The Bully, written by Dan Kirk was posted by a fan. Original story can be found at: http://dkstories.gayauthors.org
'Why aren't you over there talking to them?' I asked Danny who was sitting on the couch next to me. Joel was on the other side, talking to Jeanette who was now his official girlfriend. He had his arm around her, and his right hand engulfed her left hand. Part of me wanted to do the same to Danny, but I knew better than to even give that wish the time of day. As it was, we were sitting so closely the entire side of his body was touching my left side.
'They're enlisted recruiters, not officer.' Danny said with a sigh as we watched the men in the uniforms of the four branches of the military talk to a couple of juniors and two seniors. They came out here, twice a year, every year. Most years one or two people signed up, but this year there weren't half the amount of people talking to them as usually happened.
'Not many talking to them this year.' Joel remarked as he turned his attention away from Jeanette for a moment.
'Yeah.' I agreed.
'Why is that?' Danny wondered.
'Maybe it's because of Joe Reynolds.' Deke said from a nearby couch and I eyed him warily. He'd been fairly well behaved recently, but I was still cautious of anything coming out of his mouth.
'What would that fag have to do with military recruiting?' Jeanette asked with scorn in her voice.
'Not him as much as why he moved back to town.' Joel said with a nod towards Deke as he removed his arm from around Jeannette's shoulder. He also scooted away from her just a bit, which she noticed.
'Oh come off it, your two buddies over there use that word all the time.' She snorted with disgust.
'Yeah, well, they don't mean it like you do.' Joel said.
'So what?' She snorted and Joel let out a sigh. 'Fine, if you're going to be so pissy about it, sorry I said anything.'
'Okay.' Joel said with a sigh as he scooted back over a notch.
'Most people have heard about his son dying in Iraq.' Deke said after a moment of quiet. His voice was quiet, but loud enough for anyone nearby to hear. 'It's the first time we've known anyone who died over there and it's kind of hitting home like it hasn't before, you know what I mean?'
'But no one knew their son.' Danny protested.
'Don't matter.' Joel said softly. 'Joe Reynolds, for all that he got ran out of town that one time is one of us, and so it's like the kid no one even knew he had was still someone 'known'.'
'I don't understand that at all.' Danny said with a shake of his head.
'Chalk it up to small-town thinking.' I said and Danny chuckled.
'So no one's bugged Joe yet?' Danny asked.
'He gets a lot of stares when he comes into town, but people have been polite at least.' I answered.
'Although I heard he was getting some nasty phone calls the first week.' Joel added and I looked over at him with surprise. 'He told mom about it, but they stopped after she talked to your mother, Eddie.'
'Shouldn't be a big surprise it was dad.' I said with a sigh. 'He called Grandpa's a few times asking to talk with me and all he wanted to do was call me names and shit like that.'
'That sucks.' Joel said.
'Yep.' I agreed, looking out at the cold winter day. It wasn't snowing, but there was plenty of the stuff still on the ground. Today was the last day of school before Thanksgiving, and we were sitting around during lunch instead of risking the icy hill to get downtown.
'Did you hear about Pamela?' Deke asked after we'd all lapsed into silence for several long minutes. The kid was always on the edge of our group.
'No, what?' I asked with a little surprise. She was one of the Indians from the reservation and hadn't been in school all week.
'She's pregnant.' Deke said with a lurid grin that he usually wore whenever he had some dirty gossip. 'Word is that it's Sean's kid.'
'You're kidding?' Joel exclaimed in surprise. The surprise was because Sean was one of the 'cowboys' who regularly got into fights with the Indians at the school. He was a right regular bigot when it came to non-whites.
'No, and his pa is pissed as hell.' Deke said with a slight look over at me. 'I heard my mom discussing it with Mrs. Rainier down at City Hall. His dad's threatening to kick Sean out now and Pam's parents are trying to get her to have an abortion.'
'Damn I'd hate to be in Sean's shoes right now.' Joel said with a shake of his head.
'Why would they want to force her to have an abortion?' Danny asked with a slight shudder at the last word.
'Maybe it has to do with how the tribe's been feuding with Sean's family since the 1950's' Joel said softly. The question was another reminder that Danny was an outsider, that he was just passing through here and part of me didn't like that at all.
'What have they been feuding about?' Danny asked.
'Land.' I answered. 'Sean's great-grandfather got the federal government to cede him land that use to belong to the tribe for his herd to use. The tribe took him to court and they won in the 1960's. It was this big deal, going all the way to the Supreme Court.'
'Wow.' Danny said with slightly wide eyes. 'So they got the land back?'
'Not really.' Joel said. 'The government compromised after the court ruling and the tribe keeps the land but Sean's family gets to use it for grazing and watering as long as they pay the tribe for the use. Every year they try to short-change the tribe and half the time they end up in court over and over again. Last time, the federal judge threatened to haul them all off to jail.'
'The tribe tries to charge extra rates every year, so they aren't exactly innocent either.' Deke added.
'Isn't that the way it usually works?' I asked softly. 'Both sides do something wrong and all they can do is blame each other for the things the other side did wrong while ignoring their own issues?'
'Did I just hear an original thought come out of the mouth of Eddie Hathaway?' The Principal's voice was filled with sarcasm and I felt a rage building inside me at the scorn he was showing me. 'I've been thinking his good grades this year have been because he was cheating off of the preacher's boy, but now maybe I think he's absorbing something from the boy besides what you'd expect from a couple of homosexuals.'
'That's across the line!' Daniel nearly shouted as he sprang out of his seat and turned to face the man who was standing near the fireplace with a cruel smirk on his face. My mouth just hung open at the... what was the word Danny would use? Oh yeah, audacity of the man.
'Watch your language, young man.' The Principal sneered at Danny. 'You might think you two have fooled everyone into thinking you two are just joking, but I see the way you behave. You're never far from each other, and usually you're so close that a knife couldn't fit between you without cutting skin.'
'You getting your jollies, old man?' Danny sneered back. 'Does the sight of us turn you on so much you have to watch us wherever we go?'
'Get real, Mr. Pemberle, and adjust your tone.' He retorted. 'I am the principal of this school. You will show me respect.'
'Respect has to be earned and you aren't even close to earning mine.' Danny retorted.
'If you think your father's position in this town will protect you, you have another thing coming.' The Principal snorted before smiling cruelly. 'You can just serve detention after school tonight.'
'Is that supposed to scare me?' Danny retorted as the Principal turned and walked away. 'Eddie, how the hell have you put up with that bastard all these years?'
'By ignoring him as much as possible.' I said softly, pulling him in closer to me with the arm I'd placed around his shoulders. A couple people looked away at the gesture of comfort, but no one said anything. When I put my arm back at my side, I could see the disappointed look on Danny's face. The bell rang a few minutes later and we all got up together to head to our lockers before heading to the next class.
Usually these weeks before Thanksgiving dragged by, but this year, with Danny around, they seemed to do nothing but fly by in the blink of an eye. When school let out for the holiday, I found myself rushing around with Grandma, driving out to Tonopah for some of the things she needed for the big Thanksgiving dinner she had planned. Since Danny's mom had a similar shopping list, he went with me. Grandpa loaned us his newer F-250 and we left early in the morning. The only downside was that we had to come back the same day instead of staying all night together in a hotel room, but it was better than trying to find some alone time at either of our houses.
'Grandma and Grandpa arrived last night.' Danny said with a sigh as we pulled away from his house.
'I bet it's nice to see them.' I said noncommittally. His hand reached out and touched my leg, and I tensed in surprise. He almost pulled it back, but I stopped him by taking a hand off the wheel and putting it over his on my leg. The contact felt nice, nicer than I wanted to admit.
'Yeah, well, the first thing out of her mouth was asking if I had a girlfriend.' Danny said with a sigh. 'Grandpa wanted to know about if I got my acceptance letter to the Academy yet.'
'Have you gotten it yet?' I asked, not really wanting to know the answer.
'Yes.' Danny said with a sigh and looked out the window. His longish black hair was all I could see, and the road was still wet enough that I had be careful about black ice, so I couldn't stare at him until he faced me. Then again, it was better he didn't see my facial expressions. Most likely they would have shown him how his words had struck home like a knife stabbing me in the heart.
'Oh.' I said aloud after he'd been silent for a while.
'Yeah, well, I don't know now.' Danny said and I had to hide the flush of hope filling my cheeks. Even if he didn't go to the Naval Academy, he'd still go away to college. Besides, wasn't it wrong of me to want him not to go when I had no plans to stay with him? I'd been thinking that come New Year's I'd get to work on settling down with a girl that might be marriage material. That surely wasn't fair to Danny.
'You should go for it, it's your dream, isn't it?' I said softly and he looked back around at me. A quick glance showed that he was looking hurt.
'Wouldn't you rather I stayed a little bit closer?' He asked and I let out a long breath I didn't even know I'd been hoping. Was I even ready to be discussing this with him? Ever since Joe Reynolds had showed up in town, I'd been finding myself thinking about him, and thinking about Danny. Sure, I was in bumfuck Egypt, but I knew about gays and all that. There were moments, just a few little moments that I could imagine Danny and I sitting on the porch of our house, old geezers happy with a long life together, but those were just moments. The rest of the time I saw Joe Reynolds and how he'd left town a young man and came back only because of the death of the kid he'd raised with his partner.
Sure, no one had tried to run Joe and his partner out of town again, or at least hadn't tried yet, but they weren't exactly welcoming the two gay men with open arms. Last week I'd seen Joe walking down the street towards the bank and Mrs. Wilkins had grabbed her four-year-old son and pulled him to the other side of the road when she saw Joe walking down the street towards them. Would I ever take something like that as stoically as Joe had, with just the shake of his head?
It would just be easier to let things go and be normal.
'No, you should go do the things in life that will make you happy.' I finally answered Danny's question. 'I mean, it's not like we could ever lead a life together here in town.'
'Why not?' Danny asked pointedly. 'It's not like Joe and Elijah have been run out of town or anything. The only bother they've had was from your father.'
'Yeah, you think he's going to take you and me shacking up openly with a whistle and a smile?' I asked scornfully and he took his hand off of my leg with a sharp look.
'Do you care what he thinks?' Danny asked me in a quiet but pointed tone and I stared out at the road while running his question through my head. Damn him! He actually made me think things through now instead of just going with however I felt at the moment. It was harder living this way, where I actually thought about things instead of just reacting to them.
'Yes.' I admitted with a sigh, and was surprised at the wetness in my eyes. It was time to blink quickly, and push them away before Danny saw them. Some things I didn't want even him knowing.
'Oh.' Danny said softly as he looked out at the sagebrush rushing by outside his window.
'I mean, he is my father after all.' I defended myself and he nodded.
'Yeah, I can see that.' Danny said softly. 'You know, we don't have to stay in this town. You've got good enough grades you could even get into a community college at first, and then transfer to a four-year school. Don't even try to claim you can't afford it because we both know your grandpa would be happy to see one of his grandkids at least go to college.'
'I... why would I ever want to leave this town?' I asked him with a shake of my head.
'For me?' He asked.
'What, you want me to follow you out into the big-wide world and wait for you to come home to me?' I said scornfully. 'I could have dinner done for you every night and be standing there in my apron, waiting for you?
'That's not what I mean at all.' Danny said defensively with a grimace.
'That's what it would come to.' I said scornfully. 'You know I'm not any good at school work.'
'Bullshit.' Danny snorted. 'You've gotten nothing lower than a B and several A grades this semester.'
'That's only because of your help with homework.' I said with a shrug. 'I never was good at doing homework, but you've been helping me, remember?'
'Yes, and what makes you think I won't be there to help you if we go to college together?' Danny asked. 'Let's say I picked Reno State, or UNLV, there's community colleges in both places you could go through. If we got an off-campus apartment, I'd be there to help you each and every night.'
'I don't like the idea of leaving town.' I fell back on my usual answer and he let out a disgusted snort. 'Well, I don't. This is where I was born, this is where I grew up, and this is where I want to live until I die.'
'Fine, we could just come back here after college.' Danny said.
'And be a freak show for the gossips in town?' I snorted and he crossed his arms in frustration.
'I love you, you know.' Danny said it aloud, and I felt a hitch form in my lungs. I couldn't breath for a moment. There had been others who had said it to me, but never like this, and never with watery eyes like Danny was showing. That's when I saw the deer jump out into the roadway just in front of me. My arms shook as I gripped the wheel and slammed on the brakes. The tires squealed as the deer just stopped, staring at us. The left rear wheel hit a patch of still-frozen ice and we began to skid just as I tried to swing around the animal. My brain was all but frozen, and as the truck slid around the deer, I wondered if those would be the last words we'd both ever hear.
'Holy shit.' Danny shouted as we completely missed the deer and came to a stop in the middle of the road. With shaking arms and legs, I managed to turn the truck in the right direction, but I pulled off the roadway. At the moment I was too shaken to continue driving, and both of us were breathing heavily as our bodies came down from the brief adrenalin high.
I snapped off my seat belt and shrugged out of it at the same time as Danny, and we met in the middle of the front cab of the truck. Our lips connected with a force that rattled my teeth and his tongue found its way deep inside my mouth while I pulled him tight into me. His hands roamed over me, pulling my shirt out of my pants and wiggled under the shirt and t-shirt while my hands began to massage the globes of his ass.
'Oh god.' Danny moaned as he broke the kiss for a moment. My lips latched onto his neck, sucking hard and indiscriminately while his hands kneaded my back, his nails threatening to break the skin. I could feel them running over the acne on my back, and while those feelings normally made me feel self-conscious, this time they did nothing but send surges to my erection now straining against my pants.
On my knees in the narrow space between the truck's bucket seats, I switched my hands to his front and pushed him back, so I could get at his erection that was tenting out the front of his jeans. With his butt on the edge of his seat, and his back arched upwards and back so that his head rested against the passenger window, I had perfect access to unbutton his jeans and release his hard cock from confinement.
Danny let out a very loud moan as I swallowed his cock all the way to the base, burying my nose in his pubic hair.
'You wonder why I don't want to go to the Naval Academy anymore?' Danny said nearly forty minutes later as we both panted heavily while we struggled to get our clothes back on in the confines of the truck's cab. After exploding into my mouth, Danny had returned the favor, and after taking my own orgasm into his mouth, we'd recovered from the high of the near-collision and traded blowjobs by kissing softly.
'Oh shit.' I muttered as I saw the bruise forming on his neck. He noticed my look and checked his neck out in the mirror.
'So what?' He said with a casual shrug.
'Danny, your father's going to see that!' I said in horror.
'He won't ask.' Danny said confidently. 'He'll ignore it unless I bring it up.'
'I'm sorry.' I started to say, but he shook his head and gave me a very direct look.
'Eddie, I do love you.' Danny said softly.
'We're too young for that.' I said just as softly, and turned in the driver's seat to look out at the relatively dead highway. There was very little traffic this close to Thanksgiving in either direction.
'Bullshit.' Danny snorted and I looked back at him.
'You shouldn't give up your dreams of being a fighter pilot just because of me.' I said sadly. 'I'm not worth that.'
'That's your father talking.' Danny said angrily. There was a passion burning in his eyes, a passion I'd seen before, but never just after we'd had sex.
'So what if it is?' I countered. 'He can be a bastard, but even a bastard gets it right every now and then. Look, I know you've got this dream about us living together and all that, but it ain't gonna happen. I'm a farm boy, that's all I ever was meant to be, and you can't be a farm boy and... and gay.'
'Why not?' Danny asked.
'Don't even bring up Joe Reynolds.' I snorted. 'He's just back for a bit before Elijah gets all better and they move back to the big city.'
'Elijah loves it out here.' Danny said softly as he looked out the front window of the truck. I noticed how steamy they were getting and turned on the defroster.
'How do you know that?' I asked.
'I saw him in town two days ago and we talked.' Danny said.
'Are you crazy?' I asked while my voice cracked halfway through the sentence.
'What?' He asked with a quizzical expression.
'You don't talk to them unless you have to!' I told him. 'People see you talking to them, they're gonna talk!'
'Who cares what the gossips talk about?' Danny asked rhetorically.
'I do!' I shot back. 'My grandmother does! I bet your mother does!'
'Not in the way you think.' Danny responded softly. 'You know, I expected someone who people thought of as a bully to care less about what other people thought of them.'
'Maybe I was the way I was because I cared too much about what people thought.' I responded and my eyes widened as what I said registered on my own ears. Danny smiled at the look on my face.
'You caught that, eh?' He asked with a soft chuckle. To my surprise I was soon laughing and his chuckle had turned into a laugh like mine. Danny stopped laughing first though, and gave me a serious look.
'I've been doing a lot of thinking ever since I first met you, Eddie Hathaway.' Danny said in a very serious tone, and his eyes drilled into mine with a passion I never thought I'd see from anyone looking at my ugly face. Yes, I'd thought to get married someday, but I never thought a girl could look at me the way Danny was right now, and I knew I'd never feel about her the way I was feeling about Danny at that very moment. 'At first I thought you were nothing but a regular bully, but then I got to know you, the real you, away from school and everybody else's sight. When we were alone, I realized I was getting to see a side of you no one had really seen before.'
'No, someone else...' I started to protest, but that went down a road I didn't ever want to travel again.
'Is that the reason you've been so nasty to people the last few years?' Danny asked. 'Joel seems convinced that it was the last preacher's kid's fault that you went all vicious on people.'
'Let's not talk about that.' I growled and looked away for a moment. His voice dragged my eyes back to his.
'Eddie, do you believe in love?' He asked me softly with a look of vulnerability in his eyes.
'Of course I do.' I said immediately, but his calm gaze held me for a long moment until I couldn't stand it any longer. Wrenching my gaze away to look anywhere but at him, I mulled over his question in my mind. 'I know you're not talking about the type of love like for parents or family, right?'
'No, I'm talking about romantic love.' Danny confirmed. 'The kind of love where you're willing to break away from your family, your roots, everything else, in order to live your life with someone, to go from being a lone individual to being a part of a couple. I'm not even talking about like what we'd face where you've got the whole gay thing added on, but even for straight couples, where they're willing to make a real commitment to each other.'
'I don't know many people who do something like that.' I said softly. 'My brother hasn't had to 'break away' from the family when he got married.'
'Didn't you see him every day before he got married?' Danny asked.
'Yeah.' I answered.
'Did you see him every day after he got married like you did before?' Danny pursued this line of reasoning.
'It's not the same.' I countered. 'Sure, I didn't see him every day like before, but that's because he's married.'
'Exactly.' Danny said with a smug look. 'Sure, in a rural place like where we live you're going to see more of him than if he lived in a different city, but what if he decides to sell his land and move to Reno because that's what his wife wants?'
'He'd never do that with land he got from grandpa.' I snorted but Danny's silence and steady gaze made me answer. 'Okay, even if he did that... oh I don't know!'
'Sorry.' Danny said softly as he sensed how frustrated I was feeling with this line of questioning.
'Where are you trying to go with this?' I asked him in an angry growl.
'I'm just... I was just wondering if you'd ever considered that you might love someone enough to...' Danny said before I interrupted him.
'Do I love you enough to run away with you and leave everything here behind?' I growled and he nodded with a look of fear on his face. 'Fuck! Damn it all to hell, Danny Pemberle, before I met you I would say no way in hell. Any girl I marry would have to stay here with me, there's no way in hell I'd leave everything I know for her or anyone else.'
'And now?' Danny asked.
'I don't know.' I growled, closing my eyes for a long moment. 'You know, there are moments, just moments I wonder what it might be like out there, as long as you were around, but I ain't no fucking lily to wait around for her man to come home from a hard day's work, or to wait for him while he's out to sea flying some damn airplane.'
'I know that.' Danny said with a sad smile I saw as I opened my eyes. 'Do you ever think about what it might be like if we went off to college somewhere and came back to live our lives on a farm?'
'You want to fly planes.' I countered and he laughed.
'Eddie, I'm finding that there are things more important than flying a damn airplane.' He said. 'What's the use of flying if I don't come home to someone who makes me smile just by thinking about them? Sooner or later my being miserable without someone I love around me is going to ruin the joy of flying. Besides, maybe I'll buy a crop duster and make my living here in town by flying the fields. You've told me old man Lester doesn't fly anymore so people use a company out of Tonopah that's much more expensive.'
'You could, but why?' I asked softly.
'Because I can't lie to myself.' Danny said with a heavy sigh. 'I love it out here with you, Eddie. Sure, I'd love to fly, but if I can find a way to have you and fly in some way, I'll take that over flying fighter jets and not having you. There's just no damn way I can see me being in the Navy with my heart longing for you. Sometimes the price is too high for an old dream. When it is, it's time to change the dream.'
'But... but you've wanted to fly longer than you've known me!' I protested. 'I've seen all the stuff in your room about planes and the like...'
'Stop.' Danny's voice was gentle but firm. 'Eddie, it's my dream and if I want to change it, I will do that. I've always wanted to fly since I was a kid, and I'll find a way to do that, even if it's not with the Navy, but damn you Eddie Hathaway, I'd rather grow old with you and never set foot in a fighter than to live my life without you. I don't see you ever choosing to live away from Silver Valley for the rest of your life, but I'm hoping you might give me four years.'
'You're serious about this?' I asked him with wide eyes and a trembling voice. His gaze practically blazed at me.
'Yes.' Danny said so softly I almost didn't hear him over the sound of the defroster blowing. The cab was getting almost unbearably hot.
'You sound like you're proposing to me.' I said softly and he smiled that smile of his that went straight through me like a blast of the hottest fire.
'Maybe I am.' He said as he leaned forward and gently tilted my head so he could place a perfect, soft kiss on my lips. I let out a sigh of wonder as he broke the kiss after a minute. 'You know, we better get a move on or the stores will be closed before we get there.'
'Yeah, you're right.' I said with regret as I buckled up. He knew I wasn't ready to respond yet, and like the caring person I knew him to be, he was willing to give me time to think about the things he'd said.
Which was something I resolved not to do just yet as I pulled back on the road and pointed the truck towards Tonopah.