Hilary Becker stood dead still. The rain was pouring down, drenching his clothes and skin, but he didn’t bat an eyelid or move a muscle. He stayed standing where he was for over an hour, eyes fixated on the stone before him and his fists clenched at his side. The words on the stone were a blur and the flowers arranged around it were just soggy messes in the pooling mud.
He couldn’t attend the funeral, not after everything he had learnt. He didn’t understand why his mother reacted the way she did when she tried to defend what Gregory Becker had done, so he withdrew from her and from pretty much everyone he’d ever known in his life before the ARC. His father’s friends, their devotion to the man, was unshakable and beyond misguided.
Becker’s mother defended her husband, of course ,and when her son tried to speak up, to reveal the truth, she wanted nothing to do with him. Becker was shunned, rejected.
He glared at his father’s grave stone and allowed one of his feet to shift ever so slightly. There was a shot of pain in his leg as the numbness from not having moved wore off. The rain wasn’t letting up, the black sky overhead blocked out all the light from the sun but Becker didn’t care.
There was nothing but darkness. His life was meaningless.
A hand rested upon his shoulder.
He still didn’t move.
The hand slipped down to grab his and Becker reluctantly allowed it to remain there.
His hand was squeezed, saying more than words ever could. The simple little gesture gave him a boost of strength and it was enough to allow him to release everything he’d been holding back his entire life.
His parents weren’t typical parents.
They were not affectionate people. Gregory and Alison Becker were strict and had brought up their only child in the manner befitting of their social stature.
They were a well off family, more than comfortable because of Gregory’s position and status within the military. The Becker name was a respected one, it had a huge reputation and so nothing short of perfection was expected from their only child.
From the moment he was born expectations of him were high. Hilary had to excel in everything, from walking to speaking, reading and writing. He had to be the best because less than that was not good enough.
His first day at school did not go well. The other children didn’t understand the significance of who he was and instead teased him for having a girl’s name. The constant bullying certainly took its toll but then so did Becker’s parents.
“They are making you weak, Hilary. No son of mine is or ever will be weak. If you want them to stop, you’ll never get it to happen by crying in a corner. Make them stop!”
It had been easy enough for his father to say such things, but to put it into action was far from so. In the end, Hilary had to endure and take the hurtful jibes until the other children got bored, which they never did until it was home time. Then it would start again the next day.
If Hilary fought back physically, it not only got him in trouble with the teachers, but it ‘disgraced’ his parents. If he called the other children names or lost his temper, he was deemed petty for stooping to their level. He could do nothing right except let it happen.
‘Take it like a man.’
They were harsh lessons, but it was what he learnt. He had to if he was going to become an officer like his father. They had already planned everything; all of Hilary’s choices had been made for him, so all he had to do was prove himself worthy of it all.
His childhood wasn’t much of a childhood. His parents encouraged him to find friends, but those he made were scrutinised because they had to be the right friends, the sort of people who could be useful and beneficial. He was told not to get emotionally attached to his friends either, which was more than confusing for him.
However, there was one young girl, a neighbour’s daughter who was different. Lisa had been the only one who showed him any kindness. She smiled at him, a lot, which was something Hilary was not used to. She always wanted to play games with him, ride their bikes together and she was the first person to hug him other than the nurses at the hospital when he was born.
Feeling another person’s arms around him was strange, curious and a little frightening at first; he wasn’t sure how to react. Lisa had to tell him how to react, of course, and when she found out that his parents didn’t hug him or have any kind of physical contact at all, she had been sad. She then insisted that she and Hilary hug a lot.
Lisa was the first person to make him grin like a child should grin.
“You have to do that more often, Hilary! You’re lovely when you smile!”
“If you say so.”
“I do so say so! Oh Hilary, now I have to get you to laugh!”
She did. Hilary liked laughing and again Lisa did everything she could to make him do so.
A few days later after she did, Lisa and her family moved, and it devastated the young Becker.
Losing Lisa was a horrible experience, he felt alone and it was the first time he had ever lost control of his feelings. Hilary felt rage, he was so angry and it was made even worse when he found out that his parents were responsible for having Lisa’s family sent away. As always they managed to convince the little seven year old boy that it was for the best.
“You took her away from me! She was my friend! Why did you take away my only friend?”
Hilary screamed at the top of his voice, he even flung one of his books at both of his parents, but they stepped aside and allowed it to skit across the floor. They allowed Hilary to have his tantrum and when he finally became silent Gregory stepped forward and glared down at his son.
“Stand up straight, boy,” he ordered. When Hilary didn’t comply, he grunted with disapproval and clenched his teeth. “Stand up straight and stop being so foolish! I’m addressing you, so show some dignity and respect by listening to what I say! Stand to attention!”
After a few attempts to calm his breathing and his anger, Hilary did so and looked up at his father, restraining the tears that wanted to fall. He clasped his hands behind his back.
“I only wanted--!”
“Don’t speak when your father is talking to you, Hilary!” Alison interjected.
He bit his lip and listened to what his father had to say.
“We have put a lot into your future, boy. We have big plans for you. It is imperative—that means vital and important—that nothing hinders your future. You must be surrounded by the right kind of people - people who will help you progress in your life. It means having the right sort of acquaintances around you even at an early age. From now on you will be attending the best schools in the country, where you will be prepared for your military career. You’re going to become an officer, Hilary and nothing is going to stop that from happening. Do you understand?”
He did understand, a little bit. It was all too much to ask of him and he wanted to protest. He wanted to say how unfair it was that he didn’t get to choose what he wanted to do with his life, to do all the things the other kids did, that he wasn’t allowed to have parties on his birthday or have the friends he wanted. He wanted to yell back at them, but that would only result in what his father called disciplinary action.
They were his parents. Surely what they were doing was out of love and in his best interests?
“Do you understand, boy?”
Gregory approved by nodding his head curtly.
“Years from now you will appreciate what we are doing for you. For now, we will have no more of this kind of behaviour. It is that clear?
“Yes, sir. Perfectly.”
Hilary obeyed from then on. He obeyed and followed his parent’s orders. He was moulded and shaped into the perfect and dutiful son by both, and even when his father was away on a “special mission” there were some of his father’s ‘friends’ around to help his mother teach him to be the best at everything.
So he studied hard in school. Hilary Becker did what he was told and what was expected of him. School was just as strict and very hard. There was a lot of pressure.
As a result of such conditioned upbringing, he was not an overly emotional child. He rarely smiled, he certainly didn’t cry because he was told emotion was a sign of weakness and weakness was defeat. They showed that you had no control over yourself and Hilary Becker had to be in control. If he couldn’t, then how could he possibly be expected to become an officer and have his own command?
There was very little time for play or doing childish things, they were deemed irrelevant and had no educational value at all. However he was encouraged to read, to use his imagination in a productive way. Hilary was a good artist, drawing came naturally to him and he also found out that he had some musical talent when he picked up playing the piano very quickly. He also took fencing lessons with approved instructors.
Whilst he loved sparring with a foil or even a sword, there was one and only one interest that his father allowed him to actually enjoy. It was also the only interest his father shared with him and the only time the two of them ever connected and bonded on an emotional level.
They liked guns. They both really liked guns.
Gregory Becker would, when he was home, show his son his collection of guns. He taught Hilary everything he needed to know about each and every piece, and together they would keep up with the maintenance on every one, they would take them apart, clean every little piece and put them back together before appreciating it in awe and respect.
These were not toys, Hilary learnt that straight away. They were used for killing and demanded respect and care. He never saw his dad happier than when he was here, it was the only time Hilary ever saw him smile. They would talk about their favourites and even discuss the histories and it was then the two felt truly comfortable in each other’s presence.
Even those moments were short lived, especially if Colonel Becker was called away.
When he was older, Hilary was sent to an all-boys boarding school and he became a curiosity to all the other students. He wasn’t the most sociable of people, his lack of emotion made it difficult for them to approach him and get close, but he managed to make some friends, or rather acquaintances. However, Hilary didn’t put it past his father to have arranged them for him, just like everything else in his life.
The Becker name was spoken with awe and at times trepidation as they all whispered and talked about who his father was. The son of one of the most distinguished officers in the armed forces was a source of mixed reaction.
There was jealousy and envy from most, along with great admiration too, yet no one really understood the struggle Hilary was going through. While the other students thought he was being handed everything on a plate, Hilary was trying to prove himself to everyone else.
It felt like he could barely breathe.
There were times he secluded himself. Hilary liked the school because he could always find the places to be alone, read and immerse himself in his studies, but like any teen, he also wanted to do what normal boys did.
He wanted to date girls, to have sex and go to parties to drink and do everything! He wanted to rebel against his parents so much. He wanted to step out of the spotlight that was constantly on him and just indulge in a little darkness, to do something different other than being reliable, dependable and exceptional.
Hilary was tempted. He met some girls and did stray to kiss a couple of them but he never got further than that. He was quite unsure on how to talk to females; they all giggled a lot and fluttered their eyes at him, making their feelings and intentions far too clear. He felt awkward amongst them, but it didn’t make his desire for them any less. Though a lot of the girls thought Hilary was extremely pleasing to the eye, his repressed emotions and serious nature and awkwardness tended to put them off when it came down to it.
He also knew that his parents kept girls away from him as well. His father was in a branch of the Special Forces and it wasn’t difficult for someone like him to keep tabs on his son.
“We understand you have needs, Hilary. It’s perfectly natural at your age. All the hormones and changes in your body are making you want to do these things, but you have to keep control and stay focused. Once you’ve gained your commission and established your place, then perhaps you can begin settling down with a wife and start a family.”
So once again Hilary Becker had to be the outsider? The different one, the one they all called a freak or a queer for not having been with a girl?
“It is hard, I know.” Alison Becker touched at Hilary’s shoulder, the only physical contact they would ever make with him. “When you have everything you’ve worked for then you can enjoy life.”
“Enjoy my life?” Hilary held great restraint on his frustration. Although his voice sounded neutral, his words were enough to get a disapproving glare from his mother. He continued mainly in the knowledge that his dad was not here, or he would have been punished for sure. “I will get to enjoy my life eventually? How? As you and father enjoy yours?”
Alison sighed, clearly as frustrated as he was, but she was his mother and so she had a much better handle on things.
“What your father and I enjoy is our business, not yours. You don’t need to know what we do or how we feel towards each other.”
“And what about me?”
“What about you, dear?”
“Don’t you love me?”
“You’re our son, dear. What kind of a question is that?”
There was a soft smile upon her face, and as she walked out of the room she thrust into his hand everything he really needed to know. When the living room door closed, Hilary sank down on to the sofa and stared with distaste at the porn mag.
He really shouldn’t have expected anything more from her.
He had absolutely no choice in the matter, so why even try to be like everyone else?
Of course he got accepted into the army.
With his grades there was never any doubt, though Hilary did wonder what his parents would have done if he had failed. Disowned him probably.
With glowing recommendation letters along with his grades, he was accepted at Sandhurst with no question. The RMAS only took on the best qualified and it wasn’t long before Hilary Becker showed his mettle.
He was dedicated. He was determined and so he pushed himself harder than anyone else. He proved to Captain Wilder and the Commandant, again and again, that he was not just Gregory Becker’s son, and he demanded no special treatment because of it. It was gruelling, the first term especially so, but to him it didn’t seem so bad. His father had put him through worse.
Hilary loved his time at Sandhurst. For the first time in all his life, he felt that he didn’t have his father breathing down his neck. He made some real friends there, four other cadets; Smithy, Eames, Das and Benton, who, despite the fact that they still mocked him for having a girl’s name, said that he was ‘so stiff’ and he had the emotions of a brick wall, they respected and appreciated him as well. They enjoyed his company.Hilary knew that his father tried to interfere with those friendships, they were deemed ‘bad influences’ but it seemed that someone higher up than his father was looking out for him.
The day they graduated was one of the happiest days of Hilary’s life. The Sovereign’s Parade was a fantastic sight to behold and the whole day was a never ending celebration of their achievements. Hilary’s parents came and they joined in with the celebrations, Hilary suspecting his father putting on a different face for the superior officers in attendance and the Queen’s representative. Gregory Becker had looked proud when his son was awarded the Sword of Honour and at the stroke of midnight after the Commissioning ball, when Hilary was allowed to display his insignia for the first time, he had appeared to smile genuinely.
The next day, when everyone received their new orders and postings, all the excitement of the day before, all the excitement for his new future was dashed when no one would tell him or give him his. Even Wilder refused to tell Hilary why he was the only lieutenant not to be given an assignment.Instead he was told to go home and come back in the morning.
Hilary had returned home and when his father didn't question him or hound him for answers, it was all too clear the Colonel had planned and arranged something special for him. It sickened Becker, it riled him up to know that his dad was doing all this.
When Smithy and the others came to invite him out, to have one last night out together as friends before they were shipped out, Gregory had refused to let him go.
Hilary remembered the awful row he and his father had. He had never before dared to shout back at the man and seeing such rage in his dad only fuelled Hilary's own fury, it made him all the more determined to defy him.
Of course, it was Gregory Becker who won the argument, but it was his friends who broke him out of the house and took him to a club with the co-ordination and precision of a rescue mission. It was daring, frightening and liberating all at once but he didn’t realise just how it would change his life.
He hadn’t intended for it to happen.
Whilst his friends were off chatting up all the girls in the club Hilary was left at the bar by himself, nursing a beer and feeling a little overwhelmed by his surroundings. This was new to him and he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t dance and he certainly didn’t drink to the extent that the others did, the music was atrocious and it was so loud his head was thumping, but it was better than being at home.
He never intended to let anything happen, but it did.
Hilary wasn’t sure if he regretted it or loved it.
He had felt a bit dizzy, not used to the drink and it wasn’t long before he was led out of the claustrophobic confines of the sweaty club. A soft lilting voice asked if he was all right and then before he knew it he was sitting down on a park bench engaging in—intelligent—conversation, looking down into blue eyes and grinning like a complete moron. He laughed, he joked and found himself bitching about his parents to a very sympathetic and intent listener.
Then he found himself being kissed and very soon he was kissing back. He was running his hands through soft hair whilst fingers were groping at his shirt, pulling it open and clawing through the hair on his chest. Then those same fingers snaked down over his stomach, across his hips and pushed beneath his jeans. A fist grabbed hold of his very hardened cock.
Hilary didn’t recall getting up and going somewhere else. He didn’t remember the climb up the stairs or entering the flat. What he did remember was the kissing, the desperate hungry gasping kisses that only stopped when he needed to breathe; he remembered urgently tearing off all his clothes and feeling hot naked flesh beneath him, on top of him and around him… slick and tight.
He recalled coming so hard but after that he must have blacked out, for he woke up the next day with a mouth kissing over his rear, a hand slapping it hard and a dreamy sleepy laugh giggling.
“You might want to get home, soldier boy. You’ll be in trouble if you don’t.”
“Will I see you again?”
“Do you want to?”
The question seemed a bit ridiculous. Hilary nodded.
“Do…do you want to see me again?” The words stuttered from his mouth as he struggled to get dressed.
The beautiful smile in response made his heart soar.
“Oh sweet thing! I surely hope so!”
In a way, Hilary did have to thank his parents.
They had taught him how to keep his emotions under control. They made sure that he could handle anything thrown at him, they made him strong. So how ironic was it, that when Hilary finally came home (smelling of sex and sweat, looking dishevelled and slightly hungover) he had to listen to the furious ranting that the normally calm Gregory Becker threw at him for disobeying him.
Hilary didn’t bat an eyelid. He stood to attention and listened to his father go on and on about his insubordination, he didn’t smile except inside, as his whole body still surged from his first sexual encounter. He felt good, he felt more than good and when at last his father shut up, Hilary allowed the smile to form on his face.
It was then Hilary told them he was going to have nothing more to do with them. He remembered the looks of confusion on their faces, along with the sounds of choking disbelief before he turned away, packed up the last of his belongings and walked out.
Hilary got more than a shock when he returned to Sandhurst. He showered and smartened himself up and when he went to the Commandant’s office, he was told to wait.
He waited a long time. He sat on one of the most uncomfortable chairs in the corridor and he had to watch his friends and many others leave for their new lives. He saw the sympathetic looks sent his way from his mates, the sneers from those who hated him and he heard the usual and general comments muttered about favouritism and him being a daddy’s boy, but when they were gone…it was just as unbearable.
Hilary waited for hours. Most of the time he kept his cool and asked any passing officer what was going on, but still he got no reply. Hilary tried to occupy himself, he thought about the previous night and it made him smile. It made him forget for a while and he wished he could have been back there, but then even the thought of sex wasn’t enough.
His patience wore out and he was just about to demand some answers, when the Commandant and a man in civvies came walking towards him. Hilary had snapped to attention immediately.
Hilary was then lead into the Commandant’s office, but it was the man in the rather tatty jeans, faded t-shirt and leather jacket who addressed him.
“This is all I’m going to say Lieutenant Becker, so listen carefully. I’m Lieutenant Colonel Craig Weston and you are about to be given an opportunity that no one else has ever been given, or will ever likely be again. From this moment on you are going to be assigned to me.”
At the time it felt like a huge disappointment.
Hilary thought it had to be his father’s doing and it made him so angry. He was going to protest, but thought better as he was handed his orders. Official orders.
They made very little sense and it was impossible.
It said Special Forces.
No newly commissioned officer was ever assigned straight to Special Forces.
This was his father’s meddling and it incensed Hilary greatly, especially when Weston gave him his first orders.
“Make amends with your father, Lieutenant Becker. Go home now and apologise to him.”
Weston also made it perfectly clear what would happen if he did not comply with that order and so Hilary had absolutely no choice. He returned home to apologise.
It was the hardest thing he had ever done, and some of his training had been a bloody nightmare. Hilary despised having to apologise to his father and then listen to him berate him in return. Even his mother bombarded Hilary with her disappointment and resentment, and they told him how ungrateful and disloyal he was for walking away.
Hilary took it all and never answered back.
His whole life he had done nothing but take it and now that he had gained his commission, it only made his father’s command and hold over him that much stronger. He was never going to have his own life, it wasn’t his to live.
The put-downs ate him up, his father’s voice telling him he was not worthy of the assignment he had arranged felt like a metal blade twisting inside of him, ripping and tearing him up. Hilary Becker had achieved nothing and he never would, not when the spotlight had become stronger.
He could only blindly follow now. He had no will or thought of his own.
It was all for the people he called parents.
“Don’t blame him. It’s not his fault.”
Abby meant well. He appreciated it so much and whilst Becker didn’t object to revealing his emotions to her, or allowing her to hold him as the rain fell on both of them, he wished that she hadn’t said that.
Even with his father dead, he couldn’t escape. With everything that man had tried to do, Gregory Becker was still allowed to die a hero. The world wasn’t right, it wasn’t fair and didn’t Hilary deserve something good for once?
“Becker… please, don’t blame him. He told you the truth!”
He couldn’t help it. Matt Anderson was the only one to blame for all of this.