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Extra Innings - 26. Chapter 25

The last weeks of school before the end of a semester were always the most hectic. Everything I did to try and make sure my papers were done ahead of time went out the window again. Though to be fair, I had some excuses for that. I didn't expect to be involved in an attack, and I certainly didn't expect to be involved in a criminal trial.

 

A week after our final road trip of the season, Vincente and I went to the courthouse to hear the verdict of the trial. We were both hopeful that the trial would end with a conviction, and didn't see any reason why they wouldn't convict, based on the evidence we'd provided and hopefully the testimony of a few other people involved in the case.

 

It turned out the two who attacked me were brothers, so the case officially registered the accused as Mr. Black and Mr. Black. Both men were standing with their lawyers, and I was hoping very much that this was the last time they'd be standing anywhere as free men, at least for awhile. They'd have to be let out eventually, but by then I could be more secure and not as worried about being attacked again.

 

“All rise, the court is now in session.” The court officer proclaimed, as Judge Walker took his seat.

 

Judge Walker stood up to deliver his verdict.

 

“The evidence brought forth in this case was incontrovertible, and displayed a level of malice unacceptable in modern society. In many cases, these attacks were brutal, and left lasting damage to those who were unfortunate enough to encounter the two of you. Nothing said by the defense has shown me that there is anything but guilt.”

 

I didn't understand everything that the Judge was saying, but it sounded like he was getting ready to convict. It was vindicating to know that other people believed me and whoever else may have been attacked, and that we were going to receive justice of some kind for what happened to us. I still hadn't met any of the other victims, but the fact that the judge said there was more than one attack proved that it was more than me who had been assaulted.

 

“On the three assault charges, I find both of you guilty, with sentencing to be dealt with at a later date.”

 

I smiled and squeezed Vincente's hand as we listened to the verdict. Three assault convictions meant that there would definitely be jail time for them, and I wouldn't have to worry about seeing them for a long time. Maybe never again.

 

“However, the burden of proof to determine discriminatory bias is a high one, and I find that the prosecution has been unable to verify that the accused acted entirely out of malice towards any one particular group. There appears to be no pattern to their attacks. Some were well planned, while others appear to be attacks of opportunity. Because there is no established pattern that demonstrably proves particular animus towards any protected class of society, I have no choice but to find the defendants not guilty of the aggravated assault and dismiss the hate crime sentencing. This court is now adjourned.”

 

The judge banged his gavel and stood up to leave. Officers were handcuffing my two attackers and leading them away, but part of me now felt hollow inside. I had expected to be happy that they were being imprisoned, but we still hadn't truly won. Yes, it was a conviction and proof that they did attack me, but the judge refused to consider it a hate crime even though they specifically said they attacked me for being gay, and even though I told them that they'd attacked other gay people. It felt like the judge didn't care about gay people, and didn't see it as worth his time to make sure that anti-gay attacks were punished appropriately.

 

We walked back to campus in silence. I was disappointed, and I don't think Vincente knew how to deal with the situation. He' wouldn't have known about any of the stuff that was said to me, but surely he could have told them that it was an attack based on homophobia. When we got back to campus I turned off towards the frat houses, thinking that Bryce would be there. I didn't say good bye to Vincente or even stop for lunch; the only thing I was interested in doing was curling up with Bryce and trying to figure out why the sentencing happened the way it did.

 

Miles opened the door for me when I got to the fraternity.

 

“Hey Devin, you look like you're in rough shape. Come inside and let's talk. Bryce left to go workout, but he should be back sooner than later. Have you had anything to eat yet?”

 

I hadn't, but I didn't want to sound needy, and I didn't feel that hungry anyway. Miles was about to sit down when my body betrayed me and a rumble was heard from my stomach.

 

“Out with it, when did you last eat? We're not in season anymore so I can't tell you as a teammate, but you know that Coach wouldn't be happy if you were off your team diet. At least I can say it as a friend.”

 

A friend? I'm glad he thought of me that way too.

 

“...last night.” I replied.

 

“Not good enough. You know that Devin.” Miles admonished. “Come on, get up. We're going to the kitchen and you're going to indulge in all the same horrible foods the rest of the frat eats.

 

Horrible food in the fraternity seems to mean salmon of some kind, two different kinds of potatoes, root vegetables, leafy greens and some kind of brownie thing that I didn't even want to look at. After forcing me to eat everything on the plate Miles gave me, he sat there looking at me expectantly.

 

“So. Wanna tell me what's going on? You don't only have your boytoy to talk to you know, we're all still a team even when the season's out, you can talk to us about anything.”

 

“I shouldn’t even be upset. I got the verdict that I wanted at the trial. The two guys who attacked me were convicted. They’re probably going to get locked up for a few years because there were more victims than only me that were attacked.”

 

I stopped, thinking that I sounded silly, but Miles looked at me like he was waiting for me to continue.

 

“The judge threw out the hate crime designation. There wasn’t enough evidence to prove that they’d targeted me because I’m bisexual, and none of the other victims could prove it either. So even though they’d told me what they said and made it clear that’s why I was attacked, the judge didn’t buy it. It feels like the judge didn’t believe that anti-gay hate crimes could happen, you know?”

 

Miles was nodding along, and when I finished he replied.

 

“You don’t know what was going through the judge’s mind, and you didn’t stay for the rest of the trial, right? You don’t know what went on for the rest of it. Anything could have happened, and you had to prove a pattern right?”

 

I nodded.

 

“Sounds like the prosecutor couldn’t prove a pattern of discriminatory behaviour. That’s not your fault, you did everything you could and you still got the conviction at least. It won’t be as long a sentence as you’d like, but at least they’re going away.”

 

At that moment, Bryce arrived. He looked tired, and the sweat glistening on his face and neck told me that it’d been an intense workout, whatever he’d been doing. When he saw me he smiled and waved at me before heading back up to his room.

 

“Thanks for sticking around Miles. I’ll talk to you later?”

 

“Yep, sure thing. Go spend some time with Bryce, you probably won’t see him much over the Summer. Get the quality time in while you can.” He said with a laugh.

 

I smiled and got up. Miles stood up and gave me a hug, then I walked upstairs to Bryce’s room. When I got up there Bryce had wrapped a towel around his waist, and he was in the middle of changing.

 

“Oh hey there, didn’t expect you right away. How’re you doing beautiful? You had court already?”

“I’m not thrilled with how things went in court. I had hoped for a better result.”

 

Bryce came to the door and hugged me.

 

“Oh Devin, I’m sorry. I thought they’d convict for sure.”

 

“They did, that’s not why I’m upset.”

 

“Bryce stepped away, confusion showing on his face.

 

“Then what’s the problem?” He asked. “If they’re convicted, that’s what we wanted right? They’ll end up spending time in jail for this, what more could you want.”

 

I laid down on Bryce’s bed and faced the roof, placing my hands beneath my head. I thought about it and the more I did, the more it sounded like I was whining about it, but I needed to tell Bryce and let him know why I was upset with things.

 

“The judge threw out the hate crime designation. No extra time for it, and that means the judge didn’t believe there was a pattern of behaviour proving that the attack was based on my sexual orientation.”

 

“But you told the judge everything! How could he not see that it was a hate crime!?”

 

“For it to be a hate crime, there has to be a pattern of evidence suggesting that it was entirely based on my sexual orientation. There wasn’t enough evidence to prove that, and my word isn’t good enough. That’s what the judge is telling us.”

 

Bryce punched the wall in frustration.

 

“That’s so messed up! So what, they get to pretend they’re not bigots because the judge is probably just as homophobic as they are? What a stupid system!”

 

I didn’t disagree, but there wasn’t anything we could do about it now.

 

“It’s fine, we still got a conviction, I guess. Can we talk about something else? I don’t want the last few days we get to see each other before break to be spent worrying about something that is outside of our control.”

 

Bryce curled up behind me and wrapped his arms around me, pulling me tight against his chest. He reached with his left hand and stroked the hair off my forehead, and then played with my hair while waiting for me to speak.

 

“So, what are we going to do over the summer babe?” Bryce joked with me. “It’s not like I’m gonna be around to give you what you’re used to, should I be jealous that you’ll be back in town with that Alex kid? Who knows what sort of naughtiness you two will get up to back in your hometown.”

 

“Hey, stop. That’s not funny. It’s serious. I’ve never done the whole long distance dating thing before. Or even the short distance dating thing. How do I know that things won’t fall apart if we’re not there to see each other all the time? After all, you’re going back to Seattle, and there’s lots of guys there you could meet.”

 

Bryce nodded.

 

“You’re right, there’s lots of guys, I might even have been with a few of them before. But that’s also a bit about relationships, you should be able to trust someone that they’re not going to betray you when your back is turned.”

 

I didn’t say anything, and since I was facing away from him I couldn’t see the look on his face as he continued talking.

 

“I don’t really think you’re going to do anything, because I trust you. You should trust me. Nothing I’ve done should have shown you that I’d mess around behind you, right?”

 

“Yeah, I know. I’m just… I’m going to miss you Bryce. It’s four months and I won’t be able to see you. I’m going to miss you so much Bryce.”

 

“I know sweetie, I know. But we can skype and text as much as you want. Besides, you should be busy over the summer staying in shape for next season! You don’t wanna get knocked off the team after one year, and if you keep being busy then you won’t have time to be missing me. That, and hopefully you’ll have a job or something. Does your dad have something lined up for you?”

 

I shook my head.

 

“He never does, but something will turn up, I usually end up with some kind of summer job to help Dad with the bills, so I’ll try to find something again this year. It should probably be easier this time because I’ll be able to start two months earlier.”

 

“Okay, good. I’ve got something lined up for me at home already, so I’ll be busy during the weekdays. I’ll reply when I can, but don’t be all paranoid if you can’t reach me right away, okay?”

 

“Yeah, I know.”

 

“Come on, let’s not worry about it. Summer will come and go before you know it, and we’ll be right back here on campus ready for another year of baseball and loving. Right now we have some other things to do.”

 

Bryce stood up and closed the door, locking it behind him and he reached over to me and helped me out of my shirt. As we laid back down on the bed, we faced each other and explored one another’s bodies with our hands, knowing this is the last time this would be happening for a few months. The fact that we weren’t going to see each other for months on end added a frenzy and intensity to our movements, and it wasn’t long before we started to get sweaty under our actions.

 

Bryce stood me back up and yanked my pants off, leaving me naked in front of him as he unwrapped his own towel.

 

“Much as I want to ravage you, I think today we should do something you’ll remember for longer.”

 

Bryce pulled us both under the covers of the bed, and then pressed my head into his chest, holding me tight and rubbing my back with his free hand. I enjoyed the closeness and warmth of his body next to mine, and we stayed cuddled until dinner.

 

After we had eaten, Bryce and I went back to his room and tenderly kissed each other, savouring the moment and knowing that soon all we’d have were the memories of these kisses. I was determined to remember as much of him as I could, and I took special care to kiss along his neck and collarbone, places that I knew he enjoyed and would prefer I pleasure him.

 

When I planted my arms on either side of him and lay on top of him, I felt Bryce’s strong hands kneading at my ass, pressing and pulling the skin and muscles and tenderizing the already soft skin. I moaned into our kiss and felt his tongue reach out to touch mine, and I bit down softly on his lower lip as he applied the slightest bit of pressure against my entrance.

 

I relaxed as I felt him pushing and circling my entrance, never actually pushing his finger fully inside, but making it clear he was toying with it and with me. Every once in awhile I would sense myself pushing back, trying to impale myself on his finger.

 

When did I start needing him in me that badly?

 

Each time I did some, Bryce would pull his hand away and I’d whimper at the loss of contact. Bryce chuckled the first few times, but he didn’t stop what he was doing and it was driving me crazy. I groaned when Bryce started massaging my perineum and didn’t think I’d be able to hold out much longer against the way he was torturing me.

 

“Bryce, I’m gonna come!”

 

My muscles clenched and I could feel the load rising and surging through me. As I reached my own orgasm, Bryce clamped his lips down hard on mine and thrust into me, adding his own seed to the mixture that was being created between us.

 

Both of us were breathing heavily. That was one of the most intense orgasms that I’d ever had, and it had happened without any direct stimulation, just from Bryce playing with me and toying around.

 

“That was intense. Holy smokes, you okay babe?” Bryce asked?

 

I couldn’t speak, so I weakly nodded and curled up tighter to Bryce, not worried at all that our mixture was quickly drying on my chest.

 

I fell asleep to the sweet sound of Bryce’s deep, rhythmic breathing.


************************************************************************

Three days later, it was time to say goodbye. The semester had come to an end and I was pleased with how things had gone with my classes. I was waiting in the lobby of the residence. Dad would be around to pick me up soon, and there was no point in staying upstairs, Vincente was already long gone. He was taking a flight home, and had to leave the previous day. Thankfully he didn’t make it a long, drawn out goodbye; all he said was to take care of myself and we’d stumble upon each other next year.

 

I looked out the window into the April rain. After everything else that had changed this year, at least the weather wasn’t changing.

 

“What are you thinking about?” A voice called out that I recognized immediately.

 

“Hi Heather. I’m thinking about how much I’ve changed over the last year. I didn’t think that my first year of college would be so busy or that I’d change so much, but I can tell I’m a lot different than the person who came here in September.”

 

She nodded at me and smiled.

 

“You betcha kiddo. You’re a lot better at standing up for yourself than you were back then. Much more confident too. They’re good changes.”

 

“I guess. I wish I hadn’t had to learn and change so much because of drama and shit in my life though.”

 

I could see Bryce through the window, he’d be coming inside in a minute to say his goodbyes. Heather noticed him too.

 

“Not everything was bad from the last year. Don’t forget that part, those are the things worth remembering.”

 

Heather walked back to the reception desk to finish up her shift, and Bryce took her place standing next to me at the window.

 

“I thought I’d find you here. You’re just going to wait here until your Dad shows up?” Bryce asked.

 

“Yup.” I replied. “He shouldn’t be too long now. Besides… it’s not like I have anything else to do, no one else to say goodbye to.”

 

I felt Bryce step away. When I turned to him, he looked hurt.

 

“You haven’t spoken to me in days, why?” He asked quietly.

 

“We said our goodbyes then. I didn’t want long goodbyes. It’s already hard knowing I won’t be seeing you for months, I don’t want to make it worse by dragging it out.”

 

We both gazed at each other, lost in our separate thoughts and wondering why this had to be so awkward.

 

Why’d I go and make it so awkward. All he wanted to do was say goodbye. Now it’s weird and that’s how he’s going to remember me, as this weird goodbye that makes him feel less than great.

 

“I guess I’ll go then. See you in September, Devin.”

 

He walked away, and I went back to waiting for Dad to show up. The rain started to come down harder, and it was becoming difficult to see outside. My phone lit up and I checked the message.

 

‘I’m outside, let’s go. The rain’s getting worse and we need to get back.’

 

That was Dad then. I couldn’t see the truck through the rain, but I grabbed my suitcases with all the clothes I’d worn, and I slung my baseball bag over my shoulder. When Dad saw me he got out of the car and helped me load everything into the truck. Dad got back into the driver’s seat and I took a last look around the building that had been my home for the last eight months. I couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t live there next year; I’d be in the fraternity with Bryce, and from there who knows. The only thing I knew is that I wouldn’t forget the memories I made.

 

As I was about to open the door on my side of the truck, I saw someone running towards me in the side mirror.

 

I turned around and Bryce was running at me. When he caught up to me he hugged me and spun me around on the spot, nearly hitting my legs against the truck.

 

“I couldn’t let you go without saying goodbye properly.” He said.

 

Bryce kissed me right there in front of the building. In front of my Dad and the students and Heather and anyone else who turned in our direction. I didn’t care, all I could think about was the feel of his lips and the warmth of his body and the fact that he came back and we were being soaked in the rain.

 

“Good bye Devin. I’ll see you in September. I love you.”

 

“Me… I love you too Bryce.”

 

I hopped back in the car, now soaking wet—determined not to look at Dad. As we drove away, I looked back in my side mirror at Bryce. He was standing in one spot waving at me, and as we drove away, I kept my eyes on him. He was doing the same.

Copyright © 2016 Hunter Thomson; All Rights Reserved.
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Okay, I told you I was going to read this tomorrow, but I couldn't wait. And my cat woke me up when he jumped off the bed to go get some water. :P

 

This was an awesome ending to Devin's first year of college. I liked how bittersweet things were, all these contrasts between moments of happiness and frustration, between being a stronger person and the still-inevitable grip of insecurities and immaturity. I think it's very much a common set of feelings for people finishing their first year of undergraduate studies. That year is a roller coaster, and the perspective coming out the other side a complex and reflective thing, at least for those who care enough to contemplate their own sense of self. Great stuff!

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On 09/04/2016 04:54 PM, Lux Apollo said:

Okay, I told you I was going to read this tomorrow, but I couldn't wait. And my cat woke me up when he jumped off the bed to go get some water. :P

 

This was an awesome ending to Devin's first year of college. I liked how bittersweet things were, all these contrasts between moments of happiness and frustration, between being a stronger person and the still-inevitable grip of insecurities and immaturity. I think it's very much a common set of feelings for people finishing their first year of undergraduate studies. That year is a roller coaster, and the perspective coming out the other side a complex and reflective thing, at least for those who care enough to contemplate their own sense of self. Great stuff!

Hello Luxy, thank you for this last review of Extra Innings.

 

I'm glad you appreciated the ending. I wanted to get right to the crux of the matter and to really hone in on how confusing the end of freshman year can be. Nothing can really prepare for that first year; Devin's in particular was more dramatic than most people's college careers, and that by itself would lead to a less concrete view of the year as a whole.

 

There's still a lot that Devin has to address. That lingering insecurity about being away from Bryce... it's all well and good to be interested in spending time with someone, but when you're openly worried about not seeing them and thinking the relationship will fall apart, that's dangerous. That's getting very close to dependency, and it's something that Devin will have to deal with at some point or another.

 

Time to close the books on this one. I hope you'll stick around when the next installment reveals itself.

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I thought the rainstorm and troubled visibility was a brilliant way to end the chapter and this part of Devin's story. It created a physical atmosphere to match his mental one.

 

Also, the return of Bryce in the downpour will hopefully sink in to Devin before another relationship gets rained out and goes down the drain. OK. Enough water references. :P
The year leaves us wondering how Devin will return from the summer vacation, so a great ending!
Now we just have to wait.

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On 09/05/2016 12:03 AM, skinnydragon said:

I thought the rainstorm and troubled visibility was a brilliant way to end the chapter and this part of Devin's story. It created a physical atmosphere to match his mental one.

 

Also, the return of Bryce in the downpour will hopefully sink in to Devin before another relationship gets rained out and goes down the drain. OK. Enough water references. :P

The year leaves us wondering how Devin will return from the summer vacation, so a great ending!

Now we just have to wait.

The rain was a good metaphor for a lot of things in the chapter. I haven't added it to the story, but as is common in the Pacific Northwest, the clouds always break quickly, even on the other side of the Cascades. Read into that what you will :P

 

Bryce was hurting. I think he expected that Devin would want to spend more time with him, especially after continually saying that Devin was going to miss him over the summer. But I can see it from Devin's perspective soon. It always hurts to say goodbye, and doing it more than once would hurt that much more. Better to say it once and then avoid potentially seeing Bryce again and opening up the raw hurt and pain again.

 

Bryce coming back was important, and it's something that will stick in Devin's mind.

 

I may do a couple one-shots for the summer vacation, but there's not enough material to do a full story there.

 

Thanks for being a dedicated reader, Skinny :)

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I'll just add my agreement to the appropriateness of the rainstorm for the ending of this story...a perfect reflection of the emotional and physical turmoil of Devyn's life right now. I know he has a lot to resolve in his mind, but I also see the other side of the storm...'April showers bring May flowers'. I see hope for them next year, and perhaps they can meet over the summer a time or two?
Eager to read more about these two, Hunter!

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On 09/05/2016 07:08 PM, ColumbusGuy said:

I'll just add my agreement to the appropriateness of the rainstorm for the ending of this story...a perfect reflection of the emotional and physical turmoil of Devyn's life right now. I know he has a lot to resolve in his mind, but I also see the other side of the storm...'April showers bring May flowers'. I see hope for them next year, and perhaps they can meet over the summer a time or two?

Eager to read more about these two, Hunter!

Hello CG. Thanks for sticking around to the very end.

 

As I noted with Skinnydragon, the whole idea of the rainstorm was that it was appropriate to the season. I hadn't been thinking about how it was a metaphor for anything, but the fact that it fits so nicely pleases me.

 

Seattle and Colfax aren't too far away... but I think Devin's going to have an interesting car ride home, like when he has to explain that Bryce is in and Alex is out!

 

More will come, but it's time for a break. Other pursuits and all that jazz. That, and I need to start from scratch here :P

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I have just completed both volumes and add my voice to looking forward to the next volume. I am eager to see if Devin and Alex get to settle their issues and resume a friendship, though I do believe the age and experience difference will be more apparent to especially Alex. Also, I would like to see a more open and closer relationship between Devin and his dad.

 

Get some true rest and re-creation for yourself and then amaze us some more.

 

Tony

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On 09/06/2016 09:05 AM, pvtguy said:

I have just completed both volumes and add my voice to looking forward to the next volume. I am eager to see if Devin and Alex get to settle their issues and resume a friendship, though I do believe the age and experience difference will be more apparent to especially Alex. Also, I would like to see a more open and closer relationship between Devin and his dad.

 

Get some true rest and re-creation for yourself and then amaze us some more.

 

Tony

Thank you for your review pvtguy. That's quite a marathon to read all at once, I hope it wasn't overkill for you.

 

There's a lot of thinking that's going to go into the next part of the series, so don't expect anything new for awhile. But it'll be worth the wait, I promise!

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Just finished. I echo the reviews above. You have some great characters and a wonderful plot. Looking forward to seeing where devin goes from here. Hope Alex can find some happiness also

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On 11/19/2016 10:01 AM, dlg0724 said:

Just finished. I echo the reviews above. You have some great characters and a wonderful plot. Looking forward to seeing where devin goes from here. Hope Alex can find some happiness also

Thank you for your review dlg0724. I appreciate your feedback about the characters and plot development of the series. there's going to be more coming, sooner than later I think.

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Oh this story is one that still has many unanswered questions. We need another book or at least a satisfying Epilogue. Did Bryce and Devin remain together, how did the rest of the college and baseball years go.

 

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49 minutes ago, James B. said:

Oh this story is one that still has many unanswered questions. We need another book or at least a satisfying Epilogue. Did Bryce and Devin remain together, how did the rest of the college and baseball years go.

 

There are plans in the work for a third book in the series. I'm undecided on how far I want to take it, but you're right that Devin and Bryce deserve a finale of some kind. 

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20 hours ago, Hunter Thomson said:

There are plans in the work for a third book in the series. I'm undecided on how far I want to take it, but you're right that Devin and Bryce deserve a finale of some kind. 

You're my Hero😀

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