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Eleven Heartbeats

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Daytime in prison can be quite different from nighttime, depending on your cellie and your wants. As the Puerto Rican gets undressed after an almost completely silent day, Tully can’t help but longing for lights out, not so he can fuck his punk – there’s time for that as well – but to explore this image of indifference. Find the cracks, so to speak.

Tully wouldn’t say people have respect for the former Son, but today’s show of indifference, of a coldness he honestly didn’t believe his punk capable of, had some effect. There are less disgusted looks and more confused ones, which Tully for his part likes. Breaking a punk is easy, after all, and old news after the number of stints he’s had. A punk with something akin to a backbone is new and challenging and Tully likes challenges.

Problem is, the only thing that seems to work on the Puerto Rican, is physical pain and not that Tully cares about him crying, but it’s irritating and increases the risk of a guard showing up. You can’t always trust money. (No, he doesn’t care if the spic is crying! He just wants a good nights sleep, is that so weird?) Speaking of sleep, Ju… Ortiz looks exhausted too. He’s been keeping up an acceptable – more than acceptable, to be honest – appearance all day, and the big, brow eyes are as hollow as his cheeks.

The boy brushes his teeth, washes his face and undresses. He keeps his pants and undershirt on and then curls up in his usual roll on the bunk. It sure looks weak, submissive, but Tully isn’t all too sure about that anymore. He approaches the punk and leans onto the mattress.

“You’re coming out with us. Need some sun on that pretty face.”
“Thought you didn’t like color.”
“Don’t be difficult, baby. I’m not a morning person. Come down.”
“Yes, mom.”

Tully clenches his jaws at that. The boy speaks too low for anyone to hear, but it’s still disrespectful and he gives him a little pinch, not too hard, on the nape.

Now, boy.”

Ortiz just shrugs and climbs off his bunk, getting his shirt back on. He truly looks pale and that says something considering he’s a Puerto Rican with a black dad. Yes, Tully knows. Jax Teller told him a lot but blondie is dead now and the sheep shagger currently leading the Sons isn’t the least interested in using his former brother as leverage against either the Brotherhood, Tully personally or anyone else. The boy is dead to them and while Tully despises the MC for allowing spics and goons at all, he also despises them for the lack of background checks. If the rules aint clear enough from the beginning, you’ll start to get the wrong people in and from what Tully has found out, Ortiz didn’t have a reputation for being either a coward or an idiot before he started that shit with the sheriff.

Oh, well, that sure as hell was an idiotic move and Tully really can’t find much sympathy for him. But whatever his heritage and stupitidy, Ortiz at least isn’t running away from his actions anymore and that counts for something. And a new Mayhem vote without a really good offer from the MC means shit to Tully. Ortiz is more fun alive.

He walks behind him, not straight to his back of course, but sidelong to the left and the men don’t comment or push him, meaning the spic punk at least knows how to walk like a man even he isn’t one. Not anymore.

Tully heads for their usual picnic table and puts his sunglasses on. It’s acceptably bright and warm this early and today’s work wont start in another ten minutes so there’s time for a smoke. Ortiz hasn’t been assigned a job yet, he’s probably considered too depressed, and will most likely be in some kind of therapy group. Tully really doesn’t care and he sits down on the table, gesturing towards the spot right beneath him, between his legs really, and unlike other punks Ortiz neither looks eager or anxious, neither offended. He just obeys.

Let him curse my name, on these blood-stained pages of misery. Let him call me a tyrant so cruel…

Tully isn’t sure why this song has stuck in his head or why it was the first thing popping up when Ortiz asked for him to read to him. Blind Guardian, the band, is German but definitely not playing for the Cause and it’s not even the kind of music Tully generally listens to. He honestly can’t remember when he heard them or where and who played them.

It was inside, though. And it wasn’t during his first stint in regular prison. Of that he’s sure. Carl Green liked country music, especially Hank Williams, and Tully was about to go complete crazy in the first weeks.

Carl Green… Tully hasn’t thought about him for a very long time and why should he. The bastard is long since dead and can’t do shit anymore. And the boy who laid underneath him is dead too. The first times he cried for mercy. For mom. Carl Green loved to repeat that plea loud in the yard and it wasn’t until Tully’s dad came to visit, furious about the rumors that his son took it up the ass like a bitch and whined about it, that he learned to shut down and just count his heartbeats.

The memory is a nasty one and Tully takes up his packet of smokes to set it on fire for now. He’s always used lube with his punks because he doesn’t want to hear them cry and he offers the Puerto Rican between his legs a smoke that’s accepted, lights it for him and pretends it doesn’t make him relieved when the boy looks genuinly grateful for it.

“You’re welcome.”

No sass. No name calling. Ortiz takes a blow at the little white roll and for the split of a second, he leans back with eyes closed and almost, almost feels alive. And Tully pretends he doesn’t remember how the pale marks from Green’s smokes came to land on his own back and hips.

They’re just memories and memories can be burned to nothing if you suck the air out of them. Like the cheap cigarette between the Puerto Rican’s lips.