The Bully, written by Dan Kirk was posted by a fan. Original story can be found at: http://dkstories.gayauthors.org
'Get the fuck out of my way, asswipe.' I growled as the little kid bumped into me. It was the first day of school, and I did not like having snot-nosed little brats bumping into me as they tried to figure out where they were going. It wasn't like they were in some big school. Our high school was a small one, just over a hundred kids including all these little seventh and eighth graders. There were barely thirty classrooms in the entire building, how hard was it to figure out where you're going?
'Scare the crap out of him, why don't you?' Daniel said from behind me and I let out a low growl. He'd ridden with me into school today, after having helped me with the morning work since he said he still wanted to make money, and his good humor at the first day of school was irritating.
'He should watch where he's going.' I growled back and ignored the smirk on his too-smooth face. The fact that since that night three weeks ago when I'd first slept in his bed with him he'd been sharing my bed or I'd been in his still grated on me in other ways. He looked too damn nice, even when he woke up in the morning. It seemed like his hair was always just perfect, and I knew for a fact that his face and skin was so smooth just because of all that crap he used on it every morning. Even his drooling on my shoulder every morning was just too damn cute.
How the hell was a person supposed to fucking jack off when he had someone like that in bed next to him?
'So, now I get to see why everyone warned me about you.' Daniel's chuckle was just too deep, too throaty, and the humor in his eyes only served to make me even more furious.
'Shut up.' I growled. We were walking through the 'lounge' area of the school and my temper flared when I saw a group of eighth graders sitting on the Seniors couch nearest the circular fire place. During the winter that fireplace was the warmest spot in the school. Daniel followed along behind me without saying another word. The eighth graders, townies one and all, ignored me when I came up and loomed over them. 'Move.'
'Piss off.' The oldest of them, Sam Withering, shot back. His father ran the convenience mart and gas station nearest the town's south entrance.
'Last time, move.' I threatened with my fingers balling up into fists. He actually met my eyes, his brown bangs falling over his blue eyes and his lips curled into a sneer.
'No.' He said flatly. 'We heard about that preacher's boy taming you. You ain't gonna do nothing this year.'
'Oh yeah?' I asked with a tilt of my head and he just nodded. There was no time for him to do anything else as my hand shot out, grabbed his shoulders and pulled. He should be glad there was no fire in the fireplace yet because his arms would have been burned if there had been. The rest of the kids on the couch scurried out of the way as I moved to sit down. Daniel was staring at me with an odd look on his face. 'Care to sit down?'
'Shouldn't we be getting our lockers or something?' He asked with his backpack slung over his shoulders. Daniel was wearing the same clothes he'd worn to the farm this morning, good strong Levi jeans, with a brown and white t-shirt. He no longer had the look of some stupid townie with delusions of grandeur. Nope, he looked like us, like he belonged here, except for his perfect medium-length hair and too-perfect skin.
'You can share my locker.' I said with a shrug. 'They'll just give you a locker with all the other new kids and my locker's full-size, so there's plenty of room. Not like those stupid half-lockers most of the new people have.'
'Okay, if you insist.' Daniel said as a group of about fifteen kids looked on, including the eighth graders. Sam was busy staring at us with anger in his eyes as he cradled his left arm. My friend just leaned back and rested his legs on top of a backpack that was sitting on the floor in front of the couch. When Sam bent to pick it up, Daniel knocked his arms away with a foot.
'It's my backpack.' Sam said hoarsely.
'So?' Daniel said with a shrug as he stretched out a bit more and put his arm on the back of the couch, behind my shoulders. We were sitting close, I realized, a little too late to do anything about that.
'I need it.' Sam said like an idiot. Really, and people thought I was stupid?
'Get it if you can.' Daniel said with an impish smile and I broke out into a derisive chuckle.
'It's not supposed to be like this!' Sam whined and this time Daniel and I both broke out into real laughter. The kid tried to reach down and grab the backpack, but Daniel's arm shot out and Sam ended up flat on his back.
'Don't ever call me 'preacher's boy' again, you here?' Daniel snarled, all trace of laughter gone from his voice. 'You can call me 'sir', you can call me 'master', but you call me anything else and I'll make you wish you'd never been born.'
'Fuck you.' Sam breathed moments before my fist crashed into his chest and let out an 'oomph' while my blow knocked the air out of him. I'd seen the look in his eye before he spoke and I had acted.
'You heard the man, and that goes for me too.' I snarled and this time there was nothing but fear in his eyes. 'You're our little bitch for the year, so you'll address us just like he said. You got that?'
'I didn't hear you.' Daniel growled.
'Yes, sir.' Sam stammered. Daniel let him go, and the boy jumped to his feet, grabbing his bag, and ran off while his friends either laughed at him or looked at us with fear in their eyes. When I sat back on the couch this time, it was my arm on the back of the couch and Daniel rested his head against it when he stretched out and let out a sigh.
'You were right.' He said with what almost sounded like sadness. 'The little freaks walk all over you if you let them.'
'Don't forget it, bro.' I chuckled while I watched little Sam run outside while trying to hide his face. Maybe he was crying now.
'Yo, what's up?' Joel said as he sauntered across the lounge.
'Joey, meet Daniel, Daniel, this is Joey, the guy who wants the QB position.' I introduced them without moving at all. Joel's face darkened a little but he shook Daniel's hand.
'You going out for the team?' Joel asked as he looked Daniel up and down and sniffed derisively.
'I've played football for years, so yeah.' Daniel said with a shrug. Joel looked between us for a moment, and I could see his eyes play over how we were sitting and he frowned.
'This was going to be my year.' Joel groaned as he took a seat on the edge of the fireplace. There was plenty of room for him on the couch, but he'd have to sit next to Danny boy.
'Mr. Hathaway,' A very familiar and unwelcome voice interrupted us before Joel could continue. Mr. Betlock was standing with his fists on his hips and staring at us. The short, beady-eyed asshole of a Principal did his best every year to trip me up, and he looked like he was excited about the opportunity to do it on the first day of school. Back in the far corner I could see Sam and a couple of his buddies giggling at what they were seeing. 'I see you are up to your old tricks already.'
'You got a doggie bone in your pocket to teach me a new trick?' I said with scorn and was pleased to see the way Joel started coughing as he tried to keep from laughing aloud. Daniel's elbow shot me in the ribs.
'I understand that you forced Mr. Withering to move from this couch.' The Principal said as he decided to ignore my jibe. 'You should know after all your years here that there is no reserved seating in this lounge, it is a first come-first served basis.'
'Shouldn't that be first-come, first-seated?' Daniel asked, earning himself a glare.
'Mr. Pemberle, I'd hoped you'd find better companionship, given your father's status in this community.' The beady-eyed git actually snorted at the end of that sentence.
'Sorry, but this big guy is nice and warm at night and I just love his chest hair.' Danny said with a silly grin as he put his hand on my thigh. My cheeks almost flamed red, and a tightness in my crotch was suddenly there, but that was nothing compared to the reaction of people around us. Joel fell off his perch on the fireplace he was laughing so hard, while several of the junior class guys and girls closest enough to hear joined Joel in laughing. That was nothing compared to Betlock's reaction.
'Yeah, well one day I'll break your habit of drooling on me at night.' I retorted to Danny who gave me a glare before turning back to the principal. Why he glared, I didn't know. It wasn't my fault that every time I'd slept over at his place I woke up with him resting his head on my shoulder, and a small rivulet of drool would drip from the corner of his mouth.
'Honey, why is the Principal turning blue?' Danny boy said as he leaned in almost like he was whispering, but in reality his voice was loud enough for most people to hear. Betlock turned, gasping something about 'disgusting' as he turned and stormed off towards his office. The little shit Sam was staring, flabbergasted that he'd failed to get me in trouble.
'Okay, so maybe there's a good side to this being a bully.' Danny boy said in such a soft voice that even I could barely hear him. Joel was picking himself up off the ground as Danny moved just an inch away, although he made a big show of it for those watching.
'Dude, you're one demented mother fucker.' Joel gasped at Danny who shuddered.
'Please, I'm not a mother fucker.' Danny's voice was filled with disgust. 'I prefer someone closer to my age, and I always use a condom.'
'Oh god!' Joel exclaimed as he started laughing again. This line of conversation, funny as it was, had started to get to be a little much. I didn't want anyone to think something was going between Danny and I. There wasn't, of course, although Danny did use me as a pillow far too often, but I was pretty damn sure he wouldn't want to do anything... fun. Nor did I want anyone at school thinking I was really a fag.
'So, you seen Theresa recently?' I asked Joel who gave me a leer. Rumors had been spreading at the end of last year that I'd be asking her out, but I hadn't and she had gotten miffed with me.
'You going to ask her out as soon as the next harvest is over?' Joel asked me as he shook his head in answer to my question.
'I was thinking on it.' I answered and noticed Danny give me a little look like he did when he heard something he didn't like.
'Well, I don't know how your lover-boy here would take being dumped for her.' Joel joked, jerking a thumb at Danny, who just smiled.
'I'm mighty possessive.' Danny said with a leer that set Joel and a few others off into another round of laughter.
'You better watch, preacher boy.' Laura, a Junior, said from a nearby couch. 'By now Betlock's done fuming to his bitch of a secretary and she's on the phone to her knitting circle. Your old man'll hear all about your love affair by lunchtime.'
'Oh great, now he's gonna be pissed I didn't give him the good news first.' Daniel groaned humorously while I frowned. She was right, the gossip circles would make sure the new preacher heard this 'news', even if it had to be fake.
'You going to get into trouble with him?' I asked him in a low voice and he looked at me with a little bit of surprise before shaking his head.
'Don't worry, I'll tell him it was a joke to set off some officious prick.' Danny assured me quietly. 'It'll get me a lecture about disrespecting authority, and of course disrespecting gays, but that's about all. If he's really upset by it, he might even ground me and make me apologize publicly to the principal, but he usually leaves it up to me to decide if I'm going to apologize.'
'He'd be upset cause you were disrespecting queers?' I asked him with surprise and he shook his head.
'Don't ever let him hear you using a word like that or you'll get yourself a two-hour lecture.' Danny actually sighed and I could see Joel leaning in to listen to our conversation. I almost told him to butt out, but that was really Danny's decision to make. 'I remember the one time he heard me use 'faggot'. My butt was sore for days after he got done whipping me.'
'You're kidding!' Joel said with surprise. 'He's a preacher, why would he stick up for people like that?'
'Cutting his two-hour lecture down to a minute or two, it has to do with how Christ dealt with people.' Daniel shrugged as his voice changed into almost a lecturing tone like his dad would use when he was teaching something. 'In the Garden of Gethsemane, soldiers came to arrest Jesus for trial. One of his apostles whipped out his sword and cut the ear off of one of the soldiers. Jesus rebuked the disciple, and healed the ear back onto the soldier. Jesus knew these men were taking him to his death, but he had no ill will towards them at all, he showed them only mercy and kindness. Later, these soldiers or others like them would take whips to Jesus, they would tease him mercilessly, and then they would nail him to the cross, and after he was dead, stick a spear into his side. Yet they never got anything from Jesus except kindness. It was the disciple who used violence against these soldiers that was rebuked.'
'So?' Joel asked with a shrug, not seeing the moral of the lesson.
'So, words can be a form of violence every bit as hurtful as deeds.' I said with a little bit of exasperation, and wondered if I'd made a mistake from the looks of surprise on Joel's face, and the faces of other nearby students.
'Exactly, so using insults like 'queer' or 'faggot', or 'nigger', or 'spic' or anything else like that is wrong, according to my father.' Daniel finished.
'So making Belch-a-lot think you were... gay when you're not is insulting too, and that's why he'd be upset?' Joel asked.
'Yep.' Danny answered with a grin.
'Well, what if someone was really q... uh... gay?' Joel asked.
'He'd try to convince them that God could make them straight.' Danny answered with a shrug while I thought of how to change this conversation.
'Can he do that?' Joel asked with surprise.
'Who, God or my father?' Danny asked and I snorted a bit at that. Joel actually smiled as well.
'Both.' He retorted.
'My father could try to convince them, but as for changing 'em, well he's never really succeeded.' Danny shrugged. 'He's gotten one guy to live celibate, although they both know he's still gay, and another guy got married for a couple of years, but he divorced when his wife came home and found him in bed with the mail man.'
'You're kidding?!' Joel snorted while I looked at Danny-boy with wide eyes.
'Nope, honest-to-God, he was in bed with the mail man.' Danny insisted. 'The wife said it was a young mail man too, not more than twenty-five and the husband was like in his late thirties. She walked in on them when the mail man had her husband's legs in the air and she said she just knew she could never compete with that.'
'Oh god!' Joel snorted as he shook so hard with laughter that he as holding the sides of his stomach. The girls on the nearby couches were laughing as well.
'That is so sick!' One of them called out and all three of us guys nodded in agreement.
'So what about God being able to make people change?' Joel asked after we recovered from laughing.
'I'm sure God could do it if he wanted to, but I've yet to hear of him waving his hand and making someone magically straight again.' Danny shrugged.
'Oh.' Joel said as the warning bell rang. It was time to go to homeroom.
School was school, and while some things were different for our senior year, most of it was the same as the last four years. There was a new history teacher, a guy right out of college.
In homeroom, our class advisor, who was also our science teacher and our football coach, reminded everyone the team's first practice was this afternoon. Mr. Bullman also reminded us that we had to decide where we were going on our senior trip, which started a fierce debate since we had nearly eight thousand dollars in the bank for the senior trip already. Danny and I had only two classes together, but we both managed to fit everything into my locker just fine.
Of course, everyone had heard about our little joke and managed to make a lot of jokes about it all on their own.
'Hey, Theresa, is it true that Eddie dumped you for the Preacher's boy?'
'Hey, Eddie, is it true the Preacher's boy puts out better than Missy?'
By fourth period, Danny had managed to put an end to the 'preacher's boy' comments, although they just used his name instead. Lunch was pretty good with most of the seniors walking down the big hill and eating together at the Wolf's Den, one of the better restaurants in town.
The first football practice was tiring. Coach Bullman had us all doing calisthenics and running longer than he had us doing any practicing. Working on the farm kept me in good shape, but all the running, the pushups, sit ups, jumping jacks and other exercises had me worn out before we were halfway through. Still, it was pretty damn clear that Danny was better at QB than Joel, and Joel just took it in stride. The team was big enough to fill all the positions with a couple of spares, but small enough that I ended up playing both offense and defense, as did most of the people who were there.
On offense, I was put into the job of center, meaning I got to hike the ball to Danny, who stood behind me with his hands touching my butt. As if that wasn't bad enough, half the team took every chance they could find to make comments about where his hands were going. He took it better than I did, though, and managed to piss off the coach towards the end of practice by pretending to hump me before I hiked the ball.
Damn him! My cup was way too tight for those games!
Sure enough, we found out as I dropped him off after practice, his folks had heard the rumors going through town. Pastor Pemberle was waiting outside the house for us, and was very curt in directing us to follow him into his office. My knees were actually shaking as he closed the door and told us to sit down.
'I assume you know why I wish to speak to the two of you.' The Pastor started off his lecture in a very serious tone.
'It is about the joke I played on the Principal.' Daniel said flatly and his father lifted an eyebrow.
'It's pretty poor taste for a joke, wouldn't you say?' The pastor asked my friend, who nodded.
'I'm sorry if it caused you any problems, sir.' Daniel said and his father raised an eyebrow.
'You're sorry if it caused me any problems, not that you actually did it?' My friend's father asked and I nearly choked. I hadn't caught the real meaning of Danny's statement!
'Yes, the pompous git had it coming.' Danny snorted and my eyebrows shot up while his father nearly choked.
'Son, he's the principal of your school and deserving of your respect!' Pastor Pemberle chided his son.
'If he was a halfway decent human being, he might be entitled to my respect.' Daniel said defiantly. 'As it is, I'll just have to respect his position better than I have so far.'
'That'll have to do for now.' The Pastor said with a sigh and he turned to me. 'I apologize if my son's... sense of humor caused you any problems today. You've been a good friend to him and I thought he wouldn't have abused that friendship in this way.'
'He hasn't.' I said with a shrug and a small smile. 'It was worth it to see that... principal's face.'
'I bet it was.' Pemberle said with a snort. 'I don't like that man myself, but that does not give you an excuse to play such... jokes on him.'
'Yes, sir.' Daniel said softly.
'Well, I presume you have to be heading home.' The Pastor said to me with a smile. 'Will you be picking Danny up again in the morning?'
'Yes, I will.' I told him as I stood up and he held out his hand. I shook it firmly and he smiled as I turned to leave. 'See ya in the morning, Danny.'
'Yup.' Danny replied to me. 'Thanks for the lift.'
'Not a problem, lover boy.' I said as I opened the door to leave. Maybe I was brave enough to actually say that in front of his father, but I wasn't brave enough to turn around see their faces, although I was pretty certain the laughing was coming from both of them, not just Danny.
There was no laughing when I got home.
'Is the little faggot finally home?' My father's voice greeted me as I entered the house. Mom dropped something in the kitchen, and I could see her poke her head out, giving me a silent plea to not lose my temper, but it was already too late. My father's voice had an edge to it that just set me off big time.
'Jeez, you miners are worse than a pack of old women with your gossiping.' I retorted loudly. It had sounded like he was in the living room, which I had to cross on the way to my room, which meant that he was in my face before I'd made it halfway to safety.
Now, I'd been taller than my father for years, and while he worked all day in the mines, his arms weren't that much bigger than mine. With his face in mine, I could tell he'd already eaten his favorite snack, a raw onion, and had at least one beer, but he'd at least showered off the dirt of the mine. The sneer on his face as he tried his best to loom over me only served to get my goat up even higher.
'I heard you've been playing hide-the-sausage with the preacher's boy.' My father sneered at me. 'Figures you'd be a fag, what with the way your grandfather always spoils your ass.'
'I work my ass off for every penny I get!' I shouted back.
'I bet you work your ass off!' My father shouted back at me and spittle splashed against my face. 'I bet you've been hauling your ass to the Alpine Lodge and selling it there along with the other whores!'
Ever since Danny had come into my life, I'd found myself holding my rage in check. Whenever my vision would go red, I'd fight it down, but this time it was too much. Everything went red and my fist acted without any real thought. It connected with my father's craggy face, and he went flying back to slam against a nearby wall, shaking the entire house.
'No!' My mom's voice was distant and tinny to my ears, and I turned back to face where it came from. That's probably why I didn't see my father pushing off the wall, or his fist connecting with my face. Pain filled me along with the red glow of my anger, and I felt something break under me as I landed on a chair. With a roar I leaped up, but my mother appearing between us made me stop, panting heavily as I tried to keep myself from crashing into her.
'Get out of the way.' Dad growled, as he stood in a fighting stance, more than ready for the blow I wanted to deliver. I was panting heavily, ignoring the pain on my cheek, or was it my eye?
'No.' Mom's voice was firm, and filled with sadness.
'Don't get in the middle of this.' Dad's voice growled. 'I'm going to teach this little faggot a lesson.'
'That's enough from you!' My mother shouted at him.
'Fine, get the hell out of my home.' My dad said to me as he turned away and went to sit on the couch. Anger, pain, and a dozen other things swirled inside of me, and for a moment I had a vision of my father thrashing on the ground as I choked the life out of him, but my mom standing in front of me brought me back to reality.
'Oh dear, you're going to have a shiner.' She murmured as she tenderly touched my cheek. It caused me to wince. 'Dear, you better go stay with your grandfather tonight. I'll talk to him and calm him down.'
'I'm calm, dammit!' Father said from the couch. 'I want that faggot out of my house!'
'Honey, why don't you grab a few things and head over to grandpa's?' Mom said to me and I took several deep, panting breaths as the red receded from my sight. When I'd gotten control of my breathing again, I nodded at her before heading to my room. Five minutes later I had a couple changes of clothes and my toothbrush and I was heading out the door.
'C'mon.' Grandpa said as I entered his house a few minutes later. Mom must have called ahead because Grandma was setting an extra place at the table. The house smelled like chicken and dumplings, something I just loved, and my stomach growled.
'Don't worry, dear, dinner will be ready in a few minutes.' Grandma said to me as I followed Grandpa towards his office. She patted my arm as I passed by, and the shaking feeling I had went away a little, until I was sitting in Grandpa's office and he was frowning at me.
'Son, I don't know what you and Daniel were thinking, but you should have known your little joke would backfire like this.' Grandpa said slowly, a disapproving frown on his face.
'I'm sorry, grandpa.' I said, and I realized I did mean every word.
'I know, but your father is going to be a bear to deal with after all this.' He replied with a shake of his head. 'I'll tell you the truth, I was hoping you'd be of a mind to go off to college for a few years after you graduated. He's been riding your brother pretty hard the last few weeks and it was only a matter of time until he latched onto something to complain about with you. Now, well, now I'm afraid this isn't something he's ever going to let go. He's always had a sore tooth ever since that scandal with the Reynolds boy.'
'The what?' I asked, confused for a moment, but then I remembered. 'Oh yeah, I'd imagine he'd have known Joe Reynolds.'
'Him and Joe were best friends as well as first cousins.' Grandpa said with a shake of his head. 'When old Joe got caught with his pants down and that field worker blowing him, your father took it like it was a personal insult. He was one of the main reasons Joe moved out of town and has never come back, even when his folks died. He inherited everything, but he just hires some town folk to keep the place up, you know.'
'I didn't.' I said as I shook my head. Everyone in town knew the story of Joe Reynolds and how queer folk got railroaded out of town if they weren't smart enough to leave on their own. Joe had stuck it out for two years until he finished school and then he'd disappeared, never to be heard from since. He'd sent a floral arrangement and an attorney to his parents' funeral, but that was it.
'Well at least he has the peace of mind to keep the place up instead of letting it fall apart.' Grandpa shook his head. 'Let's get back to you. Now, don't go getting all defensive on me. I know you and Daniel aren't doing anything untoward with each other. The pastor and I talked earlier and he told me how his son likes to play these jokes. I just thought you'd have the sense of mind not to get caught up with it cause of your father's temper. I take it that shiner you got formin' is from him?'
'I hit him first.' I admitted, hanging my head, and my grandfather gave a harrumph before clearing his throat.
'I expect you'll apologize to him on Sunday.' Grandpa said, more of an order than a suggestion.
'Yes, sir.' I agreed. Sure, I wouldn't want to, but when Grandpa said something like that, it was best to just do what he wanted.
'Good, well I know your father and he ain't gonna give this bit up anytime soon.' Grandpa continued, pretty much repeating himself. 'Lucky for you, your grandma and I love having you over here. Tomorrow while your old man's at work, I'll head over there with ma and we'll get your stuff. Your mother said he was pretty firm about not wanting you there, and to be frank we'd rather you'd have come to live with us years ago. That man's anger hasn't been good for you. When you were younger, you were always so happy and these last few years you've been nothing but filled with anger.'
'It wasn't all because of him.' I started to say honestly but grandpa shook his head, cutting me off.
'Let's save that for another time.' Grandpa said sternly. 'For now, I think your grandmother wants to make sure your stomach's taken care of.'
'Thank you, sir.' I said as we stood up, and he gave me a brief, but very firm hug.
'Son, we love you, no matter what.' Grandpa said so softly I almost didn't hear him as he crushed me in a tight hug. 'Even if that damn joke of yours was true, you'd still be welcome here. I ain't having no member of my family run out like Joe Reynolds. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't approve of that sort of behavior, but I wouldn't stand for you being run out either. That's just plain wrong, and I gotta tell you, hearing that new preacher say the same damn thing was a nice surprise. He's got it right when he talks about unconditional love.'
'I love you, grandpa.' I said as something lifted from shoulders, and I walked out of his office to a delicious dinner.