Saints Ch. 4
Hosea was the first to break away. After a moment’s hesitation, he backed up slightly. “Are you sure about this, Achilles?”
Achilles nodded, kissing Hosea again who no longer seemed to pull away. Instead he leaned into the kiss and wrapped an arm around Achilles’ waist. Achilles’ hands had been on the sides of Hosea’s face but now were tangled in the boy’s hair. Eventually Achilles broke, leaning away out of breath and his heart racing.
“Holy s**t." Achilles whispered, running a hand through his hair, even though he knew it would mess it up. He couldn’t find the will to care about his appearance at the given moment. He had kissed Hosea. Hosea still had an arm around Achilles and he reached up to brush Achilles’ hair out of his face. “That was…”
“Amazing,” Hosea finished. “I can’t...but you said that you weren’t interested in me. You said you didn’t do that.”
“I couldn’t stop thinking about you while you were gone. Thinking about holding you and touching you and kissing you. I was wrong when I said that. I do want this.”
Achilles grazed Hosea’s lips and bit at his lower lip. Hosea groaned. “Don’t. I’m still human,” Hosea replied, laughing nervously. “Well, what are we going to do?”
“I don’t know, to be honest. I’ve never done this before. Have you?”
Hosea grinned. “Not with a boy, and I have a feeling it’s different.” Hosea looked around, realised they were still standing. He sat down in the pile of blankets, folding his legs beneath him. He gestured to where he was sitting and Achilles laid down next to him, resting his head on Hosea’s leg. “Your parents will murder you if they find out, won’t they? They would absolutely lose their minds.”
“Good thing I wasn’t planning on telling them. Like, ever. Maybe if we got married.” The two of them began to laugh. Achilles craned his neck to look at the other boy. “What do you think?”
“Like anyone would ever let us get married.”
“Maybe one day,” Achilles replied softly. “I think one day people will realise how stupid they are to not accept people like you, and I guess me. One day people will ease up.”
“Achilles, this world is harsh. I don’t know if you noticed, but homosexuals can actually go to jail. Then there’s brutality and religion. I don’t think people are going to change their minds. You’re a church boy, how have you never heard that ‘man shall not lie with man’ and all that? It’s real. Just because you don’t agree with it doesn’t change the situation.”
“I know the world is bad but I can have hope that things will change.”
Hosea sighed. “You’re a light in the middle of darkness.” He leaned down and kissed Achilles’ forehead. “Please don’t ever stop.”
The next few weeks, Achilles barely saw his family. The semester ended and he had an excuse not to be at school, so he spent his days with Hosea. Alice covered for him without knowing what he was doing, telling his parents he was spending his nights with the siblings and her. After the incident with his dad, Achilles was scared to find out what would happen if his family knew he was dating a boy. His dad had never been violent with him or his mom and sister, even when drunk, and the fact that he had been scared Achilles. His dad had a strong dislike for the people he called ‘f*****s’ and knowing his son was at least partially one? It would be all the man needed to finally go over the edge.
Achilles confessed his fear to Hosea when he began having nightmares of his dad finding out. Hosea told him that one night in his sleep, he started screaming and had curled into a ball. Hosea said he tried to snap him out of it but Achilles had only woken up short of a slap to the face. One night, after a particularly nasty night that had woken up the both of them, Achilles had curled up next to Hosea who held him as he cried.
“No one is going to find out,” Hosea whispered, “No one is going to hurt you. It’s gonna be okay, it’s gonna be okay.”
Achilles shook his head but eventually gave into Hosea’s reassurances and relaxed to his touch. Hosea bit his lip, feeling Achilles’ tears staining his borrowed shirt. He knew how much he cared for the boy and he couldn’t stand it. Hosea knew in the back of his mind nothing was ever supposed to happen, that he had promised his family he’d stop messing around with other boys and find a good girl instead.
“F*** your parents,” Hosea muttered to himself and partially to Achilles. “This is right. We are not wrong.”
Achilles shifted in his sleep and groaned. Hosea held back a small chuckle. He couldn’t imagine trying to fit his parent’s ideals. They had always said homosexuality was wrong, but being with Achilles felt so right. In the back of his mind, the thoughts lingered; what if someone did find out? His parents had called the cops on the man they’d caught Hosea blowing in an alley behind their apartment, and had threatened to beat him if they ever caught him doing it again.
They had always said they loved Hosea and life had come with a lot of tests to prove that, but finding out about his homosexuality was what had broke them. Only a couple weeks after the incident, his parents had told him to pack a bag and leave. He had willingly left, but only because it felt more like a bad dream he thought he would wake up from. He had asked if they were serious, thinking maybe they would come to their senses and keep him in the house.
He shook his head and tried to shove the image of his father, getting in his face and screaming at him, out of his mind. He couldn’t go back, he knew that, but he knew he couldn’t live off of Achilles, Adam, and Diana forever. He knew that someone would find out about him or, worse, Achilles’ relationship with him. He wondered how M and Sully were without him. He knew they were probably better off growing up without him around. Sully had unknowingly been the cover for his drug abuse for years. His parents had never trusted Hosea but they trusted Sully, and Sully had always repeated what Hosea had told him. I’m a horrible person, Hosea thought.
He started tearing up, remembering the time his little brother had watched Hosea do drugs. He had been a child, around ten years old, and had screamed when Hosea stuck the needle in his arm. His brother had had nightmares about it and wouldn’t talk to Hosea for a week. Now that Hosea was gone, maybe it was what Sully needed to finally get over the memory, to move on with his life.
M was different. He’d always been close to his sister and she was the reason he hadn’t relapsed in so long the first time he quit drugs. She had been his cheerleader through the good and the bad, too young to understand his mistakes but old enough to see he was strong enough to pull through them. She loved him unconditionally when no one else seemed to even care that he existed.
Achilles whimpered, his eyelids fluttering. Hosea gently grabbed his hand and pulled it between them, intertwining their fingers. He didn’t love Achilles but cared a great deal for him and he knew what they had was going to rip Achilles apart in the end. Achilles was his weakness but his life of solitude was all he knew. The problem was, Hosea knew, he didn’t know which one to leave behind or, if he didn’t choose, which one would win out in the long run.
He sighed and pressed closer to Achilles matching the boy’s even, slow breaths until they were both asleep.
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