THE GENITAL GYMNAST Copyright © 2005 by Jerry Leckie — A well-endowed high school athlete, who considers himself straight, has resigned himself to being appreciated only for his "equipment," when he suddenly finds himself falling into an unexpected relationship with a fellow jock.

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From Part Four, Chapter Twelve   Tears trickled down Randy's face and his breath came in ragged gasps as Joe turned to him. He smiled when he saw his lover's identical response. They came together for a tender kiss, and stood, embracing, until their bodies ceased trembling and their pulse rates returned to normal.

Randy moved them under the shower spray to rinse, and Joe smiled up at him. "Doctor Wade, I think I'm completely healed."

Their eyes feasted on the sight of the other as they toweled dry. After one more brief kiss, they unlocked the door and stepped out of the bath into the hospital room.

Mal Foxworth sat in a chair staring at them with an unreadable expression.


For a moment, the boys froze in place, naked statues, staring at the man. At length, Joe greeted his father in a small voice. "Hi Dad."

The man stood and nodded. "Son," he said quietly. He approached the boy and took him into an awkward embrace, cradling him in his arms like a small child. In a low uncertain voice, he said, "I haven't hugged you since you were a small boy, not since your mother died. But, I promise that from now on, I'll hug you every chance I get."
At length, he pulled back. Noticing the tears welling in Joe's eyes, he smoothed them away with his fingers.

Foxworth turned his attention to Randy and Joe introduced him. "Dad, this is Randy Wade, my boyfriend."

Randy shivered on the inside, but stood, muscles bulging, ready to defend himself if Mal Foxworth became violent. He quickly took stock of the man, with the keen instinct of a trained athlete, and came up short.

Foxworth was not what he expected. Mal was a man in his mid-forties, tall and thin, sinewy in fact, with prematurely gray hair. His face had the aspect of a feline, keen and severe, lined from years of passionate undertakings. And the eyes were deep set and dark, shining with unrelenting intent, analyzing everything that they beheld. They held passion, yes, but not contentment or happiness. The man was driven, but no, not to violence.

Randy said evenly, "I'm pleased to meet you Sir."

Foxworth met his gaze for a long moment, then responded, "Likewise, Young Man. I read Joe's article about you in the student newspaper, and Gordon and his family have spoken highly of you." The boys breathed a silent sigh of relief. "Now, I would like to talk to both of you." He gestured to their naked bodies. "Perhaps we would all feel more comfortable if you put on some clothes."

Pink hues rose in the boys' cheeks. Foxworth handed Joe a gym bag. "I brought you something to wear, Son. I thought you might prefer your own clothes to those awful hospital gowns."

Joe smiled affectionately at his father. "Thanks Dad. You're right."

Once dressed, the boys flopped on the couch and Foxworth sat in a chair facing them. His stern visage relaxed somewhat as he regarded the two young men. "I'm not going to preach to you boys; you're both eighteen and adults. I just want to tell you some things ... then, maybe we can understand each other better." He breathed a heavy sigh. "I've recently come to the conclusion that individuals are born gay, rather than a decision they make later in life. But, that doesn't mean that I have to like it." He saw the look in their eyes and hurried to add, "I don't object to who you love, but to the reaction of the society we live in to your being gay."

He looked lovingly at Joe. "Son, when your mother died, I knew that I would never find another to love as I did her. You were all I had left to love. I swore on her grave that I would raise you to be the finest man that I could. And, I haven't been disappointed." The expression on his face morphed into an uncharacteristic smile. "You are so much like her. You have her sweet nature, her intelligence, her drive and ambition, her high ideals. And, you have found someone with similar qualities, with whom--I hope--you share your life. I'm proud of you and I would have expected nothing less."

Joe and Randy sat, thunderstruck, as Foxworth continued. "I said I love you, and I do. I haven't been demonstrative with my love. I don't know why; it's just the way I am." He brushed a tear from the corner of his eye. "You've never been sick, always been self-sufficient and made good decisions. So, I've never had to be concerned for your safety ... until now." He gestured to the hospital room. "Now, this has come up ... and I'm scared shitless. In a few months, you'll be leaving home to go to college, and, probably, you will never come back to live with me. You will be away from my protection, and that frightens me."

The expression on his face suddenly turned hard. "I'm scared for you--for both of you--and I'm mad as hell at what has happened to you Joe. I swear on your mother's grave that the sons-of-bitches that did this to you will pay dearly."

The hair stood up on the backs of their necks when they heard the tone of his voice and saw the fierce look in his eyes. Randy quickly reassessed Foxworth's potential for violence. Joe quickly cast about for words that would mollify his father. "I'm sure the police are doing everything possible to catch the guys."

The wrinkles in Foxworth's face arranged themselves into an evil smile and he spoke with fierce conviction. "Oh, you bet they are, and so is the school. In fact, I just came from a special meeting of the school board. My attorney and I were the only item on the agenda. To make a long story short, I gave them a list of changes I wanted made until your case is closed, and, in addition, I gave them another list of permanent policy changes I wanted. They bridled at first, then I asked them how eager they were to avoid a multi-million dollar law suit--accompanied by a most unfavorable media blitz--for not providing adult supervision on campus until all students had departed. Not surprisingly, they agreed to all of my demands, which incidentally, will be in place beginning tomorrow morning."

Randy and Joe sat very still, not knowing how to respond to his words. Fortunately, Jack Wade chose that moment to enter. As he swept into the room, his perpetually cheerful mood did much to dispel the cloud of anger and resentment that Foxworth had created. He reintroduced himself to Mal and hugged the boys. They all chatted affably for a few minutes, then Jack suggested that Randy should head for home. Mal and Jack discretely stepped out into the hall to give Joe and Randy a moment to say good night. They used the moment of privacy to their advantage, and Randy reluctantly departed.

He was in bed by eleven o'clock and went to sleep with an uneasy feeling.

The next morning at school, Randy noticed Mal Foxworth's handiwork immediately. He had to show his  identification card to an armed security guard to enter the student parking lot. The situation became more interesting from there. When he parked, he saw hundreds of students milling around in front of the main building, all doors to the school being locked.
A guard handed him a printed flier, and he took a moment to read the thing. It stated that the faculty was in an emergency meeting and classes would begin an hour late. He roamed around for a few minutes, noticing TV remote trucks parked outside the front gate. Reporters were speaking breathlessly to cameras pointed at them, and, a Times reporter had buttonholed a harried looking administrator for a statement.

Then, he spied Tom, Billy, Isaac, Lynn and Cliff holding up a wall next to the parking lot and headed toward them. They greeted him with handshakes, smiles and pats on the shoulder.

Addressing them all, he said, "Thanks guys for your understanding."

Billy Davidson piped up, "No sweat Big Guy. Gay or straight, you've been our friend forever."

Randy added, "Oh, and thanks for sending the flowers to Joe. He really appreciated them."

Lynn Weston said, "Joe's one of the good guys. We felt bad about him being trashed."

Randy looked past the guys and noticed a boy strolling in their direction. He was a stranger, with a cute baby face, dressed in a baseball cap turned backward, a T-shirt that did nothing to hide his killer physique, baggy shorts and beat up sneakers. As he came closer, Randy recognized Detective Killian. He started to greet the man, but stopped when Killian frowned slightly. He decided to let the man make the first move.

Killian approached the group and extended his hand to Randy. "Hi. Bart Killian. I just transfered here." He then bumped fists with the other boys as they introduced themselves. "What the fuck's going on? I came here yesterday to register and everything was okay. Today, the place is in a friggin' lock down."

Tom Simmons responded, "A student, one of our buddies, was beaten up on campus day before yesterday."

Killian asked, "Robbery?"

Cliff said, "Naw, some assholes attacked him 'cause he's gay."

"Bummer," Killian said, "I thought that shit only went on in redneck country. I take it that the jerks weren't caught?" Everyone shook their heads. "No wonder this place is an armed camp then."

"Attention all students," the Principal said through a bullhorn, "You may now proceed to your home rooms for roll call. Proceed through the front entrance only. All other entrances to the school will remain locked for the time being."

As the boys joined the crowd pressing toward the front doors, Killian whispered to Randy, "I've arranged to be in a class with each of your friends today. I'll chat with them to see what I can find out. Let's meet at your house after school."

In his homeroom, Randy settled into a desk next to Stella. They noticed a rather large, muscular man sitting against the back wall. Stella remarked, "It's too warm for him to be wearing a jacket. You get three guesses what he's hiding under it and the first two don't count."

"I stand in awe of your uncle Mal," Randy murmured. "He's the fastest organizer I've ever seen. He met with the school board just over twelve hours ago to set all of this up." He looked back at the man. "I wonder if there's one of him in every classroom."

"I doubt it. He's probably here just to protect you. We'll find out for sure if he follows you around today."

The teacher arrived and called the roll without even glancing at the man in the back of the room. She dismissed them with an order to go to the auditorium for an assembly. Sure enough, the man followed and sat in the row behind them. Randy noticed Killian in the next row chatting with Isaac and Billy.

Randy was further amazed when the principal called the assembly to order and read a prepared statement apologizing on behalf of the school board for allowing the attack on Joe to take place, and offered counseling services to any student who felt the need for them. He assured the students of the school's full cooperation with the municipal police to track down, arrest and punish the attackers, beginning with a heightened level of security until the perpetrators were apprehended. To that end, the school would be closed to all outsiders until further notice, and students would not be allowed to leave the campus until after the last class. Finally, he outlined a new, comprehensive zero-tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind, physical or verbal. All faculty members would be attending special evening classes regarding the policy. Violators, be they faculty or student, would be forcibly expelled from the campus and referred to the police for prosecution.

Needless to say, the Principal's speech was the main topic of conversation for the day. Randy, Stella, Linda, Killian and the five guys shared a table at lunch. Randy introduced Stella to the guys as Joe's cousin. Eventually, everyone tired of talking about the Principal's announcements, and the conversation turned to chitchat. Randy was amused by the attention Billy and Tom were paying to Stella and Linda. If they only knew, he thought.

After the last class, Killian followed Randy home. To Randy's pleasant surprise, Joe met them at the door.  Randy greeted him with a passionate kiss and a bone-crushing embrace.
Killian introduced himself as his new persona, much to Joe's amusement. They retired to the kitchen for refreshments, where Bernice gave everyone a hug, including the startled Killian, after he was introduced to her.

As they settled around the table sipping their drinks and munching Bernice's homemade cookies, Randy asked why Joe's dad brought him here rather than to his own home. "For security." He grinned mischievously at his boyfriend. "You don't mind my being here do you?"

"Well duh!" Randy laughed. "You up to going to school tomorrow?"

"You bet, but Dad won't let me. He and the police have something up their sleeves."

Killian nodded his agreement and commented, "Randy, I didn't learn a damn thing talking to your schoolmates today, and our investigations haven't turned up any concrete clues or leads. So, the only thing left to do is try to flush the bastards out.
Tomorrow you should tell everyone you meet that Joe is out of the hospital. When word gets around that he's been released, if someone is still after him, they'll try to find him at his home, not here."

Bernice stuck her head in the door. "Randy, are you going to practice? I didn't sign an absence excuse for that." Randy nodded and Killian whipped out his police radio.

As Randy headed out the door, Killian said, "I've arranged for a guard to meet you in the parking lot. He'll stay with you and see you home. Oh, and I'm spending the night here."

Practice went smoothly in all respects. Randy was able to maintain his concentration during the exercises. He also was pleased that everyone on the team asked about Joe's condition and seemed relieved when he told them that he was out of the hospital. Furthermore, no one asked any embarrassing questions or made any rude comments. Actually, they all seemed genuinely concerned about their teammate. Afterward, the guard walked him back to his car and followed him home.

The physical strain of the night's practice and the emotional strain of the last two days had done a number on Randy.  At ten o'clock, he staggered through the front door to see the living room ablaze with light. His mother was seated at the piano, surrounded by Jack, Joe and Bart, singing a spirited rendition of "I Whistle a Happy Tune" from The King and I.

When they had finished, Joe asked his boyfriend, "Well, what do you think?"

In a mock pout, Randy whined, "Here I am out busting my butt at gymnastics and you guys are blithely heaping shame on Broadway. Rodgers and Hammerstein are probably spinning in their graves."

Joe turned to the others and said, "I think he liked it." Then, they gave him raspberries.

Smiling, Randy grabbed Joe around the neck and scrubbed his hair with his knuckles. Joe came away holding his nose. "Phew, you didn't stop by the showers on your way home."

"Just couldn't wait to get here to see you, Boyfriend."

Jack took Bernice's hand and said, "I think that's our cue to turn in for the night." They hugged all three boys and retreated to their suite.

In his room, Randy quickly finished his shower. The three were setting strategy for the next day, when the doorbell rang. Giving the others a quizzical look, Randy went to answer it, Bart following behind with his pistol drawn. "Don't turn on the hall light," he cautioned as he and Joe stood just out of sight.


Randy flipped on the porch light and cautiously opened the door. A nervous looking Isaac Matthews stood there. He was an unusually thin boy, but now looked particularly frail. The porch light cast a spectral glow on his long blond hair and cast dark shadows on his face, making his eyes look more sunken than they normally appeared. He shifted from one foot to the other and rubbed his bare arms as if he was chilled.

Randy smiled warmly. "Hi Isaac. Come in."

The boy hesitated for a moment and shook his head. "Thanks, but I can't stay. I ... I just wanted to warn you that someone blabbed ... somebody told." His arms hugged his body as if to keep his insides from falling out.

Randy frowned. "What do you mean," he asked gently, eying Isaac carefully.

Isaac looked around him to assure himself that they were alone. "They know ... somebody talked ... they know that you're gay ... I ... just wanted to warn you." He backed away. "I gotta go now ... but I just had to tell you." He took a couple of steps and turned. "Randy, be careful." And, he disappeared into the night.

"Think we should follow him?" Bart asked as they stared after the boy.

Randy shook his head. "Naw, he's headed straight for home. He only lives about four blocks away. He had to sneak out of the house to come here. That took a lot of guts, for him, knowing his old man."

They closed the door and returned to Randy's room. Joe asked, "How did word get out that you're gay?"

Randy shrugged. "It's like Isaac said, somebody blabbed. The only one's that knew were the guys, so any one of them could have mentioned it to anyone in school."

Joe made a face. "That sucks."

Bart chimed in, "Maybe not. We're hoping to flush the bastards out. We've got an armed officer at your house Joe, and I'm here." He patted the holster that held his weapon. "Now, they've got more than one place to surface."

He looked levelly at the boys. "The only part I don't like is the fact that as long as you remain here, you're live bait."

He activated his cell phone and called into headquarters. A few minutes later, he broke the connection. "The chief wants to move you two to a hotel. They're sending a black and white over for you in a little while. Why don't you guys pack a change of clothes?"

Randy frowned. "What about Mom and Dad?"

Bart smiled. "I discussed the situation with them earlier. They refused to leave. Your dad has a pistol and said he would stay up all night. Joe, your dad refused to leave his house too. You both have some brave and very loyal parents."

Randy sat on the bed, resting in Joe's arms, frowning thoughtfully. Bart mused, "Are you thinking about the conversation you just had with Isaac?" The boy nodded. "Me too. There was just something weird about the way he acted. When I spoke to him at school, he seemed shy, but not weird. What do you think?"

"Me and the guys have known him all his life, and he's always been a little strange, mainly because of his dad. His old man's a complete asshole. We used to go play at Isaac's house when we were little, and we'd see his dad smack him around and yell that he'd beat the Holy Spirit into him. He'd ask us if we were Christians and try to get us to pray with him. After a while, we stopped going and invited Isaac to our houses instead. I'd classify the guy as insane. Poor Isaac never had any love in his life except what we gave him. When he would sleep over here, he would cuddle up to me all night long."

Joe noticed tears in Randy's eyes and wiped them away. Then, he asked, "What about his mom?"

"Isaac never mentioned her. She must have left when he was very small. And I never knew of any other relatives that came around. Who would want to be around that guy?"

Bart had been deep in thought. He suddenly asked, "You said that his dad asked you if you were Christians."

Randy replied, "Yeah, he's a fuckin' fanatic, a Bible-thumping, fire and brimstone, hard-assed preacher. Full of hate, if you ask me. He runs a tiny little church next to his house -- and I mean runs it. He is the church." He snickered. "He calls it Blessed Faith Chapel. Me and the guys used to call it Brimstone-Fire Chapel. We used to go to services there every so often just so Isaac's dad would let him play with us. But, it got to be too much and we quit going, years ago. You can't imagine how much that guy can yell and scream."

Bart sat, drumming his fingers for a moment, then took out his note pad and began riffling through it. "Joe, think back about what you heard when you were fighting your attackers. Try to recall what they said."

Joe thought for a while, then his eye grew wide. "Someone called me the Antichrist, and said I had something to do with Sodom, and that I shouldn't drag Randy into the kingdom of Hades."

Bart was becoming more animated. "Those are scriptural references, something a very devout man would say," he mused. "Could Isaac's dad be the attacker?"

Randy's mind raced. "Reverend Matthews is stupid enough to do something like that, but he's a skinny little guy and there were two of 'em. Who would the second guy be?"

Bart submitted, "Isaac?"  He and Randy looked at Joe.

"One of 'em could have been a little guy, but not both. One of 'em was strong," Joe averred.

Randy mused, "Well, that lets Isaac off the hook. I can't believe it was him anyway. He wouldn't have come to warn me if it was him."

Bart thew up his hands. "Then who could the second guy be?"

Randy whipped out his cell phone and punched keys. "I'm calling Cliff." The connection was made. "Cliff ... I know it's late ... wake up and listen, this is important. Do you remember anyone that used to go to Reverend Matthew's church? Yeah, I know it was years ago. Did he have an assistant, anyone that he was close to? Okay, if you think of anyone, call me immediately. They could have been the ones that attacked Joe ... Yeah, I know it's too weird, but it could be. Okay. Bye." Randy grinned. "Well, he's wide awake now."

The doorbell sounded and the three moved to answer it, this time with Bart in front, pistol drawn. It was a uniformed officer sent to take the boys to a hotel. As they were preparing to leave, Bart's cell phone chimed.

He pressed a button on the instrument. "Killian ... yeah ... Bingo! ... What? ... Shit! ... Okay." He terminated the call. "Someone just tried to break into your house Joe. They exchanged gunfire with John Wilson, the officer on duty, and drove away, headed in this direction. John is pursuing, and your dad is following him." He picked up the gym bags the boys had packed. "We better get you guys out of here, fast."

Joe pointed to the East and yelled, "Holy shit! Look at that!" A dull red glow began to rise above the housetops, and thick black smoke ascended into the night sky. Sirens wailed in the distance, rapidly drawing near.

Randy leaped onto the porch, mouth agape. "Isaac! That's where Isaac lives!" And, ran down the front steps. Joe lurched down the steps after him, yelling Randy's name.

Bart screamed, "You guys get back here!" as they disappeared into the distance. He threw down the gym bags in disgust, yelling, "God damn it!" He shook his finger in the uniformed officer's face and growled, "You stay here, and shoot anyone that tries to get into this house that isn't in uniform or wearing a badge." With that, he raced across the street in the direction of the ominous red glow.

Rounding a corner, four blocks later, Bart was assaulted by the heat. It was the church, fully involved, sending flames and smoke hundreds of feet into the air. He was amazed that such a small building could produce such heat and smoke. As he moved closer, he saw the boys arguing with a fireman, trying to get past him to the house next door.

Bart ran up to them. Randy turned and grabbed frantically at his arm. "Bart, we've got to go in there. Isaac may be hurt. He's not out here."

"Did you see Reverend Matthews out here?" Randy shook his head. Bart turned to the fireman and produced his badge. "This is police business! We need to search that house, now!" Nodding his agreement, the fireman  permitted them to pass.

Acrid black smoke stung their eyes as they cautiously made their way up the front steps of the modest two-story dwelling. Bart drew his weapon.
Randy tried the front door and it gave way. Bart cautiously entered first. The interior was dark, lighted only by the roaring conflagration next door, sending shifting patterns of eerie red light through the windows. It was becoming difficult to see because the house was slowly filling with smoke.

Bart flipped a light switch, but the electricity wasn't working.
Randy brushed past him yelling Isaac's name. Coughing, eyes smarting, he rushed through the living room and dining room into the kitchen. He stopped short, turned back and fell to his hands and knees, retching horribly.

Joe ran into the room and knelt beside him. Bart peered over the boys and said, "Oh, sweet Jesus!"

Body parts littered the floor and blood streaked every surface of the room. A blood stained ax lay in the middle of a table set for a meal for two. Cooking pots simmered contentedly on the stove. Bart took a step into the room and noticed that the only recognizable body part was a head resting in a corner, next to the refrigerator.

He knelt beside Randy, who was breathing heavily. "Randy, is that ..."

Randy managed a quick second look into the kitchen as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "Yeah. That's Reverend Matthews. We've got to find Isaac."

Joe helped his boyfriend to his feet and they began to search the rest of the first floor. In minutes, they had gathered at the foot of the stairs, preparing to go to the second story. Bart's cell phone chimed. Officer Wilson reported that he had just arrived. He was a block away heading for the house on foot. He had lost the car he was pursuing in the maze of traffic and fire department vehicles. He had no idea where Mal Foxworth was. Bart told him they were searching the house next door to the burning church.

No sooner had Bart broken the connection, than Randy's phone beeped. "Hello. Yeah Cliff ... no shit! ... you sure? ... Thanks ... Yeah, I know the church is on fire; we're at Isaac's house now. I gotta go." He broke the connection and put away his phone. "He says he remembers that Ray Wideman was at every service we attended at the church."

Joe's eyes bugged. "Ray Wideman, the athletic director of the school?" he demanded, incredulous.

"Yes, the self-same," a voice boomed from the smoke and darkness at the end of the hall. They turned to see Wideman move slowly toward them. He was dressed in black and had a pistol in his hand and a cool hard look in his eyes.

"Don't reach for your weapon officer. Yes, I know who you are. I'm truly sorry that you're here. I would have preferred to dispatch these sons of Satan, these servants of the Antichrist, in private. Reverend Matthews and I didn't want to violate the holy scriptures by killing--we didn't have to kill the others--; but, now it will be justified," he waived his pistol in the direction of the burning church, "as I see that they have destroyed the house of God." He shrugged his shoulders slightly. "I will no doubt burn in Hell, along with these fiends, for killing you too officer; but, I don't mind, for I will still have many years to do more of God's work before I die."

There was a soft creak, a groan and the sound of shattering wood from the darkness above. Wideman looked up and screamed, firing a shot in the air as a six foot, fully loaded bookcase fell from the gallery above, crushing him to the floor. The three boys stood, staring at the scene in wonderment.

"Killian!" a voice screamed from outside.

"In here, John!" Bart yelled. "Holster your weapon! We're okay!"

Officer Wilson dashed through the door. "Bart! What the fuck happened? I heard a shot."

Bart gestured to the feet protruding from beneath the bookcase. "He got the drop on us, until that thing fell on him." As they stared at the scene, a large pool of blood began to spread around the bookcase.

Bart placed his hand on John's shoulder to steady himself and gave Randy and Joe a crooked grin. "Guys, that was too fuckin' close for comfort."

The stunning events in the house had almost sent them into shock. For a moment of blessed relief and comfort, Randy pulled them into a group hug. It was only then, in the aftermath, that they became aware of the roar of the fire, the hiss of water from the fire hoses, the distant sound of sirens, and the muffled shouts of men running to and fro outside.

A flash, a movement, something, caught Randy's eye, and he looked up.

"Isaac?" he addressed the smoky darkness at the top of the stairs.

To be continued

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