Hello and welcome back to Free Fiction Friday! We’re back to the prequels to Turning His Life Around! There are seven parts to this one, called Jealousy, and five more short stories after this one. Yay! 🙂
Please remember that the guys are technically underage in these. Any sex is fairly tame (described, yes, but tame) until much later in the series.
If you haven’t read Turning yet, you might consider checking it out. These stories make a lot more sense if you’ve read it first. These should also be read in order:
I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for reading and feel free to let me know what you think. I always love to hear from my readers. 😀
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“Come on, Kane, we don’t want to miss the bus!” Ian called from the front door.
“I’ll be right there!” Kane yelled back, pulling open the bottom drawer of the file cabinet, pawing through folders quickly. He should have guessed it would be in the very back of the drawer, but he shook the self-annoyance away and pulled the folder out. He paged through the contents hurriedly, found what he wanted finally and shoved everything else back. Stuffing the papers into his backpack, he caught up to Ian.
“What was that all about?” Ian asked as they ran toward the street, making it to the stop as the bus pulled up.
“Nothing, just something I needed to grab,” he said cryptically as they took their seats.
The morning hadn’t been nearly as awkward as Kane had expected. The alarm went off as loud and annoying as it ever did for a Monday and as always, Ian rolled out of bed to slap it into submission. They took their turns showering and dressing as they always had, mostly in silence as neither of them were morning people.
So by the time they would normally have started talking anyway, they’d both managed to shove their fears and worries aside. They had sex and both of them recognized that, had they not met and gotten involved with Hayden and Kenji, they might well have done it long before then.
Even so, their ride into school was in relative silence, though that was as much in deference to the Monday morning misery as anything. When they got to the school, they said their good-byes and “see you laters” and went their separate ways, Kane to The Bitch and Ian to his less annoying math class.
The morning dragged for Kane. He had lunch plans and it felt like the clock in each of his classrooms was mocking him, going slower than time really possibly could. So by the time the bell rang for his lunch, he was more short-tempered than usual.
Even so, he hurried to the cafeteria so he could be there first and stood off to the side, waiting. He knew it would take Ian longer to get there, since he was on the other side of the building. This meant Kane had a window of a good few minutes to get done what he wanted to.
Finally, the person he was waiting for showed up. Said person was, of course, not alone, but Kane had expected that. Kane waited until they’d gone through the line and taken their seats.
Kane forced himself to look the other guy over critically and was gratified to see that he didn’t, at least, look happy. In fact, he looked tired and out of sorts, which was promising. Kane approached the table, pulled a chair out, turned it around, and straddled it before Hayden had a chance to react.
“Don’t say a word.” Kane held up a finger. “Because I know what you’re going to say. I have some things to tell you, things that only one other person our age and a handful of adults know. You can sit there and listen, or I can guarantee you’re in detention with me this afternoon.” Kane finished with a scowl on his face and the light of battle in his eye. He almost wanted Hayden to argue, wanted him to start something because it would make Kane feel a lot better if he could plant a fist in that pretty face Ian loved so much.
Hayden considered him a moment, glancing to the side at Kenji, but Kenji’s gaze was locked on Kane. Kane glanced at his former boyfriend. “You and I have our own discussion to have. You can stay and save me some breath or you can leave, but we’re not done, either.”
All three boys sat in silence for a few seconds then Hayden gave a short, single nod.
Kane pulled the papers out of his bag that he’d grabbed that morning and slapped them onto the table. “Four years ago, I was arrested for murder.” He couldn’t help but feel a little bit of glee at the widening of Hayden’s eyes. Kenji simply blinked once slowly at him in obvious shock.
“Now that I have your attention,” he said, “let me explain. I was twelve. My bitch of a biological mother thought it was time I earned my keep. She was a whore. I’ll let you connect those dots.” He waited a brief moment and wasn’t disappointed when the light of understanding hit the other two.
“I didn’t agree,” he continued in a voice low enough that both of the other boys had to lean forward to hear him. “I didn’t feel I should have had to earn my keep that way and I fought it. And him. And I killed him. Four years later, I still have nightmares.”
The word ‘nightmares’ hung in the air over the table almost as if it were a tangible thing dangling on string from the ceiling. Kane’s eyes swung from Kenji to Hayden and back again. He nudged the papers across the table. “That is the summary of the investigation, along with the psychological evaluation they put me through.” He took a breath, his chest tight from the memories that were horribly close to the surface as they always were when he forced himself to think about it. “The only thing that keeps me from the nightmares is Ian.”
He waited again, letting the words settle. “We. Did. Not. Have. Sex. That. Night. When he’s there, I don’t dream, I don’t have nightmares, I don’t wake up screaming. When he’s not, I do.” He prayed that they didn’t get upset yet about the minor point of clarification he put in there about when they didn’t have sex. They’d dealt with that shortly.
He took another breath. “Someday, the years of counseling will get through. Someday, I won’t be so fucking dependent on my best friend.” He paused to gather his control and spotted Ian on the other side of the cafeteria watching them. He raised a hand and gave a come here gesture. “But right now, I do. He sleeps next to me. Sleeps. And yesterday and last night, I held him while he cried because you—” He jabbed a finger at Hayden. “—you told him you loved him, then stepped on his pleas for you to listen and then walked away as if it was bullshit. Was it? Did you lie?”
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Make sure to check out the rest of the stories from Free Fiction Friday!