by Victor Thomas

Chapter 1

October-November 2001

Just when everything seemed to be going just right, my whole world collapsed. I was in heaven, then suddenly hell. Brian and I woke up around ten the next morning, both of us completely naked in my bed. I remembered the events from the last night and was grateful we had managed to make it home in one piece. I'm never getting that drunk again, I swear.

We took a quick shower together to help us sober up, then went downstairs for breakfast. Mom was in the kitchen, so she made us pancakes. We sat at the kitchen table, ate, and talked. I could tell she really liked Brian. Of course, what was not to like? He was always polite and kind. Around my mom he was downright charming. I think she was about ready to adopt him! She was always going on about him when he wasn't there.

After breakfast, we went back to my room. We messed around on my computer for a while, mostly playing games, but also looking at boys on the internet, while we listened to a few CD's.

I gazed into his eyes. I was so in love with him. He was so beautiful. I got up for a moment and locked my door. I turned back to him and his eyes locked onto mine. I sat down beside him on the bed and drew him close. We hugged, and then kissed. We sank back onto my bed and made out for about half an hour. There was nothing more wonderful than being with him.

Finally, I came up for air.

"We'd better stop," I said, after we'd been going at it for a good, long time.

"You want to stop?" he asked mischievously.

"No," I said, smiling, "but we'd better anyway."

We both laughed and nuzzled our noses together. Being with him made me so happy. Even better, being with me made him happy.

After making out on my bed, we both needed to burn off some excess energy. My shorts were so tented in my excitement that we had to wait a few minutes before we could leave the room. I noticed that his shorts were tented just as much as mine. It made me want to push them down and drop to my knees in front of him! Instead, I grabbed a football and we headed outside. My house has a large backyard, so we tossed the ball back and forth and tried to run the ball past the other, like we were trying to score a touchdown.

We got really hot out there, even though it was a cool day, and soon we pulled off our shirts. That let him score on me even more. The sight of his bare chest, gleaming with sweat, distracted me more than I can describe. I couldn't keep my mind on the ball. I found myself gazing dreamily at his beautiful form instead.

"Scott!" my mom called me from the house.

"Just a second, Brian."

I ran up to the house, talked to mom, then quickly ran back.

"My parents are going to the mall, then a movie. They asked if we wanted to come, but I told them we'd just stay here. That's okay, isn't it? If it's not, we can still catch them."

He grinned.

"Yeah. I'd definitely rather be alone with you."

He suddenly grabbed the ball and dodged around me to the goal, then danced and waved his hands in the air.

"Hey! That one doesn't count!" I protested.

"But the next one will!"

He tossed me the ball and I tried running with it, but I couldn't seem to focus on the game. All I could really concentrate on was his lithe form. He put his arms around me to stop me from running and started running his hands over my bare chest. Talk about distraction!

After that, he'd stop every so often to run his hands over his bare chest or fondle the bulge in his shorts, all while leering at me. Once, he even bent over in front of me, rubbing his butt. Jesus! I renewed my efforts to ignore him and just concentrate on stopping him, but it was no use. He was getting really cocky. He had a smirk on his face that just wouldn't go away. After he scored on me yet again, he broke out in laughter.

I playfully grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground. The physical contact with his firm, sweaty body made me yearn to be alone with him as we had been yesterday, and a handful of times before that. I was still all worked up from making out with him earlier, and I didn't seem to be able to calm back down. We broke off our wrestling match before things went too far and the neighbors started to wonder about us. Anybody taking a good look at my bulging shorts would instantly know what I was thinking about!

I began pulling some of the same tricks on him. Now, I wasn't the only one distracted. I enjoyed his predicament, and the attention. It made me feel good about myself, knowing what was going through his mind as he looked at me.

After an hour we were both hot, sweaty and more than a little smelly. Our bodies were covered with mud and grass stains, streaked by the streams of sweat running down our torsos. We went inside and climbed the stairs to my room.

"Whew, I really need a shower," he said.

I looked at him and wrinkled my nose.

"Yeah, I'd say."

"Hey, you aren't exactly smelling like roses, either!"

I nodded toward the bathroom, and led him inside. We stripped, and climbed into the shower. The hot water felt so good as it beat down upon me. I probably should've been taking a cold shower, considering the way I was all heated up! I looked at Brian's naked body next to me. That sure didn't help me cool down any! I was in love with him, and the mere sight of him aroused me. Thinking how good he looked, with hot, steaming water pounding down on his young, hard body was almost more than I could take. My breath was coming fast and hard, and my heart pounded away like a jackhammer in my chest.

I lathered up his hair and ran the soapy washcloth all over his sweaty body, and he started doing the same to me. That certainly didn't help me calm down, it just aroused me more. The next thing I knew, he grabbed my hard cock and started jerking me off. Naturally, I did the same to him, and soon I had my hand on his butt and my fingers were playing with his hole. I was ready for a repeat of what we had done yesterday, and no doubt he was as well. I really needed to get off, but I also wanted to hold off until we were back in my bedroom where we could be more comfortable. I opted to just crank up the cold water. Sure enough, the frigid temperature had the desired effect. I turned the hot water back on and we both rinsed off and then dried each other off with a towel.

We didn't bother to even wrap a towel around our waists as I led him back to my bedroom, his hand on my butt the entire way. I started rummaging through my dresser for something for us to wear. He would have to borrow some of my clothes since his were all sweaty and dirty. I couldn't keep from running my eyes down his smooth, firm body, even though I knew it would drive me out of my mind with desire. I loved him and I desperately wanted him.

I forgot all about finding him something to wear and stepped toward him. I pulled him roughly toward me and kissed him. His lips tasted so sweet I wanted to devour him; I caressed his tongue with mine as we made love with our lips. I sighed with contentment and hugged him so hard I almost crushed him. I was totally, completely in love with him.

We were alone, the house was empty, and our hearts were pounding so hard we could actually hear them. We'd started something that couldn't be stopped. He pressed his hard, naked torso against mine. I could feel the muscles of his chest pressing into my own. He was so beautiful, the very essence of young manhood.

I pressed my lips to his and kissed him passionately again. It awoke within me a primal urge that couldn't be denied. I could've kissed him forever. I felt so safe, secure, and loved when I was in his arms. Our chests pressed hard against each other, and I ran my hands down his back, then lower still. We pressed ourselves against each other, enjoying the closeness, intimacy, and hardness.

Our lips parted and I pulled him to my bed. We lay down upon it, our lips meeting once more. Our hands sought out each other's bodies, and we began to express our love with actions the way we did so often with words. Being with him was a dream come true, more than that, he was my reason for living. Without him, I was lonely, miserable, an outsider to the world. With him, I was loved, happy, and whole.

Our lovemaking was the most beautiful thing in the world. It wasn't just sex; it was far, far more. Only someone who deeply loves another could understand. Everything we did was an expression of love for the other. And, oh, how I loved him. I held him so tight against me, I nearly squeezed the life out of him. He returned my embrace with equal intensity. Knowing that his love for me equaled my own love was the most important thing in the universe.

Our hands and lips were everywhere, exploring every inch of our bodies. Our hearts pounded, our pulse quickened, our breath came hard and fast. In minutes, we were covered with a thin mist of perspiration. He was so beautiful. I licked my way down his slim, firm torso and buried my face between his legs. He moaned as I drew him in and sent him into orbit. I loved him so much that I wanted to prove how much I loved him.

"Brian," I whispered, pausing for just a moment. "I think it's time we take things farther. I… I want you inside me."

He actually moaned with happiness. We'd both been waiting for this moment, and finally, the time seemed just right. And it was only fair. He had allowed me to do the same with him only yesterday, and I had never imagined something could feel so good. I stood on hands and knees on the bed as he positioned himself behind me. I was nervous, afraid, but I wanted to feel his manhood within me. I wanted us to be one.

"You ready?" he asked.

I closed my eyes.

"I'm ready."

"I love you, Scott."

"I love you to, Brian."

I held my breath and tensed as he put his hands on my back and pressed gently against me, then I cried out as he began to push.

"Did I hurt you?" he asked.

I spoke through clenched teeth.

"Just a little. It's okay, but… take it easy for a bit. I've… I've never done this before."

I moaned as I felt more of him slip inside me. I relaxed. After a few moments, the pain lessened and was slowly replaced with pure pleasure. The feeling was indescribable. We were joined. I felt like we were a part of each other.

Soon, there was no reason for him to take it easy, and he didn't. We moaned and whimpered in pure bliss. Him and I were one. My entire body was an explosion of rapture. He awakened feelings and sensations in me that I never thought possible. Our lovemaking went beyond what it's possible to describe. It felt so good I thought I'd die. We'd waited a long time to make love, and I wanted to do it over and over again. Now that I'd taken him inside me, I never wanted it to end; it seemed as if it would last forever. He kept going and going, and I enjoyed every second of it. We were tireless young men, so involved with each other, so in love, that we couldn't stop.

I'd never even began to imagine how wonderful it would feel to have him slide his manhood deep inside me. I knew that I'd feel good for him, but I had no idea that it'd feel so incredible for me, too. I wanted it as much as him, but I'd wanted it because I knew it'd be pure bliss for him. I never dreamed it'd feel even better for me. I had the feeling I was going to blast off like a rocket, without even touching myself.

He was wild and intense as he leaned into me. He was careful not to hurt me, but he was still very forceful. Despite his sweet and kind nature, he was very dominant in bed. No one, myself included, would've ever guessed how forceful he could be. It seemed such a contrast to his quiet, sensitive personality. I suppose I was a contrast as well. Back at school, I was outgoing and aggressive, but when I made love with Brian, I was almost submissive. I liked the way things were between us. It just seemed right. It was wonderful.

We were both sweating and panting. We were totally absorbed in our lovemaking. He was putting everything he had into it, almost like some kind of wild animal. I wanted it to last forever, but I knew I was on the verge of losing control. I could tell from his frantic thrusts and moans that he was, too. It was all so beautiful; it was like a dream. I'd never been so happy as I was at that moment.

Suddenly, it happened!

Just as he cried out in ecstasy, the door to my bedroom burst open and my father entered. He didn't bother to knock, and I hadn't thought to lock the door. I've lamented my stupidity ever since that horrible day.

"Scott, could you… my god! What the fuck's going on in here?"

Brian and I were naked on my bed. He was on me and in me, he was moaning in the throes of his orgasm and couldn't stop. There was no way to deny what was going on. He stared at my father, his face etched in horror, then leaped off the bed and bolted for the bathroom. Tears ran down his face as he sought to escape from my father, who nearly snagged him as he ran past. Only a quick dodge on his part allowed him to evade my father's wrath.

He slammed and locked the bathroom door, crying, "oh fuck! Oh fuck!" and, "oh my god!" over and over again.

I rolled over and covered my nakedness with the sheets as dad screamed at me in rage. He was completely out of control.

"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" he bellowed. "How could you do this under my roof?"

I'd never seen him that furious before. He turned and pounded on the bathroom door.

"Come out of there, you little faggot!" he screamed. "Come out of there right now!"

Brian didn't make a sound. He wasn't about to come out of there. I wouldn't have either. While dad was pounding on the door, I used the opportunity to pull on my boxers. When Brian wouldn't open the door, dad turned back on me with murder in his eyes. I really thought my own father was going to kill me, really kill me, not just beat the crap out of me, but kill me.

"How could you… you were…" He shook his head with disgust, unable to continue. "My god!"

My mom ran into the room, wondering what all the noise was about.

"What's going on in here?" she asked, her face etched with concern.

Dad pointed at me as if I was a leper.

"Why don't you ask your faggot son, or his faggot friend in the bathroom."

I ran behind my mom. Dad tried to get around her to get at me, but she blocked his path. If I wasn't about to quite literally die, the scene would've been funny. My dad's a big man, about six four and over two hundred pounds. I was a six-foot jock and weighed about one sixty-five, while mom was this tiny little five eight, one hundred twenty-pound sprite of a woman. There I was, a tall muscular football stud and I had to take refuge behind my tiny mom. She wasn't half the size of my dad, but she was holding her own, stopping him in his tracks just by looking at him. It was lucky for me. She was the only thing protecting me from certain death.

"Jeffrey, calm down."

"Calm down!" he exploded. "Do you know what they were doing? Do you know that that boy in the bathroom had his… his… up your son's…? I can't even say it! Right under my roof! I'm gonna kill both those little faggots!"

The hair on the back of my neck stood on end. I'd never been so terrified before. He really meant it! He really wanted to kill us both!

"Jeffrey!" mom snapped. "Go downstairs right now! Cool off! We'll discuss this later!"

I'd never heard my mom speak with such authority. Her tone of voice scared the shit out of me and it wasn't even directed toward me. She brokered no argument. Dad glanced at me with a look of pure hatred and stomped off downstairs, and my mother turned to me.


Her questioning sympathetic voice melted my heart. I burst into tears and hugger her close. My whole world was gone!

"Honey, what happened?" I was crying too hard to answer her. She stepped to the bathroom door. "Brian?" she called out. "It's alright. You can come out, Brian."

He didn't answer, but I could hear him crying inside. She came back to me and sat on the bed.

"Scott, honey, what happened?"

Between sobs I told her about everything, about me being gay, about being in love with Brian, and about what dad had walked in on. I'd never had to tell her anything so hard in all my life. Most kids cringe when they think of talking to their parents about sex. That was nothing compared to what I was telling my mom. I couldn't believe I had the courage to speak the words. To her credit, she listened without comment, but I could tell that what she was hearing was tearing her up inside. I was breaking her heart. I was telling her that her son was gay and having sex with another boy. I couldn't bear to imagine what she thought of me.

"But Scott, you have a girlfriend," she said, confused.

"It's all a fake," I admitted with a sigh. "Me and Laura, Brian and Charmain, we just pretended so no one would suspect us. Everyone thinks that me and him have girlfriends, so they don't suspect that we're really boyfriends."

She grew really quiet. She looked at me with disapproval. She tried to hide it, but I could read it in her eyes.

"I don't understand this, Scott. You're such a fine young man, so handsome, so athletic, you could have any girl you want."

"Mom, I don't want any girl. That's the point! I'm gay, mom!"

She just couldn't accept the fact that I was gay.

"You're just confused."

"No, I'm not! I'm gay, mom, okay! I always have been and that's just the way it is!"

I couldn't believe what I was saying to my own mother. That thought kept going through my mind over and over.

"I, I don't… I can't…"

She just couldn't comprehend what I was.

"Mom, try to understand; this is what I am. This is me. I couldn't change if I wanted to, and I don't want to! I love Brian!"

There was a long, silent pause. I couldn't hear Brian crying in the bathroom anymore. I hoped he was alright.

She looked up at me.

"Scott, I don't really understand all this. I just don't know what to think. Were you… were you really doing what your father said you were doing? Was Brian…"

"Yes, mom. It's all true. I'm sorry."

I didn't say the words. I didn't tell her that he was fucking me, but she knew. All the color drained from her face and she looked sick. I felt sick, knowing that she saw something beautiful as something disgusting and base.

She was really stunned, but who could blame her? I wished she hadn't found out like this. I wished dad hadn't seen what he did. I wished that mom would hold me close and tell me that everything was okay, that she loved me as I was, but she didn't. She didn't say anything for a long time. After a few moments, she got up and walked to the bathroom door once more.

"Brian, open the door. No one's going to hurt you."

I heard the lock click and the door opened. Brian came out with a towel wrapped around his waist. Mom looked at him with disapproval, even disgust. It made me angry to see her look at the one I loved like that. I guess I should've been thankful that she saved my life. He pulled on his boxers while still wearing the towel. He let it drop to the floor and then dressed.

"I think you'd better leave now," she said, not even looking at him.

Her voice was angry. It was as if she were blaming him for what had happened. His eyes were bloodshot from crying and tear streaks ran down his face. He looked at the door in fear, and I didn't blame him. I wouldn't have walked downstairs with my father sitting down there, either. Mom read his thoughts.

"I'll walk you out, Brian. And I'll talk to you later, Scott."

His eyes met mine. He looked much as I must have, like someone whose entire world had been laid waste. I could still read the love in his eyes, however, and I drew strength from that. Mom led him downstairs.

From my bedroom window, I watched him depart, my heart nearly breaking as he drove away. I felt like all my hopes and dreams were leaving with him. I imagined that he was glad to escape from my house. I sure wished I could. As he disappeared into the distance, I heard my parent's yelling downstairs. They had argued before, but never so violently. I laid on my bed and cried into my pillow. I knew they were arguing about me. My god, why had this happened to me, to us? Why had I been so stupid?

I was so afraid, and felt so alone. I didn't know what was going to happen. I no longer feared for my life, but I didn't know what to expect. I was afraid that they'd kick me out, then where would I go? What would I do? I didn't have any money, had nowhere to turn. Sure, Brian would be there for me, but still…

Brian. He was all that I had to hold onto. My love for him was all that kept me sane. I drew strength from it. I loved him and he loved me. That's all that really mattered, after all.

Still, I'd never been in such a mess before. I couldn't even imagine anything happening that could be worse. I lay there thinking, wanting desperately to fall asleep, to escape the nightmare that was my life, but sleep wouldn't come. I was too tormented in mind and spirit to be able to escape that way.

My stomach growled. I was hungry, very hungry. I hadn't had anything since breakfast, but I wasn't about to go downstairs. It was but a small addition to my misery. It hardly mattered. I couldn't handle all that had happened, I just couldn't. It was far too much. Thoughts of killing myself went through my mind. Maybe it would've been better if my dad had killed me. Death seemed like the only real escape. I was half out of my mind with fear and sorrow. I wasn't thinking straight. I wanted out. I really wanted to die. I went so far as to look in my medicine cabinet to see if I could find anything that would do the job. Nothing but the usual cold and flu remedies and aspirin. Still, maybe if I took all that was there… I didn't know.

I mentally slapped myself. No, that wasn't the way. It just wasn't. I worried about Brian, what if he was thinking along the same lines? I couldn't bear that, but no, he'd quickly come to the same realization that I had. Suicide wasn't the answer; it couldn't be. That wasn't something to even be considered when there was someone you loved and someone that loved you.

A few minutes later, dad yelled up at me, "Scott! Get your little ass down here, right now!"

He sounded furious. I'd never heard him use that tone of voice before. I'd never even heard him talk like that before. I stood up and walked downstairs and into the living room, like a doomed man heading for the gallows.

As soon as I entered the room, dad slapped my face so hard it made it sting. Tears filled my eyes.

"How could you?" he asked.

I didn't know what to say. I just stood there, holding my hand to my face where he'd slapped me.

"You really are a queer, aren't you?" he said, shaking his head. "I should've known. I've always told myself, not my son. He plays football. He has a girlfriend. He can't be a fag. I was wrong, though, wasn't I?"

I swallowed hard. I didn't say anything.

"Wasn't I?" he bellowed, right in my face. "Answer me, you little faggot! You're a queer, aren't you?"


My voice was barely above a whisper.

"I didn't hear you."

"Yes," I said louder.

"Tell me!" He grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me. "Tell me you're a queer! Go on! Tell me to my goddamned face!"

I was terrified of him. I was afraid he was going to beat me. I'd never been so much as spanked before that day, but I was afraid he'd beat me.

"I'm a queer," I said, tears filling my eyes.

He let go of me and began to pace back and forth shaking with rage.

"I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am in you, Scott," he said. "Your mother and I have done so much for you. We brought you into this world. We've clothed and fed you and kept a roof over your head, and this is how you thank us. You go out and… and have sex with another boy."

He acted as if the words he was speaking made him sick. My mom looked like she was going to be ill as well. They acted like I was gay to hurt them, like I did it on purpose. I knew I should speak up for myself, but I was too afraid. I just didn't have the courage to do it. I felt weak and pathetic.

"Why, Scott?" she asked, still in shock. "Why have you done this to us? What if the neighbors find out? What if the family finds out? Why, we won't be able to look anyone in the face!"

I stood there and looked at her, crying like some little baby. The words she was speaking cut straight into my heart.

"I'm sorry."

It was all I could say. I was such a coward that all I could do was stand there and apologize for being me. I should have stood up for myself, told her that I was proud of what I was, and how much I loved Brian. But all I could do was stand there and apologize. I didn't have the backbone to stand up to my own mother. I was humiliated.

"You make me sick," said dad, shaking his head. "My own son… a pervert."

He was glaring at me. I feared him. His words burned into me like a flame. I felt as if my parents were taking turns trying to hurt me as much as they could. I should've screamed at them, done anything… anything but just stand there and take it as I was doing. But I was a coward.

"I can't believe you'd do this, Scott," said dad. "I can't believe you'd get into bed with another boy, naked, and…"

He looked up at me and his eyes narrowed, as if seeing me for the first time.

"I'm ashamed to have a son like you! How could you do this to me, Scott? How could you?"

He was yelling and shaking me again, getting madder and madder by the second.

"I can't believe I have a son who's a faggot! I just cannot believe it! You make me sick!"

With that he hit me hard in the face. He did it so fast I didn't see it coming. I fell to the floor, clutching my cheek. It hurt ten times worse than when he'd slapped me. He leaned down toward me and I scrambled away from him, backwards on hands and feet.

"Stop it!" yelled my mother. "Stop it! I won't put up with you hitting him, even if he is a fag."

Her words hurt me even more than my dad hitting me. Had she really said what I thought she did? Was it even possible?

"Get up!" ordered my dad.

I pulled myself up from the floor, the side of my face still throbbing with pain. I was afraid he was going to do it again, even with my mom standing right there telling him not to touch me. I flinched whenever he moved his arm.

"Go to your room," he ordered, pointing the way. "Get out of my sight."

I left. I went straight to my room and closed the door. I was quaking with fear, crying with humiliation. I felt like no one loved me in all the world. My parent's sure didn't. No one loved me.

As I lay on the bed crying, I thought of Brian. He loved me, even though no one else did. He was the only one, but he loved me, I knew he did. I grabbed my pillow and held it tight against my chest, squeezing it as if I were hugging him, wishing desperately that I was with him. I needed him so much, just to hold me and tell me that he loved me. He was the only thing that kept me going. I loved him with all my heart, and he loved me. I cried, praying that he was okay.

Later that evening, mom came up to my room and brought me some supper. She talked to me for a long time, but not much had changed. No matter how hard she tried to understand, she just couldn't accept the fact that I was gay. Her disapproval hurt me. When I looked into her eyes, I read disappointment there, along with confusion and distaste. The knowledge that my own mother looked on me as a disappointment, as some kind of freak, cut into me like a dagger. She made me want to crawl under a rock and die. I guess it could've been worse; she could've reacted like my father.

"Your father and I have discussed it," she said matter of factley, "and you're not to see Brian anymore. That's that."

"What?" I said.

My mouth was hanging open. I was almost in a state of disbelief, and yet I guess I should've expected it. I hadn't really thought about it. I wasn't exactly thinking rationally, after all. If I had been, I would've known it was coming. It was a typical parental reaction, but that didn't make it any easier to take.

""He isn't welcome here," she continued, "and we don't want you hanging around with him. Not in school, not after school, not ever."

I thought about saying something, but I decided it best not to dig myself in any deeper. I was already in enough trouble.

"I thought you liked Brian," I protested. "All you've been saying is how nice a boy he is."

"I was obviously wrong. Nice boys don't do what he did to you. They don't…"

She shook her head at the mental image.

"It's not like he raped me! I wanted it!"

She slapped my face, making a sound like a small explosion. I couldn't remember her ever hitting me before. It didn't really hurt physically, but just the look on her face was enough to make me shake.

"I don't even want to hear you mention what happened again," she said quietly. "We will not speak of it. When I think of you… with him…" She shuddered. "Brian isn't welcome here. Your father and I don't like the influence he has over you. We…"

"What?" I said incredulously. "You think I'm gay because of Brian? I was gay a long time before he came along."

"I don't want to hear it, Scott. He simply isn't welcome here, period."

It was pretty clear she didn't want to hear anything about me being gay. She just wanted to ignore the whole thing. I guess she thought if she didn't hear about it, it wasn't real.

"But mom!" I cried. "I love him! I've got to see him!"

"That's final, Scott! You're not to see him again. Ever!"

I knew better than to argue. It wouldn't get me anywhere. I also knew damn well that I would see him. No one would keep me from him!

I sat down on my bed and put my head in my hands. I couldn't believe what was happening to me. It just didn't seem possible. I really would've killed myself right then and there had I not known full well that Brian and I would be together. No one would keep me from him and I knew he wouldn't let anyone keep him away from me. They'd have to kill us both to keep us apart.

Mom quickly closed the door and left. I was hurt, devastated… furious beyond belief. The mix of emotions running through my head was about to make it explode. The one thing I'd always feared most was happening; my secret was out.

My stomach growled again; I was starving. I wolfed down the supper mom had brought me. At least my jailers fed me.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep much that night. When I did drift off from exhaustion, the hellish scenes of us being discovered by my father played over and over in my head. Only when it was nearly dawn did I really fall asleep. As I drifted off for the final time, all I could think about was that my worst nightmare had come true.

The door to my bedroom opened. My father stood glaring down at Brian and I. We were naked, and he had a shotgun. He raised it. I screamed and suddenly he pulled the trigger...

"Scott! Scott!"

Mom had to shake me to bring me to consciousness. When I did awaken, I shrank back from her violently. My heart was in my throat. It took a few moments for the dreams to clear from my head. She left without saying anything further. What was there to say?

I was exhausted, but I sure as hell didn't want to stay in that house any longer than was necessary. Dad was already gone when I came downstairs, although he was usually around for a while before he left for work. He obviously didn't want to see me. That was fine by me. I didn't want to have anything to do with him, either. I didn't even really want to be around my mom. I knew what she thought of me, and it hurt. It broke my heart to know that my own mother disapproved of me, as if I was unnatural.

Along with the heartbreak was anger. The way my parents had decided to keep me from Brian made me fucking furious. How could my own parents treat me like that?

I ate quickly and got the hell out of there. I wished more than anything that I had my own place and a job, but I was trapped. School was a sanctuary. At least it was familiar and filled with my friends.

Laura found me. She never failed to search me out before class.

"Scott, what's wrong? You look terrible!"

I didn't realize my mood showed so easily on my face. My eyes were still bloodshot and I was tired, but I'd looked like that before. She was picking up on my crushed spirit. I couldn't tell her the whole truth, so I gave her what part of it I could.

"I had a big fight with my dad last night. He went ballistic."

"What about?"

"I don't really want to talk about it, Laura."

She backed off, understanding. She grabbed my hands and comforted me.

"It'll be okay, Scott. I'm sure it will."

She smiled sweetly.

I wondered what would happen to that smile if she knew what the fight with my dad was about. It made me feel cold and alone. Her kindness was comforting, and yet it only increased the terrible guilt that had been there all along. We'd been living a lie. There she was comforting me, while I was taking advantage of her again. It made me feel like shit. No, I just couldn't deal with it. I had more than enough on my mind. I forced the guilt from my thoughts and blocked it from my mind.

I really needed to talk to Brian, but I would have to wait until I got home after practice to call him.

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