“Are you sure you have to go alone?” Gaspare asked as Iom shouldered his pack.
“This time yes.” He took Gaspare’s hands, pulling him close. “I’ll be back before you know it and I’ll make it up to you.” He leaned in, grinning as he kissed him, satisfied when Gaspare blushed.
“Just be careful.”
“But then it wouldn’t be any fun.”
“Don’t worry so much, I’ve been there before. Two days there, two back, then you can do whatever you want to me.”
Gaspare’s face turned a deeper shade of red. “Stop.”
“I love you and I’ll be back soon.”
“I love you too.”
Iom left, heading away down the road. He usually brought Gaspare with him, but there was something special he wanted to get for him this time around. It was as he was as he was sleeping his first night out that he felt something cold pressing against his throat and he woke, blinking and bringing into focus the men standing over him. “Well he’s a pretty one.” The one who he was sure was the leader said.
“How much do you think that monster will pay for him?” Another asked.
“Wait.” Iom finally found his voice. “I don’t want any trouble.”
The leader kicked him in the stomach and Iom gripped his stomach as the air left his lungs. The man crouched down, gripping his hair and pulling him up so their faces were close together. “Oh it’s no trouble at all.”
Gaspare paced in the living room, worry eating at him. Iom hadn’t returned when he said he would and he knew something had to be wrong. “Gaspare?” Daray’s voice brought him up short. “Are you okay?”
“No,” he sighed, taking a seat, “it’s probably nothing and I’m probably being stupid, but Iom hasn’t come back yet. He was supposed to be back two days ago, but…”
“That doesn’t sound like Iom, he’s adventurous, but he wouldn’t make you needlessly worry.” He turned to Alvah.
“We’ll find him.” Alvah said.