“No shit!” Joe yelled when Gust told him about what happened last night, “How did they react? What did they say?” He said referring to the blonde’s parents. He was certain it must not have been that easy.
Gust exhaled, “They were angry that I wasn’t careful enough. Mom even began to blame herself for all this.”
“I hate it when my mother does that.” Joe gave a sad smile.
“I know, but I could see she was so upset with me; dad was too.” Gust opened his locker and began to collect what he needed. He was in a gloomy mood. “Not that I blame them for being angry.” He whispered.
Joe began to stroke his back. “Hey, it’s going to be alright,” he said, not knowing what else to say. He was feeling bad for his boyfriend.
“Well, it is fine.” Gust’s shoulders rose and fell as he sighed heavily again, “Mom and dad said they understood it wasn’t really my fault, and they are ready to overlook my mistake if I am ready to take responsibility for Candes and our child.”
“That’s good ... right?” Joe asked with a little doubt.
“Yeah, yeah it is good.” Gust turned to look at him. “It’s just that I wish Candes’ parents were that accepting as well. You have no idea what she’s going through. I bet that girl didn’t sleep enough last night.”
“It must have been hard for her.” Joe agreed and looked around searching for her, “Where is she, by the way?”
“Oh! She went to cheerleading practice.” He told and shut his locker.
The emerald eyes sparkled and Gust saw his boyfriend’s face come nearer. “Don’t stress about it, baby. Give it some time and things will get back to being alright again. I promise. But I can’t see you disheartened like this.” Joe trailed his fingers softly along Gust’s lips while watching them and said, “I want you to be happy. I want you to be happy with me.”
Gust looked into the eyes staring hungrily at his lips and then down at Joe’s lips before leaning in for a long passionate kiss. God knows how much he needed this!
“Get a room, you two!” They both broke apart and blushed when they saw Luke approach them with a teasing look. Not far behind was Mercedes with a similar awestruck smile on her face.
“Hey Luke, what’s up?” Joe greeted and smiled at Mercedes too.
“Nothing much with me, but I see you have a big story to tell.” Luke was excited seeing his friends back together. “Come on tell me; what did I miss?”
“Oh you mean you want to know how I got my leg over last night at Al’s?” Gust asked with a serious face, leaving each and every one hearing it astounded. Joe couldn’t believe his boyfriend had spoken it out truthfully.
But then Gust burst out laughing and Luke slapped his bicep, “Asshole!”
Mercedes giggled along with Luke and said, “I am happy for you though. You two belong together.” Joe looked adoringly at the blonde and took his hand only to kiss it more than once. “Now don’t you start again.” Mercedes rolled her eyes and laughed.
They were engaged in their banter when Gust saw a familiar elderly couple walk in through the school entrance. He pointed over Luke’s shoulder to him wondering aloud, “Hey Luke, why is your dad here?”
Luke looked puzzled and turned around to see where Gust was pointing. He mulled over the same thought as Gust, because they only saw each other half an hour ago when he came back from his trip. “What the fuck is wrong?!” He muttered under his breath.
Holden had a stiff face when he literally pulled Luke by his arms and dragged him along with him. “Dad?!” He had screamed but Holden didn’t care to even explain. The other three mates of the blonde stood stunned by what was happening in front of them. Others in the lobby too noticed the tense environment and were intrigued by the family drama. Whisperings ascended as Holden disappeared with Luke inside the principal’s office.
“Is this what you mean by the rapport you create with your students?” The principal almost spat in repulsion. “Disgusting!”
Noah had become numb. He didn’t know what to do or what to say. He just kept staring at those pictures in his hands. He thought this was the end of his life, his career and his love. What bugged him more was, it was obvious that now Luke was going to face the hatred as well, and he so wanted to save him from all of it. He wanted the boy away from this matter ... if only he could think of a way to do that right now.
“What? Has the cat got your tongue?” Mr. Keegan yelled a bit louder, “Are you just going to stand there looking like a fool?”
“I ... these pictures ... I don’t know ... what ... how” Noah stammered looking up at the old man with glassy eyes. There was no way out of this mess that he could see.
“Just say it damn it! When you have the nerve to do it, get the nerve to admit the crime too.” Mr. Keegan sounded totally pissed. He neither cared of the student, nor the reputation of the school. All he cared about was his promotion that was in talks within the Oakdale board of education. This could severely affect his promotion, and he didn’t want anything getting in the way of this promotion. “Mr. Noah Mayer, do you have any idea what you have gotten yourself into? Having an affair with your student could end you up in jail. Do you want that, Mr. Mayer? Do you want me to call the police and tell ...”
“There’s no need for that Mr. Keegan!” Holden burst inside the room and Mr. Keegan stood up, astonished seeing him there. The last thing he wanted right now was to see that man in his office at that time. He had thought of settling this matter without any legal enquiries going on to prevent the risk of affecting the school’s reputation, however with the sudden turn of events, he doubted he could ever do that. Mr. Holden Snyder was one stubborn man, and since this matter was related to his son, he would never let this go. Now Mr. Keegan could only hope for Noah.
Holden came in holding Luke by his hand like a small kid, and turned his gaze to the brunette standing there. Luke looked at all the people present, and a hint of fear showed up on his face. He had an idea what was this all about. He watched Noah, who seemed to have lost all his powers, and he felt bad for him.
“There’s no need for you to call the police, Mr. Keegan, because I have already done it for you. They should be here shortly.” Holden said looking daggers at the familiar man standing in front of him.
“Dad, how did you ...”
“How did I know?” Holden gave a sardonic laugh looking at Luke. “What did you think; you could keep hiding this from us? But look at that, you are busted, boy.” He retrieved an envelope from his coat pocket, similar to the one that Mr. Keegan had received, and shoved into Luke’s hand. “These came just after you left for school today.”
Luke’s hands trembled holding the cover as an unknown phobia took over him. He looked at the folder with much apprehension and fear, but he didn’t make a move to open it, he didn’t dare to. Finally, Holden snatched it back and removed the pictures from it. They were the same ones that Noah held in his hands.
“What is all this Luke? These pictures ... I would have accepted if it would have been someone your own age, but your own teacher?” He threw all the pictures on the table and spread them out. “Not that I can blame you for all of it.” Holden said when his deathly glare travelled back to where Noah stood, and his jaws clenched.
He took a step towards Noah, only to hold the brunette by his collar and gave him a pull. Noah was already kind of listless, so the pictures slipped out his hands and fell to the floor. “Didn’t you come by the farm couple of months ago to check on Luke?” Holden asked through his gritted teeth. “Emma told me you behaved kind of suspiciously. After all, what teacher ends up at a student’s house just to check whether he is alright.”
By this time, Luke had jumped to his side, and was struggling to get his father to leave Noah alone. “Dad, let him go please. He didn’t do anything. It was me; I am to blame for everything.”
“You don’t know his kind, Luke. These paedophiles manage to lure innocent kids like you, and make it look like you are initiating all of it.”
Tears showed up in Luke’s eyes immediately after seeing Noah in such a state of mind that he was not able to even defend himself. The cheerful man he had come to know over the past month looked no more cheerful, and it haunted him in his mind. ‘How could dad say such mean things about Noah? He doesn’t know him ... he doesn’t know what a great guy Noah is! And he definitely doesn’t know how much he loves me.’
“How dare you play with my son’s life? You motherfucker! I am going to make you pay for this. You can’t get away from this easily; I will make sure of that.”
“Mr. Snyder, please ... please calm down.” Mr. Keegan said, trying to stop him. “We will make sure he gets the punishment he deserves.”
“Oh, don’t you bother! This is about my son, so let me handle it my way.” He hissed.
At that juncture, the intercom went off and Mr. Keegan answered it. “Yes?” He listened to Mrs. Gordon telling him that the police had arrived. He sighed and said helplessly, “Send them in, please.”
Officer Margo Hughes came in with another officer. “Holden, back off and let us do our work.” Margo ordered.
Much to his dismay, he had to leave Noah alone. If Margo hadn’t arrived at that time, he was ready to hit the guy.
“So, who is Mr. Noah Mayer?” Margo asked and the principal pointed at the brunette. The other officer went up to Noah and arrested him. “Mr. Mayer, you are arrested for the crime of statutory rape of your own student Luke Snyder.”
“Margo, he ...” Luke began to say, but Margo stopped him by holding her hand up at him and she continued.
“You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney; if you cannot afford one, the state will provide one for you. Obviously you're going to need one...”
“But Margo, Noah didn’t ...” Once again, Margo cut him off.
“Luke, whatever you have to say, you can say it down at the station. You can give me your statement; I will need it.” Margo said to Luke and then faced his dad, “Holden, bring Luke to the station with you. We could begin our enquiries then, and maybe we will need a medical examination as well.”
Luke was scared shitless knowing what she was referring to. He looked at Noah again, but he had not yet come out of his trance. He noticed that while Margo was busy talking to Holden, the other officer was getting a hold of all the pictures to be used for evidence. No one had eyes on him. He quickly sneaked over to Noah and held onto his bicep. “Listen to me, Noah!” He whispered watchfully and shook him a bit, “Noah, don’t tell them we ever had sex. Do you hear me?” He shook him again, this time the wet blue eyes shifted to look at him and he repeated, “We never had sex. If they ask ...”
“Luke!” Margo scolded, and Luke jumped away from the brunette. “You are not allowed to talk to him.”
“Sorry!” He mumbled and looked at Noah backing off. He hoped Noah would do as he said.
Not long after that, Margo took her leave. The officer held Noah while guiding him through the lobby and Luke stepped just behind them with his dad. Luke looked around finding the school lobby empty. He heaved out a sigh of relief knowing that everyone must have gone to their respective classes, so that saved him from stares and gossip to start off while they walked out of the building.
Noah’s eyes longingly stared at Luke before he got in the police van and they drove off. Luke watched them go and wiped the remnant tear off his face. While he waited for his dad to get his car from parking lot, he heard a displeasing laugh come from behind him. He turned to see who it was, only to find Rob walking towards him laughing hysterically about something. However, looking at that evil guy just soured Luke’s mood, “What are you doing here?”
“I came to see if my plan really worked or not. I am a really good photographer, don’t you think?” Rob chuckled, “I must say though, you and Mr. Mayer gave me some great poses and angles.”
“You!” Luke’s eyes widened in realization, “You bastard! You mailed those pictures to the farm.”
“And to the principal, also ... so that I can exact revenge on you and Mr. Mayer.” Rob smirked remembering how Noah had got him suspended when he had beaten up Luke. “You assholes ruined my life. My girlfriend left me when she knew I was kicked out of school. I loved her so much.” The pain showed up on his face.
In different circumstances, Luke would have felt pity, but right now all he felt for the guy was an extreme loathing, “Served you right, you know! A guy like you deserves this.”
“You have got balls, Snyder. I give you that.” Rob snorted, “I did what everything in my powerand you still show you are strong enough to fight against me.”
“Listen you shithead, keep away from my life and Noah’s life. You think you have achieved something with this, but we are stronger than that.” Luke looked over his shoulders hearing the honking of his dad’s car and faced him again, “You will see.” He challenged, pointing his finger at Rob and turned to leave.
Rob had a smug look on his face as he saw the car drive away. He knew well ... it was very difficult for the couple to get out of this problem than Luke thought.
End of Part (B)... Part (C) of Chapter 20 will be the next update of this story.
Get your opinion heard: Noah is being charged with statutory rape and Luke is trying to save him. But do you think lying will get Noah released?
Gust/Joe storyline has slowed down a bit for now. Is that okay with you, or do you want the new drama of forbidden romance to enfold in their lives sooner?