Softness and heat. Heat of the sun on his skin. Smell of hot breads and chocolate. He smiles. He can see his mum in the kitchen cooking. He lets his eyes closed, fearing his dream will finish. He sighs. He feels so safe. He doesn’t want to wake up. He feels so tired and needs some rest again.
Between fog and dream, he hears voices of men, feels hands on him. His smile erases. He doesn’t want to be touched. But these hands on his skin are different. Strong but soft. And respectful. “For how long ?” He thinks bitter. He tries to open his eyes and focus, his eyelids are so heavy. During a moment, he distinguishes a man beside the bed. He can’t see his face only his back. He does something he can’t see. The man turns over. He has a needle in his hands. No. All of sudden, all his fears come back. A knot ties his stomach. He doesn’t want to be drugged. He wants to stop the man. He begs the man to not do that.
The face of the man. He wears on his face a horrible scar and his eyes are so expressionless and cold. Now he is sure he is prisoner. He fears what it could happens to him. He searches to escape. When he is wrapping by strong arms by behind. He turns over his face to see who. And sees two brown eyes, so warm. A voice, deep and hot, saying he is safe. That he has no fear to have. Before he can realize, a hand on his arms plunges the needle in his vein. The feelings of the drug inside him. He lost conscious.
“I think your ugly face frightened him, Henri.”
The other man who cleans up the medical material, doesn’t answer. The one who talks, looks at the young man lying on the bed. On his face, he can see tension. He asks himself what ordeal he has crossed to react like that. To decide to put an end on his life so young. A strong hand spreads a long lock from the face.
“He is beautiful, isn’t he ?” — The man said to Henri.
“Be careful Colin ! This pet will bring you more problem than pleasure.”
“Always optimist man !” — Colin says smiling.
“Just wise !”
“Does Jim make his job and bring informations about our guest ?”
“Yes. And I think you will like it. He is waiting in the desk-room.”
“Fine ! So I go.” — He says in casting a last glance to the young man before to leave.
When he arrives in the desk-room, a man gets up to salute him.
“Hi boss !”
“Hi ! So what the news ?”
“The young man calls Jared. He is a student in medicine, but he stops his study recently.”
“You know why I suppose ?”
“Yes ! His father contracted a game debt near Adrian.”
“Adrian ? You are sure ?”
“Yes sir ! And as he couldn’t pay, he fled and let his son cope with Adrian.”
“The fucking bastard ! In other words he sells his son. And his family ?”
“Jared has no one, except his father of course. His mother died some time ago before the avoidance of his husband. It looked like an accident but some source said it was a warning from Adrian to the father.”
“After the departure of the father, Adrian begun to blackmail the son. Beating him and treating him. In the end, the young man has no other choice that to prostitute himself to pay the debt of his father. I made a folder you have all the elements about Jared inside.”
“Thank you !” — Colin says in taking the folder.
“Speaking of Adrian, have you some news from our man infiltrated inside the organisation ?”
“Yes, the man has gain the trust of Adrian now and he works under the order of his right arm man called Arslan.”
“Good job ! Now that all is in place, I hope soon we can destroy Adrian’s organisation and makes him fall apart. I will not let this snake unpunished.”
Jared wakes up but stay still lying. His mind is confused. Eyes closed, an hand on his forehead, he tries to remember where he was and what he did. He has made a dream where he sees an ugly man putting some drug in his veins. Soft brown eyes looking at him. A voice saying he was safe. What a strange dream !
But other needs distracts his thoughts and his body, he has to pee. He opens his eyes on an unknown place. He doesn’t know what he does here. He even doesn’t remember he was come in. He sits too fast, his head spins. He closes his eyes. After a moment he looks around. The room is beautifully decorated, an elegant mixing between contemporary and ancient furniture. He wears underwear and a tee-shirt too large that doesn’t belong to him. Searching for the toilet, he finds a door which open in a luxurious bathroom. He decides to take a shower too. He is in sweat. Under the hot water, he thinks about his situation. Did he follow a costumer ? His head is a mess. He has some difficulties to concentrate. He remembers the man of the hotel, the fight and the moment when he left but after… he didn’t know what he did.
The water on his skin feels so good. He has not always the opportunity to wash all days. This shower is a real luxe that he wants to enjoy. In rubbing his body with the soap he remarks a jab on his arms. So it was not a dream after all. After a long moment, he gets out of the cabin and starts to dry his body.
A voice of a man startles him. He turns over so quickly that he slides on the wet ground. The man wants to catch him but he doesn’t want anyone touch him. He prevents the gesture and coldly launches :
“Don’t touch me.”
Naked in front of this man, he feels nervous and uneasy. Soft brown eyes look at him. The man of his dream. He tries to hide his nudity with the terry towel. To hide his weakness he attacks :
“Why am I here ? Who are you ? And where are my clothes and my personal stuffs ?”
The man puts some clothes on a chair and says :
“I bring you this. When you will be ready, we will talk.”
The man is leaving, Jared asks :
“Am I prisoner ?”
The man doesn’t turn over and leaving answers :
Jared looks the door where the man has disappeared a moment ago. “ Who is he ? This man seems so calm and powerful and I feel so weak and depressed. He said I am not a prisoner. But can I trust him ? ” — Thinks Jared in dressing.
When he is ready, he goes out the bedroom, find a stair and goes down. The house is really huge, confortable and luxurious. He can see everywhere works of art and masterpieces. The owner must be rich. He is surprised to not see anyone on his way. He could be so easy to escape, he thinks in arriving in the hall. At this moment a voice says :
“Would you follow me, sir ? Monsieur waits you for the breakfast.”
He turns and sees a man who shows the way. He follows him to a huge room. Big windows let see a beautiful view on a garden. A music. During a moment he closes his eyes to not let fall the tears who comes all of sudden. He has recognized the requiem of Fauré. It was the favorite one of his mother. A wave of memories invades him. So painful.
He opens his eyes and sighs. He enters in the room when libera me starts. The voice of the baritone moves him but he doesn’t want to show his weakness and tries to find again his composure. He sees the back of the man sits on a table. He hadn’t believed this man can like this kind of music.
The domestic whispers something to his boss and leaves. The man is up and turns to Jared.
“Come and share this breakfast with me. Tea or coffee ?”
Jared can’t deny his hunger and sits at the table.
“Some tea please.”
Now Monteverdi fills the room. Colin makes a gesture to a man Jared didn’t see when this latter entered. In recognizing the scarred man, Jared has a recoil.
“Don’t worry ! Henri is a good man.”
“A good man ! So why have I this ?”
In showing the jab.
“Just for your safe. You were really agitated and need some rest. He gave you some sedative. But explanations will come later. Eat now. You have not eat since three days.”
Three days ! The worry comes back. Adrian’s men must search after him. If he doesn’t go soon, he will have a real problem.
Seeing his expression, Colin guesses what worry him.
“I am sorry I have to go. I can’t stay.”
Jared starts to get up. But a strong hand stops him to do it.
“Stay calm boy and eat.” — says Henri.
“I am not a boy. “
He says in trying to avoid the grip. Then turning to Colin :
“You said I was not prisoner.”
“You are not. But Henri is right you have to eat. You suffer of malnutrition. A former student in medicine can understand that.”
“How do you know that ?” — Says Jared with surprise.
“I have my own source. Take advantage of the music and this moment. “
Jared starts to eat his head full of question. Who are those men ? Since his life changed he has met some strange men but these two ones are different. They seems strong and confident. After a moment :
“I suppose you don’t remember when we met. You were on this bridge. You wanted to throw yourself in the river. I catched you just before you fall. You suffered from hallucinations and were feverish. We brought you in my home and we healed you.”
The memories of this moment comes back in force. He remembers what he feels.
“I suppose I have to thank you.”
He hears Henri grumbles behind him.
“You suppose well.” — says this one with some sarcasm — “and by the way, I find this way to act totally stupid. You have other choices.”
“How do you dare ? What do you know of my life ? So easy to judge in living in luxury. You are like all these men. Without heart. Cold and scornful.” — shouts Jared.
And without waiting the answer he flees out the room.
“Jared !” — Calls Colin without success.
Then turning over to Henri.
“Nice job ! Really ! He is like a wild cat. Frightened. I try to gain his trust and you break all. You, more another one, you would know how difficult it is to be in his situation. When I met you you were not so different than him.”
“Sorry Colin ! I didn’t want…”
“But you did.” — cuts Colin.
And he leaves. In the hallway he meets the domestic who with a simple gesture shows him the way Jared has taken. He takes the upstairs and goes to the bedroom. He tries to open the door but this one is closed. He knocks. But obtaining no answer he calls :
“Jared ! Please, open the door !”
“Jared ! I know you hear me. Please open !”
“No ! Let me alone !”
At the sound of his voice, Colin knows this one is distressed. Colin tries again and again to persuade Jared to let him enter. But nothing to do. Jared is too hurted.
“Jared ! I will come later and talk to you… alone. Do you hear me ?”
“Promise me to not do something silly. I want to help you.”
“Yes, I promise.”
Colin has to resign and leaves.
On the other side of the door, Jared thinks quick about what he had to do. He knows nobody can help him despite what Colin said. He looks around him and find on a table his clothes he had before to come here. All his stuffs too are there.
He searches in the furniture and find a backpack. He puts inside all his clothes and his stuffs. Then seeing five little statuettes in Jade. Without thinking, he puts them inside the bag. Some food have been let on the table. He takes the bread too. When he is ready. He opens the door without noise. Nobody. He goes out and joins the stairs. He hears some paces and voices. Quickly, he hides himself behind a column and waits. Downstairs, two people cross the hall without seeing him. He waits some seconds and goes down to join the entrance prudently. Open the door and leave.
In the street, the cold bits him. He rides up the collar of his cloak and disappears in the crowd.
Later, Colin knocks the door of the bedroom. No answer. He turns the door handle, the door opens. But no Jared inside. He looks around and see the wardrobe opens. Turning over, he remarks the statuettes of jade missing. As soon as, he leaves the room and calls :
The man appears in hurry.
“What happens !”
“So what ! Why are you surprised ? It is typical of a little whore like him.”
Suddenly Henri is pined against the wall by strong hands.
“I don’t know what happens with you latterly, Henri ! You are the one in charge of the security here. Don’t say me you didn’t know what happens with Jared.”
“I did it for your safe. This boy could be your doom. He belongs to Adrian, Colin. You made me in charge of the security you said, didn’t you? And it is what I have done. I have estimated the risk and take the decision in these circumstances. And I didn’t kill him by the way. I just let him leave. You have to concentrate on the mission.”
Colin lets Henri go.
“If I had only concentrated on my mission when I met you. You will be dead actually. Have you forgotten ?”
Colin is full of anger and has to keep his calm. He paces then turns over and showing Henri with his finger.
“Your mistake ! Your problem ! I want you to search Jared and brings him here at all coast. And if something happens to him, I will hold you as the sole person at fault. Do I make myself clear ?”
“And the next time you make some estimation about my safety, I want you to tell me before you’ll take a decision. Make your job now !”
Then Colin leaves following by Henri’s gaze.