By Tyrel "Rock" Wolf

Chapter 2 - So who's in denial then??

"Wake up, Dude wake up" Lucas voice pulled me from my sleep.

I yawned as I rubbed my eyes and sat up.  I suddenly realized why man is not supposed to sleep on the floor when every bone in my body seemed to ache.   I looked up at Lucas who smiled sheepishly and seemed to be a bit embarrassed about falling off to sleep at someone’s house who he'd only met that same day.

"Oh, morning Lucas, hey don't worry about last night, I rang your mom when you crashed out and asked if I could just leave you sleep, she was cool about it" I said as I got up and stretched "and you can borrow some of my clothes for school so we can just go from here"

"Wow man, thanks, you thought of everything, do you treat everyone you meet this well or just me"  He asked

"Umm I don’t know, I'm just used to my mates crashing over that's all" I replied.

"So like why'd you sleep on the floor, why didn't you just crash up here with me" I gulped as he said that, what do I do, tell him I didn't want to in case I couldn't control myself, not a good move Storm.  I hadn't expected this reaction though, maybe he was just being practical.

"I just didn't wanna disturb you, you looked so peaceful" Hmm that came out a bit sissier than I expected, 'you looked so peaceful' should I just go out and start waving that rainbow flag at an Elton John concert now.

"I bet you're going to be cramped today, next time just crash with me, I don't bite" he grinned. 

Want to stay over tonight then?? pretty please "Okie dokie."  I replied.  

Did he have a motive, or was he oblivious to the effect he was having on me.   He looked so sexy lying there on his side smiling at me.   Too bad I couldn’t get him shirtless before he fell off to sleep.  I realized I was getting aroused and the only thing I was wearing were boxers, this would not do a good job of hiding a morning woody so I quickly excused myself to the shower.

We left early and walked to school that day instead of catching the bus, I was glad because it meant I could have more time to talk to Lucas.  Lucas was a very friendly guy, he had no problem talking to me about anything and I was exactly the same with him.  I noticed as we were walking to school that Lucas would tap my arm a lot or put his hand on my shoulder, I was hoping it meant something but I know that’s just how some people are.  I had given him some of my newer clothes to wear that I hadn't worn before so no one would know they were mine and hassle him.  He wore a pair of khaki shorts and a light blue v-neck cotton shirt, both of which definitely looked better on him than they would have on me.  I was so happy, I couldn't think of anything else, that is until I got to the school gates and the events of yesterday afternoon came flooding back to me.

* * * * * * *

Mike stood at the gates hoping to see Storm before school started, he wanted so much for things to be ok between them, he needed a friend more than a girlfriend.  Mikes insides were churning and he wasn't sure what to say or do, even Marcel would be a great help but he was nowhere to be seen.  Mike was very anxious and nervous so when the bus came and Storm didn't hop off it he thought the worst, that maybe Storm didn't want to come to school today because of Mike.   Mike ran around looking for Storm, asking everyone who came off the bus, but they all said Storm didn't catch the bus today.  Mike walked back towards the gates with his head down, he didn't want to lose Storm as a friend, Mike had come to depend on him like a brother, Storm was always there to help him out when he ran away from home or just couldn't cope.

Mike was part of the Football jocks club now, the elite of the school, Storms group was elite, but the Jocks have always been ELITE and now Mike was going to be one of them.  It didn't feel right to him though, the way the jocks looked down on everyone else, Mike just wanted to hang with his friends, his real friends.    Mike just walked through the gates when he saw Storm ... and Lucas walking together, second day and they're already buddy buddy, what's going on here Mike thought to himself.  He started to resent Lucas for moving in on his territory, his best friend.

Mike walked over to Storm and Lucas, Lucas smiled and shook Mikes hand. "Hey guys" Mike said. Storm feigned a hello and looked away from Mike.    Lucas started making small talk with Mike and Storm saw Marcel and took the opportunity to get away.  It took Mike and Lucas five minutes to realize Storm had gone, Mike was angry at himself for being distracted, Lucas noticed something was up but figured he didn't know Mike well enough to ask.  Mike felt a tap on his head and he turned to see who it was, he smiled faintly.

"Oh hi Sarah" Mike was torn between what he should do, keep Sarah as a girlfriend or Storm as a friend, but he knew he couldn't have both.

"Hi Sarah" Lucas said.

"Hey Lucas, hey studly, how’s my football jock today" Sarah asked not knowing how much it effected Mike.  Mike just laughed it off.

"So where's Storm?? I gotta ask him about English, you guys seen him??" Lucas and Mike both told her he had just left, Sarah said she'd catch up to him at recess.  Lucas didn’t feel comfortable hanging around with these two, he could sense some kind or tension. He also just didn’t feel comfortable with anyone except Storm, at least not yet, so he excused himself for class and went to look for him.

* * * * * * *

'Traitor' I thought to myself, I stood in the hallway looking out at Mike and Sarah laughing together, it made me so angry.  I'd sort this out if it killed me, Mike isn't taking Sarah away from me, not without a fight.  I stood there fuming, watching them walk off to class together, maybe the storm was inside me, maybe I just needed some sunshine or something.  Well if that's what I needed it's what I got, in the form of Lucas Sheridan.  Lucas seemed to calm the storm within me and make me smile.  He came and ushered me into class by the arm and we sat next to Marcel, at least I could still trust Marcel, he may be a show off but he's a loyal one.

"So no bevy of babes today Marcel" I joked.

Marcel looked at me and smiled "What? I'm sitting next to you guys aren't I?"

"Yeah you better believe it" I said, we all started cracking up, I knew I was good looking but I wasn't as bravado about it as Marcel was and I think in looks he still beat me. Marcel pays a lot of attention to his looks, but I knew for sure Lucas was good looking though.  Marcel liked attention, no matter where it came from, as long as he got it he was happy.  I'm pretty sure he's gay or at least bi, never asked him to his face, and it's not like he was campy or anything, I can just tell.  Last year when we were all on holiday Marcel was my tent partner. We’d slept together a lot before, as in shared the same bed.  That night though Marcel must have thought I was asleep and he started moving his fingers through my hair. There was an undeniable softness in the way he was caressing me and I couldn’t help the butterflies that were flying in my stomach.  I was both excited and really confused, why was he doing this? I just lay there and pretended I was asleep, I’m still not sure why he did it though.  I’ve never mentioned it to him yet and I don’t think I will.  No harm came out of it and maybe he was just interested in my hair or something. I was a bit weirded out by the whole thing but Marcel is such a great friend it wasn’t worth worrying over.

When it finally came to lunch time I knew something was going to happen, I told Lucas and Marcel to sit down and have lunch and I'd be right back.  I left them and went to find Mike, it didn't take long before I bumped into him, seemed like he was trying to find me too.  We stood looking at each other for a few minutes, waiting for the other to do something.  You could cut the tension with a knife it was so thick.  I was angry and unsure all at the same time.  I was angry because I felt like Mike had betrayed me, betrayed our friendship.  But I still wasn’t sure if I should be confronting Mike like this, after all Sarah and I weren’t going out, but I always thought we’d get back together. I was still confused about the way Mike and Sarah were around each other, maybe they already are together and I’m holding on to something that isn’t there.

Eventually Mike made the first move "We need to talk" Mike said.

"Then talk" I replied.

"I'm sorry about yesterday, I didn't mean for any of that to happen, I don't want to lose you as a friend, you're too important to me"

"Then why do you want my girl" I said bluntly.  I was trying to come across to him as cool as I could, as if none of this was having an effect on me.

"Look I thought you two were through, honest, I didn't realize you still felt something for her"  I could tell Mikes voice was shaking when he spoke.

I was a bit put off by what he said, he was right, we were through, and did I really feel something for Sarah or was I simply being territorial.  No I didn’t think I was, I’ve done a lot for Mike, and of all the girls why did he have to go for Sarah. Sarah was mine, it’s always been that way, who does he think he is.  I was less uncertain now and more angry, I’d convinced myself Mike was definitely in the wrong here.

"You've wanted her ever since we first started dating!! what the hell is up with that, friendship my ass, you're just a snake waiting for the right time to strike, now you see your chance you're straight into it" I started getting louder the angrier I got "I've always been there for you, always looked out for you, helped you out, backed you up, been a friend, and this is how you're gonna treat me"

Mike was lost for words, he wasn’t quite sure how to respond as if he himself wasn’t sure what was right anymore.  I noticed four of his Jock buddies start circling and eyeing me up.  Mike was a member of their club now and if you messed with him you messed with them.  Well that’s just fine with me, he can be a member of the ‘we aint got no brains’ club.  If it’s a fight they want it’s a fight they’ll get, I’m not going to back down.   Besides I fight best when I’m angry and right now I was as angry as ever. "Oh so it's like that now is it, you're going to get your big dumb-ass jock buddies to take care of me huh" I yelled.  

They didn’t seem to like that, one of them pushed me from behind into Mike, I pushed Mike away and they all jumped me.  Ok well I guess it’s time to find out why my name is Storm.  It’s because I fight with fury, I used to be a lot smaller then some of the school bullies but I would challenge all of them with such fury I got that nickname.  It’s not that I like to fight, but when I do, I fight with everything I have.  I shot my right foot square in the face of the guy who pushed me and sent him reeling before leaping at him with a left kick in the sternum.   I countered a punch from another Jock and tripped him down when the two remaining grabbed me from behind and with all their strength smashed my head into the wall. Instantly they were all on top of me and try as I may the knock had taken too much out of me.  I couldn’t see anything, it was all a daze, but I could feel it.   Someone was kicking me in the head, another in the chest, I was getting kicked all over.  I thought for sure it was lights out for me, the blows just kept coming and I was pinned. 

It wasn’t long before I could hear yells and the jocks were getting pulled off me, it was Lucas and Marcel and maybe Mike but I couldn't make out for sure.  Lucas looked totally pissed as he smashed the guy furiously who was kicking me in the head. I finally managed to get up when Marcel pulled me to my feet.  I saw someone about to jump Lucas from behind so I grabbed the jocks arm and snapped it behind him and kicked him in the knee making him stagger.  I realized the person was Mike and all the rage came back to me as I unleashed a flurry of punches upon him so intense I couldn’t stop myself.  I kept punching and punching him till he fought back no more and I froze, what the hell was I doing.  I tried to pull myself together I was still a bit dazed and sore but I managed to do it, I didn't want to look weak. I glared at Mike, unbelieving of what had just happened.

Eventually we were all separated by other students, luckily no teachers were around yet so they mustn’t have seen us.  Mike was raised to his feet by his jock buddies and we stared each other down.  Marcel and Lucas both stood behind me, as well as a few other guys who just can’t stand the jocks, mostly the rebels.  Mike was red and had what looked like an up and coming shiner.  All of a sudden my knees went weak and I staggered, obviously a bit more shaken up than I thought.   I touched my face and realized I had a cut lip and my nose was bleeding and I just generally felt like shit.  I felt as bad as I looked and Mike didn’t look much better.  I was in shock, I couldn’t believe the way I beat down on Mike, I had never beaten someone with such ferocity before.

Sarah ran up to us with a look of anger on her face. "What the hell is going on here!" Sarah yelled " Why are you fighting, Storm, Mike, what's going on"

"Why don't you tell her Mike" I mouthed "Or you want your bum boys to do it for you, what's wrong, can't fight one on one anymore huh"

"Look I didn't mean for that to happen, it just got out of hand" Mike replied still shaken up. He tried to put his hand on my shoulder to reassure me.

"Get the hell off me, there’s no turning back now, after school, you and me, no one else, winner leads loser leaves, I think you know what I mean don't you" I was so angry I couldn't think straight.

"What are you going to do?" Mike asked

"I'm going to kick the fucking shit out of you that's what I'm gonna do" I yelled as I stormed off.  I noticed Sarah stayed with Mike to see what happened, she was yelling at him, that made me feel better, pathetic don’t you think.  I really wanted to get out of there as soon as possible before I collapsed, I didn’t want them to see how badly beaten I really was.  I made it around the corner by myself and fell against the wall heaving. Marcel ran around and held me up and let me lean against him.

"Storm what the hell was all that about, why are you fighting with Mike??" Marcel asked.  I didn't know what to tell him, I didn't want him to know why we were fighting.

"I don't wanna talk about it, just leave me alone" I said.   Marcel was pretty hurt and I realized what an idiot I was and pulled him back.

"I'm sorry man, I don't wanna lose you too, I'll tell you why .." I started telling him what had happened, and why, he was shocked that Mike had liked Sarah for that long without anyone realizing except me.  I was surprised at how receptive and understanding Marcel was, he acted the superficial show off but there was a lot more to him underneath.  Marcel listened and listened to me as I told him why I was so angry, then he made me realize that we were forgetting about the most important person, Sarah.  In all of this we were too wrapped up in our own egos we didn't take into consideration who she wants or if she really even wants any of us.  He told me the best thing to do was to talk to her and see how she feels.  I was glad Lucas wasn't around to hear us talk, he'd think he had walked straight into an episode of Beverly Hills 90210, and that's what it seemed like right now, boy what I wouldn't give for things to be back to normal.  But I knew what I had to do now.

The final bell rang and I headed out the hallway, Lucas and Marcel were next to me quick smart thinking I was on my way to fight Mike.  I told them to go home and not worry about me that I'd be fine and there wasn't going to be a fight, at least not for them.  They took a while to leave and were a bit hesitant about it but I kept on them until they left.  I ran to find Sarah, desperate to sort this out, she was waiting for me outside the gates.  She spoke up straight away. "You're not fighting Mike, you two are friends, work it out already, you don't always have to solve things with your fists you know"

I knew she was right but I couldn't back down now could I.  I had to know how she felt first anyway.  I knew she loved me though, she had to, we were soul mates. "I need to know …. do you love me??" I asked.  She looked at me and gave me a silly look.

"Of course I love you stupid" she replied. Phew, that was lucky.   But I had to be sure.

"But do you love me, or just love me as a friend" I was getting real nervous now, but I knew she loved me, she had to.

"Umm I love you ...  as a friend, a very good friend, I'm sorry" she replied.  I was in shock, I didn't expect it, she was supposed to love me, I'm her soul mate.

"Do .. do " I  took a deep breath. "Do you love Mike"  

I could tell right away that she was going to say yes, I wanted to run off and die, just crawl into the nearest hole and hide there forever.  If this were a cartoon cupid would be ripping his arrow out of my heart before he chopped it up into little pieces and shot the arrow into a heart that read "Mike & Sarah".    I was physically sick, I didn't know what to think or do.  I couldn’t believe, after all this, all I’d been through, all I’d done, all that happened today, she didn’t even love me anyway.  My knees started to shake and I had to sit down. "I'm sorry Storm, you're a great guy and I do love you but I thought you'd moved on, so I moved on too" she said. 

"That’s not fair, I thought you were the one, we’re a team, I loved you. I would have never done this to you. Why? Why don’t you love me anymore? What happened, what did I do wrong?" I was a wreck now, I couldn’t stop crying.  I felt hurt that she’d moved on without me, in spite of everything I always thought we’d be together, and she’d moved on without me.  Maybe she didn’t realize how much I loved her, maybe I should’ve done better to hold onto her, but none of that mattered now.  I was alone, nobody cared anymore, I’d never felt so cold inside.

This was all my fault, if I wasn't so damn confused I could have been there for her, damn me! I just couldn't take it, I stood up and ran away, tears streaming down my face.  Is this supposed to be one of those lemons life hands you aye, I never liked lemons.  Sarah called after me but I couldn’t face her, it was all too much.

After five minutes of crying like a baby I knew I had to find Mike and end this, there was no point in fighting now, I'd already lost.   I went to meet him down on the football field, I got a few looks from people who were still in school.  The mighty Storm a beaten, shivering, crying wreck, wouldn’t that make a nice editorial.  When I arrived at the field I was surprised to see he was alone, no goon patrol anywhere.   I walked up to him my eyes still bloodshot and face wet, boy who's the idiot now aye. "Hey Mike" I said quietly.

"I don't want to fight you Storm, can't we just go back to how things were." he said.  I wanted everything to be normal but I'd made such a fool of myself and I was too proud to lose gracefully.  They could have each other, but they couldn't have me anymore, this Storm is moving on.

"I wouldn’t be much good fighting anyone right now anyway.   You win Mike.  I was wrong and I’m sorry.  I acted like an idiot, I never even had a chance to start with.  I deserved that beat down today, gave me a reality check. I don’t know why you bothered asking, she was already yours .." I tried to hold back the tears but it was all too much "I’m sorry, I’m sorry, that’s all I can say. I hope you and Sarah are happy together. I know I was wrong and I don’t think I can face either of you again, so I’d appreciate it if you both just left me alone.  I can’t be a friend to you anymore Mike.  Have a nice life." that was about as graceful a defeat I was going to give.  Mike just stood there dumbfounded not knowing what to say or do, I think he was confused, I know I was.

I started to walk away, by far today is the worst day in my entire life, never before have I been so hurt, humiliated and beaten. Mike ran after me and grabbed onto my shoulder to stop me.
"I’m not giving up on you Storm, I know you’re hurt, but you’re my best friend, you’re more than that, you’re my family, I love you like a brother, I can’t imagine a life without you in it. Please. Stay.  I’ll break it off with Sarah I promise, anything you want.  I’m sorry about today, I never meant for those guys to beat you, I tried to stop them, I want you to be my friend again, Please" Mike pleaded with me. He was right, we were family but my pride had been wounded. And as much as I wanted Mike to break up with Sarah, it wouldn’t be right. Moms advice was filtering in, I had to do what I felt was right.

"Mike. You can’t do that, Sarah is too important, you have to stay with her. I just need to be alone for a few thousand years. Then I’ll be ok. So please, just let it go." I said. I carried on walking with my head down, there weren’t so many tears anymore, the cold harsh reality had set in and there wasn’t any point in crying now. I couldn’t see Mike as I walked but I could tell he was feeling as lost as me. Mike was actually crying now, I felt like the worst prick ever, he hadn’t done anything wrong, it was all my fault and he was the one losing out. But I was too proud to accept their friendship now, I’d screwed up and made an idiot of myself. I had to move on, without them.

I walked to my favorite place in the world, my old tree house, sure I was a bit big for it now, but I always went there when I needed to think.  Mike, Marcel and I actually built it together so it actually belonged to all of us. I wasn't sure how I was going to face the day tomorrow, maybe I should just stay home.  Nah too obvious, I had to go straight back in and face the heat, I could do it.  I was at an all time low, I was too proud to talk to Mike or Sarah, I could handle them being together, but I’d ruined the friendship myself.  Besides I had a new buddy Lucas now and I still had Marcel and some of my other friends, I can make it.  If I keep saying that to myself maybe I'll start believing it eventually.  My whole life had been turned upside down in two days, nothing was the same anymore, I wanted everything to be normal again.

Eventually I made it inside the house and my mom sat me straight down and asked me what happened, she said Mike and Sarah had both rang for me and asked where I was and they sounded worried, I told her what had happened and she gave her usual pearls of wisdom, chin up, sun will shine tomorrow, all that stuff.  She wanted to clean up my bruises but I wouldn’t have it.  I told her I didn't want to talk to anyone that rang and carried on upstairs. 

I lay on my bed trying to see any good things that would come of this, trying to find the cloud with the silver lining or whatever it was.  Took me a while but I started to find some, I can find a new girlfriend now, or boyfriend, I'll let you know when I've figured it out myself.  Mike and Sarah might be happy now, as much as I didn't want to know them, wishing happiness upon them wouldn't be such a bad thing would it.  That’s two good reasons I thought to myself. Eventually I pulled a smile out of nowhere, which is good because I hate being depressed for too long, that never helps anything.  Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

I heard a knock at my door, it was Lucas, ok now I've really got a reason to smile.  He walked in with a 'Hey Dude' and a smile, he was carrying the clothes I let him borrow for school.  They were all neatly folded and clean. "So how’s it going dude, feeling ok?" he asked.

"Yeah I'm fine man, lost a bud, lost my girlfriend, had the shit kicked out of me, but yeah I'm cool" I laughed "But don't even worry about that man, it's what only your second day and you're getting pulled into our crap, and thanks for helping me out today, you didn't have to but you still did and I appreciate it"

"No sweat man, that's what friends are for, right? anyway it's a lot more interesting than I figured it'd be."  Lucas looked for somewhere to put my clothes as he was talking.

"Put them back in your bag man, just think of them as a welcome present or something, oh yeah and I don't understand the meaning of 'no' so don't argue with me" I said.  He stood there thinking for a bit, I was wondering what was going on in his head when he all of a sudden pulled his shirt up over his head, I couldn't help staring as he revealed more and more.  His skin was so smooth, he had abs that were defined but not rock hard, which is how I like them, and he was toned with just enough softness, he was perfect.   I could tell he must have spent a lot of time in the sun because he had the most beautiful tan I’d ever seen before.  I could almost imagine my fingers slowly working their way up that awesome chest.  I kept staring as this beautiful guy took his shirt all the way off.  I just lay there enjoying the show.  I wasn't sure exactly what was going on but I got a bit suspicious when he started undoing his pants and sliding them off ever so seductively, whether it was intentional or not.  And there he stood in front of me wearing nothing but boxers, to say this guy was beautiful would be too much of an understatement.  I gulped, wondering if my dreams were about to come true, one thing's for sure he certainly took my mind off things. 

Just when I thought I was going to get lucky he picked up his clothes and tossed them over to me. DAMN!  I knew what he was doing now, he was giving me his clothes as a gift too.  Oh well, at least I had a good peek. "Here ya go, my gift to you" he said. He didn’t know the half of it. I sighed and came back down to earth.

"Thanks for the strip show man, but I'm sorry I don't give tips" I said as he started laughing.

I started taking my clothes off to try on the clothes he gave me.  They were a pair of green cords and a Billabong shirt, just my style.  I wasn’t half as seductive as Lucas, rushing to get my clothes instead.  I'd managed to get all my clothes off except my boxers of course right as the door opened and Marcel walked in.

We all stood there looking at each other, Lucas and I both wearing nothing but boxers, Marcel with his eyes boggled.  It must have looked pretty compromising, before I could say anything Lucas pulled me over to him and held me in a close embrace, then he looked at Marcel and said "Can't you see we're in the middle of something here dude."

I started laughing and couldn't stop, Marcel soon caught on and slapped himself in the head, I was surprised Lucas could come up with something so quick.  Lucas finally let me go and we carried on switching our clothes, I was still laughing to myself. Marcel sat himself down and watched us, I could tell he was enjoying this, probably thinking sexually related thoughts in his head.  I’m so glad everything happened so fast, because if I had of had time to think when Lucas held me, I would have thought about how great his skin felt against mine, warm and soft.  His warm breath on my neck, making me breathe a little quicker and my heart race.  His nipples against my chest, the way his hands felt so strong against my back yet his touch feathery and inviting.  His cheek softly brushing my own, yes if I had of had enough time to think about what effect he was having on me I definitely would have gotten a woody, and with our closeness he definitely would have noticed.  So I was pretty lucky, and I still had the memory.

I felt a lot better now, it's amazing what friends can do isn't it, pull you out of your lowest low and make you laugh.  After we finished we headed downstairs and Lucas held my door open for me and gave me a wink, I smiled back, he really is a great guy.  But I'm even more convinced he's straight now, because only someone who is comfortable in their manhood can make a gay joke and not feel weird or worried about it.  Oh well that was fine with me because he was turning into a great friend and besides I'm not gay, I just like him a whole lot that's all.  Gay is what other people are, at the most I'm slightly bi but that's it, yeah that's it. 

When we got downstairs my mom gave me a weird look because I was wearing the clothes Lucas wore when he came in, we just laughed and she shook her head.  My brother had just started watching Rush Hour on DVD and we all decided to sit down and watch it, I sat in the middle again and got as close to Lucas as I could without being totally obvious.  Lucas seemed to be deep into the movie while me and Marcel sat there annoying each other.  This was it I thought, this is as good as it gets, and I was fine with that, forget those other two I'm happy now, they can have each other.

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