But my brain is dealing with my mother having to go to the emergency room then deciding she wanted to go home before all the testing and x-raying was done to try and figure out what's wrong with her, thus getting the whole family in an uproar...including me by long distance. So I'm diving into my stories, right now, to clear my state of being. Here's the second half of the first chapter in BC-3 --
Moritz gulped down the last of his Margarita and held the empty glass aloft. It was taken almost instantly by a waiter and soon replaced by a fresh one, during which he said nothing but just watched me carefully and deliberately dig into my five-thousand calorie meal. Not that there was anything wrong with that; I was still fifteen pounds under my minimum weight and my gym-time was finally bringing my appetite back.
“Shit, Eric,” he finally said in a normal voice, after gulping down half his fourth drink, “what the fuck is wrong with you?”
“He’s in prison.”
“He’s the only one.”
Now that made Moritz blink. He looked at me for a moment then turned back to his food and ate slowly, deep in thought. I left him to his contemplations, because actually saying that last sentence out loud had raised issues I suddenly felt might have been better left alone.
You see, it’d been six months since I learned about Allen’s involvement with that porn video production company, and a month since I’d visited him and made my proposition, and suddenly I wasn’t ready to discuss my real reasons for it, not yet. Which meant I’d have to make up something good for Moritz to hear, really quick, so I could avoid his usual third degree.
Yes, I was calmer than I had been this time last year. Yes, I was cooler. Yes, I was in a LOT better control of myself than...well, probably even before I’d been raped by Allen and his buddies. Ten months worth of Lucia’s therapy had shown me how many different issues I had going on in my life, and how they’d added to the turmoil after my trauma. Issues that had lead me to be just as much of a control freak as my grandmother and then collide with another form of control freak (Ted, my ex) since I’d sought out someone with an ego as strong as mine to prove to myself I was my own man (a bit too “Psyche 101” for me to fully accept, yet) but which had wound up just fueling my asshole of an attitude and did nothing to end a deep-rooted insecurity that I was really unable to handle anything on my own...and I’m getting off track, again. The thing is, in the six months since Ms. Calvert had slipped me that DVD, this gnawing fear had been building in the core of my being -- a fear that the rapes had not been stopped, nor was anyone even trying to do so.
I mean, I knew Allen had cut a deal and was in jail, but I hadn’t read beyond the headline on the bottom of page 3 in the “Times”; it was still too raw for me, especially since the indication was the other two guys were still running free.
Still...until then I’d just about convinced myself that since Bobby’s death there hadn’t been another man brutalized in the way he and I were. That the uproar had scared them into stasis. And I’d kept an eye out to make sure. Watched the news. Read the dailies and weeklies religiously. Kept both ears open for any hint of kidnappings and rapes by those freaks.
But nothing else had come up. Not a glimmer, at least not in LA. Which I suppose was good enough, since I couldn’t imagine them pulling their shit in San Bernadino or Huntington Beach; it’d be much too long of a drive back to their shed and much too dangerous to do their forced-fucking in the back of a van. So I’d begun to relax.
But then I was pointed to LAWless West Productions and the gay-porn videos they made. And saw Allen’s assault on me posted for sale like it was just another bit of bondage porn. And while the promos of most of the others had looked staged...or at least had stupid moments that cut into the idea they might be real...I’d noticed one I just could not shrug off -- a buff guy in a business suit who bore a startling resemblance to Bobby. And on top of it, it was posted for sale three months after mine was.
It was a terrifying promo. This guy (around my age) was getting some cash out of an ATM as a bad voice-over said, “That’s the banker who turned down my loan. He needs to be taught a lesson.” Then it jumped to him struggling in the back of the van, bound, blindfolded and gagged. Next came him on that bed as his suit and shirt were pulled out of the way then his boxers and t-shirt were shredded. But this time it was Wrestler taking him through a neat parallel to my own little play with Allen, right down to the guy wearing a slightly different suit the night he was kidnapped in relation to when he’d been at the ATM.
Now I understand the date of posting doesn’t really matter; it could have been shot a year before me...but still, I’d called Grant. He had me come by his office and I went online to show him the promos for Suit’s video.
“While I was waiting,” he said, “I checked around to see if any guys matching your description reported any kind of assault by three men, anywhere. Came up zeroes.”
Big surprise, that. “You check with campus police at UCLA, USC, Loyola?” I asked as I brought up the teaser photos.
“Yeah, but that don’t mean much. They hate to admit any sort of crime occurs on their campuses, let alone something like this. Frat boys’ mommies and daddies might get upset.” The thumbnails came up so I enlarged them. Grant looked closer. “Shit, he DOES look like Carapisi. And you’re sure it’s not a real for-hire?”
“Ninety-nine percent. He’s really scared when they’re stripping him, and if he’s good enough to fake that, he wouldn’t be acting in porn. I mean, his voice -- it’s just too damned authentic. When he’s begging...and hurting and...and...”
I started to shake. Grant just glanced at me.
“What about yours?” he asked, and not very gently.
I dug into my satchel and pulled the DVD out. “You want to watch it? They left in the -- left in my voice, too. Seems that’s a selling point.”
“This is you and Barrow.” I nodded. “Are there any better photos of the guy who’s with him?” He pointed to the screen.
It showed Wrestler’s hands ripping apart Suit’s t-shirt with just a hint of his face.
I shook my head. “Nothing on the promo, either. You-you-you’ll have to watch the full video.”
“Fuck, don’t think I want to do that.” But his eyes were focused on the image of the guy tied to the bed, and he was almost frowning.
“What?” I asked him. “What is it?”
“Nothing,” but he said it in a distant voice.
“Bullshit, you see something -- .”
He glared at me. “It’s nothing, Eric. The case is closed.”
“So that’s it? You won’t even try to ID this guy?”
“The case is closed! There isn’t anything left to fight over.”
“Grant, this shows they’re still doing it to -- .”
“Barrow isn’t. Not anymore. He’s up at Mid-State, in the medium security wing.”
“I know! I also noticed there was no trial.”
“Didn’t need one. When he was charged with kidnapping and assault, he copped a deal. Got three years and could be out in half that.”
“Shit, that figures.” It was almost insulting he’d gotten off so lightly. And as for that bitch of an ADD, “Y’know, Ms. Ionescue never told me.”
“She would of, if she needed you.”
“Bullshit.” She wouldn’t spit on me if I was on fire. “So what about these other two guys? Doesn’t this prove that there were more people involved -- ?”
“Has this guy got a video posted with you?”
“Not-not that I-I-I could find.”
“Well, then -- Barrow still swears it was just him.”
Lying to the end. The mothefucking little prick. And Grant had too much on his plate to worry about disbelieving him or bothering to believe me. So nothing was going to be done and that is where I had to leave it.
With Grant. As for me, I went back and dug into Allen’s case, found out exactly where he was, went through the arduous process of getting to visit him, once I got the nerve up, and now I was having lunch with Moritz to prepare myself for the turmoil I knew would follow if my plan worked out right.
He still hadn’t said anything, so I asked, “Would you like to read it? The letter?”
Moritz looked at me for a long moment then held out his hand. I pulled it from my folio and handed it over, all eight pages. Double sided.
Moritz leaned back, Margarita in one hand, the letter in the other. Not a word. He was beginning to spook me. I’d never seen him so quiet and wondered if I’d made a mistake letting him read for himself how Allen was. But too late now; he’d already turned the first page.