Jane was woken up by Luke in the middle of the night. Jordan had come to his and Drew’s room in hysterics claiming that James was in his bedroom. All Drew could do was pull Jordan into his arms and try and calm him down. Jordan didn’t seem to come back to reality until Jane came into the room and took Drew’s place.
When Jane finally convinced Jordan that James was dead, he went back to sleep. However, an hour later Drew and Jane both heard a loud crash from Jordan’s room. Drew quietly got out of bed trying not to wake Luke.
Jordan was back in the dark and damp basement. Scents of urine, and feces filled his nose. He thought he could taste blood in his mouth. He knew what was coming when he heard the footsteps. He closed his eyes tight, pulled his knees up to chest and hoped the light wouldn’t turn on. Nothing ever good came of the light being turned on.
He heard the click of the light switch and deep red tainted the darkness behind his eyes as he heard footsteps coming toward him. His body began to ache and burn from injuries that had already healed. Tears began to stream down his cheeks. He began doing what he always did; he began to beg. When he begged sometimes James wouldn’t hurt him as bad. So he begged quietly as the footsteps stopped beside him.
Jordan stiffened and gasped as he felt a pair of strong arms around him. A scent hit his nose that blocked out the smell of the foul basement, and the pain disappeared. He was in Drew’s arms. His brother was there to protect him. Jordan knew Drew would not let James hurt him.
Jordan had curled himself into a tight shaking ball in the corner beside the closet. Drew noticed the crash had been caused by Jordan knocking off a speaker to his stereo. When Drew approached him Jordan quietly begged not to beat him. Drew had pulled Jordan into his arms and slowly rocked him back and forth till he calmed down and fell back to sleep. Jane sat next to them for the entire hour or so until Drew carried Jordan back to his bed and tucked him in.
Drew yawned loudly as he sat down on the couch beside his mom. Jane smiled sadly and placed a hand on Drew’s knee.
“Hopefully, the psychiatrist will be of some help to him,” Jane sighed.
"Yeah, I just wish he could start seeing her sooner. He needs help now, not next week. Luke doesn’t even freak like that and we both know he has been through his fair share of torment. I mean his father blamed him for his mother dying during child birth. Luke has told me some horrible things that his father did to him as a child.” Drew paused before running his hand through his hair. “I can only imagine what James did to Jordan to make him act like this. I mean he doesn’t even seem to be in reality when he freaks. It is like he thinks he is still in that house with him.”
"I know. What worries me the most is that he is actually seeing James. He honestly believes he is in the room with him,” Jane sighed.
"I don’t think he will ever be the same again.”
“He will never be the Jordan we used to know, but maybe,” Jane stopped, searching for words. “Maybe he can find a way to make himself whole again.”
Drew nodded silently hoping Jordan would get better. Jane kissed Drew on the head and went back to bed. When Drew went back to bed he snuggled up behind Luke and buried his nose in Luke’s hair and breathed deeply, calming himself with his lover’s scent.
Luke pushed himself back into Drew’s embrace and pulled Drew’s arms tighter around him.
"Is everything alright?” Luke whispered.
"Yeah, go back to sleep, baby,” Drew whispered before kissing the back of Luke’s head.
"He is now.”
"Are you okay?”
"Yeah, go back to sleep. We have to go back to school today, which means we get to confront Lucas.”
Luke made a mumbling sound before his breathing deepened and Drew knew he had fallen back asleep. Drew laid awake for a few more moments before Luke’s breathing lulled him into his own dreamless sleep.
When their alarm clock sounded the next morning both Drew and Luke groaned. Drew slapped the sliver clock hard enough that it fell from his desk to the floor. Luke laughed at this.
"You know if you keep doing that eventually you will have to buy a new one,” Luke said as he twisted around to face Drew.
"I know, I am just beyond tired, and the damn thing is so annoying. I swear if we hadn’t missed so much school already, I would stay home today,” Drew sighed as he pulled Luke closer to him. “Honestly, I am wondering if we will graduate at this point.”
"We are smart enough to catch up. Besides, the team has been keeping Rose and Jeff on track so they will know what we need to catch up on. Not to mention we have valid excuses up the ass.”
Drew chuckled at Luke’s choice of words, and Luke lightly slugged him in the shoulder before snuggling into his side.
"Don’t forget that we also have to confront Lucas,” Luke sighed.
"I couldn’t if I tried.”
Drew and Luke cuddled for a few more moments before they began to get ready for school. When they walked into kitchen Jane was pouring a cup of coffee as usual.
"Jordan is awake and in the living room,” she said, handing the cup to Drew.
“Why is he up so early? He hardly got any sleep last night,” Drew whispered.
"He was awake when I got up fifteen minutes ago. I asked him what he was doing up and he said he woke up and just couldn’t fall back asleep,” Jane said as she poured some cereal into a bowl.
Drew walked into the living room a sat down beside his brother on the couch. Jordan looked over to the coffee cup in Drew’s hand and frowned.
"Morning lil’ bro. Why you up so early?” Drew asked as he wondered why Jordan was watching the morning news.
"Wanted to say bye before you and Luke left for school,” Jordan said, keeping his eyes trained on the television.
Drew raised his eyebrows. “That’s sweet, but we’re not leaving for another twenty minutes.”
"I know, I also couldn’t sleep, and before you ask, I don’t want to talk about it.”
"Fair enough,” Drew said as he took a sip from his cup, letting the hot liquid swish around his tongue before swallowing.
Jordan turned his attention to Luke, who had sat down in the recliner. “How do you even kiss him after he drinks that stuff?”
Luke, surprised at the casual tone of Jordan’s question, nearly choked on his orange juice before smiling.
"It is not without difficulty,” Luke laughed.
“I can imagine. Drew, could you ask your friend Rose if her offer to fix my hair still stands?” Jordan asked as he turned his attention from Luke to Drew.
“She will be over after school. She has been dying to get her hands on your hair sense she met you,” Drew smiled.
“She’s nice. I like her.”
“Careful lil’ bro, she’s taken,” Drew laughed.
“I didn’t mean like that. I meant she seems like a nice person.” Jordan paused for a moment then looked to Drew, “Speaking of people’s personalities. What did your friend David want?”
Drew sighed and watched as Luke raised his eyebrows before leaving the room.
“Are you going to tell me or not?” Jordan asked crossing his arms.
“Jordan, please just leave it alone. David just wanted to make sure Luke was alright after the press conference.”
“Why? Does he have a crush on your boyfriend? Is that why he stopped trying to slit his throat? You better be careful. Lover boy might decide David is a better choice.”
“That’s enough,” Drew said, standing up. He looked down at Jordan with frustration in his eyes. “David was trying to kill Luke because he thought Luke had killed his boyfriend. When David realized he was wrong he asked for forgiveness, and Luke gave it to him. You have no idea what Luke has gone through, and how worried he has been for me concerning you!” Jordan flinched at Drew’s words. “If Luke hadn’t been there for me I might have just ended everything!”
Jordan looked at Drew in shock. He wasn’t expecting Drew to explode in such a manner. Drew put his head in his hands and collapsed back down on the couch.
“I’m sorry,” Drew sighed. “I just wish you could understand that the level of trust I have for Luke didn’t just come from thin air. He was there when I needed him, and I will be damned if I’m not here for him when he needs me. I would lay my life on the line for him just like I would for you and Mom. I just wish you would take my word for it and trust him.”
Jordan seemed to be considering the weight of Drew’s words. He could feel Drew’s eyes on him, but he was trying to process what Drew was saying. Before Drew’s outburst Jordan though that Luke was just a guy that Drew had fallen for – too hard – without thinking, but it appeared he may had been wrong. He suddenly realized that there may have been validity in their relationship after all. However, he felt that it was still too soon to be sure, but he would cut Luke a little more slack than he had been.
“Fine,” Jordan said before standing up and heading toward the kitchen.
“Where are you going?” Drew asked.
“Back to bed. I think we have said all that needs to be said this morning.”
With that Jordan went through the kitchen and straight to his room. Drew came into the kitchen only to be met with questioning looks from Jane and Luke.
“He said something that caused me to lose my temper. I know I should have just let it be, but I just couldn’t,” Drew sighed, as he placed his coffee cup in the sink and grabbed his backpack. “You ready to go?”
“Yeah,” Luke said grabbing his own book bag.
“See you later Mom,” Drew said giving her a one armed hug before heading out the door.
Luke gave her a wave and a smile before following Drew out of the house. The car ride to school was quiet as both boys were lost in thought. Luke had heard what Drew had said to Jordan about him. He was glad that Drew really loved him that much, and it gave him almost a sense of pride at the thought. Drew however was frightened at the thought that he may have set Jordan back mentally. He hadn’t meant to blow up at him the way he did, but Jordan just wouldn’t stop attacking Luke.
“I think that was the quietest car ride ever,” Luke sighed as Drew pulled into the school parking lot ten minutes earlier than normal.
“Yeah, I was just thinking about the way that I blew up at Jordan. I shouldn’t have done it. I mean he needed to hear what I said, but I could have been more tactful about it. What if I cause him to freak or something?”
“Your mom is there, Drew. If he does freak out she will be able to calm him down. Besides, I don’t think Jordan viewed it as you were abusing him in some way. He took as his brother getting mad at him, which was clear as he went past your mom and me cursing you under his breath.”
“Have I told you lately how much I love you?” Drew asked, grinning at Luke.
“Yes, but it is always nice to hear it again,” Luke laughed as he exited the car.
Drew smirked as he walked around the car and grabbed Luke, pulling him into his embrace as he spun him around.
“You two are awfully cheerful this morning,” said a deep voice.
“It’s hard not to be cheerful when I have him in my arms,” Drew replied as he and Luke turned to face Brett.
“Where is Mike?” Luke asked furrowing his brows.
“Running late as usual; Mike has never been a morning person,” Brett explained.
“Well, I’m glad we caught you this morning. David found a note on his truck after the press conference yesterday,” Drew said lowering his voice.
“What sort of note?”
“A death threat. It was from Tyler’s killer, and it more directed at gays than anything else. You and Mike might want to lay low for the next few days. Just so whoever it is doesn’t see you with us and decide to…” Drew let his sentence hang in the air.
“Yeah, I get it. Thanks for the warning, but we will keep an eye out for you anyway. Besides, Mike and I are too good at playing straight for anyone to suspect.”
“Just be careful,” Drew sighed.
“No, problem. Congrats on getting your little bro back by the way. He okay?”
“Eh, he is a bit touch and go emotionally, but that is expected. Rose is dying his hair tonight if you and Mike want to come by and introduce yourselves. He seems to like meeting everyone.”
“I’ll talk to Mike about it today, and we will let you know later.”
“Hey, would you two mind escorting Lucas to the locker room during lunch?” Drew asked.
Brett raised his eyebrows. “Should I ask why?”
“Well, he thinks it is a meeting about my brother, but it is actually about why he told David that Luke killed Tyler,” Drew said.
“Ah, that is surprising. I would like to know the answer to that myself. You can count us in. I got to get going though. I always meet Mike in the lobby before first bell. See ya!” Brett said as he jogged off toward the school.
“We should be heading to class too.” Luke smiled as Drew pulled him tighter into his embrace. “Or not,” Luke said before Drew took possession of his lips.
“Hey! What have I told you too about public displays of affection?” Jeff laughed as he and Rose walked over to them.
“And I do believe our response is always the same,” Luke said pulling Drew’s lips back to his.
Jeff laughed and rolled his eyes.
“Alright, alright, we get the point, lovers,” Rose smiled.
“Ah, just the woman I needed to talk to,” Drew said while letting go of Luke. “I need to ask a favor of you.”
Drew led Rose toward the school while Jeff and Luke followed.
“Jordan would like to know if your offer to fix his hair back to normal was still open,” Drew said as linked his arm with Rose’s good one.
“Of course it is, but I will need an assistant since I am currently in use of only one of my arms,” she giggled.
“Ah, well we will leave that job to your lovely boyfriend,” Drew said looking over his shoulder at Jeff.
“Wow, what job do I have?” Jeff asked worriedly while looking at Luke, who just laughed.
“Anyways, I figured I could ‘talk’ to Lucas in the gym locker room during lunch. We don’t need the teachers witnessing anything. I want you three to stay put in the lunch room. If well all go missing then the teachers will know something is up. I want David with me though,” Drew said, the last part surprising everyone.
“You actually want David there?” Rose asked.
“David deserves to hear from Lucas why he lied to him,” Drew said. “It also helps that David does still have an air of physical intimidation. So, I figured Luke could text David and let him know the plan, and Brett and Mike are going to escort Lucas there from his class.”
“Do you think Lucas would run?” Rose asked.
“No doubt. You remember how he went down in the ring against Drew?” Jeff said.
“Well, Mike and Brett will not let him go anywhere,” Drew said.
Drew and David waited impatiently in the locker room for Lucas’ arrival. Drew sat on the bench between the rows of lockers and watched as David paced and rubbed at his wristwatch. Drew was really feeling bad for David. He could tell by the dark circles under David’s eyes that he hadn’t been sleeping lately. Drew figured that he wouldn’t have been sleeping well either if he was possibly living with the murderer of his boyfriend.
David stopped pacing and looked at Drew, who raised his eyebrows in question.
“Thank you, for letting me be a part of this,” David said. “I know that you didn’t have to.”
“You deserve to be here, David. Lucas lied to you about something very important, and you deserve to know why,” Drew said.
David nodded and for some reason Drew felt the need to make conversation with him. David looked so lost to him. In the back of Drew’s mind he knew that David had been responsible for most of Luke’s hurt and pain, but if Luke could forgive him then maybe he could too.
“How has your father been acting lately?” Drew asked.
David shrugged, “He still hasn’t spoken to me since I came out.”
“That must be awkward.”
“Not really. I never really talked to him much before. Luke and I had the distant father and no mother thing in common. Only difference is that Luke’s mom was taken from him. Mine just decided she didn’t want me.”
“I’m sorry, David,” Drew said not really understanding the motivation behind his words. “Everyone is coming over to the house after school today if you want to come. Rose is dying Jordan’s hair for him, and somehow it has turned into a group affair.”
“I don’t want to ruin the party. I would just be out of place,” David said.
“No, you wouldn’t. Everyone would be happy to have you there. You apologized for what you did to Luke, and from what I’ve seen, you actually seem to feel guilty for what you put him through. Luke forgave you and I suppose it is time I do the same.”
Drew stood and stuck his hand out for David to shake. David looked at Drew like he had grown three heads.
“You’re forgiving me?” David asked bewildered.
“Yes, I guess I am,” Drew replied with his hand still out.
David grasped Drew’s hand and shook it.
“Thank you,” David whispered.
Drew nodded and as soon as he released David’s hand Brett, Mike, and Lucas came through the door.
As soon as Lucas saw David he knew something was up. He tried to turn and run, but Brett and Mike took a firm hold on his arms and stopped him. Lucas struggled as they dragged him over to Drew and David.
Drew looked over to David and nodded for him to take the lead. Brett and Mike let go of Lucas, who stood frozen in front of David. Lucas looked behind David for Drew’s help, but immediately realized that he shouldn’t have. Drew was looking at him with even more fury then David.
To Drew, Lucas was more responsible for Luke’s pain than David was. To Drew, David was doing what Drew himself would have done with the information that Lucas gave him.
“I think you know what this is about,” David growled as he backed Lucas up against the red lockers.
“I-I d-don’t know what y-you are t-talking about,” Lucas stuttered.
“Bullshit, Lucas! Why did you tell me you saw Luke drag Tyler to the lake?!” David shouted.
Lucas remained silent which enraged both David and Drew.
“Why?!” David shouted as he punched the locker beside Lucas’s head.
“Who told you to do it?” Drew asked steeping up beside David.
“I d-don’t know. I never knew,” Lucas said.
“Why did you make me hate my best friend?” David grabbed Lucas’s collar as slammed him up against the lockers. “Do you realize I could have killed him? That I nearly did?”
Drew placed his hand on David’s shoulder, and David let Lucas fall to the floor. David was tired of hurting people. He just wanted answers. Drew looked down at a guy he used to consider a friend.
“Lucas if you tell us who had you do we won’t beat you to a bloody pulp, but if you don’t I’m going to kick the shit out of you myself,” Drew said through clenched teeth.
“I don’t know who sent the letter!” Lucas shouted at them.
“What letter?” David asked, slightly calmer.
“I got it the day after your party. Someone offered me two-thousand dollars to tell you that I saw Luke drag Tyler to the lake. My family needed the money. I didn’t think you would actually believe that Luke killed him!” Lucas said standing up.
“Why didn’t you tell David the truth after you saw how bad things were getting for Luke?” Brett asked from the background.
“Because, I got another anonymous letter on my windshield after Luke was found at the docks. The letter said if I were to go back on my word that I would find my mother dead the next time I got home. What else was I supposed to do except keep quiet?” Lucas asked.
“You were supposed to decline the money in the first place, you idiot!” Brett yelled.
“That was blood money Lucas. When you took that money it was like signing Luke’s death warrant,” Mike said.
“I’m sorry, I am beyond sorry,” whispered Lucas. “I wish I could take it back, but I can’t.”
“Do you still have the letters or have any idea who sent them?” Drew asked.
Lucas shook his head.
“Was there anything about them that stood out?” David asked. “Maybe the type of paper or the handwriting.”
“They were both typed on plain white paper. I burnt them after receiving them,” Lucas said.
“Why?” Drew asked.
“Because it was in the letters that I was to burn them after reading.”
Drew sighed in frustration, and put his hands behind his head.
“If you remember anything then come to us. If you get another letter then bring it to one of us. If something else happens and you’re the cause, I will make you wish you had never been born. Do I make myself clear?” David asked.
Lucas nodded and stood up.
David looked at Lucas with malice and pulled back his fist to strike him, but he stopped and turned away.
“I’m tired of all the violence,” David said.
“Well, since David isn’t going to,” Drew said before drawing his fist back and punching Lucas right in the gut. “I wish I would have known about his when I had you in the ring.”
David pushed a coughing Lucas to the floor with an angry frown. The four of them left Lucas gasping for air in the locker room and headed for the lunch room. Brett and Mike were smiling at the way Drew punched Lucas while Drew and David walked silently behind them.
When the four of them walked into the cafeteria Luke’s eyes landed on Drew’s. Drew smiled at him before noticing that David was about to go in the opposite direction.
“Where are you going?” Drew asked.
“Well, I don’t—,” David began.
“You are sitting with us,” Drew smiled and led David over to the table.
Looks of confusion fell over the table as the four came near. Rose and Luke however were wearing large smiles. When Drew reached the table with David by his side he smile and placed a hand on his new friend’s shoulder.
“David will be joining us from now on. If you don’t like it you can sit somewhere else,” Drew said before sitting down beside Luke.
All the guys at the table shrugged and went back to eating when David sat down beside Jeff with the hint of a smile. He was surprised at Drew’s invitation, but he didn’t want to question it. He simply enjoyed a feeling of happiness that had eluded him since Tyler’s death.
Luke looked at Drew with smiling eyes before placing a kiss on his boyfriend’s lips. When Drew pulled away he saw Mr. Greene giving him a warning look, but he just smiled and threw his arm around his boyfriend.
“So,” Rose began, “what did you guys find out?”
“Lucas was paid off then threatened. He doesn’t know by who,” Drew shrugged.
“How bad of a state did you two leave him in?” Jeff asked staring at David’s bruised knuckles.
“Well, I punched him in the gut. David just took his anger out on the locker beside his head,” replied Drew.
Luke pulled Drew a little closer.
“Why does it seem like you have forgiven David?” Luke asked in a whispered.
“Because I have,” Drew smiled. “I also invited him over today.”
“Have I told you how much I love you lately?” Luke asked repeating Drew’s words from earlier in the morning.
“Yeah, but I loving hearing it,” Drew smiled as Luke kissed his ear.
The bell rang and everyone began making their way to class. Drew turned to David before leaving.
“Will we see you at the house today?” Drew asked.
“Yeah, I’ll be there,” David smiled.
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**Also remember that there is some serious editing going on in the beginning chapters. We haven't changed the central plot or anything, but there are quite a few changes and some new scenes. Chapters 1-10 have been edited so far. Happy reading!