Castle Roland

Who Is He

by Eric Aune


Chapter 14

Posted: N/A

A groan filled the air as Chris slowly came awake. He wondered why it felt like he'd had the shit kicked out of him, and then he remembered that he had gotten the shit kicked out of him. He sat up in bed and stretched carefully, wincing when he felt some of the bruised muscles stretch as well. He stiffly got out of bed and stumbled towards the bathroom. After taking care of business and brushing his teeth, he inspected his injuries. He had a black eye, and his swollen lip had gone down a bit, but there was still a cut on his lip. The side of his face was bruised as well. He looked down at the bruises that stood out on his chest and stomach. He reached inside his underwear and felt his parts. They were feeling quite a bit less tender than the night before, he was relieved at that. He padded back to his room and pulled on a t shirt and some jeans. He went downstairs to the kitchen.

His mom greeted him as he came into the kitchen, "Morning honey. You hungry?" she asked.

He smiled gratefully, "Yeah thanks Mom, starving."

She nodded, "Okay, sit down and I'll make you a plate."

Tyler and Jessie looked up as he entered and stared at his face, "Whoa. What happened to you Chris?" Jessie asked him.

Chris looked over to where his brother and sister were sitting having breakfast, "A bunch of bullies hit me last night," Chris replied.

"Did you hit 'em back?" Tyler asked.

"A little bit. The police have arrested them, so I probably won't have any problems with them anymore," he told them.

Tyler nodded, "Good."

They ate breakfast and Chris helped clean up afterward. After cleaning up, Chris went back up to his room to do some drawing. He was there an hour later, when there was a knock behind him. He turned around and grinned when he saw Travis standing there. He got up and they met in the middle of the room. Their arms went around each other and they kissed for a few moments.

Travis pulled back and looked him over a bit, his eyes moving over the bruises and cuts on Chris' face. He frowned a little when his inspection was done, "They're lucky the police have them, otherwise I'd be going after them," he said.

"Then I'm glad that the police have them. I wouldn't want you to get in trouble," Chris smiled at him.

Travis nodded, "Yeah, well, it might be worth it. Anyway…" he stopped himself before he continued and looked back at the open door.

He pulled away from Chris, looked outside and shut the door to the room. He went back and sat down on the bed. Chris had resumed his seat at his desk and waited for Travis to continue, "Anyway. I wanted to talk to you before we go to my house to talk to my parents."

Chris got a little nervous about Travis' tone, "Okay. Talk about what?" he said.

Travis was silent for a moment, "I…I kinda know what happened last night, or at least what happened to Jerry and his friends," he said nervously.

"What do you mean? What happened to them?" Chris asked curiously.

"Well it…wait a minute," Travis stopped and got up for moment.

He got up and went over to where Chris' big portfolio leaned against the wall near the desk. He opened the large folder and started carefully leafing through the drawings and paintings inside. Chris watched curiously as his boyfriend rummaged through his pictures.

"Ah, here it is," Travis pulled one of the bigger drawings out and turned to Chris. "I think it was him," he said carefully.

He turned the picture around so that Chris could see which one he had pulled out. It was Chris' picture of the guy who saved him when he was nine from the kidnappers that he had done in November for his art class.

Chris' eyes went wide, "Are you sure? How do you know?" he asked.

Travis shrugged, "Cuz I've been thinking about it since last night. When I saw the guy, just before he left, there was something about him that was familiar. He was dressed just like this. Exactly like he is in the picture and when he turned away after rescuing you, his eyes looked like this, kinda glowy."

"So you saw him fight Jerry and them," Chris asked.

Travis shook his head, "No. I got concerned when it seemed to be taking a long time for you to go to the restroom. So me, Bryce and Cheryl went looking for you. They went to check out some of the other restrooms, while I checked out the one by the gym," he explained.

"Yeah, that was where I went and they jumped me as I was coming out of it," Chris explained. "They hit me a couple of times and put a bag over my head before they dragged me off to the pool room."

Travis continued, "Yeah, well, I thought something like that was going to happen to me as well. Someone grabbed me when I came out of the restroom. He held me tight and told me that he was a friend. He told me to stay where I was and that he knew where you were and would handle it. He walked off and once he was out of sight I followed him. He was fast and I lost him. I sneaked around and figured maybe you were out by the baseball fields. I was standing by the end of the tennis courts when I heard loud noises coming from the pool area. I turned around and headed back to the pool gate. When I was right next to that one building by the gate, I heard someone scream a couple of times. Then there were some more crashing noises and a couple of splashes in the pool, and then silence. I was kinda scared and stayed right there by the building corner. I tried to move; but I was rooted to the spot and couldn't move. Then I saw this guy come out of the pool gate and he started to walk away from me. I stayed hidden at the corner of the building, but he suddenly stopped, turned towards me and told me that you were inside; but that you would alright. That's when I saw his eyes inside the hoodie. Then he turned and in moments he was out of sight. I hurried inside and found everything like it was. The rest you know."

Chris got up and took the picture in his hands to lay it on the desk. He studied the picture for several minutes, like he was storing the likeness in his mind. He turned back to Travis and sat down, "Well, if it was him, then he saved me once again from the same fate. Are you sure he looked exactly like this?" Chris asked.

Travis came over and looked at the picture again and after a few moments he nodded, "Yeah, I think so. It was dark, but the way you drew his eyes, that's what made me think of him. His eyes looked like that when I saw them for that short moment before he turned and left. But his clothes were the same as well, exactly like you drew him here," Travis explained as he pointed at the picture.

"You think it's really the same guy?" Chris asked.

"I don't know, unless he has a twin, but it sure seemed like it could be the same guy," he said.

"Maybe we should tell my dad," Chris offered.

They looked at each other for a moment, "Do you think he'll freak?" Travis asked.

"I don't think so," Chris replied.

"Okay, when do you want to tell him?" Travis asked.

"Let's do it now."

Chris picked up the picture and they walked downstairs. Michael was sitting at the table reading the paper, while he drank some coffee. Tyler and Jessie were in the living room and his mom was washing some dishes, "Dad, Travis has something to tell you."

Michael looked up expectantly, "Mr. Hale. I saw the person who saved Chris. I think it was him."

He took the picture from Chris and turned it around. Michael's eyes widened as he put the paper down. He reached out and took the picture from Chris as he gazed at it. Heather walked over drying her hands as she looked over Michael's shoulder. She and Michael exchanged a cautious look. After a few moments he put it down and they both looked at the two boys.

"Are you sure Travis?" Michael asked.

He nodded, "Mostly. It was kinda dark, but he was dressed exactly like in the picture, with the hood up and all. It was his eyes, I only saw them for a few seconds before he took off, but they looked like the same eyes. So, yeah, I think it was him," Travis said with certainty.

"You know that the officer wants to talk to you about what you saw don't you?" Michael asked.

"I guess," Travis shrugged.

Michael looked down again at the picture before he continued, "This is not something I say lightly, and I don't like saying it, but Travis,…I'm going to ask you not to tell the police about you seeing who attacked those guys. It might be better if they don't know. The police will probably get some information from those four other guys about who attacked them, but if you don't give them any more information, then maybe they won't be able to find him. If it is the same guy, then he has saved Chris twice, I don't want him in trouble."

"Me neither," Travis shook his head.

"Okay. Why don't you put the picture back Chris. Give me a few minutes and we'll go next door and talk to your parents Travis. We'll be there if you wish when you talk to the police as well," Michael said.

Travis nodded, "Okay Mr. Hale. I would like you and Chris there…if everything works out with my parents," he said nervously.

Michael got up and put his hand on Travis' shoulder, "Don't worry Travis, I'm sure everything will be fine. Chris, would you grab that old note that I gave you?" he directed.

"Sure, okay, but why?" he asked.

"I want to remind Travis' parents about it, when we talk to them about what happened last night," Michael explained.

Chris nodded, "Okay dad."

Chris hurried upstairs to put the picture away, grabbed the note and rejoined them. His dad, who had followed behind him upstairs and gone into his own bedroom, joined the two boys a few moments later. They said goodbye to Heather and were soon following a nervous Travis through the front door of his home. Chris reached over and took Travis' hand for a second to give it a squeeze, to show his love and support, which elicited a smile from Travis, before they entered. When they came in, Richard and Meredith were sitting in the living room, watching a morning show. They looked up when the three came in.

"Hey Michael, Chris, good morning, come on in. You want a cup Mike?" Meredith asked.

"Yeah, thanks Mere, that would be good," Michael smiled at her.

"Have a seat, I'll be right back," she said.

They sat down, Michael in one of the chairs and the two boys in the love seat.

"So, this is about what happened last night at the dance?" Richard asked.

"Yeah, at least part of it is. I know the police want to talk to Travis about anything he might have heard or said. I have the officer's card here," Michael said.

Michael reached into his pocket and pulled the business card out and handed it to Richard.

Richard glanced at it before he set it down on the side table. Meredith returned and handed Michael a cup of coffee. Michael took a sip and smile gratefully.

"You said part of it. What is the rest of it?" Richard asked.

Michael looked at Travis, "Travis, your turn."

You could see the nervousness on his face. Chris could actually feel him trembling next to him. His mother got concerned when she noticed that he paled a little bit. She leaned forward.

"What is it honey?" she asked with concern in her voice.

"Uh….um…well, um, I…I mean we…I mean…" Travis stuttered.

They could see he was very flustered and was having a hard time saying something. Meredith got up from the couch and sat on the arm of the love seat. She placed her hand on his back and rubbed it lightly.

"What's the matter Travis. Are you in some kind of trouble?" she asked.

"I…I hope not…" he said quietly.

"Go on Travis. Go ahead. We're right here," his mom continued.

He looked at Chris who nodded to show his support. Travis took a deep breath and looked up at his mom, who smiled encouragingly down at him. He released the breath and dropped his gaze.

"I hope you're not gonna be mad or anything but, Mr. Hale says I gotta tell ya something important………..I'm…gay, and me and Chris are boyfriends," he said quickly.

His mom stopped rubbing his back; she and Richard looked at each other for a few moments as Travis tensed up waiting for the explosion. Chris reached over and covered Travis' hand that was on the seat between them. There was a long moment of silence in the room until Richard spoke.

"Are you sure?" Richard asked.

Travis looked at his dad and nodded, not trusting himself to speak. He dropped his gaze once again, concentrating on the floor between his feet.

"Weelll, okay then," his dad said.

Travis looked up at his dad, just as his mom leaned down and hugged him.

"You mean its okay?" Travis asked hopefully.

"Well, not exactly," she started to say.

Travis got a panicked look on his face, "What do you mean?" his voice started to climb in pitch.

She realized what she had said and quickly explained, "No, I guess I misspoke, sorry. I meant that it is going to get harder, for you and Chris, when this gets out. How long have you known, Mike," she asked him.

"Just last night," he said to them. "Chris admitted to the police that he was gay and because of that, they are adding a hate crime charge to the guys who attacked him. After they finished questioning him, he accidently let it slip to me, that Travis was gay as well and that they were a couple. The three of us talked for a little while after we got home from the hospital and I told Travis that he should tell you guys as soon as possible. I suggested this morning and told him that we would come with him to provide moral support. So here we are," Michael said.

Richard looked at the two boys, "So what about Wendy, Travis?" he asked. "You've been going with her for a few months."

"She's nice and all and we never were really going together, but Chris is better. I tried to be like everyone else, you know, liking girls and all, but yeah they were pretty and nice and all, but I liked being with Chris better. So I just kinda pulled away from her and we kinda just quit being together. I know it was wrong to deceive her, but I wasn't sure of my feelings then, and I was a little scared. I thought if I went out with her, things would be different, and maybe I would feel different about girls, but it didn't help. Then we all got involved with GSA and the more time I spent with Chris the more time I wanted to spend with him. So a few weeks ago we admitted it to each other and so we're now boyfriends," Travis explained.

"Does anyone else know?" his dad asked.

"Yeah, Bryce and Cheryl know too. I guess Cheryl guessed it a little while ago and she must have said something to Bryce. But last night, when I found Chris, they both saw me kiss him when he woke up in the pool room after the attack," he explained.

"So, no problems from your close friends?" Richard asked.

"Oh yeah, Alex a guy I know from art class, knows too. He's gay and Travis said I could tell him, but he hasn't told anyone else," Chris added.

Travis thought for a moment, "I guess that's all that know, Dad. Not too many and all of them are good friends."

"I guess the knowledge is contained, but word is going to get out, especially since they are adding hate crime to the charges. If you two are seen together people will make the connection about you two," he pointed out.

Chris and Travis shared a look before joining their hands that were on the seat between them and bringing them out into view.

"I guess the best defense is a good offense," Travis said. "We'll wait until the next GSA meeting and announce it there."

Chris nodded. "It won't take long after that for the word to get around the school. We'll keep everything low key, like the other gay couples at school do," Chris said.

"We'll deal with it. We have a lot of friends at school. Now that Jerry and some of his friends are not going to be around, then there may not be much trouble other than some name calling," Travis continued.

"If you get too much of that, or anything more, don't try to handle it yourself. Tell me and I'll put a stop to it," Michael interjected.

"Dad, I know you're a teacher at school, but we're not going to come running to you, every time someone says something," Chris said.

"Well, okay, but if it's any kind of harassment, including if the name calling gets too much, you come to me. That is not really an option, we have rules about this that we must follow. I need you to tell me if it gets too much, because that's harassment and the school can get in a lot of trouble if we don't act on it. Okay?" Michael explained.

Chris nodded, "Sure Dad."

Michael looked at Travis as well, "Yes sir."

Michael nodded, "Okay. Now for the next thing, you know the police want to interview Travis. Well, he told me something this morning. First, do you remember that note I found when Chris was returned to us?" he said to Travis' parents.

Michael held out his hand to Chris and Chris put the note in his hand.

Richard took it from him and unfolded it. When he saw what it was, he looked up at Michael quickly. Meredith got up from the arm of the loveseat and sat next to him. He showed her the paper and her eyes widened a little. Richard handed it back to Michael.

"What does that note have to do with…" Richard started to say.

Michael handed the note back to Chris, who put it in his pocket. Michael continued, "The reason I reminded you of the note is because of what Travis said this morning over at the house. Go ahead Travis," he nodded toward Travis.

"I think the same guy rescued Chris last night," Travis explained.

"How do you know?" his dad asked.

"I saw the guy who beat up the guys that attacked Chris, and he told me where to find Chris. Do you remember that picture that Chris drew a few months ago?" he asked.

Richard thought for a moment, "The one with the guy protecting him?" he asked.

Travis nodded, "Yeah that one. The guy last night looked exactly like the guy in the picture. It was almost as if he stepped out of the picture and saved Chris. It was real dark, but the reason I think it was him was his eyes looked like the eyes on the guy in the picture," he said.

Michael took over at that point, "So because of that, I've asked Travis not to tell the police that he saw anyone there. However, I leave it up to you. If you don't want him to keep that a secret, he's your son and I'll go along with what you decide," Michael offered.

Richard thought about it for a few moments, "I can't see any other way. I'm with you; I say we keep that part quiet about the guy. Travis, when you talk to the police, leave out anything about this guy. If he is the same person, then he has saved Chris twice now. Now that the boys are a couple, the next time Travis may need help as well. I don't mind that person out there."

Meredith nodded her head in agreement. Richard picked up the card and picked up the handset for the cordless phone.

"Well, I guess I should give them a call and get this over with," he said.

He called the number and told them what he was calling about. He hung up and turned to the others.

"They would like us to come down to the police station at two this afternoon," he said.

Michael nodded, "Okay, let me know how it goes. Chris, I need some help with the yard work, so let's go. Thanks for the coffee," he got up.

"Mom, Dad, is it okay for me to go help too?" Travis asked.

"Sure, but make sure you're back over here by one, so that you can get cleaned up before we go to the police station," Richard said.


He went over and gave his dad a hug, "Thanks Dad. I love you."

Richard returned the hug, "I love you too, Son."

Travis relaxed and his dad let him follow Chris and Michael out of the house. Next door they worked for the next couple of hours on the yard. Jessie and Tyler joined them and they were able to get all the work done fairly quickly. They finished around noon and put everything back in the garage.

"Thanks guys, I think that's enough for today. Why don't you go inside and get something cool to drink," Michael said to them.

"Kay, Dad."

The four kids went inside and got some cokes out of the fridge. Tyler and Jessie went into the living room to watch TV, while Chris and Travis went outside on the back patio. They sat next to each other, held hands and rested. A few minutes later Michael joined them.

"Chris, I'd like you to straighten up the garage next weekend. There are a lot of cardboard boxes in there that are falling apart. I'm going to go to Home Depot and get a bunch of those plastic storage bins, and then we can get rid of those boxes. The bins will protect what's in them better than the cardboard boxes anyway," he said.

"Okay Dad," Chris answered.

Michael reached into his pocket, "Here take this. You and Travis go to the movies tomorrow. Just relax and have a nice day. Just be careful about being a couple," he warned.

"Thanks Dad," Chris said with a smile.

Michael went back inside and while the boys finished their drinks. They went up to Chris' room and played some video games until it was time for Travis to head home to clean up. Chris kissed him goodbye before they left the room, and followed him downstairs to the door.

"Good luck Trav. Talk to you later," Chris said.

"Yeah, see ya."

Chris went back up to his room and got his drawing supplies out to draw for awhile.

Next door Travis hurried upstairs to his room. He grabbed some clean underwear and went to take a shower. He returned to his room with a towel wrapped around his waist. Troy was sitting on the chair by Travis' desk, facing the door, and apparently waiting for him. Travis stopped for a few seconds, and Troy said nothing. He walked over to the dresser and pulled a pair of jeans and a shirt out of the dresser and with his back to Troy he dropped his towel and pulled the jeans on. He turned around to face Troy with a shirt he had taken out of the drawers in his hands. Troy still had said nothing and Travis felt a little intimidated by him.

Because of working out and doing everything he could to get accepted at the police academy, he was well built. Not big bulky muscles, but he was well defined and Travis knew he was pretty strong. The two brothers looked at each other for a few more moments, before Troy got up and walked over to Travis. He closed the distance between them quickly and raised his hands. Travis pulled back and his eyes darted to the open door, planning his escape. He tensed his muscles ready to bolt. Before he could escape, Troy grabbed him. He uselessly struggled to get away before he realized his brother was hugging him. He relaxed.

"Asshole, you scared me to death. I thought you were going to beat the shit out of me," he complained.

"Got ya, squirt."

Troy just held him for a few more moments before letting him go. He sat down on the edge of the bed and waited for Travis to put his shirt on.

"So I guess you've been keeping secrets, huh? Some cop I'm going to be. I shoulda seen it, you and Chris. Hopefully I learn to be more observant in the academy, otherwise, I'll probably walk right by a drug deal and not even know what's going on," he mocked himself.

"Well, we were pretty careful and we've only been a couple for a few weeks. We were planning on keeping it quiet for as long as we could," he explained.

"Well, at least you chose someone like Chris. He's a real good person and I suppose he's good enough for my little brother. I'm happy for you, I just advise you guys to continue to be careful. Dad said you were going to tell your friends in the club at school. Do you think that's such a good idea?" he asked.

"Yeah, all the gay members in the club are out and the school knows about them, so one more couple shouldn't be any big news," he said.

"I'd still be careful," Troy warned him.

"Oh, we plan to be," Travis nodded

His dad's voice came from downstairs, "TRAVIS! C'mon, let's go."

"Okay Dad, on my way," he called back.

Troy followed Travis downstairs, where their parents were waiting.

"Okay if I go along Dad?" he asked.

"Sure Troy. Let's go, we don't want to be late."

The Grayson's piled into the car and they were on their way. It only took them ten minutes to get to the police station. They parked in the visitor lot and went inside to the information desk. Richard gave the officer at the desk their name and they were told to wait. A few minutes later a man came out and ushered them inside. He brought them to an interview room and had them sit down. He took a seat at one end of the table where a folder and a legal pad were sitting. He shook their hands before he sat down.

"Thank you for coming in today. I'm Detective Jameson, please have a seat," he introduced himself.

"I'm Richard Grayson, this is my wife Meredith and these are my sons Troy and Travis," Richard introduced the family.

"This shouldn't really take too long," he explained.

He referred to some papers in the folder he had before him. He positioned the legal pad and pulled a pen out of his shirt pocket. "Okay Travis, why don't you tell me about the other night," he started.

"My friend Chris had gone to the restroom and he was gone for a long while, I started to get worried about him, so Bryce, Cheryl and I went to look for him."

The detective stopped him as he checked the papers. "Excuse me are they Bryce Sanders and Cheryl Mason?"

Travis nodded in agreement, "Yes, sir. Bryce and Cheryl went to check the bathrooms near the classrooms and I went toward the gym. I checked that restroom and didn't find anyone. I came out and…looked around. I…I started to look around the gym and all the buildings around it. I didn't see anything there so I started out toward the athletic fields. A couple of friends of ours got jumped out there a few months ago. So I thought I would check there, in case something had happened to Chris," he explained. "I looked around there and didn't find anybody, so I headed back to the dance to see if Bryce and Cheryl had found him. As I was walking past the entrance to the pool area, I uh, noticed the gate was open. I snuck up close and didn't see anyone so I went inside and looked around. I saw a light coming from an open door. When I got closer, I saw one of the guys who attacked Chris lying on the ground by the door. When I could see inside, I could see the other three and near the desk Chris was laying, he was out cold. I ran to him, when I touched him he woke up, so I helped him sit up. He was hurt but he seemed like he was going to be okay, and that's when Bryce found us," Travis finished his story.

"Did you see anyone else in the area, or hear anything?" Jamison asked.

"No sir. There was no one else in the room when I got there," Travis replied.

"There was apparently some kind of fight and I thought you might have heard something," the detective continued.

Travis shook his head, "No sir, nothing. It's just like I said."

"Okay, I guess that's all the questions I have then. If you remember anything else please call me," he said,

"Thank you Detective. Let's go home boys," Richard said.

The detective walked them outside. They were back home in no time and Travis headed over to Chris'. Heather let him in and pointed upstairs. He stopped at the bedroom door and saw Chris bent over his art table working on something.

"Hey Chris, I'm back," he announced.

Chris stopped what he was doing and turned around. Travis came over and gave him a quick kiss before sitting on the bed. Chris put everything away, closed the door and joined him on the bed. They laid back and just held each other and cuddled for a little while before Travis had to go home.

At school on Monday many people were talking about the attack on Chris. Nearly all of the stories were way off base. The stories ranged from some kind of big fight between two groups of students, to Chris being some sort of black belt who took the four guys down by himself. There were some stories that hit the mark much closer, those stories talked about Chris being jumped by the four guys. Thankfully though, the stories never mentioned anything about the four being charged with a hate crime as well.

Chris was asked about the attack, but he refused to say much, telling everyone who asked about the attack, that he really didn't want to talk about it. When people realized he really wasn't going to talk about it, they stopped asking questions. Everyone kept giving him sidelong glances however, because of the visible cuts and bruises on his face. In art class, Alex was a little shocked by Chris' appearance.

"Damn dude, they did a number on you," he said.

"Yeah, but I think it looks worse than it is. It doesn't hurt much. It just aches a bit from time to time," he explained.

"I'm glad the police have them. What happened, I've heard lots of stories, most are kind of hard to believe?" Alex asked.

"Yeah, I heard the one about how I'm some martial arts black belt or something. I like that one the most, at least if people believe that, maybe no one will mess with me," Chris said with a chuckle.

"So, what did happen," Alex asked.

Chris shrugged, "No idea. They knocked me out, and when I came to, they were all out of action. Travis was there, and he…uh, didn't know either. He had just found me knocked out, with all the others around me in the room, and no one else." Chris said.

"Well, whoever did it, I hope they're friendly. I wouldn't want to meet them in a dark alley," Alex said.

"I think that whoever it was might be just the person you'd want with you in a dark alley," Chris said.

"Yeah, I guess, unless you piss them off," Alex agreed.

"Alex, Chris, if I could have your attention up here, please," they looked up sheepishly.

"Sorry, Ms. Stephens," they said.

They turned their attention back to the class. At lunch, Alex and Vince joined them as did Dave and Loren. Dave and Loren stopped by for a moment to wish Chris well, and see how he was doing. Later that afternoon Chris handed Coach Cooper a doctor's note saying that he should be excused for a few days until his injuries had healed. So he was excused from full baseball practice for the week. He dressed out and did some mild workouts, at least to the extent that his injuries allowed. He had to sit out the two games they played that week, but he was there to cheer the team on and help out.

At the Wednesday GSA meeting, several members gave him hugs when he, Travis, Bryce and Cheryl entered the room. They took seats in the back of the room. Dave called the meeting to order.

"Welcome to the meeting. I'm glad to see that Chris and his friends were able to join us today, after what happened this weekend. As all of you know, Chris was jumped by four older classmates; luckily, for the most part, he is okay. Chris, on behalf of the GSA, I'm sorry something like this happened. We will try to do better next time on security issues, so that no one will be hurt like that," Dave apologized to them.

"Thanks Dave, and everyone, for your concern and kindness. There was really little anyone could do. People like that will find a way. We can just do our best to lessen it," Chris said.

"Well, I'm still sorry, and we will look for ways to make any dance that we sponsor safer," Dave promised.

Dave continued with the rest of the meeting, talking about the money that was raised from the dance and some discussion was held about what to do with it. They decided to spend some on an end of school party and Ms. Lyons would make sure the rest was to be saved for the next year. While Dave talked, Chris turned to Travis and they whispered about something that they had talked about over the weekend. They smiled at each other in agreement. Dave called for any new business and Chris raised his hand. Dave motioned for him to go ahead. He stood up nervously.

"There is something that my friends and I believe will come out fairly soon, concerning the attack on me. I want you guys to know before everyone else." Chris reached down and took Travis' hand in his as Travis stood up. "Travis and I are together," he announced.

There was surprise from everyone but Alex, Bryce and Cheryl, then the others started cheering and clapping for them. Chris and Travis blushed as Chris held up his hand.

"I wanted to tell you guys, because during questioning the police asked me if I was gay, and I admitted that I was. They had found out that the dance was sponsored by our club and they thought that the attack might have been motivated by that. When I told them I was, they said that they are going to charge them with a hate crime as well as the assault. So that is going to come out soon enough, and we wanted you guys to know; because we know we can count on you to support us. We hadn't planned on coming out yet, we thought maybe next year, but we figure it's better to get it out in the open now."

Once again the cheering and clapping began as the other members came forward to give them their support. Liz and Jackie hugged both of them. "See, we told you two, that you looked good together. I'm glad you took our advice," Jackie said.

Chris and Travis reddened at that, as the others laughed. They accepted the hugs and handshakes from everyone. Soon enough the meeting broke up and everyone left for the day. Chris and Travis knew that they had friends to support them when the news came out. Now to see what the rest of the student body had to say about it, that was what worried them.

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