“Y-you’re not – not my… brother,” I stuttered. I trembled slightly as he placed kisses all over my back, not sure if the trembling was caused by fear or something else. Not willing to even think of it. “Please stop…” I whimpered.
“Why…?” he whispered back, but he continued.
“Because this is wrong,” I replied hoarsely.
But he did not listen. “If I’m not your brother, then this isn’t wrong,” he retorted.
This was madness. Was I going insane? How could he not be my brother when he was using his voice? But if he was my brother then…? Why? How? My brother would have never… could have never…
Something in my mind snapped. “Why are you doing this!” I cried out.
“I told you, Connor,” he replied calmly. “You are the son of –”
“That’s bull!” I yelled. “You are his son too. He acknowledges you, doesn’t he? You could have anything you wanted! You and I both know that father has never held back on doting you, on buying you whatever you want!”
“Well, then I guess ‘father’ won’t hold back on me now either. Because I really want you.”
He… wanted me?
I swallowed thickly when impure thoughts forced themselves into my mind. This was wrong, this was sick. Heaving a sigh, I forced myself to calm back down. Remember, I told myself, this was the reason why I moved out of my father’s house in the first place. Control! I could not let this folly continue – it had to stop. “Cuán, don’t do this,” I ordered.
He chuckled into my back. “I’ll stop if you find a way out. The game is still on after all.”
“Cuán, if you don’t stop now, I’ll kick your ass,” I warned him, trying to regain authority over him. I was his brother, for heaven’s sake, how could he do this to me!? “Cuán…” I warned again, then shouted, “Listen to your brother, damn it!”
“Stepbrother,” he corrected me. “You and Cuán are not related by blood.”
“I don’t care! I’m still your brother and you will listen to me!” I broke out of his embrace, causing him to stumble backwards. Hearing a thud and an “Oof!” I knew he had fallen onto the ground. “Cuán, take these handcuffs off of me now!”
“Playtime is not over yet,” he replied.
I swear I could almost see his cheeky grin, but this only made me angrier. “Stop this nonsense and release me at once!” I yelled.
“Connor, Connor, Conner…” He let out a loud dramatic sigh. “You still don’t understand? I have you bound, so I am making the rules here.”
It was true that he had me within his power, but I was not about to let this slide off so easily. As his brother, I would have him obey me. “Cuán, you’re going way too far now. I’ll tell father about what you did and –”
“You assume that he’ll believe you?” he interrupted me. “You honestly think that your father will believe that little Cuán has his big brother bound and plans to rape him?”
He was right… it did sound ridiculous, even in my own ears, and I was the one going through all this. There was no way father would believe me, unless I had some solid proof. But how could I prove that Cuán was doing all this? By letting him have his way with me, and then go through a DNA-test? No! For heaven’s sake, Cuán was my brother, how could I even think about letting him have his way with me!
I shook my head. No need for any evidence. Better yet, father would never know of this incident! I would solve this situation by myself.
I analyzed the circumstances. Judging by what had happened so far, Cuán had been well prepared. How long had Cuán been preparing this? How well had he planned this out? My thoughts went back to the latest B-movie I had seen in the theater together with Cuán and my father. The kidnapper, the key, the victim. All three of us had enjoyed the morbid scenes. We were film fanatics, it was one of the things that bound us together, despite our differences. I went through the list of campy movies that Cuán possessed. How many of them had he used as inspiration for this sick plan?
I pushed the questions aside for the moment in order to focus on the task at hand: convincing my brother to stop. Threatening had not worked, so this time I tried to use a different tactic to persuade him. “Cuán, come on, stop fooling around,” I pleaded. Surely, as his brother, my influence over him must be stronger than a bunch of badly scripted flicks?
He merely chuckled, but his voice was suddenly coming from behind me. “I like fooling around with you,” he said suggestively and fondled me again. “Now do you still want to play, or do I have to take off your shirt right away?”
I edged away from his wandering hand. “Cuán, we’re brothers, aren’t we?” I tried.
Again he retorted with the usual, “Stepbrothers.”
“Stepbrothers or blood related, I don’t care, you’re still my little bro.” I put as much affection into my voice as I could muster, hoping perhaps that I could break through to him if I sounded like a true loving brother.
“Really?” he seemed to ask hesitantly. “You really think that?”
Was I convincing?
“Yes,” I assured him.
“Then why do you always jerk off at night while calling out to ‘Cuán’?”
Why do you always jerk off at night while calling out to your little brother?
What was one supposed to say in answer to that?
I could think of nothing. There was no way for me to answer this question, so it was silent on my end. Silent like the grave. A soundless torture as I waited for what he would say next, what next step he would take to drive me further into the ground. But Cuán too remained quiet. Was he trying to punish me with this mental torture? I wished fervently that he would speak, say something, anything.
I waited… waited… and waited…
Finally, I could not take it anymore. I had to break the silence. Carefully, fearfully even, I softly whispered, “What are you saying?”
The waiting stretched for another agonizing long time, but then, his quiet voice finally echoed. “You know what I’m talking about,” came his accusing reply, cold and deadly merciless.
“But I –”
“Don’t deny it, I have evidence.”
Oh, that’s right. I would have almost forgotten in this turmoil, but I still remember that he had prepared this thoroughly. It should come as no surprise to me if he had taped my entire life from the moment I left home, and perhaps even before that.
“ I… I didn’t mean to…” I staggered in my speech.
Was that my voice? It sounded hoarse, raspy… alien. A suspicious trail of wetness rolled down my cheeks, which were burning with humiliation. Tears, I recognized. Why did he have to know my shameful secret?
He let out a derisive snort. “Of course you didn’t mean to,” he said.
Was he mocking me? The tone of his voice seemed to indicate it, but there was also a coldness to it that was more similar to anger, and… something else… what?
I realized that my Cuán, my younger brother, was looking at me now as I was in this disgraceful state, crying like a weakling. I wondered what look his face was supporting. Disgust? Amusement? Pity? Perhaps both? I feared the answer.
But even more than that, than what Cuán thought of me, I feared my own body. My treacherous body. My thoughts returned to that body and its shameful exhibition of my desires. How could I still, in spite of everything, be aroused, be lusting, even though I was in such a position, enduring such humiliation? I was a sickening man.
It was as if Cuán could read my mind. He said, “Even when in such a situation, you can’t help but lust after your innocent little brother. Are you not the most repulsive human being to have ever walked this planet, Connor?”
He hit the nail right there. What he said was so completely true, it made my stomach churn in disgust. To have such feelings for my brother, it was abnormal. Unnatural. My sins were unforgivable.
“I know there must be many thoughts going through your head right now, Connor,” he continued, “but I suggest you bury them for the moment. The game is still ongoing, after all.”
I noticed that Cuán’s voice had suddenly gone flat. That was not how he had talked to me moments ago. It had been cold, yes, but there had been certain emotions laced in it that were not present now. Where were those indecipherable layers of ice in his voice? Where had they all gone? Suppressed. Hidden underneath.
“Is it not just as disgraceful to force your brother into reliving his sins?” I asked him, trying to wheedle some kind of reaction out of him. “I moved out of home, trying so hard to forget about you, to control myself, to atone for the wrongs I did, but now you’re holding me captive, nullifying all my hard work.”
I didn’t understand why he was doing this to me. If he knew about those feelings I was trying so hard to forget, then why…? What was the purpose of all this?
I suddenly realized I was not the only one who had things to hide. Cuán was hiding as well. It seemed like, unknowingly, somewhere along the way, our relationship had become twisted, building up many hidden layers that were deeply covered. However, now, with the force brought by this wicked situation, they threatened to surface.
It was funny, I thought, how a game of keys would open that which should never be opened and I almost chuckled at the irony of it all. I didn’t mind though. Perhaps this was how it should be. Perhaps it had been time for us to sort this out. And maybe… once the walls around his heart dissolved, maybe he would let me in on the hows and whys of this rotten game.
“You seem amused,” I heard Cuán say.
I smirked. Ah, so little Cuán didn’t like to be left in the dark either. Well, it seemed that we had more in common than I thought.
Not clarifying my amusement to him, I said instead, “I am.”
A quiet spitefulness took over within me. Let him feel the agony he put me through, I thought. Let him be lost in the darkness and wander around, just like how I am right now. It was twisted, how the thought of him suffering as I did satisfied me but at the same time it made me feel sick with guilt. What kind of brother was I?
I felt his irritation as he spoke. “To answer your previous question,” he said, “it might be just as disgraceful for me to force you, to undo your penance, but unlike you, I cannot sin.”
I frowned. Even in these circumstances, the words he just spoke were strange. Unlike you, I cannot sin? What did he mean by that…? Did he mean to say that he was better than me? Too good to sin?
“Connor, stop thinking – start playing. Now.”
He was losing patience. I would have to comply, lest he decided to be true to his words and rape me on the spot. To punish me like this, I was sure that God up there must really hate me. Sighing in defeat, I gave in. For the moment.
“Fine, I’ll bury my thoughts for now,” I said and I bent down, in search for more keys. “But Cuán, one way or another, your game will dig up a coffin.”
“That’s one more key…” Cuán said as I put yet another key into my pocket, continuing this twisted game.
I heard him coming to me and wrap his arms around me. “What will you do now?” I asked him.
He placed a gentle kiss upon my naked chest. “One thing at a time, Connor,” he replied. “Or are you so eager to be taken right on the spot?” Chuckling, he brushed his slender hand across the front of my pants momentarily, teasing me mercilessly, as he landed another kiss upon my chest. “It seems that your body is saying ‘yes’,” he murmured against my chest. Then, unexpectedly, he bit into my nipple – hard.
I gritted my teeth together to prevent a moan from coming out. I would not surrender to him so easily! If not to save myself from eternal damnation, then for my brother. At least Cuán should deserve to be saved from this insanity that he cast upon the both of us.
“You’ve done your ‘one thing’,” I replied hoarsely, “I think it’s time for me to get back to the keys.”
“Certainly,” he said and stepped back from me.
I had to give him that much credit, he still had not gone any further than fondling me and talking to me lewdly, and he also stepped back the moment I told him that he had reached his quota concerning the amount of ‘things’ he was allowed to do in exchange for the number of keys I dropped. It seemed that he kept to his word. Perhaps, he had not been completely corrupted yet.
Going back towards the row of keys, I slowly lifted my hands up, touching the wall, until my fingertips met with cold metal. I picked up the key and went back to the door. Holding my breath I tried for the twelfth time to open that damn door. Again, luck was against me, and I let the key slide into my pocket.
I growled in frustration, but turned around to let Cuán do what he wanted. How many more do I have to try before this damn door will finally open!? I screamed inside my mind, as those thin arms once again wrapped around me.
“What should I do this time, Connor?” he asked me, but I remained silent. I would not play along with him!
Snickering, he released me to travel his hands over my naked chest. I shuddered, when he lightly pinched one of my nipples, but then, suddenly, he yanked me down and crushed his lips upon mine.
I squeaked in surprise, but the sound was drowned by his tongue working its way into my mouth. When his tongue brushed against mine, I whimpered and let myself fall onto my knees. It became hot –much too hot– for me to breathe, as his hands seemed to wander all over my chest. I didn’t think I could hold on much longer, my body wanted to kiss back, to touch back, to fuck. But I had to, I couldn’t lose myself, otherwise the filthy beast within me would be released, and then…
Would I lose control?
Did Cuán want me to?
Just as I was about to give in to temptation, his lips left mine. Still shuddering in both pleasure and disgust, I thanked God for stopping this, if only temporarily. At least, with a pause, I would regain some control over myself, if only the slightest bit.
I noted that the air seemed more chilled than it was before. While fidgeting to get some distance between us, I realized that he had slid my shirt off while keeping my mind off track with his sinful kiss, as it was now hanging loosely around my arms.
“Don’t pull that back on,” he said to me. I narrowed my eyes, but I did not know what was going on, I could only hear some rustling, then the sound of fabric ripping, and finally I was released from my shirt. “It’s difficult with your hands still cuffed,” he commented and stood up.
I fumbled to stand up as well, and went for my thirteenth key. Slowly walking across the room with my arms outstretched, I stopped when I felt the cold wall. Sliding my hands across the wall again, I searched for the key, while pondering my chances. I didn’t know how many keys there were left, but Cuán had already taken off my shirt. He was taking his sweet time, but I was not wearing any boxers beneath my pants… which he probably knew as well. If I failed this time, then he would have won.
My hands found another key and I carefully took it off the wall. Clutching it tightly against my chest, I went for the door again. I sent a silent prayer to the heavens, hoping that this was the right key, that the sins tarnishing both my brother and I would be forgiven, and that I would have the strength in me to, for once, do the right thing.
While these thoughts were crossing my mind, something that Cuán had said came back to me: Unlike you, I cannot sin.
He had said that. As if he were above me. As if he were above humans. Never in my life had I heard anyone speak with such pompousness, such arrogance. Never had anyone before spoken such blatant blasphemy in my vicinity. Not even father. I wondered, why would my little brother have said such a thing?
“Cuán?” I asked when I stood in front of the door.
“What?” He was standing right behind me.
“Have you forsaken your faith?”
“Why would you ask me that?”
“You said before that you don’t sin. Do you no longer believe in God? Are you no longer a Christian?”
“I’ve never been a Christian.”
That hurt me. Faith may not have a large role in my life, but I still believed, and so I wanted Cuán to believe as well. Even though I knew that faith could not be forced, I felt badly hurt by those words, by what he had said. Why would Cuán stray from our beliefs? From the faith that Sarah had taught us? Did he truly wish to be damned forever? Even though I knew for certain that I would end up in hell for my sick feelings, I wished fervently that at least Cuán would be saved. I knew that I was not meant to be Cuán’s equal, to be his partner, his lover – so I wanted Cuán to be better than me. Despite those filthy despicable feelings I had for him, Cuán was still my most treasured brother, therefore I wanted the best for him.
A crease formed between my brows, as a new ploy began to develop in my mind. I was going to try it once more, to persuade him. Different tactic, same goal. “I know father chose not to believe in God, Cuán, he chose to let his company delve into underground sciences that mess with God’s creations just to make tons of money. But does money salvage all the wrongs? You were raised by your mother to be a good Christian, to live a moral life, have you forgotten everything she taught you?” I said.
When he remained silent, I tried to pull the guilt card on him, “Sarah would cry if she knew what you were doing. And so would I.”
“You’re not crying,” he retorted, but I continued, pouring as much emotion as I had into the words, making sure I sounded sorrowful and anguished.
“I’m crying in my heart,” I said, “and God is crying for you as well. But he is merciful and will forgive you, if you stop what you’re doing now. Please, Cuán, stop and repent!”
“Stop preaching, Connor,” Cuán replied, his tone clipped, “you’re not a cleric. Like I said, the concept of sin has no control over me. Use that key now, or else I’ll rape you.”
That was an order. He would really do it, if I didn’t obey. I quickly pushed the key into the keyhole and turned.
I yanked the door open and immediately went in. A loud crash. I had crashed into something… an enormous glass wall of sorts. What was that?
“Congratulations,” Cuán said from behind me, “you’ve cleared stage one and found the control panel. On to stage two of the game…”