Sense of Doubt

by William King

Chapter 11

Questions and Answers.

Jake phoned and I answered, I hadn't replied to his messages, so I thought I should speak to him.

"Alex, you've been ignoring me. Don't you pick up your messages, or is it personal?"

"It's nothing personal. I was kind of occupied yesterday. Anyhow, what's up?"

"No, no, no. Don't try and worm your way out. Occupied huh! Doing what?"

I sighed and took a second to think what to say. "Why do I have to tell you everything?"

"You don't, but didn't we like fuck or something?"

"You make it sound so romantic."

"It seems like you've just dropped me. Am I right?"

"I haven't dropped you. I'm just... busy."

"No way. What are you doing right now?"

"Nothing, but that's not the point. I have stuff to do and I kinda got engrossed in sorting things out. So I was occupied and I never replied to your texts. I was going to. Then you called."

"Yeah, well, alright. If I even believe that. But it doesn't matter."

"It matters. I'm not ignoring you just because I never answered your texts."

"Tomorrow I'm getting together with Jonathan and Sean. Maybe you want to come?"

"When? What are they doing?'

"Sunday lunch at a pub in the countryside. Then, after, I don't know. So?"

"Okay, sure. Sounds good."

He said they would pick me up around eleven, so Sunday was all arranged, even though I wasn't too enthusiastic about it. I had other things on my mind, namely Ryan and Matty.

Ryan had said we could meet up later and I was so hooked on him I couldn't help looking at my phone every ten minutes to see if he'd texted. It was ridiculous, but I felt inextricably drawn to him, plus the sex was great. I had to ask myself if that was what it was all about, physical attraction. Should a sixteen year old be more serious, I didn't think I was at the age for a relationship, least not a long term one. But was that my excuse for dumping Matty. No, I didn't think so. I was committed to our relationship, Matty was the one who had sex with... with who exactly, and was he being blackmailed? That story didn't hold up for me, it would have suited him just fine if I was forced out of the closet. I don't think Matty would have sex like that, and anyway he had the photo he could easily accuse the accuser. It wouldn't matter that much, apart from it being very explicit, he wanted to be openly gay. Actually, I was being very unfair to Matty. Whatever really did happen, I don't think he would want explicit photos of himself floating around the Internet or broadcast around school. With so many questions, I needed to see Matty again and get some honest answers.

I texted him and he responded straightaway.

Yeah, we should talk, he wrote.


Not today, but Sunday if you like.

Okay Sunday.

I'll text you.

Sunday then, bye.


I'd tell Jake I had to see Matty, but if it was later Sunday I would still go out with him, Jonathan and Sean.

My phone rang, that instant, just as I'd sorted things out.


I recognised Ryan's voice and felt this odd tingling sensation when he said my name.

"Yep, it's me. Where are you?"

"Well actually... if you come to your front door."

I dashed down the stairs, reached the front door, and opened it. I was treated t o a smiling Ryan.

"You know I told you the folks might be home?"

"I know."

He just stood there smiling until I was also overcome by the same silliness and a broad grin spread across my face. "You better come in."

As Ryan set foot i nside , Michael came charging down the hall, then abruptly stopped.

He glared at Ryan and turned to me. "What's he doing here?"

I honestly didn't know what to say and my mouth just opened and closed.

"Never mind," Michael pushed past him. "I'll be back around five if mum or dad ask."

I watched him scoot down the path and out the gate. I closed the door behind Ryan, o u r bodies were very close, as if he had taken root just inside the hall.

"Your parents are in?"

He still didn't move.

"No, they're not back yet."

He looked me in the eyes and I melted. In that instant, we both knew what we wanted. Ryan leant in and kissed me, wrapping his arms around me and pulling us together into a tight hug. When his tongue was finally out of my mouth, I moved back and led the way upstairs.

He sat down on my bed and I stood looking down at him. "Where do you think all this is going?" I asked.

Ryan looked up and once again our eyes fixed each other. "I don't know." He broke contact, looking around the room. "You got a nice bedroom. I like the poster."

I had this poster of a music festival, not anything I'd been to, it just appealed to me. I guess it had something to do with the half naked guys fooling around listening to a band, but on the edge of the crowd.

"Thanks," was all I said.

"Sit down," he nodded towards the bed. "You make me nervous standing there, shuffling around."

I sat down next to him on the bed. "Is this just sex for you?"

I have no idea why I blurted out that question. It was playing on my mind, but I didn't want any sort of confrontation. It slipped out anyway, and there it was, hanging in the empty space between us.

Ryan closed that space, putting an arm around my shoulders and leaning in for a sideways hug.

He turned his head to look at me. "No. I got to tell you, if you don't already know, yesterday was fantastic. The sex was fantastic, but I think there is more between us than just that. You don't know this. At least I'm guessing you don't know, but I never slept with Mathilde. We never..."

" Yeah, okay, I get it."

"No, I'm not sure you do. I've fancied you for a long time. I acted stupid that time after rugby when we were alone in the showers. I didn't have a clue how to do anything. I mean I wasn't going to say, 'Hey, Alex, wanna sleep with me.' But that's what I was thinking. When you said no in the showers. I don't blame you. Fuck, I would've done the same if you'd asked me to give you a blow job. It was really, really, stupid. After that I sort of tried the whole girlfriend thing. Which left me pissed off when Mathilde chucked me. But that's history."

He paused, as if all the air had come out of him. He sat there, deflated. I'd never heard him talk for so long in one go. It was a sort of confession, yet I only really wanted to know about our relationship. It seemed like it meant a lot more to him than I imagined. I was left feeling happy, almost elated, but not knowing how to answer.

I kissed him full on the lips and hugged him back.

I looked at him. "I like you too," I said, smiling.

"Yeah, that much I know. What are you gonna do about Matty?"

"I'm meeting up with him tomorrow afternoon. Guess we will discuss things and work them out. I've got a few questions for him, but I suppose what you're really asking is where does it leave us." I looked down at the floor, then sort of studied my hands, pausing before saying more. "I'd like us, you and me, to be together."

He looked at me sideways. "You mean as boyfriends?"

I still didn't look at him. "Yeah, if you want to."

He leant over and brushed a hand through my hair. It was so sexy, I was getting hard immediately. "Does that mean I can fuck you whenever I want?"

I looked up at him. "Depends if I can fuck you, big guy!"

He smiled a sort of coy grin. "I'm a virgin!"

"From the way you performed yesterday, I would never have guessed."

"Well, I am, or was. But still am from a certain point of view."

I pulled him close and hugged him. Whispering softly in his ear, I said, "No one's..."

"No," he interrupted. "You would be the first."

"Are you into it?"

I still wasn't sure about us. What was Ryan's idea of a relationship. I knew a big part was sex, which was fine, but did he think of me as a best friend with benefits. Was he even gay, or bi? But he said I would be the first, so I guessed he was open to reversing positions, which would be pretty perfect.

"Alex! Michael! We're home." My mother's voice called out from the hallway.

I stood up and went to the top of the stairs. "I'll be right down. Michael's out."

Turning to Ryan, I said, "Stay here a minute while I go see my parents. I'll be right back."

I found my parents in the kitchen putting away the shopping they'd brought home.

"How's everything with Uncle Jeff?" I asked.

My mother turned to me. "Getting better. We can probably go visit as a family next week. Just for a short time. And where is Michael?"

"I don't know. Probably round at Max's, but he said he'd be back around five-ish."

"You've managed without us," she smiled.

"No wild parties," my dad added.

"No wild parties. But I have a friend upstairs, he just popped round to see me."

My mother wore her curious expression. "Not Matty, I take it. Another friend."

She had this way of looking and talking which demanded answers, but without actually straight out asking. You felt obliged to give more information.


"Would this be the same Ryan we heard about before?" My mother's expression seemed tinged with concern.

"Yes, but things have changed. It's much better between us now."

"I'm pleased you've sorted things out," my father said. "And what about you and Matty?"

I noticed my mother give my father a quick glance, the sort of expression that said, 'not now.'

They both returned to the shopping and stacking the shelves. I turned to leave them to it and go back upstairs.

"If... Ryan... is staying, you should invite him for tea." My mother smiled, but it was the way she hung on the word Ryan that made me wary. It sounded like she had already decided she didn't like him. Probably my fault for telling them the whole story about the showers. When I say the whole story, I only said Matty had become jealous of Ryan for no reason. At least none other than the guy was good looking. Maybe they read something between the lines, you know how parents are. They have a way of knowing more about what's going on than you've ever told them .

"I'll ask him" I said, and left.

"Should I go?" Ryan asked standing up as I entered the bedroom.

"No. You've just been invited to stay for tea. Although, I'm not sure that's a good idea."

He looked at me quizically. "Why not?"

"Confession time," I sat down and gestured for him to join me. "Seems ages ago now, but my parents sort of know about the shower incident."

He looked like he turned white, all the colour drained from his face.

"No." I rested my hand on his. "Not how you're thinking. I told them Matty had got jealous of you, probably because you're a good looking guy and he imagined things. That's all they know."

"Well, I guess that's okay. For a minute..."

"Ryan, I'm not a complete idiot."

He gave me a little grin. "I'm a good looking guy, am I?"

It was my turn to smile. "If you want me to flatter you..." I paused and looked him straight in the eyes. "You're a fucking Adonis, and back then in the showers it took a lot of will power to tell you no, because I wanted nothing more than to have sex with you and it would have been like a fantasy come true."

"You really thought that?"

"No, I'm lying. Of course, I thought that. You have no idea how much you turn me on."

He leant in and kissed me deeply, our tongues touching. I was hard as a rock and thought he probably was too.


"What?" I asked, in between kisses.

"You turn me on too."

Sitting back up, taking a pause, I leant back on the bed. "You scare me as well," I told him.

He looked at me. "Scare you. How?"

"That you might just be playing around. I'll lose my heart and get hurt."

"I'd never hurt you."

He brushed my hair with his hand and gently trailed a finger across my cheek, resting the tip on my bottom lip. I pursed my lips and sucked his finger tip suggestively.

"I reckon we should go meet my parents. If you're staying?"

"You must be Ryan," my mother stared as he followed me into the kitchen.

My father looked up from the table and raised his eyebrows. "Sit down, make yourself at home. I understand you are in the rugby team."

Ryan sat down in the empty chair next to me, opposite side of the table to my parents.

"Yes, that's right," he replied politely.

"And how is that going?" My father was sipping from his glass of... I'm not sure what, but probably something alcoholic.

"Would you like some juice?" My mother asked.

Ryan looked up at her. "No thank you, water is fine."

"What do you think of Alex?" My father continued his one sided conversation.

Ryan glanced at me. I could tell he didn't know what to say. "He's a good player, very fast mover."

I almost choked when he said that, thinking of how we had both got together only yesterday.

My father looked across at me, a funny expression on his face, somewhere between comical and serious. "Yes, I think he's pretty quick. He's certainly a good runner, an asset for rugby, but perhaps not for other things."

Was my father talking about rugby or me, I couldn't quite work it out, and I don't think Ryan could either.

"Well he's good for our team," Ryan said.

"Dad, can you stop with the second degree?"

He huffed and shifted his glass. "Just getting to know your new friend."

"Well he's not exactly a new friend. We're in the same class, get the same bus home, and are both in the rugby team. So we've known each other a while."

The interchange was interrupted by my mother putting a bottle of water on the table.

"You're welcome to stay and eat with us Ryan, it will be a little while."

"Thank you, Mrs Weston, but I have to get home soon. Maybe another time."

That's it they'd frightened him off. At least my dad had, with his stupid questions. My mother smiled.

My father simply added, "Well, I'm sure we'll see you again."

I glared at him. "Okay, let's go," I stood up, and Ryan followed me.

"That was kind of weird," he said, when we were back in my bedroom.

"Yeah, I don't know what's up with my dad, but I'm sure I'll find out later. I'm sorry about that."

Ryan moved in close and threw his arms around me. "It's cool. Parents. Wait till you meet my dad."

Did I hear that right?

"So this is serious then."

He smiled

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