2 - Still A Rose

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Juice was the only one in the vehicle for prisoner transport — except for the two guards. He asked no questions to find out what the meaning of all this was. They wouldn't answer him anyway — and he didn't even want to know. His head was so chaotic he hoped his skull would explode before he'd arrive at his mysterious destination. 

He had no idea how much time had passed by before the van finally stopped. Sighing deeply, he followed the instructions of the guards and headed outside. What was waiting for him? His execution? Had his former brothers changed their minds and did they want to kill him themselves? 

Juice blinked his eyes because of the bright midday sun. Only when he'd gotten used to the light, he noticed that he was in an airport. Dazed, he was led into an airplane. He had to take the last stairs, where he stepped into a separated area. His guards sat down on both sides of him. A little further away he could hear voices, and he suspected it was a regular flight he was joining. 

Things really started to become crazy. He really couldn't think of a reason why he needed to go to a different jail, and especially not why he would need an airplane to get there. 

Until he heard their destination. 

Harlem. New York. 

He froze. No — you got to be kidding me!

There was no other explanation. Fear made his intestines squeeze, he wished Tully had slit his throat. For what they would do to him... They would burn him alive, cut him into pieces — maybe all of that. 

Those felt like the longest hours of his life. The waiting, the terrible waiting while the most gruesome images were torturing him... It was a miracle his heart didn't give up. He suffered from at least three panic attacks, which his guards ignored. They probably wouldn't even care if he died. Oh — if he only would. If he only could die. 

The rest of the flight passed by in a blur. He was completely tangled up in his thoughts, completely controlled by his fears. He barely noticed being pushed into another van. 

More than ten years had passed by. It had been months since he'd thought about the prize on his head in his hometown. It was so fucking long ago... And yet, they had waited patiently. The moment the Sons washed their hands, they'd demanded his life. 

Fear made him shiver. Oh — how he wished that branch had never snapped when he hung himself. That would have been a quick dead. The death of a coward — but he would neither die with honor now. Furthermore, a lot of people wouldn't have been hurt if he had died that day. He didn't know what god had kept him alive — but it was one who was gruesome. 

After an one hour drive the van stopped again. By now his nerves couldn't endure much more; he noticed how he was retreating deeper and deeper inside his mind. He let the guards lead him outside the vehicle and felt confused when he wasn't met by gentlemen in suits who clearly belonged to the mob. Instead, he saw a by barbed wire surrounded building. Another prison. 

But — why? 

Why here, at the other side of the country? 

He was pushed in the back because he wasn't moving, and in silence he entered the building. A new overall was shoved towards him while his other belongings were inspected. In the end, he was ordered to walk on with a nod of the head. 

At first he was taken to his cell to put away his stuff, then the guard showed him the dining hall. It was around 7. Juice felt very self-conscious when he walked over to the warmers and plopped pureed potatoes and green beans on his plate. It felt like everyone was watching him. No, it didn't feel like that — everyone was watching him. 

His stomach twisted. He had never thought he would miss Tully, but at least he had known next to whom to sit during dinner, and he had also known that the man would be the only one who would rape him. 

He found an empty chair and quickly ate his meal, without looking around or saying a word to anyone. Immediately after dinner he felt nauseous. Now he had to go to his cell. Would there be another Nazi rapist waiting for him? He didn't even dare to hope for someone nicer and quietly retreated to his cell. 

It didn't take long before he got company. By reflex he backed away when someone entered the cell, although he relaxed a little when he saw the man, who was of his age. His skin was dark, he had a head full of black curls and his arms were muscled like that of a bodybuilder, his veins protruding.

"Hey," the man said, flopping down on the empty bed. "I'm Isaiah."

His voice sounded warm, familiar — making him suspicious. 

"Juice," he muttered.

The man had light brown eyes with which he was staring at Juice. Uncomfortably he shifted on the bed, wondering what the other was thinking. Whether he was, despite his friendly demeanor, also only looking for a mouth to shove his dick in. 

By reflex, he shoved to the side when Isaiah sat down next to him. He felt so exhausted, he was afraid to cry at the tiniest thing. 

"Nobody is going to hurt you in here, Juice."

His warm voice sounded treacherous. He flinched. "I got no one here," he muttered. "I've been in jail long enough to know what's going to happen to me."

"I'm sorry to hear that." He felt a hand on his knee, but Isaiah pulled back once Juice froze. 

Juice was met by brown, worried eyes. "Stop... Stop with being nice," he said weary. "Just — just take what you want from me."

He didn't want to hope for a friend and end up disappointed again. For why would someone want to be friends with him? He was a rat. He was pathetic.

"I might be locked up, but I'm not an animal," Isaiah answered. 

Skittishly Juice looked up. A smirk crossed Isaiah's lips. 

"Although I won't deny that you're a handsome man. A broken man. Like a snapped rose — but still a rose."

Juice was disgusted with himself when his cheeks started to flush. It was just so long ago someone besides Tully had said something nice to him...

"But I'm not a rapist," Isaiah said. "You have nothing to fear, Juice. Not from me, and not from anyone else. Nobody will touch you if you don't want them to."

Confused, Juice looked aside. "Why? I'm a threat to no one."

"You aren't," the man answered. "But your brother is."

Juice frowned. "My brother? I don't have a brother."

He bit the inside of his cheek. Damn — why did he tell him that? Why the hell would he care if people believed he had a brother when it would offer him protection? 

"You do have a brother. You look exactly alike." Another smirk crossed Isaiah's face. "And I would know, for I've studied him pretty well when he was still inside."

Juice felt light in the head. 

This was making no sense. He was going crazy. Really crazy. 

It wasn't a prison they had taken him to — it was a madhouse. 

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