Three Roads Chapter 64: Blackout
"No!" Richard said pounding his fist on the table, "It's not right! You cannot cut funding for these groups. There is no reason too. Our student government is receiving the same amount of funds from the university that it received last year, plus we have the money we're not spending this year that goes into next year, there is no reason to cut money for these clubs, especially because these clubs are being specifically targeted."
"But these are the clubs that have the highest potential for raising money for themselves." Morris pointed out.
"Excuse my language, but that's bullshit. If that were true why aren't we cutting funding for athletics?"
"You know that's not going to happen," Morris said, "and plus Athletics brings a certain amount of prestige and honor to the university..."
"Is no one else upset about this?" Richard asked looking around at the other members who had mostly been quiet, "Half of our teams are barely competitive and they sure as hell ain't winning championships, so what prestige does that bring in?"
Lucas cleared his throat, "As much as I hate to admit it, he has a point. I'm all for cutting funding for the clubs that are more like social gatherings rather than doing anything important," Lucas said throwing a nasty smile in Richard's direction, "but it's obvious that most of the clubs are on the list for no other reason than they're not mainstream. All the religious clubs are on the chopping blocks, all the sports that don't really matter are up for it, even some of the service clubs are getting cut, how can this be, I really don't understand the reasoning behind this."
"I'm sure it slipped your mind," Richard mumbled sarcastically, "but the Queer Straight Alliance is also being looked at, as are some of the ethnic clubs."
"I'm sure it did."
"I'd like to hear from some of the members who actually have voting powers. No offense to you Richard or you Lucas, but as you know..."
"Because we weren't elected we don't have voting powers. I know." Richard said throwing his pencil on the table.
"So then I said why aren't we cutting the athletics programs then?"
"Oh...wait a minute there partner. There should be no cutting of athletics." Toby said.
"I don't necessarily think Athletics should be cut," Richard clarified, "I was just trying to turn their logic against them."
"You better be."
"And anyway you'd rather be able to play tennis than have a place for queers to feel safe on campus?"
"Why can't there be both?"
"Exactly! That's what I'm trying to say. But if you had to choose to cut funding to one which would you choose?"
"It would never happen."
"Just answer the question, Toby."
"I don't know it would be hard."
"Wow, are you serious?"
"Why? I love tennis and you know how important I think it is to fight for gay rights, but that's a hard choice."
"I know. It's just fucking frustrating. Plus Morris pointed it out to both Lucas and I that we don't have voting power, so basically shut our traps."
"Don't they have like an open meeting or something so that student's can voice their opinions on the student government."
"Yeah, some politically correct bullshit where they supposedly invite the students cause it's their money. No one ever goes."
"It's never advertised," Toby said, "the only reason I know about it is because a professor mentioned it in our class. Why not try and get the word out? Maybe if more students showed up these cuts wouldn't be happening."
Richard was running the idea around in his head when a knock came at the front door.
"Shouldn't you ask who it is first?" Richard asked when Toby started to open the door.
"What for?" Toby paused.
"Your grandmother would slap you right now if she heard you say that."
"Well, she isn't here is she?" Toby grinned knowing it was true, "Jon, what's up?"
"Hi. Hey Richard. Is Eric here?"
"Uh yeah, I think he's taking a shower. Let me grab him for you."
"It hurts." Eric said closing his eyes tightly.
"If you can't take this you'll never be able to take my dick." Cooper said as he pushed in the dildo in a little more.
"You enjoyed saying that didn't you."
"I did a little."
"Jesus, I thought you said it would be easier to take more of it in water." Eric said.
"I thought it would be, but you're incredibly tight. What kind of gay man never sticks anything up his ass. Plus, you're the one who wants to do this, I'm fine being the bottom, I like riding your dick."
"I at least want to try it once. Can we stop? I'm not having any fun."
"Your dick looks hard...come in."
"No!" Eric yelled before dunking himself under the water.
"That was smooth." Toby said, "I could hear you guys talking through the door anyway. You still can't take that dildo?"
Eric emerged from under the water, slightly out of breath, "Why are you here and what do you mean still...how do you know...did you tell him?" Eric said looking at Cooper.
"I might have casually mentioned it."
"Casually?" Toby laughed, "You don't remember when that guy who was in line in front of us at the pizza place looked at you funny?"
"I hate you." Eric mumbled.
"Anyway, Jon's here to see you."
"What does he want?"
"I don't know, but he seemed pretty intense." Toby said exiting the bathroom.
"I guess I should go see what he wants." Eric said standing up.
"Not before I blow you."
"You can wait five minutes."
"You think I'm going to send you out there with a hard dick to talk to one of your ex boyfriends? Plus, watching you try to take the dildo was hot and I want a facial."
Eric tried to suppress the smile that appeared on his face, "You are a sick individual."
"That I am, now come here."
"Were you having sex?" Jon smirked when Eric finally emerged.
"No, we were...ok yeah we were messing around I can't think of a lie fast enough. What's up?"
"Why didn't you tell me your mom has cancer?"
That was the last thing Eric had expected him to say, "Uh, it's not something I plan on yelling from the hills."
"So I'm just some random stranger?"
"I need to make sure I'm hearing you correctly. You're mad because I didn't call to tell you my mom might be dying? You know, I might be upset about that."
"Eric, shut up, you're not hearing what I'm saying. I didn't know and I feel bad cause that makes me a shitty friend."
"It's not your fault."
"And you're right I am pissed off you didn't tell me that's a big deal. I thought we were close."
"We are. I didn't not tell you on purpose, to be honest I didn't even think about it."
"Well, don't ever let it happen again."
"I promise." Eric smiled.
"What are you doing now?"
"I need to read a chapter for one of my Psych classes."
"No, let's go eat, have you eaten?"
"I haven't. Me and Cooper were probably going to go get something to eat later."
"So what ditch him and we can go get something to eat."
"No, really. I want to hear all about your mother."
"The accent still gets to you doesn't it?"
"Not in the slightest," Eric lied, "Give me a sec."
Even though Cooper's door was closed, Eric walked right in. There hadn't been a discussion between the two of them, but they had been doing it more and more. They'd come to an unspoken, but mutual agreement that the other had 100% unrestricted access to the other's room.
"Why are you still naked?" Eric asked closing the door behind him.
"Cause I don't feel like getting dressed. You should get naked again and we can take a nap."
"Jon's still here. He sort of wants to go out and grab something to eat."
"I thought we were going to eat later."
"I know, but I feel bad. He found out about my mom and he wants to know what's going on so..."
"You already told him yes?"
"I did, sorry." Eric said.
"You bastard! Fine just don't eat dessert ok? We can go get something later."
"Alright, I promise."
"So," Jon began after they were sitting down with their food, "how is she?"
"It's ovarian cancer isn't it?"
"Goodness, ok so Tim said she'd had chemo, how was that?"
"She said it was fine. She felt a little dizzy, but she said it's ok."
"Does she have to have it again?"
"She's meeting with her doctor in a day or two and he's supposed to give her a more realistic idea of what to expect."
"What do you mean?"
"I guess to see how far the cancer's advanced. I don't really know."
"Are you serious?"
"Yeah, I mean, I don't know, I guess they think it's possible that the chemo won't get all the cancer or something."
"No, I meant why don't you know what she's having tests for?"
"I'm not always able to go with her because of school and sometimes she doesn't want me to go and I don't know sometimes I think she doesn't tell me everything."
"But she's your mother."
"Are you trying to make me feel like a horrible person or something?"
"No, you know I'm not trying to do that, I'm just surprised that you don't know what's going on with her. If that were my mom I`d be at every appointment, asking the doctors questions..."
"You live thousands of miles from your mother and I'm not a doctor you know, I'm a psychology major, I don't know what all the different cancers mean, what all the different tests are called."
"Then you should find out Eric, you really should know."
Eric stood up hastily, "I'm leaving. I don't need this from you. Thanks for making me feel even worse about my mother."
"Jon!" Cooper yelled when he spotted him from across campus the following day.
"I don't know what the fuck your problem is but generally when someone's mom has cancer you shouldn't be an asshole and upset them."
"You don't know what we talked about."
"I do know. He came home upset because you don't know the difference between being a friend and being a jerk. If you can't be helpful then don't talk to him at all."
"I can and will talk to who I want when I want including your boyfriend and he's a big boy, if he's upset with me we'll work it out, we don't need you trying to be the knight in shining armor."
"You're such a dick. Always trying to be the sarcastic English guy. Dispensing advice sounding like you're an asshole, but claiming to be doing it out of tough love. You know that got old after like the first few months."
Jon shrugged, "It's better than being the guy who pretends to be the practical joker to hide his insecurities."
Cooper thought about turning around to keep himself from doing something he'd regret, but when he realized he really didn't care, he shoved Jon as hard as he could. Jon fell awkwardly on the ground, obviously surprised by what had just happened. Cooper heard gasps from behind him as well as footsteps running toward him, but he didn't care. He was hoping Jon would get up. Jon did get up a few seconds later with the intention of knocking Cooper on his ass with his fist. He charged toward him, but Toby got there just in time with Brian a few steps behind to separate the two.
"I'm fine I'm fine." Cooper said putting his hands up.
"Let's go for a walk anyway." Toby said pushing Cooper in the direction away from Jon and Brian. He looked back to make sure Brian had Jon under control and was glad to see Brian leading Jon away in the opposite direction.
"Dude, are you ok?" Toby said still holding onto Cooper's arm.
"I'm fine. You know you almost got punched back there."
"And you almost got arrested for battery. You have to be out of your mind for starting a fight on campus. Do you want to get expelled?"
"I wasn't starting a fight."
"Don't lie, I saw you push him. Me and Brian saw things were a little heated and watched and as soon as you pushed him we ran."
"It felt so fuckin good. I've been wanting to do something like that for two years."
"I'm taking you home."
"Thanks, but I'm good."
"No, you need to go home. Clear your head, think of a way to fess up to Eric, but you need to get off campus. I can't be your bodyguard all day."
"I'll walk. It'll give me a chance to clear my head."
"You promise to leave campus?"
"I promise. I'm seriously alright. The can of whoop ass is back on the shelf."
"Good. I'll see you at home."
"I want to make sure it's understood that this is not a personal matter or simply because I don't like Dr. Brown, but this is about accountability. We need to make it clear that we want all of our students accounted for. His job is to fight for all students, not those who agree with his ideology or moral principles."
Dr. Taylor looked around to the twelve professors that would go back to their peers and hopefully influence them to agree to support a no confidence vote against the President.
"Well, I'm done," she said clapping her hands together nervously, "I hope that if you any of you or your peers should have any questions you don't hesitate to contact me."
There were some nods, but mostly blank stares before the professors began to leave.
"Usually, I can tell these things, but I'm not sure what to take from that." Dr. Taylor said when Dr. Zamora came up to greet her.
"We'll all surely talk about in the coming days."
"And you'll of course let me know?"
"Of course." Dr. Zamora smiled.
Dr. Taylor turned around to watch him leave. In the small crowd, she easily spotted Richard making his way toward her, "What brings you here?"
"Did you know they plan on taking away funding from some of the groups on campus."
She nodded, "So the budget is being approved for next year?"
"Yep. They're already raising our tuition and cutting classes at the same time. I've never understood that. You'd think they only needed to do one or that other."
"Sadly, it looks like education is taking a back seat."
"To what though?"
"That information I'm not privy too, we're dealing with it over at the Health Center too. We might have to cut some of the programs unless we get someone to give a large donation like we have with the Pride Center."
"Soon we'll be coming to school just to attend classes and nothing else."
"Except most people won't be able to afford the increases if they keep going up. It's even happening at the community college level. Education is becoming more and more inaccessible."
"Which is why I'm here. I really want a lot of students to show up to the budget meeting next week. Do you think the Health Center would let us hang fliers inside all of the offices the doctors use so students can see them?"
"Normally no, but if I put in a good word they'll probably make an exception."
Richard unzipped his backpack and handed Dr. Taylor twenty fliers, "Hopefully it helps."
"Cooper!" Eric called as he walked into the house.
"You're still in your clothes."
"You said you left class early today because you didn't feel well, so I just assumed you'd be relaxing. I bought you soup." Eric smiled.
"Oh, yeah about that, look I'm just gonna come out with it so you can be mad at me and we can get it over with."
"The sad thing is so many different things flooded my brain at once. What did you do?" Eric smiled thinking it would be something minor and slightly annoying that he'd easily get over.
"I sort of got in a fight with Jon."
"Ok, so I did."
"What kind of fight?"
"An argument and then I pushed him and he fell over."
"He got up and was going to hit me, but then Toby and Brian stepped in and..."
"This happened at school?"
"Is this a joke? This doesn't make any sense, what would you guys be fighting over?"
"You were so upset last night about what he said about your mother that I just told him that if he wasn't going to be helpful he should stay away from you."
"Oh yeah I'm sure you said it just like that."
"There was probably a curse word or two in there."
"And you pushed him?"
"You know how he gets, he was being a smartass and being a jerk..."
"He was saying bad things about me?"
"No, just like to me about the situation."
"Oh, I get it, so you weren't defending me, you were just protecting your ego. How dare someone upset your boyfriend right?"
"I didn't go there to purposely fight him, I just wanted to tell him you're going through a hard time..."
"You're such a liar! You have this protective he's mine thing with me and it's getting old. You've never liked Jon because I dated him first as if he took something that belonged to you. When we almost got into that fight at the debate you got all alpha male and acted like World War three was about to break out."
"You said that made you horny."
"I'm not finished! You were all worried about me going out for my birthday and you kept telling Toby to watch out for me, because we all know that if you couldn't be there to protect me, we need someone else big and strong right? And now you're starting fights over me? This isn't about me, it's about your own insecure ego."
"You are sorry. Now I'm going to go find Jon, enjoy your soup."
"I want to kick his ass," Jon seethed, "and I hate Toby and Brian too."
Tim rolled his eyes, "You don't hate Toby and Brian and you can't be kicking anyone's ass or you'll be arrested and then deported."
"He's lucky they showed up."
"It sounds like you were mean to Eric what did you expect?"
"I wasn't mean to Eric. I was just trying to give him a kick in the ass I guess. His mother could be dying and he's saying I don't know I guess to every question I asked."
"Well if he doesn't know..."
"But he should know. I've seen this happen before. Everybody needs to stop treating Eric like he's a three year old kid. His mother's sick. It sucks it really does and I feel for him, but pretending it's not a big deal, doesn't mean it isn't. If he doesn't know what happens after chemo or what tests she`s having done or when or if what she`s telling him is true, who else is supposed to know? I can't imagine what he's going through, but he has to step up and do what he can, or he'll regret it if she dies."
"Maybe you're right, but still you can't approach people the same way. Sometimes you can come off abrasive even when it's not your intention. Some people can handle it and some people can't. You have to learn to mix and match how you approach people. You might be saying the truth, but what's it matter if no one hears it cause you sounded like an asshole?"
"Do you think I'm an asshole?"
"I don't think you're an asshole."
"But there must be something wrong with me, if you didn't want to go out with me."
A knock at the door interrupted their conversation, "That's Eric," Tim said leaping off the bed, "he's probably going to ask why you're here, just say you begged me to let you come over."
"Why does it matter?"
"Because he got mad at me for us...doing whatever you would call what we were doing, just say you begged me...Eric, hi!"
"Oh, look who it is. Am I going to get a lecture for bothering your boyfriend?"
"No, and anyway it sounds like he's the one who bothered you."
Jon turned red, but recovered quickly, "he's lucky your friends showed up."
"Are you ok?"
"I'm fine. He pushes like a little bitch."
"Stop!" Eric yelled. Eric looked at Tim, "What's with all the testosterone and ego with these two? They're gay, it's not supposed to happen."
Tim laughed, "Are we from the same planet? The gay boys are the ones with the most testosterone. It just comes out differently. It's kinda hot actually."
"Really?" Jon smiled.
"No it isn't." Eric said, "I already voiced my unhappiness to Cooper and I'm apologizing on his behalf because he shouldn't have even said anything to you, but you're not innocent either. You like antagonizing him and reminding him that we dated first. Just let it go."
"I'll let it go."
"And promise there will be no retaliation."
"Even though he needs every square inch of his ass kicked, I promise. I'm a lover not a fighter anyway."
Tim started making vomiting sounds, "That was so cheesy."
"It was." Eric said, "If you're ok I'm going to go and continue to be mad at my boyfriend for a few hours before I forgive him."
"Good times." Tim said.
"Tell him I said hi." Jon smiled.
"Haha very funny."
"Oh, wow," Jack said coming in to the studio, "there's a lot of people here."
"I was just leaving." Eric said.
"So was Jon." Tim followed.
"Alrighty then." Jon grabbed his coat and waived Tim goodbye. He planned on giving Jack a quick smile, but Jack was staring at him, with the slightest hint of dislike on his face, so he decided a smile would be wasted.
"Did you see that?" Jon asked Eric once the door was closed.
"I did. He's probably jealous. I still think he crushes on Tim a little bit."
"By the way, what did you say to Tim about me and him dating?"
"You'd call it dating?"
"Whatever. He said you got mad at him, why?"
Eric shrugged, "There's just rules about that kind of stuff."
"Why did you never come to me and say anything?"
Eric smiled, "Honestly, because Tim's easier. You would have told me it was none of my business."
"Actually, I would have told you to go fuck yourself. It's none of your business."
"You don't think so?"
"Not even a little bit. So you really don't want me to pursue Tim?"
"You still want to pursue Tim?"
"You didn't answer the question."
"If you insisted, I'd learn to get over it." Eric said.
"Thank you." Jon said bringing Eric into a hug and kissing the top of his forehead, "I'm sorry about yesterday. I didn't mean to be a dick."
"I know. And I'll think about what you said."
"Why was he here?" Jack asked once the guests had gone from the apartment.
"Which one? There were two of them."
"I don't know his name. He used to be in your bed sometimes when I would come over, you know when you would tell me to go away."
"He was visiting and what's with the attitude?"
"Nothing." Jack said in a way that made it obvious there was definitely something.
"Ok then." Tim said rolling his eyes and having firmly decided to ignore Jack.
Jack retrieved his laptop from his backpack and signed on to the AIM messenger. He saw that Chris was online but away. Jack was disappointed but typed a quick message to him anyway.
JackAttack: just wanted 2 say hey.
GxOxAxTx: im here. Sup?
JackAttack: why r u pretending 2 b away
GxOxAxTx: so all the annoyin ass peeps I have on here leave me alone
JackAttack: lol nice, wat u doin?
GxOxAxTx: jerkin off
GxoXAxTx: I swear
JackAttack: Ill leave u alone
GxOxAxTx: no!!!!!! stay
GxOxAxTx: help me
GxOxAxTx: if u were here right now what would u do 2 me
JackAttack: tell u 2 pull ur pants up lol
GxOxAxTx: liar u would tell me 2 keep jerkin my 8 inch monster
GxOxAxTx: how big r u
JackAttack: never measured
GxOxAxTx: come over
GxOxAxTx: Ill measure 4 u
GxOxAxTx: and then suck it
JackAttack: im sure u would
GxOxAxTx: Ill deep throat that shit
GxOxAxTx: im reeeeeeeeeally horny
GxOxAxTx: r u
JackAttack: I am
GxOxAxTx: come over
Jack looked back at Tim who was mindlessly watching tv
JackAttack: I cant
GxOxAxTx: then help me
GxOxAxTx: what do u want 2 do 2 me
Jack figured he might as well play along. It was kind of fun and he couldn't deny that he was attracted to Chris, even if he wanted to hold off for Tim.
JackAttack: whatever u want me 2 do
GxOxAxTx: I like the sound of that
Richard exhaled, thankful that the week was over. He knew it was lame to still be on campus at 7 pm on a Friday night, but he had gotten way behind on looking over weekly reports and goals for the members of the student government. He turned off the light in his office and made sure the door was locked. He was surprised to see a light still on in Lucas' office. He was pretty sure that he had been the only one on the floor. Ordinarily, he would have walked right by Lucas' office without a second thought, but he felt the need to stop and talk to him.
He knocked on the door and could see the surprise in Lucas' face that there was someone still here.
"What you working on?"
"Why?" Lucas said sharply, "checking up on me?"
"No, it's just I've never seen you here this late. It must be important."
"The budget meeting is next week and if it's the same as it is every year, no one will show up. I know my guys will since I gave them a heads up about the cuts that are probably coming, so I'm doing a little extra publicity. Once I'm done I'm gonna hang up fliers..."
"You're still gonna do that tonight?"
"Yes, it's important. My club won't survive without the funding. Plus, I'm doing an ad that the school paper is gonna run. Hopefully, it'll carry some weight since I'm the spokesperson for the student body."
"If you want, I'll help you hang up those fliers." Richard offered.
Lucas reacted immediately, "No thanks."
"Lucas, we are sort of in the same boat here. The queer groups and programs, what few there are on campus, are being targeted too. It's strange, but we should be helping each other out. There's enough money for both our groups. Maybe we can get something going where both of our groups agree to fight for the other or..."
"First, I don't need your help. Second, we're not in the same boat. You're arguing on principle. The Queer Straight Alliance gets outside funding. You guys don't have to worry about paying for space or events, or renting equipment. We rely on what little funding the school gives us to do those things, it's barely enough as it is. And finally, there is no way my group would agree to support the QSA, nor do I want them to. And your group wouldn't support us."
"Where do you live? You know Christians get a bad rep all the time for being close minded and conservative, but gays are just the same just on the opposite side of the spectrum. Your group doesn't want us to exist anymore than we want theirs too. The difference is we don't feel the need to hide our beliefs and convictions, but the gays always resort to snide comments, making untrue accusations, just to devalue God. How many religious friends do you have Richard?"
Richard didn't bother answering the question, but instead walked away. He kicked himself for thinking that after everything he and Lucas could come to any sort of agreement, especially when he wasn't sure he bought his own argument.
Most of Saturday passed uneventfully, around five that afternoon, Eric and Cooper, having made up, were debating which movie to watch.
"Let's watch Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle." Cooper pleaded, "It's fuckin hilarious."
"I sort of want to watch like a good movie, you know what I mean? Let`s watch Traffic."
"Yes, you're a film snob."
"No, I'm not."
"You are! If it's not a period piece or have some British actor in it, you think it's low quality."
"That is so not true and what about you? If it's not some gross out movie, have male nudity in it, or isn't some sociological documentary, you think it's stupid."
"That's because most of the movies that don't fall in any of those categories suck balls."
"Let's paper rock scissors for it." Eric said.
Cooper danced around the living room a few seconds later after beating Eric's paper with his scissors.
"You look retarded just stick the damn DVD in."
"See, even Degrassi is happy for me. You wanted to watch Harold & Kumar too didn't you honey?"
"No, she's wondering why an idiot is her owner."
"Seriously, we can watch something else if you want."
"No, it's fine. It just better be funny."
"It is," Cooper said pressing play and snuggling up with Eric, "It's one of my favorite movies."
Just as the opening credits began to roll, the television suddenly shut off.
"Get off the remote fat ass." Cooper said jokingly to his boyfriend.
"It's not me," Eric said sitting up, "The light went off in the kitchen too."
"Maybe our breaker just tripped. I'll go check. Where is the box with all the switches in it again?"
Eric was looking out of the window, "Don't bother. The neighbor's lights are out too."
"Cooper! What the fuck did you do?! Did you put butter in the microwave with the wrapper again?!" Toby yelled from his room
"No, slutface! It's a power outage!"
"Really?" Toby said coming from his room.
"Yeah, it looks like the whole neighborhood's out too." Eric said still peaking out of the window.
"Should we go and do our neighborly duty?" Cooper asked.
"What would that be?"
"Come on, you know when shit like this happens everyone goes outside of their house and mingles for a minute to share information."
Toby looked at Cooper strangely, "What information do we have that none of our neighbors do?"
"That's not the point. It's just what people do. You go, oh my God did your power go out too? My goodness, I wonder what happened."
Toby could hear his cell phone ringing in his room and he ran to retrieve it, "Hey Richard." he said once back in the living room, "yeah our powers out too...haha no Cooper didn't blow up the microwave again...yes this sucks...alright bye."
"Very funny bitch." Cooper said to Toby, sticking up his middle finger for good measure, "What should we do?"
"Pray to the Lord that this is temporary so I don't have to kill myself." Toby laughed.
"We should all go get our flashlights just in case," Eric said, "it's going to get dark real fast."
An hour later, the power still hadn't come on, but the three boys had lighted several candles around the house, so there was sufficient light.
Cooper huffed loudly, "Why does shit like this always happen to me? All I wanted to do was watch a classic movie with the love of my life and enjoy a nice quiet Saturday night in, but no. Why do the fates hate me?"
Toby and Eric exchanged annoyed glances, "We're only an hour into this and you're already wiggin out?" Toby asked him.
"You guys aren't bored?"
"I'm not saying I'm not, I just don't plan on losing my marbles...yet."
"Hello?" Cooper said into his cell phone.
"Joey, what's up?"
"Nothing, what's up with you."
There was silence on both ends for several seconds, before Cooper spoke again, "Bitch do not call me because you have nothing to do. I'm not here to entertain you!"
"I'm bored though," Joey whined, "Is your power still out?"
"Yes, it is."
"So is ours. Brian said power is out at the dorms too. This sucks! I want to watch porn."
"At six in the afternoon?" Cooper asked.
"Psh like you haven't."
"Don't you have porn on your computer, why can't you just watch it?"
"Because then it'll run down the battery in my laptop in like thirty minutes. There's no point in jerking off if I can't go for at least an hour."
"I hear ya brother. Life sucks."
"I know, plus what if an emergency happens and I need the remaining power?"
"What are you gonna do with it? You guys have wireless you can't get on anyway."
"Fuck!" Joey screamed into the phone.
"I'd like to have my hearing at the end of this phone call asshole."
"Fuck this shit, I'm coming over."
"Me too!" Cooper heard Richard yell in the background.
"That's cool, but we're not doing shit."
"So what. I'm sure you'll do something stupid that will at least give me a good laugh until the power comes on." Joey laughed.
"I hope as soon as you knock on my door the power comes back on."
"I'm gonna be mad if I drive all the way over there and then the power comes back on. It better stay off now since I'm getting my lazy ass out of bed. We'll be there in like fifteen."
"Joey and Richard are coming over." Cooper announced after hanging up his cell phone.
"For what?" Toby said irritably.
Cooper smiled, "Looks like someone is starting to crack."
"I'm not, just what the hell are they gonna do here that they can't do at their own place."
"We'll think of something...What the hell is that?"
Toby retrieved his cell phone, "It's the sound my cell makes whenever someone sends me a text message."
"It sounds like fuckin wind chimes."
"Uh, that's what is genius."
"How comes no one's called me?" Eric said, "no one likes me."
Cooper leaped off the couch, "I'm going outside to see if any of the neighbors know anything."
Toby waited until he heard the front door close behind Cooper before he spoke to Eric, "I know he's your boyfriend and all, but if we have to kill someone in order to have something to eat, I nominate him."
Eric laughed, "I know. Maybe we should play a game or something when Richard and Joey get here."
"Hold on," Toby said pointing to his cell phone vibrating, "Yes Bliss?"
"Power outages suck don't they."
"They do. We already have one over here losing his mind and it's only been like an hour."
"Let me guess, Cooper."
"Good guess. You're welcome to come over here if you want, everybody else is."
"No, it's ok. Melinda just got here and we're gonna drink, hope to pass out, and then pray the power's back on when we wake in the morning. But I called because it took Melinda forever to get here because she said there was a really terrible accident on the main street. She said she had to take a bunch of side streets to get here because there was a several car accident. It looks like that's the reason the power is out."
"Wow, that's crazy."
"Whoever that person is is probably dead or wishes they were." Melinda yelled in the background.
"Yeah, sounds like it. So yeah we're gonna get drunk. I'll talk to you later."
"Is Bliss coming over too?" Eric asked.
"No, she called to say that there was a bad accident, that's the reason the power is out."
"Oh my goodness."
"The fucking neighbors don't know anything," Cooper said slamming the front door, "Like nine people came up asking me is your power out too? No bitch, we're the only house on the block with power. So stupid!"
"Bliss called," Toby said, "Melinda saw a bad accident on the way to her house, that's probably why the power is out."
"My night is ruined cause some fucker can't stay in between the painted lines."
"Hey don't talk badly about the dead."
"I'm gonna call Tim and see if he's doing anything." Eric said, "he might as well come over too."
Forty five minutes later, with the power still out, almost everyone in their group of friends was at the house.
"I was actually having fun at the dorms you know," Brian said, "and then Joey shows up and says we're going to Cooper's house."
"You could have stayed there bitch." Joey said.
"I felt guilty that you drove all the way over there."
"Who has fun in the dorms?" Eric said.
Cooper nudged his shoulder, "You don't remember what power outages were like in the halls?" Everyone comes out of their rooms and the halls are just lined with people. It's always fun."
"Exactly." Brian said.
"I'm bored," Richard complained, "We should play strip twenty one again that was fun."
Joey nodded, "But only if Cooper agrees not to play. I don't even want the possibility of seeing him naked again."
"You mean you couldn't take seeing heaven so closely again." Cooper said.
"I don't want to be stripping or anything," Tim said, "let's play Monopoly or something."
"That would be so much fun!" Eric agreed, "I haven't played in forever."
"That's because you haven't been six in forever." Richard said.
Over the complaints of Richard and Joey a Monopoly game was started.
"Cooper should be the banker," Joey said, "since he's Asian."
Cooper smiled, "And I'm also gonna be the rider on the horse, since I'm hung like one."
Thirty minutes or so into the game Eric had to go to the bathroom, "I'll be back." he said running off and taking one of the flashlights with him.
Cooper waited until he heard the bathroom door close before grabbing a handful of $500 bills from the bank.
"What are you doing?" Brian asked.
"I'm giving you guys all an extra $500."
"Because Eric just left the game."
"So?" Tim said.
"I love him, but anyone stupid to leave in the middle of a Monopoly game deserves to be cheated. Take em fast boys before he comes back."
Tim shook his head, "That is wrong on so many levels Cooper."
"Dude, take the money. You've got like $300 and you barely own any property."
Tim heard the toilet flush and quickly grabbed the money.
"Alright," Eric said, "all better now. What did I miss?"
Over the next hour, one by one the boys decided that the Monopoly game had been a bad idea, but Cooper refused to let any of them stop playing. It was Toby that came up with the idea that they should all ban together and forgive debts and let people stay free in hotels, except for Cooper. Cheers were heard down the block when Cooper finally went bankrupt.
"You know," Cooper started when quiet had momentarily set over the group, "I hope that if I ever have to experience a drive by, I'm the target."
Toby threw a pillow cushion at him, "What the fuck are you talking about?"
"Whenever you hear on the news that there was a drive by, the target of the drive by never gets hit. It's always some random person standing outside or some little girl down the street."
"Do you ever say anything positive or nice?" Tim asked.
"I'm starting to wonder that too." Eric said.
The doorbell rang and everyone looked at each other to see who was going to get up and open the door.
Cooper reacted first, "I'll go it's probably one of the neighbors to ask if we have power."
"No, we don't have power." he said immediately when he yanked the door open.
"Is Tim here?"
"Oh yeah. Come in."
"Jack," Tim said standing up, "what are you doing here?"
"Can I talk to you somewhere privately? It's an emergency."
"You guys can use my room." Eric offered.
"Thanks." Tim said motioning for Jack to follow him.
"What's wrong?" Tim asked.
"Chris invited me over. There's no one at his house and he wants me to come over and have sex."
"He said that?"
"Well no, but it's obvious."
"I don't understand why you're telling me this."
"You don't care?"
"It's not that I don't care," Tim said, "It's that I've learned you're going to do whatever you set your mind too."
"So you do care, you just don't think you can stop me?"
"Yeah, that's a good way of thinking of it."
"Well you can stop me."
Tim had a really annoyed, but also confused look on his face, "Jack, I'm really confused. And there's no way I'm gonna know what your real motive is behind this conversation so can you just tell me so I can get back to my friends."
"Tim, I love you. Please tell me not to go over to Chris' house."
Tim could have the said his next statement on auto pilot, "Jack we've been through this. I don't feel that way about you."
"I don't believe you," Jack said aggressively, "These past months that we've been living together have been so great. We've been like a little family, just you and me and we've done it without arguing or hating each other. That should tell you all you need to know."
"Jack, I only let you stay there because I felt bad. Sure it worked out, but that probably because we had different schedules. I think it's probably time for you to move out anyway. I want to go back to living by myself. I miss being able to come home and doing whatever I want. You have friends now at school and who knows maybe things will work out with Chris and you'll get with him and forget about me."
Jack fell to his knees, "Tim! I don't believe you. All this time...we're a family. You can't kick me out."
"Jack get up. I`m not kicking you out, I`m just saying you should start thinking about it. Come on get up."
"Not until you tell me what I want to hear."
"What you need to hear is I could never be interested in you. You make things up and always have a motive for the things you do. You're immature, you're almost always too much to handle. I'm tired of this! Ever since I met you it's been one thing after another. I can't be your savior!"
Jack stood up quickly, glaring at Tim now, "I hate you! You'd rather lay up with that English guy then give me a chance," Jack said through the tears falling down his face, "I'll show you. You'll regret this so much." Jack ran out of the room and kept his pace through the house before slamming the door.
"That didn't go well." Joey said his eyes widening as he looked at his friends.
"What happened?" Eric asked when Tim rejoined the group.
"It's the same old same old with him. I'm so done."
"You've said that before." Toby reminded him.
"I mean it this time. He still thinks he's in love with me and when I told him for the millionth time no, now he's saying I'll regret it. You don't threaten people you love."
"Tim, you should get your locks changed then." Brian said worriedly.
Tim waved his hand dismissively, "I can handle him."
And just as soon as they all blinked, the lights came back on.
"Yes!!!!!!" Cooper yelled at the top of his lungs. He grabbed Eric's face and gave him a huge kiss. Brian and Tim gave each other a huge hug while they continued to cheer, Toby and Richard smiled at each other watching the commotion around them, "Cooper just kissed Eric." Richard said.
"Kiss me, for old time's sake."
Toby smiled and then leaned in for a quick kiss. Toby was then up and dancing around with Joey. Richard however stayed put savoring the quick, but satisfying kiss. His cell phone vibrating in his pocket brought him back to the current, "Hey shut up it's Bliss!"
"Your power's back on?"
"It is!" she screamed into the phone, "Are you with Joey?"
"And everyone else I'm at Toby's."
"Oh good, it'll save me from having to call them, come over I'm having a party."
"We just spent like four hours without internet, or computer, or television, a party is definitely needed."
Richard laughed, "I'm down. I'll tell everyone else. See you in a few. Hey! Party at Bliss' who's going?"
"I am!" Tim said quickly, "I need alcohol to forget about Jack."
Toby also raised his hand, "I'm in, but I need to change."
"You look fine." Richard said.
"No, I really need to change."
"Do you want to change before we go?" Eric asked his boyfriend.
Cooper was surprised, "You want to go?"
"Yeah, I've got all this pent up energy. I kind of want to go and have fun."
"Alright, you go. I'm gonna stay."
"No, you have to come!" Joey whined.
"You have to never make that voice again."
"Why don't you want to go?" Toby asked.
"Just not really in the mood. I wanted to spend a nice quiet evening in and then the power went out and you all came over, no offense, and I kinda just want to watch a movie in bed and call it a night."
"Come on don't be a little bitch," Toby said throwing another couch cushion at his friend, "get up and go."
"If you don't go then I'll stay." Eric said.
"No we should all go," Brian said, "It's more fun that way."
"I agree." Richard said.
"Yeah make your boyfriend go." Toby said pushing Eric playfully.
"And hurry the hell up before the good alcohol is taken." Tim said.
"How about if we just stay for an hour." Eric said.
Cooper sighed, "Eric, I really don't feel like going."
"Come on Cooper, just for an hour. I'll even drive so that after an hour we can leave. I swear."
"Fine. But I'm going like this."
"Good," Eric said giving him a kiss on the cheek, "then no one will try and steal you away from me."
"Hey hey!" Melinda yelled when the boys walked through the door. There were plastic cups lined up on a table that was places near the door. Melinda slid over several cups, "Drink up. It's beer there's other stuff in the kitchen."
"I'm going for the other stuff." Richard said.
Joey followed, "Me too."
"This is fine enough for me." Brian said, picking up a cup.
"You're gonna drink?" Eric asked surprised.
"I'm trying to be more spontaneous and try new things."
Eric went to reach for a cup, but he could feel Cooper staring at his back, "Do you mind?"
"Why would you ask me that?"
"If you're going to be mad at me then I won't do it, but I'll just have one. You can drive now, so if you're not comfortable you can drive home."
"Yeah, if you're gonna drink give me your keys now."
"Alright alright," Eric said handing over his keys, "You know I let you off the hook pretty easily about Jon, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't give me a hard time about this. It's only one cup."
"Ok." Cooper said trying to hide his anger. He walked off, to where he didn't know.
"Cooper didn't want to come." Joey was telling Bliss as he took a drink.
"Cooper Hwang!" Bliss yelled when she saw him enter the kitchen, "You did not want to come to my party?"
"It's nothing personal, I just sort of wanted a quiet night."
"You don't have a cup," Bliss said looking wildly around the kitchen, "someone get this man a cup!"
"Bliss I'm fine."
A guy walking by handed Joey a cup that he handed to Cooper with a smile on his face.
Cooper glared at him, "You know that even if I was drunk, I wouldn't fuck you again."
Cooper walked out of the kitchen holding the cup, hoping that he could find somewhere quiet, even if it meant hiding out in Bliss' room waiting for the hour to be up. He felt someone tap him on the shoulder and he turned around to see Tim, whose eyes went straight to the cup in Cooper's hand, "You're drinking?"
"No. Just holding the cup so people will leave me the fuck alone."
"People just ignore me so I don't need the prop."
"You're not drinking?"
"No," Tim sighed, "At first I wanted to, but I wasn't allowed to drink when I was on probation and I wasn't much of a big drinker before then anyway, plus with Jack being all I'm gonna get you back, I should probably have all my wits about me."
"I just don't get it." Cooper said looking around the room.
"It can be fun if you're around people you like. I love the small get togethers we have. Tonight was fun minus the whole power outage thing, but drinking isn't bad, it's just people don't know when to stop. Plus, not being allowed to drink so you don't go to jail is enough to give you proper perspective."
"Or having bad family experiences with it."
"Oh yeah," Tim said patting Cooper on the back affectionately, "I remember you mentioning that at the sleepover. I don't know it's hard. Most of them just haven't had anything bad happen to them, so their able to drink and get drunk freely. Sometimes I envy them. And I say that being fully aware that my difficulties in the last few years have been totally my own fault, but still."
"Damn, that's pretty deep."
"Yep, and I'm not even drunk."
"Was it still ok to come over?" Jack asked as soon as Chris opened the door.
"Of course, I was hoping you`d change your mind."
"I'm sure you were."
"Have you been crying?"
"No!" Jack said immediately, "I'm just having bad allergies so my eyes are all red."
"Do you want something to drink?"
"Yeah, what do you have?"
"Do you drink?"
"Alcohol? Not really," Jack admitted, "Plus, I'll have to drive home...or wherever tonight."
"You should stay here tonight, my roomie's not gonna be home."
"I know that you want us to...but I really just need to talk to someone, can we just talk?"
"Sure, we can talk," Chris said disappointedly, "I can tell those aren't red eyes from allergies. But first that something to drink, will soda do?"
"Yeah, that works."
"Go up to my room and make yourself comfortable and I'll grab us each a drink."
"Yeah, so I've applied to go back to school. It was time."
"Awesome," Cooper said as he and Tim sat with their backs against Bliss' bedroom door so no one could get in to bother them, "When will you find out?"
"It takes four to six weeks. And I'm sure mines gonna be an even bigger deal because of the break in but I feel good about it. Honestly, I'm not expecting to get in, but I know I want to go back, so even if I have to do it at a community college for a while or transfer elsewhere, I know it's the right thing to do. It feels great to think that I might have a real future again."
"I've been thinking a lot about my future too."
"Of course," Tim said, "you're about to graduate."
"No, I mean with Eric. Can I tell you something, but you have to swear not to tell anyone? Seriously."
"I'm going to ask Eric to marry me."
Tim's put his hand over his mouth, "Are you joking?"
"No. I've been saving up money for the last year almost, knowing that at some point we'd move out and get our own place, but I went to buy a ring a few days ago."
"That's so exciting! When are you gonna ask him?"
"I haven't decided yet. But I think graduation would be perfect. I imagine like a dinner with all of you guys, and his mom and Jamie, and my parents and sister, and everybody we love and care about there. It'd be perfect."
"Cooper, I think that would be wonderful."
"I'm hoping so. It's been over a year and a half and I still feel the same way about him. And I know he feels the same way about me."
"I think he does too. Wow, we're really growing up aren't we?"
Cooper nodded, "We are."
"Shall we go find our friends?"
They picked themselves up off the floor as they walked out into the hallway.
"It's so quiet, are they already passed out?" Tim joked. When they walked out into the living room, most everyone was still there, but everyone was staring expectantly at Bliss.
"Mmhmm," she said into the cell phone, "yeah. Ok, well thanks for calling me and keep me posted."
"Bliss, what happened?" Richard said not sure if he wanted to heat the news."
"The accident? Lucas was driving one of the cars. He's in surgery right now and probably won't make it."
"You don't ever feel like that?" Jack asked as he rubbed his eyes.
"That I want a guy I can't have?" Chris repeated.
"No, I've never felt that way."
"Oh, come on," Jack said laying down on the bed, "There has to have been at least one at some point."
"And why is that?" Jack yawned.
"Let's call it luck."
"I'm really tired all of a sudden."
"You've been doing a lot of crying it sounds like, you're emotionally drained just relax and go to sleep."
"It's ok for me to stay over?"
"You don't have a choice now."
"Nothing, just relax."
"Thank you for being so nice to me."
"No need to thank me," Chris said as he straddled Jack to make sure it was the drug taking over Jack's body and not because he was actually tired, "I'm about to take my reward."
"What are you doing?" Jack screamed. He wasn't sure if he just thought it very loudly or if he actually did scream it, but it didn't matter. Chris was still unbuckling his pants.
"I know you're probably scared," he whispered, "but I'm not doing anything you don't want. You let that guy keep you from doing this with me, so I'm helping you out. Stay awake if you can, it's gonna feel so good."
Jack tried to fight off Chris, but he felt like his hands were restrained. Chris started to give Jack's legs small kisses as he worked his way back up to his waist.
"Let's see what we've got here." Chris smiled as he slowly slid Jack's underwear off his body. He jerked Jack off until he was completely hard, "See, I'm taking care of you too, baby."
Jack tried his hardest to stay awake to will himself to find the strength to at least push Chris off of him. If he could do that, he knew he'd find the strength to get out of the house and scream for help. But he felt even more tired now and was finding it harder and harder to tell what was going on. Where was he? Who was he with? Was it Tim? Yes, he was with Tim! Tim was making love to him. And that was his last thought before he blacked-out.
Thank you for taking the time to read Chapter 64 of the story. There's only one more left before I take another hiatus. For those of you that don't know, it looks I'm relocating to Australia somewhat permanently. So the hiatus might be longer than normal, but once I have a definite date in mind, I will let all of you know. All comments, suggestions, and constructive criticisms can be e mailed firstname.lastname@example.org J