Frank sat in the corner of the basement huddled with his knees to his chest. The floor was filthy, but he didn't care, it was freezing down here. It was like this last winter too; the cold was insidious, not only making him shake even more than usual, but painfully reminding him of those first few bitter months. Those were the months in which he’d lost his hope, his identity, his life. He wished they'd put a space heater down here, or a bed, or at least a clear window so he could see the snow that he knew must be falling. All he had was the old box-spring mattress, which was somehow even colder and less comfortable than the floor. Besides, he couldn't sleep in that bed anyway—not after what they'd done there. It wasn't for sleeping.
His stomach growled loudly and it seemed to echo throughout the space. X tried to feed him every other day, which was horrible in itself, but more often than not he forgot even that and Frank would go days without eating. It must've been almost a week since he last ate, he thought. He remembered reading somewhere that the less you eat, the more your stomach shrinks. His stomach felt about the size of a peanut.
He sighed and closed his eyes against the already dark room, trying to focus on the repetitive sound of the water dripping from the sink faucet in the adjacent corner and not the creepy moaning of the pipes above his head. Mostly, he tried to ignore the heavy creak in the floorboards above. Not now, he thought. Too weak. Not now.
drip. drip. drip.
Suddenly, a pale shaft of light fell onto the center of the room and he heard heavy footsteps descending the creaky stairs. His heart jumped into his throat and he leapt to his feet, feeling himself get dizzy as he scrambled to kneel in front of the stairs, arms behind his back, the picture of submission. He shook his head to clear the black spots from his vision and tilted his head up just as X stepped into view. He was carrying the camera in one hand and the folded up tripod in the other. Frank cursed himself for being such a coward, being so obedient. Wasn’t he the one who didn’t want this? He was suddenly hyper-aware of his thudding heart in his chest, the goosebumps on his arms, the way his muscles were aching and tensing—and not from the cold.
“Hello, Baby,” X crooned. "You can stand." Frank did so immediately. The man was looking down at him with a look that Frank would call sweet, if he didn't know any better. He shivered under the thin hoodie X had given him when the other man had realized Frank might get hypothermia if he didn't. It smelled like cigarettes and semen, with stains to show it. He stared at the ground and listened to X setting up the camera tripod in front of them, the man taking the SD card out of his pocket and popping it into the device. Frank heard the quiet beep of the camera turning on and swallowed the bile in his throat. X smiled coldly.
“Hey, Baby,” he repeated, louder for the camera.
Frank just continued to shake, staring down at his thin-socked feet to avoid the much taller man’s gaze. He tried to concentrate on the dirt between his toes, but he couldn't really feel them. His fingers were numb too, he realized. He gingerly brought them up to his face and blew warm air onto them, but his hands were shaking a lot and he accidentally hit himself in the nose. It was so fucking, goddamn ridiculously cold.
X grabbed Frank’s hands from his face and kissed them, his sharp stubble causing pinpoints of pressure. Frank felt a chill run all the way from his neck to the base of his spine. He didn't want X to touch him; he didn't want anyone to touch him. Instinctively he tried to yank his hands away, but X instantly tightened his grip around Frank’s wrists. He let out an involuntary whimper.
“You cold, Baby?” X whispered, sickly sweet. Frank fought not to scowl. X knew he was cold, it was fucking freezing down here and anyone could feel it. It didn't matter, though, because no matter what he did or said, he’d never be granted any comfort. He would never be able to leave. Frank brought his gaze up and stared at X’s nose with a practiced blank expression. He wouldn’t look into those eyes. This wouldn't buy him much time, but the pain was always better later than sooner.
Surprisingly, no pain came. X stepped back slightly and dropped Frank’s wrists, which Frank instantly cradled to his chest. The fresh wounds and bruises on his wrists from rough restraints always made X’s grip ache and burn. The man knew this, of course. Still, he was granting Frank a reprieve. Some days, he’d just grip Frank’s wrists tighter and tighter until he cried. Today, evidently, was not one of those days. Frank sighed as he rolled his wrists and heard his joints crack. He was so tired.
X stepped back in and wrapped his arms around Frank, one hand snaking down further and further until it was slipping under the waistband of Frank’s pants. Frank tensed up, waiting, but X just squeezed his bare ass. Frank shuddered.
“Oh no, not tonight, sweetheart,” X drawled. “We’ve gotta keep you nice and tight for tomorrow.”
Frank looked up in horror. He didn't like the way X made tomorrow sound so important. Anything important to X meant money, and money meant pain for Frank.
“Don't worry, Baby,” X soothed. He pointed the camera down a bit and placed his hands around Frank’s throat, pushing down ever so slightly. Frank swallowed and felt his Adam’s apple bob and click under X’s fingers.
“Look into the camera, you little slut. Show us your pretty eyes.” When Frank didn't comply right away, the hands around his throat tightened. X’s fingertips were pushing into fresh bruises, and Frank jerked up his head in pain. He stared into the camera, and his wide, terrified eyes were reflected back at him, his face grotesquely distorted by the lens.
“Yeah, be a good bitch,” X said as he grabbed Frank’s ass with both hands. He pulled Frank’s hips forward, forcing them to grind into his, and let out a sickening moan. Frank felt like he might throw up.
When he was hard, X moved his hands from Frank’s ass to his shoulders.
“Down,” he said firmly, pushing down on his shoulders with the suggestion that if Frank refused, he would be forced down.
Frank knelt obediently and switched his brain into autopilot. This, he could do. This is fine, he thought. It could be so much worse. This is my break.
He was still repeating this in his head over and over as he unzipped X’s pants and took his length into his mouth. X gripped Frank’s head and shoved him down, causing him to gag, and let out a hum of satisfaction before beginning to relentlessly fuck Frank’s mouth. Frank snapped his eyes shut and watched tiny yellow dots swim behind his eyelids as nausea coursed over him in waves. His throat muscles burned like fire, already torn up and damaged from previous fucks, previous men, and his jaw ached and clicked. He couldn't help the tears that silently dragged down his face as X thrust deeper, deeper, and Frank felt the tip of the man’s dick painfully forcing open his trachea.
“Yes, show me those precious tears,” X whispered. Frank squeezed his eyes shut tighter in an effort to stop crying and a few more tears fell. X made a filthy cooing sound. Frank couldn't breathe at all because his nose was clogged with snot from his perpetual cold. He felt panic flood his veins as he started to feel faint, not enough oxygen getting to his head, but X just pulled his hair and growled, thrusting in again.
Just as Frank felt himself begin to slip unconscious, X came down his throat, long and hard. Frank blinked rapidly and sputtered and gagged, trying to clear his air pipes of the burning bitterness. He felt disoriented and unreal, like a corpse, or a doll.
“Swallow,” X said breathily. It didn't sound like much of a command, but Frank knew that any word out of X’s mouth was binding. The thought of what X might do if he didn't comply terrified him more than anything. He screwed his eyes shut and swallowed it all as X pulled away with an explicit-sounding pop. Frank sunk back on his knees, breathing heavily, and let his head drop back. He studied the mold on the ceiling just as X stood and studied him. X zipped himself up and clicked the camera off, returning the SD card to his back pocket. The man said nothing until a few moments later when Frank’s stomach let out another loud growl. Frank instinctively shrunk back and curled in on himself, waiting to be struck. X simply crouched beside him and ruffled his greasy hair.
“You’re hungry,” he said. In the past, Frank might've responded with “No shit.” Instead, he just nodded fervently. His stomach snarled again and he clutched it, waiting for the pain to stop. X clicked his tongue.
“Well, I can't give you anything now, but how about this?” he said, offering Frank a water bottle that he produced from God knows where. Frank took it with shaking hands and easily unscrewed the cap, feeling his stomach twist when he realized it had been tampered with. Swallowing his fear he drank it down thirstily, trying not to think about how it was almost definitely drugged. Yeah, he had the sink, but bottled water was clean and pure and soft going down his wrecked throat. It was a luxury. Even if it was drugged, any gift from X was a luxury. He handed the empty bottle back to X with a look of thanks.
“You're very welcome,” X said grandiosely, giving him a wide, fake grin. His teeth were white and straight and perfect. Frank looked at his slicked back hair and his crisp white collared shirt and wondered not for the first time who X was outside of the basement. He wondered what his boss at work would think if he found out his favorite employee was a sick fuck who ran a sex ring through a kidnapped kid in his basement. Maybe his boss was a regular here. It wouldn't be surprising. They all dressed the same: pressed collared shirts, black or gray slacks, those shiny black shoes that clicked on the concrete floor. Like some kind of uniform.
“Don't fret, sweet,” X said in his fake-nice voice as he took the plastic bottle and straightened. “If you're good tomorrow, I’ll give you something to eat. How’s that sound?”
Frank nodded again and looked X in the eyes, to show he really meant it, but he had to look away after a millisecond. The eyes were blue and cold and terrifying. Those eyes were in his worst nightmares, his terrors. He tried to give a small smile but only a corner of his mouth gave a faint twitch. His smiling was broken too, just like the rest of him.
Once X had ascended the stairs and clicked the locks shut in the basement door, Frank got to his feet and swayed unsteadily for a moment before making his way back into his floor corner. The drugs in the water were working already, but not fast enough. He settled down dizzily, pulling his sweatshirt over his knees and curling into a ball on his side. His stomach was pulsing now, he was so empty he could feel his heart beating in there. The pain gnawed at his insides and he let out a whimper, which only made him feel even more pathetic. A sob escaped his throat and he automatically clasped a hand over his mouth before remembering that no one could hear him now. He was all alone.
His body was slowing down, his limbs heavy and useless, but his mind was still working in overdrive. He felt dirtier than he'd ever felt for looking forward to tomorrow. He told himself that it was just because of the food. If he was good, he'd get food, he was just waiting for this pain to end, but the X in his head told him he was just a cock-hungry whore, waiting to be fucked. No normal person looked forward to being raped. He curled up tighter and sobbed, which made his stomach hurt even more. God, he was disgusting. He had to get out of here, he had to fucking get out. He let the tears flow freely and tried to relax his chest as best he could as he finally slipped into a dreamless sleep.
( ) ( ) ( )
Frank awoke to the sound of thumping around upstairs. His stomach pain came back in full force, and he moaned and clutched himself despairingly. He was hoping that the drugs would've knocked him out for the entire day, so he wouldn't have to deal with the pain for hours while waiting for night. He stretched painfully, his muscles sore from the relaxers. He didn't fall asleep on his own anymore, so he was put to sleep instead. It was a wonder how he could sleep so deeply yet never feel rested at all.
Dread fell over him like an icy blanket as he remembered that X was planning something big for tonight, but the promise of food kept him awake. He let out a shuddering sigh and sat up to hug himself tighter, trying to ignore the way the room tilted and spun as he shifted upright. He felt so sick, but there was nothing left to throw up. He was prepared to do anything for food, and even worse things for hot food. His stomach gurgled painfully and he fought the urge not to cry.
It was even colder than last night, which told him it was early morning. He imagined the frost on the grass outside, concentrating hard to remember what it looked like. There hadn't been any frost on the grass by the sidewalk the day he was taken; any details of the outside world besides memories of that day seemed blurry now. If he was counting the seasons correctly, it had been just over a year since that day.
A whole fucking year. He didn't want to be correct. And then he was fighting back tears again, because thinking about how long he’d been in this basement just made him remember all he used to have. He remembered his friends, his family, his home, his guitar, his shitty high school. He would give up anything if it meant having that again, but he knew no one was even looking for him at all. Not even his loved ones loved him enough to look for him when he was wiped off the map one day. No one cared. He wiped his eyes and cursed softly, but it came out more like a wheeze through his wrecked vocal chords. He was such an idiot. He cried over everything now, sometimes over nothing at all. He couldn't even talk anymore, just cry or scream. He wished it was still like those first couple weeks, when he still believed he would be rescued, still had some hope, some fight in him. Now, there was no point in living, so there was no point in fighting. Everyone thought he was dead, and he kind of wished he was. Without a means of escape, his existence was meaningless.
Suddenly, the wooden door at the top of the stairs banged open and Frank started with a jolt. Someone thumped purposefully down the stairs. Frank would know those footsteps anywhere, and he felt himself already start to shake. He never came down here this early. The morning was supposed to be Frank’s time. At least, he thought it was morning. His heart was pounding all over, in his chest, his stomach, his throat, his fingertips.
X stood at the foot of the stairs, drumming his fingers against his arm and looking confused.
“Maybe you’re still asleep,” he mused quietly, looking around the room curiously.
Frank’s blood ran cold. He had heard X coming down the stairs and hadn't been kneeling there to greet him. There was no point in hiding now, or pretending to be asleep. X would know. X always knew, he thought as he heaved himself to his feet and forced himself to stumble over to where X was waiting. As soon as the man saw him, a nasty scowl twisted his features. Frank shrunk back, but X reached out and grabbed him by the shirtfront, pulling him close.
“There you are, you little slut,” he growled. “Too good to say ‘good morning’ to me now, huh, bitch?”
Frank just trembled in X’s grip, petrified with fear. He’d never had to say “good morning” to X before. X stomped on his foot, hard, and he let out a whimper of pain.
“I said, are you still too good to say ‘good morning?’” X tightened his grip and pressed down on Frank’s foot harder, grabbing the boy’s wrist with this other hand.
Frank shook his head.
“Say it then!”
Frank just kept shaking his head. He was too scared, too cold, too hungry to think straight, let alone try to speak.
X waited for a few beats before taking a step away, still keeping a vicelike grip on Frank’s wrist. Even his grip wasn't enough to keep Frank from shaking; X’s arm was trembling with the effort of trying to keep him still. Frank was shaking so much he couldn't even move without jolting.
“Still not gonna talk to me? You used to have such a pretty voice,” he murmured. He let out an exasperated sigh. “Fine. We’ll do this the hard way, you ungrateful fag.”
Frank didn't even have time to flinch away before he felt a stinging pain on his cheek. He felt X’s hand in his hair and let out a gasp of pain, but then he felt his body being dragged along and he knew it was over. He let himself go limp, let the air get knocked out of his lungs as the was dropped haphazardly onto the mattress.
It was when X put his fingers in his mouth and whistled that Frank realized they weren't alone.
His breath quickened and his vision swam as he struggled to get himself upright, but X simply sat on his chest, pinning the frail boy down. The footfalls of many men on the creaky wooden stairs were as irregular as the beating of Frank’s heart in his ears. He struggled and squirmed, but he was too weak to even budge the man on his chest. He started hyperventilating and gripped his own hair, feeling his eyes start to water. X slapped him again.
“Fucking pathetic whore,” he heard X mutter. “Be good.”
Frank bit his tongue to keep from making any more noise as he looked up to the four men towering over the mattress. All five men, including X, were wearing thick wool overcoats, their breath ghosting out faintly in front of them. No, he wasn't crazy, yes, it was cold down here. Two of them he recognized—a control freak and a rough one—and two he did not. He shuddered. It had been forever, yet X still found new men to bring in, new men who were begging to get their hands on him. The world was full of cruel people, Frank had learned. Cruel, sick people.
One of the men who Frank recognized leant down on his knees a bit. This was the control freak. He monitored the fear that flickered in Frank’s eyes and gave him a slippery grin.
“Hey, little guy. Remember me, eh?”
Frank nodded. The man pursed his lips.
“What’s my name?”
Frank swallowed and shakily held up three fingers. The man’s name was Three. Once they’d run out of letters to use, they'd started using numbers. This one was Three, he was sure.
The man nodded. “Yes, that's right,” he mused. He then stood up and brought the heel of his shiny black shoe down hard on Frank’s fingers. Frank let out a scream of agony as several pops and cracks were heard and he saw the man farthest from him visibly cringe. Tears silently leaked from his eyes as he cradled his hand against his throat. His tongue was still firmly pressed between his teeth, but his hand was pulsing with pain and his breaths were coming out raspy and whiny already. God, he couldn't help it, he couldn't fucking help it.
“SHUT UP!” X screamed. Frank’s body jerked violently when the man raised his voice and one of the men standing above them chuckled. X dug an elbow into Frank’s groin and another whine escaped from the boy’s throat. He saw Three shaking his head out of the corner of his eye. The other men were just standing there, saying nothing. Doing nothing.
“Still won’t talk, huh?” Three said to X.
“No. Little bitch hasn't said a fucking word since fuck knows when. Probably April, during that shit with Nineteen. ‘N that was the first time in a long time since before that, too.”
Frank stared up at the ceiling above the mattress, where there were still stains from where Nineteen’s brain had hit it. Nineteen had been a little bit too sadistic for X’s liking. He had gotten angry and sliced up Frank’s back and chest with a pocketknife. X had shot him dead, right there, on top of Frank. That was the only time X had ever taken Frank to the hospital. He remembered looking up at X from the hospital bed and saying “Thank you.” He remembered how badly he wanted to take it back when the first person who fucked him when he got back to the basement was the male nurse from Room 3B.
Frank felt the tightness in his throat build up even more. They didn't get it; he couldn't talk. If he could, for the love of fuck, he would, but he was broken. His talking was broken, and they had taken it away. Even if his throat was fixed, he knew he still wouldn't be able to speak. They couldn't bring his voice back. He wasn't sure anyone could.
“Hmm,” Three sounded thoughtful. Frank hated it. “So you wanna teach him? To show you some...verbal respect?”
X nodded. “That's the plan.”
He made sure Frank was watching, then twisted around and pointed at the unidentified men.
“Introduce yourselves,” he said. His voice was laced with anger. Frank hadn't been this scared since he was first brought here.
“Hey Snow White, I'm Thirty-Four,” the first man said, cracking his knuckles. His was thin and wiry, not very strong-looking, but his fingers were long. Frank shuddered.
“J,” the next man stated gruffly. This one was familiar. He was taller than the other men, almost taller than X, and burly. He had thick black hair on his knuckles and on the backs of his hands. He could break Frank’s arm like a toothpick; Frank knew because he’d done it in August.
“Thirty-Five,” the last man said. He was a little chubby and had short dirty-blond hair. He sounded more hesitant than the others. Frank hoped this meant he would be closer to dealing with three men rather than four or potentially five, if X decided to join in.
“And of course you know me,” Three crooned, twitching three crooked fingers in the air mockingly. He crouched down again, cradling Frank’s face and rubbing his cheek with a rough thumb. “So soft,” he mumbled. Frank involuntarily scrunched his face up and the hand slapped him sharply.
“Let’s not be rude, now,” Three said, digging into his pocket and replacing his thumb on Frank’s cheek with the edge of his switchblade. Frank sucked in a sharp breath and bit his tongue so hard he tasted blood.
“Easy,” X warned. “Don't hurt him.”
Frank could've laughed, if he wasn't about to cry instead.
Three nodded but did not move the blade. X opened his mouth to speak when he was interrupted by another voice.
“Um, excuse me, sir, but how old is he?” Thirty-Five piped up.
X stared at him, not liking to be interrupted, then thought on the answer for a moment. All that could be heard was Frank’s uneven, quick breaths, labored with the effort of not making a sound, and his wet sniffles. Thirty-Five shifted on his feet uncomfortably.
“It just turned seventeen in October,” X said finally. Frank let a sob escape him, but thankfully X ignored it. X only called him “it” when he was very angry. It served well to remind him of how worthless he was. Thirty-Five scrunched up his nose at X’s choice of words but ignored it and continued.
“But he's so...small,” he finished awkwardly, looking the Frank up and down. The kid looked so tiny and fragile, no older than thirteen or fourteen. “Do you even fucking feed him?”
No! Frank wanted to scream. The way Thirty-Five was looking at his body made him want to die. The man looked so mundanely disappointed, like the ice cream parlor was out of his favorite flavor. He obviously had been expecting something better.
“Enough,” X barked, and the man fell silent. “Of course I feed him, you idiot.”
X got up off of Frank and stood above him, looking at him witheringly as he tugged Frank’s arms over his head and tightened the rope restraints at the corners of the mattress around his battered wrists. Frank’s broken hand sent searing pain down his arm and he sobbed again. He knew there was no point in trying to run now. It was five against one.
“This is how it's going to work,” he addressed Frank coldly, without looking at him. “These men will do whatever they wish with you. They will stop when you feel civil enough to speak to me like a normal person. We’ll see how well they did when I get home from work tonight.”
Frank sniffed and tried to tell himself it wasn't a lie. This could be over quickly if he wanted it to be.
“Alright, pay up,” X said, turning to the men. Frank watched the money passing between hands for the first three men. Instead of money, Thirty-Five handed X a small baggie with a twist tie on the end of it.
“Outta balloons, but it's still the good stuff,” he whispered. X nodded.
“Gotta head to work. Have fun, boys,” he called darkly as he ascended the stairs. The door slammed shut, and the single lightbulb hanging from the ceiling flickered. The heavy silence that followed smelled like mildew and cigarettes. J had just lit one.
“And here we go,” Three said gleefully as he watched Thirty-Four descend to the edge of the mattress and begin to tug Frank’s loose jeans down. He wasn't wearing underwear. Once Frank was bare, the man forced his legs up and open, his long, spidery fingers wrapping almost all the way around Frank’s thighs. It was when he felt two of those spidery fingers against his hole that he broke down.
“I-I-I c-can t-t-talk,” he whispered, his voice hoarse from disuse. It was so quiet that he almost missed it himself.
“What was that, ‘Baby?’” Three said, using X’s favorite false term of endearment. He was flipping the switchblade in and out, in and out. “I didn't quite catch that.”
Thirty-Four slid his fingers all the way in.
“I-I-I-I c-c-can t-talk!” Frank screamed in pain. His voice was so ugly; it was gravelly and mucousy and it cracked like a nail against a rusty pipe. Thirty-Four had paused, fingers still inside. Frank had his eyes squeezed shut but he felt Three stand up beside him. His throat hurt.
“So you can,” Three said, sounding mildly amused. “But I don't think th-th-th-this i-i-i-is h-h-h-how a-a-a n-n-n-normal p-p-p-person t-t-t-talks,” he enunciated maliciously.
“What the fuck was all that X was saying about this kid’s ‘beautiful voice?’ Jesus Christ,” Thirty-Five muttered. “Poor bastard sounds like a fuckin’...a fuckin’ toad.” He sounded pitying, not mean, but his words still hurt. Thirty-Four curled his fingers.
"P-please, s-stop," he whimpered. Someone laughed.
Frank felt a sudden presence above him and opened his eyes to see J straddling his torso, immobilizing him between his muscled thighs like a cage of flesh. Frank’s blood ran cold. The man unzipped himself and turned to Three.
“I didn't pay three hundred for nothin’. This kid’s way better at head than my wife and X knows it.” Three nodded knowingly at this, as if he too had had sexual experiences with J's wife.
J looked down at Frank and thrust himself at his face.
Three turned a mock sympathetic gaze to Frank and pouted his lip.
“Sorry, sweetheart,” he said. “Money talks way louder than a stutter.”
Thirty-Four had begun to thrust his dry fingers in and out, and Frank felt the wetness of blood dripping down his ass and seeping into the mattress. He was almost glad he was bleeding; it made the passage easier. J leaned down so that his face was almost touching Frank’s and grabbed his jaw. He took his cigarette out of his mouth and pressed the butt into the side of Frank’s neck. The boy hissed.
“Open your mouth, faggot.”
Frank blinked the tears out of his eyes and looked at J, really looked at him for the first time. A sudden fire burned in his chest. X was starving him to death, was letting these four men rape him until whenever the fuck they wanted, and was just looking for excuses to call him “bad” and deny him food, again. He’d been good, and it hadn't meant shit. His left hand was fucking broken and the man who had broken his arm a few months ago was shoving his dick against Frank’s teeth. He wrinkled his nose; it smelled terrible. He was done being good. It didn't fucking matter.
Without warning, he convulsed, bucking J backward and jostling Thirty-Four’s fingers out. He glared at J.
X wanted him to talk? He would fucking talk.
J’s eyes widened.
Frank’s body was on fire. “I-I s-said, no.”
Three, obviously getting off on this power play, unzipped himself and started to jack off.
“You ungrateful whore,” J growled, tightening his grip around Frank with his thighs so he couldn't be thrown off again. “You know what happens when you fuck with me.” Cold fear ran through Frank’s veins, but it couldn't smother the fire he felt burning in his lungs and his stomach.
J grabbed the hollows of Frank’s tender jaw and squeezed hard until his mouth popped open, then shoved himself inside.
“Suck,” he ordered gruffly.
Once he was done gagging, Frank complied for a minute, biding his time and waiting for more blood to rush to the other man’s member. His throat muscles felt like they might be bruising. He really wished that more guys with long fingers like Thirty-Four were nail-biters.
Thirty-Four slid himself in, and Frank bit down on J’s hard dick.
“FUCK!! Bitch! Motherfucker!” J roared. He tried to pull out, but Frank bit down harder, grinding it in his teeth until he tasted blood. J screamed bloody murder. Thirty-Five looked absolutely horrified. Above them, Three sped up his pace.
“Holy shit dude, you okay?” Thirty-Four had stopped again.
J finally ripped his dick free from Frank’s mouth and let out an animalistic growl.
“Keep. Fucking. Him.” he bit out tersely. He was cradling his wounded penis like a baby. It was actually pretty funny. If he wasn't so terrified, Frank would've laughed.
“You little shit,” he growled, ripping Frank’s broken hand from its restraint before picking up Frank’s head with both hands and slamming the side of it against the concrete wall. Black spots and white bursts flooded Frank’s vision, and this time he really did laugh, because holy shit, he just bit a guy’s dick. He had waited over a year to bite one of these fucker’s cocks, and now he was paying for it. He was going to die. A haze fell over him as his mind disassociated from the situation, his body going limp. Frank was speaking again, he felt the words burning in his throat, but he wasn't sure what he was saying anymore, his brain disconnected from his mouth in a way that felt almost dreamlike. Whatever he was saying, it must've been pretty fucked up; all four men were looking at him with expressions of horror. Even J had a glint of fear in his eyes. The rough hands gripped his skull tighter. Thirty-Four rammed into his ass again and Frank heard himself let out a manic laugh so high and loud he felt it resonate in his ribs.
“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU LAUGHING AT?!” J screamed.
He punched Frank square in the face, and Frank felt blood from his nose gush back into his throat. He swallowed it into his empty stomach and gagged. Frank opened his eyes wide, too wide. J’s face was inches from his own, but Frank didn't see him. He suddenly wasn't afraid at all, or maybe he was so scared it somehow made him fearless. He smiled bigger than he ever had in this hellhole and felt his jaw click and pop, faulty from countless blowjobs and ball gags. It felt terrible to smile.
“I-I-If y-you k-k-kill m-me,” his voice rasped, unheeded, “I’m-m n-never g-gonna s-s-suck y-your c-c-cock ag-gain.”
“GOOD! FUCKING—JESUS CHRIST, GOOD!”
His head slammed against the wall again and Frank saw stars. Thirty-Four came in his ass. His heart felt like a hummingbird in his chest. Everything was suddenly louder: skin against skin, the creaky box springs in the mattress, the shifting of fabric, the moaning of the pipes, the thumping of his heart in his ears. The drip, drip, drip, drip, drip. His eyes rolled back into his skull.
He felt J’s huge hands around his throat, squeezing the life out of him. He couldn't breathe, he couldn't fucking breathe.
Three stood and ejaculated all over them.
Frank threw up, and everything went black.
( ) ( ) ( )
“Holy shit, dude, stop. STOP!”
“Holy fucking shit.”
“Holy. Motherfucking. Shit.”
“You fucking killed him.”
“Oh, are you sure? What a shame, he was such a fun little guy.”
“Shut the fuck up, you voyeuristic freak.”
“...Bitch was asking for it.”
“You killed him! Do you know what Lagucci is gonna do to us? Remember what he did to Nine—to Henkeman?”
“You—You were a witness, you're just as guilty as any of us.”
“Well I didn't do shit, I was just fucking h-”
“You have your dick inside a dead kid! That doesn't bother you at all?!”
“...A little bit.”
“Listen, you wouldn't be screaming at me if your manhood felt like it was put through a fuckin’ meat grinder. You would've done the same, get off your goddamn high horse.”
“Just get your junk off his throat at least, Jesus Christ, why are you still on him?”
“You sure he's dead?”
“...Yeah. Not breathing.”
“Wait. Hold up. Roll him over.”
“Take his other wrist out of the cuffs and roll him on his side! Come on, for Christ’s sake, Jensen!”
“…Augh! That's fucking disgusting.”
“Let’s—Let’s get out of here.”
“We're just gonna leave him?”
“Yeah. This is...it’s Lagucci’s fuckin’ problem.”
( ) ( ) ( )
Frank woke up on his side, with vomit in his nose and blood in his mouth.
He coughed violently, feeling something wet dislodge in his chest, and leant up on his elbow to vomit again, this time onto the mattress and not down his own throat. His throat felt so positively wrecked, sore from screaming and J’s cock and his own stomach acid, that he was sure he’d never make a noise again. His nose started bleeding again, but it still felt completely clogged up. He breathed raggedly through his mouth, numbly watching drool drip from his parted lips. His entire face felt wet, though he was unsure with what. Someone had taken him out of the restraints, at least. He laid back down gently in the same exact spot, resting his head in the vomit but too exhausted to care. His throat burned fiercely and he let out a guttural moan that turned into a sob, it hurt so much. He was too dizzy to look around the room, but it was silent—the men had left early. His whole body trembled. What had those men done?
His head fucking killed, and he felt sick and dizzy. Concussion, he immediately thought. He remembered J slamming it against the wall and felt his stomach drop as he looked at the wall beside him and saw dried blood. His throat felt constricted, and his nausea was making him salivate, but every time he swallowed a sharp pain clicked in his throat. Fuck, J must have strangled him too. His left hand was still pulsing painfully, as was his nose. Both were broken, he decided. His entire lower half was bare and covered in goosebumps, and his hole felt used and sore and wet; he knew he would have to clean himself off later, feeling sick at the prospect of using the freezing toilet water. Upon realizing how cold he still was, he curled into the fetal position and hugged himself, crying out from the pain in his ass. His stomach still throbbed from hunger, but the pain there was dulled by the sharper pain in the rest of his body.
He’d been left in much better condition before, but he’d also been left worse. (He thought back to Nineteen.) In this moment though, this was the worst he’d ever felt. He felt the dirty mattress damp under his cheek and let himself cry softly, restrained and whimpering. Deep down he knew he didn’t deserve this, but maybe if it was happening, he really did. If whatever higher power that presided over humanity hated him this much, maybe he really did deserve this pain. He let out a despairing sigh and listened to the normal sounds: the cracking and settling of the floorboards above, the groan of the heater upstairs whose warmth he never felt, the faint noise of a dog barking outside.
A dog barking outside.
Frank felt his heart speed up and blood rush to his head. He rolled over onto his stomach and squeezed his eyes shut as he waited for a wave of nausea to roll past him. He propped himself up with weak, shaking arms and jerked upward, again and again and again, getting onto his knees after several attempts and screamed silently in pain as he did so. He heard his terrified, breathy pants in his ears and stood up with a great deal of effort, waiting for the dizziness to subside before pulling on his jeans and cautiously making his way to the base of the stairs. He never heard outside noises down here, the place was like a bunker. Which could only mean…
He looked up. The door was open a crack.
Frank felt so dizzy he thought he might vomit again.
He slowly, very slowly, climbed the stairs, wincing whenever they creaked beneath him. His limbs were shaking almost out of control, not from fear this time, but from weakness and pain and anticipation. Getting to the top felt like a big accomplishment, after stumbling countless times and almost falling down the whole flight twice. He pushed the door open gently, watching it swing away from his hand.
This didn't feel real. This couldn't be real.
The basement, he realized, was actually not far from the front door of the house. The foyer had a lofty, high ceiling and a fake wooden floor, but it was far warmer than the frigid basement. A bathroom door across the hall was left ajar and Frank slipped silently inside, breathing heavily against his tears. He had no way of knowing if he was really alone in the house.
It had been a year since he’d seen his own face, but it felt like an eternity had gone by. Frank wasn't really sure what he looked like anymore. He remembered the instant look of disappointment on that man’s face when he'd seen him, and Frank knew this was probably not the best time to find out, when he was shaking and weak and hurting all over. He took a deep breath and stepped into view of the mirror.
The first thing he had to get past was the blood. He was totally covered in it, most of it concentrated around his nose and mouth, but it was somehow also smeared all over his face. Tear tracks, some dry and some fresh, cut through the blood on his face like tiny rivers. His chin was covered in what looked like dry semen and wet vomit. He nearly gagged again. Quickly flipping on the sink, he scrubbed at his face manically with his uninjured hand, using warm water and soap to wash and sighing at how much he’d missed these simple fucking things. Warm water. Fucking soap. He rubbed his face with his bitten nail tips until it stung.
Once had cleaned off the fluids he was messed with, though, he took in how much he’d really changed. He looked older—though he appeared to not have grown taller at all (and perhaps had even gotten smaller), his face looked harder, and he had a little scruff on his jaw since X hadn't shaved him in a while. Faint, thin scars were visible on his face, old and faded white across the bridge of his nose, on his left cheek, on his chin, under his eyebrow. His hair was long and tangled, a little bit past his shoulders, and it framed his face like a dark, straggly halo. The right side was matted with blood, the left with vomit. He wrinkled his nose and winced in pain. He considered his face for a moment before reaching up and cracking his broken nose back into place, cringing as fresh blood flowed again. He just let it drip down his face, blossoms of red expanding on his already-bloodstained sweater. It had to stop eventually.
Frank realized how skinny he’d become compared to how healthy he’d been before he was kidnapped, tilting his head to look at his sharp jaw and jutting cheekbones. He lifted his sweatshirt and looked at his hollow-looking stomach in the mirror as he traced his fingers down his protruding ribs. He stared numbly at his torso, momentarily taken aback by all the knife scars that covered it from the Nineteen incident and the way it was littered with cigarette burns, a practice encouraged by X to teach discipline, or more often in Frank’s experience, for sadistic pleasure. His tongue felt heavy in his mouth as he looked at the angry purple scars. Disgusting. Hideous. He dropped his shirt and bit his tongue to keep from crying again. He was so pale he was almost white, his skin a disturbing chalky color from lack of sunlight, or any light, really. He was sure the nausea and blood loss was making him ashier. The shadows under his eyes were darker than he’d ever seen on anyone, and paired with his thinness and pallid skin, he looked a bit skeletal.
His chest felt tight, now that he was faced with the physical evidence that all this had really happened to him. He had really been kidnapped right off the street, he had really been used as a sex doll, trapped in some guy’s basement. Over a year of torture and isolation had really passed, and he was nothing more than a statistic. He swallowed the lump in his throat and pressed his face into the soft hand towel, allowing a few tears to leak out, and tried to breathe evenly. He had to control himself, at least until he escaped. He pulled back and stared at his crooked, tiny mouth in the mirror, focusing on not letting any more tears fall down his face.
One eye looked purple and green underneath, and was swollen up already. He could see purple and red bruises forming on his throat and touched it as he suddenly felt J’s hands gripping his neck again, squeezing, choking. He closed his eyes and tried to scream, clawing at his throat feebly and waiting for it to pass. The burn on the side of his neck stung. He coughed and tried to make a sound again, but no sound came out of his throat at all except a forced, choked breath. He physically could not make a sound. It was terrifying. God, he was fucked up. He leant dizzily against the wall, head in his hands. Fucked up. That was to be expected, he guessed.
He cleaned himself up a bit more, purposely avoiding his own gaze in the mirror as he rinsed and dried his hair, threw up acid again into the toilet, and slipped back out into the foyer. The front door loomed before him like a sentinel. It stupidly reminded him of how it felt to finish a video game; this was the final destination. He looked all around him quickly and listened hard once more to make sure he was alone, then fumbled with the deadbolt and yanked the door open with trembling hands.
He took a shaky step outside and slammed the door shut behind him. A flurry of snow blew into his face. A icy bead of water dripped from his hair and down his neck. He squinted at his first glimpse of natural light since he was fifteen years old and gasped a cold mouthful of snow into his lungs. It felt like an invitation.
He was free.
So, he ran.