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Emo Boi Finds Love

Chapter Twenty Five

by Terrance MacDonald

Thomas woke from his nap when the alarm sounded. It was 8:00 PM. Tyler's flight was due into the Atlanta airport in just under three hours. Thomas considered getting something to eat or not before going to the airport to pick up Tyler. He had checked the flight schedules and seen that there would be a meal served. He had made sure that Tyler would be in the first class section for that flight, so he would definitely be fed, but Thomas had eaten airplane food on many occasions and knew that it was often barely tolerable. He needed to get something, but thought a light meal would be better in case Tyler wanted to get something after his flight arrived.

Before he went into the restaurant, Thomas checked with the hotel's concierge to make sure that a limousine would be available to take him to the airport to retrieve Tyler when his flight came in. Once that was taken care of, he headed to the more casual of the two available restaurants the hotel offered.

Dinner at the Hilton's Magnolia Grill seemed to be just the thing. Thomas decided on the lemon grilled salmon with rice, mixed vegetables and a glass of sweet iced tea. The meal was light, yet filling, and quite good. It would still allow him to have something else later if Tyler was still hungry after the flight. He also ordered a cheese and fruit tray, as well as a bottle of cabernet to be sent to the suite he had rented for the night. Thomas had hoped that there would be a multiple bedroom suite available, but they only had one bedroom units available at this property. He didn't want Tyler to be uncomfortable with the sleeping arrangements. At least there were two queen beds. The sofa in the living room would also fold out into a queen size sleeper if necessary.

Thomas was unusually nervous about the meeting later that evening. This was something to which he was very unaccustomed. Thomas was typically very calm and collected in any given situation. Being completely new to him, it wasn't a comfortable feeling. There was still an hour left when Thomas finished his dinner before the limo was due to arrive, so he decided to sit at the bar and have a cocktail or two since he wasn't going to have to drive.

"Double Jack and Coke, short glass and only about three quarters full with ice - no fruit or straw please." Thomas noticed the bartender wince slightly when he ordered the drink. He was always very specific in what he wanted. He had been spoiled by his favorite bartender at the neighborhood pub where he would go to play darts in the afternoons at home. This was also the way he would fix his drink when he would make one at home.

"Sorry," Thomas apologized as he tossed a five dollar bill on the bar for a tip. "I'm just sort of particular. My bartender back home sort of pampers me." The young man behind the bar picked up the bill and shrugged as if to indicate it was either no big deal, or that he just didn't care as he turned to put it into the bucket that held his other tips.

'With a personality like that, this guy ought to be working for the IRS,' Thomas thought in response to the bartender's actions and demeanor.

While he sat at the bar and sipped his drink, Thomas pulled out his smartphone to check his e-mail. There was nothing of any importance on his personal account, just a couple notes from friends that he composed quick replies to. On his business account, there were questions from two clients about upcoming projects. One was easy enough to answer on the spot. The other would require some research, so he informed the client that he was out of town for a few days and would have to get back to him with a response the following Wednesday.

A different bartender had come on duty, and since there was still over half an hour before he needed to leave for the airport, Thomas repeated his previous order. He found the young lady who served his second drink much more easy going and accommodating than the somewhat surly young man who had been there before her. Thomas tipped her accordingly, actually giving slightly more than the cost of the drink as a gratuity. The bar being fairly empty, they struck up a conversation. It was mainly just incidental small talk, but it did help pass the time until Thomas' limousine arrived to take him to the airport.

The driver came inside to get him, and was directed into the lounge by the desk clerk as the concierge had already gone off-duty. Thomas slid his near empty drink over to the bartender, thanked her and followed the driver out to the car. It was a long, black Lincoln Town Car, its body stretched slightly longer than the normal model. The driver held the door open for him, and as he entered the passenger compartment of the car, Thomas instructed him to drive to the arrivals terminal at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Thomas had checked the arrival information using the web browser on his phone and saw that flight 8628 from Toronto was actually due to arrive a few minutes early.

Tyler's situation at home continued to improve, as did the relationship between him and his parents. His relationship with Corey had fallen off completely since the incident in the park when he had dumped out Corey's pot. Tyler's emotions had gone into a whirlwind after that episode. The combined loss of the one boy he really felt truly loved him and the rape by Drake that followed so closely after, then what Tyler saw as a betrayal by his longtime friend. He decided that it might be better to take a break from any seeing anyone else for a while.

These things also contributed to Tyler feeling uncomfortable returning for the new school term to the high school he had been attending during the time he'd run away from home. He discussed this with his parents during the summer break. They looked into the available options, and finally asked Tyler if he might be interested in attending a private, Catholic high school. It sounded better than going back to his old school, even if it meant having to wear what he thought of as a 'monkey suit' uniform. He thought he would probably be able to get away with not pulling the tie all the way up, and perhaps avoid buttoning the top button on the white dress shirt he would be required to wear. He also thought that surely there was no way he thought they could possibly make him wear the silly jacket the entire day.

He was only partly right about that - during the school's mandatory physical education classes, the students were not required to wear their uniform jackets. During this class, it was compulsory to wear a grey t-shirt, with the school's logo emblazoned on the front. Along with that, the students wore a short pair of blue gym shorts with white piping, white socks and white athletic shoes. Tyler and some of his new friends at St Ignatius thought the shorts were almost obscenely short. There was something else Tyler and some of the other boys didn't like about them - they had a jock strap sewed into them. This arrangement made it uncomfortable if not impossible to wear underwear beneath them - even briefs, and certainly not the boxers most of the boys preferred. The gym shorts were barely the length of the boxers most of the boys wore, if even that. This required them to strip completely in the locker room before and after class to change in and out of the uniform.

They were also required to keep their shirts tucked into their pants at all times. This only applied to the collared uniform shirts, but not to the t-shirts they had to wear with the horrible little shorts they wore during physical education classes. The school administration didn't care for the idea many of the male students had to pull their ties down, along with keeping their top buttons unfastened. Getting caught with their clothing in such disarray was grounds for detention.

It was about three months later; at the beginning of the second semester when he met someone he thought was very special. Chris had a slender build, shoulder length brown hair and deep brown eyes. He kept his hair long enough in the front that it swept across his forehead, sometimes covering his eyes if he didn't shake it away with a flick of his head. It was right on the verge of what many would refer to as an emo style. Chris really disliked it when people called him by his full, proper name, particularly the nuns, priests and other faculty members at their school. It was his exasperation at this that first caught Tyler's attention.

Tyler actually thought it was sort of daring when Chris corrected the stern old nun who was taking roll the first day of the second semester religious studies class they had both registered for. She was calling out the students' names in alphabetical order, of course. She had nearly reached the end of the list when she got to Chris. "Christian Reynolds," she called out.

"That's Chris," he answered. "My name is Chris."

Tyler looked to his right, where Chris was sitting. He had taken the desk next to Tyler when he came into the room and sat down to wait for the class to begin. Christian, or as he obviously preferred to be called, Chris, looked over at him and grinned. Tyler gave him a quick smile in return before looking back to the front of the classroom. 'Damn, he has a cute smile,' Tyler thought.

The elderly nun was not put off, and she was certainly not about to accept a rebuke from a sixteen year old student. "Young man, I'm quite certain that the official school records used to compile my class roster are anything but in error." When she spoke, her voice was gravelly. There was a hint of annoyance in her tone.

"My name is Chris," the boy repeated, emphasizing the way he expected to hear his name pronounced.

"Young man, Christian is apparently the name your parents had you baptized with. It is a perfectly good name, and it is how I shall refer to you!" The old nun was rather insistent and placed as much emphasis on his name as Chris had just done in correcting her.

"I told you, it's Chris," he repeated. His tone was becoming angrier as the discussion with the old woman progressed.

"Young man... Christian," the nun replied, "I will not tolerate such insolence in my classroom. I'll join you in the headmaster's office once this class is complete. You may enjoy the hospitality of the bench until then."

'The bench' was infamous at St Ignatius. It sat just outside Father Robert's office. He was the school's headmaster. The bench was made of a light colored hard, oak wood. Its seat was polished from years of students sitting upon it while they waited for admittance to his office for punishment of some sort to be assigned to them. Simply being sent to the bench was assumed to be proof of guilt for whatever offense the students were accused. There was normally no appeal.

Chris gathered his books, got up from his desk and left the classroom. He had a sullen expression on his face as he went and it appeared as if he was muttering something under his breath.

Chris was indeed muttering something under his breath as he left the room. It was a good thing Sister Mary Catherine didn't notice or his troubles would have multiplied. Christian Ambrose Reynolds was well acquainted with Father Robert's bench. It wasn't so much that he was a troublemaker, but he could certainly be stubborn. It was this stubbornness that caused his behind so often to polish the seat of the bench in the school's administration office.

Chris went to the school administration office and sat on the bench as directed. He was seething. He normally didn't care one way or another about getting punished for something at school, but then usually he realized that he had done something that violated the school's policies, and therefore whatever penalty was justified. This was not that sort of case. Chris felt as if he should at least have the option to be called by the version of his name that he preferred. His parents even respected his wishes in this regard. He saw no reason that the horrid old nun couldn't respect that as well.

Chris found himself wondering if he might be able to drop the religious studies class. Then he realized that it was a mandatory course. Every student at St Ignatius was required to take a religious studies course each and every semester they were enrolled. There were only a certain number available for each year group, so it was also going to be fairly unlikely that he would be able to switch to another - and even if it were, it would mean rearranging his entire class schedule. That wasn't likely to happen. It looked very much to Chris like he was going to be stuck in a bad situation for the next three months. 'At least I'll probably have a lot of detention time to get my homework done,' he thought. He was convinced that Sister Mary Catherine would be sending him to the bench fairly regularly.

Father Robert walked past him, headed into his office. He glanced at Chris, and didn't seem particularly surprised to see him there. Father Robert made no comment. He rarely did when there was a student on the bench. He would typically wait in his office until whatever faculty member had sent the student to him had arrived to explain the nature of the offense. This sometimes left a student sitting on the bench outside his office for multiple class periods depending on the schedule of the teacher.

Today, Chris didn't have that long to wait. It was only a few minutes after the bell rang, signaling time to change classes when Sister Mary Catherine strode into the office. The door to Father Robert's office was normally left open when he was in, so she knocked on the frame to announce herself. She did not bother to push the door shut behind her after she was invited in. Chris strained to listen, trying to hear what was being said. The voices in the office were not loud enough for him to be able to make out anything. It was only a couple moments before Father Robert stepped to the door and summoned Chris inside. "Young man, you may join us."

Chris gathered his books and walked slowly into the headmaster's office. He knew there was one certain outcome as he made the short walk - he would be getting some sort of punishment. Father Robert closed the door, then walked around his desk to sit in the large, high-backed leather chair. Sister Mary Catherine was seated in one of the stiff, wooden chairs in front of the desk. Father Robert did not ask Chris to sit.

"It seems we have a little problem, Mr. Reynolds," Father Robert began. It was rare that he ever actually used a student's name when he addressed them, but when he did it was by their last name. And he always used 'Mister' or 'Miss' before their surname. Chris thought that a large part of the reason for this was that Father Robert didn't take the time to get to know the students in his charge.

Chris' theory was fairly accurate. The only students Father Robert really knew anything about were the ones he considered the troublemakers and those who excelled either scholastically or in sports. Christian Reynolds was becoming one of the former of these in the priest's opinion. While Chris kept a respectable grade point average, he wasn't at the top of the class. He was the pitcher on the baseball team, and he was actually a rather good player, but his visits to the bench brought him to the attention of Father Robert more than his prowess on the athletic field. And these trips to Father Robert's bench did seem to be becoming more and more frequent - not only to Father Thomas, but also to Chris himself.

Tyler was disappointed when Chris was sent away to the headmaster's office. He had hoped to maybe get to know this boy, but now that would have to wait. Since it was religious studies class, Tyler thought it might be appropriate so say a little prayer on behalf of Chris. He doubted it would do much good, but he certainly didn't think it could hurt either. He would find out later how effective it had or had not been.

It turned out that Tyler and Chris shared the same of the school's three lunch periods. These were split across the school's fourth period classroom time to stagger the number of students the cafeteria staff needed to feed at once. Apparently during the first semester Chris and Tyler's class schedules had had them assigned to different lunch breaks, otherwise Tyler surely would have noticed him before today. Not being particularly interested in sports, Chris wouldn't have attracted Tyler's attention from his being the pitcher on the baseball team either.

Tyler was already eating when Chris entered the school's cafeteria. He was halfway across the room headed for the serving line before Tyler noticed him. Once he did, his eyes followed the boy until he'd entered the serving area. Once there he was out of Tyler's line of vision for a few minutes while he got his food. Tyler was sitting with a few friends as they ate. They knew that Tyler was gay. He wasn't ashamed of his sexuality, so he didn't hide it. He didn't flaunt it either, and neither his voice nor his mannerisms were effeminate.

There were other gays and lesbians at St Ignatius. Tyler was friends with some of them, but he had many straight friends as well. It was one of these straight friends who sat next to Tyler when he spotted Chris walking through the school's large dining facility. Tyler was brought back to reality by a light punch on his arm. "Forget it, Ty. He's straight," Andy Miller informed him.

"Huh? What? What are you talking about?" Tyler responded.

"Chris Reynolds, you moron. He's straight. You haven't got a chance."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Tyler lied.

"Dude, you are such a bad liar. You were so obvious the way you watched him walk across the room."

Tyler's eyes drifted back toward the serving area just in time to catch Chris coming out with his lunch. Tyler felt a sharp kick hit his ankle. He looked back to Andy. "OUCH! What did you do that for?"

"You're doing it again."

"I wasn't doing anything!" Tyler complained.

"You were staring," Andy insisted. "I'm surprised you weren't drooling."

Tyler looked back over to Andy and grinned. "Well, you have to admit it - he is hot."

Andy gave Tyler another light punch on the arm. "Dude, I'm straight, remember? Now her," Andy said as he motioned toward Amanda Peterson with his fork, "now that's hot!" Amanda was a very cute blonde girl in their grade. Andy had been trying to work up the courage to ask her out for the last few weeks. Tyler just shrugged. He couldn't deny she was cute, even if he wasn't attracted to her gender.

Tyler was distracted from Chris for a moment by his conversation with Andy. He was startled a few seconds later when one of the plastic lunchroom trays was placed on the table across from him. "You guys mind if I join you?" Chris asked.

Tyler's only response was to look at the boy on the other side of the table, his mouth hanging slightly open. Tyler found himself unable to speak. It was as if he was in a daze, something fairly unusual for him. He'd been around a lot of other cute boys without this sort of nervousness. But there was something about this boy... the cute smile, the self-confidence, the softness in his deep brown eyes - and there was also the way he'd stood up to the nun in class earlier.

Tyler was brought back to reality by another kick under the table from Andy. This one landed on his shin. Chris was starting to pick up his food to move when the blow landed on Tyler's leg and he was suddenly able to speak. "No! Don't go, sorry about that. Please sit down."

Chris smiled and sat. "You're in RS 202 with me this term, aren't you?" Chris asked as he started to poke at his food with his fork.

"Um, uh, yeah, I guess so," Tyler stammered out.

Chris picked up quickly on Tyler's nervousness. Kindly, he didn't bring it up. Instead he gave Tyler another view of the same cute grin he'd shot in Tyler's direction during class earlier that day.

Andy shook his head. It was so obvious that Tyler had it bad for Chris. Despite the differences in their sexual orientation, Andy and Tyler had become very close friends. Andy hoped that Tyler wasn't setting himself up for a big letdown. He'd already warned Tyler that Chris was straight, but it seemed to him that he might need to reinforce that admonition again later. For the time being though, he had to return to class, so he excused himself, taking his tray to drop off in the back window of the cafeteria for the dishes and silverware to be washed.

It took some doing, but a couple minutes later, Tyler finally managed to ask Chris the question he'd been dying to know the answer to for the last couple hours. "So what happened with the sister and Father Robert?"

Chris finished chewing the mouthful of food and swallowed before answering. "Three days after-school detention, but the awful old bitch has to call me 'Chris,' so I think I can count it as a victory."

"Damn, that sucks... the detention that is," Tyler sighed. In the back of his mind, Tyler was wondering what offense he could commit to get three days in detention as well. He wanted so badly to spend more time with Chris.

"I can handle detention - sometimes it seems like I have a reserved seat in there."

Tyler finished his lunch before Chris, but he waited until Chis was done as well to get up and take his plates to the dish-washing window at the back of the cafeteria. His nervousness had subsided as he discovered that Chris was an easy going guy and not hard at all to talk to. He was still practically swooning over Chris though - he couldn't seem to help himself.

Chris, for his part was taking it in stride, and thought it was sort of cute. Particularly when Tyler had told him that he admired the way he had stood up to Sister Mary Catherine about the version of his name by which he preferred to be called. He had also told Chris he was happy that he had managed a small victory over the nun when he'd been sent to Father Robert's office.

Chris could tell that Tyler had developed a nearly instant crush on him earlier that day in their second period class. Chris felt he had a big problem... He had similar, though not so apparent feelings for Tyler. But he was not publically 'out' at all. Tyler apparently was. Then again, Chris knew Andy Miller from the baseball team, and he was straight, and he was seemed to be good friends with Tyler. Maybe he could pull off a relationship with this cute boy and still maintain his straight persona at school. He liked playing baseball and didn't want to give that up. He was scared that he might be driven off the team if his teammates found out that he had a sexual interest in other boys.

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