I Want to Know What Love Is

by James Matthews

Chapter 4


I'd never been to Jessie's house before and I pleaded with Steven for us both to go home, but was refused several times due to the state I was in. This 'state' was confirmed as Jessie and Steven helped me down to the basement where Jessie's 'Lounge' bedroom was, with his real bedroom being upstairs like would normally be the case I was told. The room was massive which was basically the whole of the underground foundation of the house above.

"Welcome to my den" Jessie said as he guided me to a large soft sofa and I fell into it. Jessie went back upstairs and closed the door. "Don't worry, my parents can't hear anything from up there. Man you look like death, what happened?"

At first I didn't answer, I just looked at Steven who had a face on him that could have lunged and hit me at any moment. "Where's your shirt? Where is your Jacket and your bag… and what the FUCK have you been on?"

I burst into tears in front of them both and it was a real sobbing episode. I just cried and cried to the point where I could hardly speak.

"It..it...it was the worst… it was the worst night of.. of my life," I eventually uttered out in an uncontrollable stupor.

"Did he hurt you… if he hurt you I'll fucking kill him?" Steven spat out with anger so raging within him that saliva flew from his mouth,

"This guy… Brad, well he said I should take something to make the sadness go away but it all went wrong and Hunter and me had a massive argument."

"Jensen, you have marks on your neck. Who did this?" Jessie asked, as Steven stood there shaking with rage.

"Uh, well Hunter was trying to get me to go to sleep to make me feel better but I wanted to leave and he grabbed me. I don't think he meant it, but after, I dunno why and when, he said he was bored of me and it was because of the way i've been and the state i got into. I dunno why he said those things, we'd been fine just hours earlier."

"Steven looked at Jessie, and Jessie went and sat down putting his arm around me. "Jensen, you're safe here with me and your brother, But can you tell us what you took? Did you swallow something this Brad guy gave you… or snort something?

I looked at Jessie, kind of confused. "You mean like a tablet? No, I got injected with something."

Steven covered with his hands over his face, tipped his head back and walked away. I carried on.

"Brad tied this rubber pipe round my arm and said hold still I think, and then I felt a needle go in, after a few seconds I coughed quite a bit and had to catch my breath, then… well, I just totally… well it was nice for a while and then it just all fell apart.

Steven started to pace Jessie's basement, his fists clenched. Jessie got up and took him over to the other end of the room.

"Meth?" I just about heard Jessie whisper to Steven. I saw Steven nod.

They both came back over and sat on either side of me. Steven pulled me into a hug and I cried again probably because I actually craved a hug right at that moment feeling raw and lost.

"Bro, that fuck injected you with crystal meth."

"Is that bad?"

"Puppy, it's about as bad as it gets, barring Heroin." Steven announced, appearing a little calmer.

"Jensen, Did Hunter know about this?" Jessie asked.

I shook my head. "I left him in the lounge and this Brad guy took me upstairs. It was my own fault I guess. I was angry with him and wanted to escape, and this guy said this injection would make me feel better, which it did for a while and then after I woke up Hunter just lost it with me because I wanted to leave. I just feel cheap"

"Cheap?" Steven asked, his expression curious.

"Yeah, when I was on this… what did you call it, meth? Well yeah, when I was on this meth stuff I just kept asking him for sex, I wanted him to fuc…"

"Uh Jensen, you can spare us the details, yeah?" Jessie cut me off shaking his head. Steven didn't seem to care, as I expected. Maybe I should have taken Jessie's presence into consideration at that point, but I was so used to telling Steven everything and he never minded me blabbering about stuff. "Listen guys it's gone five in the morning. I'm gonna head up to my bedroom upstairs. I'll leave you guys to talk. I think you should as a family, yeah?"

"Thanks Pal," Steven said smiling.

"Just pull out the sofa there Stevie. You know where the blankets are."

Jessie headed upstairs and left Steven and me sitting on the sofa. I heard the door close and Steven got up and walked over to a large closet and pulled down two pillows and a few blankets.

"We should get some more sleep. Help me pull this sofa out to make up the bed."

I got up and followed what Steven did as we both grabbed the corner of the sofa and it sprung out making a comfortable looking bed. Steven laid out one blanket on the base mattress and threw me a pillow,

"We'll talk more in the morning, I'm beat." Steven announced starting to strip down to his boxers. I did the same and we both climbed on to the bed. I placed my pillow down as Steven pulled a double layer of blankets over us.

"Stevie?" I whispered.

"Apology accepted and yeah, I know, and you're welcome," was all he replied. Probably a fitting statement anyway.

I woke up and thought it was moning, but after digging out my phone from my jeans pocket I'd been asleep for thirty fucking minutes. My mind raced as I lay there, Feeling so tired, but also had a kind of buzzy feeling. I turned over to see Steven laying on his back breathing peacefully. I'd put him through a lot tonight and he must have been really knackered.

"Steven?" I whispered. "You awake?"

"Huh, whats up?" he said dreamily. "It's early. More sleep Puppy!"

"Uh.. I just wondered… can I cuddle you?"

"Do what you want, just try and get some sleep!"

I shuffled up and lay my arm over his bare chest, already feeling safe and content. Steven turned on to his side and placed his arm around me so we were facing each other. I smiled feeling kinda loved once again, And then something strange came over me. Was it loneliness? Probably not. Was it confusion? Possibly. Was it opportunistic? No, that's not me but I just had… yeah that was it. It was an urge… a feeling of being compelled.

Ever so gently I moved my head closer to him so I could feel his breath on my face. It was enjoyable feeling his used exhaled air that wash over my face. It smelt of nothing unpleasant, just fresh and… so him. I felt electrified for just a moment as I lay there feeling part of his essence blow across my face every few seconds. I studied his face in the barely visible light, noticing how his dark hair complimented his almost olive skin. Then I was snapped back into the room as Steven suddenly opened his eyes and I stared into them.

"This ain't happening," he barely whispered.

I moved closer, shaking, scared and curious. "Stevie?"

"No, stop this, I know what you're gonna do and it ain't happening! I'm straight! We gotta live together, my parents are your parents, I like girls ok?" He said forcefully.

I found his choice and order of words both odd and confusing.

I moved my mouth towards his and he ever so slightly moved his head away but strangely not as fast as I was moving mine towards him. He looked terrified. He could have easily jumped out of bed, punched me in the face or pushed me away. The expression on his face suggested any one of those scenarios was about to happen, but as these thoughts went through my mind, before long, and surprisingly, I ever so gently placed my lips on his.

The moment it happened, In my head I was begging him to pull away but he just lay there frozen. So I pulled away instead, knowing it was wrong and with mere centimetres between our faces we just stared at each other,

"Im… uh, i'm sorry. That was out of order from me, I just needed contact. I really shouldn't have done that"

"Puppy, i'm straight. Whatever you feel for me, it's just…"

"Just what?" I whispered. I stroked his hair…I dunno why, but he let me, and there was a kind of submission in his demeanor I felt.

Steven closed his eyes briefly, swallowed pretty hard and sighed before opening them again. Next thing I realised was him grabbing my head in his hands and pulling me in close to him. Once again I could feel his breath on my face. Now it was him who seemed to be shaking this time.

I don't know what my brain was thinking or what compelled me but a strange confidence started to grow, along with a kind of scared self dare. Whether it was an urge again, or a strange excitement or something else but it was a powerful feeling, but I slowly ran my hand down his chest all the way to the top of his boxers.

"What are you doing Puppy, this is not happening, it's wrong and you know it!"

"Then push me away," I said as I went lower with my hand. I didn't know what to expect when I got to the middle of his boxers, but my hand was lightly touching the material, nothing else."


"Tell me to stop!"


I pushed my hand into his boxers and what I felt was... an erection. Steven brushed my hand away and shifted once more unto his back and took in a deep breath.

"You're hard," I whispered. "Why?"

"Just go to sleep, we need to sleep, Puppy!"

I was about to agree with him thinking what just happened was indeed wrong but then he grabbed my head and kissed me hard on the lips, letting out a quiet muffled yelp. It was just lips until I tried to push my tongue in and to my surprise he did the same and the lip kiss became a full on passionate… well whatever it was.

Steven pulled away and sat up abruptly. "Is it out of your system now?" he asked, looking like a scared animal.

"I...I wanna make you cum," I blurted out in a whisper.

"No way, Jensen, this is so wrong... I"

I grabbed his still hard penis through his boxers and started to jerk him through the material.

"Tell me to stop… just please tell me to…"


I never finished my full request when I felt a wet load of cum soak his boxers and cover my fingers. Without a word he got up, and went upstairs leaving me in... 'no man's land', as Dr Listen used to call it.

I had so many thoughts, so many regrets, The whole night, kissing my step brother, making him cum. Him kissing me, getting meth'd, the bust up with Hunter, him telling me he's bored of me, Jessie letting me stay here, Me wondering where my bag of clothes was, my jacket, What Mum and Dad might ask when we get home, what am I gonna say… uuggghh, my fucking brain! Why wont my fucking brain just leave me alone for a fucking minute?!

I lay back down and tried to calm my screaming head which was coming down from an adrenaline rush. As I turned over to my side I heard the door being shut from the top of the stairs. I turned over to see Steven coming back down. I immediately saw a large wet patch in the middle of his boxers, assuming he'd cleaned up and splashed water over the area. He got straight back into bed without saying a word and turned away from me,

"Uh… are… are you ok?"

"What do you think?" he said, still facing away from me. "I hope whatever that was is now out of your system."

"I'm sorry, I was confused and… and yeah it was really wrong. I don't know what to say, Only that, well, really we're not actually related and…"

Steven quickly flipped over to face me. "It's not about being not related, it's about whatever THAT was!" He hissed, "I'm straight and you took advantage of…"

"Of what?" I cut in. "You kissed me, you were hard. Why? You tell me!"

"It was a mistake, I just wanted you to get whatever it was you wanted done and out of the way, It happened, It won't happen again and I don't wanna talk about it anymore."

"So that's it?" I asked, sitting up, looking at him.

"Well what more do you want me to say? Just being honest here, but this has been building since you arrived.

"Huh?" I creased my head, my tone innocent.

"The way you look at me! The way you watch when I get undressed.... Oh and not to mention your little revelation months ago when you said you had feelings for me. Well now you've had me, how does it feel, because I feel violated!"

"You have got to be kidding me! Violated. Says the guy who fucking kissed me like he was on heat"

"It was for you, not me. You wanted it, I gave it. It's as simple as that."

I looked down at no particular spot on the bed, thinking. "So do you hate me?"

Steven lay silent for what seemed like ages. "No, I just wish that had not happened."

"But you blame me?"

"Fuck Puppy, can we just leave it as a blip or something like that. I dunno why I did what I did, I dunno why you did what you did, but we both did something that was not right."

"Ok, ok, we'll leave it alone then."

"Good! Now go to sleep!"

I did manage to get some sleep as I became aware of Steven stirring. I opened my eyes and turned over to see him lying there staring at the ceiling. I still felt deprived of sleep but there was no chance I was going to try and get any more sleep. I just wanted this new day to start and put the previous one behind me.

I yawned. "What time is it?"

"I'm just checking. "Hmm, it's Seven, just past actually."

"I really need to go home." I announced getting out of the makeshift bed.

"Not without me you're not, and I want at least another 2 hours of sleep after you kept me up half the night."

"Well I'll leave you to it, I can just say I woke up early and left you at Jessie's."

"Fuck sake!" Steven blurted, throwing himself out of bed and putting his socks on.

"What have I done now?"

"You fucking ruined my night, denied me of any decent sleep, took a fucking major bad drug, Fucked up things with your boyfriend… which actually, after last night might not be a bad thing, and now you demand to go home. Great, yeah let's do what Jensen wants because he's managed to be the centre of attention for the last twelve hours."

"That's not nice. I just want to be at home. I feel grubby, I want a shower, I want to brush my teeth and I want to be in my own surroundings. It's been a traumatic fucked up night, I agree."

"So get dressed and we'll go." Was all he said before starting to gather the blankets up exposing me to the chilly air.

Steven mentioned he'd texted Jessie and thanked him for everything, and we crept upstairs as quietly as possible, doing our best not to wake Jessie or his parents. I stood and watched as Steven shut the front door as slowly as possible, clenching his teeth as the catch clicked shut.

We began our walk to the bus stop and waited in the freezing cold having looked at the ticker board saying five minutes until the next bus would arrive.

"Here," Steven said, passing me his coat. "Put it on, you look like you're about to get frostbite.

"But what about you?"

"I don't really feel the cold. Call it all those football games I played in the rain and snow."

I lightly smiled. "Thanks."

The bus arrived two minutes early, much to the delight of us both as we clambered on, immediately enjoying the warm air that was gushing out of the vents scattered all over the bus. As usual Steven went to the back and slumped himself in a seat looking pretty miserable.

"Sorry I ruined your night," I said, sitting down next to him.

"Whatever, what's done is done." Just maybe next time think twice before you let a total stranger stick things into you, and I'm not talking dick!"

"If it's any consolation, I think I had the worst experience and night like ever in my whole life."

"You do things too fast Puppy, you need to slow down. You're an emotional Greyhound. You want love, sex, experiences and life to swallow you up and be there all at once. And look where it's got you."

I huffed. Steven was right, I had some serious thinking to do. Last night really was the worst experience I had ever had and it was not something I ever thought possible when I left with Steven that evening.

"So?" Steven grunted, looking right at me.

"So what?" I replied, confused with his one word question.

"What's in the crystal ball with Hunter?"

I clenched the bridge of my nose and looked out of the window away from Steven. "Who knows?"

"After what he said… what he did, you're surely not going to forgive and go back with him are you?"

"Look, I know you like to live your relationships hard and fast but I'm in deep with him Steven. Losing him would be so gutting… and yeah I get what he did with that guy AND what he did to me was wrong on so many levels but all couples argue right?"

"Jesus, if you could hear yourself, Puppy. Yes of course couples argue. But couples, if they love each other don't let other people stick their hands down their pants and don't leave bruise marks over their neck. And anyway, didn't he say he was bored of you? Sounds to me like he's already ended what you had whether you like it or not."

"Thanks Steven, as usual your bluntness really does do wonders for cheering someone up."

"Well, just keep him away from me. As much as you've pissed me off, knowing that he caused those bruises makes me want to knock the shit out of him for that."

"And I think mentally that would really finish me off so can you not do that please and let me handle Hunter."

"Oh Puppy, the guy has made his feelings clear verbally and physically," Steven announced, pointing at my neck. "Just tell him to fuck off. There are plenty of other guys at school you could take dick from, I dunno why you're so obsessed with that bully."

"Plenty of other guys. Oh yeah, so we have Hunter, who you've labeled a serial killer, and then there is your friend Mr Clingy and bitchy Drama Dave. Who else is there? Gay guys are hardly signing up for the annual school dogging event!"

"Doggin? Where the hell did you learn about that? Oh don't tell me?!"

"Yeah, Hunter said he went to one once and filled me in."

"Why am I not surprised? The guy is a creep and a slut." Steven then laughed. "Yet another one you were head over heels in love with after three hours. You do know how to pick'em!"

"Oh be quiet!" I hissed, folding my arms and huffing.

"It's our stop next. Anyway, why do you NEED a boyfriend. Like I said, what's wrong with being single. Just live a little, enjoy your life. At least when you're single you can go at your own pace and do your own...whoops, ring the bell will you? Yeah and do your own thing, without having to worry about someone else? Hold that thought, come on, we're getting off"

We both walked up the driveway to the front door of our house both looking tired, me looking a wreck. It was still really early, and a Sunday, so with the same care Steven took to close Jessie's door as we left, the same concentrated and quiet system was used by Steven to open our own front door.

As we walked in Dad was standing in the hallway looking like he was about to explode.

"Sorry, did we wake you," Steven asked, looking sheepish.

"Kitchen now, both of you!"

"Huh? What for, sorry it's early but we left Jessie's because…"


We both put our heads down and scurried into the kitchen, immediately seeing Mum leaning against the cooker, her arms folded looking equally enraged."

"Good night, Puppy?" She asked, a hint of sarcasm in her voice. "And how was your night with Puppy and Jessie Steven?" came her next question.

"Ok," Steven said, quietly.

"Hmm, funny that."

"What do you mean?" Asked Steven. I stayed quiet. Something had gone very wrong I was starting to feel.

"Well Puppy, You didn't answer me! Was it a good night?"

"Uh, yeah I guess." I replied, looking at the floor.

"So, shall I tell you how mine and your father's night was?"

"Good movie?" Steven asked, trying to diffuse something.

"Well our night was fine, great, absolutely dandy. We had a nice dinner together and then we watched TV and then we went to bed."

"Ok, so why are you acting like we robbed a bank or something?" Again, Steven did the talking.

"Because my dear sweet Sons, at four am we had a paralytic Hunter banging on our door screaming at the top of his voice for Puppy."

"Para what?" I asked, suddenly alert at her statement.

"It means really drunk dufus!" Steven blurted.

"So I will ask one more time boys, was it a good night?"

"Mum, I dunno what to say, but…"

"Puppy don't even start to insult my intelligence. I know everything. And you Steven... you, I am really disappointed!"

"ME?" Steven Shouted.

"Wanna explain to us Puppy?" Dad asked, walking over and standing next to mum as Steven and I just looked at the floor shuffling our feet around.

Mum took over again.

"So if you are going to stand there and lie to me, Puppy Stibbings, then go ahead, I can't wait for the story. Or maybe you don't remember your night at all, I might assume? Well let me toss some words at you that might jog your memory. So, what do we have on the agenda, hmm? So let's start with Crystal Meth! Then maybe a couple of fights, chuck in a few lies, Then an out of control drunk sixteen year old banging our door down, a drugged up Son out in the street in the middle of the night. Ring any bells? And then Steven how about you? More lies, cover ups, Ubers on Dads account? Well?"

We both looked at each other. Was Steven going to throw me under a bus? Would I throw him under the bus, or would we protect each other like brothers would. OR would we just come clean.

I couldn't help myself and spoke first.

"Mum, Dad. In the style of Steven here goes. You said I couldn't go to that party with Hunter, so I got Steven to lie for me and said I was going to Jessie's. Instead I went to the party and I caught Hunter with someone else because he wasn't expecting me to turn up. We had a massive bust up and then some guy I didn't know told me I should take this stuff which had to be injected. I'd been used to injections at Greenstone all the time so I didn't think and just let him do it. I didn't know what it was, but it happened and I'm sorry. I freaked out and called Steven to come and get me. That's why there is an Uber… well however you found out. Steven stayed with me all night to make sure I was ok. I didn't know Hunter would come looking for me as he said some really horrible things to me, such as he was bored of me. I assumed that would be it until I was planning to talk to him at school on Monday. Steven really didn't have anything to do with what I did. I'm sorry I lied. It was stupid and I regret doing it."

"Sorry because you got found out?" Dad said, frowning.

"No, I'm sorry because It really was the worst night and I do genuinely feel bad I went behind your backs, I just wanted to experience my first proper party since… well ever, and I was really upset I couldn't go, but… well anyway I wish I hadn't, it was a disaster,"

"Puppy, Let me be honest with you here, and I want you to listen very carefully. I don't know whats going on between you and this boy but he is bad news, He is rude, obnoxious and how dare he come to our house in that state and wake us and our neighbours. His language is disgusting and where on earth are his parents letting someone his age drink, do drugs… which he stunk of by the way... and also parents that should know he is out at that time of the night. I am so angry with you boys right now! And the lies… the deception! The life we give you… the freedom! You both want for nothing and what upsets me the most is the lies. We used to be a family who discussed everything and had no secrets and your father and I have to deal with two lying Sons, one that took drugs…. Not just drugs but hardcore injected drugs, and is fast getting out of control, with the added bonus of your boyfriend banging on our door. Tell me Puppy, Steven? Where did we go wrong?"

Steven and I just stood there silently. It was a damning yet truthful statement. I didn't know what to say, Sometimes I wonder how it got to this point where I was being shouted at by the usually calm and bubbly Susan. But not this morning, And Dad was frightening me more because he just looked defeated and regretful. Maybe he regretted ever finding me, the trouble I'd got myself into.

We both looked at Mum as she stood there staring at us, looking scruffy, our hair in a mess and probably looking like tramps from the street.

"Well," she huffed. "There are consequences for actions as you would expect! Steven! Grounded, 2 weeks. No XBOX, no phone after seven pm, no friends round and straight home from school. For every minute you are late after three forty five I'll add another week! Max?"

Dad sighed. "Puppy, grounded 3 weeks, no phone after seven pm, no tablet and no TV in the bedroom. You are not to see Hunter anymore and like your brother you walk from that school exit and home with no detours." Max demanded, his voice stern and forward, which was so unlike him.

"You can both keep your phones for school and until curfew time after which you bring them down and they go in the safe until morning. If you don't bring them down they will be collected from you and placed inside the log burner and you lose them forever. Do I make myself clear?" Mum asked. Almost shouting.

We both nodded and began to make our way upstairs when Dad called out.

Puppy, Take my keys to the BMW and go sit in it. I'm not finished with you!

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