Timber Pack Chronicles - 1. Chapter 1
Parker Montgomery put his contact lenses in and took one last look in the mirror. He blinked twice, letting the plastic lenses settle over his green eyes. He ran his hand through his hair. The short and spiky dark blond hair was as good as it was gonna get. At least the messy style hid the stupid cowlick on the crown of his head.
He was dressed simply in a pair of blue jeans and a fitted white cotton button-down shirt. He wore a blue and green friendship bracelet on his left wrist, given to him by his best friend. He pushed his feet into a pair of black leather shoes, not stopping to bend and untie them, just wiggling his heels until they slid in.
It was the first day of school. He couldn’t believe that it was his last year of high school. He was a little bit nervous, but at the same time, he was excited. Hopefully this would be a year to remember.
Parker shut his bedroom door and bounced down the stairs. “Mom? Dad?” he called out.
He listened for a moment. Not a peep. He let out a sigh. Nothing new there. His dad was a financial big wig at some investment company whose global headquarters was downtown in the city. His mom was a lawyer. Both of them were more concerned with their careers than their son.
Parker looked up at the clock on the kitchen wall and then quickly chugged down a glass of chocolate milk. He was going to be late if he didn’t get a move on. He pulled on a hoodie and grabbed his phone and backpack and raced out the front door. He pulled the blue and white Forest View High School ‘Timberwolves’ lanyard holding his keys and student ID from his pocket, then locked the door behind him.
Shell was waiting next door in the driveway.
Michelle Wilson was Parker’s best friend since junior high school, when her family moved into the house next door. Shell’s parents were both successful business executives and the two kids often hung out together in the evenings and on the weekends. Well, when Shell was in between boyfriends.
Shell was wearing her blue and white FVHS cheerleading uniform. Her hair was permed straight and slicked back into a tight ponytail. She looked way cute today, with her flawless, mocha skin. Her uniform accentuated her curvy shape, complete with perky breasts and a tight butt.
Though Shell and Parker were the same age, she always acted like a big sister towards her shy friend. Parker had always been grateful to Shell for helping to break him out of his nerd shell. She was truly a good friend.
“Hey, Parker,” she said with a grin. “Ready for the first day of school?”
They got into Shell’s Honda and she took off, heading towards the high school.
“Hey, you should come to cheerleading practice after school,” Shell said after she turned down the radio.
Parker looked at her like she had grown a second head. “Are you insane? I am not going to be a cheerleader. I’d really like to minimize the ass-kickings this year.”
“We already had tryouts at camp last week,” she said with an eye-roll. “And besides we don't have boy cheerleaders. We have mascot auditions today.”
“Okay, now I know you're insane. I'm not going to make an ass of myself in a ridiculous ‘Tacky the Timberwolf’ costume.”
“Okay, first of all, you know damn well it’s ‘Timo the Timberwolf’. Look at it like this, Parker. It's our last year of high school. This is your chance to be somebody. Get invited to the good parties. Have fun. Go on dates.”
Parker shrugged. “I don’t care about that stuff,” he lied — to himself and to Shell.
“I’m gonna keep it real, boo. You’re my mission. I’m gonna get you out there. Get you a man. I’m gonna get you laid.”
“Oh, yes. The best way to get myself a man is to wear that stupid costume. I don’t know why I ever came out to you.”
Parker decided not to mention the fact that he had given another guy a handjob the summer before eleventh grade. He had made the other guy come, so that counted as sex, right? If the other guy wasn’t such a bastard, he might have told her what he did. No, if he told her, she’d demand all of the details and Parker wasn’t about to go there.
“Boo, I hate to break it to you, but I knew way before you told me. You’re a little zesty.”
“Remind me again why I like you?” Parker pouted.
“You know you love me, boo. Look. You have to do this. You’re a good dancer. I mean, how many years did you do gymnastics?”
“Up until tenth grade. When I got my ass kicked almost every week.”
Shell shook her head. “You shouldn’t have let those assholes win. You were good. Anyways, you’re doing this. You just have to come and show off your dance moves and do some flips. They’ll love you. Don’t we have fun dancing in your room?”
“Yeah, but that’s just fooling around. Not in front of other people!”
“Just pretend you’re pumping some Madonna in your room by yourself. ‘Don't just stand there, let's get to it…’”
Parker rolled his eyes and sunk down into the seat. “I hate you,” he mumbled.
A smile spread across Shell's face as she said in a sing-songy voice, “You’ll get to change in the locker room with the football players…”
* * * *
Shell pulled into the school’s student parking lot and parked the car. She and Parker grabbed their bags and weaved through the parking lot towards the school’s main entrance. As they walked across the lot, Parker drew in a deep breath.
Colton Butler walked past, cutting across the grass, flanked by his best friends, Trey Williams and Jed Stone. All three of them had freshly shaved heads, looking totally bad-ass. They strutted across the lawn like they owned it. And for all intents and purposes, they did.
Colton was a total stud, one of the most popular guys in the school, if not the most popular. He transferred in from out of state last year and quickly became the top dog at the school. He was smoking hot. He had dark brown eyes and a sexy black goatee and mustache. He was always sporting a five-o’clock shadow. The last time Parker saw him, he had a head of thick, black hair. The shaved head suited him, though. It made him look rough and rugged. He had an arrogant, dominant attitude that Parker thought was so sexy. Everything about him screamed MAN, and that made him very appealing — not only to Parker, but the entire student body. The girls wanted to fuck him. And all the guys wanted to be him. Well, Parker was in the camp with the girls on this one.
The weird thing about that was that Parker couldn’t recall ever seeing him date anyone. Though it sure seemed like every girl in the school threw themselves at him. That was fine with Parker. It fueled the boy’s fantasies that he was gay and that he was saving himself just for Parker. The reality was that Colton didn’t even know that Parker existed.
Colton’s best friend was Trey, a tall and muscular black guy. Trey was insanely handsome and excelled at all sports. He was captain of the basketball team and the quarterback of the football team. He led the football team to regionals and state the past three years. Girls threw themselves at Trey, literally. The rumor was that he’d been through all of the cheerleaders and was working his way through the rest of the senior class. Of course that was an exaggeration, but not by much.
Rounding out the power trio was Jed. He was big and brawny, a total redneck, built like a power lifter. He was a defensive linebacker on the football team. He had a long, shaggy goatee of reddish-brown hair and sported a couple days’ worth of beard stubble. It would probably take two weeks for Parker to grow that much stubble and he sure as hell would never be able to sport any kind of beard. It wasn’t a secret that Jed was gay, though no one talked about it for fear of getting their ass kicked. The rumor, according to Shell, was that Jed had turned out quite a few supposedly straight jocks.
After Parker was outed last year, he worked up the nerve to try to talk to Jed. Being the only other out gay guy at their school, he thought maybe they could be friends. The big jock looked at him wide-eyed like he was some kind of leper and practically ran the other way. That sure was a self-esteem booster.
“Damn,” Shell whispered. “Trey can get it.”
“It should be a crime to be that hot,” Parker whispered back, but referring to Colton. “What happened to their hair?”
“The whole team shaved their heads at football camp last week.”
“Huh. He’s bigger, too,” Parker noticed.
Colton had to have grown at least two inches taller over the summer, making him well above six feet tall. He also filled out a little more. His biceps were bigger and his chest muscles were bigger, too. Parker’s eyes drifted down to the bulging crotch of the big jock’s jeans.
As if he sensed he was being watched, Colton’s eyes shifted and locked onto Parker. Just like every time Colton happened to look his way, Parker felt an electric jolt go right to his core. His knees went weak and his salivary glands began working overtime. He swallowed down the excess saliva as he struggled to put one foot in front of the other.
Colton’s gaze burned into him and Parker automatically lowered his eyes. He bit his lip in an attempt to hold in a moan. How embarrassing to be caught staring. Again.
But Parker couldn’t help it. Something about Colton drew the smaller man to him. His crush on the other boy had grown deeper and deeper over the past year. He really needed to get a grip. What started as a crush was bordering on becoming a full-on stalker obsession.
Once the three guys passed, Parker was able to finally let out a breath and breathe normally.
He lifted his eyes and watched Colton’s retreating back. His eyes drifted down to that perfect, muscular bubble butt. If he thought the summer away would have cooled off his fantasies of the big stud, he was wrong. God, if Colton knew how many times Parker had beat off thinking about him, he’d kick his pervy little ass until nothing but pulp was left.
He was snapped out of his fantasies when the head cheerleader, Kim Reynolds, walked up to Colton and stepped in his path.
“Hi, Colton,” she said sweetly. She thrust her chest forward, not so subtly, showing off her ample bosom.
“Hey,” Colton said dismissively as he walked past her.
Parker watched with extreme satisfaction as her face turned red and she turned on her heels and stormed in the opposite direction. The little witch wasn’t used to being ignored. Parker loved every second of it.
Shell nudged Parker’s shoulder with her own. “You are such a hateful bitch,” she whispered.
Parker’s huge ass grin turned into outright laughs.
* * * *
After school, Parker headed to the locker room to get changed into his gym clothes. He almost backed out twice, but he did promise Shell that he’d show up.
Only two other guys auditioned for mascot.
Parker had to admit to himself that his gymnastics background really helped him. He was able to do cartwheels, handstands and flips. After that, they had to do a simple choreographed dance routine, following one of the cheerleaders.
Parker was just barely voted in. The cheerleaders seemed to be split. There was Shell’s group, who all enthusiastically voted for him. That wench Kim, the head cheerleader, seemed to have something against him right from the start. She gave him a nasty glare from his first step into the gym.
Of course, Parker knew exactly why she didn’t like him.
The rumors started last year, at the beginning of his junior year, that he was gay. Parker knew exactly who started it. But he didn’t deny it. Most people ignored him and left him alone. Unfortunately, not everyone in the school was tolerant of people who they thought were different.
Kim wanted to go for Donnie, the class clown. He wasn’t as athletic as Parker — not even close. But he was funny. His take on Timo would have been more along the lines of Goofy the dog.
But in the end, Parker won the vote and became the new school mascot. He was quite proud of himself. Of course, once they tossed the bag containing the costume at him and he looked down at the snarling wolf head, his smile evaporated. Had he actually volunteered to run around in a furry grey wolf costume?
* * * *
Once cheer practice was over, Shell walked with Parker towards the locker rooms.
“I’ll meet you outside the side door,” she said, then jogged past into the girl’s locker room.
Parker rinsed off in the shower, then got changed into his street clothes. He was grateful that he didn’t have to wear the wolf uniform during practice. He grabbed his gym bag and the wolf uniform and headed out.
As he made his way to the locker room entrance, the football team started pouring in from the practice field.
Seth Forrest purposely knocked him hard with his padded shoulder. “Watch where you’re going, fag.”
Parker pressed himself against the wall, getting out of the way. He tried to avoid Seth whenever possible. The big, muscular jock made his life hell. He acted tough and macho, Parker knew from first hand experience that it was all a front.
Parker snickered to himself at his bad pun.
Not paying attention to where he was going, he turned the corner and nearly ran straight into Colton.
“Sorry,” Parker mumbled, his eyes instantly dropping to Colton’s feet.
“You’re all good, Parker,” Colton said, leaning slightly towards Parker’s ear. His voice was deep, resonating in his chest and his breath was warm as it floated past Parker’s skin.
As Parker stepped out of the locker room, the realization hit him like a ton of bricks. Colton had called him by name.
Colton Butler knew who he was.
He closed his eyes and savored the moment.
“What’s got you all grinnin’?” Shell asked.
Parker looked up at his friend. “Huh? Oh, nothing.”
“See something good in the locker room?”
“Of course not,” he said defensively. “Don’t be nasty.” He looked around, making sure no one heard. He didn’t need to be gay bashed by some jocks who thought he was checking them out.
“Well, something put a happy face on you.”
“It’s nothing,” he said as they walked to Shell’s car.
As Shell turned out of the parking lot, she turned down the volume on the stereo. “Hey, what do you want to do for your birthday?” she asked. “Besides Colton Butler.”
Parker rolled his eyes and thought for a moment. “I don’t know. It doesn’t matter.”
“Okay. Well, how ‘bout I throw you a little party?”
“Just a little party, right?”
The grin on Shell’s face was his first clue that he was in trouble.
“Speaking of Colton,” Shell said. The look on her face told Parker that she had gossip. “Did you hear about what happened at football camp?”
“Adam was apparently about to faint from heat stroke. While everyone stood around in shock, Colton took charge. He got him cooled down by the time the paramedics arrived. They said he saved Adam’s life.”
Even though he had no right to, Parker felt a sense of pride at hearing about Colton’s feats. And he found himself wanting him just a little bit more.
* * * *
That night at dinner, Parker was eager to share his good news with his parents.
“Guess what happened today at school.”
“What, honey?” his mother asked.
While Kate Montgomery looked up across the table at her son, Barney Montgomery’s face was buried in his BlackBerry reading his never-ending stream of emails.
When Parker realized that his father wasn’t going to look up, he continued. “I tried out for the mascot auditions today. I won the vote. I’m the new Timo the Timberwolf.”
“Good for you, Parker. Isn’t that right, Barn?”
Barney looked up from his BlackBerry for a split second. “Hm? Uh-huh.” Before the grunt was out of his mouth, he was already looking back down at the screen, his thumbs tapping away at the keys.
“I’ll be with the cheerleaders at every game. I have to go to the away games, too. Maybe you guys could come and see one of the home games?”
A cell phone started to ring. “Clear the table and take care of the dishes,” Kate told Parker as she pulled out her phone and got up from the table and walked away.
Barney got up and walked out of the room, mumbling and cursing to himself as he typed away at his phone.
Parker sighed and finished up his dinner alone, though he didn’t have much of an appetite anymore.
He cleared the dishes, putting them into the dishwasher. He tossed the last bits of food into the garbage, which was full. Deciding to go ahead and take care of it before his mom or dad yelled, he pulled the bag out of the garbage can and tied off the top. He dragged it outside and dumped it into the big plastic bin just outside the back door.
The night had cooled down some and there was a light breeze. Parker closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. It was so quiet and peaceful outside. He loved that the suburban subdivision they lived in was set against a forest.
Parker walked over to the edge of the kidney-shaped in-ground swimming pool. He looked at the moon’s reflection in the still water, then dipped his toe into the pool and watched the ripples distort the reflection.
He stared up into the sky, wishing that his life could be different.
There had to be more out there than this pitiful existence. It would be nice to matter, to be important, to someone somewhere.
* * * *
When the back door opened, the black wolf dropped to his belly. Though he was hidden at the tree line, on the other side of the black iron rail fence that surrounded the back yard, he didn’t want to take any chances.
A sweet scent wafted through the clear, night air. That scent was forever blazed into his memory from the very first time he smelled it. It smelled like heaven. It smelled like his.
He watched the boy toss the foul garbage into the trash bin. He moved over to the swimming pool, then stopped to stare up at the sky longingly.
Soon, the boy would be his. He was tired of watching.
The wolf would no longer be denied what was his. He would no longer be denied his mate.
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