Study Date by L.M. Brown (Vinnie & Jeff #1)
A male/male young adult story
It was getting ridiculous. Vinnie, toughest guy in the school, was hiding round corners and doing his utmost to avoid a guy who was half his size.
He poked his head round the corner of the corridor, saw the coast was clear, and ran for the locker room. The rest of the football team were already there.
“Where’ve you been?” Andy asked when he spotted him.
“Had to take a detour.”
Andy didn’t look like he was buying his non-answer, but the arrival of the coach put an end to their conversation.
Practice was a disaster for Vinnie. His mind wasn’t on the game at all. Instead, all he could think about was the moment two days ago when he had nearly been caught.
“Take your hands off him!” Tom shouted from the far end of the corridor.
Vinnie jumped back from Jeff and tried to look as innocent as possible. Not the easiest task at the best of times.
Tom rounded on his brother. “I knew something was going on with you. Why didn’t you tell me you were being bullied?”
“I’m not,” Jeff replied with a shake of his head. “We were just talking.”
Vinnie had to give Tom some credit for calling Jeff on his lie. Talking had been the last thing on their minds. He supposed he couldn’t blame Tom for jumping to the wrong conclusion. After all, he had come across them while Vinnie had Jeff pinned up against a locker. Tom had no way of knowing Jeff happened to being enjoying it.
Vinnie had made himself scarce and left Jeff to deal with his brother. Only Jeff hadn’t come out to Tom, or told him anything at all about his relationship with Vinnie. Instead he had quietly pulled Vinnie aside and told him Tom was out for his blood.
It would have been amusing if it had been anyone else. Vinnie would have had no hesitation in knocking the crap out of him if he hadn’t been Jeff’s brother. But how do you explain to your boyfriend that you are the cause of his twin’s black eye, split lip and other assorted bruises? Or, more to the point, how do you explain that and not lose said boyfriend for being a thug?
Jeff was everything Vinnie wasn’t: Quiet, studious, mild-mannered and easy-tempered. He didn’t understand things like reputations and maintaining his popularity. He wasn’t the star player on the football team, who was barely scraping by in Science until he’d been assigned a student tutor. Maybe it really was true what they say about opposites attract.
“Baker, get your head in the game,” the coach yelled from across the pitch as Vinnie fumbled yet another pass.
Vinnie swore and tried to concentrate on the game, but all he could see was Tom’s furious face, and Jeff’s terrified expression.
After practice was over Vinnie showered and changed as quickly as he could, grabbed his belongings and raced for the library in search of Jeff. He found him, right where expected, buried behind a stack of biology books.
“I wasn’t sure you’d come,” Jeff said as Vinnie took his usual seat beside him.
“Why not? We have a study date, don’t we?”
Jeff grinned and twisted round in his seat to kiss Vinnie quickly on the lips. “Yeah, we do.”
Vinnie pulled out his books and opened one at random. He had only read a single paragraph when the thump of a book on the table drew his attention.
Tom pulled out a chair and sat down opposite them.
Vinnie didn’t know whether to bolt for the door or bluff it out. He had every right to study in the library.
“Tom, what are you doing here?” Jeff asked.
“Studying, of course,” Tom replied.
Vinnie had the impression he was missing something here. He just wasn’t sure what.
“I don’t need you following me round to make sure I’m okay,” Jeff complained. “Go home.”
“Jeff? What’s going on?” Vinnie interrupted.
“I talked to Tom after school today,” Jeff explained. “I told him you weren’t bullying me.”
“He also told me what you were doing,” Tom continued. “I guess I should have seen it before now.”
“Oh.” Vinnie glanced sideways at Jeff. “So, you’re out now?”
Jeff shook his head. “I’ve only told Tom. Though since he’s incapable of keeping his mouth shut about anything, I guess I’ll be talking to my parents fairly soon.”
“Do I need to worry about Tom telling the whole school about me?” Vinnie asked.
Tom snorted. “Like I want the entire school to know about my brother’s lousy taste in men.”
“Tom, go home,” Jeff repeated. “There’s no reason for you to be here.”
“I wouldn’t say that.”
“I don’t want you here,” Jeff snapped. “And neither does Vinnie.”
“I’ll just bet he doesn’t,” Tom muttered. “But from what I saw in the corridor the other day, you need me here.”
Tom grinned. “Because he was practically in your pants right there in the school, so from now on I’m going to be your chaperone.”
Jeff threw his pen at his brother. “We don’t need a chaperone!”
Tom picked up the pen and twirled it in his fingers. “You’ll thank me for it later.”
Vinnie leaned into Jeff and lowered his voice to a whisper. “Just give me the word and I’ll pummel him for you.”
Jeff buried his face in his arms. “Why couldn’t I have had a sister?”
Tom ignored him and opened his book. “Biology, huh? Okay kids, see, it’s like this. Sometimes when a boy meets another boy…”
“Just give me the word,” Vinnie repeated.
“Word, damn it, word!”
Vinnie cracked his knuckles as menacingly as he could. Tom didn’t move. Intimidation wasn’t going to work, and he really didn’t want to hit him. There was only one other option.
Pulling Jeff up off the desk he kissed him thoroughly. When they broke apart Tom was thankfully gone.
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LINK TO THE SECOND PART OF VINNIE & JEFF’S STORY.