Caine was sitting on the couch when Rajin came in. Rajin had been over at his parents house most the day while Caine worked on one of his newest inventions. It was almost ready and when something was almost done, working on it seemed to be all Caine wanted to do. Rajin admired his mates passion so it never bothered him when Caine would go into such a deep focus but right now Caine wasn’t thinking of an invention, his face was too conflicted for that. Something was obviously wrong “what’s the matter?” Rajin asked as he sat down, worry on his own face. “one of my dads friends called me..”
“what for? Is he begging for money again?”
“are you okay?”
“I don’t know, I’m sad but not as sad as I should be…I sort of feel like a monster for not feeling worse”
“Your father abused you, he beat your mother to death. It’s only because he’s your dad your sad at all” Caine sighed “I’m angry at him too, for obvious reasons and for the fact he died drinking and driving…I looked up the accident….he took an entire family out with him….he passed out drunk at the wheel and caused a horrible wreck…even in his death he had to do something terrible. That families little ones were only four and seven”
Rajin took his husband in his arms “I’m so sorry Caine”
“I want to help all the families that got hurt. I want to pay the hospital bills and help the family of the ones that died pay for the funerals”
“Okay, where do we need to go. I’m completely on board”
“It’s back in my hometown.” He had never planned on going back, not for anything, but now he had too, he owed it to those people. He swallowed. “I hate it there, but…”
“I know and I’ll be with you every step of the way, you know that.” He gently stroked Caine’s cheek. “When do you want to leave?”
“As soon as possible, I have to get everything settled, even with my…with my father.”
There was a lot of bitterness in the last word, hatred even. Rajin didn’t even think Caine was aware of it. “Alright, how about we get everything set up tonight so we can leave in the morning?”
“I’m sorry Caine.”
Caine pulled out their laptop and booked them a place to stay while they were there. He then looked into plane tickets to see if they could fly there tomorrow. If that way would cause them to need to wait they’d just drive but it turned out they could even nab first class tickets on a plane heading that way. Since they were flying he made sure they’d have a car waiting then he shut down the computer before he was tempted to look at the devastation his father caused again. It was only as he put the computer away he finalyl smelled that Rajin was cooking.
He walked to the kitchen, seeing he was almost done “are we set up?” Rajin asked and Caine answered “Yeah, thanks for cooking”
“You should have called me home sooner Caine”
“I think I needed to be alone at first. It’s easier for me to cry by myself and my heart broke when I saw he killed two little kids. I’m just praying everyone in the hospital heals and doesn’t die as well. I don’t really know their conditions”
“Still, call me when something bad happens. It’s my job to comfort you baby and I hate knowing I couldn’t.”
“I will next time something comes up, I promise.”
Rajin finished cooking and made their plates then sat down next to his mate. They ate, Caine not seeming as invested in it, but doing it anyway so Rajin wouldn’t worry about him. “Why don’t you go ahead and get in bed, I’ll clean up.” Rajin said once their plates were clean.
“I can help.”
Rajin lovingly stroked his cheek, his touch comforting and warm. “Go on, you need it, especially after what happened and we may not get much rest once we’re there.”
Caine nodded. “Alright, I love you.”
“I love you too.” He kissed his lips, lingering for a moment before letting him leave. Rajin let out a sigh. He hated seeing Caine so upset.
The only comfort in his head being this was the very last time Caines dad could hurt him. In their entire relationship the only reason that man ever called was for money and he couldn’t even fake like it was something else. The second someone answered the phone he’d ramble off an amount that they both knew he’d blow on alcohol, prostitutes and Rajin had suspected a few drugs here and there too. Caines father had been such a rotten man and Rajin felt it a miracle Caine grew up to be so good despite the childhood abuse that he had to face alone since his father had caused his mother to die in childbirth from the many injuries she suffered.
Caine went to the bathroom to brush his teeth, staring at himself in the mirror as he continued to think about all those poor people. He truly wished he could do more to help them beyond financial means but he knew all too well money couldn’t replace a life, money could never fill the hole not having a love one caused. He knew he could help but they would all still suffer because of this. When he was done he changed into a pair of pajama pants then settled into bed, longing for Rajin to come hold him.
Caine woke the next morning to the sound of his alarm going off. He hadn’t remembered falling asleep. Rajin shifted next to him, his arms tightening around him, his nose brushing the back of his neck so Caine got goosebumps. Caine reached over and switched off his alarm then turned so he was facing Rajin. “Good morning baby.” Rajin said, smiling lovingly at him. “Ready to get up?”
“Not really, but I know I have too. Those people deserve something for their pain.”
Rajin pressed a kiss to his lips. “It’s going to be okay.”
“I hope so.”
“It will and I’ll be right there.” He kissed him again. “Come on, we don’t want to miss our flight.”
“Okay, I love you Rajin.”
“I love you too.”
They got out of bed and took a quick shower together, Caine’s mind on his father and his victims the whole time. Rajin decided to drive, not wanting him distracted, but held his hand as they headed for the airport. He brushed light kissed to his fingers, letting him know he was still there if he needed to talk and was happy when he received a small smile from his mate.
Emotional exhaustion had Caine asleep about half an hour into their flight. Rajin asked for a blanket, happy when he quickly received one so he could cover him up. Rajin didn’t disturb him until the plane was descending “baby, we’re going to land soon” he said softly and Caine was instantly up “Oh, I’m sorry”
“Making you sit through the entire flight alone”
“I brought my ipod, I was fine, besides, if you need rest you need rest” Soon after getting their luggage back they found the driver that would take them to where they were staying and the car Caine rented. They checked in and dropped off their bags so they could leave for the hospital. Caine didn’t want to waste any time. He would arrange with the hospital to have all the debts the survivors incurred while healing taken out of his account then he’d face them, in hopes there was anything more he could do and then, then he’d deal with the harder part of dealing with family of the ones that died.
Rajin held Caine’s hand as they waited to talk to one of the women in billing. He could heard his mate’s heart thundering in his chest, could see the anger and sorrow in his eyes even as he forced himself not to show it. He knew what must be going through Caine’s head, that this was somehow partially his fault, that he should have done more. He couldn’t help but pull him into his arms and Caine immediately rested his head on Rajin’s shoulder, still exhausted. “How am I going to look into their faces?” He asked softly. “What am I going to say?”
“I don’t baby, but we’ll give them all of our support.”
“I still have to go have his body taken care of. I have no idea what he wanted done with it.”
“Maybe bury him next to your mother?”
“How can I after what he did to her? Wouldn’t that be like spitting on her grave?”
“I’m sorry, I’m just so angry, I hate him.”
“I know, but maybe he wasn’t always a bastard. Your mother married him for a reason. I’m not saying it gives him a pass, he doesn’t deserve one, but maybe it’s what she would have wanted before things took a turn.” He gave Caine a gentle squeeze. “We’ll worry about that later, okay?”
Once they explained the situation the woman helped Caine set things up for the families so they wouldn’t see a bill then she called someone in to guide them to the families since Caine wanted to tell them how sorry he was for what his father had done. No child picked their parents and he sure hoped his mother hadn’t actually picked someone so selfish and horrible to be his father but he still felt responsible for the lump of nothing that he shared DNA with. Caine had prepared himself emotionally for if they were angry with him but all the families he saw actually thanked him for taking care of things financially and some even assured him that none of this was his fault, uttering the same thing he already knew, nobody chooses their parents.
The hospital trip took most the day and they still hadn’t eaten so Rajin insisted they stop somewhere. Caine still didn’t even feel hungry but once again he ate for Rajin, not wanting to worry the man he loved. “are we still going to see the family of the dead today?”
“Yeah, I don’t want them to stress any longer than they have to about the financial side of this”
“You look so emotionally drained already though. Are you sure you don’t want to rest with me in our room and get at this again tomorrow”
“I can’t, my father….he took precious lives, lives of probably amazing people…I need to go to them. I can rest later”
Caine sat quietly staring out the car window once they were back on the road, his mind far away as he thought of what to say and prepared himself for the family’s reaction to his presence. After this he would have to go to the morgue to claim his father’s body, not something he was looking forward too, but he wouldn’t force the city to bury him. “Tell me what’s on your mind.” Rajin said and Caine sighed.
“Everything, how much I wish it had just been him. How horrible is that…wishing someone dead? I keep thinking why couldn’t he just…and those children, how scared they must have been. It’s not fair that he cut their lives so short.”
“I know, baby, it’s cruel.”
Caine swallowed the lump forming in his throat. “Sometimes it terrifies me that he and I are related. What if I change? What if I hurt you or someone else?”
“You don’t know that.”
“Yes I do, Caine. You have lived your whole life refusing to be him, you’re intelligent and funny and you have the biggest heart. I couldn’t ask for a better mate. You are everything he wasn’t and more.”
“It doesn’t help I look like him.”
“Maybe when he was younger, but drugs and alcohol took their toll on his body and besides, who cares if you look like him, you’re hot.”
Caine was unable to stop the smile that pulled at his lips. He couldn’t believe how lucky he was to have someone like Rajin there to help him through this. He wanted so much to break down, but Rajin held him together. “You dork.”
“At least I got you to smile.”
They pulled up at the address they had found for the mothers parents and knocked. A man that looked to be in his thirties answered the door, an obvious emotional wreck. Caine spoke “is this Ed and Lane Harner’s home?”
“Yes, I’m their son, brother of the deceased. I know you mean well coming to wish your condolences but I don’t know if they can see anybody else today. If you have a gift or something I’ll take it for them”
‘They don’t have to see me…I’m…well I’m Caine Okada…I know my money can’t help the hurt my father has caused your family but I’ve come to offer to pay for everything you want to bury your sister and her family. You can bury them in anything, anywhere and I’ll pay the entire bill. It’s the least I can do for what my father has done and truly…anything else I can do to help I want to…I’m…I’m so sorry he did this.”
“That…that low life was related to the famous inventor. I barely freaking believe it. He was a nuisance to this town for as long as I can remember”
“I know…as soon as I was old enough I left and never came back. I don’t even know how he could afford his drinking habit once I left. He had been using my money since I was eleven. He quit his job as soon as I became successful”
“I’m sorry you ever had to live with him. Come in, sit on the couch, I’ll get my family”
Caine was nervous as they waited and stood as soon as Ed and Lane came into the living room. “I’m sorry to intrude.”
“It’s quite alright, please sit.” Ed said as he and Lane took seats across from them. “Our son told us who you were and we’re grateful you would come by.”
“I just want to help, I know there’s nothing I can really say or do that will ease your pain, but if you would allow me to pay for any expenses you have incurred and to do anything else you need me too.”
“You really don’t have too.” Lane said.
“Please, it’s the least I can do. Sorry if I sound pushy.”
“No, not at all. If you really want to then we would love the help.”
He felt relief that they’d allow him to do something to ease the guilt and pain he had over all this. He could go to sleep tonight and forever on knowing he at least helped on the financial side of what his father had done. They spent a few hours with the family, discussing their daughters life and then what they needed financially so far to cover the costs they were looking at “well…I have to go deal with his body now…if I don’t make myself do it right away I might not have the stomach to” Caine said, mostly looking at the floor “we’re sorry for your loss too. Knowing him he couldn’t have been much of a father but the loss of a parent is still a loss. I hope he was proud of you, he should have been. You’re obviously an incredibly giving person coming here like this”
“Thank you” it was all he could think to say before he left with Rajin.
Caine felt cold when they arrived at the morgue, that all too familiar sense of unfeeling coming over him when he was standing in the room next to the covered body. When the coroner pulled back the sheet he felt a small wrenching in his chest. Why did it hurt seeing him like this? Shouldn’t this have been freeing for him? He swallowed, feeling sad and angry at the empty shell in front of him. “Yeah that’s definitely him.”
The coroner nodded and covered him back up. “Would you like me to recommend a couple of places?”
“Sure, thank you.”
“I’ll give you a few minutes while I get the information for you.”
Rajin pulled him into his arms and Caine rested his head on his mate’s shoulder. “Are you okay?”
“I don’t know how to feel. I don’t know if I should cry or scream or both. I hate him so why do I feel anything at all for him.”
“Because even though he was a complete bastard, he was still your dad.” Rajin pulled back. “It’s okay to feel sad.”
“I know, thank you for being here.”
“Of course, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
While he looked through the pamphlet he thought of what Rajin suggested, burying him next to his mother but he still couldn’t get past that he was the reason she was dead. Could it ever be right to bury a murderer next to his victim. She hadn’t left him but she may have if she had more time. Who knows if he had ever beat her THAT badly before but she went into labor with him from the stress the next morning so there hadn’t been much time to make decisions. In the end he couldn’t do it, he didn’t deserve to be buried near her. Not after everything he had grown up hearing about his mom. She had been too wonderful for him in life and was too wonderful for him in death so he picked somewhere nice since this was his dad but it was nowhere near his mom.
When they headed back to their room Rajin said “let me massage you baby”
“I know today was a nightmare for you. I’ll keep doing it until you fall asleep okay”
“I have to ask though, you said I should bury him next to my mom” Rajin cut him off “He was a deplorable man, absolutely disgusting and selfish. I understand your decision and we can never know what she wanted so maybe she wouldn’t want the man who abused her then used and abused you near her for eternity in the ground. Don’t think I think you made a bad call, it was yours to make and I understand just how terrible of a man he was”
Caine hugged him, glad to hear that. “come on, let me massage you so you can sleep my love”
Caine slept hard that night, so exhausted from everything that he fell asleep half way through Rajin massaging him. Rajin made sure he was covered up and comfortable before snuggling up to him and slipping into sleep himself. When they woke the next morning, Rajin suggested they get breakfast. Caine took him to a diner he used to go to when he was a boy, mostly with his father, but he couldn’t deny how good the food was. He was surprised to see the familiar face of one of the waitresses as they entered and sat down. She also seemed to recognize him when she came up, her eyes widening and a smile pulling at her lips. “Caine? My goodness.”
“And who is this?”
“My husband, Rajin.”
“Well it’s nice to meet you then.” She turned back to Caine, her eyes turning slightly sad. “I am so sorry about what happened sweetie. If you need anything just let me know, okay?”
“Breakfast would be great.”
“Same as always?”
“Yeah, but coffee instead of milk.”
“And what about you hon?” Yvette asked Rajin.
“Same as Caine, ma’am.”
She smiled at Rajin then walked back to the kitchen to pour their drinks. “How much longer would you like to stay my love?” Rajin asked once she was gone “at least through the funeral service. I want to be sure that family doesn’t pay a penny.”
“Well, I know we don’t come here because of all the bad memories with your father but maybe we can make some good ones at your favorite spots, like this one”
“They do have some amazing food, it’ll be better eating it with someone who will talk to me about more than women he’s sleeping with or hurrying up with another invention or criticizing something about me” Rajin took his hand, wanting to tell him how sorry he was about his childhood again but deciding not to be a broken record. His mate knew so he’d just hold his hand to give him strength. “so I guess I can start with the stuff that’s nearest here and work my way out to show you everything I liked doing”
“good, I can’t wait”
Rajin was amazed at how delicious breakfast was and it took him a moment to realize it reminded him of the way Caine cooked their’s at home. “Did you learn how to cook by spending time here?”
“Well, just the eggs. I remember sneaking off to come here alone sometimes. I would nag the cook until he told me how he made his eggs so good. He told me the secret is lots of butter and a little bacon grease, not that my dad noticed, but it was fine. Kind of felt like my little secret.”
“I should thank the cook then.”
“He’s a nice guy, a bit rough around the edges, but he took the time to show me how to do something so simple.”
When their waitress came back Caine asked if the cook could come out for a second to meet Rajin. She hurried back and soon came out with him “wow, you’ve grown so much Caine. It’s good to see you” he glanced over at Rajin “and this is your husband, it’s nice to meet you” the cook offered his hand and Rajin shook it “thanks for teaching him to cook eggs. I love them at home”
“He was persistent and a lot of us felt bad for him back then. I don’t know how that man managed to keep Caine, so many of us called protective services on him”
“You never know, the system doesn’t always work” He may have added “but I come from a family who often fix’s things the law wont take care of” if this man weren’t human. It wasn’t always wise to brag about his family work to beings that may not understand you couldn’t always just go with whatever the law did. The law was too easily swayed by money, sex and other things it shouldn’t be swayed by. No doubt after Caine finally invented something he was using Caines own money to keep the authorities from taking him away.
“Do you know when you’ll be having the service?”
“End of the week.” Caine replied. “I have to pick up a suit for him and go through his house.”
“Yvette and I will be coming.”
“You don’t have to do that.”
“Sure we do, not for him, but for you and if you need help with the house, let us know. I have a truck.”
“Thank you, really, but I think I’m just going to grab any pictures he has, especially of mom.”
“Alright, but remember, it’s no trouble.”
Caine nodded and they got back to work while he and Rajin finished breakfast. “Ready for me to show you around?” Caine asked once they’d cleaned their plates. “Maybe get you in some trouble.”
“You? Trouble? I don’t even think that’s possible.”
“Hey, you met me because I liked to travel to haunted places and blog about it”
“True, you’re just so sweet”
“Maybe to unwind after this we can find another haunted place”
“anything you want Caine. Do you have a specific location in mind?”
“Not yet, I only just thought of it”
“It might feel good to help a spirit move on or rid a place of a demon after all this”
“Yeah, thats what I was thinking. I love the feeling of doing either of those things, knowing we left some place better than we found it”
“You know you’re doing that today, by helping all these people”
“It’s not the same knowing my father caused all this pain”
“I disagree. You’re helping people heal and even though they can never completely move on, after awhile they’ll find some sort of peace. I don’t think you see what your presence in this situation has done for these families. They won’t have to worry about bills or anything, they can focus on healing and grieving instead of stressing over not having enough money.”
Caine swallowed, hating that he felt like crying. “You’re really amazing.”
Caine let out a chuckle as they headed out. He took Rajin to an old, abandoned mill. There were warning and no trespassing signs everywhere so he pulled his car onto an unused service road behind it. Rajin smiled as they climbed the fence, loving that exploring places like this seemed to ease the worry that had been plaguing his mate.
Caine thought he’d spend the week completely miserable but Rajin managed to make all of this fun. By the time the service came he had countless good memories in a place he only thought on in despair before. Better yet, though it still tugged at his heart a little because this was his father it was all truly over. No longer would an undeserving drunk call him only because he wanted something and no longer would this town have to deal with him in general. There would always be drunks and there would always be new abusers but his father had been one of the worst. He wished deeply in his heart the families his dad hurt would heal quickly and he hoped the family of the deceased would call on him again for anything because as far as Caine was concerned he owed them for the rest of his life. If he ever saw a way to help them in the future he would make sure to do it.
~ The End