They never spoke anymore either it was as if Justin had switched off completely. Joshua begged him to speak to him over and over, even threatening to remove his blindfold if Justin didn’t.
He heard the change in his jailors breathing as he considered his threat. “Take it off,” Justin threatened in a low voice, “and I will take a belt to your ass.”
So Joshua gulped and left the blindfold in place. He had lost all sense of time, place and direction, crawling on his hands and knees to Justin by following his voice direction alone.
“PB come to me.” Joshua's head snapped around he hadn’t heard Justin come in the cage room. Cautiously he felt his way across the floor of his cage till he felt the bars.
“Six bars to your right and you will be in front of me,” Justin said giving Joshua a better idea of where he was.
Joshua felt for the next bar and using both his hands moved in front of his jailor. He sat back on his heels waiting for further instructions. He did have to have his sight to know that Justin was staring at him. He could feel the younger man’s eyes burning into his skin. He whimpered but didn’t draw back as Justin's hand wrapped around his cock.
“Take a piss,” Justin ordered.
Joshua whimpered again not knowing what was happening and why Justin wanted him to wet himself. Not knowing what else to do he did as he was told surprised that he wasn’t kneeling in a pool of his own urine.
“Do you trust me?” Justin asked.
Joshua nodded and gulped as a glass was pressed to his lips. His stomach churned; surely his jailor wasn’t going to make him drink his own urine.
“Do you trust me? “ Justin asked again, pressing the glass against Joshua's lips harder.
The blindfolded man’s mouth trembled and a shaky yes escaped.
Justin tipped the glass filling Joshua's mouth and the brunette recoiled expecting the bitter taste of his waste but instead was treated to a sweet taste of apples. He gulped the rest of the drink greedily, savouring the first real strong flavour he had experienced in weeks.
“Open your mouth,” Justin ordered and this time Joshua obeyed without hesitation. Something was placed on his tongue. “Suck, not chew,” Justin commanded and Joshua closed his mouth and rolled the square in his mouth. The rich creamy chocolate melted with the heat and he groaned with pleasure.
“Open,” Justin commanded again; again Joshua obeyed and was rewarded with another square of chocolate.
“We have to leave here now PB. I need your hands, now.”
Sadness filled Joshua's heart. He wasn’t sorry about getting out of the cage for good but the end of the experiment meant that his captor would be going too. “What is going to happen?” he asked quietly as he turned and shoved his hands through the bars.
“I have to take you back to the room I found you in. that’s all I can tell you. “ Justin snapped the cuffs around Joshua's thin wrists and unlocked the cage. He lifted Joshua to his feet and walked him to the door that had been locked for the entire three weeks and opened it. He guided Joshua up the steps and to the elevator they had used on that first day. As they rose up towards the main building Justin pushed his prisoner against the cool steel wall and kissed him until he was breathless.
“I’ll miss you PB,” he whispered.
“That’s not my name,” Joshua sighed back. “My name is.”
Justin's fingers against his lips stopped him from speaking further. “I’m not allowed to know your name and you are not allowed to know mine until the experiment is over and that won’t be until you walk out of the university.”
The elevator stopped; Justin kissed him again then pushed him out into the corridor, walking him back to the room he had originally found him in. he guided him inside and then turned him to face the door, pushing him gently to his knees. “You have to wait here to be debriefed. Goodbye PB.”
Joshua strained to see through his blindfold. “Wait don’t go. Will I see you again?” silence answered him, Justin had already left. Joshua lowered his head, his heart breaking all over again.
Justin returned to the room he had originally started in and sat on a chair to wait. He hadn’t been waiting long when an older man came into the room.
“Congratulations Mr. Timberlake, you are a part of only three pairs that finished the experiment. Roll up your sleeve would you.”
Justin did as he was asked and sat in silence as his blood pressure was taken.
“That is fine. Now all we have to do is remove the chip and you will be free to go.”
The doctor sprayed something on the underside of Justin's wrist and using a fine scalpel and a pair of tweezers removed the offending chip. He put a plaster over the wound and then handed Justin an envelope. “As I said the majority of the volunteers dropped out after a few days but you and your partner did very well so there is a hefty bonus in there for you.” The doctor held out his hand and Justin stood up and shook it.
“Enjoy your money Mr. Timberlake, you earned it.”
Justin looked down at the envelope in his hand. He hadn’t earned it PB had. He was the one that had been humiliated and degraded; he was the one that deserved the credit. “Sir,” Justin said suddenly making a decision. “I’d like you to give this money to PB, he earned it and he needs it more than I do.”
The doctor looked over the top of his spectacles at Justin and then at the envelope. “PB?” he asked questioningly.
“That’s what I called my partner. Will you give it to him for me?”
The doctor took the package. “I’ll see that he gets it. There is someone waiting to see you out and don’t think about waiting for your partner I don’t know when he is being released, it may not even be today.”
Joshua had no idea how long he had knelt waiting before he heard someone come into the room. He kept his head lowered and his mouth shut not knowing if he was allowed to speak or not. His hands were released and a blanket draped over his nakedness.
“You can take off the blindfold now Mr. Scott,” came a masculine voice.
Joshua removed the fabric from his eyes and instantly shielded his eyes from the glare.
“My apologies Joshua, I forgot that you have had that on for quite some time. I’ll dim the lights.”
As soon as Joshua felt comfortable with the light he lowered his hand. “How are you feeling Joshua?” the doctor asked.
“Okay,” Joshua said softly in reply.
“Only okay? Not enraged, not ashamed, not humiliated?”
Joshua looked at the floor not speaking.
“It’s alright to be angry Joshua. You didn’t sign up to be abused and I assure you that if things had got out of hand we would have intervened without question.”
“I don’t understand the reason for it?” Joshua whispered his eyes still on the dark tiled floor.
“We are studying human nature. You have read in the papers about the abuse suffered by prisoners of war at the hands of American forces in Iraq, well we are trying to find out why that happens. What is it that makes a respectable man or woman turn into a monster when he or she is given complete control of another human being? Only three pairs survived the full three weeks. One of the prisoners had to be rescued when his jailor decided to try and rape him after beating him to near unconsciousness.”
Joshua met the man’s eyes. “Is he alright?”
The doctor nodded. “He is being looked after.” The doctor smiled. “You will be looked after too. You will be admitted to our hospital wing for a few days of observation and to have your chip removed and then you will be released after a few days and a few hours of psychotherapy.”
“I just want to go home,” Joshua said quietly.
“I’m sorry Joshua but we are at liberty to detain you for medical reasons.”
“There is nothing wrong with me!” Joshua snapped.
“You suffered an illness when incarcerated, our insurance says we have to perform medical checks before you can go and the contract that you signed gives us the right to detain you until we feel you have made a complete recovery. Now if you would come with me I’ll show you to your ward and you can take a well earned nap.”
Joshua was put in an empty ward and after being made to use the bathroom facilities was ordered into bed. He shifted in the crisp white cotton sheets not able to get comfortable. He felt dirty now he was surrounded by the sterile hospital surroundings, all the time he had been a prisoner he had not been allowed to shower. He got out of bed and went into the bathroom. He considered the deep bath and then changed his mind in favour of the powerful looking shower. When he felt he was clean enough he wrapped a towel around himself and scrubbed at his teeth with the courtesy toothbrush and toothpaste that was provided. After he dried himself he settled back on the bed and switched on the television to see what he had missed in the world.
A dark haired, dark eyed man shook him awake. “I’m sorry to wake you. I’m Chris Kirkpatrick, think of me as your shrink.”
The thin brunette blinked. “I don’t need a shrink,” he said.
Chris smiled. “You don’t think you do, but you do. You were stripped, humiliated, imprisoned,” Chris cocked his head to the side. “Punished.”
Joshua turned his face away and stared at the wall.
Chris rested his chin on his hands. “Tell me about Justin.”
Joshua snapped his head back around to look at the doctor. “I don’t know anyone called Justin.”
Chris leaned back in his seat. “Yes you do. He was your jailor.”
It was five days before Joshua was allowed to leave the university. He was handed his envelope along with another one. Chris smiled at him. “The first one is your fees for participating in the experiment; the second one is the fees that Justin earned. He asked for them to be given to you.”
Joshua looked at the wads of cash in his hands. “But why? He earned it fair and square.”
“Actually he seemed to think otherwise. He insisted that you earned the money more than he did.”
The slim brunette held out the cash to Chris so he could take it back and the short doctor shook his head. “No it’s yours. Justin wants you to have it.” He held out his hand. “If you ever want to talk about what you have been through, here’s my card. Call me. Goodbye Joshua.”
Joshua took the card and pushed it in his pocket. “Thanks Chris, for everything. Especially for making me open up to you. It really helped to talk about what happened in there and about Nathanial.”
Chris patted him on the back and walked him out into the sunshine and his waiting cab. “It’s going to be okay Josh. I promise.” When Joshua got into the cab for the first time since Nathaniel had betrayed him he knew it would be.