by Ivor Slipper

Chapter 18

As we turned from the mail box to walk back home a thought struck me. I had, to use an old saying I'd heard somewhere, almost literally dodged a bullet today. There was no knowing when another one might come my way so I had to try and live my life to the full from now on.

Troy and I were walking holding hands as we usually did these days. I let go of his and stopped walking. After a couple of paces he also stopped and turned to me with a puzzled expression on his face.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing really, but come here."

He closed the distance between us and as soon as he was near enough I pulled him into a hug which quickly developed into a full blown kiss. After what seemed forever, but couldn't have been more than half a minute, Troy pulled his lips away.

"What brought that on? We don't normally kiss in public – at least not that obviously."

"I know, but I just wanted to. I want you to know I love you and I want the world to know that too."

For once in our relationship it fell to Troy to be the sensible one.

"I know you love me Adam, just as you know I love you. But, sadly, I don't think the world is ready for that. It's one thing holding hands out in the street, but I think we could be asking for trouble if we start kissing."

He was right and I knew it. Look what that single kiss in the park had led to!

"You're right Troy. I'm not being sensible. Let's go home where I can kiss you as much as I like."

"Race you!" he said and set off. He had a few yards start and we only had about a hundred yards to cover, but I was quite pleased when I caught up to him just as we reached the drive. Mind you, how he'd managed to run that fast with the state his butt was in, was a bit of a mystery.

When we got indoors his mom was in the kitchen and gave us a concerned look when she saw we were both a little out of breath.

"Don't worry mom, nobody was chasing us. I just had to show Adam I'm still quicker than him."

"You cheated – and anyway I'd have beaten you in another twenty yards."

"Boys!" Mrs C said with an amused chuckle. ""Troy, when you've got your breath back please call Tom. We phoned him while you were out to let him know what had happened, but he wants to talk to you."

"Okay, mom. I'll go up and call him from my room. You coming Adam?"

The talk of phone calls had reminded me of something I needed to do and probably should have done before now.

"I'm coming upstairs too, but while you call Tom I'm going to call Carlos and thank him for what he did, so I'll do that from my room"

"Great idea, Adam. Should have thought of it myself. Give him my thanks too."

Carlos picked up on about the third ring.

"Is that you Adam?"

"Yes, it is – thanks to you."

"I knew something was wrong when you and Troy didn't stop to talk to me and my mama. I wasn't sure at first that it was those two with you, but I knew something was wrong which was why I followed and when they forced you into that van - Mama Mia! - I knew there was trouble."

"Yeah, we were really in big trouble had it not been for you and Officer Rudigger."

"Was she the lady in the car who stopped and talked to me?"

"Yes. Luckily she'd attended when Troy was first attacked by Mike & Kyle and she'd seen the pics of them Troy took so she recognised them and us."

"Ay, caramba! That was really lucky she happened to be there. But how did you get free?"

I asked Carlos if he was in a hurry and when he said he wasn't I told him I'd tell him the full story. He listened quietly while I spoke with just the occasional whistle or other expression of surprise until I had finished.

"I'm sorry about your papa, Adam but am pleased the police were able to rescue you and Troy. You are not hurt?"

"Other than bruised butts – no."

He gave a little giggle. "Maybe you can help each other with those?"

"Carlos!" I laughed. "You are a boy with evil thoughts."

"Not evil; just happy ones."

We brought the call to a close and said we'd see each other at school on Monday. I put my cell down and went to see if Troy had finished talking to Tom. He was still chatting, but signalled for me to come in.

"Yeah, Adam's just come in. Hang on, I'll put the phone on speaker. Tom wants to say 'Hi' Adam."

I'd not spoken to Tom before, but had of course heard a lot about him. I presumed he knew all about our relationship. I said 'Hi' to him and we had a three way chat for a few minutes. He confirmed that he was coming home for Thanksgiving with his girlfriend and we all said we were looking forward to meeting each other. I thought he sounded very pleasant and was glad we'd had a chance to say a few words to each other as for me I thought it would make our first meeting less awkward.

No sooner had Troy ended the call and put his cell down on the bed than it rang again. He looked to see who was calling and as he picked it up, mouthed to me 'It's Maddison.' As he did so I thought we really should have called her earlier to express our thanks for calling Troy's parents from the mall.

"Hi, Maddison. I was about to call you. What! Adam, go and switch the computer on and get up Maddison's Facebook page. Oh, you've sent it to us now. Okay, my page or yours will do. And while he's doing that - it'll take him ages, he's not very good with computers" (I used my free hand to give Troy the finger at that point) "thanks a lot for calling my folks earlier. No,it was the right thing to do. Well, let's see what this video is you're talking about and then we'll tell you everything."

Troy walked over to join me and also put his cell on speaker mode. By now I'd got up my Facebook page and the video had just started to play.

"Holy shit!" Troy exclaimed.

"You can say that again." I said – so he did, adding an apology to Maddison who was laughing at his reaction.

Someone in the small crowd of bystanders who had gathered outside the old house when we emerged, had used their cell to take a video of us as we initially stood there and then walked to the car. To anyone who knew us we were clearly recognisable.

"I like that blanket Troy; it suits you and it's sooo your color!"

"I'm gonna get him to wear it to school on Monday." I said earning a laugh from Maddison and a punch on my arm from Troy.

"I'd say it was a pity it didn't slip, but I know I'd be wasting my time looking. But what happened after those two took you?"

So, we had to go through the whole story with Maddison. When we'd finished she was more or less speechless, but she did point out that her friend who'd sent her the link would definitely have sent it to others at the school. Thus by Monday a lot of kids were going to know about the incident and we could expect to have to recount the details over and over. But, as she added, that would be good publicity for the GSA meeting.

After we'd finished talking with her I had one of my bright ideas.

"Troy, have you got a speech prepared for the GSA meeting?"

He blinked. "No, I haven't thought about giving one. Anyway, I'll just introduce you and you can deliver one." He poked his tongue out at me as he finished.

"How about for anyone who asks us on Monday, we just give them an outline but say that if they come to the meeting we'll give a full account?"

"Yay! I'd come to think it was your sexy body that I was attracted to, but it was your brain after all."

"Troy Connelly, if your butt wasn't already sore I'd give you a spanking for that!"

"Come and try." he said going to lie on the bed, but on his back and showing me his beautiful smile and eyes sparkling with merriment.

"No. I'm gonna kiss you as punishment instead," I said as I moved to lie beside him.

And that was what we did for quite some time until my lips started to feel puffy.

After everything that had happened that day it was good to have a relaxing shower before going to bed that evening. And it was just that – relaxing. We stood there under the water simply enjoying the touch of each others hands as they moved soapily around our bodies. We were both stimulated, but neither of us wanted to actually come. Eventually the water started to cool and we decided it was time to get out, dry off, and go to bed.

Tonight I decided that he was going to spoon me. I thought that would avoid me pressing against his bruised butt. The only problem was that after a couple of minutes I could feel his dick getting hard between my legs.

"Troy, do you want to......." I tailed off, reluctant to voice my thoughts.

"Do I want to what?" he replied.

I hesitated before answering.

"Make love to me?"

He pulled apart, rolled onto his back, let out a little 'ouch' as he did and then asked me to turn over and face him.

"You know I want nothing more than to do that, but........."

"Yeah, we gave your mom a promise."


"I know, and I don't want to break it, but......" I almost started to cry, but pulled myself together enough to continue, "when they had us at the house I thought they were gonna fuck me, and you, and then they were gonna kill us. And that meant..... I'd never get to feel you making love to me."

Now I did start to cry and Troy hugged me tight until I'd got my fears and tears under control.

"Wanna know a secret, Adam?"

"What's that?"

"That was my biggest fear too. You don't know just how much I wanna make love to you, but we made a promise."

"I know, but we might get killed before I'm sixteen."

"Adam! That's stupid talk. Mike's locked up and not gonna get out I don't think. Kyle won't do anything on his own and neither will the other two."

"True, but one of us might get killed crossing the street."

"And an asteroid might hit the earth and we all get wiped out. This is just silly, Adam."

I giggled at the thought and that somehow lifted my fears.

"Yeah, we could go like the dinosaurs. Boom!"

"Is that how they went?" Troy asked, which had us both giggling.

"Okay, I can wait for a few more weeks, but it's hard."

"I know, so's mine – feel."

That did it. Our mood had amazingly changed. I couldn't decline the invitation and feeling led to kissing and kissing led to......yeah!

Sunday passed very quietly. We stayed in bed until almost midday and Mrs C didn't even bother us with a last call for breakfast, but still cooked us one when we did finally emerge.

Hannah and Gerry came round in the afternoon. They'd had the basic details from Maddison but didn't know everything so we had to recount the story again. We told them what we planned to do with regard to the GSA meeting and they agreed it was a great idea, so that was settled.

Soon after they'd left Gran arrived. She was quite teary and insisted on giving both Troy and me big hugs. She'd also been told some of what happened by Mrs C, but once again there were quite a few blanks we had to fill in, during which she kept referring to us as 'you poor darlings'. We were glad it was only the family there to hear that!

Later in the evening Troy got a call from Drew McAllister. He and Nate had been out of town for the weekend so they'd only just heard about what had happened. Once again we had to go through the story, but keeping it as brief as we could.

Monday at school was pretty manic. It started almost as soon as Mrs C pulled up outside the school entrance as we could see more kids gathered there than normal – mainly girls. Phones were out and pictures of us being taken; it was like a smaller version of what happens with a pop star! I did notice that more of the phones were aimed at Troy than me, but he was the known one of the two of us, especially in his letterman jacket that I'd insisted he wear. Naturally a few of the kids who we knew came closer and asked if we were alright and such questions. We more or less told everyone the same thing – that it had been Mike and Kyle who had kidnapped us, but we had been rescued by the police, we were basically unharmed thanks to the police and the quick thinking of one of our friends and if they wanted the full story they should come to the GSA meeting on Wednesday. Oh, and to pass that along to their friends. That did succeed in slowing down the attention a bit, at least until lunchtime. Then because we were visible and seated, lots of kids came by wanting to talk. Come the end of the school day we were glad to get out and home, hoping that something else might occur overnight in order to divert attention away from us. For me, who had always kept a low profile at school and tried hard to be unnoticed, it was strange and a bit unnerving to be the centre of attention. I had to keep reminding myself that some good was going to come from all this, but I did wish I'd had Troy in a few more classes that day so I could see him and draw some strength from him. He just appeared to thrive on all the attention.

By Wednesday morning I was really starting to get nervous about the meeting and spent longer than usual in the bathroom and getting dressed. I wanted to look my best so the grey skinnies that I now kept for 'best' and didn't usually wear to school, went on, along with my red high top converse and a maroon polo shirt and a grey hoodie. Nobody except Troy and I knew, but we were both wearing pale grey CKs underneath our skinnies. I took so long getting ready that Mrs C had to chase us to get out of the house in order to get to school in time. We made it with a couple of minutes to spare – being late today wouldn't have been a good way to start the day.

My nerves started to build up during the morning; I couldn't pay much attention in class and was beginning to feel sick in my stomach. The five of us had been given permission to miss our last class so we could prepare the room for the meeting, Once I got there and could see Troy outwardly calm and unworried I began to relax. A quick kiss and a cuddle from him helped a lot too!

As the time for the meeting drew nearer first the VP, Mr Fitzpatrick, arrived and then Mr Edgars who'd agreed to be our Advisor. We'd organised the room to have a desk in one corner behind which we five were sat. Mr Edgars came and sat slightly to the side, but the VP told us he wasn't going to stop in case his presence made some people uneasy; he just wanted to see that the meeting got off to a good start.

When the bell rang that announced the end of the morning lessons – at least for those on first lunch – my nerves really kicked in and I could hardly stop my hands from shaking. Troy noticed and put his left over my right and I began to relax. I started to relax even more as the first few kids came in, but then I started to not believe my eyes as the numbers increased. We'd hoped we might perhaps get twenty or so, but eventually the room was crowded and the latecomers were having to stand against the wall or sit on the floor. What we didn't know though was whether they'd just come to hear our story or were genuinely interested in joining a GSA.

Once it seemed most people had arrived – and I was pleased to see that one of those arriving late was Coach Zielinski – Mr Edgars stood up and the room quickly quietened. He explained that he was only here as an Advisor and that should a GSA be formed he was willing to act in that capacity, but the running of it would entirely be left to the students. Hannah had produced some forms on which kids were asked to give their name, cell number, homeroom and indicate which of the three types of GSA they most wanted to see and were likely to participate in. Mr Edgars explained these and Hannah and Maddison handed out a bunch each to be passed round, filled in and left with us at the end of the meeting. Once they'd started being passed round, he said that he was now handing over the meeting to us.

Troy and I looked at each other. 'Go for it' I leaned over and whispered in his ear, drawing a few murmurs from our audience at our closeness. He flashed me his special smile and stood up.

"We're really glad to see so many of you here today. I guess a lot of you know a bit about what prompted me and Adam to start on this venture, but most of you don't know all of it. We're gonna tell you a true story about gay kids being bullied – aren't we Adam?"

He'd done it, he'd made me stand up in front of a crowd and suddenly the nerves dropped away and I felt at ease standing there beside my boyfriend.

"Yes, we are Troy. And we hope that by doing so we may perhaps change a few views or perceptions about people like us, or indeed different to us, but also different to the majority. Our troubles started with a kiss......."

And we launched into the story of what had happened to us since then and until last Saturday. I'd talk for a minute or so and then Troy would take over before handing back to me and so on. Probably we shouldn't have named names, but I'm pretty sure most all kids in school knew who was involved. We had a very attentive audience and nobody left while we were talking despite the fact that the promised refreshments gave out quite early in the proceedings due to us not having expected such a number to come.

When we'd delivered our account we asked if anyone had any questions with regard to the actual GSA. One thing that had become clear was because we were holding two meetings today it would be impossible to try and elect officers, so we said we'd announce a date for an after school meeting in the near future when that could be done.

Of course having done that with the first lunch we then had to go through it all again with the second lunch kids. Mr Edgars could only stop long enough to make the introduction, but having delivered the talk once we almost sailed through it the second time like seasoned campaigners.

At the end, after the room had emptied, we all stood up and high-fived each other before hugging each other. When Hannah and Maddison had finished counting up the completed forms that had been returned we had over sixty. Jerry commented that he thought we'd get some more back later as he'd seen some kids taking the forms with them when they left, perhaps because they hadn't brought a pen.

By chance our last class of the day was World Geography with Mr Edgars. When the bell sounded he asked Troy and me to stay behind. As soon as the rest of the class had gone he walked across the room to shut the door before coming back to perch on the edge of his desk. I glanced at Troy while he was walking across the room; he looked at me and shrugged. We both thought we must have done something wrong, but Mr Edgars smiled at us.

"Don't look so worried you two! I just wanted to congratulate you both on the way you handled that meeting. I had no idea what you were going to say and was worried how you might have been affected by the trauma you went through last Saturday. Instead you used that to give a very impressive justification of the need for a GSA and I specially liked the way you alternated. I assume you'd spent time rehearsing?"

We both laughed. "No sir – no rehearsal. I knew Troy was going to speak, but I didn't expect him to pass me the baton that quickly! I just talked a bit and then passed it back to him as quick as I could."

"Did you get many people interested in joining?"

"Yes sir." said Troy. "We had about sixty forms returned, so I think we've got a good chance of getting something off the ground. We said we'd hold another meeting soon, but after school so anyone who wants to come can be there, and then we'll try to set it up properly with officers and such."

"That sounds good. Let me know when it will be and I'll make sure I can be there. For now, congratulations again. I always sensed there was something inside you Adam, waiting for an opportunity to emerge. And as for you, Troy it just needed someone to give you a reason to stop coasting along and apply yourself. I'm very glad you found each other as together I am sure you will amount to more than you would as individuals."

With that he stood up and moved behind his desk.

Wow, I thought, that was some compliment. We exchanged glances again, stood up, and Troy said,

"Thank you sir, for all your help today – and for those kind words. We'll try not to let you down."

"That goes double." I added.

Mrs C was sitting in the car outside waiting for us, looking slightly worried when we hadn't emerged with the crowd. As soon as we'd got in the car and belted up she wanted to know how the meeting had gone, although I think she knew the answer to that by the expressions on our faces and the buzz we must have been giving off. We told her more or less everything on the journey home.

As usual we went into the kitchen first and she got out some cookies while we found a juice or cola and we both sat at the table.

"Oh, I almost forgot in the excitement of hearing how your meeting went, but this letter came for you today."

Mrs C walked over from where she was standing at the counter and handed me an envelope which I saw had Ma's writing. I opened it and pulled out the single sheet of notepaper it contained. My hands shook as I started to read what she'd written.


Reckon I have to allow you to come to your father's funeral.

But I want you to know I believe I am only having to bury my beloved husband because of you. Had you not fallen into the devil's hands he'd still be alive. That he got shot trying to save you sticks in my craw. A waste of a good man's life.

Come if you want, but you do not sit with me in the church or stand with me at his graveside.

And do not try to bring that faggot boy who you now live with, or any of his disgusting family.

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