by David Lee

Chapter 61

Carson and Sean's attack on Bryce was the talk of the school the next day. Will was hailed as a hero for having helped Bryce. Will felt pretty good about himself. He had wondered which way opinions would go. Even some of the guys who usually hung with the bullies seemed to think Will had done the right thing. The climate of Cosgrove High was changing for the better and Will had played an important role in reinforcing that change.

Zeke was in a meeting with Cathy Epworth about the new anti-bullying policy which was being formed, when the subject of yesterday's attack came up.

"I've been in contact with the judge this morning," Ms. Epworth stated. "I think we might work out a way to adjust those boys' attitudes which could be more effective than what the juvenile system usually does. Judge Walkerton agrees with me on it. With the help of student council, I propose we set up a school court. We'll work with the government classes to make it as much like a real-life situation as possible. Someone will act as the district attorney. Someone else will be a defense lawyer. We'll even have a judge and jury. Assuming that they are convicted, the two boys will face sentencing. Ms. Walkerton said she will come to oversee it so that justice is truly served. There is another hearing scheduled for tomorrow. From the present evidence and the boys' confessions, she feels Sean and Carson may spend from one to three years in reform school. Carson's use of the broken bottle as a weapon could earn him a higher sentence. However, she could suspend both sentences if our students can come up with a better solution. If the kids don't come up with serious enough penalties or if the bullies don't fulfill their obligations, she will impose the original sentences. What do you think?"

Zeke responded positively. He thought about Ted lying dead in his grave. What if Ted had had the same kind of intervention? Then, he wondered how Bryce, Will, and Aaron would feel about it. Would they think the bullies were being let off too easy?

At lunch, Zeke briefed the kids at his table about the possible student court action. The response he got was generally as positive as his own. Will even voiced what Zeke had been thinking about Ted.

"I wish my brother had had that chance before he got in so deep."

Then turning to Bryce and Aaron he continued: "I don't mean after what he did to you guys or holding those other dudes a gunpoint. That was bad!"

"Hey," Bryce said, "It wasn't any worse than what Carson intended to do to you! If it hadn't been for that lady, I don't know how it might have turned out."

All at the table agreed that old Aunt Mary had undoubtedly prevented bloodshed. Aaron squeezed Bryce's hand under the table. Bryce squeezed Will's shoulder with his other hand. Both knew how close they had come to getting seriously hurt.

After school, Zeke, Bryan, Bryce, and Will went to see Ms. Epworth. Aaron came along, of course. She was pleased to hear from them so soon.

"Since you all agree with the plan, I'll call Judge Walkerton immediately. By the way, her first name is Judy. But if you call her "Judge Judy," you're likely to find yourself in contempt of court!"

Cathy Epworth made the call, but had to leave a voice message since "Judge Judy" was hearing a case at the moment. At least the wheels of justice were beginning to turn.

Since it was a beautiful day, Bryan wanted to invite Bryce and Aaron over to swim for a while before dinner. But he couldn't very well extend the invitation while Will was there unless he invited Will too. He decided to put most of the cards on the table.

"How many of you would like to go skinny dipping in my parents' pool?" he asked.

Bryce and Aaron nodded. Will put his thumb up and said: "KEWL!" Bryan had his answer as to whether Will would be embarrassed about baring his butt.

On the way to the Stillwell house, the three younger guys were stuffed into the back of the convertible, which wasn't exactly legal with only two seat belts. Will was on one side and Aaron on the other with Bryce straddling the hump.

Will laughed at how close they were all sitting.

"Why don't you just sit on your boyfriend's lap? You know you want to!"

Then he realized he had outed Bryce and Aaron in front of the seniors.

"Shit!" he said chastising himself for opening his mouth. "I've done it again!"

"It's okay, Will, they know," Bryce responded immediately.

"Wow!" Will exclaimed. "Does the whole world know?"

"No," Aaron said. "Just be careful about what you say around school. These guys know, our families know, and you know, but that's it!"

"Are you okay about skinny dipping with gays?" Zeke asked of Will.

"Sure, as long as no one tries to put it up my ass."

Then he thought of Ted and got really quiet. An unbidden tear rolled down his cheek. He quickly brushed it away lest the others see it. He would be embarrassed if they did.

Bryce saw it and he put his arm around Will's shoulders and squeezed. That caused a few more tears to flow; but this time, Will didn't try to hide them. He knew he was among friends. He was beginning to feel at home with these guys. He didn't care who loved whom, they were good buddies to him.

No one did anything "naughty" in the pool or hot tub, though there was a bit of good-natured grab-ass as there often is among guys. Will participated as much as anyone else.

After about an hour and a half, Zeke drove the younger boys over to Bryce's house. That was cool since Aaron was eating dinner with Bryce and Will lived across the street. Bryan stayed at his parents' house to give the other guys more room in the car. He and Zeke were going to have dinner with Brad and Mary anyway. He stayed in the spa waiting for Zeke's return.

On the way back, Zeke made a detour to Walmart. Craig had told him about some new underwear that he had discovered and Zeke wanted to buy some for Bryan and him to wear under their shorts in gym class. The Jockey Life brand trunks were going at a decent price and he bought two pairs for each of them – two blacks and two whites. He used his cell phone to let Bryan know where he was.

Bryan was still naked, waiting for Zeke to return, when he heard a car in the drive. Then he heard the garage door going up. He knew that this car must be his mother's so he slipped into his swim shorts.

Mary told him she was going to ask his father to grill that evening since she didn't have much time to prepare dinner. She had purchased steaks at Fareway along with some other side dishes. Fall meant a lot of work for returning teachers and she needed to take shortcuts now and then.

Bryan got out of the spa to start the grill and help Mary get things going. He knew she was tired from having put in a long day already.

After dinner, the boys went back to their apartment. Zeke was grinning on the way.

"Wait until you see the cool support-shorts I bought us for gym. They have a sculptured pouch. These were designed by people who understand male anatomy. Craig told me about them after I complained about getting my balls pinched by the ones we tried. He said those other ones were like a cheap hotel – no ballroom!"

Bryan laughed, "I've never heard that saying, but it makes a point. I can't wait to try these on. We can check each other for 'comfort'."

The minute they got into their place, they stripped down and pulled on the new articles of clothing.

"These ARE great," Bryan exclaimed. "They have adequate accommodations for my balls. They're like a high-class hotel!"

Despite the "accommodations," the bulges in the front of the underwear were quickly taking up all the space. The boys moved toward each other. They placed their hands on each other's butt and pulled their crotches together. The polyester and Lycra fabric didn't do much to dull the sense of touch. Their full pouches touched and rubbed together. The rubbing increased.

They had been horny all afternoon, and now they had the chance to do something about it. Bryan knelt to suck the damp spot on the front of Zeke's underwear. Though the fabric was double thickness in the pouch, it was not so substantial that it dampened the feeling much. Zeke was soon moaning his appreciation and making little thrusting motions.

Zeke pulled Bryan up to a standing position and traded places. He held Bryan's butt tightly as he began to gnaw on his package. Bryan was in heaven, but he didn't want to cum just yet, so he pulled Zeke up and began to rub their crotches together again. This action was accompanied by a lot of tongue action. It was almost like they were fucking each other's mouth with their tongues.

Both pulled each other's trunks down at the same time. They didn't bother to take them all the way off. There wasn't time! They got on the floor in the 69-position just in time to finish each other off.

Then they took a quick shower before dressing and going up to see Craig and Grace. Actually, they went up to see Zach who wasn't in bed yet. He was pleased to have his playmates visit. After a little while, they lay down on the floor with him. He soon went to sleep curled up between them. Zeke fell asleep for a few minutes as well. He woke up at the flash of the camera. Grace wanted to preserve this moment for Zach's baby book.

Back downstairs in their apartment, they boys decided to email Skip. He must have been on line when Zeke wrote, because his reply came back almost immediately. Skip was eager to have them commiserate about his school year. He was being picked on and he hated it. He sounded very down, but seemed to be cheered by the fact that the guys had contacted him.

Bryan wrote back to encourage Skip to talk to his grandmother. Bryan was sure she would do her best to fix things. He said Zeke's and his thoughts and prayers were with Skip. He urged Skip not to give in to his feelings of hopelessness.

Within the week the student court system, with Zeke appointed as judge, began to take shape. On the first day of proceedings, Carson and Sean smirked as they sat waiting to be called before the group. This was going to be a piece of cake. Their peers would never mete out a punishment that was too hard. Besides, some of their friends were in the room; they had to act "cool."

Cathy Epworth wasn't going to devote any full days to the matter. The court would meet only during the hour usually reserved for student council. That way, kids wouldn't miss other classes. She wanted this to be as real as possible and she wanted it to teach some lessons, but she wasn't going to let the rest of their education suffer.

At the end of the third session, Carson and Sean began to wonder if this was going to be as easy as they had anticipated. Their confessions were read and three witnesses testified. Aunt Mary was pleased to participate as she told her story dramatically. The twelve students who were the jurors hung onto her every word.

After the prosecution had made its case, the defense team had a chance to try to get their "clients" off or at least put a dent in the case. They took the job seriously, but had little to present. The defendants had confessed. They were caught dead to rights.

During the fourth session, the verdict of guilty was read before the court. Then, the jurors were charged with selecting an appropriate sentence from a list of possible ones.

When all was said and done, Carson and Sean had to do the following: They were required to pay for a new bicycle for Bryce. Since his brand new one had been scratched as well as having a wheel ruined, the students decided total replacement was the only option.

Second, the perpetrators had to make a formal apology to their victims in front of a school assembly.

Third, the boys must both remain clean and sober for the length of their sentence. This meant submitting to weekly drug tests. If they didn't pass, or if anyone found them drinking or smoking pot, they would automatically be remanded to the county court to serve their original sentences.

Fourth, they had to complete a large number of community service hours in supervised programs. Since Sean was the planner, he would have to put in 100 hours. Carson got that plus another 75 for the dangerous weapon charge. Those hours were to be performed at two separate sites. About half would be served in the community soup-kitchen which provided meals for the homeless. The other half would be done in the public schools helping with the after-school reading and tutoring program for minority students.

The jury felt that these two boys needed a lot of exposure to kids of different ethnic and racial backgrounds to make them more sensitive. It was hoped the boys would end up with better attitudes than they would have if they served time in the boys' state training school.

It was a very subdued pair of kids who left the student court in the company of their parents on the last day of the hearings. They knew this wasn't going to be a picnic, but they also knew if they screwed up this chance they would be doing harder-time in captivity. It was a lot to think about. Fortunately for their own good, neither was getting any sympathy from his parents.

Bryan and Zeke were also pensive on their drive home after the hearing. In light of the attack on Bryce and the new associate principal's general campaign against bullying, they both thought this might be the right time to create a club or organization to help gay kids. They tossed around a few ideas for what it would entail and what it might be called. Zeke got a grin on his face as he suggested they call it: Fraternal Association of Gay Students. Since prepositions are often left out of acronyms, it could be FAGS. Bryan laughed, but said he wasn't sure it would fly. He knew, of course, that Zeke was being facetious.

As their discussion continued, they began to think about kids who were straight, bi-sexual, confused, poor, disabled, and merely different because of social or ethnic backgrounds. Perhaps they needed to broaden the scope of an organization so that would promote acceptance of others whatever their orientation, race, or background. Even stimulating a civil dialog between politically conservative and liberal kids would be good. Finding middle ground in this age of polarization couldn't hurt.

At the next student council meeting, Zeke brought up the proposition of creating a student alliance that would promote understanding among all students whatever their differences. He asked homeroom reps to come up with suggestions and also to challenge the other kids in their homerooms to think about it.

Bryce raised his hand and asked to address the council, "You all know what happened to Will Dye and me recently. I was the target, but Will nearly got cut because he was kind enough to come to my rescue. I'm used to being on the outside because I'm considered a 'half-breed' and most people assume I'm gay. Whether I am or not is my business! I've been called 'nigger', 'fag', and a lot other things that shouldn't be said in school."

The group of leaders in the room drew audible breaths at his use of words. Bryce had their attention for sure, so he continued.

"Will isn't mixed race or gay, yet he risked himself for me. There are a lot of decent kids like him in this school who would do something similar to help a friend or neighbor. I'm not saying that to take away from what he did, only to say that others might step forward too if we had a club or something which made it cool to care about other people rather than put them down."

When Bryce sat down after his impassioned plea, the room remained very quiet as students thought about what he had said.

Zeke took the floor again to continue stimulating thought on the formation of an association to promote understanding and harmony among students.

"Initially, we (he said tilting his head toward Bryan) were thinking about establishing a gay/straight alliance because we feel that there is a need for it. We thought about SAGA – Straight and Gay Alliance. But, just like Bryce said, other kids get picked on for other things they have no control over either. Kids get teased for being smarter than others, for having less ability than others, for the color of their skin, for cultural and language differences, and the list goes on. Too many people in our world try to make themselves feel better by putting someone else down. That's why I believe we need to create an organization to help us care about our classmates even if they are different and even if we don't agree with them. It's about tolerance and respect."

A sober looking group of school leaders left the student council room at the end of class. They were beginning to do serious thinking. Some of them had volunteered to be homeroom reps in order to be more visible and popular at school. Others had thought it would look good on their records when they applied for college. Now, most were beginning to view this as a job that had substance. Wow! Maybe they could make a difference.

The days of late summer began to shorten as the chill of fall filled the air. It was nearly time of homecoming activities. This time of year brought back memories of past "dating" experiences. Bryan and Zeke were tired of living a secret life. They made an appointment with Ms. Epworth before the homecoming assembly.

At the assembly, Zeke presided as the emcee in his capacity as student council president. He introduced the juniors who would be announcing the finalist for king and queen. Then he motioned for Bryan to join him at the mike.

"I am here to clear the air about some of the rumors which have been floating around this school about Bryan and me. It seems some of you think we're gay because we haven't dated much."

A self-conscious snicker passed through the audience.

He continued, "Just because guys don't date a lot doesn't necessarily mean they're gay. However, in our case, it's true. We have both asked that our names be withdrawn from the list of finalists. That is, assuming either of us made the list."

Then, he and Bryan hugged as they went to sit in the senior section. The entire gym was hushed. No one could believe Zeke had come out of the closet along with Bryan in front of the whole school and done it so causally.

One of the staff members in charge of the list of homecoming candidates motioned for Ms. Epworth to come. He showed her the list. Both guys were on it.

Someone from the senior section (it was later determined that it was Joey Aldrich) stood up and asked that the guys' names be kept on the list. Someone else stood up and seconded the motion. He started a rhythmic clapping. Pretty soon, more and more people in the stands were on their feet joining the applause. Not everyone stood of course. There were those who would never accept anyone who was different than they, but at least three-fourths of the students were supportive.

Zeke sat with tears in his eyes. Despite his cool exterior, coming out to the whole school had been a traumatic event. Neither guy had slept well the night before. They had had no idea how their news would be received.

Cathy Epworth conferred with both boys before taking the mike and quieting the crowd.

"These two young men are overwhelmed by your show of support. They are still insistent that they do not wish to be candidates for homecoming king. One of them said he might consider it if the other could be voted 'queen.' I'm quoting here; I'm not making this up."

Her remark brought laughter to the assembly.

"Since Mr. Adams and Mr. Stillwell came to me earlier to make their wishes known. Their names will be removed and the next two in line will be added in their place. I will personally announce each male candidate. They will be called in random order because I don't want anyone to know who has taken their places."

At the end of the assembly, Bryan and Zeke were both hugged by several staff members and students. Mary Stillwell embraced them both as did Doug Newman and his wife Carol.

A number of students gave them high-fives. Among those were Lonny and Sam. The boys had come out to both of them before making the public announcement. Neither had been surprised.

At lunch, things were pretty normal. The usual people sat at the table with Bryan and Zeke. A few others made sure to smile at them. Some chose to look the other way when they walked past, but things were looking pretty good.

When the last bell had rung for the day, Zeke and Bryan hurried to their car. They really wanted to go home and catch a few winks before dinner. It had been a long day after a restless night.

As they neared the parking lot, they saw a crowd standing around. The crowd parted as they got closer. Then they saw what the attraction was. Their beautiful white car had been sprayed with red paint crudely spelling: "FAGS" in large letters. It was enough to make them want to cry.

Bryan whipped out his cell and called the police. Within a matter of minutes, Sgt. Danforth and his partner were on the scene. They called for a flatbed truck to take the car to the station where it could be carefully dusted for fingerprints.

A shaken Bryan and Zeke went back into the building to wait for Mary to drive them home when she got off.

The weary pair spent the night with the Stillwell's. Mary wanted to have them near. She invited Craig and Grace to come for dinner. It would be mostly carry-out, but they could all be together. She was confident that little Zach's presence would be a healing balm and she was right. The little tyke was in rare form. He entertained his two godfathers making them forget about the crap that had come their way in the past few hours.

Bryan drove Zeke over to the apartment in his mother's car. After getting what they needed for the following day, they went back to Bryan's old room to sleep.

Zeke put things into perspective as they climbed into bed.

"Well, neither of us is hurt. Nothing is damaged that can't be fixed. Our friends are still our friends. It could be a lot worse. If this is the price I have to pay to tell the world that we belong to each other, then I'll pay it without reservation."

Bryan smiled at his lover.

"Baby, you have such a positive outlook on life. I'm very lucky to have you. We can face this together. No one can ruin what we have. I love you with all of my heart."

The two guys settled down to soft kissing and cuddling. Then they lay on their backs holding each other's cock. The gentle stroking felt great. The pace increased. At the last possible moment, Zeke climbed on top of Bryan joining him in a very deep kiss. The volume of cum which flowed between them threatened to bond them permanently in that position. At that moment, it didn't seem like a bad thing.

Bryan grabbed his briefs from the floor to clean them up enough to keep from staining the sheets. Relaxed and spent, they fell asleep almost immediately.

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