“I’m gonna take a break, guys!” Bradley shouted to the other boys who were still kicking the soccer ball around on the field. They didn’t seem to be the least bit phased by his absence, so he waved a dismissive hand at them before moving to the benches under the shade where he’d just spotted Andrew sitting.
Andrew had a book on his lap, legs crossed as he seemed to do some sort of calculation in his head. Bradley grinned, standing directly in front of his friend to make his presence known. He successfully cast a huge shadow over Andrew’s book.
“Studying before school,” Bradley tapped a thoughtful finger on his chin. “That means….Science test today.”
“First period.” Andrew mumbled, not taking his eyes off his book.
“How come nobody tells me these things?” Bradley through his arms up with mock confusion.
Andrew had assumed it was a rhetorical question, which is why all he rewarded Bradley with was a faint chuckle. But when Bradley fell completely silent and the silence dragged on, he looked up at the boy in front of him.
The early morning light shone brilliantly behind Bradley, silhouetting his form slightly. Even though Andrew had to squint a little, he could make out the profound look on Bradley’s face.
“I tried to call you last night.”
“I went to sleep real early.” Andrew shrugged. “Must’ve missed it.”
“Yeah, you fucker,” Bradley moved to sit down beside his friend. “You missed one hell of a party too.”
“They’re all the same.” Andrew mumbled, dismissively going back to his book.
“I was their hostage, last night.” Bradley said. “Carter and those other pricks.”
Andrew’s eyes snapped to Bradley’s, his pulse quickening. Yeah, obviously he’d known Bradley would bring it up, he just hoped it would be held off for a while. But then, why wouldn’t Bradley tell Andrew that type of news immediately.
“Yeah?” Andrew looked back down at his book with a small smile. “How was it?”
Bradley was quiet once again, for a little too long, putting Andrew on edge. He could feel Bradley’s eyes on him, boring into the side of his face, but he refused to look at Bradley just then. He needed to allow the evidence to vanish from his eyes first. He needed to hold a straight face.
“Intense,” Bradley finally spoke, looking up ahead and watching the other boys working up a sweat even before the first bell rang for classes to commence. “I mean, my team-mates met my ransom pretty quickly, so it didn’t last long. But it was pretty intense, you know, not knowing what to expect.”
“I can imagine.” Andrew nodded his head thoughtfully.
Intense? What the hell? Andrew thought, thinking back to the previous night. Sure, what had happened had happened, but it had all been Bradley’s idea. Whether on not the other boy had been bluffing in the beginning, he’d had ample time to tell Andrew to get off his dick if he didn’t want the other boy doing….what he was doing.
Andrew remembered the way Bradley had spurred him on, moaning his way to his climax. Then, as if doing a complete 180 in emotion, he’d backed away as if just realizing what he’d done. With another boy. A boy he didn’t know. Or more like, what another boy had done to him. Not only with his permission but his encouragement as well.
Andrew remembered how Bradley went rigid when he’d tried to get Bradley’s clothes back on and in place. Bradley had said nothing, but the standoffish stamina was there. And then the two of them had sat in silence.
The sound that broke the silence was the strong vibration of Andrew’s cell phone as it drilled loudly on his wooden desk.
Then Andrew had answered the phone, listening as Carter said; “Bring him down.”
“They even took my car, man,” Bradley chuckled. “I only got it back at like, four this morning. And with the miles put on it you’d think they went to Mexico or something.”
“Are they allowed to do that?” Andrew asked curiously, secretly grateful for the slight change in conversation.
“Well, it’s never been done before, but I don’t see why not,” Bradley shrugged. “It’s not like I’m gonna complain to anyone. I got my car back, my team got me back, that’s all that matters. All this means is that, the next time we kidnap one of their players, I’m gonna make sure he suffers twice as much as I did!”
Suffer? Andrew wasn’t sure how to take that.
“You suffered?” Carter’s voice startled both Andrew and Bradley as the other boy made himself comfortable on the little space left of the bench beside Bradley.
“Yeah,” Bradley grinned sarcastically. “I’ve had better days.”
“Well, Captain,” Carter returned the malicious grin. “It was not my intentions for you to suffer. Far from that in fact, I was pretty sure I left you in capable hands.”
“This is starting to sound like a cliché scene from a bad pirate movie,” Andrew said nervously as he pushed himself to his feet and packed his book into his schoolbag.
It wasn’t unusual for Andrew to up and leave whenever Carter decided to drop by.
“Capable hands,” Bradley chuckled, “It’s funny you should mention that.”
“Why?” Carter asked, amusement still in his voice.
Andrew had gotten at least to feet away before stopping in his tracks. Only because, once again no one was saying anything and once again the silence was unnerving. Not to mention, Bradley hadn’t made a move to stand up and get the hell away from Carter like he usually would. No, as Andrew turned back around, Bradley and Carter were still sitting right next to each other, staring each other down.
“Bradley,” Andrew said, “could we just go to class.”
Neither boy flinched.
Then Carter suddenly cocked his head to the side, a strange look crossing his face before his gaze fell on Andrew. Andrew shrunk under Carter’s gaze, finding it harder to be there at that moment.
“What exactly did my boy do to you, Captain Everett?” Carter sniggered, eyes shooting back to the boy beside him.
Bradley looked up shortly as if in thought, then his smirk returned. He stood, patting Carter on the shoulder. “Nothing I couldn’t handle.”
Carter laughed, shaking his head as Bradley walked towards Andrew. He through his arm over his best friends shoulder as he always did, leading them towards the school doors.
“Oh and Carter,” Bradley shouted over his shoulder. “Watch your back! Your game’s coming up next!”
Andrew slammed the fridge door closed. He then turned and paced to the rubbish bin. Just as he’d thought, two empty cans of Diet Coke were in the trash can.
He didn’t have to think twice, grabbing one of the empties before storming out of the kitchen.
“What the hell, Gavin?” Andrew half yelled, snapping his brother from his television watching for all of two seconds.
Then Gavin decided to pay him no heed, so Andrew threw the empty can on him. It bounced off his flat belly and onto the floor.
Gavin didn’t flinch.
“Are you listening to me?”
“Andrew, not now.” Gavin mumbled, having the audacity to play it as though Andrew was being the unreasonable one.
He kicked his brother’s foot, mumbling the word, ‘Jackass’ under his breath, just as their mother walked into the lounge.
“Andrew, language,” she frowned at him before holding up the cordless phone in front of his face. Through all Andrew’s rage he must not have even heard it ring. “It’s Bradley.”
His mother looked at him strangely when Andrew sighed and his shoulders dropped on their own accord. He couldn’t blame her for being confused. That was not the expected reaction from Andrew where Bradley was concerned, but instead of asking any questions she just handed her son the phone which he reluctantly accepted.
“Hello,” Andrew spoke carefully as he headed out of the lounge towards the staircase.
“Hello, Sunshine,” Bradley spoke. “Hey listen, the game’s about to start. Where the fuck are you?”
“I’m on my way,” Andrew took two steps at a time as he hurried to his room to get his jacket and car keys.
“Okay.” Bradley was quiet for a while and Andrew almost thought he’d hung up. “Are you alright?”
Andrew froze, thinking the question over for a second.
Was he alright?
No, the truth was, he wasn’t. Nothing had been alright, not since the previous night. Not since Bradley had somewhat ‘seduced’ him. Not since he’d succumbed to it so easily.
“I’m fine.” Andrew lied.
“Yeah,” Bradley didn’t sound convinced. “Yeah, I’m sure. But just, perk up a little. I need a cheering squad tonight.”
“Yeah,” Andrew said sarcastically, “My presence is gonna make such a huge difference.”
The line went silent for a while again.
“See you at the game.” Bradley said, hanging up the phone shortly after.
The locker-room was packed when Bradley Everett entered. His teammates cheered his presence and he allowed himself to relish in all the glory before heading to his locker.
Another successful game against their neighboring school. It was expected, yet the triumph never seemed any less sweet.
Pulling open his locker, Bradley wasted no time pulling his gear off, feeling grimy and slightly bruised up from the game.
“Dude, I totally hate you for this!” Keith said from beside Bradley.
“What did I do now?” Bradley asked his teammate casually as he untied his togs.
Keith had a sort of sad half smile and was holding something behind his back. Bradley raised a brow.
“Nicolette told me to give you this,” Keith suddenly scowled, shoving a pink laced bra into Bradley’s hands. The other boys who saw this laughed and cheered their Captain again. “She said it’s a congratulatory gift.”
Bradley inspected the dainty piece of material in his hand. The intricate embroidery and the little flowers and he could almost picture the hot Spanish exchange student in it. Then he grinned harder as he looked up at Keith, knowing full well that his friend would make better use of it.
“You keep it!” Bradley threw it at Keith who effortlessly caught it.
“Yeah, like, thanks. But no.” Keith tossed the bra into Bradley’s open locker. “That would be like, the lamest hollow victory ever. And besides, now that everyone knows she wants you it totally ruins my fantasies about her.”
Bradley chuckled, sorting through his bag in search of a towel.
“Hey, Brad,” Jonathan called out from across the musky locker-room. “Coach tells me Carter and his boys are playing their last game for the season this Friday. Against George Randal High.”
“That’s a big one,” Keith nodded, the other boys who were listening agreed, throwing in their own remarks. “What do you say we end off the year in style, Captain.”
Bradley was nodding thoughtfully with a wicked smile. “Agreed, agreed.” He cocked his head. “But, I think we should try something completely different.”
“What, like, go for Carter?” one of the boys asked.
“That would be a little to obvious,” Keith frowned, “don’t you guys think. I mean, I’m sure they’re expecting that.”
“Unless,” Jonathan pointed out, “we do what they expect us to do because they really expect us not to do what’s expected.”
The room went silent as all the boys looked quizzically at Jonathan. Then they all laughed.
“Don’t try to philosophize, Jon,” Keith shook his head. “It makes you look dumb.”
Jonathan gave his teammate the middle finger and cursed the rest off as they continued to laugh.
“No, but really, Keith is right….about Carter being too obvious, I mean.” Bradley looked up at his teammates, admiring the respect he naturally got from them as they all fell quiet, giving him their full attention.
“What do you have in mind?” Alan, the smallest player in the lot asked.
“Well, it’s gonna be a little tricky,” Bradley shrugged, “but…I’m sure we can pull it off.
Carter was fuming. He could feel his heart pounding furiously in his chest as he took sharp turns in the relevantly empty streets, causing his tires to screech against the tarred road.
“He’s got some fucking nerve,” Carter growled to no one in particular, even though three of his other friends were in his car. “I swear to god, when I get my hands on-”
“There’s his car!” the boy in the passenger street shouted. “Over there!”
Carter didn’t think twice. He made an impromptu left turn into the parking lot of an all-night diner. The local hang-out spot for teenagers and young adults.
His car came to a screeching halt in the first open space he could find and all four boys simultaneously stormed out of the car.
Carter pushed the door to the diner open, unintentionally grabbing the attention from the two waiters behind the counter. He was pretty sure his flaring nostrils and red face wasn’t going to win him any points in their books, but he didn’t care right then. Not when he effortlessly spotted Bradley near the back, laughing with two friends.
“Wait outside,” Carter mumbled over his shoulder to his proxy, who didn’t seem all too pleased with the order. “I’ll be right out.”
With having said that, marched his way passed tables with chatting friends and munching couples until he reached Bradley’s table.
Bradley hadn’t noticed Carter coming, which is why Carter was able to effortlessly grab him by the front of his t-shirt and nearly drag him out of the booth. Bradley caught himself in time though, pushing Carter away even before Keith and Jonathan had time to react.
“Fuck off, man!” Bradley yelled as Carter stumbled back slightly.
“Fuck you!” Carter yelled back.
When Carter came at Bradley again, Keith was already getting to his feet to defend his friend, but Bradley reached over the table, urging him to stay back as he held his other hand up at Carter’s chest, keeping him at arms length.
“Now, Carter,” Bradley said calmly with a deep frown, “this is not how we settle this.”
“Well it seems as though you think it’s fit to bend the rules tonight,” Carter snapped back. “You asswhole.”
“Yeah?” Bradley raised a sarcastic brow. “Like stealing my car. Was that fair?”
Carter took a few deep sturdy breaths, trying to calm himself. But nothing was working. His annoyance escalated when he looked around, only to see the other customer’s curious eyes on him.
“What the fuck are you all looking at?” Carter yelled in exasperation.
Bradley could see the desperation in Carter’s eyes. He almost felt bad.
“Excuse me sir,” one of the waiters, probably a few years older than them, gently grasped Carter’s arm. “I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.”
Carter shook the guy off, giving Bradley one last venomous look before he turned and began to walk out.
Bradley instinctively followed.
“Don’t Brad!” Keith grinned, grabbing his captains wrist. “He’ll call. He needs his players. The game tomorrow afternoon. There’s no way he’ll let four guys stay missing without a fight.”
“No, I…” Bradley looked from Keith and Jonathan to Carter’s back as he stormed out of the diner. He shook his head, pulling his arm free from Keith’s grip before jogging after Carter.
The night air hit him as soon as he exited the building and he wandered what time it was.
It had been 3:00pm when all his boys had sat around Keith as he asked his cousin and her hot friends for a favor.
It had been around 6:00pm when a group of the basketball player monotonously entered the bowling alley in a noisy conduct.
It had been a little passed seven when Keith’s cousin and her girlfriends had pretended to be interested in the boy’s game.
And a good hour later, according to plan, they invited five of the boys back to their place for drinks. Only four had accepted.
Bradley remembered checking the time, just after successfully locking their ambushed victims in Jonathan’s basement. It had been 9:15. Then he’d swiftly picked up his cell to inform Carter that it was going to be awfully hard playing their final game without four key players.
Bradley was snapped from his thoughts when he noticed that Carter and him weren’t alone. Three other boys stood around Carter’s car as he ranted.
Bradley approached them with caution, not noticing that Keith and John were a few steps behind him.
“You can’t tell me you’re giving up already!” Bradley said, grabbing Carter’s attention.
The second Carter’s eyes fell on him, he closed the distance between them.
“What’s the ransom, Everett,” Carter frowned. “What do you want from us in return?”
“I haven’t thought of it yet!”
“You son of a bitch!” Carter shook his head. “This isn’t allowed.”
“Well, we’re changing the rules!” Jonathan shrugged. Bradley looked over his shoulder, then back at Carter.
“I’ll let you know when something comes to mind.” Bradley said casually, taking a few steps back before walking back to the diner entrance.
Bradley knew he was only toying with Carter. He knew that him and his team fully intended on returning the boys safely later at least early the next morning, no ransom in return. The purpose of the kidnapping was to raise the other boy’s hair, put them on edge as they laughed in the background. But Bradley couldn’t keep the insane guilt from pounding in his head. He was starting to not like this at all.
“Everett!” Carter called out and Bradley stopped in his tracks. He turned just in time to see Carter loom in front of him. “I’ll tell you who held you hostage the other night. I’ll give you his name. It wasn’t one of my players and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out who.”
“And what makes you think he cares?” Keith scoffed. “It doesn’t make any difference if it’s Frankenstein or Santa-fucking- claus-”
“Why would I believe your word?” Bradley interrupted his friend.
“I’ll bring him to you then!” Carter’s eyes widened, shocked by his own proposal. “At 11: 00pm sharp, on the football field. I’ll bring you the boy and you give me all mine.”
“Nice try, Carter,” Jonathan spoke, joining Keith in his laughter, “ I don’t think s-”
“Okay,” Bradley nodded simply.
“What?” Keith put his hand on Bradley’s shoulder. “Are you out of your mind! There’s no way were giving-”
“I said okay, Keith!” Bradley snapped, causing the other boy to fall silent. Then Bradley’s eyes locked back with Carter’s. “I will see you there.”
Carter studied Bradley for a while, and Bradley almost flinched under his gaze. For a moment, he was sure he was giving himself away, for that moment he didn’t care. Even when a half knowing smile played across Carter’s face. Even when it sent insane shivers down the back of his neck. Bradley didn’t care at that moment.
Carter nodded, then turned, ushering his boys back to the car and driving off into the night.
Hope you enjoyed. til next time. Really sorry for not editing. Thanks for tollerating my crap!