I can’t remember for sure when I realized that. I think it was sometimes in the middle of March when it hit me. I realized a couple of things actually. One of them was the fact that I was getting completely lost in him. Nothing mattered but his eyes, his smile, his touch… It felt like I was slowly becoming a part of him, or maybe his shadow, I don’t know. Lately I was catching myself copying his gestures, the way he talked, even the way he ate. But at the same time I’ve noticed that he would use the same words and idioms as me, and the way he dressed was eerily similar to mine for the last month or so.
Sometimes I was wondering what is going to happen to both of us in, let’s say, two years from now. Would we become completely alike? To the point that we even manage to look the same? Would we just become one entity instead of two independent ones? I couldn’t figure out if the thought scared me or not. I mean, losing myself completely was scary but at the same time inviting somehow.
The second thing that I realized was the fact that his violent side didn’t disturb me anymore. Whatsoever. Sometimes when he’d become too restless or annoyed and I knew that he just needed to “blow off steam” (a nice way to put it), I would actually help him to provoke someone, to start a fight just so he could get his jollies. We didn’t even have to talk about it, we could read each other perfectly by then. And after yet another ugly scene, I wouldn’t even think about it twice. At first there would be an urgent frantic whisper or sometimes even screaming in my head. “You are becoming just like him!” I would shut it up immediately and soon enough it simply stopped.
As for my common sense, it seemed that it was gone along with that frightened voice in my head. I still have no clue how in hell we never got caught. Seriously, we skipped the lunch period almost every day since the beginning of March. We would go almost anywhere that seemed remotely safe - bathrooms, locker room, the sheds behind the football field. I knew that there was a crapload of nasty talk and rumors behind our backs but everyone knew better than to say something in our faces. People knew that if they manage to get on Dylan’s or my bad side, they would pay for that dearly.
Even my mother who was usually pretty laid back about my choices or behavior, was beginning to get somewhat concerned about all the changes in me. I would just shrug it off every time she tried to “do the talk”. I would just point out the fact that my grades didn’t suffer and that people do change sometimes and that it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Finally she left me alone but her eyes would get wary every time she saw me and Dylan together. I guess it was pretty obvious that he was the reason I changed so much. Finally it started to piss me off and I would spend more and more nights at Kay’s house instead of mine.
Billy and his pets would try to pester us every chance they’ve got. We had several nasty fights with them but nothing as bad as the one back in January. One of those fights cost Billy yet another tooth and Mickey ended up with three broken fingers and a cracked wrist bone.
I don’t know what would happen to us if the shit didn’t hit the fan at the end of the second week of April. Maybe we would get arrested eventually. Or maybe we would get killed, I have no idea. Either possibility seemed quite likely. But that night - it was a Saturday - changed it all.
Now that I am thinking back, I find it kind of funny that whenever something really nasty happened in my life, my parents were never home. They would inevitably be away, on one of those deal-signing things. Believe me, I am not complaining. I am glad it always happened that way. Because if they were home on that Saturday night, I don’t know how everything would play out.
That evening Dylan was supposed to take Kay to the airport. She was leaving for another photo shoot. I asked him if he wanted me to come with but he just gave me one of his smiles and said no. I didn’t mind because I always felt really uncomfortable around Kay. Her and I never said anything to each other except for occasional “Hello” ever since she walked in on Dylan and me that one memorable morning. I knew that she had nothing against the fact that Dylan and I were together. On the contrary. I think it made her happy. But I would always feel awfully uncomfortable around her. I guess, it makes you feel that way if someone walks in on you while you are naked in bed with someone who is the same sex as you. Or if you are naked in bed with someone, period.
They left around six in the evening. Kay’s flight was leaving at seven forty five so I expected Dylan to come back a little after eight. When it was nine thirty and he still didn’t show up, I started freaking out, thinking that something bad happened again. Finally he walked through the front door at ten fifteen.
“Where have you been?!” I asked with very righteous anger and stopped talking immediately when I saw his face.
He wasn’t just gloating, he was almost ecstatic. His eyes looked like he was very, very high which I knew wasn’t the case. Dylan hated drugs with the passion. He walked up to me without saying anything and pushed me against the wall. And then he kissed me so frantically that it almost felt like he was trying to swallow me whole.
“Okay…” I breathed when I managed to pull away. “What did you do?”
“What makes you think that I did something?” he asked with a grin.
“Because you look high and you are horny as hell”, I said patiently.
“Oh you know me so well…” he said and laughed shrilly. “Let’s go.”
“You’ll see”, he said with the same crazy grin.
I followed him to the front door when he stopped abruptly, turned around and looked at me intently.
“You still want to hurt Billy, right?” he asked in a low voice.
I knew immediately why he acted this way. Had something to do with Billy. Apparently Dylan had a plan.
“Hell, yeah I want to hurt that son of a bitch!” I nodded energetically.
He smiled again.
“Okay”, he muttered. “Let’s go then.”
We were driving for almost forty minutes now.
“Where are we going?” I asked finally when we were in the middle of woody nowhere.
“You’ll see”, Dylan said in the same ecstatic voice as before.
I looked at him suspiciously. A plan alone wouldn’t get him in this condition, I knew that.
“What did you do?” I asked quietly.
“You’ll see”, came the same reply.
Suddenly I didn’t like the very idea as much as I liked it at first. I had no idea what he did and I started having a very bad feeling.
“Almost there”, he said with such intonation like he was about to show me my birthday present.
Finally he pulled over to the side of the road, making sure that his car was hidden behind some trees. He turned the ignition off and looked at me with his transparent eyes that were filled with something dark and ecstatic.
“Let’s go”, he said.
We walked through the woods for maybe ten minutes when he stopped abruptly and started rummaging through his pockets. Finally he pulled something out and shoved it in my hands.
“Put them on”, he said and I blinked.
I was holding a pair of latex gloves. Now I didn’t just have a bad feeling. Now I was scared.
“Why?” I asked quietly.
“You don’t wanna leave fingerprints all over, do you?” he rolled his eyes.
“Dylan, what did you do?!” My voice cracked.
“Come on”, he laughed.
We walked some more and finally got to a semi-clearing. There was something on one of the trees. I walked closer and when I saw what it was, my stomach revolted so bad that I had to shove my latex covered fist into my mouth to keep me from screaming and throwing up. Now I understood why Dylan was acting this way.
It was Billy who was tied to that tree. Well, it was whatever was left of Billy. He was cut up so badly that he looked like an awful prop for a horror movie.
“Oh my God…” I managed to say and turned away, trying to keep my stomach under control.
The last time I had any food was six or seven hours ago. I guess that was the only reason I didn’t throw up right then. I was gulping cold air when I’ve heard a very soft moan. At first I thought that Dylan couldn’t help it anymore and simply started beating off or something which wouldn’t surprise me a single bit. I whirled around and saw him standing right next to me, his expression blissful, pants zipped up, hands on his sides. I blinked. If it wasn’t him… Then there was another moan and I shifted my gaze to Billy.
“Jesus Christ…” I whispered in disbelief. “He is still alive?!”
“Of course”, Dylan said lightly. “There is nothing special about mutilating a dead body.”
I stared at him with horror. Oh God, I thought, please tell me this is a very late April Fools joke… Please tell me that Vaughn and Dylan managed to come to some weird understanding between them and were playing the most idiotic and cruel prank on me right now, please tell me this is not real… Then Dylan smiled again and it hit me hard. It was real, all right. I glanced at Billy again. I had no idea how can someone still be alive when there was so much blood around and when their flesh was so hacked up that it would put Jason to shame.
Sudden wind change washed nauseating smell of blood and something else over me and I whirled around again. Do not throw up, I thought desperately. Whatever you do, do not throw up!
“Where is the knife?” I muttered finally.
Dylan made a sound that was a mix between laughter and hum.
“Here”, he said and I grabbed a medium size blade out of his hand.
The knife looked clean but there were small dark spots on the handle. The blade looked mighty sharp. I inhaled sharply and shook my head. Oh Jesus Christ, this is not happening… Then Billy made another sound. Now it wasn’t just a soft moan. Now it sounded desperate and almost urgent. I looked at him. One of his remaining eyes was staring straight at me and I realized that not only he was alive, he was fully conscious as well. I clenched my teeth tight and walked towards him. It seemed that he was trying to say something but he couldn’t. When I got closer, I could see why. His tongue was chopped off. My hands shook and I grasped the knife harder. I thought about saying something but then decided not to. If I open my mouth right now, I’ll start screaming.
Billy’s remaining eye was flashing insane mix of fear, pain, and hope at me. I gritted my teeth, grabbed the knife handle a little bit more differently so it fit better into my palm, and then I ran the blade across his throat. Blood gushed onto my hands immediately and I jumped back. Billy made a gargling sound, his eye blinking rapidly, and then his body convulsed and he went limp in his restraints.
“That’s it?” Dylan asked behind my back and I could hear slight disappointment in his voice.
I turned around slowly and limped away from that damn tree.
“That’s it”, I muttered.
“Huh”, he said. “That was quick.”
“I just put him out of his misery”, I whispered, trying not to look at the beautiful monstrosity in front of me.
I handed him the knife and sat down on the ground. My knees were shaking so bad that I almost fell.
“Okay”, he sighed and trotted towards the tree.
“What are you doing now?” I croaked without looking at him.
“Cutting the ropes”, he called back indifferently. “Getting rid of the evidence, so to speak…”
Ah yes, the evidence. I wasn’t a single bit surprised when he pulled a canister from behind one of the bushes. Of course, he came prepared. He poured the entire canister onto the hacked up body and he was whistling while he did that. I just sat there. I felt numb like I just been pumped shitload of Novocain into my body.
“Come on”, he said finally.
I blinked and looked up. He was as beautiful as ever. The smell of gasoline hung in the air like a thick curtain. I got up and followed him blindly. He stopped for a second or two, struck a match and threw it into the pool of gasoline behind us. There was a satisfied and hungry “POOF!!!” sound and then there was fire. Dylan looked up and frowned slightly.
“The rain is coming up”, he said. “Hopefully not too soon.”
Then he was walking towards the car and I shuffled behind him, still feeling like I am in one of my nightmares and couldn’t wait to wake up. We got to the car, he opened the trunk and threw the empty canister in there.
“Take your gloves off”, he said and I did so mechanically.
He shoved the bloodied gloves into his pocket and slammed the trunk shut. Then he walked up to me and pushed me against the car, his hands and mouth all over me.
“Are you out of your mind?!” I pushed him away. “Jesus Christ, Dylan! You are fucking sick!”
“I know”, he agreed and started kissing me again.
“Knock it off!” I snarled and tried pushing him away again.
He was stronger than me, I knew that ever since he hit me in that parking lot. So me pushing him away right now didn’t do anything. His tongue was doing its usual quick licks on my mouth and his hand slid between my legs. And then to my own horror I realized that I was hard as a rock. The wave of lust, disgust and fury washed over me like scolding hot water. I grabbed his hair and jerked his head backwards.
“You want it?” I growled. “Fine! Fucking take it then!”
I knew that if he wanted to, he could stop me easily. But he didn’t. I opened the back door of the car and threw him on the seat, face down. I didn’t have a single thought left in my head. Just roaring fury. At him, at myself, at Billy-fucking-Vaughn. I pushed Dylan’s face into the car seat, never letting go of his hair, and pulled his pants off. Making love was in the past, long forgotten dead past. For the next half an hour or so I fucked him hard. Love was nowhere near right then. I wanted to hurt him, I wanted to hurt him bad, to make him scream, to make him cry out in pain. I kept pulling his hair, his head jerking back every ten seconds or so, and I had no desire to stop.
He did scream but not because he was in pain. Then his muscles started clamping down on me and I lost it. I yelled something out really loud and one of my arms wrapped tightly around his stomach. I pulled his hair so hard that I ended up with a fistful of it. He didn’t even seem to care about that. His fingers grasped the door handle next to his face, and his body kept tightening around me, making me spasm even more. He just repeated “Oh-oh-oh-oh!!” over and over again. Finally I managed to let go of his hair and then I collapsed on top of him, empty all the way - my body and my head. He shifted slightly underneath me and turned his head to look at my face. I expected him to look at least somewhat disturbed. Or upset. Hell, even hurt! He was smiling. His eyes were hazy and he was fucking smiling.
I felt sick again. Mostly with myself. When I could move again, I got out of the back seat, zipped up my pants and got into the front seat.