Matt and Ryker from The Swedish Effect by Elektrisk

During adolescence, life swears its hatred for you.
Consequently, you are sent on many emotional roller coasters.
Is there anything you can do about it?


Chapter 1


Does he ever stop talking? I was sitting in my Art class with my head in my arms, trying to block out my obnoxious teacher’s voice. This was a rather frivolous task, because he Never. Stops. Talking. I don’t really think he knows much about art himself. I mean, anyone can draw a cat; shouldn’t we be learning about the basics, like, what the primary colors are? Whatever; what do I know? Apparently not enough, because I had a D in that class.

Eventually, I slid into my rather pleasant dreams which depicted a utopia; that of one which had no concept of ‘school’. However, that dream contradicted itself, because if it were a utopia, I wouldn’t be feeling such contempt for my art teacher. After what seemed like one second, although was really twenty minutes, my best friend Alister shook me awake. I wasn’t complaining, however; anything to be touched by him, ha ha.

Let me tell you some things about Alister: He’s the most eccentric guy that I have ever met, and probably the most eccentric person that I ever WILL meet. Also, he’s from Greece, and he came here when he was five, so of course he has one of those beautiful accents. I’d tell you more, but that’d ruin the treat of you getting to get to know him, wouldn’t it?

Anyway, he woke up me up with a nudge, and I jerked away; the utopia’s dystopian counterpart had been waging war against us. “Chill out,” he said. “The bell’s about to ring.” This woke me up quickly. You know what I love about Fridays? Guess. You’re right! Friday signifies the start of a limbo, which lasts for exactly two whole days. Cheers! But this wasn’t just any other Friday; no, this was the night of my friend Lily’s party. Lily is my best female friend ever, and my “secret holder”, you could say. Because she knows that I’m a flaming homo. Joking, I’m not flaming, but I am gay.

I would tell Alister, too, but there’s a thing about him. No, he isn’t homophobic; at least I don’t think so. But he is one of the manliest guys I have ever met, and he might play the “you-threaten-my-masculinity” card if he finds out, so I’ll leave that be for now. Anyway, yeah, he’s one of those popular, strong guys, but not buff, oddly enough. He could also be one of those closet cases that are in every high school, but I wasn’t ever going to know.

He also dominates on the mat, meaning he’s a great wrestler. It’s pretty cool, being best friends with the stud of the school. All of these awesome athletic feats can be traced back to the fact that he’s a total master of Aikido. Now, don’t get me wrong; when I say master, I don’t mean he’s like Morihei Ueshiba or Takeda Sokaku, rather he’s just really good at the sport. He’s been training since he was about seven, and now we’re both sixteen.

As the bell blasted through the school, Alister and I got up from our seats. “Are you ready for tonight?” he grinned, his stormy-grey eyes entrancing me. I had to think for a second about what he was talking about, but then I remembered; the party!

“Duh!” I grinned. “What time will y’all pick me up?” By ‘y’all’, I meant him and Matt. Matt is the exact opposite of your average, hormone enraged teen male. Well, sort of. He is rather short at 5’7, but he has a very solid body. Another thing is he is never angry; isn’t that kind of scary in its own sense? Really though, he’s never fought anyone (this excludes the playful messing around), and if someone talks bad about him, he just smiles and ignores them, despite the fact that if he punched them, they’d most likely die on the spot. He’s also faster than the Flash.

“Well, I have to help teach the little ones, and Matt has soccer practice after school… so probably around 6? The party starts at 8, so we’ll have time to hang beforehand.” That’s another thing. Alister isn’t only a hottie because of his physical appearance; no, he also is the best guy ever with kids. And as a black belt (“dan” is what it’s called, as he has told me many times), he is required to help young kids learn alongside the instructor, although according to him, he doesn’t mind one bit.

“That sounds great,” I said as we approached three girls in front of the junior parking lot. These girls were actually our close friends, Alyson, Rachel, and of course, Lily. I guess you could say we are in the “popular” group, but I’ve never been a fan of labels.

“Hi!” they squealed excitedly.

“Y’all sound more anxious for the party than we do.” Alister grinned, his braces glistening, despite the absence of the sun.

“Well duh! We get to party all night with hot guys EVERYWHERE!” Alyson giggled.

“In this town? You’re kidding yourself,” one of the other girls said. That was Rachel.

“Come on Rachel! Be more optimistic. I mean, nearly everyone in school is going!”

“I’ve known these guys since I was two; they’re nothing new.” Rachel was an awesome poet.

“Well who knows, maybe some of the guys will dress up all extra nice to put on a show. I know I will.” Alister grinned.

“Don’t kid yourself. Anyway, where’s Matt? He’s the only normal guy in this school.”

“Don’t be so mean, Lily, you know I’m more normal than any of these guys, including Matt!” I grinned.

“Go cry; I’m not mean!” Alyson smirked. I knew she meant no harm.

“Boys don’t cry.” I stuck out my chest in defiance.

“Yeah!” Alister said.

“Well ANYWAY, we have places to go! Bye losers!” Lily giggled.

“Places to go?? You’re hosting a party tonight!” I said.

“Uh, duh?! We have to buy stuff. Bye!”

“They are the biggest procrastinators in the world,” Alister said.

“Says the one who still hasn’t started studying for semester exams.”

“No one has started studying, except for the nerds, cough.”

“Hello! They’re like, what, three weeks away?”

“I’ll rely on my charm to ace them.”

“You haven’t got any charm.”

“Psh, I’ve heard you in the showers. ‘Ohhh Alister!’“ he mocked.

“Pervert. Let’s get going.” While I may have beaten off to my fantasies of Alister, I never did it at school.

“Heyyy! Wait!” We heard a loud, sing-song voice call out, which belonged to Matt. That’s another thing about Matt; he’s a Viking. Yep, a true Viking. Only kidding, it’s not like he walks around with horned helms or furry trench coats. He is from Sweden, however. Quite an English name, though, Matt. Unlike Alister, who has a soft accent, Matt has a heavy one. It doesn’t really hinder his speaking skills, it’s just that he mirrors the tones that Swedish has, in English. So I guess you could say it sounds like he’s singing when he’s talking. It was pretty cute nonetheless.

“Why aren’t you on the field?” I asked, boggled, as Matt ran towards us. This guy was fucking fast. Mental note: Don’t try to outrun Matt.

“Soccer practice got canceled. They say it’s going to rain,” he half-sang half-said. Okay, seriously, it isn’t THAT prominent, but it’s still fun to listen to.

And it DID look like it was going to rain. Looking up, I could see nothing but thick, grey storm clouds. I actually love the rain, so this wasn’t a problem, except for it may annihilate my hair, but that never mattered.

“Awesome! I love the rain!” Alister grinned like a little kid as we got in his car, a light blue mustang convertible. Some people may think that light blue is a girly color, but I beg to differ.

“Perfect! So hey, can’t we just come along with you to the dojo?” Matt said. “It’ll be so time consuming if you dropped us off at our houses; you’d have to get us later anyway.”

“Well you could, I guess, if you really wanted to.”

“Your instructor wouldn’t mind?” I asked.

“No, he’s nice. Not all teachers are sour, you know,” he grinned.

“Sure then. Let me just call my dad,” I said. My dad was never too good at answering the phone. Or maybe he just didn’t like me. Ha ha, joking. My dad and I don’t have the usual I-hate-you-I-hate-you-too relationships that most teenagers have with their parents. No, actually we’re okay. We aren’t like super close, but I know I can rely on him. As expected, he didn’t answer; there goes my theory.

“No answer; I’ll just come with y’all anyway,” I said. “My dad won’t mind.”

Of course, the trip there could not be smooth sailing. No, because if it were, it would not belong in my life. Nothing in my life is smooth sailing. Nothing severe happened, though, just some wannabe, freshman jock running his mouth.

“Faggots!” screamed the guy, who was very skinny, but about 6’0. It was hard to discern whether he was attacking our sexual orientations, or just insulting us; it’s hard to tell in this day and age. It would be impossible to logically assume it was the former, as Matt and Alister are straight, and no one knows about me except for Lily, so the only possible option was the latter. It’s kind of funny that he would try to demoralize us, because despite his very tall frame, he sounded as though he were in first grade.

Alister didn’t even acknowledge his existence, and Matt did the most hilarious thing; he turned around and fucking smiled at him. Like, what the hell? I was laughing my ass off, really. I have the weirdest friends. Matt could probably kick the tires off the guys’ car, you know, soccer = buff legs, but Matt isn’t that mean, not at all… usually.

“Freshmen are so annoying,” I mumbled.

“Don’t let them annoy you; their balls haven’t even dropped yet.” Matt smiled, patting my shoulder affectionately.

“You don’t know that,” Alister snickered.

“Yeah well, even so, they’ll have some catching up to do,” Matt said, spreading his legs and leaning back.

“Slut,” I said.

“I am whatever you say I am,” Matt quoted. I took that as a hint.

Giggling, I turned the radio on to the local hip-hop station. I mean, y’all knew we had hip-hop in the south, didn’t ya? Matt and I are actually very avid dancers to it, but Alister… not so much. It’s too bad he didn’t take choreography instead of Aikido, huh?

Matt entertained us by dancing while sitting in his seat, and it was pretty interesting to see, until his shoulder hit mine. It sounds petty, but I’m pretty sure he shattered it. One would think he was made of steel if they didn’t know any better. Whatever. It’s not like you can dance efficiently while sitting anyway… unless you’re him.

Anyway, as we pulled into the parking lot, Alister did the whole I’ll-talk-to-you-like-I’m-your-parent thing and said, “Be on your best behavior.” Matt just rolled his eyes, and I said, “Sure!”. You know what’s fantastic about hot Swedes in soccer shorts? You can guess.

As we entered the dojo, I was completely blown away. It’s not like anything you’d ever find in a redneck town; it looked exactly like one you would find in Japan. The floors were wooden and neatly polished, there were wide windows that let in the scarce light from outside (damn the sun which wasn’t there), and there were statues of what appeared to be ancient fighters around the room.

Silently, Matt and I took seats towards the end of the large room, out of the way. Alister and his instructor, who was actually Japanese, formally greeted each other, and Alister continued to briefly explain our presence. They quickly began the session, managing to teach the children, who looked about 7 or 8 years old, with kind yet stern words. I then wondered if the kids were actually learning. They say that it’s better to just teach the young kids the elements of character in martial arts, but I was no sensei, so I didn’t know.

I engaged in a quiet conversation with Matt, as to not disturb the learning. “He’s real great with kids, eh?” I said, as if Matt didn’t know.

“Yeah, it seems so. He’s said he really loves them, so it makes sense.” Fortunately for me, Matt was sitting on his knees, ergo his leg muscles were jutting out in a sexy manner. I was surprised I didn’t pop one right there. I wonder what ancient Aikido senseis would think about my queerness?

“Think he’ll be a good dad?” I asked. He shifted slightly.

“Yeah, I guess. I don’t really know….” Yes, Matt hasn’t a father, unfortunately. Left him in Sweden, his mom did.

“I’m sure he will be.” I nodded, more to myself than to him.

It was then that I wondered how useful this Aikido really was. I mean, Matt was easily stronger and faster than Alister, but did that mean he could take him? I knew that my friends never thought in the terms of fighting; they were really serene, but you can’t help but wonder. I mentally chastised myself for thinking about it.

“You stoked about this party?” Matt asked, after a long period of silence.

“Yeah, kind of nervous though. Everyone knows that we’re helping Lily throw it. What about you?”

“Yeah, and I’m just as nervous. It’s kind of hard when everyone is expecting you to throw the whole shebang… what if it falls apart?”

“It won’t; you know Lily. It’ll be the party of the year.”

“You know, people ALWAYS say that, and it never is.”

“Uh, look who you’re talking to! I’ll make SURE that it’s the party of the year!”

“Yeah yeah. Are you even going with anyone?”

“Oh… anyone special? No, I guess not. Are you?”

“Not a chance.”

“We can be loners together then.”

“Sounds good,” he said. Just then, Alister motioned towards us. Time flew so fast.

“Time to go,” he called across the room. The cute little kids were lining up at the entrance/exit, and we passed by them on our way out.

“Whose house do you guys wanna get ready at?” asked Alister.

“Uh, just take us to our own one by one. My stuff is at my house, so yeah,” said Matt.

“Yeah, and you smell like you need a shower so bad.”

“Sorry you can’t take my masculine scents, Alister. Not like you’d know anything about that,” he winked.

“Asshole.”

“Hey, if you had P.E. for 7th hour, you’d stink too,” he said in his defense.

“You know, it’s been proven that if you actually shave, you sweat less,” I said.

“Whatevs. Can’t you go any faster Alister?”

“That’s what she said.”

“What, your blowup doll?” Matt snickered

“You’re just too cool, aren’t you?”

“Totally.”

As we pulled up into Matt’s driveway, we saw the familiar large, yellow house. Totally Swedish. I also forgot to tell you that Matt has a little sister. Okay, when I say it like that, it makes y’all think she’s like two, but no, she’s fourteen. The thing is, Matt and his sister, Anna, are stereotypically Scandinavian. You know, like she’s a nymph and he’s an Adonis. She has the long, flowing blond hair with the glistening blue eyes, and he has the shaggy blond hair with the exact same eye color; it’s really scary actually. So I guess you could say Matty-boy looks half Californian and half Viking, except we’re not in Cali.

Anyway, we walked into the house and went into Matt’s room, which was very glorious by the way; total neat freak. His mom wasn’t home yet, but his sister was. She came in the room as Matt was in the shower, and sat on the bed next to us. You’re probably thinking that I want to shag his sister… wrong. Ew. Gross. No. She’s only a year younger than us though, so it could be a possibility… in another life.

“What’re you guys doing?” she said, exhibiting the same sing-song accent like Matt.

“There’s a party tonight….”

“Do you want to go?” Alister interrupted. He was horny. But he’d just have to find someone else, ‘cause Matt would go ballistic on him; true story.

“Well, I don’t know if Matt would want me to…,” she started.

“Nonsense! You should come! Bring some friends if you want.”

“Well, I’ll talk to Matt about it I guess. I’ll go and call some friends up,” she said, getting up. But as she did, Matt came out of the bathroom with nothing but a towel around his waist. Astonished, both of the siblings looked at each other.

“Anna!” “Matt!” they both said at the same time. I prepared for the upcoming flurry of Swedish which was bound to come because she had said Matt like ‘Mahtt’ and he had said Anna like ‘Ah-nuh’. It may seem petty to other people, but Matt’s family believes in heritage greatly, so his mother discourages English in the house. Europeans….

“What are you doing in here!?” he asked, turning his back to us. I don’t see why he felt the need to hide himself from his sister. I mean, sure, it’s his sister, but he definitely had nothing to be embarrassed about, although I wasn’t going to complain; his back was just as nice as his torso.

“Talking with your pleasant friends, of course,” she giggled. She obviously didn’t find the situation as perilous as he did. “Anyway, Alister invited me to the party you guys are going to tonight.”

“What??” he asked, just as shocked as before.

“Yeah… I really want her to go!” Alister grinned, faux panting.

“Oh my god!” he said, tackling Alister. It was rather funny, even though it was kind of irrational. Alister wasn’t in a promising position, but luckily for him, Matt let him go, but only before whispering, “She’s off limits,” and winking. He was so dangerously hilarious.

“Ugh! Boys!” she said in disgust before walking out of the room.

“That’s a yes by the way!” Matt called down to her.

“You hurt me, jackass.” Alister faked a whine. “My wrist is probably broken.”

“Whatever Mr. I-know-twenty-wristlocks,” he retorted. “In any case, we need to hurry.”

“It’s only 6:30,” Alister said.

“Yeah yeah, ANNA! Are you coming or what?!” he yelled.

“Yes dammit!” she sounded annoyed. “Can we pick up Ariel too?!” she yelled back.

“Sure!”

“Yes! Two in one!” Alister grinned.

“Ugh!” Matt sighed before pushing Alister up against the wall.

“Hey man, chill the fuck out.”

“You’re talking about banging my sister and you expect me to chill out??” He said in an incredulous tone.

“I’m joking I’m joking! Let me go!! You’re killing me!” He wasn’t being sarcastic, actually. “God damn.” He fell to the ground as Matt let him go. I hadn’t known Matt was that strong; this’ll feed my fantasies for a few nights. Man I’m messed up. Okay, so I lied earlier. Matt IS violent, but only when it’s over his friends or family. That makes sense, right? I mean, it takes a lot of self-discipline to ignore people when you’re the victim. Whatever.

“We’ll go get her friend next,” Alister said, rubbing his now-sore neck.

“Sounds great!” Matt grinned, back to his cheery self. “Just let me change.” And change he did. Now, we all know that Sweden is home to major fashion companies like H&M and J. Lindeberg, but damn, this guy knows how to dress. A black tank top and pitch blue jeans, accompanied by one of those thready, brown belts? Hell yeah! This party was going to be bomb…. I just needed something to accommodate it.

As we went outside with Anna and into the car, I could see that Anna had a fashion sense of her own, as well. Now, the regular party outfit would be a slut-sized jean skirt, right? Only if you’re American. Even though her skirt was what one would call ‘slut-sized’, it was real beautiful. It was yellow with blue flowers all over it, and really thin, like what one would call a ‘summer dress’, despite it being almost winter. She had a sleeveless, white top on, as well.

The look on Matt’s face was priceless. “Are we going to an auction or a party?”

“With the way YOU’RE dressed, one can only guess!” she retorted.

“What’s wrong with the way I’m dressed?!”

“You’re just TRYING to show off, aren’t you? Good luck getting a girl tonight; arrogance goes nowhere.”

“Guess just chill out,” I said meekly. Matt looked like he was going to say something, but he must’ve changed his mind.

Ariel was waiting outside of her house when we got there. “Hey girly!”

“Hey Ariel!” Anna said, smiling for the first time since we left her house.

“So you brought a hottie with you?” she giggled.

“That’s my brother,” Anna said bitterly.

“Oh… wow.” That had to have been the most awkward moment in my life. Matt slouched down as far as physically possible. Shy around girls? Plus one for the gay side.

We didn’t spend much time at all at Alister’s house. “Don’t even bother coming in; I’ll be right out.”

That he did. He was almost as beautifully dressed as Matt, but a little more ‘dressy’; not my type. He had on one of those preppy, black collar shirts on with a white shirt underneath, along with majorly ripped jeans; total, complete prep. Okay, really, labeling is so rude but man, I think he was actually trying to look like one of those loser jocks. Who knows?

Next, we drove to my house. Okay, ‘drove’ is not the right word. We were fucking speeding. I feared Alister’s speed monitor would explode. “ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL US!?” I yelled over the roaring engine, as well as the sound of air rushing past us. The thing about topless convertibles….

“WHAT ELSE WOULD I BE DOING!?” he grinned. I really hoped my mom didn’t see how fast he was going as we pulled into my driveway. Oh, but wait; no one was home.

“Hey, can I use your restroom real fast?” Matt asked quietly. He was always so quiet, except for when he was choking Alister out, but that doesn’t count.

“Sure.” Matt’s going to be alone in my bedroom. Okay, I should stop the perverted thoughts. He’s way out of my league. He continued ahead of me up the stairs. The funny thing about a soccer captain going up stairs is, the soccer captain gets up them one hundred times faster than I do.

“Slowpoke!” he called down. I thought about saying something sarcastic, but, taking a leaf out of Matt’s book, I just smiled. “Where’s your bathroom?” I finally reached the top.

“In my room, duh,” I said. His turn to ‘just smile’. “But really, over there,” I said. As he got his business done, I began to change. I took off my shirt and looked into the closet and, of course, I had no idea what to wear. If I was going to try to convert some closet case tonight, I was going to have to look hot while doing it. After doing my ‘that’s-ugly-that’s-not’ process of elimination, I didn’t have much of a choice as far as clothes went.

Now, I’m not like, 50 lbs. skinny, but if I wore a tank top, I’d look like it compared to Matt. After much pondering, I took off my shirt and shorts and grabbed some blackish blue jeans and a thin, thin billabong shirt, along with a zip-up abstract hoodie. When I finally got the jeans over my thin, shaved legs and the tops over my slim torso, I turned around and found Matt standing right there.

We kind of just… stared at each other, to be frank. I was pretty embarrassed to be honest. How long had he been standing there, and why hadn’t he said anything? My thoughts were cut short, fortunately.

“We’ll be late at this rate.” I swear, our group could be little Edgar Allen Poe-ish. In any case, he walked over to me real fast and picked me up.

“Wh-what are you doing?” I asked, somewhat startled. Even if he was only 5’7, it didn’t really matter, because Matt made up for it in a lot of ways, if you know what I mean. Okay, I’ll stop the mysteriousness; he was fucking strong. There.

“Speeding up the process,” he said, running out of the room and jumping down the whole flight of stairs. Let’s get one thing straight (gay), there’re a lot of stairs in this one flight. It’s beyond me how he was able to jump so far and land it without the shock crushing his legs. Maybe I should pay more attention in science.

“Put me down,” I whined. Do normal straight guys carry their male friends? I wish I knew.

“Fine.” He gently let me down from his arms, which I have no shame in admitting that I was somewhat reluctant to do. The weather hadn’t changed when we walked outside; the sun was nowhere to be found, and it was pretty chilly.

“What took you guys so long!?” Alister called out.

“Shut up,” Matt said. Owned. Alister just rolled his eyes, and I felt like starting something by saying, ‘Ohhhh he told youu!!!!’ but I decided against it.

For some reason, Matt’s sister watched me peculiarly on the whole way to Lily’s. By this time, it was already 7:30. Had we really taken so long?

“I doubt we’ll be the only ones here,” Alister said.

“You sound bitter,” I giggled.

“I get nervous too you know!”

“We’ll be fine,” Matt said. Easy for him to say.

“You GUYS talk like we’re going to a fight that will determine whether we get to keep our souls,” said Anna. Wow, she was sexist AND twisted, cool!

The party hadn’t started yet, and I was kind of glad. I actually wanted to talk with Lily, ‘cause I hadn’t really talked to her all day, except for the short chit chat after school. She was there and obviously ready to go; I thought she would shoot off into space with the way she was jittering everywhere. Oddly enough, a short, light blue feathery dress adorned her; much like the one Matt’s sister was wearing.

“Hey guys!” she said to us; us being Alister and me, because Matt was with Alyson and some other girl somewhere. I felt jealous. “Are you excited!?” She obviously was.

“Totally!” I grinned, letting my gay side show.

“I’m more nervous than excited.” Alister shivered uncomfortable.

“Well, we’ll be fine I guess.” She didn’t sound too sure. “Come check out the kitchen.”

As we were on our way there, I caught Matt’s eye, and he looked sort of jealous too, to be honest. Maybe that was just my wishful thinking kicking in. Anyway, the table layout was magnificent. It literally took my breath away; one would’ve thought we were having a banquet instead of a party.

“So, who’s going to be my bouncers?” she winked, grabbing a cupcake off the table.

“You only need one; me!” Alister smirked. I actually thought that Matt would’ve been a better bouncer, but then I wouldn’t have had much of a chance to crack his shell later on, so I kept my thoughts silent.

“Sounds great!” she smiled. We had some idle chit chat go on until a lot of people started finally pouring in. After about an hour of socializing, it was already nine o’clock, and I seriously felt like dancing. I had no idea what was wrong with me; I just wanted to dance until my body couldn’t take any more, and that’s exactly what I did.

I don’t really like hip hop music when just listening to it, but it’s a savior when one needs something to dance to. The extremely dark/barely lit room provided an intense atmosphere as well. It made me felt like I was on eternal euphoria, and while Akon wasn’t my favorite artist in the world, I just didn’t care right then. The dancing really did take my mind off of Matt though, until I felt his unmistakably strong arms turn me completely around.

“Who dances alone, really?” he shouted over the booming music. I just grinned, ‘cause I knew what was coming next; a hip hop dancing duo? Hell yeah! It wasn’t like what you would see in a movie; everyone wasn’t staring at us, and that’s what I liked the most. I’m real sorry that you couldn’t’ve seen Matty-boy dance, ‘cause hot damn he looked sexy doing it. He had the leg power to support bending back & down at inhumane angles, and the style to not look like an idiot while doing it. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, but damn we were getting it on.

After almost two hours of nonstop dancing, I felt like I was about to collapse. “I need to sit down,” I told Matt. He nodded and put his hands on my shoulders, steering me out of the crowded dance room. We each grabbed a water from the fridge and sat down in the living room, watching two skimpy looking girls with barely any clothes on dancing on a table.

“Honestly, some girls…,” started Matt after the girls had left.

“Hey, to each his OR HER own,” I smirked.

“If you say so.” Judgmental? Minus 1 for the gay side.The situation was pure bliss, as we just sat there, talking with random people from school. But as I said earlier, nothing in my life is smooth sailing.

“GET OFF!” It was earsplittingly loud, but there was no doubt in my mind that barely anyone had heard it due to the loud music booming through the house. That wasn’t the only thing that was bothersome; no, the most disturbing thing of all was that the voice belonged to Matt’s little sister, and it was obvious that Matt heard it too. He got up and ran out of the room faster than I could’ve set down my drink. To say that I lagged behind would be such an understatement; he was fucking gone, but I found him, and let me tell you: the scene was not pretty at all. I have never seen a human being so furious in my life.

Anna was right out behind the house with some guy on top of her. Well, the guy HAD been on top of her, but he was about thirty feet away on the ground now. “What the FUCK!” I wouldn’t’ve been surprised if Matt’s voice had been heard all around the world. It was also intriguing that he achieved such a loud yell in a low pitch, but I’m TOTALLY digressing, because there Matt was, kicking the living hell out of some skinny freshman, and there Anna was, laying on the ground, staring with half horror and half relief.

I decided it’d be more useful to run over to her rather than Matt, because I’d probably end up in the way of one of his ferocious kicks and lose my dinner. I helped her up and brushed her off, but I thought it was best not to ask what happened.

The most disturbing thing that of all, however, was that the freshman getting the crap kicked out of him was the same one who had tried to ostracize us earlier today. What was his problem anyway?

“Matt! Matt stop!” yelled Alister, coming from seemingly nowhere. Though he WAS the bouncer, so it was his job to stop stuff like this from happening; what a bad worker. Thankfully, Alister didn’t have to struggle to make Matt stop; Matt stopped on his own.

“What the hell is your problem!?” the guy yelled, tears rolling from his eyes. “I was just messing around!” He was hysterical.

“Come on, you’re leaving,” Alister said, pulling the guy up. Matt yelled something at Anna in Swedish, and she yelled back in English. I could tell that he was pissed to no end, but it still sounded pretty.

“Get OVER yourself!”

“I stop a guy from taking advantage of you and that’s all you can tell me!?”

“You didn’t stop anything but my fun!”

“Is THAT why he was on top of you like that!?”

“Well… he… I don’t know!” It appeared as though Matt’s presumptions had been right, thankfully. They just stared at each other for the longest time, and it was rather difficult to read Matt’s expression.

“Anna, I just….” Then something spectacular happened; Matt burst into tears. Am I a freak for thinking that’s hot? A guy crying? I have no morals, I swear. Nevertheless, they embraced each other tightly. Matt actually picked her up and hugged her as if she’d disappear if he let go. It was so cute. Matt was totally a family man; plus 1 for the gay side. Okay, that made no sense, it was just wishful thinking.

“Where’s your friend?” Matt asked, putting her down finally.

“She was dancing with some guy that she had met here… didn’t you see her?” She looked uneasy.

“Come on, let’s get you girls home,” Alister said, walking towards Anna. Matt shot him a very scary look, but even Alister wouldn’t take the risk of messing with Anna after what he’d just witnessed. “Don’t worry; I’ll get them home safely.” He sounded sincere enough.

“You better,” Matt said, smiling for the first time in a while. “Come on, Ryker.” He addressed me by name for the first time all day. Putting an arm around my shoulder, he led me back into the house.

“Are you tired now?” I asked.

“No, I feel real pumped now. I hardly ever fight, but when I do… damn I need a punching bag,” he said. I ducked, seriously. “Ha ha, I’d never hit you,” he grinned.

“You can be pretty fucking ballistic; I wouldn’t hold you to your word.” I knew he wouldn’t, but it was fun to mess around.

“I’m only ballistic to assholes.”

“Yeah yeah. Hey, do you drink?” I asked, examining a shot glass full of Pink Pussy.

“Not usually, what about you?”

“Never.”

“So you really are a goody two-shoes, eh?”

“Hey–”

“Just joking, really. I doubt you’d be that fun to be around if you were smashed anyway,” he grinned. So anyway, it’s pretty cold  outside… wanna go hot tubbing? I mean, it’s not like we’re drunk or anything,” he grinned. He was such a dork.

“I don’t know… Lily wasn’t planning on using it, was she? It may not be such a good idea…,” I started.

“Come on.” After some convincing, I didn’t feel so reluctant to go. I mean, shirtless sweaty guy in a hot tub? What sane gay guy would pass that up?

“We don’t have any shorts, loser.”

“Well… just take off your pants then.”

“Yeah, like I’m going to do that.”

“You are,” he smiled again. What was up with him and smiling? Though I guess if I had such a great smile, I’d flash it a lot too.

We walked outside into the freezing weather. We had to be fucking nuts; it was midnight, and in the middle of December, yet there we were, outside in our boxers.

“Get in get in! I’m fucking freezing my balls off!” he shivered. Apparently I was too slow, because he picked me up and threw me in.

“Hey jerk,” I snickered.

“Ahhhhh…,” he verbalized what I was feeling. The hot water was such an awesome change from the bitter, cold air. You know those small jet things that shoot out bubbles and water? I totally sat against one, I mean, how can you get in a hot tub and not do that? Needless to say, it was heaven.

Even though Matt was sitting there with his luminous, wet body right there, it was kind of awkward since no one was talking. I decided to change that. “Hey Matty-boy… you regret letting Anna come tonight?”

“Kind of… but I regret not watching over her more. It’s kind of my fault that guy got her like that. But thank god nothing happened. I would’ve killed him.” I had a disturbing feeling that he wasn’t kidding.

“Yeah, but it’s good that y’all are so close, y’know?”

“I guess. It’s kind of bothersome, but it’s kind of my responsibility. I just wish that I had a brother to watch over sometimes; girls have a habit of getting into trouble all the time.”

“Like Alyson?” I snickered.

“Exactly. That girl’s something all right.”

“You dig her?” I asked, feeling my heart leap up into my throat.

“Oh, no… do you?”

“Nah, she’s just a friend.”

“I see…” he started.

“What’s up?”

“It’s nothing… just… do you ever feel like, you don’t fit in? Like you’re different in some way…?”

I felt my heart race again. “W-well yeah, heh, I’m friends with two foreign kids…,” I laughed nervously.

“No, I mean –”

“I need to go somewhere real fast…,” I said, slowly standing up. What are you doing Ryker? Are you stupid? Oh my god.

“Wait.” Matt stood up. His head only reached my neck, but that didn’t stop him from pulling me back down.

“Matt…,” I started. Then a miracle happened; okay, not really a miracle, but it was pretty awesome. It started to just downpour. Apparently, Matt’s coach had been right. The rain was so heavy that it was crazy. The loud noise of rain hitting the water and ground almost broke the sound barrier, but that didn’t wash away the situation.

“Listen to me.” he said. “I really need to talk to you about something.”

“Wha….”

“Shhhh.” He gently stroked my hair and looked me straight in the eyes. “Everyone has a secret that can never leave their thoughts, but I’m about to change mine.”

“I seriously need to….”

“Be quiet. Let me explain,” he said. What was I doing? Isn’t this what I wanted? Nevertheless, his legs, now crisscrossed around my back, kept me from standing up. Was he controlling, or was I just being childish? “It’ll take a while… for you to understand.”

Though his beauty was entrancing, my anxiety got the better of me. “Just say it!” I blurted out.

His Scandinavian eyes pierced into my thoughts, and I no longer felt so anxious. I don’t know how long we had been looking into each other’s eyes, but soon enough, he put his hands on either side of my head and pulled me closer. With his fingers behind my ears in a strong hold, he closed his eyes and leaned in for the kiss. This time, I didn’t resist; I knew I wanted, no, needed it.

I don’t know if you have ever kissed a European in the middle of a hot tub during a downpour in December, but it was probably the most romantic thing that will ever happen to me. We stayed like that for hours, just alone and in the dark. His tongue tasted like candy, and he smelt exactly like freshly cut grass. Had he put on cologne just for a party? Maybe he had been expecting this.

“Wow.” I gasped in astonishment. Call me a dweeb, a loser, whatever, but he took my breath away.

“Who taught you to how to kiss?” Matt wasn’t smiling, rather staring in disbelief.

“That.. was actually my first kiss.” I felt my cheeks turn red with embarrassment.

“That’s pretty hot; you’re an innocent boy.” He started to grin. He went to lean in for another go, but….

“What the hell??” I heard Alister say loudly through the rain. Now, this time I DID care about how long he’d been standing there. Had he seen us?

“A-alister?” Matt said, shocked at his sudden presence.

But Alister didn’t respond. Instead, he ran as fast as he could away from us. I felt my world fall apart around me. I’m ashamed to say that I actually started to cry. Matt jumped out of the hot tub, put a towel around his boxer-laiden lower half, and ran at an alarming speed towards Alister.

“Get the hell away from me!” I heard Alister’s voice boom through the vicinity, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

“What’s going on?” Rachel shrieked. I quickly got out of the hot tub, put on a towel, and ran toward the voices.

“Ask the faggot here!”

“What the hell is your problem!?” Alyson screamed.

“He’s gay! He and Ryker are gay!” To be honest, I thought Alister sounded like such a little kid, but I didn’t think saying that would help anything. There was nothing to say at all, as a matter of fact. Everyone just kind of stood there; Matt, Alister, Rachel, Alyson, Lily and I.

“So!?” this time it was Lily who screamed.

“So??? Are you fucking deaf!?”

“Hey why don’t you back off, jackass!” Matt yelled. I sighed, although inaudibly; Matt wasn’t afraid of Alister, yet I was personally afraid that all hell was about to break loose.

“Don’t talk to me, queer!” That stang. Who the hell did he think he was? Then it happened; SMACK. Matt’s fist had connected with Alister’s cheek dead-on. I think the reason Alister didn’t get up and hit him back just then was due to pure shock; Matt and Alister never fought.

“Guys, chill!” Rachel screamed. The rain that was so romantic an hour ago was starting to get annoying. We could barely see through it all, and it was so loud that we could hear nothing. Blood was gushing from Alister’s face, presumably from his teeth.

“Dude fuck you!” he yelled.

“No, fuck you! You don’t have to like us but you WILL respect us, asshole!”

“Go to hell you fucking fairies!” Alister ran towards his car, and shockingly, Alyson followed.

“What the hell Alyson!?” Lily yelled. This rain was really get annoying.

“Keep the flamer then!” Alyson screamed back. I felt my heart break as Alister and Alyson drove off. I felt like dying, really. Why was this happening? Alister was one of the few people I thought would have never turned their back on me, but I was wrong. And Alyson? What was up with her? She was normally so kind, and now this? I guess when times get hard, people really do show their true colors.

“Fuuuckk!!!!” Matt yelled in anger. Then everything just stopped. The rain came to an abrupt halt, the girls just looked at each other, and Matt fell on his knees in exasperation. The girls glanced at me, and I walked over to Matt’s crouched figure.

“Matt…,” I whispered. My voice wasn’t working properly; I felt like I was going to crack at any moment. He looked up at me, and must’ve gathered his pride, because he stood up and embraced me in a real tight hug. I might’ve suffocated if he hadn’t let go of me so quickly.

“The situation will work itself out… don’t worry guys.” I knew Lily meant well, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that she didn’t even believe her own words; no one did. Things don’t just ‘work out’, Lily. They never do.

“We’ll talk to Alyson, and Alister will realize how dumb he’s being.” Rachel said seriously. Dear Rachel, are you blind or just socially impaired? Doing what you described would be like trying to get an arachnophobe to hold a spider. I’ll be honest; I was bitter, but that didn’t give me the right to criticize everything they said, even if it was only mentally.

“I’ll make him get over it,” whispered Matt, so only I could hear.

“That won’t happen,” I said back. Although this time, I kind of doubted my pessimism; Matt could do some spectacular things.
 
“Come on guys… it’s almost two AM, let’s get some sleep,” Lily said weakly. After drying off and getting our clothes back on, we all walked one by one inside the house. We were drenched, but we didn’t care. Scattered about the house were some stragglers who had failed to find a ride home, but Lily was apparently too tired to kick them out.

Matt and I found comfort on the bed of Lily’s absent brother. “It’s just not fair,” I said. I felt as though I’d fall to pieces right there.

“Come on Ryker… it’ll be his fault if he doesn’t catch on.” I felt one of Matt’s legs, covered by his soaked jeans, intertwine with mine. Despite the weather, I didn’t really feel cold, but that was probably because Matt was there.

“But what if he doesn’t? You, he, and I have been friends forever.” Don’t cry Ryker. Please don’t cry; you’ll look like a baby.

“Don’t think like that… shh,” he whispered, wiping away wet strands of hair from my face. Then I did what I told myself not to do; I started to cry like a baby. I was taller than Matt and older by a month, but I always just felt so small around him. Now here he was, holding me in his arms with my sobbing in his chest, only adding to that feeling. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love what he was doing just then. And there we were, alone in the darkness. If we had learned ANYTHING from that day, it was that boys DO cry.

Continued…


Story Index  | Chapter 2 >>

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