Where Do I Fit In?
by Andrew Foote
Throughout this story real organisations and real people are mentioned by name. Their place in the tale is in the author's imagination. No thoughts, words or deeds attributed to those people or organisations are real, nor have they ever happened. This is a story! It's fiction. The people and organisations, even when they interact with the characters, are presented in an entirely imagined and fictitious manner, and no discourtesy is intended to them by the author nor by the web site.
Today was going to be the last chance we had to relax without the pressure of training so it was nice that the house was quiet, our respective parents having disappeared back to work.
Our shower got a bit touchy-feely but after the previous night of sex we neither of us had much left to give besides very satisfying blowjobs although 69'ing in a shower cubical with warm water cascading over us wasn't perhaps the most comfortable of venues!
It had been decided that there was little to be gained by humping all our stuff back to my house just for the sake of two days so we were going to swap over and Thursday, Friday and Saturday would be spent at mine, Wednesday would remain as family time then Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we would be at Lucas's house. This change of arrangements would work well as it gave Lucas's folk the opportunity to enjoy a restful Saturday without having to go to all the trouble of catering for us on their day off.
Once dressed and breakfast out of the way, we talked about how to spend our time. The weather was pretty miserable, bitterly cold, grey overcast skies and on and off snow showers so we opted to be sensible and make inroads into our holiday homework. Alright, not the most exciting way to spend the day but it had to be done at some point.
We worked through until lunchtime with just the odd break for tea or coffee then once we'd finished our lunch and cleared away, the same during the afternoon calling it a day at around five o'clock.
Lucas seemed pleased with his efforts.
"Well I'm almost done. I've only got history to do and that's it. Have you got much more?"
"English but I left that 'til last deliberately as there's not much of it. I thought I'd get all the heavy-weight stuff out of the way first."
"Perhaps that's what I should've done. We're back to our trips to Christchurch tomorrow and Peter said something about working us hard to offset the Christmas excesses. It'll be good to be back to a routine though."
"Yes. I've missed it even though it's only been three days but then we've got New Year coming up and another two day break."
"Yeah and then there's Guam."
"God! I'd almost forgotten about that but we'll still have to train while we're there."
"Sure we will but think about it. Three weeks with our own hotel room which we can escape to, time to do whatever we want without all the time worrying that we'll be overheard? Bliss!"
I giggled at this.
"We'll wear each other out most like!"
"I damn hope so! If last night is anything to go by, we'll need a break to get over the break! Come on, we'd better get tea on the go."
The following morning we found it difficult to leave the bed, our body clocks had become used to later starts so it took considerable will-power to get up and dressed.
The weather had turned milder overnight and a partial thaw had begun but is still wasn't a good idea to jog and obviously the others had thought the same as everyone arrived at the house on bikes. Benny looked reasonably fresh but both Lorain and Paul looked like we felt, in need of a couple of hours extra sleep.
I tried to make the point that it would be short lived and once we'd settled back into a routine we'd be okay.
"I hope so! We set two alarms last night and it was Paul who heard the second one, not me and neither of us heard the first!"
Benny looked quizzical.
"So are you blokes like 'together' as in, umm, 'together'?"
"Yes we are. We're both very lucky to have such understanding parents."
"Wow! You lucky sods! The only thing I have in bed for company at night is my right hand!" He blushed furiously.
"It won't be long Benny, I can assure you!"
"Oh don't you start Lor? I got enough grief from Lucas telling me I was cute and how all the girls would be chasing after me!"
"Have you ever considered the possibility that he might just be right? You're a really great looking lad so why shouldn't they?
"Yeah well, I'll believe that when I see it. Can we change the subject please?"
The morning session was fairly gentle in as much as gym work went although Benny was put through his paces and he was still hard at it as we went for our endurance swim. Lor and Paul were set aside from us after the preliminary loosening up was out of the way as they were put to work dribbling a ball whilst running around an obstacle course. Damn they were quick!
Just as we were about to leave, Alec collared us or more specifically Benny.
"Look I know what the boys got you for Christmas, they asked me to get your sizes and stuff and I also know it was delivered on time so why aren't you wearing it?"
"I'm not entitled to yet. Dad told me that I was going to get sponsorship but it hasn't come through yet. If someone were to ask me if I was being sponsored I'd have to say 'no not yet but soon' and I'd feel like a fraud. I'd rather wait until it's like official."
"Very laudable. It'll be with you very soon I promise. You guys all looked pleased to be back on the treadmill?"
Paul spoke for all of us.
"Three days seemed like a lifetime! Christmas was busy-busy but yesterday dragged and all Lorain and I wanted was to get back to the discipline of working out. You were right, it's like a drug."
"Yes but a good one that can only do you a power of good. See you all tonight and you two?" Looking at Lucas and I "Stay safe for heaven's sake!"
As we unlocked our bikes, Paul posed the inevitable question.
"What did Alec mean about you guys staying safe? Has anything happened?"
I briefly explained about our trip back from the 'Ferryboat' and what had gone down.
"Bloody-hell! Isn't anyone safe these days?"
"Seems not so we thought that if we're not all of us together, you know, like one or more of us has to take a break then we stick with the main roads rather than the shortcuts. We were fortunate in as much as they thought we were an easy target and also we had an element of surprise on our side but who knows, someone stronger than us might have a go so it's best we don't present ourselves as easy prey."
Paul didn't hesitate.
"That has my vote. Anyone so much as touches Lor and I swear to God I'd kill them, you guys the same. It'll be different come the lighter evenings but for now let's be sensible. We'll go with Benny as far as his house then double back, it's only makes about three or four minute's difference."
We reached Lucas's house and dismounted. Our customary morning 'farewell' of high-fives was cut short by Lucas.
"What are we at here? That's just sooo American! Do it the British way for fucks sake!" and with that he pulled us into a five-way hug which lasted for at least a minute. It felt good, very good and we parted company with smiles on our faces.
Again we took the opportunity to spend a couple of hours finishing our homework so leaving the rest of the Christmas holiday clear then just as we were thinking about putting our books away came a knock on the front door. Lucas went to answer it believing it to be the postman but then walked back into the dining room accompanied by a man and a woman who introduced themselves as Detective Inspector Bob Collins and Detective Constable Angie Marriott.
"We just want to fully understand what happened on Boxing Day afternoon when you boys were accosted up on the common but firstly I want you to know that you are not in any sort of trouble and this chat is so we have all the facts at our disposal in order that my boss can decide which way to proceed. I think the best way to approach this is for you to lead us through that afternoon from the time you left home with your dad's right up to the time our colleagues arrived. Fair enough?"
We nodded our heads in agreement, Lucas looked at me to indicate that I should start the ball rolling.
"Well we'd just finished clearing up after lunch when Mr Carmichael, that's Lucas's dad told us that he and my dad were going for a walk and would we like to go with them. Their excuse was that they wanted some fresh air and walk off the excesses of the last few days but actually it was an excuse for a trip to the pub! We went with them and walked up onto the common, through the woods as far as the river then along to the docks where we went to the 'Ferryboat' pub."
"We found a vacant pool table and the four of us played it for most of the afternoon until our fathers decided that they had perhaps had a little too much to drink and rather than risk the walk back, I mean it was really slippery under foot, they were going to call a cab but we both decided to walk it as we were missing the exercise but the thing was, I'd noticed these two men sitting at the bar. All the time we were playing pool, they were scoping us out. They weren't just interested in our pathetic attempts at the game, they were seriously creepy. When our dads were at the table, they sort of ignored us but when it was either Andy or I up there, it was like their eyes were glued to our asses."
"And you Andrew? Did you notice them?"
"Well yes, sort of. I mean I wasn't aware of them staring at us but I had seen them sitting at the bar."
"Could you tell us why you were more aware of them Lucas?"
"Yeah well, I have history you see. I'm kinda more tuned in to that sort of thing."
"Would you feel comfortable telling us about it? We could ask Andrew to leave the room if it makes things easier for you?"
"What? You have to be kidding! Andy knows everything about me. Sure I'll tell you but he stays!"
Lucas went through what had happened to him, the abuse, and the lack of police action leading to their move back to the UK.
"That's terrible son. No action was taken, nothing at all?"
"Nothing. It was almost like a conspiracy."
"Have you received any counselling?"
"Some. We have a sports psychologist who works with us but Andy is my best form of counselling. It's because of him that I almost never think about it now."
"Wait. Are you the two boys who are diving partners?"
"And you came out as gay on Breakfast TV?"
"Nothing. Very courageous of you if I may say so. I didn't see the interview but my children did however I did see the documentary, I just didn't put two and two together. Anyway, that explains why you're very sensitive about adult attention."
"Not all adults sir but I do have like a sixth sense almost and I can 'feel' it if a pervert looks at me, or at Andy come to that."
"Okay so what happened next? You decided to walk home rather than taking a taxi with your fathers and…….."
"We left the pub, our dads had gone to use the loo so they didn't see us leave but Lucas noticed these two blokes get up and follow us out but as we walked along by the river, he noticed that only one of them was in sight. He told me that he thought we were going to be jumped and to keep vigilant so I picked up a bit of wood which fitted into my fist and we carried on walking. Once we were about half way into the woods, this guy sprang out in front of us and started making some pretty disgusting remarks."
"Can you remember what he said?"
"Yes. He said it was a nice evening for a stroll, a nice evening for all sorts of things and how he and his friend planned on having a lot of fun with us. You don't have to be Einstein to work out what he meant? They planned on sexually abusing us, maybe raping us, who knows what else."
"And then what did you do?"
"Well it was probably wrong of me but I've always been taught that the best form of defence is attack so I made out like we might be willing but wanted to see how he was 'equipped' and so when he dropped his kegs, I grabbed hold of his tackle and gave it a bloody good twist, then I punched him in the face which put him on the floor but then the cavalry arrived."
"Unorthodox but very effective! You did a good job of dislocating his jaw!"
"Am I in trouble?"
"Not in the slightest."
"Thank God for that. What'll happen to those guys?"
"It's hard to say and fortunately it isn't my decision. The problem is, to get a case to court we need evidence and we don't have very much to go on except for what you've told us. No actual assault occurred so it's your word against his but in this instance, he is in big trouble just for talking to you. He's already on the sex offenders register and as such he's not allowed any contact with anyone under the age of eighteen so it might be that he's taken back to court for being in breach of the original order where the courts have the power to invoke the suspended sentence and put him behind bars for a period but again, I must stress, this is by no means certain. As for the other chap? Whilst we've had our suspicions about him, he has no previous convictions and undoubtedly he will argue that he was just making his way home. The fact that he was walking in completely the wrong direction isn't a crime. If he wanted to take the long route home then it's a free country and he can do as he likes. My best guess is that he'll be interviewed at length, have the frighteners put on him and hope he stays out of trouble."
"That hardly seems right? What you're saying is, unless we're attacked, abused or raped, there's nothing much you can do? That's crazy!"
"Sometimes the law does seem that way. Now had there been a third party witness? That might've put a totally different complexion on matters but there wasn't. No DNA, no nothing so our hands are tied. Try and remember, we as police officers find it unbelievably frustrating. Here we have a potentially evil and dangerous individual and there's bugger-all we can do about it but there is another thing you have to think about. Let's just assume he was just an innocent passer-by and you were intent on making trouble for him. You make an allegation of this nature and with no evidence to corroborate it, we took court action against him and as a result, he got sent down. An innocent man behind bars for an offence he didn't commit and also, one that carries a stigma of immense proportions. His position in society, ruined for ever, most likely a family torn to shreds and all because the law wasn't able to differentiate between innocence and guilt as the necessary safeguards were not on statute. What do you think about that?"
"Point taken. That's too awful to contemplate. I mean we hear about kids with a grudge accusing teachers of stuff that never actually happened. That's the same sort of thing I guess."
"Exactly but that doesn't help you. All I can say is, this individual, well both of them really, are firmly on our radar and one foot out of place, one slight mistake and we'll be on their backs. It might be that we'll need to take formal statements from you should the powers that be deem it necessary but not right now, alright?"
"Fine but just so as you know, come January we're out of the country for three weeks."
"Where are you off to?"
"Never heard of it! Geography was never my forte!"
"It's an island sort of mid-way between Japan and Australia. We're there on like a battery-recharge and the opportunity to dive using one of the best facilities in the world."
"The recharge sounds wonderful although you'd never get me up on those tables you boys use! Have a great trip and stay safe."
After the police left we talked about what had been said. It seemed hard to believe that people could be able to do such things and get away with it. The only small conciliation, and I do mean small was that the one guy who was already known to the police might get sent away but for how long? We had no idea of what his original offence had been or what his suspended sentence was so after a while, the subject was dropped and we set about the task of preparing our tea.
Our session at Christchurch went well enough. Our gym work was good and the different games we played as a group were fun but our diving, at least by our standards was not up to scratch. I could feel it and so could Lucas but Liam took the view that it was all down to us having the break and we'd be back up there soon enough but I was starting to think there was another reason behind it.
The jog back home was jovial enough but even this seemed different although I was probably the only one to sense it and once back at the house, supper was served and as usual I ate for England whereas Lucas left some of his complaining of tummy ache so it wasn't long before we took ourselves off to bed.
"So 'pretty boy'. Y'all decided to come on back to Daddy then. Ah knew ya couldn't stay away for too long, you need mah lovin' don't cha boy so wah don't ya come over here to ya Daddy, git them clothes off of ya so we kin git reacquainted!"
His obscene words seemed to echo around the canyon walls and despite the oppressive heat, there was a chill in the air.
"I haven't come back for that, I've come back to kill you, you bastard! Haven't you done enough? You use God as an excuse to rape me and defile me, you're a disgrace to your church and to the God you pretend to worship. So help me, I'm going to take away your life!"
"Well now, lookie here! Don't ah jus love it when y'all git mad! It makes me wanna hurt ya real bad, 'pretty boy' so wah don't y'all come on over here and git it over with? Ya know you've missed me shoving mah cock up ya sweet Lilly-white English ass!"
A gun, an automatic light machine pistol had, as if by magic, found its way into the boys his left hand. He curled his index finger around the trigger and as if he had been used to the weapon all his young life, he released the safety catch using his thumb.
"No way padre! You're a corpse walking!"
He raised the pistol to shoulder height and waited.
"So where didya git you that toy, 'pretty boy'? Down at the dollar store son, huh? Ha-ha, well enough is enough, y'all trying mah patience now d'hear me?"
The man took a pace forward, the boy squeezed the trigger.
'Thud, thud, thud.'
The gun spat three bullets in quick succession, one through the groin, one through the right nipple and one through the left. The man's back exploded in a shower of blood and guts as he fell backwards into the dirt.
The boy dropped the gun then looked down to his left and saw his friend laying there, ashen-white and with blood seeping from his ears. He knelt down beside him and put his ear to his young friend's chest.
Nothing…….. nothing at all.
He was dead.
"Lucas, Lucas for Christ's sake wake up!" I yelled.
Our bedroom door burst open and Mr Carmichael rushed over to us but by this time Lucas had pulled me into a hug, holding me so tight that his finger nails were clawing into my back drawing blood.
"It's okay. He's just had a nightmare. He'll be fine in a minute or two."
"Do you need anything son? A glass of water perhaps?"
"Thanks dad but all I need is right here, all I need is Andy right now. I dreamt he was dead, our Pastor had murdered him but he's alive and I don't want to let him go, not ever!"
Mr Carmichael ruffled my hair and smiled at me.
"Take good care of my son Andy. I thought he was over this but it appears he still has issues. Try and get some sleep now. You've a long road to travel."
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