Brave Lake Manor

by AB

Chapter 8: Winter's Breath

"Christian! What is it, love? Are you in pain?" Maria asked the little boy, sitting next to him on his bed, caressing his hair.

He hugged her tight, tears streaking down his cheeks.

"M…Malthe….he…he is dying…he is in pain!" he said amidst wailing sobs and hiccups. "I…I can feel it…I can feel his pain…please…make it stop! Please help my Malthee!" She picked him up and rocked them back and forth for a few moments.

Three weeks ago.

"Oh my, sweetheart! Why didn't you talk to us sooner?" Bryan's mother said, smothering her son in a hug, tears flowing from her eyes at what her son had just told her and her husband, his father.

"You…you don't hate me?" Bryan asked in shocked surprise pulling back slightly from his mother's embrace before settling his head back on her.

"No! Of course not, son!" Bryan's father said rubbing his son's shoulders. His other hand was shaking from his conscious effort to control his rage and not storm outside and go find the people that hurt his flesh and blood, his son.

"We love you more than life itself, honey! He will pay for what he did to you, I promise you!" Bryan's mother said and caressed his hair.

"Thank you for helping our son, Malthe," Bryan's mother said with watery eyes to Malthe.

"Thank you, Malthee!" Bryan whispered in Malthe's ear as he hugged his best friend in the whole world.

"See, I told you they wouldn't hate you!" Malthe whispered back and gave Bryan a kiss on his cheek.

"If you'll excuse me, I have to make a few phone calls. We need to handle this fast, discreetly but remorselessly towards….him," Bryan's father said and hugged his son.

"It will be alright, Bryan. I promise you," He whispered to his son and left the room.

"What will you do now? I don't want to lose my friend." Malthe asked Bryan's mother.

She looked at him with a pained look on her face, "Well…Gary will phone our lawyer and the police but…with what limited knowledge I have, we have no proof and if we go to a trial, it will be our word against theirs so we'll see what we can do, but I think the best solution for Bryan is if we make a report to the police and move away from here…you guys can speak on Skype and maybe you, Malthe, can come and visit on vacations and stuff," she said. Malthe nodded his "yes" and got up.

"I love you Malthee! Thank you for helping me!" Bryan whispered to him in a tight hug.

Malthe smiled and gave him a peck on his cheek before leaving.

He was lost deep in thought as he walked to the smoothie place. His hands in his pockets as he ploughed through the soft, fresh snow decorating the surroundings.

So lost was Malthe in his thoughts that he did not pay attention to the pair of eyes following him like a predator stalking its prey. The malice of the owner could burn through metal.

He entered the smoothie shop and sat next to Jason. Jason and the others were laughing to a joke Sebastian had said.

He heard Jason ask him a question that brought him out of his reverie.

"I…all will be fine…I am fine…," he answered, but he could not hold Jason's stare. Breaking the eye contact, he was, before long, lost in his thoughts.

Ryan squeezed Enora's hand under the table to feel her squeezing back.

"For fuck's sake, we barely have enough time alone and when we do she will barely let me touch her pussy…much less fuck her…I love Enora to bits…even if I won't admit it to anyone yet but this is frustrating me to no end!" Ryan was lost in his own thoughts.

"Whatever, I'll see you guys later," he heard Ryan say but ignored it. He knew what was wrong with his older brother and to him and the larger scheme of things it was not important.

"Well come on, little man, let's get you back to the Manor," Jason was speaking to him, time flew it would seem.

He nodded his head negatively and took out his mobile phone.

"Hello, Sammy…can I come and play today?" he asked his friend.

"Aha! Yes, let me ask my daddy!" Samuel said. Malthe heard loud footsteps as Samuel ran to his father to ask for permission.

He heard muffled voices in the background before he heard Samuel yell in glee. "YAY!"

"Malthe we're coming to get you, where are you?" He heard his friend tell him.

"I am at the smoothie place in Brave lake Village…okay," Malthe said terminating the call.

"Okay so I guess I'll wait with you until your friend comes with his father to pick you up," Jason said as he sat back down.

"They will be here in twenty minutes," Malthe told him as he tried to smile.

Twenty minutes later he was picked up by Samuel and his father. Thirty minutes later they were at Samuel's place.

They played some video games.

"Hey…I never can beat you usually…what's going on?" Samuel asked him, setting down the game controller.

"I…don't know…," Malthe said, but wouldn't make eye contact.

"Ohh!! I know what will help you!" Samuel announced and shifted his body on his bed so that he could get closer to Malthe.

Their lips met and Samuel's hand made its way for Malthe's boy bits but both hand and lips were stopped by Malthe who now looked straight at his best friend's eyes, his own watery.

"Not today. Can I ask you a favour?"

Samuel nodded yes furiously.

"Yes, Maltheeee, we are best friends!"

Malthe tried to smile, and retrieved a closed envelope from his backpack.

"I…have been carrying this with me…for some time now…it is for Christian, but I don't want him to read it yet…if I give it to him now he'll read it and he understand a lot more than he wants to admit…can you give it to him please?" Malthe told him. He knew that some of what he said would not make much sense to Samuel but he hoped that he would understand enough.

"Sure Malthee, but when can I give it to him? And why can't he read it yet?"

"You will know when…," Malthe said.

Samuel tried to initiate sexual games with Malthe, but gave up after it was plainly obvious that Malthe was not in the mood. Samuel thought that was highly weird as Malthe, and Christian, never ever said no to such games between them.

When it was time for Malthe to leave, he hugged Samuel real tight and kissed his cheek.

Next day at school, Malthe noted that Bryan missed the first few hours.

"Bry! Where were you?" Malthe asked his friend.

"My parents…we were at the lawyer's office and then at the court…lawyer said we don't have enough evidence for a law suit or for the state to do something, not without dragging me through hell as he described, but he did say we had enough for a restraining order against him. It will be trialed in three weeks. Mom and dad are trying to find work in another part of the country, I think, so we can leave after the court date…I don't want to move away from you!" Bryan said watering up.

"I…it will be okay Bry! I will come and visit as much as I can! And we have Skype as well!" Malthe said as Bryan threw himself at him, hugging him tightly.

"I…I guess…so…"

"And you'll be able to leave all this behind you…," Malthe's voice trailed off as he too was at the verge of tears.

School ended and Malthe was walking home with Bryan, Christian, Enora and Ryan. He noticed one of Jack's students following them, trying to be inconspicuous, then when they left the village, another one took the first student's place.

He said nothing to Ryan.

Christian, Malthe and Bryan went up to Christian's room. Ryan and Enora did their homework and then chatted some until they found the opportunity to sneak down in the cellar.

She descended on his lips like a hungry animal, kissing him, pushing her tongue in his mouth, sucking his breath away. Her hands wondered to his crotch and begun playing with his cloth-covered member. His hands, as if on autopilot, found their way to her developing breasts and melon-shaped buttocks.

She pulled back giggling, but he resumed kissing her.

She unbuttoned his shirt and started kissing him lower and lower, teasing his nipples, lower until she had his now exposed and erect boy-cannon in her mouth. She bobbled her head back and forth suckling on his flesh-rod making him moan and instinctively try to fuck her mouth with his hips, but she held his waist and edged him twice before he finally cummed in her mouth.

She rose to her feet and straightened out her clothes. Ryan made a move to indicate what more he wanted.

"No, they'll start to wonder where we've gone off to," she said and started ascending the stairs.

Ryan groaned in frustration, buttoned up his jeans and shirt and followed her.

November's cold breath made everyone close their windows and light their fireplaces, his wet demeanor making the people of Brave lake village moody and it would seem Ryan was even more so. What with the routine of school, homework, activities, friends, time spent with Peter talking and playing, and with no signs of Terry and Jack except from passing them by on the street two, three weeks passed like running water and an even colder December was almost upon them, with cold, breath-freezing winds.

As November was coming to an end, fog started descending from the mountain bringing an uneasy stillness in the air making Christian even more squirmy than usual.

It was raining when George's and Rick's cars pulled up the driveway to the Manor.

"Uncle Rick! Uncle George!! I missed you soooooo much!!" Ryan heard Christian's voice from outside. No matter how much in a foul mood he was, he just had to chuckle.

"I'm good! Goooood!" Christian's distant voice said, his giggles rebounded all over the Manor.

"Well come in. There's no sense in staying outside in this weather," Peter told everyone, holding the huge metallic doors open with Mr. Giles' help.

"And this good man is Mr. Daren Giles, Battler to the Manor and practically family now after being in the service of my grandfather, he probably knows the Manor better than me!" Ryan heard Peter say.

"Mr. Peter is very kind. I am but an old sack of bones in the service of the Jarrow family. I believe I have met you all before, many years ago, a summer you had all visited the Manor before my Master's death," Mr. Giles said, meaning Peter's grandfather.

"Yes, we had all come after that trip to Kenya. It was a pleasant change after what…almost happened. We are pleased to see you again Mr. Giles, and in good health," George's mother said.

"It is all relevant ma'am," Mr. Giles said chuckling. "I guess to an almost eighty one year old man, I am in good health, but I would much prefer to have young Master Ryan's health," he concluded.

"And I wish for many things like grandchildren from my youngest son, but Mr. Giles I have learned in life to get the best of what I am given and not ask for pigs to fly," Rick's father said receiving a look of daggers from his son before they all burst laughing.

"Uncles Rick and George!" Ryan exclaimed when they entered in the living room. He was in the large sofa with Enora talking and touching as much as they could in front of the others, hands and the sporadic thigh here and there when they thought no one was looking or paying attention to them.

Jason was playing some video game with Malthe, losing miserably.

Ryan shot up from the sofa and ran to them giving them all handshakes and hugs.

"Who's the cute girl Ryan?" George asked with a mischievous grin on his face.

"Ohhh…ehh…she's Enora. My uhmm…girlfriend," Ryan said blushing heavily.

"Pleased to meet you," Enora said giving her hand to George blushing a faint shade of pink as well.

"Pleased to meet you young lady. I hope this ruggamunchkin isn't giving you too much trouble!" Rick said with George chuckling and Ryan wishing the Earth to open and swallow him but grinning goofily at the same time.

Ryan looked around for something to draw the conversation away from Enora. "This is one of my two best friends, Jason, Maria's brother," he said pointing to Jason who had paused the video game and gotten up to greet the new guests.

"We've heard a lot about you and Sebastian is it? From Ryan and Peter. Pleased to meet you lad," George's father said shaking Jason's hand. "Nice firm grip. Peter must have started you in Aikido," he said chuckling.

"Yes, sir," Jason said in his usual laconic demeanor.

"Right to the point I see…," Jared thought chuckling.

"I've heard there's a third musketeer in this company. Where is he?" Rick asked.

"Oh he's with his…he's with Timmy…he'll be around eventually," Ryan said biting his lower lip at the almost slip of the tongue he made, hoping that no one noticed.

"Can we go for a walk in the forest?! Can we? Can we? Can we?" Christian kept asking bouncing up and down.

"Calm down Chris, it's raining outside. Maybe tomorrow," Peter said tousling the boy's locks.

"Aaaawwww it's not raining anymore…it's drizzling and we can wear our hiking boots!" Christian said pouting.

"Come on Peter, where's your sense of adventuring?! Let's all of us go out for a walk in the forest. You never know, we may see a troll or an orc!" George said, tickling Christian under his armpits and on his very ticklish ribs.

"I'm in!" Rick said.

"Fine, fine, let's all go and get wet then," Peter said surrendering to the will of his friends.

"I think we'll stay here and have a nice, hot cup of tea," George's parents said with Rick's parents agreeing by nodding their heads.

"I'll wait for you here love," Katie said to George.

"I'll stay back and keep company to our guests," Maria said giving Peter a peck on the lips.

"Any of you three want to come with us?" Peter asked his other two brothers and Jason.

"No thank you Peter, I am enjoying defeating Jason in this video game," Malthe said softly.

"Oh you do, do you? Well you'll lose now!" Jason declared.

"No, I won't." Malthe declared in his soft, certain voice.

"I'll stay here bro. I'm not in a mood for a walk right now," Ryan said sitting next to Enora, his hands in his pockets.

Peter shrugged, "Okay, well we'll see you all later. Chris go wear your windbreaker and hiking boots. You guys let me show you all to your rooms."

Peter disappeared with their guests and Christian to the upper floor. Christian was the first to reappear. He waited for the rest to descend. Nearly jumping up and down.

"Oh! Yay! You're here, what took you soooo long?!..." Christian's voice trailed off in the distance.

Enora left after a while just as Sebastian came around. They met in the driveway and hugged before heading their ways.

"Hey Ry, what's up?" Sebastian asked him.

"Nothing…" Ryan mumbled. They were alone in the living room. Katie and Maria were talking in the library and Rick's and George's parents had withdrawn to their rooms to freshen up and rest.

"What the fuck is up with you these past weeks?" Sebastian snapped at him as he sat next to his best friend.

"I said nothing okay?"

"No, it's not the fuck okay! You've been like this for the last few weeks now! What is the matter with you?"

"Nothing, bugger off!" Ryan said and tried to get up.

Sebastian pushed him back on the couch, "Don't you dare! You are my best fucking friend you twat! You'll tell me what is wrong with you even if I have to fuck it out of you!" Sebastian said. There was a pause before Ryan fought him off and rushed to his room. Sebastian wouldn't have it this time though.

He followed Ryan to his room and locked the door behind them.

"No! You'll tell me now! I know something is wrong with you, now tell me!"

"NOTHING OKAY!! Enora won't let me fuck her and the only sex I've had the in the last month are about three blowjobs from her. Either her father or Peter are ALWAYS FUCKING AROUND or she just won't give it up!" Ryan blurted out in a completely spontaneous reaction before he could stop himself.

Sebastian grinned. "Is that all?" He chuckled and attacked Ryan's mouth with his.

Ryan reciprocated and soon they were rolling on his bed, clothes flying away from them.

When they were completely naked, Sebastian pinned him against the mattress, used his knees to open Ryan's legs wide and his hands to pin his friend's hands above his head.

He brought his head closer and teased Ryan by brushing their lips together and pulling away as well as rubbing their crotches together slowly.

Ryan groaned and tried to kiss Sebastian back, but Sebastian pulled back and repeated.

"Come on already!" Ryan whined.

Sebastian chuckled, "Patience! You are mine now! For this limited time you will do whatever I want and you'll be in a whole lot better mood after!" Sebastian told him.

He kissed Ryan and then trailed lower to his perky boy-nipples teasing them with his tongue, biting them gently before licking them again.

He brought a hand from Ryan's hands to his friend's hip and then lower to his curved buttock. He kissed and licked lower until he felt Ryan's boned-up, engorged missile launcher poking his chin. He grinned and swallowed it whole giving Ryan's ballsack a squeeze with his other hand leaving Ryan's hands free.

He sucked on it and licked at it with his tongue sucking on Ryan's fleshstick like his life depended on it. He pressed the hand that was on Ryan's buttocks deeper inside them, between the cushiony orbs and searched for that prized rosebud. When he found it, he rubbed and pressured until it gave way and opened up.

A few finger-fucking and dicksucking minutes later, he felt Ryan grab hold of his head and he felt the joystick in his mouth enlarge and he knew what was coming so he stopped, pulled back and just stroked Ryan's pubic mound. The sparse pubic hair felt good under his touch.

Ryan groaned and tried to pull him back down, but Sebastian resisted and waited until Ryan's boydick had almost entirely deflated. He repeated this four times before he allowed Ryan to come down his throat.

Ryan was panting and sweating by the time he was allowed his orgasm. He had rarely felt like this before. It was as if an explosion begun from his testicles and went all the way up to his mind sending a maelstrom of electrical signals all over his spine and mind.

Sebastian swallowed the boy nectar hungrily and then stood up on his hands and knees to oversee his best friend in his post-orgasmic haze.

Ryan's breath was slowing when Sebastian turned him over.

Ryan gave a mewl like moan and hugged his pillow, thinking it was all over. How wrong he was.

Sebastian opened Ryan's butt-cheeks with his hands and after a giggle, he attacked the rosy, puckered looking opening with his tongue. A hand slithered away under Ryan's pelvis and took hold of his balls pulling them gently. He knew that Ryan, being a thirteen year old boy, would be hard again in no time from the stimulation he was now receiving and he didn't want him cumming again soon.

"Ooohh fuck that feels amazing!!!" Ryan groaned and tried to grab hold of Sebastian's head, but Sebastian slapped them away and giggled before returning to eating his meal.

The next sensation to invade Ryan's already overwhelmed mind was Sebastian's three fingers entering his butthole.

Ryan bit on the pillow and groaned in a combination of pain and blissful pleasure.

"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!!" Ryan moaned as his ass was pounded by Sebastian's long fingers. Sebastian twisted and opened and pushed and pulled until, with a moan of frustration from Ryan, he removed them and slowly climbed on top of his best friend.

"I did warn you, didn't I?" Sebastian asked Ryan giggling.

"Hgmm…OOOHHH FUCCKKKK!!!" Before Ryan could answer, Sebastian held his hips and pressed between them with his dagger until the head was in.

Ryan tried to move, but Sebastian held him down and kept pushing in.

"Fuck you're tight Ry!!" Sebastian whispered as he bottomed out Ryan. "I…I love you Ry!!" Sebastian groaned as he started moving out of Ryan and then in.

"Fuck…what are you doing to me!?" Ryan whined as he tried to relax.

"Ssshhh…you know you like it, now let me fuck you!" Sebastian said and, holding on to Ryan's waist, he built up a quick pounding rhythm. He knew that neither of them would last long.

His hand jerked off Ryan while he fucked him.

Then he felt it, Ryan pushing back on him, trying to match his thrusts. It drove him mad with lust. He pushed his weight on his best friend and intensified his fucking motion.

"OOOOHHHH MMYYY GAWWDDD!!! SEBASDT…..I'MMMM CCUMMMMIIIINNNGGG!!!" Ryan screamed when Sebastian finally found that sweet boy button inside him and rubbed against it. It was as if a big bang had exploded in his mind, his whole body was convulsing like he was being electrocuted and his boydick offered what little remained of his boy butter right onto Sebastian's hand and the bed sheets.

Ryan's orgasm made his nerves and muscles contract, making his sore boyhole clench against Sebastian's boy-spear sending him off the edge.

With a loud groan he cummed inside Ryan's love-hole and collapsed next to him panting. His hands were still on Ryan's hips caressing them gently.

For what seemed like the longest time, they lay there in silence catching their breath.

Ryan spoke first, turning round to see Sebastian.

"That was…intense…I don't think I'll want sex for a while….I guess you did fuck it out of me!" he said bursting into laughter.

"Yeah I guess so…" Sebastian said as he tried to laugh. It had certainly felt good, but not as good as he thought it would with the person that he had had the hugest crush only two months ago.

"Sebastian…thanks I guess but…you realise that we can't do this again….right?" Ryan asked him running a hand on his friend's torso.

"Yes…I know…you know I…for the longest time…I have…" Sebastian started saying, but was cut off by Ryan who just placed a hand on his lips stopping him.

"I know…but I could never see you that way…I like fooling around with you guys, but girls and Enora…there's nothing I love more than being with her…" Ryan said.

It was as if a light bulb had turned on in Sebastian's mind. "Huh…I guess he was right…so far…"

"What? Who?" Ryan asked, but before he could receive an answer they heard hurried footsteps coming up the stairs and they rushed in a panic to get dressed.

Jason opened the door to find them clothed even if hurriedly sitting on the bed, pretending as if they had been in a conversation for hours.

"Hey guys, food's ready, come on down!" He said and left.

They cleaned up, got dressed and went downstairs to have dinner.

"So Peter, what is your plan?" George asked him.

"I want you and Rick to come and work with me. I want you two to be the Estate's lawyer and financial manager. I'll still be involved, but I want you two to have the general supervision. Your parents are all retired and I'm sure they'll love the country side, we have great walking paths, the lake, I know Ariana has wanted to have her own vegetable garden since before I was born, Carl you've always said how you love walking inside forests."

There was a moment of silence before George spoke first.

"When do you want me to start?" he said to receive Katie's look of disbelief.

"George honey, we should discuss this first," she said.

"No we do not. I hate my job, and you are a kindergarten teacher. I am sure that, if not in Brave lake village, then one of the bordering villages will have need of a teacher as good as you, it is also a far better place to raise a family than in the city," he said with finality in his voice.

"Can I think it over mate?" Rick asked to receive Peter's affirmative nod.

"You have us sold on the idea Peter sweetheart," Rick's mother said, "but on one condition. We all get our own houses to live in. I know you have plenty of space in here but we need a place to call our own even if we may be over here every day."

"Agreed," Peter answered.

When dinner was finished, Peter sent the twins to bed. Soon enough they were all asleep in blissful slumber.

Ryan woke up to find hands and feet of two different people entangled all over him.

He chuckled as he understood that the twins had gotten scared of the storm the previous night and had come to seek warmth and psychological safety in his bed.

He gave Malthe a kiss on his cheek and caressed Christian's before he got up and changed to his clothes.

"Malthe, go get ready. We'll go to the Mall with the guys and then you have swimming practice," Ryan told his brother as he finished with his breakfast and got up from the table excusing himself.

Christian hugged Malthe, "Please don't go swimming today!" he whispered to his brother's ear.

"I can't not go," Malthe responded and stepped back from his twin counterpart.

Mr. Cox drove them to the Mall after they picked up Tim, Enora and Victoria.

When noon came and he and Malthe had to go to the swimming practice, it seemed unfathomable to Ryan how quickly time seemed to pass when he was having so much fun with his friends.

"Charles, can you get my friends back home and come pick us up after?" Ryan asked Mr. Cox after he parked the car on the swimming pool's parking lot.

"Sure young sir Ryan, I just hope those clouds don't start snowing before I do."

"Great! Thanks! I'll see you all laters then!" he told his friends and headed inside the swimming pool with Malthe.

Ryan swam on the visitor's lane while Malthe and the other kids had their lesson and enjoyed it after not having swum for a while what with everything that had happened.

While they were changing back to their clothes he couldn't help but notice Samuel's cute, tear drop shaped pale orbs. He giggled internally at the knowledge that Malthe and probably Christian was fooling around with this super cute boy.

"Malthe, put your heavy coat, gloves and scarf on, it's probably snowing outside and I don't want you to get a cold, wet as you are," he told his brother who nodded.

"Damn! I'm not getting any signal with all this bad weather," Ryan said as he tried to call Mr. Cox.

Meanwhile at Enora's place, Enora got off from the car, she was the last one to be dropped off and it had begun to snow again.

"Thank you Mr. Charles!" she said and ran inside the house.

"Mr. Cox, please do come in and wait out the storm," her father told the driver.

"I must go pick up Ryan and Malthe, sir," Mr. Cox countered.

"The roads are probably already closed. After the storm has passed you can go pick them up. They're not going anywhere in this snow."

Mr. Cox grunted, but entered the house.

"Malthe! Where are you going!?" Ryan yelled to his younger brother when he turned to see where the boy was and saw him having exited the building and was heading towards the road at the end of the village.

"Stop! It's freezing and it's snowing! Where are you going?!" Malthe would not stop.

Ryan chased after him.

"We can't wait for Mr. Cox," the boy said simply and continued walking.

"Malthe! That road is abandoned and you know it! It's not safe in this weather."

"This is the shortest road to the Manor." Malthe said.

"All you want to do is fuck! We barely do anything else!" Sebastian yelled at Timmy.

"Oh come on already don't be such a pussy! Just because we're both gay doesn't mean I want to be boyfriends anymore. I just wanna be fuck buddies because there's no one else in this backwater, god-forgotten village to fuck around with!" Timmy yelled back.

They were at Timmy's house fighting again.

"But…whatever…that's not what I want…I want a boyfriend…sex is good and all but I want more than just sex all the time."

"Then we should break up and just fuck when we both want it," Timmy stated.

"Fine," Sebastian said and stormed out of Timmy's room.

Ryan had given up on trying to stop Malthe and instead he was trying to walk as fast as humanly possible to reach the Manor and get out of the cold.

"NOOO!!! PLEASE LET ME GOO!!! HELP!!! PLEASE!!" Ryan heard the screams even over the howling wind. It was a boy's screams.

He put a hand and stopped Malthe from walking. Crouching behind the trees they inched closer to the source of the screams to see Terry, Jack and a few others trying to wrestle a boy back in a four by four all road jeep.

"He is from my class," Malthe whispered as the boy tried in vain to escape.

"We must turn back now!" Ryan whispered back to Malthe, but as he made to turn someone punched him on his stomach doubling him over. He was then pushed out from the trees.

"Hey boys look at what I found!!" the man that had punched Ryan screamed.

Malthe was screaming trying to escape, but the older teenager had him by his nape dragging him closer to the rest of the group.

"LET HIM GO YOU ANIMAL!!" Ryan yelled in rage.


Ryan tried to move against him, but Terry kicked him on the stomach doubling him over again.

"Not so tough now, are you? You little faggot piece of shit!" Terry sneered at him. "You! Grab his hands and hold him!" he ordered someone.

Malthe's classmate saw the opportunity to leave and, despite his panic, didn't blink twice before he started running as fast as his legs could carry him.

"Let him go, we can get that piece of boy-pussy tomorrow! Today we have these to fuck!" Jack said. "I want to rape the little blond fag first!"

Malthe looked straight at him defiantly.

"Do not enrage a lion if you cannot withstand its breath on your face and its teeth on your neck," he said in an uncharacteristically loud voice looking between Jack and Terry.

"No!! I don't want to fuck him! HE TOOK BRYAN FROM ME!! I WANT HIM DEAD!!" Terry screamed almost unhinged and retrieving a knife from his pocket, he launched at Malthe who just stood there looking defiantly at the older teen.

Ryan had been trying to break free twisting and turning in vain, but when he saw the blade disappear inside Malthe, something broke inside him and he went completely limp.

Peter's words came flashing into his mind. "And what if he decides to spring a knife at you or actually apply what he knows of karate? Yes your abilities are excellent and will only increase, but do not ever underestimate anyone Ryan. Do that and it will be your downfall. Anyone's downfall. Always be ready to fight and die if you go into a fight. Are you ready to do that?"

He now understood what Peter meant. Yes now he was ready to die to make sure that Malthe didn't suffer the same fate.

In one sudden, fluid movement he flashed his palms facing forward and brought them up above his head breaking the guy's grip on him and at the same time he twisted his hips surprising the older teenager. He grabbed hold of one hand and turned round in an elf-like speed move. Using his free hand he brought it to the guy's wrist. The opposite forces applied to the hand caused it to shatter.

He turned round again to find the next person, but someone strong grabbed his neck and lifted him off the ground.

"You fucking piece of shit! You and your brother have taken everything from me!!" Jack bellowed at him and before Ryan could react he felt cold steel entering him. Then the cold blade was removed and reentered again.

Jack threw him back down on the ground.

"Everyone in the fucking car!! The snow and the cold will surely finish them off.

He could feel himself bleeding, but groaning and moaning from the pain, Ryan crawled next to Malthe shivering from the cold.

It took him an effort and a few minutes, but he managed to stand on his knees and remove his coat and scarf. He tightened the scarf around Malthe's wound and placed the coat on top of it in a bundle. Then with an ear-splitting scream from the pain he hugged Malthe to his lap and got up on his feet.

He tried to walk but he staggered and fell. He got up, took three steps and fell on his knees again.

"Be…etwen…." Malthe whispered.

"M…Malthe…hang…hang on…." Ryan told him trying to walk. His injuries and the piling snow made it all the slower.

"Between…l…life and death…where all the secrets lie…" Malthe whispered.

"Malthe stay with me!"

Tears freezing on his cheeks, Ryan took a few more agonising steps.

"R…Ry…I…want to…sleep…" Malthe whispered.

"No….Malthe…" Panic threatened to overcome him. He needed to keep Malthe awake.

"Malthe…tell me….what do the numbers mean…" Ryan tried desperately to think as darkness encroached upon him as he lost more and more blood.

"Symbols…possibility….in action…want to sleep…four will injure three…six…must see two…odds of that decreased by unpredicted storm…." Malthe mumbled in a delirious state.

Ryan had no idea how much he had walked, but as much as he tried to keep on going, as much as he tried to keep his eyes open and his legs moving, as much as he tried to force breath in and out of his lungs, he simply could hold out no more.

"I am ready to die, just please…let Malthe live," his last thought was before his legs gave way and his face touched the cold snow. All light vanquished.

Enora was about to close the drapes and secure the windows when she saw a weird figure walking in the storm.

"DAD!! HELP!! SOMEONE'S OUT IN THE STORM!! HE LOOKS BAD!!" she screamed at her father who came running with Mr. Cox right behind him.

They went outside.

"Oh my god! Ryan, Malthe! ENORA CALL THE POLICE!! TELL THEM RYAN AND MALTHE ARE INJURED!" Joey yelled when he took Ryan off of Malthe and saw their clothes bloodied.

Mr. Cox lost no time as he jumped inside the car and made the engine rawr.

Peter had almost dozed off when the nightly silence was broken by the landline phone and almost simultaneously Christian's screams coming from the floor below.

Peter reached the landline phone within seconds.

"Yes, who is it?" he asked, his voice straining from the stress.

"P…Peter…its Owen…I…Ryan…your brothers…they are in the hospital…someone stabbed them…they've lost a lot of blood…I am sorry…"

"I…see…I'll be there momentarily," Peter said and hang up. His hands shaking.

He dressed so fast it didn't even register.

"Peter, what's going on son?" George's father asked him from the door of his room as Peter descended the stairs three at the time. Peter paused.

Maria came out of Christian's room holding him in her lap.

"Ryan and Malthe…they were stabbed…Maria...I'll wait for you in the car…Jared…the police do not yet know who did this…can you…" Jared cut him off as he exited his room.

"Have you kept your grandfather's Enfield rifle?" He asked calmly, but seriously.

"Yes, but I don't think it has been cleaned since the last great war…"

"It matters not Peter, I know how to bring that piece of weaponry excellently back to life in no time. Go to your brothers and fear not, no one is going to hurt us or Christian," he said.

Peter nodded. "It is in the cellar," he said and left.

Maria dressed and met Peter in the car. It was a short and silent drive to the hospital. Maria had never felt so helpless in her life, except maybe when her mother died and her father abandoned her and Jason. The love of her life was in pain, great pain and she knew not how to help him or how to lessen his burden.

"Ryan and Malthe Jarrow, where are they?" Peter asked at the information desk. "They are my brothers."

The nurse looked at her computer.

"They are both in the operating room. You can wait at the second floor waiting room. A doctor will soon come to update you on their status," she told them.

They waited for what seemed an eternity until a doctor came to see them.

"Mr. Jarrow, Peter?" Peter knew him from around the village and having seen him in the diner and other places.

"Yes, doctor, how are they? Are they…" He couldn't bring himself to finish that sentence.

"They are alive…but their condition is not good. Malthe has a single stabbing wound in the abdomen that thankfully missed vital organs, but he has lost a lot of blood…Ryan…Ryan sustained two stabbing wounds, one of which nicked an artery…Peter…I have never seen such bravery…he…the pain must have been excruciating and yet he managed to bring himself to place his coat between him and Malthe as he carried them both for I'm guessing at least two to three kilometers. Owen believes they must have come from the abandoned mine road…but I'm afraid he may have done so at the cost of his life…I have ordered a helicopter to fly an emergency flight here from the city with compatible blood packs. If Ryan survives the next forty eight hours then things might improve. I'll update you once I have more on their condition." The doctor told them.

"You should go home and get some rest. It will be a long couple of days."

"No! I want to stay with my brothers," Peter said. His world was collapsing around him, the last vestiges of his sanity fraying on the edges.

The doctor sighed, "At the very least then go to the cafeteria or chapel where it's quiet and you can get some rest. I'll come and find you as soon as I have some…any news good or bad." The doctor pleaded with him.

"Chapel…good idea," Peter said a sparkle in his eyes.

Just then the Constable entered the waiting room.

"I don't know much yet, Peter, and what I know I can't discuss with you as this is an active investigation, but if…they make it Ryan is one brave lad…he carried Malthe pressed against him so the boy wouldn't bleed out for almost four kilometers. Even with all the snow we found the original crime scene. That is one force of will if I've ever seen in anyone," he told Peter who looked straight at his eyes.

"Owen….we are friends, yes?" Peter asked the Constable looking Grim.

"Yes of course, mate, why?" Owen asked him looking surprised.

"I want to ask a favour of you."

"Sure, name it. If it goes by my hand I will do it," Owen said giving Peter a squeeze on the back.

"Find them…find whoever did this or I will," Peter said and left.

Maria shot an "I'm sorry" look at Owen's direction before she walked after Peter.

"I'll wait outside if you want," She told him when they reached the hospital's chapel.

"No…it's okay…I don't mind…" he said and walked in.

He walked in front of the altar and the statue of Jesus on the cross and looked up to it for a few seconds before his mouth opened as if on its own.

"You…you are one vengeful, spiteful son of a bitch you know that? Was it not enough that you took my mother when I needed her the most? Was it not enough that you left me an orphan of both parents at the start of my adult life and you deprived Ryan of his father when he is entering puberty and needed him the most? WHY!? BECAUSE I DON'T BELIEVE IN YOUR EXISTENCE? BECAUSE I HAVE FOUND A WOMAN TO LOVE AND AM MAKING A LIFE OF MYSELF?! THAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO TAKE MY BROTHERS AWAY FROM ME?! NO MORE LOSS FOR THIS FAMILY YOU HEAR ME?! NO MORE LOSS! MY BROTHERS DIE AND I WILL TEAR ASSANDER EVERY SINGE OF YOUR HOUSES WITH MY BARE FUCKING HANDS! YOU HEAR ME!? NO MORE LOSS!" He yelled at the statue on the verge of breaking down. He would have continued but Maria's hand touched his shoulder.

He turned around to see her crying, tears streaming down her cheeks. He threw himself on her hugging her as if his life depended on it.

For the first time in his life he was crying, soul splitting cries as he expelled more than ten years of sorrow bottled up inside him.

"No more loss…no more loss…" He kept repeating in between wailing sobs.

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