FATHERLY LOVE


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11. • FOIST •

Russell

Two days Before;

            'You don't need to do this Maximus. I didn't take anything from your safe.' Russell's heartbeat pounded loudly, as he stared into the barrel of a nine millimeter Pistol. Aimed directly for his forehead.

Maximus Chibald was a local gang-man and drugs dealer, but Russell only heard it as whispers around Trinity Cove. The Safe he and Chuck had fixed the other day, apparently belonged to the mob Boss. And something was missing from it, but it only left Russell with one conclusion.

Now he had to face the gun for Chuck's fuck up. Russell could tell from Maximus' fancy attire that he was either fashionable, or just plain crazy.

He wore a Smooth Purple shirt, buttoned up fully to support the graceful Purple Bow Tie he was wearing. On top of the Shirt he wore a chic Black Vest with 5 buttons. His Jacket was perfectly tailored for him, and It had a subtle pinstripe pattern. His Pants were a different style than the jacket, but they complemented each other perfectly and they made an ideal combination with his shoes which were expensive Oxfords.

            'Then tell me Mr. Adams fo' I bust a cap up yo ass. Who the fuck took a block of my Gold from that Safe? Wasn't it fixed here?' Maximus threw out the questions, and Russell was clueless as to what he meant. Since he wasn't the one who fixed it.

           'Boss it ain't worth it man. You think these niggas won't figure out who shot him?' His Crony spoke beside him.

He wore a black suit, that had seen too many alcohol stains. He had a craggy face, that was uncomfortable to look at. Leaving Russell unnerved, and anxious.

Chibald's Crony took out a Cigarette and lit it, while Russell cringed. The flames from the lighter, illuminated the moon craters in the man's face. But it was his grin that revealed his teeth, scattered like kernels in his gum. Blackened and discolored by years of smoking. Russell wasn't scared, but more annoyed at their presence.

He just didn't like the idea of getting shot, so he had to figure out his options. Which only dialed down to no sudden moves.

             'Look, I was the one who picked up the Safe. But I was absent while it was being fixed.' He explained but Chibald wasn't convinced.

             'Don't lie to me man,' Chibald's southern accent filled him with dread.

             'I had to go get my kid from school.' Russell tried but Maximus seemed less than convinced, as if he hadn't been listening. The bulky man, dropped the Gun to his side and shook his head vehemently.

He took a few idle paces around Russell's garage laughing somewhat maniacally, as his shoulders shook.

            'You have a week to get my Gold back from your friend Russell. Or I won't just kill you and your Friend.' Maximus threatened as he turned away, his goons following behind him like a tail.

            'Matter of fact,' Maximus spun back around, rising the gun and firing.

Russell flew up from his sleep, awash with sweat and pillaging heat. The sound of the bullet in his dream, ricocheted in his head. Dissolving into a slow and awful ping, almost like a Pinball Machine.

It was the third night he's had this nightmare, and also the third night since his fever came upon him. He took tablets, but they only lasted a mere few hours before he begun heating up again.

His throat felt constricted, and pained but the wound in his side seared intensely and he flew up from his bed. Making his way to the bathroom as fast as his weakened body would allow. He felt the harsh bile rise in his throat, and he strained against his own strength.

Two minutes had passed, and Russell slumped against the toilet bowl, his bandage soaking with blood. The affliction was getting worse, and the more medicine he took. The more numb and inert he felt, as the days drew by.

            'Daddy?' Timothy's voice came calling from the hallway, but he felt too prostrated to look up.

Timothy stood over his Father, overwrought. For the man looked pale and defunct. But even he couldn't quite understand, for his Father was trying to be strong. His pride had led him not to call anybody, not even the Teacher. He felt too crestfallen to face anybody, especially him. And Kai had already seen enough, dragging him along the way wasn't what Russell or anybody else would've wanted.

            'Give me a second Timothy.' His voice echoed inside the toilet, and he grimaced slightly annoyed that he felt so helpless.

Hoping that Timothy would walk away soon, instead of seeing him languid and susceptible. Perhaps this need to always be stark in the sight of his boy, would kill him. But Timothy had nobody else, so death was never apart of his plans. He was a survivor, and this wasn't the first time he'd been in a prohibitive situation.

             'Mr. James is here.' Timothy spoke and Russell's head came flying up.

              'Really?' He asked, and for a minute a look of mitigation flooded Russell's face. Unaware as to why he suddenly felt alleviation hearing this news.

Timothy nodded in response and he thrust his right hand forward towards his Son. 'Come, help daddy up.' Russell groaned, and though he knew Timothy couldn't actually do it. He still forced himself to his feet, allowing the boy to feel a sense of pride and stalwartness.

*****

Kai sat in the Adams Kitchen, atop a tall stool set around the Granite-top island. He had grown more perturbed in the past week, even more so when Timothy wasn't in school. The introspection of what could have ensued, kept Kai distracted all day.

So he decided to take a small detour on his way home from Work. Knowing that he might detest his decision later. The only thing that kept him strong in choosing so, was the worry he had for Timothy.

He heard shuffling and spun around on the stool, to see a pallid Russell standing in the doorway.

More like leaning since the man looked sluggish, and unable to stand on his own. Kai's proclivity arose, and he was by Russell's side in a matter of seconds. Holding the man on solid ground, dismissing the strong scent of antibiotic that burned his nostrils. Russell's wound was bleeding through his bandage, and Kai could feel the heat gusting off the lumbering man in feverish waves.

Kai quickly rested the back of his hands against Russell's throat, in an attempt to see if he had a fever. Which was obviously the case, for Russell was boiling with heat.

            'You should have called,' Kai disparaged but Russell only glowered at him, knitting his eyebrows in a hard line.

             'I didn't want to bother- ugh. Y-you.' Russell griped out with a deep groan, writhing in discomfort.

Kai laid Russell back in the couch, and immediately begun removing his bandages. The lesion seem squalid, but it just needed to be cleaned thoroughly to avoid further infection. The shmutzring around the area of ingression was slightly yellow; that proved it was infected or worse, festered by the dust around the projectile.

            'You need to get proper treatment for this. The schurfsaum is swollen a bit.' Kai let out and Russell rose an eyebrow up at me.

            'Med School?' He asked in a bored tone and Kai rolled his eyes, shifting his attention back to the wound.

               'Just Pre-Med. I wanted to become a Pediatrician. But the economy came down and those jobs are not nearly needed in a place like this.' Kai began explaining, but Russell only gazed at him in odd interest.

            'I want to move to New York. Pursue a Job there in the Corporate World. See if I can wear a Suit and Tie.' He conveyed in a somewhat, sarcastic tone.

                'Well it would be better than getting shot by some unsatisfied Client in the Projects,' Kai murmured under his breath, but Russell's left hand shot up, and gripped Kai's thin wrist.

Kai gasped lightly, turning his attention to Russell's provoked gaze. 'You talk too much,' he remarked in a harsh, but weakened tone.

              'Well you d-don't talk enough,' Kai scolded, swallowing the lump that formed in his throat. 'You think these walls you put up will work out for you?' Kai queried and Russell sucked in a harsh breath, refusing to stare Kai in the eye; or to even answer the question.

             'Well guess what? It won't, because you'll be a very lonely man Russell. You have to let people in and accept help from others, or you will never find happiness.'

              'And what the hell makes you think I'm not happy?' Russell asked in a bored tone, but Kai only scoffed heavily. 'Who gives you the right to judge me when you have walls up around yourself as well? You're a hypocrite Kai, and you have no right to psycho-analyze me.' Russell's voice grew cold, and unmeasured as Kai paused in thought.

For a moment Kai's gaze fell upon Russell's, and there was intensity in both their eyes. So much loathing for each other, yet it wasn't hate. Just both in denial of what was truly transpiring between them.

A lethal truth that none could see, but both in denial of the non-existent force. Pulling them together, and willing each other to get closure. To find closure in both their lives, apart and combined.

           'I don't need help from a self-righteous, know it all like you.' Russell spoke with deep anger, and no remorse.

              'Let me go. You're hurting me,' Kai whispered as Russell's grip tightened, and began bruising Kai's hand.

A low growl emitted from his lips, and Kai's heartbeat quickened in his chest. He grew lethargic as Russell's grip tightened, but soon the much stronger man grunted in displeasure. Releasing Kai's hand, reluctance in his hard, cold gaze.

Russell's words had hit home, but Kai refused to believe a word he said in that instant. For he didn't see himself putting up walls, whether it was a factual analysis. He knew Russell denied the help of others, because his ego was standing in the way. It was as simple as that, whether he or anybody else saw it.

But Kai did. He saw the pain and animosity in the depths of those, pale, blue eyes.

Kai rose quickly to leave, as tears began streaming down his eyes. Deciding against helping Russell any longer.

But Russell rose from the couch, wincing. He grabbed onto Kai's hand, for he realized how much of an asshole he was being. Surprising Kai in the process, for his actions seemed unorthodox in many ways.

Despite him being this way, had nothing to do with Kai being there.

Russell was only angry at himself, and in that momentary lapse of weakness. He took it out on the only person that he knew he could trust at this point in his life.

The only person that was there for him, in spite of all his thoughts towards the man behind the wall. Hidden from the world and vulnerable to none. His only known weakness being the life that he created, and cherished wholeheartedly; Timothy.

The only person that didn't let him do stupid things, because he was always honest and straightforward. Like stability, Kai was just that and even Russell couldn't deny it. After nearly a lifetime of telling himself, that he didn't need anybody's help. He had begun to believe it, and it was a bitter road to walk. And for some odd reason, having Kai around provided a small ebb of hope.

Hope for wanting more out of life, than just sitting around and running from something he didn't know. Something he couldn't acknowledge anymore, for it had been years that he ran from it. It being a force created by his mind, and left him invulnerable to mental anguish and despair.

            'What are you doing?' Kai whisked around swiftly, with irritated eyes.

             'I-I'm, I don't know. I just-.'

             'What? Did you just realize why you're the way you are? Or do you want to hurt me again?' Kai asked with water pooling in his eyes.

Russell's eyes travelled to Kai's other hand, grimacing as he saw the pink circle around his wrist. Even though he knew it wasn't intentional, he still felt that loud pang of guilt. Beating in his head like an off-key drum set.

             'You're insufferable, and self absorbed you pompous jerk. Keep telling yourself that you don't need anybody, and you just might end up desolate and unloved Russell.' Kai quipped out of anger, as his shoulders tensed and vibrated from his heightened vexation.

Russel quickly let go of Kai's hand and watched as the Teacher grabbed his Bag, leaving as quickly as he'd arrived. Slamming the front door shut. Intensifying Russell's headache, that pounded harshly.

            'Fuck!' He cursed as he kicked the small clothes basket across the Living Room. Wincing in anguish, as the wound ached heatedly.

Again he was thrown off balance as he thought of Kai.

Remembering the distinct aura he had around him, and his fragrance. Which was elusive, yet puissant in his nostrils.

His feelings were oddly in a place out had never been before. For even in his pursuit to avoid Kai, Russell still felt a deep connection between them both. A connection he couldn't decipher, if it was wrong or normal. His life had bridled down to nothingness, and before Kai stalked into his life.

Time was still and unmoving, even though the years were undeniable. But the moment he met Kai James,  life took an abrupt turn. And time itself started ticking by, leaving Russell anxious and his mood unconventionally changing rapidly.

               'Why can't I hate you Kai James,' he muttered to himself as he sat back down in the couch, wincing as the wound was aggravated by his action. It was more of a statement than a question, which seemed to be plentiful in these past few days.

               'Why do I want you to like me?' Was the biggest question he had to ask himself. For the answer eluded him daily, and left no room for his other emotions to assist in deciphering whatever he felt.

That spark of energy and calm. The inevitable risk for conversation, that Russell avoided constantly. Even the slight degradation of his ego, that was slowly disappearing with every new thought.

•••••

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