Chapter 31 – Gregory
I bite my lip in worry as I glance at my phone display screen for a text from Taylor. I sigh as my screen refuses to show an incoming text and displays just the time. Still nothing.
“You need to stop pacing before you wear out the wood under your feet son.” Mom looks a little concerned as I continue my pacing, tapping my phone against my lip in thought. Mom sighs as he throws his hands in the air “Why don’t you check up on him of you are so worried?”
Jolting I am remembered to the fact that I promised to meet Tay at the gym as soon as he was done visiting at the hospital. But he said he would text me, why hasn’t he texted me yet? Unable to stand the waiting any longer, I snag my keys of the key hook and rush to my car. With a quick ‘I will text when I come home!’ I leave the house.
My shoulders slump as I stand outside the building five minutes later. Tay never showed up for training today. What the hell is going on?!
The next Monday I was jittery with nerves and worries since I haven’t heard anything from Tay through the whole weekend. “Tay!!” I rush across the parking lot as soon as he parks his car. “Are you okay?” He looks exhausted as he smiles tiredly at me and I nearly buckle under his weight as he leans on me, mumbling something in Italian under his breath. I look in alarm at Rafa as he steps out on the passenger side.
During all my classes I kept wondering what kind of terrible things happened during the visit. When lunch came, he had no appetite and I had to forcefully feed him. This development terrified me so badly that I excused myself to make a call.
I swallowed thickly as my dad’s lilting timbre resounds in my ear. “Papi…” He must have heard something in my voice since he was on full alert.
“What is it Querido? What is wrong?” My nerves calmed down slightly as he soothes me with his warm voice.
“It’s Tay; he is not eating or sleeping right.” I glance up as the double doors that lead to the cafeteria open and a group of loud third year jocks enter the hallway. I press my back against the wall as they pass, they are roughhousing each other. I hate it when they do that and purposely bump into me. “I think it has to do with the visit he had at the hospital this weekend.” I continue, I deliberately don’t say what hospital since I know they are eavesdropping and Tay is in no state to deal with them at the moment.
One of them, Taz I think his name is, gives me a sidelong glance and a dirty smirk as he passes. Furrowing my brows, I give him my nastiest glare. He hides his surprise quickly and huffs out a chuckle before smacking his friend on the back and whispers something into his ear. They both laugh loudly, making me miss what dad said.
“I said,” he says patiently after I asked him to repeat what he said “that if he wants to I can get one of my collegues here to talk to him about it.”
“Maybe...” I fibbed a little, quite sure Tay will not want to talk about it with anyone. He sees it as stricktly his business, no else should be involved.
Cursing headstrong guys under my breath, I fail to hear Taz approach from behind me. “Yo Greg...” I jolt and slam one of my shoulders into my locker.
Taz’ burly frame blocks out everything else as I turn to face him. I hate the fact I have to crane my neck to look at his face. “What do you want?” I don’t like the way he is leering at me before sneaking a peek over his shoulder to his snickering buddies across the hall. I am pretty sure they have something awful planned and it involves me.
“I was wondering if you knew about the barbecue later this weekend?”
Of course I know about the barbecue this weekend. The whole school has been buzzing with it for weeks. It is to be held after the last football game of the season, which they are confident they are going to win.
“What about it?” I question as I manage to slip past him, going back to the cafeteria. I up my pace as Taz falls easily in step with me.
“Then I will see you there!” He says happilly, making me think there is something else hidden under his words than me attending the barbecue. He doesn’t give me any time to say anything about it as he disappears down the hall.
“So, are you going to the barbque tonight?” I look up from my homework on the night of the barbeque and see Nance dressed up standing on the threshold. Apparently Rafa decided they should go on a date tonight.
“No.” I sigh, wishing Tay and I were going on a date tongight as well. But it is kind of hard to talk to him since he came back from visiting the hospital. He is very closed off for whatever reason.
“Taz has been talking about it all week and is fully convinced that you are going to show up. Even though he has been told several times that you weren’t.” The doorbell rings and Nance perks up. “That will be Rafa! Don’t wait up for me tonight, I will be late.” She hastily throws a hand kiss in my direction before dashing down the stairs.
“Greg? Can you come down?” I frown as I hear a slight nervousness in Nance’s voice as she calls me. Ambling down the stairs, I am surprised to see Tay and Rafa on our doorstep.
“Hey,” I smile as Tay steps forward and engulf me in a tight hug. “I am happy you showed up.” He kisses me as I lift my chin, his arms tightening as the kiss heats up. A clearing of a throat has us unwillingly breaking up.
“We will be off.” Rafa grins bashfully as he gently tugs Nance into his side. “I promise to bring her home before midnight.” Nance rolls his eyes as she smacks his chest lightly before following him to the car. They both wave as the car drives by.
“Do you want to come in?” I ask to fill the awkward silence now Nance and Rafa have left. Tay nods his head and hangs up his coat on the coat hook and slips off his shoes.
“Mom and dad are also out for the night.” Tay lifts a brow as I blurt out that information, not too sure why I did. “Do you want something to drink?” Tay barely nods his head as I whirl around to the kitchen to get some drinks and snacks ready. “Do you mind if we go upstairs? I am about to finish my maths homework when you and Rafa came.”
Tay is silent all the way up to my room and through my last few maths assignments. I do hear the occasional swallow and crunch of the chips but after a while I get a little worried of hearing nothing. As I turn I smile softly as Tay is sprawled out on top of my covers, snoring lightly. Packing my backpack with my finished homework, I bring down the tray with the empty bowls and glasses.
“Hey,” I look up just as mom appears in the doorway and I am about to crawl under the covers with Tay. Mom is surprised to see Tay out cold in my bed and glares at the pair of pants hanging over the back of my chair that are obviously not mine.
“Please mom, not now.” I yawn a little and rub my right foot on my left leg. “Nance should be home soon,” I say, glancing at the clock hoping to distract him. “Rafa said he would have Nance home by midnight.”
Just as I hoped, mom’s eyes flash to my digital clock, it reads 23.57pm. “He is cutting it very close.” Mom grumbles, “too close.” With one hand on the door knob, he turns to me “We will talk in the morning young man.”
I nod my head in agreement and snuggle in under the covers up to Tay’s chest. I do hear some words from the obvious talking to mom gives to Rafa when they finally step over the threshold before I slip off into a dreamless sleep.
It is nice to wake to a sleeping Tay in the morning. His features are highlighted by the sun’s morning rays that peep through the small crack between my curtains. Tracing his eyebrows, nose and his lush lips with soft fingertips, I count myself very lucky to call him mine.
“Something on your mind Il mio cuore?” His gravel like sleepy voice sends a shiver of lust down my spine. With my eyes I trace his features once more and he already looks a whole lot better after one night of peaceful sleep.
“Just counting myself very lucky to call you my own.” I lean forward and softly peck his lips. “We better get up now before mom comes barging in accusing you of all kinds of sexual things.” Halfway out of my warm and cosy bed, I feel two strong arms wrap around my waist and pulling me back.
“Let him.” Tay murmurs in my hair, nuzzling my ear. “Nine o’clock is too early, especially for a Saturday morning.” I hold my breath as his hips grate themselves against my ass. “Let’s just stay a little longer in bed.” He suggests sleepily, cuddling me closer to his chest.
A light laugh bubbles out of me as he throws a leg over my hips, caging me between his body and the mattress. “You really are affectionate today. What brought it on?” I stroke his slightly stubble cheek, thinking he really needs a shave. “Was it Julian?”
His flinch tells me I hit the nail on the head. I say nothing, as I watch several emotions flit through his eyes before he settles on anger. “He isn’t worth a sprinkle of water on a hot summer’s day.” He grumbles, clinching me impossibly closer.
Somehow I manage to fall asleep in this position but regret it afterwards. My right arm is numb and my left hip throbs steadily. On the bright side, I get to see a Tay nearly nobody sees; I find it cute that he drools in his sleep and pouts. The drooling should have disgusted me, but I don’t and I feel privileged to witness this free side of him.
When we finally wake up enough to get dressed and have breakfast, its way past noon as the sun stands high in the sky when I open my curtains fully. “Don’t think you will get away with it every weekend young man.” Mom scolds. But his posture belies his words; I think he is secretly glad I slept in today. Like a normal kid my age.
“So what are your plans for the coming summer holiday Tay?” Dad asks and I am surprised mom didn’t ask it. And by the look mom gave the back of dad’s head, I am sure he wanted to ask that particular question himself.
“Well,” Tay begins after swallowing his last spoonful of cornflakes. Mom and dad both look intrigued as he casts me a fleeting glance. Making me feel warm and fuzzy that he wants to spend the summer with me. “If Greg’s training schedule will allow it, I would like to take him on a little trip.”
“And where would this ‘little’ trip lead you guys?” I am impressed by how calm and collected mom sounds. Even the question sounds almost casual. Tay turns to face me and grabs my hand in both of his.
“I would like to take him to Italia so he can meet the rest of my family.”