Ion stood in the open doorway looking into a 3rd year class at Castillo de Cruzito, his university’s campus in Spain, where he was finishing up the last semester of his international exchange program. He scanned the room, feeling himself flush as the ten students and professor stared at him accusingly for disturbing their lecture.
“Can I help you?” asked the professor in a dry monotone.
“Gabe forgot his assignment. I’m just dropping it off for him,” said Ion, feeling even more embarrassed that his boyfriend hadn’t bothered to show up that day.
“Who?” asked the professor.
“He also goes by Gabriel.”
“I don’t have any students with that name. You must have the wrong class.”
“Is this not ‘Internet Marketing and its Cultural Impact on Modern Spain?” asked Ion, who had teased Gabe mercilessly about taking a class with such a pretentious name.
“I’ll just hand in his essay, if that’s okay with you.” The students all continued to stare at him with vacant eyes, none of them showing any signs of recognizing Gabe’s name. Ion sighed and walked the paper up to the front desk. The professor took it from his hands and opened the bound pages as Ion rushed towards the door, wanting to get away from the awkward atmosphere as fast as possible.
“You have just handed me blank pages,” said the professor.
Ion finished the last few paces out the door at a run and slammed the door behind him, feeling like his face was the same shade as a tomato.
On the fourth floor of the West-wing dormitory, Ion, face still burning red with embarrassment, pounded on door number 446, Gabe’s room. He was tired of being caught up in Gabe’s lies. Well no more. He was going to confront him, and if Gabe didn’t have a water-tight reason for not being in that class, they were through.
“Let me in, you asshole,” he yelled, kicking at the base. The door was solid wood and he felt his toe crunch a little on impact. He needed to stop that or he’d be in too much pain to face Gabe with a clear head.
Ion jiggled the doorknob impatiently and was surprised when it actually turned. The door was unlocked. He threw it open and barged inside to a dark room. He felt around the doorway for the switch, wondering what the room looked like. Gabe had avoided bringing Ion back to his residence room, saying that his roommate was a born-again Baptist and wouldn’t take well to Gabe as a roommate if he found out that he was gay.
Light filled the tiny space. A mop and bucket leaned against one wall, next to a hose and laundry sink. On the other wall was a shelf of cleaning supplies.
Ion growled under his breath. He slammed the door closed behind him and stalked up to his floor. No wonder Gabe spent all his time in Ion’s room. Was Gabe some sort of hobo that had decided to shack up with him for free rent? To be fair, he did make up for it in other ways…
Seven months ago, Ion stood in front of his own residence room, balancing his knapsack and carry-on-bag on top of the two suitcases he had just hauled up six flights of stairs, as he fumbled in his pocket for the key. He felt like his day could not possibly get any worse.
He had missed both his flight connections, which meant that he had arrived in time to also miss the last shuttle to Cruzito by ten minutes. He had hired a taxi and forked over what turned out to be just over three hundred dollars for the two-hour ride as visions of hot showers and a warm bed danced through his head. He wasn’t sure whether he’d have his toothbrush or pajamas though; his largest suitcase had a rip across the bottom and felt suspiciously light.
Ion felt the bags slide on each other and topple to the ground in a heap at his feet with a crunching noise. He didn’t bother picking them up, instead getting more frantic as he patted down his pockets with his left hand. The right one was still bleeding from a scrape across the palm when he had tripped and slammed it into one of the authentic stone stairs on the way up.
The key was missing. He had dropped it somewhere on his twenty-minute trek across the castle.
He left his bags in a heap, too tired to carry them with him down the hallway. He was, of course, in the room farthest from the stairs, number 645. He scanned the ground as he walked, hoping for the silver sheen of the key. Nothing. He probably had dropped it when he tripped. Had that been near the third floor or the second? His right hand throbbed in pain and he squeezed it closed, digging his nails into the cut, breathing a long sigh of relief as the pain cut through the haziness of lack of sleep.
He was almost at the spiral stone staircase, slouched over, when he felt something suddenly tap his forehead. He looked up, startled.
“Hey!” It was another student. A man about his age with dark hair, dark tanned skin and dark clothing, such that he almost disappeared into the walls of the poorly-lit passage-way. It was no wonder Ion hadn’t noticed him.
“I saw you drop this,” he said, with traces of a Spanish accent. He held out the silver key, and Ion took it from him, overjoyed. Ion tried not to stare or drool at his lean and muscled comrade, his cheeks darkened by a sexy five-o’clock shadow.
“Thank you,” said Ion as his mind raced a mile a minute. What should he say? Was this guy gay? Could he arrange to see him again to find out?
“You need help.” he said, “You’ve been shedding stuff the whole way up.” He held up two pairs of Ion’s leather briefs, his butt plug and his favorite ball gag with a mocking smile. Ion almost choked and turned beet red and felt any hope for a relationship flutter away.
“They must be… uh… someone else’s. I don’t recognize them. Thank you for finding my key. Have a good night.” He walked purposefully towards his door, not turning around to face him. Hopefully he could at least salvage his dignity.
The man grabbed Ion’s hand and yanked him to a halt.
“That’s too bad. Those look like fun.”
What did he mean by fun? Was he making fun of him? Ion was way too tired to think straight. Keep walking, he decided. He could sort it out in the morning.
“My name’s Gabe, by the way,” said the man. “I’ll come by to return them to you later.”
Was Gabe mocking him? Ion turned to look back only to have Gabe grab his hand once more. Gabe’s eyes burrowed into his own as Gabe brought the hand up to his mouth and licked the blood off his palm. Ion felt himself go hard
“I’m Ion,” he said. “How about tomorrow afternoon?”
When Ion returned to his room after his visit to the broom closet, he found Gabe sitting at Ion’s desk, using Ion’s laptop.
“Hey there,” said Gabe, getting up and running his fingers through his shaggy hair with one hand. With the other he reached out to Ion about to grab him and pull him in for a kiss. Ion smacked his arm away and glared.
“Where were you this afternoon?” asked Ion.
“Classes. Where else?” said Gabe, grinning at him. “You look annoyed. Would a quick fuck help?” He reached to grab Ion once more, but Ion stepped away, unfazed.
“I went to drop of the essay you forgot, but you weren’t there.” said Ion.
Gabe shrugged. “I’ve told you how boring that professor is.”
“But you just told me you were in class all afternoon.”
“Yeah, but I skipped that one.”
Ion narrowed his eyes. Gabe’s cool unruffled demeanor was making him feel more and more like he was the one that was mistaken. Gabe always had an answer for everything.
“You’re up to something Gabe. What is it?”
Gabe moved in, closing the distance between them so smoothly that Ion didn’t even realize it until Gabe was already pressed up against him. He grabbed both of Ion’s wrists and crossed them over his chest, pinning Ion against him and bit him on the shoulder, slicing through skin with his teeth.
Blood slowly welled up. Ion shivered in pleasure. They were so perfect for each other. That is, they would be if Gabe would ever tell him what was going on.
“Gabe, I mean it.”
Gabe thrust his hips forward so that their cocks rubbed on each other through their pants. They were both hard. Ion struggled to not be overwhelmed by the sexual tension that hung in the air between them.
“Don’t you remember your promise?” said Gabe.
“I don’t remember promising to let you lie to me!”
“I remember it differently…”
It three days after he had met Ion late at night in the dormitory hallway and Gabe was as near to heaven as he ever imagined he would get. On his residence room bed was Ion, naked and lying face down into the mattress and sheets, his wrists and ankles firmly attached to the corners of the bed frame.
Gabe stroked Ion’s back with the corner of a hard plastic ruler that had been sitting on Ion’s desk. Unfortunately, Ion had not been able to bring any knives with him on his flights. Gabe would have to request that he purchase one as an investment into future pleasures.
The corner of the ruler was hard enough to welt the skin. Gabe drew absently on the exposed skin, making sure to go extra hard near the joints, so that Ion would be reminded of the welts every time he moved. Ion was writhing beneath his touch, moaning and thrusting into the bed.
He thwacked the ruler hard across Ion’s ass, leaving giant stripes of red.
“Don’t come until I give you permission, or I won’t want to do this again,” said Gabe. He watched as Ion buried his face into the pillow squeezing his eyes closed in concentration, breathing heavily. Gabe slowly removed his own pants. He moved at a leisurely pace, knowing that his own cock was aching to plunge into Ion and thrust until Ion was raw, bleeding and screaming for him to stop. He was sure that Ion wanted him to do that too, which was slightly disappointing but also delectable.
Gabe slid the edge of the ruler between Ion’s cheeks, making sure it pressed into the crack and caught on his asshole. He scraped it back and forth, each time a little harder, stopping only when Ion let out a muffled yelp.
The sound of his anguish was almost too much for Gabe to bear. He jumped onto the bed between Ion’s legs and grabbed onto his own cock, positioning it for entry. He pounded his hips into Ion, feeling a brief resistance before the force of his thrust broke past it. The flesh of Ion’s ass slid up his penis and Gabe was deep inside.
Their pelvic bones ground into each other as Gabe kept pushing deeper and deeper. He wrapped one arm around Ion and grabbed onto Ion’s balls, digging his nails into them, squeezing and twisting. Ion moved in time with the thrusts as he strained against the ropes that held him spread-eagle.
Gabe clenched his teeth together as he felt his body shudder as he came. Beneath him Ion whimpered in anticipation. Gabe removed his hand and pressed Ion’s hips into the bed.
“You can come now,” he told Ion. He felt Ion’s body relax but continued holding him down, rocking him from side to side, smearing the come all over his front.
Then, leaving Ion still tied up, Gabe sat on the small of Ion’s back and lay back, angling himself so that his head rested on the pillow above Ion’s, where they could see each other.
Ion’s eyes were closed. Gabe smiled as he counted the hickeys and bite marks that surrounded Ion’s neck as he waited for Ion to come out of his stupor.
“I’ve been thinking that we should take this relationship up a level and date officially,” said Gabe, when Ion’s eyes finally opened again. “But I have a very specific arrangement in mind.”
“What?” said Ion, sounding drowsy. Gabe stroked Ion’s cheek with a fingernail, tracing a small red line across it. It was nothing that wouldn’t be gone by morning.
“You promise to never question me and I promise that you’ll survive when we fuck and that it’ll be amazing.”
“And we get to do this again a lot?”
Gabe laughed and kissed him on the head, getting a mouthful of his blond hair. “Oh yes. But it’ll be even better.”
“I don’t see how.”
“I’m a keen scholar in the art of pain and you’ve just received my introductory class.”
“Remember how I said you sound like a stuck-up douche when you say certain things?” said Ion. “That would be a good example of one of those moments. But fine, it’s a promise.”
Ion broke away from Gabe’s embrace and spun around to glare at Gabe in disbelief. Not questioning him about his classes was a different ball game than not questioning his orders when they fucked.
“I’ve held up my end of the bargain,” said Gabe as Ion continued to scowl.
“I thought you meant that you didn’t want to talk about your performance or your exes, not hiding the fact that you’re some sort of free-loading liar.”
“Why are you still going on like this, Ion? Wouldn’t you rather have some fun and forget all about it? In a month’s time you’ll be back home and this will all be in the past, so let’s make some good memories.”
“That’s another thing! You keep acting like you’re going to break up, but you do realize that we can still see each other back on the main campus, right?”
“I’ve still got another semester here after you.”
“No you don’t; they’re closing the place down to renovate this summer.”
“Right… so it will be a while before I go back.”
“Damn it, Gabe. Tell me the truth now or you can kiss this ass goodbye,” said Ion, giving his own bottom a smack in hopes of enticing Gabe with it.
“Ion, be rational,” said Gabe looking like he was trying to contain his laughter.
“Rationalize, this, ass-wipe,” said Ion, as slapped Gabe across the face so hard that it felt like Ion’s hand had gone through the skin. “Until you’re ready to talk, I don’t want to see your douchebag face.”
Gabe grabbed Ion’s face in his hands and pulled him off his balance, planting a kiss on his lips, biting them and chewing like a starving wolf on its prey. Blood trickled into their mouths.
“Goodbye, then,” said Gabe, pulling back. Ion looked up at the ceiling, refusing to meet Gabe’s eyes. Gabe ran his hand on over Ion’s chin tenderly to wipe away the blood and with a sigh stepped back, away from Ion.
Ion waited for the sound of the door, but it never came.
“I thought you were leaving,” said Ion, looking back down. Gabe was nowhere to be seen.
Ion flopped onto his bed, rubbing at his torn lips, trying to ignore the aching in his cock. Maybe he should have insisted that Gabe fuck him before accusing him of being a liar.
It was just past midnight, when, after an hour of being vaguely polite to classmates he didn’t really know, Ion left a party celebrating the last day of exams. He had spent so much of his time at Cruzito with Gabe that he hadn’t befriended any of the other exchange students.
The past month had been unbearable. The niggling feeling of regret had started the morning after he kicked Gabe out. Two days later, he starting scouring the halls of Cruzito in search of him. He had checked all the dorm floors and taken to wandering the halls at odd hours and in weird places, hoping to stumble across him.
Unfortunately, there were no signs of him. It has also soon became apparent that Gabe had also not bothered to make any friends, and no one Ion spoke with had even heard of him, except as ‘the guy dating the blonde twink’.
There was almost no one left at Cruzito, since most of the students left as their exams finished. Ion’s flight was booked for the next afternoon, and though he still needed to pack, he was desperate to see Gabe before he left.
Ion ran through the castle in his head. He’d explored every classroom, the kitchen and cafeteria, after hiding in a tray cupboard until everyone left, and snuck into all faculty rooms and halls on campus. The only place left to explore was the sub-basement, which had been closed the whole year for the renovations to repurpose the dank ancient dungeon rooms as classrooms.
So despite intense misgivings about visiting alone and in the middle of the night rooms purported to have once been used by the Spanish Inquisition, Ion found himself pushing past the metal gate warning that construction boots and hard hats were required. The halls had only emergency lighting, but he soon found a switch that bathed the area in bright florescent light. Sawhorses and power tools sat along the walls with pallets of stone, which matched the color of the walls and floor.
Ion walked down the halls, peeking into various doorways, pushing aside the drapes that prevented the dust from blowing too freely. The construction team had only started in earnest in the section very near to the stairs, and he quickly passed into areas that looked worn and ancient.
“Gabe?” he called out periodically as he walked, not expecting an answer but wanting to break the silence.
The basement seemed never-ending, full of narrow halls with many twists and turns, illuminated with fluorescent lights that sat on the floor, connected by a network of extension cords. Gabe was nowhere to be seen.
He managed to make his way so far from the main construction area that he found himself in an area with only a few lights placed at far intervals to each other, making him cast long shadows as he walked down the stone halls, footsteps echoing in the silence.
It was starting to creep him out. All the brochures touting the benefits of studying at Cruzito had mentioned that the castle was haunted. Ion decided that he wanted out before he started hallucinating the sounds of banshees and zombies chasing after him.
Unfortunately, the layout was a lot more confusing than he had bargained for and Ion wasn’t sure how to get back. The only noises were his footsteps and his breathing. He suddenly recalled the orientation session when his Dorm Advisor scared the new residents with tales of the skeletons that he been found in the sub-basement when Cruzito had been gifted to the university. He was in the sub-basement right now. If any of the long dead decided for vengeance that night, he would be the nearest victim…
Ion kept moving, passing down halls and through rooms that he didn’t think he had seen before, until he came to an abrupt dead end. The floor in this section was brick, not stone, though that fact didn’t dispel the feeling that he was trapped in a never-ending maze. He backtracked until he came to an open doorway with a rotten wood door that was still hanging on ancient hinges and looked like it would fall to dust if touched. It was hard to tell where it led, since the glow from the builders’ lights barely reached past the doorway.
Ion turned on his phone and shone it ahead of him like a flashlight as he walked through. It was an empty room, though there was a dark recess in the corner. Perhaps it was a way out? It didn’t seem likely, but then none of the other paths had worked yet either.
The noise surprised Ion and he jumped, dropping his phone, and spun around, seeing a figure silhouetted in the doorway. He hadn’t heard the sound of anyone else around him all night. Had been stalked the entire time he was searching?
Ion fumbled frantically on the ground for his phone, wanting to get the light back, as he keep an eye on the intruder. The figure advanced on him.
“You shouldn’t be here, you know,” said the voice. It was familiar and his fear was replaced with relief.
Ion managed to pick up his phone and sprang up towards Gabe, who was, at that point, standing overtop of him. He threw his arms around Gabe in a hug.
“You shouldn’t be here either,” he whispered into Gabe’s ear, trying to sound sexy. “But let’s make the most of it, shall we?” He leaned backwards with all his weight, pulling Gabe off-balance and on top of him. They both stumbled towards the dark recess, with Gabe trying to hold Ion up, and slammed into the wall of what turned out to be a mere alcove.
“I shouldn’t have asked you questions, Gabe. You were right, but why didn’t you just wait a couple days and come back to see if I’d changed my mind?”
“You sounded pretty final about it,” said Gabe, sounding like he was still in a pout. He let go of Ion and extracted himself from Ion’s embrace, stepping backwards. “You said you didn’t want to see my douchebag face again. I’m not the type to force it on you.”
“Do you want me to beg?” asked Ion, “You know I have no shame.” He slammed down onto his knees and touched his forehead to the ground. “Please fuck me again, Gabe. Punish me any way you see fit.” Butterflies fluttered in Ion’s stomach. He hoped that Gabe would find a really painful and sexy way to discipline him.
Ion’s knees started to feel butterflies too, which was very weird. They were in pain, though less than he had expected, from slamming full force into the ground, but it seemed like the ground was moving under them. He looked up at Gabe, confused, in time to realize that not stones but wood was crumbling beneath him. He was falling!
Ion frantically scrabbled at the floor, trying to get a grip on the smooth stones of the rest of the floor to stop himself from plunging backwards. Gabe’s hands grabbed onto his wrists just as the last of his fingers slid of the stones. He dangled hanging in the air, his feet unable to feel any ground beneath him.
“You’re too heavy,” said Gabe, his voice sounding concentrated and thin as Ion was slowly lowered downwards. “I can’t hold you for much longer. I’m going to try to let you down as far as I can, try to land on your fe–”
With that Ion felt air on his wrists and continued his plummet into darkness, which turned out to be mercifully short. He landed on both of his feet, with a hearty crunch in his ankles, and tried to catch his balance. The perfect landing was not to be; he toppled backwards and with the force of the fall behind it, his head smacked hard into a wall.
Stars speckled the world around him. They shimmered and spluttered, fading in and out of darkness. Ion felt pain blossoming in both his feet and up his legs, but the peak was at the back of his skull, which felt like someone was still jackhammering it.
“Ion, wake up.”
Ion didn’t feel up to speaking just yet, so he tried to moan to convey to Gabe that he should continue where he left off and that Ion was still good for a fuck. It didn’t have the intended result, and made vomit rush into his mouth. Ion felt Gabe turn his head to the side so that he could spit it onto the ground. His hand felt cold on Ion’s face.
Ion paused for a couple seconds as he waited for his head to clear a bit more.
“In with the good, out with the bad,” he said, trying to sound cheerful and downplay his injury so as to not worry Gabe, but he still couldn’t shake the vertigo or the high pitch buzzing noises.
Ion forced himself to sit up, overcoming the nausea and dizziness. Something warm trickled down the back of his neck and he could smell blood. He tried to think of times when similar intense throbbing pain had brought him happiness, to avoid the feeling of fear and anxiety that was creeping over him.
It was almost completely dark; his cell phone was on the ground next to him, providing a dim light through its cracked screen. He was in a small stone hallway, so narrow that he could easily reach out and touch the walls. Dust and rotted wood fragments lay around him. He reached out to the walls on either side of him and used them to push himself up to his feet.
“You shouldn’t move,” said Gabe.
“Exercise is the best cure-all,” said Ion trying to maintain the illusion of good health. “Well, let’s find a way out of here.”
Gabe laughed but it sounded forced. “I’ll go look. You sit down and stay here.” He hesitated briefly, but then turned and ran down the hallway into darkness. Ion picked up his phone and leaned against the wall, working up the strength to move before stumbling after him. Something crunched under his foot. It was the skeleton of some sort of rodent. Ion continued past it, hoping to get closer to the exit.
“Wait for me!” he called out, but there was no response. Ion decided that when they got back to his room, they would need a talk about good communication.
Fighting through the dizziness, Ion followed along the wall, using it heavily for support when he came to a doorway. A metal portcullis was lying twisted and bent just inside the frame. It was odd that such a thing hadn’t yet been cleared away for the renovation.
Ion leaned against the door frame and held up the phone, shining the meager light inside. There was rusted metal attached to the walls and objects lying untidily on the ground, but what really caught Ion’s eye was the light glinting off round, white shapes with eye and nose holes. Lots of them. He felt queasy. He had stumbled into a quintessential medieval dungeon with a low survival rate.
“Gabe?” he called out once more, longing to have Gabe’s supremely confident and strong presence with him, but there was still no answer. He rushed past the door in a burst of adrenaline and continued making his way, keeping his back to the wall, partially for the support and partially to prevent anything from sneaking up behind him.
He had to pause frequently as the hallway spun around him and stars flickered in his peripheral vision.
As Ion rounded a corner, his heart skipped a beat. Crumpled against the wall at the far end of the hallway was Gabe.
Forgetting all about his own health, Ion rushed over to Gabe’s side and lay a hand against his face to wake him. It was cold. Not merely chilled, but as cold as the smooth stones of the hallway.
“Gabe!” Ion squeaked. “Wake up!”
Gabe’s head flopped to the side as Ion touched it and his body showed no movement or sign of life. He wasn’t breathing.
Ion jabbed his fingers at Gabe’s neck, looking for a pulse he couldn’t find. Fighting down a rising panic, Ion thought back to his high school first aid course; where did you put your hands for CPR? He vaguely recalled that doing something was always better than nothing and pressed his hands down on Gabe’s chest, pounding down as hard as he could over and over, ignoring the fact that the exertion made him see blackness and feel a stabbing pain up his neck and into his head. His arms were getting tired, but Gabe still didn’t wake up.
Tears poured out of Ion’s eyes as the power behind his thrusts dwindled until he could barely manage a gentle press. The exertion and frenzy caused vomit to rise up unto his mouth again and he threw up, making sure to keep it off of Gabe, before collapsing onto Gabe, sobbing.
A chill shivered up Ion’s spine. Gabe had been perfectly healthy just moments before and was way too fit for a heart attack. It must have been an outside force. Now whatever had just killed Gabe would be coming for him! Ion grabbed his phone and shone it around him, still lying partially on top of Gabe, who was the only comforting thing in this bleak place, even if he was dead.
“I know you’re there,” he screamed. “I’m watching you.”
There was no answer and Ion immediately regretted his yell. What if there were several killers wandering around? Now they all knew he was here. Or what if he had somehow awoken the skeletons? Shaking like a leaf, he grabbed onto Gabe’s arm to cling to his hand. It hurt.
There was a giant spike of a nail sticking through Gabe’s left hand. Unlike everything else in the hallway, there was not a trace of rust on it and it gleamed slightly in the light.
Goosebumps rose up on the back of Ion’s neck. This must have been used to take Gabe down before delivering the finishing blow, but the killer made a mistake. Ion could use it as a weapon too. Working up every ounce of courage that he could muster, he wormed his fingers between the nail head and the back of Gabe’s hand so that he could get a firm grip on it. He wiggled it back and forth, sliding it out.
Ion went sprawling across the floor, knocked backwards by Gabe, who was now sitting straight up.
“What the hell are you doing?” Gabe yelled at Ion. “I told you not to move.”
Ion stared at Gabe with a tear-streaked face, his lower lip wobbling. He didn’t know how Gabe was back with him.
“I thought you were dead,” Ion said. “I couldn’t find a pulse.”
“You couldn’t find a pulse if you were holding a beating heart in your hand,” said Gabe.
Ion’s laugh was barely distinguishable from a sob. He flung himself on top of Gabe, hugging him and pelting his face with kisses. He felt Gabe’s hand caress the back of his head.
It was a perfect reunion, until, with a sickening twist in his stomach, Ion realized that Gabe was just as cold as he had been when lying on the ground moments ago. He looked up at Gabe’s face and saw that his eyes had a pale haze over them.
Ion pulled back, falling backwards to get away from Gabe, or whatever it was that was pretending to be him.
“What are you?” he asked, trying not to let his voice shake.
“I told you not to ask any questions, Ion,” it said in Gabe’s voice, right down to the sexy Spanish accent. It crawled towards him and Ion matched its speed, crab-walking backwards, not wanting to take his eyes off the creature and afraid that if he stood up suddenly, he would pass out.
“What did you do to Gabe?” he whimpered. as he kept out of its reach. He was painfully aware that there was a dead end somewhere behind him and that he had yet to even find a way out, so he didn’t know which direction to run.
“Don’t you get it, yet? I am Gabe.” The creature sighed and stood up, pressing the nail firmly back into its hand.
“Gabriel, there’s another Béatas here for questioning. The Bishop is extremely interested in what she confesses to. See to it.”
Gabriel nodded, suppressing a resigned sigh. He didn’t like that sort of assignment: the ones where the sinners were far too… female. Give Gabriel a man and he’d have him sitting on a Judas Cradle or receiving a Pear of Anguish up his ass before you could ask him twice. It was all in the name of the Lord and Virgin Mary, of course, but why give him yet another nun turned witch? Why not save those for the inquisitors who appreciated them more?
Still, he was proud of his exceedingly good track record for extracting confessions. Even though his heart wasn’t in it, he’d put his best foot forward, and maybe if he finished quickly he could move on to a much better prize.
When he found the witch, she already looked half-dead. Clearly he wasn’t the first inquisitor to have a go.
“Confess to your crimes before the Lord Almighty and repent so that your soul may be saved,” he said trying to hide the boredom in his voice. The Béatas remained stoically silent; she was in it for the long haul.
Gabriel looked her up and down to figure out his best course of action. The Breast Ripper had been used already and she was missing her nails and most of her hair, which meant a great deal of non-lethal techniques had failed. She did have both her eyes, though, so at least Gabriel would have something to work with. He selected his favorite corkscrew and held it up so that she could see it.
“Confess or I will slowly gouge out your eyes,” he told her, stifling a yawn, which would have been very unprofessional.
The woman stared at him for a long time, as if weighing her options. “You aren’t like the others,” she stated.
Gabriel shrugged. He wasn’t. He had always thought he was better than his peers. Torture came very naturally to him.
“I will confess to everything, but you must do one thing for me.”
“I will not make treaties with the spawn of Satan,” said Gabriel loudly, in case someone was listening. Being an inquisitor was a risky job. He leaned in close and motioned for her to continue speaking. Maybe she’d reveal the information that the Bishop wanted.
“My sisters and I have been the protectors of Los Clavo de la Cruz de Cristo for hundreds of years.”
Gabriel scoffed mentally. Everyone knew that the Pope had the original cross and its accoutrements with him in the Vatican. Gabriel almost felt bad for her. Here she was submitting herself to arduous torture for the sake of some fake relics instead of confessing and securing herself a relatively painless death and the potential to go to Heaven.
“When Christ died on the cross, it was the women who took him down and buried him. And for their assistance God gifted them with Los Clavo de la Cruz de Cristo. They contain His regret for not having been able to save His Son and the gift of eternal life that he had denied Christ,” she said, looking at Gabriel with a fevered intensity that scared him. “I will give you one of them if you promise to kill me with the other.”
Gabriel mulled it over. He would have to kill her one way or another, and he wasn’t feeling inspired enough to lean towards a particular method. In fact, the sooner he could get to that stage, the sooner he could find someone who’d be really fun.
“You will need to confess all your dealings with Satan as well,” he said. “The Bishop is adamant that you do so before death.”
She took in a sharp breath and released it slowly as he waited. Patience was a key trait for inquisitors. “Yes. I will. I confess not because it is true, but to protect my Béatas sisters and Los Clavo de la Cruz de Cristo.”
“Yes, that’s very nice of you,” said Gabriel.
“I have hidden them in my womanhood. None but Christ should touch me there, for I am his bride.” Gabriel winced and untied one of her hands.
“You’d better retrieve them on your own then. I wouldn’t want to sully one of His women.”
She looked amazed that he would grant her the leeway and reached under her skirt. Gabriel watched, wanting to turn away but knowing that to do so could be hazardous to his health. Eventually, she pulled the two Clavos out and handed them to him. They were sticky and smelled of fish. Gabriel carefully wiped them on her skirt before tucking them into his robes to hide them.
He fetched his boss to act as witness.
“I confess to having dealings with Satan. He gave me a gift of gold, which I buried under the oak tree outside my nunnery,” said the Béatas. “I repent and would like to accept the Lord back into my life.”
The chief inquisitor nodded. “I shall report this to the Bishop immediately.” He left at a quick walk. “I will send her to join the Lord,” Gabriel called out after him.
He found a large hammer and removed one of the nails, bending her over one of the many racks. He lined it up at the base of her skull and pounded it in. She spasmed and went limp. All in all, it was a very good way to die. He hoped that when his time came it would be just as quick.
“I was trying to find someone to help get you out of here, but you called me back into my body by pulling on the Clavo,” said Gabe. “I’m going back upstairs.”
Ion watched as Gabe shimmered and split into two superimposed forms: one with warm brown eyes and tanned skinned, and one that looked deathly pale. The figure of Gabe that Ion knew intimately stepped away from the other, which crumpled into a heap on the ground, like a puppet whose strings had been cut.
Gabe leaned over and planted a kiss on Ion’s lips. It was gentle and sweet.
“Now don’t touch,” Gabe said. Ion glared at him, still not sure whether to believe that it really was Gabe.
A sudden burst of inspiration struck him. He could solve both the problem of whether this was Gabe and the problem of having been celibate for a month at the same time. “Prove it by fucking me the way that Gabe does.”
Gabe rubbed at his temples. “Do you not have any sense of danger? You’re severely injured and trapped in a series of torture chambers with a sadistic ghost.”
“If I did, I wouldn’t have let you cut me up and fuck me on our second date. But I think it worked out for the best. Besides,” said Ion, giving Gabe doe eyes, “if you don’t make use of the torture chambers, then I’ll seriously doubt your credentials. And I’ll even keep my end of the promise.”
Gabe snorted. “It’s a bit late for that. What else do you think I could possibly be hiding?” He reached down shoving his arms into the body on the ground and was suddenly back inside it. He stood up and stretched out an arm to give it a crack. “I’ll do it at full strength too. No more passing through you when you put up too much resistance.”
He grabbed Ion and hauled him over one shoulder, careful to avoid touching him with the Clavo. Ion briefly pondered whether he was in over his head, but he was too excited to care. A full-blown torture chamber had featured heavily in his best fantasies.
Gabe walked past the portcullis and set Ion down in the middle of the room, kicking away the bones of whoever had been there last. He wandered the room, taking various rusted implements, scratching the metal implements with the Clavo and piling them in a heap next to Ion. Ion hoped that his tetanus shots were up to date.
When his preparations were complete, Gabe slammed his hand down into the heap of broken and ruined debris, piercing it with the Clavo. The debris stuck itself back together and formed a chair covered in metal spikes. The metal implements shed their rust and turned pointy and dangerous. They had a shine on them that entranced Ion like a moth to a flame.
“You’re not allowed to come until I say you can,” said Gabe and Ion felt himself instantly grow hard in anticipation.
Gabe motioned for Ion to sit in the chair and he complied, placing himself carefully, feeling the spikes digging into his thighs and ass. They prickled and scraped, but didn’t draw blood. He stretched his arms along the arm rests and fed them into the buckles, which Gabe tightened.
He was now completely at Gabe’s mercy. Ion relaxed and waited, shifting slightly to dig the spikes further into himself. His dick was lightly resting on top of them. Gabe reached down and slowly pressed down into the spikes, starting at his balls and working his way up stopping only when the tips of the spikes were jabbing into the full length. Ion moaned.
Gabe reached down and picked up a long two-pronged fork.
“Normally I would stick this in the fire pit first, but we’ll have to make do.”
Gabe checked the tips of the fork for their sharpness, making sure that Ion saw the prick of blood that instantly welled up on his thumb. Ion grinned as Gabe smeared the blood onto Ion’s cheek. Gabe positioned the fork above one of his thighs, bringing it down slowly and running it along the top. On the initial touch, Ion couldn’t feel anything; it was only as the fork was lifted that the skin separated and thin lines of blood appeared. Ion felt a trembling go through his legs as each new line emerged.
Gabe set the fork down and scratched Ion’s legs, his nails digging into the cuts. His hands were rough and cold, which at once irritated and provided relief. When Ion’s legs were coated in welts and the red smear of blood, Gabe stopped.
“Clean me up,” he ordered, shoving his hands in front of Ion’s mouth so that he could lick them clean. The blood was warm and salty.
When Ion was finished, Gabe shoved his head backwards against the spikes of the chair. They dug into where he was injured and Ion felt a burst of pain far greater than he was sure Gabe had intended. He whimpered but didn’t allow himself to show the extent of his injuries. Things were far too hot for him to give Gabe a reason to stop.
Suddenly, Ion felt something surround his neck, holding him back against the chair. It was tightened until he was forced to struggled for each breath. Already light-headed, he felt like he was floating on a cloud miles above the world in a haze of pleasure with happy sensations running down his back and up his legs. He felt his cock tighten as if about to come and tried to squeeze his legs together to prevent it. They rubbed against the spikes of the chair, only adding to his agony.
Gabe took that moment to grab him by the legs and haul him up, draping one of Ion’s legs over his shoulders, scrunching Ion so that his neck and upper back were pressed into the chair’s spikes. Ion felt something cold and metallic slide into his ass. Thrust, pause, thrust, pause. It went deeper and deeper, longer than anything he had ever felt before. His leg muscles were contracting and relaxing as he moved with the thrusts. It stopped abruptly and then, instead of moving further in, it grew thick and thicker inside of him filling him up and straining against his flesh.
Finally, when Ion felt like he was going to be split in two, the device was ripped out of him, leaving him empty and gasping for more. A new cold sensation filled his ass, like an ice pack on the pain. Compared to the metal device, it was almost soft. Ion felt the spasm as Gabe came, and longed to join him. He chewed on his lip trying his best to hold himself back.
“Please…” he gasped, barely able to talk, feeling light headed and desperate.
Gabe grabbed his cock and pointed it forcibly up at his stomach.
“Now,” said Gabe and Ion obliged, feeling his body shudder and deflate. He lay in the chair still feeling the prickling of the spikes as Gabe walked behind him. Suddenly the chair was no more and he was falling again. No longer worried about fighting through it, Ion allowed the dizziness to overcome him. He blacked out.
Gabe carefully caught Ion in his arms as he watched the chair disintegrate back into nothingness. He had timed it perfectly. Hundreds of years of practice with the Clavo had given him a very good idea of how long its miracle would affect objects when it was removed from them.
Sweet, horny Ion was like putty in his hands, which was satisfying, especially considering that he didn’t even have his full arsenal of torture implements at his disposal. Even if he had had access to them, he would not have been able to use them without breaking his promise to Ion.
Gabe tilted up Ion’s chin for a kiss, feeling a sudden tenderness as he realized that this was the last time they’d be together. Ion didn’t respond; he had passed out. That was… unexpected. There was something sticky on his shoulder where Ion’s head was leaning. I didn’t make sense; the spikes were much too tame. Ion should not have still been bleeding.
Gabe carefully peeled Ion away from him and lay him down gently on the ground to examine him a bit closer. He felt a twinge of regret at having been persuading into sex before making sure that Ion was in good condition for it. While Ion hadn’t fallen far, there had been a very sickening thud on the landing.
Ion was bleeding from the back of his head. He prodded one of Ion’s arms and watched in horror as it convulsed erratically before lying limply at his side. Ion was very pale and his breathing was shallow. He watched as bloody vomit dribbled out of Ion’s mouth.
Nope, nothing he had done to Ion should have caused that reaction. Gabe blamed himself. Ion was very focused when it came to his pursuit of rough sex but Gabe should have seen the signs of injury. Otherwise, what sort of torturer was he?
If only Ion hadn’t touched the Clavo de la Cruz de Cristo in the first place, Gabe wouldn’t have been called back and Ion would be on his way to a hospital by now.
Of course, bringing the rescue team to his lair would have changed everything for Gabe. But so would have the damn trapdoor itself, if he had only realized it was there six hundred years earlier.
“Where is that good-for-nothing Gabriel?”
Gabriel was arms-deep in the bowels of another potential witch, trying to get a confession before this once-handsome fellow succumbed to his injuries. His boss sounded very angry. That was never a good sign, as some of his dead peers had learned.
He needed to hide until he could make an escape. Gabriel wiped his arms off on the remnants of clothing clinging to a man hanging to a wall by his wrists and darted out of the room, heading for the often forgotten sub-basement where some of the less threatening witch potentials were stored until there was an inquisitor available to save their souls.
“He helped that Béatas escape!” he heard his boss ranting. “He pretended to save her only to allow that spawn of Satan to continue thwarting the Lord! And she lied about the gold!”
That didn’t make sense. Gabriel was positive that he had killed the Béatas. A nail to the head, while not common, was certainly an effective method of death. Unfortunately, the truth seldom stood up well under an inquisitor’s questioning.
However, he had even planned for this sort of eventuality. Right at the back of the sub-basement was the wall of screams. It consisted of alcoves where the inquisitors sometimes stuffed those that really didn’t want to confess and bricked them in to die of lack of air and food. It had once been a large room, but the sheer number of unrepentant was turning it into a rather narrow hallway.
Gabriel shuffled carefully and counted out the openings before stopping to carefully remove several bricks, crawling into the small space and closing himself back in. It was dark and stuffy and he was terrified for his life, but it was better than being interrogated and terrified that death would never come.
“Funny, Humberto claimed that Gabriel fled to the sub-basement, but he’s not here,” said the Chief Inquisitor with a humorless tone. “I’ll need to question him a bit more thoroughly.”
The footsteps retreated and Gabriel waited, satisfied that Humberto would get his comeuppance from ratting him out. After what seemed like forever, he un-bricked himself and crawled into the hallway.
It was unusually dark. He felt along the wall for a torch. There was one, but it was out. He followed the hallway confident that he was about to reach the stairs when he ran face first into a wall. That made no sense. He ran his fingers along it. It was damp and fresh. He had been bricked inside.
For the second time that day, Gabe raced through the walls of the dungeon level of Castillo de Cruzito, heading for the stairs leading up to the campus. Though it required concentration not to pass through physical objects, for some reason gravity continued to exert its pull.
He had promised that Ion would survive and Gabe was going to do whatever he could to help him. It meant that his home would be taken apart and joined into the rest of the campus. He idly wondered how the builders would react to the skeletons entombed in the walls.
He’d need to hide away once more until they un-bricked the stairway or left a ladder in the trapdoor, but then he’d be free. After six hundred years it would be a tough move; he had started to enjoy his years of living in the castle. Getting an education, scaring the inhabitants from time to time, and fucking more than his fair share of hot young men….
Gabe reached second floor and ran into its halls, left then left again. At the end of the hall was the castle’s emergency clinic. He remembered just in time that he needed to open the door rather than barging through it.
He flung the door open when he suddenly felt himself being called away. Damn, he’d failed.
A bored clerk was sitting behind a desk talking to a female student who was holding up one of her friends. They all looked towards the door.
“What was that?”
“They do that from time to time,” said the clerk. “When the university bought the place, they found some skeletons in the basement… Or it could be the vent system. I think the fans are turned way up.”
Gabe opened his eyes to the feeling of the Clavo de la Cruz de Cristo being jostled. Ion was awake and disturbing the grip he had on his hand. He squeezed Ion’s hand with interlaced fingers, holding on to him even tighter.
“I feel so much better right now,” said Ion.
Gabe smiled and twisted around so that he was facing Ion instead of lying awkwardly crumpled beside him. Ion’s blue eyes were already starting to fill with a glassy haze. Ion looked down at their conjoined hands, the Clavo piercing his palm and sticking out the other side.
“You’re not going to run away from my questions now,” he told Gabe. “And I’ve just been fucked, so I’m ready to wait until you cough them up.”
Gabe pulled Ion into a hug. “I suppose I owe you. I wasn’t able to keep my promise to the fullest extent…”
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