Long Winding Road Trip Away From The Asylum Part Four
A bit of a later Wednesday post than usual, but...
Here you go!
The barely there mist of rain became a downpour as the SUV rumbled down dark roads that kept Wren distracted with memories of watching Deliverance and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. A slight chill went up his spine, the rush he always craved when he read or watched anything from the horror genre. He hummed to himself, wiping the condensation from the window with the side of his hand, the quiet creating the perfect atmosphere.
“Wren, can you not do that while we’re way too close to one wrong move making your favorite nightmares a reality?” Reed glanced over at him, turning on the high beams, which showed the trees were getting closer to the SUV. “Can you check the map on my phone? We should be closer than this by now.”
Nodding, Wren picked up Reed’s phone, which he’d given back to the other sub after getting his back from Noah. Maybe Wren should have kept it, because Reed had let the battery die at some point. He sighed, plugging it into the car charger. “What’s the address? I’ll look it up on mine.”
Reed made a face. “That’s on there too. I didn’t have anything to write it down with, I came up with the idea pretty last minute.”
He’s right. This could make for a pretty decent plot. And we’d be the fools who’d die first.
Of course, none of this would have happened if Wren had used his own common sense, rather than going along with Reed’s impulsiveness. There was no point in dwelling now, though. He inclined his head and pulled up the map on his phone. “I can get us back to camp. You’ll need to keep going straight for a few miles until you can turn around and get us back on the highway.”
Throat working, Reed nodded, keeping his eyes on the road. He didn’t say a word, but Wren sensed his disappointment. His frustration. The other man had been desperate for the kind of distraction he was used to, back at the club.
Going back would have him tossing and turning all night. Giving him a chance to burn off some of that energy, to put everything aside for a few hours could make all the difference in how the rest of this trip went.
Also the kind of decision one of the first victims would make.
But this isn’t a movie.
Tapping at his phone, Wren found the closest ‘club’ he could, rejecting all the specific gay bars because they were in the complete opposite direction from their current location. Reed must have taken a wrong turn at some point.
The edge of Wren’s lips quirked. “Did you get distracted by the highly rated candy store in Massachusetts? If we continued in this direction, we could be sitting in the parking lot by morning, waiting for them to open.”
Cheeks red, Reed let out a soft groan. “I think you’re right. I was looking at it earlier so I could ask Lawson if it’d be too out of the way. Damn it, I’m sorry. I thought this would be a cool thing for us to do together and...I screwed it up.”
“You didn’t, we’ll just have to adapt the...non-planned plan.” Wren looked up at the bigger road ahead. “Turn right here. There’s a small dance club the locals seem to enjoy, it has a higher rating than your candy store. You won’t be able to get in as much trouble, but you can dance and have a few drinks.”
“Yeah?” Reed sat up a bit, taking the turn, his whole mood visibly lifting. “That’d be perfect, man. We won’t stay long since my fucked up directions took us so far off course, but you have to promise to dance with me. One song. Your choice.”
Seeing Reed this happy had Wren willing to agree to just about anything. He didn’t usually dance at the club, that was something reserved for time with his Dom, listening to music Jared loved and moving to his lead. Closing his eyes, he could feel his Dom’s arms around him, hear the beautifully dark melody, the sway of their bodies.
Jared would want me to do this for Reed. He’d want me to take care of him.
Swallowing against the tightness in his throat, Wren nodded to the other sub. “I’ll dance with you. But...something slow? I...I’ll try something fast if you really want me to, but it would be awkward. The way you and Jamie and Danny move is amazing to watch. Rhodey very much enjoyed it, too. That was interesting, and turned out well. Maybe Danny won’t be so afraid with someone like Rhodey watching over him. Or maybe he’ll be more afraid? It’s hard to tell sometimes, his mind goes places I wouldn’t have considered, but I enjoy it. If I was a writer I would use those ideas to write something...or, maybe not, it could end up too much like Final Destination. I should have him watch that some day, he’d probably predict everything before it happens. Maybe I can help him feel safer that way? Does he need me to?”
Reed grinned at him as he pulled into the full lot Wren guided him to and parked. Then he turned sideways in the driver’s seat. “Two things. One, you’re doing that nervous talking. We can dance to a slow song, I’m not going to make you twerk in front of strangers. Two, Rhodey’s got Danny, and yeah, it’s different, but they’ll be fine. And you’ll be fine, because you’ve got me.”
Undoing his seatbelt, Wren climbed down on his side of the SUV. Rain pelted down on him, rolling under collar, hitting his glasses and soaking his dark blue polo shirt as he waited for Reed to join him after fetching the umbrella from the trunk. “And the movie?”
Hand taking his—thankfully, not sticky, but strong and warm and secure—Reed shot him a slanted smile as he snapped open the black umbrella over their heads. “You know the answer to that. He wouldn’t sleep for a week and you’d have both Shea and Rhodey pissed off at you. Sure, it gets him all cuddly, but you can get that just waiting for him to come up with his own possible disasters or, you know, for The Asylum to be...The Asylum.” He trailed his thumb lightly along the back of Wren’s hand. “You like to give a certain kind of affection sometimes, and he lets you control it in a way that’s comfortable for you. That’s really cool and...you don’t need to come up with excuses for it.”
Wren blinked up at Reed through the spots of water on his glasses. “I’m not...trying to make excuses for it. He’s adorable when he’s frightened and I like comforting him. And taking care of him when he’s a puppy. And...well, always.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that either. He’s your friend.” Reed lifted his shoulders. “I’m just saying, friends like different things. Him and Jamie watch the horror movies to make you happy, not because they’re really into them. They like spending time with you.”
Pressing his lips together, Wren considered how Jamie covered his face with a pillow and Danny usually tucked his face behind Wren, while blocking his hands with his ears. He’d thought it was part of the fun—their own ways of enjoying the movies. Sure, they were missing out, except...maybe they hadn’t been. His heart sank. “I’m making them do something they don’t like.”
“That’s not what I’m saying.” Reed tugged Wren closer, putting an arm around his shoulders. “I’m saying you’re probably not going to find a horror movie Danny’s into, but he’ll still cuddle up with you when you let him close. Same goes with Jamie. And me.” He pressed a kiss to Wren’s damp skin, his lips slipping a bit. “Don’t try to change you to fit what you imagine people want, and trust that when they’re there, it’s because they want to be…” He looked toward the front of the club, which was a wide, one-story structure with a faux wood front and a big green neon sign reading ‘Lucky Times’. “Are you…?”
For a moment, Wren wasn’t sure what Reed was asking. He pressed against his side as they joined the small line, ignoring the stares from the men and women also waiting. Crowded nights at The Asylum had taken some getting used to, and there were still nights when it was difficult, but knowing his place, knowing he could look around the bar and see familiar faces, that he could reach out and take Jared’s hand if he needed to…
That his Dom would come to him if there was trouble…
He’s not here now. Neither is Noah.
But this was a choice Wren had made. Which brought him back to Reed’s question. He understood what he was asking now. Why Danny and Jamie were with him during movies they didn’t enjoy.
Meeting Reed’s eyes, he nodded. “I’m here because I want to be with you.” He frowned as they moved closer to the open door, the music coming out clearly. Not the kind of music that ever played at The Asylum. “Is that…?”
“Country music?” Reed’s dimple showed on his cheek. “Well, that explains some of the looks we’re getting.” His smile turned daring as he trailed his fingertips up the side of Wren’s neck. “This could get real interesting.”
“Or boring. I would be absolutely fine with it being boring.” Wren wanted Reed to have fun. He also wanted to bring him back to their Doms in one piece. Preferably conscious, which he wouldn’t be if he aggravated those very large men at the very dirty, scarred wood bar who were already glaring at them. He moved Reed’s hand from his neck, holding it and urging the other sub to lead the way. “Let’s find a booth. At the other side of the club.”
Squeezing his fingers, Reed gave him a reassuring smile, weaving around the large dance floor in the center of the club, where several patrons moved in an admirably well timed line dance. There were people of all ages, some dressed more to the theme of the place, others in regular street clothes. The floors were dirty and worn down, with chipped beige paint, but it was clear this was as familiar to the people here as The Asylum was to its members.
And Reed was clearly enjoying the atmosphere. The second he found them an empty booth, he couldn’t seem to sit still. Yet, he stuck close to Wren’s side, ordering them each a drink.
Needing something familiar of his own, Wren ordered some whiskey, grateful they at least had Jared and Noah’s favorite kind. He sipped at it while Reed drank some fruity kind of microbrew, shaking his head with a soft laugh as Reed’s foot tapped in time with the same beat of dozens of feet.
He slid his hand free, then gave Reed’s shoulder a nudge. “Go. I’ll be all right.”
Hesitating, Reed searched his face, finally nodding when Wren held his gaze and lifted his brow like he’d seen Jared do. Finally, Reed snickered, brushing a kiss over his lips and setting down his beer. “You’re not too bad at that. Jared would be proud.” He slid out of the booth when Wren nudged him again. “Fine, but I’m not leaving you alone for long and I’ll stay where you can see me.”
This is working out very nicely.
Wren inclined his head and tapped his finger against the side of the beer. “You can have two, but that’s it.”
Sliding back to him, Reed braced one hand on the back of the bench and the other on the table, leaning down to steal a deeper kiss. “Don’t expect me to call you ‘sir’. I know, out of the two of us, who you’ll want to be in control by the end of the night.”
Pulse racing, Wren drew in a shaky breath. “We have a deal.”
“Yes, we do.” Reed touched his forehead to Wren’s. “Two drink limit, I promise.”
“Okay.” Wren licked his bottom lip, forcing himself to ease back. “Have fun.”
Even though the music wasn’t what either of them were used to, it didn’t take long before Reed caught up with the flow. A few women took places around him, showing him the steps he wasn’t sure of, cheering when he got them right.
As promised, it wasn’t long before Reed started back, despite the women urging him to stay and offering drinks he turned down. Only when Wren motioned for him to continue did he get back in the line.
The men who’d been watching them earlier seemed to have lost interest, which made it easier to relax and take pleasure in simply watching Reed working up a sweat, his curls even bouncier as the dampness from the rain left them, giving him a fluffy golden halo under the bright lights flashing over the dance floor.
A different kind of song came on and everyone paired off. Laughing, Reed let a woman in a short, bubblegum pink dress tug him to her, patiently showing him the steps to the two person dance.
That was when the men at the bar took notice.
As he stood, features darkening with rage, two of the other men beside him followed.
Wren slid out of the booth, grabbing Reed’s beer bottle, just in case he needed it. He’d laugh if he wasn’t more than a little worried about the one outcome he didn’t think even Danny would’ve predicted if he’d been here.
A fight, unintentionally started by Reed…
For ‘stealing’ another man’s girl.
As always, comments welcome! At the end of each month when a serial like this is running, I'll choose one commenter to send merch from The Asylum to. This month, it'll be either a face mask or socks, winner's choice!
Winner will be chosen at random and announced before the first segment of each month. All comments made before then will be entered.
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