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So after weeks of reading (yes, I was lucky enough ro only discover the story just now, so rhat any cliffhangers didn't affect me), I finally caught up with the rest. This story has acompanied me wherever I went, whenever I had spare time I pulled my mobile out to read. You might imagine how pulled in I was. When Luke lost his best friend, I lost him, too. What he had to suffer through, I suffered through, too. So yes, congrats, you made me cry. I don't understand why this had to happen, why Ryan had to be taken away from ua, and honestly, I could hardly continue reading the last chapters, my mood in real life being also down due to Ryan's death.
This chapter, though not really making it okay, it made it all somewhat bearable. I am sad that this ended like this and I think that you are a great Author Riley, but I've read two excellent stories from you now, which both left me with kind of a sad emptiness inside. I don't think I will read another story from you, as part of self preservation.
Anyway, I just had to get these things off my chest. I am sure that, as an author, you understand the responsibility you have and that it must have been very difficult for you to write those last chapters. I thank you for enhancing my life for the past weeks, and maybe if you plan to write happy story some day, drop me a note. Because I think that you have really understood what matters and how to capture the reader and I am sure that only more excellent stories will follow this one.
When I read where Luke was worried about slicing his dick off I was reminded of the song by King Missile "Detachable Penis" for some reason! The rather odd video is on Youtube:
"Sometimes just being there is enough." Thanks so much for being there Riley and bringing all these wonderful people. Your writing linked with your song selections... Well tearjerker doesn't come close. I have started a reread but would still love to buy a copy on Amazon or iBooks. Or even here if you would get anything from it.
Hope you have something new coming along. It's been fun leaving these little droppings again. Pax. Steve
Reply from Riley Jericho (author)
Steve.... It feels like you've always been there as a shoulder to lean on! Gonna miss hearing from you. It's almost worth starting a new story for that alone, lol!
If I ever manage to create an e-book, you'll be the first to know.
In your words...pax!
I cried throughout this whole chapter -- surprisingly way more than I did when I found out about Ryan.
It was such a beautiful, moving, and eloquent service.
I can't really add much to what everyone else said. I'll definitely check out the two songs. I absolutely love Somewhere Over the Rainbow when Judy Garland sung it, and I'm sure I'll love Eva Cassidy's version. I couldn't listen to them while I was reading the chapter -- too emotional.
Oh, I was confused when Luke noticed that the murderer's casket wasn't there. I thought he was in jail? Did I forget something? Was he killed? I don't remember now. Maybe I blocked it out.
I'm really glad Elli was there for Luke. It must have been torture for Elliot, but he still came to the funeral. That says a lot about him.
Ok, I think I need to cry some more. Gotta buy more Kleenex. Damn.
You're the best of ladies, Lisa, always there with a kind word and some encouragement.
So, Alexis senior was definitely shot by the police while he was attacking Luke in the pool, so he's definitely gone. And yes, for Elli to make an effort to be at the funeral speaks volumes.
It's over now, but thanks for being with me on the journey.
I think your writing is great as youve had me on the edge of my seat in most chapters. Hope you start a new book after concluding this one as i will be right here waiting for it lol. Well done
I'm not sure what comes next, Nighthawke, but glad you've enjoyed reading this one all the same. Watch this space, I guess.
A really nice chapter but so sad. I really hope you will write a few more chapters, I really want to know how everyone else handles Ryan's death and Luke coming out as Gay.
I think it may be the last chapter, Simon. Perhaps what's next is part of another story...
Thanks for the review.
There isn't much to say about this chapter except it was very touching and amazing work.
Thank you Riley.
Thanks, Karl. Much appreciated!
A perfect chapter, Riley.
Hi Skinny. It may actually be the last, so I'm glad it read well. Thanks for all you reviews and support.
Riley, I don't know where to start or what to say...so I'll just say one thing:
You made me cry more than once.
It's been quite a journey and an ending I've been thinking about for a long time. Thank you for reading and reviewing so often!
Thank you for sharing this story. All cried out...
Me too! Thanks for all your support.
Although selfishly I didn't want this to end, I realize to myself, the priest was speaking to everyone that we have to grieve in our own ways. Not only for Ryan but for the end of a story that has kept my attention for years.
Yes, part is fiction but the fact is many of us have been taken in by your amazing writing of the tale for years and to us it is entirely a true story from down in Georgia.
Bravo Riley, an great tale in my books.
Thanks. I was looking forward to the end, if only to finally give meaning to the story, and to bring it to the right sense of completion. It's been a long time coming, and I poured much of myself into it, so thanks for sticking with it, my friend.
What an amazing and touching chapter. A wonderful tribute to Ryan. It was very important and healing for Luke to be there and he'll remember that for the rest of his life. You can tell in his flashback that he will be come an amazing young man with a great future. Thank you for this. It was hard to read because of being so emotional, but it was very well done.
Hi Terry, and thanks for the review. Luke still has a Lott of healing to do, but I think he has good people around him.
Nothing to say, but only to weep, and to joy and embrace. You say it so very eloquently.
Hello Parker. I started writing this final chapter a long time ago - it was the emotions of the end that actually helped me find the right tones for earlier scenes, to see sadness and hope combine.
Thank you for your support over the years.
There are no words, only tears of pain and joy ... and we're all here.
This was beautifully done.
Thanks Dughlas. Even now, even I'm not able to read the chapter without filling up. It continues to touche me on so many levels.
Thank you, too, for your support over the years for ET and for me as an author. It's been really appreciated.
So touching.... I really cannot say much at the Moment, since I am at a loss for words. Just know that you did an incredible job with this chapter, it moved me deeply
Thank you...and thank you for reading through thick and thin.
I just want to say Thank you.
I chose to play this Eva Cassidy song at the funeral of the person who shared 12 years of my life, so you can imagine how this chapter resonates with my own story. You painted a beautiful ceremony. Ryan will be remembered.
Hey there, Bleu. You've been a steadfast supporter for a long time. Thank you for the many reviews and words of encouragement.
There are not enough words to express how I feel right now. Really. I would like to write a long review like a chapter like this deserves, but I know it wouldn't come even close to the contrast of emotions going on inside me. A raging thunderstorm of grief and sorrow, and at the same time, the calm peace of that early autumn morning.
A ray of hope, just as you promised.
I'll still miss Ryan deeply. As I write this, crying like a baby, I can't believe I've been pulled so much into a story. My own life experiences flowed from my heart into this amazing tale, giving it an unexpected whole new dimension.
And I love it.
Still at a loss of words, I can only thank you with all the fibers of my being for giving us this amazing journey and letting me be a part of it. I will treasure this story deep down in my heart, and, perhaps, someday that limping will hurt less.
And thank you, too, for letting me know how much the story has touched you. It's been quite a journey, spotted along the way with much that has come out of real life experiences. Maybe this has been why it has felt so close.
Wishing you well,
I understand we write fiction, but at the same time there is always some strata of truth that is us. The writer and reader intertwine and create the final character traits of all the cast we love, hate and are indifferent of.
Riley you have taken us on a fantastic voyage. You have given us a tale and staid at the preferred distance that we hardly knew you were the one directing us to the point the story seemed to bubble out of our own souls.
Thanks for giving us Luke, Simon and all of their friends and community. I look forward to one more parting glimpse. One more time that "We are all here".
I have to confess Zeke, I never even suspected it was all in there when I started writing. I guess there was a story to tell and the people in it kind of crept up on me unexpectedly! I'm not yet sure whether there'll be an epilogue—still mulling in that one!
Thanks for all your support and kind words.
Well, this is more a note of appreciation, then a review for your last Chapter Riley.
I am still actually at Chapter 73 Yeah I know. Kinda embarrassing, but put reading the book on hold for a bit given I wanted to give it the proper respect and read it when things around here in my life settled lol. Nothing worse then reading something when you are distracted, I say.
Anyhow- been checking in from time to time and just accidentally clicked on the review for this chapter... So An English Teen is finishing up. Well it's been a long time in coming and it must be bittersweet indeed. It has been many years and you must want to start something fresh, even though I am sure there are parts in your mind that probably don't want to see the literary characters you have created die. But all good things really do come to an end. However, I just hope that it doesn't mean we see an end to works by you Riley!!!
All of your writing has been so very well written, it's a credit to you and your abilities as a storyteller - especially given the fact that readers have been coming back to 'An English Teen' since 2012, enthused for more! You are an author gifted with the ability to make conversation interesting to read, and that is something rare. I hope and look forward to whatever your future endeavors bring --just keep us posted
Right well I best catch up on the last chapters soon!
On the positive side, Matt, you still have a dozen or more chapters to enjoy! Just don’t read the reviews as it might give away more than you think! As you can probably guess, I’m not sure if there’s a right way to continue with the characters for whether we should just leave them to live their own lives. Either way, thanks for the kind thoughts and encouragement.
Riley, you've written an excellent story over a verrry long time. I sympathize with you. For what its worth, this seems like a logical place to end English Teen. We've had the climax and the healing has begun.But that doesn't mean I don't want more! We've had Elliot's story and Luke's story. Now we need a story involving them and perhaps a brand new character. It doesn't need to be a Luke & Eliot story. Does that even make sense? I think what I'm trying to say is that Luke and Eliot are each deserving to be developed further, not necessarily as a couple--that wouldn't probably have enough legs for any length. But whatever your next adventure is, I'll be following closely because you write so well and convey so much introspection and emotion--just the things I like to see.
Hey there Sknny! Yeah, it has taken a while to get here! Glad we made it, though we're not at the end quite yet. The funeral, and then...who knows...
Thanks for the review!
Ok, Unlike everyone else (probably) here, I just got done reading all 88 chapters of your story two days ago.
SO.... Rather than review one chapter... Since I'm kinda new... please humor me and let me review your whole text... If I'm doing it wrong, please be forgiving, as my one goal here is to be supportive and constructive in my comments--you clearly spent a LOT of time and effort and I am feeling compelled to pay some of that back to you!
You should know that I have a reading disability, and my reading speed has been tested out at the 5th percentile. Your text was interesting and moving enough to compel me to read ALL of it in one weekend... (I didn't sleep much!) My life is crazy and busy--for you to have written something that was touching enough and important enough to attract my attention...(I have ADHD too!) and hold it for 500k worth of words... well, that's quite an achievement!
1. All of your characters have fairly different voices... (NICE! That's not easy to do!) There is one small recurring problem with this and that is occasionally characters who are not British, speak with that type of diction/word choice. This is understandable and not the worst sin in the world... Hello! I read the whole thing which was really really hard for me!
2. You've not resorted to the "outlandish." Everything in your text appears to be happening at a pace that could happen for folks realistically, and though you sometimes telegraph how you will resolve certain things--what author doesn't? For the amount of text you have here you've done a great job! My friend, YOU know how to plot!!! (Feel the respect!!!!!!)
3. Contrary to how you may be feeling... you have NOT written yourself into a corner--having worked with several high school/college aged young men and women who were survivors of abuse and/or gun violence you have a rich font of character development to cover here--juxtaposed on the idea life continuing on--because well... it does. The real-life people who I've had the great privilege of actually getting to work with... have challenges, foibles, strengths and lives which are full of gore and grace.
4. You do a really amazing job of showing how people who truly love each other so often fail to communicate with each other--not out of disrespect or disdain, but out of love, fear of losing that love, and a wish to be genuinely good to each other.
5. I've been in groups of men (younger and older!) who have bonded over injustices and pains like the Scrape coz we give a damn' cadre. I thought you captured the ethos pretty well!
6. Your characters have so much to teach all of us--if you can find it in yourself to keep them alive by writing more than just another chapter and an epilogue....
7. Your plots have similar chances---who truly burnt the art building? Think of the issues you could explore with teaching young people about expressing themselves through the use of media arts in the new building? Might it be named after Ryan? Might the grand parents help that out some--maybe by insisting that in return for their largesse the school provides an LGBT resource center or maintains a GSA?
8. You have not vilified counseling and mental health work--but your characters seem to see the process as being only for folks who are truly having extreme difficulty--like Ryan's parents--and not for people who have nothing wrong with them, but have had a lot of F'd up crap happen around them and to them (e.g. Simon, Luke, etc.) and though there is nothing wrong with them, these are the types of folks I work with to refer to formal counseling as a tool to help focus on the changes they want to create in their lives... Imagine the places several of your characters could get to with just a wee bit of support...
9. I just can't thank you enough for taking the time to create these pretty fully inhabited characters and plots... You (and your editor!) have done truly wonderful work here... please, don't end things with a long term epilogue... give yourself a way back in--should you wish to go there... You deserve it!
10. Please, if I've said anything that is remotely upsetting, unkind, disrespectful or otherwise overly negative--JUST IGNORE THAT! and read #9 back to yourself 10 or 20 times...NICE WORK!!!!!!!!
Let me start by saying thank you so much for writing such a great review. I've no idea how many times I've read your kind comments. And so many great ideas, too.
Two more chapters - inclusive of the epilogue- and then it will be time to at least draw a breath if not a line. The future? We'll see.
Until then, thanks again for your generous encouragement.
This chapter was another emotional one for me. Lots of tissues.
Luke finally broke down. I was waiting for that to happen. It was wonderful to see the Bufords again, even though the reason was tragic. They are definitely a classy couple. I was hoping by them talking about Ryan, it would get Lucy and Geoff thinking about Luke. And it did. They almost lost him; does it really matter who he loves?
I also agree with all the readers as far as the ending of the story. All I can add is NNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! I love this story and the characters so much, they're like a part of my family. I don't want to let them go. Plus, what about Simon? What about Elliot?
I always look forward to what you have to say, Lisa! We're all glad the Bufords stopped by and for the healing they brought to Luke and his family. Just the funeral to get through, now. It won't be easy.
Well...I wasn't really planning on reviewing at all. I mean, although I've been following the story for almost a year now, this is the first time I actually write back. I have to say that I've fallen in love with your writing and your characters, and with the story as a whole. It deserved a review before its end. Not really sure I'm very good at it, but I'm trying to do it as best as I can.
When I read the title I kinda figured the outcome of the Bufords' visit. It was illustrated in a very complete way and it made me feel very emotional. I think I even shed a tear or two. However, I didn't think Geoff was going to make such a drastic change in accepting Luke. I certainly didn't expect them to end up talking about Elliott. But I guess it's for the best.
As others have said, I don't like the idea of the story ending. However, I can see how it is necessary. This years on Luke's life were Ryan's too. He even got circumcised trying to look like Ry. This stage in Luke's life has come to an end as his parents are open to accept him for who he is. That was ultimately Ryan's legacy to Luke.
What I would love to see is a story that shows us how our beloved characters' lives go on. Maybe from Si or Jacko's perspective. All the characters you have created deserve a sequel. And there are a lot of things to tell, too. Simon needs to come out, as he was the one who actually stsrted this process by telling Luke about his own sexuallity. I personally am a fan of Elli, so I'd love to keep an eye on him. Hopefully, the next story you write doesn't need to have somebody die... right?
So, after that I only need to thank you Riley for everyting you've done for us. I hope to hear from you sometime soon, especially if it means I'll be able to see Elli again
Thank you so much for taking a moment to drop me a few lines - it means a lot! It feels right to bring the story to its end - as you say, so much of it has been Luke's take, inextricably bound to Ryan. I like what you say about Ryan leaving Luke a legacy of acceptance, giving him a future even through his death.
Even now, I'm not sure what the future will hold for the characters. I guess we wait and see.
Thanks again for the review.
This is not a review at all - just a few thoughts to share
It's been a few years since I've last commented, but I want you to know that, since your return to this story, I was way-out delighted and started to read all over from scratch...
As far as I'm concerned, Riley, this is one of the best chapters so far. You've chosen appropriately to allow the Buford's to visit. In a very natural way you've solved a problem I wasn't shure just how you were going to pull it off, meaning: bringing Lucy and Geoff around. Well done
This whole chapter fits and feels just right. The content and the way in which you've allowed everyone's emotions to play out - beautiful. My heart went out to Alice, and off course, our young hero as well. I've been choked up, and, well, with wet eyes...helping me to reflect in a positive way upon some personal loss as well.
No, you won't do justice to this saga by trying to tie everything together in the funeral-episode (that is sure to follow) and an epilogue. Epilogues are are almost like Deus ex Machina's, as far I'm concerned...
Luke and Elliot beg some serious rounding-out, and Si (a fave of mine - one of four ) needs to properly come out and take his stand side by side with Luke.
Then again, it's your story. Just had to share my thoughts.
Hello again, Rano! Long time!
Thanks for your note and I'm glad the chapter touched you in the right kind of way.
Of course, you're right, there's so much more to tell. Luke, Simon, Elliott, Jacko, Danny, Todd and Mason, Ella and Mel to name but a few. Maybe, maybe not. Sometimes it's best to just let them live their lives without us.
I love this one, Riley. Ryan's grandparents brought out the true meaning of Southern gentility, and showed Luke's parents that their son is the same boy he was before, and his sexuality wasn't all that he was as a person. I think the message will sink in more over time.
I don't like the idea of one more chapter and an apilogue...unless you plan to follow up with a story about Luke and Elliot? That deserves it's own time to develop, and not just be glossed over in an Afterword. It would also give Simon time to find his place in the world, and his own healing.
Please keep these fine characters going in another volume--we've invested a lot of time into their lives and so have you. Elliot has waited a long time for a new chance, let's not make him wait too long.
Grandparents are so important I think. They might be old, but they have a lifetime of experience and love to offer.
I'm still not sure how the future will look - am just happy to get to the end of this story first! Maybe a bit of a break, then we'll see.
I have to agree with everyone else, this is a fantastic story. You are an incredibly talented writer and I think i might have shed a tear or two reading this chapter. I'll be reading until the end but I hope you write more stories because you are brilliant!
Thank you for your really kind words. Maybe it might surprise you, but I’ve also shed many tears over the last months as the story began to draw to a close. Hopefully tears are good for us!
This has be en a great story I have been frustrated at times but in the end it was great. I think a sequel is a must we need to see what happens to both Luke and Simon. When does Simon come out to his parents and where does Luke and Elliott's relationship go. Come on Riley you can not let us hang in mid story.
But thanks for this story.
Hello again Karl. A sequel. Mmmm…not sure. I know there could be more to tell, but I just want to get to the end of this one first! Thanks for keeping reading through thick and thin!
This has been quite the story, and I've enjoyed it immensely. I will be sad to see it end as there is the potential for so much more (like what happens next in Luke and Simon's life as they grow into young gay men. Maybe there is a potential for a sequel.
But as you say all good things must come to an end and if you end a story with the readers wanting more, then you've done a good job.
I guess there’s always more, though whether that telling will be mine, or whether - as Dughlas said - we should just let Luke get on with his life now. Either way, thank you for your review and generous comments.
An excellent chapter. It often takes other's eyes to allow us to see. While so much has changed nothing really has. While Ryan is gone what he meant to Luke and his family remains. Luke, though not what his thought, is who he has always been.
While I would wish the story to continue as there is much more to come only you can know if it should. Perhaps Luke and his family and Elliot deserve some peace to live their lives without our peeking over their shoulders and into their hearts ...
I liked your thought very much - allowing Luke and his friends and family to live their lives without us peeking over their shoulders! Very good.
Thank you for your time writing such a moving story. But please don't end it there. I feel so much for poor Luke and Elliot that it must go on. It made me cry the last time Elliot lost his bf it just doesn't seem right to end it now. My vote is please carry on as there is so much more to tell. Simon has his story to tell and so does Luke. It feels like losing my own family with Ryan's death. It has touched me greatly. Please please Finnish all the stories.
Hello Roy. I guess all of our lives have so much more to live, and it’s the same for Luke and his friends and family. I’ll try to finish well.
This was one of your subversive chapters. Things are moving along, resolving, nothing too earthshaking and I find myself with tears in my eyes. You wonderfully captured the scene with the Bufords. The restraint made it all the more heartfelt.
Thanks…it’s hard to believe the end it drawing near at last. One more chapter.
I'm glad Simon's there for Luke.
Even though their parents are acting weird (they are trying to wrap their heads around this, after all), they're not the type of people who are going to kick Luke out of the house for being gay. I love the way Simon's sticking up for his brother in front of his parents. Kudos to him.
I'm excited to see what the Brigadier and Alice have to say. It's going to be a horribly sad visit. And I bet they knew all about Ryan. Maybe they can set Luke and Simon's folks straight (no pun intended!).
Hi Lisa. Yes we already know that the grands knew about Ryan's secularity. That came out in 'Mint Julep'. We also know they are classy people and will have good stuff to say.
Thanks for another review.
Mall I know is I'm crying a lot. Poor kids and family. I know their from you part one still falls in love with each character (part of ur brain) I might give it a break for a while so I can read a few chapters to pass the crying stage. I have always like Elliot but it's a shame this had to happen. Thank you for your story and the effort that makes us love all the boys.
aussie from the desert
Hi Aussie - and thanks for your review. I agree, it's been tough, and the terrible events have taken their toll on us all. Through it all, there's always hope for better times.
Part of me wants to stay away and read the whole thing over when finished. Of course I don't have the willpower for that. So I will read all the other stuff I follow while waiting for the Brigadier(not sure we have them in our army) and his wife to hopefully move,things forward for Luke and,hopefully, his folks.
Hi Steve, there may not be many more chapters, so hang in there!
Well I don't know what to say, the story has been an emotional one. I was so angry and sad that Ryan had been killed, I nearly stopped reading. Still, you are a brilliant writer. Please keep up the good work and I'll be reading as new chapters come out.
I'm so glad you didn't stop reading Westarcher - and thanks for your kind words and this review. It's definitely been a difficult few months for everyone...in the story as well as those reading.
Thanks for the update. Glad to see Si and Luke are back to "normal" and Luke doesn't have to be alone. I hope the appearance of Ryan's grandparents can maybe help Geoff and Lucy have a conversation with Luke. Although, I can't imagine the pain his grandparents are going through, losing Ryan and their daughter.
I think everyone is hanging out to see what kind of support Andrew and Alice will bring - even though they’re hurting, themselves - especially after their own journey with Ryan.
Thanks for the review
I am so glad to see that Luke and Simon are even closer then they were before. I can agree with Simon that it might be better to tell his parents that he is gay also, but I can also see Luke's side that it may be better to let them deal with him being gay first.
I am happy to see Ryan's grandparents are there. They knew Ryan was gay they could be a huge help to Geoff and Lucy in dealing with Luke. I hope they a chance to talk to Luke in private.
Good chapter Riley.
Thanks Karl. I feel sure that the Bufords can only help bring good things to the Summers family.
I should have reviewed so mucvh earlier but I've been reading so much my eyes have gone all funny. I really enjoy reading English Teen and coming from this side of the pond I feel for the brits, not sure how I'd feel on moving and being out there for so long.
My only criticism's would be that I want tosee Ryan and Luke get together, it seems like a awful lot of chapters from Luke realising he is gay, he seems to be sitting on the side lines a little too much.
Then there is Si, I love him and wish he was my little brother. Again it seems to be taking a long time for him to get help but obviously you have your reasons behind waiting.
It is the mark of a truly great writer to have your readers emphasize with the characters and I've laughed and possibly even cried with parts of your story so far.
It was wonderful seeing Ella and Mel again! I'm glad they were able to cheer Luke up, even if it was only a little bit.
Luke absolutely needs to go to the funeral. He will never forgive himself if he misses his chance to say goodbye to Ryan like that. Plus he needs to be there to support Ryan's grandparents, who had treated him just like another grandson.
I want to say kudos to Simon! What a great job he did defending his brother! And yes, what difference does it make, indeed! I know their folks aren't going to turn their backs on Luke, especially as his mother thought she'd rather have a gay son than a dead one. I just don't get why they have to 'process' all of this. Why on earth would they think it had anything to do with going to an all-boys school? "When did this happen?" Don't they know anything about sexuality? They need to join PFLAG. lol
As usual, Riley, I'm anxiously waiting for the next chapter!
Hi Lisa. I think what you’re seeing with Geoff and Lucy needs to be put under the category of ‘flailing around and not knowing what to think!’ Of course they’e going to think - and even say - all kinds of things that with hindsight is going to seem weird. Give them time. They’re just ordinary people trying to come to terms with something totally unexpected.
Thanks again for the review
I can't add anything to what everyone is saying about that homophobe Willett. Will it bring back his friend treating Luke like that? He's despicable! He should be fired. I hope Preston complains about him.
I also have a problem with Lucy. I did not like one of her remarks. When Willett was badgering and harassing Luke, Lucy interrupted and said something like, "What are you insinuating about Luke?" Something to that effect. I didn't like that question? He was insinuating that Luke is gay, but what's wrong with that? The way she said it, actually the way it was written, suggested that she was disgusted by that fact. I hope I'm wrong.
I think Geoff will be ok with it. He's still on Luke's side, coming to his chair and trying to show support. He may have to have a long hard talk with his wife.
This was definitely a hard chapter to read -- and of course, I read it last night before bed. Again. When will I learn? lol
Yep, you’re right, Lucy did drop a bit of a clanger, and it won’t have helped Luke one little bit. You have to remember that this is the first time the idea that her son might be gay has been put to her. Her first response is a gut one. On the other hand, Geoff looked more supportive, but I still wonder if he was more focused on trying to control Willett than the feelings of his son. I fear that both parents are going to have a hard time with this.
Excellent. In respect of Willett, I wondered whether we were going to be treated to the classical "defence" that somehow Luke and Ryan's gayness gets used as justification for Ryan's Dad's violence. I thought at one stage that might figure in it somewhere. Plenty of time for that in court, I suppose. I look forward to the possibilities. Paz.
Hi Paz. I’m not sure there will be a court case as there’s nothing to either prosecute or defend. Alexis is dead and there is no case against anyone else. That said, Willett was a bit of a ****
Thanks for the review.
A great chapter Riley. It was a welcome relief to see Mel and Ella, and Simon is the one who has shown the determination to back Luke up, whether he comes out too or not. Like others, I think it would be good for him to do the same, pre-empting any thought of Lucy and Jeff playing one son against the other.
I also think it would be good for them to attend the funeral, so Luke can see it won't be a lonely affair--Ryan had friends, and he needs to see that.
More please--and I've got my fingers crossed that Simon joins Luke in the open closet door.
Another vote for Si coming out! He’s grown fast since his experience with Toby, and in a good way. Don’t be too hard on Geoff and Lucy. It must be a tough thing to deal with when you’re not expecting it.
Good chapter. I think Elliott needs to be out of Luke's life. Every time he sees Elliott it is going to bring back the memory of Ryan. Luke needs to meet someone new and move totally away from his former life. I hope Simon with Luke's help comes out to his parents. Get it all out and deal with it as a family. I can see Simon and Jacko getting together. i love Simon's last statement.
Hi Karl. Whatever happens between Luke and Elliott, i’s not going to be easy. Maybe you’re right, Elliott needs to step away? And you’re another one that wants Simon to come out in solidarity! We’ll have to see!
I've been looking forward to seeing Mel and Ella again I wonder what they know about the reasons for the murders. Maybe Mel guessed it without any outside information from the police or the army, because she knew how homophobic Alexis was.
A lot of questions left unasked and emotions unvoiced in this chapter. It's all bound to spill out at some point, but it might not happen until they are all back home. Like Skinny, I am very glad about the "what are WE going to do ?" at the end. The brothers will find strength in each other. I can't see Simon not coming out at some point in solidarity with his brother if the parents get/remain too narrow minded.
Hi Bleu. Mel may know something through her father, but at this point, I guess we don’t know. Will Simon come out? I guess we wait and see.
Quite the chapter! It's a good thing that Geoff and Lucy have been introduced to Mel and Ella, now Luke just needs to clue in that they are a couple and he could gain a lot of strength from that. Similarly, if he lets Elliot into his life Elliot should be able to help him through his loss of Ryan too.
A big question is if Luke will be able to cut through his usual obliviousness and see he's surrounded by gay people who can help him and his parents.
Luke is surrounded by people that can help him…and actually that includes his own parents. I’d like to think that they’re not going to suddenly throw him out of the house and disown him, but we’ll have to see. I think what we’re seeing with Geoff and Lucy right now is confusion. After being hit with something unexpected from left field, they’re going to need time to process it. In that sense, you’re right, they need help, too, as they recalibrate.
With Mel and Ella - of course Luke doesn’t know anything about their relationship. He might not need to, and they might be private enough not to say. Who knows.
Hope the family fracture heals with the progression the foot should. So glad Mel and Ella are involved.
After the last few chapters this is a relief but not much. You have replaced the Goat as the cliffhanging King. Pax. Ste
Ah - you got the flavour of the title! But when it comes to replacing one goat with another? Mmm…not sure about that!
Thanks for another review, Steve
Somewhat in line with what Tim is saying, the parents seem to be slowly accepting the idea (if not accepting of Luke's orientation) that there is something much worse than a gay son, and that is a dead one. Lucy (unbelievably) even seems to recognize the fact she doesn't have all the answers and even might need some education on the matter.
The chapter contained many flashback references as well as the finality of Ry's funeral. But perhaps the most telling line was the last one. In it, Simon has presented us with the possibility of a dual 'coming out.' As wrenching as this may seem at first, it would be the ideal way to prevent the singling out effect which each would fear. It might be for the best.It might force the parents to recalibrate.
I guess that ‘duel’ coming out is a possibility, though I’m not sure if it would be a good thing or not. Geoff and Lucy are pretty knocked for six as it is - adding to that might be a mistake.
It could have been worse, but Luke's parents need to get their heads on straight, before they make worse mistakes and let their uninformed bigotry run away with them. They could very easily lose their sons in a different way if they don't shape up. Some LGBT counselling might be a good idea.
I'm glad Luke and Simon get a chance to talk first, and I was proud of Simon for standing up to his parents. For a moment I thought he would do the double whammy and tell them they had perfect gay genes.
Hi Tim. I agree that Geoff and Lucy are struggling to come to terms with the revelations about Luke’s sexuality, but I’m not sure that necessarily makes them bigots. They need help and they need time. Let’s hope that comes soon, or you’re right, they run the risk of too great a gap opening up between them and their sons.
Excellent chapter. Luke and Si are not without friends.
Thanks Dughlas. The future might be uncertain, but there’s always hope when you have good people around you.
I'm guessing that when you update chapters the old notes went away. I am sure I commented when this chapter first came out. Anyway. This story helped me decide to do this a few years ago after years of feeling like Luke. Thanks for that and thanks for the painful description of those shots. Ugh.
Funny how this eponymous chapter is in the early part of the story. But so central to Luke's feelings about himself. Pax.
Hi Steve. No, the comments stayed as they were, updates don't alter those. However I do remebember the note you're referring to...it was in a PM. Hope you remained happy with the decision!
I very much like how the story is progressing. Willet is due a reprimand if Luke's parents don't consider asking for charges. His behavior borders on assault and potentially a hate crime ...
Thanks Dughlas. Willed might be due lots of things, but he’ll get away with it. Luke’s parents won’t complain. They’re British…it just doesn’t happen!
This will be a challenging time for Luke. He's always been cautious and worried, but now everything is spilled, without any ability to control what is out or who learns of it.
We can sort of predict how the principals will react, but this could affect him more than his wounds, no matter how they react.
Good chapter, Riley.
Hi there Skinny. Yep - way out of comfort zone! Luke is quite private and tends to internalise stuff, so being dumped off the fence right into the public eye is going to be challenging.
Good for Luke by telling the truth even though it as outed him. I just wonder now if Simon will tell his parents the same now that his brother has. Great chapter.......keep it up
I think Simon is going to remain wary. It will deopend on how the parents react just now.
Thanks for the review, Nighthawke
This chapter is exactly why readers will stick with the story.
I don't have much to add to other reviews except that I was surprised Luke didn't ask for Simon to stay in the room. He could guess where the discussion would lead and he could have counted on some form of support from Simon.
As always, it leaves me wishing for the next chapter, to see how you will weave Elliott back into it.
Thanks Bleu. I know that more than a few people were quite upset by recent events, but I hope they’ll come back and keep reading.
Actually, I don’t think Luke did know where it would go. Maybe that was just inexperience. I think he was initially expecting just a few general questions, none of which would take them anywhere close to what passed between him and Ryan. I don’t think he even dreamed that the transcript of the conversation with the 911 operator would be brought out.
We’ll have to see about Elliott
I was just telling my partner that this was one of the hardest chapters to read everrr. As others said you drew up Willette and Preston so well. Toby couldn't have done better and for most importantly it is out there now for the whole family. Not sure how it will sort for Si but I would be surprised if either parent will not be supportive. Most important Luke has finally manned up and maybe that will be a beginning of movement and healing for all.
Thanks Steve. The school fire gave the opportunity to introduce the two policemen as characters, so it wasn’t hard to build on. Through Willett - who nobody likes for some reason, lol - Luke has had to come clean. It’s probably a good thing in the long run. In the short term, I don’t think it’s going to be easy for any of them.
Thank you for sharing your story. I was drained by the time i finished reading. All cried out. I know it must be even harder to write these scenes. I can't imagine the eneegy it must take.
I'm glad Preston was there for Ryan, because Willett was a bully. I think he could be a little like Ryan's dad. Even though his parents are shocked, I believe they will continue to stand up for Ryan.
It’s true, the last few chapters have been pretty draining - both to read and to write. Willet…not a nice guy. Let’s hope that’s the last of him!
Your complex story telling is captivating. You put so much work into character formation it must be painful to kill them off, in the extended story you have done that to Ryan and Miguel. I hope there is a scene where Luke is visited by Ry's grandparents.
Thanks for the review, Randy. Yes, it’s true. When you invest into a story, the characters can get under your skin! Thanks for reading!
A great chapter, Riley--I was on the edge of my seat all through it, and the retelling of the events at Ryan's weren't any easier this time around.
I agree with Tim's review, though I had to smile at his remark on diversity training. I'm not sure how much he knows about the South, but tolerance isn't a major personality trait down there, and it can be lacking especially in public servants. Willett's behavior was abominable to say the least, and if it weren't for that Luke's parents could have remained ignorant of his sexuality. Even so, at least it's out now.
I think Jeff will be okay, but Luke's mom is another matter...I've not been fond of her through the whole story. I will say this makes it harder for Simon to come out--two gay sons? Unacceptable.
I think you’re right abut Willett. He’s the kind of guy who goes by the idea that the means justifies the end. Not a nice person. Still, I’d like to think that Luke might have found the courage to tell his folks about his sexuality, even without it being interrogated out of him.
As to how they - mum and dad - will handle it, is still up for grabs. I think it’s not going to be all plain sailing.
I hope Preston makes sure Willet gets an official reprimand for his bigoted behavior and is forced to retake diversity training. What an utter jerk ! On the oher hand, the police interview made Luke tell his parents the truth and in a manner which forces them to support him no matter what they may originally have thought about him being gay. Even the slightest hint of disapproval will leave them tainted with the Alexis and Willet stink, and I dare say they will want to avoid this at any cost. Brilliantly done, Riley.
I loved that Simon listened at the door and Luke knew he would. Saves him from explaining it all over again. Telling once is more than enough. But at least he managed to keep his earlier crush on Ryan private, while telling the truth about them being only friends.
I get the idea that Willett plays by any rules he likes to get what he wants. At the same time, I think Luke’s parents are a bit too shocked to think about complaining. We Brits are not genetically pre-disposed to complaining!
Of course, the big question now is…what happens? How will they deal with it?
This was an incredibly powerful chapter. You have a gift for bringing to life a complex situation in clear clean prose.Even minor characters like the two police Preston and Willet arrive fully formed people rather than placeholders to help carry the plot. As for Luke, we have watched him grow from somewhat sulky adolescent to the cusp of adulthood tempered by the strains of his sexuality and these late events.
Above all I appreciate this story because the characters grow and the real drama has context and meaning. As always thanks for taking us down this remarkable journey that still has a little way to go.
Thank you for you really nice comments. Luke is having to grow up fast, but it still might not be all smooth sailing. Who knows how his parents are going to react…
Despite how horrible the police where with Luke and getting the info out of him, I imagine it probably for the best, he has a lot of guilt and now his parents and Simon know about it, they will be able to help.
Great chapter, I can't wait to read what happens next
Hi Simon. Luke really got backed into corner, didn’t he, though I agree, it may be for the best.
I am sorry, I don't have any words right now other than [b]'Bye'.
Hey Emi - we’ve talked separately to this both in the forum and through IM, so I know you’re finding your way through this. I hope you’ll keep reading. As I said elsewhere, I’ve been able to grieve for Ryan for some time as I’ve know this was coming. I just hope you’ll keep with the story so you’ll give me the chance to help you to properly grieve for him, too. Only then will it make sense.
I read this last night on my phone right before bed. Big mistake. I cried myself to sleep. I'm still crying.
Ryan was a lovable character. He pretty much got his mother to the point of leaving that psycho she married, and then this happened. No one knew the pain Ryan lived with every day. No one knew his sperm donor (he will never have the right to be called a father) physically and verbally abused him and his mother. His grandparents didn't know, right? I can't see how his grandparents would stand for that if they knew.
Luke is going to be in a very bad place for a long time to come. He'll feel guilty for not saving Ryan. He'll feel guilty for surviving when his best friend didn't. One of your readers pointed this out and I totally agree; Luke should see the therapist Simon was going to see. Oh, and yes, that's another thing Luke is going to feel guilty about: not being there for Simon.
My heart goes out to Luke and Ryan's grandparents. Elliot too. Luke's right; there's no way he can be in any kind of relationship now. He's too fucked up. I hope Elliot will still be there when Luke is ready. Personally, I think Luke should think of Elliot as a part of his support system. He's going to need him as a friend at least.
When all the shit has settled, Luke should come out to his parents. Actually, he should do it while he's still in the hospital. Of course it shouldn't matter to them at all, but...in case they're close-minded idiots, I think they won't care -- as long as Luke is going to be ok physically, they won't care. Just my opinion.
Ok, well, I need to go out and buy more Kleenex. I'll send you the bill, Riley.
Oh Lisa… Crying’s good. I think the world would be a better place if we cried more easily at the things that are wrong in it!
No, I don’t think the grandparents knew the full awfulness of how the family had to live. I expect Alexis put on a show whenever they were around just to make sure the money didn’t dry up.
Yep, Luke is in a mess, and it’s not going to come good ‘just like that’. In regards to coming out…will Luke finally get off that fence?
There are quite a number of reviews already, and the grieving process has understandably started among your readers. I am sad about Ryan's murder because he was a lovable character with a lot to look forward to in life. Luke will miss him and probably feel guilty at everything he could have done and said earlier... plus the fact that he punched him in the face in the school parking lot and then rejected him in favour of Elliott a little later.
I was surprised by Ryan's death — not because it couldn't happen: clearly you know where you are taking this story and I trust you to make the rest of the story come together — but because some clues pointed to him surviving: Luke never witnessed him being murdered, and the previous chapter ended on a light note from Todd. It does feel a little cruel for the reader. You could have brought up Ryan's death in the "kitchen scene" 3 chapters ago and the outcome would have been the same for Luke. I am just wondering why you chose to hide Ryan's death to the reader, building our hopes up to send them crashing down later.
As for Luke and Elliott, I doubt that Elliott will let this be the end. Luke needs him now more than ever, and he also needs to be out to his parents. I don't know whether he will have a choice in this, but in any case he needs to own up to his feelings. Simon may well play a decisive supporting role in it.
Yes, I accept that I deliberately misdirected in regards to Ryan’s death. Evan now, nobody knows exactly how that happened. Did it raise your hopes? Yes. Was it meant to do that? Ummmm… Yes. Is it over yet? No.
Hopefully the next chapter will peel back the curtains a little bit more. As I said in the forum story thread, Elliott gets where Luke is right now. he understands loss and guilt, and the last things he’ll do is try to offer answers.
Thanks for the review, Bleu
I've always been rather scared to review, biding my time. Y'know, it takes a great amount of courage to kill one of your characters. Yes, I'm sad and I was holding my breath, hoping Ryan'd live. But, I think, I knew that this chapter'd have terrible news. I'm hoping that Ryan's mum lived and she'll be able to cling to Luke and the two'll get through it.
Hello Medraut. Firstly, thank you for putting down a review. It was great to hear from you.
As you say, it wasn’t the news readers were hoping for, and a bit of a shock to come to terms with the idea that Ryan is no longer physically part of the story. It’s going to be hard for Luke to move on.
Maybe the next chapter will bring more news…and hope.
Riley, as I said about Chapter 78, Ryan is the Christ-figure of the story, but I had hoped it wouldn't include his death. One of his last acts is to help save Luke. He had incredible strength of character. Since he was almost raising himself, where did his moral compass come from? He was very young to be as centered as he was. I was really curious to see his further development. Now it cannot be. I will miss him a lot. Maybe that was your intention all along....
I’m fairly sure that moral compass and that strength of character came from his grandparents - Brigadier and Mrs Buford.
I think we’re all missing him.
Wow. I'm so sad that Ryan didn't make it. He was my favorite i think of the boys, but I'm not sure where you would have taken the characters with Elliott in the picture. At least he died admitting who he was to Luke and his family and really trying to save Luke and his mom. Luke has a lot to overcome. I think he will need Elliott and Simon's help. I love reading the reviews, but haven't on this chapter because I know some will try to tell you how your story should go. I'll just say it's yours to tell. Looking forward to the next chapter. I'm ready with kleenex jn hand.
With his own dysfunctional family, Ryan saw Luke as a brother. Being the person he was, its not surprising he defended him so extravagantly.
Can Luke live up to that?
Thanks for keeping reading Peethree.
This isn't unexpected, Riley since I speculated about it in my last review. I'd have liked to see Ryan survive, but with the time that had elapsed and the sound of two shots, I was fairly sure he was gone. Of the two main guys, he was my favorite over Luke, but in the end he showed what a man he truly was by urging his friend to save himself. I hope he will be an example to Luke in the end, rather than a symbol of his own failure to resist when there wasn't really anything he could do to prevent the rampage.
I don't agree with those who say they will abandon the story now that Ryan is gone--this IS Luke's story of growth and hopeful acceptance of himself, and I think Ryan will have a great influence on that in the end. Luke needs to see Ryan as a positive influence and someone who saw something in Luke that was worth saving. The parallel with Miguel is obvious, so I hope Luke can work through his issues as Elliot did when he lost Miguel.
Tim and Dughlas have it right, so I can't really add to their comments. I only hope that Luke's parents come to grips with their sons' needs at last, rather than remaining oblivious.
Very heart-breaking, Riley, but I'm in for the long haul...I'll miss Ryan a lot though.
I think we all miss Ryan, and wonder what future Luke will have.
What we were yesterday isn’t going to be what we are today or what we might become tomorrow. How that changes can depend on who you have around you, so yes, its going one really important how Luke lets other people into his world.
Thanks for the encouraging review!
I loved Ryan but he was never the driving character in my mind. Luke, while flawed, was always the center. Sure, there were chapters that focused on Ryan and an arc that showed off Toby and Simon; but the story always came back to Luke. Now, some claim that Elliot is not a deep character and doesn't hold the story together. I disagree. In Safe Hands provides Elliot with necessary depth and the lack of detail in English Teen is merely a byproduct of the length of time Elliot has existed in Luke's world. The loss of Ryan won't ruin this story, in fact his death will provide Luke with a new demon to wrestle with. To everyone who believes Ryan's death is the end of this I challenge you to accept the fact that a story can't always save your character, that people die. If Ryan hadn't died I would have feared more for English Teen than if not, because a happy ending to these hard chapters would have most definitely meant the end of any meaningful story.
I know that was long and rambly. That's just how I feel after this chapter.
I think it’s always easier to place the ‘hero’ as the main character, whereas Luke was never written that way, though, you’re right, he is the main character and connects everything as it flows around him. He’s not the ‘bad guy’ either. He’s just flawed in ways that most of us can identify with. I’m glad now that I took Elliott out of ET and wrote about him first in ISH. Originally, his backstory was part of ET, but a coupe of chapters was never going to be enough, so I wrote his own story first and took it form there.
However, like I said in resource to another review, Ryan was somebody we grew to really care for. Even thought its only a story, it hurts to lose him. It will hurt Luke too - he hasn’t yet had a chance to grieve and neither have we.
I feel such sadness for all of them. Ryan, Luke, Elliot - and for Luke's family. I know why people have a hard time accepting Ryan's death and may not forgive you for it, but storywise it makes sense. Alexis didn't hesitate to shoot the cops because he had already stepped over the line and committed murder. But guess what: I think Ryan would prefer this outcome to one where Luke didn't survive. Still devasting when we were all hoping for a better outcome Many of us like Ryan better than Luke (and some of us like Simon better too), and I'm not the least bit surprised about Luke's reaction and his feelings of guilt. Unlike Simon, who was a victim, Luke has indeed been a coward and not a good friend to Ryan. However, some of the blame resides with his parents who in spite of being caring and loving have failed to instill trust and belief in their sons enough for them to come out to their family. In a wider sense the blame rest squarely on bigots like Ryan's father and the principal and a society where teens cannot be open about their preferences without facing harassment and hate. The worst part is Luke pushing Elliot away and he will probably go into depression. I wonder whether his parents will have learned from Simon's struggles and get him a therapist. At least in Luke's case it's pretty obvious he has had a traumatic experience, so perhaps they'll be sensible. Else Simon hopefully kicks their butts. And I hope Luke's guilt over his brother will mean he cannot shut Simon out. Now of course there are still lots of unanswered questions: What did the papers write? When will the police interview Luke and will his parents be there? Will he tell the truth about being gay or will he lie and say Ryan came out and Alexis mistakenly accused his best friend due to this? Will he tell his parents and / or Simon the same tale? What about Ryan's grandparents? Of course further ahead I wonder what will happen when he goes back to school? And will he realize Elliot is the one person who is able to understand him and the loss he has suffered?
I think its a good thing we can never know the future! If we could time travel, I think we’d spend our lives going back and forth changing things, and then having to go back again to change something else because the outcome never gives us what we want! I wonder what Geoff would have thought if, when he accepted the job at the USA bank when they were living in the UK, that that simple choice would lead to so much carnage?
The point is, it’s often hard to pin blame when the things that happen in life are often a result of choices - over which you have no control - that are made, sometimes years before. We do our best with what we’ve got, but nobody can prepare for the Ethan Alexis’s of life.
And now it is what it is, and Luke - and the rest - have to deal with what’s in front of them. As you say, still plenty of questions that are unanswered.
Thanks again for contributing to the thread in forum, Timothy. That was really helpful and much appreciated.
Hmm, not what I was hoping for but I think I understand your reasons. I liked Ryan. He won an award as a reader favorite. So yeah I'm saddened that you chose to have him die. Will I abandoned the story ... no. I thought I would do that back when "the hang" was originally posted. You might remember a rather angry post at that time. But I chose to trust you as the author to make it work. I intend the same now but I think you've set yourself a task. Many view Luke as the weaker of the two characters. It easy to judge when we have the benefit of hard evidence that isn't available to the characters who only hints. Ryan worked hard to hide how bad things truly were at home particularly from Luke. Luke himself is judging himself harshly. Ry wanted him to run, to get away, to be safe. What a terrible thing it would be had Luke also vainly fought against Alexis only to die as well. I think we judge Luke's behavior too severely. Look to the recent terrorist attacks, that in essence is what this was on a much more intimate scale, most people fled in panic. Yes, he should have been more supportive when Ry was hung but we need to keep in mind the majority of the guys saw it as sport. Ry stepped in to protect Luke because he was still wearing the klamp there was the potential for serious injury and/or embarassment if Luke had been hung. I don't think even Ry truly understood the humiliation until it happened to him. It wasn't until after Ry, a hero of sorts, that most of the students seemed to understand the ramifications to their "harmless" fun. He, and we, berates himself for not being there for Simon and yet Si put his whole self into keeping what happened between himself and Toby a secret. We fretted because we thought their parents let Si go longer than they should have. Why would we think Luke, a 17 year-old boy might have done more? He tried talking to Si. He can't be blamed that when Si reached the point of almost confiding that something interferred. Had Luke known he would have remained and supported his brother. We know that.
In ISH Elliot was the less sure character. Miguel was the more dominant. But then Miguel was in his environment and Elliot was a more reserved person. As the story progressed Elliot modelled himself more in Miguel's manner. While we haven't seen as much of him yet he seems to have continued in that. It will be interesting to see the person Luke becomes without Ryan's presence. Will he also adopt more of Ry's strengths?
Hi Dughlas. Thanks, as always, for the support - both here and on the story thread. A steadying hand really helps!
It’s interesting to see you Luke is judged - not just by readers, but by himself as well. I tend to agree with you that it’s too easy to look at these things in a black and white way. The story is set in a relatively modern well-to-do America, the inference being that these guys have easy lives and no problems. Through Ryan, we see the fallacy of that. Through Luke, too, but in a different way. For me, ET has a cultural thread running through it. Luke and his family are from the UK. He was upended and forced to leave his home to go…and stay…in another country. Now while I don’t think that the trauma of that is anywhere near to that being experienced right now by thousands of refugees around the world, it has its impact. Luke has always struggled to feel he fits where he is. That sense was what underpinned the whole need to become circumcised in the first place! This ‘not fitting’ leads him to float in life, sitting on the fence and waiting to see what others do.
Actually, Elliott was the same. ‘the boy with plenty of stamps in his passport, but no friends.’ He found his footing after Miguel - I just hope Luke can, too.
As I suspected... You already killed off Miquel in your previous story, and now you had to solve the problem of both El and Ry in love with Luke. Since Elliott had already gone through such terrible suffering (in your mind), the easiest solution was to kill off Ryan leaving the way clear for Elliott and Luke. Now the way is also clear to eventually bring the story to a close.Yet, in so many ways Ryan was the most interesting character in AETC - the strength, the loyalty, the ability to overcome the adversities in his life and still remain whole. Contrasted with Luke who showed little of such sterling character straits - who ran from every threat to his being, who was so busy protecting himself that he failed to consider the emotional and physical suffering of both his brother and Ryan. They needed his support but he left them to deal with it on their own. Riley, I think you are one of the really good authors on GA - you know how to write an interesting story and keep your readers coming back even after 84 chapters - no mean feat in this genre.Of course, you are the author and you decide how your story is going to progress. But for me, you missed the boat - you killed off the wrong person, if indeed it was necessary to kill off any of the boys to advance your narrative. If you intend to continue this story for many more chapter, it may well have been Ryan who had the most to offer. Luke is the most flawed, Elliott the weakest (even in the earlier story) and, so far, little more than a two dimensional character.Perhaps in continuing AETC, Luke, aware of his failings, will grow into a much better person and Elliott will grow into a character with depth.Finally, these are my own personal comments and not intended as intense criticism. If I didn't care so much for your story telling gifts, I wouldn't have bothered to respond to this chapter.[I wrote my review before reading any of the other reviews. I see that I'm not the only one who reacted negatively to ending Ryan's life. There is another very prolific and excellent GA author who killed off his strongest character in the first chapter of a continuing story that has gone on for hundreds of chapters. I stopped reading after that initial death - probably my lose since that series has won some awards. I did however read another one of his series which I very much like.]
Hi Beach - and thanks for your honest feedback. As you’ve already read both prior to your posting and afterwards, there’s been a lot of it coming in…and a lot a varies opinions!
Riley might have appeared strong, and Luke weak, but who knows which person has more to offer. Actually, aren’t all of us flawed? Yet we’re all still worth something and one isn’t more important than another. Luke is who he is, but what’s important is the choices he now makes and how he choses to live life. That’s the same for Simon…even for Toby. Maybe even for the parents?
I suspect, like you say, everyone is going to see this in slightly different ways, but I really appreciate your taking the time and effort to write and spill your thoughts, and for still getting behind the story…and the author!!
Again up to your high standard of writing, i think the last thing Luke needs now is Elliot all over him so by telling him to wait i think was the right thing to do. He needs time to reflect on events and of his best friends death. I also think Simon needs to tell Luke what went on between him and Toby.
Hi there. I’m still not sure about Elliott. You could be right and it’s best if he keeps his distance, but then again, if Luke shuts himself away, he’s going to spiral. Maybe he needs friends more than he knows.
I was half prepared for this. Half. Well...it's not like you didn't warn us well in advance <<in this extraordinary tale of life, love and loss>> Deep down I knew that you planned to kill him from the very beginning, and when those two shots echoed through the house while Luke was hiding, that pretty much settled it for me.
Luke blames himself. I know it's not his fault at all, Alexis was a crazy bastard and something like this was bound to happen sooner than later, but Luke's right in one thing: he's not like Elliott. He did leave Ryan "hanging" more than once. He's always been happy just standing by to see what happens. Hell, if I suspected that a friend of mine was going through something similar to Ryan, I'd be there. I'd hug him. I'd cheer him up. I'd try to help. I feel like Luke was never there to Ryan before apart from when Ryan cried in his arms after The Hang. It was Luke who fucked it up, but it was Ry who apologized!.
I don't know. I'm not saying that Luke had to be the hero against Alexis because he would most likely have ended with a bullet in his temples too. However he was never there for Ry when he had to be. Supporting him. Sure, it's easy to hang around laughing about the silliest things, but what matters is where you are when things go dark, and in those moments Ryan Alexis was always alone. That is indeed Luke's fault.
I wouldn't go as far as saying that you've lost a reader, because this is one of the best stories I've ever read and I mean it. You are an amazing writer, and this chapter was great. It's just that I don't know if I'm prepared for another 10 more chapters of emptyness and wolves of any kind before getting to the end. It was hard with Elliott, it was hard with Simon. I don't think I appreciate Luke enough to go through that all over again with him. Not without Ryan.
I do hope that Luke can heal his body and soul. After all he's just 17 and human. He deserves to forgive himself and to be happy, and if he's smart enough he'll realise that there's no one who can understand him more than Elliott. Elliott would be there for him.
Thanks for the review. I suspect that many readers assumed that this was just a last minute plot twist, decided on a whim. However, you are quite right when you quote the main story intro, that Ryan’s death has been planned from the beginning. What I didn’t quite expect back then, was how deep and rich a character he would become, and how badly we would hurt when we lost him. Like I said in the story thread, I’ve had time over several years - knowing this was coming - to grieve for him. I hope you’ll stay with the story so that I can help you do that, too. The end is coming, and I want it to be something good.
Sad but good
I really liked this story and then.after what you did to Ssimon and Toby I was disappointed. But now you go and kill off Ryan.and stick him with this Elliott character!!! You just lost a reader!
Hi there. I understand your reaction and respect your choice. I hope, though, that you’ll at least read my comments in the story thread in the forum that explains a few of my own thoughts on what happened. And I hope that you’ll still come back to find out how this resolves itself.
I must have missed something because I don`t recall reading that Ryan was killed as well - although I`m more disapponted than sad.
Hopefully Luke will quickly realize he wasn`t to blame, and that will be difficult. If he hadn`t been there when everything happened, it might not have happened that way. But, dealing with a crazed person like Ryan`s father is not predictable. If it hadn`t happened then it probably would have at some time whether Luke was there or not. Hopefully he`ll get the therapy he needs and quickly., otherwise his life will be hell.
You didn’t miss anything, as up to this point, Luke had no idea either. But you’re right, Luke is gong to struggle not to feel responsible, even though there was little he could probably have done other than not be there in the first place.
You killed off Ryan...................... sorry Riley you have also killed off this story for me. Good luck with future writings.
I guess this was the hardest review to read, Jeff. I knew people would have questions and be upset, but I still hope that you’ll take a risk and see how this story resolves itself. If not, I still respect your choice to stop reading.
Such a hard chapter to get through. You have moved in directions I would not have predicted before your sabbatical yet it fits and your skill keeps me hooked and hanging(as it were) for more.
I hope Si is more there for Luke. Luke will need a lot. Hope Elliot also hangs in. Thanks.
Hey there Steve. Over the last year, I’ve picked up on the idea that some readers thought I was just making this all up as I went along with not much idea where it was going. Maybe that’s how a long story can feel when a reader is only taking it a chapter at a time and when there was also a long break of writing in the middle. In fact, I knew Ryan would die quite early on. Maybe it was a mistake to have people love him so much!
Such an emotional chapter, I didn't have a good feeling for Ryan, and Luke is taking his death personally, on top of finding out he wasn't there for Simon when he needed him. Luke is it quite a dark place I just hope that his friends and Elliott can be there for him and show him it wasn't his fault.
I also wonder what was published in the papers, it sounds like Luke's parents don't know he is gay yet but it probably is going to come out at some point. It will be interesting to see how Luke handles that.
Another great chapter.
Hi Simon - your’s is the first review and I’m starting - with some trepidation - to reply to you and to the mass of strong feeling that has come from many as a result of the last posting! To say that Luke is showing signs of not taking this well is an understatement! In fact, injured and hurting, he’s closing himself off and even pushing people away. Not sure what the papers said specifically, but you could probably work out the gory details!
Wow Wow Wow what an impact Chapter that was. Im so glad Luke made it ok and must say Riley this is won of the best books ive read up to now. Keep up the great work mate and i cant wait till the next Chapter comes out to find out the damage at Ryans place. Thanks
Hello Nighthawke. You made my day! Thanks for the review, and next chapter coming soon.
Do you research what it's like to regain consciousness after a period of time; how the mind starts to reconnect or is it just writers imagination. As a reader it seems very real.
Hi there Randy. Good question. I actually work in a hospital context, so yes, maybe there is some research there.
I see three options for Ryan, and with Todd there it seems most likely Ryan is in another private room next to Luke. However, he might also be at home with his grandparents or at private hospital of their choice, if nothing more happened to him than concussion after being knocked out by Alexis. In that case, Todd may be on a fact finding mission for Ryan. However, I would have thought the police would be even more rigorous than Luke's mum in preventing unauthorized visitors, until they had interviewed Luke. It's a good sign of both Ryan and his mom surviving and the case being closed. (trying to stay optimistic here)
Hi Timothy. Of course, I can’t comment on your three options, but it could be one of those…or then again…
More news coming soon.
Holy mother of God! These last chapters have been so...wow! Thank you for saving Luke, I really needed someone to survive. Now I'll add my voice to the general clamour: Where the hell is Ryan and what in Christ name is Todd doing there? Well, taking in account the doctors' and family's general attitude it seems that Luke has been out for at least one or two weeks and I suppose Todd has the right to visit a friend in the hospital whenever he pleases. I kinda miss Elliott in the scenery, but there's still a lot to be told, so who knows...
PS: I may set up an initiative called 'Save Ryan' to collect signatures in order to protect him from your inclinations towards murder . Seriously tho, you're gorgeous man. I'm really enjoying myself here. Thanks.
Lol - tones of “Saving Private Ryan”? More news in the next chapter, of course, and who knows, but surely Elliott can’t be far away, either?
I feel like I'm in the hospital now! Your descriptions of being in that semi-comatose state, drifting off, briefly waking, drifting off again are spot-on. Voices sound muddled, like they're under water or something.
I'm thrilled Luke is awake and so far there's no brain damage. Hopefully his shoulder (and rib) will heal and he'll be fine.
But wtf is Todd, of all people!, doing there! I would think Elliot would be clamoring to get through the door, but he's a new 'friend', so I can see that. But Todd? I didn't even think Luke liked Todd that much! lol
So now since Luke has been in the hospital for quite some time, where/how is Ryan? I'm still holding out hope for him, praying that he's going to be all right too.
Hi Lisa. Thanks for the nice feedback. So, yes, Luke has survived, though is injured. Hopefully those will heal. Still lots of unanswered questions though - like why is Todd there? And Ryan…
I'm glad Simon got some closure with Toby, and I'm glad that Toby is remorseful and understands exactly what he did. I hope he eventually tells Grace so he can get some help.
And now the evil cliffie!!!! Sirens! Oh my! lol
I'm still praying Luke and Ry will be ok!
Great chapter, so relived to find out that Luke is OK. I just hope that Ryan will pull though too, though I don't have a good feeling about that.
looking forward to the next chapter.
Hi Simon. All we know right now is that Luke has survived, and that Todd has come to visit. The rest is up to your imagination…
These last few chapters have been quite exciting - BUT then you're telling us the first thing Luke wonders after regaining consciousness is "...if Estela had got her flight". Come on Riley - a little far fetched! What about Ryan or for that matter Ryan's mother?
OK, he just weathered a terrible physical and emotional experience - I'll grant you that he's a bit muddled. But Estela!
Lol! Who know, though it’s probably not too out of place for how Luke’s head is functioning. In his state, he’ll be piecing ideas together like he might be lining up dominos. He’ll pick up where he left off, which included knowing that he was actually supposed to have gone to the airport with Elliott. From there, Estela gets added into the train of thought, and then, as his brain makes connections, he could wonder if she caught her flight okay. Walking up from an almost comatose state can be quite weird!
Thanks for the great review!
Well, Luke is back. Thanks for that!
After all, the title was written specifically for him.
Things are a little too quiet on the Ryan front, but Luke just woke up, so we'll be holding our breaths for the next chapter.
Lol! Yep, Luke is injured, but has survived. There seems to be a lot of speculation about who it was that jumped into the pool to say him, but there’s still no sign of Ryan, even though Todd has turned up. Not sure what that means, though there are also others outside the door. I guess we’ll find out soon.
He lives. You are forgiven. All other issues are for some other time. You portray this common trope uncommonly well. Now the long recovery begins, the questions and the inevitable answers. It's time.
Yes, he lives…and yes, you’re right, it’s not over. And now Todd is on the scene for some reason…
Thanks for the review, Parker.
Good, Luke is awake at last, and apparently free of brain damage from the oxygen deprivation...we don't know yet how bad the bullet wound to his arm is, but at least he has some movement of it.
The family is there...but Todd is the first non-family member? I didn't expect Elliott since he is just a friend so far s the family knows...but it's very disconcerting that Ryan isn't there...and no one has mentioned him.
I'm holding onto the hope that Ryan is alive, though I'm sure his dad isn't, and possibly not his mother....
More please, Riley!
Luke seems to have pulled through, thank goodness. Injured, but alive. There is no news yet on Ryan’s condition, though I think Lucy is being her usual protective self in keeping visitors at bay.
Thanks for an update today. When I saw this title, i knew Luke was at least ok. Now, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Todd is visiting Luke and Ryan.
Yes Todd seems to be visiting. Others might be too. As you say, it’s a relief that Luke is apparently on the mend. Thanks for the review, Peethree
Well we now know Luke's condition but what of Ryan? Todd is there and likely knows but will he be allowed to say or has he been told not to? Questions, questions ...
Luke seems okay, though what that actually means is anyones guess. We now have Todd dropping in, and others outside the room. Who knows…
Well Riley, you have certainly drawn us in to this over the last few chapters, think I will save any reviews until the last of this series of chapters have been posted so I can re-read them in their entirety, but looking good Riley, looking good.
Hey there Jeff - it has been a bit of a rollercoaster, but thanks for dropping a quick note here anyway. Glad you’re still enjoying the read.
Wow! You have excelled yourself with these past few chapters, everyone a cliffhanger. I can't wait to see where it will all end, with Ryan or Elliott?
Hi there, and thanks for the review and kind words!
What relief, finally. And you still had the other half of the story to tell. Yeah, Ryan. Still putting him hidden, ha!!! And thank you for the surprised early update.
Very fine descriptive and Nice chapter....
It appears Luke is fine - at least on the outside. I guess we continue to hope for the best for Ryan and his mother.
Ok. I won't say mean things, but Gosh, you told me to hang on. And this is definitely not a fair thing.
But I am happy for Si and how mature he handled the things with Toby. And Grace has the right to know how her son treating the others and I think Toby really need professional help.
And don't forget that I am hanging in there with Luke...
Hi Emi. As I said to Spikey, perhaps Toby is somebody else’s story to tell. Right now, we have the police cruiser pulling up bringing…what…?
Too bad Luke didn't think to jump in the pool first, bullets don't travel very far in water, no more than about 3 feet. Essentially he would have been bullet proof underwater. Not sure I would have though of it in the same situation though! What an awful situation though, I hope both Luke and Ryan are able to make it out alive.
Very well written Riley, I can place myself there and feel the tension in Luke. You've done an excellent job of conveying the atmosphere of the situation.
Hi there - and thanks for the review! I didn’t know that about bullets in water! Everyone is still hoping for the best.
Everyone's reactions to the continued cliffhanger are fairly earned here Riley. However, it's been quite a while now, but I had been very caught up in what happened with Simon and the aftermath of it all. I had some very strong opinions about all that in some of my previous reviews. So from that point of view I felt like this chapter was well-needed.
Simon had never been able to get most of that of his chest, he kept everything a secret. I still wish he'd told Luke at least about all they went down. It was good that Toby finally was confronted with all that his actions caused beyond just losing his best friend/boyfriend. He showed genuine remorse. I honestly don't think turning it into a legal matter would make all that much of a difference. However, I'm worried about what future damage Toby is going to cause. He may have shed some tears in remorse, but then we're shown directly afterward that he's still trying to manipulate Simon. Grace at the very least should be told because I honestly think Toby needs help before he victimizes anyone else.
On that note, Simon will ultimately be ok and overcome what happened. Toby will be off to find some new boy to chase (and fingers crossed not rape) in Florida. Now we just need to see if Luke has hopefully dodged the bullets meant to take his life.
I’m not sure Toby has actually changed that much, either. Maybe that’s not our story to follow. However, it was really good for Simon to get some control back. It’s still going to take time to trust people enough to allow them to get close, but there’s hope.
Thanks for your review.
Glad for Si to have had a chance for some closure with Toby and Grace. Like others I am really glad this part got moved on.
BUT... This cliff is getting a longer fall than most here on cliffhanger authors central.
Thanks as always.
Hey Steve. Sorry about the cliff, but it was important to find a place for Simon to find himself again.
So in the same moments that Luke is getting hunted down like an animal, Simon and Toby try for reconciliation of a sort. What a powerful moment to interrupt with even more ghastly and horrible news...police cruisers. Oh, the poor Summers family. You have got the effect just right, setting everyone up as things hit the fan.
Hi Parker, and thanks for the review. Whatever happens, it’s going to test them all to the limit, that’s for sure!
I seem to be the only reader who is grateful you let us have this chapter with Simon.
I don't care about Toby, except I hope he has learned a lesson about not using people, but Simon needed to tell Toby about every single hurt and see him mortified and genuinely sorry. It brought Simon some much neded peace of mind together with his surprising conclusion about actually maybe coming to like his cut dick. While I seriously doubt any teen would feel that way if they've been entire before (more on this in the discussion forum), it's a good development storywise.
I'm happy Simon seems to be on the road to recovery, both mentally and physically. He'll need all his strength in the hours to come. But I wish Toby and his mom had left before the police came, although I guess Lucy might benefit from having Grace there. Especially if she is confronted with Luke being (called) gay and attacked by Ryan's father due to this.
To me Simon is a more important and interesting character than Luke, but of course I'm still anxious to see the continuation of the merging story line.
Thanks Timothy. Simon is resilient and I think the sense of control he’s regained is good for him, particularly with his personality. I still think it will take him time to really start trusting people again enough to let them get close.
I predicted the content of this chapter. Great title "Left Waiting", this is what we have been doing for almost a month. All of those who have been injured could be recovered from their injuries or buried by now. Not a nice thing to do to your readers. I guess I am a little impatient, but I love the story and your writing. RayC
Hi Ray, and thanks for the review. Yes, you were pretty close - and glad you liked the tongue-in-cheek title.
I hate you. Side note: amazing chapter.
Thank you…at least for the second bit…
Aw, you're not so cruel Riley!
Obviously, Luke is the final bit to be resolved, so it makes sense you needed to tidy up Toby and Simon. I thought you wrote their two scenes very well. Toby was clearly affected in the garage scene, but then betrayed that some of his colors did not change in the bedroom scene. Simon handled both with lots of maturity, and that's what you wanted to show, I'm sure.
I have to admit, I was confused by Ryan's call. My mind wanted it to be after the shootings because, of course, we are after the shootings. Then I realized Simon's chapter's time span started earlier in the day. Whew!
Clearly with the police approaching, it'll all bleed out next chapter. (Unless you're going to slip in a tidy-up chapter with Elliott--grr!)
Another well written chapter, Riley!
Hi Skinny. As several have said, there was really no better place to resolve Simon and Toby, though I know it’s been frustrating to some. And yes, the timeline can be a bit confusing until you get your head around two things happening at the same time.
And the next chapter? Well, you know me…!
While it's nice to have some closure on Simon and Toby, I'll have to say the timing was rather cruel! Ack! We're still in major cliffhanger mode!
Sorry about that. Hang in there!
cliffy cliffy cliffy cliffy cliffy cliffy c-c-combo bre--no?...cliffy cliffy cliffy cliffy cliffy cliffy cliffy cliffy
You, sir, are almost as evil as JAR!
On a serious note, I liked how you wrapped up Simon. He got closure with Toby (who I honestly doubt learned anything, despite his tears. I know you said Toby isn't necessarily a bad guy, but his behavior is consistent with borderline narcissistic personality disorder. Simon may have been doing Toby a disservice by not telling Grace.). And, Simon also regained some of his sexual interest, which is difficult in the aftermath of sexual assault. He didn't go through with the trimmers or lube, but that he even thought of those things positively was a good sign. Besides, doing so might be weird to an audience waiting desperately to know whether or not Ryan, Luke, and Mrs. Alexis survived their ordeal. Here's hoping Simon hasn't overcome his trauma, only to be thrown into dealing with the loss of his big brother.
Hey there Dayne. I honestly doubt Toby learned that much, either. I’d like to think he’s going to go onto better things, but perhaps its best not to go there and find out. Hopefully Simon will find out about Luke soon, and will be able to deal with it.
Good chapter, good conclusion to the Simon and Toby relationship. Your titles are so appropriate. Kept waiting...😲.
Hi there - and thank you! Hopefully won’t have to wait too much longer…
As cruel as that was, I hate to admit that it was a good chapter as always! Hopefully we don't have to wait very long to find out what happened to Luke and Ryan!
Thats just evil.... But i am happy for Simon. It was good he got some closure
Okay Riley, I get it...you're cruel is a bit much...I'd say frustrating.
I agree with duglas that this is a needed chapter to build the scene for the family before they find out what has happened to Luke and Ryan. I too see the police car's actions as a promising sign....
Maybe the next chapter could be posted a little early?
Hopefully the next chapter will be out tomorrow, but not promising on that yet…it’s been quite a week this side of the pond.
Arrgh, another wait. Actually it's good to know that Simon is okay. He's put to rest his past with Toby. Yes there's likely still times when what happened between them will come to the forefront of his thoughts but he'll cope and move on.
This was a wonderful chapter. It tells us where Simon is and that the day continued as one of revelation and healing for him. Placing it here before telling us the outcome at the Alexis home is while frustrating, right. It was occurring simultaneously with the other event had it not been told now it might never have fit into the story. What follows on these day will overwhelm all else. My compliments on a well executed placement.
I take the last thing as a positive sign. Police cars do not come roaring to your house to tell you your child has died, that they do sedately and with respect. They race to your door when they have the dreadful news that your son/brother has been seriously hurt and you're needed at hospital and they've come to take you there.
Hi Douglas. You are right about Simon. There will still be some tough times, but in his head he’s back in control and I think that’s important. In regards to the reason the cops have turned up…well, we’ll have to see.
How could you!!!! I really hope we find out soon what has happened to Luke and Ryan
Next chapter coming soon.
You're cruel, we're the people "left waiting" :-)
Oops - sorry about that….
Killing major characters, Dughlas? Sad but true - he has done it before. Prefer your idea about Ryan though - more mileage in that one. The characters are too good to die yet. Riley........... loooooooooonnnnnnnng cliff hanger mate..................Frustratingggggggggg. Paz
Hey there, Paz. I’m writing this reply to your review - thanks for that, by the way - moments before posting the next chapter. Hope it provides some relief…
As you have been known to kill major characters I would not care to count on Luke's survival. But having he or Ryan die would mean your storytelling had become cliche and I don't think that likely. At least I hope not as you've far more talent than to need to settle for that.
My heart likes to think that the body diving into the pool was Ryan coming to Luke's rescue ...
Suppose time shall tell.
Hi Dughlas. Alexis is dead - probably - that’s all I’m saying…
Holy fucking shit, Riley. I'm speechless. What a psycho the General is (General, right? He never made Major...). Killing his wife, maybe his son, and now he went after Luke. I was hoping with all his incoherent babbling he had forgotten Luke was still there.
My heart is in my throat now wondering if Luke will make it. I hope to God the cops got there in time to save him. And Ryan!
I'm anxiously waiting for the next chapter. And maybe some Xanax...
Captain, Lisa - next step up would have been Major. Lots of questions now, and we don’t even know if Luke will make it. And what happens then, I’m not sure… Maybe best to get down to the chemist!
Two weeks in a row for hanging over the cliff. I'Ve been on this site repeatedly all day looking for a new posting. Making us wait is too cruel. Please don't cut to the airport back to Elliott or to what Simon might be doing. Great writing, so descriptive it feels like it is happening to the reader. Thanks.
I can only promise that if you come back this Saturday, you won’t be disappointed… No promises as to what you might find, though.
Talk about a cliffhanger, I real hope that Luke is going to pull through, there is so much more of his story to still discover. Elliot is going to be so upset when he finds out that Luke is injured and especially if he finds out that Ryan's dad caught them in a compromising situation.
Hope the next chapter won't be too long.
Hi there! Let’s face it…Luke might not make it. Then what? What would that mean for everyone?
600 reviews ! Congratulations !Your story certainly deserves it. And you have us all sitting here biting our nails and tearing our hair out. So talk about saying Please !!!!
For the 600th review for ET, THANK YOU Timothy! As always, you’re a star!
OH! MY! GOODNESS! My heart is beating so hard. I could see everything happening,you painted such a vivid picture. I don't want this to be the end in so many ways.
It was quite a vivid - and a difficult - chapter. And now what? I guess we have to wait and see.
I hope this is the last chapter, this needs to end. Maybe a short epilogue telling of both Ryan and Luke's death.
Mmmm… not sure what you mean, Karl. Still hope you’ll keep reading.
Where are the CLIFFHANGER POLICE??
Lol! But thanks anyway.
A frightening chapter, and very, very well described.
Hi Skinny - and thanks.
Oh man. The last chapter was good, but this one... Wow. I actually felt like I could picture the whole scene as if it were in a movie. Something about the way you write brings out all my emotions. I love that you do it, but I'm not going to lie... I get pretty emotional over your stories.
I'm glad that he got his mind clear enough to remember that he had a phone with him. That will hopefully save his life. As for Ryan, I can only hope that he makes it through. It would make me really sad to see something happen to him. If he does survive, I fear that they may never be together after this. I can imagine the amount of guilt Ryan would feel, even if Luke doesn't blame him.
I can't wait to see how this turns out, so pretty please post soon
Hello Matthew, and thanks for the kind words. I’m not sure Luke could have done much more than he did. Maybe if he’d have had the presence of mind to break a window when he was downstairs, he might have got out, though that also might have brought a bullet in the back a lot more quickly if Alexis came after him. Both Luke and Ryan will carry a lot if they survive.
Thanks for the review,
I don't have words right now. I am drowning too. Drowning in lot of emotions. Fear. Relief. Sad. Happy. Or against all, feeling-less. Hope is still there.
Don't make me like this again...
Hang in there Emi!
Have called 911, my heart gave out. What a chapter. Incredible. What a terrible, terrible experience, and whatever happens, the consequences will be scar Luke for life. assuming he survives at all. All this adventuring near the cliffs is getting far too exciting. We all might slip and...oh!
A cup of tea always helps! But you’re right, it’s touch and go for Luke.
We all want to think we would act rationally and heroically in dire situations. Unfortunately fear is the mind killer. How horribly well described.
Hope you don't torture us with too long a wait. First Brixit now this!
Is this Luxit, then? It could be. Then what?
Wow, what a chapter! Thank you for this incredible story
Shot and drowned! You're not messing about.
Very cinematographic scene: lots of movements, sounds, smells. We can feel Luke's fear.
Very well done !
What next, though?
Thanks Bleu. I think that what’s next is a complete mystery…if there is even is a next, that is!
Man, I hope Alexis is dead now. The man can easily get off with an insanity defense thanks to our legal system, no matter how bad his crimes.
Luke, hang in there. I hope Ryan isn't dead, but I don't hold out much hope for his mother.
I think we can safely assume Alexis has gone. But what’s he left behind. Hopefully everyone is okay.
Thank God he managed to phone 911. We shall have to hope the ETM's arrived together with the police and can resuscitate Luke before his brain is damaged.
It has to be touch and go for Luke, now.
I'll tell you, Riley, when I finished the chapter I was besides myself.
So, the sperm donor killed his wife and maybe Ryan too. Will he off himself also? Or will he try to kill Luke first? He's a psycho maniac who should have been locked up a long time ago.
I read the reviews late last night when I finished. I don't remember who said it, but one of your reviewers asked where Luke's phone was. I was thinking the same thing. When Luke was trying to get out of the locked and bolted door, why didn't he use his phone to call an ambulance? Or even run up and use Ryan's if he couldn't find his.
I'm afraid Luke is going to have to see that therapist Simon was going to see. He's going to be all kinds of messed up from this. Ryan too, even though Ryan's so used to the sperm donor doing shit like this. But to take a GUN out and wave it around? That's just crazy shit.
Now I'm on pins and needles, and I think I need some Xanax! lol
Anxiously awaiting the fate of Luke and Ryan...
Okay, so right now, we hardly know anything other than Ryan is apparently out cold and Luke is in a panic. Is Alexia capable of murder or is he basically a coward who will eat a bullet?
As I said in another review, I think it’s hard to think straight when you’re stressed, so what’s going through Luke’s head is a mess right now. Let’s hope he gets his act together soon, because he needs to get out and get help.
I read this chapter and the next chapter on my phone late last night, so now I'm here to review.
I'm thrilled Luke and Ryan seemed to have gotten past the anger and awkwardness of earlier. Although, the way they're looking at each other is pretty awkward since they both know what/who they want (even though Luke is confused atm).
But...Ryan's sperm donor stomping up those steps is NOT good! My heart was in my mouth when I finished this chapter, hoping against hope that Luke and Ryan were able to hurry into their clothes...course I was wrong.
Hi Lisa, I know you read this and the next chapter together, but I’ll just comment on this one for now. I think Luke is making the right decision about keeping his distance, but you can tell Ryan does’t see it that way. And will he really be able to back off, of will he just bide his time?
And now we have Ryan’s father bursting onto the scene. Pretty bad timing!
Yeah. The plates aren't up any more are they. Sure hope your able to get a new chapter out soon. I am now terrified knowing how dark some of your withdrawn stories got. You are so good in a totally evil kind of way. Thanks as always....?
Chapter coming on Saturday morning at the normal time… But what will it bring? Plates are still spinning…they’re just different ones now.
Holy Crap! I'm just numb! An awesome chapter filled with the right amount of suspense and ... Holy Crap! I just hope Ryan survives this so he and Luke can finally be together the way they are supposed to be!
Mmmm - I hope so, too. Right now, it’s not looking that good, but let’s hope Ryan is okay.
Riley you are excelling yourself.......... FANTASTIC chapter but PLEASE !!!!!!!!!! only one death and that it is the sperm donor..... Next chapter please..............your fans need a quick fix now....
Hi Jeff. No promises. Stay tuned. Fix on the way.
This is such a roller coaster within a roller coaster! In the first half of the chapter, you kept making us think Ryan's father's drunken rage was going to go down or find an alternate object to tear through... but no! It only went back up... all the way to using a gun against his own family! I hope this sick man gets what he deserves.
I refuse to believe that you would let Ryan die, especially after Miguel's fate in ISH. That said, you're capable of it, and I don't know where the plot is leading you.
One of the signs this is a great story is that it's starting to get its own fan fiction, right mg777 ?
Alexis is definitely unstable! I loved the fan fiction, too - as I said to mg, I’ve got an end to the story now! More seriously, I worry for Ryan and his mom…
I am on pins and needles right now. Wow, that was a terrifying chapter. I am still feeling hard to breath and sweat on my temples. Yeah, I expected it to happen. But there were no guns in my list.
I am sure that both Ryan's parents were hurt by the gun(a bullet each), but I was counting on his mother not to be dead. And never expected the confession from Ryan though.
Ryan's unconscious, his mother's possibility of death and Luke's terrified by these sudden cruel acts by Ryan's father.
I am waiting fingers crossed. This time you have to be better quick to publish the next chapter...
Maybe Ryan should have kept his mouth shut, and perhaps it wouldn’t have escalated?? Now it’s a mess.
We knew it was going to be bad when he didn't get the promotion. I expected trouble with only Ryan present. Maybe a defining moment for him. But you placed Luke right in the middle of it all and look what happened!
I agree with some of the other reviewers on what's probably coming up, but Luke better find a way to scram first fast first.
Great and exciting chapter, Riley!
Hi Skinny. I agree, Luke should get out while he can rather than face what’s in the kitchen. Let’s hope Ryan is okay.
Dying to leave...omg, please don't let it be Ryan. The previous reviewers had good points. Ryan's dad will probably eat the gun. I don't want Elliott and Luke to have this kind of thing in common. Ryan needs to survive so he can live with his grandparents. Maybe even the mom isn't dead and she can finally support Ryan. Oh, i can't even think right now. Good chapter.
So, maybe Alexis will swallow a bullet in a bit - then Luke needs to face what’s in the kitchen. Is that a good idea? Should he maybe call for help first? I dunno until we see how it plays out.
While this isn't quite what I expected it wasn't really a surprise either. We knew Alexis was never going to be promoted ... it was obvious from his disregard for fellow officiers that he was undeserving. We also knew he was violent towards his wife and Ryan and it seemed to be esculating. I understand Luke's panic, it's one thing to know Ryan's dad is abusive it's something entirely different to experience it on this level. Nothing in his life has prepared him to cope beyond simple "fight or flight". Kids are taught in an emergency ... get out, get safe, then summon help, don't become another victim.
This isn't going to end well ... the best we can expect is that the boys both survive. I think that there will be another gun shot in that part of the kitchen Luke can't see because I believe Alexis has come to realize what he's done and there is no way to hide it. He is a bully and a coward ... he'll eat a bullet. The first shot I think might have wounded Ryan's mom and the second killed her. Ryan is unconcious from that last blow to the head ... Luke is fighting terror but will ultimately come to his senses and call for help. Whether it's police and ambulance or parents first remains to be seen ... or ... will Elliot call him on the way home from the airport and the calming influence to allow Luke to begin functioning rationally once again.
This chapter was traumatic what comes next ...
Hi Dughlas. Let’s hope Luke doesn’t completely shut down in panic, because he needs to get moving and either get out or get help. I certainly wouldn’t advise hanging around and having a friendly conversation with Alexis!
Holy crap! You can't keep us in suspense like this! This is the worst cliffhanger ever! (which actually means it's the best.) This story is incredible. I hope it continues for another 80 chapters. I hope Ryan's not dead. Can't wait to find out what will happen next. As long as Ryan's not dead. Then again, Ryan's death would be one way to resolve the impossible love triangle. Plus, if Ryan dies, Luke would really have something in common with Elliot. Then again, if Ryan dies, I can't see Luke as anything other than an inpatient at the nearest psych ward. It would be much better for Luke's mental health, especially his self-esteem, if you could somehow engineer it to where Luke rushes into the kitchen, grabs the bottle of dish soap, squirts it right in Mr. Alexis' face, thereby temporarily blinding him and giving Luke enough time to scoop up Ryan and save them both by rushing out the back door. You'd need to give Luke enough strength to carry Ryan through the yard and all the way back to his truck. And, Luke would somehow have to be able to find his keys and press the right button(s) to unlock the truck, all while still holding on to poor Ryan. Then he'd need to somehow open the door of the truck and stuff Ryan inside before jumping in to the driver's seat and peeling away as bullets shatter the rear window. This scenario would give Luke a lot of confidence going forward. What would be even better would be if Ryan were to regain consciousness on the way to the hospital, and he's actually fine, so Luke pulls over and he and Ryan declare their undying and eternal love for each other, and live happily ever after. This would also give you the opportunity for a sequel where Luke and Ryan are the boring married couple, and thus seconary characters, with the main plot being the love triangle between Elliot, Simon and Jacko. There's probably a place for Toby, too, once he gets out of juvie....
Lol! Okay, am officially wetting myself! BRILLIANT - at least I have an ending for the story now!!
As Tim said, this was all totally unexpected. I get Luke being paralyzed by fear, and not thinking clearly, but when the door was locked, he should have seen escape through one of the windows...plenty of stuff to break it around. And, why didn't Ryan use something like a knife or chair to hit his father with? A kitchen is full of useful things, and he surely bumped into the chairs in the fight.
I hope the dad is the one who is shot at least once, but I don't hold out hope for Ryan's mother since she was struggling for the gun. Luke needs to move fast to get help if Ryan can be saved.
More please, Riley...as fast as you can! Just today, I'd checked to see if the status was changed to Complete or On Hold.
From a distance you might think - okay, I would do this or that, but I don’t think most people think or act coherently that well in a crisis. At the moment we can only make guesses as to what’s going on, but let’s hope Alexis leaves Ryan alone.
Well, shit, I didn't see that coming. I guess the best we can hope for is that he's only killed his wife and not Ryan too. Doesn't Luke have a cell phone? And why didn't he escape through a window - or don't they open in American homes?
Hard to know what Luke is thinking just yet - it’s all happened so quickly, he’s probably struggling to put one thought in front of another. Maybe the next chapter will shed more light?
Those plates in the air? Oops.
The plates…umm…yes…about them…
Oh, the geometric perfection of the triangle. Poor Luke, Ryan and Elliott...someone is going yo get hurt, and far worse than the major could do. A very touching and tense chapter...how is this going to play out? And then to have the major on the stairs! Oh hell.
At least it’s all on the table now. Maybe this is a good time for Ryan to come out to his father, though probably not. Once they’ve got some clothes on, I think Luke and Ryan need to go find some space somewhere, and Luke needs to take a good hard look at what he really wants.
A very emotional chapter, Riley.
The next chapter promises to be more so.
Thanks Skinny. The next chapters are going to be a sporadic over the next few weeks, but hopefully we’ll get the next one out soon.
It makes perfect sense for there still be an attraction between them ... for so long they each pined for the other without any hope and now suddenly. while it's currently pretty awkward given time they should be able to move past this. They need to remain friends, each is too important to the other to have that end.
The being naked together in the process of changing into swim trunks is perfectly natural, the uprisings are gonna fade quickly and Ryan's dad is likely to be too pissed to really take note. I'm glad Luke's there, it should put the brakes on any further abuse. Ryan's dad is an ass but to do anything in front of or to an outside witness ... well maybe he is that stupid, perhaps that's the reason for the chapter title.
Another nicely executed chapter.
I hope they can get past it too, though on this occasion it’s Ryan that’s acting like a bit of a jerk. Hopefully you’re right and they can get some clothes on in time and that Luke’s presence weill keep Alexis from flying off the handle.
But is it really the end of the road for Luke and Ryan - especially if Ryan heads to the hills with his mom?
Busted!!! End of the road for what??? Ryan and Luke relationship? or For Ryan being closet? And now his father heading towards Ryan's room when both the boys are on full attention and naked. Is he want another reason to get raze? Lots of questions only answered when the next chapters are live.
I just hope you won't screw the R&L relation. If that happens, I am gonna be very disappointed. Yeah I read about Elliot and soon gonna review there, but R&L is the charm of this story. I just hope you to take it away(again fingers crossed).
Nice emotional set of a chapter. And Nicely done. Now, like every time, Next Chapter!!! Next Chapter!!! Next Chapter!!!...
Good question, Emi. End of what road? Is that really it for Luke and Ryan? Does it really look like Ryan is about to give up?
Well Riley, you can't paint a more awkward situation than that. Despite wanting to remain friends, I'm not sure they can manage that--it will take a lot of discipline, which I don't think Luke can muster. As for Ryan, he has that, but how he must long for someone he can be himself with, hoping it would be Luke, and now he finds out he's missed that chance. Elliot is the factor which I think will cause them to drift apart, not intentionally, but because he has what Ryan had always hoped for in nabbing Luke. Their friendship, if it continues, won't be the same, and that will make it wither away.
Luke being present might curb Ryan's dad from hitting him if he comes out...but I really don't think so. He may even hit Luke as well for being the cause of it. We already know he has little control over his temper, and even less with his son. No, coming out for Ryan is not a good thing while he lives at home. Luke would find support at home, I think, but he doesn't have the courage to do it.
My main question is: if Elliot finds out he's causing a rift between Ryan and Luke, will he step out of the picture? I could see him doing that. We need a solution where all the guys find what they want, and that's looking pretty difficult to accomplish right now.
Wonderful chapter, my friend! More please!
I think Ryan is pretty clear where he stands, so does that mean they’re going to struggle to remain friends and, like you suggest, will drift apart? I think Luke will do the right thing if he actually could figure out what that was…and that is going to get harder by the day now! Ryan is NOT going to give up.
On top of that, will Ryan risk coming out to his father - or should he and his mom head to the hills to go live with the grandparents? I guess if that happens, then Ryan-Luke is over.
And what will Elliott do? I don’t really see him being that much of a ‘gentleman’, stepping away for the greater good. More likely is that he’s going to tell Luke to take a hike rather than wait to be dumped.
Updates are going to be a it sporadic the next few weeks, but I hope that what you’re hoping to see will come soon.
Wow Riley ... just wow!
Obviously, Luke is not going to dump Ryan's friendship ... and also ... he may have to do so.
I think it is important that Luke dropped his date with Elliot to see his best friend.
I love how you began this scene. Whatever else may be going on ... these two care about one another very deeply. That much is clear.
Yep, Ryan and Luke are totally fucked in the head right now ... as it should be.
I am so glad Luke had the balls to go see Ryan ... and damn ... it is all foobarred.
Wow ... this will take some sorting out ... lol ... a lot of sorting out ... so until then, I will just listen to Buzzcocks "singles going steady"
Missing you, Ox. Hope you’re okay.
Oh wow. First,I was just excited to see the update so early on Saturday. I cried a little when Ryan talked about Jacko and why he came out to him. The tension was so thick between Ryan and Luke, OMG. I thought maybe something would happen. Now this...Maybe it wasn't the right time for them, but those steps on the stairs...more tension. What an ending.
For good or bad, it does seem that everything is on the table now, and you can tell that Ryan has soooo not given up on Luke - though he’s acting like a bit of a jerk at the moment. Luke is right…he has to do the right thing by Elliott.
That should deflate them pretty quick, and putting on swim trunks will avert the disaster. Not that I think it ought to be a disaster to have Ryan and Luke admit to being gay to their parents, and it might help to get rid of Ryan's idiot of a father. At least with Luke there, he won't be able to beat Ryan up.
I guess there’s a possibility of getting it all out into the open now, perhaps with both setoff parents - though it might be better if they got some clothes on.
Oh my god, I sense an imminent desaster approaching....
Maybe they need to move fast…
Hi Riley. Difficult chapter to comment on as so many things can happen. Luke/Elliott or Luke /Ryan??
Sometimes people do desperate thing's such as liking someone so much they end up spying/stalking them, Ryan has thoughts he is trying to understand with his sexuality, and as he said what started as a prank soon spiraled out of control.
As Damion, Ryan could talk to Luke freely, letting his gay side out, it was not until Luke volunteered the info that he was gay did Ryan have any idea he had a like minded spirit close by.
Yes it was a shitty trick to play on Luke, but young love has a way of being Sooooo complicated at that age, Ryan and Luke are both starting a journey both thought they were "the only gay in the village" and when Ryan found out his school boy crush was also gay he was shocked and also felt betrayed that Luke had not confided in him sooner.
Two young guys at an all boys school who are macho to all their friends find out that boys are better than girls, that is a recipe for disaster so of course they kept their feeling to themselves, think back to many of our school days at the pain and bullying that happens if your "different"
Luke is scared, he's not one of the brightest bulbs in the chandelier at times and reacted as any scared person would, strike out first before using his brain.
If Luke and Ryan had even an inkling I am sure both boys would have been hiding the sausage ages ago, but as I said, the environment at school and Ryan's home was wrong.
As for Elliott, he has had experience, he has lost his first love and still has not recovered from that., to be honest I think he is only out for a quickie, he's at a different school and in different circles which in Luke's mind means its safer to come out, but I am not sure it will go as dreamy as Luke may fantasize at night.
I hope Luke/Ryan give it a go as now more than ever Ryan needs a shoulder to cry on and the support of a good friend and lover.
Well that's my ten pence Riley, probably got things wrong but hey who's perfect.
Thanks for some great feedback and perspectives. I think everyone agrees that Ryan’s stunt with Damon got out of hand and came round to bite him on the backside. Luke lashes out first and thinks second - in the circumstances, not surprising. Elliott…just out for a quickie? No, not convinced there, but I think you’re right that the context of Elliott being at a different school makes him a little safer for Luke.
As for Luke and Ryan. Well they’re talking at least. Who knows where that will lead?
Lovely chapter. I am Team Ryan all the way, though.
Yea! Team Ryan!!
Luke is a prick! Yeah, that's right!
He and Ryan have been best friends Luke's whole time in the U.S. - Ryan smitten with Luke and Luke with a crush on Ryan. And the first pretty face that comes along, Luke is besotted and Ryan is forgotten.
I agree Ryan was wrong with the Damon act and reading a private message but ultimately he was not out to hurt Luke - on the contrary - he was surreptitiously trying to establish whether or not Luke was gay, and if so, to try to move their relationship toward what it seemed they both wanted. Any other method of establishing out Luke,s orientation was fraught with danger. In spite of Luke's feelings for Ryan he made no attempt to find out where Ryan stood
Btw, Luke said he recognized that he was gay 6 mos. ago. I think he really meant that he was only ready to admit it 6 mos. ago.
Luke should take a good look at his actions in relation to Ryan.
Hey Larry. I agree, the 6 months was only when Luke admitted it to himself…maybe that’s actually the only point when you are really gay - when you finally identify as being gay to yourself?
Yep, Luke has it pretty bad for Elliott. It’s still real, though, or at least it feels that way to him, and you can see how he feels about it by the amount of texting that had been going on that day. However, now he’s faced with a dilemma as he try to come to terms with who and what Ryan really is. And do you think Ryan is just going to roll over and let it be? At least they’re talk now…
Thank God Luke and Ryan are talking, and I'm assuming they made up. I suppose Elliot came into the picture at the wrong time. I feel for Ryan, I really do. Maybe Elliot can just be a good friend to Luke. I think Luke is going to be in turmoil now that he knows Ryan likes him...like that.
Great chapter, Riley!
Hi Lisa. Wrong time or right time for Elliott? It depends on your perspective, I guess. Luke likes Elliott, but I think he hasn’t yet come to terms with what it means to know that Ryan likes him…like that!
First, Riley this is a great story. The sad thing is that even though both Luke and Ryan had strong feelings for each other they did not trust the other well enough to open up and say who they really were. Then enter Elliott who did trust Luke enough to say who he really is. I am very much looking forward to where Riley takes this story.
Thanks Karl. I think the school context is critical here. Luke and Ryan have never opened up to each other as being same-sex attracted, but in the setting of an all-boys school, that’s not surprising. I went to a school like that…in fact more than just a few bits of ET are actually my own experiences! Which, I might kiss and tell at the end!
But, as you say, then entered Elliott and really set things in motion for all of them!
I find Luke and Simon difficult to relate to in terms of their characters. It may be clearer to say as main characters they seem weaker than the supporting characters, Ryan and Elliot. To me Ryan and Elliot have much stronger characters. Elliot dealt with unbelievable loss for his age. Ryan's entire life is almost Job-like. Ryan's hang wasn't a hazing; it was a mean-spirited humiliation. Afterwards he counsels his priest. Can you say "Christ-figure?"
My vote is for a Ryan-Elliot pairing. They could have a correspondingly deep and strong relationship.
Hello there - and thanks for your insightful review. In fact, if you go back far enough when I first started this story on GA, ET won the annual ‘readers choice award’ for the best protagonist in Ryan Alexis. Like you’ve noted, Luke has never been the hero. He messes up and seems to blunder from one crisis for another. I think we have to remember he is only 15/16, and he’s also a cross-culture kid and you can’t underestimate what that does to a young lad like him, when they have to start all over again in another country/culture.
Elliott has gone through terrible loss and heartache and that has made him inwardly quite strong. Ryan lives a hidden life and, to cope with his home life, is also quite determined and strong minded.
Would Ryan and Elliott make it together? It’s a thought…
It seems likely the author who has pulled his two main characters back from disaster will not allow these two young men who have loved each other for years to reconcile with what both always wanted. Hopefully Elli will be given something so the pain of in Safe Hands will not be repeated. Am sorry to think that the story is coming to an end.
Hello, Randy, and thanks for the review! It does seem that it’s all falling onto place. Ummm…about that…
What a great update! I'm just glad it is out in the open between the two boys. Now, Luke is going to have to make some decisions. I hate to see Ryan hurting and fear so much more to come but at least he told Luke his feelings. Now will Luke have enough sense to at least tell Ryan his feelings. As nice and sweet as Elliott is(and probably what Luke needs), I think I am Team Ryan.
You probably noticed, but Luke’s not that good at being decisive, is he. At least it’s all in the open now, and let’s hope they can deal with it and start talking.
Well you pulled Si back from the gay teen suicide ledge. I sure hope Ry gets off the ledge too. Hope something works for Ellie but he has the most functional family in the story and perhaps in all your stories so... Guess we wait. Thanks as always for your work.
It is important to remember that Dickens, Twain and most of that era's writers also were serial writers and at some point people were held in abaiance to see if Tom survived the cave.
You’re probably right about Elliott’s family being the most functional, though they too have had their moments. It’s all a journey - today’s easy normality can quickly become tomorrow’s crisis. Maybe that’s what Twain was about…
Arghhh, Riley! I like what you're doing, how it's all unfolding, but my nerves are shot!
Thanks for the review. Take a swift drink!
Nicely done Riley -- forcing the reader to spend a week or so, trying making Luke's decision for him!!
Thanks, Skinny. A lot of the pieces that have been in the air are coming down to rest, though maybe not in the way you would think…
At least they are talking. That's good. Maybe their friendship isn't completely blown to bits.
Hopefully not. It’s up for grabs as to where they go from here, though.
Well, Riley, at least Luke and Ryan are talking about their real selves now. They have to put aside all the anger and try to find the bond that they had before. Both had good reasons to hide, but they're letting the gay issue blind them to all they've meant to each other in the past. Luke can't possibly equate his feelings in such a short time for Elliot with those he's had for years with Ryan...I hope some calm talking will remind him of that. I like Elliot too, but he's a new addition, and I think that the novelty is what is adding to his mystique for Luke right now.
I haven't read Elliot's story yet, so that may influence my opinion, but we'll have to wait to see how things work out, I guess.
More please, and soon!
Maybe Simon could be a match for Elliot or Ryan? Isn't there only a two year difference between him and Luke?
I’m fairly sure they will be able to get past their meltdown - the question though, still, is what happens now? I agree with you that Elliott is the new kid on the block. On the other hand, you can see that with all the texting back and too, Luke is infatuated and can’t see past that. Perhaps Ryan is hoping that he novelty will wear off if he plays the long game?
And now that you’ve read Elliott’s story (In Safe Hands) as you’ve noted in another review - it’s not that easy to make a black and white choice, is it! Elliott isn’t just a nobody who doesn’t matter…
I guess I should be angry. This is the chapter I did not want to read. It was obviously coming. Ryan just got hurt beyond anything I could ever imagine. I so wish I could step into the story and give him a hug. You have allowed us to get to know Ryan very well.
The worst part is that I am not very unlike Ryan. There are striking similarities. And once, just one time, I fell in love with someone I should not have fallen in love with.
I'm not sure about the weird ultimatum. That must be Ryan at his fucked up most. At my fucked up most, I could do that.
I understand why Ryan needed to be Damon. In some strange way, it makes perfect sense.
Hey there Ox. Always great to see your perceptive take. Now, if you were Ryan, what would you do? Would you give up, or would you take a step back to regroup, and then…what? What would you do?
Call me a rock-heart if I am not crying. Like every time I am being worry about Ryan. Dugh may be right, but like Luke; I know him from this story. Both me and Luke don't know more about him. So I was expecting a Luke and Ryan possibility(fingers crossing).
And here I agree with Bleu, you really do know how to torture your readers. And now we are all demanding, when we get to see the next chapter???
Nice development, I can say. And hoping for the best...
I think Ryan is a bit disappointed, but I don’t see him completely giving up. He might be willing to play the long game with Luke.
And the next chapter…ummm…about that…
For so very long I'd hoped to see Luke & Ryan together but now ... I've loved Elliot since first meeting him in Safe Hands and watching him evolve into the person he has become I want to see him happy and think he really could be with Luke. Someone is going to be hurt and both Ryan and Elliot have endured enough hurt to not deserve to be hurt once more ...
I agree, whatever happens now is going to painful for somebody. Is there a way out of the dilemma?
Thanks for the review, Dugh
Well, at least Luke and Ryan finally talked about it.
Hi Timothy. Well, they’ve started to talk at least - you’re right there. Let’s hope we still get to be a fly on the wall for where it goes from here.
Oh my God, you do like to torture your poor readers, don't you?
I have no idea where you will be taking this next, apart from the fact that Ryan seems ready to accept that Luke and Elliot are together.
I’m not sure, Bleu. Ryan can be a bit of a schemer. Do you really think he’ll give up that easily?
Ryan just went crazy with his paranoia/obsession about Luke seeing someone, anyone. Even Sam (whom he didn't know was only 13!)! And reading Luke's text message - not good. He put Luke in panic mode.
And now the cat's out of the bag times two. Luke now knows Ryan's deception (the whole Damon debacle), and the fact that he may or may not be gay. I have heard of best friends turning on their friends because of their sexuality, so I can understand Luke's fear. Of course this is Ryan we're talking about, and even if Ryan were straight, he'd never out Luke.
This was an awesomely exciting, chapter, Riley! Glad I'm finally caught up!
Hi Lisa - glad you’re caught up again. I don’t think either of them handled the day that well, with both of them obsessed - for different reasons - with what was on Luke’s phone! I hope that they can both calm down and start talking.
I see Luke as a disappointing "fair weather" friend - shallow and lacking loyalty. He seems to have dropped,Ryan, his best friend since moving to the U.S., when he meets Elliot. (Sounds like an all too common example of "such" relationships - if you get my meaning.)
Yes, Ryan went a little too far with his Damon impersonation, and reading a private message, but considering the history between Luke and Ryan and Ryan's abusive home life, Luke should have been more understanding and interested in getting at the core of Ryan's remarks rather than punching him out in a pique of anger - smacks of a bit of immaturity.
Hi Larry. well, I think you’re right. Luke has always been lacking in a a bit of backbone, I think. he has a history of letting people down. Maybe we’re expecting too much and treating him as if he were an adult rather than a teenager?
It’’s be interesting to see how he processes it now.
Just read this chapter for the second time. Phewww... what a mess. Too very unhappy friends at the moment.
And so many places this could go. Will Ryan and Luke see each other before Elliot comes to pick him up? Will Elliot realise that Luke is troubled by something ?
Also I wonder whether the AT&T calls Ryan received are nothing or not.
Angry and confused…but surely they can get their heads around this, can’t they? Oh…but there’s still Elliott, too. Mmmmmm
God!!! What have you done Riley. I was more worried over Ryan than Luke right now. He may be lied, but never ever given Luke any problem and never judged. He might have gone confused about the sudden change but never blamed Luke about it but himself. What a poor guy.
Now you made me more interested for the next chapter. Please please please publish it as soon as you can... Eagerly waiting...
Hi Emi. Some think Ryan deserved his punch out, others think Luke is acting like a kid. Bothe right? Both wrong? Next chapter coming soon.
Today's events certainly have sent the Luke/Ryan/Elliott triangle spinning off in a new direction toward unique and unexplored territory. I guess only you know where it will end up.
The little line oxala quoted was so much a prophecy ...haha
Great chapter Riley, that forced some of the things juggling in the air down to the ground (including Ryan).
Ryan decked… Did he deserve it? Probably. Should Luke have done it? Probably not. All in all, a compete mess!
Thanks for the review Skinny. I had to smile at Ox’s little prophecies, too
Ryan has my sympathies for certain things about his life (like his father) but here he doesn't even a little. There is really no graceful way to recover from this. First Toby, now Ryan. These two brothers can't seem to catch a break from people they're really close to. But since I'm a huge Elliot fan I think he'll be solid for Luke. I didn't necessarily enjoy the actual events as they played out, but I liked this chapter. The plot thickens, important stuff happened and Luke discovering the truth about Ryan happened sooner rather than later. Also Ryan deserved that punch. Not sure where he'll go from here, but the kid need to sort himself out. Hope he can.
I agree - it’s a freaking mess that got dumped into the open in as crummy a way as possible. However, now it’s there, what will happen? Ryan was a bit of a fool the way he handled it, and Luke went off the deep end, too. Can they repair the damage?
From an old punk band I like, called the Circle Jerks, "We all gotta duck, when the shit hits the fan!" Seems like an appropriate anthem for the chapter .
Hee hee .... Ryan did get the phone, just long enough ... sneaky sod! And just in the morning, Ryan ("A Difficult Day"),
Nobody fucking decked me—and certainly not Summers!
In spite of the all the flying .... ah debris ... I think that it is a good thing. All the cards are on the table, except the one Ryan appears to be hiding underneath. He better play it well.
You’re kidding me? They actually had a band called the Circle Jerks, lol! Hopefully the …errr…debris hitting the fan is a good thing in the end, though someone still might get hurt.
Thanks for the review, Ox.
What a royal mess. A friendship irreparably damaged, Ryan still in real danger, and Luke - solid, cheerful Luke - about to go spinning off into the deep end. jealousy has ruined more than one friendship, and Ryan's certainly blown this one up. Wonder if there will be any pieces large enough left over to be worth picking up.
It’s not gone well, has it! Is it too late to start checking the floor to look for some pieces?
I have not commented on this story for a while, but this chapter was interesting.
It happened by chance when Simon was picked to be quarterback. His performance impressed on of the assistant coaches, which led to his friends also being impressed.
The scene and banter in the lockerroom opened up the truth to Simon's surgery and behavior. With the help of some smart comments from his classmates, as well as some intelligent remarks from knowledgeable classmates, Simon seems back on track.
Thanks for this relief. Now for more about Toby, which should be coming in future chapters.
Hi Les. Thanks for dropping in a review again. Simon did well, and his friends did well, too. It’s a good start, and hopefully he can keep moving on, now. As for Toby. I think he’s the character in ET that most people have a problem with in that it’s hard to hate him, yet what he did was really wrong… Can there be reconciliation?
yesterday being saturday i always greatly anticipated your latest chapter. but, whoops, nothing in my inbox from gay authors notifying me of a new weekly chapter. this has happened before, after all you have a life to lead too. but eventually i got the notice. but sunday morning again i checked to see if i was notified. nothing. lucky i then checked the ga site to see if you had posted. and you did!! but i don't think there was any notice sent from gay authors. at least i didn't get one.
that poses another problem for me. i have been following your updated early chapters per the notification from ga. i have been rereading as you changed those early chapters and it provided a great prospective in seeing the boys in the early stage of the story. i think that you have been thru chapter 21 of the updating.unless there have been additional omission by ga. if so please let me know. thanks
that leads me to another conclusion. toby. he was an important part of the early story i guess I'm in the minority but i feel sorry for toby. what he did to simon was bad but considering the circumstances i think there a need for compassion toward him. i like him and his mother. how about toby and simon reconciling?
this chapter was very good, being about dicks and simon reaching out to bring back his friends. he did a good job and you provided that.
thanks for writing,
Hi Bill. I dropped you a note separately, but the short story is it turns out there server issues they were in the middle of fixing.
Toby is an enigma and a dilemma. Can there be redemption? Reconciliation, even? If there is, I guess we’ll see what that looks like.
Thanks for reviewing!
Simon's progress and his determination to retake control was heartening.
All very well written btw
With our worry over Si hopefully out of the way, I echo CG's concern. The Luke/Ryan/Elliott triangle is going to make for some pretty interesting reading. I hope you have your pen sharpened.
Hi Skinny, and thanks for the review. It was good to see Simon getting back on his feet, though I still don’t think there any magic quick fixes for what he’s been through. Still, friends are a powerful medicine!
An excellent chapter Riley! I'm so glad that Simon has begun to heal the rifts between him and his friends, and the one within himself. Danny was an amazing person who came to the rescue more than once, and did a lot to connect Simon with the real world again. I wonder if he might become an interest for Simon? Or maybe Jacko?
I wasn't sure what to make of Toby at first, and definitely didn't like the way he was treating Simon at the end, but I have to wonder if his actions aren't the result of how he was introduced to sex in Sarasota? From the description, it sounds like he was forced into it, and maybe he thinks that course of action is how it should be, since that's about how he went into things with Simon?
Now, we need to sort out Ryan and Luke...and Elliot. Ryan has no high ground to stand on since he wasn't honest with Luke either, and if he's not careful, he'll lose the best friend he ever had...and a potential love. If Ryan and Luke manage to connect romantically, that makes me very sad for Elliot, who is an innocent bystander--and if he connects with Luke that way, will Luke be able to forget his feelings for Ryan if/when Ryan tells him his secret?
Sometimes our friends can surprise us, even when we have messed up. I reckon if you invest enough over a long period of time, it will come back around.
Yep, I like Danny too. He has a lot going for him. As does Jacko. Will either be in Simon’s future, though? You’re right about Toby, I think that his experiences in Sarasota left him scarred, though he doesn’t realise it. He’s always been ‘damaged goods’.
Ryan’s going to make a difficult situation worse if he isn’t careful. And with Elliott in the wings, it’s going to be awkward. So what’s Ryan going to do? Keep shut about it, or say something to Luke?
Finally, some sunshine for Simon. Great dialogue and interplay here, you've brought that out really well. Maybe Simon's course won't be quite as choppy as it has been. Now about Luke.....and Ryan......and...
Thanks Parker. Yes, and about Ryan and Luke…and… Next chapter coming soon!
I am glad you brink back Simon to his normal sense. I was worried about him. And description of maturity in boys in the name peer pressure and all was nice. I enjoyed it. Friends are friends even though you behave like shit, right?
Nice chapter Riley. I liked it...
Hi Emi. I think friends can sometimes be the worst or the best - and at times they have an incredible capacity to blow you away with kindness you never expected.
Thanks for your review.
Yay. Youth resilient eh. So glad for this chapter and seeing Si rebound. Another well done chapter.
Thought you might like that…
Thank you riley,
Simon really grows in this chapter. I was horribly worried about him. I wrote in your forum, because I felt some fucked up need to defend Toby Skeertit, that Si was the golden child of et.
[Quote] Danny was young, and he'd been brought up by his dad. Simon knew he had only lost a slice of foreskin. There were worse things in life to feel shit about if you let them get to you! Danny definitely knew how to live! He nodded to the Elf. "[Quote]
This boy in capable of enonormos empathy. I wish we all had that in us.
I have to admit, I really like Danny, too. As you say, he has empathy and isn’t afraid to be who he is. We all need more Danny’s around us - or be them to other people.
Good chapter Riley.
Being young everything seems an uphill battle that in reality is a mole hill. Simon has turned the corner as far as his friends go but have we seen the last of any problems with Toby??
Toby I think has the makings of a mini bunny boiler, and has a dark side to his nature.
Luke's confession hes gay may have been the start of his coming out but as for Ryan's possible betrayal of Luke's trust leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Ok, so Ryan started out innocently with Damon's identity and to be honest he has always had even if not known back then, feelings for Luke, but lets get this in order, Ryan has nothing to get the arse with he has not come out to Luke for the same reasons as Luke has not come out to him....terrified of losing a good friend who really means a lot more to each other than they care to admit.
If the sperm donor is promoted get him killed off somehow asap, Riley you have created a character who pushed my buttons from his first introduction I really really REALLY hate him and as for his mum, her attitude to Ryan getting belted was disgusting.
Time for the wily Gramps to return and sort things out.
Ryan needs to calm down , he knows Luke's secret and know can safely come out to Luke but what about Elliot???
Riley, great chapter as always sorry if I went off tangent and included comments for the last couple chapters but I wanted to see where the chain of thought was going before I reviewed.
Always an enjoyment when you post a chapter.
Hi Jeff. Not sure what to do about sperm donor - suggestions accepted as long as they are legal!
I agree, Ryan needs to calm down and try to step back a bit. This hasn’t started well, but he really needs not to make it worse.
Thank god that awkward situation is over and done with and went well. If Simon can somehow relate to his dick again (no matter how abnormal I still think non-medical circumcision is), it's a step forward. I'm glad everyone shot Marco the jerk down; for once peer pressure might be useful, but unfortunately he seems to stupid to get it.
It’s a big step forward. I agree, sometimes you just want to poke Marco with a sharp stick!
Thanks for the review!
Oh man, I'm like everyone else; I totally didn't see that coming with Ryan being Damon. Holy shit! Why on earth would he DO that? He thinks Luke is duping HIM? HE'S duping Luke!!
Of course I do understand why he would be pissed at Luke (but as Damon). After all, "Damon" spilled all his secrets. Luke could have at least hinted around here and there during the entire time they've been chatting.
But how is Ryan going to act toward Luke now -- now that he knows Luke's just like him? Will he accidentally give anything away that Luke will question how he knows? It'll be interesting to see.
I really like Ryan. I always have. But I really like Elliot too. Hmmm, they could have a poly-something-relationship. I forgot the name of it. lol
I'm glad Simon is at least acting more like his old self. Although I still think therapy could do wonders. Of course that's only if his folks decide to send him, and of course I can't see Simon really talking about what happened with anyone, therapist or no therapist.
Awesome chapter, Riley!
On to the next one!
Hi Lisa - as always, it’s fab to hear from you! As Steve often notes, there are plenty of plates spinning, and we’ll have to see how Ryan is going to decide to deal with the Luke problem. On a different front, Simon seems to be improving. Luke in the meantime is starting to have a crush on Elliott…
All a perfect recipe for disaster, lol!
Holy cow, did not see that coming! Ryan is actually Damon...well this sure just got a lot more complicated! And now that he knows, what will happen when or if he finds out that the guy Luke likes is Elliot?
I need to check for the other story about Elliot...keep the chapters coming!
Hi there - yep, you might want to read up on Elliott if you haven’t already done that. The story is called ‘In Safe Hands’.
As you say, with Damon turning out to be a lot closer to home than Luke yet realises, things could get complicated!
I was shocked that Ryan was Damon I thought it was someone from the school but I was expecting one of the straight guys who was looking to find out things from Luke and out him.
I am sorry that Ryan was afraid to come out to Luke before he met Elliott. Now i am looking forward to the next 40 chapters. Get writing Riley!!!
Mmm - someone else from the school? I never thought about that possibility, So, if that had been the case, who do you think it could have been?
I've been reading this story for the past day or so, and I wasn't sure what I thought of it at first, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it now. It's been an emotional ride with Ryan's problems and the cruelty at the Academy, but I'm hoping things are changing there now that some consciousness raising has been going on.
I like Simon and Toby's antics, but Luke is still a puzzle--I get the fear of being discovered, but he's not even trying to meet someone? With all the revelations Ryan has shared with him, I'm saddened that Luke won't reciprocate at all--Ryan has shown himself to be trustworthy, and a good friend who will lend an ear, but Luke remains totally silent, not even daring to approach the sexuality issue. Now, with the appearance of Stacey again, I hope he won't feel the need to date her for cover? That way lies the easy route of gay fiction.
More please, RIley.
Hello there. I’ve read some of your work, too and enjoy your writing!
Thanks for picking up ET and sticking with it. I think a lot of people feel ambivalent about the story because of the title, but it’s always satisfying when a reader begins to get drawn by it.
Luke has always been a complicated character who seems to live on the fence however much things stare him in the face. As you know, he has the ability to completely drop the ball sometimes! Him and Stacey? We’ll see, but personally I doubt it.
Ugh. I'm having ever harder times on the story. I always liked both Toby and Ry a lot. I am glad you are back and the story is still amazing but it feels like it is off in directions that it was not heading earlier. I imagine I will enjoy where you take it because you do weave a fine tale but just sayin I'm struggling a bit. Pax.
Now I feel bad Don’t lose hope!
Poor Ryan. He and Simon have become tragic foils to Luke's relatively sunny year. You show Ryan's pain and desperation perfectly; only a completely unhappy boy would resort to stealing his friend's phone. The self recrimination over what he might have done to get closer to Luke; the sad, sad, unending tread of "if only" will soon be worn permanently in his brain. And his brutal father and self anesthetizing mother cannot begin to understand or help. There is the real danger that Ryan will do himself irreparable harm before his father manages it. Please let him find some escape from his intensifying misery.
Hi Parker. Why is it that the people who get to worst deals in life often seem to be the ones that get hit time and time again with more bad stuff? Non of it seems fair…
A difficult day for Ryan, indeed! And I'll bet it gets more difficult when his father returns, promotionless.
Whichever and whatever happens, the looooonnnngggg anticipated Ryan-Luke pairing seems more unlikely as Elliott warms to Luke. The story gets even more dense!
A great chapter btw in showing Ryan's angst.
Hi Skinny. You’re probably right about Ryan’s father - nobody knows how that might play out. As to Luke and Ryan…is it already over? I hope not, but who knows…
A really difficult day indeed. Ryan's head is about as twisted as it's ever been. Perhaps the best lie of the morning:
So the Damon pretense with Luke began as an accident, which makes it slightly less desperate, slightly less low. The aspect of this chapter that surprised me the most was that I found myself hoping he would get the phone and just figure things out ... lol. My adult self thinks Ryan simply needs to bite the bullet and come clean to Luke. However, I can remember myself at that age and how I reacted to stressful situations. In context, however discombobulated, Ryan's feelings and behavior make sense. Hopefully, some twist of circumstance will provide an alternative course of action before he does something STUPID, like steal Luke's phone .
I think you've done a great job of making Ryan's character believable. While I can't condone what he's been doing, I can't really condemn it either. Once more we see just how tenuously Ryan holds some sense of normality, some sense of self worth.
Thank you! Ryan’s headspace really is in a mess. I still wouldn’t put it past him to steal the phone, either, though he probably should back off and come at this another way.
Well, I am VERY LATE to this chapter and everyone has said it all.
But Ryan/Damon's discovery of Luke's orientation, right after our minds finally wrapped around Luke coming out to Elliott and the budding romance there, was just so beautifully done.
Very exciting development for Luke and Elliott. Of course, this could go south, too. Ryan will be hurt that he missed out on Luke, or Ryan will make a play for Luke and Elliott will be left out. And, sadly, I can't decide if I want to root for Elliott or Ryan. They're both likeable characters and both deserve a satisfying HEA (even if it isn't with Luke).
Also, Ryan kinda made his own bed and now has to lie in it. I can imagine Luke would be very hurt if he found out that Ryan had been posing as Damon. I remember that Luke had confided in him because he felt safer with someone who didn't know the people in his life.
Hey there Dayne! It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Will Ryan try to push to find out more? Is he going to even risk confessing about Damon? Luke seems pretty fixated by Elliott, and I don’t doubt that the trip to the airport with Estela will be interesting, too.
Awesome!!! Riley you're a genius. This is brilliant. And people said you had no idea where you were going with this story. Ha! Can't wait to find out what else you have in store for us! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thanks mg. Damon/Ryan has been cooking since almost the first chapter of the tale. It was nice to get there finally! It looks like its going to be an interesting week coming up!
Thanks for the review.
Holy bombshell! Some of the pots that were on the boil, so to speak, might have just boiled over! I can't see how this can be good for Luke and Ryan, and wonder what kind of spanner it could throw in the works between Luke and Elliott. Brilliant stuff, Riley. What a clever, if not saddening, twist. Can't wait to see what you have in store next!
It’s a mess, for sure. Ryan went off the deep end and the whole Damon pretence has come around to bite him in the backside. Luke has it bad for a certain Mr Carter, and it looks like an interesting week ahead for them all!
I didn't see that one coming either. Nice twist. But Ryan's negative reaction puzzles me.
I count Ryan’s meltdown to the fact that he’s had such a bad day. From his perspective, it’s just one more thing that’s wrong in his world just then. Let’s see what the next day brings.
WOW!!!!! I was so excited for Luke finally coming out to someone. Then I was worried about poor Ryan losing out on Luke and how he would be devastated once he realized what happened...for some reason I was worried that Luke might be talking to someone he knew on line. DID NOT SEE THAT ONE COMING. Great chapter.
Yep, Luke seems to have got off the fence and survived the fall! And Ryan - oh dear, this thing with Damon has come round to bite him on the backside!
Thanks for there review
You must have been laughing so much at my complaint in my review for the previous chapter.
I'm getting fed up with Luke's inability to deal with his orientation and come out to Ryan and Elliot.
I'm getting fed up with Luke's inability to deal with his orientation and come out to Ryan and Elliot.
I did have to smile…you’re right!
I was just a bit confused by your comment about Luke coming out to Ryan. In fact he hasn’t. He tried to come out to Damon, though that ended up a bit of a mess for both sides of the conversation. As to Ryan’s reaction, I think you ave to see this in the context of an extremely tough day for him. With everything that’s going wrong with his family, it must have felt like the last straw to find out that Luke has been less than truthful.
So somewhere in the earlier versions of the story we knew Ryan was gay;Right? Again it is a bit hard with the chapter revisions over time and add that my geazerhood and all is a bit us sure. At any rate one bomb down and the other bomber circling. I like all three so much it is hard to imagine how you will work it out without Ell, Ry, or Luke being hurt... You will won't you after some necessary angst? You keep putting more spinning plates in the air. Thanks, I think, for another great chapter. Pax. Steve
Hi Steve. Yep, I think your geezerhood is getting the better of you, lol! We’ve known that Ryan is gay since we first met Mel at the Army cookout - that’s not changed at all. Will one of the three get hurt as some of the plates begin to drop? Who knows….
I have read all of your writings submitted to GA. I've enjoyed all of them and find the reviews of other readers very interesting. I did not see Ryan's hidden identity coming, but find it to be a very interesting twist in the story at this point. I eagerly await each new installment and I'm glad to see Simon coming back from what I thought might be the brink of suicide for him.
Hello Ray. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review - it means a lot. Ryan’s alter-ego has been waiting in the wings since almost the first chapter, so I guess it was quite satisfying to eventually get here! Now we have a dilemma which might not end well.
Thank you Riley. An absolutely excellent chapter in all respects!
BOOM! That's the sound of the bombshell we've all been waiting for ... actually two BOOMS. Nagasaki and Hiroshima!
The entire day with Eliot and his family was reminiscent of Estela's party back in Spain, including swimming and the rain at night. Nice touch!
Elliot's reaction to being asked about Miguel seems to indicate that he is still deeply impacted by the sudden loss. The entire interaction in the car was fantastic. Luke's trepidation upon entering his home was perfect. Yep, his world has just completely changed, with one conversation. Everything feels different now. The exchange between Luke and Si was beautiful. Finally, Luke might just be the brother Simon needs. And the phone call and texts ... yep ... Luke's got it bad!
And Ryan! Oooof! I feel terrible for him, even though the fake identity was pretty desperate and low.
I enjoyed every word of this chapter Riley, every feeling conveyed, every idea expressed. I can't wait (even if I have to) until the next chapter .
Hi Oxala - and thanks for the review. BOOM indeed, and world changing stuff. Yes, Luke has it bad, but what’s now going to happen with Ryan, who knows…
Wow! I am overwhelmed. All in one chapter you have released the flood gates of emotions between these three guys. A lot of revelation for one evening. Good work it is clearly time for this to happen and clearly makes for some very interesting dynamics among the burgeoning friendships. Good work , keep it going!
Thanks! It’s going to be interesting to see how this works out. Is somebody going to get hurt?
Okay there"s curve ball - Damon is Ryan!! Didn't see that coming. Good job because it isn't implausible either. Somebody (maybe everybody) is going to be hurt in this love triangle.
No, it’s not implausible - and the next chapter gets to the bottom of it a bit more.
You will be posting the next chapter tomorrow and I already anticipate something crucial happening. Hoping that Luke will finally start asking Elliot the right questions. Also, when Luke sees Ryan, I believe he will want to be a better friend than he was at the time of the Hang. So he might be torn between his interest in Elliot and his interest/friendship with Ryan.
And then there is still the unsolved mystery of the fire in the Art block.
I’m just about to publish the next chapter…and there could be a few surprises! Thanks for taking the time to pop down a review.
I hate you. Luke is so close I can barely stand it. Anyways, seeing this blend of In Safe Hands and English Teen has made me so happy. I'll be sad to see the turmoil in Elliot that I imagine will show soon.
Please don’t hate me…at least not yet…
Still glad you are enjoying the read, Rockon!
Eek. Another fine addition. I do hope Estella is right to push Luke and hope he does ask about Miguel. But... More plates in the air. You are good but I'm almost feeling I have to reread both stories to sort it. Pax. Steve
Hi Steve. I think Estela is a typical girl. She can’t be doing with all the mooching around and wants it sorted! In typical Spanish fashion, having decided that Luke will do as boyfriend material for her old friend, she’s going to push until it happens.
It's obvious that Estela senses something in Luke. She probably notices him checking Ellie out when he thinks no one is looking! I wonder if Elliot will get upset with her if Luke does bring Miguel up. And really, it may be too soon in their 'relationship' to talk about Miguel. After all, Luke doesn't know Elliot all that long.
I love Natty! She's so cute with Luke!
I'm getting concerned about Ryan though. Will he be waiting for Luke when Luke gets home?
This was another great chapter, Riley! I'm looking forward to the next one now that I'm all caught up!
Hi Lisa - glad to see you caught up, and thanks for the review. I think we have to expect that Estela knows all the behind the scenes stuff with Elliott, and know he’s got an interest in Luke. SHe’s quite pushy, though. Typical Spanish!
Elliot's scents - Polo Red, Prada Amber pour Homme Intense, Luna Rossa by Prada, or Eros by Versace.I kinda imagine Elliot being wearing something Prada-like. For shits and giggles - I think Ryan wears Lacoste pour Homme, or Lacoste Style in Play.And Luke (if he did wear cologne) would wear Light Blue pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana, or Boss Bottled by Hugo Boss.
Lol! Trust you! Now I’m gong to have to look like a wierdo in the shop trying on all those to see if I like them!
I also got teary-eyed when Luke was studying the painting. It's still gotta hurt Elliot to see it all the time. Well, at least every time he's in the dining room.
The meal sounded fabulous, and now I'm starving, so thanks for that, Riley! lol
I'm glad Luke is staying for a little while longer; I was also disappointed his folks wanted to leave so soon. I thought it was kinda rude also -- just eating and leaving, you know?
Ok, on to the next chapter.
I wish Ryan's mom would grow some balls and tell that sperm donor off! But of course, she's scared shit of him -- that's obvious. Then again, I would be too.
I totally agree with Dayne about the reason for the sperm donor's rejection of major. I'm sure he can't stop his bullying ways when he's at work. And then he comes home and takes out his frustration and anger out on Ryan. Ryan needs to move in with his grandparents.
If he drives to Luke's he's going to be so disappointed that Luke isn't home.
I did like how you incorporated 'In Safe Hands' into this chapter.
I'm sure Luke and his folks will have a blast with Elliot and his family (and Estela, of course!).
I wanted to say how much I love this story and how much I look forward to it every week. This week, I found myself wondering what are the 3 brands of cologne in Elliot's room? I thought at first that perhaps it was deliberately not mentioned due to a reluctance to use real company names in the story -- but then, a few paragraphs later, we learn that Luke is wearing EUROBOY underwear. So what kinds of cologne does Elliot use? And especially, what is the name of the one that Luke finds so intoxicating? Enquiring minds want to know!
Thank you! It’s always great to hear how people are finding reading ET. You’re comment about cologne has sparked off quite a lot of feedback in the forum!
I guess I'm being unfair, but I'm getting fed up with Luke's inability to deal with his orientation and come out to Ryan and Elliot. But I guess it's a moot point while he cannot decide which of them he would like to date. I'm also not sure I like Estella being pushy, and Sam can piss off and tell Becky to leave Simon alone.
Oh, and Luke has a good point about his mum and her perfectionism, just as he has had several other clever insights. But since he never shares them with her, he's preventing her from ever changing and improving. Also annoying...
Thanks for being the 500th review, Timothy!
Unfair? Maybe. Don’t forget that Luke is still only a teenager and this kind of stuff is tricky at the best of times. I think we’ve also seen that Luke tends to struggle getting off the fence for all kinds of reasons and situations. Will Lucy ever change. I doubt it. She is what she is.
I'm thrilled Simon broke down in Luke's arms. I hope Simon can feel comfortable enough to confide in Luke. I'm so glad he's trying to get back into his life.
And kudos to Lucy for trying to put those cops in their place. Jeez, what nerve they had? WTF were they acting so suspicious of Si? Assholes.
Truthfully, when Toby admitting to hating himself (for what he did to Simon, I'm assuming), my heart went out to him. If he's been doing a lot of soul-searching and he realizes what he really did to Simon, he'll be hating himself for a long time.
Another excellent chapter, Riley!
The chapter wasn't quite what I was expecting ( no Ryan or the fallout of his fathers fight) but nice to see a pleasant meal and the interaction between Luke and Elliot. I did catch the Manuel reference as soon as I read the "she's from Barcelona" line. Good job incorporating that!
Hello there - glad you got your review down after all.
Don’t you just love Fawlty Towers - or was it Warty Towels! Lol! I couldn’t resist brining it in!
So, nothing about Ryan, yet, but that not going away, I suspect. Luke, on the other hand, seems smitten. I think Luke is crushing badly, and would like Elliott to be gay, but would have no idea how to handle the situation if it turned out that way!
All along I was thinking Toby set the fire on purpose, but then reading Skinny's review, it makes more sense if Toby was just trying to burn the picture. But...if he was trying to just burn the picture, it would have been in worse condition than it was, right? And if he was trying to do that, then why would he have it in his hand? Unless he just passed out from the smoke and never let go of the picture. That makes more sense.
I'm surprised Simon wanted to go see Toby. Maybe to ease his guilt? I'm curious how that conversation will go. I'm sure his mom and Grace will notice how distant Simon is toward Toby.
I felt so badly for Elliot when he was asking about the fire. Some things you just never forget. What happened to Miguel left such a huge impact on him, and he will never forget the circumstances surrounding his death.
On to the next chapter (I can't believe I missed so many chapters!).
What a wonderful meal!...Oh, where was I. Yes, I was glad to see Elliott get Luke to stay a bit. He's been sort of throwing mixed signals. It will be interesting to see how Luke behaves not under Lucy's eye. And, of course he now knows Estela is not Elliott's gf.
Riley, your description of the meal dialogue was fantastically well done! Kudos.
Can't wait for the next chapter!
Hello Skinny - you have to go and cook the dessert for yourself, now - trust me, it’s a delight!
Very enjoyable chapter.
I was a little surprised the Ortiz painting was in the dining room. I had expected Luke to notice it in Elliot's bedroom. I guess the bedroom would be too close ... interesting ...
I also enjoyed your note ... i'll confess, I got a little teary when Luke noticed the painting ... I really did love ISH
Yes, the painting was in the dining room. I reckon that Elliott wouldn’t be able to deal with it being too close for a long time, yet at the same time he would never throw it away.
Glad you enjoyed ISH
It's no wonder few teenage boys come out of the closet with everyone - and especially parents - always assuming they want to date girls.
Its tough being a teen, for sure!
Being a sailor I hope Si had the sailing day he deserves. Glad to see him finding his way up. I worry how Luke,who has serious problems with sorting things, will sort out Ry and Elliot. I am guessing and hoping Ry is heading to Luke's while his Dad goes through the opening rounds of being cashiered. Clearly his career is done. Wonder what the possible move of Ruth, Toby, and Daniels will be? As always more questions than clarity. thanks,I think, for another chapter.
There’s nothing like being out on the water, that’s for sure, Steve - though I think it’s going to take time for Simon. And as for Luke - well with Elliott in the sidelines, it’s getting complicated. And Ryan and his parents? Who knows!
Hm. I wonder if it has occurred to anyone, especially Ethan, that all his posturing and aggro shit could be why he'll never get promoted. Although, this may be a moot point. Most of the unit witnessed Alexis punching his own damn kid (after instigating a fight with another officer, no less). If proper procedures are followed, Daddy dearest should find his ass ground under full weight of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, on top of any civilian investigations. Hello, court-martial!
And you better believe Andrew Burford is going to make sure Ethan Alexis gets his ass handed to him. Forget making Major, Alexis is over.
Hi Dayne. I’m not sure it’s that cut and dried. It’s not clear how many others saw the fight between Ethan Alexis and Blackman, and Ryan’s injury was more due to a reactionary side-slash, not a full-on punch. I doubt Blackman will take it further.
We’ll have to see - you may also be right…
It looks as if Ethan is going to be passed over again. If so, big changes for the Alexis family and Ryan.
But it's good to see Ryan back - not much has been said about him lately. He is, potentially, the most interesting and mature of the central characters - hopefully you are going to delve more into his experiences and the many sides of his personality.
ET is such a well written story - I look forward to each new chapter.
Hi again Larry. Creating characters that are believable is important to me. And everyone is different - just as in real life. Most of us aren’t perfect - like Luke, we have flaws, and like Ryan, often we have to cope with difficult lives behind the scenes.
It will be interesting to see what happens on the army front.
Hi Riley, another awesome chapter, I had a bit of deja vu with this chapter, did you write some of this chapter about the fire ,Toby and Simon when you originally started this story as it seemed i had read part of it before.
Glad Simon is on the mend, but still early days and I do not think it is all over.
Ryan, what can I say?? the boy needs a hand.
When are you going to kill that son of a bitch sperm donor off?? as painfully as possible would be preferred.
Its time Ryan and his mum took there leave of him at the side of his grave where he belongs so both can get on with their lives.
For one moment I did think Ryan would snatch a knife off the table and stick the pig with it, or maybe an accident cleaning a gun??? but that would be to simple and no way do I want to see him get his that quick without screaming pain and suffering .
Not sure about your deja vu, as I haven’t written his before. Maybe you dreamed it?!
You really don’t like sperm donor, do you - can’t blame you. I also think Ryan and his mom should leave, though his future might be bleak if Ryan stuck a knife in his father on the way out!
I so hope the Si and Luke end up moving forward the final scene would lead one to expect that but in this story I'm not sure I would bet on it. I do hope Toby gets sorted. If he did set the fire he will get some other help/consequences if he didn't he hopefully will be scared enough to start talking to?
Me I'm still waiting to sort out the missing Luke dramas.
You have a lot of pots boiling. The adventures continue. Pax. Ste
Lol! You know it’s never going to be what you think, Steve!
Great to hear from you again.
A moving and, really, pretty significant chapter Riley.
Si is trying to move forward but, understandably, running into little roadblocks. I'm hoping that the last poignant scene will lead to the truth coming out.
I'm not sure Si is quite ready for that to happen, but I also have the sneaking suspicion it will be to Luke, when it does inevitable occur.
Thanks for this Riley!
Hi Skinny. I think it will take time for Simon. He’s careful in most things, so I think getting more control over things is going to be his first goal. After that, it may depend on how things are with him and Toby as to what he does next.
Really glad to see Simon is starting to get over what happened, I still think he should tell Luke the whole story.
Can't wait for the next chapter.
Mmm - hot sure what Simon sill do. he probably doesn’t know himself yet. It will probably depend on what happens next with Toby.
Thank you Riley for yet another beautifully vivid and realistic chapter. I'm so relieved that, finally, young Simon seems to be turning a corner, and Luke, too. The brotherly hug at the chapter's end has been a very long time coming and was a very special and tender moment - perhaps more for Simon and us readers than Luke, but who knows. Thanks again for this great story.
Thanks Milotin - as you say, it’s great to see Simon on the mend. Thanks for your review
Ok so... perhaps Toby didn't set the fire, and it was unfortunate circumstance that put him in peril. The fact that he just stayed there though... One minor tidbit, the police wouldn't have been able to legally question Si without mom there anyway. He's only 15 and still a minor. I did think it was rather odd that they were so suspicious of Si about the fire, there was an hundreds of kids there, just because he happened to show up at the hospital? Toby had other kids concerned about him.
Toby... I know people want to feel sorry for him, but I still don't. Unless Grace was just being polite, he told her they "decided to break up". Yeah it was totally mutual and not because he committed a sexual assault on the boy he's supposed to be in a relationship with. He says he hates himself, but he doesn't seem to want to accept responsibility for what he did. Maybe I'm misjudging him though. Is he actually going to miss Si, or is it the sex? Sad though that Si feels the loss, he cared about Toby. Still does.
About the end of the chapter? FINALLY!!! Also Si ready to make the effort to start talking himself. I think progress can be made from here. Great chapter, and looking forward to the next.
Hi Spikey. Actually I thought he same at first - that Simon is a minor and therefore couldn’t be interviewed by the police without a parent present. Perhaps your a Brit too, as that is the law here! Friends who work in law enforcement in the USA put me straight on this. In the USA there is no such restriction and law enforcement officers can interview a minor without parents being present if they chose. In fact, they hardly ever allow a parent in the room by reasons of tarnishing the value of the evidence.
In the situation at the hospital, I think allowing Luce to join the discussion was because they didn’t particularly see it as an official interview at that point. They were just trying to get some background.
Thank you Riley ... another wonderful chapter.I am relieved that Simon is making a conscious effort "to feed the right wolf". To my mind, that's half the battle. I was a little amused at the end, "fifteen year(s) old or not - started crying". At almost fifty, under similar circumstance, I would certainly want a shoulder to cry on. I bet the tears will do him some good. It's good to see Luke available, loving, and patient. Let's hope he can maintain it, especially the patient part. I am sure there is a part of him that would like to push ... seems to get it from his overbearing mother ... .Simon does not need an interrogation from anyone, not Luke, and especially not Lucy!I think it was good for Simon to feel some sadness at the loss of his relationship with Toby. Ironically, the half truth Toby told his mother seems to be serving both Si and Toby well, at least for the moment.I still feel terrible sad for Toby. Unlike Simon, he really has no one. I am glad that it appears that he did not set the fire.I look forward to the next installment!
I’m the same - I can cry at the slightest provocation…even at the news! Simon is on the mend at last, and it’s beginning to look like Toby didn’t set the fire - though why he stayed in the building…mmmm…
As much as we've been hating on Lucy and Geoff for how they've handled Simon, has anyone really mentioned Grace? We can't exactly fault them for not recognizing Simon's real issues -- none of them have the benefit of an omniscient narrator to show them what happened that day. However, Grace did know about Toby's past, and, considering her profession, should have known he'd need therapy to work through those issues. Hopefully, she will do right by him.
As for Simon, I worried that he'd continue to shove down everything, but he finally decided to "feed the right wolf". Him breaking down to Luke was gratifying. Even if he doesn't manage to open up about what happened or what he's feeling, simply admitting that he hurts is a huge step in the right direction.
Interesting point about Grace. She’s quiet perceptive, but even she can only work on what she knows, and that might have been nothing more than that Simon and Toby had a bust up. It had happened before.
Simon seems to have turned a corner now at least, and I think you’re right, just verbalising stuff can help, even if it’s just a beginning.
Si has always been a great kid. He seems determined to get past what was done to him by Toby and the ensuing surgery. I don't believe he hates Toby and had he been more seriously injured Si would feel badly, that doesn't mean Si is likely to forgive him soon. I know it seems Greg, Lucy and Luke are somewhat oblivous about where Si's head is at but what happened to him is so far beyond anything they might imagine they are to be excused. Now that Si has confided in Luke we can expect a more filial involvement in helping Si recover. Eventually the truth will out.
I tend to think that nothing much in life is black and white. It’s like yo say, you can care about someone and be totally fed up with them all at the same time! I hope Simon is on the mend, too - though he’s not going to be the same guy he was before.
Thanks for the review, Dughlas.
Things seem to be falling into place, but I'm sure Luke and his parents are capable of fucking them up again by assuming stuff and pushing Si at the wrong moment. I wil hope for the best, and at least Toby is out of the picture. He probably didn't set the fire, which is a relief, and now he has told Grace hey have broken up, she won't expect Simon to visit. Maybe she can keep Lucy from pushing issue - or the policemen might be of use in making Si's mum reluctant to have him associate with Toby for a while. She did well with them, I have to admit, a proper tigress in proecting her cub, lol.
Capable of totally screwing things up - oh yep…what it is to be human! Lucy was quite handy wasn’t she, lol!
A truly fantastic chapter!! I really liked how Simon is starting to heal but it is a process and not an abrupt resolution. That makes it much more realistic and compelling. Thanks
Thanks Roadrunner - much appreciated!
Wow. Still dumbstruck by where that went.
And THAT is always a good thing. You are one of the very few authors anywhere who can do that to me Riley.
I am looking forward to seeing what is coming, though I wouldn't be keen in saying that if I were Toby or Simon I think lol.
Good work again Riley!!
Glad you’re enjoying the read! Next chapter coming soon, and I wonder what Simon and Toby are going to say to each other?
Glad Simon will visit Toby, even if all it means is self preservation. Please God the whole event means Luke and Simon really talk about things seriously. It would give Luke a much needed spine stiffening, if nothing else. Great chapter and wonderfully written, as always...
I agree - come on Luke, open your eyes for God’s sake!
Perhaps Simon has carried his behavior too far, but it's hard not to sympathize with him. Toby in fact raped him. What's hard to understand is that Luke and Simon are very close brothers - why didn't Luke take the "bull by the horns" and make every effort to find out what was so troubling for Simon to be acting so difficult to the extent he was.
Again, this seems to be another example of a character fault in Luke. To love his brother as much as he seems, he should have been persistent in getting to the core of Simon's problem. Instead, he seemed to just walk away from it. Simon needed someone so close to him, near his age, and fully aware of his sexual orientation to have gotten to the bottom of the problem.
Now, on another subject - how about Ry and Luke coming out to each other. It's long overdue.
I agree - let’s hope that Luke grows a pair and realises soon that he has a brother!
Luke and Ryan - just makes you wanna tear your hair out sometimes! I guess when you’ve known somebody a long time, its impossible to see past your existing conceptions of them.
Thanks for the review, Larry.
I think I'll need to know more before I can pass judgment on Toby re: the fire. The other stuff is easy to pass judgment on.
Suicide by fire sounds ...awkward. I have a hard time believing it's what he did. More likely tried to burn the painting. Whatever it was will come out.Si and Toby ought to be an interesting moment,.Luke and Si hasn't run its course yet. That'll probably be where it all comes out.
Not to mention poor Elliott.
Great chapter Riley!
Thanks Skinny. Did Toby set the fire? I dunno, seems hard to believe. And yes, ELliott’s past still has some power to hurt him it seems
So Toby set fire to the art building and nearly got himself as well as three other men killed. Honestly that doesn't engender much sympathy from me. I thought Simon's decisive break from Toby a couple chapters back was handled maturely and was the right thing to do. That Toby kid is a mess and while it's not entirely his fault, I personally don't see any future relationship with Si being anything other than volatile. This reaction is a prime example, the kid should be in therapy, not in a relationship. It would have been nice if Simon could have been there as a friend, but Toby broke that relationship and comitted an unforgivable act. Simon shouldn't force himself to continue their interactions, and he damn well shouldn't feel guilty, Toby raped him for crying out loud.
All that being said, I found the conversation between Luke and Si at the end rather frustrating. The fact that Luke even thought he was with Toby to begin with shows how aloof the kid has been about this whole thing. I mean I know Si has been secretive but come on. Beyond that, it would have been better, and more realistic honestly, for Luke to just ask why Si had given Toby the picture back. And for Si to simply say he broke up with Toby. What was the point of vaguely asking where the picture was like he didn't know,and Si to dodge the question? It just kinda drags every minute detail of this whole drama out needlessly. Even if Si had avoided the why of what he did, just freaking have that part of the conversation out of the way.
I agree with Timothy though, I hope Si gives a polite "Glad you're okay" and goes about his business, and does tell Toby to fuck off if he tries to guilt Si in any way.
Thanks for the review Spikey. If Toby really did set the fire, then it’s hard to know what he thought he had to gain. Was it just to make a point? I don’t think Luke will avoid the ‘picture’ issue for much longer, even though he didn’t get the chance before Simon hurried out.
Thank you Riley!
Fantastic and riveting chapter ...
Luke is finally piecing the puzzle together, even if it took a sledge hammer to get his brain in gear.
I hope Toby didn't set the fire, but, .... ooof ... I imagine the arson investigators will be eager to chat with him. What a mess all the around! I am relieved that he is nominally safe, but whether he set the fire or not, there appears to be much damage to his psyche.
The situation between Simon and Toby, as well as the apparent emotional/psychological state of each boy has certainly become extremely sad and horrifically ugly. I find it difficult to imagine many adults who would cope with such deep complexity well. While Si's anger is certainly understandable, returning the painting had an element of cruelty. I am still holding out hope that Simon will be able to demonstrate some forgiveness. Not easy!
It appears that the cat is almost out of the bag ...
I look forward the reading how it plays out.
That’s a really intriguing thought - that returning the painting has an element of cruelty to it. I think you’re right and perhaps Simon sees it as a way of striking back and showing some form of ‘power’ over his situation.
Incredible chapter Riley, and although it has still left questions it has become the catalyst for the truth to come out.
Luke know knows there is something seriously wrong with Simon / Toby and I am sure it will all come out in the wash but think it may come to blows between the brothers before long as Simon is still so stubborn and has a quick temper.
Some time ago I asked if Elliot was over the death of Miguel and I think the answer is no, he had no way of knowing if the crash killed his friend or the fire but all is not well with him.
Simon would like to put what Toby did behind him and carry on with his life, he still thinks of Toby but is now guarded, who knows what way the story will take but the great author Riley Jericho
Waiting for the next chapter already
Hi Jeff. I think you are right and we just got our first indication that Elliott its still affected by his past. Aren’t we all?
Tha was a relief, and I guess Simon going down to see Tobias may be a good idea for both of them, although I'm a bit worried about what will happen when they are face to face. Sparks may fly - is that what you're trying to hint with the chapter title?
But I believe the truth needs to come out, even though the time and place is wrong. I shall hope Simon will simply tell Toby he is pleased that he survived the fire. If Toby tries to guilt Si into forgiving him, I sincerely hope Si will tell him to fuck off. Even if both their moms are present. And if Toby set the fire to kill himself, I will be extremely but I think the boy is too egocentric and cowardly to do that - or perhaps he's exactly selfish enough to pull such a stunt to get back at Si.
Hi Timothy. Actually, ‘Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire’ is a chapter title taken from the book Simon is reading - The Hobbit. It idea, however, is the same - just when you think it’s bad, it goes and gets worse! If it really was Toby who set the fire going, why would he do that?
Luke's attraction to Elli has me wondering about Ry's and Luke's long attraction to one another. We've now had 59 chapters and still those two don't know they're both gay and have deep romantic/sexual feelings for each other. Is that relationship ever going to be consummated, or will the Elli/Luke replace it?
One of the reviews may have already brought this up.
Hi Riley. Sorry but re-posted here after mistakenly posting this on ch 67 so you have two reviews the same guess senility is setting in Was this chapter on a parallel time line as the previous (ch67)where Mrs Reed looked out of the window and said Oh my gosh?? ( Fu*k me that sounded like something from star trek) lol
Ok, you said the Art Block was on fire and immediately thoughts go that Toby is behind the blaze.........or is he??
Maybe its someone else?? we have "strangers" at the school or we may have someone nearer home, the plot thickens, but whatever or who ever started the fire I am sure things will be reviled.
Talking of reviling things when is the sex side of things going to rear up? I have never know so many pure and virtuous boys in all my life, no one seems to want to have sex !!!
Thanks for a few great chapters which are very thought provoking.
Looking towards the next chapter.
All the more reviews for me, lol! But thanks for this one. Yes, we are following both Luke and Simon’s day, so maybe it’s possible that Mrs Reed is seeing the same thing as Luke - you’ll have to wait and see.
Good question - and an important one about who set the fire. It could be Toby, but we still have no idea where he is.
“No one seems to want sex!” Lol! You’ll have to go to Nifty for that, then! I actually think teens think about sex almost all the time, but only on the inside. It’s probably more realistic to life that they don’t spend every day jumping into bed with some new friend and bonking the heck out of them!
A great and perceptive review, Jeff - thanks!
Hi Riley. Was this chapter on a parallel time line as the previous where Mrs Reed looked out of the window and said Oh my gosh?? ( Fu*k me that sounded like something from star trek) lol
Ok, you said the Art Block was on fire and immediately thoughts go that Toby is behind the blaze.........or is he??
Maybe its someone else?? we have "strangers" at the school or we may have someone nearer home, the plot thickens, but whatever or who ever started the fire I am sure things will be reviled.
Talking of reviling things when is the sex side of things going to rear up? I have never know so many pure and virtuous boys in all my life, no one seems to want to have sex !!!
Thanks for a few great chapters which are very thought provoking.
Looking towards the next chapter.
Simon can try some hydrogen peroxide - if that doesn't work, a weak bleach solution.
I totally loved reading about all the competitions and how good Owen and Elliot were in their respective sports.
Now I am really worried about Toby. Shit. How will Simon feel if Toby burns in the fire? He has enough on his plate, and now he'll feel guilty about Toby.
Can't wait for the next update, Riley!
Hi Lisa - you’re all caught up! Toby is a worry. There’s a fire, but where is he? If something happens to him, then it really will go pear-shaped!
First of all, I'd get Landon alone and beat the fucking shit out of him for the uncharacteristic spanking - a spanking that was more a personal vendetta than part of any previous "hanging". And it would be a long time before I let Luke off the hook especially since Ry put himself in harm's way to protect his friend.
I sort of felt that, considering the depth of Luke and Ryan's friendship, that either Luke's failure to come to his friends aid was your attempt to expose a character failure in Luke or, as a writer, you failed to have Luke respond credibly based on their close and closeted sexual feelings for each other. And if those feelings had any element of love, it's hard to believe Luke wouldn't go to his mate's aid.
My sympathy for Luke is at a very low point - Ry is my "Knight in Shining Armour" in this story.
I think you have hit a nail on the head, and actually I think we all have character failures. Maybe this is one of the things that can bring reality to a story? This is a big one for Luke and he soon begins to regret what he did - or didn’t - do for his friend.
I'm praying Toby didn't go and do something stupid out of fear, desperation...humiliation?
I really loved the quote: "The one you feed." It fits perfectly with the wolf Simon's been feeding. I hope this is a turning point. At least he knows that he needs to do SOMETHING, even if he doesn't know what that something is.
Now I'm afraid to click on the next chapter!!!
I am thoroughly enjoying AETC in the USA. I only began reading it this past week. I noticed it in Nifty when you first started writing it but never cracked a chapter. Why? Sometimes titles don't look interesting and so many of them in Nifty aren't worth starting. Or, I might have been put off because I've resented my whole life that I never had the chance to make that decision about circumcision.
But, I'm certainly glad I gave it a try. You're a really good writer with credible characters - with each chapter I'm looking forward to the next one. Fortunately, I didn't start the story when you first began writing it, so I didn't have to go through the experience of your story disappearing for a long period of time (noted in the first review above and which often happens with Nifty stories).
One minor observation: Uncut American teens are not unusual in this the 21st Century.
Now that I got that off my chest, I can go on to Chapter 25, etc.
Hi Larry - great to hear from you, and thanks for picking up on ET. I hear what you’re saying about the story title - it can definitely get under people’s skin one way or another! Hope you continue to enjoy the read.
So good to see Estela again! (one 'l'' or two?) I do remember Alejandro, vaguely though. I didn't realize Ryan looked like him.
This chapter was pure fun, Riley! It was so nice just reading about the kids enjoying a day of competition and fun, no angst, no anger, just fun hanging out with friends. And of course so good to see Elliot again! Now how does Todd (it was Todd, right?) know Elliot?
I pray that Olly can come through on his 'deal'. And of course good for Owen for showing them who's boss of the hockey stick!
I suppose the next chapter will go into what Simon did during that day...
You’re on a roll with the reviews, Lisa! Estella (2 l’s - maybe a typo?). More details will come out int he next chapter fitting it all together.
Owen and Olly are another story, though not sure if I’ll ever get to tell it properly.
I can't believe I never read these next few chapters! Where the hell have I been????
I really can't fault Simon's parents; they don't know the extent of Simon's emotional pain/damage. They just think his sullen behavior is because he was cut when he didn't want to be -- nothing else. I'm glad they did throw the therapist out there. Simon does need to talk to someone.
I really thought Simon was going to slip up and tell them when he came down to apologize. Too bad he didn't.
Another great, emotional chapter, Riley!
Hi again Lisa. I agree with you about Geoff and Lucy. They get a bit of bad press in the reviews, but their just ordinary parents trying to do their best as they see it - tough when you only have half the picture.
Thanks Riley, truly excellent writing and story telling here ... wow!
And talk about a "hang". I may not be hanging in a nasty school bathroom, but it's much further down from the cliff. First thing Monday, I am trading in my Parker Owens voodoo doll for a Riley Jericho model !
Oooof, looks like Toby blew a fuse or two or three .... or maybe Si? This is too ugly and I can only hope that neither gets hurt. In spite of what some might think of him, I really like Toby and would like to see him find some peace. I wish Si would forgive him, or at least confront the situation in a balanced way, but then, he is almost as whacked as Toby right now ... urg! Ugly!
I agree with SkinnyD, shower scene was great; too funny all the way around.
Thank god for Estela. Without her, we might be reading about Elliot and Luke bumping into one another on occasion a year from now. Go girl!
If your knees hurt on Monday night, blame skinnydragon!
Yep, Estela seems to be into a bit of matchmaking. Simon is trying to get his head around stuff, and Toby…well who knows where Toby is!
Thanks for the great review.
Oh Riley, you little devil! You stretched a cliffie out over two days!!
I think Estela wants to play the matchmaker. Will it work? Both those guys just might be ready. That is, if Luke doesn't get burned rushing into the building.
btw, the shower scene was priceless.
Thanks Skinny. Yep, it looks like Estella has her own agenda! I wonder if she’ll get her way?
I sure hope Luke is right about Simon's friends being able to keep their mouths shut, or his brother may have a hard time forgiving him. Oh, and did Luke even listen to them or to anything Si has said in relation to Toby for the past weeks? Why on earth would he assume Simon is with Toby?
Please, no stupid running into burning buildings by Luke or Simon, right? It's bad enough that Si will probably end up blaming himself for this too. I hope his parents find him a really good therapist.
Hopefully Luke is on the right track with Simon’s friends - but you’re right, let’s hope it doesn’t make it worse. As for the Art block…is anyone in fact in there?
I love this story. This is my go to site when I need to relax and lose myself in a story. Thanks for sharing with us! ( and a very happy late birthday to you)
Thanks for reading, and for your reviw.
My first instinct to 'Oh my gosh.', was what the heck did Toby do.. Waiting will be torture..
Clearly Toby did not realise the magnitude of his actions. Is he that naive though to think he and Si could just go back to being? I liked that Simon finally laid it all out. He needed to do that for himself and to get through to Toby. How the chips fall is another matter.
The one you feed. I hope Si recognises which wolf he'd been feeding, or now, the one he needs to. He might need help still with that..
Great chapter Riley... Anxiously awaiting the next.
Let’s hope it’s a turning point for Simon, Defiance, though you’re right, he still might need help - he just needs to be willing to accept it.
Another great chapter, hopefully Simon is starting to see he is about to implode if something doesn't change. I really hope the cliff hanger isn't Toby doing something stupid, but he also needs help. Hopefully he might confide in Grace what happened.
Has Toby done something stupid? Maybe…maybe not…
Will the next chapter shed any light? Maybe…maybe not…
I'll be honest, after the words with Toby and him throwing the picture that Toby gave him at his feet, my feeling of the Oh my gosh is probably of Toby hanging from a rope outside the school.
Simon is dealing of the fallout of being raped by Toby. Toby is dealing now with the prospect of telling his mom that he f-uped again and they need to move again. Will Toby be strong enough to do that? I think Simon will realize he let the evil wolf won and now he will have to deal with these consequences too.
Toby hanging from a rope - mmm, that’s a grim thought. Maybe…who knows…, though you’re right, for Toby, there are consequences.
If my fears about the cliffy are right that will be bad enough but also if Toby does something dramatic the repercussions for Si would be even more convoluted than they are now.
By the way what have you been changing in the chapters you have updated?
Who knows what’s gong on outside - time will tell, Steve.
As far as the early chapter updates, these are purely putting right some grammar and spellings. No change in the story.
"The one you feed" is a variation of many stories that meant much to me over the years. I hope si can find it in himself to feed the right wolf ... not always as easy as it sounds ...
No, you’re right, it’s not. And I don’t think Simon - even if he hopes for it - will find everything suddenly perfect once again. It’s a journey.
I hope Simon is about to turn to corner on his anger. Now, even though Toby is un the wrong, I hope he gets help also and doesn't do anything stupid. Now, what the heck is happening outside on the field. Looking forward to the next chapter.
Next chapter is on its way - though whether it will bring answers, I can’t say!
Great chapter. Finally, Simon tells Toby off in a way that's direct, not cryptic. Maybe Toby will figure it out, and change before he hurts someone else. Love the quote about the wolves...perfect for him to think about. But Simon still needs a counselor. It's gotten to that point, really...
Young people can be quite resilient, maybe more so than we think. Let’s hope Simon is going to be like that.
OMG a cliffie from Riley?
Si got the needed lesson he'd been avoiding from the wolf story. It seems to have gotten through the walls he had up.
The Toby encounter was ...interesting. I can't help but think the view outside the window is somehow related. If it is, then it's not good.
A great and brooding chapter Riley. Don't keep us waiting too long!
Hi Skinny. The Tale of Two Wolves certainly seems to have hit a spot…but as to what’s going on outside…well…
Finally. A glimmer of hope for Simon is something I thought we'd almost never see! Loved this chapter and I can't wait to see what has rattled the grouchy librarian.
Thanks for the review - great to hear from you! Let’s hope Simon has turned a corner, though what he’ll find there…well, who knows…
Well yes, Simon had his say and that was an important step in his healing. But even more important was what he read in that book about wolves. That really hit home and got him thinking. What will it lead to? Will he ever forgive Toby (not saying he should kiss and make up either- but?).
And of course Mrs. Reed's "Omy my gosh". What does that mean?
Mmmm - what has she seen out of the window? That would be telling!
Well, at least Simon had his say. Hopefully, Toby will leave him alone from now on. And writing things down may help. I'm still worried about him, though - and there's still the parents to deal with.
I'm gonna ignore the cliffie.
Still a ways to go for Simon - though hopefully he’s on the right track.
Riley, what a great way to bring many of the different characters together! Like the other reviewers before me, I fear that this upbeat chapter is but a respite before an inevitable Simon showdown.
I really need to reread ISH because I don't remember Estela, or Alejandro for that matter. Shame on me
Shame on you! But thanks for reading, anyway!
What a grand, busy and artfully done chapter. Out of the swirl of events, you center the reader on Owen and Olly, and on a very startling and important pronouncement. What a bargain Olly made! Hope he gets to keep up his end. Wonderful to see Elliott again - wondered if he would make an appearance again. Thank you for the respite from Simon's troubles, but they haven't gotten any better, have they?
Yep, there's a lot going on with this chapter, though you're right, just because it's not about Simon doesn't mean he's fine.
YAY - A well needed break in the Si angst and tragedy!
It also put us back in contact with Elliot, Estela, Ollie and Owen etc.Everything shifted a little and it all flowed so well and even a bit breezy.
An all-around great chapter Riley!
Yes, a bit of a shift of pace, though everything has its place!
Thank you Riley! Este es tan bonito! Me gusta mucho.
As much as I always enjoy reading new chapters of ET, I enjoyed this one even more. With the festivities of the day, the unexpected appearance of Estela, the odd bonding between Luke and Ollie ...
This chapter recreated the tone, or mood, of "In Safe Hands". I read ISH before beginning ET and absolutely loved it! The airy quality of the writing here combined with Estela's visit felt like visiting an old friend, one I have not seen for a long time.
I also found the chapter to be tremendously interesting for its very lack of obvious dramatic development. Nothing obvious here, yet so many subtleties. Estela pulls Luke a little closer to Elliot's past. I was a little confused by Estela stating that Ryan resembles Alejandro. I don't remember that character; I need to skim through ISH again. Her observation of Ryan in itself seems to pull Ryan, Elliot, and Luke a little closer to some inevitable orbit. I want to call her Estrella.
Finally, I really liked the line,
Luke had the feeling that, for people like Mitchell, with all his connections and money, pigs would sprout a second dick if needed, and then happily fuck you over with it to get what they wanted!
Old friends indeed. It will be interesting to see what Estella brings to the table. Good things, let's hope - though if you don't remember Alejandro, you definitely need to read ISH again!
Thanks for the review!
Oh things just keep going from bad to worse for poor Simon. It was certainly an interesting chapter. I did half expect Geoff to find Simon trying to drown himself in the bathtub though- so I am so glad that didn't happen!
The question I keep asking myself is, when is Simon going to try his 'altered bits' out. Only thing I don't find believable is that so far. I get that he is angry, but he has gone this long and not had any side-effects from not relieving himself?! By now he would be having blue-balls for sure lol, especially seeing he would be pent up after how things went with Toby right before his operation. Anyhow that is just a random thought. I just hope that we don't see any comical 'boner scenes' of poor Simon instead until nature takes its course lol.
The Astroglide though, is just killer funny. A recurring motif almost. Perhaps I am the only one to find any humour or irony in it. I think I would be mortified in real life however, in the same situation to find my mum having brought that for me. I probably would have found it easier to accept it from dad 'on the side' than walk in and find it propped up with a note from mum that's for sure. Still poor Simon is taking every little thing so harshly. He almost has developed a post traumatic stress disorder, that's for sure.
TBH the last few chapters did play out smoother in the end than how I was expecting things for poor Simon even though it was clear he was never going to handle having a circumcision well at all (I did half expect scenes of Geoff and Luke holding down Simon in Dr Tiberius's office whilst he operated on a rebellious fitful Simon).
So where to from here for Simon? I am left surely guessing. It seems like his whole world has come crashing down around him in ever facet of his life. Only thing I would hate to see is some 'miracle solution' or 'fairy godmother solution'. I would think this is going to take him a lot of time to work his head around instead of some quick waving magic wand The emotional turmoil here needs to see Simon's character grow through the adversity as you have done so well with other characters in the past in your works...but I get the feeling that is what you have planned
Ok again cheers on the good work ~~!
Hey there Matt - as always, thanks for the review!
Simon’s in a bad place but I don’t think he’s anywhere near topping himself. I’m hoping that as time goes on he’ll be able to try to see things from a different perspective. Right now, his ‘bits’ in the kind of way you’re hoping for are the last thing on his mind. I think sex is a lot to do with what’s in your head. If theres nothing there to push you, then you just don’t. I think that’s how celibacy works!
The lube is really bad timing. Actually, I suspect he knew about it from Luke’s experiences, but reacted badly just the same because of his own guilt and pain.
I agree, healing is a process, but what starts it can be unexpected!
Thanks for the review,
Hi Riley, Great work again ! You really know how to capture character emotion so well
Nice twist there with Ella. I expected Tiberius Senior and not Ella at all. I wonder how things would have gone with him undoing those stitches instead of Ella... Actually now I think about it, why wasn't Dr Chowdry who handled that given Tiberius handed Simon over to him? Either way I think Ella would have handled it with more decorum than Tib. Sr. and Chowdry.
Poor Simon, he really has had a run of it lately. Finding out what went down with Toby was unexpected, seeing where it landed poor Simon was more of a shock. Seeing him not handling the whole circumcision well at all and knowing he is in for quite a rocky ride is heartbreaking. I do hope you have some pleasant twists coming for him in future chapters Riley He needs it before he really does come un-stitched!
Taking out of sutures would definitely be an outpatient procedure with no need to involve a hospital. It would be quite normal to hand a patient back to the original doctor for those to be taken out by hi or her, or even a practice nurse.
Simon is really having a hard time, that’s for sure. He’s going to need help soon.
I've read all the chapter through this one. I wish I could put my finger on what makes your story so engaging. It's a good story with little sex, but with a lot of serious things happening. You are an excellent writer and I'm jealous that you get so many reviews. I wish I could get as many as you do. Someone mentioned clicks. What do you mean by clicks?
Anyway, great job. Very enjoyable reading.
Thanks my friend. By clicks, I think it probably mean story reads for each chapter.
Thank you Riley, great chapter.
I was relieved to observe Geoff and Lucy finally noticing that something is surely wrong. I felt terrible for Geoff. He knows he mishandled the situation. I can't really fault him. He lacking important information. It is a realistic reminder that parenting is difficult.
I am so disappointed in Luke right now. Urg! I guess with new school year, new car, new license he is a bit self absorbed like so many teens in addition to being a little aloof.
I was confused by a couple of things. No one appears to have noted Toby's sudden absence. Surely it is conspicuous. Did Lucy not puchase lube some weeks prior when she saw Ryan at the pharmacy?
It's still hard to witness Simon's suffering. I still want to give a hug, perhaps even more than ever. I fear that his previous happiness has left him I'll prepared to cope with his current stress. I am also reminded that it is frequently difficult for kids of that age, in "normal" situations, to control their emotions.
Finally, it is at least a little encouraging to know that Simon is aware 'something needs to change.' Now he needs the what and how.
Don’t be too hard on yourself Si. I have lost my temper with far lesser reasons to be angry.
Thanks for not being too hard on Geoff and Lucy. I don’t think there are many - if any - perfect parents. Just ones trying to make the best job they can. Yep, Luke is distracted by a whole bunch of things - he needs to get his head back on soon!
Re Toby. Usually Simon went up to the Skerrit place where they could be themselves more easily. I guess the parents just assume that Simon hasn’t felt up to cycling around the last couple of weeks. To the love question. Actually, no, she didn’t buy it that day. Certainly not in the store she say Ryan. We left it hanging as to whether she would drop into another store. In fact she didn’t, and she more recently got a refill for Luke and picked put he same for Simon. All really bad timing!
Is something going to come up that will help Simon? I hope so for his sake.
Glad they are all Brits with presumably no arsenal available...
This is making the Hang look puerile. I find it a bit of a stretch that Luke hasn't pushed with Si or checked with Toby to find something more was going on than the circ. And I agree that the parents have gone off the tracks and need help badly. Most schools would be a bit more aware of such a dramatic change in attitude for a student.
You have all of us spiraling down with Si. Amazing job Riley.
I agree that Luke and his parents need to be more on the ball, but I also suspect it’s easy to get distracted by the timings of the story. While we’ve been wrestling with this for literally months, the characters have only been at it a few weeks. If you take off the couple of weeks that the family would assume that the normal discomfort of healing was at the bottom of Simon’s issues, then it’s not surprising that they are only just now re-evaluating. And remember too, that Simon, for the most part, has been trying to avoid any aggro.
Ranks for the review Steve!
I'm not going to be too harsh on Geoff and Lucy. They clearly know something is wrong with Simon, but what? He's not talking, and I suspect they are very much out of their depth in knowing what to do. Everything they have tried so far isn't working, but if Si won't talk they are just taking stabs in the dark. They can't exactly put a gun to his head and make him talk to a counsellor.
Another great chapter Riley, Si nearly said what happened, hopefully he will slip up again and then the dam can burst ( metaphorically speaking) and he can start the road to healing.
I think you’re right about Geoff and Lucy - and who is it that can say they are perfect parents, anyway? Let’s hope Simon can find some help somewhere.
I know it's been said before, but would someone please give that kid a huge, judgement-free HUG - and preferably his older brother, when he's worked out that his brother needs him more than he might think.
I wonder if Geoff or Lucy will pick up on Simon's near-outing of himself, where he said he "can't use [his balls]" anyway - I thought that might have been a reference to him not having kids.
Thanks Riley for the continued brilliant work. Looking at the chapter index, Simon's been through so much, over quite a while, so we can only hope that a silver bullet comes his way soon to turn things around for him.
Hi Milo, and thanks for the review. Hug away - he really needs it! Good question about whether mum and dad will pick up anything from Simon’s outburst. I doubt it though, I think the whole gay thing is another world right now!
I personally am all out of sympathy for Lucy, Geoff, and Luke. They were on the right track at first, Simon does need help. However, their entire approach is just ridiculous. All this talking behind his back and getting his brother involved? No, just no sorry. Giving him astroglide? I mean really? Then all three of them self-righteously getting mad when he naturally reacts to it. Whether that kid jerks off or not is nobody else's business and it just seemed invasive to me. I don't know it bugged me. Simon overreacted, kids do that, and they already recognize that he's having a problem, intruding on his personal activities just seems a bit over the line to me. Compounding that with all of them then ganging up on him after that is a bit too much. And Luke isn't Simon's parents and really needs to stay out of all of that. They don't need to have anymore discussion about Simon with Luke behind his back. Just my two cents. At least they recognized after the fact that they handled it wrong.
It just shows that, even with the best intentions, timing can really mess you up. Lucy got the astrolgide for Simon because she was getting the same for Luke. She thought she was helping and of course now she’s beating herself up big time.
Suddenly everyone goes off the deep end - but nobody feels good about that afterwards. It’s good to remember that, in life, there’s almost ALWAYS a bigger picture!
Hopefully they can get back on track again, soon.
I have to say that I'm not feeling that sympathetic toward the parents. True, they don't know about the rape, but they seem awful cavalier (to me anyway) about the ramifications of having such a surgery performed on someone without their consent. Even without what happened with Toby, Simon would be devastated---at his age to be reminded of your lack of control, to have something so personal decided by others, even if it's for the best, would be traumatic.
Monica and Geoff seem to have forgotten that Luke's recovery was informed by his wanting the procedure. I'm thinking that perhaps the two of them might benefit from therapy.
Don’t be too hard on mum and dad. It has to be tough to be a parent when you only have part of the picture. I think the whole thing has blindsided them and only now are they beginning to look deeper.
How terrible for Simon to be digging himself deeper and deeper as he tries desperately to retreat inside himself. The worst of it is that there are people who would listen sympathetically if he let them hear what hurts him the most. Luke must be wondering what happened to his brother - the one he used to know. What's left of his own friend group will have stopped caring what he does, soon. We can only hope for some kind of intervention before something even more terrible happens...
Luke’s head is elsewhere at the moment it seems, and I guess this is still only a relatively short period, so I think that Luke and his parents still haven’t plumbed the depth of the issue. However, it can’t go on much longer.
You're an amazing writer, Riley. I just used up half a box of kleenexes. Can't wait to find out what will happen next!
Lol! Thanks for the review!
A deep and brooding chapter Riley.
I saw this coming from the moment the 'incident' happened. (go back and check my review)
It'll all come out for sure, it has to.
Will it come out in a confrontation with Luke, as Jeff1 suggested; in a therapy session which is iffy at the moment; or in an unanticipated way, known only to the cunning author?
btw Monica is becoming one of my least favorite moms, and she always was on my 'questionable' list. She should have taken psych 101 before becoming a parent. In fact it should be a requirement for pregnant mothers-to-be.
End of rant. Can't wait for this all to unfold, and I'm squeezing for ya Si !
Yep - you were on the ball with this one. You said months ago that it was heading this way and you were right. Don’t be too hard on Lucy. She’s not a bad mum, she’s just struggling to understand and make good decisions.
Hi Riley, wow what a chapter.
Simon is in deep need of help, but much of it seems to be brought on by his rebellious streak. His woe is me attitude has to be honest, blown things up bigger than actually are.
His outburst to Geoff and Lucy was a good example of a call for help, but instead of getting things under way they are going to leave it for a few days even after Simon had a bottle throwing tantrum at his dad.
As for Luke, god that kid not only needs a dick up his arse but also a boot, how much longer is he going to sit back and do nothing? his brother backs him and they join forces when need be but with this he acts as if he doesn't give a toss and to be honest two brothers going at each other could make Simon let slip what happened so allowing the whole story to come out.
Simon needs help sooner than later, Luke needs to get his act together and Geoff and Lucy need to step up.
Thanks Riley, cant wait for next chapter
Hey there Jeff!
Geoff and Lucy flailing a bit, that’s for sure, and Luke is to focused on himself just now to be much good either. Are they bad people? No, I don’t think so - just in the dark.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
But at least Simon's parents dismissed the idea of him talking to Grace. I'm pretty sure Si would have lost it completely, if they suggested that. I think his reactions in school and at home are quite understandable, knowing what we do, and I'm counting on his family having a healthy spell of remorse once the truth comes out.
For now the thought of what will happen if Simon is forced to endure locker rooms and showers at school is making me
Hi Timothy, and thanks for getting the reviews going on this chapter. I also saw your posts in the forum! Simon’s really stuck between a rock and a hard place right now and needs to find some way to break out.
Wonderful chapter, Riley.
Too bad Ella didn't have more time with Simon; she may have gotten him to crack. He's holding it all in and will probably explode once he reaches his room. He'll cry angry, sad tears of what was lost (his foreskin) and the reasoning behind it (blaming himself for letting it happen).
I'm actually surprised Lucy and Geoff didn't want to talk to Dr. Tiberius (Sr., since they thought he took the sutures out), since they do know each other a little more than most doctor/patients. If I were the parent, I'd find it odd that Dr. T didn't come out to at least say a quick hello, everything looks good, see you soon, type of thing.
I also liked reading about how Ella and Mel met; that was a sweet story.
Looking forward to the next chapter, Riley!
I think that Geoff and Lucy probably assumed that Tiberius had to rush on to another patient as otherwise he probably would have come to see them. Ella is quite a character isn’t she - glad you like her.
What a terrific chapter, Riley! We really needed a positive chapter. God knows what condition the Summers' will find Simon in when they get back home.
Ryan and Luke have nice catching up to do, and it was nice seeing Gramma and Pops getting along with Lucy and Geoff. Ryan's grandparents are terrific (and I humbly stand corrected from my previous comment - I must have been thinking of his sperm donor! ), and I'm so glad he has them. He knows they love him no matter what - unconditionally, which is so important for anyone. Tech-savvy Alice found out Ryan's secret, and I'm so happy her and Pops are ok with it.
On to chapter sixty-four!
Ryan is such a softy at heart really, though he’s had to develop a hard shell to survive. Having his grandparents really on his side now is gong to make a big difference I think.
Some of this is now getting confused for me due to the revisions in earlier chapters. Still another brick in the wall as it were. At some point I need to read through from the beginning of the revisions. Thanks as always.
Hi there Steve. Hope you can make sense of it. Shout if there is anything that needs clarifying. But more than anything else, thanks for the support!
Never has a guy deserved such a big fucking hug.
How well you draw the medical office and doctor Ella T's work with Simon. She began to soften his icy stance, but she couldn't really get him to melt, could she? Doubt Luke will do any better. At least there is still hope he might do so with the right person. This was a fantastic chapter, and leaves me wanting more - as you always do...
Hi Parker. Ella will make a great doctor, that’s for sure. Thanks for all your great insights!
Thank you Riley. As always, I really enjoyed the latest couple of chapters.
Ella is slick! It was interesting to observe her skillful navigation of Simon's fragile emotions. She will almost certainly become a much better doctor than most. Atypical of her profession, she understands the difference between treating a human and repairing an automobile.
It was nice to receive a little more of her backstory with Mel.
As usual, the scene was so vivid that I was practically the proverbial fly on the wall. I don't know who wanted to hug Si more, me or Ella. A hug could have made the experience even worse for Simon. Clearly, he is working hard to check his emotions. Clearly, he has no desire to allow anyone to see his tears.
With caustic irrationality only a human can muster, Simon feels guilt. He deserves his pain; he deserves his punishment. This may be the most dangerous of Simon's many seething emotions. Oh yeah, I really want to give him a hug.
Luke, Luke, this is Houston, please confirm re-entry ... Luke, Simon really needs a hug!
Hi there. Just noticed your entry into the forum too, so thanks for that! I agree, Ella is a smart lady. Her and Mel make a good team. I’ll defitinyly pass the hug on to Simon!
A really great chapter, Riley!
The office scene was super well-done. I thought Ella was pretty perceptive, too bad she didn't go just a little further with Simon, he might have cracked.
And a big thumbs-up to Simon. He kept his parents out of the procedure! He has more steel than Luke, it seems.
Also a nice little peek at Ryan, whose crushing isn't as private as we thought.
A great story, continuing!
Hello Skinny. I think will do Ryan a lot of good to be a but more out in the open with the grandparents. We’ll have to see where that goes.
That was a really good chapter. I teared up during the conversation between the grands and Lucy and Geoff. I have a feeling when Lucy gets a copy of the pictures her mother's intuition may kick in and she may notice something between the boys that they haven't even acknowledged to each other. Yes, I hope one of them will have the courage to talk to the other. Now for the return home. I just hope it is not too many tears.
Yes it was interesting to get more of a picture of Ryan form his grandparents, Peethree. I really like them! Ryan and Luke remain close, though I don’t think Geoff and Lucy see nay more in that than what is on the surface, and Simon is still down. Who knows what will come next?
What a wonderful day for everyone, especially those of us reading ET. Luke and Ryan appear to be spiraling toward each other - hope one or the other gets the courage to come out to the other very soon. Simon is still a very great worry. Who will help him change his course? And what in the world will happen to Toby? Or with Elliott?
One of the best portions of this chapter was the background on Ryan's life that we got to see. It explains a great deal. And how good it is that Ryan has family he can count on now. Thanks so much for this chapter. Looking forward to more, of course. It is bad form to beg. How about I grovel? Please sir? More?
Hi Parker. It’s good news in that yes, Luke and Ryan appear to be heading int he right direction. Let’s hope they keep moving that way. At the same time, Elliott is still out there on the edges…
It was good to see the grandparents and get more of an insight into Ryan’s background.
More coming, though there’s quite some editing to do yet.
Finally we get to the Gramp's and what happened to Ryan, BEST chapter so far. I really love the Gramp's,
This chapter really had a lot of feeling, the wily Gramp's helping Ryan he in turn coming closer to telling his best friend his secret, getting along with his own Mother and lucky for us all no mention about the sperm donor.
Ryan has matured over the summer, in fact since his hang, but Luke on the other hand has not matured yet. I hope the " sit down Luke I have something to tell you " chat is not to long coming then hopefully Ryan and Luke will be cumming but somehow I think even then Luke could bottle it and hide which could have a devastating effect on Ryan..
As for Simon, Mmmmmm not sure how that one will pan out, Simon has to me always acted a bit of a "victim", seems to allow himself to be led and steered through life and has not really asserted himself with the likes of Toby who in effect took charge of things.
Toby wanted to do this Toby wanted to do that and Simon went along like a lamb, unfortunately Simon was going to be on a loosing side.
With Luke having a go at Simon before they all went to Ryan's may have been a good thing as Simon is feeling sorry for himself big time and although Luke is suspicious he will always be there for his brother when he needs a shoulder to cry on and should be putting two and two together that Toby did something to hurt Simon or is Luke that thick?? I don't think so, maybe slow on the uptake, but thick no, Simon's attitude is one that needs a good slap to wake him up, he has a brother who can help and knows hes gay so the rents can be kept out of it a bit longer, so please Riley, make it soon.
Thanks once again for a great chapter and look forward to more Ryan/Luke shenanigans lol lol
Hi Jeff - glad you enjoyed the interlude with Ryan’s grandparents. I really like them too, and it’ll be interesting to see what they bring to the table now.
I agree with you about Simon. He’s a typical younger brother who’s used to most things being decided for him. it’s not really surprising that he’d let Toby take the lead in a lot of stuff. The question still is, is Simon partly to blame for what happened, and does he (as you say) need to wake up a bit?
Enjoyed the continuing saga
painfully slow at bringing Ryan and Luke to knowledge that they have more in common than they might have imagined possible. Just think how much the story possibilities that will be at hand when they are out to each other!
Yes - they do seem to manage to was around each other all the time!
So, Ryan and Luke are too afraid of losing each other's friendship that they can't come out to each other. However, Luke is getting closer to Elliott, who is comfortable being gay, and Ryan is developing a friendship with Jacko, and they're out to each other. I can see how these new friendships could turn romantic.
Which is to say, I totally ship them. Still want to see Luke and Ryan together, buuuuuuuuut this will do for now.
Hello again, Dayne.
I’m not sure that Ryan is developing that kind of friendship with Jacko. I think Jacko would like to think it though! However, it’s also good to see that Luke is loosening up a bit. Maybe something will happen….
Another great chapter, I do like the ones with Ryan's Grandparents in.
Like other have said, little worried for Simon all alone at home with the dark place he is in mentally.
Hi Simon - yes, it’s always great to see them. And let’s hope Simon is okay, and thanks for the review.
Now I remember how great Ryan's grandparents are! I wish I knew what story I was getting mixed up with! lol
I really enjoyed this chapter because it brought some happiness to Luke and his parents. It was great seeing Ry again, and I would hope if Luke ever does feel comfortable enough coming out to Ryan, that Ryan would do the same. I'm curious about tennis camp and how well Ryan and Jacko got along. After all, Jacko was following Ry around like a puppy dog at the barbecue.
Like your other readers, I am really worried about Simon. I'm praying that he didn't do anything stupid since he was home alone.
I'll be waiting on pins and needles now until the next chapter.
Hi Lisa! I’m trying to stay on track with this week\s posting. Hopefully will be out tomorrow. Ryan and Jacko? Well I think Jacko would like that, but not sure Ryan would feel the same! Like you say - he’s like a puppy dog at a BBQ! Many have also wanted to know a bit more about Ryan’s grandparents, so this was a good opportunity to look closer.
One of the reasons I look forward to Saturdays is your updates. With theexception of feeling bad for Simon, I realized I had a big smile on my face as I read. I hope one of those boys will get the courage to come out.
Saturday is near - the next chapter is in edit with Andy! A surprising step forward for Luke this week. I wonder if he’ll go anywhere with that, or just sit on ti as usual?
As always, thanks for the review.
I am so, so worried about Simon. There could be a tragedy, and very soon, if someone doesn't intervene. Very, very surprised that Lucy hasn't done so yet. On the good side is Luke finally thinking about trusting Ryan with coming out. Perhaps his honesty could beget still more from Simon...if he is still with us.
Thanks for a great chapter - Ryan sounded like he had a grand time over the summer; perhaps he is able to talk about himself, too.
Simon is all over the place - at least internally. On the outside he’s not saying enough for his parents to really get what the problem is other than their own guesses. A good step forward for Luke though. Perhaps he’s getting off the fence?
The one time Lucy, who is way to much of a helicopter mom, should have been more in tune with her youngest son, she wasn't.
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm worried about Si, alone at his house.
Don’t be too hard on Lucy, Skinny. It’s a lot easier to see this stuff from our perspective when we get to see behind all the characters, whereas she, Geoff and Luke are a bit lost. That said, I’m not sure how she would handle it is she DID know what was really going on!
Thank you Riley. Great read as always.
While neither as eventful nor dramatic as the last hand full of episodes, it advances the plot and characters nicely.
As Luke suspects, Si pulled off a manipulative escape from social obligation. On some level he may be 'a little prat' as Luke muses. Come on Luke, at leat call him 'a smart little prat'. Well done Si !
Ryan seems much better emotionally and more willing and/or able to interact with Luke. Interesting to observe Luke contemplating a deeper honesty with Ryan. I suspect that Ryan and Jacko have had some interesting, and perhaps profoundly benificial, conversations over the summer.
Well done Riley!
As you say, I guess this chapter has a lot of transition in it. Ryan seems to be in a pretty upbeat mood these days, though I’m not convinced it’s much to do with Jack! Perhaps we’ll know more in the next instalment?
Yay, Ry's back!! Although weren't Ryan's grandparents always fighting with each other? Didn't they embarrass Luke and Ry the last time they went out to the country club? Or am I totally mixing up different stories? lol
I can sort of feel Toby's panic and desperation in getting Simon to talk to him again. He really has no clue what he did. He hadn't realized that he went way too far with Simon. Like Oxala said, many trauma victims blame themselves for what happened, and Simon definitely feels everything is his fault. He's spiraling down a dangerous path, and he really needs help before it's too late. He has to be able to come back from this.
I was cracking up when Lucy saw Ryan buying his own lube! lol At least Lucy had good sense not to start a conversation with him about the best kinds of lube to get teenage boys!
Wasn’t just so funny Lucy catching Ryan buying ‘solutions’! And she’s also trying here best, though she’s missing part of the puzzle.
Ryan’s Grandparents? No I think you’re confusing them with another story. They are a great old couple and Luke really likes them. More about them in the next chapters.
Riley, I'm enjoying every chapter because they are always full of surprises. Of course, Luke doesn't know that his best friend is gay and like usual, they play cat and mouse with each other. Simon and Toby managed okay even though they are younger. The only thing that caught my attention was that the scenes, while different, they were also very similar because the two brothers are both gay and are hot for their best friends, who also happen to be gay. You write very well and hold a reader's interest.
Hello my friend. Thanks for the review and for getting this far!
And I'm review 22 --- better late than never, isn't that what they say? lol
I'm glad you had a good birthday, Riley, one that carried over into the next day. lol
Yeah, the end there with Luke -- definitely not good. I can understand he was pissed now because the whole family was trying to cheer Simon up, and they don't have any idea why he's so moody. Luke is going to kick himself when (hopefully WHEN and not IF!), he finally finds out.
Maybe Luke should think back to breakfast when Grace stopped by. Simon told her he had work to do and didn't have time for Toby to come over. Even though they communicated silently, and Grace knew something was up, Simon did say he's probably see Toby next week in school. That should sound odd to anyone who knows they're best friends. Never mind boyfriends (only Luke and Grace know that), but best friends would be with each other and keep each other company in times like these. So right there by Simon not wanting to see Toby at all should have been a red flag. Then when Luke saw how Simon reacted to Toby being there, should have been red flag number two.
It's heartbreaking to see Simon suffering like he is. He has so much sadness and anger in him, and he has no outlet for it, except by taking it out on Luke. I did notice that he's taking too much Tylenol. He woke up early, took two or three, then two hours later he's taking more, and then he goes down to breakfast AND TAKES MORE, along with his antibiotics. Not good. I can see him getting addicted to them, if people can actually get addicted to Tylenol, which actually does NOTHING for me. lol
Another thing I didn't like was the fact that he is already sort of shutting off his penis. I don't know the right word for it, but he was thinking about not having anything to do with it (or something like that), and not letting anyone else ever touch him or get close to him again. He will find it very difficult to trust from now on. I just pray somebody catches on quickly (maybe Toby can confess to Grace and get the ball rolling here), because Simon is going to need to talk to a professional about what happened. He will never get over this (if he will at all), without professional help.
And, I have another chapter to read! Yay me! lol Awesome chapter, Riley! As usual!
Hi Lisa - and thanks for the birthday wishes!
You’re right, Luke should be a lot more on the ball, though I think he has his mind elsewhere just now what with Elliott being on his horizon. In the meantime, Simon is slipping into a bad place and nobody seems to be able to help him. He’s even losing confidence in himself. I just hope he’s resilient enough to pull through.
Riley- just wanted to let you know that I love your writing, and am always eagerly waiting for the next chapter!
Keep it up.
Mr Arsenal! Guessing you’re from this side of the pond? Thank you for the note, and glad you’re enjoying the tale!
Very scary times for Si. I so hope something will jar him into help before the depression moves into a more active faze. Good to have Ry back. But Luke,too, has questions to sort,out. So well done. pax.
Something likely to start bubbling over, for sure! Thanks fro the review, Steve.
Another great chapter. I am looking forward to Ryan being back and hearing what he has been up to. Also, I am sure the dinner with his grandparents will be fun.
Hi Peethree. Ryan’s Graands are always great value for money. I don’t doubt it will be a memorable occasion!
I hurt with Simon, and feel for him in his isolation. That it is self imposed is both tragic and completely understandable. The explosion, the release of tension, when he finally let's go of his secret will be very much greater as a result. I hope for a figure - Geoff or Luke - who can get through the walls and ease the terrible story out of him. Thanks for a great chapter. Looking for more, of course.
Hello Parker. Yes, totally agree. Whether Simon likes it or not, it’s going to start firing off in unexpected times and ways.
So yeah, my heart is breaking for Si...
Me too. Everything seems to be going against him just now.
Thanks for the review
I really hope Simon doesn't do something really stupid, but it kind of feels like he is heading in a downward spiral at the moment.
Looking forward to the next instalment
I hope he doesn’t either - but he’s still not letting anyone near.
Double plus awesome Riley! Double plus awesome! Thank you!
As I suspected, Si had come close to being 'honest' with Luke just prior to Luke losing patience. Oooooof Luke, if you could only have maintained patience a few more seconds ...
Last week I was miffed because some were being too hard on Toby. This week I am schooled. I've been too hard on Lucy, and to a lesser extent Geoff. I enjoyed observing Lucy coming to terms with the maturity of her boys. To see her put so much effort into cheering Si was simply beautiful. I have a whole new respect ....
Obviously, neither Lucy nor Geoff really understand why Simon is so hurt. But they KNOW he is hurt. This is an excellent potrayal of what I like to call "parental intuition". As cynical and scientific as I am, my parents still astound me on occasion with almost clairvoyant insight ... and it is spooky! One instance of this about four years ago literally saved my life.
I love the characters in ET. They are so realistically flawed, just like me .
That Luke puts genuine effort into coaxing Simon to dinner with Ryan's grandparents while genuinely hoping Si will decline is too funny and too real. Been there done that!
Simon thinks Toby raped him. Wow! I really don't care whether or not the situation fits a technical or legal definition of rape. I am not a barrister (uh, lawyer). It is important to acknowledge that this is what Simon understands. Yet he still blames himself:
"I know." They were wrong about one thing at least, and he added, "It was my fault."
It will be interesting the learn whether or not Si can find the inner courage to forgive Toby and/or himself. And how long? Days? Months? Years? However Simon reemerges, he will be different, wiser, and wearing a difficult scar. As his penis told him, "We're both hurt, I know that, but I've not changed...we can still do what we need...we can get past this...try and you'll see..." Wisdom often comes from unexpected sources, unexpected context ...
Lucy finds cool sailing themed briefs on "special offer". Lol, I understand that only because I listened to "the Clash" as a teenager. Lucky Si, let's just hope he finds enough peace to appreciate mom's effort ...
I’m always amazed how many significant - even life-changing - moments can balance in the edge of a knife in life. Maybe things would be different if Luke had actually waiting those few seconds and listened. Now we’ll never know.
Like you say, Oxala, we’re all flawed. One of the things I like about this story is that there is nobody who is that perfect. almost all the main characters lose it at some point, or make poor decisions. Lucy is an example - she’s trying to be a good mum, but she can also be a right pain.
Simon’s confusion is growing as quickly as his self-confidence is diminishing! Let’s hope there’s a way out.
Well I could certainly foresee this from the moment of the rape chapter. It's got to come out, like bilious food making you nauseous.
Well done Riley. Every shredding moment of the chapter leading us to ??
Hi Skinny. Yes it has to come out. Simon will find out that you can’t bury it alive, eventually.
Well, we all know where Simon is heading.
It remains to be seen who or what will save him. I'm gonna trust in you, Riley. Don't let me down, please, or
Keep heart - it’s far from over!
I have to admit I sort of gave up on the story when there was all the locker room bullying. But I'm back on board now, skimming the previous chapters and really getting into the story with this one. I like Simon a lot more as the main character, and you do a great job of showing how little mistakes and the wrong word at the wrong time can be fatal.
I don’t think anyone particularly enjoyed those chapters! I guess, however, what happens to us makes us who we become - even for Simon.
Thanks for the review Timothy.
Do clicks count as reviews? Some of us kept checking a link for almost 2 years until 3 chapters suddenly reappeared. If each those clicks count as a review of the story, you hold the record!!
In any case, another great chapter(s) and belated Happy Birthday.
And review No. 20!
It’s been amazing to get so much feedback. And yes - clicks count! Sorry it took so many before the story fired up again. There were plenty of reasons for that, but here’s not the place to go into the details. I just wanted to say thanks for keeping clicking!
Thanks for the birthday wishes,
I hope someone figures out it is not just the circ that is a problem. Suspect someone will hug him or something to get emotions going.
Sorry you had to get a year older to post two chapters this week. It is not necessary to wait a year to do it again. And again cheers on your Birthday.
Steve - review No. 19 is yours! I think you probably understand Simon well enough to know he normally is the kind of kid that unreels really easily. But this time he seems really low and shut down. I don’t think he’ll let anyone close enough for that hug anytime soon.
Happy Birthday, great chapter i can't wait for the next one. I really hope Simon talks to someone about what happened or someone finds out he really needs some help.,
Hi there Simon - long time no hear! Thanks for the review (you got No. 18). Simon is in a bad place right now. Let’s hope something changes soon, though he’s pretty much shut everyone out - even Luke.
Just keeping it simple here (going to write in your Birthday blog )
But Wow... I was wondering how things were going to go down for Simon. Not what I had been expecting at all...elective. GULP! And the war ensues hehe.
Good job again mate
Thanks Matt - and thanks for your other message too, it was great to hear from you! You’re reviewer No. 17 and I can hardly believe how many are coming in. Thanks for reading!
I've loved this story for years. I can't wait for Elliot and Luke to get together. Or wait, maybe I meant to say that I can't wait for Ryan and Luke to get together. Or, maybe, since Toby and Simon are obviously finished, maybe Luke can get together with Toby. Since Luke's so shy and at least he knows that Toby is gay. OK, I guess I do NOT hope that Luke and Toby get together. But what I really do hope is that, kind of like The Secret Life of Billy Chase, I hope that An English Teen, Circumcised in the USA never ends! Because it's that good! Seriously, Riley, thanks for writing such an awesome story and happpy (belated) birthday. Michael
Hello MG - and thanks for the birthday wishes! I would definitely say that…nothing is for sure! LOL! Simon, Luke, Toby, Ryan, Elliott, Jacko…who knows what they’re going to do. I can only promise you one thing…it’s far from over!
You got review No.16!
A great double chapter Riley. Interesting times ahead for the Summers family. I wondered how long it would be before Luke snapped a little at his brother. I feel for Simon, but I'm hoping that he will eventually let Luke in on what happened. I think that he would be a good person for Simon to confide in and Luke has already proved his loyalty and love for his younger brother.
Hello Dodger - glad you enjoyed the double bill! I think Luke could help his brother, but something’s going to have to give in Simon first before he starts letting anyone near.
Thanks for being review No. 15.
Well I will be your number 14 Riley.
thanks for for the bonus chapter. Now I feel obligated to give you something in return.
No. 14 is yours!
Happy Birthday Riley!
These two new chapters were really spot on. Especially chapter 60, now that we're seeing more of Simon's perspective and emotions. That was really a major faux pas at the end there on Luke's part, though he didn't really understand the implications of his words. The drama is heating up, and I'm both enjoying it and looking forward to more.
Once again, thank you very much for sharing your fantastic writing, and Happy Birthday!
I think I’m enjoying writing as much as you are reading, Shinoai. Luke really blew it, didn’t he, though you can understand it in the circumstances. Simon is really shutting everyone down.
Thanks for the birthday wishes and for being reviewer No. 13!
Happy Birthday! I love reading this story. I am a pretty crappy reviewer, so I don't say much. I am really feeling bad for Simon.
For being reviewer No. 12, you’re a star! Glad you’re enjoying the story.
Thanks Riley for yet again more great reading. I *always* look forward to your next instalment, and they never disappoint.
I suspect it's going to be hard for Simon to keep his anger at Toby bottled up. Purely for his sake, I hope he can confide in Luke - despite the little conflict between the two at the end of the chapter. It's going to be messy either way, but he's just going to remain a twisted mess if he can't talk to someone he trusts about what happened to him. Toby has a cheek turning up like that. So many pots on the boil, so to speak.
Thanks especially for the double chapter - what a generous way to celebrate your birthday! :-)
Thanks Milotin. I have the feeling that Simon is beginning to interpret everything that comes at him in a way that confirms how bad he feels about himself.
Thank you for review No. 11
Happy Birthday! All my best wishes for you!
Simon has to be in turmoil right now, I hope things will work out for him with time.
I can't believe the nerve of Toby!
Thanks for the birthday wishes - and for taking review 10! I think Toby is only just figuring out how close to the edge he’s gone!
Happy Birthday Riley...
Started late, got caught up and I am following along and rather enjoying the story.. Well now, I feel horribly for Simon. The next few chapters I imagine are going to be even more difficult to say the least...
Thank you for a wonderful story!
Thanks for the birthday wishes, but glad you’re caught up with ET and are even enjoying it! Tough times for Simon.
Thanks for being review No. 9
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RILEY! Awakening to find two new chapters of ET made it feel like my birthday. Thank you for two more excellent and riveting chapters.
From the chapter titles alone, I knew I was in for a rough read. Just when I thought Simon's cornucopia of negative emotion was filled, guilt entered the fray. I know Simon has no reason to feel guilty. To some extent, I'm sure Simon knows it as well. Guilt is an incidious emotion that rarely bows to reason.
The scene with Toby's mother Grace was brilliant. It was like a psychological mexican stand off between Simon and Grace ... and neither flinched. And they pulled it off without communicating anything to Simon's family. The realism of this scene epitomizes what I love most about ET.
Toby seems to have made some enemies among ET fans. Toby did not intend to hurt Simon. He is selfish, immature, brash, impulsive, and a bit kinky; he is not cruel. Now that he has enough information to get somewhere near two when summing one and one, I imagine he will feel horrible soon enough. I actually feel bad for him.
Simon's isolation, anger and despair are heart breaking. With Lucy on Mars and Geoff firmly stuck on the moon, I had really hoped that Luke would be able to communicate with his brother. While Luke can be thick and seems to be in the stratosphere at times, he does understand Simon.
Based on the brief and strange interaction between Simon and Toby, Luke should have realized he was missing important information. Thick! I certainly can't fault him for loosing patience with Simon. Sadly, he could not have chosen worse things to say to Simon if he had tried: "...you brought it on yourself...always someone else's fault with you...Mum and Dad did what they thought was right...GET OVER IT!".
LUKE! Your brother NEEDS you, NOW!
As to Luke's musings regarding hand washing, chili enthusiasts like myself quickly learn the merits of hand washing prior to ....
Hi Oxala - like I mentioned in GA chat, the whole chilli reference made me laugh! as always, thanks for putting so much into your review…it’s hard to know where to start, other than to say thanks for the birthday wishes too!
I really enjoyed writing the scene between Simon and Grace. I could just feel the simmering air between them. I also think you’re right about Toby. He may have made a massive mistake, but I think he’s honestly feeling absolutely awful.
And Luke? He really needs to wake up!
Thanks for being review No. 8
I knew something like this would happen, and said so in my comments when the rape occurred.
This is not going to get better by itself!
Great writing, as always, Riley! And Happy BD!
Hi Skinny - you were spot on! And thanks for being review No. 7. Thanks too for the birthday wishes.
I feel so badly for Simon, but the horrible thing is that his very silence could hurt him quite as much as the original events. I am so sorry that this happy and wonderful kid is so wounded. Love what you are writing - it is so important for this to be seen.
Hi Parker. thanks for grabbing review No. 6! It’s hard to see Simon so down. he needs friends! Thanks for all the great encouragement on the story.
It's a good thing for Toby that Simon was too incapacitated to punch his lights out. I look forward to the rapist ex-boyfriend getting what he deserves when Simon feels better.
This is a great story, one of my favorites in fact, but the last several chapters have just made my blood boil - not good for my blood pressure, by the way - so I wish this situation would get resolved quickly. I suspect that it will take a lot of doing to get poor Simon back to physical and mental health, however.
You got review No. 5 Ozy! Hope the blood pressure is coming down over the week!
Hey Riley, I'm really enjoying your storyline. Thanks for your birthday present to all of us readers. Hope you had a great day and that the coming year will be filled with much happiness. Keep up the great writing.Drew
Even though the title is a bit quirky, it’s been great to see so many people following it avidly. Thanks for the birthday wishes and for being review No. 4
I noticed your story when it was already well on it's way and was hooked right away, so I'm looking forward to every new chapter. I hope you will get lots of reviews as a belated birthday present.
I very much sympathize with Simon, for I wouldn't like to be missing that part of my anatomy either . Now that it was taken from him against his will I hope he will come to terms with it eventually.
Hope to see many more chapters ! Thank you.
Hello there, and thanks for the review (No. 3). Simon’s in a bad way, and feeling angry and let down. For sure, and I think we’re all feeling bad for him.
Just loving the story, Riley, so thank you very much for all your wonderful efforts Clearly the situation with Simon has to 'open up' soon for his sake, but also for the sake his family and friends. And happy birthday for yesterday (sounds like you may have had 'too much' fun lol) - and good luck with getting those reviews!
Thanks for the birthday wishes…I think I’ve recovered now. Thanks for being review No.2
Happy Birthday, may your day be filled with Love and wishes
Thank you for being the 1st to review!
The story has definitely been interesting for the last few chapters. I would think that you were a surgeon specializing in treatment of the male organ with the descriptions in this chapter. I think that Simon will have a rough couple of weeks. I'm wondering what will happen once Toby gets together with Simon.
It's great the Luke and Elliott will probably have that game of tennis, with some other activities added to the mix.
I will look forward to the next chapter. Thanks for writing.
Thanks for the review, Les - not sure about specialising, but I try to do a bit of research! Yes, what will happen when Toby reappears? Will he and Simon be able to talk it out?
Luke and Elliott - not sure Luke knows what to do about that. He can be a bit of a wuss sometimes!
Thanks for another great chapter in a novel and engaging story. I have greatly enjoyed the richness and complexities of the many characters.
As with the last several chapters, I can really feel Simon's isolation, frustration, pain, and sense of betrayal.
He has been betrayed by Toby. To a much greater extent, he has been betrayed by his parents and the doctors. Simon is old enough that the ethical principals of patient autonomy and informed consent are fully applicable. That he was removed from discussion of treatment options is a violation of ethics by both parents and medical personnel alike. Unfortunately, this is very realistic.
Lucy is both clueless and autocratic. Neither she nor Geoff seem to understand Simon. Lucy does not care to understand. Like Luke, Geoff desperately needs 'to grow a pair'. Lucy refuses to genuinely acknowledge that her boys are no longer boys, but young men. Worst of all, she refuses to think.
Simon is smart. I suspect that he will soon learn that circumcision is rarely required to successfully correct acute paraphimosis. I suspect Lucy and Geoff may soon be on the receiving end of some well deserved anger. Simon may well become angry with himself. With a little patience, ice, and ibuprofen, he may have avoided the hospital entirely. (LOL ... this story has caused me to learn far more about penises than I ever wanted to know.)
And Sam .... lol ..
I hope Elliot will take some initiative toward that game of tennis.
Great characters; fun story!
Thank you Riley!
Thanks Oxala. I guess with Simon being a minor, it’s taken for granted by the authorities - whoever they are - that parents can make those kinds of decisions for their kids. Maybe the paraphimosis could have been dealt with differently - and we might explore that later - but of course, in the heat of the moment, it’s not hard to convince scared parents when a white coat makes a case for something.
And Sam? Oh my - what a handful!
Like most worry continues for Si. I hope Luke catches on soon. But given how oblivious he can be... Ahh so where will "Elli" appear next? Pax.
Luke can be a bit of a twit sometimes, but with Elli? I don’t think that’s over quite yet. Do you?
Thanks of the review Steve,
Luke, you chicken!!!!! You should have gotten Elli's number!!!!
Loved the line from Sam: "I'm still going to be able to shoot, right?" No embarrassment from him! Right in front of everyone including his parents!
On a more serious note, Simon has rough times ahead of him. I wonder when Luke and their folks will wonder what happened besides being to rough with the Glansie thing. Of course WE know it wasn't from that, but they will wonder why he's not bouncing back from this.
Hi Lisa - Sam’s a character, for sure! Depending on how Simon reacts, it’s hard to know how his parents will deal with it. If Simon shuts down on them, they may ge shut out.
Thanks as always, for the review!
Unfortunately for Simon he's going home to exactly the wrong mother, father and brother for what his problem really is. I smell some bad times ahead for him. Probably going to withdraw from the world or explode.
Unfortunately, exploding might be preferable.
I was hoping Elliot might have been around as an uninvolved outsider, but while that may happen, it's going to be a while, since Luke chickened out.
Great chapter Riley!
Hi Skinny. I don’t think you’re far off. Perhaps if Simon can confide in Luke he might find help, but it’s more likely he’s going to bury it alive!
Oh, poor Luke with a crush. But his inner turmoil seems so small compared to Simon's. More than a medical doc, he needs a counselor - a trusted friend, at least. He could confide in his brother, perhaps, but can he trust him now? I have my doubts. No way will he talk to his mother or father, oh no. Great chapter, Riley. I'd like more, of course!
Thanks for the review Parker. I suspect Simon will have to decide if he can confide in Luke. I think it would be better if he did, even if there were consequences.
Hi Riley, well after reading INS i know know more about Elliot and can see how hes fitting in with Luke. How ever is Elliot over Miguel fully? could this come back to bite him with Luke?
Sam is a little shit, really needs to be put in his place this thing about his dick and being special almost "god" like seems to have given him an inflated ego of himself and his eventual harem of virgins lol.
As I said before there is a disturbing dark side to Toby that although Simon went along with has led to this drama and poor Simon has taken the brunt of things.
With what happened to Toby in his past he now does not realise right from wrong and must feel what he is doing is normal, this is the sort of kid who could take a gun to school for a joke.
I feel this is just the start and if Simon finishes with Toby then he could make Simon's life hell.
Now, while this happening to Simon what is happening to Ryan?, has he succumbed to the wiles of Jacko and lost his virginity that Ryan and Luke should have shared, or will Ryan come back intact?
Are Ryan's Grand parents still on the scene and has the sperm donor dick been sent to war yet ?
Will Ryan or Luke accidentally out themselves to each other and spend many hours locked in a bedroom???
We wait with baited breath.
Hi Jeff! Some great questions. I think that the history between Elliott and Miguel is going to spill out at some point. Perhaps Elliott is over it, but who knows. Don’t be too harsh on Sam - in some ways, his coping mechanisms for the life they grew up with are almost polar to Elliott’s, but not necessarily worse. School will probably grind a few more corners off.
It’s also a good question in regards to how Toby is going to react. We’ll have to see on that one.
And the other characters? Nobody is out of play yet!
'All kinds of quips about phoning home sprang to mind...' Omg, Riley, that line was hysterical! Holy shit was that funny! Steven Spielberg would be proud. lol
Is Chowdry's name Chowdry or Chaudry? It kept switching in the last chapter and this chapter.
Poor Simon. He's feeling so despondent. It'll be good for him to be back home in his familiar house, but it's going to take a long time for Simon to get back from this physical and emotional betrayal of Toby's. He's going to need therapy.
Excellent chapter, Riley! As usual!
Thanks Lisa - LOL, it could be that autocomplete has had it’s way with Dr Chowdry! I’ll have to check.
Thanks for the review, and a Happy New Year to you!
"His car, his rules!" Hope we’re not headed for another ISH. I don’t think I can take another sad ending.
I think I can put your mind at rest, Wayne, Luke’s not going to total his car!
It was wonderful to see Elliot's family again! I loved Rose and Benedict from ISH, and it's so good to see them here, making friends with Luke's parents.
Skinny's right; things for Simon will get worse before they get better. I see him retreating into himself, into his mind, and I'm not sure if anyone will be able to get him out, at least for quite a while. When he's ready to talk, Luke will be the one he'll confide in. Toby better run for the hills when this happens because I'm sure there won't be a rock he can hide under where Luke won't find him and try to beat him to a pulp.
Ok, on to the next chapter. Hey, I'm finally catching up! lol
From this chapter, it does look like Simon is a long way from bouncing back. I’d like to think he will talk to Luke, but Luke is pretty caught up with Elliott right now, and might not be listening! Simon certainly won’t confide in his parents. The next step will be when Toby come to visit - then what will Simon do?
Well done for catching up Lisa!
Sam's a hoot -- along with Becky! lol Yep, they are a bit young to be 'dating'! haha Becks is a trip though - telling everyone about poor Simon's willy!
Simon is not going to be a happy camper when he finds out what happened to his willy. But that's if he really cares about something physical like that. His mental state is in too much turmoil I think.
Sam and Becks - what a walking nightmare of precocious teen! Simon’s in a dark place though. Not good.
Elliot!!!!! So wonderful to see him again, Riley! Of course it's too bad it had to be in a hospital, but at least Sam's ok. And Simon's circumcision will heal. It's just his emotional state that no one knows about yet that is in jeopardy.
The whole thing with Elliot's brother being born in a Muslim country and what they did to him after he was born...I never heard of that. How could they just take liberties like that? Too bad they can't sue...
Another excellent chapter, Riley!!
Thanks Lisa! Yes, Elliott has hit the story with a vengeance now. We’ve seen a couple of brief glimpses of him in earlier chapters, but this is the first time Luke has really engaged with him.
It’s early days for Simon to know how well he’ll recover, but lets hope that they can sort him out. As for Sam - well..as you say, too bad they can’t sue!
I can feel the emptiness, the pain and the anger Si's going through in your writing. You portrayed that so very well. Also well done is the slow, gathering friendship between Luke and Elliott. It's about time Luke got to crush on someone hard. Hope for Simon's recovery - which may mean he really needs Luke about now. Is there hope for a new chapter soon? Please?
Next Chapter coming soon Parker - it’s with Andy as I type!
Luke really is getting a bit of a crush on Elliott, though knowing him he’s unlikely to do anything about it!
Shit, as a mom, I would have handled it the same way as Lucy did. The fear for your child and the fear that you have no idea what's wrong with your child, makes you snap in anger and frustration, but like it was written, it was only her fear talking. It's terrifying when something happens to your child and you have to rush him to the ER, or worse yet, call 911.
Simon's pain is horrifying. I'm praying that whatever it is, it can be fixed and that he doesn't suffer any permanent damage.
Of course his mental state hasn't even been touched on yet. His physical pain is too much now for him to even THINK of what exactly happened at Toby's.
Hi Lisa - looks like you’re on a roll!
I guess it’s the not being able to do anything about it - to put it right - is what’s the most painful for a mum. Thanks for keeping up with the story!
I did hit the 'like' button, but I didn't really like the chapter. The writing was great, as always, Riley, but it was a really dark chapter.
I think Simon is going to be traumatized by this. Toby has no idea that what he did was essentially rape. Simon yelled 'no' a few times, and even though he may have accidentally caused Toby to go deeper, Toby should have just pulled out.
Plus, thinking about Ryan and not Simon, was wrong. He was so caught up in his little Ryan fantasy, that he didn't realize what he was doing to his boyfriend. He's making excuses now, telling Simon it was HIS fault for pushing him deeper in by Simon moving, but he's in denial. Of course he's angry with Simon now because he doesn't understand why Simon is so upset. He's lucky if Simon every talks to him again, and if he does, it's going to be a very long time from now.
I always liked Toby; I never saw anything bad in him like some of the other readers mentioned. I love his mom! I hope eventually he can confide in Grace, and Grace can get him to see what he did was so wrong.
I'm trying to catch up now, Riley! I think I have a bunch of chapters to read!
Hope you had a great holiday and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Hi Lisa - and a Happy New Year to you too. Yes, the chapter was darkly uncomfortable as a fun romp came to a terribly wrong conclusion. There's been signs of this with Toby for a while now, and it's been hard to separate the quirky from the the baggage he's brought with him from the previous relationship.
Simon is likely to spiral as he's not going to want to tell anyone what happened - maybe not even Luke. Grace is probably the only other one he can turn to, but....
An insightful chapter, Riley!
Speaking of insight, I certainly hope Dr. Jacko's Dad has more than Si's family does. And I hope it leads to what the chapter title as inferring. Simon is not nearly ready to be transported, in his cocoon, back home.
If it happens, he'll remain in that fetal position, mentally at least, until someone wakes up ...and it won't be him!
A very careful portrayal of the shock he's in. Good writing, Riley!
Simon’s in a downward spiral for sure. Physically, he should recover as long as the doctors have done a good job - and there’s no reason to believe that they haven’t. The rest of it? Well that they can’t see, and I suspect Simon will want to keep it that way!
Knowing you I'm suspecting these last two chapters will need re reading for info lost in the first reading. So much up in the air. Hope someone helps Si sort. Luke and E will be interesting. But right now the title summed it up. Happy New Year.
Happy New Year to you too Steve! I just hope Luke leaves some time for Simon now he’s got Elliott in his sights, as younger brother is carrying a shed-load of hurt.
Thank you for sharing this story with us.
Si is my favorite character in this story. It kills me to see him so hurt. I too hope that he can get through this misery without hating Toby. They are both quirky characters; while very different, they compliment one another nicely. I think Toby really cares for Simon, even if he is selfish and careless. Let's hope he learns from this terrible mistake.
It is very nice to see Elliot again. He has certainly grown more confident since we last saw him. I really liked when Luke asked about the wrist band.
Elliott has been drifting on the edges for a while, but he’s definitely hit the ground running with Luke now. As for Simon, he’s really struggling. Will he be able to find his way through? Will he even be able to face Toby, even if his boyfriend try to make amends?
Thanks for the review, Oxala, and a Happy New Year to you
PS Re your question about what happened to Sam…does that happen? Mmmm…will leave you to figure it out!
Ahhhh, I finally made the connection that Elliott was the main character of ISH! I had read it quite a while ago, but English Teen went on so long without him showing up that I forgot, and now he's taken me by surprise!
I am really excited about what Luke's new budding friendship with Elliott means for his development, and ultimately happiness, but I'm also worried that he's not emotionally mature enough yet to help Elliott with his (probable) emotional baggage. Fingers crossed?
I'll have to read In Safe Hands again soon so I can get better context of the coming chapters, but I am really enjoying this story lately. English teen is really picking up pace!
Hello my friend, and thanks for another review! ISH and ET were always going to be the same story, but Elliott was important enough to have his own backstory. Elliott has also arrived into ET a few years on from his own traumas, and has grown a lot in the intervening time. I would say that he was confidant, but under the surface there is still a history that affects him.
Happy New Years to you.
Simon isn't even close to beginning a recovery. In fact, he's still on a downward spiral.
I have the feeling things are going to be much worse for him before they begin to get better. Poor Simon, but poor Simon's family, who won't be able to understand what's really going on. Simon is nowhere near ready to explain. Helicopter mom has the attitude to make it all even worse.
Only Luke, with perhaps insight from Eliot, stand a chance to break through.
Good chapter Riley! It revealed a lot.
Some really astute perceptions, Skinny. It looks like Simon is going to try to keep a lid on his feelings…bad news of course, because his anger and sense of betrayal is going to start surfacing in other ways.
Will Luke be able to help. Maybe, though he’s a bit consumed with his own issues right now with Elliott on the scene. Somebody needs to get Simon talking. Toby? Helicopter mum? Neither seem that good an option!
Happy New Near to you!
you have to feel sorry for simon. not only does he have the injuries but his best friend and boyfriend got carried away and did it to him. that sort of leaves him with nothing.(apart from his loving family of course). instead of calling for toby to be ground up and discharge on the dirt, i would like for the two of them work out the great wrong that was done to simon. what happened was serious and must be handled that way.but simon did at first agree. i happen to like toby and his mother and would not like them to disappear from the story. i don't think the two boys can work out this predicament them self. who would help? and is toby going to visit either in the hospital or at home? that would be very interesting.
riley, thanks for writing.
Yep, it’s really hard to see Simon feeling so low. You almost want him to get blazing angry - at least stuff might get dealt with then. However, I can’t see that happening anytime soon.
At some point he’s going to have to face Toby, and I think that scares him too. Is there any hope for the two of them? I dunno…it would take a miracle or at least a lot of help.
Happy New Year to you, and thanks for the review
Ahhh, poor child, I hope that he does not slip into despair. Simon is such a lovely soul, to have this done to him is deplorable. Let's hope that his big brother is astute enough to discover the cause of this and provide the support Si needs. The brothers love one another deeply, I suspect even more than they've ever thought.
Hello Dughlas, and a happy new year to you!
The big question is whether Simon is going to start talking or whether he’s going to close down. Will Luke be able to look beneath the surface and find a way of helping, or is he more consumed with the new guy on his own horizon?
Poor Simon - he must feel he has been completely betrayed by the person he loved. And he has been given the operation he was determined to avoid. Frankly, I hope Luke beats Simon's "boyfriend" to the consistency of toothpaste!
Simon is in a bad way and is going to struggle to come to terms with what has happened. Will he be able to see any good in it and be able to move on? And what’s going to happen when he next sees Toby?
Happy New Year Ozymandias
Authors prerogative to resolve nothing. Just want the next chapter.
Lol! On to the next chapter, and a Happy New Year!
Another chapter that brought tears to my eyes. I feel so bad for Simon. As he said at the end, he has lost so much. You made me feel all of his lost innocence. This story is getting better and better and it seems
there is so much more left to tell.
It’s hard to see Simon so down. You just want to give him a hug and help him to talk it through. Is anyone going to be able to manage that?
probably read ISF couple years ago. Struck by how sensitive Elli & Miguel were. You really felt for them and then ending really hurt. When started ET there was reference to ISF but I forgot what it was about. Then after this chapter went back and reread. Still hurts. Now you can't let Luke hurt Elli, that would be too much. What are you going to do with Ryan.
Now this is the real problem that's brewing Randy. We know a whole lot about Elliott from ISH, just as we do about Ryan. Is someone going to get hurt here?
Funny how Elliot is the sophisticated one here. It is embarrassing that I lived in Sevilla for three years on my boat and couldn't do the Spanish. Maybe I am a stealth Brit.
This was a nice time getting the boys better introduced but of course there are a lot of plates being juggled. As always waiting for more. Happy Hollidays.
Steve! I didn't even realise you were a Brit! You're right though - we Brits are rubbish at languages. Thanks for the review.
YES! Elliott is back and with a connection to Luke. Have waited 2 years to find out a little more about Elliott. Although I read on with a little apprehension knowing your stories can have a very sad ending.
Indeed Elliott is back - actually he started appearing way back when Luke was in the opticians getting glasses for his dad. It’s true Elliott comes from difficult personal e’s in a experiences - and now he’s in a mix with Luke and Ryan. Is someone going to get hurt?
Happy New Year!
Not much to say, but this was a great chapter to read. It is good to see Elliott and his family and find out how he survived everything that happened. I am sure it will be a story to tell. That ending brought it all back of why they are there and what Simon has gone through. I think Ryan has competition.
Hi Peethree. Ryan may have competition, but I'm not sure Luke will be any forthcoming with Elliott than he ever has been with Ryan...unless something changes...
A great chapter Riley!ISH was posted before I was on GA, so after this chapter, I've been trying to catch up. I'm about half way through and already stuff in ET is making mores sense, although the stories can certainly stand alone.
"If there had been somebody to blame for Simon’s trauma other than his brother himself, he would have gladly beaten the fucking bastard to a pulp!" -- Haha ...Toby better hope Luke never finds out!"Te gusta, verdad" Ha! Sam's sure got thier number. Maybe Elliot will be the catalyst for Luke. He needs a little shove.
Thanks for this chapter Riley!
Hi Skinny. Yes, it was probably a good thing Luke's Spanish is non-existent. Not sure how he would have handled that. Glad to hear you're enjoying ISH!
Thanks Riley for another great chapter. The banter, and bonding, between Elliot and Luke is quite enjoyable. I suspect Elliot's history is just a few of Luke's prying (or innocently curious) questions away - if so, it'll be interesting to see how Luke responds, given his internal conflict of finding Elliot so attractive yet being afraid of admitting his same-sex attraction to anyone in real life.
The aftermath of Simon being circumcised isn't going to be pretty, especially how staunchly opposed he was to the procedure. So, so many issues there, not least will be a feeling that Toby has permanently robbed him of something so private by his mindless, vile actions. I'm also guessing it won't be too long until Becky continues her grossly inappropriate blurting and spreads the word wide and far. The guy had better develop a strategy for dealing with unwanted questions and attention. I really hope that before long, he can put this behind him and get on with being a kid, but I dare say that'll be some time away yet.
So many different pots on the boil in this story, and I'm so eager to get a look in at each of them - no doubt you have an update coming for each (how's Jacko going with cracking on to Ryan at tennis camp, for example?).
Thanks again, and please keep up with the engaging, captivating writing.
Hi Milo. I agree with you, Simon is in a bad place on all kinds of levels. Will he confide, or will he shut everyone out? We already know a lot about Elliott through ISH, so there's no question where he's coming from. But will Luke catch on - and I'd he does, will he do anything about it? And then there's still Ryan. Not sure I can really see him going for Jacko, but stuff can happen...
Lots of choices, and soon they'll be back at school!
An Embarrassing dinner night with a teacher turned out to be an exiting one. I felt like a normal and formal dinner with someone old rather than new. I never knew the situations about a step father, not even seen near me.
About Daniels and Grace!!! We want to know what You think or plan to do. After all its Your story...
Hi MGK. So far so good...it seems to have been a nice meal. Toby has behaved and, it seems, got on well with Daniels. We'll have to see how the rest of the day goes!
What a great chapter! It's so nice to see ET and ISH intersect for more than a passing glance like before. I am quite unsure whether I root for Luke and Elliot or Luke and Ryan at this point. You have made them all likeable and believable at the same time. And they sure need a little more in the love department.
As for Simon, I do hope he confides in Luke some time soon but a ward full of other kids might not be the best place.
Hi Bleu. Thanks for your review. Having Elliott in the mix sure stirs things up for Luke, but who knows where it will lead or with whom!
I've been a fan of Elliott's since "In Safe Hands" first appeared and was waiting for him to arrive.
Toby is in for a world of hurt when Luke finds out just what happened to Si.
If Simon feels able to tell that is... And yes, we now have Elliott in the field. It could get interesting!
great chapter. You had mentioned earlier that you would link up with In Safe Hands. You are insufferable though,if you arrant ending on a cliff hanger then you are teasing us with possibilities. Where is this going, is Luke going to fall for Elliott and leave poor Ryan high and dry or will Elliott be disappointed or... I guess we will find out in time.
Insufferable? That's new - never been called that before, though I do enjoy keeping readers guessing. So is someone going to be disappointed...or is it something else altogether?
I must say I was waiting for the social worker to show up regarding the abuse. Hope that was dodged. Elliott is a cool new direction. Not sure we need too many more directions.
Since it was mentioned above I will put in another bug for, Against the Machine. Pax
Hi Steve. I think Simon was pretty cleaned up before he went to the hospital, and I doubt that Toby would confess anything to his mom quite yet - he probably doesn’t even realise where Simon is.
You knew Elliott was coming, Lol!
As for ATM - as I said to jdvr, let’s see if there’s still anyone ready by the time we get to the final chapter of ET!
Thanks for your review,
I am so happy that you are writing again and have some of your works published. I was wondering when or if Elliot would play a larger role in the story. This last chapter was an excellent read. Poor Simon, and will he tell the truth about Toby?
BTW, is anything happening or going to happen with Against the Machine?
Ah…Against The Machine… Not sure yet. My first goal was to finish ET and get the final chapter published. We’ll have to see how that goes. If there are still people reading by they, then maybe!
Will Simon tell all about Toby…I doubt it, at least for now, but who knows…
Great couple chapters! Things seem to really be moving along again now, what with the serious problems between Toby and Simon, all of Simon's penis issues, and the introduction of Elliot to Luke's life. I am excited and hopeful that Elliot or possibly Simon's problems will evoke some sort of change in Luke or Luke's life.
Hello there! It will be interesting to see how all this affects Luke - especially the arrival of Elliott. Have you read Elliott’s story yet ‘In Safe Hands’?
A great chapter Riley!
i wonder if any of the medical team noticed Simon's posterior condition, assuming there was at least some damage.
Perhaps it will be Elliott, rather than Ryan, to draw Luke 'out' - an intriguing and potentially complicating possibility.
Another interesting chapter in a very interesting story!
I’m guessing not when it comes to Simon’s backside. Simon did have a shower after he got home, so I think he would have been cleaned up - that and the hospital were probably more worried about what was around the front!
Elliott is definitely one to watch!
How I feel so badly for Simon. Perhaps he'll be fully out of pain, eventually. But the scars of the day will last a very, very long time. For Luke, he's made a new friend, and investigating Elliot promises to be a lot of fun. Looking forward to more!
Hi Parker. A bad day for Simon for sure…and tomorrow might not be any better. Elliott is somebody to watch - have you read his story?
I feel sort of guilty that it has taken me until chapter 55 to tell you how much I am enjoying this story. It's very well plotted with a wonderfully realized cast of characters. I hope the story goes on until Simon graduates from college!
A very thankful hello to you! Anyone who reads and reviews the tale is a real boost to me, and the more so if it's a first review from a long-term reader! So thanks for this , and I hope you'll come back with more as the story progresses.
Well, I'm finally trying to catch up with one of my favorite stories!
I think the dinner (lunch?) went rather well. I think the four of them were very relieved. lol
I definitely agree with Skinny; I like the connection that Simon and Grace have. I think it's the type of connection you can't have with your own mom.
Onto the next one!
Lisa! Brilliant to hear from you as always! Dinner did go well, but then…well, I guess you’ll have to see. Your right about Simon and Grace. Often teens can get on better with adults who aren’t their own parents.
A heavy chapter. You describe it like you have experienced it yourselve?
Hi Joey. I’m relieved to be able to say that no I haven’t experienced anything quite like that! I don’t think any of us would want to.
Thanks for your review - it’s great to hear from you.
WOW! Talk about having you on the edge of your seat. Typical mother behavior on Lucy's part. I rather to 1000+ things rather than try to calm a distraught mother. Sounds like Simon has a rough road ahead of him.
Thanks for the review. Yep - a rough road behind and ahead for Simon. Let’s hope he recovers quickly.
Youch!!! Simon's distress translated into reader's tears at this end. Whatever the outcome for him, I do hope he's promptly given some pain relief - and by some stroke of luck, avoids the Spanish Inquisition from his parents as to how this happened.
Loved the used car negotiations, Riley - thanks for the light humour in an otherwise uncomfortable chapter. My first car was a Volvo too. :-)
Hey there again. You gotta love a Volvo! Thanks for the review Milo.
My heart goes out to Simon, maybe he should have listened to the Doc in the first place and had the op like his brother. I'm sure it would have been a lot better for him in the long run. Paraphimosis sounds eye-wateringly painful. Ouch! Lucy seems a little paranoid to me and should understand that at their age, her sons would probably prefer her not to keep demanding to see their willies. She dosen't really understand anyway. She should have trusted Luke to examine Simon's dick, he would have handled it a lot better. Excuse the pun.
Hello Dodger, and thanks for your review! Yes, perhaps he should have listened to the Doc. For sure, he shouldn’t have listened to Toby! Lucy is just being a mum, and I don’t think in the circumstances that she was just going to stand back and do nothing!
I knew it was going to turn out terrible for Simon, and his mind hasn't even been able to process the rape yet. The pain and complications which brought him to ER are focusing his attention. When the rest hits him, being 'out' is going to seem trivial. Unless he shuts sex down completely.
His family has no idea the depth of damage he's endured.
A good (bad) chapter Riley!
Oh dear - what have we done to the poor kid, and what will happen when he gets past anger to something else?
Poor Simon! I suspect this won't end well for him, I wonder if he's going to have an emergency circumcision he won't want. No doubt he's going to be outed to his parents too, it's going to be a very stressful to for him.
Hello Jagboi - and thanks for your review. If Simon’s parents believe that the Paraphimosis is an outcome of the stretching tool, then maybe he won’t be outed. It doesn’t make the rest of it any better though!
How very, very, terrifying for Simon. The pain just amplifies the fear, and the fear reinforces the pain. You do marvelously at characterizing the reactions and painting the emotions of Geoff, Luke and his mother. The reckoning will come later, and that fear will further tear into poor Simon. Toby really did a number on him, and I fear it will put Simon off any kind of healthy relationships for a long time to come. This is an excellent chapter, and I thank you for it.
Thanks for the review Parker. It was quite a rocky ride down to the hospital! You’re right, I think you have to wonder how this is going to impact Simon in the long run. Let’s hope he can get through it.
Another great chapter. I feel so bad for Simon and the family. You capture so well all the emotions of the family members. I know there will be so much more to come for all, including more tears from me.
More to come - and some surprises too I think!
Thanks for reviewing.
Thanks for another great chapter, Riley, even if it was quite dark. Poor, poor Simon - that's the last thing he would expect from someone he's so close to. Even before it happened, I was wondering where the warmth and tenderness in their exchange was - wouldn't that be more Simon's style? Toby is clearly troubled - as others have pointed out, not only to be so offbeat as to be fantasising about somebody else, as if the dude he was with wasn't even there with him, but the way in which he violated Simon is utterly appalling - not only the effective rape, but the 'unhooding', too; it was all so wrong. I do hope Simon is able to talk to, and be comforted by, his older brother - but even that isn't going to be enough to make him feel ok. I wouldn't be surprised if he can no longer trust or even respect Toby, at least not for a very long time. I bet the youngster also wishes he could confide in his parents just for the emotional support, but I guess there's no way he could, given the subject matter.
Very keenly looking forward to your next instalment. Thanks again.
Hello Milo. No, it was never Simon’s ‘style’, and whatever feelings he had for Toby are going to be torn to shreds. There’s something about Toby that’s a little disturbing and whatever is driving him isn’t good. Trust Toby? No. Get help from Luke? Maybe. Confide in his parents? No a chance!
It was so bad in so many ways. And it's only going to get worse.Simon is traumatized, possibly injured. If Luke pries the truth out, heaven help Toby.
Toby has had issues all along. You've certainly given us enough warnings Riley. But as readers, we usually assume main, likable characters always come through. You've showed us not to make that mistake with a few characters in this story.
You'd think we'd learn!
I don’t think anyone is perfect, Skinny. Most of us have our dark side, and try to ignore a cupboard carrying the odd skeleton! At best, Toby is damaged stock, and you could make a case that he can’t help how he is. Poor excuse though, isn’t it! And, as you say. if Luke finds out, heaven help the guy!
Poor Simon. It was all fun and games, and then he got very badly hurt. He said no, but was in no real position to enforce his wishes. And Toby really didn't get it, or intend to get it. Him fantasizing about another boy while prying open his own boyfriend speaks volumes about where he is right now. So different to Simon. Can Luke be of any help or support to Simon now?
Hi Parker! You’re right, Toby didn’t get it - or possibly didn’t even intend to get it. Honestly, I’ve always wondered why those two are together, and I think Simon is coming to that conclusion just now, too!
The question is, will Simon tell Luke? I don’t think he’d say anything to his parents, but he might his brother. If he could do that, I think it would really help.
I have to say, I really used to like Toby, but in the last few chapers I began doubting if he really was a nice guy. In the course of this chapter I began to dislike him, he displayed a personalitiy I cannot approve - extremely selfish, disregarding of others feelings and opinions, very pressuring and singleminded.
But regarding all the other chapters I am not ready yet to write him off, but that can only be avoided if he realizes his mistake and changes. I also think he won't realize them on his own.
I only hope Simon didn't hurt himself, when his foreskin was forced back and will ne able to process the event
While there is a lot to like about Toby, he definitely has a dark side. It’s not new either - it’s always been there, but it’s only as he’s begun pushing out the boat now that he has Simon that a lot of the previously hidden traits are beginning to show through.
But can he change? And more to the point, can Simon ever forgive him?
Who knows, but thanks for the review!
Wow! The previous chapter was such a high with the dinner going so well and now everything ends so poorly for Simon and Toby. You weaved in some of Toby's issues well with the flashbacks to his earlier treatment that seems like he was dominated and his watching and fantasizing about Ryan's hang. Really good chapter that I hope Simon recovers from, but I am not sure how soon. What is to come? Toby is so unpredictable.
Hi there Peethree! Originally, it was going to be all one single chapter, but it started getting long and my editor and I decided that we should break it up, so that there is a good, followed by a real ugly. Toby has always had issues, damaged by his own experiences when he was a kid. Once you weave in his creative imagination, it becomes a potent mix. Whatever happens now, it’s not over in all kinds of ways…just not good ones!
Not good, not good at all. Toby seems unaware that he just raped Simon. His earlier experience left him damaged and there are issues he needs to resolve. I think we may have just read the beginning of the end of their relationship.
I think it happened without either of them thinking it was that (i.e. rape), but I wonder how long it’s going to take for Simon to begin to see it in that way? Even if it weren’t the end for them, it’s sure going to be a long way back.
Thanks for the review Dughlas
I loved reading about the barbecue!
I do agree with Milo when he mentioned Jacko and Ryan. I also noticed that Jacko is trying to insinuate himself between Luke and Ryan. Luke's already getting a little annoyed, but wait till he finds out Jacko wants Ryan the same way Luke does! Maybe Luke should think about going to their camp also, if for no reason but to keep an eye on Jacko! lol
LOL! Jack is so easy to read, he’s going to have to be careful, I think, Lisa! Thanks for another review - they’re always welcome!
A nice, more intimate, chapter following the bigger busier ones.It wouldn't surprise me if Daniels already has the boys figured out. If not, I'm sure he would be cool with it. Instead of Grace 'telling' him, it would be better if the boys did some small thing to make him realize, if he hadn't already. It would be better than a big announcement.
Riley, you painted the connection between Simon and Grace so well. Also her ability to use Simon to keep Toby under control.
Great chapter Riley! Now about Luke...
Thanks again for another the review Skinny. I actually doubt that Daniels is that clued up. he teaches at an all boys school, so is naturally only ever going to see same-sex friendships as normal day to day stuff, and nothing unusual. Now about Luke…well, we’ll have to see!
A fine day with friends and different kind of pairs and all. It simple, neat and I know You worked a lot. I liked it.
But, when are You going to give a 'Luke and Ryan' shot for Us. I was eagerly waiting for that.
A shot for Ryan and Luke…is that ever going to happen? And if it does, is it going to be how you think? One thing I can promise - it won’t be boring!
Thanks for the review MGK
Yes, indeed, but painfully slow. College--no less?
Hi Napaguy. College seems a long ways away. Maybe that feels safe to Luke - but maybe he isn’t going to be given that luxury?
Thanks Riley for another great chapter, and especially for a back to back treat. It seems there are nuances and dynamics developing between many different characters now, each with a little mystery about how the development will pan out. For example, Owen and Olly (that's especially interesting), Stacey and Luke (will Luke be honest with her, and will it help him to confide in someone?), Jacko and Ryan (I want to say Jacko should keep his eyes off Ryan, but that's none of my business) and of course Simon (one of my favourite characters) and Toby and Mrs Skerrit. Credit to you for getting so much going on, with such flow and consistency and a "down to earthness" about it all.
I'd love to hear from Ryan's perspective some time - no doubt you have that planned for us all. :-)
Thanks again for the brilliant work.
Owen and Olly - well there’s an unlikely pair if you ever met one! Jacko is definitely showing signs of eyes for Ryan, though I don’t know what Ryan will do with that. Someone’s going to get hurt if he’s not careful.
If you like Simon, then the next few chapters are going to keep your attention!
Thanks for the review and the kind comments!
This was a busy chapter with lots of different avenues to take.
Is the story still set in and around 2008/9 ?
You have given Simon the chance to remain intact unlike Luke, but when Luke went to have his SmartKlamp fitted Dr Tiberius for one moment while waiting for the anesthetic to take effect on Luke's dick thought Luke may have been able to stretch the skin, was this the same method Simon now has?? but its good to give options on medical methods.
Toby, Mmmm hard to put a sticker on the boy, seems he gets bored easily and can be very dismissive to others including Simon. I wonder if this all stemmed from his problems he had when he lived in Sarasota and his friendship with Dillon.
It may even be the reason his what seems to be a growing interest in BDSM is coming from, his ability to cause pain and humiliation for others how he had pain and humiliation caused to him though be it not fully sexual then, is now turning that way with Simon.
Simon on the other hand has love for Toby, whether its a first love or the start of something else remains to be seen as both are still in high school and as we all know things change the older we get, but I also see a jealous and troubled streak in Toby that Simon will not allow or to hold more than a curious interest in his BDSM games as to be honest Simon is to "nice" for anything to heavy.
You seem to have moved away from the lax attitude of the teaching facility at the Academy after Ry's hang, true the kids are scrapping as a sign of solidarity but the staff still have gone unpunished.
Like many others have commented on, Luke seems totally closeted in his attitude about Ryan over the last few chapters and in fact the last few chapters have opened for more people to enter so pushing Luke/Ryan to one side.
It will take a lightning strike to get Luke out of the closet unless he is forced out, either by force from a third party or from a bout of maybe jealous anger aimed at Ryan.
I would like to see a bit more interaction with the older folk, will this happen? I know Ry's dad is a shit and is a drain on the lives of Ry and his Mum but with her parents in the picture this could work in both their favors if Ry's dad was taken care of.
Simon and Luke may be typical brother's, fight have there own friends but at the end of the day they both help each other out and they can talk to each other so drawing them closer, maybe Luke should use Simon as a shoulder to cry on and reveal his feeling for Ryan.
Great story, look forward to the continuation of this chapter.
Thanks for the full review Jeff!
So yes, the story at this point is 2008. Sometimes stretching is an option for tight foreskins, but it really depends on the age and the severity of the condition. Well remembered - Tiberius did have another look at that for Luke, just to confirm in his own mind that there was no other option than surgery.
You’ve got it right with Toby. Maybe like all of us, his past affects his present, and the whole leaning towards BDSM games comes from his experiences with Dillon, confused by the agony of humiliation he suffered under his hands. Simon doesn’t like it and, though he loves Toby, none of it bodes well.
Luke and Ryan continue to stay at a distance and, like you say, a lightening strike is needed. Perhaps they’ll never connect, or perhaps it’s coming…who knows, but something has gotta give soon! And if it does, hold onto your hat!!
This is an informative chapter on the developing relationships in the several groups. And it appears to be a kind of watershed moment, when events that fall can have consequences that flow in a bunch of different directions. Wonder how that will work out for Ryan, for Luke, for Toby and for Simon. Looks like Luke is in a waiting / holding pattern...
Hi Parker. Good question. Who knows what will come next and with who…
Ok , need more time on the older group. Some how Ryan and Luke need to become aware that they have more in common than they yet have been able to grasp. Even though neither has any strong interest in the opposite sex.
Keep it coming
They do seem to be managing to remain in the dark! I guess with the likes of Stacey and Mel in the mix, neither is even considering that the other has no interest in girls.
Thanks for the review on this one!
It's been a pleasure rejoining and catching up with this story. It is fairly heartbreaking to read a well written and engaging e-fic, only to discover it's not been updated for quite some time, and may not be again.
On the other hand, the surprise and delight of seeing an update just about makes up for it. These last few new chapters have been very, very good. In particular, I find myself incredibly engaged when Ryan is the narrative focal point. His emotional and life conflicts are complex and powerful, and I can really feel for him.
Luke, on the other hand, has succeeded in annoying me on multiple occasions now, in the way he seems content to just watch things happen and never take action, either for himself or for others. He has become something of an observer character, through which the problems and turmoils of other characters are reflected - a literary device I can understand, but don't exactly love.
Actually, I wouldn't mind if his... idleness was actually something he was aware of, and struggled with (it caused him problems, or he regretted it.) Yet, it seems almost as if he has no idea that he is living his life like a side character. His regret over his inaction during Ryan's hang, a guy he supposedly had at least some degree of feelings for, was really understated and shallow, or so I thought.
These are all just my impressions, and don't get me wrong, I really do enjoy reading this novel. I would not be surprised if, in fact, all of these things I've complained about are actually deliberate on your part, a piece of a greater scheme for an upcoming dramatic or emotional payload. Even if they are not, I'm sure you have interesting things in store.
Hope you are doing well, and eagerly awaiting more!
Hello Shinoai. Glad to hear that you’re back with the story and delighted to read your great review!
I think you hit the nail on the head with the perception that Luke is quite distant in many respects. It’s not just a feature of a person who’s something of an outsider (a Brit living in America), it’s also because he’s never really had to fend for himself in life or faced much in the way of difficulties or failure.
Ryan on the other hand is complex, but solid. He knows who he is and finds ways of coping well with his difficult life. However, I think we’re just beginning to see that Luke realises he can’t keep sitting on the fence.
Again, thanks for the review - and I hope you’ll add more as the story progresses!
So good to see Stacey and Owen again! Maybe even Olly too...eh, maybe not. lol
I was sort of surprised to see Simon and Toby at the BBQ; do freshmen always hang out with the older kids? I mean, I know mine did, but that was mainly b/c the whole wrestling team always hung out together as a group, even JV. But as I always say, the more the merrier!
Great chapter, Riley! Looking forward to the next one!
Next chapter should be up soon, Lisa!
Don’t forget that this cookout was arranged by both Todd and Mason, so they both brought their own friends from their separate years. Still plenty of time left in the day for things to warm up!
I'm thankful Simon doesn't need the surgery (right now at least). That whole SmartKlamp thing with Luke just seemed like such a pain in the ass. I hope Si will have fun with his stretching tool! lol
And of course I agree with everyone else who said Luke is a great big bro!
A massive relief all round I think, Lisa. Now stretching is on the menu - and let’s hope Simon decides to forgive Toby. Luke was pretty cool too - he seems to have a good head on him (pun unintended!) Lol!
OH EM GEE! Poor Simon!! What's he gonna do?? He can't possibly dye his pubes back to natural, what's he gonna do? Oh how embarrassing! lol He's sure to be pissed at Toby now! haha
Can't wait to see how this plays out. Snicker, snicker.
You’re right - sorely pissed off! Toby maybe pushed it too far this time!
What a busy chapter!All the characters in the play were on stage at the same time. Lots of emotions, grudges and plenty of other things to observe and guess about.A triangle between out, partially out and totally in the closet. That could be seriously interesting
Well done, as usual, Riley! Can't wait for more (or should I say, the other shoe?)
Yep, everyone is on stage. Great fun. The day is still young though, and we’ve yet to see how the characters are going to interact. More coming shortly!
Someday, lighting will strike Luke. Maybe Ryan will be there, maybe not. But at least he's had the experience of being happy and delighted with life. For one golden day. Thanks for the busy, detailed and evocative description. More, perhaps? Soon?
Glad you enjoyed this chapter, Parker. I agree with you - lightening needs to strike, but where and how remains to be seen!
I've had the impression that Ryan and Luke are close friends. Since they are both closeted why not break them into at least a closeted couple! And
Lost the last bit of your review there Napa, but interesting direction… What’s it really going to take to get them noticing the right things?
Liked the banter of Luke's dad when they took Simon for his exam, so British , and how Mum was almost ready to do her Florance Nightingale act again seemed disappointed.
Simon gets to play with himself as much as he likes was a joy, talk about a kid in a candy store and I guess he will use that as an excuse and take matter's in hand more than normal and i wonder as Toby is in to a bit of BDSM he will offer a hand.
But methinks there could be tears before bedtime with the Luke, Ryan, Jacko triangle
It looks as though Ryan coming out to Jacko has given Jacko a love interest that he never thought of before other than a possible bedtime wank fantasy that he now see's as a possibility and Ryan could also be tempted to reciprocate if the chance as well as something else should arise Luke although he may not fully realise it he is starting to show a bit of jealousy even though it was only flipping burgers, he is not to keen on someone coming between him and his mate.
Maybe Luke will catch Ry and Jacko kissing a slanging match ensues and Luke outs himself. Who knows
Thanks again Riley for as usual a great chapter.
Hi there Jeff, and thanks for a great review!
I think you’re right about Toby, we’re beginning to see a side of him that probably has Simon a bit cautious too. Let’s hope they can sort out their differences.
Jacko is certainly suffering from a bit of hero worship syndrome with Ryan, that’s for sure! Will it go anywhere? We’ll have to see, though I think it’s yet another thing Luke is totally oblivious to.
i like how you show the brothers' care for each other. They can argue and scrap but have a deep bond love and loyalty. Thanks for the chapter
Thanks my friend! A chapter I really enjoyed writing too.
Nice chapter with all embarrassing situations and all. Luke proved to be a good brother. But Si's not wanting a Op~ there must be some reason You planned I think. Yeah it did look like a BDCM ~Pubes Waxing. Hahaha...
Nice Chapter though...
Luke did prove to be a good brother to have around when you're in a scrape—or in Simon's case more of a waxing! I don't think he enjoyed any of that at all. It might be a while before him and Toby are talking.
Thanks for dropping a note.
Again a very interesting chapter, maybe a bit disappointed about the fact that Si did not get circ'ed .. If he is going to be, hope it'll involve Toby as a special guest !
Actually, i hope that Toby and Si will find to stay together =)
Simon does seem to have got away with it, though it's a real point of tension between him and Toby. Perhaps Si's boyfriend is just going to have to get used to that. I guess we wait and see!
Youch! Pubes waxing!!! Sounds like BDSM Some very funny scenes, throughout Riley! An altogether enjoyable chapter!Somehow I don't see the Simon/Toby dynamics returning completely unaffected by this episode.Luke was so helpful as a brother,until it was out of his hands Can't wait for the fallout and the next chapter!!
Hi there - thanks for the review on this chapter. I had a lot of fun writing it too! You're right, Luke was pretty cool in managing to head off any disaster, but we'll have to see if Simon can shake off his bad mood with Toby. Summer's coming, so perhaps they'll settle down a bit?
I love this series! I am so happy to see you back. I grew up in the southeastern states and I'm very familiar with the Roswell Alpharetta area. Reading your story is almost as good as going home.
I hope I have it right. I like to do a lot of research. Glad you’re enjoying the read, and thanks so much for the review!
Thanks for this chapter. Wonder how Simon is going to handle all this; and can't wait to see the extract from Luke's journal...
Chapter up shortly. Thanks for the review Parker