Leo sighed and stood up; the class of talking students instantly falling silent as he began to write his name on the blackboard. Turning around he smiled at the class of students who stared back at him. Taking a moment before he spoke he scanned the crowd, mostly teenagers who were probably looking for an easy credit…….but as he scanned the group he found his eyes drawn to a single student who was sitting in the front row. Like him the student was a turtle; although lighter skinned and smaller. Unlike the other students this one was sitting straight in his chair, not slumped over. Clearing his throat Leo spoke.
“For those of you who are completely new, welcome to college and Japanese studies. My name is Leo; I’ll be your teacher for this class.”
A dull but polite chorus of “hello Leo,” Echoed back at him.
Sighing Leo began the speech he’d given dozens of times, about how Japanese studies was an important subject that required discipline and adherence to rules. By the time he was done with the speech he could easily guess who would and wouldn’t pass his class. Again his eyes flicked towards the turtle in the front row; noting that the turtle was still paying attention.
“Are there any questions for me?”
A dozen hands went into the air. Leaning back against his desk Leo spoke.
“When I point to you please stand up, give us your name and then ask your question.”
He went around the room, rolling his eyes as he found that several questions related to anime and manga; before outright telling a student to leave when she asked about tentacle erotica. Rubbing his eyes he gestured to the last student, the turtle in the front row. Mentally he prayed that it would be a serious question. He watched as the turtle stood up and spoke.
“Hi everyone. I’m Alexander, but most people call me Alex……actually everyone calls me Alex. Anyways my question is about the samurai.”
Leo sat up a little straighter; finally a REAL question.
“I heard….and its ok if it’s not true; but I heard that sometimes the more experienced samurai would sleep with the apprentices. Is that true?”
In the back of his mind Leo could not help but feel that Alex’s question while oddly specific was the best question he’d be asked today. Nodding Leo spoke.
“Yes. It wasn’t uncommon, but it wasn’t required of them. But it was not about sex it was viewed as another form of training; a way to pass on the knowledge of the older samurai to the younger ones. Why do you ask?”
Alex shrugged and sat back down, “I was just curious.”
As Alex’s words trailed off and Leo found himself oddly speechless as their eyes connected; for a split second he found himself slightly mesmerized by Alex’s light blue eyes. Shaking his head slightly Leo pulled himself out of those blue orbs and back into reality. The rest of the class was uneventful, going over the syllabus and what was expected of the students. Against his will he felt his eyes flick back to Alex’s eyes whenever he turned to face the class, something about the smaller turtle was captivating; weather it was his light green skin, his smaller frame, of the flecks of orange around his eyes; something was drawing him to look at Alex.
Mentally he thanked god when the bell rang signaling the end of class. As the students filed out of the classroom Leo sat down and dug into one of his drawers pulling out a water bottle and taking a drink. As he screwed the cap back on the bottle he found he was not alone, Alex had approached his desk and was looking at him.
“Yes Alexander? Is there something I can-”
but Alex cut him off. “Ah ah ah. It’s Alex, professor.”
Leo shook his head. “I’m afraid I must insist on calling you Alexander.”
But Alex too shook his head.
“Nope. It’s Alex.” Leo sighed,
“Very well Alex. What can I do for you?”
Alex smiled at him, an action that sent a small shiver through Leo’s body.
“I just wanted to say that I’m really looking forward to taking your class.”
Leo smiled pleasantly at Alex who smiled back.
“That enthusiasm will fade around week 7.”
But Alex continued to smile and shook his head.
“Not for me. I’m always full of energy; my brother says it’s my most annoying trait.”
Leo smiled. “So you have a brother?”
He wasn’t sure what made him ask; generally he didn’t care much about his student’s outside life. And yet without thinking about it he felt himself gravitating towards Alex, who was nodding.
“Yeah. His name is Jason. He goes here too. Although he’s here on a football scholarship.”
Leo nodded slowly.
“Well I hope you continue to enjoy my class.” Alex continued to smile at him, before nodding.
“For sure. It helps that I have such a cute teacher.”
Leo felt himself blush slightly as Alex gave him another smile before exiting the room, leaving Leo alone. As Alex walked away Leo’s eyes lingered on the young turtle’s hips, which walked with a kind of sway that was very……. Shaking his head Leo did his best to clear his mind. This year was going to be very interesting.
1 WEEK LATER
Looking out over his class Leo smiled pleasantly as he found several seats were now empty of students who had either dropped out of the class or had simply decided not to show up. As always he felt his eyes drawn to Alex who still sat in the front row; his notebook out on his desk, scribbling notes as Leo gave his lesson stopping only when the bell for the end of class rang. Turning back to his class Leo spoke.
“I expect each of you to read the next chapter in your textbook and to summarize it, as well as write down any questions you have that you wish to have answered.”
As the class filed out Leo felt his gaze drawn to Alex who was moving slower than the other students taking his time to pack up his notebook and pen before looking up and catching Leo’s gaze. Alex smiled an action that Leo returned not completely comfortable with the gentle ‘whooshing’ feeling that happened in his stomach.
Sitting down in his chair he watched as Alex again approached him, as he had done every day since class began.
“Yes Alex? Can I do something for you?”
Alex nodded and shifted his weight from one leg to the other, a small look of embarrassment covering his face.
“Well…..I…….the next chapter is about sexuality in ancient Japan right?”
Leo nodded; he had a faint idea where this was going. In almost every class there was generally one; but he remained calm as he watched Alex continue to look embarrassed.
“How did they……treat…….gay men?”
Leo felt a small smile tug at the sides of his mouth.
“Well……they treated them a lot better than most cultures did at that time. Going back to the question you asked on the first day there were the Kabuki acting troupe. Although historical documents have varying arguments it is widely accepted that most of the men in these acting troupes were gay. Why do you ask?”
He watched as Alex shifted again before speaking, a gentle blush covering his face.
Leo smiled at Alex and leaned forward.
“Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for being who you are ok?” Alex looked at him but did not speak.
“You’re not sick or wrong. You’re; you.” Alex smiled weakly at him, speaking after a moment. “Thanks.”
Leaning back in his seat Leo spoke again.
“If you don’t mine me asking……does your brother know?”
He wasn’t sure why he asked. But something in his head told him to ask. He watched as again Alex shifted nervously from one leg to the other before shaking his head.
“No…..no Jason doesn’t know. I’m…..I’m not sure how to tell him.”
Leo smiled. “Do you think he’ll be ok with it?”
“I don’t think he’ll care either way. We’ve been together since foster care.” Leo cocked his head sideways.
“You were in foster care?” Alex nodded.
“Yeah, since I was born. Met Jason when I was 6 and we’ve been brother’s ever since.” Leo smiled.
“Children in foster care bond tightly with each other. I think Jason will accept you.”
Alex smiled at him, a move that made his heart flutter slightly. “Thanks Leo.”
Leo smiled at the use of his shortened name.
“Have a good day Alex.” Alex nodded.
“You too teach.”
Before turning and leaving the classroom, leaving Leo alone with his thoughts. Sighing Leo dropped his head so his forehead was resting against the desktop. What had gotten into him? In the last 7 days he’d developed some kind of……affection towards Alex. Biting his lip he tried to come to a logical reason for this affection; yes Alex did remind him a little of himself, and yes the young turtle was……attractive; but he was a teacher and Alex was a student. And that was something he could not escape or betray. Sighing again Leo sat up; tomorrow he’d talk with Alex. He’d say……something to make Alex understand.
THE NEXT DAY
Leo scanned his students as they filed into the classroom; looking for Alex. But a small frown covered his face, Alex wasn’t there. Leo’s frown deepened as the bell signaling the beginning of class wrung. Starting his lesson he could not stop himself from glancing towards the empty desk every few minutes. Where was Alex? In the last week he’d always shown up on time, eager to learn and take notes. Doing his best to remain calm Leo continued with his lesson but found himself distracted, dropping his chalk several times as well as losing his place in the lesson and stuttering several times. By the time the class was over he found his mind consumed with questions. Where was Alex? Why hadn’t he come to class? Was everything ok with the young turtle?
As the students moved to leave his class he spoke.
“Does anyone know where Alexander is?”
Several of his students shook their heads; but one a white bunny shrugged.
“I saw him leaving the Alpha cal fraternity house. He looked upset.”
As the last student left his classroom Leo gather up his coat and left, making his way across campus to were the fraternity houses were. He frowned as he passed house after house with loud music and the signs of an obvious party. Finding the frat he was looking for Leo marched up to the front door and pounded on it; doing his best to be louder than the blaring music on the other side. A moment later he wrinkled his nose as a drunken bunny stuck his head out of the door his breath reeking of booze and possibly pot. After a moment the bunny spoke, his voice slurred.
“Yer na ta pizza man.”
Leo shook his head.
“no I’m not. I’m a teacher here at the school. I was hoping you could tell me where I could find Alexander.”
The bunny looked at him.
"who?” Leo sighed.
“Alexander, he’s a turtle shorter than me, light green skin.” T
he bunny paused for a moment his face scrunched up in thought, after a moment he let out a loud laugh.
“oh I get it. s a trick questin; yer Al-what’s-his-name ern’t ya?”
Leo rolled his eyes. Obviously he would get nowhere talking to this bunny. Walking away from the frat house Leo instead pulled out his cellphone and dialed a number a few moments later a voice on the other end of the line spoke.
“Leo? What’s up?”
Leo smiled at Anthony’s voice. It had been a few days since he’d last seen the brainy turtle.
“I was wondering if you could help me Anthony.”
There was a slight pause.
“yeah….sure. what’s up?”
Leo sighed; Anthony’s voice was a dead giveaway to what he was doing.
“Anthony are you playing online chess again?”
Anthony was silent for several seconds. “no.”
Leo rolled his eyes.
“even through the phone you suck at lying.”
More silence; again Leo sighed.
“how many games are you playing?”
Anthony’s voice responded, an air of pride in it.
“9. And I’m winning in 7 of them.”
Leo smiled thinly, at least Anthony was winning.
“look I need your help. I’ve got a student who didn’t show up at class.”
Anthony was silent for another moment; in the background Leo could hear the click of a mouse pad.
“why is that such a big deal?”
Leo bit his lip. Why was Alex missing class such a big deal to him? Plenty of students missed his class. Sighing Leo rubbed his eyes.
“your right. Sorry Anthony. I’m sure he’ll show up tomorrow. Sorry for bothering you.”
He didn’t have to be in the room to know Anthony shrugged.
“it’s ok. What’s his name? Maybe I can keep my ear out just in case.” Leo smiled.
“thanks Anthony, his name is Alexander.”
Saying their goodbye Leo hung up and slowly began to walk back to his car, before driving home. Pulling into the drive way Leo sighed as he turned off the engine. What had gotten into him lately? Normally he didn’t care if students skipped or missed his class; yet Alex missing a single day had prompted him to call Anthony and ask for help?
Sighing again Leo buried his forehead against the steering wheel. In the back of his mind he could not help but feel uneasy, since he had not really found out why Alex had missed his class. If what the bunny in his class had said it was possible Alex had moved out of the frat house he and his brother had been staying at. Biting his lip Leo supposed that was an alright reason to miss class. Why then did he have a feeling of dread in his gut? Slowly he got out of the car shivering slightly; the night air had changed, no longer chilly but now outright cold; so cold that his breath made a small cloud of steam as he exhaled. Walking up to his front door Leo froze as he found that something was in front of his door. A large green form huddled against itself doing its best to keep warm in the rapidly dropping temperature.
his voice came out softly; barely louder than a whisper. He watched as the huddled green form of his student moved to look at him; he inhaled sharply.
Alex’s face was a dead giveaway to why he hadn’t been in class that day; a black eye, slit lip and several small cuts and bruises covered the young turtle’s face. Alex’s normally blue eyes were bloodshot and oddly cloudy, even as Leo stood there his mind reeling he watched as Alex reached up and tried to wipe away the tears that were half frozen to his face; but only succeeded in wincing as he touched his injured face. Leo’s eyes raked the turtle’s small frame, trembling from the cold. He noted rather alarmed that although Alex’s legs were drawn in against his body, his toes seemed to be relaxed; a bad signs when it came to reptiles and cold. He watched as Alex tried to give him a small smile.
“sorry…….I’m late for class.”
Moving forward Leo knelt down while tugging off his jacket before wrapping it around Alex’s shuddering form.
“are you crazy? It’s freezing outside; where is your jacket?”
Alex didn’t respond as a fresh wave of shudders wracked his body. He felt Leo’s arms wrap around his waist and slowly help him into a standing position. Balancing himself against Alex’s oddly limp form Leo dug around in his pocket until he found his keys Before opening his front door and half dragging the younger turtle inside. Carrying Alex through his house into the living room where he guided Alex down onto the couch before grabbing kneeling down in front of the fireplace busying himself; a few minutes later smiled as a fire sprang to life, casting a warm yellow light through the room. Turning around he grabbed a few blankets and wrapped them around Alex’s still shuddering form; making sure to cover as much of the turtle’s exposed skin as he could. He could feel the younger turtle’s skin, it was ice cold, and with alarm he found several small patches of blue; a sign that the skin had been exposed to the cold for a dangerous amount of time. Biting his lip he weighed his options. the fire would help warm Alex up, but because of the blue patches of skin Alex needed more heat right away.
Sighing Leo moved over to the windows and closed the blinds; if anyone saw him do what he was about to do, he could get into serious trouble. Once the blinds were all closed he moved back to Alex and gently gripped his shoulder. Pulling Alex down off the couch Leo did his best to make him comfortable on the floor, before moving behind him and laying down next to him.
“I don’t know if you can hear me Alex; but I’m doing this to help. ok?”
Alex didn’t respond, instead only let out a faint whimper. Wrapping his arms around Alex’s body Leo pulled the younger turtle against him; his hands wrapping around Alex’s chest Leo felt a faint blush cover his face as he buried his nose against the younger turtle’s neck and exhaled warm air against Alex’s cold skin. He could feel Alex moving, instinctively moving closer to the source of warmth and comfort. He felt his heart clench slightly as one of Alex’s hands found his hand and forced its fingers into his own.
Alex’s hand was trembling just as badly as the rest of his body. He could feel Alex trying to talk but he gently squeezed Alex’s hand.
“shhhhh. Don’t talk. Save your energy.”
After a moment Alex responded his voice quivering and shaking.
Leo pulled Alex in a bit closer.
“It’s ok. Just rest now; get warm.”
As he spoke Leo felt Alex shifted in a little closer. He could hear Alex breathing, taking in large gasps of the warm air. Gently he cupped both of Alex’s hands in his own, rubbing them gently so the skin would warm up a little faster. He could not help but blush slightly as Alex let out a low ‘churr’. After a moment the younger turtle spoke; his voice filled with embarrassment at what he had just done.
Leo shrugged and continued to rub Alex’s hands. “it’s ok.”
Inhaling, he could not stop the faint shudder that ran through his own body as his nostrils filled with Alex’s scent. There was something……intoxicating about the smell the young turtle was giving off; it was sweet yet….. again Leo shuddered as he inhaled another lung full.
It started out slow. As the air in the room became warmer and warmer Alex’s body relaxed, his tense muscles releasing and allowing him to lay on the floor with less discomfort. Slowly his shudders became gentle trembles before they too vanished. Leo felt Alex begin to stir, slowly turning so he could look at Leo who did his best to hide the faint blush that spread over his face as the young turtle looked at him. he really was……….Leo wanted to say attractive; but now was not the time. Pushing those thoughts away Leo pulled back, making sure to keep the blankets on Alex who continued to huddle under them as Leo sat up.
“we should clean those injuries.”
Alex looked down at the floor.
Getting up Leo moved into his bathroom pulling out the first aid kit he kept under the sink, before making a short run to his bedroom and pulling on a small jacket. Without Alex’s body heat, the blankets, or the fire he was feeling a little chilly.
Moving back into the living room Leo found that Alex had moved himself and was now laying on the couch his eyes closed and his breathing almost back to normal. Kneeling down next to the obviously exhausted turtle Leo spoke.
“are you ok? Do you feel light headed?”
as he spoke Leo reached forward and touched Alex’s forehead noting that Alex’s skin was…….he could suppress the shudder that washed through him as he found Alex’s skin to be soft and smooth. Slowly Alex nodded.
“Yeah….I don’t like it.”
Leo bit his lip. Lightheadedness was a sign that Alex needed food; his body was trying to restart without having enough fuel to keep it running. Gripping Alex’s hand gently Leo spoke.
“Stay here. I’ll get you something to eat. Ok?”
Alex only nodded his eyes still closed. As he got up to move the kitchen Leo could not help but notice that Alex’s grip on his hand lingered for several seconds. Digging through his cupboards Leo found what he was looking for before returning to Alex and pushing the wrapper into his hand.
“eat this. It’ll help.”
Alex did as he was told, slowly unwrapping the granola bar he had been given. It was tricky; he felt disconnected from his fingers. As though he was watching them move because someone else was telling them too. He groaned as he felt Leo dab his injuries with antiseptic making them sting and burn slightly. He watched as Leo began covering the injuries with Band-Aids.
“got any ones with skateboards on them?”
he felt his heart flutter slightly as Leo chuckled, a small smile passing over his face.
“no. but I got some nice my little pony ones from when my niece came to visit.”
The split on Alex’s lip wasn’t too bad, and it would probably heal on its own, as would Alex’s black eye. Closing up his kit Leo spoke.
“are you still lightheaded?” Alex nodded.
“yes…..but it’s not as bad as before.”
Leo smiled. “how about I fix you a sandwich while you stay here and keep getting warm?”
he smiled as Alex nodded. Moving to stand up Leo felt a small shock pass through his as Alex reached out and gripped his hand; the smaller turtle’s hand fitting perfectly inside his.
For a moment their eyes connected and Leo felt his heart lurch. Slowly he leaned in and pulled the blankets around Alex.
“it’s ok. You just rest.”
He felt a small part of him long to keep this small connection to Alex; it made him groan slightly at the loss when he pulled away. moving into the kitchen Leo did his best to busy himself with making Alex’s sandwich to help distract himself from the odd feeling of loss of Alex’s touch. A short while later he returned finding that although Alex was still bundled under the blankets, the young turtle had moved standing up and looking at the photo’s that Leo had hung from the walls. Moving over to Alex Leo cleared his throat and watched as Alex turned, revealing the picture he had been looking at; a small photo of Leo smiling while kissing Anthony on the cheek.
For a moment a silence stretched between the, broken when Alex spoke softly.
“you’re………” Leo nodded. “yes. I’m gay. Like you.”
Alex remained silent for a moment before taking the sandwich Leo was holding out for him. scarffing the sandwich Alex smiled sheepishly at Leo smile smiled pleasantly back at him.
“we need to get you out of those clothes.” Alex felt his eyes widen; his mouth opening. “I…….a………I…..” his heart was thundering in his chest, was Leo talking about…. But his thoughts were cut off as Leo shook his head.
“shit…no….that came out wrong. You’re clothes are wet. You need to put on dry clothes or you’ll catch a cold.”
Sighing Alex mental kicked himself for jumping to such a conclusion about Leo’s words. He felt himself shudder as the older turtle gripped his hand and led him down the hallway before moving into a room. Looking around Alex found himself in a bedroom. dropping himself down into the bed he looked nervously at Leo who remained by the door.
“I’ll go see if I can find you some clothes that will fit you.”
He nodded and watched as Leo vanished back down the hallway. Shivering slightly Alex moved over to the door and closed it before shrugging off the blankets and beginning to strip down. His shirt came off first, the thin yellow material letting out a soft ‘flap’ as it dropped to the floor, his pants soon joining it. shivering again Alex gripped his underwear and began to pull them down his legs.
“ok, I think I found some clothes that will-OH GOD!”
Alex’s eyes jerked towards the door; Leo had come in carrying a small stack of cloths but had frozen and now stared at him. For a full 5 seconds they both stood frozen to the spot as their brains tried to catch up with what had just happened. a second later Leo moved, practically throwing the clothes at Alex before turning and making run down the hallway; only to be stopped as he ran face first into the doorframe making his gasp in pain as his nose collided with the hard surface.
Stars burst in front of his face as he staggered backwards. Swearing under his breath he blinked furiously trying to rid his vision of the tears that now prevented him from seeing straight. He fumbled about looking for the wall or door; something to help him know where he was. He felt Alex grip his wrist and begin pulling him along. A second later Alex pushed him, dropping him onto the bed. Reaching up to rub his eyes Leo’s vision cleared. Nervously he looked at the floor, when he spoke he stuttered with embarrassment.
“s….sorry.” I didn’t expect….”
Chancing a glance upwards Leo felt his voice die as he found Alex had pulled on the sweatshirt that had been on top of the stack of clothes. Against his will Leo swallowed the small rock that had formed in his throat. Alex’s body was perfectly framed by the sweatshirt, accenting his shoulder, chest and hips. Looking back down at the floor he did his best to calm down.
“it’s ok Leo.”
Leo felt his eyes flick back up to Alex’s. the young turtle had moved in closer now. Leo inhaled sharply as he felt Alex touch his chest before gently pushing him back so he was lying on the bed. A moment later he shuddered as Alex gently crawled on top of him, coming to rest with his hips against Leo’s.
“Alex? What are you-”
but the rest of his words were cut off as a small moan escaped his mouth as Alex gently ground his hips against Leo’s sending shivers of pleasure through his body.
“shhhhh. You’ve been nice to me Leo…..I wanna repay you.”
Leo sat up and moved to speak.
“no that’s not-”
but again he found himself interrupted not by Alex’s hips this time but by his lips. Leo groaned as Alex kissed him, the younger turtle’s tongue coming out to flick across his lips; as though seeking permission. Against his will he felt his hands wrap around Alex’s wrists. why did the kiss have to feel so good? He felt himself returning it, his tongue leaving his own mouth to explore the younger turtle’s. he felt Alex press forward grinding their hips together sending another shiver of pleasure through his body making him growl in need.
They broke apart only from lack of oxygen both of them gasping several times before Alex leaned forward to kiss him again. as he did so Leo caught sight of Alex’s eyes, they were oddly empty and…… he let go of Alex’s wrists instead planting them against the younger turtle’s chest firmly hold him back.
Alex’s eyes changed, Leo watched as they filled with confusion, fear…..pain.
“did I do something wrong? Would you rather…..”
but Alex stopped talking as he felt Leo pull him into a hug.
“Alex……you don’t owe me anything. I want to help you.”
He struggled against Leo’s grip.
“but…..I…….need…….to repay you……I…..you……..I….”
Leo bit his lips as he waited for what was about to happen; to happen. He’d seen that look in a person’s eyes before. When he’d been younger he’d gone to bars. He’d met boys, mostly runaways; scared, confused. Unsure of where they would spend the night, or if they would even live that long. They’d throw themselves at him and other men, desperately trying to attract one so they could go back to their home and spend the night someplace warm with a roof over their heads; instead of out in the cold. Every action they took made them seem happy but their eyes betrayed them; every kiss, touch, and thrust would be met with cold, empty eyes. The same eyes Alex had had moments ago.
He felt Alex stop struggling and for a moment the young turtle remained still, his body tense. Gently Leo squeezed the younger turtle’s body. “I don’t want sex Alex. You don’t have to repay me, not like this.” He could feel it now, the small trembles in Alex’s body; each vibration growing and growing until the turtle’s entire body shook with the force of his sobs. Leo did the only thing he could do; held Alex close against his body as Alex began to sob, tears flowing from his eyes only to drip from Alex’s face and land on Leo’s shoulder.
“Shhhhh. Shhhhh. It’s ok; I promise everything will be ok.”
he continued to sooth Alex, holding the younger turtle in his arms, supporting him, willing him to understand that he was safe. He could only imagine the feelings that were rushing through the young turtle’s mind. He felt Alex bury his face against Leo’s neck and continue to sob his tears landing against Leo’s skin. Gently he did what he could rocking Alex’s body back and forth, offering kind words, holding Alex while the young turtle sobbed.
He wasn’t sure how long they stayed like this. It could have been minutes, it could have been hours; he didn’t know. he could feel Alex’s sobs weakening, his body reaching its limit to the emotional toll it could handle. Relaxing his grip on Alex Leo looked at the young turtle. His eyes still leaked tears but they were closed, fluttering every so often as Alex tried to open them but failed. Gently he moved, shifting so he could lay Alex down against the bed, pulling the covers back before covering the young turtle with them. He watched as Alex curled up under the blankets. Moving to leave the room he looked back as Alex spoke.
“am I dirty?”
turning back Leo looked at the young turtle who was huddled under the blankets obviously in the fetal position.
“no Alex. You’re not dirty. You’re beautiful. I promise.”
He felt his heart break slightly as Alex let out another sob. Moving back to the bed Leo sat down.
“do you want me to stay here tonight?”
he watched as Alex looked up at him, eyes trying to find the hidden meaning behind his words. He shook his head.
“not like that Alex. I’ll sleep in the chair.” He gestured to an armchair in front of the window. “I just…..do you want me to stay here tonight?”
He watched as Alex nodded. Smiling at the young turtle Leo spoke.
“ok. Let me just use the bathroom and then I’ll be back. Ok?”
Alex nodded and watched as Leo left the room, marching off into the darkness. Fighting back a fresh wave of tears Alex felt like dirt. Reaching out he grabbed one of the pillows he wasn’t using and pulled it against his chest, doing his best to hold back the fresh wave of tears that threatened to spill out of him. He bit his lip until he could taste blood in his mouth. he felt dirty, used, unworthy to be here with someone who seemed to care so much for him. he flinched as Leo reentered the room. Against his will he let out a strangled sob, burying his face against the pillow. His body ached, his throat felt raw and his vision swam as he felt the room spin. He acted without thinking.
he called his name, hating himself for sounding weak. His hands tore at the blankets searching for something to grab onto the keep the room from spinning any more. He felt Leo’s hand touch his; he grabbed at it, strangling Leo’s fingers with his grip. Above him Leo was speaking again.
“shhhhh, shhhhhh. It’s ok Alex. It’s ok, everything I’ll be ok.”
He felt a wave of fatigue wash over him; suddenly he felt drained. He didn’t even have the energy to cry anymore.
Leo watched as Alex’s entire body seemed to relax; going limp under the covers as the young turtle reached his limit and slipped into unconsciousness. Sighing he gently tucked the turtle in so he was completely under the covers before moving over to the closet and retrieving a blanket for himself. Settling himself down in the chair, Leo sighed and closed his eyes. In the morning, if Alex was up for it; there were many questions Leo wanted answers to.