Chapter 1: Foreword
Blood flowed out from his nose and mouth and dribbled onto the ground forming a little puddle, bruises were already swelling up. There were three of them who had tied up his hands and now were beating him. Looking up to them he smiled teeth covered with blood and eyes shining like a wild animal ready to strike. He said something and was hit hard. Then he spat at their direction not knowing if he reached them. Another kicks and punches that almost took his consciouse away, pain that was everywhere. He waited for death that he knew would come. There was no other choice, not after what had happened. As he was waiting for another hit or kick or both, suddenly there were none. Silence filled the room - HE had finally arrived.
Door was opened and closed, step by step HE came closer.
"So you were finally beaten to the ground?" a deep voice echoed in the empty warehouse. "It's only me and you here," it continued. A chair scraped the concreate as it was dragged somewhere close. A cigarette was lit, smell of tobacco filled the room. "Don't be afraid, I will not kill you. But you will wish you were dead soon." Cold laugh fallowed that statement.
Hello, my dear readers.
This story will be dark. It will be all kinds of messed up. Just a fair warning. If you are afraid of blood and angst and maybe even tragedy, then this is not a story for you. But if you want to know what happens to these two, what is their past and what may be their future, then you're welcomed to read it, maybe even enjoy it.
*Looks in the distance* The world is a weird place. Time seems to stand still for a moment and then it flows on. Take this moment to get lost in this story.
Wishing you an experience
Your author Kuromon
Chapter 2: Blood Under Nails
Sun shines through a small window illuminating an almost empty room, matress in the corner, a table on the side. Silence is broken by the breathing of a young man grawled up under a small blanket. Brown wavey hair coveres half of his face, lips slightly pouted as air moves between them. With a grunt the man turns over and reaches his hand for the mobile. With one quick swipe light shines into his halfopen eyes, numbers on the screen show eight. He lets the phone slip out of his hand as he turns to his back and stares at the ceiling. Paint is cracked and the cracks form a picture of something long forgotten.
He lifts his hand as if he could touch it. Yet he does not see the ceiling anymore. Some blood has dried up under his nails even though he scrubbed his hands thoroughly the night before. He bolts up letting the blanket fall. Muscular tights coverd by boxershorts and t-shirt tightly around his chest. His bare feet tap on the floor as he goes to the bathroom. Looking in the mirror he sees how his face looks bothered and pale. He washes his hands trying to get rid of the blood but it seems to be stuck. He draws wet hand through the hair trying to tame it and move it out of his eyes, for a while it stays as he wants but by the evening it always falls back to its original place.
He washes his teeth, shaves just to be sure his face is clean and walks back. Papers on the table do not interest him anymore. He pulls up his pants and puts on his jacket. He has a meeting with one certain man who could change his life. He feels inside, that he should not go, but he has run out of options a long time ago.
He opens the door of this little apartment and leaves, the stairs are old but still sturdy. Sun moves slowly as if time has slowed down. He looks the trees infront of the apartment complex and the old lady who rakes up the fallen ones. Autumn is already here. He waves to her as he walks along the street. By ten he has already reached the inner city and has made sure that no one has fallowed him.
He enters the building he was told and gives the clerk his name. They tell him to wait in the lobby. Sitting on the sofa he skims through a newspaper, nothing catches his eye. Soon a tall man in a balck suit comes to get him. He knows those type of men, only trouble can come of going with them but he has no other choice. They step into an elevator and take it to the top floor. Doors open and he sees a big room filled with expensive art. He does not care for it but the owner seems to love it.
The man in a suit guides him to a door and mumbles into his transmitter. It opens and he is told to enter.
First thing he notices is more expensive art. Is that Pollock on that wall? he asks himself. The room is big with many windows and plants. At first glance it seems empty but then a tall man in a white designer suit steps out of what seems to be a bedroom. "I was expecting you" he smiles but there is no warmth in his eyes.
Chapter 3: Deal with the Devil
Dae shivers after hearing that distant voice, those cold eyes behind thin-framed glasses seem so dark, so different. White suit makes a contrast with his dark hair. "Don't look so startled, have a seat." The man gestures towards a black sofa.
Dae stands dumbfounded in the entrance. He hasn't moved an inch and it is an effort to walk foreward. He sits on the sofa and crosses his arms, he looks up. The man towering over him seems to smile for a second but it could've been a trick of light. Dae musters his courage, he is there for a reason.
"So, you wanted to see me..." he stars but is interrupted.
"Yes, I wanted to see you. I have an offer you cannot refuse." He says with the same low and distant voice. It almost feels supernatural. "I know you are best at what you do. I've had first hand experience when it comes to your skills. So I came to a conclusion that if I make you mine and only mine, then it would save me lot of trouble." He walks to an armchair facing Dae and sits down.
Everything about him makes Dae uncomfortable. His precence is so untoubtably evil and dark, and it is supposed to be like that. After all, he is the leader of Koreas biggest gang.
"So, you say I cannot refuse. What will happen if I still will?" he spouts out before he can stop himself. Little droplets of sweat start to from on his forehead. He knows he has no other choice but his temperament still strikes out.
The man in white smiles like a shark or a beast who eyes its prey. "You will dissapear. No one will ever find you and you'd be undoubtedly dead." He makes a little pause before continueing. "But if you swear your loyalty to me then you'll live and live good." He crosses his hands and lifts one leg over another, he is waiting.
Dae draws his hand through his hair and shuffles it up even more. He looks at that predator, pure power dressed in white. "You knew all along that I would say yes. But what do you want from me? I know you have better and more skilled people than me."
Man in white leans foreward and grasps Daes chin closing in on his face. Dae can see his dark eyes,without any hints of feelings, like voids.
"I want you for only myself."
Dae does not flinch at that statement nor does he shake the hand off. Instead he stares into those dark and deep eyes. "You are going to make me yours? A hired gun, a bodyguard, a toy?" Even though his calm is faked, he still knows how to act infront of danger.
The hand squeezes tighter as if the man in white wants to mark or punish. He smiles again lips curling back from his teeth, like a wolf ready to bite. Then he lets go and leans back. Dae does not move, he is still a little startled. Word on the street was that he was eccentric, odd and no one could predict what he would do next. And Dae had still come here even though he knows it.
The man in white finally starts to talk. "I don't need you as a hired gun. As you said, I have better people out there. I could've gotten rid of you a long time ago and maybe I'd saved myself from the trouble you may bring. But I like the way you do your work. Do you know what you are like?" His voice is finally filled with something, maybe interest, or a hint of twisted pleasure.
Dae does not move. He knows what the man is talking about but feigns ignorance. "What are you talking about?" he asks.
The man takes a small remote out of his pocket, "Look behind you, I'll show you the footage of your latest conquest." He says it with a smile, lifts his hand and points the remote at the big flatscreen on the wall. Dae turns around, afraid of what he would see. It is a security footage, black and white.
A corridor of some kind at an old house. Two men there guarding a door. There is no sound but Dae knows what he will see. Two shots and the men fall down. With no remorse a man in dark clothes and covered face stepps over them being careful not to get blood on his boots. That man openes the door and steps in.
Change of angle, now it is a big room with a table and chairs. Three men have already stood up as they have heard something behind the door. Their mouths move, maybe they ask who is there. One of them pulls out a gun. The door is flung open, two men fall down, they are shot in the chest, it all looks grotsque in the silence. Only the oldest of them still stands. The man in dark comes closer. He pulls out a knife and takes his time. He does not kill right away. It seems like he is questioning that old man. Blood is flowing slowly. The black and white footage cannot transmit the horror of red that is going on.
Dae looks at it and his face turns whiter with every second that passes. He cannot see the smile on the man in white's face as he puts the remote away. He does not speak right away, he lets the feeling sink in. Dae slowly turns around but does not look up, his eyes are nailed at his boots.
"As I said, I like how brutal you are. And this was only a small part of you, I know. This was softcore compared to the usual you. You are like an animal, like a cat who plays with a mouse, tearing it apart and throwing it up in the air." The man looks at Dae, waiting to see a reaction and Dae gives him a satisfing one: eyes full of protest. He likes it, he then continues "I don't want you as a bodyguard, nor a toy. I want you as a pet who never leaves my side. I want to tame you." He smils like an allknowing and ruling god, and he is that. Everyone around him knows that he is the boss, the master.
Daes face tenses up, his hands form fists. "I am no ones slave..." he growls.
"But you have no choice." Five simple words said with calm but firm tone.
That is the last drop, he has no choice. He is cornered and the only way he sees out is to attack. The room seems to swirl around, anger almost makes him lose his mind. He stands up ready to strike but is stopped with one swift move. Suddenly the masters hands close around his throat. "Do you think I am weak, that I am some eccentric who buys paintings and hides away while others do the dirty jobs for him. I had to climb over many bodies." is hissed to his ear.
He struggles but it is no use, hands that are holding his neck seem to be made of steel. His face starts to turn red as he tries to claw hands that deny him of oxigen. Then suddenly he is let loose and pushed on the sofa. "Are you going to fight back?" the master asks. Dae only moves backwards trying to get away. This is not what he had imagined. A hand grabs his leg and pulls him closer. He kicks but that leg is also gaught. He tries to reach his knife but it is not there. He looks up to the master holding the knife and smiling at him.
He is undoubtly scared for his life, there is no other option. A crazy man is holding a knife near his crotch, grinning. He seems to be enjoying the fear, as if he can taste it.
He says with a gentle tone "I love your struggling. I love how you stand up to me, how you fight back even though there is no chance for you to survive without me. Even if you kill me and escape, my men will kill you as soon you step out that door, and even if I am alive, those man will kill you if you step out without me."
His eyes are full of joy as he moves knife up and down on Daes pants. Dae tries to calm his hasty breathing. Instinct to survive makes his body shiver as adrenaline is pumping through his veins. He can still move his hands but the blade is right where the artery is, one false move and he would bleed to death. He takes a deep breath and utters "Are you going to kill me?"
The man in white laughs and cuts the fabric on Daes thigh. He pierces the skin and little pearl of blood seeps out, the cut is not deep. Dae does not move an inch, it is not painful, he has felt worse. "Do you want to die?" the man asks. Dae shakes his head. No, he doesn't, even though the prospect of losing his freedom seems grim.
The man smiles. "Then struggle some more." he says pressing the knife against Daes skin. This cut is deeper and now he can feel the sting. He flinches and it widens the grin on the torturers face.
"Fuck you!" Dae has had it. He is usually the one who cuts others. He strikes back and gets his hand cut but his legs are free now and he jumps from the sofa and tries to run to the door.
"It is locked" he hears from behind. He turns around and now he feels blood dripping down his leg and flowing out from his hand, he squeezes it trying to stop the bleeding.
"Why are you doing this?" he almost screams out.
"Do I need a reason?" the man asks licking the blood from the knife.
"Ofcourse you fucking do! What do you think you are, you psycho!" He looks around to see something that he could protect himself with. He then looks at the Pollock painting. "I am going to smear my blood all over it if you come any closer."
The mans eyes widen in reaction to that statement. He then burst out laughing. Dae is frightened by that voice, it sounds as if that man seldom laughs if he laughs at all.
He walks closer and Dae shifts towards the painting. "I am serious. I will ruin this painting."
He lifts his bleeding hand, blood drips onto the persian carpet under his feet. He feels the mans stare, it makes him uncomfortable and suddenly that threat means nothing. Standing against such a man, he has no chance to win.
He has no spirit left to fight. Man needs to know when to give up. He lets his hand fall down against his side, blood flows and flows. He looks at the floor and sees how the red seeps into the carpets pattern ruining it. He does not look up, like a beaten dog he hides his eyes.
"So, losing your will to fight?" the man mocks.
Dae looks up to his smiling eyes.
"Thought it is enough for today. Also, I feel dizzy. You cut too deep." he says while his leg gives away and he collapses. His mind fades to black.
He wakes up in the middle of the night, the room is dark. Getting used to it takes a while. His hand and leg are bandaged. The room is not big, only the bed in there, but it is a quality bed and matress, much better than he has at his rundown apartment. He does not panick, there is no use for it. He is alive and looked after. He sits up and discovers his leg is cuffed to the bedframe. It is no suprise to him and he leans back to the pillow. Soon sleep takes him away.
Chapter 4: Scar deep
Sun shines through the window illuminating the room, matress in the corner, table on the side. Silence is broken by the breathing of a young man grawled up under a small blanket. Brown wavey hair covers half of his face, lips slightly pouted as air moves between them. With a grunt he turns over and reaches for his mobile. With one swipe light shines into his halfopen eyes, numbers on the screen show eight. Letting the phone fall from his hand he turns to his back and stares at the cracks in the ceiling. Blood starts dripping from them, drop by drop. One lands on his face and he jumps up.
"What the fuck!"
He swings the door open and finds himself in another room. He knows this room – it is from four years ago. A huge hall full of neatly arranged tables and chairs, flowers everywhere. A wedding will take place here in a day. Or it would have taken place. He looks down on himself, now he is wearing a suit instead of T-shirt and boxer shorts.
A lady walks in the room and comes straight to him. She is beautiful with black hair and dark eyes, wearing a flower patterned dress.
"Here you are." she says and takes his hand. "We all are waiting for you, especially Mike, he cannot do the rehersal without his best man."
Another door, new people. Mike is standing at the altar, everyone is waiting, she steps in wearing white. Everyone claps, someone sheds a tear, a baby starts crying. He does not understand what is happening and runs out.
Dark alleyway, knife in his hand and blood everywhere. A person at his feet.
"Please don't kill me. I have children." voice filled with fear, tears. Disgusting sobbing, hand grasping at his feet.
Knife moves down, blood feels warm, there is no more sobbing. He looks around and runs.
Little space, everything is dark, he feels cold and hurt. He looks at his hands, they are so small. He knows this dark place. It is where he used to hide. Always hide.
He hears voices outside.
"It is all your fault. You cannot satisfy me, you loose bitch."
Someone screams, something falls down. The door is janked open, the sudden light hurts his eyes. A monster looks at him. A man with red eyes, a beard and a grin. He smells of alcohol. Little Dae knows what is going to happen. It always happened no matter where he hid.
It happened until he made it stop. Fathers hunting knife, the one he had always bragged about, went missing one day. And he was so mad about it that he drank all night. And like always he came for him, but this time little Dae had a solution.
Little hands gripped the knife tight. He did not shiver anymore. The door was janked open and he sprung upwards. The knife pierced through the monster making him cry out. Warm blood gushed out covering his little trembling self. There were no monsters, only bad people.
He heard his mother cry out and condemn him but he just walked out of that door. And he walked and walked and walked.
"We have a job for you. We heard you like knives." another one of those bad people.
"You are good at what you do." another praise, another job done.
"I like the way you do your work. Do you know what you are like?" stupid question.
He runs and runs and runs.
Mirrors everywhere, blood dripping, gushing, flowing and smeared everwhere. Bloody footrpints. On the walls like Pollock paintings. Here an arterial burst, there slower flow from the veins. Decapitation, guts sprawled everywhere. That smell never really leaves.
Mirrors, he gets climpses of himself, a grin and red eyes. A monster.
A woman screaming at him. "It is all your fault he died. Yours!"
"You are a monster!" another one of those people.
Why am I still alive?
He runs and runs and runs. From one door to another. From one memeory to another. Now he knows he is dreaming.
The smell of blood, the weight of a knife in his hands, the smell of gunpowder, the recoil. Smell of tobacco.
Falling, he is falling. Persian carpet. No, pillows and a soft bed.
Dae opens his eyes and finds himself covered in cold sweat. "Not a again." he whispers.
"Shit, I did not need this," he mumbles.
"Need what?" a voice from the darkness asks.
Dae sits up and turns in a hurry, that man sits there with a sigarette between his fingers. It is dark and he can only see the burning tip moving. Dae covers his face with his hands and sighs.
"Why couldn't you be a dream too?" he utters.
He feels sick, all that blood. He still smells blood, he moves his hands and sees it seeping through the bandage. He sighs again. There is no pain, why is there no pain, he thinks to himself.
The man does not move nor answer, and Dae appreciates that, he isn't waiting for an answer. Instead he looks the blood smeared on the blanket. It is not usually him who bleeds. This feels new, or fogotten. The dream still plays in his head - red eyes, a monster, mirrors and splattered blood.
"Are you sure it is supposed to bleed this much?"
Blood is dripping out through the bandage. He hears the man stand up and come to him. He smells of tobacco, he reaches in and grabs his bleeding hand.
"I suppose not."
He lets the hand fall back to Daes lap and walks away.
"Hey, where are you going?" he yells after him.
The door is opened and closed. He is getting dizzy again. Leaning back to the pillows he closes his eyes. Am I finally going to die, he asks himself. But no, he does not feel cold yet, he doesn't feel restless either. Maybe he is too calm.
Shouldn't I hold my hand up, suddeny dawns to him. Isn't that what one was supposed to do when bleeding, hold it up high? But he does not lift it, he lets it lay there, as if it is not part of him.
He hears someone walking, two of them to be exact, then stopping behind the door and opening it. The light is switched on, sudden brightness blinds him. An unfamiliar man stands at the door holding a first aid kit. He looks back scared, then steps in.
"I am doctor Meshin. I am here to look at your hand." he says and looks at the door. Man in white stands there, but this time he is not wearing white. A dark grey three-piece suit makes him seem even taller, and for some reason more evil, more like a gangster he is.
Dae nodds. At least he is not left bleeding to death, this reassures him. Today is not the day his existence will end.
Meshin comes closer and Dae lifts his bleeding hand towards him. Doctor seems scared, he looks at Dae with weird eyes, he is suprised how calm Dae is.
"Make the bleeding stop." orders the man at the door.
He hasn't moved, his face is calm and cold again. Like the laughter before never existed at all. Doctor starts to open the bloody bandage, as he gets it off he sees a big cut going from the balm to the wrist. It has been sewn but the stitches have come loose. He takes out the proper tools and cleans the wound, then takes out the anesthetic.
"It is not needed." says the man from the door.
Doctor is startled, he wants to protest but Dae says "Don't bother, I don't feel a damn thing."
It does not take long, sewing the wound back together, stopping the blood from escaping. Doctor works fast, he wants to get out of there. These people are crazy, he knows that. It is their eyes, that is what scares that poor man, who is just doing his job.
When everything is done, cleaned and proper, the doctor almost runs out of that room.
"Thanks, doc." Dae says to him as he is leaving, doctor nodds to him and is gone then. The door closes.
"So, more comfortable now?"
Dae looks at him coming closer. "If I could get rid of you as easily as the doctor, then I would be overjoyed. But I don't think I have that much luck."
"Still frisky, ready to bite, I see. By the way, don't squeese your hand into a fist again if you want the stiches to stay together. You know, the blood in you isn't infinite." He sits back to his chair which wasn't there before Dae fell asleep. But it had been there when he woke up.
"May I smoke?"
"You did before, why ask now?"
"So much for trying to be considerate." he flicks open a lighter and lits his cigarette. He takes a deep whiff.
Dae laughs at that statement but stops soon, the feeling of pain is coming to him. He can feel his tigh hurt.
"Got any more drugs, mister big bad gangster?"
"Oh, is pain coming back. I thought you were a tough guy."
"No, just stubborn."
"I can see that." he blows out smoke.
Dae leans back to the pillows and looks at the smeared blood on the planket. He moves trying to find a comfortable position but his bladder disagrees.
"I need to take a leak."
"Why don't you then." With a grin the man nodds.
"I am cuffed to the bed." Dae wiggles his good leg that is stuck to the frame, he feels metal against his ankle. "You don't want to clean pee off the floor, do you?" Somehow this does not suprise him, he could imagine worse happening than peeing his pants.
Wait pants, he wasn't wearing any, "Hey, did you take off my pants?"
"Ofcourse, dummy. They were sliced and covered in blood. Also we had to sew that wound too. Common sense." He gestures with his cigarette.
Dae remains silent. Minutes pass, the man lights another of his high-end cigaretts.
"Can I go to the toilet or not?"
The man stands up and takes the key out of his pocket, he uncuffs Daes leg and waits. Dae tries to stand up but falls down as soon as he gets his legs on the ground. He is wearing that weird hospital gown that leaves the ass bare.
"Fuck this shit."
"Stubborn. Need a shoulder?"
He tries to stand up again and somehow manages. He is now hopping on one leg getting the support from the bed.
"Where is the toilet?"
"Out of the door and left."
"You are letting me go like that?"
"You have nowhere to run, and with that leg, you wont reach far. Also I will come with you."
The man smiles. He reaches a hand but Dae ignores it and starts limping towards the door. It takes a lot of effort, when he reaches the door he is covered with sweat.
"Be careful not to rip those stiches too."
He opnes the door and continues to the left. The toilet is right there. He goes in and that man fallows.
"Little privacy would be nice."
"You haven't earned it. We could've avoided all this mess if you had been smarter and done as I said from the beginnig."
"Fuck you." He opens the stall and goes in. He hears another cigarette being lit outside of it. Resorting to pee sitting down makes him even more pissed off.
He somehow gets back up after doing his business and starts walking back to his room. His leg stings now as if someone is still cutting it and his hand feels heavy.
"Still don't want any help?" the man asks as he slowly walks behind him. "Maybe I can open the door for you."
"I told you to shut up."
"No can do, I am the master and you are the slave."
"Does your vocabulary only consist of swears?"
He finally reaches the bed and almost falls on it. "None of your business."
"Ofcourse it is mine. Everything, when it comes to you, is my business"
"Go screw yourself. I want to sleep now. Can you switch the light off and go away. Don't you have a job or something?"
The man does not answer and Dae closes his eyes. He does not know how much time passes but the light is switched off at some point and he hears the door open and close. But somehow he can't sleep. It is not the pain that keeps him awake. Red eyes, a beard and a grin of a monster play over and over again behind his eyes.
He has to remind himself not to squeeze his hands into fists. The room is silent, not even a clock ticking. He reads his own heartbeats. Time passes and he finally falls asleep, this time only darkness and nothing more.
Chapter 5: Questions
Waking up is slow and painful, he feels the stiches in his tigh, he feels them in his hand. His leg feels heavy and sore. It takes him some time to rememeber what happened. He has a bad taste in his mouth. He looks around in this small room, there is a window to the left, but he can only see another house, sun shines against its windows. The chair that He had sat on is no longer there.
Dae sits up and hops out of the bed making sure not to hurt his leg. Somehow he gets to the door, it is not locked. He opens it and takes a limps out. Two men stand beside his door. It is no suprise, it was given that he is not left alone. He looks at the expensive suits and cold eyes of those two.
"Gonna go take a leak." he gestures towards the toilet. One of the men nodds. Dae lingers there for a moment as if waiting for something more, but when met with silence he finally says, "Gonna go then."
Toilet is the same, one big mirror and a sink, two stalls behind him. He looks in the mirror, his face looks pale. A little stubble is growing on his chin and he scratches it. He needs to shave, it is a must. The turns around so he does not have to see his reflection.
He limps out after doing his business, two men still wait infront of the door. Dae is bored of the empty room and his own shitty situation, so he decides to tease those two: "So, boys, you here to make sure I won't run?" he says leaning against the door, but the men don't answer.
"I can't run with this leg... Hey, boys, why so serious? Why won't you talk to me, it is boring to talk all alone." He waves his hands before their faces and just as he is about to poke one of them he hears footsteps.
"Why are you bulling my men?" a cold voice. Dae turns around sure of who he is about to see.
"I was bored. Seems you were too, to come to me." he laughs but it is fake.
"Lets go inside, I have something I want to talk about." His face is serious, seems he is not joking. He is wearing a formal suit, his hair is styled in a conservative way.
"Oh, am I getting a new offer?" Dae says and limps in. Someone has changed the bedsheets, now they are all white, pure.
"Shut up, I am in no mood to joke around."
"..." Dae stares back to him. He sits on the bed and lifts is hurting leg on it. Leaning on the pillows he waits for what the other has to say.
"What I am about to say is a secret. So if you spill your beans to someone, I will certainly kill you."
"You are not the boss of me."
Top walks to him and towers over him with a mad look on his face. He lifts his hand and grabs Daes neck where the bruises of yesterday have not yet started to vanish.
"I am the boss of you. I told you to shut up and listsen. Nod if you want me to let go and promise to stay silent, I don't have the time to dicipline you, atleast not now."
Dae nodds, Top did not squeeze his neck that hard, it was more like a warning.
"I have a mole in the group. Someone wants to get rid of me. I need you to find out who it is."
Dae waits all silent.
"Speak up, I need to know what you think about it."
"You told me to shut up."
A slap to his face makes his lip bleed.
"Now I tell you to speak up."
"I have no other choice to obey, that's what you tell me all the time. And you have damaged me quite a bit, how am I supposed to help you find a mole, when I can't even walk."
Top pulls out a pack of cigaretts and lights one. His eyes are dark as if there is nothing behind them, only anger.
"I can't stand your voice, it makes me mad."
"You wanted me, now get used to it." Dae is getting mad, that man makes no sense.
Top sighs, he lowers his head for a second when he looks up he is more sad than angry.
"Nothing is going as I planned it. My group is falling apart, you are more of an hussle than I thought."
"Am I the shoulder you come to cry on? Oh you poor bastard, your life is such a sorry one." he mocks, "What did you think? That everyone would love you if you are such an asshole? That being strong is all there is? Don't make me laugh my leg hurts."
"I'll come again tomorrow, and think about helping me. You don't really have a choice, but I like the illusion of hope." He says and leaves immediatly.
Dae sits there and bursts out laughing. He has seen many things in his life, but this is new to him. The most powerful man in such a sorry state. No wonder he is out of his mind. But then he remembers something and limps to the door, opening it he shouts "I need a razor, I need to shave and I need new clothes and food. And a shower. Give me atleast that much and I'll think about your offer."
Top turns around and nods then he is gone. Two stooges still guard his door.
"What are you two looking at? Haven't seen a sick person before." he pokes one of them and goes back to his room.
It doesn't take long, a nurse looking frail man comes to him and leads him to the showers. He hands him a bag with all he needs to clean himself up and reminds him not to make his wounds wet.
"How am I going to do that? I can't wash myself like that, and that bastard broke my good hand." reality has hit him, he is disabeld to do the things he is used to.
The nurse nods and goes away. What was the meaning of that nod? Dae tries to untie the knots of his hospital gown. But he can only use one hand and the knots are tied tight.
"Fuck this shit" he throws the bag across the room.
"Need help." voice of a man he wants to see the least.
"No..." He turns around, Top stands there.
"Weren't you busy or something?" he gets through his teeth, without noticeing his hands are in fists.
"I made an opening just for you." he comes and touches Daes hands. "Told you not to do this. Do you want to rip the stitches again?"
Dae unglenches his fists, Top still does not let go.
"Thank you for your worry, now leave me alone." Dae says as he shakes off the hands.
"But I am here to take responsibility for wounding you." he says standing there smirking.
Dae just looks him. "Are you fuking kidding me?"
"No, I am very serious. Come here, I'll take that off of you and help you wash and shave too. You can't with your right hand. " Smirk grows wider.
"You are enjoying this too much. I hate you." he does not move though. Tops goes behind him and unties the gown. Dae gets out of it. "Isn't this embarassing?" he asks as he turns around. His body is covered in scars of every kind.
Top looks at him "For you. I quite enjoy the view." And he really does, Dae looks like a piece of fine art.
Dae turns around eyes filled with anger, he wants to punch this man straight into his pretty mouth. He takes a deep breath. "Let's do it then. But no funny business. If you do something I don't agree with I'll attack."
Top nods "Yes, yes. Don't worry. With your leg like that it would not be good for me either."
He helps Dae wash and shave. As promised he does nothing more. It is a suprise for Dae who hadn't really believed in his words. After that he helps Dae into clean clothes and offers him a shoulder to lean on.
"I don't need your help." Dae stubbornly says even though he was just helped a lot. Top rises his eyebrows, then says "Okay I'll be going now. Doctor will come to you soon."
Dae stares at hi "What is wrong with you?"
"What do you mean?" he smirks asking that.
"What kind of phsyco are you? You almost kill me and now you are kind to me? What's going on? Do you know what you are doing is kidnapping? I don't want to be here. I don't want to help you. I don't even stand the sight of you." he bursts out.
Top stands there silent but his eyes become darker. He comes to Dae and pushes him against the wall. "I happen to be a man who likes to break the things he owns. And I own you right now. And you are lecturing me, little assassin. How many people have you killed without even blinking an eye? Like you haven't hurt people in your life. I admit I went too far, but you made me do so."
Dae looks up to him without trembling, his eyes are full of spite. "Can't you just act like a normal person. And why did you have all that footage of me? Are you some kind of a stalker? Answer me."
"I have been keeping eye on you since... a long time. I told you, I like the way you kill. Without remorse, without guilt."
Dae grabs Tops collar with his good hand. "Why does it have to be me?"
Top puts his own hand on Daes "If I knew I wouldn't be this pissed. Now answer me. Will you help me?"
Dae spits in his face and thinks he will be hit for that. But Top just looks him dead in the eye as he wipes the spit off. "Is this your answer?"
Dae looks away. Top shakes him "Is that the answer?"
"No. I just don't want to speak with you. What will I gain if I agree? So far you've only threatened me. Told me I have no other choice. But I like to be treated as equal. So if I'll help you, will you let me go?"
"Thought so. No matter what I do, I am on the losing side." he shakes Top off and starts to limp towards his room, he has nowhere else to go.
Top stands there and watches him go. He mutters "Fuck..." and goes after him.
Chapter 6: Double Payback
"Wait up! Don't run away from me." he walks after Dae.
Dae looks back at him. "I am limping away, just speed up. I don't have time for your shit. I want to go home."
"This is your home now."
"No, my home is a shitty apartment in the shitty part of the town with a nice landlady. That is my home. This here is prison."
Top stops. Dae reaches the door, opens it and goes in. He closes the door and limps to the bed. Only now he feels how tired he really is and how hungry too. But he doesn't want to ask anything from that man. Slipping under the blanket he hopes to get rid of the feeling of dependance. But he does not get the chance to rest. Top opens the door and steps in. He walks closer but remains at a certain distance.
"I know we started off weirdly..."
"You don't say." Dae mumbles undernaeath the blanket that he haa pulled over his head.
"Let me say it. I am sorry. I just got a little carried away...."
"A little?" another mumble from underneath the covers.
"Okay, a lot. I got carried away. Are you happy now? On another thought, don't answer that. Just listen what I have to say. I have been looking for you for a long. Don't laugh. I need a man inside I can trust. And you seem to be good for that. On hindsight I should've been gentler. But the deal is, I hope you decide to work for me. I'll pay you a lot. And if you do a good job I'll let you leave."
That makes Dae pop his head out. "You are offering me freedom. Now we are talking in terms I can understand." He jumps out of the bed landing on his good foot and walks to Top who sees a little bit suprised, atleast as much of suprise he lets himself show. He looks at Dae and says, "I though you were horribly hurt."
"I am. But I have been worse. Now let's talk about money." he smiles and walks past Top. There is a slight limp, but not as exagerated as before. "Come, let's have a little walk. I don't want to be stuck inside." he moves closer to the door.
Top looks him going and then says with a smirk "Stop right where you are."
"Why?" Dae asks, but does not turn around.
"Cause I say so. And would you give me my weapon that you stole before?"
Daes smile dies as he turns around. Top is pointing a gun at him. Dae slowly raises his hands.
"Okay, okay. You caught me." he reaches his hand and pulls out the stolen gun, he throws it at Tops feet. "Can't a man atleast try?"
"You should've used it on me. Now it is too late." He picks the gun up and puts it behind his belt. He then walks closer. "And you shouldn't have spat on my face."
Dae smiles as if he is sorry and then spits again.
Top avoids the splatter of saliva. "Not nice, not nice at all. Do I have to dicipline you, little doggy."
He grabs Daes hair and pulls him even closer. He is now so close his nose almost touches Daes, his eyes are dark and dangerous.
"What if this little doggy bites you?" Dae hisses through his teeth.
"Then the little doggy gets a double payback." and then he kisses Dae, roughly, marking his territory. And then he licks across Deas face. "Now you've got my saliva on you. I live by a rule: double payback."
He let's go of Daes hair and pushes him on the ground. "I'll come again tomorrow. Think about my offer and be a good little puppy. I bet you are hungry. My men will give you food soon. Don't try to escape, it'll only end badly for you."
He walks away and closes the door. Dae hears the key turn in the lock.
"You asshole! You mother fucker! Come back, so I can kill you." he slams his fists on the door. Some of the stiches get torn and little blood seeps through the bandage.
"Fuck this shit! Fuck it all!" He goes to his bed and throws the pillows and the blanket on the ground. He wants to break something, but there is nothing. The room is practically empty. He swipes his hand across his face, as if trying to get rid of the feeling of that kiss. It irritates him even more.
Chapter 7: Mr. Liar
He is being fed and looked after, the doctor comes sometimes to look after his wounds. Now he sits on the bed and thinks, is there a way out of here without obeying? Probably not. He is not angry anymore. Trashing the place gave him a release. But the kiss, what did that mean? He does not know. Then again, he is dealing with a madman, so one never knows what might happen.
"This is not what I wanted..." he whispers. The street behind the little window is dark and Dae feels tired. He knows the door is locked and he is safe here, for now atleast. And maybe this is better, maybe he needs to atone for what he has done. Maybe, just maybe, he really is a monster. He soon falls asleep, head filled with restless thoughts that bring nightmares.
He is running, something chases him, but as he looks behind there is only empty streets. He runs and runs and runs. Suddenly someone appears right before him.
"Hi, my boy. Daddy needs you." A smirk and red eyes of a monster.
Dae turns and runs away. Chuckling laughter follows him. And as if that wasn't bad enough, he starts seeing all the people he has killed, his hands are drenched in blood, he is covered with it, he can even taste it. The warm metallic flavor fills his mouth. He wants to puke, but he has to run.
A forest, deep, dark, almost inpenetrable, but he finds a way through the undergrowth. He remembers this forest, fear fills him, he frozes. This was where...
He opens his eyes, remembering nothing of the dreams he had. Top stands beside him holding his hand.
"I told you, not to do this. And have you bitten into your cheek?" He touches the little trickle of blood that has flowed down the side of Daes lips. "Look." he says showing the blood to Dae and then licking it off from his finger.
Dae gringes and pulls his hand from Tops, he sits up. "Is it morning already?" he looks around, it's still dark behind the window. "What are you doing here?" he tenses up a little. Then he looks up into Tops face, it is cold and emotionless. "I asked you. Can you answer? Or are you here just to creep me out?" he says pulling the blanket closer.
Top pulls a chair near to the bed and sits, takes out a back of cigarettes and lights one.
Dae looks at him sitting there so nongalantly "And where the fuck do you get that chair!? Don't tell me you bring it with you all the time."
"I do. Can't leave it with you. You'd use it as a weapon. On yourself or on me. On both occasion I'd be hurt."
"Stop with the crap. I can't even think. Why must you be such a weirdo?" Dae just blurts out.
"Aren't you one too. Trying to have a meaningful conversation with your kidnapper, as you call me, though I would prefer the term business partner, as I made you a good offer."
"What are you doing here in the middle of the night?"
"I heard you scream."
"You heard me... WHAT!? You bugged this place. Oh, I'm stupid. You probably have live feed from this room to any device you like." Dae looks around, after a while he notices little cameras.
Top only smiles his cold smile and continues to smoke his cigarette.
"Good that you are here, I need to take a leak. I hope you don't have cameras in the bathroom." he says and slips out of the bed.
"Not in the stall." wide smirk.
"You are one sick man, you know. I'd hit you. But better not. You'd do something disgusting as payback." Das says as he moves towards the door. He's limping again. This time it is not fake.
"The door is locked." Top mutters.
"I know. Open it." Dae stands at the door, leaning on it.
"If you agree to my offer."
Dae looks back at him. "Are we playing this game again. I can pee in the corner if it makes you happy."
Top smiles, this answer seems to please him.
"Come on, open the door." Dae says again.
"You said you can pee in the corner."
"I lied. Now, open the door."
"You agree to my offer?" Top lights anoter cigarette.
"Your offer is shit. I won't become your slave."
"I don't want a slave. I want a little loyal doggy, who does as ordered."
"Do I look like a dog?" Dae is getting furious.
"Aren't you? Just like a doggy who pleads to be taken out for a walk."
"Fuck you. Aghhh." He hits the door with his good leg. "Aghh. What the fuck is this door made of!"
Top stands up. "Let's go then, doggy, before you hurt yourself more."
"It's you who keeps hurting me."
"No, it is you."
Dae is alone again. Top has left after letting him out to pee and then escorting him back to the room. The two guys are still guarding the locked door. Dae searches for the cameras and breaks the ones he finds, there are probably more hidden, and microphones too. But he is too tired. It is still dark outside. He falls asleep. When he wakes up Top is already there, sitting in his chair, smoking and smirking.
"Fuck my life!" Dae almost jumps out of his bed.
"So your answer, I'm still waiting," another grin, teeth bared like an animal.
Dae just looks at the man infront of him. Then he sighs. His life has never gone as he wanted. Since he was born, he was always pushed around, done in, broken into pieces. Why would this time be any different? He nodds. "I take your offer, for now."
Top stands up and pats his head. "Good boy."
Dae pulls his head away and almost hisses at him. "Leave me alone now. I don't want to see you."
Top takes hold of Daes jaw and pulls him closer. He looks straight into his eyes. "Don't betray me, ever."
Dae smiles, it's his time to bare his teeth in a growl. "You don't betray me."
Top let's go of his jaw and walks away. "I'll be back later."
"I know." Dae mutters. The door closes.
"I'll never be your dog, stupid." he wants to scream. But he does not. Right now it is smarter to play along. Atleast as long as it takes him to heal and gain trust.
Chapter 8: Red Blossoms
Days of recovery start and last for a weeks. Every day is almost the same. Top is there in the morning spouting some nonsense. He leaves pretty soon after he has annoyed Dae to a certain point and he seems to be really busy. Every time he sits there on his chair and smokes, he seems somewhat tired and restless, but still he comes and tells him to get well and to obey. Every time the answer is the same: I may have taken your offer, but that does not make me your slave or dog. And every time Top laughs at that. Doctor comes in the evening and is pleased with the rate of recovery. And then the rest is over. Dae is almost cured. His hand is still bandaged, but it does not bleed, and he does not limp anymore.
Top steps in and tells him to get his things ready, but as Dae hasn't got anything beside the clothes he is wearing they start going right away.
"So, now my imprisonment here is over, where are you taking me, if I may ask it like that and you won't simply answer that a dog has to obey. That dog crap has worn me out already." Dae whines as he strolls beside Top. They move to the lift and Top presses the putton for underground parking.
"Don't worry, doggy. Were are going to my headquarters, where I have a nice room for you, right beside my own." He smiles lighting a cigarette. It takes time to reach down from the 25th.
"Can I go back to that room? I don't want to be near you." Dae jokes.
"It's safer to be near me." smirking he bares his teeth and lets out some smoke.
"I strongly disagree."
"I'm the boss, doggy. You serve me."
"I am not your slave, I am a business partner. Didn't we agree to that yesterday." Dae looks straight into Tops eyes.
"You agreed. I remained silent." another lifeless smile.
They reach to their destination. Tops men, Henry and Samuel, are already waiting. Dae had gotten to know them better in the weeks he had the pleasure of their company. They walk towards a black Mercedes, the spooks open the door. Top sits in and Dae follows him. The back is separated from the front seats with dark bulletproof glass, which means that whatever happens in the back stays private.
They strap their seatbelts, Dae leans back and closes his eyes. Top puts out his cigarette and takes out a tablet, he has some business to do. Dae soon falls asleep.
This time he wasn't running. It was a colorful summer day. There were butterflys and birds and flowers. He was sitting in a park, children played and laughed, couples had picnics and dates, people walked their pets, old people laughed at their memeories. Dae sat alone. He looked at the blue sky, only some little white cottony clouds were moving near the horizon. A gentle breeze moved his hair. A little girl came to him and stretched out her hand with red flower. Dae didn't know what to do, but he took the flower that the little girl was offering. As he touched it the scene changed.
He stood in the middle of a field covered in red flowers. The sky was filled with storm clouds, they whirled and the wind was picking up. He could taste the tension. Something was coming. One sharp blast of wind filled the air with red blossoms, that touched his bare face and hands and then turned into droplets of blood. Soon he was drowning in them.
He wakes up when Top touches his shoulder, "Are you okay?" his face seems worried.
"Yes. Why shouldn't I be?" Dae is a little mad because he hates showing weakness.
"You made weird noises. Again. What do you see in your dreams that make you so scared?" Top looks really interested in him for once.
"Things," the only answer Dae gives.
Their talk is interrupted by Henry, who tells them they have reached the headquartes. Once again the door is opened for them and they walk to a big skyscraper. They take the lift to the top floor. Dae hasn't been in this building before. He had no idea, that the top of Korean mafia rested in this kind of a building. But times have changed, mafia is not blood and violence anymore, now it is money and power. Though there is still some blood left, otherwise Dae wouldn't be here.
The room is huge and bright, there are paintings on the walls, and sculptures in the corners and flowers, and what it seems a collection of antique vases behind protective glass. Furinture is same as featured in a prominent magazine, everything suits and everything compliments one another. But Dae doesn't care about it. He lets himself fall on a sofa and hits his back.
"Why isn't this soft?"
"It's not meant to be soft. Quit fooling around. Are you a child or something?" Top walks past and sits behind a modern table with a huge monitor on it.
"Something..." Dae mumbles and sits up straight. "What now?" he asks. He hasn't thought what comes after getting out of that prisonlike room.
"Now we wait. Tomorrow I'll introduce you as my new right hand man. And then we see what starts happening."
"You mean to piss off your own men by taking in a stranger. Bold move, but what about me? They will certanly live out their anger on me."
"But you are a skilled assassin. What do you have to worry about?"
"Lot of things. There is only one of me and I don't know how many of those who want me gone, dead most certanly. Away from the boss, the mastermind." He says the last word so sarcastically that Top raises his eyebrows.
"Don't worry. Everything will go well, it always does for me."
"That I'm worried about. If everything goes well for you, it most certanly will go shitty for me." Dae says trying to find a comfortable position on the sofa.
"Stop whining, dog."
"Once again with the dog, do you have to?"
Top looks up from the papers, for a moment his face looks like stone then he smiles. "Yes, dog. You look exactly like a dog. You have that type of eyes."
Dae just sighes and leans back on the uncomfortable sofa. He enjoys the silence that fills the room, he hears his own breathing and Top turning papers and then typing something.
"I haven't been this relaxed for a long time," he suddenly says. And he knows that it is the truth. He is always on the edge, working or running away. Now he has time for himself. But that also means time to think about himself, and that is scary. Forgotten memories, people and pain seeps out. He tenses up again. The dream has not dissapeared yet and he feels the red blossoms at his feet and the pettals hitting his face, sharp like daggers.
Top looks up and sees Daes torment face."Stop thinking, dog. It does not suit you."
Dae looks at him and the trance is broken. "Fuck you, bastard."
He stands up and stretches his neck. "Do you have something I can do? I just can't sit like this. Tell me you have a TV hidden somewhere."
Top smiles. "A dog waits for his master quietly. Sit."
And Dae sits back without thinking. Then he shoots back up. "Fuck you, man. Not funny."
Tops laughter fills the room. Dae swears some more. This is not what he wanted.
Chapter 9: He is a good boy... a good boy...
The room is filled with people and Dae sits in the corner. They come in one after another, exenpsive suits and sunglasses, designer shoes. Rich and powerful smell seeps out of them. Dae is also wearing a suit that Top gave him before. They planned it out the previous nigh and the plan is simple, even foolproof, if someone would ask.
These twelve men infront of him are to be exterminated. The master does not need them anymore, just some old baggage that needs to be disposed. And now he sits there, looking as the prey walks in joking and smiling. He doesn't feel anything. Humans should have feelings, especially before killing someone, maybe an ounce of doubt, ounce of regret, tiny bit of guilt, but not him. Orders are given, orders were always given, and obedience is all he is good for.
He feels the metal against his back, two guns sit perfectly where they are, ready to be taken out and clips to be emptied, bullets to crack heads and pierce the chests of these unkowing people. Two knives hidden in his sleeves, ready to slash and stab. He is ready, he was born ready. He does what is oredered because he is a good boy.
One of the twelve looks around and asks Dae "Where is your master?"
This is the cue, Henry locks the door from outside, the men hear it and turn their heads. Dae is already up and has shot three of them. Now it starts for real. They pull out their guns, but they are not fast enough. Seven of them have already fallen, blood flows like a river, it splashes everywhere, splurts out of their faces, their hearts. Then the clips are empty, Dae throws the guns aside. Knives, yes, knives are always better, more personal. And he moves like in trance, almost faster than humanly possible. Slices a face here, cuts a neck there. The last man standing has peed himself from fear, he lets his gun fall down. Puddle of yellow forms at his feet as he trembles and begs for his life, but Dae does not care, he does not stop. He steps close as if nothing has happened, a wide smirk on his face, a mumble on his lips "I am a good boy..."
And he cuts the throat, artery is severed and blood gushes out covering Daes face and body. He cuts again with such force, that the head falls from the shoulders, it reaches the ground before the body and makes an hollow tump, mouth wide open in an eternal but voicless scream.
Dae looks around to check if everyone is dead. One man is still breathing he walks to him and kneels in the blood beside him. The man reaches a hand for Dae, grabbs his sleeve and wants to say something, but blood is flowing out of his mouth and coughing makes it bubble. Dae does not feel anything, he doesn't even know that he is constantly saying the same sentence again and again – I am a good boy . The man infront of him lets go of the sleeve, there are no more bubbles.
He sits there, smiles wide, eyes somewhat looking far far away. He has done what he was asked to do. He tightly grips the knife, and lifts it to stab the body infront of him. Once, twice, thrice. He is a good boy.
He has alwasy been a good boy. Until he was not. Until he took the hunting knife. Stab, stab, stab. Blood tastes metal. And he walked and walked until he was hungry. When he came back no one was there. He looked and looked, and found. In the forest behind the house. Mum hanging in the wind, legs not touching the ground. On the little meadow behind the house, admist red flowers, blood, little sister no more. And he promised to be a good boy. He is a good boy.
The doors open and Top steps in, he smiles as he sees the destruction infront of him. Men lying on the ground, one on the table. Scattered around as if something has exploded. Blood looks like modern art on the walls and on the floor, white tiles make a beautiful contrast with it. Brains splattered on the white painting, now it looks like something from Pollock, even better. He sees Dae sitting there, red as a devil, white teeth in a monsterous grin.
"I am a good boy." he says out loud looking straight into Tops eyes.
Top steps to him and pats his head. "Yes you are. You are a very good boy, doggy. Come now, let's get you cleaned up."
And Dae obeys, walks after Top who looks like an angel in his white suit. Henry and Samuel look at the massacare that has taken place. Henry gringes and take out his phone. "Cleanup in the conference room. Boss wants to see it beautifully shiny tomorrow, oh, but leave the painting as it is. Yes the usual. Sell what you can, dispose of rest."
Top moves towards their living quarter. He smirks, this has gone as planned, no even better. The artwork was beautiful.
Dae stops suddenly and looks at the knife in his hand. He sees all the sticky blood and lets it fall. He looks up to Top fear in his eyes.
"I am a good boy?"
Top walks back to him and takes his bloody hand. "Yes you are. You are the best boy. You are my best. You are a good boy."
He leads him in and to the shower and Dae just sits there. Rocking back and forth holding his knees. "I am a good boy?" he looks up to Top pleading.
Top turns on the water, blood starts to wash off, red streams deep as memories.
"I am a good boy. I am a good boy." He grabs Tops white pants leaving red handmarks on them, he almost climbs up to him.
"Yes you are. Yes you are." Tops says shuffling Daes bloodstained hair. Now they're both wet and bloody. Dae let's go and slips down against the wall.
"Yes, I am a good boy." His body seems limp, as if spirit roams somewhere else.
"Yes, you did everything so well. You did everything right. Just right." Top squats next to Dae caressing his hair and kissing his face. He moves his hand on Daes neck and Dae flinches back. But he grips a little harder, then lets go. "Now doggy, lets get you out of these bloody clothes."
Dae looks up to him, his master. He let's the bloody and heavy clothes fall off. Top has seen him naked before but this time he looks at him as artwork, as canvas, ready to be painted on. Creamy colored skin, little white scars everywhere. He wonders who has made these. He wants to make more. HE has only marked this body twice. He traces the healing scar on the thigh, and takes the hand which he pierced on their first meeting, he gives it a gentle kiss.
They sit there letting water wash away the time. Dae just shivers. Sometimes he mumbles the same sentence. Top pats his head and says everything is well. He lifts Dae up, carries him to his bed. Dae does not object, does not fight. He is somwehere else: where blood still flows, where children scream and skirt tangles in the wind, red flowers bloom blood.
Top sits beside him, he is still wearing the white wet suit with pinkish blood left on them. He admires the handmarks left on his pants. Dae climbs closer searching for warmth. He clings to Tops back and shirt like a little lost puppy. Top pulls the covers over him but does not move. He shuffles Daes wet hair and thinks what to do next. He turns around and pulls Dae on his lap and covers them both with the planket. He leans agains the headboard and just rocks Dae back and forth.
"You are a good boy. I think you deserve a gift for this. I have picked out a perfect thing for you."
He says many other stupid things, but it does not matter anyway. Dae does not listen. Only thing he feels is the bodyheat of someone and gentle hands cressing his head. He hasn't felt like this - safe. He drifts of to black and dreamless sleep.
Top leaves after some time, he tucks Dae in and smiles. Then he goes off only to come back and leave his gift.
Soft bed, comfortable sheets. He is naked. Naked!? Dae bolts up. It takes a little to understand where he is and why he is. This is his new room, he lives here now. He works for a grazy gangster and did many things yesterday, what exactly is still blurry. But it will come to him, it always does even though he does not want it. Something is off. He touches is neck, there is a collar. Dae runs to the mirror in the bathroom and sees a black lether collar with a silver tag, he looks what is written on the tag. A "good boy" shines in a flashy engraving.
"FUCK THIS SHIT!" he tries to rip it off, but then he sees a heartshaped lock on the side. He feels someone else in the room and turns around. Top stands there smoking and tangling something on a string.
"Looking for this? But I won't give this key to you, it will hang near my heart."
"What did you do?!" Dae comes closer.
"Gave you a present. And I must say, it fits you perfectly, doggy. You are a good boy." He laughs.
Dae stands there enraged. He wants to attack but knows better, that man is dangerous.
"Will you put some clothes on, not that I am complaining, but we have a meeting to attend." he says and walks away.
Dae looks after him then down on himself. His face turns a little red.
"Fuck you, bastard." he mumbles at the closed door and finds new clothes on the bed. He shaves and gets ready, he tries to get the collar off again, but it is a tight fit, and still very comfortable.
"Good boy" he reads out loud. "I am a good boy," he mumbles as he steps out.
Chapter 10: Feroucious little thing
He walks trough the hall filled with rich and influential people. His shirt is puttoned up to his throat to hide the black lether collar. Even though it cannot be seen, he feels uncomfortable. No matter how hard he had tried, he couldn't take it off. He tried to cut it, and ended up almost cutting his jugular, so he had stopped for now. Most reasonable option was to get the key, but master never let down his guard.
He finds a quiet corner at the back and leans against the pillar that embellishes the wall. The room is hot and stuffy, he wants to go outside, but he isn't allowed. He feels Henrys stare and knows he is watched even in here, not to talk about all the cameras, hidden here and there. He lets out a tired sigh.
"Is my party not entrtaining?" whisper in his ear. He almost jumps into the air, he hadn't heard anything, that scares him - is he getting rusty? He looks up to smiling Top, who holds two glasses of red wine, he hands one of them to Dae.
"You scared me." Dae says honestly after taking a sip of wine, it is bitter and sour. "What the fuck is this?" he asks looking displeased.
"This is a fine wine, worth thousands. You cannot appreciate the value.."
"I don't care about the name or the year, taste is all that matters." He mimics the vinetasters, shakes the wine in the glass, smells it and then takes a little sip. "I feel it tastes like your mums arse." He says with posh accent. Then he gives the glass back to Top who put's it on a little table near them.
"You don't get it, do you?" he asks.
"Get what?" Dae looks at his displeased and wondering face.
"Highend life. The wine, the people, the etiquette." He makes a wide gesture including the whole room.
Dae leans back against the pillar and looks around. The room is big and has a high ceiling with mural paintings and ornaments. The walls are ebellished with pillars and flowers. There are two chandaliers hanging and glistening. People in fancy dresses are talking and being social.
"I don't get it and I don't want to get it. I do not belong here and I never will. You made me come here knowing that. What do you get out of it?" Dae puts his hands in his pockets and stands straight.
"Your displeased face, for one. Stop gringing. You are like a dog in a new house, hiding in the corner. And it makes me feel good." Top smiles and sips the wine.
"So, I am here to please your sadistic and twisted desires. Whats next, master, making me dance?" he takes his hands out of his pocket and gestures.
"No, doggy. Not that. Though, I should train you. You still don't know how to act." he shakes his head. "I didn't put that collar on you for a joke, you are mine, doggy. And you will obey." he looks straight into Daes eyes, this is a command and not a joke, Dae knows that.
"I am not your dog."
"Be a good boy and don't make a mess. You don't want to be punished, do you?" he says waiting for an answer.
Dae thinks for a second, he doesn't win here with being stubborn. "You win this time, I will be good and will not cause discomfort to you."
"That's my good boy" he shuffels Daes hair making a mess out of it. "I need to go now and be a proper host."
Top walks away and doesn't see Dae flipping him off. Dae looks him mingle with people, walk around like he owns the place, which is true, he ownes the place. Dae goes and takes some food he knows is edible, it has become his habit to avoid overly fancy things. His usual meal had consisted of ramen, the cheap kind. Ofcourse he doesn't want to eat things thats name is long and forigin.
The night goes on and Dae wants to leave, it is not his place to be at, but as he goes to the door, Samuel stands there and shakes his head. So Dae goes back to his corner far back. Somehow he finds a nice chair to sit on and nodds off, his eyes close by themselves.
The street is dark, it is raining. He feels tired and broken, his little child feet cannot drag him any further and he falls down. The ground is harsh and cold, water seeps into his clothes making them wetter than before. He shivers and shivers, crawilng into a little ball trying to hold himself together. There is nowhere to go. He is all alone. People looked trough him, past him, but never at him.
They had said he is not normal, had said he needs special care, but when he had rached that place he was only beaten. That man there, with weird teeth, that man was not normal. The little boy knew that. He felt the people around him, and he knew when they were broken and twisted, he saw that in their eyes.
He shivers but does not cry, he is a good boy and good boys don't cry.
Footsteps behind him and a raspy voice saying "Oh, a little rat. I think we can use you. Mr Alice is looking for a new toy." And someones painfully brutal hands jank him up and drag him towards a car, but he is too tired, too broken to fight.
His little wings are broken, he cannot fly anymore, but he hadn't flown before either. Since birth he had never given the chance to be free. And he is taken back to where he is used, he is cut and treated as a toy.
And the scene changes, memories are episodic. He sits in an empty room. He is older, a weary teenager, his hair is long and messy, but there is something in his eyes, one can call it a hunger, a yearning to devour. He holds a knife in his hand, the room is not empty anymore. The man with weird teeth lies on the ground, he is naked and very dead. His insides lay beside him, his dick is cut off. His face is frozen in a scared yell. And the teenager smiles wide.
Mr Alice claps his hands, he has trained the perfect...
"Dae, wake up. The party is over. You really are a like a dog, sleeping here with your mouth open." Top reaches his hand to touch Daes face, but Dae flinches and backs away fast, which makes him fall off the chair.
"Outch." he says rubbing his ass. "You startled me."
"You were smiling wide. What did you see in your dream?" Top asks sitting on the same chair that Dae had fallen off. Dae hasn't stood up yet. He sits on the ground.
"Nothing more? You had a happy past?"
"Not at all," he stands up. "Can I go now, I'm still tired. This party was exhausting."
"Yes, let's go." Top stands up and they walk together, but they don't talk.
They reach Daes room and Dae goes in. Top stands at the door.
"Get a good nights sleep. Tomorrow I need you for a new asignment." He looks straight to Daes eyes, Dae knows what that means.
"How many?" he asks in a monotone way.
"Mildly, but nothing you cannot handle."
"I'll come and call you and give you things that you need."
"Say, 'Yes, master'"
"Good boy." He shuffles Daes hair and pulls him closer to give him a kiss on his forehead. "You are a good boy."
"I still hate you, you know that. I hate the collar too."
"Is it uncomfortable?"
"No." he says involuntary.
"Then no reason to whine. Be a good doggy, and do not whine about stupid little things." he pats his shoulder and leaves.
Dae wants to be angry but cannot, the dream had been weird. He had forgotten about those things, and Mr Alice too, he still can't make out who Alice really was. He only remembers his twisted smile and feels as if ants crawl all over him. He takes off his clothes and takes a long hot shower trying to wash the feeling off, but it still lingers.
...feroucious little thing.
Chapter 11: He who brings light
Blood is thicker than water, infact at the moment it flows out and touches the air it starts thickening until it is dried up. Instead bright crimson it once was, now a dark brown, almost balckish, covers the white canvas in michevious strikes, in hectic parallel lines it forms a masterpiece. Atlest that is what he thinks while sitting and looking at it. He loves art, has a soft spot for the maker of that painting, the painting of life and death. HE has named it, under the painting there is a little silver plate.
"Death of innocence"
by good boy
He smiles, not wide, but more inside. He is waiting for the moment he is ready, for the moment he needs to stand up and go to his precious toy. Not really a toy, he cannot call him a toy. His dog? Yes, that sounds perfect. He is waiting for the moment he needs to go to his dog and pick him up after the hunt. He gave him a collar, a beautiful black with silver. The collar is perfect around the neck, and he is the only one who has the key.
Ah, the work, the beautiful work. He conveniently placed another white and pure canvas there, so the artist, oh the artist of life, could make his piece. He can hear screams through the speakers. He can see the blood splatter. And he can see the smile on the artists dazed face as he does his work. But instead of a brush he uses a knife.
They all have fallen under him. All seven now on the ground, red everywhere. He enjoys the red, the deepest secret of life and death it now carries. He hasn't had this much fun in ages. Yes, this is what he has been waiting for. He stands up when he sees his dog kneel and cry, tears becoming one with the splattered blood, he hears the cry and laughter. This is his cue, the sign that the work is done, that the dog needs a pat on his head and whisper in his ear.
Dae feels the flesh rip under his hands, he feels the life end under his knife. He knows what he is doing, and he cannot stop himself. This is what he has been made for. This is what he is.
He let's his muscles do the work, the moves are eched in him. He could even close his eyes, but he cannot close his ears to the crys of the men he is killing. He cannot stop. And for a moment he doesn't want to. This feeling, almost like a god, definelty not a human. He loves that feeling. He is addicted to that feeling, blood is his drug and he is the junky.
Another one falls down. It is the last one. All seven gone and not a scratch on him. A voice in the back of his mind is telling him that this kind of luck cannot last, this kind of life cannot continue. But he is not ready to stop yet, to end himself. He cannot end his life, because it does not belong to him. That one part of him that cannot be broken stops him every time he lifts that knife against himself. So it does this time too, as always. He let's the knife fall from his hand and cries, laughter mixed with a scream leaps from his lips. The room is filled with pain.
At that moment the door opens and the angel steps in. White suit and red tie, a man with a sweet warm smile on his lips. He comes to him stepping over the corpses and reaches his pure hand.
Dae looks at that hand. It is so clean. He looks at his own hand, it is red, like a demon, like something not allowed to exist. He looks away not moving an inch. He closes his eyes, tears flow nonstop. He wants to run but he cannot move, his body has stopped. A hand touches his hair, shuffles it, a warm hand, so gentle. A whisper in his ear.
"You are a good boy, come now. Let's go. Your job here is done. And what a masterful job, I must say. You were so fast this time. So beautiful. So pure."
Hand continues to pat his head, to caress it. A gentle kiss on his forehead, a hand takes his and pulls him up. He still refuses to open his eyes. He is afraid, he let's the angel guide him out.
The smell of blood does not dissapear.
"Will you open your eyes?"
He shakes his head.
"Why not? Are you afraid of me?"
He shakes his head.
He feels a hand on his face, this time he does not flinch. Finger gently traces his eyebrows and his eyes. It reaches to his lips and lingers there, then the warmth is gone, the hand is gone. And he would like to open his eys. Then lips are pressed against his. He just freezes, his eyes shoot open and he looks into the darkness of Tops eyes. There is something he cannot give a name. Then the lips are gone. The eyes look somewhere else. Hand that has held his let's go.
"Come now, let's go, you need to get cleaned up." he says and starts to walk. Dae fallows him.
Top stops at his door, opens it and let's Dae move past him. He stands there and says "You were marvellous, my doggy. Now sleep well. Tomorrow you can rest."
He closes the door and is gone. Dae stares at the closed door, he lifts his hand to touch his lips. He closes his eyes, tears fall. He wants to shout, but he cannot. He wants to run, but cannot. He wants to hide, but there is nowhere to go. He let's his clothes drop, he sees all the blood covering his white shirt. He steps out of his pants and moves to the bathroom. Warmth of the shower makes him shiver. Warmth has always made him shiver more than cold.
He steps out still wet and falls on the bed. He crawls under the blanket and closes his eyes. Strange figures start to dance, pain is still there even though his body does not ache. He doesn't know what to think, nor what is allowed. He cannot escape, not even in death. He knows that well. He doesn't know what Top wants. He touches the collar around his neck and holds the silver tag so hard, that it cuts into his hand. That pain is something real. At last he feels it. Feels that he is not entirely lost.
Sleep takes him into its embrace. Like a mother it holds him. Like a crazy mother, like his mother. More of a monster, more like a nightmare.
He is running again. He is always running. When he stops something bad happens. He is holding a knife and looking down on his little sister, blood and red flowers. But this is not his knife, he had picked it up. It is mothers, the knife she had used to make dinner. Her big and sharp knife, the one they were never allowed to use.
He knows what he will find in the forest behind their house. Why the sister? Why did mom do that? Was it because of what he had done to dad?
B ecause he had taken fathers hunting knife and pierced his chest many times?
Because mom was afraid that they were her children?
That they were little monsters?
Because sister was like him, because sister was afraid and was broken?
But he, he was a good boy, he had made them free at last. Why didn't mommy want to be free? WHY? Why had she done this? Would've she done the same to him if he had been there, if he hadn't ran with dads blood on him?
He stands there and let's the knife fall next to his little sister. There is a weird smile on her lips, as if she had been happy to die. That smile tells him to live, to not die, to always go on. And to that smile he promises never to break, to always go on no matter what. It lives in him, that smile, her last one. It lives in him, the sight of his mother tangling in the wind, her purple face and open eyes, he does not want to die. It lives in him, the blood of his father, the blood of a monster. But if he is a monster, he can fend for himself. Another smile, Mr Alice, his words, he does not hear them. What had he told him? A hand... What had he done to him? Immense pain...
He has been thrown out so many times, he has already forgotten the reason. He has no place, he always moves on and on and on. Even the small room in that old apartmentbuilding. It is just a place.
An angel, why him? Why has he made time for him? A reason to go on? Why does he give him work? Work? What work? Why does he smile? Why the kiss... the kiss. Kisses have never been like that. Kisses have always hurt and after them there has always been more hurt. No kiss has been good. Until these... The angel. Not an angel, the master. His master. His lord, his caretaker... Does he take care of him. The collar, a demon. Whose laughter is this?
Gentle hands? Why gentle? What is his plan? No one does these things without a plan. Why? He gives work, he gives room. There has to be another reason behind it all.
Gentle hands, warmth that makes him calm. No shivers. Shivers, he is cold. So cold. The world is so dark.
He opens his eyes. He hasn't switched the light off, his clothes are on the floor. He is cold. He looks at the clock, two hours have passed. He tries to recall about what he dreamed, but nothing. The dream has vanished, gone. He sighs as he stands up. He looks at the side, the reflection in the mirror looks tired, looks broken. He sees the white scars and his face turns pale. There are things meant not to be remembered. Things he happly forgot.
He touches the collar, it is something he hates, but somehow it keeps him sane, keeps him there. Keeps him from running away. And he has nowhere to go, no one to turn to. He is alone. His angel is not an angel. Though satan was an angel to begin with, he thinks to himself. Wasn't Lucifer called the lightbringer? Is Top the one who brings light to him? No, he almost says out load, he only brings blood.
Chapter 12: Memories unveiled
Dae is laying on the sofa, reading a book. He has a free day and he has nowhere to go, his own room seems crampy and somewhat scary, so he lazes around at Tops office. As much as he hates that man, he is drawn to him, his strong posture and dark eyes. He is not his master, not really, but at this moment it smart to have someone strong near. Lately all the blood has made him remember things he doesn't want to, things that have been buried for years.
The wounds Top had made, have healed now. He looks at the scar on his hand, it is still a little pink. He moves his fingers. It is his hand, for a moment he sees blood on that hand and the book he is holding falls to the ground. Top turns to look at him.
"What are you doing? Be quiet, I'm trying to work here." He waves with some papers. "Be a good dog and stay quiet."
Dae mouths 'fuck you' and flips him. Then he picks up the book. Somehow this seems like a bad premotion. Something is going to happen, he knows it. Scars on his body prickle, he feels sick to the very core.
He stands up to go to the toilet, the need to puke gets stronger. The phone rings and Top picks it up.
"Yes --- Mhmm --- Who? --- Send him here. Oh, him too. Why? Okay. --- Don't worry, Henry, everything is fine, I have puppy here." he puts the phone away, and mutters. "I hate that bastard."
Dae turns back. "What's going on?"
Tops voice is weird, it's full of something, is it jelousy? Ofcourse not, it couldn't be. But who was coming?
"Sit back there and be quiet. Your former master is here. Do you remember him?"
"Who? I don't have any masters."
Top looks at him and stands up, then walks to him and takes hold of his chin closing in on Daes face.
"I am your master, don't forget it, you stupid dog. I am your master, and you belong to me." He presses his lips against Daes.
Dae stares into the abyss that are his masters eyes.Then the lips are gone, a pat on his shoulder and a whisper in his ear. "Rememeber who you belong to. Oh, and I hope you remember him, Mr Alice, the one who trained you. In various ways, as I've heard."
Daes eyes widen and he stares at the man infront of him.
"You are a bastard, a demon."
"I know. I am indeed a bastard. My mom never knew who my father was. But a demon... Yesterday you called me an angel." He pats Daes head and moves back to his table, he leans onto it and lightes a cigarette. Smoke swirls around his head. He smiles his weird smile, a little bit crooked, a little bit gentle. It irritates Dae.
Knock on the door interrupts their conversation. A man in a dark suit comes in, he is in his sixties and quite out of shape. His fingers are covered with rings, his left hand holds a kane with a colden lion as its head. On top of it all, Mr Alice wears a fancy hat. He smiles a wide smile and his teeth are beyond white.
"Hello." he says with a sweet voice, but it's that kind of sweet that makes you puke, the kind of sweet that is deadly, poisenous.
Tops smile goes away, his face is now like stone. His eyes are darker than before. Dae is interested in those eyes.
"Hello, Mr Alice. What brings you here on this beautiful day?" Top asks with his usual voice, deep and somewhat raspy from smoking.
"I heard you picked up something that belongs to me," he looks straight at Dae who is still standing near the sofa.
Mr Alice walks closer, Dae wants to move away but somehow he cannot, that man is someone from his past.
"I don't know who you are, but stay the fuck away from me..." he wants to scream, but all he can do is stagger back and sit on the sofa.
"Oh, still afraid of me. Have you forgotten me?" Mr Alice asks coming closer.
Dae looks at that old and fat face right infront of him. It is familiar, as is the name, but he does not feel like digging in memories he has been so keen to bury.
"I don't know you." He says, his voice trembles, his body remembers, he feels sick.
Top looks at the scene unfolding before his eyes. He hates that old man, and everything that that man represents. Oldschool values can go and fuck themselves. That man is a fake, a glutton who does not know how to appreciate real art. He inhales the smoke from his cigarette, if Dae had looked at him he would've seen how his fingers crasped the cigarette stronger than needed. This man is too close to what is mine, Top thinks as he jumps up from his desk.
"Can I offer you a drink, Mr Alice?" he politely asks and feels relieved when Mr Alice turns away from Dae.
"Yes, ofcourse, you know my tongue was already quite partched, but when I saw my little one again, it made me more thirsty. It is a shame he has grown up so scruffy and big. Such a shame."
As Dae hears this he fills up with defiance, with hatred. He feels stronger now. He looks at Top and sees that he shares that hatred towards the old fart.
"You said I have something that is yours. I do not think so." Tops voice is full of cold conviction.
Mr Alice takes the glass that Top offeres and then takes a sip before answering.
"I'm talking about him." he gestures with his kane. Dae looks at the kane pointed at him. He shruggs.
"I am no ones." he mutters.
"On what grounds do you say he is yours?" Top asks lighting a new cigarette.
"I found him. I raised him. You see, he was such a fragile boy. At first he was all bruised, the mix of blues purples yellows and greens, like flowers. Then the bruises healed on his skin, but never on his mind.
Isn't that beautiful? And then I had him cut slowly, with a very sharp knife, so he wouldn't feelt the cutting but would feel the sting afterwards. And I watched the cuts heal, and the scars form, like little roads on his skin. The lines mixing with eatch other. An artwork.
And when I had broken him enough, I made him feel loved. Nothing dirty, not yet. I told him stories, I told him what he is. I made him what he is. I thought him hatred and revenge, I thought him to kill and to enjoy it.
But I think it was in him all along, that broken and twisted soul. And he grew, he was so beautiful, so lean. I took a liking in him. But then he grew too big for me. And he grew up to be disobedient. No matter what I did, I couldn't break the last part of him."
Mr Alice smiles wide while remanicing. Ofcourse he doesn't talk about everything, he does not mention the toys, the needles, the knives, the darkest hours of night.
Dae sits silent, his eyes are nailed at the ground, his mind is digging in graves. Memories come back one by one. But no matter what, he does not break.
Top listens quietly, no muscle in his face moves. He has done his research, he knows it all. Nothing is a suprise to him, and he knows about the things that Mr Alice does not mention. He hates that someone else has touched what belongs to him now. But that was past. Now is now. He stands up and walks to Mister Alice. He is much taller than the old man. He bends down a little and looks at the old mans eyes, they are like little soggy ponds. Tops eyes, on the other hand, are deep outscirts of universe.
"You may have made him what he was. I've made him what he is. Have you seen him now? His smile, it is not the one you gave him. And I'll paint over the scribblings you call art. You have no taste. You are like a child making himself to be an artist, but in reality you are just a child. You never knew what he was really worth, and you will never get to know that.
He is mine, haven't you seen the collar on him, that's mine. And he obeys to my commands, I am his true master. You are just a failed trainer, who wants back the thing he was too supid to hold onto. But you will never get him."
"Let's ask him what he wants, with whom his loyalty lies." Mr Alice turns towards Dae.
"I already know the answer, it lies with me. I am his master, he is my dog. Mine. You are just an old man who hates to lose. But this is a fight you should not pick."
Dae sits on the sofa and is now looking the two of them talk. He says nothing. It is not his place to talk. He knows who he will pick, if it is between the former master, whom he ran from, and a new one, who he wants to run from.
He hates having a master to obey. He is not the kind to obey. No one can break the last part of him, because the last part doesn't belong to him. It belongs to the last, bloody smile of his deceased sister, to the tangle of mothers legs in the forest, to his fathers hunting knife covered in blood, to his own true smile, the one he had before it was stolen.
And then he smiles the smile once stolen, he has it back now. He knows now. He stands up, walks to the door and steps out.
Chapter 13: White rabbit
He closes the door and then starts running. Once he is safe in his own room he dashes to the bathroom and pukes. He feels as if his intestines are in knots, as if his head will explode. He sits there beside the toilet bowl and tries to catch his breath.
Knife so sharp it had not hurt, but then the scrabs being peeled off slowly and blood steeping out, that had hurt. Had hurt so much, that he still remembers. The itching pain that was always there. His body starts to itch as if those wounds are still on him. In panic he tries to scratch, to peel off the scrabs, but there is nothing there. He scratches until blood comes out, then looking at his own hands he stops.
Slowly but steadily he stands up and walks to the shower, let's his clothes drop into a pile, opens the tap and let's cold water wash over him. But he knows it cannot wash the pain away. But it washes away the little pearls of blood that seep from the scratches. It washes away the uncertain feeling in him. It makes him calm down.
After some time he steps out and walks to his bed. He puts on jeans, his old jacket that had finally been brought to him. Collar is still around his neck, he gently touches it. Black leather is smooth, silver tag is cold to his hand. He closes his eyes and breathes in and then slowly out.
Everything is okay, he tells himself, the past does not matter, I'm no ones slave and I'll never be one. This collar does not matter.
He goes to the cupboard and opens the bottom drawr. He smiles as he sees the box where he holds his knives still there. Top hasn't taken them back after last job. There is six throwing knives and two bigger ones just right for close combat. He puts the six little ones into the secret pockets in his jacket. Two bigger ones have a place in the holsters on his hips. Then he sits and waits. Politics and manners are not his to deal with, he is a good boy, ready to kill when needed.
Top looks at Mister Alices unpleasant face and wants to smash it in with something, the little statue of a fairy on his left is just perfect for that, but he manages to hold himself back. That statue is way too expencive to ruin it with the blood of a man with so little of importance.
“Oh, seems we sceared the little one.” Mr Alice mouths slowly.
Mr Alice who had stood in the middle of the room now turns to Top and smiles. “Let's talk buiness. You are the toughest man in this country, maybe even the richest. So you know the worth of money. I am willing to pay you a lot for that puppy, you seem to be so fond of. But as I told you before, I want him back. So I'm willing to offer you this much.”
He gives Top a paper with the offer written on it. Top doesn't care about the offer, but he still looks, and the offer is good, it is solid. A little smirk crawls on his face. Even, if the offer is true, he won't give the puppy up. What is an old paiting compared to Dae, that interesting man, whose hands are capable of creating real art, or compared to the smile on his face. Or the possibilities that still lie ahead.
“I am afraid, I have to refuse.” He simply answers ripping apart the paper.
“I see, I knew I should have offered more.” Mr Alice sighs.
Top looks at him and lights a cigarette. “It is not about the amount. I just got him and I am not ready to part from him.” There is something in his voice, that something could be called attachment or maybe just possessiveness.
“So you are refusing to give him back to me?” Old man asks again.
“I've told you from the start. He is mine.” Top walks closer to Mr Alice.
“Then I must sadly say, that you have made an enemy out of a man, who you could've used. I know you are making rearrangements in your group. Let's just say, it got much harder.” Mr Alice concluedes and starts walking towards the door.
“I think it is you, who has made an enemy out of a man, who you never should've bothered.”He puts out his cigarette and walks past Mr Alice, he opens the door and smiles wide. “It was nice to do business with you. If you show your face here again or come near my dog, let's just say, you will see something you never thought of seeing in your life.”
Mr Alice walks past him and Top closes the door. For a second he let's his usual cold mask fall off. He is tired. There is too much going on. He goes back to his table wondering where the doggy has run off. He knows he hasn't tried to get out, Henry hasn't phoned him. He opens the tabs of the hidden cameras. He sees the doggy sit on the bed all dressed for battle. He smiles for a second, but then he sighs.
He calls his secretary and makes her postphone all meetings. He walks past the painting of blood, 'loss of innocence'. He thinks of the title and comes to the conclusion, the innocence was lost long time ago. All those sob stories have never made him feel anything. But the doggy, he should've found him earlier, so he would've been the one marking him.
He closes the door, corridor is empty and cold. He wants to light another cigarette but realizes that he has hasn't got them with him. He shrugs and goes on. His mind is twhirling, he hates when someone else messes with his things. He hates the face Dae had made. He has never caused him to have such impression, such fear. Mr Alice had rubbed under his nose, that he knows so much more about the mut. But he is certain he will get to know more, get deeper than the old man has ever been. And he knows that it is not fear he wants to see on the muts face. Yes, it hits him, not fear but...
He stands behind the door and thinks what to say, but then he understands that it does not matter. He steps in and Dae lifts his head to face him. Top walks to him and grabs his hair into a fist and janks his head back and looks straight into Daes eyes.
“You could kill me right now but I know you won't.” He says as he closes in.
Dae looks up to his dark eyes that almost seem black, he sees his own relfection. His hands are in fists, indeed he could reach for his knives and end it now, but he does not move. Instead he closes his eyes and waits.
Nothing happens, Top let's go. “I hate that you are so tame.”
Dae smiles and falls onto his back, the bed is soft. “Is it being tame? Or maybe I am just tired of fighting?” he mumbles as he opens his eyes and pulls out a knife to fiddle with. He throws it from one hand to another.
Top looks at him play with the blade. “So you remember your past?”
“Parts of it, enough to puke my guts out. You can see if you rewind the “secret tapes” you take with your “hidden cameras”. I found three of them, but you probably have more.”
“You are getting your bravado back. I thought you were hurt and came to look for you, to soothe you, just as a good owner would do.”
“Yes, you wanted to see me cry, to reach for you. Like I did before. But you see, the more I remember. Let's just say, I don't care that much. Past cannot be changed, but I wont be your slave. You promised me freedom, so don't you dare to chain me. I'll wear this collar for now, but don't think you own me.” he sits back up and puts the knife away.
He stands up and walks past Top who grabs his shoulder. “Don't joke with me.”
Dae does not pull away, instead he wraps his hand behind Tops neck and pulls him close for a kiss. He presses his lips strongly against his. Even though he is shorter, for a second he dominates the game. Then Top grabs Daes head and pulls him even closer, into a rough and needy kiss. When he finally let's go they both have blood on their lips.
And then Top sees something that he has never seen before, not in this exact way. Dae smiles micheviously, and the smile reaches his eyes. Top is still dumbfounded when Dae touches his face, just for a second and then he turns around.
“Let's go now, didn't you have lot to do today?” Dae says as he is opening the door.
Tops hand flashes past him and pushes the door shut. “I postphoned all the meetings.”
“And so, I need to finish that book I was reading.” He is not turning around.
“I don't remember giving you permission to leave.” he leans onto Daes back.
“I don't remember asking one.” Dae forcefully pulls the door open and walks away. Top is left standing there so mad that his face is turning red from anger. He walks after him and trashes the chair that is in the corridor.
“What the fuck do you want from me!” he yells at Daes back.
“You to follow me.” Dae mumbles, but not loud enough for Top to hear. His back is getting further and further away, on the black lether, there is a picture of a white rabbit.
Chapter 14: Gutting the past
He walks fast, opens the office door and slipps in. With few steps he is at sofa and picks up his book. Smile lingers on his lips as he sits and makes himself comfortable, just in time because Top marches in and stops at the table. For a moment he just stands there, looking out of the big window behind the desk. Then he turns around.
“What was that supposed to mean?” he asks with a low voice, more like a growl than a normal question.
“Nothing much, I just thought I'd tease you a little, you didn't look like yourself. I think you were a little too soft, too sweet. It started to get on my nerves, I hate you anyway, but I hate the cold you less. I thought you had work to do?” he raises his eyebrows and looks at the table filled with different papers, “I promise I'll be quiet.” He smiles provocativly while turning the page.
“Also,” he continiues, now looking straight at Top, “you don't have to worry, I am not going anywhere. Not yet atleast. I don't plan on going to that Mr Alice. I am choosing the lesser evil, maybe. I don't know. I may be choosing the creater evil. But I am a curious man, so I'll go with unknown.” He throws his book on the little table infront of the sofa.
“And we had a deal. I help you with your business, I help you be the strongest, most evil person here. And you let me go. I am staying with you. Aren't I your little doggy,” he flicks the silver tag, “so do not betray me, no matter what. Or I will kill you.”
“I won't betray you, unless you betray me. And I know you aren't going to him. And I wouldn't let you anyway, so be at ease. I want to keep you for a long time,” he leans onto the desk looking straight at Dae who sits with his hands crossed and looks back at him. There is no fear, only aknowledgement.
“And how would you keep me here? One day I'll leave.” Dae stands up and walks to Top.
“How would you stop me from going?” he asks getting closer and then answers himself, “You cannot keep me forever, one day I will snap. You know me, only blood can soothe me.”
They are now face to face. Dae, with a cold look in his eyes, little bit shorter, dressed in his usual fighting gear, knives on his hips as if he has been born with them. Top, standing tall, now he has stopped leaning against the table, eyes burning.
“I'd chain you up. So you'd only see me.” he grabs Daes chin.
“And I'd kill you for sure. You know, I could've killed you before. I could now, too. I still have the knives.” he does not flinch when Top moves his other hand to his neck.
“But you won't kill me. You would have already killed me, if you really wanted.” he moves closer. Their lips almost touch, their eyes playing a dangerous game.
“You are a sick bastard.” Dae mumbles as he pushes him away. “I am not yours to play with.”
“You are more of a cat that a dog, aren't you. The collar suits both, kitty.” He says as he pulls Dae back into his embrace, but as soon as he does that he gets clawed. Dae pulls himself away and walks out of the door.
Top raises his hand to the cheek, he sees blood on his fingers. He sighs – working with wild animals is hard, takes lot of time. He goes to his desk, phones his secretary and tells him that plans have changed and he is able to work today. Then he opens the feed to the cameras and observes how Dae moves from corridor to corridor, how he stumbles upon the broken chair and how he goes back to his room.
At some point Top sees the book that Dae left there. He goes and takes a look, it is Haruki Murakamis “1Q84”.
“Interesting choice,” he mumbles, “do you believe in destiny and eternal love that breaks every obstacle? You are not a monster you think you are, not that I will ever tell you. I love the anguish in your eyes.” He lets the book fall and goes back to work.
Days pass in haze. Dae reads and works out in Tops personal gym, keeping body and the mind sharp, and knives sharper. He hasn't seen Top, and somehow it makes him a little bit lonely, but he will never admit that. When he askes Henry about Tops whereabouts he gets a shrug – probably out for business.
Lifting some weights, or doing some katas, makeing sure his joints are functioning the way he likes it. Seeing his own body in the mirror makes him pleased, like a wild animal, a feral beast. He smiles, seeing himself smile, he doesn't know that man in the mirror. IT is someone else, not him.
He walks to the office to get the book he forgot. But when he opens the door the office is empty and the book is nowhere to be found. As he is going back he pumps into Mr Alice.
“What are you doing here?” he asks taking few steps back.
“I'm here to take you with me. I told him, you are mine. So here I am and here are you. Let's go now, boy, my magnificent beast.” He reaches for Dae who jumps back.
“Come now. It is all over now.” Mr Alice smiles wide and his eyes gleam.
“I am going nowhere. You are not allowed to be here. I will call boss right away.” he says and then remembers that he does not have a phone and neither the bosses number. At that moment Henry walks in.
“What is going on?” he asks. He sees Daes angry expression and Mr Alice.
“You are not allowed to be here, master is away.” he continues, “I'll escort you out.” He comes closer wanting to escort Mr Alice out. Then he notices Daes warning, but he is too late, a knife pierces him.
Dae flinches, Henry doesn't deserve thit. He sees him falling down and then he sees the one behind. He knows that face, another one like himself. A beast tempered with blood.
“Long time no see.” says the murderer licking the blood off the blade.
“Hoped I'd never have to see you.” Dae mumbles as he is looking around for an escape route, but knowing there is one of those monsters here, there may be more. And boss is away, atleast that is good. Somehow Dae has some feelings for the master, something besides hate and he doesn't want to end their game yet.
The situation seems dire, he has only one way out and that is to go with Mr Alice. But he is not taking that way out. He has made a decision, and going with that man is not in his plans.
“I am not coming with you, Mr Alice. Or should I say, go find a hole to die in and take your bastard with you.” he spits at the murderer who only laughs, and Mr Alice laughs too.
Daes hands rest on the handles of his knives, he is waiting for a chance. He hopes that Hnery can still be saved, fools hope. He needs a way out, he needs to stall, he knows that master has cameras everywhere. And where is Samuel? Isn't he always with Henry? How did they get in here in first place? This place is utterly secured. Dae comes to the conclusion that he only has himself, like he always has had.
“And what now. You killed bosses favourite bodyguard. You think you will get out alive? You want me? You aint getting me.” he wants to throw a knife at Mr Alice but the bastard intervines. He jumps at Dae who barely avoids his knife.
Fight breaks out and Mr Alice claps his hands. “Keep him alive, Edward. I want him alive, we're here to get him alive.”
Dae knows Edward for years, Edward came later, Edward was his replacement. And he had been better at being fucked, being obedient pet that Mr Alice yearned, but he hadn't been better with knives. Dae knows that. But times have changed, Edward is good.
Dae jumps and avoids, defends, he looks for an opening, it is not to be found. Cold sweat covers his skin, he knows he can keep up for some time. Maybe he should provoke Edward. That boy had always hated him, seen him as a rival. And on the day he left, Edward had been happy. No doubt that he hates the plan of bringing Dae back.
“Edward, why are you here to get me back? You don't want me there, do you?” he asks in the middle of backing into the wall. He rises his hands in surrender.
“I give up.” he says.
Mr Alice claps his hands. “Good boy.” he says.
Both look at him. Edward with love and Dae with disgust. Dae moves his hands in a blink of an eye. The handle of his knife rests in the middle of Edwards chest, blood fills his open mouth as he coughs and falls on his knees. In an crazed attempt he pulls the knife out, blood gusehes. He let's it fall and tries to grawl to Alice. Dae stops him with a kick in the back and rests his leg between his shoulder-blades.
Edward whines under his boot. Mr Alices face is pale, his mouth is open and his eyes are wide in suprise.
“Why?” he mumbles as he sees Daes smile.
“I am not your good boy. Don't you see the collar, I am his.” he flicks the silver tag as he looks behind Mr Alice.
Old man turns around slowly, looking years older now. Master stands there resting his shoulder against the doorway, wearing white and smiling.
“Knife, doggy.” he orders, Dae throws him his second knife and Top catches it perfectly. “You see, Mr Alice, I told you not to come here. Not to touch what is mine. But you came. You played with my doggy. Now I am a bit mad, as one may say. Also you tirtied my carpet, broke my bodyguard. I hope he is still alive. Samuel, come take Henry away.” He orders as if nothing is happening.
Dae still holds wimping and bleeding Edward pinned under his boot. Samuel picks Henry up and carries him away. Everyone is silent. Mr Alice cries.
“Why are you crying? Is it because you didn't get what you wanted or because your pet got killed? Or is it because you know what is going to happen? I told you I will show you something you have never seen before, and never wanted to see.” He steps closer.
“Do you have any last wishes, is what I would ask, if I was a gentle man. But for your luck I am not.” With a swish sound he moves his hand, a cut is made.
Mr Alice stares at the line appearing on his stomach, he looks up to Top. He is afraid, this man has eyes of darkness, of utter darkness. There is nothing there. Then he looks at Edwards pleading eyes and Daes weird smile, it is not the smile he gave to that abandoned boy, it is not. At that moment he knows, he has lost everything. The next second he falls on the knees spilling his insides with a loud thump. He tries to hold them with his hands, but he knows it is useless.
He wants to say something, but a knife hits him at the back of his head making his hat fall off. Dae stands behind, Edward does not breathe anymore.
“We'll let Henry clean, no not anymore,” he sighs, “He had to hurt the man who knew what to do. But no harm, no harm. I believe he can be saved. Come now, Dae, let's leave the cleaning to others.” He steps over Mr Alices corpse and goes to Dae, who stands with another knife in his hand, still jumpy from the fight.
“You can put that knife away now. You did good, doggy. You did good.” he shuffles Daes hair and kisses his forehead, then takes his hand and leads him away from the bodies. The past lays gutted on the floor, never able to come back.
Chapter 15: Feral beast
His gripping hand is warm and a little sweaty and maybe the grip is a little too hard. One leads and the other follows. This time he goes freely. Decisions have been made.
He does not see the wide back infront of him, that white suit and dark hair touching the collar. His mind still lingers on those last moments, he tastes blood in his mouth, he smells it. He wants to run back and kill some more, only there is no one left to kill. Atleast not today.
He follows the leader. He maybe even trusts the leader, though trust may be too strong of a word, it may be that he believes in the master a little more. No one has ever stood up for him like this – there has always been more blood involved than gentle hands or words. Maybe there were gentle words and hands at some point, maybe it was the hand of his sister or his mothers, but they had had another meaning behind them, they reeked of lies and broken promises.
No words, he doesn't even know, where he is being led, this corridor is forigin. These lamps have a shade he hasn't seen before. But he follows. One may say, that something in him has been freed, that something has been claimed to be someone elses. But a little part of him wants to run, hide deep and never come out again.
He lifts his hand, it is covered with dark blood, it is drying up and cracking. He lets the hand fall beside him, just dangling at the side. His hair has covered half of his face, one eye is peeping out shyly.
“Where are we going?” he whispers.
“Away.” he gets an answer.
“Away? Where? Why?” he mumbles, his voice has no emotion, it is empty. He doesn't even know why he questions. Somehow he has no will left to do anything. Am I really broken now – he wonders.
“Somewhere safe. I am taking a week off, for personal reasons. It is time to start the second part of my plan,” he looks back at him, only wide smile visible in the dim light, “You, ofcourse are coming with me.”
He grips harder, pulling Dae along. Their hands are entwined, just like lovers. But they are walking fast, this is not an idle walk. It is more like an escape.
“Just do everything I tell you to do, and we'll be fine.” he says and starts walking faster.
Dae hears voices and footsteps, the noise and the comperhension that everything is not right, makes him wake from his numb state. He pulls his hand away and walks beside Top. He swipes the hair out of his face, only emotion on it is caution now. He is like an animal getting over the shock. He hears the voices somewhere in the distnace and looks around the premises. They are still walking in a dimly lit corridor.
“So we are escaping. I knew something was wrong.” he says and checks if he has his weapons with him, but he only has three throwing knives, the rest are laying on the ground or lodged into people.
“You finally came to your senses, which is good, because I may need your help. Things went a little sour faster than I thought they would. That Mr Alice moved faster than I thought. You had left him wanting. But now he is dead.” he smiles and they turn left, a big underground garage becomes visible when they step out of the last door. It is filled with many different cars.
“You can drive, right?” Top asks as they walk towards the shittiest car in there. “We'll take this ugly one, it may look like crap, but it has been twinked so it has the heart of a mustang.” he chuckles as he sits in.
Dae has nothing else to do but to drive. He is good at it. Top is sitting in the passanger seat, Dae sits in and sees how Top pulls out two metal briefcases.
“One is yours, some knives and other stuff you may need.” he say throwing it at Dae.
“Gear up.” he says as he takes out two guns from the other.
Dae does as ordered and soon they drive off. “Where to?” he asks as they get out of the garage.
“Down the 46th and then to the 59th, I'll tell you the rest later. It depends how the plan goes.” he sits freely and smiles.
“What plan?!” Dae turns to him.
“The plan of burning down some things and making it seem we are dead.” smile widens.
“Phh. Is it some lovers escape?” Dae mumbles.
“It would be nice if it was, but it is not so. From the beginning I have been in a bad position. Someone wanted to make me fall hard, now it seems I have. But it is only a tactical decision. I will back down for now, but will emerge stronger than before, and you, my dear dog, will help me do so.” He winks.
“You are as obnoxious as always. Tell me more about the plan. I know nothing. You just dissapeared three days ago, you asshole.” Last word is said with a lot of repressed anger.
“You missed me?” he raises an eyebrow at Dae, then he takes out his phone and writes something while frowning.
“What if I did. I may have developed a Stockholm syndrome. Suspension bridge effect, whatever. I still hate you.” Dae looks at the road, it is quite empty.
“So affectionate, my dear doggy. But if you must know, I was making some deals, securing a backing with some of the lesser gangs. I just didn't think that Mr Alice, that old fart, would have so good connections. I wonder why did he let you go?” he looks down at his phone.
“I promised to cut his balls off. I almost did.” Dae does not smile, there are things better to be left unsaid.
“And he let you go? A wuss. You are so playful, doggy. But you are good boy, so loyal to me.” It is said without sarcasm.
“You are lesser of two evils. Or the bigger one, atleast I know what I get when I deal with you.”
“And that is?” He puts his phone away and looks at Dae.
“Loads of annoyance.” He answers while smiling a little.
“Oh, turn left now.” Top shows at a little road at the left. Dae makes a rough turn and they drive on a little forest road.
He looks at the threes and pitch black night. This is what he feels inside. Top sits and makes some kind of deal through his phone. The road is pumpy and looks unused.
“Where does it lead?” Dae wonders.
“To our honeymoon cottage.” Top jokingly answers.
“Fuck off. Whose honeymooning, I'll cut your balls off.” Dae steps on the gas.
“Kinky!” he grins at Daes little demonstration.
“Shut your tap...” Dae wants to say something more, but the phone starts ringing.
Top answers: “Yes --- yes--- okay- – How long? – Mhmm. Okay. I will let you know. Yes. Plan A is still going on. --- Take them.” he puts the phone down and turns to Dae, smiling wide like a kid who has gotten what he has always wanted, “Everything is going according to the plan.”
Dae nodds, he doesn't share Tops good mood. He is tired and wants to leave everything behind. Now he is stuck with this annoying man. He just drives, forest is getting deeper and the road is leading them to mountains.
“No remarks?” Tops asks after a while.
“Nothing. How long have we got?”
“An hour or two. Are you tired? I can drive too.” He looks at Daes tired face and reaches his hand to shuffle the mans hair, Dae moves away from his hand. Then stops the car and looks at Top.
“Thanks for the offer. I will take it. I feel a little off.” he steps out.
They change seats, Dae leans back and closes his eyes. Images flash before his eyes, blood, mother, sister, blood, hurt, pain, scars.
“You did well, you were a good boy.” A gentle hand touches his face, he does not flinch or back away this time.
“I was weak.” he mumbles.
“No you wearn't. I saw how you fought, it was smart. Did you wait for me to show up?” hand hasn't left.
“No. I have only myself, I always have had.” Dae presses his face against Tops warm hand.
Top pats Daes head, shuffling his messy hair. Then slips his hand down his cheek, let's his finger linger on Daes lips, caresses his neck.
“You have me now. You can lean on me.” he says it and he means it. His voice is too gentle for a rough villain like him.
“I better not.” he pushes Tops hand off and opens his eyes.
“I am a little hurt,” he laughs it off as he pats Daes shoulder, “You can sleep now. I'll wake you when we reach our destination.” He takes his hand away.
They drive in silence. Minutes pass, the forest outside is the same, Tops stoic face does not change in the dim light of the car. Dae just watches him. Why is that man like that? What does he hope to gain? Dae does not know, and he he scared of himself, why does he want to know. What has happened to his old cold and uncaring self? Where is the coldblooded murderer.? He feels like a lost puppy longing for a kind and gentle master. He sees himself as a victim, he has always seen himself as such. That's why he says those next words without thinking, without caring.
“Why didn't you just leave me? Why didn't you give me to Mr Alice? You wouldn't be in this mess, if you had given me away.” he is surprised by his own words, he slams a hand on his own mouth.
Top is quiet for a second, then he stops the car and turns to Dae. He takes Daes face into his hands and looks deep into his eyes. Darkness of ones exsistance burning the other.
“I do not abondon what is mine. I do not leave the things I want. You are mine, what master would I be if I left you? Doggy, you are my doggy. Don't you know Saint Éxupery, and his quote: 'You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.'
Haven't I tamed you? Haven't I given you home and a collar to prove my ownership? You are mine. I've looked at you for a long time. Far longer than you think. I knew about you before you knew about me. I am a fool when it comes to you.
And I cannot leave you. I couldn't leave you to that man. You cannot even imagine how mad I am that I couldn't be the one to mark you first, that I couldn't make you mine. That I...
I am a silly man, do you know that?” he leans his forehead on Daes, eyes closed and weird expression on his face. Then he continues:
“We don't have time for this idle conversation in the middle of the woods. But you are my doggy, my little puppy. Look into my eyes, what do you see?”
And Dae looks, he sees a different world. Still blloody, still raw, but not as desolete, not as barran. Yes, he knows this world and he embraces it. This is the world of ferocious beasts, of feral beasts.
He lets his hand fall to his lap. He leans in a little and their lips touch. Next thing they know they are close, closer than ever before. Hand in each others hair and lips searching for something. Their teeth clash, tongues search. It is not sweet nor gentle. It screams for life and lust. They feast like beasts.
Then like it starts it calms down, ends. They look at each other trying to catch their breath. Wheezng noise fills the car. Eyes still locked they don't say anything. Top starts the car and silence lasts.
They reach to a little cottage. It looks old and tired. Dae feels the same. His feelings are something he does not understand. Top seems to be like that too.
They take their briefcases and go in. It looks better from inside than outside. They put their things away. It is still night. It may be morning soon but Dae does not care. He goes to the bed and falls on it. He closes his eyes and falls asleep. Maybe he dreams maybe not.
At some point he feels Top come beside him, he huddles closer. Right now he needs the warmth of another being so that nightmares will not get him. So that past wont hurt him again. Top embraces him, he too has things to forget. They sleep close like beasts who need to hide from the nights cold. No feelings, no love nor lust, just practical beings. Two tired men who have done many bad things, sad things and mad things.
They are far from normal, but abnormal isn't all they are. Little cottage to hide away. So that the time would stop. Feral beasts, two of them waiting a time to strike back.
Chapter 16: Gentle hands
Nightmares manage to find him even though there is warmth beside him. Early morning light peeks through the curtains. He makes no sound as he sits up, Tops hand rest on his chest, he gently puts it under the blanket. He stands up and goes to take a glass of water. Taking little sips he tries to calm his mind. This cottage is different from places he has been to. And at the same time, it is like the house his family lived in. Some of the water dribbles from the corner of his mouth he sweeps it away with his hand. He feels the stubble on his face and it makes him gringe.
Top moves in his sleep and opens his eyes. He felt that something was missing form beside him.
“Why aren't you sleeping?” he asks while sitting up. Eyes full of sleep and mouth dry.
“Why aren't you?”
“You went missing from beside of me.” He smiles his sweet smile as if it is the only answer possible.
“This is first time you've slept beside me. How does it infulence you so much?”
“Just does.” he stands up and goes beside Dae, “You do not look good. Did you get hurt yesterday?” he touches Deas forehead, but Dae moves away under his hand.
“You do not have to show your consern. Your dog is fine. I just wanted some water. This place feels off to me.” he puts the glass on the little counter, it does not make a sound.
“Is it because it reminds your childhood home?” Top asks as he sits onto the only chair in this cottage.
“How do you know about that?!” Dae turns to look at him. Even in this cottage, tired and rustled from the escape, Top looks almost unaffected, perfect. But that is only on the outide, but Dae does not see inside, not even Top knows of the storm brewing inside of himself.
“I told you, I researched about you and I have followed your doings for a along time.” He smirks, but it does not have the strenght it should. “It has been five years, since I first saw you.”
Dae looks at this weird man, a man that should not exist in this world, but still does. He mutters, “Basically since I left Alice, am I right.”
“You may be.”
“Do I need to add something.”
“Why did you bring me here?”
“I am hiding. And I'd be a bad owner if I left my pet, wouldn't I.”
“You always answer like that.”
Top stands up and goes to Dae. He gently caresses the collar around Daes neck, slips his fingers between the collar and the neck. Dae almost shivers and them tremles for real when Top says so gently “You are mine. Remember that.”
“And if I don't.” Dae still has that spark of his, no matter what.
“Then you will be punished.” Top presses his lips against Daes, pulling him close. Dae leans into the kiss, it comforts him. Makes his mind go blank, makes everything else dissapear. Tops hand rustles Daes hair and sends shiver down Daes spine. Dae backs into the little table and the glass falls onto the floor. It shatters.
Dae pulls away and walks out of the door. Top stands there for a while, looks at the shards and spilled water. He then picks the shards up and throws away, cleans the water up, as if nothing has happened.
Dae walks outside, the morning air is cool and fresh. Birds sing. He looks around, the cottage is made of wood and doesn't look so bad now, when he sees it in light. The forest is deep and begins right behind the house. He goes and walks straight into it. There is no path, only moss and some grass, fallen leaves of last year and branches. Trees are tall and it smells like memories.
He feels his emotions boiling over, it is a tempest inside of him. He goes deeper, the ground raises. He is in the mountains, his old house hadn't been in the mountains. The trees hadn't been so tall and the forest so deep. Every shadow lookes sharp. He had killed Mr Alice, with his own hands finished it all. But why doesn't he feel better. He knows for sure, that it was the right decision. Alice was an obstcle in masters plan. Masters plan? What was the masters plan? As usual he hadn't been told, as usual he is just a pet, nothing more. Just a plaything, something that belongs to others. But what belongs to me? I have nothing, no one to call my own. Even my own famiy abandoned me and went on. And soon, when once again I am no use, they will abandon me again. He will leave. Everyone will. Forever is a lie. He may say sweet words, give me those sweet kisses, but he means nothing. I am just a pet. A good boy...
“A good boy... What a joke.”
He stops at a fallen tree and sits on it, hides his head in his hands and just closes his eyes. I am lost. Not in the forest but inside of myself. I don't know what to do. What do I want to do? I could run. But I do not want to. I just cannot. What would he do, if I ran? Would he come after me? Why would he...
He remembers Tops lips and the weird feeling in his heart. Don't make me laugh. It cannot be. It just can't. Is this devine punishment? Ofcourse I've deserved it. All the blood on my hands, all the lives taken. Didn't mother say that I am a monster, devious demon. Bastard. Didn't she leave sister to die, didn't she go after the real monster. Am I like my father? What am I?
He stands up and picks up a branch, then hits it agains the tree nearby. It shatters to smaller pieces, he feels the shock in his hands, that weird feeling of hurt, and laughs. The forest echos with his sad laughter. He takes another branch and breaks it with his bare hands. He reapeats the act until his arms are numb and his hands scratched. He repeats until the pain and fear subdue. Blood drips from his fingertips and he just looks at them with a silly smile on his face.
“Didn't know that pain would feel so good?” he hears behind himself.
“I could've shown you long time ago, doggy. I could've given it to you. But you are so independent, just need to do everything on your own. All alone. Don't you know it is better to do it together,” the voice continues. Dae smells the familiar smell of cigarettes. His silly smile dissapears, he tries to hide behind his emotionless mask, but it does not seem to fit. His eyes look like they are waiting a beating, mouth slightly open, even a little bit surprised.
Dae turns over expecting a smirk, but gets a sad smile instead. Top stands there, he has changed his clothes – he no longer wears his white desinger suit, it is now jeans and a black sweather, it's almost as if there is a different man infront of him. Almost, but not really, the eyes, that face, the smell of cigarettes, it is so familiar.
“How did you find me?” Dae asks as he hides his bleeding hands into his pockets.
“I felt your heartache in mine and just had to find you.” Top crosses his hands and smiles wider. But as usual, his eyes do not fallow. They are the dark abyss, empty, hollow, yet searching for something.
“Cannot you stop with those stupid lines, as if you are a protagonist of some kind of a romance novel. It makes me sick.” Dae wants to leave, but Top stands in the way, he does not want to go near him, not right now, he feels that he is too vulnerable. That something is wrong with his emotions. Having emotions in the first place, after years of emptiness, is weird enough, he does not want to test them.
Top blows out some smoke and just stares at Dae, he does not come closer, he waits and says gently “I could hear your laughter, though it sounded more like crying. I did not know you could be so loud.”
Dae stands there, he has no words. He doesn't know how to explain his actions, and he doesn't even know why he thinks he should explain. This is just a phase in his life, he's just a tool, a pet. Having feelings is not needed. Not now, not ever. He walks past Top, the smell of cigarettes suddenly feels like home. He goes on and does not look back. He reaches the cottage but does not enter. He thinks of running away, but knows that he cannot. And for that he hates himself. So he sits on the doorstep and waits.
Soon Top comes out of the forest, he too remains silent. Maybe if they would talk some things would get sorted. But they are not the kind to talk about feelings. In their world feelings are weakness, something not allowed for monsters to have.
Top sits beside Dae and ruffles his hair. Dae pushes his hand away. Minutes go past, birds sing, clouds move across the sky. Stubborn is what they are. Maybe even stupid.
“When will we go back?”
“Day after tomorrow.”
“Do you even have a place to go back to?”
“Probably, if everything goes according my plan.”
“And if not?”
“It has never gone against my plans, I've always won. I do not fear that this time it would be any different.”
“Why did you do all of it?”
“To get what I want.”
“And that is?”
“Power, money, anything I want.”
Silence again. Both looking at their feet or the sky, not asking the important questions nor solving their internal dilemmas. Suddenly Dae stands up, he drives his hands through his hair, blood on them is dryed up.
He turns to Top “When it is over, am I free to go?”
“Where ever I want.”
“And if I said, I want you to stay beside me?”
“I would ask Why?”
“Oh. So you have no idea.”
“Why should I, you never talk to me. Only play with me. I am a pet, an useful tool in your scemes. What should I think?”
Top laughes, it is a rough laugh, and he knows it. He is like a kid who has gotten what he wanted, but finds out he now has responsibilities. The puppy needs to be fed and walked and looked after.
“Do you even know what to do with your freedom?” Top asks looking at his feet.
“Do you?” Dae snaps and bows down to look at Tops eyes, he puts his bloody, scarred and bruised hands on Tops cheeks.
“Do you know, how to live?” he asks again.
“Do you know what is pain?” he pats Tops cheeks.
“Do you know what is torture? Sure you know, but from the side of a torturer. From the side of some high and mighty person. You never know what it is to be the one in the bottom. To be broken.” he holds Tops cheeks and looks into his eyes.
What he sees there scares him so much he backs off and almost falls on his ass. He does not know what is going on. Top stands up and rips off his sweater and throws it on the ground. His skin that is supposed to be flawless is covered in scars, some so big that it seems impossible that he is alive. He goes to Dae and grabs his chin almost hissing “I know enough. That's why I want you.”
Dae only sees his eyes. For the first time there is no void. He puts his hands on Tops cheeks, wiping away one single tear. For Top, those bloody hands are the gentlest he has ever felt touching him.
Chapter 17: “Nevermore” cries the raven...
“I did not get to where I am with smiles and words. I fought my way up.” He pulls away from Dae and picks his sweater up. He cannot stand that gentle touch any longer. Dae sees his back, it has two big cuts running across and forming an x. He stares at those white scars.
“Go now, my little beast. Go and break them. Go and paint the world crimson.” Mr Alices sweet words like some ancient chant. He was freed to go and kill, to live out all that anger that resided in him. And he jumped to that room and sliced and sliced and sliced. One man stood there as if nothing could faze him. As if this litte beast didn't scare him at all. And then he attacked. And they fought. And that man was strong, but not strong enough. He managed to throw Dae against the wall, but Dae pushed him and jumped, and made two cuts on his back, and that man fell and bled to death. He left and went back to his dark little room and to waiting. He went back to hell.
As in trance Dae walks closer and touches those scars. “How did you not die?” he mumbles. He moves his hand down the scar. Top turns over and grabs the hand.
“Do not touch me.” He hisses between his teeth.
“And you can touch me?” Dae looks down on the hand grabbing him so hard that the skin is turning white. He looks at his eyes that are almost burning. “You survived my knives. And that is where you know me. Is this some weird revenge?”
“No, it is not,” Top let's his hand go and walks towards the door.
“I won't let you walk away like this.” Dae pushes him. “We are going to talk. And you are going to tell me what I want to know.”
Top turns around, his face is full of anger. “I am not inclined to talk to you. I am the boss, you are the dog. Obey!”
“My obeying times are over.” He goes and grabs Tops shoulders. “Why are you playing with me? Why did you call me to you? Why did you do what you did? At the end you were like everyone else. Using me as a toy.”
Top shakes his hands off. “Think what you want. You are free to go,” he takes out the car keys and throws at Dae. Then he goes in and closes the door.
Dae picks the keys up and goes the car. He opens the door and sits in. He lets his forehead rest on the steering wheel. This is not what I wanted. I... What is going to happen? It is not my business, I am free now. He starts the car and drives off. The road looks wider now when it is light outside. And he drives until the car runs out of gas and then he walks.
At some point he sits in a little coffee shop in a small down. Dae takes out some money, that he had found in the car. He pays for the coffee. Some people stare at him, unconciously he moves his hand to he collar. It feels weird. I forgot to ask a key for this collar. He feels how his chest tightens up. This is not what I wanted. I was not a good boy. I have never been a good boy.
He stands up and leaves the coffee. He has no place to go to, no one to ask help from. Is this what means to be all alone? Am I no good without a master? He walks to a car parked near a shop, he picks the lock and sits in, he jumpstarts it and drives off. It take some time but by the sunset he is back at that cabin. He walks the last kilometers and thinks about what he is doing. I am betraying my freedom again. I am not a good boy. But his eyes... I want to see that fire again.
Slowly he walks towards the cabin, he sees no light in th windows, maybe him coming back had been useless. He opens the door and steps in. Next thing he feels is something hard hitting his head, he thinks to himself, that he had been stupid.
He wakes up in some big warehouse tied to a chair, his hands hurt. Three guys stand beside him they look like someone had fed steroids to apes and dressed them in Armani suits. Dae says that to them and gets a fist in his face.
“This is not nice boys.” he shakes his head and spits blood in one of their faces. He gets a kick that sends him falling on his back and hitting his head. They pull him up and wait.
“What are you waiting boys? I know you cannot kill me. You already would have if it was the order. So where is your daddy, you steroid apes?” He gets a new hit, three of them to be exact. Then they leave and he sits in the darkness. I am in deep shit...
Blood flowes from his nose and mouth and dribbles on the ground forming a little puddle, bruises are swelling up. The three of them come back and beat him some more. Looking up to them he smiles with his teeth covered in blood and eyes shining like a wild animal ready to strike. He says something about their mothers and is hit hard. Then he spits at their direction not knowing if he reaches them. Another hits that almost takes his consciouse away, pain that is everywhere. As he is waiting for another hit or kick or both, suddenly there is none. Silence filles the room – someone steps in and the thugs leave.
"So you were finally beaten to the ground?" a deep voice echoes in the empty warehouse. "It's only me and you here," it continues. A chair scrapes the concreate as it was dragged somewhere close. A cigarette is lit, smell of tobacco filles the room. "Don't be afraid, I will not kill you. But you will wish you were dead soon." Cold laugh fallowes that statement. The smell of the smoke is familiar, but not the one he has become to yearn. This is bitter and painful like the past he remembers.
“Who says I am beaten to the ground?” he says calmly.
“You should see your face.” cold voice, raspy from smoking, and some kind of an accent.
“And what would it look like, minced meat? Carl, you know, I thought I killed you.” Dae looks up to an older man smiling to him.
“Hehe. You did, stupid as you are. I see you have found a new master while I was overseas. I heard what happened to mister Alice. He moved too fast, but it is good to me, now I am the boss.”
“So Alice invited you here. How did you know where to come to?” He tries to free his hands, but only manages to pull the ropes tighter.
“Edward planted a tracking device on you.”
“Oh, so something like that. I should have known. Even after death Mr Alice is pain in the ass. And you came to the cabin, waited for me to come back. What do you want from me?”
“I want you to kill for me. There are few of you left. Not enough. And you killed Edward. I quite liked that boy, he was so obedient, but too hung up on Alice. But you, you have that spark in you.”
Dae spits at his direction. “Yes that spark, so cute,” the man says as he stands up and comes closer. He puts his smoke out on Daes shoulder, Dae hears his own flesh burn, he smells it, but makes no noise.
Carl pulls at the collar and reads the tag. “A 'good boy',” he laughs out loud, “What weird bastard were you with? Probably got your ass plowed and you probably enjoyed it.”
Dae tries to remain calm. The man moves away. He can finally breathe now when that bitter smoke is not irritating his nose. He does not say anything. He has no way out. Maybe he could irritate that bastard enough so he could be killed off. It is good that I left? Top is not pulled into my past anymore. If I saved him, I've done something good, I've been a good boy. But that does redeem the blood on my hands? No it will not. My hands are bloody even in my death. And he laughs the same laugh he did in the forest. That moment seems so far away, even though it was this morning.
“Yes, pain feels good to me.” he says out loud.
The man turns around looking puzzled, “What are you talking about?”
“About that you have to kill me, because I will never work for anyone. I will call no human my master.”
“I think you will change your mind, after these three have their way with you.”
“We'll see.” he leaves and Dae is once again alone.
He waits and waits, but no one comes. He wonders if this is new way of torture, neglect. Blood dries up under his nose and mouth and it feels awful. His eyes are almost swollen up, he can only see light. He hears someone coming in and he grits his teeth. He hears a chair moved close to him and someone sitting. He closes his eyes, even though they are already swollen shut, and waits for pain. A cigaret is lit, a familiar smell. Suddenly all the fear dissapears and he sighs. He knows who is there.
“So, doggy, how did your freedom taste like?” Dae hears the voice of his own personal demon.
Dae mumbles, “Blood.”
“I see. And what do you want now?”
“To go home and have a bath?” he asks out loud.
“And where is that home?” Top throws his cigaret on the ground and steps on it.
“With an asshole, who waits half a day to save me and let's me be beaten to mince meat. Is purple so pretty on my skin?” he asks sarcasticly.
Top comes and kisses the burn on his shoulder, cuts loose the rope and pulls him up, straight into his embrace. “I'm sorry. It took some time to deal with the ones outside.” he kisses Daes forehead.
“No it did not. You and your guys probably wasted fifteen minutes on them, and you already planned it all. Used me as a bait...” Dae says, “don't think I am stupid. I thought about it while I sat and bled. Me and Mr Alice, and Carl. Their syndicate was your rival. But you know what, I don't care anymore. It is all your fault. I can have no more masters in my life.”
“Can you walk?”
“And if I can't?”
“I'll carry you princess style.”
“I would like to see that, but my eyes are quite swollen right now.”
“So let's go now.”
“But promise me one thing.”
“That you will talk to me about the things I want to know.”
“Is that coming form the mouth of a man who says he hates me and wants me to die. What is with this cheesy line?“
“I think I got a concussion when I fell. Tomorrow I will say that I remember nothing and you made it up by yourself.”
“So I can get away with everything today?”
Top lifts him up with no effort and carries out. He gently puts him to the front seat of the car and straps the seatbelt. Dae leans back, he fiddles with the dog tag. This is better than death. Tops starts the car and they say nothing. Top looks at the road and thinks of the things he needs to tell at some point. But the fear is gone, no matter what he says, Dae will not run. He had been afraid to go in there. He had been afraid of rejection.
They reach their destination, Dae waits until Top helps him out. He lets Top lead him in and into his room. Top Guides him to the shower, this has happened before. He sits there, the floor feels cold under him. He hears top move around.
“This will sting a little,” he says as he turns the cold water on and washes the blood from his face.
“You let your dog get mauled by wild beasts. Do you feel any guilt?”
“Did I hear a tremble in your voice?”
“It is your concussion.”
“Shouldn't you call the doctor for me?”
“I don't want to.”
“Then I would have to share you.”
“What a silly reason. My head hurts though, is it broken in half?”
“No, your brains are still inside your skull.”
“Good, though I feel as if I am losing my mind.”
“Why?” he asks as he gently take soff Daes bloody clothes and washes his blue and purple skin.
“I missed you. And when I was about to die, I thought that I did some good in helping you.”
“Why is it losing your mind?”
“Because it is not like me. I need no master. Yet I still want to be yours.”
Top stops and just stares at Dae. He takes a big soft towel and wraps him in.
“Yes, it seems you are losing your mind. I will call the doctor.” He lifts Dae up and carries him to the bed and lays him down gently. He shuffles his hair and kisses his forehead again. “Wait a little, I'll make a call.” He wants to stand up to take his phone but Dae grabs his shirt.
“What now?” Top turns to look Dae, it is a sad sight, with his face wollen, lip busted and eyes shut. Atleast it looks better without all that dried up blood.
“Nothing.” Dae lets go.
Top calls the doctor and sits beside Dae. He holds Daes hand, rope marks on his wrist seem the lesser injuries, his face was the thugs main target.
“What did you do to deserve the damage done to your face?”
“Told shit about them and their mothers.”
“Cause I could.” he tries to chuckle but it hurts his ribs.
“Shh, the doctor will be here soon. I'll stay here.”
“Don't you need to look after your group?”
“Simon will manage it all.”
“So he wasn't just a thug.”
“No, he was one of my best men. Henry too, though he is no more.”
“So he died.”
“Because of me?”
“No, because of me. But don't worry. It is all good.”
There is a knock on the door. Dae cannot see who comes in but he recognizes the steps, it is the same doctor.
He mumbles, “Sorry, doc, I got a little beat up, again.”
Doctor says something but Dae misses it. He feels cold latex on his skin and something injected. He hears Top tell the doc something, but then falls asleep.
It takes days until the swelling comes down and he can see again. And some more until his ribs are not on fire. The pump behind his head is also getting smaller. The pain is not that bad, atleast he is alive. But Top is not there. He was not there when he woke up. And when he had asked the doctor the doc had shaken his head. It was all so familiar. Every time they got too close, Top backed off. Dae lookes at the ceiling, there are no cracks. He extends his hands, he can see the scrabs on the places he had tore the skin while breaking the branches.
Do monsters have feelings, because I do feel. Or am I not a monster? Which is the right answer, if there even is one. Where is he?--- Will he come? I cannot be abandoned. This is not the freedom I yearned for.
He thinks about many things, his past and his pains. He has no answers to the questions he cannot put into words, not even inside of himself. And he feels lonely. Abandoned puppy who was rised to be te fighting dog. He wakes one morning and sees a book on the table - “White Fang” - and he starts to laugh. He laughs until tears fall from his eyes. He is safe now, atleast for the time being. He is not lost.
Monsters are born, or are they bred? Daddys hunting knife, sisters last smile, mothers tangling legs. Running and running and running, but where. Mr Alices sweet words, so sweet that they made him puke. Running and running and running, but where? Blood is thick, but not thick enough. Hands that cut until everyone is cut down. And running and running and running. Free? No, abandoned. To where, if there is no home at all. And master never came.
He reads the book, once, twice. He waits, he is a good puppy, yes he is. A good boy. But the master never comes. He puts the book beside the table. The bruises are gone. But he does not want to go out. Out there is an unfamiliar world where he does not belong to. He has no place. He was told that everything is well, that he does not need to worry. But he worries and it scares him, he has never worried before.
It rains again.
He exercises and works on his body, makes it sharp again. Be sharp, be ready, be useful. He reads the book.
It rains again.
“Nevermore,” whispers the wolf.
Chapter 18: The master and the puppy
His room has become suffocating and routine has become something he knows so well. White walls, bare, nothing covering them. No pictures no paintings, no pothographs of the sea or flowers. One bed in the middle of the room, with white sheets; little table and chair next to it. Two doors, one leading outside and one to the bathroom. One window with shitty view. Under the bed lays his metal suitcase, he opens it to train sometimes. In the mornings he works out, showers and eats breakfast. Then he reads and eats lunch, after that he takes a nap. Before dinner he works out some more, maybe plays with his knives. Every day is roughly the same. But atleast he has books that Samuel brings. He has never read that much, from sci-fi and fantasy to classics. He just reads and works out. Only person he talks to is Samuel.
“Is there something I can do?” Dae asks when he cannot stand the status quo anymore.
“No.” Samuel says camly.
“Nothing at all?” Dae stands up and walks infront of him, looking up to his emotionless face.
“Nothing at all.” Samuel repeats like a parrot.
“Will boss come and see me?” Dae asks as he goes back and sits on a chair near the window. There is no view to speak about, no weather no sky. He only sees if it rains or not.
“No. He is out.” There is a pause between 'no' and 'he is out'.
“Okay. When will he be back?” he asks, but in his voice, there is a feeling that he has lost the hope of getting a positive answer.
“Not today.” Samuel stands holding the tableware he needs to bring back with him. He looks too much of a thug to be a servant, but he acts like one. Dae mocked him few days back, but didn't get the usual cheerful answer. Samuel wasn't like Samuel anymore.
“Okay. Can I go out?” Dae changes the topic.
“Yes.”He turns to leave.
“Can I leave?” Dae asks from his wide back.
“Yes. Stop asking the same thing every day. The answer does not change.” The door is slammed shut.
Dae stands up and throws himself on the bed, looking the barren walls of this room and thinking if he should really leave. But to give up is not his way of living. For once he has decided. He goes to the bathroom and looks himself in the mirror. His face has become skinnier, his hair longer covering his eyes, even reaching his shoulders. He pushes it aside and tries to smile, it does not work. Did I ever have a geniuine smile? He touches the tag: I may sometimes misbehave. A small smile sneaks to his mouth but he does not notice it, he has made up his mind.
He goes back to his bed and takes out the metal briefcase from underneath it. He opens it and takes one of his knives. He goes and stands infront of the mirror and makes a sharp cut. His bangs fall to the ground.. It is hasty and troublesome cut, but it is something he needs to do. The hair had become a burden. He is left with a short cut, like the one he had as a child. But this time it does not make him puke or panic. That feeling is gone. He cleans the knife and puts it back. He cleans all the knives and puts them back. Then he reads until his eyes cannot stay open. And he sleeps. Nightmares are rare, but when they come he wakes up covered in cold sweat. He wonders if there are some cameras left in this room, and if Top sees him.
He wakes up in the middle of the night and walks around in his room. Is he free? Can he just step out of the the door and leave? But the collar still surrounds his neck. And it seems to surround his heart too. He picks up a book and throws it against the door. He has had enough. He doesn't even know how many days have gone past. Only seeing Samuel is not enough, seeing him makes it sadder, makes reality hit him. Mostly because seeing Samuel alone is weird. Samuel without Henry seemes to be missing something, as if the man is lost, crieving for sure. Dae opens the door and steps out.
The same corridor and the same carpet. He knows where the office is. But he turns the other way and ends up in the underground garage. He walks out and just goes on, the streets are quite empty. He puts his hands into his pockets of his jacket and lowers his head. At some point he reaches a dimly lit park. He sits on a bench, surrounded by bushes and flowers. He cringes and draws his hand through his newly cut hair, then he sighs. He pulls hood over his head and stares at his own feet.
What if I just walk away? He told me not to worry, that everything is fine. But his hand trembled when it held mine. His voice didn't sound as confident as usual. Or was it my concussion talking? He probably does not need a monster like me? He already used me for his plan. He got what he wanted.
He stands up and turns around.
“You are shitty at sneaking up to me,” he whispers. It is hard to hold the feelings in and look calm.
“You are shitty at running away.” Click of a lighter and smell of tobacco.
“I was not running away.” His hood covers his face, only his eyes shine in the dim light.
“I know. I wasn't sneaking either.” Top steps closer.
“I knew you would come if I step outside.” Dae looks into Tops eyes, saying it calmly and in low voice.
“So?” Top rises his eyebrows as he blows out smoke.
“So, you ass, why didn't you come and see me?” Dae bursts out.
“I was busy,” he shrugs.
Dae trembles in anger “Bullshit! You were scared.”
Top comes even closer. He throws his cigaret to the ground and steps on it. He takes last step and now stands right face to face with Dae. They stay silent for a second, then Tops says quietly.
“I was scared.” He grabbs Daes chin and holds it firmly. Dae does not flinch. “I was scared when you took the knife and cut your hair. I was scared that you would cut the collar and leave. And you left. And I was scared when you got hurt so severly. I almost lost you because I thought that power and position was so important.”
“And now!? You come here and try to stop me. But what if I really would leave? I told you that I wanted to stay with you, that I need no other master. And then you were nowhere to be seen. “Master is out..”, was all I heard.”
“You didn't come to me.”
“I was told to wait. I am a dog, an obedient one. I waited.”
A rough laugh and tighter grip around his chin. Two men standing in the middle of the park, in the middle of the night. Both spouting cheesy lines as if in a romantic comedy. But that is what it seems to bystanders, if there is any. In thruth, this is struggle between two coldblooded murderers, who fight for the last piece of humanity in them.
“But what is this now? Not obedient at all. Making your master worried and rush after you. What is this?" he lets go of Daes chin almost slapping him.
“Intervention. I may misbehave sometimes, especially when you do not notice me.” Dae does not turn away.
“Not a good boy.” Top gives Dae a slight slap on the cheek and says. “Bad boy. You did not act like a good boy, I thought you are.”
“Not today.” Dae smiles.
“And now you got me out. You saw me. What now?”
Dae grabbs Tops shirt and pulls him really close to whisper “Now you will tell me to follow you home like a good doggy and you will punish me.”
Top leans closer. “I will not say that.”
Dae stares at him. It hurts more than he thought. He let's go of Tops shirt and takes a step back. He seems really startled. I am abandoned. Where will I go now? I was abandoned. Abandoned. Cast aside. I took a gamble and I lost. He takes few more steps back grabbing his head and noticing he is shaking violently. He mumbles something that no one hears or understands. He closes his eyes and squats. He tries to breathe. Abandoned. Alone. Alone. Alone. Alone.....
He feels a hand on his back, he is afraid to open his eyes.
“This is your punishment. Let's go home now, puppy."
The voice is so sweet and the pat on his head is the last drop. Dae falls on his knees and covers his eyes, he is sobbing uncontrollably. He has never cried like this, not even when he was a kid and everyone he loved died. Not when he was picked up by Mr Alice and his people. Now he cried, because he is needed.
Top stands there looking down on him, he lights another cigaret. His hands are trembling. He hides his right in his pocket when he puts his lighter back. He takes a whif and blows it out slowly. Maybe he has taken this game too far. Only Daes shoulders move in the tact with his sobbs.
Top crushes his cigaret under his foot. “Fuck this shit...” he mumbles and squats next to Dae. He grabs his face and pulls his hands away. Tears fall down from Deas eyes, snot drips from his nose, his face is red. A little hickup seals the deal. Top just kisses his lips while looking straight into his eye. The salty taste and the suprise in Daes eyes are saved in his memories.
He holds Daes face, the calluses in his balms are rough but the touch is gentle. Dae puts his own hands on Tops face and pulls him closer. He doesn't cry anymore. The gentle kiss turns deeper, they embrace each other. They cling to each other, both on the little path in the park. Then Top pulls away and stands up, he holds out his hand, waiting for Dae to take it. And Dae takes it.
Akward silence fills the space between them as they stand there holding hands, the master and the puppy.
Chapter 19: The silence of the wolves
Kind people share kisses. Beasts share lust and instinct. Dae holds Tops hand as if it is the only thing real in this world. Top does not dare to look in his eyes, instead he starts walking and Dae follows him. He follows him to the car but they walk past it. It is over midnight, only people out are drunks or late workers. No one looks at them, no one sees the slight tremble of their hands nor how tightly their lips are pressed together to keep the silence between them.
They do not go back to their building. Instead they find a nice hotel just outside of the park and go in. They have forgotten the pains of past and the troubles of present. Neither do they think of the future that is so uncertain that only one thought could make it crumble. They live for the next breath and the gentle touch. Top tells Dae to go into the room first as he has to make one phonecall.
Dae moves through the hall and up the stairs. He opens the door and steps in, it is magnificent. The bed has red sheets, there are pictures of nature on the walls. Dae looks around, it is weird that he feels akward. Somehow this is different from all he has done in the past. He moves around and opens the drawers. In on he founds condoms and lube. He picks up the lube and moves to the bathroom. Large mirror on the wall shows everything. He let's his clothes drop to the floor one by one. His skin is covered in white scars, some small some bigger. There are cigaret burns on his legs, one scar from a bullet on his hip. Since he has worked out every day his body is toned. He is made for the speed and sneak attacks. Be sharp like a knife – that is how he rolls.
He steps under the shower and let's warm water wash off the sweat. He hears Top enter the room but he does not rush his movements. He takes his time to prepare himself. It has been years since he last did it. Once this had been a daily routine. He swallows some spit trying to get rid of the weird feeling in his chest. He has never enjoyed this feeling but now when he thinks what will fallow, it makes his breath hasty. He lets his hands wonder and touches himself. It takes some time but he is ready.
Top sits on the bed, he thinks if he should enter the bathroom or not. He lights a cigaret and puffs out smoke nervously. Finally he puts it out in the ashtray and throws his jacket on the chair. Next comes his tie and shirt. He draws his hands through his hair like a boy on his first night out. The scars on his back seem white in this light, as if he is marked. He does not have tattoos, though he has thought of getting one, but he has enough scars to cover him instead. He let's his pants fall on the ground and then picks them up and folds properly. His legs are scarred too, his right tigh has two scars from a bullet that went in from the back and came out from the front. He takes off his underwear and socks and puts them on the chair. He too feels awkward, but they are adults, proffesionals even. And they have time, it does not need to be rushed.
He opens the bathroom door and steps in. The sight that opens infront of his eyes makes him swallow and his heart beat faster. Though he has seen him before, now does not compare to those times. Short hair makes Dae younger and his face different, the scars are easily noticebale. He smiles to Top, only thing covering him is the collar around his neck. Top takes few steps towards him and Dae steps few back towards the wall. Tops eyes scare him a little, they make him shiver from his toes to the top of his head. And at the same time it is not only fear that fills him.
Top feels his reason fly to the wind and he pushes Dae against the wall and kisses him. He pries open his lips and slips in, his hands hold Daes face so he can dominate him with all he has. Dae puts his hands on his back and traces the scars he made, and thinks what would've happened if he had cut deeper. Top presses himself against Daes wet skin. Dae feels the heat and pulls Top closer.
Tops rough hands travel to Deas neck and collar, onto his shoulders, down his bare chest lingering there and onto his hips. He grabs Daes ass and pulls him up against the wall. Dae lets out a litte whimper and holds onto Tops shoulders, he kisses his neck and collarbone. Savouring the taste of sweat, yearning to taste more. Top slips one finger in and smiles, he is pleased with his puppy, but does not say anything. Dae arches his back wanting more, his nails dig into Tops back, leaving new marks and new scars to be. Top slips in another finger and moves them as he kisses Daes neck and lips, licking the tears that flow out of Daes eyes. Dae trembles in pleasure, which he has never felt before in his life. Wanting more and more, when before he only waited the pain to end. This time there is no pain, no disgust, only need to be touched, to be held. Top bites his neck and it sends shivers down his spine. His heart beats so fast and loud that he is afraid that everyone will hear.
Top feels as if he can never get enough, as if he has discovered something more important than power and money. He holds Dae close, moving his fingers and kissing his face. He had planned to be gentle and to do it slow, maybe tease a little. But seeing Daes naked body, dripping of water, seeing his lewd face and slightly pouted mouth, his body had moved on its own. Now there is only one thought running wild in his head, to get into him, to make him truly his and only his. To monopolize this man infront of him, to tame the monster and the beast.
He pulls his fingers out and Dae opens his eyes staring into Tops. They look the same when Top had told him that he is abndoned. Top only smiles this time and gives him a deep kiss. He lifts him up some more and enters him. Dae gasps for air and moans. He closes his eyes again and moves in tact with Top. He hides his face on Tops shoulder. Top rests his on Daes. The bathroom echoes with heavy breaths and grunts, bodys moving against eatch other. The wall scrapes Daes back but he does not care, Tops hands strain from the weight on them, but he does not notice. Dae clings to Top, wanting to be closer but he is already filled up to the hilt.
Top pulls him closer into his embrace, both hand supporting his ass and carries him out of the bathroom. Dae wraps his legs around his back and enjoys the different feeling that this movement brings. He licks Tops neck as they lay down to the bed. Dae feels Tops weight on himself and he lets out a pleased whimper. Top grunts as he thrusts deeper in this positsion. Now he can use his hands to caress Daes body and have more options to kiss. He leaves marks wherever his lips touch. Dae does the same, his nails are covered in blood that seeps from the scratches on Tops back.
He arches his body back to Tops and smiles as he is kissed on the lips. He playfully bites the tongue that wanders into his mouth. Top presses him onto the bed holding his hands so he cannot scrath him more and licks his ear. Dae bites his shoulder sinking his teeth deep until he tastes blood. He wraps his legs around Top not letting him pull out.
Afterwards they lay on the bed breathing heavily, there is blood and semen on the sheets. They both smile in the afterglow. Top reaches for the cigarets and gives one to Dae, who is too tired to move himself, and lights it from his own. Top puffs smoke rings looking at the painting on the wall, it depicts two wolves running through snowstorm, and thinks how they both resemble them. No gentle or loving words were said, only bodys moving and yearning and hoping that the other will understand.
Chapter 20: End of many things
Top rests his head on Daes stomach and looks at the ceiling. “I have no idea what to do now.”
“Get dressed maybe.” Dae slides his fingers through Tops short black hair gently patting him.
“Not right now. We have the whole night.” Top suggles closer, resting his head on Daes chest and listenes to his heartbeat.
“I see.” Dae whispers.
“Mhmm.” Top closes his eyes and enjoys the warmth of another being.
“Are you falling asleep?” Dae asks still patting his head.
“Nnn.” he aswers half asleep.
Dae quietly laughs as he sees how Tops breathing calms down. You are so defenceless. And so tired, what have you been up to? You probably will not tell me. And I will not ask anymore. Heh, what a master you are, falling asleep in the lap of your dog. Shouldn't it be the other way around? He gently pulls a blanket over Top and himself, then he leans back on the pillow. He can feel Tops breath on his chest and he puts his hand around his shoulder as if protecting. I don't think I am a good pillow, but it would be a waste to move him when he sleeps so peacefully. And I do not mind him being this close. It is different from the cottage. It is different from many times before. Is this what I've been longing all these years? And what is it anyway? Love? Silly me, this here is far from love.
Chapter 21: Start of many things
Quiet, almost silent ticking of the clock on an unfamiliar wall. Warmth that should be forbidden, as it makes them forget the blood and guts they once bathed in and soon will bathe again. Rumors of a big fight brewing in the dead silence of the night. Indeed a new storm is coming. And they know it. That's why they hold close to each other to treasure this safe haven.
He wakes up and looks up to the face he does not hate or loathe, and that is almost like a miracle to him. All his life, the life he knows atleast, has been hate among hate. Each day filled with new disasters, and each day he finds something to hate. Now he has somehing that is out of his way. He wonders, if he should've picked that puppy up against its own will as it had been. Maybe he shouldn't have tamed it. Now he hates himself for this weakness, but at the same time he knows that he will not surrenders to his emotions, nor let go of the dog.
Quietly like a shadow he gets dressed, and sits on the chair. He hides his face in his palms, last night running past his eyes. Before he can sigh he hears the bedsheets moving.
“And here you are, sitting like a repenting priest. I thought you would've run already.”
“So did I.” Top liftsv his eyes to meet Daes.
“And now? You won't tell me what is going on, will you.” Dae says slowly, as if words are shards of glass.
“Do you want to know what I think? Shh. I Don't care, I will just tell you. You are scared of yourself and everything. First time in your life you are not sure what to do. You will not let me go nor will you take me with you. Just what do you want? But you don't know, you do not dare to think, coward.” he spits out that last word, but he does not rise his voice, it is still monotone, like he is not talking about himself but of somethind distant.
“Don't call me a coward.” Top protests, but it is weak, useless.
“And what, you will kill me?” Dae wraps the sheet around tighter.
“I could.” Top says, because he can kill him, he can if he wanted.
“Do it then. Cause I have nowhere to go. And living seems a bore.” For him that is just a fact, without a master he has no place to be, and a new master is out of the question. It is not his fault he is broken. And it is no one elses.
Silence falls upon them like many times before. They look at each other, one of them fully clothed, other wrapped in a sheet, looking so vulnerable. Dae has leaned in, his eyes spitting sparks of revolt. He hates being toyed with and used, but last night had gone both sides, it hadn't been only using, it had been about giving too, atleast he hopes. But so many times before it hadn't mattered what he had hoped for. Yet he hopes that this time it will.
“Don't say that.” Top mutters.
“Why?” Dae stands up pulling the sheet with him.
“Cause I told you, you are stuck with me until I tell you to go. And I am not telling you to go.” Top looks him as he walks closer.
“So, we walk out of here together?” Dae asks kneeling infront of Top.
“... Yes,” he says after a long break, “We will walk out here together.”
“With that answer you will get yourself killed, assassinated. It is morning, and if they want you dead, they will get you the moment you walk out, and I cannot help you.” Dae rests his cheek on Tops tigh.
“Do you see everything in such morbid colors?” Top asks, his hand lingers as he fights with himself, he presses his fingers into a fist and let's them rest on the side of the chair. He does not pat the doggys head.
“You... “ Dae looks up to him, he sees his painful eyes, “have no idea.” He stands up and disappears into the bathroom. After five minutes he is back, the room is empty. He sits on the bed. And now I will follow. And I will act as he sees fit. I will be his blade or whatever he needs, and I will hope the day never comes when he says that I need to go away.
Chapter 22: His blade
Little steps, he hears them right behind, but as he turns around the corridor is empty. Laughter, just like in horror films, but nothing there. He knows it is a dream, a nightmare he hasn't had in a while. He does not run, this house seems familiar. It is his grandfathers. The time? Maybe just before he ran from there. And the laughter? He has no idea. He hasn't got sisters or lovers to come haunting him. A mother? It may be so.
He hears talking in a room he passes.
“We don't need him. His mother was trash and so is he!”
“Stop it! She was our daughter! How can you say something like that!?”
“We do not have a daughter, not anymore. She ran again leaving her son to us. But look at that kid, he is worthless. Just dead weight!”
“Stop it. We are his only blood relatives.”
“It does not matter. He is not one of us.”
Now he knows exactly what time it is. It is the year that mother ran with his fifth husband leaving the young middle school him with grandparents. He walks on trying to forget the young him who heard it and ran out crying. He smirks at the weakness of past him.
Hands in his pockets he steps out of that house, it engulfs in flames, as it did long time ago. He passes a kid holding the ligter and muttering something. He wonders what will happen if we goes on. More of his past? Life running before his eyes, he hopes he isn't dying in his sleep.
He lights a cigaret and puffs out smoke. A young tattered man walks past him, into an empty allyway, he hears gunshots. It stings in his thigh. He goes on not looking back, it is a memory of foolishness and betrayal. They carry a man out of the building, his back is bleeding – another memory. He looks around to see the culprit, one man walks away from the scene really fast, he decides to follow. He runs after him and finds himself in a little woodland. Again he hears that weird laughter.
“Why do you follow me?” he hears the question from behind. He turns around and faces emptiness.
“What are you searching for?” again he turns and sees no one.
“Or who?” chuckling.
He runs from one tree to another but there is no one beside him.
“Already gotten attatched?” asks a familiar voice.
“Cannot sleep alone?” another cold question.
“Weak, aren't we?” mutter near his ear, but there is no one there.
“Who is the master and who is the dog...” he runs out of the woodland and finds himself in the city again.
“Who really wears the collar?” someone pushes him and he lands on his knees, “hehehehe.....”
“Empty, aren't we. Cold and cruel.” Someone says from above him, he does not look up.
“Burning in your eyes, why?” someone says as he feels tears falling from his closed eyes.
“Alone. Weak.” it echoes.
He opens his eyes and runs his hand over his face – his cheeks are wet with tears. His bedroom is cold and he is alone. He sits up. Yesterday seems like years ago. That feeling of warmth and release.
He goes and showers, the cold sweat dissapears down the drain but the empty feeling remains. His dog had fallowed him back home, but had not come to him and he felt little dissapointed deep inside. He shaves, his eyes are condamning every move he makes. He gets dressed, his hands are shaking. He goes to the kitchen and pours a cup of coffee. There is knock on his door.
No one was invited, it must be urgent. He moves to look, hand on the gun resting in the holster. Why didn't they call, screams in his mind. His body almost becomes limp when he sees who is behind the door. He slowly moves and opens the door.
“What is for breakfast?” says a bright voice, “Your puppy is hungry,” he moves past him, “I got tired of Samuels cooking, or who ever makes it. And as I have no money, I saw no other chance to come here.” Then the chatter dies.
“Are you okay?” Dae askes coming closer to Top. He reaches his hand, but it is slapped away.
“None of your business.” Top takes a step back. His mind is in haze. He does not understand the sudden flow of emotions.
“You look like something shook you pretty bad.” Dae says leaning against the kitchen door.
“I'm fine.” Top says angrily while moving past him.
“As you say. Aren't you happy to see me?”
“No. Dog should wait for the master to call.”
“I've waited enough.” Dae moves up to him and touches Tops shoulder. Top suddenly grabs his hand and almost throws him over his shoulder. Dae pulls away the last second and jumps aside.
“What was this?” he asks calmly getting back his balance. He observs Top whose eyes are dark and voice hoarce as he mutters “You.”
“Already gotten attatched?” Dae throws out. Next he knows he is pushed against the kitchen wall, hands lodged above him in a stinging hold, Tops body pressed against his.
“Eh!?” he looks surprised. Top does not answer, instead he presses a rough kiss on Daes lips. Then he pulls away and takes few steps back, startled from his own behaviour. Dae wipes away the blood that flows from his busted lip, some of it is on Tops face. Dae walks to him and licks it away. He rustles Tops styled hair and grabs the hair to pull him closer.
“If you start something then finish it.” he hisses. Top pushes him off, Dae falls to the floor. He is not standing up, instead he smiles seductivly, unbuttoning his shirt. Top breathes heavily, seeing the blood has made him horny. He throw his jacket on the ground and takes off his tie. He uses it to tie up Daes hands.
“Oh, kinky.” Dae whispers into Tops ear, licking it.
“Shut up! I don't want to hear your voice.” Top takes hold of Daes jaw, pressing down hard, and kisses him again, he can taste blood. He rips off Daes clothes. He does not fight back, part of him is scared but another, bigger part of him, is estatic and aroused. Top pulls his onto his knees holding his tied hands. He unbuckles his pants, “Suck!” he commands and Dae obeys.
His lips touch it, he takes it into his mouth. His mind is hazy and he believs he is gone crazy because he does not feel disgust. Instead he does it on his own accord, would do it without the order. His hands sting where the tie cuts into them. Top puts his hand on his nape and pulls him closer. Daes gags but does ot pull away, tears fall from his eyes and snot from his nose. One last shove and Top pulls away. Dae looks up to him and swollows, some of it dribbles down the corner of his mouth.
Top grabs the bottle of olive oil from the counter and pushes Dae down onto the cold kitchen floor. Dae doesn't say anything, he trembles in anticipation, he yearns to be touched. Top pours the olive oil all over Dae but does not touch him. Dae raises his hips in effort to get closer to Top but gets only a smirk.
“Do you want it?” he whispers into his ear. But Dae does not answer, he only nods face distorted with desire. “Ofcourse you want it, don't you. Look at yourself, dripping already. Dog in heat. I'll give you what you want. Don't complain later, you asked for this.”
He shoves a finger in and Dae buckles, his back arches and he bites his lip to hold back his voice. Top pours more olive oil on him and adds fingers. At three he stops and pulls away. He roughly turns Dae around and pulls his ass up. Without a warning he enters, Dae almost screams.
“You already came all over my kitchen floor. Bad boy.” He whispers into Deas ear. Dae looks at the floor infront of himself and is surprised, this has never happened before, Top hadn't even toutched his front.
Top does not stop, he keeps moving his hips. Dae wants to grab ahold of something but his hands are tied. Pleasure and pain make him feel things that are new to him. Top bites his neck and he does not pull away, his lips are bleeding and face covered with tears. Then he pulls Daes collar so Dae cannot breathe properly. Dae does not yell him to stop instead he enjoys the feeling of world slowly dissapearing. His mind burst in bright colours.
Both of them fall onto the kitchen floor, Dae gasps for air, Top breathes heavily. Then he pulls away, wipes himself clean into Daes clothes and he unties his hands. Dae smiles at him, teeth red from his bleeding lips, and pulls him in for a kiss. Dae clings to him and finally whispers “Will you help me up? I need to clean up. You did it without a warning and without a condom. Now I am a mess.” Top does not say anything and just picks him up.
“I find it amusing, how you destroy me and then pick me up so gently.” Dae says to him looking right into his eyes. Top looks back, his eyes are dark and hurt.
“Why do you look like you are hurt? Found a piece of humanity lodged into that steel heart of yours? Or is something really wrong? Not that you will tell me anyway.” Dae raises his bruised hand to touch Tops cheek, he is interested in this weird man who gives him unspeakable pleasure.
Top carries him to his own big shower and rests him into the bath, then he slowly and diligenlty washes of the signs of their game, but he cannot erase the teethmarks or bruises, yet he does not ask if his partner is alright. Dae just looks at him as if he is observing a wild animal.
“Will you now give me breakfast? Though you have to feed me, my wrists hurt.” his voice is cheerful. Top helps him up and wraps him into a warm robe.
“Why are you silent?” Dae asks leaning on Tops shoulder as they walk to the kitchen.
“Cause you do not shut up. Thanks to you I wasted a fine morning.” Top finally says. He pours Dae a fresh cup of coffee and genlty puts it before him.
“It was you who just assulted me as I stepped in. But I am not complaining. This was the best sex I have ever had. Also, do you have Jekill and Hyde going on, or what is the deal? You are so cold and proper one minute and next you bite half of my shoulder off.” Dae sips coffee giving Top a chance to answer.
“It is your fault.” Top says putting bread into the toaster.
“Mine?” Dae rises his eyebrows. His neck, ass and wrists hurt, but his mind still tingles from the near death experience. He is afraid that he will get addicted to the feeling.
“Yes, yours. Somehow you get to me. Even in my dreams,” the last sentence is said so quietly that Dae does not hear it. He comes and looks at the mark the collar left on Daes neck. He touches the bruise with his finger, Dae shivers.
“I think you shouldn't do that again.” Dae mutters.
“It was bad?” Top whispers into his ear
“No, the opposite. It was too good.” Dae turns to him and genlt kisses his lips. “So what now, master. I am your blade, your toy, your whatever you want. Just please tell me before you kill me, I have one last wish.”
“And that would be?”
“A secret. Wait for the right time.” Dae pats Tops shoulder and stands up, it takes a second before he gets the balance right. “Also, I think You fucked some of my brains out. For sure you destroyed some other parts of me.” He stumbles to Tops living room.
“Where are you going now? Get back to your room. I do not have time for your nonsense. And didn't you want breakfast?” Top yells from the kitchen.
The TV is turned on and then Dae yells back “I took piece of toast. And I'll be staying here now.”
“WHAT?!” Top spills his own coffee all over the kitchen table.
“Hehe. Dogs place is beside his master. I'd follow you to work, but my ass tells me to have a quiet day, so I'll stay here and guard the fortress.” Can be heard over the noise of a comedy show.
Top comes to the living room and sees Dae cozily lazing on his favourite sofa, toast crumbs on his favourite carpet and a coffee mug on his antic table. He pulls his gun. Dae moves his head to the noise.
“You told me to tell when I'm going to kill you. I'm going to kill you, you useless, shitty, grumb spilling, table ruining dog!”
Chapter 23: Calm before the storm
“You won't kill me so I won't tell you.” Dae smiles and turns the TVs volume down. The livingroom is spacious and full of art. Top steps closer and looks right at him whispering “If you spilled on the table, I really will.”
“I didn't. If you look closely you will see the coaster under it.” Dae makes himself more comfortable on the sofa. Top comes beside him suprised. “Are you kidding me”
“No, I used it.” Dae smiles proudly. The truth is that the coaster had already been on the table and he just put the mug on it, but he will not tell Top that.
“You did.” Top pats his head, “Good boy.” Dae smiles at that, Tops touch is gentle and warm.
“See. Don't worry. I will be a good obidient dog here. Also look, no crumbs on your sofa and carpet.” Dae says to him showing that everythig is okay.
“Are you just being nice because you want to live with me?” Top squints his eyes, he feels as if he is played with. And he wonders why he isn't angry at that.
“And? You don't want me here?” Dae asks pulling his robe closer. His body aches and he really doesn't want to move much. Top does not answer, so Dae asks again “Silence? You cannot be honest, can you.” He smirks and it pulls his busted lip, a little drop of blood emerges.
“You can stay.” Top plurts, he comes closer and wipes away the blood.
“See, some honesty won't kill you. You wanted me,” Dae touches his face, his wrists are getting blue, “didn't you tell me that when we met, that you yearned for me. You even planted cameras in my room. Told my killing is an art. What has made you so shy?” He mocks
“You.” Top says harshly grabbing his collar.
“Don't be so violent. My neck is bruised.” but he smiles saying that. He feels weird, he has been handled roughly in his life before, but never has he felt that he liked that.
“Then don't make me.” Top says letting go of his collar.
“It is all you, you cannot blame that on me.” Dae says grabbing Tops hand, he doesn't know why he does that.
Top brushes his hand away, because it scares him. “I'm going to work. Don't break anything.” he says and goes to his room and gets ready. When he comes back through the living room Dae says to him.“I'll be a good doggy, but when you don't come back at right time, I may misbehave.”
Top looks at him laying on the sofa, looking comfortable and smiling as if he is having fun.“Is irritating me fun?” he asks.
“The best. Go to work now, or Samuel will get anxious, you are the boss. Rule over your underlings.” Dae makes a grand gesture with his arms and regrets it right away. He gringes.
“I'm going now.” Top leaves and Dae is left alone. He sips his coffee and puts the volume back. Yet he does not laugh at the comedy show. Soon he falls asleep.
Top comes back at night and sees Dae sleep on the sofa tucked into the robe. Top goes and takes a blanket and puts it over him. Then he sits beside him and just looks at his face. He gently touches his lips, then takes his hand away as if it got burned. He hates that gentle side of his, it makes him seem weak. All his life he is thrived to be strong. Now this person beside him makes him act weak and that scares him.
Dae slowly opens his eyes and sees Top sitting next to him, “Back already?” he mutters sleepily.
“You slept here all this time? Why didn't you go to bed?”
“I just fell asleep like this, and yes, I slept all this time. My back hurts so much now. Will you help me up?”
To stands and gives him a hand, Dae stumbles and leans on him. “I'm okay,” he says as he tries to stand on his own.
“You haven't eaten anything, have you.” Top says instead as he holds Daes forearm.
“I had the toast in the mornig.”Dae gets back his balance. It is unusual for him to show his weakness and to relay on someone beside himself. Now that Top mentions it his stomach grumbles.
Top smiles at that and says “I'll order something. I cannot starve my pet.”
“Okay. I want to get dressed, I'm still naked under this robe.” he smirks at Tops changed impression. “You have to give me clothes, you ruined mine this morning.”
“Come to my bedroom, I'll give you some.” And they both walk to the bedroom. It is huge and yet empty, walls covered in modern paintings. King sized bed dominates the room. A potted flower is on a little table. For Dae it seems fine, suitable for this powerful, yet empty man.
“Isn't it our bedroom now as we are cohabiting?” Dae says as he sits on the bed, “This is so comfortable,” he mutters as he lays on it. Top finds pijamas that he has never worn before.
“Take these,” he throws them at Dae who catches it without an effort. Even when he is hurt his instincts are sharp and movements calculated. “Thanks,” he answers. He let's the robe fall down, his naked body coverd in scars and bruises. Top looks at him, skin covered with the markings of Mr Alice, markings of some other, but the bruises are his marks. He shivers down inside.
“You like what are you seeing?” Dae asks as he puts on the pants. He sees Tops gaze and he likes that, it is so different from his previous masters. This master is nothing like his prevous masters. This master is his last.
“Shut up. I'll order us some food. Dont you have anything to do?” Top asks as he moves towards the door. Ofcourse he likes what he sees, but the morning had been too intense, he knows that if he breaks Dae it wouldn't be fun. Breaking others isn't fun, but Dae doesn not break, he does not yield. He takes what he wants and does want the wants. Top needs a person like that beside him because he has always broken the things he loves. But he does not love Dae, that he tells himself, a man like him knows no love, a man like Dae knows no love. There exists no love between beasts.
“I'm your pet, I have nothing to do. I should tell Samuel to bring my things.” Dae says lazing on the bed dressed in Tops pijamas. Top goes to the door and looks back, “I already told him.” Dae says “Thanks.”
“Nothing to thank for.” On that note Top leaves the room.
Dae looks at the ceiling and stretches his hand, this ceiling has no cracks in it. It is pure and white, so different from the past ceilings he has reched his hand to. Coming here might have been the stupidest thing I've ever done. He really might kill me. But he will be my last master, so it does not matter. I'll be with him aslong as he allows me to be. Infact I'm surprised he didn't throw me out. He told me at the beginning he wants me, now he has me but he does not seem happier. That man is a liar, a good one. But I am worse than him.
Chapter 24: First squalls
They eat dinner and make silly jokes, but their laugh is empty, they feel the uncertanty of tomorrow. They are just two wounded muts looking for comfort. At some point Samuel comes carrying Daes stuff, it is only a bagful of things. Just enough to survive, and light enough to run when needed. Samuel leaves early and Top tells Dae to go to sleep first as he has some work to do. Dae only nodds and goes to the big bed again, he crawls under the sheet and tries to fall asleep but he can't. Once again he looks at the ceiling, its empty white sucks him in, he thinks of his childhood. He remembers his own childish and cheerful laughter, free off everything. Then it was caught, bruised, raped, sucked dry of its innocense.
He doesn't know how many hours have passed, but he hears Top come in and sit on the bed, then he lays dowmn beside him. There is ditance between them. Top turns his back to Dae and thinks of hardships he needs to face. The future is so uncertain and fragile that even the slightest breath can break it. Once he was the man with a plan, now he was nothing but hurts bundled up and tied together with empty words. He is afraid to feel, feelings are a weakness that ruins everything. That knowing was beaten into him a long time ago.
He turns to other side and looks at Dae, Daes face is rough and not traditionally beautiful, but at the dim light he looks like something else. It seems that Dae feels his stare as he opens his eyes. “Cannot sleep?” he whispers.
“No. I just...” Top says and then stops himself. Feelings are weakness he reminds himself and says, “Everything is fine, go to sleep. Tomorrow I will need you. Are your knives sharp?”
Dae almost flinches, but feelings were cut from him in the days of hurt and days of changing masters. He doesn't even recognize what the slight tremble in his voice means, “My knives are always sharp for you, master.” He shifts a little closer and grabs Tops hand. “I told you, I'll be your dog, your blade and everything you want me to be. Trust me.”
“I trust no one. And so should you.” Top says and brushes his hand away, yet he doesn't turn away. They stare at each others face. Then Dae lifts his hand and touches Tops sharp jawline, traces it, pinches ear playfully, moves to his eyebrow, comes town at his nose, then rests his fingers on his lips. And Top does not stop him. His eyes are dark as always but also restless and needy. He licks Daes fingers, sucking them. Dae feels the thrill of this game. Top pulls him closer and kisses him, he bites Daes already bruised lip. Dae growls in pleasure and his hands wander under Tops shirt.
Then suddenly both of them freeze. Something is really wrong. They come out of the bed as Samuel barges in, Dae has already knife in his hand, Top pulls him back before he can stab Samuel.
“Calm down, dog.” he hisses angrily as he puts on his trousers. “Tell me what is going on,” he orders Samuel
“We're under attack, boss. It seems to be Shrews gang.” Samuel says, his face is emotionless and he looks just like another thug, tall and bulky, face full of scars, some tattoos visible on his hands. No one knows that he is also smart and the best hacker who Top has met.
Top smiles wide, “So he thought I am weak enough to take me out, what a fool. Come dog, let's have some fun.” He says to Dae. They get dressed, Dae grabs rest of his knives and his gun. Top takes his guns and puts them into the holsters. They take extra ammunition and run after Samuel. Tops forces have already cathered, the few he has left.
Top knows who leads this attack against them, he has been waiting for one, but not this soon. They move down the stairs and meet the first men, Samuel shoots them without a notice. When they get to the lower floor they hear explosion. It rattles in their ears as they keep running. They meet another squad of men, this time they are wearing bulletproof vests. Dae runs past Samuel and shoots them right between the eyes, on the last one his hand slips and he shoots the jaw off, leaving the man wheezeing on the ground. Next bullet finishes his suffering.
They don't talk as they move and kill. The blood flows faster than it has time to dry. They shoot and cut trhough their enemies. It has been long since Dae has felt this kind of thrill, it makes him exited. His eyes shine as if he is high, his lips are curled up in a smirk. Top looks him cut through their enemies, and sees a beast in a feeding frenzy. His own breathing gets faster, he yearns to touch this beast, to break him under himself, to tame him.
When the sun rises they have no one left to kill. The last enemie standing is Shrew, who is not stanig anymore as they have already tied him to a chair. Now there is only three of them in a room. Dae stands in the corner and plays with his knife, he still has that smile on his face, waiting to strike. Top has calmed down, he sits on a table and lights a cigarette.
“So you thought you could fight against me?” he asks calm and calculated. He can hear Daes fast and shallow breathing coming from the corner, the beast is still hungry. Top doesn't say anything. Shrew is scared out of his mind. He looks at Top and at Dae, then he jus stares at his own feet, he knows he has messed up, but he hadn't thought that The Boss had such a monster beside him.
“Answer me.” Top says and then he extuingishes his cigaret in Shrews hand. The room is filled with the smell of burning flesh, Shrew flinshes but does not scream. “If you remain silent I will abet my dog on you. He will cut you into shreds and then sew it back into the most beautiful art, but ofcourse you won't be there to see the masterpiece. So tell me who sent you. It wasn't you, you are not that stupid. Who told you that I am weakened? He lied to you, you don't have to protect him.”
But Shrew remains silent so Top nodds at Dae who comes closer, still smiling from ear to ear. He lifts his knife but does not srike, instead he drags another stool infront Shrew and sits down.
“Did you hear what my master said? I will cut you and cut you and cut you. But you will not die right away, you will feel pain until the pain you felt at the start seems like paradise. So be a good boy and tell my boss what he wants to know.” Dae says, face really close to Shrews. The man is in his forties, hair still dark, slight beard covering his face. He is wearing a suit, but not the expensive kind. His eyes are pools of fear, he sees no human in Daes eyes. He looks at the black collar and the tangling tag. What kind of a mess I've gotten myself into, he thinks breathing hastyly.
Dae leans back and plays with his knife. “I will count to three and then do the first cut. Then I will count to three again and cut. I'll stop when you please my boss with the right answer. Just so you know, I'm very good at not killing you. One, two, three.” he lowers his knife onto Shrews hand, he moves it up and down seductivly not yet cutting into the skin and flesh. He looks straight into Shrews eyes, and he cuts. Blood gushes out and Shrew flinshes. Dae takes out a flask and pours it into the wound. Now Shrew screams. Top lights another cigarette and Dae counts to three.
The little room they are in is filled with the smell of blood, burning flesh, cigarette smoke. Dae makes his 10th cut and moves to Shrews other hand. “Start talking, it will only get more painful.”
But Shrew stays silent. Top gets a call from Samueö, his eyes light up in anger and he steps closer, “You blew up my office,” he hisses and kicks Shrew in the stomach, the man falls to the ground with his chair, hitting his head against the floor. “You destroyed my paintings. This is...! “ he throws the cigaret he is holding into Shrews face. He grabs Shrews collar and whispers “If you don't spill what you know I'll spill your guts myself.” He stands and grabs a knife from Dae who growls but let's him have it.
“I am not joking.” he says eyes darker than usual.
“I won't tell.” Shrew says and spits towards Top.
Top avoids the spit and asks “Why? Newfoud loyalty?”
“You two will kill me no matter what.” Shrew almost sqeals as Top steps on him.
“True.” Top says and stabs Shrews stomach once and then again. Shrew doesn't scream anymore. Top gives the bloody knife back to Dae and says, “Finish him off. Then come with me.”
Dae cuts Shrews throat and then cleans his knife in Shrews pants, then he follows Top as he starts walking somewhere. They get out of the building, sit into the car and drive off.
Chapter 25: “I will”
Silence falls upon them who have committed more crimes than good deeds. Dae stares at his own bloody hands, sticky and warm. He looks at Tops, manicured and clean. They live in different worlds, breathe different air. Yet they are the same, monsters in human skin, beasts who devour and destroy.
The cars motor makes noise that invides their minds and ears. Dae should ask where they are going and what will happen to them, but he doesn't. The beast, the monster in him was unleashed. The little collar around his neck is all that tames him. He waits for orders, yearns for them, but Tops lips are shut. He looks ahead to the road, the houses and the world pass by. My monster, my dog – he thinks. A crooked smile creeps on his lips and then he kills it in a moment. Dae doesn't see it.
Knives rest on his hips and in his secret pockets, cold steel that has absorbed the heat of his body. He wants to clean them, so they wouldn't rust – blood gets in every nook and granny, and needs to be washed away, shoned away. But he doesn't have time, not yet. Are they escaping or closing in on their prey?
“I am a good boy,” he mutters by himself. Top lifts his eyes and looks at him. He sees a tired face, with the eyes of a beast, a mad man. Yet he isn't worried, this is his artist, his genius, his... Something more than a pet.
He doesn't say anything, and even if he did it wouldn't matter. He reaches his hand to the back seat and pulls out a box of wet tissues and throws the box at Dae, who cleans his hands as well it is possible without water. Some still remains under and around his fingernails.
Minutes pass, silence grows thicker.
“Are you up to kill some more?” Tops asks in a cold, yet welcoming tone.
“I am a good boy.” Dae smiles wide, eyes still lost somewhere where Top cannot follow, a place that is a home for the beast.
“Indeed, you are.” Top lifts his hand to pat his head, but pulls it back. Instead he says, “We arrive soon, kill everyone you see. Leave the old man with white hair alive, I need to ask him something.”
Dae nodds, he has understood - time to play is near. Top parks the car infront of an old mansion. They step out as if they have been invited. Then they open the gates and walk in. Forty to fifty men stand in the garden, infront of them an old man in white – clothes, hair, beard, even the eyebrows.
He bows to them and says, “I welcome you here as quests. I have heard a lot about you, young leader. And your dog too, maybe keep him on a short leash, I wouldn't want to see him slaughtered.”
This kind of reception isn't something Top waited for, he raises his hand and touches Daes shoulder, who haults and takes a step back, masters command is the rule. He won't act before he is told.
“Good, good. Come inside I'll serve you some tea. You can take the dog with you.” He points at the tearoom that is visible from the outside.
Top smiles, “If you offer so nicely, how could I say no. And the dog comes with me, who knows what might happen if your men decided to tease him.” he says politly. He turns to Dae, “Seems today we won't be fighting anymore. Come with me.” Dae looks at him and slowly the beast in him steps back, his eyes become normal. And as if the strengt is gone he seems broken, tired, only a human. He saunters behind Top as they go in. Instead of sitting Top leans on a column that decorates the room.
Dae stands beside him and stares at his own feet. He doesn't have bangs to cover his eyes that usually inspect the room, but this time it is not needed, he does not have the strenght to do so. He wants to hide away, escape. But he needs to stay beside his master, he won't be sitting if the master isn't, won't be eating if the master does not allow. He doesn't notice how he has gone back to thinking like that, how he has given away his freedom, just as he used to.
“Do you mind if I smoke?” Top asks politely, but already holding a cigaret between his slim fingers and the lighter in his hand. He smiles as if he stating the obvious.
“You'd smoke even without my premission, boy.” says the old man who is sitting and preparing the tea. Dae notices that the old man talks with familiarity, some kind of sincerety that is so rare.
“I'd prefer you to stop calling me a boy, old man.” Top says puffing out smoke, he then goes to the old man and sits on the pillow, Dae follows close behind. He sits close to Top but doesn't look ahead, instead he only listens.
“I call you whatever I want. I heard what happened today. How could you let that happen?” The old man says in a voice that parents use to scold their misbehaving, failing kid.
“Maybe I should ask you?” Top says calmly, “Weren't you the one who gave away my location and weakness to Shrew, by the way, Shrew is dead.” Little cloud of somke surrounds him, making him misterious, unearthly, dark eyes gleaming like a demon.
“You think I would be that treacherous?” Old man seems hurt by those words, yet he pours tea with unshaky hands.
“If I didn't I'd be a fool.” Another puff of smoke.
“And we both know you aren't one,” old man says cheerfully, but under the laughter there is sarcasm.
“I hope so.” A smile, a hint of understanding
“Yet, you are.” The old man places the cup infront of Top and then to Dae, all while talking, ”Because it wasn't me. I know what you are capable, bringing that monster here.” he snarks looking at Dae.
Dae lifts his head. He looks younger, more vulnerable than the old man had thought. How can this young man be the notourious beast, he thinks to himself. But he saw those eyes, that bloodlust, that hunger to devour everything in it's path before.
Top looks at the old mans face and almost knows what he thinks. “Isn't it beautiful, this gap between the man and the monster. Like a little good doggy flagging it's tail, and yet he can tear you apart like a wolf. You never know what might happen.”
“Remember those words, boy.” The man says taking a sip from the cup. Top smiles and answers honestly: “I will.”
Chapter 26: Red flower blooms
The old man asks them to spend the night. They take the offer as they have nowhere to go. The room they are given is big an luxorious. Top sits on the bed and looks at his hands. Dae shines his knives, they have been shining for a long time, but he still does it.
“You'll wear them out.” Top finally burst out and lifts his head.
Dae does not answer. Top stands up and pulls the knife away from Daes hands, Dae springs after it like an animal.
“STOP.” Top hisses Dae falls at his feet. “What is wrong with you?” he asks as he bends over and lifts Daes face. Daes eyes are empty and it angers Top. He slaps Daes face, “Listen to me, dog. Your master is talking to you. I don't want to see your plain lifeless face. Do you understand?”
Dae looks at the ground, blood dripping from his nose but he is not wiping it away. Top grabs his short hair and janks his head up. “Are you even listening to me!” Tops voice is full of anger and there is a hint of pain. His eyes look worried, little lines around his eyes are more evident than before.
Finally Dae lifts his eyes, he wonders why Top is so angry. Slowly, hesistantly he lifts his hand and touches Tops face. In an instant Top pulls away as if he has been burned. Dae looks at his own hand, just stares at it. There is blood under his nails. Ofcourse, no one would want to be touched by me. And he starts to laugh, with tears in his eyes he covers his face with his hands, smearing blood and snot all over it. On his knees, laughing like a lunatic he does not dare to look at Top.
The man in question stands by the bed, he is shocked by his own reaction. Daes hand had been so gentle, so pure. He is afraid of himself. Now he looks at crying Dae and does not understnd what he has done. He, who always is the one leading, the one showing the way, is now undoubtely lost. He kicks the bed, throws sheets around, breaks the pillow letting white feathers fill the air. Dae has rised his eyes, he looks those feathers falling but only thing he sees is Tops anger.
“I'm sorry, so sorry.” Dae mutters as he wipes his tears, only to smear the blood on his cheeks. “I'm sorry,” he stands up. “So sorry.”
“What are you sorry for?” Top asks with his usual calm tone. But his breathing is still hasty.
Dae looks at him, he didn't think that question would come. Usually masters would tell what he had done and make him pay for that. “What...” he stutters. His head is a mess, he doesn't understand what is going.
“What are you sorry for?” Top asks again taking a step closer. Dae does not back off. Top takes his cheek into his gentle palm, the other one moves to his neck where the black collar cradles his neck. “I did not mean to push you away.” he says so quietly that Dae could miss it if he isn't paying attention. But Dae hears every word. Top pulls him close and Dae rests his head on Tops shoulder. Some blood dirties the white shirt but it does not matter. A red flower blooms where the cheek touches the fabric.
Top pats Daes back and for once Dae feels safe. Safe from himself. The bloody hands slicing keeps repeating in his mind, red eyes of the monster keep blinking in the mirror, but now in the arms of his master everyting his forgotten, hidden as long as he hears masters heartbeat.
“I'm a good boy?” his lips draw on Tops neck.
“You are a good...” Top stops as he changes his mind, “You are mine.” Top pulls Daes face close to his, “You are mine, that is all that matters. I know you will obey my every word. So trust me. You are not to blame, you are innocent in those things. It is me, just believe. You are mine, so what you do is also mine. Remember that.” Top almost drowns in Daes eyes, he sees a little boy crying, he sees a monster running and he sees love. Once, a long time ago, that would've made him run. Now he embraces Dae as he is. Slowly he presses his lips against Daes.
Dae closes his eyes and just leans into the kiss, it makes the mosters go away. He wraps his hands around Top. Feathers have covered the floor, some blood dries up amongst them. Tops hands find their way into Daes hair and his fingers comb trough it, sometimes stumbling on scars hidden by hair. He lowers his hands and then pushes them under the shirt, more scars as he caresses Daes back. Dae arches against him. He already aches for what is to come.
Never have they been this gentle with each other, never have they closed their eyes in anticipation. Top lays Dae gently to the blankets thrown on the floor. Slowly he takes off their sweaty clothes, he takes off their masks. Both killers, both strong but inside only human. Scars cover both of their bodies, scars that tell stories of survival and pain. Top kisses every one of them, and Daes hands draw patters on his.
“You are mine and only mine, forever.” Top mutters as he leaves marks on Daes chest and neck. Slowly Daes creamy skin turns red and purple at places where Top plants his kisses, like flowers they bloom. And Daes nails leave scratches on Tops back, like roots and branches of his pleasure.
Rough hands can be gentle at times, while caressing the tights of a lover. Planting kisses on his way down making Dae moan. No fear of death can separate them now. Top takes Dae in his mouth, he has never thought that he would do that to a man. But at that moment the gender doesn't matter. Nothing matteres, only skin against skin tells a tale of survival. Future is uncertain but they know that they spend it together.
Dae holds Tops head and pulls him closer, but as he is about to come Top pulls away. Not yet he whispers as he gives Dae a kiss. Dae clings to him, kissing his neck and tasting the salt of their sweat. Tops fingers prepare Dae and make him pant and moan. “Give it to me...” Dae pleads.
“Not yet.” Top bites his ear. “Today let's take it slow.”
With one swift move Dae turns Top on his back and sits on his stomach. “What if I don't want to take it slow,” he smirks and runs his hands across Tops chest making him shiver in anticipation. Top grabs his ass and lifts him up a little, “Aren't you impatient doggy. You say you want it right now?” he smiles and his eyes are on fire.
Dae leans in and kisses Top, he licks the corners of his lips and murmurs “I want it right now.”
“Then you must have it.” Top moves him a little back and thrust into him. Dae yells out, holding his hands on Tops as he supports his hips. He trembles all over.
“Did you just come?” Top stops from moving. Dae pants on top of him, “Continue... Please.”
“Are you begging me?”
Dae puts is hands around Tops neck. Top does not pull his hands away, instead he asks “What are you trying to do?”
“I don't know, just please move. Make me lose my mind.” He squirms as Top holds him still not allowing him to move himself.
“Don't regret that later.” Top hisses as he turns them around again. Dae loves the weight that is now on him. Top is really close and he can see his face real close. He wraps his hands behind Tops neck and kisses him. Top starts to move as he finds better. Dae pants, his nails leave new roots on Tops back. Bodys slapping against each other, heavy breathing and moans fill the room. Feathers float up as they roll around on the plankets. Dae wraps his legs around Tops ass trying to pull him closer. Tops hands are wrapped around Dae and they are so close that they cannot make their heartbeats apart.
Only thing that covers them is the black collar around his neck and the key that is on a string around Tops neck. Now it is squished between their chest leaving a mark. Dae is so used to the collar that he doesn't feel it anymore, even worse, if it was taken off he would feel truly lost.
“If you want you can come.” Top whispers. Dae answers between heavy breaths, “I want to come together.” He smiles and Top melts to his eyes. “Let's come together then.” he says and pulls Dae closer.
World dissapears in white haze, clinging hands and panting mouths. They don't let go even after their breath settles. They fall asleep amongst the feathers and clothes, the shirt with red flower lays on the bed that they did not use. Top pulls one of the sheets over them and pulls Dae closer to himself. They don't say anything else, Top doesn't even light a cigaret. They just hold each other.
That night the monsters do not come.
Chapter 27: Of monsters and men
Top wakes before Dae and just looks his sleeping face, he lifts his hand to touch the cheek. He stops, his hand slightly trembling. So many times he has pulled away in fear. This time he rests his hand on Daes cheek and Dae opens his eyes, his lips curl into a faint smile and he snuggles closer to the hand. Then he wakes up and pulls away, he sits up taking the sheet with him. He looks around and sees the fethers and the mess on the ground.
Top rests his head on his hand and looks at Daes back, he slides his finger across one of many scars on Deas back, Dae shivers but does not pull away.
“What now?” Dae asks.
Top sits up too and looks infront of himself, he draws his hands through his hair making it stand up, he looks restless, “I don't know.” He answers honestly. “I don't know.”
“I don't know either.” Dae smiles, but it is a broken smile, he looks at Top and then rests his head on his shoulder. Top shuffles his hair and pulls him closer.
“I need to return soon. Samuel is waiting me back.” He sighs feeling that yesterday was just a dream, a fantasy, nothing real and lasting.
“You, not we?” Dae looks at him, trying to understand what is happening.
“I was hinting you are free.” Top laughs, but it is fake.
Dae takes Tops face into his hands and holds it looking into his dark eyes “I don't know what freedom is. I am going with you no matter what.”
Top rests his forehead on Daes “I hoped so.”
“What about orders?” Dae asks again.
Top gently shakes his head “I don't know.”
“My life is yours, you can do anything with me.” Dae reminds him.
After doubting for a second Top asks “Would you eat breakfast with me?”
Dae smiles wide this time, it is real and a small chuckle escapes his lips “I will. But stop being this mushy. It is not like you.”
Top kisses his lips, only a little peck “I don't know anymore what is like me.”
“Then I'll remind you.” Dae holds the key to the lock of his collar. “You are my master, you are the coldest and strongest bastard out there. You don't ask, you command and take what you want. Like you took me.”
Top wraps his hands around Deas neck and the collar that surrounds it, “You came willingly.”
“Because you showed me your own worth.” Dae kisses him and Top pulls him onto his stomach.
Someone knocks on the door and they both go from dazed love to sharp readiness. Dae jumps up pulls on his briefs and picks up his knife, Top also has is pants on and a gun ready. There is no hint of love and tenderness left in their eyes.
“Who is there?” Top asks, his voice does not show any hint of feelings. Daes hand does not shake, he listens if someone moves outside or not.
“My master asked you to come and have breakfast. It will be served in fifteen minutes,” answers a warm womenly voice.
Top starts to laugh, “We'll be there, don't worry,” he says. Dae sits on the bed and puts the knife down, he doesn't laugh.
“Seems we need to get ready. I'll go and have a quick shower, I am still sticky from last night.” He picks up his shirt and that too is dirty.
Top looks at himself, “So am I, you came all over me.”
“Let's shower together then.” Dae laughs, “I wonder what are we going to wear? Our clothes are ruined.”
Top opnes the door and sees the woman turning around the corner of the long hallway, so he yells after her, asking if they could get some clothes. She turns and nodds and then walks away. Top comes back inside, “So the shower, we have time to shower together now. Also you calling me along is really sweet.”
“I see no sweetness, it is practical. We only have 15 minutes.” Dae says taking off his pants and walking towards the bathroom.
Top walks behing him and hugs his shouldrs, he kisses his neck and asks, “Is that what you say to your master?”
Dae turns around to caress his face “So, suddenly you are a master again?”
“Stop blushing like a virgin, we have showered together before.” Top teases Dae when they step in the shower.
“Mostly because you don't know when to stop.” Dae says smearing soap on Tops chest.
“It is only because you are so erotic.” Top pinches his ear.
Ta splashes some water at Tops face, “Even the time you stabbed me? The time you let those apes beat me?”
Top pulls him closer, “Even then.”
“You're one sick bastard, aren't you.” Dae laughs against his lips.
Top hugs him and says, “But just the way you like, aint I?”
“Have I told you lately that I hate you?” Dae pulls him closer and smears shampoo into his hair.
“Ah! Music to my ears?” Top says and washes soap and shampoo of off them and pulls him closer, Dae mouths andother 'I hate you' but pulls Top close for a deep kiss.
They are late for breakfast. But no one says anything. When they came out of the shower new clothes waited them on the bed and someone had cathered and got rid of the feathers. They laughed and got dressed, put guns and knives back to their right places. Their faces became the usual cold masks when they stepped out of the room.
It was only three of them, but both Top and Dae knew that behind the walls and doors waited the bodyguards. This old man was someone really important, but right now not an enemy. Someday they may meet at war, but right now they had a common enemy.
So when the food is eaten and plates taken away by the same woman that brought them the clothes, they drink tea and Top breaks the silence with, “Old man, thank you for your hospitality.”
A weird smile plays on the old mans lips, his wrinkled old face twists in it when he says, “So you don't blame me anymore.”
Top smiles cold. “No,” he says, “not right now. I know you didn't send Shrew, you wouldn't play with such low mice. You are more honest than that.”
“On that point you are right, I wouldn't do business with the kinds of him. And if I wanted you dead, my boy, then you would be dead.”
Top stands and bows to old man showing his respect. “I'll be leaving today.”
“Take your dog with you,” old man tells with a cold look in his eyes.
Top looks at Dae who is still sitting and looking infront of himself, Top knows that Dae listens to everything and tries to find out what is going on, who is this old man and why Top bows down to someone. Top smiles, and the old man is surprised by his next words. “He wouldn't stay a step behind me.” Top almost boasts.
Old man shakes his head, “You'll get bitten one day.”
“Maybe that is what I want.” Top laughs when he sits back down.
“We are not talking about your kinks here. And has the dog got something to say?” The old man turns his eyes towards Dae who now faces him. His eyes look cold, usual and not threathening at all, he shakes his head. He doesn't know this old man, why should he have anything to say, and if he did say something, then what. His days are either full of blood or sweet pleasure, and sometimes he doesn't know which is which.
Instead he turns his eyes towards Top and encounters his smirk as he says, “The doggy remains silent. His voice is not for everyone to hear.”
The old man closes his eyes for a second as if he is in pain, then sighs and continues “I'm telling you to look out for yourself, feelings cannot be allowed in this game. The empire you built is grumbling and burning before your eyes. Are you going to let if fall to ashes just so you could hold this mut?”
In Tops eyes something dark shows its presence, but the smirk does not leave his lips, “I've always gotten what I've wanted, why not this time?”
“This time you are against more than you can swallow. You know, I think of you as my son. I don't have children and lately I've thought of leaving everything I own to you.”
Smirk leaves Tops lips, “Old man... You know I cannot accept something like that.”
“It is not yours to decide. I am telling you to abandon all that stuff, leave it behind. Your gang, your businesses and become a honest man. I will help you. But I have a condition. You cannot have that mut beside you.”
Hearing that Top looks at Dae who looks back at him. Top stands up and takes Daes hand, pulling him along. “I told you, you are out of your mind, old man. I am a monster, I cannot play an honest game and you know that. I cannot wear a smile like you. And I have worked too hard to abandon it all now. Better watch me rise from the ashes and be ready, one day I'll take what is yours myself, with my own hands. I do not need presents, and pity with it, as it seems.” Smirk is back now, and in his eyes a twinkle, the game has started.
“Thank you for everything until now. But don't think I am weak. And this mut,” he shuffles Daes hair, “this mut here will help me to rise above all.”
Old man sighs again, then he smiles, “I should've known. Since you were a child you have had your own vision of life. You never listened me anyway. I'll stay away from your way then, because I want to see what you and your mut are capable of. Make me proud.” The old man stands up and walks to Top. He puts his hand on his shoulder, “You really are like a son to me.”
Top pats his hand, “Old man, no need to get sentimental. I'll be seeing you again, but that time I'll be back to power. I'll show you what I can do.”
“Goodbye, my boy. Don't come here anymore, I cannot be involved with your kind. It would be disasterous if they found out that a high ranking politician had such warm feelings for a gang leader.” He takes his hands away. On his lips there is a smile, a mask he always wears, the one Top refuses to wear.
Top nods, “Same here, if my underlings found out that you think of me as a son, they would laugh at me.”
The old man looks at Dae, “And seeing from the suprise on the muts face, he didn't know in whose house he was sleeping at. Don't worry mut, I will not betray your master.” he tries to pat Daes shoulder, but Dae moves away really fast. “Don't like me much?”
“No.” Dae says honestly. He doesn't trust anyone but the master, and even the master does not know everything. Even the master may leave one day. He already had a scare, when the old man suggested Top should leave him behind. For a second he had thought that his death is near, but then Top had made it clear, he isn't leaving him behind and Dae had been surprised by the reliaf he had felt.
Tops honest laughter fills the room and he pats Daes hair who is surprised by everything going on. Even the old man chuckles, “Maybe I am starting to see his worth.”
“But as you see, only I can toutch him.” Top pulls Dae closer, and wraps his arm around Daes shoulders.
Dae looks the old man and back at Top, “Maybe stop talking of me as some damn pet, and as if I am not here.”
“I see you are showing your teeth.” Top jokes.
Dae leans close and whispers into Tops ear so the old man cannot hear, “I'll be using said teeth on something else if you don't stop.”
Top freezes for a moment, he realizes that this is what makes Dae so irresistable. How at one moment he is so weak, so commandable and then suddenly he lashes out. This suspense gives Top shivers deep inside. It is like searching for new art, something that moves ones heart, something that is so irresistable that it is priceless.
Then he shuffles Daes hair. They hear a cough, old man is shaking his head and just smiling the way old men smile when they see youngsters so in love that they seem to forget the world around themselves. “Pardon me, I will not be sending you two off. Go out from the back gate, a new car will be waiting for you, take it as a present from me. And... Ah, forget about it. Goodbye, boy. Goodbye, mut.” And he walks out of the door, two bodyguards close it after him. The slim women guides them out and gives them the keys. Outside waits a black BMW, they sit in and drive off.
Dae doesn't ask anything and Top does not comment. Silence befalls upon them as it usually does when there are no orders or arguments, only cold silence hanging like mist. Dae doesn't ask as he knows Top will stay silent, and that silence would probably hurt more than this coldness formed from unsaid words. Dae looks at his own hands, there is no longer blood under his nails. Now they seem almost clean, almost. Where do beasts go to die, he suddenly thinks looking out of the window. Their whole life is empty, as no one could love a monster, no one will be left to bury their twisted bones, which will stay at the mercy of nature.
Top doesn't say anything as he doens't know what to say, he doesn't ask as he is afraid of the answers. There are so many uncertanties, he is afraid that the moment he says them, they will dissapear entirely. He has so much on his mind, that sometimes he forgets the priceless piece of art beside him. He had called himself a monster and he knew he was one. He had known since he was young, that there can be monsters among men, that some take and never give back. And he knew that he was one of such people. And he had searched to meet other monsters like himself, but for so long he hadn't found any. There had been bad men, crazy men, but none had that darkness in them, something so unnatural that it couldn't be put to words. And then he had met Daes cold merciless eyes and felt the swift cut of his blade, and he had known that he had found what he had searched for.
The car makes a sound smiliar to a purring cat. Two men so close yet so far from each other. Silence like mist between them, hiding everything that could be but will not be said. Dae touches his collar and fondles the tag, Top feels the sudden hevyness of the key above his heart. They both think of monsters and men. Certain that they are monsters, certain that they are not allowed to be free.
Running again, as if it never ends. It rains, his clothes are heavy and wet, road slippery under his boots. His breath is hasty and his lungs hurt, his head is so mushy from the adrenaline that he doesn't even see properly. But his legs are so desperate to carry him far far away. He yearns for something so uncertain, so forbidden, yet unbearably gentle. A hand which makes everything dissapear, eyes endless voids that have taken his soul hostage. But it is only darkness here, cold and wet. No sound reaches him here. And there is no gentle hand in sight. Only bad dreams.
Or so he thinks, but a hand touches his cheek wet from the tears he has shed without knowing. This hand is so gentle and it wakes him from the dark emptiness that hides in him, he opens his eyes and sees Top looking at him, he wonders if it caring that he sees in these eyes. Dae lifts his own hand and puts it on Tops, he closes his eyes for a second and imprints this moment, so that he will never forget this gentle, gentle hand and those dark, endelss eyes.
“Are we at home?” He asks and let's go of Tops hand.
Top let's his hand fall on Daes shoulder, he does not smirk like usually, when he says, “At what's left of it, atleast. Did you have a bad dream?”
“I did, but I don't remember it anymore.” Dae looks out of the window, he does't want to face Tops allknowing eyes.
“Are you sure?” Top grabs his chin and pulls him closer.
Dae smirks and says coldly, “And if I remember, what good would it be if I tell you. I am what I am, you cannot change me even if you tried.”
Top looks him in the eyes, “Haven't I changed you already?”
“You have, but this part of me will never change. Let's go now. I bet Samuel is waiting for us.” He pulls away from Top and steps out of the car, the building looks almost fine from the outside, though upper windows are broken.
He starts walking towards the men outside, Samuel is in the front of them. Top comes after, his steps are soundless as he ligths a cigaret. “So boys, what are the damages?”
Samuel takes a step and opens his mouth, only to gasp for air and fall to the ground. Blood flows from the wounds on his back – gunshots echo on the street. Men infront pull their guns and turn around to fire back at where the shots came from. Ten strangers stand there, they are wearing masks.
Everything seems to slow down. Dae pulls his gun and fires, then he turns around and runs towards Top who also has guns out. They manage to get behind the car. Bullets hit the other side, the glass does not breaks. Old mans car is bulletproof.
Then the shooting stops. Dae peeks out, no ones there, both sides lay on the ground, they can hear people groaning. He opens the car door and slips onto the drivers seat and Top sits in too. Dae drives off hastily, his driving style is dangerous, he cuts corners and speeds to get out of there.
He looks at Top and sees blood seeping trough the shirt, right on the left shoulder. “Are you okay?” he asks, whispers as he does not have voice. Suddenly fear almost freezes him. “Where should I drive? Do you need a doctor?”
“I'm fine,” Top says pressing his hankerchief against the wound. “Just drive straight, I'll tell you when to turn.” His face is getting pale as the shock reaches him.
“Are you sure?” Daes voice trembles, his kunckles are white. He doesn't know why he is so out of himself. In the past nothing could faze him or make him lose himself this much.
“I'm sure, Dae. I survived your blades, don't think I'm this weak. You've seen my body, this is just a scratch.” He looks at Dae and smirks, “Are you worried about me? The bloody hound has feeling? What a suprise.”
“I see, you are fine. Pardon my 'feelings'.” He makes a sharp turn and Top hits his shoulder. Dae stops the car on the roadside.
“What the fuck!?” Top hisses and looks at Dae. There are tears in Daes eyes. Top tilts his head in wonder, but Dae just looks straight at him and says, “Don't you dare to die before me.” The words are loaded with angst and fear and something more. Dae hastily wipes the tears away and starts the car again and they are back on the road. Top doesn't know what to say and so he doesn't say anything.
When the time to turn comes he just says it and Dae does what needed. At some point they abandon the car. Dae just steals another one, then at some point he goes to the convienience store and buys them new clothes and get's rid of their clothes that they got from the old man, just to sure. They talk only when needed, nothing more. Dae treats Tops wound in some gas station along the way, he cleans and sews it, saying it will probably look ugly when it heals, Top doesn't say anything.
They stop infront of an usual and grey looking house. Dae helps Top out but Top pushes his hand away and walks to the door, he takes a key from underneath a flowerpot, the plant in it has died some time ago. He steps in, the house that should be covered in dust and spiderwebs is clean and smells fresh.
“This is one of my safehouses, there is food in the kitchen if you want anything. Feel yourself like home, as this is going to become our home for some time. I'm going to take a shower.”
Dae nodds and looks around, this one-story house seems cozy. Just to be sure he controls if the house is empty and even looks through the garden. When he is certain that there is noone there, he goes and sits down in the kitchen. He rests his head on his hands and stares at the white table. Who betrayed us like this? Was it that old man? Was it someone else? How could we be this careless? What now? How many people do we have left? His shoulder is just a flesh wound, just a graze, but it could get infected and...
He hears noise and bolts up knife bared and ready to fight, but it is only Top who steps in with a towel covering him.
“Would you help me with my shoulder again, I got it wet and it should be properly wrapped up. The first aid kit is in that big drawer.”
Dae takes it and puts on the table, Top sits on a chair. Dae gently cleans the wound and puts a clean bandage over it. Then he lets his hands linger on Tops bare back longer than needed, unconciously he tracks two big scars on his back. It looks as if Tops wings were cut off. “If you once were an angel, then I made you fall...” he mumbles.
Top turns around. “What did you say?”
“Nothing, it is done now.” Dae turns to put the kit away, but Top grabs his hand. “What is the matter?” he asks. Dae wants to pull away.
“Come here.” Top says really gently and the kit falls to the floor spilling its insides. Dae turns to him, he looks so lost. Top pats his lap and repeats, “Come here, come on.”
And so shyly Dae goes to him and sits on his lap, he wraps his hands around Top and rests his chin on his good shoulder. Top wraps his healthy hand around his back and pulls him closer.
“It's alright. Don't worry about useless things. I see you have become so infatuated with me that you became like this. It is quite cute.”
“Shut up!” Dae mumbles agains his bare skin. For a moment in the car he had thought that Top was a goner and that then he would be all alone in this harsh world. He holds onto Top with such force that Top mumbles, “Hey, could you please let me breathe. It would be disasterous if I died now.”
Dae lets go but doesn't stand up. Instead he looks straight into Tops eyes. He opens his mouth as if he wants to say something, but then closes it again. Top lifts his good hand and touches Daes cheek, Dae snuggles clsoser and closes his eyes. Tops lap is so warm, his hand is warm too. Maybe even too warm. Dae opens his eyes and presses his forehead against Tops.
“You have a feaver, don't you...” he mumbles. Now looking at Tops bare skin he bolts up. “You should get to bed, today has been hasty.”
“Are you inviting me?” Top smirks, but it does not have the usual power.
“Shut up and stand up.” Dae takes his hand pulling him up.
“Stop worrying about me. I'm fine.” Top says, but he leans against Dae when they walk to bedroom.
“Rest now, I'll go and make look around to see, if we indeed are safe. I don't want any more suprsises like before. We cannot be careless now. It seems that we are losing, aren't we. Hiding like rats, fleeing from the sinking ship.”
“You don't need to worry about that. But stay here with me.” Top pats the bed besiede himself, but Dae shakes his head. “I'll rest later, I need to check if everything is okay.” And he leaves the room. Top looks after him, but the sleep takes him away so fast.
When Dae gets back Top already sleeps. He sits beside him trying not to wake him. He gently draws his hand through Tops hair and then curls up beside him. Gun right there, ready to be grabbed at any moment, one hand on Top and other on the seathed knife. Like a guardian spirit looking after his wounded master. Like a fateful dog at his masters side, never leaving, always ready to bite anyone who steppes too close. At some time in the night Top wakes up for a while and sees Dae next to himself, he quietly pulls the cover over Dae and falls back asleep.
This is the last from the chapters I've already posted on Asianfanfics. I don't know when the next chapter will be ready. But I am planning to write it soon. Feel free to comment and ask me some questions if you want.
Chapter 29: Where do we stand?
Where do we stand?
Top wakes up alone, but the bed beside him is still warm. His shoulder is on fire, and he moves it only to feel the stings. He knows he is safe, his doggy is being a good boy and looking after him just like he should. But there is no affection, at least like that it seems. Just work, just blind obeying to the orders he should give, but has failed to for some time. His feelings are a mess. He has lost almost everything – the paintings, his group, all his best men lay dead somewhere, and he isn't even there to bury them. He has no idea who is or isn't behind this.
He stands up and walks to the kitchen but stops at the door. He sees Dae sitting there and looking out of the window as his hands shone the blade, his thoughts seem to be somewhere else. Then he turns his empty eyes toward him, and Top hopes that they light up as he sees him. But they painfully remain the same. He doesn’t stand to greet him and Top feels how his chest tightens. Playing it cool he walks in and asks if there is coffee, Dae nods towards the kettle on the counter. Then he continues to look out of the window.
Silence befalls upon them. This is not their usual silence this silence right now is just empty. As if something between them has changed, like the connection they have has been severed. Top goes and pours a mugful of the lukewarm coffee. He stares at it, he stares at Dae. Then he throws the coffee at Daes face but Dae does not even flinch. It drips from his short hair onto his shoulders and onto his knife. He wipes it away and puts the knife on the table. He tilts his head a little hand rising to the collar around his neck.
Top wants him to say something, anything at all. He yearns to hear Daes swears, at least then he shows feelings. But Daes lips stay sealed. No words, nothing at all. Top looks at the empty mug in his hands and throws that too. Dae catches it mid-air and gently puts it on the table.
“Master, is something wrong?” he asks emotionlessly.
Top takes a step back, something is not right. Then he hastily steps to Dae and grabs his neck. “What is wrong with you?!” he hisses. The collar under his palm is wet with coffee.
He feels how the cover is pulled over him. He keeps his eyes closed. He wants to snuggle closer, but he doesn’t move a muscle. Tops skin against his is still too warm. He wants the moment to linger, but slowly his mind drifts to the lands of sleep.
Red petals fall on his closed eyes, it feels quite warm and quite like blood. He dares to open his eyes and sees his father’s face right before his. He pushes as hard as he can and crawls away. Fear he feels is etched in him, it has been raised with time and now he feels it all rush in as if a dam has broken. He feels sick, he feels so alone, so small.
Maybe he knows it is a dream, maybe he doesn’t. Maybe it doesn’t even matter as this is as real as his past. He stands up and looks around, there is no one there. No one at all. Only red petals flow in the warm wind. He looks at his hands, they are clean. Without a scar.
He walks on a field of white snow, it does not feel cold under his bare feet. But red petals slowly cover everything, a crimson fall. He knows he needs to find something, no someone. He needs, it is a must. That someone is all he has in this world. Yet no one is there.
And the petals cover the path, and they rise over his knees, over his hips, over his chest, over his neck. And he feels like drowning in this red. A hand pulls him out. A warm hand, a rough hand, a gentle hand.
This yearning makes him weak. He does not need to be saved, so he lets go of that hand. No, he wants to be saved, wants to be cared for, wants to be looked after. That petting hand is all he needs. But that mean letting go of that last part of himself. That means letting go of the pain. That means becoming something more than a tool, a pet, a dog. Something more than a blade for killing.
But he is not worth to be something more than a monster.
He opens his eyes afraid to feel tears on his cheeks, but they are dry. He gets out of the bed so quietly, one longing look at his masters sleeping face and then he locks it all deep inside. Away, so it would not bother his master. A monster, a dog, a beast – ready to serve the one who tamed him. He touches his collar so longingly. A sigh does not leave his lips as he closes the bedroom’s door.
Chapter 30: Bloodhound
Hand on his neck is rough, the collar almost cuts into his skin, the lukewarm coffee drips down his neck and chest. With weird wonder he looks into his masters eyes. The flames of anger make him tingle inside, yet he tells himself no - a monster has no use for feelings. He gently puts his hand on masters' and tells with quiet and somewhat caring voice:
"Nothing is wrong with me. I just realized I need to be more efficient as I am the only one who can protect you in this state. Look you almost ripped the stiches."
The grip on his neck gets tighter. "I don't buy your bullshit. Why are you like this? Obeying and being caring. Didn't you say you don't want a master. Now you are like a dog, a real one. I liked how you fought back." He janks his hand away, leaving red marks on Daes neck. "I hate how you are right now."
"You are responsible for what you have tamed." Dae suddenly mutters.
Top rages on, "St. Exupery... So you are a smartass now? So you've become tamed?"
"No, maybe I have tamed you. Made you weak. You care too much for a monster like me. I am worthless, yet you call me a masterpiece." He chuckles, but it sounds more like weeping.
Top, who had turned his back on Dae, turns around. "Is this what this is about? You thinking you are worthless. Is this all this is?"
Dae stands up, he has a knife in his hand, "All? I am a monster, a murderer. And nothing in this world can redeem me. Not even gentle hands." He throws the knife to the floor. "You don't mind the blood on your hands, my hands?, but I do. My hands will never be clean, my skin has drowned in red, my mind in crimson. I am not okay. And you know that. I am coping somehow right now by protecting you. I cannot allow myself to feel. Monsters have no use for feelings." he almost screams. Tears fall from his eyes as if a dam has broken inside. "You dont understand, it is who I am. Why do you want a monster like me?"
As Dae falls on his knees Top stands there towerng over him. Then Top starts to laugh. Dae rises his eyes to see his unhuman grin. Top pulls a chair, sits on it and lights a cigaret.
"My dear, stupid stupid dog. You are my monster. You are afraid of being one? But I am not. Like I said once, the blood on your hands is on mine too. I will take the blame. You are not the worst out there 'cause I am much much more of a monster than you will ever be. You were made into a monster, a killer. But I was like this on my own will. My facination with murder and art, murder as art." he chuckles again. "You are not just a monster or a tool or a blade for me. You are mine, my good boy. I will not give you away, not even to your own mind. Now come here." He moves his hand in rude chesture, calling Dae like a dog.
And Dae goes, he doesn't even stand up, he crawls to Top and lowers his face on Tops waiting hand. Top yanks him up from the collar and looks straight into his eyes. "Just be you. Even if it is a monster, even if it is bad, just be you. Do what you want to do. You are free. I have no use of you if you are a cold obeying machine." And then he kisses Dae. And it is not a rough kiss with the sidetaste of blood, no it is gentle, almost a peck on the lips, tasting like the smoke.
Dae collapses at Tops feet still weeping. His walls have broken down, there is only his bare being scarred from all the hurt he has been through. Top pats his head and puffs out some smoke. He smiles, he got through to Dae. And he himself had lowered the walls and regognised his need for Dae. He mumbles, "You are a good boy."
And Dae mumbles back "I am a good boy."
And so they sit in a kitchen of their safe house, a master who fell for his dog, and a dog who finally realized it is okay to feel. But the fight has not ended yet, they still need to face the world. Short time of recovery will soon come to an end.
Chapter 31: First
Few months later
For what it is worth, he had really tried to make it work. It took years to build his empire, it took years to make it grumble. But it took only few months to make it dissapear. New gangs took over. He was silent, even forgotten, but he was alive and that was all that mattered.
Time flows slowly now that they don't have to fight. But the beasts inside them are becoming restless. Slowly, like big cats in the undergrowth, they are starting to make their move.
Four men sit in a fancy private room of an expensive restaurant.
"I heard rumors that they are back in the town, the reaper and his hound."
"Yes, I too have heard about that, but why aren't they making a move?"
"Not making a move is his move. He is waiting for us to make the first move. He does not have enough people to fight us."
"Yet. But does he even need them? As long as it is him and his dog, everything is possible. Do not underestimate them. Look what happened to Mr. Alice."
"That old pervert? He got what he deserved. Good riddance. But yes, we should not underestimate them. That is a must. I'll tell my people to avoid them at every cost. And advise you to do the same. We don't need to give them the chance to pluck us out one by one."
"He was once the king of this city, he knows better than anyone else how hard it is to keep a watch over it. And he knows people. "
"He knew people. Now we have exterminated most of his contacts."
"I doubt. Don't get too cocky, he climbed to the throne though bodies, he fell from the throne through dead bodies and I bet he is capable of rising once more. We need to get rid of him first, or we are not the true rulers of this city."
"I agree with him, we need to be careful and we need to get rid of him and his dog. Don't forget that bloody monster he walks with, it will certainly bite our necks if we kill the master before him."
"Then the dog it is."
They all nod, smirks on their faces as if they have already won.
Chapter 32: Shadowless bodies
Death is always near, some days closer than others, sometimes too close for comfort but yet again it does not sweap with its scythe. Even if death waits beside their beds, even it knows it is not time yet.
Dae looks Top sleeping as he sits by him on the bed. Tops shoulder has already healed and he can move around without difficulty, but Dae still keeps an eye on him. Fear of losing the only person he has in the world is eched very deep in him. If he was a sentimental person he would think it is love that keeps his heart uncomfortably warm. But as he is only a beast amongst men, he thinks it is loyalty and devotion to the master, the only one he will ever call his.
Past few months have been very difficult. They have had to move from place to place unnoticed because there are people after them. More than once they have had to kill. But now they have finally figured out who is the man behind their downfall. While the respectable world knows him as an excellent businessman and philanthrope the undeground calls him Bear. Bear owns half the city and yearns to own all. He has four smaller bosses under him, all four known bastards and psychopaths, ready to destroy most in their way. But Bear is worse than them, he has the recources and position. Once Top too had it all but Bear managed to outsmart him and take his place.
Maybe the worst about this all was being outsmarted, Top thinks as he lays eyes closed. He knows Dae is right there, guarding him from whatever may strike. So near and yet so far. Once they had something special btween them, now the waiting and stress, fear of death and failure has made their relationship strained. Was it a relationship in the first place? Or was it just lust? He does not open his eyes, he does not grab for Dae and pull him close for a kiss. He just has his eyes closed to the world and failure he feels he is.
Top knows that it is almost impossible to gain back what he had before. But there still is a chance, he is not alone, doggy is still next to him. If he was a romantic he would say that he does it all for love. But he is a cold hearted murderer and knows he does it for power. But still the two of them, no matter how much of monsters they are, cannot overthrow a big syndicate with roots in politics and old money by themselves. But they will try still. They don't know how to live any differently, their connection to that dark underworld is all they know.
The ones after them have forgotten what they are capable of. Everyone who has tried to kill them is gone now. The ones who came by themselves died in few seconds, the ones who came in a group, found themselves in a hurricane of bullets and blades. And this time, finally they have an ace up their sleeve.
Oppurtunity to take back their kingdom built with sweat and blood had presented itself few weeks ago. Bear has a gay son, and to save his face Bear had arranged a marriage with a very respectable lady from an old rich family, but the son had run off. Before anyone else, Top and Dae had found the boy and made a deal with him. Now they had someone inside, very close to the Bear. Better chance than they had ever thought they could have. And they will use it, even if they are unlucky, they will go down trying their hardest.
Peaceful life is something they cannot have. Even now sitting there next to Top Dae feels how his hands tremble yearning to kill. He bites his own cheek tasting the blood. He flinches when he feels Tops hand on his shoulder.
"I didn't hear you waking up." he notes emotionless.
"I wasn't sleeping in the first place." Top says as he moves himself to sit next to Dae. He rests his tired head on his hands and stares at the floor of their hideout. It is not shabby but Top misses the rich life he used to live. Now, even having proper toilet paper was something he was blessed with.
"Thinking too much?" Dae asks.
Top looks at him with a slight suprise. Dae showing emotion? He nodds, "I think in our situation we cannot think too little. You cannot sleep either? We should be safe here, you know. You checked the premises. Just rest for a bit," he tries to smile, but musters a tired movement of lips," I can look after myself. I am not some princess."
"I cannot sleep... nightmares." Dae wonders why he is this honest. Has the tiredsome stress broken his brains. But indeed, nightmares keep him awake to the point he is too afraid to fall asleep.
Top moves further back on the bed and pats at the sheets next to him. "Come here, for once I'll guard you while you sleep." And he means that, maybe he yearns for some warmth too, something that will make his mind shut off.
Dae moves his head sligtly looking at Top who has much more lines on his face than he had before, big circles under his eyes and hair a mess. Silently he takes off his boots and then crawls next to Top. He rests his head on his shoulder and shudders when Top wraps his arms around him. He does the same, his hands clamper into Tops shirt. And then he breaks down like many times before. Tears fall from his eyes and he trembles. Top holds him close and mutters soothing words. He then lifts Daes chin and kisses him. Tears smear on their faces while tongues touch gently, then rushing, teeth almost clanking together. They taste blood. For them that is better than useless sweet words and gentle lies.
In a world that wants to eat them they waste no time. They almost rip clothes off just to feel skin against skin. Dae does not cry anymore, he leaves kisses on Tops neck, on his stomach, to the side of his tigh. He takes him into his mouth savouring the taste. Tops hand rests on his nape, but it is not foreceful. They enjoy each other. Rush wares off and they just touch and touch. They do not seek release like they used to. Now they seek comfort and understanding in the short moment they have.
For a while fear and plans are cast aside. Only mouths and hands and skin covered in sweat. They make each other come with hands and mouths, swallowing every drop in almost ritual bliss. And then they fall asleep holding onto each other. Getting the sleep they both very much need, and getting the comfort in times that are too grim for an happy ending.
But what is happy ending for us, would never be an happy ending for them. They seek no ending at all. They seek for a life that burns bright, so bright that their bodies cast no shadows. They themselves will be the shadows, who move silently through masses, until they manage to behead the bear and his four snakes. They will leave no survivors.
Chapter 33: Four snakes - Cobra
Tick-tock goes the clock. And sometimes the bomb too.
Dae laughs as he disarms it. This is how they mean to kill him? First they separate him from the master, he gets that is a good idea. Dae knows that it is one of the snakes that is after him. Not a bad plan trying to kill me first, he has to admit. Master needs him too much, relies on him too much. And because of that Dae will not give up and just die. He has decided to call this snake Cobra and he is after him now. Kill the first snake, then kill them all. That is how it will turn out. When Cobra is gone there'll be three left: Mamba, Boa and Viper - Bears dear accomplices. But not fore long, Dae smirks as he picks up the disarmed bomb and moves through the corridors. Cobra should be somewhere near, waiting. Ofcourse he is such a narcissistic psycho who wants to see the explosion himself and he will see it real close.
Dae is like a shadow, starved wolf ready to do everything fot the pack, for his master. He hopes that master is alright and knows he needs to act fast. He plants the bomb, makes it tock again. With a smirk he leaves the building. Cobra should be watching him right now, maybe he is confused, maybe he wonders what is going on. As he stumbles through the corridors to see what is wrong he sees the bomb with red shiny one. And that is the last thing he sees.
Dae laughs as he walks away, he doesn't even look back. But he knows that Cobra was the weakest of them, who else would fall for such trap. Deep inside he had wanted a better fight. Victory as such leaves a bitter taste in his mouth - this fight was not worthy at all. One head slain, three to go. But first master needs to be found. He openes his phone, he had placed a tracker on Top, and Top had placed one on him. Sadly the one on him was thrown away on the first chance. Master does not know that.
"Damn, we failed."
"Sarcasm does not help us here. He was stupid to think the dog will fall for is trap."
"Many have fallen before."
"Heh, you think this one would too?"
"We all hoped that, even you."
"Cause I know you shitheads are too scared to face him yourselves and I didn't want to get my hands dirty."
"Come on guys, no fighting among ourselves. We cannot allow that now when one of us has perished."
"Have you read the dogs file?"
"No, not yet. We only got it yesterday."
"Well, I did. We think we have underestimated him bigtime."
"Again with that sarcasm."
"Can't I. Maybe listen to me next time when I say he is a tough guy."
"He is one of Mr. Alices monsters."
"See, underestimated him again."
"Yes, well, I do admit we should have done some reasearch before we attacked them."
"See, admitting your faults."
"Ah, just fuck you."
"Enough you two. Let's start planning now. No working alone, we cannot let him pick us out one by one."
"I will try, but if the two of you get on my nerves I will go by myself."
"I can't hold you here, but alone it will be death sentence."
"We did underestimate him, but don't overestimate him either, he just a man. One man."
Three years ago
"He is just a man. One man." says a man in charge. He knows he has enough of guars to keep him safe. And he would spot a small army that would be needed to kill him with ease.
A shadow moves through the carage, body falling after a body, so fast that they don't even have time to scream. And those who want are muffled by a rough hand, last they see is a man with a mission. Or just a beast let loose on right people. Corridor after corridor guards fall victim before they can alert their mates. With guns, knives and enough ammo to kill hundreds he moves through doors, corridors and people. And he reaches his real target, blood on his hands and face, not even out of breath. He smiles like a madman and he does what is ordered - kills and kills and then kills some more. He may be just one man but he has killed thousands, more than one human soul can really handle. And he is yet to meet his end.
And somewhere one other man is watching him, a man with more than just the bloods of thousands on his hands. A man with a mission to claim this monster as his own.
They keep forgetting that they are not alone. They keep forgetting that will to live is greater than any order. And that maybe love is there too, somewhere under the blood, pain and violence. Or maybe love is all those three, atleast for those two. One waiting his true companion, other searching for one true master. And when they meet, some little snakes are no harm. Even the scary bear can be defeated. But right now they know that they have to be sharp like knives, fast like bullets and as far from human as possible.
Chapter 34: Four snakes - Cobra
He sits calmly, they have not hurt him in any way. He misses two things - cigarettes and his dog. He knows that he will get one sooner than the other. They have left him alone. He thinks if this is the place to repent and reflect on his own actions this far. He was on the top, he was the Top. Now he is down, rock bottom. He has hit some of those rocks on the bottom and is now bruised. But he is not dead yet, and he is not alone. Maybe if he was alone he would've given up a long time ago.
Someone enters the room. A tall man with a snake tattoo on his neck and face, it seems to be a boa.
"Hello there!" Top says with a smirk on his face. He is not tied to a chair, instead he sits calmly on the little sofa in this dimly lit room. The snake man sits on a chair that is behind a small writing desk. Top had searched everything through, the room was totally empty. Only the sofa, chair and little table.
His "hello" is met with a smile. "You seem happy."
"Shouldn't I be?"
"For a dead man, no."
"Yes, soon you will be dead."
"He has said lot of things. Once he said he'd fuck my mother. I told him to find her grave. He didn't take that so well."
"Sarcasm does not save you."
"Who says I need saving?"
"Your dog is probably dead by now."
"I doubt it."
"You two are not invincible."
"Neither are you."
Top stands up and walks to the snake man. "I feel sorry for you."
"Cause you think that my dog is more dangerous than me."
A pencil pierces the aorta just where the snakes eye has been tatooed on the neck. Only bloody gurgles are the answer, with a wet tump sound the body falls to the floor. Brightly coloured carpet slowly turns dark. Top wipes his hands in the snakes jacket. Then he takes his gun and phone. He finds cigarets and a lighter. With a smile he sits on the sofa. Now he waits for his puppy to reach him.