This Story is intended for a mature audience only. Redistribution without permission is forbidden. This is a work of fiction for artistic enjoyment, feedback welcome. Vlad885 (at) hotmail (dot) com
Keith knocked on the door of the group home two weeks later. A boy that he'd not seen before allowed him in. The kid was a bit heavy with a pleasing face and emo style hair. Keith followed the boy into the living room where he could see Bradley was in the kitchen, eating his assumed brunch. The boy came out to greet the man wearing only his night shorts again.
"You're not even dressed yet," Keith noted
"Yeah I figured you'd want to get another look" Bradley replied.
"Well that's very thoughtful of you Brad, thank you" Keith countered. He hoped that not being shocked or insulted by the boy's jabs would cause the behaviour to stop as it was no longer getting the desired effect. However the boy was right he didn't mind getting another look. Bradley's puffy nipples and deep navel accentuated his flat belly.
"I thought your name was Lock?" The heavy boy asked.
"Get lost dog fucker," Bradley snapped.
The heavy boy looked about furtively and then moved quickly upstairs, clearly uncomfortable with the situation.
"That wasn't nice Brad" Keith admonished.
"It's true. He was fucking his dog that's why he's here" Bradley advised.
Keith wasn't sure how believable Bradley's statement was, it could be true but more likely was just a nasty rumour started by one of the boys.
"Even so you shouldn't make fun of someone," Keith noted.
"You should talk trade, he'd be perfect for you, he's already perverted" Bradley suggested.
"I'm sure he would benefit from someone taking an interest in him, spending time with him but you know Brad you can't help someone if they won't let you" Keith replied hoping that Bradley realised that he was talking about him.
"And how does that make you feel, lets talk about your feelings" Bradley mocked.
"Well doctor, I feel powerless in my own life, nothing seems to go my way and I'm so angry about everything" Keith played along.
He could tell by Bradley's expression that he'd struck a little too close to home and braced himself for the tirade that was sure to come.
"What do you want to do today" Bradley replied softly surprising the man.
"Well I thought we could go to a basketball game" Keith replied.
"You? Play basketball?" Bradley said suspiciously.
"No I meant we'd go see one" Keith replied.
"NBA?" Bradley said still cautious.
"Yes, have you ever been?" Keith asked.
"No. Where are the seats?" Bradley asked with a hint of excitement in his voice.
"My friend has a box, we'll be joining him and a few other people but there is something you're going to have to do for me" Keith replied.
"What?" Bradley replied aggressively.
"My business partner will be there with other professional people and there will likely be children as well, so I'd need you to keep your language in check" Keith advised.
"So I can't call you a perv or a freak," Bradley asked rhetorically.
"No" Keith replied.
"Ok I'll get dressed," Bradley said as he bounded up the stairs with far more enthusiasm than Keith had seen from him.
It seemed like he was back in seconds, dressed and ready to go.
"That was quick I guess having very short hair means it's always in place" Keith noted.
"Yep" Bradley replied as he put his shoes on.
Driving to the game Keith thought Bradley a different boy. Gone were the smug attitude and insults, instead he streamed out player names and game statistics, all of which were meaningless to the man. What did have meaning to Keith was seeing the other side of the boy, he could be happy, he could be pleasant it was there inside him. He already knew it but he doubted that he was going to see it so soon.
They entered through the VIP area and went up to the box. Bradley got suddenly quiet as they entered. There were a few people already there when they arrived. A man came over and greeted them.
"Thanks for inviting us Doug, this is Brad, the boy that I mentor" Keith introduced.
The boy shook hands but didn't speak.
"Enjoy yourselves guys there's lots of food" Doug said before greeting the next guest.
During the game Bradley sat at the front of the box intently watching the players. Keith had no interest in the sport and so chatted with the other adults while still keeping an eye on his charge.
On the ride home Bradley was still silent.
"So how was the game?" Keith asked.
"Awesome, you think we can go again?" Bradley asked.
"I can ask, maybe next time you could bring a friend," Keith suggested.
"Why?" Bradley asked suspiciously.
"Well you seemed really quiet" Keith noted.
"What was I going to say, how's your portfolio doing or did you see the new Porsche?" Bradley asked, clearly having listened to some of the adult chatter. In his defence Keith realised that there was an age gap between Brad, the adults and the two young kids that were there. "I thought you didn't want me to talk anyway," he concluded.
"I said I wanted you to be polite. Maybe you'd want to invite someone else from your home" Keith suggested.
"It's not my home, it's a group home" Bradley corrected. "I don't want any of those losers coming"
"Well maybe I'll ask Doug to invite us when he thinks other people your age might be there as well" Keith concluded. He wondered if Bradley had no friends with all his moving around or maybe he just didn't want to share the benefits with his pseudo-siblings.
As the car pulled up in front of the group home, Bradley looked over at Keith and held out his hand as he raised his eyebrows, there was even a hint of a smile. The two stared at each other, Keith content to gaze into the boy's captivating brown eyes.
"Twenty bucks" Bradley said finally.
"I took you to a basketball game isn't that enough?" Keith asked.
Bradley continued to stare, it wasn't the angry defiant look that the man was used to seeing nor was it a pleading look either. Keith sighed as he pulled out his wallet and extended a twenty. Their hands touched as the boy sought to take the money. The touch was soft, gentle.
"You wanna hold hands perv?" Bradley asked breaking the moment.
"No punk, I'm waiting for you to say thank you" Keith replied thinking that was only a partially honest answer.
"Thank you" Bradley replied as the man released the money. The boy walked up to the door and gave a wave before entering. Keith drove off pretty happy with himself today. Three weeks ago the kid wouldn't even come out and now they had the beginnings of a friendship. One that was costing him twenty bucks a visit but that was something he could work on.
Keith arrived for the next visit and was greeted by the heavy boy again. Perhaps the kid was waiting for a visitor at the same time Keith wondered thinking it strange that he seemed to be the doorman.
"Keith" The boy began, "Do you think you could take me out sometime?" He asked sheepishly.
"I wish I could buddy, but I'm only here for Brad" Keith explained. The boy was clearly unhappy with the answer, it must have been a big effort emotionally to even ask. "You realise I don't work here right?"
The boy nodded.
"Ask your social worker, she can arrange for you to get someone like me" Keith explained as he put a gentle hand on the boy's back. He couldn't help himself, it was a natural reaction to seeing the teen so upset. He imagined this was the way Bradley had started, eager for attention but after years of waiting he hardened to the thought of it. Now when any was offered he assumed it disingenuous. The sad reality was that this boy would likely wait just as long if he got anybody at all.
A staffer appeared as the heavy boy trotted off. He'd not seen the man before but the turn over was high in places like this, hardly a prime job assignment.
"What's his name?" Keith asked.
"Aaron, he's having a tough time" The man replied "Lock's been telling everyone you're a great guy so it makes sense that he'd want in on some of the action".
"Really? Bradley's been bragging about me?" Keith said disbelieving.
"Yeah but you know him, he takes it too far. I think he likes making Aaron feel bad." The man explained.
"I don't suppose he's ready?" Keith asked.
"He's still in his room, hasn't been feeling well. He didn't want dinner last night. You can go up and see him" The man replied.
"I didn't think I was allowed up there," Keith said.
"Ah, you're fine. You're more like staff than a dysfunctional parent. He's in the second room on the right," The staffer said waving him up the stairs.
Keith ascended the stairs into the teenage sanctum. It was strangely exciting for the man but he wasn't sure why, perhaps it was just that he was going where he wasn't allowed before. He wondered if some half naked teen might appear from the bathroom or something. He rapped softly on Brad's door but got no response. He opened it and stuck his head in. It was a typical teen boy's room, messy. There was a bunk bed plus a single so he assumed three boys were crammed in there. He saw that Brad was sleeping in the bottom of the bunk bed.
"Bradley" He called a couple of times and then entered the room. Keith got down on his knee and put his hand on the boy's forehead. He wasn't hot, so Keith put his hands under the boy's jaw to check if his glands were enlarged, but they didn't seem to be. Bradley woke and sat up immediately.
"What are doing?" He whined at being woken.
"I was checking to see if you had a fever, I am a doctor" Keith explained.
"You're a dentist," Bradley corrected.
"We're doctor's first Bradley" Keith explained.
"We're not allowed to have visitors up here" Bradley noted.
"Yeah, I had the shits last night. I guess you fantasize about what goes on in here?" Bradley said of his shared room.
"I see you're not that sick" Keith noted from the boy's insult.
"I still feel a bit crappy but better than last night" Bradley explained.
"Do you feel up to going out or should I come back next week?" Keith asked.
"Yeah I guess you don't want to hang around here," Bradley noted.
"I would, if you wanted the company," Keith advised. "Or we could go to my place"
"Just can't wait to get me alone" Bradley replied as he stood. "I'm going to go piss, wait downstairs and we'll go"
Keith waited until the boy appeared dressed and ready to go. The car ride was quiet as they made their way to Keith's apartment. As they entered the lobby Bradley could see it was a rather upscale condo with marble pillars and nice artwork. When they got into the unit itself he kept his compliments to a minimum,
"Not bad" He said as he walked around. There was an open kitchen with a breakfast bar, an L shaped living / dinning room, a door-less den that served as a computer room / office and a single bedroom. Bradley found it smaller than he expected but he supposed that Keith was alone so it was appropriate for him.
As the boy disappeared into the man's bedroom on his self guided tour Keith said cheekily, "Make yourself at home".
The day was fairly quiet as Bradley spent time on Keith's computer. When the man decided it was time to check on him he walked in and put his hand on the boy's neck. There was no comment from the teen as his fingers flew over the keyboard. Keith moved his hand up along the boy's head, the feeling of ultra short hair along his hand was exciting.
"You enjoying that?" Bradley snapped.
The boy surprised Keith, he was lost in thought while stroking him.
"Oh sorry" Keith said softly as he withdrew his hand.
"I didn't tell you to stop" Bradley said, still focused on the computer screen.
"I'm just worried how much it'll cost me if I don't" Keith said jovially. He wished instantly that he could take the words back, it seemed far too encouraging of the mercenary boy in hindsight.
Keith returned to the sofa when Bradley suddenly joined him. The boy sat right next to the man, perched on the edge of the furniture.
"I have an itch," He announced as he lifted his shirt, exposing his pale back. "In the middle a bit on the left"
Despite his better judgement Keith extended his hand and scratched the smooth soft skin as instructed.
"Lower, yeah. Now go in circles" Bradley encouraged.
"You like being scratched" Keith stated.
"Who doesn't" Bradley replied, "Lower... lower."
"I think that's low enough" Keith said not wanting his hand to get near the belt line. He really shouldn't be doing this at all.
"Good enough?" Keith said as he withdrew thinking it was all the boy was getting anyway. The contact was arousing the man more than he dared show.
Bradley shrugged, "I'm kinda hungry now," He mumbled.
"We could stop at the food court in the mall on the way home if you wanted" Keith suggested.
"Ok" Bradley responded.
As Keith headed for the door Bradley put his forehead against the man's shoulder. It wasn't a hug really but was still a gentle gesture. Keith wasn't sure if he was supposed to put his hand on the boy's back or not. It was over in an instant, Bradley was out in the hallway as Keith struggled with his indecision. He should have done something to return the gesture, it was after all the first time Bradley had done anything like that.
After buying the boy a burger and fries at the food court grease pit they wandered out along the mall. The boy stopped at a shoe store, looking at the runners displayed out front.
"I need new runners before school" Bradley noted, "I won't get these, the house will buy me shit ones"
"I suppose all the cool kids are wearing them" Keith replied.
"Yeah" Bradley replied softly.
"These are $160. Brad" Keith noted.
"Yeah I'll never have a pair like that," Bradley advised quietly.
Keith's generosity over rode his better judgement. He wanted to do something nice for him, it seemed the right thing do to.
When Keith dropped Bradley home with his expensive runners in a box, there was no hand extended for cash. As the car drove away Bradley waved as usual and mumbled quietly, "See ya sucker".