The Diary of Alex The Great

by D'Artagnon

Blog Excerpt Number Two

Well, it's been a week that I'll not soon forget, and probably not for any reason you could possibly imagine. As I sit here and type this, one handed, a skill many of you out there might possess for the same reasons as I do, I'm amazed at the twists this last week has had on everything.

First off, I'm typing one handed out of necessity. My left arm is in a cast at the moment, because of a multiple fracture in the radius and ulna and dislocation of the wrist bones. I've never felt pain like this before in my whole life. I've never had a bone broken, nor needed medical treatment any more urgent than regularly scheduled shots and school physicals. The entire series of events that led to this starts where my last blog rant ends. Saturday night, as a matter of fact. Sadly, a lot of what happened next is directly my fault.

I had just gotten offline with a few stroker buddies of mine, sharing tales of Jordan's tail and how I'd mastered him like simple 5th grade level math problems. It got to the usual session of comparing videos and my careful scrubbing of my computer from traces and other files that might be incriminating to my more loyal fan base, not to mention to me myself. And, yeah, I'd gotten off twice that night, remembering how sweet and tender and hot Jordan had been yesterday. Never had the raw sex and sensuality of a moment stuck with me.

I kept trying to tell myself , *he's just another one. Nothing special. Get over it. Done! Done! On to the next one, right?* But I couldn't shake it. The images and memories had built up wicked strong in me. I was suddenly considering not going after the green-eyed boy and just seeing how long I could ride the Jordan's Ass Express until it didn't interest me anymore. I went to sleep that night with my website hitting 5000 hits, about 220 alone that Saturday, which was up about 10% more than normal. It hadn't been up long, but I apparently knew what the "public" wanted and could deliver.

I woke up very early that morning, the sound of something tapping on the cellar door of my bedroom. So I went to the door and pulled the curtain aside. It was Jordan, looking like he'd just run over in the dark of false dawn to get here without being seen. He was wearing a red Columbia ski jacket and his PJ pants, no socks on but his feet in half tied sneakers, as if he had to get out of the house in a hurry and just pulled the shoes on over the heel. He looked in my eyes as I pulled the curtain over and then noticed my bare chest. His eyes flicked up to mine with this look of almost desperation.

So rather than leave him stranded, I let him in. I don't know why I did that. In my own strict ethics, he was no longer anyone that mattered. That target had been shot down, bagged, tagged and set free. And yet, here he was. Oh, and I sleep in the buff, so when he came into the room, the cold November air snaking around the door, he got a little bit of a surprise.

"Jordy, what're you doin' here," I said, closing the door. I could feel his eyes carefully not looking at me as he entered. A quick glance at the alarm clock by the bed told me the facts. No wonder I had not consulted my ethics before just opening the door; my brain had not woken up yet, nor would it for several more hours. I mean, it's Sunday morning at this point, and I'm a fan of sleeping in until football comes on.

"It's barely 6 o'clock," I said, reaching over to click the radio on. I'd long ago learned that cover noise from modern electronics is usually all you need to keep certain sounds of passion traveling upstairs to the ears of an undesired audience. So it stood to reason that it would cover the easily identifiable sound of simple chatter too. The last thing I wanted was my parents thinking, or finding out, rather, what kind of activities keep me occupied.

I sat down on the bed, Jordan self-consciously taking his jacket off and folding it over his bare arms and bare chest as he sat down at my computer chair. He was, noticeably agitated and cold. After walking about a mile and a half through town, crossing the stone bridge and the hawking winds that sweep off the snow-laden river in just his PJ's and coat, I'd be cold too.

I made a show of getting back into bed, covering myself at least as far as the waist and laying sideways, seductively. This seemed to make Jordan even more slightly nervous. He stayed silent a while longer, his eyes not quite meeting mine. He looked on the verge of tears. Not really my problem, except here he was in my room about to let the water works go. This was just another reason why I didn't like the whole relationship mess. It usually winds up with someone acting foolish and emotional. My way is better. Win-win situation, really, if you looked at it from the right point of view.

Apparently, Jordan wasn't looking at things my way, though.

"Um, about what happened Friday…" he said, haltingly.

"Yeah?" I said. Part of me was already going into seduction mode. I know my cock was up and hard and ready for another taste of him. My voice took on a huskier, darker quality, and that one word was like a purr, a promise and a pent up passion all rolled into one. It wouldn't take much at this point to get him into my bed again. My body was saying, what the hell, he's here, you're horny and he apparently likes it. Why not? My hand draped over my hip, teasing him with how it flicked against the side of my shaft through the thick comforter and blankets and sheets.

"Um, I never," he began, making a point of pushing his glasses up on his face some more, even though they were in no danger of falling. He was making extra hand motions to cover his nervousness, and instead it only served to illustrate that trait.

"I never…"

"Never did anything like that before?" I asked, finishing his sentence. He nodded. "Let's see. You never even considered doing things like that with another boy. You have all sorts of weird feelings and you don't know who to talk to. You're afraid that something happened and I think you're just some kind of fag or slut or something and you want to set me right about how you feel? Tell me if I'm wrong on any of these."

He just nodded. "You're not wrong," he said low, doubling over his doubled coat more, seemingly on the verge of standing up to bolt. It was like he felt shame, but couldn't understand how to deal with it. What made him any different than the others? They felt the shame and just went away. Why was Jordy so different?

"So, like, you wanna talk about it?" I asked, sarcastically. He nodded, unable to meet my face. "So, talk."

"Um, I was really feeling strange when you gave me some of that tequila."

"Vodka. And it's supposed to make you feel strange. That's the point of drinking Vodka."

"But, it made me… I mean… What we did…"

"Was a lot of fun," I interrupted him. "A lot of fun. You're really good at it," I said grinning. He blushed like a virgin, which he wasn't anymore.

"Yeah, it was fun," he said, risking a shaky glance up to my eyes. I stayed steady looking at him. Confident, poised, relaxed, powerful. Oh yeah, very powerful. I could feel my tippy sticking wetly to the sheet from how powerful I was feeling.

"So what's the problem?" I asked, seeming all concerned. I noticed him shivering a little. "Come over here," I said, sliding a bit of the bed sheets back some, exposing a warm spot on the bed.

And he got up, folded the jacket, as if it needed any more folding, and sat down on the open spot on the bed. I pulled the covers up over his shoulders, leaning my chest against the small of his back. He practically sighed as he leaned against me. He settled an arm, uncomfortably at first, around my shoulder and hanging down my back. Somehow, he kept it so that he wasn't looking at me directly, but I could catch him making furtive little glances out of the corner of his eyes. It was almost cute how he was being coy like that.

"I… I dunno why I feel this way," he admitted, seeming to relax a little now that he didn't need to look at me directly. His body stopped shivering from the cold while he sat there beside me, but I could feel different trembles building in him.

"It's natural to feel like this. Your body knows what it wants."

"Uh huh," he said, and I could almost sense that there was something deeper going on in his mind than just Need plus Shame. "What about your other friend?" he asked, dropping a bomb with his quiet tone. "What about," he paused, and I could hear him lick his lips before saying, "Marty?"

"Marty? Marty likes to play games. I don't play like that," I responded, darkly. And I didn't. I just don't roll like that, period. Again, the truth was coming into play on my side. Whoever said the truth will set you free forgot that truth is such a subjective thing. Facts might set you free, but truth can be so very deliciously ensnaring. Ask churches about that.

"But you don't, um, like have… Feelings for him?"

"For Marty?" I asked, all indignant. And to be honest, I didn't have any feelings for him. Never did, never intended to. "He told me how he felt right from the start. If he wants to try and play games, well, that's his right, I guess. I just don't fall for it." I meant, _I don't fall in love._ Did that once, and it wound up hurting more than feeling good. Just fucking is better than love, so I don't do it.

Jordan obviously was still conflicted. His body and his brain were having a war and his heart was stuck in the middle trying to pull in a different direction entirely.

"Do you love him?"


"Does he love you?"

"Marty loves Marty, first, last and always. I don't think he can love anyone else. He's just not set up for it." * Wow,* I thought. * Where the hell did all this deep emotional thinking bullshit come from? Too much Dr. Phil!*

"But he acts like… like he… loves you. In the caff, he's always…"

"Always, what? Acting like I should pay him attention? Like the freakin' world revolves around him? Like it's all sooo fuckin' unfair that I don't worship the ground he farts over? C'mon! Don't tell me he's got you snowed too?"

"He seemed nice enough."

"You don't know Marty like I do," and in my mind I completed that with, _ In the biblical sense ._ "He's such a needy, attention hound. You'd think he was serious about things, but he's all about the drama. You know the type. If there's not some phony soap opera going on about him then he feels neglected. Dunno about you, but I don't have time to deal with that sort of crap." Again, the truth and freedom aren't always close allies. Jordan wavered.

"So… so what about… um…"

"About us?" I supplied, this time letting my fingers trail up the side of his arm, making slight tickle circles at the back of his wrist.

"Well, yeah," he said at last, cautiously looking back at my face and then very self-consciously looking away, blushing.

"It's not like how stuff happens on Glee, ya know," I tell him, my other hand moving up the side of his ribs. I can feel the small muscles there shivering slightly under his skin. His body presses more firmly into mine. At this point I'm shaft-on to his body, but because of my arch, he's not getting any skin wet from my tippy flow. I'm sure there's a heavy, clear drop peeking out of my pee slit at this point. For some reason, I just feel the animal need to bang him again and all systems are go.

"Yeah?" he asks, barely a whisper as some pop singer chick starts droning on through auto-tune. Yet another example of how people can't tell what's talent and what's fluff anymore. It's just background noise to me.

"Yeah. We don't have to be coy and pretend there aren't needs we can fix for each other. I mean, you walked over here in the snow, no boots, no shirt. Clearly," I say, pausing for emphasis and to let my hand that had been toying with his wrist drift over to the waistband of his sleep pants. "Quite clearly, you know what your body wants. What it needs."

"It was… too fast," he said, almost stuttering. "I never thought there were other guys in our school who…" He was blushing furiously at this point, but his fingers on my back were starting the subtle motions I used on him our first time. He was getting excited. Yet something was holding him back. "I mean, I've seen stuff on the net."

"Uh huh," I replied, urging him on while rubbing the firm yet pliant flesh of his tummy near where the drawstrings were tied on his sleep pants. No hair at all there, not even the beginnings of a treasure trail. My thumb bumped over the tight indent of his belly button, causing a sudden twitch along his abs.

Wish I'd have known he was coming over. I'd have set up my nanny cam to take shots of what was about to happen. He was hot to trot, even if he was still nervous as a virgin.

"And… I liked it and all, but…"

"But it happened too fast for you and you want to take it slower?" I asked. One finger was teasing between the hem of his garment and his smooth skin. I barely had my finger nail inside and still hadn't felt any undies. _Could he be commando under there?_ I wondered.

"I was… I was…" he started and my finger slipped under the hem of his pj's and traced along the hip bone there. I was right, no undies. He shifted against me, the breath in his chest catching. I used my position to draw his body closer to mine, my shaft leaking a drop on him. I couldn't believe how much I just wanted to lay him out and screw him again. It was like my skin wanted every bit of his skin, in any way I could get it.

So I rolled him onto his back, over my side, my hips like a fulcrum to pivot him deeper into my bed. He giggled as we wrestled a bit, both of us rubbing together as I tried like mad to get his pj bottoms off. He kept trying to kiss me, moving in close. It was a lot of fun, but I had a goal. To put my cock in him again and enjoy making him want me.

I distracted him with a kiss, using a little trick to get his attention there more. I sucked on his tongue, getting him to moan into my mouth. All the while, my hand slid along his thigh into his sleep pants, my arm elbow deep into the waistband. From there it was a simple matter of controlling the kiss to move his body, leverage with my arm and the PJ's slipped off with ease.

He was hard. So was I for that matter, but when I broke the kiss and looked down, I could see his dick bounce with his heartbeat. It was a beautiful sight. I couldn't believe how much it turned me on knowing that I'd made his body react like that. My hand strayed up under his balls and felt them loose and hot in his sack. Almost instantly, just from my gently grasping at his scrotum, his sack tightened, and his balls drew up closer to his body.

He gasped, laying back under my touch, my own cock throbbing against the left side of his butt as his legs lay across mine. I felt his paw wrap around the shaft of my cock, his silky smooth hand gripping me gently. I lifted his body with my right arm and half-threw, half-wrestled him towards the open side of the bed, my back to the wall. He lay there on his left side, back to me, looking over his shoulder with a wild dance of emotions on his face. Clearly, Jordan liked being manhandled a bit.

And that seemed to turn me on a little more as well.

Our eyes met and I could see hunger in his eyes. He'd had a taste when I first fucked him. Now he wanted to feast. And to be honest, while it wasn't part of the usual plan, I had second helpings on the mind as well. I wasn't going to be gentle this time, and I felt pretty confident that Jordan was down with it.

I mounted him while he lay on his side, no lube, no preparations like in his rec room that first time. I just lined it up while his delicious butt was laying before me like a new hamburger bun. Just stuffed it up in until I felt resistance. He looked up at me with an expression of longing and trepidation. My hand slid along his back up to the joint of his left shoulder and neck, under him.

"Ready?" I asked, not really caring about the answer. He was going to get fucked one way or the other. We'd pretty much gone too far at this point for me to want or care about pulling out until I'd gotten mine.

Jordy nodded, biting his lower lip. It was cute. It was sexy. It was all the signal I needed.

I pushed, my hand guiding, twisting, lifting and tilting my cock head against his tight hole. I could feel my body trying to lube the point of contact, getting us both wetter there. But I wasn't in the mood to wait. My body was heating up quickly and the places where our skin touched were practically burning bright enough to give off light.

He grit his teeth, accepting that he was about to hurt like hell. I think part of him wanted the pain. Like the song says, "the pain gonna make everything alright." I leaned over his body, his right shoulder collapsing towards his chest to make room for me. My lips found his hanging earlobe and I grazed my teeth over the end of it. He gasped and his body opened and I slid the head in.

He stiffened, grunting as my cock entered his back door. I let my right hand drift down his slightly raised thigh and grabbed his dick. He had lost a little rigidity in the pain lancing up his spine, but he was still plenty heavy, full, mostly hard, and hot as fuck. His eyes opened as I softly stroked his dick, my palm rolling over the flaming red head. His dick surged, growing harder under my hand. He was ready.

I firmed up my grip on his dick and neck and pivoted up, pushing more of me into more of him. He cried out, feeling as my cock spread him, going deeper. His body twisted through the hips and chest, compressing under me as I slid further in.

He got into it, long before I bottomed out in him. His dick made a great hand grip as I started pumping into him. At some point, the pain left him and he tried to hump back against me. The feel of him drove me on, and I let loose like I rarely do. The more we did it, the more I wanted it to last.

We shifted positions about three times, twice without me sliding out. He learned how to clench down and hold me in him and damn if it wasn't ridiculous hot. When I finally came inside him, he'd already shot all over my hand, our bodies, my sheets, and probably onto the floor in two separate, explosive blastings. I really wished I'd had the nanny cam on. Would have been a top ten video. Hell, a top five.

And when I did finally shoot inside him, his dick twitched in my hand, moistening my palm a bit, but lacking anything else in there to kick out. As it is, my cock was so sensitive inside him, swimming in my own juices that I kept trying to give little pumps in him, my whole body spasming with the feelings of still fucking him.

I know he passed out as we lay side by side, my cock still in him, his dick sticky and heavy and an almost angry red in my hand. I closed my eyes, reveling in the feeling of coming down from cumming in him. At some point, I also felt the need for an after sex nap.

I woke up hours later. We were still lying in my bed, my back to the wall, Jordan's back up against my front, still feeling my cock nestled against his crack, his dick resting in my right hand, his head resting on my left shoulder. It was comfortable, warm and I savored the feel of his oh-so sticky-sweet body pressed into mine like it belonged there. The sun's angle peeking under the curtain on my back door had moved considerably.

*What the hell are you thinking?* I chastised myself. Here I was, the super stud, the sexual assassin, and I'm getting cozy with the most recent "knock down and bang him" boy. And I fell asleep with him, cuddling, no less. In my own home. This was so against the script, so against the plan. I mean, here I am, trapped in my own bed, fer christsakes!

He moaned and wiggled against me, his body shifting slightly but not wanting to wake up just yet. The smell in the room was warm, salty, rich with those dark and dirty stinks you hate to have around you in public but delight at inhaling in private. That smell of sweat and sex and semen, melting into your nose after an incredible experience. I inhaled and had to shake my head to try and clear the cobwebs.

This was not part of the plan. He was too comfortable against me. I felt too comfortable against him. It was all too easy, too sweet, too enjoyable. And my body wanted nothing more than to drown in that feeling of completely surrendering…

No, not going there! That time is over. That feeling is over. That feeling is worthless and dangerous and leads to things best left where they're left.

You tell yourself these things when you're the hunter and not the prey. Being the prey sucks. Being the victim…

No, not going there, again! Ever.

He opened his eyes. Damn, those pretty eyes. He looked up at me, curling his hip against my groin, his own groin coming over the top to rest on my thigh.

*DONE! DONE! ON TO THE NEXT ONE!* I heard the song in my head, pounding out the mantra I'd lived by since starting my hunting career.

"Hi!" he whispered, his hand coming over to paw on my chest.

"Hiya yourself. Sleep good?"

"Uhmmm! Sleep was very good," he purred.

"Good, cuz you gotta get moving."

"Oh?" he asked, looking like he'd done something wrong.

"Yeah, my parents will be up soon. And yours will be worried if little prince charming isn't found at home this early on a Sunday," I say. At this point, I'm saying anything I can to get him out of my bed, out of my room and out of my head. "Stick to the plan," the little voice in the back of my head says. "You've pumped him twice, now dump him and be done with it. Stick to the PLAN!"

"I guess," he agrees. Giving an order with a compliment usually makes the order more palatable to the one taking terms from you. I highly recommend it as an effective tactic. He climbs out of bed, letting his hand drift down my body, toying in my treasure trail and the base of my cock as he gets out. He's being teasing and that's cute and all, but I'm the master of using such touches and moves. He's going on instinct, sure, but he doesn't have my cold-blooded discipline.

Cold-blooded discipline, yeah right. That's why this happened. *What plan?* I thought.

He dressed quickly, trying to get me to kiss him more, but I kept making noise about my parents likely to be up and around any minute now. I let him use my Axe spray to cover the scent of sweat and sex I'd left all over him. I must have had skin on every bit of his skin during our fuck session. He likely had bruises and hickies in places it would be hard to explain.

Soon as he was out the door, I hopped in the shower and scrubbed his scent off me as well. I was so sexually worn out from what we'd done that I didn't even get hard in the shower like normal. I let the hot water pour down my back and neck after the washing was done, my hair sticking to the sides of my neck and face. I was calm, relaxed, cleansed.

Externally, at least. In my head, I kept having an argument. Part of me was like an angry coach, complaining that I'd gone against the plan, that I knew better, that this was not the way to win. *Either get on the bus or get off it!* The other side of the argument was constantly showing scenes of Jordy under me, his body, his smile, his dick throbbing at my touch, how his thighs and scrotum looked when I went down on him, the feel of his balls, that curve of his hip, how his limb felt against my chest when I had him in the "porn leg" position.

I decided my hands were too shaky to shave my face… or other parts. I'd just have to take care of it later. Looking at myself in the mirror, I kept seeing Jordy's eyes, his face when his dick shot in my hand, and I heard that soft groan as he hit his moments with me inside him.

For the record, the coach won. The plan was working, stick to the plan. Other ways don't work, they just hurt. Done, done! On to the next one!

Monday at school turned into the worst case scenario I could have imagined. Here I was, already plotting the ultimate downfall of that green-eyed boy's back door virginity, and I still was having trouble getting Jordan off my mind. Something about him still had this powerful tug on me. Like there was just something about him that had me seriously considering changing my ways and just messing around with him for a while. Or maybe bringing him into my fun and games sort of life and having a partner that could maybe even help me get other boys.

I know, it doesn't seem to be in character for me. I had to pause and trash that thought right away. I had a plan; it was a working plan and a good one. Stick to the plan!

Done, done, on to the next one.

I got off the bus and went through my normal routine. Dump off books in my locker, check out the bathrooms, cop a squat in the gym to stay warm before class. You know. Just hanging out. Checking out guys.

Jordan walks up to me in the gym where I'm reclining against the upper levels of the bleachers. He sits down near me, trying to be cool about things, but I can see the hunger in his eyes. He's thinking that Sunday morning actually meant more than it did. He must think we're "going steady" or some sort of archaic social custom like that.

So I treat him like crap. He keeps trying to engage me in conversation, but I'm all "what ever." He keeps trying to get in some casual touching, even trying to make it look a little like rough housing. He even tried to catch my eyes and use a pet name. I think he tried to call me "babe" or something like that.

I just totally let it slide by me. The more he thinks I'm not paying attention or not interested, the harder he tries. That's another tool in the arsenal. When they really care about what you think about them, all you have to do is show no interest at all and suddenly they are worried about not being in your good graces. Try it some time, you'll see what I mean. He who cares least (or at least appears to care the least), gets the most.

I kept my eyes open to see if the green eyed boy frequented the gym scene on cold mornings. Or for possible secondary targets. It's a big school, so I knew it would take me a while to go through all the hot guys, and even the ones that might make an interesting week or so before boning them.

Marty walks into the gym about ten minutes before the first bell. His bus comes from way far the other side of the river, almost to the next town. I know this because he would jabber on endlessly about wanting me going over to his house. Back when I cared about such things, at least from a logistics point of view, I listened, but with the ear of the casually cool. Now however, I only noticed him as he scanned the room and stared at me. So I make it a point to laugh at something Jordan said, even taking the extra step of slapping Jordan's knee and leaving my hand there just a fraction longer than such a gesture merits.

Two things happened right then. First off, just from touching Jordan again, I felt a twinge in my pants. Something was reacting in a very familiar way. *What's that about?* I thought to myself. I tabled the idea, though. I'd have more time to ponder when I wasn't on display and hunting. The second thing was that Marty's jaw partly fell open, his face turned whiter than the sweater he was wearing and he bolted for the boy's bathroom. I think he was about to cry, which just made me smile more.

And what was better than that? Everyone on that side of the gym saw him bolt, including Jordy. Priceless.

The first bell rang and I collected my books, and set off for my first block, which today was English Lit. I felt more than saw Jordy following me. Would have broken the spell to look back and check on him more than once. I saved that for when I was about to enter the classroom. Along the way, I saw the green eyed boy again, and he was looking at me and made an effort to look away, pretending to be pushing things around in his locker. I made a note of where the locker was, let my eyes pass over Jordy, who seemed to know who I was looking at. How could I tell? His head was a tennis fan, going back and forth between the green eyed boy's locker area and the open doorway to my English class. I loved it. I walked into the class and took my seat, probably grinning from ear to ear.

In point of fact, I know I was.

Class was boring as hell. We were reading Julius Caesar, and like, I got it, but it was pretty screwy that most of the story was leading up to the murder, but like, half the play was about what happened after the murder. Caesar was a smart guy, but he couldn't see the world past his own dick. Like he was too set and powerful in his own mind. He should have remembered that even famous and popular people make enemies with long memories.

And short, sharp knives.

My next block was Trig. I waited a bit to see if the green eyed boy would come back to his locker, but since it was only second block, I figured he wouldn't need to. Just as well. My next classroom was upstairs and over in the math wing, so I had to hurry a bit. Made it into the class with a few heartbeats before the tardy bell rang. Got the requisite harsh look from the anal retentive spinster who taught that class. Nothing major happened in there. Although I did notice that the hockey stud in that class was noticeably absent. You miss the eye candy, sometimes.

The rest of the day was pretty much like that. Just boring school stuff. I make good grades, but that's the easy part. If you just do the dumb homework, that's half the marks. The tests are simple, stupid and repetitive. Class participation is mostly a joke. I use that time to look for potential new boys to conquer. My own version of Caesar's "ambition," I guess. Except Caesar died for his, and I just get what I need and move on.

I did see the green eyed boy at lunch. His name, it turns out, is Gary. I stopped a girl I knew and asked if she knew him. She simply said, "Oh, Gary? What do you want to talk to him for? He's a total geek." I just smiled. I like geeks. They at least make the conversations interesting. She started trying to make conversation, but I had to pay for lunch at that point and her boyfriend came over to talk to her. I recognized her BF, I'd thought about taking a shot at that during the summer, but he was more interested in chasing quim than I was at chasing ass. If you can believe that. His loss.

Jordy sat down at my table, and we talked. He flirted. I kind of ignored it, keeping my eyes out for Gary. Somehow, during that conversation I'd agreed to him coming over to my house so I could help him with his Geometry homework. Was fine by me. That way I could lay the ground work for dropping him like a rock. If I could be an ass to him at home, he'd accept it more when I was an ass to him in public. He'd get the hint better, would let go quietly rather than make an embarrassing scene. He's like that.

That's another point, I guess I should explain. Guys don't like being embarrassed in public. They'll sometimes go to great lengths to prevent themselves from being publicly knocked. It is one reason my guys suppress their emotions so much. Being wrong or being made fun of or just plain being in a place where you can be openly ridiculed is one of the worst fears most guys have. If you put them in a situation where they have to choose between making a scene or just sucking it up and sulking, look for the sulk, every time.

I got home and showered, feeling a bit sticking in all those layers. It was supposed to be really biting cold that Monday and as a response the school had turned up the heat. I practically was frying in fifth block, wishing like mad I had gym that day so I could at least wash off and cool down in the shower. I came out of my shower and got into my basketball shorts. Wasn't expecting any company for a while, so I hit into my homework. To be honest, I'd completely forgotten about Jordy coming over.

So I was kind of shocked when I woke up at my desk with someone knocking on my back door. My computer had gone to screen saver mode and had still pics of guys I'd done this last summer going through like slideshow. As I got my wits about me, with another round of knocking on the back door window, it was an image of Marty, splayed open with my cock in his tiny, tight little back hole, tears on his face despite the smile he was forcing that greeted my eyes. I grinned remembering how much he loved and hated me fucking him like that. Took hours doing him. I moved the mouse a bit so the screen would go back to my desktop and went to the door.

"Damn it's cold out there!" Jordy cursed as he came in, stomping his feet. He actually had on proper clothes this time, but he quickly took his jacket off. He looked me up and down. "Don't you ever get dressed?"

"Why bother? No one comes here unless I say so," I replied. He sort of caught the double entendre there. He blushed a bit and grinned. I looked at his backpack. "Got a lot of work?"

"Mostly just the math stuff. The rest of it I do in study hall, fourth block."

"Let's get started."

It was best for us to use my bed as a workspace. I don't really have a lot of space down in my basement bedroom and I only have one chair. We tackled his difficulties with numbers and at least got him up to speed with where the rest of his class was struggling. Personally, numbers come easy to me, so I didn't get where his problems were at first. Once I figured out where he was screwing up, it was a simple bit to get him back on track.

All during the lesson, he kept trying to touch me. You know, the kinda stuff I would have considered basic moves. Hand on my knee, legs touching, that kind of thing. I noticed he was more than a little horny. How could I not with him constantly adjusting the crotch of his jeans. And him constantly making eyes at me. And that little smile.

*Stick to the plan* I kept telling myself. This was the breaking up part. And that thought made me stop and realize that the plan had no breaking up part. It just wasn't part of the plan at all. You never have to break up if you aren't together for reals in the first place. *Get your head out of your ass and get to being an ass,* I commanded myself.

I am not sure how it happened, but Jordy somehow was kissing me. And kissing well! He learns quickly, I guess, both math and sex. He moved up and over me, still keeping his lips going, his hands gripping me, trying to keep our chests together. I could feel his heartbeat in two places. Against my ribs and against my thigh. He was hungry, and desperate.

And oddly, I responded like I was in charge of things at that moment instead of him taking the initiative. I got so into it that I just decided to go with it. All thoughts of making the steps to break it off went out the window. He started pawing at my hip, trying to find the way to tug them down, eventually just grabbing a fistful of material and starting to tug down.

That's when my mother knocked on my bedroom door. He stopped, I stopped, my heart practically stopped. So I took a breath and pushed him up off of me.

"Alex? You awake in there?"

"Yeah. Ma. We're studying."

"Oh. I didn't see Marty come around back. Okay. Was gonna tell you he was standing across the street with his bike, looking kinda upset."

Jordy and I exchanged a look and Jordy got a very guilty, hurt look. Part of me was upset at seeing that. Part of me was cheering, that this somehow had made things that much easier.

"Yeah, I'll deal with it," I said, feeling ass whipped by the whole situation, despite how it was going good all over. Got to have an excuse to separate from Jordy and make him want to break it off.

"Well, wash up and we'll eat. I made pork chops and potatoes."

"Yeah, I'll be right up," I said, still talking through the door. I stood up and picked up a shirt off my desk chair. Jordy kept his face down as he packed his books away. I made a show of checking my cell phone, on purpose not looking directly at him. Why did I suddenly feel so guilty? This was part of the plan. This was something like fate dropping a gift in my lap to get rid of Jordy. And exactly when did I start thinking of him as Jordy instead of Jordan. No one called him Jordy at school, unlike with Marty who'd been Marty since he was in kindergarten. Or Hank who was Hank since his voice started squeaking.

*Stick To The PLAN!* I mentally screamed at myself. *This is working. Don't fuck it up!*

"I guess I gotta go," Jordy said. *Jordan!* I corrected, internally.

"Yeah, I guess so."

"I think," he started to say, but stopped. I could tell he clearly wanted to talk about Marty being all stalkery out in front of my house.

"I'll go make sure he doesn't bother you," I offered, slipping my snow boots on. Looked weird being in boots with just basketball shorts and a Sprite t-shirt on, but I figured the more hurriedly thrown on the gear looked, the bigger impact it would have on Marty and get him off my case for good. He needed something dramatic to feed on to get the hint, I guess. Like the previous week hadn't been enough!


I walked Jordy (*JORDAN*) out and around the side of the house. Sure enough, Marty stood there, his bike in plain view but his body mostly hidden by the elm tree across the street, the one that had been slowly breaking the sidewalk into a geometry nightmare since well before I was born. Doubtless, he was shaking like a leaf behind that elm tree.

"So, I'll see you in lunch tomorrow?" Jordy (*Jordan, damn it! Get with the program!*) asked, shifting his backpack.

"We'll see. I gotta get going or Mom will send my Dad out to look for me."

"Yeah," he said, nervously. I let my hand drift up to his elbow, sliding on the material of his jacket, but feeling the firm bone and muscle underneath. He looked up to me, his eyes still a bit guilty, but full of hunger and need. *My power,* I reminded myself. "See ya," he mumbled and leaned in for a quick peck on the cheek. I don't know why I allowed it, but I did. Maybe it was because I knew we had an audience. Maybe it was because if he did it, I wouldn't have to. Maybe it was because at that moment, I was trying to be a public dick as well as a private one.

Whatever the reason, I could almost hear Marty inhale in shock, hear him get upset and then wipe a tear off his face. He sprang into action, churning his little legs like mad on his Huffy and taking off down the street. Jordy definitely noticed and the look on his face was just priceless. Slightly upset, shocked, and guilty. Oh, gawd, I loved that look. And I didn't have to do anything to get it. They both did all the work and I got the satisfaction of power out of it. Only thing that would have made it better was if I'd caught it on camera, or maybe gotten into Jordy's ass again and…

*Stop it!* I thought to myself. "Done, done, on to the next one," I mumbled under my breath as I went in to dinner. I acted like nothing had happened. Somehow, I pulled it off, because suddenly, I wasn't feeling it. The game had reached the usual end, yet it hadn't.

My head was totally fucked up. I couldn't even cum when I tried to jack off that night. Images kept surfacing in my head. Thoughts of Jordy, no, Jordan. He was just another fuck. Nothing more. But I couldn't relax and get into the flow, if you know what I mean. I should have been super happy. I'd led Jordan on enough that he was thinking he was in there, you know that place no one can touch. And between him and Marty, I'd gotten to feel my power, my thrill for the game.

Done. Done. On to the next one.

I tried to jack off thinking about Gary. Who names their kids Gary anymore? Must be a family name, like a grandfather or uncle that died in the war or something. He was cute, they all were. He had green sparkly eyes that would look awesome in low lighting. I'll have to rig something for when I get him in my bed. I get the feeling he's just waiting for someone to invite him.

I started trying to compose the plan to snare Gary, my hand on my meat, making those squeaky sounds with a fist full of lube. But I kept thinking about Jordy touching me, trying to get me interested. Part of me said, you know, this is a new plan. How many can I string along at once while still tagging that ass? How long could I get them to do as I wanted without making efforts to keep them around? My twisted little mind kept upping the ante.

And then thoughts of Jordy, his sad smile, the way his eyes were partly hidden and partly on display behind his Harry Potter glasses, and those soft little noises he makes when I'm balls deep in him, holding his hips down, making him beg me to stroke inside him more.




I eventually gave up trying to get my mega-snake to shake some goo out. Tomorrow was a new day. Gary was the new target. Get with the program, I told myself.

Took forever to fall asleep.

Tuesday, instead of going to my usual place in the gym, I hung out by the bus ramp. Watching. I know Jordy walks to school, so I was pretty sure he was running around the gym looking for me. Gym and bus zone are at opposite sides of the school, so I had time to scope out where Gary gets off from. I hacked the school bus schedule and have the bus routes on my iPhone by bus number and arrival time. Information can be such a rush for the enterprising boy hunter. Every advantage should be positioned and played in time, like in chess. And I always get the checkmate.

Gary, it turns out, comes off the 213 bus at 7:40 AM. Which means he lives over by one of the larger ponds in town. Which means his family has money. Doesn't make the conquest any better for me if the boy is rich or poor, just changes the tactics I use. He's likely from one of the families involved in all those tech places and computer factories and genetics labs across the river. I will have to keep an eye to using any info I get in that direction.

"Hullo," I said as Gary got off the bus. There were only three other kids that got off that one. The rest of that bus were heading for the elementary school a few blocks away. Gary didn't get off chatting with anyone, so I got the feeling he didn't have any friends in his neighborhood. A loner, which is good for my plan. The other two that got off the bus went away from where he did, and he looked up when I spoke to him. He actually looked around, like if I was talking to someone behind him.

Sigh, sometimes you have to point out the obvious. I swear, was I this clueless before… Hey! Get your head back in the game!

"You're Gary, right?" I ask, tilting my head a bit. Subtle move, it makes him look more at me. Something to do with how movement catches guys attentions. I was dressed kinda snazzy for school. Gray poofy sweater, long dark green scarf that hung down on the right side, woven leather belt hanging long on the left, skinny jeans, understated Sketchers, my leather jacket slung over my left shoulder, hiding my pack. Showing off my long, lean figure as best I could in the cool air. Thanksgiving was coming and predictions were for an early snow. And lots of it.

I kinda didn't like that. Snow would screw with my hunting schedules. Snow days might make interesting times to bag a boy, but you often need face time to get the deal going, and school was the best opportunity for that.

"Uh, yeah. Do I know you?"

"Alex. I think we have study block twice a week. Mrs. Grady's room."

"Oh, yeah. Lotta guys in there. Hard to know 'em all." He's right, I was *hard* to *know* 'em all. Briefly but in intimate detail.

"Yeah. I think we had an art class last year, too."

"Probably," he said, and shifted weight between feet. This was a good sign. He was getting slightly nervous. I took a step in his direction, which made him shift again, back slightly. The dance has begun.

"You were pretty good in there. In art I mean. I never got the chance to talk to you."


"Yeah, that's where words come out of your face to exchange ideas," I joked, giving him the grin. He grinned back, looking a little embarrassed. Another check on my list.

"Talk about what?" he asked, his breath billowing out in the cold. Another bus moved up to the ramp, this time with a lot of our classmates on it. A lot of them were from a neighborhood that was very Latino. Like, they spoke Spanish getting off the bus, loud. In the case of the girls, fast too.

"We'll why don't we go someplace and talk about that. My locker is over in C wing. Yours?"

"Uh, E wing, upstairs." Of course I already knew that, but you have to start conversations somewhere. Making it about high school routing at least gets the brain going and the feet moving, all of which helps me.

"Cool, we're closer to yours so let's go there first." For the record, my locker is in G wing, near the boys bathroom, but I never let the guy I'm stalking know that. That avoids all kinda drama later. But, you know, whatevs.

"Uh, look, what's this all about?" he says, standing his ground. The swarm of Spanish speakers moves around us like we're two stones poking up out of a stream. "If it's about some kind of homework help, just e-mail me and we can set up something."

"No my grades are good. Wait, you're that Gary? The one with the fliers on all the notice boards offering like tutoring?"

"Yeah. There's like seven of us that do that. We're saving up the money we make tutoring so when we graduate we can all get cars."

"You make that much?"

"Well, not for new cars, but yeah, we do okay. I got nearly three grand saved up. So if you need help, just do the e-mail thing and…"

"I'm not interested in tutoring. At least not from the demand side. Sounds like a great deal. Maybe you guys could use some help in that regard?" I offered. I could use money, too. Besides, it was a way to break the ice some.

"Uh, no offense, but you're kinda well known as a first class asshole, so, I doubt you'd make a great tutor."

"You should try me sometime. I have all kinds of practical experience."

"I bet," Gary replied icily, looking me up and down. "I actually have some place to be. An appointment, so sorry, but I can't chat just now."

"Wow, you *are* coin operated.

"And booked," he said, trying to walk around me. I fell into step beside him.

"So how much do you charge?"

"Are you asking as a potential competitor or a possible client?"

"Maybe a bit of both."

"It's all on the web site," he said, and without missing a beat, reaching inside his open jacket and pulled out, no word of a lie, a business card. "The sooner you contact us, the sooner we get you smarter." Even as he said it, I was reading it in slightly raised text on the card.

"Catchy. But seriously," I said, pocketing the card. "How much for say, a half-hour of French?"

"Look," Gary said, coming to a complete stop. Two kids walked past us talking about some video game, not realizing that a much bigger game was going on right in front of them. "I'm kinda flattered, but you have a reputation," he said, exasperated.

"Reputation? Moi?"

"Oui, vous, s'il vous plais. And I'm really not in the mood to be your most recent plaything. Your social butterfly status and tendency to leave friends as soon as you lose interest in them is kinda well known."

That took me back a bit. It wasn't much acting when I looked at him like he'd slapped me. I didn't know I had a reputation like that. Or was he making it up to mess with my head. Gary, it seems, might be more of a challenge than first glance showed.

But when on the hunt, you have to think fast on your feet, be quick with the well-turned phrase and always be on top of any snappy patter.

"Hey, if you're talking about Marty…"

"Marty, Damon, Peter Bergen, Zeke Carter, Logan Harper, Jeremy MacNamara…" he listed, pausing as he counted them out on his fingers. "Need I go on? You aren't good to anyone you call a friend, and you rarely call anyone friend long. So, if you'll excuse me," he said, starting to walk around me. Damn, he had the names right. He didn't know or at least hadn't hinted at what actually went on with all of them, but he definitely had my list of kill flags. There were some gaps, but I'm guessing it was just because those were the only ones he knew of. Like he didn't mention Hank, for example.

"Look, I'll admit, I do tend to find different people interesting for one reason or another, and yeah, I have a habit for finding some people tedious and disposable," truth, so it will sound real to him. "Whatevs. But I'm not a bad guy. Maybe I'm just looking for someone… intelligent, interesting, who wont put up with my crap."

"I pity the fool that gets saddled with that," he smiled, as if a shot in passing.

I put my hand out and gripped his shoulder. Physical contact is a great way to make someone not only take you seriously, but it allows you to get a better idea of their body language. Plus it freaks some people out long enough to get them into your game more. It puts a taste of their own hidden need for touch into play, gets them thinking with parts other than their brains.

Gary, in a move that startled me, tapped the inside of my wrist with two fingers, his arm moving from the elbow in like a Jet Lee or Jackie Chan kinda move. He easily brushed my hand off his shoulder without using much force, but showed if he had to use force, he could. And likely would.

"I really have to get going. Why don't you go find a warm, dark corner and have a nice game of hide and go fuck yourself?" he asked, stepping around me. I watched him go, taking note of his firm, tight butt and the long legs that led up to it. _Thank god for skinny jeans,_ I thought. He did give me a look as he rounded the corner to the bus ramp, heading in the general direction of the library. But it was more of a check on my location than a check to see if I was watching him. Which, of course, I was. I gave him a big grin and was rewarded with a grin in return, even as he went out of sight.

Well, he definitely was going to be a lot of work, but at least it would be fun. Hadn't had a challenge like Gary yet. A true test of my boy hunting prowess. I was almost licking my chops in anticipation. Jordy had been a challenge, but he wanted to be wanted, so that made it easier. Of course, Marty putting on a show made it easier still. Gary _thought_ he knew what I was, what I was after. I could use that to my advantage, but he'd still be one heck of a tough nut to nut, if you take my meaning. Wink-Wink.

Lunch was weird. First off, no sight of Jordy at all. He is usually a couple minutes ahead of me at the table he usually sits at and I've co-opted of late. His book bag wasn't in the booth seat either, meaning he wasn't in line getting his tray full of what passes for high school lunch food. No random drama fest from Marty either.

I could feel eyes upon me, but I wasn't sure from where, or why. Not that I'm some shrinking violet. In fact I kinda like having the attention. But something felt weird about things in the café that day. I would catch people looking at me and then they'd like look away, shocked at having been caught staring. Worse, as they turned away, they'd turn to each other and the whispering would start. I began to get the impression that something was going on.

I got my tray, keeping an eye out for Gary and Jordy and Marty. Seems my obsessions all end with a "Y" of late. I took my spot at Jordy's table and noticed his book bag had finally found the booth seat on his usual side. I slid in and started munching away, using massive amounts of ketchup to give, or in some cases, cover up the taste. Not enough salt on the planet to save those fries!

Jordan came to the head of the lunch line, but he hadn't seen me yet. He turned around with his tray and saw me. I waved. His face went… paler. Conversations in the café seemed to go almost to nothing and Jordy, no word of a lie, actually dropped his tray full of food. It clattered with a resounding clash of plastic on tile, a liquidy plop from the bowl of spaghetti, one lonely meatball rolling across the floor.

All eyes flipped Jordan's way. His clothes were spared the rain of stains his meal choices could have caused. But he found himself the center of attention, and Jordy isn't the kind that can deal with that. His eyes met mine across the room and he got panicky. He started running for the exit before the laughter began. Didn't even dart my way to pick up his back pack.

Wednesday started out strange as well. It started in the shower. Just this sense of weirdness that I can't really explain. Like the soap and water felt weird. And I wasn't even horny or nothing. I actually tried to get an erection mid-way through my washing routine and it's like my dick wasn't into it. Even thinking about Jordy only got a partial rise.

In retrospect, I shoulda taken that as an omen and just crawled back in bed, call the day off and ditch school. Not like I haven't done it before. I was due for a sick day.

The bus ride in was awkward. Normally kids are all chatty, smart phones out and texting other friends, checking out stuff on socials, you know, whatevs. A few are hurrying to finish up their homework on the bus, which I never understood. I might be cocky and all, but my handwriting is awesome. I'd never turn in homework that looked like it was scribbled on my lap while the bus goes bouncing over frost heaves and pot holes. Some people have no self-respect on what they leave behind I guess.

Besides, no chance to double check your math work on a short bus run to the school.

I passed by the Knight in the courtyard, the usual crowd of kids huddled there, hanging out. Oddly, they seemed to all reach lulls in their conversations as I walked by, heading into the gym. I had time before Gary's bus got in, so I decided I'd just do my normal hunting thing and stay warm. Besides, Jordy might be there.

I almost physically stopped in place when that thought came to my head. Jor-dan, I reminded myself, was on the way out. I was targeting Gary now. I didn't need Jordy… Jordan anymore. How come my mind kept bringing him up?

Done. Done. On to the next…

I stepped into the gym's foyer and was about to make a step into the bathroom to let fly a stream when I bumped into Jordy. He was agitated before realizing who I was. Making apologies for the bump. It happens often enough. The turn to the left into the boy's area of the gym, you know the lockers, shower area, toilets, coaches offices, equipment room all that, well it snakes a bit and there are pinch points like near the water cooler.

Then his eyes meet mine. And I smirk. Looking back, it was clearly a smirk, not a smile. Like I knew something he didn't. Also looking back I should have realized that his pained, furtive look into my eyes, and then the not-so-subtle glance around to see if we were alone, was also the look of someone who knew something I didn't.

"Imagine bumping into you here," I said, adjusting the strap on my backpack.

"You really shouldn't be here," Jordy said, a hint of something in his voice. Fear, anxiety, wasn't sure.

"Well, I can't go into the girl's side. You've seen what I got," I said, making my shoulder and arm movements noticeable as I reached down to squeeze my junk. "I'm pretty sure they'd notice the difference. Besides, I don't think they'd like me peeing in the sinks."

"No, Alex, you _really_ shouldn't be here. If he finds you, he'll…"

"He who?" I said, recognizing the intensity of his fear. And yes, it's definitely fear at this point. I just didn't realize what kind of fear. Geeks like Jordy often have anxiety issues in gym. They aren't comfortable there for a lot of reasons. I didn't recognize, however, that his fear wasn't because of me, i.e. directed at him. It was fear for me, because of something he knew. Something I didn't.

"Hank Gardner. He's been looking for you."

"I know Hank. He's cool."

"He's not cool today. Alex… he wants to kill you."

"What? Why?"

"You really don't know, do you?" Jordy said, his eyes searching mine. For the first time in that conversation, I suddenly felt a bit of anxiety myself. Did Hank out me? Did that dumb jock let slip what had happened between him and me, tell everyone about our night of drunken (well on his part drunken) sex? Did he report with imperfect memory that I'd raped him or something? My mind went there first and looked at how I could possibly turn things around. There is always, always a spin that can be applied.

"Jordy, what's going on?" I asked.

"Wow. You really _don't_ know. I guess the rumors are true."


"About you! God, what a fool I am. Thought I could trust you. Thought maybe all that stuff with Marty was just talk."

"What are you talking about?" I said, getting more and more upset. I shifted my weight, still needing to pee. Jordy was now more than just agitated. He was getting almost emotional. I stepped up to a urinal and unbound the monster. The flow felt good and steamed a bit in the almost warmed air of the gym. I looked over to where Jordy stood and saw him leaning out the bathroom entryway, actually leaning out with both hands gripping the sides of the doorway, his head looking back and forth like he was afraid or something.

He stepped back beside me, without looking down at my junk, which I had on full display. Kinda miffed me that he wasn't paying attention, but then again, he was on the way out, right? So it shouldn't have mattered. But it did.

"Alex, you need to go home! Like now. If he catches you, he'll fuckin' murder you." I zipped up, taking a moment to adjust the boys as they hung in my undies.

"Jordy," I sighed, trying to take back control of the conversation. "Pretend for a moment that I have no clue what crap you are talking about. That maybe I just got to school and haven't talked to anyone. Why would Hank want to fight me? I don't talk smack about him, I don't have any classes with him. Heck, aside from our parents doing business together sometimes, we don't really…"

"Alex, shut up and listen to me. Hank is Marty's cousin."

Outside, I heard a bolt of lightning just as Jordy said that. Okay, that I didn't know. Still, shouldn't be something bad enough that he'd want to put his meaty fist through my head. It might get around that I'd fucked that ass, as well as his cousin's tender tiny pooper. Wouldn't be good for his reputation to have that little tidbit hit the streets. So I still had power over him. Power enough that he might keep his mouth shut. Shame and all that.

"Okay," I replied, still not seeing how that gave Hank a hunting license for my face. "And?"

"Wow. You really don't know. No one's told you yet."

"Told me what?" I almost whined. He'd strung this out long enough. I was beginning to get really agitated myself.

"Marty took a bunch of pills Tuesday before school and tried to hang himself." I felt my jaw drop open. I didn't have what you might call feelings about Marty, but it just took me by complete surprise to hear he'd tried to commit suicide. Part of me was going into high-five mode that I was the cause of him taking such a step, but the rest was just amazed that Marty had the guts to even try it. And I had to shake my head to get from thinking about my own power over Marty. This was serious.

"And he left a note, Alex. A detailed, name dropping note." That put a realization into my head. Marty knew I was recording him. Hank didn't. But if there were things in the note, Hank might be dumb, but he could read between the lines. "Hank found Marty and managed to save him," Jordy continued. "Got him down and called the ambulance and all that. Apparently, Marty gets rides in with Hank and when he didn't come out for school like normal, Hank went inside and found him."

I felt a little sick. Okay, a lot sick. I turned to a sink and leaned over it, both hands gripping the vanity like wicked tight. I looked up and saw how pale my face went, especially in comparison with Jordy's face, over my shoulder in the mirror.

And then Hank stepped into the bathroom, looking around. He saw Jordy first, then he saw me. I watched his eyes in the mirror before turning around. His face was completely wrapped in an expression of barely controlled fury.

"You son of a bitch!" he shouted. I turned from the mirror in time to see him rushing at me in a football tackle. I spun back away from the sinks, plowing my back into the slight dividing wall between the sinks and the stand-up urinals. Hank managed to use his hands on two sinks to keep from smashing into the vanity or wall face first. He was big, but fast, and I pretty much had no place to go. His body was in between me and the only exit from the toilets.

Jordy, eyes wide, charged out of the room and bolted. Just as well, he was no match for Hank either. Heck, even together we'd never beat Hank in any kind of fight where I didn't have like a tennis racket in hand.

"Hank, it's not what you think," I said, somehow believing that in his state anything I could say would penetrate.

He chose not to use words and just charged again, rushing right at me. I back pedaled as best I could, but that back wall was not that far back, and trying to escape into one of the stalls didn't really appeal to me. I can admit it, I'm not a fighter. This was totally foreign territory for me and well, Hank was a beast.

He slammed into me, his shoulder digging under my ribs and he lifted me as he hit, wrapping his arms around me. Then we hit the wall. I was smart enough to tuck over his back as he slammed me into the cinderblocks but that didn't stop the spirals of pain from ringing around in my body. Probably saved me a concussion, though.

He backed up a step and surged again, slamming me into the wall again, his shoulder like a hammer and the wall an anvil, with my spine stuck in between. Hank grunted as he stepped back to slam me again. As he did, the pain flourished in me again, as if the sensations took a moment register in my head. I was in real trouble. Breathing suddenly became very hard.

A pair of hands landed on Hank and pulled, gripping his big, chunky shoulders and hauling them in opposite directions. I fell to the ground as the big hands pulled Hank off me, and someone yelled "Break it up! I said break it up!" One of the coaches was in my face a moment later, checking me out. Three other coaches were holding Hank down, one behind him keeping the crazed kid in some kind of wrestling hold keeping his arms out of the way, and the other two laying across his legs, keeping him from moving. Or at least that was their plan.

"Get him out of here!" the head coach, the one applying the wrestling hold, shouted. The coach checking me over helped me to my feet and moved me towards the door. The whole time, Hank's eyes stayed on me, wild with hatred, his body still surging to get loose and get at me.

I was hurting too much to be afraid yet, but as I was led to the coach's office, the image of Hank's eyes stayed with me. And the fear began to grow.

Jordy stepped into the coach's office while the other coach was grilling me about what happened. He had come to bring me my backpack. The coach asked him if he was my friend and Jordy actually paused, looking at me, as if trying to decide. That hurt, almost as badly as the throbbing in my back and stomach from Hank's tackles. He was spared having to answer by the bell ringing, signaling the beginning of first block classes. The coach nodded and Jordy bolted. Again.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. I was the one who was supposed to leave them. I was the one supposed to be in control of how and when and where.

And it hurt that he'd left me so… so… I wasn't even sure what it was I was feeling. The whole thing was so bewildering. I mean, Marty tries to off himself, Hank is Marty's cousin, Hank wants to kill me, Jordy abandons me and my whole world is just focused on Jordy? I mean, what the fuck, over?

_Should have stuck to the plan, man,_ the little voice in the back of my head said. I could almost imagine that little voice shaking its head sadly. _Should have stuck to the fuckin' plan._

I missed my first two blocks and was brought lunch while the admin ladies filled out paperwork on the fight. I asked questions, but only so much information was available. Hank was suspended and had been sent home. The school was considering how to proceed. Which meant possible legal action. Worse, they'd called my parents.

So when they asked me why the fight started, I lied my ass off. "I don't know what would have drove Hank to go looking for me like he wanted a cage match, Principal Erichson. We don't even hang out together." In my head, though, I was already thinking about all the files I'd have to wipe off my hard drive and scrub from the internet. This was suddenly a mess and a half, and my power was slipping away. I'd have to move fast to salvage anything.

I didn't touch the lunch they brought me. I couldn't look at it without remembering the last few weeks in the cafeteria. Holding court while looking at other boys to line up for my trophy shelf. Teasing Jordy into liking me while holding that new relationship in front of Marty, showing him my power and pressing his buttons.

The guidance counselor wasn't buying it. I could read people well enough to know she wasn't going to accept my explanations. Then again, I did just have one of the school's top athletes attack me in the boy's gym bathroom and I wasn't giving them a reason for it. I'm sure that Hank had said something, but my defensive thinking was that the less I admitted to, the less I'd have to take back later if Hank had kept his mouth shut.

Still, he had to be mad wicked pissed to go stalking me in school. The repercussions for him were huge. He could get kicked off the football team, expelled, lose any hope of scholarships, possibly screw up a professional football career. Or get arrested, I guess, which would screw things up for him even worse.

For me, too.

This sex thing suddenly took on all kinds of new aspects. I hadn't considered how illegal some of my activities were, or how many people have downloaded, copied, shared or just plain commented on files I created. Files of me and other boys. Not that understanding or caring about legal stuff would have stopped me. I had all kinds of fun, got all kinds of power and satisfaction out of it. Still, until now no one got physically hurt, you know, permanently. Marty tried to kill himself and Hank tried to shoulder block me through cinderblocks. It got me thinking in a lot of ways.

I spent the rest of the day in a kind of daze. I went to my last two blocks, trying to focus on the lesson, but my head wasn't in it. And people were whispering in my wake, silent in my presence, and, well, there were some giggles I overheard in the hallways. I was the talk of the school. Finally, I'd found a kind of attention that I didn't want. Well, that and the attention of Hank hitting me like a tackling dummy.

Jordy avoided looking at me in the hall. I did bump into Gary between blocks, but he looked up at me with a guilty expression before ducking away from me. Somehow, I got the feeling that all my secrets were now open. Or at least very soon would be.

I was sorta on autopilot most of the rest of the day. I'd sort of drifted to my locker, barely acknowledging people as I went. Which was probably because most people were avoiding me like I was glowing or had the word Ebola in big letters on my shirt. I wasn't sure what books I'd need. I mean, I might be about to be exposed as a first class sexual predator, but I still had a GPA to keep up. For some reason, the idea of getting into college suddenly made me feel better. Like somehow focusing on a future where I wasn't in jail, or pounded into a fine red paste was still a possibility.

I had this weird, brief image of myself as spaghetti sauce, like Jordy had dropped on the floor the day before.

The locker took three tries with the combination. Something fell out as I opened the door. A flash of white, drawn to the ground. I bent over in slow-mo to pick it up. It was a note, folded up so that you had to pull a small strip of paper to untuck one corner and then unfold the page. I decided that reading it in the hallways wouldn't do, so I stuffed it into my coat pocket. I grabbed a few books, stashed them into my backpack and slammed the locker door, probably a little harder than I needed to. I felt tense, frustrated, and yeah, I can admit it, scared. Hank had friends and they didn't need to know the details to enact some street justice on their own.

I was very nervous, walking to the bus. I found mine and boarded without any difficulty. For some reason, I had no trouble getting a seat, and I didn't have to share with anyone. I put my back to the window, legs up on the seat and sort of huddled over my backpack.

My stop was pretty deep into the route, so I had time. I reached into my jacket pocket and withdrew the note. There were no marks on the outside to identify who'd sent it. I had a feeling it wasn't' from Hank or any of his pals. They're not the kind to even know how to fold notes like this. I thought for a few seconds about who might send me such a thing, but I decided that thinking about it while it was in my hand was kinda dumb. Speculating when I could just read it, you know?

I unfolded the note, seeing that it was densely written on, with clear black ink lines. In cursive, no less. Only like doctors and nerds still use cursive. I'd been taught it, but didn't use it much. So it took me a bit to decipher what the note actually said as I read it.


>Not sure what your mind is like right now. Lots of people are saying lots of things about you. Things I hadn't already heard, but that aren't out of character. And I know I shouldn't just listen to things whispered in hallways and accept them as truth, but I can't help but wonder at how true they are.

>I should start by saying I'm sorry for completely blowing you off. I don't know if you were being honest or just living up to your reputation of being a social butterfly collector. I didn't want to be just someone that you collect, display and then forget about when something nicer comes along. I've had "friends" like that in the past and it usually doesn't end well.

>So I was acting to defend myself. I'm not a popular guy, I'm not rich like you. I'm not someone with a lot of time to spend with friends. People don't know this yet, but I have already applied and been accepted to Harvard, if I can find the money to go. So, there is a goal in my immediate future. I can't jeopardize that. My parents work so hard, I can't let them down.

>So, if the rumors are true about you, and if you are just trying to get me, somehow, like sexually, I have to say no.

>Let me explain. I've been hiding who I am this whole time, since I knew back in elementary school that I liked boys. Needed them like the other guys around me were always talking about needing girls. I had to keep it hidden. I hoped it would go away. I prayed for it to go away. I asked my priest to help me and he said that only God and my own strong will to resist temptation would guard me from my "impure thoughts" of other boys.

>So now I only go to church to appease my parents. Nothing there for me anymore. Nothing that helps anyways. I just have two years of high school left, and if I scrape together enough money, if I can get enough scholarship money together, I can be free to be myself. Harvard, man. A law degree from Harvard and I can be as openly gay as I want, whether or not my parents approve.

>But for now, I have to keep hidden. I don't look at porn, I don't check guys out in the halls. I keep my eyes on the prize. So for that reason, and because I have a feeling that if I do hang out with you you'll only break my heart. And then leave me for whatever comes along next. So I'd be exposed and broken and shamed, like Marty. I know it might be unfair to throw that into your face right now, but I can't help what I feel. I had dreams about you after talking with you. I can't afford to have those sort of dreams about someone who wont be there for me.

>Please, leave me alone. I can't be whatever you want from me, and you can't be what I've secretly wanted for such a long, long time. I'm almost at my goal. I can't afford to have my parents find out. They'd beat me and kick me out and leave me forever. I'm not ready to handle that yet. And I can't handle you either.

>So please, please, don't chase me. I wont run, but you can't have me. Just as I can't have anyone until I'm safe and away.

>I'm sorry, Alex.


I felt like my whole chest had just caved in. Something dripped off my cheek and landed on the letter in my hands. I looked up so see if there was a leak in the roof of the bus, but realized that the drips landing on the bottom of the note were from me. I had started crying reading this note.

I rubbed my nose and face, trying to get control again. My eyes scanned over the note again, picking out parts here and there. It flooded my mind with images from my past. Being in church when the priest said the benediction over a classmate who had died in third grade. The scent of the incense, bitter and acrid, wafting over me. The feel of the older boy who sat beside me as his hand groped me while we were kneeling in the pew. How that boy later touched me in the bathroom, me not understanding the feelings but liking them.

And I knew, somehow, that these images, these feelings weren't from me. How? Because they weren't my memories. I have no way to know for sure, but… but I think those were Gary's memories. His emotions and images and such. None of it made sense.

I crumpled the note, stuffed it into my jacket pocket. I hadn't even been with Gary and somehow his words, just his written fucking words, had me crying and flashing back. _What the hell, man?_ I thought to myself. _Get your friggin' head together!_

It had caught me completely out of left field. I was still reeling from the attack this morning, the idea that Marty wanted to die because of me, that Jordy wanted nothing to do with me anymore, that all my secrets were about to be revealed, that everyone knew what I thought I'd kept closely guarded. All my power seemed to fade, like a pile of ice chips melting in the summer sun. My pride, my strength, my style seemed to just drift away, and I was crying knowing that someone I'd once thought of as a potential target for my never ending sexual hunt just not only completely deflated me, but turned me into a crying little bitch.

The bus reached my stop and I got up, just because that's what you do. You get where it'll take you and you file out, down three steps and onto the sidewalk. Other kids gave me space, or seemed to, as I made my way off the bus. I turned and started heading up the slight incline of the street towards my house. Because… well because that's what you do. You get off the bus and go home.

I was so frazzled by the images and feelings and the utter sense of both rejection from Gary and an overwhelming need to keep my strongest desires in check that I could only fall back on what I'd always done. I just knew that it was what you did, and any other reason, or reasoning for that matter, was beyond my grasp. The simple act of acting simply was all that kept me going.

I never saw Hank's car as he came up behind me. I have been told that the police report said that Hank accelerated behind me, switched so he was driving on the wrong side of the road and opened his car door as he passed me, slamming the door into my back.

I don't really remember much else after that.

I remember when I woke up that there was a weird feeling in my left arm. First off, it wasn't lying beside my body. Secondly, everything smelled weird and my nose felt funny. Third, someone else was snoring in the room besides me.

I tried to wiggle a bit and open my eyes and that's when the pain hit. My entire arm, from the elbow down to the palm, throbbed with pain. The sort of pain you read about in trashy novels or other things they try to make you read in English Lit class. I could only feel my fingers because of how swollen and constrained they were in the cast. A cast held up and away from my chest by a system of pulleys and cables. I didn't know they still did that. Only time I remember seeing something like that is like some old comedy movie.

That wasn't the only pain. My face felt both caved in and puffy, and I know my lips must be split. There was a tube going into my nose. How deep into my nose, I couldn't say, but deep enough that I could feel how bloated my nose was. My left eye hurt, too, but nowhere near as bad as my nose and lip. I have the feeling that if hair could hurt, mine would be screaming bloody murder at me, wicked.

I tried to look around and see where I was. I mean, I kinda knew where I was but my immediate surroundings became suddenly very important. Obviously, a hospital room. From the lack of daylight streaming through the window, I gathered that it was some time at night. Of course, that likely explains the snoring from whom ever got the sorry task of staying up here with me. Probably Mom, I thought. Dad would have to work the next day, so I'd probably get the uber-mothering thing. Boring, predictable and bothersome. Last thing I want is to be called someone's little baby while I'm trying to get my face and bod back into top shape.

I suddenly remembered the fight. The punch to the head that rocked me. That tackle what felt like it squished all the air from my lungs and rolled them flatter than I-93 going south under Boston. The tears streaming down Hank's face even as he was sitting on my chest, pounding me. And then when he laid my forearm over the granite street casing and stomped on my wrist.

That brought a twinge of sharp pain lancing through the offended arm, like the muscles and tendons relived that moment. I gasped loud enough that it woke whomever was stuck in here with me. I heard the snoring abruptly stop. The sound of someone trying to sit upright in a chair they've slumped down in. I readied myself for one on one time with the Momster. And something that Hank said, whispered tearfully, really, as he leaned over me after breaking my arm.

"You broke my heart," his voice harsh and heavy, "and you made my lil cousin Marty almost kill himself!" he'd nearly spat in my ear. "I hope you burn in hell you heartless son of a bitch!"

Tears stung my cheeks remembering that. Okay, I am admittedly a first class predator when it comes to sex. I chase 'em, I get what I want, and then I let them go, wondering what just happened. But to hear the absolute level of hurt in Hank's voice, not just anger, but pain, while I was swimming in the agony he caused me, it sort of grounded me. Into the pavement grounded.

A shadow passed over me as a person moved into the path of light coming out of the hallway. I felt myself flinch; not sure why. Something made me feel like not wanting my messed up face seen. I couldn't deal with someone seeing me all fucked up physically as well as emotionally. More than pride was hurting. I just wanted to crawl away and hide and maybe just die this time.

Last time was bad enough. I didn't think I could crawl back out of that hole a second time.

"Are you thirsty?" I heard a soft voice say. One I didn't recognize at first. Sounds were weird and my arm was still stuck where it hung, throbbing, aching, feeling solid and numb and hurting and thick, all at once. More a thing made of stone than flesh and bone. Just thinking the word bone now brings back the memory of how much that arm hurt. I tried to pull away, hide my face more, but the motion twanged more sharp pains into my stony arm, so I was stuck in place.

"Easy!" the voice hissed into the silence of the hospital room. The urgency of that simple word focused me and I looked over to see…


His face was a mess, like he'd been crying a lot and the tears left dirty streak marks behind. But he still smiled down at me. Okay, it was that forced smile that we all use when someone's been mangled and you have to look at them. You know the one. The partial pity, partial angry, partial sad and completely powerless smile. The one that lets you know, when it's pushed your way, that things are pretty bad.

I was confused. By all rights, it should be Mom or Dad in the room with me. Maybe my douche bag brother. Jordan was about the last person I expected to be sitting in here with me. Certainly the last person I'd expect to be crying over me, especially after what I'd deliberately done to him the last week.

"Water?" he asked, holding a Styrofoam cup with a bendy straw out towards my face. "Don't lift your head up too much. Doc said the concussion would make you dizzy if you rolled around too much."

I sipped, feeling the water work its way down my rocky throat. I felt like sandpaper on the inside. Maybe more like silly putty that's been used the sand box one time too many. I took two good sized gulps before the coughing took me on the third. Yuck! Felt like my mouth was filled with rancid orange juice. Must have spit it up all over my chest.

Without missing a beat, Jordan had the cup out of the way and was bringing a tissue up to my face to catch the cough up stuff. My head swam with the spasm of coughing. I actually saw spots. Then, when I could see clear again, the only thing that filled my vision was Jordan, taking care of me.

My eyes blurred again, but this time, it was my own tears.

"What time is it?" I felt my voice rumble oddly in my chest. Figures Jordan would be wearing a watch. The whole world uses cell phones for everything and he still uses a wrist watch.

"Just after 2:30," he replied. "Good to see you awake. They thought you might sleep another two days."

"Two days?" I said, feeling a bit indignant about that for some reason, but I couldn't do more than move my free hand around in frustration. My body was still getting used to being so fucked up. I was probably drugged, come to think of it. Just then, didn't matter. I was just as trapped as if I'd still been locked behind the walls of sleep.

"Easy," Jordan said, his hands coming to rest on my chest. Not really pushing me down, but certainly ready to keep me in place if I did something stoopid. Which, based on the current situation would fit my pattern. "Just settle down. You should rest."

"Where's my parents?"

"Doc sent them home. I told them I'd stay here with you. Your Mom really needed the rest. She's… she's pretty cool."

"You talked?" I asked, feeling my throat open up a little more, but still feeling like shit.

"We've had plenty of time to," Jordan said, shrugging his shoulders. "She doesn't know anything about us 'cept that we're friends. I figured you'd want to have control over how much you told her that way." He shrugged again, but his face went a little crimson for a moment. "I think she suspects more, though."

"Why you say that?" I asked. I found myself picking easy to say words. Less stress on my throat, and my tongue felt thick as a brick.

"Because no one else has been by to see you. There's not been a lot of well-wishers." He looked away for a moment, as if ashamed to admit something I pretty much suspected already.

"Why you?" I asked, my throat closing painfully, halting my voice. I must have winced, because he looked suddenly very worried.

"Why did I stick around?" he asked. I nodded, feeling tubes move. Last time I do that!

"Partly because no one else would. Partly because your parents' needed a time out. Partly because…" and he trailed off, his fingers gently pressing into the bicep side of my suspended arm, tracing a line of sweet sensation into that pained limb. It was the only pleasurable feeling I'd had since waking up, and it gave me something to focus on beyond the pain.

"Partly because I wanted to be here when you woke up."


"As if you don't know," Jordan said, pulling his hand away from my skin, plunging me back into a pain only world. "I'm kinda in love with you, ya arrogant jerk!" he whispered. "I really should hate you. Like everyone else does now. The only redeeming thing you've done for the last year was keep straight A's and earn your letter." He took a step away, half turning away from me. I could see his cute face in the fall of shadows and light from the hallway.

"Not a… ughn! Not a team player," I squeaked out. Jordan glanced at me sideways, and I could tell he was on the verge of tears again. "Sorry."

"Well you should be!" Jordan almost shouted, controlling his voice in the stillness of the hospital ward. He grabbed a rolling stool and pulled it under his butt, moving closer to the bed. "Marty nearly died. I know you don't care about anyone but yourself, but maybe you should consider what happens to those you casually discard."

"How is he?" I asked after an uncomfortable silence. Okay, I did think about what was going on with Marty a little bit, but I really never cared for him before. He was just a…

A target.

And that slammed into me as hard as any of Hank's punches. It had been a game to me. Playing pieces. Trophies to claim, put on a shelf and then forget. I still didn't feel anything tender towards Marty, but I did feel bad about how bad I'd hurt him. I mean, I wasn't going to lose sleep about it, especially with all the meds they were pumping into me. Yet I couldn't shake the sense of responsibility. For me, until now, sex had been all fun and games. Just piling on the scores, getting people online to like me more because I could provide all the nasty that they'd never have the guts to go chase themselves in real life.

But because of me playing with Marty, both sexually and in between his ears, he'd tried to off himself. Even wrote a heck of a note, apparently. All but calling me Satan himself.

And pretty much putting an end to all that "fun." Things were known now, or soon would be. No hiding that now.

"He's just down the hall, actually. Soon as his parents got Hank out of Juvie, he's been here almost as much as Marty's folks have. He blames himself for not warning Marty off when you… when things went your way." And that one stung, too. Jordan pretty much had my number now. He knew the score better than any of the ones before.

Yet, he was still here.

"Marty's doctor says he can go home tomorrow. They still want to do some more tests on him, make sure the pills he swallowed didn't have any weird side effects. The wrist… the slices weren't too deep. They think he might heal them completely with just tiny scars to show. He was lucky he was drunk and didn't cut too deep. And the rope burns on his neck should heal quickly too. Hank was able to lift Marty in one arm while unhitching the rope with the other." Jordy's face took a sort of dark look, smiling but with intent to hurt in his eyes. "Got to give it to Marty, though. He tried everything he could short of getting a gun or jumping off a rooftop. When you make someone suicidal, you apparently do it right."

"Stop," I said weakly.

"No, you need to hear this. Because it is not going to happen to me."

"Don't want to hurt…"

"It doesn't matter what you want, sometimes, Alex. You aren't in control of everything. Or everyone."

He stood up, pacing back and forth, his hand coming up to run through his dark hair, the light from outside the room reflecting on his glasses so I couldn't read his eyes. Wouldn't really matter much, my own vision kinda was in and out. Focusing wasn't my strong suit at that moment.

Jordan suddenly sat back on the rolling stool, his hands clasped together in front of his face as he stared at me, intently.

"Whut?" I asked, when he didn't get to whatever decision he'd made in that brief, energized pacing.

"I need to know. And no bullshit, because if I think you're lying to me, I'll… I'll hurt you. And you know I can," he threatened, one hand briefly going up to the suspended cast and tapping by my elbow. That hint of pressure was enough to tease tiny promises of pain, and I was fully paying attention.

"Okay," I replied, realizing that he might actually do it. I felt he might not, especially with him confessing love for me. But he was agitated and, well, I'd done enough terrible things that he woulda been well within his rights to rip that stool up off the ground, spin in place like a baseball slugger and let that cast, and the broken arm under it, have one hell of a smash. Just thinking of that possibility, I realized that not only would that be a painful thing, but I could lose that arm if he hit it hard enough.

It was enough of a subtle threat that I had no intention of deceiving him. Might could blame it on the drugs keeping me from feeling the REAL pain, but I was suddenly thinking about a lot of things. A lot of not very nice things.

"When you started talking to me, that day in the lunchroom, did you have feelings for me?" His eyes drilled into me. I considered for a moment saying something pleasant or leading, but the feel of his finger tapping my cast reminded me of the penalty of not being completely honest. Fear and not being on my game combined.

"Not feelings," I managed to say. "Desire, yeah. Pride, challenge, yeah. Emotion?" I felt myself suddenly blushing in shame. Like, not a deep blush, but all over. Felt my lower lip try to cover my knees. "No."

The effect on Jordan was instant. He bit his lower lip to keep it from trembling. His hand fell away from my cast, and his eyes focused on someplace on the other side of the room, towards the corner where he'd been keeping vigil. I could see his eyes more clearly now, and they were glossy with tears waiting to fall.

"And Sunday?"

"Things changed," I said, trying to shrug. It probably didn't look like a shrug.

"Things changed," he said, nodding. "So you did feel something? For me?"

"Jordy…" but he interrupted me, standing, his finger going dangerously close to the cast again.

"You don't get to call me that yet!" he whispered harshly. His face scrunched up under his glasses with trying to keep his emotions in check. "You haven't earned the privilege."

"Ah'm sorry," I repeated, my lips feeling horrible. The wetness from before was wearing off and I could feel them starting to dry and crack a bit.

"There isn't enough _sorry_ in the world to smooth over what you've done. I should just punch you in the balls and leave."

"Whut you want me to say?" I pleaded. Yeah, I'd been a total cad, but I was totally fucking helpless there. At least when I was hunting, the prey was alive and healthy and alert and able to fend for…

And again, I was struck by my own thoughts. Painfully struck. It had been my arrogance and pride that I always bagged whatever boy I set my eyes on. I'd used every dirty trick, every low blow, every deceitful tactic and emotional ploy and psychological twist I could just to get a once only shot at someone's ass. And then I left them all thinking there was something more. Left them hollow, used, devastated.

To the point that at least one tried to kill himself.

I had driven Marty to the point of trying to kill himself. And I'd pushed those buttons on purpose. And enjoyed doing it. Not just with Marty but with all of them.

And I'd been about to do it to Jordan while trying to move in on Gary.

And for what. Bragging rights? Sex? Power?

In the end, that left me exactly where?

Alone. Broken. Empty.

Yet, here he was. Jordan. Waiting for me to wake up. Helping me with water. Not backing down from me. Knowing the truth, or at least part of it, and still here. Still wanting to be with me.

Did I want to be with him? As broken and wasted as I was, did he really want to be with me? Was I ready for the answers? Clearly, my days chasing guys as a sport were over. Even if I could recover my face and body, I had doubts about what game I had left, much less whether I even wanted that game anymore. And chances were that my reputation was a hot topic around school by now.

"I just want to know if I'm a fool for even sticking around here," Jordan said, looking at me from the foot of the bed. He'd paced a bit and seemed to get some more thinking done that way. I noticed that he leaned on the post that went up to the pulley counterweighting my arm in the air.

"Not a fool. Very smart. Made you a challenge," I said, trying hard to keep my eyes from his, but his gaze kept drawing me. "The smart ones are always tougher."

"So you didn't feel anything for me?"

"Not then."

"And now?"

"Jordan, want to talk, but face hurts. Lots to say," I managed, my voice fading.

"Then you think about what you really want to say to me. And I'll do the talking." I nodded, realizing how much pain I really was in.

"Water?" I croaked, and he moved to the side of the bed, bringing the cup's straw up to my lips. I took a few sips, feeling the cold and warm of the water swish inside my cheeks as the liquid sloshed past the ice in the cup. When I'd had enough, he brought the cup back to the side table and stared at me. With a sigh, he leaned forwards on the stool and braced his chin on his folded hands, close to my face.

"What I am going to tell you, chances are you already know," he whispered. "You were my first. For everything. First person I got drunk with. First boy I touched. First person to touch me. First… first person I fell in love with. And no one has ever been naked with me, doing things to me.

"I'd always known I was gay. I think I finally figured it out this summer, around 4 th of July. But you were the first person I knew that I felt anything for. When you talked to me, and cared for me, or so I thought!" he punctuated, angrily. "When that happened, and when you… when we… that first time, I thought, ya know, this could be great. He's soo good at it, and he likes me. And he's funny, smart, cute… and he touches me like I've only dreamed of…

"But then I saw how you treated Marty, and I thought, this makes no sense. If he was all over Marty last week and now treats him like dirt… what am I to him? Is this going to be just like that? Will I be left in the dirt next week?"

That left a cold feeling in the pit of my stomach, which also hurt as he spoke at me. Because it was just about true. I had been about to ditch Jordan just like I had Marty. I had actually been looking forward to treating him the same way, to getting that rush from snubbing him. It was almost as much a part of the fun as chasing him and nailing him.

"That was the plan, wasn't it?" he said, a tear forming and slipping over the side of his cheek. "And you were already looking to take a shot at Gary, huh?" I could only nod, and keep my eyes down. "You're a real piece of work, ya know that?" he asked, the pain evident in his voice. "I really should just punch you in the nuts now. And keep punching until you can't feel anything there ever again. And keep punching until I can't feel anything anymore either."

"Probly should," I managed to say it, meaning it. It's like suddenly I wasn't in near enough pain. Like if he took out his pain on me it would somehow balance things. Cleanse things. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't feeling religious or anything. It was more like guilt inside me felt like a pile of coins, and any real physical pain he dished out to me would give Jordan back some of those coins; paying him back for the gold I'd stolen from his soul.

"But you know I'm not like that," he said. "I could never hurt you like that. I want to. Gawd, I soooo want to. But it's not me." He stood, leaned over my face and was literally nose to broken nose with me. "You hurt me, Alex. You made me want you, then you made me love you. And you were about to abandon me."

"I was," I admitted, feeling his tears drip onto my face, joining my own tears as they started to roll out.

"You've done horrible things. Treated people like Kleenex, just using them and trashing them. So much so that all of your conquests feel shame at what you've done to them…"

"I'm sorry," I tried to say, but he cut me off, barking harshly in that whisper sort of way, aggressively.

"Shut up! You listen, this time." I could only nod. "Everyone you've touched you've screwed over and left damaged in your wake. Me included. And now I'm the only one who still wants to be around you, who'll take care of you when you're like this."

"Jordy," I whispered, my face hurting, my body hurting, my head hurting and my heart breaking.

"And even I'm about to leave you. I don't know if I'll be back again. You awoke feelings in me that I never knew I had, that I never thought I'd feel. And you crushed them just as I was about willing to give myself to you fully. You took my heart, Alex. Now I have to decide if I want to live like this. And you have to figure out if you even want to try to be my partner. If you even can." He stepped back from the bed, wiping his wrist against his right eye. He looked strong, suddenly. Like he was awake and aware and alive for the first time in his whole life.

There was a pause. A very heavy, pendulous pause and in that moment, a shadow crossed the doorway to the hospital room, followed by a less than confident knock-knock. Jordan and I looked over and saw Gary standing there in the doorway, holding a small vase with a trio of non-red roses backed with some fern and baby's breath. He looked back and forth between the two of us, nodded sadly and put the vase on the floor, near the inside wall, grinned in that brave sort of way, locked eyes with Jordan for a long moment, his grin evaporating, and he left. His expression in profile was like he'd walked in on something, heard more than he should have and felt tremendously embarrassed by it. I heard Jordan sigh.

"Goodbye, Alex," he said, moving for the door. "If it matters to you, I did love you. Probably still do. Don't know if I will tomorrow, but as you're so fond of saying," he paused, staring me straight in the eye, "whatev's." And he turned and left the room, his steps increasing in pace as they faded down the hallway.

"Jordy?!" I tried to call after him, but it only broke down into a long strangled moan and sobs. My vision blurred and all I knew for the next few moments was personal hell, the pain in my body and in my heart merging.

His presence, or absence, left me even more broken and empty than I already felt. I was ready to die, for the second time in my life. I felt the big empty swallowing up around me, all I had to do was let it. I tried not to think about the first time. I tried to will Jordy back to me, just through the sheer force of my own desires. But I knew that if he ever came back to me it would be because he wanted it, not me.

And suddenly, I realized that I really, really wanted him to. I'd not felt any need for another person, another boy, for… nope, not gonna think about that!

It was a couple of minutes, ten maybe twenty, after Jordan left that I felt another shadow fall across me. I thought for sure it would be my parents or my asshole brother. Maybe a friggin' doctor since I hadn't seen one of those since waking up. God, I hoped to hell it wasn't my family. I was not ready to deal with them, especially not him. To say my brother and I don't really get along is like saying that a lit match and gasoline produce warmth. He's a first class prick, he's always treated me like crap and gotten away with it in front of the parents. He literally can do no wrong in their eyes. So I wasn't looking forward to any alone time with him. Especially after what he did to me as a kid.

So you can imagine that I was really surprised when the shadow that fell over me seemed to waver, step away for a second, then seemed to lean in closer. And when he spoke, I was completely floored for the third time that day.

"Rabbit?" the voice asked, tentatively. A voice I hadn't heard in so long, I had to blink tears from my eyes, memories and nightmares and emotions flooding me from places I'd thought I'd buried long, long ago. A voice that had deepened over the years, changed timbre and tone slightly, but the vibe from it could only be one person.

"Eeyore?" I managed to croak, twisting my head a little to look over. He sat silhouetted in the doorway, his arm in some kind of cast, still stretched back to the doorjam. Standing behind him was a smaller boy that part of me wanted to recognize but my eyes just couldn't focus with all the tears brimming up. "Cam? Cam, izat you?"

I couldn't believe it. It was Cam. And he was hurt and in here, and… and I was a mess.

Crying so much, hurting so much, feeling so much, just about overwhelmed me. What happened next, if I wasn't already changed, put me into a different orbit entirely.

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