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|“What the fuck!?!” Ryan exhaled, his mouth dropped open in complete shock, his intense green eyes as wide as saucers. It was apparent that he was completely horrified at what he was just walked in on – his little brother having sex with a guy.
JP and I – the two of us naked in every sense of the word – were frozen stiff. What was a feverish orgasm of lustful passion had suddenly become cold and filled with dread. I could barely breathe as I saw Ryan’s huge mass filling the doorway, but I was unable to close my eyes or even look away.
The one thing my boyfriend and I had feared the most had happened.
“JP,” Ryan stammered, the color slowly beginning to return to his ghost-white face, “what the fuck is this?”
I briefly glanced at my boyfriend – my eyes aching from tension – trying to find any kind of comfort or relief; there was none. He was staring at his brother with the same wide-eyed expression as I was. We were caught; there was nothing either of us could do.
Suddenly, Ryan took a step forward. I automatically winced, bracing myself for what I knew would come next. JP moved toward him, my arms falling limply from his shoulder, my dick – by now flaccid – tumbling out of his ass. I suddenly felt cold and alone, my arms no longer around my hunk of a boyfriend, our bodies no longer intertwined.
“Ryan, I can explain—”
“Explain what!” the older brother bellowed, his voice filling every cavity in my body with fear. “I can see everything right in front of me!” Then, Ryan shot a look of such death at me, I felt like I would literally crumble into a million pieces, right there on the basement floor. His jaw clenched tightly, causing the muscles in his face shake violently. My knees visibly shook, my legs rapidly becoming weaker and weaker; I felt like I was going to collapse. I shut my eyes, every part of my body tensed with alarm.
“Leave Matt out of this,” I heard JP’s voice, suddenly emboldened once again. He stepped in front of me, blocking me from my view of Ryan. “He has nothing to do with this!”
“What do you mean?” Ryan smirked. I peeked cautiously around my boyfriend’s wide lats, still trembling anxiously.
Ryan’s eyes grew wide again, as if something had suddenly dawned on him. And then, his lip curled up in disgust. I knew what that meant.
“Oh, my God!” he breathed, his eyes narrowing repulsively. “You’re…” His voice drifted off before he could say the word – or maybe it was because he couldn’t bring himself to say it. He seemed beyond stunned for a moment, but then he blinked and snapped back into it.
“All those years of pushing you and making you into something dad could be proud of,” he seethed, “and this is what you become…a fucking fag?”
“Ryan,” JP sputtered, “that’s not how it worked.”
“Or was it this fuckin’ homo who turned you!” he spit again, nodding at me with sheer hate in his eyes.
“I said,” JP yelled, “leave him out of this!” And with that, he lunged himself at his brother with full force, every muscle in his body bulging with anger. Ryan, before he even had a chance to respond, bore the brunt of his huge little brother’s massive strength…made even more powerful by rage. The two crashed into the weight rack, dumbbells flying in every direction, the sound of clanging metal deafening my ears.
I yelped in fright, the shock of the scene knocking me off my feet, my legs giving way from underneath me. Ryan shook his head, briefly dazed from the hit, and pushed back at his brother, throwing him hard to the floor. JP’s head hit the carpet with a painful thud.
“Is that all you got?” he barked, standing up and suddenly kicking JP in the stomach. I flinched as the older brother’s foot made contact with my boyfriend’s hard abs. The muscles in his neck and shoulders tensed up immediately on contact. He was strong, but Ryan’s kicks were, too. There could only be so much that JP could take. But Ryan kicked him again…and again, each time, JP’s face showing more and more pain.
“You think you can take me, faggot?” Ryan taunted with each strike of his foot. “You’ll never be stronger than me!”
I sat on the ground helpless, unsure of what to do. But as I watched the scene, I felt my anger quickly grow inside of me. What was he doing? He was killing him! Without thinking, I suddenly scrambled to my feet and threw my entire body around Ryan’s broad shoulders, pulling him with all my strength away from my boyfriend.
“STOP!” I roared, my voice hoarse with emotion. Suddenly, pangs of sheer pain shot through my forearm as Ryan’s powerful fingers wrapped themselves around my arm and I felt myself losing my balance and falling defenselessly to the ground.
“Get off me, you fag!” Ryan screamed, towering above me with such intimidation, I almost burst into tears. I was no match for the superjock that was Ryan Maloney, but the diversion was all JP needed to recover. In a flash, my boyfriend had a bulging arm wrapped around his brother’s thick neck, forcing him to the ground himself. Before Ryan had realized what was going on, JP was straddled above him, punching in the face with the full power of his heavily-packed fists.
“Who’s the weak one, now?” JP sneered. “Huh, Ryan? Who’s the sissy, now?” But Ryan, still quick from his own wrestling days, blocked his brother after no more than two solid punches and with gritted teeth, shoved his 220-pound jock-brother off of him again.
But this time, JP knew what was coming. He instantly braced his fall and without a pause, launched himself like a linebacker against his brother once more, pushing him – all 245 pounds of him – straight in the wall. The sheet rock shattered with a resounding crack, pieces of plaster flying across the room. Ryan slumped to the floor, a giant hole where his back had hit the wall. JP fell backward, his massive chest heaving up and down. I stared at the pair with disbelief, unable to take in what had just happened.
JP spit on the floor and smirked at his brother’s messed-up figure. “Not so tough now, are you?” he sneered. I cringed at the sound of his voice, having seldom heard this side of my boyfriend. Ryan could only blinked through his one good eye, the other black and swollen. “I guess your modeling career is over, bro,” he went on. “Too bad, since that seems to be all you had left.”
“Stop,” Ryan whimpered, his voice a fraction of its former self. The great Ryan Maloney had been taken down; he now looked like a worthless heap of muscle, no longer able to fight back. But JP didn’t heed his brother’s defeat. Instead, he sat up and crawled over to Ryan’s helpless form.
“I’ve had enough with all of your jackass comments about how great you are,” he continued. “You’re nothing but a conceited, narcissistic, self-loving prick.” With each word, JP punched his brother in the stomach. Ryan started coughing, but JP wasn’t paying attention. He was letting his brother have everything that was coming to him. He was in his face now.
“All your girlfriends, your jock buddies, all those people didn’t care a shit about you.” As JP spoke, Ryan began buckling over, coughing harder with each passing second. My mouth was agape; something was wrong.
“They only loved you for your body and your looks. They didn’t care about anything else. Fuck, even Brionna said I was better than you.”
Suddenly, Ryan made a gagging sound as if he was choking and thrust himself face-down onto the floor, still coughing, his body retching uncontrollably with each one. JP immediately stopped talking and instead, his mouth dropped open.
“Ryan?” he said, his voice returning to normal. He turned his brother’s body over, revealing a small puddle of blood where his mouth had been. “Oh, my God!” JP uttered. “He’s coughing up blood.” Then, he looked up at me, his eyes shaking with fear. “Matt, call 911!”
The next couple of hours were a blur. I had to repeat the Maloney’s address two or three times to the operator, I was so panicky and incoherent. And it seemed like it took forever for the ambulance to arrive. By then, Ryan had spewed so much blood, he was on the verge of passing out. JP had to keep slapping him in the face to keep him awake.
At last, he was rushed to the hospital. The scene there was horrifying. The doctors wouldn’t let us into the ER to see him and they still kept us waiting once Erin and JP’s parents arrived.
“What happened?” his dad demanded. “Is Ryan ok?” JP was at a loss for words. How could he even begin to explain the events that had led up to this?
“Look at your face!” Mrs. Maloney exclaimed, running up to her younger son and taking his head in her hands. “What happened to you?” A very noticeable bruise was forming on his forehead from when Ryan had thrown him to the ground. JP opened his mouth, about to speak, when suddenly…
“JP!” Chrissy shouted, bursting through the doors of the waiting room, Nick in tow. She immediately ran up to him and wrapped her slender arms around his broad shoulders. Nick stayed back, his hands in the pockets of his jeans, looking dazed. “Matt called and told me that something was wrong with your brother, but he couldn’t say what.” She gazed over at me with worried eyes. That’s when Mr. Maloney noticed me standing there for the first time.
“What happened?” he asked again, directing the question in my direction this time, his eyes fired with a mix of concern and fury. “What happened to my son?”
“I…I don’t know, sir,” I stammered.
“Paul!” JP’s mom scolded her husband, firmly grabbing his arm. “The boy doesn’t know much more than we do. Don’t treat him like it was his fault.” Mr. Maloney seemed to calm down a bit, but still looked at me skeptically.
“Ryan started coughing up blood all of a sudden, dad,” JP spoke up, thankfully turning his father’s attention away from me.
“Ok,” he answered back, “and how did that happen?” I could tell in his face that he was desperate for answers. And so was I. I mean, I knew my boyfriend was strong as hell, but could JP really have beaten his brother up so badly to the point of hospitalization? “Answer me, JP,” Mr. Maloney ordered, frantically thrusting his face closer to his younger son’s. But JP only stared at him, blinking. He was truly at a loss for words.
But just then, a doctor walked in and asked for Ryan’s parents. Instantly, the two rushed to the man, their eyes filled with question. The rest of us stayed behind, but close enough for earshot.
“Mr. and Mrs. Maloney,” the doctor started, “your son has suffered some relatively minor external injuries.”
JP’s dad blinked and raised his eyebrows. “Excuse me?” he said.
The doctor swallowed professionally and continued, his face showing some concern. “He has a cracked rib and some bruising to his face and torso that may be from some kind of blunt-forced trauma. They could have been a lot worse if he had not been in as good physical shape.”
“Are you telling me that my son was involved in some sort of a fight?” As her husband spoke, Mrs. Maloney’s eyes widened slightly and she glanced warily over at JP’s bruise. I could tell that she was beginning to put two and two together. The doctor, doing his best under the intimidating stares of Mr. Maloney, tried to calm him down. He knew they just wanted to see their son.
“Ryan is down the hall,” he swallowed. “You may see him. I’ll let the nurse take you.” Frenetically, JP’s parents followed the woman to Ryan’s room, but the doctor stayed behind. He eyed JP solemnly; my heart started beating faster.
“Um, you’re Ryan’s brother, yes?” he asked, slowly stepping over to him. JP nodded. “There is something else that I must talk to you about.”
JP looked back at the doctor with alert eyes, staying absolutely still. “Is there something wrong with my brother?” He had picked up the same vibe as I had.
The doctor gave an abrupt nod, a look of concern in his eyes. “Now this isn’t 100% positive. We won’t know for sure until the lab has run some more tests, but—” he paused – “we’ve found some evidence that Ryan may be bulimic.”
My mouth dropped open as I stared in disbelief at the doctor. Ryan, bulimic?! I glanced over at JP – who was white-faced with shock – and then around the room. Chrissy was stunned, Erin, confused. And Nick was looking sullenly down at his shoes.
“What?” JP exclaimed softly, trying hard to keep his stoicism intact.
“I’m taking it that you had no idea,” the doctor spoke up.
“Ryan always worried about his weight,” my boyfriend croaked, “but are you sure about this?” I knew that it didn’t make sense to him. Hell, it didn’t make sense to me. I mean, Ryan didn’t seem the type to have an eating disorder.
“We found teeth marks on his knuckles from forcing his fingers down his throat,” the doctor explained, “and the enamel on the back of his teeth was worn away – telltale signs of bulimic activity. And that may be what caused him to vomit blood – we discovered ruptures in his stomach and esophagus.” He paused, looking into JP’s face. “The symptoms are well-advanced, suggesting that this has been going on for about four or five years.” JP clicked his jaw back and forth, visibly upset with the news he was hearing.
“When can I talk to him,” he said calmly, his expression dumbfounded.
The doctor sighed. “Ryan is stable right now. I’ll let you see him in a few minutes.”
As the doctor headed back through the waiting room doors, I walked over to my boyfriend who was staring blankly at an invisible spot on the floor. I gazed in his eyes and he looked up into mine and after a few moments of silence, we hugged each other tightly. I heard him sniffle softly into my ear and I tried desperately to keep my own tears to myself.
I looked behind him. Chrissy was talking quietly to Erin, who seemed bewildered by what had just happened. Nick, on the other hand, was sitting in a chair, his fingers twitching, a look of almost guilt on his face.
“JP,” I whispered, and he turned to see the boy. “Let me talk to him,” I assured my boyfriend, knowing exactly what he was thinking.
With a deep breath, I headed over and stooped down in front of him. He looked up at me, his gorgeous brown eyes shaking with distress.
“You knew about Ryan, didn’t you,” I said softly.
Nick blinked and nodded slightly. “You don’t have to tell me anything right now,” I whispered to the boy, placing my hand on his muscular arm to comfort him. “We can talk about it some other time.”
His eyes squinted and he looked like he was about to cry. It was a lot for him to take; sometimes I would forget that he was still only 13. “I’m sorry. I should have told someone.”
“Nick,” I said, “it’s not your fault.” I smiled at him and he smiled back weakly.
“Matt,” JP called from behind me. “They’re letting me see my brother.” He paused awkwardly, but I knew what he was going to ask me. “Can you come with me?” I nodded and we walked side-by-side down the hall.
At the door to Ryan’s room, JP hesitated and turned to me again, grinning sadly. “Thanks,” he said, the word barely audible. Then, he reached other and planted a soft kiss on my cheek. For the first time since the fight, a warmth returned to my face.
I followed my boyfriend into the room, but stayed back close to the door; I didn’t want Ryan to see me just yet. It was scary seeing his massive body lying helplessly on the bed. His face was heavily bruised and swollen, tubes connected to his veiny arms. I stayed in the shadows of a corner and watched my boyfriend approach his brother cautiously. The two boys just stared at each other for a moment, neither knowing how to begin.
“Hey, little bro,” Ryan finally broke the silence, letting out a faint grin.
“I’m sorry,” JP immediately began, but Ryan raised his arm to stop him.
“Shut up,” he interrupted. “I don’t want to hear it.” He looked up at the ceiling and swallowed awkwardly. “You shouldn’t have to apologize,” he said.
Then, a weird silence fell between the two brothers, the only sounds coming from the medical equipment.
“Is my being gay going to be a problem?” JP suddenly blurted, as if he wanted to get to the point. Ryan blinked and shifted uneasily in the bed. It was obvious this was a topic for him as he bit his lip, searching for the right way to respond.
“Well,” he smirked, a hint of his old self, “at least I won’t have to worry about you stealing anymore chicks away from me.” He started to laugh, but then winced painfully. “Ow, fuckin’ rib!”
With that, he arduously held out his hand to his brother; JP took it. “I’ll have to get used to it.”
We found out later that Ryan Maloney did, indeed, suffer from bulimia nervosa, and apparently had been since his early high school days when he started wrestling and obsessing about his weight. It only grew worse when he started modeling and was constantly being told that he wasn’t ripped enough. According to the doctors, after years of frequently forcing himself to throw up over and over again, his body literally started to shut down. If it hadn’t been shocked like it had that night, Ryan might’ve had even more serious complications in the future. So, what JP thought almost killed his brother had actually saved him.
Since the night he and JP fought, Ryan has done a complete 180. He is no longer the narcissistic jock he had been for so long and his old self – his real self – has appeared once again. JP has gotten his wish – he and Ryan are closer than they have been in years. Although JP’s sexuality is still an uncomfortable topic for Ryan, I know that eventually, he will learn to see past that. I can tell in his eyes that he still loves his little brother…and always has.
After getting out of the hospital, Ryan promptly quit the modeling agency, severed ties with many of his old party friends, including Luke, and is currently taking business classes at Northern Virginia Community College, having long-since dropped out of Virginia Tech. There, he met and started dating a stunningly attractive girl named Ashley…and the two seem to be pretty serious. His mom is already drumming up the possibility of an engagement.
He recently started attending a support group for people with eating disorders and seems to be doing great on his road to recovery. He still works out every now and then, just to keep himself in decent shape, but he still is as gorgeous as ever.
Chrissy continued medical school that summer at Johns Hopkins and although she just recently broke up with Danny, she’s been doing great; she apparently is incredibly popular among her male classmates. We still keep in touch and she asks about JP and me constantly.
Nick – what can I say – the kid is a stud. He just started high school and he’s already the star of the football and wrestling teams. He worked hard all summer and trust me when I say that he is probably the biggest 14-year-old you’ve ever seen in your life. He and Erin are still dating – and pretty heavily might I add. The two were easily picked for the Homecoming court and are already two of the most popular kids at Central High School.
I’m still at Baldwin-Wallace and I’m still a music performance major. But now Ben is my roommate and I couldn’t have wished for a better one. You should have seen his face when he first met JP. He was completely blown away.
I’ve continued my training – and have even made attempts to get Ben to go to the gym – but frankly, music is the main part of my life…besides JP, of course.
As for him – well, I don’t know where to begin. We are so hopelessly in love that I can’t imagine my life getting any better. Every school he applied to accepted him and countless wrestling programs recruited him heavily, so you can imagine my surprise when he picked Ohio State. His reasoning: It’s only 2 hours from Baldwin-Wallace…and they have a pretty good wrestling team, too. He’s majoring in computer science and we see each other nearly every weekend.
He’s grown a little – believe it or not – since graduating high school and now stands at an irresistible 240 pounds of sheer muscle. In fact, they’re already pegging him for a shot at the Big-Ten Championship and I try to go to as many of his matches as possible.
While he hasn’t come out yet to his parents or to anyone at school, I know he will when he’s ready. And I know that he will be able to handle it like he’s handled everything else in his life – with strength, maturity and confidence.
That’s why I love him so much.
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