. You scare him it all blows up in our faces you got it?” Da reminded him.

“Says the guy who made him bleed,” Ben said wrapping his arms around my shoulders his hands starting to gently rub at my collar bone through my shirt.

“They always bleed the first time you know that, and Will baby watch your eyes. Since James there seems to be very perspective you need to watch your eyes ok?” Da said to me.

“My eyes?” I asked feeling confused.

“Well for example your eyes are pretty wide like you’re scared shitless he’s not going to do that you in front of me unless I tell him he can ok? So you don’t need to worry about that right now, you can calm down,” Da said.

Uncle Ben reached down feeling for the nubs of my nipples through my shirt squeezing one of them and rolling it between his fingers making me freeze. That did not feel good at all the cold fire it sent through my body as my face started to heat up flushing red. My Da was standing right there in front of us watching my uncle do it and not saying a damn thing about it.

“Oh yes and I warned you about someone’s temper,” My Da said his eyes flashing to uncle Ben as he buried his face in the back of my neck starting to undo the top buttons on my oxford, “So why did you antagonize him?”

“I-I wa-wasn’t t-try-trying t-to,” I answered as Uncle Ben started sucking on my ear lobe my Da completely ignoring the fact that I was being groped and molested in front of him.

“You taste so good baby,” Ben whispered in my ear making my face heat up even more.

“Ben you’re boring me stop it,” Da said.

“Really brother? I’m boring you? I can make it very unboring in a minute if you like,” He said his hand going to the button of my pants making me close my eyes my whole body frozen.

“We could if you wanted to,” Da said shrugging his shoulders, “I mean sometimes it’s nice to mix it up.”

I gulped just hearing it knowing he was coming closer. That whatever they were doing wasn’t good. This wasn’t good.

“Hey, it’s ok,” My Da whispered as I felt his hand on my cheek my eyes still closed as my Uncle undid the button on my pants my lips starting to tremble, “No, we’re not going to hurt ok? It’s ok.”

“That’s right, we’re just going to love you,” Uncle Ben said undoing my fly and letting go allowing my pants to start sliding down my legs as he kissed my neck sucking on the spot right under my skull as my Da started undoing the rest of my shirt.

I wasn’t sure what they were doing having never been touched by two people at the same time. Not like that. I knew that’s where it was going the way their hands were moving over my skin Uncle Ben’s hands pushing up the hem of my undershirt drawing lazy small circles below my belly button with his fingers as my Da finally undid the last button on my shirt pulling my shirt down my arms and letting it fall to the floor as my uncle allowed some space between his body and mine so Da could pull my under shirt over my head Ben kissing the back of my exposed shoulder blades his hands rolling the top of my briefs down.

I was shaking. I was shaking so badly my knees felt weak unable to support my body weight as Da leaned into me pinning me between him and my uncle his hands cupping my ass as I kept my eyes closed just trying to breathe. What the fuck were they doing? Why were they doing this? Why together?

I felt a hand cup me through my briefs my eyes fluttering open not sure whose hands were where as I looked at my Da his eyes heavy with lust his other hand on my shoulder, “Feels good huh?” He asked me quietly noting my growing erection, “its ok. There isn’t anything to be embarrassed about, we want you to feel good don’t we Benny?”

“What?” Uncle Ben asked as he stopped digging his teeth into the back of my neck, “Oh, yeah. Yeah baby we want you to feel good. We want you to feel so good,” He said before starting to mouth back on my shoulders his hands running up and down my chest and arms slowly, gently.

I wanted to scream and tell them no, to stop but I found I couldn’t even open my mouth. Almost like my body wouldn’t listen to me as it shuddered and shook their hands running over every inch of exposed skin making my chest heave as I tried to force air down my wind pipe and into my lungs. Why? Was all I could keep thinking. Why?

“Hey you know what Ben? Take him downstairs and get started while I put the guys to bed ok?” Da said, “I’ll be down in a little while.”

“You sure you don’t mind? I mean I thought it would be fun to start him off together it’s been a while since we…” Da cut him off.

“We’ll finish him together I won’t be long,” Da answered him as Uncle Ben used my shoulders to steer me in the direction of the basement stairs. I sighed knowing this was going to be bad. That whatever they were going to do was going to be something I didn’t like.

Chapter Text

I felt like my whole body was shaking my legs about to give out underneath me at any second as I took each step. This was going to hurt. I wasn’t going to like this. My hand was shaking so hard the banister vibrated under my hand as I walked slowly using the railing to support myself folding my arms across my bare chest as I put my back against the wall so I didn’t have to feel his aura behind me, bleeding into my personal space giving me goose bumps. Turning so I could see him, see his face.

“Its ok baby,” He said looking at me, “We’re just going to have fun I won’t hurt I swear. You’re Da isn’t into that anyway.”

He opened up the door to room with the beds again me not having been in the only other room in the basement yet. I didn’t move from where I was leaning with my back against the wall trying to breathe knowing what they were going to do to me. Knowing that he was going to make me do things more things when he had done them earlier made my legs give out under me.

“Please Uncle Ben,” I begged, “Please I can’t. Please.”

“Oh baby, come here,” He said picking me up and hugging me, “its ok I’m not going to hurt you. I know I’ve been kind of rough and I’m sorry but it won’t be like that. It’ll be like earlier ok? It’ll be slow. It’ll feel nice.”

That made the idea of what they were going to do that much worse. I hadn’t liked that at all. The feel of his knees under my back as he pushed inside of me my feet pressed against his naked sweaty chest. I really didn’t want that.

“Please,” I whimpered as he hugged me, “Please.”

“Oh baby, its ok I’ll go slowly make sure it feels good I promise. I’ll work you nice and open no toys and nothing weird just me and you and then Connor will come down and join us ok?” He said again kissing me on the cheek and then the lips his hand rubbing up and down my back like you might do to comfort someone.

He struggled to get to his feet without letting me go laying me down on the bed as I still cried his tongue sliding into my mouth as I screamed into the kiss, screamed into his mouth pushing at him trying to get him off me, punching at his chest wishing my legs weren’t pinned so I could kick him, so he would know I wasn’t ok with this. I wasn’t ok with him on me, him kissing me.

“Shhh…calm,” He muttered breaking our kiss his tongue retreating from my mouth, “Calm.”

“Please,” I said again closing my eyes as his lips connected with my neck before he started sucking and nibbling there.

I didn’t know what to do with my hands my arms feeling like they were full of lead as he laid on top of me his hands brushing up and down my sides making my face flush and my eyes close as I tried so hard to block him out. I kept telling myself that if it wasn’t me it was going to be Jay. That if it wasn’t me it was going to be someone else.

Kept telling myself that I couldn’t let that happen. That it was my job to keep them safe because John wasn’t here. That I needed to be strong, to be ok to let it happen as he started rubbing me through my underwear making my head tilt back squeezing my eyes shut tighter.

“Feels good?” He asked me as I swallowed hard, “You tilted your head back, you’re arching your back a little bit."

I didn’t want it to. I didn’t want it to feel good but it tickled against my skin his hands running up and down my sides that heat shooting down into my groin as his hands made that pressure build.

“God you taste so good baby, you feel so good. It’s like you were made for me. You think that’s true, that your Da and mummy made you just for me?” He asked his thumbs brushing up against my nipples as the moved down my sides again.

I didn’t want this, this was not something I was not ok with was all I could think as I felt his tongue on my skin, gliding over arm and down my side putting his nipple in my mouth rolling his tongue over it making me whimpered between my closed lips.
“God you’re so hot, your little cock,” He said continuing to rub me through my underwear my body responding the way he wanted me to. I wanted to beg him to stop. To plead with him to stop as I he slid my underwear down my legs and pulled them off getting up his weigh leaving my body.

I took the chance to roll over onto my stomach and pull my knees up to my chest because I had nothing else to make me feel better. Because I needed my mum or my brother and they weren’t there and I wasn’t ok. I didn’t want to crawl up the bed for fear it would make him angry make him think I was trying to get away. Make him think, know I wasn’t into this.

He sighed when he saw me, that had to be what made him sigh me trying to bury my face in my arms my front pressed against the bed so that he couldn’t touch me like that anymore, she that he couldn’t reach my nipples of my penis that was engorged with blood erect and feeling slightly tight.

“Its ok baby,” he said rubbing the back of my thighs making them feel cold and sticky.

He already had lube on his hands, but had found it necessary to touch my legs to comfort me. To tell me I was ok. I knew my ass was to him but I felt like it was more important to make sure he couldn’t get to my other parts.

He kissed the base of my spine doing something he’d never done before. His mouth having never been that close to my ass before.

“God you have such a prefect little ass,” He whispered the words into my right ass cheek before his tongue poked me there. Circling.

“Don’t!” I whimpered as he pulled away me trying to clench my cheeks together to keep his tongue away from there.

“Its ok baby, you might like it,” He said and I closed my eyes my lip trembling. I didn’t want to have sex with him. I didn’t want his mouth on me, “Don’t say that again ok? I’m being nice about it because you’re young, you’re my special boy but your Da he gets upset with those words so you have to be more careful ok?”

He sighed his hands messaging my cheeks as I curled my toes trying to ignore how everything felt. His hands on my body the way he kept pushing at me with his fingers. Before I felt his finger there next time pushing hard against me to get in, to find its way in as I moved away.

“Let me,” He whispered, “Let me or you’re going to make me mad. We don’t want me to be mad do we?”

I sighed trying to relax. He was right, I didn’t want him to be mad when he got mad he was mean. He slid his finger in as I finally relaxed only to tense back up when his finger was in there moving around making it hard to focus on anything but the pressure, his finger and hand making me want to scream at him.

“God you have such strong ass muscles, maybe that’s why it feels so mind blowing, because you can make it so tight,” He muttered more to himself than to me as he slid another finger in working them in and out making a squishing sound like it always did as he made sure to coat my insides.

He was being painfully slow moving his fingers in and out listening to the squelching as he rubbing my shoulder with his other hand as he whispered praised in my ear kissing my shoulder every once in a while telling me I was a good boy that I was special and sweet.

He pulled out after what felt like forever, after working me open. After pushing and prodding that special spot making it hard to breathe. I relaxed thinking maybe he was done for a while. Thinking that maybe he was waiting for my Da until he manipulated me so I was laying flat on my stomach grabbing my hips and pushing his thumb into the front of my hip bones forcing me onto my knees before he lined up behind me.

“Oh fuck yeah,” He said as he started pushing into me breaking past the first ring of muscle, “its ok baby I’ll go nice and slow, open you up nice and wide.”

“It hurts,” I whimpered.

“I know baby but you’re doing so good,” He said pushing in even farther my body shaking so hard I thought it would break as he finally seated himself inside me, “Oh there it is, there’s that spot. You know how good you feel? Fucking amazing. You’re so fucking sexy and so tight. Your little ass is so tight. God I love you.”

He rolled his hips pulling them back and then snapping them forward hard enough to jolt me off the bed burying himself back into me. Kissing the back of my neck as he rubbed up against that spot making me tense. I bit into my lip to keep my sharp gasps from becoming a moan.

“Yeah? God you feel good, oh god yeah,” He said as he kept going making me pant my body giving it over to him, letting him know what he was doing to me. That my heart was pumping my blood rushing to my groin as he rubbed against my prostate sending sparks of ice up and down my spine with each movement he made making it hard to stay silent.

I must have whimpered or grunted or something because he buried his face in my neck licking my ear lobe from behind, “I know baby you’re doing so good, you feel so good baby, oh god yeah,” He muttered both his hands on my hips as he rocked and rolled into me making my body shiver and tremble as it ached from being so tense, from the fear.

“I see someone is having fun,” I heard behind Uncle Ben.

“Yeah we’re doing well aren’t we baby?” Uncle Ben cooed in my ear rolling his hips into me again.

“Can I help?” Da asked.

“Please,” I begged as he hit against my prostate making me moan before I could stop myself.

“Sure,” Ben said.

I wasn’t begging my Da to help. I was begging him to make Uncle Ben stop. Because I never wanted them to do this to me. I never wanted to feel them like this, to know them like this.

My Da got down on the bed beside us and reached his hand under us, touching me, rubbing me. Making me cry as that feeling exploded all over my body. The hand on me becoming sticky as I collapsed forward my uncles weight on top of me, his movement finally stilling as he climaxed.

“That’s a good boy,” My Da said as Uncle Ben kissed my neck.

“He really is, he’s a very good boy,” Uncle Ben agreed as he pulled out the feeling making me cringe.

“Oh shit you fucked him wide open Benny,” My Da hissed, “I’m surprised he’s not bleeding.”

“Hey you always said I had a decent girth,” Ben commented.

“Yeah after you hit about 15 and by then you were trying to choke my four year old on it remember?” Da laughed touching my hole making me flinch. Before I knew what he was doing I felt his tongue circling and I slapped my hand over my own mouth to make sure I didn’t scream out the rawness of it along with the feeling of his tongue in there didn’t feel good .

“Daddy please,” I begged before I started sobbing his tongue probing way too deep too concentrated making my insides burns.

“Its ok baby,” Uncle Ben told me coming around in front of me wearing boxers and nothing else pulling my face into his lap as I cried rubbing my shoulders gently, like he was trying to soothe me.

“It burns please, please Daddy,” I begged more as he finally let me go his hands leaving my hips so I could curl myself into a ball. Curl myself as away from him as I dared.

“I think you were a little too rough there Benny maybe stick to other activities for a little while?” Da said.

“Yeah I can do that,” Uncle Ben said as I felt his hand move down my arm as my Da grabbed my knees pulling them from my grip.

“Please Daddy,” I begged him knowing what he was going to do, “Please Daddy.”

“It’s ok, we’re just going to make you feel…”

“PLEASE!!!” I begged screaming the word meaning don’t do it, don’t touch me there.

“You don’t scream like that,” He said yanking hard on my legs leaning over top of them holding them down with his body weight, “You don’t scream like that ever!” He warned me.

“Your Da’s right Will, baby you can’t do that. We just want you to know how much we love you. We know you’re scared because it feels weird but there isn’t anything wrong with it. Nothing bad is going to happen. I promise,” Uncle Ben said moving so he was beside me on my left while Da was on my right he kissed my cheek while Da shift his weight over all the way and he kissed my ankle.

One licked his way up while the other, the other licked his way down their hands and lips and tongues going there all at the same time making it hard to think as it felt like everything my belly, legs and chest tightened and got hot. I didn’t want them licking me there. Anywhere but there but they wouldn’t stop. They didn’t stop until I couldn’t breathe at all. Until it felt like everything was going black as the world spun around me.

Next thing I remember Da was holding my feet so they elevated as Uncle Ben watched my face running a hand through my hair.

“He’s awake Connor, he’s all right,” Ben muttered smiling down at me, “Gave us a little scare there.”

I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to say anything. So I had probably passed out. Big deal. At least it had given me a minute or two without feeling them on my skin.

Da helped me back upstairs my whole body store my skin still prickling at his touch as he carried me upstairs and laid me on the bed next to James who appeared to be soundly asleep. I sighed wishing my ass wasn’t so sore, my body wasn’t screaming at me to give in, to allow sleep to come so that in the morning I could be normal, be as ok as I could ever be.

I knew my eyes were blood shot, my face covered in my own tears but I didn’t want to say anything didn’t want to bother James, didn’t want him seeing me like that. Knowing he was right. That I wasn’t ok. That nothing was ok.

“They hurt you?” he whispered making me jump as I looked over at him feeling like my throat was closing up. Like I was going to crash to the floor in a million pieces.

“Not…” I inhaled sharply covering my mouth before I started crying.

“I’m sorry,” James said hugging me as I tried to bite back my tears, tried to be strong but I couldn’t.

I wanted to be strong for my little brother but, I couldn’t. I cried myself to sleep as he hugged me.

I woke up when our Alarm went off helping everyone get ready in an almost dream state my body still slightly sore from what they had done, still feeling them on my skin especially when they looked at me while I sat down to eat breakfast. I didn’t want to do any of this. I didn’t want to go to school, I didn’t want to be alive.

It felt different. Begging him the night before to stop, to get Ben to stop, it felt different, worse somehow. Like he really didn’t care about me. Like my feelings didn’t really matter to him. Made me realize I was nothing, I had no control over any of it.
“Are you ok?” Matty asked me after I had been staring into my fruit salad for a while.

“Yeah, I’m ok,” I answered, “Just thinking.”

“About what?” Mikey asked.

“Nothing important, I have to get ready for school. I think I’m taking the bu…”

Uncle Ben came into the room cutting me off, “No I’m going to drive you the morning.”

“What do I call you?” I asked him.

He raised his eyebrows at me in amusement. He had told me to call him Ben before but, it felt weird. But Uncle Ben or Uncle didn’t feel right either. However, I had to call him something. When I addressed him or talked about him. He couldn’t just be “that guy” or some other slang. I mean I could have called him asshole but, I didn’t see that one going over well.

“Call me whatever you want baby,” He said coming up and going behind me rubbing my shoulders.

“Uncle Ben he’s freezing up,” Matty said, “Don’t do that.”

“Do what? I’m not hurting him,” Uncle Ben said and Matt gave up shrugging his shoulder and picking a blue berry out of his breakfast bowl.

“Can we just go?” I asked Uncle Ben just wanting to get to school just wanting to be away from them. Both Da and Uncle Ben be somewhere different and maybe find someone normal I could talk to. Find someone that I didn’t have to talk about nasty things with.

“You want to leave already? You like school that much?” He asked me.

“Yeah,” I lied nodding my head, “I just kind of want to be at school.”

“Ok we can go, anyone else want to leave early? Go make some new friends?” Ben asked everyone and they all shook their heads.

“Ok then let’s go just me and you,” Ben said and I sighed getting up and grabbing my book bag throwing it over my shoulders.

“You can call me Ben by the way,” he answered my question seriously as I climbed into the passenger seat and did up my seat belt.

“Ok,” I answered nodding my head.

“It took that many times for you to decide calling me Uncle was weird?” He asked looking in the rearview mirror smiling as he back out of the driveway.

“I don’t know it just…I don’t know,” I answered shrugging my shoulders.

“This doesn’t have to feel bad you know?” He asked me, “We can make it nice. I’ll take you places, give you things. Make you feel special like you are.”

“That’s. That’s ok,” I said looking out the window as we drove towards school, “I don’t need that.”

“No, I’m supposed to take care of you,” Ben said, “You’re supposed to be mine. This isn’t supposed to be just sex, unless that’s what you want.”

“I don’t know what I want,” I answered.

I knew I didn’t want a relationship with him like that let alone the sex. But I knew I didn’t have a choice. That this wasn’t a choice I was making but something that I was being forced to do. Forced to do to save my brothers to keep myself safe, to probably keep my Da from hurting my mum. I sighed.

“That’s exactly why I’m the adult and you’re the kid because you don’t know. I have a friend that said he would like to meet you. His name is Barry. I think he’d like you,” Ben said.

“Is he like you?” I asked him not sure how else to put it.

“You mean does he like spending time with boys like I do?” Ben asked, “Yes.”

“What if I don’t want to do that? Don’t want to meet him?” I asked him.

“Well I haven’t decided if you will but he would like to meet you and I don’t think it’s up to you,” Ben answered my question just as we pulled up to the drop off.

I nodded my head and stepped out walking up the walk way into the building. I didn’t worry about anyone watching me because I felt like no one would. Like it wouldn’t matter until I got to my class and felt someone’s eyes in my space, someone staring at me.

I look up and turn my head to my right slowly just in time to catch one of the guys from yesterday that spoke of some summer trips in Michigan with his grandparents Quinn Ashmore looking at me closely before his cheeks flush and he turns away. I sigh glad that I can’t feel his eyes on my skin anymore. I don’t like being stared at. I like being invisible which is probably why spent most of my time silent and trying to keep attention away from myself. I especially like it now, my ability to not draw attention.
My backside still feels sore and open my head pounding lightly making it hard to concentrate, hard to even really think about anything other than the pain I was in my intestines feeling almost like they were wrapped in knots around themselves. My uncle having gone too hard for too long. I just wanted to fold into myself and curl into a ball. Just to make my stomach feel like it wasn’t dying and trying to expel the dead tissue from my system. Honestly I didn’t want to be at school at all but, being at school was better than being stuck at home waiting for one of them to come into the room and fondle me while my stomach died.

“Hey,” Ted said sitting down next to me pulling me from my thoughts causing me to shift my weight making me cringe in pain, “You ok?”

“Yeah,” I answered, “I’m fine.”

“Ahhuh,” He said nodding his head.

“What does that mean?” I asked him not sure whether I understood the noise he had made.

“Oh you know what it means but, let’s just for the sake of it say I’m not looking for a fight. Do you think you’re going to be able to make it to my party on Friday?” He asked me.

“I haven’t asked yet,” I answered.


“Well, I can ask my Dad to ask whoever he has to,” Ted said as he looked at me, “You want to tell me who? You’re Dad?”

“My Uncle,” I answered.

I knew that was the right answer. That my Da wouldn’t care one way or another but that Ben, Ben would care. Because while I was my Da’s son I was Ben’s…bottom for lack of a better term to use. He was in charge of my life. Who I talked to outside of school, who I hung out with outside of the house, everything I did had to be ran past him. He had made that extremely clear when he had given a skull fracture for taking a walk without his permission.

“Ok I’ll get my Dad to ask him,” Ted said, “You look like you don’t feel very good.”

“I don’t,” I answered.

“Then why are you…” Ted stopped talking just as the bell ran and Father Barney cleared his throat as a way of getting the classes attention.

“Ok everyone now I’m going to be passing books back. I would like you to take a book and pass the rest back until all of the books are gone. These are classroom use only, you will return them to my desk at the end of the period. IF you do need a take home book at any point come see me and we’ll discuss it. We are going to be reading Eli Weistzles Night it’s a biography. Has anyone heard of this book before?” Father Barney questioned looking out at the class of students.

I raised my hand and he smiled his eyes flashing to me sending a cold spark down my spine, “Yes Mr. McGregor?”

“It’s about a man who survived the Holocaust as a teenager,” I answered quietly losing my confidence as his eyes bored into me.

“Very good. Some people say this book is as good as the diary of Anne Frank. Now I personally don’t see any comparisons because they are two different books written about two different lives. It would be like comparing apples to oranges just because they are sitting in the same room. Every life, every story is different no matter the situation. It is not the situation that makes the story but the unique perspective of the writer.” Father Barney said.

This is actually something I agree with. No two people are the same even if they are sharing a situation. That however wasn’t something I said in class that day and instead chose to keep my thought to myself as we started the book reading the first chapter and then stopping for discussion.

“Why do you think these people ignored Moshe and what he told them of people digging their own graves in the forest?” Father Barney asked the class.

Kevin Green raised his hand getting called on, “Because he was poor and old. They thought of him as eccentric. People don’t always believe the outsider that seems weird, that seems to make up stories.”

“Good observation Mr. Green,” Father Barney said, “There are other reasons too though what could those other reasons be?”

Ted raised his hand, “It’s…” he paused for a second, “It’s hard to believe that people could be so evil, forcing others to dig their own graves. No matter how mean someone is people like to believe that evil has its limits. That it doesn’t exists in that aspect. That no one human could be cruel enough to force someone to do that. To toss babies in the air and shoot them.”

“Another good reason yes. We as humans like to see the good in people and sometimes that clouds our judgement, makes us doubt a person’s ability to be evil, to do unspeakable things. We also like to believe that good people, our neighbors and friends our communities wouldn’t stand by and do nothing to help. Wouldn’t stand by and watch things like that happen when sadly those things happen all the time. People stand by and do nothing,” Father Barney said.

Good people stand by and do nothing. The words echoed in my head. The idea that disbelief was rampant even among those closest to us. That just because you said something that was true didn’t make it true. That I could tell someone what was happening to me and because I was me, just a boy I wouldn’t be believed. That I wouldn’t be heard. That anything I had to say wouldn’t be believed.

That’s what I felt his message was that day and that it was directed at me his eyes barely leaving me. That he knew and he wanted me to know people wouldn’t believe me. That people wouldn’t care until it was too late. Until I was in a train car on the way to my death, metaphorically speaking. I felt like I already was. The doors having already sild closed covering me in darkness. A darkness that was hot and stifling unlike the comforting darkness of my young childhood that would keep me safe.
After that I felt subdued. Sore, and tired and I just wanted to go home. To be somewhere away from Father Barney whose eyes wouldn’t leave me alone. Who watched me as each person in the class read aloud for the subject covering chapters 2 and 3 that day as well before we took a break for lunch.

I wasn’t sure who to sit with. Knowing I couldn’t retreat to the classroom and not wanting to really socialize with anyone when Ted approached me joining me in the lunch line, “Sorry I was a jerk yesterday.” He said quietly as the Lunch lady handed me my tray.

“It’s ok,” I said not really turning to look at him, making my way up to the drink trough full of assorted milks and waters and juices picking out the one that was most appealing to me before getting to the end of the line.

“No, it’s not,” He said, “Listen I…I have a twisted sense of rumor and my social skills aren’t that great. I really am sorry. Most of the time things aren’t that bad for me and I forget. I forget that for other people it’s harder.”

“You don’t have to be my friend,” I said to him.

“What if I want to be?” He asked me.

“I’m not sure I’m allowed to have them,” I answered.

“I won’t tell,” He said, “I swear. We’ll be school friends then if you like, I mean I have a group I hang out with. You remind me of Todd I think you two would get along well.”

“Who is Todd?” I asked.

“Just follow me,” Ted said and I sighed taking my tray and carrying it over to a table.

When I got there I bothered to look up from my feet and take in the boys sitting there. One had dark brown hair and blue eyes, his hair color similar to Ted however his face was rounder whereas Ted’s was slim with a large wide nose. Todd had a thinner nose and was pale. Next to him sat a boy with hair a shade or two darker than my own and Hazel eyes who seemed unusually tall in my opinion for an 11 or 12 year old but he smiled shyly at me and offered a small wave.

“This is Todd and the guy who just waved is Julian. That guy over there with his face in the book who looks like he’s half pissed that’s Finn,” He pointed to a guy sitting at the end of the table frowning into a copy of to kill a mocking bird.

“What?” The guy said looking up for a second, “Oh, hi.”

“Hi,” I answered quietly inhaling. I wasn’t sure what to think of him. Everything about him average but his attitude that screamed I’m just here for the seat. It reminded me of myself. How books were always better than life.

“So this is Ben’s Nephew?” Julian asked and I flinched causing him to laugh, “That answers that question I guess. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Yeah,” I said sitting down a couple seats away from Julian.

“Hey I don’t like the guy either I just know who he is,” Julian said.

“Who doesn’t know who he is?” I asked.

“Like no one,” Todd mentioned, “I’m sorry.”

“For what?” I asked him.

“That everyone knows who you are because of that jack hole,” Todd said which caused me to smile lightly.

“It’s ok,” I said.

“So me calling him names doesn’t offend you?” Todd asked me.

“God no,” I said, “He’s horrible.”

“Well at least everyone agrees on that,” Finn muttered without looking up from his book.

“Ok well I wanted to make sure I didn’t offend him Finn, you never know,” Todd muttered.

“How would that offend him, I mean he probably lives with the guy, he knows what he’s like better than any of us would,” Finn said looking up and shutting his book putting his finder up against the spine to save his spot.

“Can we talk about something else?” Todd asked, “Has anyone seen any good movies lately?”

“Not really,” Julian answered, “Last movie I saw was deep impact but my little brother wasn’t happy about it. He like screamed but he’s like five.”

“I saw that,” I answered remembering watching the movie with John at some point on holiday from school. A movie about a meteor hitting the earth with Elijah Wood in it, “It wasn’t bad I didn’t like that the parents died though.”

“I thought it was retarded they thought he was dead at first,” Julian said.

“That was only because the scientist dude was all like putting his name on the floppy disk,” Todd said, “I thought it was nice that he would do that though, give credit to some high school kid who pointed it out to him.”

“How many people do you know would really do that in real life though?” Ted commented, “I mean if I discovered something that would make me famous I’m not sure I’d share the wealth with anyone.”

“That’s because you’re selfish,” Finn said shaking his head.

“And you’re not?” Ted scoffed.

“We’re 12 of course I am,” Finn said.

“I’m 10,” I said shrugging my shoulders.

“What?” Finn asked looking up at me.

“I skipped a grade,” I answered.

“Oh,” Finn said, “I didn’t realize you were that young.”

“Is there something wrong with that?” I asked.

“No. I don’t think so,” Todd said, “Do you think there’s something wrong with that?”

“Huh, no?” I questioned.

“Does it make you feel weird though? Being surrounded by older people instead of people your age,” Ted asked me.

“You’re not that much older than me,” I answered, “And I have an older brother who is almost 13 and in the 8th grade.”

“Really is he here?” Todd asked.

“No,” I shook my head feeling bad that I had said anything.

Of course he wasn’t at school he was being held prisoner in our house. By my Da who was romantically attracted to him. Who was doing god knew what to him. Just thinking about it made me miss him, want to be with him and tell him he wasn’t alone that things would be ok.

“Where is he?” Todd asked.

Ted must have seen the look on his face because he sighed heavily and then said, “Does anyone have a Nintendo at their house?”

“We do,” I answered, “My little brothers have a thing for Mario it’s like their favorite thing to do after homework is done.”

“Well, it’s an awesome game have you ever played it?” Ted asked.

“Not really between the two of them I don’t really get the chance to,” I answered.

“Don’t you have more than 2?” Ted asked me.

“Yeah I actually have a lot more than two but those two are the only two really interested in playing to be honest,” I said, “They are only like 2 years younger than I am my youngest brother still isn’t even hear yet.”

“Your mom is pregnant?” Todd asked me raising his eyebrows, “That has to be hard.”

“Not really she’s still back home. I mean in Europe she’s staying with her Aunt in Paris and going to a special hospital that helps with high risk multiple births. She’ll be fine.”

“High risk multiples?” Quinn asked saying something after listening to us silently for a while, “You mean more than one baby?”

“Another set of twins, her third,” I answered.

“Holy shit,” Finn chimed in, “That’s a lot of twins. Are they all identical?”

“No actually only Mike and Matt are identical the other pair is boy girl and this pair will be too,” I answered.

“So that’s six siblings,” Todd said, “How many besides that?”

“All together you mean? I have 10 if you count the two that are on the way.”

“That’s crazy, does your mum know what your Da is like? What he’s doing?” Ted asked making my stomach jump into my throat. I didn’t want to talk about that. About my Da and how he was sick, how my uncle was sick.

“Ted do you really have to be like that. I mean we’re in the middle of school. The kid obviously isn’t used to talk about it or he doesn’t want to. I mean we’re trying to talk about normal things,” Finn mumbled opening his book back up like he was bored with the conversation.

“It’s weird to talk about,” I answered quietly, “But no. No she doesn’t realize I’m pretty sure.”

“How could she not?” Ted said, “You’re uncle is horrible.”

“I don’t want to talk about my Uncle,” I answered.

“Why he’s the one fucking you?” Ted asked.

“TED! Are you fucking kidding me?” Quinn scoffed his eyes flashing, “Do I ask you when your Dad is sticking his dick up your ass? No, don’t ask people that it’s rude.”

“Sorry,” Ted said sheepishly.

“Honestly Ted you would think you were five,” Quinn muttered, “Sorry about that, about him.”

“It’s ok,” I said quietly.

I was very not ok with it. He had asked me earlier who he needed to ask for permission to allow me to come to his party. You think that would have been enough and would have given him the answer to that question before he ever asked it. There was no reason for him to say it other than to be rude. To hurt me.

I felt like I couldn’t breathe knowing that they all knew. That Ted had dared to ask and I hadn’t been able to answer. Silence was answer enough. I heard Finn sigh heavily before he got up and moved seats so he was sitting in the seat across from me.
“Hey, you’re ok,” Finn said nodding his head giving me a wide eyed worried stare, “Don’t worry about him. He’s an idiot with a big mouth ok?”

I nodded my head and opened my juice swallowing. Trying to wet my throat that had gone dry with embarrassment, shame. I bothered to glance up from the surface of the table that had become so interesting its wooden finish gleaming in the florescent lights above our heads, making everything seem unbearably bright. None of them were looking at me. It just felt like they were. Because they all knew now. If they had doubted it before they all knew now.

“So, have you read any good books lately?” Finn asked me pulling my attention back to him.

“I’m trying to read a song of Ice and fire,” I answered.

“That’s a hefty book isn’t it?” Finn asked me.

“Yeah,” I shrugged my shoulders, “It’s interesting though.”

“Well, what’s it about” Finn asked me.

“Sorry about Teddy though, like really man,” Todd said, “You know how every group seems to have that one person that lack common sense to the point where you think it’s a miracle they survived infancy? That’s Teddy. He’s kind of stupid.”

“HEY!” Teddy protested even though he was smiling, “I’m not that stupid. Only a little bit.”

“Ted,” Quinn said, “I’m sorry to tell you this but, you should have been born blond.”

“Yeah that way everyone would just know,” Todd said laughing.

“I’m blond and I’m not stupid,” I said shrugging my shoulders.

“That’s because you read and have good genes where a lot of blond people, not so much. Like Teddy only you know Teddy’s not blond,” Todd commented hanging his head solemnly.

“Shut up you’re so mean!” Ted scoffed, “I am sorry though that was a stupid question.”

“I forgive you,” I said quietly.

“Have you …” Never mind, “Finn started to ask, “What’s your book about again? What’s it called?”

“A Song of Ice and Fire,” I answered, “It’s written by George R. R. Martin. It’s about this world where the seasons lasts for years on end and there was this big rebellion and their king died so now all the rich royal families are fighting for the crown. It’s interesting. And there are dragons.”

“Sounds cool,” Finn said, “I might have to look into it.”

“What were you going to ask me before?” I asked.

“It’s not important,” Finn said.

“You can tell me, I won’t be upset,” I said.

“Do you have anyone to talk to?” Finn asked me, “Outside of your family?”

“I don’t have a lot of friends no,” I answered.

“Well, some people it helps them to talk. If you need to talk to someone. If you have questions, I’ll talk. I’ll listen and I won’t tell anyone what you say,” he said quietly.

“Yeah, Finn’s a good guy to talk with about that stuff,” Ted said nodding his head.

“I mean you don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to but sometimes it helps, makes it easier to know you’re not alone,” Finn said.

There were certain things that I was confused about. How he called me baby. How he told me I felt good, tasted good but those things made the heat rush to my face when I thought about them. Made me wonder if they were true. If they were the reason he wanted to do that to me. If it was my fault.

“He huh…he says things. They both do,” I said quietly, “And it’s…I don’t know.”

“They all say a lot of stuff,” Finn said quietly, “My Dad he’s…he tells me god says you should love your mother and your father. That’s it apart of loving him. When I know it’s not.”

“Yeah,” Todd nodded his head, “This one guy he tells me I feel better than anyone else. Almost like his son.”

“He lets other people…?” I trailed off.

“Most of them do,” Finn answered, “Contracts are more common than just like your Dad doing it. You’re a contract right?”

“I think that’s what they called it yeah,” I answered, “Is it like people you’re related to? I mean contracts?”

“No, not always,” Todd answered, “I’ve been contracted twice. I mean its better sometimes. Worse sometimes just depends.”

“It’s horrible,” I muttered.

“If you’re contracted it means they are limiting how many people you’re with. It means that like your handler and your contractor keep you from having to sleep with every guy that walks through the door and asks for you. I mean the leader and elders can override a request your handler and contract holder turn down of course but, usually they won’t. Sometimes contract holders are more like…” I cut him off.

“Boyfriends?” I asked, “He’s not my boyfriend he never will be.”

“It’s your uncle right?” Ted asked in a less joking tone this time, more quietly.

“Yeah,” I answered.

“That’s unusual. Usually they don’t like to contract blood relations. It’s not unheard of but it’s not common. Did he tell you why he wanted you like that?”

I stopped and thought about it. Thought back to that first night he had made me be with him. Back to his words. What he had said.

“Will, Will whatever you’re doing stop. You’re upsetting yourself. You’re literally shaking, you need to calm down,” Finn said in a hushed voice.

I hadn’t even realized I had closed my eyes that I was focusing that hard trying to remember. Recalling the darkness of the room the feel of the satin sheets on my back as he pulled the hem of my shirt up. Him barking at me. Telling me my shirt came off how he would give me a reason to cry if I wanted to cry.

How his hands had started touching me like that before my clothes were even off, before I was even exposed. I sighed blinking a couple of times my brain coming back to the present, my slow silent panic starting to subside as I looked at the four worried faces around me, watching me with confusion.

“He said I look like him,” I answered, “That’s probably why. Because I look like him, my Da.”

“That’s harsh,” Finn said, “Some of them do that. They have types, blond hair, green eyes, scrawny. Some of them have age groups. I can tell you that some of them like young guys. The Leader he likes young guys.”

“Don’t talk about my grandpa dude,” Ted said shaking his head, “Just don’t.”

“Wait…,” I said frowning.

“Yeah I know all right? I get it. It’s weird, if you haven’t met him yet you will soon and I’m sorry,” Ted said.

“Ted you can’t help who you’re related to. Just like he can’t. We all know Ben,” Finn said.

“He’s bad,” I said quietly.

“That doesn’t mean you’re bad though.

“Are they going to be…?” I trailed off.

“No,” Ted shook his head, “I mean they’ll be there probably because it’s my mom’s house and she’s…”

“His mom’s fucked up man,” Todd said, “Like most of us either our mom’s left or they died or whatever but his mom she’s ok with it. I think she got dropped on her head one too many times.”

“That’s my mom dude,” Ted said, “But yeah she’s weird. Like she’s a therapist but a horrible one. Like they have all these ideas and shit and she agrees with it and it’s creepy. Like I think my grandpa brainwashed her. Probably both of them.”

“Both of them?” I asked.

“Well,” Ted said, “Both of them are considered Elders in the brotherhood and they have this weird. It’s like a cult dude. They have kids right and then they make their daughters marry guys that go recruit and then after they give them a son they can divorce as long as they leave the son with the Dad. My mom married my Dad and gave me but my Dad didn’t want to be tracked anymore so he left. But she kept me. And…”

Ted feel quiet. So it was his mom that was a part of the brotherhood and not his Dad. I wondered how rare that was or if it was a common thing. Because it seemed like a mom would not be ok with that happening to her kids. I had heard what Da had to say about it. About “teaching me” and “Loving me” and I didn’t believe a word of it. Because if Ben loved me. He wouldn’t tell me he’d hurt someone else to hurt me. He wouldn’t keep going when I told him to stop.

“I’m sorry,” I said to Ted.

He smiled at me sadly after taking an intense interest in his blazer sleeve, “It is what it is right? I mean at least I’m not going to have to marry some guy and give a kid to him for him to be a shit person to. I just have to marry a girl. If I go recruit if I don’t my mom will probably still try to take whatever kids I have but that’s why I don’t plan to have any.”

“What’s recruit?” I asked still not sure what the word meant.

“Guys who want to…continue “teaching” their kids,” Todd answered, “You decide if it’s something you want to do and when you’re between 16 and 25 you tell them. If not you sign a gag order and they give you money. To not…tell anyone.”

I sat there for a minute mulling it over. What exactly that meant. Did that mean they stopped touching you when you were 16 or did it mean that they stopped when you were 25 or when you announced that you were going to be one of them? I was consumed as to what that meant.

“It just means you can do it to other kids if you want. A lot of recruits do,” Finn said.

“So do they stop…you know?” I asked.

“No,” Ted said, “No they don’t stop. I have a cousin Chad he’s a recruit and he…it still happens just less often. He has more say and who contracts him. What parties he goes to that type of stuff.”

“Parties?” I asked.

“Yeah my grandpa owns this place it’s like a really big house they call it the Villa they have weekend parties there where you don’t have to be brought every weekend usually but they …take turns with…” Ted went quiet.

I shook my head hugging myself. Was this true? Was this what they were going to do to me? To my little brothers? To John? Just thinking about it hurt, made me feel gross. I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear anymore. I knew I was probably better off knowing. Knowing what was going to happen but, I didn’t want to.

“Are you ok?” Finn asked me.

“I…,” I swallowed the dryness in the back of my throat, “I don’t feel very well.”

“Just know you’re not alone ok? It’s something we’re all dealing with. There are a lot of us a lot more of us that go to other schools or are homeschooled. We can talk about it more a little later because the bell is about to ring and we’re lucky no one has heard us talking about it yet. If Father Barney overheard or anyone else for that matter we’d be brought to Watson and he’s…he’s not nice,” Todd said as the bell rang, “So let’s get back to class and just like chill.”

“Ok,” I said and nodded my head.

I felt like I wanted to scream. What kind of nightmare had I allowed myself to fall into? What type of life was this? They hurt you until you were 25? Until you were an adult that should be able to make your own choices? To do what you wanted with your life?

I felt numb for the rest of the school day. So this was my life? Uncle Ben was my life. Worrying about my brothers. I sighed trying to stay calm trying to silently panic as I wrapped my brain around what I had been told. What I had learned. As I tried to not feel sorry for myself but to accept it for it was. Something I couldn’t control, and couldn’t stop. Knowing that I would have to find a way to anchor myself and wait out the storm that was brewing hoping it didn’t blow me to pieces when it finally caught me in its Gail force winds.

Chapter Text

When the bell rang, I went to the pick-up drive. Knowing he’d come for me. That I was his again. I felt like I was walking towards death or a maybe a cage. My mind starting to blank out slowly, me starting to separate myself from my body so I wouldn’t have to feel his hands on my knee on the way home.

I felt a hand on my shoulder making me jump 10 feet in the air, “Dude, I’m so sorry!” Todd said loudly, “I didn’t mean to scare you I thought you knew I was right here.”

“It’s ok, I’m ok,” I lied.

“Is he coming to pick you up?” He asked me quietly his face turning serious, sympathetic.

I nodded my head. It wasn’t something I wanted to talk about. My heart pounding.

“Tell me what you’re thinking,” Todd said suddenly, “Just anything you’re thinking don’t hide it, don’t fight to keep it silent. I won’t tell anyone and no one is listening. Just do it.”

“I’m scared. He’s going to touch me and I’m scared and I don’t want him to,” I said my voice shaking as I bit my lip.

“I know, you have every right to be scared but Will you’re not alone right now. You’re not the only one these guys are hurting. Something I do, whenever I’m…I know they are about to hurt me. I make sure they know I’m not ok with it. I tell them no, to stop and leave me alone. That I don’t like it,” Todd told me.

“I’m not allowed to,” I said, “I can’t say no. If I say no he threatens to hurt someone because he’s mad at me. Just like my Da.”

“You can say no without using words,” He told me.

“They can’t stop you from using your body language, clamming up, glaring at them, make sure they understand it’s not just fear but it’s anger too,” Todd said as my Uncles old Concord pulled up to the curb.

“Hey,” Ted said running over, “Is that him?”

“Is who him?” My Uncle asked rolling down the window, “Oh little Larkin, how are you?”

“I’m ok sir, I’m having a beginning of the school year party on Friday and I was wondering if Will could come?” Ted said quietly shifting his weight from foot to foot.

“If he wants, he can yes,” Uncle Ben said.

“Really?” I asked frowning.

“Yes, now get in the car Will before I get in trouble for holding up the line,” Uncle Ben said.

“Thank you, sir,” Ted said.

I sighed and nodded at Todd who gave me a reassuring nod back as I exhaled deeply opening up the passenger door and climbing into the car. So, I could go to this party. But what was it going to cost me? What was he going to do to me?

“That’s a good boy to be friends with, he has relatives in high places baby, just like you,” He said putting his hand on my knee making me tense, “Did you learn anything in school today?”

“I don’t remember,” I answered honestly.

“You don’t remember?” He asked me confused.

“You make my mind blank,” I said before I realized how that sounded my cheeks flushing.

“Oh,” He said smiling and laughing lightly, “I’m flattered. You like me that much huh? There’s nothing wrong with that.”

I sighed. I knew that was how he was going to take it. That’s what he thought I was going to mean. I didn’t like him at all. He scared me but, he left me tongue tied and feeling stupid for the first time in my life from the first moment I saw him and saw that look in his eye I felt dumb.

We came to a stop light and he leaned over close to me grabbing my neck pulling my head close to him, “God you I want your cock so bad.”

“No,” I shook my head and tried to pull away him squeezing my neck kind of hard.

“Don’t use that word, you know the rules baby. Don’t make me mad,” He warned me.

“Sorry,” I barely whispered.

“It’s ok to be nervous about it. I know your young, that it feels weird to your body but I’ll get you used to it. I promise you’ll like you’ll even beg me for it once you’re used to it,” he said and just nodded my head in response.

After I managed to move air through my lungs again a couple of times I looked at him, “How is John?” I asked.

“I wouldn’t know you’d have to ask your Da,” Uncle Ben said, “You worried about him?”

“Yeah,” I answered quietly.

“I’m sure you’re Da is taking good care of him ok? You don’t need to worry about John,” Uncle Ben said.

“What is he doing to him?” I asked daring to look at Uncle Ben as the light turned green.

“Baby, seriously don’t worry about it. He’s teaching him just like I’m teaching you that’s all. You don’t need to worry ok?” Uncle Ben said.

When he pulled up to the house he parked by the kitchen making me go through the back door. Da acting sketchy when we entered him actually standing at the stove like he was cooking for once. I had never seen the man hold a spatula in my life.

“What are you doing?” I asked him before I could stop myself.

“I’m cooking your dinner what does it look like?” Da asked me.

“I’ve never seen you cook,” I answered.

“Ben, do you want to take him upstairs and talk to him about that thing?” Da asked Uncle Ben.

“What…? Oh!” He said his eyes lighting up in understanding as I slid my shoes off and set them by the door, “Come on baby.”

“Talk to me about what?” I asked.

“Come on baby,” He said again putting his hand on my shoulder as Ben shot my Da a look that I didn’t understand and my Da nodded, “We’ll talk upstairs.”

I sighed allowing him to lead me upstairs expecting to go to maybe the guest room where I had been sleeping with James but instead we walked to the end of the hallway making me go cold inside. We were going to his bedroom. I stopped moving.
“Will baby, it’s ok,” He said as I started shaking my head not wanting to say the word.

“I…” I stuttered.

“What’s going on? Tell me how you feel,” He said gently.

“Please I don’t want to,” I answered him.

“Baby, I love you. I’m not going to hurt you I promise. We’ll take our time. You remember yesterday afternoon? It’ll be like that,” He said quietly.

He grabbed my hand and kissed my knuckles trying to move me forward when I felt frozen. Trying to make me walk into a room where he was going to make me undress and climb on top of me. Where he was going to rape me.

“Oh, come on baby,” He said before he picked me up cradling me in his arms and opening the bedroom door by balancing most of my weight on his one arm before he sat me down on the bed.

“You know how beautiful you are?” He asked me cupping my cheek in his hands as I felt frozen, “you don’t have to be scared baby ok? I can make you feel good like yesterday ok?”

I started shivering, my heart feeling like a caged animal trying to break free in anyway it could. Even though my brain was telling me to fight to scream I couldn’t. I couldn’t like the connection between my brain and body had somehow gotten disconnected making it impossible to do anything but shiver and breathe and wish it wasn’t happening.

“We’ll get you past this ok? It just takes time. Once you’re used to it it’ll be easier, you won’t be so scared you freeze up anymore I promise,” He muttered into my ear lobe biting at it gently as he undid my tie going for the buttons at my collar. Only undoing the first three of four buttons before moving to the buttons on my wrists and then pulling my oxford off vest and all leaving me sitting there frozen eyes wide and unblinking, leaving me frozen in my body forced to watch him, to feel his fingers tips dance lightly on my skin.

“God you’re prefect. Just like him so prefect,” He whispered undoing my pants and then forcing me to lay back his mouth landing against my skin in the middle of my torso somewhere between my pecks and belly button his hand so big it covered almost one side of my chest completely making me whimper before I had no choice but to close my eyes panting.

“That’s right baby,” He moaned rolling his tongue over one of my nipples making me tense my feet pointing my toes wanting him to stop not able to move my body in any other way as his hand went to cup me through my underwear pushing my pants past my hips before pulling them off me. He used his fingers quicker than before.

Pushing a bit harder to open me up faster before he gently parted my legs meeting no resistance, “There you go baby, take a deep breath for me ok? I’ll go nice and…”

My breathing hitched as he started pushing in. It always hurt the worst going in. Burning along my insides until he reached the half way mark the dull burn turning into a sharp pain for half a second before he stopped moving, before he was completely inside of me.

“God, you feel so good baby,” He moaned before slowly rolling his hips making me whimper, “That’s right baby, that’s right moan for me baby. Let me know how good it feels.”

It didn’t feel good. My insides tickling my stomach muscles going tight all the way down the hotness pooling in my groin and all I could do was lay back frozen solid as he gently prodded at my insides with his dick making me squirm making everything feel worse.

“Oh baby you feel so good you don’t have to cry it’s ok, it’s ok for it to feel good, we’re almost there, we’re almost there…we’re almos…” he pressed his lips to mine muffling his own groan as he shot his load inside me my whole body going taunt before that feeling of release flooded my lower body like it had the night before and the afternoon before that making me go slack in his arms.

“God you’re so beautiful so prefect, my baby, my beautiful sexy amazing baby,” He said as he pulled out of me, “God I could fuck you forever you feel so good. So, perfect.”

He kept muttering praises into my skin my chest and neck, my arms, my hands as I laid there frozen trying to force myself back. Trying to make my limbs work. Trying not to hate myself for what he’d done. For what he was making me into.

“It’s ok baby,” he whispered quietly into my cheek as I finally felt my body unthaw almost sure it was over my insides feeling sticky the dull sting in-between my legs mixed with slime as he finally let me go allowing me to move, to reanimate, “I know it’s hard we’ll work on it ok?”

I just nodded my head not able to look at him, see the way he was looking at me as I grabbed the closest thing to me, a pillow and put it over myself so I didn’t have to be naked anymore.

“No, no no baby I love seeing you, touching you,” He said his voice husky making me freeze up again knowing what he was probably going to do. That he wasn’t done. That he was…

“Going to make you feel good…” he muttered into my belly button repeating the words that were bouncing around inside my brain as I closed my eyes just wishing he would stop, that he would let me go. As I felt his mouth down there making it hard to push air in and out of my body making me want to struggle but know I couldn’t. That I should and I wasn’t allowed to as I bit into my lip before he managed to illicit a moan from me my lips tightly pressed together turning it into a tiny hiss instead.

The only sound was him slurping and sucking as my whole body vibrated with the effort of trying not to give him what he wanted. Trying to control myself and finding the task impossible the pressure in my pelvis growing until it almost burned before I surrendered to the feeling. Before I waved the white flag at him.

“Beautiful,” He muttered, “God you’re so fucking sexy and you taste so nice, every bit of you,” He whispered coming up to my face before he kissed my forehead, “I’m going to go get you some clothes ok? That way you don’t freak your brothers out if they’re home and then we can go eat. Come back here and just relax some more,” his hand grabbed me and started rubbing again as I laid there frozen wishing he could just go away, get his hands away, his lips, his body away from mine making my eyes sting paralyzing my voice.

When he let go I sighed with relief him probably grabbing a pair of pants quickly before I found the ability to move again curling into the fetal position wanting to cry but finding myself unable to. Not wanting to feel weaker than I had to. Not wanting to break down in this room, in this space.

When the door reopened, I jumped about 10 feet in the air holding my knees tighter. I didn’t want him to touch me. I didn’t want to be with him I didn’t want him near me and I wanted to scream but found I couldn’t.

“Hey, it’s ok. We’re done for now baby it’s ok,” He said quietly, “I know it’s hard at first. To get used to it happening so much but you’ll be ok. I promise.”

I nodded my head as he set a pair of sweat pants down next to me on the bed and I stood up on shaky legs and put them on. Knowing that I had to go downstairs. That I had to try and be normal like everything was ok. Not because that’s what Da and Uncle Ben wanted but because I didn’t want to scare my brothers. Because I didn’t want them to worry about me more than some of them already were.

I got up limping slightly as the burn spread up my spine and insides every step I made. It had been too rough, gone too fast. I could tell the difference between today and yesterday. How yesterday hadn’t burned as much the slight sting going away after a couple of hours but today it felt more intense each step making me regret the next as the pain ebbed and flowed with each pause in-between.

“A little sore?” He asked me putting his hand on my back.

I nodded my head standing up straighter at the contact my heart feeling like it had skipped a beat.

“I think I went a little fast I’m sorry baby. Later it won’t be so quick. I’ll be softer,” He said to which I just nodded my head some more.

When we got downstairs three pairs of little green stopped to stare at me as I sat down. None of them speaking just watching me. I had no idea what was wrong most of my nerve endings focused on the pain below my waist and not really feeling anything above that point.

“What?” I asked softly.

Da turned and looked before he laughed, “Shit Benny really?”

“Sorry,” Ben shrugged his shoulders sitting down in one of the empty chairs.

“Da why does his tummy look like that?” Mike asked quietly frowning as he ate a forkful of food drawing my attention to it, causing me to look down.

I had red crescent marks going across my lower rib cage. Hickeys. And I hadn’t noticed them. Hadn’t felt them. Hadn’t bothered to look at my body since he had done it.

“It’s nothing to worry about, he’s fine,” Da answered Mike.

My eyes started to burn more forcing me to close them and when I opened them I started crying. I wanted my mum. I didn’t want this anymore. I hurt too much it was too hard to deal with. Knowing that he had just raped me and made my body like it. Knowing that he was going to do it again after dinner.

“Oh honey,” Da sighed standing up and coming over to me hugging me as I tried to push him away, “Shhh…it’s ok…you’re ok I know it’s hard but it gets easier I promise. And its just Ben ok? It’s not a big deal. I’m sorry he let you embarrass yourself but it’s ok. I promise.”

“I…” I managed to stutter out before I had to gulp air, “I don’t feel very…very good.”

“I’m sure, I’m sure you’re tired,” Da said, “Why don’t you eat some food and then go upstairs with Ben to rest huh?”

“He won’t let me rest Da,” I whispered, “He won’t…”

“Ben, can you give him a break for a couple of days. I think maybe you’re being too aggressive in your lessons,” Da said.

“A break how? Ben asked.

“No more…back business,” Da answered.

“That’s the second time in three weeks,” Ben said, “Fucking…”

“Well maybe if you were a little bit softer…it wouldn’t be an issue you have. If you notice I haven’t had any issues with that on my end.”

“I wouldn’t know, none of us would, now would we?” Ben said.

“Da what are you talking about?” Matt asked, “Is he talking about John?”

Of course, he was. My Da was telling my uncle to lay off but telling him John was his. That he was doing the same thing to John that Ben was doing to me but, he wasn’t getting rough. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what a nightmare that was for John. Having Da on top of him saying stuff like that, hurting him but, not.

“Is that all we are?” I somehow managed to ask.

“What? What do you mean?” Da asked me sitting back down in his chair leaning his face into the palm of his hand and sighing.

“Your…” I didn’t want to say the words but I didn’t see any other way to say it, “Your sex toys.”

“Oh baby,” Ben said coming up behind me and hugging me around my neck and shoulders making me freeze making the heat rush to my face. I hated him touching me in front of them. Hated that it showed them it was ok. When it wasn’t, “You’re my special boy not a sex toy. My very very special….” He said sniffing the back of my neck making me tense making it hard to breathe, “boy.”

“Ben not in front of the kids. Kissing is ok when he’s ready for it but he’s obviously not so take a step back please,” Da said.

Ben sighed and then kissed me behind the ear, “Sorry beautiful,” he muttered before letting me go and sitting back down.

“Kissing is ok?” James asked one of his eyebrows cocked in what I could only assume was a mixture of disgust and confusion.

“Yeah bud, kissing is ok. I kiss you sometimes. I kiss mum, your brothers and sisters. There is nothing wrong with kissing,” Da said.

“But once when we were at the park at home I saw this guy kissing with his tongue this girl and mum said those are mummy and Daddy kisses are those kisses ok too?” James asked, “Because I know you share mummy and Daddy kisses with Mum.”
“I like to think of them as real love kisses,” Da answered, “I really love your mum so I kiss her like that sometimes. Mostly in private but sometimes in front of other people.”

“Real love kisses?” Mike asked, “So does that mean that Matty really loves me because you made us kiss like that?”

My eyes went wide that time. Was he fucking kidding? My Da had made them French kiss each other? That sounded totally nasty. I couldn’t imagine French kissing anyone really let alone one of my brothers.

“You ok there Will? You look a little green around the gills,” Da asked me sounding amused.

“That’s not…” I shook my head.

“Matty really loves you Mikey, I promise,” Da said shooting me a warning look.

“What Da it’s…” He cut me off.

“Will don’t start or I’ll take it back I swear I’ll take it back. You want to be not be able to sit down be my guest and go ahead and say it.”

I shut my mouth. Of course, I didn’t want that.

“Why wouldn’t he be able to sit down?” Matty asked.

“Well,” Da said, “You know how we talked about when a Da really loves his sons he puts his penis in his son’s butt?”

The only thing I could think was “I’m going to be sick”

“Yeah and you said it can hurt sometimes,” Matty said.

“YES!” Da said, “It can make it hard to sit.”

“Oh,” Matty said shrugging his shoulders, “Why would you do something to your son that would make him not be able to sit if you love him.”

“Because even though it can hurt a little sort of like…it’s sort of like riding your bike sometimes you fall down and it hurts but it’s a lot more fun than not riding your bike because you’re afraid of hurting your knee so you do it anyway. It doesn’t mean if it hurt that I wouldn’t tell love you. I’d just want you to have fun with me even it meant hurting for a little while. You understand?” Da explained.

“I think so,” Matty answered going back to eating.

I wanted to shout at him to tell him no. That none of that was right. It was all wrong, so wrong. Da’s weren’t supposed to do that to their kids. They weren’t supposed to hurt them. Hurting them wasn’t supposed to be fun and they weren’t supposed to let other people do it. Because even though Da hadn’t said anything about letting other people do things to us my new friends had made sure I understood that was coming. That there was no way to avoid that.

I knew I would have to find a time later tonight to talk to all three of them. To make sure they were aware that what Da was doing wasn’t a special secret, that it wasn’t love. That it was wrong and painful and embarrassing and that he was going to let other people do it too. That none of this was ok.

That making out with your brother was frowned upon in polite society just like it was frowned upon to do the same thing with your Da and Uncle and anyone else you were blood related to especially if you were under the age of 18. Life felt so complicated as I sat there making sure I stayed quiet because I would rather be able to sit in my chair at school tomorrow than not.

“So…I heard you got invited to a party at the Larkin house?” Da asked.

“Yeah,” I answered.

“That seems like it might be fun, that’s a good family to be friends with,” Da said smiling.

I just nodded my head. Teddy seemed like an idiot but he had introduced me to everyone else and he did seem harmless. Having people I could talk to and not have to worry about what I said might be a good thing. Considering it was something I had struggled with since I was little since I had realized your Da climbing into bed with you at night a rubbing on you wasn’t normal about three years earlier.

“I told him he could go, Teddy actually asked me he’s a good boy,” Ben said making me look at him, “Since we’re not in the dark about certain things anymore I think it’s time for the five of us to have a talk Connor what do you think?”

“Yes, actually I think you’re right,” Da said, “Ok boys there are certain things that we do at home that we can’t talk about in public because people will be upset if they know and we don’t want to upset anyone. You can kiss us and cuddle us and give us love touches at home if you want. It’s not something you have to do but if you want to you can at home but only at home inside the house ok?”

“Why?” James asked.

“Because people might get upset and want to take you away. And when Mummy gets here we can’t do it front of mummy because it will upset her. And we don’t want mummy upset, right?” He asked them.

“Right can we touch each other though?” Matty asked.

“Only in private. Like if you notice Ben said Will was his very special boy, right?” Da said making me feel self-conscious and start blushing.

I hated that. It felt dirty just hearing them say it. They might as well of just said he was making me have sex with him. That I was his fuck toy because we all knew that’s what it meant.

“Yeah and that means he sticks his penis in Will’s butt, right?” Matty asked like he was asking my Da to pass the butter.

“I’m…I’m…going…t-to…,” I mumbled trying to keep myself calm, keep myself breathing. I didn’t want to hear this. I wasn’t ok with this. This was horrible.

“No, you can stay, I want you to stay,” Da said to me, “Yes, it means that that’s something they do sometimes. Sometimes it’s ok to be nervous and tell your special friend you don’t want to hug and kiss in front of people. And one day you guys might have special friends too. How do you feel about that?”

“I don’t know, ok I guess as long as it doesn’t hurt like falling off a bike,” Mikey said shrugging his shoulders.

“Da can we see John?” James said suddenly, “I miss him I want to talk to him.”

“We’ll see,” Da said, “But don’t tell John that Will is Uncle Ben’s special boy ok?”

“Why not?” James asked.

“John might get jealous and be mad and we don’t want that, right?” Da said.

“Ok,” James answered.

“Da can I go please?” I finally managed to ask.

“Yeah honey you can go, I’ll take care of dishes tonight,” Da said and Uncle Ben stood up at the same time I did.

“Please don’t,” I said.

“WILLIAM!” Da snapped at me making me jump, “You know how I feel about those words and the same rules apply to him. You understand?”

“Yes, Da,” I said quietly.

So, I was right. I really couldn’t tell him no. I didn’t have a right to say no. To tell him I didn’t want to have sex. That I didn’t want to be raped that I didn’t want him touching me, or kissing me. Or…

“Hey…it’s ok baby,” Ben said grabbing my hand, “It’s ok.”

It wasn’t ok. That feeling hit me again of not being able to breathe. Of being trapped. They weren’t going to make me in front of my brothers, were they?

“Let’s ok upstairs ok? You can lay down for a while,” He said as I numbed myself emotionally and nodded my head.

I knew he was taking me upstairs to give me head. To make me hate my body and the fact that I couldn’t control it to make me squirm and squeal and wish I had my mum and wish I could talk to John so that I didn’t feel so alone.

“God you’re beautiful,” He murmured into my neck as I laid on the bed letting him pulling my sweat pants off, “Don’t go limp I’ll be nice. We’ll go slow ok?”

“I thought Da said you…that you couldn’t…” I managed to get out.

“Well,” He said down on the bed folding my pants neatly and setting them down next to him, “I think I can refrain if you help me with something.”

“What?” I asked quietly afraid of his answer.

“Make me feel good. Like I make you feel good,” He said standing up and undoing his fly.

That was something I had never done before. That Da had never forced me to do that. He had only ever touched me or given me oral not the other way around. I didn’t know what I was doing.

“How…how do I… do that?” I asked him barely above a whisper looking at his waist.

“Well, I can walk you through it,” he said pulling down his jeans and boxers, “Now I just want you to touch it.”

I looked at the mess of winery curls surrounding his genitals. I didn’t want that near my face, my mouth. I felt completely lost as he gently took my hand and put it on his shaft making me rub it. It felt weird almost like warm playdough moving under my hand as it started to harden feel less wrinkly and become smoother against the skin of my palm as he gently made me grip it.

It felt weird and I wasn’t really sure what I was doing him closing his eyes as he ran his other hand gently through my hair finally letting go of the hand that was on him as I kept moving it slowly up and down his length the skin moving under my hand as it started to feel warmer and smoother him making a little grunting sound, “Good boy, that’s my good boy,” He said.

He made moaning sounds bucking his hips forward into my hand before he opened his eyes tilting my chin up gently so I was looking at him, “Now I want you to lick it like an ice cream cone ok? Just slow no teeth all right.”

I nodded my head and took a deep breath afraid of what it would be like. Worried that there would be something wrong with it before I licked the tip. It was salty and maybe a little sour it suddenly feeling sticky causing me to try and pull away but before I could he grabbed the back of my neck keep me from pulling away.

“Now just open your mouth and take be deep breath and relax,” He said to me before I felt him pushing past my lips.

Before I knew it, he was shoving his way into my throat choking me on it. I tried to stay calm but then I wasn’t getting any air as he grunted ramming into the back of my throat burning, making it hurt. Things started blur and I remember not really being scared. Not fighting for air. But allowing myself to relax. I wasn’t thinking about dying but I allowed myself to feel peaceful to drift to a place where he couldn’t hurt me. Where I was in control before everything went dark. Like being sealed in that closet as child barely more than a toddler, sealing me into safety.

Chapter Text

I remember the feeling of falling, reaching for something and then my eyes opening with a jolt. My heart was pounding and I looked around the room wildly and found myself still in that room. His bedroom.

“Oh, thank god I thought I was going to have to call Vic. You know how much trouble that would get me into? That would be considered a second strike. So, I’m so glad you woke up,” Ben said to me from where he was sitting on the chair in between his bathroom and closet doors.

“Wh…” I sputtered and coughed a sharp pain shooting down my wind pipe before I tried again, “What happened?”

“Well you were giving me the blow job of my life and you passed out. You were even better than Thai kid,” Ben said smiling, “You’ll be ok just your throat will be a little sore for a bit. I’m glad I didn’t get to caught up in the sensation otherwise you might be dead.”

“You think?” I croaked.

“Oh, fun near death experiences give you attitude? You should keep that in check because I don’t like attitude. I am sorry though. I don’t want to lose you,” He sighed his eyes softening for a minute.

“I’m sure you are,” I answered, “Can I go to bed?”

“You’re in bed,” He pointed out.

“My bed,” I answered, “That I share with James.”

“Oh baby,” He said coming over making me freeze, “You’re going to share my bed for a little while ok?”

“What if…what if I don’t want to?” I asked.

“Then James can share it with me, and honestly I was mediocre earlier and I caused you some pain his body is a lot smaller than yours is. So, think about that,” Ben said.

“You wouldn’t hurt him, would you?” I asked him.

“Well I’m pretty sure your Da wasn’t in there very long if he made it in all the way. And he probably bled because they always bleed so imagine how much pain he’s going to be once I embed him on my cock,” Ben said.

“What are you going to do to me?” I asked him.

“Well tonight we’re going to sleep because it’s late and you have school tomorrow and I think one day will be enough to make your Da happy about me keeping it in my pants but that doesn’t mean I can’t make you feel good,” He said.

“Why do you like to do that?” I asked him.

“It tastes good,” He said, “I mean everyone taste a little different but it’s nice to hear those sounds baby, know your eyes are rolling, that you feel good. That you’re out of control and you can’t help it that it feels good. It’s nice to know I have the power to do that.”

I felt my heart drop. He liked hurting me by not hurting me. He liked knowing that I was afraid of him. That all he had to do was touch me put his mouth down there and he could make me hate myself in so many different ways and he knew it.

“Hey, it doesn’t have to make you feel bad, all you have to do is decide you want it and it’ll feel good,” He told me sitting down next to me on the bed, “I see it in you, you know?”

“See what?” I asked.

“Well when we’re out I see you looking at certain people none of them are girls,” He said to me.

I felt my stomach drop. He knew? He knew he was going to tell mum and mum would be so mad, she would kill me or give me to them to make sure that I never…

“You can’t tell,” I said nearly crying, “I don’t mean to. I don’t…you can’t tell.”

“Hey, hey there isn’t anything wrong with it despite what your mum might say about it. And why would I tell? Who knows maybe you’ll decide you want me as much as I want you?” He said cupping my cheek.

“I don’t…” I said before I started crying not able to help myself.

“It’s ok baby, it’s ok. I know it’s scary but I won’t say anything,” He said kissing my cheek his hand looping around my chest pulling me into his body pinning my back against him.

“Please,” I begged quietly, “Please.”

“I won’t tell baby. Not even Da ok?” He said, “If you’re good.”

“If I’m good?” I asked afraid to move, to try and pull away.

“Don’t tell John about us. You sleep in bed with me every night. You don’t tell me no, stop or don’t unless I say you can ok?” He said into the back of my neck.

I nodded my head. There wasn’t much to say about it. It’s not like he was giving a choice in the matter. I could either do what he told me to or he’d tell mum and she would hate me. Probably tell me I deserved what I got for thinking boys were cute, for wondering what they looked like. What it felt like to kiss them or how I used to wonder that before. Before Uncle Ben.

“Good,” He said leaning back pulling me with him and turning off the only lamp lighting up the room sitting on his night stand, “Let’s go to sleep.”

“Goodnight,” I said as he reached forward and kissed my cheek no letting me go.

“Goodnight baby,” he answered closing his eyes.

It took me forever to fall asleep and when he woke me up I could barely keep my eyes open. He had held onto me all night. Making me feel suffocated, making it near impossible to relax enough to actually lose consciousness.

“Come on baby, time to get up for school,” He said letting me go and stretching as he finally allowed me to sit up.

“I’m tired,” I answered.

“Really?” He said sitting up and straddling me pushing me down into the mattress curling his lip in a half smile, “You can stay home with me. I’ll wake you up.”

He ground his pelvis against mine making my breath catch. No, no that’s not what I meant. Was all I could think, I meant I was tired and I wanted to sleep. To actually physically sleep without someone smashing their body against mine.

“Ben please?” I begged, “Please? I need to go to school.”

His smile widened, “Ben? I like that. Hearing you say that. Not Uncle Ben but just…Ben.”

“Mhm,” I said nodding my head, “I need to go to school.”

“Say my name again?” He said rubbing his nose against mine.

“Ben,” I gasped.

“What’s my name?” He asked me.

“Be….” I managed to get out before he shoved his tongue in my mouth without warning. It didn’t feel good it felt slimy and tasted like morning breath mixed with salt and ass and I started coughing causing him to pull away.

“Sorry I didn’t mean to surprise you,” He said looking down at me his eyes watching me like he was looking for something, some specific reaction.

“I need to go to school,” I said again.

“I know baby,” He sighed getting off me, “I know you should get ready.”

I climbed to my feet while I was shaking. I felt grateful. Grateful that he hadn’t continued to hold me down. That he hadn’t tried to “make me feel good” or anything like that as I got up and walked away going to the room I shared with James and where my uniforms were so I could get dressed.

When I opened the door I found him already awake. Already mostly dressed and he looked at me and sighed. I didn’t want to deal with his questions that morning. I was too tired my brain still only half awake.

“He hurt you? Did he?” James asked.

“No, I’m fine,” I answered, “He wants me to sleep in his room from now on though.”

“Oh,” James said quietly, “Tell him you don’t want to. Tell him you want to stay here with me.”

“I did, he said I can’t,” I answered him.

“That’s ok though,” James sighed, “It won’t be long before Mummy is home and then things will get better.”

I smiled at that. Him seeing a positive reminding me that our arrangement wouldn’t last forever. That once mum was home I wouldn’t be sharing a bed with him. My rapist.

“That’s right,” I said, “Thank you for reminding me.”

“You’re welcome,” He said, “Do you think we’ll be able to see John soon? I miss him.”

“I think so but I’m not completely sure,” I answered him, “Just keep asking Da where he is. If we can see him. Maybe if we ask enough he’ll let John come see us.”

“I wish he would I miss him,” James said, “Will do you…?” He mumbled something.

“Do I what?” I asked him.

“Think Da is hurting him?” James asked clearly.

I sighed heavily, “Probably. I imagine that John is very tired of being in Da’s room alone. Da can be really mean you know that. So, when we do get to see him, you need to give him some space and don’t ask him questions ok? Just let him know you’re happy he’s with us.”

“Because it makes your skin feel weird?” James asked, “When Da hurts you?”

“Yeah,” I said nodding my head and patting the top of his, “Let’s finish getting ready and head down.”

He nodded his head and I helped him with his tie and did the same for Mike and Matt again like I had the past two days and by the time I had finished my toast and jam I had to hurry to catch the bus, because Da and Ben didn’t want to drive me that day and Ben had woken me up later than usual.

Once all three of my brothers were on I sat down sliding into the seat next to James and felt someone tap me on the shoulder making me freeze, making me startle before James turned around and looked.

“Hi,” The kid said quietly.

“Who are you?” James asked.

“My name is Dom,” Dom said and I relaxed.

“You just scared the crap out of me,” I said before turning around to face him.

“Sorry,” He said smiling sheepishly, “I haven’t seen you ride the bus before so I was just wondering what was up.”

“Da decided not to drive us today,” I answered, “How are you doing?”

“You do realize you’re on the early bus with them, right?” He asked me.

“Really?” I sighed.

“Yeah, the lower school bus doesn’t come by for another hour and yours isn’t for another half hour,” Dom said, “Don’t worry though I’ll keep an eye for you.”

“Thanks, what should I do with them?” I asked him.

“Take them to the playground man,” Dom said, “It won’t hurt anything and the day care kids are already out there.”

“Cool,” I sighed leaning back looking up at him over the back of the seat.

“Hey,” an older kid said to me that was sitting across the aisle from us.

“Hi,” I said and Dom cleared his throat getting my attention back.

“It’s fine though seriously just like take them to the playground but next time just remember to take the middle school bus instead of the upper school. It makes more sense that way,” He said.

“Thanks,” I said, “I was distracted the morning just kind of you know.”

“Yeah, I think I understand you’re meaning,” He said as the bus pulled up to the curve and everyone climbed off.

I did as Dom suggested and took them to the playground. They were very happy about it running around and jumping James asking for my help using the Monkey bars which I showed him how to use by pulling myself across them.

“That looks hard,” James said.

“It’s not hard, not really you just need to swing the right way,” I said as he climbed up and grabbed ahold of the first bar, “Here I’ll hold your waist and you just swing your arms ready and go…”

I held on to him as he let go of the bar with one hand and swung himself forward grabbing the bar in front of him, “there you go you’ve got it.” I said smiling up at him as he continued to progress across the monkey bars using his hands and body to propel us forward onto a platform on the other side.

Just then I heard a sound and bunch of kids around James and Mike and Matt’s age came out of the back door of the lower school wing. There were three teachers there two of them were older men one was bald while the other had salt and pepper hair and a pale white complexion. I wasn’t sure what to make of either of them but with them the third guy had a complexion that was kind of tan and he looked young. Younger than my Da so probably around the same age as my uncle who at the time was 24 years old. His eyes were almost an olive green more green than brown and he had black hair. I remember thinking that he didn’t look like the other teachers. That he didn’t look Hispanic or White which was the case with most of the teachers in our school but something else.

He didn’t look like a creep but there was something off about him and the way he focused on the children playing. The boys running around and being boys that struck me as off. As someone I needed to be careful about especially around my little brothers. I felt someone pull on my blazer sleeve.

“What are you looking at?” James asked as I turned to look at him.

“Nothing Bud, it’s fine,” I said.

“That’s my teacher,” He pointed at the three men but didn’t specify which one.

“Which one?” I asked.

“The Fat bald one,” James answered simply.

“Ok first that’s rude and second, he has a name I do believe, right?” I asked him.

“Yes, Father Carrington,” James said.

“Is he a good teacher?” I asked him.

“He’s weird,” James said.

“Weird how?” I asked frowning down at him touching the top of his golden head.

“He picks a boy to sit in his lap turning story time every day to help him turn the pages,” James answered.

“Oh,” I answered simple.

“Has he picked you?” I asked him.

“Not yet,” He answered.

“What do you think of sitting in his lap?” I asked him.

“I don’t want to. You said Uncle Ben is bad and weird because he likes to touch you so I don’t think Da is telling the truth when he says love kisses are ok,” James said, “So I thought I would ask you if it would be ok for me to sit in his lap during story time.”

“I think if you want to it would probably be ok. But, if the idea makes you feel uncomfortable or the way he touches you makes you feel uncomfortable I think it’s perfectly ok for you to say no too,” I answered him.

“Ok,” he said.

“That answers your questions?” I asked him.

Just then a little boy with Brown hair came up to us, “James want to play tag with us?” He asked.

“Hold on,” He said, “Can I go play with Robby?” He asked me.

“Of course, you can,” I said smiling, “Go on, I have to leave for class soon anyway.”

I walked away from them. Walking past the fathers as I went just as I had gotten past one of them I heard one of them call after me, “Young man aren’t you a little old to be out here?”

“We took the upper school bus on accident,” I said turning around respectfully to address them, “It was just my brothers and I when we got here and I didn’t want to leave them outside alone.”

“You’re a good big brother,” The younger father smiled at me, “You should try to take your bus if you’re the one in charge in the morning. Remember you’re bus leaves at 7am not 6:30.”

“Yes father, I thought it was the 7am bus because I was distracted the morning,” I answered, “I should leave for class father.”

“You are right, I won’t keep you,” He said, “I’m Father Akil and you are?”

“Will McGregor,” I answered.

“Well go off to class Mr. McGregor,” He said smiling at me as I gave him a small wave before turning and continuing on my way.

When I got to class I sat down and Teddy sat down next to me, “So are you ready for my party in two days?”

“Yes, I think so,” I answered, “I feel tired today."

“Bad night?” He asked me softly.

“Not the worst,” I answered glancing over at him without turning my head, “Why?”

“Would explain why you feel tired,” Teddy said, “There’s nothing wrong with having a bad night. I get night terrors sometimes.”

“I couldn’t get to sleep last night. It took a long time I feel like I haven’t slept at all,” I answered Ted.

“Why did he…?” Ted said dropping the volume of his voice so low I could barely hear it.

“No. He made me share his bed though,” I said just thinking the words making my palms sweaty with nerves and anxiety.

“Like sleep with him? I mean actually sleep?” Ted asked frowning at me like he was more confused with the concept than anything.

“Yeah,” I nodded my head, “I couldn’t…I was afraid he would…you know.”

“My Dad never did that when he was around. My Grandpas did when I was little sometimes but, that was before they started being weird,” Ted answered, “What was it like?”

“Scary,” I answered, “He held me and I was so scared to just breathe because I was afraid if he woke up he would want to…do that.”

“Well honestly I’ve never known your uncle to be a cuddly person,” Ted whispered to me, “So the whole idea of him making you kind of just throws me.”

“Oh,” I said feeling my face start to flush.

So, had I given something away? Was my uncle telling the truth when he said I was special? I wasn’t sure what to make of that.

“Mr. McGregor, can you tell what you find so mortifying about photosynthesis?” Father Barney said making the class snicker at me as my face turned even redder, “Or were you having a personal conversation?”

“Sorry sir,” I muttered.

“See me after the break bell,” He said before continuing on with his lecture about plant reproduction.

When the bell rang, I sighed heavily not sure what to expect, not sure whether I was going to be yelled at or made fun of as he motioned for me to come up to his desk. He was always watching me. I knew he was always watching me and that the school was full of brotherhood but that didn’t mean he was one of them even though I suspected he probably was.

“Listen I know you’re new, that things are new for you being as young as you are but, don’t talk about that in class. Ted, Mr. Larkin he tends to forget when is not a correct time to discuss those things. You’re smart. You’re extremely smart I expect you to conduct yourself in an intelligent way all, right?” Father Barney said.

“Sorry, he …asked me something,” I said.

“Well, whatever goes on between your Uncle and you is between you two. You shouldn’t be talking about it with friends. If you have questions about certain activities, you should go to your contract holder with that not your friends understand me?” He said.

For a minute, I wasn’t sure how to respond. So, he was one of them. His language making it very obvious. Key words like “between you two” and “contract holder” making sure there was no way I could misunderstand him.

“Yes sir,” I said quietly.

So, he didn’t want us talking about it to each other. The guys had told me that I should talk about it. That talking about it helped and I had to admit that it helped me not think about it and focus better on other things like taking care of my brothers and school work after I told someone about an incident that was bothering me or mentioned it to someone and they said they had experienced it that too. That this time with Ted was one of the only times I had felt anxious or embarrassed when speaking about it with someone.

I actually felt comfortable about people for the first time in my life instead of an outsider looking and here Father Barney was telling me that wasn’t acceptable. That I had to pull back. That I wasn’t allowed to talk about him. About what he did when I needed to talk to those people in order to feel ok with myself. In order to be able to stand myself. Sure, I was quiet and awkward and unsure but I remember feeling almost crushed having him tell me that. That I shouldn’t tell anyone. Not even my friends that already knew what was happening.

When lunch came, I was silent. Everyone noticed I was silent but I wasn’t sure what to say to them and Finn sighed after a while grabbing my arm and pulling me away from everyone else. Starling me.

“Let me go Finn,” I said feeling myself starting to freak out, the anxiety starting to climb up my spine threatening to floor my brain.

“I’m not going to hurt I just want to talk,” He said letting go of my arm after we were far enough away from everyone no one could over hear, “What’s going on Ted said you had a hard time last night and then after like first hour you just shut down. Was it something he said?”

“No,” I shook my head, “It’s something else.”

“What?” Finn asked, “You don’t have to do this alone. Talk to us we know exactly how you feel. Keeping it all inside that will kill you faster than anything else. Faster than even they can. What’s going on?”

“Father Barney said that I…” Finn cut me off scowling and shaking his head.

“Father Barney is an asshole. He’s afraid of outsiders over hearing and afraid of us getting close. They don’t want us to have friends so we have to break the rules. In order to not lose our minds, we have to break the rules just don’t talk about it in class anymore. You know Ted is an internal blond. He doesn’t always use common sense,” Finn said, “So what’s going on really? Tell me.”

“Ted said he’d never heard of my uncle cuddling or making anyone cuddle with him yet he…he made me sleep with him last night and I don’t know if that’s...did I do something different?” I asked feeling nervous just asking the question.

“Ok from what I understand some handlers will do anything that moves and others just like have a type. Your uncle maybe he’s a little of both? He’s made just about everyone do stuff with him at one time or another but I’ve never heard of him doing that with anyone. So maybe you’re just his type and everyone else is…there?” Finn said, “I wouldn’t sweat it. I don’t think it’s you. I think it’s him. Your uncle I mean.”

“He keeps telling me to relax,” I said suddenly, “That I’ll get used to it.”

“You will,” Finn said smiling sadly, “It won’t hurt as much but usually once you get used to it like you can block it out they change things around. How do you act when he…?”

“I freeze,” I said feeling self-conscious about it, “I don’t know what to do so I freeze because I don’t want him to but I can’t say no. He’s made it very clear I can’t do anything that he doesn’t want me to. He hurt me really bad for going for a walk without asking him first. If I tried to push him away what would happen? I don’t know and I have three little brothers I have to take care of I can’t afford to be hurt like that. So, I freeze.”

“If I were you, try to not freeze. Try to move your feet or something tap out a pattern or wiggle your toes a certain way to draw your attention that way you can be kind of present but not focused on what he’s doing. It helps me when I do that,” Finn told me.

“Ok,” I said nodding my head, “Da told him to give me a break.”

“Good, enjoy it because sometimes they get relentless,” Finn warned me, “They aren’t nice at all about things. My Dad he…one of us is in his bedroom every night if it’s not me it’s my older brother.”

“I’m sorry,” I said.

“Don’t worry about it,” He said, “Sometimes if I lose my eyes depending on what he’s doing I can pretend it’s this girl I like. It makes it easier to deal with.”

I nodded my head thinking about that. There weren’t any girls I liked that I knew of. I hadn’t even met any girls. Ben had pointed out that the fact I found some boys cute wasn’t a secret. That he had seen me watching TV intently enough sometimes to tell. Or that he had probably seen me checking out that one boy at the airport as he walked by.

He had been older than me, older than John. Dirty blond hair that was just above his shoulder pulled back in a ponytail with grey eyes. He had been wearing some weird type of button up sweater over a plain white t-shirt with dark blue jeans and clean tennis shoes a pair of sun glasses perched on top of his head. For some reason, something about him, the way he carried himself had really caught my attention and I had thought he was pretty, the slope of his nose, the shape of his lips. Uncle Ben must have seen me watching him. Seen the confusion in my face before we had exited the airport to get into the car.

“Try it, it might work,” Finn asked.

“What if I don’t like anyone?” I asked.

“Well make someone up. Some celebrity or something,” Finn answered, “I mean there are plenty of hot girls I mean Katie Holmes is a little old for you but nothing wrong with fantasy.”

“She’s not that cute Joshua Jackson is cuter,” I said before I felt my face turning red.

“Well then,” Finn said smirking, “Imagine it’s him. Whatever works for you.”

“You don’t think that’s weird? That I…?” I trailed off feeling mortified that I had actually said that out loud when I hadn’t meant to.

“I think it’s weird that you’re 10 and you think that way but, nothing wrong with it,” Finn said, “I mean my Dad kind of… sucks my…so who am I to say that being attracted to other guys is wrong? Apparently, it happens.”

I just nodded my head. So, he thought I was weird. Because I was 10. Because I was young but not because I was gay or might be gay.

“Are you going to tell anyone?” I asked him.

“No,” Finn shook his head, “It’s no one’s business but yours. You want to tell someone, tell them. You want to keep it to yourself that’s ok too. I don’t mind either way. You’re a cool guy.”

“Thanks,” I said quietly and he nodded his head.

“It’s not like you would be the only gay guy to come out of the brotherhood there a plenty of gay bottoms. Cole Gables is gay and you seem to know him,” Finn pointed out.

“Yeah, he told me he was,” I answered, “I thought it was weird.”

“Why?” Finn asked.

“Well what if I’m like that because of…them?” I asked him.

“I don’t think it works that way. But if it does don’t worry about it. You wouldn’t be the first and you won’t be the last. But why do you think that would make you well, gay?” Finn asked me.

“My Da started being weird when I was little. I think he started before I can remember. Because he always came into my room at night and touched me.” I said.

“How little is little?” Finn asked me quietly his eyes growing sad.

“I don’t know like the first time I remember anything, him doing anything to me I was so tiny I was in a toddler bed. Mum had just decided that I was old enough to leave the nursey so I wasn’t sharing a room with John or Mike and Matt, two of my younger brothers. He came in and he took off my pants and…”

“Woah, ok,” Finn said stopping me, “You don’t need to tell me that I get the picture. So, you think you were what three or four?”

“Yeah, I think so,” I answered.

“Usually they don’t start doing that stuff in the brotherhood until your about six at the earliest,” Finn said, “I was six.”

“I didn’t even know about the brotherhood until we got here. So, I’m assuming he wasn’t a part of it back then,” I answered.

“Probably not. I mean since the new Leader came on things have been changing like it was some super super old guy that wasn’t interested in anyone under like 20 and he died of a heart attack fucking some 21-year-old but that was like 5 years ago. The new leader is one of Ted’s grandpa’s and he likes them young. Probably why Teddy is so fucked up,” Finn said.

“Cole said something about that” I said quietly, “It scares me.”

“Because of your brothers?” Finn asked me.

“The youngest one here with us is almost six and my youngest brother isn’t even born yet so yeah,” I answered.

“That’s not good,” Finn said.

“So, it’s that young when you say young? Six?” I asked.

“Well a lot of what we get are rumors so it might not be true but I’ve heard four and five too,” Finn said.

How could someone rape a five-year-old without ripping them apart? I remember thinking that as I felt like I had been socked in the stomach. Five was too little. Hell, I thought I was too young for Ben and I was five years older than that. The pain of da that first time when I was eight had me wanting to die, wishing I was dead and sore for a month. I had to throw away my bloody underwear for a week to hide it from the house head.

“He’s not touching my brother,” I said.

“He won’t unless your Da has,” Finn said his eyes widening as he looked at the expression on my face, “Well shit.”

“He can’t,” I shook my head, “He can’t.”

“You could always appeal to him because he will be at the party. He always goes to all of Teddy’s parties to watch us. I mean he doesn’t hurt us but he watches us.”

“Watches us how?” I asked.

“Just to see who he likes. Last year he… it was Todd and Dom he decided he liked them both and the next week come Monday they weren’t in school for a while. I’ve never asked Todd what happened but he doesn’t really talk to Dom that often anymore so I can only imagine that he made them…,” Finn make a rude gesture with his hand linking his index and thumb together to form a circle and then putting the index finger of his right hand through the loop.

“Ted said that they do that,” I said quietly.

“Well Ted would know he has an older brother Chuck,” Finn said, “Wal and I were I don’t know I was six or seven so Wal had of been ten or 11.”

“What? They made your brother…?” I felt like I was going to be sick.

“You have that green look to you,” Finn said smiling slightly.

“I don’t feel very good,” I muttered.

“I’d say so considering you look like you’re about to up chuck all over the place,” he laughed.

I responded by started to gag running over to the nearest trashcan and throwing up into it knowing I wouldn’t make it anywhere near a bathroom before I couldn’t hold the food in my stomach anymore Quinn coming over as Finn started coming over to me.

“Are you ok dude?” Quinn asked me as I wiped my mouth on my sleeve.

“Yeah, I’ll be fine,” I answered trying to shrug it off.

“What’s going on over here gentlemen? You look like you’re summoning the lord of darkness over the rubbish bin,” Someone said to which we all looked up and then looked at each other.

To give him credit I was bend over the trash can one hand on each side of it to steady myself and Quinn and Finn were standing on either side of me leaning in close so we could keep our voices low. Keep our conversation private. Finn cracked a smile and then looked up to address the speaker his face falling.

“That is not what’s happening Headmaster Watson,” Finn said.

I thought about it and then it hit me. The guy who gave us the tour of the school. The guy who Da had talked to about my Uncle about how I was his. How he had looked at me.

“Then what is going on here?” He asked.

“Will just threw up,” Quinn answered.

“Feeling sick Mr. McGregor? Maybe I should see you to the nurse’s office?” He asked me.

“I-I’m fine now,” I said looking at him and Finn must have caught the look on my face.

“You know how sometimes people just have a weak stomach headmaster? I think he’s just one of those. Milk one day over the expiration date and they just can’t hold it down,” Finn tried to excuse.

“Are you telling me our kitchen standards are lacking Mr. Huber?” The headmaster asked.

“No sir,” Finn said trying to recover from his mistake, “Just saying some people are peckish is all.”

“I think you should come with me all the same Mr. McGregor, let’s get you checked out, come along,” He said beckoning me towards him with a hand motion.

I sighed taking a reluctant step towards him, “I’m really fine now Headmaster,” I said quietly protesting not sure what was going to happen.

“I’m sure you probably are but all the same…” He trailed off.

I turned my gaze to my feet hugging myself as I walked forward. He was going to hurt me. I knew he was going to hurt me. I wasn’t stupid. He had asked my Da about it right in front of me. Once we were out in the semi empty hall way he put his arm on my shoulder.

“You’re ok,” He said, “We’ll just get you checked out, make sure everything is all right.”

I nodded my head feeling that frozen feeling starting somewhere in my chest and starting to spread out wards into my arms. I didn’t imagine going anywhere with him where my clothes might come off would result in anything good happening when he turned a corner where “medical office” was printed on a big wooden door in metallic block letters that he opened.

When we wondered inside there were two or three rooms each ajar off the bigger room we were now standing in. Each room appeared to have curtains and a small resting cot in the them while the wall to the right was lined with cabinets that looked to be full of medical supplies like gauze and bandages. He didn’t take his arm off my shoulder but instead lead me into the room on the right away from the door.

“Just wait in here I’ll be back,” He said to me pulling the curtain shut in the front of the door blocking everything outside the room from view. In the corner was a sink with a container of soap on the ledge of it and a small oval mirror hanging over the skin. Next to the sink was what looked like a moved gym locker that had blankets stacked from the bottom of it up about half way where it changed over to pillows. What was I doing here?

“Ok,” He said before pulling back the curtain causing me to jump my chest to pound against my ribs, “Don’t be scared you’re all right.”

I tried to inhale deeply as he opened the curtain shutting the actual door behind him but found it nearly impossible to breathe deeply. My body too afraid of what he was going to do. Too afraid of feeling his hands against my skin.

“Can you strip for me please?” He asked quietly.

“What?” I asked barely above a whisper completely confused. Why would he want me to be without my clothes? What was the point of that? Unless he really was…

“It’s ok William,” He said nodding his head in encouragement, “it’s just so I can check some things I’m not going to hurt you.”

“He always says that,” I murmured to myself. I thought I had said it quietly enough he couldn’t hear it but he sighed before saying.

“Well I’m sure it’s true. I’m sure it doesn’t physically hurt.”

I clasped my hands in my lap looking at them in a comprehensive manner. I didn’t want to see his eyes. See the way he was looking at me. Know what he was thinking. If the cot had been any higher off the ground my feet would have dangled off the side of it not being able to reach only the tips of my trainers brushing the ground lightly as it was.

I remember thinking how wrong that was. That I was so little my feet barely reached the ground while sitting on the edge of the cot and yet this guy. My headmaster the guy that was supposed to be responsible for me above anyone else when I was at school was probably looking at me like that. Like my Uncle did.

“Don’t worry,” He said coming and putting his hand back on my shoulder, “It’s just make sure you’re all right.”

He pulled the shoulders of my blazer down slowly as I went limp letting him take it off and then he sighed as he hung it up neatly on a coat rack next to the door. I wasn’t sure what he expected of me. What he wanted from me.

“Do you know what made you feel sick?” He asked me.

“I don’t know,” I answered.

“You promise you weren’t summoning the lord of darkness?” He asked his voice sounding amused.

“I promise,” I answered, “I was sick. I didn’t feel good to my stomach. Finn said that…” I trailed off into silence.

“Said that what? You can talk to me. I know you’re father really well. We have lots of friends in common,” He said causing me to look up at him.

“I know. I heard you talking on the tour,” I answered him quietly.

“You know how this works then?” He asked me, “I talked to Ben already. He says you can be very well behaved.”

“What if I say no? Are you going to hurt me?” I asked him.

“Not physically,” He answered, “However I can’t promise your grades won’t suffer considering I review every students marks at the end of the marking period. So, that’s something you might want to think about. Even though if you did fail I suppose it would only put you in the grade you’re supposed to be in for next year.”

“W-what am I doing?” I asked him.

“Just take off your clothes,” He said his eyes softening a little at my nervousness.

“Why?” I asked quietly.

“Just to look at you. Make sure you’re ok,” He said.

I crossed my arms over my chest. I didn’t want to do that. Everyone had made it sound like this would happen. That eventually someone else would touch me like they did but, I wasn’t expecting it to happen today. Not right now in the middle of the school day.

“It’s ok,” Headmaster Watson assured me, “It’s just to take a look.”

My hands were trembling so badly I could barely undo my tie and he sighed heavily. I wasn’t sure if he was angry or not. If he was going to hurt me or not but he didn’t seem happy about my pace.

“Here, let me,” He said quickly undoing my tie before pulling off my vest and undoing the buttons on my oxford. He even pulled my under shirt off quickly, stepping back and leaving me sitting on the cot everything from the waist up exposed.

I went to go cross my arms over my chest, noticing how he was looking at me, looking at the purple marks making a line down the center of my chest past the waist of my khakis. I didn’t like the way he was looking at me. Like Uncle Ben looked at me when he said he wanted to go slow. To make me feel good.

“Your skin must taste good,” He mumbled licking his lips as he grabbed a stethoscope from a hook on the wall, “Breathe in nice and deep and then breathe out.”

I did I was told his fingers tickling above me waist band making me squirm making me that much more nervous.

“Ok, now take off your pants,” He said suddenly getting up and putting the stethoscope away grabbing something else out of the cabinet that I couldn’t see.

“Why?” I asked quietly almost afraid of what he would say.

“I have to check your stomach,” he answered, “So just take off your pants and I’ll press on your belly to check for bloating.”

I sighed heavily getting more and more uncomfortable with each second that ticked by but still comforted by the fact that he hadn’t told me to remove my underwear. He motioned for me to lay back on the cot and I did as he stared down at me for a second cocking his head to the side like he was thinking about something before he starting running his hands through my hair making me nervous.

“Ok now I just need you to relax and try and be as calm as possible, I’m going to press on your tummy and you tell me if it hurts,” He said barely above a whisper and I nodded my head to show I understood.

He started pressing on my abdomen slowly above my belly button going from my left to my right working his way down until he got to the waistband of underwear and then he went to roll it over pulling it below my hips.

“Stop,” I said trying to sit up.

“Now now, be good,” He said quietly as I felt the cold creeping back up my spine as he rolled them down farther until finally they were rolled down to my thighs exposing me completely making it hard to breathe, “Just close your eyes.” He said making me gulp.

No one but Da and Ben had ever done that before. Touched me like that and I was scared. I wasn’t sure what to do so I just froze. His hands rubbing my shoulders first and then down my chest to my stomach and then finally he palmed my small penis in his hand making my eyes snap open.

“Stop,” I asked him again.

“It’s ok, it’s just a massage,” He told me, “Just a massage, that’s all.” He said as his hand continued to move down my body all the way to my feet rubbing my skin slowly making my heart pound against the wall of my chest.

I had never had a massage before. I just knew it felt wrong. That I didn’t like it, that it was too much like Da when he came to me when I was a little boy. Too much like Ben. I was trying so hard not to shake, not to show him how scared I was. As I grabbed at the thin padding underneath me with my hands by my sides squeezing it hoping he was almost done. That he was going to stop soon.

“Your chest is heaving? Are you having trouble breathing?” He asked as he stopped messing with my foot.

I nodded my head. I didn’t want to say anything because I was on the verge of tears. Because I was scared of making him mad, of him touching me there again. He sighed patting my knee sympathetically.

“I bet this feels weird, doesn’t it? It’s ok that it feels weird. There’s nothing wrong with this ok? You want to lay on your belly for me.

I sighed edger to do so knowing that if I was on my stomach he couldn’t play with my penis. That he couldn’t really touch me there. Not if I was laying on it so I rolled over onto my belly gladly.

He made a sound like a gasp, a sound of awe as he barely touched my shoulders and back before his hands went to my ass cheeks and started messing with them kneading them with his fingers in slow circles.

“Beautiful,” I heard him barely mutter, “Just…” he trailed off and then I felt his breath on the base of my spine.

“No, please,” I told him shutting my eyes and gripping the sides of the pad under me once again.

“It’s ok. It won’t hurt I’m sure,” He said and then I heard him open something before I felt cold slick fingers near my hole causing me to tense up.

I wasn’t sure what he was going to do. If he was going to use his fingers in there for more than a second of if he was going to stick his dick in me or what but I was beyond terrified and I felt like I was choking on air not sure what was happening wishing I hadn’t been so stupid as to just roll over. He started rubbing the cold lube up against my entrance slowly his fingers teasing in just barely before coming back out repeatedly.

“You have a very nice bottom,” He muttered to me, “now normally I would probably wait until you were a bit more accumulated to your body before I did this but, I know your uncle has probably already shown you some things so I’m sure this won’t be an issue for you. I just need you to take a deep breath and relax for me and it will all be over before you know it.”

Of course, I couldn’t relax as I felt his weight shift leaning more over top of me, over top of the small cot I was on. I was convinced he was going to rape me. And then I felt the same weird wet feeling that had happened when my Da and uncle had done things to me together. The light lapping at my tail bone before his tongue trailed lower drawing a circle around my pucker as he used his hands to spread open my cheeks.

I gasped as he licked me. The sensation making me shudder because it didn’t hurt but it felt weird, invading. I wanted him to stop. To change his mind and stop as I started to hyperventilate under him gripping so hard to the pad that my hands hurt digging my nails into it as I started to cry silently.

“You’re squirming, calm down, take a breath,” He said stopping briefly his hand rubbing up and down the small of my back gently like he was trying to sooth me, “you’re ok.”

“I don’t w-want to,” I squeaked.

“I know but you’re ok and think of what good grades you’ll have for the rest of the marking period huh? And all you have to do is lay here for a little bit longer ok?” He said quietly like I was an infant he was trying to keep from crying.

I tried to relax myself. To just breathe but when he went back he didn’t even circle his tongue around me gently but forced it right into my hole making me scream loudly out of surprise and fear him not stopping but slapping a hand over my mouth as he nibbled and licked at my hole twisting his tongue inside of me.

By the time, he was done the outside felt swollen like it had been sucked on too much, like it was going to bruise because he had been too edger too rough. I felt dirty. Used.

“Your Da was right you are a good boy. I got a little over excited but, you were well behaved,” He said running his hand through the back of my hair as I closed my eyes trying to hide the fact I was crying from him. That I wasn’t ok with what he had done.
“Don’t act like you didn’t like. I’m sure it felt very good up until I got a little over excited and sucked too hard. I’ll make it up to you. Come over sometime and give other parts of you some attention.” He said before he kissed me in between my shoulders blades and got off the stool he had been sitting on in order to bend over me.

“I’ll leave you to collect yourself and get dressed. I’m sure Father Caraway will be in to check on you in a little bit. Make sure you are good to go back to class and give you hall pass,” He said patting the back of my knee.

I didn’t move for a while. Even after I heard the door quietly close it took me a couple of minutes to stop shaking enough to trust myself to move. When I did manage to move, I curled myself into a ball and bit my knee cap to keep from screaming my insides still feeling slightly sticky and slimy from what he had done to me.

I cried there silently until I heard quiet voices outside in the main room through the door pulling my underwear back up my thighs putting them back into place just as the door opened and I managed to sit up.

“Oh! I didn’t realize anyone had brought a student in here,” A voice said before I heard.

“Will?” and looked up.

It was Cole his eyes full of concern as he took in my swollen face and blood shot eyes. He knew what had happened. That someone had assaulted me and he looked between me and who I assumed was Father Caraway before he spoke up.

“Father? Can you give me a minute with him?” Cole asked uncertain.

“If it will calm him down. Do you think it will?” He asked Cole.

“Yes father,” Cole said nodding his head.

“All right, I’ll pull the curtain. Five minutes,” Father Caraway answered before walking away as he pulled the curtain in the room closed.

“What happened?” He whispered quietly sitting down on the stool Headmaster Watson had been using while he rimmed me.

“Father…Headmaster…he…I…I…I…got s-sick at lunch and he…” I started crying again putting my hand over my mouth in case I sobbed out right.

“Oh geeze,” Cole said running a hand through his hair, “You said your Uncle and Da do this right? Have they ever …let anyone else?” he coaxed.

All I could do was shake my head afraid if I removed my hand I would scream. I was used to it from them. From my Da and Uncle. Getting more and more desensitized to it as time went on but I had never experienced anyone else doing it. The way his hands had felt the same but different calloused slightly. Working hands, not like my Da’s or my Uncles. Hard hands with a gentle touch.

“It’s over now,” Cole said to me quietly patting the top of my hand probably afraid to touch me more than that, “It’s over now.”

“I…I…I dididn’t w-want…” Cole cut me off.

“I know you didn’t. It’s ok though he’s done now, it’s over. Fucking…,” I heard Cole muttered before he inhaled sharply turning away from me.

After a few minutes of silence, I managed to quit crying enough I could actually speak, “I thought he was going to…lick my…so I turned over and laid on my belly and then I thought maybe he was going to stick …but he didn’t,” I mumbled not sure if I made sense.

I heard Cole sniff before he turned around his eyes red, “Yeah, yeah he…he does that.” He said quietly.

“My Da has done that before,” I said quietly, “It mostly hurt though. Not like this time.”

“Honestly, I always feel like he’s trying to suck my intestines out of my ass hole,” Cole said and we both smiled a little and I nodded my head in agreement, “Well at least I could make you smile.”

“It was just, weird,” I said turning serious again, “He said he would fail me if I didn’t let him.”

“I’m sure he did. You’re exactly his type of not a little younger than he usually goes,” Cole said quietly.

“His type?” I asked.

“Blond, thin, pale,” Cole answered.

“Like you,” I said realizing what he was saying, what all of his comments had meant.

Cole avoided my gaze and nodded his head, “Like I know I’m…gay but that doesn’t mean…I’d rather take my Dad holding me down by my neck as he fucks me or Hank beating me with his belt and shoving a vibrator up my ass while he calls me a slut and sucks me off than…than what Barry does.”

“Barry?” I asked quietly.

“Headmaster Watson,” He clarified.

“You should…get some clothes on before he comes back,” Cole said pointing out that I was just in my underwear.

I blushed realizing it, “Oh yeah…s-s-sorry,” I mumbled as Cole handed me my shirt, “Why are you here anyway?”

“Oh, I had a headache I’m coming off some blow,” Cole said shrugging his shoulders.

“Cocaine?” I asked.

“Yeah,” He said smiling slightly, “It’s really not a big deal trust me. It just helps keep me awake.”

“You have long nights too?” I asked him.

“Yeah,” He said nodding his head, “My Dad has this guy he hangs with. Hank, they …well Hanks son isn’t around right now so they…”

I’m sorry,” I said quietly.

“Me too if I’m on coke though it doesn’t really matter. Even though I think like every person who taps me on the shoulder wants to fuck me but I just have to try and remind myself that’s the paranoia,” Cole said.

“It’s bad for you, you know?”

“You don’t need to tell me that I know. Life is pretty bad for me though so what’s a little blow to help soften it?”

“It could kill you. Give you a heart attack,” I said as he handed me my undershirt.

Cole shrugged his shoulders, “They could kill me anytime they want to so I don’t see what the difference is, waiting for them to do it or accidentally taking one too many hits.”

“It scares me. All of this,” I said.

“Well, it’s pretty damn scary for someone who isn’t used to it. You’re first couple times with someone else will make you feel like…well like you do right now. Violated, terrified, sick. But after a while it gets easier. You still have those feelings but you can push them away easier and handle them when you’re alone where no one can see. Like you probably already do with your Da and Uncle at home.” Cole said as I grabbed my shirt and pulled it over my shoulders starting to button it back up.

There was a quiet knock on the door before Father Caraway opened it and stuck his head in, “Pain medication for your headache Mr. Gables,” He said handing Cole a tiny clear plastic cup in one hand and Styrofoam cup in the other.

“Thank you. Is it ok if I sit around for a while and talk to him?” Cole asked.

“Depends should I be making an incident report?” Father Caraway asked raising an eyebrow at him.

“A what?” I asked pulling my sweater vest over my head as Cole handed it to me.

“It basically means that Watson or one of the other teachers did something to you. Something bad and so you ended up here,” Cole said softly.

“Oh,” I said.

I didn’t want to talk about that. I didn’t want to have to sit there and tell some guy in detail that my headmaster had tongued my asshole. That he had taken me away from Lunch just so he could bring me here and force me to take off my clothes and then do things to me. Things that I didn’t want.

“I’m assuming I do and that’s what you were discussing,” Father Caraway said, “That and maybe you were letting him in that most of those reports are filed with the initials C.G under pupil?”

“Huh…” Cole said, “I don’t think he’s ready to talk about that Father. With all due respect.”

“Boys,” Father Caraway said his brow wrinkling, “It’s better to get it taken down while it’s still fresh in your minds. The more reports I can file the more likely Father Dunbee and I are going to be successful at getting these horrible men out of our parish. You understand what I’m saying?”

“You want to know really father?” I sighed, “I got sick to my stomach because one of my classmates was talking about how there is this one guy they know that would want to have intercourse with a five-year-old I have a little brother who is five years old and it scared me and made me feel nausea so I ended up barfing into the rubbish bin in the lunch room. Headmaster Watson saw this and told me he wanted to make sure I wasn’t ill so he brought me here where he shut the door and told me to take off my shirt. I did as I was told and he listened to my breathing and heart beat and then he told me to take off my pants and lay down so he could press on my stomach to feel for bloating. He rolled my underpants down my legs and started rubbing my shoulders and then my chest until he finally made it to my private area…”

By this point I was shaking with embarrassment and anger at having to tell him. At having to explain the experience to this guy I barely knew so he could write it down for someone else. So he could show it to someone else.

“He rubbed down my legs and told me to turn over. And I was just happy he didn’t want to touch my crotch anymore. I thought he was just going to rub my back and shoulders but his hands went right to my bum. Where he then licked, and nibbled and sucked before his stuck his tongue in there,” I said angry tears starting, “I didn’t want it. It didn’t feel good and it was scary ok? Is that good enough for you? Can I be done now?”

Father Caraway nodded his head, “I understand why you’re upset I know that was difficult. But you did well. I will go write it down.” He said as he quickly left the room.

“That sounds like father Watson,” Cole commented, “Are you going to be ok. I know it’s hard to …talk about especially right after it happens.”

“I actually feel a little better about it. Knowing I’m not the only one and that someone is trying to get rid of them,” I answered.

“They’ve been trying to get rid of him for at least two years. I don’t think he’s going anywhere anytime soon,” Cole said to me, “That’s really what made you sick though? Someone talking about that?”

“Yes,” I answered, “I can’t imagine anyone wanting to…not to Jay. I nearly died when…” I bit back a sob.

No one else had seen it but me and Da. Heard his pleas and whimpers begging Da to stop. Telling him it hurt. Calling him Daddy. No one else had seen the blood, his blood on my Da as he pulled out leaving him there to curl up in a ball and cry himself to sleep.

“Nearly died when what?” Cole asked me softly.

“I walked in on it. My Da with…with him,” I answered.

“Oh shit,” Cole muttered barely audible, “What did you do?”

Cole frowned at me a frown that looked like it was hiding its own tears. Its own worries. That it was sharing my pain even if it wasn’t seeing the same flash of memory.

“I took off my shirt, I told him… not James.”

“So, he came to you instead?” Cole asked me and I nodded my head.

“Better than him,” I answered, “I hate it but it’s better me than him.”

“I can understand that and I don’t have a little brother to protect,” Cole said, “How has he been since?”

“It took a little bit. But I think he’s ok. He has a lot questions about when they…do things to me. He asks me all the time sometimes like a couple days in between if it hurts. If it feels funny. If they…shit…if they touch me there, or kiss me in different places. That type of stuff but otherwise he seems ok.” I answered.

“They do a lot of brain washing so I think he’s just trying to make sense of what the truth is. I don’t think he’s doing it to upset you but because he’s confused,” Cole said after chewing on the right side of his bottom lip lightly for a minute.

“No, I know. It just…it’s weird but they don’t have anyone else to answer or tell them different from what Da and Ben say if I don’t. I wish things were more normal but I know me pretending it’s not happening or me pretending it’s normal doesn’t change anything so I try to answer their questions. I really do it’s just hard. It’s hard when I hear my Da say that it’s ok to tongue kiss your son because those are “love kisses” that’s how Da’s who really love their sons kiss them,” I said wiping at my eyes quickly as Cole smiled at me sadly and handed me my tie.

“I can see how that would be hard. Where is your older brother? You did say you had an older brother, right?” Cole asked me.

“Da’s keeping him away from everyone. I think he’s got him chained up in his room that he’s just…” I trailed off shrugging my shoulders.

“They do that sometimes. Last summer I got caught smoking pot, remember last summer I was only 13 and I spent three weeks chained to a bed at the villa. I wasn’t even allowed to get up to us the bathroom. I had to use a bed pan. Anyone who wanted to was allowed to…do things to me. It was the most relentless they had been a in while and it’s been easier since. Down to like twice a week or so I usually go the Villa on Saturdays and it’s like five to ten guys so it’s not too bad. At least it’s not marathons or 5 to 10 guys every day,” Cole said.

“Every day after school. Sometimes after dinner too and he’s…he tries to make it happen at least twice,” I said, “It hurts sometimes.”

“It?” Cole asked confused.

“Make me uhhh…” I swallowed the lump in my throat, “You know.”

“Oh,” Cole said his face turning pink along the bridge of his nose and cheeks, “I thought you were still too young for that.”

“It’s new,” I said not able to look at him.

“Well, that’s hard. And yeah it would hurt because he’s probably pushing you until you’re having dry orgasms and those feel good but don’t all at once. Coupled with the fact you don’t want it to begin with I do imagine that would be painful. Tell him he’s hurting. Maybe he’ll let up a little bit. Go easy on you for a while,” Cole suggested.

“My Da keeps telling him to give me breaks. Because I get sore. So, he’ll stop doing certain things for a day or two and then it’ll happen again. I’ve only been here like three weeks now and it’s horrible.”

“They’ll get bored and slow down,” Cole assured me, “They do after a while.”

“I hope so,” I said quietly, “It hurts to walk it feels like a really bad rug burn in my butthole,” I muttered.

“Honestly I would let him know how much pain you’re in. If you’re afraid to let him know tell your Da and see what he says. Because he’s the one who has the last say,” Cole told me and I nodded my head.

It sucked feeling raw in there. It hurt to do anything even go to the bathroom and made me afraid I would start bleeding. That was probably why Da kept telling him to go easy on me, to give me breaks of some kind because he understood it was hard on my body me being so young.

“I’ll see what they say I guess,” I answered quietly.

“I would you might be surprised,” Cole said, “Are you going to Teddy’s party?”

“How do you know about Teddy’s party?” I asked confused considering Cole was slightly older than I was which meant he was slightly older than Teddy.

“Well mostly it’s chance for them to check out students, the fathers I mean,” Cole said, “I mean they wouldn’t hurt you while you’re there but I was just curious to see if you were actually going to go.”

“I think I am,” I answered, “Ben wants me to go so…” I shrugged my shoulders.

“I’ll see you there then,” He said as he stood up, “You should get back to class if you feel ok. I mean there’s an hour left for you.”

“Are you going back to class?” I asked him.

“No, we get out at 2,” He told me, “You guys are out at 3 and the kids are out at what 3:30?”

“Yeah,” I answered, “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Yep, see you,” He said as I got up and walked out.

Father Caraway didn’t try to stop me. Or ask me anymore questions as I quietly left the nurses office and made me way to class. And I didn’t get in trouble at all for being late or not having a pass which I thought was odd but I wasn’t going to complain about it. I just wanted to go home. To take a shower and help my brothers with their homework. Find the time and energy to focus on something else.

Chapter Text

I rode the bus home. I found myself sitting on my own people leaving me alone and I finally felt like I was able to breathe like getting out of that school had allowed me to breathe up until the bus allowed me off at the end of our gated drive way.
I didn’t want to go inside so I pulled my work book out and sat in the grass next to the mailbox working on the bit of homework I did have. I desperately wanted a shower but, I wasn’t ready to go in. To go and deal with him yet. With Ben.

I knew I was supposed to but, I couldn’t. I couldn’t deal with what he wanted to do to me at that moment so I waited doing my homework in the grass until the lower school bus pulled up at the end of the drive as well my little brothers stepping out Jay raising his eyebrows in confusion at me when he noticed where I was. Causing me to smile.

“You do realize we weren’t going to get lost, right?” Matt asked me.

“No, you don’t say?” I shook my head standing up, “Am I not allowed to wait for my brothers?”

“In the grass is kind of weird,” Matt said, “Were you hiding from him?”

“I huh…,” Shrugged my shoulders smiling at James patting the top of his head, “Did you learn anything good today bud?”

“Not really and the thing I told you he didn’t ask for me too. I’m glad because I think it’s weird,” He said.

“Good I’m glad,” I said as we started walking up the drive towards the house.

“I have a lot of math,” Mike sighed.

“Well, I can help with it,” I said.

“I know you’re like smart but John is better at math I wish John could help,” Mike answered me.

“Well maybe you should ask Da if he can come down and help you,” I mentioned, “I think it would be a good idea.”

“Da’s keeping him because he likes giving him special kisses all the time and he doesn’t want us to see you know that, right?” Matt asked me causing me to stop and look at him.

“How do you know that?” I asked him.

I mean it was obvious that was what our Da was doing. We all knew it but for him to just outright say it like he was observing that it was a warm day was disconcerting. It seemed like everything Da told him he believed. I needed to find time to talk with him alone without Mike and James around to see what his mind set was. I sighed.

“Well, it makes sense. I mean Da always makes us shut the door when he makes us give each other those kisses,” he shrugged his shoulders, “So it makes sense right. He makes us touch our willies too.”

“Ok,” I nodded my head, “Mike, James you two go inside please, I need to talk with Matt for a while.”

“Is he in trouble?” Mike asked.

“No, not at all I just need to talk to him alone ok Mike? He’ll tell you what we talked about I’m sure,” I assured him.

“Ok, should I get started on my homework then?” Mike asked me.

“Yes please,” I answered, “Help each other ok?”

“Ok,” Mike said grabbing Jay’s tiny hand and pulling me away.

“Can you tell me why you like talking about it and what exactly Da has made you do?” I asked him.

“Da said it’s fine to talk about just not in public,” Matt answered, “He said we should talk about it because it will help us all bond. He’s had us touch each other’s willies and our own he even put his mouth on mine and told me I should pay attention so that I could teach Mike. It felt weird but it didn’t hurt like you guys make it seem like it would. It felt kind of good to be honest.”

“You thought it felt good?” I asked him.

When I was little I remembered, it confusing me, making me feel terrified afraid I was going to pee all over him and then he’d be mad and smack me or tear my penis off. Afraid that his touches even though they tingled were going to hurt at any second. How could he have thought it felt good?

“Yeah, I mean at first I thought it was weird but it wasn’t horrible,” He told me.

“You understand why it’s bad right?” I asked him.

“Da says it’s not bad,” He told me.

“While it is. We’re not supposed to…they aren’t supposed to because we’re related to each other by blood and it’s wrong ok? Did he tell you, you can’t touch yourself? That if you want to feel that you have to go to him, so he can do it?” I asked him.
“Well yeah but he said everyone does that. Has their Da do that,” Matt told me.

“They don’t,” I said shaking my head, “It doesn’t make you feel sick to your tummy at all?”

“No, it makes it tickle but otherwise no,” Matt said, “Why?”

“Ok,” I said thinking about it. About what little I knew about psychology.

“Matt, do you ever get mad?” I asked him.

“All the time I hate it when people won’t move out of my way on the playground I think it’s dumb so I push them right? But then the teacher always sends me to the corner telling me I should think about what I did. They were the stupid head that wouldn’t get out of my way, Mike does it too. I love Mike I mean he’s my brother but sometimes he tells me stupid things and that annoys me too. Like he always asks questions like he asks if I like what Da does like you are right now or if I think it’s weird. Of course, I like it why wouldn’t I and why doesn’t he? I don’t know I think the whole thing is stupid to get sad about honestly.” Matt rambled on, “Can I go now?”

I wasn’t really sure what to say. So, he didn’t mind it, in fact he liked it and didn’t see anything wrong with it because Da was saying there wasn’t anything wrong with it. He apparently had discipline problems at school which I wasn’t aware of and found others people’s reactions to things stupid. It was very apparent to me his brain was wired very different from the usual persons.

“Matt, do you understand why you can’t push people at school?” I asked him.

“Because then I get put in a time out and it’s annoying,” he answered.

“No, because it’s mean. Because you have to wait your turn.” I corrected him.

“Why should I have to wait when they are the one being slow, why don’t they let the people who actually want to go down the slide or across the glide rope go first? It makes more sense to just let the person who will be quick go first,” He told me.

“You have to be nice to people,” I said, “But anyway I’ll have a very long talk with mum about it later.”

“I’m working on it ok? I try to pretend I’m nice and that’s why I have some friends but it’s hard sometimes. Mike has to remind me to be nice to be like him but people are annoying,” He told me.

“Ok well just keep working on it then,” I told him.

“Working on what?” Matt asked.

“Explaining why you should be nice to people,” I said.

“Oh, I know why, Mike says if you’re nice to people sometimes they do things for you,” Matt said turning and walking away leaving me standing there shaking my head.

He did have a point. If you are nice to people, they do sometimes do things for you to help you or benefit you. But you should really just want to be nice to people because it makes you feel good about yourself and it’s the right thing to do.

When I walked into the house after Matt both Da and Ben were sitting at the kitchen counter talking quietly and Ben smiled at me when I came in but he looked angry. I wasn’t sure what he had to be angry about but I didn’t want to get myself into worse trouble by doing something else I wasn’t supposed to.

“Where were you?” He asked me.

“Outside waiting for them,” I said quietly, “Was I supposed to come into the house right away?”

“You didn’t go for a walk again?” Ben asked me.

“No, I swear,” I said shaking my head.

“He was sitting by the mail box like he thought we were going to get lost if someone wasn’t there waiting for us. Mike told him we were big boys and we don’t need him to wait for us,” Jay said before going back to his work book.

Uncle Ben took a deep breath and I saw him starting to relax, the anger slowly leaving his body as he looked at me. He was really that upset with the idea that I would go for a walk without asking? That I would leave the house without asking for permission?

“Why did you decide to wait outside for them?” He asked me.

“Well they’ve never ridden the bus home before,” I said, “I just thought maybe it would be a good idea to have someone waiting for them.”

That was mostly a lie. I was avoiding him. Avoiding his eyes on me, his hands on my skin because the moment I got in the house that was usually what he did. Took me somewhere where we could be alone. Where he could hurt me.

I had already been touched that day. I didn’t want anymore. Headmaster Watson had been bad enough, I didn’t think I could deal with anymore.

“Ok,” He said nodding his head, “You’re a good brother you know?”

“Thanks,” I said quietly.

“I got a phone call, can we talk about it alone?” He asked me to which Da’s head shot up from where he was helping Jay with his homework smiling.

“Yeah, go talk to him but remember what we talked about Benny,” Da said.

“I’ll keep it in mind,” Ben said as I allowed him to grab my hand leading me from the kitchen and out into the living room.

For a minute, I felt nervous would he really rape me out in the open where anyone could see? Where they could just walk in? I didn’t want him touching me the moment he let go of my hand folding my arms over myself.

He looked at me and smiled, “You look like such a kid right now.”

“I am a kid,” I mumbled quietly.

“You don’t usually act like one. You might have a young body yes but I see those eyes. Those eyes tell me you’re something else, something different,” He said quietly sighing, “But that’s not why I want to talk to you. My friend Barry called, he said you were very nice to him.”

“Headmaster Watson?” I asked and he nodded his head in response.

“He said you froze up a little bit and he wasn’t expecting that but that you were very good for him. I told him that’s something we’re working on. Trying to get you to relax a little more. But I wanted to let you know I’m proud of you. That tonight we don’t need to do anything that you don’t want. That maybe you can have the weekend with just cuddles and nothing else ok?” Ben said.

For some reason I felt my stomach flutter in excitement. Him not touching me like that the whole weekend? That seemed too good to be true. I still had to cuddle with him but no sex, no oral, no nothing?

“You mean…not even a little bit?” I asked trying to contain how happy the thought made me.

“Well I still want to share a bed with you but, nothing more than heavy petting ok? I don’t think I could...” he cleared his throat, “You’re too beautiful.”

So, he lied it wasn’t completely. It would be like Da when I was a kid. Little touches that made my skin tingle. Sent that spark up and down my spine. It was better than his mouth. A small break from his mouth and dick was better than nothing.

“Thank you,” I said.

“You’re welcome, I know it’s hard for you to accept us. It can feel good though I promise. You can learn to like it. I did,” He said.

“You mean Da?” I asked him.

“Your granddad,” He answered, “I was about your age when it fully developed, that relationship with him. It was scary at first I remember and it hurt. Like I’m sure you’re physically hurting right now, sore in different places like I was back then at the beginning. Once I accepted it, it felt almost special. Almost like he really wanted me. I’m not sure I ever believed he did considering I watched what he did to your Da how he pampered him. He was always loved more I think. Better at it.”
“Better at what?” I asked.

“It,” He said raising his eyebrows at me trying to make sure I understood. He meant sex. He meant that.

“Oh,” I said not sure what to do finally taking a seat across from him on the love seat staring at my hands in my lap.

“I don’t want you to ever feel like that. I know I’m not your Da and I don’t ever want to be but, you need to know that you are equal to Johnny. You need to understand you are both loved very much not just by your Da but by me too,” Ben said and I didn’t know what to say so I just nodded my head.

I knew Da had always paid special attention to John. But John had only done it to protect me, us from Da. Because he hadn’t wanted me to have to deal with that. Him in my bed at night even though that was exactly what had happened up until we had gotten here and he had given me to Ben.

“So, you understand then? Why it’s you and me?” He asked me.

“Yeah, yeah I understand. I thought it was because I looked like Da,” I said shrugging my shoulders.

“That’s a part of it but not all of it. Does that bother you?” He asked me, “That I decided to do this with you because you are your Da’s son. Every bit of you besides the eyes. Dani’s eyes. I remember always loving your mum’s personality when I was young. After your granddad died they took me in you know. Do you remember that?”

I shook my head. I didn’t really remember that at all. I had been only little maybe two at the time and it was amazing that I had the memories of that time that I did. John hiding me in the closet from Da. The fighting, the sounds of raised voices. I knew when we had left he had been living in an apartment in town but spent a lot of time at our house, that he had babysat often.

“When you were did you ever…?” I started to ask.

“Oh, no baby you were way too little to understand. We agreed to try with John and then your mum interfered but we both agreed two was too little. That we wanted to only teach someone who would understand so John was the perfect age,” He said, “Your mum made me nervous and I screwed up so your Da wanted to wait with the rest of you and then you were gone.”

“He didn’t wait that long,” I said quietly.

“Well the plan was for us to do it together. To start with small things and then slowly move you towards it. He said he wasn’t until you were eight that he actually took that step. He said you handled it very well but that you pulled away from him after that and that was two years ago.”

“Somewhere around there yeah,” I said, “It hurt.”

“The first time always hurts,” Ben said, “Do I hurt?”

“Sometimes,” I answered honestly, “Sometimes I’m just scared because …” I trailed off.

“Understandable. When I go slow does it hurt?” He asked me.

I shook my head. I didn’t want to let him know that it hurt differently. In a way that wasn’t physical but more mental. That he was making me lose control of my body when he did that and that hurt more than anything else ever could. I didn’t want to tell him that I thought I was gay and that he was ruining something for me. Taking it away from me.

“Good, I’m glad because I don’t mean to hurt you. I have a temper and I’m working on it. I really didn’t mean to hurt you when I did.” He said.

“What time are we talking about? The time I went for a walk so you slammed me into the wall giving me a concussion or the time you choked me until I passed out?” I said not meaning to sound smart but, wanting to get my point across that it had happened more than once.

“Both,” He said, “I was scared you had gotten hurt or someone had taken you. You didn’t tell anyone you were leaving the yard. There is brotherhood all over and not all of them are nice. They could have mistaken you for just a random kid on the street. You’re not marked baby they could have seriously hurt you. Like my one friend Arthur he’s not nice. The only reason he hasn’t gotten caught is he’s smart. He’s a social worker my friend Carlos wasn’t nearly as smart as he is and you know where he is? Prison for life. The second time I hurt you I got too caught up in myself ok? That wasn’t on purpose at all. Once I realized you were passed out, I stopped.”

I nodded my head, “Why did you let him…I mean Headmaster Watson. Why did you tell him it was ok?”

“Well in the brotherhood even if a boy is contracted it’s important for them to learn from as many teachers as possible. I know it was probably scary for you but I told him no penetration. Did he listen?” Uncle Ben asked me.

“I don’t want to talk about it with you,” I told him. His question making me aware of how I still had Watson’s spit on me, how he had kissed me and rubbed me how his tongue had gone inside me.

“Ok. You don’t have to right now,” He said, “Maybe I should just send you to the kitchen to cook up some hotdogs for your brothers? Put some fries in the oven.”

“Ok,” I said nodding my head, “Am I still going to the party tomorrow?”

“Yes, you can still go. I just wanted to give you a break because that first time without either of us was probably a little …overwhelming and I want to make sure you’re ok,” He said, “Your mental health matters to me.”

“Ok well I should go make dinner,” I said standing up.

“Ok, go do that,” He said standing up at the same time I did as I turned to walk away back into the kitchen. He didn’t follow me but I’m still not 100 percent sure where he went. After all I wasn’t his keeper, he was more mine.

Around seven I managed to get everyone settled down to watch some movie that I can’t even remember what it was but it was actually a normal evening before bed. I was glad for the change from abnormal which seemed to becoming our normal. Uncle Ben taking me upstairs. John missing. Which John was still missing but for once someone wasn’t asking about him.

When the evening ended, Jay asked me to read him a bedtime story. I read forever I’ll love you because it was something my mum had always read to me to get me to sleep and it was a book I loved. He was out before the story ended and when I was done I kissed his cheek and made sure he was comfortably tucked in.

I sighed and left the room knocking on the door to Uncle Ben’s bedroom where the lights were off and the TV was quietly playing. He got up and opened the door for me making me step back biting my lip nervously. I wasn’t sure if he would keep his promise to me but either way I didn’t want to share a bed with him. He smiled at me.

“You don’t need to knock baby it’s your room too,” He said.

“It just feels weird to just walk in,” I answered shrugging my shoulders.

He grabbing my hand lacing his fingers through mine pulling me into the room and wrapping his arms around me making me freeze. Making my heart pound. I gulped loudly not sure what I was doing letting him hug me, his hand going down the back of my pants and grabbing my ass.

“You-you-you said….,” I tried to get out.

“No sex, I remember,” He said nipping at my neck gently, “I said heavy petting was fair game though.”

He moved me to the bed lifting up my shirt pulling it over my head and then sitting back smacking his lips, “You have such beautiful skin.”

“Thank you,” I said quietly not sure what else to say.

He laughed at my reaction, “You want to just talk? Just for a little while.”

“About what?” I asked him.

“What is your first memory of me?” He asked me.

“You raping my older brother on the Livingroom floor,” I answered.

“Ouch,” He said smiling making a little hissing noise, “Not what I was hoping you would say.”

“What you were hoping it was you pushing me on the swings or something?” I asked him.

“Maybe,” He said.

“Well I guess you’re out of luck, can we just go to sleep. I am only 10 my bedtime is still nine,” I sighed.

“Sure,” he relented as I got up and turned down the covers climbing in as he turned off the TV, “Goodnight Will.”

“Night Ben,” I said rolling over so my back was facing him before I felt him slide in next to me pulling me into his chest spooning me.

“It’s hard to sleep like this,” I answered.

“You’re the one who wants to sleep right now, so we’re going to fall asleep my way tonight ok?” He mumbled into the back of my neck.

I sighed heavily closing my eyes trying to ignore the fact that he was there. Trying to go someplace else in my head. Eventually falling into an uncomfortable restless sleep.

The next morning, I woke up before the alarm went off. Nearly five am. He was still dead asleep snoring softly into my back his arms no longer around me but his ankle hooked around the back of mine so he could feel if I moved. If I left him. I sighed not caring rolling away from him off the bed landing on my feet close to the ground almost like a cat.

“Baby,” I heard Ben moan.

“I have to pee Ben,” I answered making sure my pants were tied on as I stood up.

Just because he had promised he wouldn’t have sex with me didn’t mean he would keep that promise. He had made it very clear before bed last night that he at least wanted to touch me even if he kept his mouth and genitals to himself. I was tired. Less sore than I had been in a while not having anything shoved up my ass or suctioned to my dick but my shoulders and neck hurt. Probably from all the anxiety and tension I had been holding.

I needed John. Needed to talk to him. To know he was ok that Da wasn’t being too hard on him. Ben might have been physically hard to handle leaving bruises all over my skin and leaving me feeling raw but, his taunts didn’t feel constant. He didn’t whisper into my skin how good I tasted or felt when he wasn’t raping me. Where Da, it was a very Da thing to whisper it into your skin whenever he thought he looked nice.

Everyone had described uncle ben as super violent though and I didn’t see that. He was just rough, the way his hands gripped and pinched that was rough otherwise I didn’t see what they saw. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why. Why it was different, why I was different. Not until I was older.

He must have gotten up as I walked into the bathroom and shut the door because I heard it open and turned my head to see him leaning back against the door frame. I sighed. I didn’t need an audience to pee.

“I’m peeing,” I said feeling my shoulders tense up.

“And I’m enjoying the view,” He said, “You guys have to get that from your mum’s side of the family because I don’t remember being any bigger than average when I was your age but you and John are very blessed.”

I felt my face going red. It wasn’t like I saw a lot of other guys my age naked. I didn’t know what was normal and what wasn’t but that wasn’t the first time either one of them had thrown that comment at me, or someone else had done the same. It made me feel weird about it. Like there was something wrong with me.

“Don’t be shy there’s nothing wrong with it,” He said as if reading my mind, “Just think of how well you’ll impress the guys when you’re older. Hell, think of how well you’re impressing them now.”

I pulled my pants back up and went over to the sink to wash my hands, “I’m not looking to impress anyone right now.”

“You’re so good at impressing people baby you don’t even have to try. Barry wanted time with you the moment he saw you. It’s the way it all…,” He moved his hands it a circle his palms open, fingers loosed and relax, before allowing them to drop lazily to his sides, “Hangs together I guess you could say.”

“You make me sound like a girl,” I muttered turning off the sink.

“You’re better than a girl,” he said, “Young and soft in all the right places yet…masculine sweet and yet you have the ability to with stand things. You’re young no one is going to break you anytime soon.”

I sighed trying to relax as I turned around turning on the light and starting the shower, “I don’t see myself falling back to sleep so I think I’m going to get ready for school.”

He raised his eye brows at me, “At 5:30? If you want are you going to make your brothers a proper breakfast too or do you think you’ll spend some time with me?”

“Do you even have to ask?” I asked him.

Of course, I didn’t want to spent time with him. He knew that. He didn’t need to play dumb. I would rather make my brothers French toast any day than lay in a bed with him naked waiting for my real alarm to go off.

“Ok,” He said nodding his head, “I’ll see you downstairs then, I’m going to go start the coffee.”

“Thank you,” I sighed as I waited for him to shut the door before taking off my pants again and stepping under the spray of the shower head.

In the dorms, we had always showered. At home we had almost always still bathed but here. Here it felt like there was less freedom and more reason to move quickly, like mice skittering away from the house cat in the corner where they could safely hide in their mouse hole. Only I was the mouse that had gotten trapped in the corner the cat blocking my way to safety. To air.

I sighed before I quickly finished soaping up and rinsing off. Rushing my way to the bedroom I shared with James careful to grab the stuff I needed as I put on my undershirt and briefs before pulling up my khakis still in the dark and grabbing some socks out of the tiny dresser while I threw my oxford over my shoulder before going downstairs. I decide to make a large pan of scrambled eggs and toast and that’s what I did.

When I was done, I went back upstairs and turned on the light shaking James awake just as the alarm in the room started going off, “Come on bud, time to get up.”

“I don’t want to,” he moaned which wasn’t normal for him.

“You went to bed even a little early last night bud, come on… time to wake up,” I said again rubbing his back gently when I noticed it. The dark purple mark on the back of his neck making a lump form in my throat. I knew it wasn’t uncle Ben.

“Jay, did Da come in here last night?” I asked him quietly trying not to startle him.

“I don’t want to go to school Will, please don’t make me,” He answered quietly.

“Why not?” I asked him.

“I’m too tired,” I said again finally rolling over.

“Jay, if Da came in last night I’m not going to be mad. I just need to know ok?” I said quietly, calmly trying not to scare him.

Da had probably fed him the same bullshit he fed me when I was his age. That John would be mad, that mum would be mad if they had found out Da was touching me like that. That they would yell at me. Be jealous and treat me differently.

“You won’t be?” He asked me quietly, “He said you and John would be.”

“No, I promise bud I’m not mad at you. Not for anything like that. Did he come in here last night? For a little while? Did he hurt you?” I asked him.

“He didn’t hurt he just…kissed me and stuff,” He said not able to look at me, “He kept me up late and made me tired. I don’t want to go to school.”

“Listen bud, he can’t touch you if you’re at school. And I know how weird it feels when he does that and it feels really funny doesn’t it?” I asked him.

“Yeah,” He said, “It doesn’t hurt like when he put his penis in my butt but, it feels weird and hurts different like I don’t want to do it and he knows I don’t but he tells me the more I do it the better it will feel and that it’s ok but you and John would probably say it’s not ok and it’s scary and I don’t know what I’m doing, and I feel. Something’s wrong with me.”

“Bud, there isn’t anything wrong with you. It’s something with him,” I said to James, “If you go to school though he won’t be near you to hurt you like that. I don’t think he realizes that it hurts your insides like your head and not your body. I think he forgets how bad it and sad it makes someone feel. So, I need you to come to school with me ok? That way I know you’re safe.”

“Why doesn’t John come to school with us then? If that will make Da not touch him?” Jay said.

“I don’t know Bud. I think Da doesn’t want him to,” I answered, “Come here let’s get you dressed ok?”

“I can dress myself you know?” He pointed out.

“Then get dressed,” I said getting out my vest and socks as I finished buttoning my oxford and fixed my tie before fixing his, “Let me see if you got your buttons right.”

He showed me proudly puffing out his chest so I could see every button was matched with its hole in a perfect neat little line. He smiled at me and I felt almost like breaking. Breaking because I knew so well what Da had done to him last night and here he was after he had full woken up acting like nothing was wrong. Like it didn’t hurt inside and the world didn’t seem dark and cold and grey but I managed to smile and ruffle his hair, “Good job bud,” I said helping him fix his tie and make sure the rest of his uniform was on.

Went we got down into the kitchen again Uncle Ben was back in there pouring himself another cup of coffee. I sighed. So, this was going to be my morning. Pretending to be normal. Pretending nothing was wrong.

“Why are you up so early uncle Ben?” James asked frowning at him as I brought James’ plates of eggs and toast over to seat at the table and turned to see Mike and Matt coming down the stairs.

“I have stuff I have to do, I have to go help a friend out with something but it’s not a big deal just going to take some time out of the house,” He answered them.

“Help them with what?” Matt asked.

“Work stuff they need me to take a look at something and tell them if it needs to be changed. They made a movie and they want me to help edit it before the let other people see it,” He said.

“COOL! Can I see it? That would be so cool being the first person to see a movie before anyone else got too,” Matt said.

“Maybe another time Matt, you have to go to school and then I do believe you’ve all been invited to a party at the Larkin house. I mean the older kids are going to be in a different area of the house but it’s like a bbq for the beginning of the school year kind of. Let’s you get to know some of your classmates,” Uncle Ben said.

“Really everyone is going?” I asked.

“Everyone but John because he’s still not feeling well,” Ben answered, “Your Da is going to stay home with him. I think he might actually be taking him do the doctors.”

“He’s really that sick?” James asked frowning.

“I don’t know bud all I know is that this party is going to be fun. There will be a bounce house and they have a pool over there. So, lots of things to do,” Ben said.

“Do we have to stay with you the whole time?” James asked.

“No, you guys can wonder off on your own. Like I said different areas for different age groups besides the pool I think. I think the pool is for everyone so don’t forget your swim suits. Once you get home you can grab them and then we’ll go,” He said.
I finish eating and made sure everyone’s ties were ready and then we got on the middle school bus. That way I could take them the playground and not have to worry about being too early or me too late giving me 10 minutes before class started which was enough time to make sure they made it to the playground and head back in towards the middle school wing. Making it to my seat just as the class started.

“Ok class, since everyone is here today we are switching briefly from plants to humans. Because yesterday we talked about how plants are asexual reproducers meaning they can produce on their own today we are talking about different kinds of reproduction. Animal reproduction and human production. How many people know what reproduction is?” Father Barney asked.

Teddy raised his hand, “It’s producing children.”

“Or offspring,” Father Barney corrected, “In this case we’re going to use the word offspring. This is science class offspring would be the more correct term. But yes, that’s what it is. It’s the ability to produce offspring. Asexual reproduction can’t be considered producing children because they create offspring through a process where their offspring is almost an identical copy of oneself. You then have allogamy reproduction which is where two parents are needed and then autogamy where there is one genetic parent …”

This topic continued on for a while. I think only half the class listened. Anyone in the brotherhood already have a decent idea of what human reproduction consisted of and that was really the only type of reproduction we needed to know about according to the brotherhood. You had sex. Sex with a woman made a baby sex with a boy was for fun. That was all there was to understand. All that we needed to know.

When lunch came, I was totally tuned out wanting to read my book and escape wanting to pour myself into that different world that I so craved. The one where white walkers lived beyond a wall a threat the way of life for a whole world and where a mother existed a mother of dragons, of creatures that were thought to be dead for 1000’s of years only to be birthed from fire brought back to the world once again. That was the world I wanted to be in. The world where things seemed bleak but maybe, just maybe they weren’t.

I got an average lunch that day and didn’t pick out any desert or anything special just a simple hamburger with some mushy corn and tatertots and sat down in my usual seat. Hoping that once I pulled my book out I would be left alone since there would be plenty of time to talk at the party. Plenty of time for questions and goofing off, for discussions of real world things that seemed made of fiction, of nightmares and horror.

I wasn’t that lucky hearing Teddy clear his throat as he sat down in the seat next to me instead of a seat or two away, “So you’re coming to the party, right?” he asked me.

“Yeah,” I answered not bothering to look up from my book trying to show him I wasn’t interested in talking to him.

“Both my grandpas are going to be there. Do you know if you’re brothers are coming?” He asked me.

“Be…my uncle Ben said we were all going,” I changed the wording of my sentence hoping no one would catch it.

“Ah,” Teddy made a sound of acknowledgement, “Even your little brother you said he was six, right?”

“Yeah,” I answered.

“Keep an eye on him,” Teddy said, “usually they don’t with a lot of people around but, just to be safe ok?”

The tone in his voice made me look up. Usually Teddy seemed like he was half stupid but his tone this time was quiet, serious. Enough to pull me back to the real world enough to remind me of the hickey on the back of my little brother’s neck left there by my Da.

“Thanks for the warning,” I said quietly.

“Look I don’t want to watch anyone’s little brothers get checked out by freaks especially mine so just the idea they’d be watching my friend’s brothers I can’t stand that either. They watch the bounce house that they put up for the little kids my grandpa Lionel especially. So just don’t let them use it ok? It’s how he picks them. If it were up to me I wouldn’t even invite kids that young but they use it more as an excuse to scope out who they want to bother that year,” Ted whispered.

“Teddy, are you all right man?” Quinn asked him.

Teddy smiled and shook his head, “Yeah I’m fine, why?”

“You’re not being you,” Quinn said shrugging his shoulder, “Is it that party? Did they turn it into a thing again?”

“Yeah, they told me they wouldn’t this year but, of course they asked so mum caved right in,” Teddy said.

“Dude, we can just hang out upstairs and play video games or something. Exclude everyone else,” Finn piped in.

“No,” Teddy said, “I mean my little brother will be there, A bunch of the older guys will be there and if we’re playing video games they are going to bogart the system so might as well just try to hang back and stay out of sight.”

“How is he doing by the way? Have they done that type of thing yet?” Quinn asked.

“Mom won’t let them yet. Not until he’s nine which he isn’t yet but she’s warming him up to the idea. I think it’s gross but I’m not allowed to say anything against it. I personally don’t like it. I think it’s nasty,” Teddy said, “Like he’s my brother and it’s my job to protect him and I remember how much that hurt. It didn’t matter that I was 10 it still hurt. Like being older makes it hurt less? It doesn’t. I don’t understand why she doesn’t get that.”

I had never seen Teddy be serious before. Not serious like this. He knew I had little brothers. That’s why he had warned me. I thought it was uncommon to wait though so I cleared my throat, “Wait don’t they usually start…” I trailed off.

“Depends on the family,” Finn answered, “My family I was 5 the first time they just …” Finn sighed looking at his hands, “Nine when it went farther. They don’t usually brand people until they get to be 11. Sometimes as young as nine like it’s not unheard of but it’s not common either it just depends on the dad, handler whatever you want to call them.”

“Brand?” I asked.

It hadn’t been the first time I’d heard the term used but I still wasn’t completely sure what it meant. I knew what a brand was. It was a marking people used them on livestock in order to keep track of who they belonged to usually a symbol or a number of some kind. Did they really do that to us? To humans, to kids?

Finn’s eyebrows raised, “You don’t know what that means?” He asked me.

I shook my head, “I know what a brand is but, is it like slang or is it like a real…” I trailed off watching the three faces looking at me, looking upset or scared not because I had said it but more because of me. Because I was asking.

“Oh,” I said realizing I was right. They branded us, “What’s it like?” I asked.

“It’s…they make a big deal out of it,” Teddy said shrugging his shoulders, “I would say more but it’s …kind of …I don’t want to scare you Will.”

“I think I’ll be more scared not knowing,” I answered.

“We can talk about it at the party if you want,” Ted said and Finn and Quinn both nodded their heads in agreement, “I know we talk about a lot of stuff at school we’re not supposed to but this is a pretty…I don’t know.”

“What he means is talking about your branding is personal they are all pretty similar the way they go about doing it but it’s scary to think about so…better to do it in a place where you won’t just like flip out,” Finn said.

“Ok,” I said nodding my head feeling the knot in my stomach.

It was that bad that they wouldn’t talk about it in school. That bad that Teddy wouldn’t talk about it when Teddy was open to talk about just about anything and asking the dumbest most invasive questions he could possible ask at exactly the wrong moment? I needed to hear this. Not just for me but so I could warn others could warn my brothers.

“Well, the day is half way over,” Finn said standing up and throwing away his tray as I followed him to do the same, “Let’s get it done with and then get the party done with and then I’m hoping for some down time. So, we’ll see.”

“Yeah see you later,” I said as I followed Teddy back to class.

“I’m sorry it’s not something I can just…” Teddy trailed off.

“No, it’s ok,” I answered, “My older brother is like that with everything. He just doesn’t talk about things until you push and push until he’s basically just screaming it to get it out and then he’s …it’s like he’s completely exposed, broken almost. Then he’ll cry for hours and be quiet again. He’s been that way since we were little. God, damn it.”

I had to turn away. I didn’t want Teddy to see me get upset. Upset of thinking about what John must be going through trapped in that room. In my Da’s room. I might have been spending the nights with Ben but at least I got to leave in the morning. At least I wasn’t stuck in there just waiting around for him to do whatever it was he was planning to do to me that day.

“What’s up? You can tell me I won’t tell anyone. I mean I know I’m like a spaz or whatever but, I can understand the need to be serious. I just I’m bad with meeting new people and you aren’t new anymore so I’ll probably put my foot in my mouth a little less if you ever want to tell me anything,” Teddy said, “I’m sorry if I make you uncomfortable or…”

“It’s not you Ted,” I said quietly, “Yeah I think you are a spaz but I can understand why. Your life is very very far from normal. It’s my brother, John.”

“Your older brother that no one has met yet?” He asked me.

“Yeah I’m worried about him. Really worried,” I answered.

“Look, I’m sure whatever is going on with him he’s ok. That he’s holding on because he knows he’s not alone. That once he can come to school or whatever you’re here. That he’s got you. I’m sure he’ll be fine,” Ted said seriously.

“He’s not fine, I can feel it. I know that sounds weird but I know he’s not ok and that whatever he is doing he’s doing for me. That this is my fault,” I said quietly.

Teddy sighed, “Look,” he paused, “You can’t control what he does. What decisions he makes but, if it came down to me or my little brother and I know you feel the same way because while John has four you have three little brothers here with you guys, if it came down to me doing something, going through something so Luke didn’t have to I would do it in heart beat so he didn’t have to suffer. I’m sure that’s exactly what John is doing right now. Don’t question him about it and don’t blame yourself for it. Accept it and help him get past it. Show him he’s not alone that he doesn’t have to protect all of you alone that you’re old enough now too. That you are strong enough now too. Make sure he understands that.”

I stopped and thought about it. Teddy was right I couldn’t control John. I couldn’t get him to stop throwing himself into the fire but, I could jump in with him. Wasn’t that something I was doing anyway, sharing a bed with Ben so he didn’t do things to anyone else. Letting him wrap his arms around me at night and fall asleep while holding me because no matter how much I hated it, it meant he was with me and not in someone else’s room doing the same thing to them. I nodded my head.

“Thanks, that actually made me feel better I think,” I said, “You might be a bit of a goof Ted but you’re smart.”

“Thanks, someone has to be a goof though let’s be honest. Otherwise what would we laugh…,” He said just as he managed to trip over his own foot, “OUCH!!! What the…” he sighed as I offered my hand laughing at him lightly, “See that’s exactly what I was saying. Otherwise we’d have nothing to laugh at. Only I could trip over my own feet while trying to be serious.”

He took my hand and we made it back to class right before the bell rang telling us we needed to be back. Sitting down and pulling out our English books. The rest of the school day went by pretty fast. I took the bus home and didn’t end up waiting outside that day because he had promised he wouldn’t make me do those types of things and I was starting to think I could believe him.

When I got in I didn’t see him or Da but heard the phone ring and decided to pick it up, “Hello?” I asked into the phone.

“Will love is that you?” I heard mum’s voice.

“MUM!? Yes, it’s me,” I said, “Where are you mum are you coming soon? Oh wait…”

I sighed trailing off. She was still pregnant. She wasn’t going to be coming home until the babies were born. Until at least 2 weeks after they were born. I couldn’t even remember when the babies were due to be honest I just knew I needed my mum.
“Yes love, I’m still very pregnant I just missed my boys,” She said quietly, “Where is your brother? I know Matty, Mikey and James are still at school but where is John? Can I speak with him?”

“Huh,” I wasn’t sure what to say that I hadn’t seen him in nearly two and half weeks? That he had disappeared like two days after we had gotten there and I hadn’t seen him since then? What was I supposed to say?

“Love, where is he?” She asked.

“In the shower,” I said trying to sound confident in my answer knowing that if she suspected anything Da would be angry. Da would blame me somehow, I and I would be punished. If not by Da’s own hand than by Ben’s.

“Da always says that when I wake up early to call him, is he taking two showers a day?” She asked me.

“I don’t know,” I said quietly not sure of what to say.

“Listen love is Da having problems? I’m not sure you remember but when you were wee Da had an issue with touching your brother weird. Do you remember any of that?” She asked me.

“Yeah, I remember,” I answered.

“If he’s having trouble with those things again, if he is doing those things again tell me you drew a picture at school right now love ok? Is he doing those things?” She asked me.

I could hear her breathing become heavy on the other side of the phone like her anxiety was growing. Like she knew and she didn’t want to believe it. I could feel her hope, her hope that I was going to say no. That Everything was fine.

“Mum,” I said quietly swallowing, “I drew a picture at school today.”

I heard her make a weird swallowing sound, “Was it a very detailed one?” She asked.

She didn’t have to explain her meaning. I wasn’t sure she knew Da had ever raped him and I knew she had no idea he had ever raped me. But it didn’t take someone with a degree in molecular biology to figure out that’s what she meant. That she was asking if he was raping us.

“Yeah mum,” I said feeling like I was about to start crying, “Yeah.”

“Oh god,” She said before she muttered something I didn’t understand, that I wasn’t sure of. I think she was praying. She always loved praying it brought her comfort that I never understood. However, I wouldn’t seeming as how every priest I was ever close to seemed to want something from me. Something that God wouldn’t agree with, something that was supposed to be kept quiet because it was sinful, shameful.

“As soon as I can I’ll be there love ok?” She said to me, “What about you? What about your younger brothers? Can you say anything about that?”

“What if I don’t want to?” I asked quietly.

I hated lying to my mum. I had always been my mum’s boy. She mattered to me in a way that Da never could and never would. She was the one who wiped away my tears and comforted me after my nightmares she was the one who when I was tiny and first started living in the dorms would talk to me on the phone when I woke up the adult house head in the middle of the night needing to hear her voice. She was the one who could always help me find that place where I felt at peace. Always her and never anyone else.

“I won’t make you say it but can you tell me yes or no?” She asked me.

“Yes,” I answered quietly wanting to cry wanting to let it out and feel that pain that I kept burying deeper and deeper every time he wrapped his arms around me. Every time I felt his lips against my neck. Every time his hands went somewhere they weren’t supposed to. Every time he laid down next to me and started snoring softly spooning me.

But I didn’t. I didn’t cry those tears or give in to those feelings. I couldn’t. I knew I could that I had to be strong for my little brothers and for my older brother who I was positive was breaking. The brother that I needed desperately to see.

“I love you,” She said to me, “We’ll figure this out, get your Da help again. I thought it…be not like this. I’m sorry I did this to you.”

“It’s ok mum,” I said not sure what else to say. I knew she would blame herself just like I blamed myself for not backing John up, for being unsure of what to say when I should have said something, anything to get her to keep us home with her instead of going anywhere we would be alone with him, “I love you too.”

“Ok love I’ll see you as soon as I can,” She said hanging up the phone.

I listened to the dial tone on shock for a minute or so. Not sure what I was doing, what I was thinking. Just feeling hallow almost. Not numb but something just before it. Hopeless. Hopeless knowing escape or at least some type of stop was so close, just out of reach and it didn’t matter how much I stretched the alarm ringing that would allow me to take hold of it just wouldn’t go off, wouldn’t give me permission to grip around it and pull it towards us. I heard a sound and softly put the phone back in its cradle as I looked up to find Ben watching me in the door frame.

“You ok baby?” He asked me.

“Yeah,” I lied nodding my head.

“Who was on the phone?” He questioned.

“Just mum,” I answered simply.

“What did she want?” He asked me.

“To talk to John and Da. I told her I wasn’t sure where Da was and that John was in the shower,” I answered shrugging my shoulders.

“You didn’t tell her about me, did you? About us?” He asked coming towards me causing me to tense but me trying to stand my ground to not show him how scared I was of him.

“No, I didn’t say anything about it,” I answered.

It was true I hadn’t. I hadn’t said even a word about him being here. I knew he wasn’t supposed to be around that she didn’t want him here.

“Good, I would hate to have our lessons stop because she called your Da and complained,” He said quietly, “You want to go upstairs and grab your brothers swim clothes and your own the party starts in a little bit so I figured we’d just go pick them up and then head over there.”

“Ok,” I answered nodding my head before I ascended the stair case and went digging through dresser drawers where we had decided to temporarily house our clothing until we got to be in our real rooms. It was easy to find the small swim suits and I made sure to grab some undershirts as well just in case they wanted them. I knew how exposed I always felt without a shirt on and wasn’t sure if it was the same for them or not but wanted them to be comfortable about it. To feel as safe as possible.
I gathered the suits up and threw them into my book bag leaving my homework on the kitchen table when I got back downstairs. Ben smiled at me as I stuffed the smallest pair of trunks into my bag as I zipped it looking over at him.

“What?” I asked.

“You’re such a big brother,” he sighed smiling warmly at me, making my skin crawl.

“Well Da’s too busy with other things and so is John who else is going to take care of them?” I asked.

“Very true, I would but, I’ve never been very good at taking acre of anyone or anything but myself. You can ask your Da your granddad tried to get me a hamster once. I kept forgetting to feed it and it died,” He said as he came over putting his hand on my shoulder and squeezing it gently.

“Are you going to hang around during the party?” I asked.

“With other adults, yeah, I might call for your attention to introduce you to some people but, we won’t make a big deal out of it. There will be kids there if someone comes up to you and asks you if you have a good friend just tell them it’s me ok? Since there will be people there who are more mainstream than our family is. You understand what I mean?” He asked me.

“You mean normal? Normal families?” I asked.

“Different from us. I’d say we’re pretty normal though,” He answered as he opened the door for me and we stepped back out into the humid Florida air to pick up my brothers.

I didn’t want to fight with him. Our family was far from normal and I knew it and I thought he was delusional. Normal families didn’t have Da’s who tongue kissed their sons. Normal families didn’t think it was ok to have sex with eight-year old’s let alone your own eight-year-old you were biologically related to whether that was your brother, your son or your nephew. We were very very far from normal.

I sighed looking out the car window for a moment before we slowed at a stop light his hand on my knee rubbing slow circles into my khakis making me uncomfortable. I didn’t like what he was doing. His hand being there. I reminded myself to stay calm to not draw attention to myself.

Chapter Text

When we pulled up to the pickup drive they were already standing there, waiting for us. They climbed in the car his hand never leaving my leg. His hand stilling against my thigh, “Everyone buckled in?”

“Yeah,” three voices said in unison.

“Good Will grabbed your suits so that you would be ready to swim in the pool when you want,” Uncle Ben said, “The house isn’t too far. I know exactly where we’re going.”

“You do?” I asked.

“Yeah, we’re going to my friend Greg’s house, him and his daughter Susan live together in a huge house. He just happens to be Teddy’s grandpa. Well, one of them,” He said, “It’ll be fun. You guys can do whatever, I’m not sure they have a petting zoo this year but I know they are still barbequing hamburgers and hotdogs and that there will be a bounce house and I think face painting, music, an area where you guys can water balloon fight. There’s a billiards room downstairs for the older boys they usually spent some time down there and of course the pool. I expect everyone to behave and if an adult tells you to do something you listen to them ok?”

“Ok Uncle Ben,” They said.

We turned at a couple more intersections before we went down a road that turned and dirt that seemed to get narrower and narrower until it opened into a paved space. It was a big drive almost as big as the schools with cars parked along the whole thing the driveway leading back past a big garage. Uncle Ben found an area and parked.

“Ok everyone I want you once we get inside to go to the guest bathroom off the kitchen and change into your suits that way I don’t have to worry about you making a mess of your uniforms. Put those back into Will’s book bag and then Will can hand the bag to me, everyone read?” He said.

“Yeah, we’re ready,” Matt answered.

“I’m ready,” James answered as I unbuckled my seat belt and opened my door.

“Let’s go then.”

We didn’t go in the front door but a door next to the garage sandwiched between that and the main house. It opened up on a kitchen that was almost all dark cherry with white counter tops unlike our kitchen at home that had white cabinets and fixtures with dark counter tops. A double oven and a small powder room in the corner next to the fridge which Uncle Ben pointed to.

“Come on guys,” I said nodding at him but barely giving in a glance as I ushered them all inside and shut the door.

“Did you really grab everyone’s suits?” Mike asked.

“Yeah I grabbed you shirts too ok? I want you wear them,” I answered.

“Last time we were in the pool we weren’t even allowed to wear suits,” James said as he started undoing his tie and unbuttoning his oxford.

“I know but this isn’t home so we’re wearing suits and shirts. I want the shirts to stay on ok?” I said.

“What if uncle Ben tells us to take it off?” Mike asked.

“You tell him you burn easy and mum always lets you wear your shirt,” I answered starting to pull my vest over my head, “I want you to stay away from the bounce house guys. Everything else is ok but no bounce house.”

“Why that’s stupid,” James said.

“Just trust me you’d probably get hurt and I don’t feel like messing around with it so no bounce house,” I said again.

I didn’t want to explain to him that there were people there like Uncle Ben. Like Da who were watching him. Looking at him and one of them was watching the bounce house closely. I didn’t want to deal with that. Deal with the questions it would cause him to ask especially when there were supposedly normal people here. When everyone was changed, I opened the bathroom door and Uncle Ben frowned at us.

“What’s with the shirts?” He asked.

“We burn easy,” mike answered remembering what I told him to say.

“Ah,” he said nodding his head, “Good thinking Will, don’t know if you can wear those in the pool though guys if someone tells you have to take them off before you get in the pool listen to them all, right?”

“Ok, can we go play now?” Matt asked.

“Yeah you three go play,” He said wrapping an arm around my shoulder.

He wasn’t going back on what he promised was he? I hoped not but then I dawned on me he said he wouldn’t rape me. That didn’t mean he wasn’t going to let other people do it. He let Headmaster Watson do it. Sure, he hadn’t hurt me, it had only been his tongue but it still wasn’t something I had wanted.

“Did I do something wrong?” I asked him barely above a whisper.

“No baby, no,” He said quietly, “I just want you meet some of my friends ok?”

“Are they ...going to hurt me?” I asked him.

“I hate that you refer to it that way. I know it confuses you but it doesn’t hurt you. Can you call it something else? Teach you. Say that ok?” He said and I nodded my head.

“Are they going to teach me because I really don’t…” I sighed feeling like my throat was tight, like I was choking on nothing as I hugged myself him keeping his arm wrapped around my shoulders his hand rubbing lightly at my left one where it rested.

“No, not right now ok,” He said, “I just want you to talk to them. That’s all. If one of them does try to teach you later you need to tell me ok?”

“Ok,” I nodded my head.

He took me down the hall to a room that when he opened the door cigar smoke wafted out of the room heavy making my eyes burn a little, “Hey guys! Is Greg around?” Ben shouted into the room fanning the air in front of his face his hand still on my shoulder pushing me forward.

“He’ll be back in a minute wants to check on the bbq kid I think,” An older man who was starting to bald in front said looking at him when he spotted me his eyes lighting up, “And who is this beautiful creature?”

I tried to back up hitting Ben’s chest and he wrapped his arms around me, “Don’t embarrass men,” he whispered into my ear, “This is my boy Will.”

“He’s gorgeous,” The guy said, “Did he come here to play?”

“He’s shy,” Ben said kissing my shoulder, “Can’t you tell he’s a little shy?”

“The look on his face says so yeah, can I see him?” He asked Ben still not really talking to me but more about me.

I felt the lump in my throat growing again. He said he wouldn’t let them. He said that he just wanted me to meet them. I didn’t want this. I wasn’t ok with this. I bit into my lower lip as I started feeling my body tremble I wasn’t ok with this.

“Hey, it’s ok he’s not going to touch you ok? He just wants to see,” He whispered into my ear pulling on the hem of my shirt as I went to try and hold it down, “You don’t want to do that. You don’t want to make me angry. You know what happens when I get angry or upset you don’t want to deal with that right now do you? Me accidently lose my tempter and then have to take you and your brothers home, ruin your day? Don’t be like that.”

I sighed and stopped trying to hold my shirt down as he pulled it over my head me wrapping my arms around myself again pulling my shoulders up to my chin trying not to show them how scared I was. How badly I wanted out of that room.

“Ben really? You’ve bruised him all up poor thing,” The man sighed looking at my uncle.

“It’s just love bites I bet you they don’t even hurt anymore,” He answered the guy.

“Makes it harder to imagine giving him my own though,” He sighed, “can he put his arms down I want to see the rest of him if I’m allowed.”

“You mean everything?” Ben asked.

“Of course, everything why not? Is he wearing a chastity belt or something? Don’t tell me you have wound that tight yet. He’s still so young. Too young for rough lessons.”

“No, of course not. You’re right I believe he’s too young for that too Tip,” Ben said before whispering in my ear, “You want to take down your trunks and show him? He just wants to see how beautiful you are. Now remember don’t embarrass me.”

“I…,” I struggled with trying to figure out to say I didn’t want to, that I wasn’t ok with it without making him mad and not seeing any option.

“Can I help…” Ben cut his friend apparently named Tip off.

“I got it, I’ll help him if he needs it,” Ben said, “Here…” He undid the draw string holding my trunks in place and once it was loosened my trunks fell as he rested his chin on the top of my head grabbing my wrists and holding my arms down against my sides so I couldn’t cover myself as it got harder to breathe.

I felt beyond exposed. He told me he wouldn’t let them do this and here he was holding me still so this guy could touch me like that. Could at the very least look at me and imagine touching me like that. I wanted to scream but I knew better. I knew screaming would make him angry and I didn’t want to deal with him angry. I knew that was something to be afraid of.

“NICE!” Tip exclaimed loudly, “Very nice. Too bad for those uniforms otherwise he’d have a very cute tan line.”

“He will by the end of the day probably. If he doesn’t burn,” Ben said still holding my wrists hard making sure I say exposed.

“Can I see the other side?” He asked Ben licking his lips.

He wanted to see my butt? At that age, even though Ben and Da were raping me I just didn’t see what the big deal about a butt was especially my butt. Ben made me turn around wrapping his arms around my shoulders to keep me still and let him look at my butt. I was beyond done with this. I had to try and stay calm though or risk being thrown against the wall and having my head banged.

“That’s impressive too nice and firm and round one of the ones you just want to squeeze. How does it feel?” Tip asked him.

“It’s perfect like a glove. He’s old enough it’s not too tight but as long as I don’t get too rough and don’t do it too often it bounces back right away, nice and tight almost molds to me like it was made personally for me,” Ben said.

“Can I…?” I heard Tip trail off his words.

“I’d say yes but he’s …apprehensive, he’s very tense right now. Barry taught him a little bit yesterday and I think he’s still kind of uneasy about it. I don’t want to cause too much upset,” Ben told the guy rubbing my hair, “You’re doing really good baby. Just try and relax we’re almost done talking and then you can go hang out with your friends ok?”

“Can I put my clothes back on?” I whispered to him quietly.

“Not yet, soon ok? I promise,” He said kissing my crown as he took my wrists and put my arms against his sides before letting go running his hand through the hair on the back of my head.

I didn’t feel like I had any choice but to hold onto him. Not unless I wanted to be hurt. Wanted him to go back on his word and let this guy touch me. That was something that the mere thought terrified me. Another person touching me, putting their hands down there someone shoving a finger or a tongue up my ass. I was beyond terrified of it and that feel was so paralyzing it got me to do anything he wanted.

“Aww, that’s just adorable, he’s hugging you. His teacher, his protector,” Tip said, “I wish I could get mine to behave like that. That’s the thing about age though unless you find the perfect personality and start teaching them young they grow out of this shy quiet demeanor and tend to get a little bit more fight in them. Kristoff was very sweet when he was younger up until last year. Probably hit his testosterone peak and now I have to tie him down almost every time.

“How old is Kristoff now?” Ben asked Tip.

“Almost 17,” Tip answered, “He’s big and strong now he’s in the billiard room if you want him. But, if you want to do that could you leave me with this little slice of heaven for a couple of minutes?”

“Yeah, no I think we’re going to pass for today Tip. I however wouldn’t be averse to you giving him some lessons another time if you like. We can make an arrangement. Baby you can put your suit back on ok?” He said rubbing my head and I nodded bending down and picking up my shorts sliding them back on quickly and finding my shirt.

“Sure, I am really looking forward to making a date,” He said as I slid my shirt back on hearing Tip sigh heavily almost like he was disappointed for my skin to be covered, “You are a very very beautiful boy.” He said addressing me for the first time.

“What do you say Will?” Ben coaxed quietly.

“Thank you,” I said before Ben stepped aside letting me leave the room to which I ended up running into someone I was in such a hurry to get away.

“Woah there young one,” A guy said grabbing my shoulders as I looked up at him.

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to,” I said my heart feeling like it was about to stop.

“It’s ok, it was an accident,” He said, “I’m Mr. Lord, what’s your name?”

“Will McGregor,” I answered.

I thought about the name. Lord. That was Ted’s dad’s last name. So, this was his grandpa. One of them.

“Nice to meet you. I bet Will is short for William am I right?” He asked me.

“Yes sir,” I answered looking at my feet as he took his hands off my shoulders.

“Ben is your uncle? Connor your Father?” He asked me.

“Yes sir,” I said again.

“Where are you going to in such a hurry?” He asked me quietly.

“Outside to the pool sir,” I answered.

“You are very polite. I like polite however you can call me Mr. Lord ok? Let me escort you. We have some adult friends walking around here that would probably want to teach you a couple of things so better to get you outside if your Handler or Contractor isn’t around ok?” He said and I nodded my head, “No questions as to what that means?”

“No S…Mr. Lord I’m friends with Ted,” I said.

“Oh, so he told you somethings?” He asked me.

“Yeah, just what different things mean,” I answered.

“Like what?” He asked me suddenly making me stop and look at him.

“Just that Handler is like my Da and Contractor is someone who Da says can teach me who is allowed to have in say in who gives me lessons,” I said careful to make sure I kept myself in code.

“I see, that’s all he told you?” He asked me.

“Yes, that’s all he told me,” I answered.

“Well come along then,” He said leading me through the kitchen into what looked to be an enclosed porch like area and opened a sliding glass door that opened to the pool area, “Out you go.”

“Thank you, Mr. Lord,” I answered and he nodded his head and smiled, “Go play I’ll see you another time.”

I walked out and he shut the door behind him pausing briefly before disappearing back into the depths of the house.

“HEY!” I heard a shout before I heard a splash and more laughing as I looked over and saw Finn as Ted resurfaced.

“Are you ok?” Finn asked me frowning.

“Yeah,” I shrugged my shoulders.

“When did you get here?” Ted asked.

“I don’t know a little bit ago,” I answered, “Have you seen my brothers?” I asked.

“They just left, I think they are over somewhere with my mom I think they went for face painting why?” Ted asked.

“I’m just wondering,” I answered.

“Where were you if you got here a while ago?” Quinn asked me.

“I don’t even know it was kind of dark in there,” I said gesturing with my neck and shoulders towards the house.

“Did they take you to the smoke room?” Ted asked, “I hate that fucking room they all hang out and there and just appraise people like they are cattle.”

“Yeah,” I said and Finn’s eyes fell as he waded over to the side of the pool closer to me and motioned for me to lean forward, “Did they hurt you?”

He whispered it not loud enough for most people to hear. So, this was something that happened at these parties. People got hurt. Got ogled.

“No,” I answered shrugging my shoulders.

“Then why so quiet?” He asked me, “You seemed a little bit more relaxed before school let out and now you’re…did your uncle hurt you earlier?”

“There was some guy there Tip he wanted to see me naked. My Uncle let him. I just…,” I trailed off a blush breaking out over my nose.

“You’re ok though?” Finn asked.

“Yeah, I’m ok. They didn’t do anything,” I answered, “I just it’s hard to get used to the idea that I belong to them. It’s weird.”

“Trust me we understand. It’s very weird but eventually it’ll be like second nature. I call it robot mod. I just stop thinking and try to do what they tell me. It gets easier to separate it from real life, from having friends and school. You just learn how to shut things out, separate things,” Finn said.

“Easy for you say,” Quinn mumbled.

“Everyone deals with it their own way,” Finn said, “A lot of the older guys are into drugs and stuff drinking, that sort of thing. Those types of things make it so you don’t care until you’re sober again and then you really care. Like a serious I feel like I’m going to kill myself type of care. I’ve seen Wal do it a couple of times.”

“Who is Wal?” I asked confused.

“Someone you should stay away from,” Quinn said and Finn nodded his head in agreement.

“He’s my brother,” Finn added, “He’s huh recruit track. So just if you see him ignore him. Don’t even like look at him.”

“I wouldn’t breathe near Wal if I were him he’s exactly Wal’s type,” Quinn said.

“Recruit track?” I was so confused.

“It means that eventually he’ll be a handler. Like your Dad is your handler it just means they’ve agreed to have kids for the brotherhood. So, that they can abuse them when they get old enough. A recruit is someone who doesn’t have kids but they are allowed to teach them. As the brotherhood likes to call it. You’re a recruit until you make your declaration of intent at like 25. Anyone under the age of 18 that has decided they like the idea of being a recruit are called recruit track or trackers.” Quinn explained.
“My brother has basically said he’s...he wants to abuse people. There has to be four or more years between a tracker and whoever they are looking to tutor and Wal doesn’t seem to be…he doesn’t like his targets young but not at the minimum age gap he’s allowed either. Usually 9 to 13 I’ve heard him talking with Dad before he likes thin, blond hair, light eyes…tallish but not too tall. So…”

“He likes me,” I said biting my lower lip out of nervousness, “Guys like me.”

“Yeah,” Finn said, “Just stay away from him. If any of these guys looks like a kiddie diddler it’s my brother trust me. He’s fat bad complexion, dark blond hair, glasses ….”

“I’ve seen him,” I said a light bulb going off in my head, “He was riding the upper school bus. I took it on accident because I thought it was later than it was until I got on and all of these guys like my brothers age were there and older. I think he said hi to me.”

“He probably would have. Because and don’t take this the wrong but you’re…” I cut Finn off.

“Cute?” I scoffed, “Don’t remind me.”

“Defensive much?” Quinn asked.

“He’s probably been hearing it a lot lately,” Finn defended me, “Didn’t you ever get tired of hearing it? Don’t you?”

“Yes,” Quinn agreed, “I do. That and he’s shiny and new so everyone wants to see him, talk to him and …other things.”

“Did you hear any names while you were in the room?” Finn asked, “Like the guy who your uncle was talking to?”

“Tip,” I answered simply.

“Ah, that’s one of the older guy’s Dad’s. I can’t remember their last name do you remember their last name?” Finn asked turning to Quinn.

“Talbot,” He said, “Kris is a nice guy. He’s more of a protector than anything. That means he watches out for us younger guys tries to keep some handlers off our backs as much as he can. Sometimes he stirs up trouble to draw attention away from us. Even though right now he’s probably down in the billiard room with the rest of the older kids.”

“Oh,” I said.

“You came out here by yourself, didn’t you? How did you get through the house without being stopped?” Quinn asked me.

“I think the leader walked him out,” He said.

“The Leader? He told me to call him Mr. Lord,” I said and their eyes both went wide.

“What? Is that not his name?” I asked them.

“Huh, hold on,” Quinn said before using his arms to pull himself up over the side of the pool and standing up walking off quickly.

“What’s wrong with Mr. Lord?” I asked.

“Well, he’s the one in charge. Usually he’s goes by sir or he’ll tell you to call him Leader or sir unless he…”

“Likes you,” I said understanding why it was a big deal. It meant he wanted to rape me. To touch me. That if he wasn’t demanding my respect and he was trying to be nice so he could get me to feel comfortable around him.

I had read some stuff. It was something some of them did. Not just brotherhood but child molesters in general. Honestly Da had probably been grooming me most of my life and I had just never known that was what it was called. The trips to the zoo where he would let us get all the junk food we wanted. The random presents he would come home with when we lived in the town house to find on our beds when we came home for the weekend. Just little things that made him seem like a sweet and loving Da who thought of his kids. At least until the lights went out everyone was in bed. Everything was quiet.

“You ok?” Finn said waving a hand in front of my face that I hadn’t noticed before.

“Yeah, Yeah, I’m fine,” I answered, “Why?”

“You like checked out dude. You got this look on your face where you just went slack and then…like the lights were on but no one was home for a couple minutes there,” Finn answered me, “You’re sure you’re ok?”

“Yeah as ok as I’m going to be,” I answered, “I think I need to find my brothers.”

“Teddy is coming this way with them,” Finn said pointing causing me to turn around and look.

I turned around and saw James had a tiger mask painted on his face and smiled, “Hey guys, you decided to become a tiger?” I asked him.

“No, not really but a guy wanted a picture of me,” He said and I felt my heart start pounding.

“What guy?” I asked.

“Dude, before you freak out usually he hangs out by the bounce house ok? I didn’t know he was going to be at the face painting station when my mum took them over there,” Teddy said frantic like they had been his responsibility and not mine.

“WHO?” I asked again.

“My grandpa Lord,” He said shaking his head, “Look I’m sorry ok? He did take a picture of him but…speaking of you met him and he told you to call him by his last name?”

“Yeah,” I answered, “Quinn and Finn already told me what was going on.”

“Ok,” Teddy said nodding his head solemnly, “I really am sorry you know? This isn’t ok.”

“They aren’t your responsibility they are mine. I should have been there with them if I hadn’t been…it doesn’t matter where I was never mind, I should have been there.”

“We don’t need you to watch us we’re old enough to watch ourselves and that guy wasn’t mean. So, he just wanted pictures of us. Now he’s going to go wash it off and we’re going to get in the pool ok?” Matt said.

“Ok,” I said, “But these aren’t good people Matt you understand, that right?”

“There is nothing wrong with them, they’re nice to me,” He told me as I looked over watching my friends faces of dismay.

“Come on, in the pool,” sighed as I got out and went into the kitchen with James washing his face off in the sink.

“McGregors,” I heard a voice that made me freeze where I was standing. He wouldn’t. Not here. I kept telling myself that he wouldn’t here. Not in front of my little brother.

“Are you ok?” James asked me watching my face as I tried to make myself move, tried to make myself put the paper towel against his face to continue washing off the paint.

“Are you two enjoying the party?” Barry asked putting a hand on my shoulder making me tense.

“Will?” James asked me his eyes seeming darker and darker like he was getting more and more upset trying to figure out what was wrong with me. What was happening, “Will?”

“Hey, it’s ok James, right? He’s just not feeling well is he washing off your face paint so you can go in the pool?” Barry asked him.


“Yeah, I can’t go in the pool with it on. Leader said he wanted it for pictures because it made me look handsome and scary so he had the lady paint my face,” James answered him.

“Well let’s get it off so you can go swim ok?” Barry said taking another paper towel and leaning over me to wet it in the sink where the water was still running his hand inches from my bothers face before I managed to reanimate.

“I’ve got it,” I said rubbing his face maybe a little too hard getting the rest of the pain off.

“Ouch!” James said as I scrubbed at his skin a little too roughly getting the last bit off.

“Sorry,” I said finding the trash can and walking over to it throwing the paper towel in and grabbing my little brothers hand, “Come on bud let’s go swim ok?”

“Ok,” He said.

We made it to the door before I felt his hand on my shoulder. I wasn’t ok with this. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to deal with this Ben told me no one would do anything to me here. That I would be ok here and this wasn’t ok. Headmaster Watson wasn’t ok.

“Just give me a minute with your big brother ok?” Watson told James who nodded and walked forward through the open sliding glass door before Watson shut it in front of me.

“Please don’t,” I said barely above a whisper.

“Hey, it’s ok,” He said leaning over me his hands traveling down my arms rubbing slowly against my skin, up and down my forearms and wrists.

I felt like my body was made of lead. Like I couldn’t pull away from him even if I wanted to. I didn’t want him touching me anymore.

“It’s ok,” He said sniffing the nape of my neck me squeezing my eyes closed as I tried to breathe. This was not good. This was no ok I wanted to scream that at him. To tell him no but I knew better. I knew what no got me. A skull fracture or having my fingers bent backwards the threat of getting them broken as my knuckles creaked under the pressure. As someone threatened to trade me in for one of my brothers.

“Why don’t you come with me? We’ll so somewhere private, have some fun?” He mumbled kissing my neck as I balled my hands into fists pinned to my sides just trying to remind myself to breathe. He wouldn’t. Not with everyone here I kept telling myself even though I could my eyes stinging as the tears that wanted to be released teased my tears ducts. Just then someone rapped on the glass in front of us causing my eyes to flutter open my eyes staring into the Cole’s as he sighed opening the door as Barry pulled me back slightly to let him in.

“You’re blocking the door,” Cole commented.

“We’re sorry,” Barry said his arms wrapping around my waist.

“Will, why don’t you go hang with your brothers?” Cole asked me.

“He’s with me, aren’t you?” He muttered against the back of my neck.

“He’s 10 don’t make me sick Barry,” Cole growled, “Let him go.”

“He’s so beautiful though, don’t you think he’s beautiful?” He asked Cole.

“It doesn’t matter what I think and you know that very well. do you even have permission? I mean this house is full of people from around the block what if an average comes over here and see’s you hanging on him like this? Notices how tight your shorts are in certain places how are you going to explain that?” Cole asked him.

“Feeling brave today Cole?” Barry asked him squeezing me tighter.

“Let him go. He’s just a kid,” Cole said.

“But he’s prefect. You know how I like it. He can barely breathe it’s hot,” He muttered his hand going up the hem of my shirt.

“Please don’t,” I said again, “I don’t want to, please don’t.”

“It’s ok beautiful, you want an A for all of your classes? Why don’t you come with me and I’ll show you what you have to do,” he said.

“Barry, come on,” Cole sighed doing what I had done the night we have gotten here to draw my father’s attention away from James. Pulling his shirt off and dropping it on the ground. Cole’s body was thin. Lithe his ribs visible but still covered by muscle his hip bone showing just enough through the skin to perk anyone’s interest his muscles thin and long on his abdomen no six pack but still in shape. He was nice looking. Not like me where I was scrawny still very much had a kid’s body. He had a body more like a teen, closer to an adult but not there all the way.

It made me want to stop and feel his torso under my hands, feel the texture of the muscles as they moved under his skin. I felt my face flushing as I looked at him Barry’s arms leaving my waist. Cole’s actions grabbing Barry’s attention more than my presence, Cole’s idea working perfectly.

“You would do that?” Barry asked him, “But you hate that.”

“I do,” He said shrugging his shoulders his fists clenching and unclenching at his sides as if he was channeling all of his anxiety into his fists, “But it’s better than knowing you’re doing it to him. He’s just a kid it’s not right.”

“Oh, god you bottom some of you are so…golden not a bad bone in your body,” Barry sighed, “Come on.”

Barry gestured with his neck down the hall and Cole sighed following him waving me back towards the sliding glass door telling me to leave. To go outside. I wanted to tell him not to. That I didn’t want to be the reason he let Barry do that to him but there wasn’t time and that wasn’t the place and I knew it.

I walked back out and shut the door behind me to find Mike on Finn’s shoulders and Matt on Quinn’s playing chicken while Teddy and Jay cheered them on sitting on the side of the pool their feet dangling in the water. It looked so average it made me smile. Made me forget what had just happened. How I had almost ended up in a room with Barry with his tongue in my ass or worse.

“Ok everyone!” We heard someone say into a mega phone, “The food is just about ready if you would like a hot dog I want you to form a line with the green table cloth if you want a hamburger form a line at the table with the blue table cloth and we will serve you accordingly. Anyone under the age of six please have someone assists you with your food and drink. I know you all want to be believe you are big boys and girls but I don’t want ants all over the yard so please allow someone to help you. Now everyone enjoy your meals.”

“Hey, James you want go get food with me?” Teddy asked him.

“I thought he said we needed an adult?” James frowned.

“Well, that’s my grandpa so he might let it slide if you have a me helping instead,” Teddy said, “Hey Will can I take him to get his food?”

“Yeah,” I nodded my head as Matt finally won the battle of chicken knocking Mike off of Finn’s shoulders and into the pool laughing and clapping his hands in victory and laughing as Quinn reached up and high fived him.

“Hey man your brothers are cool dudes,” Finn said laughing.

“Yeah, they are,” I agreed, “Who wants hotdogs?”

“I’ll take a hotdog,” Matty said.

“Hey Matt plug your nose I’m going to dunk you ok?” Quinn said to him.

“Ok!” He said before pitching his nose between his thumb and index finger right before Quinn flipped him off his shoulder Matt becoming fully submerged under the water for less than 30 seconds before he bobbed back up to the surface smiling and laughing, “But yeah I want a hotdog.” He told me again not missing a beat.

“James said he wants a hotdog,” Teddy told me, “You want me to take these two?”

“Mikey what do you want?” I asked him.

“Hamburger,” He answered simply.

“Of course,” I said laughing lightly, “Yeah you can take those two I’ll get the hamburgler here. Thank you for helping out. Because god knows where Ben is.”

I realized my mistake before anyone said anything my face burning. It felt wrong unless I was alone with him almost. Calling him Ben instead of uncle Ben.

Quinn smiled sadly at me like he caught the mistake but didn’t mention it, “So what are you having?” He asked me.

“Probably a hamburger,” I answered, “I’m not that picky.”

“Well I’ll head out with those three and I know Finn is a burger man aren’t you Finn?” Quinn asked him.

“Always,” Finn commented using his arms to lift himself out of the pool and went to go dry off.

We got in line. Finn, Mike and I and I listened to Finn ask Mike questions about school not really paying attention just watching how everyone seemed happy. Wondering how everyone could seem so happy when they were surrounded by creeps.
“You ok?” Finn asked me, “You’ve gone quiet again.”

“He just does that sometimes,” Mike answered, “Especially when he has a book.”

“Speaking of books is yours still interesting?” He asked me.

“Yeah I’m almost finished actually. After I’m done I think I might read IT by Stephen King,” I told him.

“Woah dude, that’s dark,” Finn said, “Not that it’s bad it’s actually a good book but for a ten-year-old?”

“Says the 12-year-old,” I said smiling.

“Hey two years can make a lot of difference,” Finn said, “And if you’re reading that in your free time don’t bring it to school it’s a good way to get yourself called into the office.”

“Yeah, I don’t want that,” I said my face falling.

“Sorry,” Finn said quietly.

“About what?” I asked.

“Well, you’ve just been off lately and just the way, the look you just gave me it…I reminded you of something and I’m sorry,” Finn clarified.

“It’s ok,” I said.

“What did he remind you of?” Mike asked me.

“Nothing, I’m fine,” I said.

It was still bothering me, the feel of his hands on my ass as he did that, as he had me lay there so he could do that. It had been my first time with someone else. And it felt almost like he had stolen it from me. Taken my real first time and ripped it away from me and it was something I could never get back. Because if it was with Da or Ben I could pretend it wasn’t real. Because they were family related to me by blood but, because he was someone else. That made it real.

“Oh, yeah you know that thing you asked us about earlier at lunch, I’ll talk about it with you after we eat if you want. We can just go somewhere and chat,” Finn said, “Because you said you wanted to know, that it would make it easier for you and it’ll happen soonish so…”

“Yeah, that’d be…well not nice but thank you,” I said as someone handed me a bun and gave me a little bit of fruit salad on the two plates I was holding.

The line moved forward and I ended up getting two personal sized bags of crisps as well and asked what Mike wanted on his hamburger and when he said cheese and nothing else I was not even mildly surprised. Where I put mustard and ketchup and mayo on my own. It was a good burger. Even though it would have been considering the neighborhood we lived in where every house was worth 500k or more.

We sat down and found a place to eat. Quietly out of the way by a swing set sitting in the grass watching everyone around us mingling and happy. The façade perfectly in place.

Chapter Text

After people were finished eating they started to leave in a slow trickle at first a family or two and then it seemed like most families from just around the block were gone and one thing that was noticeable about it was most females had seemed to disappear altogether from the house. More and more of us starting gathering around the pool yet we all stayed in our own groups. I went over to a lounge chair and sat down Cole joining me and Finn a couple minutes later as Quinn and Teddy kept my brothers busy.

“So, you want to know about branding?” Finn said.

“Yeah, if it’s not too personal,” I said.

“Well,” Cole said and then stood up undoing his pants causing me to cover my eyes.

“What are you doing?!” I asked.

“Relax it’s not that far down that I have to flash you my package I’m just showing you my brand,” Cole said laughing a little at me reaction before he slid his pants down his hips slightly and showed me a scar on his right hip that stood out white and thin on his skin GIII. So, it was a real brand. Like the kind they put on cattle. I looked at it and then he pulled his pants back up.

“What happened?” Cole asked out loud more to himself, “They introduced my Dad in as a new member of the brotherhood and then they threw a die like the kind you play board games with. Whatever number comes up is the number of guys that are allowed to…rape you basically. I think my Dad landed a five so huh, it was five. Then they drew stones. Basically, they take the number that the die landed on and they put that number of red stones in the bag and then each person present that’s a five or four depending on who came to the actual ceremony draws a stone until all of the red ones have been drawn. The people with the red stones get to be the ones who…help induct you into the brotherhood. This is excluding the leader he gets to do whatever he wants anyway. And after they rape you they take a brand and put in the fire place and heat it up and then when it’s as hot as they want it to be they press it into your hip.”

“It smells sick. I think the smell is the worst part of it. Because after they burn you enough it’s just the skin around it that really hurts but you like can’t feel the brand at all,” Finn said, “Just like the muscle and skin around it are killing you though it’s the worst pain you’ve ever felt. Some people pass out. The smell though is almost like burnt chocolate cooking in pork or lamb fat. It’s sweet but acidy all at once. It makes you want to gag but you’re in way too much pain to really react to it other than scream. Sometimes your whole body starts shaking like it’s cold and then Dr. Palmer or Dr. Huntz will give you a shot that puts you to sleep and when you wake up you’re not shaking anymore really but, it still hurts. After they do it you’ll spend the next day on narco’s and it’ll hurt to move below your waist basically, anything that involves moving your hip even the tiniest bit hurts. But that’s what branding is like.”

“For everyone?” I asked.

“For everyone,” Cole muttered, “Without fail always the die and always the stones. And then the fucking and the brand.”

“It sounds terrifying,” I said.

“I’ve seen worse,” Cole said, “What they did to Justin, that was worse.”

“Yeah well most of us are luckier than you are,” Finn said.

“Or smarter,” Cole snorted.

“For now,” Finn answered, “You don’t know. They keep us away from girls what else are we supposed to do? We can’t go through this alone. We need people we feel comfortable with and when girls aren’t around that turns into other guys and being comfortable turns into friendships which sometimes turn into other things because you’re just desperate for some type of connection, any connection.”

“Are you saying you’re going to go gay?” Cole asked Finn a shit eating grin on his face.

“NO, I’m saying I understand the choice,” Finn said shrugging his shoulders, “And if I did does it matter? I mean honestly you’re gayer than Elton John.”

“No one’s gay is more powerful than Elton John’s to start,” Cole said, “Second it doesn’t matter I just…I like younger guys so…if you were interested…”

“Thank you but, I’m good and I feel confident in that answer,” Finn said.

“Suit yourself, I’m not into force and coercion so…” Cole shrugged his shoulders.

“Well, I would hope most of us wouldn’t be,” I added, “considering the circumstances.”

“You would hope but that’s not always the case little lighting bug,” Cole said, “I mean take fucking Chad Merrick and his assholes, Cliff, Flynn, Chuck…all Recruit track and …someone else who…?” Cole looked at Finn.

“I told him, he knows my brother is one,” Finn said, “Lucky I’m not his type. My hair isn’t light enough and I’m not thin enough.”

“Yeah lucky you,” Cole muttered, “Speaking of Chester’s and their preferences how the fuck did you end up alone with him again Will? You need to stay away from him ok?”

“Who?” Finn asked.

“Watson,” Cole answered.

“I was washing face paint off my brother ok? He snuck up on me and I…froze.”

“Yeah you looked like a fucking human ice cube. You’re so lucky he didn’t just pick you up because he could you know. You realize that?” Cole continued his lecture.

“Look, I didn’t even know he was here. I didn’t realize they were all over the house and I especially didn’t realize he was here. I mean I realize he doesn’t live at the fucking school but still.” I said.

“Woah, that’s a mouth,” Cole said, “Where the fuck did you pick that up from? I don’t think I’ve ever heard you fucking swear before.”

“Probably from you,” I answered, “It would have been nice to have a better warning about him before he cornered me the other day you realize? Because now it’s a little late.”

“Wait headmaster Watson is here?” Finn asked.

“Totally,” Cole said, “You didn’t know?”

“No, I had no idea he was here. Like doesn’t he have better stuff to do?”

“Not today I guess,” Cole said.

“Wait so on Thursday did he…?” Finn looked at me his eyes wide.

“Do I have to tell you?” I asked him.

“No, but you know I won’t tell anyone if you want to,” Finn answered.

“He decided to…,” I put my hands up in loose fists in front of me not sure how I wanted to put it and Finn smiled like he was trying not to laugh before he said.

“What touch your tits? Are you hiding something man?”

“No,” I shook my head.

“Barry has a penchant for eating ass,” Cole spit out his face going as red as mine felt.

“Oh,” Finn said his smile falling, “I’m sorry.”

“I just I’ve never…not with someone besides them. My Da and my Uncle,” I said having to close my eyes as I inhaled deeply pressing on my eye lids for a minute.

“That really sucks,” Finn said, “Seriously I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault,” I said, “You didn’t do it.”

“No but I made fun of you for not spitting it out. For having a hard time saying it and that’s not cool I’m sorry,” Finn said.

“Well you have to admit it did look like I was grabbing some tits,” I said and Cole and Finn both smiled with me, “We have to get laughs where we can right?”

“True,” Cole said and Finn nodded his head in agreement, “However it means we have a rancid sense of humor sometimes.”

“Oh, yeah you remember that one time someone who was it, that I ran into at the store? You and someone else, right?” Finn asked.

“Pat and I,” Cole answered his eyes lighting up like he was about to start laughing again.

“Yeah but anyway I was at the deli with my dad right and he was looking at Watson’s roast beef at the deli counter and Pat made this face and goes I don’t want Watson’s meat and you like died. You started laughing so hard you fell down taking the free sample stand with you.” he started laughing so hard he couldn’t speak.

“Yeah and I was like Pat chill it’s not really Watson’s that’s just the name, it’s roast beef,” Cole said starting to laugh too as Finn started calming down enough to breathe again.

“And I like didn’t get it and I was the only one like my Dad even laughed about it and I was so clueless and then I think it was Pat just like patted me on the shoulder and he looked at me all serious like and then he said…”

“It’s ok just trust me you don’t want that meat,” Cole sputtered laughing, “And that just gave you the weirdest look on your face. It was good.”

“Yeah so then you fell over again,” Finn said, “And then my Dad said, well you might not want Watson’s meat but…”

“I don’t mind it!” Cole crowed cutting Finn off laughing so hard he had tears rolling down his cheeks.

“So, you’re saying you had a conversation that was basically a giant dick joke about our headmaster?” I asked them.

“Yeah pretty much,” Finn said, “I do believe Cole explained it to me later and then I understood why the whole thing was so funny but yeah.”

“Who is Pat?” I asked.

“He’s like my brother pretty much,” Cole answered.

“If he’s like your brother why haven’t I met him?” I asked.

“He’s been…away,” Cole answered, “Hopefully he’ll be back soon but…yeah. God, I fucking miss him right now.”

“I know,” Finn said, “I wish I had a brother that wasn’t tracked. He’d be a lot more fun.”

“Yeah,” Cole said, “That would be nice. I’m just glad I’m too old for him. However, we’re going to have to watch out for Will here.”

“Oh, Will is a shiny new toy everyone wants him,” Finn said, “You should have heard the stuff they were saying about all of them when I walked by the cigar room earlier it was nasty.”

“What were they saying?” I asked my stomach dropping.

“Don’t worry about it ok?” Finn said, “It’s nothing you can change or help so don’t worry about it.”

“No, you need to tell me, you mentioned it so you need to tell me,” I said.

“Well I heard something about John I’m assuming that’s your older brother that I haven’t met someone said something about how he’s sweet in a very not g-rated way. And then something about a personalized glove someone’s ass feels like a personalized glove. There was also talk of going slow so someone didn’t get ripped and after that I kind of tuned out because the whole thing was making me sick to my stomach. They talk about us like we’re animals or rides or something, not people. It was like all shop. Someone said they wanted to be the first one to come calling when someone either you or John was “marked” or branded. Also said something about someone being ball crushing tight which is usually…”

Cole cut Finn off, “Someone younger. Unless they work the younger kids open it can rip them up. Bad really bad.”

“So, one of my little brothers?” I asked them.

“Probably,” Finn said nodding his head, “It’s…it’s the way it is.”

“And I still haven’t seen any of them so like do I wait for my uncle to show up or…?” I sighed.

“Before you can leave?” Cole asked, “Yeah I would wait out here. You don’t want to go in there when they are talking like that. Especially when you’re the topic of conversation. It doesn’t bode well.”

“Yeah, you can just like hang out here,” Finn said.

I looked at the pool to see what my brothers were doing and saw Jay playing with a bucket on the steps of the pool with another boy around his age with dark brown shaggy hair and slight tan almost like a small Teddy. They were the only two boys that were younger than eight and it was easy to tell they were under eight with Ted keeping a close eye on them while he watched my other brothers with Quinn.

“That’s Luke?” I asked.

“Who?” Cole asked turning to look, “The little guy? Yeah. That would be Luke.”

“They look so little,” I said frowning, “I don’t get how…”

“Don’t even try,” Cole said, “It’s sick and that’s all there is to it. To find that sexually attractive is beyond nasty. They’re literally just babies. There is nothing sexy about that. There isn’t really anything sexy about you, no offense.”

“None taken,” I said.

I thought it was only my uncle that found me sexy. Because there was something wrong with him. I couldn’t imagine anyone else ever finding me even remotely attractive besides him and perverts like him and my Da. And even if they did I couldn’t imagine them wanting to hold my hand or kiss me. Because I’d be used. Gross and dirty by the time it happened.

“How on earth are you so young and in the 6th grade?” Finn asked me, “I know you’re like 10, right?”

“I’m smart,” I answered shrugging my shoulders, “I haven’t questioned it really.”

“The only thing I’m questioning is where…” Cole started to say as he heard the sliding glass door open, “There are some.”

Everyone in the pool area went dead silent and turned to see who it was. It was several of them most of them people I didn’t know but Ben was in the group of them along with Barry and Tip and Mr. Lord. I didn’t know what to think but they were all looking at me. I knew this was bad. Whatever this was it wasn’t going to be something I liked.

“Dad what’s up?” Cole said to one of the other men standing in the group, looking up from where he was sitting next to me.

“Well,” His dad said, “We were told we could do a pick your bottom. So…”

“Oh,” Cole said as and bunch of boys huffed before getting out of the pool and standing up in a line in front of the men as Cole grabbed my arm gently.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“It’s where they decide who they want to give a lesson to and then go into a room and…” Cole trailed off.

“Ben? You didn’t!” I said walking right up to him looking at him, “You can’t they’re only little. Please don’t tell me you did.”

“I did not I don’t have permission to throw them into the draw. Only you,” he said.

I sighed. I felt better that he couldn’t force them into it even if he could still make me do it. I didn’t want my little brothers doing that. I didn’t think it was fair to them to ask them to let dirty old men hurt them.

“Thank you,” I said so quietly no one could hear and he smiled and hugged me burying his face in my shoulder.

“You’re very welcome it just means you’ll owe me ok? Nothing between us two until Monday or Tuesday night still. I want you just try and be calm ok?” Ben said and I nodded my head standing back in line between Cole and Finn.

“Ok for those of you who are new I’ll explain the rules and what you can expect,” Mr. Lord said, “You will close your eyes and when someone grabs your hand you will allow them to lead you away into a room of their choosing and you will lay down for them where ever they want you to. You will let them strip you and as long as they use a condom they can mount you if they so please. They have one and half hours do to with you whatever they like. You will not tell them no, you will not tell them to stop or what to do unless they give you permission to do so. If you can’t follow these rules you will be punished and you won’t like that punishment.”

“Me too Papa?” Luke asked in a tiny timid voice from somewhere in the area.

“No, my boy,” The leader said going over to Luke and grabbing his hand, “No you are much too young to play this game. As are you James I believe your name is am I right?”

“Yes sir,” James said not looking him in the eyes,

“Anyone under nine is excluded today.”

I felt several boys even older boys sigh with relief as a couple of boys stepped back from the group. Probably older brothers and cousins of some of the younger kids feeling relieved that they didn’t have to be subjected to it. Be subjected to the insanity of someone touching them that way. At least not for today.

“Ok now everyone else close your eyes and don’t open them. Take the hand of the person who grabs yours and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

I didn’t know what was going on. I think people were being grabbed up one at a time in silence like a weird dance but I don’t have any idea because my eyes were closed eventually I felt someone’s hand slide down my arm and they entwined their fingers with mine and I allowed them to lead me off like I was told I had to keeping my eyes shut tight not sure I wanted to move, wanted this person to take me anywhere. We paused briefly and then started walking again and I heard a door shut behind me before they kissed my lips gently.

Their lips felt old and dry. Not like Uncle Ben’s lips that were full and moist and young. So, I knew it wasn’t him, which made my anxiety that much worse. I had no idea who this was and I was trying so hard to keep my eyes closed as they reached down and unlaced the draw string on my swim trunks them falling loose to the ground leaving me exposed below the waist.

“You can open your eyes now,” he said and I knew who it was.

It was Mr. Lord. So, they had been right. Him being nice to me had not been a good thing at all. I didn’t want to do this with him.

“It’s ok,” he said smiling at me rubbing a stray tear away from under my eye, “You are a beautiful thing, aren’t you? How old are you darling boy?”

“10,” I answered quietly.

“You’re lovely for 10,” he said simply his hands running up and down my arms, “Can you tell me if you’ve had sex before?”

I nodded my head in response finding it hard to breathe. He was going to rape me. He was going to push me down and rape me and I knew it.

“it’s ok just breathe, just breathe nice and slow ok?” he said as he grabbed the hem of my shirt and started exposing my stomach me not fighting him when he lifted it over my head and dropped it on the ground, “You’re really beautiful.”

I didn’t know what to do or say so, I said and did nothing. I was scared of him. His paper-thin hands running along my skin up and down my torso as he looked into my eyes. It felt like he was trying to read my soul. Pull something from me that I wasn’t sure I wanted to give up to him. Seeking an answer I wasn’t ready to utter.

“You’re a good boy, aren’t you?” he asked me. Taking my hand again and leading me over to a bed where he sat down and took off his shirt.

His chest hair was white. I had never seen someone with that much chest hair. All white and covering his speckled and age spotted chest. He didn’t look like a frail old man but he was old. I remember thinking that. That I had never been with anyone like that before. Not all the way especially when he took off his pants and I had to bite my lips to keep myself silent. To make sure I followed the rules and didn’t get in trouble.

“Shhh, can you tell me why you’re crying beautiful?” he asked me rubbing my tears away with his thumbs again frowning at me as he patted the space beside him telling me to sit down on the bed.

“I…I’ve never…,” I could feel my whole body shaking. Not even sure what I was trying to tell him.

That even though Headmaster Watson had touched me I’d never had sex with someone that wasn’t my Da or Uncle? That this was going to be my first time with someone else completely. That I was afraid it was going to hurt because it usually hurt at least a little bit. That I wasn’t sure how he was going to start and it scared the ever-loving shit out of me?

“I know little one, I talked to your uncle I’ll go gentle I promise,” he said running his hands over my neck and collar bone, “So delicate. Such a pretty little thing.” He murmured before pressing his lips against my sternum making my eyes go wide as he slowly forced me to lay down using his body weight.

I wanted to scream at him, beg him to stop. That I wasn’t ok with this that I would rather it was Ben because I knew Ben and I didn’t know him. I was panicking and I knew I wasn’t supposed to say anything to do anything but what I was told as a little gasp escaped me; as I started to sob silently looking up at the canopy of lace above me.

“Ok hold on, hold on,” He said pulling me back up into a sitting position, “Can you tell me why you’re so nervous? It is because it’s your first time without your Dad or Uncle? Because you’re not sure?”

I nodded my head, “I... I... I’m ss-scared,” I answered my whole body shaking.

“I can tell your whole body is so tense little one, you’re shaking like a little leaf caught in a storm. It’s ok though. I’m going to go very slow and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I don’t hurt you. I promise it’s going to be ok little one. I swear to you it’ll be ok,” he told me barely speaking above a whisper, “take a deep breath and just lay back and try to relax. Here,” he said taking my hands and putting them on the back of his neck as he straddled my hips my legs still dangling off the end of the bed, “Just keep your hands right there and I’m going to kiss you ok? Just your neck just a little bit. Keep your hands right there. Don’t move them.”

I nodded my head closing my eyes trying to relax my body finding the task impossible but somehow managing to not keep my neck and back so stiff as he lowered his head to my shoulder my hands staying on his shoulder near the back of his neck as he leaned down a laid a soft peck on my collar bone at first moving up to my jaw the kiss becoming harder before I felt his tongue lapping against the skin of my neck causing every muscle in my body to tense in rebellion from the tips of my toes to my knees and thighs pushing themselves together and clenching as hard as I could as that weird static tickle started along the base of my skull moving down my spine as his fingers traveled down the sides of my rib cage slowly.

I wanted to tell him to stop. To push him away screaming and I felt like I couldn’t like what he had said of punishment wasn’t a threat but a promise. That he was going to do something really bad if I made him angry. As he nibbled at my neck and jaw bone and ear lobe causing me to squirm and wiggle underneath him while I panted. Until he pulled away cupping my face gently in his hands.

“It feels good, doesn’t it? All those little tingles huh? Makes it hard to sit still I bet doesn’t it little one?” He murmured running a hand through my hair.

I remember being more scared of how it was going to feel than the act itself. More afraid of how my body was going to react to it than whether it was going to truly hurt or not because at that point it always hurt. That first push into me. It was after it stopped hurting that I was dreading. How he would take that as an excuse to do it again if he wanted to. Not that he needed any but in my 10-year-old brain I believed it was a logical thought. That if my body didn’t give them an excuse to keep doing those things to me that they would stop.

That my body showing that it felt even a little bit of pleasurable tickles or tingles that they thought that meant it was ok to keep doing it. Because my 10-year-old brain couldn’t understand the fact that they weren’t looking for excuses. They didn’t need to have excuses for doing it they just did it because they wanted to. Because they thought it was fun and that it felt good to them regardless of how it felt to the kids they were subjecting to it.

“It’s ok little one,” he said going back to kissing my shoulder and neck his fingers continuing to prod slowly at my skin as I closed my eyes trying to keep myself quiet. Trying to feign calm, “I know it feels weird but you’ll get used to it. Just let yourself feel me.”

His kisses started moving away from my shoulder and neck lower again into my collar bone onto my chest making my breath catch, trapping it there under his mouth and tongue. His teeth pulling at my nipple making me bite into my bottom lip to keep myself from screaming out, turning my scream into a small whimper that I couldn’t hold back as I squirmed under his hands running up and down my sides going past my hips and rubbing my outer thighs.

“It’s ok little one,” he said unlatching from my skin, “You’re doing so good. I know this must be scary never having gone far with anyone but your Dad and Uncle it’s ok though you’re doing lovely. You’re so…amazing, so sweet.”

He laid light kisses down my chest his face getting closer and closer to my penis. My tiny underdeveloped body responding just the way he wanted it to making me close my eyes wishing he would just stop. That maybe by some miracle he would change his mind about raping me, about touching me and just stop so that I didn’t have to beg. So, that I didn’t have to scream the words at him, the words that struggled so hard to free themselves from behind my lips like a trapped rabid animal fighting its confinement.

I really did want to scream. I locked my joints together my knees knocking against each other as my muscles jerked and shook from being contracted so tightly for so long. My breath sharp and painful causing my lungs to feel almost like they were burning as I forced the air in and out of my body.

“Just relax little one, I don’t want it to hurt but if you don’t relax it will,” He sighed into the skin above my belly button his words making me jump as they broke the silence causing him to chuckle lightly, “I didn’t mean to scare you but, you need to relax.”

Each one of my screams I had I tried to put into a muscle to keep it from escaping but, he was right. If I didn’t relax it would hurt more when he finally penetrated me. Which the condom on the night stand made clear he was planning to do.

“You need to relax, let me help a little huh?” he said grabbing a hold of my shaft and starting to rub a small whine making it past my lips that were tightly closed.

Why wouldn’t he stop? I remember thinking that. That it was clear I didn’t like it, didn’t want it and yet he wouldn’t stop. His hands going there trying to get a decent hold on my base and finding it hard to do the way he was sitting moving and prying my thighs apart with his cold dry, aged hands so he could sit in-between them sliding his legs under mine, his thighs brushing up against the back of my knees.

“You’re lucky I’m still a bit flexible otherwise this position might hurt,” He said leaning back rubbing me with his hand, “I bet you taste good, don’t you? Your Uncle said you can cum now but that it’s still new, still fresh.”

I wasn’t sure if he expected an answer from me or not before he leaned over me hunching his back and licking my tip causing me to scream before slamming my hand over my mouth. He said to be quiet. That I had to be quiet and I was trying. I was trying so hard because to me punishment was never a word I liked hearing because it made me fear what the consequences of disobeying would be.

He looked at the fear in my eyes and smiled going back to rubbing, “It’s ok little one. Just don’t use words. You can make little sounds. I like little sounds,” he said.

I still wasn’t sure if I trusted him. If making sounds was ok. I felt weird having him touch me. Having him rub me slowly between his fingers not even really using his hands but just his index finger and thumb to rub me until it almost hurt.

“You can let go little one, just relax let it happen and you’ll feel so much better, your body will go slack and it’ll be that much better for both of us ok? “he said before shifting his position again engulfing me in his mouth balls and all making me whimper. I was not ok with this.

He rolled his tongue along my tip, my slit in his mouth before playing with the vein along the back of my shaft sending me shuttering over the edge, breathless and hating myself. Hating that I had given this creepy old man exactly what he wanted. Given him the ability to make me orgasm shooting into his mouth as he made sucking sounds drinking every drop my body tensing to the point where it couldn’t tense anymore before my whole system went slack because it was numb from the effort of pushing, of releasing.

“That’s my good little one,” he said kissing my neck and chest again as he leaned over me his hands doing something else and I felt barely conscious like I was about to pass out before I felt his finger slid in making me gasps as I tried to tense, to make it harder for him and I found that my muscles, my body didn’t want to work anymore which allowed him easy access to my insides which burned slightly at the intrusion.

“Oww,” I said trying to move my legs trying to cut off his access as his finger started moving inside me.

“I know little one, I know it’s ok. We just have to work you open ok? I know it feels uncomfortable but it will make it easier make it feel better if we do this first ok?” he said as he slowly added another finger making the pressure grow making it hurt more before he stopped moving.

“You know how beautiful you are? How many people would love you if you let them? Make you feel really nice,” he starting moving his fingers sending that static up my spine making me exhale through my mouth because it hurt but it hit that spot that always made me feel frozen.

I moaned loudly before I could stop myself. My face flushing red with embarrassment at not being able to stop the noise as his fingers brushed against that spot repeatedly. I remember it hurting but that spark or static being overwhelming at the same time as he moved his fingers guiding them in and out of me. Him raping me with his fingers making it hard for me to breathe as he pressed forward into me.

“That’s it my little one, relax. Just relax your body will enjoy it that’s a good boy, that’s a good little boy,” He murmured resting his head into my shoulder as he moved his fingers in a scissoring motion opening me up. Taking his time to make sure I was stretched before he stopped.

He picked up the small square golden package and ripped it with his teeth before he stood up taking his boxers off and pulling out the small rubber circle sliding it over his hardness that looked way too big to fit into me as I finally found it in me to move, found the strength to try and get away him grabbing my ankle causing me to freeze again.

“Don’t go anywhere little one, I promise it’ll feel good. Like what I just did only 100 times better. You can make all the yummy little sounds you want just no words ok?” He said as he grabbed the back of my knees pulling me back towards the end of the bed before I felt him squirt something cold against my hole and he did the same thing with the tube he was holding smearing the gel on his penis.

“Ok I need you to take a nice big deep breath in…” he said as he pushed in a little bit before sliding back out making me gasps because it hurt. It felt like someone trying to shove a hand up my ass. Which was probably why he only pushed in a little and pulled out, pushing in a little further each time until he was balls deep in me and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

“You’re Uncle was right little one, just like a glove, molds perfectly,” he said both of us as still as we could be. Me because I didn’t want to hurt and him probably because he really didn’t want to cause me anymore pain than he had to.

I wanted to tell him to stop but he had stated no words. Words meant he would tell Ben or my Da and bad things would happen. If that was even possible but I was sure they would find a way to make my life worse if I didn’t do what I was told no matter who was telling me to do it. He pulled out before rolling his hips forward pushing back into me.

“AHH,” I moaned from both pain and pleasure as both shot through my nervous system confusing my brain.

“Yeah? Is that it?” He questioned repeating the movement before speeding up his thrusts my body at his mercy just wanting him to finish, wanting it all to be over.

“MMMM,” I whined before I felt a warmness fill me my whole body twitching as it contracted around the feeling of him bumping against my prostate the feeling of peeing hitting me hard as I felt something wet and sticky coat my stomach.

His whole body tensed above mine as he shoved his tongue in my mouth grabbing the back of my neck forcefully forcing my back to arch curling me almost into a ball making me hold that position so he could lick my tonsils only breaking away from me when he no longer felt he could get air from what I could guess due to his heavy breathing.

“That’s it little one, god that was good, beautiful so sweet,” He said pulling out making me hiss in pain as he did so my muscles not willing to let go causing the act to burn.

I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know if I should move or not my butt hurting. He had gone slow enough that any pain I felt was the usual slow burning that I felt after someone raped me. It wasn’t sharp or immediate but more of a slow dull burn like skinning your knee and it was never comfortable.

“We’re done little one, do you need help getting dressed? Do you have anything to say? You can speak now,” He said looking at me.

“It hurts,” I said not wanting to look him in the eyes, not wanting to see his reaction.

“It wasn’t all painful and it’s just a little sore. A little used it’s not going to hurt forever. I didn’t cause you any real pain. And think of it this way, your pain made me feel so good and that’s going to make both your Da and Ben so happy. You understand that, right?” He said and I nodded my head looking at the blanket I was clutching in my right hand.

The blanket on the bed he’d raped me on. I didn’t bother to try and cover myself or be shy. He’d already seen all of me so there was no point. Just like there wasn’t ever any point of hiding myself from Da or from Ben because they’d already seen every inch of my skin already touched every cell of me they could reach. I wanted to ask him why me. Why he had chosen me out of all the boys standing in that line with their eyes closed hoping no one picked them.

“It’s ok. Think of all the things you can ask them for that they will probably give you. If you give a little you’ll get a lot more in return little one I promise. You can have anyone you want kissing your feet, begging you for just a minute of your time. Your Da and I, our friends we can teach you all of those things. We can teach you do use that ability so you’ll never want for anything because people will give you whatever you ask for,” he said rubbing the back of my neck as I looked at the navy-blue comforter still clutched neatly in my fingers tiny bunches of the fabric poking out between my closed knuckles.

I didn’t want those things. I didn’t want someone who would want me because I felt good, or tasted good as they liked to tell me I did. Because I was beautiful. I wanted someone to want to hold my hand because I was me. Because I could be something else other than that. Even though I was beginning to think those were the only reasons that anyone would ever want me.

“Oh, don’t cry little one, these are good things, things that should make you happy. Can you tell me why you’re crying?” He asked me cupping my cheek making me look at him.

“I’m cold,” I answered simply not sure what else to say. That I was scared of him. Of what he was going to say, to do next? Afraid he was going to decide he wasn’t done that he wasn’t going to let me leave.

“Oh, that’s an easy fix little one,” He said, “Here let me help.”

He held out my shirt like he was ready to put it over my head instead of handing it to me to put on myself. I had been dressing myself for ages and thought it was weird. Weird that he wanted to put my clothes on when usually Ben left me to do that by myself. When I had been dressing not only myself but younger siblings for at least two years. I put my arms out and he put my shirt on and then he slid my trunks on my ankles and asked me to step down into them where he tied the drawn string for me and then he gave me a kiss on the cheek and opened the door.

Chapter Text

I knew as I moved I was walking stiff, with a limp because I always did after one of them was done. My body only had so much give to it before it felt used because I wasn’t exactly a big kid. I was taller than most for my age but I was thin just a tiny about of baby fat around my tummy causing me to have the round childlike appearance that appealed to a couple different people in my life that were present at the time.

He took me back out to the pool area. My brothers were sitting with a severe looking woman her hair tied up in a tight bun as she sat at the kid sized picnic table and talked to them. Matty looking up and waving as he saw me walking towards them.

“You’re William?” She asked me.

“Yes,” I said nodding my head.

“I’m Susan Teddy and Luke’s mom,” she said to me smiling holding out her hand that I shook, “I see you met my Dad did he treat you ok?”

“I…” I stopped thinking about what Teddy had said that his mom was screwed up. That she was like they were. I just nodded my head.

“You look a little sore,” she noted, “That’s normal though if you’re not used to different people, come here and sit,” She said grabbing one of the cushions on a longue chair and moving it to the lower end that was near the picnic table.

“Thanks,” I said sitting down on it slowly.

“So, we were talking,” she said gesturing to my brothers, “Matty says you seem to be confused?”

“Oh?” I asked not remotely interested in her opinion of me.

“He said that you think they’re hurting you on purpose,” she said.

“Well, it hurts,” I answered.

“But have you told your brothers it feels good too?” She asked me, shocking me, “Don’t you want them to understand that it’s not all painful but that sometimes it can be very pleasurable?”

I felt my face going red. How could she know? Why did she think it was ok to ask me that? It didn’t feel fair.

“It’s ok to tell them you know. You don’t want them to be scared, right?” She asked me.

“It’s not…” I wasn’t sure how to continue. Tell her it wasn’t ok when she was just as crazy as they all were and she thought it was ok? Would she tell my Da and Ben that I said that and get me in trouble? I didn’t know what to say.

“It’s not what? You can tell me anything I promise I won’t tell ok?” She said quietly.

“I don’t think it feels good just…weird,” I answered.

“Weird as in the tightness in your belly? The tickly feeling you get in your penis and tummy?” she asked me and I nodded my head not sure what to say or how she could understand that’s what happened.

“That’s called an orgasm,” she said, “And there is nothing wrong with it. It means your body likes it and that you should enjoy it. Relax into it and let it happen and it will feel even better. It’s your Dad’s way of showing that he loves you, that he cares about you. Same thing with your uncle don’t you want them to show your brothers that?”

“But what if I don’t want them to make me feel that?” I asked her.

“Well, they’re adults and you’re a child and they know what’s best for you,” she said, “Maybe you need to let go of control a little bit and allow them to teach you. To show you how much they care about you. And let them show your brothers how much your brothers matter to them too without confusing them. They’re just young you know. They can get confused easy.”

“I don’t get confused easy,” Matty said looking up from where he was coloring.

“That’s because you’re special remember Matty? I told you that earlier,” she said smiling at him.

“Yeah yeah,” he sighed picking his crayon back up like the conversation had already started boring him.

“You know what’s wrong with him?” I asked her.

She was a psychologist. If there was something wrong with Matty’s mind and I was positive there was, she would know what it would be. Where Mikey was light and happy and rainbows and sunshine Matty was everything else. Matty was the dark that was so deep a night light didn’t do anything to relieve it, the bats and the wolves that lived in the darkness. If they had been magical creatures Mike would have been a fairy where Matty would have been a vampire.

I knew there was something wrong with him. Something more than just him being different. He thrived on other people’s anxiety and pain and I could see it. I could see it in just the little things. The way if you weren’t looking he would sometimes pull Mike’s hair when they were babies or how when he was two he had the bad habit of biting James or Mike and then laughing as they started to cry. Just little things that suggested he was off, that something wasn’t right.

“There is nothing wrong with him per say, he’s just different and that’s ok isn’t that right Matty?” She asked him.

“Yeah, I’m ok,” he said shrugging his shoulders not bothering to look up.

“I know he’s different,” I answered, “I take care of them a lot you know?”

“I’ve been told and James and Mike and Matty all agree you’re a very good big brother,” she said, “Even if you do confuse them a little bit.”

“Da is keeping John locked in his bedroom so he can rape him. You think that’s normal?” I hissed at her surprising myself with my bravery.

“What’s rape?” James asked.

“It’s when…” Susan started to answer his question but I cut her off.

“It’s when Da puts his penis in you and it hurts. It’s when he puts his mouth on your penis and it feels funny and not good and she’s telling me and you guys that it’s ok for them to do that when you don’t want it to happen do you believe she’s telling you the truth?” I asked James.

“No,” James said his eyes wet, “Are they going to do it more? I don’t want them too.”

“Will quit it,” Matty said without looking up, “We’re coloring right now and I don’t want to listen to him cry.”

“Come here Jay, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to upset you,” I said holding out my arms as he wiped at his cheeks with his little fist and came over to me hugging me.

“They aren’t really going to do that, are they?” He asked me whispering the question in my ear.

“William, you didn’t need to scare him,” Susan said watching me.

“It’s not normal,” I insisted.

“Says who?” She asked me.

“Says everyone. Says every book on psychology I’ve ever seen, every book on science did you know that having that type of attraction to someone your related to by blood is an anomaly?” I asked her.

“That’s a big word for a ten-year-old and what would you know about psychology that someone like me with a doctorate wouldn’t know better?” She asked me.

“I may be ten but that doesn’t mean I’m stupid. I was raised for this and I know that but that doesn’t mean I have to accept it or like it,” I told her.

“If you were really that intelligent than you wouldn’t say anything to make your Dad upset. You would allow him to teach your brothers and raise them the way he wants to raise them. He is the one in charge after all,” she said.

“He might be in charge of what happens to them but that doesn’t mean he gets to control the way they think and feel,” I said, “It’s not right. You know it’s not right.”

“I know society says it’s not right and that you were exposed to that type of thinking early on so you believe it’s not right as well but your brothers here have chance to accept it. To embrace it and you’re trying to take that away from them,” she said, “Why would you want to take happiness away from them? To make them aware that everyone views their lifestyle as wrong their Dad and Uncle as criminals? It doesn’t have to be that way.”

“Da’s a criminal?” Mikey said watching us, listening to us while he frowned in confusion.

“No, your Dad is not a criminal but there a plenty of people who want to think he is. He’s just doing what’s best for you. Teaching you things that will help you and some people think the way he does that is wrong. It’s not wrong for everyone though do you understand Michael?” She asked him.

“I think so,” he answered her.

“Good, why don’t you pick out a picture to color for your mom? I’m sure that would make her and the babies feel so welcome and at home when they get here,” she said to him smiling.

“Ok,” he said nodding his head.

“Hey bud,” I said shaking Jay’s shoulder lightly as he leaned against me, “Why don’t you do the same huh? It’s a good idea I think.”

“Ok, he won’t do it again will he?” James asked me again.

“Well,” I stopped and thought about how to answer, “I can promise you both John and I will do everything we can to try and make sure Da doesn’t hurt you like that again.”

“Because you love me?” James asked me.

“Yes, because I love you. Very much,” I said feeling like I was about to start crying knowing that what I could do would never be enough to keep him safe. Feeling like I had failed him before I had really tried, “Now go draw mom a picture while I have a talk with the nice lady ok?”

“Ok,” James said hugging me and getting up and going to the picnic table taking a seat while I stood up and she followed me.

“What exactly do you think you know William?” She asked me.

“That what they are doing is wrong,” I said, “That I don’t want it and I’ve made it very clear I don’t want it and that if they cared about me they would listen to me.”

“That’s not true. They are the adults they know what’s best for you. And I’m Dr. Larkin by the way,” she told me, “Even if you think it’s wrong why tell your brothers that it is? Why ruin their childhood the way they view their father, the world? You know you can’t change this for them. I saw that you know it in your face when you said that to him that you would do everything you could to make sure your dad didn’t “hurt” him like that again. You know after you get used to it, it doesn’t hurt anymore. That it feels good much more often than it hurts.”

“So, they keep telling me but that doesn’t make it any easier and you know how I know it’s wrong? It’s not because someone told me it’s because I heard my older brother screaming bloody murder one night and I saw what my uncle was doing to him. It did not look like it felt good, it didn’t sound anywhere near something that felt good. I was six,” I spit at her, “There is nothing you can tell me that will ever make me think it’s ok to do something like this to somebody especially when they are begging the person on top of them to stop.”

“Do you ask them to stop?” She asked me.

“What?” I asked confused by the question.

“Do you ask them to stop?” She asked me again.

I had to stop and think about it. I wasn’t allowed to tell them to stop. To say no or don’t. To do those things, use those words would get me hurt or worse one of my little brothers hurt and that was something I felt I could never afford. I could never allow me to put them in that kind of danger. Put them at risk of feeling that pain. Especially when I knew how violent uncle Ben could be not just because of the way he treated me once when I went for a walk but because of how he had treated John in the past.
“I’m not allowed to,” I answered.

“You aren’t allowed to or you’re afraid of what will happen if you do because either way the fact that you don’t ask them to stop says that you want it to happen. Don’t you think not telling them what you are and are not ok with might confuse them? They are after all just human even if they are the adult and you are the child. Do you think maybe you’re not being clear about what you want and they are just doing what they think you want? Because I’m sure your body says yes,” she told me.
My chest felt tight. Was she right? Was the fact that I didn’t say no enough to make it ok for them to hurt me? To give them permission?
I didn’t want to talk to her anymore. I was done talking to her. Maybe she was right. Maybe I was asking for it. How were they supposed to know that I didn’t want it, that it wasn’t ok when I was hard and I wasn’t telling them to stop, wasn’t saying no?
“So, I have a point?” She asked me to which I nodded my head.

“Then you need to think very carefully before you say something to your brothers again. Don’t tell them it hurts again or feels funny. Use words like different if you don’t know how to describe something. Or say it tickles. Don’t give them bad connotations with it,” she told me, “there is no reason to upset them.”

“Are you done?” I asked her.

“Are you going to be ok?” She asked me, “I know I probably just confused you but, maybe there’s really another reason you don’t say no other than you aren’t allowed to. I’m sure not being allowed to do other things hasn’t stopped you from doing them.”
“I’ll be fine Dr. Larkin,” I answered looking her in the face, “I have to be.”

“And there’s some Matty, you know what that’s called?” She asked me.

“Apathy, whatever is wrong with Matty it’s not apathy,” I said, “I can turn my feelings back on and I have feelings. I just feel that my brothers are more important than anything I may feel.”

“Matty has a type of apathy. Apathy is lack of caring. He’s learning still so I’m sure it doesn’t always seem like it’s a lack of caring right now but more a desire to hurt others. But right now it’s not a desire to hurt but more to understand things regardless of whether it hurts someone,” she said.

“So, you’re saying my brother is crazy?” I asked her.

“No, not crazy he’s different. Most of it is merely curiosity. Have you ever heard of callous unemotional defect?” She asked me.

“No,” I answered.

“It just means his brain works a little differently than most peoples’ he doesn’t feel fear, he doesn’t feel remorse. All of those pesky feelings that make your stomach hurt and make you want to cry? He doesn’t usually feel those,” she told me, “It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with him per say but that he’s unusual. Evolutionarily advanced.”

“So, he’s crazy?” I asked her again.

“That’s not what I said,” she replied.

“Sounds like that is what you’re saying but you’re trying to put it nicely,” I contradicted her.

“Not at all. In this world he’ll do well. He’ll thrive,” she told me as we heard the sliding glass door open and I looked over to find my Uncle standing there with some boy I didn’t know and he walked over to my brothers, “I suppose it’s time for you to be on your way.”

“Is there anything I can do to help him?” I asked her.

“He doesn’t need help. If I were you I’d try and take a page out of his book in fact,” she answered me, “Have a good evening.”

I didn’t know what to say. If there was anything to say. I had no idea what she was talking about but it fascinated me to think that whatever was wrong with my brother was so interesting this woman wanted me to see if I could tap into it. If I had the same ability to not be upset by what was happening around me. I walked over to where my family was.

“Are you ready to go?” Ben asked me.

“Yeah,” I answered.

“The Leader said you were well behaved,” Ben said.

I shrugged my shoulders. All I wanted at that point was a shower and somewhere I could sit quietly maybe a library where I could pull books out and look up what Dr. Larkin had mentioned. Give myself a distraction until I felt like I could be normal again. Until I felt safe again.

“I’m very proud of how well you did,” he told me, “He said you hardly made a sound and when you did you followed his direction and didn’t use any words. That makes me very proud.”

I just nodded my head, “Let’s go home guys,” I sighed as everyone grabbed their coloring books and we headed back into the house and through the door we came in back out to the car.

The boys talked about the party. Mostly about things Finn and Quinn said and did and how I had cool friends. James talked about Luke and how they were in the same class and how he thought the house was nice and wanted to go see Luke’s room but Luke said it wasn’t a good idea.

I thought about how badly I felt for that kid and I wondered how Teddy could seem so normal with a mom that was that screwed up. She thought that Matty was normal. That him talking about how he liked it was normal. How it didn’t upset him even a little bit. None of those things seemed anywhere close to normal to me and I decided it must just be a part of his condition and that I had to get to a computer.

I felt like I had to look it up to see if there was anything I could do to help my little brother. To convince him that living like this wasn’t a good thing, that none of this was ok. If there was some way to help him I was determined to find it.

Ben didn’t touch me all the way home and I found that odd but tried not to dwell on it too much. I figured he had probably met his needs with someone else at the end of the party which was probably the whole point of that little game at the end. Maybe that would make it easier for him to keep his promise I decided, his promise not to rape me for the weekend, to give me a real break.

I wasn’t sure but I felt like he was in a good mood and that maybe if Da was in a good mood I would be able to see John. To talk to him and make sure he was ok. I really missed him and I needed to speak with him not just for his sanity but for mine.
I didn’t like feeling alone. I knew the only one that could really relate to me was him. I had so many questions to ask him if different things were normal because while I thought they were I wasn’t completely sure. If he knew anything about the brotherhood, about what was going on. If he was mad at me for not standing up, if he would ever forgive me for allowing us to fall into this mess because I had been too much of a coward to say anything.

When we got home, Ben took my book bag and went into the laundry room off the kitchen to unload our vests and socks and the rest of our under clothes into one pile and the other into a bag where Da put the dry cleaning to drop off on Saturday every week. I still didn’t see Da. Didn’t know where he was.

When Ben returned to the kitchen I sighed before I asked him taking the chance that because I had been “good” he would be nice. “Can we order pizza?”

“Yeah,” He answered nodding his head, “Everyone else ok with pizza guys?”

“Yeah,” Mike and Matt said in unison.

“Can I have just cheese?” James asked.

“Sure,” Ben said, “Any other requests?”

“Pepperoni and Sausage,” I said shrugging my shoulders.

“Ok one cheese and one pepperoni and sausage pizza coming right up,” he said before he turned to the phone and started dialing the nearest pizza place by heart.

“Is John going to come eat pizza with us?” Mike asked, “I miss John.”

“I don’t know about that sport you’d have to ask your Da,” Ben said just as Da appeared rounding the stair case and coming down.

“Ask Da what?” Da said smiling.

“If John can eat pizza with us,” Mike answered speaking for himself.

“Huh John is kind of tired buddy so not today but maybe tomorrow you’ll be able to see him,” Da said.

“Doubt it,” Ben said smiling like it was some kind of inside joke. Like what they were doing to him was funny.

“I’d like to see him,” I said quietly.

“Well, it’s something we’ll think about,” Da replied, “I’ve heard you’ve been very agreeable and that’s something that I like to hear.”

“Agreeable?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said coming over to me caressing my face. “Agreeable. You think you could do that for me if I wanted you to?”

“Are you talking about real love kisses?” Mike asked him making me gulp.

Ben said he would give me a break this weekend. I had just done that with someone else and still hadn’t had a chance to shower yet and now he wanted it? Was this what happened when Ben made a promise not to do those things? Everyone else got to?

“I might be,” Da said answering Mike’s question.

“You know those are slimy, right? Maybe he doesn’t like how slimy they are,” Mike commented, “How come we don’t do real love kisses in front of each other?”

“Well, mum is going to be home in a little while and it’s something that would upset mum to see because I’m only supposed to give her real love kisses,” Da answered explaining the need to keep it private. To keep Frenching your son’s private.

“But you give them to everyone because you really love everyone, right?” Mike asked.

“That’s right, I really love every one of you,” Da said smiling at the fact that Mike seemed to understand the brain washing Da was subjecting him to.

“Are you ok Will?” James whispered in my ear causing me to exhale deeply trying to hide the fact that he had startled me being so close suddenly.

“Yeah bud I’m ok,” I told him.

“I don’t like real love kisses either,” he told me which made me smile a little bit.

The way he said it had sounded so innocent, so sweet like it was a secret about eating an extra cookie from the cookie jar while no one was looking or where he had buried Mike’s G.I Joe was he was mad at him. Not one about Da hurting him, subjecting him to things he shouldn’t ever have to deal with especially being so little.

I wanted to protect that. That tone in his voice that I knew would fade with increasing aggression and speed until I never heard it again. Until all he remembered was this, here and nothing else before it and maybe nothing after.

“You didn’t do that until that night,” I said suddenly feeling brave frowning at him, “Why the change?”

“What?” Da asked me frowning before he realized what I was saying, “Oh, I figured that there’s nothing wrong with real love kisses that they don’t have to be a big deal. So, I’m trying to make them so they aren’t a big deal. I feel like that scared you more, amped up your anxiety at the time.”

“What are you talking about?” Matt asked.

“Sometimes you and I have private time right Matt? Really special private time. He’s talking about that,” Da explained it.

“OH,” Matt asked and I looked at Matt.

“What?” Matt asked.

“You didn’t tell me he was…” I trailed off.

“It doesn’t bother me,” Matt said, “Like I said sometimes I think feels nice.”

I felt my face turning red. Matt was so brain washed that he thought it was ok, sometimes better than ok. I still couldn’t wrap my brain around how it didn’t bother him, hurt him, make him want to scream and just disappear.

“What are you talking about?” Mike asked starting to get frustrated about the fact he couldn’t understand our conversation.

“Well,” Da said, “You know how sometimes I spend alone time with you? How we have a little bit of fun? They are talking about that.”

“Oh,” Mike said his face turning red.

He must have been thinking about the things Da did when he had alone time with him because he took an intense interest in his hands folded on the table top. I felt bad. For making him feel that way, reminding him of what it felt like, how confusing it was when Da’s hands traveled over his skin like that in the dark. The funny sounds Da made.

“Sport there is nothing to be embarrassed about ok?” Da said, “I love all of you. I promise.”

Mike just nodded his head staring at his hands. I could tell he was upset. That it was something he didn’t want to talk about.

“So, other than playing in the pool what else did you guys do at the party?” I asked them.

“We played tag,” Matt answered, “With Mitch, Caleb and Freddy.”

“Yeah, even though Caleb was usually it because he’s slow,” Mike added looking up and inhaling deeply as he relaxed because of the topic change, “What did you do?”

“I talked to my friends,” I answered, “Finn and Quinn and Teddy a little bit.”

“I talked to Luke and we colored for a while,” James told me.

“I know I was keeping an eye on you,” I pointed out smiling.

“Why though?” Jay asked.

“Because he’s a good big brother that cares about you,” Da answered for me.

“That’s right bud,” I answered, “I do care about you.”

“Does anyone have homework they need to get done?” Da asked.

“I do,” Matt said.

“Can you help him with his homework honey?” Da asked me.

“Yeah, sure,” I answered.

I ended up helping with homework until the pizza came and then we sat down turning on an American tale as we wound down for the day. Jay falling asleep with his feet in my lap as we shared the love seat while Mike and Matt started to drift off to sleep as well, all three of them already dreaming by the time the movie finished. I sighed moving the little feet out of my lap and leaning forward shaking his shoulder, “Come on bud, it’s time for bed.”
“Wha…?” He asked stretching rubbing his eyes, “The movie is over?”

“Yeah,” I said standing up and shaking Matty’s shoulder who then hit Mike in the face in his sleep.

“OUCH!” Mike screamed suddenly wide awake.

“Sorry,” Matt said which caused Mike to respond with a glare, “Really, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to.”

“Why’d you smack him?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” Matty answered shrugging his shoulders, “I didn’t mean to.”

“Ok well, it’s bedtime,” I said reaching for the remote and turning off the TV.

“I am tired,” Matt answered shrugging his shoulders as he started up the stairs everyone else falling in line behind him.

I walked them to their bedroom door giving them kisses on the cheeks earning me dirty looks and mumbled goodnights as they shut the door behind them and then I went to put James to bed. To make sure he was ok. To talk to him about some stuff that had happened today.

“Why are you tucking me in?” He asked me.

“Don’t I always tuck you in?” I questioned.

“Yeah but you have something you want to say,” he said causing me to frown, “I can see it in your face.”

“Oh,” I said nodding my head, “What did you think about those guys at the end of the party?”

“You mean when they made up line up with the older boys and took everyone away with their eyes closed?” He asked me and I nodded my head, “They’re weird bad guys like Da. They did bad things.”

“Yeah,” I said nodding my head, “You understand why I didn’t say no?”

“Because they would hurt you and it would make Ben mad and then he’d hurt you and Da would too. I know they tell you they’re going to hurt me. Because you want to keep me safe. Like John wants to keep me safe. I know you let them hurt you so they don’t hurt me,” James said.

“How do you…?” I started to ask before he stopped me.

“I remember,” James said shrugging his shoulders, “That time Da hurt me. You lifted your shirt and he stopped asked you if you wanted to play. I might be little but I’m not stupid. Special alone time is when he hurts you. Because it makes me feel funny and you’re bigger so it only makes sense that special alone time would hurt like that one time. When he put it in there? Did you know I bled? That it hurt so bad it bled when he poked me with it.”

“Yeah,” I said sitting down on the bed, “I bled the first time too. You won’t always bleed but I’m hoping he won’t do it again to you for a long time.”

“Because you and John are going to try and stop him?” He asked me.

“Yeah,” I answered.

“That lady said it’s normal but I don’t think it is. At school, they said when a stranger does it that it’s bad. So why would Da doing it be different?” He asked me.

“It’s not that lady wants to confuse you. She wants you to accept it and its ok to not accept it. If it doesn’t feel right to you. Like we talked about your teacher and how he wants you to sit in his lap and how if that doesn’t seem right to you it’s ok to tell him no. I think the same thing about this. If it doesn’t feel right it’s ok to not accept it. To not want it. I don’t want it,” I answered him.

“But you do it to protect me?” He asked me.

“Well, you and Matt and Mike yeah,” I answered.

“And John does the same thing,” James said, “You shouldn’t let them hurt you.”

“Bud it’s better than them hurting you ok? You even said it I’m bigger than you are. You know how bad it hurts me still? I don’t bleed that often anymore but, it still doesn’t feel good, it feels…well, it burns to start with. Huh, it’s scary but if it keeps you safe I can be ok with it. Because if it’s me it’s not you and it’s not Mike and it’s not Matt or anyone else. You understand?” I asked him.

“No,” he shook his head, “I don’t understand why you would let them hurt you.”

“Because if I say no, they’ll hurt you and I can’t be…I can’t let that be my fault,” I said to him, “I mean I know that it’s their fault because they are bigger and stronger and they’re the ones in charge but, I’d feel like I didn’t do everything I could to keep you safe. And I have promised you that’s something I will always do. I will always do the best I can, everything I can to keep you safe.”

“But I don’t want you hurt. Did the leader say he was going to hurt me when he you took away?” He asked me.

“No,” I shook my head, “No but that doesn’t mean that …can we not talk about that?” I asked him being able to feel his hands on my skin as he rubbed my forearms and shoulders down my rib cage. Being able to feel his lips as he kissed my collar bone.
“He hurt you?” He asked me.

“Well yeah,” I said trying to shake off the feeling of him on my skin. It was weird. I wasn’t sure what was happening but I remember trying to hide my panic, trying to just think about where I was and that I was with my little brother. Trying to stay calm.
“Like Uncle Ben hurts you?” He asked me and I nodded my head.

“Listen Bud, you shouldn’t think about these things before bed so I’m going to go. I love you,” I said kissing his forehead before tucking him safely under his covers, “goodnight.”

“Goodnight,” he said as I shut off the light and shut the door.

I went to Ben’s room, the room I was sharing with him and walked straight into the bathroom turning on the shower. I needed one at this point still not having showered since the night before. Since what Mr. Lord had done to me. I turned the water on as hot as I could allowing myself to cry silently. To let out the rest of what I had been holding back. To acknowledge how dirty I felt.

I let myself cry it out making sure I rinsed off my face before I climbed out not wanting my uncle to know I had been crying. I felt like crying was bad. It was weak and I didn’t want him to see me as weaker than he already did. Because I knew that’s what he thought of me.

I was just a weak little kid with a sexy ass that everyone wanted to mess with. It didn’t matter how smart I was or how funny I was, or who I was as a person all that mattered is I was “sexy”, “Beautiful” or “Cute”. The fact that I knew that’s all that mattered spoke volumes to my intelligence.

I grabbed a towel drying off my hair and wrapping it around my waist before going out into the bedroom. I should have grabbed clothes from Jay’s room but in my hurry to get out there I had forgotten and found myself wondering if I should put my swim trunks back on to go to sleep because I felt like if I was naked it would just give him an excuse to break his promise. To do things to me.

“You don’t have to have clothes you know,” He said coming into the room reading my expression as I looked at the bathroom door, “You can sleep naked. I do.”

“Yeah but…” I swallowed. Did I want to say I was afraid of him so he could misunderstand what I was saying and think I was calling him a liar? Saying he wouldn’t keep his word or did I just suck it up and get into bed with him?

“I said I wouldn’t, and I won’t, my mouth and my penis will be kept to myself ok?” He said.

“What about…?” I asked him clutching my towel tightly around my waist.

“We agreed that’s totally different last night remember?” He asked me.

“I was good earlier,” I reminded him.

“I know you were, he said you were very sweet for him. That you followed directions perfectly, which is something I have told your Da you are very capable of and that I want to take advantage of those qualities but he keeps telling me no. So, we’re going to do this his way,” Ben said making my stomach jump.

Take advantage of those qualities? What did that mean? Did I even want to know what it meant?

“Come on, let’s go to sleep ok? Maybe I’ll be able to talk your Da into letting John hang out with you guys?” he said grabbing my hand and entwining his fingers with mine pulling me to the bed. He was naked and he rolled on top of me moving so we were nose to nose his hands against my bare hips as he unwrapped towel, “You just froze a little bit baby.”

“I…” I wanted to tell him that I was not comfortable. That I wanted clothes or I wanted him to stop touching me especially so close to there. When he said he would keep his hands away from there.

“I just want to feel you under me for a minute ok baby?” He said.

I tried swallowing the dryness in my throat and nodding my head my brain feeling weird, fuzzy. I wasn’t sure what to say. I found he did to me a lot. Made me unsure. I wasn’t used to being scared of many things but I’m terrified of him.
“Uncle Ben please…please?” I asked him my hands shaking as he stared at me. As he started drawing small circles into the skin of my hips with his fingertips. It made it hard to breathe. Made my chest feel tight and he wasn’t even really hurting me.
“You’re really scared, aren’t you?” He asked me, “It’s ok to be scared.”

“I…,” I said before it fell silent again the silence so loud.

That’s when I realized he wanted me to be scared of him. Wanted me to fear him. That’s why he wasn’t touching me but he was he was getting off on the idea that I was terrified of him doing it but I couldn’t stop my heart from pounding in my chest or make myself breathe any easier.

“Ok,” He said nodding his head before he kissed my forehead, “Ok. Let’s go to sleep baby.”

He sighed and rolled off me turning off the light. I laid there frozen in the dark still for a while as he started snoring softly beside me. I waited until I was sure he was asleep before I dared to curl into a ball and try to sleep myself.

So, he had kept his promise. Kept his hands and mouth off me. Hadn’t fondled me even if he had intimidated me by laying on top of me his hands on my hips making me cringe but he hadn’t really molested me. It took me forever to drift off into an uneasy sleep.

Chapter Text

I woke up late the next morning rolling over and stretching to find he wasn’t in bed beside me. Making me sit up and look around the room nervously. If I was here and he wasn’t that meant, he was somewhere else. Somewhere else where he could be alone with one or more of my little brothers and that was not a good thing.

I sat up looking around the room for something to put on and saw his bath robe hanging off the hook on the bedroom door grabbing it and putting it on finding it easily fell off my shoulders as I tied it as tightly as I could to keep it around my waist before I opened the door and headed downstairs.

I didn’t hear anyone in the main house my panic growing as I walked to the formal living room and saw them through to glass wall that was the pool area. They all had swim trunks on and uncle Ben was sitting in a lounge chair reading a book glancing up at them every few minutes and I sighed with relief Matt saying something and point at the wall causing Ben to turn around and look at me.

I responded by waving sheepishly and opening the door stepping out into the pool area, “Hi,” I said pulling the robe up my shoulders again trying to get it to stay.

“Nice look,” he said standing up and coming towards me causing me to back up slightly.

“I couldn’t find anything else,” I stated, “Are you guys ok?”

“Yeah, we’re good we wanted to swim and Da had to work on some stuff and I don’t know where John is Ben asked with John could come play but, Da didn’t say anything only that he had to work,” Mike told me.

“You look really really nice,” Ben said low enough so only I could hear him each step he took bring him slowly closer to me.

“I couldn’t find anything else and I didn’t know where you were…” I said quietly hugging myself tightly.

“I was here. Everything is ok. Everything is ok right boys?” Ben repeated loud enough for them to hear the question.

“Yeah,” James said and Matt nodded his head his eyes darting between Ben and I with rapt attention like he was watching us closely.

“See? They’re all right I haven’t hurt them,” He said quietly, “Did you think I was going to?”

“I don’t know,” I answered barely above a whisper.

“Well, I have you, don’t I?” He asked me.

“You said that you wouldn’t…” He stopped me.

“Kind of hard to not want to when you’re standing there looking so sexy in my robe practically drowning in it. You know how beautiful you look right now?” He asked me to which I shook my head.

So, he was going to go back on his word, he was going to hurt me. I knew he was that he would. That nothing he said could be trusted so I don’t know why I hoped he wouldn’t. I had gone maybe two or three days in those three weeks without someone doing something to me. Touching me sexually or raping me so I don’t know why I had even dared to hope he would give me the whole weekend without violating me.

“Not here,” I said not looking at him, “Not in front of them.”

“Ok,” he nodded his head, “Boys come on pool time is over.”

“Why?” James whined.

“He wants alone time with Will,” Matt scoffed, “Why do we always get punished when someone wants alone time? We always have to stop what we’re doing and it sucks.”

“Well, once you’re a little older that won’t happen but you can’t be in the pool without someone bigger to watch you in case something bad happens. You can go watch TV in the living room but I don’t want anyone in the pool while there isn’t an adult around ok?”

“Why does he want alone time with…oh,” James said his face turning a light shade of pink as he understood what alone time probably meant. That he was going to touch me like that. Like I didn’t want to be touched and James got out of the water hugging me around the waist, “Are you ok?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I lied ruffling his hair, “Don’t worry about it ok?”

“You don’t look fine you look sad,” James said frowning at me.

“Well, I’m ok I promise,” I lied again, “I’ll be fine it’s just…”

“Special love kisses?” He asked me and I nodded my head in response, “But you don’t like those.”

“I’ll be fine bud,” I said again, “Promise. It’ll happen and then it will be over easy peasy ok?”

“Will you come play with me after?” he asked me.

“I’ll try to,” I answered not sure what was going to happen really.

“Ok,” He said nodding his head as he grabbed a towel and started drying himself before wrapping his towel around his suit and walking back into the house Mike and Matt following him without even really looking at me.

“So…” I said trailing off awkward as I shuffled my weight from foot to foot, “What are we…?”

“Doing?” He said finishing my question, “Skinny dipping.”

“Oh,” I said not quite sure why he would want to skinny dip with me. I knew skinny dipping was sometimes supposed to be a sexual thing. I had seen movies before where two people had skinny dipped and one thing had led to another but, I had also seen movies where people just didn’t have bathing suits so they decided to skinny dip.

“Come on,” he said hitting a button making the electric blinds turn blocking everyone’s view of the pool area from inside the house before took off his trunks and shirt diving into the pool.

He expected me to just follow him in? To just get in the pool naked with him? I felt like the idea was nuts.

“You going to just stand there in my robe all day or are you going to come swim with me?” he asked me.

“I, huh,” I paused, “What if I don’t want to?”

“Well I can call your brothers back in here and they can skinny dip with me instead. They didn’t seem to mind it last time however I’m not sure how well they would react to it once we started playing tag or Marco polo my way. You remember how I play it?” he threatened.

I thought about how he had waited until Mike’s eyes were closed saying Marco over and over again as he moved closer and closer to me before he pinned me against the wall grinding against me as Matt watched. As James snapped his eyes shut because I had told him to. That he should close his eyes if Uncle Ben got close to me. How he had pushed hard against me using his knee, trying to get me to respond.

“You would do that to me again?” I asked him feeling like I was about ready to cry, “After everything you’d make me…in front of them?”

“Not you baby,” He said, “who knows maybe I’d play a little with the twins. I’ve heard twins can be fun for that sort of thing.”

I shook my head, “You wouldn’t.”

“You want to find out? Are you daring to risk it?” He asked me shrugging his shoulders.

I sighed my hands on the cloth belt holding the robe in place. He knew I wasn’t. I knew I wasn’t. Of course, I wouldn’t take the chance he wasn’t bluffing, because if he hurt them than it would my fault. I undid the tie letting the robe fall where I was standing and he smiled.

“Come on,” He said cocking his head towards the stairs, suggesting I get in the pool.

I nodded taking a couple of steps back before I took a deep breath and dove in. If he was going to do it might as well get it over with. Might as well not waste time. He smiled at me as bobbed to the surface throwing my head back as I broke the water to make sure I pulled the hair out of my eyes.

“You’re going to need a haircut soon,” He commented.

“I know,” I answered. He was right. My hair was getting longer my bangs starting to grow long enough to cover my face. School said we were supposed to have shorter hair, tight bowl cuts or shorter more military style but they seemed to be lax with the rule many of the older boys having hair of varying lengths some of them even as long as some of the girls.

“Do you like your hair long or short?” He asked me suddenly.

“I haven’t really thought about it,” I answered, “Why?”

“Just wondering,” He said wading closer to me before grabbing me by the waist and dragging us into the deeper end of the pool.

I wasn’t the strongest swimmer. I was 10 and sure I had spent a lot of time in Florida in my life but more of my early formative years in London where there wasn’t a lot of swimming all year round to keep my swimming skills progressing and it seemed like every time I got in a pool here it was to be ogled or touched so I wasn’t thrilled with going into the deep end because I knew he was doing it as an excuse to make me hang on him.

“What are you doing?” I asked him.

“We’re swimming,” he answered me.

“I can’t swim that well,” I said.

“Just hold on to me,” he replied.

“Ben I’m not a good swimmer could you please take me back?” I asked him.

“Your so cute when you’re nervous your accent really shows. Did you know that?” He teased me.

“I’m being serious Ben please I can’t swim that well,” I insisted.

“Here,” he said letting go of me and pushing me slightly the water carrying me a few feet away from him as he pushed me deeper into the pool, “swim to me.”

“Ben…” I said starting to doggy paddle so I could tread the water, “please I’m not good at this.”

“Just swim to me I’m right here,” he encouraged.

“Ben…,” I said finally moving forward before I started to sink kicking my legs and arms.

I would have gone to the wall but he was closer and kept getting water up my nose. He knew he was closer he had done it that way for a reason. And when I grabbed his shoulder he grabbed me around the waist forcing my legs to wrap around him. His pelvis against mine. My eyes going wide at the sensation.

“That’s cute,” he mumbled kissing my neck.

“Wha…what?” I asked confused.

“How wide your eyes just went, just from that little movement,” he said grabbing my butt and squeezing.

“Ben, you said you wouldn’t,” I reminded him.

“That was before you came out here all cute in my robe,” He said walking over to the side of the pool, “I think I’m going to show you something and then you’re going to do it. It’ll be fun.”

“Do wh….” I asked before he let me go dunking himself under the water and grabbing my legs putting his mouth around my penis blowing me.

I couldn’t do anything but hold onto the side of the pool as he pushed me into the wall behind me. If I let, go I wasn’t sure he would hold me up. For all I knew he would let me drown. I hated it. The feeling of the cold water around me mixed with the warmness of his mouth as he used the pool wall to hold himself under water one hand on my hip helping him steady me in the water.

I closed my eyes tightly and shook my head. This wasn’t ok. This was not ok this felt weird and it wasn’t ok and I couldn’t get away and I felt myself actually freaking out. Before he stopped resurfacing while he smiled.

“Now your turn, see if you can make me cum before you run out of air,” he said before shoving my head under the water without giving me warning the water string as it went up my nose and started to fill my mouth. I tried to pull up because there was no way I could do it. I hadn’t had time to hold my breath at all and I could feel the water in my lungs becoming heavier and heavier as I tried to pull up but he kept his hand entangled in my hair his other hand trying to shove his dick in my face, in my mouth as I struggled before I decided to stop struggling.

I decided that maybe this was better. Maybe this was how it was supposed to be. Him drowning me because he had been selfish and abusive. Because he had been stupid and edger and cruel. And my anything that happened afterwards wouldn’t be my fault anymore. It wouldn’t be my job to keep anyone safe anymore. My only regret being I’d never know what had happened to my older brother but maybe I’d find him on the other side and find out Da had actually killed him. Maybe even on accident too like Uncle Ben was about to kill me. But we’d both be free. Safe.

Just as I was about to slip away he pulled me out of the water nearly throwing me out of the pool onto my stomach against the tiles the force with which I hit the ground causing me to cough up the water in my lungs as I sputtered before he started rubbing my back trying to soothe me. So, at first he had tried to downed me and then changed his mind or at least that’s what it seemed like. It made me wonder what type of person he really was.

“There you go baby, there you go,” he said as my breathing started to normalize, “That was a bad idea I guess.”

“Why?” I managed to sputter in-between deep coughs water still coming up and out of my lungs.

“I thought it would be fun. I didn’t realize you would fight me until you couldn’t breathe anymore I thought you’d just give in and open your mouth realizing you might actually drown before you started to drown I guess I was wrong,” he said.

“You tried to drown me,” I said coughing

“No I tried to get you to blow me underwater because it feels nice having the bubbles around you in someone’s mouth in my opinion,” he corrected me, “Come on baby.”

He sighed picking me up as I continued to cough and gag on air making sure the water was fully removed from my lungs. I wasn’t paying attention to where we were going until he headed into the kitchen and opened the basement door.

“Wait,” I rasped.

“No, I kind of still want one just not underwater,” he said.

“Wait,” I said again pushing at his shoulder and chest and he held me and started carrying me down the stairs, “Please stop.”

He continued down the stairs all the way to the bottom where he dropped me hard on the floor me landing on my ass causing pain to shoot up my spine. He was in a mood today, I remember thinking reviewing in my head the way he had treated me since I had woken up that early afternoon. First, he had made sure I understood he was going to be sexual with me and then he had blown me in the pool and then tried to drown me and now he had dropped me on my ass which he was probably about to hurt even more. I sighed standing up rubbing my bottom.

“Thanks,” I hissed.

“You don’t protest I don’t hurt you that’s the way this works and you know that,” he said pointedly.

“You said you wouldn’t and you have and I want to be done,” I said shaking my head careful that I didn’t appear argumentative. I really was tired of it. I was tired of him and every other adult that looked at me wanting to cause me pain because it made them feel good. I didn’t want anyone to touch me ever again. I wanted to be left alone just for one week that’s all I wanted.

“I wasn’t protesting I was asking you to…” I said before he smacked me hard enough across the face to shock me.

“Don’t say that. You are getting too loose with that word to make me happy and your Da and the brotherhood will be even less tolerant than I am so you need to watch what you say. Do you understand?” he warned me.

I put my hand up against my cheek where he had just struck me feeling the heat in my skin there. I knew he was right. That I had been asking him to stop too much. Telling him to please not do things. I tried to be careful of it whenever I was around any of them but it was hard to make your brain work when you were pressed into one of them. Them doing things and touching you when you didn’t want to be touched.

I knew I wasn’t supposed to say no, to protest to tell them to stop but, I couldn’t help it. It scared me. Knowing that they could make me feel that way and there was nothing I could do about it. Telling them to stop made it easier to deal with. And Larkin had been right if I didn’t say no then I was consenting. Or at least that’s what I thought. Because how were they supposed to know I didn’t want to do those things if I didn’t tell them? So, didn’t it make sense that because I hadn’t said no they might think I was saying yes when I really wasn’t saying anything at all?

I nodded my head. I didn’t know what else to say because I knew I’m sorry wouldn’t cut it. He was too pissed off. Too angry for an I’m sorry to matter. He didn’t have to tell me to go into the room when he opened the door I just did it trying to shut myself down trying to find my own “robot mode” as Finn had called it.

He turned and shut the door locking it before he faced me, grabbing me hard by the shoulders while shoving me backwards at the same time until we hit the bed me almost bouncing upwards I hit with such force as he forced his tongue past my teeth aggressively making me whine into his mouth. His hands hurt. He could be gentle and usually he was but this time his hands hurt and I didn’t know why.

I know I had told him to stop but I had a feeling that wasn’t the reason his left hand moving down my face almost feeling like it was scratching me as he did so pinching my side as he moved down my ribs to my hip before he grabbed my thigh wrenching my leg to the side and shoving his hand in-between us so that he could grab at me before he broke our kiss both of us breathing heavy.

“You want to ask me to stop I’ll give you a reason to beg me to,” he hissed as he grabbed me hard up under the armpits pushing me away from him like a kid throwing a rag doll me landing with most of my body on the pillows before he grabbed a shackle that was built into the head board cuffing it around my wrists.

“Wh-what are you doing?” I asked barely above a whisper as he grabbed my jaw squeezing the sides of my lower jaw bone hard forcing my mouth open.

“Having fun, what are you doing?” He asked before biting my bottom lip and sucking on it hard enough to make it bleed the taste of metal hitting my mouth the moment he let go before he got up walking away from the bed and leaving the room for a moment the door wide open.

I felt my heart pounding he was going into one of the other rooms. One of the other rooms I had never been in. I had no idea what he was doing and it scared me. When he came back he was holding what looked like a miniature leather canoe paddle. I wasn’t sure what it was for at first. My brain not connecting the dots until he gave me the command.

“Roll over.”

That’s when I knew what it was for. He was going to spank me with it. It wasn’t enough that he wanted to rape me. He wanted to spank me too. After everything else he had already done.

“I’m sorry,” I said as I did what I was told, “I’m sorry I won’t say it anymore. I promise I won’t say it anymore.”

“This,” he said the first wake hitting me hard enough it felt like it vibrated my spine, “Will make sure you remember not to.”

He spanked me again this time lighter concentrating the hits to one cheek for five smacks and then switching to the other one. The sound of it making it that much more painful as the heat started to make my skin feel like it was burning. It felt like it lasted forever before I felt him rubbing something on my burning skin before I felt his fingers against my hole and I knew he was trying to see if I remembered my lesson. If I remembered I wasn’t supposed to ask him to stop, beg him to stop as I felt his finger slide into me prodding and poking.

“Good boy,” he said stroking the back of hair and my neck, “That’s a good boy.” He muttered against my skin leaning forward using his body weight to shove his finger deeper into me moving it around before he added another one making me gasps.
“This is fun, isn’t it? I’ll make you feel good after you help me out. And you’re being nice and quiet too. But what if I want to hear you scream will you scream for me baby?” He taunted my whole-body shuttering with the pain.

At the time, I couldn’t imagine anything hurting worse. Burning worse than what he had just done my bottom feeling raw and bruised already as he shoved his fingers hard into me the pressure making me feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I remember wanting to scream but knowing that he wanted me to making me resistant to doing so. Causing me to wrap my free arm around the chains on my other wrist and squeeze as his weight shifted as I knew what he was going to do before I felt him pressing against me. The head of his cock breeching me making me hold my breath waiting for him to push the rest of the way in.

When he did for some reason I thought I would be relieved that some of my anxiety and fear would subside because he had finally done it but it didn’t. It stayed just as heightened him waiting for my body to adjust to his. He laid fully against my back kissing my neck and nipping at it playfully like that was going to help me my ass feeling really sore on the outside as he ground his pelvis against it.

This wasn’t going to feel good this was going to hurt and I knew it and he kept rubbing my shoulders as if he was trying to get me to relax, to calm down. I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to speak, if I should speak to tell him it wasn’t going to work that I wasn’t going to relax at all but he kept waiting gently kneading the shoulders with his fingers rubbing small circles into the base of my neck.

“Come on, relax so I don’t have to hurt you,” he muttered after a few minutes pressing kisses into my skin, “Come on baby please, just relax. I don’t want to be rough but I need this. If you didn’t want to you shouldn’t have come downstairs in that robe all big and silky falling off your shoulders like that as you looked at me your eyes all big. Sparkling. Please… just relax.”

“It hurts,” I said barely audible.

“Baby it’ll hurt a lot worse if you don’t take a big deep breath in nose and out your mouth and relax your body,” he coaxed, “come on I don’t want to hurt you.”

I tried. Somehow managing to loosen up my muscles enough he was able to pull out pushing back in making me squeak as he hissed in satisfaction and pleasure with that first movement the bed bouncing slightly as he did so. It took him a while to find a rhythm of in and out that worked for him but I was in too much pain to get anything from it as he used my body like his own personal sex toy. Used me to get off. When he was done, he gave me another back massage. Like he had while trying to get me to relax and he rubbed more cream into my cheeks while he muttered to himself about how he was “too rough” and next time he needed to be “more careful” before he unchained me.

“You ok baby?” He asked me and I nodded my head everything about me feeling numb.

I felt almost like I was dreaming, disconnected almost like I was floating up the stairs to his bedroom when I went to go lay down for a while. Waking up to shower and go downstairs to eat not there but not really there until I felt James pull on my shirt sleeve. I looked over at him blinking.

“What bud?” I asked him.

“You’ve been really quiet and you’re sitting funny are you ok?” James asked me.

“Yeah bud I’m fine,” I said to him.

“You seem off he’s right,” Matty agreed.

“Guys, I’m fine,” I answered noticing how Mike was crying.

“Mike, are you ok?” I asked him.

“Yeah,” He lied wiping hard at his eyes.

“Hey, come on,” I said standing up and grabbing his hand afraid something horrible had happened to him while I was napping that maybe Da had hurt him or Uncle Ben had decided he wasn’t done but just needed a new punching bag to beat on a little bit as I took him out in the hallway.

“Something’s wrong what happened?” I asked him.

“Nothing,” He said quietly shaking his head at me and sighing.

“You can tell me anything. I won’t be mad I promise,” I told him.

“Not even a little bit?” He asked me.

“Not even a little bit,” I assured him, “You want to go into the Livingroom?”

He nodded his head and took the lead our hands still together. I was scared about what he had to say. He seemed so quiet about things all the time. James and Matt being the more talkative. I mean I wasn’t really a huge talker either so I was pretty sure he got that from where ever I got it from but it wasn’t like him to sit in silence and cry openly about something so I was worried about whatever it might be, how horrible it might be.

“You won’t be mad at Matty? If he did something bad?” He asked me.

“I can’t promise you that but I can promise you I will think really hard about what it is and I’ll do my best to stay calm,” I answered my stomach dropping.

Had Matt hurt him? Him and Matt had said something before about how Da had made them touch each other and how Da had made them kiss give “special love kisses to each other” I wondered if that was what this was about? If Matt had hurt him without Da or uncle Ben around and if he wasn’t sure how to say it.

“I found the bunny I didn’t know he was going to hurt it. I wanted to keep it,” he mumbled into is lap.

“Mike, sport what are you talking about?” I asked him.

“We went outside to play when Uncle Ben made you stay in the pool with him. Because we were board and we went around back and I found a bunny it was little tiny and I called Matty over from where he was looking and I showed it to him and asked him if we should take it inside and feed it and he took it from me and petted it and then he grabbed its neck really hard and it made a funny noise and it started trying to scratch him because he was hurting it,” He said starting to cry, “I told him no that he couldn’t because it was my bunny and it was a good bunny and it didn’t do anything bad and he told me it was bad for existing that then he threw it on the ground and he stomped on it and it quit moving.” He cried into my shirt as I wrapped my arms around him rocking slowly and rubbing his back, “I told him it was my bunny that he hurt it and he said it was a stupid bunny that didn’t need to live and it didn’t move again. He killed it. He killed my bunny. He said I didn’t need a bunny all I needed was him and Da because Da said so but I get so sad sometimes Will and I’m so sad all the time.”

“I know sport,” I said rocking him, “I’m sorry he did that. It must have been scary.”

“I don’t understand why did he kill my bunny why couldn’t I have it?” He whimpered.

“I don’t know sport, I don’t know but maybe if we talk to Da he’ll get you one from the pet store? One you can keep in your room?” I asked him.

“No,” he shook his head, “He’d just kill it again. I know he would. He doesn’t like it when I have cool things. He’s never killed any of them before though.”

“What do you mean?” I asked him.

“I like to take Lizards and keep them in the garage those are my pets but when I go and check on them they are always gone and I ask him why and he says that Da would get mad if he found them so he let them go. I just want something good. Something that I don’t have to share with him. He’s my brother and I love him but I want something to be mine. It used to be I could do things without him at school but now he’s always there and he’s mean sometimes,” he told me.

“Mean how?” I asked him.

“At school, I’m not allowed to talk to people who don’t talk to him. When Da comes into our room at night to check on us Da will kiss him and then kiss me and then he’ll make us kiss each other,” Mike answered me.

“Ok,” I said nodding my head, “Are they …special kisses?”

“they feel weird. They’re slimy,” He said blushing, “I don’t…Matty knows I don’t like them but he and Da say that they make them happy. And then da gets excited sometimes and he…it’s weird.”

“He climbs on top of you?” I asked him quietly.

“Yeah he makes me take off my pants and lay on my tummy and he rubs in-between my legs and makes it sticky. I don’t like it but he says it helps him. It helps him feel better and go to sleep. And Matty says I’ll help Da because it makes me a good son and that I’ll help him too when he needs it and I do but …” He trailed off.

“But what?” I asked him quietly and he just shook his head and sighed, “But what sport?”

He shook his head again shrugging his shoulders before he stuck his thumb in his mouth.

That surprised me. He had stopped sucking his thumb when he was six when he had started boarding at school during the week. Because kids had made fun of him for it. But here he was sucking his thumb like when he had been wee.

“It makes you sad?” I asked him and he nodded his head but still didn’t take his thumb out of his mouth, “It’s ok to be sad about it especially if you don’t want to do that. I get sad about it you know?”

He looked up at me his eyes going wide, “Da makes your back sticky?”

“He did,” I said nodding my head, “You know how James says Da put it his butt?”

“Da put his penis in his butt? Yeah and that it hurt but Da said he would never hurt me. He said James is lying and that it didn’t really hurt but it just felt weird. That that’s ok though and it’s not a big deal that he does it with John all the time.” Mike told me.
“Da is lying,” I answered simply after thinking about it for a moment, “It does hurt. And it makes your head feel weird like you know how when you ride the merry go around on the playground or how you can spin in a circle really fast and it makes your head feel funny? Like everything that’s up feels like it’s down and it feels like you’re walking in the sky?” I asked trying to figure out the best way to explain it.

“Yeah?” He asked.

“It kind of does that only in your head in a different way. It doesn’t feel very good,” I answered.

“It sounds scary,” He answered.

“It is,” I said, “It’s very scary and I…I don’t like it either.”

“Is he going to make me feel that way?” He asked me.

“Doesn’t it already feel that way sometimes?” I asked him.

“Yeah, I guess so,” he said, “Matty says it’s ok though because he feels that way too sometimes. That it doesn’t have to be bad. That I can make it fun. You don’t make it sound that way though.”

“It’s hard to when it hurts,” I answered, “And they don’t want us talking about it because if we do…”

“People won’t understand and they’ll think we’re bad so they’ll take us away from each other,” Mike said like he had already been told. Like he had already had it explained to him.

“They won’t think we’re bad. They’ll think Da is bad,” I corrected.

“But they’ll still take us away from each other?” He asked me.

“I don’t know if that’s true or not,” I answered.

I had heard about foster care by that point. One kid back at home had been taken into care as the teachers had referred to it in the hallways in-between classes. His parents had passed away in a car wreck and he hadn’t had anyone else so he had been taken into care. Mum had explained to me it was when a kid didn’t have anyone to take care of them or when a kid had a parent that couldn’t take care of them for some reason so they had someone else do it.

I had put together that if a parent was bad or abusive that a kid would probably be taken away from their parent and I knew what Da was doing was wrong. That if it was wrong for a stranger to do it, it was probably wrong for a parent to do it and that if we weren’t supposed to talk about it, that only reinforced the notion for me. That it wasn’t supposed to be happening. I also knew there were a lot of us so chances were if we did get taken away for whatever reason we wouldn’t be staying together and I didn’t want that because I loved my siblings and if I wasn’t with them I couldn’t protect them but I didn’t want my little brother to know that.

Especially if Da had told him if that happened it would be our fault because we were “bad” and not because Da was bad. I knew Da was the adult and the one in charge so it only made sense to me that people would think he was bad instead of us but Mike was little and so were Matt and James so it only made sense to me that they might believe they were the bad ones instead of Da.

“So, we don’t tell anyone either way and then no one can take us away from each other, right? Because Matty needs me, I know he does,” Mike told me.

“You really think so?” I asked him.

“Yeah he has trouble with people and I remind him to put his people face on I call it. Where he appears normal and not him. Not the him that sets my lizard’s free and killed my bunny,” he sighed.

“I see,” I answered.

“Don’t tell him I told you. He’ll be mad I told you,” he said to me.

“Only because he knows he’s not supposed to kill things,” I told him, “But if you really want me to wait to say something I will ok?”

“Thank you,” he said, “I really wish he wasn’t so angry so I could have a bunny from the pet store.”

“Me too sport,” I said.

“Are you ok today?” He asked me, “I told you the truth.”

“Honestly?” I asked him before wrinkling my head like I was pretending to think hard, “I could be doing better but I’m all right.”

“He hurt you earlier, Uncle Ben,” Mike more told me than asked.

“I …he wanted to play a game,” I said quietly shaking my head, “I’m fine though.”

“You can talk to us you know? He makes us play games sometimes,” Mike said making my eyes go wide.

“When?” I asked him.

“At night, sometimes,” he answered me, “He says you get tired from playing and then he’ll come to our room and play with us.”

“What games does he make you play ones like Da does?” I asked him.

“Yeah,” He said quietly, “Yeah Da doesn’t do it a lot right now not since he took John and has been keeping him away but Uncle Ben does sometimes. Why?”

“Nothing,” I said blowing a deep breath out my nose before I got up.

I couldn’t contain my anger. It wasn’t good enough for him to just rape me he had to do things to them too? What the hell was wrong with him. I stormed back into the kitchen where he was washing dishes and Matt and James seemed to be finishing up homework.

“BEN!” I said loudly causing everyone to look at me.

“Are we being informal in open casual settings now?” He asked me smiling, “Does that mean I get to call you baby?”

I felt my face turn red. I wasn’t ok with them knowing what he called me. Even if it was something mundane, stupid. It felt weird hearing him say it when it wasn’t in private whispered against my skin even if I was in that place against my will.

“NOW,” I said pointing out into the hallway.

“Ok,” he shrugged his shoulders before following me out into the hallway his hands going to my hips squeezing them.

“I didn’t mean that,” I said squirming.

“Well, no you wouldn’t, would you?” He said sounding amused, “What’s on your mind?”

“You can’t do that to them you have me,” I barely managed to spit out.

“Oh,” he said, “Well nothing about contracting says that I have to be exclusive,” He pointed out, “Only that I get a say and who teaches you.”

“Please, stop hurting them,” I said daring to look up at him to which he hissed slightly.

“You don’t tell me what to do unless you want your ass tanned again before I used it tonight,” He warned me falling silent as he lips as if he were waiting for me to respond.

Of course, I didn’t want that. My ass was already black and blue. I felt sick to my stomach thinking about it. He was right I wasn’t in the position to request anything from him. Especially tonight if I wanted to be able to walk tomorrow morning.
“That’s what I thought. So why don’t you keep your mouth shut so both Daddy and Johnny stay happy? Got it?” He warned.

“Ok,” I said quietly not sure what else to say.

“That’s right,” He said grabbing my chin tilting my head back so he could look me in the eye, “You’ll be good for me won’t you baby? Because you know what happens when I get really mad or did you forget?”

“I haven’t forgotten,” I answered knowing that he was talking my skull fracture. The one he gave me “accidentally” that he was “sorry” for.

“Good. I suggest you keep this to yourself,” he said.

“Keep what to himself exactly?” I heard Da ask from behind me.

“Nothing Connor,” Ben answered him sheepishly.

“No, I’m pretty sure it has something to do with my twins. You’ve always had a soft or should I say hard spot for twins,” Da said as I turned around.

“Connor I’m not even really…” Da cut him off.

“I don’t care if you’re not penetrating them I said no. I said you can play with Will I even let you contract him but you had to leave the twins and Jamie alone. I want you in your apartment tonight and I want to stay gone until I tell you it’s ok to come home,” Da hissed at him.

“But Con…” Da interrupted him again

“NO. Gone. OUT NOW!” He yelled making my ear drums rattle as Ben sighed looking at me, shooting me a death glare which Da apparently saw, “If you don’t want people to over hear your conversations about doing things you know you shouldn’t be doing don’t have them in open spaces or better yet keep your promises to me. Now go, I’ll call you when you’re allowed to come home.” Da said.

Ben sighed looking at me like he was regretting his decisions to mess with my little brothers. Not only because it was sending him away from the house but because it was sending him away from me. I wasn’t upset he was going at all. I wanted him gone so maybe my ass could have some time to heal before I had someone trying to stick things into it again because I’m serious my ass was really really sore.

“Can I at least say goodbye to him?” Ben asked Da hopefully.

“NO!” Da said scoffing at his gall, “No, you can’t say goodbye to him. If you would have not said goodbye to my other two maybe you wouldn’t be leaving at all so go. I’ll call you when you can come home oh yeah and take your car not one of mine.”
“Ok, I’m going I’ll call later,” Ben said.

“Yeah and you’ll be speaking to me,” He said as Ben walked down the hallway swearing under his breath.

I looked at my Da. I felt like it had been a couple day since I had seen him and been longer than that since I had been in a room alone with him and I wasn’t sure what to do with myself but I knew I didn’t want him touching me. I hugged myself.
“Are you ok? Your brothers told me he kicked them out of the pool area and then after a while he came out and took you downstairs,” Da said.

“Yeah,” I answered shrugging my shoulders thinking nothing of it.

“Until your mum comes back that room is only for punishment him and I agree so what did you do to make him take you down there?” He asked me flat out.

“I used one of the words,” I answered.

He knew what I meant. One of the words he doesn’t like “no, don’t stop…” those were words that were not ok to use in our house especially when directed at our Da. Those words he looked at as us defying him and he wouldn’t have disobedience in his house towards him. I remember being taught from the age of four when I was old enough to really understand what those words meant that when directed towards Da even in the form of a question or a request without permission to do so would get you spanked or punished in some other way.

“You know better than that. What did he do about it?” He asked me.

“He spanked me, with a paddle of some kind and then…” I trailed off figuring I didn’t need to finish saying the rest that he would know.

“Good maybe it will make you think twice before you do that again. You’re lucky he’s more tolerant of it than I am because he’s not your father but he is your contract holder you do what he says and you don’t question it or fight it you understand?” he growled at me.

“Yes sir,” I said quietly looking at my feet.

So, he didn’t even care that my ass was black and blue or that his brother had been raping me. Only that he had been raping two out of three kids he wasn’t supposed to be touching. Two out of the three kids Da had apparently made a deal with Ben not to touch. So, I didn’t matter I guess. I was nothing.

“Go make sure your brothers are done with their school books and get them off to bed,” he sighed at me as he went down the hall after Ben probably to check and make sure he was leaving.

“Are you guys done with your school work?” I asked them.

“Yeah,” James answered.

“Almost,” Matt said.

“Well, finish up it’s time for bed,” I told them.

“That sucks it’s the weekend and I’m not even tired,” Matty told me.

“Yeah well, Da said it was time for bed,” I said.

“Only because he wants to give you special kisses,” Matt said looking at me.

It caught me so off guard I felt myself nearly choking on air. The way he looked at me when he said it. Like I was some piece of shit taking away time from him. Ruining his evening plans like he was being forced to go to sleep by me so Da could have sex with me. Because that’s all I was and deep down Matt knew it.

I wasn’t able to pull myself together fast enough before I felt the tears trying to escape causing me to turn away. I hoped he was wrong. That Da wouldn’t. Especially after…after earlier but I didn’t know if he would or not. I could be sure until I was allowed to fall asleep of my own accord and not woken up in the middle of the night by his hand slowly sliding up my thigh the air tickling my ear as he whispered at me “Shhh. It’s ok honey”

I felt sick to my stomach. The way he could say that like it wasn’t anything to be worried about. Or like maybe it was something I wanted.

“Will, come on,” Jay said tugging on my shirt and pulling me out of the kitchen before I could realize he was even there, “It’s ok Will you told me it was ok to be sad when they make you feel weird.”

“I’m fine I just…” I trailed off.

It wasn’t fine. I knew it wasn’t fine and here I was being a parent all on my own to three kids who needed me to be strong and not cry and be ok and I couldn’t do it right now my little brother the one telling me that I was ok. That it was ok for me to be sad. To not be strong when I knew that wasn’t true.

“I know you’re sad,” he said quietly, “I’m sad too but it’s ok. If Uncle Ben is gone that means you can share a bed with me. I can tell you bedtime stories like you do for me. We can talk about stuff if you want and I’ll tell you you’re ok and that you’re brave like you tell me and everything will be ok because we’ll be, together right?”

That made me smile. It was so cute I couldn’t help but smile. That he thought me telling him things were ok made them ok. That me telling him he was brave made him brave.

“Yeah,” I said hugging him, “That’s be nice bud thank you.”

“See? It’s ok already because I said it was and that’s it’s ok to be sad,” James said and I nodded my head almost laughing.

“Yeah,” I sighed wiping my eyes, “Thank you.”

“Ok, so should I help Matty with his homework?” James asked me causing me to laugh.

“Nah, how about you go upstairs and pick out a book from my suit case and brush your teeth and when I get up there I’ll read you bedtime story and we’ll go to sleep ok?” I asked him.

“Ok,” he said starting to walk down the hallway towards the living room stair case before he turned around, “Will?”

“Yeah bud?” I asked him.

“I love you. You’re my best brother,” he told me.

“I love you too bud. Go on I won’t be long,” I said as he turned and finished heading down the hallway disappearing into the dimly lit living room and up the stairs.

I turned around and went back into the kitchen to find Matt squinting at his paperwork his tongue between his teeth as he tried to concentrate. I sat down next to him and sighed, “What are we looking at?”

“It doesn’t matter it’s stupid,” he sighed throwing his pencil at the table.

“It does matter and it’s not stupid let me help you,” I said to him.

“You want to help me? I saw you get mad,” he said.

“What are you talking about?” I asked him.

“When I mentioned Da I saw you turn away and get mad,” he clarified.

“That wasn’t mad that was upset and I wasn’t mad at you,” I said.

“No, you were,” Matt said, “I know you were.”

“No, it wasn’t at you for saying it. It was the way you said it,” I answered, “Does that make sense?”

“Yeah, I did that thing Mike always tells me I shouldn’t do but when I’m frustrated it gets hard to play pretend,” he told me.

“What do you mean?” I asked him.

“Mike said that I should pretend I’m like Bruce Wayne when he’s at his fancy parties and how no one knows he’s batman because he’s so nice to everyone and he smiles and makes people laugh and he laughs with them even though he doesn’t think it’s funny because that’s something Bruce Wayne does to make people like him is he acts like the people around him. When I get mad it gets hard to be Bruce and I’m more like batman,” He told me.

“So, Bruce is your mask instead of Batman?” I asked him.

“Yeah kind of, Mikey says I’m really batman on the inside so I have to pretend to be Bruce just like batman does. It just gets hard to be Bruce sometimes because it’s annoying,” he told me.

“Well, how about we make a rule you don’t have to be Bruce with me ok? That way I can get used to who you really are and you don’t have to hide it all the time,” I told him.

“No,” he shook his head, “I can’t do that. I do that with Mikey and he’s ok with it and Uncle Ben so I don’t need anyone else. No offense.”

“Ok,” I said, “Why are you so mean to Mikey though?”

“I’m not,” Matt said looking up at me his eyes seemed weird. Not only were they cold, almost void but they had changed color from the usually mossy green they normally were to an almost ice blue, “I’m not mean to him and he knows it. I could be mean if I wanted to.”

“You don’t think killing something he wants to keep is mean?” I asked him.

“He’s mine he doesn’t get to have things he can’t share with me,” Matt said.

I was so shocked by the coldness in his voice, the venom that I almost wanted to pull away from him. To recoil but I didn’t want him to think I was afraid of him. I had never seen him do that before. Yeah, he had a way of being weird, being cold but I had never seen that type of coldness from him before. He sighed closing his eyes and taking a few deep breaths before picking up his pencil from the table.

“Anyway,” He said as if hadn’t just said the most malicious thing I had ever heard come out of an eight-year old’s mouth, “Can you help me describe some of the differences between the Lakota tribe and the Apache tribe?”

I looked at his eyes again. His eyes their normal mossy color again still beyond shocked trying to shake the cold confused feeling in my brain as I stared at him, “Huh, sure the Lakota where Nomadic that means they traveled around following their food while the Apache tended to be more about making a seasonal homestead where they stayed for a couple months out of the year instead of moving around every couple of weeks. The Lakota are actually a part of the Sioux tribes which is a big culture of people. Both tribe were from out west but the Sioux were from more of the great plains area where Apache were in the more mountainous areas near the cost.” I answered, “You need more?”

“No, I think that’s it,” he told me, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome let me know when you’re done so I can turn off the lights and we can head upstairs ok?” I told him.

“Yeah,” he said writing in silence for a couple of minutes, “You see why I don’t need you though right? Why I need to make sure I’m Bruce with you?”

“I think I understand what you mean,” I said nodding my head.

“People don’t like me very much, people that knew me before I could be Bruce only Mikey has ever stuck with me and he’s probably going to always be the only one who does when I really let my Bruce mask slip. He knows that that’s how I am and he says that’s ok because he knows I love him. Even if it’s differently than how normal people love,” Matty told me shrugging his shoulders as he kept writing, “And I’m done.”

“Ok, you head upstairs to bed and I’ll turn off all the lights,” I told him.

“Ok, goodnight Will,” he told me.

“Goodnight,” I said turning around and making sure the range light was on before I turned off the main kitchen lights and then walked down the hall making sure those lights were off as well as the living room lights before heading upstairs.
I was looking forward to not sleeping in that room with him behind me as I curled into the fetal position on my side hoping he didn’t wrap his arms around me. I was looking forward to maybe sharing a bed with my baby brother who had told me everything would be ok. That I would be ok.

When I got upstairs the one long hallway light was on that allowed us to see in the dark if we needed to leave our rooms and I opened the door to the room James and I had been sharing before Uncle Ben had claimed me, had made me start sharing a room with him, the room where my stuff still was and I knocked once and opened the door my stomach falling. Da was sitting on the bed with him.

He wasn’t touching my brother but he looked like they had been talking. So, I wondered what type of stuff he was telling him. What was going on or if I had just walked in on him finishing even though that didn’t seem to be the case.

“Hey honey come here,” Da said patting the bed beside him.

“Did something bad happen?” I asked him.

“No, not bad just come here,” he said and nodded my head sitting down reluctantly, “Mum had the babies.”

“What? I thought they weren’t due for another couple of weeks?” I asked confused and scared.

“They weren’t but apparently mum felt very stressed and was having issues she didn’t want us to know about because she didn’t want us to worry Aunt Bridget said she had been put on bed rest about a week ago, because she’d been really stressed about something and the doctor was worried about early labor. It happened but the babies are healthy just early. So, she’ll be coming home in another three weeks or so. I just wanted you guys to know that ok? Uncle Ben will be staying away for a little while until we can get mum used to the idea of him being around again,” he told me.

“Really?” I asked trying to keep my voice neutral. That meant I wouldn’t have to share a room with him anymore. That he wouldn’t be able to…it meant that I was free even if only for a brief amount of time.

“Yes, however I do expect if he comes to see you at school or something that you behave ok?” Da said to me making me feel like he had just popped my hope bubble.

So, he wouldn’t be at home but that didn’t mean he couldn’t come pull me out of class at school and do things to me. Interrupt a day that might otherwise be normal and make it the type of day I always had where someone was touching me when I didn’t want them to. That sucked.

“I understand Da,” I said.

“Good,” Da said, “Barry and Ben and I have also talked and we think it would be a good idea for you to have private lessons from him.”

“Da, please…,” I begged feeling my body start to shake just hearing his name. I hadn’t liked what Barry had done and I was not ok with being anywhere near him. He hadn’t raped me really and it hadn’t been violent but the feeling of not having control of my body the feeling of his hands on my skin had scared me almost as much as Ben did on some nights. I didn’t want Barry to touch me again.

“No, it’ll benefit you in the long run and begging doesn’t look good on you. You’ll do what you’re told,” he commanded me.

“Yes, Da,” I said folding my arms over my chest.

“That’s my boy. All my brave handsome smart boys,” he sighed before kissing James on the forehead, “Goodnight guys.”

“Goodnight Da,” I said as he got up and left the room shutting the door behind him as I went over to the dresser and found some PJ’s to start changing into.

“Who is Barry?” James asked me quietly.

“No one,” I answered not looking at him.

“Da said something about lessons. At the party when they talked about lessons a lot of the older boys and Luke said they were talking about when they do the things that make someone’s tummy feel funny. Like when Da or Uncle Ben touch me down there. Is that true?” He asked me sounding almost afraid to say it.

I nodded my head before I get the word out feeling exposed knowing my little brother knew that. Knew private lessons suggested someone making me take off my clothes and doing things to me. I didn’t want him to know that, it made me feel dirty him knowing that.

“Da let’s other people do that too?” He asked me.

“I huh…,” I trailed off taking off my shirt noticing how his little eyes followed the trail of bruises down my torso as I folded my arms across my exposed chest, “I don’t know. A little I guess?”

“Like who?” He frowned at me, “I don’t want to do it with Da or Uncle Ben I don’t want other people doing it too. Will he let other people do it to me too?”

He sounded scared and upset like he was about to start crying at just the thought. He was a baby and it wasn’t ok. It wasn’t ok that people would do that him. That Da would let someone do that to him.

“I don’t know,” I answered, lied.

I was pretty sure they would. IF they were letting people do it to me they would probably let them do it to all of us. Cole, Finn, Quinn, even Teddy had made it sound like they didn’t think of us as people as their children but more like their property. As commodities, they could trade with each other whenever they wanted to.

I was just one body of 8 that he owned as far as I knew since I hadn’t heard about any girls being abused. One body of eight that Da was free to trade with and rent to whomever he wanted. My little brother didn’t need to know that though. To be sure of that. Not when he was only a couple of weeks away from being six.

“If he lets them do that how can you not know who they are?” He asked me confused.

“No, I know who they are ok? But I don’t know if he’s going to let other people do that to you,” I answered him sheepishly, “Barry is someone they know ok?”

I told him not wanting him to know it was our headmaster, the guy that was in charge of us at school. He didn’t need to be afraid of being at school too. Before we had come here school had been a refuge to me but now it was just another place where I felt attacked, exposed.

I felt like I had no place that was safe. My friends made me feel safer and home for right now could possibly be safe but, that didn’t mean it would always be that way. Da had made it sound like Uncle Ben was going to be coming back at some point and then for all I knew he would be sneaking into my bed at night like had done before we left home.

“It’s time for bed I think,” I told him feeling numb inside, letting myself relax to the point where I didn’t have to think anymore but could just breath. Telling myself that I didn’t have to worry about Uncle Ben tomorrow, that until Monday I was probably safe.
“Ok,” James said settling down under the covers as I turned off the light before I hopped into the double bed next to him and he smuggled into me instinctively, “You’re ok, right?” he mumbled his voice already starting to sound heavy with sleep in the darkness.

“Yeah bud,” I sighed, “I’m ok it’s time to sleep.”

“It’s nicer to sleep with you here,” he said quietly, “I know you’ll keep me safe.”

“Same,” I sighed before I kissed the back of his head, “Night.”

“Night Willy,” he yawned before closing his eyes.

Chapter Text

It didn’t take me long to fall asleep that night. It was the first night in a long while that I didn’t have uncle Ben up against me. Everyday seemed like it was one giant day when I was sharing a bed with my uncle and one week had easily turned into five and it had been almost two months since I had seen John. Two months since I had started school and I only realized this when I looked at the calendar the next morning while in the kitchen as I grabbed the milk out of the refrigerator.

That Sunday went by rather fast most of it spent reading and watching TV while my brothers ran around me. I actually I felt relaxed for once, not worried Da was going to do something because Da hadn’t been touching anyone and not worried about Uncle Ben either because he was gone and not currently allowed in the house. It felt like a good day that ended with hot dogs and tater tots and sleep with my little brother.

I had a dream that night that I was stuck to a rack and it was Mr. Lord pulling on it telling me he was going to pull me apart and give a piece of me to everyone who wanted one. First my left leg coming off which he handed off to some stranger I couldn’t…every piece of my body coming away from the rest while I stayed alive because for some reason I wasn’t bleeding until finally my head somehow separated from my torso and that he gave it to my Uncle. I woke with a start breathing heavy and sitting up suddenly knocking James off the bed which made him squeak and then I heard him shout.

“THAT WAS MEAN!” Tears in his voice.

“Oh, bud are you ok? I’m so sorry!” I said once I had realized it wasn’t real. That I at home running a hand over my neck and chest to make sure my head was still attached to my body.

“What was that?” He moaned standing up and climbing back into bed.

“Weird dream, are you seriously ok?” I murmured.

“Yeah other than I’m tired and want to go back to sleep and my butt is kind of sore,” he said which for some reason made me smile.

“That’s not anything new I don’t think, for me at least,” I said shrugging my shoulders as he shot me a weird look like he didn’t understand my meaning before scowling at me.

“Are you supposed to tell me that stuff?” He asked me after he had settled down back into bed.

“I have no idea I’m too tired to think about it,” I answered before rolling over and managing to fall back to sleep fairly quickly.

Next time we woke up it was because the alarm went off and we followed our regular routine without Uncle Ben in our faces me getting everyone up and ready to leave for my bus on time which we all took to school me dropping them off at the playground before I headed to my classroom. When I got there, I noticed the room was empty but the bell hadn’t rung yet so I stood outside of it awkwardly waiting for everyone to arrive when I saw Teddy approaching.

“Good morning,” Teddy said leaning back against the wall beside me turning his head to look at me.

“Morning,” I answered quietly.

“You ok?” He asked me.

“Actually, I’m pretty great, my Da kicked my Uncle out for now,” I answered.

Teddy laughed excited before looking around slamming his hand over his mouth to quiet himself, “No kidding?”

“Dead serious,” I answered not able to help the smile that spread across my face, “I mean it doesn’t mean I’m rid of him…”

“Of course not, life wouldn’t be that easy,” Ted said before I kept talking.

“Just means I have to see him less for a while I’m hoping. That I don’t have to…” I looked around checking the hall for people, “share a bed with him anymore.”

“I still have never heard of him even really caring about how comfortable anyone was with it let alone sharing a bed with him,” Ted said back lowering his voice to a whisper when people walked by.

“I’m just glad for now, like really glad,” I answered.

“My mom said she talked to you at the party,” Ted said.

“Yeah you said she was a lunatic and you were right,” I answered and he nodded his head.

“I wish my Dad could have pulled some strings so that I could live with him instead but, he tried and it didn’t work so here I am,” He sighed.

“Your Dad isn’t in the brotherhood?” I asked.

“No, my Dad left when Luke was born,” Teddy answered, “He’s never even met Luke. He turned 25 I was 6 and so he took off. He left as soon as he was allowed to leave.”

“Allowed?” I asked, “By who?”

“Brotherhood, the way they work is you make your final declaration of intent at 25 or sign your gag order they give you a sum of money and you take off never talk about them to anyone ever and that’s that. He wanted to leave so he sighed his gag order and took off. Mom didn’t want to leave. They pair people up like arranged marriages type of deal. Mom didn’t love him but for some odd reason she loved her dad. So, she married who she was told. He just happened to give the brotherhood what they wanted from him. Children and my mom didn’t want to leave so…he left without her. Without us. Usually it’s the other way around you know?” I had never really seen Teddy go that serious tears in his eyes before he smiled sadly whipping hard at his face, “But anyway so at least that’s good news for you for right now right?”

“Yeah,” I replied, “now I just need to get my brother back.”

“Your brother back? Oh, never mind I remember,” Teddy told me, “How is James doing by the way? Luke wouldn’t stop talking about him and this kid they go to school with Rob the whole weekend.”

“James is fine, he’s happy, why?” I asked him.

He looked around the hallway again as the bell rang and I went to go move forward before he grabbed me by the back of the shoulder hanging off me while he whispered in my ear “keep a very close eye on him.”

“Wha?” I turned around and started to ask and he just shook his head as we got in to the classroom.

“Later,” he said as we sat down.

I don’t really remember what happened in class that day my stomach in knots. What did he mean keep an eye, a close eye on James? Was there something he knew that I didn’t? Was James in danger? I felt like I needed to know what was going on.
When the bell for lunch rang, Teddy grabbed my arm and pulled me down the hall into the bathroom making sure no one was in it and before I had a chance to ask he explained, “My grandpa has his eye on him ok?”

“Which one?” I asked him.

“My Dad’s dad,” He said, “Lord.”

I felt my face go pale as my body went cold a shiver going up my spine. The same guy who had raped me Friday. Who had called me little one and kept telling me to relax so that he didn’t hurt me. He had made it feel like it was lasing forever. Had made it feel…different even from Da and Ben worse almost. Like it was my fault it was happening, like I was asking for it.

I shook my head not sure what to say. He couldn’t have my little brother. He couldn’t do that to my little brother.

“Yeah, exactly what I’m getting at,” Teddy said, “he …he has a thing for kids ok? Everyone in the brotherhood knows it. As long as their Da has done it before him if he wants to he’ll…it doesn’t matter how old they are. Most of the older guys say that no one touched them until they were like 10 or 11. Our age and before I think those were the rules but Crawford died so that left Grandpa Lord in charge. That was like 6ish years ago. He’s been. I’ve heard as young as four ok? Your little brother is 5, right? Almost six?”

“Yeah,” I answered numbly, “He…at the party he…”

“I know,” Teddy said, “Everyone saw he brought you back out. You were the last one back.”

“So, everyone knows that he…?” I started gagging.

“Fuck,” Teddy mumbled as I crashed into a stall door falling as I managed to start puking into the toilet in front of me, “it’s ok man get it up…” Teddy said rubbing my back slowly, “Let it out its ok. It’s happened to everyone trust me.”

Everyone knew. Everyone knew the leader had raped me and no one has said anything about it. At least they weren’t making fun of me for it. It was bad enough they knew. Knowing they were aware of it made me feel that much worse. Sort of like everyone knowing I had wet the bed.

As my dry heaves racked my body Teddy just rubbed my back silently, comfortingly, “It’s happened to everyone no one who is worth it will ever say anything about it. I promise. If they do Finn and I will kick their asses,” he said causing me to laugh while I sniffled whipping my mouth on the back of my hand.

“Thanks,” I said, “Is it really everyone though?”

“Oh yeah,” Ted said, “They can start you at home whenever they want. I don’t even remember the first time…that anything happened. I didn’t even know there was anything wrong with it until I was seven or so. I saw someone …I saw someone kiss their grandpa on the mouth and they didn’t use tongue. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t give his grandpa a real kiss. And then I heard a couple of the other kids talking about how it was gross he kissed his family on the mouth without tongue let alone with. That’s when I knew something was wrong with my family.”

“I walked in on my Uncle with my brother. He was like eight or nine. John,” I said quietly, “I was six. We left not too long after that. For home.”

“Man, we’re both so fucked up,” Teddy sighed.

“Yeah,” I agreed, “So when say you keep a close eye on my brother you mean...? Try to make sure your Grandpa doesn’t get him?”

“Yeah,” Teddy nodded his head, “Has…your Dad?”

“What?” I asked confused.

“My Grandpa won’t touch him until your Dad does, so has he?” Ted asked me.

“Yeah,” I answered, “Yeah and I’m not proud of that.”

“Why be ashamed of it it’s not your fault?” Ted said cocking a confused eyebrow at me.

“He’s my little brother, it’s my job to protect him. Like John protected me. And I didn’t do a good job I didn’t get there until it was too later. Until he had already…” I stopped shaking my head.

“It’s not your fault. How would you have stopped him? He’s your Dad. You’re a kid we’re still just kids as hard of a pill as that is for us to swallow we can’t save them. We can only try to glue their pieces back together ok?” Teddy said patting my shoulder before he looked at me closely before his lips met mind suddenly and he pulled away his face burning red.

I stared at him shocked my brain just kind of going “what the fuck?” Like I was not expecting that. He was a good friend yeah but I wasn’t expecting him to kiss me. I mean Teddy was cute with his olive skin and dark eyes and dark brown hair. Like he was really attractive I just wasn’t sure I felt anything for him.

“Teddy,” I managed to say once I got over the shock, “I huh…”

“I know, I know, I’m sorry ok?” Teddy said, “It was a mistake can we kind of forget about it?”

“Yeah,” I said nodding my head slowly, “ok.”

“Let’s go grab lunch,” Teddy said to me his face still red, “Can you seriously though like forget about that?”

“Yeah,” I nodded my head.

I was hoping he could forget about it. As we walked to lunch. There were more non-brotherhood kids at the school but somehow, I felt like everyone knew, like everyone was watching me. Judging me.

I saw headmaster Watson as I came out of the lunch line and he waved at me which I tried to hardest to ignore. I didn’t want people to know about that either. What the headmaster had done to me. I knew Finn, Quinn and Cole knew but I didn’t want anyone else knowing so I tried to ignore him until he tapped me on the shoulder.

“Come here for a minute Mr. McGregor,” He said sternly making me sigh and get up and follow him to a corner where we were out of ear shot before he spoke again holding tight to my elbow, “Did your Da and uncle talk to you?”
“Yes sir,” I answered not looking at him but instead taking a keen interest in the tiles on the floor.

“I expect you to meet me in my office when class lets out at last bell,” he told me, “You’ll be done in time to ride the lower school bus home with your brothers.”

“Yes sir,” I answered again quietly before he gently tapped my chin making my eyes lift so that I was looking at him, looking into his eyes.

“Don’t think of this as being in trouble ok?” He said quietly.

“Are you ok?” Cole asked me walking by us.

I felt my face flush as I realized how weird it must have looked. How I probably wasn’t breathing my whole-body tense as he just touched my face me blinking trying to keep my face blank, passive. How that was really probably getting some stares.

“He’s fine aren’t you Mr. McGregor,” Headmaster Watson said and I could see Cole’s face darken in the corner of my eye.

“I was asking him headmaster, not you,” Cole answered.

“Cole, don’t,” I said turning to look at him, “I’m fine. Really.”

I didn’t want anyone getting into trouble on my account. Cole had already saved my ass once. He didn’t need to put himself in harm’s way by saving me again. I didn’t want to feel like I owed him anything else.

“Are you sure?” Cole asked me, “Seriously?”

“Yeah,” I nodded my head, “it’s ok.”

“Barry, you can’t seriously think he wants to? I know exactly what you are talking about and he’s too young for you,” Cole said his voice just a whisper.

“Cole,” Barry warned, “You don’t call me that at school for starters and secondly I choose who I want to give lessons to, not you. Now go on.”

I sighed and so did Cole practically stomping his foot he was so agitated as he walked off and Barry nodded his head telling me I could leave as well. I went to go sit back down where I had put my lunch on the table next to Finn.

“Everything all, right?” Finn asked me and I just nodded my head.

I wasn’t very talkative after that and the day seemed to drag on every second seeming like hours my anxiety elevating every time the second hand on the clock moved. By the time the bell rang I could feel my hands shaking. Knowing I wasn’t going to leave to get on the bus. That I was supposed to grab my bag and go to the head master’s office.

I didn’t move after the bell rang for a few minutes. The whole class leaving as Teddy shot me a sympathetic look before he too left me sitting there in my seat. When I looked up Father Barney was watching me his eyes looking at me the same way they all looked at me.

“Mr. McGregor, you look so sad,” he said to me.

“Sorry sir, I’m leaving,” I said quietly grabbing my bag and quickly leaving the room to go where I was supposed to be because having it happen was less emotionally draining then watching someone imagine it while they looked at me.

When I got to the headmaster’s office the door was open and he stood up when he saw me in the door way, “Hi,” he smiled at me, “You can leave your bag here. I do believe we have around what 45 minutes or so?”

“Yes sir,” I answered quietly and he grabbed me by my wrists gently shutting his office door behind me as he left my bag inside his office on the floor next to the door.

He led me quickly through the main wing and up to the double doors that said upper school and pushed them holding them open for me as I stepped through. It looked weird. Like for some reason everything felt bigger and more intimidating. This was the high school. This was the school I would be going to in a couple years’ time and I wondered why we were over here until he turned down a long wide hallway and he opened another door.

It was a locker room and I felt confused. Why would he take me to the locker room? What was the point of this?

“Huh sir?” I asked him cautiously.

“You can call me Barry right now,” he said starting to take off his Cossack, “Why don’t you get undressed.”

“Why are we in here?” I asked him.

“We’re going to shower and then we’ll go to the physical therapy room and I’ll tutor you.” He answered me simply taking his shirt off and putting it down neatly on the bench behind him, “Come on now, get undressed don’t make me do it for you.”

“Why though?” I asked hugging myself tightly not wanting to take off my clothes in front of him again, not ever.

“I want you clean, why else would we…?” He sighed coming over to me as he took off his under shirt and undid his belt, “I’m not going to hurt you ok? I won’t hurt you I just want you clean so I can…”

He pulled my blazer off letting it drop to the floor and then undid my tie, “kiss you,” he finished before he kissed my lips.

I tried to pull away and he grabbed me hard by the inside of my elbows. I didn’t want this. I wasn’t ok. I wanted his hands off me. I didn’t want to have sex with him my whole body fighting me whining under the kiss as I tried to pull away.

“PLEASE, please,” I begged him.

“No, I want you clean you’re going to do this my way William, you understand?” He asked me my whole body shaking.

“I’ve-I’ve only ever …” I stammered.

“I know,” He said, “It’s ok you don’t need to explain. Mr. Lord said you shook like a little mouse when you were with him. He said you were everything your uncle said you would be and I don’t doubt it. You’re beautiful and just right.”

“I d….” I stopped myself from speaking, from finishing the word. My Da didn’t like it when I said any of those words and I didn’t think it would ok for me to use them here. In front of him. I wanted this whole situation to just disappear.

“You can say whatever you need to. I know your Dad is strict it keeps boys from getting into trouble but, you can use any words you need to with me ok?” Barry said.

“I don’t like being kissed there,” I managed to keep my voice steady.

“You mean here?” He asked cupping me through my pants causing me to nod my head and my lip to tremble.

The whole thing was beyond invading. I knew I had layers between us but that didn’t matter. He was still touching me. Still molesting me and he wanted to put his mouth there against my bare skin, put his mouth against the other part of me no one should touch.

“It’s ok. I know it feels weird but if you close your eyes you can pretend it’s someone cute that you like,” he said undoing my belt and then the fly on my khakis.

I started panting my heart racing just from the idea of him doing those things to me. I didn’t want him doing what he had done before. I didn’t want the feeling of his tongue against my skin.

“It’s ok beautiful,” he said pulling my vest over my head me having no choice but to let him, “So what do you want to tell me about yourself?”

“Do I have the option of nothing?” I asked him before I realized who I was talking to, “I-I mean…”

“No, see that’s what I hoping was there. Usually I don’t go for boys as young as you are because they tend to be insecure but you…even when you’re stuttering out of anxiety I don’t get that feeling from you. You seem sure of yourself. Do you know where that comes from?” He asked me.

“I’m not,” I answered quietly.

“You seem pretty sure you don’t want to break the rules,” He pointed out, “I like that.”

“It depends on whose rules I’m looking at,” I said.

“Well they aren’t yours,” he said.

“I’m 10 I don’t make rules,” I stated, “I…I’m not stupid.”

“Oh, definitely not,” he said starting to undo the buttons on my shirt, “quite the opposite in fact. I think you’re very intelligent. I actually think you have a temper but your intelligence is enough to keep it in check. I think you can read people and that it’s something you do well.”

“No well enough,” I muttered as he got my shirt undone.

“Maybe not but you’ll learn, you want to start taking off your own clothes now?” He asked me.

“Do I have choice?” I asked him.

“Considering your Dad and Uncle are the one who put together this little date for us I’d say probably not,” Barry said smiling at me, “You don’t have to hate it you know? I see something in you. That thing.”

“That thing that says I might like boys if I had choice in the matter?” I asked him.

“Is that your way of saying you think you’re gay?” He asked me.

“I didn’t say that,” I answered pulling my shirt off and letting it drop to the ground figuring it didn’t matter what I thought about it.

He did have a point this was happening because my Da and uncle said it could. If I didn’t do it, whatever it was in this case I’d probably end up receiving worse at home whether Ben was there or not. This was what the brotherhood was all about anyway. Men fucking boys. Even if the boys weren’t ok with it, didn’t want to do it.

I sighed as I pulled my under shirt up over my head crossing my arms over my chest as his eyes got that heavy-lidded look to them. That look of lust like he was thinking about what he wanted to do with rapt concentration. I averted my eyes trying to ignore the goose bumps raising on my exposed upper half trying to ignore the fact that he was looking at me like that.

“Don’t do that,” he said grabbing my arms and pulling them down my sides kissing the back of my hands as he did so sending a shiver through my body, “There you are. Your love line down your chest is almost healed.”

I looked down realizing he meant the hickeys going down the center of my chest and stomach. They had faded down to a barely there yellow and would be gone within a day or so. Him letting go of one of my wrists touching my waist line making me inhale and hold my breath. I didn’t like it when people touched my stomach. That’s how Da had always started was grabbing the waist band of my pants, his hand brushing against the skin above my belly button.

“It’s ok,” he said, “No reason to get jumpy.”

He finished undoing my pants pulling them down by the fabric on my thighs allowing them to slid down the rest of the way naturally so I was standing there in my underwear my shoes around my ankles keeping my pants on. It was always hard knowing I didn’t have a choice. That I had to do to it. That the control was in their hands and not just because they were adults but because my Da told them it was ok.

“Here if you’re not going to sit down lean on me and I’ll do it,” he said and I sighed taking a seat on the bench and taking off my shoes and socks as he went over and started the water in the shower area.

I still didn’t really get why he wanted me to shower with him. Why he wasn’t just raping me and getting it over with. I didn’t want to shower with him. Showering was something I did to get clean, to get away from them and here he was taking that, that safety and turning it into something bad.

“Is there any way we could skip the shower?” I asked him.

“No, I like my boys clean generally if I’m not in a hurry,” He said, “And you’re wasting time get in here.”

“I’m still wearing my underwear,” I said.

“Well then take it off and get in here. It’s not something that I haven’t seen before remember?” He asked me.

I had to resist the urge to roll my eyes. I wasn’t even sure how he had managed to talk me out of my clothes that time but he had. I already felt naked so I wasn’t sure how much of a difference it would really make but, I preferred to keep my underwear on.
“Don’t make me go over there and drag you in here. You won’t be happy when I call your Dad,” Barry warned me.

I closed my eyes inhaling deeply before finally gathering to courage to pull down my briefs and kick them away to where I knew they would stay dry using my hands to cover myself before I stepped into the shower area.

“Come on then,” he said coming over to me and grabbing my arm again before pushing me up against the wall where he had turned on the shower head shoving his tongue in my mouth before I could stop him.

I pushed at his chest lightly. I wanted him off me. I wanted his hands off me as one grabbed hard and my right hip while the other gripped the back of my neck so I couldn’t pull away, couldn’t break the kiss.

At the time when he said he liked older boys it didn’t occur to me what older boys did in those situations. In those situations, older boys fought back like I was fighting back. Older boys didn’t take it laying down sometimes they froze up like I tended to but mostly they kicked and swore and bitched sometimes saying no don’t or stop while they did those things trying to get the handler off them.

“Please,” I said shoving at him as he finally broke our kiss trying to get him to stop, “Please.”

“It’s ok baby,” he said burying his face in my neck nipping at the skin, “I can make it feel really nice if you let me. You know that.”

“Don’t make me,” I said trying to ignore the way he was making my skin feel, making my body feel as his fingers tickled up and down my sides small light touches running from below my shoulder blades down to the back of my thighs and back up again.
“You’ll like it,” he murmured.

“It didn’t feel right,” I told him, “last time it didn’t feel right.”

“Well, I’m not sure anyone has ever given that part of you that much attention like that. I personally find the sounds some of my boys make when I do that makes it all worth it,” he said his hand grabbing my butt cheeks in squeezing as I grabbed his arms trying to get him to stop as I turned away from him trying to avoid his lips on my face, on my Jaw bone.

“Please,” I begged him, “Please.”

“Let’s get you clean huh?” he muttered grabbing something from behind me taking his one hand off me and then I felt the bar of soap against the small of my back.

“Please just let me go,” I begged him, “Please you don’t have to. You know you don’t have to.”

“I want to. You tasted so sweet, a little dirty but so sweet,” he said, “And don’t think I didn’t notice how other parts of you reacted. I saw the spot on the cot after you were gone when I came back. Even if no one else knows, I know.”

He was right my body had responded. The friction of being rubbed against the cot as he pressed my hips forward into his hands so he could stick his tongue in there. It had gotten the response it seemed like they all wanted to get. I squealed when I felt his finger breech me and started to struggle against him again.

“DON’T!” I said pushing at him feeling my anxiety sky rocket, “don’t please.”

“Just breathe nice and deep,” he said his finger going in deeper making my mouth open in silent scream.

The pressure never felt good to me. Having someone putting their finger in there especially when it wasn’t something I was expecting to happen. I didn’t want this to happen my whole body starting to shake and shiver. Just then the door around the wall blocking the showers from view slammed open and he let me go and I ran back to my clothes grabbing my underwear and putting it on even though I was still wet because I didn’t want to be naked anymore.

By the time the person made it around the corner I had my pants back on and Barry was back in his own underwear. It was a young Priest. I wasn’t sure who he was but he looked like he was a teacher his brown curly hair standing up in odd places someone standing in the shadows behind him his eyes wide with confusion.

“Father Watson?” He questioned.

“Father Brandenburg,” He said greeting him as I pulled my undershirt on no one gesturing for me to stop.

“I didn’t realize anyone would be here considering no one has practice today,” Father Brandenburg said his eyes traveling to me before his gaze went back to Headmaster Watson, “Is everything ok?”

I quickly grabbed the rest of my clothes and pushed past him bumping into the person behind him who grabbed my shoulder and pulled me away out of the locker room, “Ok what the fuck were you doing?” The guy asked.

He was wearing a uniform so he was very obviously a student. I didn’t know who he was but he had eyes that were a really weird blue I almost felt like the might glow in the dark. I snorted.

“I was writing a letter,” I answered.

“Not the time, what the fuck were you doing? You know dangerous he is?” He hissed at me.

“NO, no I have no idea how dangerous he is I just thought I’d let him stick his finger up my ass,” I spat.

“Brotherhood?” He asked me.

“Nope, no clue what that means,” I answered sarcastically.

“You’re lucky I’m fluent in sarcasm otherwise this conversation wouldn’t be going well,” he whispered to me, “Listen to me don’t stop to put on your shoes or socks for anything go wait at the bus drive and take a bus home or start fucking walking. You can’t be messing around with him.”

“You think this was a choice I was making?” I asked him.

“Honestly, I figured it probably wasn’t,” he said, “So go.”

“And you?” I asked him.

“You mean Aaron?” He asked me his face flushing a little bit, “I huh, I make some of my own choices.”

“Oh,” I said, “Well thank you for the rescue.”

“It’s nothing, hopefully he won’t make it a thing for you because usually it’s our thing, coming here on Mondays when no one has practice days and...” He trailed off.

“Yeah well, going now,” I said hurrying off.

I hurried off to the buses and didn’t stop as I heard the bell ring from the lower school wing and by the time my brothers had gotten on the bus I was completely dressed again even though I was still pretty wet.

“Will why are you riding our bus?” James asked sitting down in the seat with me.

“And why are you wet?” Matt asked me frowning.

“Long story neither of which matter or need to be told,” I said to them, “Let’s go home ok?”

When the bus was loaded, we took off and it wasn’t a long ride home only about 20 minutes. Long enough for my hair to dry and when I got home I was tried but hurried ahead of my brothers into the house wanting to at the very least change my underwear so I didn’t have wet underwear sticking to my butt, “You guys know how this works, upstairs to wash up for dinner,” I said opening to door only to hear my Da barely utter the words

“go into the bathroom,” to someone as I opened the door.

“Hey Will,” Da said to me spatula in hand as he stood at the stove making mac and cheese.

“Da where is John?” I asked him.

It had been almost a month since I had seen him. Since any of us had seen him and Da had sent uncle Ben away and no one else was here. My skills of deduction worked quickly telling me that John had to be somewhere in ear shot, somewhere Da could talk to him because Da wouldn’t be telling himself to go into the bathroom.

“He’s probably just busy kiddo,” he answered me as he took the pot off the stove.

“Da I haven’t seen him in like two weeks, is he ok?” I asked him.

“Yeah buddy he’s fine, if you want to talk to him he’s in the bathroom, he just didn’t want the kids to see him because, we were having some fun you see? And he didn’t want to scare your brothers.”

“Huh, ok,” I answered him knowing that if they were doing something Da probably considered “fun” he wouldn’t be ok confirming what I had been thinking was going on was the case.

I went over a knocked on the bathroom door quietly, “John, I want to talk to you, can you let me in?” I asked him.

“Sure,” he said through the door before just his arm shot out grabbing me and pulling me into the bathroom shutting the door behind me.

I wasn’t sure what to think my mouth dropping open in shock looking at him. He looked sticky and sweaty an apron thrown around him tied at the waist and that was all that he was wearing. I had no idea what to think. Had Da been raping him while he cooked? Or had Da just made him have sex in the kitchen while the noodles boiled? I was so confused and scared. Was this something he had been dealing with the whole month he’d been missing?

“What are you wearing?” I managed to stammer.

“Will, dad’s not letting me be normal. If I act normal he’s going to hurt you, Mike, Matt and James and I can’t let him do that.” He answered me hugging himself around the middle his tongue touching his back molar.

It was a nervous habit he had displayed all his life. Whenever he was upset and trying hard not to cry or lying because he thought he was protecting someone his mouth opened in a slight o as in tongue barely touched his tooth. I don’t know why he did it, I never figured it out but it was his nervous tick he had and I knew he was trying not to cry. Not to show me how scared and hurt he was.

“Da’s making you wear that?” I asked him feeling sick to my stomach. Not sure what I could do for him but knowing he felt he had been going through this all alone. That he had been doing this for us and he thought he had been all alone in it.

“Yeah,” he answered shrugging his shoulders hugging himself tighter like me pointing out the fact that he was only wearing an apron just now made him aware his ass was hanging out behind him. The ass that he had pressed up against the wall as we talked.

“Is he raping you all the time? I haven’t seen you in like a month and sometimes I think I hear you crying at night,” I asked him. I knew that was probably what was happening. However, I had a need to hear the words from him. To know it was true from him because Da would never admit that.

“I I’m not sure, I mean I don’t want to but he’s not hurting me he’s just …. He’s having sex with me,” he mumbled into his own chest looking at his toes as he wiggled them like he wasn’t sure what to say. Like he wasn’t sure it counted because it didn’t always physically hurt.

“Mum is coming soon, she had the babies early,” I mentioned to him looking for a topic change because I could tell he was uncomfortable, that it wasn’t something he wanted to talk about and it was something he had been stuck with non-stop for weeks. That maybe he was looking for something a normal family might talk about. Some interaction normal brothers might have that didn’t involve talking about their Da raping them.

“I don’t know if that will help us any,” he said looking at me his face reading hopeless, “I don’t know if that will help me any, the only reason why he’s not hurting you guys or letting uncle Ben hurt you guys is because I agreed to do this.”

My stomach dropped. He thought Uncle Ben hadn’t been hurting us? He thought he was doing that so that uncle Ben wouldn’t hurt us. Da let him think that. That made me feel beyond sick that he had tried so hard, given into Da to save us and it was for nothing. I didn’t have the heart to tell him. To look at him and just say what was happening.

“YOU WHAT?! You know how crazy that is John? How is that going to help us, I mean I haven’t seen you in like a month, you look like you haven’t had anything to eat in a month you’re naked and covered in sweat. How is that going to help us?” I asked him.
I was more shocked than terrified. Shocked that he would do something so desperate and then have it mean nothing because Da was so sick. That Da hated us that much that he would lie to keep John doing what he wanted him to. I didn’t want any of this. I felt so sorry that I had done this to John all because I hadn’t said anything when I should have.

“I had to, I can’t eat I’m too sick to my stomach. I think he’s crazy he acts like he thinks I’m mum. He hasn’t hit me yet but otherwise he’s acting like I’m mum, I make dinner every night I clean the house but, he makes me you know whenever he wants which is all the time.”

“I’m telling mum tonight when she calls,” I said. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I had already let her know. That it was probably my fault she had gone into early labor. That she had been worried about us and especially him and it had stressed her out enough the babies came early.

“No, you’re not,” he hissed, “You can’t, it will make him mad and then the deal will be off and he’ll call Uncle Ben back and it will be bad.”

“Ok, I’ll keep it quiet but if you can’t handle it you have to let me give you an out, deal?” I sighed.

None of that was a good idea but I didn’t know what else to say to calm him down. Sometimes he got angry at me for what it felt like was no reason. I understood why he was upset and figured it was the whole situation and not just me or anyone person but, it still made me feel bad whenever he lashed out at me. I didn’t want to be his punching bag.

“Yeah, deal,” He sighed.

I could tell he didn’t mean it. That he was thinking he had been protecting me my whole life and he wasn’t going to let that change now. That he wasn’t going to just give me over to them when really they had already taken me. Me and just about everyone else that was with us. Just then we heard a knock on the door.

“It’s Da, John I got some clothes you can join your brothers for dinner tonight,” he said and then opened the door and handed John a pair of pants without letting anyone else see the state of dress John was in. John took them and slid them on before he took off his apron like he was trying to save his modesty.

Everyone was so excited when we stepped out of the bathroom James almost ran into his arms hugging him tightly before he allowed John to sit down, John pulling Jay up into his lap to eat and then getting up for only a minute or two after we were all done eating to dig through his bag and show John a picture he had drawn at school of our family. To me it looked like a bunch of stick figures three of the stick figures sporting red squiggles on their heads while two circles did as well everyone else having yellow hair besides one which had brown hair and huge head making me think that was Da.

Mike and Matt told him about school. How in gym class they had played with stilts and practiced balancing for a free day but that next week when they went to gym they were supposed to play kick ball instead and how Matt preferred dodge ball and couldn’t wait until they played it again. Explaining both games to John in detail as if he had never played them before himself. It was the cutest thing watching them with him.

Watching how he interacted with them so easily. Like he was more their Da than Da was. Like was the most important person in the room. They really looked up to him and it made me feel slightly jealous. Like the things, I had done for them hadn’t really mattered all that much. Like while they loved me I was always going to be number two when it came to them choosing between John and me.

“Ok do your homework,” John said to the three of them as Da cleared the table which was something Ben had been doing for a while but I figured because Ben was no longer around that’s why he was doing it and I noticed him give John a look and then motion with his head towards to steps. He was telling him to go upstairs. That his time with us was up.

“Will, you’re helping them with their homework, right?” John asked me, pulling my attention away from Da and how he was being shifty noticing the look in John’s eyes asking me to help him. To do something, anything and knowing that there wasn’t much I could do.

“Yeah sure, I have to do mine too,” I answered. I had no problem helping them with their homework. It was something I did every night and figured he was probably just stalling, just trying to get a few extra seconds without Da touching him, a few extra moments of breathing space before Da made him head back upstairs.

“Ok I have to go upstairs for a bit, I’ll be back in a little while,” John said getting up from the table and sighing so heavily his shoulders moved with the effort before he slowly went up the stairs.

I could see how slowly he was moving trying to take every extra second he could as he followed Da up the stairs. Trying to just get those last few seconds as I frowned at his back, wishing I could tell him what the rest of us had been going through but knowing that it would break him. That he was probably so close to breaking.

I made sure everyone finished their homework mostly abandoning mine figuring I was fucking the principal and that I shouldn’t let that go to waste. If I did my school work I might as well be fucking him for nothing and that I was at least going to get some benefit out of the deal if I had no choice but to let him rape me. And we all settled in for a movie.

I didn’t know anything was wrong when I tucked everyone into bed that night. Any more wrong than usual. My night had been good. The fact that I hadn’t really been raped that day and had just been fondled maybe a little bit made that a good day for me.
The next morning was a normal morning for me other than Da being up and moving around downstairs instead of already upstairs in the office. I wasn’t the only who noticed this as I poured milk into the bowls around the table James eyeing Da curiously.
“What’s up bud?” Da asked him looking up from the paper he was reading while he sipped his coffee.

“How come you’re not at work?” He asked frowning at my Da.

“Your brother has a Doctor’s appointment that I need to take him to so I took the day off,” he informed the four of us, “I might not be home before you get out of school Will so your Uncle will be here.”

I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach, “What?”

“Yeah,” he looked at me, “What’s wrong?”

“Hold on,” I said sighing loudly before I went into the bathroom and shut the door.

He had just sent him away. I’d only been sleeping back in my bed I was sharing with James for three nights. I hadn’t been raped in two and I felt like the bruises on my ass were finally starting to heal. Now he was letting him come back? Just like that. He knew what Uncle Ben would do if he left me alone with him. He knew and he didn’t care.

“William,” I heard Da say as he knocked on the door, “Can you open the door please?”

“It’s unlocked,” I mumbled because it was.

I didn’t think my Da would respond well to a door that was locked in his house to keep him out. He knew I had gone in there because I was upset. Because I was trying to pull myself together because I didn’t like crying. I didn’t see the point in crying about something that I couldn’t do anything about and it frustrated me that I wasn’t always able to control my emotions. Especially when it came to that. Sure, I wanted it to stop but nothing was going to make that happen so why cry about something I couldn’t change?

I hated that fact that sometimes the tears just decided they wanted to come. That they wanted to be around. That my emotions didn’t always give the logical side of my brain a chance to reel it in and control it. I hated it because it was just one more thing I couldn’t control and that killed me sometimes.

“Hey,” He said opening the door and looking at me as I splashed cold water on my face, “Can you tell me why that upsets you?”

“Da it…it feels weird ok?” I asked him, “My body is sore and I just…I was hoping for more time.”

“Well, think of it this way, he can’t live here with us for a while so you’ll have some time a part from him,” He said before he grabbed me around the waist from behind grinding up against me hard, “Maybe if you get in some practice with me. See how fun it can be you’ll like him a little bit more when he moves back in?”

“Da…” I started to plead closing my eyes and taking a deep breath before I opened them again, “I have to go to school.”

“I know honey, it’s ok though, just let me feel you for a minute,” he said pressing on my hip bones with his fingers making it so I was popping my spine back up against his pelvis because of the pressure, “I think I remember…”

“what?” I asked quietly not sure what he meant not sure I had really heard him.

“I think I remember what you feel like in there. It’s been a little while but I think I remember it feeling nearly perfect, almost as good as your brother,” He said before he kissed my ear lobe, “Hurry up honey don’t want to be late for the bus.”
He smacked me lightly on the ass sending a horrible sting through my system before he walked away leaving me to go grab my book bag and head off to school. I went outside and waited for the bus that pulled up a few minutes after I had left the house. When it pulled up I wasn’t expecting to see any of my friends but Finn was there on the bus so I went a sat next to him.

“What are you doing here?” I questioned.

“Dad didn’t want to drive me the morning. Had something he had to do,” Finn answered not looking at me.

“Your Dad drives you to school?” I questioned.

He smiled sadly not looking at me just nodding his head, “Yeah.”

“Oh,” I said before we fell into silence.

“It’s ok, I prefer the bus,” Finn answered, “Are you ok?”

“Yeah,” I answered.

“Dude, what’s up?” He asked me.

“Just Da’s,” I answered, “Why do they have to be such assholes?”

“What did yours do?” He asked me.

“What didn’t he do?” I mumbled.

“You want to talk about it?” Finn asked me.

“You want to talk about why he drives you usually?” I shot back.

“Really?” He frowned, “Sure. He likes to blow me behind the school in the parking lot before he lets me leave the car ok? Happy? Now you?”

“Just like that huh?” I questioned.

“I’ve told you before you don’t talk about things they build up. I mean did I have to be crass about it? No, I could have said it differently but, you asked and I figured you probably already had an idea so…,” He shrugged his shoulders, “You’re turn.”
At this point we were whispering. We didn’t want anyone to over hear us. For obvious reasons.

“The morning he grabbed me and grinded against me. Told me he was trying to remember what it felt like to do me. He took the day off work because John has a doctor’s appointment and I told you yesterday that like Saturday night he sent Ben away, made him leave the house. I thought that meant…more than 3 days. Da’s afraid he won’t be there when I get home from school so he’s…he doesn’t understand why. And he’s lied to John, told John that he’s keeping uncle Ben away. Not letting him hurt us. That’s why he’s been keeping John in his room. Why I’m not supposed to tell John he’s been around, that he was making me…”

“Share his bed?” Finn asked me and I nodded my head.

“It’s not even that he …” I shook my head and sighed, “It’s that he lied to my brother. That my brother thought all this time he was protecting us. I wanted to…I don’t even know.”

“You wanted someone to talk to that understood. And now you feel like you can’t because it will only hurt him more than he’s already hurting,” Finn said and I nodded my head, “Then don’t worry about telling him about it. If you need to talk to someone I know it’s not the same but, I’m here, Quinn, Teddy, we’ll all listen. Hell, even Todd and Julian and Donny will listen.”

“It’s not the same, he’s my brother,” I said.

“I wish my brother and I were like that but he’s…he’s fucked in the head,” Finn told me.

“How did that happen?” I asked him.

“I honestly couldn’t tell you. We were raised in this. For as long as I can remember my Da was doing something to me or making Wal do things to me. When I was five Wal was 10 so…I think he just developed a taste for it. Needless to say, Wal and I aren’t very close. Unless he’s forcing me to be uncomfortably close,” Finn said.

“I can’t imagine that,” I said feeling like I was going to cry. Not because what Finn had told me was so horrible because it really was but because my own brother and I were trapped in the opposite problem. Not sexually obviously, that wasn’t something I wanted with my brother but that it seemed like Da was trying to find ways to push us apart when we had been so close.

“You don’t need to be sad about it. It just is what it is. And I don’t need to remind you if you see my brother you run the other way. I’m dead serious Will you are exactly his type,” Finn said looking at me out of the corner of his eye before turning his head forward again.

“So, he’s violent?” I asked him.

“No just weird,” Finn answered, “Weird is sometimes worse though.”

“You’re telling me,” I sighed looking at him finally as the school came into view.

Finn looked back and me and smiled, “I mean I’m not normal but I don’t do that. I’ve tried to scout some girls but they make it hard so…”

I laughed, “What getting horny? Aren’t we a little young for that?”

“Hey I didn’t say I was looking for that type of activity a nice kiss or two I wouldn’t hate that though,” He said shrugging his shoulders as the bus stopped and the door open, “Come on, let’s get this day over with.”

Chapter Text

The rest of the school day went by at a crawl and I wasn’t looking forward to going home but I knew I had to. I knew I had to go home to him. That he was probably going to put his hands on me. That he was probably going to rape me. I didn’t expect him to waiting for me at the end of the drive way when the bus pulled up and I felt myself internally recoil before my feet hit the ground him coming up to me and hugging me as the bus pulled away.

“God I’ve missed you baby,” He said.

“Ben, it’s only been three days,” I managed quietly.

“Three days feels like forever,” He muttered letting me go so I could walk. He barely let me get into the house before he was picking me up grabbing me by the ass and carrying me over to the counter shoving his tongue in my mouth.

I waited for him to move his mouth to my neck before I spoke, “Stop or I’ll tell John everything and I know you Da are trying to keep it from him.”

He broke away from me stepping back looking at me smiling, “If I were you I wouldn’t do that. You want to know why? You’ve never seen your Da angry and while I have a temper I’m fair and deal out my own punishments. Your Da though…,” He shook his head smiling like he was about to start laughing, “You’re Da when he gets mad he’ll give you to someone like me or worse. He’ll let them do whatever they want with you. You think your ass hurts now? Imagine someone doing that to your entire back side and then fucking you repeatedly. You won’t be laying on your back at all let alone sitting down. They’ll beat you bloody so if you were smart. You will never tell John anything you understand me?”

“He really doesn’t want John to know that…”

He cut me off, “That I’m here? That you’re mine? What do you think that would do to John? Don’t you think that would break him? Hurt him so badly that Daddy lied to get into his pants that he’d probably try to off himself? Which by the way comes with its own set of repercussions that you don’t want to see your brother go through. You love your brother as much as I’m sure you claim you do. You keep your mouth shut about us. It doesn’t ever leave your mouth you understand? Now if you don’t mind I have to go work out or something so I don’t break your arm or worse thanks for ruining my afternoon plans.”

He slammed his fists down on either side of the counter where I was still sitting before turning and walking away, probably going out to the garage where they kept some of the workout equipment. I tried to breathe. Da would really do that to me? And how had he not managed to hit me? I’d only seen him that angry with me once and he had thrown me against a wall and cracked my skull but here I was sitting on the counter and he was probably punching a punching bag.

Before I realized it, I was crying. I felt so alone I was crying. Da hated us. He hated us so much he had told a lie so big that I could never tell the truth or it would destroy my brother. I couldn’t be the reason he lost hope. If we could hold on we would be out of this when we were 25 if we couldn’t. If we couldn’t…I didn’t want to think about it. Somehow, I managed to pull myself together before my little brothers walked into the house and start making dinner Ben coming back shortly after they did.

“Hey kids,” he said to them as I followed the directions on the hamburger helper box until I felt him wrap his arms hard around my waist.

“HUH, hot meat in front of me, with grease,” I muttered.

“Relax,” he said pressing against me.

“Uncle Ben why do you have to do that?” Matty asked, “It’s weird I don’t want to see that.”

“You’re not worried about him hurting him?” James asked frowning.

“He’s not going to hurt him but it’s weird it’s like watching mum kiss Da I don’t want to see that,” Matty said.

I felt my face flush. That’s what Matty thought of me? Of this? That this was ok? It didn’t bother him that I wasn’t willing to let Uncle Ben do that to me, that I didn’t want it. It didn’t bother him that hearing him refer to it like it was like watching mum and Da kiss bothered me.

“Can you let me go?” I asked feeling like I was going to pass out his hardness grinding against my back.

“You really want me to?” He asked me. He didn’t even have to threaten me.

I knew what he was hinting at. That if it wasn’t me it would be someone else. That was always his go to. It would be Mike or James. I sighed trying to get myself under control.

“I need to finish cooking dinner,” I said grabbing his forearms trying to unlatch myself.

“What if I don’t want you to?” He whispered into my ear squeezing me tighter, “What if I want to fuck you?”

“Ben please, I’m begging you please just let me finish cooking them food and you can do whatever you want to me downstairs ok?” I whispered.

He stopped squeezing like he was thinking about it for a second before he loosened his grip and let me go, “Ok.”

“Thank you,” I said loud enough for everyone to hear.

“Just …I’m sure you understand what happens if you decide not to go through with the bargain you made,” He said.

I looked over at my little brothers and sighed, “I understand.”

He allowed me to finish cooking. It was the first time I had ever done a hamburger helper on my own and I remember being proud of myself for doing such a good job even though it was just following directions on box as it set it out in front of everyone. Feeling good that I had actually managed to make something more complex than just boxed macaroni and cheese.

“Are you ok?” James asked me as I started at my plate.

“Yeah bud why?” I asked him.

“Because I just told you that at school Luke said Teddy was going to a big party this weekend and I asked if you were going,” James answered, “And you didn’t say anything.”

“I’m sorry I wasn’t listening,” I answered, “I don’t think I’m going. I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”

“No,” Ben answered, “No he’s not going. Speaking of Will are you done eating?”

“I huh, I don’t know,” I answered.

“You don’t have to be nervous,” He told me, “You’ll be fine.”

“I’m not,” I lied.

“You’re going to spend alone time with him?” Matt asked Ben and I felt my face turning red.

“Yes,” Ben said, “After he’s done eating. Are you done eating?”

“I’m not very hungry,” I answered.

“Can I watch?” Matty asked making my mouth drop open and Ben laugh.

“Maybe another time,” Ben said after a moment like he was really considering it.

My little brother wanted to watch that? To watch my uncle rape me? There had to be something mentally wrong with him in order for him to believe that was ok. Because he knew I didn’t like it. That I didn’t want to do that. That I wasn’t ok with it and yet he wanted to watch it happen?

“Why not now?” He asked Ben.

“Because I haven’t seen him in a little bit and generally alone time means alone,” Ben answered him flatly, “now why don’t you three go watch TV?”

“Ok,” James said not wasting any time as he left the table and scurried away probably not wanting to see me be groped.

Mikey grabbed Matt’s hands and pulled him away as I gathered the dishes from the sink Ben wrapping his arms around my waist as I grabbed up the last bowl almost making me drop them as he grinded himself against my back. Why couldn’t he just wait?
“You’re so sexy right now,” he muttered into the nape of my neck as I put the bowls back down on the table and grabbed his arms trying to untangle myself.

“I should do this first,” I muttered.

“Oh, you can,” he responded, “You can do it while I play a game.”

He started undoing the belt of my khaki’s his grip not loosening even a little bit. I wanted to tell him no. That this wasn’t ok, that I wasn’t ok. Da had said that wasn’t something I was allowed to do though and I knew if I said the word he I would be in trouble.
“Not here,” I said shaking my head.

“What? Afraid I’m going to hurt you?” he asked me.

I shook my head, “No I just …not here ok?”

“Can I take you where I want to? No complaining?” He asked me to which I nodded my head.

He picked me up and carried me up to stairs. So, it was going to be one of those times. Not hard and fast and painful that was easy to deal with but slow and stinging and soft. That was always harder for me.

He grabbed me by the back of the neck and shoved his tongue in my mouth running it along the roof of my mouth tickling, making me want to pull back. I tried to blank out, to allow myself to fade away as his hands started fumbling with the buttons on the oxford my tie and vest something I had taken off when I had gotten home. The moment my neck was exposed his kissed moved down my jaw bone to my neck his hands going back to my pants as he somehow managed to sit down on the bed without dropping me putting me in his lap so I was straddling him as he rubbed one hand up and down my back as soon as he had gotten my shirts off.

“You feel so good baby,” he said to me looking at me, giving me that look. That look that made me freeze. That look that said I was his.

“Why me?” I asked him suddenly.

“What?” He asked his nose wrinkling in a frown.

“Why me? Why do you want to have sex with me? Why not someone else?” I asked him somehow finding the courage to look into his face as his hand cupped my cheek.

“Well,” he sighed thinking about it, “You’re beautiful. I see something in you. I don’t know what it is but I find it irresistible. If your Da would let me I could train you up. You’d be my perfect little sex pot. Obedient, making just the sounds I want you to. Doing things exactly the way I want you to do them. I think if you’d let me I could even make you like it.”

“I don’t think so,” I answered quietly sorry that I had asked the question.

“No,” he answered musing, “I think I could. I can show you,” he said before he maneuvered us again so he was laying on top of me.

Just having his weight on me made it hard for me to focus. Not because it felt good but because it was terrifying, thinking of what that meant was terrifying. I didn’t like the feel of anyone on top of me. From there he moved quickly as he finished stripping me of my clothes and then him of his.

“Close your eyes,” he told me breaking away from me, his mouth unlatching from my neck.

“What?” I barely whispered.

“Close your eyes, I won’t hurt you. I promise,” he muttered again his voice husky and full of heat, lust.

I knew I didn’t have a choice so I did as he said. I took a deep breath and I closed my eyes feeling his hands travel slowly down my sides. Struggling to keep my eyes closed. To give him control because I knew that’s what he wanted. I felt his tongue lap at my nipple making me bit my lip to try and keep it from trembling but it didn’t work.

He sucked on my left while rolling my right between his fingers my body responding by not being able to hold still as the heat started to grow in-between us. I couldn’t understand, I still don’t understand why he liked this. Any of this.

That’s all he did for the longest time. Suck and lick and kiss my nipples until my skin felt like it was on fire. Until I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Me not able to keep my eyes shut once I felt his mouth start moving lower. I opened my mouth to beg him to stop and then realized that wasn’t something I was allowed to do choosing instead to grab a pillow and stuff it in my mouth. That maybe if I screamed into the pillow I could get away with it.

He had spanked me until my ass was bruised for telling him to stop last time. For saying no. The bruises still there reminding me of it. I closed my eyes again after stuffing the pillow in my mouth his hands sliding up and down my outer thighs making me want to scream as he nipped and kissed my belly button. I remember the feeling as his tongue glided over the skin on my hip as he muttered something into my hip bone before that wetness made my eyes open again stealing my breath my skin already on fire, every cell in my body already completely awake a responding as I fisted the sheets to keep myself from pushing him away.

It always felt painful in a way that I still can’t explain especially when it didn’t hurt because that’s when he felt most dangerous. That’s when I always felt like I was walking a tight rope waiting to careen over the edge after losing my balance. After a few minutes of the heat continuing to pool and build it got to the point where I couldn’t hold back anymore, where my body just gave into his demands that feeling of having to pee, to push overwhelming all of my senses as I came in his mouth him moaning happily and digging his nails into my ass cheeks as he raised my hips in his hands to swallow as much of me as he could, as deeply as he could the sucking noises making me feel sick to my stomach as my whole body shuddered my eyes fluttering as I locked my jaw trying to keep myself from making any sound, from giving him the satisfaction of hearing my reaction and not just feeling it.

When he broke away from me a string of spit left us connected as he sat up smiling at me, “That was amazing,” he muttered rolling off me and then using his elbows and arms to pull himself up so his face was level with mine in the pillows,” I see you couldn’t keep your eyes closed.”

I sighed moving the pillow away from my face shrugging my shoulders. I wasn’t sure if he was going to punish me or not but I figured the only punishment he could really deliver was to beat and fuck me so why not let him know how I felt about the whole thing, that I wasn’t happy with it at all.

“How much trouble do you think your brothers have gotten into?” He asked me suddenly probably realizing that while he was up here with me Matty and Mikey were in charge downstairs in front of the TV.

“I don’t know but, they’re probably hungry,” I sighed rolling over and standing up looking around for my under wear and pants finding them and bending over.

“Now I can see why Barry loves to bury his face in that,” he said from where he was still laying on the bed making me freeze up him laughing lightly at the change in my body language, “relax I didn’t mean anything by it.”

“That’s a lie,” I replied standing up and pulling my pants on quickly leaving my underwear where ever they had landed when he ripped them off me, “I’m going to go back to them now.”

“Suit yourself,” he muttered, “Are you making dinner?”

“Don’t I usually?” I questioned him.

“You’re too mature to be 10, sometimes I almost forget you sound like you’re at least 14 if not older. The way you speak sometimes,” he commented.

“Someone has to take care of everyone. Might as well be me,” I answered doing up my fly and leaving the room hugging myself.

I didn’t bother to try and find my under shirt or oxford, figuring someone would drop it in a laundry hamper sooner or later to be taken care of. I wandered back downstairs to find my brothers watching Moesha on the TV. So, this is what they were doing instead of homework? I thought to myself.

“Guys come on,” I sighed turning off the TV, “Homework.”

“I don’t have homework,” Matty told me.

“Liar,” Mike said, “I know you have homework.”


“Guys, come on,” I sighed shaking my head, “I’m tired ok, just do your work.”

“What he fuck you?” Matty snarled causing me to do a double take.

“What did you just say?” I asked.

“You heard me,” Matty said raising his eyebrows giving me a cold sneer.

So, this was his “batman” persona today I figured. Both Mike and Jay stared at him their mouths open in shock at his daring. At the fact that he had not only lied to me but that he had commented on what was probably happening upstairs to me.

“You don’t use that language,” I said making sure I stayed calm.

“The guys at school do,” Matt pointed out, “Your friends do. Why can’t I?”

“Because you’re eight,” I answered simply, “And you shouldn’t talk to me that way anyway.”

“Why not?” He asked his smirk growing.

“I’m your older brother and our younger brothers don’t need to hear you talk like that. Matt don’t think I can’t spank you. That I won’t. Snap out of it,” I warned.

“Don’t like the bat huh?” He said shrugging his shoulders and pursing his lips, “Don’t ask me to be myself with you if you can’t deal with it.”

“Got it, I’m going to go make dinner, I figured hotdogs were probably fine,” I said, “Everyone ok with that?”

“I am,” James said finally saying something, “Can I come with you?”

“Sure bud,” I said nodding my head, “Come on. You two homework now.”

I walked away. I couldn’t deal with him like that. I don’t know how I managed to appear so calm but I felt like my heart was racing. I could tell he was trying to upset me, get me to respond almost like what Da and Uncle Ben did touching me, running their hands over my skin because they knew it would make me squeal, make me try to pull away.

“Will?” James asked me pulling me back out of my thoughts.

“Yeah bud?” I asked him.

“What does fuck mean?” He asked me.

I felt my cheeks flush slightly, “It’s when they…put their penis in your butt or when they put their mouth down there. It’s an adult word for it that we’re not supposed to use so don’t say it again ok?”

“Ok,” He said nodding his head, “Did Uncle Ben really do that to you upstairs just now?"

“Jay,” I sighed, “I really don’t want to talk about it right now. It’s not anything against you and usually I’m ok with it just right now I feel like I can’t…”

“Sorry,” Jay said quietly.

“It’s not you bud I just…I feel gross and I have to cook dinner and I have my own homework to do ok?” I tried to explain.

“Yeah, it’s ok,” He told me going over to the door and grabbing something out of his book bag before he sat down at the kitchen table.

He quietly worked on something while I cooked hot dogs and carrots with Mac and cheese on the side. I called everyone to dinner when it was done and we mostly ate in silence. I didn’t feel like talking and I think they could all sense it. That they all knew something was wrong and at least of them didn’t want to talk about it because the respected me and cared about me while the other one, Matt I could see the curiosity behind his eyes, his eyes still being that weird crystal blue his mask that he wore everyday still not in place as he watched me eat tentatively.

“Ok you two I want you to go watch TV,” I said to Mike and James, “Matt help me with the dishes please.”

“Why me?” He asked me.

“Because you and I need to talk now help me. You can dry I’ll wash,” I said as I grabbed my plate and Jay’s and walked over to the sink.

“Are you mad?” He asked once he had joined me at the sink looking at me closely.

“At you being stupid and using adult words? Yeah, I’m slightly perturbed. What gave it away?” I chortled.

“The way your shoulders look tense. The way you’re looking at me. You look like you’re trying to be calm but you’re really mad on the inside,” He said shrugging his shoulders.

“Why don’t you put Bruce on?” I asked him.

“Don’t feel like it,” He shrugged his shoulders as I handed him a plate to dry, “Why did you decide you like the lie so much?”

“Because at least then I can pretend you’re normal,” I answered, “Pretend something about my life is normal.”

“Nothing about our lives is normal,” Matty sighed heavily as if he were bored, “So did he?”

“What?” I asked shaking my head confused.

“F….” I cut off his words

“Don’t say it Matt I swear. There are better ways you could word that and you know it don’t antagonize me,” I warned.

“Like you’d do anything about it anyway but fine, did he have sex with you?” He asked me.

“That’s what he made me go with him to do so what do you think Matty?” I hissed.

“What does it feel like? I always think it hurts,” He asked me.

“Well, then you know the answer,” I told him.

“Does it ever feel good though?” He asked me.

“Weird. It feels weird,” I shot back, “What is the point of this?”

“Of what?” He asked fringing innocence.

“Of asking me this. You know what it’s like Da and you even said the other night it’s something you do all the time so why on earth are you asking me about it? You already know what it’s like so there isn’t any point in asking me,” I pointed out.

“Just curious if it’s the same for you as it is for me. Da said John likes it. That it feels good to him,” Matt said, “He said it will feel good to me too when I get to be a little bit older but that it has to do with my body being little, being not used to it.”

“I’m not much bigger then you are. And I think Da is lying I don’t think John likes it at all. I think John hates it as much as I do,” I answered.

“You hate it even when they don’t go inside? Even when they just use their mouth?” He asked me.

“Yes,” I answered handing him the last dish and taking the stack of dry dishes beside him and putting them away in the cupboard, “I’m going upstairs to my room to go to sleep. It’s 6:30 I’ll come back down and make sure you three are in bed by then.”

I didn’t look at him. I couldn’t. I was too angry and he knew it. He had done it to piss me off I realized that I just couldn’t control my reactions anymore.

I made my way upstairs to the room I shared with James and didn’t wait to see if Ben was leaving or if Da was home or what was going on but pulled out my book hugging it to my chest. I wanted to cry. I wanted to mourn the Matty I thought could have existed outside of this reality. The happy kid that maybe would have been a little off but, would have been ok.

This Matty wasn’t ok. This Matty was dark, was an animal killer and someone who didn’t have any empathy, who would say shocking things just to watch someone squirm. My Uncle had raped and my little brother had asked if he could watch him do it. And then when my Uncle had told him no he proceeded to taunt me about it, ask me questions. It took me a while to decide that I wanted to know what I could do, how to handle my brother and when I was sure everyone was busy I took the lift upstairs to the third floor where I knew the offices were, where I knew the computers were.

I hit the mouse when I noticed the one was asleep in the second office that didn’t have Da’s personal papers all over the desk and I went to internet explorer. I looked up psychopathic children. There wasn’t too much information other than most children with psychopathic traits were diagnosed with different conduct disorders such as oppositional defiant disorder or what they called CU Callous unemotional traits which was something Dr. Larkin had mentioned. Kids like this were easily annoyed with other, did this to purposely upset and annoy others, lacked empathetic feelings for others and sometimes enjoyed tormenting others in physical and emotional ways. They knew their behavior was unacceptable but did it because they found it fun to play with people, to upset people.

While they knew their behavior was wrong and would sometimes lead to punishment, punishment has little to no effect on these children to deter them engaging in their violent and destructive behaviors. Conduct disorders like CU and ODD are known as precursors to Anti-social personality disorder or the personality disorder normally associated with psychopathic tendencies and behaviors. Many psychopaths are highly intelligent and are able to hide their inner self well. They learn this from watching the behavior of those around them and adapting themselves accordingly.

One article I read said it was like wearing a mask. They wore a mask with another face on it, a charming face that was socially acceptable doing their best to hide their maladaptive behaviors from those around them. They started developing the ability to mask themselves between the ages of six and eight and before that they were prone to displaying acts of unexplainable brutality and violence.

All of these fit Mathew to a tee. From the way he described how Mike had to remind him to be Bruce instead of Batman to his killing of the little Lizards and even the Bunny Rabbit Mike wanted to keep as pets. To displaying an interest in not only making me emotionally uncomfortable around him by asking me questions that he knew would upset but even his request to watch Ben hurt me. To watch Ben rape me.

My little brother was sick. He was so sick there was nothing anyone could do to fix him. No hope that he would ever be able to live a normal life. He would never know love. He would never understand it. His world would only allow him to feel joy when others felt pain. Would only allow him happiness if others were suffering.

The only way to treat him was with medication and even then, the hope that he would ever live a normal life where he could actually care about people was very small. I needed to talk to my Da about this. My Da was the only one who would allow him treatment if he wanted him treated at all. Just like the rest of us, my Da held my brother’s life in the palm of his hands.

I sighed clearing the history of the browser before I got up and turned off the light. I hadn’t realized how late it was. That it was nearing nine pm. That it was past the time I had told Matt I would come and make sure the three of them were ready for bed. I sighed and then wandered downstairs and entered their room without knocking.

Uncle Ben was sitting on the bed next to them his body weight supported by his knees as he peered at them intently his hand mid gesture like he was telling them to do something as Matt straddled Mike’s hips both of them naked Mike looking terrified like he didn’t know what he was doing, what was going on. Like he wasn’t sure he wanted this to happen.

“What are you doing?” I asked Ben.

“We’re just playing,” Matt answered before Ben said anything to me.

“You’re done playing, Mike come on sport,” I said and when Matt didn’t move I grabbed him by the elbow and dragged him off causing a shout or two from him and tried again, “Mike it’s ok, come on. You’re all right.”

“Yeah,” he said nodding his head and standing up, “Ok am I coming with you?”

“Yeah sport you’re coming with me,” I said nodding my head as I grabbed a shirt from the floor probably Ben’s, “You two want to play you play together you don’t bring him into this. He’s not like you two.”

“So, I’m like him?” Matty asked me.

“From the way you were laying on top of him, your twin brother I might add yeah, I’d say you probably are,” I told him, “You two want to do that with each other that’s fine but you leave him out of it.”

“They’re a packaged deal, ask them Mike won’t do anything without Matt,” Ben said.

“Mike’s not doing anything with anyone. Matt if you want to say no you can come with us and you can share a bed with Mike and James but, you don’t touch them like that. Ok?” I said.

“Oh, come on you’re ruining my fun baby,” Ben said standing up before he pushed me hard into the wall, “If you’re not going to let them play we’re going to play. You know that, right?”

“Can I watch?” Matt asked.

“Maybe,” Ben said turning back to look at him, Ben’s hand on my neck ready to squeeze.

“Let them leave,” I said trying to sound brave when really, I was so scared. Scared that my brother was going to get what he wanted. That he was going to be allowed to watch as my uncle raped me.

I closed my eyes and tried to breathe his hand moving from around my neck to rubbing my collar bones roughly his lips pressed into a thin line like he was thinking intently as he looked at me thinking about that. Thinking about what he wanted to do to me. I blinked and found my last bit of courage.

“Let them leave,” I repeated.

“No, you see. If I want them to stay they’ll stay and you know why? You don’t have any say here, you walked in on this, you want it to stop you do what I say. This isn’t your game to play baby. This is my game. You’ll play my way,” He warned.

“Let them leave,” I said again, “I’ll…I’ll do whatever you want. Just make them leave.”

“I don’t want to stay here,” Mike scoffed frowning as he starred at us before Ben grabbed me hard by back of the neck slamming his lips against mine, kissing me hard.

I grabbed his wrists trying to unlatch his hand from the back of my neck. He was going to rape me in front of them. He was kissing me in front of them. I felt sick to my stomach. Da had told him he couldn’t that he wasn’t supposed to. That he had to stop for a while because mum was coming home soon that was until this afternoon when he said he was going to be watching us while he was out with John.

“Da said you can’t,” I lied.

“You think I don’t talk to him. He said I couldn’t touch them and I wasn’t. They were touching each other. Come on baby, let’s show them what it looks like,” He said as Matt and Mike moved away from the bed Mike covering his eyes with his hands trying to hide himself from what he was pretty sure was going to happen.

“I get to watch? Really?” Matt asked excitedly.

“Yeah,” Ben said as he grabbed me by the elbow and pushed me onto the bed stomach down his hands going to my pants wrapping around my waist as he ground his hips into mine, “It’ll be fun won’t it baby?” He muttered sucking on the nape of my neck as he hands started working at my khaki’s scrambling to get them undone and pull them down my legs.

He was going to rape me in front of them. I felt like I was going to die my face the hottest it had ever been. It wasn’t like I could stop him. It wasn’t like I could tell him no that I didn’t want to and it felt like doing so would be wasting breath anyway. Because even if I told him I wanted him to stop it didn’t mean that he would.

Just then the phone rang that was sitting on the night stand next to the bed, “Fuck me,” Ben sighed before getting up leaving my pants half way down my legs resting against the back of my knees as he answered the phone, “Yeah?”

I didn’t listen to the conversation until I heard him swear under his breath, “Yeah I’m putting them to bed right now. Yeah, I know it’s like nine and that’s past their bedtime but James is asleep. Yeah, I got it. Connor, I said I got it they’re all going to sleep now. Not just bed but actual sleep. Ok yeah, thanks.” He finished and hung up the phone.

“Ok guy’s bedtime for everyone, PJ’s on and into bed,” He said harshly.

He sounded pissed. Pissed that he didn’t get his chance to touch me again when he wanted to. When he wanted my brothers to watch that. To watch him rape me. To watch him kiss me like that. I sighed in relief as I rolled over and stood up pulling my pants back up and doing them up quickly.

“Night,” I said getting ready to leave the room.

“Not so fast baby,” he said making me stop in my tracks, “give me a minute.”

I went out into the hallway fuming. Really? He couldn’t just let me go he had to further my humiliation? Awesome. Just awesome. I waited out in the hallway for me to leave them alone. To exit their bedroom, him turning off the light as he shut the door behind him.

“That was your Da,” He said once the door was shut.

“I figured,” I answered, “So he said John had a Doctor’s appointment and that’s why he was gone?”

“Yeah John broke his arm so it’s going to take him a little longer then he’d like to get home,” Ben answered.

“What? When?” I asked feeling my face contort with distress.

When would John have time to break his arm and what would he have been doing that would make that even possible. He hadn’t left Da’s bedroom in weeks until recently as far as I knew let alone the house. Did he fall down the stairs at some point? What the hell had happened? Was he ok?

“He’s fine other than his arm is broken and he’s getting a cast,” Ben said, “Now what I wanted to talk about. You don’t do that. You don’t tell me what to do. If I was in a bad mood you’d be downstairs right now you realize that?”

“You were going to…” he cut off my words

“I don’t care what you think I was going to do. You listen to me, you don’t listen to anyone else but me or your Da. You don’t tell me what to do you don’t tell me I can’t do something. I want to watch your brothers fuck I’m going to watch them fuck you understand? I want them to watch me fuck you that’s what’s going to happen. You’re mine. You breathe when I tell you to, you eat when I tell you to, you think, when I tell you to. You understand?” He hissed at me.

“Yes,” I answered quietly a shiver going down my spine.

He was being nice. He didn’t have to warn me. He could have just punched me in the face no one would have known. He could have beaten me to a pulp as long as it wasn’t what my Da considered a serious injury nothing would have been done about it. It didn’t take a rocket scientists to understand that.

“God to bed,” He said and I nodded my head before going quietly into the other room and closing the door using the small nightlight on the wall to get changed and climb into bed.

I don’t remember dreaming that night. Nor do I remember uncle Ben coming in and bothering me. I don’t remember hearing his footsteps only James whining as he threw open the door.

“That little shit wants to tell me no? I’ll show him what no means,” He mumbled to himself grabbing my hard by the elbow and leading me through the house practically throwing me down the stairs in the kitchen and then doing the same on the way to the basement.

I remember my brain being too tired to process what he was doing what was going on. I knew it was Da, I wasn’t stupid. But my brain couldn’t figure out what was happening until he opened the door to the room John’s eyes lighting up in fear as he looked at me still yawning and rubbing the sleep from my eyes.

“John what’s going on?” I asked at that point realization finally dawning on me. Making my whole being feel cold.

“Is that still a no baby?” Da hissed “Do you still want your brother to join in the fun or are you going to say ok da you can make love to me?”

“What?” I asked my stomach instantly getting upset, “Da you can’t do that. Don’t do that. Please just leave him alone.”

I was wide awake now. My brain moving on overdrive. Da was raping him, was going to rape him? He hated John that much? Hated us that much? Sure, he was threatening me too but at the time that’s not what I was focused on. I was focused on the fact that John was naked and chained the foot of the bed by a shackle. That he was covered in sweat like he’d been down there for hours already. Probably being raped repeatedly.

I was focused on the fact that my Da was hurting my brother. My brother that I loved and cared about and didn’t want to see go through this. That I didn’t want to hear scream and beg my Da to stop like he had done the one time my Uncle was on top of him when I was little. Those screams that woke me up in the middle of the night because I was afraid he was dying.

I heard John sigh heavily, “Ok da, you can…” he paused his face turning red with the thought of what he was about to say, unable to hide the shame he was feeling. “make…love to me.”

He kept his head down not looking at me. Almost like he was trying to ignore the fact that I was there at all. Like he was trying to deny that I had just heard him say that. To Da. I looked at Da frowning, shaking my head. How could he be ok with this? How could he like doing this? Didn’t he see how scared John was? How much pain he was in? How much he hated himself?

“Yeah?” Da asked a smile spreading across his face. A smile of satisfaction like he had won some type of game he was playing.

“Yeah,” John said barely above a whisper staring at the floor at his hands in front of him.

“And Will is going to watch,” Da said his evil sneer growing.

“Wha…?” I could even finish the word I was so shocked.

Why would he want me to watch that? Why would he think that was ok? I didn’t want to watch him hurt my brother. Hurt someone I cared about. Did he think I was just going to sit by and keep my eyes trained on them? Watch him do that?

“Da, you want me to watch you…? I really don’t…”

He cut off my words with a growl, “Would you like to join us? No? I didn’t think so. So, sit down in that chair and don’t look away. You’re going to watch and you’re going to shut up unless you want to join understand?”

John sighed before slowly using the foot of the bed to pull himself up the chain attaching him to it making little clinking sounds as he sat back down on the foot of the bed slowly his eyes never lifting from the floor as Da walked back over to him.
Da sat down on the bed next to John and silently stabbed his finger in the direction of the chair he wanted me to sit. I sighed and moved to sit there and once I was sitting he turned to John tipping John’s chin up with his finger gently making John look at him before he embraced him his hands rubbing along John’s back between his shoulder blades as John shivered slightly before he buried his face in John’s neck. John glancing over at me briefly the fear flickering in his eyes along with a silent apology. A sorry that I had to see what was happening. Like he thought it was his fault.

Like it wasn’t Da making me watch but John. John closed his eyes tightly gripping Da’s shoulders hard. Like he was scared and looking for something stable. Something to make him feel grounded as Da slid on top of him muttering something quietly in his ear John sighing his whole being shaking as he nodded his head in reply to whatever Da had whispered in his ear.

He started kissing him on his jaw pressing harder more edger kisses there like he couldn’t get enough of the taste of his skin under his lips. Slowly he started kissing down John’s chest as John closed his eyes tightly panting. My stomach felt like I had swallowed a brick.

I knew exactly what that felt like. Those kisses against your skin making your whole-body tingle even though you hated it. Even though you wanted to scream at him to stop, to leave you alone. It felt worse then what you imagined hell felt like. Nothing in your control. John letting out a whimper as Da’s kisses reached the middle of his chest. Before Da’s tongue lazily rolled out of his mouth licking the rest of the way to my brothers swollen redness in-between his legs.

I felt sick to my stomach but couldn’t look away couldn’t help but notice the way John’s upper chest and face were flushed red with effort. The effort of trying to control his reactions as Da licked down his shaft engulfing John’s tip in his mouth as John shuddered at the sensation. John fisted the sheets to the point where his knuckles were white. To the point where I swore he was probably leaving crescent shaped marks in his palms. Da bringing him to the edge and then stopping trailing kisses up John’s body again before coaxing John’s legs apart Da turning back to see the look on my face.

The dumb wide mouthed look I was wearing. I wondered if that was what I looked like. When Ben did that to me. Or when Da did it to me. My face turning bright red as it looked like I was squinting so hard someone could imagine the headache I was inducing in myself by looking at me. John hissed lightly when Da finally pushed all the way him turning back to him kissing his face, his cheeks and forehead, “I know baby it’ll only hurt for a second.” He said just barely loud enough for me to hear before he stopped moving his hands rubbing up and down John’s side causing little shivers to ripple across John’s skin whenever Da’s thumb brushes against his nipples on their repeated journey up and down John’s sides.

John let out a small whimper as Da pulled out slightly to slam back in John still digging his hands into sheets as Da started rocking up into him making him whimper louder and louder. I could tell he was trying to be quiet trying to be mindful that I was there that I was hearing what was going on even if I wasn’t looking. I wanted to kill my Da. To stop him from hurting him from making him make those sounds. It was weird. I tried not to pay close attention because it just made me wonder what it would feel like to be on top.

What it would feel like to have someone else’s body around a part of yours John’s hole seeming to expand and contract around Da as Da pushed in and out of him in a consistent rhythm. John whined a lot, moaned. I couldn’t really tell if it was feeling good to him or not but the way he was gripping the sheets made me think that maybe it was just a little bit. Like when Ben hit that spot inside of me sometimes. Hit against my prostate. I felt embarrassed for him. Embarrassed because he knew I was watching them, that I could see them.

After a while Da’s speed changed and so did John’s moans almost sounding like he was fighting back tears. Like it hurt. I didn’t see how many time either of them ejaculated I wasn’t counting but Da’s lower stomach was coated with John’s discharge when he stood up, when he had decided john had endured enough and he grabbed me.

I didn’t even really get a chance to speak before he was shoving his tongue in my mouth his hands ripping my shirt in half down my chest as he shoved my pants down to my ankles with my underwear. I went to go take a step away when he let me go for a second tripping and ending up face down on the bed next to John who turned away from me curling into a ball. At first I felt almost hurt by the action like he was giving me over to him and then I saw the pink dripping down the back of his thighs.

I sighed. He wasn’t giving me over to him at all he just couldn’t take anymore. John just couldn’t deal with anymore that night and I knew it. He would never have admitted it had you asked him. He would probably tell you that if he could have gotten up he would have fought Da tooth and nail to get him to leave me alone and I bet you all the money in the world if he could have found the strength to he would have but he didn’t have any more that night.

Da climbed on my back pushing a finger into me making me hiss in pain. He was rough, frenzied like he wanted to finish. He didn’t care it was me he just wanted to finish his tongue tracing circles on the back of my neck as he moved is fingers around inside me, only stretching me out enough to get in before he started to push his way in making me scream. That pain searing because it had been a little bit my bottom still slightly bruised because of Ben and what he had done to me before the last time he had raped me like that.

He clamped his hand over my mouth to muffle my sobs and screams as he thrusted into me each thrust hard enough to nearly lift me off the bed until he had cum. The sticky inside me making me wish I didn’t have to feel my body. That I didn’t have to be his son, his kid. Making me wish that I could be anyone else instead of the kid laying next to his brother on the bed as his Da slammed the bathroom door after raping them both. After a few minutes Da came back turning off the overhead light but leaving the lamp on the side table on before he settled into the chair I had been sitting in before, reclining it backwards and wrapping himself in a blanket as I pulled my knees in to my chest.

“Will? Will I’m so sorry,” I heard John sob before I looked over at him.

“It’s not your fault,” I barely whispered before moving my eyes to look at him, to actually take in the pain on his face that mirrored my own.

Da snorted loudly before his eyes opened and he realized where we were, “Oh you guys can go upstairs now if you want.”

I stood and then realized John was still chained to the bed by his ankle. I wasn’t about to leave him down there. Who knew what Da would do if I allowed him to be left like that, “Da? Could you unlock John so he can come too?”

“Oh yeah, sorry” he yawned and got up getting the key off the hook on the wall and unlocking the chain from around John’s ankle. His Ankle looked bruised and swollen. Like he had pulled at the chain inadvertently while Da was hurting him. Like he body had been trying to escape even when he knew logically escape wasn’t possible.

“Thank you Da,” I said quietly grabbing John’s arm and wrapping it over my shoulder to try and take some of his weight because I knew he was sore. He was beyond sore. I could tell just from looking at him, “Come on John let’s go upstairs.”

We made it up the basement steps and into the kitchen before John stopped moving me not able to move his body weight on my own and he sighed sadly, like he was defeated, “I failed.”

“No, you didn’t, the only people who have failed us is them. You told me about your deal with him and you did everything in your power to keep it, he’s the one that broke it not you,” I answered pulling on his arm trying to coax him up the stairs.

I wasn’t sure if Da would change his mind if maybe he would decide he wasn’t done with us and didn’t want to get caught downstairs naked where we were easy prey. I managed to finish forcing us up the stairs to the second floor and leaned John against the wall as I opened the bathroom door turning on the light and started the water. When I had the temperature adjusted I helped John over the side of the tub and sat on the toilet waiting for him to finish. Once he was done I helped him hop out and then did the same with myself taking a quick shower before John handed me a towel.

“Are you going to be ok?” I asked him quietly.

“Yeah, I’m fine, I’ll be fine. Why?” He mumbled.

“You’re going towards his bedroom,” I motioned with my head in the direction he was walking, “If the deals off why sleep in his room?”

“I don’t know,” John shrugged his shoulders, “Because maybe he won’t hurt anyone else if I still do? I can always hope. You know all I want to do is keep you safe, right? Keep all of you safe?”

“You’re not going to be able to keep us safe,” I said, “I know that won’t keep you from trying but know it’s not your fault ok?”

“Yeah,” John snorted lightly, “I love you. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight,” I said before turning and heading down the hallway towards the room I shared with James making sure I was quiet as I got dressed and climbed into bed next to him only able to close my eyes because of exhaustion.

Chapter Text

Da hadn’t told me when mum would be coming home only that it would be soon. So, when I woke up the next morning I treated it like any other Tuesday. Got up, dressed helped my brothers get dressed and head off to catch the bus, letting them know that they should catch theirs or Da was going to be mad.

When I got on the bus Finn was there and he smiled at me his smile falling when he saw my face. He knew something was wrong as he scooted over to allow me to sit next to him, “What happened?”

I shrugged my shoulders, “Just another night in the McGregor house, nothing I won’t get over.”

“Man, don’t do that. You keep it locked up you’ll drive yourself nuts. What happened?” He whispered to me.

“Da,” I said, “I got home and Ben was there and Matty was…Matty was all over the place. Not normal. I looked a bunch of stuff up said he was sick. All the stuff I read. He wanted to watch Uncle Ben with me. He wanted to…if he wasn’t my brother I would hate him. I don’t know what to do with him right now and then Da. He…he’s Da. John did something to make him mad so he woke me up. He made me go downstairs and he…”

I trailed off. I couldn’t tell anyone that. That I had to watch my brother get raped. Had to watch him get raped in the hopes that I wouldn’t be raped when Da was done with him. That he was trying so hard to make sure I was ok and it wasn’t working. That anything he did to try and save us, didn’t work.

“No,” Finn said under his breath shaking his head, “Are you sure you’re ok?”

“Honestly?” I asked finally able to look my friend in the face, “No. I will be though. I have to be.”

“What about your brother?” He asked me.

“He’s losing it,” I answered, “He was in bad shape before now he’s…I feel like he’s barely holding on and he’s trying to hide it. He’s being stupid. Thinking he can stop them. That him putting himself in the way is going to help anyone. It’s just stupid.”

“He’s doing what he thinks he can,” Finn told me, “The only thing he thinks he can.”

“He’s my best friend,” I hissed at him, “He’s killing himself for me. For us and he refuses to see it that way. Even after last night he still refuses to see it that way and it’s stupid. It’s fucking stupid Finn. Da …hurt me right next to him after he was done with John and yet when he finally let us leave, let us go upstairs John still went to Da’s room. Still went to his bed like that was going to make any difference in what Da did next. Like that was going to stop Da from hurting me or someone else. It’s just stupid to think that.”

Finn sighed deeply taking a second before he answered, “Do you think that maybe whatever you’re Da is doing is partly brainwashing him? That’s one of the things they like to do. The brotherhood. They want to get as many people tracked as they can and they do that by torturing them until they can’t think anymore. Until they aren’t their own person anymore. Maybe that’s what’s going on?”

“Maybe but John needs to fight harder. If he ends up like that, like Da because he gave himself over to him I will never forgive him,” I said.

“He thinks he’s protecting you, he just needs to see that it doesn’t matter what he does. That he’s not protecting you because they won’t let him. Have you told him about what you told me yet? That while your Da said things weren’t happening that and your uncle was gone, was keeping his hands-off you guys that he really wasn’t?” Finn asked me.

“No,” I answered, “If I do they’ll hurt him worse. Ben said it might even break him. Make him want to die. If he doesn’t already feel that way. I can’t do that to him.”

“You might need to. To show him that he can’t trust them for shit. That way maybe he’ll quit throwing himself at them,” Finn said as the bus pulled into the bus drive, “He’s your brother you need to make sure he’s protecting himself as hard as he’s protecting the rest of you.”

He gave me a lot to think about. Was I ready to take the chance that he wasn’t going to hurt himself? Was I really ready to deal with the fact that he might really hurt himself if I told him Da had lied to him when he was counting on Da’s word to keep us all safe. When Da’s word was the only reason he was doing what he was doing?

It was something that I thought about that entire day, that thought taking precedence over every other thing that happened to the point where I don’t remember anything else. I know it was an average day for the most part Uncle Ben out of the house again. I went to bed that night expecting to wake up and go to school in the morning but when my alarm went off and I hopped out of bed Da was waiting for me by the bathroom.

“No school today I called you guys off.” He said looking at me.

“Why?” I asked quietly afraid of his answer.

“Nothing like that,” he sighed seeming annoyed that I thought it was something sinister, “Mum is coming home. She’ll be here around nine.”

“Really?” I asked trying to keep my appearance calm.

I didn’t want him to know I was excited mum was going to be coming home. That she might be able to help keep us safe. From him, from Ben. That I could hold her and smell her and that things might feel ok for a little while. That things might slow down and go back to a bedroom visit once a week or so.

“Yeah really honey,” he said.

My blood froze at the use of that pet name. I hated when he called me that. That pet name never spelt anything good for me. That name was like Ben calling me baby it was something I never wanted to hear because I always dreaded what came after.
“So, I can go back to sleep?” I asked him, hoping that he would allow that.

“In a couple minutes, I wanted to talk to you about something,” he told me.

“Out here?” I asked him gesturing at the hallway.

“We can go to the living room if you want,” he said.

“Ok,” I answered.

So, he wasn’t planning on raping me. That was good at least but, I still felt like I was in trouble somehow. I still don’t know how to explain it but, something about the whole thing just felt off as he gestured for me to walk downstairs into the living room. I walked down and sat on the couch and he smiled as I shifted my weight a little my body still healing from what he had done to me the other night.

“What do you want to talk to me about?” I asked him.

“I want you to keep quiet about Ben,” he said, “Your mum doesn’t like him so I’d rather she didn’t know that he was living here while she was gone. Helping out that’s fine you can tell her he was here sometimes but I don’t want her knowing that he has a room here. I want to break that news to her gently. Which means…"

“Which means she doesn’t know about him, about…”

“The two of you? Yes,” he said, “That’s brotherhood business that doesn’t get repeated to your mum you understand?”

“Yes, what about John?” I asked him.

“No, that doesn’t get repeated to her either. You know you don’t need to ask me about that,” he said.

“Are you going to divorce her?” I asked him.

He frowned at me confused, “Why would I divorce your mum?”

“Because you don’t love her. That’s what people do when they don’t love each other. They get divorced,” I said.

“I love your mum she’s going to give me many more children. Why would you think I don’t love your mum?” He asked me.

“Because you love John more,” I answered and saw his eyes flash.

“That’s none of your business. You keep that to yourself,” he hissed at me.

“It’s true though,” I answered shrugging my shoulders.

“You think I don’t love you? You think I don’t love any of you but him?” He asked me.

“No I mean like. You want to kiss him and stuff,” I answered shrugging my shoulders before he climbed on my lap, “WHA…?”

“I want to kiss all of you honey,” he said rubbing both sides of my jaw gently in his hands tilting my head up to look at him, “I love all of you ok? Very much you’re all very special to me. Especially my boys ok?”

“Da please,” I said, “I didn’t mean anything by it. I’m sorry I know you love all of us. I didn’t mean anything.”

“Baby, you think I’m going to hurt you?” He asked me frowning, “I’m not going to hurt you. I know I was rough the other night and I’m sorry. I was over excited. I know I didn’t treat you like you deserve and I’m sorry I’ll find another time and we’ll do it right ok? Just me and you together, in the quiet…” he said moving his face closer, curling up on himself so that we could be nose to nose his hands still massaging the sides of my neck and collar bone before he kissed my lips.

I didn’t want him kissing me like that. Pinning me down like he was. It made me feel sick to my stomach. He didn’t take it any farther. He stopped and got off my lap.

“I love all of you.” He said again, “I just wanted you to be aware of those things all right. I don’t want to have to hurt anyone. I don’t want your mum upset because who knows what she might do? You can go back to sleep now if you want.”

I nodded my head as he walked away leaving me sitting there alone. I knew he still loved John more and not in a way that John wanted. Not in a way that any of us wanted. I thought about what he had said. That mum was going to give him more babies. That that’s why he wasn’t going to divorce her because he wanted more of us. More kids to abuse and pass out to his friends. More lives to ruin.

It didn’t strike me at the time how really sick that was. That he wanted more kids just so he could ruin more lives. Just so he had more people he could share with the brotherhood because the brotherhood was all men who abused boys. They abused their boys and passed them around like trading cards but girls. Girls were different. Girls were for Daddy to train up.

To teach them they were human incubators to make more boys to pass around. To carry the next generation forward. At the time, I didn’t know that. That they thought that’s all girls were good for. That my little sisters were expected to lead that life. To hand over their children to this system where their children were objects and not people until they were well into adulthood.

I went back upstairs and climbed back into bed, pulling my little brother into my chest. Not because he needed me but because I needed him. I needed to feel him, to know he was safe. That no one was going to hurt him in that moment. That Da wasn’t going to come into the room and climb on top of him. Make him hurt. He didn’t wake up but snuggled in against me in his sleep.

I was woken up a couple hours later by the sound of the front door opening and a baby crying, followed by another baby crying. I sighed with relief. Mum was finally home. I got up and went downstairs to meet her running into her arms and hugging her tightly as Catty ran to John and did the same to him.

“Hi my love,” she said kissing my forehead, “God I’ve missed my boys. I’m here now.”

I broke away from her and nodded my head sighing, trying to relax. Hoping that maybe things would get better now, that they wouldn’t be so hard. I looked behind me when I heard his footsteps him being the only adult upstairs in the house and turned to see him in his full suit and tie like he had just come out of his office to greet everyone, “And there are my little ones! Let me see all these gorgeous babies!” He said picking up one of the new siblings I hadn’t met yet from inside their car seat a little head of thin red curls appearing in a blue dress as he lifted her out making her fuss at the sudden feel of the air against her little legs.

“That would-be Mary,” Mum pointed out to him as John went outside and grabbed a car seat from the front stoop and I did the same.

I looked down at the car seat I grabbed struggling with it slightly because of the weight and my own size. It was a little boy still slightly pink and fresh his eyes closed. His newness to the world evident as I looked down at his crown of dark hair. This was my brother. My newest brother. God, did he pick the wrong life to come into.

“You ok?” John asked me as I half carried and half dragged the car seat over the threshold of the house.

“Yeah,” I said nodding my head biting my lip as I looked at him, “Yeah I’m fine.”

“I know,” he said nodding his head reading the look on my face, “Not much we can do now. There’s time. Don’t worry about it. Not yet.”

That was the first time I had ever heard John be a voice of reason. When I was thinking about the type of life this kid would have. The things he’d be subjected to at some point John was saying “think about now”. Think about what’s happening now and not later.

That was something he had never done before him being the one with constant anxiety worrying about the what if’s and the how’s and why’s. While usually I was the one in the now. Focused on the now. But seeing that little face that looked so peaceful and knowing it wouldn’t know that peace for long broke my heart a little that day.

Knowing that the it might not be possible to save him from this. From any of this. It was overwhelming.

Mum sighed as she smiled happily at Da shutting the door behind us as we pulled them inside. I remember her face a little red from the chill of the air. The weather being unusually cold that day for a Florida fall.

“Oh, hi there wee girl. I’m your Da it’s nice to meet you,” Da said hugging Mary to his chest and rubbing her tiny back, “Another redhead just like your mum huh?”

“So how was everyone?” Mum asked looking at Da who seemed completely enamored in the tiny girl he was holding bouncing up and down lightly as she snoozed on his shoulder.

When he didn’t answer, she turned to face John. Looking for his answer instead. Trying to read his face as he stared back at her.

“Fine,” he answered. His smile fell slightly probably because he was thinking about what a lie that was. Sure, it wasn’t a huge lie but, it was still a lie and John hated lying. It was something he was never good at.

“Well, your Da said he set the nursery up upstairs so, let’s go,” she said as she motioned for us to start climbing the stairs and John sighed starting to haul a car seat up to the second floor.

I started to do the same and then stopped and thought better of it. The baby on his own didn’t weight nearly as much as the car seat and I would probably be better off just picking him up and holding him. It wouldn’t be my first time holding a new baby. I had plenty of experience with it and I knew mum wouldn’t be upset so I unbuckled him from his seat while mum took Mary from Da’s arms and John pulled the car seat with Mac in it up the stairs and we all moved towards the elevator leaving everyone else downstairs talking to each other and Da Laura clinging to Da’s leg as Matt squatted to meet Andy on his level and talk to him.

“What do you mean upstairs mum?” John asked frowning a little bit.

“You know the floor for you guys, where all your bedrooms are,” she said helping John move Mac’s car seat in front of the lift door hitting the button to call it down to us.

“I thought only you had the code for that,” John said to her, “We haven’t been up there.”

“Where have you been sleeping then?” She asked, “Da said you let him up so you could help him decorate the nursery. What’s going on?”

“Let’s not be silly guys, why don’t you get these cuties settled in?” Da said coming up around the hallway and handing Laura over to mum, “There you go my bonnie lass, go see mummy,” he said before kissing her on the forehead and setting her down next to mum’s feet as she giggled up at him.

Mum looked at John and I worriedly and then the lift opened all of us getting the babies into the elevator as mum pushed the button to close it typing a code into it with the numbers and then hitting a green button the keypad the elevator moving upwards.

“So, you’re Da didn’t tell you where to find the code?” Mum asked us.

“No,” I answered, “He said you had it and he didn’t where you had put it. That he wasn’t sure so we would sleep in the guest rooms.”

“I swear he told me he helped you get the nurseries ready for the babies,” Mum repeated.

“Mum. We’ve never been up here; We’ve been sleeping on the second floor with Da and uncle Ben,” John said sternly.

Mum’s mouth opened in shock her face going pale, “UNCLE BEN?” she nearly screamed, “Your uncle has been here?” She said looking at John and me.

I felt my stomach clench. The one thing Da had told me not to say and John had said it. John had told mum that uncle Ben had been in the house, sleeping in the house with us just mere doors away.

“Yeah,” I said quietly.

“And everything has been ok? Ben hasn’t hurt anyone?” Mum questioned.

My stomach contracted with anxiety as John and I both stood there silent. I sighed thinking of what I could say that was at least partially true, “Well, he touched the twins when we got here but after that everything has been pretty ok for the most part,” I answered.

“What do you mean the most part?” Mum asked her eyes darting between John and I still looking panicked, fearful as she held Mary tightly in her arms me doing the same to Seamus.

I looked at John. I knew I wasn’t supposed to say anything but I didn’t want John to have to suffer in silence. I knew it wasn’t fair of me to say it but, I felt like I had to because I knew he wouldn’t, “Well…John wasn’t allowed to wear clothes or go to school,” I said being met with a deadly stare from John.

“John?” Mum questioned, “Is that what you were talking about on the phone that Da was being hard on John, Will?”

I nodded my head not able to look at either of them. Knowing that both of them were probably angry with me. One angry that I hadn’t said anything sooner while the other was probably angry that I had said anything at all.

“Will,” John said in a warning tone.

“Let’s get everyone settled and then you and I will talk alone ok John?” Mum sighed.

“Yeah, we can talk after,” John said nodding his head.

I laid Seamus down in the crib that had his name behind it in big decorative block letters on the wall kissing his forehead as I laid him down. I did the same to Mary as mum put her in her crib and then Mac before I left the room shutting the door behind me. I really hadn’t meant to upset him, to betray him but I knew he wouldn’t tell mom anything. I knew he would try to keep it to himself and I couldn’t stand that. I couldn’t stand watching him break because he kept too many secrets.

I went downstairs and found Da in the living room playing with Catherine and James while Mike and Matt watched TV his hand a little too far under Cat’s skirt for my liking even though she didn’t seem to notice and I cleared my throat, “Hey guys want to go upstairs and see your bedrooms?” I asked.

“Yeah!” James said excitedly jumping off Da’s right knee and running past me up the stairs as everyone else followed us.

When we got upstairs I opened up the first door on the right and saw that it was decorated with a light pastel green a tinker bell like stencil on the wall and lamp with a fairy blowing bubbles sitting on the white night stand next to a matching four poster bed with a canopy of white lace. The bed spread a rainbow of pastel colors of light fluffy yellows that reminded you of baby chicks, purples and pinks that reminded you of spring flowers and a blue that reminded you of the sky. The dresser also matched the night stand and the bed the handles looked like ivory carved into the shape of hearts for each drawer. It was beautiful for a little girl’s room. Prefect for Cat.

“Wow,” she whispered quietly her eyes lighting up.

“What does our room look like?” The twins asked in unison.

“I have no idea,” I answered, “Why don’t we open some doors and see what we find?”

We went to the next room opening that door and found it was nautical themed. A giant wave painted into the wall the bed made to look like an old pirate ship James on the foot of the bed in big letters next to a storage/toy chest that looked like it could hold treasure. My parents had really gone all out on these rooms the old faded distressed wood of each piece of furniture really fitting the theme and making James giggle in delight as he ran over and started to bounce on his bed happily.

The next room was mine. I opened the door and the first thing I noticed was the book shelf covered in books. Books that I would read, books that I had read in the past and loved. Books that I had missed. The wall was done in a bright blue not pastel but not navy and it was one of my favorite shades of blue. The furniture black a corner desk off the one side. I knew it was my room. I didn’t see my name anywhere but, I had no doubt it belonged to me.

The next room we opened had one room that was done is mostly black and red and I knew whose room that was there was a bunk bed in it but one bed had plain white sheets and comforter and I knew mum had set it up that way for a reason. It belonged to Matt but she knew there would be nights where Matt would need Mike and that other nights the opposite would be true and sure enough in the room next to that one the same thing only instead of being red and black it was blue and black.

Mum had worked really hard picking out each room and making it special for each one of us. Making sure we knew it belonged to us. I felt safe for the first time in a while going into my room and shutting the door grabbing my teddy bear that had been laying in the pillows when I opened the door. The bear I had possessed for as long as I could remember and gave it a quick hug before setting it back in its place.

I knew it wasn’t time to lay down yet. That I had to go out and be with my mum and my brothers and sisters. Especially Cat that had just gotten home to us, that had missed us so much more than the others because she was the oldest that had stayed behind with mum.

I opened the door and went out to explore the rest of our floor. Both ends were open on each side of the hallway the end farthest of the elevator having a kitchen on one side and an open living room on the other. On other end of the hallway next to the elevator was what I would consider a game room with a giant TV and a foos ball table behind that area. A corner that seemed to be set up as a play room near that. And across the way from that area was a piano. One that James had already found his hand touching the keys lightly his eyes already lit up in that way he stared at any piano.

Almost like it was talking to him, like he was listening to the most important conversation he would ever have in his life. His tiny fingers gently touching each key as he moved from one side of it to the other, his fingers not making any sound as he looked at it like it was a person, like it was a living breathing thing that needed his attention, his fingers to give it life. It was mesmerizing to watch him whenever he went near one even at that age. Like you knew just as much as he did that something magical would eventually come from it.

“Hey bud,” I said quietly causing him to look up for a second.

“Hmm?” he said looking back down at the keys before he ran his hand over the bench seat noticing a hinge there and opening it up. It was filled with sheet music. Some of it looked simple and some very advanced and he smiled picking up a piece and opening it up looking at it closely, carefully.

“We know who this is for don’t we?” I asked him.

“She’s mine,” he said quietly nodding his head as his eyes didn’t leave the music in his hands before he pulled the bench back and stood on it in order to reach the music stand. He sat down his hands running over the keys doing a small scale in the center before he started playing something small and simple. I still can’t remember what piece it was but his fingers flew over the keys and before I blinked he was done. Smiling at it.

“Yeah,” I said nodding my head, “Are you happy to have one?”

“Mum knew I’d want one. That it’s the only way things would be ok,” he said quietly.

“What do you mean?” I asked confused for a second.

“If I have somewhere to put it all. All the bad stuff. I’ll be ok,” he said sounding a lot older than his six years, “this is where I put it.”

“Bud,” I said quietly, “Are you talking about Da and what he did?”

He shrugged his shoulders not turning to look at me, his hands going silent on the keys once more still touching them. He was shutting down. He wasn’t being him, the happy kid I knew. The happy kid he once was before Da did that to him.

“Can I sit a minute bud?” I asked him and he moved over slightly his eyes still on the keys like he was trying avoid looking at me like he was hiding something from me. I sat down.

“Did Da do that again? Hurt you?” I asked him.

“He told me I can’t say anything. That you did it and you never said anything that I should be strong like you strong like John is, he said quietly.

“What do you mean?” I asked him.

“When you go to sleep. When you’re asleep sometimes he…he pulls the chair close to the bed and he…” he sniffled.

“Oh bud, no. You need to tell someone that. You can’t hold that in,” I said quietly, “You hold that in and keep to yourself it will make you so sad and sick. I don’t want to see you do that to yourself.”

“He touches me.” He finished. “A lot. I don’t like it.”

“Yeah. I know. I never liked it. It always made me feel weird,” I said quietly.

“He told me, that he used to do it to you. To everyone,” James said, “He said that he was sorry he hurt me that he didn’t mean to make it hurt. That it could feel good.”

“I’ll be honest with you. It can be not painful but,” I cleared my throat, “I’m not sure I would say it feels good. Maybe just that it doesn’t hurt the same way. It still feels weird. But you don’t have to worry about that anymore for right now because mum said he can’t get up here. So, you should be ok. Put something up against your bedroom door that will make a loud sound when he comes in that way you know he’s coming and he can’t sneak up on you anymore ok?”

James nodded his head, “Our family is different, isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” I answered.

“I think it’s probably almost bedtime, you want to do one more song?” I asked him.

“Yeah,” he smiled as I stood up and he started playing.

I watched him play and then at some point mum must have come out and been watching from somewhere behind me because when he was done she clapped, “Ok loves time for bed,” she said when she was done clapping.

“I know,” Jay said, “We were just talking about that weren’t we Will?”

“Yeah bud, we were, how about mum puts you to bed?” I asked him.

“Would you mum?” He asked looking at her.

“Of course, my love,” she said as he got up and hugged her. She walked down the hall with him and I followed at a distance going into my own bedroom and shutting the door.

I changed and climbed into my own bed for the first time grabbing Teddy and burying my face into him crying. Crying because I felt relieved for once. Relieved that they probably wouldn’t come to me tonight, to my bedroom. That Ben wasn’t in the house, that Da was probably going to be busy. So, I was safe. My brothers were safe. John was upstairs too so he was probably safe. That mum was here.

I must have not heard her knock because before I knew it I heard her voice, “Will love what’s wrong?” She asked me quietly as she sat down in the chair at my desk.

“I don’t know,” I answered, “I’m just…it’s ok now.”

“Then why are you crying love? Are you just relieved?” She asked me quietly.

I nodded my head looking up at her, “It was hard while you were gone mum. He was so …Da took him away and wouldn’t let anyone see him. Da said there’s thing I’m not allowed to tell him. And I want to. I want to tell someone so badly.”

“You can tell me,” Mum said, “I won’t let Da know I know.”

“You wouldn’t get it,” I said smiling at her sadly, “I know it’s because you love me that you want to know but, you wouldn’t get it.”

“No, I don’t want to know I don’t think but, sometimes even when we don’t want to we need to hear things. People need to tell us things so they don’t have to feel so alone. So, they can know that they’re not alone. That nothing is wrong with them, that things are going to be ok. If you need to share something and you feel like you can’t share it with anyone else, I want you to be able to come to me,” She answered me.

“I can’t,” I said again shaking my head, “I should have said something a long time ago when you told us we were going with Da and I didn’t. I didn’t say anything and I should have.”

“What are you talking about love?” She asked me softly.

“When John told you he wasn’t different and you kept saying he wasn’t like that anymore. John was right. He wasn’t different but I didn’t see anything making a difference. I didn’t think it’d get worse just because you were gone and it was stupid to think that. I was stupid mum and I’m sorry,” I said before I started crying.

“No love, no. It’s not your fault it’s mine,” she said rubbing my back slowly as I cried into my pillows hugging my bear to my chest, “It’s not your fault. It will never be your fault Will. Never.”

She let me cry it out. Cry into my pillows. It still felt like my fault. I didn’t think anything would change that. I’m still not sure it has changed really. When I was done crying she still ran her fingers calmly through my hair until I looked up at her.

“You feel any better?” She asked me quietly.

“Yeah,” I answered, “He was hurting me. Before we left London, he was hurting me. Coming into my room, our room at night and I just… didn’t. He told me you’d hate me at first and I believed him. That you and John would be mad at me because I broke up our family. By the time I realized it wasn’t true it was too late. You were pregnant. Again and again.”

“Hurting you like he hurt John?” She asked me.

“Yeah,” I answered nodding my head, “he did that when I was eight for the first time. John doesn’t even know.”

“I wish I could figure out a way to make him better. I thought he had gotten better when we were in London but, I guess not. I have to fix this.” She said quietly, “I might need your help. I know John won’t tell me things so can I ask you even if he begs you not to, can I ask you to tell me what’s going on? I need to know.”

“Yeah,” I said nodding my head.

“Can you tell me what’s going on right now? With everyone, not just you and John. Can you do that for me?” She asked.

“I wouldn’t know where to start,” I said quietly.

“Start where ever you feel you need to,” She told me.

I sighed and then I told her everything I could think of. Everything I thought was relevant. I told her about Da hurting James when we first got there. How he had hurt me and what he had made John do. How he had raped us next to each other and how I had walked in on uncle Ben doing things to Mike and Matt and making them touch each other.

“Uncle Ben has been touching you?” She asked me.

“Yeah,” I said, “He…he rapes me.” I said not able to look at her face.

“You mean full anal…” I stopped her.

“Yeah, everything,” I said shrugging my shoulders to see if it would stop me from crying, “It…it’s hard. It hurts so bad. I want to tell him no but Da won’t let me. He won’t let me. They know I don’t want to. That I’m not ok with it. But they do it anyway.”
“That’s what rape is, yes,” Mum said quietly, “Is his temper as bad as it was when we left for London? If he thought John was being whiny your uncle used to kick him. Even when he was just a baby. I hated leaving John alone with him for that reason but, your Da didn’t trust anyone else.”

“One time I went for a walk without telling anyone. When I came back he slammed me into a wall so hard I passed out. They took me to the doctor he said I had a skull fracture and a concussion,” I answered.

“So, that would be a yes, his temper is still the same as always,” Mum said, “Anything else you want to tell me?”

I shook my head. I didn’t want to tell her about the brotherhood. That we were basically whores. I didn’t think John would like her knowing and I didn’t want her to know. Especially since I felt like maybe if things were different I’d be ok with guys kissing me. Guys my own age of course but, guys.

That was something mum wasn’t ok with and I knew that. For all I knew once she found out she would blame me. Tell me that’s why Ben wanted me. Because he knew I wanted it to happen. And I felt like I did but, not with him.
“Ok love, try and get some sleep,” she told me and I nodded my head.

I slept that night well my alarm going off around 6. The same time I usually ended up getting up. I decided to get up and shower figuring that mum would get everyone ready that that was why she was there after all. When I was done showering I stumbled out into the hallway running into John adjusting my tie, “What happened to you? You look like you’re sick,” I said looking at him.

“I’m not sick apparently, I’m hung over,” he mumbled at me opening his bedroom door.

I wasn’t sure what to think but tried to shut my mouth because I knew it had just hit the floor. I wanted to ask him how on earth he got a hangover but, he didn’t give me time to ask shutting the door leaving me squinting in confusion at the space where he had been standing a second before. I didn’t worry about it but only worried about getting to school on time when saw the clock read 6:45 and mum hadn’t come upstairs yet and John was dead asleep in his room.

I sighed and started knocking on doors telling everyone to hurry up and start getting ready for school, everyone that was going anyway and managed to make sure everyone had their uniforms on before I rushed out the door barely making it on the bus. I sat down in the nearest seat to me and sighed leaning my head back against the seat and not getting a chance to talk to Finn until we were both off the bus.

“What happened the morning, you almost missed the bus,” Finn said.

“Mum came home yesterday,” I answered, “That’s why I wasn’t here. She has a lot to say. John came upstairs the morning from where ever he was and he said he had a hangover. I don’t know what’s going on but I thought her coming back would make things better. It’s been one day and my brother has a hangover.”

“That might not be because of her,” Finn said, “You have a lot of brothers and sisters maybe things are just more stressful then your mom and dad thought they would be?”

“No,” I sighed, “I mean, I don’t think so. I thought mum would be able to handle getting my brothers off to school but, it was me again. I have no idea what’s going on but mum said that I needed to keep her updated on what was going on because she knew John wouldn’t tell her.”

“Wait you told her about…” Finn asked the pitch of his voice rising before I cut him off.

“NO,” I said forcefully, “no,” I shook my head.

“Good,” he said, “They kill people for that you know? Knowing.”

“No, I didn’t know that,” I said, “Even the mum’s?”

“Well a lot of us don’t have mum’s if you noticed? It’s because they either end up leaving or dying. Some people say they all end up dying. I honestly don’t know,” Finn said.

“Really? What happened to your mum?” I asked him.

“Left,” he told me, “I don’t know the full story but, apparently, she just was up and gone one day when Da picked me up from day care and Wal up from school. Haven’t heard from her since.”

“I’m sorry,” I said.

“It’s not your fault,” Finn laughed, “I don’t remember her at all I was like four. So, it’s not big.”

“I can’t imagine not having my mum,” I said, “She helps me feel better I think.”

“Does she know about your uncle?” he asked me.

“You mean what he makes me do?” I asked, “Yeah. I told her.”

“What did she say?” he asked me.

“That it wasn’t my fault,” I answered, “I didn’t tell her about anything else though. That there are other people. I couldn’t. I don’t want her to know about them. About Barry.”

“I’ve heard some wicked things about him,” Finn said, “Are they true?”

“I don’t know. I hadn’t heard anything about him at all when I met him,” I said.

“Well there’s a rumor among us bottoms that well, you were there when Cole said it. Is that true?” He asked me.

I felt my face going red. I didn’t want to think about that. Not right before I started class. I nodded my head.

“Ok,” He said nodding his head, “Well shit.”

“It’s uncomfortable,” I answered.

“Yeah I…that’s happened to me before and I can honestly say I don’t enjoy that,” Finn said.

“Yep,” I answered simply as the bell rang, “And now I have to go to class thinking about that. Thank you, Finn, I knew there was a reason I loved you.”

Finn chuckled at me, “You’re not alone trust me it’s not something I want to think about during class either.”

“Yeah well you don’t have Father Barney staring at you while you have to think about it,” I answered.

“Oh shit,” Finn said frowning like he had something smelly under his nose, “Yeah no. He gets flirty in a bad way.”

“No kidding first day here,” I said looking around to make sure no one was listening, “He asked if he could kiss me.”

“EWW!” Finn screeched loudly before covering his mouth with his hands, “Sorry, that’s too nasty.”

“Yeah, I thought so too,” I said, “Nothing hot about Father Barney at all.”

“Yeah, I agree with that but, I’m into girls more than not, you realize, right?” Finn asked me.

“Yeah, I know,” I said, “We’ve talked about that remember?”

“Yeah,” Finn said, “Good luck with that. Father Barney I mean,” Finn said walking away towards his class as I went to turn down a different hall.

“Thanks,” I said wandering down my hallway and going up to Teddy before we entered the room sitting down together in our seats.

“Why weren’t you here yesterday?” Teddy asked, “Is everything ok? Are you ok?”

“Yeah, my mum came home,” I answered him.

“Is that good?” He asked me.

“I don’t know yet,” I answered, “It seems like it could be but I’m not sure.”

“Ok,” Teddy said, “Well you know I’m here for you.”

“I know Ted, thanks,” I said.

I spend a good deal of that day stuck in my own head again. Not sure if mum was going to make things better or worse. When I got home Da and Ben where talking in the kitchen when I opened the door. They both looked at me. Like that making me want to back up and go back outside.

“It’s ok Honey,” Da said, “We were just talking about some stuff.”

“Come here,” Ben said holding his arms open, letting me know he wanted to hug me.

“I’m ok,” I said folding my arms over my chest.

“It’s your Da, there’s nothing to be discreet about. He already knows,” Ben said closing the distance between us and wrapping his arms around me making me shiver.

I hated this. Him pretending to be nice when all he wanted was for me to go downstairs. For me to take off my clothes and lay down so he could use me. So he could rape me.

“You smell so good,” he muttered into the top of my head as he hugged me. I made sure I kept my arms limp at my sides not wanting to hug him back. Not wanting him to think I was ok with any of it. That I was accepting it because I wasn’t.

“Your mum wants Ben to go stay in the apartment for a little while which was the plan to begin with,” Da said looking at me as Ben held me.

“You’re going away?” I asked Ben quietly.

“Only for a little while baby,” he said getting down on his knees so he was closer to level with me, “Maybe you’ll come stay with me this weekend?”

I backed up now that he wasn’t holding me. I couldn’t do that. That was way different from going downstairs. That was like what Da had done to John I couldn’t do that. That was beyond my limit I couldn’t do that.

“Don’t be scared. I wouldn’t hurt you,” Ben said quietly.

“Da,” I said thinking about how I wanted to word my plea, “There are things I can’t do. Things that I know are bad that I know I won’t be ok if I do them. I won’t be ok if I do that.”

“Why? You just heard him. He’s not going to hurt you. Especially not if you’re good for him. It’ll just be one night ok? Saturday late after everyone goes to bed,” Da said.

“We’ll make it all about you ok? Invite Barry over and Tony, play a couple of games,” Ben said and I felt a chill go down my spine.

I had no idea who tony was but if he was friends with my Da and Ben I knew I didn’t want to find out. That Tony probably wasn’t a good person. That anyone who was friends with them was bad news. Very bad news.

“Da?” I asked quietly.

“It’ll be fun,” he said, “If you’re good mum doesn’t have to know.”

“Know what?” I asked.

“Ben and I have done some talking,” Da said, “You know what about and I’m sure you don’t want me saying it here where she might hear.”

He was talking about how I found boys cute. How I looked at them sometimes. How Ben had noticed. How he had told Da. “You know how she would feel about that. I’m sure you don’t want her to know.”

“No, No, I don’t,” I admitted.

“Good boy,” Ben said, “See Connor? I told you he was a good boy.”

“Yes, you did,” Da said nodding his head, “So you have no problem with our arrangement then?” He asked me. “You don’t tell your mum we don’t tell her about your little oddness?”

I sighed and nodded my head trying hard not to cry. She would hate me if she knew. I knew she would hate me. It was already bad enough to know that she would never accept it. That she would never accept I wanted to hold hands with Cole, maybe even kiss him one day.

It didn’t seem to matter what Ben did to me whenever I saw Cole in the hallway, I watched him and wondered what his lips tasted like. What his hand might feel like in mine. If she knew she would tell me I deserved what Uncle Ben did to me. That I wanted it. And I couldn’t stand knowing that she would think that of me. That she would hate me that much.

Ben grabbed me, lifting me up like I was a little kid. At least five years younger and put me on the counter top as he started kissing on my neck. I closed my eyes as he started rubbing my outer thighs through my pants. I didn’t want this.
“It’s ok Honey, let Benny make you feel good,” Da said and I opened my eyes to see that his seemed heavy. Almost like he was imagining it was him kissing me, touching me.

“You’re so beautiful you know that?” Ben mumbled undoing my tie as he kissed my cheek and nibbled my ear lobe as I gripped the edge of the counter trying to keep myself quiet, trying to make sure I didn’t say no. That I didn’t tell him to stop. Because if I did I would make them both angry.

“He is, isn’t he?” Da muttered from where he was sitting.

“He always shakes just a little bit,” Ben said pulling my tie up over my head and then pulling my Blazer down my arms and letting it rest on the counter behind me.

“Really? John shakes just a little bit too. I don’t remember ever doing that to you?” He asked Ben.

“With you,” he answered shrugging his shoulders, “With Da I don’t remember doing that but with you, always.”

“I don’t recall that,” Da answered.

“At first it was always because I was scared you would hurt because I had always watched you with him if you remember,” Ben said pulling my vest off over my head and throwing it on the floor, “However, he was always so rough with you. So, I thought you would be rough with me. That wasn’t the case though.”

“No, I’m very different from Da,” Da mumbled quietly.

“Yes, you are,” Ben agreed starting to undo my button up.

I felt the heat in my face, how red my face probably was. It was bad enough that he had to do it let alone somewhere anyone could walk in. Let alone with Da watching him. I wanted to die just a little in that moment. I would have given anything to not have his hands on me. To have him move away from me and give me space.

“Hey Connor babe could you plea…” I heard mum’s words pause probably as she took in the scene in front of her as she came down the stairs, “What the bloody shite is going on?”

“Nothing Dani,” Da said as Ben stopped turning around and smiling at her.

“Get him gone. NOW!” She shouted holding Mary in her arms causing Mary to start crying.

“We need the help,” Da said simply.

“Not if his help means that. You can’t tell me that Will isn’t fucking terrified.” she hissed pointing at the display.

I knew my chest was heaving. I knew I looked as upset as I felt my face probably bright red my whole body shaking as I hugged myself the movement he left me go trying to make myself small. Make it so no one saw me anymore.

“He likes it,” Da said, “Benny loves him. Don’t you Benny?”

“Of course, I do,” Ben answered turning and smiling back at me grabbing my chin and tilting my face towards his, “I love him a lot don’t I Will?”

“Mum…” I said quietly.

“Come here love,” Mum said holding her hand out towards me, “Connor…”

“It’s ok go with your mum,” Da said and I hopped off the counter and ran to her wrapping my arms around her waist and burying my face in her shoulders from behind like I was a little kid even though I was almost as tall as she was my heart pounding in my throat as I tried to calm down.

“Really Connor?” Ben asked, “Really?”

“Don’t look at me, I have to fix this ok Benny?” He said.

“You’re not fixing anything he’s leaving and he’s not coming back. Not around my children. You know what he did to John. I thought you were done with that. All of that.”

“The only one who see’s anything wrong with it in this house is you and you don’t get a fucking say,” Da said his accent showing more prominent than usual.

“I do get a say. These are my kids. You don’t do that with them. We talked about that when left here. That’s not something you do anymore. We agreed,” Mum said angrily.

“This is my house. You do what I tell you and what I’m telling you to do is change diapers and keep your fucking mouth shut unless you want me to shut it for you,” Da warned her, “I gave him to Benny just like my Da gave Benny to me. He’ll do whatever Benny tell him to and you’ll allow it.”

“No, you didn’t and you think I’m going to leave him alone with any of my children? Connor, you are beyond delusional,” Mum said handing Mary to me, “Take her upstairs love.”

I sighed holding my little sister who was still crying and turned to go upstairs. I rocked her lightly as I went into the nursery and found both Laura and Andy screaming loudly at each other in baby babble on the ground throwing blocks.

“What’s going on here?” I asked pulling myself out of my own head.

“He mean!” Laura proclaimed loudly pointing at him, “He hits mean!”

“Andrew what did you do?” I asked.

“She don’t share!” He whined at me stomping his little feet before he started sobbing, “I want blue!” he said pointing at the blue blocks by Laura’s foot.

“It mine!” She yelled back.

“Ok, you both need to stop. Why do you want all the blue blocks Laura?” I asked her.

“I build him boat,” she said.

“You were building a boat for him?” I asked pointing at Andy and she nodded her head sniffling and wiping her snotty nose on the back of her little fist.

“I no know that,” Andy said his tears stopping, “For me?”

“yes,” she said looking at him, “I love you.”

“Aww, she was just trying to give you a present because she loves you. Don’t you feel bad for throwing stuff at her?” I asked him.

“Yeah I sorry,” he said, “I love you too Lulee.”

“Now hug and make up,” I directed them as I felt Mary’s diaper and realized how squishy it was.

“I love you,” Laura told Andy again and then she wobbled over to him on her two-year-old legs and hugged him.

Now I’m not sure that is exactly how the conversation went. It was probably honestly mostly baby speak but that’s what I remember it being. They were so happy when they were that age. Usually they didn’t fight it was actually rare between the two of them but, when it did happen things were always thrown, sometimes hair was pulled. But in the end Laura always said that she loved him and he always forgave her. It was always hard for him to be mean or say no to Lar. It still is.

That was my very first diaper change. I figured someone had to and I had watched mum do it a million times before so walked over to the changing table and pulled a diaper out of the diaper drawer and grabbed the powder. At least it was only a wet diaper and not a stinky one. I undid her onesie by the snaps it pulled it up her little belly as her tears started to finally quiet and undid the sides lifting her little legs up in one hand so I could pull the wet diaper out from under her.

She kicked slightly as I arranged the other diaper under her and made sure I dumped powder on her bum and front and then did up the sides of the diaper easily. Now I was by far nowhere near mastering the diaper change and did pretty good but looking back I probably used way too much powder the baby powder evident on her legs and all over the inside back part of her onesie as I pulled it back over her bum and snapped the snaps back up before I laid her down in her crib.

She seemed happy for the moment so I checked the other two and thanked the lord they weren’t wet because I probably would have gotten peed on. And I sat down and started playing with the blocks with my little brother and sister.

“We builts boats together,” Andy told me happily.

“Can I join?” I asked him and he looked at Laura who nodded her head in agreement.

“Okay.” He answered simply.

And we built a boat using toddler Legos. I can’t remember what else was talked about but, it couldn’t have been too horribly interesting considering they were two. But after a while I heard the elevator kick on and heard Matt and Mike and James coming into the kitchen to sit down and pulling out their school work books.

“Homework?” I asked as the elevator dinged and mum climbed out going down the hallway.

“Yeah,” Mike said shrugging his shoulders.

After a little while mum came back out shaking her head sadly and pulled some chicken out of the fridge that she started to prepare for dinner. I had no idea what was going on but she seemed tired. I figured it was maybe the fight with Da and uncle Ben. Maybe some of it was what she had seen. I wasn’t sure what to say so I stayed silent until she asked me something.

“Will hun can you please take these bottles I just had to heat up and give one the Mac who will hold his own and feed Seamus for me?” She asked me.

“Sure,” I answered.

“Ok thanks love,” She said as she starting dishing out green beans onto each plate on the counter.

I went into the nursery and gave Mac his bottle in his crib and then picked up Seamus and sat down in the rocking chair. I started rocking him lightly as he started eating from the bottle and mum came in after a few minutes taking Mary’s bottle from the table I had set it on and started feeding Mary in another chair in the corner.

“Are you ok love?” She asked me.

I frowned at her. Was I ok? That felt like a very complicated question I had done nothing but baby sit since I got home after I had been groped while my Da watched. I hadn’t had a moment to breathe let alone stop my head from spinning. Any anxiety I had suffered from, any upset had been pushed to the back of my brain in order to take care of my younger siblings.

“I don’t know,” I answered shrugging my shoulders, “You mean because of earlier?”

“Yes,” she answered.

“It’s not…unusual,” I said quietly.

“Ben, you mean?” She asked me.

“Yeah,” I said nodding my head.

“You’re 10 years old,” She said in disbelief shaking her head.

“Mum I know. I’m fine though I think. Worry about John,” I told her.

“I don’t think you’re fine,” she told me, “It can’t feel good. It has to be painful, not just physically but emotionally.”

“It’s not great but, I’m fine really,” I answered, “I’m ok right now he didn’t really do anything. He was just undressing me.”

“Normal uncles don’t undress their nephews,” she pointed out.

“We’re not normal mum. We haven’t ever been normal. I read Da’s emails mum,” I said.

It was true. Once I had figured out how computers worked at school through classes I had taken at nine I had easily figured out my Da’s password and started reading his emails. Some of them were in code. Using words and using abbreviations like CP and AOA and BL/CL/GL all of those but it didn’t take long to figure out what all of those met. And once they had started referring to it as “real love” and “teaching” or “lessons” the rest of it made sense too.

“His emails?” She asked me.

“Yeah,” I said, “Did you know he…he likes kids?”

“When I first got with him? No,” she said quietly, “I didn’t even know until John was around four and I found your uncle with him and your Da told me it was ok. That it was normal and healthy. I wanted him to get help because of certain things. When did you start doing that?”

“Last year. One of the weekends after he…” I shrugged my shoulders, “He’s been talking to a lot of them. A lot of people like him. Like Ben.”

“Uncle Ben, love,” she corrected me.

“Mum,” I said feeling myself blush slightly at my own candor before the words left me, “He’s kind of getting very up close and personal with me. So, I feel like I have the right to call him whatever I want.”

“So, if you had a better choice you would call him something other than his name I take it?” she asked me and I nodded my head.

“I’ll accept Ben then,” she answered.

“Thank you,” I said.

She was silent for a moment or two and then she sighed, “William how long as Da been hurting you?”

“A while, you can’t tell John though,” I said stopping and putting Seamus over my shoulder to burp him which was something I had been doing to babies since I was probably six or seven.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” She asked me.

“If you knew then John knew,” I answered her, “And he can’t know. It would destroy him to know especially because he thinks if he does it. If he lets Da do it that Da won’t let Ben do it, and Da won’t do it to anyone else. They lied to him mum and he can’t handle it. Mum it was really bad,” I said feeling the lump in my throat, “Da kept him locked in Da’s bedroom. He was probably naked all the time. He wasn’t allowed to see anyone or talk to anyone but Da and I think it drove him a little crazy. He’s not the same mum. And Da took him to a doctor’s appointment and didn’t come back until late and when they came home his arm was broken and in a cast.”

“You think Da hurt him?” she asked me.

“Yeah,” I said, “He hasn’t done anything that could randomly break his arm. He’s not athletic he had barely left the bedroom until Monday.”

“And now he’s hungover and looks like he hasn’t eaten in a month,” she said more to herself than to me.

“Yeah,” I answered.

“Ok well I’ll get everyone ready for bed, can you go feed yourself and then make sure everyone else is ready and settled in?” She asked me.

“Yeah,” I said getting up and going out into the kitchen where my dinner plate was sitting by the microwave. I decided to heat it up and then eat. Feeling tired. The past two days had been tiring. The idea of a weekend with him was tiring.

After a while she told me she was taking John somewhere, the doctor I think and then she took off him looking like he’d been run over by a truck still. I had everyone in the living room in their PJ’s watching a movie when I heard the lift kick to life and figured it was mum and John coming back up until I heard the scream and jumped out of my skin.

Cat had gone over there without me noticing. Cat had seen the door open John falling out his face red and swollen as he gripped his stomach doubled over in pain. He had blood dripping from his nose down into his shirt collar his nose bleeding profusely like someone had really punched him hard in the face.

“What happened?” I asked grabbing Cat and pulling her away from him, trying to give him some space as he stayed hunched over somehow managing to crawl forward on his hands and knees probably in so much pain he couldn’t actually stand.
“What’s he doing?” I heard Matty asks his eyes sparkling as he took in the blood running down John’s neck.

“I think he’s hurts, can you take Cat back into the living room and watch TV?” I asked him.

“But I want to see, what happened?” Matty asked.

“Matt not right now,” I sighed, “Go watch TV.”

“Is all that blood coming from his nose? Do you think his nose is broken?” Matt muttered as I took Cat’s hand and put it in his.

“Matt, now,” I warned.

He rolled his eyes, “Fine whatever.” He said before stomping off with Cat in tow.

Just as I turned around John emptied his already empty stomach onto the floor next to him. I remember thinking he had to be in an extreme amount of pain to be vomiting that he had probably been hit in the stomach a couple of times to cause that and I remember looking closely at his vomit to make sure it wasn’t red or brown but that it was a normal color. It seemed more yellow and it smelled sour like stomach acid and I remember wrinkling my nose as I tried not to plug it to block the smell from entering my system “eww,” I muttered bending down so I wasn’t hovering above him.

John frowned in annoyance not really saying anything probably trying to make sure his stomach was settled before he spoke. He sat up and looked at me pinching his nose closed trying to get the bleeding to slow. He shook his head at me.
“Are you ok?” I asked him sitting down on the floor making sure I kept my distance from his vomit.

He inhaled before he answered me “I think so, I… Uncle Ben got pissed and he decided I looked like a great punching bag.”

“That’s new for you,” I said shrugging my shoulders feeling kind of sorry for him. I knew he had no idea Ben had thrown me against a wall about two weeks before cracking my skull but, I felt like now wasn’t the time to share that information especially when he was bleeding so freely from his face.

“Not really. When I was little I remember him hitting me sometimes like if I didn’t do what he wanted me to so I knew the temper was there I just wasn’t expecting it this time. Don’t you remember?” He asked me curiously still pinching his nose closed.

“Not really, I remember a lot of hiding in closets. Like A LOT of hiding in closets and remember Da hitting on Mum but I don’t remember Uncle Ben beating the snot out of anyone. At least not when we were little,” I muttered.

“Well, he has before,” John said “Maybe just not as bad because I was only little.”

“You sure you’re ok?”

“Nothing some pain meds and some sleep won’t fix,” John sighed.

“Do you want to just keep sitting here or do you want some help moving out of the way?” I asked him offering him my hand.

“Yeah,” he replied reaching out and grabbing the hand I offered.

I pulled him to his feet and he stumbled a little, his gait unsteady as he was careful not to touch me with his bloody hand when he pulled it away from his nose. The bleeding had mostly stopped but he still looked like he’d been run over by a bus his neck and chin caked in blood that had ran from his nose down his front us both getting to our feet and starting down the hall when the elevator dinged open.

Mum opened her mouth and shock putting her hand over it as she gasped, “Oh my love! Let me get some ice.” She said rushing down the hall to grab some ice as we exchanged a look and I helped him over to a couch in the fancier sitting room with all the toys and the bigger TV as I turned to head back to the other living room when I heard someone call out for me.

“Will!” Matt called from the other room, “Catty is upset and she won’t stop crying.”

“I’m coming!” I shouted walking down the hallway as mum rushed past me a couple moments later going over and scooping Cat up in her arms.

“Will love can you go check on Laura and Andy?” Mum asked me as I passed her grabbing my book her holding Catty and rubbing her back softly before she bend and whispered in her hear, “He’s ok love. Just a little bent out of shape is all. He’ll be fine though. I promise.”

“Yeah mum,” I said nodding my head as I turned back around.

I went down the hall and poked my head into their nursey to find them both sound asleep. Laura was sucking on her thumb as Andy laid in the crib across from hers his bum in the air as he buried his face in his pillow in slumber. I thought of how dangerous of a position that was for him to be sleeping in and shook my head slightly trying to clear the thought from my mind thinking how sad it was that I had something like that occur to me. That sleeping positions was something people in my house had to worry about. That who walked into their bedroom at night was something they had to worry about.

I didn’t want to live in that world. In that house. I didn’t feel like I wanted to die but, I wanted something better for myself and for my little brothers and sisters. I especially wanted something better for John. None of us deserved this and it wasn’t fair to have to watch everyone suffer because of two people who were sick and angry and wanted everyone to know that’s what they were, or worse yet didn’t care what people thought.

I sighed softly making sure they were both squared away before I shut the door quietly behind me and continued down the hall. I poked my head into Mike’s room to find it empty shutting the door and frowning at it before I walked to the next door over finding them both in that room talking quietly to each other with the light still on.

“You two brush your teeth?” I asked them.

“Yeah, mum just said it was bedtime we just got in here,” Matty answered.

“You two ok?” I asked.

“Why wouldn’t we be?” Matty asked me.

“I don’t know, I’m just making sure you guys are ok. I mean a lot has happened. Mum coming home with the babies, John being allowed back with us. So I thought I’d check and make sure you two are ok,” I answered shrugging my shoulders.

“We’re fine other than the stupid babies and their stupid screaming,” Matty said rolling his eyes.

“I’m ok,” Mikey answered for himself giving me a small smile.

“Ok,” I said nodding my head, “Goodnight. I’m sure mum will be in a minute to say goodnight too.”

“Maybe, right now Catherine is crying like a little baby so mum has to take care of her,” Matty told me.

“She’s just upset. That happens,” I told him shrugging my shoulders.

“I don’t get upset. I don’t ever get upset getting upset is stupid,” Matty said.

“Why do you think that?” I asked him.

“It just is. Being upset doesn’t change anything so why be upset? Even if I was upset about something I know it’s not going to make a difference. It’s a waste of time to be upset,” Matt answered me.

“Ok well, I’m sure mum will come say goodnight when she’s done with Cat. I love you two,” I said turning to leave.

“I love you Will,” Mike said as he laid down in the bottom bunk yawning as he curled up and closed his eyes.

I turned off the light and shut the door quietly going across the hall and opening the door to James’ room to find him sitting on his bed holding a Teddy bear and a stuffed Dolphin and sighed sadly as I smiled at him when he looked in my direction, “It’s time for bed you know?”

“I know, I was just trying to decide if I wanted to sleep with Both Hugh and Billy or just one or just the other,” he informed me.

“Ah, now that is a tough one,” I said coming over and sitting on the edge of the bed next to him, “Have you decided?”

“I think both because I would sleep with just Hugh but I think Billy would get jealous,” James told me.

“Which is Hugh?” I asked and he held up the Dolphin, “I like him. He’s new but he’s a nice guy. He’s a really good friend and he keeps the sharks away.”

I smiled thinking of how true that was how packs of Dolphins have been known to attack sharks in the wild, “Where did you learn that?”

“What?” He asked frowning at me confused.

“Dolphins keep sharks away? Did you know that’s true?” I asked him smiling.

“NO!” He shouted excitedly, “That’s true?”

“Yes,” I said nodding my head, “In the wild a pod, that’s a group of dolphins has been known to protect their own and chase sharks away to keep everyone safe,” I told him.

His eyes lit up as he looked at Hugh in his hands, “Cool,” he whispered nodding his head.

“Did you brush your teeth?” I asked him.

“Yeah,” he answered still looking at Hugh.

“Ok,” I said, “I think mum will be in shortly to tuck you in.”

I stood up and walked back over to the door, “Will?” He asked me quietly.

“Yeah bud?” I asked him.

“Are they going to stop now? Coming into my room at night?” He asked me almost so quiet I barely heard the question.

“I don’t know bud. I hope so,” I answered shrugging my shoulders, “Since mum got home have they?”

“No, but last night Uncle Ben came up here and he took John downstairs. John doesn’t know I saw but I got up to get a drink and he popped out of the pantry like a boogie man. It scared me. Him and John didn’t see me. I don’t want him to come and get me like that.”

“Ok,” I said nodding my head, “I don’t think he will but I’ll keep an eye out ok?”

“Thanks,” he said nodding his head, “Will?” he said again as I turned to leave for a second time.

“Yeah?” I asked him cocking my eyebrow in annoyance.

“I huh…why don’t you give real love kisses like Da and Uncle Ben do?” He asked me.

Oh boy. That was my first thought. I figured someone would eventually ask those questions but I wasn’t expecting to hear it right before bed from my little brother who just shared that he was afraid of our uncle and compared him to the boogie man. I sighed and went back over to sit on the bed next to him again and offered him my hand which he took.

“Listen bud. The way Da kisses you some times and the way Uncle Ben kisses you, us. It’s not right ok? When you love someone and you want to spend forever with them and hold hands with them and maybe raise kids with them that’s when you kiss them like that. Not, not people you’re related to. Do you understand?” I asked him quietly.

“I think so,” he said, “Like how we talked about my teacher and how if he wanted me to sit in his lap during story time it was ok for me to say no if I didn’t think it felt right and if I wasn’t ok with it?”

“Yes,” I said nodding my head, “like that. People usually don’t kiss their kids like that because it makes their kids feel not ok and they know that. And I know it might be hard to understand but people, most people don’t really think it’s ok to kiss any kids that way not even their own,” I sighed trying to think of how to best explain it, “People would get really mad if they knew Da kisses us like that. That Uncle Ben kissed us like that.”

“Yeah that’s why we’re not supposed to tell,” James told me.

“I love you but, I love you like a brother loves a brother. I don’t want to spend forever with you like that. I want you to find someone you want to spend forever with and raise kids with and then I want to be able to come visit and be brothers. Do you understand you think?” I asked him.

“Yeah, I think so,” he said, “Like you mean mum and Da and how they are raising us together?”

“Yes,” I said sort of relieved he understood my meaning, “Exactly. You have any other questions bud?”

“No, not right now,” he said, “If I do though I know I can ask you because you’ll tell me the truth.”

“Yeah, I promise I’ll always try to tell you the truth,” I agreed, “I love you. I think it’s time for you to settle in and mum will come in and say goodnight in a little while ok?”

“Ok, I love you too. Goodnight,” he said.

I got up again and walked to the door turning off the light and this time he finally let me leave the room as I shut the door behind me. I didn’t bother to say goodnight to Catherine, knowing that mum was with her. Saying her goodnight. That she would see me in the morning and that was ok.

I settled in. I knew it was early for me to go to sleep but I was tired so much had been going on lately I didn’t feel weird about going to bed early and I wasn’t big on watching TV anyway so I figured I’d just turn on my table lamp and read for a while changing my clothes and climbing into my covers just as there was a light knock on my door and mum poked her head in.

“Isn’t it a bit early love?” she asked me.

“I’m just going to read,” I answered shrugging my shoulders, “Is everything ok mum?”

“I just wanted to check with you again, make sure you’re ok,” She said coming and sitting in the chair at my desk again like she had earlier.

“Yeah, I’m ok,” I answered, “How is Cat?”

“Scared,” she told me, “She’s afraid of everyone getting hurt. Of your uncle hurting you boys.”

I nodded my head, “He scares me a little,” I admitted voicing something she already knew. Letting myself be vulnerable for a moment.

“I thought you probably were but you’re always so private about your feelings,” Mum said, “You’re Uncle Ronald was like that when were kids.”

My Uncle Ronald was my mum’s brother, a man I had never met and never would. He had died young in a car accident when mum was still little Ron being slightly older than mum was. They had been close and mum talked about him often when we were growing up. Told us stories about things they used to do as kids together.

I shrugged my shoulders, “There’s nothing I can do about it. Being afraid of him won’t make it so it doesn’t happen.”

“You can say what it is love. Calling it what it is takes the power away from it,” She informed me.

“I don’t like saying it,” I said shaking my head, “I know it’s rape mum. I know that’s what he does to me I’m not …I’m not denying it I just don’t like the word.”

“Why not?” She asked me.

“It feels gross,” I answered, “It makes me feel gross.”

“You have done nothing wrong love,” she said looking at me her eyes shining like she was trying not to cry, “This isn’t your fault. I will get you and your siblings out of here I swear that to you. This won’t be your life forever and right now I’m working on a plan to do that. Working on a plan to get us somewhere safe. Somewhere away from them.”

“Really?” I asked.

I felt like someone had lit a spark in me. A tiny flame of hope that had just caught alight. She wanted us out of here too? She wanted us safe enough that she would leave everything behind just so we didn’t have to be near them anymore? How though? It seemed impossible.

“Yes,” She said nodding her head lowering in voice almost like the walls were listening, “Don’t tell anyone but, I’m going to figure this out. I did this to you and I need to undo it. You’re Da said something earlier that are troubling. You said you read his emails?”

“Yeah, I do sometimes,” I answered.

“He said he knows police that are like him. That will protect him. Do you know if that’s true?” She asked me.

“One email someone sent out asked if anyone wore blue and then it said next to it in the bubbles police and someone answered back that yeah there’s a couple of guys that do. It didn’t give any names or anything though,” I answered.

“Ok,” Mum said nodding her head quietly, “I’m going to go make sure everyone else is settled in. I’ll let you know what’s going on. What’s happening. Next time you spy on Da his emails if you find anything let me know ok?”

“Yeah. Goodnight mum. I love you,” I said quietly.

“I love you too,” She said kissing my forehead before she got up and shut the door.

I didn’t want to get up hopes too high but maybe if we were lucky we would be able to get away. Even than at 10 I knew it would be hard. Having so many babies unless we left someone behind it would be almost impossible and Da would never just let us leave. That he would want to find us, to look for us. The idea was scary yet exciting at the same time. Freedom, the idea of freedom making that little tiny spark of hope in me shine brightly like a beckon lighting my soul.