So why the hell am I sitting in my truck outside a gay bar at 3:30 in the morning waiting for a man who makes me crazy just by his very existence?
"Damn you fucking slut! Damn you!" Daniel shouted to the silence surrounding him inside the cab of his large pickup truck. He pounded his fist on the steering wheel. Still angry from the internal angst that this thoughtless man had caused him, Daniel climbed out of the truck ready to confront the little whore. He intended to make sure that the next time this slut tried to use his physical advantages--his uncanny good looks, beautifully proportioned body, even his blonde hair and perfect tan...
"Damn it!" Daniel shouted. "There I go again, letting this little whore screw with my head!" It was going to stop. No piece of ass, no matter how beautiful, no matter how charming, was going to make him this crazy.
A couple of hours had passed since the most sexually satisfying experience of his life had turned so badly wrong. During that time Daniel had poured over each detail of the exchange, and tried to figure out how he'd ended up in this unsettling and infuriating situation.
The bar had closed and most of the parking lot was empty. There was one car parked out in the lot. He wondered ... Maybe that belongs to Brandon. Once again he grew angry at his apparent inability to focus.
He was a damn Marine. Why am I letting this man screw with my head? Daniel let out a loud growl, which released some of the frustration of the moment. He left his truck and looked into the bar window. There was no sign of anyone. As he walked silently back toward his truck, he noticed the small pathway around the building toward the alley where his sanity had been so violently ripped to shreds.
He decided to return to the "scene of the crime" so to speak. Maybe it would help him clear the young whore from his head. He refused to be held prisoner of the memory of some fairy-tale ending that would never be. He wanted to see the alley through the cold sober eyes of a man who was control of his senses, not a sex-craved animal driven to fuck by some self-centered.... His thoughts trailed off as he arrived at the rear of the building.
The smell of sex still lingered in the air. He tried to work up disgust, anger, or any emotion other than the feeling of loss that he felt in his stomach over this beautiful man. Daniel slunk sadly to the ground in the darkness, buried his face in his hands, and sighed deeply. He smelled another odor even through his hands--an unmistakable odor that he had tried to forget after his time in Iraq.
Blood. Why do I smell blood? he wondered. No, it's just my imagination. Who could smell blood over the stench of urine in this damn alley anyhow? Wait--, there wasn't urine here before; I would have never been able to focus on sex with this odor in the alley. What the hell is this? I wasn't that drunk.
Daniel stood and was about to turn and leave forever, and never again think about this place when he heard a low, guttural moan. He remembered this sound all too well from his time in the trenches; someone was dying.
He shook back a violent flashback as he quickly ran to the side of the alley.
"Who's there?" Daniel shouted in a violent and forbidding tone, designed to scare the hell out of any unfortunate soul who thought he was going to stand still for being robbed.
A small, shaking voice said through broken sobs of hysteria, "Get out damn you! Let me die!"
He couldn't forget the voice. It was broken, it was shaking, but it was Brandon.
Dear God, Daniel thought. What the hell's going on?
Using the training he had long since abandoned, Daniel sorted through the rubbish, looking like a madman, tossing trash from side to side, trying to find out where the voice was coming from.
Brandon sobbed, "Leave me alone! I don't want you to see me. Just go away, I threw you out. Get out!"
Daniel found the crumpled form on the ground. The stench of the alley was obviously coming from Brandon. The young man was curled into the fetal position. Daniel scooped him up effortlessly
"Damn it! You're not doing this to me!" Daniel wasn't sure whether he was talking to the wounded man, or to himself. Whatever the motivation, his single goal was to get Brandon to safety.
Daniel held the sobbing form to his chest, Brandon's tears wetting the Marine's already blood-stained shirt. He opened the door to the truck and placed the wounded man on the seat. The action reawakened the pain from the sharp blow Brandon had given him earlier.
As he placed Brandon on the seat, the young man grabbed a jacket lying and pulled it over his face.
A gasp escaped Daniel's throat as the light from the truck illuminated the bloody, bruised, urine-soaked body that earlier had taken him to levels of ecstasy he'd never known before.
"Jesus Christ, what the hell happened to you?"
Pulling the jacket back Daniel saw even more of a tragedy--the beautiful, flawless face swollen almost beyond recognition due to the unspeakable beating he'd received. He grimaced.
"Who did this? Damn it, Brandon! Who the fuck did this?"
"I broke the rules."
Brandon chanted it over and over, like a mantra of doom. As Daniel climbed into the cab of the truck, Brandon whispered, "Leave me alone. I'm not worth your time. I'm sorry; it's my all fault."
Daniel lifted the shivering, half-naked man who was now covered with a jacket large enough to wrap around him twice, and took his face into his hands.
"Don't! I smell! I'm hideous! Don't look at me! Please," Brandon sobbed.
Daniel kissed him full on the lips, very gently. He said with complete honesty that defied even his own logic, "It's not your fault. It's mine for leaving you. You're as hot as ever. You are beautiful, Brandon. Don't ever forget that. And I don't intend to make the mistake of leaving you again."
Brandon sobbed uncontrollably as he slumped into the seat, obviously not convinced of Daniel's proclamation of his beauty. As the engine turned over, Daniel gritted his teeth in anger, planning his revenge on the Denali brothers.
A violent rage filled the stoic Marine's eyes.
How could someone do this? he wondered. Why?
He drove quickly toward his comfortable home on the outskirts of town, where he intended to care for this beautiful man. He intended to figure out how to make up for allowing him to endure something that, for Daniel, seemed unimaginable.