I want to thank everyone who has read the story. I also want to thank those who have emailed. It means a lot hearing from you. Please continue reading! There is a lot more to come. I own all rights to this story.

If you don't like this type of story or you don't agree with the issues in this story, then please feel free to read elsewhere.

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None of the characters are based on real people nor are they meant to resemble any living or dead people.

This story contains some adult language as well as sex, or some hints of sex. I cannot promise that there will be sex in each chapter, but if you find my writing to be offensive or distasteful in any way, you're visiting the wrong website and need to move on.

Copyright 2013-2018

For those who don't know Blake, Ben, Juan, and Rick are characters from another story of mine called Blake's Saga. It's posted here on Nifty. If you haven't read it look it up under the author Hnstskr4

As a writer, I struggle with sharing stories that are emotional in nature. This story has had its fair share of rough patches as far as I am concerned. Riley's life has not been easy since his coming out to his parents, but there have been some awesome tender moments as his life gets better. As we all know, while things can get better, there can still be some very rough patches. Before this chapter begins, I feel the need to tell you that there will be bullying in this chapter. I am going to use words, that I do not use outside of my writing. I apologize to anyone who is insulted by the words that are used in this chapter. Know, that I do not agree with the use of these words by other people. Please share your heart with those who need it. Don't let a bully win!

Love Me

Chapter 16 School's Bad

The day started off perfectly for Riley. His brother was able to drop him off at school, which always makes him happy. Not only was Mr. Harrison outside waiting for him, but Ryan was out there too to welcome him to a new day at school. He spent breakfast with his friends and then it was off to lockers, and from there he moved to the classroom. About half way through first hour, Riley raised his hand to ask if he can use the bathroom. Riley got permission to leave the room, but Mr. Harrison has to go with him just in case he needs help. The aide stands outside now since Riley is better on his feet, however, he never strays far from the doors. All it takes is Riley calling out for help, and Mr. Harrison is right there ready to assist. It's in the restroom that the day shifts dramatically.

***

Riley enters the restroom unaware that someone else is in there with him. As he nears the handicap stall, he hears someone step out of another stall and, he can feel them standing in back of him.

"Hey cripple! Who said you could use this restroom?"

The kid's voice maybe soft but it's still threatening and upsets Riley. Riley reaches out his hand to enter the stall so he could lock himself inside when his hand is moved away from the door.

"I asked you a question, and I want an answer. Who said you could use this restroom?"

"It's...it's not...your...restroom."

The stranger's face turns red with anger. He then slaps Riley's face. Now Riley has tears in his eyes. He's also afraid to speak up; afraid that if he does, he'll get more then just slapped from this bully.

"Don't you dare tell anyone that I hit you faggot. I don't need your boyfriend coming after me, and I don't need your babysitter out there telling on me. You just make sure that you stay out of my restroom retard. I'm watching you."

The kid turns his back and washes his hands so that Riley can use the restroom. Riley goes into the stall and, but it takes a little longer than usual for the urine to come out of him of him. The bully waits impatiently for Riley to come out of the stall. When Riley is done, he opens the stall door and goes to walk out to get away from this guy. The bully reaches out his hand and grabs Riley's shirt, and then he stares into Riley's eyes.

"You tell anyone what happened in here, and I'll kick your ass in front of everyone, and I don't care if your big, bad boyfriend joins in, you got me?"

"Y-y-es...yes."

"Get out!"

Riley wastes no time, he leaves without washing his hands, and then comes up with a lie for why he took so long in the restroom. He doesn't want anyone to see him or look at him. What would his friends say, if they knew, that he allowed a bully to scare him into silence? Could he spend all day keeping the pain locked up inside of him? He'll have too or Ryan might get hurt too, and he can't allow that to happen. Problem is people did notice something off about him including Ms. Browning and Ryan. When anyone asked, he just said that he was feeling sick. At the end of the day, Ms. Browning writes in Riley's planner that something about him today, but she wasn't sure what it was. She also says that he didn't seem to be feeling well and to just watch him. At home, Smoke refuses to leave his side, which worries Caden. It's when the lights in his room were turned off for the night, that things take a bad turn. Tears begin to well up in his eyes, and soon they are falling down his face. His stomach which has been bugging him all day isn't helping him feel any better either.

***

In the morning when the alarm goes off, Riley gets up and heads straight to the bathroom moving past Jared who is shaving.

"You okay Riley?"

The young man barely gets the toilet lid up when vomit comes rushing out of his mouth. Jared sets his razor down on the counter and moves to stand by Riley. Full blown tears are coming down Riley's face.

"Okay, let it out. Do you need to throw up again?"

Jared asks worriedly about his boyfriend's brother.

"No...no...no...school?"

Jared laughs a little and then he looks at Riley with a frown.

"I don't think, you're going to school today. Let's go see Caden."

After washing his hands, Riley and Jared head out to find Caden who is getting everything lined up so they can get out to the car and head off to the school. Riley sits down while Jared pulls Caden aside.

"Call him off Caden. He just puked in the bathroom."

Caden gets out his phone and places a call to the high school's call off line. When the prompt announces it's time to leave a message, Caden starts talking.

"This is Caden Bishop, I'm calling off my brother, Riley Bishop because he's sick to his stomach."

With the call ended, Caden looks at his brother who is resting his head on the dining room table.

"Hey Buddy, do you want me to stay home today?"

Riley looks up at his brother and then puts his head back down on the table. Jared smiles as he nudges Caden just a little bit.

"I think you should go to work. I can stay here and keep an eye on this guy."

As he finishes his statement, he puts his hand on Riley's back.

"Promise to call if he gets worse."

Caden isn't going to leave till he knows that Jared agrees to call him.

"Yes, I'll call, now go to work."

Jared says so that Caden will leave for work and not be late.

"See you, Riley, I won't be able to come home for lunch so be good, and I hope you feel better."

Riley wants to cry not out of physical pain, but because the emotions inside of him are tearing him a part.

"O...o...kay. Going...to...bed."

Caden gives a hug goodbye and then gives Jared a kiss goodbye before walking away and going to the car. Riley gets up and walks to his bedroom with Smoke right at his feet. He climbs onto his bed and curls his blanket around him only to have Smoke whine up at him. Smoke seems to be the only one who knows that there is more to this sickness than just being sick. Riley reaches down and picks up Smoke and places him on the bed. Smoke snuggles with Riley. A few minutes later, Jared checks up on Riley before going into the office to work on his writing for the day.

***

At the end of th4e day, Ryan decides to stop by Riley's house to check up on him. He knocks on the front door and waits for it to be answered. Jared gets up from his computer chairs and walks to the door. Opening the front door, he smiles and invites Ryan to come inside the house.

"Where is Riley?"

"He's in his bedroom. I am not sure if he's sleeping or not, but Smoke and he have been in there almost all day."

Ryan hates that his special someone is sick and starts to walks to the bedroom.

"Don't know if you want to do that because he threw up this morning."

"You know, I'll risk it. I missed the big goof today."

Jared smiles at the concern that Ryan has for Riley.

"Yeah, he was acting like he was pretty sick during school yesterday."

Jared stops for a minute and looks back over the past 24 hours to think back on what Riley was like when he came home from school.

"Now that you mention it, he did seem a little down yesterday. Feel free to go back and see how he's doing."

"Thanks, Jared."

Ryan quietly walks back to Riley's bedroom. He doesn't want to be loud so he doesn't disturb him if he's sleeping. When he peeks his head into the room, Riley is sitting on the bed with Smoke curled up in his lap. Neither pup or Riley move when Ryan enters the room. It's almost as if they aren't paying him any attention at all. Entering the room, he sits on the floor and looks up into Riley's eyes.

"Hey, how are you feeling?"

Riley doesn't respond right away to the question. It takes a few seconds for Riley to even acknowledge the fact that someone has entered the room.

"I...I...hurt."

Ryan can see it in his baby's eyes.

"What hurts?"

Riley doesn't say anything and just points to his heart and to his head. Worried about his boyfriend, he reaches out for his hand so he can hold it. Riley rejects his hand pushing it away from him, before looking down at him and patting to the bed beside him. Ryan gets up and sits on the bed next to Riley. Smoke stirs a bit but settles back down pretty quickly. Riley rests his head against his boyfriend's shoulder. The couple doesn't talk at all for almost ten minutes.

"Everyone was worried about you at school. Blake, Ben, Rick, and Juan all told me to tell you hello."

Hearing that put a smile on Blake's face, it's the first time that Blake has smiled and meant it all day long.

"Here, I made this in art class for you."

It's a folded piece of paper that Ryan had made a bunch of decorative hearts on it. Each heart holds different textures and colors. There is a total of fifteen different hearts all encircling the words "I love you Riley" and there are even some carefully drawn roses in each corner of the folded paper. Inside, there is one single rose with "I love you" printed in each petal. Get well messages adorn the other side of the inside of the card. Riley can feel the tears welling up again, a mixture of happy tears and sad tears.

"Thank...you Ryan."

Riley leans over and gently kisses Ryan on the cheek.

"You're welcome."

Ryan leans in and gives Riley a kiss.

"Are you going to be at school tomorrow?"

"Yes, I am. I'll...I'll be there."

"Cool. I have to get home. I'm counting on you being there tomorrow."

Ryan is counting on Riley to be at school tomorrow. He can't wait to see his buddy at school. Ryan gives his baby a kiss good night, and then he walks out of the room. Riley remains on the bed for a few minutes before he gets up to go after Ryan.

***

Ryan is sitting at home relaxing when his cell phone goes off.

"Hey Riley, what's going on?"

"Are...are...you going to...to school?"

"Yes, I'm going to be there."

Ryan knows, they've already discussed this earlier at Riley's house, but he always answers all of Riley's questions as if they are being asked for the first time.

"I am ner-vous. I-I nervous."

"Why are you nervous?"

"School."

Ryan doesn't get why he's nervous. This guy is loved by almost everyone at school, so why should he be nervous.

"Riley, why are you nervous dude?"

Suddenly, Riley goes quiet and this isn't like him. It takes a few seconds before there is any response.

"Just, just forget it."

There is a hint of agitation in his voice. There is just no reason for Riley to be acting this way. Ryan thinks back over yesterday at school.

`Riley was acting kind of weird yesterday at school. Maybe he was sick or maybe something happened that really upset him. I've was so scared that...'

Ryan cuts himself off to talk to his boyfriend some more.

"Are you feeling better?"

"Yeah thanks, Ryan. I like...better."

Ryan doesn't want to worry Caden and Jared with his idea, but he also knows they stand a better chance at getting Riley to speak up. He can't talk with Jared or Caden without first hanging up with Riley. He hates lying to his boyfriend like this, but what else can he do. He's doing it to protect him and doesn't that make a good boyfriend.

"Riley, I'm going to let you go."

"Oh...okay. Talk to you...later...I love you."

Ryan makes a kissing noise and then he ends the call. Ryan's heart is seriously heavy at the moment.

***

Ryan stares at his phone for several seconds before he picks it up and calls Jared's phone. Jared has taken Smoke outside to have a much-needed break, so he misses the phone call. When he gets inside and discovers the call, he calls Ryan back.

"Ryan aren't you calling the wrong person?"

"Um...no, not this time, I need to talk to you either you or Caden."

Jared wonders why Ryan is calling for him or Caden instead of Riley, but he's about to find out.

"So, I can't prove it but yesterday at school, Riley was acting sick but I think something happened at school yesterday."

Jared isn't sure what happened at school but if Ryan is concerned then he needs to really listen to what the teen has to say.

"What do you think happened?"

Ryan can only speculate about what happened, and he's hoping that by putting a telling Jared that something happened at school, that maybe they will be able to get Riley talking about what happened at school.

"To be honest, I don't have any idea, but I know something happened."

Ryan isn't giving him anything to go on, and neither has Riley.

"Jared, you need to get him to tell you what happened. He seems afraid to say anything about it, but I can't shake the feeling that whatever it was that happened is what's causing him to be sick."

Ryan says hoping that if he put a little emotion behind his words, that maybe Jared would take him seriously.

"Well, if you feel strongly about it, then we had better figure this out."

Jared says as he thinks about his next step.

"Thanks, Jared I'm glad that you listened to me."

Ryan says as his heart pounds just a little bit.

"You're welcome. I will talk to him and maybe he'll tell me what happened, but then again maybe he won't. I'll also call Caden because he needs to hear what you said."

Of course, Caden needs to know what is going on with his brother. The bigger problem is how exactly are they going to get Riley to talk when he won't even come out of his room. The question is will he tell Jared or Caden when he wouldn't even tell anyone at school or tell Ryan when he was just here at the house?

"I'm going to let you go, Jared, thanks."

"Um...okay, You're welcome."

Ryan doesn't call him all that often but this is call that he's glad that he answered, and he's going to immediately act on it as soon as Caden gets home. It doesn't take long for Caden to come home. Caden enters the house and finds Jared sitting in the living room with a worried look on his face.

"I think, we need to talk for a second or two and then, we need to talk to Riley about what happened at school yesterday."

Caden promptly sets his stuff down at the door, then he walks over to the couch.

"I take it, this isn't going to be a fun talk?"

Caden looks at Jared and waits for a response. Jared looks down at the floor and then back up at Caden.

"I'm sorry Caden, but I have nothing good to say right now."

Jared takes a deep breath before continuing any further with this conversation.

"I just got off the phone with Ryan. He believes that something happened at school yesterday that has Riley frightened, and that whatever it is, is the reason behind his vomiting this morning."

Caden is stunned at Ryan's revelation.

"Does he have any idea what happened?"

Jared shakes his head. Caden is deeply worried now, that maybe something did happen at school.

"So how do you want to handle this?"

Jared asks so that they can face issue together instead of separate. Caden thinks for a few minutes before replying to Jared's question.

"Obviously, we need to talk to Riley and get him to tell us what happened. Someone had better have some answers for us."

There is some serious anger building in Caden's soul at the moment. Riley's been hurt enough, this won't be ignored, and he will fight for his brother if need be. Caden takes Jared's hand before getting up and heading down the hall. Standing outside his room, the guys take a deep breath before knocking on the door and entering the room.

***

Caden and Jared sit down on the floor. Riley moves from the bed to the floor and sits across from the adults. He can tell by the expression on their faces that, this isn't going to be bedroom visit isn't going to be fun and games.

"Is...is...every-thing o...o...okay?"

"Why don't you tell us about school yesterday?"

Caden asks looking at his brother hoping for some body language or some kind of facial cue that might give a clue as to what is going on at school. Riley is quiet but his face isn't, and Caden can see that question upset him for some reason.

"Are you going to tell us what's going on at school?"

The words of the bully echo in the young man's head, and he clams up even more. Speaking up would only lead to a physical confrontation between the bully and Ryan, who would luckily win the fight, but he could also end up losing the fight. If there is going to be any peace, then he can't tell them what happened.

"Noth-ing happened, I...just sick."

Caden has had it with his brother because he knows that Riley didn't just get ill.

"Riley, I want to know what happened, and we aren't leaving until you tell us what happened at school?"

Riley's tears begin to well up in his eyes. The tears don't seem to bother Caden however, Jared is having a hard time with it. Since Caden didn't have much luck with his question, Jared is going to try talking to the teen.

"Riley, we want to help you out but, we can't if you won't tell us what's making you upset."

"I...I...I, school...school is bad."

With the sentence out of his mouth, he is soon crying and Caden has finally given in to the tears. He allows to Riley to find some comfort in his arms.

"Maybe, pushing him isn't a good idea."

Caden tells Jared so that nothing else is said that might make Riley even more upset.

"It's okay Riley. We won't ask bother you anymore tonight okay? It's okay. Just relax."

Jared says as Caden holds the teen to help ease the pain. Riley doesn't respond but the sobs have quieted down, and that helps to make them feel better. Jared gets up and walks out of the room. Caden doesn't leave until his brother's sobs have totally died down. Riley crawls back into the bed along with Smoke and ends up falling asleep.

***

It's the next day and Riley is already at school, and Caden is already at work. He makes it a point to pick up his cell phone and calls Ms. Browning.

"Ms. Browning's room, this is a Ms. Browning speaking, how can I help you?"

"Ms. Browning, this is Caden Bishop, Riley Bishop's brother. I wanted to touch base with you on his getting sick yesterday. I have reason to believe that his sick day yesterday might have had something to do with, something that transpired at school the day before. Ryan, his boyfriend, said that he was fine and then it was like he changed, and that isn't like him, and I have to admit that he was quiet and shied away from both me and my boyfriend that day. Is there anything you can think of that might have upset him?"

She is quiet as she looks over her notes for that day to see if she recorded anything that might shed some light on the problem, but there doesn't seem to be anything. There was indeed a change in his mood that day, but she assumed it was his health.

"You know Mr. Bishop, I can't think of anything that might have happened that would have upset him. Ryan is right though, his behavior did change during the day, but we assumed it was because he wasn't feeling well. I want to work with you in figuring this out if that is okay? Has he said anything to you that might suggest what happened?"

Ms. Browning asks hoping that there might be a clue in something that he might have said.

"All he could tell us was that "school is bad"; but that could be anything really."

She doesn't like the fact that he won't tell his own brother about what happened. Her mind is screaming "bully" and that has to be stopped.

"I can't prove it, but I would bet somehow that a bully has been at work. If that is the case, they are incredibly stupid or super brave, because if Ryan hears about it, it won't be good. With your permission, I'm going to put together a plan to counter this issue."

She is hoping that Caden will be onboard with everything that she is doing and will do in Riley's defense.

"Feel free to do whatever you think is necessary just keep me informed."

Caden says wanting to know every last step that she takes to figure everything out what happened; and what she'll do to fix the situation. This is why she loves Caden because he works with her and doesn't just say that he'll do something only to do nothing.

"I will do that Mr. Bishop. Thanks so much for calling."

"You're welcome. I'll let you get back to whatever you were doing before I called. Thanks, Ms. Browning."

Having more eyes is what she needs, so with fifteen minutes left before the bell rings, she sends Mr. Harrison and Riley on a secret mission to deliver a box to the office. It's a ploy that she uses when she needs a kid out of the room for any reason. Once they are out of the room, she picks up the phone and tells the secretary that, Riley is coming down with the box. She then has Ryan called down to her room. Three minutes later, Ryan shows up in her room.

"Good, you're here. I need to ask you a question. What makes you think that Riley wasn't just sick the other day?"

Ryan wants to protect him, but something has to be done, and she is one of two individuals that he feels can help protect his boyfriend at school.

"I don't know, I just know that something wasn't right. You just have to trust me. In the short that, I've known Riley, I have learned when he's not happy. He wasn't happy about something that day, and it wasn't just being sick."

Ryan looks at Riley's empty seat, and he hopes that everything is okay.

"Ryan keep your ears and eyes open. I want to know if anyone looks at the wrong way. I want to know if anyone talks to him that doesn't normally talk to him. You understand me. Don't approach them, come directly to me first. You can enlist the help of any friend that you want too. Am I asking too much?"

"I'm on it Ms. Browning. We'll keep our eyes out."

"Thanks, Ryan."

She takes his pass from his hands and fills it out so that he can return to class. Now, she hopes that if the bully does bug Riley, that Ryan and his friends will see it.

***

Ryan doesn't waste any time in getting the word out that he needs to see his friends right away. He grabs Blake and tells him that he needs to see Ben, Rick, and Juan and why he needs to see them. Right after the bell before lunch; Ben, Rick, Juan, and Blake all meet Jared in the gym.

"Guys, someone bullied Riley. I stopped by yesterday and he had thrown up that morning because of how stressed he was. Ms. Browning wants us to keep our eyes out for anyone who might be giving Riley a hard time. If you see anything or hear anything let her know immediately, got it?"

All the guys agree, but it's Rick who hopes that he can stumble upon the coward, who enjoys picking on kids who can't defend themselves. Even Ben and Blake agree to work together despite the fact that their relationship has hit a rough patch.

"Have you guys heard anything about it in the hallways?"

They shake their heads no and then they leave the gym and head into the lunchroom. Ryan gets his lunch and finds their spot in the cafeteria and sits down with his boyfriend. Everyone else takes a position where they see Ryan's and Riley's table as well as everyone else's table as well. Mr. Harrison is standing in the lunchroom too where he can see the tables that his kids are at today. Lunch finishes without an incident, but Riley is having a difficult time of things. Lunch finishes without an incident but Riley is a having a difficult time of things.

***

After lunch, Ryan and Mr. Harrison escort Riley to the restroom but there is a major problem. He refuses to go into restroom afraid that he'll be bullied again. As Riley is standing outside the restroom, the need to pee suddenly vanishes as he soaks his pants. Now, Ryan goes to find a custodian to tell them about the accident. All Riley can think about is how he wet his pants in front of Ryan, but what the teen doesn't know is that Ryan could care less about the accident. He cares about the person who is now crying and red-faced; he's worried about Riley. Ryan, Mr. Harrison, and Riley walk to another restroom.

"I need you to take my keys and open Riley's locker. The combinations are on the back of my id card. Lockers are the..."

"Sorry to interrupt, but I know his locker. I'll be right back."

Ryan puts his legs into overtime and takes off for the locker. In no time, his fingers open the locker but there are no clothes in the locker. Ryan walks as fast as he can back to Mr. Harrison and Riley.

"Ryan, I need you to go to Ms. Browning and tell her that we need clean clothes for Riley."

Ryan speeds off towards the classroom. Stepping inside, he approaches her desk, where she is reading with another student.

"Ms. Browning, Riley is wet and Mr. Harrison needs clean clothes for him."

"Why did he wet himself?"

She asks worried that something else might have happened to him.

"He just wouldn't go into the restroom by the cafeteria."

"Well, I will call the house and get him some clean clothes."

Right away, she has the student that she is working with move back to her seat and has Ryan read with her until the phone call is over. Picking up the phone, she hurries and calls the house. After a couple rings, Jared answers the landline.

"Hello Jared speaking, how can I help you Ms. Browning?"

She paused for just a second and then started talking.

"I'm afraid that right after lunch, Riley had to use the restroom and then refused to go into the restroom and wet himself. I'm afraid he needs a change of dry clothes, whoever brings them needs to check in at the office and then I need them to come down to the room. I'll clear it with the office first. Do you know who will be coming up to the school?"

"It's going to be me because Riley's brother is at work right now."

"Thanks, I'll get the office called here in a second. Thanks, I'll let you go so you can grab the clothes."

"Bye Ms. Browning."

As promised she calls down to the office and let's them know that Jared will be bringing a package down to the room. Getting up from her desk, she walks to the chair that Ryan is sitting at and has him get up and go to the restroom and let Mr. Harrison know that clean clothes are coming. Leaving the classroom, Ryan moves towards the restroom. He delivers the message and then returns to the classroom as Mr. Harrison tells him too, so he can bring the clothes down to the restroom when they get there.

***

Meanwhile, at the house, Jared walks into Riley's bedroom and grabs 2 sets of cleans clothes and bag. It hits him, that he needs to call Caden, so he grabs his phone and hits his boyfriend's number. In no time, Caden answers the phone.

"Jared, what's going on?"

"Right after lunch, Riley had to go pee but he refused to go inside and he wet himself. I am on my way out the door right now with clean clothes."

Caden would have gladly skipped out of work to run to the school, but he realizes that they don't both need to be at the school. Jared is perfectly capable of running clothes up to the school.

"I want to know what happened Jared, so call me when you get back home okay."

"I will Babe. I'll call if I hear anything."

"Guess, I should let you go."

Caden says even though it hurts just a little because he knows Riley has to be suffering.

"I'm at the car, so I am going to go. Love you."

"Love you too."

Jared ends the call and gets into the car and with a twist of keys, he speeds off towards the school. Arriving at the school, he parks the car, announces himself on the buzzer, and then heads into the office. The secretary sends him straight down to Ms. Browning's room. As soon as he steps into the room, Ms. Browning has Ryan run off with the clothes. Rather, then have Jared go home, she has him stay in the classroom till Riley came back into the room.

***

Ryan wastes no time in getting down to the restroom. He hands off the bag filled with clothes and then returns to the classroom. For Riley and Mr. Harrison, it feels they've been in this restroom forever. Mr. Harrison has Riley take his clothes off. Mr. Harrison gives Riley a baby wipe and has him wipe his skin down to get any odors off of him. The whole time, Riley is scared and nervous about what will happen next. He's sure that his brother and Jared must know what happened. When they are done Riley and Mr. Harrison return to the classroom and Riley sees Jared sitting at one of the tables in the back of the room. Ms. Browning stands up and looks at Mr. Harrison and Ryan.

"I need everyone expect for Riley to head down to the library with Mr. Harrison and Ryan."

One by one the kids lined up in front of Ryan and then with a nod from Mr. Harrison, they all leave the classroom.

***

Ms. Browning pulls up a chair at the table where Jared is sitting.

"Riley, can you please pull up a chair up here with us?"

Riley nervously obeys his teacher. She smiles as she looks at Jared and Riley

"Riley, can you tell us why you wet yourself today?"

She asks hoping for an answer. He doesn't want to answer her, not in front of Jared, but there isn't a choice really.

"NO, No, I...I...can't."

Jared is concerned over his reaction to her question so he tries.

"Why couldn't you go inside the restroom?"

"I...I...I just couldn't."

Jared can tell that Riley doesn't want to answer their questions. Ms. Browning looks at Jared and then tells him that, he needs to talk to Riley alone.

***

She walks out of the room and leaves Jared and Riley in the room to talk. The teen's eyes fill with fear as he looks at Jared. Jared is quiet for a second as he thinks about what he might say to Caden's brother. He considers standing up while talking to him, but he decides against it, because he doesn't want to appear threatening, so he sits down right next to Riley.

"Riley are you afraid of me?"

Riley looks Jared and shakes his head no. Jared expects him to say something but there is nothing.

"I don't want to keep you from class for too long, so I'm just going to say it, and I hope you believe me. Riley, your brother and I are worried about you buddy, but we aren't mad at you for having this accident. It happens okay, so don't sweat it. We hope that you trust us enough to tell us what happened the other day. I love you, buddy."

"You...you aren't mad?"

Jared smiles into the young man's eyes in hopes of making him see that everything is okay.

"Nope, I'm not mad at you. Now, how about a hug? I'm going home once your teacher comes back."

Riley throws his arms around Jared, but he hopes no one is watching him at the moment. He's grateful that Jared and Caden aren't mad at him. They love him and that is what matters.

"Be good, and I'll see you tonight when you get home."

"Okay, I-I...be...good."

"Good."

It doesn't take long for Mr. Harrison, Ryan, and Ms. Browning and the rest of the class to come back. When they do, Jared says goodbye and then heads out to his car.

***

Ms. Browning can't sit back and have whatever happened get swept underneath the rug, so she walks down to the office to talk with Mr. DeSoto, the assistant principal. She knocks on his door, and he motions her to come inside the office. After closing the office door, she moves towards one of the chairs and sits down.

"Mr. DeSoto, I need to pass something by you, one of my students has been acting very odd lately. On Wednesday, he was in a great mood, when he arrived at school. About halfway through first hour, he asked to use the restroom, so I sent my aide with him. The aide saw no one leave the restroom but after he came back to the room, he was acting funny like he was sick or something. He never complained that he wasn't feeling good, and he isn't one to hide his pain, so I admit that I let it go. The next day his brother calls him off from school because he had thrown up that morning. Today, he shows up to school and wets himself because he won't go into the bathroom. I think something happened in that restroom on Wednesday. Can you check the cameras to see what happened on that day during first hour say around 8:15 am?"

He immediately gets on the phone with security and asks them to see who might come out of the restroom after Riley.

"May I ask which of your students is having the issue?"

He says as he jots some notes in a notebook on his desk.

"Yeah, it's Riley Bishop."

Hearing the name causes Mr. DeSoto to take notice and this report just became a bit more personal. Caden was one of his favorite assistants, and he's still a good friend and for that reason, he's willing to find out what might have happened.

"I've already got security looking at the tapes to see who comes out after Riley leaves the restroom. If we can identify the kid, he'll be called down, so I can talk to him."

She is concerned about her student and rightfully so, and Mr. DeSoto is concerned for more than reason, and it's just not because of Riley's brother, but because, it's one of his kids. It's not common knowledge but Mr. DeSoto has a nephew who has autism and he'll do anything for his nephew and that goes for any special needs kids. He is extremely proud of Ms. Browning's special education classroom in the high school.

"Have you spoken with his brother yet?"

He asks wanting to ensure that she has contacted the family.

"I spoke with him briefly yesterday after Riley's boyfriend had called him about the possibility of his sickness being something more than just being sick."

Mr. DeSoto wants to talk to the boyfriend to find out why he thinks Riley's sickness was caused by some other problem other than a virus.

"What is the boyfriend's name?"

"His name is Ryan Mitchell."

Mr. DeSoto plans on talking with Ryan at some point. He's pleased that Ms. Browning has contacted Riley's guardian.

"I take it, you believe that Riley did, in fact, experience something bad in the restroom."

"I believe something happened but so far we can't get anything from Riley about what happened to him."

Mr. DeSoto shakes his head. He's extremely worried about his student. She can his displeasure over the situation.

"Work with him and help him understand that what happened to him wasn't his fault, and in the meantime, I am going to do everything I can to bring an end to all of this, I promise."

"Mr. DeSoto, promise me that by tomorrow, we'll have good news for Mr. Bishop?"

The assistant principal reaches out his right hand to shake hands with the teacher.

"I'll do my best."

He says as he looks at her face.

"Guess, that will have to do."

She says as she gets ready to head out.

"We'll see what tomorrow brings."

Mr. DeSoto states as he looks at his notes. He hopes that tomorrow will bring Riley some relief and that they'll stop any other kid from being bullied by Riley's attacker. She leaves his office feeling hopeful that everything will come out in their favor.

***

The next day, there is good news for the teacher and the assistant principal. When they come arrive at school today, there is an email attachment on both of their computers. It's a video and a picture of the kid who came out after just a few minutes after Riley left the restroom. There is no doubt about the identity of the bully. Just after the morning announcements, Mr. DeSoto gets on the phone and calls the student down to his office for a visit. Although the young man doesn't know the exact reason for being called down to the office, he's fairly certain that the kid he bullied in the restroom is too blame for him being called down to the office.

`I'm going to get that fag.'

He walks out of his class and makes his way down to the office. His entire walk is spent cursing under his breath. Adam Blake is approaching the office and enters it with a major chip on his shoulder. Everyone in the office knows this young man's name. If he isn't in for insubordination, then he's in for detention at least once a week. Many teachers would much rather have him absent than to have him be in their room giving them headaches. Adam is one of those kids who doesn't have to say a thing to show his displeasure with someone. He almost called one of the secretaries a bitch but he didn't. He'll settle for a hate-filled gaze. The secretary would prefer getting him out of the office. Just then, Mr. DeSoto steps out of his office to grab his next visitor of the day. Glancing at the list of students that he needs to see this morning, he calls on the next person in line.

"Mr. Blake, I would love to see you in my office."

Adam mutter a few swear as he gets up and heads towards the assistant principal's office.

"Mr. Blake that is enough trash talk."

Mr. DeSoto waits till the student is in his office, then he enters his office and makes his way to his desk. He clicks a few things on his laptop and then spins it around so Adam can see it. He wants the young man to see what was found on the camera.

"We had a student get bullied in one of our restrooms during one of his restroom breaks. I have to admit that I honestly thought, we wouldn't find a thing on the camera's but as you'll see in the video, we did find something."

He fingers quickly open a file marked with a date and time. As the video plays, Mr. DeSoto narrates it as he looks at the student.

"So, this is the student that was bullied and as you can see he walks out and is greeted by the aide that works in his room. Now wait for it, there you are walking out of the restroom."

Adam's eyes get big. There is no denying that the kid who just walked out of the restroom is Adam. Adam's eyes might have got large, but he doesn't care that he's been caught.

"Look, I didn't see anyone else in the restroom, when I was in there."

The student lies hoping that Mr. DeSoto will believe him but it doesn't work.

"I get it, you were in the stall when the other student entered the restroom but I'm sorry, you must have heard him in the restroom with you. Heck, I bet that you even interacted with this student. I think, you even hit him or maybe threatened him to keep quiet. You are my bully."

Adam is stunned by Mr. DeSoto's accusation.

"Look, I saw that retard and that is all."

Mr. DeSoto absolutely hates that word that the student just to describe Riley.

"Funny how you were willing to peg him as someone with a disability. Might you have said that to him?"

"No, I never spoke to him."

What a surprise, he lied again.

"You know something else that is really funny, as you can see you're the only student to come out of the restroom, so yeah you just earned the prize."

Mr. DeSoto says as he looks at Adam.

"Look, just because I was in the restroom doesn't mean I bullied that kid."

"Actually, I think you did bully him. He was frightened enough that he didn't want to come back to school. I don't know what you did or what you said, but I will not allow one of my students to go through this. I've already had to deal with bullies and I am done with people like you. I have a special place for you in my in-school suspension list. Hold on just got an email that I need to check out, oh it says here this is your third in school suspension of the year. That means I can look for something else for you. I think I am going to submit your name for expulsion."

Mr. DeSoto writes on the referral slip and then hands it to the secretary, while Adam moves to the front of the office. Adam Blake's decision to bully Riley is going to haunt him for quite some time.

***

While Adam sits in the office, Riley walks by and sees him sitting there, and Adam sees him too and glares at him. It scares Riley all over again as he flashes back to what happened in the restroom. Riley may have a bad memory but for some reason, this memory has stuck and it's causing all sorts of problems. He is terrified all over again and it hurts. This time, Ms. Browning sees it happening and quietly hurries Riley back to the room where they can talk. She hopes that she can quiet him down, talk the fear out of him, and then work on building Riley up all over again. He needs to know that despite the kid sitting in the office, that school is a good thing filled with good people. When they enter the classroom, there is fear in Riley's eyes and he's starting to feel sick all over again.

"Ms...Ms...Browning..."

Riley tries to get the words out but he ends up running for the garbage can and throwing up into the can. Instantly, she calls the nurse, who wastes no time in calling home. When the nurse calls home, she gets Jared who drops his writing to come to school to bring him home. On his way to the school, Jared gets Caden on the phone via his blue-tooth.

"Hey Babe, I'm on my way to the school to pick up your brother. He's thrown up at school and the nurse has asked me to come get him."

Caden is concerned that is the second time this week, that his brother has vomited.

"Has Ms. Browning called you at all?"

Caden asks hoping that she might have given some information on the situation.

"No, I haven't heard from her yet, do you want me to stop by the room?"

Deciding that she would call if anything was up, he decides to tell him not to worry about it.

"Don't worry about it Jared, I'll be home in an hour."

"Sounds good, I love you."

Jared tells his boyfriend.

"Love you too."

Caden smiles as he tells Jared how he feels about him. With that, the call is ended. It leaves Jared about halfway to the school. By the time he gets to the school, Adam is out of the office and Riley is sitting in the nurse's office. Riley is more than happy to see Jared, but he still looks a little green, but before Jared and can get him home, he has to sign him out. Once signed out, Riley and Jared walk out to the car.

"Want to tell me what happened?"

Jared asks wanting to know what happened that made him sick.

"I...saw...him. I...I...I...saw him."

Riley manages to get that out before, he starts full blown tears.

"We're going home and we're going to relax."

Jared tells him as they start moving away from the school. Riley is glad that he's going home and won't have to see his tormentor for the rest of the weekend. He ends up falling asleep on the way home and Jared is perfectly okay with it. Once at home, Jared manages to wake Riley up. He manages to get him inside the house and then all the way into the young man's bedroom. When Caden gets home, he enters the house and heads for his brother's bedroom. Not wanting to disturb him, he goes off in search of Jared. As usual, he's held up inside his office working on some word processor file.

"Do we know what happened?"

Caden is beside himself with worry.

"All I know is that when he came out of the school saying "I saw him. I saw him.", so I'm guessing that he saw the bully. Hey, there is a voicemail on the landline, do you want to check it? It came in while I was on a conference call."

Caden is quick to check the message and he's hoping to get an update.

***

While Caden is checking the message, Riley is trying to get to the bathroom. Riley managed to make it the bathroom door before emptying his stomach. Jared can hear the crying and runs from the office to the source of the crying. What Jared sees upsets him, a puddle of vomit covers the floor in the bathroom, and Riley is now at the toilet throwing up again. Jared is comforting Riley while he waits for Caden to join him.

"It's okay buddy. I'll get the mess cleaned up and Caden will be in here in just a second."

"Are...are...you...mad?"

Jared smiles and reassures his boyfriend's brother. Caden enters the bathroom and sees his brother and his boyfriend kneeling beside the toilet.

"You okay buddy?"

"I...I...will be. You...you...speak to...to Ms. Browning."

"No, I haven't, but I want too."

He looks at Jared who nods his head and silently let's his love know that everything is okay. Caden walks away and enters his bedroom and closes the door to hide whatever might be said. With Riley comforted, Jared goes about cleaning up the vomit. Caden has two people that he wants to call for both support and advice. The first person on his list to call is Ian, who is a teacher and a parent, and the second person is Lisa who gave birth to the most handsome and incredible guy on the planet. He brings up Ian's cell phone number with fingers crossed that he's free to speak.

"Hey Caden, you timed that perfectly, it's actually my lunch room. Hey, I'm sorry to hear about Riley, it's made the email here at school. How is your brother doing?"

Ian says as he talks with Caden.

"Was the email to alert everyone about the bullying? Riley threw up at school and then Jared gets him home again, and he threw up again, but I didn't call to discuss his sour stomach. I wanted to talk to you about the bullying. How do I handle it at school, what should I ask?"

Ian knows how Caden is feeling because Blake has been bullied and things were horrible during that time in their household's life.

"I can tell you that Mr. DeSoto will make an example of the bully. Ms. Browning will do everything in her power to get justice for Riley. You really don't need to do anything, but it's good to ask questions, and it good to get stay involved. Mr. DeSoto or Ms. Browning will keep you informed. Ms. Browning is going to be right there with your brother."

Caden already knows that Ms. Browning has gone out of her way for his brother, and he hopes that she'll do same now that he's been bullied. Mr. DeSoto has always been the type of administrator who goes above and beyond for his students. I guess in the heat of the moment, things get a little blurry.

"Thanks, Ian, I appreciated the help."

Ian is always glad to help his friend, but honestly, he has a soft spot for Riley."

"You're welcome man."

After hanging up with Ian, he Lisa. She is Riley's adopted Grandma and proud of it too.

"Hi Caden, what did my son do?"

It might surprise her to hear that he's actually calling about Riley.

"I actually called about Riley. I need some advice."

She immediately interrupts Caden fearing that something has happened to her grandson.

"What is wrong with my Riley."

"Well, he was bullied at school, and it's eating at him to the point that he is at home because he threw up at school, but how do I help him. We've told him that we love him and that we're not mad at him, but it doesn't seem to stick."

She is quiet while she thinks.

"Sit down with him, talk with him, and then you listen, and then listen again. Don't forget that you love him and that he loves you. He's afraid and fear can eat at us. It can give us nightmares and make us feel weird."

If there is one thing that Caden doesn't need, it's to be told to love his brother. Perhaps, he does need to sit down with Riley and talk for a while and then stick back and listen to whatever his brother has to say.

"You tell him that I love him and that I can't wait to see him this weekend. Oh, and tell my son to call and say hello okay?"

Lisa doesn't want to be left out when Caden tells Riley that he is loved. Jared is pretty busy and has a tendency to forget to call her when his life gets hectic.

"Thanks for talking with me Lisa. I'm taking your advice to heart. I'll give the guys your love."

He loves this lady for accepting him and Riley.

"You're welcome. I love you now go take care of my grandson."

Lisa says to as she quietly hopes that this guy makes a groom out of her son.

"Thanks again, and we'll see you on Saturday."

The call is over and Caden leaves the bedroom to see what everyone else is up too. The rest of the day is spent going about their usual routine for the most part.

***

The next day comes all too fast for the household. Caden and Jared wake up again to the sounds of Riley puking again. Caden quietly calms his brother down and then he cleans the place up. Jared calls Riley off from school. Quietly, he enters the bathroom to take Caden's place and knowing that he wanted to call Ms. Browning back. He wants to catch her before the kids arrive at school. He places the call and then quietly waits for her to pick up the phone. She looks at her caller id and then picks up the phone right away.

"Mr. Bishop, how can I help you?"

"I have two things to tell you. First, Riley won't be at school today. He woke up again throwing up. Second, can I make an appointment with you I just want to talk about the bullying."

She opens her calendar on the computer, skims over it for today, and then responds to him.

"I would love to meet with you. Can you do it today around 3:00 o'clock? I'm going to try and see if I can get Mr. DeSoto to attend if that is okay with you?"

He looks at his calendar to see if he can do 3:00 or not.

"I can be there at 3:00. Would be okay if my boyfriend comes?"

"I'll see you guys at 3:00 pm."

"Thanks, Mrs. Browning. I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me."

Caden ends the call and then he enters the kitchen. Just a few minutes later, he's greeted by Jared.

"Riley has gone back to bed. So why aren't you getting ready for work?"

What Jared says makes Caden realize that he needs to call off work. He very quickly gets on the phone. Once he gets the job done, he ends the call and gets back with Jared.

"Sorry about that, I completely forgot to call off work."

Jared is slightly confused but he's sure that everything is okay.

"So, why aren't you going to work?"

"We have a meeting at school today to talk with Ms. Browning at 3:00. Can you be there?"

Jared pulls out his phone to check his calendar so he can check today's schedule. A quick reshuffling of his schedule makes it so that he can attend the meeting.

"Yes, I can attend the meeting."

Even though he works from home, Jared maintains a schedule to help balance out his life. If Jared is honest with himself, there have been more disruptions in his schedule since Caden and Riley have moved in with him, but he wouldn't have it any other way.

"Thanks, Jared, I really appreciate it."

Jared pauses for a second as he realizes that they still have one thing that they need to take care of or they can't attend the meeting.

"We need to find someone to sit with Riley."

Caden and Jared struggle to come up with someone who can watch Riley. Ryan will just be getting out of school for the day, so he is out. Trace might do it if he's available and if he can't maybe Jared's mom wouldn't mind sitting with him for an hour or two. In the end, though, it's Trace that gets called simple because Lisa will have Riley all weekend during the move. Jared calls Trace who quickly agrees, but before he can show up at the house, he needs to call Ian and let him know what he's doing. Around 2:45, Trace shows up all to happy to spend some with Riley. The guys waste no time in heading out the door.

***

Once the car is parked, they waste no time in entering the school, getting signed in, and then heading off towards the classroom. When they enter the classroom, Ms. Browning and Mr. DeSoto are already sitting in the room. They take their seats and Ms. Browning starts the introductions not that Mr. DeSoto needs to be introduced to Caden. Mr. DeSoto is happy to see Caden's boyfriend, but even more happy to be so that they can protect and assist Riley.

"Yesterday, we called down the kid who assaulted Riley. Sadly, this isn't his first offense so he's expelled from school."

Mr. DeSoto said as he passes out the transcript of what took place during the time that Adam was in his office. All mention of student's names has been whited out in case someone else sees this paper. Everyone is reading over the paper that was passed out. Ms. Browning is not one bit surprised by the way Adam described Riley. For Caden and Jared, the fact that anyone would use that to describe Riley is sickening both "retard" and faggot" are uncalled for, especially since Riley would never use those words to verbally assault anyone. They are glad to see this kid serving his punishment.

"From the way Riley has been acting at home, this kid must have really scared him. Did this kid say anything that might tell us what he did to my brother?"

Caden wants to know what happened to his brother, so hat the can help Riley heal.

"No, he lead me to believe that no one was in the restroom with him, and yet he was the only one that came out of the restroom after Riley came out of the restroom."

Mr. DeSoto answer is honest and truthful. Jared is deeply concerned but holds back a bit so that Caden can voice his questions and concerns without interruption.

"How do you plan on protecting him once he's back to school?"

Mr. DeSoto knows that every child deserves to be safe at school and he desperately wants that for all his students.

"I've got everything in place to protect him but, I'm open to other ideas."

Mr. DeSoto wants to make sure that all voices are heard. The school system has rules in place to deal with bullies but, he can see that more could be done. Ms. Browning has been pretty quiet up to now, but suddenly she becomes alive.

"Mr. Bishop, Mr. Gunter, I have a plan but I need a chance to talk it over with Mr. DeSoto and our guidance counselor staff. I'll have more for you after that meeting but I believe you'll like the end results."

Caden and Jared are curious about her plants, and they hope whatever it is that it will work.

"I promise you, that everything will be okay, but you have to give me time."

Jared and Caden look at each other and nod in agreement.

"Okay, we can give you time. We can't wait to hear what you have planned."

Caden says with support from Jared. Despite agreeing to her plan, she can still see the worry on their faces.

"Guys, I am going to do everything I can to protect Riley, and I know Mr. DeSoto will do everything he can to keep Riley safe."

Ms. Browning has Caden's trust and that is enough for Jared.

`I will not allow them to do anything that might cause my brother any harm.'

"Hey, are you okay?"

Jared whispers into his lover's ears. Caden takes his lover's hand and gazes into his eyes as he says.

"I'm fine."

"We think, we're good. We'd like to see what happens at Ms. Browning's meeting but, we do need to head out. We've got a sick teen to get back too and someone to relieve so that they can get back home. Thanks for meeting with us. We'll be in touch."

Caden is extremely grateful for the time that everyone gave up on Riley's behalf.

"Thanks for coming out."

Mr. DeSoto says as he shakes hands with everyone just before leaving the room."

"Don't worry guys, I will not disappoint you or Riley."

Ms. Browning says as she smiles at the Caden and Jared.

"Thanks, Ms. Browning."

"You're welcome."

Caden and Jared feel good about the short meeting. The guys leave the room and head out for home.

***

After talking with Trace to see how things went, Caden starts dinner and Jared returns to this office to work. While working in his office, Jared hears what he thinks is the sound of Riley crying. He's already had one delay in finishing up his work for the day, so it would be easy to simply ignore the sounds, but Jared can't ignore the sounds. He immediately gets up and walks into the teen's bedroom. What he sees in front him is worrisome; the sounds he was hearing are the sounds of Riley crying. He sits on the bed and pauses for a second before he speaks.

"Riley, what's wrong buddy?"

The young man lifts his head from the bed and glances at Jared before he responds to Jared's question.

"Not...not...not happy."

"Yeah, I can see that but, why aren't you happy?"

It has to be about what's happened at school. Jared doesn't want to just assume anything.

"That...that...kid...mean to me."

No one can deny that what Adam did was mean, but right now Jared would love to see the tears dried up and replaced by a smile. He knows that Caden would love to see his brother happy again.

"I know Riley, he was mean to you."

Riley nods his head in agreement with his older friend. He can see some hope in his brother's boyfriend eyes and maybe that is enough for him.

"You...you...love...me."

Jared smiles at him and he nudges at Riley's side.

"Course, I do dude. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be dating your big brother."

The facial expression on the young man's face instantly changed from sad to happy. Riley laughs as he gets up off the bed and heads downstairs to find something to eat. Jared follows right behind him hoping to find something to snack on as well.

***

Early on the next day, Ms. Browning writes up the last few pieces of her plan. If nothing else, this plan will give her an extra set of eyes. She intends to ensure that someone will be with Riley even when she can't or when Mr. Harrison can't be by his side. Her plan will also give her five extra peer mentors to assist in her classroom. She walks down to the guidance counselor and speaks with him about her plan and who exactly she wants as peer mentors. She intends to use Blake, Ryan, Rick, Juan, and Ben. With a little work, she is able to pull her group together; one step closer to Riley having some peace of mind. Now to get the principal's permission, she walks straight down to the main office and into his office. Not only does he like the idea of having extra eyes but, he tells her to get the job done now. She is behind him one hundred percent.

***

She gives the buses enough time to arrive at school and then has the office call each of the guys down to her room. In a just a few minutes, five teenage boys are sitting in her room. None of them know why there sitting in her room today. She immediately drops tells them about the plan.

"Okay guys so here is the deal, I need some assistance in my room and out of my room. My goal is that you will provide that help. In the classroom, you will assist all the kids in my room. Out of my room, you will have eyes on Riley Bishop. Do you all agree to help out?"

The guys take some time to think over her proposal, but it was Ryan, Rick, and Blake who raised their hands first, but then Juan and Ben also agreed to help out.

"These papers have the times that you are expected to be in my room. Please be on time. Keep in mind that, if you see Riley in the hallway and anyone bugs him, you are to come to me immediately."

"Ms. Browning, I think the guys on my team might be willing to help out at least outside the room."

She smiles at Ryan's suggestion, but she is also very serious as well.

"Ryan that would be great, but I only I have permission to have the five of you helping out with this plan."

Ms. Browning says in response to Ryan's comment.

"But don't you think that the more students the better."

Rick says as he thinks about the situation. She thinks about what Ryan and Rick have said and tells them to just keep it quiet. She dismisses the group and then gets ready to start her teaching day. Hopefully, her plan will work and Riley will feel safer at school.

***

During the kids' lunch, she calls each of teens' homes. With each call, she is one step closer to seeing her plan blossom. The parents and guardians that she has spoken too all understand the need for the extra peer mentors. She also calls Caden's cell phone to tell him about the plan and the results of this mornings meeting. The call goes amazing. Their agreement is essential to the success of this plan. She makes sure that Mr. DeSoto is notified. He's happy with the way things are going at the moment. With Mr. DeSoto's okay, she returns to her room happy that everything seems to be going to plan.

***

Caden can't wait to tell Jared and Riley about the phone call from Ms. Browning. He calls home and thankfully Jared answers the phone.

"Hi Caden, what's going on Babe?"

Jared says as he watches Riley as he gets up from the floor.

"I spoke with Ms. Browning just a little bit ago, and she has 5 students lined up to serve not only as peer mentors in her classroom, but they are also going to serve as her eyes and ears when staff members may not be around Riley. She confident that these students are going to help make Riley feel safer at school."

"Hey Caden, do we know who the students are that will be working in the classroom?"

"Yeah, she mentioned Ryan, Blake, and Ben, plus two other kids named Rick and Juan."

They know Ryan, Blake, and Ben, but neither of the guys knows who the other two boys are that Ms. Browning mentioned. It would be nice if the guys are able to do what Ms. Browning hopes they can do.

"Do me a favor Jared, can you talk to Riley about it for me?"

"Yes, I can. He's right here next to me playing with Smoke, so it's not a big deal."

Riley needs to know what his teacher has planned for him. Maybe if he knows, he'll go back to school without fear.

"Thanks, Jared, I'll see you tonight. Love you."

With their good nights said, the guys end the call. Jared turns to Riley with a smile.

"Riley, we need to talk."

Riley turns to look at Jared.

"Why-do-we?"

"Ms. Browning called your brother and told him that your class is getting 5 new peer mentors. I think you know them; Ryan, Blake, Ben, Rick, and Juan, are going to be working in the room with you, and keeping an eye on you when you aren't in the room."

The teen's face lights up and that makes Jared smile as well. It's good to see him smile after the past few days. It may be a little weird for Riley to have his boyfriend working in the room, but he'll get used to it. Hopefully, everyone will benefit from his new plan.

"Are-you, are you serious?"

"Yay, I am serious."

Jared can't get over how excited the teen is over hearing that his friends will be in his classroom. At the end of the conversation, there is another phone call that takes Jared away from the room.

***

Across the town, Ryan is considering taking the guys to visit Riley. A few minutes, later he decides to go ahead and make the calls. Ryan sends out a group text to Ben, Blake, Rick, and Juan telling them that he is picking them up, so they could go to Riley's house and visit. 30 minutes later, the car reaches Riley's house. When Ryan parks the car, everyone gets out of the car. Even with Ben and Blake being angry at each other, they manage to come together for their friend.

"We are going to make this a quick visit. It's going to be just enough time to encourage Riley and then we're going to leave."

The guys are fine with Ryan's idea. Blake is closest to the door, so he knocks. Everyone waits patiently for someone to answer the door. Jared opens the door and is surprised by the group standing on the porch. He smiles and invites the group inside. Riley is still in the living room.

"Riley look who is here?"

Riley turns and looks to see who is here. He instantly breaks into a smile. He stands up a little to fast and then slowly goes back to the ground, with some help from Jared, he stands back up. The young man passes by the other guys and gives his boyfriend a kiss on the lips and a big hug only then does he look at the others. He greets everyone but when he comes to Rick, he pauses for a second and then greets him with a smile.

"Guess what dude, we are going to be helping you out at school."

Ryan tells his boyfriend who is all smiles.

"I...think Jared told me?"

Jared isn't where Riley can see him, so the guys just accept the fact that, he said something to Riley.

`I want them to see my new game.'

Riley is ready to lead them back to his bedroom, but Ryan cuts the visit short and tells the guys that it's time to go. Ryan doesn't want Ben and Blake having any issues in front of Riley. Riley looks sad. He doesn't want his friends to leave the house just yet, but if Ryan says they need to go, then they need to go.

"I-I-see you. See-you-later."

Just then, Caden enters the house and greets the guys and then Jared enters the room.

"They-y leaving."

"Thanks for coming."

All the guys remain pretty quiet, but they do acknowledge Jared's thanks. One by one the guys give Riley a hug and then they walk out the door.

***

Once the guys are all gone, Riley sits down on the couch and looks at his brother and at Jared. He's smiling and feeling more up beat then he has over the past few days.

"I...go...to-to school."

He says with a smile on his face.

"Awesome Bro."

Caden says as he reaches out with his right hand to his brother as he asks for a high five. Riley gives him a high five and then reaches out with his left hand to Jared. Jared wastes no time in giving his left hand to Jared.

"That was nice of Ryan to bring everyone over to see you huh?"

Jared says as after giving Riley his high five.

"Yeah."

Jared saw the happiness on Riley's face the minute that he saw Ryan and the rest of his friends in the doorway. The fact that they stopped by made Jared and Caden happy. It's good to see people coming to visit Riley.

"Are you going to have a good day at school?"

Caden asks hoping that Riley says yes.

"Yes, Yes I am."

Riley decides right then and there to have a great day at school on Monday. No one is happier about his decision then Caden.

***

Hey, Chuck here, if you liked this story (or even if you didn't), feel free to email me at Hnstskr4@aol.com. I will do my best to answer all emails in a timely manner.

Thanks for reading.

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