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Chapter: 49
Rating: Nc-17
Warnings: Language, Death, Crime
POV: Blade
Chapter Overview: Link

About the Story: The death of their parents broke Taylor and Zac apart. Each of them went his own way of life, Taylor became a famous superstar and never thought that his profession would bring his life in danger someday. Blade (Zac) buried the past and lived his life contentedly in his dark and dirty world as a pimp. Because of some unexpected circumstances Blade got hired as Taylor's bodyguard and the brothers saw each other for the first time after almost a decade.
How will they overcome the shadows of the past?

Excerpt: War is like a big machine that no one really knows how to run and when it gets out of control it ends up destroying the things you thought you were fighting for, and a lot of other things you kinda forgot you had.

Authors Notes: Update Chapter 49! Next Chapter in the following days! Enjoy ♡

previous Chapter 48                                                                                                                                                               next Chapter 50


Taylor and I were finally talking about some unspoken things which were standing between us. Slowly, I was getting to know him better step by step. I was really grateful that he finally opened up to me. It often felt to me as if he thought I wouldn't care about anything, but that wasn't true.

Since we treated each other as brothers again, it mattered for me what he thought of me just like it mattered for him what I thought about him.

I wanted to help Taylor to feel safe and comfortable around me and not feeling ashamed anymore and I hoped that with the affirmations I gave him, our relationship would get better.

I didn't expect that Taylor would think he was a Loser just because I protected him. He had achieved so much more than I had in this life. When I thought back of the beginning of his music carreer as a teenager and compared it with nowadays, I could tell that his fame had increased rapidly. He had become to the center of attention from thousands, probably even millions fans worldwide. I always knew that he was born to be on stage and to stand in the spotlight. So it was for me kind of ironic when he said that to me.

I didn't know if he'd change his mind about who the Loser in our family was if he'd know more about me than he did so far.

So far, I could say that I was glad that he didn't change that much and I really appreciated that he finally began to talk with me about the way he felt and I hoped it would do him good.

"Taylor, I want you to let me know asap if you don't feel well okay? I'm worried about your condition, I don't want that you'll have to get in a hospital."

I said as the highway back to the downtown district led us into a traffic jam. Now of all times, we had to get in the rush hour traffic and I cursed internally.

"I'm fine Blade. I don't need to get in a hospital." He assured me, but the forced smile on his face told another story.

"Promise me that you immediately tell me if you feel that your condition is getting worse, alright?"

He only gave me a short nod as an answer and then quickly changed the subject.

"I don't want to give you the impression that I don't care about your security, Blade. Please know that it is always much more important for me than how I feel around you."

He said, then turned around to Bandito and began to stroke his head affectionate coz he had begun to make some choking noises. I knew that it wouldn't take long anymore until his stomach gave in. He wasn't used to that many car drives on one day.

I felt tensed that the fucking rush-hour traffic didn't let us move forward, Though, I was really glad that Taylor and I had found a connection on which we could work on, I didn't want to prolong the situation longer than necessary for Taylor and Bandito.

"I know that Taylor. I know that you didn't lie to me coz you went out and risked your life to help me even though it was extremely dangerous in your condition. You shouldn't think that I don't appreciate it that you wanted to come to help me, coz I do, but I have to make sure that you won't do it again and let me do my job alone from now on. Will you promise me to not meddle into my work anymore Taylor? It is my task to protect you and therefore I really have to rely on you."

I glanced over to him and reached out to pat Bandito's back to reassure him like Taylor.

"I know. I trust you Blade. I know now that I can trust you. And I didn't mean it when I said that you can nothing else than being brutal."

"I know that you didn't mean it." I responded. I knew that he was just trying to make me mad that I'd leave him alone in his thoughts. Taylor has always been a great mediator and tried to smooth down differences instead of carry on a controversy. It was nice to notice he had not lost that typical Taylor trait.

Furthermore was talking about my life not an option. He didn't need to know that I just breathed through my life as if it were a battlefield. That I wasn't living. That I was just surviving... But I deserved all of this. Yeah, I deserved to be hurt.

I didn't know if Taylor was aware of it, but it meant much for me when he said that he would trust me now. It was a positive step for our relationship, for our cooperation and for us as brothers. Though, I internally knew that I would need much more time to trust him than he did, coz my view on life isn't optimistic like that. I can forgive people, but it doesn't mean that I trust them.

The remained time of this car ride was too short to spend it again at war with myself and Taylor and I still had things between us to clarify so I continued listening to him to everything what he had to tell me.

"Still, sometimes you talk with me as if I'm your little brother..." Taylor uttered and chewed on his lower lip in a nearly child-like manner. I saw him shifting uncomfortable in his seat.

Honestly, I couldn't tell how much longer this subject which gave Taylor so many headaches because of me protecting him would accompany us. I guess I could consider myself a lucky ass in this case, 'cause fortunately I've always been a too lazy to occupy myself with superficial things like that. For Taylor though I could only try my best to make things easier for him and I also planned to ask the old geezer for an advice.

Yeah, I had to admit that it wasn't the first time that I felt that our roles were twisted somehow. For me it wasn't a problem though. I didn't remember when I became the older one, but even when we were younger, I sometimes felt that I had to protect Taylor.

I supposed that was one of the reasons why I didn't need to get used to my role as Taylor's bodyguard.
I really never thought it would turn into such a serious problem between us some day. But it turned out that I couldn't expect Taylor to deal with it that easily, just because I could. It turned out that it was hard for Taylor to deal with awkward situations because unlike me it was important for Taylor how his appearance was. He wanted to be liked by other people.

For sure, I placed value on him appreciating my actions, but whether time nor the current situation allowed that I busied my mind with bullshit like that. In the end it's up to him to decide whether or not it's worth it either way.

After the incident at the barber's shop I could literally see Taylor weakening. He wouldn't endure accusations in his current state, so I was forced to be considerate. It was my job to take care of him. Without me he was probably not be able to walk on his own anymore.

"I don't intend that Taylor. I just try to assure you that it's possible that a younger brother can protect his older brother."

"Yeah, I know. I've just experienced that. I know now that you're able to protect me Blade. But can I ask you something?"


"Is there anything you feel ashamed of?"

Uh-huh! "More than enough." None of us are free of guilt. And I did plenty I was ashamed of.

If you only knew Taylor, if you only knew....

"What for example?" He inquired curiously, blinking a few times with his blond eyelashes as if holding back his emotions which easily turned out in tears from his ocean blue eyes.

I swallowed lightly before I turned my head in Taylor's direction again.

"The way I treated you."

"Well, I know that you had your reasons for it..." Taylor answered quietly, there was some sadness in his tone though.

He still didn't give me an explanation why he left me back then, but he already apologized for it. It was about time to apologize to him as well.
There’s no reason why Taylor should continue to suffer for my thoughtless capriciousness.

"Taylor, I know that my behaviour towards you is inexcusable. And I'm really sorr..."

"Don't do that! Please don't apologize Blade! There is nothing to excuse!" Taylor exclaimed and quickly put a finger over my mouth like an upset child before I could finish the sentence.

"I know that I have talked with you earlier but I'm not ready for it. I just can't open up my fear and sorrow to you. I feel like it wouldn't be right because I wasn't there for you the last nine years and I'm afraid I can never make up for that."

"Taylor, I understand if you can't talk about it right now. I'm willing to wait for you until you're ready for it. There's nothing bad or wrong about having fear! And you should know that I would never judge you for your feelings, not as your bodyguard and not as your brother."

He looked relieved and gave me a little, grateful smile after that. I couldn't help but wish that he would say the same to me in return in this moment but Taylor was in a weaker and more sensitive condition than I was so I had to put my own issues aside once again and trying to help Taylor to get better was main priority right now.

"I appreciate your consideration Blade. I want to tell you the truth, but I'm still... afraid." Taylor uttered timidly, his gaze focusing his hands.

"Of what?"

To be honest, it was a strange decision for me to make myself waiting even longer than I already did. Especially for someone that impatient like I was.

I was dying to know why Taylor did make such a secret of it. I fought a lot with myself, but I didn't want Taylor having a mental breakdown if this subject was too hard for him in his current state. I didn't want him to talk about it with me until he felt better and regained strength. Until then, I had to force my impatient inner self to wait. The only thing which made me afraid was, I knew that I couldn't fight forever...

"Of your reaction, I already experienced your outbursts of anger and you scared the hell out of me."

Feelings of guilt built up in me again as I heard that. I had crossed a line which I never should have. No matter how much I was hurt that Taylor left me.

Doubtlessly, the
bastard of the year award belongs to me...

"I never wanted you to be afraid of me Taylor. I won't vent out my spleen on you anymore, so never be afraid of me okay?"

"Promise?" He raised his head and looked at me. I could sense he needed my affirmation.

"Promise." I assured him.

It was weird to give a promise for something I had no idea of. But inwardly I already made the decision that I would never scare him anymore since he admitted it to me for the first time. I didn't know how I would grasp Taylor's secret, but no matter what it was, I would have to find my own way to deal and handle it. Because honestly, I didn't even know how much it still mattered, since I knew that Taylor really cared for me. And he already had forgiven my inexcusable behaviour towards him.

Which was one more reason to put my own feelings on the sidelines...

I didn't want Taylor to feel that he couldn't open up to me because of having talked with me yet. He and his condition was all to care about currently.

"Blade, I uhm... I honestly don't know how to deal with everything what's ahead of me. I don't even know where to begin..."

Taylor continued quietly, his fingers were playing with Bandito's fur and Bandito was closing his eyes in relaxation every time Taylor stroked over it.

"I'm here for you Taylor and if you need me, I'll help you. You are not alone Taylor." I looked over to him as I answered with assurance.

We silenced for a while and after a minute or so, his blond eyelashes flickered up to me.

"Why do you this for me?" The emotional expression in his crystal blue eyes showed me that he still didn't know how to deal with the situation. Tay was always so innocent in everything he said and in the way he acted. And to be honest, I was glad that Taylor was like that, because it was at least one thing that made it a little easier for me to not steadily think about how I felt about the current situation. He was so sensitive and vulnerable. I had to be his big brother because I knew that Taylor needed protection and a source of strength.

I just hoped he would soon find a way to deal with me.

I wasn't very happy about question to be honest. We wouldn't need this discussion if he realized that acceptance is a matter of course in a family and that age difference doesn't matter.

"Do you think I need a reason to protect my family? It's a fucking matter of course. Not only because of the favor which I owe my friend, you're you're my brother so it's my brotherly duty to protect you."

"Sure, but do you think I can ever get lucky when I'm always worried about you? Blade, I just don't want to see you die, I don't want to see you get hurt, I don't want that any harm will happen to you. I can't let you do that for me and accept that silently and calmly! You can't expect me to just let you do this for me." He protested and sounded very concerned now.

Taylor's mood swings concerned me. I felt at that moment that he still couldn't accept me as his bodyguard. Even if he would feel comfortable around me, he didn't agree to let me do this job for him. No matter what I would say, or how many times I would save him. The extent of my skills or money never mattered between us. It was his fear and concern that something serious could happen to me.

But Taylor didn't know me good enough to know that I was something he couldn't fix. Whatever I'd do, I had lost this war already. And until it was over I would protect Taylor, no matter if he'd ever feel proud of me for doing that or not.

There's hope, but not for me...

"Well, I think at this time in our lives, it's not about getting lucky, it's about how to survive. Besides, you know that I'm old enough enough to decide about my life. It is my own decision to give you my life if I have to. Even if it's the last thing that I'll do, I know that that it can't be wrong to protect you Taylor."

"How can you be so sure about that?"

"Because I know now that you care. How can you expect me to let you alone in this dangerous situation? There's a sick bastard somewhere out there and I would never allow that he will do any harm to you! I have to look out for you. Not only because it's my job, it's also my brotherly duty! Besides that, you should know that as your brother, I would never let you alone in such a situation no matter if I have the skills to protect you or not."

To be honest, any other brother would have already pushed me to the edge for making me feel like I had to defend myself for defending him, but Taylor's soft and unobtrusive way of showing how worried he was about me helped me to ease my mind and give me more patience.

"But what if that culprit is stronger than you?"

"I'll take that risk Taylor."

"That is crazy! It's seriously dangerous!" Taylor's lower lip was trembling with nervousness, he bit on it to stop it.

"Maybe I am. But I'm fully aware of what I do. And even if this is the last thing I will do in my life, nothing will change my mind to protect you with my life if something happens to you in your current state. Why did you agree to hire me even though you weren't sure about it?"

Taylor looked surprised about my question. After patiently answering all of his questions, I just felt that I needed an answer as well even if the answer would hurt.

"I... wanted to have my family back. I still want you and I'm really glad that you are here Blade, but I don't know if I deserve what you give me. I mean... I wasn't the brother for you which I should have been..."

I couldn't say if he was right on that part, but I wasn't a man of half things. For me it has always been all or nothing, my way of life never gave me a chance to allow anything in between.

"In the last days I wasn't either Taylor."

"Aren't you scared to get hurt?"

"I have learned to control my feeling during the time I served in the Army. It's my job not to be scared. If you ask me though if there's anything I'm afraid of, of course there's something and I'm not ashamed at all to admit that. Everybody's afraid of something."

Do animals have less fear because they live without words? 

"Yeah, that's how we know we care about things." Taylor agreed with a nod.


"What are you afraif of?" And here comes the drama.


"That I'll lose you again."

As I looked over to him into his blue eyes, I saw that they became wet at my words. He immediately turned away from me. After a minute of silence, he finally spoke quietly again, it was more a whisper but I didn't care, as long as we were honest to each other.

"Aren't you scared of dying?"

It was the first time Taylor asked me about my view of life and I wasn't sure what to answer him. I was nothing special and the last thing I wanted was that he thought of me as a arrogant boaster or whatever the fuck after not knowing what he thought of me already by now. I ain't no better than him.

The truth was, I had fallen apart and lost my old self somewhere in the darkness. The emptiness had hit me like a black hole and sucked the life and hope out of me.
During my time as a soldier, I have done a lotta killing which wasn't that easy to put behind. There were so many horrific scenarios playing in my head.

War is like a big machine that no one really knows how to run and when it gets out of control it ends up destroying the things you thought you were fighting for, and a lot of other things you kinda forgot you had.

I was still thinking about those Army memories while I contemplated if it would be right to tell him the truth as I got distracted by a song which played on the car radio at that moment.

And I've got nothing to say
I can't believe I didn't fall right down on my face
(I was confused)
Looking everywhere only to find
That it's not the way I have imagined it all in my mind
(So what am I)
What do I have but negativity?
'Cause I can't justify the way, everyone is looking at me
(Nothing to lose)
Nothing to gain, hollow and alone
And the fault is my own, and the fault is my own...

I will never know myself until I do this on my own
And I will never feel anything else until my wounds are healed
I will never be anything till I break away from me
I will break away.

And I get lost in the nothingness inside of me...

Apparently, fate didn't fuck me enough yet. Linkin Park, which was one of my favorite bands seemed to chase me these days. Some of their lyrics sounded bitter, but they were direct and honest just like the way I have always been.

Sometimes, a song can exactly say what's going on in my life.

Taylor had no clue how much I hated myself since I almost killed that one man who had been my only family for the last nine years.


Through my fault, he lost one of his legs and was now condemned to walk on crutches for the rest of his life. So I owed to do for him whatever I could.

I knew that I was an exception that I, a pimp also worked as a male prostitute and slept with costumers even though I wouldn't have or need to do. It was not a pretended act of justice towards my hired sluts. No, I wouldn't consider myself a person like that.

My reasons were deeper than that, my body and soul equally just weren't worth anything for me since Santiago's accident. Since I dispirited my best friend, I became the urge to give myself punishment. Having sex with perverted costumers was just peanuts compared to what I had done to him. I still remember my first experience with a stranger almost a year ago in the minutest detail. It was so disgusting. Though it never felt so disgusting than I was. Surrounded by my own, I felt that I was exactly at the place where I belonged to.
I had become so numb that I didn't even need time to get used to the hustler scene. It was like a dumb habit, a pastime with the criminal and perverted scum of the society. Market demand was always there and never decreased, like the horniness of my johns...

I'm not really sure how wallowing in a nest of human scum would help to make anything better, but it made sense to my demented mind in some small demented way. I didn't have any reason to treat myself better than that.
I was one of those lonely, loveless drifters who had no defense against a world that could take my money, my heart and my life...

Even though, I used to hate Taylor for leaving me back then, I could have never hated him as much as I hated myself since Santiago's accident happened.

Maybe, that's why I could forgive Taylor easier than myself...

I wouldn't have taken this security job if I wasn't educated to do it. I had given a promise and I would never break it.
I had no idea if someone like me would ever find peace in this life or in the next. I could only hope for it. Yeah, I really did.

Since my stage of life in the Army was over, I lived as an underdog and hoped that the dreamers in this world were right about that somewhere out there the world must have an end. Well, Taylor may not know this, but there's things that gnaw at a man worse than dying.

"Blade?" Taylor asked quietly, he was waiting for my answer.

So whatever Taylor would think of me, I just couldn't bring myself to lie to him as I opened my mouth to answer him the question of which he wanted to know an honest answer from me.

"No, not anymore."


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