Knots, Book 5

by Elias Scott

Chapter 30

Matt

I began to think more about my relationship with Andy after my meeting with Dr. Walker. He made me realize that when I was with Andy, I was content and happy. Our sex was loving. All my talk about not wanting to be tied down began to seem meaningless after Megan and our foursome. That didn't mean that if Andy wanted to have a foursome, I wouldn't agree. But it would have to be a decision we made together.

I began to think that maybe it was time I settled down with Andy, if he was still willing. I didn't want a hand-holding relationship at school or to have everyone know we were a couple, and I hoped he'd be all right with that. Like I said at the very beginning of Knots, I love Andy. At the time, I wasn't sure what kind of love that was, but I began to understand it little by little as time went on. Yeah, we did some pretty dumb things, but we'd done them together, and we had a bond between us that very few guys are lucky enough to have. As it was by then, we were both best friends and soon-to-be real-life lovers. Yes, we'd been having sex on and off, and it was special between us, but for the first time I began to think it could be much more. It was like it all happened in a flash of a moment when Dr. Walker had me compare the foursome to the sex Andy and I had.

Many people thought we were too young to have sex, but by then, we were 17 and almost adults. I'd always thought I'd want to keep my options open until after we graduated from high school, but why shouldn't I take advantage of the love Andy and I had for each other then, rather than wait. Any relationship can fall apart, but I'd always felt Andy and I had something special. But don't all couples think that? I don't want it to sound like I felt I should grasp love while I had it because I feared I might not ever find it. If true love was really possible forever, there wouldn't be so many divorces and couples that break up. But I was finally willing to give real love a chance with Andy. I could hardly wait to see him.


My mother told me Thomas had called while I was with Dr. Walker to tell me that Randy had been found dead. I felt like I'd been stabbed. Everything seemed to be on track and then this happened. I didn't know how to react, except to call his parents and say I was sorry to hear about his death. Thomas called back a few minutes later and said he was really having a difficult time and wanted me to come over.

Thomas' parents looked like Thomas was the one who died. Their families had been close, and even though Randy had disappeared, Thomas' parents tried to be there for them. Thomas spent the morning with them, and it caused him so much pain that he'd come home and called me.

"I'm sorry to hear about Randy," I said to Thomas' parents. They were gracious.

"It's hard for us to believe," Thomas' dad said. "He and Thomas had been so close, and then the thing with Dillon happened. I don't know. Randy never seemed to recover." He glanced at Thomas, put his arm around his shoulder, and pulled him close without saying a word.

"Randy's parents feel guilty, and yet it's Dillon Burke that is guilty," his mother added. "If it hadn't been for him, Thomas would have kept his innocence for a little while longer. All you boys would have. Sometimes, I want to go to that jail and shoot him. Impossible I know, but it doesn't keep me from thinking about it. Randy's parents feel the same way."

I just nodded rather than say anything. To be honest, I'd been afraid I was headed in the same direction as Randy at one time. Thank God for my parents and Dr. Walker.

"Mom," Thomas said, "Matt came to talk. Is it all right if we go back to my room?"

Thomas' dad patted me on the back. "Thanks for coming, Matt. Randy's death has really upset Thomas."

We headed to Thomas' room. He turned back and his eyes were red. "I can't believe it. Randy and I go as far back as you and Andy. This is the same as if you were to lose Andy."

Shit, that scared me. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to lose Andy, especially now that I had decided we should be a couple. I almost lost him once. "You're right, Thomas. It would be like losing Andy. By the way, I'm thinking about Andy and me becoming a couple. What do you think?"

He paused. "I think that's great!"

"I haven't talked to him yet, so don't say anything. I was planning on talking to him right before I heard you called."

"I won't tell anyone. Are you sure this is what you want?"

"Yeah, I've put it off for a long time. It's time I made a commitment."

"I know. But there are other people you could be committed to."

"Like who?"

"Maybe me?"

That shocked the shit out of me. I always liked Thomas, sometimes even thought I might be in love with him, but he just wasn't Andy. Andy and I were like one person.

"Trust me, Thomas. I'd be tempted. You're one hell of a guy, but Andy and I go way back just like you and Randy. Andy has matured a lot. Sometimes I think that he's more mature than me. But I've been working my way back, and I think making a commitment to Andy is one way to do that. I need to talk to him first though. And, by the way, I'm flattered that you'd want to be with me after all the stupid things I've done."

"I think we have a lot in common."

"We do. But, at least for now, I'm going to be with Andy."

Thomas sat at his desk and pointed to his bed. I sat. "Does that mean no more foursomes?" he asked.

"With Andy, you never know."

"That's true. The thing is, Colt and I are talking again, and we might be getting back together."

"So why did you mention you and me?"

He shrugged. "Just testing the waters."

I have to admit that Thomas' suggestion interested me, but I was committed to Andy.

Andy

I tried to contact Matt when I got home, but his mom told me he was at Thomas'. I guess he called Matt because he needed to have someone to talk to about Randy. My session with Dr. Walker made me think that maybe there was some hope with Matt. I really wanted to talk to him, but he wasn't available. Matt called me about 3:00 and asked me to come over.

When we got to his room, he gave me a sweet kiss and a hug.

"What was that for?"

"I think I love you."

"Think? Either you do or you don't."

"Okay, I love you. Let's lay on the bed."

We both laid down on our sides and stared into each other's eyes. He smiled. "I think I'm ready to be your boyfriend."

"There you go again, Matt. You think you're ready. I want a real commitment."

He rolled me on my back and kissed me while rubbing my chest. "I do love you. I want to be your boyfriend."

I couldn't believe it, "Is this for real, or are you just playing with me?"

"Andy, knock off all this shit, and tell me how you feel."

"I think I want you to be my boyfriend too."

"Think?"

"Gotcha," he said. "The one thing I know for sure, Matt, is that if you say you're ready, you're ready. Where's my ring?"

"No ring. We are a couple, but there's one condition."

"What's that?"

"No one can know."

I frowned. "That's no fun. We just as well keep going as we have been."

"Look, we're exclusive. You're my boyfriend. We are committed to each other. I just don't like the idea of public displays of affection. We can hang together as we always have, and no one will be the wiser."

I gave him a sad look. "Can I at least have a ring?"

He smiled and gave me a hug and a kiss. "Yes, if that's what it takes to float your boat. I don't mind us having rings at all. But that's as far as it goes. Okay? I'll even buy them. Nothing fancy."

I gave him a big hug this time and rolled him over a couple of times until we fell off the bed. We both broke into a loud laugh. We got up off the floor, and I surprised him by picking him up and spinning him around like you see in the movies. He's heavier than me, but suddenly I felt I could toss him in the air like a basketball if I had to. "I can't believe it, Matt. What changed your mind?"

"My session with Dr. Walker."

"Did he tell you to?"

He laughed. "Of course not. It's just that when I compared the foursome to what you and I have when we're alone, there's no comparison. You are better than Megan or Thomas or Colt. He made me realize without telling me, that you are special to me."

"It's about time," I said as I grabbed him again and planted a big kiss on his lips. Then I added, "Does that mean no more foursomes?"

"I think not, but I suppose it's always an option if we agree. But the thing is, and this is what Dr. Walker made me realize, is that the sex between us is special, and with the group, even though we like those guys, it's not the same. It's just hot sex."

"Very hot sex," I said. "But maybe it's a good idea we keep the sex just between you and me. I'm sure they'll understand."

"I agree," Matt said. "Besides, Thomas and Colt might be getting back together. I guess they are in negotiations right now. I don't want us to ever keep secrets, so I need to tell you that Thomas suggested that he and I might get together. He says we have a lot in common. He's right there."

That kind of pissed me off. "What's with him? I thought he was better than that."

"He was just being honest. But I told him no, because I wanted to give us a chance."

I flopped on Matt's bed and stared up at him. "Does that mean that our relationship might only be temporary?"

He sat on the edge of the bed and put his hand on my leg. "Andy, there's always the chance this could be temporary. But how are we going to know if we don't give it a try. I'm finally willing to do that. You have to promise not to doubt my commitment to you. You already know that I if I commit myself to something or someone, I'm fully committed."

He sat up next to me. "I know you're right. But I think I will always be afraid of losing you."

"You will never lose me unless you do something to make that happen."

I was filled with self-doubt when he said that. I wanted him and wanted to be in a committed relationship with him, but deep down I was afraid I'd do something stupid and ruin it all. "Do you expect that to happen?"

"Andy, I trust you. We've both done some pretty stupid things in our lives, so I know we're not perfect, but I trust you to be committed to our relationship. Do you have doubts?"

"No. I was just wonderin'."

Megan

Megan and Thomas sometimes met for lunch to talk. They met on the Monday after Randy was found dead.

"It was terrible what happened to Randy," she said. "I know you and he were good friends."

"We were, but we kind of drifted apart over the last year or so. He got involved with the wrong crowd."

"How are you handling it?"

"So-so. It's been hard. Even though we haven't been close for a while, it's still been hard. It was like losing a part of me. We'd been through a lot together."

Megan put her hand on his leg. "I understand. Did you and he have sex?"

"That's kind of personal, isn't it?"

"Just wondering. I can't figure you gay guys out. Matt fooled me. He treated me badly. I always thought gay guys were nice like you."

"Well, Megan, you knew he could flip either way."

"True, but why couldn't he be like you and just be nice. Our sex was just like they say, wham, bam, thank you ma'am."

Thomas kissed Megan on the cheek. "First, I never had sex with you, so of course you don't know that side of me. Second, we agreed to be friends. Did you and Matt agree to anything? From what Colt told me, you didn't. Colt asked Matt for advice when Colt was considering having sex with Zoe. Matt told him that he'd made a mistake with you by not discussing each other's expectations. He told Colt to make sure he and Zoe talked about it before they had sex. They did, and everything seems to be fine with them. Right? "

She pursed her lips and got a disappointed look on her face. "Yeah, it is. Zoe told me about it, and I suppose Matt and I were both at fault. But he just dropped me just like that."

"He didn't agree to be your boyfriend, did he?"

"No, but why couldn't we just be friends?"

Thomas held Megan's hand. "Have you talked to him or made any effort to be friends?"

"No, I was so damn angry that I just snubbed him."

Thomas smiled and squeezed her hand. "Maybe you should try to talk to him."

She nodded. "I think you're right. There's no reason why we can't be friends. It's just that I thought we had more going on between us and that maybe we'd get together a few more times. Our sex was hot."

Thomas blushed. "Yeah, you can never tell with us gay guys. Did you expect it to be hot?"

"I don't really know. I like the way Matt looks. He has an awesome body, and I figured it would just be great. I never thought about how it would affect me emotionally.

"Seems like you know what the problem is."

She let go of Thomas' hand. "You're right. I do. I'm going to make a point of talking to him to at least make things right between us. We should have talked more before we had sex. Zoe said the same thing."

Jason Settles

The first few days back to school went well until a couple of guys pushed Jason into his locker while the door was open, and he hit his forehead on the latch, putting a big gash in his head. Blood was dripping on the floor. He reached into his locker to find something to put on his head, but all he had was his coat. Jason pressed his hand against the cut, hoping to stop the bleeding, but he was stranded at his locker and was afraid to go to the office to report it. The bell rang, and Jason stood staring into his locker. Dax came by. "Jason, get to class. You're already late."

Jason didn't move.

Dax put his hand on Jason's shoulder. "Are you all right?"

Jason nodded.

"Then move on. Get to class."

Jason began to cry.

"Jason, what's wrong?" Dax put his hand on Jason's shoulder and turned him toward him. The blood had dripped down Jason's face so that drops of blood were dripping from his chin and onto his shirt, making it look like a major crime had occurred. "What happened?"

"I banged my head against the locker when I leaned in to get something."

"Weren't you looking?"

"I was thinking about something and wasn't paying attention."

Dax took out a bandanna he kept in his pocket. "Use this to stop the bleeding."

Jason took it but resisted when Dax grabbed his arm to guide him down the hall. "I don't want to go to the nurse. My parents will be concerned, and it's going to cause nothing but trouble."

"They love you. They'll just want to make sure you're okay. Anyway, I have no choice. I need to take you to the nurse."

Jason was ready to run down the hall and out the front door, but he knew his parents would have even more questions if he did, so he reluctantly let Dax bring him to the nurse.


Jason was lying on the bed in the nurse's office with a bandage on his head when his mother arrived at the office to sign in. "I want to talk to the principal."

"He'll be with you in a minute, Mrs. Settles."

"Why does this stuff keep happening to my son? He's a nice boy. He doesn't bother anyone. And yet, these boys keep picking on him."

The secretary did her best to look concerned. "Mrs. Settles, Jason said he hit his head on the latch when he went to stick his head in the locker to get something. No one said anything about anyone else."

"That may be his story or the story the school is using to keep my husband and me from filing a lawsuit, but he keeps getting hurt. There has to be more to it than what you're telling us."

"It's not my place to discuss this," the secretary replied. "You'll have to wait to talk to Mr. Evans."

Mr. Evans stepped out of his office. "Mrs. Settles, good to see you. Come in."

Evans held the door open for her and then closed it once she walked into the office. She stood in front of his desk and refused to sit. "This is the second time in less than a week that Jason has been hurt. What kind of a place are you running here? Students should be safe."

"Mrs. Settles, Dax and I investigated what happened, and it appears he hurt himself. No one else was involved."

"And you believe that after what happened the other day? I don't."

"Look, Mrs. Settles, all we can do is accept Jason's word. According to him, no one else was involved. The cut wasn't as bad as it could have been. Head wounds tend to bleed a lot, so there is blood on his shirt, but he's going to be fine."

"So you say. I want to see him. We're going to get to the bottom of this."

Mr. Evans figured he should head off any problems by escorting Mrs. Settles to the nurse's office.

Jason's mom sat on the edge of the bed and held his hand. "My poor baby. What have they done to you this time?"

She reached out to touch the bandage, but Jason blocked her hand. "Mom, I'm fine. It's nothing. I just did something stupid."

"Or somebody did something to you. Just like the last time, none of this makes any sense."

Jason sat up. "I'm fine. Did you bring a clean shirt?"

"Yes, but this makes two shirts. First water and now blood."

"I just want to go to class. Can we talk when I get home?"

"You can go home with me now if you'd like."

"No, I want to stay here."

"Are you sure you're all right?"

"Yes, Mom. We'll talk later."

She turned to Mr. Evans. "Do you think it's possible for my son to make it through the rest of the day without anything else happening to him?"

Evans figured the only way to guarantee that was to have Dax or someone follow him the whole day, so he said, "All we can do is our best. Jason said he did this to himself, and it's as much his responsibility as it is ours." Evans, just like Jason's mother, figured there was more to the incident than Jason told them, but he couldn't do much unless he had other witnesses or Jason told him the truth.

She got up off the bed. "Well, you better make sure nothing happens, otherwise, you're going to have a lawsuit on your hands."

"I understand, Mrs. Settles. Everything will be fine. Jason seems to be okay and wants to stay in school, so let's assume that there won't be any more incidents."

"I hope not," she spat out. She turned to Jason. "Baby, we'll talk more about this when you get home."


Chapter Quotes

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. -- George Bernard Shaw

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. -- Barack Obama

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of. -- Jim Rohn

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. -- Maya Angelou

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