This same regime went on for another five nights, I would wait in the park and Conner would bring food, we didn't talk but I would thank him and then go back to my cell.
The following week I was running late, I must have fallen asleep during the afternoon. I got really panicky and almost ran across the traffic so I could feed my possums but the doorman grabbed my arm and led me to the pedestrian crossing.
Buying a bagel from the stall, I maneuvered myself into the park and then to my bench. I sat for quite awhile before he came. My heart jumped a little, he hadn't forgotten me and he had a pizza. We sat in silence while I ate a few pieces of the food, Conner was still silent, he didn't push a conversation and I didn't say anything out loud but I was enjoying the contact.Then the possums came out so I fed them and Conner gave them the rest of the pizza.
I put my hand on his shoulder and nodded, I know he wanted more but I couldn't go there, I couldn't even look him in the eyes, I had to get back to my cell.Then he said something,
"They are all dead Brent, they can't hurt you anymore but if you go on this way they will win."
"They already have Conner," I whispered.
I turned and walked slowly towards my building thinking about what he had said, they win. Crawling into my filthy bed I closed my eyes and said,
I don't remember if I had nightmares that night, I just knew they had won.
My bed was soaking wet,I had pissed myself but thank god I hadn't messed myself. I moved the bed onto the balcony to get some sun on it then decided to go over to the park.
I was about to leave my building when I finally collapsed.
I woke in the hospital, I had fainted on the sidewalk and the doctor had called Rob, his was the only number I had in my phonebook. The doctor told me I was dehydrated and in need of a few good meals, my weight had dropped twenty kilos and I was skin and bone. He didn't know who I was so I just said I over dieted and would get myself back on track as soon as he released me; my wake up call had arrived.
Rob signed me out and drove me home, he told me Conner knew I had crashed and was wanting to come and see me but he had talked him out of it. He got me upstairs and gasped at my living conditions, there was no way he was going to leave me there alone.
I wept in utter shame; it was like I was seeing it for the first time.
My apartment was a bomb site and I hadn't noticed the camp stretcher with the hessian mattress on it, stained with my piss. The pillow covered in thousands of tears and the filthy sheet I had covered myself in every night. I didn't remember buying it or sleeping on it, I just didn't remember but I then crawled under the filthy sheet and closed my eyes, I felt safe and warm, I trembled. Rob stared at me mouth gaping then he rang Jenny and Bob while sitting down on the floor next to me, stroking my hair he said,
"In Darwin I had a long conversation with Jen and Bob, they told me things I didn't know about you and they both came to your aid because they loved you," he took a deep breath, then added,
"It's time to start healing Brent, my beautiful friend."
He got me up and moved me to the sofa where I was staring into the blank TV screen, but then as he moved my camp bed over to the balcony doors, I jumped up and screamed at him,
"Leave it there, leave it there, I need it." He left it as I had scared him witless.
Jenny and Bob arrived an hour later with some take away food and many hugs. I broke down as everything was moving too fast for me so I tried to get back onto my bed all the time saying,
"I'm sorry Jenny, so sorry, there's no need for you to worry about me anymore, I don't deserve it."
Jenny pulled me into her shoulder as I sobbed loudly.
"Brent nothing you do will make me hate you, what happened is in the past, you were drunk and so was Bob, he wanted to experiment and you loved him as much as I did. I don't blame either of you for that, I love you both so much and if it's forgiveness you want then you have it, my beautiful brother."
"You know?" I said bewildered by what she was saying.
"Bob had to tell me in Darwin, he was as upset as you were and it was eating away at him, he was as lost as much as you were. We are both cool with it and back on track, I'm just so glad it was you and not some bottle blonde from the burbs with three kids," she smiled.
"Dear little brother, I love you so much, I wanted to make you happy so I slept with you. As much as I tried brother it wasn't in me, it took me a long time to forgive myself and to win Jen's love back, now I need to help you, I want you back because both of us are nothing without you," Bob said as he teared up.
I wept into her shoulder then Bob took my arm and kissed my neck and hugged us both.
My secret, why my sister's marriage broke up, she thought he might have had an affair but she didn't know it was with me. I have been living with the guilt for ages now but I somehow felt a little tiny light just slip through my defenses,I have to get some help and soon, I can't keep living like this.I suddenly panicked.
"What's the time Rob?"
"Seven thirty Brent, why?"
"I don't know why but I think I have to be somewhere, I'm sorry Jenny, Bob but I will be gone an hour then I will come back." I was panic driven when I grabbed a piece of bread from the fridge.
"I have to feed my possums," I mumbled.
"Brent stay here please," Bob called.
"My possums, they need me."
I walked across the road into the park to my usual seat and there was still a steady stream of people coming and going, there was no sign of my friend so I felt alone again.
As I fed my possums with the bread I heard a voice,
"Do you need some help mister?"
I jumped and almost yelling I said,
"Yes I do, please, I need help, I need help, please help me." I dropped to my knees and sobbed as a beautiful man with the biggest blue eyes I have ever seen held me and he had a pizza with him. I wept in his arms for ages while he was stroking my back saying, "They can't hurt you and you can't let them win, I will help you, helps here Baby, try to accept it."
Conner and I shared the food on the bench in the park and afterwards he walked me home, I let him back in for a moment and it felt good, more light shone.
I was with Conner and it was a start, I heard muffled conversations behind me, so I started to get panicky and moved over to my cot.
Jenny and Bob said goodnight and promised to come and stay the night soon, Rob hugged me and Conner then left soon after the others.
Conner was looking around the apartment shaking his head.
"I disgust you don't I?" I asked.
"Never baby, never, I know what you're going through and you can't stay here alone," he said.
"But I can't leave, it's my prison, they will get me Conner,"I cried.
"You can leave and you will, but for now let's get you into bed and we both might somehow get us a good night's sleep," he smiled, his eyes dancing.
He lifted me off the cot kissing my tears away and I let go of that filthy, dirty sheet and held onto him.
I stripped and moved into the shower with my Conner and he held me then washed my hair and body. He cleansed me of all the filth then wrapped a big towel around me and we went to bed, I dreamed, I dreamed of him.
In the morning Conner was showered and dressed and he had ordered breakfast. It smelt wonderful so I slipped out of bed and went and showered, I started to shave and for the first time in ages I looked at myself in the mirror. I had lost a lot of weight and my body was still defined but I had begun to lose some muscle tone and I was a pallid color. I was disgusting, I sat on my bathtub and started again to sob, it was the only thing that made me feel good but a hand appeared on my shoulder and lifted me up. He took my face in his hands and said,
"We are going to get there you know, it may take some time but we will get there," then he kissed me deeply and passionately.
I ate everything on my plate and had three cups of coffee. It took me ages to do but I forced myself, I knew deep down I had to start eating again. Conner wanted to order more but I said it was small steps for now, a bit at a time.
"Adam has set up a meeting with the psych at ten but said if I don't feel like taking that step at the moment then we can reschedule."
"No Conner, I have to go, two things happened last night, I faced a fear I've dreaded for years now, and I forgave you. It's time I did some healing, it might take time but as you say, we will get there, if you still want me that is."
He pulled me over to his lap and held me in his arms, kissing my neck continuously saying,
"I love you so much, how could I ever not want you."
"Don't ever doubt I don't love you, I would do anything for you, I might get angry but that doesn't mean I don't love you, my home is my prison just like that dirty filthy prison I was in," I breathed deeply, tears running down my face.
"You have no fucking idea," I went on.
"Yes I do Brent, I do have an idea," Conner whispered.
"Oh my god, Conner I'm sorry I didn't mean it like that." He held me, "I know what you meant baby and it's okay."
We began my treatment together; Conner sat with me as I talked to Mr. Taylor, my psych doctor and we made a little headway into my kidnapping. I told him how I was living now and of the filth I had endured in my cell, I ended by saying,
"They even spread my shit on the pillow while they raped me, they pushed my face in it and laughed." I started to dry retch and was passed a small plastic bucket but nothing came out.
He came over and sat with us on the couch.
"Brent will you let Rick take you out for lunch today?"
"Yes," I snapped, I was upset and embarrassed how could this nicely dressed, smelling like roses man know how I felt, I was filthy and dirty.
He ignored my mood.
"And will you do one more thing for me and let Rick take the camp bed out and just leave it on the balcony, it will still be there if you need it but outside somewhere safe."
I struggled with this, I wasn't prepared to let go of it but I knew I had to.
"Yes but just to the balcony," I finally nodded.
"Rick, a nice lunch and maybe a bit of shopping for some new, clean clothes then do the bed," he said as he looked at Conner.
"Yes of course we can do that," Conner smiled.
Then he said,
"Shopping Brent, Happy Anniversary."I didn't feel like laughing.
As he got me into the car and belted me up, I looked at him and said very reluctantly,
He looked stunned at my question but said,
"Ask you what Brent?"
"Ask me why I was so angry."
"Why were you angry Brent?"
"Because you wouldn't let me in.I had no reason not to love you but you shut me out, you ignored me and my feelings,you didn't trust me, it's taking every ounce of my being to let you in now and I'm so frightened, you didn't trust me," I stared at him.
"Brent, I just wasn't ready, I thought if you knew everything about my abuse you would feel sorry for me, not love me. Sympathy isn't what I am looking for from you, all I wanted from you was your love, what happened to me is in the past and many people helped me at that time. My aunty Beth gave me so much love and held me often, I don't need to talk about it all the time but I can see where your coming from and for that I'm sorry, I should have had more faith in you, I had your love and that was all I needed. I tried to tell you in the hospital but you shut me out, you've been shutting me out for weeks now. I have a diary that has everything about me in it and I want you to read it but please don't stop loving me. I can't live without you, you are my life now and I'm going to show you how much I love you for the rest of our lives."
"And you won't treat me like I'm just a blow-up doll you can fuck anytime?"
"What? He said.
"You fucked me all the time, I didn't mind because it was you but it kind of got a bit relentless, there was no love in it for me, I am a top and I'm not used to being treated like that, I gave up freely but underneath I hated it,"I quietly said.
He looked at me without saying anything then started the car.
Conner drove me down to Chapel street, we did some shopping and I left my dirty track suit in the trash, next was a trim and shampoo, then a short drive to St Kilda beach to a small fish shop where Conner wined and dined me on the sea wall with fish and chips and a coke.
"Brent, I love you with all my heart,I am not going to make excuses for my bad behavior towards you, I have never been in a loving relationship, in fact I've never had a relationship. I have had limited encounters and when I did, they wanted me to fuck them and I thought that was what you wanted too. I don't know how to be or act in this situation.I am deeply sorry, I love you more than you know and I treated you worse than your abusers, I will never forgive myself Brent."
"Well it did hurt and it was my fault for not speaking up at the time, I just resigned myself to roll over whenever you wanted it, there was no pleasure for me at all," I said back.
"From now on, you're in charge Brent and you have to tell me and show me what you like. You can fuck me anytime you want, it's got nothing to do with my abuse baby, it's more that I've never done it like that but I want you to be my first, I do know that," he smiled.
I was tired so we left it at that.
Arriving later at my flat, I looked at the pitiful state it was in, then making a very hard decision I picked up the stinking bed and placed it on the balcony, the sight of it disgusted me. I had to do it, I didn't want Conner to touch it, it was too filthy but its filth still called its calming tune to me.
"Conner take me home,"I said.
"You sure baby?"
"For now I'm sure and focused, I want clean sheets and a quiet space, that's a home, this place is my prison, can you take me home now," I urged, more from the indignity of it all than anything.
"Yes," he replied.
When we arrived at his house the lights were on and I could smell cooking as we entered the hallway, Conner smiled.
"They're here John, now can we go and eat?"I heard Ray say.
"In a minute Ray, I want to see my friend first," John yelled.
In a split second I was wrapped in John's arms and he was kissing my cheek.
"Welcome home son, I've missed you so much," he said into my ear.
"We have all missed you baby boy," Ray said as he pushed John out of the way to get to me.
Anxiety closed in on me, I walked to the front door and then I ran, I ran so fast and so hard I thought I would burst a lung, all I wanted was a quiet space to maybe rest awhile but there was a party going on at Conner's house.
I jerked awake, I was lying on some grass next to the Yarra River and my hair was being stroked.
"You collapsed baby, you're not used to running so far, I followed you in the car then I saw you drop here. It's all right, just rest for awhile."
"Take me home Conner, please take me back to my cell," I cried and added,
"It's not them, I love them very much but I just wanted some peace and quiet for now, please will you take me back?" I pleaded; I was losing my control again.
"Take me back please, I need to sleep, I need my bed," I sobbed.
"Don't cry Brent or feel bad, it is their anniversary and I bought them a couple of nights at the Hilton, they just wanted to cook you a welcome home meal that's all and I had just a small present to give you tonight too," he smiled.
Then he stood me up and said,
"Our house is quiet now, can we try that again?"
"Okay," I replied forcing myself into believing him and wanting to be with him. His eyes were calming me.
He lead me to the kitchen and we each dished up some stew, he turned the lighting down and lit some candles then sat at the table with me. I've eaten more in the last week than in the past three months and I felt better for it with every meal.
He then slipped a brightly wrapped parcel onto the table in front of me and said,
"For you babe, I hope you like it."
"Conner stop doing that, I haven't bought you anything and I feel awful."
He looked at me with those eyes and replied,
"Oh yes you have, you bought me peace, contentment, love and a bright light to show me the way, you have bought me everything I need and more. Most importantly you bought me us and with that a real home."
My tears ran as I unwrapped this gift, it was a CD.
I looked at it and there was a photo of Conner in a suit showing his big smile, his hair perfectly styled and his eyes so blue.
The name of the CD was,'Just Conner.'
I looked him in the eye, and smiled,
"You did it."
"Yes, thanks to you, it will be released online in three days and the CD will hit the shelves in two weeks, keep your fingers crossed."
"Put it on please, play it,"I said.
"Okay but I warn you,it's a bit soppy," he chuckled.
I smiled again, I knew it would be good and it was.
We moved to the sofa and he pushed play.The opening song was called,'Forever in the Light.' It was beautiful and his voice was amazingly clear and deep, after it finished he paused the CD and said,
"This one I wrote for you, it's called, 'Us.'"
I cried when I heard the lyrics, they were so beautiful and tender and I couldn't stop looking at his beautiful eyes, my arms went around him and I kissed him. If I had any doubts about his love for me before, I didn't now and I reveled in it and accepted it with all my heart because I desperately needed it.
We listened to the other eight tracks; he had written all these songs and they were so beautiful but when it stopped I was shocked into silence.
He looked at me and said,
"Well the CD wasn't really your present, if you read the back that's where your real present is."
There was a hand written message thanking me for inspiring and encouraging him to make this album and also it was dedicated to all the people who have some illness in their lives and we both hoped it would bring a little pleasure and peace on the way to their speedy recovery.
"You also get half the royalties Brent, it's our story so you own half of it." Then he kissed me again and taking my hand, he led me to the bedroom where he undressed me but no sex, just cuddling. He slipped the CD into the player next to the bed then we listened to the tracks again while we drifted off to sleep. He left the lamp on.
The next four weeks were bliss, my man did just about everything to get me back to where I was, we both went to the gym, I was put on a better diet and my shrink was helping in ways I had forgotten about. The dentist installed two implants and I was slowly coming back to reality. I took Conner to the park several times, I couldn't leave my possums without their snack and once we walked over to the hotel and I thanked the doorman for looking out for me, Conner slipped him money but I didn't see how much. The doorman said as he hugged me,
"Management will be so over the moon you are okay Mr. Walsh, we all were so worried about you sir."
I thanked him from the bottom of my heart.
My first flight was to Canberra to talk to the Federal police, I gave them an accurate account of what had happened and they thanked me for filling in the blanks but they had no idea who the overweight dealer was, the description I had given them would suit just about anyone in that region.
Phil and Dave gave me the royal treatment on the flight there and back and for the first time in ages, Conner and I made out in the salon.I showed him what making love was all about, he learnt fast but we didn't do anything too heavy, that would come later. We had fun and both of us were smiling as we sat waiting for our plane to descend into Melbourne.I felt a lot better physically but mentally there was still some work to do, I knew that.
Adam and Rob met us at Tullamarine and they took us out for dinner in Carlton to a small back lane pizzeria and we laughed until our sides burst. I was so happy we had made love and Conner was beaming with joy. Adam asked Conner if the tour was on anytime soon and he said it had been put off until next year but Adam should already know that seeing he was supposed to be organizing it. We giggled at Adam who blushed.
"I have been asked to sing at the Opera House in five weeks though," Conner said.
"A one-off concert, it will be my last for six months but then the rock star re-appears," he added.
"What's the Opera House one Conner?" I asked.
"Up close with Conner," he smiled.
"No way," I said.
"Yes, just a few songs, there are other performers," he grinned.
"Coming?" He added.
"Try and keep me away, sunshine," I smiled.
"I would like to invite Jen and Bob along, do you mind?"
"Not at all, they will be so wrapped Con, they never get to go anywhere."
It was a turning point in our lives, we were laughing and smiling among friends who loved us, and who we loved. We were happy and well what can I say? We were a family.
Rob didn't leave my side and he held my hand at every opportunity, he even kissed my cheek a few times, I so wanted Conner to be doing that but it was too public. Rob was being a friend and the shop was nearly deserted except for a family of Italians having a night out. I stared at them a lot and they were happy, no dramas there, the kids were running back and forth to the kitchen, so much laughter coming from their mouths, it was just beautiful to watch.
I wanted to just go and join them, to be warm and enveloped into their lives.
In bed that night Conner asked me why I hadn't read the diary he had placed by the bed some weeks ago.
I was ready for this question and it was important I answered it honestly.
I looked him in the eye, kissed his sweet lips and said,
"I don't need to read it Conner, I have lived it, the filth, the total desperation, the humiliation, the despair and the loneliness. I prayed to God to take me in his arms every night and I said my goodbyes to you every minute of every waking hour. I know what you went through and I know how you felt because in a very small way I went through the same thing. Reading the words won't give me these terrible feelings, I know Conner, but I am in awe of your will to survive when I had so easily given up."
He looked at me, a tear escaped from his eye.
"I love you so much Brent."
"Me too you Conner."
He leant over and turned the light out then we snuggled together like a couple of kids and went to sleep.During the night I woke to my man sucking on me, just the thought of it made me cum. Nothing was said, he sighed when I instinctively rolled over onto my stomach, I spread my legs but he didn't move much, just rolled halfway onto my back and his leg moved up to my waist, he placed his hand under my arm, rubbed his cock on my thigh and took a deep breath, then we slept.
Conner started pestering me to start back at work so I caved in because I knew it was important to get back to a routine and also he said he would be accompanying me on most flights. My first flight was Wednesday and I would fly to Darwin with a pick up in Canberra. There were some dignitaries going back to New Guinea who had requested to meet the brave man that survived the ordeal in their country. I wasn't sure this was the right thing for me but Conner convinced me the return flight from Darwin would be worth it.
When the day arrived I was nervous but the boys put me at ease and for an hour I got to lock lips with my private star.
We landed in Canberra and picked up two generals who were huge, they had been at a meeting in the Australian capital Canberra and all army generals in the immediate Pacific region attended.
I made them comfortable then did my inflight safety routine and we soared into the air for our three-hour flight into Darwin. I handed out drinks and then we sat talking to them. They were very animated and genuinely interested in my ordeal, they filled me in some more on their investigation, which they apologized for as it had turned up nothing but a rumor, which had been spread by the citizens of Port Moresby.
The rumor was about me and apparently the dealer was so incensed at what was being done to me he had the perpetrators executed on the spot. It was rumored the Papua resistance had tortured his son during a coup a few years ago and he only had enough time left with his son to say his goodbyes. I sat in silence as the general absentmindedly wiped his eyes then asked for another drink.
Conner followed me to the galley and my tears dripped onto the bench as I tried to hold on to my reality. The realization was powerful and hit me hard and as Conner rubbed my back he whispered the words to my song in my ear.I calmed down and dried my eyes then looking in my bag I found some drops to ease the redness. I didn't know whether to kiss him or kill him but eventually I decided on the first choice, if it wasn't for him I would be dead and I didn't care about Pat or Steven, they caused my pain and they deserved exactly what they got.
I poured double scotches for the four of us and went back with Conner by my side and we sat in the easy chairs.
I looked at my general and he said,
"If there's anything and I mean anything I can do for you and Rick just let me know and I will move heaven and earth to get it done," he said then handed me his elaborate card and I took a deep breath and replied,
"Thank you general, it means a lot to me that you are concerned and in truth I don't usually believe in rumors but if this one is true then the dealer has me as a true friend for life and I wish I could have met him to thank him for saving me from my living agony. If you ever catch up with him could you give him this from me. I leaned over and kissed his cheek then shook his hand and he smiled. I did the same to his off sider because I was certain he was one of the guards that hung those bastards.
They turned out to be very pleasant men and they had us rolling with laughter as they told funny stories from their country, the flight went quickly and so did three bottles of scotch. I shook their hands and said I would see them again. They laughed all the way into the VIP lounge where I believe they destroyed another bottle of scotch before boarding a Papua government plane that took them home.
We watched as the post people loaded their parcels and Conner asked me if I was okay, I said yes then leaned over and whispered,
"You just met the men that saved my life."
He looked at me realising the implications of what I had said and nodded.
"Good, I've forgotten what they looked like already."