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`And he went forward a little,
and fell on the ground,
and prayed that, if it were possible,
the hour might pass from him.'
Michael knelt and prayed, hugging the porcelain bowl of the toilet with his eyes closed. He listened to his breathing slow and his heart stand down from red alert. Condition yellow, he thought with a grimace. Coming out on National Coming Out Day; HRC should give him a fucking medal. His stomach churned and he sucked in a deep breath, aching for respite. I'm so damn glad that I ate breakfast he told himself, annoyed. The eggs, bacon, biscuits, orange juice and coffee were all long gone, commingled with viscous bile and flushed away. What was I thinking? I should have known this would happen. Michael started to shake his head then stopped, feeling the queasy likelihood of a repeat performance. Enough of this, he thought, let's gets this show on the road. This Monday show. He wished he knew what the reviews were going to be. `Out at Northside', a drama in one terrifying act. Oh, God.
Michael's stomach lurched and he leaned over and heaved hard into the bowl, his hands shaking, but little came up. Jesus Christ, enough already.
Some tough guy, Michael told himself. How the hell am I gonna show Angel that I'm okay with things, okay with him, if I'm ralphing in the john all day? Some fucking great display of devotion from Angel's new boyfriend, his first boyfriend, Michael thought with a sigh. What if I puke on him or something? Michael thought of his football teammates; imagined himself sitting down with them at lunch, Angel at his side. He closed his eyes. He hoped Angel wasn't wearing anything too crazy today, maybe not too much makeup and maybe not any of those pants that were so tight they looked spray-painted onto his long legs.
Michael sighed. He really liked the tight jeans Angel wore, though. Hell, maybe it didn't matter what Angel looked like today. Michael thought he might hear more about the red and purple bloom on his neck than anything about Angel's appearance. Michael didn't own any turtlenecks so there had been no use looking through the closet but he'd looked anyway. He now wore a crisp pinstripe oxford dress shirt, khaki slacks and loafers. Preppy but maybe it would be easier to keep things under control. Gene always said that people respected clothes and would react to you based on attire without realizing it. If you want respect, you have to dress the part, Gene always told him.
Well, Gene would know. Michael couldn't imagine anyone hassling Gene they way they did Angel in his outfits and makeup. Whether there was more to it or not, Michael wasn't sure. He could only do what he could do; the rest was out of his hands. He thought again of the picture of the Mother of God over Angel's kitchen table and wished he really knew how to pray. Michael imagined himself walking down the hallways at school later today with Angel. He thought of Angel holding the can of mace, or whatever it was, last night and saying he was frightened. Frightened of Ryan Sellers. Who would probably be at school today, all two hundred and fifty hulking pounds of him.
I'll just be grateful if I don't piss my pants today. Leave me with some dignity, please God.
Michael pictured Angel in his mind, sitting beside him at his mother's table and smiling over a forkful of egg. Angel's shaggy hair rumpled, his pajamas wrinkled but his black eyes alive and happy as he met Michael's gaze. His dark skin had looked so smooth and inviting under the loose collar of the pajama top with those silly white cartoon cats on it. Michael had found it hard to concentrate on eating, hard not to reach for Angel, hard not to rip those pajamas off his body right there at the table. Right there in front of Angel's mother, Mary. Right under the framed religious picture on the wall beside the table. The Sacred Heart of Mary, they had told him when he'd asked while bent over and pulling out pans from a cabinet under the counter. The Virgin Mother had looked down from the frame, beatific and benign, one hand extended to them over the open wound of her heart. The image had stayed with Michael, more used to the sterile forms of his father's church.
Michael had never felt particularly religious. He and his father were Episcopalian and attended service once a month, if that. Angel had teased him about it this morning, with Mary attempting to shush him but unable to stop smiling. When Michael had admitted he had always loved the ceremony of Mass, Angel had laughed and told him that it was just Catholic-Lite, the pomp without the punch. Mary told him to be nice, that you don't insult other people's faith but Mike had been grinning. Angel had then invited him to go to church with them. Seeing the smile on Angel's face, Michael had accepted. He'd told his father about it when they'd talked this morning.
That talk had gone so well, it was scary. After a little hesitation, Joe had seemed to accept the news that Mike was gay and had a boyfriend. They'd even talked a little about his coming out at school. Joe had asked Michael to invite Angel and his mother over for dinner, had even offered to cook. When Michael made a face at that, Joe had laughed. They'd settled for getting some nice take-out if Angel accepted. Michael could picture it in his mind, all four seated around the table and talking the way the three of them had over breakfast. Michael smiled and stood up, going to the sink to clean up. Maybe there were advantages to being out; the family thing had possibilities.
Michael brushed his teeth and spat out the toothpaste, looking at himself in the mirror. His face looked pale but it was time to go, he was already late for school. He needed to find his Angel. Time to pay the piper, Michael thought, picking up the keys to the beamer.
Whatever happened today, it would be worth it now that he had an angel in his life.
`Get on up, test the air;
Don't you see the wind of change?
Wind of Change (Bee Gees, 1979)
Jaye burst through the debate room door, out of breath. Several debaters looked up from worktables. Marina, a tall, beautiful dark skinned girl leaned over a slender redheaded boy at the nearest table, both of them now watching Jaye. Two other boys bent over stacks of files at another long table. Low music played on a boombox in a corner of the spartan room. The two limp plastic plants were dustier than the last time Jaye had been in here. Voices came from the open door of Friedman's office just inside the room.
Scanning over the faces in the room quickly, Jaye moved to the doorway of the coach's office. Inside he could see Friedman motionless and listening while a short, sturdy boy with spiky bleach-blonde hair spoke angrily, his back to Jaye, both hands punctuating his words in the air. Behind them stood Gene Kuo, face impassive, hands folded across his chest. The blonde paused, breathing deep. The muscles in his back seemed tight and stressed under his black tee shirt. Jaye had never seen him before. The stranger was shaking his head now at Friedman.
"That's bullshit, Friedman, and you know it."
Jaye could see Gene's dark eyes on the other boy. Friedman's eyebrow raised but he said nothing. Is that where Gene gets it wondered Jaye?
"I've seen guys debate like this." The blonde said, tone sullen and back still tense.
Now Gene's eyebrow joined Friedman's as he looked hard at the other boy.
"Seen them debate or seen them win?" Gene asked, his tone sardonic.
"Fuck you, Gene, stay out of this." The spiky blonde said.
At that, Friedman spoke, his voice calm.
"Gene can't stay out of this, Matty, he's the one who has to debate this weekend with a member of Gun-n-Roses."
"Fuck you both then." The blonde said again.
"That's enough of that shit, Matty. Lose the stuff in your face before the weekend or go back home."
The boy, Matty, raised a finger to Gene, turned and shoved past Jaye in the doorway. Jaye saw that the shorter boy had several facial piercings in his lip, his nostril, and both eyebrows. He would have been cute, Jaye thought, if he didn't have a vicious scowl on his face. His blue eyes were sparking with anger as he pushed roughly by Jaye without seeing him.
His back against the open door of the office, Jaye looked at Gene anxiously after nodding once to Friedman.
Gene's eyes met Jaye's and took in his expression.
"What?" Gene asked Jaye, all business and reaching for a stack of folders on the desk.
"Angel..." Jaye stammered.
"Angel, what?" Gene prompted, looking down as he rifled through folder tabs.
Jaye swallowed hard.
Gene's head snapped up, his black eyes met Jaye's blue ones.
"Where?" Gene demanded, tossing the folders back onto the desk.
"Out front," Jaye stuttered, nervous, "in front of the drama building, Angel's alone with him, he's..."
But Gene was past Jaye and out the door.
`I thought I heard an angel cry...
I thought I saw a teardrop fall from his eye
I thought I saw an angel cry.'
Saint of Me (Rolling Stones, 1997)
Ryan leaned on the concrete column outside the front door of the Performing Arts building and lit a cigarette. This wasn't a smoking area but he really didn't give a fuck. He heard the last bell ring and glanced through the few students pushing out of the glass doors to walk across campus to class, backpacks held in hands or over shoulders, hurrying. A few others moved between the buildings in the distance. Nearer, the pond lay, its surface rippling in the light morning wind, white ruffling over dark blue as the water moved. Ducks walked along the edge, a few stepping daintily into the water with wide webbed toes.
Fucking stupid ducks. Last year, he'd tossed fishing hooks wrapped inside bread hunks into the water. Stupid ducks had eaten them. One died and the stupid school paper wrote it up like it mattered. A fucking obituary for a goddamn duck. One of the biology teachers even wrote an essay on the importance of caring for wildlife. Assholes. Ryan flicked his cigarette butt over onto the grass near the ducks. One waddled over to investigate, looking for food. Ryan watched to see if it might eat the burning cigarette. Fucking stupid ducks.
The glass door opened again and Ryan turned, still slouched against the column.
It was Angel de la Torres. Ryan smiled inwardly.
Angel looked up and stopped short when he saw the blonde quarterback.
Ryan's blue eyes raked over Angel's body. Angel wore tight jeans, boots and filmy black lace tee shirt over some kind of strappy white top like a girl would wear, his backpack slung over his shoulder. Angel's eyes were heavy with kohl and mascara, his lips and nails glossy. He met Ryan's eyes, his expression unreadable.
Ryan stood up and smiled at the smaller boy.
"Hello, Angel." Ryan said.
Angel didn't answer; his eyes steady on Ryan's face.
Ryan smiled. It wasn't a pretty sight.
"I was looking for you, Angel." Ryan told him.
Ryan snickered. "What, you aren't happy to hear that, honeybunch?"
Angel swallowed hard. He was trying so hard not to look away from the other boy, trying not to cry, not to just run. Angel was done with running but he was uncomfortably aware that they were alone. For all the size of Northside campus, everyone seemed to be in class right then and the silence was unnerving. The only sounds were the ducks beside the pond and his own heavy breathing. Angel thought of Trey and steeled himself not to show his fear. He was acutely conscious of being smaller than Ryan, a primal feeling of panic rose from deep in his bones. He willed himself to calm. Angel took a deep breath.
"I know what you did to Trey." Angel said in a low voice, clenching his hands to hide their trembling.
Ryan's eyes narrowed.
Angel snorted, feeling the tears in the back of his eyes, feeling the helpless fear and anger that he'd been containing for so long. He remembered clutching the pepper spray to his chest when Michael had tapped on his window in the storm last night. The image of Michael calmed him, slowed his racing heart. Michael standing in the rain and smiling that goofy gorgeous smile, Michael on his side as they lay across the patchwork quilt and touched each other, Michael under him this morning and calling Angel's name. Michael was nothing like Ryan. Ryan was crazy and he wasn't going to scare Angel anymore. Angel took a breath and spoke.
"Trey Hart, my friend Trey Hart. My friend Trey Hart who's in the hospital because of what you did to him."
Ryan almost smiled; his posture was no less relaxed. He shrugged.
"Yeah, well, I didn't get a name." Ryan said casually. He reached out and touched Angel's shoulder. Angel flinched. The big hand wrapped around Angel's upper arm.
"You think he won't tell the cops what you did?" Angel asked, incredulous. Ryan's grip was painful but he refused to show how nervous the touch made him. He forced his body to hold still against its urge to flee, it's primitive flight instinct. Ryan's hold tightened as he sneered at Angel, anger evident for the first time.
"You think I care? You think they'll believe some faggot over Judge Sellers' only son? Not fucking likely, Angel." Ryan said with contempt. "You think my friends won't say I was with them all night? Get a fucking clue."
Angel was shaking now but he couldn't help it. He thought of Trey at the party, happy, half-drunk and lying across Jaye's lap before they'd left. Angel had leaned down to kiss them both. Jaye had smiled; Trey had giggled and blushed. Trey was so awfully cute. Angel imagined Ryan hitting Trey and felt sick to his stomach.
"You're sick, Ryan. You're crazy and you're sick and you're gonna go to jail if I have anything to say about it. I don't give a shit about your dad, you're not gonna get away with it, this isn't like before." Angel said with more confidence than he felt at that moment. He squeezed his fists together, trying to still the tremors in his body. He wished Ryan would take his hand away.
Ryan moved closer to Angel and smiled down at him.
"Sounds like you been thinking about me, Angel." Ryan said in a low voice. "I'm so glad."
Angel closed his eyes. Ryan was too close, much too close.
Ryan moved closer. He was now right in front of Angel, his hand still on the smaller boy. Angel could feel Ryan's hot breath on his face.
"Don't..." Angel said in a voice just above a whisper, his eyes still shut. He couldn't believe this was happening at school, not fifty feet from the drama room. He felt Ryan's hand move down from his shoulder, running along Angel's arm to grasp his left hand in the football player's much larger right hand. Angel's heart was beating so hard it hurt in his chest. Michael! He thought helplessly. Why hadn't he let Michael come to school with him?
"I have something for you, Angel." Ryan said in a rough, mocking whisper.
Angel shuddered. He felt Ryan pull his left hand to the front and press it against his own crotch. Jesus Christ, he was hard Angel realized, terror shooting through him like a bolt of electricity. The worn denim of Ryan's jeans felt rough on his fingers.
"I know you like sucking cock, Angel, and I got a big one right here for you, baby." Ryan hissed, grinding himself into Angel's sweating palm.
Something snapped in Angel. `Baby' was what Michael had called him last night and this morning, whispering it softly into his ear. This was like a sick and backward reenactment of last night with Ryan some horrific nightmare lover pawing him. And me cowering in fear, letting him touch me, letting him make me touch him thought Angel in desperation. He heard the glass doors behind him slam open hard and hit the doorstops just as he gripped what Ryan offered him and dug in his fingers and squeezed, digging in his nails as he viciously twisted the thick flesh in Ryan's jeans. He heard Ryan's guttural shriek just as he heard Gene's deep, angry voice behind him.
"What the fuck is going here, Sellers?" Gene demanded in a dangerous voice.
Ryan pushed at Angel's hand, gasping, in agony and unable to defend himself, but Angel gave him another cruel wrench before letting go.
Ryan fell to his knees before Angel, retching and groaning, clutching his groin, eyes closed. Gene stood at Angel's shoulder with Jaye at his side. All three looked at the fallen quarterback at their feet.
"Just what the fuck were you trying to do, Sellers?" Gene asked, his angular face dark with fury.
Ryan, his hands still between his legs, looked up at them, his face twisted in pain.
"Fuck you, Kuo." Ryan spat out.
Angel didn't think, he just kicked hard, the toe of his boot hitting square into Ryan's hands over his crotch.
"Christ!" yelled Ryan, scuttling back from Angel's reach and leaning his hand to the ground to steady himself. He was panting hard when he looked up at the three of them.
Jaye laughed but the sound was mirthless.
"Looks like time for you to go to class, Ryan." Jaye said. Angel chuckled, his voice shaky. Hearing it, Gene put his arm around Angel and pulled him close without taking his eyes from Ryan.
Ryan pushed himself unsteadily to his feet and looked at them. His eyes darkened as he saw Angel in Gene's embrace. The look in Ryan's eyes would have dropped a bird in flight.
"Faggots." Ryan hissed, pain still visible in his contorted face and bent posture.
Gene's look was frost on ice. "You have five seconds to start walking, Sellers."
Ryan hesitated; Angel could see it in his eyes. Ryan studied the debater, gauging his choices.
Evidently, Ryan wasn't as stupid as he looked because he slowly turned to leave. Angel relaxed into Gene's arm, his body starting to shiver. He felt Jaye's lips on his cheek.
"Angel, are you okay?" Jaye asked in a strained voice. Angel nodded without looking at his friend.
Angel watched the massive blonde quarterback walk unsteadily across the concrete bridge that spanned the pond. Ryan turned to look at him just as Angel closed his eyes and leaned into Gene.
There was murder in Ryan Sellers's eyes.
Gene pulled Angel close and held him, his eyes distant. Jaye stroked Angel's back and kissed his neck.
"He's gone, Angel." Jaye murmured. Angel nodded against Gene's chest.
Gene pulled back slightly and lifted Angel's chin to examine his face. Gene looked so serious that Angel had to smile. He felt Jaye fluttering over him and their worry for him.
"I'm okay, guys." Angel said.
Gene raised an eyebrow and cocked his head.
Angel laughed and Jaye hugged him, wrapping his arms over Gene's and squeezing.
Gene released Angel and stepped back.
"Maybe you should come back in and sit down, Angel." Gene suggested.
Angel shook his head. "No, I can go to class." He saw their dubious expressions and smiled. "Really, I'd rather just go to class but...thanks. Both of you, thanks."
Gene continued studying him and finally sighed. "Okay, Angel." Gene hesitated. "Ah, Angel?"
Angel looked into Gene's black eyes. He looked so worried. Gene really is sweet sometimes. Angel raised up on his tiptoes to kiss Gene's cheek.
Gene's astonished look and blush made Jaye and Angel both laugh.
Gene's blush deepened.
"Yes, Gene?" Angel prompted.
Gene's face was flushed with embarrassment. "Nothing. Just...go to class, Angel."
Angel bit his lip and nodded, turning to hug Jaye tight before retrieving his backpack.
Angel walked towards the main building with Gene watching, Jaye at the debater's side. Ryan had disappeared into the P.E. Building across the pond; no one else in evidence until a form emerged from the far building to move in Angel's direction.
Gene tensed until he saw who it was.
Michael Morrison reached Angel and wrapped his arms around the slender boy. Even at this distance, Gene could see the joy in Michael's face at the sight of Angel. Gene felt a catch in his throat and swallowed hard.
Michael had never once touched him like that in public. Gene was surprised at how much seeing him with Angel hurt to watch. The backs of his eyes stung but he refused to let it show, staring ahead, gaze level. Michael was happy, some detached part of him observed. Gene remembered the symptoms. He felt Jaye's hand on his arm and started. He'd forgotten the other boy was there.
"Looks like they got together last night after all." Jaye said. "I wondered."
Surprised, Gene looked at Jaye. The handsome actor was frowning at the far couple, his blonde hair loose around his features and moving in the light wind. I'm not the only one this effects thought Gene. I'm not the only one who it hurts.
Jaye felt the debater's eyes on him and turned his dramatic blue eyes, emphasized with liner, onto Gene. They looked at each other for a long moment without speaking. The sound of the water rippling in the breeze and the chatter of ducks were low in the quiet. Finally, Jaye nodded.
"Yeah, well. I gotta go to class." Jaye said still watching Gene's face.
Gene's gaze didn't waver. Jaye sighed and pulled close to hug Gene quickly and leave before he could see the surprised expression on the debater's face.
And that was a good thing, Gene realized. There might very well be tears there. Gene turned back to watch his former lover; unable to stop himself, and saw Michael entwined around Angel as they both went to class in the far main building. Their hair shone together in the sun, light brown and longer black riffling in the light breeze, Angel's head resting easily on Michael's shoulder.
The pain in Gene's chest was incredible.
`Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.'
The Hollow Men (T.S. Eliot, 1925)
Matty flicked his ashes on the ground and studied Gene's face as they leaned against the wall outside the speech and drama building. Gene was smoking silently while he watched the ducks walk alongside the pond at the front of the structure. Gene had been a little vague today whenever the work lapsed, often gazing off into the distance for minutes before gradually returning to the conversation. It was starting to get on Matty's nerves.
He'd known Gene for years, debating against him at tournaments and sometimes with him during summer debate camps at various colleges. Last year, they'd roomed together at Harvard and partnered for most of the summer, making, to their own surprise as much as anyone's, an almost unbeatable combination.
So when Gene had told him that Kerri was moving across country and Matty had confessed that he was likely to be thrown out of his father's house if he didn't find somewhere else to live soon, it was natural that they'd talked about Matty coming to Northside and debating with Gene for their senior year. They'd finally agreed to give it a shot just before school started and Matty had finally gotten moved into Friedman's spare room over the weekend.
Matty had hoped to see Gene before Monday and had been a little resentful when Gene hadn't called. After all, he had just crossed the country to debate with the guy. They'd had a long talk before school this morning, though, and now Matty thought he understood. He wasn't happy but he did understand most of it.
The thing he didn't understand was Gene's fucking lovesick inability to get over the stupid football player he'd broken up with months ago. It pissed Matty off more than he could say when Gene told him they were still sleeping together. What an asshole was all Matty could think about Michael but he hadn't said that to Gene. Well, not those words exactly. He'd made damn sure his expression showed what he thought. Gene had ignored him. Well, Matty decided, maybe he'd just have to be more direct.
Matty knew Mike. The athlete had joined Gene a few times at tournaments last year, trying somewhat ineffectually to look interested while Gene dissected and destroyed his opponents' cases in that rapid-fire cross-x speaking style, machine-gunning down arguments with relentless precision in his deep baritone. Mike had fallen asleep in rounds on several occasions.
Matty had always liked to watch Gene debate, his gestures were elegant and his voice articulate despite the speed of his delivery. Gene managed to incorporate his oratory style right into the debate rounds, something few cross-x debaters were able to do with much success. Matty had admired Gene's skill long before he'd had a chance to debate alongside him at summer camps. Matty didn't know many debaters as good as he was and was secretly thrilled to have the famous Kuo for a partner in his last year of high school debate. Matty knew he was a liability in many ways right now despite his record and was grateful that Gene wanted him as badly as he did. Badly enough to arrange for him to live with their coach. Badly enough to give Matty a thirty minute lecture this morning on his, ah, new look.
Well, fuck this Matty had thought. Gene had been blunt.
"You expect to win rounds like that?" Gene had asked him by way of greeting this morning.
"Fuck you, Kuo." had been Matty's laconic response, unwilling to be nice after being ignored all weekend. To his surprise, Gene had smiled.
"Pass." Gene had said with an eyebrow raised.
Matty had chuckled despite his annoyance.
"That's what they all say at first, Gene." Matty had responded with a smirk.
"You just stay friendly with your right hand, Matty, and don't get your hopes up." Gene had advised, a smile playing around the corner of his mouth.
Matty had laughed.
"Dude, if I were any friendlier with my right hand, we'd be having a honeymoon in Vegas right now." Matty told him.
Gene held up a hand in a halt gesture. "T.M.I."
"Fuck, don't bring it up then." Matty had protested, amused.
But then Gene had told him about Michael. Oh, not willingly. It had been like pulling teeth from a chicken and almost as unproductive. Matty had heard about Angel de la Torres, too, and hadn't been too fucking impressed. He'd asked around some of the speech and drama people, too, and thought he had an idea what was going on. Angel couldn't keep his pants on and now Michael didn't want Gene anymore. Then something weird had happened this morning and Gene had rushed out. When he'd come back, Matty was sure he'd been crying.
And that fucking pissed Matty off even more than the bullshit Friedman, Marina and Kuo were giving him about his piercings. They had a point about that and he knew it but this crap with Angel and Mike just sounded like one screwed up motherfucking shitstorm had landed in the middle of Matty's brand new world. He had no intention of letting it ruin his life. He also had zero intention of letting that jock fuck with Genes' head, or his anything, anymore. He'd be damned if some puffed up football closet case was gonna ruin the best debater he'd ever met. He watched Gene's elegant features as he gazed unseeing over at the pond, the cigarette forgotten between his fingers.
Matty ground out his cigarette in the dead patch of grassy dirt then paused. Gene didn't blink, didn't seem to notice him. His slender body was against the wall, left hand in his pocket; one long leg cocked up with a loafer along the bottom edge, his right hand at his side with the abandoned Marlboro clasped in it. Gene's skin looked sallow; his eyes were tired. His top three buttons were undone and the collar lay crooked along his shoulder. Matty had an impulse to adjust it, to smooth Gene's rumpled hair, to right him somehow and then maybe slap some fucking sense into his friend. Anything to see Gene look normal again, act normal. This really sucked. Well, Matty thought to himself sourly, its not gonna fucking continue.
Matty walked back toward the building without seeing any sign his debate partner had noticed he was gone. He slammed through the doors and down the hall towards the bathrooms. A couple of punked-out theater types at the door to the drama room gave him a snarky look so he shot them the finger and kept going. Drama kids right next door, thought Matty, damn. This, all of this, was gonna take some goddam getting used to.
`Giving out a spark,
Across the room your eyes are glowing in the dark.'
Voulez-Vous (ABBA, 1978)
Just around the corner from class, Michael pulled Angel into the bathroom, a sly look on his face.
"What're you doing?" Angel asked but his eyes were sparkling.
Michael put a finger to his lips as he drew Angel into one of the empty stalls and locked the door.
Angel giggled again and wrapped his arms around Michael's neck.
"This is really, really naughty, Mike." Angel whispered.
Michael slid his hands down to cup Angel's backside and pull him close into a kiss.
"Uh-huh." Michael agreed; his lips locked onto Angel's mouth. Angel tasted like peppermint and the gloss was slightly sticky. For some reason, that reminded Michael of something else on his lips and he felt a responding throb in his groin. Angel felt wonderful against his body and he could smell the boy's cologne, a faint floral tang in his nostrils. He ran his hands across Angel's back, his rough fingertips catching in the scratchy lace shirt that Angel wore over a tight white tank. Michael pressed himself into Angel, feeling the other boy's arousal against his.
He sucked Angel's tongue deep into his mouth and felt the needy ache begin deep inside his body. Angel had seemed nervous, distracted when he'd found him and Michael thought he knew just the cure. Angel was breathing hard now and running his hands across Michael's back and downward, he was pushing himself into Michael and kissing wildly. Little low sounds were escaping from them both. Michael pulled back and, at Angel's pout of disappointment, pressed his finger again to his lips.
Angel's eyes widened as Michael sat down on the edge of the toilet seat and drew Angel closer, his hands behind Angel's denim-clad thighs. Michael unbuttoned his khakis to free himself before reaching for Angel, the glistening tip peaking out of the waistband of his boxers and lifting up between shirttails. Angel could hardly think, he was so turned on as he watched. Ryan's face flashed in his mind and he thrust that image away as he felt Michael's fingers fumbling with the zipper of his tight jeans. Jesus Christ, thought Angel and I was afraid Michael would act shy at school.
Michael groaned in frustration, unable to obtain the zipper's cooperation. Angel put his hands on Michael's and slid the metal tab down with difficulty over the bulge in his briefs. Michael looked up, his eyes shining, winked at Angel and put his hand inside the open fly.
Angel moaned softly as Michael massaged him with one hand, the other reaching between his own legs. Angel pressed into Michael's hand, feeling the cloth covering grow damp. Angel reached down and slipped his hands under the band to lift it over and off of him, scrunching the briefs down into the denim.
Michael's eyes never left Angel and, as soon as he was free of the fabric, Michael wrapped his hand around the shaft, causing them both to groan aloud.
Angel thrust into the fingers tight on him and put his hands out to both sides of the stall for balance. He watched Michael stroke himself as he leaned in to touch his tongue to Angel, lapping up fluid from the tip. Angel shivered and tried not to move his hips. The sight of Michael there, his lips so close, was driving him fast to the edge.
Michael looked up at Angel, his tongue stroking, winked and, without breaking eye contact, slid his mouth completely over Angel down to the root.
Angel cried out and clapped a hand over his mouth to stifle the sound. Angel's knees were locked and his mind blank as he watched Michael sliding on and off slowly, sucking him deep while stroking himself. Every nerve in Angel's body was on fire with all of it centered on Michael's lips and what he held there. Like a socket wiring him into powerful electrical jolts, Angel felt charges hitting him repeatedly as Michael's wet mouth pulled and caressed him. Angel groaned into his own hand as he felt himself grow close; Michael's cat green eyes on his as he worked.
"Michael." Angel hissed between fingers. Michael winked and took it all into his mouth, sucking hard. Oh, God.
Angel came in Michael's mouth, his black eyes finally closing as he lost all sense of where he was, lost all sense of everything except the exquisite rush that drew his insides out of his body and into Michael. Angel held tight to the sides of the stall as he thrust into that moist heat, his mind a fiery maelstrom and his heart pounding against his ribs. Some part of him heard Michael's groan, felt the vibration that sent aftershocks through him as Michael reached his own climax with Angel deep in his throat. Angel shuddered, his knees suddenly weak. Michael's mouth didn't release him right away and he felt himself softening inside. He looked down; Michael's eyes were closed. He put his hands in Michael's hair, stroking his fingers through the loose waves.
Michael opened his eyes finally and looked up, still holding Angel in his mouth, and those green eyes looked to Angel like glittering emeralds. He pushed lightly into Michael then pulled away, saliva glistening on skin as he freed himself. Angel leaned on the side of the stall, trying to regain control of his breathing, his hands tangled through his lover's hair. Michael smiled at him and kissed the softened organ before pulling back to stand up beside Angel. They kissed gently, arms wrapping around waists and bare flesh touching, igniting slightly at that contact.
Well, damn, thought Angel with a lazy grin. This was a hell of a lot more fun than class could possibly have been.
Michael kissed him again and then put his lips to Angel's ear.
"I love my boyfriend." Michael whispered, his breath tickling against Angel's skin and making him shiver.
"I love my boyfriend, too." Angel said softly into Michael's hair. He felt Michael's arms tighten around him as he spoke. Reluctantly, he pushed Michael away from him and gathered himself up and back into his damp briefs, zipping up his jeans. Michael smiled at him as he buttoned up his own pants.
"Guess what? Dad wants you and your mom to have dinner at our house tonight." Michael told him.
Angel raised his eyebrows.
Michael nodded. "Really. I told him about me, about us, and he wants to meet you both. Tonight."
Angel blushed and bit his lip.
"He's okay with it, okay with, yanno...with you...being gay and all?" Angel asked, searching Michael's face.
Michael nodded, grinning.
Angel laughed, bewildered.
"What, just like that?" Angel asked.
"Yep, just like that. Well, pretty much just like that." Michael told him. "He was, um, surprised, I guess but he's okay with it, I think."
"Wow." Angel said, thinking of his own father's very different reaction, then pushing that memory aside. He was not going to think about anything bad. For one little while, Angel told himself, he was just going to be happy. He hugged Michael to him and closed his eyes. For just one little while, please God, Angel thought. Please just let me be happy.
"So will you?" Michael asked, pulling back to look into Angel's face.
"Will I what?" Angel asked, distracted.
Michael rolled his eyes in mock annoyance. "Will you and your mom have dinner at our house tonight?"
Angel giggled and laid his head on Michael's shoulder.
"Well, I have to ask mom but its probably okay, Mike. I mean, I'd like to."
Michael nuzzled his hair as Angel continued.
"What's your dad like? Will he like me?" Angel asked.
"He'll love you, baby. He'll love you because I love you, he'll love you because you make me happy." Michael assured him.
Angel smiled into Michael's shoulder, feeling the crisp texture of the oxford shirt against his cheek and smelling Michael's after-shave. He knew they needed to leave the stall, knew that someone might come in but he was reluctant to disconnect from Michael even enough to walk at his side rather than wrapped around him like this. It was as if all rules were magically suspended for just these moments in this, the most unromantic of spaces. Angel sighed.
"I guess we need to go to class now." Angel said reluctantly.
Michael made an affirmative noise in his throat but slid his hands down to cup Angel's rear again. Angel made a little growling sound and nipped Michael's neck.
"Mike, if you don't take your hands off my ass, you're not gonna get out of this bathroom before the bell rings, I promise you." Angel warned.
Michael laughed and squeezed Angel in his hands before letting go.
"Okay, baby. Let's go join our class." Michael wiggled his eyebrows at Angel. "I've even got hall passes for us."
Angel snickered. "Seriously?"
Michael chuckled. "Damn right. I have this all planned out, baby, the only thing you have to do is trust me."
He smiled at Angel, his deep green eyes lit from within and the color darkening as Angel gazed into them, captured by the light inside those jewels. Angel caught his breath. Michael was so beautiful to him just now; it almost hurt to look.
Michael kissed him gently and reached for the lock on the stall door.
[End of Part 17]
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