Raider tried not to panic. The people he was with seemed decent and disinclined to try to beat him up.
Although, one of them was stark-naked, which was, admittedly, weird, especially since no one else seemed to care. And he’d heard said naked dude address the jerk-geezer guy in the room as ‘Dad’.
Odds were good that the attractive older woman was Naked Dude’s mom.
“Raider? Where are you!” Chellie demanded rather than asked. It came out like an accusation, actually. “Are you in trouble?”
“Clyde, perhaps some clothes would be a good idea?”
Clyde, AKA Naked Dude, turned toward the woman. “Mom, he’s already got a lot of clothes on.”
She sighed hard enough to Make Clyde’s blondish-green hair flutter.
Raider supposed Clyde used some product to get that color of hair.
“Raid, I swear to god—“ Chellie began.
“I went home with a guy,” Raider said before he could think better of it. He felt his entire body heat with embarrassment and knew he was likely blushing all over.
“Hrrrr?” Clyde spun around, mouth slightly parted as he blinked rapidly.
If it was possible, Raider was blushing even harder as Chellie shot a dozen questions at him.
“…and you never do hookups so what kind of shit are you trying to sell me?” she ended her spiel with.
Raider sucked at lying, and Chellie knew him too well. He didn’t know what had happened, exactly, but saying as much to Chellie would result in her flipping out and blowing up Raider’s phone with texts and calls until she got answers.
Answers were something Raider wanted, too. “I left with a guy.”
Clyde held out his hand as it seemed that everyone else in the room was holding their breath.
Raider handed Clyde the phone as Clyde cleared his throat.
“Hey, this is Clyde Baldwin.”
“Oh good lord, he would give his real name,” Clyde’s mother muttered, pressing her hands to her temples.
“No one would have known that had you not pointed it ou—ch!”
“Zip it, Kurt,” she said after elbowing him in the ribs.
“What?” Clyde asked, wincing. “Well, yes, erm, that is other people. Since we’re at my house—what?” His expression morphed from one of confusion to clear and evident panic, gaze darting from one parent to the other. “Yes, I mean, no, yes, yes, that is our address, but—“
Clyde jerked the phone away from his ear. “Yeesh! I can hear you from three feet away, Chellie!”
“You fucking call me Michelle, Clyde. You aren’t my friend, you don’t get to use my nickname,” Chellie bellowed back at him. “I’m coming to pick up Raider.” The call ended, no doubt because Chellie disconnected it.
“She knows where we live,” Clyde mumbled, holding the phone out to Raider.
Raider took it. “So? Surely other people know it, too.” Unless he’d landed in the laps of some inbred, psychotic, X-Files-like family who kept themselves hidden and needed some fresh DNA or dinner or—
“That’s not the point.” The lady crossed over to him. “I’m Gladys, Clyde’s mother. You’ve met Kurt, or talked to him already. Heard Murphy. The rest of our kids are in their rooms.”
Raider could have sworn they’d been in there, where he was. Maybe they slipped out while I was…panicking? It didn’t matter. He gulped as he tried not to shiver.
“You’re safe here.” Clyde came around to Raider’s other side. “Mom is just irked because they’re tried to teach me not to talk to strangers, or give out our home address, all my life. And failed.”
“Clearly,” Gladys added. “We aren’t reclusive weirdos if that’s a concern you have, Raider, isn’t it?”
Raider nodded. “Yes ma’am.”
Gladys smiled. “A young man with manners. What a refreshing change.”
“Ow, Mom, right to the gut.” Clyde slapped his flat belly.
Raider couldn’t help but stare at the handprint that showed up on Clyde’s abs.
“Clothes,” Gladys urged, which was too bad since Raider had just gotten brave enough to ogle Clyde’s goods.
Clyde cupped his cock and balls in his hands. “Fine, Mom. This is uncomfortable anyway.”
“It certainly is for Raider,” Gladys agreed. “You’re naked, in a room, with your parents.”
“It’s just skin,” Clyde said before shuffling around, which gave Raider a perfect view of Clyde’s taut, tanned ass.
“I can see which way your boat floats,” Gladys whispered. “The same as my youngest son’s.”
Raider was simply going to burst into flames thanks to being busted staring at Clyde’s butt. He broke out in sweat all over and felt like he had the time he’d fallen asleep in the back yard without putting on sunscreen.
Gladys startled Raider by cupping his cheek, drawing his attention to her. “We aren’t horrible people. There is no judgment here.”
“Unless you’re one of her kids, then you better look out,” Clyde added, his voice coming from several feet away. There were shuffling and scuffing sounds which Raider took to mean Clyde was putting on some clothes.
“Clyde does have a point. We expect our kids to make good choices. Most of the time they do, but there are other times… “ Gladys snorted. “Well. I’m sure your parents have stories about you that you’d rather they not tell.”
Raider shook his head, not in dissent, but in sheer confusion. “What—how—“ He inhaled, held it, counted to four silently, then slowly exhaled. “What are you even talking about? Who are you? All of you? What were you doing in LeHorne’s place? Why am I here?”
There were more questions to ask, but Raider was growing more and more freaked out with each one he came up with. He pushed away from Gladys, forced himself to slide off the bed he was on and get to his feet.
His legs were wobbly, his ribs ached like a motherfucker, and his face wasn’t exactly pain-free, either. Regardless, Raider didn’t fall over. He steadied himself, then held up his phone, still in his left hand. He could call the police, tell them he’d been kidnapped, maybe, before anyone took the phone from him. Then again, Chellie knew where he was, supposedly.
“Where am I?” he asked.
Clyde joined Gladys, the two of them standing a half-dozen feet from Raider. “You’re at our home, in the guest room. Dad and several of us were working the food services at LeHorne’s. Murphy broke stuff and blamed it on you. All hell broke loose. We ran. You were being attacked.” Now Clyde’s cheeks darkened with a blush. “I’d… I’d seen you earlier. You… you’re very attractive. They were chasing you and you’d been hurt. I just wanted to help you.”
“A lion attacked me!” Raider shrieked, the memory bursting free in his mind all over again. “A lion!”
“He was a friendly lion.” Clyde gestured at Raider. “He didn’t even scratch you. Well, not much. Just a scrape here and there where he grabbed you. He didn’t mean to do that, even.”
“And you’d know this, how?” Raider asked, certain that he must still be unconscious, or possibly even dead. “Is this purgatory? Hell?”
Gladys gasped and glared at him. “This is my home, you little—“
“Mom, mom!” Clyde cut in. “He’s hurt and scared, and you know me and my mouth aren’t helping.”
“Calling my home hell,” Gladys muttered, then she harrumphed. “That’s my name for it.”
Raider sat back down on the bed. Screw trying to figure out how he’d ended up there. He was just going to sit and see what happened next. If Chellie showed up, he’d know everything was real. Chellie was always real and in his face when she was worried about him.
And if she didn’t… Raider would have to consider what, if any, his options were, and whether or not he’d lost his mind completely.