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Upstaged Two - Waiting in the Wings
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The adventures of Erik, the American lead singer of The Von and his snarky and enigmatic British boyfriend continue. The Von are making it big but, with all the excitement of their first record deal and tour, they don't appreciate the dangers of leaving their lovers behind and travelling half way across the world. When someone starts taking snaps of Erik and Billy in compromising situations (with each other and others) and sending them to Asher and Vince, things really head up and it looks as if the relationships are broken beyond repair.
As if that wasn't bad enough a buried terror from Asher's past bursts suddenly into his present and turns it upside down. What results is a terrifying series of events that leads to Asher and Erik in the hands of a sadistic abuser while their friends resort to desperate measures to rescue them.
Frowning, on edge, and distinctly nervous, Erik watched as James tapped the laptop, bringing the screen to life.
It was Asher. But Asher as Erik had never seen him before; Asher as he never wanted to see him again. It was obviously a long time ago. Asher looked much younger, much different. His hair was shorter— shoulder length, and without the blue streaks— and his face was clean of makeup. Only his beautiful violet eyes were the same, as they stared out from the screen, almost as if he was reaching out, begging for help.
He lay on a bed, absolutely naked with his arms secured behind his back, and he was crying. There was something strange about the cries. They were hopeless, frantic, almost hysterical, but somehow directionless... blurred.
James appeared, also naked. He lay down on the bed next to Asher, glancing up at the camera. Again, Erik had the spooky feeling that he looked at him.
"Ssh, Asher. Ssh, darling. I'm here now, I'm here." He gently stroked Asher's hair and the frantic sobbing subsided to heart-wrenching, pathetic weeping.
"James? Help me, James. Please, James, please. Help me. Don’t let me die. Please, don't let me die."
"Hush now, darling. No one is going to die."
"The... the darkness, James."
"The darkness won't touch you while I'm here, darling. Be a good boy and I'll save you. I'll keep the darkness away."
"Please, James... Please...."
"Say you love me, Asher, beautiful boy."
"Tell me you love me, Asher, or I'll have to go."
"No..." Asher's cry was wrenched from him. He was terrified, and Erik suddenly realized what was going on.
What kind of fucking monster are you? What did you do to him? He looked between the screen and James's face and tried not to show his horror, his disgust at what happened in the video. He failed. “What the fuck did you do to him? What was he, maybe fourteen? He was just a child! What the hell did you do? What have you done to Asher?" he demanded, his eyes ablaze with anger.
James turned to him and smiled. "Enjoy the show, Erik. Take a good long look at what Asher was— and is— namely, mine. He’ll always be mine. No matter how far he tries to run, how hard he tries to hide, I will find him. He's mine and he knows it." He turned to look at the screen and gently stroked the boy who used to be Asher with his finger. "My baby," he crooned. "My whore. Beautiful, wasn't he? So fucking perfect. Is he still beautiful, Erik?"
Over my dead body he's yours. He's supposed to be mine! "Actually he's developed a horrible ogre-like twitch, ugly as hell. I don't think you'd go for him now for whatever little sick games you liked to play with a child. He's not anybody's. He's totally independent."
James smiled. "Yes, he thought that then, too. He was such a bad boy. Did you know that? Got in with the wrong crowd. He was on the run from the police when I took him. I bet you didn't know that. Darling little Asher, so sweet and full of fire. He fought me—in the beginning. Fought like a tiger." He ran his finger over the screen again. "But he didn't have a chance, not for a moment. No matter how hard he fought me - he couldn't fight the darkness."
Erik rolled his eyes. "I knew all about it, actually. I was like that too as a young kid, got in trouble all the time. He's a fighter again, you psycho. You didn't drive it out of him. You sure the fuck won't drive it out of me either, if that's your sick little goal. You're just some sex-crazed pedophile who had to take a little boy and make him your own, or try to. Next time, get a hooker, you freak!" He wished he could punch or kick that all too perfect face. It annoyed the hell outta him.
"Erik. Oh Erik, how naïve you are. You're not listening to me, not at all. Trust me, Asher is mine, body and soul and I will have him again. I should never have let him go. And you." He turned and laughed aloud. "Do you really think I'd want you, when I can have him? Oh, I'm sure you consider yourself to be quite a catch, but you're not my type, not at all."
"You're hardly my type either. I don't go for psychos. You brought me here as bait, obviously. Well you're wasting your fucking time. Asher and I aren't even speaking, so I doubt he'd waste his time looking for me at all. Your little trap is one big fat failure, Jimmyboy. So how about you just let me go, and we'll get on with our lives, capisce?"
James laughed again. "But that's where you're wrong; very wrong. By now, Asher will know you're here; all your little friends will. And he'll know who's here with you. I'd be very surprised if, when he saw my face, he didn't react rather badly. He wouldn't be able to live with himself if he didn't rush in like the bloody hero he always believed he was, and save you from the jaws of... well... me." James grinned his feral grin and regarded Erik through blazing eyes. "Don't doubt for one single moment that Asher will come for you. He'll have to. And then he'll be mine again. This time I won't let him go. I'll never let him go."