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Chapter: 62
Rating: Nc-17
Warnings: Language, Death, Crime
POV: Blade (Zac)
Chapter Overview: Link

About the Story:
After the death of their parents, Taylor and Zac went their own way in life. Taylor became a superstar and never thought his chosen profession would bring danger into his life. Blade (Zac) buried the past and lived his life contently in the dark and dirty world as a pimp. Unexpected circumstances bring them together after almost a decade apart. How will they overcome the shadows of the past and move forward?

Excerpt: Fuck this illusory ideal world shit! "I quit."

Special thanks: to itztigress3 for the great help!

Authors Notes: Update Chapter 62! Sorry for the delay (this one took its time). Chapter 63 will be posted in September 2015. Enjoy

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Taylor and my relationship was broken. The place that once was our home a long time ago had become a place of lies, half heartedness and sickening hypocrisy. I stayed alone as the others disappeared into the foyer and then upstairs for items that belonged to Taylor's wife that her parents wanted to have some memories of their daughter.

When I came in the living room fifteen minutes ago after treating my wounds and saw Taylor blushing right up to the ears, the embarrassed expression on his face as he looked over to me I just wanted to do nothing more than turn on my heels and leave.

Santiago wanted me to continue doing this job, but there was no doubt that mine and Taylor's relationship had failed miserably for a second time.

I stayed for a while longer 'cause I knew that his in laws didn't have anything to do with what was going on between him and me. Taylor's pride had broken our relationship... if it could have ever been considered as 'fixed' at all.

Maybe it was for him, but not for me. In fact, we couldn't be more far away from each other. He made me feel like an inconvenient pest that always caused him to feel awkward and ashamed.

He didn't even realize how arrogant and selfish it was for him to turn care and ministration into a process he had to go through even though siblings caring for each other is one of the most normal and natural things in the world. He then acted like he was proud of himself that he got used to his own brother and that I had to be thankful for his acceptance even though it should be a fucking matter of course.

To accept each other without prejudices, even that wasn't true, because I knew that what Taylor just said was another lie. Taylor always tried to emphasize that our safety is the reason we couldn't stay together, but I felt that our small age difference was also still a problem between us.

What the hell had his pride let him become? Why couldn't he be genuinely grateful for something others would be happy for? I accepted him right from the start, why the fuck couldn't he do the same in return?

Taylor demanded, expected my consideration toward him even though he never planned to stay with me. It even felt like he wanted to make me feel
guilty for caring about him. I didn't know if Taylor was aware of the consequences his superficial behavior had on us 'cause he only seemed to have eyes for his own feeling of shame whenever he met somebody. It was like a curse on our relationship since the first day we met. His cheeks were pinker than I've ever seen them when he introduced me to his in laws and the embarrassment was written all over his face. And even if our small age difference had never became a serious problem, Taylor's plan to get rid of me had something to do with his pride anyway, because he made that decision without to consider my point of view, so it didn't make any difference. His shame just added to all those moments that hurt me.

Now, our relationship was over and there was no return. I would go and put an end of this depressing situation between us. I was fucking done being my brother's doormat! I didn't want to be Taylor's bodyguard anymore. Each moment felt like a pointless effort.

There was no hope for us. It didn't make any sense if Taylor didn't realize his behavior and it wasn't my job to change him. There's no point in fighting for something that isn't worth it.

How I could say that? After he said to me how thankful he was that I was here?

Because I knew that his feelings weren't real and unlike Taylor I trust my inner voice. After his brother in law approached him in a mocking way, Taylor seemed to be annoyed, yet shortly afterwards he appeared confident with his position. I knew at that moment that his behavior was just a show. Honest feelings are never cause by an act of defiance. But that's exactly what Taylor's feelings were in that moment; an act of defiance. That's why I knew that he still wasn't used to me. If he thought so, he was lying to himself.
Taylor couldn't be used to me as long as he didn't even realize that our brotherly relationship shouldn't be a 'process' he had to learn to get used to at all.

Taylor always claimed that he couldn't handle it if something serious happen to me and he would lose me, what he forgot about that part was that I had to live with the same worry like he did and had to put my life on the line for him on top of that.

For a brother who dealt with his own feelings like they were more important than anyone else's...

When Taylor laid his arm around me as he told everyone how grateful he was that I was there, it felt like I internally died another time. Instead of having the guts for once to face me and tell me that he never wanted to keep me, he told everyone how thankful he was, even though he planned to get rid of me. I didn't need a brother who kissed my ass in front of other people while in reality he was kicking my ass with his intention to get rid of me! Sadly, he didn't even realize that all he did was hurt me.

Internally I said goodbye to my brother in that moment. There was nothing left that I could do for him. Pride and prejudice had broken our cooperation and our relationship as brothers.
I had enough of his coward lies and was sick of the hypocrisy that surrounded me.

Since I started working for Taylor, I steadily had to fight and deal with contradictions. He told me that he loved me but he wanted to get rid of me. He said that he was grateful for what I did, but felt ashamed of me at the same time. He said he had to take over responsibility for the happenings but planned to run away again. He wanted to teach me manners; but failed to be honest toward me. He told me to behave but he did the exact opposite. I had seen photos in his house that he supported agencies, yet he acted like a superficial person when it came to his own family. He said I was important for him but he placed a higher value on his reputation. He openly supported social equality yet he forgot the most basic rules and the meaning of it towards me.

All these facts showed me that I couldn't trust my brother.

The last time I remember trusting him was before he left when we were teenagers. It had been such a long time that I almost couldn't remember how it felt to have a brother whom I could trust. I had lost those feeling a long time ago and he didn't do anything for me to help me find it again. As his bodyguard and his brother I needed to trust him.

Breaking trust happens easily, but it takes ten times longer to build it up again.

Until now, I couldn't even tell if he placed value into the fact I may never be able to trust him again.

When we tried to make a second start and Taylor admitted his feelings of shame towards me, I had no choice but to accept it. I had to be considerate of something that I couldn't understand, but it was a part of my job to work on our cooperation. I sensed that Taylor's life was dependent from my consideration and I also did it because he's my brother. So I gave him affirmations that there was no reason to feel ashamed to help him in the best way I could because I knew that Taylor had to find his strength back.

Actually it's fucking ridiculous to help anyone to get used to his own brother which should be considered as a matter of course. But because of Taylor's sensitive and vulnerable state after his wife got killed I could see and sense that he needed someone who kept him from falling down. So I held him even though I never got the same from him in return. I was forced to play my brother's doormat until he felt better and hoped he would soon realize how egoistical and superficial his behavior was toward me.

When nothing changed our situation became grueling. I began to ask myself if my efforts to help him get used to his own brother were all for nothing since he never planned on keeping me. Aside from saving his life all I did to help him was just a waste of time since he never considered to keep me. I just wasted my time on him. Meanwhile, I felt like someone sucked my strength and energy out of me like a leech.

He acted as if his feelings were a big fucking secret and that I had to be thankful when he opened up to me instead of appreciating that someone cared at all. Wasn't I allowed to comfort him just because I'm two years younger than him?

Why couldn't he realize it's things like this which estrange us?! Was it cooler for him to exclude me and make me feel like an outcast just because he was two years older than me?

Even though in my pimp job in the hustler scene I sold my body for money, it was Taylor who made me feel like I sold my soul. He never apologized to me for hurting me even though I apologized to him for my anger.

Would things be easier between us if I was two or three years older? Why does everyone judge me for my age? What the fuck is wrong with this generation?

After I agreed to try to make a second start with Taylor I hoped that we would find a way to move on and get over the fucking past experiences. But to experience how difficult it was for Taylor to deal with me left no place for anything else other than to find a way for him to get used to me. In our situation it was always a matter of life and death. As long as Taylor had a problem with me, it was an additional risk that could cost him his life at any moment.

Without Taylor's cooperation it was a risk which made it impossible to remain his bodyguard because he was not willing to give me his cooperation and support. Taylor still needed protection, but it was impossible to provide it as long as the endless prejudice because of our small age difference stood between us like a barrier. If there's anything I could do to help Taylor to forget that I'm two years younger than him, trust me; I would have done it, but I can't. I couldn't do anything for Taylor as long as he put me in a box of prejudice, treated me like an idiot whose feelings weren't interesting and that his feelings weren't my business.

Thankfully he had found his will to live back and maybe that was the purpose of my job for him. At least I hoped I could see it that way someday. Without my consideration, maybe he wouldn't have found it back. That's why I was considerate toward him even though I never could understand why he felt so ashamed of me. Actually, I wanted to make things easier for Taylor but he always acted like I made things harder for him.

Was my life and my feelings nothing worth for him? So he preferred to continue torturing me until he knew I still cared about him so that he could lose interest in me again? What the fuck have we lived for if we've never faced our fears?

I'm not ashamed to say that I wished someone would have done for me something like that at any point and also gave me some encouragement just like I gave Taylor. Sadly, I got nothing but criticism and steady rejection in return. I'm so damn tired of being treated like a jerk for trying to do the right thing. Was it too much to ask for to get some motivation in return?

To me nothing had changed. I still felt the same loneliness I always felt. There were often moments in which I asked myself what I had done to him that made him so uncomfortable?

Why should it feel weird to care about my family at all? No one should need a damn reason or to justify for that! It's actually strange to think it's weird.

It became tiring and exhausting the longer this subject stood between us, yet I had never mentioned how worthless and useless he made me feel every single time I stood by his side whenever he was awkwardly blushing and hemming and hawing around because of me. I was always forced to play the big brother role because I had to carry all the responsibilities. I knew that Taylor couldn't bear accusations in his vulnerable, sensitive condition so I had no choice but to wait until he felt better.

Until now I didn't even know if he ever thought or cared
about how psychically stressful and hurting it was for me to protect and deal with a brother who wanted to get rid of me and felt ashamed of me on top of that.

I guess I just hoped we could pick up the pieces and normalize our relationship somehow. I didn't know if Taylor was aware of the effects his ego problems had on me because he never tried to understand. It certainly had left its traces one me. I began to feel irritated and aggressive in situations which wouldn't have made me feel that way if he hadn't had such a problem with me.

I noticed this not just since Skye approached me with the baby brother comment, but already in Santiago's bar when we watched the scene on TV of those two playing brothers.
The whole time it felt like I had 'dumb asshole' tattooed on my forehead just because I was the younger one. It was creepy and disturbing to me that he couldn't accept I was not a child anymore.

Shouldn't we be over this shit by now?!?

When Taylor got the news that his unborn daughter had never existed I felt sympathy for him. I wanted to be there for him. Yet at the same time I didn't want to make him feel ashamed again. The steady cat and mouse game between us became unbearable the longer we had to deal with it. He obviously didn't care about the effects of his superficial behavior, it was repugnant for me that not losing his coolness was apparently more important for him than I was. He had no accountability and it seemed totally normal for him to play with other people's feelings and to threw them away like trash once he didn't need them anymore. I couldn't understand why he had such a weak, unreliable character, even less when it came to his own family. I have always placed high value on equality and I know that no relationship can work without it.

I don't mean to be sad like this all the time. I hate the person that my sadness has made me become. I don't want to bring others down or be a weight on anyone's shoulders, but I am. It was exactly what I was because of Taylor's fucking pride. There is no distraction to mask what is real.

I didn't see any sense in lying to myself. I may have no manners and I'm also not very good when it comes to talking about my feelings but my instinct can differentiate between right and wrong. What was going on between us did not feel right to me.
I didn't want to waste my time with him anymore as long as Taylor thought that overtaking responsibility meant to run away and that he felt grateful to me even though he felt ashamed of me.

How can you say to anyone 'I love you and I appreciate you' while at the same time feeling ashamed of that person?

It's like saying to someone that you love him while you are stabbing him in his heart at the same time. Or when criminals rob the bank and some people get killed and they say "this is not killing people, this is choosing to live an easier life". When something is wrong, it is wrong!

Our relationship was lost forever if Taylor didn't realize what his pride had done with us and what he had become because of it. If he had shown honest interest in my feelings at least one single time it wouldn't have needed to end in such a cowardice. No matter what happens, the brave choice is always family. I found it sad that he as my older brother didn't know that.

When I left Santiago's bar I felt it wasn't right to leave him alone but I knew I had to bring Taylor home safely. Still, it felt like the wrong decision to me.
When I saw how the dealer overpowered Santiago during the fight I seen for the first time how physically conquerable Santiago had become. I hated to see my best friend so helpless who used to be so strong and full of energy before.

I highly doubted that the Russian would have had such an easy game with him a year before. My friend used to be able to defend himself physically much better than nowadays. If he hadn't lost his leg he would be still physically fit and strong. He was shot in the leg and I was the one who had made the tourniquet too tight. That's why he lost his leg. The doctor personally informed me about it.

One mistake that made my best friend into a helpless cripple...

I swallowed. Despite that fact, Santiago wanted me to leave him and continue doing this job, so that I wouldn't have to deal with similar psychic stress that would lie ahead of me if I had to go to jail.

Santiago wanted me to live a better life, to get a change and to get away from the criminality I was used to living in for more than a year now. He always wanted what was best for me.

Like a real father. And I left him.

I left him alone.

Instead, I was here to discuss and endure my brother's superficial ego problems. I wished that we would have spent our time more sensible but when I look back all I learned from my brother was how I make him blush and that I couldn't believe anything he said.

For his fans he might be a hero, as a brother he was a stranger.

Those faked feelings were what made our relationship unbearable and our cooperation impossible. To experience to what a sick level his pride had sunk to did not only disappoint, I couldn't deny it still hurt, even though I had the desire for it not to care at all. It disappointed me that Taylor let his ego problems and his lack of interest in me ruin our relationship for a second time. It was something I failed to understand.
It's actually fucking sad that this was an issue between us at all.

Why did he let me do this job even though there was no point or goal in it? Why did he want to give me the feeling that I had to fight for my position but he hadn't?
Hasn't he learned anything from the past?

The way Taylor placed value on his pride stabbed my heart hundreds of times and then he acted like he was bleeding and the worst part was that everyone seemed to help him while I was bleeding to death. The way I felt treated by him made me feel like my life wasn't worth anything. And with my new bodily injuries I was now a human wreck; physically and emotionally.

Still, it were the emotional scars which hurt the most. The physical injuries were just a reminder that I was still alive...

Right now, I wasn't even sure anymore if it was right to give in and to reconcile with Taylor this morning after he bought himself a new suit. Because from that moment on the rape with my feelings began when he confessed me his feelings of shame toward me.

Where would be we now if I left him earlier? Would he be dead by now or both of us? Why do some people forget what's important in a family and become too blind to appreciate what they could have if they weren't too proud?

Another sad thing was that during the time in which I protected Taylor I had felt that I was doing something sensible which I hadn't felt for a long time. Something meaningful. Something different than the self-flagellation in my pimp job. But all the time it was only a facade whose clock was running down...

The cruelest thing of all is false hope and to pretend you care about another person more than you really do because it leaves scars that doesn't go away. The only thing I was hoping for was that Taylor wouldn't be another disappointment...

It was true that I had dedicated my life to destroy myself. I ruined myself for a lot of people that weren't even worth it. And that has nothing to do with braveness. It's the point you reach when you realize that nothing seems to matter anymore. You become a spiritless zombie when there's no one who understand your silence. I can always feel the darkness surrounding me even when the sun is already up...

Would anybody ever understand how much it hurt? Would I remain alone forever?

If I were still sixteen, I would probably sit in a corner right now and cry that my only brother had pushed me away for a second time. But I was grown and not that naive teenager anymore. So I tried to not let it get to me, because I didn't see a point in it and I didn't want to depress myself and make this sad situation worse for me than it already was. Furthermore, I already experienced all that depression crap. I was hurt as much as I was before; the only difference was I didn't have any more tears.

The Army taught me that courage is not defied by those who fought and did not fall, but by those who fought, fell and rose again. My strength as a soldier came from lifting myself up every time life knocked me down.

Do you know the feeling when you think you should feel angry but all you can feel is being numb and empty? That's how I feel right now. I hate the feeling when you really don't have any emotion. You feel so empty. You're not happy, you're not sad, you're nothing. When your mind is spinning but you can't feel anything. It's that cold absence of feeling that accompanies you like a dark shadow wherever you go.

Negative events have an effect on you whether you want to admit it or not. They change the way you see things, they change the way you feel, they change your humor, they change who you are...

Actually, I used to be not a depressing guy at all. It's so not who I am. My real me is the complete contrary of what I am now. Before Santiago's accident I used to be a hyperactive and fun loving person, who could tell jokes and make grimaces to make others laugh until they get stomach aches.

I was a fucking Peter Pan.

Look at me now.

The only thing that makes me depressed is when I'm surrounded by coward hypocrisy. I really miss the old happy me. And I missed the brother and friend I once had... a long time ago. Sadly, I couldn't even say if he still exists somewhere under his mask.

I shook my head as if it could help to shrug off the emotions which threatened to drag me down which I really didn't need again.

Back then as we were teenagers I remember Taylor never wanted to become one of those superficial snobs who lost their sense for reality. To me it felt like it was exactly the person he had become though. Maybe it was already too late to pull Taylor out of this superficial, faked glitter world...

Both of us had become persons we didn't like and instead of helping each other, we wasted our time.

All of us are fucked up. We eat and we shit, we fight and we fail, we lie and we cheat and we hide and we do all sorts of things that nobody sees. Even those perfect high society families. Especially those perfect high society families. I don't compare. I'm just trying to do the best I can.

Sometimes I wished I would be better at telling people how I really feel. But being an attention whore was not my thing to be honest. Aside from Santiago, I didn't even know if anyone cared why I didn't tell earlier how much it hurt me that my own brother was ashamed of me.

The answer is simple; No one asked.

I could feel that Taylor was not receptive for critique in his sensitive condition, I knew it would have made his condition even worse and it was my job to protect him. There was guilt on his shoulders because of leaving me alone back then, because of our parents death and he seemed to feel guilty about his wife's death as well. I've been in such a state nine years ago and I know that when you stand at the edge between life and death, sometimes it does need only one single accusation that can already be too much and push you too far. I just couldn't put more weight on Taylor's weak shoulders with accusations in his current condition. Aside from that, I didn't see a sense in a stupid competition about whose feelings were more important.

Anyway! I'm sorry if anybody felt offended by my racist, sexist and homophobic remarks. That's just my kind of humor and my way to protect myself from sentimental bullshit. I may be not perfect but at least I'm not fake.

Apparently Taylor would always remain the only person in the family who would have an important role. I've never felt jealousy towards Taylor in any way, but to me it felt like he was jealous of one of the only things I had; my skills to protect him. I had saved Taylor's life and he had his strength and will to live back. Someday he will stand on a big stage again to perform and the stray dog goes back to the dirt where he belongs...

Taylor said he didn't want to make me feel like an outsider, but because of his dishonesty, his attitude, his refusal to share his feelings with me and especially because of his unawareness of how his egoistical behavior hurt me it was exactly what he had achieved. He made me feel even more an outsider than I already was. I was utterly repelled of Taylor's lifestyle in every way. I've always been a loyal person but he pushed me to the point where I no longer cared.

Me and my dog were nothing more than some unfitting pieces of dirt in his seemingly perfect world. Feeling like you don't "fit in" is one of the most painfully memorable things you can experience, especially if your tastes in clothes, way of talking or style were outside the mainstream. That feeling of rejection can shape you in ways that affect your adult life.

I could feel that Taylor and I didn't know each other anymore.

Who was that guy that was my brother with that strange and unworldly personality? Why couldn't be happy for me one single time? Did he need the attention that bad?

Maybe time had made the two of us too different that we couldn't fix in three days what we missed in nine years.

All I ever wanted out of life was what everyone else had. Not more. Just not the less I was used to.

I missed freedom, I missed independency. Air to breathe without relying on anyone...

But I probably would never experience that again. Even the end of this job didn't bring back freedom. I would go to jail. Literally this time. Because I would turn myself in to the police.

My bodyguard job was over. There was nothing left I could do for Taylor. We will not learn how to deal with each other by hurting each other's feelings. It's not my style to break a promise and certainly there were still feelings of revenge for what that culprit did to Taylor and Bandito. But responsibility had a higher priority for me than revenge.

I realized it was a mistake to come back to this house and leave S
antiago. He was the one whom I owed my life and he wanted to accept responsibility for the murder at the Russian dealer that I committed. I couldn't let him do that.

'Cause unlike Taylor I knew it's not right to abandon his family. And even if we weren't related, I wouldn't leave Taylor helplessly and unprotected. A good soldier never leaves someone in need alone to his own devices.

I had spoken with Detective Wright before I came into the living room; the results of that conversation were disappointing to say the least. He had shown me the sketch of the culprit, the notes and letters and the autopsy report for Taylor's wife. Yet, they had made zero progress on finding the culprit. He had already have worked on cases in which celebrities were involved and apparently went through bad experiences with them. It seemed that that was the reason why he didn't have much patience for Taylor.

I had informed him that I would probably hand the job to someone else, he didn't seem surprised. He mentioned that celebrities have never been easy. Maybe he was right. After what I have experienced in the last three days I honestly couldn't blame him.

The first thing I did once the others were upstairs was grab my cell phone to call Santiago's bar. I needed to know what happened to him. Thoughts of him hadn't let go off me since I left his bar. I remained calm as I dialed the number to his saloon but my hands got sweaty while I was waiting for someone to answer my call and impatiently counted the rings on the line. Six times, nine times, fucking twelve times! Finally I heard a known voice in the line. It was Nathaniel's.

Nathaniel - Santiago's kitchen boy (played by Diego Luna)

From his upset tone I sensed that something happened.

"Nathaniel! It's me, Blade. Where is Santiago?" I demanded impatiently.

"Blade! Good that you're calling. The cops were here. They have taken Santiago with them. Blade, Santiago has been arrested."

"Shit! Do you know where they took him?" My sweaty hand nearly squashed the cell phone in worry about my friend.

"No. I had to close the bar temporarily. I don't know where he is, what they did do with him and if he will come back. I'm worried about him. What if he does not come back at all?"

"I will take care of that Nathaniel. I will find him." I answered quick like a shot. I would take care of that matter of vital importance, and if it's the last damn thing I'd do! I'm not someone who runs away from responsibilities.

"That's a relief Blade. I knew that I can rely on you." Nathaniel sounded relieved. I could understand his worries. Without Santiago he couldn't reopen the bar and would become redundant.

"What about Bandito? Is he with you?"

"Warf!" My Rottweiler's sharp ears must have heard me saying his name through the receiver.
Damn... how I missed that little bandit!

I needed to know if he was doing well just like I needed to know what happened to Santiago.

"Yes, he's here. He's alright. I will care for him."

"Good to know Nathaniel. We'll see each other." I croaked before I hung up.

I had to leave!

I had to go to him and to clarify the matter. But what about Taylor?

Despite everything, I couldn't leave him unprotected. After all, I still felt responsible for Taylor. Like he was my little brother who needed his big brother's protection...

Shockingly, isn't it? Or was it already stupidity after how he treated me?

The fact made me question my own sanity. Unlike him, I didn't leave a family member helplessly to his own devices. Even though a piece of reality was exactly what Taylor needed...

And was I the only one who felt it was his task to take care of his big brother?

How many guys in the world did that? And why did it feel like Taylor needed some time to grow up a little while for me it was the opposite... I just get older.

In a way it's ironic when you feel that it's actually your older brother who needs an older brother. I could imagine that Taylor's in laws find it weird that I play the big brother role. To me it honestly never felt weird or unnormal though. How could something be weird when you feel that it's exactly the position you are in and who you are? As weird as it may sound; I didn't know anything different.

the idea for this scene based on this interview snippet:


The only strange and unnormal thing in mine and Taylor's relationship was that my dog gets a better treatment than I get from my brother.

I had to collect myself and distract from those thoughts which seemed to make me my fucking paranoid...

"Fuck!" I cursed as I felt a cramp in my chest as the emotions seemed to crash down on me and my cell fell down as I grabbed my chest. I needed something to calm my nerves. Otherwise I would run amok. I didn't want to have anything from Taylor. I was better without him and be independent. I didn't want his money, I didn't need his fucking luxury. All I needed was cocaine. Fucking now!

Once the pain had ceased I picked up the phone, kicked the arm chair roughly away from me, stood up and hurried in the bathroom. My mouth felt dry every time I thought of getting high. I turned the faucet on and drank almost one litre to get rid of the ill-tasting feeling of dryness. I then went to get some coke out of my back pack that still sat there in a corner.
Like it was my fate I could physically feel how I was sinking deeper. The war of nerves had reached the critical mass so I hastily took enough out of it for a few trips and the sniff case. The only thing that could give me a peaceful scene in a land of trouble...

Quickly, I took my leather jacket and put it on before I stuffed the drugs in my inside jacket pocket. I missed the feeling of being a drug addict. At least then my life had a purpose...

It's sad when it turns out that things are easier when you act like you have no heart...

I fought with my impatience and cursed to myself as I put the translucent bag back into the silver metal box and put it back in my back pack. Unfortunately, the black paradise had to wait a while longer, 'cause I had to arrange some matters first before I could leave. Resignated I stood up and put my back pack on.

I saw Natalie's parents and their son come downstairs as I headed back to the living room.

"Blade, right?" Natalie's mother came toward me, extending her hand. Her husband and her son were carrying some cartons as they were walking toward the front door.

"Yeah, that's my name, Maám." I answered calmly. The weird thing was it wasn't even difficult to suppress the emptyness inside of me in my tone as I took her hand. I was so used to it that I wouldn't even call it being sad at this point, I'd call it 'being me'.

"Please call me Pam. We're going to leave now. Taylor and Skye are still upstairs; they have to talk before they come down later."

"I see. Do you want me to accompany you out?"

"No thanks Blade, we can find the way out by ourselves. I just wanted to say that my husband, my son and I, well it's hard to understand the current situation so it's difficult for us to consider it as right what you guys do but still, it really deserves acknowledgement what you do for your older brother." She laid her hand on my upper arm and looked at me sympathetically.

"Thanks Pam." I flinched a little as her hand touched the spot where the cut on my arm was and she gave me a worried look.

"All the best for the two of you." She said insightfully before letting go of my arm and turned to leave.

"For you too."

Why was it so easy for her to recognize what for Taylor was such a big deal?

I sighed resigned as I strolled back to the living room. Silently, I took the new gun that Santiago gave me out of the holster and put some patrons into the barrel to load it. The cold metal felt so good in my sweaty hand that it was almost like an invitiation to kill myself. I guessed it's creepy that the thought made me smirk.

Maybe Taylor and I should have played a round of Russian roulette to save time. It's a really great game... Makes people nicer. Starts them thinking...

Either I would have left after it or be dead, which was an improvement in both cases I thought to myself before I put the gun back into the holster at my belt.

Santiago and I still were in loose contact with some colleagues we were in the army with. A few of them came to his bar for some drinks every now and then. I knew that some of them were looking for a job which weren't there anymore as well. So I called a veteran colleague who was with Santiago and me together in the army; Michael Parker.

Michael Parker (played by Mark Wahlberg)

"Mike? It's Blade, Leon Caziano..." I said once I heard his voice in the line.

A random memory from our Army experiences was popping up in my mind in this moment. We hadn't seen each other often since we were veterans and to speak with him again made me think of a mission in which we had saved people out of a burning house. I remember that we couldn't save everyone and it was horrible to hear the screams from the left people we couldn't save from inside. Our clothes were dirty and sweat soaked and our faces were blackened with soot. The memories were like a movie that played in front of my eyes every time I thought of it. Our skin hurt from the heat and a few of us almost choke from the fire but all we could think about were the helpless people which were caught in the burning house. I would never forget their helpless screams...

At some point Sergeant Mayor Riley shouted to us: "Parker and Caziano, give it up! You can't protect everyone!" as we were watching the hopeless scene like in a daze because we couldn't recue all of them. The pictures were still so real and clear to me in my head like it happened yesterday. To us it felt like it was the most mean thing anyone could say at that moment. Sadly, it's often the most hardest working people who get the worst treatment... However, it wasn't the right moment for a an exchange of past memories. I was glad that Mike was available.

"Blade? Léon Caziano?" I had almost forgotten that he used to call me by my middle code name because he once said that the found that I looked like a Léon. Or maybe like a lion. Whatsoever.

"Hey Léon, how is it going?"

Aside from an annoying older brother who can't get his silliness out of his system and shits on everything I say?

Absolute drama is giving me depression, Santiago has been arrested and I'm suffering serious cocaine withdrawals.
Alaska would have given me less headaches.

Fuck it all! I just needed to get the fuck out of here.

"Michael, listen I don't have much time. Santiago has been arrested and I have to quit my job to clarify some things. Right now I work for Taylor Hanson as his bodyguard..."

"That famous singer Taylor Hanson?" He sounded a little astonished.

"Yes that Taylor Hanson." I emphasized. If Taylor's fame was a chance to convince him to take the job, then that's how it should be. I explained him as short as possible about the circumstances, told him the basics
and everything important he needed to know about the job, yadda yadda.

Fortunately he was available and promised to come, so I gave him Taylor's address after he said that he could be here in about thirty minutes.

From now on he would be Taylor's new bodyguard.

That's how things would end up sooner or later either way. Taylor said that he didn't exclude me but with his intention to get rid of me it was exactly what he did. I regretted that I didn't get the chance to face and catch Twink Twink but I wouldn't wait for the moment until Taylor drops me again once he doesn't need my anymore. I quit!

Between us someone had to make that step for a change so that we finally stopped hurting each other. I would cross that line because I was sick of feeling unwanted and useless. Taylor could hire a whole protection team if necessary. Santiago had nothing without me.

I had to go away and I didn't want to look back.

I had seen that Skye's police friend was outside waiting at his car, so instead of waiting until Taylor and Skye finished their faggot chit chat I wrote a short message for Taylor, packed my things together and left the house.

He glared at me suspiciously as I walked toward him.

Andrew / Eage Eye (played by Rafael Cardoso)

Apparently, he had a personal issue with me because of his sissy lover boy who followed me like a sheep, but he had no reason to worry that I would steal him away from him. I would sooner eat my own head.

That Eagle Eye cop was one of the only people who remained suspicious toward me, so Taylor really seemed to mattered for him.

I knew that the silver box with the cocaine in my back pack might be an incriminating evidence for Santiago whether I would go into prison or not. I didn't care what happened to me but if I get arrested the police would surely search my apartment and my brothel thoroughly, so I had to bring them to a safe place at first. I knew Santiago wouldn't allow that I assume a debt for his drugs if I tell the police that they're mine.

The only possibilty to hide the coke was in the hidden safe in my brothel because Santiago knew the combo of it. If everything else fails and Santiago had no a chance to get them back, I would give him my fucking brothel hotel to settle the debt.

"Andrew or Eagle Eye?" I approached him briefly.

"For you Officer Barkley, street boy." He insisted curtly before giving me another quick suspicious once over.

Sure. Fine. Whatever. If it makes him feel more important. I don't play for respect. It wouldn't make any sense anyway. He could celebrate his glee party without me once I was gone. At least that's one good thing about not caring what other people think of you, you don't even get annoyed when they laugh about you, 'cause you simply don't waste your time to give a flying fuck. Hate is a waste of time because it requires you to give a fuck about things that aren't worth the fucks you're giving.

As a cop his personal matters should stay out of his job and he should know that. He could feel free to hold as much grudge as he wanted against me, but it was his popinjay who made mooneyes at me, not the contrary. I didn't even have anything against that Barkley boy; I knew that with his cheating manipulator bitch Skye he was already punished enough, with or without my grudge. People hate the truth. Luckily the truth doesn't care.

"What's with your tooth?" He frowned as he saw the big tooth gap in my mouth.

"Lost it in the gutter where I come from." I remarked dryly. That's what he thought, that's what Taylor and Skye thought, that's what was the unadorned truth, so why fucking whitewash it?! I didn't care what he or his lover boy thought of me and it didn't matter anymore what Taylor thought of me. If your last existing relative can't genuinely appreciate your efforts and tries to help, you begin to question yourself and in the end you come to the conclusion that you're in fact for him; A worthless piece of shit.

Still, I respected myself enough to walk away from anything that no longer deserves me.

I no longer have patience for certain things because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.

"Could you stay here? I have to go." I added before he could reply something to not lengthen the discussion unnecessarily. This place was not my home anymore. I didn't feel home here for one single second. It was nothing where I belonged. If a life in the gutter meant not to be surrounded by Taylor's lies and hypocrisy, then I would sleep nowhere better than in the dirt. In my military years I've done that hundreds of times and I could honestly tell I've led a better life as the soldier Blade Leon Caziano than as Zachary Walker Hanson.

I rather slept in the dirt again. Sure as hell didn't want to spend one more night in this house.

"Why? Has Taylor fired you finally?"

Fuck this illusory ideal world shit! And this house too. "I quit." I couldn't really say what was true at the end but either way, it wasn't important anymore. Everything is better when you decide you don't care.

"And... there's nothing else to say about it?" As he began to study my eyes like a therapist I instinctively reached for my sunglasses and put them on. Who was he, Sigmund Freud?

"Don't fucking eyeball me like that!" I warned, slowly getting pissed of being constantly scrutinized by all those fags. He intended to reply something but I cut him off. "I have to leave. My friend Santiago has been arrested. I have to go to him." I explained shortly. I didn't have time all day and I wasn't here for his fucking homo bullshit! His expression changed and he looked a little surprised now. It seemed that he didn't expect it. I may be not a man of big words, but at least I am a man of deeds.

It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. Fortunately, I always find strength in honesty. When you are honest, you build a strength of character that will allow you to act fearless. There's nothing and no one that can intimidate you when you feel that what you do is right. Choosing to be honest with yourself and with others is also a strength of wisdom and courage and I've always been glad that I'm not one those lying Tag alongs. I know that I'm different than many others and I take it with pride. There's nothing more badass than being yourself. Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it'll always get you the right ones. My name is Zachary Hanson alias Blade Caziano and I believe in truth and honesty.

"I already heard it by radio. I know Santiago and his bar." He replied, sounding more helpful now than before. His anomisity towards me had suddenly turned into doubts and guilt. I could hear it in his tone. He wasn't the only who was able to study people.

"Can you tell me where he is now?" My heart was sounding like a thousand drums all at once to me at the thought of Santiago innocently arrested because of me. Not only that, I was sweating more at the thought of the cocaine in my jacket. I didn't even want to think of it how I could withstand prison time without some coke.... Damn!

"Sure, hold on a sec." He pulled a pad and a pen out of his belt bag. "This is the address of the police station in San Fernando, that's where they brought him." He said while scribbling a note.

"Alright. Can you stay here with Taylor? A colleague of Santiago and I will come in the next half hour and do the job from now on."

He looked alternating between me and the house for a moment, then handed me the piece of paper.

"You sure that you want to leave your brother?"

"It does not make any sense for me to continue doing it. Taylor has the choice and the possibility to hire someone else as his bodyguard. Santiago has nothing right now." I explained, taking the note from him, reading the address and fixed it on my mind. I just wanted to get high and forget everything. I tried, Taylor didn't. I'm done, have fun. I don't need to prove anything to anyone, even less to a brother who is too proud and egoistical to see anything else than himself.

There is nothing for me here...

"I understand. Don't worry about him; I will stay here with Taylor until that new security guard is here." He said understandingly and I sighed relieved. Maybe I should be angry or sad but all I felt was relief...

"Thanks man... or Officer Barkley."

"Andrew. No problem."

"His name is Michael Parker; he should be here soon."

"Alright. By the way I have the copy of the surveillance video you wanted to get, do you still need it?" He turned and fetched a video tape marked 'copy' out of the car.

"No, give it to Taylor's new security guard, he has to be informed about the happenings. Just make sure Taylor doesn't go out alone and watch the surveillance video again. He should better stay off that crime shit in his condition."

"Okay. Bye. Oh and thanks for saving Skye that one night. He would have been a helpless victim without your help."

"Yeah. Hasta la vista." The things we do... the rewards we get...

I turned, hurried to my car and drove off towards Los Angeles downtown to fulfill my last task out of prison before I would drive to San Fernando.
Survival ain't just how to skin a jackrabbit. It's knowing when to bluster and when to hush. When to take a beating and when to strike.

What I left behind in Pasadena was a failed job, an unrevealed secret, a broken promise and a brother who never wanted me.

Game over. I lose.

previous Chapter 61                                                                                                                                                                                                   next Chapter 63

Date: 2015-06-05 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
wow... I really wonder how Taylor will fix this. Poor Zac is under a lot of stress, he went through a lot and experienced a lot of depression and I think a lot of unfairness too. In my opinion much more than he should have. I agree that Taylor did not really anything for Zac in return and he shouldn't have said to his in laws how grateful he is that Zac is there even though he still wants to get rid of him... I think it's high time for Taylor to make up to Zac who seems to be at his breaking point...

Date: 2015-06-05 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you very much for your feedback. ♡ Yeah it will take some time to fix this and the breaking point at this time was necessary. Both of them need their good and bad times to keep things balanced.
Things will get better in the course of time. Promise! :)
Edited Date: 2015-06-05 07:52 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-06-07 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't realize how much Zac was hurting until this Chapter, it's really sad imagination to me that Taylor let it come that far. I can't help but wish he wouldn't have. It will surely take its time to fix this. I agree with Zac that it's a matter of course to accept a brother without prejudices. He is such a strong character in every way. I really felt sorry for him reading about his emotions... Hopefully Tayor will realize what he has done to Zac and will make up to him...

Great Chapter as always!
Edited Date: 2015-06-07 07:11 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-06-08 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you for sharing your thoughts ♡ We also hope that Taylor is not mean like this in real life, it's a very sad imagination for us too. This Chapter was a difficult one for us. The breaking point was necessary for the story though and they really need the separation at this point. Taylor has played with Zac's feelings which wasn't fair towards Zac and you're right it will take a while to fix this. We'll do our best...

Thanks so much for reading! We'll update as soon as possible ♡
Edited Date: 2015-06-09 03:13 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-06-09 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No thank you for this fic. It's one of the most honest written stories I've ever read.

Another sad thing was that during the time in which I protected Taylor I had felt that I was doing something sensible which I hadn't felt for a long time. Something meaningful. Something different than the self-flagellation in my pimp job.

I had to cry a little when I read these lines... so full of emotion. Zac is actually a better big brother than Taylor which is a sad and unfair situation for both of them.

The only strange and unnormal thing in Taylor's and mine relationship was that my dog get a better treatment than I from my brother.

It's no wonder that Zac feels that way. As long as Taylor is too coward to stick to Zac, he will always feel like that. That's sadly the unadorned truth. I really hope Taylor will learn to be a better brother...

Date: 2015-06-11 08:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're very welcome and thanks again for your kind words... they mean a lot. ♡

I wholeheartedly agree, actually it's really sad having to learn to be a good brother at all (no matter how long they were apart.)

However, in the end it's just fiction and we just thought it's interesting to tell what pride can cause between siblings.

Date: 2015-06-11 06:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
True. The process having to learn to be a good brother is sad and sick in itself. Zac shouldn't have to beg nor to be thankful for things which should be a matter of course. I dislike Taylor right now for being such a coward hypocrite. Zac is a better person than I would be in this situation. He arranged a new bodyguard for Taylor even though he left him alone and always ran away from him. It's sad because Taylor hasn't even deserved that.

Hopefully Taylor will finally wake up and fix this which is not gonna be easy.

Date: 2015-06-12 03:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I couldn't agree more, it is very sad. You're right it's definitely Zac who suffered the most in their relationship. We are determined to fix this, it will surely take more than one Chapter to fix his wounds but we'll try to do our best.

It's important for us that both of them are happy, so we will work on that. Next Chapter will be posted in September.
Edited Date: 2015-12-14 01:32 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-08-31 04:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Zac's emotions were intense... I feel so bad for him that his job ended like that. It wasn't fair from Taylor to hire Zac even though he didn't plan to keep him and make him feel like a worthless piece of shit. Someone should kick Taylor's butt for his fucking pride! It will be hard to make up for what he has done but Taylor seems to be a wise and insightful guy. If he realizes what he has done, there's still hope for them.


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December 2015


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