“Reid, you need to listen to your dad. This is important for his career.
“All you have to do is not create a scene for the next few weeks. You can go back partying after his premier,” Mom said after sipping her tea from the expensive floral design teacup.
She’d invited me for afternoon tea, and I knew it was code for having the talk. She carried on to explain the usual, how Dad was a big movie star with a status to uphold.
I still didn’t understand how having a gay kid had anything to do with it, but I was not going to ask her that. They just plain and simple hated me for being true to myself.
“Where’s Dad now?”
“He’s in his office, meeting with his agent and some colleagues.”
His agent, who was also his best friend. The man had given me glances that had raised the hair on the back of my neck.
“Do you understand me, Reid?”
I nodded and forcefully gulped down my tea as memories of Dad’s agent, who was also his best buddy growing up, Mario Katz, surfaced.
The men would double-team and torture me with their words, telling me I needed to man up and stop being a sissy boy.
Dad hated that I took after Mom, and he even went as far as telling me I should’ve been born as a girl, as that would have made everything easier to explain.
Saying that he hated my looks was one thing, but knowing he openly hated me for being gay was another.
Dad slapped me so hard the day he saw me on my knees giving head to my high school boyfriend.
It happened just a couple of months after we lost Landon to a tragic car accident. Since then, he kept saying that it had happened to the wrong son; it should’ve been me who died.
Landon was his perfect son.
My big brother did physically take after Dad; he was big and handsome, while I was the lanky brother, geeky and a bit too cheerful.
Though the cheerful part of me died the day Dad slapped me so hard that my cheek throbbed for days.
From that day, I learned to be careful with my dad and went along with everything he asked.
Because that night, after Mom had fallen asleep, he came back to me and punched me in the gut, telling me he’d made a mistake.
Next time, he made sure to keep the bruising hidden under my clothes.
Despite Mom’s words, I knew exactly why I’d been summoned for tea today. Dad’s PR team must’ve clued him in about last night.
I’d been having too much fun without realizing that I was kissing a guy in a restaurant. Well, not just a restaurant, a Michelin-star restaurant where his colleagues often held their meetings.
And as if on cue, Mario Katz walked out of my dad’s home office; his PR team was next, and Dad called me inside.
His neck was splotchy red. I recognized his anger, and my body shuddered, feeling the hit already.
My brain silently wondered which part of my body would be hit this time.
I’d had broken ribs, fractured arms, and deep scars on my backside.
Dad’s punishment had evolved since my high school days, but he still managed to keep the damage hidden under my clothes.
He knew better after he’d slipped up and slapped me so hard that his best friend told him to be more subtle with his punishment.
He went for his belt buckle, and I dropped to my knees after taking off my shirt; we’d done this before over the years. I let my back take the hit over and over again.
I hated his belt buckle because I knew it was going to be a while until he was done with me.
I was teary, but I stayed kneeling on the floor, my hands firmly planted on my thighs, trying to resist the desire to fight back.
“Such a fucking disgrace!” he shouted after another hit.
“Are you doing this on purpose, boy?” he asked, breathing heavily as he struck my back again, this time harder.
I’d learned not to give him the pleasure of hearing my pained cry, so I stayed silent. I knew my back was cut open when my sweat stung so bad as it traced down onto the open wound.
“No, Dad, I’m sorry. I didn’t know he was taking me there.”
“You embarrassed me!”
“It should never be you!”
It went on for another half an hour; my back was wet, and I slumped to the floor when he decided he was finished with me.
The man left the room, but not before he spat on my back and cursed louder while throwing the F slur that finally broke the last of my strength, and I hugged myself and sobbed on his floor.
Benson found me.
My dad’s butler took me to my childhood room and took care of me just like he had done many times before.
He was always silent, and my tears wouldn’t stop falling.
“I might have to stitch one up. He cut you real deep,” the older man informed me.
I nodded and took the pain as it came.
Last night was one of the best hook-ups I’d had in months, and I was not going to regret getting my dick wet.
The man had a mouth and attitude to match. Well, we did match, as I’d swiped on his profile, and he picked me up for dinner on our first date a couple of weeks ago.
He was tall and bulky, just how I liked my men. I climbed him like a tree and let the man fuck my mouth, and he finished me off with his hand.
Clive was a closeted gay; we had been out several times before last night. We were starting our thing slowly, and I liked him more because of it.
I kept reminiscing how good it was with Clive just to numb my back.
“I’m going to get Miller to escort you back to the apartment. Let’s not give your dad an excuse to ruin my work.”
Benson was out the door, and Miller sighed when he saw the condition I was in.
“Come on, we got this, Reid. You should as least let me tell your granddad about this.” Miller slipped in his words, and just like every other time, I shook my head, telling him Granddad wouldn’t believe me.
I knew there was a chance he would, but the thought that I might be disappointed by another family member made me too scared to tell him about Dad.
Miller left me when he saw that Clive was waiting for me at my apartment door.
“Hey, baby, are you okay?” His eyes scanned me, and I ignored him to open my door. I winced when he touched my back.
He gasped as he carefully peeled my jacket off and saw streaks of blood smearing the crisp white shirt I had on.
“What the fuck happened, Reid? Who did this? Talk to me!”
I smiled a little at his concerned face. The man cared about me. But I knew it was useless; Clive would be crushed by my dad if I even dared get back with him. He had said so.
“My dad, he loves me too fucking much. You can go now. I’ll be too much of a sob story for you to handle.”
“We should go to the cops. Your driver knows about this?”
I nodded as he continued to unbutton my shirt, and the horror on his face assured me that we were done.
“It’s my fault. His friend saw us kiss.”
Clive was not out, and he’d taken me to the part of town where no one he knew would hang out, but I’d forgotten that some of Dad’s friends lived in the area.
“We need to end this, or he’s coming after you.”
Dad did say that, and I cared about Clive. I would feel bad if my dad made him out himself.
“I…I like you…”
Clive was sweet. Given time, maybe we could have been something, but Dad was throwing threats, and I didn’t want Clive getting hurt.
“Shush.” I put my hand on his strong manly jaw and pulled him down for a kiss. “I know. I like you too. But we can’t anymore. I don’t want him to hurt you.”
I pulled back to look into his eyes; he wanted to debate my words, but I shut him up with another kiss.
“Will you… Can I kiss you one last time?”
His words were needy, he was emotional, and I gave him more than a goodbye kiss.
I let him care for me, he insisted on blowing me, taking me deeper than he ever had, and we cuddled one last time before he left me as soon as I fell asleep.
There was a glass of water and a bottle of my pills; we hadn’t dated long enough for him to know about my suicidal tendencies.
But thinking about how Dad had just made me shove away the man I might have had feelings for since high school pulled me back into the dark abyss of my mind.
I lay flat on my back, knowing it would hurt like hell because of the lacerations, then I smiled from the pain. My tears traced down my cheeks, and I welcomed the pain.
Anything to numb my feelings.
Then the pills seduced me, and I, once again, succumbed.
Hoping this time I’d do it right.
I knew I’d failed when Miller and an older man were at my side.
This time he had found me soon enough that he called our family doctor to assist.
Miller didn’t say anything. He just looked at me with his sad eyes, and I eventually closed my own, not wanting to see his disappointment.
Fuck my dad…
Fuck my life…
I need to just fucking die.
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