Leaning against the locker, the cool metal feels good on my back. Jaxson is heading this way with his best friend Cole in tow. I let out a little sigh - I was hoping it would only be Jaxson. Just looking at Jaxson, I get butterflies in my stomach. Cole is cool, but I'm not out, like Jaxson is. Truth is, if I was out my dad would probably kill me.

"Hey," I say, as he reaches me.

"Sup." Jaxson grins at me.

"Hey Cole."

"What's up, Terin." He holds his hand out for me to shake.

Jaxson opens his locker door, he brushes against me lightly, and my body ignites on fire. I want to touch him right now. "So you still coming with me to the hang out?" Jaxson asks.

"Ye..yeah, of course." I try to calm myself down.

Cole looks over at me. "You go to his gay meetings? You gay, too?"

Jaxson rolls his eyes. "No, you dumbass! The hangout is for more than just gay teens; it's for anyone. Maybe if you would get your head out of your game consoles, you would actually know what the real world is like!"

Cole puts his hands up in surrender, "Whoa, man. I was just asking a question."

I put a hand on Jaxson shoulder - he glances at me, and shrugs my hand off. I know he is pissed. "It's fine, Cole. I think it's a cool thing to go to. Plus, I think I want to be a psychologist, and Jaxson's mom is amazing," I say, trying to defuse the situation.

"My bad, Jaxs, you know I was just joking. I didn't know if Terin was gay, too. You know I don't have an issue with it," Cole says.

"Maybe you shouldn't be such an insensitive fucking moron," Jaxson snaps.

Cole goes to say something, but he stops and thinks for a second. "Dude, I'm sorry. I thought it was okay to joke with you about it. You know I love you like a brother, man."

"Well, don't," he snaps.

I watch as Cole's shoulders slump. "Okay. Do you still want me to come over tomorrow afternoon? I mean, I would be really bummed if you don't want me too... I mean, I haven't really chilled with you since before Christmas break."

Jaxson rolls his eyes. "Yes! Just `cause you say stupid shit doesn't mean I hate you!"

"Cool," Cole says smirking. "Oh, sorry for thinking you were gay, too, Terin."

I shrug my shoulder. "No problem, man."

Jaxson rolls his eyes again. "Can we get the hell out of here, or do you and Cole just enjoy being at school?"

I let out a sigh and follow Jaxson's lead, as we follow the hallway out to the main entrance. I start to shiver I left my coat in my locker, but I don't want to go back and grab it. "Hey, isn't that your dad?" Jaxson points to the red corvette with the man leaning on it.

I feel my stomach drop. "Yeah... that's my dad. Remember, I am going to the dentist."

I can see Jaxson's body language change. It tells me he forgot, and now he's upset that he did. "I totally forgot!"

"Dude, the dentist sucks!" Cole says.

"Yeah, I am not excited at all," I say, as we approach my dad.

"Terin," he says with a nod.

I give him a halfhearted wave. "Hey Dad."

He looks over at Jaxson and Cole, his hard-brown eyes staring a hole through them. "Who are these two?"

"I'm Cole, sir. Nice to meet you!" Cole says, taking my dad's hand and shaking it.

"Jaxson," Jaxson says, not offering to shake my dad's hand.

I cringe on the inside, that's not going to go over well with him. "Well boys, it was nice to meet the two of you, but we need to get going."

My dad cups me on the shoulder, and squeezes a bit too hard, I don't make a face in front of Jaxson - it would only make things worse. "I will see you tomorrow."

Jaxson doesn't say anything. I can tell he is clinching his teeth, from the way his jaw is sharper than normal. "Yeah," is all he says.

I wave good bye and open the car door, putting my bag in first and getting in. I put the seat belt on and my dad puts the car in drive. I put my hands in my lap. I don't know what mood he is in, and I don't want to say anything to upset him.

He turns down the radio. "That Jaxson kid...I don't like him."

I look over, "Why?"

"I don't have to explain my damn reason for not liking that fucking brat!" he yells.

"He's my best friend..." I say.

I didn't even see the back hand coming, hitting me in the cheek. I grab my cheek and try not to make a sound. "Oh, get over it. Don't be a little baby. Put your fucking hand down. I don't want you hanging out with that kid, do you hear me? Do you fucking understand me?" he shouts at me, grabbing me by the hair.

"Yes sir," I say, hoping he lets go of my hair.

He lets go and straightens out his watch with the flick of a wrist and I flinch. "How are your grades?"

"All A's and one B," I squeak out.

He mocks me, "All A's and one little bitty ole B". I should've seen it coming. He grabs me by my hair again. "What the fuck did I tell you about your grades?"

"Please, I'm sorry," I say, trying to keep calm.

"Oh, you're sorry. Oh, you want to act like a big boy, huh?" he yells at me, releasing my hair.

He backhands me again, and I take it. I know if I flinch or say anything, he will do it again. I just touch my face, trying to hold back the tears.

"You want to cry, little boy? You scared of me, little boy?" He asks.

"No, sir, I don't want to. Yes, sir, I am."

He laughs. "If you were really fucking scared of me, you would have all As."

I don't say anything to him. I fell my phone vibrating, and I know it's Jaxson. I want to pull my phone out and text him, but I know that won't be a good idea. I look out the window, hoping that he won't try to talk to me anymore, but I know it's no use when he's in this mood. He is trying to pick a fight with me.

"What, can't talk to your old man?" He asks, looking over at me.

"How was work today?" I ask.

"It was good until I had to take off early to get you. Do you know how much money you are costing me?" He asks.

My heart starts beating faster. I am so stupid; I should have known better than to walk into that trap. "No sir."

"Of course, you don't," he says. I wait for the next insult, but it never happens.

I take a deep breath. I wish he wasn't this person. When my mom was alive, he was different. I guess this is what happens when your wife dies of cancer and you drown yourself in work. I gave up on him being a good person a long time ago.

I remember the day Jaxson found out my dad was hitting me. I didn't want to change out for athletics. I told the coach I had a migraine, which I really did. I cried so hard the night it happened, and I didn't end up going to sleep, because I was so scared that he would hit me again.

Jaxson lied to the coach, and said he wasn't feeling good, so he could sit with me in the library and "help" me with homework. The librarian knew me well, so she was in her office the whole time.

Jaxson and I were flirting back and forth for a week now, and he would poke me in the ribs because I am ticklish. That day, he decided to tickle me because I wasn't talkative. My ribs were so bruised that I started to cry when he poked me. I never saw him with that look on his face. Jaxson is super sarcastic and goofy. He is almost never serious about anything, but seeing him with that look of concern was different. He grabbed my hand, and led me to the back of the library and behind a shelf. "Show me?"

"Nothing to show, I just don't want to be poked," I told him.


"Jaxson, it's fine, okay?" I told him, walking away.

He grabbed my hand and lifted my shift up, and pulled down the side of my pants to reveal a massive black bruise. "What happened?!"

"I don't want to talk about this, okay?" I told him, pulling my shirt down.

"No, Terin, this isn't okay. Tell me!"

"My dad...okay?"

"Boy! Snap out of the fucking day dream! We are here!" I hear my dad yell at me and I jump, looking over at him. I hate when I space out around him, because I go all space cadet on everyone. I scramble to get out of the car.

"Sorry," I tell him, avoiding eye contact.

I hear him sigh. "Get yourself together now. We are not going in there with you acting like an idiot!"

"Yes sir. Sorry," I tell him. He doesn't reply. He just rolls his eyes. "Hey Dad."

"What?" he asks, as he walks from the car.

I follow behind him. I know he's probably going to say no, but might as well ask him. "Do you think tomorrow I can go to Uncle Riley's for the weekend?" I cross my fingers. Only because, if I do go, he will be totally fine with me going with Jaxson to the hangout.

He doesn't say anything, and I already know he is going to tell me no. I squash the feelings of hope that I had. "You need to ask him. It will be better for me if you aren't around this weekend. I have plans and I don't want you to interrupt them. He needs to come get you while I am at work, but he cannot step foot in my house, I won't have my personal space invaded by a faggot."

"Yes, sir. I will text him and ask him." I try to hide my excitement, because I know if I show too much he might catch on.

My uncle Riley is my mom's brother. Yes, he is gay. He is also the only family member that knows I'm gay. His partner Will is amazing. He is a physical therapist and owns his own gym, while my uncle owns a construction and landscaping company which does really well. I look just like my uncle - the skinny frame, same hair and eyes. My mom used to tease him that I was picked right out of his butt. I also got my very curious and caring nature from him as well. Going to his house was always fun. I had my own room set up there, but my dad hates him, so I don't get to go much. I haven't been in over two months.

I pull out my phone, and I was right. Jaxson texted me five times saying he's sorry, he just doesn't like my dad, and that he misses me. I text back that I miss him, and then text my uncle to see if he can come get me in the morning.

My phone rings and I answer it, even though I get a look from my dad. "Hello?"

"Hey T-man. Is it possible for me to come get you tonight?" Riley asks.

"Um...I'd have to ask my dad." I tell him and look over at my dad. "It's Uncle Riley. He asked if he could come get me tonight after he gets off work."

I see my dad's jawbone tighten, and I feel the heat spread through my body. I don't like when he does that. "Fine."

I tell Riley and he says that he will be at the house at 5pm. I tell him bye and again I try to contain my excitement. I know my dad is fuming and I am actually happy, because I don't have to be around him at all.

We walk into the dentist office, and I go and sign us in. I turn around to see where my dad has taken a seat. I watch as he smiles at this woman who is also in the waiting room. She smiles back and my dad starts talking to her. I roll my eyes and take a seat next to him. I take the opportunity to text Jaxson while he is talking to her.


J: Are you okay?

Me: Yeah???? I am at the dentist office.

J: Oh...I just figured your dad would be pissed.

Me: At what?

J: Me? I was kind of a dick, and I was worried about you `cause I knew he would take it out on you.

Me: Nah, I am fine...I am going to my uncle's tonight for the weekend.

J: That's awesome! So you are coming with me Sunday?

Me: Yes! Maybe we can go have lunch tomorrow. I miss you.

J: Yeah, I will ask Mrs. K.

Me: That's cool, Have you been taking your medication?

J: Yes...I haven't missed one day!

Me: Okay...sorry.

J: Don't be, if it wasn't for you, I'd probably not take them. Has your dad hit you?

Me: No, he's just yelled at me. I haven't been provoking him.

As soon as I send that last text I feel the wave of shame wash over me. I know I should tell him the truth, but I can't. It would just make everything worse for me if we did tell anyone that my dad was hitting me. If I just didn't fuck up so much, I wouldn't make him angry.

The assistant [r1] comes out and calls me back. I look at my dad, and he nods and goes back to talking to the woman. I head back and the nurse smiles. "Hey sweetie."

"Hi," I squeak out.

"Follow me this way," she says, and leads me down a long hallway.

The assistant and I are about the same height. She has blonde hair and her voice is smooth. I follow her into the room, and she tells me to sit in the chair. The room is light blue and impeccably clean. There is a picture of the ocean right in front of the chair.

"Lie back sweetie. I need to get you ready."

"Yes ma'am," I tell her, and follow her command.

"Are you nervous?" she asks, as she starts getting things set up in the room.

"Yes, ma'am."

She pats me on the shoulder. "You are so adorable. We don't get a lot of teenagers that have manners in here. I can tell you there is nothing to worry about. It's just a simple cleaning and checkup."

It isn't the dentist I am worried about; it is the man that is sitting in the lobby waiting for me. I just hope nothing agitates him before I get out of here.

It doesn't take long for the dentist to come in and do the cleaning and look at all my teeth. She tells me everything looks good. I follow the assistant back out to the lobby and I look for my dad, but I don't see him.

"T-Man, over here!" I hear, and I snap my head to look at my uncle, and I can't help but smile and let a breath of air out.

"Uncle Riley! What are you doing here?" I ask, walking up to him, and he grabs me in a massive hug.

"Come on, kiddo, let's get out of here. Your dad sent a text saying change of plans, pick you up at the dentist. So how is my favorite nephew?"

"Favorite nephew? I am the only nephew you have!" I say.

He smiles. "Still my favorite! And that's not counting Will's nephews!"

"Oh, the twins, I forgot about them...I guess I'm not your only one..."

He messes my hair. "You are still my favorite."

I walk with him out to the parking lot. It's still really nice outside, and my uncle unlocks his Mustang. "Want to ride with the top down?"

I grin. "Yeah, I do!"

We get in the car, and he starts to put the top down. "You are really skinny, bud."

I shrug my shoulders. "Sorry."

"Nothing to be sorry about. So how is school?" he asks, putting the car in drive.

I shrug my shoulders again. "It's okay. I have all As and one B," I tell him, getting ready for the disappointment.

"Dude! That is awesome! You should be proud of yourself!" he says, patting me on my shoulder and causing me to flinch.

I let out a sigh of relief. "You think that's good?"

He gives me a look like I have lost my mind. "Those are amazing grades!"

"Hey, Uncle Riley, I don't have a change of clothes. I wasn't expecting you to be in the waiting area. I thought I was going straight home."

"No worries, Will had the twins bring some of their old clothes. They will fit. He figured he would ask them to drop off ones they outgrew when you didn't bring enough shorts last time."

I do remember that. "Sorry about that, I was just really excited to come over," I tell him, not looking over at him.

He laughs and shakes his head, I look out the window and put my hand out, feeling the air flow through my fingers. I wish Uncle Riley and Will were taking care of me - I wouldn't worry so much about everything. I look back over at Uncle Riley, and we do look so much alike, I bet I could pass as his son. We pull into the driveway and he presses a button and the massive gate swings open. We pull up the driveway and I finally see the house that they have remolded so much. Uncle Riley designed it himself, and had his company put it up, so this house is pretty much how he wanted it. It has a pool outback. Like I said, I love being here because I have a big room that's all mine as well.

"Oh, you haven't been over in a while. So the twins stay with us a lot of the time, so we added on another room for them. I just wanted you to know that in case you wake up in the middle of the night hearing noise, that is probably them coming in."

"So they live with y'all?" I ask.

He moves his head back and forth thinking about the question. "Yes and no. Most of the time, they stay here on the weekends, and in their dorms during the week."

"What about their mom?"

"Well, she remarried and she wanted to move with him," he tells me.

It hits me that I really haven't been around my uncle in so long. "I guess I have missed a lot, haven't I?"

"Yeah, buddy, you have. Come on, Uncle Will is waiting on us."

We get out of the car and I grab my backpack, and head through the front door. "Honey, I'm home!" Riley shouts.

"In here, babe." Will says, coming around the corner.

"Hey babe. Look at the stranger I picked up on the side of the road!" Riley says, giving Will a kiss.

Will looks at me and he smiles. "Well, look at this stranger! He is adorable!" and comes over and hugs me. I try not to tense up, but I can't help it.

I hug Will back. "Hey, Uncle Will."

"What's up, buddy, how are you?" he says, holding me at arm's length to look at me. "You are skinny, bud, and I see you still have the rosacea on your cheeks, but that's okay, you look adorable with it. It's slight, but you look good with it."

Now I am full on blushing. "Stop, Uncle Will!"

He laughs and lets me go, "Oh, Will, T-man made all As and one B!" Uncle Riley says.

Will wraps me in a massive hug again. "Bud, that is awesome!"

"So, what do you think? We have pizza tonight to celebrate?" Riley says.

"Hell, yeah!" Will says.

We walk into the kitchen and Riley and Will hug each other and exchange a kiss. They really do make each other happy. You can tell by how Will looks at Riley. Will complements Riley well. He has sandy blonde hair and baby blue eyes. He is a little taller than Riley and way more built. Whereas, Riley looks like an adult me, skinny, brown hair and green eyes.

I look down at my phone, wishing Jaxson would text me. I miss him. We haven't seen much of each other lately and it sucks. "What's so interesting on your phone?" Uncle Will asks.

I feel my face go hot. "Nothing."

Riley laughs, "You still gonna blame the `rosacea' in your cheeks for the reason you are blushing?"

I shake my head. "I don't know what you're talking about!" I say, trying not to smile.

He reaches over and grabs my phone. "Let's just see then!"


I run around the counter. "No Will!" I say, reaching for my phone, but he has it within his reach. He uses his free arm to keep me away from it. I jump into his forearm, hit my side, and I let out a loud yelp and back away.

"Whoa, what was that about?" Riley asks, coming over to me.

"Nothing, just, I got shoved into the railing on the bleachers the other day. Guys were rough housing and I got in the way," I say, trying to draw away the attention.

"Come here." Will says.

"It's fine," I protest.

"I still want to check it out, make sure it's not worse than you think," Will says, moving to grab my shirt.

I look at Uncle Riley, and he gives me a look. "Fine."

I raise my shirt, and the nasty dark purple and black bruise comes into view. "Damn, T. That's one nasty bruise. How hard did you hit the railing?"

I let my shirt fall over it again. "I don't know. It hurt, though."

"I think you should put some ice on it," Will says, opening the freezer and grabbing an ice pack. "Here, go sit on the couch. I will make a sandwich for a snack."

I leave the kitchen and make my way to the den, and sit on the couch. I realize I left my phone in the kitchen. I get up to get it, but I hear them talking. "Do you believe the story? Will asks.

"Honestly? I don't know. That is a really nasty bruise..." Riley says.

I sit back on the couch. Soon enough Will brings me a sandwich and my phone. "Hey bud, the phone has been going off.




"Oh my god, Ryder, leave me alone!" I say.

"Jaxson, stop being ridiculous! Do you want to go out with us or not?" he asks.

"I don't want to wear a tie!" I say, sitting down on the guest bed.

Ryder puts his hands to his temples, massaging them. "Why are you being like this?"

I shrug my shoulders. "I think ties are ridiculous. I mean, who needs a tie just to go out to eat? Besides, who even gave you these clothes for me?"

"Tyler did. Now, will you please just get dressed?" he yells.

Wilder appears at the door. He is all dressed in slacks and a nice shirt. "He's not wearing a tie!" I point out.

Wilder furrows his brow. "I don't know how to put it on."

I roll my eyes at him. "I still don't see the point."

"Are you sure he couldn't stay, like, in the basement?" Wilder asks.

"Wilder!" Ryder looks at him. "He is staying with us while his parents are out of town."

Jeremy appears behind Wilder. "If y'all wake my daughter up, I will murder all of you!" he says, looking between all three of us.

Wilder takes his leave at this, and mumbles something as he walks off. I meet Ryder's eyes, challenging him. "I give up," he says, throwing his hands in the air and walking past Jeremy.

"Jaxs, why aren't you dressed?" Jeremy asks.

I shrug my shoulders. "I don't see the point in dressing up, and I hate this outfit," I say, looking at the slacks and blue shirt.

"I am sure you will look great in them, dude. Besides, it's their anniversary, and we are going to a nice place to eat that has a dress code. Now, get dressed and I will help you do your tie, and if you're nice, I will send a picture to your boyfriend," he says, grinning.

I blush. "Okay, okay!" and start getting dressed. I didn't mean to argue with Ryder, just, he has this habit of sometimes talking down to me, not that he means it, but it's annoying. That's why I like Jeremy more; he seems to talk to me like I am the same as him. I tried to call Terin earlier, but he didn't answer. I wanted to tell him Cole got grounded and I wanted to spend tomorrow with him, that and my mom called to say that we had to cancel this Sunday's hangout, as she wouldn't be back in town. Her and Dan have been gone for two weeks. Dan put out his new book, and they have been on the road promoting it.

Jeremy comes back into the room, as I finish zipping up my pants. "You okay?"

"Yeah," I say.

"You sure? You just have this look on your face."

"Just thinking about Kim and Dan, and how they have been gone for so long. I feel like I am...never mind," I mumble.

Jeremy takes my tie and starts to loop it in, forming the knot. "No, you don't just get to start saying something and then stop."

I let out a sigh. "Just, I don't belong here."

Jeremy finish up with my tie. "What do you mean, you don't belong here?"

I try and pull away, but he doesn't let me. "I'm just some kid Coach is watching `cause my foster brother is dating their son!"

"Who told you this?"

"No one had to tell me this. I know it's true. You do too!" I accuse him.

He just looks at me oddly. "Are you feeling okay, Jaxs?"

"Did I not say I wasn't?" I ask him back, confused.

Now he's the one that lets out a sigh, "I don't want to ask..."

"Then don't!" I snap at him.

"How long?" He asks.

I just give him a look. "I don't know what you are talking about," I tell him.

I turn away from him, trying not to cry, and he turns me back towards him. "How long have you been out of medication?"

"A few days." I say, looking away, getting angrier by the second.

"You're lying," he says flatly.

"No, I'm not!" I tell him.

He walks over and opens the first drawer of the dresser. "If you aren't lying, then why are all your pills in here?"

"I don't want to talk about this!" I yell at him.

Jeremy shuts the door. "Too damn bad. You don't get to just throw a fit and refuse to talk about it."

"I really don't want to talk about this, please!" I say, begging him to drop this.

He crosses his arms, "Jaxs, we can do this all evening."

I dig my nails into my arm. "My mom showed up after school."

"Kim is back? They weren't due in until next week," he says.

I shake my head and dig my nails deeper into my arm. When realization hits him, he walks over, and pulls my hand away from my arm. "Your biological mother?"

I just shake my head, and lean into him, shaking. "She wants to...I don't know what she wants, but I don't want to see her."

"How did she find you?"

"I don't know, but she's been watching me for a few days."

He moves to put his arms around me and enclose me in a hug, but I don't want to be close. I push away. "Don't touch me."


"Just, please don't touch me right now," I say, backing away from him.

He puts his hands up. "Okay, but I do think we should talk about this. You are so on edge right now. I haven't seen you this worked up in a long time."

"You don't know what she's capable of," I tell him, sitting on the bed.

Jeremy sits next to me. "You're right, I have no idea what she's capable of, or what she's done to you. I am here to listen if you want to talk about it, and I promise you, she's not going to come near you again."

I look at him. "You shouldn't make promises you can't keep."

"I am going to be picking you up from school, or Mrs. K will. Someone will make sure she doesn't come near you. So how are you and Terin?"

I lean into him, "We are good. He's at his uncle's house. I think I may see if we can have lunch tomorrow, since Cole is grounded.

"Well, just let me know, and I will take you over there," Jeremy says.


"What's up?"

"I'm scared," I admit.

He goes to put his arm around me but stops. I lean into him and he gently lays his arm around me. "Don't be. We need to tell Coach, and he will know what to do."

I shake my head. "Not tonight, it's their anniversary...I don't want to ruin it."

"How about after we get back from dinner?" he asks.

"Will you be there with me?" I ask.

"You bet I will. Jaxs, will you tell me one day?"

I nod my head. He gets up and motions for me to get up. "Come on, lets finish up. Do you want me to take a picture to send to your boyfriend?" he asks, wagging his eyebrows at me.

I blush. "Maybe!"

Ryder comes into the room. "Hey, everyone is ready."

"Cool, we are almost finished up," Jeremy says.

"You clean up nice." Ryder says, smirking at me.

"Still look better than you," I say, smiling.

He shakes his head. "You are impossible


I hope you have enjoyed the new part to Paper Walls! Please support nifty! Also comments and thoughts are always welcomed!