A Life not Spent with You

BY : Rin-chan
Category: DarkFic > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 4294
Disclaimer: Any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental - this is a work of fiction.

Hey! ^^/ Its been a while since my last update - I've been busy preparing for the Calgary Expo thats happening in a couple weeks. I've been making up an inventory for selling handmade crafts I've done. That and having a new part-time job and volunteering for a busy program, eats up my time.  

Thank you for the reads and reviews, they mean a lot! I promise there will be lighter chapters coming up!  

TRIGGER WARNING: This story contains details of sexual assault that may be upsetting to some readers!     

                                                                                                                                                   *  

 The first thing he heard upon awakening was the call of a seagull. One lonely sound, with a space of a few seconds before another answered. Blinking, Ivan slowly lifted his head, automatically looking to see if moving around would disturb his boyfriend. To his surprise, clearing away the sleepiness, Damien wasn’t with him. Sitting up, he tugged his t-shirt down and went to find the younger man. Maybe he had a restless night again today is a big day... The weekend had come and gone, and Tuesday had finally rolled in. The past few days, Damien’s sleep had been disrupted, leaving him awake and unable to sleep. No doubt being sick brought up a thousand fears and worries... It had scared Ivan too, how fast Damien’s fever hit him. After the younger man had brought up therapy Wednesday evening, Ivan had gone out to the pharmacy, made lunch for them both and later that night, Damien had grown ill that lasted for four days. And yesterday I had to leave for the day for Easter brunch at work... Being apart had been difficult, all the while worried about Damien’s health taking a sharp turn.     

 Concerned, hoping today would go as smoothly as possible, Ivan quietly announced his entrance to the kitchen, then the living room, and found him sitting on the edge of the couch, staring out the window.  

 Rain slid down the large windows, the glass fogged slightly in the warm spring weather. Ivan noted his lover was sitting normally, gave him hope that he was healing and feeling better. Oh god he was so stressed this weekend... Being sick on Wednesday night, Damien had been inconsolable, scared he’d contracted some terrible STI or STD. Thinking of how useless and frustrating it had been to try and comfort his lover, Ivan grimaced at remembering how, at one point, he’d shouted at the younger man. “The worst has already happened so calm the fuck down!” No matter how he’d tried to justify it in his mind, it left Ivan feeling rotten and heartless. Now, as he stared at his boyfriend who continued to gaze out the window, his face burned with shame.   

 Watching the rain trickle down the window, Damien tiredly closed his eyes, rolled his neck carefully. The soreness in the back of his head was nothing but a very faint twinge now, but he still felt pain when he gently stretched his neck now. Tension had built up in his shoulders, as if his body was constantly on edge now, hyper-vigilance draining him. At least with all this research I’m learning whats happening to me... Morosely, he opened his saddened eyes and gazed out at the depressing rain. I feel stronger today I’m glad I’m not sick but oh god what if... So many things to finish that sentence, each more terrifying than the last. And there was nothing to do but wait; gingerly, he brought up his knees on the couch and tucked his chin over them, wanting to hide. His eyes stung with the beginnings of tears as he thought back on the near hysteria he’d displayed with Ivan.     

Thinking of it, he felt dizzy with humiliation and shame. Breathing in deep, Damien let out a shaking sigh, afraid of their relationship. I’m going to ruin things oh fuck I have work today what if I freak out and lose my job and then I have therapy after work what’ll happen will it go well? Is Ivan even going to come with me now?    “M-morning, Damien.” Startled, the younger man looked over to see the blond standing here in his sleeping shirt and shorts, his arms crossed and not quite looking at him. Noticing how closed-off the blond looked, and scared it was in reaction to his behaviour over the weekend, Damien returned his gaze to the window, trying to blink away the wetness from his eyes. “Good morning, I hope you slept well.” His own falsely cheery voice sounded hollow to him, made him cringe.    

 Not moving, uncertain if closing the distance between them would be welcome, Ivan nodded to himself. It was early, just after seven in the morning, and it was cold but it was colder in his heart. Upset at his angry outburst over the weekend, he once again wondered how to take it back, set things right again and came up empty. He’s right there, five steps from me but oh it might as well be a thousand miles... A shuddering sigh left the younger man, his face turning so his cheek rested on his knees. Guilt speared through his chest, and Ivan hesitantly took a step closer, feeling raw and near tears. “Dami...” He paused, so many things wanting to spill from his lips. But his pause grew longer, the seconds ticking by. The silence broke with Damien’s breath catching in a quiet sob, a familiar sound.     

 Certain Ivan was on the verge of apologizing again, Damien tried to keep in his emotions, the weary ache of seclusion tightening his throat. It wasn’t being shouted at that pained him so - he understood the frustration - but feeling so alone in his pain. Not able to convey just how afraid he was, of not being able to fix himself, or getting a lifelong disease, or never feeling comfortable again, Damien’s feelings spilled over in tears once more. Aware of the older man’s eyes on him, taking in his crying, he miserably drew himself in a tighter ball. H-he hasn’t made a move to touch me since Saturday night I acted so crazy please stop staring at me its breaking my heart...     

 Swallowing the growing lump in his throat, Ivan quietly shuffled his feet along the carpet, came to stand by the couch where his boyfriend sat, and knelt. The weekend heavy on his mind, and the distance between them worsening in things unspoken, Ivan gathered all his mental strength. This is such an important day it could change everything for the better I want us to be a team again just speak honestly! Wanting his words to get through, he took a deep breath and spoke.   

 “D-Damien, can I touch your shoulder?” Not hearing the trembling in the older man’s voice nor the pleading tone, Damien shook his head. He didn’t want to yesterday we slept so far away on the bed last night I had to get up because it hurt so bad I can’t! Ivan’s breath caught, and he nearly looked up but resisted the urge. Sensing his boyfriend’s hurt, he felt even worse at being so withdrawn. As he sucked in a breath, fighting to not sob, the older man’s voice asked gently. “Dami, please look at me.”     His stomach feeling fluttery with nervousness, Ivan waited. Damien shifted, raising his head just a little, and a few seconds after, teary blue eyes met his misty green. Letting all his fears, all his worries and pain fill his face, Ivan felt his whole being, everything that made him, him, tremble at being so exposed. Seeing Damien really look at him, the older man managed to stammer.   

“I’m scared t-too.”     

The worst fear he’d felt now was be turned away after revealing so much of himself. I’m a supporter I’m supposed to be strong for him but I’m terrified too... Something flickered in his lover’s eyes, and with some hesitance, Damien reached out and touched his cheek. Closing his eyes at that gentle contact, Ivan felt his skin light with the relief that one touch brought him. Opening his eyes, his tears spilled over. The younger man stared at him for the barest of a second before unwrapping himself and enfolded him in a tight embrace. Shaken by the emotion of being held, being accepted, Ivan hugged him just as tightly.     

 Eyes shut tight, Damien breathed in his lover’s scent and crushed their bodies together with his embrace. A hand gently meshed in his hair, fingertips circling along his scalp. Ivan’s other hand smoothed along his back, sent shivers down his body. Ivan’s stubbly cheek nuzzled his neck almost reverently, made Damien’s breath falter. Amazingly after such a vulnerable exchange of their eyes meeting, his skin felt hot with desire. The joy he’d felt at being close to Ivan once more, swirled in him, and fearfully, he wanted to express that joy. Lust coiled in his lower stomach, and even with his cheeks damp with tears, he wanted to kiss the older man.   

 “L-let me go! Please!” Immediately, Ivan withdrew, certain he’d crossed some boundary. Damien pulled away, covered his mouth with a hand, hugging his chest with his free arm. Seeing him shake, the blond shuffled back, still kneeling but not as close now. “I-I wanted to,” The younger man halted, eyes darting to glance at him quickly, “I can’t mess things up again...” About to ask, certain he’d pushed the line somehow, the older man felt winded slightly at Damien’s soft, “I wanted to kiss you, it never ends well.”     Feeling dirty, ashamed at this admission, Damien wiped his drying cheeks and thought seriously about getting ready for the day. Its probably nearing seven-thirty now have work at nine... The older man’s gaze was on him, eyes soft that made his body flare with heat again. Ivan waved a hand for him to come closer, which Damien did with some hesitance. Heart pounding loud in his ears, he shyly brought their lips close and gave the older man a kiss. That one loving touch sent a thrill throughout his body, in knowing they were okay once more. Before he could press firmly, bring his hands up to press their chests together, Ivan pulled away. Disheartened, scared his boyfriend changed his mind, Damien leaned away, face worried.    

 “I wanted to kiss you too, darling, I’m glad you had the courage to tell me.” Green eyes shimmering, the man he loved started to stand. “We best get ourselves ready, do you want the first shower?”   

                                                                                                                                                     *    

 The water was hot, his injuries hardly upset now. Damien closed his eyes and bent his head forwards, letting the strong jet hit him mid-back. His shoulder where he’d been bitten still ached, the skin healing but deep in the muscle, felt stiff and pained. Maybe its just phantom pain... Like how his body was healing but his mind was still raw and wounded, an unseen injury. Azure opening slightly, he stared at the non-slip matt on the shower floor, watching water pool along the surface. He thought I meant just a normal kiss... The disappointment he’d felt was stronger than he’d expected of himself, made him feel tarnished. Of course Ivan wouldn’t think I meant more than kissing its barely been over a week how could I want to do more or even think of it? Face growing warm in embarrassment, Damien wondered what his lover’s reaction would be if he’d explained more clearly. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought if I want Ivan to... His mind trailed off, made his blush stronger.     

 He imagined himself sitting on the couch, as he was just minutes ago, but with Ivan kneeling between his parted legs, their chests pressed together. Ivan’s lips grazing along his shoulder, his breath warm on his neck. Hearing the older man’s gentle reassurances, his hands unbelievably caring as they caressed along his back.     

 With a gasp, Damien hugged his arms, scared as his body reacted, his cock hardening. Hunching forwards as if he could stop it from happening, this involuntary action, he whimpered, remembering how badly he tried to stop this feeling before. He remembered weeping, trying to keep in his shocked noises as pleasure rattled through him against his will. Oh god please stop why can’t I stop it I hate this I’m going to be sick just stop am I really enjoying this?    His mouth growing slick with spit, his stomach churning, Damien blindly reached for the shower wall to support himself as he grew disoriented as the nausea grew worse. As he tried to think of something else, anything else, a memory of having the rapist’s cock in his mouth, it spurting in his mouth, made his body jerk. With nothing in his system, he dry heaved painfully, made him panic as he tried to stop it. The loss of control sent fear fluttering within him, and once more he was trying to will his body to cooperate and it stubbornly refused.   

                                                                                                                                                       *    

 As he finished towel-drying his hair, Ivan frowned, listened hard. A few seconds passed and his first thought was confirmed by the sounds of Damien heaving in between pitiful gasps and whimpers. Quickly pulling on his plain back t-shirt, he crossed their master bedroom and listened at the door. Unsure whether or not to tap on the door, he considered it and lightly knocked. “Dami, honey, are you okay?” The sound of the shower was his answer, before a shaky voice assured him he was fine.   

 Concerned, Ivan accepted the answer and glanced at the digital clock on the bedside table. Just past eight just enough time to eat something fast and drop Damien off and get to work... Guessing the younger was nervous about today, having to be at work and in public, the blond hoped that was all. Maybe he’s still feeling sick... Combing his hair, he pocketed his keys, his phone and headed for the kitchen.    

 In the time it took for him to brew some coffee and toast a couple bagels, Damien emerged from the bedroom. His long damp hair was bound in a low ponytail, his bangs framing his face. The traces of abuse were gone, only a very faint yellow around his one bruised eye. He was dressed in a long-sleeved midnight blue work shirt that brought out his eyes. Black slacks covered his lower body that would match the black vest he’d wear at the book store where Damien worked. He looks the same as any other work day but... There was an anxiousness in his face, a tautness in his jaw that showed his nervousness. Finishing with the cream cheese, Ivan sealed the lid and popped it back into the fridge. “I toasted a bagel for you too, and the coffee is fresh.” Keeping it simple, not wanting to stir the waters after they’d just reconnected, the blond flashed him a smile and began to eat.     

 With all his will, Damien had managed to lock away his growing desire; in this feat of strength, it allowed other worries to bloom within his weary heart. Nodding, he took a mug out of the cupboard and got his coffee. Again and again, he fretted over how the day would play out, scared everyone would know what had happened to him the second he stepped into work. What if they see it on my face or read about it in the paper or pick up how shaky I feel? Not wanting to worry Ivan, he grabbed an apple, chasing it down with his antibiotics and coffee. I can act as anxious as I want when I leave Ivan for the day oh god I was so dramatic this weekend I can’t do anything else like that around him...  

                                                                                                                                                    *    

 The ride to work was comfortably quiet, it took most of Damien’s willpower to make it seem everything between them was fine. Their new-found peace of mind was built on a lie - all he was doing was hiding from his growing desire, his fear of being too needy and worst of all, hiding how badly his trauma was affecting every aspect of his life. During the drive, he stared out the window, trying to prepare for eight hours in the constantly busy book store in downtown. There will be people everywhere strangers men oh god if my attacker targeted me maybe he knows where I work? Realizing just how strongly his attack interfered in his thoughts, Damien bit his lip, feeling strangely hollow.   

 “Dami? Hey, we’re here.” Ivan noted the startled jump the younger man gave, his blue eyes partly confused as they met his gaze. Certain Damien was nervous about the upcoming day, the blond turned off the engine, took his hand off the ignition. “Do you want me to come in with you?” The younger man blinked, his eyes filling with gratitude as he silently nodded, his jaw clenching. Knowing he could spare at least ten minutes, Ivan nodded, wondering if he should say more. Taking his cues from the his boyfriend, he unbuckled himself and got out. Damien looked frail, and once more Ivan wondered if he was eating enough as he crossed around the car to the sidewalk to join him. Automatically, their hands sought for each other - smiling, pressing a quick kiss to the back of his hand, Ivan smiled at him.     

 Unbearably nervous, Damien bowed his head, tugged Ivan closer for a hug. Wanting to feel safe, secure, he held him tightly, savoured the blond’s arms wrapping around him snugly. Being thrown into the busy workplace was daunting; what was once a welcome place where he could thrive on dealing with people, his greatest strength, was now terrifying. Strangers, men passing by, that would brush against him, no doubt sneak up behind him. Oh hell I can’t do it maybe if I just tell Margie that it wasn’t a break-in but worse maybe I’ll get another week off just anything to put this off! Surprised he was willing to tell anyone just to stave off the inevitable, a fiery determination sparked in his heart. The seconds grew longer, and finally with great reluctance, Damien pulled away from their embrace, hoping he looked relatively normal.   

 Walking in, the brightly lit entrance was empty, the store not open for another fifteen minutes. Scanning the area, Damien gripped his lover’s hand and passed the escalators, the open floor to the cash registers to the door marked ‘staff only’. Squaring his shoulders, he went in with Ivan, and felt his heart stop for a long moment to what was waiting for him.  

“Oh my god, Damien are you okay?”

 “Hey, he just got here, guys!”

“-happened to my sister’s best friend, oh I’m so sorry!”

“-says you can have another week off, fuck I’m sorry.”  

 Complete nightmare! The sudden crowd around them, the loud talking from all sides - Ivan had closed his mouth and moved an arm to ward them from getting to close. Already Damien was breathing fast, not liking how a couple of the women were tugging at his arm. Three of the men stood a little aways, their faces distraught. And there, with an expression torn between sympathy and fractured amusement, was Cody.   

 An inferno of shame heated his face, and numbly, Damien once again tried to register that everyone seemed to know about his attack. Painful spikes of heat prickled his skin, as if their knowledge attacked him. His throat temporarily closed from shock, he shook his head, waved off  Ashton and Desiree’s hands that wanted to hold his arm in concerned gentleness. The voices dripping with sympathy grated against him, and all at once he felt like a child being cosseted and coddled. Tears stung his eyes and the only way to get out of this was backing away. He bumped into someone and he tried to spin around, scared. Ivan looked down at him, his face apologetic and flushed as he shook his head as if to say he didn’t understand either. Humiliated, Damien hugged him, clinging as the older man’s arms folded around him. Oh god tell me this is a dream they can’t know I’m not a baby just stop please! Don’t look at me like that! Completely against it, he felt himself wanting to cry, sob and with all his willpower he tried to hold off the growing tide.     

“Hey you two, so you are still together?” The joking lilt set Ivan’s teeth on edge, and taking a moment to press a kiss on Damien’s head in response to his hitching breaths, the blond looked over to Cody. The head cashier faltered a little, but plastered on his usual smirking grin. “I thought you’d call it quits, Iv, since he cheated on you.” The room went deathly silent, as if everyone took a collected deep breath. Red filled his vision and his first urge was to knock Cody’s teeth out in his fantastic rage at this heartless joke. For half a second, he entertained this idea, only remembering he couldn’t when Damien’s grip started to fall away, his body almost seeming to crumble. Holding him tighter, Ivan dipped his head, whispered in his ear that it was nonsense, that he’d never ever see it that way.  

 “Are you fucking stupid? What the fuck, Cody, this is no joking matter!” Ashton seemed to shake with anger, Damien felt his chest heave to take the next breath, feeling slightly dizzy. “Is that why you told all of us? To throw jokes around and make fun of him? You’re a total asshole, get the hell out of here!” He told them? How? He’s my friend why would he I thought I could trust him... Struggling to keep his crying under control, Damien buried his face into Ivan’s chest, wanted to disappear from this nightmare. His thoughts had slowed to mud, his mind not fully understanding that his secret was out.   

“You told everyone? Something so personal and private and you tell everyone?” His voice shaking with anger, feeling extremely warm, Ivan fought to keep his arms, his hands gentle as he stroked his boyfriend’s back. A part of him was screaming to get Damien out of here now, to avoid this upsetting confrontation; the other part of him was screaming insults at the sandy-haired cashier. All around him, Damien’s co-workers began to berate the man, some near screaming, others coldly informing him he was heartless and cruel.    ‘Hey, I told everyone because we’re a crew, a family here, and one of us was badly hurt! Thats what families do, support each other! I’m just joking Damien, you know that, right?”   

“You s-still shared something that wasn’t yours to share, I-I didn’t wan-want people to know!” Fighting not to stammer too badly, the shame trying to overwhelm his voice, a great shuddering breath escaped him, and his tears spilled over. “Ash, please tell Margie I’m not feeling well, and I went back home for the day.”  

 “Now why is there a crowd in the break lounge when we are opening in ten minutes? Out, everyone, get ready for the day.” Damien’s manager came into view as she entered through the other door. She briskly clapped her hands, her usual gesture that got people moving. A few people glanced apologetically and turned away - all of their expressions were irritating, made Damien feel discounted somehow. Only Ashton stepped forward, asked lightly if she could give him a hug. At his frightened head shake, she nodded, her short black hair bobbing slightly, her red-dyed bangs falling into her face. “It turns out Cody had come by your apartment a couple days ago to see you and ran into your landlord. I’m really sorry, Damien, I would have called but I didn’t know how to go about telling you all this.”   

 His boyfriend ducked his head again, a harsh whimper escaped him; disappointed he couldn’t somehow lessen this blow, Ivan lightly pressed another kiss to his crown, felt Damien’s grateful caress on his back. Nodding, quietly thanking the book store cafe cashier, Ivan watched as Ashton waved goodbye, wishing them well. “I’m so sorry, darling. I know this wasn’t what you wanted.” His words harshly husked, too angered still by Cody’s betrayal and callousness, Ivan tried to calm himself down. “There’s suh-so many things now I’m making a list.” Surprised into one laugh, he pulled away, saw the younger’s heartbreakingly small smile, faint humor in his watery eyes. They shared a flash of a moment, and at the same time, gave each other a kiss, just a peck that cemented their relationship once more after this recent earthquake.    

 “Damien, I apologize, I didn’t quite know how to bring this up to you. Yesterday your friend Cody had all but shouted during the morning start about what happened. I specifically requested no one contact you, seeing as it was your week off.” Margaret Tunney cleared her throat, her hands smoothing her plum-coloured blouse. Her brown curls were piled high on her head in its usual sweeping bun, her kind eyes perhaps a bit softer than usual as they regarded him. Damien wiped at his eyes, badly wanted to stand alone before her; feeling badly shaken though, he remained clinging to Ivan’s side, an arm slung around his waist. Swallowing the tightness in his throat, he prayed to not stutter over his guilt and embarrassment.   

 “Thank you for that. I-I’m sorry about, this.” The words tasted bitter as he said them, even worse was the pause - there was so much to be sorry about. Wanting badly to be back home - it surprised Damien that he already counted the houseboat as ‘home’ - he wanted this conversation to be over as soon as possible. “I-I don’t think I can work today. Sorry.” Another apology, his face grew hotter somehow, Cody’s words echoing in his head. Margie shook her head,   

“That is not a problem, you can have another week off if you wish, you still have vacation time available. I am glad that you are up and moving around. Part of your benefits includes therapy for things impeding your work, and this definitely falls under that. If you haven’t picked a therapist, we have contacts if you-” Damien interrupted her by telling her they’d found one, just wanting to leave. “Excellent, at your first session then, just ask for a letter from their office stating you are receiving counselling and I’ll take care of the rest.”    “Thank you, Margie, I really appreciate it. I’ll be back next week on Monday.”   

 Ivan felt Damien’s deep breath, let out in a silent sigh. I can’t imagine how he feels...I’ll rip Cody’s tongue out! Thinking such thoughts brought his dying anger to flare up again; with great effort, he focused on being here, with his lover in his arms. Left alone, as everyone had left to get ready for the day, he stood there, wondering if being held would upset the younger man further. All those well-wishes and sympathy... Damien nuzzled his face against his shoulder, bowing his head as he pressed them closer; apparently he didn’t mind this. Glad, the blond smiled into his hair, “I’m sorry.” Was all he said, simple and heartfelt. With a small sniffle, the younger man pulled away, reaching for his hand.     

“I want to go, leave right now.” Feeling very small and self-conscious, Damien led them out into the store, past the bookshelves, the display tables laden with giftware and cards. He caught Adam’s gaze as he passed by the checkouts - he saw the other man plaster an awkward smile, and received a little wave. Sweat on his brow, wondering if everyone else at work would be thinking of what had happened to him, Damien dashed ahead to the lobby. Eager for fresh air, he took a deep breath, feeling as though he was marked, branded somehow; his secret was out,  and it was visible, hung over him like a shroud. Dropping Ivan’s hand, he swallowed hard, tried to calm himself.  They all know everyone at work oh god they can see it on my face my stomach feels so sick I can’t come back here they’ll all imagine me doing all the terrible things...   

 After they exited the store, Damien had started to pace, panting, growing breathless as his face crumbled. Ivan could see it, the despair and humiliation as he walked in a tight circle, his eyes filling with more tears. Helpless once more, the older man gently tried to get his attention, lightly touched his shoulder. Not reaching him and badly wanting to stop Damien’s heartbreaking attempts to keep from weeping. “Dami, honey, its okay. Its me, please... I’m so sorry, I can’t believe he did that...” Taking him by the shoulders slowly, Ivan saw those shimmering blue eyes blink, register his face. A shard of deep sorrow hit his heart as Damien dropped his eyes as if the shame was too heavy. “No, Damien, don’t drop your head, you’ve done nothing wrong. Absolutely nothing.” The younger man fell forwards, slumped against him as his arms twined around him. Welcoming him in , Ivan held him back just as tightly, muttered apologies for this upsetting morning.   

 Part of him was aware that he was going to be late, that people were staring, some even stopping with their faces curious and concerned as Damien started to openly sob; what mattered more was comforting his loved one, let people speculate and wonder.   

                                                                                                                                                    *  



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