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Puppy for Sale - 10. Always Stuff to be Learned

"What is it?"

"Open it and find out, silly," Max replied.

I viewed the small box located on the kitchen table with suspicion. It was wrapped in gold paper and laced up with a silver ribbon. I was in a unique situation, having never received a gift from anyone without it being Christmas.

"Just open it, douchebag," Steven said as he walked into the kitchen, heading to the fridge.

"Quiet Steven, if you can't talk nice then-" Max started.

"Don't talk at all," Steven finished off his sentence in a mimicking voice. Max just ignored him and turned his attention back to me.

I slowly picked up the parcel and started to unwrap the foil-like paper. It felt pretty light, which only went to deepen my curiosity. I looked over at Susan, who was trying to hide a smile with her hand. Then there was Max, who seemed almost as excited as I was starting to become. Finally, I got the first piece of paper entirely off, revealing part of the box, then I stopped.

"OH MY GOD! You didn't?" My expression seemed to prick Steven's ears up as I began to fully unwrap a brand new cell phone. "Wow, a phone... my very own phone."

"A phone... is he for real, Dad?" Steven whined. "Jensen, that's not just any phone, that is the latest iPhone... and I wanna know why it is newer than the model I have."

"Steven, your contract is up in two months; you can have the latest model when I renew it. Can't you just try and be a little happy for your brother, seeing as he never had a phone before?" Susan barked at him. Steven didn't say a word. Instead, he opted to take his poured drink and march out of the kitchen before stomping up the stairs. Max counted down from three before laughing as we all heard the bedroom door slam shut.

"I hope I didn't cause any problems?" I asked, feeling bad Steven was upset AGAIN.

"We call it a Teenasulk, Puppy. He'll get over it."

"Sorry, I didn't recognise it as an iPhone. Steven says it is pretty special right, I hope you don't think I am being ungrateful, but I don't know anything about cell phones."

"Don't be silly, Puppy; I got you that one because it's what Steven has, and I thought it would save arguments down the line. Guess I forgot to include model ages in that theory." Max replied, rolling his eyes toward Susan, who shrugged.

"Kids these days are lucky to have phones, that's all I can say," Susan said, her statement thankfully aimed at Max.

"Anyway, enjoy it Puppy, I'm sure you will figure out how to use it quickly. If not, ask Steven; it might break some more ice between you both, seeing as he loves playing with new gadgets."

"That might be a good idea, actually. I'll try that out later when he seems a little happier."

"Anyway, enough about phones. Susan tells me you got a completely new wardrobe today AND had your first McDonalds."

"Oh Max, it was so awesome. I got to pick out some really cool clothes, and the Burger and milkshake I had were just..."

"Fucking A?"

"MAX!" Susan cried.

"Sorry honey, Sorry Puppy, I meant... it was delicious, yeah?" Max smirked.

"All I can say is I had the greatest day since... well since ever."

Susan beamed a smile at Max as if to confirm she had passed the test with me. Not that there was a test. Unlike some kids and coming from Greenstone, I never expected my parents to cost out my love for them. I was just happy to have a roof over my head and two people that loved me.

"Well, I'm really glad... in fact, I am thrilled you had a good time, Puppy. So, what’s for dinner, honey?"

"Pork chops, you want fries or mash potato with it?"

"Mash, please," Max replied. "I better go shower; I’ve got tree sap all over my arms. I’ll be down soon."

Steven seemed more talkative at the dinner table as we each munched away on Susan's delicious pork chops. At least he wasn't just sitting there staring me down tonight, which made me feel less on edge. However, dinner around a table with family was a whole new concept to me, and I still had the classic knots in my stomach as I tried to enjoy what really was lovely food.

"Did you see Billy today, Stevie?" Susan asked as the clink, clink of cutlery rang in the air.

"Nah, he's got Chicken Pox, Just me, Dave and Jessie today."

"What did you get up to?" Max asked.

"Fishing mostly, down at the Cutters farm. Jessie caught a big one just as we were packing up."

"Nice, did he take it home to his parents?"

"No, Mum, it's not that sort of fish; we just put it back and went boarding."

"What's Boarding?" I asked, trying to get in on the conversation.

"Skateboarding," Steven replied, unusually civil.

"Do you have your own board?"

"No, I'm not that good at it. I just mostly watch my friends."

"You should go with them one day Jensen, meet some new people."

"Er, mum, I don't think Jensen and my friends would be... compatible."

"Aww, why not? I’m sure you would all get along just fine, and anyway, I know most of your friends, and they all seem nice and polite. You could learn a few things from them, Steven."

"Whatever, Mum, can I go now? I said I would chat to Billy on Skype tonight."

"Yes, just put your plate in the sink... and no loud music up there, you hear me." She said firmly. Steven got up from the table with his plate and dumped it in the sink before heading off and upstairs.

"Would you like me to load the dishwasher, Susan?" Susan didn't reply at first; she just looked at me intently, then slowly shook her head.

"Where were you made, Jensen Stibbings? I’d like to get my hands on more of your kind." She turned to Max. "So polite, isn't he."

"Well, he didn't get it from me," Max replied with a chuckle.

"Well, we all know that," was Susan's response.

I ended up not waiting for an answer to my question, and once I had gotten up from the table with my own plate, I began loading the dishwasher until everything was in.

"It's getting dark outside. Can I go down and make sure Annie and Clarabelle are in bed? I think they need locking down for the night."

"Wow, you learn quickly, sure Puppy, be my guest. It will save me doing it. Here, you see that switch over there?" Max pointed. "If you hit that, it will turn the floodlights on in the yard, and you'll see better."

I walked over to the kitchen doorway and hit the switch Max pointed to. As explained, the Yard lit up in bright yellow light, and I stepped outside. It didn't feel that cold tonight as there was hardly any wind, but you could feel Winter was well on its way.

I got to the bottom of the garden, and it appeared that both the girls had put themselves to bed. I pulled down the plastic sheet on their inner enclosure to keep any cold out and locked down the outer run. Max had told me foxes were common during the night, and if they were allowed to get inside the picture in the morning would probably be quite gruesome. I was just about to leave when I saw two dirty half-buried eggs in the corner of the run that they both must have laid. Carefully I scraped away the earth and picked them up before walking back to the house, looking real proud.

"Look what I got!" I said, causing Max and Susan to look round at me.

"Eggs, cool," said Max. "You wanna have them for your breakfast tomorrow?"

"Really, both of them?"

"Sure honey, Steven hates eggs, and I normally have yoghurt and fruit in the mornings, so-"

"Oh, that reminds me," Max blurted, cutting Susan off. "Ten o'clock, Puppy! I have you booked in to see Doctor Burrows at ten o'clock tomorrow."

"Oh... oh right, okay."

"Yeah, sorry, I forgot to mention it; I was too busy giving you your new phone."

"Are you taking tomorrow off work?" Susan asked.

"Just the morning, I would really like to be there for him when he comes out. Do you wanna come along with me?"

"Hmm, well, I did promise I would go to the ladies darts team meeting, but I guess I could cancel."

"No, honey, you go to that. Puppy and I will be okay. Besides, they need you on that team. You are the best player, after all.",

Susan did a high pitch giggle, slipping out the odd snort in the process. "Flattery will get you everywhere, Mr Chase." She said, standing on tip-toes and giving him a kiss on the lips.

"Shall we retire to the lounge and see what crap is on TV?" Max suggested. "Are you joining us, Puppy or heading up to bed?"

"I'll head up if you don't mind, its been another long day and I am pooped."

"Aww, well, I am glad you enjoyed it, Jensen honey. I have left all your stuff on your bed, all washed through... just put it away tomorrow for me, please?"

"Sure thing Susan, and thank you for taking me out. I really had a brilliant day." With a smile from them both, plus the mandatory kiss and a hug, I left the kitchen and headed upstairs.

As I entered the room, Steven was sitting at his computer thing, typing away. He had his earphones on again and looked to be unaware I was in the room. I just ignored him, closed the door and went over to my bed which was full of bags from today's splurge. I began gathering them up handle by handle and then pulled the whole lot off, letting them sit by the side of my bed.

I was about to leave for the bathroom when I saw that Steven had left something under my pillow. Investigating, I noticed it was black and shiny and looked like an oversized phone.

"It's a tablet," Steven suddenly said, making me jump, nearly dropping the thing.

"What?" I said, seeing that he was now looking straight at me, his earphones now removed.
had
"That thing you were looking at like some caveman who just discovered fire... I was saying, it's a tablet."

"I know what you said, Steven and just don't understand why I have it. Did you leave it there by mistake... is it about to go off in my hand?"

"It's a peace offering, actually, but if you don't want it, then give it back and fuck off."

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be sarcastic. I just didn't expect you to do something like that."

"Well, maybe I have had time to think about stuff... about you."

"I... I don't know what to say."

"Well, you could start with thank you."

"Thank you, Steven."

"You're welcome, Jerkoff."

"Erm, so... so what does this thing actually do?"

Steven slapped his cheeks with his hands. "Was everything in that kid prison of yours run on steam? It's like a mini-computer. You can do stuff on it. It's my old one. I don't use it anymore."

"Will it do the same stuff as your big thing over there?" I asked, pointing to Stevens machine on a desk.

"Don't tell me you have never seen a PC before?"

"Yeah, I have, they had those at Greenstone, but they didn't look like that. Yours has all flashing lights on it."

"It's a gaming rig. I built it myself from individual parts. The ones you get in offices, which I'm guessing you are talking about, are just for word processing and spreadsheets."

"Oh, okay, well, I think I understand now."

"Good, well enjoy the tablet and try not to get jizz on it; it could break it."

"Sorry, what?"

"Jizz... you know, cum, spunk, juice, nut water, baby gravy."

"I'm sorry; I don't know what those words mean. But I will try not to get orange juice, water or... gravy on it, not that it is ever likely to get near gravy." I said, pulling a face. Steven just knocked his forehead with the palm of his hand and went back to his computer. "Well, I am going to take a shower Steven, thank you for the gift and for the peace offering."

"No need to announce your bathroom habits, and no worries, shithead. See you soon."

Standing under the shower at this house was a whole new experience. Firstly the speed the water came out was... well, actually, it hurt your skin. Back at Greenstone, the shower in my room was poor. Secondly, the cleaning soap Susan and Max got was nicer smelling than whatever they brought in at the home. My whole body smelt of sweet strawberries, and I just wanted to drink the stuff from the bottle.

After rinsing off, I got out of the shower shivering and quickly grabbed a towel. I began to scrub myself down until my cold, wet skin started to not feel so affected by the cool air. Then, sorting my hair out in the half steamed up mirror, I wrapped the towel around my waist and left the bathroom for our bedroom.

Steven was now on his bed doing something on his phone as I walked in, closing the door. Completely forgetting I had no underwear on, I froze next to my bed and thought for a moment. I was so used to coming from my own tiny bathroom back into my single room at Greenstone I nearly forgot where I was.

This new routine was going to be hard to get used to.

"You know, Jensen, just when I start to think you have normal tendencies as well as the crazy ones, you go and let me down... why the fuck are you standing still in a towel looking at a blank wall?"

"I forgot to put underwear on before I came back in here. So I wondered how to get some on while in the company of another person without them seeing anything. I hope you admire my honesty."

Steven laughed. "Well, I give you something. It’s not quite the honesty I was expecting but full credit to you. I have an idea... why don't you just go to the drawer, take out some underwear, and put it on. Would that seem like an easy thing to do?"

"And you won’t..."

"Look? Fuck Jensen, Of course, I'm going to look; I wanna see what you got down there." Steven cracked up laughing on his bed, sending my face to the top colour of a traffic light.

"Guess it's time to admire your honesty, but please, can you turn away? I really feel uncomfortable."

Steven sighed before bouncing onto his left side. "Happy now?"

"Yeah, thanks," I replied, taking some black trunks from my drawer. I scuttled back to the side of my bed, and just as I dropped the towel, fucking Steven flipped over, catching an eyeful of my...bits.

"Whoa, fuck man!"

"Steven, you promised," I squealed.

"Jesus, you gotta be packing six inches flaccid down there. Man, If I were you, I would be dropping towels every opportunity I got. THAT thing is nothing to be ashamed of."

I quickly pulled on my underwear and got into bed. "That is not the point Steven, I don't care about its size. It’s just not something I like having dangling out to people, don't you think that is reasonable?"

"Meh, I know what I would be doing with that in a couple of years... I would be taking a job as a porn star." Steven said matter of fact.

"And what does a porn star do? I am now guessing it has something to do with dicks?"

"What? Are you really asking what a porn star is? Are you telling me you never had any spank mags in your kid prison?"

"Spank mags?" Steven, look, I know you don't understand this very well, but it's like you are talking a foreign language to me. I don't know what all these things are." I said, becoming irritated that everything he spoke about seemed to be alien to me.

"Okay, okay, let me explain...so a porn star is a person that has sex for money, right? I mean, you know what sexual intercourse is, yes?"

"Jesus, this is embarrassing," I muttered under my breath. "That is where a man puts his...erm, his...his..."

"Penis inside a woman, Corrrrrecto! Good, so a porn star is someone who does that and gets paid for it."

"To make babies?"

"No, dumbass, just because, okay? For fun, if you really want a reason. So while they are having sex, this guy comes round with a camera and either films it or takes pictures. Obviously, the photos end up in spank mags... or sex magazines, and the filmed stuff ends up as what's called a Porno video.

"But... but why would people want to do that? I'd be embarrassed."

"Because what Dad earns in a week they earn in a day, so all morality goes out the window. Plus, it's made for people like you and me!"

"For what?"

"To turn us on, stupid."

"And why would you purposely want to be turned on... I just find that frustrating."

"Shit... are you kidding me? The best thing in the world I ever discovered was when I learned how to choke the chicken. Being turned on is the best excuse EVER to do that. Hell, I even do it when I'm not turned on," Steven stated, giggling a little.

I cleared my throat in preparation to ask yet another stupid question. "Erm, what is choke the chicken?"

"Oh, sorry, I keep using slang, don't I... you know, like jacking off?" Still nothing. I just looked at him blankly and waited for another clue. "Wanking?" he said next. Nope, still nothing. Steven’s eyes were now becoming wide with amazement. "Well, what word do you use for getting yourself off then? Perhaps that would help us to understand each other."

"Getting myself off?"

"Jesus, this is hard work," he muttered. Then, before I could ask what he was talking about, he took his hand and made a circle from his fingers and shook his arm up and down.

I shook my head and shrugged. "Sorry, now you have totally lost me."

Steven's mouth was wide open, and his expression was one of total shock. I actually thought he was going to keel over. That was until a wide grin came over his face.

"Very good... okay, you win, you got me, well done." He said, clapping his hands.

"Huh?"

"It's okay, I've been had. You can stop messing around now."

"I'm not messing around. I’m sorry if I gave you that impression," I said, my face still serious. Steven's smile was fading fast as he realised I was indeed not messing around.

"Jensen?" he asked softly.

"Yeah?" I replied, softly too, as if to mimic him.

"Are you telling me that you have never... oh my God, this is priceless. Hang on, I need a minute here," he said, biting his closed fist.

"Are you okay?" I asked, not sure whether he was about to laugh or scream.

"All I can say right now is, you must have so much cum in your balls that if it all goes off, it will be Chernobyl all over again."

"Chernobyl was a power plant disaster, right?"

"Yeah, Jensen, like your ball sack is GONNA EXPLODE!" Steven cried, sounding like it was out of frustration. I just frowned, wondering how my ball sack had anything to do with a Nuclear power plant.

"You will need to explain what you mean. I am not getting all this at all." I said, shaking my head again.

"Okay, for purely scientific reasons, this calls for desperate measures. So tonight, Jensen, right here in this room, I will teach you how to experience one of the most mind-blowing activities known to the human male.

"Shit Steven, is this even gonna be legal?" I asked, wondering what the hell was about to happen.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I watched as Steven jumped from his bed and started searching our room, for what, I didn't know. I just lay there wondering what he had in store for me, but right now, I didn't care because this was the best we had gotten on since I arrived, and it was just a relief he was being almost nice to me.

"What are you looking for?" I asked as he paced from end to end of our room.

"So for this experiment, Jensen, we are first going to need a locked door. This is something you do NOT want mum and dad to see you doing, so do you wanna get that first?"

I shrugged and got out of bed, flicking the catch on the door.

"What now?"

"Now we need a large towel, cos I am guessing this is gonna be real messy."

"A towel? Jesus, what is this all about?"

"You'll see."

"Steven, is this gonna hurt?"

Steven laughed. Jensen dude, pain is not a word I would use to describe what you are gonna feel on your first time of doing this."

"Okay, well, there is a towel in my bottom drawer."

"Good, I'll get it," Steven replied. "I was thinking we might need a bucket for your first go, but I'm fresh out of those," he muttered, taking the towel from my drawer.

He let the towel fall out of its folded position and lay it out flat on the floor. "I got a glimpse that you are not circumcised, so you won't need lube, but I'm gonna give you some for that extra pleasure."

"Circum... sorry you lost me again."

"Never mind," Steven said, pulling a bottle of clear liquid from under his bed. "Okay, we are good to go."

"Are we? I don't have a clue what to do."

"Okay, here's the thing. Now, this might take you out of your comfort zone, and what I'm gonna ask you to do is probably gonna seem weird, okay? But trust me, you need to learn how to do this; otherwise, mum is gonna be washing your stiff sheets until you move out, and trust me, trying to look her in the eye after she changes your bed is really hard for a few days."

I sighed. "Fine, what do I have to do?" I asked. Steven came up behind me and grabbed hold of my hips, manoeuvring me, so I was now at the head of the laid out towel. He then stepped to the side and got onto his bed.

"Okay, lube, towel and locked door. Got it? . That’s, That's all you need… oh and one more thing, something to watch. Hmm, I dunno what to put on for you..." Steven trailed off. He moved to his computer and started clicking and typing. "Okay, this is like a solo sesh... Not my cup of tea but good training vid," he said, turning round to face me.

"Training vid?"

Steven shook his head excitedly. "Priceless!"

Steven moved away from his computer screen, revealing a paused naked man on the screen. I tilted my head in both slight embarrassment and curiosity at the same time. "Erm, I've...uh, I've never seen a naked person before Steven."

Steven smirked. "You have now! So here's the thing, in a sec I'm gonna leave the room and head downstairs for... Ooh I'd say 3 minutes. Just kidding, but come get me when you're done, okay?"

"Done what?" I asked him, confused.

Steven sighed, dropping his shoulders. "Look and pay attention. When I leave, you walk over and lock the door behind me," he said, walking over and flicking the catch again. "Then you go to the computer and press the arrow that will play the video, okay?"

"Then what?"

"My God... Then you... You do what he's doing."

"What will he do?"

"He'll jack off, and then you just copy what he does."

"Okay, whatever, but I don't have to be naked too right, I mean, that's optional?"

Steven just looked at me, his forehead screwed up. "Yes, Jensen, you need to have access...to...your...penis, doofus!"

"Oh, I see", I replied, the penny dropping.

"Right, so I'm gonna leave now, and I'm gonna let you have up to a hundred more times pleasure than a McDonalds, okay?"

"And I just copy him, yeah?" I said, pointing to the paused naked guy who appeared to have his right hand clamped around his penis.

"Exactly, Jensen!"

"But what's the towel for? I don't understand."

"Just trust me on that part. It’s to save the carpet from your... spillage, shall we say.

"Fuck, am I gonna bleed or something?"

"No, of course not... look, when I go, just take off your boxers and trust me here."

I blew air through my clamped shut lips and looked at the ceiling. Steven then left the room. I did as he instructed and locked the door behind him. I then went back and focused on the towel that was laid out on the floor he'd put there. "Spillage," I muttered, leaning over to unpause the video on the computer.

The sound was low, but I could hear the guy on there talking as if it was to me. He was staring right at me and saying quite, well, quite nice things about me. I almost wanted to blush. Then, turning round to fully make sure the door was closed, which I really knew it was, I turned back to the naked man on the screen and stood to attention, feeling my dick getting hard. I began to copy what he was doing, which felt mildly pleasurable, as Steven said it would.

A few minutes had passed of me imitating this young guy on the screen. His actions were really erotic, and I found him being on the screen greatly enhancing whatever was happening in the pit of my groin. Then, over the course of a few seconds, something seemed to change. I could feel a dull spasm working its way through at the base of my dick. It was getting more and more intense, and in turn, my body, especially my knees, began to tremble like hell. Then, without warning, two things happened to me... the former of which I will never forget. First, my whole body lurched forward as string after string of this gloopy stuff Steven had mentioned came flying out of my dick. An intense earthquake of pleasure ripped through my body as I literally vibrated in ecstasy. Then there was the noise from my own being I could not control. I put my hand tightly over my mouth, trying to stop an involuntary series of Huff's and grunts spilling from my voice box.

I fell onto Steven's bed, panting. I felt like I was glowing in some kind of aftershock. Then, seconds? later, there was a loud knock on the door.

"Jensen? I sort of heard you might be done?" I could he him say, sniggering.

Steven! "Shit", I muttered, scrambling around for my boxer shorts. Putting them on, I rushed over to the door and flicked the catch, with him immediately walking in.

My new Stepbrother eyed the saturated towel and followed the subsequent trail I'd left in various places. I picked up the towel he'd left on the floor for me and threw it on my bed, mildly embarrassed "Fuck me, I see you're done then?" He asked, turning to face a rather flushed me, looking dopey, I imagine. "Nice load, dude!"

"What... the... fuck... was THAT?!"

"That, my friend was your very first orgasm, congratulations. Do you have anything you wish to say?"

"Yes!"

"And that is?"

"I am most certainly FUCKING DOING THAT AGAIN!"

Steven creased up laughing, rolling around on his bed, while I stood there like a quivering wreck trying to take in what had just happened to me.

"That's what jacking off is; I’m glad you enjoyed it," he said, getting up from his bed and inspecting the damage. "That stuff that came out is called cum, and boy did you hurl some." He stated, matter-of-fact.

I got up and looked to see what he was inspecting. So far from it all going on the towel, I had actually sprayed his PC monitor, chair and desk with my fluids, and really the only thing the towel was helpful in was the last few drips. Steven didn't seem to care, though; it was almost as if he was a proud teacher that had taken me through my first experience.

Now that I had come down from... whatever it was that hit me, I felt a strange sense of guilt... almost embarrassment. I tried to pick up some sort of vibe from Steven that he might feel the same, but he just seemed to take it in his stride.

Now I was getting to know him a little better there seemed to be something about him... something I found both grossly obnoxious but very appealing. When I had first arrived here and met Steven, the pinnacle of everything I hated about him was his attitude, but now, the more time I spent with him, it was his attitude that I found strangely attractive. I almost started to feel I liked him... and because?

Because he didn't give a shit... about anything!

As we both lay in our separate beds, a feeling of calm descended over me. The gentle hue of Steven's lamp gave our bedroom a relaxed feel as the now silent household slept in the darkness outside.

Steven was awake and playing some game on his phone. As usual, he lay there bare-chested with only a pair of track pants covering his lower body, his large, well-shaped, bare feet twitched now and again caused by whatever was happening on his screen.

I lay on my side, trying to concentrate on my own phone, but finding more and more time was being taken up by looking over at him. I didn't understand what was captivating me so much. It seemed to be beyond my capabilities to put whatever that feeling was into some kind of category. Was it awe, attraction, respect, envy? One thing was for sure, I admired him for his carefree nature. Sure he'd been grumpy with me, nasty, aggressive, RUDE and damn right fucking horrible, but now... now he was something being something different towards me.

Was it accepting, perhaps?

While my big shiny new experience of tonight had involved one of my most private parts, somehow things didn't seem awkward between us, and for that, we both, yes BOTH, had Steven to thank for that I felt. Once it had happened, he just acted like normal. The subject didn't feel off-limits, nevertheless, we didn't discuss it. I had had many episodes where something awkward had happened between Cindy and me... no, not sexually, of course, but still awkward, and sometimes we would go days avoiding the topic, or sometimes each other. But this thing I did with Steven's guidance? It just felt like he had taught me something I needed to know. It was like he had let me in on a secret everyone, but me knew about. I got the feeling the way he saw it, that it was as natural as teaching me to work my new phone.

"Not tired?" he asked, leaning his head in my direction.

"Just thinking, that's all," I replied quietly.

Steven sniggered. "About your first Jizz session?"

"No... well yeah, but not just that."

"Well, what then?"

"Just how you have changed towards me in such a short time."

Steven sighed, placing his phone down on the floor and turning on his side to face me. "I hate upheaval, Jensen; you gotta realise you coming here was tough for me, and I still think you're a prick."

"I probably am, I know."

"You know, if you want to earn my respect, dude, you've really got to start standing up to me more. And that starts by not agreeing with me when I put you down."

"Is that the key to your personality?"

"Huh?"

"You were horrible to me because I was nice to you."

"If you want it at its most basic terms, yeah, I guess that is part of it." He admitted.

"And the rest?"

"Well, let's be honest here. You are quite fucking weird, aren't you? I dunno what went on in that crazy-ass place you lived at, but they fucking dumbed down your mind until it was fucked."

"I was treated very well there, actually," I said, becoming mildly defensive. It was more the words he used that hurt... words like weird, crazy and fucked. I guess Greenstone was responsible for that somehow, but what choice did I have? What choice did they have?

"It was what you said actually... you know, that made me think maybe I was being too much of an ass towards you."

"What I said?"

"Yeah, last night when you threw a hissy fit at me and started reeling off all that shit that happened to you."

"Oh that, yeah well, it's all true, and some of it still pretty raw."

"Yeah," was all he said, but his face was thoughtful looking. "So, did you ever have a girlfriend in the kid prison?"

"No, I was the oldest child there. But you may have heard about Cindy... she was my best friend... still is as far as I know. She's my only friend, actually."

"And you and her never..."

"No, we didn't, Steven, we weren't like that."

"Fuck man, a nice girl my age in confinement together? I would have fucked Cindy all over the place until she screamed.

Steven had just finished that sentence when a switch flicked inside my head. Pure unadulterated rage was injected into my bloodstream, and I flew out of bed, clamping my hands around his neck.

"Don't you EVER talk about her that way again, or I will cut your fucking throat with a knife!" I spat aggressively, spraying his face with saliva from my contorting mouth. "Do you fucking understand me?!"

Steven's eyes were bulging out as he managed a petrified nod. "Jensen, I...I can't breathe!" he wheezed out. I felt like I was in a trance, just locked there in pure anger at him until a choking sound coming from his mouth snapped me out of my zone.

I let go and brought my hands up to my mouth. "Fuck, what did I do, fuck what did I do?" I whispered to myself.

Steven dove up coughing and spluttering, his breathing loud and wheezy as he placed his own hands around his neck as if to aid himself.

He then lunged at me. BANG! I felt my head lurch sharply to the right as he punched me square in the face. I staggered backwards until the back of my legs hit my bed, and I fell to a sitting position, still holding my open mouth. Steven just stared at me as he got his breath back.

"Fuck, ouch, my fucking jaw, you broke my fucking jaw", I yelped. "Shit, I deserved that... fuck that hurts! Well, say something, do something. anything just don't stare at me like that." I said, a panicked tone in my voice

"Why, because it looks like I'm staring at a fucking crazy person?!" Steven hissed, shaking his right hand, looking in various amounts of pain himself.

"I'm sorry, I don't know why I got so angry. I didn't do that."

"Didn't do... what the fuck are you on about? Of course, you did it. I have the fucking marks to prove it!"

"I mean, that's not me. I wouldn't do those things."

"So what, are you saying the voices in your head told you to do it?" he hissed.

"Here, let me see," I said, getting up and walking over to him. Steven backed up like a scared rabbit.

"You stay the fuck away from me, you... you fucking weirdo."

"Steven, I'm sorry, please..."

"You could have strangled me, you fucktard!"

"And you almost broke my face, fuck!" I replied, rubbing my cheek. "Are...are you going to tell your mum and dad?" I asked, my lips starting to tremble.

Steven seemed to soften for a moment. "No, they'll probably just say I provoked you, seeing as you seem to be the blue-eyed boy at the moment, and I'm scum."

"Look, I just freaked out because of what you said about Cindy. You don't understand what we have been through... what she has been through. Her parents threw her out onto the street when she was a little girl. They actually threw her out onto a cold street Steven, no food, no warm clothes... nothing. Then they sold their house and flew off to Brazil, leaving her all alone. Can you imagine? I mean can you actually imagine that?"

"I didn't know, maybe I should have thought, but I ain’t fucking apologising, I don't apologise for anyone... especially people who flip out and try to strangle me... oh, and then throw in the line they are going to kill me!"

"I didn't say that!"

"What the... are you for real? How can you stand there and say that to me when I was the one to who you said it to?"

"I didn't say that. I would never say that."

"Jensen, you said it!"

I took a defeated seat on the end of Steven's bed and tried to think. Did I really say I was going to kill him? I thought.

"I am going to see my doctor tomorrow," I announced, immediately wondering why I said it.

"I think you fucking need to. You really aren't right in the head... now you're forgetting things."

I pulled my knees up to my chin and hugged them with my arms before burying my head within. Emotions of the sad kind gripped me as I wondered if I was slipping back to something frightening again. I had felt pretty good these last few days, and now... now this.

I gently wept, not caring if Steven thought I was a wimp, it was just how I felt, and I couldn't stop it. I got so angry, said some awful things, and did not know how I got to that stage. As Doctor Listern called them, dealing with flash moods was terrible enough, but the ones that are so bad I blanked them out were the scariest because you are not in control for a split second. I mean, how can you be when you don't remember doing certain things.

I waited for a moment expecting Steven to scold me with some nasty comment or tell me to get away from him again. Rejection, I realised, was the thing that scared me more than anything. But instead of a harsh voice, or a shove coming my way, I felt a warm hand on my shoulder gently pulling me.

As I let myself be moved, I found myself being shifted towards Steven until my head was nestled against his chest. With his arm wrapped around me, I gently cried, feeling the faint sound of his heartbeat against my ear. Whether it was the moment I was in or just for the lack of anything else to say, I uttered the final words I remember.

"Steven?"

"What?"

"I think I'm attracted to you."

"I know. Who ain't!?"


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"Could you open that tin on the table for me, please. Jensen?"

I walked over to the can that read Garden Peas on it and looked at it curiously. Susan was at the sink washing some other vegetables, and I kept looking at her and then back at the tin repeatedly.

"Erm, I think it's been made wrong," I said.

"Sorry, honey," she replied, not looking back at me.

"I said, I think something is wrong with the tin. It seems to be sealed up. Maybe they forgot to put a lid on it because the bottom is the same as the top. No pull ring or anything."

Susan turned off the tap and dried her hands before coming over to the table to see what I was talking about.

"Hmm, looks fine to me," she said, picking it up.

"No, look, you can't get into it," I stated, taking it from her hands and trying to twist it open.

"Ooh, I see... oh, that's so cute," she declared, starting to laugh. "No, Jensen, you need a can opener. These are tins; you have to open them with a tool... look, wait, I'll get you a can opener. I'm sorry honey, I didn't know you... well, never mind."

Susan passed me some contraption like scissors on android steroids from the kitchen drawer, and I stared at it blankly. "Hmm, I think you better show me what to do. Whenever I got them at the home, they were already out of the cans. I've seen them on the TV but never really thought about how they got out."

Susan grinned. "You place it on the top and press the levers together, then you twist the thingy here, and that starts to open the can. Here you try." Once again, I took the tin from her hand and started to copy her actions and moments later, the lid was off.

"Wow, that's really neat. Makes me feel a little stupid. I know I'm smart, my marks are always high, but I guess I have a lot to learn outside the books. So are all these tins like that?"

"Yes, Jensen, all these tins are like that," she said before giggling.

Susan took the can from my hands and went back to the sink, draining off whatever the peas were sitting in. I sat at the table and just watched her. Moments later, Max walked into the kitchen, drying his hair with a towel.

"Puppy, go get your shoes on. We need to leave for the doctors in five minutes."

"Okay, Max... hey, I learned how to open a tin, isn't that cool?" I said, beaming a smile at him. Max just looked at me strangely and nodded before I disappeared from the kitchen. I rushed upstairs and burst into my bedroom to hunt for my shoes. Steven had been fast asleep in his bed, but I must have woken him.

"Where are you off to in such a hurry?" he asked groggily.

"I'm going to see Doctor Burrows remember?"

"Oh... oh yeah, well have fun, and don't forget to tell him how you nearly killed me last night. He may give you a pill to stop it happening again."

My expression turned solemn. "Look about last night... about everything last night, I-"

"Chill, we'll talk about it later, just go and get fixed, and if anyone asks about the marks on my neck, you say the same as I will, and that is we were mucking around, and things got silly."

"You're covering for me?" I asked.

"It's what brothers do, right?" he said with a grin. I smiled back, then freaked as I remembered we were leaving in seconds. Charging around our room, I eventually found my shoes tossed under my bed. Pulling them out, I slipped them off and bolted out of the room and down the stairs.

"Okay, teeth brushed?"

"Yeah, Max, of course."

"Okay, put a jacket on its cold out there... right, honey, we're off. Good luck at the darts meeting; we’ll see you when we get in." Max and Susan shared a kiss before she came over and smothered me.

"Ooh, now make sure you tell him everything, Jensen, Okay? God, I could cuddle you all night, you little monkey, juuust, soooo adorable in your new clothes!" she said, pinching my cheek.

"Bye, Susan," I said, following Max towards the door.

"Sweetheart... Jacket?"

"Oh yeah," I said, pulling it from the hook by the front door.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Max declared we were nearing the doctor's office as we pulled up at a stop sign. Out to my left, I could see children playing in what looked to be a school. A group of boys were kicking around a football in the yard, and some others were standing near the gate chatting, all with cell phones in their hands. They all looked smartly dressed in uniform, and I started to wonder if that could ever be me.

"You okay, Puppy?" Max asked as I had obviously zoned out a little.

"Max, did you enjoy school?"

"Hmm, I guess, why do you ask?" he said, pulling away. I craned my head, continuing to look at the children until we were too far past them.

"I just wondered if I am going to like it."

Max placed his hand on my leg. "I'm sure you will fit in really well, Puppy, and with your active mind, I am certain you will enjoy what school has to offer."

"It's gonna be strange though, all those other children and stuff. I have only ever been used to learning with maybe two or three other people. So I don't know if I could deal with the crowds... and what if... what if people are horrible to me."

"Why would they be horrible to you?"

"Because I'm weird," I said, dropping my head down.

"Puppy, you face challenges that some others do not. But that does not make you weird. Besides, when you go to school, nobody needs to know about your background or past. As far as anyone will know, you have just moved schools."

"Well, Steven says I'm weird, and that was before he knew most of my past, so..."

"Puppy, Steven thinks everyone is weird who doesn't fit into his way of thinking. I really wouldn't worry. Speaking of Steven, how did the two of you get along last night? Are things better?"

"Yeah, a lot better. He taught me how to... SHIT! Erm... he taught me how to use my phone. So we are getting along a little better, yes."

"Whoa, what happened there," Max said, chuckling.

"Oh, nothing, just couldn't remember what we did for a second."

"Well, I am over the moon. The ice seems to be broken between the two of you, and forgive me Puppy if I say-"

"Yeah, I know, you told me so."

Max laughed. "Steven's not so bad like I said, he puts up this front, but inside he is a big softy. Hey, don't tell him I told you this, but we all sat down to watch this movie called Toy Story three one night. Well, anyway, I happened to look over at Steven, and guess what?"

"What?"

"He was crying his eyes out. So next time he goes into bully mode and makes you feel shitty. Just look at him and remember, you know that about him," Max said, tapping his nose and grinning.

I grinned back. Max didn't really need to tell me Steven was a big softy because I was starting to see those elements in him by now. But as I mentioned, it was actually his horrible attitude that I was now finding appealing. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want him to be quite as nasty as he had been to me, but I did like that edge about him when he spoke to me. I guess it kinda felt like affectionate hate... if there is such a thing?

Max turned right, entered a small parking lot, and he came to a stop in one of the spaces, switching off the engine. I undid my seat belt, assuming we were here.

"Now, remember what Susan told you, Puppy? Tell Doctor Burrows everything."

"I will," I said as we both exited the car.

A chilly, gentle breeze blew in the air as we walked across the parking lot. The sun was out today, making me feel altogether better, and I hoped that once I got out of this office, I would feel even more so.

We'll see.

"Max, good to see you and Jensen... I heard so much about you. Please both come in and sit down," The doctor said as we entered his office.

The room was small with various pictures of body organs on the wall, and a full-size skeleton stood staring at me in the corner. Behind us was another small room containing a bed, similar to the one in Doctor Listern's office, I remember. But it was the absence of any windows in the room that gave it a closed feel and one that was starting to make me uneasy.

"So, Jensen, thank you for coming to see me, Max has filled me in on some of your background, and Your medical records have been transferred to me. I have to say you are quite the medical mystery in some areas, but let's see if we can't unravel what's been going on with you."

"Medical mystery, Doctor?" Max said, raising a brow.

"Yes, well, these records show a lot of detail, but not much in the way of a concrete diagnosis. One moment, let me pull the full records."

Doctor Burrows got up from his chair, went to a filing cabinet off to the side, and opened it up. He flicked through various files until he found mine.

"Hmm, so it says here that you were diagnosed with Bipolar in two thousand and twelve, but my evaluation says that it would be a very young age to do that. I see here you were under the care of Doctor Listern."

"That's right," I said.

"What troubles me Puppy is some of the medication Doctor Listern has you on. I note that a few he has prescribed are not proven to help patients with Bipolar, and one of them he has given you can actually make the problem worse."

"I don't know what I am taking; I just always did as I was told, Doctor."

"Yes," Doctor Burrows said, looking over his glasses at me and then back at my records.

"So, what are you saying, Doctor, that Jensen doesn't have what he was diagnosed as having?"

"The records are strange, Max; it looks like for several years, Jensen's carers were unsure of what was going on. I see that between two thousand and seven until two thousand and twelve, three Doctors, one of which was Doctor Listern, were diagnosing... my God, this is all over the place."

"What?" Max asked, shifting forward in his seat.

"ADHD, Asperger's syndrome, high functioning autism, and there is also a record of Jensen being diagnosed with acute schizophrenia. Looks like they settled on Bipolar in two thousand and twelve as the answer."

"So, do you know what is really happening with Jensen?"

"Well, I have a good idea, but I want to run some tests today before I can be sure... is that ok with you, Jensen?"

"Yeah, sure," I said, feeling like I was just the guinea pig in the room while Max and the Doctor talked.

"Excellent. Well, what I would like to do is run a physical check-up on you first, Jensen. I do this with all new patients; this being to make sure everything is working correctly and that there is nothing we need to look out for down the road."

"Do you want me to wait outside Jensen?" Max asked.

"No, it’s fine," I replied, following Doctor Burrows into the small room behind. As we entered, Doctor Burrows closed the door and told me to take a seat on the bed. I did so as he pulled on some rubber gloves and picked up some kind of tool.

"Now, I'm just going to look in your ears, Jensen, then your mouth and then I will examine the rest of you, okay?"

"Okay."

Doctor Burrows took his tool and pressed it into my left ear before doing the other one. I was then told to open my mouth as wide as I could. He then began making circular motions with his fingers under my jaw before stepping back.

"All looks good. Now? would you remove your clothes apart from your underwear and step onto those scales over there for me?"

I did as he asked, taking off all my gear until I was standing almost naked in the room. Then, stepping onto the scales, Doctor Burrows started playing around with a few sliders before recording the result on a clipboard.

"Hmm, just over nine stone one ounce, okay, let's do your height now. If you can stand against this wall here, Jensen, I'll bring the block down."
I moved to the wall and stood there while he pulled down a wooden block, resting it lightly on my head.

"Five feet, seven inches. Well, for your age Jensen, you are a good overall weight for your height. The last things I want to do are, take your blood pressure, and then get a urine sample from you to make sure the waterworks are okay."

"Cool," I said, sitting back on the bed. Doctor Burrows wheeled over a small machine linked to a hose and strap before tightening the belt around my arm and inflating it. The machine purred away until it beeped, and Doctor Burrows looked at the reading.

"Perfect, okay Jensen, you can get dressed now. Here, take this small bottle and bring it out to me once you have filled it. There is a toilet in the corner there."

I took the bottle from Doctor Burrows, and he left the small room, closing the door. I went over to the tiny toilet and began filling the bottle with my pee until it was almost full. I placed it on the bed while I got dressed and then left the room to join Max and the Doctor.

"Here you go," I said, passing the bottle to Doctor Burrows. He took it from me and placed it in a paper bag before putting my name on it. Then, he called someone on his phone, and a lady came in and took it from him.

"Ah, Pam, please can you make up a sleeve for Jensen's specimen and send it off in tonight's courier, and can I have it go as a priority."

"Of course, Doctor," the lady said before leaving the room.

"Well, Jensen, I was just telling your father that physically you are in excellent shape. I would like you to try and put on maybe a half a stone more weight, but other than that, I think you will live a long life."

"Thank you," was all I could respond with.

"So, what I want to do now is discuss the mental side of things Jensen, are you okay with that?"

"What do I have to do?"

"I want to give you a questionnaire first of all which is going to ask you several questions on how you feel from day to day. You will see that you get a choice after each question to rate it between one and ten - with ten being constantly and one being not at all. As I said earlier, I have a pretty good idea of what is happening with you, but this test and a couple of others will allow me to give you my diagnosis. Is that okay?"

"Yes, no worries."

"Good, now, here is the form. Take your time, and just let me know when you are done."

Doctor Burrows placed a two-page form in front of me containing many questions. As I read through and marked them, they were mostly about how I felt and what caused me to feel like I did.

I sat quietly and went through the sheet one question at a time.

After filling out various forms and performing a few exercises for Doctor Burrows,, we talked about my past. I brought up the episodes where I had reached rock bottom. I explained about this voice in my head from time to time, about the suicide attempt and finally about my outburst at Steven just the previous night, which caused Max to raise an eyebrow.

Doctor Burrows continued to take notes as I just went from subject to subject, year to year and outburst to outburst. I talked about my anger issues and the days when I would scribble all over my whiteboards at Greenstone. I spoke in-depth about Cindy and how she helped me to cope. I talked about the staff at Greenstone and how I was treated there. Fuck, I told him everything!

But it felt good.

Some topics had moved me to tears, some had even moved Max to tears, but I guess it all needed to come out. I had laid out my life on a plate to Doctor Burrows, and we had now been in the office for nearly an hour. When I was done talking, Doctor Burrows leant back in his chair and sighed.

"Well, Jensen, there is no doubt you have been through the mill, and thank you for being so honest with me. I can see it was challenging. That’s for you to focus on some aspects of your past, but this information has been valuable for me to form a picture of you in correlation to your medical records."

"So, am I crazy?"

Doctor Burrows chuckled. "Doctor Listern and his counterparts would have you think so, Jensen, but here is what I think. I see a person that has faced a life that no child should ever have. You have tried to deal with things you have not understood... that your mind has not been able to process, which has affected you mentally. Sometimes when we are faced with horrible circumstances, our brains find the most effective way of protecting us from those circumstances having long term effects on us. You will note that some of your behaviours, like anger, for example, is your mind's way of trying to deal with certain situations. Jensen, this is all normal, and mix in a bit of puberty with that. Naturally, the saucepan will boil over now and again."

"But what about the voice in my head and my Bipolar?"

Doctor Burrows thought for a moment. "Jensen, do you know what brainwashing is?"

"Not really," I said, shrugging.

"Well, I see you are wearing a red shirt there, right?"

"Yes."

"Well, what if I started telling you every day that your shirt was not red, and in fact, it was green?"

"But it’s red."

"No, it’s not, it’s green, and I am going to keep telling you it’s green until you believe me. Then, one day Jensen, I will tell you that your shirt is green, and your answer will be... yes, it is. That's because I have brainwashed you into thinking that it is green. I have made you doubt... I have made you question your own self because?"

"I'm not sure."

"Because Jensen, you need to be reassured. You need to be told what is right and what is wrong because of the life you have had. The people at Greenstone have put everything in place for you. They told you when to eat, when to dress, how to act, when to sleep... what pills to take etc., etc. I think you have been brainwashed to keep you under control when the staff there didn't really have a handle on what was going on with you."

"So I'm to blame?"

"No, of course not, but because of who you are, you have been easily led, and this has made Doctor Listern's job very easy because all he has had to do is brainwash you into thinking there is a medical condition when really..."

"But I do have Bipolar, right?"

Doctor Burrows sighed, shaking his head. "Jensen, you have what we call GAD with an element of depression, that's it! The extremities of what comes with that are just the brain's way of trying to protect you. Memory blackouts, extreme anger, seeing things out the corner of your eye, hearing things, and even episodes of feeling manic, are all side effects of severe anxiety and the side effects of some of your drugs. All this other stuff you've been told... Jensen, it's all fantasy."

The Doctor's diagnosis was profound, and I suddenly felt angry towards the staff at Greenstone, and in particular, Doctor Listern.

"So what are you saying, Doctor Burrows, that Jensen has been medically abused or something?" Max asked, irritation in his voice.

"I don't pretend to know what was going through the minds of the people there, but I do think the use of Tranquilisers, benzodiazepines, Bromide and Lithium were a way to keep him quiet, some of the other drugs such as Propranolol, Zopiclone, Amitriptyline... Jesus, the list goes on. But, Max, in my professional opinion, these were just not necessary."

"So what is GAD, Doctor."

"General Anxiety Disorder, Jensen. With the depression element, I can treat both with one simple drug for you called Citalopram. The rest of the pills you are on, I want an immediate phased withdrawal, and I am certain you will start to improve mentally soon after."

"Wow, no more pills?" I asked, starting to smile.

"No more pills Jensen... well, maybe just one," He said, grinning at me. "I will write up my report on our discussion today. After that, you have the option to see a therapist for eight sessions on your moods, Jensen, and then hopefully, I will not see you again unless it is for a common cold. But if you want to see how you feel in the short term, you and your folks can decide that later."

“About the therapist? Hmm, I just want to be left alone, Doctor Burrows. I’m fed up with being analysed.”

Doctor Burrows set out a plan to start coming off my pills and said that the new medication, Citalopram, should begin working in around four to five weeks. He reassured me that I should start feeling a whole lot more stable together with the new drug and therapy session pretty soon. It was music to my ears, and although he had told me not to expect immediate results, I was still so happy that I was finally being freed of all the shit I put in my body daily. I think the most important thing, though, was the fact I had been informed, quite categorically.

I was not insane!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"Well, that went really well, I think. What about you?" Max asked as we started to head home in the car.

"I'm still taking it all in, Max. It's hard to digest.

"What's so hard about it? This is great news Puppy, you should be pleased, right?"

"Yeah, I am, and I mean, it's not so much finding out everything is better than I was led to believe; it’s that I was lied to for so long. Everything Greenstone ever told me was a lie. I always used to think this just extended to stuff about my past... but my medical condition? That's the... the-"

"Fucked up part?" Max interjected.

I chuckled. "Exactly"

"Well, Puppy, the past is the past, and you have a bright future ahead of you, so start concentrating on that. Things that have happened to you will always be there as a memory, but too many people I know have let the past consume them to a point where their life is wasted."

"You're right, this is good news, and I should be thinking about that, and that only."

"Good boy... now what's this about strangling Steven?" Max asked. I swallowed hard.

"It was totally my fault. He said something about Cindy that made me see red. Don't say anything, please, Max, he just didn't know about her past and had he? I don't think he would have said it."

"I will call it a family incident and say no more about it then, but you guys mustn't fight with your fists, argue by all means, but don't hurt each other, okay?"

"Understood, as I said, it was me... he didn't touch me or anything." I lied.

"It's forgotten about, and I won't mention it to Susan, okay?"

"Thanks, Max, oh and...."

“What?”

I shook my head sheepishly. “Nah, it doesn’t matter.”

“Puppy, you look like you’ve had something on your mind since we left home. So spit it out. What’s up?”

“Uh, well, it’s kind of embarrassing. It’s, uh... it's regarding down below,” I smirked, looking at Max.

“What, have you got a problem down there you need to talk about; you should have said something to Doctor Burrows?”

“No, nothing like that. It’s just...erm, well when you were my age, did you like, well do things?”

Max pulled over onto the side of the road, stopping the car. He arched his hand to his forehead and laughed abruptly.

“Oh, wow, erm! Okay, so let’s just be straight up about it. Are you talking about masturbating?

I went red. “Uh, yeah. I mean, I just learned, and I kinda get the feeling I….”

“Was late to the party?” Max sighed, still smiling. “Well, uh, all boys start discovering things at different times, Puppy. I don’t think it matters if you’re still discovering things about yourself now.”

“But is it okay? I mean, I won’t get ill or depleted in anything by doing it will I? It’s not bad, is it?”

“Huh? No, of course not... no to all of that! Look, it’s perfectly natural and, uh, well you can erm, you can do it as much as you want...and you probably will,” Max laughed, almost too much. “But listen, Puppy, you need to make sure it doesn’t interfere with your life. Okay? That’s when it becomes a problem.”

“Right, I understand, thanks.”

“Look, Puppy, I know some topics will be uncomfortable or embarrassing for us both at times, but I’m pleased you felt able to talk to me about that. And you know you can come to me with anything, yeah. So I’d rather you know you have someone to talk to if you don’t get something?”

“Yeah, I know. Thanks. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”

Max giggled. “I gotcha. Ooh, have you got the form for your blood test?"

"Yeah, it's in my pocket. But, just so you know, I hate needles. So how comes I've to have that anyway? I almost got out of his office without him even thinking about it?"

"Well, I guess he can't get everything done with the urine sample. He probably just wants to see what's in your blood. Like with most things Puppy, it's a process of elimination. Sure, he might be going into everything, but at least this way, he can give you the best possible care."

"Hmm," was all I said, looking at the blood form, seeing that a tick had been placed inside pretty much every box.

As we drove towards the house, Max had announced he would swing by the chemist and pick up my prescription that Doctor Burrows had written out. Max suggested I start getting the new drug into my system as soon as possible for pretty obvious reasons.

We pulled into a space that ran parallel to a small row of shops, and Max leapt out of the car, leaving the engine running.

"I'll be a few minutes, you okay?"

"Yeah, Max, do you want me to come in with you?"

"Nah, that's why I left it running. You stay warm; it’s pretty chilly out here."

"Cool."

Max closed the door to the car and headed off down along the shop fronts. I saw him disappear into what I imagined was the chemist before turning my attention to the world around me.

"Honey, we're home," Max called, but there was no answer as we both walked into the kitchen. Laid out on the worktop, I could see Susan had prepared dinner before she went out. It looked like all she had to do was cook it when she returned, whenever that would be.

I heard footsteps coming down the stairs just as Max offered me a drink, and Steven went into the kitchen. He immediately came over to me, grabbing hold of my head and tipping it back, appearing to look up my nose.

"Wha... what are you doing?" I asked, a little freaked.

"Steven, stop hassling your brother, will you."

"Sorry, just seeing if the lobotomy had been performed. God knows he needed one."

"Stop winding him up and make yourself useful. Go check the hens for any eggs, will you."

"But that's his job. He likes doing it."

"It's okay Max, I can go down later and do it." I said.

"Yeah, dad, and besides, I've company upstairs."

"Steven, we talked about this, no girls when we're not home."

"Chill, Dad," Steven giggled. "It's just Jessie; we were just chatting to Billy on Skype... But, dad, you wanna see the state of him, he covered head to toe in pox, and it's hilarious. Apparently, he even has it in his mouth." Steven said, looking joyful about that.

"Poor kid, I had it when I was a boy; it’s irritating, to say the least. So why don't you bring him down to meet Jensen?"

"Better still, why don't you come upstairs and meet him, Wank stain."

"STEVEN!!"

"Haha, sorry Dad, C'mon Jensen, let's go."

"Is that okay, Max?"

Max chuckled. "Jensen, you don't need to ask to go to your own room. But, of course, it's alright."

I smiled and got off my chair, following Steven up the stairs. I was starting to feel pretty nervous as I reached the top, as chatting to people I didn't know had never been my strong point. I just hoped Steven would be Steven and make it easy for me.

Steven pushed open the door and entered our bedroom with me right behind. "Jes, meet my new crazy-ass brother. IQ of five hundred, common sense of three."

"Brother?" Jessie asked, holding out his hand to me but looking at Steven.

"Don't worry about it man, it's a long story."

"But down at Cutter’s farm, you said-"

"YEAH, haha, yeah well, erm," Steven stammered.

"What did he say?" I asked, looking at Steven, frowning.

"He said that-"

"Whoa, I don't think we need to talk about old shit. Let’s do something fun," Steven said, still trying to brush away the question. He looked nervous, jumpy, in fact. I, however, was determined to hear from Jessie what Steven had said."

"No, no, please, Jessie, I am very interested in what Steven has said."

Jessie looked worried and swallowed hard. "Well, he said that his parents had found this homeless kid on the street and taken him in."

"Homeless kid?"

"Erm..."

"Steven?" I hissed.

I knew this conversation had taken place when things were not great between us, so I wasn't furious. Instead, I just wanted to make Steven sweat for a moment.

"So this guy is your brother?" asked Jessie as we finished shaking hands.

"Uh-huh," was all Steven could get out, now a lovely shade of red.

"Stepbrother, actually... dead stepbrother, soon to be."

"Stevie, how could you make up something so horrible about one of your own family?" Jessie asked, scolding him.

I liked this guy already!

"Look, this is all a long story, and I think it has been blown out of proportion. Perhaps you all misinterpreted me," Steven said nervously.

"No, we both heard what you said. Wait, I'm gonna call Dave and-"

"LOOK! Okay, I said it... I said it because I was embarrassed, okay?"

"Steven, it's cool, I don't mind... don't worry about calling your friend Jessie, I know the reasons why he would have said what he did, and I don't care."

"Yeah, Jessie, we are cool now, so..."

"You still lied to your mates Stevie," Jessie said, shaking his head. "Anyway, nice to meet you Jensen, sorry you had to end up living with my friend Dickbrain here."

"He's okay, and I like it here."

"Yeah, Jensen blew his first load last night. Can you believe that?"

"Really? Fuck, I've been beating the snake since I was eleven. So you started late, Jensen?"

"Can we not talk about this?" I asked, directing my question at Steven.

Anyway, guys, I better hit the road. My mum will be going mad if I'm not home to look after my little brother by one. Really good to meet you, Jensen. Hey, maybe we can all hang out together some time?"

"Okay, pal, laters," Steven said, as they high fived.

"Yeah, nice to meet you, Jessie," I added.

Just as Jessie walked out of the bedroom, Max appeared. "Bye, Mr Chase," Jessie said, heading down the stairs.

"Oh, yeah, bye Jessie... guys, I need to get to work now. Please try not to kill each other, at least until your mother gets home."

"Okay, dad, we won't," Steven said, rolling his eyes. Max was now in his work gear and gave a small wave before rushing downstairs and out of the front door. We both stood in silence until we heard his van start and drive away.

Steven took his phone from his computer desk before climbing onto his bed. I went and sat on my own bed, looking at him thoughtfully.

"So, I just wanted to say-"

"Thanks for dropping your bombshell on me last night, perhaps?" Steven said, cutting me off.

"I was going to say that I'm sorry again for going nuts on you, but yeah, I would like to talk about that too."

"I'm not gay Jensen, sorry to burst your bubble, but I'm not into guys. That being said, I don't give a shit where you prefer to put your dick."

"Huh?"

Steven sighed. "I mean, I don't care if you're gay. I had a feeling you might be when I noticed you looking at me every five seconds."

"You saw that? And anyway, I'm not sure what I am or who I like. All I know is, yes, I admit it, there is an attraction to you that I can't explain."

"You know it's funny, a little over two days ago, we hated each other, and now you're confessing your love for me. So can you really blame me when I say you're one crazy assed mother fucker?"

"Oh shut up, I'm not confessing my love for you, I'm just saying that-"

"Yeah, I heard you, what do you want me to say... hey that's nice, want me to blow you? Sorry, it's not going to happen. I don't mind listening to your shit, hell I don't even mind if you wanna perv over me, but I'm not into the whole guy on guy thing. So I just wanna make that clear."

"You know, you can be a real nasty piece of sh-"

"Ah, bite me!"

"I told dad that I attacked you," I said, trying to get a reaction.

"Wha... what the fuck for, I thought I told you what to say?"

"Yeah, well, I was in with the Doctor, and he asked me to tell him everything, so I did. Oh, and I now know why you didn't want me to say anything... I'm not stupid."

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

"Haha, yeah, right... you didn't want me to say anything because it means you would have to admit that I did you over, and you couldn't do anything about it... But, C'mon, show me those big muscles!"

"That's just crap. I was trying to protect you."

"Now that's crap. Anyway, don't be ashamed that I can beat your ass. We can't all be good at everything."

"Wow, one trip to the Doctors, and you suddenly think you're a man now, yeah?"

"I'm just playing Steven. No need to get defensive."

"What else do you wanna talk about?" he asked, just dismissing our last topic.

"Nothing, like I said, I am sorry about last night and the other subject you have cleared up for me. Not that I even know what I would do if you said you were attracted to me too. I mean, shit, I would probably have run a mile. I don't really understand what all this attraction stuff is about. It's all new to me."

"Well, you know I like to blame the kid prison on a lot of that, but I think they win again when it comes to exploring anything sexual related with you. To me, the very fact you didn't even know how to bring yourself off tells me they must not have taught you anything about the birds and the bees."

"It's not that, unlike you, I didn't have access to friends or that stuff you have on your PC, plus I was the only kid there at that age. I just think funds were tight or some shit like that, but no, I never got taught about that sort of stuff, ever. So put it this way, Steven, If someone had built a brick box and placed you in it, and then let you out ten years later, tell me what you would know about... anything?"

"I understand what you're saying, but you clearly know some stuff.

"Yeah, a little, but that's only what I've seen on TV."

Steven shook his head. "Man, it's almost like you're from another planet Jensen, it's really weird."

"In some ways, you could say I am. I'm not from your world. I’ve not had the experiences you have or do things you have."

"Well, we better get you started then, hadn't we."

"What did you have in mind?" I asked, wondering exactly what he meant. Steven got up from his bed and stood in front of me.

"Jensen, I live my life by making sure four things are in order - fashion, hairstyle, sex and street cred."

"Huh?"

"Not huh, Jensen, you gotta say, right Steven!"

"Right, Steven." I rolled my eyes.

"Good boy, now, are you ready to commit yourself to my boot camp of how to be cool?"

"Haha, me? Cool?"

Steven took a step back from me and stroked his chin. "Hmm, yeah, it might take some work, but there are a few basics we can put in place straight away."

"Like what?"

"Okay, rule number one, your sneakers?"

"What about them?" I asked, looking down at my brand new Nike shoes.

"Jensen, those are a really neat pair of shoes, but they are not cool for one massive reason."

"I don't understand."

"Jensen, when you wear sneakers, you NEVER do the laces up. You tuck them down the sides, and you wear them slightly loose. The way you have them on? It makes you look uptight. Here undo them and give them here."

I shrugged before untying my laces and toeing them off. Steven bent down and took them, placing both shoes on his bed.

"What if they slip off when I'm walking?"

"If they're the right size, they won't," he replied, adjusting the lace and tying a knot under the tongue. "Here, try them like that." He dropped them down by my feet again, and I slid each foot back into them. Steven was right... even though they were looser and the laces were undone, they still fitted nice and snug.

"Okay, so what's next?"

"Your Jeans, they are slightly too long, which is good because it's the fashion that you turn them up at the bottom. So here, let me show you."

Again Steven bent down and took hold of the end of my jeans and turned up the ends, making sure they were straight.

"That just looks weird," I said, lifting up one leg to inspect what he had done.

"It's a statement, Jensen; it says you're with the times. So now we gotta do something about the hair."

I sighed. "So, what's wrong with that?"

"Well, you either gotta have the skateboard floppy look like me, or you gotta go extra short. You can't be in-between. With your facial structure, you need something sharp and edgy, and at the moment, you seem to have this quiff thing going on, and the back and sides are getting a little long. So, since getting it to my length is gonna take some time, I think you need to go short."

"How short?"

"Hmm," Steven mumbled, taking hold of my head in his hands as if inspecting me for lice. "I'd say a high zero round the back and sides, short on top towards the back and then leave some length at the front so you can spike it up... bring out those lovely blue eyes," he said, before starting to giggle. "Just teasin'."

"What's a zero?" I asked, tilting my head, ignoring his comment,

"It's the shortest cut you can get, but I think it would look great on you. My friend Dave is also blond, and I think it makes him look well slick."

"So, I ask dad to take me to the hair people?"

"Nope, I can do it. I've been doing Dave's since I was twelve... here, I've a picture on my PC of him, and you can see what I mean."

Steven clicked a few times on his mouse and brought up a picture of his friend Dave. He was standing in front of what looked to be a lake, topless, holding a large fish from its tail. He was smiling, and although I was viewing this picture for the purposes of hairstyle comparisons, I couldn't help feel in awe of his good looks. This... Dave had a beautiful smile for a start, his teeth ice white. He had an awesome bronze tan going on, which made the hair on his arms seem white and wispy looking. A slim but nicely toned body completed the attractive picture, and yeah, his hair was really cool, just like Steven said.

"So, what do you think?... Jensen... Jenson, helooo?"

"What? Oh... yeah, I think it looks cool."

"Exactly, now, wait here, let me get my clippers."

"Huh? Wait, Steven... what about mum and dad, shouldn't we ask first?"

"Steven, you're sixteen. I think you're old enough to decide what sort of hairstyle you want. Gone are the days you had to have some ridiculous style your mother had chosen," Steven said, shuddering as if recalling a memory. "God, I remember those days!"

"Well, okay, but please don't make a mistake. I don't wanna look silly."

"Steady as a rock these!" he said, holding out his hands and splaying his fingers.

Steven got down on all fours and started moving stuff around under his bed until he pulled out a small black bag. He poured the contents onto his bed, and out came the clippers and some plastic things with teeth on them.

Blowing off the old hair that was stuck to the blade, he plugged them in, and they sprang into life.

"Shit! Must remember to turn them off before pulling the plug."

I chuckled, seeing him jump. "So, where do you want me?"

"Haha, Make sure you don't say that line to some dirty old man. You might get an answer you'll regret."

"What do you me-"

"Forget it! Just sit in the chair here...oh, and take off your top."

I did as I was told, pulling off my shirt and sitting on his computer chair. Steven immediately went to work on my hair, starting at the back. The buzz of the machine made my head vibrate, and I wondered how much of my hair was actually coming off.

"Is... is it working?" I asked, not being able to see what he was doing.

"Of course it's working. Just hold still; otherwise, I might accidentally cut your head off."

I swallowed hard. Letting Steven loose with what looked to be an electric pair of scissors filled me with worry. I kept as still as I could as he made his way round to each side of my head. I could now see clumps of hair falling to the floor out of the corner of my eye. He then stopped and took a pair of manual scissors from the pile on his bed and started to work on the top. I had no clue how much skill was going into it, but it was too late to turn back now, seeing as half my hair was lying on our bedroom carpet.

"And... just...about... done, there!"

"What, you've finished?"

"Yep, and may I say, it's one of my best yet... you know, you have lovely hair to cut, Jensen, it's very rich and thick."

I moved my hand up to feel the back of my head. It felt prickly like a fine brush, and it was fucking short!

"Do I dare look in a mirror?"

"Insult my work if you must, but dare you to utter comment until you have viewed the paradise that sits upon your skull, my king!" Steven said in a posh voice before bowing graciously.

"WHAT?!"

Steven Shrugged. "Meh, just some shit I made up... now go to the bathroom and have a look if you must."

Doing just that, I got out of the chair and walked out of our room to inspect Steven's handy work. Looking in the mirror, I turned my head several times, trying to get every angle possible.

"Steven?" I called before starting to smile.

"Yeah, shithead?"

"This is fucking amazing... I mean, where did you learn to do this stuff."

"Dave, like I said. I mean, I did make him cry with my first few attempts, but you can only be scalped so many times until you get used to it. Ooooh, I did some right numbers on him, but it was all in the name of science, trust me."

"Well, I guess I've Dave to thank then because practise certainly does make perfect."

"Wow, I'm touched... thanks, gayboy!"

"Hey, I'm not gay, I'm... I'm-"

"Sexually challenged?"

"I'm... me!"

"Yeah, that's what worries me."

"So, what's next?"

"Well, the fashion side of things is good, seeing you have some cool new clothes and now know how to wear them properly. Hair is complete, and yes, it is a masterpiece I know. So what's next? I guess getting you laid!

"Can we do street cred first?" I asked, my shoulders dropping.


 

I hope you enjoyed this chapter. If you did spot any errors I do apologise. Please feel free to drop me an email at jamesmatthewsstories@gmail.com and i'll zap them. Many thanks :)

James

Copyright © 2021 James Matthews; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

Each chapter just keeps getting better!  And, wow, a misdiagnosis done for control purposes!  Years ago, i did a two-week rotation in an adolescent psychiatric hospital and admittedly saw this behavior.  Thank goodness, the hospital is now closed.  I did work with two other adolescent psychiatrists in co-therapy with patients who were also students in my school and for whom I was the school contact and follow-up.  These were very positive situations.  I can only hope the same for Puppy!

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Loved this chapter and how Jensen is adapting. It was cool of Steven to finally open up and show his brother some compassion and give him some life lessons that he took for granted.  The line about being stuck in a brick box for 10 years sums up Jensen's adolescence nicely. Can't wait to see how he progresses. It's quite sad what Greenstone subjected him to - the brainwashing seems like the perfect description.

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Thank you for all the great comments guys. You certain have some good points to make. Glad you all enjoyed the chapter :) 

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I still think the misdiagnosis and prescription of all the different drugs were intentional rather than due to incompetence. Greenstone was making him a compliant, institutionalised robot.

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I

On 7/30/2021 at 5:04 AM, Mawgrim said:

I still think the misdiagnosis and prescription of all the different drugs were intentional rather than due to incompetence.......  AND I TOTALLY AGREE!!  

 

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I have to agree with the others, it feels like there was some intentional drugging for behavior control.  I hope this is not an extremely accurate representation of private group homes in England.  I know that Americans (and probably any large overpopulated country) have issues with the foster system, but most kids in group homes would go to public school and have access to popular culture.  I would assume this is the same for state run homes in England.  I'm loving this gripping story!

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