.. | angel eyes | chapter 2
"Honestly, Alex, when are you planning on forgetting this foolishness? The phone is ringing off the hook here-"
Alex was walking down the street, hand in his pocket, while the other held the cellphone that connected him to his other life that he was taking a break from. He was glad for once that its number had been kept to himself and a few ‘close’ friends. "When I feel like it, Kev. I'll give you a call next week, yeah?"
He flipped the phone closed before Kevin could respond. Sighing, he looked up at the night sky. What to do now? A bar? He hadn't been out in a long time. His lips curled in a smile at the thought as he brushed past people on the street. Now if he could find out where the hotspots were on this side of town, he would be-
Alex swiftly found himself for the second time that day on his behind on the sidewalk. Struggling to right himself, he rubbed his sore backside and stared right into the same pair of haunting green eyes he'd seen earlier that day. Green eyes, wiry body, smeared white tanktop and an old coat. Alex's eyes immediately picked out the little dried trickle of blood on his left one through the rips in his jeans.
"Sorry," the boy mumbled, his voice very audibly trembling. His face was red, as if he'd been crying.
"That's twice in one day," Alexander said, helping the boy sit up. "You making a habit of this?" At the sound of his voice, Isaac's head snapped up and he looked as if he was going to start weeping again. Without thinking he said, "Hey, hey, what's happened? Are you all right?" He dared to lift Isaac's chin so he could see those green eyes again. The boy jerked his face away and closed his eyes.
"Nothing. I'm fine. I just need to get to the store." He turned around to rub the backs of his hands over his eyes. They were trembling; he was definitely shaken up over something.
"Well, want me to walk you there? I'm still not busy," he offered. It was pure coincidence that he was on this side of town again after a day of meandering. Forgetting about that, however, Alexander wanted to take every chance he got to see this boy more, talk to him. Maybe find out what had made him such a nervous wreck.
Isaac didn’t answer, but they began walking in silence. More than once, he'd had to catch Isaac from stumbling. He was amazed at the boy's courage to go out alone. He obviously wasn't as familiar with the area as he'd let on, and there was something off about him, like he was in a hurry. If he had use of his sight Alex had the distinct feeling he’d have been constantly looking over his shoulder.
"What were you looking for?" Alexander upon entering the corner store. It was small and a little grungy, but also a little charming in its ‘local-ness’.
"Cat food," Isaac murmured.
"That's probably this way," Alexander said, putting his hand on Isaac's arm to nudge him in the right direction. Isaac moved his arm away from him and went on his own.
Alexander watched him move with his fingers slightly out so he wouldn't run into anything. He raised an eyebrow, again finding it absolutely amazing that Isaac, as helpless as he was with his impediment, was so set on doing things on his own. In addition, Alexander couldn't help but get the idea that Isaac didn't want him there. A new feeling to him. He smiled and knelt down to where the cat food bags were on the shelf.
"What kind does he like?"
"Whitefish in a can," he said softly. "It's the only thing he'll eat." There was no way he could have done this himself, and Alex found himself glad he could do it before the boy was forced to bend that pride of his and ask for a stranger’s help. He pulled out a pack of the cat food cans and carried it to the front counter, followed by Isaac, who was following the sound of his footsteps.
The food bought and paid for, they walked outside the small store. Isaac felt uneasy with him there and then it suddenly occurred to him that he didn't even know the man's name. He bit his lip, genuinely curious to know it, but he'd be damned before he would ask. He heard the man shift the pack to one arm and then he lifted Isaac's hand. "What happened? You're all cut up-"
Isaac jerked his hand away. "I broke a glass," he said quickly. There came an awkward silence again as they walked, and Isaac wrung his hands in his uneasiness. He didn't know why he felt this way, perhaps it was because this was how he'd gotten involved with Noah; letting a stranger help him. He still regretted it..
"Are you hungry?" the man said suddenly, making him jump. "There's a cafe across the street there."
Isaac froze. It was Noah all over again.
"No," he said nervously. "No, I'm not hungry. I'd rather go home."
Alexander looked at the boy. He'd definitely picked up on the nervous tinge to his voice. As independent as he seemed to be, he was afraid suddenly? "Is it because I'm a stranger? I can understand that. I'm Alexander," he said. "Call me Alex if you want." He smiled. "Now come on, get a coffee with me at least, it’s early still."
Isaac stood where he was. "I.. I don't think I should," he said softly. He wanted to go with him, he really did. There was something about the way this man, Alex, talked. The tone of his voice; it was kind. Isaac wasn't used to someone speaking to him like that. And he smelled good too.
But Noah- What if he came home and Isaac was gone? He'd already made him angry enough today. Alex pulled on his sleeve again.
"Come on. I'll walk you home afterwards."
Isaac minutely yielded to his tugging. "I can't take long," he said finally.
Alex walked him across the street and into the cafe. "Why?" he teased. "The cat gave you a curfew?" He caught the slightest hesitation in Isaac's movements as they sat down. Alex raised an eyebrow, but didn't say any more about it.
At a curbside table they sat in silence for a few minutes before Isaac cleared his throat. "So, uh, what do you do?" he asked as if he felt forced to make conversation. He rubbed his fingers idly up and down the side of his water glass.
"Nothing right now," Alex answered. "I'm taking a vacation." He took a sip of the coffee that the waitress had brought. He was wanting to know how Isaac kept that apartment, but he decided he wouldn't pry.
"A vacation from what?"
"Tedious, boring stuff," Alex answered, letting his eyes wander around the small cafe. He spotted the display case near the front cash register.
"Mmm. They have dessert here. Want some chocolate? I'm in the mood for something sweet," he said standing up. "I'll be right back."
Chocolate. He never got to eat chocolate. Isaac let himself smile a bit and folded his hands, waiting for Alex to get back. He listened to the sounds around the loud cafe, the clattering of dishes, the noisy talking of the people near him, the traffic that drove by. He sighed and smiled again. It was nice to get out and actually listen to the world around him for once.
"What are you smiling at?" It was Alex, and he set something on the table. Isaac wiped the private smile from his face and touched the plate near his fingers.
"What is this?"
"Dark chocolate," Alex answered. "Be careful when you eat it though, it's pretty rich." He was trying to keep his tone from being teasing, since the boy’s green eyes had lit up before he could stop himself. This was definitely a weakness of his, it had to be. He watched with satisfaction as Isaac took a few small bites, trying his best not to look like he was enjoying it.
Alexander propped his chin up on his hand. "So," he said. "Tell me about yourself."
Isaac swallowed and licked his lips. "There's really not much to tell," he said, sounding as if he was trying the be polite as possible. He took another bite.
"Well so far I know only a few things about you," Alexander said, unwrapping his own sweets. "Your name, your cat's name-" He watched Isaac lick his fingers. The boy stopped and raised his head a bit at Alex's pause. "And that your weakness is chocolate cake."
Isaac actually smiled at him. "It’s not. I just don't get chocolate very often," he said. It felt good to have a conversation with someone other than a cat. Isaac licked his fingers some more, contemplating on asking Alex if he was willing to go get another one.
"Why not?" Alex asked.
Because money is better spent than on chocolate cake. Because Noah won't let me. Because I’m sure he thinks I'll get lazy and fat if I get too comfortable. "I just don't," he answered. "I can't spend the money on it."
"Mmm." Another pause. "That piece was kind of small. You wouldn't happen to want another one would you?"
Isaac smiled. "Only if you were planning on getting one," he answered softly.
There was the sound of Alex getting up. "Of course. Chocolate is always worth spending money on."
After that, it had been easy to talk, the words just started flowing after that. They spent almost an hour there at that table, until after a short pause in the conversation Isaac had idly asked what time it was, an upon hearing it he’d said he should be getting home.
Isaac let Alex walk him there again, carrying the pack of cat food for him, but he stopped the man at the base of the stairs, holding his arm out for Obie’s food. Alex handed it to him genially and watched him go up the stairs alone.
Noah, thankfully, wasn't home. Isaac sighed and fed his cat a double portion, and it gave him an odd happiness to listen to the gentle purr as Obie enjoyed his food finally. He let his cat eat in peace as he made his way back to the bedroom. He opened the closet door, his fingers reaching out automatically to the smooth keys. Playing twice in one night was rare for him, since it tended to wear his mind out, but this was a special occasion. He tinkered a few notes out and then leaned his elbows on the keyboard, his chin in his hands. He though of Alex. Of how that night, Isaac hadn't talked much. It seemed to him that Alex enjoyed talking, and Isaac enjoyed letting him. Sometimes it wasn’t that he was paying particular attention to what Alex was saying, though he had been of course, but moreso to the quality of his voice, the low resonance as he spoke. It was almost like the music of his little piano. It soothed him like that. Isaac smiled and played a few more notes, letting then swivel into a melody, his hands moving lightly over the keys, playing out the night's events in his own secret language. He found himself smiling. He would have to remember this tune and play it again.
Finally, he moved to the bed. He undressed slowly, humming bits and pieces of the tune he'd just created for himself. He slid under the covers and rolled over onto his side, his sightless eyes open for a time. He hadn’t realized they’d closed until he suddenly snapped them open again at the sound of the apartment door opening and closing, shattering his dreamy little doze.
There was rummaging around in the other rooms and soft hiccuping until Noah made his way to their room. Isaac shut his eyes again, hoping Noah would take him for being asleep. But then again, that had never stopped the man anyway.
There was some rustling of clothing before a big body slid into bed and strong arms pulled Isaac back, back against a heated body and hard callused hands felt their way over his sensitive skin. Isaac kept his eyes squeezed shut. He didn't want this. He used to, but now it seemed he never did. And especially after tonight, it somehow seemed even worse. Not after a nice evening with a man like Alexander...He bit his lip and let Noah have his way, knowing that when it was done, he would be left alone at least.
He fantasized about sex with someone less repulsive to him. Someone who smelled good, and who would nuzzle him afterwards, not just roll over and go to sleep. And lately there had been pain with Noah. There never had been pleasure for him, and he'd begun to think that there never would be. That somehow he just couldn't feel it.
Sure enough, when Noah had had his fill, and just when Isaac felt as if he would throw up just from the stale smoke and beer scent on him, the man let him go, grunted a bit as he cleaned himself off and eventually rolled over to sleep. Isaac lay where he was, breathing hard, his eyes squeezed shut. As usual he waited until hideous snores filled the room before he slipped out of bed and made his way to the bathroom to bathe. He couldn't stand smelling like Noah, couldn't stand the feeling of him all over his body.
He slid down into the warm water and leaned his head back against the porcelain rim and without really meaning to, he thought of Alex again.
The following day, after Noah had gone off to work, Isaac wandered down the apartment common stairs. He'd recovered from last night. He'd had to learn how to, or else it would drive him slowly mad to constantly have that particular misery of benevolent rape on his mind. He idly thought that just on chance, a small chance, he would run into Alex again. Hell, it'd happened twice already. He stood in the doorway of the building and imagined he could feel that presence. The idea sent happy shivers down his back.
"Fancy meeting you here. You out for some fresh air?"
Isaac smiled widely, unable to help himself. "What are you doing here?"
"I thought I'd come by and see what you were up to. I was bored."
Boredom. Something Isaac knew too much about. He cocked his head. "You don't have any other friends?"
Alex laughed; the sound was rich in Isaac's ears. "They don't let me talk nearly as much as you do. Have you had breakfast yet?"
He found that he could very easily get used to this man's presence. Secure in the fact that Noah wouldn't be home until his usual time, he spent the day with Alex. They talked for a good long while over breakfast, and then Alex had informed him that he needed to go shopping.
"Oh, well then I guess I can get home ok-" He moved to stand up from their table.
"Oh, I thought you might want to go with me?"
Isaac laughed nervously. "What good would I be shopping?"
A warm hand took his and pulled him outside again. "Moral support when I see the prices. Come on."
So that was that then. The sounds in the mall echoed in his ears. Of people's feet across the floor, the sounds of their voices and their bags rattling as they walked. The escalator was a strange experience though. The feeling that he was falling had made him actually grab onto Alex as it moved upwards.
Alexander smiled and helped Isaac's hands to the handrail. If he didn't know better, he could have sworn the blond was actually enjoying himself. Isaac kept one hand on his arm until they'd reached the next floor.
He was actually shopping because he was tired of fancy, expensive clothing, if one could believe that. Plain shirts and jeans could do him fine for a while. In fact, good old-fashioned jeans were a pleasant relief in comparison to slacks and leather stuff that he'd been told to wear lately. Plus he really was bored. And he couldn't help but feel that Isaac loved the places around him, but never got out to enjoy them.
They spent the whole day together without a care for the time that passed. But then in the evening, like the night before, Isaac begged to be able to go home an his demeanor changed to how it had been when he’d first run into him on the street. Without questioning him, Alexander watched Isaac going up the stairs alone for a third time.
part 3 | back to part 1 | back to main