Jason had been watching Zander. Ever since he had left the kid at the hotel to seek out Speed. Jason had taken care of the guy. He would never hurt Zander again. Since that day, Jason hadn't called Zander to meet him. He knew that Zander was relieved. That had been almost two weeks ago. And during that time, Zander had muddled his way back into the dark side, as it were. He was hooked up with Speed's old buddies. Word had gotten to Jason that Zander was dealing again. That was why he was watching him now, watching and waiting. The time had to be right. So he stayed in the shadows, watching Zander and the others talking together on the docks. After a while the others moved off but Zander remained behind. Jason strode out of the shadows. "Let's go for a drive," he said.


Zander turned pale. "Hey, Jason. Look…now is not a good time. Maybe tomorrow night. Okay?"


"Let's go." Jason didn't respond to Zander's pleas. He never did. He didn't have to. Zander understood that, but tonight he vibrated with fear and that angered Jason. He took Zander by the arm and pulled him along. He knew that Zander went with him because he didn't want to make a scene. They climbed the stairs then made their way to Jason's car. Jason shoved Zander into the passenger seat, then slid behind the wheel. "Buckle up," he ordered, then he started the car and they drove off.


"Where are we going?" Zander asked.


Jason didn't reply. He simply kept driving, ignoring all of Zander's questions. Eventually the kid fell quiet. They left the city limits and continued on for another four hours. Jason then turned onto a side road which headed back into the woods for almost two miles. Finally he pulled up in front of a small cabin. "Get out." He didn't wait for Zander to obey him before stepping out himself.


Zander did as he was told, but the moment he was free of the car, he took off running.


"Fuck!" Jason cursed, before he took off after him. Zander was fast and Jason might not have caught him had he not stumbled over an exposed tree root. Jason put on a burst of speed then he leapt forward, tackling Zander to the ground. He pinned the smaller man beneath him, holding fast against Zander's struggles.


"Get off me!" Zander shouted.

Jason released one wrist, only so that he could cuff Zander up side the head. The boy fell silent, but only for a moment.

Zander glared at Jason, sullenly. "What the fuck are you doing? And why did we have to come all the way out here for a fuck?"


"You're selling again, Zander," Jason countered. "Are you using too?"


"What are you talking about?" Confusion glittered in Zander's eyes.

Jason's eyes were cold as he locked them on Zander's. "I saw you with Otis. Speed's right hand man. You've been hanging with him for the past week. I know you've exchanged money. I've been told you're dealing again."

Zander shook his head. "You've been told wrong."

"Then why were you with Otis?"


"You killed Speed…didn't you?" Zander fired the question at Jason.


Jason didn't blink. "I talked with Speed. He got the message not to hurt you again."

Zander snorted. "Yeah…I'm sure he got the message. Look...I told you to let it go and you wouldn't listen. I owed some money from my time with Sorel. Speed was running interference with the people I owe. Otis isn't interested in running interference, so I did some work for him."


"It's not what you think."

Jason didn't believe him. He wanted to believe, but he didn't. "You could have come to me with the truth. I would have taken care of it for you." In the end he still would. He would not let Zander put himself at risk. Jason needed him too much.

Zander struggled against the hands that pinned him, but soon gave up. "Look...I don't want you to keep saving me. You got that? I don't need you to save me."


"You're wrong." That was all Jason would say as he pulled Zander to his feet. He yanked a pair of handcuffs out of his pocket at the same time and clipped them on the boy's wrist before Zander could react to what was happening. Jason couldn't let this go unpunished. Zander had to understand that.


"What are you doing?" Zander tugged at the cuffs. "Jason...look...I'm sorry, okay? Can we go home now?"

Jason didn't reply, he simply dragged Zander with him, taking him into the cabin. He pushed him over to the king sized bed that took up most of the space in the main room. There was another set of cuffs already attached to the head board.

Zander saw them and tried to bolt again. He didn't make it two steps when a fist slugged him in the temple. He crumpled to the floor.


"You never learn," Jason whispered, as he undid the cuffs then picked Zander up to lay him on the bed. He removed Zander's jacket, then he cuffed each wrist, separately, to the head board. Then he started a fire. It was the only heat in the place. By the time he got it going, Zander was awake.


"I hate you," Zander hissed, as he tugged on his restraints. "So what now, Jason? You fuck me into submission?"


Jason moved to the bed and he didn't miss how big Zander's eyes got as he approached. The kid was trying to bluff his way out of this, but he could see the fear that shadowed the hazel eyes. He could see that Zander was shaking. Jason was glad. He wanted Zander to be afraid. He wanted him to learn something this time. "You always have to make things complicated, Zander," Jason stated, as he pulled a switchblade out of his pocket. Then he crawled onto the bed and straddled Zander's hips so that he could cut away his shirt.


Zander struggled at first, but stopped when the blunt side of the blade would brush his skin. He glared at Jason. "Yeah? Well, you over-simplify everything. There's no right or wrong for you. No black or white. Everything is Jason's way or no way! Well fuck that! I'm tired of you using me!"


"You need me." Jason was right about that, but he needed Zander even more. Something he would never admit to the kid. Sometimes he couldn't admit it to himself. Jason cut away Zander's shirt then went to work removing Zander's boots, socks, jeans and boxers. It wasn't an easy task, since Zander kept trying to kick him. But Jason worked patiently. When he had Zander naked, he slid back off the bed to simply look at him. Some people might not see past Zander's flaws, even Zander often didn’t. But Jason did. He saw how truly beautiful the kid was, and it went deeper than the physical. Zander had a soul.


"God I hate you!" Zander hissed, fighting back tears. He tugged at his restraints, but he was helpless.


Jason almost smiled as he watched Zander's struggles. Zander was always struggling with something. Guilt, fear, anger. He even struggled with happiness. But he felt that struggle. And Jason sometimes felt a glimmer of it through him. But right now what he felt most of all was anger. Zander was so perfect in so many ways yet he kept trying to destroy it, to destroy himself. Jason couldn't allow that. He moved to the end of the bed, his eyes locked on Zander, on how open and exposed and truly magnificent he was. And that fueled his anger more at what he could lose if Zander didn't learn one very important lesson. That he needed Jason. He needed him in all ways and in all things.


Zander watched Jason climb onto the bed between his legs. He tried to kick him as a thick pillow was shoved under his back. He bit his lip as he watched Jason free his own cock and slick it, just barely, with lubricant. Then his legs were pushed open and back and the tip of Jason's cock was pressed against his opening. ", please," Zander begged.


"You have to learn," Jason whispered. He closed his mind to Zander's pleas as he thrust hard, snapping his hips forward. No stretching to prepare Zander and just a slick of lube on himself to prevent his own burning. But there would be pain for them both. He made it halfway in and he heard Zander's cry of pain. It fueled Jason to push deeper, until he was sheathed completely. He could feel how tense Zander's body was, how it radiated with pain, and Jason closed his eyes as he let himself feel it too.


"Stop…please stop!" Zander begged, as he tried to find leverage to pull away.


Jason allowed him none. He held the slim hips with hard fingers. He watched as tears slid down Zander's face, and then he began to move, full pull out to the tip of his cock and a hard thrust in, slamming in full length. It didn't take long to feel a slickness that he knew would be blood. Zander's blood. And for some reason that made Jason angry, that Zander had forced him to do this. To make him bleed.


Zander tugged at his restraints, trying hard to break free, trying to pull himself up and away from Jason. "Please...please stop, Jason...please," Zander pleaded. But his pleas fell on deaf ears.


"I didn't want it to be like this," Jason whispered, never once breaking the rhythm of his thrusts.


"I hate you!" Zander screamed in pain and in fury, his body rocked by Jason's pistoning thrusts.


Jason never faltered. He methodically brought on his release. He emptied his seed into Zander, and he marked him as it was mixed with Zander's blood. It had to be this way. Zander had to be reminded of the way things were between them. The way they would always be. Jason pulled out, reached for a corner of the sheet to clean himself, then tucked his spent cock back into his pants. He then went into the bathroom, wet a towel, and cleaned the blood and semen from Zander. His touch should have been clinical, but he was angry and he knew he was causing Zander pain. Jason didn't flinch from it, nor did he react to Zander's soft sobs. He was still angry. He should have been pleased that he had accomplished what he had set out to do. Zander was broken in this moment. Later, Jason would pick up the pieces and put him back together. Zander would never forget this moment between them. Jason would not let him forget.


When he was done cleaning Zander, Jason tossed the bloodied towel to the floor. That had been more blood than he had realized there would be. He had torn Zander inside. But he would heal, in time. Jason then reached for a metal cuff with a long chain attached. He had placed it under the bed. He now clasped the cuff around Zander's left ankle, pinning his leg when Zander tried to kick him.


"NO! NO!" Zander shouted. "Don't...Please don't leave me here alone. I'm sorry...I'm sorry, Jason. I'll do whatever you want!" Desperation colored Zander's voice as he begged.


"Shut up." Jason whispered the words but they were laced with steel and Zander obeyed. Jason pulled the covers up over Zander then undid the cuffs on his wrists. "I'll be later and we'll talk. After you've had some time to think about what you did, Zander."

Zander glared at Jason through his tears. "I didn't do anything, you bastard!" he whispered. "I didn't do anything wrong."


Jason turned away. He collected Zander's jacket and boots, on the off chance that he was able to free himself. Then he walked out of the cabin, locking the door behind him. Then he got in the car and headed back to Port Charles. He would return in the morning and he and Zander would talk. And Zander would understand the way it had to be.


* * * * *


The moment Jason was gone, Zander yanked back the covers and tried to get the ankle cuff off. All he accomplished was making himself bleed. But that pain was welcome as it helped to neutralize the other pain he was feeling. And not all of it was physical. He could still feel Jason inside him. He could still see the coldness in the other man's eyes. Zander shuddered and drew the blankets back over himself before curling up into a ball and crying himself to sleep.


* * * * *


Jason reached Port Charles in just over two hours. He pushed the speed limit every mile. He was still angry at Zander. It never should have come to this. Jason tried to push the memory of what had happened at the cabin aside as he parked outside of Kelly's. He got out of the car and was almost to the door of the place when Lucky Spencer and another uniformed cop appeared before him.

Lucky had his cuffs in hand. "Jason Morgan, you're under arrest."


"For what?" Jason countered, even as he let himself be hand cuffed.


"For the disappearance of John Torbin, aka Speed."

Jason didn't respond. He simply let himself be led away.


* * * * *


Zander woke up and tried to free himself again. His fingers were stained with his own blood and he was still trapped. And cold. He realized that the fire was dying out and there was no wood inside the cabin. Maybe Jason wanted him to freeze. To be as frozen as Jason's heart and soul. Huddling under the blankets, Zander kept working on getting free.


* * * * *


Scotty Baldwin questioned Jason for over six hours before locking him in a cell. Jason had said nothing the entire time, beyond asking for his lawyer. Baldwin used stalling tactics. Jason knew they wouldn't be able to hold him past seventy-two hours. Under normal circumstances he simply would have bided his time. But he had to get back to Zander. He hadn't left any wood for the fire, or any food or water. Zander wouldn't last for three days. Jason closed his eyes. He would find a way out.


* * * * *

How much time passed, Zander didn't know. He drifted in and out of consciousness. When he was awake he was freezing. The bed was soaked with blood and he was hungry and thirsty. He would work at the link on the cuff then drift off again. This time when he got out of bed to go to the bathroom, he realized something. He was free. The link had opened enough to free him of the chain. Zander didn't remember when it happened. He didn't care. He used the bathroom, limping his way there and stumbling a few times. Then he found his pants and pulled them on. It seemed to take forever because his fingers felt numb with cold. His shirt was tattered so he ignored it, but he grabbed the blanket off the bed and wrapped it around him. Jason had left him here to die. But Zander wouldn't give him the satisfaction. He was going home. He made it to the door and fumbled with the lock. He was almost in tears when it wouldn't open, but then he heard the click and turned the knob. He caught his breath at the blast of frigid air, then he stepped out into the snow, leaving a bloody trail behind him.


* * * * *


Jason was released. His lawyer got a glare rather than a thank you. Slamming out the doors of the PCPD, Jason came to a halt when he came face to face with a white out.


His lawyer joined him on the steps. "It's been snowing nonstop for the past twelve hours. That's why I was late getting here. I got stuck twice.


Thoughts of Zander danced in Jason's head. He had to get to the cabin. But he would need supplies. Once he got there, Jason had his doubts about getting them back home for a while. He pulled out his cell phone and made a call. Two hours later one of Sonny's guards showed up with a four-wheel drive SUV, packed with the supplies Jason had asked for. He got in and drove off. Over forty-eight hours had passed since he had left Zander alone.


Jason found himself cursing as he drove. He could barely go thirty miles an hour and at times he was barely crawling along. He was angry all over again, but this time at himself. He had pushed Zander to the breaking point. Not to teach Zander a lesson so much as to prove to himself that he didn't need what Zander could give him. What might have been his for the taking, had he only asked for it. And now it would be too late to ask. Jason felt a flicker of fear and it shook him. To feel this. To feel anything. Only Zander could give him this, and he had just destroyed the one person who could make him feel alive.


* * * * *


Jason finally reached the cabin. He jumped out of the SUV and headed for the door only to stumble over something in the snow. Someone. Jason felt a moment of panic as he realized it was Zander. He lifted the boy in his arms and carried him to the SUV and placed him inside. It was warm inside and Zander was cold and shivering and unconscious. Jason turned the engine back on and blasted the heat, then he grabbed a blanket and tucked it around Zander. He left him in the SUV while he grabbed the supplies, making two trips into the cabin.

The first thing Jason did was restart the fire with the wood he had brought. He also had a kerosene heater and he started that up as well. Then he stripped the bed of the bloody sheets, lifting the pooled chain and wincing as he realized the pain Zander must have endured to break free. The desperation in the act. The desperation he had driven Zander to. Pushing those thoughts aside, Jason remade the bed with clean linens then he unpacked the box of supplies. He had soup and coffee and other easy to make foods. He had bottled water, which he knew Zander would need alot of. He had also had a first aid kit, thinking about how he had made Zander bleed from the fucking, not expecting he would need the ointment, aspirin and antibiotic for another reason.


Once everything was set up in easy reach, Jason returned to the SUV. He carried Zander into the cabin and laid him out on the bed. He stripped off the cold and bloodied blanket and the wet pants. He then dressed Zander in sweat pants and a tank top. He didn't want to layer him too heavily because he was burning up. So Jason only covered him with one blanket and realized he had been lucky. Zander couldn't have been outside for long. Once he had Zander settled, he grabbed a bottle of water and trickled some into Zander's mouth. He had to get him hydrated, and awake enough to swallow some aspirin and antibiotic. To Jason's relief, Zander stirred.


"'t leave me.." Zander whispered, his voice hoarse.


"I won't leave you, Zander," Jason replied. "I promise." He watched as Zander's eyes fluttered open, but there was no recognition there. Only pain and the glaze of fever. Jason grabbed the pills. He pushed them into Zander's mouth then pressed the water bottle to his lips. He was grateful when Zander made an attempt to hold the bottle. When he tried to guzzle the water, Jason pulled it back. He didn't want Zander to get sicker. He gave him a little more then felt Zander sag into unconsciousness again.

Jason grabbed the first aid kit. He then got a clean towel and went to work cleaning up Zander's ankle. First he unlocked the cuff then he cleaned away the blood to reveal the damage. The skin was raw and on the outside of Zander's ankle stretching for about three inches, was a deep and jagged wound. Jason didn't react as he cleaned it with peroxide, not even when he felt Zander twitch and moan. Thankfully, he didn't wake up. Jason worked fast and methodically, bandaging the ankle then tucking Zander's leg back under the covers.


He took the bloody towels and tossed them in a garbage bag, then he washed his hands. To Jason's surprise, his hands were shaking. He dried them then ran his fingers through his hair, catching himself. It was something Zander always did. Jason shook away the thought and reminded himself that his battle had just begun. He had to get Zander's fever down. He grabbed a basin and filled it with snow, then brought it inside. He added some water to melt it down then used the cold liquid to wet a towel. He wrung it out then went to Zander and pressed it to his neck for a time. Then he would move it to under his arms, across his forehead, down his chest and so on, over and over again. Stopping only when the water was warm, which happened too quickly each time, then going to get more snow and repeating the process.


Four hours later, Jason got more aspirin down Zander. Then he continued on with trying to cool Zander off. At one point he stopped for a time. He knew he needed to eat and rest. So he was sitting in the chair when Zander came awake abruptly. Erupting out of some nightmare.




Jason was at his side instantly. "'s okay. You're okay now." It stunned Jason to hear the anger in his voice, and the way his words sounded more like a command, than reassurance. He was startled when Zander's eyes locked on him suddenly. Jason reached out to smooth the damp hair from Zander's forehead, but when he touched him, Zander flinched, his body shuddering as he pulled away from the contact.


Zander was shivering from cold as well and he curled up under the blankets. He blinked away tears as he whispered, "Leave me alone."


"You're going to be okay, Zander. I'm going to take care of you," Jason stated.


"Go away...go away.." Zander whispered, then he closed his eyes again.


Jason felt a flutter of panic and he touched Zander's cheek. No reaction this time. Zander was unconscious again and he was burning up. So Jason went for more snow. He bathed Zander, over and over again. He forced more pills down his throat. When Zander was wracked with chills, Jason slid under the covers and held him in his arms. Eventually he fell asleep and when he woke up he felt wet and chilled. Jason sat up and looked over at Zander. His clothes were soaked with sweat but his skin was cool. The fever had broken. Jason felt himself smiling. He slid out of bed and made a nest of blankets in the chair. He stripped off Zander's wet clothes then put Zander in the chair, then he stripped the bed and made it up again with clean, dry sheets. He then used a wet towel to clean Zander as best he could before dressing him in a clean pair of sweats and a tee shirt. He then carried him back to the bed.

Zander stirred as he was settled. He opened his eyes and looked at Jason.


"Your fever broke," Jason stated.


"I want to go home," Zander replied.

Jason nodded. "I know, but we're snowed in and you need to get your strength back. We'll go back in two days."


Zander closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them again. They glittered with pain and anger. "I hate you," he whispered. "I did what you wanted, Jason. I gave you didn't have to take it from me."


"I know, Zander.." Jason began. He broke off as it finally hit him what he had done. What he had been doing to Zander all along. Punishing him for feeling so much, when Jason felt nothing at all. Except when he was with Zander. Touching him, kissing him, fucking him. Sometimes just looking at him. Zander radiated everything he felt, to the point where Jason could almost feel it. At the very least he could always imagine what it felt like. Raping Zander had been punishment. But not for Zander...for Jason. He couldn't feel pain or fear or shame, but he could make Zander feel it. He could break Zander in a way that he would never be broken. "I’m sorry," Jason whispered, and he felt it. He felt the sorrow. Just as he felt the tear that slid down his face. He watched Zander stare at him, one finger reaching out to brush away the tear.

Jason captured Zander's hand, gently, tempering the strength of his fingers so that his touch was more like a caress. And he felt relieved when Zander allowed his touch. "I'm sorry," Jason repeated.


Zander nodded. "Yeah...I believe you are," he whispered. He closed his eyes tight but tears leaked out, sliding down his cheeks like rain.


"I'm so sorry," Jason repeated, like a mantra, as he gathered Zander into his arms and held him. Jason didn't know if this was a redemption, or just a place to start. But he thought… would be a time of healing, for them both.