When You Give The Devil A Little Finger He'll takes The Whole Hand

Keith is out at a party because of Shiro and is having a pleasant enough, if maybe a little boring, time when he meets an unfamiliar man who he hits it off with. They both show an attraction but he wants much more than Keith and will do whatever it takes to get what he wants.

/ Keith’s hand jumped over the asphalt in an attempt to reach the man and push him off but one hand was brushed off as easily as if it had been a fly and the other one didn’t even reach its destination.

“Don’t be like that,” the man ordered. “You wanted this earlier and you can’t just change your mind.”

Yes, Keith had wanted to kiss him earlier that night but he didn’t want this. He had told the man in front of him so and he must have known that Keith meant it. Otherwise, there would be no reason for this./


1. It's My (College's) Party

Keith wasn’t the partying type. Truth been told he only attended this one because Shiro, the guy he saw as an older brother despite the only similarities they had was being born in the same century and Keith being vaguely Asian looking while Shiro was a whole blooded Japanese man, convinced him to go. As Shiro said, it wasn’t every year that your school turned 98 years old and their school deserved the best celebration any almost 100-year-old could get. Keith didn’t even have the excuse of transport as he was not even 10 minutes away on sober legs from his dormroom at the moment.

Shiro was off somewhere but it was okay, there were other people he knew too.

There were Matt, who Keith only knew the name of because he was Shiro’s friend, who was talking excitedly about what Keith assumed was anime to a red-haired girl Keith knew the face of but had never heard speak. Pidge, who Keith only knew because she was Matt’s 15-year-old sister and Keith honestly didn’t know how she came into the party despite 90% of the people there was under 21, Keith included at 18.

There were Hunk and Lance who danced. Lance danced like nobody was watching and Hunk tried his best to ignore the stares that followed both parties of the… unique dance they shared. It was both elegant and the most awkward thing Keith had ever seen with Lance’s tall lankiness that looked like an ant next to Hunk’s much greater height and width and noticeably tanner skin despite Lance being tan too. Not to mention that Keith knew that he and Lance would probably never be an item and even if they would be that far out in the future, Hunk was Lance’s official platonic soulmate and Keith didn’t even want to break that apart.

Keith was just about to decide between finding Shiro or Pidge when he felt a hand land on his right shoulder. Keith looked to his right and saw a man about his own age.

“Hi,” the man said friendly and gave Keith a warm smile that lit up his brown eyes and brightened his face.

“Hello,” Keith answered. He knew he sounded sulky but he was really just having an unusual reaction to being shy and too sober to loosen up.

“See any girl you like?” the man asked and sent Keith a glimpse of something more in his smile.

“Um… No, not really,” Keith mumbled feeling dumb about his answer but he didn’t know what to say when he had never seen any girl he liked in the way this man meant.

“Oh, you’re more for the boys then?” 

“I-um…” Keith stuttered as he looked to his left before the alcohol in the air gave him just the courage he needed and he settled on truthful. “Yeah.”

“Me too,” the man confessed and Keith turned his head to look for any mockery or just any kind of untruthfulness. “Well, okay, it’s actually about 60/40 but it’s leaning towards boys, you know?”

Keith nodded to show his understanding even if his face was still blank under the colorful lights.

“It doesn’t bother you too much to have a drink with me, right?” the man asked.

Keith hadn’t really planned on having any drink but saw no harm in it and nodded. Besides, he knew from when Lance’s whining turned into something real that some people found issue with bisexuality for being “indecisive” or “slutty” and Keith honestly didn’t want to hurt anyone despite what rumors and the sharp tone his neutral face said about it.

“Great!” The man cheered and the smile came back to is face as he led Keith through the semi big cluster of people between the bar-crowd and the dance-crowd.

Keith and the man had to sit close to each other at the bar. Keith hadn’t been to a lot of bars or nightclubs but he knew that the bar had set up two or more chairs than intended for the size of said bar which resulted in anyone barely able to swing their legs towards the bar.

“What do you want?” the man asked.

Keith didn’t know many drink names and he wasn’t about to ask for something as embarrassing as ‘Sex on the Beach’, whatever that drink was actually made of.

“Um… Beer is fine,” Keith mumbled when the song changed on the dancefloor.

“Oh, I should have guessed. A real man’s man.” The man sent Keith a wink that just confused Keith further but felt it would be too dumb to ask.

“Two beers please,” the man asked the bartender for when he caught his attention and got a nod as beer was poured into two plastic cups.

“10 dollars,” the bartender said as he put both beers on the bar.

Keith wasn’t ready for how much beer costed outside of a supermarket and insisted to at least pay for his own drink but was dismissed.

Keith felt a patronized but let it slide when the money had been given and the man next to him started asking him in what section his dorm was, if he had chosen a major yet, which Keith hadn’t, and just seeming interested in Keith’s life. It was nice to be noticed by someone he hadn’t met several years ago and it didn’t hurt that Keith found himself attracted to the man’s tan skin, dark hair and Keith just found something amazing about tall, lanky guys in general. He had never found the media’s portray of the ideal man that ideal and while it didn’t hurt if the guys had strong arms or wide shoulders, it wasn’t required for Keith to find them attractive.

“Hey I never caught your name!” the man shouted over the loud noises when both he and Keith had almost finished their drinks.

“Keith!” Keith shouted back. “What’s yours?”

The man answered but Keith didn’t catch it so he asked again but the same thing happened and Keith just let it slide for now. Maybe they would never see each other after this night and if not then Keith would have time to figure out his name.

“Want another drink?” the man asked.

Keith was a little unsure if he did want another drink but the grin on the other man’s face decided it for him. “Sure, if I can pay for this round.”

“Don’t worry about it, this is my treat,” the man insisted. Keith knew it was meant to be nice but Keith found it uncomfortable and patronizing to be dismissed like that. He hoped he never made anyone feel like this when he tried to be nice but he would never know as even he kept quiet about it and he knew that he was much blunter than the average person was.

“Hey, Keith,” the man said and got Keith to focus on the present again instead of his daydreams. “I want to kiss you.”

Keith didn’t really go around kissing strangers but that was more because there wasn’t that many guys around who was attracted to Keith and a lesser number of them who Keith was attracted to too.

Keith nodded. “Okay.”

It wasn’t totally innocent but there was no tongue and Keith held his hands on the man’s shoulders while the man kept one in Keith’s hair and the other on his leg.

Someone coughed behind Keith after a couple of minutes. He didn’t really register it and when it continued he just assumed it was someone who got their drink down the wrong pipe.

It was only when someone tapped his shoulder than Keith pulled away from the man in front of him and turned the chair around to look at Lance.

Lance sent him a long look with furrowed eyebrows and a jutted chin. “Are you drunk?” Lance asked.

Keith got the impression that Lance was trying to ask something else but he was too tired and maybe a little buzzed to linger on it. “No.”

Lance leaned forward and Keith turned his head slightly to the side so he didn’t have to be completely face to face with Lance when they were this close.

“You are at least a little,” Lance commented.

“Why did you ask then?” Keith asked and barely kept himself from rolling his eyes.

Lance leaned back again. “Just checking in on you.” Lance shrugged.

“Thanks, Lance, but I’m fine,” Keith said and got embarrassingly aware of the hand that had run from one shoulder, over his back, and to the other shoulder when Keith had turned the chair around to look at Lance.

Lance’s eyes moved away from Keith’s face and down to his shoulder and then over it for a long moment before they found Keith’s eyes again. “I’m exhausted. Do you want to get out of here?”

Keith was just about to say ‘yes’ as he had done every time any of the people he knew had asked him at any social gathering he had been to but he stopped himself.

“No, it’s okay, I want to stay a little longer,” Keith answered and was surprised he could even say such words. On the outside, he was neutral but on the inside, he was all wide eyes and raised eyebrows over his sudden willingness to socialize.

Lance pressed his lips together and took an audible breath even through the sounds of conversation and music around them but he didn’t say anything against Keith’s answer. The only protest was the look he sent the man behind Keith and the way he narrowed his eyes when he did so. Lance blinked and looked back at Keith when they opened again and looked deep into Keith’s eyes asking for something Keith couldn’t read.

“Don’t worry,” the man behind Keith interrupted Keith and Lance’s spontaneous staring contest. “I’ll take good care of him.”

It was said in a friendly tone but the hand rubbing Keith’s shoulder made it seem lewd and Keith could only stare at the hand until Lance spoke again.

“I’m sure,” Lance breathed out as light as a feather but as powerful as a boulder.

“Don’t worry, Lance, I’ll get one of the others when I’m ready to go home,” Keith insisted even as he was more curious than bothered by Lance’s reaction to the seemingly innocent promise of taking care of Keith.

“Okay, you do that,” Lance said as if the conversation was over but he kept lingering.

“I thought you were tired,” Keith said after a long silence between all three.

“I am,” Lance agreed.

“Then go!” Keith ordered maybe a little too harshly but he could only hope that Lance knew he didn’t mean it in any harsh way.

“Okay.” Lance didn’t look like he wanted to but he did turn around and leave after that.

“Was that a protective half-brother or something?” the man behind Keith asked.

Keith turned the chair once more so they were facing each other.

“No, just one of my friends.”

The man hummed but didn’t outright comment on it so Keith just creased his eyebrows and clasped his left wrist with his right hand.

“I know that you told your friend that you wouldn’t, but I wouldn’t protest to you coming home with me,” the man purred.

Keith put his hands up in front of him. “Oh, no, I don’t want to do something like that.” Keith’s eyes widened when he realized that could have been offensive. “Not-not that there’s anything wrong with that kind of thing.”

The man just exhaled. “That’s fine. I’ll just enjoy this then.”

Keith smiled, relived that the man not only understood but also hadn’t taken offense to what Keith said like some other guys seemed to do when females told them no.

It was nice to sit in the bar but Keith was still bothered by how Lance had looked and the way Keith had just dismissed him.

“Maybe I should check up on him,” Keith wondered and looked over his shoulder towards the door Lance disappeared out of.

“At least have this drink with me,” the man in front of him suggested and Keith just looked back at him and nodded. It wasn’t a crazy suggestion and he didn’t want to seem desperate and follow right in Lance’s heels.

The drink was pink and girly-looking even in the same kind of big, plastic cups the beer had been in. Keith looked at the drink the man next to him had ordered for himself and saw it was the same thing. Well, okay then. It wasn’t insultingly girly then.

Keith took a tiny sip and the shoulders of the man next to Keith shook but Keith couldn’t hear any of the sounds in the deafening room.

The man leaned forward until his mouth was right next to Keith’s ear. “Take a real sip, Keith.” And he then leaned back and took a sip as if to show how it was done.

Keith accepted his fate of drinking the drink and readied himself for the sweetness but was pleasantly surprised by the way the drink was balanced in sweetness and the slightly bitter aftertaste.

The man next to him didn’t hurry Keith when he saw Keith drinking the drink and they talked as the their cups slowly emptied.

It was pleasant, Keith didn’t even realize how drunk he was before at least 10 minutes had passed, and he was still only halfway through with his drink. He hadn’t drank that much, one beers and whatever the pink drink was but his body wasn’t used to drinking and he supposed he hadn’t eaten a lot that day. Keith could not think of any other reason for him to be this affected by only two beverages.

Only one sip away from done, Keith could really feel it. Either the room swayed or he did, but who- or whatever of those two it was, it made him dizzy and his forehead ached in a way that would usually indicate a headache on its way.

“Enjoying your drink?” the man asked and brushed a thumb over Keith’s cheek. When had it gotten there? And how had it without Keith noticing?

“Mmm, it’sh good,” Keith slurred out.

Keith emptied his drink and looked over to the man next to him when another bartender than the one that served the beers put her head between them and looked at Keith. “You okay, man?”

“Yeah, I’m gon go home,” Keith told her. She nodded but bit her bottom lip as she studied Keith.

“Don’t worry, I will follow him home” the man on the other side of her reassured her.

She leaned back and looked much more at ease. “Good, I’m glad there’s someone looking after him.”

“Of course,” the man grinned wider, “we can’t have anything bad happening to our little friend here.”

Keith got a light pat that almost sent him to the ground. “Oh, sorry,” the same voice said. “We’ll be out of your hair now.”

He put a hand under Keith’s right arm and swung Keith’s left arm over his shoulder and more carried than simply supported Keith on the way out. Keith grunted as he tried to control his legs but they would neither hold any weight nor move in any other way he wanted.

The man led Keith out the door and it only took a couple of steps for Keith to realize they were going the opposite way than Keith’s dormroom.

Keith let out a sound of protest as his mouth would let him really say anything coherent anymore but the message was clear: “we’re going the wrong way”

“No, Keith, we’re not going that way,” the man explained.

Keith let out a stricter but also perplexed sound. “What is that supposed to mean?” Keith tried to communicate with his new sound.

Keith tried to stand his ground but his legs had given out entirely and his arm was pulled even more over the man’s shoulder until Keith’s feet didn’t drag on the ground anymore. Keith realized how much taller this man was than him and that under that lanky appearance was someone physically strong. At the very least, someone much stronger than Keith currently was.

He refused to read the signs but the primal fear in his was running in circles and his breath quickened.

Even as he refused to acknowledge what was going to happen, he still couldn’t figure out why people were just passing him by. Couldn’t they see the tension? Couldn’t they see the distress? Or what Keith just another drunk college student in their eyes? He hadn’t even drunk that much. It wouldn’t be okay if he had drunk much but he hadn’t been careless with his drinking and drunk too much or weird substances from outside the bar.

Keith put all his energy in protesting when he saw a small group of people walking past them on their own way home or to another nightclub. Maybe they would understand what was happening when even Keith didn’t entirely.

The man next to Keith laughed as if everything was fine. “I’m just getting you home so don’t grunt at me.”

One of the people in the group laughed too. Keith couldn’t focus but eyes, one kept moving to the side while the other one tried to focus, but the man talking looked to be in his early twenties and like he was one drink away from drinking too much. “A freshie out for his first time without his parents. That brings back memories!”

“Seeing someone pulling a drunk fresher home brings more memories back for me!” Another almost as drunk man yelled.

The first man protested, “Shut…” Keith’s ears started to ring. “you’re just…” Keith’s head was exploding.

The man supporting his entire weight laughed. Keith couldn’t hear it but he felt his body move.

“Look after him!” A female voice demanded of him.

“Don’t worry, I will!” the man promised as he started moving Keith towards the start of the trauma.

Keith’s eyes wanted to close but he kept them open. He didn’t want to remember this if his worst suspicions were right but the thought of him never knowing what happened to his body was unbearable.

The man huffed. “I thought you would be totally out by now, and I would have led you all the way home to my place. It would have been much more comfortable for both of us.” He said it as if he was would be scarifying a lot by taking Keith home to himself and it was Keith’s fault for being ungrateful and not pass out that it was all for naught.

Keith wanted to hit him. He wanted to kick him. Most of all Keith just wanted to hurt him and if he couldn’t do that then he just wanted to get far, far away from him.

Keith’s eyes closed without his knowledge and before he knew it, he was being thrown on the ground. Or more like let down none too gently.

“You’re so hot, you know that?” the man asked and he didn’t care that Keith only made distressed sounds. He didn’t care that Keith could only make distressed sounds.

Maybe Keith should have been smarter or maybe there wasn’t anything he could have done, but Keith wished he had stayed far away from this party and not cared about what Shiro said. Keith would rather have Shiro accuse him for the rest of his life for not taking chances than have to live with this night in his memories.

“Shh, none of that,” the man hushed gently as if Keith just needed a gentle reminder and then he would gladly take everything coming to him.

Keith felt a hand run down his leg and he sucked in a breath until it passed his knees and then he was too baffled to make a sound. What was this about?

Keith could barely move his hands, feet and head so he couldn’t see what was happening but he felt his right boot loosening and he felt the cold air as his sock was pulled off his foot.

Keith would have jumped if he could after that because it seemed like there was only the stars over him one moment and then there was a long silhouette only visible because of the stars breaking up the otherwise dark sky. He cursed the sky just as much as he cursed the person obscuring the sight but his mouth was slack and the sounds escaping him was little more than breaths of air.

Then even that was taken from him as the sock was stuffed into his mouth. It should have been the most disgusting thing Keith had ever felt but then he felt hands searching all over his jeans and the sock suddenly didn’t seem so bad.

Keith’s hand jumped over the asphalt in an attempt to reach the man and push him off but one hand was brushed off as easily as if it had been a fly and the other one didn’t even reach its destination.

“Don’t be like that,” the man ordered. “You wanted this earlier and you can’t just change your mind.”

Yes, Keith had wanted to kiss him earlier that night but he didn’t want this. He had told the man in front of him so and he must have known that Keith meant it. Otherwise, there would be no reason for this.

“You didn’t have a problem drinking my money so now you can’t back out after I have used my money on you.”

Keith was just about to give up and try to tone everything out when he realized his hand that didn’t even reach the man had brushed over a hard square trying to escape his tight jeans.

He ignored the feeling of hands on his dick and used all his energy to pull the phone out of his pocket, as he looked the opposite way than his phone was.

“I knew you would be this pretty,” Keith heard the man over him puff out.

His phone landed on the ground and Keith got painfully aware of how his body listlessly reacted to the stimulation that the man tirelessly gave him.

“You like this, don’t you?”

No, Keith did not. Only his body but it was dumb and betraying him on so many levels right now.

He felt around the ground and in the worst kind of luck found it with a light tap just as Keith’s fly was pulled down and disguised the sound of it.

“I’m going to enjoy this so much,” the man told Keith with his face so close to Keith that Keith could smell his breath and the sweet smell of the pink drink they both had had.

Keith found the home button on his phone and pressed it twice as fast as he dared both fearing to be discovered by the sound of the buttons and fearing that he would accidentally activate Siri. He then tried to write his password and got more and more panicked the more times it vibrated. How hard could it be to hit ‘1’ 4 times? Keith was teased from time to time about his easy password but it didn’t seem easy enough in that moment.

The man took a hold of his chin and forced him to face him and he rubbed a hand back and forth on Keith’s half-limp-half-hard member.

“I hope you’ll like this, Keith,” the man said and Keith wanted to bite the man’s tongue off for defiling Keith’s name.

Keith finally unlocked his phone and pressed the home button just to be sure he wasn’t on the internet and then hoped that he successfully hit the green button and hoped that he successfully hit latest calls, and then pressed where either the latest or second latest call in or out would be. He then concentrated until the phone was turned around so the screen would be down and not lighting up for all to see. He tried to push the phone further away but it barely moved a quarter of an inch before his arm gave out.

The hand around his chin let go and Keith’s head fell to the side away from his phone. The hand brushed down Keith’s body as the other hand searched up until both where at the edge of the simple T-shirt that Keith had worn in the warm summer night. He wished he had worn more. Not to throw any predators off but just to buy him a little more time to get out of this before he got out of all his clothes.

The shirt was pulled up over Keith’s body and his arms didn’t obey as he tried to keep them down. They simply followed the motion and left Keith with his arms up over his head with the shirt connecting them in the middle.

Keith heard the sound of another zipper being pulled down. It was one of the loudest sounds he had ever heard but the people he could hear passing by in high spirit either couldn’t hear it sounding like lightning or they simply didn’t care what two guys were doing in a dark alley between the dumpsters and misery.

“You’re such a good boy, Keith,” he leaned down to whisper in Keith’s ear and bit the side of Keith’s neck.

“So pure and unblemished,” he continued to compliment and Keith wanted to throw up.

Keith wished he did throw up so he would either get some of the shit in his system out or he would choke on it and die.

Keith couldn’t hear what was being said but he heard a noise to his right. It took him embarrassingly long but when he realized it was his phone he tried to make all the noise he could in order to make sure the man over him wouldn’t notice the phone. Sadly, Keith wasn’t able to make much of any kind of sound between being immobilized and having a dirty sock in his mouth.

“What’s wrong, Keith? We’ve just gotten started,” the man asked. It sounded wondering but Keith wasn’t fooled by anything about this man anymore. It was just a little too late to learn that lesson.

Keith watched the man pull away for just a moment and heard the man’s feet as he pulled his own jeans down. Keith felt the man pull Keith’s other boot off and the cold air as his jeans were pulled off entirely.

“Don’t cry, I have protection,” the man said in a mockery of comfort that no one would have known was anything but that if they couldn’t see Keith laying and only realizing now that there were tears falling down over his nose and left cheekbone and collecting in his left earlobes before running the rest of the way down. He had held out until now with false hope but he couldn’t deny what was happening anymore and he couldn’t pretend he wasn’t terrified about how far this would go before someone found him. If someone found him. He couldn’t even be sure the phone call would make any difference and whoever he called hadn’t hanged up already.

He felt naked in more ways than one as he laid with only his underwear and one sock on his body. He felt like a meal ready to be consumed and probably looked like it too.

Keith could see movements in the corner of his eyes and realized it was the man pulling his boxer shorts down to his ankles so they pooled there with his jeans and shoes.

Keith’s breath turned frantic and he didn’t know if the black stops came from panic, anoxia or just the dark alley tricking his mind.

The man crawled over Keith again and he felt the hardness brush his body. Keith was glad his own body hadn’t betrayed him to his degree of arousal but if he could, he would change it so the man over him wasn’t the aroused one.

“Are you ready for me to pull your underwear off?” The man asked as if he actually cared about the answer and Keith closed his eyes. “I’ll take that as a yes then.”

The man moved back and talked again as he looked up and down Keith’s body. “I’ll put the condom on now. You’re so hot I won’t be able to stop myself when I get to see the rest of you.”

Keith opened his eyes again. He could still not move his head but he knew the man could see the fear shining out of him. “Don’t worry, Sweetheart, just relax and I will try to be gentle.”

It didn’t comfort Keith. This man hinted that he wouldn’t even prep Keith before slamming anything in him and even if he said that he would try to be gentle, Keith couldn’t trust a word that came out of that mendacious mouth.

Keith heard the sound of the condom package and he the hair all over his body stood up at the sigh the man let out as he rolled the condom on.

“Now we just need you ready.”

Keith felt his heart drop as the last bit of hope left him.

He could still hear the sound of footsteps walking up and down the street maybe 150 feet away but he knew that it would just be background noise to what was about to happen.

“You just lay there being pretty and I’ll make you feel good.”

Keith seriously doubted that. Even with how traitorous his body was, it still wasn’t even close to fully aroused.

Hands griped the sides of Keith’s underwear and he readied himself for the cold air when the hands stopped pulling before they had even really started and the man sat down on Keith’s legs.

“Hey, this is a closed party!” the man over him hissed towards the street and for the first time throughout the whole night didn’t try to sound anywhere near nice.

“Of course,” another voice answered but stepped closer. “Can I hear it from your… friend too?”

The voice rang through Keith’s head a couple of time before he recognized Lance’s voice. It was uncharacteristically serious and grim, much grimmer than Keith had ever had him before. Lance shouldn’t ever sound this serious but it was still the best sound Keith had ever heard and he didn’t know if the tears that was still falling was lingering emotions or if they had turned into tears of happiness.

“He’s not interested,” the man answered dismissively.

“I really need to hear him say that too,” Lance said as if he was a strict teacher or even a general. Lance took a step forwards and Keith suddenly was hit with mortification at the thought of Lance seeing him like this, biddable and pitiful.

“Go away, kid,” the man spat out.

Lance was Keith’s age. All this man had seen as a kid ready for slaughter when he looked at Keith and Keith had just let him. He could have left the moment he got uncomfortable with someone buying him drinks or even before that he had paid for Keith’s beer.

“Narh,” Lance said in a way that sounded deadly serious despite being such a silly word choice given the situation.

Lance took another step closer. Keith’s head was turned the other way but he knew when Lance saw him from the gasp he let out and he knew when Lance recognized him less than a second later from the punch that forced the weight off Keith’s legs.

“What the fuck?” The man asked offended. “What’s your problem?”

“You are my problem, you and the fact that you’re trying to-to rape my friend!” Lance yelled outraged and Keith turned cold when the sound on the street stopped.

“Oh, it’s you.” The man concluded dryly. “Go home and sleep the exhaustion away and don’t ruin it for me just because your friend doesn’t want you.”

“What the-,” Lance started but stopped himself before long. “I would have kicked your ass right now if I Keith didn’t me right now, but you just wait.”

And suddenly there were footsteps, but not just the ones separating him and Lance.

“David, make sure he doesn’t get away while I call the cops!” A high-pitched voice ordered.

“On it!” A deep voice answered.

“Ask for an ambulance too!” a female voice deeper than the first one shouted.

The there were soon shouts everywhere and Keith wasn’t sure he would have been able to find any meaning in any of it even if he had been sober.

“Hey, Keith,” Lance called over him. It was full of affection and worry as Keith saw his fingers linger on the edge of the corner of his eyes.

“It’s going to be okay now,” Lance told him. “Some people heard me and they’re helping and getting more help.”

Keith just laid quietly.

“Oh, fuck, I’m sorry!” Lance exclaimed before he pulled the damp sock out of Keith’s mouth. His mouth was dry as a desert and ached from being forced open.

“Can I touch you?” Lance asked but even as Keith tried, only slight sounds left his mouth.

“Keith?” Lance voiced his concern and jumped on the other side of Keith so he could see his face. “Keith? Are you there?”

Keith just looked at him as he tried to focus his eyes.

“Is he okay!?” The highest-pitched voice yelled from all the way on the street.

“I think he’s drugged,” Lance said quietly at first before he realized she couldn’t hear it and repeated it much louder.

“Can you hear me?” Lance asked and Keith concentrated and put all his energy in his nod.

Lance sighed in relief before asking again, “Can I touch you?” Keith nodded again. It was hard but Lance was worth it and Keith wouldn’t discourage Lance from asking him.

Lance’s fingers lingered again but fell to his side before reaching Keith as he looked down the length of Keith’s body.

“Can I put my jacket over you?” he asked.

Lance’s dumb jacket that he refused to leave behind if he could help it. It was fine in spring and fall but too thin for winter and way too thick for summer but Keith suddenly couldn’t think of anything he would rather have covering him and he nodded.

Lance took his jacket off and Keith barely had time to be anxious about the sound of fabric leaving a body before the jacket covered him from the start of him chest to past his mid-thigh and with one sleeve falling behind his head and the other down one leg.

Lance kneeled in front of him again. “Would you like me to pet your hair?” Lance asked.

Keith nodded and Lance obeyed.

Lance stopped mid-pet after only a few seconds. “Is it helping?”

Keith thought it over. It took a long time as his brain was slow and seeing Lance and feeling just the tiniest bit safe had left him sluggish, but yes, he did feel a little better with Lance carefully running his fingers through Keith’s hair.

There were a mixture of sirens and Keith didn’t realize what they meant before he heard the deep voice that was supposedly David yell, “We have him here, officer!”

And Lance yelled right after, “Keith’s here!” Lance realized his mistake before Keith did. “I mean, the victim is here.”

Keith didn’t like being called the victim but it did help the ambulance and police know who they had to go to.

Two people came running from the ambulance with identical clothes and one had a stretcher and behind them both were one police officer.

Keith’s head was moved and a flashlight waved back and forth in front of his eyes. “His pupils are dilated,” was the diagnosis.

“Can you tell me your name?” The second EMT asked.

Keith tried but it was just more pitiful sounds.

The second one turned his eyes on Lance. “How long have he been unable to communicate?”

“I-I don’t know,” Lance stuttered. “I’ve only been with him a maybe 10 seconds before you were called.”

“Do you know his Social Security number and name?” The first EMT asked and Lance could only shake his head.

“His name is Keith Kogane, his birthday is October 23 and he’s 18, but I don’t know anything else,” Lance said and sent anxious eyes towards Keith as if scared that Keith would shun him for not remembering Keith’s Social Security number when even Keith could remember it at the moment.

The police officer turned to Lance. “Can I ask you for your Social Security number and a telephone number I can reach you on?”

“Of course!” Lance said too loud as he watched Keith being strapped to the stretcher and the jacket was replaced by a blanket.

Lance turned his eyes on the people around Keith. “Can I come in the ambulance with him?”

The EMTs looked at each other for a blink of an eye and then both answered. “Yes, if you’re ready as soon as he’s in the car.”

Lance nodded and hurried through his cellphone number and Social Security number and barely checked that it was correct before he was glued to the side of Keith’s stretcher.

“It’s going to be okay,” Lance promised. “And I won’t ever again let anything scare you just half as much as you scared me today.”

Keith would smile if he had any energy left but he still fiercely promised himself to hold Lance to that.

Inside the ambulance, Lance asked, “Can I hold your hand?”

Keith nodded and looked down at his hand as Lance cradled it between both of his. They were warm and comforting and Keith never wanted Lance to let go. 

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