Early the next week Chris was at loose ends. Travis and Bryce had both gone to visit relatives for a few days before Christmas and would return on Christmas Eve. That left Chris without his friends to do things with for a few days. He was sitting in the living room watching TV when his younger brother Tyler came in and flopped down on the couch next to him. They watched the morning shows on Nickelodeon, laughing at the shows. Jessie joined them a few minutes later. Their parents came through the living room on their way to the kitchen to get some coffee and start breakfast. Michael came back out of the kitchen with a coffee cup in his hand.
"Ah that's better, now I'm alive again. Morning brood," he said.
"Morning Dad," the kids said.
He walked past them to the front door, so that he could go outside and get the paper. He returned a few moments later, paper in hand and went back to the kitchen table to read the paper and drink his coffee. Soon Heather called them in for breakfast. As they neared the dining room table, Heather called Chris over and handed him one platter of eggs and another of buttered toast to take over to the table. She followed behind him with the bacon and a gallon of milk. Everything was placed on the table and soon they were all helping themselves to the food. There were several minutes of silence as everyone ate before Michael looked up at Chris.
"What do you plan on doing today Chris, after you finish your chores?" he asked.
"I don't know. Travis and Bryce are gone until Christmas Eve, so I guess I'll just hang around the house, watch TV, nothing much," Chris replied.
Tyler spoke up, "Chris, I know what to do, we could go to the arcade and play some games. That'd be fun."
Chris looked at Tyler and shrugged, "I guess we could, if you want," he said.
Tyler pumped his fist, "Yeah cool."
Michael nodded, "That sounds like a good idea boys. Jessie would you like to go with them," he asked her.
She shook her head, "Nah, but could I go over to Melody's house this afternoon?" she said.
Michael nodded, "Sure, I'll drive you over," he said.
"Thanks Dad," she said.
He turned to Chris, "Good. Do you mind taking your brother with you to the mall, Chris? It'll keep you from moping around the house missing your other half, Travis," he asked.
Chris looked at him with surprise, "What! I haven't been moping," he protested.
Michael chuckled, "No, you've just been sitting around the house, watching some TV, playing on your computer, staying in the house. You haven't been moping at all," he said sarcastically.
Chris scowled and pushed out his lower lip, "I haven't been moping. I've…I've been….relaxing…yeah that's it, relaxing," he said.
"Okay, well I think you've relaxed enough. You and Tyler go have some fun. But first, let's get everything cleaned up and you guys get your chores done," Michael said with a smile.
"Okay Dad."Chris replied.
They picked up all the plates and dishes and started rinsing them out while their parents finished their coffee and read the paper. After they finished they went up to their rooms to make sure they were cleaned up and the beds were made. They also made sure that their bathroom was cleaned up as well. When everything was done, Chris and Tyler came back downstairs.
"We're leaving for the mall now," Chris said as they came back down to the living room.
"Wait up Chris," their dad stopped them.
Since it was kind of cool outside, the two boys grabbed their jackets out of the hall closet near the front door as their dad came up with them. He held some money out to them, "Here guys. Why don't you take in a movie too? See if there is anything that Tyler would like to see," he said.
"Thanks Dad, that sounds good," Chris answered as he took the money.
"Yeah Daddy, thanks. C'mon Chris, let's go," Tyler echoed.
"Kay Ty, we're on our way," Chris said as he opened the door.
"Watch out for him on the ride over and make sure you lock the bikes up," Michael warned them.
"I will Dad, don't worry," Chris said with a wave.
"Okay. Have a good time guys," Michael closed the door.
They got their bikes out of the garage and Chris grabbed a bike cable and lock from where it was hanging on the wall, and wrapped it around his bike frame. He and Tyler got their helmets on and after closing the garage door, they set off for the mall.
Once they got to the mall they found a couple of spaces on the bike rack and locked their bikes and helmets together. They first went to the theater to see what was playing. They both wanted to watch Avatar in 3D, so they chose that and Chris bought the tickets for a show that was to start in an hour.
They walked over to PowerStation first to play some games for awhile before the movie started. They played a few games together by themselves for awhile. The two of them always got along, Chris never looked at Tyler as a pest, and Tyler looked up to his big brother because he treated him so well.
Soon enough they split up to play different games. Tyler was busy playing games where he could win tickets so that he could get a prize or two, while Chris went to play some other games. He would wander over to where he could see Tyler from time to time to make sure that he was okay. He would play a few games with him and give him the tickets.
He was playing House of the Dead, when an older teenager came up and asked if he could team up with Chris to play. Chris smiled and welcomed him. The older boy looked to be about seventeen or eighteen, long brown hair and brown eyes. He was medium build and a few inches taller and heavier than Chris.
A couple of times, while they played, the older teen leaned close to Chris, like people sometimes do, unconsciously leaning like they are dodging whatever is happening on the video screen. While near Chris he got a puzzled look on his face for a few minutes and glanced at Chris. There was something about him, that he could not place, something slightly unpleasant to him. He mentally shrugged and turned his attention back to the game. They played for some time until they both finally ran out of lives. The older teen turned to Chris after they put the guns away and held out is hand.
"Good game, I'm Randy," the older teen said.
"Thanks, I'm Chris," Chris answered. They shook hands.
"You come here a lot?" Randy asked.
"Yeah, with my friends and all. We don't live too far from here so we come here sometimes to play, especially when we want to see a movie," Chris replied.
"Are you here with your friends today?" Randy asked curiously.
"No, just my little brother. We're going to see a movie in a little while," Chris shook his head. Chris looked at his watch, "Oops, like in a few minutes. Hey gotta go, nice game, see ya around," he said.
"Yeah, see ya," Randy said as he watched Chris hurry over to a younger boy, who had a bunch of tickets in his hand. He watched as the boy showed the tickets to Chris. They talked for a few moments and then he saw the younger boy nod and Chris took the tickets and started folding them together before he put them in his pocket and the two left the arcade.
Randy smiled, "Yes, I definitely will see you again," Randy looked around the arcade again before heading off to play some more games. He moved very smooth and graceful, like a dancer or maybe a cat hunting for prey. He was soon talking to another younger teenage boy as they played a two person game.
Chris and Tyler made their way to the theater and went inside giving their tickets to the usher. At the door to the theater they were given 3D glasses. They were able to find a couple of seats in the lower section, most of the upper seats were already taken by those that came earlier. The seats weren't great as they were a little close, but they would do. They both enjoyed the movie thoroughly, the 3D effects were great.
Afterwards they went back to the arcade to trade in Tyler's arcade tickets. Tyler ended up getting a couple of super balls, a small Rubik's cube on a key chain and a couple of other small items. It was late in the afternoon and the sun was going down when they got their bikes out of the rack and headed home.
As the boys turned down their home street, two teenagers stood in the lengthening shadows of the trees in the small park nearby, watching the two boys ride down the street, toward home. One turned to the other, the lowering sun shone on his face for a moment, it was Randy from the arcade.
"So Leo, look good?" Randy asked the other teenager.
"Uh, yeah, good enough to eat even, hahaha," Leo laughed.
"Good, let's come back tomorrow and see what we can see," Randy said.
"Cool," Leo said with evil smirk. They disappeared deeper into the park nearby as they sun slipped below the horizon.
It was Wednesday. Tomorrow was Christmas Eve and Travis and Bryce would be back home from visiting their relatives. Chris couldn't wait for them to return, he missed them. He had been lazing around the house today and he felt a little restless. He decided to walk down to the park for a little while, just to get out in the fresh air. His mom was in the kitchen.
"Mom, I'm going to go down to the park for a little while, okay?" Chris told her.
"Sure, but don't be gone long, dinner is in an hour and a half," she said.
"Kay, see you in little while," Chris grabbed his jacket from the hooks near the front door and went outside.
It was a little cool that day so he zipped his jacket up as he walked down the street. A few minutes later he arrived at the park. There weren't a lot of people there as he walked around the park. He was walking near a few trees looking to where some kids were playing football, when he was brought up short as he ran into someone. He started to fall back a little when he felt two hands grab his shoulders to steady him. He looked up to see who it was and smiled.
"Hey Randy, right.? Uh, sorry about that, I wasn't paying attention," Chris said with surprise.
"Not to worry Chris. I was just about to say hi when we bumped into each other. What are you doing out here today?" Randy asked.
"I just felt like taking a walk before dinner," he replied.
Randy looked around, "Yeah, it's nice out this afternoon," he agreed. "Are you on your way back home?" Randy asked.
Chris checked his watch, "Nah, I got a little while yet before I have to head back home for dinner," he said.
"Mind if I walk with you for awhile. I gotta head back home soon as well, it's almost time for dinner," Randy said.
Chris nodded, "Yeah, that'd be cool I guess," Chris said.
Randy moved to Chris' side as they walked on, "Where do you go to school?" he asked.
"Los Al. You?" Chris replied.
"A small private school, called Marks Academy," Randy answered.
"I've never heard of it. That's not around here is it?" Chris asked.
"Nah. It's a school up north," Randy shook his head.
"Oh, you don't live around here then?" Chris said.
"Nah, my family and I are visiting relatives nearby until after Christmas. So Chris, what do you do for fun?" Randy said.
"You know, hang out with my friends, play baseball, go to the mall, play video games that sorta stuff." Chris said.
"Yeah me too, but I don't play baseball, well at least not professionally, you know," Randy said with a smile.
"Hehe, yeah me neither. My friends and I are going to try out for the freshman team soon, we've always played baseball since we were little," Chris said.
"That's good, too bad I don't live around here, I'd come watch you guys play. I may not play it, but I like watching it. Giants are my team," Randy said.
"Giants! This is Dodger country, true blue all the way," Chris said with mock disgust.
"Yeah, I guess you'd have to cheer for the loser team," Randy said.
"Loser!? Let's see, where did the Giants finish…oh yeah 3RD PLACE!" Chris asked sarcastically, laughing.
"Yeah, well they just had a few bad games, they were only four games behind. You guys are lucky the season didn't go much longer or you guys would have lost it all. You were so far ahead everyone thought you had it clinched and then,….ughughugh, you choked and almost lost the playoff berth," Randy stumbled back holding his hands to his neck.
"We just didn't want to embarrass all you Giant fans and win by too much, you might not have wanted to show your faces again and then where would the decades old Giant-Dodger rivalry have been. We would have had to find another rival when your team quit playing," Chris mocked him.
Randy poked Chris in the ribs, causing him to giggle as he squirmed away. Randy grabbed his arm and pulled Chris back next to him and draped his arm over Chris' shoulders. They walked for a little while longer like that, giggling and poking at each other. Chris liked the feel of Randy's arm across his shoulder and the way he treated him, like they had been friends for a long time. They were interrupted by a shout from behind them, "RANDY!"
Chris felt Randy's hand tighten on his shoulder as they wheeled around keeping his arm across Chris' shoulder. When they were turned around, Chris watched another boy that looked to be about the same age as Randy walking up to them. He was about the same build, but had long sandy hair and light brown eyes. He was smiling as he came up with his hand raised.
"Hey cuz, how's it going," the other teenager said.
Randy used his free hand to high five the guy who walked up, "Hey Leo, what's happening?" Randy asked.
"Not much, so is this the guy you said you met at the mall?" Leo asked as he gestured at Chris.
"Yeah, this is Chris. Chris this is Leo, my…uh cousin," Randy nodded.
"Hey bud, good to meetcha. Randy here's been talkin' about this cute guy he met at the arcade, I guess that's you," Leo said.
Chris started to blush and get nervous.
"Shut up Leo," Randy warned.
"Oh sorry dude," Leo apologized. Leo held out his hand to Chris.
Chris took it and they shook. In his mind he's thinking, [Cute, Randy thinks I'm cute], "S'okay," Chris said aloud.
"Anyway, what're you guys doin'?" Leo asked.
"Nuthin', just hanging out for awhile," Randy asked.
Randy's arm never left Chris' shoulders as they talked to Leo. He could feel the weight of it across his shoulders and it made him blush a little more. Chris allowed himself to be led to a nearby picnic table. They all sat down, Leo sat on the other side of Chris. Randy's arm stayed right where it was. Chris stopped paying attention to what was being said as he started to feel Randy's hand start to smooth the hair back from over his ear very gently. His hand softly traced the outside of his ear. Chris closed his eyes and reveled in it, almost purring. He was suddenly startled as he felt something touch his lips. When he opened his eyes he saw that Randy had just moved his face back a little bit after giving Chris a gentle kiss.
"Did you like that Chris?" Randy asked him. Chris could just nod his head as he looked into Randy's eyes. Randy's eye's seemed to have a shine to them that drew him in, "Can I kiss you again?" Randy asked.
Again, all Chris could do was nod. He watched as Randy slowly moved nearer, their lips touched, Randy's hand moved to the back of his head and his fingers entwined themselves into Chris' hair. Chris felt a pinch on his lip and it stung a little causing his eyes to open for a moment. He saw Randy's eyes were closed as they kissed and Chris sensed movement nearby, he looked toward the movement and saw Leo looking at him with a big grin, but there was something else. Leo's grin did not seem to reach his eyes, Chris was puzzled by that look. Leo seemed to be moving closer. Chris then felt Randy's tongue reach out and touch his lips; Chris opened his mouth a little as he felt someone's breath against his neck. Everything seemed to suddenly stop and the feeling of Randy kissing him seemed to move away. He kept his eyes closed for a few seconds longer waiting for the feelings to come back, but nothing happened, so he opened his eyes.
When he looked, he seemed to be looking sideways at the picnic tabletop. He sat up and looked around. He found himself sitting at a bench in the park. His head had been resting on his folded arms while he sat at the bench as he apparently had dozed off. He looked around and saw that the sun was almost down now.
[How long have I been here? I don't remember sitting down, let alone dozing off. I better get my butt home. What was I thinking about? I don't really remember.] He asked himself.
Chris got up from the bench. When he did he felt a little light headed and he put his hand to his head for a moment and shook his head a little to clear the cobwebs away, [Whoa, head rush.]
He stood there for a few minutes with his hand on the table to steady himself until the dizziness passed. He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jacket as he felt the cold and turned to walk home.
As Chris walked away, two sets of eyes followed his progress from behind some nearby bushes. Once Chris was out of sight, Leo turned to Randy.
He looked a little angry, "What the fuck was that about?" Leo asked angrily.
"Shut the fuck up!" Randy hissed.
"Fuck you, why'd you stop?" Leo snarled.
"Because asshole, it was necessary," Randy said.
"Necessary, what the fuck do you mean necessary. That was some prime cute boy meat. We had him and you let him get away." Leo sneered.
"I had to fuckwad," Randy said.
"That's what you keep saying! What the fuck does that mean? I didn't see anyone around here to stop us," Leo said as he gestured around the park.
"C'mon we got to get back," Randy ordered.
Randy got up from where they were crouching and started to walk away. He had walked a few steps when he realized that Leo had not followed him. He turned around and Leo stood there with his fists clenched and his teeth clenched as he glared angrily at Randy, "No, fuck you! I want a fucking answer! Why did you stop?" Leo demanded.
Randy looked at him for a few moments but before Leo could do anything, Randy flew at him and Leo found himself on his back with Randy on top of him, his hand clenched around Leo's neck. Randy's face was red with anger as he looked down at Leo. Leo struggled a little trying to throw Randy off, but he was as immovable as a large boulder. Leo could feel the pressure slowly tighten on his neck. "I don't have to give you a fucking answer noob! When I fucking tell you to do something, you do it. No fucking questions asked, got that?" Randy threatened.
Leo's struggles stopped as he looked up into Randy's raging face. He relaxed and went limp. Randy increased the pressure for a few moments longer before he relaxed his grip as he leaned lower, until his face was near to Leo's.
"Next time I tell you to do something fucker, obey me and don't give me any fucking lip, or I'll rip your fucking head off, and piss in the hole," Randy snarled.
Randy sat back up and let Leo go before he stood up and looked down at him. Leo sat up slowly and rubbed his neck where Randy had grabbed him. Randy just stood there with his fists clenched watching Leo. He slowly let the anger recede as Leo got up off the ground. Once Leo was up, Randy grabbed his arm above the elbow and held him in an iron grip.
"Like I said, I don't need to give you a fucking answer, but I'll let you know anyway. That kid was marked," Randy stated.
"Marked? What do you mean marked?" Leo asked perplexed.
"He's been marked by someone, I think it was a Furginson. I could taste it," Randy explained.
"Are you sure?" Leo asked, having calmed down a little.
Randy released his hold and stepped back nodding, "Yeah, I'm pretty sure. If he's marked, then we can't touch him unless Zebulon okays it." Randy looked up at the sky before he continued, "We need to get back and let Zeb know about this."
Leo looked in the direction that Chris had gone, "Too bad. I so wanted to get a piece of that kid. He was way cute. I want to see what he's got under those clothes," Leo smirked.
Randy matched his smirk, and nodded. "Yeah me too. That is one cute boy and did you see his little brother the other day, I wouldn't mind a piece of that either. He is just ripe for the picking," Randy said.
"Yeah, me too," Leo started rubbing his crotch as he agreed with Randy.
"Let's go talk to Zeb and see what he says," Randy said. The two teens turned away and were soon gone.
Chris arrived home a few minutes later, just as the sun went down. He could smell dinner as he entered the house. His mom came out of the kitchen as he was hanging up his coat by the door, with a worried look that changed to a smile when she saw him.
"There you are. I was starting to worry, you've been gone so long. You okay?" she asked worriedly.
"I'm fine. Sorry Mom, I guess I lost track of time," he apologized.
"Well, lucky for you, you got here just in time, I was about to send your father to go find you. Hurry and go wash up. We about ready to eat," she said.
"Kay Mom," was heard as Chris went upstairs to wash his face and hands. While he was drying his face, he stretched his lip a little and winced from a sharp pain. He hung the towel back up and leaned close to the mirror as he pulled his lip down a little bit. He could see a small cut on his lower lip and he frowned, [Where did that come from?], He straightened back up and shrugged at his reflection.
"Musta bit my lip when I dozed off on the bench. At least I wasn't drooling all over my arms. That would have been gross," Chris turned off the light and went back downstairs to have dinner.