I present to you, the sequel to Addie and Tria. If you haven't read that story, you may want to before you read this story, as this story will make more sense if you do.
I like this chapter. A lot, for no reason. And I know I said the sequel was going to be when they were twenty three but... I changed it. They're both twenty one. The story begins only a few weeks after The Interview drabble from Addie and Tria.
Again, beware the typos. Didn't read through for them, and wrote this too quickly to be beta-ed or anything, plus it's just not in me to make my beta read as much as I've written in the last couple days so quickly.
Ah yes, I almost forgot... the warning.
Warning: This story contains male-male relationships. That means if you don't like the idea of two guys going at it, there's a nifty little back button in the upper left corner. Go click on it, don't bitch at me because you don't agree. Also, this story is rated for language, and mature scenes. You are warned.
9:04 a.m., November 2nd, New York City, New York
A wet nose pushed at his hand, and Tria blinked his eyes open, staring at the husky nudging at him for a moment before he groaned quietly. "I'm up Ghost, I'm up." The husky immediately sat on the floor, tail wagging as he waited for his master to get out of bed.
Tria sat up, running a hand through dark hair that really could use a cut, but he was just too damn lazy to get it done. Grabbing the first pair of jeans he saw, Tria pulled them on as he hopped over to the chair, snatching up the shirt that was half thrown over the back. He tugged it over his head, and then whistled, picking up the leash as he strode to the door.
Ghost followed him immediately, waiting as he shoved his feet into a pair of Converse and pulled on his leather jacket. "Let's go, Ghostie," Tria said, palming his keys as he opened the door. The husky went out the door, waiting patiently as he locked it and clipped his keys onto a belt loop before running down the hall to the elevator.
The two of them went down several floors before getting out, Tria striding down the hall to the last door on his left before knocking loudly. He waited a moment, unsurprised when there was no answer, before knocking again.
He heard a groan, followed by several loud thumps, before the door swung open. Ghost slipped inside immediately, going for the puppy that was curled up on the couch; Tria waited until Micah moved away from the door before entering, closing the door behind him.
"Long night?" Tria asked, quirking a brow at Micah as the teenager shoved a thick sweatshirt on. The jeans he wore were rumpled, clearly having been worn to bed the night before, as had the dark blue T-shirt Micah wore beneath the sweatshirt.
Micah yawned as he headed out of the room, going towards the kitchen. "Stupid program wasn't cooperating," he threw over his shoulder as he disappeared through the doorway.
Tria went to the puppy, dropping onto the couch beside it before he began to stroke the soft fur. "When did you get to bed?" he asked when Micah re-entered the room, carrying two mugs of coffee, one of which he handed to Tria.
"Uh…" Micah sat in the chair to the right of the couch, his nose scrunching up as he thought about it. "That's actually a good question," he murmured, taking a large gulp of his coffee. "Around four?" Micah offered finally.
"I applaud the fact that you're awake and coherent at this hour," Tria said with a small smile. "Though you're going to be hating life in about an hour, when you have to go to class."
Micah groaned, closing his eyes and letting his head fall back against the chair. "I know, I know, but I knew I could finish it in no time, once the damn thing started working the way it was supposed to. I finally just gave up and went to bed. I'll deal with it tonight."
Tria rolled his eyes, doubting that the kid really let it go until he had the problem figured out and solved. "Just don't skip class again, all right? You only have a month left until you graduate, you may as well make it count."
Micah nodded, taking another sip of coffee before standing. "I'll see you later today. I've got to shower and shit before I go and, if I expect to make it on time, I need to start now." He gave Tria a quick salute before disappearing into his bedroom.
"All right, see you later." Tria got up from the couch and grabbed Cat's leash before downing the rest of his coffee and scooping up the aforementioned puppy. He whistled, and then opened the door, letting Ghost brush past him before exiting the apartment himself.
Another trip in the elevator left them at the ground floor, when Tria attached Cat's leash, as well as Ghost's, and moved across the lobby. He gave Brad, the man in charge of security, a brief smile before he was pulled outside by the dogs. Aaron, the doorman, laughed quietly as he watched Tria being tugged along.
"Good morning to you too, Aaron," Tria said, rolling his eyes.
"Have fun on your walk," Aaron chirped.
"Of course." Tria allowed the dogs to pull him down the street, barely managing not to run into several people as he did so. He carefully steered them down another street and towards the café two blocks down from his and Addison's apartment. He went there every morning for coffee and, as Claire had owned it for almost a year now, it didn't much matter that he brought Ghost and Cat with him half the time.
The bell over the door rang as they stepped inside, and Tria nudged the dogs towards the table in the back of the café, away from the rest of the patrons. Cat he had to tie to the table, otherwise he'd run around the café, but Ghost simply sat down with a quiet order.
"Good morning Tria," Allison said with a smile. She was one of the baristas at the café, having worked there since before Claire had purchased it. She pulled a box out from under the counter, pulling out two of the dog treats and tossing them to Cat and Ghost before she set a cardboard cup on the counter.
Tria picked it up, taking a sip gratefully as he dug into his pocket for his wallet, only to remember he hadn't shoved it into his pocket that morning. "Shit," he muttered, running his empty hand through his hair.
"Forget your wallet again?" Allison asked with a smile. It wasn't the first time he'd done so, and likely wouldn't be the last. He was rather forgetful in the morning, especially before he'd had his coffee.
"Yeah," he said sheepishly. "Put it on my tab, and I'll pay you next time I remember it, all right?"
Allison nodded. It wasn't something they normally would've done, but Allison knew Tria was good for it, and, in any case, he knew Claire, which meant he got some leeway. "Why don't you go take a seat, and I'll bring your second cup and muffin over in a minute?"
He flashed her a grateful smile before he did as she'd suggested. He stretched his legs out beneath the table, scratching Ghost's head absently as she nudged him. He was perfectly content to simply sit here for a while, though he knew the dogs wouldn't be. It would only be a few minutes before they were pulling at their leashes, begging to be allowed to roam around again.
Just as Cat began to whine, Allison pulled him from the edge of sleep he'd been teetering on. "Got your muffin and your coffee Tria," she said, setting them on the table before him.
"Thanks." He finished the cup still in his hands, tossing it in the trashcan before he dug into the muffin. The apple cinnamon muffin hit the spot, and, within minutes, it too was gone. The second cup of coffee quickly followed it, and then he stood, untangling Cat from around the table legs before whistling Ghost up. "See you tomorrow Allison."
"See ya Tria," she tossed over her shoulder as she headed back behind the counter. Tria followed the dogs out the door easily, hailing a taxi once they were outside and getting inside. The dogs weren't happy, but allowed it, possibly knowing where they were headed. He stopped the taxi half a block from the park and paid the man, the three of them piling in. Tria allowed them to once more pull him along. The park was nearly empty, especially at this time on a weekday. It was the perfect time to let the animals roam free for a while, completely disregarding the leash law.
Both Cat and Ghost were thrilled to let loose, and showed it by immediately taking off. Tria wasn't worried as he dropped onto one of the many benches spread out in the park, knowing both dogs would come back once they'd done their business and gotten bored. Instead, he shoved his hands into the pockets of his jacket, trying to combat the November chill. His hand closed around his phone, and he pulled it out, surprised to find it there. He'd thought it was still on the nightstand in the apartment.
He shrugged to himself, and turned it, sliding open the full keyboard. He was about to text Addison when he noticed that a text from his lover was already waiting. 'You want to come by?' Tria slouched on the bench as he texted back.
'You sure you want me to? I've got the dogs with me.' He slid his phone closed, shoving it back into his pocket, along with his hands, before he directed his gaze skyward.
The sky was pale gray, as it was most often during the winter in New York City, but Tria hoped it wasn't a sign of impending snow. That would just ruin what looked to be a good day. His phone vibrated before he could think about it further, however, and he pulled it open and slid it open once more. 'If you don't want to come, you can just say so Tria.'
Tria's brow creased at the text, wondering where the sudden animosity had come from, but replied nonetheless. 'Kevin hates dogs, and he always complains when I bring Cat and Ghost. I was trying to cut out the hassle, but I'll stop by if you want me to that badly.'
Tria returned his phone to his pocket, instead pulling out the paperback shoved into the other pocket of his jacket. He opened it to the creased page and began to read, trying to dispel the nagging feeling that something was wrong. Addison had been unusually snippy with him lately, and he'd done nothing to merit it. They'd been fine until that had started. That last comment, however, worried him, as it was more openly hostile than the others had been.
Tria ignored the part of him that said he'd done something to deserve it.
He was once more pulled from his thoughts by the vibrating of his phone in his pocket. Tria pulled it out and looked at the message, unsurprised to find it short. 'Whatever you want Tria.'
Tria snapped his phone closed and returned to his book, attempting to distract himself from his current problems. Yes, he and Addison clearly needed to talk, but, for the moment, there was nothing he could do about it. He'd bring it up when he saw Addison later.
The book was interesting, but it just wasn't capturing his attention like it normally would. Instead, Addison's mood shift occupied his mind, until he finally shoved the book back into his pocket and stood. Putting two fingers into his mouth, Tria whistled loudly. Ghost appeared only moments later and trotted to his side, but it was several minutes before Cat finally strolled up. He snapped both their leashes on and tugged them forward.
He was tempted to ditch the dogs and go to Addison's office so they could talk, but he didn't want to wait. Instead, he hailed another taxi and gave his destination, waiting impatiently as they drove through the slightly crowded New York City streets. By the time they stopped outside the building containing Addison's office, Tria was more than happy to slide out of the car.
He strode inside, barely glancing at the security officer in the lobby before he went to the elevator. However, when he pressed the button, he was met with an unpleasant site: Kevin Wright. Kevin was Addison's assistant, but he'd never liked Tria. It never showed when Addison was in the room, and Tria never brought it up, because he knew Kevin was very good at his job, and he didn't want to bother Addison with it. He suspected the reason Kevin didn't like him was because Kevin had his eye on Addison.
"Good morning Kevin," Tria said, attempting to be pleasant. "How are you today?"
"Animals aren't allowed in the building Mr. Montrose."
"Addison doesn't mind Cat and Ghost, you know that. As that's the only place I'm going, I don't see how it's going to be a problem."
"I wasn't talking about the dogs," Kevin said with a sneer.
Tria gritted his teeth, but ignored the comment. "Excuse me, I need to use the elevator."
Kevin stepped in front of him, forcing him to a halt. "Addison is very busy, and cannot be disturbed. If you'd like to talk to him, you'll have to make an appointment."
Tria rolled his eyes and attempted to sidestep Kevin, to no avail. "I don't need an appointment to see Addison," he snapped.
"I'm afraid you do," Kevin said, inspecting his nails with a smirk on his face. "We have a very large project coming up, and he told me not to allow him to be disturbed."
"That doesn't mean me."
"He said not to allow anyone up," Kevin said, quirking a brow. "What kind of assistant would I be if I didn't listen to instructions?"
"Get out of my way before you regret making me angry," Tria said through his teeth. "I need to talk to Addison."
"Then you can wait until he tells me he's finished," Kevin retorted, gesturing towards the chairs on the other side of the lobby.
"Fuck this," Tria hissed. He didn't need to talk to Addison so badly that he couldn't wait until Addison got home. Though part of him wondered if his lover had intentionally sent Kevin down here to waylay him, Tria dismissed the idea and left.
8:47 p.m., November 2nd, New York City, New York
Tria stared up at the building, wondering if he was making a mistake. After leaving Addison's office that morning, he'd gone home and back to bed. He'd then spent some time reading, or attempting to, before giving up and attacking the apartment with cleaners. It was something he did every one in a while, when he needed not to think, and it had worked very well. Until he'd run out of things to clean.
Which was why he was currently standing outside Addison's building once again, debating on whether or not he should go inside. He wasn't sure he'd even be able to speak to Addison, part of him wondering if Kevin would still be waiting to stop anyone from getting to Addison.
Taking a deep breath, Tria pushed the door open and stepped inside. He wasn't stopped by security, and Kevin wasn't waiting for him inside the elevator. Instead, Tria stepped inside, pressing the button for Addison's floor and watching the door close. He was nervous, though he had no idea why. It wasn't like this was the first time Addison had worked late, or the first time Tria had shown up when Addison had worked late. But something said this time would be very much different.
The elevator doors opened, and Tria stepped out, slowly making his way towards Addison's door. He stood outside it for a moment before opening the door. There was a small room before his office, where his secretary usually sat. She was gone at this hour, so Tria simply moved past her desk, and towards the door to Addison's office.
The door was slightly ajar, and Tria glanced through the slit before he pushed the door open completely. He froze, every muscle in his body going completely rigid at the sight before him. He forgot to breathe, forgot to move, forgot to think as his brain frantically attempted to process what he saw.
Addison was on the floor, his shirt and pants thrown on the floor beside him, along with his boxers. Kevin was poised above, in a state of similar undress. Addison's hands were bound above him with his tie and, for a moment, Tria thought the entire thing was nonconsensual. That hope, cruel as it was, was shattered, however, by Addison's next actions. He moaned and thrust his hips up, causing Kevin to groan as well, sinking deeper into Addison's body. Kevin leaned down, catching Addison's mouth with his own, and Addison moved his bound hands, bringing them around Kevin's neck to pull him closer.
Tria stared at them, knowing neither of them could see him. He stood there for several seconds before he finally stepped away, eyes unseeing as he looked around Addison's outer office. He made himself breathe, knowing he needed to do so. Breathing, however, did nothing to ease the ache in his chest that resulted from the image seared into his mind.
He forced himself to move again, slowly making his way across the room and through the office door, closing it behind him. He walked down the hall and into the elevator, mechanically pressing the button for the lobby as he stared at the wall. He brought a hand up, rubbing his chest in an attempt to ease the ache there. It was, he knew, a futile effort.
The walk across the lobby was a blur, as was the ride from the office building to Teb's home. He somehow managed to pay the cabby, and then moved to the door, knocking. Teb answered within moments, Micah behind him. Tria couldn't even register surprise at seeing him.
"Tria?" Teb asked, the concern in his voice clear. "What's wrong?"
Tria looked at him, wondering what to say, how to explain, and knowing there was no way. How did one explain the shattering of one's heart? The pain that came with knowing that the one person you loved more than any other did not feel the same? The way breathing felt futile, like a wasted effort in a life he no longer wanted to live?
He collapsed at some point, he wasn't sure when, because when Tria next become aware of his surroundings, he was on Teb's couch, Micah saying something to him while Teb shook him slightly.
"Tria! Tria, stop it, you're scaring me," Teb hissed, shaking him harder. Tria stared at him for a moment before he took a breath, realizing it had been several moments since he had, and sat up. Teb didn't release him, instead shaking him some more.
"Stop it, please stop it," Tria said, his voice surprisingly hoarse. He realized then that he'd been crying, sobbing most likely.
"Are you back now?" Teb asked, worry written all over his face. Micah was biting his lip, looking at Tria with the same worry.
Tria nodded, wiping away tears. "Yeah. Yeah, I'm back now," he whispered. As soon as Teb released him, Tria pulled his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them. He couldn't do this, gods, he could not do this, couldn't handle the pain of having his heart ripped out by the roots.
"What happened? Tria, what's wrong?" Micah asked, falling to his knees beside the couch.
Tria sucked in a breath and shook his head. "I just…" He shook his head again, not ready to let the words out yet. If he didn't say the words, than it wasn't real. It was a childish idea, but one he hung onto desperately.
Teb stared at him, looking about ready to flip out. Teb wasn't good with emotions, especially not like the ones Tria was showing at the moment, but Tria couldn't find it within himself to quell the fear he could see in his friend's eyes. "Tria…"
Tria closed his eyes, leaning his forehead against his knees for several seconds before he managed to speak. "I just found…" Tria stopped and had to clear his throat, wiping away more tears before he forced himself to just spit the words out. "Addison was having sex with Kevin on the floor in his office. I saw them."
Teb and Micah both stared at him, their disbelief as clear as his had been for those brief moments he'd been able to hang onto it. The silence was almost tangible by the time Teb broke it. "I'm sorry Tria," he said quietly. That was just like Teb too; no denying the truth, no attempts to tell him what he'd seen was wrong. He simply accepted Tria's words as truth.
Micah, though he clearly wanted to deny it, nodded slowly. "Me too. Do you mind if I ask when?"
"Just now," Tria said with a sigh. "I came here directly from there."
"What did Addison say when he saw you?" Micah asked.
"Nothing," Tria said hollowly. "I didn't confront him, just left."
"Why not?" Teb demanded, going from sadness to anger in a heartbeat. "You had every right to walk in on the two of them and break it up."
"No," Tria said, pressing his fingertips against his closed eyes in an attempt to stop the tears. "I had to get out of there. Have to get out of here." In a heartbeat, Tria saw his path stretched out before him, his decision already made about what he was going to do. His feet slid off the couch and he stood up, wiping away the last of his tears. He was done with those now, for good.
"Where are you going?" Teb asked quizzically.
"He's leaving," Micah said matter-of-factly. His eyes were hard, clearly seeing the choice Tria had made. "And he's not coming back."
"That may not be the best way to solve this Tria," Teb cautioned.
Tria shook his head. "No. I…" His voice shook for a moment before he managed to flatten it once more. "I can't see Addison again. If I do, I don't… I wouldn't know how to handle it."
Teb nodded, understanding lighting his features. He got to his feet, walking over to his bookcase and pulling out one of the books. "Here. There's around ten thousand dollars in there. That should get you anywhere you need to go, and the rest can at least start you on getting set up."
Tria shook his head, pushing away the book. "No, I can't take that. I'll use a credit card or something."
"And have Addison find you?" Teb insisted. "No, dammit. Take the money Tria. Once you have some place, call me and give me the address, and I'll send you more. You've given me more money than I could ever repay over the years, but this can be a start."
Tria sighed, but took the book. "Thank you," he murmured. "I'll call you both when I get where I'm going."
"Use pay phones," Micah cautioned. "He can trace you through a cell phone, or a landline, that's in your name. Pay phones will keep you off the grid."
Tria nodded once, acknowledging the advice. "Don't tell—"
"Like we'd tell Addison," Teb interrupted with a roll of his eyes. "We're your friends first, not his."
Tria smiled slightly, but there was only sadness there, and grief.
9:52 p.m., November 2nd, New York City, New York
His bags were packed. He'd taken the things he couldn't live without, and nothing else. A duffel bag was full, sitting on the couch with the bag that contained his laptop. Several books were in the bag as well, along with necessary toiletries, but Tria had been careful to take only what he needed. He set the last bag, containing his sketchpads and pencils, beside the duffel as well.
Tria went to the coffee table, and the sketchpad he'd left there. It was full, but Tria had no desire to keep what those pages held. Instead, he turned to the first page, the one he always kept blank so he could title and date the book later. This time, however, he would use it for something else. He picked up the pencil, and began to write.
Several minutes later, Tria laid the pencil down beside the book once more and stood. He scanned the apartment, looking for anything he'd left behind, for things he'd need in his new life. He gaze fell on a frame picture that was on the mantel, one Claire had taken of them. They were smiling, eyes only for each other as they laid curled around each other on the couch in this very room. It had been a quick snapshot, but a picture that the both of them had loved.
With shaking hands, Tria picked up the picture. Just looking at it threatened to collapse the walls he'd pulled around himself so quickly, walls he'd thought he'd never need again. They'd come up after the death of his parents, allowing few people to get close to him, to see what really lurked beneath the quick grin and carefree attitude, but had disappeared after he and Addison had gotten close. Now, however, he needed them once more, to shield him from the pain he felt licking at his soul, to keep him sane as he tried to survive without the person that had become his world.
Carefully, Tria slid the picture into his laptop bag, not wanting anything to damage it. Yes, it would hurt to have it, but it would force him to remember that getting close to someone was only allowing for the eventual heartbreak. He'd thought what he and Addison had had was perfect. He'd been very, very wrong.
Tria picked up the messenger bag that contained his laptop and pulled it over his head, the strap on his left shoulder and cutting across his chest diagonally. He picked up the duffel bag, as well as the bag containing his art supplies, and headed for the door. Tria opened it, and then turned back, tossing his keys onto the coffee table, where his note lay, with a well aimed throw.
The door closed silently behind him.
Don't hate me. Wait until you read the end of the story before you do that, yeah?
The next chapter will be posted next Saturday. Until then.
-Shadowed and Shattered