Keep Me Safe

The two were locked in an intense fist-fight, the sound of blows echoing off the stone walls. There was barely any light illuminating them, and one threw a punch which swung over the other’s head. As soon as he missed, his eyes widened as the other man grabbed his arm and twisted it.

He was forced to his knees, looking up at the other man above him. The light cast shadows across his face, but it was still a face he knew well. Gazing up at him, his heart began to pound as the other raised his fist and smirked at him.

“Choose your last words wisely.” His voice was quiet, but threatening all the same.

The boy on the floor began to shake, small tears pricking at the corners of his eyes as he let out a small breath.

“I love you, William.”

The other boy, William, froze. His hand fell slightly as his eyes widened and he gazed down at the boy on the floor, tears rolling down his cheeks as he stared into William’s dark eyes.

“You don’t mean that Kai.”

William raised his fist again, and Kai’s eyes continued to water as he smiled and let his body relax, waiting for the final blow.

“I do…but do what you must.”

Kai shut his eyes, tilting his head back as a shadow fell over him. He felt the hand holding his arm relax, and heard the sound of something falling to the floor. He opened his eyes and saw William on his knees in front of him, shoulders slumped as tears began to fall down his face. Kai scrambled to his feet and raced to William, pulling him into a hug.

“I’m so sorry Kai…”

“Hey, hey.” Kai lifted William’s face to look into his eyes. “It’s okay. Please don’t cry.”

William stared at Kai, confusion filling his eyes as tears continued falling down his cheeks.

“Why would you say that? A minute ago I would have killed you!”

“Why didn’t you?” Kai asked softly, releasing William from the hug. William blinked and stared into Kai’s eyes with an intensity the other had never seen before.

“Because I love you too Kai…but I never thought you would ever love me back.”

Kai let out a soft giggle, something William had always loved to hear from him. Before he could say anything else, his phone rang and he moved to answer it.

“Hello?” he asked, wiping tears and gesturing for Kai to keep quiet. A deep voice responded on the other end of the line, causing William to freeze and look over at Kai. “Yes sir, I understand.” Another long pause, and then he spoke again. “Yes sir. I’ll see in a few days.” He hung up the phone and looked at Kai with sad eyes.

“Who was it?” Kai asked, his voice full of worry.

“I can’t be with you Kai…not this way.” Kai backed away from William, hurt clear on his face. “But I want to be with you, just not out and open to the world. There’s people out there who would hurt you if they found out.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Stay with me. Let me keep you safe.”

“But why?”

“So I can prove that I love you, and make you happy. Let me protect you.”

Kai was anxious now, as minutes ago he thought he would die at William’s hand. Even though he loved William, he didn’t feel the trust he needed.

“Just come with me, please. Let me make it up to you.”

William sounded desperate, and Kai knew he needed to know what was said in that phone call. He nodded and allowed William to help him up, but walked away with doubt and fear, rather than the love and excitement he had wanted to leave with.

-EH

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