Warning, there is some alluding to sexual abuse in this chapter.
Note this story will be based on time jumps throughout Ty's teenage years, while the intro paragraphs are Ty talking from the present.❤️I hope you guys love it!
Chapter 3 - Stand by me
Dane always tells me I need to make more friends. I don’t know why he’s so determined, it’s not like he has a shit ton of friends himself. He’s all I’ve needed for a long time and I’m perfectly happy not having a ton of flaky people in my life. Besides, people suck majority of the time. I can remember more instances of people being pieces of shit in my life than them being pillars of goodwill. Hell, the first time I realized I wanted Dane was because of a huge piece of human filth. There’s nothing quite as hot as Dane losing his temper.
January 15th, 2015
“You ready to play football yet Huntsman?”
I looked over my shoulder to see the school's coach looking at me. I’d only been at Eastview high for less than five months and I hadn’t made many friends, but I had caught the eye of the school football coach, much to my misfortune. I understood why the man kept harassing me to be on the team, I was fourteen and six foot and somehow had started putting on more muscle mass as well. Dane had said that I was mutating into a giant in a year and what the hell was I eating because he wanted to sell it. I joked that by the time I was eighteen I’d be able to bench press his ass and he always snorted and told me that I could try.
“No coach Abbott, I’ve got art club,” and I did have art club after school around the same time football was. Also, I had absolutely no inclination for playing football. I might be the schools resident giant, but I didn’t want to be on any teams.
It boiled down to the fact I didn’t want to be bothered and I damn well didn’t want to work with a team of jocks. I was perfectly content drawing in silence after school with all the other art club members.
Coach Abbott scowled, his usually friendly face looking constipated. “You’re wasting your potential on art club, with a body like yours." His eyes traveled over my body for a few seconds longer than was comfortable. "You know colleges don’t scout for kids in art club,” he said with a level of sarcasm that only rankled me more.
I sighed. Obviously, the man was going to make this a constant thing and apparently I haven't made my point clear enough to him. Here I was trying to leave the fucking locker room after gym class, to get to my after-school club and he was blocking the damn doorway. “Did you play football in high school Coach Abbott?” I pulled my backpack up over my shoulder to make it very clear I was ready to leave.
Abbott smirked. “Of course I did. I was the champion quarterback, got scouted for Georgia state. That’s what I’m talkin’ about Huntsman, that could be you one day.” There were the pride and a spark in the older man's eyes as he started to relive his glory days.
Oh, this man had no idea where I was going with this, so much for letting him down gently. “Well coach, I would but I really don’t want to be a gym teacher when I get older, but thanks anyway.” I moved around him quickly before the shock wore off.
I jogged out of the gym building, all my other classmates had been out a few minutes ahead of me because I’d been looking for something in my gym locker and then the coach had cornered me… again. I’d told Dane that the man wanted me on the football team, but I hadn’t told him that it was starting to get to the point where he wouldn’t take no for an answer. I didn’t want to make my problems something Dane had to deal with, and it wasn’t like I couldn’t handle the coach.
January 22nd, 2015
“Everyone passed the tests back to each other, some of you need to study next time or you’re in trouble of failing this class. Physical education isn’t a joke.” Coach Abbott said as he passed the stack of scantrons to the bottom row of students who began passing back the rest when they found their own. When the stack got to me I found my name and pulled it out before passing the extras off to the next person.
“An F?” I stared down at the paper in disbelief unsure what I was even looking at. I’d taken the test in my physical education class a week ago, and I’d studied for it. It was impossible for me to have failed the test. It hadn’t even been that hard!
Everyone shuffled out of the gym as I sat in the bleachers staring at the scantron sheet with utter confusion. The red circled F along with the tiny red marks next to each column wrong made my stomach roll.
I never got bad grades. I always prepared.
My heart started to hammer as I thought about the disappointment on Dane’s face. It wasn’t that I was afraid he get angry, no, I just didn’t want to be anything less than the best for our family. Dane deserved that of me, and so did Mark and Jane. To make it worse, I’d thought for sure that I’d take home a good test today to show him. When I did we’d always go play some laser tag or something.
Instead, I’d have to give him this shit grade, one that I couldn’t even explain.
“Is everything ok Huntsman?” Coach Abbott asked from the base of the bleachers.
I looked up snapping out of my daze as I realized everyone had left the gym and I was the only one left. “No, this can’t be right. I know this material.”
Coach shook his head, crossing his arms over his wide chest, his stomach sticking out from under his arms. “I don’t know what to tell you — The answers you bubbled on the scantron were wrong. Let me see it.” He said putting his hand out for the test scan sheet.
Grabbing my backpack I walked down the bleachers to where the coach stood and handed him the paper so he could look it over again. It had to have been a machine error. It was possible the bubbles hadn’t been aligned and that had caused my answers to be out of order on the sheet.
Abbott looked over the paper for a few seconds before handing it back. “I’m sorry Ty, but the grade is correct, and I would be lying if I said this won’t affect your grade.”
I took the paper back and fear fizzles up my spine. I couldn’t get a bad class grade, especially not in a class like PE. “How can I make up the grade? There has to be some kind of extra credit I could do.” Desperation laced my voice as I tried to come up with some kind of project I could do. There was no way I could let this ruin my perfect GPA since starting high school.
“Well, you could always join the football team…” The coach said as his lips lifted in a shit-eating smirk.
My heart pounded as my blood pumped through my body in a dangerous mix of anger and disbelief. He was blackmailing me to be on the football team. Had I really failed the test then? Or was this even more underhanded? I ground my teeth together as I fought back the red-hot emotions burning in my gut. “I told you I don’t want to play football, I have art club after school.”
Abbott nodded pursing his lips as if he was thinking about something before he said, “yeah I know how much you love your girly hobby. I do have another proposition for you...” he trailed off as his voice took on a more husky tone, his eyes drifting over my body till his gaze stopped between my legs.
My stomach roiled. I’d heard that tone of voice before. It sent a shiver down my spine and sharp tingles down into my hands as I clenched them into fists. That tone, the way he looked at me, it was the same way they’d looked at me before when I was younger… back when my birth mother would—
I ground my teeth hard as I swallowed back the bile sliding up the back of my throat as memories of strangers hands touching me started to crawl out of the darkest parts of my mind.
“I’m sure I could—” Abbott took a deep breath and licked his lips, his eyes still trained on my groin as he said, “teach you things that will help your grade.” His eyes darted up to meet mine, the pupils were blown wide as if he was lost in his own morbid imagination. Without warning his hand reached out and touched my lower abdomen, burning into my flesh through the cotton of my tee shirt.
“Don’t fucking touch me!” I shouted as I jerked away almost stumbling back onto the bleachers as I tried to put space between us. Without another word I ran.
“Where are you going, Huntsman! Hey!” Abbott hollered as I sprinted away
I pushed the doors outside of the gym, not looking back till I was down the hall away from the perverted fuck. Breathing erratically I tried to calm down as I pushed through the crowd of students heading to their next class. Anxiety twisted my gut into tight knots that made my heart beat erratically in my chest. Without thought, I ducked into the nearest empty classroom and leaned against the closed door, relieved when I was finally alone.
With my back against the door, I slid down to the floor my head in my hands as I tried to breathe. With each rapid beat of my heart, my mind begins to wade through memories I’d thought I’d buried deep inside of my past. Hands trailing down my body as I squirmed to get away, my mother eyes… always watching as they— I sucked in a deep breath when I became dizzy, not realizing I’d forgotten to breathe.
It had been years ago, back when I was only six, maybe seven and I’d been able to forget what had happened except for the rare nightmare, but in that single moment Abbott had brought it all back like I was in that crappy apartment again the smell of cigarettes and sex so strong I thought I’d drown in it.
Sucking in another deep pained breath I pulled my phone out of my pocket and started dialing before I could stop myself. Normally I’d deal with it myself, I always had before, but I didn’t want to, not when I didn’t have to. I wanted him to make it better like he did for everything else in my life. So I put the phone to my ear, praying he would answer my call.
It only rang twice before he answered.
“Ty? What is it?” Dane sounded confused. Since it was the only noon he was probably wondering why I was calling.
“D-dane. I need you to come get me.” My voice was low and shattered. I felt weak and stupid for letting something so dumb shatter me into a thousand pieces, but I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t put myself back together as all the memories kept rushing back in over and over again. I didn’t feel tall or strong anymore, instead, I was that six your old kid again who couldn’t stop it all from happening.
I couldn’t get their hands off me.
“Ty what’s wrong?” Dane’s asked, his voice rushed and panicked as the sounds of movement came from the line.
“I-I—” A wheezing breathe rasped out of me as the thought of telling Dane played in my mind. I didn’t want him to know, not about that. Not about any of the things that had happened to me before I’d gone into the system. I didn’t want him to ever know what had happened to me when I’d lived with my mother. I wanted to be worthy of his love, not tainted by the abuse I thought I’d buried deep in my past.
“Where are you? Tell me where you are?” His voice was demanding but panicked as the sound of his booted feet clapped against the ground. No doubt him running to his car.
“I-I’m by m-myself, in one of the classrooms.” I choked out as I tried to control my rapid breathing.
“I’m coming. I’ll be there in twenty minutes, and Ty,” he paused before saying. “It’ll be alright. Whatever it is, we can handle it together, ok?”
I nodded even though he couldn’t see me. Somehow I know he was right because Dane had the ability to make everything better by just being there for me. Even when Mark and Jane died and we’d barely known each other, he’d been able to make the pain more bearable just being there.
“Ty I’m going to pick you up at the front of the school will you meet me there?”
“Yeah I will,” I said before I ended the call. It took everything I had in my to get myself up to my feet. As I put my hand on the door handle an unwarranted fear filled me, begging me to stay in the safe place I’d found. Through the emotions I could tell myself logically I wasn’t in the past, I wasn’t a weak six year old anymore, but I couldn’t ease my frozen muscles as I shook where I stood. It took me a few minutes before I was able to push the door open and walk out into the deserted hallway, all the other kids already in their next classes. I walked quickly to the front of the school, keeping my eyes focused ahead of me as I counted each step I took.
It was at step two hundred and fifteen that brought me to the school drop off where Dane’s jeep was pulling up just as I got to the curb. Relief made my stiff muscles sag. It took a lot of strength to keep myself composed, I didn’t want to explain what had really happened today.
I didn’t think I had it in me to tell him what had really happened, not without having to explain my past.
I opened the jeep door and got in shutting it behind me before putting my seatbelt on. Dane watched me with sharp grey eyes. There was a layer of anxiety coming off of him in strong waves as he watched my calculated movements. Still, I didn’t say anything.
He didn’t press as he drove out of East High’s parking lot and he didn’t press the entire way home. We drove in silence no pressure to explain anything until we were home. Until I was where I felt safe.
Where Dane knew I would feel safe.
When we pulled up to the house Dane got out without a word and I followed right behind him, appreciative that he was giving me the time I needed to compose myself. Most people wouldn’t have the patience to leave me in the silence I desperately needed, but that’s what I loved about Dane, he knew more than anyone that sometimes you just needed to be there for someone, no words necessary.
In the house, I stopped in the entryway knowing I needed to say something, that I would scare Dane if I didn’t say something, but I didn’t want him to know. What if he looked at me differently once he knew?
“Ty,” Dane said as one of his strong hands reached out to touch my shoulder, grounding me like he always did, right before I thought I’d be sucked back into the past where I couldn’t escape again. “Talk to me, Ty. What happened?”
Some of the anxiousness roiling inside of me settled as I focused on the weight of his hand settled on my shoulder. “The coach he wants me to play football,” I said starting with the most benign thing. I took a deep breath before saying, “and I’ve told him that I don’t want to play.”
Dane nodded, aware of the fact I wasn’t very big on team sports. He knew I was antisocial and had no inclination of being apart of anything team based. “What else?” He asked as he came a little closer where I could feel the comfortable warmth of his body near mine along with the familiar scent of his aftershave.
“Last week I told him I didn’t want to be on the football team again, but I insulted him this time. I wanted him to leave me alone, but today—” My hands fisted as the sting of tears burned the back of my eyes as the humiliation flooded my body. Why had I run from the prick? I should have decked him. I should have told him to stop looking at me… I should have….I should have….
“Ty what happened today?” Dane asked, his gentle strength causing my body to sag as the will to fight drained out of my muscles.
“I failed a test in his class, or I think he rigged it so I’d fail it. Then he told me that the test would severely affect my grade. So I asked him if there was any way to get extra credit and he told me I could join the fucking football team.” I growled out the last part, angry that he’d tried to blackmail me in the first place, and angry at myself for allowing him to continue after that. “I- I told him I still didn’t want to join his fucking team and then he—” I sucked in a deep breath as I remembered again coach Abbott looking at me like a piece of meat, his eyes touching me intimately against my will. I know what he’d been thinking about.
“Ty what did he do?” Dane growled out, his hand grabbing my face and forcing me to stare directly into his strong gunmetal gaze.
“He didn’t do anything!” I said with frustration. “But I know what he meant! He told me he would teach me things, while he stared at my dick. He was thinking of—” The tears I’d been holding in ran freely down my face as all the anger and pain of today and my past spilled free.
Dane growled deep in his throat before he wrapped his strong arms around me in a hard hug. I didn’t sob, not like I had when Mark and Jane had died. This was a different kind of pain, this was one built from years of guilt and humiliation buried deep inside of me. I felt ashamed that I was still a victim even when I was almost fifteen years old and no longer small and weak. Neither of those things stopped me from hugging Dane back or feeling the warmth bubble up inside me as I accepted his protection.
Dane didn’t say anything as he held onto me, but he didn’t have to.
Dane would make it right.
He always did.
January 23rd, 2015
Principle Bart looked between me and Dane with a scowl on his wrinkled face. He was an older man with a white mustache that curled at the end like a maniacal character. He had a notable appearance that was hard to miss, like an old western sheriff.
“Does this meeting have anything to do with what happened yesterday Mr. Huntsman?” Bart asked as he looked at Dane and then at me.
I stiffened completely thrown that the man had known about what had happened in the first place. Had Abbott actually told him about it? That didn’t make sense, a pervert asking a fourteen-year-old boy for sexual favors didn’t go to his supervisor and admit his crimes afterward. I looked at Dane wondering if he knew the best thing to say in this situation.
“What exactly happened yesterday?” Dane said in a low dangerous voice.
Burt straightened his back in his chair under Dane’s penetrating stare. “Coach Abbott came to me to report that Ty had shoved him after class yesterday when he received a bad grade on a test. I was going to request a meeting with you today, but you are here in my office this morning.”
I fumed from where I sat, my body vibrating with a level of anger I hadn’t felt since I’d been in foster care. “He’s blackmailing me to be on the football team,” I argued.
Principle Burt shook his head. “How is coach Abbott blackmailing you?”
I ground my teeth together. “He changed the grade on my last test. I know that I didn’t get an F.” I didn’t bring up the propositioning for sexual favors. I’d already told Dane when we went to the principle today that I didn’t want to talk about Abbott coming onto me. I couldn’t freely talk about that to anyone but Dane. Although Dane hadn’t liked the agreement he’d conceded with my request when I refused to do anything unless he wouldn’t bring it up.
Dane sat quietly beside me as he waited for the principles response, ever quiet in a tense situation. Principle Burt seemed to fidget under the intense scrutiny before he focused his attention back on me. “Do you have proof that the test wasn’t graded correctly?”
I nodded quickly before pulling the scantron out of my backpack and handing it over to the older man. He scanned over the scantron for a moment before looking up at me again. “How is this proof Ty?”
“Almost all the bubbles have been erased and bubbled in again. I wouldn’t have erased almost every answer and bubbled in a different one. He went through it and erased and bubbled in the wrong answers before running it through the system.” Wasn’t it obvious? Why would he think I would lie about this? I was a straight-A student, I never got into trouble.
“Ty, I understand that you’re upset about the results of this test but this isn’t proof that the test was tampered with. This also doesn’t give you the right to physically touch one of your teachers in anger. I’m sorry but I’m going to have to expel you for a week.” Burt said as his eyes shifted back to Dane for only a fraction of a second.
“Don’t bother,” Dane said as he got up from his chair. “Ty we’re leaving. I’ll enroll you somewhere else.”
I got up as Principle Burt did. The man's face was stretched into tight lines. “Mr. Huntsman there is no reason to withdraw Ty from Eastside High for one minor event. We are more than happy to have him attend our school till he graduates.”
Dane scowled at the other man, his grey eyes darker than I’d ever seen them, the only hint that he was truly angry. “Mr. Burt, if I were you I’d prepare for retirement. You’ve got a wolf in the hen house and you don’t even want to admit it. Let’s go Ty.” He walked out of the office without another word to the man. I didn’t look back either already following him through the door.
March 22nd, 2015
“Hey! I was going to eat that!” I frowned as Dane forked the last piece of chicken off my plate and ate it. He smirked deviously as he chewed the morsel.
The ass. He was always taking the last piece.
Secretly I kinda enjoyed that he did. I wasn’t sure why I enjoyed him taking from my plate, I sure as hell never enjoyed anyone taking my shit before but with Dane it was different. It gave me a warm glow in my belly that made me laugh every time he did it. Like right now. We were eating out tonight at the local diner in downtown Colorado Springs. It was one of my favorites diners called ‘Plucked Chicks’. Dane had told me once that it was essentially a low-grade Hooters. I hadn’t understood what he’d mean until I’d googled Hooters and saw the type of waitresses they staffed. That had been a source of jerking off I hadn’t actually intended to use, but when you’re fifteen bare walls start to look arousing. Dane had been right though, ‘Plucked Chicks’ was definitely a low-grade version of Hooters, their waitresses wore similar outfits but they really shouldn’t be.
“You boys want any dessert?” Milly, our scantily clad waitress asked. I tried not to look for too long when I looked at her, or to let my eyes wander lower than her face, but sometimes it was like my eyeballs practically rolled out of my head.
“I’m good Milly. Ty, you want any dessert? Ty?” Dane poked me in the shoulder with his fork when my eyes lingered on Milly’s very massive breasts spilling out of a top that was way too big for her plus-size body.
“Yes! No, I mean no I do not want any dessert, thank you Billy, I mean Milly.” Heat filled my face as she chuckled and took our plates off the table. God that had been mortifying.
“I know you like to eat here, but I’m starting to wonder if the waitresses are frying your brain.” Dane laughed and I narrowed my eyes at him.
“I do not!” I totally did, but I wasn’t admitting it to him. At fifteen I hadn’t really found a preference for what aroused me sexually but at this point, it was pretty much breathing on my part.
“Whatever you say, Ty.” Dane said as he scratched the scruff on his chin. It was March so it was freezing in Colorado and it had become a thing for Dane to grow his beard out in the winter months to keep his face warmer. I was unable to grow a full beard yet, but I’d already decided that when I was able to grow facial hair I was going to have a goatee. That and I thought about maybe trying dreads, I’d always cut my hair really short but it would be something different.
“I’m going to go to the bathroom,” Dane got up from his side of the booth and walked off to the back of the restaurant. I looked down at my phone and searched pictures of dudes with dreads. I was looking at a few promising hairstyles when someone stood beside my table. I looked up from my phone expecting to see either Dane or Milly. The blood drained out of my head as I stared up at a familiar face that I hadn’t ever wanted to see again.
“Huntsman, I haven’t seen you since January. I heard you Transferred to a private school. How have you been?” Coach Abbott asked.
I swallowed but didn’t avert my eyes from the man. I wouldn’t show this prick an ounce of weakness. Where was Dane? Was he coming back soon? “I’m fine. Yeah, I transferred, they had a better art program,” that and they didn’t have his perverted ass teaching there. Dane wouldn’t let me go back to Eastside High after what had happened, he hadn’t done anything else to go after coach Abbott because I’d asked him to leave it be, but I’d known he’d wanted to do more.
That was all that mattered to me, that Dane loved me.
Abbott nodded as a smirk came over his face, his eyes drifting down to my phone and the pictures of black men all over the screen. “Well, I never saw you after that class that day. It was really sudden the way you left. I wanted to make sure you didn’t leave because of the incident that day. I don’t want you to think I’m mad at you, for how you acted.” His voice became lower like it had that day in the gym.
My skin began to crawl and my gut cramped as I shook my head. I couldn’t find it in me to say anything. I wanted to tell him to get his perverted ass away from me, that even if I liked men I wouldn’t let him touch me to save my own life. I wanted to say so many things, but my throat was so tight I couldn’t get a single word out.
“Well, it was good to see you again, Ty. Maybe I’ll see you around?” His hand reach out and touched my shoulder making me flinch. He didn’t linger long as he walked away and out of the restaurant. I sat there completely numb, compelling my brain not to go to bad places. There is no cigarettes here, no dirty mattresses, no—
“Ty? Who was that?” Dane asked as he walked back up to the booth, his face concerned as he watched me.
I swallowed hard. “Coach Abbott from Eastside,” I croaked.
His nostrils flared and his gray eyes darkened. “What did he say to you, Ty?”
“He said, he didn’t want me to think he was mad at me for the way I acted.” The words felt like ash on my tongue. Mad at me? He had been the one to do something wrong, not me.
“Stay here, Ty. I’ll be right back.” Dane growled before he walked out of the restaurant, not taking his parka with him.
I stared after him confused. Where was he going? I looked at his parka and then the door. It was fourteen degrees outside, what the hell was he thinking? I looked for Milly who was busy on the other side of the restaurant. I didn’t have any money but I wasn’t going to let Dane freeze. Grabbing my phone and his jacket I left the restaurant venturing out in the frozen sidewalk. It was snowing lightly outside and there weren’t many people walking downtown. I didn’t blame them it was fucking cold. Looking left and right I didn’t see any sign of Dane. His jeep was parked where we’d left it, but he wasn’t anywhere near it. Walking further down the sidewalk I came to the alley between the restaurant and another building. It was dark, but I could hear shuffling and what sounded like painful moans.
Fear made me jog down the dark stretch without hesitation. What if it was Dane? What if he needed my help? I’d do anything to protect Dane. The alley let out behind the second building where no one would be able to see if someone was being attacked. I was about to round the corner when I skid to a halt my heart racing painfully in my chest.
“You ever go near my fucking kid again and I swear to god you’ll wish you were dead.” Dane’s voice was almost unrecognizable.
“I-I didn’t do anything to that boy!” Abbot cried.
There was a hard sound of skin hitting skin and a pain filled moan.
“Consider yourself lucky, you’ll only be pissing blood for a month. If I had what I wanted you'd be dead right now.”
Abbott groaned his voice raspy when he spoke. “H-he’s lying to you. H-he’s manipulating you.”
There was a stretch of silence and I wondered if Dane doubted me. Did he believe I was lying to him? My heart hammered as I slowly rounded the corner to see Dane kneeling down near the body on the frozen ground. Abbott was clutching his groin like he might die at any moment. I watched with morbid fascination as Dane grabbed him by his thinning hair till his head was tilted back and staring up into his deadly eyes.
“I’ll shove your dick down your throat and let you choke on it if I catch you near Ty again. You see him you go the other way, you run into him you run. If you say a fucking word to him I’ll know.” Dane let his head go and stood up, he turned around and stared at me with calm steady grey eyes.
Somehow he'd known I was there, somehow Dane always knew.
I lifted his parka up to him without a word.
He walked up to me and took it putting it on without breaking eye contact with me. I watched while he the thick coat on over his wool sweater. No doubt he was cold but I couldn’t tell by the way he acted.
“Milly’s going to be pissed I ran out on our check,” I said with a smirk.
Dane smirked and grabbed the back of my head to press my forehead to his. I closed my eyes and let him pull me to him, taking his unspoken strength. His forehead was cool against mine, I could hear his breath as we stood there for a few seconds in silence.
“Let’s pay Milly and go home.” He said as he pulled away, the darkness in his grey eyes gone, replaced by the soft silver I knew so well.
I looked over his shoulder at Abbott, who was still groaning as he clutched his navel. I’m sure a well-placed knee to the groin hadn’t changed the man, but he’d think twice before saying a fucking word to me again. I didn’t need Dane to fight my battles, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t love him even more for doing it.
I walked beside Dane out of the Alley back towards the restaurant and I prayed the whole way that Dane wouldn’t notice the hard outline running along my leg through my jeans.
This story is way different from what I'm used to writing about... hope you like it so far.