Walls - Chapter 5
"Taylor, I have never been more, humiliated in my whole life!! What were you thinking? I would really like to know! What was going on in that head of yours to make you act the way you did? Tell me!"
Taylor just looked at the floor. He pretended to be absorbed with the carpet, but really just didn't think he had the strength to lift his head. The pounding was like jackhammers and he felt like someone had poured ten tons of cement, letting it take over his whole body. His mother's high pitched exclamations wasn't helping.
"I don't know. I was tired, I..." Trying to find words was causing his head to hurt even more, and he was practically to tired to breathe. He just secretly wished his mother would shut up and leave him be. He desperately needed to get to Mike's. Ten minutes there and he'd be fine again... Why wouldn't she just stop already?
"What? You what?" Mrs. Hanson had her hands on her hips, and was slightly pacing in front of her son, who was leaning against the wall of the hotel room. She'd about had it with him.
First his unbearable rudeness, and then acting as if he'd left his entire mind behind at the hotel... She didn't know what his problem was, but she did know he was too tired to function, and she knew that the late nights at Mike's weren't helping any.
A nagging voice at the back of her mind buzzed suspicions into her head, that maybe she should check into just what was going on over in Mike's room, but she dismissed it out of hand. She glared at her son, using all her willpower to keep from just cuffing him one. For his sake, she hoped his explanation was a good one.
"I... I forgot to take my pill... before we went out today. I was feeling bad so I took one when I went to the bathroom. I just lost track of time and... it must have made me sleepy, or something..."
He didn't tell her he'd taken two. That would have been pushing things just a little too far.
Diana's eyebrows raised considerably. "You forgot? And you took it right before you went onstage? Taylor, you know you can't do that! "
Again the buzz in the back of her head. He had been awfully erratic lately, and the mention of the medication was triggering unease... She folded her arms, looking him straight in the eye.
"How do you explain how rude you were," her voice took on heavy sarcastic tones.
"While you were still awake, that is... and listen pal, this better be good."
She was watching him too closely, it was making him nervous.
He fidgeted a little, and finally mumbled, "Well I didn't know I was rude. I didn't mean to be rude. I just didn't feel good. I told you, I forgot to take my thing..." he trailed off, eyes closing. He was just too tired to care.
She sighed, and shook her head.
"You know something, Taylor. You used to be so responsible. Now look at you. You know how important it is that those pills are taken the correct time and way, you know you were told to be careful with them, yet you leave whole bottles at other hotels, you spill them in the sink, forget to take them, take them at the wrong time... Obviously you're not up to taking care of this yourself..."
She stuck out her hand. "Give them over. You about sedated yourself in the middle of an interview, you're not getting the chance to do that again. I'll give them to you when you're supposed to have them."
Taylor lifted his head slightly, fear playing in his heart.
"What? Mom! Come on, I'm 14. I'll be better, I promise. Don't treat me like I'm a baby. I can take my pills on my own." He could feel panic rising in him... She couldn't expect him to... she just couldn't...
"Taylor, I'm not in the mood to have this discussion with you, now give me the bottle." Diana held out her hand expectantly. The expression on her face brooked no more discussion. He was giving them to her, or she was taking them by force. It was his call.
Taylor gritted his teeth. Knowing he really had no choice, he grudgingly handed his mother the orange bottle. She stuck it in her pocket, and returned to staring at him. "Taylor..." she sighed... "I can't figure you."
He looked up at her, expressionless.
"There's nothing to figure... why are you doing this to me?"
Again her eyebrows raised. "What exactly am I doing to you?"
She shook her head, and firmed up her tone, voicing a decision she'd been toying with for days.
"From here on out, you're not spending all hours of the day and night at Mike's. You're staying with us. I don't like you being over there so much, maybe if you hadn't been up all night, you'd have been human this morning. Besides, he has enough to worry about without playing babysitter to you."
She wasn't sure why she felt this way, Mike was a nice enough young man, but her instincts were telling her to keep Taylor away from there.
His reaction to her statement, further convinced her she was right.
Taylor snapped his head up. He wasn't sleepy and slow now...
"What! Mike doesn't have to play baby sitter! We're friends. He likes to hang out with me! That isn't fair!" Taylor felt hot tears stinging his eyes. There was no way his mother was going to take this away from him too. It was bad enough she took his pills, now telling him where he could and couldn't go in his free time. She didn't understand. He'd never get through the days if she took it all away...
His expression wavered between anger and pleading, he just didn't know what to do.
Before he could think, he'd blurted out, "You can't stop me from going there! You're not gonna stop me!"
Diana fought down her initial impulse, which was to knock him one for talking to her that way, and forced herself to reply calmly. He was obviously verging on irrational, and she didn't want to make it any worse. When he'd calmed down, she would deal with the disrespect issue...
"Taylor, don't act like a child. My goodness, you're going to see him everyday still. He works with you. I just think it's better for you to stay here with us. You need to get more sleep. You look exhausted. We all need some time to rest, and you can do it just as well here with us."
She reached out and touched his shoulder, gently, but he threw her hand off.
"I don't need time to rest! I'm FINE! Why can't you guys get that through you're heads? You always tell me I need more sleep. Well I sleep better at Mike's than I do here! You can't do this!" His eyes were blazing, he was furious. How could she even think she'd get away with this? "You're not..."
Diana had had it. She knew there was a serious problem here, but at the moment she really didn't care. This had gone beyond far enough. She stepped in, completely invading his space, and making sure he had no room to slip away.
She raised one hand, and held it there, inches away from striking him, and cut him off before he could get another word out.
"One more word, Taylor, just one... try me."
She saw the anger and frustration in his face, but thankfully he was in control enough to know he'd pushed her as far as he could... He shut his mouth and glared at her.
She nodded..."Good. Good choice. Now you are staying here. End of discussion. I don't care where you think you need to be, and I don't care what you think you need to be doing. Get it? I don't care. You are staying here. And that's it. Now you go to sleep, Mr. "I'm-so-tired-I'm-falling-asleep-at-an-interview," and we will talk about all this later." She saw the petulant look on his face, and poked her finger into his chest...
"We WILL talk about this later. Bet on it. Now you go to bed."
He glared at her a moment longer, and realizing he had absolutely no choice, he nodded, glumly, and waved her out of his way. She watched him plunk himself down on the edge of the bed, arms crossed, eyes narrowed. He was furious with her.
She shook her head, and left him there, stopping only long enough to whisper to Isaac...
"Keep an eye on him... don't let him leave. If he does, you come get me."
Isaac nodded, and went in to the bedroom he was sharing with his brother. He watched Taylor sitting there fuming for a few minutes, and then gave it up as a bad job. Shrugging off the other boy's mood, he flipped on the TV, and settled back.
Tossing and turning, unable to get comfortable, he couldn't stop thinking he should have listened to her. She'd known. She'd been right. Why hadn't he listened? None of this would have ever happened... if he had only listened.
Zac flashed through his mind again... God he hoped he was alright. He wished someone would tell him something. He sat up, finally, giving up on sleep, and flipped the TV on, knowing full well he'd just be snapping it off again in a few minutes. He didn't want to watch it, he just needed something to make him feel more normal. Less alone. Less like he might shatter at any moment.
His feeling that he deserved everything he was getting had faded somewhat, replaced by the intense longing to see his family, and incredible hurt that they'd evidentially just written him off. They hadn't been there at all, except for Isaac, who'd sat and stared and refused to speak, or touch him. He sighed, feeling tears stinging his eyes, and stubbornly blinked them back. Crying wouldn't do any good, and it would only make his headache worse. He began flipping channels, hoping something would take his mind off things.
Unknown to Taylor, Zachary was thinking his own thoughts, and reliving his own nightmare, in another bed, in another room. He didn't realize it, but he was only a few doors down the hall from his brother. He'd asked about Tay, but nobody had told him anything. They were probably afraid he'd want to see him... not much chance of that, he wasn't going anywhere near him again. Ever, if he could help it. He couldn't remember much of what had happened, but he knew how it had turned out.
Feeling tears starting again, he turned over and reached out for Ike, who was sitting near the bed. Isaac rubbed his shoulder comfortingly, but there wasn't much he could say. He knew how confused Zac was, and he had no real explanations for him.
Zac reached up and pulled his brother down next to him. He buried his face in his shoulder, unable to stop the tears. He just couldn't stop thinking about it... everything just stopped cold, all at once, and he couldn't understand...
Two days previous
Zac stepped out of the hotel room, trying to be as quiet as possible. Taylor was walking down the hallway about twenty feet ahead of him. Deciding that his brother looked far enough away that he wouldn't notice someone following him, Zac headed in the same direction.
Taylor stepped into the elevator. As soon as the doors closed, Zac raced over. The down button was lit up. Swiftly he ran to the stairs and opened the door. He had a tingly feeling and it made him smile. He raced down the stairs, heading for the lobby. The whole family had been at the hotel almost a week, and Zac had spent most of his free time exploring the hotel's stairwells and other places where he could sneak his way into. He ran fully force down the last flight of stairs and slammed into the exit door. The door flew open and banged on the wall as he came flying out of it. A man, getting ice at one of the machines in the hallway, just stared at him as he raced by.
Zac swiftly turned the corner and screeched to a halt. Taylor was walking out the doors by the pool. Zac patted himself on the back for not losing Taylor and hurriedly ran over to the doors.
Taylor had paused by the pool and was crouching down, staring into the crystal clear water. Zac sighed and waited. He anxiously tapped his fingers on the door's handle. He hoped Taylor wouldn't stay by the pool too long. He had been so excited to start his game of figuring out what the heck had been up with Taylor lately, and he most certainly didn't want it to end with Taylor staring into a pool.
Taylor looked up and glanced over his shoulder to gaze at the doors.
Zac quickly jumped out of view, and prayed his brother hadn't seen him. He waited a minute and risked a peek out the window to see if Taylor was coming after him. Cautiously he looked out the window. Taylor had resumed staring into the water.
Zac groaned. "Come on," he thought. "Do something."
At that moment Taylor stood up and began walking again, heading towards the back of the building.
Zac frowned. "Nothing's back there. All that's there is the..." his thought trailed off. Zac knew exactly what was back there. Mike's room. He congratulated himself again on his deductive reasoning skills, seeing as how Taylor hadn't told anyone where he was headed, just stating that he needed to go for a walk alone. Of course he'd said that, he wasn't supposed to go there anymore. Zac opened the doors and made his way around the pool, making sure to keep out of sight by ducking behind the occasional bush.
Taylor rounded the corner and Zac followed suit. He was once again halted when he saw Taylor go into one of the rooms. Scanning the back lot, he chose to hide behind a black Lincoln, figuring it would give him the most cover. Zac crouched behind the car and waited. He absently picked up a stone from the parking lot and rubbed it between his hands, hoping that they didn't stay in the room too long. He wanted them to come out so that he could continue his pursuit. He was so pleased he hadn't been caught yet, and the tingly feeling he had gotten in the stairwell rushed over him again.
"This is exactly like Mission Impossible," he thought to himself and then quickly clapped his hand over his mouth to keep from laughing aloud. As he was trying to regain his composure, he heard a door open. He quickly quieted and sat up slightly, listening. It was defiantly Taylor and Mike. They were talking about meeting someone named Greg somewhere.
Taylor sounded nervous and Zac could here him fidgeting. Mike sounded like he was trying to reassure Taylor that whatever it was they were talking about was going to be fine, and that if not he still had something or another in his room.
Zac frowned. "What could Mike have that Taylor was so nervous about. Maybe I should see for myself."
He heard Mike and, he thought, Taylor, begin to walk away and waited, staying out of sight. Deciding to ditch the idea of following them, he instead figured he was going to see what was in Mike's room. From the way they were talking it didn't seem as though they were going to be back anytime soon, and no one else was around.
When he was sure nobody would see him, Zac stood up. Kicking the stiffness out of his knees, he approached the room. Knowing full well it would be locked he still attempted to turn the handle. Locked. He put his hands on his hips and pursed his lips, deep in thought. As he pondered his next move, he heard voices. His eyes grew wide and he quickly ran behind the Lincoln again. A huge cart rounded the corner, followed by two maids. They stopped at Mike's door. One woman raised her hand to knock on the door but her partner stopped her.
"No, see they have a do not disturb sign on the door. You always have to check for that. We don't knock on the doors with the do not disturb sign hanging. Just go on to the next room. We'll come back to this one."
The two women pushed the cart down a little ways to the next door. Zac heard them knock and announce "House keeping."
He stood up and watched as one woman took a plastic card that hung on the end of the cart's handle and slid it into the door, and then opened the door. Zac smiled. He knew exactly what he was going to do. He began to hum the Mission Impossible theme under his breath and waited as the woman returned the card to it's original position, and both women entered the room.
Zac swiftly ran over to the cart and, looking in the room to see both women with their backs turned, he grabbed the passcard and shoved it into his pocket. He made his way over to Mike's room and quickly unlocked the door, leaving it slightly open. Hurriedly he ran back to the cart and returned the key to it's original place, then ran back to Mike's room, jumping inside and quickly closing the door.
Zac stood inside the dim, cool room, blinking his eyes as they adjusted to the darkness. He immediately noticed that Mike's room had that same, herbal type smell, like someone had been burning leaves, that his bathroom often had after Taylor had been in it for a while. He inhaled deeply, almost enjoying the familiar scent. When his eyes fully adjusted he looked around. The room was as neat as a pin. Nothing seemed out of place, so he knew he would have to be extremely careful when he searched through things, putting them back exactly as he found them.
He had no idea that he was not alone in the small suite of rooms, and that two other people were, in fact, behind the closed bedroom door.
Taylor was in the grip of extreme anxiety.
People kept coming in, but none of them were the people he wanted to see.
He was scared. Where was his family? He'd seen Ike for a minute, but he'd never spoken a word, and now he was visited by a succession of nurses, asking him how he felt and fussing with him, doctors telling him what was wrong with him, as if he hadn't already figured it out, and one man he suspected was a psychiatrist, who'd spent the better part of the day trying to get him to talk.
Fine. They wanted to fix him. But he wanted to see his mom. His dad, he would have given anything for Zac to run in and jump on him... He hadn't realized how much he missed them... how could he have let go of them the way he had?
Always an affectionate family, he was used to their presence, their voices, their touches... how could he not have missed it? He thought back, somewhat disgusted with himself, to the nearest thing to affection he'd had in weeks...
One week previous
The TV flickered, casting bluish shadows to all corners of the room. Taylor watched as they reflected off of Dara's face, making it luminous. He watched the light moving with all of its amazing fluidity over her face, her hair, and her body, and realized he was holding his breath. He couldn't take his eyes off her. Every move she made, however slight, seemed to send a chill through him. It was all he could do to keep his hands off of her, or himself. He felt himself running out of breath, and struggled to slow it down, to get himself back in control. Dara felt his eyes on her, again, and flicked a glance in his direction without moving her head. Even without looking directly at him she could see his excitement. He was breathing so hard, and fighting so hard to control it. She didn't mind, she knew how he felt. As she listened to him, she began to wish he would dare to reach out and touch her. Taylor wondered if somewhere deep inside she was suppressing the same urges that he was. His eyes traced her body, moving from her face to her chest, to her legs, back to her chest. Feeling his breath coming out in quick gasps as he watched her chest rise and fall, he closed his eyes and inhaled slowly, attempting to keep some shred of dignity. Certainly he didn't want her to think he was getting off just by looking at her, but was mildly alarmed to find that he was extremely close to just that. Opening his eyelids, he let out a deep breath and found himself staring right into her golden eyes. Those eyes were glittering with an excitement as intense as his own.
"Hey..." her voice was very nearly a whisper. "You okay?" She reached up, stroking his cheek. He let his lids fall again, and leaned his face against her soft hand. "Yeah," it came out breathy, almost needy, and the sound he made when he caught that breath was very nearly a whimper... Laughing, Dara reached down and took his hand in hers. She laced her fingers through his and lightly kissed the back of his hand, then moved her lips up his arm, barely touching, lightly brushing her lips ever so gently against his skin. Her breath played hot against his arm and he felt every hair on his body stand on end. she moved away from him slightly, perhaps just to get more comfortable, but he couldn't let her break that contact. He reached out, and slid his hand behind her head, pulling her back down to him. He didn't realize that his breath was coming in gasping whines, or what those sounds were doing to her, he only knew that if she stopped touching him, he would die. He pulled her down and kissed her lips, gently, softly, unsure. When she pulled away again he groaned, and for a moment she thought he was in actual pain. She looked into his eyes, and felt an almost electric surge. What he was feeling was certainly not pain. She leaned back in again. Taylor felt her tongue gently licking his neck, making circles on his ear, and finally her lips again pressed against his mouth and he hungrily opened it letting her tongue slide inside. Untangling their fingers, she used both hands to push up his shirt. Taylor slid lower on the bed, and Dara, leaned down, continuing to use her tongue as she moved her mouth up his stomach, over his chest. His hands went for her hair, and he gently ran his fingers through it, letting the curly tendrils slip through his hands. Sitting up, he brought his lips to hers again and they kissed like lovers who had been apart for years. Maneuvering out from under her, he gently pushed her down and stretched out on top of her. For just a moment, overcome by the feel of her body against his, he stopped and simply laid his head on her shoulder, his fingers gently twirling her hair. She could feel him trembling, and knew she had to let him get himself back in control. He had gone beyond excitement and into overwhelmed. She stroked his hair gently, and let her fingers trace patterns on his back. He glanced up at her, for a moment, and then laid his head back down on her shoulder again, letting his hands move softly over her body. The sensations running through him were almost electric. He looked up finally, his eyes meeting hers. He couldn't look away, and she smiled, and touched his face again "Honey, what is it?" He tried to answer, but all he could get out was a helpless "Oh... God." He wanted to touch her so badly... Dara's breath caught in her throat then, as she realized he'd reached down to touch himself, unable to stand it any longer. She gently moved his hand, replacing it with her own, whispering, "No, I'm right here. It's okay." He stared into her eyes intently, and she nodded, smiling a little. He tentatively reached for the buttons of her blouse which for some reason wouldn't come undone. Dara laughed when she heard him mutter, "Dammit," under his breath and finally put her hands over his. She moved his hands to the side and undid the shirt herself, exposing her flouresent green bra. Taylor blinked, and for a moment, his sense of the absurd broke through his incredible need. "Loud, isn't it," he said. "Well, I like to be noticed," she replied. He looked at her, and nodded, smiling, and then leaned down and began to kiss her again, running his fingertips over the silky cups of her bra. He was trembling again, he'd never done anything like this before. He pulled away a little, and gazed into her face, never stopping the light stroking he'd started. She could hear his breath coming in growls as he watched her, and she knew she'd kept him hanging on long enough, he was starting to come undone. She moved his hand off her breast, and slipped out of the bra. His eyes widened, and she heard his soft moan... all control left him then, he couldn't think. Lost in sensation, his hands in her hair, his mouth around her nipple, he felt like dying, but loved it, would have given anything for relief, and never wanted it to end. He cried out when her hands, so soft over his body, suddenly gripped his shoulders, hard, and pushed him over onto his back. Wild eyed, he stared up at her, the sounds coming out of him somewhere between growls and sobs. She never gave him time to breathe, just melted into him, her lips kissing his eyes, his face his hair, moving down to brush against his nipples. He gasped at that, and pushed her away, it was too much. He was shaking all over.She smiled down at him, and quickly she'd the rest of her clothes. She leaned in close and whispered to him, "I'm not going all the way with you, Tay, but you don't need to worry, trust me." He couldn't even care. He could barely breathe. She reached for his hand and guided it to her."Let me show you..." Her voice was a whisper he barely heard, as he felt where shed moved his hand. He let her lead him, watching her face, hypnotized by the expressions playing on it. It came to him that he was the one doing this to her, and a thrill raced through him. He wanted desperately to move back on top of her, but she wouldn't let him. She was driving him crazy. His excitement had built to the point where it was very nearly painful. He grabbed a handful of her hair with his free hand, and he pulled it, hard. She gasped and looked up, almost angry, but the expression on his face stopped her cold. She'd taken him too close to the edge, it was hurting him now. He tried to tell her, but all that came out was an incoherent sob, "Please..." That word, and the look on his face were all she needed to tip her over. Taylor wasn't sure what had happened, he was too caught up in what he was feeling. He felt her move off of him, and felt her hands reaching to unbutton his jeans. He reached down to help, and she shoved his hands away. "No, you let me." He felt like screaming. He couldn't take it anymore. she was moving so slowly. Still teasing, knowing what she was doing to him, she let her fingers trail up and down him, just enough to tease, not enough to bring him over. Finally, at the end of his endurance, he reached for her hand, gripped it hard, and managed to choke out."God, Dara! No more! Please, I can't..." he stopped suddenly. She had taken hold of him, stroking rhythmically. That was all it took. She'd known what would happen, she'd known he wouldn't have the control he'd need to hold back. She didn't care. She watched his face, enjoying the evidence of what she had done to him. She saw with some amusement that he'd bitten through his bottom lip, there at the end, and it was bleeding. She touched a finger to the blood, showed him, and leaned down to kiss his lips. He pushed her away, roughly, he needed to calm down. As she watched him begin to relax, she began to notice something she'd been ignoring. Someone was in the next room. Taylor noticed her worried look, but he didn't care. He'd been hearing Mike rummaging around out there for a while. He turned over onto his stomach, sleepy. Dara was mumbling something about him going to check out the noise, and it was all he could do not to tell her to shut up. Her voice was really getting on his nerves. Sighing, he got up, pulled on jeans, and padded, barefoot and shirtless, out into the sitting room. He stopped short in the doorway, and hung back, keeping to the shadows. He had expected to see Mike, but it wasn't Mike. It was Zac. His first impulse was to slip back into the bedroom, and hope he wasn't seen, but he was arrested by the sight of Zachary opening the cover to a wooden box Mike had left on the couch. He tensed, knowing what Zac was about to find. Again the urge to creep away before he got caught, but Zac's actions stopped him. He watched, horrified, as Zac picked up a baggie and shook out a number of colored tablets. He stared, dumfounded as Zac sniffed, then tasted the different drugs. When the first tab touched Zac's lips, something huge in Taylor woke up, something that loved his brother more than anything else in his world, something that would have died to protect him, and that knew how horrible the drugs were, and how much they would hurt him. He was a split second from knocking the things out of Zac's hands and just shaking him, telling him, "Don't touch it!! Can't you see what it's doing to me?!" when something else in him woke up. Something sly, and deceiving, and violent, something he hadn't even known was there, something that told him "He's in your stuff" "He cant do that, " "You'll get caught, and it will be his fault" "The band will end and it will by your fault, Taylor, all your fault..." It repeated in his head, and insane mantra, and anger drove out all of the concern and fear, and love of a moment before. He slammed into the room, eyes flashing...