m/m Deano's Summer: A Muscle University Story

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22 hours ago, brawnygods said:

Please tell me that appropriate attire for a summer weekend barbecue in Brighton is shirts optional for men. 🤤

What would poor old Doris who lives next door think though if she looked out of her bedroom window and saw Deano, Ryan, Josh, Big Steve and Deano Snr having a shirtless posedown in the garden? 🤭

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4 minutes ago, muscleaddict said:

What would poor old Doris who lives next door think though if she looked out of her bedroom window and saw Deano, Ryan, Josh, Big Steve and Deano Snr having a shirtless posedown in the garden? 🤭

Maybe we can ask her when we take the Deano tour!😱  That can be the stop just before we go over to Duke's Mound!😈😈😈😜😜😜

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51 minutes ago, macookie said:

So the BBQ... what will happen???....  Does Deano Sr come out???... is that the real reason Momma married someone else??  Does Ryan kiss Deano at the BBQ???... Hopefully we will know soon.  Maybe this afternoon... or this weekend.


22 minutes ago, Sjdmuscle said:

Same questions I have been pondering to myself! As for mum, Deano has told us, the readers, that she is living with Gary and his daughter. Nowhere in the story does it mention that Deano's parents are divorced!🤔  In chapter 5 (?), in the conversation between Deano and his dad in the kitchen after Deano had walked out on the Pub lunch, Deano sr says " she was my wife".🤔

Oh, what twists ands turns does MA have in store for us readers as rabidly await the chapter to be posted?🤔  Of course, MA will leave us with yet another cliffhanger, leaving us readers twisting in the Wind!🤣😂🤣😜😜😜😜😜😜

Damn you,MA!🤣😂🤣😜😜😜😜😜


19 minutes ago, DennisFLL said:

I've seen the messaging of this Deano Sr. rumor before from another perceptive reader.  But the timing of it enfolding and a Junior and Ryan's kissing will be the shockers!  

Deano Snr secretly gay? That's...quite the theory! 😅 I guess there's quite a few routes I could have gone down with this barbecue. Again - it's really hard to comment on things at this stage but hopefully you guys will like how the rest of the story plays out.

I've had a stressful week work wise so apologies for the lack of mid-week chapter this week. I am determined to get the next one posted over the weekend though! 

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1 hour ago, muscleaddict said:

What would poor old Doris who lives next door think though if she looked out of her bedroom window and saw Deano, Ryan, Josh, Big Steve and Deano Snr having a shirtless posedown in the garden? 🤭

MA - after AJ sent a picture of himself posing in his garden, Noah joked to AJ: "What would Mildred at no.42 think? For God’s sake, Mildred. Whatever you do, don’t look out the window!!”  I didn't know you Brits spied on next-door muscle-boys so much.  As bad as us Americans!

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51 minutes ago, DennisFLL said:

MA - after AJ sent a picture of himself posing in his garden, Noah joked to AJ: "What would Mildred at no.42 think? For God’s sake, Mildred. Whatever you do, don’t look out the window!!”  I didn't know you Brits spied on next-door muscle-boys so much.  As bad as us Americans!

Haha!! Well remembered, mate. I'd actually forgotten about that. Hmmm - maybe I'm just unoriginal and have a habit of telling the same joke over and over again. 🙄😅

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4 minutes ago, muscleaddict said:

Haha!! Well remembered, mate. I'd actually forgotten about that. Hmmm - maybe I'm just unoriginal and have a habit of telling the same joke over and over again. 🙄😅

That joke is still appreciated very much!

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8 hours ago, muscleaddict said:

What would poor old Doris who lives next door think though if she looked out of her bedroom window and saw Deano, Ryan, Josh, Big Steve and Deano Snr having a shirtless posedown in the garden? 🤭

Hopefully, Doris is tech savvy enough to video and post to social like Mildred in Little Denton does.  Her feed is secret-surveillance muscle gold!

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I’m standing in front of my open wardrobe, just staring at the clothes. What the fuck are you supposed to wear for a family barbecue? Correction: a no doubt awkward, fucked up family barbecue with your shit mum who walked out when you were nine years old, the guy she’s shacked up with and his kid daughter. Plus the stupidly good looking Super Heavyweight champion bodybuilder who you’ve spent the past week having insanely hot sex with and are now secretly kind of seeing.

I don’t know if the fact that Ryan is coming is just adding to the nerves I was already feeling over this whole barbecue thing. On the one hand, just thinking about the fact that I’m going to see him again gives me this happy buzz. On the other - I can’t help thinking that Ryan being there is just going to make today even more awkward than it would have been already.

I’m not sure how the introductions are going to go. Ryan - this is mum, who I’ve barely spoken to for the past eight months because I’ve been giving her the silent treatment after she failed to come round on Christmas Eve like she normally does. Even though she has a life of her own and a boyfriend with a daughter. Even though I’m a grown-ass fucking adult who doesn’t even like Christmas that much. 

And mum - this is Ryan. The new guy from the gym who dad hired a few weeks ago. Who, despite the fact that up until a week and a half ago he had a girlfriend called Katie, invited me round to his house on Friday night, put me in a pair of his shiny pink posing trunks then sat on my fucking cock.

A night I spent all day yesterday thinking about after Ryan drove me home. And woke up this morning thinking about too.

I’ve been these having these thoughts too. About me and Ryan. Like, I know I’ll be going back to Montgomery in September, but what if me and Ryan were together properly? What if he was, like, my boyfriend? Is that completely crazy?

I mean, it probably wouldn’t be much different to what we’re doing now. Obviously we’d have to keep it a secret. From my dad and Josh. Pretty much everyone I guess. But I think I’d be okay with that. We’d see each other at the gym. Then we’d hang out afterwards. Go out into town or go to Ryan’s house. Everyone would just assume we were hanging out as mates. 

And he could come up to Montgomery to visit me when I went back to university. And I’d come back home more often. We could have a long-distance thing. Like Woody and Henderson have been doing this summer. 

But I’ve also been thinking again - what if I didn’t go back to Muscle University in September? What if I just stayed here in Brighton? Worked at my dad’s gym. Or got a job as a personal trainer somewhere. Then the distance thing wouldn’t be an issue. Then I could see Ryan all the time. Then we really could be together properly.

We were texting each other for a bit yesterday. He told me how sexy I looked in his shiny pink posers. And how hot what we did was. I made a comment about how he’ll get to see my bedroom today. I joked about the possibility of messing about, even though I don’t think I would. Not with my fucking parents downstairs. He didn’t really respond to that. Which surprised me. Because clearly I was joking.

I’ve been checking my phone this morning, expecting to see a message from Ryan, telling me he can’t wait to see me today, or something along those lines, but so far he hasn’t text.

I pull out a white short-sleeved shirt with buttons that’s pretty smart from my wardrobe. Josh will probably make the effort, so I guess I should too. I’m buttoning up the shirt in front of my mirror and I have to admit, I look pretty good. It’s a tight fit, but then most shirts are. My naturally tanned biceps look pretty awesome around the white sleeve material. My pecs look good straining underneath too. I turn to the side and look at my arse bulging out of my painted on skinny jeans. And I smile at my reflection. I rarely feel good about the way I look. When I’m not in competition at a bodybuilding show anyway.

I pick up my phone from my bed, take the plunge and text Ryan. 

“Hey. Shall we just forget this whole barbecue thing and go to yours instead? I might even let you put me in the pink trunks again. (Shocked face emoji.) Can’t believe I actually just typed those fucking words!!”

I hit send. That’s a pretty funny text for my standards. I’m even kind of chuffed with myself. I gaze at my phone screen and smile to myself, thinking about Ryan’s reply.

I’m pulled from my thoughts when the doorbell goes. I feel a pull in my stomach. I push my ear against my bedroom door. I hear my dad’s voice and then my stomach clenches when I hear mum. And Gary. Hearing her voice always does something weird to me. It makes me kinda sad, I guess. But it always seems to give me this strange kind of comfort too.

I haven’t spoken to her since I walked out on our lunch with Josh a few weeks back. I know it’s gonna be awkward. I don’t really feel as pissed off at her as I did back then. I’m not saying I’m gonna be nice to her or anything, but I guess I can be sort of neutral. I guess I can try and NOT be a dick. Play happy families. Just to keep the peace. It has nothing to do with the fact that Ryan will be here. My dad’s plan of inviting him so I “behave myself” hasn’t worked or anything. I’m just trying to make things as least awkward as they can be.

I give it a few minutes, and then I take the plunge. Everyone’s now in the garden when I get downstairs. Talking and laughing. Ugh. There’s a load of bottles lined up in the kitchen. Vodka. Wine. And bottles of beer. I’d actually kind of love a vodka right now. I take my phone out of my pocket. I feel a stab of disappointment when I see that Ryan hasn’t replied. Maybe I should have a cheeky shot of vodka to calm my nerves? I pick up a bottle of beer instead and my stomach clenches as I walk out of the kitchen and into the garden.

“Here he is!” my dad calls. “Probably been pratting about with his hair as usual!” 

Mum and her boyfriend Gary turn to look at me. His daughter Chloe is here too with another girl they’ve bought. They’re sitting on the grass hunched over what looks like an iPad. When did kids start playing with iPads?

“You look nice, Dean!” my mum says. I offer up a half-smile and nod. Josh is wearing a fucking t-shirt. He’s literally made no effort.

“Probably dressed up for Ryan!” my dad says. 

For fuck’s sake.

Gary says hello and shakes my hand. He’s harmless enough. He’s a bit of a boring bastard, to be honest, but he’s a nice guy I guess. He’s the complete opposite of my dad. Which isn’t exactly a bad thing. Maybe that’s what attracted my mum to him?

“Chloe - look who it is!” my mum says to Gary’s daughter. She glances up at me, looks all shy and awkward and then goes back to her iPad. The other girl, presumably just a friend she’s bought along, doesn’t even look at me. 

“She hasn’t seen you for a while!” mum says. 

I nod. Like I give a shit.

“Who’s this Ryan then?” Gary says. 

My chest tightens. 

“Deano’s new boyfriend!” Josh jokes.

I. Want. To. Fucking. DIE.

“Oi, you!” my dad barks at Josh. “Just because it’s your birthday doesn’t mean you can be a prick to your brother!”

Gary and mum exchange looks and my dad quickly apologises for swearing in front of the kids. I bring my beer to my lips to hide the fact that I’m smirking like mad. I look at my sickeningly handsome brother, and he’s smiling back at me. Mum catches us, looks around and starts laughing too. And now we’re pretty much all smiling. Gary and dad included. Even Chloe’s now looking up and grinning as she chews on her hair. 

I catch my mum’s eye and for the first time in what feels like ages, we’re both smiling at each other. My chest seems to swell.

“So how’s university going, Dean?” Gary asks me after a little while.

Only my mum calls me Dean. And occasionally Johnny Hoxton. Usually when I’ve done something wrong.

My mum gives me a nervous look. Probably because when she asked me about uni at lunch the other week, I flipped and walked out of the pub.

I feel like saying to Gary, “Actually my name’s Deano!” But I guess it wouldn’t hurt to not be a total dick to mum’s boyfriend.

“Yeah. It’s ... good!” I say, nodding.

“He’s one of the best lads in his year, aren’t you, mate?” my dad says, placing a hand on my shoulder and squeezing it. Fucking hell. What’s gotten into him?

I feel a tug in my chest. Everyone’s looking at me. Mum’s smiling. Josh too. “Suppose!” I say, with a shrug, then bury my face in my bottle of beer.

“And he’s been working at his dad’s gym for the summer,” my mum tells Gary.

My dad scoffs. “Working’s a bloody overstatement! Stands around swapping hairstyle tips with his mates and talking about the bloody Goonies most days!” 

I roll my eyes and take a swig of my beer. 

“And have you got a girlfriend, Dean?” Gary asks.

I choke on my beer and wipe my chin as my dad lets out this big, loud laugh. “Who the bloody hell would have him with THAT face?”

I pull a fake sarcastic smile.

“Well that’s funny,” Gary says to my dad. “Cause he’s the absolute spit of you, mate!”

Josh lets out that loud, twattish laugh he sometimes does. And for once it’s not aimed at me. My dad’s giving Gary a stern look, his eyes narrowed, but he's smirking too. And I can’t help smiling with them. Who knew Gary could be funny?

And then the doorbell goes. My heart jumps into my throat and I feel a sharp twist of nerves. It could be Big Steve. But I have this feeling that’s it not. Like, I somehow just kinda know it’s him.

“I’ll get it!” Josh says, leaping inside the house. 

“If I drop your burger on the floor, it won’t be an accident!” my dad says to Gary, pointing the spatula at him. “Cheeky bugger!”

I hear voices coming from inside the house. Jesus. Why am I so nervous? It’s Big Steve. But (as I suspected) Ryan’s here too. My heart flutters when I recognise his voice.

I bury my face in my beer bottle as they come out to the garden. Just in case it gives any of my nerves away.

And there he is. Walking into my garden. All six foot and two hundred plus pounds of him. Looking as ridiculously hot as he always does. Fucking hell. He’s wearing a white shirt. Not dissimilar to mine. I think it was the one he was wearing that day me and the lads bumped into him in the pub. Big Steve’s behind him.

Ryan does a quick scan of the garden. But my chest is tightening. Because, for some reason, he’s not making eye contact with me. Dad introduces everyone to mum and Gary. He doesn't look like his usual self. He looks awkward. And kind of distant. 

I’m looking at him, almost willing him to make eye contact. Why isn’t he making eye contact? 

“Where’s this girlfriend of yours then, Ryan?” my dad asks.

For FUCK’S sake. Ryan awkwardly laughs and doesn’t respond. Then he finally makes eye contact with me. And God - he looks so nervous. What the fuck? It’s not THAT awkward of a situation is it? My stomach clenches. 

“Have you got an ugly sister we can fix Deano up with?” my dad jokes.

Fuck OFF, dad. Ryan just smiles awkwardly, not making eye contact with me again. Why isn’t he looking at me? And why didn’t he reply to my text earlier? 

“Deano - make yourself useful. Get pretty boy a drink!”

Ryan makes brief eye contact with me again and my dad asks him what he wants. 

“I’ll have a beer please, mate?” Ryan says to me formally, still looking awkward. 

I don't think he's ever called me "mate" before. I nod and try and offer up a smile, but I don't think it works. I retreat to the kitchen, thinking that Ryan will follow me. That he'll sneak in and stop being weird because it's just the two of us and he'll tell me how sexy I look in this shirt. And how good my arse looks in the skinny jeans I'm wearing. Then he’ll look outside to make sure no one’s coming, and he’ll lean into me and tell me that he’s dying to kiss me. Right fucking now.

But Ryan doesn’t come into the kitchen. I check my phone. He still hasn’t replied to my text. He's out there, talking to my mum and my dad and my brother, acting like everything’s normal. Behaving like there’s nothing going on between us.

I look at the bottles of alcohol lined up on the work surface. Fuck it. I pour myself a vodka and coke and go back out to the garden. Ryan’s sandwiched in between Josh and Big Steve, looking a bit more relaxed than before.

When I hand him his drink, he gives me a little smile. And I suddenly feel a little better. Okay, maybe more than just a little. 

They’re talking about the gym. Ryan’s telling the lads about Infinity Fitness. Josh has a few mates who go there, apparently. I’m standing there awkwardly. I don’t really feel like I’m a part of the group. I’m drinking faster than usual too. I kind of want Josh and Big Steve to fuck off. I want it to just be me and Ryan. And I want him to act how he normally does. When it’s just me and him. The way he’s been acting around me these past few weeks.

Ryan asks Josh where the bathroom is and he directs him. I think he’s gonna make eye contact with me before he goes, but he doesn't. I think he’s gonna look back at me as he walks towards the house, but he doesn’t do that either. I get my phone out of my pocket and check it again. Is it weird that he hasn’t replied to my text from earlier? Okay - I get why he feels awkward and nervous with all my family around, but he could at least just reply to my text. Something cheeky and Ryan-like. Telling me how hot my arse looks or something.

Fuck it. I down my drink and retreat to the kitchen, feeling stupidly nervous. My mum flashes me a little smile as I walk past and I awkwardly smile back. There’s something in her face though. Like she knows something’s not quite right. How does always bloody know?

There’s no sign of Ryan, but I know he’ll be walking back into the kitchen soon in order to go into the garden again. And as I’m pouring myself another vodka and coke, I hear someone coming.

“Alright?” he says to me, as he walks in. God - he still looks so nervous. Even a little bit scared? What the fuck is going on? And why didn’t he call me D? That’s what he usually says to me. Alright, D. 

I nod. “You?”

My stomach is twisting. Why is it so awkward between us? Things have never been awkward between us before. I hate this. I really fucking hate it.

“House is nice!” he says, stepping a little closer to me. 

I pull a face and shrug. Why does he look so fucking hot? In his tight fitted white shirt that contrasts with his skin, still bronzed from his bodybuilding competition at the expo.

God. I want him so fucking much. I step closer to him, reach out my hand and briefly touch his forearm. He backs away straight away. “D!” he says, shaking his head with a scared look. My insides twist sharply. “Not here!” he says, nervously looks out the window.

“We could go upstairs?”

Ryan scoffs and pulls a weird face like I just made an inappropriate joke. I feel like someone's kicked me in the stomach.

“Why are you being WEIRD?” 

He looks surprised. But, also like I’ve caught him out. I don’t care what he says. He’s not just nervous and awkward because he’s at his boss’ house whose son he’s secretly fucking. There’s something else going on. I know there is. Fuck. What if Ryan’s gone off me? What if he doesn’t want to see me anymore? My stomach lurches.

He looks as if he’s about to say something, when Josh walks into the kitchen. He stops in his tracks, this expression on his face like he can tell something’s wrong. That something’s going on. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

“Woah!" he says. "Atmosphere!” 

I feel a sharp panic.

“You lads alright?” he asks, suspiciously. 

Ryan nods and acts like everything's normal. “Yeah, mate. Just getting a drink!” he says, cheerily.

Jesus. And the fucking award goes to! Josh looks at me, clearly not convinced. I’m rolling my tongue around the inside of my mouth. I know my face is probably giving me away, but I try to act casually anyway. 

As Josh and Ryan file out into the garden, I retreat back and escape to the downstairs bathroom. And now I’m sitting on the fucking toilet. Just staring at the wall. And I suddenly get this feeling like I want to escape. Like I really don’t wanna fucking be here. With my shit mum and her boring boyfriend. And Ryan. Who’s acting so weird. I don’t care what he fucking says. Something’s up with him. It’s like there’s something bothering him. Like something changed. I don’t want anything to change.

I get my phone out, thinking that maybe he’s text me, but he hasn't. And now I suddenly feel like I can’t breathe. I don’t want this to end. How can I not be with Ryan after this past week? How can I not touch him and kiss him and go to sleep with my arm wrapped around his waist and my head on his chest like I did on Friday night? Feeling safe. Feeling wanted. Feeling like I could just fucking die. I feel a sting in my eyes. I close them and take a deep breath. For fuck’s sake, Deano. Get it together.

I flush the toilet chain and go back out there. I look at the bottles of alcohol as I walk into the kitchen. No one’s around, so I take a shot glass out of the cupboard and down a shot of neat vodka. Then I swill out the glass, dry it and put it back. 

I completely ignore Ryan as I walk into the garden. I can almost feel his eyes on me, but I don’t make eye contact. Two can play at that game. I’m definitely starting to feel the alcohol. I go and stand with the grown-ups and dad makes a crap joke about how I’ve probably been standing in front of the mirror doing my hair. 

My mum scoots over to me. “I hope your dad’s not working you too hard,” she says. I pull a face and shrug. Not in a rude way. I just … I don’t know what to say. It feels like there are bigger things going on than me and my mum right now.

“Given up on the idea of getting another job then?” she asks. She’s got this look on her face.

“Ummm … it was just an idea I had.” I swallow hard. “I mean, I’d be going to the gym a lot anyway.” 

Mum nods and looks out to the garden. “Your dad wouldn’t hold against you, you know.”

I look at her, confused.

“If you wanted to go out and get a job of your own. Instead of working at the gym. I mean … you’re an adult now, Dean.”

I look over to my dad, talking animatedly to Big Steve. I can't imagine what he’d say if I got my own job. If I announced that I didn't want to work at the gym anymore. I think back to the beginning of the summer. He didn’t even give me the choice. He didn’t even ask me if I wanted to work there. He just assumed. Everyone always just … assumes things. About me. 

Gary’s daughter, Chloe, bounces up to us and asks mum a question. “Aren’t you going to say hi to Dean?” she says. She chews on her hair, grips on to my mum’s leg and shakes her head.

“Are you feeling a bit shy?” she asks in this calm, gentle voice.

Then she affectionately rubs Chloe’s head and my insides suddenly clench.

I turn around and go inside the house. I take the shot glass out again and down another neat vodka shot. And then another. So much for dad’s plan for Ryan stopping me from getting drunk. I get my phone out. I think about texting him. “What’s going on? Why are you being weird with me? Have I done something wrong?”

ARGH. I fucking hate this. Or maybe I’ll just text him ordering him to come into the kitchen. And then I’ll lead him to my room. Even though I’m pissed off at him. I’ll hold his hand as we walk up the stairs. And when my bedroom door is closed we’ll kiss and be together. I’ll get to be alone with him. I’ll get to touch him. I’ll get to be with him. God, I wanna be with him. More than fucking anything.

I go back outside and Gary’s got his arm around mum.

“We’ve actually got something to announce!” Gary says. 

I look at Ryan. Gorgeous Super Heavyweight champion bodybuilder Ryan. He makes eye contact with me. But he doesn’t smile. He still looks awkward. I feel like just screaming at him - what the fuck have I done? Just tell me what I’ve done!

“We’re tying the knot!” Gary says. 

Fucking. Hell.

“Next year!”

My stomach lurches. My mum glances at me and this look of worry washes over her face. 

“Fucking FINALLY!” dad says, walking up to him and shaking his hand.

So mum’s getting re-married. It’s finally happening. She’s gonna be a proper stepmother to Gary’s daughter. She gets to be a mum again. She gets to play happy families. She gets the family she clearly actually wanted. Instead of ours. Instead of me.

Josh says congratulations and hugs her and shakes Gary’s hand. Everyone else does the same. Jesus fucking Christ. Excuse me while I throw the fuck up.

And now she’s looking at me, this sort of half nervous smile.

“Deano - congratulate your mum!” my dad orders. 

I step forward, purse my lips and nod. “Well done!” I say awkwardly, my chest tight. 

My dad groans. “Fucking hell, Deano!” he says, as Gary shakes my hand.

Josh laughs at me. I suddenly feel THIS fucking small.

“Good job you’ve got a future in bodybuilding, lad. You’d be fucking useless without it!” my dad jokes.

Mum tuts and looks at him sternly. Josh is still smiling at my expense. And now (I can’t believe it) fucking RYAN is smirking too. I suddenly feel this pulsing rage. I want everyone to fuck off. Right now. I just want everyone to fuck the FUCK OFF.

I take my glass to my lips and down the rest of my vodka and coke in one. And then, without even thinking, I turn to my smiling mum.

“That’s another family for you to walk out on and fuck up then!" 

Everyone goes silent. The atmosphere suddenly shifts. My mum’s face falls. She lets out a shocked choking noise - like she doesn’t know what to say.


Everything suddenly feels so awkward. But I don’t care. I don’t. Fucking. Care.

“Fuck’s sake, D!” Josh says.

“Apologise to your mother. NOW!” my dad barks. I look at Ryan. He looks shocked. Like he's judging me. Like he’s suddenly thinking less of me. 

And then it happens. My mum’s face starts trembling. And it’s like someone’s punched me in the gut.

“You’ve made your mother cry now!” my dad shouts.

And now I’m the bad guy again. And it suddenly feels like (fucking hell) EVERYONE is against me. Like everyone fucking hates me.

I want Ryan to lunge forward. I want Ryan to stick up for me. I want him to admit that there’s something going on between us. To tell everyone how fucking crazy he is about me. Except, I don’t actually know that he is anymore. Maybe he never really was.

I look at Ryan and he looks away and to the floor. FUCK. THIS. I put my drink down, turn and walk away. Through the kitchen. Towards the front of the house. 

“Where the hell -” my dad shouts after me as I head to the front door. “Oh, go on then. PISS OFF! Do us all a bloody favour!”


I want to fucking SCREAM. I slam the front door shut and start walking away from my house. Feeling drunk. Feeling angry. Feeling so. Fucking. Angry. I want to escape. This town. My family. Escape from my life. And from whatever’s going on with Ryan North PT. Take me fucking back to Montgomery University. Even if it means lying on my bed pining after Sebastian fucking Wood. That actually feels like a pretty sweet deal compared to this. Compared to what’s happening right now.

I start to calm down as I head to the train station. I catch the first train to Moulsecoomb when I get there. I give up checking my phone for messages from Ryan. Maybe to ask how I am. To explain why he was being so weird with me. Or maybe to tell me he doesn’t want to see me anymore.

By the time I’m standing on Tony’s front door, I don’t feel so angry. I just feel - fuck - this heaviness. All through my body.

“Deano! You alright, mate?” 

I made my mum cry. I made her cry.

“Not really, Tone! Can I crash here for a bit?”

Tony seems pleased to see me. Like, really pleased. When we get to his bedroom, I crash on the bed next to him. There’s an unpaused Xbox game on the TV.

“What’s going on, mate?” he asks.

I tell him about the barbecue. About mum. Tony listens. Tony is a GOOD fucking mate. I don’t think I’m a good mate. I don’t think I’m a good anything.

“Can we just … hang out? Play video games like used to? Pretend we’re … fucking … still at school?”

Tony smiles. This big, happy grin. “Mate. That’s all I ever wanna do!”

I look at him and smile and he’s just smiling back at me. Suddenly I feel a whole lot better. He hands me a remote and loads up FIFA. I feel so safe in this room. I feel like Tony actually wants me here. I feel like someone actually wants me. 

“I’ve been kinda shit since I got back from uni haven’t I?” I say, looking straight at the TV screen.

I cautiously look over at Tone. He screws his face up and shrugs unconvincingly. I smile and shake my head. “I’ve been a shit mate!”

“Well. You’ve been working and stuff,” Tony reasons. I can tell he’s not saying what he really wants to say. “But … I did think we’d be hanging out a bit more!”

I nod. I’ve been so wrapped up in myself these past few weeks.

“You’re not as shit as NICK though!” Tony says. I laugh.

How do I tell him what’s happening? How do I tell him what’s going on? What’s BEEN going on? I keep looking at the game on the TV screen. I don't take my eyes off it.

“I got suspended from uni, mate!”

Wow. I say it so calmly. I’m not nervous. I’m not regretting it.

“Fucking HELL!” Tony exclaims. He pauses the game, sits up and looks at me.

“It’s … not a big deal!”

Except it is. Of course it fucking is.

“When did this happen? What did you do?”

And there it is. The question I’ve been dreading. I feel a heavy sadness. I bite my lip, not looking at him. 

“Just before Easter. I, erm ... outed these two gay guys in a post on the uni’s Facebook page.”

My stomach twists. Tony’s eyes widen and he pulls a face. But it’s not like he’s judging me.

“What, like, as a prank?”

I shake my head. “No. Because I’m a dick, Tone. And because …”

I was jealous. Because I couldn’t fucking STAND seeing that illustration of Woody kissing Luke Henderson. Because I wanted him to be kissing ME. Because I actually thought that there was a chance Sebastian Wood could like me back. 

“... I was pissed off. At one of the guys.”

Tone purses his lip and gives an understanding nod.

“Shit - what did your DAD say?”

I shake my head. “Fucking bollocked me!” 

I look at him and smirk and he’s smiling at me. We stay silent for a while.

“I’m seeing someone, Tone!” I confess, my stomach churning.

Tony gasps. “WHAT?! Fucking hell. Who is she?” he asks excitedly.

I shake my head and close my eyes. When I open them, I don’t look at my best friend. I just carry on looking at my body, sprawled out on his bed.

“It’s not a girl, Tone," I say quietly.

He doesn’t respond. My chest tightens. I look over. And Tony’s looking at me in shock. 

“Bloody hell!” he says. He’s gobsmacked. “So you’re …”

I don’t respond.


And now he’s actually smirking a little. Like maybe he’s loving the drama. He asks me who it is and my insides clench. I’m not ready for anyone to know that. So I just tell him it’s a guy I met at the gym. Which isn’t exactly a lie.

“So ... you got suspended from uni. Your mum’s getting re-married. And you’re secretly shagging a fucking DUDE!”

I smile and shake my head.

“And I’ve just been working at a call centre. And playing fucking video games!”

“Wanna trade lives?” I ask him. There's an awkward pause. So …” my stomach twists. “You’re not bothered?”

Tony's just looking at me confused.

“About the guy thing?" I say.

He screws his face up and shakes his head. “Nah, mate! You’re still the same Deano!”

And then he looks at me and smiles and fuck - I actually feel like I might just fucking cry.

"I did always think the whole bodybuilding thing was kinda gay!"

I smirk and shake my head.

“Plus - this gives me a reason to chat to the hot lesbian at work! Hey - my best mate’s gay!”

“Well, technically I’m bi.”

Wow. I’ve never said those words out loud before. Suddenly it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

And then I have a thought. My stomach clenches. “What’s my dad gonna say, Tone?”

I don’t look at him. I’m scared to look at him.

“Your dad loves you, dude.”

Fuck. I feel a sting. I close my eyes. 

“I mean ... he’d obviously take the fucking piss.” 

And now I’m smiling. “He would take the piss!” I say, nodding with my eyes still closed.

“Oh, here he comes!” Tony says in a deep voice, imitating my dad. “The bloody airy-fairy bum bandit!”

I laugh. Then I open my eyes and look at Tony. My best mate, Tony. Suddenly things don’t seem so bad anymore.

“Can I sleep here tonight, Tone?” 

I can’t go back to that house. Not tonight.

“Course!” he says, picking up his remote and unpausing the game. 

“You better not try and bum me though!”

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And the drama builds... We all knew they would have to be a denouement of sorts, I mean .... But honestly, Deano really does seem to be getting emotionally kicked around eh?  It's a good job this pocket rocket has broad shoulders as he's being asked to carry quite the emotional burden these days and now, we'll have to wait and see how all this resolves itself!


Another cracking chapter MrMA - I just feel so upset for Deano now, whoever would have thought that!

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Awesome chapter Mate. I love it the whole way thru. Your writing just keeps getting better and better. I felt like you did put me right in the middle of action I was a guest of the party and a fly on Tony’s wall.  I can’t wait for chapter 21. It will be interesting , to say the least.👍😘💪

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