The Hot Zone

Chapter 9


Zander came awake with a start. He felt disoriented, all the more so when he opened his eyes. He wasn't in Arroyo's bedroom. He sat up slowly, only to realize that he wasn't alone. Looking over to his left, Zander saw Nikolas asleep. "What the fuck!" Zander hissed.

Nikolas's eyes snapped open. He sat up. "It's okay, Zander. You're safe."

"What the hell is going on?" Zander could feel himself begin to shake. His body ached in places he didn't want to think about, and his mind was chaos. Nothing made sense. "Where are we? And why are you here? Where is Arroyo?" Zander looked around, expecting the other man to pop up at any moment. Expecting this to be nothing more than a dream.


"Jason took you from Arroyo's...last night." Nikolas slid off the bed and rubbed a hand over his face. "Long story short. He came to me yesterday and told me you were in trouble and asked if I would be willing to go into hiding with you. I said yes. Jason got you out, and here we are. For a bit. It's a safe place but Jason wants us to keep moving."

Zander was more confused than ever. "Why would Jason go to you? And why would you do this?" He made to get off the bed and his knees buckled.

Nikolas was around the bed and grabbing Zander by the arm to steady him. He felt Zander flinch but he didn't pull away. "Why doesn't matter at the moment, Zander. Keeping you safe and letting you heal...that's what matters." Nikolas pressed Zander back down onto the bed. "Jason told me what Arroyo did to you."

"Yeah?" Zander eased back against the pillows, wincing as pain rippled through him. "So he told you that I was Arroyo's whore?"


"He told me that Arroyo raped you." Nikolas locked eyes with Zander. "I saw the damage. I had to put some cream on you need to take some antibiotics and some aspirin. You have a bit of a fever, we don't want it to get worse."

Zander closed his eyes. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. He felt so out of control of everything. His life, his body, his thoughts and his feelings. He had to get some control back. "Didja cop a feel?" he asked, his tone neutral.


Nikolas sighed. "It wasn't like that, Zander. I'm sorry about what happened to you...I want to help."

"Why? Why do you want to help me?" Zander combed his fingers through his hair and tried to make sense of everything. "What’s in it for you, Nikolas? We're not friends. So what's the deal? You want another blow job? Is that it?" Zander could see that he was making Nikolas angry and he didn't care.


"I don't know why I'm here," Nikolas shot back. "When I figure it out, you'll be the first one I tell...okay?" He paced around the bed. "The fact is...I'm here. You want me to leave...I'll leave."

Zander shook his head. Strangely enough, he didn't want that. "No...I don't want you to leave." He didn't want to be alone and he knew, instinctively, that he could trust Nikolas.


Nikolas sighed. "Okay then. I'll be right back." He went to the kitchen and got a glass of water, then he returned and held it out to Zander, along with two pills. "Take these."

"Later." Zander waved them away.


"I said take them." Nikolas' tone was soft but laced with steel. "Or I'll feed them to you myself."

Zander studied Nikolas's face and realized the guy was serious. He took the pills and washed them down with the water. "I want to shower."


Nikolas nodded. He moved to the corner and grabbed a duffle bag. "Jason bought clothes for you. Everything you need should be in there."

"Thanks." Zander slid off the bed again. He still felt weak and dizzy, but he was able to make it to the bathroom on his own. Once inside he closed the door and leaned against it for a long moment. He was happy to be free of Arroyo, but he wondered what it meant in the long run. He still found it hard to believe that Nikolas was here. That he had given up his life, as it were, to go on the run with him. None of it made sense. But Zander pushed those thoughts aside and went to the shower to turn it on. He stripped out of the sweat pants and tee shirt and tossed them in the garbage. He didn't want anything related to Arroyo. Then he stepped into the shower and let the hot water rain down upon him. He lathered up from head to toe and rinsed off and it was only then that he realized that the wetness on his face wasn't just the water. It was the tears he wouldn't let, couldn't let, fall until now. Zander leaned into the shower spray and cried until there were no tears left.


He stepped out and dried off. He dressed in jeans and a blue pullover, then he combed his fingers through his hair. He found shaving cream and a razor and shaved. Simple, familiar, things. Then he made his way back out into the other room to discover that Nikolas had made them sandwiches. Zander didn't feel hungry, but he knew he had to eat. So they sat down and ate in companionable silence. Zander ate most of his sandwich and drank a soda, then he found himself yawning.


Nikolas noticed. "You need to sleep some more."

"How long are we staying here?" Zander asked.

"A few days, unless Jason calls to tell us to move."

Zander nodded then stood up and headed for the bed. He stretched out and was pretty much asleep by the time his head hit the pillow. He didn't notice Nikolas covering him with a blanket, or that he kept vigil from the corner chair.


* * * * *


"NO!" Zander screamed. He sat up and could feel how badly he was shaking. He had been trapped in a nightmare memory of being fucked in what he considered to be the torture room. Zander could still feel the cold as if it were imbedded in his bones.


"Zander." Nikolas was by his side, his eyes full of concern.


Zander rubbed a hand over his face. "I'm okay."

Nikolas studied him. "You don't look okay. Nightmare?"

"Yeah..." Zander slid off the bed and swayed. He felt Nikolas catch his arm and Zander couldn't help his reaction. He flinched.


"Come sit in the chair, I'll get you some water," Nikolas offered.

Zander did as Nikolas suggested. His legs were to wobbly to hold him at the moment. "Thanks," he whispered. He accepted the glass of water and drank half. Then he shifted in the chair, trying to get comfortable. He was still very sore.


Nikolas held out two more pills. "Take these...and I need to check you. To apply more cream."


"I'm fine." Zander knew what Nikolas meant. It was too much of a reminder of Arroyo's doctor examining him. Too intimate and intrusive.


"You're not fine." Nikolas pressed a hand to Zander's forehead. "You're still feverish."

Zander batted Nikolas' hand away. "So tell me...when did you finish medical school?"


Nikolas held his ground. "You know it needs to be done, Zander. Why make this hard on both of us?"


"Fine." Zander stood up and marched over to the bed, as best he could on shaky legs. He undid his jeans and pushed them and down and off, then he stretched out on his stomach, still clad in his boxer-briefs. "Don't forget to cop a feel while you’re at it," he hissed.

"Whatever it takes for you to get through this, Zander…go for it," Nikolas replied as he moved to the bed. He had the ointment tube in hand. He hooked his fingers in the briefs and tugged. "Hips up," he ordered.

Zander complied, biting his lip as his ass was exposed. He felt shame wash over him, even though he knew this was going to be clinical. It still made him feel dirty. Then he felt Nikolas touching him and he couldn't help but flinch. But, thankfully, Nikolas made short work of spreading the ointment. Zander felt his briefs pulled up over him then he rolled over onto his back. "Thanks."

Nikolas nodded. "Why don't you try to sleep some more. We'll eat when you wake up."


"I’m tired of sleeping." Zander sat up and then he reached out and pressed his palm to Nikolas's cheek. "Kiss me," he said, surprising them both.

"Zander…that's not a good idea," Nikolas countered.

Zander smiled." Don't you want to kiss me?" He was in full seduction mode. He wanted to feel something other than pain and shame. He wanted to be in control for once. " I used goods now?"


Nikolas shook his head. "Don't say that."


"Why not? It's true." Zander dropped his hand and closed his eyes as the memories of that room washed over him. Cocks in his ass, cocks in his mouth. Hands touching him, groping him, probing. "I'm nothing but a whore, Nikolas. Quite the resume I have. Drug dealer, kidnapper, exotic dancer, whore..."


"Stop it!" Nikolas was angry now. "You're not a whore, Zander. What happened to wasn't your fault."

Zander opened his eyes and locked them on Nikolas's face. "How do you know? Maybe I wanted it."

Nikolas made a sound of frustration, then he curled his fingers in Zander's hair and kissed him. A soft, tender, kiss.


Zander felt the gentleness in NIkolas' kiss. It brought tears to his eyes. He leaned into it, teasing Nikolas with his tongue. Wanting it to be more. Needing to make this happen. And as he kissed back, Zander let his hand slide down to Nikolas' crotch. He rubbed the hardness he found there before undoing Nikolas's pants and slipping his hand inside.

"Zander…wait." Nikolas broke the kiss. "You don't have to do this."


"I want to." Zander pushed Nikolas down onto his back, freed his cock, and took the tip into his mouth. It didn't take long to make Nikolas cum and Zander swallowed like the pro he was. Then he kissed Nikolas before pulling away. But a hand grabbed his arm.


Nikolas reached for Zander's briefs. "Your turn," he whispered.


Zander shook his head. He wasn't ready for this and he doubted Nikolas was either. But Nikolas was pushing him back, then sliding off his briefs. Zander trembled at being exposed to the other man, but then he felt himself relax as Nikolas stroked his thighs open. The eyes roaming over him weren't shining with lust, they were glinting with desire. Then Zander gasped as Nikolas took his cock into his mouth. He did everything right and Zander wondered about that. Wondered about how much experience Nikolas had with other men. Then all thought faded as he came in a rush. He watched Nikolas swallow then warm lips were on his and Zander could taste himself. He felt tears burn in his eyes.


"Can I hold you?" Nikolas asked. "I just...I just want to hold you for a while."




Nikolas smiled. "Because I want to make you feel safe. And I want to hold you in my arms."


Zander gave a watery smile. "I don't get you. I don't get this...any of this."


"Me either," Nikolas replied. "Can I hold you?"


"Okay." Zander sat up though, reaching for his briefs.


Nikolas stopped him. "Skin against skin? Or will that freak you out too much?"


Zander wondered that himself. But he found himself tugging his tee shirt off. "Why not?" he countered. He watched Nikolas rise from the bed to shuck his own clothes, then he laid down and let Zander snuggle up against him. Strangely enough, he did feel safe in Nikolas's arms. Safe enough to close his eyes and drift off to sleep again.



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