In these few minutes he would remember JC and the life he thought was his as he stood hugging himself, his body pressed against the cold glass. One day when he was feeling brave he had tried the door only to find it was deadlocked. His prison was elegant and comfortable but it was a prison and his jailor unstable. The clock in the hall struck 5.30 shaking Jason from his daydreams. Five more minutes and HE would be rolling up the drive, 40 seconds after that the key would turn in the lock and HE would expect to be greeted by his dutiful husband.
Time moved to slow motion. Two minutes more and he would be home.
Jason went out into the hallway and slipped out of his clothes taking care to fold them and place them in the oak chest David had bought for that purpose. The sound of the tyres grinding on the stones outside informed Jason that his husband was home. He stood straight his hands clasped behind his back waiting for the door to open. Long agonising seconds passed before the lock clicked and the door swung open. Jason didn’t move, didn’t speak. David would speak to him when he was ready to. First he would walk round the house checking that all the chores had been done to his satisfaction. Then and only then would he greet the naked younger man who stood quaking with fear.
David ran a finger over the top of a picture frame turning it upwards and scrutinising it for the slightest trace of dust. A wry smile briefly graced his lips before he carried on his inspection. When he finished downstairs he ascended the stairs dragging his hand up the banister, checking the skirting boards. Jason resisted the urge to hug himself again as his husbands footsteps sounded above his head. He chewed his lip nervously when footsteps sounded on the steps. HE was coming back. The brunette never made eye contact when the bigger older man stood before him, he just blinked back the wetness that was brimming in his silver-blue orbs, silently waiting for his husbands verdict.
David grinned widely and opened his arms to Jason. The reed thin man stepped forward into them, physically relaxing as he rested his head on the offered shoulder. He had passed the first test, now all he had to do was survive dinner.
“You look lovely Jason.”
The brunette flushed, complements were not usually so forth coming so early in the evening. It immediately put him on his guard. He followed docilely as he was steered into the kitchen. David pulled out a chair and indicated that Jason should sit down. He then took the pot that was bubbling on the stove and placed it on the table.
“What is this Jason?”
“What did I tell you I wanted for dinner tonight?”
The older man slammed the pot lid onto the tabletop making Jason jump and cower away from him. “Spaghetti Jason! I said I wanted spaghetti .”
“There wasn’t any spaghetti, only pasta, I thought.”
David tipped the pot onto the floor, sending the pasta twirls spilling across the pristine clean kitchen tiles.
“You thought! You thought! You are incapable of thought! You are stupid! I’m calling Dr. Gerald, you will be back in the asylum within the hour.”
“No. Please David no. I just wanted to please you. I wanted you to be happy that I did something without being told. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Don’t send me back.” Jason clutched at his husbands sleeve as he begged.
David’s face was hard. “Make me a steak and salad.” Jason nodded obediently. He slid out of his chair turning the pot the right way round, scraping the already cooling food from the floor.
“Leave it. I’m hungry, get your skinny ass over to that cooker and make my dinner.” Shaking the slim man obeyed placing it before his husband when the dark meat was cooked. “Stand there while I eat.”
Jason bit back his tears standing perfectly straight his hands behind his back as was expected of him while the other man ate in silence.
“Are you hungry?”
Jason nodded yes afraid to speak.
David nodded to the congealed mess on the floor. “Eat it.”
A sob caught in Jason’s throat as he got down on his knees. He lifted liquid eyes to his husband silently pleading for mercy from the degrading act, finding nothing but hostility and anger in the older mans eyes. He reached out to pick up a handful of the now cold food.
“Use your mouth not your hands.”
Salty tears mixed with pasta and tomato as the man that was once known as JC lowered his mouth to the floor.
“Jenkins County, Georgia?”
“Yep.” Lance pulled out newspaper cuttings from his briefcase and passed them around his friends. “Owen came across these pictures and articles when he was following up the magic guys information.”
“This is JC!”
Justin’s exclamation brought Joey and Chris clabbering to his side, straining to see the photo of the young man wearing an army uniform.
“Actually its not. His name is Jason Scott. He’s also dead.” Lance pulled out more documents passing them round. “These are photo copies of everything Owen could find on him.”
“It says here that he was killed in Cyprus in a terrorist attack on his jeep.” Chris carried on reading the article aloud. ‘Jason Mark Scott, 24 was identified yesterday as being one of the five soldiers killed when the jeep he was travelling in hit a trip wire that had been stretched across the approach road to the U.S. base in Cyprus.’ “Jesus they were just 100 meters from home” ‘Jason had lived in Jenkins county for the past six years and was the life partner of Mr David Scott.’
“Let me see that!” Justin snatched the paper from his older band-mates hands. “It says here, ’Scott, 52, inherited his fortune from his family and still lives three kilometres north of Lawton on a large country estate.’ “So we go to Lawton and get him.”
“JC may not be there, this is a pure stab in the dark.” Much as he hated the role Lance knew he had to play the devils advocate in this, them all going running off half cocked to Georgia could force this Scott guy underground then they would never track down their missing band-mate and friend.
“But he could be!” Joey interjected, “Look at this dude! He’s JC’s image, stick a mullet on him and it is him. I say we get our asses there right now.”
“I agree with Joey.” Justin paced up and down stopping only to voice his agreement with the big Italian.
Lance pulled his hair in frustration, “If we go storming in there, guns blazing we are going to loose him. If and I mean if he has Jace he’s going to take him and run. Discretion is the word here.”
“Lance is right guys,” Chris folded the paper he was scanning for more information. “Send Owen in, as soon as we have positive proof then we get down there and kick us some Georgia old man butt.”
Justin and Joey glared at Lance and Chris, then sighed backing down.
Lance draped his arm round the baby’s neck and placed a kiss on his cheek. “We are going to find him Justy, just be patient okay.”
The shaven headed man chewed his lip and walked out of the room.