Chapter 12: Paranoia

The door slammed. Leslie hurried to the front door. He was surprised to find Lewis in a state. He was flushed, panting and his hair was disheveled. He had ran home. He was clearly panicking. Lewis was also pressing himself against the shut door, as if to keep out any evil.

"What's wrong Lou?" Leslie said calmly. "Tell me, what's wrong."

Lewis was still panicking. "Tyson...Tyson changed." He finally looked at his blonde lover directly in the eyes. "He's actin' like a bimbo Momma's boy an' dressed like a doll or a...perfect teen idol," he explained fiercely. He gripped the sides of the door. "He ain't like that!"

The blonde didn't seem too surprised. "What d'you wan' me ta do?"

The photographer glared viciously. He slowly trod forward, away from the door. "I wan' you ta tell me tha truth. I know it's linked with the Major Association," he sneered. "TELL ME DAMMIT! WHAT THA HELL'S GOIN' ON HERE!"

Leslie seemed slightly frightened of him. And he was wearing the look that Tyson described being "like you're on death row". "I can't tell you."

Lewis froze. He trembled. Tears gathered in his eyes. ... Leslie hated seeing his lover like this, so he inched forward, raising his arm. The brunette darted upstairs. He ran all the way to their bedroom and locked the door. The blonde arrived too late.

"Lewis!" When he couldn't open the door, he banged against it instead. "Come on Lou! Come out!"


The curtains were drawn in the bedroom. Clothes of all kinds were strewn everywhere, the doors of the wardrobes hung open, the bed's duvet had been thrown on the floor. Out of rage, it seemed, some of Leslie's nicest clothes had been torn apart. Lewis lay on the empty kingsized bed as if he was pinned there against his will. He wore the same clothes he was wearing when he first locked himself in the bedroom, his hair was greasy and he stared blankly at the ceiling. Mojo lay next to him, with his head on his master's chest. The dog seemed sad somehow.

Lewis absent-mindedly stroked Mojo's head. "What am I doing?" he asked hopelessly.


Leslie walked along the landing outside. He saw the abandoned tray of used cutlery left outside the bedroom he-normally-shared with his lover. With a sigh, he knocked on the door.

"Lewis!" He only seemed to be calling half-heartedly. "Lewis, please. Open the door an' lemme clean up in there." ... He grew more concerned. "Lewis, I can smell dog crap. Ya didn't let Mojo take a dump in there did ya?"

"Breakfast was nice," answered the brunette's small voice from inside the bedroom. "You can get me lunch now, since you're here." He was treating the man outside like a servant.

Leslie grew desperate. "Ya know I'm meant ta work today right?"

"So why aren't you? You can leave me, I can take care o' myself."

"Not right now you can't! I'm worried, I wanna take care of you."

"You always do!" snapped Lewis. He quickly slid off the bed, startling poor Mojo. He hurried to the locked door. "What was wrong with Dallas? I knew how ta keep safe there, even if we were in danger outside. You just brought me here so you knew I'd be safe when I'm outta your sight."

"You got hurt that time though."

"I survived!"

"You were shot 3 times in the chest!" ... "Fine, I'll get your lunch." Leslie kneeled down to pick up the tray.


Lewis sat on the floor, against the bed, staring at the wall in front of him. The room was still dim because the curtains were closed. The room was still messy but some of the mess had been shifted around. Mojo wasn't around. The lone man casually ran his fingers through his hair, which was rather greasy. He quickly wiped his fingers on his trousers.

He jumped. It was only the phone ringing. He crawled over to the chest of drawers where the phone was kept in its stand. Being brand new and including a digital screen, it could display the names and/or numbers of callers. 'MATTHEW' said the screen. Like a stealthy hunter, Lewis slowly wrapped his hand around the phone. He quickly lifted it as soon as it stopped ringing and held it at distance from his ear.

"Hi," came Leslie's voice.

"Afternoon," Matthew greeted politely. "Just thought I'd check up on Lewis."

"He still ain't come outta 'is room. He almost never comes out, just for goin' to the restroom."

"Is he still eating?"


"What about hygiene?"

"He uses 'is toothbrush and 'is shaver but I'm the only one usin' the shower. I don't get it."

"I think he's rebellin'." Matthew sounded rather thoughtful. "I'll need to remember to switch on the gas the day he comes in so he can have a shower before the procedure."

"You say it like it's soon."

"Lewis' blood type is quite common and I've had some calls. Expect to bring him in in a few days." Lewis squinted in confusion. Leslie sighed. "You still haven't told him? Even after you said you would?"

"He'll say no, I know it. Sorry to make this harder for you but...can't you tell him? I don't wan' 'im accusin' me o' betrayin' him."

"Don't worry, I can do it. It's just that the first and last time it was my duty, Cloud refused outright. You'll need to stay with him. To this day I'm convinced that happened because Seth left immediately after bringing him in. You can stay can't you?"

"The entire night if I have to."

Matthew laughed lightly. "Good, that truly is a demonstration of your affection. Take care, of yourself and Lewis. I'll call once it's close by."

"Sure, you too. Bye."


Lewis was left frozen, startled and disturbed as the phone emitted the dial tone. He let out the breath he was holding. Eventually he replaced it on its stand. The man needing a shower shivered inadvertantly.

A couple of hours or so later, Leslie knocked on the locked door. What he didn't realise was that Lewis was hiding under the duvet pile on the floor. The one who was hiding slowly poked his head out, which could remind a person of a snail. Except snails don't have eyes and Lewis' eyes stared at the door fearfully. Mojo stared at his paranoid master fearfully.

"Lewis? I'm about to cook dinner. Why don't you eat it downstairs huh? You don't have ta do anything, I'll do all the cleanin'." The blonde outside sighed. "What are you so afraid of? What's keepin' you in there?"

"I don't wanna change!" whined Lewis. "And you know about it. Tell me what's goin' on! Please!" ... "Please! I'm scared!" ... "I'm scared..."

Leslie, with his head hanging low, walked away. Mojo whined inside the bedroom.


Some days later, the room (somehow) managed to look even more a tip. Drawers as well as wardrobe doors were open; one had been completely pulled out and dumped onto a pillow. The bare bed was stained with urine. Lewis stumbled out of an open wardrobe sleepily. He painfully stood up and instantly rubbed his back, grimacing as he did so.

"Morning," he groaned to no one in a croaky voice. His glazed eyes roamed around the room until he found a clock. 8:03

He trudged over to the locked door, trying not to trip over the dumped duvet or any other floorbound obstacles on the way. In front of the door, he flopped to his knees and unwound the key. The door slid open suspiciously. Outside was a clean tray looking fine and resplendant. There was a full glass of orange juice, a covered plate with a knife and fork placed on one side on top of a napkin and a flower laid down. Which type of flower he never cared enough to find out. Only allowing his hand to emerge from the bedroom, the tray was dragged in as if it was being smuggled within an active battlefield.

Lewis shifted his position so that he could sit on the floor with his legs curled round and have the tray in front of him. Once he was satisfied, he promptly shut the door and locked it again, drowning out the sound of the radio downstairs. Staring at the carefully-prepared tray, he uncovered the plate to find scrambled eggs and toast. He smiled and proceeded to eat.

He was in a similar position at lunchtime. The immaculate tray, missing a flower this time, displayed a glass of water, a plate of peanut butter sandwiches, a small cake and a red apple. Lewis was chewing on a sandwich thoughtfully when the phone rang. He dumped the sandwich on the plate. Like the last time 'MATTHEW' was displayed on the screen, he immediately became the hunter and lifted the phone promptly when the ringing halted.


"Leslie, it's arriving soon. Is it possible to bring in Lewis now?"

"Not right now, we're havin' lunch. But I'll bring 'im in after...somehow."

"That's fine, just call my cell if you run into any problems."

"Yes sir, will do." Leslie sighed heavily.

"He is still eating isn't 'e?" asked Matthew.

"There's been no change in 'is 'abits. Anyway, see you soon."

Once the dial tone ensued Lewis slammed the phone back into its stand and glared at the locked door. He did this for a while. Slowly his eyes journeyed towards the curtained windows. He stared at them for a while. Eventually he crept towards the closed curtains, treating them like a suspected trap. Once he was close enough, they were thrown apart. He was surprised to find it was cloudy outside, rather than sunny. He had a good view of Alan's and Daniel's house. Or was it just Daniel's?

Lewis gently undid the window latch, as if suspecting it would betray him any minute. Carefully he opened it as far as he could, creating a large gap. He leaned out, checking there was nobody about. He blanched at the distance to the ground. The messy brunette darted to the floor and started collecting the shreds of torn apart clothes. He started knotting them together.

The ragged chain of knots practically fell out of the open window. Lewis secured the end he held and checked again that there was nobody about. He couldn't actually see the street from where he stood. Gracelessly he clambered down the makeshift rope as fast as possible and actually fell to the ground once he was roughly 3/4 of the way down. Lewis stood up immediately and ran to the street.

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©Ruth Amy Louise Hüneke 2008