Love in the Garden of Deceit. This story may contain scenes of sexual activity among males and between members of different generations. If you find this offensive or if you believe it may be illegal for you to read this in your jurisdiction, please do not do so.

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Love in the Garden of Deceit
By FreeThinker

 Chapter Two

            Once again, Christian McKenzie slammed the back door of his house before storming across the back yard in search of his bicycle. Why could his mother not allow him one morning without a demeaning and hateful comment? Yes, he had probably stayed in bed a bit longer than was wise, but he was trying to take care of a very persistent problem that was the result of an exceptionally exciting dream he had been having when his alarm radio went off. Michael the Morning Mouth on the Mighty 1090 could not have known that his announcement that traffic was moving smoothly on the I-50 was ending the hottest dream Christian could remember. He could forgive Michael the Morning Mouth; he was simply doing his job. However, he could not, would not, forgive his mother. To avoid the problem he had been experiencing rather frequently lately of embarrassing himself as he entered Homeroom in the mornings with a rather prominent display of his adolescent ardor, he had attempted to relieve himself of the desire before climbing out of bed. His mother, however, had other ideas and felt it incumbent upon herself to make certain Christian was hauling his ass out of bed because she was not going to drive him to school. Unable to fulfill his plan, Christian took care of his morning ablutions, dressed, and listened to her endless complaining during breakfast, which included a remark about how she could not understand why it was so difficult for him to struggle out of bed in the mornings. She knew why and she knew he knew she knew why. Somehow, Christian decided, she must have some kind of radar, some kind of extrasensory perception that alerted her with metaphorical bells and whistles every time he touched himself in an “improper” and “inappropriate” manner. She seemed to make it her life’s work to demean him in punishment for his “sinful” behavior. He hated her.

            It was only the thought of Jamie Christiansen riding to school with him that kept his rage from becoming uncontrollable. As he picked up his bicycle and dropped his books into one basket and his clarinet case into the other, the image in his mind of Jamie coming up the street on his bike seemed to have a calming effect on his feelings, though not on some parts of his body. Perhaps the exertion of pedaling his bike to school would be sufficient to alleviate that particular concern.

            He walked his bike to the gate and out through the carport. He checked the old Timex with it’s inexpensive expansion band that he had worn on his wrist since the fifth grade. Seven-forty. He cursed his mother. He’d have had enough time! He was five minutes early.

            But, then, so was Jamie! Just as he looked up from his watch, he saw a mop of thick, white-blond hair appearing around the corner at 28th. Moments later, wearing another loose, paisley shirt, the wide collar flapping in the breeze, and dark green pants, once again looking as if they had been sprayed on, Jamie rode up on a maroon Raleigh, a ten-speed English street bike that Christian would have gladly shot his mother for. Jamie brushed his hair from his face and flashed a smile, revealing the glory of God and the host of angels between his pink, puffy lips.

            “Hey, hey, hey,” he growled in imitation of Fat Albert. Christian laughed and, suddenly, all anger and all thoughts of his mother dissolved in joy.

            “Hey, hey, hey yourself!”

            “Have you been waiting long?” Jamie asked with a shy grin.

            Christian shook his head.

            “I j-j-just… got out here. Yyyou… ready?”

            “Let’s roll.”

            As they pulled out into the street, Christian looked back at Jamie’s cute face and the thick hair flowing in the breeze. He must have been watching for too long, because a look of alarm came over Jamie’s face and he pointed forward.

            “Look out!”

            Christian turned quickly forward in time to avoid running smack into a parked Chevy Nova owned by the neighbors behind Christian’s house. He felt his face flush with embarrassment over his stupidity, but Jamie’s laugh, free and happy, surely the laughter of the angels, reassured him.

            “It’s… only sssix b-b-blocks… to ssschool,” he said loudly and not looking back as Jamie rode up beside him. “It’s fffour blocks… up and…t-t- two blocks… over.”

            “I used to ride the TTC to school back in Trawna. I like riding my bike. This is a cool ride. So what’s Whitman like?”

            Christian sighed.

            “It’s OK, I… g-g-guess. There are a lllot of… j-j-jocks and… j-j-jerks and… snobs and b-b-bitches. But, there are sssome… c-c-cool people, too. Sssome of the… t-t-teachers are pretty c-c-cool. Mr…. Rrroberts, my English t-t-teacher, is the b-b-best. And, Mmmr…. O’Llleary, the Hissstory teacher is wwway cool. But, Mrs…. Nnnelson, the… Math teacher,… is a witch. We have her for…  Homeroom and… Fffirst Hour.”

            “So what’s your shed-yule?”

            “My what?” Christian asked, not certain he had heard correctly over the car that had just passed them.

            “Your shed-yule. What classes do you have?”

            “Oh!” Christian exclaimed as he came to a stop at a corner. “Mmmy skejule…. Well, I have… Mmmath  and then… Orchestra and then… Gym. After lllunch, I have… Ssscience, then Hissstory, then… English.”

            “Righteous! We have the same… skejule” Jamie said with a wide grin.

            “Cool,” Christian replied with an answering grin as the guard stopped the traffic on 24th to let them cross. “So is that how they say schedule in Canada? ‘Shed-jule?’”

            Jamie shrugged and nodded.

            Christian asked, “Is thhhere anythhhhing else they sssay diffferent in C-c-canada?”   

I don’t know. I guess it’s pretty much like America, except Quebec speaks French. But, other than that, I think it’s pretty much like the States. I suppose I’ll find the differences as I go along. Except I already know that you say “Eighth Grade” and I say “Grade Eight.”

            “Hmm, that’s wwweird,” Christian replied as they approached the school.

            “Who,” Jamie asked. “You or me?”

            “You, of course,” Christian responded with a grin. “I’m the… Ammmerican.”

            “Yeah, right. Anyway, I’m half-American, so I’m only half weird. I just don’t know which half of me is weird.”

            He paused a moment and then added, with a sly grin, “I guess we’ll just have to find out which half is weird.”

            Christian thought his friend might be making a suggestive comment, but not knowing him well and being nervous about such things, he let it slide and, instead, asked, “So, how c-c-come you’re half Ammmerican?”

            “Dad’s from Westport. Mum’s from Trawna. They met when Dad’s company sent him to Trawna  and Mum was in university.”

            They crossed Deerfield St. and jumped the curb in front of a two-story yellow-brick edifice surrounded by dozens of milling, chattering boys and girls. Christian had an uncomfortable feeling that they were being observed, then realized that he probably wasn’t, but Jamie was.

            Indeed, as he walked his bike into the rack and glanced up while pulling his lock and chain from one of the baskets, he could see a group of giggling girls on the steps to the side entrance gazing at Jamie and whispering to each other. Jamie seemed unaware of the attention as he pulled his bike in next to Christian’s.

            “You’re b-b-bike is rrreally c-c-cool,” Christian said as he pulled his books and clarinet from the baskets.

            “Thanks,” Jamie replied, locking the chain. “My mum gave it to me before we moved.”

            His face lost some of its life as he said it and Christian realized that the divorce must, indeed, have been painful for Jamie despite the dismissive way he had treated it the night before. Christian said nothing else as they walked through the gauntlet of girls lining the steps. Christian heard some stifled giggles, but couldn’t tell if they were admiring or demeaning. He knew they couldn’t be for him. Most of the time, he was wallpaper, even the wall under the paper, to most of the student body at Whitman; and when someone did notice him, it was usually to jam him into a locker, trip him in the hallway, or beat the snot out of him after school. No, the giggles had to be for Jamie.

            When they were safely inside and walking up the main hallway toward the center of the school, Christian turned to Jamie and whispered, “I thhhink they thhought you were c-c-cute.”

            Jamie colored slightly and frowned.

            “Yeah, yeah,” he replied with an indifferent smirk. Christian glanced at him in surprise, but noted the boy’s lack of enthusiasm at the feminine interest in him.

            They passed in front of a long row of ancient lockers lining the hallway. Across one side of the lobby as they approached was a giant banner bearing the cryptic message, “Lasso the Longhorns.”

            “What’s that mean?” Jamie asked as they walked underneath it.

            “We p-p-play Lllongfellow J-j-junior High in fffootball Fffriday. They’re the ‘Lllonghorns.’”

            “Who are we?”

            “The Wwwildcats.”

            Jamie grinned sardonically.

            “The ‘Whitman Wildcats’? Wouldn’t the ‘Whitman Poets’ be more appropriate?”

            Christian shook his head.

            “Mmman, you sure g-g-got a lllot to lllearn about Ammmerica.”

            “Hey, we play football in Canada.”

            “Yeah, rrright.”

            As they approached an intersecting hallway, Christian had become so relaxed with Jamie that he wasn’t on his normal guard and, thus, did not see the pustulent Charlie Young approaching. A ninth grader with a face riddled with acne and a heart riddled with hate, Charlie had made it his mission since the first day of Christian’s seventh grade year to make him miserable, to mock him in any way conceivable, and to torment him at every possible opportunity. As he passed the unwary Christian, he didn’t miss his chance.

            Before Christian realized what had happened, his notebook and his three textbooks, along with the homework he had labored over the night before, went scattering across the floor of the hallway, kicked and stepped on by dozens of cruel and uncaring students enjoying the spectacle of Christian scrambling to retrieve everything before his careful work was all for naught. His face was burning with humiliation as he realized that Jamie had witnessed an example of his daily trials and humiliations. Well, he should just get used to it.

            He probably won’t want to get used to it, Christian thought ruefully as he grabbed his Math book before a ninth grade boy had a chance to kick it further down the hallway. He’s too cute, Christian thought of Jamie. He’ll be one of the popular kids. He won’t want to hang out with me once he figures out what a loser I am.

            However, Jamie was scrambling just as furiously as Christian was, grabbing stray papers and rescuing books before they could be sent in various and sundry directions. And, when they stood and looked at each other, Jamie smiled sympathetically at Christian and handed him his paper and books.

            Christian was unable to speak. Sometimes, the stutter was just too great for anything to come out of his throat. This was one of those moments. Jamie recognized what was happening as Christian struggled with his materials and his words.

            “Hey, it’s OK,” said Jamie softly. “Don’t worry about it. Let’s just get to class.”

            Christian fought back tears and silently walked up the clearing hallway. As he reached his locker, he glanced at the clock on the wall above and saw they had only a minute until the bell rang.

            “G-g-go on in. D-d-dnon’t be lllate.”

            Jamie put a comforting hand on Christian’s shoulder and smiled before turning and entering the classroom. Christian fumbled with the combination on the Master Lock and finally yanked it open. He threw everything he didn’t need in Math into the locker and sighed when he realized he didn’t have time to take his clarinet up to the Orchestra room. Dispiritedly, he closed the locker and walked through the door to the class just as the bell rang.

            Jamie was standing at the teacher’s desk in the far corner as Mrs. Nelson looked up and over her wire-framed glasses, her hawk-like nose and eyes following Christian as he walked before the class toward his seat near the back of the far row.

            “I’m so happy you were able to join us this morning, Mr. McKenzie,” she said icily. “You certainly know how to make an entrance.”

            Christian flushed and looked down as he passed her desk. Mrs. Nelson noticed the instrument case he was carrying.

            “I couldn’t help noticing you seem to be carrying more than your usual materials. Are we to be serenaded today?”

            Christian frowned as several chuckles floated around the classroom. Some in the class knew why he was carrying the clarinet, but said nothing. He stopped at his desk and set his instrument case on the floor.

            “I d-d-didn’t have t-t-time t-t-to g-g-go t-t-to…

            “Oh, it doesn’t matter,” the teacher declared with a dismissive wave of the hand. Christian sighed and sat down in humiliation. People often did that when they were impatient with his stutter. He saw Jamie saying something with a frown to the teacher who looked at him steadily for a moment and raised an eyebrow. He waited and then, without another word, took the Math book she had placed before him, and walked down the center aisle in the room to an empty desk in the back.

            “Stand,” Mrs. Nelson suddenly ordered and the entire class stood and faced the American flag hanging from the corner of the classroom. Jamie looked about with confusion, especially when he saw everyone raising their right hands and placing them over their hearts. He copied the others.

            “I pledge allegiance… to the flag… of the United States of America…” the class was reciting.

            Christian glanced over at Jamie and saw him looking round in wide-eyed wonder, as if he couldn’t believe what he was watching.

            “… and to the republic… for which it stands…

            Their eyes met and Jamie raised an eyebrow. Christian shrugged and mouthed the words, not actually speaking them.

            “… one nation… under God… indivisible… with liberty… and justice… for all.”

            As the class began returning to their seats, Christian glanced back over at Jamie and grinned. Jamie responded by rolling his eyes.

            “Mr. McKenzie, do you think it possible that I might be the object of your attention rather than… “

            She left the unfinished sentence to float in the air as Christian quickly turned back to the front, his face flaming. What was up Nelson’s butt this morning, he wondered.

The teacher walked over to her lectern and read the usual Tuesday morning announcements, including an admonishment from the principal that cigarette butts had been found in the girls’ east upstairs restroom again and that regular monitoring of restrooms might be instituted if the practice of smoking at school did not cease immediately. There was a reminder of the Friday afternoon football game against the Longfellow Longhorns, and that there would be  an orchestra performance at the next PTA meeting on the following Wednesday. She then proceeded to call the roll. At the very end, she paused and intoned, “James Christiansen.”

            From the back, the class heard, “Jamie. It’s Jamie Christiansen.”

            Mrs. Nelson gave the boy a cold stare. From the side of the room opposite Christian, an obnoxious voice declared, “Jamie? That’s a girl’s name.”

            Jamie flushed angrily and declared, “Not in Canada it isn’t.”

            “Well, this isn’t Canada,” Craig Stinson declared. His unruly dark blond hair bounced about his head and face and he laughed with several other students. “This is America and in America, Jamie’s a girl’s name.”

            “That’s enough,” Mrs. Nelson declared. “I shall call you James.”

            Jamie started to protest, but before he could say anything, Mrs. Nelson added, “And, Mr. Stinson. You will now come to the board and dazzle us with your alleged brilliance. We’ll see if your prowess on the football field translates to multiplying fractions. Everyone else, turn in your homework and open your books to page sixty-nine.”

            “All right!” Craig declared with a nasty leer to the class as he swaggered up to the front. As laughter broke out around the classroom, Mrs. Nelson slammed her ruler down on the lectern and there was instant silence.

            The remainder of the period was devoted to the Math teacher using every possible opportunity to humiliate and insult Craig Stinson, who simply stood at the board displaying his total ignorance of fractions and his complete lack of caring about the teacher’s attempts to demean him. Finally, just before the bell was to ring, she gave Craig one final look of contempt and said, “Sit,” after which she turned to the class and declared, “Page seventy-four tomorrow. Dismissed.”

            Jamie was waiting outside the door for Christian when he appeared. He ignored the not-so-muffled, “Faggot” uttered by Craig as he walked past. He simply smiled at Christian as they started toward their lockers. Jamie’s new locker was just three down from Christian’s.

            “Man, she’s a real witch.”

            “Yyyeah, but I wwwould use annnother wwword.”

            Jamie grinned as he opened his locker and threw his Math book in.

            “Where’s the orchestra?”

            “It’s upstairs on the second floor.”

            “You mean the first floor?” Jamie asked as Christian looked at him strangely. “There are only two floors.”

            “What?” Christian asked as they crossed the hallway to the stairs.

            “The ground floor and the first floor,” Jamie said as if he were speaking to a child.

            Christian suddenly realized the confusion. With a grin, he said, “Wwwell, this is Ammmerica and in Ammmerica, ‘the g-g-ground floor’ is a girl’s name! Here, it’s the fffirst floor and that,” he said pointing up the stairs, “is the sssecond floor. You sssissy!”

            Jamie grinned and replied, “Fuck you,” and Christian giggled at the use of such a prohibited obscenity.

            As they entered the orchestra room, Jamie walked up to the stool on which the teacher, Mr. Fields, was seated. Christian went to the clarinet section and took his seat among the three second chairs.

            “We don’t need a pianist,” Christian overheard Mr. Fields declare. “They should have told you that when you enrolled yesterday.”

            Jamie stood for a moment and then, as the final member of the class wandered in, he strode over to the piano and sat down. Mr. Fields looked at him with exasperation until Jamie raised his hands to the keyboard and began to play.

            All noise in the classroom ceased and everyone stared as the blond boy played a passage from Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto Number Two. Christian smiled as Jamie closed his eyes and his fingers danced over the keys. He had heard him play the piano the day before at the Art Center, so he knew the boy was talented. Mr. Fields had always been cold and dismissive of him, as many people were, and it thrilled him to see Jamie putting the teacher in his place.

            After about a minute, Mr. Fields interrupted Jamie’s playing.

            “That will suffice, Mr. Christiansen.”

            He spun his stool around to the shelves of music behind him and withdrew several works. Jamie approached and the teacher handed the stack to him. Without a word he pointed to the piano.

            The orchestra spent the rest of the hour practicing Mancini’s love theme from Romeo and Juliet and the Second Movement from Beethoven’s Ninth. As the class ended, Mr. Fields called Jamie over to talk. Christian took his clarinet apart  and was swabbing it out as the boy next to him, his thick glasses sliding down his oily nose toward the mustache starting to appear on his upper lip, looked scornfully at Jamie.

            “He tawks funny. He sounds like a snob.”

            “He’s nnnot a sssnob. He’s rrreally nice. He j-j-just mmmoved here from T-t-toront-t-to.”

            Leroy allowed streamers of spit to fall from his mouthpiece onto the floor before placing it in his beat-up case.

            “Where’s that?”

            Christian sighed as he closed his clarinet case.

            “It’s in Canada.”

            “Oh,” Leroy replied with satisfaction. “I thought he was a foreigner.”

            Christian rolled his eyes and walked with his instrument to the storeroom at the side. When he emerged, Jamie was waiting at the doorway.

            “So, wwwhat was that a…bout?” Christian asked as they entered the hallway.

            “He says they never have pianists but I’m so good that he wants me to stay. He thinks I might solo in a couple of performances. We’re going to talk about what I can do.”

            “G-g-great! You’re rrreally g-g-good.”

            Jamie smiled sweetly as they turned and went down the stairs.

            “Thanks. I’ve been playing since I was seven. A friend of Dad’s was a teacher and he tutored me.”

            He seemed to get a distant look on his face as they reached the first floor. Christian noticed it and assumed Jamie was missing his old life in Toronto. They turned into the locker room for Third Hour Gym.

            Christian went to his locker in the corner and opened it as Jamie went to the coach’s office. Pulling his gym bag out, he began to undress and overheard Craig Stinson talking about the new “fag.” There were several laughs and chuckles and he turned angrily to defend his friend. However, as he started to speak, the words froze in his throat. He couldn’t speak. In frustration, he sat back down and clutched his fists. It was not until the locker room had emptied that Coach came out of his office and barked, “McKenzie! Get your butt in the gym before I give you swats!”

            Christian dejectedly rose and finished tying his sneakers. He closed his locker and followed the coach into the gym.

            Jamie was standing beside the doorway holding the gym clothes he had been assigned. As the coach barked, “All right, ladies! Line up!” Christian ran to join the first line forming in front. Coach turned to Jamie and said, “Go put those in your locker now and head down to the nurse.” As Jamie disappeared, the class began their morning calisthenics, after which most of the boys were divided into two teams for football. Those who were not chosen, Christian among them, were left to gather on the basketball courts where some lethargically shot baskets while others simply stood around and talked trash about the jocks, the popular kids, the teachers, and their parents. Christian, never popular, never a jock, found himself ostracized by the rebels and the alienated as well. Standing away from the gathering of the malcontents and the rejected, he quietly shot baskets and dreamed of the class he would share with Jamie later.

            When Coach blew his whistle, the game broke up and the combatants ran for the locker room. The  rejects on the basketball courts walked lazily in. Christian was one of the last to enter, hoping that the most obnoxious of the class would already have showered and dressed. He took his time taking his clothes off and when he entered the shower, it was indeed almost empty. He quickly soaped up and rinsed off before emerging, but when he strode naked across the wet terrazzo toward the towel bin, he froze. Jamie was waiting at the door to the hallway, looking at him, his face flushed, and a rise in his tight pants. Their eyes met for a second before Jamie quickly turned away in embarrassment. He stood facing the door as if he didn’t know what to do.

            Christian grabbed a towel, but before he could begin drying, he felt a pop and bitter sting on his rear end. Laughter erupted as he yelped and jumped. A naked Craig Stinson was holding his damp towel at Christian’s left and was preparing another attack.

            “Stinson!” Coach yelled from the door to his office. “Two swats! Now!”

            Craig grinned triumphantly as he walked naked to meet his punishment. Coach was already holding the paddle when he ordered the ninth grader to bend over a folding table beside the wall. Christian was drying off as he heard the swats and he cringed with each crack of the paddle. He couldn’t watch the bully walking back, afraid to meet his eyes; but apparently Craig was still feeling pretty cocky, to judge from the cheers and jeers of his “peers.” Christian quickly dried off, dressed, and hurried to the door

            Jamie was waiting outside, his face still flushed and his hands jammed into his pockets. He seemed quite confused.

            “Are y-y-y OK-K-K?” Christian asked as Jamie looked down at the floor.

            “Um, yeah, sure. Why wouldn’t I be?” Jamie replied with false bluster. “What about you? How’s your butt?”

            Christian shrugged.

            “It’s OK-K_K. I’mmm… used t-t-to it. At llleast wwwe have lllunch nnnow.”

            Jamie seemed less uncomfortable as they headed for the cafeteria and when they entered the main door, he smiled and said, “I’m ravenous.”

            However, before Christian could reply a voice from behind said, “So, your name is Jamie?”

            Both boys turned around and Christian’s heart sank as he saw Trent Hollister, one of the guys from First Hour, flashing his perfect rich boy smile in his perfect rich boy clothes at Jamie. His hair was perfect, blond thick curls around his head, and even his voice was perfect, evenly pitched and smooth and… perfect.

            Christian detested him.

            “Yes,” Jamie replied with surprise.

            “I’m Trent Hollister,” the “perfect boy” declared as he held out a hand. “I’m eighth grade president and president of the drama club.”

            Christian turned his back to them and moved forward in the line. He knew he couldn’t be Jamie’s only friend, but why did Trent Hollister have to be one? He wasn’t a physical bully, but he was certainly a verbal bully and he had contributed as much to Christian’s pain during the seventh and eighth grades as Craig Stinson and Charlie Young.

            “That’s cool,” Jamie replied, smiling shyly and blushing, not unlike the way he did with Christian.

            “So, how come you moved here?” Trent asked.

            “My dad took a job as the new Director at the Westport Gardens.

            “Really?” Trent replied with approval. “My family goes there all the time.”

            Yeah, right, Christian thought. He struggled to think of something to say, some way to break into the conversation, but every time he did, Trent beat him to it.

            “I think Trudeau is a lot cooler than Nixon,” Trent was saying.

            “Oh, yes,” Jamie replied. “Definitely.”

            Oh, for Pete’s sake, Christian thought with disgust. Trent doesn’t even know who Trudeau is. He just heard the name on the news and wants to impress Jamie. Come to think of it, why would he want to impress Jamie? He has all the friends you could ask for. All the girls love him. What’s up?

            They reached the food line and Christian placed a tray on the rail. A plump, apathetic woman with curlers under her white cap plopped a blob of gravy and what might, at one time, have resembled something close to, but not exactly, meat, along with a glop of mashed potatoes and several stringy green things that Christian assumed was the school’s attempt at green beans. He took a pint carton of milk and a cookie before handing his lunch card to the lady at the end of the line to be punched. Politely, nervously, he stood aside and waited for Jamie, who stood there as well while Trent had his card punched.

Christian was looking for a table and found an empty one next to the “cool” table. He proceeded toward it as Jamie followed him. However, Trent stopped at the “cool” table and said, “Have a seat, Jamie.”

Christian stood nervously for a moment as Jamie smiled at him and set his tray down. As Christian started toward the last empty chair, Trent looked at him as if he had just seen something on his shoe that needed to be wiped off.

“Who said you could sit with us?”

Christian flushed and turned away toward the empty table. Jamie watched him, glanced at Trent, and frowned. He picked up his tray and followed Christian to the next table.

“Hey, Jamie!” Trent said with surprise as the other perfect boys at the table watched Jamie with shock. “Where you going?”

Jamie set his tray down in front of Christian.

“It’s Ok-k-k,” said Christian softly. “You c-c-can sssit with thhhem.”

Jamie turned to Trent and said, “I’m sitting with my friend.”

Trent looked surprised and then shrugged, dismissing Jamie from his world. The other boys at the table snorted and looked away.

Christian leaned over with awe and said, “They’re thhhe most p-p-popular guys in ssschool. You’d have had it mmmade if you sssatwith thhhem.”

Jamie shrugged and took a bite of brown matter.

“Who needs ‘em. I’m me and you’re my friend. If they don’t like that, I don’t need them.”

Christian didn’t know what to say and even if he did, he probably wouldn’t have been able to say it. He took a bite of white goop and smiled shyly, averting his eyes. Jamie understood.

After a few minutes, their conversation picked up and for the rest of the lunch, Christian filled Jamie in on the gossip of the school and important information such as which assistant principal to avoid, which bathrooms the tough kids smoked in, and which teachers were cool and uncool.

As they were walking to the conveyor belt with their trays, Jamie commented, “Hey, did you notice that you weren’t stuttering very much just now?”

“Really?” Christian asked as he set the tray down. “I didn’t notice.”

“I think it must be a nervous thing.”

Christian shook his head.

“Stress and anxiety mmmake it worse, but that’s not the c-c-cause of it.”

“Well,” Jamie said as they headed for the hall, “Don’t ever worry about it with me. You’re cool with me.”

Christian smiled and softly replied, “You’re rrreally too c-c-cool. I’ve nnnever met anyone like you.”

Jamie said nothing for a moment as his face darkened. He then said quietly, “No, you probably haven’t.”

They proceeded on to their lockers. As they opened them, Jamie’s face brightened artificially.

“So, Fourth Hour. Science. What should I expect?”

Christian grinned and looked around before leaning over to Jamie and replying, “Mr. Fucker.”

Jamie grinned.


Christian pulled his notebook and his science text from the locker before slamming it shut and closing the lock.

“Mr. T-t-tucker. The most b-b-boring t-t-teacher in the wwworld. “

“Oh, yeah? Everyone calls him ‘Mr. Fucker?”

As they headed toward the stairs, Christian replied, “Wait and see why.”

Fourth Hour did not disappoint. It was as boring as Christian predicted. Mr. Tucker was reading directly from the textbook a lesson about Sir Isaac Newton and his laws of physics. Most of the class had long since lost any interest in the subject, let alone consciousness, by the time the bell rang to end the class. As Jamie and Christian met outside the class, Jamie nodded.

“Man, he is lethal. He could bore anybody to death. “

“I t-t-told you,” Christian said with a grin.

“So now it’s History?”

Christian nodded.

“Mr. O’Llleary is really c-c-cool. He’s rrreally young and thhhis is his fffirst year as a t-t-teacher. But, he rrreally knows what he’s d-d-doing. You’ll really lllike him.”

However, Christian wasn’t prepared for the reception Jamie received in Mr. O’Leary’s class. The teacher was sitting casually at his desk when his green eyes grew wide as the two boys entered. Jamie seemed to slow down and Christian noticed the two stared at each other for several seconds before Mr. O’Leary leaned forward and smiled.

Mr. O’Leary was a strawberry blond, tall and slender, with a boyish face and grin. He had an easy way with the students and never seemed to have a discipline problem with them. The students all liked him and he genuinely liked his students.

Christian walked on to his desk as Jamie stopped before the teacher. The two spoke quietly with each other until the entire class was seated and the bell rang. Jamie took the history book from Mr. O’Leary and, holding it and his notebook casually in front of his pants, walked to a desk in the back of the room. He seemed deliberately to avoid Christian’s eyes.

The class discussion focused on the European settlement of North America, but Christian was unable to focus. He was perplexed. It had seemed obvious to him that Jamie and Mr. O’Leary had been flirting with each other. Jamie? Flirting with an adult? And, Mr. O’Leary? Flirting with a student? It didn’t seem possible. He had to be wrong. But, Jamie was holding his books in front of him. Was he hiding a hard-on?

Christian focused his eyes on Mr. O’Leary for a moment and noticed that as he listened to students answering his various questions, the man’s eyes often went to the back of the room. Christian looked in that direction and saw where they seemed to be focusing. Jamie was sitting low in his desk, his legs open wide, his hair falling down over half-open eyes, a sleepy smile on his face. He looked… hot… nasty… sexy. Christian immediately started getting hard looking at him and quickly turned away. Mr. O’Leary seemed to be giving Jamie an answering smile.

Oh, man. They were flirting with each other. They were!

His mind was a jumble. He couldn’t believe what was happening. It disgusted him; and, yet, he was hard as a rock.

When the bell rang, Christian didn’t look at Jamie. Holding his own notebook and textbook before his pants, he waited outside for a couple of minutes, leaning against a locker until Jamie emerged. His face was flushed and he was still holding his books before his crotch. He didn’t look directly at Christian and Christian said nothing as they walked toward the locker.

Finally, as they stood before their lockers while the crowd in the hall thinned out, Jamie looked over and said, “So, what’s English like?”

“Mmy fffavorite, c-c-clllas,” Christian replied, barely able to form the words.

“Ah. Good.”

Jamie said nothing else as they slammed their lockers. Christian was unable to and, an uneasy silence enveloping them, Jamie followed Christian to Sixth Hour, his face still burning and his crotch still expanded. Christian’s heart was thumping and he felt angry.

He was a jumble of emotions and he wanted to cry. Would he? He sighed and trudged on.

Thank you for reading Chapter Two of Love in the Garden of Deceit. Please write to me at Also, please visit my BLOG. Thank you!