I Want to Know What Love Is

by James Matthews

Chapter 3


"What sort of party?" Mum asked, as I sat at the kitchen table. "And who's going to be there?"

I shrugged. "Well Hunter, and his brother and some of Hunter's friends."

"What's this about a party?" Dad asked as he came into the dining room. "Hey Honey, have you seen my van keys?"

"In the fruit bowl, and you're working Saturday?"

"Yeah we're just finishing a cut down. We didn't finish Friday and I've got a new job to start Monday so thought I'd go and get it done with one of the guys. So this party, Puppy?"

"Oh yeah, well it's Hunter's friend's Birthday and he's asked me to go. Is that ok yeah?"

I watched as Mum looked and Dad, with him just shrugging. "What have you said Susan?"

"Well, I can't say I'm keen on the idea," She turned her face towards me. "I mean Puppy you've hardly been home lately and you've never been to a party before, i mean what sort of time does this party go on till?"

"I dunno, shall I call Hunter and ask? Would that satisfy you?"

"Hey, there's no need for the attitude Puppy, I'm just concerned that's all."

"Well I'm not that scared little boy who came out of the kid prison, I think I can handle a party. And anyway, you're always saying I need to make new friends and now you're saying the opposite… well at least it feels like it."

"Your Mum is just worried about you Puppy, we both are. And she is right, you're always out, we never know where you are most of the time. You used to answer your phone and now i've lost count on how many missed calls you've had from both of us."

"I must say Puppy, this Hunter lad. I mean I like him but you've changed and I worry. That's my job as your mother."

"Oh so now it's Hunter's fault because I might have found myself some sort of life. So can I go to this party or not?"

I folded my arms and sat waiting for an answer. I felt smothered lately. The more I went out to be with my boyfriend, the more the questions came.

Dad said he had to go leaving Mum frowning. "Nice one Max, leave me to deal with this. How about you talk to your son about where his manners have gone. I mean Steven I can deal with but I don't know what's gotten into you lately. Where is that sweet boy gone who used to enjoy going shopping with me and talking about how excited he was about just being?"

"Well maybe that's not enough anymore," I huffed.

"Max?" She barked, referencing his silence I imagined.

"Honey, I really have to go. Puppy, whatever your Mum says you do ok? And calm the attitude down, it's not you."

Dad left the dining room and I heard the front door close before turning back to look at Mum.

"No. I'm sorry Puppy, but no."

"No? You mean I can't go? But that's really unfair, Steven gets to go out with his friends."

"Yes and his friends I know well. I've met this Hunter… Well I can count on one hand, and if I know what these sorts of parties are like there will be alcohol and God knows what. My decision stands, I'm sorry."

"Are you?" I grunted before storming off upstairs and slamming my door.

I immediately took my phone out of my jeans pocket and text Hunter.

>Hey, my Mum said no to the party, sorry!

<Ding! - Damn Dawg, that sucks. Ok well maybe the next one. I'll come see you tomorrow yeah?

I didn't reply, feeling a little angry...or jealous, that he was still going to go anyway, rather than come spend Saturday night with me doing something. We always did something on a Saturday night, like going to the park to chat or the fairground out of town, or even the docks to drink bottles of beer.

I ripped my clothes off and went for a shower to wash away my anger. But even the scalding water did little to change my mood. I got out and rubbed the mirror free of steam and looked back at myself. For the first time I had this strange feeling come over me.

I felt trapped, confined!

Wrapped in a towel I went back to my room and put some boxers on before laying on my bed wondering what to do with the day. I tried to call Cindy but there was no answer. I tried Steven who was out at the mall early with Billy and Dave. Again no answer. What the fuck was up with everyone? Had I become invisible?

I must have dozed off but awoke as the familiar thump of stomping up the stairs meant Steven was home. I heard his door close as I jumped off my bed and marched towards his room. Still feeling put out I went straight in uninvited. He was just toeing off his sneakers and taking off his jacket which was thrown on the bed.

"Hey." I said, leaning against his door frame.

"Hi, what's up with you, you look like someone died!" He replied, chucking himself on his bed and switching on the TV.

"Can you mute that?"

He did as I asked and then turned to face me. "Whats up?"

"Whats up? I'll tell you what's up. We're the same age and it seems like you're allowed to do what you want and as soon as I want to do anything it's no, no, no!"

"Whoa, are you having a go at me about this...and what's this all about?"

"I wanted to go to… no actually I was invited to a Party, with Hunter and a few of his friends and can you believe I'm not allowed to go, it fucking sucks!"

"Mum right?" he asked smiling.

"What's so funny, my life is shit here, I had more freedom at Greenstone!"

"Ahh now come on, you and I both know that's not true, stop acting like a spoilt bitch."

"I'm not, I just wanna do what normal people do at our age and I just get wrapped in cotton wool like I'm some fragile toy."

"I think you're being a bit dramatic, you're always out, and Mum and Dad never say anything as far as I've seen. Besides…"

"Besides what?" I asked, defensively.

"Well Bro, we've all noticed how much of a hold that guy has on you. He says jump and you say how high."

"Bullshit, I'm still me… everyone seems to think I've changed. That's all I ever hear. I hear it here, at school, Mum, Dad, you, Teachers."

"And what does that tell you?"

"That they're all nosy and need to stay out of my business!"

"Well if you want my opinion, which you're getting anyway. The Jensen three months ago would have never uttered your last comment, so I'd say people have a point. And besides, people, despite what you might think actually ca…"

"Care about me, yeah I keep hearing that too like I'm some kind of glass waiting to be shattered into pieces."

Steven sighed. "What time's your stupid party?"

"Why, I can't go anyway, does it matter?"

"Just shut the fuck up and answer my question!"

"Starts at eight, why?"

Steven didn't answer, instead choosing to pick up his cell phone from his bedside table, pulling the charging wire out and pressing a button.

"Hey Jessie, what are you up to tonight? Great… naa nothing, listen you fancy a sleep over? No not at mine at yours… yeah cool, I'll bring coke and snacks. Cool, yeah I know last minute but hey, i'm a spontaneous guy... yeah… yeah i know, naa its cool. Yeah I'll bring FIFA. Cool see you then."

Steven got off his bed and walked past me, heading downstairs. I followed, curious.

"Mum, Jessie has invited me for a sleep over tonight, I'm taking moody loon with me, that ok?"

"Does his mother know?" Mum asked, folding her arms and giving Steven a stern look.

"Of course. But I need to raid the fridge, I need to take snacks and drink."

"Ok, but no misbehaving, I don't want to hear from Jessie's Mum you were all acting up."

"Yeah, yeah, message received."

Steven walked past me again and I followed him back upstairs into his room.

"Listen, I appreciate the gesture Stevie but I'd rather stay here. I can't shake this mood and I don't think I'll be much company."

"You're so thick sometimes Stibbings. You're not going to Jessie's, I am."

"So where am I going?"

"Jesus he just gets dumber" Steven muttered to himself. "I thought you had a party to go to."

"So you're going to Jessie's for the night so that…"

"Yeah, so that you can go to your party. You're welcome! But you gotta be back at Jessie's when the party finishes so we arrive back home together in the morning right?"

I nodded. "Yeah, yeah of course. Thanks Stevie, you're the best."

"Fuck Jensen what are you wearing?" you cant go downstairs like that, you're going to Jessie's not a fucking party!" Steven hissed. "Throw a pair of trackies on and a sweater, and take your stuff in a bag to change in to!"

"Shit, yeah, you're right." I said, having done myself up.

I got changed into something more casual while Steven collected his overnight bag from the top of his closet and started packing his XBOX and games inside it. I on the other hand had gone back to my room and tried my best to put my party clothes in a bag without creasing them and zipped it up. Moments later Steven appeared in my room.

"You ready shithead?"

"Yeah, just packing some cologne."

"Right, let's go, the bus will be arriving in about ten minutes!"

We both arrived downstairs and I tried to put on my best casual face. I felt pretty bad lying to Mum and Dad but was also still pissed that I hadn't been allowed to go to the party of my own free will. I tried my best not to let it show, or to give Mum another reason to stop me going with Steven.

We both walked into the lounge where Mum and Dad were watching some comedy on TV and Steven announced we were leaving.

"Text me when you get there Mum said to us both."

"I'll text Mum," Steven announced. "No point us both texting."

"Hmm, well ok, Have you got bus money?"

"Naa it's ok my card's topped up and I'll give Jensen his when we get on."

"Have a good time Boys," Dad said, not taking his eyes off the TV.

With that we headed for the door slinging our coats on and went outside into the cold winter night and headed for the bus stop. Our walk was brisk as we only had mere minutes to get there before the bus arrived. Just as we got there we could see it in the distance and Steven gave me some coins

"Do you even know where this place is?" Steven asked. Turning to me before flagging the bus down.

"Yeah, well as I was under the impression it wasn't going to be a problem with me going Hunter had put the directions into my google maps so I have to take this bus to a place called Knights Green and then it's like a 5 minute walk."

We got on the bus as it came to a stop and Steven buzzed his pass and I asked for a ticket to Knights Green. We walked right to the back and sat down with Steven putting his feet up on the seats opposite. I did the same."

"Getting quite the little rebel aren't you?" Steven remarked, eyeing my feet on the seats. I just grunted. "So you stay on four stops after me and that will be where you need to get off, ok?"

"Yeah, got it."

"And remember, the last bus back to where Jessie lives is one fifteen. Miss that and we're both fucked."

"I'll be on it, no sweat."

Steven chucked. "No sweat? Not only a rebel, learning new un-Jensen words now, I like it."

The bus ride was about fifteen minutes before Steven rang the bell to get off. We bumped fists and he left me to watch him walk away from the window while the bus pulled away and carried on its route.

Off the bus I found a dark alley and slipped down it. Shivering like crazy, I changed into my nicer clothes before finding a shop window to look at how bad the creases were in my gear. It looked ok and with a quick adjustment of my hair in the glass and a pull down on my black Armani shirt I pulled out my phone, pulling up the rest of the directions needed to get to this party.

I had contemplated letting Hunter know I was coming but decided instead to surprise him as I thought that was a kind of cool thing to do.

"Hmm, sixty seven… Sixty five." I muttered to myself switching between my phone and the house numbers as I walked down a road called Treadmore Lane. I needed number forty one, so quickened my pace as the cold weather was biting at my skin, seeing as I had worn my lighter evening jacket.

I got to the house it said on my phone and felt a bit underwhelmed. From the parties I saw on TV shows I expected flashing lights and the bass of music thumping.

But there was nothing.

Just a couple of guys standing outside smoking what I now knew was weed judging by the smell that was wafting my way.

I approached the two guys and smiled causing them to stop their conversation. They looked a couple of years older than me, maybe eighteen at a push.

"Uh, Hi, I'm Jensen, I was told there was a party. Actually I mean, my boyfriend is here and he said that…"

The guy on the right looked at me, kinda glazed. "What's his name?"

"Hunter," I said, trying to keep the guy's concentration. "Is he here?"

"Boyfriend you say? With Hunter?"

"Just go in mate, and help yourself to a drink. This is my gaff… and party," said the guy on the left.

"Oh, well nice to meet you,"

"Yeah thanks, here you want some?"

The guy passed me his joint and I took it thinking it was the polite thing to do. "Thanks," I said, taking some in and trying not to cough like some amateur.

"Name's Jet, You're Jensen you say," he asked, taking the joint out of my hand. "Ain't you the one people call Puppy?"

"Uh well most people do, but Jensen is fine, Puppy is my nickname."

"That's good, I wouldn't want that on my birth certificate," said the other guy out of the blue. I turned as he smiled at me. He looked totally somewhere else.

"Don't mind Ben there, he's high," Jet said, as they both started giggling. "Anyway, go, enjoy the party, I'm sure Hunter is in there somewhere," he said, winking at me.

I passed through the middle of them and pushed on the door which was ajar and walked into a hallway. The air was thick with smoke from various sources and it hung around chest height with a dim light bulb hanging from the ceiling struggling to light the area.

I walked on and followed the sound of music that was not really loud, just kind of background, and over that I could hear quite a few people talking and laughing. I assumed that's where the 'party' was mainly focused. Up ahead was what looked like a kitchen area with quite a few people standing around tipping back bottles of some sort of beer, quietly talking. I turned left into what I found out quickly was the lounge.

There must have been around twenty five people in there. Some standing, some filling the sofas and some either sitting or laying on the floor. I darted my eyes around the room and that's when I saw it.

A bare chested Hunter, looking pretty chilled, sitting next to a young guy! Not only sitting with him but with that guy's fucking hand down Hunter's trousers, them both just smiling stupidly at each other.

I just stood there, not knowing what to do. Did I leave, did I run, did I confront him, did I punch the guy… did I even punch Hunter. Or did I do what I really felt like doing as my emotions took over and that was to burst into tears.

What I settled on was a rather loud, "What the fuck!"

Hunter, instantly recognising my voice it seemed quickly turned to meet my screwed up face and flew out of the seat, leaving the guy who was helping himself to wonder what was going on.

"What are you doing here?" I thought you weren't allowed to come tonight.

"Just leaving actually. I thought I'd surprise you. Looks like I did. His hand nice down there was it, you fuck?!"

"Look it's not what it looked like, he was just curious, I was boasting and well you know…"

I nodded slowly. "It's funny Hunter. Something you said in your bedroom a few days ago. You said 'I'm a user'? Well right now I feel like the biggest fool"

"Ahh come on, don't be like this, it's nothing. I mean you're my boyfriend right, and you love me right?"

Just at that moment the guy who three minutes ago had his hands down my boyfriend's pants came over, looking worse for wear.

"Hey, I'm Sam, man you look pissed! I'm sorry, it's all my fault"

"Do you two know each other?" I asked.

The guy… Sam, just giggled. "Well we sort of do now."

"Hey Sam, shut up, you're mashed," Hunter said, pushing him back towards the sofa

I was about to continue berating my sort of unfaithful boyfriend when some other guy appears next to us holding a rubber tube and what looked to be a needle similar to what Dr Listern had in his medical room at Greenstone,

"Hunts, you wanna nother hit?"

Hunter looked at me, concerned, which was unlike him because he gave a shit about nothing. "Brad, not now yeah?"

"Brad?" I asked, staring at Hunter intently, frowning. "And what does Brad offer out? Why the needle, and what's that pipe he's got?"

Hunter rolled his eyes and sighed. "Look. I'm a little fucked up at the moment and you standing here having a bust up with me aint doing either of us any favours. So are you going or staying?"

"What? You're actually inviting me to leave after inviting me here?"

"Well you said you couldn't fucking come didn't you?" he shouted at me. Bizarrely no one in the room even looked up.

"Do you want me to stay?"

"I dunno man, can we just not argue, I was trying to relax and enjoy the music."

"With another guy's hands down your pants. Are you sure it was the music you were enjoying."

"Fuck Jenson, you don't own me you know. Is being your boyfriend not enough for you, now you wanna tell me who I talk to and get all shitty over a stupid prank."

I walked out of the room and into the kitchen, leaving Hunter standing there. Or whatever he did once I left the room. Who the fuck was I just talking to. This wasn't my Hunter, not the Hunter that I walked to school with. The Hunter who kissed me real gently on the lips and stroked my hair while looking into my eyes.

Angry, I barged past two guys and found a bottle of beer on the counter and proceeded to drink as much of it as I could without gagging and slammed it back down.

"Looks like you needed that" came a voice I'd recently heard. It was Brad… I think.

"You know Hunter?" I asked, looking at him frowning?

"I know his brother better. What's your name kid?"

"Pup… Jensen" I looked down and saw he was still holding this pipe.

"Bad night?" He asked, his voice slow and lazy.

"I've had better. What is that you got there anyway?"

Brad smiled. "If you're asking that question it's probably better you don't know."

"I wanna know, and right now I wanna have fun. If it's fun I wanna know what it is!"

Brad took my hand and led me out of the kitchen and upstairs. "In here," he said, taking me into a bedroom. On the bed was another person breathing heavily, his eyes wide and he looked like he was somewhere else. I didn't ask.

"Why are we in here," I asked. Not really scared, but uneasy.

"Lay down," was all he said.

"What next to him?"

"That's Adam, he's a Puppy, just lay down." I sniggered at the irony. "You really wanna do this?"

"Brad, this may be kinda cryptic, but tonight I just wanna live a little."

Brad sighed. I got on the bed and laid down. "Take off your shirt."

"What? No! I have a boyfriend, I'm not into any of that."

"It's not 'any of that'" Brad said chuckling. I just need access to your upper arm.

I paused for a moment wondering what was gonna happen but I was so angry right now I was in a headspace where I didn't care so I did as he asked and removed my shirt.

"So what's gonna happen? Is this gonna be like, painful or something?"

"Just a scratch, but you should feel the effects straight after. I'm just going to give you a little bit as you've never done this before and at first you may have the urge to cough, just go with it."

"Whatever, let's do this," I said, trying to relax my body, while wondering if Hunter's penis was being manhandled again. A thought that made me even more determined to do this. Was it for me? Was it to show him I was angry? Was it revenge? Or did I just not care?

Brad took the rubber pipe and tied it tightly around my upper arm and then proceeded to take a needle from within his belt and took off the top.


I shrugged, before nodding as I felt the needle pierce my upper arm. For the first few seconds I wondered what had actually happened as I felt nothing and then…

I shot up into a seated position. A rush of pure joy ripped through me as I coughed a few times. I felt my heart race. I felt a surge of energy like I'd never had before. I wanted to run a marathon. Brad sat with me as My head crashed back down onto the pillow and I just felt this uncontrollable urge to grin. I felt red hot inside like a lava flow was trying to bust it's way out of me. I felt sexual, like an animal on heat. So many good feelings, so many different experiences. I began to sweat and my body temperature rose. I wanted to… well i don't know, but whatever I had just had made me feel so alive it was truly amazing. I began to twitch and take deep breaths as the substance consumed me. Brad's voice became distant as he spoke to me and I just lay there in a stupor.

"Brad, what the fuck was you thinking," I vaughy heard. Did I ask that? No, it was someone else. Hunter?

"Baby, you gotta listen to me yeah. I want you to lay still and see this out. As much as you want to, do not move from this bed. Brad you fucking idiot!"

"I'm cool," I said, smiling at Hunter.

"Brad get Adam out of here, I need to stay with Puppy!"


"Brad for fuck sake just get Adam out of here. Jesus what a fucking shitshow, this is the fucking icing on the cake tonight."

"I wanna go for a walk," I said, getting up. Hunter pushed me down and stroked my hair. "Hmm i like it when you do that," I said, this constant grin just not leaving my face.

I saw Hunter put his head in his hands and then look at me. "Shit Puppy, what the hell have you done?"

"I was angry at you, I wanted to feel good. Brad made it seem like this was… well actually i'm not blaming him, this was all me.

"Your parents are actually gonna kill me"

"They don't need to know, do they?"

"Puppy, this could last six to eight hours! Do they even know you're here?"

"Just Steven, I gotta get the one fifteen bus back to Jessie's"

Hunter shook his head. Uh-uh, no way you are leaving this house with that inside you. You and me are…"

"But I promised"

"Listen, shut up for a minute and listen. Listen to me very carefully. Me and you are going to stay on this bed, and I'm gonna take care of you. Whatever you feel now will wear off but Puppy you got to do exactly what I tell you. You're going to want to do things, leave this room and be outside. It's just the drug, but you need to stay in the warm and I'm gonna be right here ok. If you wanna be sick let me know or if you have any bad thoughts just let me know"

"I want you… I want you to fuck me, God I feel so great, Will you do it to me?"

"Puppy, no! Just lay there...look come here let me cuddle you."

"Take your clothes off, I wanna feel you...all of you. Man, I feel so horny!

I opened my eyes not knowing where I was for a moment. Hunter was cradled in my arms, as I looked around the room with only a dim moon shining through the bare windows. I felt like shit, was drenched in sweat and had a baging headache.

I nudged Hunter causing him to stir. "Huh… what is it?" he asked groggy.

"Where the fuck are we? Are we still at this house?"


"Hunter, wake up. What's the time?"

Hunter uncoupled himself from me and reached into his pocket pulling out his phone. "It's ten past four"

"FUCK!" I yelled, diving up. Grabbing my throbbing head. "Steven… I was supposed to be back at Jessie's. I am so dead!"

"It's fine, I called him on your phone, as long as you're back by eight in the morning your parents will be none the wiser."

"You called him?"

"Well yeah I had to to save your fucking skin. Me and you need to have serious words."

I sat up and looked at Hunter, just making out his facial expression. His eyes were open. "You think you need to talk to me, I think it's the other way round, don't you?"

"If you mean Sam, I'm sorry I was pretty stoned and drunk. It was nothing. But you on the other hand thought it would be a good idea to put that filth in your body having never done it before, and without me to watch over you! You're lucky I found you, idiot. I sometimes wonder who the fuck you've become!

His last comment enraged me and I got up off the bed and searched around for my phone and shoes. "I'm going!"

"Huh… going where at this hour."

"I just need to go, I'll walk home."

"Are you fucking crazy, Puppy?"

"Maybe, but I can't stay here. I feel awful, scared and I'm not thinking right."

"I had to get Brad to give you two Zopiclone to knock you out, it's probably that, Look come here… come lay with me and get some sleep, You'll feel better for it."

"I can't, I need to leave."

"I said lay the fuck down, Puppy, i'm not asking!" Hunter jumped off the bed and grabbed me by the neck and pushed me onto the bed. "You fucking stay there until morning, i'm not dealing with your shit right now, you're still out of it, I'm tired and...and i've just about had it with having to babysit you!"

"You fucking hurt me, you've left marks on my neck!"

"Because you're acting up, and I'm not awake enough to hold your hand while you storm back home."

"I can go on my own."

"Oh, I can go on my own," he mimicked.

"Why are you being like this?" I asked.

"Because you're a fucking handful, and lately it's becoming a chore."


"You know what, about Sam. I let him do that because I'm bored, Jensen. Ok?"


"Yeah, I'm fucking bored of this, us, you!"

A tear ran down my cheek as those words came out of his mouth. I was fucking angry too as I picked up a photo frame and threw it at his head. He dodged it as it crashed into the wall and shattered. Having got my shoes on already I bolted for the door and ran downstairs.

There were people passed out all over the place as I stepped over them and headed for the front door. I could hear Hunter coming down the stairs. Maybe to apologise or maybe to hit me. I just opened the door and ran as fast as my body would allow.

With my head throbbing and my balance all over the place I zig-zagged up the street to an ally and ran down it, chucking myself against the wall of a house, panting like crazy. As silently as I could I let out a sob while pulling my phone from my pocket.

I dialled Steven. No answer! I sobbed more uncontrollably this time as I scrolled through to Dad's number. I paused just looking at the number. But then the screen changed and it was Steven calling.

"Jensen it's four thirty, what the fuck?" he whispered angrily.

"Stevie. Everything is a mess and I've really fucked up. Brother, I need you. I have no money and I'm not sure wha…"

"I'm sending an Uber! Stay where you are." he cut in. "I'm coming!"

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead