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The Hand of God

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Brother Nines held the note down by his side, and nothing short of the widest of smiles was plastered on his face. It didn’t seem forced or pained, however; it seemed truly genuine! His eyes were in small slits as his eyebrows rose up almost to his hairline, and his teeth gleamed and shined brightly down at the three boys who’d been the authors of the note he’d read.

What was going on???

Gavin was seriously confused.

Nines really seemed…happy…truly, it seemed as if this was the best moment in his entire life…

Exchanging confused glances with his friends, Gavin saw the other two boys merely shrugging while gaping at him equally. It appeared as though they were just as confused as he was, and this only seemed to make the situation worse. Although Gavin would never aim to admit this out loud to anyone, he was truly scared. Honestly, he’d been expecting Brother Nines to scream at them while his LED light beamed red straight into their eyes. He’d wanted the tall android to tower over them like he’d done so back in the chapel when he’d been alone with Gavin, and the teenager had expected Brother Nines to practically break glass, flip tables and chairs over, and just act insanely mad and furious.

And yet…here he was, standing tall while he smiled as though Gavin had told him a beautiful story.

Odd…

Creepy…

Disturbing…

Disgusting…

Terrifying.

Gavin had no idea what to say, but thankfully, Brother Nines sighed as he gently placed the note into his opposite hand and rolled it up neatly. Still smiling in a friendly way, he sighed out, “Oh, you boys and your creative thoughts and ideas,” chuckling a deep rumble of a chuckle, he tapped the back of Greg’s chair, “I often find myself envious of your imaginations…”

While Greg swallowed nervously, a dark and nefarious look flashed in the center of Brother Nines’ eyes, but then it was gone in a split second before any of the boys could see it. The rest of the class remained completely oblivious to what was currently going on, but Gavin suspected at least one other boy had to have been listening in…

Peering down at the three friends, Nines’ smile grew wider, and wider, and wider until it’d practically seemed so artificial and fake. “I would be careful about story-telling if I were you, however,” he said in a warm, friendly tone, but all three boys knew he was dishing this out as a threat clear as day.

Leaning down and gazing at Gavin first, he then made sure to turn his eyes over to Greg and Mackenzie. The other two boys stared away at their drawings, and they nervously trembled when Nines collected their ‘artwork’.

Just when Brother Nines had turned to peek over at the surface of Gavin’s desk, a tiny cough sounded from closer down towards the floor. Brother Nines turned his head and bent his neck down, and he smiled lightly. Standing close to him was little Charlie Snow, and he was holding his drawing and colorings up with pride.

“Do you like it, Brother Nines?” the small boy asked in a hopeful tone of voice.

Once again, Brother Nines was all smiles as he bent down before the young boy. His eyes were like twinkling and sparkling diamonds, and he almost glowed with happiness that couldn’t be real at all, or so Gavin thought. Brother Nines pet the top of Charlie’s head gently, “I simply adore it, Mr. Snow; you’ve done very well.”

The drawing was just of a few animals that were drawn crudely in stick figures, and the boy clearly still was unable to color within the lines of his drawings. Truthfully, it was all a mess of colors and incoherent things, but Brother Nines remained polite and kind until Charlie giggled and ran back to his own desk.

Standing upright then, Brother Nines cast an annoyed glance down at the note the boys had all written together, and then scowled back up at thee trio in question. Pointing at Mackenzie, Brother Nines carefully whispered softly, “You’ve yet to show me your required one-hundred lines on poor language choice, Mr. Armstrong, don’t think I’ve forgotten about you…” Mackenzie blushed and then scraped his feet down along the classroom floor, nodding sadly.

“Yes, Brother Nines.”

Gavin gaped at Brother Nines in awe and shock. Not even a few seconds ago when Charlie had been among them, Brother Nines had seemed so…kind…so gentle!! His smile had made him look years younger in comparison to when he was frowning or scowling, and he seemed so friendly!! It was all just a game, and it was all a fake!! Realizing how quickly the android could switch back and forth between exaggerated emotions truly disturbed and frightened Gavin to no end. It made Brother Nines all the more challenging and difficult to read and understand, now, as there was no telling what was real, and what was all a fake…

Tsking with his tongue against his teeth, Brother Nines shook his head at Mackenzie while waving the note before the boy. “I see your intent to destroy and damage school property on full display here as well, Mr. Armstrong,” he grinned, and it wasn’t a pleasant one at all, “I think two-hundred lines with the sentence ‘I shall not touch and burn things that aren’t my own’ may help you ponder and reflect on your own corrupt desires, indeed.”

Mackenzie visibly paled, but he nodded weakly while Greg whispered, “Sucks, mate.”

Now that the punishments were all doled out, Brother Nines returned to his original task at hand; inspecting the drawings and works of the boys. Moving his long arm over to Gavin’s desk, Nines gasped, “Blank, Mr. Reed?” he then snickered softly, “I thought as much.”

Trying to come up with a good enough excuse so they all wouldn’t land into more trouble than they already likely were in, Gavin protested, “But I’m not done yet!!”

While Brother Nines grinned at him, Gavin made an attempt to grab his pencil crayons. “Just give me a few minutes, and I’ll—”

On cue, the loud church bells resonating from the bell tower on the other side of the large school rang mightily. It signaled the end of the class day, and all the students in the classroom sighed out in happiness and relief.

Wiping the sweat off his forehead, Greg stood up, and he practically snatched his personal belongings into his arms. Bowing his head down, he spat out hurriedly, “Forgive us, Brother Nines!”

“Y-yeah!” Mackenzie pushed his chair back on the floor, and he too stood up while also bowing his head down submissively in a move of pure obeisance, “forgive me, Brother Nines!!”

Holding a hand up high in the air, Brother Nines cried out, “Submit your drawings to me now, and we’ll discuss them tomorrow in class!!”

One by one, the students all basically threw their papers at Nines. The android caught them all nicely, and stacked them up into a neat pile which he placed over on top of his own desk at the front of the room.

“You’re all dismissed,” Brother Nines called out, and as the classroom door flung open, Gavin began packing up as well, eager to join his friends.

Suddenly, he was stopped in his movements when he felt a firm, strong, heavy hand rest upon his shoulder. Gavin froze right away, and his eyes grew as wide and large as golf balls. He knew it was Brother Nines’ hand upon his shoulder even without looking. His friends staring back in shock and fright at him confirmed that for Gavin as well, and they all seemed to wince and cringe on his behalf while lingering in the open doorway.

“I said you’re all dismissed,” Brother Nines purred, and then tightened his grip on Gavin’s smaller shoulders, “all of you…except for you, Mr. Reed.”

There it was.

Raw fear reflected back in his friends’ eyes, and Greg waved as he turned and ran straight into the halls while crying out, “See ya later, mate!!”

Patrick turned away, next, almost stammering out, “T-talk to you soon, Gavin!”

Mackenzie lingered for a moment, but then he too backed away from the door as he nodded up at Gavin and then simply waved ‘goodbye’.

Gavin still found himself unable to move, even after Brother Nines had closed the classroom door softly. For some reason, though the door hardly made a sound as it shut, it sounded like the slamming of a prison cell door, at least to Gavin’s ears. He felt entrapped, and in a horrible cage. The room seemed smaller and tighter, and he could hardly breathe…

Turning around towards him, Brother Nines smiled as he unfolded the handwritten note and waved it in the air above Gavin’s head. “Gossiping in my class are we, Mr. Reed?” he shook his head, “and I thought young girls were bad…”

Snapping out of his daydreaming and frozen fears, Gavin jumped in to defend himself. “It’s not really like that, Brother Nines!” he cried out energetically, “we were just randomly saying stupid things; don’t take it seriously, please!”

Staring at the page again, Nines scoffed, “It appears serious enough in my eyes, Mr. Reed…how can you truly expect me to believe otherwise?”

For this, Gavin truly had no answer. The note was written in English; the words were right there in plain sight. How could he argue his way out of it? The implications would hold up against him, and he didn’t want to even think about what Brother Nines would do to him if he lied…

Shivering, Gavin offered the truth, finally. “Look,” he began, staring around the room while Brother Nines waited in front of him patiently. “We were just curious—err, I mean, I was personally curious about you, and I was just asking them because they’ve been at the school longer.” He felt heat pouring into his cheeks and face, and his neck and back started sweating heavily as if he’d been wearing many layers of clothing.

Gavin felt uncomfortable beneath the scrutinizing gaze Brother Nines was giving him presently, but there was little else he could do. Lashing out didn’t work; Brother Nines always doubled his efforts to punish him for it, so it seemed. For now, even though he felt his skin crawling, Gavin merely stood by and allowed Brother Nines to stare curiously at him.

The clock in the room ticked loudly like a beating drum, and it did nothing for Gavin’s nerves while Brother Nines just looked at him from head to toe as if seeing him for the first time ever. The strange manner and nature of the look worried Gavin and instilled great levels of discomfort and fear within him, but Nines paid it no mind…that is, if he even noticed…

Whether Brother Nines noticed or hadn’t was immaterial for now; all that mattered to Gavin was what the android had in mind for him. It seemed impossible to tell, sadly. Brother Nines held a very blank and neutral face, but then he broke out into a small half-smile while he walked over towards his desk. Pulling out the top drawer, Nines fished inside it and moved some items around.

Gavin was unable to identify what the items could’ve been by noise alone, and he tried waiting as patiently as he could while his stomach felt queasy, and his heart raced in his chest a mile a minute. He hid how nervous he was to the best of abilities, right up until when Nines closed his drawer shut and paced back around the desk over towards Gavin.

The android was definitely holding and hiding an object behind his back, Gavin soon realized. He could hardly see anything; Nines was far too broad and huge. Hiding the object well enough behind his back, Nines held out a free hand and motioned over towards the front edge of his desk.

“If you’d be so kind as to bend over and place yourself on the desk now, Mr. Reed; chest lying flatly on the surface, please.”

What.

The.

Hell…

Had his ears failed him?!

Shaking his head a few times, Gavin blinked hard. Thinking it was all just a joke, Gavin pointed at Nines and laughed. “You’re funny, Brother Nines!” he barked out in a short, clipped laugh, “as if I’d ever—”

An evil grin formed on Nines’ face, and it made Gavin cease in laughter.

Oh God…

Brother Nines was absolutely serious…

Realizing what the android had truly requested of him, then, Gavin took a few steps back while shaking his head back and forth from side to side slowly. “No…” he wheezed out painfully, “I won’t do that!!”

Arms moving away from his back, Nines reached forward with his free hand, and he grabbed onto Gavin’s shoulder roughly. Dragging the boy close towards himself, he spat down while looking intently into his eyes, “You can, and you shall!”

Without another word, Nines shoved Gavin towards his desk. The boy refused to move at first, but then Nines leaned over him and whispered hotly against his ear, “I’ll go a lot easier on you if you stop refusing me, Gavin…”

Did he have any other choice?!

No.

Gavin didn’t want to cry out for help; he just wanted this all over with. It would be nothing short of embarrassing and humiliating if his new friends found out he was incapable of handling himself.

Clenching his fists together tightly, Gavin walked over towards the desk closer, and he placed himself right over the edge. His chest hit the flat, cold surface, and Brother Nines pushed aside some papers and pens, making room for Gavin. The boy silently just lay there with his back and ass turned towards Nines, and when Gavin turned to peer over his shoulder, he felt Brother Nines pushing his head back around.

“Don’t do anything unless I tell you to, are we clear, Mr. Reed?” Nines purred down at him in a clear enough warning.

Nodding, Gavin remained as calm and as silent as he could. He soon heard and felt shuffling behind himself, and he closed his eyes and thought of his friends when he felt Nines gripping his hip.

Suddenly, without warning, something heavy and rough landed against Gavin’s backside after Nines had pushed Gavin’s hips backwards a little.

“AHHH!” Gavin cried out when the flat, rough object slammed into his ass once more.

“Shh!” Nines spat, “can’t you act as tough as you want to truly be, for once in your entire life??”

What was going on?!?

He hadn’t been allowed to look back, otherwise Gavin would’ve forced himself to. All he could do was close his eyes and imagine what the object hitting him in the ass was. Again, and again, it slapped against his round cheeks, and he winced and whimpered every time it made contact with his sensitive, sore skin.

It had to have been some kind of ruler. It felt flat, sturdy, long, and horizontal!

Taking a quick peek over his shoulder while using his peripheral vision, Gavin nearly cried out in panic when he saw Brother Nines indeed holding a ruler. It was an old, thick one. Gavin hadn’t ever received physical discipline in his entire life, and he whimpered when he saw how tightly Nines was holding onto the ruler while staring straight at his ass.

Before he was caught staring, Gavin looked back at the front of the room.

Chuckling, Brother Nines delivered another blow to Gavin’s ass. “You didn’t complete your assignment today, Mr. Reed,” he pointed out in an authoritative tone, “what’s to be done about that?”

THWACK!

The ruler had been the answer.

“Please,” Gavin found himself begging, though he was unable to finish his sentence.

THWACK!

“Repeat after me,” Brother Nines hissed, “I shall listen to my elders.”

Groaning in pain, Gavin repeated, “I shall listen to my elders!”

THWACK!

“I shall respect my teachers!”

THWACK!

“I shall re-respect my t-teachers!”

THWACK!!

Luckily, he still had his pants on, otherwise, Gavin was certain the beatings would leave bruises for sure. Brother Nines was at least clever to think of this, and he had to give the android credit for a split second…just a second, anyway.

Closing his eyes tightly, Gavin felt and heard Nines spanking him with the ruler strongly a few more times until he paused. Nines shifted again, and Gavin felt a heavy weight press against his shoulder. A hand gently rested beneath his while he’d been gripping the edge of the desk for dear support, and Gavin gasped when he felt a puff of warm air against the back of his neck.

“Undo your trousers please, Mr. Reed.”

No…no…no…no fucking way…

His nightmare had come true; gone would be his pants, and Brother Nines would beat him directly over his skin…

NO!

“NO!!” Gavin willed himself to cry out in protest, and he nearly turned around, ready to make a break for it, when Nines slammed a hand violently into his chest. It felt as though a train had rammed into him at full speed. Gavin’s back slammed against the desk, and he was then turned around almost savagely. Sternum hitting wood, Gavin felt two skilled hands quickly divesting him of his dress pants in no time.

Crying out in fear, Gavin tried stopping Brother Nines. “PLEASE DON’T!”

“Silence, you stupid child!” Brother Nines barked out at him, “do you really take me for a fool, boy?!” Nines’ nimble fingers unbuttoned Gavin’s dress pants, and he dropped the pants down to Gavin’s ankles. They boy was clearly in panic mode, and thinking that the android was going to pull down his underwear, next, Gavin’s fingers hooked onto the fabric, and he shook his head ‘no’ the entire time while shaking violently.

Snickering, Nines growled, “You are permitted to keep those on; seeing you nude would be disgusting, foolish child.” Glaring away at Gavin’s back and neck, Nines held the ruler tightly, and he delivered one brutal blow right to the center of the boy’s ass.

Gavin was wearing black underwear, and Nines found the color suited him. It brought out his white skin, and Nines couldn’t stop staring at the back of the boy’s thighs as he beat him repeatedly. It amazed him that Gavin wasn’t growing too much body hair, yet, and Nines enjoyed the view as he beat the boy over and over until he lost count.

Surprisingly, Gavin remained silent throughout most of it, and Nines was impressed.

THWACK! The android’s large hand wielding the ruler came down over Gavin’s ass, and the teenager bit down hard on the insides of his cheeks while shutting his eyes as tightly as he could.

“I know Mackenzie and Patrick were whispering something in your ear during Mass, Gavin,” Nines purred down at him while pausing in his beatings, “would you like to share with me what it was?”

He then brought his hand down again. THWACK!

Gavin trembled, and he sucked in a sharp, pained breath.

“No?” Nines smiled, “are you certain you don’t want to tell me?”

“Nnnuh!!” Gavin vocalized, and Nines smiled at him.

“Come on…”

One again, the ruler was mercilessly brought down over his soft flesh. THWACK!

“I c-can’t!!”

Brother Nines didn’t even hesitate in his beatings. THWACK!

“You should…”

THWACK!!!

Still refusing to relent, Nines came up with another brilliant plan that possibly would work. Setting the ruler down, he moved away from Gavin for a moment.

Thinking it’d been over, Gavin sighed out in relief. He opened his tear-stained eyes, and the contents of Brother Nines’ desk met his eyes. It all was so blurry and messy that Gavin was unable to differentiate between a globe resting on the desk and an old stapler. It all looked the same to him, and he sniffled, praying and hoping it truly was all over.

Without looking back at Brother Nines, he whispered, “Can I please g-go now?”

A deep hum hit his ears in no time. “Not quite; I have another method that may help you talk freely,” Brother Nines then chuckled in amusement, “don’t move.”

Gavin didn’t, and he again heard shuffling. Eyeing the shadow looming above the one he made on Nines’ desk, he knew that the android was standing directly behind him. He wasn’t surprised or shocked at all when Nines breathed into his ear, simply allowing Gavin to feel just how close to him he was…

Smiling down at him even though he couldn’t see it, Nines asked, “Do you know what happens to naughty young boys, Mr. Reed?”

Closing his eyes tightly, Gavin shivered.

Nines breathed hotly into his ear, next, “I’ll tell you…”

Gavin didn’t want to know, but he braced himself for the answer he knew was coming.

“…They get spanked.”

His eyelids flew open, and at the same time that they did, he felt the palm of a strong hand connecting with his ass.

SLAP!

“AAAAARRRGH!!”

This really hurt.

There weren’t any layers of clothing and fabric separating skin from skin, now, and Gavin threw his head down as he cried out in pain over and over again. His ass stung and burned, but Brother Nines didn’t care or seem to want to stop anytime soon. In fact, it appeared as if the android was enjoying himself; he inched himself closer and closer to Gavin’s body while delivering the hard slaps to his ass.

“Tell me what you and your friends were joking about in Mass.”

SLAP! Again, he brought his hand down without hesitation.

“Mmmnnnooo!”

SLAP!

“Just say it!”

SLAP!

Gavin writhed in pain, eyes watering and tears leaking down his cheeks. He couldn’t even see the nose on his face before himself, and he bit down hard on his tongue when Brother Nines spanked him again.

SLAP!

“I don’t like beating the truth out of you, Mr. Reed,” Nines sighed wearily down at him, but his hand yet again connected with the teenager’s ass.

SLAP!

“Believe me, this hurts me more than it is hurting you…”

SLAP!

Gavin cried louder, then bit down hard over his lower lip. He could’ve sworn he tasted coppery, metallic blood in his mouth, but he had to put up with it until Brother Nines was finished.

SLAP!!

Not wanting to show the android how much pain he was in, Gavin’s nostrils flared as he breathed in deeply and slowly, thinking about anything except for where he was, what was currently happening to him, and who specifically was doing all this to him. He thought of dirt bike racing, fishing, smoking weed with his friends, eating pizza and his favorite snacks, and making out with a hot girl who had a wonderful pair of breasts.

Strangely, while he thought of this, he found himself growing hard in his underwear…oh God, his cock was honestly hard…but why?!??! He knew he didn’t find this sexy or pleasurable, but it had to be a physical reaction due to his hips gently gyrating against the desk whenever Brother Nines hit him. It was just friction and contact!!! Nothing more, right??

SLAP!

“Noooo!”

“Shut up!” Brother Nines spat angrily at him, “you should’ve considered the ramifications of your stupid actions before all this happened, Mr. Reed!”

SLAP!

“Please…”

“This is all your fault!”

SLAAAP!!!

Yes, yes it was his fault. Knowing he didn’t want to sell his friends out and betray them, Gavin had to consider for a moment if this was all truly worth it. Would his friends take a beating like this for his own sake?!?

SLAP!

He truly wondered…

SLAP!!

“Ahhh!!”

Right when he thought he couldn’t take it anymore, Gavin saw Nines’ shadow looming over his own, and they meshed together. Nines had been practically eyeing his ass while leaning above him, and he hummed to himself as he studied the bruising and red handprint marks he’d left behind after pulling Gavin’s underwear to the side for a brief moment.

Eyes swimming with joy and zeal, Brother Nines smirked at Gavin. “You’re the loyal sort, I see,” he pointed out, “I won’t learn a thing from you, will I?”

Silently, Gavin managed to shift his weight to his right hand-the dominant hand of his body while he took in many sharp, labored breaths. His eyes stung with tears, and he was hardly able to stand up when Brother Nines moved back.

“Do you think you’re slowly beginning to learn your lesson now, Mr. Reed?” Brother Nines inquired while pausing.

Taking advantage of the break from the brutal beatings, Gavin sucked in a deep mouthful of fresh air. Realizing how badly his lungs ached and burned for it, he had to have really been in severe pain after all.

Brother Nines must’ve noticed it as well. He leaned against Gavin and softly whispered, “You’ve been drowning, haven’t you?” Cooing softly, he rubbed Gavin’s chin, and then wiped the last bits of his tears off his cheeks.

Turning him around, Nines stood above Gavin, and he withdrew a tissue from his black dress pants pockets. “Wipe your face off,” he instructed the teenager, and then pet him lightly on the head.

While Gavin dabbed away softly at his pink, tear-stained eyes, Brother Nines bent down and pulled Gavin’s pants back up. Zipping the boy up carefully, Nines did in fact notice the semi-erection Gavin was sporting, but he chose not to comment on it. He hid a sly, knowing grin while staring down at the floor, and when Gavin had finished wiping his eyes, he grabbed the tissue and tucked it back into his pockets.

Wagging a finger into the boy’s face, Nines smiled while cheerfully singing out, “This is our little secret, Gavin; you tell anyone else about this and I’ll rip your jaw off.”

The threat hung in the air between them, and Gavin sniffled again. He could hardly move; the beatings he’d received definitely was going to leave his skin and ass with the android’s handprints all over, but it was too late, and Gavin found he didn’t care much. Truth be told, he was worried about his mouth and jaw being ripped off his face, and he blinked back a fresh round of tears while steadying himself on his legs.

Beaming down at him, Nines smirked, “That’s a good lad,” he ruffled Gavin’s messy hair once more playfully and tenderly, “I may make a refined gentleman out of you yet, Mr. Reed.”

Right then in that moment, there were so many things Gavin had wanted to say to Brother Nines. He’d wanted to throw something at him while punching him a million times in the face. He’d wanted to spit into his eyes and claw at his LED light. Anything he could do to degrade, humiliate, and inflict some sort of damage unto the tall android, he’d wanted to take full advantage of. Sadly, these all existed as fantasies in his mind, and Brother Nines was liable to just snap him neatly in two if he even dared to do such a thing.

Brother Nines smiled widely at him, “You’re now dismissed, Mr. Reed.”

With no other options left, Gavin limped over towards his desk, and he grabbed his binder, notebooks, and pencil case in his hands and held the items tightly to his chest while sniffling softly.

Trying to conceal his limp, Gavin made it all the way to his dormitory, and the moment he’d located his bed, he threw his school items onto the floor next to his bed, and he hid himself deeply beneath his sheets. Even the mattress hurt and stung against his lower back, and Gavin pulled his blankets and sheets up over his head.

He didn’t want anyone to see him in this sorry state.

He didn’t need the world seeing his tears at all.

No one cared, anyway.

Moving the sheets away from his eyes for one final glance around the dormitory, his eyes met with that of a neatly painted portrait of Jesus Christ. It was mounted on the wall across from the beds, though for some reason, Christ’s eyes weren’t even looking at anyone or anything in particular. It was odd; in spite of staring up at everyone from the vantage point on the wall high above, Christ’s eyes seemed…already to be staring at something else…something otherworldly, perhaps.

Yes, no one cared at all.

 

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(“~~~*”~~~”)

 

Gavin found he was finally able to sit down and walk about like a normal human being the next morning. Unfortunately, the skin over his ass was a horrible shade of light purple, and he made sure no one saw it as he showered hurriedly that morning. He’d made it down to the dining hall in once piece, and he found Greg, Mackenzie, Ronald and Peter, as well as Andrew sitting down in the same spot Gavin himself had sat down in the other day during breakfast.

Plopping himself down roughly beside the boys, Gavin glared daggers straight at Mackenzie, and then over at Greg. “Thanks for ditching me yesterday, you sons of bitches!” he cried out angrily, his shoulders tightly bunched up.

Eleven-year-old Ronald pushed Gavin’s breakfast tray over towards him, the younger boy’s dark, chocolate-colored eyes and long black eyelashes fluttering up anxiously at Gavin. “Are you okay Gavin?” he asked in a shy and tiny voice which implied he was frightened of Gavin.

Rolling his eyes, Gavin snatched off his tray a few crackers, and then stacked a small slice of cheese onto the crackers. “Oh yeah, I’m just fuckin’ peachy,” he grumbled while biting into his breakfast, the crumbs falling and flying out messily, “in fact, I’m soooo thrilled and happy to have friends that got my back through heaven and hell!!” Emphasizing his anger and words, he glared at Mackenzie, and then at Greg. The other two boys winced and shrank back in their seats upon the bench, their cheeks flushed deep pink.

Clearing his throat, Mackenzie answered, “Gavin, we honestly wanted to wait outside in the halls for you, but the moment Brother Nines closed the door, Brother Josh and Brother Ralph approached us, and they told us to go back to the dormitory…”

Greg nodded in confirmation, “Mate, I swear I’m not a bloke who’d just abandon his mates,” he explained hurriedly, eyes growing wide with concern and fear, “but some of these androids can be so damn—”

“Creepy, I know,” Gavin interrupted, shifting forward on his seat to grab some apple juice in a large jar, but the moment he’d moved on his ass, he groaned when the sensitive and sore areas rubbed against the hardness of the bench. He was forced to sit back down, and he pointed at the jar. “Can someone please help me get some of that??”

Eyeing him warily, Mackenzie whispered, “What happened to you, anyway?”

“Yeah, what happened??” little Ronald and Peter piped out while thirteen-year-old Andrew bit and chewed on one of his fingernails nervously.

Gavin was at a dead-end for once in his life. A horrifying dilemma had slammed into his brain at once, and he had to consider asking himself the following question:

Do I tell them the truth, or do I lie?

Telling the truth had as many advantages as lying did, but it also had a significantly greater number of disadvantages. Not wanting to be seen as some weakling in front of his new peers-and especially the younger kids-telling the truth simply would do no good. He didn’t need saving; he didn’t need protecting, and he certainly wasn’t some victim! Telling the truth was also just plain pointless in terms of logic and actions. After all, what could a bunch of kids just starting to go through puberty do for him?? They were all just as tiny, weak, short, small, and innocent as he himself was at the end of the day. Acting tough and mighty was just a portrayal of how frightened and weak they all were at the end of the day, and neither of them sitting at the table right then and there had to explain it for the message to be made loud and clear.

He felt he also had the option of reporting the incident directly to Brother Markus or possibly Father Anderson, but then again, there were just so many problems with that! What if they didn’t believe him?? What if they thought he was lying for attention and punished him?? What if they needed lots of proof?? Gavin didn’t exactly want to run around the school dropping his pants so just about anyone and everyone could see his ass. No way!! It was all just too embarrassing, and there were too many risks and fears associated with it.

Peeking up at the head table, Gavin found to his horror that Brother Nines was already smiling directly into his eyes. The Android Brother grinned with wild, unabandoned confidence shining brightly as the sun in his eyes, and he tapped a finger along his lower lip.

“This is our little secret, Gavin; you tell anyone else about this and I’ll rip your jaw off.”

Unbridled, the memory of the terrifying threat slammed into his mind and ears, and Gavin gasped before he was able to slap a hand directly over his mouth to conceal his cry.

Brother Nines had threatened him…how could he even dream of telling anyone what had happened, now?!?

“This is our little secret, Gavin; you tell anyone else about this and I’ll rip your jaw off.”

Reeling back from it, Gavin trembled, and he grabbed the edge of the table as he hung his head down low. He could still feel the android’s cold blue eyes almost spearing in through the top of his skull, and it took every bit of control and willpower he had left in himself to just drown it out and ignore it. Let Brother Nines stare; he could stare all he wanted, but he wasn’t going to show the android how weak and frightened he was…no…no!!! That would be just the very thing the cruel monster was looking for!!!

“Gavin?”

Hearing confused voices ringing in his ears, Gavin opened his eyes, and when he stared back up around the table, he found all the boys seated by him regarding him with fear and concern evident in their wide, round eyes.

Letting go of his grip on the table, Gavin cleared his throat. “Sorry guys,” he coughed while trying to cover his worries and troubles, “I’m just kinda homesick, I think…”

Greg wasn’t buying it at all. He frowned and leaned into Gavin. Holding up a hand against Gavin’s ear and cheek so the younger ones wouldn’t hear, he whispered, “What really happened between you and Brother Nines?”

Batting him away, Gavin snapped, “Nothin’!!! What’s wrong with you, Greg?!”

Mackenzie shook his head while crossing his arms over his chest, “We’re wondering what’s wrong with you, Gavin,” he looked at Gavin up and down and snorted, “ever since you came out of that classroom, something’s been different about you.”

Feeling more defensive than ever for letting his guard down enough so that people could easily read him, Gavin flicked a few cracker crumbs over at Mackenzie. “Mind your damn business, man,” he groused angrily, “can’t a guy have a rough day?!?”

“Well,” Mackenzie snickered, “that depends on how ‘rough’ it was…”

The start of the perverted joke spread like wildfire, and Greg joined in while giggling, “Yeah, I’ll bet that Gavin totally likes it rough all the time!”

“Eeeww,” younger Andrew shivered while growing pale, “I don’t really need to think about who likes it rough and who doesn’t, especially during breakfast…”

Motioning at Gavin with a thumb and a head tilt, Greg said, “Gavin’s just too shy to share the details, but I’ll say that Brother Nines probably gave him a run for his money, ey mate?” Gripping Gavin around the shoulder, Greg pulled the other boy flush against his body, and he playfully messed up his hair.

At least they were all laughing, now, which was a complete change in the behavior displayed earlier. Not wanting to create suspicion in his friends again, Gavin felt he had no choice but to give in and play along, even though he knew that Greg simply joking about Brother Nines in that way deeply troubled and disturbed him.

Forcing a smile onto his face, Gavin rolled his eyes and laughed, “Ha-ha, yeah you’re truly a fuckin’ comedian, bruh.”

“Come on then mate!” Greg chuckled, “you tell us what dirty things you got up to all alone in Brother Nines’ strong arms!!”

Mackenzie winked at Gavin, and thankfully, young Ronald, Andrew, and Peter had left the table, chasing each other around and playing together instead. Gavin was relieved, as less ears and eyes were on him, now.

“So?” Mackenzie chuckled while throwing a cracker at him, “what’ll it be, Reed?”

Rolling his eyes up to the ceiling, Gavin waved a finger in the air as if he had been conducting an imaginary orchestra. “Yes, yes,” he sang out on a dull note, “I’m a total slut for Brother Nines.”

Gasping, Mackenzie held out a hand in front of Greg, “You owe me twenty,” he laughed while winking again at Gavin.

“You wanker,” Greg hissed, and then chuckled in Gavin’s direction, “you still didn’t specify what kinds of naughty things you got up to, Reed…”

It was Gavin’s turn to wink, and he whispered, “Oh, it wasn’t anything extraordinary; after effectively seducing me with his charms, Brother Nines just took me to his room, took off all my clothes, and I got on my back, spread my legs, and thought of England the entire time…”

That had done it.

Mackenzie spat out the juice he’d been drinking, and thankfully, his head had been pointing to the side, otherwise, he would’ve sprayed Gavin and Greg seated across from him. He spat out his juice while coughing, desperately making a grab for napkins while Greg nearly fell off the bench in rounds of loud, boisterous laughter.

Seeing how happy he’d made his friends, Gavin couldn’t help but laugh as well. Their laughter had been far too contagious, and he soon joined in as he clenched his eyes tightly and just let loose. He knew from he sounds of other conversations growing quiet around them that they were making far too much of a noise, but he found he didn’t care.

He deserved a laugh.

Nearly losing himself to his laughter, Gavin hadn’t seen or heard the fifteen-year-old Reese making his way over towards their table, and he wasn’t empty-handed. Without even so much of a warning, the hot-headed British teenager dumped a tiny can of Diet Pepsi he’d been hiding behind his back in his hands right over Gavin’s head.

The cold liquid splashed all over Gavin, effectively wetting him down until it reached his dress pants where it soaked and stained the fabric. Gavin gasped in fear and shock, and as he stood up to face whoever had done it, Reese aimed a clenched fist at Gavin’s jaw.

Before he could make contact with the other teenager’s bone, a strong hand flew up into the air, and immediately, it wrapped itself around Reese’s smaller, tightly clenched one.