by David Lee

Chapter 39

On Thursday, Ted wondered idly where his young victims were as he changed into his gym clothes. He'd planned to be as menacing as possible. It was going to be fun to humiliate them in the locker room. Maybe he could force one of them to kneel in front of him naked in the showers and claim that the kid was begging to blow him.

Donny was late and hurried to get changed before the tardy bell rang. When they got to the bleachers, the two bullies looked around as the teacher took attendance. When the names of Aaron and Bryce were not called, it was obvious even to these two dullards that the younger boys had eluded their grasp. Hmm…, it was too much effort to change classes just to harass someone. But, there would be some other opportunities. In the meantime, Ted looked over the class to see if he could find someone else to pick on.

Once begun, the school year moved along quickly. In no time, it would be homecoming and then Halloween. Aaron was sad when he thought of all the things he and Lonny used to do together. This year, Lon would be taking Jennifer to events. There would be no room in his life for Aaron. In fact, Lonny seemed to be purposely avoiding Aaron.

One day they bumped into each other in the hall and Aaron broached the subject.

"I know you're busy with Jennifer and all, but why don't I ever see you? It seems like you don't even want to admit that I exist."

Lonny cast his gaze to the floor. The terrazzo surface seemed suddenly to be fascinating.

"Ah, well…" he stumbled.

"What is it, Lonny?"

"Don't call me that, it sounds too sissy."

"Is that it? Am I too sissy to be your friend?

"Well, uh…"

"Out with it, damn it!" Aaron shouted.

"Jennifer thinks I shouldn't be seen with you. We have lots of new friends that you don't fit with. And you and that freshman fag seem to be a little too close."

Aaron's punch surprised both of them. Lonny was stunned by the force of it. Aaron had no idea he had that much strength or anger.

"Don't ever use words like that about Bryce or anyone else! I thought you were my best friend. I thought you were a good guy. What the hell happened to you?"

Aaron stormed down the hall leaving Lon (as he now preferred to be called) slumped against a locker rubbing his aching jaw. Aaron's assessment of him hurt worse than the physical blow (which actually smarted quite a bit). For the first time in months, Lon began to question where his life was headed.

Homecoming proved to be more fun than Aaron had thought it would be. Zeke and Bryan assured him it was okay to go stag again like he'd done the year before. They were. Their excuse for not having dates was that they needed to circulate among all their classmates since they were officers. They told the younger boy that no one expected sophomores to get tied down to one person. He was still young.

When the juniors invited him to ride with them and bring along Bryce, it made things even better. Aaron vowed to be on his best behavior around his father to avoid being grounded at homecoming time.

On Friday night, the big homecoming game took place. Cosgrove lost by a touchdown, but since they played a tough team most of the fans were not terribly surprised or upset.

Bobby and Rusty came back for the game. They wanted to see their old friends and this was a good opportunity. During the half-time festivities, Bryan told the college guys about how Ted and Donny were bullying the younger boys. Rusty was pissed. He vowed to seek Ted out and to put the fear of God into him.

Rusty sidled up to Ted laying a big arm on his shoulder.

"I hear you've been threatening my little buds. You leave Aaron and his buddy alone if you know what's good for you," he whispered in Ted's ear.

Ted was not going to let anyone tell him what to do. He pulled away and shouted angrily at Rusty.

"If you defend those two queers, you're a fag-lover and a cocksucker!"

"It's none of your business what I am," Rusty replied with a hard smile. "You and Donny probably get it on together every night anyway."

Ted lunged at the big guy, but Rusty didn't move. When Ted ran into him, it was very much like hitting a stone wall.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Rusty warned. "I'm a little like the Incredible Hulk. You won't like me when I'm angry."

Ted continued his assault. This time when he threw his weight at Rusty, the latter pivoted aside as gracefully as a dancer and Ted went sprawling on the ground. Not to be deterred, Ted made a third attempt. This time, his jaw connected with Rusty's fist with a sickening crack. He lay there stunned realizing something was badly broken.

Officer John Danforth came running up to the scene. He had seen most of it from a distance while trying to get there to intervene.

Ted immediately whined about how Rusty had attacked him without provocation. He'd been assaulted and he was going to sue! Ted was quickly disabused of the notion by several witnesses with video on their phones, and the policeman as well.

Danforth took Ted to the emergency room to have his jaw looked at. He called Ted's parents who were none too pleased to have to deal with their malevolent offspring. Ted's father had no sympathy for his son.

"If you can't win, don't start anything. You're such a dumb-shit! You'll have to pay whatever the insurance doesn't cover. I hope you learn something from this."

Officer Danforth felt a bit of sympathy for Ted. Kids didn't get that way by themselves. Parents played a role too. He shook his head sadly as he filled out the paperwork on the case.

The next night was the big dance. Bryce and Aaron were pretty excited about going. They were not disappointed that Ted and his henchman were not in attendance. The boys lost a lot of their shyness about half way through the evening. They danced with several freshman girls who were very pleased to have guys pay attention to them.

At the end of the evening, Zeke and Bryan dropped the younger pair at Bryce's house to stay overnight. Aaron had made sure to clear it with his mother when his father wasn't around to object. It was a great evening.

As the night wore on, a number of kids shared intimacy. Bryan and Zeke stayed in Zeke's apartment. They barely got in the door before Bryan began to "attack" his lover. Their clothes ended up in a heap on the floor. It was a wonder that nothing got ripped in the process.

The two boys also ended up on the floor. They were too hungry for each other to make it to the bed. After several minutes of nipple nibbling and navel licking, the two assumed the 69-position lying on their sides. From then on, the only sound in the room was the moaning that resulted from satisfying sex-play.

Sometimes, as has been noted, they had the discipline to bring each other to the brink and back off. This was not one of those. They went for the payload as quickly as possible and were rewarded with copious amounts of the thick white nectar.

After their powerful orgasms, they settled down to gentle kisses. By then, they were so spent that is was an effort to get up and climb into bed.

Across town, Aaron and Bryce were excitedly telling Bryce's mom and dad about their great evening. Sally Fulton had made hot chocolate and cookies for the two teens. For Aaron, it was great to sit around the kitchen table and hear only pleasant conversation. Again he was acutely aware of what was missing in his life.

In Bryce's room, Aaron began to unroll his sleeping bag, but was stopped by Bryce.

"You don't need that. You can share my bed unless you think my color will rub off on you."

"Huh?" Aaron responded.

"Never mind. I shouldn't have said that. You don't seem to have a prejudiced bone in your body."

"No, I don't have anything against freshmen," Aaron said with a sly smile.

"You know what I was talking about," Bryce insisted. "There are still a lot of people in this world who don't want to be around anyone who's different."

"What's different? You bleed when you're cut and your blood is as red as mine. You have two arms and legs like I do. And I've seen what's between your legs. You and I aren't different."

Aaron began to blush when he realized what he had said. He was sure he had gone too far! His common sense had been diminished by obsessing over what was between Bryce's legs.

Bryce's giggle allayed his fears. Then Bryce said something that made Aaron laugh too.

"Yeah, yours is probably vanilla flavor and mine is either chocolate or mocha."

After stripping down to their briefs, the boys slipped between the sheets. They were almost overly careful not to touch each other.

They talked for a while longer before drifting off to sleep. Sometime in the night as they turned over, their bodies settled closer together. In the morning, they were spooned together facing the door. Bryce's arm was draped over Aaron.

Aaron awoke with a start not knowing for a moment where he was. As his mind cleared, he was very conscious of the arm on his chest and the hard boy-part poking against his butt. It felt good. He wished Bryce were awake and not just sprouting morning wood in his sleep. He fantasized about how it would be to wake up like this every morning. The thoughts made him so hard that he was in pain.

Eventually, he slipped out quietly and padded down the hall to the bathroom. It took him several minutes and about a gallon of warm water running over his hand in the sink before he was able to prime his pump. When the piss finally began to flow, it was a blessed relief.

Back in bed, Aaron snuggled against his friend once more. He gingerly lifted Bryce's arm to place it where it had been before.

An hour later, Bryce woke up. His first reaction was one of fright as he realized that he was almost embracing Aaron. He carefully moved his body away from his friend's lest Aaron should wake up and suspect.

Bryan didn't want to wake up on Sunday morning. He and Zeke had worked all day at the grocery and danced half of the night. But Zeke was annoying him with a feather-like touch across his bare back. Finally, Bryan lunged at Zeke sending both of them out of bed and onto the floor. After the ensuing wrestling and tickling match, both were wide awake.

There was no time even for a quickie in the shower. They had to be at church for choir rehearsal. Several of the high school students who sang well had been "Shanghaied" into joining the adult choir. It was actually fun to sing with them. The kids found they were treated as peers. No one looked down on them because of their age. It was really rather cool.

Ted showed up to school on Monday with his jaw wired shut. A number of teachers thought it was a distinct improvement. While they didn't take pleasure in having anyone hurt, they did feel that it couldn't have happened to a more deserving person.

It was on a school day in mid November that Ted found opportunity to even the score. His father had hoped Ted had learned something. He had. From now on, he would only go after those who couldn't defend themselves. He would get to that little shit, Bryce. And if Aaron got in the way, he was road-kill too.

When the intercom called for Doug Newman to come to the office, Ted nudged Donny who followed him like a good doggie. The two seniors ran quickly to the locker room. Most everyone had left. The rest scattered seeing who was coming in. Only Bryce and Aaron were left in the shower. They didn't know what was going on until they saw the entrance blocked by two large bodies.

"We're disappointed you left our gym class. We could have had some fun times in the showers. Down on your knees, faggots." Ted said as menacingly as one can without jaw movement.

"You sure YOU don't want to be on YOUR knees like in the park toilet?" Aaron asked.

Ted blanched, but amazingly kept his cool. He was going to bluff his way out of this.

"You're the faggot, not me!"

"That is an interesting ring," Aaron continued. "Is it a special, one-of-a-kind one?" Aaron said, not rising to the bait.

Distracted for the moment, Ted responded with pride, "Yeah, my grandpa made it in the prison workshop. There ain't another one in the whole world like it."

"So, when I saw it on a hand reaching for my cock through a hole in the toilet stall, it must belong to only one person in the whole world."

Ted knew he'd been exposed, but he wasn't going to admit it. Instead of hurling another epithet, he punched Aaron in the stomach. Aaron slumped to the floor in the fetal position.

"There's not enough time to get sucked off. Let's teach these boys about the new choking game we heard about on the news," he hissed to Donny.

The bigger boys grabbed the smaller ones forcing them against the wall. They put their hands around Bryce's and Aaron's necks and squeezed until the kids passed out. Then they laid them on the shower floor in the 69-position and left laughing.

When Doug got back from the office moments later, he heard the shower still running. Thinking that some irresponsible kid had left the on, he hurried to shut them off. The sight on the floor stunned him.

"Holy shit!" he swore.

A check of their breathing calmed the young coach a bit. They were alive at least. He called the nurse's office, but was informed that due to budget cuts, she was at a different school on that day. Next he called 911.

Before the notoriously slow ambulance responded, the boys began to come to. At first they were too shaken to realize they were naked. Once they calmed down a little, they asked for their clothes. Doug helped them with their locker combinations, and had gotten them dried off and partially dressed by the time the emergency crew arrived.

Over the protests of the boys, they were taken to the ER. The doctor on duty insisted that they stay the night for observation. He was pretty sure they were well enough to go home, but he didn't want to chance having something go wrong. There were far too many parents who would sue at the drop of a hat.

The boys were assigned to a double room. Most of the rooms were now private, but there were a few with two beds. Seeing that the kids didn't want to be separated even long enough to be x-rayed, the doctor sensed they would fare better together.

The boys' parents exhibited quite different reactions. Mike and Sally were loving and concerned. Gina Chadwick, though tired from her busy day, did her best to say words of comfort to her son. James, on the other hand, put the blame for the incident on Aaron.

"You have to stand up to these bullies. You can't let them push you around. No son of mine is going to have the reputation of looking like a wimp. I think you'd better drop swimming and take up Judo."

There it was again. His father only cared about his own reputation in town. It wasn't about how Aaron felt; it was about how his dad would look in the eyes of others. What a selfish prick. At that moment, Aaron hated him with a passion.

The young officer assigned to the case was more sympathetic than James had been, which wasn't difficult. He had met his share of bullies in school and was determined to do what he could to halt this kind of activity which many adults passed off as simply a part of growing up. He promised to contact school authorities so the perpetrators could be suspended or expelled.

Bryan heard the news from his mother the next day at school. He and Zeke immediately made plans to go to the hospital to visit the boys after classes, but were told they had been released. So, they decided to check up on them at home.

Aaron was alone when they came. Everyone concerned was relieved. Aaron told them enough about his father's attitude to make them know how things were going.

"No matter what he says, you couldn't have done anything about it!" Bryan nearly shouted. "I'd like to see him go up against that pair. I'll bet they'd beat him senseless!"

Zeke agreed. In the back of his mind, he felt that he and Bryan could probably have held their own if it came down to it. They both were quick on their feet and had wrestling moves which would serve them well. Also, they were a lot more muscular than the two younger boys. Damn! Why did bullies always have to pick on those who can't defend themselves? It was a rhetorical question, of course, because Zeke knew the answer. Rusty had proved what would happen in a fair fight.

For the next several days, the Chadwick's and the Fulton's were subjected to lots of phone calls. If an adult picked up the receiver, there was only the sound of breathing and then a click. If one of the kids answered, a low voice told them to drop the charges.

Mike Fulton informed the police and the phone company immediately. James Chadwick bellowed about it for days before eventually doing the same thing. According to him, none of this would have happened if Aaron had done something different.

Gina and Sally were becoming friends through their sons. Sally requested that Aaron be allowed to stay over for a couple of nights. Thanksgiving break was just beginning and neither family was going out of town. She thought it would be good therapy for both boys to spend time together because they seemed to draw strength from each other. Gina agreed.

Naturally James was upset because no one had consulted him, so he was going to keep Aaron home. Gina took him into their bedroom where she very quietly told him to go to Hell. She informed him that until he started pulling his own weight in the house she would make all the decisions about the children. In the meantime, he would be sleeping in the guest room. James was livid and he raised his hand to strike her.

"You touch one hair on my body and I will have you in jail until you rot!"

James didn't want to back down from anyone, but he knew Gina to be a woman of her word.

Aaron did spend the weekend with Bryce. He even went to church with them which was a new experience. Grace Episcopal was not what he had expected after having seen TV evangelists. It had a lot of ritual including incense. Aaron couldn't follow everything that went on, but he didn't find the experience unpleasant. In fact, it was comforting.

The second night of his stay, Aaron was surprised at Bryce's question.

"Do you ever sleep in just your skin?"

"No. My father comes in and pulls off all the covers when he wakes me up for school. If I don't get up quickly enough, I get doused with ice water."

Bryce was sorry he had asked since it seemed to bring up another unpleasant subject.

"So, you can't lock your door?"

"He'd break it down and I'd have to pay for a new one."

"Well, you aren't home, and I have a lock. Do you want to?"

Aaron did want to. He was afraid he would embarrass himself by getting hard, but he really liked the idea of sleeping naked in the same bed with Bryce, so he decided to go for it.

Bryce locked the door and turned out the overhead light. On the count of three, they shucked their briefs and scrambled under the covers. They hopped in so fast that their hips bumped. The touch of bare skin in an area usually considered "private" sent little electrical shock waves through both bodies. They talked and giggled until sleep finally put an end to their fun.

Bryce slept soundly at first, but was awakened several times by Aaron's tossing and turning. He was talking in his sleep. Most of it was mumbling, but a few words were clear enough to hear.

The second morning of his stay, Aaron awoke realizing that someone was staring at him. Bryce was awake with a soulful look on his face. Aaron wondered what he was thinking.

No one else was home at the Fulton house. Bryce's little sister, Bonnie, had stayed over with a friend. So, the two boys put on only their underwear to eat breakfast. It seemed kind of cool and slightly naughty to be running around like that. It reminded Aaron of how much he loved to run around nude when he was little.

Bryce had seemed reserved and pensive all morning. When Aaron was dressed to leave, he probed for the reason.

"Did I do something bad? Are you mad at me? You seem kind of like you are somewhere else this morning."

Bryce swallowed a couple of times before getting up the courage to bring up what was on his mind.

"Last night in your sleep, you were talking. I want to know if you meant it when you said that you loved me."

Aaron went white with panic. As the fight or flight response kicked in, he chose to flee. He left so quickly that he didn't wait for his mom to pick him up and he didn't remember to take his sleeping bag. He ran the whole way home with tears in his eyes. He had screwed up big time.

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