“Oh god Josh where are you?” Tears stung his eyes as he cursed himself again for staying away so long. He had been tracking a wild pig and had lost track of time, realising how long he had been gone only when it had started to get dark.
The clock on the bedside table blinked infuriatingly brightly, refusing to let sleep take the distraught soldier. His mind was filled with terrible things that could be happening to Joshua. Was he safe? Were his captors abusing him? Had his precious lover been raped? Justin groaned and buried his face in the Joshua scented sheets once more. He needed to sleep because when the dawn broke he was going to get Joshua back.
He roused slowly and sleepily reached out to touch his husband finding nothing but a cold empty space. The emptiness jerked him to life and he sat up panting, his heart racing as he looked around for the slender dark haired teen that he had been sharing his life with for the past eight weeks. Regretfully he remembered that Joshua wasn’t there that he had been kidnapped. Justin leaped out of bed and shoved his legs into his pants before pulling his sweater over his head. He slipped on his socks and pushed his feet into his army boots. Slowing himself down he forced himself to make a small breakfast and washed it down with a glass of reconstructed milk. The powdery taste stuck in his throat but he needed the calcium and energy that the creamy white fluid provided. Without wasting time he filled three canteens with fresh clean water and shoved them and two days worth of supplies into a backpack. He took one last look around the bunker and sighed sadly. They had been so happy there for a while. He’d willingly have stayed there forever with Joshua. As he turned to leave he saw Joshua's breeder’s robes lying across the back of the low couch and he gathered them up, sniffing them deeply. He sighed again and shoved them into his pack. They were all he had left of Joshua; he couldn’t bring himself to leave them behind.
He ascended the stairs and scouted the surrounding area before dropping to a crouch and scouring the ground. Sure enough there were tracks. Justin counted at least eight to ten heavily booted men and one bare footed lighter man, Joshua. Steadying himself Justin began to follow the trail. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end as he found the drag marks. His precious boy had been mistreated and the ones responsible had better start praying because he was going to make sure they suffered much worse.
Justin followed the tracks for over two hours then the road was there in front of him.
“NO!” he screamed at the top of his voice. He ran to the other side searching for signs that the soldiers had carried on walking. An hour later he sank to his knees with his face stained with tears and dirt. He had to face up to facts, the platoon had a vehicle waiting for them and they could have gone either way, he had no way of telling. Joshua was gone, he had lost him.
Dejectedly he began the long and lonely trek north, he had nothing to stay here for anymore, nothing to live for. His heart ached more with every step northward but going south was suicide. Joshua could be anywhere by now. Maybe, just maybe intelligence would be able to track Joshua down and he would be able to go get him back.
Justin tried not to think of his beloved husband naked and penned, waiting to be raped over and over. He hoped the frail innocent wouldn’t break and lose his mind. He’d been loved now, been touched. Fresh tears started to fall down Justin's face and he started to jog. The quicker he got to St Charles the quicker he would be able to launch a rescue attempt.
Joshua huddled in the corner of the room. He was too frightened to think straight. He had been locked in the room for ages. He had no idea how long only that night had been and gone again. So far he hadn’t been touched but he knew in his heart that it was only a matter of time before something bad happened to him. The door opened and Joshua whimpered and scampered across the floor taking refuge behind the narrow cot that had been his bed for the night. The soldier rolled his eyes and placed a pan of water and a plate of food on the floor.
“Breakfast,” he said gruffly and backed out, locking the door behind him.
Joshua took a deep relieved breath and tentatively crawled out of his hiding place. He grabbed the pan of water and drank thirstily. Then he snatched up the food and after briefly sniffing it began to eat. He was hungry; he hadn’t had anything to eat since he had been captured. All the time he kept his eyes locked on the door, ready to bolt for cover at the slightest noise or indication that someone was coming. Time passed slowly for him all he could do was wait. He jumped as the lock of his door rattled and clawed his way back to his hiding place in a panic.
The soldier was slightly taken aback when he didn’t see the prisoner right away. Then he spotted the top of his head and two frightened liquid steel blue eyes peering at him over the top of the cot.
At the sight of the soldier Joshua cried out and tried to crawl under the low cot, terror consuming him and pushing all reason out of the window. The soldier approached him carefully and sat on the cot, his hands resting in full view unthreateningly in his lap.
“Don’t be frightened,” he said softly. “No one is going to hurt you Joshua.”
The breeder broke down sobbing at the sound of the soldiers words. “Please,” he begged, his voice shaking with grief. “Please I don’t want to go to a breeding farm. I’m married; my husband will be looking for me. Please don’t hurt me.”
“No one is going to hurt you Joshua. You’ll be safe here.”
Joshua lifted his head and looked at the man sitting patiently on the cot. “You, you won’t put me in a cage and make me have babies?”
Lance edged closer to Joshua and held out his hand. “No baby, you’re safe. We don’t do that to breeders in the north. Come with me darling I have someone who is anxious to see you again.”
Justin ignored the jeep driving towards him and kept on jogging, his eyes fixed on the road. The vehicle ground to a stop and the driver jumped out and started running towards him.
He shrugged off the rough embrace and moodily got into the jeep, not speaking a word.
“Fuck! glad you’re happy to see me JT.” Chris Kirkpatrick clambered back in behind the wheel and started the engine.
“Aren’t you going to ask me where Joshua is?” Justin asked in a low voice, struggling to keep his composure in front of his friend.
“I know where he is, that’s why I came looking for you.”
Justin sat bolt upright. “What did you just say?”
“When?” Chris couldn’t help but tease his long term friend.
“Just now you bastard! What was that about Joshua?”
“Oh you mean about me knowing where he is and you not.”
Justin started to feel his temper boiling, the tears that he was holding back started to leak out. “CK please, if you know where Joshua is tell me.”
“Alpha squadron picked him up yesterday afternoon by an old abandoned bunker. They said it looked like he had been living there.”
Justin breathed out with relief. “They took him while I was out hunting CK. I thought the south had him. I was so scared that I had lost him.” He began to cry softly much to the embarrassment of the older man.
“J he’s okay. He got a little bruised that’s all. The guys didn’t know what they found. All they saw was a pretty, young breeder wandering around on his own and brought him in for safe keeping, they weren’t exactly gentle with him.” Chris caste a quick glance at Justin who was chewing the inside of his mouth and glaring angrily at the road ahead.
“Did they rape him?” he asked quietly.
Chris gasped. “What kind of question is that?”
“Just tell me CK. Did they rape him?”
“No, they never touched a single hair on his head. He’s in a holding cell in St Charles.”