“Stop being such a little fucking bitch,” Eric spits, and the dubious spark of fear in the pit of Taylor’s belly suddenly spreads like a firework – boom – searing through his veins, sparking underneath his skin.
He wakes up the next morning, unsure of how he got there, and sticks his hand out from underneath his blanket, groping around for his iPhone. He lowers the brightness settings, eyes still bleary from sleep and head still throbbing from the alcohol and the – and the drugs, and with heavy, shaky fingers, opens up the browser.
When he climbs out of bed half an hour later, freezing cold and tears burning the ducts of his eyes, body feeling wrong, he knows one thing and one thing only.
Boys don’t get raped.
He finds Eric on Grindr by accident, tucked into the corner of the couch as the television plays a mute 2007 film rerun in the background. Mom’s still at work, and he scrolls through the sea of faceless torsos, unsure of what he’s really doing.
If he finds someone near, close to what he finds attractive, in the back of his mind, would he try to get with them? He bites his lip. He doesn’t know.
When he stumbles upon Eric, his first thought is wracking furiously through his mind, trying to pinpoint who this dude is, because he looks so damn familiar, right, and then his second thought is to laugh into the silent room – he’s so stupid, Eric is, Eric is so damn fucking stupid, fucking basketball playing jock at a prestigious school so foolishly plastering his face on fucking Grindr, and then his third thought is to send a message.
Eric’s kinda hot, he guesses. He’s definitely a lot better than what Taylor had imagined as his first dude at twelve a night, before, under his sheets, wondering if he should get with any guy he can just to get it over with, no matter how he looks or how he behaves. Eric constantly looks angry, though and he’s always talking about raping bitches, so obviously, he’s not much better in either of those departments, but.
At least he hasn’t got any acne, right?
And anyway. Taylor rests his chin in his palm, iPhone heavy in the pocket of his uniform’s jacket, watching the guys out on the court. Eric looks good like this – sweaty and focused, biceps flexing – and Taylor guesses that that’s maybe similar to what he’d look like during sex, so.
It’s okay, probably.
Eric turns his way then, directly at him, through the sliver of Kevin and another player’s bodies, locking eyes with him. His facial expression doesn’t change, eyebrows furrowed, mouth set hard, but he keeps looking, keeps and keeps and keeps until Taylor feels unnerved, before looking away, finally.
They – Taylor would be assed to be calling it flirting, honestly, but, for lack of better word – flirt, but it’s nothing sweet, really; most of their messages are either about how the other has to keep this a fucking secret, or how they want to fuck each other, or a fun mix of both.
Taylor doesn’t mind. He’s always known he’s a bit numb and some boy sending him messages about sticking it in him from behind without even bothering with a hey sup bro doesn’t bother him in the least.
He sits on the bleachers in the court, knees tucked close to his chest, alternating between texting Evy about how she’s doing, how’s school, is that one kid still bothering her, and texting Eric about how bad he wants to deep throat his dick.
Eric can’t see them, though, not yet, so he sends off one last particularly nasty message before tucking his phone away, hugging his arms close to his chest and following Eric’s movements on the court. He wonders if Eric will see the messages right after he gets back to the locker room, if he’s one of those dudes who has always gotta be up-to-date with their phone shit, if he’ll wait til his teammates file out and jerk off right there, dick hanging out of his pants in his veiny fist, sweat rolling down the blades of his back and shining on his temple.
Taylor shifts suddenly, uncomfortable with himself, and undeniably needy in the pit of his stomach.
He can hear everything through his shitty bedroom door.
“Your son?” says the police officer. “Taylor’s a male?”
Team’s throwing a party
I don’t like those guys dude.
Hey fuck off
We can hook up.
I’ll think about it
“Are you kidding me?” Evy says. She’s staring at Taylor, those clever, soulful brown eyes, so strong, surrounded by the weak skin around them, sagging with her heavy seventeen years. “Taylor?”
“S’just a party,” he assures her, tightening his arm around her waist. She doesn’t seem to notice.
“Thrown by the basketball team,” she says in disbelief. He’s annoyed, suddenly, for a fleeting second – what’s so surprising? That he wants to go, or that he was invited in the first place? “Why …”
“It’ll be fun,” he says. She blinks. “It’s different, a change of pace.” He’s – “There’ll be a shit ton of alcohol. Kevin’s parents are loaded, Evy, yeah?” He’s trying to convince himself. “Just a change of pace.” Fuck. “Nothing can go wrong.” Nothing, except everything.
She blinks again, her eyes narrowing after, searching his. He smiles softly. She sighs. She nods. He squeezes her. He tucks his face into the crook of her neck. He’s okay.
For some reason, he’s never felt okay, not once his whole life, but it’s on a whole new level the minute he arrives to that party.
A lot of the girls stare at them, but mostly Evy, not trying one bit to conceal the what the fuck on their faces. The boys whoop, knocking him on the shoulder and sloshing beer around. He smiles plastically. Evy tightens her grip on his hand.
“Cool of you to make it,” he says, face stoic as ever, “dude.”
He feels good.
They’re making out in a room, and the ceiling is tall and the bed is soft and the windows are glass. Eric’ veiny hands are touching him, squeezing him, petting him everywhere. He can only taste alcohol. Evy is off somewhere with girls, making friends, maybe. He’s going to lose his god damn fucking virginity. He’s good. He’s okay.
He feels a little heavy, too, and he can’t really move that well. Whatever. He lets Eric tongue him for a moment, and then tilts his head, sliding his mouth away wetly, letting Eric resume on his neck. And Eric does, rucking up his shirt around his midriff and groping at the flesh of his waist above his boxers, digging his teeth into Taylor’s neck meanly, sucking and breathing rough through his nose.
Taylor lets his eyes wander around the room. It’s a very nice room. He wouldn’t mind if his own room looked like it. Maybe he’d change some things, if he had the choice, like perhaps –
“Ow,” he mumbles.
Eric doesn’t listen, or doesn’t hear; his nails dig in deeper. His fingertips are sliding underneath the waistband of Taylor’s jeans. Taylor moves to shove at him a little, catch a breath. He can’t move his arms.
“Eric,” he says. It comes out high-pitched and wheezy.
“I don’t –“ Eric pants. He doesn’t stop, moving and moving and doing and doing.
“When the fuck can I do this again,” Eric says. He’s ragged. It’s terrifying. “I don’t know.” He’s puling Taylor’s clothes off, some of it, sliding his shirt up underneath his arm pits, his jeans slouching down around his knees, like a lock.
Eric, Taylor’s mind says. His tongue is so heavy. His stomach hurts. Eric won’t stop touching him. Eric pulls out his dick. He starts stroking it. Taylor’s sure he starts crying. Eric laughs humorlessly, mean and wry.
Opens his mouth, eyes flashing angrily.
Taylor feels scared.
Eric looks terrified.
“Yes?” mom says. Her voice is thick, naïve. “Taylor’s my son.
It’s never going to be okay ever again.