Behind the mask 04/?By Marea67About:
Kevin/Scotty and others.Rate:
It will have NC-17 at some point.Summary:
When Scotty has to deal with too many disasters at once, William offers him a solution that will change his life*****
His back protests as he tries to move and Scotty’s eyes are suddenly wide open. There’s light around him. Not just the sunshine, but also the lamp on the ceiling and one on the wall. There’s electricity again! He quickly looks around and he sees that Kevin is gone and that his blankets are neatly folded on the chair.
“Oh, you’re awake.” Kevin comes in with a tray in his hands. The tray trembles suspiciously and Scotty immediately moves to take it out of Kevin’s hands. “Thank you. I guess, my hands are not as strong as they used to be.” He sighs.
“No.” Scotty says, wondering if he should tell Kevin now about his desire to leave.
But there’s coffee . And tea. And biscuits. And jam. And Scotty’s hungry.
“I’m sorry, there were only some biscuits left. I have no one to do the groceries now that Dryden is gone… Cupboards are practically empty. He would go into the village nearly every day, so there was no need to store food…
I was hoping that, maybe, you could get some fresh supplies in the village? It’s not that far away from here. I sleep a lot during the day… And the nights… so you’ll have a lot of time to yourself, I’m afraid…” Scotty feels some sadness for the man he used to know and he cannot bring himself to bluntly say that he wants to leave.
“I will go to the village later on.” He promises with a smile that is sweeter than he had planned to make it. He feels it’s the least he can do.
“Thank you so much.” Kevin sounds extremely grateful and once again it makes Scotty feel weird.
He thinks about all of Justin’s stories. Kevin changed. Kevin is mean. Kevin is a bully. Kevin is violent. Kevin beat someone up… Yet, despite Scotty’s vivid imagination, he cannot imagine Kevin being strong enough to beat anyone up. He cannot even hold a tray steady, let alone punch someone down!
Or is Kevin perhaps trying too hard to be nice? Scotty doubts that as well. It would seem that Kevin is still the same polite person that every man in the Walker-clan is. William, Justin, even Tommy, they are all kind, polite and helpful. So, it would seem like Kevin is just the same person he always was?
“Your belongings have been brought up this morning.”
“This early?” Scotty says, but a look at the clock tells him it’s nearly ten. He can hear soft laughter from behind the veil.
“They were here at around seven. I opened the door for them and they brought it all upstairs.”
Scotty feels annoyed. Damn! Now it all had to be carried back downstairs again and it would all be so inconvenient.
“Why don’t I show you your room? I hope you will like it… I tried to clean it up a bit, but I’m afraid I’m hopeless…”
“Oh, it’s okay, I…” Scotty wants to tell Kevin that he doesn’t plan on staying, but then he bites his lip. There’s so much eagerness in Kevin’s voice and so Scotty caves. And Kevin put so much effort into the cleaning of it apparently. “I’d love to see the room.”
Up the stairs, second door to the right. That is where Kevin stops and opens a door.
“I opened the windows this morning to let in some fresh air. I hope you don’t mind?” Kevin apologizes again. Scotty shakes his head. “This would be your room. I hope you’ll like it. Of course, you can make changes if you wish.
And if you don’t like it, well, then we can always see if one of the other rooms is more suitable…” The walk up the stairs seems to have exhausted Kevin, because he sits down on the bed, out of breath.
“Are you okay?” Scotty kneels down.
“Yeah.. Just.. Not used to moving around so much…” Kevin’s breathing is fast and superficial. “My room is next door. I’ll just get my pills…” He stammers. “Have a look around, okay?” Kevin gets up again and stumbles out the room, dismissing Scotty’s attempt to help him.
Scotty has a quick look around. The room is light and airy. Walls are in a neutral white, with an a few little paintings here and there. The bed is strong and feels comfortable. And to his surprise there’s a little en-suite with a shower, a toilet and wash-basin. Clean towels.
He returns to his room and only now notices the small picture on the bedside-table. He picks it up and smiles. He hasn’t seen that one in years. Justin and him, playing in the sandbox, which they had turned into a mud-box somehow. Hadn’t it been done with Kevin’s help?
He cannot remember it so well… It certainly wouldn’t have been Tommy. Tommy had always tried to ignore them. No, it had to have been Kevin. Gosh, they looked like creatures from another world… All dirty… And suddenly another memory comes back to him.“Kevin! Kevin! You have to get him out of the apple-tree!” Nora nervously cries.
“Those branches are too thin. They won’t hold my weight.” Kevin replies.
“Do something!” Nora begs and Scotty cannot help but stare down at the equally frightened Justin. He’s unaware that the fear that he hears in Nora’s voice, feeds his own.
“Just? What happened?” Kevin asks his baby-brother.
“He fell. Almost. He’s ‘cared now.” Justin replies and, with a sigh, Kevin climbs up to where Scotty is holding on to the branch, as if his life depends on it. Unable to get closer to Scotty, he knows he has to coach Scotty into coming closer to him.
“Scotty, honey, I can’t go any further than this, I need you to be a big boy. I need you to come here. Move. Just a little bit…” Scotty shakes his head. “Come on, baby, you can do this. I have faith in you. I
know you can do this.” Another shake of the head. Kevin crawls a bit step closer, but there are soft cracking sound coming from the branch.
“I need you, Scotty. I need you to do this with me. I need you to move towards me. I can’t do this without you.” Kevin’s voice is soft, enchanting, and slowly Scotty lets go with one hand to reach for Kevin. Kevin’s grip on the boy’s hand and wrist is firm.
“I have you. You
cannot fall anymore. Slide over here.”
Scotty closes his eyes and feels the branch move away from underneath him with a breaking sound. He yelps in fear, but a bigger force pulls him up and a second later he’s safely in Kevin’s arms, while Nora and Justin stare in horror at the branch that Scotty had been on and which is now on the ground. A few meters lower.….
Scotty closes his eyes. Even today he can still feel Kevin’s arms around him. Tightly. Safe. Protective. In fact, there was only one other place where he had ever felt equally safe, as in Kevin’s arms, and that was whenever he was with Justin. Kevin had been the only other person, aside from Justin, that Scotty had ever entrusted his life to….
Scotty looks down on the picture and it feels like he had always known that neither of them would let him fall, that they’d be there for him. …. And this means that he cannot let Kevin down either.…
A loud sound of something falling makes him turn around, leave his room and dash into the room that he assumes to be Kevin’s. Kevin is on the floor.
“Are you hurt?” Scotty asks afraid. Kevin shakes his head.
“I just got so dizzy. I … I need to lie down….” Scotty sits Kevin down on the bed.
Kevin’s body starts to shake and, for a few seconds, Scotty fears he might have some seizure, but then he understands that Kevin is crying without making a sound.
“I’m sorry... I wish.. I wish I could do more. I wish…” Kevin shakes his head.
“It’s alright. I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have asked this much from you.”
The words come easy and without hesitation.
“I’d understand if you’d want to leave. This is no place for you. A kid as young and strong as you shouldn’t be stuck out here….” Again he sounds completely out of breath and Scotty’s worry increases, but he manages a sweet smile.
leaving. I may ask you ten million questions to understand how things work around here, but I’m not leaving. Now rest. I will go to the village and get us some food and when you wake up, we’ll have some tea and cookies and you’ll feel a lot better.” Scotty promises.
Scotty puts the groceries on the kitchen-table and his first concern is checking on Kevin, but when Kevin doesn’t move upon his entering the room, he assumes that he’s still sound asleep in his bed, so Scotty returns to the kitchen to unpack and boil some water. He had met some nice people in the village, with a healthy dose of curiosity, but not in a pushy way.
The lady at the grocery-shop had had no issues with having the groceries billed to William Walker and he’s not surprised to hear Mrs Smith use the same words as the taxi-driver the night before. Such a gentleman. True to his word. Always pays his bills! It was the way she had always done it in Mr Dryden’s time.
Yet, not a good word for Kevin. And that is something that does
surprise Scotty. So far, Kevin had seemed mostly harmless and actually more pathetic than dangerous to him. Though he has no wish to see the darker side of Kevin, he’s curious about the reason why there seems to be such a huge gap between everyone else’s ideas and his own one.
He quickly makes the tea and some sandwiches, adds some cookies to the tray and he proceeds to take it all up to Kevin’s room to wake up Kevin.
“Get enough sleep?” Scotty asks, not even paying attention anymore the veil that Kevin has around his head. He’s already grown used to it already.
“It’s good to know you’re here. It feels like resting easier.” Kevin answers and there seems to be a hint of a smile in his voice.
“Thanks. Good to know.” Scotty smiles too. “Listen, Kevin, I don’t mean to start running the house, …”
“Please do, you must
actually, because I’m no good to anyone.” Kevin interrupts him. “Take charge as you wish.”
“I feel weird about doing things without your consent.”
“O.” Kevin sounds surprised and, feeling like he should say more, he adds: “Okay.”
“Do you think you can find enough strength to show me the rest of the house?”
“Yes. I think I might. I’ll be with you in a bit?” Kevin answers.
“Oh, and Kevin? Do you ever take off that veil?”
“Only once I’m alone at night and it’s dark in here. Nobody will ever see me without it.”
“Not even Dryden?”
“So, you watch the world go by from behind that veil? Sounds lonely.”
They start at the top of the house. A small tower-room that gives a spectacular view of the lands around the house and the scenery takes Scotty’s breath away. Now that the sun is shining, the fear and negativity about the house have been chased away and Scotty is in awe.
“What a beautiful place to just sit and enjoy the view. Or to read. Or to study.” He sighs.
“It is, isn’t it? This house was supposed to become my second home. Our
second home. Jason’s and mine. We dreamed of creating a sunny space up here to do just those things you suggested… but it never happened.
When he left… when we both
agreed that it was the best to discontinue our relationship… I just didn’t have the interest anymore to create something here. And now, I don’t have the energy…” Scotty looks at Kevin. Even with the veil that hides his face, his entire body expresses the pointlessness of everything.
Strangely enough it causes Scotty’s mind to start working and while he follows Kevin down the stairs, back to the first level, where the bedrooms are, he starts to make a list in his head of all he needs to do. He has already seen that he will have enough to do to fill his time here..
“These four rooms are locked. They used to be guest-rooms. Jase and I used to have a lot of people over during weekends and holidays, but … when all of that stopped… I saw no reason to keep up the maintenance of those rooms and Dryden complained about the workload, so it was fine with me to lock them up..”
“Are the rooms empty or is there still furniture and such in there?”
“They are still ready, but locked. Dryden would air the rooms once or twice a year and do a bit of dusting. Generally, I don’t think that any of them is suitable for receiving guests anymore. They haven’t been used in 20 years.”
“What a waste…” Scotty mumbles, curiosity burning inside him. As if Kevin can guess, he offers:
“If you wish to check them out and see if one them appeals to you more than the room you have… the keys are over there.”
“I like my room just fine. But can I put a few nails in the walls to put up some pictures?”
“Sure, the place is all yours…. If you stay.” Scotty merely laughs over Kevin’s last words. Suddenly he can no longer understand his feeling of doom and gloom that he had this morning and last night.
This house is pretty and in a private place. It has potential and Scotty’s fingers ache to get to work. There’s a lot that needs to be done. He has seen the signs of sloppy cleaning, careless treatment of furniture and a disrespect of someone else’s possessions in everything that Dryden has done, but he feels it’s not his place to say something about it.
As if Kevin can read Scotty’s thoughts, he suddenly speaks up.
“I’m afraid that Dryden wasn’t the most dedicated man for the job, but it was apparently very hard to find someone to look after me. And I can imagine that the place must have been incredibly boring to him.”
“That’s what he got paid for.”
“But not enough, I’m afraid.” Kevin’s words are soft and he turns to the next room, not noticing the surprised look on Scotty’s face. “This is my room. You don’t have to do anything here. I take care of it myself.”
The room is not very big, but Scotty also blames that on the large four poster bed and the rather dark way the room is decorated. In all the room seems sad and even with the sun shining outside, it feels heavy and filled with burden. Scotty is glad that Kevin ushers him back to the top of the stairs, where they descent to ground level.
“You’ve seen the living-room. That room is the warm place to be if there’s a problem with electricity like last night. It is the only place that has a real fire-place. It can happen in the middle of the winter that you wake up with ice on your covers, because the heating went out during the night and we hadn’t noticed…”
Kevin chuckles, but immediately gets punished for it. He leans against the staircase. Coughing and out of breath again and Scotty frowns. This cannot be healthy.
“And this is kitchen. I suppose you already discovered that… The pantry is over there and there’s door to the cellar, but there’s nothing in there.”
“I see. Well, I’ll go and inspect all that later.”
“Dad told you me that you’re a good cook.”
“I wanted to become a chef-cook.” Scotty replies with some regret.
“You can still become one.”
“Not if I don’t have the money for the study.” Scotty sighs.
“Dad will take care of you. I’m sure he will.”
“We’ll see. I think he will too, but … I’m not sure that I’d be willing to accept that. He has five kids of his own. It was my
dad’s job to look after me, and not your
“I agree with you. But he loves you.” Kevin says with some regret in his voice.
“Anyway, whatever will happen between your father and me, it’s time to look after you first. I’ve gotten some emergency-supplies for today. But I have to get fresh supplies of almost everything. I don’t plan to go to the village every day.
And before I forget, I found some bags of something in the freezer. I’ve taken it out, thawed it and it looks like this. What is this?” He shows the content of a pan to Kevin.
“It was some stew that Dryden often made for me. Cheap, but nutritious apparently. It has vegetables in it.”
“It looks like someone’s stomach contents.” Scotty points out.
“It tastes like it too.”
“Would you mind terribly if I try to get something better?”
“Oh, I’m not sure. You should talk to dad first. He kept Dryden on a very tight financial leash….”
“I’ll take care of your dad. If he protests, I can always use my secret weapon…”
“Which is?” Kevin asks.
“Ask Justin throw a tantrum.” Scotty replies with a wink and he can hear Kevin’s soft laugh.
“I assume that there’s also some ground outside to cover, but… maybe for now it’s best if you get some rest again?” Scotty suggests, when he sees that Kevin needs to hold himself steady against the table and chairs to not fall over. Certainly a man cannot be this dizzy all the time?
“Excuse me? You’re Justin Walker, aren’t you?” Justin turns around and he’s face to face with Chad Barry. “I heard you’d be at this party and I hoped I could talk to you…”
“I sincerely don’t believe that we have anything in common that we could talk about.” Justin replies stiffly.
“We have a mutual friend…. Scotty Wandell?” Chad tries his most charming smile on Justin, who can feel the bile come up.
“Scotty Wandell? No, you got that wrong, Mr Barry. We do not
have him in common. He’s my best friend in whole world. Closer to me than one of my brothers.
To you he was just a nice ass and you treated him like dirt. That does not
constitute something remotely like friendship. But he’s better off without you. You never cared about Scotty and I’m glad that you’re gone from his life.”
“I know I hurt him…” Chad says softly.
didn’t hurt him. I wouldn’t let you. I took care of his pain. What devastated him was the death of his father and the man’s funeral. But Scotty is safe. In good hands. With someone who needs him and I’m sure that Scotty will find a happiness with him
that he would never have found with you
“Him? Scotty is with someone else?” Chad cannot believe it.
“Yes.” Justin lies cold-bloodedly. “What else did you expect? That he’d be lost without you? Don’t be silly. For you ten others. You’re dirt. He just scraped you of his boots and he moved on.”
With satisfaction Justin watches the pain and confusion on Chad’s face, until a third person enters the conversation.
“Justin. Chad. Is there a problem?” Jason asks and Justin gives Jason a cold look.
“No.” He answers. “Your fiancé mistakenly believed that we had a friend in common.”
“Oh? Who?” Jason asks. “I’d love to meet a friend of Chad.”
“I bet you would. Too bad there aren’t any… Like I said. It was a mistake. And, for future encounters, Mr Barry, we
have nothing to say to each other. Stay away from me.”
“Justin…” Jason begs softly.
“In fact, Jason, I’d prefer it if you would keep yourself and your whore away from me. You two totally deserve each other. You’re both unfaithful losers.” Justin places his empty glass on one of the tables and leaves without a word.
“Well, that was…” Chad doesn’t know what to say. He’s too flabbergasted.
“Justin never forgave me.” Jason says softly.
“Why? What did you to him?”
“To him? Nothing. To his brother Kevin…? Everything. Kevin and I were engaged to be married when he had a serious accident.
He would be permanently disfigured and it was such a blow to him… And I couldn’t deal with it either. I was only eighteen myself and incapable to foresee a ‘forever’ with a man who was no longer the man I fell in love with.”
“So, you broke up with him?” Chad asks.
“It was a mutual decision.” Jason replies stiffly.
“And it hurt Kevin?” Chad starts to understand Justin’s anger at Jason.
“It didn’t help his recovery, no.”
“Do you still have feelings for him?” Chad wants to know.
Jason turns to him and looks him straight in the eyes.
“He was the love of my life. Leaving him was my biggest mistake ever. A mistake I’ve regretted making ever since. But sometimes you can’t undo what you’ve done and you can’t take back the words you’ve said.
No matter how big your regret is,.. if you’ve shattered what existed between yourself and that other person, there’s no way that you can repair it. There will always be the scars that remain.” There’s suddenly so much sadness and pain in Jason and it so closely resembles his own pain, that it takes Chad’s breath away.
Fear grabs him by the throat. What if Jason is right? What if he cannot repair what he broke between himself and Scotty? What if Scotty will never forgive him? The future suddenly seems so bleak. He had come to the point where he had recognized that he needed Scotty in his life and now it looks like Scotty will be out of his reach. Maybe forever.
END OF CHAPTER FOUR