This story is a work of FICTION. The events described have only occurred in my mind. Any similarities to actual events or persons are strictly coincidental.


This is my first attempt at producing a story like this and any advice or comments you have would be most welcome. Send them to Rob at

© 2011 Robert Kelly, all rights reserved

One quick note to my readers: I truly appreciate your patience at my tardiness in supplying further chapters to the story. Happily, I've cleared some personal obligations and expect to provide the ensuing chapters on a more regular basis. Once again, thanks, and I hope you enjoy the story.

-- Rob

Troubled Minds

Chapter Eight

"The Truth Hurts"

Chris and David were sitting on the steps outside the home. Barely an hour had passed since the incident in the changing rooms and Chris was still furious.

"I just can't believe this is happening, I mean how could he?" Chris ranted for the umpteenth time.

"Oh for god sake, Chris, give it a rest will you!" shouted an exasperated and exhausted David.

He had been listening to the same speech the whole way home and to be frank he had heard quite enough of this broken record.

"What the fuck do you mean give it a rest? Do you realize what's just happened?"

"The whole of bloody Blackpool knows by now, the way you've not shut up about it since we left. I get it, you feel betrayed and you probably want to kill him right now, but give him a break Chris..."

Chris immediately interrupted, "Give him a break? GIVE HIM A BREAK?"

"WILL YOU SHUT UP FOR FIVE MINUTES! You're starting to piss me off, and besides I'm not finished talking. Think about it, and put yourself in his shoes, It shouldn‘t be too hard, you were there only a few weeks ago. If it hadn‘t been for our argument over Claire, you wouldn't have told Nathan you were gay, you would have been too scared to, just like he is now. I think you're being too hard on him. He may not have been completely honest with you, but he was still there for you, he was still your friend."

Chris paused for a few moments, mulling over what David had said.

"Fair enough, he was scared. I can accept that, but when I told him about us he should have told me that he was gay too."

"Why should he?"

"Because, because he just should have, OK?"

David started shaking his head. "You don't get it do you, Chris. Some people are different from others. Sometimes things aren't always printed in black and white. It gets more complicated than that. Maybe he wasn't ready to tell you, maybe he wasn't sure how he felt, maybe he was ashamed. Either way, he isn‘t obligated to tell you anything.

I‘m sorry, but I think you're being pretty selfish here. He didn‘t tell you because it was affecting him inside and he didn‘t know how to deal with it, and now you‘ve gone and made things so much better for him by shouting at him, embarrassing him and deserting him, three things I‘m almost certain he didn‘t do to you that night when he found out about us."

Chris felt a wave of shame and guilt crash over him. David was right, how could he just leave his best friend like that? He had been selfish.

"You're right, Dave, I'm sorry."

"It's not me you should be apologizing to."

Chris rummaged in his pocket and took out his phone.

"I'll ring him."

He found Nathan in his contacts and pressed "call."


Nathan and Ant where sitting on the stone steps down at the beach watching the waves ebb closer. The tide was coming in and there would soon be no sand in view, just the steps they were sitting on.

Nathan was still very upset, and had been crying a lot since Chris had shouted at him. Ant had been trying to comfort him with no real success, but at least he'd managed to calm him down a bit.

When they had left the Sandcastle Nathan was a mess and was having a mini panic attack. But now Ant had sat him down and was trying to get him at least breathing normally.

"He hhhhates me!" Nathan stammered through tears.

"No he doesn't, he's just overreacting. You need to get yourself together mate. No one hates you. This is all going to blow over, it just seems bad now."

Nathan took a long deep breath before responding. "But you heard what he said to me in there, in front of all those people. Oh my god I'm so embarrassed, they all knew. I can't believe he did that. He said our friendship was over."

Ant put a consoling hand on Nathan's back. "I'm sure he didn't mean it, mate. I bet you've had lots of stupid fights before and made up a day or two later."

"No, I've never fallen out with Chris ever, we've never had a proper fight. I fall out with Ben all the time, but not Chris. He was my best mate."


"No! He IS your best mate. Hey, is that your phone ringing?"

"Shit yeah, I must have put it on silent before."

Nathan shuffled around to get his phone out of his pocket and looked at the screen.

"Oh shit, It's Chris. What should I do?" asked a panicked Nathan.

"Answer it!" replied Ant.


"Hello?" answered a nervous Nathan.

"Hey." replied Chirs.

There were a few moments of silence between them as neither knew quite what to say to the other.

"When you coming home?" asked Chris

"Errrm, I don't know, I'm sat on the beach, I didn't think you wanted me around just now."

"Are you still with Ant?" continued Chris.

Nathan look across at Ant not knowing whether he should be honest or not. He didn't want to make things worse.

"Yeah," he cringed in reply. "But it's not what you think, we're just talking, nothing else. I'm sorry Chris."

"No, it's me that should be sorry. I am sorry, I want you to know that. I shouldn't have said those things, I shouldn't have done that to you. I'm a terrible friend. I was just hurt that you didn't tell me. Please come home. I don't want to fall out with you, I love you, mate, no matter what. You're my best friend."


Nathan thought hard about what to say and do, and he decided that since the truth seemed to be coming out thick and fast today that honesty was the route to take.

"I need to speak to you properly, face to face. I have something I need to tell you, Chris."

"Then tell me it now," Chris replied anxiously, worried that his friend wasn't going to be his friend for much longer.

"No, I can't. I want to say this to you in person. I'm coming home, I'll be back in about half an hour. Meet me outside."

"OK," Chris replied. "See you then."


The line went dead as both boys hung up. Ant waited a moment before he said anything.

"Everything OK?" he asked after a while.

"I don't know. He says he's sorry for what happened and he doesn't want to lose me as a friend, but I don't know what to do, I think I need to tell him how I feel. I don't want to lie anymore. I'm going to tell him I love him." said Nathan, somewhat half-heartedly.

"Do you think that is a good idea?" asked Ant concerned, picking up on Nathan's hesitation.

"Probably not, but I think it's the right thing to do. If I don't tell him then I'm hiding things from him again."

"But what about David? Where does he come into your master plan?" asked Ant in an aggressive tone.

"What do you mean?" replied Nathan a bit taken aback by Ant's sudden change in temperament.

"Well I'm sorry, Nathan, but if I was David then I'd be fucking pissed off if you were going after my boyfriend," stated Ant in a matter-of-fact tone. "You can't just make a move on Chris, he's in a relationship."

"Well I'm sorry, too, but I need to be honest with Chris, I can't keep this inside any longer." said Nathan, more sure of his decision this time than before.

Ant's voice suddenly took on a menacing tone, his face showing thorough irritation. "I can't let you do that Nathan! I wont let you hurt David.

Ant slowly stood up, his body language clearly indicating he was preparing to advance this disagreement from verbal to physical. Picking up the cue, Nathan stood up to meet Ant.

"Wow what's going on here? You want to hit me or something?" asked Nathan, shaking off the emotion he had expressed before and replacing it with a stronger, more aggressive persona.

"I will do whatever I have to do to make sure you don't hurt David." said Ant with a look in his eye that said more than he could have said with words.

Both boys stood their ground, inches apart, fists clenched at their sides, neither of them blinking, no sound aside but the faint whisper of intense breathing through flaring nostrils.

After a few seconds of mutual glaring Nathan's expression suddenly went blank.

"I'm not getting into this with you, I'm going home. It was nice meeting you Ant."

With that, Nathan turned away and started walking up the steps when a sharp push from behind forced him face first onto the concrete.

"You're fucking mental you know that!" Nathan shouted as he got to his feet.

His forehead was hurting from where he had made contact with the ground. He instinctively put his hand to where the pain was to find that it was warm and wet. He lowered his hand to find his fingers were bloody. With fire in his eyes Nathan glared at Ant.

"It's fucking on now!"

He lunged toward Ant and tackled him to the ground. The two engaged in a struggle for dominance, wrestling and pulling at each others bodies and clothes. Ant even resorted to biting as he felt Nathan starting to get the better of him. Both boys' tops were getting ripped and stretched to pieces. Nathan's sheer anger and determination paid off in the end as he got on top, sitting on Ant's chest and repeatedly punched into his face, causing just as much pain to his victim's jaw as he was to his own fist.

Ant recoiled under the pain trying to protect himself with his hands with no success. Blood had now been drawn as a small cut appeared just above Ant's cheekbone. He tried to get out the word "STOP" but he was either too out of breath or in too much pain as no sounds came out of his mouth.

Nathan had worked himself into a bit of a frenzy and it was only the shock of being shouted at by some stranger that made him stop flailing away at Ant's face.

He looked up to see where the shouting was coming from and saw a female police officer making her way toward them, looking serious and threatening.

"Shit! Get up! MOVE!" Nathan pulled Ant to his feet and started running down the seafront in the opposite direction of the police officer. Ant, looking very confused, looked back to see what Nathan was running from and realized what was happening. Meanwhile the police officer had started running, too, in an attempt to catch at least one of the boys.

Ant stared in dazed shock at the police officer but was quickly brought back to the reality of the situation by Nathan who had turned to see if Ant was following. "Hey, move your fucking arse!" Nathan bellowed with all his might. Ant shook off the shock, turned on his heel and bolted after Nathan. He caught up, and they ran together along the seafront until they came to a set of stairs leading up to the promenade.

Still running they crossed a set of tram lines, and with the traffic lights in their favour, bolted across the busy road. Once across, the traffic lights changed and the flow of cars resumed. It was here they stopped to search for the officer chasing them. She was on the other side of the street unable to cross due to the rush of cars and trucks.

The boys wasted no time and used this to their advantage. They ran down one of the side streets away from all the hustle and bustle and continued snaking their way up quainter, quieter roads until they were both satisfied they had lost their pursuer.

They leaned against a wall together, gasping for breath. After a moment, Ant started laughing. Nathan glanced over at him, and suddenly joined in.

"That was mental" said Ant.

"Yeah, it was," laughed Nathan turning to face him.

With no warning Ant pressed his lips to Nathan's and kissed him. Nathan was taken by surprise, but didn't reject this sudden turn of events. In fact, he was quite enjoying himself. The thrill of the chase, the smell of Ant's aftershave, the touch of Ant's soft sweet lips. How could he resist. Finally, Ant ended the kiss.

"What the fuck? I've just tried to punch your face off, and now your kissing me?" exclaimed Nathan, still trying to get his breath back.

Ant laughed again. "Maybe I like it rough. Besides you can't deny that running from the police was hot, I'm still buzzing."

"I think I got it right the first time, I think you really are mental."

"Maybe I just like you."

"Like me? You've got a funny way of showing it."

"I told you, I just don't want to see David hurt. Apart from that, I think you're cute. Plus it might be nice to have someone around that can beat people up for me.

"Who says I'm even interested anymore?"

"You did, a second ago, when you didn't push me away when I kissed you."

Nathan mulled that over for a moment before continuing. "God you're such a cock sure bastard aren't you?" And with that Nathan pulled Ant close and they kissed again. This kiss lasted much longer than the first with both boys lost in a world of passion, not even stopping as people passed by them. Fortunately for them these onlookers were apparently broadminded enough not to make an issue of two boys in a passionate lip-lock, merely glancing at them before moving along.


After the public displays of affection had come to a conclusion, Nathan offered to walk Ant back to the hotel where he was staying. They shared idle chit chat, as if they had been friends for years. No observers could have guessed that less than an hour ago these two had been locked in physical combat. The only give away was the cuts, bruises and the ragged shirts.

"What you going to say to your parents about your cuts?" asked Nathan.

"Ah fuck it, I'll think of something, don't worry about it."

"I'm sorry."

"I said don't worry about it. I've came home looking worse."

"So what we going to do then? You will be going home soon won't you?"

"Tomorrow," Ant replied quietly, a slight frown appearing to replace the cheerful smiles of only a few minutes ago.

"Will you keep in touch?"

"Course I will. I'll come visit and stuff." offered Ant, beginning to resume a more cheerful expression. "It's only Preston, anyway, this is me here."

They had come to a modest looking bed and breakfast about twenty minutes walk north of the Sandcastle.

"Will you say sorry to David for me? I didn't mean for you and Chris to fall out. Give him my number, and tell him to text me. I really miss him."

"I will, It was nice meeting you Ant, again I'm sorry about..."

Ant interrupted him with a kiss. "Shut up with the apologies. It was me who started it remember."

"OK, you win," shrugged Nathan. "I'll text you later then."

"I will look forward to it. Bye," said Ant as he went into the guest house and closed the door behind him.

Regardless of the shit two hours, for a moment Nathan couldn't help but feel good about himself. That was until he remembered that he still had to face Chris, and he was already late.


Chris had been waiting patiently for nearly an hour for Nathan to turn up, but still no show. He was becoming anxious, afraid he might be on the verge of losing his best friend. Finally, he saw Nathan turn up the path to St Paul's and he walked down the steps to meet him.

"You're late," exclaimed Chris, both annoyed and concerned, as he walked toward his friend.

"I walked Ant back to his hotel."

Chris, closer now, looking at his friend, noticed his scruffy condition and the dried blood and bruises on his face.

"What the hell happened to you?"

Nathan, obviously expecting questions, had decided on the way not to lie.

"I got into a fight with Ant."

"Why, what for?"

Unfortunately, Nathan had also been expecting these questions, but couldn't think of a way to explain without either lying, or telling Chris how he felt about him. He wanted desperately to tell the truth, and get things off his chest, but knew the trouble it would cause. Was it worth it?

"I'm sorry Chris, I can't tell you what happened," said Nathan as he passed Chris and started ascending the steps at a pace.

"Whoa, wait a bloody minute!" shouted a shocked Chris.

Nathan stopped halfway up the stairs and turned to face Chris.

"You think that's going to cut it?" continued Chris. "After the big lecture I gave you about honesty and how I begged you to come home and be my friend, you're going to dismiss the situation just like that? You're hiding things from me again!"

Standing motionless halfway up the stairs, Nathan continued the conversation at a distance.

"I'm not telling you, because I can't. One, it's too damn hard to say what I have to say and two, it's not something you want to hear."

"Try me," said Chris, adamant on hearing the truth.

A mixture of emotions ran through Nathan as he stared at his best friend, the boy he loved, the one he could never have, and inside he started to break down a little. He knew Ant was 100% right and that telling Chris he loved him would make everything worse. But standing here so close to him with everything else but his conscience telling him to grab hold of Chris and kiss him, he didn‘t know how long he could hold himself together. He felt his heart was breaking right there and then and he was desperately fighting back his sadness determined not to cry again.

"The truth," he croaked in a voice that was more high pitched and squeaky to his own. "The truth, is what got me cut and bruised in the first place, and even Ant doesn't want to hear it."

"What the hell are you talking about, Nathan? You're not making any sense. Look, I know it's been a shit day, and I have been an absolute prick to you but I wasn't thinking properly. I was angry and I didn't mean what I said. I love you, you're my best friend and regardless of what happened today you can trust me with anything. I want to help you and you're obviously upset about something, so why don't you just spit whatever it is out."

Nathan took in everything Chris said, and began his slow shaky descent of the stairs. He was shaking because he was scared. He could barely breath, and he felt sick to the stomach with the thought of what he was about to do. He was on the edge of the highest emotional cliff and he was about to jump to his certain doom, but he was going to do it, he was ready to jump.

He now stood just a few paces away from Chris but to him it felt like he was miles away. This was the first time in his life he had ever experienced real fear, and he was no longer in control of himself, he was on auto pilot and there was no going back. He took those few paces closer, the hardest few steps of his life, and without saying a word to Chris, without warning, he kissed him.

It lasted only a few seconds and Nathan pulled away to be met by a response from Chris much different to the one he had anticipated.

"Oh, right!" said Chris.


After leaving Chris alone to wait for Nathan, David had gone for a shower to get rid of the awful smell of chlorine that sticks with you after you have been swimming. He wasn't long in the shower, about fifteen minutes or so, and he was back in his room getting dried and dressed again.

He had just gotten a pair of boxers on when he heard the door open behind him. Expecting to find Chris at the door David was shocked to find someone entirely different standing in his place. Instantly he felt a little embarrassed about being half naked in front of someone other than Chris, but more than anything he was utterly confused as to why Steven would be in his room.

"Hey, can I help you?" he asked nervously.

Steven closed the door behind him.

"I'd say so," replied Steven with a menacing smirk.

No one spoke for a few seconds and Steven just stood there smiling.

"Well, what do you want?" asked David.

"I want you to suck my cock," replied Steven, as cool as if he had asked David to pass him the salt at the dinner table.

"Excuse me?" replied a dumbfounded David.

"You heard, I want you to get down on your knees and suck my fucking cock right now you little faggot!"

"What the fuck? Get out Steven! Get out now!"

Steven went into his right pocket and pulled out a switch blade which he clicked out to reveal a rather sharp six-inch blade. "I'm not going anywhere till I get what I want. I read your file gayboy and I know everything about you, even your dad."

David backed up against the window adjacent to the door and Steven started closing in, blade in hand.

"So the way I see it," Steven continued. "We can do this the easy way or the hard way. You can do what you're fucking told and you won't get hurt, or I'll fucking stab you. And if by some miracle you live then I'll make sure everyone in this shitty place knows everything about you. Got it?"

David was paralyzed by fear as he stared at the knife in Steven's hand. Steven was right in front of him, pointing the blade threateningly in David's face.


David, unable to speak, unable to escape, obeyed his captor's command and knelt before Steven who, once again, held the blade toward David's face, this time letting the cold, flat edge rest on his cheek.

"Now listen good, faggot. If you bite me, you'll get this blade in your fucking eye got it?"

With his free hand Steven undid his jeans and pulled down his fly to reveal a pair of black boxers.

"Get it out for me faggot"

David did what he was told and now had Steven's hard dick pointing at his face. He thought he was going to be sick, all he could think was "not again, god no, not again".

"You're probably going to enjoy this more than me anyway. I bet you fucking love sucking cock. Well what are you waiting for, suck my cock!"