The Saturday Boy
Chapter 7 - It's You
I watched on as Jack took is trousers off, his legs in the same condition as the rest of him. His shins were cut in places, from what I imagined were the impact marks from his father's boot.
"You know, Maddy said to me she was afraid your dad had started again, but, it's never really stopped has it Jack? It's just up until recently, he's avoided your face," I remarked going from bruise to bruise on his legs with my eyes. He quickly pulled on the sweat-pants I gave him, eager to hide himself from my shocked expression.
"He's my dad, I respect him. He works hard to keep a roof over our heads and…"
"He's a fucking monster Jack," I said cutting over him, my voice angry.
"Shut up Joey, it's not like that!"
"Oh, it looks pretty clear to me what it's like."
"Look, you asked me here to help out while you're ill, so let me help out."
"Fine Jack, go see my dad, he'll tell you what to do, and while you're doing it, have a think about why you put up with this."
Jack huffed and left my room without saying another word. I was so angry with him and I felt bad for feeling like that, because after all, he hadn't done anything wrong. He was the victim in all this, but he was a fucking stupid victim for letting his father do what he did.
A couple of hours had passed and I was watching TV when Jack appeared in my doorway again.
"I'm all done for today, I think I did everything I needed to," he said, looking at me wrapped up like a mummy in bed.
"Nice one Jack, thank you."
"How are you feeling?"
"I probably feel as bad as you look, but I'll get better. The question is, will you?"
He came into my room and shut the door. I shifted myself so I was sitting up ready to listen to him, knowing he had something to say.
"You don't understand Joey."
"Then help me. Tell me how you can possibly think that what you're dad does is ok."
"Because every hit I take is one less my mum has to, that's why." He replied, his voice solemn. My jaw dropped open, and I don't know why because I shouldn't have been surprised. After all, people like Jack's father don't discriminate with who they hit.
"I'm gonna have my dad bar him, he'll no longer be welcome in this pub."
"NO! You cant."
"Why not, tell me why I shouldn't do that?"
"Because if you do, it will make things worse," he retorted. I sighed, he was right, but I had to do something.
There was a knock on my door and my mum walked in. "Joey honey, Dean is here, but I really don't think you should be having visitors in your condition though." I looked over at Jack, watching as the colour drained from his face, no doubt starting to look like me.
"Send him up mum; he probably just wants to see how I am."
"Uh, I think I should go," Jack said, starting to gather his uniform up.
"No, stay!" I said, quickly
"Joey, its Dean Grissom…I'm not his favourite person, nor is he mine."
"I want you to stay, just trust me." Jack put his uniform back on the chair and rolled his eyes at me. This was either gonna go really badly, or, as I was hoping, be a good thing. My mum left and moments later Dean walked in my room before stopping dead in his tracks.
"Oh, sorry I didn't know you had company," Dean said, glaring at Jack.
"Its fine, I was just leaving." Jack remarked, again starting to gather his things.
"No you weren't, I asked you to stay."
"Uh, Joey, I'll come by tomorrow ok," Dean stated, starting to leave.
"For fuck sake, both of you stay," I demanded, before having a coughing fit. Dean moved over to my bed and started patting me on the back.
"You ok?" he asked, sitting down on my bed.
"Yeah, just give me a sec." I got myself together and cleared my throat, wincing as the action stung it. Dean turned his attention to Jack who was just staring at us. He looked uncomfortable but I had a feeling if I left it long enough Dean would do the right thing. I was just about to find out if that was true.
"How's your eye," Dean asked him softly.
"It's getting better." Jack replied looking away from him.
"I um…I wanted to, um…I wanted to apologise, you know, for being an asshole to you."
"Did you put him up to this," Jack asked, looking at me.
"No he didn't, I put myself up to it. Let's just say Joey made me realise a few things."
"It's true, Jack," I said, nodding. "He apologising is nothing to do with me."
"Why now…why after everything you have said about me, why apologise now, you hate my guts."
"I…uh…I was not aware of…oh fuck this… look some shit went on in my life two years ago. It was my brother…he did things to me, things that a brother really should not have done. I'll leave the rest to your imagination. Anyway after it happened, I just had this thing, a thing about…your kind." Dean blurted out. I almost threw up after his outburst. I didn't think for one moment he was just going to sail that close to a confession. My eyes were wide waiting for what would happen now.
Please don't ask what happened, Jack, I thought.
"My kind, you mean gay people?" Phew!
"Yeah, gay people."
"I don't know what to say, I'm sorry you went through that."
"Yeah, so am I."
"So…so is that why you hate me?"
"I guess I just didn't understand you, like why you fancy guys and all that. I just thought all gay people were the same… oh I don't fucking know, it's all really hard to explain. All I can do is say I'm sorry and hope you believe that."
"You look sincere enough." Jack said, looking at Dean for any signs of deception.
"I know I can't take back all the horrible things I said, and the misery I put you through, but I really mean it when I say I'm sorry."
I had never seen Dean like this before. It was like I was listening to a different person. The words coming out of his mouth could have easily come from Shaun, but Dean? No way!
I think Jack had done a good job at staying calm because he could have just told Dean to fuck off. Having heard Dean reveal his ordeal to him made me think that Jack had no choice but to be cool with him. I just hoped that they both understood each other a little better.
After a moment of the two of them staring at each other, Jack held out his hand.
"I guess we'll never be best friends, but thank you for apologising, and I'm really sorry about what your brother did to you, but trust me, gay people are a million miles away from the person your brother is." Dean took Jack's hand in his and they shook. I saw Jack smile at Dean, and hoped it had brought a smile to Dean's face as well.
"So um, I really ought to go now, I wanna check my mum is ok." Jack remarked, gathering his stuff. "I'll get these clothes back to you on Saturday Joey."
"Ok mate, no rush. Thanks for coming down at short notice, did my dad give you some money?"
"Yeah thanks, and no problem about coming down, like I said, I needed to get out of there. I'll see you later." We both watched as Jack left my room, I think Dean even muttered a goodbye as he left. I waited until I could hear no more footsteps on the stairs before I spoke.
"You did a really nice thing there, thanks. It must have been hard for you to say those things," I said to him, those things, meaning the rape topic.
"I had to tell him something. It probably looked weird to him that I would suddenly apologise out of the blue."
"Maybe, but you could have probably got away with it without revealing James, I think you were brave to do it."
"I admit it; maybe I was wrong about him ok. Up close he seems like a decent guy."
"He's a good person, Dean, and he's dealing with a lot of shit right now."
"Yeah I got that from him… his dad right?"
"The guy is a fucking asshole, he needs a good kicking, and yeah I know two wrongs don't make a right but when he was undressing today…"
"Sorry… undressing, what the fuck Joey?"
"He arrived in his uniform Dean, I leant him some clothes to work in, jeez, calm down. Anyway as I was saying, when he undressed he had bruises all over his body, which tells me this must be happening frequently."
"Ok Dr CSI, how do you know that?"
"It's not rocket science Dean, you ever had a bruise?"
"Yeah, I get them all the time playing football, why?"
"How long does it take to fade away?"
"I dunno, two, maybe three weeks."
"Well his whole body is covered in them, some fresh, some fading, which tells me he must be being beaten on at least once every one to two weeks."
Dean grinned at me. "Its scaring me that you looked at him long enough to know this shit."
"Dean, be serious, I'm worried about him."
"Well, what are we supposed to do about it, it's none of our business, and besides if it was such a big issue he could have told someone at school."
"That's just it Dean, he won't because he thinks nothing is wrong."
"Well there you are then."
"No Dean, you don't understand…"
"Joey, you gotta leave this alone, don't get involved." Dean said, cutting me off.
"I won't do it Dean, I won't stand by and let this happen. What if it was Shaun, would you let it happen to him?"
"Fuck no, I'd drag Shaun's dad out by his ears and pummel him. But Joey, that's different, its Shaun, we've both known him forever. Jack…we don't know Jack like that and I'll say it again, it's none of our business. Jesus I don't even know why I'm saying we, I'm nothing to do with this whole drama."
I sighed. "Maybe you're right. Maybe I am getting too involved in this, after all if he thought he needed help he would go to someone right?"
I woke up about ten in the evening. Dean had long since gone and I laid there thinking about the events of the day, in particular the conversation that Dean and I had had. I really wanted to help Jack, but Dean was right, it was nothing to do with me. If Jack needed help that badly he would talk to someone. I just had to leave it alone as Dean had worded it. That was until my cell phone started buzzing around on my bed-side table.
I looked at the screen seeing Jack's name and immediately answered it.
"Hey Jack, you ok?"
"I…I'm outside the pub, c-c-can I come up?" he asked, sobbing.
"Jack, what's happened…uh yeah sure, just come straight up. Actually wait, I'll come down and bring you in through the emergency exit. Go to the beer garden and wait for me."
"Thanks, I'm sorry," he added before hanging up. I wasted no time and threw on some clothes before covering them in a large overcoat. I rushed downstairs, my body still aching, and nearly knocked my dad flying as he was coming up the stairs.
"Why are you out of bed Joey, if you're out of bed you must be ok for school."
"Dad, I am still ill I promise you but Jack is downstairs in the garden and he is in a bit of a state."
"No dad, not drunk, like crying, that kind of state," I retorted.
"Well what's up with him, you can't just have your friends turn up at ten at night, not to mention you are supposed to be in bed ill."
"Dad please, just let me get him in here and I'll explain everything."
"Well I hope you do, this is a bit much Joey, no visitors your mother said until you were well again. I need change for the register, I'll come back and see you later and this better be good Joey."
"Thanks Dad, and please, just don't be mad at me until you hear what's been going on."
"Fine, just make sure you shut that emergency door when you come back in." He said, before passing me.
I found Jack sitting on a bench in the garden and gestured him to come over. I was half expecting to find another bruise on his face, but as he came into the light I was pleased to say there wasn't.
"Follow me, we'll need to go through the kitchen, don't worry it's empty, food stops at nine on weekdays."
"Thanks, shit I'm really sorry for coming here, I just didn't know what else to do."
"Its fine, but I do owe my dad an explanation so I might have to step out and give him it when he summons me."
"Fuck Joey, I've got you in trouble? I should just go."
"Where? And no you haven't.
"Maddy, I can go to Maddy's, I should never have come here…it's just you were closer and…"
"Jack just calm down, we'll talk when we get to my room."
God, I fucking felt like shit and my brain was working overtime. I was also sweating like a pig, it was quite unnatural. I led him upstairs to my room and pushed him through the doorway before closing the door.
"Sit, tell me what's happened" I said, as I got back in bed, chucking my coat on the floor. He sat in my computer chair and struggled to compose himself. I was patient and waited until he felt ready to speak.
"My mum has gone to my aunt's; I dunno if she's coming back."
"Ok, start at the beginning, Jack."
"Would you mind opening the window please, I feel like I'm gonna pass out."
"Yeah sure, sorry it's just I have felt cold lately." I got up and opened it as requested. Thankfully I didn't feel the air was like a thousand knifes on my skin anymore so maybe I was on the mend. I certainly didn't feel like it right now though.
"I dunno where to begin, he slapped her and she ran upstairs and packed some stuff, I ran into the garden so I didn't have to see it. Normally I would get between him and her, but she fought back this time, I think she's had enough. When I was in the garden he came running out and said if she left he was gonna kill me, like it's my fault. Maybe it is, maybe the way he is, is because of the way I am."
"Jack, how long has this been going on?"
"He stopped you know, they went on holiday to some spa place about a year ago, Turkey I think it was. When they came back, it was like he was my old dad again; he was calm and nice to me. He even talked about taking me fishing, you know, so we could spend some quality time together. I hate fishing but I was pleased to go cos it was like him saying he loved me or something, that he wasn't ashamed of me."
"So what's happened for him to start again?" I asked, feeling like I was making progress here. It suddenly occurred to me sitting listening to him, that hardly knew anything about him. But why should I? We weren't long-time friends; he was just someone who worked at my parent's pub, just the Saturday boy. But there was something strangely compelling about him. He had this kind of aura about him, big bright blue eyes that drew you in, his whole body language just screaming at you saying… care for me!
And I did!
"He's always been a drinker, he's a dock worker, and they're all drinkers. He works hard and has always provided for us. Me of course, I've never been someone he can take around shouting…hey this is my son, I'm proud of him. He just gets angry, and I know it's the drink, so does my mother, but they have been married for so long I think she just got used to his temper."
"But why did he stop and then start been an asshole again, you haven't said."
"I'm sorry, I don't know, I'm trying to think, it's just when I think all this other stuff comes out of my mouth and…"
"Don't worry it's not important," I said, not wanting to stress him out anymore.
"It's my mum I really feel for. She really loves him, the person away from the drink, but I think she is gonna have to leave him, I think she realises that as well."
"What will happen to you if she does?"
"Nothing I guess. I can't stay at my aunt's there isn't the room. I'll be ok with him; I just need to make sure I stay out of his way."
"What a life," I mumbled, I don't think he heard. "Do you want to stay here tonight? I'll need to ask, but I don't think it will be a problem."
"I can't Joey, I don't have my uniform here and my books are at home as well, but thanks."
"Well the offer is there; you can always get up early and get your books before school."
"Can I just stay for a bit and see how I feel."
"Sure Jack, as long as you're safe, do what you need to do."
We sat in silence for a few minutes, it didn't feel awkward to me but I spoke anyway, mainly because I had more questions for him. I hoped that he would be as open now as he had been moments ago. Some of the questions I thought about asking were of no benefit to him or his issues, they were more to do with my curiosity, and I felt oddly guilty about that.
"I think you're a really strong person Jack." I stated, as a way in to my next question.
"Yeah not like lifting up stuff strong, well you're that as well. What I mean is, you're a…uh what's the word…uh, resilient. I mean all the shit you deal with at school, and then when you get home you have it all again. I mean If you do have crap at school, home should be a sanctuary, and instead…"
"You get used to it Joey," he said, intervening. "As sad as it sounds, it's not that hard to do… getting used to something like that I mean. It's like it becomes just a normal part of life."
"You hear about these young people, like our age who just give up and…well It don't matter. I admire you Jack, like I say, you're a strong person." He just shrugged at my statement.
"The only time I ever feel sorry for myself is when people say I'm not normal, people like Dean. I feel like saying to these people, I can't help the way I was born; I can't help who I like, what I like. I just don't know why people have to be so cruel. Some people stare at me like I have some plague or something."
"When did you know?" I asked, hoping he knew what I meant.
"That I was different?"
"Gay, right. Hmm, well I think I've always known. If you're asking when I first became aware of it, well I guess that started in the changing rooms at school."
"Looking at other guys, you mean."
"I suppose. But I always liked looking at the guys who were more developed."
"Sorry, what do you mean?"
Jack sniffed, before letting out a light chuckle. "You'll think it's perverted."
"Jack, I've had plenty of time to judge you, don't you think I would have by now."
"I guess. Well I remember a phase I went through when I was around fourteen. When the classes from year eleven had sports, I used to pretend I left something in the changing room just so I could go and look at all the sixteen year olds getting undressed. I always had this thing about hairy legs. It was like the more hairy they were the more attracted I was to them, because they were mature, dominant…I liked dominant mature males."
"Yep, definitely gay," I said smirking. Jack grinned too, I think relieved that I didn't call him a weirdo or something along those lines.
"I remember a guy called Tom Day, he was like the alpha male of the whole year eleven. He looked about twenty when he was sixteen. Tall, well built, dark hair and really meaty hairy legs that I just wanted to…"
"YES! I get the picture Jack, thank you."
"Sorry, guess I got carried away."
"I don't mind, but you were starting to almost dribble then." I said laughing, and then of course coughing.
"So what about you, what sort of girls do you like?" he asked, the question totally throwing off.
I coughed and cleared my throat. "Uh, well, I don't really have a type. If I like someone, I like someone, that's it for me really. There was a girl I liked called Stacy Burns, you know her probably, she is in Mrs Sykes class."
"Well anyway, Shaun and Dean used to tell me she was ugly, but I liked her and it was more because she made me laugh. She was fun to be around and she could hold a conversation. The nice thing was that she never tried to get in my pants and I never tried to get in her knickers, we just sort of gelled and...well liked each other I guess. We talked about having sex and I was really up for it, hell we had even planned when were gonna do it and where. We wanted to make it special, you know for our first time."
"Dean fucked her!" I said, slightly angry, remembering.
"Really, and you're still friends with him, Jesus what does that guy have to do for you to realise he…god, never mind, you obviously see something in him."
"A fitting question I could ask you Jack."
"Yeah whatever! Anyway I thought you said Dean said she was ugly."
"Yeah, he did, he just fucked her so he could say he had her before me. That's what Dean can be like sometimes. He knew I liked her and he bet me he could fuck her before me. I was stupid enough to accept the bet because I was certain I could win it."
"So has there been anyone else?"
"Nope! To be honest Jack, I'm always stuck here, normally working. I don't get time to go out like most people our age do."
"Yeah I know what you mean, except I'm allowed out, but have no one to go out with," he remarked, looking sad. I wondered what it was like to have hardly any friends and remain sane.
"You have Maddy though."
Jack chuckled and looked thoughtful. "Yeah Maddy is cool, but she is a control freak and far too over protective of me. If she had her way I would live in a glass box where no one could touch me."
"Yeah I get that about her, but look Jack, having someone like her is really cool. Shaun is a bit like that, and Dean is too, so I sort of know how having a friend like that can feel."
"I like Shaun, he seems really nice."
"Yeah I love Shaun. Out of the two of them Shaun is the talker, whereas Dean is the doer."
"So Shaun uses his brain and talks his way out of trouble, and Dean just hits people."
I shrugged. "Pretty accurate."
"Joey, is Shaun…"
"No, at least I don't think so."
"How did you know what I was gonna say?"
"Because I've asked myself the same question time and time again."
"There was a rumour that went round at school about him, Maddy told me. I couldn't believe it, I really hoped it was true, not because I fancied him or anything, although he is very handsome, but because it would have been nice to have someone else, you know, like me."
"I'm pretty certain there are others like you Jack, they just haven't had the courage to come out and admit it like you have."
"Believe me Joey, If I had the choice again I would never have admitted it."
"So why did you?"
"I was drunk and got caught kissing a guy at a party I should never have been at. Unfortunately some people from school were there and saw it."
"Whoa, so what happened?"
"Pfft, it was stupid. I was fifteen and got in with this small crowd who went to these party things almost every weekend. My mum and dad never really worried about me stopping out late, so when I started getting invited, I went. There was this guy at the party who was a friend of a friend of a friend, you know the kind, the one where nobody actually knows who invited him."
"Yeah, so anyway I found out his name was Ryan Watts and he was eighteen. We got talking, and the more I drank the more I talked. Conversation was easy with him, not just because of being wasted but also we both found out we shared the same birthday. Albeit there was three years between us, but we were born on the same day. So, we were both pretty drunk and he was fooling around and started kissing me on the cheek like drunk guys do when they have had a few."
"And then it just happened, kissing my cheek became kissing my lips, and then that turned in to a full blown snog. I liked him, probably because he was older, mature and all that. Anyway we were so caught up in our moment, that I didn't notice three people from school watching us and sniggering. Within three days I had half the school asking me if I was gay and why I was caught kissing a guy. It got to a point where I couldn't stand it anymore so I just admitted it, hoping if I did they would shut up about it and move on to someone else."
"Well the rest they say is history, and no Joey, it hasn't got any better, people still verbally abuse me, tease me and say cruel things. Like I said earlier, I can't help who I am, and I don't mean anyone any harm, I just want to be left alone."
"Don't be, it's my own mess. We leave school in a few months and I for one will not be going to the the on-site sixth form."
"What will you do?"
"Get a job, it's all I can do. I have poured everything in to my Drama classes, but doing school plays does not make you an actor, plus you need money for that, something my parents don't have."
"You sound so much like me." I said, feeling a sorrow for both of us come over me.
"Life is shit Joey; you can't get away from it. My grandma always said, you come in with nothing and you go out with nothing."
"She has a point." I said, agreeing.
"Had, Joey, she's dead.
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"Yeah me too, she was a great lady and I miss her."
Our conversation was interrupted by my dad knocking on my door. "Is it ok to come in," he called through the closed door, sheepishly.
"Yeah dad, why wouldn't it be?" I replied. The door slowly opened and my dad put his head round the frame, eyeing me, and then Jack.
"No reason I just thought I had better ask." I looked at him confused and then it dawned on me, he probably thought Jack would have his hands all over me, like in the cellar. Stupid man!
"Joey can I speak with you in the lounge?"
"Would you like me to leave Mr Cork, I'm sorry I turned up so late, it's just I have problems at home, but I can go if you wish."
"No Jack, its fine, I just need to talk to Joey for a minute," my dad replied.
I pulled off the duvet from my legs and made my way to the lounge as my dad had requested. He closed my bedroom door and followed me in. I had already taken a seat, and he joined me on the one opposite.
"Is mum ok down there?"
"Yeah we are just starting to lock up…look joey it's getting on for eleven, what is going on with Jack and why is he here so late?"
"You know his dad right?"
"Dickie Stanton, yeah he's a regular, you know him too Joey, what about him?"
"I just wanted you to know who he really is."
"Sorry Joey, I don't follow, now will you just tell me what's going on, I need to get back down stairs and I think it would be a good idea if Jack went home now, to his own house."
There was agitation starting to show in my dad's tone, and I was also starting to feel frustration build as I felt like he was just trying to get rid of Jack and wasn't listening to me. Granted he was probably tired but I really needed him to listen now.
I got up and left the lounge with my dad calling after me.
"Just wait a sec dad," I called back. I went into my room and asked Jack if he would follow me into the lounge. I went and sat down in my original spot, while Jack stood just inside the doorway.
"Take off your shirt," I said to Jack, with a look of horror immediately appearing on his face.
"Joey what the hell is this," my dad snapped.
"Jack just do it, take off your shirt."
"But Joey, I don't think this…"
"Jack, please!" I pleaded with him.
Jack started to slowly unbutton his shirt as my dad looked at me wondering if I had lost my mind before turning back to look at Jack. I watched him out the corner of my eye, looking for the reaction I knew he would have once Jack got the garment off. My dad's eyes slowly widened as I flicked my view back to Jack who had almost removed the shirt.
"This is why he is here dad." I said, sorry that I even had to make Jack subject himself to this. My eyes stayed glued to my dad's, and I watched as he slowly brought his hand up to his mouth. Yet to say anything to either of us, he just sat there speechless.
"Dad, the man responsible for that, and a lot more is the same Dickie Stanton that drinks in our pub. He's a bully and a drunk, but more than that he beats Jack and his mother."
"Is…is this true Jack?" My dad asked, looking stunned. Jack stood frozen not giving an answer in any way shape or form. The look alone was enough for my dad to work out his own answer, as he got up and went downstairs.
"Shit this is bad," Jack said, shaking his head.
"It will be fine, put your shirt back on."
"Fine, what do you mean fucking fine. I'm dead Joey, once my dad finds out, I'm fucking dead, and you nor anyone else can protect me. I have to carry on living with my dad, and when he finds out what your dad knows he's gonna…"
"Jack!" I snapped. "Your starting to freak out, just calm down. You know as well as I do this cannot go on."
"I should never have come here tonight, I told myself, I should never have come here and look what's happened, I'm a fucking dead man walking."
"Will you shut up and calm down before I slap you. My dad is gonna handle this ok?"
"No it's not ok, what do you think he can do, bar him? Like I said that will make things ten times worse."
"Come and sit down, I'm sure he is thinking of a way to solve this."
"Solve what, there is nothing to solve, it's not some fucking puzzle Joey, this is my life…about to end."
"Shh," I said, upon hearing footsteps coming back up. This time is was my mum who came through to the lounge.
"Jack honey, where is your mother?"
"Uh, she went to my aunt's why?"
"Does she have a cell phone?"
"No, my dad won't let her have one."
"Well do you know your aunts phone number?"
"Yeah, why what is all this…"
"I want you to call your mother and tell her you will be staying with us tonight. If she wishes to speak to me to confirm that I will be very happy to. I don't think it's a good idea you go home right now."
"But I can't Mrs Cork, All my books and uniform is at home, what about school?"
"Andy is going to drive you home tomorrow and make sure you get your stuff and then he will drive you to school."
"I don't think my dad is gonna like me staying out all night Mrs Cork."
"You just let Andy and I deal with your father. I'm sure it will all work out but we need to speak to him first and I think just for tonight at least, you should stay here."
"If you think that's best," Jack said, not really looking entirely comfortable with the whole idea.
"I do. Now you will need to fetch the fold-up bed from the basement, and since you know your way around this place now you should not have any trouble in finding it."
"I think I've seen it."
"Good, you can set it up in Joey's room, and Joey leave your window open so your germs don't fester in the room."
Hmm, a gay guy sleeping next to me in my room. Now I was the one who wasn't looking entirely comfortable, a look that Jack noticed straight away.
"Oh, uh, well its ok Mrs Cork, I can set the bed up in here."
"I was going to suggest that, but Andy and I will be getting up at five in the morning and we don't want to wake you."
"Its fine Jack," I said, trying to reassure him that I wasn't filled with apprehension.
"Ok, so uh, I'll go and get that bed then. Thank you for looking out for me, I'm sure things will be ok with my dad."
"They will be sweetheart, mark my words," my mother said, sounding almost sinister in her tone.
Jack left the room, leaving me to answer questions from my mother. Most of the questions she had, I didn't have the answers and I don't know why she thought I would. She only got about six or so fired off at me until Jack returned the small compact bed in hand.
"I'll get you some spare bedding," she said as he stood there holding the primitive metal bed. "I'll strip it off Roman's bed for now, he not sue home until Thursday…or is it Friday, hmm." My mum left the room muttering to herself.
"Roman?" Jack remarked, raising a brow.
"My brother," I sighed. "The one that's not treated like a slave," I said, extra loud hoping my mother might hear.
"You have a brother?" Jack asked, shocked.
"Yeah, people do have them you know Jack." I replied, rolling my eyes at him.
"Where is he then, I haven't seen him."
I shrugged. "He's a drummer in a band, they are away touring around northern England in some pubs and stuff, I don't know."
Jack chuckled. "Sounds like you don't really care."
"I do care, it's just his life is totally different from mine, he gets to do what he wants, when he wants and never helps out here."
"Oh, so you're jealous, is that it?" Jack said smirking.
"Oh shut up."
"So, is he hot like you."
"Gee Jack, let me think about that because I really look at my brother in that way."
"Well, is he?"
"You're unbelievable you know that?"
"Your father is beating you on a regular basis, you turn up here in pieces and as soon as I mention I have a brother you act like its Christmas."
"Yeah sorry, but hey, at least it took my mind off it. So how old is he?"
"Seventeen…and he's straight."
"Well at least as far as I know he is. Anyway he'll be back around here over the weekend so you can drool over him then, for now through I really would like to go back to bed before I collapse."
We walked to my room and my mum was already there with the bedclothes. "Ok, Jack, go and try your mother, you can use the phone in the lounge." He did so before returning moments later.
"No one is answering, but it is late so they might be in bed."
"Hmm, well try her in the morning first thing, ok?"
Jack nodded. "Yeah I will."
"Ok, I'll leave you boys to it; I need to help your father lock up. I might as well say good night as well, you two should be getting some sleep.
"Thanks Mrs Cork."
"Please, Jack, call me Sandra, and you're welcome, now get some rest…you too Joey!"
"Yeah ok mum, goodnight."
My mum left my room leaving me alone with Jack. I started to get undressed ready to finally get into bed; it felt like it had been a really long night, with Jack, then Dean, then Jack again tonight.
"Close your mouth Jack, Jesus," I said, as he gawped at me taking my sweatpants off.
"What…oh sorry, I didn't realise I was staring."
"Yeah I bet you didn't," I replied, smirking at him. "So are you going to get those clothes off and get into bed or what?"
"Why wanna see what's underneath?" he teased.
"Quit it Jack, and besides I already know what's underneath and it aint pretty."
"Hmm, guess you got me there."
He began to undress, again revealing his bruised body. He took a sudden intake of breath when removing his shirt.
"Are you ok?" I asked.
"Yeah…yeah it's just a bit sore that's all."
"Yeah it looks it, just take it easy."
"I'm flattered that you care."
"Hey, I do care, you're here aren't you?"
"Yeah, I'm sorry I was just playing."
"Well you have certainly brightened up I'll say that."
"It's just nice to feel…I dunno, safe I guess."
"You don't feel safe at home?"
"Would you?" he said, as if it was a stupid question. It probably was!
"I guess not," I replied, feeling rather stupid.
"Hey wanna hear another issue I have?" He asked, turning on to his side to face me.
"If I must." I smirked.
"So, I met this guy yeah…"
"Shut up and listen."
I rolled my eyes at him. "Ok I'm listening."
"So I met this guy recently, and he's like really REALLY cute, absolutely gorgeous body, toned, you get the picture right? Well anyway before actually I met him, I didn't think he liked me, well at least that's what I mostly assumed. So I was always watching him from a distance at school, loving the way he walked, his bubble butt tight in his trousers. Oh, and I loved the way he would lean against the lockers talking to his friends, stretching himself, exposing his tight stomach, it used to make me melt. But he hung around with this nutcase who absolutely hated me, so I never had the chance to sort of talk to him. Not that I had any intention of getting him into bed, after all, as far as I knew he was straight. I just wanted to…well, get to know him. He seemed sensitive, funny and likeable. Anyway, eventually I did meet him, and up close I struggled to keep my eyes off him whenever he was with me, and sure enough he was everything I thought he would be when our paths eventually crossed. Then I met his parents, and they were really cool too. Even though they had just met me, as soon as they heard about my problems at home they looked after me. You see Joey, I really have a crush on this guy but I didn't know how to let him know. In fact I think it is more than that. I really want to start something with him, but I don't know how he feels. Anyway that's my issue."
"That was quite…graphic Jack, thanks. So, this is a guy at school you say?" I asked, intrigued
"Do I know him?"
"Yeah very well actually," He replied casually.
"Well who the bloody hell is it then," I asked, sounding impatient.
He smiled as I met his gaze, his piercing blue eyes looking deep into my soul, and then ever so softly, and thoughtfully he replied.
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