Rescue Dogs: Chapter Six

Valorous and Cecil go on a hike after talking childhoods.

Johannes T. Evans

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Photo by Viktoria Goda via Pexels.

Cecil Hobbes, an ex-PE teacher disgraced and looked down on in his hometown, has a new partner: Sir Valorous King, a knight of the realm, once a child of prophecy, and Cecil’s stalker.

A few months into their relationship, Cecil finally convinces Valorous to see a therapist, on the condition that Cecil attend one himself.

Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six

Content warnings in this chapter include obsessive tendencies, paedophilia, child abuse, reference to CSA and sexual abuse, alcoholism, manipulation, self-harm, panic attacks, self-esteem issues, identity issues, some emotional numbness from Valorous’ POV, references to dog bites and infection, as well as references to child death.

Cecil glanced at the reflection of Valorous in the mirror as he dragged the electric razor over his face, buzzing down the stubble to nothing. Valorous was under the spray of the shower, the curtain pulled to the side, and he could see the way that the lad was scrubbing hard at his body. He did that, scrubbed very hard, as though he wouldn’t be clean until he dragged off the top layer of his skin, and he suppressed the urge to wince as he started on his left arm.

There was something strangely beautiful in it, the ripple of the scarring up one arm. It started a little past the wrist, and then it went back and forth up his arm like the cracks of where water used to run in a dry riverbed, like the shapes of glue in something shattered that had been put back together, like the marks a lightning strike left after it hit.

It went all the way up one arm, and then curved around the top of his shoulder, a few stray strikes stretching further out, reaching toward the top of his chest and up the side of his neck, touching his cheek.

He scrubbed at that arm sometimes like he was trying to rip it off.

“Hey, kid,” said Cecil, and Valorous stopped with his wire sponge stopping in the opening of his elbow, looking at him askance. “I think you’re clean.”

Valorous stared at him, expression blank, and then turned under the spray of the shower…

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Johannes T. Evans

Gay trans man writing fantasy fiction, romance, and erotica. Big on LGBTQ and disability themes, plus occasional essays and analysis. He/him.