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Scott sat through the evening in obstinate silence while the creep chattered away like a fucking parakeet with a set of wings to match. He didn’t give a damn what went on top – star or a fucking angel. He was not interested in after-dinner toasts if he wasn’t allowed any alcohol. He only wanted to go back to his room and sulk.
Even when he was back in his room, he couldn’t relax. Scott paced back and forth shaking from head to toe… not from the freezing temperatures outside, but from sheer vehemence. His fists clenched on his sides, mouth uttering endless strings of profanities for the man who’d just made him feel like a…a despicable four-year old.
~How dare he? How fucking dare he?~
And he cursed himself for buckling under so easily. What the hell went through him back then? He couldn’t place the source of the sudden rush of emotions he’d felt when Warren had held him so tightly. All he knew was the emotions had made him weak, lose face… lose his meager dignity in front of the big bully and he couldn’t accept that. He almost hyperventilated.
Trapped in a maelstrom of emotions, the teenager was barely thinking rationally, and the professor sensed it.
“Warren, what did you do to the boy?”
“Gave him a warning.”
~In other words, read him his *rights*.~
Charles was not pleased. “You shouldn’t have provoked him so.”
“It all depends on how he takes it uncle Charlie. After tonight its either this way or the other. In any case, we’ll finally know if he’s really ready for the responsibilities you plan for him or not.”
Charles had to agree with that diagnosis. Tomorrow, he would most definitely try talking to Scott again. Surely a week of time and space was enough for the boy.
“Besides, I think he needs us to lay the rules down for him.”
Charles raised his eyebrows at that and Warren explained.
“He’s been on his own too long uncle. He doesn’t realize it right now, but I think on some level, he was actually *relieved* when I was up there telling him what’s what. He knows now that we are not going to give up on him. No matter what he does, or how badly he misbehaves… he is not going to be turned out of this house.”
Warren picked up the cue.
“But… at the same time, he *will* be punished if he misbehaves. You need to do that for him uncle Charlie. Way you did it for me.”
Xavier drew a deep breath.
“His situation is so much more complicated Warren. You were just a scared… spoiled brat.”
At which Warren pulled a face.
“But Scott is… well, he’s fragile. I would be running the risk of bad associations.”
Warren nodded. “I know, and I agree it’s a risk. But… something about the boy… I think he’s stronger than he looks.”
“You think so?”
“Yes, and I know you do too. Or you wouldn’t have chosen him, right?”
Charles smiled, that secret smile of his, and lowered his head. Warren had to ask.
A chuckle followed. “Nothing”
“What? What did I say?”
Charles was visibly amused by something.
“Just… I can see you’ve really grown up. Quite a pleasant surprise how well you understand a child’s psychology, considering your own history.”
And Warren shrugged shyly. “I learnt from the best.”
A moment of tenderness passed before Warren composed himself.
“Ahem, anyway. We’ll know for sure starting tomorrow. What's the worst he could do? Trash my new BMW? I can deal with that.”
Warren had a big smile on his face, everything was under control.
On the morning of Christmas, Charles woke up and like every morning this last week, the first thing he did was reach out mentally to check on the young boy sleeping upstairs. He didn’t find him.
Warren jumped awake with a start as Charles burst into his room. Before he could get the words ‘what is it’ out of his mouth, he read the answer in the professor’s troubled thoughts.
Lopez came running in as well. Warren got the chance to ask him.
“Whats wrong Lopez?”
“Professor your study cabinet seems to have been broken open. I believe you keep some cash in there?”
And Scott knew that.
~Sixteen hundred dollars I think.~
Scott rushed into the rotting old apartment building and went practically flying up the stairs to the fourth floor. Reaching there he thumped the first door to his right with all his strength.
“Who the fuck is it?”
“Victor its me, Scott.”
Locks rattled and the door opened to reveal a guy in his late teens, dressed in tight leather pants and dirty netted vest. His hair was spiked and his eyes were kohled, he’d obviously just returned from a job.
He let the runaway boy in and closed the door behind him. Then he turned and smiled wickedly.
“Man, you clean up good!”
Scott didn’t have time for pleasantries.
“I came to get you and I’m loaded Vic, let’s get outta here!”
“Where are we going?”
Scott was breathless with panic. “Don’t know. All I know is we gotta get out of New York fast as possible. Away from Jack, away from… from all the fucking wierdos out there.”
“Cool shades” and then Victor gasped. “You can see?!?”
And the guilt came rushing forth, threatening to break him down. He yelled in frustration.
“Now is not the time Victor! I thought you said you were tired of being slapped around and gangraped for nothin.”
Scott shook him by the shoulders. “Then lets go!”
Victor stilled for about a second. Then rushed to a room inside.
Scott looked around, “You got something to drink?”
While Victor packed, Scott downed a shot of vodka and waited. Victor was one of the boys working for Jack Diamond, just like Scott. Diamond was not a small-time pimp, he controlled the entire downtown ring of hustlers and hookers and also held tremendous clout with the mafia. He was ruthless, abusive and unforgiving. Vic was the only friend Scott had ever had on the streets. Scott had lived in his apartment, worn his clothes. Hardly a role model, he thought grimly. But now that he had a chance to escape, he wanted to take him along… to freedom.
Three blocks from the apartment, they stopped running but still kept looking around cautiously. Scott found a lone black Infiniti parked illegally and broke in. He hotwired the vehicle and they were off in a flash. Victor suggested they take the first freeway on the right and then head for the nearest highway.
Fifteen minutes later, they were just about to climb onto the highway and the fear of getting caught was slowly receding. Scott’s gut was just about settling when he looked at Victor on his side. He seemed anxious.
“What’s up man?”
“Scott I need to let cuz Tony know that I’m leavin. He works in the meat warehouse just round the corner. Can we stop there first?”
Scott wasn’t so sure. “Vic its not safe right now. We’ll call and let him know once we get someplace cool.”
“Please Scott, this is important to me. I cant go without telling him.”
Scott grimaced, but turned right towards the warehouse.
It had been three minutes and nine seconds since Charles Xavier had entered Cerebro. Warren paced back and forth, his huge wings fluttering restlessly behind him. This was his fault, he pushed too far. This was his fault.
~No it was *not*, Warren. You only had the boy’s best intentions at heart. Now shut up and let me concentrate.~
Admonished, Warren tried to calm his thoughts. Another three minutes later, the doors slid open and Warren ran in towards the core. The professor took off the headgear and turned to him, the urgency unmistakable in his limpid eyes.
“Angel, you have to hurry.”
He did not need to be told twice.
In hindsight, Scott knew it was the exhaustion.
He’d spent most of the night restless and struggling with his own self. How much forethought had he invested in the decision… he would never be able to recall. Just before break of dawn, he’d packed whatever little stuff he owned and slipped out of his room. He knew he wouldn’t get very far without resources. He was tempted to take Worthington’s new car again, but decided not to do anything that might make the mansioners come after him. Least of all Warren. But there was one thing he needed desperately – money.
Another inner struggle followed after which the boy decided he would just have to borrow the money. He would send it back soon as he could afford to.
Breaking open the cabinet was child’s play. He picked up all the notes he could see, didn’t even count them, stuffed them clumsily into his small gym bag and sneaked out. At the gate, he’d turned to gaze at what had been his home for the past week. But never would again. A sense of foreboding washed over him… he was losing something extremely precious and he couldn’t even grasp what. In the end, he just shut the screaming inside his head off and ran… hard as he could.
So here they were, pulling into the warehouse parking lot that was completely deserted. Probably natural for six in the morning and that too on Christmas day. Scott killed the engine and rested. He was so tired.
“Vic its Christmas, are you sure Tony is working this shift?”
A sob escaped the boy. Scott peered at the boy closely, it was difficult for him to see fine details in the dark.
“I’m sorry Scottie. I’m so sorry.”
His heart slammed into his chest, his eyes widened with fear.
Harsh gleam of headlights… came flashing from his left, right and ahead. Victor opened his door and ran off. Scott panicked as the engines revved all around him. Suddenly the car on his left starting accelerating towards him. For seconds he tried to hotwire the engine again, but he wouldn’t have made it on time. At the nth moment, Scott exited the car and dived towards the empty space behind just as Jack Diamond’s car came crashing into the driver’s side. Scott fell amid splinters of glass and metal and the stench of leaking gasoline.
The men got out and approached the fallen figure. Through the bright lights Scott could see nothing. He was as good as blind again.
A singular voice… cold, calculating… taunting. Scott would recognize that voice anywhere… Jack Diamond. His nemesis.
“Vic tells us you can see again?”
Scott didn’t reply, only crawled away until he hit the wall behind. He was trapped.
“You know they used to pay double for a naturally blindfolded pretty little slut like you.”
Cruel laughter echoed through the empty parking lot. And here Scott had been repeatedly told he was only worth half the price because of his handicap. But he didn’t have time or the inclination to be pissed off right now. The men were closer, two had guns, two wielded knives while Jack held his usual smoking pipe. That didn’t fool Scott… he knew the man never left home unarmed. With a sinking heart, Scott realized there was no escape left. His thoughts went back to the only kindness he could remember… professor Xavier, the mansion… Warren.
“Think I’ll just have to make things the way they were again, wouldn’t I?”
Wind blew his bangs into his face as something zoomed past Scott through the air. Next time he blinked, he saw a massive figure dressed in black, with huge wings the color of pure white towering right over him.
How can an all-American bona fide hero possibly make his entry without a line?
The fight lasted hardly a few minutes. The goons were knocked unconscious or disabled, one lay dying of a fatal wound from his own knife. But Jack Diamond was not about to give in so easily. While Angel dealt with the four men, Jack grabbed Scott from behind, pressing a knife into his throat.
“You belong to me, *bitch*! And you’re coming back with me.”
Scott’s rage was in full flare by now. There was no fear, no regret… no childlike innocence to defend anymore. With superhuman strength, he drew a bony elbow forward then plunged it back into his attacker’s gut at the same time prying the knife-wielding arm away from himself. Using the same arm as lever, he spun around and plunged a knee into the same spot… Diamond doubled over. Scott kicked him in his groin, then his shins until he fell to the ground writhing in pain.
He kicked him again.
“I am not a bitch, and I am not blind! I was never blind!”
Kicked him again, Jack groaned in agony.
“You don’t deserve to live asshole.”
Scott was furious, and cold, and numb… as he raised a hand to rip the glasses off his face.
“No Scott, wait!”
He heard Warren approach him from behind.
“Think about what you’re going to do. Do you really want to do this?”
Warren tentatively placed a hand on the convulsing shoulder before him. He whispered so only Scott could hear him.
“Do you really want the blood of a human on your hands?”
Scott gasped painfully. “He’s not human.”
The hand on his shoulder pressed in. “Scott…”
A moment passed in utter silence as the pimp waited for the verdict, and Scott tried to calm himself down. Warren was right, his conscience was the reason he hadn’t gone on a killing spree earlier. And he couldn’t possibly start now. The divine presence behind him closed in as another hand was placed on his other shoulder.
“Its okay son, its okay, let go.”
Scott let go of the sports strap behind his head holding the red lenses in place.
“Wanna go home now?”
Automatically, the boy nodded. Yes, home sounded good. Very good.
The hands on his shoulders shifted to slide under his armpits, then strong arms gripped him across his waist. The restraint was not uncomfortable and without intent, Scott let his head fall back on Warren. The next thing he knew, Jack Diamond’s pathetic form was diminishing out of his sight and Scott himself was rising against gravity. Fast, then faster. The wind was freezing and stung his eyes. Sometime during the flight when he’d gotten over the heights and the sights below, Scott truly realized whose arms held him… who his savior was.
No anger. Not in this voice.
Xavier’s silence… Xavier’s melancholy hung heavy and painfully throughout the library… heck the whole mansion had turned into a graveyard. He sat with his face turned away, his back towards Scott. Scott could not recall any other time he’d done so. The boy did not feel tired anymore, and no longer was he cold from the flight or numb from what had transpired back at the warehouse. He felt each rapid breath that left his body acutely, heard every jittery beat of his heart… all his senses on fire. This was bad.
~Be cool. You can handle this.~
He swallowed over and over. How bad could it be? He’s never been angry before, he will understand. He will… will he forgive me? I stole from him, no I *borrowed* from him, there’s a difference… but he didn’t *lend*? Shit this is not helping. Be cool, he’s a cool guy, he’s not going to… is he going to turn me in? Oh fuck.
“No I’m not going to turn you in, Scott.”
The boy jumped, backed up two steps as if that could prevent the professor from hearing his thoughts.
“Although you did steal…”
The professor turned to face him, and Scott wished he hadn’t. The medley of expressions on the usually expressionless face was thoroughly disconcerting. There was relief and there was pain, sadness… anger… and disappointment. Scott felt the weight of the world crushing his heart.
“…do you really think I care about the money?”
Xavier gave him a long while to think of a response but the boy did not use it. Xavier shook his head, his body language was more expressive than usual.
“When I first saw you I thought I’d finally found what I was looking for… someone with unbelievable courage, and character… and conscience…”
He rubbed his brow as if it ached. Scott did not reply. There was nothing to say, as far as he was concerned. Xavier sighed, a distraught man.
“You were right, nephew.”
Warren stood leaning against his desk, studying Scott and his defiant stance intently. Scott risked a glance at the man, still… no anger.
“Take him away.”
And the wheelchair turned to face out the window. The boy fumbled.
The professor did not reply, adding to his trepidation. Was he being turned out, back on the streets where Diamond and his clan was waiting to kill him? Was he being sent to jail for stealing? Why wont the Professor talk to him? He always talked to Warren so much, like all the fucking time? Why not him? Then Warren was by his side taking him by the elbow. Scott shirked away.
He had changed his mind… there must be *something* he could say, anything… he should be allowed to apologize… given a second chance. Oh but you had so many chances Scott, he reminded himself. So many, and he blew them all.
“Come with me Scott, we need to talk.”
That sounded ominous.
“No, I’ll talk to *him*.”
He so did not want the birdman around right now.
Warren grabbed him by his shoulders and turned Scott around to face him. There was dangerous determination in his eyes.
“Scott, do you remember what I said to you on the terrace? Do you?”
Scott hyperventilated as Warren’s words came rushing back to him… you will regret it… fear turned to panic, panic to frustration and then full-blown rebellion. The red of his quartz glasses glowed heatedly.
“Let me go!”
Warren started dragging the boy by his arm out the library.
“Professor Xavier please! Let go, you bastard!”
Scott put up a decent fight until Warren lunged him by his middle and threw him over his shoulder. The world swung upside down and for two seconds Scott was too stunned to react. Then he started struggling but could not affect the older and bigger man’s gait towards… as he noticed eventually… his own room.
“Professor please stop him!! Please Professor!!”
Xavier sat unmoving as stone… he did not witness Warren carrying the boy out of the library.
Scott did not know what was going to happen. He’d been in bad situations before and experience warned him he was in for either a really bad beating or a really rough fuck. He didn’t like his options and frantically screamed at the top of his lungs for the professor. When that went unanswered he tried Lopez, then the stable guys… no one came.
“Stop Warren… please…!”
Warren stepped into Scott’s room and closed the door behind him. Then he walked over to the bed and dumped the boy on it. Scott gasped in fear and tried to writhe away but Warren was too fast for him. He gripped the little wrists in his hands and forced the boy to his knees on the bed.
“No! Please don’t rape me I beg you!”
Warren’s face melted into the most devastating astonishment Scott had ever seen. Before he knew it, he was being pressed into the broad chest and strong arms wrapped around him in what could only be a fiercely protective gesture.
“Shhh… I am NOT going to RAPE you CHILD!”
Sharp moans of anguish and disbelief escaped as Scott fought to get free. But Warren didn’t let go, only continued shushing him, stroking his hair, rubbing his quivering back. The huge wings enfolded the boy as well, though they didn’t connect. Scott gradually stopped struggling and stood stark still, not knowing what to do, what to expect. Warren held him with such fierceness it scared him, and yet comforted him in a vague way. Eventually, Scott found himself clinging to Warren as much as Warren was holding him. When the trembling in the frail body finally receded, Warren began.
“Scott, I have to do this. This is going to hurt, a lot… but its necessary.”
The trembling escalated again.
“I am going to sit down okay?”
Warren sat on the bed, his feet set sturdily apart on the floor. The voice grew gentler, if that were at all possible.
“Scott, I’m going to put you across my knees now.”
“No… no! NO!”
Scott tried to get away, scramble out of reach but there was simply no room for escape. Before he knew it, he had been pushed down over Warren’s lap like he was no more than a ragged little doll. He was tugged and pulled at, and adjusted so his upper torso rested on one side of Warren on the bed, with his butt on the massive lap… legs flailing behind.
“You cant do this!”
“I can and I will. We are *not* giving up on you Scott, *ever*.”
Warren grabbed hold of the oversize jeans on the thin frame and yanked them down. The boxers came down along with it. Scott couldn’t breathe. He was speechless with humiliation. Reflexively, he raised a hand to his glasses… as his last resort. But Warren caught his wrists again and pulled them behind his back together. There simply was no fighting the guy, and now Scott was completely helpless with his bare butt at the mercy of the big creep. The creep who’d just saved his life. The creep who’d just crushed him in a firm embrace, something no one had in two years. The creep who just told him he was not giving up on Scott, ever.
“Warren no, please no…”
Scott was not yelling indignantly anymore. He was pleading. Warren hardened his heart, and the first swat landed squarely in the middle of Scott’s round ass.
Scott yelped, more in shock than anything else. Before the sting could register, the hand came down again. This time Scott felt the pain, and renewed his struggles.
Warren had pulled the coverings down just to the top of his thighs and did not intend to mitigate the impact by spreading it beyond Scott’s ass. With one hand he restrained the boy’s wrists while holding the small of his back down as well. With the other, he set up a methodical pattern of spanks round the exposed area. The smacks were utterly clinical and meant serious business as Scott felt his skin burn up horrendously on every thwack. Round and round it went… the searing sensation covering uniformly every inch of his throbbing butt. Scott writhed and squirmed and kicked out wildly but to no avail.
One thing was painfully obvious, this was no game nor a perversion… this was *punishment* pure and simple. And a painful one at that. Scott reverted to a place deep inside himself… eyes clenched tight shut, every muscle in his body stretched taut. He would fight this… with silence and… and dignity. He wouldn’t let Warren break him down if that’s what he was trying to do. So far there had been no tears.
Warren kept smacking his buttocks in the same pattern a while longer and Scott bravely bit down groans of pain. But then he pictured his situation from a third person’s perspective… a fifteen year old with his bare butt draped over some guy who was spanking him like a little child! He’d been naked and in worse positions with complete strangers before but this was entirely something else. A fresh wave of embarrassment and shame hit him and his resolve crumbled. He kicked some more.
“War…Warren stop… stop…”
“no more! Please no more!”
Warren had only just started.
Retribution on so many levels. The hand that fell was hard and unforgiving and ensured Scott couldn’t possibly distract himself with any other thought but that of the pain in his bottom. And the disgrace that gnawed at his mind and heart. What had he done to deserve this? What?
Warren had replaced the methodical spanking with random swats. This was so much worse, Scott couldn’t know when and where the next slap would land and it made each time all the more painful. Through some irrational logic, he managed to trace his current troubles back to the car…
“I’m sorry about the car please! I’ll pay for it I swear!”
Warren halted at that.
“Scott… Do you really think this is about the car?”
Scott was too busy catching his breath, and even if he wasn’t… he didn’t think he wanted to answer the question. Warren’s hand fell again. Thrice at exactly the same spot. Scott let out a hoarse scream.
“No!.. no its not.” Scott gasped in pain.
“Then what is it about?”
Warren’s hand rested on his throbbing butt while he trembled from head to toe. At least he wasn’t being spanked anymore.
“What is it about Scott?”
Was that pride blocking his voice? Or did he really not know what this was about?
The hand gently rubbed his sore cheeks as if encouraging him to talk. Scott wanted to howl. Why did Warren have to torture him with words as well?
“I… I… stole…”
The hand came down twice in succession as if in approval, making the boy cry out again.
Scott sobbed dryly, writhed in mental agony. “I… I don’t know… I don’t know…”
The hand fell…
“… think about what the professor said…”
“…of courage… and character… and conscience…”
Enough had been said, Warren fell quiet then and just continued to blister the sore backside with a steady aching hand.
It was as if a dam had broken. Scott felt hot liquid trickle down from underneath his glasses and into his mouth. He hadn’t cried in two years, not since his parents died. And now he couldn't stop. All the pain, all the helplessness, all the humiliation, the darkness and the loneliness of two years let loose in a fierce torrent he had no control over. Thoughts crashed over and over so loud they drowned out every other sound in the universe…
Courage… the kind that was willing to end a pimp’s life but couldn’t dare look the professor in the eye? The kind that suffered through a world of torment in silence but couldn’t speak his heart to the only man who’d ever wanted to really listen?
Character… Scott almost laughed through the haze of pain on that one. Warren could have just as easily lectured him about *all* the things they’d done for this boy who had nothing… who *was* nothing. But he hadn’t… and wouldn’t… that was character. The professor had quietly endured the vile accusations he threw into their faces about his relationship with his nephew… his *nephew* for God’s sake! But not once did he raise his voice or his hand on the boy… not even now when he’d disappointed him so immensely. *That* was character.
And conscience? Scott surrendered and quit his struggling entirely. What kind of a conscientious man breaks in and steals from his *only* well-wisher and benefactor? The man not only gave him a home, he gave him his eyesight back for Christ's sake. How long must it take a conscience to forget the invaluable debt its under? How does a conscience permit one to destroy another’s property without skipping a beat?
He remembered the vulgar insults thrown at men who did not deserve such disrespect. On the contrary, they were good people only trying to help him. The age difference alone warranted that Scott treat them courteously but instead what had he done?
Scott cried and cried, yelping pitifully on every spank.
God knows he hadn’t slept a single night peacefully ever since he came to the mansion because he simply could not understand the professor’s self-less intentions and actions. No fucking way! It had all been too good to be true… and he’d spent every waking moment dreading the day it would all end as it most definitely would. He was convinced to death it wouldn’t last. And that’s why he’d been pushing and pushing and pushing… so he could walk away with the illusion that for once, he’d conquered his own sad destiny. For once, he hadn’t been knocked to the ground from behind. But he had not once imagined his behind would be victimized by an archangel instead.
The spanking continued unabated. The focus areas kept shifting, first the crest, then the undercurve and back to the middle until it was all a consistent shade of hot crimson. The blows weren’t as hard, but they still rained with the same precision and timing as to cause the poor boy’s butt considerable discomfort.
Pain and disgrace… nothing new for this boy if you considered what he’d been through in the last two years. But something about *this* pain and *this* disgrace was infinitely more torturous and distressing than Scott had ever known. This pain was so much more personal… this disgrace so much more deserved. Time had stopped for the hapless boy, and he was trapped in his own personal hell of both mind and body. The punishment was bound to go on forever.
Scott pleaded one last time with his tormentor, for what, he didn’t know. Warren did not listen.
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Continue to Part 3 here >>