Whatever ... I think, maybe it can brighten me up to post the next chapter of Wild & Untamed ...
Title: Wild & Untamed (22/?)
Fandom: Casey / Zeke
Disclaimer: of course, not mine
Previous parts: one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten / eleven / twelve / thirteen / fourteen / fifteen / sixteen / seventeen / eighteen / nineteen / twenty / twenty-one /
This story is written for romeny
Zeke was nervous. Only seldom he felt nervous about anything, but today ... It was nearly four o'clock and Casey still wasn't here. What, if he didn't come? What, if he would come never again? After all what had happened ...
He recalled it again and again. It shouldn't have surprise him that much. He knew it, all the time he knew, what they did with Casey. Everyone knew. Everyone could see his bruises, even if he tried to hide them.
But this ... To watch them beating him up was hard to endure. But even more worse to feel him giving up. He had let them do, whatever they wanted, he had just closed his eyes and accepted every punch without even making the attempt to defend himself. This was not Casey, not the Casey he knew.
Zeke got angry just thinking about it. He wanted to yell at him. Why the hell do you let them do this to you? Why don't you even try to defend yourself? Stand up, Casey, look right into their eyes and bare your teeth. They are not worth it, not worth that you let them abase you that much. Stand up and show them that you are strong, much stronger than they think you can be ...
Finally they had let him go. Casey stood up, trembling, searching for hold. Then he had left the lockerroom. Without looking back. Zeke was left behind. Exhausted he leaned against his locker. Casey wouldn't understand. He would hate him. He hated himself for what he had done. Or better: for what he had not done!
But there was no way to act different. Yes, he could have intervened. One word from him and Gabe would have let him go. Everyone respected him, even Gabe and the other jocks. But it would have made things even worse for Casey. He knew it ... he knew what would happen later, maybe tomorrow or next week, maybe next month ... but it would happen, one day, when he wasn't around to protect him.
He knew this, because he had experienced all this once before ...
He remembered how he had met him first. He was on his way home after a long night in the club, when he spotted them. Three guys had forced him into a dusky corner, they pushed him around, they beat him up. He had no idea, why he had stopped the GTO. He didn't even know him.
When the three attackers were suddenly confronted with Zeke, outside calm but inside with seething anger, they backed out soon. Zeke had helped him to get up.
"What did you do to them," he asked.
"Nothing. Just ... I'm gay!"
"That's enough! For many people around this is more than enough."
And he knew, Darren was right. Here in Herrington you had to be a part of the herd. If you were different, you better hid it. If you didn't want to hide it, you better were ready to fight. If you couldn't fight ... you were lost ...
Lost ... like Darren. Darren had stopped to fight long ago. Two days later they had ambushed him again. It was worse than ever before. He had ended up in the hospital with two broken ribs and a badly concussion. After his discharge he had left Herrington. Since then Zeke had never seen again him.
But even today he sometimes still felt guilty. Maybe it would have been better if he had just stayed out of it. He had enraged them. He had shown them that they were not always the strongest, the greatest, the best. And they had taken out all their wrath on Darren ...
No, he wouldn't make this mistake again.
He knew Gabe all too well. He had experienced him on the field. He was most dangerous when he felt cornered. Then he attacked, ruthless and callous he looked for the weak points of his opponent. Zeke didn't want to imagine what he would do with Casey next time if he intervened.
There was only one, who could stop Gabe. Casey himself! When he finally would realize that Casey wasn't the helpless victim any longer, he would leave him alone. Zeke was sure of it. The problem was: Casey was not ready to stand up for himself. Casey was ready to give up. If he did, he was lost ... lost like Darren ... and Zeke couldn't do anything against it. Because Casey felt left alone. He felt hurt. He didn't trust him any longer.
Zeke threw a look at the clock. Again ten minutes had passed. He wouldn't come. But he need to come. He had to go to Columbus and meet Debbee.
Debbee! He had called her yesterday after school. After four days not knowing what to do.
"I need your help!"
She chuckled slightly at the other end of the phone.
"Hello, Debbee! How are you, Debs? Thanks, fine, Zeke! Long time no hear from you."
"Oh, shut up, Debs, please. Really, I need you!"
"So bad? Okay, tell me, what's up this time?"
"It's not about me! It's Casey!"
It was just typical for Debbee to not even ask who Casey actually was. She knew, he would tell her all he wanted to tell.
"So, what do you think, what can I do for him," she asked when he finally fell silent.
"Talk to him! You can teach him how to defend himself. You are good with this, Debs! You show people all the time how strong they can be. You make them fight!"
"No, I don't," she said.
"I could try to talk to him, Zeke. I can even show him a trick or two for his defense. But I can't force him to use them. This is his decision. Some people don't want to fight, Zeke. Not everyone is as strong as you are. Sometimes it's easier to just let it happen ... especially when you are already used to it for years."
"Don't say this," Zeke interrupted her sharply.
"Not Casey. You don't know him. Casey can't just give up himself. He is much too smart. And he is strong ... deep inside ... so fucking strong. Talk to him! Just talk to him and you will see it ... He is special. And he won't give up. I just won't let that happen!"
Debbee kept quiet for a moment. Finally she chuckled briefly.
"He had hit you really hard, eh?"
"Oh,shut up, Debs! This is stupid! You know me! I'm not into any serious shit!"
"Yeah, sure. Just tell me: How often?"
"How often what?"
"How often have you met him?"
"Don't know. A few times!"
Zeke sighed and finally gave in.
"Twice a week, for nearly six weeks now!"
"Wow, this is something serious! Okay, bring him over! Now I'm curious about him."
"Fuck you, Debs!"
But he couldn't resist to chuckle with relief.
Zeke was startled by the opening door.
"So," Casey said.
"I'm here. Can you tell me now what all this is about?"
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