Sablemoon: Oh wow! You’re joking with me right?
YaoiFanboy: No. He really did show up. The whole thing was weird.
Sablemoon: I’ll bet it was.
YaoiFanboy: *shudders* I’ll be damned happy when this whole mess is cleared up!
Sablemoon: Stay calm. Just go to your happy place, your home away from home and everything should be fine.
YaoiFanboy: What did you say?
Sablemoon: It’s what I do when life turns shitty. I think of a place where I was the happiest I’ve ever been. Remembering such happy times makes the shit less stressful.
YaoiFanboy: Shit! That idea never even occurred to me.
Sablemoon: I’m glad I could help.
YaoiFanboy: I got to get. Good night.
Sablemoon: Okay. Let me know when you’ve finished the next scene with Osh.
YaoiFanboy: I will.
Cameron signed out of his instant messenger. He turned the idea Matt’s suggestion had nudged into life over and over in his mind. The more he thought about it the more it made sense. What he didn’t understand is why no one else had thought of it. After shutting down his laptop he decided to call Samantha. He needed someone to talk this over with.
“Are you out of your mind?” Samantha asked him much later as they sat talking in Cameron’s car over late night burgers and milkshakes.
“Come on Sam, think about it. It makes perfect sense.” Cameron reasoned after swallowing a mouth full of cheeseburger.
“If it makes so much sense then why haven’t the police thought of it?” Samantha countered.
“I don’t know. Maybe they did and he’s not there.” Cameron admitted.
“You don’t believe that though do you?” Samantha said.
“I don’t know what to believe any more. All I know is that it makes sense.” Cameron said.
“If you’re so sure then go to the police with the information. Let them deal with it.” Samantha told him.
Cameron didn’t answer.
“Damn you! You can be the most stubborn guy I’ve ever known. Once you get your mind made up there’s no changing it.” Samantha said exasperated.
Cameron raised an eyebrow and looked Samantha square in the eyes.
“I wuvs you too.” He said and then grinned from ear to ear.
“BOYS!” Samantha said, her tone voicing her irritation.
“Come on Sam, I have to do this. You know that as well as I do.” Cameron told her.
Samantha sighed in defeat.
“You don’t have to do it alone though. Take someone with you. Please?” She said.
“I don’t want to drag anyone else into this. If Damien is hiding out in his cave then maybe I can convince him to go to the police. Once he does this mess will be cleared up.” Cameron said.
“What if he’s not there? What if you get into an accident? What if…” Samantha began.
“I’m a big boy Sam. I can take care of myself. Mom.” Cameron said winking at her.
It was a long drive but Cameron eventually pulled into the driveway of Jamie’s grandparent’s house late the next day. The sun was beginning to set making the house look eerily abandoned.
“Oh, my fucking ass hurts like hell!” Cameron groaned after shutting off the engine and getting out of the car.
He stretched as best he could in order to get the kinks out of his sore muscles. Looking up at the house, he decided he might as well get things over with before it got dark. As he climbed down the wooden stairs to the beach the sound of a car driving by made him jump.
“Easy dude, one wrong step and you could break a leg or an arm.” He said aloud to himself, pulling his concentration back into focus.
Cameron halted at the edge of the water. Shrugging off his backpack, he rummaged around inside it fishing out a pair of sandals, flashlight, and a pair of bike shorts. He stripped off his jeans, underwear, sneakers, and socks, stuffing them into the backpack then pulled on the shorts and sandals. Trudging back up the beach a ways, he left the backpack atop a large piece of drift wood. Returning to the water’s edge he cautiously stepped into the surf which swirled around his knees for a moment before receding. Slowly he made his way along the path used the first time Damien had taken him to the cave. Cameron noticed that the water didn’t seem to be as high now.
“It must be low tide.” He said to himself.
Just as the sun touched the horizon line between sky and ocean far in the distance he reached the ledge which led to the entrance of the cave. Cameron climbed the short distance then pulled himself up onto the strip of rock. It was a lot narrower than he remembered. While sitting there catching his breath, he glanced at the cave entrance but couldn’t tell if there was anyone inside.
Climbing to his feet Cameron walked over to the cave and peered inside. All he could see was darkness. He thought about calling Damien’s name but decided against it. Switching on the flashlight he entered the cave. Once he got far enough inside his flashlight glinted off the contents. The tidiness he remembered was gone, replaced by the clutter of long occupancy. Someone had been living here but where were they? Cameron shined the flashlight around searching.
“Don’t move.” A voice said.
“Damien? It’s me Cam.” Cameron said trying to find the source of the voice.
“Cam? Shit! What the fuck are you doing here man?” Damien said, stepping out of his hiding place holding a baseball bat.
“I’m looking for you. What the hell do you think I’m doing here?” Cameron said, taking in Damien’s appearance.
Damien’s right hand was wrapped in a bandage as was his left arm from the elbow to the shoulder.
“You shouldn’t be here.” Damien said as he put down the baseball bat and sat down on the edge of the mattress.
“You shouldn’t be here either. Do you know what kind of a mess your disappearance has caused?” Cameron said, sitting down next to him.
“I’m sorry. There was nothing I could do. I had to get away.” Damien replied.
“What happened? They showed your car on the news, there was blood everywhere.” Cameron asked.
“I was stupid. I let down my guard and this is the result.” Damien said waving his bandaged hand.
“I don’t understand. The police asked me all sorts of questions dude. They even wanted to know how many times we had sex.” Cameron told him.
“What? What cop asked you that?” Damien asked his body tensing like a coiled spring.
Before Cameron could answer there was a noise from the mouth of the cave. Damien sprang to his feet so fast he was a blur.
“You’re too late.” A voice said from the darkness.
Cameron thought the voice sounded vaguely familiar. He was sure he’d heard it before.
A camping lantern was uncovered revealing a tall dark haired man.
“Damn!” Damien muttered.
“I knew your friend here would lead me to you eventually. Now we finish it.” The man said.
The glint of a handgun shown in the lamplight as it was pointed at Damien and Cameron, who was now on his feet.
“Detective Tate, what’s going on here?” Cameron asked.
“Ah, so your friend here is still in the dark. Pity, I thought his clueless demeanor was only an act.” Detective Tate said.
“You leave Cam out of this.” Damien said.
“I would if I could. It’s too late now.” The detective replied, glancing in Cameron’s direction.
Samantha’s words flashed through Cameron’s mind. Don’t go alone. What if something happens to you? For the first time since their conversation the night before, he felt fear.
“Do you want to tell him or shall I?” The detective asked Damien.
“I’m so sorry Cam. I never meant for this to happen.” Damien said to Cameron, his eyes brimming with tears.
“I don’t understand. What’s going on?” Cameron asked.
“I’m the one who attacked your whore of a friend. Now I mean to finish the job.” Tate said.
“You attacked him? Why? You’re a cop.” Cameron said.
“I was until this piece of shit murdered my little brother.” Tate replied pointing at Damien.
“I didn’t murder anyone. Shawn took his own life. I had no part in it.” Damien replied.
“BE SILENT YOU MURDERING WHORE!” Tate shouted, the gun in his hand weaving menacingly from side to side.
“Let Cam go. Your business is with me. He’s got nothing to do with this.” Damien said.
“You’re in no position to be making demands.” Tate told him.
“Damien, what happened?” Cameron asked.
Before he could reply Detective Tate answered.
“Your piece of shit friend here tricked my innocent little brother into falling in love with him. Then the whore broke his heart when he found out just how many dicks he’s had up his ass and down his miserable throat.”
“Damien? Is it true?” Cameron asked.
“Go ahead whore tell him.” Tate growled.
“I never asked Shawn to fall in love with me.” Damien began.
“No you just wanted to take his virgin ass as a trophy. You didn’t give a shit what it did to him.” Tate said his anger rising.
“You’re wrong Wil. Shawn was a great guy. I tried to tell him that he deserved someone who could truly appreciate him. He wouldn’t listen.” Damien said.
“LIAR!” Tate spat.
“Let me see if I got this straight, you had sex with a guy named Shawn who is, I mean was, Detective Tate’s younger brother then Shawn committed suicide, and he blames you.” Cameron said.
“Pretty much the whole mess in a nutshell blondie.” Tate told him.
“Why? You’re a cop. You don’t take the law into your own hands!” Cameron said.
Tate started laughing; the gun in his hand shook violently.
“I WAS a cop. This, this whore took that too.”
“Wil fell apart after Shawn’s death.” Damien said.
“He was all I had. You took him and now you’re going to pay for it.” Tate ground out between his gritted teeth.
“FREEZE!” A voice said from the mouth of the cave.
The next seconds felt like they lasted an eternity. The cave was plunged into darkness and gunshots seemed to come from every direction. Cameron, feeling as though his body was trapped in slow motion, dove for the cave floor. Before he landed, he felt a white hot pain erupt in his side. As he lay in the dirt, it felt as though the cave was crashing in on him. Darkness took him.