Losing To Win , Part III
"Who's Been Watching Who?"
By Joey E

Here we go again. Welcome to the fourth installment of Losing To Win, my new High School series. Thanks to all who have responded about the story. I do appreciate it. Thanks to John, Jay and Ryan. Special hello goes out to Will. This is a work of fiction. Copyrighted 2003. All Rights Reserved. No unauthorized duplication in any form is permitted. If you are under 18 (or 21 in some areas), then get out. If you are unable to handle high school kids learning about love and life then get out.

Jill and I had a wonderful dinner at the local diner. She filled me in on her weekend with the relatives, which she claimed was fun and boring at the same time. I knew she came from a big family. I had gone with her on occasion for Thanksgiving or Easter. They were quite a group of people.

But, for some reason, we didn't get all down and dirty. I personally was wiped out from all the events that took place this weekend. Blocking Josh out of my mind was working while I was with Jill. But toward the end of our evening together, I couldn't get him out of my mind. Jill apparently didn't notice, and I was thankful for that. I dropped her back off at her house, kissed her good night, and went back home. What a weekend.

Monday morning I did not feel like getting up. I actually turned off the alarm in my sleep and my Dad came in and had to wake me up, which is very rare. I threw on some sweats, put on my coat and did my morning routine on the paper route. I ran through the route, which only took me twenty minutes to do and headed back home. I was not in a good mood. I took a quick shower, ate, and quickly ran out the door to go to the car.

I was now on schedule, but I was still in a bad mood for some reason. Getting up in the morning late always throws me off. I picked up Joe on the way, as I usually did.

"Dude, you look like a mess," he said as he got in the car. "What happened?"

"Ah, I woke up fuckin' late. Shit, I hate when this happens!" I said, annoyed.

"Steve, calm down. You're on time now," Joe said, smiling.

"Yeah, well," I said as I put the car into drive and drove off to another day of fuckin' high school.

We were there in ten minutes. I parked in my usual spot and we both got out of the car.

"Well, good luck, Steve," he said. "With Josh, I mean."

"Ah, shut up," I said, laughing. Deep down inside, I didn't know what I wanted. I didn't know if not seeing him would be better than seeing him. I couldn't get the damn kid out of my head and it was driving me cuckoo.

We walked into school and headed to our lockers. Jill was there, looking fine as usual. I wrapped my arms around her and kissed her like I did every morning.

"Hey, babe," I said, smiling.

Just then, I noticed somewhat of a commotion behind me. I recognized one voice behind me, which was the voice of my teammate, Ben. I turned around and saw HIM.

"I'm sorry," I heard Josh faintly say to big Ben.

"You just fuckin' touched my ass," I heard Ben yell at Josh.

Josh looked over at me in desperation. I just stared at him. I couldn't do much else at the moment. He kept his eyes locked on me. I kept mine on him. I couldn't let anyone hurt this kid. He needed my protection.

Suddenly, I snapped out of it. I left Jill and walked over to the situation. Ben had now lifted up poor Josh by his t-shirt.

"Ben, put him down, bro," I said, calmly.

Ben looked at me like I was crazy. "Huh?" he asked, confused.

"Put him down," I said, flatly.

"But he grabbed my ass!"

"Put him down."

"Aw, what the fuck?" Ben asked, as he just released his grip, causing Josh to drop to the floor.

Then out of instinct, I extended my hand out to Josh to help him back up. Josh was still blown away by the whole thing and just looked up at me in a daze.

"Come on, bud," I said softly, grabbing onto his hand and pulling him up.

Ben walked away, shooting me strange look. I turned around to see who was watching me. Jill certainly was, but she looked happy that I was defending this poor kid. At least that went over well.

"Uh, thanks," Josh said, straightening his shirt.

I leaned over and muttered, "I told you I'd be there for you." I smiled nervously at him and walked back to my locker.

"Damn, Steve. Aren't you the big hero today?" she asked, laughing.

I smiled and shrugged my shoulders. "All in a days work!"

We went our separate ways after that as we usually did. It really sucked this year since our schedules didn't have anything in common. Though we were a year apart, we still saw each other in the hallways between classes. But this year, we didn't even do that.

Josh, on the other hand, was in a couple of my classes. Gym being one of them. English was another, and finally Physics. Sometimes it was rough being a jock with a brain. None of my teammates were in my classes. The day passed by slowly. Mondays were not my favorite day, sechdule-wise. I was also dreading the fact that I had Physics that afternoon.

So, seventh period rolled around and it was lunch time. I went to my usual table and sat with my usual friends. Joe and I sat down together, next to each other. I looked across to the next table and there was that red-headed kid, Josh. I nodded hello to him. He looked behind him and then realized I was nodding to him. I smiled over at him and nodded again. He cautiously nodded back.

"Go sit with him," Joe said, quietly.

I looked over at Joe as if he were losing his mind. "Are you fuckin' crazy?" I yelled out loud. "That would be the end of me."

"Since when do you give a shit about what people think of you?"

"This is different, dude. You go over and talk to him, then!"

"I have no reason to," he said, as he picked up the piece of pizza.

At the same time I did want to go over and talk to him, I didn't. I think I did a good job though, trying to protect him this morning. Just as I thought of that though, Ben and John came over. Ben was the one who was picking on him this morning. I knew Ben quite well. While he wasn't an idiot, he wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed. He was my catcher though out on the field and we formed a bond over the year.

"Yo, Steve," he said, sitting down on the other side of me.

"Hey Ben, what's up?"

"So I heard you're getting tutored by that runt over there for physics. Is it working?"

"Why do you ask that?" I asked, almost defensively.

"You did sort of tell me to let him go today," he reminded me.

"Oh. Yeah, it's working. I have to pass physics or else I won't be able to play ball this spring," I explained.

"Well, that's cool. Just as long as he don't turn you gay or something..." he said, laughing.

John and Joe laughed. Probably for different reasons. I, on the other hand, didn't.

"Why do you call him that, bud?" I asked.

"Well, dude, look at him," he said, actually pointing towards Josh. I turned bright red. "He's skinny, he acts like a freakin' girl. That in my book spells G-A-Y."

"Well, just because you claim he touched your ass doesn't give you the right to fuckin' pick him up like you did."

"Aw, fuck, come on, bro. You know I'm only kidding."

"But does he know it?" I asked.

"Fuck, man, you sound like you're actually defending him," Ben said.

"Well what do you expect me to do, bro? I can't be a dick to him. He's really helping me out," I started to say.

"In more ways then one," Joe slipped in. Ben and John laughed at that remark. I shot Joe a look.

"Sorry, it sort of just slipped out," Joe said, grinning.

I probably was panicking for no reason at all, since we joke about stuff like that all the time. Joe always was the wise-cracker and this was no exception.

"I'm not sure if I could have some faggot help me out, alone and shit. That shit's nasty," Ben said.

"What's so nasty about it?" I asked.

"Fuckin' suckin on some dude's dick? Come on, Steve, that's just fuckin' sick!" he said, laughing.

I often liked debating. I was good at it. But this debate was one that was too close to home.

"Well, he's helping me out. So fuckin' leave him alone," I said, almost ordering him.

"All right, dude, all right. Just don't be surprised if he wants to suck your dick," Ben said.

Joe was drinking his chocolate milk at the time and spit it out when he heard that comment.

"Say something and die," I murmured.

Joe just smiled.

After that, the conversation changed. But I amazingly felt better. I had done something right to end my poor kid's torment. Though it clearly wasn't enough, I had done something.

"Well, you gonna come work out with us after school?" John asked, as we were getting up to leave.

"Oh shit! I forgot. Yeah, I guess I will," I said, knowing Josh and I had at least planned on a tutoring session for this evening after school before all hell broke loose. "Well, I gotta run, dudes. I'll see you later."

I bolted out of the cafeteria to catch up with Josh. We both were going to Physics after lunch. I scanned the hallway quickly for his small-framed body.

"JOSH!" I yelled as I ran to catch up with him.

He turned around. He didn't look too happy to see me, but he waited there while I caught up.

"I'm glad I caught you, bro," I said. "You are still going to tutor me aren't you bro?"

"No," he said, flatly.

"Aw, come on, bud! I need you to! I want you to," I said, softly.

His eyes brightened for a split second when I said that. "You do?"

"Yes," I said, seriously.

He closed his eyes and sighed. "Okay, Steve. We'll try it one last time."

I immediately extended my hand for a handshake. "Thanks, bro."

He looked down at my hand.

"Dude you're suppose to shake it!" I said, laughing. When he didn't I said, "Well, come on let's go to class." I instinctively wrapped my arm around his shoulder as we continued walking. I quickly took it back, though.

He looked up at me.

"What?" I asked.

"Nothin'," he said. We continued to walk. I knew I had to apologize to him, but now wasn't the time or the place.

"Listen, though, I need to push it back until after dinner, okay? I can come over there, or you can come over to my place. Is that okay?"

Josh looked up at me again. "Fine, yeah, it's fine. You can come over. My mom'll be working tonight."

We arrived at the classroom and walked in. Shortly after, the class started.

Mr. Smith walked in with a stack of copies. This could only mean one thing. Pop quiz time. The whole class groaned. He smiled.

"All right, notebooks away. It's quiz time!"

I rolled my eyes and groaned. This is the last thing I needed. At least Josh did get to teach me some things last week before it all went crazy. Amazingly, I could hear his voice while I was taking the quiz. I could hear his explanations and his reasoning. As weird as it sounds, I could feel him next to me, even though he wasn't. It was extremely relaxing. I knew he was a good thing.

As the quiz ended, I looked over at him. He was in front of me and off to the right. I tried to get his attention, but failed.

"Josh!" I said in a horse whisper.

He turned around. I mouthed the words, "Thanks Bud" to him and he smiled.

The rest of the class was stupid lecture. Since I had a grip on what I already knew, things began to come more clearly to me. It was quite amazing. At the end of the school day, I gathered up my workout clothes and headed to the weight room, as I usually did twice a week at least. Joined by my two teammates, we all had a good workout. I came home, sweaty, hungry, and thirsty. But I felt good.

I showered and changed and sat down to the table with my mom, dad, and my older brother, Jeff, who came home for a home cooked meal. He was a sophomore in college now, and lived on campus. But since he was only ½ hour away from home, he could come home and visit every now and then. Jeff was a good big bro to me. Even though he got the short genes of the family, he still was my big bro and always will be.

We had a great time over dinner, chatting and shit. All too soon, I had to go to Josh's for more tutoring. I asked to be excused.

"Where do you think you're going?" my Dad asked.

"Well, uh, I gotta study physics with one of my classmates tonight. He just lives up the street."

"Physics, eh? You sure you're not just skipping out to see Jill?" my instigator brother asked.

I shot a glare to my older brother across that table.

"Well, don't be out too late tonight with whoever it is you're going to see," my mom said.

"Yes, mother," I said, clearing my place at the table and taking my plate to the sink.

I bolted out of my house with my backpack and arrived at Josh's door in three minutes. I knocked on the door and waited.

Josh opened the door and said, "Come in."

I walked inside and said, 'What's up, kid?" He was so damn cute. So damn cute.

"Nothin'," he said. We're back to the one word answers again.

I knew I had to speak up and clear the air about what happened the other day.

"Josh, uh, I'm sorry what I did to you the other day. It was fucked up and wrong and I apologize. It'll never happen again."

He looked up at my face and asked, "Are you apologizing for the kiss, the fact that you shot your load in my mouth without warning me, or the fact that you ran out of here right afterwards?"

Ooo, he was a tough cookie.

"All of the above, Josh. In fact, come here," I said, wrapping my arms around his small frame. "I just wanted to say I'm sorry."

I heard him sigh and I felt him melt in my arms again. God it felt so good. Why was this wrong? There was nothing wrong with this. Nothing at all. Why was it wrong?

"Steve, we better get to work," he said, softly, but not trying to break out of my hold either.

"I know, baby, I know," I answered. Did I just call him baby? Where the hell did that come from?

"Then let go of me," Josh said, laughing.

"Okay," I said, not letting go at all.

Then surprisingly, I felt Josh reach around with his arms and squeeze me. I looked down at him and smiled.

"You feel good," was all I could say. I could smell the scent of his shampoo in his hair.

I grabbed him underneath his arms and lifted him up higher and hugged him again. It felt so good. I also felt something poking me in the stomach. I let him hump me a little and then I set him down.

"Come on, we gotta get something done tonight," I said.

"Yeah, we can go up to my room," he said, looking happier than I had ever seen him before. Maybe it was true. All a bitch needs is a good fuck. Oops, did I just say that?

Anyway, we went up to his room and I put my books down and sat on his bed. He sat at his desk. It wasn't a big room, but it was decent sized. I looked at what he had, a few bookshelves filled with books, two baseball posters on the wall....wait a second. Two baseball posters on the wall? I looked again. Both were of the Boston Red Sox.

"Uh, dude, I didn't know you liked baseball?" I said.

"Well, yeah, there's a lot you don't know about me," he said, seriously.

"Oh," I said, attempting to leave that alone. "Hey, I wanted to thank you for what you did for me. That quiz was a piece of cake. I just remembered how you described it and I did fine, I think."

"Yeah, I noticed you thanking me in class today. Well, uh, should we get started?" he asked.

I took a deep breath and said, "Yeah, let's get going."

For the next hour, we studied physics. He went over today's lecture with me which was something with those damn formulas again. Finally, I was all worn out and couldn't absorb anymore. Being that I was so behind, we had to backtrack and then catch up again.

"That's it," I finally said. "I'm done."

Josh laughed at me. "Well, I guess that's all, then."

I laid back on his bed, stretching. "Yeah, that's about it dude," I said.

Josh then took off his glasses, stood up, and stretched as well. I was pleased to see I had enough self-restraint to keep focused on the subject matter. I didn't want to boast about what I had spoken up about at lunch today, but I just had to tell him.

"Josh, uh, I had a talk with Ben today, the one that picked you up by the shirt," I started to say.

"Yeah," he said, raising one eyebrow.

"You won't have to worry him buggin' you anymore, all right, bud?" I asked, patting down the spot next to me for him to sit down.

He came over to his bed, almost reluctantly. I gently took him in my arms and he nestled up in front of me. I gently ran my fingers through his short red hair. He looked up at me and smiled.

"You told him not to?"

"Yep. I told him that you were helping me with physics and you were cool."

"Really?" he asked, still smiling.

"Yep. He's an idiot, but he'll usually do what I say. So, you like baseball?"

"Oh yeah, always have, the Red Sox are my favorite."

"Really? I didn't think a kid like you would like sports," I said.

"Yeah, I know. I stopped trying years ago to show people there was more to me."

I was idly running my hands over his chest slowly. "Did you ever come to a school game though?"

"Uh huh. You were the reason I came half the time. When you got injured last year, I felt so bad for you..."

"Wait, you watched me at my games?"

"Sure, I liked watching you. I know that makes me sound like a stalker or something, but it's the truth. I can't keep my eyes off you, Steve. Haven't since the day I first saw you in tenth grade."

"That's right. I remember that you came here in tenth," I said. For some reason, I did remember that. And to be honest, I could remember the first time I saw him.

"I remember the first time I saw you. It was in the hallway. You were talking with your friends and I remember just being overtaken by you. You were so hot and cute, man," he said.

I smiled and blushed. "I was?" I joked.

"You still are, if not hotter now. But I bet you can't remember when you first saw me."

"Actually, believe it or not, I can. I was walking into school, and I remember seeing you waiting outside the front door of the school. I could tell you were new or a freshman because you obviously didn't know what you were doing," I joked.

"Thanks," he said, grinning.

"I didn't realize how much I had watched you through the years until this past weekend. I have been watching you, Josh. Just never knew it. Never wanted to accept it."

He looked up at me. He reached up with his hand and caressed my cheek. I looked down at him and tilted my head to go in for the kiss. He moved in as well and our lips met. For the first time, both of us were in sync with what we wanted. I swore I felt a spike of electricity surge through my body. I felt so alive, I wondered what I felt like before this. His tongue pressed against my closed lips and I opened up letting his tongue enter my mouth. We rolled around on his bed until he was on top of me. We made out more, his hands running over my defined chest.

He rolled up off me, abruptly. He sat down next to me. Meanwhile, I was wondering what the hell was going on? He started to cry again. Aw, shit, what did I do now?

"Josh, babe, what's wrong?"

"I'm sorry, Steve, you must think I'm a complete loon. If I were you, I'd think I was complete loon. It's just that so much has happened to me in the last four years. I'm so fucked up," he said.

I gently put my hand on his shoulder.

"It's all right, Josh. I'm here for you. We don't have to do anything more. Honestly, I don't know how I would handle doing more. Just having you here is good enough, in my arms," I explained.

He sniffled. "Really?"

"Really," I answered as I scooped him up in my arms and pulled him back in front of me on his bed. I kissed him softly on the cheek.

"I'm just so afraid that when you leave, I'll never hear from you again."

Oh now that's pathetic, I thought to myself. "Dude, I consider you my friend. Do you understand? I don't leave friends, bro," I said. "And don't ever think that."

"Okay," was all he said. He seemed to be satisfied with that answer. I just hoped that I could keep my word.

Well, there you have it, folks. I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Just a side note, I have agreeed to be the featured author in the #niftywriters IRC channel this Saturday, October25 at 8PM EDT. Join the channel for a Question and Answer session with apparently me. You can find more information on the #niftywriters channel on Nifty. Hope to see you there. In the meantime, any comments or suggestions, please e-mail them to NEPhillyBoy76@aol.com Thanks.

Other Nifty Stories By Joey E

College             Dan, The Man
College             The Boy Behind The Mask
High School     Collision
High School     Chemistry
Adult Friends    No Seduction Required
Beginnings     Summer Construction