Ryan's knuckles protested in pain as they made contact with Devin's jaw. They had been through a lot in the past few days, and now his entire hand ached as he stood over Devin's hunched body. Kneeling down, he grabbed Devin's ear and jerked the boy's head up to face him.
"What is your problem?," he asked with an even tone. "Ok, you want to beat me for Topspot, that's understandable... But why this? Why turn it into something sexual?"
"Isn't obvious?" Skylar's voice rang out from down the hall. "He has a crush on you."
Ryan stood up, and turned to look at Skylar. "Shut up," he growled. "This is none of your business."
Smirking, Skylar held up his palms in a mock-defeated gesture. "Fine," he said, "but the next time you hit my brother, I will make it my business."
Ryan felt his heart constrict at Skylar's threat, knowing that the older boy meant it. Skylar would fight Ryan to protect Devin, and there was nothing he could do about it. Looking down at Devin, Ryan found him watching the interaction with a reserved expression. "You see that?" Ryan asked bitterly, "Your brother must really care for you."
Stepping past Devin, he slammed his way through the front door and trudged down the driveway. With each step, his secret wish that Skylar would come running after him abetted, and he felt himself fighting back tears.
Tommy used to make fun of him for crying when he got emotional. It didn't happen very often, but it was mortifyingly embarrassing. If Tommy saw him now, he probably would tell Ryan that it was his own fault. Skylar never promised to love him.
He felt his phone vibrate in his pocket as he reached his car. Sliding it open with his thumb, he brought the phone to his ear, hoping that who ever it was wouldn't be able to hear his sniffles. "Hello?"
"Ryan," Speak of the devil. It was Tommy. "Can you meet me at the mall?"
He sounded suspiciously innocent, what with requesting a meeting instead of demanding one. "Why?"
"I want to see you,"
He sounded resigned, and it gave Ryan pause. "Right now?"
At the mall, the stores were starting to shut down for the night, however there was a standalone coffee shop that stayed open late. As he walked over to the shop, Ryan saw Tommy, sitting alone at a low-lit booth, through the giant plate glass window. The buff teenager was hunched over what was probably a large hot chocolate with whip cream.
Their relationship was strange, to say the least. Ryan didn't feel as close to anyone else in the world, even Shelby, but he just couldn't bring himself to like Tommy in the way that the other boy wanted him to. They had been friends for so long, knew everything about each other, and now Ryan couldn't trust him.
If Tommy really loved him, he wouldn't treat Ryan in the way that he had.
"Hey," Ryan said as he sat down across from Tommy. They used to come here often, since none of the thugs from King's High would ever step foot in a coffee shop. It was a small moment of peace. The other teenager nodded a hello.
They sat in silence for a moment. Finally, Tommy looked up from his drink. "Do you... like that punk?"
Ryan wasn't expecting that. He let out a light chuckle, and shook his head. "You know that I don't,"
"Well," Tommy continued, "He seems to have a thing for you... and he's Skylar's brother."
"Is that supposed to change anything?" Ryan replied, "Is he like a consolation prize? I get to be with someone who shares DNA with the person I love?"
Tommy looked taken aback by Ryan's bluntness. "You still love him?" he asked, unable to hide a faint trace of anger in his voice. "Skylar?"
"Yes," Just because he was rejected didn't mean that he would be able to forget his feelings so quickly. Ryan looked down at the table, almost embarrassed by his admission. "But I'll get over him eventually." He really hoped that was true.
"We should be together," Tommy said. Glancing up, Ryan was shocked by the look of determination in Tommy's eyes. "We have fun together, we're best friends. Why can't you see that we're perfect for each other?" His temper was visibly beginning to rise, his knuckles turning white as he clenched his fists.
It was time to change the subject. "He's planning on fighting you, you know." Ryan said, forcing a small smirk. "He thinks that beating you means that he'll own me." He wasn't sure why he said this, it would only rile Tommy up. Maybe a good scare from the brute would put things in perspective for Devin?
"I'll smash him into the ground like the little bug he is," Tommy replied.
Ryan smiled. He had no doubt that Tommy could beat Devin in a fight. Hell, Tommy could easily beat Ryan in a fight. Meers would never stand a chance. Leaning forward, Ryan grabbed Tommy's hot chocolate and took a sip, savoring the mix of rich chocolate and whipped cream.
"Maybe I should just deal with it?" Ryan asked, taking another sip.
"You've already fought him twice, and he still won't give up."
"Maybe I should let him beat me?" Ryan replied teasingly. Tommy didn't look amused.
"Maybe you should send him my way, and then you'll never have to worry about it ever again."
Ryan's face became passive at this as he leaned back in his booth and crossed his arms. He used to let Tommy handle his problems, but ever since his talents as a fighter began to emerge, he found his friend's patronizing attitude to be more and more annoying. It didn't help that Tommy's family was rich, and he was always offering to buy Ryan things.
"Your knuckles are raw," Tommy said. Ryan looks down at the tops of his hands, and saw that indeed, after several fights over the past few weeks, his knuckles had become quite red and scabbed. It was a miracle he hadn't broken anything yet.
"Cost of being Topspot," he replied with a shrug. He glanced down at his watch, realizing that they had been talking for ten minutes, and Tommy had yet to bring up what was so urgent. "What did you want, Tommy?"
The question seemed to insult the other teenager, his gaze hardening. "Does there always have to be a reason? I just wanted to hang out."
"You shouldn't be so clingy," Ryan said.
"Like with you and Skylar?" came the bitter reply. Tommy's jaw was set at a rigid line as he stared at Ryan. "Look, like I said earlier, we come out as a couple, or I start causing trouble for King's High kids. Got it?" His mood had definitely soured.
"Like hell that'll ever happen," Ryan growled. "You think my kids are gonna be scared?" He wasn't going to be threatened.
"I do," Tommy replied with a smirk. "King's High is full of pussies and cry-babies. I would know, I went there."
Ryan gritted his teeth to keep from cursing Tommy out. It was one thing to joke around, but now he was insulting Ryan's high school. "Then do it, Tommy. Declare war on King's High, I dare you."
Regretting the words as soon as they came out of his mouth, Ryan tried to sound convincing. The last thing he needed was for a bunch of thugs to come after the students of his school. Most of them weren't fighters.
Tommy smirked, reading Ryan's thoughts. "You know I'm right," he said, "I go to the school where they send all the juvenile delinquents. You go to a school full of nerds." He leaned in, his broad shoulders taking up Ryan's entire field of view. "It would be you against an army."
Lunging forward, Ryan practically flew across the table as he grabbed at Tommy's throat. Before he even made contact, the large teenager already had a vice like grip around his wrists. There were several screams in the shop as Ryan tried to jerk away from Tommy, only to find himself flung over a broad shoulder, with a muscular arm clasped around his waist.
"Don't worry everyone," Tommy said with a jovial tone, "He was just horsing around." He smoothly walked, with Ryan hanging over his shoulder, to the door and calmly stepped out.
Halfway across the parking lot, Ryan felt his temper burst. "Put me down you asshole!" he hollered.
"Don't make me spank you," Tommy replied with a chuckle, patting Ryan's bottom with his free hand. Ryan could have died from the humiliation.
Finally, he felt himself being lowered to the ground. Gaining balance, he shoved away from Tommy, and walked several feet, trying to calm down. "Don't you ever-" he began to spit out.
"Manhandle you?" Tommy replied, his eyes twinkling.
"Again!" Ryan yelled at him. He turned around and looked at the dark, empty parking lot. "Fuck!" he screamed in frustration. Glancing back at Tommy, he narrowed his eyes and his voice lowered to a dangerous level. "Leave. Now."
"Kiss me first."
If he didn't already know that it was pointless, Ryan would have rushed him again. "No."
"Ryan," Tommy replied with an easy tone, "Just a small kiss."
Fed up, Ryan walked forward, placed a hand gently around Tommy's neck and stepped up on his toes so that his lips could reach Tommy's mouth. Tommy clasped Ryan's back with both hands, pulling him in closer as their lips locked with a sudden warmth. Ryan felt a sense of urgency in Tommy's kiss, despite his earlier nonchalant attitude.
Pushing away, he wiped his mouth. "I hate you," he said with an almost child like tone.
"I know," Tommy replied with a resigned smile. He made a small wave, and walked away from Ryan without another word. The shorter teenager walked him walk away, and wondered what would happen to their relationship once both were away at college. This game couldn't last forever.
Back at home, he surfed the internet on his junky, old computer and wondered when his parents would be home. Probably late. Taking another bite of macaroni and cheese, he looked up at the screen when he heard the ping of an instant message.
Shellfish94: did u see skylar?
It was Shelby. Ryan quickly set his spoon down, and tapped out a response.
Shellfish94: wat happened?
TopSpot: meers showed up.
Waiting for a response, Ryan almost flinched when his phone started vibrating suddenly. "Hello?" he mumbled through a mouthful of mac and cheese.
"Meers was there?"
Ryan laughed at Shelby's panicked tone, sending noodles spaying over his screen. "Fuck," he said, wiping it off with a napkin.
"Nothing," Ryan replied, "Anyway, it wasn't that bad. He just got really angry."
Ryan paused. He and Shelby had already talked about how Devin might have a crush on him, but they hadn't taken it seriously. "Skylar thinks Devin likes me."
There was a moment of silence, and then Ryan heard a subtle and uncharacteristic chuckle from the other end. "Really? How twisted is that," Shelby said, sounding amused.
"Pretty fucking twisted." Ryan replied. "Speaking of twisted, I saw Tommy today, too."
"How did that go?"
"About as well as one can expect," Ryan said, resuming to surf the web as he spoke. "You know, I feel like I could handle one of them, but with both being so fucking annoying… I'm getting kind of tired of it."
"Well, I was thinking of a way you could get Devin to leave you alone."
Ryan shoved another spoonful of macaroni into his mouth. "How?"
"Hit on him,"
Chuckling, Ryan shook his head. "I tried that already. In the elevator, remember?"
"No, I mean like… he's probably never had sex with a dude, right?"
This gave Ryan pause. Sure, Devin could act arrogant, but he was still only a junior, and probably had little to no experience with guys. "So… you mean intimidate him… sexually?"
"Yeah, call his bluff. He keeps talking shit about owning you, well, call him on it."
Ryan was surprised to hear this from meek Shelby, but the idea had merit. "And you think this will get him to leave me alone?"
"He has this big crush on you, right? He's probably confused, his brother likes guys, you like guys, maybe he doesn't actually know what he wants. Maybe you just need to show him the reality."
"You think he's a closet hetero?"
Shelby laughed. "Or something."
Staring blankly at his computer screen for a moment, Ryan pondered Shelby's idea. "I'll do it."
Devin Meers was watching T.V. when he heard a knock at his door. Looking over at the clock on his wall, he vaguely wondered who would be coming to his apartment so late at night. Padding over to the door in his socks, he turned the knob, and swung the door open to find Ryan standing in his doorway.
"…Uh?" was all he managed to say.
Ryan smirked at him, and stepped in to the apartment. Turning around, he unzipped his jacket.
"Let's fuck," he said. "You've got lube, right?"
"Lube?" Devin replied, feeling a heated blush crawling up his face.
"Yeah, believe me, you're going to want lube."
"You're going to want lube!" Devin squeaked in response, pointing at Ryan.
Ryan's eyebrows rose with amusement. "Really?" he said with a small smile. Shrugging, he pulled his shirt off. "Fine, but you better know what you're doing."
Hearing nothing but silence, he looked over at Devin, who had faded to a pale, yet red color. The younger boy was staring at Ryan's naked chest with wide eyes, his mouth moving up and down as if he wanted to say something.
"More is yet to come," Ryan said, as he began to unbutton his pants. "You should probably get undressed too."
"What?" Devin mumbled, staring as Ryan's slender fingers began to unzip his fly.
"Well, we both have to be naked, for penetration, you know."
Devin almost fell over. "Penetration?" he rasped. He pinched his arm to make sure he wasn't dreaming, and then looked back up at Ryan. "Like… penetration?"
Stopping before pulling his pants down, Ryan looked over at Devin. "This is what you wanted, right?" He had to fight to keep from smirking. Taking a step forward, his place a hand on Devin's waist, and drew himself closer to the other teenager. "We can start with blow jobs," he said.
Devin was completely catatonic. Ryan would have to remember to thank Shelby for coming up with this brilliant idea.
Suddenly, the fear in Devin's eyes evaporated. Ryan almost gasped when he felt Devin's hand grip on to the meat of his ass, and squeeze. "I hope you brought your A-game," Devin said.
Scratch that. He was going to kill Shelby.
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