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    Jdonley75
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

The Acquittal - 6. Chapter 6

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Kyle’s eyes slowly opened, taking in the fading moonlight from his window. Something had awoken him. His body lay there warm and comfortable in his familiar bed as his eyes looked around the room. A quick glance at the clock resting next to his bed showed him that it was just after three in the morning. Laying there for another moment, hearing nothing that gave him any concern, he sighed, closed his eyes and started to drift off again.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

His eyes opened again. It sounded like something against the house. Maybe the wind was knocking something against the siding? He stayed still, waiting to hear it again.

Thump. Thump.

He sat up, trying to identify the sound and it’s source. It was somewhere outside obviously but it was downstairs. A pensive feeling began to grow in his gut as he slowly slid out of bed, grabbing a pair of shorts and slipping them on over his boxer briefs. He waited to hear any other sounds. Maybe his dad heard the noise too? The silence inside the house lead him to believe his dad had slept through it. He cautiously made his way out of his room and down the stairs. Again, he heard the sound. Like something hitting the back door. It had to be. He couldn’t think of anyone who would be coming to the house so late. Making his way carefully to the kitchen and the backdoor just beyond it, he was playing over the puzzle in his mind, trying to figure out who or what was out there. As he entered the kitchen he looked cautiously through the doorway on the other side of the room leading to the back door where a silhouetted figure could be seen through the glass. By the size and shape it could only be Jacob. But something was wrong. Whoever it was seemed to be swaying slowly. Kyle hurried to the door and opened it before turning on the light. “Jacob? What are you doing..?”

As soon as the light came on, Kyle froze in terror. Jacob was staring at him vacantly but what terrified him was his face. The left side of his face had blood flowing down from a cut above his eyebrow and the eye itself was swollen shut. His lower lip was bleeding and looked swollen as well. “Kyle” his voice has drowsy and slurred, like it was taking him every effort to speak. “Kyle,” he inhaled and whimpered softly, “I need… please…” Kyle pulled him inside by the arm as Jacob cried out in pain at the sudden movement.

“Oh my God! Oh my God, Jacob. Jacob? Are you okay?” It was a stupid question given his appearance as the dark haired boy slid to the floor as if the last reserves of his strength had given out.

“Wasn’t…” Jacob was mumbling, tears rolling down his eyes as he whimpered pitifully. “Hurts. Please. Let me stay.” His one eye Kyle could see seemed to be losing focus.

Kyle didn’t bother to hide his panic as he screamed as loud as he could, “Dad! Dad, I need you! Dad!” His own tears started to fall, trying to understand what happened. Jacob was laying on his right side and groaning. Carefully, Kyle lifted up his shirt and saw a hideously large black and purple bruise on almost the entire left of his side. “Dad!” he cried now in panic and fear.

He heard the sounds of movement upstairs. The hurried steps of his father as he followed the sound of his son’s voice. When his father stepped into the kitchen he came to a halt, his eyes widening in shock at the sight before him. Kyle looked up at his father, tears running down his face begging, “please. Help me.”

David sprang into action, grabbing the phone off the counter and dialing 911. He told them his location and that he had a young male adult at his door apparently the victim of an attack. “I need police and and ambulance here right away, please. His name is Jacob Eaton. Yes. He’s a friend of my son’s. I’m not sure how he got here. It looks like he walked. I’m not sure. Please, hurry.” He looked down at his son and said in a firm voice, “we’ll get him help son. Right now, just keep talking to him. Don’t let him fall asleep.” He wasn’t sure what kind of injuries Jacob may have but he wasn’t going to take any chances.

His father’s voice faded into the background as he looked down at the person he loved most in the world. He whimpered and choked back his sobs as he tried to talk to him. “Jacob? Please, stay here with me.” He moved to cradle the boys head in his lap, running his hand over the dark hair, trying to avoid any part of his face that might cause him pain.

“Mistake...” the boy mumbled, “he didn’t mean to.”

Flames of anger and hate surged inside Kyle’s body. He wanted to yell at him for making excuses for what was done to him. He wanted to find the man who did this and kill him. He wanted revenge and make him suffer for hurting Jacob and hurting him. His jaw clenched as he swallowed the anger. It wouldn’t help Jacob right now to be venting his anger. He used all his willpower to keep his tone calm and measured. “It’ll be ok, Jacob. I promise. Just, please, stay here with me.”

“Kyle,” The boy choked and sobbed as he whispered, “love you so much.”

Kyle’s eyes squeezed shut. He had never known pain like this. He couldn’t understand how only hours ago they had been smiling and dancing. Kissing and sharing their love for the first time. And now this. Was he going to live long enough for them to have a future? No, he can’t think like that. It can’t and won’t end like this. His dad was here. He looked up at his dad with what little hope he had left in his eyes, searching his face for an answer. “Dad?”

His dad kneeled down next to him and rubbed his hand over Kyle’s back to comfort him. His voice was soft as he looked down at the badly beaten boy between them. “Stay strong, son. You’ll get through this. They’ll be here in a minute.”

No sooner had he said that, Kyle could hear the wail of a siren coming closer and closer. He asked his dad to stay with Jacob for a moment as he ran as fast as he could upstairs to grab shoes, socks a shirt and his phone before sprinting back to Jacob’s side just as an EMT team came up to the door followed closely by two state troopers. Kyle quickly gripped Jacob’s good hand and squeezed it nearly sobbing in relief when he felt a slight squeeze in return. The EMT’s pushed the father and son back to examine Jacob. When Kyle directed them to the large bruise on his side, they inspected it and immediately called out the door for a stretcher. Kyle tried to follow what they were saying. Something about internal bleeding and cracked ribs. The state troopers gave the EMT’s room to work as they asked questions about what happened. Kyle couldn’t follow what was going on with Jacob and answer questions at the same time and panic started to settle in again. His only relief came as his father put his comforting arm around his shoulders and helped him focus.

“Kyle,” his father said in a calm but sharp voice to keep his attention, “Jacob needs you to tell these men what happened tonight.”

Kyle took a deep breath and cleared his eyes and nose and began to answer the cops’ questions about where they were earlier in the evening, what they had done and when he had dropped Jacob off at home. They asked Kyle where Jacob lived and he told them as best he could having never been given a chance to see which trailer they lived in. The cops nodded and said that they would follow up later just as the EMT’s started preparing to take Jacob away.

Without thinking, Kyle pulled away from his dad and ran after the EMT’s. They tried to tell him he couldn’t come with them but he didn’t listen as he grabbed Jacob’s hand and said to the technicians in a voice that sounded more like a growl, “I’m not leaving him!” The paramedics looked at each other and decided not to argue. David hurried out and told his son he’d be along in a few minutes and ran back to get dressed.

As the ambulance raced to the local hospital, Kyle took Jacob’s hand and held it, making sure to lean over enough that Jacob could see him. He wasn’t sure what Jacob was aware of but he managed to hold himself together for his sake. He didn’t dare speak because he knew he would start babbling and crying again. Watching the men treating Jacob’s injuries gave him a sense of hope that everything was going to be ok.

The ride seemed to take forever before it came to a sudden stop and the back door was flung open. The EMT’s quickly pulled the stretcher out of the back to wheel Jacob into the emergency room. Kyle lost his hold on Jacob’s hand and started to scramble to keep up as chaos seemed to erupt around him. Questions were flung back and forth as doctors and nurses quickly surrounded them. He managed to push his way into the fray and saw Jacob’s face covered in a plastic oxygen mask. His one clear eye focused on him as he came into view, his right hand raising up, fingers outstretched towards him. Kyle didn’t think as he leaped forward and grabbed his hand as fear squeezed out every word in his heart. “Jacob, it’ll be ok. I love you. You’ll be fine. Just stay with me. Please. I’m not gonna let go. Just don’t leave.” Tears once again ran down his face as he looked down at him. The fear of losing him so soon felt like part of his soul was being cut out. After they had finally had the courage to show their true feelings for each other, the thought of losing the future they hadn’t even had a chance to talk about was too much to bear.

Jacob regained some consciousness as his fingers gently squeezed Kyle’s hand. The one good eye seemed to look around fearfully as he took in his surroundings. Kyle couldn’t hear him clearly but he could hear him say his name, over and over. The medical team was moving and Kyle stayed with them, heedless of their destination as they moved down a corridor through a set of doors. Coming to a turn in the hallway, someone started to gently tug at Kyle, saying something to him. They were trying to separate him from Jacob. He snarled and pulled away from them, to stay close. Again, hands came at him, this time stronger and more of them. The medical team kept pushing Jacob down the hall as other people were grabbing onto Kyle were pulling him back. He tried desperately to hold on as long as he could as he panicked, fear that it may be the last time he would see him lending him strength. Eventually he lost his hold and watched helplessly as he saw Jacob disappear into another room.

The pain he had felt earlier struck his heart as he screamed to relieve the grief inside him. He tried to fight off the hands and arms holding him back but eventually his strength gave out and he collapsed to his knees, burying his face in his hands as he wept. He lay there, trying to fight for control again even as it seemed everything was falling apart around him. He didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. Chaos swirled around inside him and he felt like all reason was being swept away.

A hand rested on his shoulder. Strong but gentle, it lifted him out of the chaos of his emotions. Too tired to fight anymore he felt himself being slowly lifted to his feet. His heart lurched in his chest when he heard his father’s comforting voice whispering in his ear. “It’s gonna be alright, Baby Boy. Let’s get out of everyone’s way and go find somewhere to sit until we hear something.” His father’s reassuring presence made new tears spring from his eyes even as he felt relief that he wasn’t alone.

His father lead him back the way he came and into a small sitting room. It was sterile and white with multi-colored chairs and couches lining the walls and a quiet television set overhead in a corner. Father and son sat down on one of the couches, Kyle leaning against his father’s chest with his strong arms around him to give him what comfort he could. Moments passed and Kyle’s eyes closed. He felt one of his dad’s hands patting his shorts until he found the cellphone he was looking for. He looked up at his dad’s face as he tapped on the phone a couple times before putting it to his ear. When the other person on the other end picked up, his father spoke in a subdued tone. “Wake up, Troy. It’s me. Your other dad. Yeah. I need you to wake up, son. Jacob is in the hospital. He’s not good but I don’t know how bad. Kyle’s here and he needs you. Yeah. Ok. I know. Ok. We’ll be in the third family waiting room off the side from the emergency room.” Satisfied he shut the phone off with a sigh and clutched his son closer to him saying, “the boys’ll be on their way in a minute.”

Time passed in silence when an officer in a state police uniform stepped inside and asked, “are you Mr. Howard?”

David sat up a little but kept his arm around his son as he nodded. “This is my son, Kyle. How can I help you?”

The man stepped into the room, taking a seat near the two of them before speaking. “I wanted to let you know Joseph Eaton was arrested a few moments ago and charged with aggravated assault. He’s been taken to the local jail to wait for a bail hearing. In the meantime, our officers will be conducting an investigation into what happened earlier this evening.”

David nodded in appreciation. “Thanks for letting us know. What’s gonna happen with Jacob?”

“Well,” the officer shrugged, “he’s eighteen so he’s legally an adult which means he won’t qualify for child services to step in. I guess he’ll just end up wherever he ends up.”

Kyle turned his head to stare at the officer. Sniffling slightly he asked, “will he be able to get his stuff out of his trailer?”

The officer tilted his head with an uncertain look and said, “that’ll be up to the investigators on the scene but if his bedroom isn’t part of the crime scene then I don’t see why he can’t get his clothes and stuff out. Why?”

“Because he’s coming with us when he gets out of here.” He stated simply.

The officer looked to his father with a slightly worried expression before stating, “there’s no guarantee he’s going to be leaving here today.” The officer decided not to speculate any more on Jacob’s condition. “I have some questions I’d like to ask, if you think you can answer them for me.” Kyle sat up a little, staying next to his father as he nodded to the officer to go ahead. “Well, first off, I guess I should ask how you know Jacob.”

“He’s...” He paused for a moment before saying, “he’s my boyfriend. We’ve been friends for over a year now. We met at school.”

The officer just nodded and continued, “in all the time you’ve known him has he ever told you about any abuse his father has inflicted on him?”

Kyle was silent for a moment before he answered. “He never said anything to me directly.”

The officer frowned slightly, knowing a vague answer when he hears one. “Have you seen any marks or any injuries on him of any kind that would have lead you to believe he was being abused?”

Guilt started to set in as Kyle’s eyes looked down at the floor. He had promised Jacob he wouldn’t say anything to anyone and he hadn’t. But, now he’s gonna have to break that promise. “Yes.” He heard rather than saw his father’s head turn to look at him. He knew he would need to explain himself later.

“Tell me what you saw,” the officer gently prodded.

“Well, the first time I met him, I thought I saw what looked like an old bruise on his face.” Kyle’s hand went up to touch his own face, indicating where he saw them. “One time, when we were in gym class, I… I saw him in the shower room. He had… a large bruise on his back.”

He glanced over the officers shoulder and saw Troy standing in the doorway behind the man. “Did you tell anyone about what you saw,” the officer asked.

“No. When I asked him about it, he begged me to not tell anyone.” His eyes looked up at Troy who stood there silently listening.

“Did you ever meet his father?”

“No. He... Jacob never let me take him directly home. Just had me drop him off outside the trailer park he lived in.”

The officer nodded and stood up. “Ok. I think that’s all the questions I have for now. If we have anything we need to follow up on, we’ll be in touch.” The man nodded his head to David and then walked out of the room.

“How come I’m just now hearing about this,” his father asked in a gentle tone but his eyes let Kyle know he was displeased.

Kyle looked up at his father nervously. “He asked me not to tell anyone. He was scared.”

“I’d be scared to if I had a dad who beat me up,” Troy stated as he walked over to sit down next to him. “But you should have told us. We might’ve been able to help him.”

Guilt marred his face as he looked away. “I’m sorry. I… was afraid he’d...”

“It’s all right,” his father said to keep his son from any more pain. “It doesn’t matter what happened at this point. I can’t let him go back there.”

“They said we may be able to get his things from his trailer later,” Kyle offered.

David nodded. “Let’s wait and see what happens with Jacob first.”

“Where is he,” Troy asked, that slight air of authority creeping into his voice.

“I think they took him to surgery. I heard the guys in the ambulance say something about internal bleeding,” Kyle mumbled.

Troy sighed. Less than a minute later Andy and Brian wandered in together. The two blonde young men looking around as if they were lost. “Any news,” Andy asked in a subdued voice.

Kyle shook his head and looked at the floor. The reality of what was happening started to creep in again. His mind started replaying the look on Jacob’s face. His muttered and slurred words. Even in as much pain as he was he was still telling him how much he loved him. Jacob needed him and there was nothing he could do. He couldn’t protect him or help him or make it all go away. The one thing he could have done to prevent this from happening he didn’t do. “He told me he loved me,” he whimpered softly as his shoulders shook. Closing his eyes, he felt so tired. He couldn’t or rather didn’t want to contemplate the worst case scenario.

An arm came around his shoulders and drew him close. “Of course he loves you, dummy,” Troy’s soft voice said close to his ear. “We all love you. And we’re gonna get through this together.” He felt Andy and Brian draw close and settle in behind him. His team was there with him. Somehow, that made the situation seem not so hopeless. He allowed his body to relax and within a few minutes he was asleep.


****

When Kyle's eyes opened again, he was still in the same room in the hospital. The sun shining through the small windows along the top of the wall as he looked around the room. He had been leaning against a sleeping Troy while Andy and Brian were curled up together on a nearby couch. Curiously, his father was missing. As he sat up, Troy stirred and his eyes fluttered open with a soft grunt, reflexively gripping Kyle to him. Kyle looked at him and asked, “where’s my dad?”

“He went home,” Troy responded as he yawned. “I told him we could sit here while we wait for news. He should go home and get some sleep then he can come back later.” Troy checked the time. It was just after nine o’clock in the morning. He rose to his feet, stretching, saying to no one in particular. “I’ll go see if there’s any news. May as well see if there’s some coffee around here too.” Decision made, he walked out of the room and down the hall to find out what he wanted to know.

Kyle remained sitting, trying to breathe normally and not give into the temptation to start thinking about the worst that can happen. Right now, he figured that the worst case wasn’t going to happen or else they would have been told by now. Or at least, the chances of worst case have dropped. He wasn’t sure. He couldn’t really think. His brain felt muffled. He was still tired and a little sore. Thoughts of what could have been or should have been floated through his head bring back the memory of seeing Jacob laying there on a stretcher with his hand reaching out for him. He closed his eyes again, leaning back on the couch. If he was going to get through this he was going to have to control himself better. No more breakdowns or fits of rage. He had to stay calm. If Jacob wakes up and he gets to see him, he wants to show him confidence that everything is going to be okay. He had to believe that before this entire nightmare was over Jacob was coming home with him. The closer he is to the house, the safer Jacob will be. He can’t go back to that trailer ever again.

“Kyle,” his opened his eyes at the sound of Troy’s voice, standing in the doorway, motioning for him to join him. Kyle was on his feet and moving faster than he expected. He couldn’t tell from Troy’s face what to expect so he just followed as Troy headed down the hall towards a desk with some staff standing there.

As they walked up, a man in a white coat looked towards them, holding a clipboard in his hands. He came around the desk as they came to a stop in front of them. Troy spoke first. “This is Dr. Ford. He’s the one who, well, saved Jacob’s life, I guess.”

The doctor demurred, saying in a gravelly voice, “it was a group effort. We finished the surgery about an hour ago. We stopped the internal bleeding so he looks less like someone who’d been ran over by a truck. He did suffer a minor concussion which made things tricky and is why we’re keeping him for observation for at least the next twenty-four hours. I also want to see how the swelling around the left side of his face goes down. He had a cracked rib which we mended as best we could but that’s just going to have to heal on its own. He’s going to be sore and in some pain the next few weeks so he should stay off his feet for awhile. I understand he will be leaving under your care?”

Kyle nodded and then asked, “when can I see him?”

The doctor shrugged. “He’s on the third floor now, probably sleeping. He won’t be awake for another six or seven hours and I’d prefer he sleep longer as long as he’s being monitored. After he woke up in recovery we gave him a pain killer to go along with his I.V. I’d say probably sometime this afternoon he’ll be able to have visitors but I want him to rest as much as he can. He’s been through a lot in the last nine hours and needs rest to recover fully.”

“I don’t want him to be alone,” Kyle said worriedly.

“Ok. How about I have Andy drive you home so you can sleep for a couple hours because you need some real sleep.” Troy’s tone meant it was less a suggestion and more what he expected him to do. “Brian and I will stay here with Jacob and we’ll make sure he’s not disturbed and you can come back in a couple hours, well rested and cleaned up, and you’ll be in a better place in your head to help him.”

He looked up at Troy, knowing that arguing was pointless so he just nodded in acquiescence. Troy thanked the doctor and walked with Kyle back to the room they were in previously. As he walked in he nudged Andy and Brian awake and started in on handing out orders. “Andy, take Kyle home. Make sure he showers and sleeps which means stay there with him. I don’t want him coming back until after three this afternoon. Brian, you and I are gonna sit first watch with Jacob in case he wakes up. I’ll call Andy if there’s any change in his condition.”

Andy and Brian looked at each other for a moment before they smirked slightly and then nodded. “Alright then. Kyle, let’s get you in bed.” Brian hid a giggle behind his hand for some reason as Andy put an arm around Kyle’s shoulder and lead him out of the room towards the exit. As they got into Andy’s car he looked over at Kyle and said, “I’m sorry that your Prom Night got swallowed up by all this.”

Kyle sighed despondently. “Well, we at least know we love each other now.” That thought made him smile a little.

Andy grinned as he pulled away from the hospital. “Well, I’d call that a good night then. One thing’s for sure; You’re never gonna forget about it.”

“Yeah.” Too much had happened in the last twelve hours. He needed to relax and take his mind off of Jacob’s situation for a moment. “What was Brian giggling about anyway?”

Andy’s grin turned into a half smirk as he responded, “who knows what dirty thoughts goes through that brain of his..”

Kyle allowed himself to smile and sat back in the seat. Brian can giggle all he wants. Jacob is coming home with him in a few days.

****

Kyle was laying in bed half-asleep. Everything seemed so quiet maybe, he thought, it was all just a bad dream. A hand moved over his waist and settled on his abdomen. The fingers felt warm as they gently moved back and forth. Slowly, he turned his head to look behind him, almost expecting to find Jacob. Seeing the short almost platinum blonde hair reminded him of where he was and what he needed to do.

“Andy,” he said quietly, patting his friend’s hand, “we need to get up.”

He groaned slightly and released his hold on Kyle as he stretched. “What time is it?”

“It’s after four. He rolled out of bed so he could get dressed, looking back at Andy with a small smirk. “I didn’t know you were such a good cuddler”

“Relax. I like girls, remember?” He chuckled to himself as he rolled out of Kyle’s bed. He leaned down to retrieve his shirt and shoes. “Should check in with your dad before you go.” He checked his cellphone before declaring, “no phone calls while we were asleep so I guess that means your prince is still sleeping peacefully.”

“I can drive myself back to the hospital,” Kyle offered. “You can go home if you got anything else you need to do.”

Andy frowned. “Anything more important than helping my friends? No. Not really. But, I will go home if only to change into something I haven’t been wearing for the past couple hours and meet you there.”

Kyle blanched slightly as he pulled a fresh shirt over his head, feeling like an asshole. “That came out wrong. That’s not what I meant.”

“It’s ok,” he said with a small smile, “you may be under a little stress. Brian’s probably been snoring the whole time anyway. What I’d like to do is see if we can go ahead and get Jacob’s shit out of that trailer.”

“You could drop by there and ask the police if they’re there. They said anything not in the area where the…” Kyle trailed off as he started thinking about what might have happened to Jacob in that place. Did he try to defend himself? He swallowed and closed his eyes, trying to get the image out of his head.

Andy came up to him, looking at him with his green eyes full of concern. “I’ll let your dad talk to the cops and then Troy and I will get his stuff out. Don’t worry about it.”

“I’m not…” Kyle took another breath, opening his eyes so he can focus on his friend staring at him. “I’m not worried about his stuff. I was just. Thinking. About what happened there.”

“Do yourself a favor and don’t,” he said with a slight firmness to his voice he didn’t usually use. Andy was more likely to make a joke than be too serious. “I know how you let your head get wrapped up in something and it starts to spin out of control so that you start imagining shit and thinking the worst about everything. Don’t think about what happened there. Wait until we hear from him about what happened, ok?”

Kyle nodded and let the matter drop. Focusing on the task of getting back to the hospital to be with Jacob could keep things in his mind from conjuring up new images. “Let’s go.”

“Don’t forget your dad. He’s worried about you.” Andy walked out of the bedroom and down to the kitchen, exiting through the backdoor to his car. A few moments later he pulled away from the house as Kyle stopped in the kitchen to get a drink from the fridge.

“Dad,” He called out. He waited to hear any sign of movement in the house to indicate his father was there. Soon enough he heard footsteps make their way to the kitchen and his dad stepped into the doorway.

“How’s Jacob,” his dad asked him with obvious concern.

“He should be waking up soon if he hasn’t already. Troy and Brian are with him now. I’m heading up there in a minute so they can leave.”

“Do you want company,” his father offered.

He looked over at his dad and nodded. “Please?”

David offered his son a warm smile as he stepped up to him, “all you ever gotta do is ask. I’ll drive.” Kyle smiled his thanks as they walked out of the house together and headed to the hospital. On the way there, Kyle texted Troy and to get Jacob’s room number. Within a minute he got a reply and soon after, he and his dad were parking at the hospital and heading up to find him.

When the elevator opened on the third floor, Kyle saw Troy standing halfway down the hallway. Kyle hurried his pace, fearing something was wrong. As he came up to Troy he asked him, “is he ok? Is he awake yet?”

Troy sighed and looked at him. Kyle could see the fatigue in his face as he answered. “He hasn’t woken up yet. Which is a good thing because it wasn’t easy sitting in there with him and seeing what was done to him. They said the swelling in his face had gone down but he looks a mess.” Troy turned his attention to Kyle’s father and said, “if it’s alright with you, I’d like to start moving his stuff out. I called the cops a little bit ago and they got people over there now. They said they’d let us in if we’re quick about it.”

David nodded. “Go ahead and get what you think you can grab and then take it to the house. We’ll start setting up one of the spare bedrooms for him. Which, I guess means it’ll be his room. Take Andy and Brian with you and once you’re done why don’t you boys just sleep there if you want. You know your way around the house.”

Troy nodded in agreement, “Ok. I’ll get Brian and we’ll go.” Before he left he turned to Kyle again and said, “remember how my mom was towards the end? We all put on a brave face for her sake so she wouldn’t suffer anymore than she needed to. You’re gonna have to do the same thing for Jacob.”

Kyle looked up at him. “I understand. Thanks for staying with him.”

Troy smiled through his fatigue. “No thanks needed.” He stepped backwards in the the room and motioned Brian out. “We’ll see you later. Come on, Brian.” Brian stopped in the hallway, looking at Kyle mournfully and hugged him tight. Seeing Jacob in his condition must have had a strong enough effect on him that he couldn’t manage to say anything before he walked down the hall with Troy.

Kyle watched them until the elevator door closed before slowly stepping into the room. The walls were a muted beige color. The far side of the room held a second empty bed near the windows. When he turned to look at the occupied bed he blanched and bit his lip. Jacob lay there, in a hospital gown covered by a sheet. His face was much the same as it was when he arrived at his house in the night. They had cleaned him up and stitched up the cut above his eyebrow but the swelling around his left eye remained prominent. His lips looked cracked and dry with the cut on the upper lip still visible. He stared at him, wondering at how small he looked as he lay there.

Eventually, he slowly moved over to the side of the bed to his right, moving the chair next to the bed as close as possible. Once he sat down, he slipped his hand into Jacob’s and silently watched his chest rise and fall with his breaths. He had totally forgotten about his father until he heard the scraping sound of a chair as David sat on the other side of Jacob looking at the boy in silent sympathy.

“Dad,” he said softly, “he’s staying with us for good when he leaves here, right?”

His dad smiled slightly. “Yeah,” he replied in a hushed voice, “I’d say he deserves a good home, don’t you think?”

Guilt made his lips tremble slightly for a moment before he regained control of them. In his eyes Jacob deserved the world. “Yeah.”

“We’ll have a few hurdles we’ll need to get over. For one, he still needs to finish the school year to graduate. Not sure how we’ll pull that off but I’ll talk to the school on Monday.” Kyle felt a tear in his eye and smiled listening to his dad go on. He tended to make running lists in his head when faced with new changes and challenges. It was his way of getting things in order and managing a crisis. “We’re probably not done with the police either. You remember if they ask you any questions, you answer them as best you can. Probably have a lawyer or two show up as well. The boys are gonna set his stuff up in his new room today so he’ll have something to come home to. Oh shit.” Kyle looked up at his father in surprise who was looking over at him. He’d never heard his father openly curse before. “Kyle, I just realized, you’re both eighteen. I guess that means that you two will start, ah…”

Kyle blushed bright red at what his father was implying. “We haven’t done that yet, just so you know. Not that I didn’t want to.”

“Well, I really don’t feel like I can or can’t tell the two of you what you can or can’t do. I guess if he ends up… spending more time in your bed than not, that’s just how it’s going to be.” His father’s cheeks reddened slightly under his beard. Kyle almost laughed if not for the serious situation they were in.

They continued to talk quietly between the two of them for half an hour before Kyle felt Jacob’s hand move in his. He started in surprise and sprang to his feet, looking down at his face. “Jacob,” he said in a soft voice, “Jacob, are you ok?”

His eyes opened, bleary and unfocused for a moment. His left eye opened a fraction as he slowly took in his surroundings. His focus went to Kyle’s face as his vision cleared. When he opened his mouth his voice sounded cracked and strained, “Kyle? Where are we?”

He glanced at his father who was already standing up when he heard him talk, telling him he was going to get him some water and be right back before heading out of the room. He turned his focus back to Jacob, gripping his hand a little tighter. “You’re in the hospital. Everything is going to be alright.”

He could see Jacob make an effort to swallow before speaking again. “I was… scared.”

“Don’t be,” he smiled reassuringly. “I’m here. You’ll be fine in a couple days. Do you remember what happened?”

His eyes closed and his face took on a pained look as he whispered, “yes.”

Impulsively, Kyle leaned down and kissed his cheek softly. “It’s all over now, Jacob. You’re safe.”

Jacob stared up at the ceiling, feeling lost, confused and afraid. “What’s gonna happen to me now?”

Kyle could see a tear forming in his sky blue eyes. “When you get out of here you’re going to come home with us. That’s gonna be your home from now on and no one is ever going to hurt you like this again.”

“But,” He coughed and groaned in pain. “My dad.”

Kyle frowned, “They arrested him last night. He’s never going to hurt you again.”

“I’m so sorry,” he whimpered as the tear slid down the side of his face. “It was such a good night. I finally got to hear what I had been hoping for.”

“Nothing’s changed,” Kyle tried to comfort him, “I still love you. I’ll always love you.”

David came back in the room with a white cup with a lid and a straw in it. He moved quickly to Jacob’s side and held the cup up to his face, “here, son. Drink some water. Don’t push yourself too hard.”

Jacob leaned up and took a drink from the cup before his head fell back on the pillow. He took a breath and continued speaking quietly as he looked up at Kyle. “He… He was so pissed. Asked me what I’d been doing all night. I told him I was out with my friends.” His eyes closed again as he fought back tears. “He laughed and said, ‘how could anyone be friends with a piece of shit like you.’ Started laughing at my hair. Calling me names. All I could think about was how good I felt after spending the night with you and decided I was gonna leave and go back to your house. I told him I was leaving and then we were both screaming and yelling. That’s when he hit me in the face. I got mad and I tried to hit him back. I’d never hit him back before. But he grabbed me... and started choking me and punching me over and over in the face….” Jacob couldn’t continue anymore. All he could do was lay there and silently sob.

Kyle’s eyes were bright with tears. He glanced over at his father and saw a tear on his cheek but also a tightly clenched jaw and his eyes dark with rage. David closed his eyes for a moment and when they opened again the rage was gone replaced with those loving, compassionate eyes Kyle has always looked up to. David leaned over Jacob and gently stroked his cheek to soothe him. Speaking in his fatherly tone he said to him, “Shhh… It’s all ok now, Jacob. We’re here. It’s all over and you’re gonna be coming home with us once you get better and the doctors say you’ll be ok. We love you and we want you to stay with us. So, no more tears. Don’t let all that pain chew you up inside. You need to get better soon for Kyle, ok?”

“I’m sorry,” he pleaded through his tears, “I shouldn’t have fought back.”

“Don’t worry about that anymore,” David said soothingly, “are you in any pain right now? I can go get a nurse.”

The boy nodded and David leaned over and gently kissed his forehead before stepping back out of the room. Kyle stood there, holding his hand as his sobs quieted, feeling helpless. He didn’t know what to say or do to help Jacob. He just wanted to love him and hold him. His fingers stroked Jacob’s palm lightly as he thought of what he could do to feel useful. “Jacob,” he said softly, “is there anything you need me to do for you?”

The boy sighed, looking tired again. “Just stay. I don’t wanna be alone.”

Kyle broke out into a grin as he chuckled silently. “You haven’t been since you got here. We all stayed while you were in surgery. Then Troy and Brian stayed in here with you while I went home to rest. Now, I’m back and the rest of the team is getting your stuff and taking it home. One thing you’re never going to be is alone.”

A small smile lifted the corners of Jacob’s mouth. “They really stayed with me?”

“Yeah,” he said laughing. “Do you know why?”

“Because we’re a team,” He said with a sigh, his smile growing a little more.

“Damn straight,” Kyle said.

Soon after, his father arrived with a nurse behind him. The nurse checked on Jacob’s vitals and recommended he rest before taking a needle and injecting something into his IV to reduce the pain in his chest. The nurse assured them the doctor would be by later to check up on his progress.

They spent the rest of the afternoon talking quietly, avoiding talking about Jacob’s injuries. The doctor came in to examine him, finding no damage to his eye, the doctor said they could treat the bruising around his eye now to reduce the swelling faster. After that, if there were no signs of complications, he could be released to go home the next day.

As night approached, the nurse informed them that they had to leave since visiting hours had ended. Kyle frowned and glanced up at the nurse, “why can’t I stay with him?”

“Son,” his dad said softly, “Jacob needs to rest. It will only be for a night.”

Jacob looked at the nurse, “I don’t want to be alone.”

The adults in the room started feeling uneasy. Kyle stood his ground. One hand holding Jacob’s and the other one clenched into a fist. “Unless you’re getting a squad of security guys to pull me out, I’m staying here tonight.”

David sighed knowing it’s nearly impossible to sway his son once his mind is set. “You haven’t eaten yet, you know.”

“I can have something out of the vending machine down the hall.”

The nurse frowned in disapproval but eventually yielded. “As long as you’re quiet and don’t disturb other patients, you can stay. If you start trouble, I’ll get that gang from security up here.”

Kyle nodded in agreement. “You can go on home, dad. I’ll have Troy get me in the morning.”

David seemed unsure but had to allow his son to make his own choice in this. “Ok, Baby Boy. I’ll head on home and find out what the boys are doing there.”

Kyle nodded and said, “tell them thanks for all their help.”

The nurse and his father finally stepped out of the room, leaving the two of them alone.

“How do you feel,” Kyle asked him.

“Relieved,” he said with a small smile. “I really didn’t want to be here by myself. Where are you going to sleep?”

Kyle smirked, “Same place you are.” He slipped his shoes off and climbed into the hospital bed next to him.

“Are you sure we won’t get in trouble,” Jacob asked dubiously.

“Well, as long as you don’t make a lot of noise,” Kyle said in a soft deep voice, “we should be fine.”

“I wish I could lay here with you like I did that one night in your bed,” he said wistfully. “With my head on your chest.”

“When I was rubbing your back,” Kyle asked as his hand lightly brushed over Jacob’s chest.

“Yeah,” He sighed. “That feels nice to, but in a different way.”

“Different how?”

“Different in that it makes me want to do things I can’t because I have a needle in my arm and a cracked rib.” He laughed softly. “I love you. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“If I have my way, you’ll never have to find out,” he said as leaned over and kissed Jacob’s cheek and then kissing down to his neck.

Jacob moaned softly in pleasure and surprise. He never thought of his neck as somewhere he’d like being kissed. “Not sure I’ll be able to wait six weeks for my ribs to heal.”

“We still have three weeks of school left too.”

He had a sudden thought fill him with concern. “How am I going to graduate like this?”

“Don’t worry about it.” Hearing him worry about graduating being a bigger concern than being in the hospital with a cracked rib and a busted face gave Kyle a more secure feeling. “I think you’re gonna stay home until your face heals at least. Then we’ll go from there.”

Jacob sighed. “I just don’t want to fail.”

Kyle snickered, “Pretty sure Troy and the others aren’t gonna let that happen. We’re all graduating together. And I’ll help you walk up the steps to get your diploma if I have to.”

Jacob smiled and closed his eyes. “You should get something to eat. I don’t want you starving because of me.”

Kyle sighed, not able to deny his hunger was real. “You okay if I step out for a few seconds and come right back?”

“Yeah.” He felt the bed shift as Kyle got up and he turned his head. “Kyle?”

He stopped as he stood back up, slipping his shoes back on, “what is it?”

Jacob laid there for a moment before he said in a soft, shy voice, “could you play that song again on your phone?”

Kyle smiled, pulled his phone out and turned on the music. Setting it up, he hit play and set the phone next to Jacob before he stepped out into the hallway. He got a couple energy bars from the vending machine and got a drink before stopping by the nurses station to ask for another cup of water for Jacob. When he returned to the room, he saw Jacob curled up on his side. His eyes were closed and a smile played across his lips as the music played softly next to him. Kyle watched him for a moment, smiling and starting to feel a genuine sense that things will be okay again. Despite the bruises and the room and the circumstances and everything else, he still was held captivated by him. He took a step forward just as the song finished playing and Jacob’s eyes open, looking up at him, Kyle could see both of those pale blue eyes a little better now. “Still think I’m beautiful even if half of my face is bashed in?”

He smiled and replied, “more than ever.”

“Um. About, well, everything that’s happened,” Jacob said softly, looking uncertain about what to say.

“I told you,” Kyle cut in, “everything is going to be alright. Once you’re out of here, you’ll be living with me and dad.”

“That’s not what I meant,” Jacob corrected him, “I mean about.. Everything… between us.”

Kyle’s head tilted slightly in confusion. “What about us?”

“I feel kind of like a creep saying this but I just want to be upfront about it,” he sighed and looked up at Kyle, explaining, “when you first talked to me in that hallway when I was being an asshole to that kid? That wasn’t the first time I saw you in school. I mean, we had that history class together last year. And we had another class together the year before that.”

“Oh,” Kyle said simply. “I didn’t know that. But what has that got to do with us exactly?”

“It’s just,” Jacob paused and sighed, “I don’t want you thinking I’m stupid or crazy or whatever. I just want you to know that I sort of had a crush on you since then. That’s how I knew your name and everything before you even spoke to me.”

Kyle stared at him, blinking as his brain processed what he just heard. Jacob had been watching him since their sophomore year? “Wait.” Kyle was suddenly caught off guard. He thought he was the one pursuing Jacob. Not the other way around. “So, what you’re saying is…”

“That I’ve been interested in you for a long time now, yeah. I knew I was gay way before that moment in the hallway. I knew every time I saw you in the hallway I’d have to find somewhere else to look because I was afraid I’d give myself away.” Jacob offered a small smile.

Kyle blushed despite himself. How had he not noticed him? He already knew the answer. Hiding from himself he let his life center around three friends who he had known and trusted for years. “Well, if anyone here is stupid, I’m thinking it’s me.”

“Why?”

“Because i never noticed you until that day in the hallway,” he suddenly giggled as a thought creeped into his head. “Please tell me you didn’t try and beat up that kid just to get my attention.”

“No,” he smiled softly. Kyle figured the painkiller was starting to kick in from the look in his eyes. “That was just luck. Even if I did freak the fuck out.”

Kyle couldn’t stop himself from laughing now. “You freaked out? You’re not the only one.”

“Why did you start trying to talk to me after that anyway?” He asked curiously. “I figured you’d never think about talking to me after that.”

“Honestly? Those eyes of yours.” He leaned over and stroked Jacob’s cheek softly.

“My eyes, huh?” He smirked slightly, “I’ll have to remember that.”

“I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I think I fell in love with you in the cafeteria that day.”

“I think I fell in love with you that first night laying in bed with you,” he said softly. His voice getting quieter. “I mean, that’s when I knew it was real. All I could think about was being with you… after that...”

“Less talking. More eating. You’re gonna fade out on me in a minute.” He split the candy bar with Jacob and they talked quietly as they ate. Soon after Jacob’s eyes couldn’t stay open any longer and he settled in to sleep. Kyle put his hand in Jacob’s just as a nurse came in to check him out before administering another, lighter pain medication so he would sleep through the night. After the nurse left, Kyle turned the lights off in the room except for the small fluorescent light over the bed. Climbing back into the bed with his love, he got as close as he felt he could without giving Jacob any discomfort and soon they both drifted off to sleep.

It was as if he had just closed his eyes when he opened his eyes again and saw the room was bright and warm from the sunlight beaming through. He yawned and stretched, being mindful of nudging Jacob too hard. He blinked and rubbed his eyes to clear them when he noticed they weren’t alone. He looked towards the door and saw Troy, Andy and Brian standing there all sharing playful grins on their faces. “Ok. I have to admit, they do look cute like that,” Brian muttered to the other two as they chuckled.

“Very funny,” he said as he carefully slid out of the bed, turning to make sure Jacob was still sleeping comfortably.

“I take it he’s doing better,” Troy asked.

“He’s getting better,” he said quietly. “They pumped him up with some pain meds last night to help him sleep.”

Troy nodded. “Well, he’ll get better over time. And probably a lot better once he sees his new bedroom.” Troy frowned slightly then. “Guys, stay here with Jacob for a minute while me and Kyle get some coffee.” Troy stepped out of the door and Kyle slowly followed behind him. Together, they made their way down the hall to the elevator to the cafeteria down on the lower level. Once the doors closed, Troy turned to Kyle and said flatly, “I’m glad you didn’t see what we saw at that so called trailer. If I had known what he was living in I would’ve made him move in with me months ago.”

“What do you mean?” Kyle asked in concern.

“There’s a reason he went to that early gym, Kyle. The place was a mess. Everything was covered in filth. The kitchen stank like rotten food. I think I saw some blood on the floor and I can guarantee that wasn’t the first time he’d been beaten. Nothing but a cheap metal box I hope they burn it to the ground after the cops are done with it.” Troy’s anger showed in his tone. “We cleared out his room. Most of his stuff was in decent condition but all we took was books and some clothes and his school stuff and a few other things he can look through when he gets out of here. I don’t care what the fuck happens from here on out but no matter what, he’s never going back there. And he damn sure is never gonna be around his old man ever again. I’ll kill the son of a bitch before I let that happen.”

Kyle wondered oddly how Jacob would have reacted hearing someone other than him say that. “In that case, I’m glad I didn’t go. I’m glad you guys helped him out though.”

“Well, I’m gonna do more than just move his shit out of there,” he pronounced. “I already talked to my dad about Jacob. Dad said he’s got a job whenever he wants it, no questions asked. I figure some manual labor building houses and replacing roofs could be something he’d be good at. Plus he’s smart so he’ll pick up on stuff as he goes and can move up if he wants to.”

Kyle chuckled and shook his head as the door opened for them and they made their way down the hall to find some food and coffee. “Are you sure you’re not the one in love with him?”

“Don’t tempt me,” he said with a laugh. “No, he’s all yours. I doubt I’d have a chance even if I was interested in guys. His heart is yours and no one else’s. Shit, Kyle, Helen Keller could tell you that...” Kyle blushed, still not used to all these feelings being known to the people around him. Even after months of Troy knowing he was gay, it still felt like any minute the rug was going to be pulled out from under him. “I do like him, though. Well, maybe I do love him but more like the way I love you. Like a brother. He’s had enough people shit on him I figure it’s time someone stand up for him.”

“What about Andy and Brian? Are they as smitten with him as you are?” He grinned up at Troy, curious about what the others think.

He shrugged unconcerned, “who knows. I know they do like him. They’ve really liked having him around. But they have been acting odd the last day or so. Probably just the sudden turn all this has taken.”

Kyle nodded, satisfied with that answer. They found something to eat and some coffee to take back up to Jacob’s room. As they come to the door, they heard Andy and Brian talking with Jacob. “I think once we get you out of here we need to take you shopping for some better clothes,” he could hear Brian saying in a casual voice.

“What’s wrong with my clothes,” Jacob asked with a hint of amusement in his voice.

Kyle walked in, grinning slightly at the scene. Andy was leaning back in one of the chairs with his feet up on jacob’s bed with a shit eating grin watching the back and forth while Brian had set himself up sitting at the end of the bed. “It’s not that black is a bad color, it’s just that’s about all you got. I think you can do better,” Brian grinned impishly over at Jacob feeling playful from the looks of it.

“I guess I could try grey…” Jacob seemed to have picked up on Brian’s playfulness and was returning it to him as he sounded unconvinced.

Brian groaned and turned to Kyle when he noticed him standing there. “Your boyfriend is a smartass.”

Kyle grinned playfully. “Well, he’s my smartass.”

Brian looked back at Jacob and laughed at the blush on his face before hopping off the bed and sat on the armrest of Andy’s chair.

“How much longer do I have to lay here,” Jacob asked. His frustration was starting to show a little which Kyle took as a good sign.

“Until the doctor says you can go and not a minute sooner,” Troy smiled, speaking in his usual voice of authority. “Besides, getting out of here doesn’t mean your rib heals faster or you’ll be ready to go back to school. The rest of us are gonna pick up your slack. We’ll pick up any homework or other assignments you’ll need and bring them to you at the end of the day.”

“You think I’ll still be able to graduate,” Jacob asked.

“Don’t worry,” Andy said in his casual drawl, “I talked to mom and she said because of your situation they’d take that into consideration. If finals become a problem, they’ll have the teachers come to you and give you the final exam.”

Jacob looked over at Kyle with uncertainty in his eyes. Not sure what to say or do. Kyle just smiled and nodded, letting him know it was alright.

“Everything is going to work out,” Andy said casually, “Troy said it, that settles it.” He chuckled at Troy’s slight frown. He felt vindicated when he heard Jacob chuckle quietly.

“Speaking of,” Troy said drooly, “why don’t you three take off for a second so I can talk to Jacob privately about a couple things.” Brian giggled and stood up, taking Andy by the arm and forcing him up. Kyle looked at Troy skeptically and slowly walked to the door. Once the others were out, Troy closed the door and proceeded to sit down in one of the seats, facing Jacob with a serious look on his face. “First thing I want you to know is that I spoke to my dad yesterday about you. After you graduate and you’re healed up enough for it, he says he has a job lined up when you’re ready. It’ll be simple grunt work starting off but he’s willing to teach you anything you want to know about construction and help you get any certification you may be interested in.”

Jacob raised himself up in his bed, looking at Troy as he tried to believe what he was hearing. “How does he know I’ll be worth the effort?”

Troy sighed and shook his head. “Jacob, you’re like the guy who’s convinced he’s gonna fail even before he tries. I think that’s your dad’s influence. I wish I had figured it out sooner. I’m sorry it took us this long. If Kyle had told me about what your dad had been doing to you, I would’ve done something to get you out of there sooner.”

“It’s...” Jacob paused. He realized he was about to make up another excuse for his father. “It’s hard for me to let people get close. Kyle managed it because I already had a crush on him for a year or so.”

Troy’s eyebrows raised in slight surprise. “Really? Have you told him that?”

“Last night,” He said smiling slightly. “We talked about a lot of stuff.”

“Good.” Troy nodded. “I know trusting people isn’t in your nature and I don’t blame you after what you’ve been through. I’d like to think that the rest of us has earned at least a shot by now.”

“You’re right,” Jacob looked down, “you have and I’m sorry I haven’t tried to be more open. It’s just… when you spend your life ducking the next punch all the time, it’s hard to know when it’s safe to come out.”

“It’s ok. I understand.” He paused for a moment and then said in a softer voice, “did Kyle ever tell you about my mom?” Jacob shook his head and Troy nodded slightly before saying, “when I was eight, she was diagnosed with cancer. She fought it for a long time. She was the nicest, kindest person I ever knew. She loved me and Kyle and the others to death and treated all of them like they were her own. Kind of like how Kyle’s dad is with all of us.” He was silent for a moment before he said with a voice tinged with remembered sadness. “When I was thirteen, she declined fast and she passed away three days before my fourteenth birthday. When she died, my dad was a mess and I didn’t have any siblings to lean on. But I had Kyle and Andy and Brian. They became my family and, yeah, I know how bossy I get with them. But they got me through a very bad time in my life along with Kyle’s dad. They’re good guys with good hearts. They like you, they respect you. And, hell, Kyle loves you like I’ve never seen him love anyone.”

Jacob looked down at his feet, unsure of what to say. He flinched a little but didn’t pull away when he felt Troy’s hand slowly take his. When he felt Troy’s hand squeeze his he looked over at their hands and then up to his face. “As far as I’m concerned,” Troy continued, “you’re part of that family to me and have been for awhile even if you didn’t realize it. I’m telling you all this to let you know that Kyle isn’t your only refuge when you feel like you need help.”

Jacob’s lips raised slightly in a small relaxed smile. “Thanks.”

Troy nodded. “At some point, you’re gonna wanna talk about what happened with your dad. And you might not wanna talk to Kyle about it. I’m letting you know that when you’re ready to talk about it, all you have to do is call me and I’ll be there, okay?”

Jacob’s face smiled more even as a little bit of the hurt from what he went through in that small trailed crossed his face. “Thanks. I really appreciate that. But, I’m not ready to talk just yet.”

Troy nodded in understanding. “When you’re ready. You have a new family that’ll be there for you.”

Jacob sighed and smiled feeling a little more secure in himself. “I never had friends like this. Even before I moved here. Just other kids I hung out with. I never got invited anywhere or anything like that. I think it was because we were poor. I dunno. You guys have been the first time I ever felt wanted. I told Kyle that once. He told me to get used to it.” He grinned slightly.

“I think you’re starting to,” Troy said as he sat up and leaned over to lightly hug his friend. “Okay. I’m glad you took that better than I expected.”

“What did you expect?”

“You crawling back into your shell like you did the first few months any of us so much as said a word to you.”

Jacob thought about that and grimaced slightly, “yeah. I did that a lot. It’s easy to keep yourself from being hurt if you keep people away from you.”

“Yeah,” he nodded, “but you miss out on a lot.”

“I think I’m ready.” Jacob said with a little more certainty.

“Ready for what,” Troy asked with a small smirk.

“Well, to get the hell out of here for starters,” he smirked ruefully. “And, to be the person I want to be.”

Troy grinned. “Ok. you want out of here? I say we give it an hour or so and then we’ll start enough trouble to get you kicked out. How’s that sound?”

Jacob laughed. A real laugh from his heart.

Copyright © 2018 Jdonley75; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

17 minutes ago, chris191070 said:

Wow what a chapter. So we now know that Jacob was abused.

He was abused, Kyle knew he was being abused and he did nothing. Wonder how he's gonna a live with that around his neck?

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1 hour ago, Phoenix1977 said:

After reading all this I’m getting more and more curious to what happened between Kyle and his father, not to mention Jacob and the rest of the team.

something pretty bad mist have happened for things to go down south that badly.

 

Agree, either pretty bad or completely irrational.

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*Sigh*

And you dig us deeper into the hole, lol.

It is hard to appreciate something when you have always had it.  Jacob will always know how special this circle of friendship is because he knew the total opposite for so long.  He will always cherish how David treated him because he had a lifetime of mistreatment by his own father.

I wonder if Kyle now appreciates the blessed relationships he had since he’s been without them for so long.

The friendships he had with Troy and Brian and Alex were the friendships every teenager needs to successfully transition them from youth to adulthood, hell, through life.  

The unwavering support David provided Kyle no matter who he showed himself to be was the kind any child would want, it is the foundation a parent is supposed to provide a child to be a healthy, productive member of society.  

Tho Kyle is emotionally scarred, who he is now is rooted in the unconditional love he grew up in.  He is very good at his job, he is a loving, responsible parent;  He still even maintained an emotional tie strong enough to co parent with someone.  His psychological wound was not strong enough to dispel all the benefits he was exposed to in his unconventional but very secure upbringing.

This rich backstory is incredible and successfully sets the stage to be properly devastated at watching this circle be broken.

Edited by FanLit
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Your spoiling us with all the good bits, I know that it's not all going to be hearts and roses. I am and at the same time, am not looking to the downfall in the story between Kyle and Jacob, although I know it's inevitable and crucial to the story. You have a lot of us hooked with the story and I know that you will not disappoint.

Edited by cognac69
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2 hours ago, FanLit said:

*Sigh*

And you dig us deeper into the hole, lol.

It is hard to appreciate something when you have always had it.  Jacob will always know how special this circle of friendship is because he knew the total opposite for so long.  He will always cherish how David treated him because he had a lifetime of mistreatment by his own father.

I wonder if Kyle now appreciates the blessed relationships he had since he’s been without them for so long.

The friendships he had with Troy and Brian and Alex were the friendships every teenager needs to successfully transition them from youth to adulthood, hell, through life.  

The unwavering support David provided Kyle no matter who he showed himself to be was the kind any child would want, it is the foundation a parent is supposed to provide a child to be a healthy, productive member of society.  

Tho Kyle is emotionally scarred, who he is now is rooted in the unconditional love he grew up in.  He is very good at his job, he is a loving, responsible parent;  He still even maintained an emotional tie strong enough to co parent with someone.  His psychological wound was not strong enough to dispel all the benefits he was exposed to in his unconventional but very secure upbringing.

This rich backstory is incredible and successfully sets the stage to be properly devastated at watching this circle be broken.

I don't want to give anything away just yet. All I'll say is that the 5 of them have a unique bond that will endure even the harshest and most trying of circumstances. 

 

Friends, true friends, are the family we choose. As time passes that truth will become more and more clear to all of them.

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8 hours ago, Phoenix1977 said:

After reading all this I’m getting more and more curious to what happened between Kyle and his father, not to mention Jacob and the rest of the team.

something pretty bad mist have happened for things to go down south that badly.

It will come out in the open in Chapter 8.  Stephanie will finally wear him down.

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3 hours ago, cognac69 said:

Your spoiling us with all the good bits, I know that it's not all going to be hearts and roses. I am and at the same time, am not looking to the downfall in the story between Kyle and Jacob, although I know it's inevitable and crucial to the story. You have a lot of us hooked with the story and I know that you will not disappoint.

You are right in that 99% of everything that's happened in their pasts as recorded here do have an impact on their adult lives in the future.  Once the boys go their separate ways,  we'll see what became of them and what's changed and what hasn't changed.  That's really where the story really takes off.

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11 minutes ago, Bagnios said:

I’m just going to close my eyes until the end of the story. 😑

lol.  But you'll miss the best parts..!

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Jacob gets the chance to be the man he was meant to be. David is a champion father; Kyle hovers over Jacob, and gives him the love he never seems to have had. And Troy, Brian and Andy support them all.  It is beautifully told, and the sun shines brighter for it. 

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small trailed crossed his face - small trailer crossed his face

 

I hope everyone maintains their level of dedication and strength. There will be a lot of shit to hit the fan over the next few months, especially at Jacob's father's trial. He is lucky in having good friends and being of an age where he can live independently.

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I find myself holding my breath; waiting for.............I can't even imagine.....................Excellent writing J..................:)Mike

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Just now, flamingo136 said:

I find myself holding my breath; waiting for.............I can't even imagine.....................Excellent writing J..................:)Mike

It's going to be ok.  I promise.  You're 6 chapters in, you got 20 more to go. :)

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On 9/19/2018 at 2:42 PM, FanLit said:

The friendships he had with Troy and Brian and Alex were the friendships every teenager needs to successfully transition them from youth to adulthood, hell, through life.  

So yes, Tyler’s story prompted me to reread this.

Excuse me for rechristening Andy as “Alex” in my previous comment on this chapter, lol.

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On 9/19/2018 at 7:48 AM, Phoenix1977 said:

After reading all this I’m getting more and more curious to what happened between Kyle and his father, not to mention Jacob and the rest of the team.

something pretty bad must have happened for things to go down south that badly.

On 9/19/2018 at 9:35 AM, Canuk said:

Agree, either pretty bad or completely irrational.

I’m guessing that Kyle screwed up something really, really horribly and now he feels like he can’t go undo what he did. I think he did or said something to Jacob and everybody else closed ranks to protect Jacob. I think his pride is what preventing him from admitting that he did something wrong even after all these years!
 

Spoiler

I’d like to know what’s going on inside Brian’s head. If Andy and/or Brian ever found a particularly kinky girlfriend, I think there’d at least be a discussion about a ménage à trois. If their inhibitions were lowered even slightly with chemical assistance, they’d probably do some experimentation, assuming the two of them haven’t already done so).

;–)

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1 hour ago, droughtquake said:

I’m guessing that Kyle screwed up something really, really horribly and now he feels like he can’t go undo what he did. I think he did or said something to Jacob and everybody else closed ranks to protect Jacob. I think his pride is what preventing him from admitting that he did something wrong even after all these years!
 

  Reveal hidden contents

I’d like to know what’s going on inside Brian’s head. If Andy and/or Brian ever found a particularly kinky girlfriend, I think there’d at least be a discussion about a ménage à trois. If their inhibitions were lowered even slightly with chemical assistance, they’d probably do some experimentation, assuming the two of them haven’t already done so).

;–)

If you look at that sideways and squint just right you're really close.  Obviously, all will be revealed in a few chapters and then you might wanna take a step back and wonder just how it all went wrong.

 

Spoiler

You'll get into Brian's head soon enough. ;)

 

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This is a sad chapter, but it is wonderfully well written.

In the midst of chaos and pain, we can see all the love Kyle devoted to poor Jacob.

Troy is the right guy at the right time.

He will define Jacob's future by giving him a job, and he will surely always be a great friend to the handsome dark-haired boy with the blue eyes.

***

Jacob is a complex and adorable character.

On purpose, the author does not expose his thoughts often throughout the story. Thus, the reader can feel all the tension and suspense of Kyle, without knowing the real feelings of Jacob to be able to declare his love.

It's no secret I love Jacob. I hope one day we can have a book with his point of view on all this amazing relationship with Kyle :rolleyes:

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2 hours ago, Dante Lucas said:

This is a sad chapter, but it is wonderfully well written.

In the midst of chaos and pain, we can see all the love Kyle devoted to poor Jacob.

Troy is the right guy at the right time.

He will define Jacob's future by giving him a job, and he will surely always be a great friend to the handsome dark-haired boy with the blue eyes.

***

Jacob is a complex and adorable character.

On purpose, the author does not expose his thoughts often throughout the story. Thus, the reader can feel all the tension and suspense of Kyle, without knowing the real feelings of Jacob to be able to declare his love.

It's no secret I love Jacob. I hope one day we can have a book with his point of view on all this amazing relationship with Kyle :rolleyes:

Troy is and always will be a cornerstone for all of them.  He's compassionate and gentle when he can be.  Hard and demanding when he knows he needs to be.

Jacob is probably the most complex of them all.  And, in truth, there is a lot of detail to him in this story.  But, at some point in the future, I think readers will learn more about him.  And probably have even more reasons to love him.

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