Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 35

Zach finally found him sitting on the bleachers.
At the highest level, far from the ground. Right where the clouds caressed the metal; where the pool, locker room, and schoolyard were tiny and distant. Towering over the school like some holy ghost.
Each step gave a hollow metallic clang as he ascended to him. And while Gentry took notice, he made no effort to move or acknowledge him. He diligently waited until the clangs became louder, slouching with his arms folded over his stomach. In the twilight, the blue metal gleamed weakly.
“Where’s the bracelet?” Zach demanded, breathlessly, positioning himself directly in front of his face. Typical Zach. Either you moved around him or he ran you over. And if you got in his way, well.
“Answer me.”
Gentry looked up, rested his head on one fist and murmured,
“How’d you get out?”
“The window. Don’t change the subject. I want my bracelet, and I’m not leaving until you give it back.”
“Then get comfortable.”
Zach slapped him in the face.
“Don’t fuck with me.”
“A bit late for that.”
“Give me the bracelet.”
Gentry abruptly stood up, tore it off his wrist and threw it over the edge of the bleachers.
“There’s. Your. Bracelet.”
He stormed down the stairs and Zach ran alongside him, “What am I going to tell him!”
“Tell him I tossed it off the edge of the bleachers.”
Zach stopped a few steps behind him, and threw his hands in the air, “What the hell is wrong with you! When I’m found out, so are you.”
“Maybe I don’t care.”
“Then you’re not acting right.”
That’s because I’m not acting.
Gentry sighed and stopped walking, glancing over his shoulder with a pensive look on his face. Yet he didn’t look at him, because he could no longer hide the frustration which hung heavy in his heart.

“I never act right. At least I’m not twinking out over a fucking bracelet. But if it means so damn much to you, know that Mikey won’t think any less of you for cheating; because he doesn’t think about you at all. I tripped over that piece of garbage on the way here. He had his chance to throw me against the door and say how much he loved you. He had the chance to follow me here, to tutor you himself and prove how much he cared for you. He didn’t, and it isn’t because he’s trusting or stupid. It’s because he doesn’t give a fuck. And you know what, neither do I. He wants a nigger to take to the prom, so you go be that. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll stay out of my way and burn that picture.”

Monday, December 22, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 34

I know you stole it!
Oh. He had it all right.
Clenched tightly in one damp and sweaty palm.
But he hadn’t stolen it. It wasn’t worth stealing— it was trash that didn’t matter.

…Only it did. For some reason, Zach had a fixation with this piece of garbage. And right now it felt just like holding a part of Mikey in his hand, the little part he could do something about. Crush it— stomp it— burn it.

The bathroom door slammed behind him.
The blue stall door clicked shut.
With the excitement of anger, he threw the bracelet to the ground and stomped onto it until he calmed down. He vaguely heard his own haggard panting over the silence, looking down to eye what was now muddied up against the blue tiles, smoothly woven but coarsely stained. It still wasn’t finished. No, that wasn’t enough. He picked the bracelet up with the tips of his fingers, reached into his pocket and pulled out a lighter. He’d burn that motherfucker. Cremate him early—

But he stopped himself, noticing the sprinkler system right above the stall. Fuck. Of all stalls—
He shot out the door and crashed right into Mikey.

“Gentry.” The other boy deadpanned.

Gentry briefly stumbled back from the impact, but caught himself against the edge of the sink.
“Mikey.” He returned, unsmiling. The bracelet was still clenched in his palm, half-hazardly hidden in plain sight. Despite the racing thoughts coursing through his blood, he sternly reminded himself that there was no problem, and that it would remain that way unless he said otherwise. Mikey had nothing—
Nothing but the strained look on his face.

“I’m surprised you’re still here.” Mikey drawled emptily, “Didn’t swim practice end a few hours ago?”
Gentry gave an affirmative nod, then pushed himself off the sink and turned on the faucet. Water came gushing out, forming neat little drops at the sides of the plexiglass bowl. Slowly he eased his hands under the spray, rubbing them down nice and slow.

“So,” said Mikey, “What’s keeping you?”

Gentry glopped soap on both his palms, and liberally doused water on the bracelet that was now stretched tightly over his wrist. It didn’t matter what Mikey thought, what he saw, or what he didn’t see— Gentry quietly decided he wouldn’t deny a damn thing if asked. There was nothing to be ashamed of, nothing he felt sorry for. Denial had “lie” built into it if you rearranged the letters, and there was nothing to lie about; just like there was nothing he owed him, and nothing he had to say for himself.
“And you?”
“Stayed for a GSA event.”
“Rape prevention.”
Immediately he felt the rush; some skin-prickling urgency and a sweltering light-headedness; as though the bracelet was burning up against his skin.
He didn’t say anything. Instead he continued to soak and scrub his hands, silently waiting for Mikey to leave. He’d have to, sooner or later. No one waited around forever. Fact was, if you were quiet long enough, most people got bored and left you alone.

So the silence grew until it became a monster all its own… Devouring patience and composure. He could almost smell the irritation in the steam which rose up from the water— boiling hot and heavy. It tempted him to steal a look at Mikey to confirm a new suspicion, but Gentry resisted. There was no fight unless he made one. There was no issue here, no conversation, as long as he didn't answer. And most importantly, there was no hurt unless he asked for it. Besides, Mikey knew better than to get physical: the moment he did he would lose, because there was no way you could win against someone with nothing to lose. And Gentry had nothing to lose, as long as he held on to it tightly. Fact was, the silence was not new to him, and he wasn’t that scared of it. He’d keep it for nine more years if he needed to. He quietly dared Mikey to do the same, and felt a tingle of pleasure when Mikey raised his voice again.

“Today we focused on child molesters.” That condescending drawl wavered up, then sunk into a low whisper, “Makes me sick how some parents destroy their own children. Can you imagine breaking a child like that?”

Gentry turned off the faucet and shook the water from his hands.

“No. I can’t.”

He brushed past him in distaste.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 33

At that moment a string plucked in Zach’s mind… and released an unsteady dissonance. Immediately his head shot up, eyes wide with sudden understanding as he scrambled to his feet and towards the study room door. Locked.

“You bastard—” he yelled, “Open up! I know you stole it!”

Gentry heard him. He’d waited for it.
His hands slowly pushed his body off the librarian’s counter, and his lumbering body started the long tread down the hall, ears listening to how the the pounding pleas steadily weakened the farther he was and the faster his feet moved across the scratchy carpet. Farther and farther away with each step, back turned and eyes fixed forward. The double doors were right in front of him, and he could almost feel the cold metal of the handle in the fist that was slowly curling at his side. Could almost feel the cold air on his face—


He stopped. Stopped just long enough to glance over his shoulder and dangle out a set of keys. They clinked together loudly, jingling like bells in the empty library, clanking together with glorious noise. And for a short moment, Zach stopped pulling at the doorhandle and instead looked up to listen. Those wonderful blue eyes gawked at him, just him… for a moment that was just long enough to hurl the keys into the darkest, farthest corner of the library.

“Call your boyfriend.” Gentry said, just loudly enough to reach through the glass to Zach’s gaping expression, “He’ll find them.”
What Zach said afterwards, he didn’t catch, because he turned back around and loudly kicked over the trash can on his way out. As it aimlessly rolled around on the floor, he opened the double doors and quietly slipped out.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 32

Note: Yes, the hand-scrape part was difficult for me to describe. Basically, if you lay on your elbows and get pushed hard enough in the upper-chest, there's a chance you can recoil and land on your palms (it's pulling away mid-way. Though you have to be quick and the shove has to be strong.) Casey and Carly are two characters whose actions will directly impact the coming chapter. And as for the bruises... hehe, I'm saving this secret. I hinted some of causes, but I've kept a lot of it secret for now. Thanks so much for the comments!!! They got me through finals :)

He kept his arms rigid, feeling the carpet press into palms. They were still hot, still heated as Zach told him:
“I don’t want him to get suspicious.”
“If he isn’t already, he’s a lousy boyfriend.” Gentry thought to himself, although he didn’t say it. Instead pulled himself up onto his feet and reached for his backpack, limply slinging it over his shoulder as he asked Zach, who was sluggishly pulling himself off the ground:
“What are you looking for?”
“Bracelet. You’ve seen it.”
“Yeah, I’ve seen it. Why’s this one so important?”
“It means something to him. He’ll notice if it’s missing.”
“Don’t you already have one?”
“This one’s different.”
“Because that faggot gave it to you?”
“—Because it’s making a statement. We’re going to the prom together— we’ll be first openly gay couple in the history of Kennedy to do that.”
Gentry was silent for a moment, then shrugged,
“I don’t care. But so you know, there can only be one prom queen.”
“I know.”
“Why do you even want to go? What’s the real reason?”
“Same reason you would.”
“To show off how you can throw money around? That you can support the school you said you were boycotting as long as they let fags drop their cash?”
“None of your damn business.” Zach snapped at him, “You’re officially ‘straight’ out of this room. And you’re taking Kylie to the prom, right?”
“Yeah. Why shouldn’t I, you’re taking Mikey.”
Zach exhaled gruffly, “You can’t compare them like that.”
“I just did.”
At this, Zach gave an exasperated sigh and realized this was going nowhere, fast. He turned away and fumble through his things, mostly for the sake of fumbling. As though he were searching for something that couldn’t de described, hazy as a childhood memory but clear as the smell of saltwater. He was annoyed, but not irritable. Just raw enough to answer him, even though the look on Gentry’s face warned him not to. He was interested all right— he’d leave if he weren’t. Zach knew that much, which was why he drawled out with satisfying slowness:
“They’re not the same, Gentry. I’m not dating him to get back at you— I’m dating him because I actually like him. If you liked me bad enough, you would have had me. But it doesn’t matter now. Telling you is a waste of breath; you do what you want no matter what I say or who you step on, and sometimes I think you like it better this way. Probably it really does it for you. You play everyone out, and I've stopped caring why. But you know, humans are pack animals. That means they trust each other enough to have these things called relationships, which they depend on for survival. But Hell! Nothing you do ever makes any sense; you do whatever the hell you want.”
You have your life, I have mine. If you want to be so deep in the closet that you’re tripping over Christmas presents, I won’t stop you. If I want to drag my gay ass to the prom, not your problem. You’re the last person whose opinion I’ll be crying myself to sleep over, because I don’t care about it— It’s not like you would ask me, and even if you did, I’d say no.”
Gentry opened his mother to speak, but Zach went on rambling,
“And save the faggot this faggot that, because whatever you think you are, you’re still as fruity as they come.”
The door clicked shut.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 31

Well, maybe not. He irritably pulled it over his head, fussing to get his arms through.
Around this time, Mikey crept back into his thoughts, and Zach felt just a little guilty. He swore to himself, as he did every time, that this had gone on long enough. That it was time to end it once and for all.
It sounded good, but then what? Admitting it was complicated enough, but could he… would he… just continue to play house afterwards? Maybe the best thing was to leave both, retreating into a devout break from all entanglements…

As he reverently chewed his way through his guilt the way he always did after sex, Zach was fully aware Gentry was now watching him pull up his jeans and yank down his GSA t-shirt, which he only wore since he believed in The Cause. Studying the way he aligned his watch with his GSA bracelet; thinking if he liked watching him put his clothes on more than he enjoyed taking them off.

“You mind?” Zach murmured, just rudely enough.
“There’s nothing there I haven’t seen before. Gentry shrugged, and with uncharacteristic catty-ness added, “You didn’t mind me looking a few minutes ago.”
Those amber eyes glanced away, unnaturally focused on some crack in the wall. He was in no rush, he never was. He’d leisurely pull his pants back up, and lounge about for a while, basking in the sunset without saying a word.

But Zach had to say something. He always did:
“That condoms remark was really crappy, you know. Even for you. And you don’t even use condoms, so that also makes it hypocritical. Maybe you should start following your own advice. They make nice ones now. Flavored, glow in the dark...” his voice trailed off.
“Either way.” He came back in that oh-so-certain way that Gentry really liked, the kind that was ripe with conviction and just a little outrage,
“It wasn’t funny. You could hurt people with by saying shit like that.”
“You know— the only good thing is that you don’t talk more in public. You can be a real dick sometimes,” Zach replied casually, without glancing up. He had barely finished the last syllable before Gentry pulled him back and wrestled him against the floor.
Zach shoved him back and muttered, “Get off. I need to find something.”
“Look for it later.”
Gentry put a finger to Zach’s lips before a single word was fired, then sat up to eye him wryly with his lean-muscled legs straddled over Zach’s stomach. He loosely cupped that all-too-boyish face, before reaching his hand up to slide a cold metal ruler off the table and into his palm.
“Is this the designated time to feel guilty?” Gentry asked him, moving the ruler under that proud chin and propping it up.
“Go on. Repent.”
“I’m not Catholic, and you’re not a priest.”
“I can be.”

Those blue eyes were really something. Sunken and heavy-lidded, surly and unforgiving. He’d seen them before, but couldn’t remember where. They reminded him of the Saints in the illustrated Bible he’d read many years ago, with their heavy brows and long-suffering gaze. He liked it best when Zach looked at him that way. It made him want to hold him down and fuck him up, remind him just how human he really was— show him he wasn’t any better than anyone else. Fuck him so hard he’d forget his God.

Zach was looking at him now, eyes fixed. Following his feelings the way the tides followed the moon, lapping away at him with that spark of sympathy which never evaporated, a little piece of something that he kept in his heart when the days were long and the nights were cold.

“Your eyes are too beautiful to be glaring at me all day.”

Gentry put down the ruler. He sighed as he eased down onto his elbows, so close he could feel him breathe in.
There were times. God, were there times…

“There’s nothing wrong with this. I already know why you come here,” he whispered into his ear, hot breath grazing against his jawline, “I think about it all day. I watch you when you aren’t looking, waiting until I can be alone with you. Any time spent with you… Zach, that’s what I come here for. You don’t have to— we don’t have to do anything. But close your eyes, and you won’t regret it.”

Zach gave him a strong shove back, and Gentry staggered back to his knees, open palms scraping against blue carpet.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 30

“Don’t you ever worry about being outed? Exhibition streak aside, you have to admit, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to be a closeted gay exhibitionist. In fact, it doesn’t make any sense at all, it’s like you’re setting yourself up. People are talking about us, you know. What if someone like Sydney might burst in, what would you do?”
Gentry flatly replied, “No one ever has, and no one ever will.”
“He did in the bathroom.”
“This isn’t a bathroom.”
“But they’re already suspicious.”
“They won’t be for much longer.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“I just am.”
Zach looked away. You just are. Well, good for you.
But that did not sound good. At all. When someone that crazy was that certain, it was probably because he had something planned… and although Zach wanted to pry further, he stopped himself. Nothing good could come out of that, and besides, he wouldn’t have put it past him to have already put something into motion, or at least thought it through. No, that last part wasn’t reassuring at all.
Gentry cast him a wry look, then grinned and kissed at his jawline, “Stop worrying.”
“Whatever you’re planning, it doesn’t sound good.”
“It isn’t.” Gentry stopped for a moment, and thoughtfully added, “But it won’t affect you.”
“That wasn’t what I meant. It’s not about me, it’s about—” Zach sighed, throwing his head back over the seat until he felt blood gush into his forehead.
“You know what, forget it.” He gently pushed him away and added, “It’s your business; play straight or play gay or be a general fruitcake— do what you need to do. You've figured out a good system to avoid getting caught. Sydeny could walk in right now and you'd convince him he didn't know what he saw. And it won’t matter anyway because you’re the only one who can swim the Gauntlet. You’ll get away with it, like you always do. But don’t you ever get tired of it?”
“Tired of what?”
“Of denying yourself?”
“I fuck boys.” Gentry said offishly, “That’s what I do, not what I am. My culture isn’t defined by liking dick… And it’s nobody’s God damn business if I do.”
“Yeah yeah.”
Zach shrugged, then blindly reached for his GSA t-shirt.
Kennedy High GSA: Being Gay is Abnormal— I’m Extra-Ordinary.
He sat back up and shook his head to cast off the dizzy spell, then gawked at the bright blue shirt for a long while before putting it on.
The letters blurred into view, crisp, clear, and black.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 29

Zach was smiling just a little as he faded back to where he was now, listening to half-whispered words which were just loud enough to rise above the air conditioner.
When had it turned back on?
Mmm, didn’t matter. It was cold…

By now he’d learned to think past the uneasy silence which followed their rushed or not-so-rushed encounters, and presently sat on the table with nothing on his groggy mind except whether or not to hit the bathroom, and how to do so without arousing suspicion. He was surprised when Gentry spoke first,

“I like smelling you.”

Zach cast him a look from accross the room, because really, what could you say to something like that? Gentry looked back, then shrugged aimlessly; as if he didn’t know why he had said it either. He returned to shuffling about the room, picking up pieces of discarded clothing. Zach eyed the "evidence" on the table, and peevishly wiped some of it off "Wuthering Heights." Gross.
“Doesn’t it ever disturb you that people are going to be using this table after us?” he awkwardly grumbled, to which Gentry replied:
“It didn’t disturb you a few minutes ago.”
Zach sighed since the conversation was going nowhere fast, and tiredly began the search for his left sock.
“I have a bed, you know. It might be nice not to worry about people coming in.”
“Except your mom.”
Zach stalled.
Gentry held up the sock, and Zach snatched it away.

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 28

Note: A "headfuck" is someone who enjoys toying with peoples' thoughts, motivations, and feelings. Thanks for all the comments :)!!

“Do you know what a headfuck is, Gentry?”
"Well, you are one.”

Zach’s gaze drifted towards the pencil sharpener. Against the smooth, sharp metal edges which easily caught the fading sunlight, glimmering brightly enough to catch his interest for a few minutes. In the background he vaguely heard Gentry say “Hasn’t stopped you yet,” and briskly replied,
“Yeah, it hasn’t.”

It was still hot enough that he half-expected the metal to melt before his eyes, scalding as a pile of hot liquid goo. He lazily inched his fingertips towards the sharpener, then suddenly darted for Gentry’s hand. The hot skin pressed against his own as he intertwined their fingers and tugged him forward, just suddenly enough to make him stumble. Gentry caught his balance easily enough, then tried to tug his hand back. Once, twice.
Gently at first, as if brushing it off as a joke.
Oh, but it was no joke. Zach was watched him with carefully concealed amusement.
And finally Gentry was pulling so roughly that Zach’s arm was shaking along with him, prompting Zach to goad him, “You can fuck, but you can’t hold hands?”
“I can do whatever I want.”
“Well,” said Zach, “Don’t you want to?”
He stopped talking, and started staring; first at Zach, then at some spot on the wall. But not too intensely, just casually. As if his skin wasn’t scalding into Zach’s, as if he hadn’t tried to pull away, and as though that hand-holding was an everyday kind of thing. And it was, really, because this wasn’t important unless he said so. There was no issue unless he made it an issue, and it wasn’t as if he was from Mars and had never held hands with anyone before. He’d held his mother’s on the way to the library until it became uncool to. He’d held hands with that one girl in the first grade, after everyone dared him to. He’d held his own the first time he burnt it on the stove, and then every time after that. He’d held Zach’s hand when he pulled him into the locker room, but this, admittedly, was different. He just wasn’t sure how to explain it, preferring instead to wallow in awkward silence, grim-faced and tight-lipped.

Zach watched him smugly for a while longer, until Gentry scowled and again tried to wrench his hand away; in spite of the redness which still burned in the tips of his ears— something Zach noted with no-longer-concealed amusement because, oh no, he was not letting him go now. Instead, he intertwined their fingers together and pulled him so close that he could feel his hot breathe ghost against his jaw.
“Let go.”
It was a warning… one Zach discarded as he slid one hand around his neck, drew him close, and kissed him. The piercing stung against his skin because once, just once, Gentry didn’t have the time to plan how he’d move his mouth around it. Just once he didn’t have the ability to suppress the soft moan in the back of his throat, and the involuntary curling of his fingers. Those rough, salty lips moved with a raw uncertainty, just for that one moment… that one moment before Gentry forcefully shoved him away and flat against the table, pinning one hand over his head. Ow, that hurt. But the pounding of new of pain in his shoulder couldn’t wipe the self-satisfied smile off his face, a smile which widened as he watched Gentry catch his breath.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 27

Zach leveled his gaze at him, until Gentry broke down into laughter. It wasn’t loud or annoyingly boisterous, but it was just mean enough for Zach to fire,
“Geez. You’re even less funny when you’re sleep-deprived.”
Gentry quieted down, softly tittering to himself until Wuthering Heights flew at his face, barely missing him and very narrowly scraping past top of his head. He caught it just as it banged off the wall.
“Now Zach; don’t let your jealousy out on this…” he read from the back of the cover, “enduring piece of 19th Century literature.”
“You’re not funny, I’m not jealous, and that’s not enduring.”
“The look on your face was all of those. You should have seen it.”
“Whatever. Fact is, it doesn't bother me. You're not my boyfriend; and I wouldn’t care even if you did fuck Casey.”
“I didn’t.”
“Whatever.” he grumbled, taking a deep deep breath as he crouched down to pick his pencil off the floor, only to grip hot skin instead of cold wood.
He jerked away immediately. Gentry did too, pulling back his hand if he’d burned it on an open fire. He then glanced at the ceiling, as if that crack in the second corner tile was particularily interesting today. And in turn Zach grudgingly grabbed the pencil, and rigidly sat up in his seat, scratching the pointed lead tip against the paper to slowly spell out Z-a-c-h T-y-l-e-r…
It snapped loudly.
Gentry discreetly slid him a pencil sharpener.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 26

Zach used to pretend it— all of this— was spontaneous.
That this was sex, and that it sort of just happened. In the heat of the moment, with indescribable passion. Well.
There were only so many times you could “accidentally” have sex. And only so many times you could be thrown on the table and cry out “we shouldn’t…”
The jig was up. It had been up for some time, and Gentry knew it, too. Heck, he’d tease him about remembering to wear the “cheap” underwear. Zach never did think of a retort for that, but instead accepted it in stride. Well, as much stride as he could muster, since cheating was not exactly dignified.

The other thing that wasn’t dignified was peeling yourself off someone’s lap after, well. Some things Zach didn’t spend much time dwelling on, and “afterglow” was one of them. Which was why he quickly moved off Gentry’s lap, sticky-wet with a potent mix of sweat and cum, a dull ache building deep inside him. It would hurt more, later... but Gentry knew better than to leave him limping. He propped up against the table, as the day reeled through his mind.

Today’s lesson had started so slowly… he had time to leave, but he hadn’t. It all happened so slowly.

The air conditioner was broken. The heat hung heavy, swollen from the sunlight which glared through the blinds and reflected off tiny beads of sweat.

Wuthering Heights lay unopened on the library table, its laminated cover strongly glinting in the slowly fading sunlight.

The tiny room was hot, but comfortable. Too comfortable to work, and too comfortable to leave. Just good enough to stay the extra ten minutes.

Zach was slouched over the pale wood table, cheek mushed against his elbow and half-lidded eyes peering over his elbow. Sweat weighed down a few short strands of his coarse hair, the ones which refused to neatly spike up with the rest. Occasionally he would suck in his upper or lower lip, even though he tiredly acknowledged that it wouldn’t help the blistering dryness.

Days like this, he understood why rain existed.

It was one of those late afternoons where nothing seemed to move fast enough, when the world turned caramel-slow and everything was chewed over and pulled under. For the past ten minutes there had been nothing, not so much as a sound. Yet the lack of conversation didn’t bother Zach, because Gentry had a way of talking without speaking.
It was the way he sat curled up in his seat, slouching with his balled fist against frowning lips and an arm loosely thrown across his stomach, amber eyes blankly fixated on some spot in the distance. The heat was licking away at him, too; melting him into a pile of sweat and bones. The smell of chlorine still hung heavy on him, and his hair was still damp with water and sweat.
Both of theirs; its pungent smell permeated the air, unashamed and raw, so strong he could almost taste its curdled flavor in his mouth. God, it was hot. Too hot. So hot that Gentry peeled off his shirt and threw it at the window, falling back in his chair like a sunburned old redneck, the kind Zach saw in dubbed American TV shows.
“You need a rifle.” He told him, and Gentry smoothly drawled back,
“You need a whipping.”
No sooner had the reply left his lips then he lurched forward and took a long gulp of water, downing the bottle quickly a little bit trickled down the corner of his mouth. Zach watched him lazily, one hand fumbling through his backpack to pull out a shiny new mp3 player.
Gentry seemed to ignore him, until the first notes of the bumbling Bollywood melody reached his ears, honey-thick and rough all at once, thumping through the thick black earphones which hung loosely over Zach’s shoulders.
It went on for a good ten minutes, the only sound in the room until Gentry grumbled,
“What is that?”
“It should be called terrible.”
Zach sighed, and sourly turned off his mp3 player.
“I was just trying to liven things up.”
“That music could make the dead turn in their graves.”
“Then, what do you like, Gentry?”
Zach gave him a knowing look, “No, really? I meant music.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Never thought about it.”
Gentry lurched forward and swiped away the mp3 player before Zach could paw it back, then stood up and flipped Wuthering Heights open to page 255.
“Finals are in a few days. Knowing Handson, most of your grade will go on an essay about any book you’ve read. Wuthering Heights is a safe bet, since he does the same thing every year.”
“I already passed.” Zach sighed, “Who cares.”
“If you’re happy with a C, then why do you still come here?”
Zach shifted uncomfortably in his seat, then leaned forward with his elbows on the table and loudly asked, “What else do I need to know?”
“He gets all his final questions off a site, but doesn’t go in order. Your safest bet is to do all the prompts... ‘comes down to seven.”
“Got it.” Zach nodded curtly, and reached for his pencil.
“Just write the outlines for now.”
“I’ll help you from there.”
Help you. Zach didn’t know why those words irritated him as much as they did. So he briefly, very briefly, stole a look at him. At the faded jeans he had worn for the past few days, the rough bruises on his sore-scrubbed red hands, and the stale look in his eyes which hinted he hadn’t slept.
“How can you help me when you can barely help yourself?” he asked himself.
Just after the sound of his voice came back to him did he realize he’d said it out loud. Gentry paused dryly, regarded him coolly, then went on.
“A day or two before the final, you’ll read over your finished copies. By then, you’ll be ready for whatever he throws at you.”
“Did you also tutor Casey?”
Gentry looked thoughtful for a moment, then shrugged carelessly.
“We fucked.”
The pencil dropped from Zach’s hands. It hit the floor with a muted thump, rolling between them. Zach gawked up at that unrelenting poker face, at the lips which very slowly curled into a smile.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 25

Note: I was sick. To celebrate my recovery (and the leftover pumpkin pie I'll be eating until the xmas) I'm updating daily this week :)!! This part is a tad NC-17, but it's important events-wise. Promise:

Gentry ran his tongue down Zach’s chest, down his stomach, over the sticky-wet skin. There was nothing coy about it, nothing apologetic about the way Zach writhed into his lap, and then arched against the coarse fingertips which relentlessly stroked him where no one else could. Stroked him how no one else had. Fingertips all at once battered and strong, just slick enough not to break him in half. There was nothing shy about the soft pleading, nothing deceptive about the nervous sweat which trickled down the back of his neck.
Zach’s legs were straddled over Gentry’s lap, bare feet every so often kicking against the back of the Maplewood chair. It would probably leave a mark, but that wasn’t important. Zach wasn’t aware of it, or how tightly his arms were wrapped around Gentry’s neck, his natural fear of falling, in the reassurance of the strong arms which kept him steady as each excruciatingly slow thrust pushed him closer. Closer to coming, closer to leaving, closer to him.

Coming was not the best part, it was right before… that little space in time when Gentry first pushed inside him, when he slowly fell apart. When he no longer cared about showing off or who had control, and finally betrayed how much he needed this.

Behind tightly closed lips was the silent whisper which needed no voice; unspoken words reflected in the depths of his eyes. Later he’d play it off, shrug it away. But in that moment…

In that moment, Zach knew he could hurt him. He could catch him off-guard, he could make him admit every weakness and make him beg for even the slightest sliver of affection— Beat him down and use him. But he never did. Because…
In that little moment in time, he felt closer to him than anyone in the world.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 24

Note: Rape does not turn people into rapists. That's a myth. The number of abusers is small in comparison to the number of victims, and even if some abusers were abused, the majority of rape victims do not rape others. PSA over.

“Did you know that most rapists were raped themselves?” he asked morbidly, “It’s psychologically proven— abuse can turn you into an abuser. It’s sad, but that’s how it is. Rape’s not something you should take lightly, and what Gentry is doing is very dangerous and… offensive.”
“Yeah, well. What else is new? Maybe he had water in his ears. Maybe it doesn’t leave his ears, maybe it flows the other way...”
“This isn’t funny.”
Zach reached over to turn off the blaring Bollywood music, then fell back into the barely-there folds of the sleek black couch.
“I’m not trying to funny.” He sighed, “But you’re being too serious. It isn’t as if it’s a death sentence.”
“It can be.”
Zach peered up at him and brashly replied,
“So can walking down the street.”
“A car might hit you.”
Zach moved to sit up, yet Mikey shifted his weight to keep him in place.
“—Anything can cause trauma.” Zach grunted, “What I’m trying to say is that we’re only human, and probability says you will be hurt. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll become a bully or a victim or the walking dead. In the end, it’s people that decide their actions, not their problems.”
“Hm. So…” Mikey’s voice trailed off, and he glanced away.
Zach continued on, awkwardly. He didn’t notice how Mikey was tersely looking away, present in body but not in mind.
“People have problems, but that’s not everything there is to them… let’s be reasonable here—”
“But you still think it’s wrong, don’t you?”
“Of course—”
“And you think victims shouldn’t be re-victimized?”
“Yes, but—”
“But what? Last summer, I volunteered at a counseling center. They told us about how dangerous these misconceptions are, so it’s really messed up what Gentry’s doing.”
Zach’s eyes narrowed, distant from conflict. After about a minute he took a long, labored breath. Mikey leaned in to peck him on the lips, but Zach turned his head away. At this, Mikey wordlessly moved off him and said,
“Why don’t you stand up to Gentry on this remark? If anyone can do it, it’s you. You’re smart, and you know rape is wrong.”
Zach looked at him from the corner of his eyes, then replied in a strained voice, “It’s not my place—”
“So he has you where he wants you.”
“No.” Zach scoffed, “That’s not it.”
“If you won’t stand up to him, I will.”
Mikey’s lips parted, and his eyes lit up in a way which made Zach squirm. The look quickly faded, and Mikey shrugged and calmly moved off him, taking a seat on the armchair opposite the couch.
The sunlight shone in from the bay window, illuminating rings under his eyes. There was a look about him, the look of someone who never sat still, someone who was just now sitting down to think. He knew Zach well enough to know that it took a lot to shut him up, and he wondered what was in it for him. People didn’t deserve things, they wanted things. He reasoned that Zach must want something. He was not sure, however, what he wanted with Zach.
“You know, Zach.” He murmured, “Any way you slice it, a rape survivor will never be normal again. Think about that.”
Zach sighed as he sat up, “Why does everyone have to be normal?”
“Because people who aren’t make things too complicated.”

Monday, November 10, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 23

Mikey’s voice trailed off, falling beneath the Bollywood music which blared in the background.
Zach slid past him with his best attempt at a dance, sliding over the hardwood floor in his socks. Zeus followed cloe behind him, snorting and grunting in bewilderment, his hooves slipping on the newly mopped floor. The maid had mopped it later than usual, and the moment Zach had seen it, he kicked off his shoes and yelled at Mikey to turn on the Bollywood music. Although Mikey hated Bollywood music with every cell in his mind, he grudgingly went along with the request.
“Zach, have you read this article?” he asked over the high-pitched singing and the maddening drumbeat. Gods, he hated Bollywood music. He had taken that dance class to demonstrate cultural sensitivity, a delicate ability which was slowly ebbing away. Zach had more Bollywood music on his mp3 player than anyone needed, and he wasn’t even from India. It was flat out weird… Mikey wished that Zach would just focus on being gay… or half-black… or Estonian… because this was just too much. People needed to stick to their culture.

Right now, Zach was skating large circles around him, narrowly avoiding tables and chairs. Mikey tersely watched him woosh by.

“I never read the school paper!” he exclaimed, gracefully gliding past him.
“Gentry was interviewed… he said that Kennedy should pass out condoms to prevent rape. Can you believe that?”
“Yeah, I can.”
Zach twirled around on one foot, then dramatically collapsed onto the couch, resting one arm over his forehead with unearned tiredness.
“I wouldn’t be so casual about it, Zach. And I wouldn’t be dancing around like that, either. This is serious.”
“I don’t want to be serious.”
“Well, rape is a very serious crime, which he obviously doesn’t understand. I can’t believe he’s even being considered for Valedictorian, since a valedictorian is supposed to represent the school…”

Zach sighed forcefully, raised both his eyebrows and looked up at the ceiling, but didn’t say anything. There were times when saying anything was saying too much. So, in the absence of commentary, Mikey went on:
“A rape victim can never be normal again, their lives are ruined and they are dead inside.”
“Now come on.” Zach turned onto his side, “Getting raped doesn’t turn you into the walking dead.”
Mikey leered at him for a moment, then shrugged and put down the paper. He slowly sauntered to the couch and climbed on top of Zach, leaning in. He was not stupid; it was clear that Zach’s newfound joy hadn’t come from out of nowhere. The bruises were one thing, and the way Gentry looked at him was another... it was plain to see that something very predictable was going on. He didn’t like it, not one bit.

Some days he wondered what Gentry had over him, but promptly decided it was not a thought worth pursuing. Whatever Gentry had, it didn’t make him great enough to be in a relationship with. He wasn’t even an ex, there had never been a relationship. All he was was a confused homophobe, and now he was starting to suspect that there was something else wrong with him. It was only a hunch, but he was going to test it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 22

“All right, Gentry. What do you think athletes need to know about rape?”
“That it’s bad.”
“Is that all?”
“Well… Rape is the worst crime.”
“Anything else you wanna add to that? Like, do you have any tips for athletes or anything?”
“Not to rape anyone.”
Kylie scribbled that down, hunching over slightly so that her breasts jiggled and bulged out of her top.
Mike cruised by, nearly dropping the lunch tray as he did a double take.
“…Hey Kylie.”
Kylie didn’t glance up as she sighed a greeting. She had worn a low-cut baby blue top today, and was vainly hoping someone would notice. Mike did, brightly commenting that blue was his favorite color.
“It looks good on you.”
“That’s nice.” Kylie whirred dismissively, “But I’m doing an interview for journalism so, let’s talk later ok?”
Gentry gave him a tiredly sympathetic look. Even he knew that Kylie’s “later” meant “never.” Mikey had a conflicted look on his face, and straightened his posture as he brushed past, loudly his tray down beside Sydney and Ethan. Sydney, who had also noticed the top, brightly held two oranges up with a large grin plastered across his face.

“All right,” Kylie chirped and looked back at Gentry, who gazed at her with patient disinterest. She thought his cool front was absolutely sexy. She liked men who were in control… that was a very good quality to have.
“So… Gentry. Tell me…” she clicked her tongue and snuck a look at him, then back at the sheet, “who do you think is most responsible for ensuring that women stay safe… that rape does not happen?”
She sucked on her lower lip, and embroidered her previous question,
“Are there any experiences that shaped your view? Anyone in particular?”
Gentry had a blank look on his face, then thoughtlessly replied,
“My dad.”
“Oh. So would you say, that your dad was positive male influence on that subject?”
Mike gruffly pulled away the oranges, after getting tired of Sydney jiggling them around, rubbing his fingertips over their ridged surface. Normally, it didn’t bothered him. Except that now, she was sitting right there. Ethan laughed dully at this, but moused-up the moment Kylie shot him a mean look.
“That is amazing.” She said, pointing a no-nonsense face at them, before she slowly turned back to Gentry, “I think it’s great that you grew up around a positive male influence. So many guys don’t have one, and it’s so great that you do. That really impresses me. You know, I think your dad’s a really great guy. He’s not only smart, but cool too; I talked to him in the office a few times. He knows so much about so many things.”
“…Including law, which is something I’m very interested in. Maybe I could come over for dinner sometime…?”
“Do you have any other questions?” Gentry snapped impatiently.
Kylie met his eyes, but saw nothing there. So she fell into a disenchanted silence, glimpsed at her list, and slowly read out,
“Is there anything you think Kennedy High should do to inform students about rape?”
Gentry took a chug of water, clunked it down and replied, “Pass out condoms.”
“Condoms?” Kylie glanced up, brows raised high with animated bewilderment.
“Yeah.” Gentry shrugged, “You never know what happens.”

Monday, November 3, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 21

For the first time in a long time, Gentry thought.
Admittedly, he didn’t spend as much time thinking as he spent feeling. But today, he was thinking. Really thinking. Perhaps at the wrong time, but it was something.
T h i n k i n g.
Thoughts which set his heart racing, which turned the dreary climpering of the keys in his mind to a wild melody which resonated through every part of him— even through stubborn silence. His lips were slightly curved from quiet daydreams he would never tell anyone, trying to remember how good it felt to touch and be touched. And to be able to rest his head on Zach’s shoulders, breathing him in.
It felt good.
Sometimes, he toyed with the fantasy of, one day, unapologetically taking Zach's hand in public. He would walk through the blue-brick schoolyard without having to say anything to anyone; not as some attention whore, not as the “gay guy,” and without the intention of playing politics. He would just walk with him because he wanted to, and if people didn’t like it, too bad. Their looks wouldn’t matter anymore, and their voices wouldn’t reach him.
It was a stupid fantasy; one which Gentry always dismissed right after bathing in its warm glow.

“What is rape to you?”

Gentry suddenly glanced up; blankly.

“Four letters.”

The question had come from nowhere, and hit suddenly like cold shower.
Where was he? Who had said that?
Kylie was sitting there at the lunch table, and she had asked him a question. She was interviewing him. Right. She was doing an interview. For the school paper. About what? About rape.
“That’s it?” Kylie drummed her pencil on her notepad, “Four letters?”
“Well... Rape… is not a good thing... It’s definitely against the law.” He replied, because he really didn’t know what else to say. Words didn’t mean much. Words were combinations of grunts and symbols, sounds which could manipulate as easily as they could be manipulated. He knew how to use them, but gut instinct always told him what he really needed to know. Words were ornamental, and had failed where his gut instinct hadn’t.

Four letters did not describe rape.
He wanted her to get fucked bloody on the way home. Then she would know better than to talk about it so easily. She could write her own article… maybe even a compelling survivor story. That would get you into Vassar.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 20

Note: Happy Halloween!!

The afternoon sun beat down on his back, drying up the droplets which skimmed over his form and along the curve of his spine, down to his sturdy legs, and slowly dripping from his black swim trunks.
He looked good, Mikey decided. Damn good.
So he leaned forward to kiss him on the cheek, “Want me to drive you home this time? I got my license, so I came here with my new BMW… you just have to see it. It’s like silver, and very shiny. It even has a backseat.”

Zach pulled away, “We don’t need to give them a show. Enough already.”

Mikey sighed past the grin plastered to his face, as Zach moved back to the pool and crouched down to save some poor humming bee from chlorinated doom.
“Didn’t you say that you’re not his bitch?”
“Yeah. I did. But there’s a fine line between freedom of expression and shoving your view in someone’s face.”
“All right… though you were licking your fingers—”
“That’s different. I’m only doing to Syd what he’s doing to me. Do you know how many times he talks about boobs? The other guys are always talking about tits this, boobs that, breasts that; hell, I now know more about breasts than I ever wanted to… I don’t talk to them about cock. And why? Because I’m polite. And I’m tired of being polite, I’m tired of them calling me faggot and acting like I’m less manly and don’t belong on their team. Hell, I’m more manly than any of them, because I can fuck my own kind, I don’t need some delicate girl to make me feel tough—”
“Whatever, Zach. It’s your call…” Mikey’s voice drifted off as he moved behind him, quietly watching Zach lean forward to cup the struggling insect into his hands. As he sqawted to maintain balance, the trunks crawled down his hips, and a bruise came up. It was mild discoloration, but visible enough.
“Hey, where did you get this bruise?” Mikey murmured, at which Zach startled and nearly dropped the insect. He quickly regained his composure as he shakily stood up and tossed the critter out past the fence, into some fresh green blades of grass.
“Oh… I didn’t know I had one.” Zach replied, truthfully enough. He didn’t know it was there, but God did he ever know where it came from.
“It must’ve been an accident.”
Mikey raised his eyebrows and replied coldly,
“Be more careful.”
Then he brightly changed the subject, asking, “Did you get a tux for prom yet? If not, I have a list of what I’m wearing… to make sure we match.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 19

And the moment he was gone, Mikey grinned at Zach and said, “God, he’s like a dictator!”
“He is.”
“But was that really necessary?”
“Yeah, it was.”
Zach put down his finger, but not before giving a saucy look to the angry freshman who was desperately trying to glare him down.
“I’m not going to let some breeder push me around— hell, you know what. People like him make it worth staying on the team. Someone has to have the balls to do the right thing and take a stand against a homophobe. I’m not going to let a bully impose their way of life on me.”
“I didn’t mean Syd, I meant Gentry. Does he think we can’t hear him from over here?”
“Oh.” Zach laughed weakly, “he probably wants us to hear. I don’t even know if he was bullshitting that time, or if he actually meant it.”
“I don’t care what he meant, since he said what he said. You know, homophobia aside, I like Syd better. At least I know where he stands.” Mikey paused to lower his voice, “Gentry changes depending on where he goes. He’ll say or do anything as long as it gives him the upper hand and, actually, I’m a little surprised you didn’t call him out this time.”
Zach shrugged uncomfortably.
“If Syd quits, the team goes to hell. I’m not gonna be the gay who screwed the team. Besides, if this Gay Agenda bullshit keeps that stupid breeder in line, then I won’t say anything.”
“Keeps him in line? Hah, for being such a rebel, you don’t talk like one. That sounded like something a teacher would say—”
Zach frowned.
“If I was a teacher, things would be different. Either way, you’re the head of the GSA. You should have said something, if at all.”
“I didn’t want to say anything, since I know you’re still on his team.”
“Just because I’m on his team doesn’t mean I’m his bitch—” Zach stopped himself, and softly added, “or that you can’t say what you think. I can, if I have to.”
“Right...” Mikey’s voice trailed off, “so. Still rocking that piercing huh?”
“I’m not taking it out.” Zach insisted, rakishly pulling at his swollen lower lip, “It’s a commitment.”
…Well. He needed to commit to something.
“You’re so stubborn. I don’t think you’re supposed to swim with it, either.”
“Yeah, well.”
Zach reached out to unhitch the wire-fence door for Mikey, who slid in.
A few freshmen boys were still slowly but surely clearing out of the pool, casting their best dirty looks towards the two. Freshmen Swim boys were easy enough to incense, but the Seniors just looked the other way (later they would steal things from his locker and pretend he didn’t exist.)
By now, Zach just ignored the lot of them, because he was used to it. He didn’t take it so personally anymore, since he had never needed them or viewed them as friends.
“I’m going to swim with it because I want to.”

Monday, October 27, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 18

Note: Believe it or not, I like Sydney. He's almost like Zach's mirror self...

The door fell shut with a muted thump.
Sydney shuffled uncomfortably. He put his hand on the doorknob, then dropped it down again. The words shifted around his mind, as he turned them over and over again to process each syllable for sincerity. Trying to see if they stuck, and where they fit. But fact was, they didn’t.
They had been nice words, and even had that devout ring to them. And yet, Sydney couldn’t swallow it. He didn’t buy it.
Hells no— he didn’t buy it.

He knew what he’d seen that day.
And he’d seen a faggot.

His gaze fell on Zach, who flipped him the one finger salute, then lewdly licked at the tip. Sydney groaned in disgust, and wondered why anyone would want to get fucked in the ass by that.
Zach raised his eyebrows in a silent dare.
Sydney took a step back.
No… he wouldn’t go for it. That faggot would not get the better of him this time. Gentry was a faggot too, but he was a faggot with a point. So Sydney decided to wait… yes, he’d wait for a better time. This punk would not further his gay agenda without a fight.
So he sneered and opened the locker room, following into the steam.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 17

Note: Thanks for the comments!! I was super giddy reading them. Better than chocolate!

At times Gentry wondered if Zach enjoyed this. With arms loosely crossed and gaze intently fixed, he reasoned that Mikey couldn’t be all that in bed. As a matter of fact, Gentry recalled having seen him piss once. His dick was average. Respectable, but still average.
But somehow, that wasn’t what bothered him. That wasn’t it.

As he lay perched against the open locker room door, Gentry vaguely registered he was being watched. A quick glance confirmed that, undoubtedly, Sydney was stating at him. Or rather, leering. This reproachful gaze stuck to him like a second skin, beaten heavy with disgust, forged from heated knowledge and its ignorant judgment.
After a few minutes of this, Gentry murmured,

“Do you like watching faggots?”
Sydndey didn’t hesitate to grunt, “You shouldn’t talk.”
“You’re one of them. And If people here had balls, they’d treat you like what you are.”
“And that is?”
“A faggot— don’t deny it.” Sydney grunted under his breath, leaning into his face. Yet he didn’t look him in the eyes as he said it, because a part of him still had a hard time distancing the team leader he respected from this faggot, this horrible faggot. He didn’t know why people didn’t want to accept the truth. Perhaps they couldn’t handle it; maybe they wanted to win Nationals so bad that they’d abandon God and morals and everything they stood for.
But Sydney was not like that, No. He knew damn well that this was a cocksucker, dick-gobbling homosexual, and he wouldn’t hesitate to say so. And it was this conviction which propelled him to raise his head and meet that murky-eyed gaze.
“I’m quitting the team.” He proclaimed, with a bold glare.
Gentry nodded solemnly, then probed heated look in Zach’s direction, “See him over there?”
“I don’t want to look at a fucking queer.”
“You think anyone does?”
Sydney drew into a tense and moody silence, while Gentry continued in a low and steady voice.
“I don’t buy it that a sissy faggot can scare you off, especially from a team you’ve put more than three years of your life into. I know you better than that. I know you’re a hard worker, and that’s what makes this team successful. I won’t ask you any questions if you quit, even though you’re letting us down on Nationals. It’s your call. But then don’t go whining about the fags queering up the team, because that’s what they want. That’s what Zach wants. He’s furthering the gay agenda, and he’s so good at it that he’s giving someone like you cold feet, someone who has worked all this time to be here. You think I want to keep him on? I don’t. But right now, I don’t have a choice.” Gentry paused, and dramatically added, “But you do. If you want to leave this team because of some cock-gobblers, then go. But I’m staying, because I’m not letting some Gay Agenda get in the way of Nationals.”
Sydney cast him a bewildered look.

“But what?”
“You’re a faggot—”
“Who told you that?”
“I saw you in the bathroom, you—”
“You didn’t see anything.”
“You were—”
“Nothing happened,” Gentry put his hand on the doorknob, firmly looking him in the eyes as he added, “nothing has and nothing will. If you want to make something out of nothing, I won’t stop you. But if you accuse me one more time of being one of them, I’ll give you a real reason to quit the team.”
That said, he tugged open the door and disappeared into the locker room before Sydney could gather up his thoughts for a reply.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 16

Mikey waited by the gate, watching as Zach swam back… and forth… back, and forth…
He wondered how it was possible to hit the wall so many times.
Everytime he came close to the blue tiles, bam! Then he would recoil to hastily swim the other way, only to eventually hit the other wall. Mikey wondered how he didn’t get brain damage from hitting the wall so many times. Or who knows, maybe he already had--- it would explain a lot.
In the other lane, Gentry slid by the water with the easy swiftness of a frog, flipping into a turn then pushing off the wall. Even then, only the tips of his toes touched the big blue tiles along the pool wall. This notably slowed him down, but he always caught up, keeping time with Zach, who every so often would take a harsh breath to keep from drowning. Gentry moved less like a human and more like a large fish, gliding through the water without resistance, fin-like arms shooting from the crystalline water then sliding back in. The stroke, Mikey recalled, was called The Butterfly. The Butterfly. Mikey turned it over a few times in his head, then leaned against the chain link fence, wringing his fingers around the netted metal.

When practice came to a close, Gentry heaved his sopping wet body onto the poolside wall, and sat quietly panting with his back hunched over and legs dangling in the water. He noticed Mikey from the corner of his eyes, yet showed no sign of caring. He stared at him like headlights at a deer, waiting for him to leap away.

“Hey, Gentry…” Mikey spoke up from behind the fence, “Mind telling Zach to come here?”
No reply came, though Gentry peered away dismissively. In turn, Mikey sighed, pressing his weight against the chain link fence, counting down the minutes until practice ended.

And the very second it did, Gentry leapt to his feet and shrilly blew into the coach’s whistle.

“Practice is Over. Move out!”

He yelled loudly enough to stir up the freshmen, who stopped splashing water at each other and looked up to listen. A few frightened birds whooshed past him. Mikey raised an eyebrow.

The truth was, he didn’t need to shout. He did it because there was nowhere else he could.
As a matter of fact, the right to yell that was a one of the reasons people vied to be swim team captain. When the coach would sit in the shade yelling orders, no one ever went against him. During practice, there was no excuse for yelling or giving orders to anyone unless you were the coach. If you didn’t like that, then, as he put it, you could “pack your bags and run home.” The swim team captain was a notable exception to this rule, because he had the coach’s shiny metal whistle. And only he and the coach had the right to blow into that whistle, thereby overpowering every and any other sound.

Gentry really liked that. So much so that he blew into it again, just for good measure. It was really the next best thing to a gun, the next best thing to whip people into order. The next best thing to make them look and listen.

“You’re such a showoff,” Mikey thought to himself, as the swimmers began to trudge out of the pool.
One by one they crept onto land; heaving, panting and ambling to the locker room as fast their tired legs could carry them. The Seniors sometimes hit the freshmen with towels or tripped them, and the smarter underclassmen tended to wait until the seniors had cleared out and hit the showers first. That way, they could sneak into the warm showers when no one was looking.

Zach trailed a little behind the others, sorely rubbing his head with a towel. He seemed to be in his own world before Gentry sauntered over and whispered something into his ear.
“He is?” Zach said loudly, “Where?”
Gentry leaned in to whisper something else, and the statement was returned by a shove, and a shove back.
“Hey Mikey.” Zach called out, dragging his feet towards the gate. He looked worn out, but that didn’t dim the odd energy radiating from him, as he leaned against the metal fencepole and grinned boyishly. There was definitely something different about him, Mikey figured. A certain something in his step he hadn’t seen recently.
“Hey, Zach. Hm, you looked great out there.”

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 15

Note: Thank you so much for the comments!

Zach rose to his feet, started to pull on his clothes and delicately murmured,

“I only wanted to make you feel good.”

No reply.
There were many things Zach could have said. Countless replies were running through his mind, the many ways he could give him a piece of what he was thinking. They were tempting. Like water to his burning anger, all of them! And he had the balls to say them, fuck yes he did.

But when he glanced over at Gentry, he couldn’t bring himself to. It wasn’t pity, it was something else. Something which made him sore inside, and stopped up up his throat.

There he was, leaning against the table with his fists on the surface and head hanging low. It was hard to look at him. Even harder was knowing what made him get that haunted look on his face, and that getting rid of ghosts wasn’t as easy as using a gun.
But no, he didn’t pity him. Hurt or not, Zach had seen enough of his favorite rival to know what he was capable of, to know that he was far from being anyone’s prey.

Zach dressed quietly, and in a matter of minutes he was prepared to go. Gentry was a tough guy, he’d get over it. Zach put his hand on the doorknob, but then dropped it down again.
“You stopped being a victim a long time ago.” He wanted to tell him, but didn’t.
Instead, he dropped to his knees and slowly crept over to Gentry, gently nudging the side of his leg with his his cheek. He bit his teeth past the burning shame, knowing that, at worst, there would be a good laugh at his expense.

“What the hell are you doing.” Gentry grumbled, not even bothering to look at him.
“Whatever you want.”
“Fuck off.”
“I'm not scared of you."
"You aren't scared of anything."
"I still like you.”At this, Gentry looked down.
Zach grinned back up at him.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 14

After an uneasy moment, Zach slowly slung his legs over the tableside, and propped himself up on his elbows. Gentry moved back, when Zach suddenly lurched forward and pulled him close. He started kiss him… Once, twice, holding him in place until resistance melted to foggy tolerance, when his breathing settled into slow and heavy panting, and the aching glare of suspiscion in his eyes softened to affection. Zach slid a hand one hand into that silky red hair and then down the nape of his neck, feeling each inch of skin tense, then relax. Down sculpted shoulders, under the hooks of his shoulder blades, over mouthfuls and handfuls of skin. Slowly, carefully, his fingertips trickled down his spine and shoulders, feeling him tense, relax, tense…
And finally, those shineless eyes closed.

Bathed in warmth; there was no other thought in his mind but the affection which poured onto him. His jaw rested on Zach’s shoulder, listening to the steady rhythm of his heart, lips parted for words he would not--- could not--- speak.
It felt good.
His breathing evened out to soft little sighs with the occasional hitch whenever Zach hit a fresh bruise or scar.
It felt so good.
He felt so good.
Heating up inside him, boiling to a fever pitch…
until a caress up his thigh jerked him back.

Without a word he shoved Zach aside, and morosely pulled away. Zach stumbled backwards, but kept his balance— It took more than that to knock him down.
“What the hell!”
“Do that again,” Gentry breathed, breathlessly moving off of the table, “and I’ll beat you ‘til you don’t want it anymore.”
Zach turned away to hide the hurt look on his face, but did not glorify the threat with a response. It didn’t scare him, either way.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 13

Note: Thanks for the comments! ^_^!

“I don’t want a boyfriend,”
Gentry kissed him, one hand pressing down Zach’s chest as the other unzipped his jeans.
“I want to know why you come here.”
When he pulled away, Zach felt his heart throb wildly, as tiny hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. He held his breath as Gentry’s his hands fumbled between thighs, and shoved inside him forcefully enough to make him buck up in pain.
“Fuck---” he groaned, “That hurt!”
“It should. Take it off.” was the ground out order, words hissed just under his breath.
“What’s with you—”
Take it off.
Zach cursed under his breath and undid his friendship bracelet, tossing it to the ground and promptly falling back against the table.
Gentry looked at him and Zach looked back.
He didn’t say a word, just pressed his lips to his skin and breathed in deeply, inhaling the salty-sharp smell that he could never mistake for anyone else’s. His tongue darted out over the expanse of his neck, taking in the familiarly spunky taste of the heated skin. Definitely Zach, all of it.
“Yeah.” He murmured softly. “I’m happy.”
He pulled his fingers out gently, and Zach skeptically glanced up at him. He let a hand ghost his hand over one cheek, lightly cupping it into his palm.
“What happened here?” he asked, and Gentry promptly fired back,
“Don’t ask questions you won’t like the answer to.”
Zach dropped the matter, because it wasn’t like this was the time or place to have a heart to heart. Gentry didn’t go for that kind of shit, anyway.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 12

Note: The second part of the Wednesday entry (see previous post if this makes no sense.) Thanks for the comments! They always make my week.

Zach lay pressed against the table, baffled to say the least. He didn’t know what to think, so he stayed very calm and gathered more data to reach a given result. In the background, the clock had stopped ticking. And it almost seemed that time was floating rather than flying, especially when those dark eyes stared down at him like the twin barrels of a shotgun. There was a dead silence in the room, save for the constant burring of the air conditioner and the drumbeat of his own heart.

Zach squirmed uncomfortably, yet he couldn’t bring himself to look away.

Finally, Gentry pulled away his hand and said, “Are you still going to come here?”
“I don’t know…” Zach exhaled, and weakly quipped, “if we keep beating each other up like this, we may not live to graduate.”

“That’s your answer?”

The dim smile faded from Zach’s lips. He knew this wasn’t a question. Somehow the uneasy realization dawned on him that whatever he said past this point didn’t matter, and this wasn’t funny at all. There was no getting through when the brooding in his eyes was replaced by dark space, when the shark on land would emerge from its murky depths.
“I don’t know what you expect me to say.” Zach replied guardedly, “I don’t even know what you’re getting at. Don’t tell me that now you suddenly want a boyfriend. Is that it?”
He knew the words probably wouldn’t register, since today there was something unnervingly disconnected about him. A dreary tension; something which made him seem far away even when he was close, something which drew him in and drowned everything else out.

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 11

Note: This is actually Wednesday's update. The original entry didn't mesh well as one piece, so I split it. Yet the two parts still need to be read together, if that makes any sense (probably doesn't.) I'm posting them both today!

Gentry caught himself before he stumbled, and cast Zach a vicious look before pummeling him to the desk. Zach flinched, and instinctively raised a hand as a buffer between them. Gentry quickly pinned it against the table.
“Faggot.” he breathed, pulling in close and slapping him again. “What are you trying to pull?”
“I’m not pulling anything.” Zach protested roughly. “But I will if you don’t let me go—”
Gentry pinned down his wrists and replied with a firm, “No.”
In response, Zach kneed him up into the stomach. And in return, Gentry slammed him against the desk hard enough to make his head spin.
“I saw your file today.” Gentry said abruptly, inbetween Zach’s pitched breathing, “You have a C+ in lit.”
“Yeah, I know— they gave back progress reports last wee—”
Gentry cupped his mouth.
“You’ll pass.” He softly ground out, “Congratulations.”

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 10

note: Sorry for the lack of regular updates! I needed to work out my new schedule for the quarter (craaaazy.) Updates will now be on the regular days. Thanks for your comments. They mean a lot!

Most days, the only acknowledgment that he wasn’t dreaming was the gnawing in his gut and the ringing in his ears, a constant static in his mind. Grinding away at him like waves at the shore, contaminating his actions by seeping into his thoughts. It had been a long day, and the dusk had already settled. Sunlight filtered through the library window, its fading rays illuminating the dust which floated over the little corner of the room, over Gentry’s hair and cheekbones. He had positioned himself between the walls, tightly pressed between the edges, with arms crossed stiffly over his chest. Nearly motionless.
His damp skin still stung red with weakening arousal, the fever which ebbed from him through measured breaths.

He had been silent. So silent Zach had nearly forgotten he was there, much less noticed he had been watching him intently for the past ten minutes. And when he finally spoke up, Zach couldn’t help by jumped a little.
“Why’d you wear those again?”
“Huh? Wear what?”
“Girl jeans.” Gentry murmured, every so often sucking on the bite Zach had given him. Goddamed faggot. Even when he wasn’t talking, that mouth was trouble.
“Because I can.” Zach replied unthinkingly, as he reached under the table for his friendship bracelet. He knew how that got there.
Gentry cocked his head to watch him. At least the view was nice, he idly thought to himself, as he watched him stand up again and tug the god-damned girl jeans back up over his hips.
“I like you better naked.”
“I know.”
“Did you also know that girl jeans are for girls?”
“Yeah, I did. And did you know that having a penis makes you male?”
“If you keep wearing those tight pants, you’ll be infertile.”
“You heard me.”
“No, I didn’t. Because you mumble so often that every time you open your mouth, it sounds like your words are having an orgy.”
Gentry snorted in contempt, and didn’t give a retort. This disappointed Zach, who waited for one. So finally, he turned to look at him.
“You’re not funny.”
“And you’re grumpy.”
“You make it easy.”
Zach cast him a mock-sour look, sauntered over to his corner, and effeminately slid one hand over his thigh.
“I am funny.” he said keenly, then flashed a boyish grin in response to Gentry’s perpetual surliness, “And if I was such a girl, you wouldn’t be fucking me.”
The answer was a slap to the face and a mumbled order to “Quit being such a faggot.”
Zach shoved him in return and bristled, “Fuck Kylie if you don’t like it!”

Monday, September 22, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 9

Note: Sorry for the delay, and thanks for the feedback! My internet zonked out.

There had been a time when the smell of his cologne would have made him dizzy, when he couldn’t stand the sensation of fingers on his skin. Days where he couldn’t taste anything but soap and saltwater, nights spent awake and frightened, turning the day over in his head and looking for a sign he’d missed. The mistake he’d made, tensely fearing its repercussions. He hated being touched, hated being kissed, and used to bite anyone who tried. There were days when anything could drown him, anything could hurt. But he wanted it, he craved the friction, wanted to be held close to his father’s heart and know it beat for him.
“That time mom came in, I was almost ten.” He said flatly, “Did you ever forgive yourself?”
“I live with it.”
“What did it feel like?”
“I’m not going to talk about this— I’m your father.”
“It didn’t stop you before.” Gentry spat, then softened his tone, “The first time you stopped it was when she came in. But that time I wanted you to continue; slow and hard like before, because I was close and I knew you wanted it— because that was the closest we ever were.”
“Stop it—”
“I watched you sometimes. Legs open, jacking off so hard my heart jumped to my throat. I was up that night, waiting; and when I heard your footsteps, I was so hard it hurt—”
“I said I’m not going to talk about this!”
“You never did.”
Gentry pulled close to him, so close he cool feel the man’s breath cloud against his face. His hands clawed into Johnson’s shoulders, holding him in place,
“And, you wouldn’t have admitted it if she hadn’t walked in. You would have accused me of dreaming it.”
Johnson took a deep and steady breath, “Let me go… put the past behind you.”
“Don’t tell me you stopped thinking about it; that you ‘put the past’ behind you.” He kept himself from yelling, because a part of him was still frightened that someone would find out. The accusation stayed simmering, low.
“The past is looking at me, and it’s you.”
“Gentry.” Johnson said, sternly, “Listen to me. For your own sake, the past is done with. I’m not that person anymore; I have religion.”
Gentry watched his father’s lips move, until the words regressed to meaningless sounds. It always depressed him how his father continually pretended things were under control, when they never were or had been. He was vulnerable, too. Everyone was. At any moment, any time, the drowning would happen. Any moment.
“Sophia has forgiven me. We can make a fresh start—”
Gentry shoved his tongue between the old man’s lips. He inhaled his fear, tasted his resentment from the way he tensed, then loosened. He wasn’t sure about what he hoped to gain from this, wasn’t sure why he did it, wasn’t sure what he was doing here at all.
He felt his father’s hand slide down his shoulder, and he quickly pinned it down as he pulled away from him.
“Tell this to your Church.” He spat as he shoved him away. “Tell them you like it--- how the only thing you regret is losing control!"
“Enough! That’s enough.” His father’s voice ended in a hushed declaration. “Stop this.”
Johnson scrambled back to his feet, and wiped the kiss from his lips with the back of his hand. “People can hear. You’re my son, and I’m your father. It’s not your place.”
“I won’t let you tell me what I am or what my place is. You never put me my place, and you’ve kicked me out of yours. So don’t tell me about my place, and don’t you compare what I have with Zach to what you did with me.”
Gentry glanced him straight in the eye and sat back down. He didn’t speak another word.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 8

“I’m your father.” Mr. Johnson stressed each word, speaking as though his voice could breathe life into the letters. “And you’re my son, don’t you forget it. Your place is with the family, we’re the only ones who have ever cared for you. You’re my flesh and blood, do you think I like seeing you hurt? Do you think Sophia didn’t ever do anything if she didn’t think it was for your own good? Other people start looking into other peoples’ business to distract from their own problems. There’s nothing anyone else will do for you; you only have yourself and your family to count on. No matter how much you think I hurt you, there is always one person who wants to hurt you more. You still have a place in our family— if you call me a monster, just remember that I’m also inside of you. I’m still part of you!”
When he finished, his chest was heaving again and his dark eyes were wild with the fury that beat in him like a second heart. It was rare when it came, but when it did, it drowned out all reason and pulsed blood into his thoughts. It was impossible to get through to that, there it was, that drowning.
You couldn’t fight it anymore than you could fight the tides, and once it took hold, it would knock the breath your lungs and clear all thoughts from your mind. You would lose control, you could lose everything in that one moment.

Each stared at the other, with the silent dare to contiue or to reply. It was Gentry’s turn to speak, Gentry’s turn to say something. Yet instead, he kept silent, as he had so many times in the past. Johnson grunted oldly, and turned away.

Sometimes he wondered why Gentry taunted him, yet never told. If it was still fear, or something else. If he burned himself for release, or for practice. He wondered if Gentry was hurt or if he just liked to hurt him… and if both, where one ended and the other began. As a man who relied on order, Johnson would later ask himself what it was that motivated him to step forward; and come towards someone who was all at once in danger and dangerous, perpetrator and victim, everything and nothing to him.

He tersely looked down at his his son, over the sour face and dark eyes, taking in the little details which made him his own. A curve of the lips, a weak chin. The body of hate he had brought into existence, which would eventually be the death of him. What an impressive piece of work.
He raised a hand to gently smooth over the stinging red cheek. There was no reaction or acknowledgment, but he wasn’t searching for it either. A hair was out of place, so he smoothed it down. Abruptly, Gentry slapped his hand away.

“Do you still go to Church?” he asked him, quietly.

“Of course.” Johnson replied warily, rubbing his hand. “Although, not for the reason you might think.”
“What should I think?”
“I don’t know the answer to that, Gentry. Only you know what you’re thinking. I can only hope you understand, that I don’t hate you for the way you’re born. Neither does Sophia; Your mother and I both care about you. Church is my therapy, I don’t expect it to be yours. But, you need to get help—”
“The kind of help I need doesn’t involve choir boys.”
“I will ignore that, Gentry, because you say these things out of anger. You can’t help it. I just pray that you’ll eventually be at peace with yourself.”
“I’ll be at peace when I’m dead.”
“You’ll find peace when you regain control.”
“And you did?”
“Yes, I did.”
“So." Gentry sunk into the chair, slouching with his fists crossed over his stomach, "That means that before, you were out of control?”
Johnson frowned, uneasily watching his son from the corner of his eyes.
“Where is this going, Gentry? What are you implying?”
“You talk a lot. Can you listen?”
When he glanced in those dark amber depths, he couldn’t find a sign. There was nothing wrong, but there was nothing right either. He didn’t like this tone, but couldn’t refuse such a gentle request.
“Depends on what you plan to say.”

Monday, September 15, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 7

Note: This scene between Gentry and his father has four parts. This is the second one. The last one will be posted on Friday (they're short.) These scenes were hellish to write! The type-o's have also been eliminated.

Circles. Everything seemed to go in circles. Thoughts, visions, motives. Sons became fathers, fathers died, the world still spun around its orbit.
Things did not change.
Everything moved in circles. Smooth, round, circle. It was supposed to be endless, with no start and no end. Yet when you walked in one, you had to have started somewhere, at some point. For Gentry, this point was birth. Somewhere, on the other side and the hazy future, was death. Yet since Gentry lacked direction, he was never sure which way he was going.

He liked line segments better, because there was a start and an end. Birth, death. If you weren’t one, you were the other. Fantasy, reality. When you were dreaming, it wasn’t real. It was always one or the other. Yet it was never that simple, since circles were more complicated.

Some things could not be explained. This was why, sometimes, he had nothing to say.

Now it stood before him, as it did so many times before, holding its grave silence and dark gaze. Eyes firmly fixed forward. Gentry always saw him in fragmented pieces, and whenever he tried to picture him as a whole, no face formed. He found he could do it when he didn't try so hard, when he was half-asleep. Yet even then, something was always missing, or he was out of focus; a walking blur of a man. At times Gentry doubted it was real, and wasn’t sure if he’d dreamt all of it. Some days, he wasn’t sure if he was looking at his father or staring down a bizarre figment of his imagination.

The quiet lingered in the room like an unearthly presence, held by both but fathered by none, and ultimately destroyed by the sharp pain of a hand slapping against his face.
“When was the last time you saw it?”
“Don’t know.” Gentry inhaled sharply.
Another slap hit his face, but this one was more decisive. Although he recoiled, Gentry didn’t feel it the way he had the first one. The skin had already thickened itself. And now Johnson was now red in the face, panting quietly through urgent gasps of air, almost wheezing them past his dry lips.
“Where is it? Don’t play your games with me.”
“Carly has it. He threatens me with it. That’s it.”
“Is that all?”
Johnson groaned softly, but resisted the urge to clutch his chest. He pulled away and staggered back to his desk, leaning over it grimly. The blood quickly drained from his face, returning it to its original dimness as the wheezing subsided.
“How’s your situation working out for you?” Johnson asked him casually, although his voice was strained. “If you need money, let me know.”
“That goldfish is dying.”
“You shouldn’t keep a goldfish in a bowl.”
Johnson leered at his son’s hand, up the lenth of his arm.
“You care about a goldfish? You can hardly take care of yourself, much less an animal.”
He then fell silent, hatefully leering at the swollen red burns which mottled Gentry’s skin.
Gentry noticed him watching, and looked back at him in the same way.

“You have no right to be like this.” Johnson scolded him. “It’s not your place— Stop looking at me like I’m the freak. I’m not a monster.”

“You know what you are.”

Friday, September 12, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 6

Mr. Lee Johnson kept many secrets. One was that he never stepped on the tile next to the trash can, especially the one near the front on the office. Not only was it inappropriate for officials to associate themselves with garbage, but it was embarrassing to admit that he held his breath if he even came within the vicinity of it, fearing something worse would be set into motion if he didn’t. Another secret was that few things bothered him more than the sound of slamming doors, which was why he always gently leaned his own shut upon entering the office. He would lean the blank blue wood into the steel doorframe, then turn the doorknob to mute the soft click. Perhaps Gentry wouldn’t have noticed him if it weren’t for the sound of alligator shoes on the carpet. Or perhaps he would, since it was unusual to use that door when he always used the one on the other side of the building. And in fact, it was unusual for him to leave his office at all.

But the truth was, Gentry hadn’t heard him; he’d felt him enter. It was in the chill that gripped hold, the cold which trickled down his spine in that old familiar way. The familiar pounding in his gut, the static in his ears. Drowning, it was like drowning when the breathlessness pulled him under, to where it was so dark and cold that nothing else existed but the wild beating of his heart.
It wasn’t the first time or last time he had faced his fears.

“That boy, Zach Tyler, is something else.” He heard his father say absently, forcing a breath past his lips. Johnson watched him swig down a sip of water for a brief moment, then turned his back to take the moment in his day where he always surveyed his desk; just to make sure everything was still in its place. That the pens were separated from the pencils, that the dust had stayed away from the carefully polished wood. That the square picture of his family was exactly in the left corner, turned so that the edge of the table would form a equilateral triangle. Nothing ever changed, and he made sure of that.

“It’s wrong what you’re doing with him.” He said without facing him, still surveying the bleak landscape that was his little office space. Twelve years of legal education amounted to this little space, to this crumb of power. Checking his desk had become more of a habit rather than necessity: he was used to checking that things were in check. That there was a place for everything and everything in his place— that was how things needed to be. Logical, organized, simple.
Yet opposites attracted, and he often wondered how it could be that the more he tried to control chaos, the more it controlled him. His gaze lingered on his Gentry now, frowning in wait for a reply. But he knew none was coming, it was just that the gesture was important if you pursued the intent of a conversation. Lecturing didn’t work.

“You’re pulling him into your mess.” He went on, while straightening his tie and jacket, “You’ll hurt him, it’s only a matter of time. I don’t know what you’re thinking. Perhaps, that he can take care of himself. But I’ve seen the way he looks at you.”
As predicted, no reply. Yet he knew that Gentry was listening, because he had stopped drawing circles, and simply sat staring limply at the sheet, pretending to think about anything but this.
“He might be in high school, but he’s still wet behind the ears, and likes to think he can have his way and change things. That somehow, he’s special; and that if he waits around long enough you’ll change. You should have seen the show he made of not going to the rally. Listen to me when I tell you this: If you care about him, you’ll leave and let him live a normal life.”
Gentry exhaled forcefully, then took another gulp of water. The tips of his ears were reddened, something he couldn’t hide. It was getting to him. The goldfish on top of the file cabinet swam in circles within its tiny bowl.
“So, which sob story did you tell him?”
“He isn’t with me because he feels sorry for me.” Gentry finally replied, then fell silent again.
Johnson’s eyes narrowed to slits when he smiled skeptically. Taking in the naiveté of the statement, and wondering if any of it was genuine.
“Aw, come now.” He said coarsely, “He’s a hormonal kid who’s discovered someone who knows how to give head. And he stays around because no one else pays that much attention to him.”
He went on, grinding out each word like stones against pavement. It took control to be like this... Firm, precise. The goldfish swam in circles.
“People don’t talk to him, they talk about him. And it’s always negative. No one really likes him, but he thinks you do. Yet, you’re really just bored, aren’t you?”
Gentry watched the goldfish, the fluorescent office light glinting off its silver back. It swam in circles, never once veering off its invisible path. He glanced away again, and took another swig of water, wondering if it ever viewed itself as a shark.
“You know; Gentry. This morning he made a scene about not going to the rally. He stayed in the cafeteria as everyone left, and I could tell from the look of him that he wouldn’t give in. So I thought what you would do, and didn’t make him. That’s your way of showing affection, right? You give him favors, like excusing that incident in the pool. But he doesn’t respond to me the way he does to you. Instead he gives me this mean, nervous look…like he knew something and couldn’t say it.”
Gentry was back to scribbling circles again. Neat, precise, circles. He knew he did that only to make him angry, to show him that he wasn’t worth listening to. That any mundane task could hold his attention more effectively.
“Does he know?” he asked him; and after a thoughtful pause, Gentry glanced up to reply:
“Know what?”
“Don’t play games with me.”
“Games are supposed to be fun.” Gentry thought to himself, but instead kept silent and shrugged stupidly.
“He doesn’t know anything.”
And then his head fell down limply, fingers back at drawing circles. Mr. Lee drew a deep breath. This was grinding down his patience, but he wasn’t about to show it. It would be another secret.
“I know well enough to understand that I can’t force you to do anything you don’t want to, and I’m not about to try.” his eyes grew cloudy, and his voice quieted down to a murmur, “I also know one of my pictures is missing... Does Carly still have it?”
“Ask him.”

Johnson waited a moment before he prod against the table and leaned his weight over it, pressing his palms flat on the maple wood surface.
“I’m asking you. It’s in both of our interest to protect the family, if that means anything to you.”

His breathing grew heavy, labored by heart pains. He had been sick for a while now, and Gentry smelled the gradual death on him. There was no use in doing anything now. Johnson’s face flushed with anger he couldn’t hide, the inevitable nature which defined him, the feelings which all too often raced ahead of his thoughts. The goldfish swam in circles.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 5

As he left, Mr.Johnson threw a crumpled piece of paper into the trash. But he didn't approach the trash to do so, he threw it from a distance and didn't see it dunk in. The paper had blown onto the cafeteria tiles, muddied and stomped on by the herds of students leaving the building. If he had opened it, he would have seen an impressively detailed rendering of a fish, eighteen smooth-lined circles, and the following dialogue:

you ever afraid of the dark?
not telling
just tell me.
Why do you want to know?
Sometimes. But only if it’s too quiet.
I can help.
You know a way to magically scare the monsters away?
I can tell you. Wanna know?
Just tell me already.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 4

Note: THANKS FOR THE COMMENTS :)! I got carried away and misnumbered one chapter. I didn't just make a huge update, I just pulled two chapters out of the original "Chapter 17." I write chapter headlines for myself. But then I ignore them >.>. This post is a flashback (a few hours back) from the previous one, like rewinding a tape.

Earlier that day, there had been a rally in the gym.
Whenever there was a rally in the gym, they closed down the classrooms and all rooms except for bathrooms in hopes of boosting attendance. No matter what the weather, this did not work on Zach. Not even today, when it was a frigid 56 degrees out and frost powdered the lawn. This was because Zach was a force of nature in and of himself, and even the weather could not make him do something he was not convinced of. Public high school had not only disenchanted him from day one, but left him philosophically pondering what the point was of cheering for an institution which tormented you. There was a word for that.
“At least when you sit in the cold, you don’t have to cheer for it,” Zach thought to himself, ducking into the open door. It was easy to be logical when he factored Gentry (and feelings!) out of the equation. Though somehow, he (and feelings) always snuck back in and messed things up.

Since the janitor had mistakenly left the cafeteria open (or perhaps he did it out of sympathy), rally refugees flooded the linoleum-tiled premises, crowding around the blue metal lunch tables. Soon Ms.Nasty would come by to tell them the cafeteria was closing and that they MUST attend the rally. She threatened them as if it were the holy word of God, waving around her clipboard with a crazed zeal. But all of the five people familiar with school rules knew that it was not mandatory at all.
But they also knew it was useless to argue, since a noisy gym was preferable to sitting outside in the cold.
Zach shoved his way through the crowd and trudged to a solitary lunch table, contemplating whether or pull a sit-in. His eyes raised in disbelief when Mikey pulled out a seat and joined him.
“You going to the Senior rally?” Zach asked promptly, to which Mikey replied,
“Yeah, you?”
“Fuck no. I’ve only attended one rally here. My first, and my last.”
Mikey chortled, “You’re such a rebel.”
“Did you know that they censor rallies? I think that’s stupid. They’re supposed to represent students and the school, but they’re really made for just the school and parents. The students organize the damn thing, but the school tells them what they can’t do until it’s basically just the school’s production, with students as the shift workers. That’s why we have such lame rally themes. You know what the theme is this time? Smurfs. They don’t let students pick out any themes because they’re so damn worried what the parents will think.”
“Well, the parents are paying the taxes.” Said Mikey, before curtly changing the subject, “What’s wrong with your lower lip? It looks swollen.”
Mikey cocked his head, “You might want to try taking out the piercing…”
Mikey raised both his eyebrows, then sighed and sat down opposite him, “I noticed you’ve been sitting alone lately.”
“You have amazing observational skills.”
“Yeah, well.” Mikey grinned, “I could watch your cute face all day. And have.”
Zach scoffed, “What are you, Santa?”
At this, Mikey pulled back.
“Well. I’m gonna go grab a seat at the rally. Bye, Zach.”
As he walked out Mrs.Nasty walked in. But before she could say anything, another man proceeded in front of her, ambling right past the aisles of tables. They exchanged a few words, after which she curtly said something into her walkie talkie and left. The man stayed behind with his hands dug into his black trench coat and clenched jaw extended forward past a leathery neck. His black eyes sparked up, and he yelled out,
“All right everyone! Listen up. There is a rally going on Right Now in the gym. Attendance is mandatory!”
Zach stayed in his seat. The new trend he’d observed was that school officials monitored the grounds during rallies. Clusters of them would be camped out in locations where students were known to linger, standing there with their sunglasses and walkie talkies, arms crossed and mouths drawn out in pensive frowns. Their presence alone forced students to relocate, or risk being badgered about how “rally attendance was mandatory” or WHY they didn’t attend the rally. Other areas of campus were marked as “off limits”, restricting movement to the bathroom areas.
Despite all this, Zach did not budge. He was from Haapsalu , Estonia , where the weather was colder and the people were tougher. Damn, and how he missed Estonia …
“Excuse me. But rally attendance is mandatory.” The clipped drawl catapulted him from his beloved motherland, and he found himself staring back into twin pools of black space.
For a while he could have sworn they were Gentry’s, but this was actually Mr.Lee Johnson. Zach gawked back at him, finding it tremendously creepy to know what he knew about him. Those eyes were as dark as the drawer where he kept that picture…
“No; it’s not.”
Johnson raised his eyebrows as if he was going to loudly reprimand him, yet instead said quietly,
“I’m not going to stand here and argue with you. Now please, go to the rally.”
“It’s not mandatory, so I’m not going. This school doesn’t go out of its way to support me, so I’m not supporting it.”
“You must be Zach.”
Zach grinned uneasily. Inside, his heart was pounding and the tiny hairs at the back of his neck were standing up. The way that man was looking at him, smugly knowing…
“Well, Zach. I’m not going to write you up. Though don’t you think you’re missing out?”
“Well, see you then.” He turned around and headed for the door, adding, “I’ll let you stay here… it’ll be our secret.”

Friday, September 5, 2008

Because You Suck: Chapter 19: Part 3

Some people could say they were seduced.
Zach was not one of those people.
The librarian typically clocked out around one, and relied on the janitor to close up the library. Technically, school rules stated that she had to stay until 4:00. But no one ever went into the library at four. Not even the janitor, who arrived at 6:30 to lock the door.

Zach’s shirt fell on an empty chair.

He would wait for him sometimes. Arriving early and eager, pressed up against the desk with an uneasy look on his face, and a hard dick in his pants. He usually made the first move. A kiss, a lingering touch, a heated embrace— wanting to hold him close despite the guilt that fluttered in his stomach and pounded at his gut.
If he were more naïve, he would have fanaticized about dumping Mikey and taking Gentry as his boyfriend; but knowing Gentry, the very idea was ridiculous. You didn’t keep people like Gentry around as boyfriends. Hell, you didn’t expect relationships from them— Zach fell for him, that was that. You couldn’t choose to fall. Yet just because you loved someone didn’t mean that a relationship would work.

Gentry’s shirt followed, yet he didn’t wait to see it land--- instead he firmly pulled Zach against his chest and kissed him deeply, sliding a hand into his dark hair.
Then, he paused.
“I told you not to wear hairgel.”
“If I don’t wear hairgel,” Zach replied breathlessly, breaking the kiss, “my hair will have no shape.”
“If you wear hairgel, it feels like plastic.” Came the unenthusiastically murmured reply.
“Do I style my hair just so that you can run your fingers through it?”
Gentry exhaled and turned Zach around, shoving him front-first against the table.
“No more talking.” He pinned one hand behind Zach’s back, and softly sucked on the area between the neck and shoulder. When Zach mewled, Gentry’s heart skipped a beat and he kissed him on the lips.
Gentry groaned as he pulled away.
“Sorry… the piercing....”
He calmly cupped the side of Zach’s face and looked it over.
“It’s swollen. Shit. Take it out before it gets infected.”
“Taking it out defeats the point of putting it in.”
Gentry rolled his eyes and undid Zach’s fly, sliding a hand into his boxers.
“Crap, wait.” Zach pulled away, “These are my nice boxers.”
The redhead stood there, tired-eyed and unamused.
“Nice boxers? They look like your other boxers.”
“Yes, but they cost more. I forgot to wear the other kind… shit.”
“It’s nice to know you save the cheap boxers for me.”
“No, that isn’t it.” Zach drawled, “These are cotton. They soak in the smell, so I don’t wear them when we, you know.”
“You can predict when we…”
“No, but there’s always the probability…” an awkward pause, “…when you’re around. You know what I mean.”
Gentry looked to him with helpless exasperation.
“…What is the point of buying boxers you’re just---”
“You use them if you want to make an impression. They have better form.”
“How many people do you have to impress?” murmured Gentry, moving up behind him to kiss the back of his neck, “Me, your so-called boyfriend…”
Zach sighed, as Gentry’s hand traced down his stomach, and one finger dug into the waistline of his boxers to pull them down.
“…” Gentry paused suddenly, “This is new.”
“What? Did I hurt you?”
“No... Just don’t touch that area.”
Gentry slid one arm under Zach’s right leg and eased it onto the table, then whispered in his ear, “Next time, wait until you actually have something to shave…”
“Hah, hah. Very funny.”
Gentry, who was never one to let off, nipped at his earlobe and whispered, “You’re becoming such a faggot.”
“Faggot?” Zach spat as Gentry positioned himself between his thighs, “You’re gay. Do I really need to point that out?”
Gentry cupped his mouth again, taking care to curve his palm so it wouldn’t hit the sore piercing.
“…No. But if you get a lisp, I won’t fuck you anymore.”
Zach bit him, which resulted in Gentry forcibly shoving him down against the table.
“No… biting.” he breathed in his ear, holding him down and pinning one arm behind his back.