The hot water ran down my body and washed away all the dirt and grime that had been stuck to my skin. Maybe the hot water wasn’t only cleaning my skin…but my soul too.
That was so cheesy.
But this morning, when I woke up in a warm bed with dim light streaming in through the curtained windows, it was the best morning I’d had in years.
I was in such a good mood, but when I saw Erik this morning I would most likely put my mask back on to protect myself. It wasn’t like I could show him how happy I was to have a bed and a shower—he could take it all away with the snap of his fingers. So no, I couldn’t let on to how much I loved this.
Erik had lavender scented body wash in the shower and I wondered if he had bought it or if he had a boyfriend or girlfriend who had. Lavender didn’t seem like a scent that a tough man like him would buy.
Thinking about Erik and what had happened last night made my hand stray to my dick. It was kind of hard to masturbate when you were homeless—never knowing if you were going to get caught or not, plus being put on some sex offenders list certainly wouldn’t help me in life. So I didn’t get a lot of opportunities to let loose.
I jacked my cock a few times, biting my lip.
Then I remembered what Erik had said and immediately removed my hand from my dick like I’d been burned.
I got a little mad at myself at my reaction. I rolled my eyes.
He wasn’t the boss of me. He wasn’t my Dom. I was living in his house, but that didn’t mean he had complete control over my body.
But I didn’t touch myself again.
As much as I hated myself for that fact, I didn’t touch anywhere close to my dick except to clean myself.
I finished up in the shower, turned off the water, and grabbed a fluffy towel off the rack by the shower.
I dried myself off before wrapping myself up in the towel and stepping out of the shower, onto the soft green mat. Either Erik had a significant other who put nice touches to the whole house or he had a secret eye for design. Or actually maybe it wasn’t secret at all, I knew practically nothing about him so how would I know?
There were a few lotions set out on the counter and I picked one up, smelling it before squirting some into my palm and rubbing it on my arms.
I was really making myself at home and maybe I should have been a little more cautious, but I just couldn’t help myself. All this stuff was way more luxurious than anything I’d used in a very, very long time.
When I was done in the bathroom, I walked across the hall and into my bedroom…my bedroom? Could I really call it that?
I had literally been here one night. I was getting way too comfortable already.
I told myself to build up defenses again.
Just because a guy did something nice for you doesn’t mean it’s going to last. You’re a fucking psycho. And he’s a cop. In a few days he’s going to realize how crazy you really are and kick you to the curb. You’ll be on the streets again, so don’t get comfortable. And never, ever get used to this life. It’ll be gone in a second.
I sighed and dropped the towel before getting dressed in the clothes Erik had laid out for me the night before. The pants and shirt were way too big but I made them work. They would do until my own clothes were clean.
It was surprising that he had this idea to bring me to his house last night and then he came here and got everything all ready before going back to the station and leaving with me. Maybe I wasn’t the only crazy one under this roof. Who in their right mind would do something like that? For me? It didn’t make any sense.
After I was dressed, I gathered up my dirty clothes and decided to bring them to the laundry room.
Before I left the bedroom, I listened to any sounds that were coming from other areas of the house. I thought I heard Erik in the kitchen but I couldn’t be sure.
I took a deep breath and opened the door.
I walked down the hall and got a glimpse of Erik, who was indeed in the kitchen, before I quickly went into the laundry room.
I put my dirty clothes into the washer and turned it on before pouring in an appropriate amount of laundry detergent. I shut the washer and moved to stand in the doorway of the room.
I had a slight view of the kitchen and could see Erik moving around in there.
I swallowed, working up courage and slipping on my toughened exterior I showed to the world.
I walked out of the room and shut the door behind me to quiet the sounds of the washer. I stepped towards the counter and Erik turned around to look at me.
He was dressed in his uniform, looking like he was ready for work. “There’s food on the table for you. Eggs and toast. It’s about all I know how to make so I’m sorry if you don’t like it,” he said with a straight face.
I actually hated eggs, but I was starving. An actual home cooked meal was way better than the shit I’d been eating for the past few months. Eating food out of garbage cans was the worst thing ever, but I always did what I had to do to survive…even when I was younger. I always knew how to take care of myself. I’d had no other choice.
I walked around the counter and towards the table by the window. “Sounds great,” I said, making sure to not sound too thankful or energetic.
I sat down at the place that had the food in front of it and picked up the fork.
“Coffee?” Erik offered, about to pour a fresh coffee into a mug.
“Um, yeah, sure,” I said, a little surprised at how hospitable he was being.
He poured a cup coffee for me and for himself. He brought them over to the table and then got a small container of half and half and a bowl of sugar from the counter. He placed them in the middle of the table before sitting down.
I finally took a few bites of food. The eggs were thankfully scrambled so they weren’t completely inedible for me. He had a bottle of Tabasco on the table and I put some on the eggs.
I promised myself that I would eat this food like a normal human being and not like someone that had basically starved for months. I was not going to show that side of myself to Erik. Not ever.
I watched Erik pour a tiny bit of half and half into his mug of coffee along with half a spoonful of sugar. He stirred it before taking a sip.
The silence was awkward.
I was not going to be the first one to speak so I hoped he said something soon.
I reached for the sugar and put two heaping spoonfuls in my coffee and stirred it. I took a sip and set it back down.
“I guess we should set some ground rules,” Erik finally said.
I looked up, probably looking like a defensive animal with the way he started the conversation.
His face was straight and blank and I realized I hadn’t seen him smile.
“First off, I don’t want you leaving the house,” he said.
I frowned prominently and crossed my hands over my stomach, slightly hunching over.
“You can go out to the front and walk around but I don’t want you leaving the neighborhood,” he explained further.
Was he…worried about me?
No, surely not. He just met me.
When I didn’t say anything, he continued, “I also don’t want you inviting anyone over to the house. I don’t want strangers here.”
“I’m a stranger,” I said, the frown not leaving my face.
And it was true. He didn’t know me, therefore I was a stranger. He could hardly even call me an acquaintance.
“That’s different,” he said, looking annoyed. “I invited you here. I don’t want you to invite your friends here.”
“I don’t have friends,” I told him simply.
He didn’t say anything to that and after a moment only nodded his head once.
It was kind of sad to admit that I didn’t have friends, but it was the truth. He was probably worried I had a bunch of diseased, crackhead friends that I was going to invite over and ruin his nice house. But I’d never had friends, people learned to stay away from me a long time ago. I’d always been kind of lonely, but I was good with being alone as well.
I’d wanted love in the past. So badly. So much so that I would’ve done anything to have the one person I thought could make all the bad feelings and pain inside me go away. But I’d learned the hard way that wasn’t going to happen.
When I was locked up in Somerhearst I became a much saner person. They helped me come out of my psychotic break and I’d realized all the stuff I’d done was insane and crazy, even though it hadn’t seemed like it at the time. When I had been doing all that stuff, it had seemed like the only option.
I knew I would never be like everyone else—never be the normal guy that someone fell in love with.
That kind of romance was out of the question for me.
And I wanted it that way now.
Love only opened you up to the possibility of getting hurt. I thought about how I’d felt when I’d been in love in the past. It was like opening a can of worms for me. I’d been in love a couple times in my life and it had always ended badly. Because I always felt more for the other person than they felt for me and then that eventually turned me into a psychotic mess.
When I was a child it had ended up being okay, but in my early adulthood it had all come to a head…and that’s why I got sent to Somerhearst.
I was glad I went there. It definitely made me realize some things about myself. I almost wanted them to keep me there forever, but the doctors had seen how much progress I made and they wanted me to go out and have a normal life.
The normal life had yet to happen though and I wasn’t sure it ever would.
I continued to eat since Erik wasn’t saying anything. He drank his coffee, occasionally looking out the window but mostly looking at me.
I didn’t see that same heat in his eyes that he had had last night. Did that mean he hadn’t liked the blowjob? I knew I was fucking good at blowjobs, especially since I didn’t have a gag reflex, so I didn’t know why he wasn’t giving me an expression that showed he wanted it to happen again.
Did he get whatever desire he’d had for me out of his system after that one blowjob? That was fucking disappointing.
After so much silence between us, Erik said, “We can make more rules going forward if that’s something we decide we want.”
What was that supposed to mean?
Did that mean he thought he was going to be my Dom? Because I didn’t know how I felt about that.
I would stay in his house, but that didn’t mean I wanted him to have that much control over me.
I actually had mixed feelings because I wanted him to be dominant over me. I always wanted that…but the rules part is what made me unsure.
I said nothing and I was sure that I had a guarded expression, but Erik didn’t say anything either.
Suddenly, he stood up and said, “I have to get to work. I will see you later tonight.”
I only nodded my head.
He put his mug in the sink and then grabbed his stuff before walking towards the door. “Bye, Clay,” he said in a serious tone.
“Bye,” I finally said, trying not to be the rudest person on the planet even though I wanted to be.
He left and locked the door behind him.
Then I was alone.
It felt weird to be in Erik’s house by myself.
Since he was no longer watching me I scarfed down the rest of the food that was in front of me and drank what was left of my coffee. I glanced over at the stove and saw that there was some more eggs left.
I quickly rushed over and started eating them straight out of the pan.
I hadn’t had so much to eat in a long time and even if I didn’t like eggs much, they were probably the most delicious thing I had ever tasted.
When the eggs were gone I saw that a loaf of bread had been left out on the counter right next to the toaster. I went closer to it, hesitating for a second.
Erik hadn’t specifically told me that I could eat whatever I wanted in the house. But it wasn’t like he was going to starve me right? He wanted me to make myself at home, at least that’s what I thought. So having a few pieces of toast wouldn’t hurt right?
I ended up eating five pieces of toast and laid on the couch, holding my stomach in my hands.
I felt awful I throughly regretted eating that much. I wasn’t used to that much food and I was probably very close to throwing up, but I managed to keep it all down.
When I felt a little better, I got up and began looking around the living room.
Erik had a wide selection of books on the shelves along with DVDs. His tastes ran from The Great Gatsby to Guardians of the Galaxy.
I hadn’t seen a movie in awhile, but I wasn’t totally behind on the times. I still knew what Guardians of the Galaxy was, I had seen the first one. But you missed out on stuff when you were homeless and a little too obsessed with someone that wanted nothing to do with you.
And okay, I admit that ‘a little’ was an understatement.
I had to try very hard to not let myself get like that again.
It would be so easy for Erik’s kindness to get to my head.
Just because he had me suck his dick and wanted me to live in his house for the time being did not mean that we were going to get married and have a cute dog and live in this nice house and be the perfect gay couple. Besides, I didn’t want that anymore.
I was not going to let a man make me crazy like that again. I didn’t ever want someone to have that much power over me.
He—the fucking bastard—would’ve been able to do anything to me and I would’ve gone along with anything he said because I wanted him so badly. I had gone insane and my mind had completely broken.
Now that I was somewhat—and I do mean somewhat—put back together again, I didn’t want any guy to break me like that.
You can have my body. You could break my body until it could take no more.
But I was not going to let another man have my mind or my heart.
Not ever again.
There were a few pictures on the bookshelf—all seeming to be of Erik’s family. He appeared to have two siblings, a brother and a sister, and they all looked really happy together. I believed Erik to be in his mid-thirties and his brother looked a little older while the sister looked a little younger. His mother was darker skinned than all of the kids and the father was pale. I still he believed Erik must be part Italian. His family was very beautiful.
When I was done looking at the bookshelf, I turned and glanced at the staircase.
I shouldn’t. I really shouldn’t.
But I quickly dashed up the stairs and took in the second level of the house.
There were two rooms and a bathroom.
One room was a mini gym—complete with treadmill, weight machine, and stationary bike—and the other was a bedroom.
Since the gym was quite boring and had nothing interesting worth snooping, I went into the bedroom.
It didn’t look much different than the room I was staying in. It had a large bed, two end tables on either side, and a dresser. But in this room there was a tv above the dresser and a chest at the end of the bed.
I first looked in the end table drawers and found nothing of interest. So I turned to the chest at the end of the bed.
I went over to it and tried to open the lid.
It was locked.
I narrowed my eyes at it.
Well, that was slightly suspicious.
I was an excellent lock picker, but for the time being I would let Erik have his privacy.
He was letting me stay in his house after all and it was only polite. I was insanely curious about what was inside and I had a hunch that I couldn’t hold back my curiosity for long, but I would try.
I went to the dresser and opened a drawer.
There were many pairs of boxer briefs inside. I picked a pair up and closed the drawer.
I turned to leave the room and then I halted.
This was not right. This was an Old Clay thing. I was not the old clay anymore.
I went back to the dresser and put the underwear neatly away.
I closed the drawer and quickly turned to flee the room before I did something else that was insanely stupid.
I had a feeling that I would constantly have to keep myself in check while I lived with Erik. And maybe I would have slip ups like that, but I vowed that I was not going to become an obsessed stalker over someone who had been nothing but kind to me.
I wasn’t going to let my disorder ruin the only good thing that happened to me in years.
I would hold onto my sanity as long as I could.
Because in the end, that was all that mattered.
At the end of the day, I only had myself.
And I couldn’t let myself forget that.
I was riding with my partner in the patrol car in the late afternoon when we got a call on the scanner about a possible 187 on Maple Street.
Maple Street to me always sounded like it should be in the nice part of the city, based on the way the name sounded. But in reality, it was in one of the worst neighborhoods.
We weren’t far from there, so we headed over with our lights flashing.
I had a feeling I knew what this was and it already got my blood pumping.
We pulled up next to the curb near an alley, where the call had said the body was found. There were a few other alleys on the street, so we might have needed to check a couple.
Mark—my partner—and I got out of the vehicle and approached the alley.
It didn’t look like we needed to search any of the other alleys because I already saw what we were looking for.
And I had been right about knowing what this was about.
There was a boy’s body, naked, placed on a dirty tarp next to a dumpster surrounded by trash.
Mark and I approached the boy and I took in his skinny body with bruises and cuts and wounds all over it.
He was mutilated just like the rest of them—mostly centering around the chest, stomach, groin, and legs—and he also had something that had stuck out among every single boy we found like this recently.
He had blonde hair.
When I saw Clay the first time—sleeping in that alleyway—I had been so afraid to leave him on the streets. I didn’t want this to happen to him. Because he was just this guy’s type.
I had wanted to give him a ride somewhere, help him to a shelter or something but he had been so defensive he had made it impossible.
I thought about him a couple times throughout the week, wondering if he was going to be the next one we found in an alleyway like this.
It had been the biggest relief when I saw him enter the station yesterday, I knew I couldn’t let him slip away again.
I knew everyone would think I was crazy that I was letting him stay at my house, but it was the only thing I could think to do. I had a feeling Clay wouldn’t stay at a shelter long and this was the best bet while he got back on his feet.
Besides…it might be kind of nice having someone in the house. It certainly was empty with just me there. I had thought of getting a dog, but I was away a lot and I didn’t want it to tear up my furniture while I was gone.
“Looks like it’s definitely your guy,” Mark said when he observed the boy didn’t have eyes or a tongue.
I hated how he said ‘your guy.’
This freak wasn’t my guy.
But a lot of people on the force, especially Mark, knew how obsessed I was with this serial killer.
We had mostly kept it under wraps with the media and there was detectives working the case, but they didn’t seem to be doing much.
Or may they were and it just didn’t seem like it to me.
I knew if I was a detective—which I wanted to be desperately, I had been a beat cop for way too long—I would live and breath this case.
I would know everything about this guy. I already knew a lot, but because I wasn’t a detective assigned to the case, I didn’t have that much ability to investigate more.
Mark went back to the patrol car and he got some tape to block off the scene. More people would be arriving soon, such as the detectives and the forensic team.
As I stared at the small blonde boy that no longer had a tongue or eyes, his face soon blended in with Clay’s.
All the boys this sick freak had gotten so far looked too much like Clay and that had been why I couldn’t bare to leave Clay on the streets. So far all these boys had either been homeless, prostitutes, or just at a bad place in their life with not a lot of people to look after them.
I saw the similarities between them and Clay all too clearly.
I may not have known him very much at all.
And I may have been crazy for letting him live with me.
But if I could save even one boy from this psycho, I know I would have been doing something right.
I wasn’t going to let anything happen to Clay. He was not going to become another boy laying naked in a dirty alley, left out with the trash.
I would protect him at all costs.
No one was touching a hair on his head.
Not if I had anything to say about it.