Hi there everyone. How's life? Sorry this took so long, but I have only minimal access to a computer. However, as you can see I have managed to get this finished and posted.
    Ok, here's the warning. If you are under the legal age, or it is just plain illegal for you to read this, don't. Wow, that's the shortest warning I've ever written.
    Now for the acknowledgments. To Jason, who is an incredibly cool friend. To Bruce, who is more than my wicked step-mother. To Divine, who is absolutely divine in every possible sense of the word. To Paq/Snafu, another cool friend!! To Chantel, the only girl I ever wished was a guy cause I liked her so much. To Matt, whom I will love forever: Thank you all for your love and encouragement, words cannot express how much you each mean to me.
    And finally to my dad. I love you, what more can I say? Thank you for loving me back, and thank you for supporting me, even if what I choose isn't what you think is best.
    Now, on with the story. Oh, and I would like very much to here from all of you. If you have anything to say to me about anything, meaning it doesn't have to have anything to do with the story if you don't want it too, please drop me a line at  Zippythebookworm@excite.com.


Chapter Three - Resolutions, Realizations and Revelations

Chris' POV

I just couldn't understand it. Adam and I had been sitting in a corner of the drama room working on our lists. I, rather surprisingly, had had a very enjoyable first day of school up till then. With this amazingly tanned God in all my classes, promising to take up quite a bit of my concentration, I should have been seriously worried about my usual 4.0 average, but at the moment I really didn't care. (Note from Author: Yes, brains and a fit body can coexist. I wish they were easier to get though.) I was much, much too busy staring at Adam to care. Too busy trying to figure him out, trying to see who he was, using nothing more than my eyes. And as far as I could tell, Adam was doing the same to me.

And that's when things got confusing. Near the end of the period Adam closed his eyes for a few minutes and when he opened them he was blushing slightly, making me instantly hard. I was too busy making sure no one could see my current state of embarrassment to wonder what could possibly be making him blush. Nor did I notice exactly what happened next, but when I looked back at Adam, his face had gone white and he was staring at his notebook as if it had sprouted a head and begun to recite poetry.

"What's wrong Adam?" I asked concerned, as I put a hand on his shoulder. Once I realized I was touching him I just about fainted.

My friend Amy always used to put her hand on my shoulder if she thought I was in trouble and I guess I kind of picked up the habit from her. I decided to leave my hand on his shoulder for two reasons. One, I liked touching him. I wouldn't deny it even if I could. The feel of strength and confidence just under the thin material of his shirt was as heady and intoxicating as any alcohol. And two, I had always felt comforted when Amy put her hand on my shoulder. It was like a physical reminder that I wasn't alone. I figured if it worked for me, maybe it would work for Adam as well. I must have misjudged it though, because when the bell rang a few seconds later he slammed his notebook shut, shoved it into his pack and, tearing out of my grasp as he stood up, made it all the way across the room and out the door before anyone else had finished getting up.

Quickly I closed my own notebook, and ran after Adam. I vaguely remember hearing Amanda call after me to wait up, but I ignored her. I wanted to know what had happened with Adam to make him take off like that.

I called out to him, but he ignored me and kept walking. I called again and this time he started running. I was too far behind, and in the middle of too many people to catch up to him. By the time I was able to extricate myself from the teeming masses of teenagers on the campus, Adam had already made it to his car and was continuing to ignore me as I called his name. By the time I got to his parking spot he had already made it halfway out of the lot, and was soon speeding off down the street. Away from the school and away from me.

I was a bit angry that he had just run away like that, but mostly I was confused. I didn't understand what had just happened. I didn't understand it at all.

Right then, in the grand spirit of bad timing, Amanda caught up to me. "Chris, why'd you take off like that?" she asked me, seeming genuinely perplexed.

Barely hearing her through my own thoughts, I mumbled a reply. "Actually that's what I wanted to ask Adam..."

"Huh?" She questioned, not having heard what I had said. "What?"

"Oh, nothing." I said, trying desperately to regain my composure. I hadn't realized how badly I'd been shaken up. "Just mumbling to myself." I finally said. It was really weird. I had become rather good at turning down dates and stuff from girls, while still managing to keep up a 'straight' reputation at my old school. Even though I didn't want everyone to know I was gay, the idea of lying to a girl just to help my own rep really turned me off. All the experience and tact I'd gained over the years seemed to have flown right out my ear though, because I could not think of a single thing to say to Amanda. Not one single thing.

"I, uh.. I gotta go. See ya tomorrow Amanda." I finally blurted out. 'Yea, great save Chris.'

"Oh, well ok, bye. See ya tomorrow stud." She said, turning and walking off.

I turned and started walking towards my car, which was only about three spaces down. It wasn't until I had the key in the door that Amanda's comment registered in my mind. "She called me stud!?" I said to myself. "Oh boy Chris, you've really gotten yourself into it this time."

Again I successfully avoided a speeding ticket - completely on accident, and this time made the trip between the school and my house in ten minutes. Maybe I'm just going too fast for the cops around here.

Once I got home I went up to my room and decided to finish unpacking my stuff. All the essentials - bed, desk, bookcase, etc., were already there, all I had left were the little things. You know, the posters, what-cha-ma-call-its and thing-a-ma-bobs that make a room unique. In this case the posters were of wizards and dragons and even a unicorn. Yes, I'm a fantasy nut, so sue me. The what-cha-ma-call-its were mostly a collection of glass and crystal figurines my parents had gotten for me on all their myriad business trips. Most of them were mythical creatures and fantastical wizards. My favorite, though, is the single music box in the shape of an hour-glass, given to me by Amy the day before I moved. It plays the song 'Camelot', which, while short, manages to encompass a whole range of emotions with it's simplistic melody, and light, almost crystalline chimes. Sorrowful and yet hopeful, loving and plaintive, and the slightest bit encouraging. The song still rests very close to my heart. The thing-a-ma-bobs were a few photos of some of my cousins and my few friends from Florida.

By now I had put my confusion aside and was once again excited about Adam. I decided I wanted to tell the one friend who I knew would understand the most. Lil'Bit. Well, that's not really his name, it's his screen name. His real name is Benjamin, or so he told me. And even if that's not true I wouldn't be mad,. I mean, I didn't tell him my real name. Well... not my real first name anyway. I told him my middle name. Why I told him my middle name I am still trying to figure out, but I did. And now that I've got you wondering what it is, I guess I'll tell you. It's Damian. Anyway, I met him about four years ago in some chat room, I think it was something about gay/curious-I really don't remember but I think that was the gist of it since I hadn't admitted even to myself that I really was gay. Ever since we met we've been friends.

We talk about all sorts of things, from our hobbies, to what we look for in guys, to who we though was the sexiest actor... everything. I think we even discussed politics once. Anyway, I wanted to tell him about Adam! I was just so excited about him, I could hardly hold it in. Had my parents been there I think I might even have told them. Ok, probably not them, but still, I was excited.

We've never actually met in person. In fact, until just recently we lived in different states. I say 'until recently' because we both just moved to California over the summer. We haven't yet told each other what cities we moved too, just which state. But since we never told each other what cities we were in before that's not really very surprising. Now that we live in the same state I really want to meet him some day. Not because I want to start a 'relationship' with him, necessarily, but because I think it would be cool to finally see the person who has been such a good friend to me. When I finally realized that I was gay and that there was no going back, he was the one I told. I think I kept him up all night telling him about my problems that night, and he just listened and helped. He was so cool.

This time I had something to tell him that wasn't horrible or depressing. It was exciting and wonderful!! The most beautiful and exciting person I had ever met was in all my classes, and unless I was terribly mistaken, wanted to be my friend almost as badly as I wanted to be his. Of course that business with him running out of drama earlier that day was still confusing, but he must have a reason.

It was all for naught though. Lil'Bit wasn't on. It wasn't surprising, given the fact that he had just moved, but it was still a bit disappointing. Oh well, no use whining over something I can't change.

I decided I ought to do what little homework I had, and pulled out my notebooks and my newly acquired text books. It had been a real pain in the... um... 'neck'.. having to cart them around all day, but since we had a block schedule Tuesdays through Fridays I would only need some of them for tomorrow. (We have all classes for regular period times on Monday's; 1st, 3rd and 5th for 90 minutes each on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 2nd, 4th, and 6th, on Thursdays and Fridays.) I left my computer running in case Lil'Bit came on while I was doing my homework, and then hit the books. I basically breezed through my homework, even the History. Ok, so I admit that there really wasn't all that much. Only Mrs. Fiddlemeyer and Mr. Treatner, the calculus teacher, had assigned any homework anyway. By the time I was done Lil'Bit still wasn't on, so I shut down my computer.

When I was finished I discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that it was already nine o'clock. Unpacking and decorating my room must have taken quite a bit longer than I thought. I really wasn't up for TV, and Lil'Bit wasn't on, so I decided to go to bed. I brushed my teeth and took care of all my toiletries, had a quick shower (I always shower before bed and after I get up... just one of those little quirks that makes me me I guess) and then climbed into bed wearing naught but a few goose bumps.

I lay on my stomach with my pillow between my head and my arm, my right hand resting on the pillow in front of my face. I've always been able to think best when I laid in this position, and right now I wanted to think about Adam. More specifically, I wanted to think about what it was that had me so enthralled with Adam. Oh sure, physically he's exactly what I want in a man. He's also very intelligent. But there was something else about him that made him attractive to me. When I first saw him earlier that day in Ms. Fiddlemeyer's class, I thought it was just the fact that he was unique, an individual in a classroom full of drones.

As I thought about it now though, I realized there was a sense of self awareness about him, a presence that seemed to scream: 'I know exactly who and what I am and I dare anyone to dispute it.' It was the type of self assurance I wanted. The belief in oneself, the self confidence, if you will, that gave you the courage to take the world by it's ears, look straight into it's eyes and say "I'm gay. Deal."

I'm sure that's not what he's saying with it, but it's exactly the type of no-nonsense attitude that would allow someone, namely me, to say precisely that.

Eventually, thinking of Adam and wishing he was more than a friend, I drifted off to sleep. The ghost of his handshake, mingling with the whisper of strength I had felt when I touched his shoulder, filled me with an aching desire. A want, so strong it was almost a need, to feel his arms around me and his chest pressed tightly against my own. A desire to be held safely in his arms, if only for an instant.

My limbs were strangely elongated and my movements distressingly slow. I was running on a beach and it seemed that my arms and legs were made of iron. They were thick and heavy, and they were dragging me down. Each step was an agony, each breath a shock of pain that threatened to overcome me. At first I didn't know why I was running, I simply knew that I must. Somehow I knew that to stop running was to face a horror worse even than death.

After I had been running for what seemed an eternity, the beach unending and my legs and arms growing heavier with each excruciating step, I heard a voice. It seemed oddly familiar, but at the same time it was infinitely alien and indescribably malicious. I couldn't understand what it was saying at first, it was too faint.

I ran.

I ran, and I ran, and I ran. And as I ran, the voice grew. I could hear now that it wasn't saying anything at all, it was just laughing. Laughing maniacally, madly, and oh so terribly. I put my hands over my ears as I ran but still, as though the sound were coming from my own mouth, I could hear it. And as it grew, so too did my fear, my certainty that if I stopped I would be destroyed. It laughed so long, and became so loud that I eventually began to wonder if there had ever been a time when I hadn't been able to hear it, and it was terrible.

It went on and on. I ran for what seemed hours, and still the laugh was there. Hours became days, became weeks, months and finally years, and still the laughter, the horrible mocking laughter continued.

Years became an eternity, and I was lost to the sound of it. In the instant before I gave up, in the very heartbeat wherein I would otherwise have quit, the laughter, for no reason I could guess, simply stopped - one minute my universe was defined by running away from an awful sound that seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere, the next minute it was as if the sound had never even existed. The shock of the sudden silence was almost as terrifying as the laughter had been. For so long it had been my only companion, the one thing that reminded me why I must continue on, when my very soul was aching to stop.

"Why are you running Chris?" When I heard the voice speak I almost wished it had never stopped laughing, I almost wished I had given up.

The voice was calm and collected. Almost human. But beneath that veneer of civility and politeness, it was utterly malicious. Totally devoid of all humanity, of all feelings other than hate and cruelty.

"Why are you running Chris?" It asked again. "What are you afraid of?" It seemed almost to mock me, as if it knew the answers already, and was simply taunting me with them. "Why are you running Chris?" It called a third time, "What do you have to hide?"

I asked myself, 'Why am I running? What am I afraid of? What could possibly be so absolutely terrible that I have to keep on running when every fiber of my being is screaming at me to stop? When my muscles feel like jelly, my lungs like liquid fire, and my heart like a rotten fruit about to explode, why even now do I feel I must press on?'

"What are you running from Chris!" This time the voice demanded an answer. "Tell me!! TELL ME NOW!!"

"I don't know!!!!" I screamed at the voice and realized it was true. I truly didn't know.

As my own voice echoed in the sudden silence I looked over my shoulder, the instincts of a hunted animal warning me that danger was near by. To my utter horror, walking as though he were taking a relaxing stroll along the beach, was Adam. He continued forward slowly, and although I tried to run faster, the gap between us remained the same.

With a conviction that left me speechless I suddenly knew one thing. I knew that if Adam caught me, he would find out what it was that I feared and he would tell the whole world. I still didn't know what I feared, but I knew with every surety of a mad man that if he caught me I would either die, or wish I had.

I tried again to speed up, but Adam simply laughed at me. The distance between us remained exactly the same, and Adam continued to laugh. He laughed maniacally, and terribly, and as he laughed I screamed in rage and finally in frustration, for I knew that eventually my tired body would fail me. Eventually my muscles would refuse to work and Adam would have me. And he would find my secrets, the ones I had hidden even from myself. And my life would be over...

Even if he never caught me, still he would haunt me. Forever he would taunt me, laugh at me and I could never be free of him.

And so I ran....

I awoke gasping for air, covered in sweat, my hair a damp mass, my sheets glued to my body. Twisting around as though I had been bitten by a snake, I threw the covers aside and sat up. Immediately I fell back moaning, stars exploding in my vision and my head spinning in my hands.

"My God..." I whispered in pain and confusion, holding my head and trying to focus my eyes. "How long....?"

How long had it been since I'd had that particular dream? With stars still dancing around the back of my eye lids it took me a moment to realize that the last time I'd had that dream was nearly four years ago. The night I talked to Lil'Bit and finally acknowledged that I was gay was the first night in weeks I hadn't been awakened by that nightmare, covered in sweat, my sheets sticking hotly to my skin as they were now. There was of course one major difference. In the dreams four years ago the laughing man had been too far away for me to see clearly. In this dream he had not only been much closer, he had also taken on the appearance of my new friend.

Once again I attempted to sit up, this time much slower. Carefully I raised my self off the bed, swung my feet out over the edge, and very slowly stood up. I glanced at the alarm clock on my night stand as I got up: 4:49. Well, I wasn't getting any more sleep tonight, especially with that dream still knocking about in my head. It was too early to get ready for school, but there was no way I was going to be able to get back to sleep, so I decided to take a jog. I tiredly dragged on a pair of black running pants, my watch, and a loose black T.

I was still waking up as I navigated through the dark house, and only barely avoided falling down the stairs. I paused for a minute in the kitchen to get a glass of water, and then headed for the front door. Once out to the sidewalk I started jogging.

Three steps later I nearly collapsed as a bolt of pain knifed it's way through my left thigh. Clutching my leg in a semi successful attempt to lessen the pain, I did my best to work the kink out of the muscle with my thumbs, and very slowly began to make progress.

Eventually the pain was reduced enough to allow me to stand up from my crouching position. I was uninterested in going back home, but also pretty sure I shouldn't try running just yet, so I started walking. Slowly. I could feel the soreness in my legs gradually begin to recede as I continued to walk, and I was eventually able to start jogging again.

As I jogged I wondered what my dream could mean. Four years ago the secret I had been running from had been that I was gay. As soon as I accepted that I was gay, and stopped fearing it, the dream went away. What did I fear now? That I was in love with Adam? No, too obvious, besides I didn't fear being in love. I had dreamed for years of falling in love with someone. Always before I had been able to stop myself though. Always before I had known that if the object of my desire were too find out... Of course! It wasn't love I feared, it was the inevitable rejection, the complete loss of Adam's friendship if he were ever to find out.

It wasn't until many moments later that I realized I had again stopped running, not because I was in pain this time, but because of the force of my realization. I had within me a terrible fear, a phobia even, of what might happen if Adam found out how I felt about him. I had already decided that I wanted him to be at least a friend. But what if, once I had that, I decided it wasn't enough? What if I accidentally revealed myself? He would hate me.

As I turned back towards my house and began jogging home, I decided that the only thing I could do was completely break off our friendship. That was it, it was the only thing I could think of. It would be easier to break it off now and know that Adam was angry at me for being a jerk than it would be to know that he hated me for being in love. Besides, what existed of our friendship had formed in less than a day, we hardly knew each other, no big deal. He could have anyone he wanted, why would he care about me?

The sun had come out as I jogged and the crisp, cool morning air was very invigorating. My mood was bleak and unhappy though. The sun may well have been hidden behind dark clouds for all I saw it, and the morning air suddenly felt foul in my lungs, as if it were the tepid fumes of a swamp. My whole life was likely going to be this way. A few fleeting heartbeats of excitement and happiness, overwhelmed moments later by the reality of how different I am, and always will be.

These thoughts had overtaken my mind by the time I reached my house, and I very dejectedly opened the door and went inside. I slowly climbed the stairs to the second floor, and stripped off my clothes and my watch as I made my way through my room and into the bathroom. Again my intention to take a quick shower was very thoroughly outmatched by my desire to stand under the soothing spray of hot water.

My mind was still a bleak and desolate landscape as I stood under the water. I knew I didn't want to feel this way, so I did the only thing I could think of. I turned my emotions off. I have done it often, always long enough for me to bury the negative, depressed emotions. I know it's not healthy, probably very dangerous in fact. But it's always been easier for me to bottle up my unwanted emotions, so that's what I did that day in the shower. I bottled them up, and I buried them so deep that even I would have had a hard time finding them.

Finally I pulled myself out of the shower, dried myself off, and stepped out of the bathroom to get dressed. Once again my attire consisted predominantly of black. Black turtleneck tucked into black pants. Black shoes over black socks. I decided to put on a white vest over the turtle neck today. The contrast between the dark clothing and the light vest seemed to stylize my mood that morning, a single bit of hope, completely outnumbered by the many bits of despair. Before leaving my room I remembered to put on my watch, and grab my pack with the books I would need that day, and then I left for school.

I sat down in the same seat I had been in yesterday and leaned back in my chair. I don't know if I can describe how I was feeling emotionally. I wasn't depressed or sad anymore, I had successfully buried those emotions. But I wasn't happy either. It was like I had no feeling at all, as though when I had buried my negative emotions, I had accidentally buried part of the positive ones too.

When Adam came through the door a few minutes later, looking as cute as it is humanly possible for a seventeen-year-old old to look, my earlier resolve to break off the friendship was completely and utterly shattered. Right then and there I realized there was no way I could deny this boy anything, least of all my friendship. I also realized that my emotions were back. And boy were they in overdrive. I was elated, terrified, confused, nervous, and happy all the same time. There were even a few emotions I still don't know how to describe, and I swear a part of me wanted to jump up and kiss him right there-and you could shove the consequences in a pigs ear. I couldn't understand why I was already head over heels in love with him. I had only met him the day before for Pete's sake! And I'm already thinking of kissing him in front of a whole classroom full of people I would have to put up with for the whole rest of the year. I mean really! Why is love so weird?

When he looked to the back of the room and saw me he paused for barely a second, his face registering both excitement and apprehension so briefly I wasn't sure if I had seen either. He started toward his seat, his face once again the seamless mask of beauty that he wears so well, but I could tell by his eyes that he was thinking of something that had absolutely nothing to do with how to sit down.

He set his pack on the floor as he took his seat, then placed both his hands on his desktop and stared at them. I was very curious as to what might be going on in his head to make him act so much like a little boy who had been caught in the middle of some extreme mischief, and was about to ask him what was wrong when he spoke. The picture of this God like teenager looking abashedely at his hands was incredibly incongruous. Of course it just made me like him more. Typical.

"Chris.." he said, rather hesitantly. He paused for a moment. I was beginning to wonder if he was going to continue when he looked up at me. Oh God his eyes are heavenly to look into." I want to apologize about yesterday." Again he paused, and again it was just as I was about to ask that he finally continued. "I was supposed to leave early to go to a doctors appointment with my mother, but I got so caught up in the assignment that I lost track of time. When I realized I was late I panicked, and ran. It was very, very rude of me and I apologize."

It's strange. Some part of me knew that his apology was too sincere. It was too much as though he had committed some awful crime, instead of just running out on some guy he had only just met. I didn't think I had any right to question him though. In fact I had already forgiven him in my mind.

"Oh it's ok" I said truthfully. I'm not about to hold anything against him, not when he's the only sane person I've yet met at this school. "I must admit I was a little curious as to what made you bolt like that, but if that's all it was, it's cool."

"Cool, thanks. Did you finish the homework for class?, I would like to go over it with you to make sure I got it right."

"Whoa, you're asking me for help in History?" I said. "I was about to ask you the same question, I really don't like history at all." I responded, pulling out the short worksheet Mrs. Fiddlemeyer had assigned as homework. Can you believe it? Homework on the first day - sheesh!

"Well lets check answers anyway," he said, happily laughing softly, "this one was pathetically easy, so it shouldn't be too hard even if you do hate history."

We went over the worksheet in about fifteen minutes (it really was pathetically easy, even I got them all right) and right as we were finishing up the bell rang. Today being a block schedule, I groaned inwardly. That bell was the starting signal for two whole hours of History/American Government.

"Ok people." Mrs. Fiddlemeyer said in a surprisingly loud voice. (I have since come to the conclusion that her shouting is a result of her short stature. In other words, she combats her inferiority complex-the cause being how short she is-by yelling.) "Get out your notebooks, I'm going to lecture." And so she lectured. For nearly an hour she lectured, and the entire class was hard put to keep up with her. Well, the entire class except Adam. He had some sort of weird short hand that allowed him to write a whole sentence in what appeared to be no more then four or five characters. I wouldn't be surprised if he had her down word for word. I, on the other had, was scrambling to keep up.

Finally she quite lecturing, and then gave us the homework assignment. Read chapter one and answer all the questions at the end of said chapter. Ok so that doesn't sound too bad, until you realize the chapters are nearly thirty pages long, and the questions take up almost two full pages all by themselves. And of course it's all due on Thursday. I can't wait to see what she want's us to do over the weekend.

I wanted to talk to Adam during the remaining half-hour, but all my attempts were met with wicked glares from Mrs. Fiddlemeyer, so I figured it would be easy enough to talk to him after class during break. I bided my time by attempting to struggle through chapter one and got about a fourth of the way through before the bell finally rang. Of course Adam, being the history guru, had skipped right back to the questions and already had them half done. He was just as quick as I was to pack up and start towards the door, and we walked out the door and down the hall together. The break between the first two classes on block days was fifteen minutes long, so most people went out the cafeteria to get a coffee or a snack or something. Adam and I decided to roam the halls chatting instead, since neither of us wanted anything from the cafeteria.

We were talking about whatever the conversation led to, and somehow it had gotten too religion.

"Personally," Adam was saying, "I think worshiping God or whoever is fine. My problem with religion is that they all seem to think they have to convert me or kill me. I wou-"

Adam was cut off in mid sentence by a very loud voice. "Well if it isn't the little fag boy." Adam and I both whirled around, looking for the speaker. I wasn't sure why Adam was looking so startled, but I was shocked that anyone could have figured me out already. No one was behind us. Whoever had spoken was nowhere to be seen.

"Please.." A distinctly different and very frightened voice said. Adam and I turned around once again, both of us realizing that the voices were coming from around the upcoming corner. Adam turned to me and signaled me to be quiet. I nodded and the two of us very quietly walked towards the bend in the hall.

"Please what, pansy boy?" Even his voice sounded like a sneer.

"Please.. just... just leave me alone. I didn't do anythi-" This time the second voice was cut off by a sharp slapping sound, followed by a muffled cry of shock and pain. Apparently 'sneer' had just hit 'pansy boy'.

By now Adam and I had reached the corner and both of us peered around it. The scene before us sickened and outraged me. At almost the complete other end of the hall, a tall, dark haired boy, probably a senior, or a very mature junior, was standing over a blond boy that hardly looked old enough to be in high school. The young boy didn't look a day over twelve, and he was cowering back against the wall, his hand pressed up against his cheek where the older boy had apparently slapped him.

Since the hall was completely empty their voices carried very well, but for some reason neither of them seemed to have noticed either of our voices. "Quiet pansy boy faggot!" The bigger boy sneered again. "I'll tell you what you did, you were born! We don't need or want gay fuckers in this school, and you'd be better off dead anyway! Everyone knows you pussy fags spread disease, and now I'm gonna make you pay." During his oration the larger boy had twisted his fist in the smaller boys shirt and lifted him up off the floor, holding him against the wall. He had his other hand balled into a fist and was pulling it back when Adam I both stepped into the hallway. The younger boy was looking at the other's fist in absolute terror, and neither of them noticed us.

"Would you like to pick a fight with someone your own size?" I said before Adam could get a word out.

Bully boy turned his head without dropping his victim, and sneered at us. "And just who the hell are the two of you?" He demanded. "And what business is it of yours if I beat the shit out of this little faggot?"

"Well the way I see it," Adam said, stepping forward, "it really doesn't matter if he's a fag or not. I always make a point of defending people from morons such as yourself. I don't know, I guess I just enjoy putting moronic brain dead idiots in their place." Had the situation been anything else I might have started laughing right then and there. As it was, bully boy took it as the intended insult and I could see his face reddening in anger. What a meat head!

"Fine." He said, roughly shoving the younger boy against the wall and letting him drop. Adam and I walked down the hallway towards him.

As we walked down the hall Adam whispered to me, "Chris, get around him and protect Goldie Locks over there. I don't want you getting hurt by this moron."

I was more amused by his comment than anything else and decided to let him continue thinking I was defenseless. I guess I must have neglected to mention the 13 years of martial arts.

"Ok" I said pretending total innocence. "But I really don't think you should go after that moron by yourself."

"Don't worry about me, I've dealt with worse than him before." All this passed between us quickly, and we fell silent as we continued toward meat head. He had dropped into a half-crouch and it was obvious to me he had some martial arts training. I put on a confused expression and was rewarded by a look of overconfidence on meat heads face. I had successfully tricked him into thinking I didn't know what his stance meant.

Obviously discounting me as a threat, meat head lunged at Adam. Adam, who was taken off guard, stepped back, giving me just enough room to step in front of him. I easily met and blocked meat's attack, and was rewarded by a delicious look of surprise on his face. "Got'cha." I said as I brought my knee up. By the time he noticed my knee it was far to late to block it, and he fell to the floor in front of me, winded, clutching at his stomach. I glanced back at Adam and gave him a little wink.

Adam, who was in a strange state of shock, just stared open-mouthed. First at me, then at meat head, and than back at me. I turned back around and walked towards the boy whom Adam had aptly named 'Goldie Locks'. He was still sitting in a crumpled heap on the floor and flinched when I stopped in front of him. As I knelt in front of him I could tell he was bracing himself for some sort of violence. It broke my heart that anyone could live in such terror.

I was struck slightly by the feeling that this boy was very familiar to me. I pushed the thought to the back of my mind though, and dismissed it as nonsense. Very gently I placed my finger under his chin. It was probably surprise at not being hit, instead of any compliance with my unspoken request that he lift his chin that caused him to jerk his head and stare straight into my eyes. Whatever it was though, I was totally unprepared for what happened next.

My heart jolted and my mind almost shut down completely when I saw him. NO, it couldn't be him!! "My God!!" I said in utter shock. " Jamie!?"

"CHRIS!!" He sobbed in surprise and apparent relief, jumping up into my arms and crying into my shoulder as he wrapped his own arms around my neck. "Oh Chris, thank God it's you!!"

As Jamie's small form clung to Chris, a pair of hate filled eyes watched from the end of the hallway. Behind those eyes brooded many thoughts, many plans. Oh yes, he had plans. These queers may have caught him off guard the first time, may even have landed a lucky blow, but it wouldn't happen again. No, it would never happen again. He would teach them. Soon, he would teach them all. And besides, they couldn't watch each other's backs all the time. Sooner or later on of them would be alone, and then they would see what it meant to cross him. Oh yes, they would most definitely see. Soon... very soon. They would all see.


End Chapter Three

    Ok, that's it. Now that I've made you wait far too long for it, I can only say I'm terribly surprised I was able to get it out at all. I'm also shocked at the turn it just took. This story is practically writing itself... True I have some ideas about where I want it to go, but I learned a long time ago not to try to force it-it gets all messed up if you do. Anyway, thanks for reading. Oh, and I apologize about the cliff-hanger, (kind of a wimpy cliff hanger though isn't it?) but I'm not sure what's going to happen next and I want to get this posted as soon as possible, and this seems like as good a place to pause as any.
    If you want to make any suggestions, or want to comment on the story, or just want to share your ramblings about life, please drop me a line at Zippythebookworm@excite.com Until next time, buh bye.