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AMONGST HEAVEN

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the erratic spurs of hot rays came splashing down atop of lucas’s shoulders in high, heated temperatures. it wasn’t an ideal situation—though he‘s never been in a situation that can be deemed comfortable, having to become accustomed to someone else’s way of living. 

it wasn’t his fault, either, this situation was brought upon him by his family’s circumstances. the endless days of fearing his father’s abuse and mother’s illness, lucas’s life was spiraling downward. lucas was only so young, he didn’t quite understand the, layered on, terror and traumatic experiences that were to come. 

he would’ve left a long time ago if he knew. 

when he was eight years old, his father had always talked to him about the consequences of doing certain things. having the capability to feel emotions and express them through the process of growing was forbidden. he was being brainwashed to turn off everything, every emotion that showed weakness (as his father liked to call them). 

lucas, only being the naive boy that was taught to never disrespect his parents, listened to instructions and kept clear of bearing any emotion. thus, brought him to the world of cruelty and total harassment. 

the people at his school were almost worse than his parents. the not-knowing-better children called him an absolute narcissistic monster who didn’t have any sense of emotion. 

lucas felt the opposite, though, every emotion that he gave in to would be so overpowering that he would quickly turn everything off again. like a light switch, it’s that easy to turn everything off and become a cold-hearted person who only was trying to protect themself. 

it’s a feeling of self-control

or at least that’s what his manipulative father would tell him. 

if the emotional abuse wasn’t bad enough, by the time lucas was thirteen his father decided that physical abuse was a route he chose to walk across. the abuse wasn’t only targeted towards him, but also his lovely mother whom meant everything to lucas. 

she was lucas’s escape from the hell that he called father. she was the light at the end of the tunnel. she’s what made his life worth living. but, all he could do at the time was sit and watch his father beat unconscious the only person who truly cared about him. 

when lucas turned the age of fifteen, he came out to his family as a homosexual, gay to be more specific, and it was only the second worst decision of his life. the beatings were unreal, his father always argued that boy’s cannot like boy’s, it’s disgusting. 

kids at school were worried, but it was popular to pick on someone who had family problems at home— lucas was definitely a target for most bullies and name calling. he stopped caring, though, it’s not like anyone wanted to stand up for him. 

moving to a different school, lucas met three guys who allowed his messy self in. the group of four became inseparable, and lucas couldn’t have been more grateful to finally admit that he has friends who are there for him. 

he counted them as family because they took care of him

when lucas was sixteen, child social services got involved in between their mess of a family— if lucas could even call them that. they asked him questions all about his mother and father, too many questions that involved emotions and how he felt. 

lucas never felt, he was taught not to, so explaining the trauma was troublesome. 

nevertheless, the polite woman that interviewed him— he never got a name— concluded that lucas would be separated from both his parents and sent immediately to foster care. 

lucas’s father was put in jail for the things he had done to him and his mother. as for lucas’s  mother, the joy of my life, she was taken to a mental institution where she is supervised and put on medication. 

and god, lucas felt so alone. 

once again, someone who truly cared about him was taken away from his grasp. 

lucas swore that day to always visit her, to make sure he reaches out and talks to her about his life and how he’s been doing— mentally and physically. he’s never felt more of a connection with a person than he has with his mother, so it was only fitting for lucas to fight for contact with her. 

lucas wasn’t sent to foster care, though he probably will regret this decision later, he was sent to one of his mother’s childhood’s best friend who has taken care of lucas before— or at least before all of the toxic relationships happened. 

lucas agreed only because he was terrified of being with random kids and random adults, people he didn’t know nor thought he could every start trusting. 

the only situation that was worth more is living with someone who he was comfortable with, someone who wouldn’t become aggressive after showing how he felt about certain situations. 

and that person was no other than madam demaury who acquired a husband and two children— the eldest, who is lucas’s age, and attends his school, and a small, young girl who is seven and adorable from what lucas had heard. 

lucas definitely remembered the family, well the foggy mist of memories that clouded the reminiscing part of his brain. he faintly remembered eating sunday dinner with them after his mother and father finished with early morning church with pastor lemure. 

those memories were some of the only rare ones where he saw his mother and father smiling and contributing to keeping their son safe and protected. after moving away a couple months later, lucas never saw the family again until this very moment. 

oh, how times have changed. 

“hey there, big boy!” madame demaury screeched once she reached lucas. he reluctantly opened his arms, which dropped all of his belongings, but a hug from someone safe made him feel happiness— this is what happy feels like. 

she wrapped her arms around lucas’s small frame and squeezed his shoulder blades for reassurance. she smelled heavenly, a mix of citrus and flowers that engulfed him in a tight embrace of security. 

“you’ve grown up to become such a handsome, young man.” she was becoming emotional by the way lucas noticed her eyes, glossy and covered with a sheer cover of tears. “thank you madame.” lucas wasn’t used to feeling so many emotions at once. 

“no, please, call me diane. you deserve to have someone who’s going to care for you and your emotions, so please don’t make it sound like i’m doing this for money or like you’re some chore.” she spoke with such fondness, lucas was grateful. 

“i’ve heard about everything that has happened, i am so sorry you’ve had to endure this at such a young age. i wrote an oath, an oath that i will do everything in my power to successfully protect you.” 

though they were both standing in the parking lot of the foster care center, lucas didn’t care about the vulnerable moment he was about to have. lucas smiled for the first time in a long, long time as he gratefully took another long hug from his new caretaker. 

moments passed quickly as lucas and diane packed her car with lucas’s belongings. it wasn’t much, at all, it was basic hygiene objects and clothes that haven’t been washed in months. he brought along a blanket that lucas constantly stayed close to. it was a safe blanket that he used throughout the years of torture. 

“eliott and ella are excited to have you live at our house. papa demaury is currently preparing supper for the family so everyone can get to know each other.” lucas’s guardian smiled across the car as she backed out of the parking lot. 

lucas breathing hitched at the sound of eliott’s name. almost as if his lungs were suddenly being crushed and achingly reaching for air. 

the boy absolutely hated lucas. 

and quite frankly, he didn’t exactly know why nor how eliott became the cold person he knew today. attending school with him these past couple of months has changed his perception  that he used to think about the boy. eliott always made sure that lucas knew how much eliott wanted to bash his head in. 

eliott is what has made lucas’s high school experience something interesting. lucas never really paid attention, though,  he had friends that cared for him like no other

lucas just hoped eliott would be okay with him staying over. he prayed that life will finally be nice to him and allow a small break with a nice family. he only wanted to live a normal life while his teenage years lasted for four more years. 

“and, what makes this even more exciting is that you’ll be spending lots of time with eliott because you’ll be sharing a bedroom!” 

and oh shit, if lucas hasn’t been more scared. 

“sounds like a plan, thank you for allowing me into your home in such a bad time. i’m internally grateful for you and your family’s welcomness for me.” it sounded like a safe enough answer to lucas’s mind, it was true, apart from the fact that he was terrified of eliott. 

perhaps diane has already told him about the sharing of his bedroom. 

 

Chapter Text

the two small pellets of raindrops slowly slid down the window in jagged paths. lucas is pretending that the two raindrops  have their own little love story. they’ve connected in a tight

embrace and quickly disconnected to be joined with a different raindrop before connecting again at the end of the window sill. 

it reminds him of this one book he read in seventh grade about this boy and girl. absolutely toxic for each other, but in the end they knew their hearts belonged to the other— of course there were obstacles to face such as parents and crazy ex girlfriends. 

lucas hoped love didn’t feel that way, toxic and un-inviting. 

but then again, lucas doesn’t exactly know the feeling of love, nor has he experienced feeling loved by anyone else but his mother— if that can be counted. 

lucas made sure to take a quick glance over the house that he would now call his home. and god, lucas has never been comfortable enough to call a property his home. ever since his family issues, home sounded like a dreadful mistake. 

he hoped this new start of life would boost his ego and allow for a new lucas lallemant— one who isn’t scared of practically everything there is to life. he wants to live, to be free. 

"lucas?” the mist of trance suddenly subsides to a diminished thought. “yes—“  lucas looked out the front dashboard to see monsieur demaury waving in anticipation. 

this is really it, this is a step forward into reaching his dreams. 

“hi.” the voice sounded so small and almost drowned out by the sound of lucas’s rolling suitcase. monsieur demaury insisted on smiling whilst madame demaury and lucas were reaching for bags. 

it was humid outside, sticky and hot, and almost felt like the inside of an oven. small beads of sweat lay like a sparkle on lucas’s forehead with gleam.

lucas think he’s making a complete fool of himself, how could he look so un-presentable in the new caregiver’s house? absolutely absurd. 

“i’m sorry i look so dirty, i don’t have many clothes; papa wanted me to earn them, but i was never awarded.” lucas looks down at his worn out pieces of cloth stuck to his body. there were holes laced in between the fabric and the soles of his shoes had mud and dirt patched inside. 

“no need to worry, please please! we have some extra clothes that don’t fit eliott that we’d think you would like. we‘d also like to take you shopping to get a sense of your style.” 

style? that was something foreign to lucas. is something that considered to be what he likes called style? he liked the name of the word, it brought him subtle joy. 

“thank you, i really couldn’t have asked for better people to take care of me.” lucas smiled, he knew people liked how he worded his sentences. he knew he had a way with words and melting people to the core with his charm. 

“you’re such a sweet boy— oh, and here’s monsieur demaury, or clark if you’d like to call him. he is so very happy to be able to spend your next three years with you!” 

the man brought out his hand from the the side of his stomach, prompting lucas to introduce himself. “monsieur demaury, a pleasure to see you again after all these years.” lucas handed him his most treasured smile. 

on the inside, his muscles were tight and his nerves were eating him from the inside out. 

lucas stood awkwardly upon the family’s porch as the adults talked. out of his peripheral vision, he spotted a dark figure coming into the light behind the front door. 

“has lucas come yet, mama?” a small, petit child walked up towards madame demaury and squeezed a handful of her dress to announce her presence. she turned towards lucas (who was not so subtly looking towards the girl with adoration). 

“lucas!” the small girl shrieked at a high pitch. lucas watched her as she walked towards him with big doughy eyes. they were blue, it reminded him of eliott’s eyes; cold and icy. but, elle’s were a royal blue, such a color of playfulness. 

she hugged lucas at the base of his waist, her having to stand on her tip-toes to grasp onto him. “my name is elle!” the small girl giggled into the fabric of his shirt. 

“you’re adorable, i’ve heard a few things about you, elle. i’m guessing you like fairytales?” lucas gestured to her dress in which was plastered with all sorts of make-believe objects and magical creatures. 

she smiled brightly, her long blonde hair swaying against her collarbones. her cheeks grew a shade of soft pink as she hid her face in lucas’s shirt. “yes, i want to find a unicorn someday, will you help me when that day comes, lucas?” 

lucas bent down to her height, which wasn’t saying much because the boy was short enough, “whatever makes your heart happy.” he ruffled her hair a bit with his slim fingers. she mumbles a small thank you and leaned onto the front door as a way of saying welcome. 

lucas thought the girl was absolutely endearing, a pure soul at heart; an inspiration. 

“well, since you’ve met this crazy little girl already,” diane curls her daughter’s hair with a. twist of her finger, “let’s introduce you to eliott.” elle immediately lit up as if she was just surprised with a unicorn at hand. 

“eliott! yes, my brother, he’s mean sometimes but i think he’s just being a dumb teenager?” it came out more as a question— she purses her lips in thought. “i think he’s talked about you before, something about you being so—“ 

“what’s all the commotion about?” the voice of someone startled lucas as he looks up from the small girl in front of him. 

eliott. 

“oh, lucas is here.” he stood there, lucas thought, as if he’s done absolutely nothing to him to make his life miserable. he stood there, smirk laid on his face and all as if he thinks this is a joke. he stood there— doing nothing— and lucas couldn’t handle any of it. 

he crossed his legs against the doorframe as he watched lucas with those eyes— those eyes he’s learned to despise. they were like hawk eyes, drawing him in but once you’re in too deep, you can’t get out; similar to being laid under a microscope and inspected by eliott. 

it’s a terrifying ordeal, being under the stare of someone so important to your life for all the wrong reasons. 

“oh, wonderful! eliott, this is lucas. lucas, this is eliott.” the woman gestures to her son like he’s won a fucking marathon and should be praised for all glory— or that’s what lucas thought. maybe he was just angry and over-reacting. 

“yeah, i know, he goes to my school mother.” he said in duh tone, so plain and monotone. only his voice sent lucas into a frenzy. 

“so you two know each other already? that’s great, honey!” madame demaury came over towards lucas to lean down into a hug. she smelled floral-like, nothing of his mother— it was comforting. 

“so great.” eliott spoke sarcastically as he eyed lucas up and down. at this point, lucas thought how he looked and became immensely insecure. he hated him and how little, small, he made him feel. 

“ah, supper’s ready, why don’t we say a family dinner with a new addition, our guest: lucas.” clark clapped his hands to relive tension he most likely felt between the two teenage boys. 

lucas hasn’t said anything since elle talked to him specifically. eliott would probably try and turn down every comment of his and twist it into something toxic. 

madame demaury lead him into the family’s house. his suitcase being rolled into the living room by clark, and elle grabbing into his hand and jumping up and down with contained excitement. 

eliott, on the other hand, rolled his eyes and sat down on one of the chairs in their dining room. 

lucas observes the furniture and decorated walls— they were an actual family unlike lucas’. 

the house’s walls itself were a light grey with hints of blue and white. the living room accommodated a large white couch with a red loveseat. very modern for a family. the couch didn’t look dirty— impressive. 

the dining room was gorgeous, with a huge chandelier hanging down in the middle of the oakwood table. an orchid lay in the middle of the table inside an orange vase. the chairs were a light brown color and a vintage-looking style covered the seats. 

the floors were wooded, one of lucas favorites— mostly because anything carpet induced reminded him of his old home, which brought back forbidden memories. 

they’re a perfect family. 

lucas hoped he wasn’t intruding with his broken self. the family were so thankful to actually allow him to be a guest into their house. the family was far too perfect to be destroyed by someone so— all over the place; emotionally. 

“you know you can sit down, right? i won’t bite.” eliott’s voice startled him yet again as he stood in the dining room. he hadn’t realized eliott was staring at him until he looked toward him. he sat in one of the chairs, fiddling with one of the utensils. 

“i’m just trying to get a feel of my new home; trying to get used to change and the new colors of this house.” lucas crossed his arms against his chest. again, eliott made him feel small and child-like. 

“you know, i didn’t think you’d agree to come. i thought you hated my guts to the point where you didn’t want to see me.” the fucker smirked as he fluffed his hair up a bit more. 

“listen, eliott, i don’t know what’s wrong with that big ego of yours, but i came here because it was the easiest decision.”  lucas heard the distinct voices of the other family members clanking plates as they were preparing to put food down on the table. 

“big ego? more like you, aren’t homosexuals known for having huge personalities? personally, you don’t have one— quite boring if you ask me.” 

and there it is, eliott once again belittling him because of his sexuality. he wondered when it was going to pop up in a conversation, lucas didn’t know it would be so early. 

sexuality was— complicated to say the least. 

lucas came out to his father when he felt it was the right time; spoiler alert, it definitely wasn’t. he knew he’s liked boys ever since middle school. raging hormones and sexually curiousness caused most teenage men to figure out what they like and/or don’t like. 

and when a sexuality is not accepted by a community (such as being gay as lucas is)? well, the whole school finds out and you’re in for multiple conversations about how disgusting and wrong it is to like the same gender. 

and who was the one to spread the word first? eliott demaury. 

“being proud of yourself and already figuring out who you like at a young age takes guts, so yeah, maybe we have better personalities because your small brain can’t process what it’s like being open and proud of yourself.” 

eliott stared at lucas, a cold hard stare that made him shiver down to the base of his knees. 

“lucas, sit next to me!” the small girl ran over to where lucas stood, curiously watching eliott for another counteract. lucas looked down expectantly, “of course, how can i say no to my new favorite demaury?” 

eliott snorted. 

“you see, sometimes he’s just a mean teenager.” elle huffed. “i think he’s always a mean teenager.” lucas giggles as he eyes eliott and his dramatic face, so serious he is all the time— lighten up. 

lucas sat down conventionally next to elle and in front of eliott. knowing that his parents sit in the ‘adult’ chairs on the opposite ends of the table. 

“here’s supper.” clark came into the dining room with tons of plates filled with food and delicates. a variety of food with all the necessary ingredients for a healthy life. 

lucas has never gotten to choose from so much food. 

and as expected, the parents of the home sat on opposite ends of the table. 

“choose from whatever you prefer, lucas. we have enough for seconds if you’d desire to have more.” she reaches her hand across the table and subtly traces her thumb across his hand. 

“thank you.” lucas mumbled out lowly, he wasn’t used to this type of attention towards him. being thankful was an understatement. 

“are you excited, eliott, to be sharing a bedroom with lucas?” madame demaury, bless her heart, spoke with joy to your young teenager. 

“i have to share a room with someone like him, so yeah never been better.” he grumbled out while he toys with his food; never really taking a bite. “what do you mean, someone like him?” there was an evident stern tone to her voice. 

“he’s not— he loves people in which we aren’t supposed to love.” he stutters over his words. lucas have never felt more vulnerable and exposed in front of anyone. 

he sunk down in his chair in an effort to make himself smaller.

“eliott demaury, that is not a way to judge someone. everyone has a right to love people of different genders and/ or sexualities. we raised you better than this.”

eliott just rolled his eyes to the back of his head. he spotted me sinking and kept his eyes trained on my body moving. his eyes were a pale grey now, a broken universe laid inside his irises. 

“you know what? i don’t want to have family dinner tonight, i’ll be going to my room.” he pushed the plate away, which instead made a large scratch against the table. his whole family watched as eliott stormed out of the dining room and up the stairs. 

“i’ll go with him, i need to unpack anyway.” lucas watched as eliott slammed his door shut. the only way to lay boundaries was to talk with him; alone. 

he quickly excused himself from the table and grabbed his suitcase with ease.

lucas knocked on the door, “eliott? can i please talk to you?” he waited patiently outside for any signs of the bed creaking or a slight gesture of the doorknob being twisted, but nothing happened. 

“you’re honestly taking everything away. you know what this means? my family will be spoiling you as long as you’re here.” 

he sounded as if he was broken. 

“please let me talk to you, i need to eventually sleep in here anyway. i just need to talk to you about rules.” 

at last, the door clicked, but never opened. 

lucas held his breath as he unlocked the door and walked inside the boy’s room— a room in which he thought he’d never live to see. 

it was plain, nothing to lucas surprise. eliott acquired drawings of all sorts in every direction. tons of animals and realistic drawings were in view. 

his room was huge, lucas thought, at least four times as big as his family’s room. there were huge windows, accommodating a window sill, a king-sized bed with maroon sheets. a tv plastered against the wall, and a small chair in peripheral vision that was also a pale red color. 

“welcome to my humble abode.” he sat up from his bed to fully look at lucas and his sad choice of a suitcase. “do you even have anything in there?” he nodded towards the rolling object. “not really.” lucas looked down at his shoes in embarrassment. eliott was most likely loving how deteriorated he looked. 

“oh great, so now we have to share clothes to— absolutely fucking lovely.” he groaned as he fell back onto his bed. 

“let’s set some boundaries, yeah?” lucas released the awakened tension that was floating in the air unexpectedly. “sure.” eliott reaches over to his bedside drawer to pull out a pen and some shriveled paper. 

“okay, first and foremost, you’re never allowed in my bed.” he stared him down for the nth time. lucas nodded as an agreement as he watched eliott write the rules down on paper. 

“secondly, never allowed to not wash clothes that have been borrowed.” lucas proudly stated, he liked having a bit of leadership over something so simple. 

“third, being a homophobic asshole to me is inhuman and i want it to be cut off.” lucas muttered, playing with his ring finger to bring him some sort of grounding. 

he could feel the emotions creeping up on his body and he wasn’t, at all, ready for them. 

“whatever. fourth, never allowed to touch me without my permission.” eliott smirked under his small, crooked smile. “yeah, suck my dick why don’t you. trust me, i’m gay but only for people that have a soul.” he stated with pure and utter disgust. is that all he saw him as? a gay, hormonal boy who got into every guy’s pants? so stupid. 

“fifth, at school we still aren’t friends and never will be.” eliott drew his lips into a straight line. he looked up at lucas, in which he expressed a face of despair. “i mean, why can’t we just work it ou—“ eliott shushed him with a hand. 

“never. that can’t happen and you know it.” it was the first time he whispered while talking to lucas. it sounded vulnerable so lucas took a mental note of how it made him feel. 

“we have a deal?” he brought out his hand as if they were making some proposition. 

“deal.”