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    Parker Owens
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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.

Predator Prey - 20. Sounds in the Night

No warnings needed for this chapter.

He was quiet at dinner that night, and Oscar noticed.

"Wally, you okay?" his host inquired sincerely.

"Fine. Just rode hard this afternoon."

Javier grinned. "It's good to ride hard. Exercise is healthy, right, Oscar?"

Neither man blushed, but each smiled a knowing smile at the other.

"Where's Michael?" he asked, changing the subject. The teen was conspicuous by his absence.

"Over at a friend's house," Oscar replied. "It's not a school night, so it's okay."

School nights. How different loving, domestic life was compared with the murky, shadowy world that caught up with him that afternoon.

"He's over at Trey's house," Javier commented, his voice flat. The remark must have meant something, because Oscar's features creased a little.

"Is that a problem?" he asked innocently.

"I don't think so," Oscar said, slowly. "He's a good kid, I think, but Trey sometimes gets into scrapes, doing stupid things without thinking first."

"Impulsive," Javier put in.

"Oh. I see." He wondered what it would have been like to have parents who cared.

Of course, his own parents had cared who his friends were, in their distant way. They cared that he ran in the right circles, had the right opportunities, made the right connections, took the right lessons. But they were horrified when one of his mother's associates discovered he was interested in the wrong gender.

He hadn't denied it. He hadn't lied about kissing the college student who was supposed to be his tennis instructor at the country club. His parents cared enough to make sure the college boy never worked again.

But his parents hadn't cared enough to fit his own reality into their neat, ordered world. They never discussed it with him at all, never tried to come to terms with him in any sense. In a matter of days, it seemed as if they had decided to put him behind them as an unfortunate phase in their lives best forgotten about.

"Michael asked if he could have friends over tomorrow to hang out," Javier spoke to Oscar, breaking into his thoughts.

"Hell, I thought you and I were going into the city tomorrow," Oscar said.

"Damn, I'm sorry, I forgot about that, cariño."

Oscar made a face. "No, we'll just put it off."

Something stirred inside him.

"You don't have to…you don't have to change your plans, I mean," he said.

Javier cocked an eyebrow at him.

"I could stick around, make sure the guys don't get into too much trouble," he added. Besides, after his episode at Flappy Jack's, he didn't have much interest in going out anymore.

Oscar looked at him hopefully. "You'd do that? You wouldn't mind?"

"You sure you don't want to get out? It's your only free Saturday," Javier commented.

"I don't mind. I'd just as soon take a lazy day tomorrow, anyway."

"Wally, that's really nice of you," Oscar practically gushed, "it's just that, well, Javier is thinking about re-doing Michael's bathroom, and I got us an appointment with a guy I know who can do the drawings and get us materials, and…"

"It's okay. Really," he tried to cut off the flow of words.

"Sure you can handle it?" Javier asked. There was something in the seriousness of his gaze that stopped him from making a light reply. Javier and Oscar cared. Could he manage a group of teenagers? Their teenager?

He swallowed. "I'd be happy to."

"That's great. Thank you so much. Getting this guy in Tampa is just about impossible," Oscar explained.

"No problem," he tried to smile. But now he wondered about what he had gotten himself into.

After supper, he pleaded fatigue, and retired to his room early. He didn't stick around to watch a movie, or hang out with Oscar and Javier. And, to be honest, he was pretty tired, not just from his long ride, but also from the emotional sprint back to the house from the tavern. He was sleeping soundly when a soft knocking on the door to the bathroom connecting his room to Michael's woke him.

"Can I come in?" Michael's voice.

He sat up and switched on the light.

"Sure," he said, his voice groggy with sleep, trying to clear his brain. "What's the matter?"

The dark-haired boy entered, clad in t-shirt and shorts. Sitting up shirtless in bed, he felt exposed, somehow. Funny, he wasn't used to feeling that way. But Michael wasn't like the freshmen he'd seduced so often. He was out of bounds.

The boy sat on the end of the bed and fidgeted. "Hey, I um…do you mind?"

"Do I mind what?"

"Can I talk to you?"

"What about?"

"I need to know something…about...boys."

"Boys?" he asked, stupidly.

"You know I'm gay like my dads, right?" Michael asked. He seemed nervous.

No, he hadn't known. But he might have guessed. "What makes you think I know anything about boys?"

Michael seemed to relax a little. "Come on, you're joking, right? I knew it as soon as we met."

Was this kid prescient or something? He stared back, surprised. Then Michael laughed, softly.

"Besides, Javier's brought guys back to the house to stay before…just to crash for a while, you know, nothing weird. But I don't think any of them were straight."

"Oh."

"I just think my dads like taking in gay strays," the boy smiled.

It felt a little odd to be described that way. But it was true enough, he realized.

"So. What did you want to talk about?"

"Can I…?" Michael gestured at the bed.

"Sure," he answered, but he wasn't certain at all about where this was going.

Michael sat up on the end of the bed, and folded his legs under.

"So. Your question."

"Yeah. I um, wanted to know…shit, this is embarrassing…when…" The poor kid was turning an interesting shade of red. "…When is it okay to, um…when is it okay to kiss a guy?" the last completed question tumbled out of Michael's mouth in a hurry.

What a question. How the hell did he know? He was ashamed of the answer he could give. He'd kissed boys when it made them surrender. When it was useful.

"Do your dads know you like boys?" he countered, temporizing.

Michael nodded. "I told them when I was in the ninth grade. You'd have thought we'd won the lottery, they were so happy."

God, Michael was lucky. But in a way, he felt relieved – Michael wasn't asking him about sex. On the other hand, his single foray into romance had left him horribly bruised and bitter. What could he tell Michael about first love? He'd never really had one – just a huge crush on the college kid who taught him tennis.

He played for time. "Why don't you ask your dads?"

Michael rolled his eyes. He seemed more relaxed now that he'd asked his question. "You're shitting me, right? If I ask Javier, he'll want to know who it is I'm interested in, what his habits are, what sports he plays, all that shit. Javier would want a freaking background check. Oscar would be happier for me, but he'd press me for all the same details, plus he'd want to call the parents, too, so they could form a parenting support team or something. Jeez."

He couldn't help laughing to himself. "So they love you, then."

"Yeah, they do," Michael agreed with a small smile, "but I'm afraid if I…kiss the guy I like…if actually have a boyfriend, they'll go overboard."

"You never had a boyfriend?"

Michael shook his head. "It's not like the fact I have two dads is a secret. But it scared off someone I liked more than once. Guys who weren't ready to, you know…be out there with a whole gay family."

"Like them."

"Like me."

"So, there's someone you like enough to try, then?" he asked.

Michael blushed and nodded. "Yeah."

The boy was cute and disarming. Dangerous. He blinked a moment and sat up straighter. The bedding fell to his waist. Michael's eyes got a little wider. He shivered; it was cool in the house.

"Hey, can you toss me that t-shirt over there?" he gestured toward the chair where the garment was draped.

Michael scrambled off the bed and tossed it to him.

"You're lucky," he told the boy, slipping the tee over his head, "When you finally get a boyfriend, your dads will be great about it. A little crazy, maybe, but things would be fine, I think." He paused a moment while Michael reseated himself at the end of the bed. "I got outed to my parents when someone saw me kissing another guy. They stopped talking to me, except to tell me to get out of the house the day after graduation." He hadn't exaggerated. He remembered the chilly post-its he'd found on his dresser or on the kitchen table each day. Notifications, that's all.

"How did you survive?" Michael asked, interested.

That got him started. Michael was a cool kid, and actually attentive. He told Michael his story, at least an edited version. He recounted the last six years unemotionally. He didn't tell everything, and he left out some of the worst things. But he found himself unable to stop from unburdening quite a lot. He found himself trying to color what he said to the boy so that Michael wouldn't hate him.

But Michael didn't, much to his surprise. At least, he didn't act that way. Instead, when there was a pause, he asked, "So what's it like?"

"What's what like?"

"You know…um, sex." Michael spoke hesitantly.

Damn. He figured this conversation would wind up there. "It's…" He stopped cold. He didn't want to give Michael a non-answer. "I think…"

He had nothing he could say. What could he tell Michael? He considered. "If you've never done it, sex is like nothing else. It's incredible. It's like your body can't stop singing…" Hell, that sounded stupid.

Michael gave him a quizzical look. But the problem was that he really couldn't answer the question. He thought about Marc and Lee, hearing them cry out in the night, and about Javier and Oscar, too. He thought about his own considerable experience, and he shuddered. What would the boy he broke in last September have said about sex?

"You know, that's bullshit, what I just said. I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. I've had tons of sex, but what I know isn't what other people know." He pulled up short and tried again. "What I mean is that everyone's experience is gonna be different. It's why some people can pair up, and some can't, I guess," he concluded lamely.

"I just thought…maybe you could tell me…" Michael sounded hesitant.

There was no possible way he would talk about his sex life with Michael. His experience was way different from the rest of the world, that was pretty certain. At first, it had been about freedom. Freedom to just do what his body had wanted. But mostly, it had been about power. About control.

How could he discuss what it meant to make love with the gorgeous innocent boy at the foot of his bed? It was too dangerous.

"I saw your video," Michael said softly. "You've got to be…"

Oh, hell. "You saw that?" he nearly shouted.

Michael nodded, a little taken aback.

"I can't believe you watched that," he said, his voice lower.

"It's just…I saw it and I figured you had to know…you wouldn't have done it if…"

He interrupted the boy. "You gotta know that wasn't staged, Michael. I was…" he swallowed hard, remembering, "tied down and raped."

Michael stared. "You mean…"

"It was real. Every minute of it," he whispered, the hurt and memory of it returning in the same moment.

"Shit," Michael swore under his breath, "I'm sorry."

There was silence.

"It's over. You didn't do it. Just don't watch it, okay?" he spoke to the boy without anger.

"I won't."

More quiet. "Your dads know you watch porn?"

"Are you kidding? I love Oscar and Javier, but there are some things they don't need to know. Oscar would make it into a family viewing event."

That made him giggle; his giggle made Michael snort, and soon the pair of them were laughing uncontrollably, unable to keep quiet at all. He hadn't laughed that way in…years.

Suddenly, there came a knock on the door, and their laughter died.

The door opened and Oscar entered, clad in sleep shorts and grey tee. "Everything all right?" he inquired not unpleasantly. "I was up and heard voices."

Shit. Had they woken Javier and Oscar? Or were they awake anyway? "Sorry, Oscar. We…"

"We were just talking, Dad," Michael cut him off;"guy stuff."

Oscar smirked a moment. "Guy stuff. Right." The big man sighed. "But seeing as it's late, maybe you want to call it a night, Michael."

The words and tone were friendly but the message was unmistakable. Do not trust the blond guy in the bed, Michael.

Michael slid off the bed. "Sure Dad. We were about done anyway. 'Night, Wally." The boy slipped through the bathroom door, closing it behind him.

Oscar lingered a moment longer. "Thanks."

He glanced at Oscar in confusion.

"Sometimes it's easier to talk to someone other than your parent about things," Oscar spoke softly and seriously, "Thanks for listening to Michael. It wasn't anything too heavy was it?"

Another unspoken message. If the matter was important, he was expected to share it. Michael's first kiss was terribly important, but it was Michael's kiss, not his. He wasn't going to give that up.

"No, nothing major."

Oscar smiled. "Great. G'night, Wally," the big man replied, leaving him to his troubled sleep.

My deep thanks to Craftingmom, who is editor, mentor and friend. Mikiesboy, Carlos and Spike kindly beta-read this story, and they deserve my thanks, too.

 

Leave a review, if you feel so moved. I appreciate every comment, of whatever stripe or variety.

Copyright © 2017 Parker Owens; 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

So Wally's secret video isn't very secret if even Michael saw it. And now Wally's committed to chaperone a bunch of teenaged boys tomorrow. Yet he still hasn't decided what to do about his drug supplier…

 

At least you're not on Timothy M's biannual update schedule! ;-)

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The chapters that originally described the video were reminiscent of an action movie, full of violence but not real in the sense that it mirrors most of our life experiences. When Wally confronts the ongoing fallout of the video where he is recognized and feels shame is an experience that is universally relatable (not that we have been raped or are in porn) in that each of us has to confront the repercussions of our past actions at some point.
This story really moves me as Wally confronts his demons and grows into a man. Thank you

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On 01/26/2017 08:18 PM, droughtquake said:

So Wally's secret video isn't very secret if even Michael saw it. And now Wally's committed to chaperone a bunch of teenaged boys tomorrow. Yet he still hasn't decided what to do about his drug supplier…

 

At least you're not on Timothy M's biannual update schedule! ;-)

Wally's vid was never going to be terribly secret. Perhaps that was Ted's sinister point. I think Wally is hoping that if he lays low for a day or two, Kenny will be unable to find him, get tired of waiting around, and go away. The cost of this is to be the chaperone for Michael and his friends...

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On 01/26/2017 10:54 PM, Rndmrunner said:

The chapters that originally described the video were reminiscent of an action movie, full of violence but not real in the sense that it mirrors most of our life experiences. When Wally confronts the ongoing fallout of the video where he is recognized and feels shame is an experience that is universally relatable (not that we have been raped or are in porn) in that each of us has to confront the repercussions of our past actions at some point.

This story really moves me as Wally confronts his demons and grows into a man. Thank you

Thank you for a very insightful commentary. Some moments in life - often those that change our lives - are only recalled in snippets of action and sound and sense. But as you say, we confront them more fully and completely ever after. Wally's experience surely changed how he is living, and may yet change how he will live. I am glad you have continued to read this story, and I appreciate your response.

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I hope someday soon, Wally can get off the knife edge he's on. The talk with Michael was another positive sign. He weighs what he says... thinks before he acts... questions both the past and present, and faces what comes at him. By that, I mean he is dealing with the reality it was his parents who were lacking in humanity first. His inhumanity was a direct result of theirs. The biggest hurdle of all lies in an inability to understand our motivations... in order to heal and grow as a person Wally has to know why he became a predator. Compare and contrast. He's doing that, or at least it appears he is. Great chapter, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 01/27/2017 02:08 PM, Headstall said:

I hope someday soon, Wally can get off the knife edge he's on. The talk with Michael was another positive sign. He weighs what he says... thinks before he acts... questions both the past and present, and faces what comes at him. By that, I mean he is dealing with the reality it was his parents who were lacking in humanity first. His inhumanity was a direct result of theirs. The biggest hurdle of all lies in an inability to understand our motivations... in order to heal and grow as a person Wally has to know why he became a predator. Compare and contrast. He's doing that, or at least it appears he is. Great chapter, buddy... cheers... Gary....

You again have gotten inside my brain. Wally's inhumanity is falling away, and his humanity is recovering. He can see the plain difference between the Marquez world and the Cabrera world; and in the night, he chooses kindness and honesty with Michael. But what has he gotten himself into for the coming afternoon? Many thanks for your comments and insight. Cheers, back!

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This chapter had me lol'ing a lot. Especially with Oscar turning porn into a family viewing night! :rofl:

 

Wally is really maturing. It was obvious in his careful answers to Michael. I think he could be a good sounding board for Michael. And tomorrow he'll be faced with a house full of teenage boys, including Trey, who I'm assuming is Michael's crush. I hope Wally doesn't do anything stupid, or nothing dangerous happens in the form of that scumbag Kenny. That certainly wouldn't go over too well with over-protective J&O.

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This was one of my favorite chapters and it was just as good this time around. The juxtaposition of Michael's innocence with Wally's hard edges was great writing.

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On 01/28/2017 03:41 PM, Lisa said:

This chapter had me lol'ing a lot. Especially with Oscar turning porn into a family viewing night! :rofl:

 

Wally is really maturing. It was obvious in his careful answers to Michael. I think he could be a good sounding board for Michael. And tomorrow he'll be faced with a house full of teenage boys, including Trey, who I'm assuming is Michael's crush. I hope Wally doesn't do anything stupid, or nothing dangerous happens in the form of that scumbag Kenny. That certainly wouldn't go over too well with over-protective J&O.

Thanks for reading this story. I truly appreciate your doing so. Wally has replaced the Predator, if not entirely, at least substantially. That he dresses in front of Michael is not a ploy. He feels the need to do so. Maybe Wally would have good advice for Michael, but right now he feels anything he says is tainted by his previous life. He might be right. God knows what could happen while he chaperones...

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On 01/29/2017 06:02 AM, Carlos Hazday said:

This was one of my favorite chapters and it was just as good this time around. The juxtaposition of Michael's innocence with Wally's hard edges was great writing.

I blush at your kind words. Thank you for reading this, and for your constancy in encouragement. In another time, Michael could have been badly hurt by Wally. Now they are friends, instead.

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Oh, boy. Nice contrast. The young and inexperienced, and the only slightly less young and way too experienced.
That video must have had some amazing exposure. With all the thousands of new ones that undoubtedly appear every day online, it's amazing to think that everyone seems to have seen it. Fame is one thing, infamy another entirely.
Wally handled the moment with Michael well. He is learning that what he says has meaning to others, and that he needs to be careful what comes out of his mouth. I like that he placed Michael's needs above his own there, just for a moment. He's learning, isn't he?

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On 01/31/2017 09:39 AM, Geron Kees said:

Oh, boy. Nice contrast. The young and inexperienced, and the only slightly less young and way too experienced.

That video must have had some amazing exposure. With all the thousands of new ones that undoubtedly appear every day online, it's amazing to think that everyone seems to have seen it. Fame is one thing, infamy another entirely.

Wally handled the moment with Michael well. He is learning that what he says has meaning to others, and that he needs to be careful what comes out of his mouth. I like that he placed Michael's needs above his own there, just for a moment. He's learning, isn't he?

Some videos do go viral, for whatever reason. Michael is Innocent, but he knows at least some of the score. He helps Wally see a little more of what might have been, and what he could at least partly recover. Their laughter is a real sign of some healing and growth. Thank you for reading so astutely and well. I hope the remainder of the story does not disappoint you.

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On 02/04/2017 01:43 AM, Mikiesboy said:

Nuthin quite like having your past discovered. Nice chapter, Parker.

Discovered, but not completely understood. Wally filled in some details, perhaps so that Michael might not ever follow his own path. Thanks for reading and for your thoughts.

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Wow... I was surprised he opened up to Michael so much, even if it was edited.  I guess I shouldn't be since he seems to be realizing so much stuff internally that it's natural for it come out.  You're really keeping me guessing here.  I have no idea where this story is going to go.  On to the next chapter... 

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Wally is undergoing development, perhaps. Maybe he's beginning to slough off the shell of his anger and hurt. At least enough to tell most of the truth to an innocent Michael. Thanks so much for continuing to read the story!

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Not taking advantage of a boy he would like to bed when that boy is vulnerable, respecting his own boundaries, even admitting in a limited way to the nature of his wrongs, Wally is making progress.

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16 hours ago, BlueWindBoy said:

Not taking advantage of a boy he would like to bed when that boy is vulnerable, respecting his own boundaries, even admitting in a limited way to the nature of his wrongs, Wally is making progress.

Wally is thinking about people other than himself, and trying to fit his experience into some kind of perspective. Yes, that sounds a lot like progress! Thanks for reading!

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