Zander counted the money in his pocket. Almost six hundred dollars. Most of it pool winnings from Jake's. It wouldn't last long but Zander didn't let himself worry about that. His main concern was putting as many miles between him and Alcazar. He was doing fairly well in that regard. After leaving Jake's Zander had hitched a ride with a trucker. He had actually fallen asleep only to wake up four hundred miles away. He gave the guy twenty bucks, which was more than the trucker had wanted to accept, and now Zander was in small town USA. He didn't even want to know the name.
First thing he needed were clothes and toiletries. He found a general store and bought jeans, tee shirts, briefs, socks and a couple of sweaters. Then he bought soap, shampoo, a toothbrush and toothpaste, plus an Army sized backpack to carry it all in. Then he went in search of a place to stay and found a cheap motel that was surprisingly neat and clean. Next on Zander's list was food. The hotel clerk suggested Sally's diner and Zander made his way there. It was a fairly large place and surprisingly packed. Zander sat at the counter and ordered a cheeseburger. While he was waiting he noticed a *Help Wanted* sign and he asked one of the owners, who just happened to be *Sally* about the job.
Sally explained that she and her husband, Ralph, who did the cooking, were in dire need of waitresses. Two had quit in the past two days and the two left were working double shifts. Zander asked if a waiter would do. He had worked in a restaurant one summer as a kid and he figured he would remember how. Sally had hugged him to her ample bosom and asked if he could start now. Zander had asked if he could eat his cheeseburger first and Sally had agreed. So now he found himself employed and strangely...happy.
* * * * *
Luis was furious when Jack returned without Zander. He went into a full-blown rage, trashing his office, then he reached for the phone. He knew someone who owed him a favor. Someone who was good at finding people.
* * * * *
Brenda was worried about Zander. She prayed that Alcazar would never find him.
* * * * *
Zander enjoyed his new life. Sally and Ralph were great to work for and they took a liking to him. Although to them he was Alex Lewis, not Zander Smith. They never had children of their own and Sally had unofficially adopted him, insisting that Zander stay in the empty apartment over their second garage. It was a nice little place with it's own kitchen and bathroom, a bedroom and a small living room. And Zander had to insist on paying rent.
There were other perks as well. Leah. She was one of the two waitresses at the diner. She was two years older than Zander with red hair and blue eyes and they were attracted to each other. But it was more than sex. There was a friendship vibe there as well and Leah wasn't in any rush to make things serious between them. She just wanted to have fun and mind blowing sex. Zander was all for having both. And for the first time in a long time, he could sleep without dreaming. And most of the time he could forget the things Alcazar had done to him.
Six weeks passed and Zander let himself start to believe that this could be his future. And he was content. But he got spooked one night. Leah had a cold so she didn't sleep over. Zander slept alone for the first time since meeting her and he was plagued by nightmares. The memory of Alcazar fucking him and Geraldo raping him were so vivid that Zander woke up in a cold sweat and he could feel the ache inside him. He was shaking as he slid out of bed and padded over to the dresser. He still had three of the pills Woody had given him left and he took one now. Then he went back to bed and waited for sweet oblivion to wrap him in her dark embrace.
* * * * *
The nightmare passed and Zander let himself relax again. Leah had a girl's night out planned so Zander worked a double shift. And when Sally suddenly came down with a stomach flu, Zander pretty much did a double shift as two people. But he didn't mind the chaos or the pace, but he was worn out by the time he closed up. He sent Ralph home to check on Sally and closed the diner on his own. Then he headed to his apartment and was a bit surprised to find the door unlocked. He took two steps in then froze. Standing before him was a man he recognized from the dinner. Zander had waited on him and his friend a few hours ago. They had even chatted a bit, the guy telling him that he and his friend were just passing through town. Fear washed over Zander in a wave and he turned to bolt, only to find the other guy blocking his way. Then they were both on him, bearing him down to the floor and pinning him. A large hand clamped over his mouth to keep him silent while the first guy pulled out a syringe. Zander knew they had been sent by Alcazar. He whimpered as he felt the pinprick in his arm then his world faded to black.
* * * * *
Zander drifted to consciousness slowly. He became aware of the fact that he was lying down and that he was naked beneath heavy covers. Shifted his body and couldn't move his arms, then felt the straps around his wrists. Restraints. Reluctantly he opened his eyes and he wanted to scream in frustration. He was back in his room at Alcazar's manor. Back in his own private hell.
"Welcome home, Zander."
Zander said nothing as Alcazar moved into his line of vision. He didn't flinch as fingers combed through his hair. A part of him wished he had thought to get it cut while he had been gone. The part of him that still had the will to fight back. Zander knew he was going to lose, but he wanted to make Alcazar earn his victory.
Luis stroked a fingertip over Zander's face. "You've been a naughty boy, Zander. You know that I have to punish you."
"Go for it." It was little more than a whisper but it was all Zander had.
"I missed you." Luis leaned in and kissed the sweet lips, then he nipped his way down Zander's chest, tugging the sheet away to expose the naked body to his heated gaze. He curled his fingers around Zander's cock and stroked him to hardness.
Zander didn't want to react and he realized that Alcazar must have drugged him for his cock had a mind of its own. Zander closed his eyes. He didn't want this to happen again. "I'm sorry I ran away."
Luis kissed Zander into silence. "Don't talk." He leaned down to take Zander's cock into his mouth, sucking and nipping and licking the hard shaft until cum filled his mouth. He kissed Zander, thrusting his tongue into the boy's mouth, making him taste himself. "I missed the taste of you," Luis purred, even as he reached for some items on the bedside table.
Zander watched, feeling fear prickle up and down his spine, as Alcazar pulled on leather gloves then picked up the insignia ring he usually wore on his left hand. An *L* and an *A* intertwined within a circle. In his other hand he held a lighter and he flicked on the flame then held it to the ring. Zander knew that something bad was going to happen and he tugged at the restraints. Then Alcazar was spreading his legs and stroking his inner left thigh. Zander tried to pull away but Jack was suddenly there, pinning his legs and then he felt it, a searing pain as Alcazar pressed the heated metal of the ring into his flesh, burning the initials into him. Marking him permanently. A cry was ripped from Zander's throat then he bit down on his lip until it was bleeding.
"It's all over," Luis said softly as he put down the ring. He had an ice pack and he applied it to the burn, nodding at Jack to leave them. With his free hand, Luis smoothed Zander's hair, trying to soothe him. After a few minutes he checked the burn then reached for syringe. "This will take away the pain, Zander."
Zander said nothing. He closed his eyes and waited for the pinprick, waited for the darkness to consume him. And he almost wept in relief as he felt reality fading away.
© Shelly 2004