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bruised love

Chapter Seventeen

Cameron glanced in the rear view and saw the city lights fading behind them. Turning his head he saw Andrew sitting and watching him steadily.

"Why are you doing all this for me Cam?" He asked.

'He Wants to fuck you. He wants to make you beg like a whore. Wants to shove his cock in you.' Whispered the mouthless demon in his ear.

"I love you Andy." Cameron said simply. Andrew tilted his head to the side as though assessing his words. Truth was Andrew was trying to squash the demon on his shoulder. The demon squeaked and disappeared as Andrew's mind shut the words out. Turning his attention to the road, Cameron kept driving but glanced at Andrew out of the corner of his eye making sure he was ok. He smiled softly as he saw Andrew's eyes close as he slipped off to sleep.

"I'm sorry I didn't mean to." Andrew whimpered in his sleep. Cameron's head snapped around to look at Andrew in the passenger seat who was shifting restlessly. Glancing in his rearview, he indicated and gently guided the car onto the roadside. Parking the vehicle, he reached out and gently touched Andrew's shoulder and called his name softly. For his efforts he received a yelp and a sore jaw as Andrew flailed about trying to get away in his sleep. Leaning his head back to avoid any more glancing blows from waving limbs, he reached out and rubbed his hand up and down Andrew's arm and spoke soothingly. Andrew quietened and started to wake up. When he finally cracked his eyes open he looked out the windscreen and then to Cameron. Feeling an ache in his hands he looked down at his knuckles and then looked wide eyed at Cameron.

"Oh God, I'm sorry... I didn't... it was an accident." Andrew rambled.

"It's ok Andy. You were asleep and didn't realize. I don't mind." Cameron told him calmly and he watched as tears welled up in Andrew's eyes.

"You say that you do all this because you love me. Is it really worth getting beaten up over?" Andrew said.

"You didn't mean to Andy." Cameron told him gently. Andrew hung his head sadly.

"I'm not better than Jay." He almost whispered. Cameron lifted Andrew's head with a finger under his chin.

"You're far, far better than Jay." Cameron told him. Andrew looked at him disbelievingly. Cameron leant over and gently touched his lips against Andrew's.

"You're a better person and better looking." Smirked Cameron as he kissed Andrew again. Andrew looked at his friend and smiled softly.

"Thank you Cam." Andrew said, almost shyly. Cameron smiled and nodded before starting the car and moving off back onto the road.

Andrew awoke the next morning to the sounds of waves crashing gently into shore. Sitting up he blinked his eyes and looked around and was disorientated by the soft white room he was in and the window lazily blowing the curtains. Glancing at the bed beside him, Cameron was lying there with the white linen making his tan look even darker. Andrew smiled gently to himself at the way his blonde hair was sticking out in all directions and felt himself relax. Slipping out of bed, he went off in search of the kitchen and coffee.

Cameron shifted in bed and rolled over opening his eyes expecting to see Andrew lying there beside him. When he saw the bed empty he sat bolt upright. He glanced around the room and ended up getting out of bed hurriedly and heading down the hall. As he turned the corner, he found Andrew sitting out on the balcony with his legs pulled up and looking out over the beach. Slowing his pace he walked out and stood beside Andrew who glanced up at him and smiled.


"Morning to you too. Sleep well?" Andrew asked.

"Not as well as you sleeping beauty. Didn't even stir when I carried you in from the car." Cameron teased. Andrew looked down and blushed furiously. Cameron bent down and kissed him lightly. From behind him there was a wolf whistle and some giggling. Cameron stood up and turned around to find two young ladies looking up admiringly at him. He smiled and nodded at them and turned back to Andrew. Andrew was looking down and away.

"You should go see them." Andrew said quietly.

"Why would I want to do that?" Cameron asked confused.

"It'd have to be better than sitting here with me."

"Andy, there's only one person I want to be sitting here with. That's you."

"Why Cam? I don't understand why you want to spend so much time with me?" Andrew said with tears building in his eyes.

"Andrew, we've been friends since eighth grade. Why would I ever want to lose anything like that? We've been through a lot together and we keep on going through things. I know you aren't able to say it back to me but I love you. That's what makes me want to spend the time with you and to help you get to where you want to be." Cameron soothed as he sank to rest on his haunches. Andrew nodded and looked out over the water.

"I never felt quite as alone as I did when I was there. I was disconnected from the world outside and didn't know what to do. Things with the family are still in tatters and not showing any signs of being on the mend. I was still confused about you after the whole Anna thing and then I betrayed Mitch. The only good thing was when I was at work. I got to serve all these people and for a brief moment I was important in someone's life. These people needed me to bring them their food. I was validated for a brief period. Then I'd go home and Jay would... he'd..." Andrew stopped and lowered his eyes to the ground with tears glistening in his eyes.

"It's ok Andy, you don't have to tell me anything you're not ready to." Cameron said rubbing soothing circles on Andrew's back. Andrew sniffled and leant against Cameron's bare chest, listening to his friend's steady heart beat.

"No, it's time I started facing things and stopped being a coward." Andrew said in a firm tone he didn't feel.

"You're not coward Andy. You survived a horrible ordeal. So many people don't make it. They give up, they call it quits. You've never done that. You keep fighting on."

"I kept waiting for you to save me." Andrew admitted quietly. "I wanted you to come in through the door and kill him. I couldn't do it myself so I waited for you to be my saving grace but you never came. I thought you'd work out where I was. I thought you'd just know I was in trouble. I've become too dependant on people. Always waiting for people to lift me out of whatever shit I land myself in."

"So what did you do for Mitch? Stand by idly and wait for someone else to pick him up and dust him off."

"I didn't do anything Cam. He did all that himself. He got himself out of it. He found somewhere to go, he found the support network. I sat there waiting for it to find me. Praying someone would read the signs right like we did and pull me out of it."

"You're pulled out of it now and you're safe." Cameron told him assuredly.

"My mind tells me that but it also tells me to glance over my shoulder to check who's behind it." Andrew admitted. Cameron snorted in amusement at the memory of finding Mitch the previous morning wearing a cup of coffee while Andrew swept up the broken pieces of mug from the floor.

"I imagine Mitch will never tap you on the shoulder again if you can't see him face on." Smirked Cameron.

"I'm sorry." Andrew replied automatically.

"There's nothing to be sorry for Andy. I found it amusing personally. Just like when you were lying in bed asleep and had that model plane in your hand."

"It's not my fault that you scared me and I stabbed the water bed mattress with the nose and it burst." Andrew replied indignantly.

"After years of wetting the bed, it finally wet you back." Grinned Cameron. Andrew again hung his head, ashamed of his behavior and expecting retribution. Cameron reached out and stroked his friend's cheek gently.

"Smile Andy, I promise that I won't be upset."

"How can you not be upset with what I've done?" Asked Andrew.

"Do you want me to get a tattoo across my chest that says that I love you to prove it to you? That says that you are the only one in my life that I love?"

"I already know it Cam. It's just letting myself believe it that I have trouble with." Andrew admitted sadly.

"Alright, well if you want the proof to help you believe, go and get dressed." Cameron told him firmly. Andrew looked up at him shocked by the demanding in Cameron's voice.

"You want a symbol that you can look at to help you know I love you. To make you remember who and what we are to each other. That's fine, we're going to go and get it done." Andrew nodded and quietly stood up and after a brief hesitation trying to decide if he should say something or just go inside eventually decided that hugging his friend would be simple enough. He snaked his arms around Cameron's shoulder briefly and let go before Cameron could even register what had happened.

Two hours later, they were standing out the front of a tattoo parlor and Andrew was beginning to loose all color in his face. Cameron noticed and nudged him.

"This is what I mean by you will be able to see that I love you forever. I want something that you'll see and understand that it says I love you in 50 or 60 years time." Cameron told him quietly. Andrew nodded his head dubiously. Taking Andrew gently by the arm, he lead him inside the shop and proceeded to look at the designs on the wall. After 10 or 15 minutes of looking around, he finally found what he was looking for. Heading to the counter, he spoke to the artist briefly, pointing out the design and adding an extra feature to it. Andrew sat patiently in the waiting area while Cameron had the work done. He emerged eventually with his arm wrapped in bandage and cling wrap. Andrew leapt to his feet in concern.

"It's ok Andy, it's meant to be like this." Cameron told him soothingly. Andrew nodded unsurely as he saw a small amount of blood seeping through the bandage. The guy behind the counter rolled his eyes and waved Andrew back through.

"Cam, could you... um... well..." Andrew stumbled over his words and started to blush more furiously.

"Yeah, I'll come sit with you." Cameron told him gently. The guy behind the counter again rolled his eyes.

"Same thing but with the other letter yeah?" He asked. Cameron just nodded his head in agreement. Sitting on the opposite side to the tattooist, Cameron gently took Andrew's hand while the guy worked. Andrew winced a couple of times.

"You doing ok?" Cameron asked in a hushed voice.

"Doesn't hurt any more than when Jay would come home drunk." Andrew told him quietly and winced again.

"What do you mean?" Asked Cameron trying to distract Andrew from the pain as best he could.

"Friday and Saturday nights. He'd always go out to a pub with his friends. Some nights they'd call it quits early but mostly they stayed late enough that the barkeep would throw them out when they got too drunk and too rowdy. Jay, he used to come home and stumble his way into the house. I could smell the whisky before he even came in the room. He'd undo his fly and throw me face first into the mattress. He'd ... he'd push my legs apart and spit on me to get me ready. I think it was more for his benefit than mine because it hurt him not to use anything. My own little victory I guess. He push inside me and fuck me... mercilessly. I would bleed for days after." Andrew's voice started to break. Neither Andrew or Cameron had noticed that the tattooist had stopped his work and was listening to the story. The tattooist reached forward and put his hand on Andrew's forearm.

"At least you got out kid. A lot of people don't." He said quietly and left the room for a few minutes before coming back with some tissues. When Andrew had settled down, the tattooist went back to work.

"Why didn't you lock your door when he came home drunk Kid?"

"I did once. When he sobered up the next day, he... it was... I had to go to the doctor to have my nose put back in place." Andrew said quietly.

"Sorry to hear that Kid. My sister was treated the same. Right up until the end. He'd flog her and stopped her seeing friends, family, neighbors. Hell, even the phone had a lock on it so she couldn't use it. Right towards the end she managed to get a letter away to me telling me about what was going on. A few mates and I turned up to get her out. No one came to the door when we knocked. No one answered the phone. We sat there until the bastard came home and I demanded to see her. He told me that she couldn't because she wasn't feeling too good. I told him I'd be back the next day. The bastard must have run inside and beaten her so badly. When I got there the next morning the ambulance was wheeling out a body bag and the police had him in the car. He grinned at me, told me he couldn't have her neither could I. All I wanted to do was put a bullet between his eyes. My beautiful baby sister was gone because of that monster. I couldn't call my mother to tell her because it was have just been the end of her. Eventually I left the scene and started to make preparations for the hearing. He was sentenced to 18 years, probation after 13 years. It wasn't enough so I called in a few favors from friends who knew blokes doing time inside. In his first week there, it was the worst rape that had ever taken place in the slammer. He was penetrated by everything from chair legs to broom handles. None of the guys though... that way there was no DNA evidence. The fucked him over so bad that he is now in a facility for the mentally challenged. He can barely say his own name." The tattooist told them. Andrew sat still, realizing how much worse it really could have been for him.

The tattooist eventually finished his work and wrapped Andrew's shoulder in a similar fashion to Cameron's. Walking out to the front, Cameron reached for his wallet and asked how much.

"Call it 60 bucks and we're even." The guy said. Cameron blinked in surprise.

"One of them is more than that." He said confused.

"Sixty bucks and keep Kid there safe." The tattooist said. Cameron nodded dumbly and handed over his credit card which was processed and they were soon out of the shop and on their way.

Lying down on the bed Cameron looked at Andrew who sat idly at the foot of the bed, rubbing over the newly inked area of skin. He touched it lightly, pushing around the edges. Reveling in the feeling of the pain that whispered throughout the limb.

"You doin' ok?" Cameron asked him gently. Andrew looked up at his friend and then back down at his arm. He looked on the verge of saying something when he visibly shook himself and then adopted a look of fierce concentration. He turned to his friend and crawled his way up the bed so he lay beside Cameron who watched him cautiously. Sucking in a breath, he leaned forwards and gently kissed Cameron's mouth who stiffened slightly at the move but then relaxed moments later and kissed him back. After a few moments, Andrew pulled away breathing heavily. Cameron opened his eyes and looked at his gentle lover.

"Are you okay?" He asked gently. Andrew nodded in confirmation before leaning in to kiss Cameron again. This time, Cameron pulled back and wrapped his hand around Andrew's shoulder and held him still.

"What's going on Andy? Talk to me, please." Cameron asked quietly. Andrew backed off, his cheeks turning pink.

"I'm tired of the memory that always has pain attached to it." Andrew admitted quietly.

"What about our memories from before you encountered Jay?" Cameron asked.

"I clung to them so tightly while in his bed that they started to become a haven when all around me was pain and brutality. I need new memories, fresh ones. Ones that haven't been tarnished by a fist." Andrew admitted as a tear slipped down his cheek. Cameron reached up and kissed his tears gently. Andrew looked at him curiously. Sitting up, Cameron pulled Andrew's face to his and let their lips meet softly and certainly. No hurry or crushing force, a slight pressure which slowly deepened. Their tongues gently massaged each other, nudged in a taste for dominance.

Andrew started to lie back pulling Cameron towards him and squeaked in surprise as Cameron reversed the movement. Andrew found himself lying on top of his friend, looking down into Cameron's beautiful green eyes which had it's pupils blown wide in arousal. Andrew shifted his weight and suppressed a moan as he felt himself grind against Cameron. Cameron pushed his mouth against Andrew's, pulling him close at the same time.

Andrew slipped in between Cameron's legs who wrapped them around Andrew's waist. Their lips pushing gently together. Breaking the kiss, Cameron looked Andrew in the eye.

"Are you sure? No hesitation or question?" Andrew looked down as his friend and lover and nodded quietly. Cameron nodded again and pulled his lover closer to him and let the natural instincts wash over them both.

Cameron opened his eyes to find himself alone in bed again. He pulled on some pants and stood up, stretching and arching his back. Looking around, things seemed to be as they should but he was curious as to where Andrew had wandered to. Walking out of the room, he headed for the front of the beach house where he had found his lover earlier that morning. He smiled to himself as he saw Andrew sitting on the front steps, silhouetted against the setting sun. He stopped for a moment taking in the majesty of the image that sat in front of him. Sitting down beside Andrew, Cameron spoke gently

"Are you dealing?" Andrew looked at Cameron with tears glistening gently in his eyes.

"I'm doing okay. I was trying to remember what innocence felt like. It feels like a pet lost so long ago that I can't quite remember what it looks like. I want to but it keeps escaping." Said Andrew sadly. Cameron just nodded and rested his hand on Andrew's shoulder.

"There'll be a day when you'll remember what it was like before it all happened. When you'll remember how you love, how you fight, how you live and how you play. It may be a long time coming but it will arrive." Cameron told him. Andrew nodded sagely and sniffled lightly.

"Will you still be there?" He asked, a quiet fear fleeting through his question.

"I've always been with you Andy. Whatever we have in the future, I'll be there. Even if you don't want me, I'll be there. I'm yours and yours alone until I can't live any more. You are everything to me, I love you." Cameron told him reaching out and brushing at Andrew's cheeks where stray tears had started to run down. Andrew sobbed and leant into Cameron.

"I love you too." Andrew whispered. Cameron took the admission for what it was and held his lover close vowing to do everything within his power to keep him safe.

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