Summary: Luke can read minds and is having visions. Damian returns and causes trouble. Luke and Reid just became lovers in chapters 5/6.
Disclaimer: All from ATWT
Warning: Extreme violence... For anybody who hates Chris Hughes
Author note: This chapter really is more gruesome than most things I write. But to me, it feels like justice for Reid's ending on ATWT and his poor organs. Feel free to skip down to Chapter Eight . Eight is nice and light.
SInce sunrise, the dark birds had been circling the Oakdale woods. They had flown up to the highest branch of a giant tree, just waiting for the possibility of lunch. They called to each other incessantly.
Across town at Al's diner, two men were busy consuming a rather large quantity of burgers and fries. The meat was raw in the middle, but the men did not notice. They were large, thick-headed, hungry men.
Their boss had sent them into town with a simple order: kidnap F. Snyder and C. Hughes. The boss had sent them this order in a quick text, providing these names and the victims addresses. The men were on their way to do the job, when they stopped for some food.
Meanwhile, Chris Hughes was on his way to stop by his brother's house. He wanted Tom's help in convincing their father to give Chris the Chief of Staff job. It wasn't fair to give it to Dr. Oliver. He was a pompous ass, as far as Chris was concerned. Maybe he was a genius surgeon. Big deal? Chris was well-liked. Besides, Chris was the son of Bob Hughes, not Reid! Chris felt anger at the thought. How dare Dr. Oliver become his own father's choice. Tom would help him. They would just wear Bob down about it. He would soon give the job to Chris. People always gave Chris what he wanted.
Across town at Al's, the two men had finished their lunch.
"Which one should we grab first? " asked the taller man to his partner, as they walked out of the diner .
The other man was very fat, but totally ruthless. The taller man was simple and just enjoyed his huge paycheck for the work he did. The taller man would have like to do the job quickly. He wanted to sample to local bars, maybe hook up with some easy girl for the night.
The other man shrugged. "Let's grab this C. Hughes first. He lives a little closer."
The fat man was bored by this job. It had no chance for blood or fighting, or anything he enjoyed. Just a standard kidnapping. Big deal. He would have to chat with his boss, Mr. Damian Grimaldi, about his employment lately. But even the fat man knew to approach Damian with extra care. He would ask for a change of partner and some more action, after this Oakdale job was done.
"Hey," the tall man said, groaning a little, "is your stomach hurting at all?"
"Naw," the fat one said impatiently. "Let go and do this, okay?"
They drove to the Hughes house.
When Damian's two men reached the Hughes house, they actually walked up to the door and were planning to knock politely. It was amazing in this day and age how many people still just let you inside.
But as they walked up Tom and Margo's sidewalk, they saw a man just outside the door, fiddling with a key.
"Hey," the taller one said, "Are you C. Hughes, by any chance?"
The man, who was wearing a white lab coat, and looked annoyed, turned to them. "Yes, I'm Chris Hughes, what do you want?"
The fat man and his partner exchanged glances. Too easy.
The fat man grabbed Chris Hughes by the arm and flashed him the gun. "Come with us," he said.
As the two men drove toward Lily Snyder's house to pick up F. Snyder, they both began to sweat. Chris Hughes was in the back seat. His mouth was gagged. His eyes wide and tear-streaked. Snot hung from the corner of his nose. He had been wailing like a baby, so they had shut him up.
"Hey," the fat man said to his partner. "Pull over there. My stomach, ahhh. I gotta take a dump."
"In the woods here?" The taller one asked.
"I can't wait."
The car pulled off the road and into a thick, wooded area. The men looked at Chris.
"Should we tie him up in the car?" The taller one asked. Holding his own, now aching stomach.
"Stupid burgers!" The heavy one cursed. "Stupid hick town.""Just bring him," the taller one shouted. "I can't wait either."
They grabbed their guns and grabbed Chris Hughes. The three of them stumbled into the woods.
"Don't try a thing," the fat man told Chris. Then he pushed Chris down by a tree and went to take a big shit.
Chris Hughes thought he saw his chance to get away. The two men obviously had food poisoning. Chris got to his feet. He would run into the woods. Chris didn't want to die. He still needed to do so many things: become Chief of Staff through nepotism and then delegate the harder work to the nurses, date Katie in order to continue to promote the growing incestuous nature of Oakdale, learn to hold an erection for more than 2 minutes and convince a girl to not spit it out. No, Chris would not die. He would escape, just like the heroes on television.
"Aww no!" The taller one said, seeing Chris Hughes take off. He hurriedly tried to pull up his pants.
The fat one did not bother to pull up his pants. He just grabbed the gun and shot.
"Wait! " The taller one exclaimed, " the boss didn't want us to shoot him!"
The fat one shrugged, a sudden gleam of excitement in his eyes, "Unforeseen problem," he said. "What are you gonna do?"
Chris Hughes ran as fast as he could. But despite being a decent-looking guy, he was in horrible shape. He immediatly began to perspire. The sweat rolled off him. His body stank. Chris stopped threw off his doctor's coat and ripped off the gag. He started to run again, when he heard another shot. The first one had missed him, but this one hit him in the shoulder. Chris felt his whole arm spasm. Another shot. Chris fell to the ground.
The two men, shit running down their legs, caught up to Chris.
He was still alive, but shot and bleeding. They looked around the forest. Then they looked at each other.
The fat man shrugged. "Get a shovel from the back of the car."
"Why did you pack a shovel," the taller one asked, perplexed.
The fat one smiled, "I am always prepared."
The taller one saw that when he opened up the trunk. Besides a shovel, he saw an army knife, lighter fluid, two more guns, and even an umbrella. Too bad his partner had not packed toilet paper, the taller man thought as his stomach continued to clench in pain.
When the two men got the shovel, they dug a fast pit. Chris Hughes was still alive, but bleeding heavily now. He could see the men digging the pit.
"Please, " Chris said in a whisper. The men ignored him. They kept digging, stopping only to crap a few more times. The woods began to smell of blood and feces.
The taller man stopped a moment, "We should really call the boss. Make sure he wants this."
The fat one hesitated. "He's close to dead already. Won't change anything."
"We should call, " the taller man insisted.
"Right. You call. " The fat one said. "I need to go to take another dump."
"What about him?" The taller one said.
They both studied Chris Hughes.
"He ain't going anywhere."
They left him a moment. One man went to make the call and the other man went to take another crap in the woods. The pit was right next to Chris. His eyes opened and he stared at it. A gurgling sound was coming from his mouth. Pain radiated from every part of his body. That was when Chris saw them. The birds. Circling above him in the sky.
The birds flew down and landed on Chris. They hopped along his bleeding flesh. Their yellow eyes were blank as they bit. Pieces of clothes and skin got thrown in the air like confetti. The claws dug into his skin and then into his bones. The screaming sounds did not scare the birds away much. They flew up when he screamed, and then immediately flew back down. They were focused on the meat. One bird sank its claws right into Chris Hughes' balls. It feasted there. It pecked at Chris Hughes' cock over and over again. Another bird, ate at his left eye. The white part oozed out. A third one landed on his chest and began to eat at the skin and blood. Eating Chris Hughes' guts and heart. More birds were coming. There was no more screaming, the body finally stilled. The birds, however, continued their meal.
By the time the two men came running back, it was all over. The birds had done the job for them.
"What a way to go," the fat one murmured, in almost sick appreciation.
The taller one retched in the dirt.
"Should we throw him in the pit and bury him now?" The taller one asked, once his stomach recovered.
The fat one shrugged, watching the birds feast.
"What's the point now? They will leave nothing," He said. "Let's just grab his ID. We don't ever want anybody identifying this one."
The two men did that and then went to the car. They sighed. Now they had to call the boss again.
Damian Grimaldi cursed in Italian. Incompetent men! Screwed up informants! First his men botch the simple kidnapping. Then they tell him the wallet of the man read Chris Hughes, not Casey Hughes. And to make Damian's day even worse, Chris Hughes was dead. Nobody was supposed to die. His informant had never mentioned Chris Hughes had returned to town. The only reason Damian had thought to target Casey in the first place was due to the knowledge that Holden was out of town and Noah was in the hospital. He had simply hoped to get Lily and Luciano's attention. Now, the men had kidnapped the wrong C. Hughes and it had to be covered up. What a bad day Damian was having . Oh well, nothing ever went smoothly the first time around. Damian threw back a quick shot of whiskey. He really must get better help.
"What should we do now about , F Snyder ?" His man on the phone was asking.
Damian scowled, "Nothing, right now." He shook his head. "Just return to Malta. "
"Right. Sorry boss."
Damian just hung up. He would deal with those idiots later. Right now he had to fly from New York to Oakdale and sooner than he had planned.
"You are more upset about the money missing than you were about my brain," Luke pouted.
They were sitting at the breakfast table, hungry from a long passionate night.
After returning from the hospital, Reid had taken Luke into Lucinda's steam room. They had made love right up against the glass door. Their bodies pressed together. Sweat from the steam room dripping off their backs. Reid had licked the salt on Luke's bare skin. He had tasted and teased him, moving his mouth on Luke's body, seductively. Reid then had pushed Luke's thighs apart and there was nothing to stop his probing fingers. He caressed Luke intimately, and had sank down into the steam. All Luke could feel was his hot mouth pressing against him. Sucking the very essence of Luke as he had exploded . After that, Reid had moved back up Luke's trembling body, practically holding Luke up as Reid's lips had found Luke's lips and he kissed him hard in a torment of tongues and teeth. Steam and sweat covered their flesh. Unable to resist, Luke had glided his fingers up and down Reid's spine and down to his ass. Luke then had deepened their kiss. Their bodies joined in a hungry urgency. The passion built into hot, sweet torture. And like that first encounter in the cabana, Reid again took his sweet time. Reid had cupped Luke's backside and lifted him up. He had sank into Luke, rocking into him in sure and steady strokes. Whatever lingering doubts Luke had suffered after years of being with Noah, he now forgot. The sex with Reid left him raw and satisfied. It went beyond anything he had ever imagined.
Now they were eating toast and eggs and contemplating the stolen money.
Reid was frowning. "Brain trouble I can handle. It's clear. But the missing funds mean no neuro wing."
Luke heard Reid's thoughts clearly, no wing, lives lost, my job in trouble
He quickly touched Reid on the shoulder. Luke big eyes were full of compassion. "It will be alright," he told Reid softly. "I have an idea where the money is...and even if I lose it all, I have other money. My grandmother, my mother."
Reid shook his head. "No way! Taking it from the foundation - that is what a foundation is for- but I'm not taking your personal money, Snyder. "
"Okay then," Luke said. "Take a trip with me instead."
Luke nodded. "To Malta. We can leave right away "
"I don't take vacations. I haven't had a day off from work since med school," Reid protested.
"It isn't a pleasure cruise, " Luke snorted. "We are going to the Grimaldi castle in Malta. I just know that is where Damian and my missing funds must be."
"I can't believe that I'm involved with somebody whose family owns a castle, " Reid mused.
"Oh," Luke's whole face lit up all of a sudden, "Are we involved?"
"No!" Reid said quickly. "This is just ...you know...fun."
Luke heard, Luke just wants great sex from me. He doesn't want more. Keep it simple, Oliver.
Luke wanted to correct Reid's thoughts. He wasn't sure how to do that. Truthfully, he had expected it to be only sex too. But for Luke, sex was never simple. And he was feeling a lot more than that for Reid, especially after Reid had taken such good care of him at the hospital. However, Luke was not sure exactly what it was he was feeling for the doctor. With Noah, love had come before they had even contemplated sex. With Reid, the incredible sex had started so fast. Luke glanced at Reid. To just look at him, Luke would have believed his words. That this was all just simple fun. That would have crushed Luke. But actually hearing Reid's thoughts, allowed Luke to sense Reid's nervous caution underneath it all. Luke did not believe that this was casual for Reid either. But he did not know how to just come out and reassure him.
"So you will come with me to Malta," he said to Reid.
"I have my patients...like Noah." Reid looked at Luke with a slight challenge in his eyes. "What about your boyfriend?"
"He is stable, but don't you want to be here?"
"You said that he would be sedated for days. We will be back soon enough."
Luke met Reid's eyes directly. "He can wait. Are you going to come with me or not?"
Luke leaned over the table and gave Reid an open-mouthed kiss.
Reid gave him a mockingly stern face, "Well, I can't trust you to go alone."
Luke squeezed Reid's hand. "True. " He peeked up at Reid through his eyelashes and took a chance,
"I need you, Reid," Luke told him.
"You need me?" Reid parroted.
Luke shrugged and gave Reid a coy, little smile, "After all, I might still require more medical attention."
Reid opened the door to the house he was sharing with Katie. He found Katie folding some of Jacob's laundry. It was always amazing to Reid to see just how tiny the kid's clothes were.
Katie glanced up at him and smiled, "Hey roomie."
"Spend the night at the hospital?"
"You are so dedicated
"Then why did they tell me you were not there? I called last night to ask you to pick me up some milk."
Reid groaned. Katie smirked. Busted.
"Who did you hook up with?"
'Hey, I don't kiss and tell," Reid said grumpily. He began to help Katie carry the huge basket of laundry to her bedroom.
"Well, you still sound the same, obnoxious, but you look relaxed."
"Hmm. Just tell me, good sex or bad?"
Reid just looked at her.
"Wow!" Katie grinned. "That good."
"Listen, let me give you the rent check now. I am actually going out of town for a few days."
"With this new lover boy?"
"No, no. There is a problem with some of the foundation's money and they need me."
"To do what?"
Reid searched his mind for an answer. "Deal with the people involved."
"Somebody wants you to deal with people? You?"
"Hey, I can talk to people!"
"What about work, the hospital...?"
"Chris and Bob are here. I'm sure the amazing Hughes family will keep the circus going for a day."
Katie made a face at the word Chris. "He hasn't called me at all today, thank God, " she told Reid as she handed him some of her underwear to put in her drawer.
"Maybe he finally got the hint," Reid said, taking Katie's hot pink undies like he was taking a mouse by the tail.
"I hope so! How many times does a girl have to say no?" She handed him some more underwear. This
one had polka dots and a smiley face.
"Katie," Reid groaned. "I'm happy to help out with the laundry, but how about you just give me Jacob's stuff?"
Katie laughed. "Reid Oliver, you so want to wear my panties."
Katie chuckled harder. "Or maybe see them on that new lover?"
Reid left the room. "I can't hear you," he said and walked quickly away.
Katie was still laughing as he fled.
Meanwhile, Luke quickly drove over to Lily's house to pack up for the trip. When he arrived, he found Faith there.She was sprawled out on the couch, and painting her toes a deep blue color.
"Hey," Luke smiled at his sister. "Where's mom?"
"Who cares?" Faith rolled her eyes. "Sobbing over dad some place, maybe."
"Try to be nice, Faith. "
Luke heard, Mom hates me. She hates me!
"Mom and you should try and talk," Luke advised gently.
"Faith," Luke sighed. He knew trying to reason with Faith was impossible."Listen, can you tell her I'm going
to be out of town a few days with Dr. Oliver on foundation business?"
"Dr. Oliver?" Faith said. She closed up the nail polish and flexed her feet. "Are you dating him now? He's hot."
"We're just -I mean-" Luke stammered.
Faith's eyes widened. "You are with him! Is he coming over? Can I see you guys make out?"
"What?" Faith smiled at her brother. "I like watching two guys kiss. "
"I really don't want to hear this," Luke said, trying to escape up the stairs.
Faith followed him. "Just tell me what he kisses like."
"No! I'm not telling you anything about my love life. Got it?"
Faith made a sour face at him. "Luke, I'm a frustrated virgin. Let me live vicariously through you and -"
"Nice vocabulary," Luke teased.
Faith flashed him a smile, "Thanks. I'm studying for the SATS."
"I'm still not sharing with you," Luke told her. He opened up and suitcase and began to pack.
"Oh, come on! Don't be NFL."
"No Fun Luke."
"Faith. Why don't you go call Parker or somebody?"
"Parker," Faith snorted. "He doesn't want me and neither does Gabriel. It's all about that yucky Liberty. "
Faith wrinkled up her nose. "I'd rather Parker and Gabriel kiss each other than her!"
Luke heard, I'm so lonely.
Luke ruffled his sister's hair. "Hang in there, Faith. The right guy will come. "
"Whatever." Faith rolled her eyes. "Let's get back to you and Dr. Hottie. Give me one detail."
"Please!" She gave Luke her best sad face. "Like how does Noah's kiss compare to Dr. Oliver's?"
Luke sighed. "You will drop this, after I tell you that?"
"He's ...It's like Noah's white bread compared to creme brulee. Or- "
"Vegetables compared to a hot fudge sundae," Faith offered, growing exciting.
Luke laughed. "Visiting Alaska versus Tahiti."
"Fucking a mannequin versus fucking a --"
"Okay , Faith. We're done!"
Luke pushed her out of his bedroom and shut the door. Sisters! But there was a wide smile on Luke's face as he grabbed from the top shelf of his closet some condoms and lube that had not been opened in a long time.
Luke arrived at the airport early. Lucinda's jet was all ready for them. He stood at the terminal and gazed out the window. Then Luke turned, somehow sensing Reid coming up behind him. Reid was carrying a small suitcase and his medical bag.
"Hey!" Luke beamed at him. "I was only joking about the medical attention."
"Can't hurt," Reid shrugged.
They smiled at each other.
Reid was dressed in his leather jacket , silver shirt, and tight black jeans. Luke let his gaze slowly take in his new lover.
"Are you ready to fly? "Luke asked him softly.
"Sure," Reid replied, "Lets go."