Just Hit 'Send' - The High School Years

by Grasshopper

Ch. 17

The breeze was cool against his face, his hair moving gently with the rhythm of the wind and the waves, the sun hot on his back. Paddling slowly toward shore, he could see someone standing in the surf, one hand arched above his eyes to peer through the blazing sunlight. Jordan sucked in his breath at the beauty of this solitary boy. It seemed right that the beach was empty, the day gorgeous and the boy, standing proudly naked in the dazzling light, was waiting for him.

As he neared the shore, the boy smiled and that one smile seemed to complete him. Jordan let the board go, stood naked to the sun and to the world and walked up through the white bubbling surf as it eased in and then flowed out. Walking to the dark haired boy with the blue blue eyes, Jordan knew it was where he belonged.

Bodies close but not touching, hands clasped but not tightly, Jordan felt Danny gently tug at him to pull him closer. Jordan looked down between their bodies, at how his pulsing hardness struggled to mingle with Danny's. He felt his hips push to get closer. Boldly, he let Danny's hands go and eased his to Danny's back and then down, pulling him gently in. As he dropped to his knees, as he saw how beautiful and smooth Danny's legs were, how straight and tall he stood, his head thrown back, his eyes closed, Jordan sighed. The tip of his tongue eased between his lips and his mouth began to open to love this boy.....this beautiful boy.


Jordan lost the dream. He squeezed his eyes shut. One more minute! Please God......One More Minute!! The beach faded, the sound of the surf became the roar of the car engine and Jordan knew he had to wake up.

"What were you dreaming, baby?" Danny whispered. "It must have been awesome."

Jordan tried to clear his mind of the last salt air and sand under his feet. "I was dreaming about you," he smiled. Rolling his shoulders, he didn't even try to move but stayed nestled with his head in Danny's lap. Realizing where some of the dream had come from, he giggled, "No wonder I was dreaming that!" He reached down and covered Danny's hand with his, Danny's hand being snugly clutched around Jordan's raging hardness.

Jordan thought back to the dream and Danny, standing so tall without his braces. He realized for the first time that without them, Danny would be taller. Jordan felt tears in his eyes but blinked them back and grinned, "Dan, we have got to be alone somewhere, sometime........soon!! I need you."

Danny looked down into the green eyes he loved. It never ceased to amaze him that this boy loved him. "I know. We'll find a way."

"Okay, you dickweeds!" Griff growled from the front seat. "Surface and talk to us. Easy and I do NOT wanna be included but we don't wanna be left out either. We're getting ready to turn off for home."

Jordan jerked up to look out the window. The big sign for Adam's Crossing was to the right and next would be the turn off. He wanted to go home so much but it was the last place he wanted to go. He knew what he wanted but sometimes you don't get what you want......just what you need. Maybe Daddy wouldn't see that he wanted Danny. Maybe Daddy wouldn't let him see Danny anymore. Maybe..............Shut UP !! he groaned. Circles within circles !!

Pulling out his cell phone, he punched in *home. His Mama answered on the first ring. "Jordan?" she cried.

"Mama," he breathed. Tears came now, hot and raw. "Mama."

"Where are you baby?" she sighed.

"We're.......," he choked.

Danny took the phone gently. "We're almost to the turn off, Mrs. Lawrence."

Griff called back, "'Bout 45 minutes."

"Hurry home, Danny. Bring him home," she said quietly. "Everything will be okay. Tell him, Danny."

The phone fell to the seat and Danny gathered Jordan close to let him cry and get it over with. He knew Jordan would never cry in front of his dad.

Easy watched and listened as the three boys supported each other and worked their way through the problems ahead. Why was he in this car? They had enough going on without taking a stray home. If Jordan's daddy didn't like gay kids, what would he do to Easy? He shrunk down in the seat and wished he had never..............No, he didn't wish he'd never met Jordy, just that they had left him where he was. He didn't need anyone.......they sure didn't need him.

Griff drove, hands gripping the wheel, glancing every little while into the rear view, trying not to smile at how those two blended into one back there. He was jealous. He had to admit it but he couldn't be that for Jord so he was happy that Danny was. He so hoped that Mr. Lawrence let Jordy know how scared he'd been; how frantic to find his son. Men sometimes kept their feelings inside he knew.......He would never be like that. He and Jordy and Danny...they would never grow up and shut the doors on their feelings. No sir!

Glancing over, he looked at the skinny kid with the dirty brown curls, the scrapes and bruises, the torn clothes, the tautness hiding the fright in his shoulders. Griff didn't even want to know what had happened to him in the city. He was afraid he already knew. There were white scar marks running across the smooth caramel skin of his arms and legs. 'Easy', Griff decided, 'wasn't gonna be easy to know'.

Hey, Dude," he said gently, "You a Lakers fan?" He watched Easy's face light up and smiled as he opened up and grinned.

"Did you see the game?" he babbled as he turned toward Griff and the words came flowing out. "Ole Kobe, man. 14 points in the 4th. He is so THE MAN. Lakers 101....TWolves 85. There's no stopping Kobe!"

"Where did you watch the game?" Griff asked.

"I go to the mall and watch on the show TVs at Sears and Best Buy. No one cares if you be real quiet," he smiled. "I never miss a game. The Lakers, Dude! They're the best!"

The exit was right in front of them. Griff clicked on the blinker and pulled into the pull off lane. He stopped at the stop light and then turned left for home. "You need to stop or anything, Jord?" he called into the back seat.

"Yeah, let's stop for a minute," Jordan said carefully. "I need a breather." He had been watching Easy and knew some stuff needed to be said before they got home. Griff and Danny knew what was ahead of them but Easy was walking in blind. Jordan wasn't stupid. He knew there was enough on his plate without adding more fuel to the fire but there had been no other choice. None!! He wasn't gonna leave Easy anywhere. He felt like Easy had been sent to him, to all of them. His dad would understand; he would have to.

Pulling into the Wendy's at the big intersection, they all piled out, Jordan automatically reaching for Danny and pulling his braces out of the trunk. It was just second nature now. His mind flickered over the boy on the beach and he knew he didn't care.........Danny was perfect in Jordan's green eyes.

Settling into the booth, Frostys and Biggie fries spread everywhere, Easy ashamed that he had no money but feeling the warmth of the boy's obvious care, Griff said, "How we gonna handle this, Jord?"

"Just see how it goes," Jordan replied. "Can I......can we stay at your house if it doesn't work?" he glanced over at Easy and smiled.

Easy couldn't do this. He couldn't make things worse for his friend. "I gotta pee," he said tightly and headed for the restroom hall, cutting out the side entrance. Looking wildly right and left, he took off at a run toward.........


A hand grabbed the back of his shirt. "Not so fast," Jordan growled, holding onto the boy's shirt. "You don't know where the hell you are and you don't have any money. All you have is us........me. It's all you need." He could feel the smaller boy's heart pounding as he tugged on his arm. "I need to know that you're safe. I need it, Easy. Mama will love you."

"Your daddy?" Easy whispered.

Jordan's eyes darkened. "I can't answer that. It won't be you if he does act badly. I promise. He .........he lost something years ago and he can't seem to find it. I've tried but you can't make someone love you. Come on back. We need to go home now."

Easy stood rigid for a minute, then folded softly into Jordan's outstretched arm. The two boys walked back to the restaurant. Danny watched out the window as Jordan worked his magic on the sweet boy. He thought sadly how three boy's lives hinged on the words of a single man. A man who had been raised in the teaching that God loved everyone equally but in reality loved some more than others and apparently, some not at all. Danny thought of his own dad and whispered, "Thank you".

The drive needed to take forever....it took 35 minutes. One gate open, two gates open and Jordan Lawrence was home.

Griff turned off the motor and they just all sat for a minute. Danny was so glad to see his parent's car parked in the drive by the huge purple bougainvillea. He felt his heart go out to Easy as the boy's eyes darted in every direction, fear tracing away the calm he had been showing. Danny reached forward, patting Easy's shoulder. "You'll be safe. No matter what, you'll be safe."

"Well, go on you guys," Griff tried to say. "I'll see ya........"

"Oh right. Like you're going anywhere, Griffin!" Jordan snarled. "Get out of the car, my best friend in the world!"

"Damn," Griff muttered.

The front door opened and Claire and the Trainors ran down the front steps.

Jordan thought to himself as he watched the people who loved him come close, "Isn't it always the one person who you want to love you, who you want to respect you, who you need to understand you,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,isn't it always that one person , who distances themselves." Where was his daddy?

The gypsies climbed out of the car, Jordan righting Danny and then gripping his hand hard.

Claire took in the new face instantly, her eyes noting the clothes, the smudges under his eyes, the bruises. 'Oh, Jordan,' she thought, 'Another stray puppy.' Her eyes caught her son's and she grabbed him and held on tight.

"Mama........Mama. You're smothering me," he said as he snuggled closer.

"Hush up, you bad child," Claire whispered into his hair as she felt his arms for bruises or cuts. "Oh, Jordan. Don't EVER do that again!"

"I'm sorry, Mama. I didn't know what else to do. He didn't want me and I.....................," his voice trailed off.

"Shhhhhh. None of that," she sighed. "Of course he wants you."

Danny's parents stood with him as Claire and her son made their peace. Griff stood by Easy, feeling the waves of nervousness and wishing he could help.

"And who is this?" Claire asked, her curiosity bubbling up, her mothering instincts all on alert. A good bath, some good food and this child would be beautiful.

"Mama," Jordan said shyly. "This is Easy. Mama, he saved my life."

Tears sprang to Claire's eyes. "Oh," was all she could say. She held out her arms and walked toward the child with the big brown eyes. "I want to hug you then," she said, as she gathered him up and felt his rigid little shoulders. "Thank you for saving my son."

The front door opened and David Lawrence stepped out onto the front stoop. Claire moved to Jordan's side. Danny stepped away from his parents and took Jordan's hand. Mrs. Trainor put her arm around Easy and Griff and Mr. Trainor waited together.

The silence was overwhelming.

"Come here, Jordan," David said quietly.

Jordan felt Danny squeeze his hand. He started toward his daddy. David started down the front steps and they met halfway. Jordan stared at the top button of his daddy's shirt. He couldn't make his eyes move upward. He didn't want to see what was in his daddy's eyes.

"Jordan Andrew Lawrence," his daddy rumbled. "You scared the hell out of me. Don't EVER.......EVER do something like that again." He reached for his child and scooped him into his arms. Bending down to look him squarely in the eyes, David said quietly, "I can't lose you. Don't let me lose you. You're going to have to help me with this, Jordan. I don't understand it all yet. All I know is, I don't want to lose you......not you too."

Jordan smelled his daddy's aftershave; he felt his daddy's heart pounding; he loved the feel of his daddy's strong arms around him. So much to say, but not now.........'Just let me enjoy this for a little,' Jordan sighed.

"Okay everyone........relax. I'm not going to kill him," David sighed as he saw the worry in everyone's eyes. Had he been this terrible? Was he this wrong? Claire, Danny, Griff and the Trainors all rushed toward them to join in the hugging.

David looked over everyone and said curiously, "And who is that?"

"Jordan brought him. He helped...............,"Claire started.

"Let Jordan tell me, Claire," David asked.

Jordan looked at Easy, seeing him through his daddy's eyes. Squaring his shoulders, Jordan walked over, took Easy's hand and brought him to his daddy. "This is Easy, Daddy. I fell off the seawall and he saved me. He's my friend. I'd like him to stay here for awhile. He needs to."

David's mind whirled. The words slipped out before he could catch them. "But, he's black."

Jordan frowned, "But, I'm gay."

Danny struggled on his braces, "But, I'm crippled."

David Lawrence grew up in that one second of time. None of it mattered, did it? Religion, race, who you love............all that mattered was THAT you love. He felt walls crumbling inside. He saw how words, his words, could hurt. He closed his eyes for one brief second and whispered, "I'm sorry."

Everyone was quiet. Easy's tears ran freely down his face. His shoulders were shaking. Suddenly, he felt a big hand grip his smaller one as David said gently, "You know anything about horses, Easy? I've got one that will just about fit you. Mind you, you've got to be gentle. He isn't used to being ridden. It's been a few years since he felt a boy on his back. He belonged to my other son. I think it's time he made a new friend. What do you think, Jordan?"

Jordan looked into his daddy's eyes. Really looked and saw the pain, the courage it was taking him to make this first step. So much still to be solved, argued over, understood.............for right now, this minute, just offering Jolene was enough. He knew his daddy wasn't doing it for Easy, not yet. He was doing it for Adam and he was doing it for him.

"I think so, Daddy. Jolene needs Easy," Jordan smiled.

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