The Saturday Boy
Chapter 10 - Smoke and Mirrors
I sat on one of the barrels in the cooling room, my arms folded, huddled inside one of the insulated coats stored just outside. I was thinking…thinking about how to approach not only my own feelings towards Jack, but also the feelings of my best friend Shaun. I mean, I'm not stupid, I knew there was something going on between him and Jack, but what?
I had asked Jack to come over to the pub and he was due to arrive any time now. After checking the temperature in the room as I did each day, I shut and locked the doors before taking my coat off, hanging it back up.
I thought about my life before Jack came along, as I did quite often. I wanted to know how a guy that had not made a move on me or my friends, had not been nasty to anyone, had not been complicated or tried to drive a wedge between us, but was at the heart of all the problems with my two best friends…and me.
A little resentment crept into my mind as I walked back upstairs to the bar. I knew Jack was not to blame for any of this, but at the same time I was annoyed he had caused it…indirectly.
Standing at the end of the bar I watched as my dad went from customer to customer, serving drinks, taking money, smiling at them and having the odd little chat. This was our business, people wanted to come here and spend money at our pub. I found it fascinating that customers never saw what went on in our lives…the lives of the owners. Like how my mother had caught me masturbating, or ordering the wrong gas bottles, or how my father had had to have a chat with me about boy stuff, then moments later probably serving another customer. Nope, the customers just paid their money and took their choice. We knew so much about what went on in their lives, and they had no clue what went on in ours.
"Penny for your thoughts?" came a familiar voice behind me. I turned round seeing Jack standing there, his lips curled down. "Aww, what's up Joey?"
I sighed. "Nothing Jack, wanna come upstairs?"
"Yeah sure, so what's this about?" he asked, as we walked through the bar towards the restaurant. I didn't answer him, waiting instead to utter my first words when we were safely in my room. We went in and I shut the door. He found my computer chair the ideal place to sit leaving me to sit on my bed.
"I've been thinking about how I wanna say this without sounding like a paranoid prick, but I know I'm not being paranoid so I'm just gonna come out and ask."
"Ok," Jack said nodding, looking at me wearing a worried look.
"I want to know what is going on with you and Shaun and why my friend is acting like a rabbit in headlights every time he sees me."
"Shaun and I?" He said, innocently. "Nothing is going on between Shaun and me, what's this about?"
"Oh come on Jack, don't treat me like a fool, I know him and he's not acting like the person I know."
"In what way…what's this got to do with me?" He asked a little irritation in his voice. I was starting to wonder if he was telling the truth.
"Well for a start he always seems to be asking about you, or wants to find you for some reason. If he's not asking I normally find him with you and I feel like he's keeping something from me…about you."
"Joey, I swear on my dad's life I don't know what…"
"Well that's reassuring Jack…your dad's life?" I said, cutting him off.
"Ok, my mum's life… is that better? Look, I really don't know what is going on with Shaun, if anything it's you that is acting weird from what he has mentioned."
"Me?" I asked, incredulously. "I'm not acting weird, that's one thing I am certain of."
"He says you're confused about your feelings towards me and he thought it might be better if I back off a bit. I said I hadn't even moved forward with you, and he said that was fine then."
"Shaun said this?"
"Yeah, that's what I said…Look Joey can you please tell me what is going on, I'm really not getting this."
I slumped back on my bed resting my head on the wall and sighed. "Jack, I don't think I even know now. I was sure I had this all sussed out, but if what you say…" I stopped as my thoughts cut off my speech and I drifted in to thinking mode trying to work this all out.
"One second, I'm thinking. Why would Shaun tell you to back off from me?"
"I dunno, the answer depends on if his statement about you being confused about your feelings are true, really," he said, smirking.
"Forget about me for a moment, Jack. I want you to run with something for a minute no matter how strange this sounds."
"Ok, I'll try, go on." He said, scratching his ear.
"Has…has Shaun ever given you the impression he was attracted to you, or said anything that would suggest he liked you more than the average straight person should?"
"Are you asking if Shaun is gay?"
"I'm asking you what I just asked you." I replied, frustrated.
"Well...uh, nothing that really stands out. I suppose I was a bit taken aback that he suddenly wanted to get to know me, which seem to come on quite quickly. He's quite a touchy feely kinda guy I guess, but…"
"Touchy feely, Shaun?"
"Yeah, like he squeezes your arm, or cups your neck, that kind of thing, you know…right?" He asked, looking at me, wanting me to agree with him, but I couldn't. I mean, yeah Shaun was very occasionally like that when he first greeted you but not all the time…which was my next question.
"Does he do it all the time?"
"Quite a lot, but I thought he is just like that, I haven't thought about it any other way. Are you saying he's not like that…is that what you're telling me?"
"No Jack, he's not like that, at least not with me or Dean, and if he was like that with other guys, it would be me and Dean who would be the most likely to get that treatment."
"Shit Joey…now I'm starting to think…"
"Don't worry, you and me both, I need to seriously have a word with him," I said, cutting him off mid-sentence."
"I swear to you Joey, I have not been leading him on or anything, I didn't know he was doing anything…I mean, fuck what have I done."
"You haven't done anything, and chill, I believe you. It's just really strange."
"So let me ask you something Joey…do you think Shaun is gay?"
"No!" I retorted, shooting him a rough glare. Then I sighed. "At least in all the years I have known him I have never thought so…not in a million years. Maybe it's just you; you have that effect on people."
"Sorry, what do you mean?"
I let out a short chuckle. "Nothing… just a joke between me and myself."
I climbed into bed exhausted. Not from my day at school, or my work at the pub, but exhausted by my thoughts. Sleep would not come easy tonight though and I knew that because whenever my brain was filled with crap, no matter how tired I was, I never slept well.
Turning on the TV I flicked over to Discovery and watched same nature program that looked like it was about baboons. Here and there I would let out a small chuckle as the cameraman seemed to film the monkeys doing silly things.
I really wanted Shaun here right now so I could talk to him and get some bloody sleep, and while the documentary went some way to taking my mind of things, it was no substitute to getting stuff of my chest with the person causing the shit to accumulate.
It was no good; I needed to speak with Shaun. I looked at my clock and it read eleven just after. I pulled my phone from the jeans I had taken off just moments ago and dialled his number. I listened as the ring tone buzzed though my ear. It rang and rang with no answer and I waited for the automatic voicemail to finish, but decided to not leave a message. I chucked the phone on the floor and slammed my head back down on my pillow, annoyed. Moments later a text alert came through and I grabbed my cell again.
Shaun: Wats up Joey, I'm tryna sleep?
Joey: Why did u not pick up?
Shaun: just a bit tired m8, can we talk 2morrow?
Joey: ye sure, will you meet me early?
Shaun: sumfin rong?
Joey: hopin u can tell me! Meet me at 7 outside Dukes?
Shuan: k, g'nite Joey
I didn't reply to his good night, I wanted to make him stew. Shaun rarely ignored a phone call from me…in fact he had never ignored a call from me apart from a time he was at a funeral, and even then he stepped outside to call me back. So as you can imagine, this behaviour was yet another odd thing that he was displaying.
I dived out of bed at six thirty forgetting to set my alarm for my early meet with Shaun. Chucking just my shirt and trousers on and stuffing the rest of my uniform in my bag, I ran downstairs and out of the pub, even skipping breakfast.
I ran to Dukes, which was about a ten minute walk from the pub usually but I didn't want to be late, not when it was me who had made such a big deal in my text to him about telling me what was going on. As I ran I was trying to text my mum to let her know I had left early, while not getting myself killed as I crossed a series of roads, not really looking.
I saw Shaun coming from the other direction as I arrived at the old Cinema, and slowed down, not wanting him to see I had been rushing to get there. As we got closer to each other he looked up and smiled. I smiled back wanting this conversation to at least start on a good footing.
"So, what's the big deal today?" He asked, as we tapped fists.
"Walk with me and I'll try and think how to start."
"Hmm, sounds important," he remarked, keeping step with me.
"I'm gonna just ask this Shaun, and I think you know what the question is gonna be."
"I have an idea."
"Shaun, are you into Jack?" I asked, point blank. Shaun gave a sideways look.
"What makes you think that?"
"Shaun, don't make this painful, just yes or no."
"What am I on trial here?"
"It's just a question Shaun."
"What if I don't wanna answer."
"Shaun, the way I see it, any other answer other than a no, is gonna mean a yes, and that includes not answering at all. So I'll ask one more time, and be straight with me. Are you into…"
"Yeah, ok, I'm into him ok, are you satisfied?"
"Satisfied?" I repeated, glaring at him. "No, I'm not satisfied."
"Why not, you got the answer you wanted." Shaun remarked, his voice stubborn.
I was so twisted up right now. How was I supposed to answer him, how was I supposed to say anything at all? He knew how things were in my head regarding Jack, and now he had to make an already complicated situation even more so. It was like we were in some kind of chess game and he had just called check-mate.
"Why Shaun…why him?" I asked, my eyes wide. Shaun looked suddenly withdrawn as he tipped himself against a wall near the cinema.
"I didn't do this to hurt you if that's what you're thinking, I…I just fell under his spell."
"I don't know what to say to you Shaun, this is like the worst possible outcome to this on-going saga I could think of."
"Well things have hardly been normal lately have they?" I retorted, flicking my hand in the air. Shaun just looked up at the sky and blew air through his lips.
"Fuck," he whispered, probably more to himself. "So how is this gonna work Joey?"
"I don't know, what can I say, it's like all the words in my head have gone. There is nothing I can say to you that makes this better for either of us."
"Well how do you feel about Jack?"
"You KNOW how I feel about Jack," I hissed, almost franticly.
"Ok, ok, no need to flip out Joey, like I said, I didn't plan for this to happen."
"You know I expected something like this from Dean, but you Shaun, I can't believe you would do this."
"Now hang on just a fucking minute Joey, I haven't done anything, I can't help my feelings, just like you can't."
"Yeah, but you knew how I felt, I spilled my guts to you on more than one occasion about Jack Stanton and you had every opportunity to take a step back."
"Yeah and I should have done, I'm sorry, I don't know why I didn't. Look Joey I don't wanna…"
"Hurt me…yeah you said that." I said, running a hand through my hair."
"Well I didn't, you know I wouldn't do that to you."
"It's not just that, it's the whole you and guys thing, I mean fuck Shaun, why didn't you ever tell me?"
"Because I didn't know…remember what that's like?" Yeah I did!
Shaun scraped his shoe up and down on the wall looking at the floor. I wanted to shout at him, scold him, tell him he's a horrible person, but the truth was, right now he was the mirror image of me.
"So what now?"
"I'm gonna back off from him. I never said how I felt because I knew how you would take it, but I never intended to run off with him behind your back if that's what you think. In fact I didn't know how I was gonna deal with it. All I knew is I was getting in too deep each day...I was starting to fall for him Joey, maybe I still am, but I'll deal with it. If it's any conciliation I haven't even told him my feelings so no harm done."
"I think he has an idea now," I said, softly.
"Because I basically accused him of leading you on, and he swore he didn't know what I was talking about and that's when we sort of worked it out together, you know, what was going on."
Shaun rolled his eyes. "Great!"
Silently we both agreed it was time to start walking towards the bus stop so we could start our journey to school. Occasionally I could see him glancing at me wanting to make conversation. I knew he was hurting too, and I knew what sort of effect Jack was probably having on him because I felt the same. Jack felt like a forbidden fruit to me, and I wondered if Shaun felt it like that too.
"I think we should cancel camping," I remarked out of the silence as we walked.
"Oh don't be stupid, Dean and Jack are looking forward to it."
"Hmm, I don't think Dean is," I said, frowning.
"Because of Jack?"
"Because of me now, as well."
"How so, what have you done?"
"Remember how I said I was gonna tell you why I was pissed off with Dean when you saw me in school yesterday?"
"Oh yeah, you said you were gonna tell me later…you never did get round to it."
"Yeah I know, and probably on purpose. Look, it's not like I wanted to keep anything from you, I just didn't have the energy to go into it."
"Ok, so tell me now then, what's happened…or rather, what has he done now?"
"Actually it's more what I've done."
Shaun grinned for the first time today. "I'm listening."
"I went over to Dean's and while sitting at the table with him and his parents I accidently blurted out that I thought Jack was cute. What I meant to say is that he was good…at the pub I mean."
"No way! So dean knows about…"
"Everything yeah…probably as much as you know." I said, flinching at the thought. I went on to tell Shaun everything that had happened after he stormed off from the table that day, how I had stood up to him and even how he called me to sort of apologise.
"I get a feeling this Saturday is gonna be really interesting." Shaun said, shaking his head.
"It could be good for all of us now I think about it. I think we all need to be together and just have a good time, nothing complicated, just good old fashioned fun, and I'm really hoping Dean and Jack will bond a little."
"Yeah me too Joey."
"You really mean that, I mean with how you feel about Jack and all?"
"You know Joey, if you were anyone else I would just be selfish and probably end up taking it further with Jack given half the chance, but I would rather sacrifice my feelings for him than lose my oldest and best friend."
"I still can't believe you're gay you know, that's just not what I expected."
"Gay is such a final word if that makes sense, that's not how I look at myself. It's more Bi actually, probably leaning female."
"The first guy I've had feelings for?" Shaun said, glancing up at me.
"No actually, and it's gone further than that if you want my complete honesty."
"I thought I always had that Shaun, I thought we told each other everything."
"We do, it's just at the time I didn't know if I could tell you. It's only been since you've been telling me about your feelings towards Jack that I have been thinking of admitting something, but the time never seemed right."
"I get the feeling some big confession is about to fall from your mouth," I said, grinning.
We got to the bus stop and sat down on the stupid seats that you can never get comfortable on. Shaun was looking uncomfortable, almost squirming as he sat next to me.
"I did something really silly Joey."
"Silly as in silly or something that I'm not gonna approve of." I asked, getting nervous myself.
"It happened twice, I didn't expect it, or…or even want it, I was pretty drunk the first time and it all happened so fast."
"What...what happened?" I asked, impatiently.
Shaun shifted in his uncomfortable seat like he was preparing himself for a big speech. I looked at his hands clasp together, they were shaking.
"I had sex with that boy in Grand Canaria."
"The Spanish boy, the…the one who liked me?"
"The very one, and I didn't use a condom."
"Fuck Shaun, you went all the way with him?" I asked, shocked, swallowing hard.
"Uh huh, stupid right?"
"Shocking, Shaun, not really stupid, I mean yeah no condom was a silly thing to do seeing as he was quite forward and all that, god knows how many people he's…"
"Yeah thanks Joey, I don't wanna think about that part of it."
"Sorry…so tell me what happened, I mean how?"
"You remember how on a couple of occasions I stayed outside a little while after you and Dean had hit the sack?"
"Well one night I walked out of the side gate, you know, just to watch the waves crashing in. The moon was out and it was shining on the water, it just looked beautiful. Anyway I caught a glimpse of Spanish boy staring at me through the window in the villa next to ours. I just smiled at him and went back to looking at the waves, and didn't think anything of it." Shaun paused for a moment, as if trying to remember what happened next.
"Ok, ok I'm thinking…so I was standing there and the next thing I know he's walking towards me in just a pair of shorts. I stood there wondering why as it's not like we could have any kind of conversation since he couldn't speak a word of English. So I waited…waited to see what he wanted. He came and stood next to me and we both watched the waves in silence. He then started stroking the back of my neck with his fingers, and…and my brain was screaming at me to tell me to get lost, but I didn't, I just let it happen."
"And then what?"
"Then he took my hand and led me down on to the sand by the volleyball court and gestured me to sit down, so I did. He knelt down and started to take my T-shirt off and again I let him. Instead of being repulsed by him he was actually giving me a hard-on. Before I knew what was happening he was laying on his front sucking me off and playing with my balls Joey."
"You just let him do it?"
"Yeah I let him do it, and I was actually enjoying it."
"Then what happened?"
"Then I shot my load in his mouth and felt immediately guilty."
"Why Joey, why do you think? He asked incredulously.
"You regretted it?"
"Of course I did, it was hardly an experience I was planning, or had ever been through before."
"But…but you said it happened twice."
"It did, by the next night I was feeling different and felt like I wanted to see him again…you know just curious and all that, and that's when it happened."
"Yeah the night we went all the way. You and Dean had gone inside again and I went back out there around the same time. I dunno if he was expecting me to be, but he was already outside the gate when I walked out. We both walked down to the sand again and he pulls out this bottle of lube from his short pocket. He started taking my clothes of again and lubed my dick up before he got on all fours and pushed up against my dick with his butt."
"Fuck Shaun, this is giving me a boner!" I admitted, adjusting my crotch as we waited for the bus.
"Yeah me too, just thinking about it," Shaun said, chuckling.
"So carry on, this is starting to get fascinating." I said willing him on.
"So yeah, he's pushing his ass against my dick and I'm like…no, no, we can't do that, and he's just quietly whimpering like a small dog or something. At some point when he was pushing against me the crack of his ass sort of cupped my helmet, and fuck did it feel nice. After feeling that, I just lost my mind completely and before I knew where we were I was buried up to my nuts in guts, as they say."
"Wow, Shaun…fucking hell man…the Spanish boy, it don't seem real!"
"You're telling me…and then after about five minutes I pulled out and shot all over his back, it was pretty hot for something I never expected I would ever do."
"Sounds like it," I said, nodding.
By telling Shaun that, it went some way to basically saying I liked cock and I didn't even feel I was ready to admit that to myself yet, let alone Shaun. But I did find it hot, listening to him tell me about it, there was no denying it.
"One thing I found really strange though is he never came. I mean, even after I fucked his brains out he never wanted to cum. He just let me get dressed and walk off without a single piece of dialog happening between us…weird right?"
"Yeah, but perhaps he jerked off after you left, maybe he knew your limits after you climaxed or something."
"Yeah maybe…hey look here comes our bus."
"About time!" I said, as I adjusted myself again before getting up.
Dean, Shaun and I were sitting in the cafeteria having lunch when Jack came past us and smiled. I looked at Shaun who was already looking at me and then we both looked at Dean, who was looking at both of us.
"What?" I said, not liking the dirty look on Dean's face.
"I know you want to invite him over to our table, you don't have to ask my permission you know."
"I know I don't Dean, I was just trying to judge the mood at the table."
"I think we should invite him over, the four of us are supposed to be going camping together soon, if we can't all sit at the same table together then what's the point in going."
"Joey's right Dean, let him come join us."
"Hey I'm not stopping him," Dean said defensively.
I waited until Jack had paid for his lunch and called him over as he walked to an empty table. He seemed pleased as he heard me call, and smiled.
"Hey thanks for letting me join you guys, I thought I would be having lunch on my own for a second." Jack said as he approached our table, tray in hand.
"You are always welcome to have lunch with us Jack," I said, kicking Dean under the table.
"Yeah Jack, join us any time you want," Dean added, trying out a small smile.
"So, are you all looking forward to Saturday? I picked up my uncles tent before school this morning, it's in good condition." Jack said, excitedly.
"Yeah, it's supposed to be nice weather," Shaun said. "Have we decided where we are camping?"
"Becken woods sounds good, lots of dead trees for kindle and there is a stream that runs through to a small lake…maybe we could go for a spot of swimming." I replied beaming a smile.
"Beckon woods? We'll need to take a train to get there; it's almost out of London."
"Yeah but it's quiet and we'll probably be the only ones there, unless you want a load of people hanging around our tents at night," I argued.
"Beckon's fine, and I'll see if my dad can drop us there in his Taxi," Dean said. "Unless you wanna take the train?"
"Taxi," we all said in unison.
"So who's sharing my tent?" Jack asked, innocently. "Dean, how about you?"
"Uh…well, I um, I dunno, I thought you wanted to Joey."
"Relax Dean, he's just playing with you, I'm sharing with him."
"You are?" Shaun blurted out loudly, causing us all to look at him. "Uh, I mean yeah, you are."
"That's cool, as long as someone is, I don't fancy spending a night on my own in the woods."
"Aww, does lickle Jack get scared of the dark," I said teasingly, putting my hand round the back of his neck and stroking it with my thumb, laughing. I suddenly realised Dean and Shaun were looking at me strangely and I dropped my hand down again, my face turning more serious. What the fuck are you doing Joey!
The truth was I felt a little more comfortable around Jack, especially since Dean now knew things and Shaun had just admitted the gossip of the century to me. Why should I now feel guilty about my new feelings, why should I hide the fact I found Jack really cute. The way he smiled, the way he walked, his ass wiggling in his tight grey school trousers. Yeah fuck it, I felt like I didn't wanna resist anymore, my feelings were my feelings and nothing to do with anyone else.
There were two things that bothered me slightly…no actually a lot. One was that I really didn't wanna hurt Shaun over this, and second, I didn't know how to tell Jack that my feelings for him were developing, after all I had zero experience with this, I had never been with a guy, I didn't know what to do, what to say. I felt shy all of the sudden, and I was turning red for some reason.
"What's up Joey, you look a little hot." Jack asked.
"Just my food going down," I lied.
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