Burning Love (Soulscape #3)

Burning Love (Soulscape #3)

Status: Finished

Genre: Gay and Lesbian

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Gay and Lesbian

Summary

Frank is horrified when he learns that Alec caused the bar fire –and why he did it. Believing that his best friend, Ron McNeil, was also one of Alec’s victims, Frank is devastated and forced to remove his blinders where Alec is concerned. Unwilling to be the “reason” behind Alec’s deadly acts, Frank is left with no choice but to send Alec away –and insist he not come back. As usual, Alec displays no emotion in response to Frank’s decision, and leaves. Truths quickly surface that cause Frank to doubt his decision to send Alec away. When another fire in a remote area not far from the city is broadcast on the news within 24 hours of Alec’s departure –indicating two dead –Frank is convinced it is Alec’s doing. Realizing Alec is more dangerous out on his own, without supervision, Frank is compelled to find him and take him somewhere away from people –for everyone’s sake, including Alec’s. Yet locating someone who can change appearances at will, is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Summary

Frank is horrified when he learns that Alec caused the bar fire –and why he did it. Believing that his best friend, Ron McNeil, was also one of Alec’s victims, Frank is devastated and forced to remove his blinders where Alec is concerned. Unwilling to be the “reason” behind Alec’s deadly acts, Frank is left with no choice but to send Alec away –and insist he not come back. As usual, Alec displays no emotion in response to Frank’s decision, and leaves.

Truths quickly surface that cause Frank to doubt his decision to send Alec away. When another fire in a remote area not far from the city is broadcast on the news within 24 hours of Alec’s departure –indicating two dead –Frank is convinced it is Alec’s doing. Realizing Alec is more dangerous out on his own, without supervision, Frank is compelled to find him and take him somewhere away from people –for everyone’s sake, including Alec’s. Yet locating someone who can change appearances at will, is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Author Chapter Note

Frank is horrified when he learns that Alec caused the bar fire –and why he did it. Believing that his best friend, Ron McNeil, was also one of Alec’s victims, Frank is devastated and forced to remove his blinders where Alec is concerned. Unwilling to be the “reason” behind Alec’s deadly acts, Frank is left with no choice but to send Alec away –and insist he not come back. As usual, Alec displays no emotion in response to Frank’s decision, and leaves. Truths quickly surface that cause Frank to doubt his decision to send Alec away. When another fire in a remote area not far from the city is broadcast on the news within 24 hours of Alec’s departure –indicating two dead –Frank is convinced it is Alec’s doing. Realizing Alec is more dangerous out on his own, without supervision, Frank is compelled to find him and take him somewhere away from people –for everyone’s sake, including Alec’s. Yet locating someone who can change appearances at will, is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 20, 2015

Reads: 555

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 20, 2015

A A A

A A A

“The sirens are screaming and the fires are howling,
way down in the valley tonight.
There's a man in the shadows with a gun in his eye,
and a blade shining oh so bright.
There's evil in the air and there's thunder in sky,
and A killer's on the bloodshot streets.”

 

- Bat Out of Hell, MEAT LOAF

 

?

 

Something was burning. Smoke clogged Frank’s nostrils, forced down his throat. He knew he was dreaming, but the panic rose up and consumed him nonetheless as he realized he was caught within the heart of a burning building. He could see the entrance door less than a hundred feet away –and a clear path outside. But he hesitated. Why?

Frank turned in a slow circle, trying to breathe, gagging on the smoke as his eyes watered and streaked his face with tears. Someone else was in here with him. Someone he needed to save. He opened his mouth and cried out the name-

“Alec!” Frank bolted forward, his eyes snapping open, ripped from the dream with a suddenness that sent his heart racing, beating against his ribs. He trembled and looked around. He was sitting on his own bed, in his bedroom. The fear and panic from the dream clung to his senses though he was fully awake. He took deep breaths to calm his pulse and looked at the clock. Shit. He was supposed to be meeting Ron in ten minutes. Alec hadn’t woken him.

Alec.

Frank left the bed, feeling a sudden uneasiness he couldn’t account for. “Alec?” he called as he walked down the hall. He found the boy in the kitchen, and relaxed a little. The lights were off but it wasn’t yet fully dark outside. Alec stood at the window, looking down at the street, his hands clasped behind his back. “Alec?” Frank entered the kitchen. “I asked you to wake me. So I wouldn’t be late meeting Ron.”

“You won’t be meeting with him this evening,” Alec spoke low with an empty tone.

“What?” Frank frowned. “Did he call and cancel?”

“No,” Alec said and continued to stare out the window. “I cancelled Ron.”

Frank’s brow knit tighter and the uneasiness crept back in. “What? What do you mean, you…” Sirens wailed in the distance, yet not far…just down a few blocks. Then Frank smelled it –smoke. Faint. Seeping in from outside. It hadn’t just been a part of his dream. He swallowed hard and his legs suddenly felt weak. “Alec…” he moved toward the boy, and before he reached him –caught the odor of gasoline.

Oh God. Oh God, Alec…

He crossed to the window quickly and gripped Alec’s arm, pulling him around. Through the window he could see the glow of a raging fire. People were filing down the street to get a closer look. “Alec, what did you do?” Frank demanded, panic rising up again. The fire was in the vicinity of –the bar!

Alec looked at him and cocked his head a little to the right. “You’re mine, doc,” he stated bluntly. “Nobody touches what is mine.”

Oh God…Ron!

“Alec!” Frank clutched his arm. “What did you do?” He released the boy and rushed from the apartment, racing down the stairwell and out onto the sidewalk. Fuck! Oh fuck –Alec! No!

Frank’s heart beat like a drum, matching tempo with the smack of his feet against the concrete. Breath labored in his throat as his chest constricted with fear. No…no…he didn’t…he wouldn’t…

Images surfaced suddenly, causing dizziness but he didn’t slow –Dr. Kim Delaney. Amanda Strom. Chuck Weslo. Alec ran on pure animal instinct, and if he thought Ron was trying to take Frank away and give him to someone else…

Frank came upon a throng of onlookers and shoved through them, colliding with bodies as he was drilled with annoyed looks and needled with muttered curses. He ignored the rankled observers and fought his way to the front, stumbling out of the gathering crowd, halting abruptly, eyes wide in horror.

The bar was engulfed in flames which were slowly succumbing to the powerful spray of the fire hoses. Night was descending fast, causing the fire to glow brighter as firemen battled the blaze, new trucks barreled down the streets, sirens and horns blaring to clear their path.

“No…” Frank choked and bent over, gripping his knees as his head went light and he swayed on his feet. Gusts of heat wafted against his face. “Fuck…Alec…” Tears rose up and streaked his face, dripping off his chin. “Fuck!”

A hand touched him and he jumped, straightening quickly as he stumbled back a couple steps. One of the firemen pointed behind him, motioning him to move back.

“What…what happened?” Frank choked, his voice raised above the din and chaos. “How did it start?” Alec hadn’t directly confessed to the arson. Maybe…

Maybe it was an accidental fire and Alec had nothing to do with it?

Frank squeezed his eyes shut. He smelled like gasoline.

One of the onlookers spoke up when the fireman moved away without answering. “Someone said the outer doors were chained closed.”

Frank swallowed hard and looked at the person. A woman, late thirties. “Chained?” he choked on the smoke in the air and his tears, and covered his nose and mouth with his arm. “And the people inside…?”

Sympathy strained her face and she shook her head. “Locked inside. The place went up fast, they’re saying. No one stood a chance of escaping.” She shook her head again as Frank shifted his eyes back to the inferno, horror consuming him. “What kind of monster would do this?” she wondered. “I hope to God they catch him and fry him.”

Frank staggered back, sinking slowly into the hoard of curious viewers, all of them shaking their heads and murmuring what a horrific incident this was –yet watching with fascination. He turned and fought his way back through the crowd as more people gathered, pushing forward, struggling to get a look.

He broke free of the throng and ran from the inferno, sobs blocking his airway, choking him on panic and tears. His feet didn’t slow until he reached the block with his apartment building, then he came to a near stop, having to force his legs to carry him on. Grief consumed him, taking his strength, emptying his heart. Ron…The man had been his best friend since high school, always there for him. Frank wasn’t positive he would have even made it through the last two years without Ron’s support and friendship. All those years treating Alec, Ron had been Frank’s therapist, in his own way. Someone to talk to about the things he couldn’t tell anyone else. His fears…and hopes…concerning Alec.

He can’t be gone…Alec didn’t hate him…he knew Ron was a good guy.

But Alec didn’t function on emotion and Frank was well aware of that. Too aware. Ron had only been safe for as long as he didn’t threaten Alec or what Alec wanted.

Frank burst into the apartment and slammed and locked the door behind –as if he could shut out reality on the other side. Panic surged through him and he gasped for breath. He shoved away from the door, his legs unsteady. “Alec!” he cried as rushed into the kitchen. The boy continued to stand at the window and watch the street below. “You did this!” He was across the room and clutching Alec’s arm in a matter of seconds, jerking the boy around to face him “How could you do this?” Tears streaked his face. “Why would you…”

Releasing the kid, Frank stumbled away and dropped against the counter, his head in his hands, choking on sobs.

“They were bad people, doc,” Alec said. “They were going to hurt you.”

“What’re you talking about?” Frank trembled. “Who?”

“Men from the bar. They saw you leave the club with me. They found out that you liked boys and they were waiting for you to come back to the bar.”

“How do you know that?” Frank choked.

Alec stared at him, his dark eyes seeming to pulse. “I know.”

“And Ron?” Frank cried. “He was my best friend, Alec! I…I loved him like a brother. And you…” He buried his head in his arms, sobs shaking him.

“He was wrong to try and set you up with James,” Alec spoke low. “So I took care of it. He won’t be trying again. I dealt with them both.”

Frank went rigid, his blood chilling. He raised his head and looked at the young man. “Both?” he whispered. “What…what do you mean?”

“I used your phone and messaged him. Asked him to meet with you tonight.” Alec’s lips twitched. “Except he wasn’t really meeting with you.”

Frank stared at him, horrified. “You…you lured him there?”

“Yes.”

A cold invaded Frank’s heart as he looked at Alec. This is what you invited into your bed –into your life? He is evil. Frank had desperately wanted to see more in the boy, seek out that one tendril of humanity. But looking at him now, he knew it wasn’t there. His reports had been right –Alec was a bad seed. Born evil. There had never been any hope of saving him.

Frank wilted onto the stool and dropped his head in his hands. “All I ever wanted…was to save you,” he whispered in a trembling voice. “I tried so hard to believe that somewhere inside you…there was a glimmer of good.” He looked up at Alec, warm tears running down his face. “But there is none, is there?”

“I am what I am, doc,” Alec said. “You knew that.”

“Maybe I did,” Frank swallowed thickly. “And I just didn’t want to admit it. But I can’t deny it anymore.”

“I did this for you, doc.”

“Stop saying that!” Frank cried. “You didn’t do it for me, Alec! You did it because you’re bad! Because it’s your nature! Don’t fucking use me as your excuse!” He jabbed a finger toward the window –the fire, smoke and sirens beyond. “Do you really think I wanted you to do that? To kill people in my name?

Alec stared at him, his face calm, expressionless. “They deserved it. They were bad, too.”

“There will always be bad people in the world!” Frank choked. “There will always be bigots and haters, but that’s life! You can’t fucking…kill them all!”

“Why?” Alec wondered.

Why?” Frank shouted. “Because it’s wrong to kill, Alec! I know you don’t get the concept of wrong, but I do! It isn’t our place to hurt others just because we don’t like the way they are!”

Alec cocked his head a little, puzzlement pinching his brow. “But they made the choice to hurt you. That was wrong, wasn’t it?”

“Yes,” Frank shuddered. “But-”

“So I hurt them,” Alec interjected. “It’s all even now.”

No,” Frank shook his head. “It isn’t. Two wrongs don’t make a right. And what about Ron and…and James?” Frank choked on a sob. “They didn’t do anything! They were…they were my friends.

“I’m your friend, too, doc.”

“No.” Frank’s face tightened, his jaw clenched as he stared hard at the boy, eyes brimming with fresh tears. “You have no concept of friendship, Alec. To be friends with someone, you have to care about them. And you don’t know how to care, how to feel. If you did…you wouldn’t have hurt me by taking Ron away.”

“Doc…”

“Leave,” Frank trembled. “Get out of my sight, Alec. I refuse to be your reason for hurting others. You need to go away and…” his throat closed and tears streaked his face. “…and not come back. Ever.”

Alec stood motionless and looked at him. “You think you know everything about me, doc,” he murmured. “But you don’t.”

“I know enough,” Frank whispered and turned away, burying his face in his hands. “I don’t want to know anymore.”

He heard Alec shift, then a soft clunk as he set something on the kitchen table. “Not everything is as it appears, doc,” he spoke low as he retreated from the kitchen. “Not even me.”

When the front door closed, an instant wave of nausea gripped Frank. He bolted from the kitchen and ran to the bathroom, dropping to his knees before the toilet as he vomited hard into the bowl. His head swam and ears rang as he clutched the toilet seat, gasping. Tears dripped off his face into the vile mess and he fumbled with the lever, flushing away the soiled water. He closed the lid and dragged himself up to sit on top of the toilet. He reached over and turned on the sink faucet, wet a wash cloth and wiped his face and mouth. His stomach continued to pinch with every thought of Ron and James. And Alec.

“This is my fault,” Frank shuddered. “I should have sent him away the moment I knew it was him. I shouldn’t have let him stay…I shouldn’t…” He ducked his head and broke. His hands slid up behind his neck and squeezed as his cries intensified.

You’re more to blame than Alec. He doesn’t understand humanity. But you knew he was evil…that he was dangerous…and you still kept him. Why?!

“I don’t know!” he cried out loud. “I don’t fucking know!”

Yes you do.

He squeezed his eyes shut and clutched fists of his hair. He couldn’t face that truth –not now. Not after what Alec did to Ron and James…the men at the bar-

His cell phone warbled distantly from somewhere in the apartment. Rising on shaky legs, he grabbed the door as his head went light and he swayed a little before gaining his equilibrium. He stepped into the hall and listened. The last place he remembered having his phone was in the bedroom. But Alec…

I used your phone to message him…

The sound was coming from the kitchen. Frank made his way down the hall and into the kitchen, spotting the device on the table. It was his phone that he’d heard Alec set on the table when he walked out.

There was a very limited amount of people who had his private cell number. Ron had been the only one who used it regularly. His throat worked as he walked stiffly to the table and picked up the phone, answering the call without looking at the display. He was so accustomed to seeing Ron’s name hovering there, and it hurt like hell to know he would never see it again.

“Hello?” he whispered, his voice thick, raw.

“Frank? What happened to you? You were supposed to be here thirty minutes ago.”

Dizziness swarmed Frank’s head and he dropped heavily into one of the chairs at the table. “Ron…?

 


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