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19 January 2006 @ 08:02 pm
Power and Control- Chapter 13 (unbeta'd version) part 2  

All the sound in the room seemed to get sucked into a vacuum.  The implication of what he just said hung heavily in the air.  Time was definitely not on their side and if they wanted to relieve Zaizen of his power over them, they needed to act fast. 

 

“You mean, break into his office?” Sakaki practically sputtered.  “That’s almost impossible.  Even if we did get in, I’m sure he has that room monitored.  He’s going to know we were in there and there goes our trump card, right down the crapper.”

 

“It’s the fastest way I can think of, Haruto.”  The redhead glared at his lover.  “If I’m at his computer, I can open a remote desktop connection.  I can keep trying to get through the server, but I think this is the best way.”

 

Sakaki glared back.  “You said it yourself; you couldn’t access the cameras in there.  How are we going to cover our tracks?”

 

“I guess we can’t.  We just better hope that what we find on his hard drive will be enough to cover our asses once he does find out.” 

 

“Have you given any thought to the fact that what we’re looking for might not be on his hard drive?” Amon interjected smoothly. 

 

Michael’s eyes widened.  “No, I didn’t.”

 

Sakaki shook his head from side to side. “No, no, no, it’s on there.  He showed me clips remember?”

 

Hazel eyes narrowed in the older teen’s direction.  “Zaizen has a network of people who are sympathetic to his interests.  It is not uncommon for them to share with each other.  I don’t doubt that the videos he has of all of us have been distributed.  We need to take that into consideration.”

 

An icy shard of fear stabbed through Michael’s ribcage and into his heart.  “Oh, my god…you mean th-that someone else has seen those videos?  Oh no…no, this can’t be happening.”

 

“Easy, Michael, calm down,” Sakaki said as he placed a reassuring hand on his lover’s forearm.   The hacker recoiled from the touch.

 

“Calm down?” he gasped.  “Haruto, other people have seen us…together.  And there are god knows how many people out there getting off watching him hurt me.  How the hell am I supposed to react?”

 

“Be angry as fuck.  I sure as hell am, but I don’t want you to worry yourself sick over this,” Sakaki said, trying to diffuse the situation.

 

“Ughn…too late, I feel nauseous.”  Michael bent over to rest his elbows on his knees, panting heavily.  The other teen rolled his chair closer and began to rub the hacker’s back in an attempt to soothe the impending panic attack. 

 

Amon watched the two knowing exactly what the younger one was feeling.  He had no way of knowing for sure if the videos were distributed until they were in Zaizen’s computer, but he had a very reliable hunch.  Years ago, the old man made it clear that all “meetings,” as he liked to call them, were videoed, even if they were in front of an audience.  It was a safe bet to assume that the recordings he had of Michael and Sakaki were probably making the rounds within that despicable circle of perverts.  But Amon decided to keep that bit of information to himself unless it was absolutely necessary.

 

“Michael,” Amon began sternly, waiting for the boy to look up at him.  “We’ll know for sure once we get in.  From there we can find out if they were distributed and how.  I need you to be focused now.  We can’t have you falling apart.  Get a grip on yourself.”

 

The older man’s attitude ruffled Sakaki’s feathers instantly.  “Hey, there’s no need for the tone, Amon.”

 

Taking a deep breath, Michael spoke before the other two could get into an argument.  “No, Amon’s right.  Once I’m in, I’ll be able to track any files that he’s uploaded or download anywhere.  If he’s using some sort of file sharing system like IRC or an FTP site, I can track those as well.  I’ll also go through his email and his internet history.  Once I’m in, there won’t be anything he can keep hidden.”

 

“Sounds like a plan.  Now all we need to do is get into the lion’s den,” Sakaki said with a wry smile.  

 

“Leave that to me,” Amon said as he stood.   

 

“Do I even want to know?”

 

For the briefest moment, a smirk touched the normally stoic man’s lips.  “No, you probably don’t.”  He picked up his trench coat and shrugged it onto his lean shoulders.  “It might take a day or two to get what I need.  Keep trying this way for now.  We’ll come up with a battle plan as soon as we know where we stand.  In the meantime, get some rest.  Especially you, Michael, you look exhausted.”

 

The redhead nodded in response.  When the dark haired man turned and began to walk towards the elevators, Sakaki stood and went after him.

 

Catching the other man as the doors opened, he called after him.  “Hey, Amon…thanks again.”

 

Hazel eyes widened momentarily as they met the genuine sentiment in the pale violet gazing at him from the corner.  He dipped his head to acknowledge the boy and stepped inside the elevator and let the doors slide closed.

 

Michael looked up from the computer as Sakaki walked back into the office.  “Do you know what Amon has planned?”

 

The blonde stopped and leaned against the side of the desk.  “No, not exactly, but he might know some people who can help with our special needs.”

 

“People?  Like who?”

 

“No clue…so, are you ready to go to bed?”

 

Michael smiled lovingly.  “Yeah, just give me a second.  I have something I want to finish up first.  You go ahead; I’ll be along in a few minutes.”

 

“You’d better.”  Sakaki whispered as he bent down and slipped his fingers into the collar of his lover’s shirt.  “If I have to come out here and drag you off this computer, there’s gonna be consequences and repercussions.”

 

“Ha ha, very funny,” he said dryly, shrugging away from those clever fingers.  “Now go, I’ll be right there.”

 

With another playful smile, the blonde took off towards Michael’s room.  Turning back to his monitor, the computer genius checked the status of the programs he was running.  Still no results.  He accessed the security cameras and turned them back on in the main office and corridor.  The guard on duty in the morning should never realize that they were off since they were shut down internally through the grid and not by an outside source.  He was in the middle of sending an email to his fellow hackers to advise them of the current status and change of plans, when his desk phone began to ring.  He glanced at the clock.  It was only ten after eleven.  He toyed briefly with letting it go into his voicemail, but if it were one of his other teammates; they would find it highly suspicious if he wasn’t at the computer. There was also the possibility that it could also be Amon with news or perhaps a question.  In the end, he decided that answering it was for the best.   

 

“STN-J,” he said drearily into the receiver.  There was a pause on the other end before a low, rumbling chuckle was heard.

 

“Hello, Michael.”

 

The phone nearly slipped from his fingers at the sound of Zaizen’s deep voice.

 

Oh, no…

 

“These conferences can be so dull,” the old man began slowly, and Michael could hear the predatory smirk in his voice.  “Three hours going over how to motivate your subordinates.  It was simply dreadful.  Believe me; I know how to motivate people.  So, I noticed you had some company staying over.  How about the two of you put on a little show for me?”

 

“Wh-what?” Michael asked, his voice trembling as much as his body.  He knows Sakaki is here.  That means he’s watching us…Fuck, how long has he been watching?

 

“It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just get your lover boy to fuck you and that will be good enough.  The porn selection in these hotels is horrible.  Some live action would be much better.”

 

Michael’s mind reeled at the thought of doing a command performance.  He had to think of a way to get out of it.  “I can’t…I’m still injured.  What if I just suck him off instead?”  It was the first thing that came to him.  Perhaps it would be good enough.

 

“Oh, come now.  That’s never stopped us before. I’m sure he’ll be extra gentle with you.”

 

“Please…please don’t do this.”  Michael felt the tears begin to well up as he choked back a sob.

 

Zaizen gave a frustrated sigh into the receiver.  “I can see you want to do things the hard way.  Well, here is some motivation for you.  Open your email.”

 

With a shaking hand, Michael worked the mouse to double click the newest email.  He gasped loudly as a set of three pictures appeared.  He knew right away, that these were pictures of Sakaki’s sister.  She looked just like him, with the same oval face and high cheekbones.  Her hair was a few shades darker, but the almond-shaped eyes were identical.  The pictures depicted her in various stages of undress and were most likely the same pictures Zaizen showed his lover the other night.

 

“Oh, god…no,” he whispered.

 

“If his dick isn’t up your ass in ten minutes, I start sending out these pictures to a few of my colleagues and I do have many more where these came from.  There are even a few of her in the bath.  I’m sure those would be very popular.  Am I making myself clear, Michael?”

 

Michael sniffled, unable to verbalize anything.  Why?  Why is he doing this?

 

“Answer me, Michael,” Zaizen demanded.  “Am I making myself clear?” 

 

“Y-yes…” he croaked. 

 

“Good.  Remember, ten minutes, Michael.” 

 

“But he’s going to suspect something is wrong.  He won’t want to hurt me, he’ll never agree to it,” Michael blurted out in a last ditch effort to stop this from happening.

 

“Then you’re just going to have to be extra convincing.  Ten minutes.”  And with that, Zaizen hung up the phone. 

 

Michael just sat there, staring into space for a few moments.  There was no way out.  That evil bastard was using an innocent girl as his pawn and there was no way he was going to let her get hurt.  Steeling himself, he wiped the tears from his cheeks and walked down the hall to his room where his lover was waiting.

 

Sakaki was just coming out of the bathroom, drying his face with a towel when Michael entered.  The blonde was wearing nothing but his boxers and a smile.  It twisted the knife in his gut that much more, but he knew that this was the only way.  For a few seconds he entertained the idea of telling his lover about Zaizen’s demands, but quickly killed that notion.  He knew that would just aggravate the other teen into doing something stupid.  No, if he was going to get through this, he needed to keep Sakaki in the dark.   

 

Without a word, the redhead stalked over to the taller boy and placed both hands on either side of his face to pull him down into a passionate kiss.  The weight of his body pushed the blonde into the door behind him with a loud thud.  Sakaki immediately stiffened and yelped his surprise, but Michael’s mouth was persistent and soon he calmed and relaxed. 

 

“Wait…where did this come from?” Sakaki panted when they finally parted. 

 

“Want you,” was all he said as he continued to kiss and lick along that elegant neck.  Reaching down, he cupped Sakaki balls and then palmed the half-hard erection he found there.  Sakaki moaned low and sexy, then bent down to claim his mouth once again.  Michael continued to fondle while his lover devoured his mouth.  This is so wrong.  It was never supposed to be a chore with Haurto…never.  But I have to keep going…for his sister’s sake.  If I keep him distracted, he won’t suspect anything.

 

Michael broke off the kiss suddenly and looked into those beautiful violet eyes.  There was no suspicion, just pure lust.  It was working.  Sliding down to his knees, he kissed a wet trail down, Sakaki’s lean stomach.  When he reached the hem of the boxers, he yanked them down in one motion and placed his hand over the heated flesh he found there.  His lover’s breath quickened with anticipation.  He took the entire length into his mouth in one motion and began to work it in and out, feeling it harden against his tongue immediately. 

 

“Uh…. Michael…god,” Sakaki moaned as his head fell back against the door. 

 

Michael smiled when he felt a gentle hand comb through his hair as he worked the tip of his tongue into the opening of his lover’s penis.  He loved being able to pleasure Sakaki like this, it made him feel wanted…appreciated, like he wasn’t just a thing to be used.  But now, Zaizen’s taint had spread to the last sanctuary he thought he had.  He was watching them and probably reveling in the fact that he was controlling the action in some way. 

 

Sakaki gave another ragged moan and Michael decided it was time to move things to the bed.  As soon as he withdrew, Sakaki’s eyes were on him.  He gave a coy smile and took hold of Sakaki’s hand.

 

“Let’s go to the bed,” he said with as much confidence as he could muster.  He knew Zaizen was serious about that timeframe and he didn’t want appear rushed.  Sakaki paused a moment to pull his boxers off the rest of the way and then followed.  Michael yanked his own shirt over his head and quickly kicked off his pants.  When they were both naked, Michael took the initiative and pushed the other teen down onto the bed and climbed on top of him.  They kissed some more, letting their hands massage and caress.

 

Sakaki broke off suddenly.  “Wait, won’t he be taping this?  The camera that’s hidden…”

 

Michael ground his blossoming erection into the other teen’s hip, providing enough distraction.  “I don’t care.  Let him watch…let him see what two people who love each other look like.”

 

The sentiment was genuine.  At that moment he didn’t care that he had been coerced into doing this.  Michael truly loved Sakaki with every ounce of his being.  That sadistic bastard was not going to change that.  He leaned forward, over Sakaki’s prone body to place his glasses on the table behind the low headboard and fished around in the drawer for the bottle of lube. 

 

“Whoa, wait a second,” Sakaki said when Michael sat back, straddling his hips.  “You’re hurt, we can’t.”

 

“It’s okay…I want to.  We’ll go slow.  It’ll be okay.”  

 

“Are you sure?  I don’t want to make you sorer.  I mean, he tore you up pretty bad-”

 

Michael placed a finger over Sakaki’s lips to silence him.  “It’s okay.  I want this…please?”

 

The blonde reached up and cupped the side of Michael’s face.  “I won’t hurt you,” he said sternly.

 

“You won’t.”

 

Michael flipped open the cap to squeeze some of the cool gel onto his fingers as he bent forward to kiss Sakaki again.  He reached behind himself to slowly rub the lubricant around his sore opening.  Knowing what was going to happen, he broke off the kiss and rested his forehead on Sakaki’s collarbone as he pressed a finger into himself.  It went in relatively easy, but he knew he couldn’t dawdle.  He withdrew slightly and then pressed a second finger inside.  He could not hold back the gasp that escaped his lips.

 

“Are you alright?  Maybe we should stop,” Sakaki said, clearly worried as he rubbed his hands up and down the other’s back.   

 

“No!  I’m fine…it’s okay.”

 

That was a lie.  The second finger stretched him wide enough for the old tears to split back open.  Michael squeezed his eyes shut as he began to work both fingers in and out of himself.  It burned so bad, but he knew that he had to work through it.  He bit down on the inside of his cheek to stop himself from crying out.  Zaizen had had abused him for days on end without letting his body heal.  He lived through that, he could sure as hell live through this.   

 

Deciding that no amount of preparation was going to make this any easier, Michael sat up and began to coat Sakaki’s erection.  Reaching back to position himself, he slowly sank down.  There was some resistance at first, but once the head breeched his opening, the rest of the length went in one abrupt motion.  It was agony.  He collapsed onto Sakaki’s chest, gasping for air, eyes tearing from the pain.  He buried his face into the crook of his lover’s neck to hide the torture.  His raw passage was split open and bleeding again.  He pressed down with his inner muscles, trying to will his body to be loose.  His erection was long gone, having wilted from the pain.

 

“Michael…Michael, are you okay?  Shit, I knew this was a bad idea.”  Sakaki was pushing on his shoulder, trying to get a reaction out of him. 

 

“I’m okay; just give me a second to adjust.”

 

He didn’t think he sounded convincing, but there was no turning back now.  Gritting his teeth, he pushed himself off Sakaki’s chest and gazed down into the concerned eyes of his lover.  “I’m okay,” he reassured again.  “Move, only…slowly.”

 

Sakaki never broke eye contact, but gently withdrew a bit and pushed back in.  Michael gasped again at the friction; his body was slowly becoming accustomed to the intrusion.  It took some time, but they managed to find a rhythm. The pain was still present, but when he pressed back to meet his lover’s thrusts and angled himself just right, there was a spark of pleasure.  He did his best to concentrate on that. 

 

“Yeah, just like that…harder,” Michael moaned.   Beneath him, Sakaki complied, placing both hands on the redhead’s narrow hips and slamming him down into his upward thrusts. 

 

“Ngh…Michael, god you feel so good.”

 

Michael didn’t trust himself not to scream out, so he smiled down instead.  A horrible, forced smile, but he was performing for a very demanding audience.  He closed his eyes.  It made it easier to try and focus on the small amount of pleasure he was feeling.  Please let him not be suspicious.  I don’t want to hurt him…please.    

 

Sakaki then surprised him by wrapping both arms around him and pulling him down into his chest and reversing their positions.  Michael yelped in surprise, but was quickly silenced by Sakaki’s mouth.  He did his best to kiss back, but his lover was pounding into him strong and powerful, like nothing could ever stop him. Michael wrapped his limbs tightly around the body surging above him as if trying to absorb some of that strength, grunting as the air was pushed out of his lungs.  This position was worse, but he couldn’t say anything.  Each thrust felt like it was splitting him in two.  He just had to bear with it and forget any enjoyment for himself.  It wasn’t the first time and probably wouldn’t be the last.      

 

“Faster,” he whispered into Sakaki’s ear.  “Harder.”  This was the first time that he wanted it over as fast as possible.  Normally he enjoyed his lover’s stamina, but he didn’t have it in him to last through a marathon session.  If there was one good thing he could say about Zaizen, it was the fact that the man usually didn’t last more than a few minutes. 

 

Michael noticed when the grunts and groans changed and dug his heels into the small of Sakaki’s back, spurring him on.    It shouldn’t be much longer now.  And he was right.  The blonde cried out, moments later, driving hard into his body four more times, and then stilled.  Michael hadn’t even come close.  The pain and guilt were too much of a distraction. 

 

“Are you okay?” Sakaki asked after a few seconds.  He propped himself on his elbows and wiped away the sweat-soaked bangs from Michael’s forehead. 

 

Michael forced another smile.  “Yeah, I’m fine.”

 

Now came the tricky part.  He needed to make it to the bathroom to clean up before his lover figured it all out.  He pushed at Sakaki’s shoulder to get the other teen to roll off him.  Michael all but whimpered when the blonde withdrew, letting loose a small stream of warm semen over his raw anus.  He sat up carefully and swung his legs over the side of the bed.

 

“Are you sure you’re alright?” Sakaki asked from behind him.

 

“Yeah, let me go wash up and I’ll be right back.” 

 

Michael stood up on wobbly legs and walked as fast as he could to the bathroom.  He felt Sakaki’s eyes on his back the whole time so he tried not to limp too badly.  Once inside, he shut the door and leaned heavily onto the sink, gasping for breath.  The urge to crumple onto the floor was strong, but he fought it back.  He wet a washcloth with lukewarm water and dabbed at his backside, hissing through his teeth at the burn.  There was blood.  Not as much as he originally thought, but enough for him to know that there was no way he would be sitting comfortably for a few days.  As he finished cleaning himself in a ritual he had preformed many times, the sobs began to rack his lean body.  That bottle of pills was beginning to look like a very viable way out right now.  How could he keep on living like this?

 

*~*~*~*~*

 

Sakaki lay on his back, staring up at the ceiling.  He should have been feeling sated in that fuzzy post-coital way, but instead he felt uneasy.  Something was wrong.  While it wasn’t completely unheard of for Michael to take the initiative, he certainly would not have started something when he was injured.  Yes, they were both under a lot of stress and finding comfort this way the most rewarding sometimes, but he could shake the feeling that Michael didn’t really want them to make love.

 

Fear seized his chest at the thought that Michael forced himself because of how he had freaked the other night.  God, I’m an idiot.  He probably thought this was the only way he could make it up to me.  Shit, what do I do now?

 

He retrieved his boxer shorts from the floor with the intent of going into the bathroom and apologizing to Michael.  Sakaki wanted to make sure that his love didn’t think that he had to do this again in the future. 

 

“What the…?” As he pulled his shorts on he noticed a ring of drying blood around the base of his cock.  Stepping over to the bed, he yanked back the sheet to reveal a small red stain in the center of the mattress. 

 

He…he lied to me.  He told me that he was okay.  Why would he lie if I was hurting him?  Why didn’t he stop me?

 

The bathroom door opened and Michael stepped out looking pale and weak.  He met Sakaki’s eyes and immediately looked away, guilty.

 

“Michael, why didn’t you tell me I was hurting you?”

 

“You didn’t, I’m fine.”

 

“Stop lying, there is blood on the sheets.”  The redhead’s widened in surprise.  Sakaki felt the anger starting to build.  Why was he being so obstinate? 

 

“It’s nothing, just a little blood.  Some of the old wounds reopened.  Stop worrying.  I’m fine.”

 

Sakaki stalked over the naked boy and took hold of his chin, forcing him to look up.  “Why?  Why are you lying to me?” he demanded.

 

Michael flinched.  “I’m not lying.  I’ll be fine.  Can’t we just go to sleep now?  I’m tired.”  He tried to brush past Sakaki, but the other boy just blocked his way.  “Haruto, I’m tired.  Please…let it go.”

 

“You didn’t come.  You were trying to hide that fact from me.”

 

“Th-that’s okay…I wanted you to feel good.  It doesn’t matter if I-“

 

“What?!”  Sakaki could not believe what he just heard.  And then the dreadful realization hit him like a wrecking ball.  “He put you up to this, didn’t he?”  Michael’s surprised look was the answer he needed.  “Mother fucker!  How?”  When his lover didn’t answer, he grabbed him by both arms and shook him, hard.  The younger boy cried out as fingers dug into his muscles.  “How, Michael?”

 

“H-he called as soon as you left the room.  He must have been watching.  He told me that if I didn’t get you to…to…he was going to start emailing the pictures he has of your sister.” 

 

Sakaki let go of the hacker so abruptly that he fell backwards onto the cold stone floor.  He didn’t hear his lover’s cry of pain; he was too enraged at the moment to notice.  “Where are you you son of a bitch?” he screamed at the walls.  “Where are you?!”

 

Michael stayed where he was on the floor, watching his lover knock books off of shelves and toppling chairs in his fury.  And just when it seemed that he was hell-bent in destroying the room, the rookie hunter seemed to pause suddenly.  Directly opposite the bed, right above the door was a vent.  Sakaki’s eyes were fixed on that vent.

 

He dragged a chair over to stand on and peering inside the grated covering.  Sure enough, there was a small lipstick camera fastened just inside.  A triumphant smile spread across his face.  “Found you.”  He yanked on the cover to try and pull it off, but it was screwed in on all sides.  He jammed his fingers in between the slots of the grating.  The opening wasn’t big enough, but he didn’t care.  As the skin was being scraped off his knuckles, his fingertips brushed the camera.  Just a little more…got it!

 

Sakaki jumped down from the chair and pulled out a long black wire from the vent.  Holding it up to his face, he looked directly into the lens.  “You sick fuck…getting off on hurting others.  No more free shows.”  And with that he smashed the tiny camera against the concrete wall, shattering it to pieces.    

 

Sakaki looked over at Michael.  He was still on the ground, tears streaming down his face.  “It’s okay now,” Sakaki said as he gathered up the trembling boy into his arms.  “He won’t be able to watch us in here anymore.  We’re safe now.”

 

“I’m so sorry, Haruto…I’m so sorry,” Michael sobbed into the blonde’s shoulder. 

 

“It’s okay…he’s not going to be in here with us anymore.”

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

Miles away, Takuma Zaizen leaned back against the pillows of his hotel room bed and lit a cigar.  The laptop at his side showed the two boys seated on the floor holding each other.

 

He had to laugh to himself, if they only knew how many cameras were actually hidden in that room.  But he did have to give the pretty blonde credit.  He certainly was a tenacious one.  Let them have their false sense of security.  It was just another thing he could exploit in the future.  A wolfish grin spread across his lips.  This boy was definitely going to be an adventure. 

 

 

TBC…….

 

 
 
Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
 
dmnutv_archerdmnutv_archer on January 20th, 2006 12:37 pm (UTC)
Since you asked for comments, I thought it was time to stop lurking.^^

About using a beta. I do not and will not use one, ever. Which probably sounds a bit arrogant, but I prefer it this way. If I may give you an unasked-for tip. Take your final draft and read it OUT LOUD. Slowly and carefully. You will be amazed how easily you find typos and other small mistakes. Also, I find it helps with phrasing and the general flow of the chapter/story. I try to do this when my husband isn't home, for obvious reasons. *lol* (Though my poor cats are subjected to my endless read-throughs.) It's not easy, especially with the more emotional and angst filled scenes. But for me it works.

This chapter. As you are aware, I know nothing about these characters, apart from how you have written them. This probably won't surprise you, but I am very strongly drawn to Amon. I was in the previous chapters, though not to this extent. Here you begin to expose him, writing from his point of view beautifully. Watching, feeling him start to wake up emotionally was very moving, as was his confusion and self examination. I really loved this.

I liked the other interactions also. Michael's inner struggle after given the (vile) order to sleep with Sakaki. Sakaki's anger upon realizing what happened and why.

But Amon...
You have captured me with him.
evilkat_meowevilkat_meow on January 21st, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)
Well, hello. Thanks for de-lurking :)

Ah, betas...can't live with them, can't burn them (just kidding Presser) Not using a beta doesn't make you sound arrogant, but for me, I like having a second, fresh set of eyes look things over. I am my own worst proofreader sometimes. Thank you for the suggestion, I shall try it when my husband isn't home. I'm sure my cats will appreciate it.

I can totally understand why you feel drawn to Amon. I do see many similarities between him and Fei, minus the homicidal tendencies, of course. They both keep themselves carefully restrained and distant to an extent. It has been quite the challenge to chip away at Amon's stony facade. I'm sure you felt the same way when writing Fei in "Heat." These boys are dear to my heart and I want to try and make them as real as possible. Telling me that you were able to feel Amon's inner struggle is the best compliment I could ever receive.

Thank you for taking the time to let me know your thoughts on the chapter. I really do appreciate the input.