by Lara Wilson

Of all the memories he had of his long life, the one he didn't want was the one that haunted his dreams. For years afterwards, at least once a week he'd awaken shaking and clammy, the dying man's cries echoing in his head.

He'd suffered, refusing to surrender to the inevitable, refusing to beg for the mercy Slade would have granted him. Stranded on an island with no communications, no means of escape, the poison had moved slowly and painfully through Dick's body, withering that perfection until he was unable to do more than curl in on himself and whimper.

Every morning he awoke from the nightmare of watching his lover die, Slade cursed himself for not having the strength to end his suffering without his permission. He'd asked and every time Dick had refused, staunchly believing rescue would come, that he'd survive if he just fought long enough.

That if he asked Slade to kill him, it would destroy the man he'd fought so hard to redeem.

Dick had failed to realize that watching him suffer had done that all the same.


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