Just a reminder that Demon will be back in the New Year, but just for now we're sharing Silver's first Christmas, well the first Christmas he can remember. Silver was snatched when he was twelve and re-conditioned to be a sex slave. For the next seven years he served as a slave to one master after another, until he made the mistake of falling in love, for which he almost died. Rescued from his own mind by River, he is now settling into free life with River, and River's twelve year old brother, Ben
Check out the first installment Here
Today I have chosen the prompt - use a rainbow.
Ben used to hate me picking him up from school. I think we embarrassed him. I don’t really know why. River tried to explain, but it’s hard to understand why anyone would hate us, or even hurt us, just because of who we love. I’ve never really thought about it; it’s easier not to.
Today, Ben is excited to see me, and that makes me happier than anything but River.
“Where’s River? Are we going to get the tree now?”
“He’s borrowed a thing from Sam, so we’re going to drive in that.”
“Yes. It’s around the corner. I wouldn’t let him bring it too close because I know you get embarrassed about us anyway.”
Ben bites his lips and looks at the ground as we walk. I’ve come to recognise this as Ben being embarrassed, and I wonder what I’ve said to upset him.
Ben looks up. “Sorry for what?”
“For whatever I said that upset you.”
“You didn’t upset me. Why would you think––Oh. No, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I ever said I was embarrassed by you. I didn’t mean it. Not really. I could never be embarrassed by you. I love you too
That floors me. Ben’s not one to express emotion. River says he’s a typical teenager. That’s not my experience. When I was a teenager, I was a slave, and I didn’t have the option of expressing emotion anyway. Still, it’s the first time Ben’s told me he loves me, and it makes my eyes sting. I don’t know why people cry when they’re happy. It never used to happen to me. I suppose it’s because I didn’t have too many happy times.
“Will it embarrass you if I hug you?”
“I wouldn’t go that far,” Ben says, his voice gruff.
We exchange a glance. That’s enough.
We hear the engine before we see the…thing. It’s like a car, but it has a long, open back. I think Sam called it a truck. River says I’m spoiled because, before I met him, the only vehicles I can remember travelling in were limousines. I was quite famous, and only rich men could afford me. I was lucky, too, as my masters almost always treated me well. Other slaves weren’t so lucky.
“What the hell is this thing?” Ben asks, climbing into the front. I can ride in there with them, because they have three seats. Well, more like a long bench. I’ve never seen a car like this.
“It’s an old American truck Sam’s doing up. He hasn’t got to the engine yet.”
“I can hear that,” Ben says. “Let’s get going before anyone sees us.
“Still embarrassed by us?”
Ben shoots me a glance. “Not by you, but definitely by the truck.”
The journey isn’t pleasant. Enough said. Leave it at that. Eventually, we arrive at a place in the middle of nowhere, with a cabin, a fence, and lots of trees. I don’t have time to look around before I get out, because Ben’s bouncing with excitement. He almost pushes me out of the car, then bounds off toward the cabin. River is slower.
“My parents used to bring us here,” River says, his sadness shining in his eyes. He hardly ever talks about his parents. It’s been less than a year since the accident that stole them from him. Ben seems to have recovered much more quickly. “We’d come out the first weekend in December every year, no matter what. Dad would tie the tree to the roof. He was always complaining about it marking the paintwork.”
“That would be interesting. Why haven’t we tied ours to the car?”
“Because it did mark the paintwork, and we’d lose half the needles before we ever got home.”
“Needles?” The word makes me shiver. I don’t like needles.
“The little green leaves. They’re called needles because they’re thin and sharp.”
By this time, we’ve arrived at the cabin. A man is talking to Ben. He is smiling and he seems friendly.
“Come on.” Ben grabs my hand and drags me around the side of the cabin. I glance back, but River is talking to the man. I suppose he’d stop us if we weren’t allowed.
Behind the cabin is a little yard, then rows and rows of little trees of differing heights. Ben starts to run up and down the rows. His enthusiasm is contagious, and I run after him. He pauses before one of the trees.
“No, too big, we won’t fit it in. River’s ceilings are too low.”
He races on until he finds another one. It’s as big as he is.
“Hmm. Almost, but it’s not fat enough.”
Three trees later, he finds one he likes. By now, River has joined us, along with the man, who tells me his name is Rob. I think he owns the trees.
“This one,” Ben says firmly, pointing to the tree.
River gazes at the tree, with his head tilted to the side. “Isn’t it a bit too big at the bottom?”
“You’ll hurt its feelings if you say it’s too fat.”
“You won’t be saying that when you have to help us move all the furniture to fit it in.”
“I don’t care. You won’t have to move much. We can put it in the corner next to the window.”
“That would be a good place. The lights have to go in a plug, don’t they?” River nods affirmative.
“There are two plugs next to the window, so we can put one string of lights on the tree, and one around the window, like at the shop, to light the little houses.”
“What little houses?” Ben asks.
“The little houses Silver’s going to bring home from the shop for us to build.”
“Oh wow. Can we do it today?”
“I haven’t got them yet.”
“Okay. So can we have this tree?”
Now head off to check the other flashers this week
Next week, the boys will be decorating the tree, then on Christmas Day I will post a much longer story about Silver's thoughts on Christmas, and follow the boys right up to Christmas Eve, when we leave them to enjoy Christmas Day alone