Jack Chase sat next to the hospital bed listening to the constant beeping and buzzing of the machines that were keeping his best friend, Finn Rafferty, alive.
Jack reached over and stroked Finn's jet-black hair; he ran his hand along Finn's face seeing the remnants of the horrible bruises that had been there when Finn had been brought into the hospital several weeks earlier.
Jack took Finn's motionless hand in his own. He ran his finger along the veins in Finn's hand. This would usually elicit a torrent of giggles from the very ticklish Finn. Today, as with each day that Jack visited, Finn stayed motionless.
The doctors had told Finn's parents that the swelling of his brain that had resulted in the coma was not going down and as more time passed they were becoming more pessimistic that Finn would ever awaken.
Jack came to see Finn every day, staying until the nurses would threaten him with bodily removal. He would talk, bargain, cajole, threaten and scream at Finn in an attempt to awaken him from his slumber. Jack would have given anything to be looking once more into Finn's sapphire blue eyes.
"What happens if I lose him?" Jack thought. "I can't live without Finn."
Eight-year-old Jack walked around the playground. It was his first day of school. He had just moved to Groveland and he did not know any of the kids in his class. Most of the other kids all knew each other and they ignored him. He didn't really care. He wasn't exactly happy to be here. He had liked his old school. His parents had moved them so his dad could start a new job. But Jack was mad that he had to leave his friends and his school behind.
Jack stopped and leaned against the building looking out at the kids running around and playing.
He heard a voice cry out in pain from behind him. He walked around the corner and saw two older kids beating up on a small boy. There was nothing Jack hated more than a bully.
He clenched his fists and stormed into the melee. He grabbed one of the boys and pushed him away. His buddy turned his attention to Jack. He took a swing at Jack. Jack, who had been studying karate since he was four, easily blocked the punch and swept his leg across to knock his would-be assailant on his butt.
The first boy came charging at Jack. Jack sidestepped the boy and grabbed his shoulder and gave him a push adding to his momentum so the boy went head first into the wall. The older boy went down like a ton of bricks.
Jack walked over to where the smaller boy lay on the ground. He knelt down and offered his hand to the boy.
He helped the boy up. Jack moved to brush the dirt of the smaller boy and he cringed at Jack's touch.
Jack gently placed his hand on his shoulder. "Hey," he said to the boy. "I won't hurt you. My name's Jack."
"I'm Finnegan… uh, Finn," the smaller boy said.
"Are you ok?"
Finn looked up at Jack. He had medium-length black hair and the bluest eyes Jack had ever seen. He had tears in his eyes and a small bit of blood in the corner of his lips. Jack's temper was rising as he saw the damage the bullies had done to this boy.
The boy shook his head. "I'm ok," he mumbled, looking at the ground.
"No, you're not," Jack said. He ran his thumb over the bruise that was beginning to show under the boy's eye. He wiped the tears that were running down the boy's face.
Jack put his arm around the smaller boy's shoulder. The boy stiffened, but sensing that Jack would not hurt him he melted into Jack's side.
"C'mon, I'm taking you to the nurse's office." Jack started to lead the smaller boy away.
A teacher came around the corner; he saw two dazed boys lying on the ground and Jack with his arm around Finn and misinterpreted the scene.
"What happened here?" the teacher asked gruffly.
Jack looked up. "I saw two guys beating up Finn and I tried to stop them."
"You beat them," the teacher stated.
"No, I just tried to stop them from hurting Finn. They tried to hurt me, too," Jack corrected him.
"Finnegan, what really happened?" the teacher addressed the smaller boy.
Jack felt his temper rising again. He had done the right thing to help this boy and the teacher was making him out to be a bully.
"Mr. Allen, what he said is true," Finn said. "Sam and Carson have been picking on me all day. When we got out here they jumped me and started hitting me. I yelled for them to stop, but they wouldn't. Then this boy," he gestured to Jack, "he came and told them to stop. They tried to jump him too, but he was able to defend himself. He was just taking me to the nurse's office when you got here."
Mr. Allen looked at both boys skeptically. "Alright," he said. "You boys go to the nurse's office. I'm going to talk to Carson and Sam and get their side of the story."
Jack was steamed. "What do you mean? Are you calling us liars? Look at his face. He's got a fat lip, a bloody nose and he's gonna have a black eye."
"Young man, this school has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and fighting. Right now, you are the only one standing here unscathed, while I have one bruised boy and two that are practically unconscious."
"I tried to help someone and I'm gonna get in trouble now?"
"That will be up to the Assistant Principal, Mr. Webster, to decide. You need to take Finn to the nurse and then he will send for you later today."
Jack was about to say something else, but he figured this jerk of a teacher had it in for him and he wasn't going to give him any more ammunition.
He kept his arm around Finn's shoulder to steady him and led him off to find the nurse's office.
Finn turned to Jack as they walked. "Why?" he asked.
Jack stopped and looked at Finn. "Why what?"
"Why did you help me?" Finn looked up at Jack, a lock of black hair covering one of his tear-filled eyes.
Jack looked back at Finn and gently placed his hand on the smaller boy's shoulder. "Because nobody deserves to get hit or beat up like that," he said. "Do they do that a lot?"
Jack looked at him and smiled. "Not anymore they don't."
Finn looked up at Jack. "But, you're going to get in trouble. Mr. Allen always sides with the jocks and the big kids and Mr. Webster always listens to Mr. Allen."
Jack grinned. "Neither Mr. Allen nor Mr. Webster has met Mr. Chase yet."
"Who's Mr. Chase?"
"My dad. He's a lawyer," Finn chuckled. "If they try to suspend me, then my dad will sic 'em. "
Finn looked at the boy in front of him. Jack was a head taller with light-brown hair and hazel eyes. Finn couldn't help himself; he launched himself forward and grabbed Jack in a hug.
Jack's face reddened and he looked around the hallway to make sure no one saw Finn's hug.
Jack gave Finn a quick hug in return and then stepped back.
"What was that for?" Jack asked.
"No one has ever stood up for me before," Finn replied looking at his shoes. "Thank you," he whispered.
Jack walked back over to Finn and wrapped his arm around Finn's shoulders.
He grinned. "Don't you worry, Finn. Nothing's going to happen to you while I'm around."
Jack sat back in his chair and laughed to himself. He remembered like it was yesterday the way Finn had vehemently defended him to Mr. Webster when he and Mr. Allen had tried to make Jack out to be the aggressor on the playground. Jack's dad had come to the school and set things right, but it was Finn's defense of him that began the friendship between the two boys.
"C'mon, Finn, hit me," Jack ordered.
Twelve-year-old Finn looked at Jack like he was insane. Puberty, bitch that she is, had seen fit to grant Jack the body of a sixteen-year-old--six feet tall, broad shoulders and muscles in all the right places--while she had decided that Finn would make do with his eight-year-old model just a little while longer.
Jack had been trying, unsuccessfully, to teach Finn some self-defense for the last four years.
Jack was more serious now than he had ever been. Since he was playing baseball this spring, he would not be around as much to protect Finn and he was worried about Finn being bullied when he wasn't around.
Since the day they met on the playground, Jack had taken his job as Finn's protector very seriously.
Everyone knew better than to mess with Finn when they knew Jack was around. None of their classmates understood the relationship between the two.
Self-confident Jack with his good looks and athletic prowess could have been the most popular boy in school if he cared to be. While Finn, with his intelligence and sensitivity, for some reason, brought out the viciousness in every bully at school.
Physically, Jack was the biggest kid in their class and elfin Finn was the smallest. Their friendship was the stuff of legend at Groveland Junior High. They were always together. At first, this was a necessity to Jack. He feared for Finn's safety and made sure he was always around him. But, as time passed, the boys developed a strong friendship that bound them together. Jack was Finn's protector not because of a sense of duty, but because Finn was his best friend and Jack would never forgive himself if anything happened to him.
"C'mon, you wimp, HIT ME!!" Jack tried not to laugh as he stomped menacingly towards Finn.
Finn stood stock still. He grimaced and steeled himself and ran straight at Jack, fists raised.
Finn swung at Jack. Jack grabbed Finn's arm and quickly, but gracefully, flipped Finn over his shoulder. Finn was so light, that Jack could hold him up to stop him from hitting the ground.
Jack held Finn by his ankles. Finn looked up at Jack, his blue eyes blazing.
"Let me down," he demanded of Jack.
Jack shrugged and lowered Finn to the ground.
"See, Finn, it's easy."
Finn stood up and rolled his eyes at Jack. "Easy??" he laughed. "Easy, he says. Jack, you outweigh me by at least fifty pounds--of course you can do it to me."
"Finn, it has nothing to do with my weight, it has to do with you using my weight against me." Jack was getting exasperated. "I've explained this how many times? A lot of these self-defense moves work because you are using your attacker's weight and motion against him."
"I know you say that, but I don't think I can fight anyone off."
"I don't want you to fight, I want you to get away."
"Then why are you still trying to teach me this stuff?"
"So you can defend yourself. The stuff I've been trying to teach you forever is stuff that will only work if you are being attacked. It won't help anyone to start a fight, only to end it. Now, let's try it again."
Finn rolled his eyes and turned to walk away from Jack. "No, I've had enough for today." He didn't see or feel Jack come up behind him.
Jack grabbed Finn from behind and wrapped his arm around Finn's neck. Jack started to lift the smaller boy off the ground.
Finn's adrenaline pumped into his system. Without thinking, he kicked back and drove his heel into Jack's shin as hard as he could. Jack yelled and momentarily released his hold on Finn.
Before Finn could get away, Jack lunged forward to grab him again. Finn grabbed Jack's arm and, using the momentum of Jack's attack was able to flip Jack.
Jack lay on his back grinning as Finn sat on his chest and waved his little fist in Jack's face.
"Mess with me, will you?" Finn said as he stabbed his finger at Jack's chest.
"Yes, I think I will," Jack laughed as he gripped Finn's sides with his fingers. He started to wiggle his fingers and the ticklish Finn screamed and laughed while struggling to get away.
Jack remembered how proud he had been of Finn that day. It was the first time that Finn had stood up to anyone and defended himself. Even though Finn always thought it had been a fluke, Jack used that one incident to try to bolster Finn's self-confidence. He continued to hammer into Finn the need to be able to defend himself from any threat.
Jack and Finn lay back on Finn's bed staring at the ceiling. The two fifteen-year-olds were naked and their fingers were intertwined.
They had just finished one of their marathon jack-off sessions and both were basking in their post-orgasm euphoria.
The two friends had started masturbating together when they were about thirteen. They had spent the night at Jack's house and one thing led to another. Now, two years later they would fall into an impromptu circle jerk at least once a week.
Jack had no problem jacking off with his best friend in the room. He was pretty sure he was straight--about as sure as he was that Finn was not. But, he loved Finn and would do anything for him.
Recently, Jack had begun to date a couple of girls at school. But fumbling around in the back of a movie theatre or the bleachers at a school dance did not excite Jack in the same way that just lying with Finn did.
He didn't think he was gay, because his feelings were triggered by Finn and Finn alone. He wasn't turned on by Finn because he was a boy; he was turned on by Finn because he was Finn.
"What are you thinking about?" Finn asked as his fingers danced along Jack's wrist.
"I was thinking what a fucking mess I am," Jack laughed as he looked at his cum-striped chest.
Finn laughed as well. "I'm kinda in the same shape here," he said as he released Jack's hand and walked to his bathroom, his tight bubble butt wiggling as he walked.
Jack stared at Finn's blindingly white ass. It fascinated him. He didn't understand why. Finn was his best friend and to have these feelings for him was wrong. Questioning his feelings was something new for Jack who was usually very self-confident.
Finn came back into the bedroom. He had wiped his seed from his chest and belly and was carrying a damp washcloth.
Finn sat on the side of the bed next to Jack. He took the washcloth and gingerly wiped the messy areas of Jack's chest and stomach. When the last remnants of Jack's cum was washed away, Finn threw the washcloth to the floor and placed his hand on Jack's chest.
Finn waited for Jack to stop him or move away, but Jack just lay there with his eyes closed.
Finn looked down at his best friend.
He had long ago memorized every inch of Jack's beautiful face. His wavy brown hair, his pug nose, the small splash of freckles that spotted the bridge of his nose. Finn's eyes moved down to Jack's chest. Jack had amazing pecs, rounded and full, each topped with a quarter-sized nipple. Finn took his finger and traced around Jack's nipples. A small moan escaped Jack's lips, but he kept his eyes closed.
Finn moved his fingers down Jack's chest to his six pack. He gently traced each indent and each muscle. He twirled his finger in the treasure trail of light-brown hair that led to Jack's large penis. Finn envied Jack. His body was model perfect and everything was in the right proportion.
Finn stood only about 5' 8" to Jack's 6' 2" height. Finn was thin, weighing in at maybe 120 pounds compared to Jack's 210 pounds of solid muscle. And in the dick department, Finn had a junior model compared with Jack's monster.
Finn's fingers lightly traced Jack's penis. He watched fascinated as the sleeping giant awoke. He didn't know what had taken over him. He and Jack had never crossed this line before and he had thought they never would.
But Jack continued to lie there with his eyes closed, not saying anything. An occasional moan or gasp would escape Jack's lips as Finn wrapped his hand around Jack's uncut python.
Every desire and urge that Finn had ever had regarding Jack washed over him all at once. It was now or never, he told himself.
As he kept the grip on Jack's rock-hard cock, he leaned over and kissed Jack's belly. Jack shivered from the new feeling.
Finn's lips moved down to Jack's groin and without a moment's hesitation, Finn took Jack's monster cock as deep into his throat as he could.
Jack's eyes popped open at the new sensation. He looked down to see Finn bent over his midsection with about five inches of Jack's hard cock in his mouth.
Even though he had come hard less than thirty minutes ago, the shock of the new sensations Finn's actions were sending through his body were too much for Jack.
"Finn, watch out," Jack gasped as he exploded.
Finn never moved his mouth off Jack's dick. He let Jack shoot down his throat and tried his best to swallow every drop.
When Jack's orgasm ended and he stopped writhing and twitching on the bed, Finn released Jack's spent member from his mouth.
It suddenly hit Finn what he had done. He turned away from Jack as tears silently filled his eyes.
He had spent the last couple years doing his best to hide his feelings from Jack. Jack's friendship meant more to him than anything. And now he had blown it. His jock best friend was going to dump him for sure now.
Finn scooched down to the foot of the bed and hugged his knees to his chest. He just sat there as tears fell from his eyes.
He felt the bed move as Jack got up.
He knew that Jack would be leaving and he would be on his own.
Jack walked over to where Finn sat on the end of the bed and kneeled down in front of him. He placed his hand under Finn's chin and lifted his face up. Jack's heart broke as he saw the tears rolling down Finn's red cheeks.
For the first time in a long time, Jack really looked at Finn. He was captured by Finn's piercing blue eyes, his shiny black hair and smooth complexion.
Watching his friend dissolve into a puddle of emotion made Jack's resolve crumble. He knew he could never lose Finn.
He leaned forward and gently placed his lips to Finn's. Finn's gorgeous blue eyes popped open in shock as Jack wrapped his strong arms around Finn and kissed him for the very first time.
The two boys kissed for a few moments and then Jack pulled back. Finn looked at Jack, worried that he would regret the kiss. Jack looked right into Finn's eyes with a huge smile on his face and the look of love in his hazel eyes.
Tears filled Jack's eyes as he remembered the afternoon that they had finally acknowledged their feelings. For the last two years the two had been even more inseparable than before. Finn had thought that Jack would want to be on the 'down low', but Jack resolved if they were to be together then they would not hide their relationship and they never did.
One night in mid-November, Jack and Finn were leaving Finn's favorite restaurant. Jack had taken him out to celebrate Finn's seventeenth birthday.
As they were leaving the restaurant, Jack realized he had dropped his wallet. He told Finn to head to the car while he ran in to see if it had been turned in.
Finn took Jack's car keys and walked over to where they had parked.
As Finn approached the car, he saw Simon Gilman leaning against Jack's car. Simon was one of the smaller bullies on the football team, but he still was a good four-inches taller and fifty-pounds heavier than Finn.
Trying to stay calm, Finn kept walking right to the car.
Simon stood up straight and walked towards Finn.
Finn's eyes scanned the parking lot. It was only him and Simon in the lot, so he was on his own until Jack got there.
Without warning, Simon lunged at Finn. Finn quickly sidestepped the charging teen and Simon went running past him.
Finn's first instinct was to run, but this was what Jack had been teaching him for years and he would be damned if another of these jerks would get the best of him.
Simon righted himself and came after Finn a second time. This time Finn took his fist out of his pocket and readied himself.
When Simon was close enough, Finn reached out and grabbed his arm and using his own momentum flipped Simon onto his back.
As Simon was trying to pick himself up off the ground, Jack came running up.
Jack grabbed Simon by the shirt collar and yanked him to his feet. Jack held Simon in place and cocked his fist back.
Finn rushed forward and grabbed Jack's arm.
"No, Jack," Finn pleaded. "He's not worth it."
Jack shook his head at Finn. "He deserves it, Finn."
Finn looked into Jack's hazel eyes. "No, he deserves this," he said as he stepped forward and drove his knee into Simon's crotch.
Simon screamed and dropped to the pavement, tears streaming down his face.
Jack laughed and grabbed Finn in a hug and lifted him off the ground.
"I knew you could do it, Finny!" he shouted as he carried Finn to his car and opened the passenger door for him. Jack gently placed Finn on the seat. "I'm so proud of you," Jack said as he leaned in to kiss Finn.
Jack felt a presence behind him and turned just in time to see a fist heading for his face.
Jack slowly opened his eyes. What was he doing on the cold pavement? He pushed himself up and shook his head to clear it.
He looked around slowly. Where was Finn?
"Finn!!" Jack yelled as he stumbled to his feet. "Finn!!"
He looked around the parking lot and started to run around the other side of the car. When he came around the car, he saw Finn lying unconscious on the ground.
"NO!!" Jack shouted as he ran to Finn's still body. He dropped to his knees and grabbed Finn's hand. Finn's hand was so cold and he was so still. Tears came to Jack's eyes as he looked at his boyfriend's bruised and broken body.
"HELP US!!" he screamed, unwilling to leave Finn's side.
A young couple who had been walking to their car heard Jack's scream and came running. The husband called '911' and stayed with Finn and Jack while the wife went back to the restaurant to get help.
By the time the paramedics arrived, Jack was in hysterics. He would not let go of Finn or leave his side. Finally, in an act of desperation, one of the paramedics snuck up behind Jack and injected him with a sedative. He and the police officers at the scene were afraid not only for Finn, but for what Jack might do in his grief.
When Jack came to he was in a bed in the ER of the hospital and his parents were seated beside him.
His parents explained to him about Finn's injuries. Finn had suffered a broken leg and arm, two cracked ribs and many bruises and cuts all over his face and torso.
The doctors had rushed Finn to surgery to take care of internal bleeding which had resulted from a lacerated spleen, which they removed. He also suffered from a collapsed lung.
It was touch and go for a while for Finn, but eventually the doctors were able to mend most of his injuries; however, the swelling of the brain caused Finn to lapse into a coma and he had remained that way since.
Jack had stayed by Finn's side for several days before his parents made him go home and return to school. Jack was like a zombie going through the paces at school and then rushing to the hospital every day until the nurses would kick him out every night.
Jack would spend hours talking to Finn. He would regale him with tales of what was going on at school, he would spin stories of their past 'adventures' and he would constantly remind Finn how much he loved and needed him.
As the weeks passed with no change, and so many of Finn's family and friends began to give up hope, Jack became more determined than ever that he would not lose Finn.
Yesterday morning as he approached Finn's room, Jack heard the doctors and Finn's parents discussing Finn's state. The gist of the conversation was that the doctors felt they had done everything they could for Finn and his coma was probably irreversible.
Jack leaned back against the wall and slid to the floor; he buried his head in his hands and cried. He had never allowed himself to consider that Finn would not awaken. Finn was stronger than anyone ever gave him credit for and Jack believed that he would come out of this better than ever. But now, hearing the doctors give up hope, Jack didn't know how he was going to go on without Finn.
Jack heard Finn's parents and doctors coming; he scrambled to his feet and ran down the corridor. Needing someplace to compose himself, he walked into the first open door he saw. He found himself in the chapel.
Jack slumped onto a bench in the back of the chapel and bowed his head. He was not big on prayer and didn't think he believed in God, but at this point was willing to try anything.
Jack stayed in the chapel most of the day. He prayed, ranted, screamed, threatened and bargained with God. He would do anything for Finn to be alright and come back to him.
He thought about all the things that he and Finn had done together and all that they had planned to do in their future.
After a few hours in the chapel, Jack felt more lost and hopeless than he had felt the whole time Finn was in the hospital. He knew he couldn't go to Finn's room feeling like this, so he went home and crawled into bed and fell asleep.
In his dream, Jack saw Finn. Finn was alive and vibrant and so full of life and love. Jack ran to Finn; every time he reached out for Finn and would start to grab onto him, Finn would be yanked from his grasp. It was like something or someone had a hold on Finn and was pulling him away from Jack. Jack knew he needed to be stronger and hold on tighter to get Finn back. He needed something to hold onto Finn and keep him here. Jack reached out one last time and wrapped both his hands around Finn's wrist and pulled Finn to him. He embraced Finn.
Jack bolted upright in bed. He was covered in sweat. He looked at the clock on his nightstand. It was almost noon. All he could remember from his dream was the need to hold tight to Finn to keep Finn here.
Jack realized it was Christmas Eve. He had long ago bought Finn his presents and had forgotten about them during the last few weeks.
He suddenly knew what he had to do. He ran to his closet and rummaged through a bag he had that was full of the gifts he had bought for Finn. They always went overboard for each other at Christmas.
Jack found the small box he was looking for. He grabbed it. He ran around his room pulling on clothes and then bolted out of the house to his car.
He raced to the hospital and to Finn's room.
Jack entered Finn's room and slumped into his usual chair next to Finn. He had one hand in his pocket holding the small box and his other hand was wrapped around Finn's. He started to think about all the great times he and Finn had shared. As his memories flooded his head, his resolve became stronger.
He pulled the small box from his pocket and opened it. Inside was a small silver ring. It was a simple band that Jack had chosen for Finn. He turned the ring in his fingers and read the single engraved word 'Infinity'. Jack and Finn had always sworn they would be together forever… for infinity.
Jack took the ring and placed it on Finn's finger.
He choked back tears as he spoke. "Finn, this ring is a symbol of my love for you. You are my heart. I don't know if I can make it without you. I hope that you hear me and this ring is the tether that holds you here and brings you back to me."
Jack sat there and watched Finn for signs of change. He knew it was a crazy idea, but everyone said Christmas was a time for miracles, so he could hope.
Hours passed with Jack sitting and watching Finn. Finn remained as still as he had for the last several weeks.
Normally, the nurses would have kicked Jack out hours ago, but since it was Christmas Eve, they pretended they didn't see him every time they went to check on Finn.
It was just before midnight, and Jack knew he had to get home or his parents would freak on him.
He stood up from his chair. He took a last look at Finn. He would give everything he had to look into Finn's bright blue eyes one more time.
He took Finn's hand in his and lightly ran his thumb over the ring.
He heard the bells begin to chime from the church down the street.
He leaned over and kissed Finn.
"Merry Christmas, Finn," he said as he watched his boyfriend sleep.
Something squeezed his hand.
Jack thought he must just be tired, and then he felt it again.
He looked down to see Finn's sapphire-blue eyes staring up at him.
Jack was speechless. Finn's lips were moving, but as he hadn't spoken in so long, there was no sound coming out.
"Let me get a doctor," Jack said excitedly, but Finn squeezed his hand tighter and slowly shook his head.
Jack leaned over Finn. He placed his ear close to Finn's lips.
"What is it, Finn?"
"Infinity," Finn whispered. "I'll love you for infinity."
Jack leaned over and kissed Finn, tears of joy falling from his eyes.