By Julien Gregg
Edited By Rob Hawes

Author's Note: This story does not endorse a way of life. It merely describes one. The reader is left to form his or her own conclusion and make their own choices. The characters in this story do not practice safe sex. I can't urge my readers enough to always be safe. Life is precious. Why chance it?

Chapter Nineteen:

Ian woke up to the most incredible pain he'd ever felt in his life. His left side hurt so bad with each breath and he was aware of the throbbing pain in his head. When he winced from the pain in his side he felt the pain in his ass and then the memory of what had happened came crashing over him and he started to wail in agony. Alex had raped him!

The door to his hospital room burst open as his mother and father came running into the room. Ian looked at them and fear like he'd never known washed over him. In spite of his injuries he tried to back away from them in the bed. He was mumbling incoherently as they stared at him in horror. He was so terrified that he finally lost consciousness.

When he opened his eyes again the pain was less intense but it was still there. It was dark in the room, but he could see his uncle asleep in the recliner beside the bed. The memories of what his brother had done to him washed over him again and he silently cried. How could Alex have done it? As soon as that thought ran through his head fear gripped him again. Where was Alex? Was he out there with their parents, waiting to hurt him again?

Fear had him in such a powerful grip that he began to quiver. He began to hear pitiful noises and was even more terrified to realize that they were coming from his own body. He was sobbing when Evan opened his eyes and looked at him. Instantly his uncle took hold of his hand.

"Ian, you're all right," said Evan softly, putting his face to Ian's ear. "It's over. He can't hurt you anymore. Everything is going to be all right."

"Oh God," he wailed as Evan clutched his hand.

"It's all right, Ian," Evan said, and Ian looked at his uncle. Tears were falling from his uncle's eyes. A look of despair covered his face as he looked back at him.

"Where is he?" Ian asked through his sobs.

"In jail, Ian," replied Ian. "Alex is in jail for what he did to you. You're safe now."

"How?" he asked.

"Thank God Sebastian came to see why you weren't at the party," Evan said. "He found you together, Ian. Sebastian saved you."

"Oh God," he sobbed. Sebastian? He'd seen it all? Ian was mortified.

"We had to make him go home, Ian," said Evan. "He and the rest of your friends were in the hall almost all day long today. Sebastian had been here since you were brought in last night. He was refusing to leave until he could see you."

"Why?" he sobbed. "Oh God, why?"

"Ian, it's going to be all right," Evan said in a pleading voice. "It's over now."

"Andy!" cried Ian, looking around the room, searching for his friend.

"Andy is fine, Ian," Evan said. "He left with Sebastian. He's with Sebastian."

Ian didn't know why but that calmed him almost completely. That lasted only a minute before his mind focused on Alex again and he was screaming. His chest was heaving with every breath he pulled in to scream again and again. He screamed until a nurse came in with a syringe and injected an amber fluid into his IV and merciful darkness claimed him again.

When he opened his eyes again the room was bathed in sunlight spilling in from the windows. He looked out at the city below his room and sighed. Alex had raped him. It was really true. Andy had sucked his dick and Alex had raped him. There was no hiding from it. It had happened. He could feel the pain everywhere in his body that was the proof. Alex had really raped him.

"Oh, Ian," sobbed his mother as she stepped closer to the bed.

"Mom," he said, turning to look at her tear stained face.

"We should have been home," she said, her lips trembling even as she spoke. "We should have been there to protect you."

"No, Mom," he said weakly.

"Yes," she said. "Your father and I should never have gone to the restaurant. We knew that Alex would be home. We should have never left the two of you alone in the house."

"Mom, stop," he said. "Alex did this. It's his fault. Stop blaming yourself. Tell Dad not to blame himself. This is all Alex's fault. His stupid hatred did this, Mom."

"We'll do better when you get home," she said as if she hadn't heard a single word he'd said.

"Home?" he asked in a gasp. "I'm never going in that house again, Mom. I can't. I won't."

"Of course you'll come home," she said. "Ian, we're your parents."

"Mom, I can't," he said, chocking back a sob that threatened to escape and turning his head so she couldn't see the tears in his eyes. He couldn't go back in that house. Not after what had happened. He would never be able to be happy there now. He couldn't go back.

His mother left the room after that and he was thankful for that. He couldn't talk to her about the house. He just couldn't make her see that he couldn't live there now. He would run away if he had to, but he was not setting foot in that house again. There had to be a way to make them see that he would rather live in a shelter than to live in the house he was raped in. He'd spent ten years in a place that was nothing but horrific memories as the abuse and torture continued. He wouldn't do it again.

Then Evan was in the room with him and he tried so hard to make Evan understand. He told him that he would run if he had to but he wasn't going to live there. Evan had told him to calm down. Ian couldn't calm down the more he talked about it and thought about going back the more upset he became. It kept going until a nurse came to sedate him again.

As the days went by Ian continued to insist that he couldn't and wouldn't return home with his parents. He became upset each time someone pressed the issue with him and ended up having to be sedated. The doctor told him that his ribs were only bruised, he'd suffered a concussion and there was minimal damage to his rectum. All of this would heal, but his emotional state would take time. This was said in the presence of his parents and uncle. Ian hoped that the doctor's words would make them see that he couldn't go back to the house.

His friends tried to visit him, but Ian refused to see anyone but family. He felt bad about sending them away, but he didn't think he could handle it. He knew he wasn't ready to see Sebastian. If Sebastian had stopped Alex then he knew what Alex had done. Ian couldn't face him yet. Andy had tried several times to visit and Ian wasn't ready to see him either. He was confused about why he didn't want to see Andy, but until he figured things out Andy wasn't allowed to visit either.

When there was no more reason to keep him in the hospital Evan and Jory came to talk to him. Ian was sure that they were there to try and talk him into going home with his parents. He was fully prepared to tell them that he didn't want to talk to them at all but then they shocked him with what they said.

"Your mother and father are very upset about you not being ready to come home," said Evan, and Ian was about to tell him to back off, but he went on. "They understand that it's difficult for you to even think of the house without remembering what happened."

"We've come up with a solution," said Jory when Evan became silent.

"If you agree to it," Evan said suddenly.

"Agree to what?" he asked carefully. He was sure that he wasn't going to like whatever he was about to be asked to agree with.

"Well, we all talked it over and decided that you could come to live with me and Jory," said Evan. "We've moved all of your stuff to our house, but if you don't want to stay with us we'll understand."

Live with Evan and Jory? Ian couldn't believe his ears. Alex had never been with him at Evan and Jory's. It was actually perfect. He wanted to be closer to his uncle anyway. Living in the same house was the best way to get closer to Evan. He actually smiled as he thought about it. Then he thought about how much of a strain it would be on his uncles to watch over him and go to school and work at the same time.

"Are you sure it won't be too much for you both?" he asked, looking from Evan to Jory and back. "I mean you both have school and work."

"Ian, you're family," said Jory before Evan could speak. "Having you with us will be a blessing, not a strain. We'll figure it all out as we go. The most important thing is that you feel safe."

"We love you, Ian," said Evan.

"I love you both, too," he replied. "Thank you for this."

"You don't have to thank us," said Evan. "There is a rule that you have to follow while you live with us."

"What kind of rule?" he asked, not liking the sound of it already.

"Ian, we know that you've been through a lot in your life," said Jory, and Ian got the impression that Jory was picking his words very carefully. That only made him not like what he was saying more.

"Ian, we want you to see a therapist to help you sort it all out and maybe come to terms with what's happened to you," said Evan. "You can pick the therapist. We realize that you can't heal by talking to the wrong person, so you would have the final say over who you talk to."

"We just want you to feel better," said Jory.

Ian thought about it for a few minutes before he replied. A therapist wasn't really a bad thing. He knew that he had a lot of baggage to deal with so it wasn't as if a therapist was completely out of the question. In fact, he was surprised that his parents hadn't tried to get him to see a therapist before. It was a rule he could live with, he decided.

"I actually think that's a good idea," he said finally. "I love you both, but there are some things I just can't talk to either of you about. Having someone to talk to that isn't connected to me in any way wouldn't be an unwelcome thing."

"Then it's settled," said Evan. "We'll tell your parents so they can sign the forms for you to get out of the hospital."

Then everything happened really fast. Evan handed him a set of clothes to wear. The clothes he'd been wearing when he'd been attacked were now evidence. He thought about that while he changed out of the hospital robe. If his clothing was evidence that meant that he'd probably have to face his brother in court. He wasn't sure if he could actually do that.

His parents sat with him for a few minutes after the nurse brought his release forms in. They hugged him and told him how much they loved him. Both of them were crying and before they left the room Ian was in tears as well. He felt terrible about hurting them. He hoped that they really did understand why he couldn't live in the house anymore.

Then his parents and uncles were walking with him down the hall to the elevator. Once they reached the main floor of the hospital Ian stopped to hug his mother and father again. He was trying to show them that he really did love him and that his decision to not live in the house had nothing to do with them. He was afraid that they still blamed themselves for what had happened. He supposed there was nothing he could really do about it if they did, but he wanted them to know that he loved them.

He rode in the back seat of Evan's car and watched the city pass by as they drove to Evan and Jory's house. He thought about everything that had happened since he'd come to Bryarwood. He'd made real friends. Sebastian and Carl were his best friends and he felt bad for not letting them visit. He knew that he had to face Sebastian some time and it had to be soon.

Then there was Andy. He didn't know what he felt for Andy now. He was sure that he was in love with him before the attack. Now every time he thought about Andy all he could think about was the attack. He knew that he had to get past that, but it was going to be difficult. He owed it to Andy to try though. He thought that maybe he could get past it with the therapy he'd agreed to.

He was happy to see the camaro in the driveway when they got to the house. Seeing it made him think of Sebastian again. He sighed as he thought that the time had come to face his friend. He didn't really know what was stopping him from facing him. Sebastian was close with Paul and Dyllan. He didn't seem to treat Ryan and Jason any differently. Ian didn't know what he thought would make him act any different with himself.

"Do you want to go up to your room and lie down or sit on the couch?" Evan asked once they were in the house.

"I think I'll sit on the couch for just a little while," Ian said, wincing as he sat down. His ribs were still extremely sore.

"Are you hungry?" Jory asked. "Thirsty?"

"Thirsty," he replied. He'd only just ate lunch before they brought him home.

"I'll get him some juice," said his mother, getting up from her place beside him and headed for the kitchen.

"Uncle Evan, I'd like to call Sebastian," he said after a moment.

"I'll get the phone," replied Evan, walking into the dining room.

"He's been worried about you," said Jory. "Between him, Carl and Andy I don't know which one of them needs reassuring that you're all right more."

"Sebastian first," he said. "Then Carl and Andy."

"I want you all to come to the diner on Sunday," said his father. "All of you."

"We'll be there," replied Jory with a smile as Evan brought the phone to Ian.

Sebastian was so happy to hear from him that Ian felt ashamed that he'd held him off for so long. Sebastian told him that if he needed anything just to call and Ian asked if Sebastian could come to Evan and Jory's the next day to talk. He was happy to oblige and the date was set. Ian felt better after he ended the phone call. Evan must have noticed that he was hurting pretty bad because as soon as he handed his uncle the phone he was handed a pain pill. He happily accepted and swallowed it with a sip of his juice. Then he decided to go to his room so he'd already be in bed when the pill took effect. He got tenders hugs from his uncles and his father. His mother kissed him on the forehead and told him that she loved him.

Evan helped him up the stairs and showed him to his room. Ian was pleased to see that his bed, dresser and night table were in the room. He saw the entertainment center with the television, DVD player and VCR across from the bed. The small desk and book shelf were in the corner with the computer and a telephone. He smiled at his uncle as they stood in the center of the room.

"Like I said it was all yours, Ian," Evan said, answering his nephew's smile. "When we decided that you could live here with us we moved all of your stuff over here. I hope you like it. If you don't we change it any way you want."

"It's perfect, Uncle Evan," he replied, his eyes drooping just a little.

"Let's get you into bed, Droopy," laughed Evan.

Ian was only slightly embarrassed when Evan had to help him with his shirt and pants. He was too unsteady to worry about much else so he just slide beneath the covers in his boxers. Evan put is bottle of juice on his night table and walked across the room to turn on a small lamp that Ian hadn't noticed until then.

"We're really happy that you're here, Ian," said his uncle when he came back to stand beside the bed.

"I'm happy to be here too," he replied, trying to keep his eyes open.

"Sleep, young one," said Evan with a smile. He surprise Ian by leaning close and hissing him on the forehead.

Then Ian surrendered to the pull of the pain pill and let sleep claim him feeling safe and secure in his uncle's house.

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