Douglas sat on the opposite end of the couch from where Kyle sat. He could feel Kyle giving him quick little glances like he wanted to say something. “What?”
“Are you still mad at me?”
Without taking his eyes from the TV Douglas asked “what makes you think I’m mad?”
“Oh I don’t know” he moved his hand indicating the space between them. “Maybe the fact you refuse to sit by me.”
“Maybe you stink” Douglas said trying to keep his face straight but his lips twitched.
Making a production of smelling his pits Kyle shook his head. “I don’t. So what’s up?”
“You can’t be that dense” Douglas complained.
“I know I was getting on your nerves at the store. I thought you’d have gotten over that by now.” He heaved a sigh “I’m sorry.”
“Really” he asked laying the pillow he’d been hugging to himself between them. “Are you really sorry or are you just saying that because you think it’s what I want to hear?”
Grinning Kyle scooted closer “both.”
“Figures” he chuckled putting a hand on Kyle’s face before he could lean in and give him a kiss. “You’re not that charming to get away with such a lame apology.”
Rolling over onto the floor Kyle got on his knees in front of Douglas. A mischievous glint in his eyes “do you want a demonstration of how sorry I am?”
Running his tongue across his bottom lip anticipating whatever Kyle had in mind. “A demonstration would be most welcome. He leaned back, eyes closed. The movie playing in the background all but forgotten as Kyle released his zipper. The discordant sound of his phone a jarring interruption.
Groaning he brought the phone up “hello.”
“Are you alright” his sister asked in his ear.
“I’m fine” he tried to get Kyle to quit to no avail. “What do you want?” he asked trying to keep his voice normal.
“Do you think you could stay with Kyle for a few days?”
“I don’t see that being a problem” he bit down on his lip to keep from moaning.
“Are you sure?” she asked, “I don’t want to put him out?”
“Sis I’ve got to go” he disconnected letting his phone fall from his fingers. Moaning loudly as Kyle worked his magic on him.
Grinning Kyle crawled into his lap “what did your sister want?” he asked between kisses.
“She wanted to see if I could stay here for a few days” he managed to say between kisses that were becoming more and more heated. “I hope that’s alright with you.”
“On what” he asked as if he didn’t already know.
“I’ll need plenty of hugs and kisses” he tugged on Douglas’s shirt “among other things.”
“What would those other things entail?”
“Let me demonstrate” he said grinding against him.
“What if I wanted to watch a movie” he asked not really caring if Kyle had wanted to cuff him to the bed for days.
“There’s plenty of time for that later” he stood up taking Douglas’s hand and leading him to the bedroom. “Right now there’s more pressing needs.”
“I know exactly what you need to relieve that pressure” he grinned reaching for his boyfriend.
“Jace what’s so urgent that I had to drop everything to come over here” Jason demanded walking into his best friends place.
Pointing towards Christopher sitting like a statue on the couch as silent tears rolled down his cheeks. “I didn’t know what to do.”
Jason gasped seeing his childhood friend in such a state. He wondered how Jace had been able to function so far being more of a scardy cat who jumped at his own shadow. “Do you know what happened?” he asked even though he doubted he knew.
“I….” taking a deep breath as the reality of the moment came crashing down upon him. “I found him like that. On the beach crying. I barely got him here.”
“Should have called the police or an ambulance” Jason said frowning at his friends almost catatonic state.
“No” Christopher moaned shaking his head “no police.”
“Well” scratching his head “at least let us take you to the hospital to get checked out.”
“No police” he repeated looking away.
“No police” Jason promised “just a doctor to fix you up.”
“Okay” he whispered letting Jason pull him to his feet. “I should have known better. Done something.”
“Don’t worry about that now,” he said “let’s get you fixed up.”
Turning to Jace he said “call his parents.”
Staring at his phone like it had grown a head “what do I say?”
He could hear the panic in his friend’s voice. He obviously had reached his limit. “Tell them that your a friend of Christopher’s and that he’s been hurt and to meet you at the hospital.”
“What if they start asking questions” his face blanched.
“Just do it Jace” he snapped losing his patience as he struggled to keep Christopher upright.
Staring into space a moment before calling out “wait for me. I’m coming with you.” Pulling Christopher’s other arm over his shoulder “I’ll call from the car.”
Jason cringed listening to Jace’s conversation. Maybe he should have called himself but he couldn’t do it and drive too.
“They’ll meet us there” Jace said breathing hard. “I hope I never have to do that again.”
“You and me both” Jason agreed.
By the time they’d gotten Christopher inside and being looked at by an overworked doctor his parents arrived. “What happened?” Hannah demanded as soon as she saw Jason.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m hoping the doctor will be able to tell us something.”
Glancing at her husband Teasha could see he had the same worried expression on his face as she did. “You’re worried too aren’t you?”
Nodding he tried to force a smile on his face. “I wonder if we forced her to grow up too fast. Too soon. She never got to be a child.”
Reaching for his hand “this isn’t your fault. Every teenager rebels against responsibility at some point.
“This is more than the average teen rebellion” he persisted “we’ve pushed her beyond her tolerance.”
“You still think she’s the one taking your pain meds, don’t you?”
“I do” squeezing her hand “I know you think it’s me not remembering taking them but I know it’s not me.”
“Alright let’s say you’re right” Teasha said. “Why is she taking them? I haven’t noticed any drastic changes in her attitude or behavior.”
“Neither have I accept for her reluctance to help out around the house.” Shaking his head “all I know is she looks guilty every time we bring up the pills.”
“I’ve noticed that too” sighing “I don’t know what to do. Why didn’t she tell us she was having a problem?”
“I don’t know” Phoenix shook his head “maybe she was afraid of disappointing us.”
“We need to sit her down and have a good long talk with her” she said.
“The last time we tried that she refused to talk” Phoenix reminded her. “We don’t want her feeling cornered.”
“Then what” she cried.
“Let me think about it” he said “maybe a little father daughter time will help.”
“If that doesn’t work I’ll give it a try” she said giving him a tearful sniff. “I hope we’re not too late though.”
The ringing of her phone interrupted them. “Hello” Teasha said “OMG. Is she alright?” Looking at Phoenix eyes wide with shock. “We’ll be there as soon as we can.”
“What’s happened” Phoenix demanded watching as tears slid down his wife’s porcelain cheeks. “Teasha tell what’s happened.”
“London…she’s being taken to the hospital.” She gulped “she was at a party. Several of the kids had gotten ill.”
Blinking as he absorbed her words “is she alright?” He struggled to breath through lungs that felt as if they’d been flattened by a steam roller.
“We need to go to the hospital,” she repeated. “That’s all I know. They wouldn’t tell me anything else.”
“Okay go” he said as much as he wanted to be there to support his wife and daughter he knew it would take less time if Teasha went alone.
“I can’t do this alone” she cried pushing him towards the door. “I need you there with me.”
“How long have you known Micah has been going to these parties?” Quentin demanded his voice rising bouncing off the walls.
“I didn’t know for sure. At least not until tonight” he glanced towards Cassidy as if asking for help.
“You suspected” Quinten yelled “you should have told me.”
“Yeah right” he scoffed, “the only thing on your mind has been your new wife. You didn’t care how we felt about you getting married. If you had, maybe Micah wouldn’t have needed to turn to drugs and parties.”
“Don’t blame this on me or your step mother” he thundered.
“Of course not” Dante rolled his eyes “blame me for not telling you. Don’t accept responsibility for the fact you weren’t paying attention. Maybe if you had noticed ….”
“I’ve had just about enough of your smart mouth.” His nostrils flared breathing hard. The chime of his phone distracted him enough to pull it out. “What” he shouted “he’s what? Where? Is he alright?”
He sat heavily on the couch holding his head in his hands. Cassidy moved towards him touching his shoulder “what happened? Was it Micah? Is he alright?”
“That was the police” he said wrapping his arms around her waist. “Micah’s been taken to the hospital. Evidently several kids have been taken to the hospital.” He raised angry accusing eyes towards his son.
“Quentin” his wife warned “whatever you’re about to say don’t.”
“But he” he jerked to his feet.
Tugging on his hand “don’t say it. You’re upset. You’re not thinking straight. Don’t say something you’ll regret later.”
Taking several deep breaths he nodded. “You’re right. I’m sorry. We need to get to the hospital. They wouldn’t tell me how he was doing.”
“He’s going to be alright” Cassidy assured him. “We have to think positively.”
Getting up Quintin headed towards the door like a man on a mission or possibly living his worst nightmare. He could only hope his son was alright. He just couldn’t lose him.