Excerpt for Breaking Bonds by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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‘Alright’ Kevin said at last, ‘alright.’

Justin turned to him, a strange look in his eye.

‘I know what happened before was my fault, so I am the one who can make it right.’

Justin continued to stare at him, he did not move.

‘I um…’ Kevin began, hunching his shoulders. ‘You can have me’ he said, forcing the words from his mouth. ‘You can…make love to me.’

‘I don’t’ make love’ Justin answered shortly. ‘Love implies tenderness, affection. I don’t care for relationships, nor do I have time for them.’

He approached Kevin then, causing him to tense up then.

‘I only care about raw hard sex’ he spoke in a seductive voice.

Kevin swallowed the lump in his throat, feeling suddenly out of his depths.

‘Its true that you owe me after what you did’ Justin said to him, ‘but are you willing to give me what I want? Are you willing to give me the only thing that will make it better?’

‘Ah…’ Kevin breathed glancing away. ‘Yes.’

‘Alicia warned you about me’ Justin spoke in a level voice, ‘didn’t he?’

‘…Y-yes’ Kevin said.

‘I’m big’ Justin spoke seriously, ‘and rough. He could handle me, I doubt you can.’

Kevin began to flush then, feeling a little lost, unsure of what to say.

‘If the offer stands’ Justin said, reaching out to caress his face tenderly, ‘I’d really like to fuck you tonight.’

Kevin’s heart beat hard in his chest, so much it began to hurt.

‘Come with me’ Justin said backing away then, turning and walking up the stairs. ‘I want to show you something.’

Kevin breathed a heavy sigh as Justin walked away, bowing his head before glancing up towards Justin again.

He followed him up the stairs.

Justin led him to his bedroom, a large room with a king-size bed. It was dark outside now, the light in the town beyond dim in the cloudy night.

Kevin lingered in the doorway as Justin moved over to a chest of drawers.

He opened the top draw, and Kevin’s heart froze in his chest as he saw, one by one, the things that Justin pulled out, placing each one after the other, upon the top.

Whips, ropes, ball-gags, a human-muzzle, handcuffs.

Kevin’s heart dropped in his chest.

‘We won’t use any of these yet’ Justin said. ‘For now, we’ll just do it straight.’

He turned back to Kevin, who lifted his eyes, meeting Justin’s

‘Are you frightened?’ Justin asked him.

‘No’ Kevin answered quietly.

‘You look it.’

Kevin averted his eyes.

‘You want to make it up to me’ Justin said to him, approaching him. ‘You want to let me come inside you, like you let….’ He trailed off.

‘I didn’t mean for that to happen’ Kevin whispered, trying to control his nerves. ‘But I….’

‘Did you like it?’ Justin asked him. ‘Did you like being penetrated. Did it feel good?’

‘Um…’ Kevin answered, his voice breaking. ‘Yes’ he said at last. ‘It felt…. good…strange…at first……I’ve never…. I….’

‘So you liked it?’ Justin asked.

‘…. Yes.’

‘Doing it with me will be very different’ Justin said seriously. ‘I like it…. hard. I like to….’ He balled his fists, ‘fuck so hard…...’ he turned his heavy eyes back onto Kevin. ‘I want to do it with you’ he said. ‘You have to consent to it, you have to say yes. But once you agree, you cannot back down. If you say yes, I will do what I want with you until I am finished. Do you understand?’

Kevin blinked uncertainly up at him.

‘You said that I can have you’ Justin told him. ‘Know that I like it rough.’ He paused. ‘I need to know its consensual. I need you to say yes.’

Kevin hunched his shoulders, glancing towards the chest of drawers, where there lay the ropes and others things that Justin had put there.

He glanced towards Justin who stood before him, waiting patiently for his answer.

Kevin drew a deep breath, swallowing the lump in his throat.

‘Yes’ he spoke, in a loud and clear voice.

Justin bowed his head, blinking slowly.

Chapter One

The Contract

The café was fairly quiet around them. Kevin bowed his head, looking down at the contract before him, eyes moving back and forth as he skimmed the words.

The man across the table from him watched silently, leaning forwards on his elbows with his fingers woven together.

Kevin glanced up at the man sitting at the table opposite him, doing so only briefly, so his attention didn’t linger, so he didn’t draw attention.

Kevin found the guy kind of shady, the way he sat there with his collar turned up, his hood raised, and the dark sunglasses which covered his eyes.

Justin Miles was a famous model and actor, everyone knew his name. But there had been an incident that had been covered up, and no one knew the details for sure, though there were a lot of rumours. The actor had fallen on hard times and had lost a great deal of money. He had gone silent after that and had not accepted any work for a long time. He had done everything he could to try to make the problems go away, his agent had advised him to lay low, that was several months ago.

And now here he is Kevin thought to himself. I never imagined the ad for the tenant wanted would be from this guy, he really must be struggling…I wonder what his place looks like. I bet it’s in shambles. Oh well…can’t be that bad surely. He paused for a moment in thought. I wonder what the rumours were………I never did find out…

‘You believe who I really am don’t you?’ the man called Justin asked him.

‘Oh’ Kevin fumbled, ‘I…yeah…I do.’

Kevin saw Justin frown then, the edge of his lip turned down slightly, and his brow furrowed.

‘I have to keep a low profile a lot of the time’ Justin said, ‘I just want a normal life you know?’

‘Uh…yeah…’ Kevin said.

‘And don’t tell anyone who I really am, you got that?’


‘So, are you going to sign the contract or what?’

‘Uh yeah’ Kevin said, ‘I'm just reading the last bit.’

‘And stop saying uh yeah, it’s annoying.’

Kevin glanced up uncertainly at the man.

He’s kind of intimidating.

‘You understand the rules?’ Justin asked him.

‘Yeah I understand the rules’ Kevin smiled awkwardly in response. ‘I only get one chance.’

‘That’s right’ Justin replied. ‘No pets, no parties, no noise after eleven. Piss me off and you get kicked out without any second chances.’

Man, this guy’s intense Kevin thought glumly. But…I need a place to stay……

‘Ok’ Kevin replied, ‘seems fair.’ Hardly he added silently in his head. ‘I just sign here right?’

‘Just hurry up’ Justin groaned.

Kevin signed his signature along the dotted line, and as soon as he had, Justin whipped the paper out from under him.

‘Good’ Justin said, folding the contract up quickly and rising to his feet. ‘So, are you ready to see the place?’

‘Yes of course’ Kevin forced a smile, trying to act casual.

They left the café, Kevin walking a step behind Justin as he walked quickly. They stopped at the lights, waiting for the man to turn green.

‘So where’s your stuff?’ Justin asked, standing there with his hands in his pockets.

‘It’s…’ Kevin replied, ‘at home. It won’t take me long to move, I don’t own a lot…just a few books and clothes.’

Justin slowly turned to face him then, wearing a frown upon his face.

Kevin smiled innocently back at him.

What kind of a guy wears sunglasses in winter? It’s not even sunny, man what douche.

‘So why are you moving out?’ Justin asked him. ‘You don’t have any problems, do you? Any emotional family issues? I’d hate to have to deal with that crap…’

Kevin stared at him, seeing his own face staring back from the reflection of Justin’s sunglasses. He caught himself then, realising Justin would be expecting a reply.

‘Oh no it’s nothing like that’ Kevin spoke hastily with a smile. ‘I'm adopted you see, both my parents died when I was a baby so I don’t remember anything about them. My adopted parents have been good to me my whole life…I don’t want to be a burden on them anymore, so I'm moving out…that’s all’ he finished awkwardly.

‘Hm’ Justin replied shortly. ‘How old are you?’


‘I'm twenty-nine’ Justin replied turning away.

Kevin let out a silent sigh, looking back at his feet.

A few seconds passed and Justin stepped forward. The man had turned green, and they crossed the road.

‘So, do you live near here?’

Justin glanced back at him, in a look that wasn’t exactly friendly.

‘Are you trying to get to know me?’ Justin asked.

‘No? I was just wondering how far we have to walk.’

Justin looked ahead again.

‘It’s just a few minutes’ he replied, ‘not far now…’

A short while later they reached a tall block of flats in a beautiful part of the town. It was fairly quiet here, and the docks nearby were serene, the waters clean. Everything was peaceful. The space they came to was spacious, little flowerbeds alongside the path spilled delicate purple flowers. The sea was not far away, and the smell of the fresh salty breeze was in the air.

I guess he does still have some money left, this is a pricy part of town Kevin thought as he glanced about. I guess it’s a good sign, his flat must be pretty nice too.

They entered the foyer of the building, going past the reception desk and heading to the lifts.

‘I suppose your place is on the top floor’ Kevin commented, entering the lift after Justin.

‘As a matter of fact, it is’ Justin replied curtly, pressing the button for the top floor, the doors closing and trapping them in the tiny space together.

Kevin tilted his head as the lift went up quickly, painfully aware of their close proximity in the small lift.

You think a building with this many apartments would have a larger lift Kevin thought bitterly.

The lift slowed to a stop and the doors played a short and pleasant tune as they opened again, and an automated female voice called the floor they were on.

There was only one short corridor here, with only a few doors, their surfaces a shining red with silver handles.

Kevin followed Justin as he went one of the doors at the end of the corridor, bringing out a single key and unlocking the door.

He stepped in, and Kevin for the first time got to see the place he would be staying.

‘Woah…’ he gasped, unable to help himself. ‘This place is incredible!’

At was a large open space, everything designed with a modern style, everything matching. Downstairs was just a simple large open room, a kitchen on one side, wide sofas in the middle, and stairs leading up to a balcony above, where there were only two doors that Kevin could see. The windows were large, letting the light spill into the room, and there were a few potted plants here and there, their leaves lush and green. Everything was clean and tidy, and as Kevin glanced about him at the bookshelves beside him, he saw not a speck of dust anywhere.

Kevin turned his attention onto Justin then, who stood in the centre of it all, hand on his hip and frowning at Kevin in annoyance.

‘Are you just going to stand there? Shut the door’ he said, and Kevin quickly obliged.

‘So, um…how much did you say rent was again?’ Kevin asked tentatively.

‘As stated on the contract. Single payment every month, no catches, no strings attached. Just follow the rules.’

‘Hold on a sec’ Kevin stopped him as Justin made to move away. ‘That’s incredibly cheap for a place this size…wait…I've got a proper room, haven’t I? I mean I'm not staying in a cupboard or anything?’

Justin moved away, heading to a door nearby and opening it.

‘This is your room’ Justin said, indicating.

Kevin shuffled forward tentatively but was surprised to see it was not a cupboard sized room, but was just as the rest of the apartment. It was massive, empty, but massive, with a modern and tasteful design, and clean. The room smelt new and unused, and there were fresh sheets on the bed. The double bed by the back wall and a few cupboards were all that were in there, and the room was dark, the floor to ceiling windows covered by thick curtains now.

This is my room?’

‘I just need a bit of extra cash to help things along’ Justin said. ‘That’s all.’

Kevin gave a stoic glance to Justin then.

‘Are you going to murder me or something? If I have a look under the bed will there be the remains of the last tenant?’

‘You watch too much horror’ Justin said, letting the door swing open. ‘I'm going to make some food’ he said moving away.

Kevin watched him go, before turning back to the room.

He stepped inside. The first thing he did was to draw the curtains, letting the sunlight flood into the room.

He checked the drawers which were empty, checking under the bed, before sitting on the bed itself and bouncing up and down. It was comfortable, and the sheets were soft.

Kevin paused then, looking back through the open bedroom door and into the main room of the apartment, where Justin was bustling about the kitchen.

Kevin listened to the sounds of things being moved in the kitchen, remaining where he was for a moment before rising and moving back across the room and towards the door.

He stood on the threshold with his hand upon the frame, seeing Justin properly for the first time.

He couldn’t help but let out a small gasp.

Justin had lowered his hood, his collar turned down and the sunglasses upon the kitchen counter. His features could be seen clearly now.

He had bright blonde hair, artificially dyed, and was short and wavy on the top and long and wavy on the bottom, the long strands resting upon his shoulders. He was incredibly handsome, his features flawless and eyes shining bright.

He was a mature figure, with a serious expression, and skin like porcelain.

Kevin continued to stare with his mouth open slightly and eyes unblinking.

Kevin suddenly thought then, that if Justin smiled, he would be far more….


Justin stopped suddenly; looking up with a frown of annoyance as he realised Kevin was staring at him.


‘Oh! Nothing!’ Kevin fumbled in reply, turning away hastily, but glancing back moments later.

‘You can eat whatever food is in this house’ Justin was saying, taking plates out of the cupboard and dishing up the food, ‘just tell me when something runs out. Ok?’

‘Sure’ Kevin mumbled

He approached the table cautiously, seeing what Justin had cooked up. It was stir fry, quick and easy to make.

‘So, you're a good cook then?’ Kevin tested.

‘No’ Justin replied flatly. ‘But I can make this.’ He walked away then suddenly without warning, heading towards the front door.

‘Where are you going?’ Kevin asked.

‘I’ve got to go out, I’ve got things to do.’

‘What about the food?’

‘I’ll eat it when I get back’ Justin replied briskly, before snapping the door shut and vanishing.

Kevin stood there in the ringing silence, feeling a little lost, in the massive apartment.

‘So, what's he like?’

Kevin frowned, groaning slightly. ‘Well…’ he said, ‘he’s sort of intense, but he seems nice enough…I suppose…’

His friend Christina watched him with an unconvinced expression, frowning back at him.

‘You know if you're ever uncomfortable or anything you can stay at my place.’

‘Yeah, I know’ Kevin mumbled, ‘but I don’t want to be a burden or anything.’

‘Hardly. You know you could never be a burden on me.’

They were now in Kevin’s home, the one he was moving out of. His friend Christina had come over to help him move his possessions over to the new place.

‘That’s kind of you to offer though’ Kevin said to her, ‘but I want to make my own way in this world and crashing with friends for free isn’t the way to go. Plus, you rent, and you’re not allowed tenants.’

‘Its ok if its only short-term.’


Christina tilted her head at him, here glossy blonde hair falling over her shoulders.

‘You need to learn that it’s ok to ask people for help sometimes’ she told him.

‘I know that’ Kevin sighed wearily, ‘I just…want to do things on my own if I can…’


It only took a short amount of time to gather Kevin’s things, mostly it was just clothes. They managed to fit all the stuff he wanted to take with him into two large boxes, carrying one each down the stairs. They left them by the door as Kevin went to say goodbye to his parents.

‘You know you can come home any time’ his mother said hugging him.

‘I know mum’ he smiled as he held her back, ‘but I'm not a kid anymore.’

‘Come visit us whenever you can’ his father said, extending a hand to Kevin for him to shake. ‘You know we’ll always be here for you.’

Kevin made his farewells, leaving the house with Christina close beside him.

She was facing away from him now, sniffing sadly.

‘Oh, Christina come one, don’t get sad. I’m still close to home.’

‘I know it’s just…’ she sniffed again, eyes teary. ‘Your family are so sweet…they're going to miss you so much I'm sure…my family hardly noticed I was gone.’

Kevin turned to her then.

Christiana had had an abusive family, and a difficult past. She had run away from home at the age of thirteen, staying with a friend. She had gotten a job, working hard when she wasn’t in school so she could afford a place of her own, a dream which eventually became a reality. She had her own small apartment now, though it was a little old and shabby, she had made it warm and welcoming.

‘I can’t wait to see this new place of yours’ she gleamed at him. ‘I love moving house and decorating and stuff…’

‘Well there’s not much to decorate I'm afraid’ Kevin told her as they walked along the street, each with a cardboard box in their hands, ‘the place is pretty nice. The guys rich and rent is cheap…he says he only wants a little to help him along. I was actually incredibly lucky to get this offer.’

‘I’ll say’ Christina gleamed at him, looking evermore beautiful. ‘Never allow a good opportunity to slip away…that’s what I've learned.’

Kevin paused then, turning to face her. ‘Are you sure you don’t want to take a bus? It’s a bit of a long walk, an hour at least by foot, and with these boxes…’

‘It’s a lovely day’ Christina beamed at him. ‘I want to walk.’

‘Fine’ Kevin said turning away. ‘Suit yourself.’

They stopped about half an hour or so later outside a corner shop, sitting on a low wall by the road outside. Kevin had been left the guard the boxes, while Christina ran inside to get them refreshments.

She arrived minutes later with a small bottle of water each and pack of sandwiches to share.

‘Chicken Orleans’ Kevin grinned excitedly as she sat beside him. ‘I love that sandwich.’

‘I know’ she spoke in a playful voice. ‘Of course I do.’

She tucked her skirt beneath her as she sat close beside him, taking out one of the sandwich pieces and feeding it to him. Kevin opened his mouth wide as she did, biting down into the bread.

‘You're so messy’ she giggled, using a napkin to dap as his mouth.

Kevin smirked at her, taking the napkin from her as she took her own sandwich piece.

‘Aaahh’ Kevin sighed then, leaning back and staring up at the gorgeous blue sky above them. He loved this town, even in the busy streets with the traffic and the noise and the people, he found a strange sort of peace to it, despite the bustle. It was at least pleasant to him anyway.

‘I love these moments’ Kevin said, ‘where there is nothing to do…nothing expected of me…no deadlines…no responsibility.’

‘Are you worrying about school again?’

‘I just feel so trapped by it all’ Kevin said to her. ‘I mean who wants to learn algebra….? I want to…get a job fulltime…spread my wings….and….’ he fell silent then, bringing his feet up and hugging his knees to his chest. ‘I just love these moments’ he sighed again closing his eyes. ‘It’s so…. peaceful…and I don’t have to think about anything.’

There came a sound of a siren a short distance off, the rumble of a motorbike, someone shouting in the streets.

Kevin opened his eyes, smiling widely to himself, his expression that of serenity.

‘Come on’ he said, straightening and rising to his feet as he took a quick swig from his water bottle. ‘Let’s get going.’

They walked the rest of the way at a leisurely pace, Christina and Kevin talking from time to time, their conversation flowed back and forth smoothly as it always did.

As they drew closer to the apartment block, Christina began to ‘oooh’ and ‘aaahhh’.

‘This is a really nice part of town’ she said gazing about her wide eyed, ‘oooohh look at that fountain! So pretty!’

Kevin ignored her as they walked through the front doors to the building.

‘Awww waw look at this place.’

They stopped before the lift.

‘The music they're playing is really nice hu?’ she gleamed.

The lift doors opened.

‘This is a tiny lift isn’t it?’

The lift went up.

‘Ooohhh this lift goes up fast…my tummy feels all funny.’

The lift pinged then, coming to a gentle stop.

‘Aaahhh’ Christina sighed, making a funny shape with her mouth. ‘Oooohhh’ she said as they stepped out into the corridor on the highest flood. ‘This place sure is pretty.’

‘Is there anything that doesn’t impress you?’ Kevin asked her flatly at that point.

‘Your hair looks really nice today’ she said to him out of the blue, grinning and looking beautiful.

‘Where did that come from…?’

They continued to walk.

‘Ok, it’s this one’ Kevin said stopping by one of the doors.

‘Ooohhh’ Christiana said as Kevin struggled with his key, holding the box he carried now with one arm.

Kevin unlocked the door, letting it swing open.

Christina let out a gasp, bolting forwards into the room uninvited and gazing wide-eyed all around.

‘Holy crap this place is huge! It’s like a mansion!’

She turned to Kevin then.

You live here?’

‘Well yeah I got a key…’

‘I didn’t say you could invite anyone over.’

Kevin and Christina glanced around then, looking up to the figure of Justin who had appeared on the balcony above them.

Upon sight of him, Christina’s eyes widened further, and she let out another gasp.

‘Is that Justin Miles?! Thee Justin Miles?’ she gasped yet again. ‘Holy shit dude. Kevin…. you never told me you were staying with a superstar!’

‘Oh’ Kevin replied innocently. ‘Did I not mention it?’ he asked, knowing that he hadn't.

‘No you didn’t’ Christina replied sternly.

‘I don’t want you inviting people over’ Justin said to Kevin in a firm voice.

‘It’s not like that’ Kevin smiled a little nervously. ‘Christina was just helping me bring my stuff over’ he said, putting his own box down and taking the one Christina carried from her. ‘Isn’t that right Christina?’

‘What?’ she fumbled, as he put the box he took from her on the floor beside their feet.

‘She was just leaving now…weren’t you Christina?’

‘Hu? Hold on a sec…’

‘Wait’ Justin spoke up, coming down the stairs. ‘She must tell no one I live here’ he spoke to Kevin, ‘your contract depends on it.’

‘Oh, don’t worry’ Kevin said, continuing to usher Christina to the door, ‘she is trustworthy.’

‘She better be’ Justin replied flatly.

Kevin stopped on the threshold of the front door, smiling at Christina who looked dejected. ‘So sorry’ he smiled apologetically, ‘must obey the rules you know…’

‘Yeah I know…’ she grumbled.

‘Promise you will keep this a secret’ Kevin whispered to her, putting a finger to his lips and winking at her.



She straightened slightly then.

‘I swear on my heart and soul I will tell no one.’ She relaxed again, smiling to him. ‘I wouldn’t do that to you.’

‘I know you wouldn’t’ he smiled in return. ‘I’ll talk to you later ok?’

She let out a disappointed sigh, stepping back away from the door.


‘Do you want money for a bus or something?’ Kevin offered her.

‘Nah I'm good thanks’ she waved away at him, back to her merry self again. ‘It’s a nice day and all.’ She moved away. ‘I do want to talk to you later though’ she said.

‘No problem.’

‘Bye then Kevin’ she gleamed, before turning and striding away down the corridor, back towards the lifts.

She glanced at him with a teasing smile, just one last time as she walked away, before Kevin closed the door.

He sighed heavily, turning back to Justin who had appeared behind him.

‘I do mean what I say’ Justin told him. ‘I don’t want people knowing I'm here.’

‘Don’t worry’ Kevin spoke confidently. ‘She’s one of my best friends…I trust her with my life. She won’t tell anyone about you.’

Justin bowed his head, turning and walking away towards the kitchen, seemingly satisfied.

‘Do you want something to eat?’ Justin asked, opening the fridge and staring into it.

‘No thanks’ Kevin replied. ‘I got a sandwich. I think I'm just going to hang out in my room.’

Justin continued to stare into the fridge as Kevin carried one of the boxes to his room, then came back for the other.

He glanced back towards Justin just as he was closing the door, shutting himself in his room.

He let out a sigh, standing there for a few moments and simply taking in the room around him.

It was large and very bright; the floor to ceiling windows let all the light flood in.

Kevin moved over to window, staring down at the area before the building, the large open space with a fountain in the centre.

It was so pretty here, so peaceful.

Kevin reached for the string, pulling the curtains shut and throwing the room into darkness.

He moved over towards the bed, falling back against it and letting out a deep sigh.

Today had been tiring, though he hadn't done that much, he felt suddenly drained, as he realised that for the first time in his life, he was living alone.

Well…. almost…kind of….

Kevin pushed himself up onto his elbows then, staring at the closed door of his room. On the other side Justin was probably still in the kitchen, cooking or doing whatever he was doing.

I wonder what it will be like living with him Kevin thought to himself. I wonder…

His mobile went off in his pocket then, and Kevin took his shoes off quickly, shuffling up the bed before taking his mobile out.

It was a text from Christiana

Heya baby! Howya doing?

Kevin text back with a frown upon his face

Dammit woman I just got here, give me some peace

The reply came quickly

Nope! ^^

Kevin smiled to himself and messaged back.

So what are you up to now??

They messaged each other back and forth for a while, and as Kevin lay back on the bed he began to feel tired.

I'm tired, I'm going to sleep now. see you in school tomorrow

Kevin ignored the reply as he dropped the mobile by his side, closing his eyes and yawning widely.

He groaned, resting his head back against the headboard and becoming still.

He was asleep in minutes.

Chapter Two

That’s Him

Kevin opened his eyes. He was lying on his side now, his mind felt foggy, and his eyes heavy.

He groaned, hand going to his head as he rubbed his eyes, he had the feeling he had been sleeping deeply for a long time.

Kevin sat up, turning his mobile on.

He had a heart attack when he saw what time it was, leaping out of bed and rummaging through his boxes for fresh clothes.

In the kitchen, Justin was making breakfast by the time Kevin rushed out of his room.

‘Morning’ Justin said as Kevin dashed past him. ‘Shouldn’t you be in school by-?’

‘Can’t talk sorry!’ Kevin called back as he ran to the door. ‘I'm late talk later!’

The door slammed as he rushed out, and Justin stared after him.

He looked back to his plate, continuing to eat his eggs and toast delicately.

Kevin jogged out of the building and through the town, heading towards the bus stop.

He stood at the bus stop panting. Kevin glanced at his watch, before looking up and down the street.

He turned and ran down the street, realising the bus he was supposed to have been on was gone. The next would not come for ages.

Kevin made his way through the streets at a jog, heading to his school.

He arrived only just in time, with only a minute or two before his first class. He let out a sigh of relief, taking his first step forwards into the school, heart pounding in his chest and skin flecked with sweat from his excursion.

He paused then, seeing a short distance away, a young girl sitting on a bench beneath a tree with her head in her hands. She was crying.

Kevin stood frozen where he was, staring at her, hesitant for a moment.

He looked ahead again towards the main building, where his class was to take place, before looking back at the girl. She looked to be about his age.

Kevin stepped off the path, moving over towards her.

The girl looked up with red eyes as Kevin approached; tears were streaming down her cheeks.

Kevin stopped before her, smiling warmly.

They began to talk.

Kevin arrived to class late.

He was told off by the teacher who lectured him about his attendance. Kevin had never really been good at school, a lot of the time he didn’t even turn up at all, he barely listened in class and he had flunked most of his exams. His heart just wasn’t in it, or at least that’s what he had told people when questioned.

His parents had told him numerous times that school and exams were important, but after a time, they have given up telling him.

He didn’t know what he wanted from life, once upon a time he had everything planned out. But things were not meant to be.

Kevin returned to class, and the rest of that day went normal as it normally did, in a very repetitive and normal way.

Christina passed him briefly between classes as he made his way.

‘Oh, hey Kevin.’

‘Hey’ he said with a smile, slowing to a stop.

‘How are you?’

‘I can’t really talk…’ Kevin replied.

‘I know you're going to your next class. I just wanted to ask how your first night in your new place was.’

‘It was really nice’ Kevin smiled. ‘So nice in fact I overslept. I must have been more tired than I realised.’

She smiled warmly at him, eyes shining bright.

‘I’ll see you around’ she said, waving at him.

‘Yeah’ Kevin replied, standing there with his hands in his pockets. ‘Bye.’

He went to class, and then in break hung out with his male friends, Pete and Jonathan and Garry. They talked and joked as they usually did, making arrangements to meet up in a few days after school when they were all free.

Break ended, he went back to class for a few more hours, then freedom.

Kevin was just wandering out of the school gates, walking alone, when a figure jogged up to him.

‘Hey Kevin.’

Kevin turned to see who it was.

‘Oh Anastasia, hey.’

Anastasia smiled widely.

‘Do you mind if I walk home with you?’

‘No problem.’

Kevin suddenly realised, that not everyone knew he had moved. He didn’t want to make a big deal of it, and he thought that taking her to the block of apartments in the fancy part of town he now lived at would raise some questions.

‘Actually, on second thought’ he mentioned trying to sound casual. ‘How about I walk you home? It’s that what a gentleman should do?’

Anastasia suddenly gasped with excitement, bringing her hand together.

‘Ooh I'm so happy’ she squealed, moving to stand beside him and smiling. ‘Do you mind if I hold onto your arm?’

‘Go ahead’ Kevin smiled offering his arm to her in a gentlemanly fashion. ‘If it makes you happy.’

They walked together.

Anastasia was a girl of seventeen, three years younger than Kevin. She was slender, a little skinny some might say, but she was beautiful. With thick dark hair in pigtails, makeup tastefully done, she didn’t wear too much. Her eyes were large and her lips were full. She did everything she could every day to make herself look her best, she painted her nails, wore jewellery, but always within the limits of what the school would allow, but only just.

‘This is really nice’ she said after a time as they walked through the streets.

‘Yeah’ Kevin smiled. ‘The weather is gorgeous isn’t it?’


Anastasia frowned a little.

‘Which way to your house?’ Kevin asked as they reached a junction.

‘This way’ Anastasia smiled. ‘It’s just down here.’

They crossed the road, walking for a few minutes in comfortable silence. Kevin was utterly relaxed, and Anastasia, though she couldn’t help herself, kept stealing glances towards him when she thought he wouldn’t notice.

‘Nice neighbourhood this’ Kevin noted.

‘You think so?’ Anastasia said excitedly.

‘Sure’ Kevin replied glancing around. ‘It’s pretty.’

Anastasia gigged then, letting go of his arm suddenly and twirling playfully.

‘Well…this is my house…’

‘Oh cool.’

‘If you don’t mind…maybe you can walk me home again tomorrow.’


Anastasia’s expression lit up suddenly, and she balled her fists to her chest with excitement.

‘Ok, well I look forward to it’ she said backing away and smiling as she moved towards her door. ‘Bye Kevin!’


She opened her front door, Kevin waiting before her house as he watched her.

She grinned at him widely one last time, hesitating on the threshold only for a moment, before closing the door.

Kevin turned away.

‘You shouldn’t do that’ came a voice.

Kevin glanced around.

‘Oh, Christina. What are you doing here?’

‘It’s ok I won’t let her see me’ Christina replied, lingering on the other side of the wall, hidden from view of the house Anastasia had just entered.

‘You want me to walk you home too?’

‘Don’t be silly’ Christina waved away at him, moving to keep pace with Kevin as he walked by, heading home, the apartment he shared with the stranger Justin. ‘I'm just thinking that you're giving that girl the wrong impression…I mean if you're really interested in her.’

‘I’m not…...’

‘You mean you don’t like her?’

‘Well not like that.’

‘Do you like me?’ Christina teased.

‘Not like that…’

She giggled.

‘You’ll always be a great friend to me Christina’ Kevin told her. ‘It’s just I can’t feel anything for anyone anymore, not in a romantic way. Not since that day.’

Christina continued talking in a casual manner, as if Kevin hadn’t just spoken.

‘So, what is it about Anastasia that you don’t like…. like that…’ she added with a grin.

‘Weeeell…’ Kevin thought. ‘She’s a lovely girl…I bet she cooks really nice and all but…’


‘She wants to form roots’ Kevin said. ‘She wants a house and kids and stuff…and…I just don’t want to get tied down.’

‘Oh I see’ Christina smiled, facing ahead.

‘I want to see the world, and travel like my parents do.’

‘They're travel agents, aren’t they?’

‘Yeah…’ Kevin said turning to her as they walked. ‘They go all sorts of places and see all sorts of amazing things. My father can speak five languages’ he added. ‘Isn't that impressive?’

‘Oh yes, that’s very impressive’ Christina grinned at him. ‘It’s all very nice’ she added briskly, beginning to kick her feet playfully, holding her hands behind her back. ‘Do you want to come over mine?’ she asked him suddenly.

‘Not today’ he smiled. ‘I just want to get home and relax.’

‘I could help you relax…’ Christina prompted.

‘Maybe another time.’

She huffed moodily.

‘Fine. I'm leaving. See you later!’ she called running away.

She was gone before Kevin had a chance to respond.

He didn’t slow in his footsteps, but continued walking, heading the considerable distance back to his new home, having forgotten money for the bus in his rush to get to school that morning, having woken late.

He walked home, enjoying the sunlight, enjoying every step of the way.

Kevin went up in the lift, getting off on the top floor. He was beginning to slowly familiarize himself with the place, though it still felt strange to him.

Kevin stopped before the front door to the apartment and opened the door with his key. He stepped in.

Inside the apartment he found Justin sitting at the table, the table laden with food enough for three people.

‘Oh hey’ Justin said as Kevin closed the door behind him.


Kevin put his bag down beside the door, walking over towards the kitchen in the open apartment.

‘Are you hungry?’ Justin asked him. ‘Just help yourself.’

‘This is a lot of food’ Kevin said staring down at the table. ‘Is this just for you?’


‘This is really nice’ Kevin said as he looked down at the food. It was salmon with potatoes and tons of vegetables. ‘Who made all this? Did you?’

‘Of course not’ Justin scoffed, reaching out for his glass, a very expensive, very fancy glass of red wine. ‘Mmm’ Justin said as he took in the smell of the wine before sipping it. ‘So good.’ He looked back up at Kevin. ‘I have a house-keeper’ he explained. ‘She comes by daily and does work for me. she cleans the place and she cooks…’ Justin looked down at his plate. ‘She is very handy to have around.’

‘How come I haven’t seen her?’ Kevin asked.

‘She comes usually around midday and leaves before you finish school’ Justin replied. ‘Sometimes she stays overnight, she lives far away so it’s difficult for her to travel sometimes.’

‘Oh right.’

‘So, have something eat.’

Kevin sat at the table awkwardly, feeling a little uncomfortable as Justin watched him. He helped himself to a spare plate sitting in the middle of the table, and some cutlery, and began to dish himself some food.

‘It all smells so good.’

‘Alicia is an incredible cook’ Justin said. ‘I am lucky to have her.


‘Yeah’ Justin said. ‘Do you drink?’


Justin offered Kevin a glass.

‘I’d better not’ Kevin waved away. ‘I have school tomorrow.’

‘Suit yourself.’

Kevin began to eat quietly, glancing up occasionally towards Justin, merely out of curiosity.

Justin seemed to watch him with the same interest, yet made far less effort to be discrete about it. He just stared.

Kevin was glad to get away from the table after that, retreating to his room and closing the door.

He let out a sigh, turning to face the room. He made his way forwards, beginning to get undressed. He paused for a moment in thought, hand still on his shirt, half over his head.

He took his shirt off, going back out of his room to speak to Justin.

‘Do you mind if I use your bath?’

Justin looked up from what he was doing, pausing just for a split second at the sight of Kevin without his shirt.

‘It’s just through that door’ he pointed, continuing to clear the table away.

‘Ok thanks.’

The bathroom was beautiful and large and of a modern design. Everything was spotlessly clean, and there was an assortment of soaps on the shelves and fresh clean towels on the rail.

Kevin stood for a moment admiring the room, before turning and sliding the bolt across the door, and continuing to undress.

He slipped into the bath when he had run the water, leaning back and sighing deeply, closing his eyes.

The warm water felt so good.

Kevin, by the time he left the bathroom, found the apartment empty. Justin was nowhere to be seen, and the kitchen had been tidied, and was once again spotless with everything in its place.

It was getting dark outside, and inside the apartment, the lights were dimmed. Kevin moved quietly through the apartment, looking up towards the head of the stairs where Justin’s bedroom was.

Perhaps he is asleep Kevin thought briefly, pausing in the middle of the apartment to stare up the stairs to the balcony above. I really am lucky to have found this place Kevin thought. It still feels too good to be true…

He returned to his own room, and went to bed, texting a few of his friends on his mobile before falling asleep.

Kevin rested peacefully, feeling happy.

He woke the next morning in better time, and this time was able to join Justin for breakfast.

‘You seem to be in a good mood’ Justin noted.

‘Well’ Kevin smiled in return, ‘why wouldn’t I be in a good mood?’

Justin smirked back at him.

‘So, are you settling in?’ Justin asked him. ‘I understand that it must be a bit strange for you here.’

‘Yeah it is a bit’ Kevin smiled, he paused then. ‘I realise how lucky I am to have this opportunity’ he said to Justin. ‘I just wanted to thank you.’

‘No problem’ Justin answered, leaning on his elbow with his chin on his palm. ‘And yes, you are lucky, and don’t you forget it.’

‘I won’t Kevin smiled, grabbing the last piece of toast from his plate and heading to the door. ‘I got to go now’ he said putting his coat on.

‘I might not be here when you get back’ Justin told him. ‘I’ll be back later so you can just help yourself to anything you like from the fridge, Alicia will be here after midday to cook.’

‘Ok thanks’ Kevin waved at him before closing the door, ‘bye!’

He went down the lift, leaving the building at a brisk walk and heading towards the bus stop.

He arrived at his school in good time today, meeting the young girl who had been crying the day before. Her name was Jessica. They stood together for a few moments near the gates of the school, looking around them.

And then Jessica shook her head. ‘He’s not here.’

Kevin left her side, each going to their own class and going their own separate ways. Kevin continued his day as usual, met later on by Anastasia.

‘Hi Kevin’ she cooed at him shyly, dipping her head, hands folded before her.

‘Oh hey’ he said turning to her. ‘How are you?’

‘I'm great’ she beamed, hand behind her back now as she began to sway, continuing to smile. She looked so beautiful. ‘I was wondering if….um…’

‘Yeah?’ Kevin asked her. ‘What is it?’

‘I was wondering if…you wanted to go out to town with me tonight, after school?’

‘I can’t I'm afraid’ Kevin said. ‘I'm hanging out with friends, I've already made plans.’

She looked devastated, as if he had just stabbed her in the heart.

‘But we could do it tomorrow night’ he offered quickly. ‘Would that be ok?’

She gasped suddenly in joy, expression quickly lighting up. ‘Oh my god I would love that! Could it be like a date?’

He hesitated then, blinking at her.

‘I um…. well sure but….’

‘But what?’ she asked innocently.

‘I don’t know if I'm looking for anything like that right now.’

‘Oh, I see’ she replied. ‘Well that’s ok I guess…I just…I’d like to hang out with you, I mean if that’s alright with you. If you don’t mind.’


She squealed in delight, shoulders hunched and fists balled before her.

She twirled then, her skirt flowing around her.

‘I'm so happy’ she cried. ‘I’ll see you tomorrow then.’ She danced away, pausing a short distance away. ‘Shall we meet up outside the school gates tomorrow?’

‘Sure’ he smiled.

‘I look forward to it.’

She danced away, skipping happily.

Kevin watched her go. He turned and continued on his way, heading to the courtyard in the school to meet his friends.

Along the way he came across Christina, sitting upon a wall and laughing. She was alone, and as Kevin passed her by, he realised that she was laughing at him.

‘What's so funny?’ he snapped irritant at her.

‘Did you not see that?’ Christina laughed at him, as he continued to walk past her, not stopping. ‘She’s in love with you’ Christina gleamed. ‘Don’t you see?’

‘Just mind your own business’ Kevin glowered as Christina continued to laugh at him. He walked away, ignoring her.

He met his friends for a time before going back to class and meeting them again when school had finished.

‘Hey mate there are you!’ one of them called out to him. ‘What took you so long?’

‘Sorry’ Kevin mumbled approaching them. ‘I was just talking to a friend.’

‘What’s his name?’ one of his friends asked as he joined the group, turning and walking away.

Her name is Jessica’ Kevin corrected.

‘A girl?’ one of them teased.

‘A girl?’ another echoed. ‘You're surrounded by women’ he laughed at Kevin.

‘It’s not like that’ Kevin scowled. ‘There’s this kid picking on her, she was crying the other day and I decided to see what was wrong.’

‘Caring for others as usual’ his friend said. ‘You know that everyone’s problems are not your own.’

‘I know’ Kevin said. ‘But if I can help someone I will.’

‘So, what are you going to do?’

Kevin thought. ‘I'm going to teach him a lesson.’

The others glanced towards him but said nothing as they continued to walk.

‘Come on’ one of them spoke up, ‘let’s go to the park.’

They stayed out late drinking in the park, the cans they had bought from the supermarket. Kevin laughed and joked around with his friends, it took them all a long time each to go home when they eventually parted ways hours later.

Kevin wandered tipsily through the streets, heading back to the apartment.

He went up in the lift, reaching the highest floor and heading to the door at the end of the corridor. It was locked.

He groaned, pulling out his key, dropping it several times on the floor in his drunken state before successfully inserting it into the lock.

He opened the door to find the apartment silent and dark, Justin wasn’t here. The place was empty.

Kevin reached for the light switch, lighting up the apartment. Everything was tidy as usual, Kevin thought that Alicia the house keeper must have visited, but he had missed her again.

Kevin closed the front door, heading to his room. He didn’t even bother to undress, dropping his bag on the floor and falling forwards onto the bed. He was asleep within a few minutes.

He woke the next morning feeling groggy, his mouth dry like sand.

He crawled out of bed reluctantly, having tangled himself up in the sheets. It was still early, and he had plenty of time before school. He got undressed and had a quick shower before having his breakfast. Justin was still not here, Kevin glanced up towards the top of the stairs where Justin’s bedroom was, wondering for a moment if Justin was asleep in there. Or maybe he was still out, having not come home at all.

He left for school, the day went normal, and afterwards, he met with Anastasia, but not before meeting with Jessica.

‘He’s not here’ she had said to him, and so Kevin had left her to meet Anastasia.

‘Hi Kevin’ he beamed, ‘it’s so great to see you.’

‘Hey Anastasia.’

‘So, shall we go and grab a coffee or something?’

‘I prefer tea’ Kevin gleamed.

‘Oh, you're so funny’ she giggled, before straightening up. ‘Can I hold your hand?’

‘Sure’ he said reaching out to her, confidently and without hesitation. ‘This way we won’t get lost in the crowd.’

‘Ok’ she breathed, flushing a little.

Along the way they found a nice coffee shop. They went in, finding a small table by the window and sitting. Kevin ordered and paid for both of them, bringing their drinks to the table.

‘Hey’ Anastasia spoke suddenly, looking over towards the counter, ‘isn’t that Christiana?’

Kevin glanced around, seeing Christina working behind the counter, dressed in smart and modest black.

‘Yeah’ Kevin said turning back to Anastasia calmly. ‘She works here.’

‘Are you like…together or something?’ Anastasia asked Kevin.

‘Nah it’s nothing like that’ Kevin smiled confidently, leaning with his elbows on the table. ‘We’re just friends…’

‘Oh good’ Anastasia breathed a sigh of relief. ‘I thought…you're together a lot you know…and I thought…?’ she looked down at her drink. ‘What is she doing here, I thought she had another job in that other place…that restaurant?’

‘She has two jobs’ Kevin said, ‘she has her own place so has to work a lot of hours to earn money…between school it gets quite difficult for her. I help her when I can.’

‘That’s nice’ Anastasia beamed. ‘It must be great to have a friend like that.’

They had fun together, Kevin eventually walking her home hours later. She thanked him, telling him she had a wonderful time, before leaving him, but not before giving him a kiss on the cheek.

Kevin watched her go, seeing her through the door, before turning and heading home.

The next morning at school, he met with Jessica again outside the school gates. They stood together looking around, until Jessica spotted him at last.

‘That’s him’ she said.

Kevin turned, seeing the guy.

‘Are you sure?’

‘Yeah’ she said. ‘That’s the guy that’s been making my life hell.’

Kevin turned and headed towards him, walking at a stride, his concentration fixed on the man.

The man turned as Kevin approached him.

Chapter Three

Letter from an old Friend

The man turned just as Kevin approached him, just before Kevin swung a fist, punching him hard right in the face.

The man stumbled back, falling to the ground caught by surprise.

He took a few seconds to register what had happened, turning back to Kevin in anger.

‘You son of a bitch!’

Kevin kicked him again while he was down, not giving him a chance to rise to his feet. He grabbed the man then, turning his face towards Jessica, who was standing there horrified, hands clapped over her mouth.

‘You’ve been making her life hell’ Kevin growled maliciously, speaking directly into his ear, still holding his head, ‘and I’ll make you fucking regret it.’

The man grabbed him suddenly, hands around Kevin’s head, clawing at his face. He rose swiftly, throwing Kevin off him and facing him, his stance rigid and shoulders hunched.

People had stopped to stare at the spectacle, some even drifting closer to get a better look.

‘You’ll fucking pay for that’ the man hissed at Kevin.

‘Bring it on’ Kevin snarled, riled up now. ‘You hurt someone you gotta pay the price.’

The man gritted his teeth, charging towards Kevin without a second pause, barrelling into Kevin.

They began to fight.

People in the distant began to shout, and a crowd began to gather around them, it was only a matter of time before the teachers showed up.

Kevin was thrown to the floor, smacking his face on the ground, the hot sensation of pain instantly erupting from where he had landed. He tasted blood, coughing as he breathed dust from the ground into his lungs.

The man grabbed him again, hauling him to his feet. In one swift move Kevin spun around, punching the man in the side. The man grabbed him, holding Kevin in place. Kevin groaned in pain, straining to free himself from the man’s grasp. Kevin punched the man in the face once, twice, Kevin was suddenly struck across the cheek with the bone of the man’s elbow, striking him hard enough to make Kevin see stars.

The man stumbled forwards suddenly, hit from behind. Kevin glanced up in time to see Christiana attacking the man, her foot shot out as she kicked him hard above the knee with her heeled shoes, before reaching forwards and clawing him across the face. Kevin lunged for him, grabbing him before he had the chance to attack Christiana.

‘You stay away from Jessica’ Kevin hissed into the man’s ear, holding onto him from behind. ‘Make her cry again and I won’t hesitate to find you and hurt you…...’

Someone grabbed Kevin from behind suddenly, pulling him off the man as another teacher grabbed onto the man, holding him back.

Christina slipped from view, disappearing into the now heavy crowd before the teachers had a chance to catch her. She was long gone, and Kevin and the man were dragged to the head teacher’s office, and the crowd slowly dispersed, disappointment heavy in the air.

As Kevin was taken away, he spared one last glance back at Jessica who stood there looking shocked and a little frightened. He smiled at her encouragingly, and she after a few moments, smiled weakly back at him.

Kevin was suspended from school and told to go home that day. He left the school grounds, instead wandering through the town, heading in no particular direction. Eventually he came to a park, sitting in a secluded area upon a bench. He put his bag down on the bench beside him, leaning back with a heavy sigh.

He thought for a moment that he could visit his parents, as he had not seen them in a few days, but decided against it. They wouldn’t want to see me in this state anyway Kevin smiled to himself. He touched his own face tentatively, rasping sharply then. It was very tender, his face was bruised and swollen, he had been scratched and cut, and the blood that flecked his face had dried now. I must look a mess he thought lowering his hand. Still…it was worth it.

He craned his head back, looking up at the clouds. He felt content. In pain, but happy.

Guess I have a lot of free time now Kevin realised. I wonder what I should do…

He stayed there on the park bench for quite some time, it must have been several hours. He just sat there resting, thinking about all sorts of things, until someone abruptly broke his thoughts.

‘Hey Kevin, I thought I might find you here…’

Kevin gave a start, staring back at Christina a little alarmed.

‘Wow you look rough’ she beamed back as Kevin sat up, rising to his feet hastily.

‘W-what are you doing here?’

‘I came to find you of course’ Christina spoke merrily.

Behind Christina was another figure, it was Jessica.

‘Hey’ Kevin said breathlessly then, speaking to Jessica, ‘are you alright?’

‘I wanted to thank you for what you did’ she said to him a little shy. ‘It was very kind of you to stand up for me like that, although…I didn’t know you would go so far…I thought you were just going to talk to him…’

‘Oh, come on’ Kevin smirked. ‘I had to get the message across. I'm not just going to stand around and do nothing while the strong pick on the weak.’

‘Always an agent of justice’ Christina winked at him, lifting her chin and folding her arms.

Jessica turned away then, scratching her head awkwardly. ‘You sound like some sort of hero’ she mumbled shyly.

‘Do I?’ Kevin raised an eyebrow. ‘I don’t mean to.’

‘So, what are you going to do now?’ Christina asked him. ‘I guess you’ve probably been suspended from school?’

‘For two weeks at least’ Kevin sighed.

‘Oh no now I feel really bad’ Jessica worried.

‘Oh no don’t worry about me’ Kevin said hastily, waving at her with an encouraging smile. ‘I knew this was going to happen…I wanted this…I swear…’

Jessica remained unconvinced.

‘So, I guess you’ll have a lot of time on your hands from now on’ Christiana said. ‘Got any plans?’

‘Nah…’ Kevin replied carelessly. ‘Not really.’

‘Why don’t you go on a date with Anastasia?’ Christina suggested sweetly, holding her hands behind her back and resting on her heels, leaning fords and tilting her head playfully at him.

‘Are you trying to hook us up or something?’ Kevin frowned at her unimpressed.

‘Well why not?’ Christina said, ‘a handsome guy like you being single? It’s a waste.’

‘Well gee thanks’ Kevin replied flatly.

Jessica glanced from each of them a little nervously, wondering at that moment what was between the two. It was clear that they were very close.

‘You could stay with me if you like’ Christiana offered. ‘You know you’re always welcome at my place.’

‘Thanks’ Kevin said in another flat voice, ‘but I already got a place.’

‘Well it was worth a try’ Christina grinned.

‘I think I'm going home now’ Kevin said, taking his bag and walking away. ‘I’ll see you two around…’

‘Woah, what happened to you?’ Justin asked as Kevin came through the door of the apartment.

Kevin closed the door, moving over to the sofa and sitting down heavily on it.

‘I fell down the stairs’ he replied sarcastically.

Justin closed the magazine he had been reading, putting it down on the low coffee table between them. He leant forward on his knees, staring at Kevin closely.

‘God that looks painful…’

‘That’s because it is.’

‘Want some ice? You’ve still got blood on you by the way.’

‘Um…yeah thanks…’

Justin rose, moving over to the kitchen, getting a bag of ice and wrapping it in a clean dishcloth.

Kevin leant on the arm of the sofa, touching his face tenderly as he heard running water from the kitchen sink.

‘Here’ Justin said coming to his side. He offered Kevin the bag of ice, and a damp cloth soaked in warm water.

Kevin took both.

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