Saturday, 24 September 2011


As they loaded him in the back of the cruiser, bare-chested and only clad in his jeans, Milo bit down on his lower lip to try and distract him from the gaping hole in his heart.  One single sentence echoed around his head like a religious mantra..."It should've been me."

He settled against the cold leather of the seat and felt the metal of the cuffs press into his lower back where they'd secured his hands behind him.  Ignoring the two cops that climbed into the front, he turned his head and gazed out of the window with unseeing eyes, his mind retracing the steps that had led him here.

The moment he'd laid eyes on Clay, he'd known he would never look at another man for the rest of his life.  Knew that he'd found "the one" and, to his utter amazement, Clay felt the same way.  It was just a shame that Clay's father didn't.  Hank Farnsworth was a grade A son-of-a-bitch, like his daddy before him and his daddy's daddy before that...and everyone in town knew that, except Milo.  But then Milo had been in town less than 48 hours, but it didn't take most of the local bar long to advise him that staring that way at Clay Farnsworth, was not a good idea.

Somehow, Milo didn't care.  He'd had his fare share of experience with grade A sons-a-bitches and he wasn't scared by Hank Farnsworth's reputation.  In fact he wasn't scared of anything...apart from leaving this piss ant town without Clay.  So he'd ignored everyone's warnings and sage advice and he'd approached the tall, blond haired God at the end of the bar, they eyes never leaving each other from then on...until this morning.

They'd left Moons Hollow forty-six hours ago, leaving in the dead of night and heading for God knows where, it didn't matter--as long as they were together.  Pitching up in a small motel in an equally small town a day's drive away, they'd collapsed on the bed in a tangle of arms and legs, grabbing fingers and searching mouths.  Every other thought but each other driven from their minds.

Then this morning, Clay had insisted going to the store while he stayed in bed.  The idiot had some kind of romantic notion that he wanted to make Milo breakfast, even if it would only be cold ready made pancakes and luke warm coffee.  He'd decided that they were going to celebrate the first morning of their new life together.  Thinking about it now, Milo had had an uneasy feeling in his belly, but Clay had pouted and kissed him and blown him, until he agreed with a groan and the beautiful blue eyes twinkled at Milo as Clay closed the door behind him.

Of course, they didn't know then that the great Hank Farnsworth had every cop he could find on their tail.  He'd spun them some story about how Clay and he had stolen money and guns from the house and fled the scene.  Milo gleaned that much from the bellowed instructions from the officers who had burst into the motel room and hauled him from the bed; letting him throw on some jeans before cuffing him and throwing him into the cruiser.

They'd been full of bravado about how his "accomplice" had been killed by the Sheriff trying to escape when he was apprehended at the convenience store down the street.  How Clay had screamed when the bullets pierced his body, moaning in a pool of his own blood before he finally shut up.

As the cruiser pulled out into the sparce traffic down the main street of the town, Milo wondered if Hank Farnsworth was pleased that both of the thieves had been apprehended and one of them had been killed.  He wondered whether the hole in Hank's heart would be as big as the one in his, when the son-of-a-bitch found out that it was his own son, and not Milo, that lay on the ground covered in a sheet.  And then he wondered if the echo would ever stop:

It should've been me.