The guilt Will felt couldn't be alleviated by Orlando's reassurances that none of this was his fault. The simple fact was that none of this would be happening if not for Will's relationship with Kevin. If he hadn't cheated on Kevin with Orlando and left him the way he did, Kevin would have had no reason to retaliate. Maybe the best thing for all of them would be to meet with Kevin and try to broker some sort of deal with as little violence as possible. Seeing how miserable Orlando was without Shy was starting kill Will, and he didn't know how much longer he'd be able to feel like this before something broke. It was nothing Orlando was saying to him. In fact, Orlando was being as strong as he could be under the circumstances. It wasn't his fault that Will was feeling like a miserable failure.
That was why Will had started going for his runs again. He needed the time to clear his head and focus on something else. While he hated leaving Orlando alone even to run the trail around the island, he knew that Kevin wasn't going to be coming back any time soon. Not when he had the thing that was most precious to them both and could torture them with that fact. Will kept his phone clipped to his waistband, hoping that if Kevin decided to call his phone next, at least he'd always be ready to take the call.
This was the thought going through Will's head when the phone rang. It startled him and he almost tripped over a rock as he fumbled to answer.
"Hello?" he said, breathless from both the run and his surprise.
"Did I interrupt something?"
Kevin's voice made a chill go down Will's spine and he leaned against a tree. "I was running."
"You still do that?"
"Good. You're in amazing shape. I like to think about you keeping that up."
Will didn't know what to say to that. In fact, he didn't have any idea what he was supposed to say to this man. The fear he'd felt at knowing that Kevin was back in his life had become gradually replaced with anger at the man's nerve. And now, hearing his voice like this, almost conversational, he simply felt confused.
"Can I talk to Shy?"
"Sorry, no can do."
"Why not?" Will asked, a sick feeling starting to churn in his stomach that Kevin was going to tell him something had happened to Shy.
"He's taking a nap," Kevin said matter-of-factly. "I kept him up way past his bedtime."
"Wake him up. Let me talk to him. Or call us back at home in an hour and we can talk to him then."
Kevin laughed softly, and for just a moment, he sounded like the man Will had loved. "Will, I'm not going to call your house. For all I know, you called the cops and they tapped your line."
"You..." Will frowned. Kevin had just admitted he wouldn't really know if they'd called the cops. "I thought you told me not to call the cops."
"Yeah, I told you not to leave me, too. See how well that went?"
"So you don't know what we're doing to find Shy?"
There was silence on the other end of the line and Will thought Kevin had hung up. He was about to say his name when Kevin began speaking again.
"He's losing it, Will."
Will hadn't been expecting that, but he didn't let on. "What did you think would happen?" he asked, trying to keep his voice calm so that Kevin would give up something, anything, to help them find Shy. "You took him from his home. You're holding him captive. You're..." He licked his lips, his mouth dry, and took a deep breath. "God knows what else you're doing to him. He's just a kid, Kevin. And you're torturing him."
"He's starting to get attached to me," Kevin said, no emotion in his voice. "I saw this kind of thing when I was on the force. I'm taking full advantage of it, and if you're not careful, I'm going to make it so he won't want to leave me when you do come for him."
"What?" Will sat down on the ground, trying to determine if Kevin was only saying it to get to him or if he was serious. "What do you mean getting attached?" He was fighting to keep the anger out of his voice now.
"You've heard of Stockholm Syndrome." It wasn't a question. "I think your sweet young thing is losing his mind, Will. He's playing along with me now. I can tell he's still wanting to fight me, but he's becoming a lot easier to handle. I've got him convinced that I'm in love with him. I've been telling him about my relationship with you. He's starting to feel sorry for me. It's only a matter of time before I have him eating out of my hand completely."
Will's hand was clenched into a fist as he thought about the way Kevin was manipulating Shy. If it was even true. The horrible truth was that Will couldn't tell. He wouldn't know for sure unless he could see it for himself.
"I don't believe you, Kevin," he said, an edge creeping into his voice now. "If you don't let me talk to Shy, I'm not even going to believe he's still alive."
"Will..." Kevin sighed. "Have I ever lied to you?"
Will's laugh was short and bitter. "You've got to be kidding me."
"I'm serious. Think about it. Everything that's happened to us. Have I lied?"
As much as Will hated to admit it, he couldn't think of anything Kevin had lied about. But that was the problem. What if all of this was a lie right now?
"Don't overthink it," Kevin said, interrupting his thoughts. "You always overthink things."
"Yes!" Will suddenly exclaimed. "You lied about calling us back in forty-eight hours. You said you would and you didn't."
"I said you'd have forty-eight hours to decide what to do and that I'd call back then. Once you'd decided what to do." Kevin chuckled. "And you haven't decided, have you? So my call would have been pointless."
"Don't you start getting into this semantics bullshit with me," Will snapped. "I always hated it when you'd do that."
"I know." Will could hear the smile in Kevin's voice. "It was fun getting each other worked up, wasn't it? Do you remember how hot the sex was?"
"You raped me, Kevin. The thought of you and sex makes me want to vomit, now, so forgive me if my memory's a little fuzzy."
"You're such a fucking drama queen," Kevin growled softly. "You cheat on me and suddenly it's rape if I want sex and you don't?"
"Actually, that's the exact definition of rape, Kevin." Will's struggling to keep breathing, not wanting to have this conversation. He should run back to the house and hand the phone to Orlando. He should hang up, but he needs to find out where Shy is. "Let me talk to Shy."
"Ask me nicely."
Will held the phone away from his mouth as he cursed under his breath, then took in a slow, pained breath. "Kevin, may I please speak with Shy?"
"Do you really want him back?"
The question confused Will for a second. "What? Of course I do."
"For you or for Orlando?"
He hesitated before answering. "For the both of us."
"Did you have to think about that?"
"I wasn't expecting the question."
"I know you've figured out we're on a boat. Shy got that little hint to you the last time. What I need to know is how far are you willing to go to get him back?"
And there it was. Will had been thinking about it for days and he knew that he would do anything to get Shy back.
Will cleared his throat. "I'll meet with you. Alone. I'll meet with you right now. Tell me where you are."
There was more silence and then Shy's voice was on the line. "Will?"
"Oh god, Shy," Will said, getting to his feet and racing back towards the house. "Stay on the line, baby. I'm going to get Orlando, okay?"
"Will, I know you did it." Shy's voice had the same lack of emotion as Kevin's. He didn't sound like their boy at all.
"Did what, sweetheart?"
"You gave me up to him."
When Will realized what Shy was trying to say to him, he stopped dead in his tracks. "Shy? No. No! You can't believe anything Kevin tells you, all right? I love you, baby. I love you and I'm going to get you back. Orlando is lost without you. I'm lost without you. You've got to believe me. We need you and love you and... Please, sweetheart..."
"Why haven't you come for me?" There was still no affect to Shy's words, and Will wondered if Kevin had him drugged right now.
"Because Kevin won't tell us where you are, baby. We're trying to find you, but we don't even know where to start." He was starting to feel desperate now and started running again. "Just hold on. Let Orlando tell you, okay? You'll believe him, won't you?"
There was no answer.
"Shy?" Will knew the line had gone dead, but it didn't stop him from shouting into the phone. "Shy!!"