David opened his locker and smiled at the little blue box topped with a white bow, sitting on top of his books. Opening the gift, he found a cassette tape labeled, More Bowie for you! A quick read of the track listing sent him cackling. His two favorite songs from the movie Labyrinth were on it, and since his step-father forbade him from buying anything with “a magic theme” to it, finally possessing “As the World Falls Down” and “Within You” was amazing! Closing the tape, he looked down into the blue box, seeing what looked to be gray and pink stripes.
Hands slid over his shoulders, startling him until one long-fingered hand dove into the box as a beloved voice murmured next to his ear, “I know you’ve been looking for the right tie for this vest, so when Mom and I went shopping, she found this great deal on ties and I saw this one and thought of your vest. Turn for me.”
Whirling around to face Jonathan, David hushed, “Thought you were supposed to be in class!”
“A little birdie told me you were soon to leave for the eye doctor, and I wanted to see you one more time. Note in my front pocket.” Jonathan waggled his eyebrows at him, making David giggle.
They had come up with logical ways to touch each other. “Accidentally forgetting” they’d stuffed a note in their back or front pocket meant that a hand could surreptitiously slide over a butt or squeeze a hip. They could belong to one another and act like it, but only people in the know—which, of course, was absolutely no-one—would know. Jonathan’s hands maneuvered the tie into a loose, haphazard Windsor as David dug the note from the other boy’s front pocket.
“There you are, babe,” Jonathan whispered before pulling David into a tight hug. “See you at church tonight? Maybe we can sneak away, just you and me.”
David held closer to him. “I hope so. I just wish we could—”
“Me, too.” Jonathan pressed a kiss to David’s hair.
The bell rang, and they broke apart, Jonathan leaning against the lockers as David put away the books he didn’t need. Kids poured from the classrooms around them and Elisha joined Jonathan in his slouch against the lockers.
“So your mom’s taking you to the contact appointment, yeah? You getting new glasses, too?” he asked, hip-checking Jonathan when a girl harrumphed, signaling she needed access to her locker.
David nodded as they bookended him. “Yep. I’m hoping to be able to get colored contacts, but Momma said it depends on how much they cost. Something about insurance will only pay a certain amount.”
“Colored? Why?” Jonathan retorted, furrowing his brow.
“Duh, man. Can’t believe you don’t know that our Davy here has always wanted hazel eyes! If they have hazel, he’s going to become our pretty little wolf!” Elisha crowed, hooking his arm over David’s neck.
David elbowed him in the solar plexus, knocking the wind out of his friend. “Really? What are you trying to do, Eli? Get me killed?”
“Sorry! Didn’t mean—”
“Well, you did, and your voice carries.” David threw his homework into his backpack, but was careful not to smash the box he put in the top as he yanked the ties to close it. Looking up at Jonathan, he set his jaw as he shut his locker and spun the combination. “Walk me to my mom’s car?”
“David, I’m really sorry,” Elisha called after him, shoving a hand through his hair. “I didn’t mean—”
David turned to face his friend. “I’ll talk to you tonight. I gotta go.”
“See you at church?” Elisha confirmed.
“I’ll be there.” David turned back around, shoving a note from his own back pocket into Jonathan’s, growling, “You’d think he’d remember seventh grade. It’s been barely four years.”
“I know that I’ll never forget it,” Jonathan muttered, angrily. “I couldn’t sleep for days, worrying if you were going to be all right.”
David whirled around, seeing Travis Capulet hurtling towards him. Travis was in his theatre class, but other than that, the captain of the baseball team and David had nothing in common. Coming to a stop at David’s side, Travis grinned, nodding a greeting at Jonathan. “Shea.”
“Cap.” Jonathan smiled at his teammate.
Travis shifted his weight to his left leg as he turned a friendly gaze to David. “Hey, man, I know we don’t talk much, but I was wondering about the homework for Mrs. Sanchez. You and me were drawn out of the hat, and that improv scene… man, I don’t know. It’s hard for me to work over in my brain. I know you go to church tonight, but I was wondering when you get out of service?”
“Well, I got an eye doctor appointment right now that I gotta get to pretty quick, but service doesn’t start until six-thirty, so if you want, we can meet in the auditorium here around four and work on it until six?” he suggested, unwilling to give up stolen time with Jonathan.
“Cool. See you then!” And with a grin and a wave, they watched as he maneuvered the hall to the stairs.
Jonathan took David’s backpack and slung it over his own shoulder. “Think your mom would be cool with me coming with you to the eye doctor?” he asked as they made their way to the stairwell at a slightly less urgent pace.
“You know Momma likes you. I don’t think she’d mind, and I know she’d be glad to know that someone could drop me by the auditorium afterwards. She always has stuff to do between me getting home and us all getting to Wednesday night service.” Jonathan’s hand came to rest between David’s shoulders as they made their descent to the ground floor. The heat from his palm radiating out to the rest of David’s body… including his dick.
Jonathan leaned close to whisper against David’s ear. “I didn’t want to give up any time I could get with you.”
David grinned. “I didn’t want to, either.”
David ground his teeth. “Veronica again?”
“Man, I don’t know what to do to make her understand that there is never going to be a me and her,” Jonathan groused. “Or that I hate the name Jonny.”
David snorted, throwing a sidelong glance at the taller boy. “Not always.”
A playful tug on his hair ended in a quiet, “Well, you don’t always hate the term pretty, either.”
A long gaze was shared between them as Veronica met them at the bottom of the stairs, one Jonathan broke by snapping at the girl, “I’m not trying to be mean, but it will never happen. Never, Veronica.”
Veronica waved off his words. “Daddy wants you to take me to Homecoming,” she stated, batting her eyes at him.
“I don’t care. I’m not up for sale. I told you that on Sunday at church. If I even go to Homecoming at all, it’ll be with my friends.” His hand never moved from David’s back, and he pushed them both past the girl, shaking his head.
“People like her—” David began, stopping suddenly. “I don’t know why she thinks that she can have whatever she wants.”
“Preachers’ kids usually are one of two extremes, but one thing that ninety-nine percent of them seem to possess is a sense of entitlement,” Jonathan replied, pushing open the big glass door to allow them exit. “Veronica is no exception to that rule.”
“Pastor Beals is such a nice guy, though. I hate that she’s such a hag.” David smiled as he saw his mother’s silver 1987 Nova by the curb. Turning to face Jonathan, he looked up at him as he took his backpack from him. “Thank you for the gifts and I will read the note as soon as I get in the car. Question?”
Jonathan nodded, tugging the tie from his thick brown hair and running his hands through it before he reaffixed it back in its usual ponytail. “Answer.”
“Why did you get all grumpy gus on me when I said I might get colored contacts?” he asked, glancing around to make sure they were alone.
Jonathan did the same before he stepped closer to him, his words only audible to David. “Because your eyes are my favorite color. To change them, to hide their beauty from me, would be a sorrowful day.”
David stood on tiptoe to hug him. Hugs were something he was glad they’d started when they were small, because it made their embraces commonplace for the kids at school and church. Pushing his face into Jonathan’s neck, he breathed him in, his words torn from him, “I never liked their color until just now.”
Where to Buy:
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