by Victor Thomas

Chapter 12

The remainder of Christmas vacation was tense. Due to road conditions, driving wasn't an option. Just about everything in Chouteau was within easy walking distance, but the bitter cold made going outside unpleasant. I did little more than go to The Ab Crunch for work. I was both dreading and eagerly anticipating the end of vacation. Dreading because Janelle would be leaving, and eagerly anticipating, because Carson's parents would return and he could get the hell out of my house. It's damned hard to pretend to like someone when you hate his guts. Him and I did a pretty good job though. I don't think mom caught on that our friendship had ended.

I was a little sad about losing him at first, but I was so pissed off that the feeling soon dissipated. I didn't need a homophobe for a best friend. I didn't like him dating my mom at all now, but he did make her happy and I wasn't quite sure what would happen if they stopped dating. He might decide to turn on me if that happened. I needed to get something on him to make sure he kept his mouth shut. Unfortunately, I couldn't use what was right in front of me, because exposing his relationship with my mom would hurt her a good deal more than him. No, I could never use that information against him.

He had no proof, anyway. If he did try to out me, I'd just concoct a story about how we'd fallen out and how he was talking trash about me just because we'd become enemies. No one in their right mind would believe I was gay. Thank god for stereotypes. My peers were convinced that all gays were weak, limp wristed, effeminate, and spoke with a lisp. It would take hard evidence to convince them otherwise. Then again, people loved a scandal, and I had enemies. A lot of my classmates would probably pretend they believed I was gay, even if they didn't. If enough people believed it, I was dead meat. My reign as the Alpha Male would be over in a flash.

I was completely bummed out on the day Janelle departed. I drove her to the airport, and she cried as she hugged me just before getting on the plane. I patted Colin on the head and watched them both disappear into the distance. The drive home was quiet. I didn't even turn on the radio. Sometimes silence is best.

Carson made no pretense about being my friend at school. He was openly hostile, and that was fine by me. I returned his hostility with enthusiasm. The real reason for our breakup as friends could not be revealed, so he had concocted a story of a love triangle with a fictitious visitor who accompanied my sister from California. We both wanted her and it had come to blows. It was actually a fairly good story, short, believable, uncomplicated, and impossible to prove or disprove. It had the added advantage of making us both look like virile, aggressive young studs willing to fight over a girl. I was pleased, but still hated his guts.

Carson wasn't the only one who was hostile. Paxton gazed at me sullenly whenever our paths crossed. I'd called him and told him not to worry. Carson would keep his mouth shut and so would my sister, but fear of exposure wasn't the only thing up his butt, if you'll forgive the pun. He was obviously smoldering over what I'd done to him and the fact that Carson had seen it. He'd just have to get over it, however, because the whole thing was in the past. Well, that wasn't quite true. I yearned to use him again, and he was going to bend over for me whenever I wanted.

Despite the hostility festival, it was good to be back. Football season was over, of course, and I'd miss it, but I still ruled the school. I was going to miss the locker room and showers almost as much as football itself; then again, I did have my own personal boy toy, who was the hottest of them all. I could go without sightseeing until next season. I still almost couldn't believe that Paxton had been delivered into my hands. It was obviously meant to be.

The pleasure of work in The Ab Crunch was dimmed by the presence of my former best friend. I now regretted getting him the job, but there wasn't much I could do about it. Him and I were professionals at work, only glaring at each other with hatred when no one else was around. We knew we were stuck together, so we made the best of it.

Paxton showed up just before closing, as ordered. I locked up at ten and walked back to the locker room. He followed me like an obedient slave. He got on his knees when I pointed to the floor, and I made good use of him. He balked when I told him to bend over a bench, and I had to remind him he was my bitch by slamming him into a locker and refreshing his memory concerning a certain video tape. He glared at me with pure hatred, but did as he was told. I can't even begin to describe the rush I felt from using a straight boy. The feeling of power and control was intense.

I could tell Paxton was edgy the next day. He'd stomped out of The Ab Crunch the night before with a major bad attitude. I nearly belted him for it, but I was feeling all mellow and relaxed after using him as my sex slave. There's nothing like good sex for relaxation. I went home and straight to bed. But he continued to fume the next day. When he looked at me, he not only glared with contempt, he actually muttered under his breath. The boy was losing control.

I guess it was pretty hard for him to go from being the Alpha Male to Bryce's bitch, but life is like that. We all have to deal with disappointment. I'd had more than my share over the years. How long had I been forced to live in his shadow because he was cheating with steroids? In my opinion he was merely getting what he had coming to him. He should never have been top dog. It should always have been me. He had cheated me out of my rightful place for years, and I'd never forgive him for that.

The showdown came at lunch. I was halfway expecting it. He had walked around all morning like a bomb looking for someplace to go off. Guys were scurrying out of his path in fear, and even the girls were hanging back. He was in a pissed off mood; that much was obvious to everyone.

He sat in my seat at the table. It was open defiance. I knew this moment would eventually come. He hadn't been the Alpha Male for all that time for nothing. He was strong, confident, and had a major chip on his shoulder. I'd made him my bitch, and I knew he could only swallow that for so long before exploding. Only an idiot wouldn't have expected rebellion at some point or other.

"Get out of my seat!" I said as I approached.

"Fuck off, Bryce."

The boy did have balls. I had to say that much for him. He was also stupid, but that was beside the point.

"I'm not going to tell you again."

He ignored me. I set my tray down on another table, grabbed him by the shoulder and spun him around. He jumped to his feet and took a swing at me. I was ready for him, of course. Where he was enraged, I was cool and confident. I had the advantage. I sidestepped him and rammed my fist into his gut, doubling him over. He let out a clearly audible grunt of pain. He came back at me quickly, but this I anticipated, too. I got him in the jaw with a powerful right hook that sent him flying backwards before his fist could even begin to make contact.

"Don't ever fuck with me!" I announced loudly for all to hear.

He was ready to come back for more, but Wyatt dropped down beside him and began to whisper in his ear. Wyatt helped him to his feet and led him away.

"Yeah, that's right bitch, walk away before you get your ass kicked!" I called after him.

He didn't make it far before Mr. Morrison, the teacher on cafeteria duty, nabbed him. He pointed at me and motioned for me to follow. I did. I knew this was coming, too. I'd probably get detention or even suspended for a few days, but it was worth it. Paxton was such a fool. If he'd had an ounce of sense, he would've realized I held all the cards. If he had managed to kick my ass, I would've made his life a living hell. As it was, I'd kicked his ass. He hadn't managed to land a single punch. He'd just showed the whole cafeteria he was weaker than I was. What's more, he'd walked away with his tail tucked between his legs. He was my bitch and now everyone knew it. There was no need to hide it anymore.

I got a week of detention, but it was well worth it. Since football was over, detention fit nicely in between school and work. It was nothing. I had to sit in a room, keep quiet, and do my homework. Big deal! Hell, all it did was make sure I finished my homework early. I thought about asking if I could have detention for the rest of the year.

Paxton was right there with me, of course. He got two weeks for attacking me. I nearly laughed in his face, but didn't think it wise because we were being watched. Besides, there would be plenty of time for that sort of thing later. I ordered him to meet me at The Ab Crunch just before closing, as usual, and I knew he's show.

I locked the doors at ten again and escorted him back to the locker room. He still looked angry, but also frightened and upset.

"You're really a dumb fuck, you know that?" I said. It was a statement, not a question. "Do you know how stupid it was to challenge me in front of the whole school? You picked a fight with me in front of everyone. You provided me with a just cause to kick your ass. Now I can treat you like my little bitch in front of everyone and they'll think it goes back to your pathetic attack. I don't have to keep what's between us a secret anymore."

"You can't tell anyone about the sex," he said.

"Duh! Of course not, bitch! What I can do is dominate your sorry ass in public now. Just how far I go with that depends on you. If you keep your tail tucked between your legs and stay out of my way, I'll take it easy on you at school, but if you fuck with me, I'll show everyone how you're my little bitch. Does the name Curtis Conner ring a bell? Do you want to be like him? Do you want everyone to know you're my bitch?"

I hadn't thought about Curtis in quite a while. I'd taken him down nearly a year before by kicking his ass. With him it wasn't planned. He merely pissed me off when I was in a bad mood. There was nothing sexual going on between us. He was a hottie, but he was nothing compared to Paxton. The fact that he so meekly submitted to me after one beating made him less attractive, too. He was hardly worth picking on after I'd taken him down.

Paxton looked more frightened than ever at the mention of his name, however, so maybe Curtis had a use after all as an example.

"I guess I really should thank you. You've made my life a whole lot easier, and you've secured my position as the Alpha Male. Most people hadn't realized that the power had shifted, but they all know it now."

"You planned this, didn't you? You manipulated me into attacking you," he said, his anger growing.

I grinned.

"That's the difference between us, Paxton. I've got brawn and brains; all you've got is muscle."

"I hate you," he said quietly, as if he feared to say it too loud.

"Aww, you don't have to love me, Paxton; you just have to do what I say. Don't worry, it won't affect your precious football scholarship. You know it's in my best interest not to endanger your future. After all, it's control of your future that gives me power over you, that and a certain video tape."

He didn't look happy at all. He looked as if he was about to cry. There was no need to taunt him about it any longer. He knew he'd played right into my hands.

"Now, let's get down to business. Take those clothes off, Paxton. You know what I want."

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