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Saturday 0820 hrs
Betty Fordman sat by the phone, in deep thought.
“Where could he be?” She looked at the phone. “Should I call up... Lana? Get a grip Betty, your son’s an adult now.. you cant just … can I? Oh shit.”
She got up, she paced. She worried. She didn’t know what to do, whether it was required of her anymore to do something or not. What if she were invading his privacy?
“Alright I’m gonna go open the store and if by then he isn’t here… I’m calling. Yes. Good.”
And Mrs. Fordman went about her usual day’s jobs. But not without an aching heart.
Saturday 0915 hrs
“Pete! Hey Pete! Where’s Clark?”
Chloe was so excited. She couldn’t keep herself contained a moment longer. She had to talk to Clark. Where the hell is he? He was supposed to meet her fifteen minutes ago.
“How do I know Chloe.. call him up. He may have finally wizened up to the concept of “weekends” and not gotten up at all!” Pete had been grumbling all morning for having to get up so early on a Saturday to work on a stupid story. He munched an apple and waited for his best friend to turn up. Suited him absolutely fine if he didn’t. Then he could say “hey.. you’re the one who didn’t show! So I went home..” Pete smirked at Chloe.
“Pete didn’t you watch the news on TV? There’s been a murder in Smallville! They found the mangled remains of a man in Reiley’s field!”
“Mangled remains huh?”
“Yes, his head was blown away beyond recognition and his right arm yanked right out of its socket in his shoulder! The murderer shot him point blank then placed the gun in his own hand it seems. No way can a person yank his own arm out like that and then shoot himself in the head!”
“Ouch!” Pete was paying attention now. “It sounds like another of those “wall of weird” cases. Do they know who this guy is.. was?”
“Umm not yet I think. The channel didn’t say so.”
“Wait isn’t this Reiley field the place of the scarecrow?”
“Yep and the body was found quite near to the crucifix. They don’t know what happened there yet. But looks like there had been a guy tied to the post. There’s blood all over the place. Poor guy must have been tortured or something there. Can you imagine that?”
“Scarecrow? Didn’t they stop the damn tradition? And there wasn’t even a game last night”
“This isn’t about the tradition or the game silly. It was the work of some sicko-psycho who took a man or a woman to that field to torture him or her. Or it could have been an act of revenge who knows? Point is: this was no high school joke man, the sight’s bloody gory.”
“Yeh. And I’m gonna go check it out. You game?”
Pete was very very game. “Of course we are going to check it out! But who do you think this guy was?”
Oh how Chloe loves an audience.
“According to the news item, the police think there may have been a bunch of people involved in the act and its possible that this guy they found dead was either one of them or a passer-by who came over to save the victim. Its more possible that he was one of the alleged assailants but its not clear how the assailant ended up dead while there are no whereabouts of the victim. They do have the blood from the scarecrow post. They’re gonna run some DNA tests and find out more.”
Chloe’s eyes were shining. “And we, my friend, are gonna get the true story for the Torch!”
“You bet!” That was Pete. “But first we gotta go get Clark up. That sleepyhead must still be in bed I’m sure..”
Sleepyhead was on the couch. While Whitney slept in his bed. Clark had not been able to sleep for so long and he’d just stared and stared and stared. He wanted so much to get in bed with him, to hold him and comfort him. To kiss him, and.. to make love to him. To…
// ..fuck him to the ground that’s what!//
He blushed at his own wicked thoughts and drifted off to sleep. Only to jump awake an hour later when he heard someone thrashing lightly. Whitney was trapped in a nightmare.
Clark got up and went to Whitney, not sure what to do. //Should I wake him up?// Then he remembered how Martha had gently shushed him to sleep and …ok Kent, time to show some real talent.. he sat down next to Whitney on the bed that was beginning to soak with his sweat and placed a palm flat on Whitney’s forehead. And pressed it there.
Uncertainly he began.. “hey.. hey Whit. Its okay.. you’re okay.. shhh.”
Whitney had been tossing his head from side to side but Clark’s hand now restrained that a bit. His mouth was slightly open as if he were saying something, and was bunching up the sheets in his fists tightly. Gradually, he came out of it and simmered down. Clark had started out feeling awkward but now he was focused on Whitney, almost willing the injured boy to relax with his determined eyes.
And Whitney opened his.
“Hi”, Clark smiled lightly. Suddenly realized his hand on Whitney’s forehead might look weird to the boy and removed it quickly.
Whitney squinted and stared at Clark trying to figure if he was really there.
There being where? And then it all came rushing back to him. He squeezed his eyes shut tight.
Clark swallowed. Whitney remembered the terrible ordeal of the night before and he remembered looking death in the eye, and then he remembered Clark appearing out of nowhere and…
Clark smiled and shrugged. “How’re you feeling?”
Whitney tried to get up and ended up back on his back, screaming in agony. Clark started towards him, wanting to hold him and soothe his pain away and..
“Relax jock, save your energy” He stuffed his hands into his faded jeans pockets and stood up.
Whitney let his head fall back on the pillow and let out a deep sigh. He stared at the ceiling for the longest time. His mind was a total mesh where he couldn’t hold on to any coherent thought for more than a second. The night before he hadn’t thought he’d live to see another day.
Or even worse… he would.
And here he was, in.. Clark’s loft? He’d never been here before. Very much alive. Wasn’t sure if he was too happy about it. The memories of the night before will be making his life a living death for quite some time now. And then there is the.. Clark situation.
Here he is. Again. Damn! Why did it have to be him? Why always him?
//oh Clark. You’re making this very very difficult for me. How do you expect me to forget you if you keep saving my life and indebting me like this?//
//Yeah Yeah. That’s right. The bastards were right. Clark Kent.. you are my undoing. You’ve ruined my life.//
Whitney closed his eyes, welcoming a headache and the jarringly colorful chaos behind his eyelids it accompanied.
His memories of the night before were disjointed. That’s because he had been phasing out and back during the latter half of it. He wasn’t sure of everything that happened, and yet staunchly, he kept probing. Perhaps it was his psyche’s way to cope.
//Selective denial? Hmm, I could live with that. I wish I could erase the whole night from my mind damnit.//
But what kept haunting him most… was the single memory of Clark hauling him up into his arms at the scarecrow post. He kept replaying that moment in his mind over and over.. the way the stronger boy had pressed his face to his, the way he held him so close to himself, the way he’d felt like he belonged there. With Clark. And nothing else mattered.
He didn’t think he wanted to erase that part.
But that wasn’t what he was getting from Clark now. He slightly opened his eyes again. All he saw was Clark standing over him, all stoic and acquaintance-like, waiting for him to say something.
//You dreamt it Whitney. Just the way you’ve been dreaming for the past one and a half year//
//Whitney Fordman, star quarterback for the Crows, the all-American school hero.. what would your friends say if they found out you were panting after an obscure clutz of a freshman with sexy green eyes and kissable red lips?//
//Ah you mean the friends who strung you up last night? //
Whitney jerked his head once as if to shirk off the cacophony in his mind.
Clark of course, had no idea that Whitney had realized his love for the other boy long before last night. Whitney just didn’t want to accept it because he thought it wasn’t possible. That he’d be rejected.
Clark was going through something similar. He accepted it, was even in love with the fact that he loved Whitney Fordman. But he didn’t think Whitney in his current condition would entertain any more advances, sexual or otherwise.
//And then again, he aint gay. //
But right now, he was more concerned about the other boy’s well being than his unrequited love for him.
//So, better be careful how you behave with him. //
He’d read somewhere about a rape crisis protocol that one should never approach an assaulted victim suddenly or forcefully else he/she might think that he/she was being attacked again.
//Easy Kent. You don’t want him bolting on you now do you? Maybe you’ll get to touch him later? Like… when he wants to take a... bath or something? //
//Lord forgive me!//
Whitney tried to get up again. This time biting his lips so no sound would escape without his permission. Didn’t help. Oh how traitorous voice boxes can be…
“What are you doing?” Clark firmly gripped his bare shoulders and pushed him back down onto the bed.
//To hell with protocol! To hell with what he thinks, I’m not letting him hurt himself//
And he sat back down on the bed too. This time, Clark held on, didn’t let go.
But Whitney wasn’t planning on going anywhere. For the longest time, Whitney and Clark just stared at each other , and no one moved. Whitney let Clark hold him down in the covers and Clark let Whitney grip his arms with his hands and dig his nails into his flesh. He didn’t know if he was trying to break free or hold on, but something in his eyes….. there we go again.. his eyes… no...
//I cant be reading him wrong can I? What if I am wrong?//
Whitney was lost in his own confusions. The human mind is one incompetent freak show, badly mixes up dreams with reality, illusions with memories, conscience with guilt and desire with abstinence. Friendship with .. love?
Was Clark being just a friend or..? Those hands on his shoulders felt familiar. Had he really just imagined those hands on his face… his body?.. his lips on the back of his hands..?
“Whitney .. I want you to stay. D-Do you want.. to leave?”
Whitney didn’t say anything. He sank his head further into the bed but kept his eyes fixed at Clark’s. What he saw in those green depths… his heart suddenly felt lighter and there was this … this amazing rush… that seemed to clear the painful haze that had been shrouding his mind and.. Whitney couldn’t believe this was happening to him.
It’d been quite awhile now. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt … happy?
Suddenly exhausted to the core, he couldn’t keep his eyes open another moment. But there was one thing he had to do.. what was it? Oh yeh…
“Don’t.. don’t let my mom know…” It drained Whitney of all his meager energy.
Soon he was asleep, still clinging with both hands to Clark. Clark smiled to see the boy relax and drift off. He hesitated, but he was sure now. Yes he was. Very gently he touched the sleeping boy’s lips with his own.
“Sleep tight Whit. I’ll be right here.”
Got up reluctantly and went looking for his toothbrush.
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