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Chapter: 64
Rating: Nc-17
Warnings: Language, Death, Crime, Drug use
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?

"I don't need to be held by a hypocrite."

Special thanks: to itztigress3 for the great help!

Authors Notes: Sorry for the long delay. Here's Chapter 64 of The Bodyguard. Due personal matters the next Chapter 65 is postponed to 2017! Many thanks for your patience!

Minor changes in the story: It was necessary to make two minor changes. The scene in Chapter 62 where Zac has left his back pack in Taylor's house had to be changed. Now, Zac has taken his back pack with him.

The second change is a name change about the minor character 'Manolo' (Santiago's kitchen boy), his name has changed to 'Nathaniel'.

If anything else is confusing, please don't hesitate to ask.
Here's Chapter 64:


Back on the road, back to the criminality and back to my savage life. Away from fairy fuck land and back to the real world. That's were I was when I left Pasadena this early evening, my condition becoming worse with every mile. In disbelief I realized it was not even six o'clock yet. It seemed like an eternity since I woke up this morning, but it had only taken eight hours to completely change my life. I felt some of the aggression coming back which I had tried to temporarily suppress. Instead of feeling better to be away from my old home I became angry. I tried not to think of Taylor so that I wouldn't become even more pissed than I already was, but that was easier said than done. I wished I could say that the experience left me utterly unaffected but I don't have a heart made of steel.

I didn't like the grim face of the dirty underworld 'cause there was nothing for me in the slums beside dirt, drugs and prostitution. I also couldn't abide Taylor's superficial glitter world and walk along a straight line somewhere in between. I was lost inside and there was no place to go.

Actually, I wanted to remain neutral, but because of the harrowing reality, it didn't really work out well. Since my brother rejected me for a second time was all I felt like was an outsider of the world whose biggest part consisted of indifferent zombies who throw other people away like used toilet paper and the recent experience had unfortunately renewed and emphasized that feeling. I felt like I was driving through a city full of empty people in a world without colours.

The indifference with which some people treat others has always been a thing I was totally repelled by. I couldn't imagine a more fucked up attitude. This generation’s apathy. I’m disgusted with it. I’m disgusted with my own apathy too, for not always standing up against racism, sexism and all those other -isms the mainstream society has been whining about for years.

I had the willpower to learn how to break down the walls between Taylor and me but I didn't have the passion to fight pointlessly anymore. Every time I hoped for something I experienced another crushing defeat. It would be great to have someone in my life who would help me to have a more positive and less biased attitude about life. I had hoped Taylor could be that person and be the brother I had, but he had not done anything for me in the last nine years.

I knew that the world could never be anything but black and white as long as the walls between us remained unbreakable, but I have reached the end of my rope. I was tired of empty talk, broken promises and no results.

Fortunately I know that a life as an independent person definitely has its advantages and that I'm able to lead my life alone, I was used to it anyway. I have control over my own shit and wasn't afraid to lose someone who doesn't feel happy with me at his side. All I wanted was to feel free again.

It was a Saturday evening as I drove on the highway back to downtown Los Angeles with the two pounds of cocaine in my back pack. I planned to hide the drugs in the safe at my brothel before I would drive to the police station in San Fernando so that my best friend wouldn't spend the next 10-15 years behind bars. I knew that neither of us would allow that the other one would go to jail.

When I reached the filthy ghetto, the sun was already down, the afterglow of the blood red sunset lingering on the horizon.

The memories plagued me and I knew they wouldn't disappear. The sight of the huge concert posters which presented Taylor's famous face on virtually every street corner in nearly every pose weren't helpful as well.

Even Skye was in the background on some of them. My anger's shadows were everywhere... I badly needed to blow off my steam and to kick someone's ass, but apparently the devil was busy elsewhere. In retrospect I felt like an idiot that I didn't cut the situation earlier, released my inner beast and beat them up to get both of those two girly boy faggots the fuck out of my life once for all! It would have saved a lot of time and trouble.

Since day one I had a feeling it wouldn't make any sense to work for those gay bitches and my instinct hadn't let me wrong. I shook my head about the war of irony. In the end it wouldn't have changed anything, it wouldn't have been fun nor come to a satisfying result. The pointless pissing each other off had only caused more depression. I was sick and tired of their bullshit.

At first I felt that I had been too rough with Taylor and began to feel guilty so I tried to be more considerate towards him. But then he made me regret it and I thought I wasn't rough enough. Nothing seemed to be right or good enough for him and I've run out of ideas. I was the younger brother and a pimp, it seemed that was the reason why he didn't even want to listen or placed value on what I have to say. At least that was always the impression I got. It was really shitty to feel disrespected and rejected by my own brother and I didn't wish that kind of experience to anyone, not even my worst enemy.

But the pain was bittersweet and somehow very familiar. I got used to it. Being left alone to my own devices has been very hard for me back then, but at least it had given me one advantage. It had helped me to stand on my own feet at a very early age, grow up quickly and become an independent adult. The recent experience with my brother had made realize once again that I don't want to relate to anybody, and why I prefer to walk my way all alone.

From time to time I realize I'm not able to laugh anymore about things I considered funny in the past. I know everything became different.
I hated my emotions. Yet to say that Taylor's life had left a bad taste in my mouth was the understatement of the history. With vain effort I tried to control my temper but it had been too long without cocaine. Way too long! I had sniffed a line before I drove away from Pasadena, just enough to drown out the inner fight and to mitigate the pain in my upper arm from the slash wound temporarily. The unsatisfied animal inside of me always longed for more... I needed some fucking drugs to remain sane!

The effect began to cease after a short while, I could feel the dryness in my mouth, a steady reminder of what I really needed. The signs of withdrawals made me irritated and restless, I was constantly fighting an inner battle against the urges. I remembered having a bottle of beer laying somewhere under the seat. Quickly, I reached for it, opened the bottle with my remaining teeth and spat the bottle top out of the car window. I was in that mood when you're like I bet I can drink a gallon of water in 30 seconds and badly needed to get rid of the feeling of dryness in my mouth.

"Fuck!" I hissed and groaned in pain when the cold liquid was running into the open wound of my knocked out lateral incisor. I didn't care though, the urge to get high had became so strong that the physical pains of my missing tooth and the slash wound on my arm were just a minor distraction. At least until my condition got even worse.

Despite all the family drama, job stress and never ending setbacks was the responsibility of my arrested friend my main priority. I had to meet the old mexican bastard first before I could lose self control, by whatever means. I knew that I had to expect to be remanded into custody. The damn cycle never seemed to come to an end and it made me want to tear my fucking hair out. I wanted to cut that mop off anyway. Most times I was too lazy for those frills and furbelows though. Honestly, I'd afraid of myself if I actually gave a fuck about hair and fashion style. I like being a bum most of my life and only "getting ready" when I have to.

The air around me felt so thick and I was sweating constantly. I cranked down the window next to me, but nothing seemed to cool me off, not even my favorite Linkin Park CD could help me to feel better.

As the loud, singing voices came out of the sound speakers grew quiet as the song came to end I suddenly heard my cell phone ringing. To think that it might be Taylor felt like a bad joke. For a while I pondered about how to demolish it until the ring tone began to bothering me and I decided against it. It was enough to have one coward in the family. I was used to facing shit in life, so why should this time be a god damn exception?!

"Eff you fucking coward! Grow the fuck up already!" I shouted aggressively into the receiver. I was getting bad again, but I was too tired to care. I was angry, sad and disappointed. My anger was my way to deal with it.

I was about to toss the phone away as I heard the old man's irritated voice in the line. "Blade? What's all this crap? It's me Santiago." A gruff voice barked back and my anger turned into relief and then into amusement as I had to think of the old man's face while I was telling him to grow up instead of Taylor whom I actually meant. Something new I could cross off my bastard history list!

Too bad I couldn't see Santa's expression right now.

The entertainment couldn't distract me long though because I needed to know what happened. I had already reached the car park beside my hotel and steered my car onto the next best parking lot.

"Santa? Man, what's going on? Are you still at the police station in San Fernando?"

"Yeah I'm still here, but they just released me. The case is closed."

I kept quiet for a moment, pondering if he was fooling me. Somehow it seemed to good to be true.

"Listen Red, if you're planning to fuck up my day even more than it already is, your leg won't be the last part you've lost. Is that clear?!?"

"Shut your big fat mouth Blade Léon Caziano! I'm serious. The case is closed." He repeated as fierce as a dragon, obviously pissed to hear his old Army code name again.

"For real?"

"Yes, I made a declaration. It was an obvious case of self-defense. Nathaniel confirmed it as witness, so they could close the case."

"Man... those damn whoresons work faster than the sleepy heads in Pasadena."


"Nothing. Just thought out loud. Listen Santa, I'm gonna drive to San Fernando now. 'Cause I gotta to talk to you."

"Okay. But hurry up. I don't like to..." He was still talking as I hung up before he could end the sentence. All this blah blah blah... see you in a bit, seriously who needs that crap?!

I threw the phone onto the dashboard and pulled my car out of the parking deck, back into the darkness of the city.

Instead of wasting more time, I floored the gas pedal and drove as fast as possible to San Fernando. I felt nauseas as I reached the police station. My injuries were hurting like hell and I was hurt and pissed about my fucking waste of time and energy. I hated wasting energy. I needed someone in my life who was willing to cross lines with me and break rules, someone who was ready to make impossible things possible and not someone who interfered with me, dragged me down all the time and treated me like a retarded kid that couldn't count to three. The rebel in me always had a tendency to play with fire, but even if it made my life style dangerous in some ways, I still had enough accountability to keep the overview. I knew that it often seemed like every moment could be the last, but I honestly wouldn't want to live any other way.

I had no idea how Santiago would react about the news that I didn't work for Taylor anymore, the only thing I knew was that I couldn't bear more arsekicks. It bothered me to always be the exception who dealt and faced problems like it was apparently expected from realists. Like we were some indestructible supporting pillars while for my brother it was okay to run away and choose the cowardly and easy way.
That's the reality. It sounds bad, as it is.

The police station in San Fernando wasn't difficult to find. After fifteen minutes I had reached my destination. The parking area beside the high building was surrounded by a park which led to a river. I steered my Lamborghini onto the parking area searching for a free parking lot.
Ironically, the only free space was in front of a huge tour poster of Taylor with Skye in the background.

My adrenaline level and other stress hormones were rising and I felt my muscles tighten just at the thought of them. I badly needed to kick someone's ass.

I couldn't bear the deceitful sight any longer, so I tossed the rest of my beer bottle against the poster at full speed. No matter whom of them it would hit, the bottle couldn't hit the wrong one. It shattered with a loud bounce and the glass broke into small pieces when it landed on Skye's girly visage. I watched how the beer was running over his face, soaked the paper and made him look like he had jaundice. I hoped I wouldn't see any of them ever again.

As I turned around I saw Santiago walking towards my Lamborgini with his crutches from afar.

Quickly I took my back pack and climbed out of the car. On the back side behind the parking area was a park. Perfect to get rid of the view of the poster in front of me and a better place to give him the coke back instead of directly in front of the police station. I needed to get out for some time after spending half of the day driving around at places where I didn't belong.

I could imagine that the first thing Santiago would ask is where Taylor was. It was clear that I owed him an explanation why I couldn't keep my promise. So to cut out that question, I directly told him what was going on. I finally had to get that off my shoulders no matter how his reaction would be.

"Santiago, I'm done with my brother, I don't work for him anymore." I half-said and half-whistled through my tooth gap once he was within earshot.

A greeting between us wasn't necessary. He just walked towards me and we talked like we were together all day long. I liked when you didn't need to be careful about what you say. That's when you know you're with the right people.

"What happened?" He frowned at me, his glance was telling me that he was waiting for an explanation. I couldn't tell if the news was surprising to him because he was the only one with whom I could talk about problems. Only a few hours ago Taylor and I were in his bar for lunch and things seemed to move forward. But in reality nothing was okay or made progress. I had accepted a job from a brother who felt ashamed of me, planned to get rid of me and didn't give a shit about my feelings. A brother who put his own reputation above his family and never thought about if it might hurt me that he used me, left me and had nothing for me than an asskick as a reward for my help.

Taylor was so focused on not getting in any awkward situation and being liked by other people that it sometimes seemed he forgot who he was and who he actually has been. My own brother was nothing else than a mystery to me. I didn't know how to explain it 'cause honestly most times I didn't even know to which version of him I was talking to. The insightful and seemingly understanding guy or the influenceable, awkward and insecure one. Taylor seemed to walk on clouds but the price for his pretending was high. I had seen it when I experienced his anxiety and his nervousness. I had hoped we could break the walls that the past has left between us, but instead they only had became thicker. I had a brother, but I had no idea who he was.

"Let's go through the park and down to the river. We can talk there. I really need some air. I can drive you back to the bar later."

"Yeah, me too." Santiago agreed and we walked through a small park that was near the parking area. Near a small bridge we went down to the edge of the river.

Like blood brothers we synchronically slumped down onto the dirty ground once we were there, neither of us cared about dirt or ground humidity. Santiago laid his crutches aside and pulled some hand rolling tobacco out of his pants pocket while I was looking at some graffiti paints on the bridge pillars.

I sighed as I thought of the forthcoming conversation, honestly I wasn't even in the mood to talk about Taylor but I owed Santiago an explanation why I couldn't keep my promise.

It still made me sad that Taylor couldn't see that I had really tried to help, yet he always acted like I humiliated him. I had learned not to be surprised about anything in life, yet the more I had to deal with Taylor's superficiality the more I became sick of it and the hypocrisy with which I had to deal had sickened me since day one when Skye crossed my way. Since I met Taylor and Skye my fate was sealed.

"Now, what the fuck happened Blade?" Santiago said while rolling a cigarette.

"Nothing. He hasn't changed his mind and there's nothing I can do for a brother who wants to get rid of me and feels ashamed of me just because I'm two years younger than he is. I'm done with those damn character Losers and I don't fucking care anymore. The battle is over."

There was no denying I was hurt and my words were filled with anger and bitterness, but I was too angry for pathetic whining which just isn't my thing. It would only depress me even more, I've been stuck in that swamp of depression for more than a year already. 
I knew that I couldn't bear this state any longer. Because of all the lies and hypocrisy, my urge to speak the truth straight out was even stronger. Every man could only bear a limited number of defeats and my limit was crossed today.

I stood up again and shrugged off my military back pack. Warily, I looked around. As I was sure that no one was watching I opened it and took the silver metal box out.

I then reached into my inner jacket pocket, pulled out a few bills to pay for the drugs which I had already taken out of it in Taylor's house. Wordlessly, I put the bills into the box and gave both to Santiago. The look on his face was anything but happy when he saw the bills because he could imagine that I had taken out some of the drugs to bear the world. The battle lines already drawn.

"That's too much money!" he said with his old commanding tone, shoving some bills back to me after checking the amount of the contents.

"No, the rest is for the smashed glass cabinet in your saloon and food for Bandito. No arguments!"

Santiago sighed. "Alright." He spat some tobacco out of his mouth and lit up his cigarette.

Trust me, neither I nor Santiago would ever consider one of us innocent. I was a fucking pimp and a drug addict. My best friend was a drug dealer. What a fucked up double moral, huh? Maybe in another life I would have become an awesome drummer...

Whatever! I kicked my Army back pack aside and made my way down to the muddy edge of the river, the water was cloudy and quietly rushing past us.

"Have you seen anybody?" Santiago breathed some smoke out of his nostrils and looked around now as well.

"No, keep calm. I'm just going to piss in the river." I said in my ordinary voice, pulled down my zipper and pissed. I just needed to live out my primitive nature whenever I fucking want.

"You'd better watch out before someone from the police station sees you and puts you under arrest."

"The cavalry would be a reward after that day." I snorted with honest sarcasm. I was so fucking bored and turned off by commands about how to lead my life.

"Here's a little tribute to the wasted faggot adventure!" I announced and pissed a long and loud sparkle arc with my dick in my hand into the cloudy water. I was finally out of this goddamn reality meets royalty experiment.

And thankfully, I got two less problems without those gay bitches. Santiago coughed a suppressed laugh.

"Now stop with that shit Boleyn, you're talking me into an early grave!" I spat before I went back to him and sat down next to him again. Feeling free from those superficial cowards was just too good, even when I was literally sitting in the dirt.

Santiago packed the box and the money away. "You know you wouldn't have needed to do that Blade." He was clearly relieved that I kept the drugs for him safely.

Santiago couldn't keep his bar and pay off the mortgage if he didn't sell drugs on the side. The saloon was all he had. His social life. Without it, I was sure he would fall. Lose himself and go down. His physical handicap already restricted him more than he deserved. So I had to withhold the incriminating evidence until I saw him again and could give him the drugs back.

"Don't fucking start me with me about moral act Santa! I have dealt with more than enough of that shitass crap!"

"You should know that I'm thankful for what you did though." He said and grinded out his cigarette.

"I've officially acknowledged. Can we change the subject now? Coz that asskissing claptrap really turns me off!"

Santiago and I usually didn't need to thank each other. We just did the things for each other that were necessary to be done. Actions were our way of caring about each other. He knew that and I knew that.

My statement made Santiago sigh in relief. "I'm very glad that you haven't changed Blade. Have you tried to talk to your brother?"

"More than once. That's for sure." When Taylor cried this forenoon I felt that I had been too hard with him. So I tried to be considerate towards him, but then he made me regret it and I thought I haven't been rough enough. Either way nothing seemed to be right or good enough. What the hell happened to us?

"And did he tell you why he left you back then?"

"No." I shook my head. "Meanwhile I don't need to know anymore.

"Have you told him about your drug addiction?"

"For what? He shits on everything I say anyway; may as well be talking animal language.
There's no reason to tell him anything as long as he cannot even accept his own brother. He left me back then and now he couldn't decide once again, if he wanted to keep me, his decision should be because we're brothers and not because of feigned sympathy of my life style. There's nothing I can do anymore for him. I don't need such a character pussy in my life who considers himself too special for his own fucking family. He hired me even though he never considered to keep me. If he has never learned to stand up to his words he can stuff his damn sympathy into his uptight little fairy ass! I already knew from day one that it wasn't right to accept that damn job when that annoying queer Skye showed up in your bar and tried to manipulate you and me for his own fucking pleasure. Those two fucking fairy faggots have caused nothing but bullshit and trouble. He didn't want to keep me and I didn't want the job anymore, so I left. Everyone wins."

Or loses. No matter which way you look at it in the end it all ended in the same pile of shit. I had no idea how Santiago would react over my decision, but in the end it's up to each of us what we do. Taylor clearly never wanted to give me a chance. Not back then and not today. No matter if my best friend would understand my decision or would be disappointed. I had tried to do as much as humanly possible and Taylor's indifference towards me only told me once again why my life was better without him. If you're put down, lied and hurt from your own family you don't need to justify how you feel. I didn't need to explain myself. I had the right to hate a family member if he had given me a reason to.

Despite my disappointment and the pain I couldn't help but wonder what in the world happened that my brother had become a person like that. He appeared caring and warmhearted to other people but to me he was indifferent, heartless and quarrelsome. It was frustrating and disappointing that we couldn't fix our relationship and wasted our time with dumb superficialities and dogfights instead.
I know that sometimes it's inevitable to lie or pretend but I try to avoid it as much as I can 'cause I truly don't have the slightest urge to waste my life and my real self. I don't fear anyone. You only lie when you're afraid.

Taylor was such a smart and amazing person, I couldn't understand why he let himself be influences by such lame, immature bullshit. I think that he could be a much better person if he could stand above that superficial crap. There were so many positive sides at him, I liked the way he saw things and how he always saw the best in other people. I liked his enthusiasm and interest for all kind of things, his spontaneity and his optimistic attitude even if I found him a little naive at times, but in a very adorable way. He could be a very insightful and patient guy and I really liked and admired that about him. I even liked his elegant way of talking and acting because it fitted him well. A realist like me could have needed an optimistic dreamer like him in my life. I just had to kick his ass from time to time to keep his conceitedness and pamperedness under control.

Anyways! All that was sadly way more than he deserved.
Sadly we spent most of the time with pointless ping pong games like two strangers who didn't know how to deal with each other. All the time we spent together I had a 'What the fuck' thought bubble above my head.

Had he lost the ability to read between the lines and to take risks? And the feature that I've loved the most about him; the ability to look beyond the horizon, to imagine how things could be if he'd give them a chance...

The dirty, unadorned truth was that Taylor sadly didn't consider to change anything though. That's why he died to me when I noticed that his pride was the only thing that mattered for him.

Santiago let my words sink in for a while. Even though it was Taylor who wanted to get rid of me, I felt guilty and conscience-smitten that I disappointed Santiago. I still felt under pressure because he had emphasized over and over again that he wanted me to continue doing that bodyguard job but I couldn't keep my promise.

I had expected that I would get arrested for the murder of the Russian dealer which I committed although I just wanted to protect Santiago and vice versa.

"By the way has Skye told you that he already knew that you were a pimp before he asked you to work for Taylor?"

"No, that prissy asshopper who is alive simply because it's just not worth to go into prison for him kept it a secret. But that doesn't surprise me. No one seems to have eyes for what's going on in their superficial illusory world. I'm sick of those coward suckers. If I had stayed one minute longer it either would have ended in hara-kiri or wilful murder."

I didn't need to be a genius to recognize that Skye had more reasons why he hired me even though he didn't mention them with one single word. Since day one I met him he made mooneyes at me and during the job interview he didn't seem to care who I was and how criminal I was. What kind of friend hires a pimp as a bodyguard? As Taylor's manager and best friend he shouldn't put his desires above the security of his best friend. He didn't even have the guts to admit it when he met Taylor. And I thought my life was screwed up...

Skye had cheated on Santiago, Taylor and me. He wanted me to work for Taylor so I would be around and he'd continue adoring me. I knew that Santiago wanted me to be reunited with my family, family that neither he nor I had. I knew that was the reason why Santiago let Skye persuaded him to put Skye in contact with me.

Santiago looked a little irritated now as well but he kept his thoughts to himself, he also wasn't very good at talking about his feelings. I knew him long enough to know how he must feel like.

"Sorry to hear that, soldier. Are you sure you won't regret that decision? Maybe Taylor would have wanted to convey some comfort?"

It equally made me sad and pissed me off with how much patience and understanding Santiago had and how he tried to fix a bond that was cut a long time ago. I wanted to beat the cowardice out of Skye and Taylor just by the look of my hurt friend.
Yeah, I always had a strong protective instinct and only very few people seemed to appreciate it.

"I don't need to be held by a hypocrite. They don't deserve to hold anyone. They don't even deserve a pet. I would never want to be held by one. Life is too short to spend it with people who aren't worth it. The only lesson that this experience taught me was that I didn't tell enough people to piss off! If one of them will ever cross my way again I will punch his fucking lights out!"

I just couldn't be anything else than be brutally honest to not burst at the seams.
I always held my ground pretty sternly. After what I've experienced I couldn't react any different. I wouldn't listen to any more of their of damn lies, judgments and manipulations, so I built up a wall around me to protect myself. Sometimes is staying away from other people is the only protection for yourself. Santiago seemed to sense that there was nothing left between Taylor and me and that there was nothing that would make me revise my opinion, he didn't push me anymore.

I know that I would never be able to consider Taylor as anything other than a stranger as long as he refused to open up to me and never practiced what he preached. It wasn't my intention to vent out my anger on Santiago, he was pretty much the last person with whom I could be mad at, after he lost his leg because of me. Fortunately, the old man always knew how to deal with my anger.

Taylor got his chance to tell me why he left me back then and he didn't make use of it, nor he was be able to face his in laws and tell them that he hired his little brother as his bodyguard without any intentions to keep me. What the fuck was the point in introducing me to them? What the fuck was the point of it all?!?

I didn't feel I belonged to Taylor's family. Not as long as he hid behind pride and cowardice and put on a innocent mask on top of that. He couldn't see that I was taking risks for him all the time. Yet he was unwilling to take one single risk for me in return. Maybe he unlearned to appreciate little things and to differentiate between right and wrong. I had no idea where his blockade came from, what kind of miracles he expected to accept me and what made him believe that he was entitled to have any expectations at all in the first place after everything he had done to me. The whole time it felt like he had no idea what he was doing to me or he simply didn't care.

When did he get such a transparent personality? When became his own family secondary and status and fame his one and only priority? What had I done to him to deserve such a treatment?

I could imagine that many people put on gloves before they talk to him or don't have the guts to criticize such a high personality. With all those yes sayers and constant asskissing around him it's no surprise that he lost the sense for equality. I had no idea why he always made me feel like my opinion isn't worth anything, I only know one thing for sure; I never want to have anything to do with such a negative, superficial attitude.

"You know that I'm not not the type of person who can't admit when he made a mistake, Blade. I made a mistake. I forced you do make this job because I knew that you needed a change. But I can see that this job hasn't done any good to you and I realized it wasn't right of me. You shouldn't live your life with a burden that you owe me something because of the leg accident. I believe that you did everything you could Blade. It seems that your brother does not respect you enough to accept you and that attitude is indeed very selfish. He and you live in two different worlds."

It felt so good to speak with someone like Santiago. Someone who actually understood me even when I was talking like a homophobic bastard. He was smart enough to understand my humor. I respected him 'cause he was a man who did always stand up for his deeds no matter if they were right or wrong. I've always respected honest people who weren't too proud to apologize and stand up to their deeds. I would lose my mind without a friend like Santiago. I liked that he always called me Blade, it helped me not to feel like Zac Hanson anymore.

"Yeah fucking right." I took a stone from the ground and threw it, watching it resigned into the water. "I've waited long enough for an explanation why he excludes me from everything. More than long enough. I don't want to have anything from him. I just want to be without him. Dead or alive."

My sad words weren't new for Santiago. When I joined the Army nine years ago, he was there for me and gave me new hope. It is thanks to him I learned to smile again.

Now he again was the only one who was there. I wasn't mad at Taylor that he didn't give a fuck. I was disgusted at myself for thinking he did.

"Maybe your brother wasn't ready for this. Still, it's your brother's loss if he's unable to appreciate what he has." He said after a while of silence. Even Santiago didn't seem to have an advice anymore.

"Yeah, whatever. It doesn't matter anymore. From now on Michael Parker will take care of his precious princess ass. He's a good man. I just hope it won't be a waste of time for him as well."

I couldn't say if everything I did was right but I had tried to do my best and apparently it wasn't good enough for Taylor. Maybe there were no winners in this game. Santiago and I silently watched the rushing river for a few minutes. He knew that I needed some time to calm down. We knew each other long enough to know about each other's moods.

Neither Taylor nor me led a safe life, that's why I failed to understand his reason even more. But the thing that hurt me the most was that Taylor simply forgot to think about my condition in which I was left when we were separated and he or I would die after that, he didn't even consider that fact. Not nowadays nor back then.

"Lonely are the brave. But still, a good soldier never leaves someone unprotected." Santiago's wise words and the approving look in his eyes told me that at least he thought I did the right thing to arrange a new bodyguard for Taylor. I could sense that our thoughts drifted away to our many common Army adventures. We both knew that neither of us would be here today if we didn't care about each other.

"Honestly, I don't know if it was right to help him at all." I admitted after a while of silence. I didn't care if other guys in my situation would have thought 'oh I can't wait to tell everybody what a weakling my older brother is. He will just die of embarrassment'. I have never thought something like that. I couldn't give less fucks about my brother's physical strength.

Santiago was scratching his black beard in thoughts before he answered.

"Hmm... I can understand and imagine very well that you're disappointed Blade, but brotherliness should never be wrong or seen as wrong. I can understand you and your brother, because you both have strong arguments but I think your brother shouldn't give in to his stalker and allow him to be separated from you, no matter if you have the skills to protect him or not. Your family breaks apart because he gives his stalker influence over his life.
You guys should stick together and he should not leave you alone. In hard times like these it's even more important to stand together and be there for each other."

"I agree. Apparently Mr. I'm the only one who matters considers it wrong in this world though. Fact is that Taylor cannot learn from his mistakes if he never faces them and always runs away every time things get hard. We can't solve any problems by running away from them. Experience is the best education."

"That's true. You talk like a big brother."

"I heard that more than once today,"
I groaned exhausted and stroked some long strands of hair out of my face which were sticking to my sweaty forehead. Yeah, I had really liked Taylor and my twisted roles. I never minded it. On the contrary. Not because of boosting my ego, but because of not fitting into the boring standard. Cliché has always been something that depressed me. I don't follow this generation and I don't fucking want to.

I never minded stepping back and letting Taylor glow in the spotlight. But it hurt me when it's seen as a matter of course that I'm always the third wheel. I couldn't name one single person who wouldn't feel hurt and annoyed because of getting treated like a dumb child and like a lower class human by his own brother just because of age difference, different life style or both. What's even more repugnant was for me was the fact that it seemed to be totally normal for Taylor to make me feel that way, but if he experienced for once how I felt like my whole fucking life, it was the biggest life scandal. Was he even realizing his arrogant way of thinking?

I finally felt a little better that I could talk with a friend like Santiago. Finally someone who not made me feel like I was talking in a dead language. It meant even more to me after I had the constant feeling of being misunderstood for the last three days. He actually understood me. How many people could say that they have a real friend like that? Why couldn't Taylor and I have a real conversation like this?

"Your brother actually seemed to be such a nice and polite guy."

"Yeah I know. Unfortunately he has become very good at faking and pretending. I don't even know if my brother still exists, I mean the person he has been a long time ago. It seems that fame has changed him for the worst. I just don't know him anymore."

"It must be very hard and sad to lose a family member this way..."

"I don't know anything else." I shrugged sadly. My eyes became fixed at one point into a vacant stare. I hated this blank look in my eyes that always appeared when I was depressed.

"Before I forgot, I've seen that the dealer has knocked out one of your teeth during the brawl in the bar. Are you okay?" Santiago asked, looking at the gap in my teeth. "Or do you have any more injuries?"

"I have a slash wound on my upper arm."

"Let me see it."

I took my leather jacket off and pulled up the sleeve of my shirt. There was a makeshift bandage which I had wrapped around my upper arm and it was soaked with my blood. Santiago carefully pulled the bandage down.

"You really should go to a doctor if the bleeding doesn't stop Blade. Do you have some clean clothes with you?"

"There is a shirt in my back pack." I reached for my back pack and pulled the shirt out of it. Santiago took it, tore off a broad stripe and wrapped it around the wound after removing the bandage.

"What about you? Do you have any injuries from the fall?" I watched while he was taping up my wound as good as it was possible.

"No, I'm alright and don't change the subject Blade!"

"It's just a slash wound. Could be worse. I don't think the hospital will be necessary."

Santiago put on his grumpy face like he always did when he didn't like something. "You should take a few days off," he eventually suggested.

"No." I shook my head. "Doing nothing ain't a choice."

Still, I knew that I had to put my old life behind me. I didn't want to work anymore as a pimp and I didn't want to have sex anymore with johns that grossed me out. I had suffered more than enough of that shit, yet I still felt that I didn't deserve anything better. When other people treat you like you're nothing, you begin to feel like nothing. You start feeling like a beaten dog who has wounds all over his body...

"If you want you can start to work as a barkeeper in my saloon." Santiago offered me a job out at his place.

"Honestly, I don't think barkeeper would be the right thing for me." That and I didn't want to live off my best friend's money.

"By the way, do you need help to fix and reassemble the furniture which was broken during the raid?

"Thanks for the offer Blade. Once you feel better and you have time you can come around but you have an injury and for now you better take care about the wound on your arm. I can do that without your help. Let's talk again about your occupational future. Will you continue work as a pimp?"

"I don't think so."

"What else do you wanna do?" He asked while making a secure knot with the cotton.

"I want to go back to the Army."

He looked at me after that sentence. "That might be your death."

Yeah. Z'actly. It's better to burn out than to fade away.
"So what? Who cares if a soldier dies?"

Death seemed so inviting these days... what could be more appealing than a meaningful death if your life was pointless anyway?! I finally wanted to do something meaningful again so that I could look back to the past without any regrets. It hurts badly when you talk to your brother and he can hear you but cannot understand. I didn't get over it but I got used to it. I was so sick of speaking words that no one understands.

I guess the worst thing of that whole experience was that my best friend and my dog got hurt even though they had nothing to do with it and that I had to traumatize myself to be able to save Taylor's life. In general the saddest thing about everything is we have soldiers of all races dying for us overseas and we're killing each other at home.

Santiago didn't like what I said, he was worried about me. I didn't want to make him feel like I trampled on his feelings, yet it was my life and my decision what I would do with it. In case I survived this night...

"I know that you tried everything you could Blade. I've put you under too much pressure when I shouldn't have. I want you to stop punishing yourself for an accident you weren't able to do anything about. You torture yourself with things which you shouldn't and you should stop taking drugs. You have made up to me and paid for your debt. Maybe not with that bodyguard job but you saved my ass when the Russian dealer tried to shoot me. You have done more than a soldier can, Blade. It's about time to forgive yourself." Santiago
grabbed my shoulder, pressed it firmly, forcing me to look at him.

I knew that Santiago was honest and that he meant what he said. My best friend spoke out the words which a brother should have if I still had one. But despite Santiago's well meant intention I was unable to feel the same way. If the circumstances were different and I had been more careful, maybe his leg could have been saved. It was my fault he lost it, no matter what he said.
I just couldn't forgive myself for what I had done. Dealing with myself has never been an easy thing for me.

"I know Santiago. I know." I answered. "Thanks for your understanding. Shall I drive you back to your bar?"

"No, I think it's better I take a cab." He said and took his crutches. "Do you want to come around later?" He asked and gave them to me.

"No, I need some alone time." I explained and put my arm around him to help him to stand up.

"Yeah, I understand. Hey Blade, no shit you saved my ass."

"You don't need to thank me Santa." I answered. "Eventually, you did the same for me." I added as I pulled him up.

"Still, your selflessness didn't escape my notice Blade Caziano."

As he pulled me into a short, friendly hug I didn't know what to say. If nobody cares for so long, it's hard to accept when someone finally does.

"Anyways, I should go now. Is there anything else you need to know?" He said, taking the crutches from me.

"Yeah. Uhm... Is it my cocaine withdrawal or do you look older today?" I teased him, scratching my itching nose and exposed my tooth gap as I smirked at him.

"Says Captain Jack Sparrow." He smirked, turned around and gave me the middle finger. Internally, I knew were both laughing. We knew each other way too long to not know about each other's sense of black humor.

Surely we would have teased each other for some time longer, but neither me nor Santiago was really in the mood today. He nearly died and a part of his bar was smashed. I was grateful for Santiago's understanding and I wished I could have done more for him. It felt like he cut me off a dog leash and tried to finally release me from the burden that I carried over his leg incident.

But when I looked after him how he walked away with his crutches I knew that it might be the last time I saw him...

I was a free man again. Independent. What could be better than that...

I could feel the freedom in my lungs with every breath I took and it felt so damn good. No sex or drugs in this world could ever top the feeling of freedom to me. Shortly after I was alone again it began to rain and the rain pelted into the river and soaked the ground around me. I liked the rain and the quiet atmosphere of the empty and forlorn streets at night. The darkness has always been strangely comforting. When the sun goes down my day begins... Coz there's nothing prettier than a city at night with its empty streets and cold wind.

Meanwhile it had become so dark that I knew that Taylor and Skye's faces on the tour placard weren't visible anymore which was even better. Fake people are like shadows. They follow you in the sun but leave you in the dark. If the devil had mercy for once, maybe he would let them crumble into dust once the sun arises...

From time to time I feel I don't like the sun anymore since I can't stand the bright light. Like a square in a circle I'm rubbing people the wrong way again and again. Though I have known for a long time that I can never change what's unchangeable, 'cause the evil always dwells, and the sun's gonna shine once again. No freaking matter what's happening.

I knew that after all the superficialities that I had experienced was to sleep a night alone in the dirt exactly what I needed to feel like a real human again. As I noticed that the rain was getting harder, I put my jacket back on and pulled it over the back of my head as much as possible. The trees behind me gave some shelter, just some of the raindrops poured through the leaves. I didn't mind getting wet but I needed a dry place for preparing and taking drugs, and I needed some more light because it had become dark in the meantime.

Fortunately, I remembered having my old pathfinder flashlight somewhere in my back pack, so I took it out and laid it beside me after switching it on. My nose began to run which was nothing unusual lately especially during the withdrawal stages. My sinuses were so raw and dried out that my eyes nearly welled up when the cold liquid ran through them, it burnt as hell. Sniffling, I reached up and wiped some blood and snot away with the back of my hand after pulling out the transparent bag with the drugs and my snuff case of my inner jacket pocket.

I then opened the case and looked down at the compartment with the straws and the razor blades. I knew that my short supply of boogar sugar wouldn't be enough today and there's no fucking point in wasting time, 'cause we only live once. So I flipped the case around and opened the other compartment.

It contained a compression bandage, small bottles of water, a lighter, a spoon and the needles. The stuff had been there for months but I had never needed it.

For the first time I was longing for more than just sniffling cocaine. I wanted to proceed directly to the intravenous injection of hard drugs because sniffling couldn't satisfy me anymore. I had reached the point where snorting was just not enough. I wanted more...

Because of the steadily suppressed anger and drugs withdrawals I still could feel the sweat between my fingers, on my head and running down my temples. It slowly mingled with the rain and dropped down off me like from a dirty mongrel. I didn't even want to know how messy I looked like, honestly, I didn't give a fuck anyway.

The transparent bag which I had taken out of Santiago's silver metal box in Taylor's house contained heroin which was pre-measured for a few good hits.
Strangely, the procedure seemed almost familiar after living in a dirty ghetto for more than a year. Half of my whores were drug addicts and I had also seen some soldiers taking injections, those who couldn't deal with death that well like they thought they could...

It's ironic that you do things that can kill you just so you can feel alive, isn't it?

I became itchy as I weighed the white powder before I poured it and the water onto the spoon. Impatiently, I watched as the heroin began to heat up, just enough to dissolve, until it became a clear solution, the heat from the lighter helped. Trying to stay focused so I could use the needle and pull the mixture from the spoon into the barrel.

It's quite disturbing that the one thing which could make me smile and fill myself with anticipation was not my brother whom I had met after nine years of being apart, it was a syringe filled with heroin.
Now, he doesn't exist to me anymore. He was just somebody that I used to know.

'Change ain't good, Léon. You know?' my comrade Mike once said to me. I suppose he was right...

After I tied the compression band around my upper arm I eagerly searched for an artery, not even blinking as I pushed the needle into my vein, with the compression belt between my teeth I slowly pulled back on the plunger some to see if I found a good vein. I didn't even notice how wet and dirty my clothes had become because of the muddy ground on which I sat. The only noises around me was the pouring rain and the pelting of the raindrops into the river. Except the light from my blue flashlight I was surrounded by complete darkness.

When the blood ran into the barrel I began to push the plunger down.

I hissed because it hurt way more than it should. Once again I've been too impatient and pushed the plunger too forceful all the way in, biting on the end of the compression belt between my teeth.

Groaning I leaned myself back and spat the end of the belt out. Slowly I slid sideways down to where my back pack sat and rested my head on it. The needle slid from my arm and fell out of my hand somewhere onto the dirty ground. It didn't take more than a few seconds until I could feel a warm and tingling feeling in my arm.

As I pulled my jacket a bit down, my glance fell onto the temporary bandage made of my shirt at my upper arm, I could see that it was already soaked with more blood. The slash wound was still bleeding. But nothing seemed to be important anymore. I didn't want to feel anything else than the frenzy of the jag. Drugs were my weapons of stress reduction.

The last thoughts before I lost myself completely belonged Santiago and Bandito.

Nirvana here I come...

Thanks for reading! ♡ Due personal matters Chapter 65 is postponed to 2017. Many thanks for your patience!

previous Chapter 63

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