I was feeling on top of the world after the experience I just had. Rayne and I had made love for the first time and it was absolutely magical. Although it wasn't as romantic and candlelit as I had imagined, it couldn't have been more perfect. Our bodies being so close and becoming one was the most amazing feeling I could have felt.

Generally after a couple have sex, they can't keep their hands off each other. But we weren't a normal couple, and it wasn't just sex. As opposed to other couples, I couldn't keep my eyes off him. He was so captivating. The way he would bring his hand over his mouth as he laughed. The cute little wrinkles next to his eyes when he smiled. The way he would bite on his thumbnail when he was nervous. Everything about him was so intriguing.

The rest of Rayne's family had arrived home and Rayne and I had taken the liberty to cook dinner for them; while I just set the table, having no place in the kitchen whatsoever, Rayne had made a spectacular green curry with chicken and fried rice and vegetables. Seeing Rayne rush around the kitchen in his little pink apron got me feeling all funny inside.

That was definitely a sight I could get used to.

Jesse was noticeably friendlier to me today and I assumed it was because I had almost overnight gotten Rayne out of his deep depression. Mr and Mrs Marshall had already accepted me into their family and they openly entertained the idea of me permanently moving in with them. I smiled and thanked them for their hospitality when it hit me.

I had conquered my problems. I had let Rayne know how much I loved him and had defended his honour and mine at school. Now, there was one more problem I ahd to encounter.

My father.

After dinner, Rayne and I cleared the table and washed and dried the dishes before heading up to his bedroom. I shut the door behind me and paced around the room as Rayne practiced some dance techniques in front of his full length mirror.

'What's wrong, babe?' Rayne asked me, noticing my anxiety from the mirror.

'I don't know,' I mumbled.

'You're nervous,' he replied.

'How do you know?'

'Your biting on your thumb nail just like I do,' he replied with a smile.

Sure enough, I just pulled my thumb out of my mouth and sighed. I fell back onto the bed and stretched my arms above my head. Rayne finished his last pirouette and laid down next to me, immediately placing his head on my chest.

'Are you regretting what we did today?' he whispered.

'Of course not,' I nearly shouted, leaning down to kiss him on his head, 'I do not regret loving you at all, it's just... my father.'

Rayne reached up and grabbed my hand and held it while he stroked the side of my face gently with the other.

'One step at a time,' he whispered sweetly, 'one step at a time'.

Rayne and I spent most of the night dancing as he trained me for our half-yearly Dance pratical exams. I previously thought Dance class was a waste of time and all you had to do was dance and smile but there was a lot more behind it - terminology, emotion, passion and pointed feet. It was absolutely crazy.

As the night nearly ended, Rayne and I got into bed and I cuddled up to him behind in in a spooning position like we always did.

'Will you still love me in the morning?' I whispered.

'Until the moon stops shining,' he replied.

The next day at school, Rayne and I still got stares at whispers but still no confrontation. I was living happily until my coach, Coach Kidman, approached me with his trusty whistle in one hand and clipboard in the other.

'Thatcher, can I have a word?'

I left Rayne and walked off with Coach wondering what he was up to.

'Word has it that you and Rayne Marshall are an item. Is this true?'

'Yes. Is there a problem with that?' I felt my temper flaring already and my fists were beginning to clench already. I wasn't about to get kicked off the rugby team for being with Rayne.

'No, of course there isn't, it's just some of the guys have come up to me and told me they don't feel comfortable with you on the team anymore and have threatened to quit unless I do something about it.'

'What are you gonna do Coach? Are you gonna kick me off the team? Is that it? Are you going to go against the anti-discrimination policies of this place and kick me because I'm gay?' Fists were clenched. Temper was flaring.

'No, no, that's not it,' stammered Coach, 'listen, kid, I'm as open-minded as the next guy but I have to do something about this. This isn't anything personal but I have to demote you from captain and have to place you on the bench until I can figure out another plan of action. I'm really sorry but that's how the cookie crumbles.'

I bit my tongue and watched in horror as Coach patted me on the shoulder and disappeared. I looked over at Jayden and his crew and saw them looking at me looking as guilty as ever. I glanced at Rayne who was watching me and knew something was up so he quickly got up and jogged over to me.

'Baby, what happened?' he whispered.

'Coach just demoted me for being fucking gay!' I exclaimed.

My anger startled Rayne and he placed his hands on my shoulders in an attempt to calm me down but the sheepish look on Jayden's face set me off. I immediately made a dash to him and sent my fist right into his surprised face. Rayne screamed at me to stop from behind him but I zoned his voice out and continued to send my fist down to Jayden's face while my other held his throat.

'You wanna start this fucking shit?!' I spat at him.

Brett and Dwight jumped up while the rest of the boys sat there egging the fight on. Brett shoved me off Jayden and threw a punch at me but I managed to dodge it and throw him into Jayden who was slowly getting up off his feet. Dwight managed to suckerpunch me from behind in the stomach and hit another punch to the side of my face.

By now, most of the school had surrounded us eagerly watching the fight and soon Rayne appeared through the crowd and he pulled at me to try and get me away.

Jayden forcefully shoved Rayne down onto his ass as Brett and Dwight tackled me down and held me on the ground. I tried to wriggle out of their grasp but the strength of two of them was too overwhelming for me. Jayden saw the predicament I was in and grinned, the pain on the sides of his face already imminent.

'Look what we have here,' he said, turning his attention back to Rayne who was staring up at him in horror.

Rayne screamed at him to stay away but Jayden reached down and grabbed him by his hair and pulled him up to his feet. Rayne was a lover not a fighter so I knew he was in trouble.

'LET GO OF HIM NOW!!' I roared.

Jayden grinned and sent his fist into the side of Rayne's face. Rayne hollered as he fell onto the ground in a crumbled heap, holding onto the connected side of his face in pain. Jayden came over to me and spat on me and then went back to Rayne who was still on the ground. Jayden picked him up by the hair once again and looked at me.

'You fucking fags don't deserve to be in this school,' he shouted.

'LET GO OF HIM! HE HASN'T DONE ANYTHING!' I repeated myself.

I watched in horror as Jayden sent Rayne stomach-first into the side of the lunch table, the pain spitting out of Rayne's voice haunting me as Brett and Dwight continued to hold me down with malevolent expressions on their face.

'Is this how you fags do it?' Jayden teased as he got behind Rayne who was bent over and started to play-thrust him.

Rayne spun around and viciously slapped the taste out of Jayden's mouth. As Jayden spun around to send another fist to Rayne, finally a teacher managed to get through the crowd and break the fight up.

'All 5 of you, in the Principal's office NOW!'

After a heated near-hour discussion in the office, Jayden and I had both received a suspension while Rayne, Brett and Dwight received a week of detention. Rayne and I left the office immediately and made our way to my car. As soon as we were in the safety of my car, I looked over at Rayne who was slightly bruised on his perfect left cheek. Seeing him in such a state hit me hard.

'I'm so sorry,' I mumbled, allowing a few tears to fall out of my eyes.

Rayne reached over and wiped the tears off my face with his thumb and he managed to smile at me.

'It's okay,' he whispered, 'we were going to get through this together, remember? One step at a time.'

'One step at a time,' I repeated.

We went back home and immediately laid down in bed. As opposed to our usual position, I had my head on Rayne's chest and he was the one kissing me softly on my forehead and stroking the side of my face gently. The cuts and bruises on my face didn't sting as much anymore and Rayne's gentle touch almost healed it immediately with his love.

'Will your family hate me for this?' I whispered

'No, they'll understand,' he replied soothingly.

Family. There was that word again.

Finally, I couldn't take it any longer.

'Come with me please. I need you with me,' I said.

'Where are we going?' Rayne asked me curiously.

'Home,' I stated.

(AUTHOR'S NOTE: I appreciate all my readers and all the comments you leave so I've decided to reqard you (in a sense). If you've read all my stories and have wondered what the characters are supposed to look like, I have based the appearance of 90$ of my characters on real life people, from Duke Erving from the In Love With a Celebrity series to Troy from the one-off Get Sexy short story. If you are curious as to who these people are, send me an e-mail and I will reply with the names and pictures of those people just to help you imagine my stories. Thank you and enjoy)



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