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Kass stared at the door, eyes wide, in total disbelief. Sean and Zach stopped the music when they realized that Kass wasn’t playing along. They caught his gaze and their eyes veered towards the door.
“Unbelievable.” Sean hissed under his breath, his eyes narrowing into two thin slits.
“Hello Boys.” Mickey gave a sort of playful salute as he descended the stairs into the make-shift recording studio located in Kass’s parent’s basement.
“Um, hi…” Kass watched Mikey carefully. He was at a loss. He still just couldn’t process what he was seeing. He sucked in a breath then asked the first question that had entered his mind. “What are you doing here?”
Mikey laughed as if Kass had just made a hilarious joke. “We have less than a week before the big concert.” Mikey told him. “If we even have a hope at winning, and we will win, we need to log in all the rehearsal time that we can. Am I right?”
“We weren’t planning to go through with the battle.” Sean spoke up. “We only have three members. We need four at a minimum.”
“You have four.” Mikey walked over to the other man and stood beside the microphone, slightly pushing Sean out of the way, making his intentions clear. “Or did you forget about me?”
Zach raised an eyebrow and frowned. “We figured it would be kind of hard for you to sing behind bars.”
“My old man posted bond.” Mikey wrapped one of his big hands around the microphone and leaned into it, staking ownership of the thing.
Kass and the other two band members looked from one another nervous and unsure of what to do next. They hadn’t expected Mikey to get out of jail let alone just show up like he had. In fact, they kind of preferred him in jail.
They couldn’t fool themselves, or Mikey for that matter. They were scared of him. That gave Mikey and uncomfortable edge. He asserted himself back into the fold and threatened to take command. His body language told them that he wasn’t about to take no for an answer.
“Just…give us a second.” Kass told him. He motioned for the other two to follow him to another corner of the basement where they could talk, out of Mikey’s ear shot.
“Yeah, sure thing.” Mikey laughed, almost patronizingly. “Discuss it among yourselves.”
Kass gave him a weary nod then huddled in with Zach and Sean.
“What the fuck?” Sean gasped.
Kass ran a hand through his long dark hair. “Alright, let’s just stay calm here. Obviously we can’t preform with him. Not after everything he’s done. The dude is sick. We just have to tell him no. If we refuse to let him back in then what can he do?”
Sean shrugged. “Kill us?”
“Well, let’s just think about this.” Zack interjected. “Nothing’s actually been proven yet, right? How the hell do we know that he did what he was accused of anyway? He didn’t tell us what he was planning, we weren’t party to it, so how do we know that it didn’t go down exactly as he said it did?”
Kass shot Zack a disapproving stare. “Do you really believe that?”
Zack shrugged. “Innocent until proven guilty.”
“And what about if he is proven guilty?” Sean asked. “Do we really want to be known for having a convicted rapist in our group?”
“Well, look at it this way.” Zack told them. “Right now no body but Mickey knows what really happened. Mikey and that kid that is. So, we can’t really be held accountable if we don’t know the truth and as far as what Mikey has told us, its all bullshit. We can’t play at the battle with only three guys, and you have to admit winning that money would be nice. If after the concert Mikey is found guilty then he goes to prison, problem solved, and we get the cash.”
“And if he doesn’t get convicted?” Kass asked.
Zack shrugged. “Then we kick him out of the band for being a total douche bag. The fact is, we need him right now. It’s too late to find another vocalist and lead guitar. Plus, I really think we have a shot at winning. You know all Mikey cares about is beating Desire. Once we win he’ll likely just go off on his own and that’s fine with me. We can worry about finding another member after the concert is over but for right now let’s take advantage of the fact that we have our fourth member back and are still in the competition.”
“I don’t know.” Kass glanced over at Mikey. The guy was creepy, even without the pending allegations against him. Kass got the chills just looking at him, it was like staring into the eyes of the devil. “Every part of me is saying to run. He’s bad news, I just don’t want him to drag us down with him. If not now then later. He’s psychotic, you can’t deny that. He’s a ticking time bomb and I don’t want to be anywhere near him when he explodes.”
“I understand what you’re saying bro, but he’s our only chance of walking away with that five grand.”
“Is the money really worth it though?”
“I think it is.” Sean looked from Kass to Zack. “Do we really want to play garage parties and low profile nightclubs the rest of our lives?”
“See, Sean’s with me.” Zack put his bahis firmaları hand on Kass’s shoulder. “We need to be unanimous here. Kass, you’re the only one that has a problem with this.”
“Oh I have a problem with it.” Sean told them. “I just choose necessity over…”
“Morality?” Kass raised an eyebrow.
“Luxury.” Sean corrected.
Kass sighed, defeated. “I guess I don’t really have much of a choice here.”
Zack smiled and squeezed his shoulder. “Kass, dude, you won’t regret it.”
Kass nodded as his eyes moved slowly over to where Mikey was waiting. “Oh…I’m pretty sure that I will.”
“This is fucking outrageous!” Rick was pacing back and forth in the middle of the room. He was in a fury.
Avery sat on the edge of the couch, bent over, with his head in his hands. He was upset, but it was more frustration and exhaustion then actual anger. He’d spent enough time being angry, he just wanted the whole situation with Mikey to be over so that he could move on with his life. He was seriously, sick to death, of hearing that man’s name.
“I can understand how upset you are…” Hanson tried his best to calm Rick down but he could see that it wasn’t going to be easy.
“You have no idea how upset I am.” Rick growled.
“It’s really out of my hands.” Hanson explained.
“Oh bullshit!” Rick snapped. “If you’d done your fucking job!”
“Rick…” Avery looked up. “It’s not Hanson’s fault.” He sighed. Honestly Avery didn’t blame Hanson, he knew how these things worked. what he didn’t know is where Mikey’s dad got the money to bond him out. He imagined he’d put his house up but he didn’t know for sure. It didn’t matter anyway. What mattered was that Mikey was out, and that was a concern.
“Look, he’s not allowed within five hundred feet of you. He’s not allowed to contact you are Rick and for the time being he’s been released into his father’s custody. He has a curfew and believe me, I’ll be checking to make sure he doesn’t break it. If you see him near you, if he calls you, if he so much as sends you a Christmas card, call me. I’ll have his ass back behind bars quicker than shit.”
“If you think a court order is going to stop him then you don’t know Mikey very well.” Rick sat down next to Avery and put his arm around him. “Avery isn’t safe as long as that animal is roaming around free.”
“You’re right to be concerned, but let me deal with Mikey. If he shows up, call me. Before you do anything else. We don’t want any vigilante justice screwing things up for this case. We have a chance to put him away for a long time, so just let me and my people handle this. Stay vigilant, but keep your noses clean, and above all…” He stared right at Rick as he spoke. “Do not, under any circumstances, go after him?”
“Let you handle it?” Rick glared at Hanson coldly. “Like you’ve handled things so far? Like you handled things at the hospital? Oh wait, that’s right, KAT handled things there. Maybe you should hire her to handle things for you because honestly, from where I’m standing, it doesn’t seem like you and your people have done a hell of a lot. Where were the uni’s that you promised to send to keep Mikey from walking into the hospital, twice?
Where’s the so called justice that you promised us? People like Mikey-murderers, rapists, psychopaths-they’re running around free while the rest of us sit in fear every fucking night that one of them is going to barge through the door; and what have your people done about it? jack shit, that’s what! I’m sick of it, we’re sick of it! Why the hell is Mikey walking around free? You say he has right? Well fuck that! What about our rights? What about my right to go to work everyday and feel content to leave Avery here knowing that he’ll be fine when I come back? Or Avery’s right to feel safe in his own God-damn home!
Stop protecting the fucking criminals and think about everyone else for once because you know what? I don’t give a flying shit about Mikey’s rights, or the rights of any other scum bag that does the kind of shit he did! As far as I’m concerned they forfeited any rights they might have had when they murder, rape, rob, and terrorize decent people! As far as I’m concerned those animals aren’t even human anymore! They deserve about as much rights as a disease infested rat colony that gets exterminated!”
Hanson sighed. He ran a hand over his nearly bald head as he took a moment processing what Rick had said. “Rick please, you have to trust me that we’re doing everything we can.”
Rick shook his head and rolled his eyes. “Right, the only time the cops do anything is after the crimes already been committed. I’ll tell you what, next time one of us is murdered, we’ll call you.”
“Rick that isn’t fair.” Hanson said.
“Fair? What isn’t fair is us sitting here waiting the police to do something when you all are just standing around with your dicks in your hands, and then you tell me to let you handle it. Well, I’ve waited for you do something and look where it’s kaçak iddaa gotten us. Maybe it’s time I did something instead.”
“Just think about what you’re saying Rick. You don’t want to run off half cocked and do something that we’re both going to regret.”
“Yeah, sure…” Rick walked to the door and opened it, staring at Hanson hard. “I’ll keep that in mind. You have a nice rest of your day now, officer.”
Hanson grumbled, frustrated, as he walked towards the door. He glanced back at Avery once before leaving. “Don’t let him do something stupid.” He said.
“I’ll do my best.” Avery said softly.
Hanson nodded then exited the apartment. Rick slammed the door after him, then mumbled something under his breath that Avery couldn’t quite make out.
“Weren’t you a little hard on him?” Avery asked.
“Not at all.” Rick told him. “The cops around here are about useless. If they’d done their jobs Mikey wouldn’t be out right now and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”
Avery sighed as Rick sat back down next to him. He didn’t want to argue with Rick. He didn’t have the strength to argue, or think, or feel. It seemed like all of his emotions had suddenly went on overload and short circuited. It wasn’t just finding out that Mikey was out but a combination of that and the up coming concert. The news of Mikey had been what finally did it though. Avery was holding on by a thread before, but after Hanson’s visit that thread had finally just snapped.
Avery didn’t blame Hanson though, or the police department. He knew that they had done what they could. Rick was just frustrated. The last thing either of them planned on was Mikey being able to post bond, but it was what it was. It didn’t mean that they’d lost anything. He’d still go to trial, and he’d still lose. Then he’d be out of their lives for good. Avery had faith in that. After everything he’d already been through, things had start looking up. They just had to.
Rick didn’t know what to do. He felt totally useless at this point, like he’d lost the ability to protect the man that he loved. It was a terrible, sinking feeling, like a dark cloud over his head and an impending storm that he couldn’t escape from. He hated that Mikey still had this kind of power over him and Avery. He hated that they couldn’t walk five feet from their front door without being afraid; and he hated that each and every time he left Avery alone he was terrified that he might come home and find him missing again. Rick knew that if Mikey got to Avery again, he wouldn’t leave him half alive in front of some hospital. If Mikey got to Avery again, he’d never be found at all.
That was what scared Rick most of all, that Mikey might actually get the chance to finish what he started. That kind of fear was so crippling and so intense that it could inspire things in a person that they might never have felt or even thought of before. Rick wasn’t a violent man, not really, but the fear of losing Avery made him seriously rethink his own moral constitution. What was considered unacceptable in normal circumstances was beginning to seem more reasonable in the current situation.
The police obviously weren’t going to do anything. Rick couldn’t rely on them for protection anymore than he could rely on them to keep that bastard locked up until trial.
So, that left the question, if the police weren’t going to do anything who would? And, how far was Rick willing to go to keep Avery safe?
These questions rang in his mind as he entered shaggys that Friday before the big battle. He knew it was going to be a battle in more ways than just one and honestly, he still had no idea how they were going to pull it off. With Mikey out and about he was sure to be back with screaming metal and they would be there preforming right before Desire went on. How could Rick expect Avery to sing now, knowing that Mikey was going to be there?
Avery on the other hand was less worried about it than Rick. At least, if he was worried, he didn’t show it. Fuck Avery was brave. Rick thought to himself. How someone could go through what he’d gone through and still come out on top, he had no idea. It’s like there was something inside of that kid that just refused to let anything stand in his way. Something inside of him that kept him going through anything, through any obstacle, no matter how hard things got, he pushed through and refused to give up.
Rick admired that so much in Avery. He admired his strength as well as his heart and most of all, his determination. Avery was a fighter. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind about that.
Even if Avery himself didn’t see it, the others did. He inspired the same in them as well. His fighters spirit was something that gave strength and courage to those around him. Whether he saw it or not or was even aware of it, Avery was the foundation on which the band was built. He gave the others hope and inspired greatness in each of them.
Rick wasn’t entirely comfortable with leaving Avery alone but kaçak bahis Kat had offered to stay with him while Rick went to Shaggys. Trash had gone with him, giving Kat and Avery time to have an unofficial “girls day”. What that meant Trash wasn’t sure. He figured they’d probably do each others nails and watch sad movies. The fact that Avery had a penis didn’t exactly cement his place in the proverbial “man’s club”. More times than not he was actually more like a girl than a guy. It wasn’t an insult, just more like fact. That was Avery and everyone accepted it. In some ways, it was even a bit endearing.
Rick could honestly have cared less if Avery was male or female. Gender wasn’t a condition upon which he based his love for him. It helped to have the physical attraction and there was no issue at all with that. Avery was dead sexy and Rick couldn’t get enough of him. Sure he was a bit apprehensive at first when he thought about what it would be like, being with a guy. It was more or less just knowing what was acceptable, and how to respond appropriately. Rick’s only real sexual experiences had been with women and he was uncertain of how to act with another man when it came to the romantic stuff.
Surprisingly though, he discovered that it really wasn’t all that different. Not saying that Avery himself was more female than male because he wasn’t, not really, he was more of an equal balance of the two. But, being with him emotionally was really no different that any other relationship that Rick had had in the past. The struggles they faced at first was Rick wondering who should open the door for whom and who should pull out who’s chair. Thankfully though Avery had no issues with allowing himself to be somewhat pampered, he even seemed to enjoy it, and so the roles within their relationship were quickly defined.
Though Rick really didn’t like when someone questioned them, who’s the man and who’s the woman, and he was certain that Avery disliked such questions as well. They were both men and they had an equal partnership in the relationship. It was unfair to define one as the weaker sex or the stronger one because in reality, even straight relationships don’t always follow such norms. Avery didn’t really see the need for labels anyway, nor did he like to be defined.
True he was slightly more effeminate than Rick, and there was no denying that he looked better in a dress, but that didn’t automatically mean that he had a vagina. He just wished more people would realize that when speaking to him. There was nothing about him, or inherit in his personality, that made him weaker in any sense. That’s not to say that women are weak either. Kat certainly proved that when she beat the shit out of Mikey.
When it comes right down too it, it’s what is in the heart of the individual that defines who they are, if they must be defined at all. Gender, sexual orientation…none of that really plays a role in deciding what type of a person someone will become, and it shouldn’t be a deciding factor in how they will be treated by others.
That was what Rick had learned since meeting Avery. Everyday was a new learning experience for him and everyday he found himself growing as both an individual, and as a lover. Rick wanted to spend his life with Avery. He knew that now more than ever. The very thought of losing him only made him want to hold on that much tighter. Avery was smothering though, Rick could see it. He knew that he had to loosen his grip a little. Just enough to give Avery room to breathe. He could shelter and protect Avery all he wanted but he couldn’t force him to live in a cage. As much as that thought had its appeal, Avery couldn’t survive that way.
Rick needed help. He needed advice. And the one person who’s advice he trusted more than anyone else was Boomer, his surrogate father. If anyone could lead Rick in the right direction it was Boomer, so Rick had called Trash and Kat and asked for their help as well. Kat to stay with Avery, so that Trash and Rick could visit Boomer without Avery worrying about what Rick was up to. It wasn’t that he wanted to lie to Avery, he just felt that Avery was better off not worrying about things. That’s where Kat came in. Her job was to keep his mind occupied with something other than Mikey and his untimely release from lock up.
While Kat and Avery were busy doing whatever it was they had decided to do, Trash, Rick, and Boomer, would see to the more pressing issue at hand. What to do about Mikey, and how to keep Avery safe when they all showed up together at the band stand where Rick knew that Mikey was sure to be, ready to take one final stab at destroying Avery and crushing Desire. Rick already knew that he would be willing to do whatever it took to get Mikey out of their lives for good. Even if that meant killing the bastard himself. Rick only hoped that if worse came to worse, Avery would understand, and not hate him for what he felt he had to do.
“Personally, I think you’re blowing the whole thing out of proportion.” Trashed picked up the half empty bottle of beer and downed the rest of it in one quick, gulp. “Mikey’s nuts but he’s not stupid. He’s out on bond, he won’t fuck up or he’ll end up right back behind bars.”
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