Pulling a cigarette free, Darien lit it up in the hall the moment he stepped outside Beau’s classroom. His teach was trying to get some food down and he just needed to get the fuck out and breathe for a second. He wanted to scream. He wanted to break something, and scream, and hunt down and destroy the fucker that had hurt his Beau. Instead, he was going to smoke for a minute then go back in and pretend he wasn’t a fucking mess inside so that the blond could feel safe.
Why the fuck hadn’t Beau called him?
He looked over to where Roland was typing on his phone, the man doing his magic with the guys back at their office to find every bit of information available on Collin Hayward. Darien hadn’t bothered to tell Beau that the business he had started when he was back in high school involved the finding of sensitive information and then the blackmailing of people that gave a fuck about if that information was shared. He had started the company with a few ex-military friends, some he had gone to school with, some who he knew from other connections. Once, he had thought he’d be using them just to find out if his father was looking to fuck with his life again. Now he had a feeling he might have to see if Roland knew how to hide a body depending on how bad the night went.
“Do you want me to call in a doctor?”
Darien shook his head sharply. “Not unless he asks for one.”
“Boss, he was practically catatonic when we got here. For all we know, his brain took a bruising from that hit to his face.”
Blowing a steady stream of smoke, Darien didn’t bother to answer. His teach could take a punch. He had seen him take worse at the hands of Blake and his bitch friends and hadn’t missed a fucking beat. No, his teach had gotten down on his knees, sucked him off like a pro, and then rode his fingers until he came. Pain was not a deterrent for the blond but an aphrodisiac. If Beau wanted a doctor, he’d ask. It was one of the many rules they had set up to make sure the blond wasn’t getting himself in too deep. Except, even with everything Darien had done, Beau had still managed to get hurt the second he was out of his sight.
Beau wouldn’t let him hire a bodyguard. It had been a huge sore spot for Darien, one that he was pretty sure was about to blow up after this. He just wanted to have a familiar guy with his teach, someone he could trust to make sure nothing went down when he couldn’t be there. But Beau thought he was being silly. The man didn’t want people thinking he was someone special or some stupid shit like that. But Beau was special. His teach was his fucking life and today had been a new kind of hell for Darien when the man hadn’t shown up for dinner.
He shouldn’t have let him leave without a bodyguard. He should have locked the man up in the fucking house and made him quit his shitty job. There was just something about Beau, something in his eyes that called to certain individuals to feed his need for pain. It made them want to hurt him, use him, and when his pretty teach was in the right headspace, Beau loved ever second of it and begged for more. But that was only when he was in that headspace and with someone that actually gave a fuck enough to figure out what he liked.
Tears. Fucking tears in those beautiful blue eyes, and not in a sexy way. No, in a fucking helpless way that wrenched Darien’s heart too painful to fathom. Beau could take a fucking punch but this thing, whatever had happened, it had hurt him in a way pain didn’t. He was doing his damndest to not imagine just how exactly that could have been.
“I gotta make some calls,” he finally said, crushing his cigarette beneath his heel and scraping it into the tile. “I want that fucker found, and I want him brought here tonight.”
“Here?” Roland looked up, pulling a second phone out while he continued typing one-handed on the first. “The school?”
Darien nodded, ignoring the questioning look his head of security was sending him. He needed to make sure that whatever had happened hadn’t fucked up his pretty teach forever. Beau had a special kind of wiring, one that demanded the right knowledge and a skilled touch. He knew the longer the problem stretched on and festered, the harder it would be to get Beau feeling like himself again. He wanted things taken care of asap. The fact that part of it involved beating the shit out of the deadman that had touched his Beau was just a total perk.
“We got him,” Roland called out before the boy could leave, pushing off the wall. “He just used his credit card in a restaurant less than twenty minutes away.”
“Already on the way with Jordan. How do you want this guy brought in, boss?”
Darien considered, eying the picture Roland held up on the screen of his phone. “Keep him pretty. I want to fuck him up myself. Let me know when they get him here, but not in front of the teach.”
Roland nodded, texting as Darien spoke. “The guys dug up some more shit on him. Hayward was in a heavy scene about five years back. Used to frequent an underground club. Few regulations, lots of drugs. They were known for some pretty fucked up doms. A young man ended up dead and the place was shut down. Looks like Hayward’s aunt threw some money at some people and no one is saying shit.” He glanced up when Darien growled, fixing the boy with a look. “Hey, this is good news. With info like this, you have this guy by the balls.”
Darien just grunted, fighting back his anger and the pit of seething emotion beneath it. “You remember that kid I asked you to keep an eye on a few weeks back? Sutor’s brother, Rich? Did he ever get back to us on that thing we discussed?”
Roland nodded, already flipping through his other phone. “He seemed agreeable enough to it. Clean record. Able to listen.”
“I want him down here.” Hopefully, it would fix it.
In that moment, he felt like he was fighting fire with fire while holding onto the foolish hope the place wouldn’t burn down. But that was what Darien did. Every day he pushed forward, demanded the best from himself and everyone around him, and he prayed he wouldn’t trip and be stopped flat. Being with Beau had changed that. He had been allowed to take a beautiful soul and feed it, nurture it and give his teach everything the man could ever desire and he had felt at peace from it. Until someone had tried to take his teach away from him. Now Darien was back to trying to keep ahead of the consequences at breakneck speed while hoping he wouldn’t crash.
He had to suck it up. Push through and keep his eye on the prize along with every other cliche fucking saying that would help him get through this. Not for him but for Beau. His teach needed him strong. Darien didn’t feel strong; he felt absolutely out of control. The one man he gave a fuck about had been assaulted and he hadn’t been able to do a thing. He hadn’t even known until hours later. It didn’t matter what he did to this Hayward dick in retribution, it wouldn’t change the fact that he had failed Beau, that he could fail him again at any time. He could wrap the blond in fucking bubble wrap and order him to stay at his feet but Beau was going to pursue the things that brought him joy even when pain swiftly followed.
Sighing, he lit up another cigarette. He didn’t take pain as well as Beau did. He didn’t like to feel pain; he liked to push past it and let it spur him into action. Watching his pretty teach take pain was an experience unmatched by any other. The man was beautiful—strong in such a way he was never going to be, and so fucking beautiful. The man embraced the good and the bad, the pleasure and pain, and he transformed it into something beyond with his own body. Beau was fucking magic and didn’t even know it.
It didn’t matter how hard Darien pushed himself. Life wasn’t scripted and there was always something waiting in the dark to try and prey on the weak and unlucky. He could only protect his teach to the best of his ability and hope that Beau would be able to take the burden of pain when he failed. He’d be able to carry his teach through after, but he couldn’t change the fucking world that would break the man in the first place.