The Move

Chapter 29

By Doug Smith

Josh and I went upstairs to take a nap shortly after noon. He had gone back to sleep after I went to karate but he still wasn't opposed to taking a 'nap'. I smiled and told him I really was tired. "I don't want to fall asleep on you tonight."

Our dinner reservation was for five so we set the alarm for a little before four. It would only take a half hour to get there but I wanted to take a shower beforehand. By twelve thirty we were both in our boxer briefs and under the covers. We didn't do anything. We just cuddled and I fell asleep with my head on his chest. It was really peaceful. His arm was around me and I could feel my head going up and down on his chest.

He was watching me when I woke up. "How long have you been awake?"

"About an hour. I wasn't really tired. I've just been watching you. You're cute when you're sleeping. You know that?"

"You mean I'm not cute when I'm awake?"

He smiled. "That's not what I meant and you know it."

"I know. You're cute too."

I gave him a kiss and got up to take a shower. Josh smiled when I reached for his hand and pulled him up.

"Don't you need a shower too?"

"Is that all we're going to do?"

I smiled. "We don't have time for anything else. Our dinner reservation is at five. Besides, being a little horny on a date is a good thing. It'll make you frisky."

"I still wish you'd tell me what we're doing. You're not spending a lot of money are you? You don't have to you know."

"Josh, it's one night. Just enjoy yourself. I want to do this for you. Don't worry about the money. Besides, my father is paying for dinner. We have tickets for later but they kind of blew my budget so I was thinking we'd go somewhere quick. My father made us reservations at O'Banions. He wants us to have a good time."

"O'Banions?? Dan, that place costs a fortune. I've never been but I've heard it's expensive. We don't have to go there."

"Yes we do. My father made the reservations and we can't cancel," I smiled. "He'd be upset and they'd probably still charge him something." I put my arms around him. "Please let me do this for you. I've been looking forward to it all week."

"What did you mean tickets? What are we doing later?"

"Do you want to know now or do you want it to be a surprise?"

"I think I know."

"You do?"

"I heard an advertisement for a show on the radio. Did you buy tickets for TSO?"

I smiled. "Yeah, I saw them once in Chicago. They were great. We both like music. It'll be fun. They're loud, a lot of pyrotechnics and a lot of lights. They put on a great show. When I saw them part of the show was from their Christmas CDs but it's not your typical Christmas music. The other half was regular music, usually with a theme. I hope you like them."

"I've only seen the houses decorated for Christmas where the lights are synchronized to that song they play. That's pretty cool."

"Just think of that for three hours in the Civic Center with some indoor fireworks thrown in. I had a great time when I saw them before. I hope you will too. You don't have epilepsy or anything do you?" I asked laughing.

"Not that I know of. It'll be fun but don't think you have to spend that much money on me all the time. Stuff like that is fun but it isn't important."

"Don't worry. I can't afford it most of the time. I just want tonight to be special. So, no more talk about money ...Okay?"

"Okay," he smiled. "Thanks. I really do appreciate it. I just feel like a charity case. It's not a good feeling. We'll have a good time though. It sounds like fun."

I put my arms around him and pulled him against me. "Josh ...us going out doesn't have anything to do with what's happening with your father or your living here. It's about you and me. I want us to do something different and something fun. Yeah, we could just go to the movies but we can always do that. Going to dinner and the show will give us a happy memory because we're doing it together. ...And you're not a charity case."

I ran my hand on the side of his head pushing his hair back a little.

"I love you and I'm looking forward to being with you tonight. I want to make you happy. It's important to me. Please let me. Okay?"

He smiled. "Okay."

We took a quick shower, yes together, but we didn't fool around. We did get hard when we washed each other but we didn't take care of things. Our dinner reservations were for five so we didn't have much time. Good thing we're guys and don't take that much time to get ready. We might be gay but that doesn't mean we take a lot of time. We both dressed in chinos and a nice shirt. The restaurant didn't require a suit and tie but jeans wouldn't be appreciated either. I'd been there with my parents so I knew we were dressed appropriately.

The restaurant had valet parking but we decided to park in a nearby parking garage. It was halfway between the restaurant and the Civic Center and within easy walking distance of both. That way I wouldn't have to find a parking place before the show.

I knew Josh was wary when we walked into the restaurant. It was a really, really nice place, linen table clothes, mahogany paneled walls, fancy dishware, the waters were dressed in suits. The Matre D, someone old enough to be my father, even called me 'sir'. That felt a little strange. The nice thing was that he didn't treat us like kids of course that could be because my father had made the reservation.

The first thing I did when we sat down was to put my hand on Josh's menu before he picked it up.

"I don't want you looking at the right side of the menu," I smiled. "And ...I don't want you ordering a hamburger, not that this place has them. One comment about prices and there won't be any sex for you when we get home."

"What makes you think I want sex?" he smiled.

"Hmm, I guess I got the impression you like shoving your cock down my throat."

"Well, ...there is that. I guess I won't say a word."

He did frown when he saw the prices. I just smiled and said "not a word."

We were looking at the menus when our waiter came over to introduce himself and ask if we wanted something to drink. We obviously couldn't order alcohol so we both ordered Cokes. He looked familiar but I couldn't place him. He smiled when he returned with our drinks.

"I can tell you don't remember me."

"You look familiar. I know I've met you somewhere."

"I wasn't dressed like this when we met. I'm Darren. You met me and my friend Jimmy hiking. You're Dan and you're Josh, right? I'm really good with faces."

"Wow!! You're right. I should have remembered. I guess I've been preoccupied," I smiled looking at Josh.

"It's okay. I'm surprised to see you here. We don't usually get many high school students out on dates."

"It's kind of a special occasion. Josh and I wanted ot officially celebrate our becoming boyfriends."

"Hey, that's great. I'd sneak you a bottle of wine but I'd get fired and I need the money."

"Thanks, but we don't drink. How's Jimmy?"

"He and I aren't together any more. You don't want to know why. You're celebrating. It's okay though. College life is fun and there are plenty of guys to choose from. Enjoy your dinner. I'll take extra good care of you."

"Thanks Darren."

I felt bad for Darren but wasn't going to let that affect my night with Josh. It was obvious he was upset about whatever happened between him and Jimmy. All kinds of things flashed through my head but fortunately I was able not to think about it during dinner.

Dinner was fantastic. It was almost too bad we had to leave for the show. Josh had a NY Strip Steak while I ordered Veal Piccata. He didn't even say a word when he saw the price was $50 for his steak. Of course it did come with other things like a salad, fresh vegetables, and potatoes. Each was cooked in a different way to make them unique. They were good but I like things plain just as well. I guess this isn't that type of restaurant. Josh didn't say a word about the prices though. I laughed to myself thinkin he must really want sex later.

What made dinner great was that it was relaxing and we got to talk for almost two hours. We didn't leave until seven, just in time for the show. We talked all through dinner. The best part was we didn't talk about what was going on with him or what happened to me. We talked about us, what we liked, what we wanted to do in the future, plans for the holidays, how cute he is and how much I loved him or we loved each other.

Darren did a good job too. He had good timing but didn't rush us. He was there when we needed something and brought each course at the right time but he wasn't always around asking if we needed something or acting like we should hurry. A lot of restaurants seem to bring the next course before you're even done with what you already have or they try to take your plate before you're even finished with it. That pisses me off. They may say not to hurry but they make you feel like they want you out of there so they can sit someone else.

This place wasn't like that. Maybe it was because we were already paying enough for two parties but Darren let us take our time. He also didn't treat us like kids of course he wasn't much older than us. I had been worried we'd get treated like that but knew we wouldn't once I knew he was our waiter. He treated us like he'd treat anyone, probably better.

We did get some looks from people around us. While nobody said anything I'm sure they wondered about us. Not that we were all over each other but it was kind of obvious we were more than friends. How many teenage guys go to dinner and act like it's a date? We actually laughed about it. I told Josh I'd help him with his coat when we left if he wanted me to. I did put my arm around him as we walked out the door however.

"I saw you looking at Darren's ass," he laughed.

"You know I just look," I said smiling as we walked to the Civic Center.

"I know. I was looking too. I just wanted to let you know I knew," he smiled. "It was nice to look at."

"As long as you just look."

"Now who is jealous? Don't worry. I won't do anything to screw this up. I'm happier than I've been in years."

"That makes two of us. Well, at least a year. I hope you enjoy the show."

"It'll be fun. I wonder what happened with Darren and Jimmy."

"Who knows. Maybe they wanted to see other people. Maybe they didn't have much in common. Maybe one of them cheated. I felt bad for Darren because he seems like a nice guy and seemed like it upset him even though he didn't say anything. I'm not sure I bought the line that there are lots of guys in college. Hopefully he's okay."

"You think Jimmy cheated? I kind of got that impression from the tone in his voice when you asked about Jimmy. I don't want to even imagine what that would feel like. It would be one thing if we broke up and you find someone else but to do something like that behind my back would really hurt, especially if I caught you in the act."

"Josh, don't even think it. That's not going to happen. There's no way I'd ever hurt you like that. You don't really worry about that do you?"

"No, not really. I mean the thought has crossed my mind but that was more when I didn't believe you could really feel like you do."

"Believe it Josh. I do love you."

"I love you too Dan. How did I get so lucky?"

"It's almost like it was preordained. It just took us a while to figure it out."

It was a short walk from the restaurant to the Civic Center. There were a lot of people around so we didn't hold hands after we left the restaurant. It's too bad but there was no sense asking for trouble. I did put my hand on Josh's leg during the show. Actually it was on his thigh. I had my jacket over my arm so nobody could see. Maybe someone could still see but everyone seemed to be paying attention to the show. We were too but I also felt the warmth between Josh's legs. He just smiled as I rubbed his leg while we watched the show.

The concert was great. Anyone who hasn't seen TSO should seriously consider it, especially if they like loud music, lights and pyrotechnics. The first half was Christmas-y but it definitely wasn't your typical Christmas carols. They were reworked carols with a heavy rock flavor and lots of lights. The second half of the show was from their 'Night Castle' CD. I have to admit I hadn't read the story behind the rock opera so I didn't understand the details but the show was awesome. One highlight was when a guitarist and violinist played on a suspended stage that rose from the floor of the arena like a UFO during "Requiem." It was really cool. We definitely enjoyed ourselves and our heads were pounding when we left.

I was surprised when Josh grabbed my hand as we walked back to the jeep. "I had a good time," he said. "Thank you."

"I'm glad. I did too. I wish all our dates could be like tonight but I'd go broke," I smiled. "Tonight was worth it though. Dinner was good and I really liked the show."

"Did you like the music or did you like having your hand on my lap?"

"It felt like you enjoyed my hand."

"I did but only because it was your hand. I can't describe how you make me feel. I didn't think I'd ever experience these feelings. I love you but I know you love me too. I can feel it. I can't describe how that feels."

"You mean you finally believe me?"

"I always believed you. Now I'm convinced."

I stood facing him as he leaned against the jeep. A few people were walking to their cars but weren't really paying attention. "You don't have to describe anything. I feel the same way. I can't wait until I feel you inside me for real but I still think we should wait. I hope you don't think tonight was meant to convince you it's time because that wasn't my intent. It's not that I don't want to. It's just that I want that time to be something special. Maybe it's because I know there will only be one first time and I like imagining what it will be like. Sometime the time will be right and we'll both know it. The feelings we have inside will be ten times as strong by then. Of course if you said you wanted it tonight I'd willingly let you but I still would like to wait."

"Dan, we're only sixteen. I'm not in any hurry and I'm not going anywhere. I'm totally into how things are now. I still can't believe everything that's happened. I love it when you hold me and tell me how much you love me. I'm not used to anyone telling me they love me. It makes me feel good. I guess I don't want to do something like that with your parents down the hall either."

I laughed. "You afraid I couldn't control myself and scream for you to fuck me harder?"

"I'm sure your parents don't want Scott to hear that. I'm sure they don't want to hear it either."

I looked around. There was nobody nearby so I gave him a kiss. "We should get going. Remember that I'm taking Scott to the planetarium tomorrow. You're coming aren't you?"

"Of course if I'm invited."

"You're invited doofus. If I left you home Scott wouldn't let me hear the end of it. Now let's go."

We got home around eleven thirty. My parents were just going to bed but stayed up when they heard us. We had something to drink and talked to them a few minutes before they went upstairs. Josh even sat cross way across my lap while we were talking. I had my arm around him and his head was against my chest. He did seem to be getting more relaxed around my parents.

Unfortunately there were pluses and minuses about him sitting like that. It didn't take long before I got a raging hardon from his ass rubbing against me. Fortunately my parents couldn't see since he was on my lap. It felt kind of strange being hard talking to my parents but it was probably strange for them to see us sit like that too. Unfortunately Josh wasn't so lucky. He didn't have anyone sitting on his lap to block the view of his hardon.

"You really do have a bony butt. I guess that's better than the alternative but a little padding might be nice at times," I smiled shifting position. I also grabbed my jacket off the arm rest and put it across Josh's lap. I'm sure my parents noticed but they didn't say anything. Josh just smiled.

My parents went upstairs shortly after midnight while Josh and I stayed up to watch TV.

"Oh man," said Josh. "I can't believe I got hard in front of your parents. I was okay until I felt you pushing into my ass. Do you think they noticed?"

"Don't worry about it. My father was sixteen once. He knows what it's like and my mother's a shrink. She knows how teenage boys think. I think we need to take care of this though," I said rubbing his crotch.

I laid back on the couch and pulled Josh on top of me. It didn't take us long before we paid less and less attention to what was on TV and more and more to each other. We didn't go too far since we were on the couch in the living room. It wasn't likely that anyone would come downstairs but you never know.

It felt good however. We just laid on the couch holding each other and kissing, a lot of kissing. Did I say it felt really good holding each other? It really did. It was just us. It was like we were the only two people in the world and I was totally into him at that moment. That felt good too. To feel so much love for someone really feels good. I thought how I never wanted to let him go and how I'd do anything to keep him safe and happy.

"We should go upstairs," he said around 1:00. "We're taking Scott to the Planetarium tomorrow and should get some sleep."

"Yeah, we should because there is something else I need more than sleep and we shouldn't do that here."

"What makes you think I don't just want to go to sleep?"

"Two things," I smiled. "One is this thing that I keep feeling you rub against me and the other is that you didn't say a word about the prices at the restaurant tonight. That told me you must really want sex tonight."

"How about that we're just both hornballs?"

"Yeah, that too," I smiled. "You ready?"

We went upstairs and we definitely didn't go to sleep right away. In fact I think we finally got to sleep after four in the morning. That gave us three hours of well, passionate sex, as long as you ignore the five minutes it took us to brush our teeth and rip off our cloths.

I never thought I would say it but by the time we did fall asleep I don't think I could have gotten hard again if I tried and believe me, I did. Josh couldn't either so he tried to get me hard again by crawling between my legs and putting my cock in his mouth. It was actually sore from the last three hours. We had both cum at least three times. Saying Josh is part of me definitely took on a whole new meaning. I mean, I'd swallowed him before but I couldn't get enough that night.

There was plenty of cum other places as well. We'd definitely be changing the sheets in the morning. A hot shower wouldn't hurt either. But that was tomorrow too. Tonight we just held each other and fell asleep in each others arms.

That was the position we were in when Scott came barging into the bedroom at 9:00 Sunday morning. Josh and I were lying naked holding each other on top of the sheets. Fortunately I wasn't really asleep and heard him coming so I grabbed the blanket and put it over us.

"Scott!!! You need to knock."

"It smells in here."

I laughed. "Josh must have farted. He does that a lot in his sleep."

"Ewwww."

"I do not," said Josh. "Good morning Scott."

"When are you guys going to get up? You said you were taking me to the Planetarium."

"We are. We have all day. It'll only take a half hour to get there."

"Hurry up."

"Alright, you go downstairs and we'll be right down. I need to take a shower and have something to eat, then we'll go."

"Okay, but hurry up. I've been waiting for you to wake up."

"Go downstairs," I smiled. "And Scott... next time knock."

"Alright, I'm sorry. Mom said I had to wait until 9:00 before I woke you up."

I gave Josh a kiss after Scott went downstairs. "Morning sunshine, that was quite a night. This is the first time I haven't woken up with morning wood since, well, since before Josh," I smiled.

"It was okay," he sighed. "I mean, if that's the best you can do then I guess I'll have to live with it."

"Asshole," I smiled.

"That's what you get for telling Scott I farted. Do you think it really smells in here? I can't smell anything."

I laughed. "Probably. My parents would have known what it is but Scott didn't. Think it would be obvious if we carried the sheets downstairs before breakfast?"

"We should get going before Scott comes back."

I reached down and played with his cock. It was soft too. "I see Josh Jr. is still tired."

"Josh Jr. is sore this morning. You gave him quite a workout last night. Last night was fantastic Dan, all of it, not just the sex. Of course that was fantastic by itself," he smiled. "I definitely don't need much for breakfast."


Scott really enjoyed the Planetarium. Fortunately he didn't ask any questions about walking in on Josh and me being naked in bed together. It would have been one thing if we had the sheets over us but since we didn't he definitely got an eyeful. He was so excited about the Planetarium however that I'm not sure he even noticed Josh's ass staring him in the face.

I'm not really into astronomy like Scott is but spending the day with Scott and Josh was fun. The Planetarium was built to honor Christa McAuliffe, the teacher who was killed in the Challenger accident. A few years ago it was expanded to honor Alan Sheppard, the first American in space, as well. They were both from NH or at least lived here at one time in their lives.

The Planetarium itself was more than just a planetarium. It had a full-sized replica of a Mercury-Redstone rocket, a rooftop observatory and plenty of interactive science exhibits to keep Scott entertained in addition to the Planetarium theater. Josh and I mainly just followed Scott as he bounced between the various exhibits. It was definitely geared towards kids.

Scott had a good time at the show as well. He could pick out all the constellations before they outlined them to show those of us who aren't as start literate. Personally I still had trouble identifying some of them even after they tried making it obvious. I could see the Big Dipper but after that I was pretty hopeless.

It was dark in the Planetarium. Too bad Scott wanted to sit between Josh and me. It's not like we would have done anything. After all, there were tons of kids around with their parents. I doubt they'd appreciate two guys making out during the Planetarium show. Maybe that's why I had a tough time identifying the constellations. It was tough to concentrate if you know what I mean.

After the show Scott wanted to stay longer to see the exhibits some more. He claimed he hadn't seen everything. Josh and I just smiled and told him to have at it. It didn't take long for his stomach to overrule however and we ended up eating in the Countdown Cafe before leaving. Even Scott was ready to leave by then.

Josh and I went to bed early Sunday night. Between the party, the show Saturday night and spending the day at the Planetarium, not to mention other activities Saturday night or was that Sunday morning, we were pretty wiped. We did manage to get our homework done although we probably could have done a better job. It looked like we put in the amount of time that we had. I also talked to Jason a few minutes. I really missed him. He asked about coming to visit during the Christmas break again. I told him Josh and I had talked about it but hadn't decided. I wanted to but still didn't know how Josh would feel.


Things were pretty much back to normal Monday morning. We met up with all the guys in the parking lot and walked into school together. Guys including Becky and Tanya of course. Phil was in his usual spot. He was also back to his normal self.

"Hey faggots, you have a good weekend? I heard you had a party Johnson. What was it, an orgy? I hear my brother was there. You trying to convert him? Don't worry, he won't be going again. I showed him what will happen to him if he hangs around with you. What did you think? I wouldn't find out? I know all about him and his 'friend'. He won't be hanging out with him any more either."

I positioned myself between him and everyone else, especially Josh.

"Don't do it Dan, he's not worth it."

"What's the matter Johnson, you chicken. You might have been able to sucker punch me last time but I'm ready for you this time. You won't be able to take all of us."

There was a crowd gathering around us. I guess the prospect of a good fight is always enticing. I looked at Phil and then I looked towards Ron. He didn't look nearly as sure of himself as Phil. I felt Josh grabbing my arm.

"Come on Dan, let's go. This isn't the time or the place."

I shook my head. "Just leave things alone Clayton and leave your brother alone. He didn't do anything. He's your brother. Don't you care about anything?" I couldn't understand how anyone could hurt his brother. The thought of me ever hurting Scott was so foreign that I couldn't comprehend it. Yeah, Phil and Kyle were only step-brothers but shouldn't there be something between them?

Maybe I should have stopped but I kept going.

"How about Ron here? If he needed you would you be there for him?" I looked at him giving him time to react. When he didn't I kept going.

"I didn't think so. All you care about is yourself. That who you hang around with Ron? Someone who wouldn't give two shits about you if you needed him. And he expects you to have his back now? Nice friends you pick. Think about it Ron. Do you really want that kind of trouble? You know what really happened to Phil's jaw. You really think it was a lucky punch?"

"How about the rest of you guys? Is Clayton really the type of guy you want to stand by? You think he cares about any of you? He just wants you to back him up because he knows he'd get his ass kicked if he fought fair. Hell, he can't even throw a football and you expect him to throw a punch? The last time he tried that he got his jaw dislocated. Next time he might not be so lucky."

Phil definitely didn't expect what he was getting. Rather than putting me on the defensive he was put on the spot. He friends were talking amongst themselves and started to back away. Even Ron moved off with his friends.

"Where are you guys going? We said we were going to kick his ass. Don't wimp out on me."

"You're the one who seems to have a problem with him Clayton. You deal with it. He hasn't done anything to us. We could give a shit if they're all fags as long as they don't bother us. You don't even know they are. Obviously they're not all gay. Mike isn't gay. It wasn't right what you did to him."

All of Phil's 'friends', including Ron, backed away more. That left Phil and me facing each other.

"Josh is right Phil, you're not worth it. You're just a fat, dumb, bigot who thinks he's better than he is. You're nothing Clayton. You suck at football and you're basically just an asshole."

"Alright, break it up. What's going on here?"

It was Mr. Hodgkins, the school principal.

"It's time to get to class. You," he said looking at me. "I want to see you in my office. The rest of you get to class."

I shook my head. "Shit," I said to myself. Josh tried to follow me but Mr Hodgkins told him to get to class. "Not you," he said. "I want to talk to Mr. Johnson alone. You go to class."

Reluctantly Josh went with Chris and Ryan towards the lockers and I followed Mr. Hodgkins into his office. Josh kept looking back until I disappeared into the office and Mr. Hodgkins shut the door.

"Sit down," he said. "That boy certainly likes you."

"Who?"

"Don't give me that. Josh Sullivan, that's who and you know it but that's not why you're here. Care to tell me what that was about?"

"Nothing, just the usual sh, ahh stuff that Clayton dishes out every morning."

"It sounded like you were dishing it out pretty good too. You're lucky he and his friends didn't start anything."

"They don't scare me. Besides, it didn't look like his friends wanted to fight, just him. I didn't do anything other than stand up for myself. Why am I here?"

"I know you and Mr. Clayton have some feud going. I had a talk with your father and I've talked to a number of your teachers. I just want to warn you. Anything happens and I'll come looking for both of you. I'll be telling him the same thing. There won't be any turf wars in my school. You hear me?"

I had to laugh. "Turf war? You make it sound like a gang war. All I did was walk into school. He's the one who started things. I don't mean to be disrespectful but I'll tell you the same thing I told my father. I won't start anything but if he tries something he won't like the results. I won't back down and I will defend myself or my friends. So if you're going to suspend me then suspend me."

"No, I'm not going to suspend you. You didn't do anything, this time. Like I said, I'm just giving you a friendly warning. I'll be watching both of you closely. I don't want any trouble."

"Tell him that."

"I plan to."

"You might as well tell a brick wall. You'd have better luck."

"That's what I'm afraid of. Sort of like talking to you. I don't think much of anything I've said has changed your attitude either. I'll give you credit though. Standing up to all those guys takes balls. Either that or no brains. I'm not sure which category you fall into."

"I can take care of myself."

"That's what your father said. He also said he's worried about Mr. Sullivan. You might be able to take care of yourself but he doesn't seem as fortunate. It's obvious there is something going on between you two. This is a small school," he smiled. "Rumors go around. You might want to consider what could happen to him."

"I don't listen to rumors but I'll tell you this. If he hurts Josh or any of my friends you're going to need two ambulances because Phil won't be walking away."

"It better not come to that. I want you to think about what I said. I know you care about your friends but they've been dealing with Clayton long before you moved here. You trying to protect them may be causing the exact situation they'll need protection from."

I frowned. He might have had a point but I wasn't going to admit it. "They dealt with it by putting up with him. The same way everyone else seems to. You're basically saying to let him do what he wants and things will be fine. If that means letting him push me around then it's not going to happen. I'll put up with verbal abuse even though I might call him on it but if it goes beyond that then he's the one that is going to regret it, not me."

"I didn't bring you in here to have a debate. I'm just letting you know I'll be watching you. If you cross the line then you'll be the one who gets in trouble. Now here's a pass. You can go to class."

As I was leaving I heard him pick up his phone and buzz his secretary.

"He's not in his first period class," said the secretary as I walked by.

Walking down the hall I heard the secretary call Phil Clayton to the office over the PA system. I wondered where he took off to.

Everyone seemed to be watching as I handed the pass to my first period teacher and took my seat. I smiled at Josh and whispered "it's okay" when he turned around to look. I knew he was worried but there was nothing I could do about it until later.

"What happened?" asked Josh as we walked out of class.

"Nothing. He talked to Dad so he knows Phil and I don't get along. He wanted to warn me that if something happened he'd be looking for me. He was going to say the same thing to Phil but it looks like he took off. ...Oh, and he said I had big balls or something like that," I laughed.

"Your balls aren't that big. I've seen them. Up close," he added in a whisper but evidently not quiet enough.

A girl walking by obviously heard what he said and gave us a funny look. Josh turned red but I cracked up.

"No wonder Mr Hodgkins says there are rumors about us. Really subtle Sullivan."

"Sorry."

"Hey, I don't care. It's all I can do to not grab you right here and give you a kiss. Don't think I'm not thinking about it and I would too but I doubt it would go over too well. Did you see the look on her face? I wonder who she is. Maybe we could get her to judge which of us has bigger balls."

"You'd lose."

"Not if I put my hand in ice water and grabbed yours beforehand."

"Good thing we have to get to class."

Gym was pretty good that day not only because Phil wasn't there but also because the coach let us do what we wanted. We could play a pick-up game of basketball, a game of volleyball or just use the weight machines. Josh, Tim and I along with a few other kids chose the weights. It was fun because the coach wasn't really paying attention and we could joke around.

Tim tried to show me his karate skills to which I responded with a couple of demonstrations of my own. He smiled and gave up. I also showed him some kick-boxing moves. A few playful kicks to the face was good for a few laughs. One move I did was a jump kick where I brought my knee up to his chin stopping just short of hitting him. Another was a spin where I kicked over his head. Tim is 6' 2" and instinctively ducked when he saw my foot coming towards him. Josh tried a move of his own but hit me in the chest. I laughed and said he needs to work on his control.

"Sorry, are you okay?"

"You can take care of it later," I smiled.

The coach had seen that move and wasn't impressed. "Sullivan!!! What are you doing?"

"It's okay coach. I taught him that. He's getting better but still needs some practice."

"Well, keep it out of gym class. That goes for you too. I saw you earlier. That stuff doesn't belong in class. Someone could get hurt."

"Sorry coach. We were just playing around."

I noticed Ron standing in the doorway taking it all in as well. I wondered how much he had seen not that I cared. It would give him more cause to think about whether he wanted to fight or not. I kind of hoped he saw enough to dissuade him.

Phil wasn't at lunch either. I noticed his seat at the jock table was empty. Ron seemed to be talking to everyone and they were all looking in our direction. I saw him make some motion that told me he had seen what happened in gym and was obviously sharing it with everyone else. 'Good,' I thought. Maybe they'll all be more reluctant to fight.

After lunch Josh and I headed for pre-Calc. When we went by the restroom I stepped inside. It was the same restroom where we met Kyle. I hadn't seen him today and wondered what Phil had done to him. Hopefully he was alright. I felt bad since he might have got hurt because he came to my party. He had a good time but was worried Phil would find out. I thought maybe he and Travis would be in the restroom but that was optimistic thinking. Neither was around.

The last three periods were uneventful. Phil wasn't in Philosophy either. It looked like he cut out after our encounter this morning. I actually felt bad for him for a second. Alright, more like a nanosecond. The way his friends seemed to back away made him alone. I think he realized that. It must be a terrible feeling to feel alone.

After school Josh and I said good-bye to Chris, Ryan and Randy before heading to the jeep. We were going to swing by the gym to work out. I liked how Josh had started working out. I don't know if he did it because he liked it or because he wanted to hang out. Either way I liked the results. He has one fine ass.

When we walked outside I saw Marc Watson and Jeremy Tyler, two guys from the football team and ostensibly Phil's friends, standing by my jeep. Marc actually seemed pretty smart. He's in a few of my classes and is obviously no dummy.

"This can't be good," I said.

"What do they want?"

"Who knows. Just be cool. They've never caused any trouble."

"Me? What about you Jackie Chan?"

I laughed but was a little nervous when they walked over as we walked toward the jeep. Like usual I positioned myself between any potential trouble and Josh.

"Relax guys. We're not looking for trouble. We just want to talk to you."

"What about?"

"Look, we just wanted to say we don't have a problem with you or anyone else. That goes for the rest of the team too, even Ron. We all talked and agree you're pretty cool for standing up to Phil. He can definitely be an asshole. We also don't know or care whether you're gay or not. Whatever trips your trigger. What you or anyone else does in private is nobody's business. Phil doesn't like gays because of his father but he doesn't like you in particular because you stand up to him."

"We also wanted to warn you," Jeremy added. "We don't know anything for sure but you should watch your back. Phil has been talking that he's going to teach you a lesson. He's pissed what you did to his jaw and what happened this morning could have pushed him over the edge. After what he did to his brother anything is possible."

"What did he do to Kyle?"

"You haven't heard?"

"No, just what Phil said this morning. Is he okay?"

"He's in the hospital. After Hodgkins dragged you into his office Phil admitted he beat him pretty bad. We haven't seen him since."

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