Everything seemed so hushed, so quiet that it gave him a bit of the shakes. He knew that he was in a hospital, that there were people all around him, and Blake could even distinguish some of the words too. Like when someone had asked who was in there, meaning his cubicle, he had heard clearly the female voice mention the queer boy. Even here, he wasn't free of the anger, the disdain, but he didn't seem to think much about it. All he could think of was how Trent had looked. How they all looked, and that seemed to be enough.

The way they all seemed to act, when they had examined him, had prodded his bruised and battered body, was making him feel like he had never made it to the Frat House. The coldness, the blank stares as the two men in uniform stood while the Doctor examined him, and the female nurse took blood, all the time he was stretched out naked on the hard bed. Even his dorm room bed was softer, but he put up with it, too tired to protest.

All he could think of was how angry the voices sounded, how they laughed as they took their turns pissing on him, making him swallow it, making him be a part of their sickness. Every time he thought about it, he shivered, and it seemed like the images of that time would never leave. He felt terrified about what would next time bring, and he knew, deep inside, that there would be one.

He had no idea why, but he just knew it would happen again. Blake feared it, as he lay there, alone. His only contact was with the hospital staff, who after their initial exams, seemed to avoid him. There was the tall figure next to the closed curtain, who had to be a cop. You could tell by how he stood there, and how his shadow looked. It was eerie to see, because he could almost feel the man's disgust at being there.

Not everyone was that way, least he didn't think so. The one nurse who had come in after, who had covered his naked body with a sheet, when no one else had. How she had wiped his face, and given him some water to sip. She didn't say much, but he had felt better, when she was there.

The pain in his body wasn't so bad, but he was certain that was due to the drugs they had given him, but they just didn't seem to totally dull the pain. Every time he moved, he could feel the pain in his chest, in his legs. His body ached, but it wasn't like how it had been as he had made his way to the Frat House.

The curtain parted and there was the doctor. He was dressed in green and as he looked over at him, he could see his disdain, see his feelings as if he had shouted them out. The way his eyes would barely look at him, but concentrate on the clipboard in his hand. How he stood so erect, and distant. It was like he really didn't want to get any closer, and the gloves.

Blake couldn't help but notice how he had come in with them on, as did the other hospital staff. Only the one nurse that had covered him, hadn't come in wearing them. It was like they were all afraid of touching him, of even being in the same room without their rubber protection. It made him feel so dirty, and he didn't know why.

He could make out what was being said, barely, and he knew that he was lucky to have survived, but the way the man spoke to him, listing all that had been done to him, then telling him how lucky he was, even hinting that in some way he should be thankful they hadn't done more. Worse, was how he made it sound like maybe he had simply exaggerated it a bit, that in some way he may have actually been a willing participant. The officer seemed to have a scowl, as he too looked at Blake with that sort of disbelief in his face, that implied they weren't convinced he hadn't done anything to provoke the attack. Hell the Doctor looked like he didn't even believe it was an attack, as if he would go out and want people to kick him, to do all that to him.

While the drugs they had given him were dulling the pain, he still could feel their hatred, their anger at him. He didn't understand, he hadn't done anything, why did they hate him? What had he done to make them feel so afraid of him? It wasn't like he had asked those guys to grab him, to beat him, to abuse him, yet they seemed to think he had. It made no sense, they didn't know him, know what he was like or how he thought.

His mind kept going over it, wondering what he had done wrong. What had he said or done to anyone, that made them want to hurt him like they had? He didn't even know who they were, which everyone seemed to not believe. If he knew, he would have told them, but the Policeman who questioned him, seemed to not believe it. He had kept asking who had he propositioned, who had he flirted with, as if he was some slut or something.

The man had made it sound like somehow he had been responsible. That maybe he had come on to someone he shouldn't have, or pushed it when he had been told the person wasn't queer. No one seemed to believe him, that he didn't think anyone knew he was gay, other than at the Frat House. The Policeman even suggested if maybe it was one of them, who had maybe been rejected by him. Like any of them would do that, but laying there, he began to wonder, to question.

It wasn't right, he knew that, still the doubts were all inside of him, still pressing on him while the Doctor said he could leave, but not to have sex till the scars inside healed. Like he hadn't had that kind of sex yet, but the man seemed to think he was going to rush out to get butt fucked. It didn't make sense, at how uncaring they seemed.

The way he had handed him the prescription for pain killers, how he held it at the tip, afraid that even the touch of his gloved hand to his bare fingers would give him some incurable disease. How his face looked as he told him that he could get dressed, as if wishing he could just shoo him out now.

It wasn't easy either, as he wondered where he could go, if going back to the Dorm was even possible, given how his body felt, let alone whether it was safe to do so. The Policeman just stood there, like a rock really, and then as the Doctor had left, he had stepped outside too, as if unwilling to even breath the same air.

His whole body throbbed as he moved his feet to dangle over the bed, as he stared at the chair, with his dirty clothes. He could smell them, feeling the panic inside as he tried to think, tried to make sense out of it all. He had been attacked, and now was being told to go, to shuffle off with some pain pills. That was it, though the Cop had said something about going to the station the next day.

As he looked at his dirty clothes, the curtain moved and he glanced over to see Trent. His heart skipped a beat as his eyes searched Trent's face, for the same signs of disgust he was becoming used to. Instead he saw concern, but more than that he saw he was holding some clothes.

'Not sure they'll fit, but it was the best I could get in such short notice. You okay?'

'I think so'

'Yeah, well they say you can leave.'

Blake stared at Trent, who seemed to be shuffling from one foot to another. As of yet, he had barely looked at him, his head was hanging down, but for a brief instant, Blake could only think of how much he had wanted to be with him tonight, that it was somehow changed.

'Uh huh, just..'

'Look, not sure what you want to do, but uh, well the guys at the House, they have a room made up for you, and if you want, I can hang around too. We have a car outside, and we can get some of your stuff from your dorm on the way, if you want, I mean, unless you..'

'No, no, that would be, I didn't do anything Trent, honest, I tried to get away, they, there were too many of them..'

He didn't know why, but he felt like he had to say it, to convince Trent that it wasn't his fault. He knew inside it wasn't, but no one else seemed to believe him. It hurt, more than the pain from his bruised ribs, or from inside his buttocks. He needed Trent to believe him, at least have one person believe him.

'Hey, no one is blaming you, come on man, you are the one who got shit kicked, why? They saying you set this all up?'

'I don't know, I just, they, I don't know, they gave me something for the pain, it's hard to think, it is just.. they really going to let me stay at the house?'

'Of course, if you want. I mean, you don't want to go back to your dorm do you?'

'NO, no, I don't know, no, I uh, Trent why?'

'Huh? Why what?'

'Why did they do this to me? What did I do?'

Trent looked at him, and Blake could feel his eyes on him. The way he looked at him, but it was different than before. He couldn't put his finger on it, be he felt it, felt the difference. It was as if maybe Trent did believe he had asked for it, that maybe he wasn't so sure that he had been blameless. Before, he had seen how Trent stared at him, how he had checked him out, but now, now his eyes never seemed to go that far down. Blake felt himself shiver, as he looked over at Trent, feeling worse than when he had been kicked.

'I don't know Blake, I really don't, but look, let's get you to the Frat House, and well, we can try to figure it out later, here, put these on, and I'll uh, I'll wait outside. Holler when you are dressed, and I'll help you out to the car.'

Blake watched as Trent moved a step closer, and put the bundled up clothes next to him. He saw him glance up, saw the tears in his eyes, yet he felt a chill, as he reached out, to touch Trent's hand. He felt him flinch, as Trent looked upwards at him.

'You do believe me, don't you?'

He felt like the world was standing still, as he saw Trent take a deep breath, as his whole body seemed to gather itself up, as if bracing for being hit by a huge wave or something. Blake could see how his body tensed up, how the muscles seemed to tighten.

'Course I do'

'Then why, why are you acting like, like I had made this happen, I thought, I mean after last night.. I am sorry, the drugs, but I uh, oh shit Trent, I really did try..'

'No, no it isn't your fault.'

He didn't know how or why, but he had to know. He felt so frightened, yet he couldn't let it go, couldn't stop from pushing Trent. What they had done, did it not mean anything to Trent? Had last night just been a sex thing, or had it meant something to Trent, as it had to him? Blake had to know, even if his words were slurred, even if it hurt to speak from the ache in his jaw. He had to know.

'Then why? Why are you afraid to look at me? Please, I don't need, I mean, this is hard enough, Trent, please, what did I do wrong?'

'You didn't do nothing wrong, it isn't your fault, it's mine.'

'Yours? I don't.. I can't, I mean shit, Trent I am so confused, how is, I mean..'

Deep inside, he felt his body shudder. He could see the tears now, see them rolling down Trent's face, as he spoke, as his whole body began to quake a bit. It was almost as if he was going to fall down, the way he couldn't look at Blake, yet as he spoke, Blake realized that last night hadn't been just about sex.

'It's my fault, I shouldn't have taken you to the bushes, course I believe you, but how can, don't you see Blake? I should have been more careful..'

The pain was there, inside of him, yet as he listened to the haltingly spoken words, felt the agony in them, he couldn't help but feel sad for Trent. In a way, it was as if Trent had been the one kicked, pissed on, not him, as he let his hand rest on Trent's.

'Help me get dressed, please?'

Trent lifted his head up, and Blake could see the gratitude in the face, the way he lifted up an arm and wiped away the tears that were rolling down his face. He also felt a strange warmth growing between them.

'You sure?'


Leaving the Hospital and going back to the Frat House was filled with silence. There were three others with Trent, two he hadn't seen before. They looked more like linebackers than anything, but their presence made things difficult. He didn't know what to say, even after they made him sign a slew of papers before he could leave. Even the Police left before him, again telling him to call the station in the morning.

In some way, they all seemed in a hurry to get him to leave, then did what they could, to make it as difficult as possible. He was exhausted, as they pushed paper after paper towards him, not even letting him do it sitting. He could feel the anger too, from the guys with Trent. Specially the one who had been in charge last night. He was there, and for the first time, Blake noticed how his face would puff up when he was angry, how his eyes seemed to be glazed over with anger, as the Nurse kept handing him papers to sign.

Still, the ride back to the Frat House seemed even more ominous. The way they all talked in hushed voices, when they spoke. In some way, it was like they were afraid to speak normally as if it would upset him or something. It felt creepy, as he sat next to the Senior, whose name he couldn't remember. Everything was still a bit hazy, as the drugs kept the pain at bay, but also made his mind go off on weird trips.

The way he would find himself staring out the side window, at the reflection of the three in back, Trent being one of them. He had saw how he kept watching him, his eyes constantly glued on him, as if he was afraid he would bolt out of the car. He felt uneasy, unsure what everyone was thinking, the way they would quickly glance away when eye contact was made. It was like they were ashamed of him.

Everything said seemed to have double meanings to him. He knew he was being paranoid, or least he hoped he was. The way one had said that they should have kept him in hospital overnight, made him think they really didn't want him at the Frat House, or to be here with him. He still wasn't sure why it took so many either.

Maybe Trent had needed others to be along, so he wouldn't have to talk to him? That went through his mind several times, and then maybe the Senior was there, because he wanted to make sure Blake didn't talk about the rituals at the Frat House?

When one of the big guys opened a window, he imagined it was because the guy couldn't stand the smell of him in the car. He even tried to sniff himself, to see how badly he smelled, but moving was hard, and painful. His ribs were taped up, which made his breathing difficult, let alone move around.

Arriving at the Frat House was a relief, until the car moved up the driveway, and then sat there. Everyone seemed to be looking out, and then the driver honked the horn in three quick bursts. Lights sprung up almost immediately and he felt like he was in the centre ring of the circus.

A few more guys came out of the House, looking rather large too and for some reason he felt himself shrinking back into the seat. He didn't know why, but it felt like they were coming for him, that maybe it was all a trap. How did he know they were Gay? He only had Trent's word for it, and panic was starting to take hold, as he heard the back doors of the car open up. He flinched as the driver looked over at him.

'It's okay, we are just making sure no one is around, it's cool Blake, you aren't the first one to get blindsided on Campus.'

'I uh, I uh..'

'It's okay Blake, you can trust them.'

He managed to turn his head to see Trent looking at him, one hand lightly on Blake's shoulder. The panic subsided as he nodded, feeling the pain in his chest at the same time. He winced, but managed a weak grin, as Trent got out and came over to his side of the car. Looking up at him, he saw him look around, then open the door, to help him out.

Blake found himself out of breath by the time he had made his way to the stairs. He glanced up at the long winding staircase of the old house, where the rooms were, and grimaced. He knew it was going to be a long haul, but he gripped the banister. A hand, looking like a huge ham, appeared on top of his. He felt its warmth as he turned to stare over at a huge giant of a guy.

'Max and I, we'll give you a lift up. No stairs for a bit.'

He felt his body suddenly being hefted up like he was just a sack of feathers, and found himself suddenly being cradled. There were two of them, with a third coming up behind as they moved effortlessly up the stairs, with him.

Once at the top they didn't even stop, but walked down the hall towards the end. They set him down on the big bed that felt so soft, he almost leaned back to let it comfort all of his body. Glancing up he thanked the two, who just muttered 'no problem' then left. He sat there, staring at the ornate room. Finally his eyes moved towards the door, where Trent stood.

'It's reserved for visiting alumni, in case you are wondering. The other rooms are two singles and there is a common bathroom, This one has its own, just through that door.'

'Thanks, It's huge.'

'Yeah, look, uh, I can run the water for a bath, if you want? It's got the full works.'

'I'd like that, not sure I can make it in, but I uh, I need to, you know..'

'There is a shower if you'd prefer?'

'I think I can manage that.'

'You can have a bath, I'll help you if you want, I don't mind, uh, I mean..'

'I'd like that, uh, will they let you? I mean, can you stay for a bit? I don't think I want to be, to be alone.'

'As long as you want, uh, they uh, they are really good about all this, I mean, shit that doesn't sound right.'

'I think I know what you mean, uh, this isn't the first time, is it? Happening to uh, guys like me?'

'No, though they don't, you know, they don't talk about it, but uh, I uh, I'll run that water and bring you a towel out. Okay?'

'Yeah sure, thanks.'

Blake watched Trent as he walked into the bathroom. It was almost as if he couldn't wait to get out of the room, yet at the same time he was staying, helping him. He didn't know what to make of it all, just that somehow Trent was thinking it was all his fault, but that was stupid. If anyone was to blame, it was him. After all, no one just grabbed a stranger, and did what they did to him, without him having done something. Everyone at the Hospital thought that, they had to know, after all, they were the one's who dealt with it. Even the Cops that showed up, seemed to think he had done something to provoke it, so they would know.

Thing was, he just didn't know what he had done. He kept thinking of it, wondering who he had pissed off like that? It had to be someone in the dorm, but who? There were a couple who might fit the build of the guys, but he didn't know them, hadn't spoken to them, or even really seen them much. So it was a mystery, one that was tearing at him, inside.

It was scary too, because while it was all nice and safe here, what about tomorrow? Wasn't like he was going to be allowed to stay here, plus he had classes to go to. How was he going to do that? Maybe he'd get a few days off, but he'd have to ask someone. Trent might know, but he didn't want to ask him. Maybe he should think of just going home?

Then too, how would he explain that one to his parents? He couldn't tell them what happened, and he suddenly grew paler, as he wondered if the Cops had already told them? What about the hospital? Were some of those papers he signed, giving them permission to call his family? Shit, that would get his mother in tears, and sure wouldn't make it easy. And if he did decide to quit, what would his father say? He was one of those who believed a man had to take his lumps.

As his mind was conjuring up all the difficulties ahead, he had missed seeing Trent coming back. He flinched as Trent was suddenly there, in front of him. His whole body shook, as he stared up at him. A huge towel in one hand. He tried to smile, but his mind was still thinking about his parents, about how to tell them he wanted to come home.

'Uh, sorry, didn't mean to startle you.'

'It's okay, guess I am jumpy.'

'I know, uh, want some help in uh, getting that stuff off?'

'Could you? My arms are.. what about the bandages? Can I, I mean..'

'Yeah they said you could get them wet. Come on, I'll uh, I'll give you a hand, then you can lean on me. Not like I can carry you like Max and Gordie did.'

He felt his chest ache a bit, as Trent moved in closer. He could smell his cologne, remembering how he had smelled it just the other night. It made him relax a bit, as he felt his borrowed clothes being taken off. Blake watched, in a sort of detached manner, as Trent carefully removed the shirt, then the pants. It was sort of sexy, actually, but he didn't feel his dick rising to the moment, and he wondered, would it turn Trent off?

Did he even still want him? How much of what had been done did he know? Blake found himself trying to think, to remember if he had said anything about the details, or if Trent had heard him telling the Police? Did he tell them? He just couldn't remember, things were still pretty foggy, and yet he could still feel the pain, the kicks.

'You okay? I didn't hurt you did I?'

Blake suddenly realized that he must have flinched or something. There was a look of worry on Trent's face, and he was leaning over, pulling the pant leg off, but had stopped when he had spoken.

'No, no, sorry, guess I was just.. no you didn't hurt me.'

'You sure? I mean..'

'I am sure Trent.'

He found himself leaning heavily on Trent, as they made their way to the bathroom. He found he was enjoying it, in a strange way. Maybe it was wrong, but he liked the way Trent smelled, the way he felt holding him. Still, he had this notion that it was wrong, that he shouldn't be thinking of last night, or of his touch. It felt wrong, but another part of him seemed to crave it, to want it.

Getting into the tub was awkward, but finally Trent managed to get his legs over the side, and into the hot water. It felt so good, that he sighed. The way the hot water seemed to wrap itself around him, finding every sore spot, just making it all feel better. Maybe it was the drugs and the hot water, or maybe it was Trent being there, he wasn't sure which, but that it all felt good.

Slowly he let the hot water work its magic. He let Trent shampoo his hair, and the smell of it made him relax even more. Or was it Trent's touch? He was still feeling confused about that, about how much he wanted him, yet how it didn't seem to get him showing it. In a sense, it was as if that part of him was still in shock, was still trying to forget what had happened.

In a sort of convoluted logic, he kept thinking that if he hadn't been such a whore the night before, letting go of himself in front of everyone, in going to the bushes with Trent, that what happened earlier wouldn't have. It was stupid, or was it? Obviously someone had seen him, or gotten wind of his secret, or tonight wouldn't have occurred. Yet as much as he tried, he couldn't think of anyone he had flirted with, or given the wrong idea too.

That simply wasn't him, so it had to be someone who had seen him, who seen him go into the bushes with Trent? Did he talk in his sleep, had he blurted it out at night, and his dorm roommate hear him? Could it be Trent's roommate? He didn't know, which only made him think it had to be someone who saw them, who came upon them going into the woods. It was his fault, for giving in to his need to be with another guy.

It had all seemed so right then, but now, now he felt like maybe he had pushed it too far. Maybe it was a sign, a signal that was trying to warn him off, to make him change? Just as the Preacher had tried to do, so many years ago? Strange, here he was naked in a tub of water, and he couldn't get it up, even with a hot guy next to him. It was like his mind was trying to ignore his thoughts, ignore how he felt about Trent.

Yet all night, he hadn't been able to think of anything else, to think of what it would be like, to have Trent buried deep inside of him, to feel the pain or pleasure that being in Trent might give him. Now all he could think of, was how he had let his evil hurt himself. It had to be that, just as the Preacher had said, as so many said.

Blake sighed, as he let Trent help him stand up, as he looked down to see how limp he was. He felt like it had been the cause of it all, that his dick had gotten him into trouble. It didn't make sense, but he couldn't think of any other reason, other than that. He sighed, feeling the pain still, as if the bath hadn't even been taken.

He might smell better, no longer from stale piss, or dirt or vomit. Yet inside, he felt like he could still smell it, still feel it over his body. Even looking at Trent didn't seem to dispel the feeling, as he was dried off, and helped back to the bedroom. His legs felt heavier, his heart even heavier. The drugs might dull the physical pain, but they weren't doing anything for his mind. He couldn't stop thinking of it, even as he felt the cool sheets over his body. All he could think of was that somehow his sexual firsts had led to being punished.

'I'll be in that chair, so uh, just holler if you need anything during the night, okay?'

Blake managed to smile at Trent, but he could clearly see his worry, and his guilt. What he had to feel guilty about he still didn't understand, besides he knew it hadn't been Trent's fault.


He saw how Trent made himself appear comfortable in the chair. He had a blanket over him, and he put his feet up on a stool. Turning his head away, he closed his eyes, hoping that sleep would overtake him, that it would end the constant pulsing of his mind. Blake felt the tiredness, felt the dull ache as he settled into the soft mattress, wondering what it would have been like if he hadn't been given his signal, his sign? Would he have gone all the way with Trent?

Blake felt himself drifting up, with thoughts of what it might have been like, if he hadn't screwed up so badly. Maybe that was it, maybe he had somehow signalled others, so as to not meet Trent later? Did he maybe try to get out of his planned tryst by flirting with someone? It could be, though he couldn't think of how, or when, or even with whom. It was just a mystery to him, as the sleep came.

As part of his mind tried to figure it all out, to find out who he had maybe pissed off, the other part of his mind was dredging it all back up. He could feel the hands reaching for him, feel them dragging him back into the darkness of the woods. He felt his heart pounding, felt himself screaming for help, until the blow came. He could hear the hate in the voice telling him to shut up. It all was there, as if it was still happening. The boots to the side, the stream of piss splashing against his lips, down his throat.

Blake could feel himself gagging, as they took turns. He could taste it, feel the ache in his stomach too. It was like it was happening, as he tried to stop it, as he struggles to scream out NO, but his words were drowned out by the hot stream of pee. It was his fault, but how? How did he let them know he was Gay, and why didn't he fight harder? Maybe he could have gotten away if he had only tried harder.

The words of hate were changing, he could hear them, calling to him. He cried out, feeling the pain, feeling the terror that had taken hold of him then. How his whole body had shook, as the one brought out the pole. He could hear himself begging, pleasing for him to not use it, but even as he cried out, he felt the hands on his shoulders, holding him down, keeping him from fleeing.

The voice wasn't the same. His mind suddenly wrenched him back to the moment, to the present. It wasn't any of their voices, nor were it their hands holding him down, as realization slowly came to him. He wasn't in the bushes now, but safe in a big comfortable bed. He could hear the voice clearer, knowing it wasn't from them.

'It's okay Blake, come on wake up, it's okay, it isn't your fault, you are safe now, come on, wake up.'

There was a small light on, next to his face, as he let his eyes adjust to it. His body was shaking, and he felt like he was bathed in cold water. He felt the chill, as he realized that it was Trent holding his shoulders. He felt suddenly exhausted, as his body sunk into the bed. It all came back to him, in a flood of emotion.

'it is, I know it, why else, why else would they have grabbed me, and done all those things to me? It is, it really is my fault.'


'How do you know? You weren't there.'

'I didn't have to be there, to know what you are feeling, to know how scared you were, and are.'

'You couldn't know, no one could who hasn't been.. I am sorry, you mean well, but it's my fault, I should never have.. never have given in to my own selfish needs. It is my fault.'

'I do know how it feels, it doesn't change.'

'What's that supposed to mean? You were.. I mean, were you, but when, here?'

'No, not here, but uh, I know.'

'How? How do you know?'

'Because, uh, well, I do.'

'That isn't good enough Trent, sorry, but, uh, this is, this isn't going to just go away, I so uh, I just..'

'You just want me to go, because you don't think you can ever have sex again, right?'

'How? How do you know that?'

Blake felt the strain in the room. The small light flickered a second or two, as if to heighten the tension he was feeling. The way Trent's face looked so drawn, so haggard. It was hard to look at, yet he couldn't pull his eyes away from him.

'It happened to me a long time ago, so I know, oh God, do I know.'

Trent let go of Blake's shoulders, and stood up, staring down at him. Then he moved back towards the chair he had been sitting in, and reached out to turn the small light off. Blake could see his darker shadow in the room, and he waited, feeling like there was a lot more to come.

'Better told in the dark, don't you think?'

The voice was riddled with pain, as he watched Trent move, and then come back towards the bed. He could feel him looking down at him, then slowly sit down on the side of the bed. Blake felt the mattress sag, as he also felt Trent's body next to his. Then a hand came out, and his body flinched, as the back of Trent's hand moved across his cheek.

He heard the deep sigh, felt the bed shake a bit too, as the hand moved along his face several times. Blake didn't move, as he waited for Trent to explain. His chest hurt, as he tried to comprehend what had been said. If Trent had been attacked as well, he might know how to fight the feelings he was having. He had gotten over it, or seemed to have, after all, last night he had certainly seemed to have no problem, not like Blake was feeling now.




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