teamzaylor: (Zaylor Underneath era)
[personal profile] teamzaylor
Chapter: 53
Rating: Nc-17
Warnings: Language, Death, Crime
POV: Taylor
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?

Authors Notes: Update Chapter 53! :) Chapter 54 in the following weeks. Enjoy ♡

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I woke up feeling Zachary's hand holding mine.
And as terrible as it may sound, a small insecure part of me enjoyed the feeling of being sheltered.

I knew that I owed him to deal with the fact that he protected me from now on. At least as long as we're together. I had to force myself not to think about a upcoming seperation, it stabbed my broken heart that I had no choice but to make use of the earliest opportunity to get rid of Zac which I didn't know when it would arise.

Slowly, I sat up on the corner bench on which I lay, still feeling weak and powerless. But Zachary's ministration was the thing that warmed my heart and gave me the will to make a good and hopefully quick recovery.

After the introduction with Zac's friend, whom I owe that I found my brother after nine years of being apart of him, I curiously looked around the unknown place as we're waiting for our meal.

The bar was in a very simple condition, the interior furnishing was outdated and has surely seen better days, although it wasn't that ordinary that it wasn't possible to feel comfortable. It was plain and simple and had a mexican atmosphere. On the walls of the back area in which we were sitting hang a lot of glass cabinets with all kinds of guns. Apparently, a collection passion which not only Zac had...

Aside from the glass cabinets, were the walls decorated with many photos and some comic drawings. I could recognize them as Zachary's. It was like journey into the past just to look at these walls. The pictures showed their history, how many events they experienced together. There were so many of pictures of Zac and Santiago together as soldiers, some of them were older, some of them newer.


Even Bandito was in some of them. I felt a bit of honest envy about the long period which Santiago and Zac had spent together, times which Zac and I didn't have and maybe never could catch up...

I understood why Zac said Santiago was his family just by looking at those pictures. I really wished Zac and me would also have a picture collection of the previous years.

I need to take pictures of these walls before we would leave... Yeah I really have to.

I kind of felt messy and would have liked to go to a bathroom and wash my hands at least, but I didn't want to put Zac out even more than he already did for me. Good thing, I had my bag with me in which I had brought a small toiletries bag with some antibacterial hand cream. If you lead a life on tour, it is absolutely indepensable. Especially for the trips in a tour bus it was always necessary to have some. I fished it out of my bag and slathered my hands with the cream. Santiago, Zac's friend sat to my right and Zachary to my left, impatiently knocking on the table with the cutlery in his hands.

"What's with Bandito's wound? Is it better already?" Santiago pointed to Bandito who immediately wagged it's tail as he heard his name.

"Taylor has bandaged his wound last night. I checked it this morning and it already looked better. If his difficulties to walk remain though, veteranian intervention is needed. By the way, he just puked outside, so you better give him only dry food as long as his stomach is upset."

Hearing Bandito’s name, I felt sorry to hear that again, the poor dog could have died because of me. Him and Zac got along really well, I couldn’t imagine if something worse happened to him just because he was protecting our parent’s house.

"I didn't know Bandito has a sensitive stomach..." I said compassionated, giving Bandito a look of sympathy. I also longed to know if was doing alright.

"He just needs some time to recover. I'll bring him to a vet for a check up once the weekend is over for a check up of his wound. Just in case." Zachary replied, also looking over to his dog who laid curled up in a dog basket at his feet.

"Yeah, no worries guys. We'll take good care of him until then." Santiago assured us, extended his arm to stroke Bandito's head who immediately clinged closer to him, enjoying the endearment.

"Thanks old man. I owe you one. Taylor, what do you want to eat? You'll probably need to get something easily digestible, right?"

"Yeah, I guess." I shrugged weakly, still unsure if I could eat at all.

Santiago instructed his waiter about our meals and Bandito's sensitive stomach. As the lunch was brought to us shortly afterwards, Zac suddenly made a face.

"What the fuck is this shit?"

"It's called salad!" Santiago informed him sarcastically.

"What am I, a fucking cow?"

"Shut up and be thankful for the vitamines, you have to stay fit anyway!"

"I can't fucking stuff myself with that rabbit food. If I have to stay fit, I need some meat. NATHANIEL!" Zac insisted persistent on his meat and stubbornly shoved the bowl away from him.

"You'll get your meat, first you eat your salad!" Santiago didn't relent. He gave him a stern look before shoving the salad bowl back to him.

Zac rolled his eyes and groaned. Grumbling obsceneties, he reluctantly shoved a handful lettuce leaves in his mouth. "For now I train my chewing muscles," he munched away on the salad. His cheeks puffed up while he chewed them and made him look like a broadmouth beaver. His teeth were twice as big as mine, my
ivories looked like milk teeth in comparison.

"Taylor needs to eat something too! He hasn't eat anything for several days." He talked while chewing and smacking his food like a cow chewing its cud. If he wouldn't have looked kind of funny in a way, it would have been unwatchable.

"When I see you eating Blade, I'm not surprised. At least shut your pie-hole when chewing and don't fart at the table." Santiago commented, head shaking.

According to the Yankees, it's a free country." Zac blatantly replied.

These two were entertaining to watch. If I wouldn't have known it better, I might have thought they're in fact father and son. Or brothers, only with a bigger age difference than Zac and I had. I could have watched their interactions for hours. Even though their behaviour lacked of manners in some ways, it was evident that they cared about each other.

I turned my attention to my own bowls, one was filled with chicken soup and a smaller one filled with salad. The soup and the tea didn't smell bad, but I still didn't feel a feeling of hunger in me.


I had sat there for a while silently hugging my waist until I finally reached for the spoon. My innards were like a big numb hole...

It was like a horse race in my mind. Three different horses, one was my tiredness, one was called thirst and one was my hunger. Usually, the thirst and the tiredness vied against each other, the horse of hunger was left in the dust a long time ago. I didn't expect that it would ever catch up again with the other two. But with the first spoonful of chicken noodle soup that Zachary's friends made for me,


I could feel the horse of hunger suddenly rose up in me for the first time after... a period of time which felt for me like a blurry eternity. I almost didn't believe anymore that that horse would still exist by now...

I wasn't sure if I was supposed to feel guilty about it, but I actually felt hungry. Not only hungry for food, I was hungry for life. With every spoon of chicken soup I ate, I felt my energy slowly coming back. I was on the road of recovery. Because of Zachary's ministration, the horse of hunger finally got it's chance to win.


"One thing is for sure, you two don't resemble each other." Santiago remarked as he gave the two of us a once over before he began to wolf down his own burger.


Santiago was right, Zac and me were totally different types and we didn't look a like at all. I would have never thought that one day I would be glad about that fact...

"Hey Nathaniel! Hurry up and bring some real food kitchen slave before I turn into a cannibal and put you through a meat grinder." Zac was starting to shout curses towards the kitchen like a hungry wolf.

"It's easy to see how you two crossed paths. One's a falling angel, the other one's a rising devil." Santiago remarked as he saw me unfolding the napkin neatly.

"I'm not an angel, even less when I'm hungry." Zac groaned irritated.

"This is true." Santiago agreed.

"The shit has hit the fan if I don't finally get some meat!" Zac exclaimed, pounding his fists loudly on the table. Evidently, he wasn't going to listen to what his friend had to say anymore.

Just then, he finally got another plate filled with a steak, potatoes and more vegetables and perked up in an instant. Instinctively, he shoved the vegetables aside, rammed his fork into the meat and impaled the steak on it before bringing it greedily to his big mouth.

That was clearly my cue for an interruption about whatever he was planning to do with his peace of meat.

"Ahem Blade," I harrumphed loudly. "You're going to eat your steak like that?"

In a split of a second, three pairs of eyes were on me as if I was the eight wonder of the world. My brother's, Santiago's and Bandito's from under the table. Although Bandito was probably more interested in the steak instead of what I was about to point out...

For a moment nobody said something and I wondered if Zac even knew what I was about to indicate.

"Did I forget to pray?" He gave me a frown, remaining in the dark.


No, he didn't get it. This is all second nature to me, so I didn't understand HOW people can be such slobs at a table, when it really is not all that difficult to have manners.

"Gimme your plate!" I primly insisted on teaching him table manners.

When he didn't react, I reached out and pulled his arm down on the table, took his fork out of his hand, grabbed the knife aside the plate and pulled his plate over to me to end that barbaric ritual I was watching.

Daintily and with grace
I began to cut the steak up in a very delicate manner. I liked having decent manners and my own unobtrusive way to show how I care. Having sweet manners and looking out for others shows a sweet temperament and makes others attracted to you.

"You don't need to do that Taylor." Zachary was so perplexed about my action that he apparently even forgot his hunger and impatience for a moment.

Seriously, sometimes I wonder where my brother's conspicuous jungle dweller genes came from...

It would not have taken much and he had ate his meat with his bare hands. He acts like an animal, has animal's habits. He eats like one moves like one and talks like one.

Maybe he just wasn't used to it anymore that someone else would do something like that for him?

"I think it's necessary Blade. This is not 'Planet of the apes'! At least, not anymore." I disabused him, not caring about everyone's confusion and continued cutting the meat in small pieces. Even though it took me a while because of my weak wrists, I wholeheartedly enjoyed doing this for my brother. To give him something back and to show him that I cared about him. If I wasn't a role model for my little brother, who else would it be?!

A few days ago, when I met him for the first time I was unsure if it was wise to act that way, I mean to show him how much I really cared for him. I never wanted that his sympathy would be the reason for him to stay with me and bring himself into a life-threatening situation. But to see how close Santiago's and Zachary's bond was, I understood all the more that Zachary wouldn't break his promise that he gave his best friend.

Furthermore, Zachary thought for nine long years that I wouldn't care for him because of what I've done to him, so how could I prolong that situation between us? It would have been insufferable for both of us. To show him that I care for him was the least thing I could do...

"At least one of you has impeccable manners." Santiago patted my shoulder praisingly and grinned broadly to Zachary who was still watching me silently.

"Here Blade. Now you can eat your steak properly." I stated satisfied when I was finished and shoved the plate back to him. He wordlessly took the cutlery back from me, impaled a few pieces of meat on his fork and shoved it into his mouth.

"And what do you say?" Santiago took a tattoo magazine which lay in front of him on the table, rolled it up and smacked the back of Zac's head with it.

Zac just smirked. "Thanks big bro!" He gave me a toothy grin that showed some small remnants of meat which I actually didn't want to see again and Santiago smacked his head one more time.

"Hey, for what was that?" He complained, shooting Santiago an irritated look.

"Whatever, I'm sure you deserve it. Your elegant brother prefers
more upscale dining experience so do him the favor, control yourself and eat like a human."

"You have a right to your opinion and I have a right to tell you how fucking stupid that is." Zac answered him but looked at me. I became insecure as his expression suddenly looked like he lost his animal appetite. I had hurt him without realizing it and my role model brother plans fell through when he looked like it made him sick.

The next half hour passed by peacefully, we ate our meal and my physical feeling became so much better. Certainly, I had to take it one step at a time, but I was really glad that I slowly felt my strength coming back. Not only because it was akward for me to get carried by Zac, mainly because I didn't want to be a burden for him anymore.

Santiago had to go back to the front area to serve his costumers and let us calmly finish our meals in the back area of the saloon where we were alone and undisturbed. He walked with crutches coz he had only one leg. In the photos with Zac on the walls he had both legs though... It didn't feel right to me to ask him or Zachary how that happened, coz I didn't know him well enough yet. In my opinion, it's not quite the thing to ask.

"Feel better now?" Zachary turned his head to me when we're finished and brought me out of my thoughts.

"Yes I do. Thank god! I think I can walk on my own from now on."

"I hope so Taylor." He replied and belched loudly as he turned his attention back to the TV.

Zac and me still had some time left before we had to drive back home and used it to relax. It was nice to be just brothers for a while. Just being me without being surrounded by curious glances. Sometimes it could really be too much to be gawked at constantly. But I guess no one wants to be watched when you are chased by an insane stalker.

That's why I was glad when Santiago let me use his private, adjacent bathroom with no one else around after our meals.
Relieved that I could walk on my own again, I used the opportunity to wash my face and my hands. As I looked at myself in the mirror, I saw that I still looked very pale. I haven't been out much in the last busy weeks aside from performing in concert venues or giving interviews at radio stations. I noticed that my skin had gotten a little lighter in the last weeks than it already was. My cheeks were pink like usual though, probably from blushing all day long...

After washing and drying myself properly I squirted some hand lotion onto my cold hands. They’d been so dry lately, I could hardly stand them. There’s nothing more irritating than callused fingers. As I was done brushing my hair neatly and freshen up myself, I felt more like a human being and less like a slug as I left the bathroom.

Sated and satisfied had my bodyguard brother sprawled himself out on a couch when I came out of the bathroom, presenting his filled tummy to all of the four winds. Zac was never very good about sitting behind a desk.


Not much had changed; he was still completely at home with a couch and a TV. Lazily, he flipped through the TV channels of a small TV in the corner, a toothpick hung loosely between his lips.

I sat down at the table again across from him and crossed my legs and folded my hands neatly in my lap. Once seated, I instinctively slid my feet slightly back and to the side
. I have always been mindful of my manners, my graceful movements were almost habitual. I could tell that both of us really enjoyed some relaxation for a while. At least until we heard a female voice coming out of the TV from a news anchor.

"Earlier this afternoon there was a mighty concourse of people in the mall in the inner city. Taylor Hanson whose wife got killed the other day got stuck in a gaggle of his admiring fans. As Mr. Hanson visited a barber's shop, he got recognized by fans outside the salon and shortly afterwards the amount of people which wanted to see their famous idol increased rapidly. A strange man who turned out to be Mr. Hanson's bodyguard was involved got into a fight with two men on site..."

A insertion was followed by a video which showed Zachary and me walking through the crowd when he led me to his car. The thin, androgynous blond boy whose limp body was firmly held in Zac's grip was sadly nobody else but me. I did make a very feminine picture standing there in the protection of his masculine arm. My head was buried into his shoulder but from what I could see I looked so helpless and exhausted at his side. My shy and insecure little whimpers revealed how sensitive I was.

Slowly, I forced myself to put one foot in front of the other. I remembered it was excruciatingly effortful. I could feel everyone’ eyes on me, as well as the discomfort of being held in my brother's firm grip who pressed me protectively against his body, his strong shoulders gave me the support I needed. I remembered I felt like a delicate flower next to him. I knew that without Zac I wouldn't have been able to go out of the massive crowd by myself.

Despite my intent to get used to be protected by my little brother, I couldn't deny that a part of me still felt the urge to disappear into my seat just by one look at that scene, but I didn't want to think of it.

I didn't really need to see these scenes again. Ashaming enough that the recordings from that incident were nationally televised by the TV newscast.

"The owner of the barber's shop and her staff declined to give any informations about the visit of the popular singer."

Whew! I sighed relieved. At least one good thing about the most embarassing experience of my life. It was nice from Mrs. Drakeford to react that way. If she or someone else from her staff would have told someone from the media the reason why I was stuck in the crowd because I didn't want to wait for my bodyguard to get me out of the salon, I could imagine very well that it would put rumours in circulation. I wasn't sure if people would begin to wonder why I had hired a bodyguard even though I didn't trust him at that time. I really didn't want to plant any rumours about Zac and me.

The screen skipped to another scene which showed what happened earlier, Zac and the two men with which he had a fight and the young women who tried to intermeddle in it. The screamings of the fans were so loud that it was hard to understand what they said to each other and I had to listen intently to understand what has been said.

"Just one short interview of Mr. Hanson for the media please! Our readers want to know what's going on with him. How is he? Can we expect a statement from him?"

"No, Taylor Hanson does not give any interviews at this time. And I only say it once, you let the fuck go off me asap! If not you suffer the consequences. Capisce?"

Zachary threatened with violence
into the face of a paparazzi who held intrusively onto his arm. He then turned to the young woman which I already saw through the window from inside the barber's shop.

inspiration for this scene came from this gif set:


"And now to you hussy!" He approached her. "One, Taylor is not here for an autograph hour! Two, you better give that gaping hole in your face a chance to heal! End of conversation." He said in such an extremely nasty tone of voice and tapped his forehead at her before he turned away from her.


"Zac! Holy Jeeze!" I choked on my water, totally appalled. It was worse than I thought. My brother used a whole slew of words which were completely inacceptable. The next sequences showed how Zachary punched the paparazzi guy directly in his face, but I didn't watch them anymore.

Zachary grabbed the remote controller from the table to change the channel. "Whatta cheap slut that was." He snorted scornfully, adding insult to injury as he began to switch through the channels and smiled satisfied as he found a cartoon channel. I took my cigarettes out of my bag, before I approached him about his uncouth sayings.

"Is that your usual way to talk with people Zac? Why did you say that to that girl?" I stared at him, equally uncomprehending and confused.

"Trust me Taylor, that bitch wasn't innocent as well." He replied undiscerning in a flat voice while lazily scratching his tummy. Oh well, it was high time to teach my younger brother some manners.

"I don't care what she said Zac. That kind of behaviour are beastly manners. Sometimes it's better to leave certain things unsaid."

"I just did my job Taylor. Besides, it's too late to teach me. I'm too old for this kind of crap."

"Cultivated manners doesn't have anything to do with age Zac. You work for me and I don't want you to talk like that with my fans for Pete's sake! Furthermore, I don't consider violence as the right way to deal with things."

"Neither do I. But sometimes you don't have another choice coz some people don't understand another language.
It doesn't take a rocket scientiest to know that."

Sure I knew that the ability to assert himself was very necessary in his job, but still his low brow behaviour went too far in my opinion. It just didn't sit right with me.
If he was just - ordinary! Just plain - but good and wholesome, but - no. There's something downright - bestial and uncouth about him!

Didn't he care at all which negative effects it would have not only on me, but also on himself?

"What do you think the public will say about you as my new bodyguard once they become acquainted with your common manners Zac? It will get you into trouble constantly in the high society. It's courtesy to speak well-bred in the sense of manners to fit for polite, commendable social circles. Otherwise, people will talk bad about you and maybe even begin to laugh about you because of your... different behaviour." I articulated, trying to express my opinion well-spoken.
My brother looked amused that I remained so well spoken and, apparently, calm.

"I don't give a flying fart in space what people talk or think about me Taylor. They laugh about me coz I'm different? Fine, I laugh about them coz they're all the same."

Have I ever mentioned that my brother could be really a weirdo sometimes? Well, if I didn't yet, the time has come now.

"As your employer and as your older brother I'm telling you that I do not allow that kind of vulgar manners like that towards my fans. That's out of place!

"Do you even know what's going on among them Taylor? How they talk? Your fans would sell a kidney in a snap just to talk to you for a minute. You haven't been out on the streets like I have. Many of them would stab each other's eyeballs out for a date with you whether your wife got killed only two days ago or not. When it's tough like this, you know it's gonna be ugly. Better you make it quick, or else you will be there all day listening to other people's crap. Furthermore, you know that I have to be intimidating to keep them away from you. Do you really believe that does always work with politeness and consideration?"

At first, I wanted to continue criticize Zachary's behavior, but I didn't. I let his sayings sink in for a while because his arguments created a little bit of doubt in me. He seemed to be really convinced about the way he acted and he also knew now how crazy people were about me. While I on the other hand just wasn't used to talk with people in a way like that. It was all weird for me. I wanted to be a role model for Zac, on the other hand I didn't know how to give him a piece of advice about something I never needed to deal with so far. I already underestimated him about his self defence skills, was I now assessing him wrong again if I questioned his self-assertion?

"Let me rephrase that. I just expect you to be a little more politely towards them, especially with women. I want you to make an effort to talk nice." I corrected my previous statement and tried to sound less upset.

"I know that you don't want anyone to get hurt and insulted Taylor. And I'm not trying to be an ass here, but I can't give you a promise for something that will not work. It is for your own protection."

"Well, you might have said something like; Exuse me, could you please back off just a little bit sir and clear the way? And miss, it would be nice if you show a little decency and observe the proprieties. That would have been a presentable and praiseworthy behavior." I suggested in a graceful tone.

"That's such a pussy thing to say. Don't be so naive Taylor, that sweet talk might work in Disneyland, but barely in the real world. You wouldn't survive one single day if I adopt your cotton ball manners out on the streets. I know that your preference for genteel posh talk hasn't changed Taylor, and it's truly adorable, but your life is on the line and I can't waste time with putting on gloves for a praiseworthy behavior. Like I said before, harsh mores are an imperative necessity to assert myself.
You should have trust in me and in me doing this job. If you can't trust and respect my actions, my job is pretty pointless. Besides that we're both old enough to treat and accept each other as adults and shouldn't try to raise each other with our imaginations of how a person should be and act. If you trust me, you should be aware that I didn't act that way without knowing what I did outside the barber's shop was unavoidable and necessary. What the fuck are we if you expect me to defend myself for defending you?!?" He said casually but with convincing decisiveness.

Granted, I liked the politely, elegantly sound of my previous suggestion. And I actually would have felt a little offended because of being taught and corrected by my little brother, but when he complemented me and mentioned that he liked my gentle and polite manners it was flattering. It gave me the feeling that whether his nor mine behavior was wrong. Zac knew that it depended on the situation...

"Sorry Zac if I made you feel like I didn't trust your actions and that you have to defend yourself about what you do. I guess just couldn't help it because I do not want to appear useless. I just wanted to try to help..."

"I know Taylor, believe me I never wanted to give you the feeling that I'm taking something away from you. But I'm responsible for you and trust and support each other is very important for us, especially in this situation. You are not a useless person. Just because I protect you does not have to mean there's nothing you can do for me. Despite my protection over you, there are possibilities to equally care about each other."

Actually I thought I would have felt hurt or not being taken serious that Zachary didn't accept anything of my teaching lesson nor changed his mind about the way he acted outside the barber's shop. But he managed it to explain his reason to me in a way that told me that he didn't disrepect me. He just knew there was no other way and I realized it was wrong to criticize him. Even when he lay there on a couch in a relaxed manner, his behavior and body language was always dominant and confident. Through his military training he had become an air of confidence and superiority around him. It amazed me somehow. I knew it was true that the way of his appareance was important when he protected me. I wanted to show him that I cared. Equality was the only way with which our relationship could work...

I began to feel guilty that I didn't trust him enough that I questioned him in his actions... There were many so things of which I didn't have an answer. What do you when your heart says: 'Keep him' and your mind says: 'You are not allowed to do what you do' ?

I was so torn between my heart and my mind....

After our conversation I became unsure if my sayings were right. Was I making it harder for Zac?

After all, I could be glad that I was still alive. The situation wouldn't have gotten out of control if I had stayed inside the barber's shop and waited for him. I didn't want to be unfair. I still doubted that I had done the same in that situation outside the barber's shop but the fact that Zac still seemed so convinced in his actions helped me to build up trust to him somehow. If he became insecure and regretful after my accusations and I would notice that he was not sure anymore if it was right or not what he had done, it would have been harder for me to believe that he was really aware of his actions. To see that he still believed in what he did, made it easier for me to trust him and his actions as well. He actually handled the situation quite well and professional and he wasted no time with bragging about the incident.

Zachary's actions and his convincement reminded me again how twisted our roles were, he thought and acted not only like a bodyguard, but also like a big brother.

Zac did everything to protect me and make me feel safe...

I looked at him questioning, hoping he would say something that gave me some peace of mind. His balanced character had a soothing effect on me somehow. Our conversation helped me to reflect things and see them in a different light. Zac's willingness to care about the rough things while I basked in the glow of fame actually had something very selfless. My respect for him grew because of his confidence and selflessness. My younger brother was willing to play the possible unpopular role in order to protect me...

"Trust me Taylor, I know what I do. Okay?"

I nodded and swallowed my pride. "I trust you Zac... I'm just afraid that sometime a situation might escalate. I mean I have seen how you beat up that guy, but why do you carry a gun around?"

"I'm prepared for that and you know that I'm realist and see things as they really are. I know that it can always end up good or bad. It's all taken care of. You can't settle every conflict with bare hands, that's why the gun is always necessary. But don't worry, I have a concealed carry license."


"Yeah, I've been in the Army for nearly eight years."

As Zachary ended the sentence the other TV channel also showed the report about the happenings. This time it was recorded from another perspective, probably a cell phone. It showed me sitting on the ground in the middle of a hysterical, screaming crowd around me. I sat there, curled up like a ball helplessly waiting for my younger brother to save me. White and pink blossoms stuck in my blond hair of the flower bouquet which I had lost somewhere in the crowd. I wanted to turn my face away, but Zac confronted me directly. I guess it was only fair though, after we had talked about his actions in great detail but not over mine.

"Taylor, listen. I understand that you don't want and like to see that scene again, but that incident is the exact reason why you should never go out without me by your side. Something like that or worse shouldn't repeat!" He looked at me seriously and pointed towards the TV. Zac was right and I knew that. He's like my older brother. Just a little shorter.

"I understand Zac. I will not go out alone anymore. I know you've got things under control. I really don't want that to happen again as well." I answered contritely and with honest regret.

Since I hadn't been in such a pushing crowd for a long time, the incident was genuinely a bit frightening. I had panicked a bit, because Blade had to stop, warn people and command them to stay off as he pulled me through the crowd. He was marking his territory like a menacing blood dog, especially when we passed the man with whom he fighted before. The guy had a bloody nose and Blade called out another warning threat to him as the guy gave us evil glances. Thank god Blade was there. Strangely that gave me comfort. I'm kind of ashamed to leave this in here. Let me just say that I'm a man and I can take care of myself. It's just that when you haven't eaten anything for several days and when it all gets too much, you really do need someone to protect you.

For some mysterious reason I always thought of him as Blade when he had his aviator sunglasses on and as Zachary when he had them off.

Most times I needed more affirmation than he did and I found myself in moments where I actually was longing for his proud and protective big brother looks. When he talked there was always something protective in his voice, just like he was thinking straight like a soldier or a cop.

"How come you are so protective?"

"Perhaps because I feel that I have to be." He answered. Feeling guilty to hear that I tried to change the subject.

"Well, I know there are many fans who are overexcited when they see me. I can imagine being a bodyguard is a tough job. Hopefully something worse like that won't happen again. I don't think I can bear more commotions."

"There won't be any additional problems as those gay faggots don't touch me." He said, responding to my look with his dark chocolate eyes.

Our conversation suddenly took a turn I didn't expect.

"What is your problem with gay men???" I asked loudly and frowned at him.

I had to think back at that moment about the way he treated Skye. Had Zachary's snubbing behaviour towards him partly something to do with Skye's gayness? It was hard to imagine.

But maybe a small part of it?

"I don't have a problem with gay men. I just don't like it when they're being touchy."

Zac's answer bothered me in a way. Like I already assumed, it turned out I was right that there was a small part of him who didn't know how to deal with gay men.

Would he treat me differently once he knew about my gayness?

I guess there was only one way to find out about it.

"So you reproach me that I would judge you because of your age, but you're judging too. Coz you judge gay men."

"What can I say? We're both weirdos so we're definitely from the same family." He shrugged unflappably, not letting himself get worked up.
Unintentionally, I had to smile a little about his sarcasm. It seemed that his black sense of humor never leaves him.

I thought about what a picture the two of us made in public.

Two brothers, one was gay and the other one with homophobic tendencies.

What a superb combination...

I didn't know whether to laugh or shake my head about it.

Basically though, everyone has prejudices for a certain part. There's no one who hasn't any at all. Violence breeds more violence and it's the same thing with prejudices.

I realized at this moment that I was still holding my unopened cigarette box in my hand. I opened it and looked down at the few cigarettes left in the box while I was thinking back of Zachary's words. He may didn't give a fuck about what other people think, but he cared about me and my health and my condition was important for him.

To think of that made not wanting to smoke a cigarette anymore.
I threw them in a garbage can before I looked over to him again.

"I assume that you have seen the photos of me on the walls at home."


"Some of them were taken during events from agencies which fight against hunger and poverty. I'm involved in those help organisations and I also support social equality. Well, to cut a long story short, I am gay."


previous Chapter 52                                                                                                                                                                next Chapter 54

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