About: Chad, but Kevin, Scotty and Jason will pop up as well.
Rate: Mmmnot sure yet.
Disclaimer: The usual blah-blah....
Summary: Something happens to Chad and it ‘ain’t purdy’…. Idea given to me by Darkestboy in 2012, though it didn't quite end up as I had expected. :) References made to Alex Grodin, who's the main character in Happy now? and Last Christmas, though you don't really need to have read them to follow this one.
Warning: Deals with non-consensual sex and touches upon the subject of incest, without going too much into detail, but if these are triggers for you, don't read it.
Kevin and Jason arrive just before the police does. It is Chad’s car alright, but when Jason wants to walk up to the car, Kevin pulls him back.
“Let the police do that. Don’t interfere with what might be a crime-scene… I know you don’t want to hear this, but… I hope I’m wrong…” Kevin sighs.
Jason feels sick to his stomach, glad that the police arrives barely a minute later. They carefully walk up to car and open it. Front-seat. Nothing. Backseat. Nothing. Weapons drawn they open the trunk… Nothing…. Jason lets out a sigh of relief. In fact nothing shows any sign of violence.
There’s no blood, nothing seems broken. The officer signals Kevin and Jason to come closer.
“I’m sheriff Wallis. Sam Wallis. I understand that you knew the missing person?”
“He’s my husband. And a close friend to Mr Walker.”
He looks Jason up and down. An unpleasant look, but if sheriff Wallis has any opinion on gay men, he’s keeping them to himself.
“Look. I don’t know too much about what is going on your kind of relationships…” He starts by apologizing.
Jason braces himself for the unpleasant questions that will come.
“Did he have any reason to make himself disappear? I hate term runaway, but … any reason he’s leave on his own volition?”
“No. None that I can think of.” Jason shakes his head.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. He was in the middle of filming a Western. It was his dream come true. He was so happy with his job… Last time he called me he said he had the time of his life…” Jason’s fear only gets worse.
“Ahm…. So, there was no reason to … perhaps.. go out into the field and …. Do harm to himself?” Jason appreciates the fact that the sheriff is trying hard to be careful.
“No. I can’t imagine. He loved life too much… And… even then… There’s no note, is there?” Jason asks. The sheriff shakes his head.
“Sir?” The younger officer points at something in the car and Sheriff Wallis sees the remains of the torn-up picture. He doesn’t need much putting the pieces together to see it’s a picture of Jason.
“Well, he had a reason to tear up this picture…. Did you two have a fight?” Wallis asks.
“No.” Jason shakes his head. “I don’t know why he would have done this.”
“Ahm… man, I hate questions like this… but … did he have any reason to suspect that… perhaps you didn’t argue, but something else happened? Affair? Other issues? Anything that could have been perceived as something wrong?”
“Not that I can think off. We spoke to each other that night and, I haven’t heard from him since. Not even a text. That’s not uncommon, but if something would have happened, he would have let me know… I don’t believe that he would have been so angry with me as to tear up my picture, but not tell me what is going on…”
“Have there been any threats against him? Did you receive some ransom-demand?”
“No…” Again Jason shakes his head to emphasize his answer. The sheriff scratches his head and he looks around.
“Well, I’m at a loss as to what could have happened here…”
He turns to the other young officer and yells:
“Check if the car is out of gas… Perhaps he went walking?”
“I have a spare-key, if you need it.” Jason offers.
“Keys are in the ignition, sir.” Wallis answers.
The young officer sits down and start the engine. Hearing the car start nearly makes Jason jump out of his skin. Somehow he had hoped that Chad had had car-troubles and had decided to walk… perhaps been picked up by someone… But the car is fine… So, where the hell is Chad?
“You’re an actor. You’re acting. You’re going after your goal or whatever the hell you call it. They teach you this crap in acting school.” Kevin’s defenses are up. Chad can only smile.
“I didn’t go to school and I’m not that good an actor….” Chad points out.
Chad smiles in his sleep. He remembers how he tried to get Kevin back. It had been hard work. For the first time in a long time he had been the one who had to chase a guy, rather than being the one chased. It is what he had liked in Kevin. And Jason. He had to work hard to get them.
And just when he thought he had Kevin back, Kevin didn’t get back to him. Of course, he hadn’t known about Michelle’s call. He hadn’t known about her warning. He hadn’t known how this had freaked Kevin out. All he had known was that, if he wanted Kevin back, he had to go to Kevin’s place and convince him to let Chad back in.
“Can I please just come in?” He asks.
“No.”Kevin answers decidedly. “How many Michelles have there been? How many Kevins?”
“We know I’d have a history. I can’t change that.” Chad argues back.
“What a club. Schmucky men and women who lose their minds around you and behave like helpless morons. You’re build to seduce and run, Chad, you can’t help it.”
“I just feel like whatever I say, you’re gonna say that I’m an actor acting…. What do I have to do to prove to you that I’m trying to be in good faith with you?” Chad asks.
“Look, Hamlet, I’m prepping a case, okay, you can’t distract me.” Kevin tries to be firm and not let Chad in.
“I won’t talk.” Chad promises. “I have lines to learn for tomorrow. I safe Baltimore…” It’s almost apologetic and he rolls his eyes. Kevin gives a hint of a smile. Chad can see Kevin hesitate….
Chad opens his eyes and stares up at the ceiling. As revolted as he had been by the food, he had eaten it and it had given him some of his strength back. How long had he been here? Is it day? Or night? Are people searching for him yet? What can he do? Where can he go? How can he escape?
He tries to move his feet again, but they’re still tied up. He has one hand free, so he could eat, but the other one is too well tied to be untied with one hand. Shirley knows her knots. He tries to assess his situation further. He’s only wearing a t-shirt, underneath the sheet he’s naked. Even if he’d break free, he wouldn’t get far.
You’re an actor. You’re acting. Kevin’s words come back to him. He closes his eyes and he thinks hard. What is the situation? He’s stuck in a place somewhere with an insane woman, who looks like she fairly normal, but in fact isn’t. No one knows where he is. And he cannot expect much help anytime either.
When he was last conscious, he had briefly met Shirley’s brother. One look at him had made Chad understand that the brother wouldn’t really help him in getting him out of this place either. He’s on his own. But what can he do? How can he get himself untied? How does he get out of this room?
What does he know? He knows that Shirley wants to save him. She wants to ‘cure’ him. Can he convince her that he can be ‘cured’? Can he truly pretend that he likes her? He nearly starts to hyperventilate at the thought. It’s a bad idea, but it’s the only one he has so far.
He knows that many people have said that he can’t act his way out of a paper bag without the help of a pair of scissors, but can he actually pull this off without a script? He trembles. He has to do this. This has got to become the greatest performance of his life. To save his life.
The moment that Scotty sees the pictures on internet he knows that the headlines are fabricated, as usual. Oh! Shock! Horror! Jason McCallister, husband to Chad Barry had been seen with another man! Affair! Jason and Chad are heading for a divorce! Who was the Jason’s new lover?!
Scotty shakes his head. Not so long ago, pictures like these, Kevin holding Jason, would have made him terribly jealous, but he has no doubt that this is one of those stories that the paparazzi have once again pulled out of their … hats! Yet, it prompts him to close his laptop and think deeply for a few minutes.
He picks up his phone. First he calls the airport and he orders tickets to Arizona. Then he calls Nora to take care of their kids. Next he calls his sous-chef Angie to run the restaurant in his absence. Last on his list, he calls Justin to ask if Justin can give him a lift to the airport. Time to pack.