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Into the Lion's Den
|The day ended without any event. After class had ended, rumor of how Kousuke intimidated Coach Briggs spread like wildfire through the entire student body. For the rest of the day, while Kou walked down the halls and in the flow of students, people were cheering and greeting him enthusiastically. After several attempts to quiet down, Kou gave up completely and silently accepted their excitement with a certain reluctance.
“I’d wish they’d stop doing that.” Kou said as he and Chris walked towards the school exit.
Chris laughed. “Some people would kill to have the kind of attention you’re getting, and you’d rather they keep quiet.”
“Well, it is kind of embarrassing.” Kou said, trying not to listen as a group of girls greeted him rather friendly. “I feel like everyone has their eyes on me, and if I do anything out of the ordinary, they’d grow wild.”
“They’ve HAD their eyes on you ever since you stepped into the school!” Chris rolled his eyes. “And you’re hardly what we’d call ‘ordinary’ you know. You make a rather large target after all.”
Kou had a slightly pained expression on his face. “You didn’t have to put it so bluntly.”
“It’s true though.” Chris pointed out.
Kou gave Chris a frown, then eventually laughed. “You know what, for once you’re right.”
“For once?” Chris echoed a bit dangerously.
“Sorry,” Kou apologized. “I meant for the first time you’re right.” Both boys couldn’t hold it in anymore as they each busted out laughing.
“Oh boy, I haven’t had a day as fun as this since middle school.” Chris said as he recovered from his bout of laughter.
“Yeah, I haven’t had this much fun in a long time either.” Kou said, wiping a tear from his eye as he grinned foolishly. Chris noticed that Kou never hid his emotion. No matter what he was feeling, the expression on his face told all in complete truth. Happy, scared, confused, all of them were painted on the big man’s face.
“So where do we go?” Chris asked as they neared a crosswalk. Currently, they were heading in the same direction anyhow, but Chris figured that sooner or later they’d have to split into different directions. For some reason, Chris didn’t want to do that just yet. There was so many things about Kousuke Sterling that Chris wanted to know, so many questions he wanted to ask. He was not, however, interested in asking questions such as the cause for his friend’s size, or the reason behind his reluctance to remove his shirt. Instead, he wanted to learn about things such as Kou’s favorite foods or pastimes, if he enjoyed playing any games or sports and so on.
Kou shrugged his massive shoulders, the straps of his backpack threatening to break “Anywhere I guess, though I think my Dad would like me home.”
“We’ll go to your place then.” Chris concluded. He was already curious about what kind of house Kou lived in.
Whatever Chris had imagined, he did not imagine what he saw in front of him just a few minutes later. The house looked ordinarily enough, two stories high and wide windows with the curtains drawn shut, but there was something…off. For starters, the lawn was completely overrun by weeds and crab grasses. The garden area was a complete dead mess, and there were dead leaves all over from the oak tree in the middle of the yard. But the thing that intrigued Chris the most was the front door. Instead of an ordinary painted wooden door, it was a gray solid steel wide double door. And not just plain steel either. It appeared to be the type of style that would belong in a military, with bolts drilled in and two large, sturdy steel handles.
“Nice door.” Chris commented.
Kou winced. For some reason he was hoping that Chris wouldn’t have noticed, even though the door screamed out louder then a spoiled baby. “Er…it was from the…the last owner of the house.”
“S’right…” Chris said, still looking intently at the door. Finally he turned and looked up at Kou. “So are we going to go in, or do we stay out here and watch the weeds grow?”
Kou blushed and lead Chris to the door. Without hesitating, he placed his hand on the handle and turned it. There was a loud click sound, and as Kou pushed it open it made a horrible screech similar to nails on a chalkboard. Chris winced, but Kou didn’t seem to notice very much. He must be used to it already. Chris told himself as he followed Kou in. Behind him, the door slowly swung shut on it’s own, and Chris silently wondered how heavy the door was exactly.
The living room was dark and moody. There was a large ordinary looking coach and back chair, but after Chris’ eyes got used to the dark, he saw that the frame under the cushions were solid steel. Even with the thick cushions and pillows on top, Chris doubted they would be all that comfortable. Besides the seats, there was a low, mahogany coffee table set down in front of the couch with various papers, letters and newspapers piled on top. On the far wall there was a very small TV on a wooden stand, barely twelve inches wide, with a combination of a VCR and DVD player plugged into it. One corner opened up into what appeared to be a hallway, while on the opposite end was a open doorway that showed a table and two chairs, both of them were steel. Other then those few items, the room was more or less plain and bare.
“Dad, I’m home.” Kou called out loud.
“Be out in a minute.” A man’s voice called from somewhere inside the open doorway.
Kou shrugged at Chris, then went to the sofa and sat down. Chris, not knowing what else to do, followed his example and sat on the chair. Chris was about to open his mouth to speak when a man walked through the doorway and into the room.
“Well Kou, how was your-” The man stopped in mid-sentence as he noticed Kou. He was of medium height and build, with reddish gold long hair that hung to his shoulders. He also had neat trim whiskers and a pair of rectangular glasses that gave him a suave, sophisticated look.
“And who might this be?” The man asked Kou over the top of his glasses.
“This is Chris, Dad.” Kou introduced him. “He’s a friend at school.”
“Really…” Kou’s father looked critically at Chris, causing him to feel a bit nervous. After a few moments, however, his face immediately lit up. “Well how do you do? I’m Kou’s dad, Lou.”
“Pleased to meet you Mr. Ster-”
“Please, call me Lou.” Lou interrupted Chris, smiling. “Formal titles make me feel like an old man.” He chuckled and headed into the kitchen.
Chris turned to Kou, smiling. “Your Dad seems pretty cool.” He noted.
Kou smiled. “Yeah, he is.”
“Alright, who wants soda?” Lou said cheerfully as he carried out two soda cans. One he tossed to Chris, while the other he opened as he sat down and took a sip.
“Um…where’s Kou’s?” Chris asked.
Lou blinked. “Whoops! How clumsy of me. Be right back.” Laughing rather nervously, he stood up and walked into the kitchen once again.
“Is your Dad always like that?” Chris asked suspiciously.
“Eh…” Kou’s face was visibly struggling for an explanation. Fortunately for him, Lou reentered the room carrying Kou’s soda can, already opened. Wordlessly, he handed it to Kou.
“So, tell me about yourself Chris.” Lou said as he seated himself back onto the chair. From there, the three of them exchanged idle conversation and introductions. It surprised Chris at how different Lou was from Kou, and not just by appearance alone. In fact, Kou himself seemed to act more differently now that they were away from school. Although he was still somewhat reserved, he was noticeably more talkative and outgoing in his home environment.
There were, Chris noticed, no signs of a woman in the house. There was no pictures, no decorations or any feminine touch whatsoever. Judging from the living room, the whole house was a bachelor pad. Chris knew more then to ask, however. There could be numerous reasons why there was no mother figure in the house, most of the them were probably sensitive subjects. Silently, Chris felt a pang in his chest but ignored it.
“So you’re an archeologist?” Chris repeated.
Lou nodded. “I’ve done several digs and expeditions in Africa, Europe and Asia. I’m taking a well deserved break though, so now I teach a college course every week or so for some decent steady income.”
“So you dig up dinosaur bones and stuff?”
Lou laughed. “No, that paleontology. I study ancient human civilizations, old religions, that kind of stuff.”
“Is it exciting?” Chris asked curiously.
Lou shrugged. “Sometimes we find something new, but most of the time in between we’re bored to tears.” Everyone laughed at that.
“So how about you show me your room?” Chris asked Kou.
Kou looked towards his father. His eyes had a nervous feel to it, though Chris sat at the wrong angle to see it.
Lou shrugged. “Sure, why not? What harm could come of it?”
“Chris looked as if he was about to protest, but let it dropped. Wordlessly, he stood up and walked into the hall. Before Chris got up to follow, he took one last sip from his soda can and set it on the table. He noticed that Kou’s soda can sat on it as well, and for a moment he tried to remember if Kou had actually taken a single sip at all. He brushed the thought from his head as he hurried to catch up with Kousuke. The moment Chris was out of sight, Lou took Kou’s soda can. As he expected, it was completely full. Not wanting to waste it, he pressed the can to his lips and emptied it in one, long drink. Giving a satisfied sigh, he began to clean up.
Although the hallway was wide, he was unable to see anything in front from behind Kou, who’s massive rippling back took up the entire view. He was so wide that his shoulders nearly touched the walls on both sides. Not only that, but since he was so tall as well the top of his head was only two or three inches away from the ceiling as well. Sure, all day Kou had been ducking his head through doorways, but his height didn’t hit Chris until now, in this confined space. They passed a set of stairs and a door before Kou stopped. Doing his best to look around Kou, he caught glimpses of yet another steel door, similar to the one on the front of the house.
Again, there was a loud screeching sound as Kou pushed the door open. He walked in, followed closely by Chris, and stepped off to the side to give Chris the full view of his room.
Chris’ eyes grew wide with surprise. Once again, it was different from what he had expected. He had visualized a room filled with weights, exercise equipment and so on. But instead of tons of weights, there were books. Almost every inch of wall space was hidden behind a steel book shelf that rose up to 10 feet high, laden with books of every size and color. The room itself was a surprise as well. It was distinctively large, with enough room for fifty people to stand in and still be comfortable. This room was not limited to the first floor, but actually opened up all the way up to the roof as well! There was a sort of wide ledge where the second floor started, with a metal spiral staircase in one corner going up to it. There were no windows to let in light, save for a circular pane at the very top of the wall. Instead, there were a variety of lamps, all which were currently shut off. Other then the bookshelves in the room, there was one large steel desk, chair, and of course, a king sized bed.
“Fuck….” Chris said in amazement. “You…uh…got a lot of room.”
Kou blushed. “It…it was how this house was built.” Kou explained rather nervously. “The…the previous owner had the house built this room as a kind of…of loft or something.”
Chris gave a long whistle. “Damn, you’re one lucky guy…but what’s with the books?”
“They’re…they’re mine.” Kou looked down. “I…like to read.”
Chris couldn’t help but laugh. Kou looked up, his expression slightly offended.
“Well, I do!” Kou said defensively.
“No no,” Chris shook his head, still laughing. “It’s okay. Never took you for a book worm. Though now that I think about it, it kinda fits.”
Kou started to say something, but every time he opened his mouth, the words died in his throat.
"So...are we going to just stand here in the dark?" Chris suggested, trying to break the silence.
"Oh, sorry." Kou clapped his hands twice, and all the lamps and lights lit up, illuminating the room.
"You actually got a clap on?" Chris jeered at Kou.
"Is there something wrong with having one?" Kou jeered back.
Chris shrugged. “Not really I guess. So, how about we work on our homework?” Chris offered, setting down his backpack.
“I thought you never did your homework.” Kou smiled. “Or were you and Mr. Benson argue just for fun?”
Chris scowled at Kou, then the both of them busted out laughing. They both sat down at the desk and began working on their homework.
Kou, to Chris’ surprise, was very intelligent and quick. He went through all the assignments with ease, while Chris struggled far behind. So, naturally, Kou began to tutor Chris. With a patience of a rock, he calmly explained the problems and concepts in simple, easy terms.
“You almost got this problem right.” Kou observed from behind Chris. “However, you made a small mistake at the beginning. See, what you have to do is…” He leaned in to point out the problem, his pencil moving rather quickly on the paper. Without knowing it, his chest pressed into Chris’ back.
Chris shivered. He could actually feel one of Kou’s rock hard nipples poke into his spine. His breathing increased, allowing Kou’s musky scent to fill his nostrils. Chris could actually feel Kousuke breathe on his as he explained the problem, but somehow Chris was unable to understand a single word. His eyes fell down on the arm that was writing on the slip of paper on the desk. His eyes followed down that arm, starting at the large sphere that was his bicep bulge outwards. His triceps was a perfect horseshoe, complimenting his peak. The forearm was hairless, but thick and wide, ending in a massive masculine hand that held the tiny pencil with an unusual grace. As h sat there, surrounded by muscle, he felt his prick swell from inside his jeans. Embarrassed, his left hand crept down to hide the erection from Kou, who was still too busy explaining the problem to notice.
“…And then you get thirty-five.” Kou finished.
Chris dumbly looked at Kou’s face and nodded, his ears burning. “I…I think I should go now.” He said as calmly and politely as he could. “It’s getting late…”
Kou looked up at the clock. “Wow, it’s that late already? Alright, then.” He lead Chris through the house and out the front door. As Chris walked away, he waved. “I’ll see you tomorrow, alight?”
Chris turned and smiled, waving in return. Then, he continued his way down the street, heading for home.
Later that night, Kou sat down at the kitchen table across from his father. Lou had a rather plain microwave dinner in front of him. Kou had nothing.
“So how was your day?” Lou asked, cutting his Salisbury steak.
“It was…okay I guess.” Kou said hesitantly, trying to decide if he should tell his father everything or not.
“You sure made a friend pretty quickly.” Lou commented, then took a bite of his steak.
Lou smiled slightly. “I was surprised too. But I like Chris. He makes me feel…normal.”
Lou chewed thoughtfully, then swallowed. “He’s a good kid, I guess. So, did anything happen at school? You know, with…” He gestured vaguely.
Kou’s mind was instantly filled with a dozen images. Embarrassed, he nodded. “No one saw me though.” He said quickly before his father could get in a word. “And I was really, REALLY careful.”
“Did anyone…suspect anything?” Lou asked, frowning.
“Dad, look at me.” Kou’s hand waved at himself. “I’m an 8’3” muscle bound fifteen year old with black and white hair. Of course they’re suspicious. I don‘t think any of them has a clue though.”
Lou gave a heavy sigh. “I guess it can’t be helped. You are different from all the other kids. But be careful all the same.”
“I know Dad, I know.” Kou reassured him.
“Oh, and one more thing Kou.” Lou set down his knife and fork to look intensely into his son’s eyes.
“I know you like Chris, and that he’s your very first real friend, but do not, under ANY circumstances tell him your secret.” His gaze was almost unbearable as he looked firmly at Kou.
“I…I know Dad.” Lou tore his eyes away from his father’s gaze. “I know.”
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