The Bully, written by Dan Kirk was posted by a fan. Original story can be found at: http://dkstories.gayauthors.org
'Ah, look at the two lovebirds!' Deke Owens' high-pitched voice woke me, or was it the flash from his camera?
'Aren't they just the cutest thing since baked bread?'
Joel's deeper voice was almost as irritating as I opened my eyes and glared at them. Even with my black hoodie up, my face was cold except for where I was leaning against Danny's head. His head was resting on my left shoulder, and I had no problem imagining the thin stream of drool that was on the shoulder of my black school sweatshirt.
Some idiot on the school board had suggested changing the school's colors during the summer, and so we'd come back to school to find out the new school colors were black and red. Yeah, sure, they probably did fit better with the school mascot of a 'Vandal', but how dare they change the colors during our senior year? Still, our football uniforms looked pretty mean, with dark red glossy pants and black jerseys with red lettering.
'Get lost.' I growled at the sophomore and the senior who were leaning over the back of their seats and grinning like fools at Danny and me. We were on the bus, a converted Greyhound bus used for sports and field trips. The seats were comfortable, and they fit most of us just fine. We'd had to rush onto the bus right after the game due to a snowstorm that was on its way.
A quick glance outside showed the snowstorm had caught up to us, and was probably making the bus driver's life pure fucking hell. It sounded like he was driving slowly too, probably hoping to reach a town with a motel that had rooms. The principle would be pissed when he got the bill for that, but more than likely most of the parents would chip in to help offset the loss of money to the sports budget. It was better for us to be safe in a room if the storm was going to last a long time, and we had some nasty mountain passes to go through to get home, since we probably weren't even halfway there.
'Where are we?' Daniel asked with a sleepy voice, breaking my hopes that he was asleep and what was happening under the blanket wasn't intentional. He'd never, ever done this before, and after the first few times I'd slept in the same bed as him, I'd thought it never would happen, but now, here he was, on a bus crowded with other people, massaging my crotch through my uniform pants. It was a good thing I'd taken the cup out of my jock earlier because my dick was now fully erect, and I could feel Danny-boy rubbing the base of his hand against it, causing it to jump a bit.
'The driver says we're close to Tonopah.' Joel said with a grin as Danny just snuggled closer against me. That rearranged the blanket, and now as he moved his hand against my erection it made no movement that could be seen. I so wanted to stretch out my legs and groan, or get pissed or something, but I couldn't move.
'Coach says we'll spend the night there.' Rusty, the sophomore player said with a grin. 'You gonna share a room with your boyfriend or you want to share with me?'
'I'll share with you.' Danny said as his hand deftly untied the strings on the front of my game pants and burrowed under my jock. His bare flesh touching mine caused me to suck in my breath, and I think Joel misinterpreted that.
'Uh-oh, Eddie's gonna get jealous.' Joel warned Rusty.
'No I'm not, he's giving me a hand job right now, you freaks.' I said, startled by my own brazenness as Danny froze in place, his hot hand still holding my erection.
'You guys are so gross.' Rusty moaned. 'Why ya gotta say stuff like that?'
'Because it freaks you out, dipshit.' Joel retorted with a laugh. 'If you didn't freak out when they said shit like that, they'd stop bugging you. You're gonna room with me anyway, 'cause I heard you got a real soft mouth for sucking cock.'
'Stop it!' Rusty whispered fiercely as the two of them turned back around and faced forward in their seats. 'It's bad enough when they joke around like that!'
'Then stop fucking reacting.' Joel laughed and I laid my head on Danny's, who started slowly jacking me again.
'Danny.' I said softly, a hint of warning in my voice.
'Shhh.' He whispered back. 'Just enjoy.'
'I can't, not here, not like this.' I whispered back.
'Okay, later.' He said and I let out a sigh before closing my eyes. His hand had stopped, but it didn't let go of me either, as I went back to sleep.
'Wake up, Eddie.' Danny's voice was soft in my ear, just enough to wake me up. Everyone was shuffling around the bus, and we were stopped somewhere. The snow was falling so thickly that I could barely make out some lights nearby as the door opened, letting in cold air and the coach stepped up into the bus.
'Okay boys and girls, this motel's still got enough room for all of us.' The coach said grimly. A few of the girls in the front of the bus let out a cheer while most of the guys groggily let out sounds that were more like moans than anything else. While the coach started handing out room assignments and keys, I slipped my hand across the front of my football pants. The strings were tied, and I began to wonder if I'd just dreamed about Danny jacking me after untying them.
'You look tired.' Danny's voice held an urge of concern and I just nodded, not sure what to say. Our shoulders were still touching, and there was still some drool on my shoulder from him. He had enlarged tonsils he said, and never had wanted the surgery to get rid of them. That's why he drooled a lot, or so he said.
'Aren't we all?' I asked him rhetorically and he grinned.
'You two are sharing a room.' Coach said as he reached us and threw a room key at me. I caught it with a bit of fumbling, and almost groaned at the evil look on his face. 'There aren't enough double bed rooms so you two are sharing a bed. I'm sure you won't mind.'
'Oh shit.' Deke Owens said as he and practically everyone on the bus who'd heard started laughing.
'Oh, honey, our very own room and a king-size bed!' Danny's voice was way too high-pitched as he made a show of grabbing my arm. I started to scowl as everyone else laughed even harder, but knew that would just raise more comment than if I played along at this point. It was a game to everyone now, and after Danny's hand job earlier, I wasn't sure what to do except to just go along.
'Settle down, dear.' I said in a loud falsetto. 'You'll get the boys all riled up and then I'll have to beat them off with a stick.'
'Geez, talk about liking it rough!' Joel gasped out and I glared at him. Okay, maybe that wording wasn't quite right.
'Just get you butts into the room.' Coach growled as he threw a key to the two guys behind us. 'Oh, and if we catch anyone sneaking from one room to another, you're going to be some sorry mother fuckers next week.'
'Yes coach.' Deke said softly as he and Joel slipped out of their seats. When coach moved by, Danny and I slid out, grabbing our gym bags from the overhead compartment. The room was on the second floor, and easy to find, so we were only slightly frozen by the time we got inside.
'Sweet Louise, it's cold in here!' Danny exclaimed as we shut the door behind us and turned on the lights. He rushed over to the wall unit and turned the heater on full before shutting the drapes. Then he turned and looked at me with an expression that told me that the hand job on the bus earlier wasn't just a dream of mine.
'I'm sorry about earlier, Eddie.' Danny said with an unreadable expression on his face. 'It was wrong of me to do that, both because of where we were and because you weren't really able to say yes or no.'
'Why?' I asked as my bag slid from my cold fingers. The wall unit was pushing out slightly warmer air now, but I was shivering from more than the cold.
'I like you, Eddie.' Danny answered with a hurt look on his face, and his eyes darted off to the side, towards the king-size bed that dominated the room. I followed his gaze and almost started laughing when I saw the coin slot for turning on the vibration machine under the bed. This was just too much.
'Fuck!' I moaned and he took a step towards me with a look of concern on his face. Something in my glare stopped him though, and he looked at me with worry in his eyes. I knew my gaze towards him was hard as stone and he didn't deserve that.
'I'm sorry if I've messed up our friendship.' Danny said softly.
'Shut the fuck up.' I growled and he flinched as I moved forward. Did he have any idea how fucking cute he was, standing there in his shiny red football pants, black sweatshirt, and that fucking hang-dog expression on his face? I couldn't stand it anymore and as my dick bloomed to full-mast, I crossed the distance between us, taking his head in my hands and pulled his mouth against mine. At first his entire body stiffened, but I knew it was from shock, not from dislike of the kiss. He said he 'liked' me, and I wasn't stupid enough to not know what that meant.
Part of me gibbered that we shouldn't be doing this as his lips began to move against mine, and his hands wrapped around me, pulling me tighter against him. Our cocks were rubbing against each other as he deepened the kiss by darting his tongue into my mouth. Mine rose to greet the intruder, and we both moaned at the intimate contact. The part that was gibbering was reminding me what had happened to Joel Reynolds, of how my dad still wouldn't talk to me, even after I apologized that Sunday, and how much it had hurt when Jack had left. Nothing had changed either, with Danny. He was still leaving at the end of the school year, and he'd be gone from my life forever, but the feel of his lips, his tongue, his body against mine, was just too much.
I wanted this; I wanted him.
It was the sound of someone banging on our door that broke our kiss, and we stepped back from each other, panting heavily. His face was as flushed as mine felt, and his pale cheeks were blushing. It only made him cuter. There was that banging at the door again, and I moved to open it, only to find no one was out there. Then there was the banging sound again and Danny pointed to another door in the room that obviously connected us to another room. I moved to open it only to find Joel's grim-looking face before he pushed me aside and entered the room.
'Shut the door, Eddie.' He whispered quickly, which I did. 'Look, Deke is in the bathroom, but I just wanted to warn you two that before you do any more kissing you should make sure the drapes are closed all the way.'
'What the fuck?' Danny squeaked, and we both looked at the drapes. There was about two inches of open space between them and we both groaned.
'Eddie, I've known you since we first started school together.' Joey said with a look of concern filling his face. 'If you want to suck face with Daniel, that's fine. Hell, if the two of you move up to Massachusetts and decide to play house together, I could care less, but if anyone thought this little gag of yours was for real, most folk at school would go apeshit.'
'It's not...' I started to protest, wanting to deny it all, but he gave me a look that told me better. He fucking saw us, and he fucking knew. The red was appearing in my gaze again, and I wanted to lash out. This was all Danny's fault! This was what I got for letting another damn preacher's kid into my life!
'You seem to be taking it pretty well.' Danny said to Joey who just shrugged while looking at me closely.
'Calm the fuck down, Eddie.' Joel snapped and I had to shake my head at those words. The red faded a bit as he continued. 'Look, up until three years ago, I would have said you were my best friend. Damn it, Eddie, I'd have called you my fucking brother! You don't think I never fucking guessed you weren't really into girls? I saw what was going on with you and Jack, and I know why you changed after he left, damn you! I tried talking to you but no, you had to go all vicious and start lashing out at nearly everyone!'
'You knew?' I asked in a shocked whisper and he nodded.
'Everyone in fucking town knows my mom's an ex-hippy liberal.' He said with a hint of scorn in his voice. 'She had you pegged for being gay when you turned twelve and gave me a big old lecture on how I was supposed to be all accepting and supportive, as if I needed her to tell me how to be your best fucking friend!'
'I didn't even know when I was twelve!' I nearly shouted as tears started to form in my face. At the same time, something seemed to change inside of me, like pieces of a puzzle shifting into their perfect spot. For the first time ever, I'd admitted to myself I was this way... I wasn't normal. Danny was standing there, a look of shock on his face as his eyes shifted between Joey and I.
'But you know now, don't you?' Joel asked and I felt like crying as I silently shook my head.
'Look, Joey, I don't know what to say...' I started to say but he shook his head.
'You don't have to say anything, Eddie.' His voice was soft and he moved forward to give me a hug. 'You're the only guy I'd ever let call me Joey, you know, and that's because I love you like a brother. Don't get the wrong impression, bro, I mean it like a brother, not all that gay shit.'
'Thanks, Joel.' I said, vowing to stop calling him Joey. Everyone knew I liked adding the 'e' sound to people's names, but for Joel, I'd try to stop doing that.
'So, whose idea was it to make a joke out of you two being a couple to hide the fact that you're really a couple?' Joel asked.
'We're not a couple.' I spat out quickly as the red began to come back into my vision. Dad's voice was ringing in my head, the word 'faggot' being repeated over and over, and I shuddered.
'No, we're not.' There was an edge to Danny's voice and I looked over in time to see the hurt in his eyes before he hid what he was feeling.
'But I saw you two kissing.' Joel protested.
'It was our first kiss.' Danny said softly, and he was blushing when I looked at him before looking over at my... best friend.
'Oh.' Joel said and he was blushing now. 'Well, I'll uh...leave you two alone, eh?'
'Yeah.' I grunted as he passed by me, shutting the door on his side of the room as he left. With another grunt I shut and locked the door on our side while Danny finally shut the curtains all the way.
'Sorry.' Danny said softly.
'I shouldn't have kissed you.' I said as the red returned to my sight.
'We... at least I wanted it.' Danny said as he crossed the room to stand in front of me. As he passed the television he turned it on, probably so Joel and Deke couldn't hear us talking. My body stiffened when he reached out to touch me and he withdrew his hand as if he'd been burned. 'What's the matter?'
'I can't do this.' I said with a sigh as the red finally left my vision altogether. A longing deep in my stomach replaced it, and a great deal of fear.
'Why not?' Danny asked with a hurt tone. 'I'm gay, you're gay, we like each other, there's great chemistry between us, why can't you?'
'You're the preacher's son.' I started off with and he shrugged.
'That's a monkey on my back, not yours.' He countered. 'When he finds out, he'll want to convert me, but he won't throw me out or anything like that and I can deal with him trying to 'cast out the demons'. Let me worry about him.'
'What about the Navy?' I countered. 'You can't be out and be in the Navy, they won't stand for that. Don't you want to be a pilot still?'
'Again, something for me to worry about.' Danny said and I let out a sigh, breaking my eyes away from him and looking at the television. I couldn't really see the picture, but it was some commercial, all filled with static from the storm.
'I'm not leaving the valley.' I told him after a long moment of silence. 'There's no where else I want to live, and staying there means getting married like my brother and having kids and all that. Joey...I mean Joel, his family is like the most liberal in town. Other people wouldn't want an open homo living in their area, and with you being gone off to the Navy, I'll be there alone. No, I need to find a girl I can live with, marry her, have kids and be a farmer like I want.'
'Why couldn't you come with me?' Danny countered. 'You're a good mechanic, you could start up your own garage, or work in one and make good money.'
'What?' I shot back. 'Sit around all day fixing up people's fancy cars and shit like that while I wait for your ship to come back in? Go home to an empty home most of the time, away from my family and friends and everyone I ever grew up with? No thanks.'
'What if I stayed?' Danny asked and my heart thumped once.
'No.' I answered after barely a moment of thought. 'I tell you not to even think about asking me to leave, why should I ask you to stay? It ain't fair. Besides, I don't want to lead a life as the town's homo.'
'What about between now and the end of the year?' Danny asked. 'Can't we just enjoy each other's company until then? What's wrong with that?'
'Because it'll hurt too much when you leave.' I said as something weird happened and tears started to form in my eyes. Taking a deep breath I turned so my back was to him. That way he couldn't see the tears in my eyes. There was the sound of footsteps on the carpet, and suddenly his arms were around me. At first I stiffened in his embrace, but he didn't pull back this time.
'Can't we just not worry about that shit now?' Danny asked in a hoarse voice as he kissed the back of my neck. That simple touch made me shiver all over, and my dick hardened again. 'Let tomorrow take care of itself, Eddie. Tonight, let's just enjoy each other's company.'
'Danny, I...' I wanted to say no, but his hands drifted down my chest until they reached my pants, and his fingers crept inside my pants and jock to wrap around my hard cock. His touch sent all thoughts out of my mind as I grunted again while he began nibbling harder at my neck.
'Shhh.' He whispered as his hands began to stroke me and I turned to jelly.
When he pulled his hand out of my pants, I started to think again, right up until he turned me around and planted his mouth over mine. His tongue was so delicious inside my mouth, and his hands were very deft at untying my pant strings. Before I knew it, he was pushing my pants down around my ankles, and then my jock, freeing my erection until he pulled me tighter against him with his warm hands on my ass. Another moan escaped my lips as my cock rubbed against his silky pants, and he broke the kiss.
The smile on his lips told me that he knew I was putty in his hands, as he proceeded to show me that he wasn't at all inexperienced when it came to sex with guys.
Morning came way too early, and there was plenty of time for the team to eat breakfast in a local diner before the roads were clear enough to travel. Joel kept on giving me weird looks across the table we shared with Danny and Deke. When I got up to go the bathroom, he followed me. Everyone was wearing their school sweat suits, mostly because they were fairly warm.
'Dude, you got laid last night.' Joel said after checking to make sure the stall was empty. That got a blush as I whipped my dick out and peed in the urinal. He was leaning against the wall behind me and smirking, I saw when I finished and turned around.
'How would you know?' I asked and he laughed.
'The two of you were damn fucking loud.' Joel snorted. 'You can bet Deke heard everything. In fact, he mentioned this morning that he was pretty sure you two weren't just acting at being a couple.'
'Oh shit.' I muttered, wanting to thump my head against the wall. If there had been any doubt I should never have given in to Danny, I knew better now. Not even the memory of me entering his tight ass could change that now.
'Don't worry.' Joel said with a look of concern. 'You were on the corner so there wasn't a room on the other side. As for Deke, I know what he was doing while we listened to you and Danny fucking.'
'What?' I asked, suddenly feeling a ray of hope at the way he was being so casual about things.
'That kid was jacking off for all he was worth, thinking I was asleep.' Joel said and then he smiled even more. 'From the way he looked at me when I stepped out of the shower naked, I'm pretty sure you two aren't the only two gays in town. I made sure he knew I knew he was jacking off too, and that if he even dared saying something about it, I'd make sure everyone knew he was jacking off while he listened.'
'Thanks.' I said as I zipped up and washed my hands. Joel just shook his head.
'You know, things are going to be fucked up when you graduate, don't you?' Joel asked. 'He talks about moving off to the Navy and I know you'll never want to leave town.'
'We're just friends.' I said.
'Friends with benefits?' Joel asked.
'Yeah.' I said, realizing that maybe that would work. I knew Danny was leaving when I let him in to be friends. If he was just a friend with benefits, well it wouldn't hurt any worse than when he left, and I could still pick a girl to settle down with and get married after school.
'Just don't think I want any of those benefits.' Joel joked and I turned to give him a dirty look.
'Joel, whatever in the fucking world made you think I'd even want to touch you?' I sneered and he broke out in laughter.
'Eddie, you're just jealous I never had to worry about acne.' He shot back, scoring as I almost saw red before remembering Joel was my best friend. Yeah, that sounded good, having a good friend again. I'd gotten so messed up after Jack just disappeared without even a word.
'Let's get out there before they start thinking you're the next guy to swing from my cock.' I said, moving to the door. Joel was quicker though, punching my arm for the comment. When we left, we were just laughing. The expression on Danny's face as we sat down though, told me something was wrong.
'What's up?' I asked Danny who glared at Deke.
'This little fag thought our joke last night was for real.' Danny said with a shake of his head. 'He wants to join us in a three-way or he's going to blab.'
'You little shit!' Joel snapped and his fist leaped out, connecting with the side of Deke's head. The coach saw that from his table across the room, and let out a yell before stomping over.
'What's going on here?' He demanded, looking at Joel. 'If I thought anyone was going to bully a younger kid on this trip, it'd have been Hathaway, not you.'
'Sorry, Coach.' Joel said with a shrug. 'These two played a joke on us last night, making sounds like they were having sex and little shit here was trying to use that to blackmail them.'
'No!' Deke nearly shouted, his face suddenly turning bright red.
'No, what?' Coach asked him with a frown. 'You weren't trying to blackmail them? What was it you wanted? Money?'
'He wanted to...' Danny started to say with an evil smile.
'Please!' Deke begged him. 'Please, I'm sorry! I won't do it again! I won't...'
'Now this must have been interesting.' Coach said and he looked like he really wanted to hear what the attempted blackmail had been. 'Owens, you better learn your lesson or next time you'll wish Joel here had hit you again, you understand?'
'Yes, Coach.' Deke sounded suitably chastised as the coach nodded before stomping off. All eyes were on us, but we were at a table far enough away that we were still left alone. Deke glared at us.
'You guys were really just joking?' He asked. 'I mean, it went on for so long there's no way you could have been joking...'
'Do you think we'd tell you even if we weren't joking?' Danny asked. 'Boy, you've just proven how much of a conniving little shit you are, trying to blackmail us. You remember what I said to that other little shit, Sam?'
'Yes.' Deke Owens frowned, looking down at the table. 'You've pretty much beaten the crap out of him every time he didn't call you sir, and then you changed it so he has to call you master all the time now.'
'You'll start with calling us master, and we might let you get by with sir after a few months.' Danny snarled while Joel started laughing. 'You got it?'
'Yes, master.' Deke said meekly, but there was a gleam in his eyes that touched off a jealous streak in me.
'Don't even be thinking of us when you jack off, either.' I warned him and his eyes widened at my words. Yep, he was a twisted little shit.
'I knew he was gay.' Joel said with a shake of his head and now Deke started trembling with tears in his eyes.
'Can the bull crap.' Danny snorted. 'We ain't gonna tell people your little secret unless you really piss us off, you got that?'
'Yes, master.' Deke said, and again I didn't like the tone.
By the time we got back to town, it was snowing again, with the bus almost didn't make it up the steep hills to the school. I had chains for my jeep, but a call out to Grandpa's let me know that the roads out there hadn't even been plowed yet. It was Grandpa's advice that we hole up in town, and that he'd call the pastor to let him know Danny was in town with me.
'You guys can stay with me.' Joel said as soon as he saw us leaving the school office from where I'd called grandpa.
'How'd you know we were going to stay in town?' I asked him and he smirked.
'It's snowing and I heard the roads out to your place haven't been plowed yet.' Joel shrugged. 'You know my mom, she won't turn anyone away.'
'Yeah, and she'll charge us prime rate for a room too.' I joked and Joel smirked at me. His folks ran one of the motels on the western edge of town. Right now it was probably full of stranded big-rig drivers and motorists.
'C'mon, it won't be that bad.' Joel practically pleaded. 'You know she thinks you don't like her anymore because you haven't been to visit in a couple of years.'
'Okay.' I gave in. There was a good reason why I hadn't visited his house in a while. His mother was too perceptive. We all piled into my Wrangler, and I drove slowly down the hill. It was too icy to risk going fast and flipping over.
Sure enough, the motel's parking lot was full, but one of the three spots reserved for the family was still open and I pulled in there. We entered through the motel office, where Joel's father was taking a payment from a family with two kids. He nodded at us as we went behind the counter, through the connecting doorway and into their house proper.
'You boys get in here where it's warm.' Eugenia, Joel's mother, said as soon as she saw us. 'Eddie, it's so good to see you again, and this must be Daniel.'
'It's a pleasure to meet you, ma'am.' Daniel said politely.
'Please call me Eugenia.' She told him while we took off our coats and hung them up on a nearby coat rack. 'How was the game?'
'Bad' Joel answered with a shrug. 'I'm actually kind of glad I'm not the quarterback with as many times as Danny's been getting sacked.'
'Oh you poor boys!' Eugenia said with only a slight trace of a melodramatic tone. She was smiling though. 'That's what we get for not having a football team all these years. Don't worry, give it time.'
'Except none of us are going to be in school next year.' Joel pointed out as she led us over by the fireplace.
'True.' She agreed. 'Hot cider or hot chocolate?'
'Cider.' Joel said and I added my agreement for that choice while Danny chose the hot chocolate. While she went and fixed the warm drinks, Joel showed Danny around their house, and explained how they worked the motel. They had one maid, although on busy days his mom usually helped out with the rooms, as did Joel. At night, the doorbell to the office rang throughout the house and one of them would get up to handle late customers.
I'd stayed over there sometimes when I was growing up, and knew that it didn't happen often that they'd get called out of bed, but it happened enough that I had long since decided I'd rather work on the farm. I hadn't stayed over in years, though. Part of me wondered what they'd do when Joel left for college, if they'd hire someone else to help out with repairs and stuff like that since Joel did a lot of that stuff.
'Here you go, boys.' Eugenia said as she brought in a tray with four cups on it and set it down on the coffee table by the fireplace. They had a long couch and two loveseats set up in a U shape facing the fireplace. We sat down with Joel and his mother on the couch and Danny and I sitting on the loveseat to their left. She always made great cider, and as I took a small sip of the hot drink, I was carried back to the last time I'd stayed and enjoyed some of her hot cider. I'd come back to Mom and Dad's the next day to find out the preacher's wife had left town with the kids, including him.
'You okay son?' Eugenia asked and I frowned.
'Sorry, just remembering something.' I said softly and Joel let out a sigh.
'That's okay, hon.' She said softly. 'So, Daniel, what is it like being the preacher's kid?'
'I'm not the only one, you know.' Danny sounded almost defensive, and I could see his look of shock as Eugenia started laughing.
'Yes, but your sister and younger brother don't generate half as much gossip combined as you do all by yourself.' Eugenia said as she laughed and Daniel let out a slow, warm smile.
'Your hot chocolate is good.' He said. 'It tastes different than any I've had before.'
'Oh dear.' She frowned. 'I'm afraid I put just a thimbleful of brandy in there. I hope that's not going to...'
'It's fine.' He said quickly, taking another sip to hide the smile on his face. 'Just don't add to the rumors about me.'
'I won't.' She smiled. 'You already have enough rumors flying around about you and Eddie doing the nasty.'
'I never imagined it would spread so far when I started that joke.' Danny sighed, although there was a twinkle in his eye. I couldn't help it, I leaned back and put my around him, squeezing his right shoulder with my hand.
'Don't worry, baby, we'll make it somehow.' I said in a fake high falsetto that had both him and Joel laughing while Eugenia just shook her head.
'That's something I never thought I'd see.' Eugenia said. 'Eddie finally opening up and declaring his love for another boy.'
'What?' I gasped, wondering when Joel had had time to tell her... but he was looking at me with wide eyes and I knew he hadn't told her what he'd found out. Danny was stiff as a board, and that's when I looked over at Joel's mother and say the sly smile and twinkling eyes.
'I was right, it's not just a joke.' She said with a self-satisfied smirk. 'Serves your father right after what he did to Joel.'
'Huh?' Joel asked while I stared at her.
'Excuse me?' I whispered, knowing better than trying to lie to her. She always knew when I was lying as a kid. I could fool my own mother, but Joel's mom could read me like a book.
'Not you, son.' She said with a slight sigh. 'I'm talking about the guy you were named after, Joel Reynolds.'
'I know about him.' I said with a snort while Danny looked at me with curiosity and a little bit of fear.
'Damn well you should know about him.' She snorted again. 'It was your father that caught him and his friend and drove him out of town.'
'My father did what?' I nearly yelped. No one had ever mentioned that!
'Honey?' Joel's father's voice caught our attention and we all looked back to see him in the entrance from the office. The wind was blowing fiercely outside now and I could hear the snow hitting the roof. 'You'll never believe what the cat just dragged in here.'
'Who is it, dear?' Eugenia asked as she turned to look at him. Two older men, about the same age as my father followed Joel's dad into the home and all three of us teenagers were shocked when Eugenia screeched 'OH MY GOD!' while climbing over the back of the sofa and rushing to hug one of the men.
'Speak of the devil and he appears!' Eugenia crowed with happiness as she hugged the man, all but leaping into his arms. 'Joel Reynolds! What are you doing back in town?'