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Into the Lion's Den

A story by e

© 2002 SunShine DayDreamers UnLimited

DISCLAIMER: This story contains descriptions of sexual encounters between minors that are homosexual in nature. If offended by such things or if you are not of legal age in the country where you live, then read no further. The characters and events depicted in this story are completely fictional and any resemblance to any real persons, places, or events is purely coincidental. This story may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the expressed written consent of the author.

Chapter 1

"All right you little fudge-packin' fairy, it's time to die."

Cornered. That's what I was. Wrong turn into the wrong hallway. Dead end. He'd caught me. Ron Recob. The biggest, baddest mutherfucker in the whole school. Six foot four inches and two hundred sixty pounds of pure killing machine. His size alone was enough to make even me piss my pants. His reputation enough to make me shit them. I knew it was true that he'd beaten the shit out of Joey Millar, another homosexual at our school. He'd beaten him to a pulp. Joey's eyes were swollen shut, his jaw broken, ribs too. Joey hadn't stood a chance. Then there were the rumors. It was said that Ron liked to torture cats. He hated them. Some said that he'd tied two of them together by their tails, hung them over a clothesline and watched as they ripped each other to shreds trying to get loose. Another story had him tying a gasoline soaked rag to a cat's tail, then setting fire to the rag. Some said the only thing he hated worse than cats were homosexuals.

I felt myself shaking, trembling with fear. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. Nothing left to do but face him and take my beating like a man. But if I was going down, I was going down swinging. As I turned towards him I ducked under his right hand, a hand that caught nothing but air as it sailed over my head. My right was cocked behind me. Ron was off balance. With all the force in my legs I lunged upward and towards him landing a powerful uppercut. The punch landed with every bit of force I could muster. It was more than enough. I caught him square in the balls. Ron went crashing face first into the wall, then to the floor as I scrambled out from underneath him. I felt more than heard the thud as he crumpled into a quivering heap. I turned again to face him but he wasn't moving. I wasn't even certain that he was still breathing. Blood was oozing from his nose where his face had smacked the wall. I heard a muffled groan.

I breathed a sigh of relief and turned to run. I wanted nothing more than to get as far away as possible before Ron could recover. It was then that I saw them. A crowd had gathered at the end of the hall. They were dead silent. Certainly they didn't expect that I would be the one walking away. Even more certainly they didn't expect Recob to be the one lying in a pool of blood.

As I moved hesitantly towards the crowd I saw him. He stepped out, towards me. It was Joe Kirshner, Recob's best friend. His eyes cold as steel, glaring at me, his jaw tight. Joe was damn near as big as his friend. Instinctively I raised my fists. My eyes cold and yet full of fire. Joe raised his hands above his shoulders, palms open and facing me. His eyes were wide. I detected fear. He stepped back away from me and glanced over at his fallen friend. I quickly moved my head in that direction indicating that he could pass. As he did I slipped into the crowd and moved away as the sea of students silently parted in front of me.

As I continued I began to receive pats on the back and congratulations. I didn't stop to accept the compliments. I wanted nothing more than to get out of there. I wanted to be away from these people, these hypocrites. Some of them had been my friends. Then, when they found out what I was, they shunned me. When Ron came after me, they cheered him on and called me a queer, a fag, a fairy. They had hoped he would teach me my lesson. That he would rid the school of another fag. Now that I was the one walking away, they wanted to congratulate me, to cheer me, to pat me on the back. They could all go straight to Hell.

What had I done to deserve all this? Not much. Just stand up for Joey. That's all. I'd been the one to find him. He was under the bleachers. I had been walking by, on my way to the parking lot after football practice. I heard sobbing, whimpering. I looked over and saw him. He was caught up in the railing that supported the bleachers. He was covered with blood. The poor guy could barely move. He was having a hard time breathing. His eyes were red, puffy and swollen shut. His jaw was hanging open. He couldn't move it. I pulled him out and carried him to the coach's office.

While Coach Chambers called an ambulance, I asked Joey what had happened. He smeared his own blood on the floor spelling out the name R-e-c-o-b.

When the coach returned he saw the name.

"Is this who did it?"

I nodded.

Coach didn't say another word.

"So what are you gonna do about it?"

"You just let me worry about that. Besides, you should be on your way home by now, shouldn't you?"

I was a good football player, but for some reason Chambers never cared much for me. He'd been my coach since the seventh grade. I'd never done anything but perform well for him. But somehow I'd just started off on his bad side and stayed there. I exhaled with a huff and walked away shaking my head. Chambers wasn't going to do anything. Recob was the anchor for both the offensive and defensive lines. He'd been all conference as a sophomore and all district as a junior. He'd be a good candidate for all state this season. If you were good enough, you could get away with murder. The way Joey had looked, Recob might have just committed one.

It was the last week of summer vacation. School would start next Monday. That meant we were still having two-a-day practices and practice began at 7am. We'd run offensive drills for two hours, take an hour lunch break, then defensive drills for two hours with one final hour in the weight room. It was August in Ohio. The temperature had been in the 90s with 90% humidity. Working out in heat like that wearing full pads sapped every last ounce of strength.

The morning after I'd found Joey, all conversation stopped as I entered the locker room. Everybody just stood there and looked at me.

I stopped, looked around and put my hands up in the air.

"What?" I was asking everyone and no one.

"They heard you're a queer lover. Maybe even queer yourself"

I turned to see that the voice was that of Ron Recob.

"What the Hell are you talkin' about, Recob?" I had no idea what he meant.

"You took Joey to Chambers' office didn't you?" There was a lot of anger in his voice and the look on his face wasn't pleasant.

"Yeah." Just what the fuck had Chambers told him? I was starting to get worried. The last thing I needed was to have Recob pissed off at me. That would be like signing my own death warrant.

"So you fuckin' told him I did it, didn't you?" He was growling more than talking.

"Uh, no." Fuck. I hadn't told Chambers anything. All I'd done is confirm what he already knew.

"Wrong answer, asshole! You're such a fuckin' pansy you can't even cop to it. You're just as fuckin' queer as Joey is. Chambers told me what was what."

I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the worst. I was about to get the living tar beat out of me and I knew it.

"This asshole is a mother-fucking faggot. All of his friends are mother-fucking faggots. And you all know what I do with mother-fucking faggots, right?" He paused a second and looked around the room. "Nobody talks to him. Nobody." He turned to walk away.

"What? That's it? You're not gonna beat my brains out?" Why the hell couldn't I leave well enough alone? Why did I have to open my fucking mouth? He was going to let me live and I'd just called him out in front of the whole team. He'd have to kill me now.

"Humpppfff!" He laughed. "Not the right time, not the right place. Chambers is gonna let me have some fun on the field today. Don't count on being alive this afternoon."

I swallowed hard and blinked. He wasn't going to let me live. It was going to be a legalized execution.

No one spoke to me as I changed into my practice pads and uniform. Not one word. Even my best friend Richard had cleared his gear out of the locker next to mine and moved to another isle. I was alone. Nobody had the guts to stand up to this animal and his pack of wolves. I couldn't blame them actually. These guys weren't your typical bullies. It didn't take a gang of them to beat up on some weakling. These guys could each take on most any two or three other guys in the school, at once. This bunch consisted of both offensive tackles, Recob and Kirshner, the star runningback, George Boselli, and the quarterback, Jeff Larkin. The only one who wasn't a gargantuan was Boselli, but he was every bit as tough as the others. No one in their right mind would cross any one of them, let alone the entire group.

How had I gotten here? All I'd done was help a kid who needed help. That's what you're supposed to do, isn't it? Be a good Samaritan. Look where it had gotten me. I was being called a queer-lover. Or even worse, a queer. I wasn't. I hated fucking queers, like everybody else. I didn't want them around me, watching me change in the locker room. Looking at me. Fuck! If I'd know Joey was a queer I'd have left him there.

No I wouldn't. Would I? I wasn't sure. Fuck! What am I thinking? Am I really a queer-lover? I didn't want to be. I couldn't be. I wouldn't let myself. But I am. And what's even worse, I'm a fucking queer. I look around at the other guys in the locker room, don't I? I like seeing my friends in the showers, don't I?. I think about them when I jack off, don't I?. NO! Goddammit! NO! God, I hate my fucking life.

As I left the locker room and headed towards the field I was fighting back tears. I was crumbling inside. Afraid of what I might be. Afraid of who I might be. Afraid of what might be in store when I step onto the field.

I stepped out onto the field to assume my usual inside linebacker position on the dummy defense. That's what it was called. Just a rag-tag group of misfits, mostly sophomores like myself, who were set up as practice dummies to be knocked down and stomped into the ground by the first and second team offenses.

"Paul! Mike Paul!"

I turned to face Coach Chambers.

"You're playing defensive end today, left side"

Defensive end? I wasn't exactly big enough to play defensive end. Not that I was small, but at five-ten and 160 I was no match for whichever offensive tackle I'd be lined up against. Oh shit! Wait a minute. THIS was what Recob meant by having fun. I would be lining up against HIM! I suddenly realized that I was already dead. I just hadn't stopped breathing yet.

Surprisingly enough, I survived the first half of practice without too much damage, well, no broken bones or missing parts, anyway. Ron had taken a couple cheap shots, a fist to the gut, a slap on the head. He'd stepped on my leg with his spikes once while I was laying on the ground. The cheap shots were unnecessary, though. He had knocked me down on nearly every play. I was as bruised and battered as I'd ever been. He'd been ramming my shoulder pads into my chest all morning and it was so bruised and sore that I could hardly breath. It hurt just to move and was becoming nearly impossible for me to pick myself up off the ground.

The offense had been practicing running plays. Finally Coach Chambers gave us a water break and signaled that it was time to practice pass plays. I breathed a sigh of relief. The offensive line doesn't come charging out at you on pass plays. They have to stay behind the line of scrimmage. Pass rushers usually had a bit of an advantage that way. I figured the worst was probably over. I couldn't have been more wrong.

I was a pretty good pass rusher and had a couple of rather nifty moves. On the very first play I faked an inside rush. Recob went for it and was out of position to block me as I moved to the outside and beat him to the quarterback. There was a rule in practice that no one hits the quarterback. A defender was to grab him instead. That way the quarterback wouldn't be injured in practice. I grabbed Jeff, but he shoved me aside with his left arm and I fell to the ground while he completed the play. He laughed as I picked myself up.

"What the fuck are you doin' Paul? Are you a player or a spectator? A big pussy more than likely. My 5-year-old daughter can play better than that. Now get back over there and be a man this time." Coach Chambers was in my face.

"You said don't hit him." I didn't know why I was being singled out. "I was only following directions." I muttered to myself as I turned and headed back to the huddle. I wouldn't let that happen again. Rules or no rules, if I got around Recob again, Larkin was dead meat. On the next play, once again I faked inside and went outside. Again I got to the quarterback. But this time I didn't grab. This time I lowered my head and ran right through him. I hit him square in the middle of the back and just as hard as I could. Jeff sprawled onto the ground in front of me and the ball came free, rolling towards our goal. I scrambled to my feet, scooped up the ball and sprinted to the end zone. Touchdown defense! Score one for the good guys.

"What the fuck is the matter with you?" Chambers was all over me. "You trying to end our season before it begins? You know better than to hit the quarterback!"

"Just being a man Coach, a player, not a spectator. My little sister is tougher than he is." One of these days I was gonna learn to keep my mouth shut. But not today.

"That's it, one lap for hitting the quarterback and one lap for being such a smart ass! Now go! I took off for the track. A lap was a quarter mile. Fuck, I hated running.

"And you!" Coach had turned towards Recob. "You get one for letting that little faggot by you!"

Under normal conditions anyone on the team could run a quarter mile in under two minutes. And that was the team rule. If it took longer, you got a second chance. But these weren't normal conditions. It was hot and humid. We'd already been through most of a grueling practice session and we were in full pads. I barely finished both of my laps in the allotted time. Recob got a second because he couldn't finish his first on time.

We were both breathing pretty damned hard as we lined up for another play.

"You are fucking dead." Recob panted out the words as Jeff called the signals.

The ball was snapped. Ron didn't go for the inside fake. Instead he stepped back and turned outside. It was all I could do to keep from laughing as I blew by him on the inside. This time it wasn't a fake. Jeff didn't stand a chance. He hadn't even finished his drop when I lowered the boom. He managed to hold onto the ball this time, but was staggering back to the huddle.

Coach Chambers was not pleased. He simply pointed at the track as I picked myself off the ground. Then he headed towards Recob. I saw him grab Ron by the facemask and yank him around. He was right in Ron's face yelling at the top of his lungs, cursing, swearing, and calling him all kids of demeaning names. I was halfway around the track by the time he let Ron start his lap. Again I barely finished in time and Ron had to run a second.

Practice was nearly over by the time Ron stepped back onto the field. He said nothing but was still breathing heavy as he lined up across from me. Jeff again barked out the signals. The ball was snapped. Again I made an inside move. Again Ron bit, but this time not so hard. As I juked back to the outside and started by him I saw it. His forearm was outstretched. He was swinging it at my head. No time to duck! WHAM! They don't call it getting clotheslined for nothing. I was laid out, flat on my back.

There was a strange sound around my head. A whirring, buzzing sound. My eyes were open, but I couldn't see. Then little beads of light started dancing before my eyes. A tingling sensation swept throughout my body. It felt like thousands of little pin pricks, like when your foot goes to sleep. I thought I might explode. I wanted to cry out, but I couldn't get my mouth to move. As the whirring died down, I heard a voice.

"C'mon Paul. Get up! You're not hurt!" It was Coach Marcus, one of Chambers' assistants.

Yeah, get up. That's what I needed to do. Everything might just be ok if I could just get up. I tried. I couldn't get anything to move.

I'm not certain how long I laid there. But eventually a couple of the guys helped me to my feet and walked me off the field carrying me with my arms around their shoulders. When I got to the bench they sat me down. I removed my helmet. It broke into three pieces. My head was spinning. I couldn't focus my eyes. Someone was holding a finger in front of me, except, was it one finger or three?

"January!" That's it. The answer was January. I was going to be ok.

"January? What the fuck is January? I asked you how many fingers I'm holding up?"

I stared blankly. I had no idea what he was talking about. He may as well have been speaking Martian. The remainder of practice is a total blank. I awoke the next morning in a hospital bed. I had a broken nose and a severe concussion. They'd kept me overnight for observation, but that morning I was sent home.

Two weeks. That's how long I would be out. No contact, but I could still run and lift weights. Coach Chambers wasn't happy. He called me a pussy and said that only a fairy would sit out two weeks with a concussion. He said that he'd been knocked out cold by none other than Dick Butkus when he played and he hadn't missed as much as a day of practice.

Ha! That's all I had to say to that. Chambers had been claiming that he was a professional ballplayer for the Chicago Bears. I had an uncle who was a big Bears fan and lived in Chicago. He'd never heard of him. He even checked some old programs from years when Chambers would have played, and never found his name on the roster. The guy was just full of shit.

No one on the team was talking to me. A couple times guys would walk by and I could hear the word "faggot" being muttered. When I stood on the sidelines, guys would move away. As far as the team was concerned, I was an outcast, a non-entity. The coaches did nothing to discourage it. It was as though everyone just wanted me to quit. Friday finally came and at least now I had the weekend to sort things out. School would start on Monday.

Saturday I headed over to my aunt's house to visit my cousins, Cliff and James, who lived across town. They had attended my high school and graduated a few yeas ago. One of their neighbors, Chris, a boy who was still at my school was also visiting. They were teasing me about how ugly I looked with my swollen nose and black eyes. I wasn't in much of a mood to be teased. I had a horrible headache from the concussion that no amount of aspirin could make go away. Finally Chris invited me over to his house to listen to a record album he had recently purchased.

I had known Chris for a few years. Even though he was younger, he hung out with my cousins and he had bowled in the same league with me once. He was a senior and very handsome. He had the most captivating and sweet smile I had ever seen. Brown hair and brown eyes. His build was rather slight. Not much muscle on his bones, but he wasn't exactly skinny either. I was taller than he was, maybe by an inch, and outweighed him by at least thirty pounds. But I had been working hard in the weight room and he was on the cross country team.

We made small talk as we walked to his house and then into his bedroom. It looked like a typical teenage boy's room. Single bed in the corner, posters on the wall, and dirty clothes scattered about. He seemed a bit embarrassed about that and scooped up a pair of pants and a couple pairs of underwear and tossed them into the closet as we walked in. About the only difference between his room and mine was that I had a queen size bed and the posters on my walls were of athletes, his were rock stars. David Bowie, Kiss, Jim Morrison, Elton John. The kid had good taste in music.

"I hear that you helped Joey the other day."

I sighed as my heart sank. "You're not going to hate me too, are you?"

"Hate You? Why would I hate you? I wanted to thank you. That's why I was over at your aunt's house. James told me you were going to visit today."

"Everyone says he's queer. Now everyone's calling me a queer lover. Some even think I'm queer. And Ron, well..." My voice was breaking up. It was too much. I'd not let myself feel anything about what had been happening. I'd pushed it all down, way down, deep inside and now it all just came out. Tears fell from my eyes. I couldn't stop them. I was persona non grata on the football team. Guys who had been good friends wouldn't talk to me. It hurt. It hurt bad. And now, I could hold it in no longer.

Chris wrapped his arms around me in a rather tight hug. His head rested on my shoulder and mine on his.

"It's ok Mikey. You're ok. Joey's my friend. Ron can't do anything to turn me against someone who helps my friends. He can't do anything to keep me from helping them."

"You're Joey's friend?" I knew nothing about Joey other than what other kids said about him. I'd never met him before that day.

"Yeah, I am." Chris' tone was matter of fact. His smile was gone and replaced by a rather somber look.

"Is he... I mean... you know... what they say?" I couldn't say it. I wasn't sure I even wanted to ask, but somehow I needed to know.

"Gay? You want to know if he's gay?" Chris sounded anxious, maybe even a bit angry.

"Yes, no, well... I don't know. I guess it's not that important." I paused for a second. "I think I'd help him again anyway."

"Really?" Chris looked up at me.

"Yeah, it just wouldn't be right not to."

Chris smiled. "Then I'll answer your question."

I looked up at him and shook my head. "It's not important anymore."

"But it is. And we are. Both of us." I could tell Chris was anxious, waiting, watching to see how I would react.

"You mean... you...him... you're..."

"Boyfriends, I think that's the word you're looking for?" He was still anxiously awaiting my response.

I stepped away from him, breaking our embrace. I wasn't trying to get away. I just wanted to step back and look at him. I'm not sure why. Maybe I just wanted to see what a gay person looked like. I'd never met one before.

As I stepped back, I tripped over my own feet and fell backwards. As I did I reached out and grabbed at Chris, trying to catch my balance. Thud! I landed smack on my ass. Thud! Chris landed smack on top of me. His chest touching mine. His face inches from mine. This beautiful boy, so sweet, so caring, he'd just told me he was gay and seconds later he was laying on top of me. Our bodies pressed together. I couldn't stop myself, it was a sudden urge, an impulse, uncontrollable. I raised my head. I pressed my lips to his. I wrapped my arms around him, pulling him tightly against me. I kissed him. And he kissed me back. Right there on his bedroom floor. My left hand moved up his back, under his t-shirt. His skin was smooth, silky, his bones hard as I ran my hand over his shoulder blade. My right hand was just under the cheek of his buttocks, partly on his cutoffs and partly over the edge, feeling the silky smooth hairs that lightly covered his thigh.

I felt the hand of this wondrous boy move under the back of my head, holding it at the base, drawing it further into him. His lips parted and his tongue darted across mine. Instinctively, I opened my mouth to allow it entry. Our tongues intertwined, I tasted him, really tasted him for the first time. I'd never tasted anyone before. It was wonderful.

I felt his other hand on my thigh. Lightly stroking its way up towards my crotch. I felt it slip underneath the leg of my cutoffs, then inside the leg band of my shorts. He'd reached the edge of my bush. It tickled a bit as he played with my hair, an inch, maybe less from my rapidly expanding boyhood. His fingers moved closer to their prize. I tensed and raise my hips, trying to help him. Then I felt it. An electric shock ripped through my body as his fingertip brushed the side of my penis. Then quickly he withdrew his hand. His movement was so quick I didn't have time to protest the absence before I felt it on the front of my jeans, tugging at my zipper, then pulling at the snap and slipping inside.

I quivered as I felt the hand of another boy move across my dick for the first time. Quickly he slid down my body. He grasped my cutoffs and my underwear in his hands, I raised up to allow him to pull them over my hips and completely off.

He smiled and licked his lips and lowered his mouth until he tasted his treasure. He licked quickly up the shaft, swirled his tongue around the head, and licked his way back down. I grew dizzy as I felt the tightening in my balls.

"I... I think... I'm gonna..." I felt his mouth slip over my head and he sucked my entire shaft inside. "Ugggggghhhhhh!" My hips tightened and thrust forward. "Uggggghhhhh!" Everything went black. Wave after wave of pleasure swept through me. "Ugggghhhh!" I was lost in time, lost in space. Nothing mattered anymore. Nothing but the pleasure this boy, this wondrous boy, was giving me. I lay there panting, sweat dripping from my forehead, pouring off my body. I could feel my heart pounding, thumping away inside my chest. Beating it as if it were going to leap out at any moment. My chest swelling with every breath, thrusting upward, then rapidly collapsing, sinking back into the floor.

I looked down at my lover as he sucked, milked, and squeezed every last drop of my essence from my rapidly wilting member. There was a radiance about him. I'd swear he was glowing.

"Wow! That was incredible. I never dreamed it could be so good." My chest was heaving and I was panting. It was hard to talk.

"Yeah, I never thought it would taste so good." He looked up at me, a big grin across his face and a small drop of my cum clinging to the corner of his mouth. Delectable. That's the only way to describe him. God I wanted to lick that boy until there was nothing left. Every inch of him starting with that little drop of my essence on his lips and continue all the way to the tips of his toes. But wait a minute. What had he just said?

"Are...are you saying... you've never..." He didn't let me finish.

"Never. That was my first." I hadn't thought it possible but the grin on his face had grown even bigger.

"I thought you... and..." Fuck. Joey. I couldn't say the name. Joey was his boyfriend. The boy I'd helped. This would destroy him.

"No. We never did that." He paused a second. "We never did." I could see the joy drain from his face. "We... never... will." He was choking on the words.

Tears were running down my face. I felt him take his thumbs and wipe them away. I looked into his eyes. They were full of tears as well. I watched as the first ones fell from his face to mine.

"This is my fault. Please don't cry. I... I made you do it. Seduced you. Now I've hurt you." I began to crawl from under him.

"But you haven't. You didn't. I... I wanted it. I still want it. I feel sad for Joey, but I know now that it's you I want."

I stopped moving and swallowed. "You? You want me?"

"Yes, oh yes. I want you. I need you. I have to have you." He looked down on me, tears still dripping onto my face. "I love you. Please, please tell me you love me, too."

I did love him. But if there were words for what I wanted, what I felt, I didn't know them. I'd have to show him instead. I raised my head towards his and began licking the tears from his eyes and I didn't intend to stop until I'd licked every last inch of him.

"Aaagggghh!" I awoke Sunday morning with a scream. Sweat pouring off me, soaking my bedsheets. Heart pounding. Chest heaving. Out of breath.

"Please God, tell me it was just a dream!" But God wasn't answering and I knew it had been real. I was a fucking faggot! I'd made love to another boy! I'd enjoyed it! "Please, please, please tell me I didn't. I couldn't. I wouldn't." But I did. God I didn't want to be gay. I couldn't be gay. No! I would refuse. I'd call Chris and tell him it was a mistake. A cruel joke. Anything. Anything but real, that is. It just couldn't be. I wouldn't let it.

"Mike! Mike! You awake yet?"

"Yeah, Mom." I said with a yawn. "What's up?"

"Are you decent?"

"I'm under the sheets if that's what you mean?" Decent. How could I be anything but decent? Naked perhaps, but still decent.

She opened the door and cautiously peaked inside.

"Chris is on the phone. I didn't know you two had become friends."

"Yeah, Mom, we kinda hit it off yesterday over at Aunt Maxine's."

"Well he's a nice boy. I've always liked Chris."

Yeah, right Mom, if only you knew just how nice and how friendly we'd gotten. I'm sure you'd be singing a different tune.

"Well aren't you going to get the phone?"

"Uh, yeah, if you'll close the door so I can put on some clothes." I mean I could have just thrown back the covers and stepped out of bed with my dick pointing at the ceiling. Yeah, wouldn't that have been just grand. The last time she'd seen me with a boner I'd gotten a 30-minute lecture on the evils of masturbation. I'd only been ten at the time. I giggled to myself as I imagined what she'd think if should could see me now.

I dressed quickly and raced downstairs.

"Uh, hi Chris."

"Hi Mikey, love you."

"Uh, yeah. Me too." No I don't. I don't love you. I can't love you. I won't love you. The voice inside my head was screaming those words, but my mouth wouldn't say them.

"I talked to Joey this morning. I told him about us."

"How'd he take it?" Oh shit! No! Why did you go and do that! You could still have him! You can't have me! Not possible! I'm not a FUCKING FAGGOT!!!

"Not very well. He cried and screamed at me. He said a lot of things he didn't mean. At least I hope he didn't mean them. They hurt though."

"Do you need a shoulder to cry on?" Michael James Paul, just what the Hell are you doing? You're just going to hurt him. Tell him it can't be. Get it over with now. DO IT!

"More than just a shoulder, I think."

"Hold a sec." I moved the phone away from my mouth. "Mom, can I go over to Chris' house?"

"Something wrong?" I knew it. She was always eavesdropping.

"He just broke up with... uh, someone, and could use some moral support." Nice recovery Mikey. Oh God. Now he had me calling myself Mikey. Nobody had called me that in years. FUCK!

"Mom says I can come, see ya in a few."

There were giggles at the other end.


"Oh nothing, I just didn't realize you needed your mom's permission to cum."

"You perve."

It was about a two-mile walk through Branyan's farm or a five-mile bike ride around it. Either way it was about a 30-minute trip. I chose to walk. I kicked myself the whole way. Why was I doing this? I wasn't gay. It was just a one-time thing. I didn't love him. I can't be a fucking queer.

Or can I? Damn! I fucking enjoyed making love to Chris yesterday. I wanted to again today. It felt good to hold him, to be held by him. His kiss was awesome.

OH God I hate my fucking life! Was I gay? Was I not gay? I was in love. Oh God, please don't let anybody find out. I'm in enough trouble as it is. The team already hates me and all I did was help one of them. Yeah, one of THEM! Not one of US, one of them. FUCK!

All the mental anguish and torment I had heaped upon myself had exhausted me by the time I arrived. Chris' parents were home and we had to head out to the back yard for enough privacy just to talk. My heart melted in his presence. I couldn't refuse him. We agreed to be boyfriends. We were worried about Joey. Neither of us wanted to see him hurt. But Chris was absolutely certain that it was me he loved, not Joey. We managed to get out of sight of his parents just long enough for me to steal a kiss before I left.

Everything was all right when I was with Chris. I didn't have a care in the world. It was the most incredible high, like walking, no, dancing on clouds. Never before had I felt such feelings. Never before had I felt so good.

But that incredible feeling dissolved into nothingness the instant I left him. I hated myself. I loathed what I had become. But more than anything, I feared Recob and his band of ape-men.

With Monday, came the start of school. Usually I enjoyed first days. I had many friends that I hadn't seen all summer. I always looked forward to chatting with them, catching up on the summer's events and seeing how much they'd grown or changed since I'd last seen them. Friendly, pleasant reunions. But I wasn't enjoying today. My head still hurt from the concussion I'd suffered last week. I was getting teased a bit about my 'racoon eyes.' No one on the team was talking to me and I just had a poor attitude in general. I could swear I sensed an uneasiness in some of my friends. What did they know? What did they think they knew? What had they heard?

I hadn't seen Chris all morning, not even in the hallway. That wouldn't be so unusual though. He was a senior and I was a sophomore. We wouldn't have any classes together. I needed him badly. He would be the one person I could talk to. The one person I could trust. But there was still a part of me that didn't want to be near him, that was glad I hadn't run into him. We had planned to meet at lunch. I never made it.

"You back-stabbing son of a bitch!" The voice came from behind me. I turned. It was Joey. His face was red and he had tears streaming down his face.

"Chris was my boyfriend. Mine! Not yours! Mine! I'm the one who loves him." He was half yelling, but his voice was shaky, breaking up a bit.

A lump stuck in my throat. My mouth dropped open. I think my heart stopped beating. I had no idea what to say to him.

"What, nothing to say? Cat got your tongue? Or are you just ashamed to admit that you're gay? "

I was suddenly aware that we were standing in front of dozens of students. They were all staring at me. Their eyes piercing through to my soul. I felt scared, naked. I was being exposed. Now, everyone was going to know. I wanted to hide. I wanted to go back. I wanted to say something, anything that would make this go away. But I froze. I could say nothing. I could do nothing.

Joey was just standing there in front of me, looking for all the world like I'd just ripped his heart out. I felt as though I were holding it in my hands, still squeezing, wringing out every last drop of blood.

There was a buzzing, whirring sound in my ears. Beads of sweat formed on my forehead. I was dizzy, disoriented. Everything went out of focus. The whole hallway and everyone in it swirled together before my eyes. I couldn't breathe. I felt myself choking.

"I knew it! You ARE a faggot!" The words brought me back to reality. Helped me regain my senses.

Quickly I looked around. Joey was gone. Standing before me, towering over me, was Ron Recob.

I was already too late when I saw him. His right hand was just inches from connecting with my rib cage and headed there faster than I could move.

"Uummmpppphhhhhffffffff!" I could feel my ribs crack as my chest caved in. My knees buckled. My back slammed into the lockers on the wall behind me followed quickly by the back of my head. Everything went black.

As my knees hit the ground, instinct took over. I dove, low and away from my tormentor. I scrambled to my feet, pushed a couple of spectators from my path and darted down the hall. My breath was short and painful. I knew I couldn't go far. I pushed my way through the sea of students and practically fell around the corner. I struggled to my feet and looked around. I'd hit a dead end. Yeah, pretty appropriate, don't you think? Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. Cornered. And standing there, right behind me, was Recob.

By the grace of God I had managed to escape, or maybe I'd sold my soul to the devil and just couldn't remember it. Either way, I was still fucked. I'd been exposed to the whole school. My deepest, darkest secrets revealed. My old friends hate me now that I'm a fag. Even Joey had turned against me. I couldn't blame him, though. Hell, I'd stolen his boyfriend. Maybe I deserve to be hated. I'm not even sure that I don't hate myself. The only friend I have left is Chris.

Oh God, CHRIS! Joey had not only exposed me. He'd exposed Chris as well. Fuck! Does this torture never end? Recob would be after him now too. Or would it be Kirshner, Boselli, or Larkin? One thing was certain. They'd all be seeking revenge.

I headed straight for the cafeteria. That had been where I was supposed to meet Chris. Lunch period would be nearly over, but I had hoped he would still be waiting. I desperately needed to convince him to get into his car and get home. At least then I wouldn't have to worry about him while I tried to figure out what I was going to do next.

Next. Yeah, right. I was just about out of nexts. I think when we're born we're given just so many. I figured that I had about one left. But what it was, I had no idea.

I had no idea where Chris would be sitting. I don't even know who to ask. I don't know who his friends are. Shit. Chris where are you. Fuck. I was starting to panic. Take a deep breath Mike. Think. I couldn't think. I looked on this side, that side. I went between the tables, around them. No Chris. I was breathing hard, starting to sweat. What class would he be in? I darted out of the cafeteria and into the hall. Where to go from here? I just started walking.


I recognized the voice and turned. I wasn't sure what to do next.

"I'm sorry, Mike. I'm sorry. Please forgive me."

"Shut up Joey. Where the fuck is Chris? They'll be after him now too."

"I... I don't know. I saw him a bit ago. He was looking for you. I told him, warned him they know."

I continued walking by him, barely noticing the tears in his eyes.

"Please Mike. I didn't mean for you to get hurt."

I turned towards him. "Look Joey, I don't care about that right now. You want to be forgiven. OK, you're forgiven. I've got to find Chris before they kill him." I started to walk away, then turned back towards Joey. "If you ever loved him then you'll help find him. Tell him to go home. And get yourself out of here too."

"I... I might know something that will help."

"What?" I wanted to reach down his throat and pull the words out of him. If he knew something, why hadn't he said so?

"It's Ron. He went up to Ms. Davis' room. It's 203. He figured it would give him a view of the parking lot. He thought he'd find you there."

We'd been standing next to the staircase and I launched myself up, taking three, sometimes four at a time. Second floor, 203. There it is, to the left and across the hall. I didn't bother stopping to look through the window in the door. I grabbed the knob and burst into the room.


As he turned to face me an evil grin spread across his face. "Well if it isn't Tinkerbell. I was afraid you'd split with your little loverboy. Just watched him tear off out of the parking lot. And speaking of tearing off. It's about time your head left your shoulders."

He strode towards me throwing desks out of his way as he approached. I froze. Just stood there. Eyes wide, mouth dry, gasping for breath. I could feel my whole body shaking. Why the fuck did I ever come in here? I took one step forward, away from the wall. Ron was upon me. His right fist headed straight at my face as he lunged towards me.

I couldn't believe it. Is this ape really that stupid? I'd never have to worry about him reproducing. He wasn't going to keep his balls long enough. What a fucking idiot. 'He's big and dumb as a man can come...' If Jim Croce had met Ron Recob, he'd never have written those words about Big Jim Walker. He'd had me trapped. Caught me in an empty classroom. There was no escape. And just like before he was leading with a roundhouse right. Again I ducked out of the way. Again I caught him with a forceful uppercut. And again it was smack between his legs. He fell face forward into several desks. Two of them broke into pieces he crashed so hard.

This time I wasn't stopping. This time I would humiliate him. He was coughing, wheezing, holding himself as I kicked him onto his back. A lifetime of anger, a lifetime of rage had built inside me. It was time to let go. I looked down at him. He was pathetic. My jaw was clenched almost as tight as my fists. I was ready to pounce on him and beat him senseless.

But I couldn't do it. I hated violence. I hated him for nearly turning me into another him, another ape man, a Neanderthal, a Recob. Self defense was one thing. But fucking a guy up for nothing more than pleasure, nothing more than revenge, that was just plain wrong. That just wasn't what I wanted to be about.

"Go ahead. Go ahead." He could barely speak the words. "Why don't you just fuckin' finish me? C'mon you fucking faggot."

"You're not worth it. I could fuck you up. I could fuckin' kill you, slowly, painfully. Cripple you for life. But you're just not worth it. Because that would turn me into one of you, a pariah, an outcast, an enigma. The world's full of those. It needs another decent human being, not a fucking Neanderthal. No thanks. No matter how much I'd like to, you're just not worth the fucking loss."

"You fucking faggot. I'll kill you next time. I'll fucking kill you."

I turned and walked out of the classroom shaking my head. "Some guys just don't get it." I muttered to no one in particular. But I did. I got it. I was gay and I was madly in love with the world's most perfect boy. And he was in love with me. And for the first time in my life, I actually liked being me.

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