Disclaimer: I don’t own anything
Extra: This an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so remember : The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here are part 01, part 02, part 03, part 04, part 05, part 06, part 07, part 08 and part 09
END OF AUGUST 2007
Kevin wakes up from having slept too long in an uncomfortable position and he wakes up to the smell of coffee, toast and bacon. He straightens his back and slowly, because his muscles ache, he moves to the kitchen, where he finds Scotty.
“Hey.” Scotty says shyly, his eyes red again. “Want some?”
Kevin nods, the food smells so good and so does the coffee. He takes his first sip. Ah, strong, just the way he likes it.
“So? Stupid question perhaps, but how are you?” he asks
“Better than I expected… and… I’m mad like hell.” Scotty replies.
“Really?” Kevin sits back a bit as if he’s worried that Scotty will take a swing at him. “At who? At me?”
“No. At Mark, for treating me like dirt. At myself, for letting him. I couldn’t believe it the first time I saw those words.
Reading Mark’s confession last night… I felt like I got hit by a ton of brick. It was like I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, I felt completely paralyzed.... But that was last night! And then this morning while I was waiting for the coffee, I read it again and I got mad. Really mad at his smugness. He is so full of himself.”
Kevin sees Scotty pour some more coffee and the way Scotty is pacing the floor and considering how agitated he is, Kevin really wonders if Scotty should pour even more caffeine in himself. But at the same time that Scotty seems to have snapped out of his ‘shock’-stadium and moved on to the 'anger'-part.
“And it would be easy to be mad at Mark alone, but that would be the easy way out. I’m just as responsible. Look at how gullible I have been, how I let him manipulate me. The sheer stupidity of the things I’ve done. I mean, I gave him all my money, to a point, that I had nothing left. Why did I let it happen? Why did I allow him to undermine me like this?
I always believed I had strong principles, principles that would I stand by… Kevin, I believe that, for all of us, there is that one special person, this soul-mate, this person to who your heart belongs and who’s heart will be yours. And for some inexplicable reason, that I just cannot even imagine anymore, I thought he was the one.. My soul-mate!
I really thought he was. I was willing to do anything for him. I’m monogamous, Kevin, if I love someone, then he’s the only one….. but what if your soul-mate has other desires? The first time I had sex with another man, while Mark was watching, I felt so dirty, so filthy, but he told me that he was so proud of me…”
Scotty clenches his fist with the powerless anger he feels. Kevin’s eyes stay focused on Scotty, not sure that he’s happy with the fact that Scotty points most of the poisoned arrows towards himself. That is unfair and something, he feels Scotty shouldn’t do. Scotty shakes his head. His voice trembles with barely controlled anger.
“You know why he was proud of me? Because I had shown him how much I loved him... I should have asked him to show me the same courtesy and never ask me to do it again… but I… I felt … honored… that he appreciated the sacrifice of my own personal beliefs….” Kevin remains quiet, not knowing what to say.
“Afterwards we would have sex and he would always call me all sorts of names, usually as degrading as possible. I prefer some sweetness, but that wasn’t in Mark’s character so I forgave him, because, although I didn’t like it, I thought it turned him on to do that… It is unnerving to suddenly have to realize that it had nothing to do with his feelings for me.
He just called me a whore, because that was all I was to him. Nothing more, nothing less. How stupid was I? ... Where have I been these last four years? How come I never saw these things myself? I mean, I’m not stupid. If it would happen to someone else, I’d see it in a heartbeat... But Mark is not going to hurt me anymore. I won’t let him.
I’m done with him. He’s no longer a part of my life, as far as I’m concerned. I’m done crying and feeling worthless. It’s not going to happen to me again.... You know, these last few weeks with you were great. You taught me to be me again. And…I’m going to be my own person again…
Starting off with getting a job and getting enough money to no longer have to rely on your kindness….” Kevin opens his mouth to say something, but Scotty stops him. “As deeply grateful as I’ve been for your friendship, I no longer want to be depending on it. Though I have to admit. I’ve grown to like living here.
But I’m going to try and save money to get a decent education. I really want to see if I can get into chef-school.” Scotty grabs the morning-paper, but Kevin stops him.
“Wait! … I appreciate that you are angry with Mark, he deserves it. I can understand you need to get back on your own two feet.
I think it’s good that you want to a goal in your life again. But … Why throw your entire life upside down again? You can stay here. Take your time. I… I like having you here…. I have to admit that at first I just wanted to help, but now… I really like your company. I don’t want to sound to mushy but… you give me reason to come home.”
Scotty feels shy under Kevin’s sweet words, but even more by the almost embarrassed way that Kevin looks away, almost as if he’s afraid he might have said too much. Kevin clears his throat. “I’ve been thinking about this last night. You were a receptionist and you’ve helped me in my office tow nights ago. And ….
How would you feel about working for me at the office? Just for the time being…? You and I did so much in so little time, two nights ago... I could use the help. You could use the money. ... You don’t have to answer straightaway. If you want to think it over…”
“No. I don’t. I want to work for you. And … I’m glad I’m allowed to stay here, I like this loft and I like being here with you.” Scotty confesses and they smile shyly at each other. Something has changed between them, but neither of them can put their finger on what that is. Or maybe they don’t want to know. Not yet.
By Friday, Kevin says a ‘thank you’-prayer to God, because Scotty took his offer. Kevin can find his files again, the back-log is diminishing, documents get copied the right way and end up in the right files, his clients compliment him on his assistant’s friendly voice on the phone and Kevin is generally pleased with the way Scotty handles himself around the office.
He gets along with everyone, even Mr Benedict, the crankiest lawyer in the company. Scotty acts very professional towards Kevin. No one would suspect that Kevin and he actually live together. He doesn’t mind the extra hours he has to work. He shows initiative and asks smart questions.
The whole of Friday has been very busy and Kevin is hungry by the time it’s 5 o’clock. He can’t wait to leave the office.
“Alright, Scotty, time to call in quits for today.” Scotty nods and Kevin watches him as he quietly clears his desk.
Kevin locks up his desk and closes his office, he follows Scotty to the elevator. In all, they are later than others, so they have the elevator to themselves.
“So, what are your plans for tonight?” Kevin asks, to make conversation.
“Get something to eat. I’m hungry.” Scotty smiles. “Are you going to your parents?” Kevin usually spends his Fridays there.
Kevin shakes his head. After the loud argument he had this week, with his father, about Ojai Foods’ interest for a winery, Harper's Landing, which Kevin thinks will be a complete waste of time and money, he’s not in the mood for dinner with his dad or his mom.
“Why don’t you join me for dinner? There’s a new Indian restaurant….” Kevin suggests.
Scotty had forgotten how nice it is to have dinner in a restaurant. Mark mostly preferred hot dogs and hamburgers. His idea of a ‘eating out’ was the drive-through at McDonalds. But Kevin asked him to order a different plate from his and they tasted each other’s food to comment on how good or bad it was. It was fun to do. And rather intimate too.
On top of that Kevin is very entertaining. Scotty feared that after having lived with Kevin for quite some time now, he and Kevin would run out of topics to talk about, but his family is endless source of funny or sad stories. Sometimes Scotty suspects he knows the Walkers better than they do themselves.
Whether it’s about Kevin’s father William, a man who still resents his son for being gay or Kevin’s mother, Nora, who is all love, support and caring as a mother should be. He knows more about the marital problems of Sarah and Joe or the troubles that Tommy and Julia have getting pregnant, then they would like. Even Kitty's messed love-life or Justin's war against alcohol are not unknown to him anymore.
It makes him feel a bit lonely. He only slowly reconnects with the life he had before Mark, not knowing who he can trust with his whereabouts. His parents still don’t want to talk to him. So basically his life right now revolves around Kevin, his job, the Walkers, the upcoming case against Mark and working weekends for the usual catering-company.
It’s a small world and Scotty is painfully aware of this and of how much he owes Kevin for the safe little place he has. Worst of all, there is something he needs to ask of Kevin and he can somehow not bring up the courage to do so. He fears Kevin will disapprove and that they will fight. But now it cannot be postponed any longer.
As they wait for their desserts, Scotty takes the bull by the horns.
“Kevin, can I ask a favor?” He asks and Kevin nods. “Are you busy tomorrow?”
“Depends. I have some things to do, but I could postpone them…”
“You see…. I’ve asked permission to see Mark, in prison. I’ve received an approval.”
Kevin nods. He knew that. Mr Benedict had told him about it.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” He asks.
“I can understand why you’re worried, but I must do this. I must face him. He’s become this bigger-than-big shadow in my life and I can’t get rid of him. He still controls my life.”
“This could do you more harm than good.”
“I know… but I have to try. I need to confront him. I know, I have no right to ask for anything more from you. You’ve already done so much for me…” But Kevin waves that away. If Scotty needs his help, he will give it to him.
“.. Please, will you drive me there? I don’t want to go alone. I’m .. I’m scared.”
“I’ll go with you.” Kevin says in a calm voice. His hand covers Scotty’s and their fingers entwine for a brief moment. Then a waiter comes to bring them their desserts and they let go of each other… reluctantly.
EARLY SEPTEMBER 2007
Mark expected to see his little boy. He expected a crying Scotty, who was unable to get a grip on his life. A Scotty who was lost without Mark. An obviously broken man. Scotty had been his to do with as he pleased for these last few years. So he expected a teary-eyed, apologetic Scotty, tired of the harassment Mark’s friends had put him through.
Instead he’s greeted by a very calm Scotty. Mark doesn’t know that, these last few weeks, Kevin has told Scotty to look after his physical appearance and reminded Scotty constantly not to slouch and that he had done that with the same military discipline that William Walker had shown towards Kevin. So, to Mark, Scotty seems taller, because he stands up straight.
Scotty’s blue eyes are not tired and red with tears, but look at him with a newly acquired wisdom. Curious, but not submissive. And he looks Mark straight in the eyes, something he hasn’t done for a very long time. He seems well fed. His shoulders a broader than before, in all he seems more at ease and in control than Mark would have liked to see.
The fact that he’s wearing a suit that is more expensive than Mark believes Scotty is able to afford, ticks him off. Where does Scotty get the money to buy this? Of course, Mark doesn’t know that it’s actually a suit belonging to Justin, that Kevin made Scotty wear today, guessing correctly the impact it would have on Mark.
“Scotty! It’s so good to see you again. I…. I thought you had forgotten me.” It sounds like a whine and his tone of voice irritates Scotty almost immediately. He shakes his head, not yet able to make a sound, now that he’s back in the same room with Mark. He still feels paralyzed with fear, but he keeps his eyes focused on Mark.
It’s funny, but suddenly Mark doesn’t look so awe-inspiring anymore. Mark talks, but Scotty registers more the sound of his voice than the actual words. His tone of voice is still cold, but not menacing. Or at least, Scotty doesn’t acknowledge it as such anymore. His heart stops beating too fast. He starts to breathe more slowly. His fear is subsiding.
This man is going to jail and he cannot harm Scotty in any way. And for the first time, Scotty can see him and not the image of the invincible man, that he had created in his own mind and the reality of his situation hits him unexpectedly. He is not in love with Mark anymore. Not at all.
“… so now you understand that I did it all for you, Scotty. For you, for us, for what we share…” The words start to in get meaning again to Scotty’s ears.
“You love me?” he asks. And Mark nods. “You really, really, love me?” Mark nods again, softly smiling and then Scotty smiles as well.
END OF PART 10