Just Hit 'Send' - The High School Years

by Grasshopper

Ch. 10

"What cha wanna do first?" Jordan bubbled happily as they waved one last goodbye to the Trainors. He was nearly bouncing at the idea of showing Danny his world. "We can go see the horses. We can play computer games. We can get something to eat. We can............."

Danny laughed. "Slow down, Jordy. We''ll do it all. I'd really like to see the horses."

Jordan ran down the steps and pulled the mule to the end of the front path. He looked at it, at Danny and then back at the height of the seat. "Come on, Dan. I'll hoist you in." Danny walked awkwardly down the uneven shelled path. He could see how he was going to have to watch his step around all the holes and rocks. He couldn't feel anything with his right foot, so he had to trust his eyes to find the nooks and crannies.

The mule looked so high, like getting in a truck. "Okay, I'm gonna get in and pull you up, K?" Jordan said, knowing how embarrassing this was for him but not letting him use it as an excuse. Danny leaned against the side of the mule and reached out his arms. Amidst much groaning and snorting, Jordan got his hands under Danny's arms and heaved.

[ sidebar: wanna see the mule?]

www.atvsandmotorcycles.com/Kawasaki/Mules/Mule_2510_Diesel.htm

"Damn, Dan....you weigh a ton," he groaned as he fell back onto the seat. At that moment, the dogs decided to climb on, nudging Danny over and squeezing into their usual places: Jerimiah on the seat by Jordan, Scoot under Jordan's feet and Racer trying to shove Danny from the mule entirely.

"Hey guys," Jordan laughed, "Give Danny a break."

Everyone set, Jordan turned the key and shoved it into forward. "Hold on, Dan. I'll make her fly." Dog ears flapping, wind pushing at their faces, Danny laughed for the pure joy of it all. Tearing down the drive, Jordan took Danny further back into the property toward a huge shiny tin roofed barn with a corral to one side where two horses were watching their approach.

"The dapple gray is Jolene and the chestnut is Tinker. That's Butterbean over there. She's Mama's horse. The black is Daddy's. That's Hellion," Jordan explained, as he pointed each horse out to Danny.

"Which one is yours?" Danny asked, wondering about the four horses.

At that moment, the chestnut mare nudged at Jordan's hand. "This is Tinker. She's mine," Jordan smiled, reaching in his pocket for a piece of carrot.

"So, Jolene is.........?" Danny asked carefully.

"No ones. She just lives here," Jordan answered, a little too quickly. "I think you'll like her. She is sweet and gentle, aren't you sweet girl?" Jordan crooned as he handed Danny a piece of carrot. "Give that to her, Dan and she'll love you for life. She's a carrot slut, aren't you girl?"

The beautiful head turned toward Danny and he touched his first horse. Her liquid chocolate eyes seemed to look right into his head. He eased the carrot chunk towards her and she delicately took it from his fingers. "Hey, she likes me," Danny giggled.

"What's not to like, Dan?" Jordan said, his voice husky. Danny turned his head and met another pair of liquid eyes, emerald this time but looking right into his head and promising him the moon. Forgetting where he was, Danny reached his hand out for Jordan's, grazing his fingers softly. The moment hung, like a drop of rain on the edge of a leaf, then was gone.

Shaking his head regretfully, Jordan sighed. "Later, Danny. I promise. I'll find a way." He ran his hand up Danny's arm and then let it drop.

Danny climbed, with a little help from Racer, out of the mule and grabbed his braces from the back. "What's first?"

The day flew by. With his dad's help, and a lot of laughter, Jordan had gotten Danny up into Jolene's saddle, his feet into the stirrups and the reins in his hand. Then, with a flip and a bounce, Danny had found Jordan right behind him, legs pressed tightly to his, arms around his waist. "I think I'm gonna like this horse riding business," Danny giggled.

Jordan had clicked his tongue twice and Jolene took them out and into the yard and then the swamp behind the barn. Jordan kept the pace gentle and slow until Danny got the rhythm. "I've got ya, Dan," he said softly in Danny's ear.

"Yeah.........you have," Danny sighed. "In more ways than you know."

Jordan taught Danny how to curry and brush, how to fill the feed bag and how to speak softly. By the time the afternoon was closing down, Danny was in love...........with a boy and with a beautiful gray horse.

Dinner was an easy meal, burgers and peach cobbler. Fatter than ticks on a red bone, the boys moaned at the thought of climbing those stairs but each one knew that at the top, there would be a little bit of their world. A little time just for them.

"We're gonna go up now, Mama," Jordan said after he'd loaded the last plate in the dishwasher and flicked the switch. "Gotta catch Invader Zim. Thanks for dinner........Passable, as usual," he grinned, brushing his lips across her cheek. "Night, Daddy."

Danny smiled at Jordan's parents. "That was a great dinner, Mrs. Lawrence. Thanks for today." He looked at Jordan's dad and saw what he thought were tears glistening behind his eyes. He didn't realize that he had completed a table set for four people and had filled a long empty chair.

He looked up to see a slight frown on Jordan's face that disappeared when he turned toward Danny's smile. "Okay, Ton a Bricks, wanna do this the hard way or the um...........hard way?" Laughing, they said goodnight again and headed for the stairs.

"Dan, can we just make this easier? I'm in a kind a hurry," Jordan made a face at him, making him grin.

"Yeah, what's the deal?" Danny tried to look serious.

"Piggy back," Jordan giggled. "I may have a stroke but we'll make it up there faster, I think." He crouched down and picked Danny up, staggering a little and then righting himself. "Mom," he called, "No more cobbler for Dan, K?"

Making it to the landing halfway up, both boys were giggling so hard, they couldn't breathe. "Do NOT say a word, Daniel Trainor. If you know what's good for you........not a word!" Jordan gulped.

"Can't I say this is a total turn on?" Danny whispered in his ear. "Giddup, Hoss," he yelled.

Falling into the bedroom, snorting with laughter, Jordan tossed Danny on the bottom bunk and fell beside him. "Don't expect that every time," he huffed.

"You weigh too much."

"We'll just stay downstairs with your mom and dad then," Danny said, a serious expression on his face. "Sokay with me."

"Yeah, and I'll believe that when pigs fly out your butt," Jordan grabbed at Danny to tickle him.

They played BloodDrayne until the night sky had turned from purple to gray to black. A tap on the door brought Jordan's mom in with a supply of DP, peanut butter and honey sandwiches and a giant bag of Cheetos. "You fellas okay up here in the attic?" she joked.

"Yeah, Mom. We're fine," Jordan answered, a smile on his face. Claire noticed how he had dragged the recliner over to the computer and the two boys were curled, legs twisted like pretzels, the joy sticks gripped in their hands.

"Danny CANNOT avenge himself. He is a total wuss at this." As he spoke, Danny let out a yelp and Jordan found that he had slaughtered another nest of vampires.

"Wuss??" Claire laughed. "You better watch him, Jordy. He may be slicker than you think. Night boys. Try not to make too much noise." She ruffled Jordy's hair and then, reaching out tenderly, did the same to Danny.

"You want the first shower?" Jordan asked, an hour and sandwiches later. "You smell like Jolene."

Showers taken, no naughtiness with Mama right below their feet, they decided to watch a DVD until the house was quiet. Settling into the recliner, Jordan tugged Danny between his legs and felt him sigh as he nestled back against Jordan's rapidly accelerating heart.

Movie turned down low, Jordan asked quietly, "You ready to tell me?" His arms were tight around Danny's chest, his cheek resting against the mop of damp curly black hair. Danny looked down at the scarred legs, no longer hidden.

There was a long silence, then Danny softly began to whisper against Jordan's hand that was pressed to his lips, "I was stupid. There's no other word, Jordy. I thought he was a friend, truly I did. I thought he cared about me...kind of like a little brother. He had always been there, always in my house, always around to put me on his shoulders, to tickle me and pet me. I didn't know." Danny choked out the last words.

Jordan felt this flash of pure rage. Keeping his voice soft, he asked," What happened, baby?"

Muffled, Danny whispered, "I went to his house to see if I could watch TV. Our cable was down and I wanted to watch Ronin Warriors. I remember thinking maybe he would watch with me cause he always liked to giggle."

Jordan felt Danny's heart pounding. "You don't have to tell me, love. I think I already know." Jordan closed his legs tightly around Danny and held him warmly.

"No, you don't know. I have to tell you. It's not as bad as you think, Jordy," Danny sniffled. "I promise."

"It doesn't matter. It's gone. You're here with me. I wouldn't ever hurt you," Jordan murmured, as much to calm himself as the boy in his arms. "You can hurt someone's body, but not their spirit, their soul."

"I need to come closer," Danny mumbled, as he tried to turn and crawl to Jordan.

Both boys hard; both their bodies hot but it was emotion, it wasn't sex. It was beyond what either could explain. Danny's face beside Jordan's on the cushion, his lips pressed gently to Jordan's, he breathed: "He asked me to take off my clothes, Jordy..........and I did. That makes me bad."

Breath against breath, Jordan said softly, "No, baby. It makes you too little to understand. It doesn't make you bad."

"He started touching me and I suddenly saw my Mama's face in my head. I knew this wasn't right. I knew I shouldn't be doing that. I tried to stop. He got really angry........I jerked away and ran, grabbed my shorts and ran. He caught my arm and pulled. I ran out the front door, my shorts on, my shoes in my hand. I went to cross the street and the car came out of nowhere. I..........Jordy............I'm sorry," he trailed off.

Jordan held Danny, his mind tumbling over the horror this boy had been through. "It's okay. It's okay," he crooned, his hands rubbing constant circles all down Danny's back and arms.

"I figured," Danny sobbed, "I figured that God just forgot me that day. He had so much else to do that he forgot to watch out for me. I hated him for a long time." Danny ducked his face away but Jordan lifted his mouth back with one finger. "I prayed that I would die, that he would die and then the blame deepened when he was killed in a car wreck. I knew I had caused it. "

Jordan licked away the tears that were running freely down Danny's strickened face. "Of course you thought that, but you were wrong. Down deep, you know that. I'm glad the bastard's dead. Danny, of course you thought that. Maybe God just knew that you'd find me one day and we'd sort it all out," Jordan said, his voice tight. How had God let this happen? Why did God let things happen to children? Jordan felt the old anger rising in his own heart. Deep breath, he soothed, "It's okay, baby."

His mouth found Danny's and a desperate kiss tore through them. No gentle kiss this one........tongues fighting for control, teeth clashing together, trying to suck the hurt out, trying to mend the pain.

Hands rubbing, easing, grasping, scratching. Jordan reached down, "Let me, Danny."

"Please. Oh yes..........please," Danny groaned.

Jordan eased out from under Danny's warmth and rolled out of the recliner, to move it up and kneel between Danny's beautiful scarred legs. "You have so many scars, Dan," he whispered. "None of your making. Let me help you take some of them away. Where he made you feel shame; let me make you feel loved."

He leaned in and Danny felt Jordy's breath brush across his hot pulsing body. Reaching out, Danny laced his fingers loosely though Jordy's hair. And then, his body arched, his butt left the chair as he felt Jordan's hot mouth take him in.

"Oh God!"
"He wanted to do this but he didn't!"
"Jordy!"
"You were strong, baby"
"Ahhh!"

Jordan felt Danny push towards his mouth, his fingers now tangled tightly in Jordan's hair. "Let it go, now sweet boy. Let it go."

Danny felt waves begin in his chest, in his heart. He began to pant as the waves rolled down his belly and filled his body with an ache he'd never felt before. "I'm.........Jordy............move..........I'm............"

Jordan didn't move, his mouth wanting so desperately to ease the aching; to carry the burden. As Danny came, wave after wave of his essence, flowed into Jordan's throat and Jordan accepted it as his gift.

Laying his head gently on Danny's scarred thigh, Jordan whispered, "We'll get past this. You'll see. Nothing's so bad that love can't fix it, right?"

"I love you, Jordan," Danny sighed. "I never thought I'd ever say that, not to anyone."

As they struggled with these new feelings; as Jordan tried to dampen the anger he always kept buried, Danny stroked his hair, realizing that he had shared his horrible secret and Jordan hadn't run away from him, hadn't blamed him; had only loved him more. And Danny thought too that he wasn't the only one with secrets. But he knew that Jordan's would be much more difficult to dig out. Danny was learning that Jordan's feelings were hidden way down deep behind a cobwebby door in the fartherest reaches of his mind. Jordan had no visible scars. Jordan was sunshine.

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