The Wall and Goat Ch. 05bysexuscumlupus©
Ch5 – Maxie
Paul had though the idea of talking to Jesse through a hole in the wall was stupid, Guy thought it was inspired and Mina thought I was downright nuts. Toman had kept his head down, generally pissed at me for losing student leader privileges which allowed me use of the common room and the ability to leave school at lunch. He missed our off campus excursions.
Jesse and I were still on a no conversation policy at school, but had managed to graduate to 'please', 'thank you' and 'pass the red paint'. We walked to and from school in near silence, but every night, without fail, I would hear the knock on the wall and we would lie in bed, on bed, and talk. They were the conversation we should have had at the beginning. Jesse told me things about his life back in London, his old school, playing county level sports, how he missed his friends but they'd all moved on and didn't miss him. He hated the snow, which I though was weird, loved running, and had no idea who Keane were. I played him songs from my computer through the wall, holder the speaker against the hole and introducing him to the music that went with the poster I'd given him. He thought they were cool but liked Cold Play better.
We lay there with our note books and discussed our English assignment. We were finally done with Shakespeare which meant we now got modern poetry and the genius that was Simon Armitage. My copy of The Dead Sea Poems was covered in my messy inky scrawl, I'd no doubt that Jesse's was as pristine as the day it was printed. Jesse liked 'The Two of Us', he read me the alliteration of the third line and I loved his voice when he did; "You eating swan, crustaceans, starters, seconds, sweet." I read him 'A Sculpture of Christ with Swings and a Slide' taking my time on the lines I loved 'I took back the stone like flesh from a bone/while he dozed, sleeping it off on his cross' and when Jesse had to read it aloud in class the following day he copied my tone, read it for them like I had for him.
We talked like two nearly normal teenagers would. He told me about his dad cheating and why his mum had relocated them to, as he described it, the middle of shit-all and nowhere. He missed the swim team. I missed lunch at Toast. He wouldn't talk about the kiss, simply knocked twice for no if I brought it up. We also steered clear of the fight and the hate and weirdness that had happened in the first two weeks we'd known each other.
And then, prize of all school-children everywhere, we got another blizzard and another snow day. Most of the kids at our school bussed in, and they couldn't get in. I heard it on the morning radio and banged on the wall to wake Jesse. He knocked back and I heard the poster move.
"Cool. Lie in."
"Nah," I tapped twice on the wall for no, "Get up and come enjoy the day with me."
"I hate snow."
"Come on grumpy," I tapped the wall, "Come out in the snow with me."
I heard Jesse roll over in bed and I looked down the hole in the wall. He was silhouetted against the brightest in the room, I still had no ideas how he slept with the curtains open, and I felt hot lust run through me at the sight of him. Jesse's profile was soft and innocent in the half light squint.
"Fine, but only if you come running."
Now it was my turn to thump no on the wall.
"You scared of running Maxie?"
"Fine," I hated running, but if it helped get Jesse out of the house, I'd do it, "Meet me out front in twenty minutes."
I chose what I thought would work for running in the snow. Muck boots, tracksuit, t-shirt, hoodie and beanie. Everything was black, except the hoodie, which was bright orange and emblazoned ith the legend of the local universities ski and snow board club. It had been Paul's.
Jesse laughed when he saw me. He wore a zip up tracksuit in burgundy with a gold-yellow thermal shirt. His washboard abdomen half blinded me.
"You ready?" Jesse jogged on the spot and I nodded, feeling anything other than ready.
Any ideas that we could have had a conversation while we jogged were blown away by the time we reached the end of the road. Jesse was obviously a really good runner. After the first hundred yards he shortened his stride, a bit less like a gazelle, so I could attempt to keep up. We took a turn around the block and then start up across the paddocks, heading at an oblique angle away from the school.
After twenty minutes Jesse stopped at the highest point of the old priory fields and stood with his head back, gulping down the sky. I joined him, panting, a minute later.
"Holy cow," I dropped back and collapsed in the snow, "You really can run."
Jesse knuckled me once on the arm.
"Thanks," He held out a hand to pull me up, but I dragged him down instead, "We gotta get you some serious training, you could be a great runner."
"Very funny," I tried to stretch out my shoulders, "You know I don't do sports."
"Why?" We got up and Jesse began to walk down the hill, kicking out his legs, "You could join the cross country team. If you can match me you'd definitely place top five."
"Showers," I got up and followed Jesse, "Come on, let's go to Toast."
"But it's cold and wet and slushy."
I looked around at the pristine white powder snow.
"You should have worn boots. Come on."
Jesse seemed relaxed as we walked into town. The chill air cooled us down pretty rapidly, and all that exercise made it pretty easy not to be distracted by his beautiful abs and the way his high tight butt moved in his track suit. Three thing hit me when I open the door of Toast. The scent of freshly baked things, the waft of warm air that carried the smell and a three stone husky. Jesse shouted in surprise as I was knocked back by Nuka's flying fur.
"Hey there buddy!" Paul appeared in the doorway, "Nuka always did love that hoodie. Here boy." The big husky got off me and stood panting by his 'dad'. "Who's your friend?"
I jumped up and went to knuckle Nuka's ears, the big dog's tongue lolling.
"Paul this is Jesse," I gave him a hard look and shook my head almost imperceptibly, "Jesse this is my good friend Paul. And this Nuka. Nuka say Hi." The husky aimed his muzzle at the sky and howled, "He likes you."
"He does?" Jesse looked sceptical, "Hi."
"Don't stand on ceremony, come on in."
We ended up at a corner table. Jesse got a big coffee and a giant slice of chocolate cake. I got a vitamin water and a biscotti and earnt a bunch of Coffee Club vouchers.
"Dude what is with the diet food?" Jesse chowed down on his cake like he hadn't eaten in days.
"I don't do sport's remember," I rubbed my ribbed stomach, "And I like the way I look."
Jesse waved cake under my nose.
"You're running with me now. You're going to have to eat."
"Easy for you to say beanpole. Your waist is tiny."
Jesse smiled, and it was the first real expression I'd ever seen on his face. I rubbed his shoulder and he flinched away from me.
"There's stuff I wanna tell you," His voice was low, and his ice blue eyes, made brighter by the snow, pierced me once again, "But I can't. It....just give me time OK?"
"Sure," I scoffed my biscotti, "Let's go build a snowman." When he frowned I chuckled, "Hey, I did your running thing, now you gotta come be stupid with me."
Snow didn't last and we were back at school all too soon. And everything had changed again. Jesse and I talked. On the way to school, in tutor, during English and art. We talked so much in fact that Miss Shin had to shush us as she did the register. In English we started a new poem and Jesse's finger followed the words of the work in his copy of the book which we held between us; 'to the place of his birth/with a gift for his brother/And they see for themselves/each eyeing the other/through a telescope now/which had once been a mirror'.
I loved 'Afterword', and Jesse liked it too, we discussed the work at length throughout the art lesson and by the end of the session had both planned different pieces inspired by the poem. At break he went to sit with Ian and Pete, drinking soda's and looking for all the world like he belonged with the sporty popular kids.
It was Wednesday before Mina and Toman found me one lunch in the art room, setting up my own canvas for 'Afterword'.
"So..." Mina plopped herself into the chair next to me, looking totally out of place and way too neat in the mess of the art room, "You and Jesse buried the hatchet?"
Toman pulled my easel away from me.
"Oh no, you don't get away quite that easy." He fixed me with his best stern look, which wasn't very good, "A couple of weeks ago you hated each other's guts. And let everyone know that. Publicly. Now it's all hearts and flowers? What the heck is going on?"
"We...turns out we have lots in common."
Mina arched a perfectly plucked eyebrow.
"So he's boyfriend material despite kicking seven shades of shit out of you?"
"I don't know OK?" I was frustrated; I got up and walked to the art room sink, stained by many paints, "We don't talk about it. There's something that scares him, but I don't know what it is." I gripped the edge of the big once-white porcelain sink, "And what's with the third degree? I'm happy, why is that a problem?"
"It's not," Toman answered, too quickly, "We just don't want to see you hurt. Again."
"What is going on?"
"Jesse just got pulled into the office for fighting. He lay into Ian pretty bad."
"Fuck!" I was half out of the classroom before either of the twins had managed to get up, "Why didn't you tell me!"
I raced down from Play along the main corridor towards the offices. Pete was loitering outside reception and he turned nearly white when he saw me.
"What the hell happened?"
Pete looked flustered. "Ian was just joshing him, joking around. A-a-and your name came up and Jesse let fly. He half killed him!"
Pete was prone to hyperbole and I found Ian in reception with his head titled back to stem the blood from his obviously broken nose. The knuckles on one had were coming up in bruises.
"You come to gloat Tau?" Ian spat blood and spit into a crumpled paper towel, "You gotta bet that they'll be kicking your boyfriend out now."
"Is that what you said to him?" I glared at Ian until he quivered.
"Something along those lines."
I kicked him sharply in the ankle.
"You ultimate moron! You deserved what you got. We're just friends all right? Where is he?"
"Headmaster's office. Fuck I think I broke a knuckle on his ribs. He is one strong bastard."
I gave Ian another kick for good measure.
In the end of course there was nothing I could do, regardless of pleading and promises and explanations. Considering what Jesse had said about me, what Ian had said could not be taken as provocation, and he had broken another student's nose. Jesse was externally excluded for a week and I went back to the art rooms feeling utterly miserable.
I raced to get home, said a cursory hello to grandmother and mum and raced up the stairs. I threw my bag at the wall as I struggled out of my shoes and useless uniform. By the time I was re dressed and at the hole in the wall I looked through it to find Jesse lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling, his poetry book in hand.
I got my book out and lay on my front, lining up my eye with the hole, staring at Jesse as he read from the book.
"Anyone here had a go at themselves/for a laugh? Anyone opened their wrists/with a blade in the bath?"
I skipped through the rest of the poem in horror.
"Jesse?" I asked when he finished speaking and put the book down. My voice shook and I was scared.
"I did it wrong, and I was lucky and didn't scar. It was sort of half-hearted anyways, I didn't want to die. This was after...." A deep breath and a pause I thought might go on forever, "After Him."
"Jes..." I scratched at the wall helplessly, "Tell me what to do."
"I'm grounded, but I'm allowed to run. Run with me?"
We ran because it was what Jesse wanted and after half a mile all I could concentrate on was keeping up. He didn't make it easy for me, at least not deliberately so, but I stared at the way his rear bounced as he jogged and used that to focus my mind somewhat. My muscles burned, muscles I didn't even know I had. My feet hurt, my legs and thighs were on fire and I was starting to doubt Jesse's assumption that I would make a good runner. I was dusk, the evening drawing in, and I was glad that despite the thaw I had worn Paul old orange hoodie. It was not warm out. It was warm in though, and despite the distractions of pain and running and the worry over what Jesse had said earlier, his anatomy was doing inspiring things to my own. I shook my head to try and clear it, but in my head, Jesse was running nearly naked, his long back slicked with sweat. His blond hair was messy and out of place and he turned and flashed me a smile over his shoulder. My heart leap in my chest, then settled down for merely banging away like a steam engine.
By the time we stopped at the top of old priory hill I was exhausted, the sky shone with stars and I had a raging erection that was trying to get all my attention. I panted, hands on my knees, head down. Jesse collapsed on the grass, his chest heaving.
"God that feels good." Jesse stared at the stars, his eyes glassy, "I love the endorphins."
"Yeah," I tried to agree, but between my heart trying to beat its way out of my ribcage, and the pulsing of my still hard cock, I couldn't really focus. I sat with my knees pulled up to hide my desire and tried not to stare at him.
"I'm sorry if I scared you." Jesse didn't look at me, "God you guys have a lot of stars."
"Do you wanna talk about it?"
Jesse shook his head, bits of grass lodging themselves in his blond hair.
"I don't think I can. Not yet."
"Why did you hit Ian? Isn't he your friend?"
Jesse mumbled something indistinct.
"He said that I should ditch him for my boyfriend. I told him you weren't an then he said that if I didn't want people to think I was gay I should stop hanging out with...er, you." Jesse put a hand over his eyes. I watched his lips, the fabulous curve of them in the starlight.
"You wanna stop hanging out with me?" I was almost too scared to ask.
"No!" Jesse's voice was hot and angry, "Definitely. I like you."
"Good. I like you too." It was lame, but everything else I wanted to say clogged my throat. Whatever I said next it would be wrong. "Jes?"
I paused. Better to beg forgiveness than ask permission right? Jesse had his eyes closed, one hand flung out over the grass, sweat beading on his muscles. His chest rose and fell softly and in the starlight he was pale and perfect. I leant over his, leant close, used one hand to stop my fringe from falling into his face and swallowed nervously. His lips were inches away, parted, the shadows between them tempting and delicious. I stole another breath from the space between us and kissed him.
With no anger there that kiss was the most amazing thing I'd ever felt. Jesse lips moved against mine, at once soft and slack but firm, the roughness of the hard skin around the split my fist had made. I was so turned on I could barely breathe and my arms shook from holding myself off him. I moaned until his mouth and felt him stiffen, his muscles tense.
I leant back, broke the kiss to look in his eyes, so blue you could fall into them.
"I-I-I..." Jesse stuttered, and I realised I'd pushed him too far. I sat up, breathed in the cold air.
But Jesse had stood and I sat on the hill watching his lean figure jog ever further away from me. I was alone on the hill, under the stars, there was not a single lone dog walker or other jogger in sight. I lay back in the cool grass and relived that kiss. I should have known it would be too much for him, pushed him too close to some invisible edge. Jesse seemed to function very well within a set of very tightly defined parameters, tilting him too far in any one direction might cause him to explode. But that kiss had to be progress. He hadn't hit me, that was a start, and the sweetness in his lips. To me it tasted like a beginning.
I slipped my hand into the waist band of my sweats and stroked my still throbbing cock through the fabric of my boxers. I wished he was here, I wanted to touch his face, see him smile. I ran a hand up and down my own ridged abdomen as I began to stroke myself. Running was going to be hell, but I knew then I 'd never try and overtake Jesse, I could watch that arse run all day. I arched my back as I sped up, my balls tightening in an all too sweet and familiar way. Jesse's face flashed across my inner vision, his pink lips forming my name, looking back at me over his shoulder. Wanting to know his body drove me mad and I tightened my grip, rubbing the head of my cock until I could barely breathe.
My breath hitched, once, then again, and I knew I was close. He smiled at me, said my name in that funny posh London accent of his, the way he spoke when he was mad. His lips delicious, his hands around me better than my own and my vision clouded over as I came, jerking my hips up into my unseen partner, and Jesse's voice flooded my skull.
We wait, listless, aimless now it's over/ ready for what follows, what comes after/stood beneath an iron sky together/awkwardly at first, until whenever