Joni could still feel his heart pounding, his body trembling; anger and hurt. He wasn’t sure why he let it get to himself, why he allowed Kasper’s words get to him. He wasn’t a whore… and Misha… Why should Misha be too good for him? He wasn’t and Misha did want him, didn’t he? He wanted him more than just for sex, right? Well, he would, Misha just didn’t know that he wanted him and if he did… Misha wanted him, he nodded his head firmly. He would prove that Kasper was wrong, that would show him!
He took a bus, he needed to talk with Ivo, and he would understand and make it better somehow. Inside Joni felt restless, he hated when he was cornered like that, when he felt helpless and lost his words. He hated Kasper, he had no right! No right to do what he did, or say the things he said, he had no right to make him feel so lost and so angry.
Finally, getting out on the familiar bus stop; he walked towards the house. He needed to talk with Ivo, someone who actually liked him and who wouldn’t judge.
Misha was jealous, hell, he had seen it! So of course he wanted him, there was no question about it.
He rang the doorbell, holding his backpack loosely on his shoulder. Ivo wouldn’t be home yet he realised, he’d have to wait. Maybe Misha was home now? He wondered, hoping that he would be.
Misha’s favourite program was rudely interrupted by the door bell ringing. Getting up and gritting his teeth –sort of knowing who to expect, though he had no idea why he’d come there; after all Ivo wasn’t home yet and the brat had to know that very well! He opened the door, swinging a glare at … yes, he had guessed right,
“Ivo’s not home,” he told him dryly, wanting to close the door.
“I know,” the brat smiled, “he said that I could wait for him here…. So… can I come in?”
Of course Ivo would say something like this, tell his boy-toy to wait for him there and it only pissed Misha off more, that smile, as if he was telling him… telling HIM ‘look I’m with Ivo!’
Shrugging his shoulders with pretended calm, he turned around leaving the door open, returning to his previous seat in front of the tv. Joni had been there so many times that he knew their house just as well as he did and with Ivo dating him… Misha stopped to this trail of thought; it just sounded so wrong! Ivo was too old!
Flopping on the sofa, staring at the screen, Misha already knew that he wouldn’t be able to watch more, it was just an excuse to not be forced to talk with the brat.
Joni took his coat off, frustrated with how Misha always acted around him; always turning his back, not really talking to him. He followed Misha into the living room, seeing him sitting on the sofa staring at the screen as if not aware of anything else. Joni sat next to him, leaving some space between them, enough space so that another person could fit into it. He glanced at the tv, then Misha, then back again at the screen.
It wasn’t working, this jealousy thing, was it? He wondered, not at least at the rate he would have wanted. He wanted Misha, he liked Misha, he had a crush on him, he was finally able to admit to himself, but he had no idea how to tell this to him. He had never told something like this to another person, he usually didn’t have to, because the other people did it for him.
“So, what’s this show about?” He asked, trying to start a somewhat normal conversation with Misha, one that they hadn’t really had before.
”That’s a program on how things are produced,” Misha answered, trying his best to concentrate on the screen only and not his presence. Which was driving him crazy, because instead of watching how glass things were made, he was more focused on Joni being there, close to him.
“Hm, I see…” Joni nodded, watching the screen again, finding the program rather boring actually, then again at the moment he might find any program such, as his interest and focus were more on Misha. “…so… you like this program?” Okay it was official, he sucked at small talk. However, ignoring this thought, he turned his eyes on Misha, looking at him a little longer now.
”Is there anything WRONG with it?” Misha hissed, looking sideways at him.
”I didn’t say that there was anything wrong with it…I asked if you liked it.” Joni rolled his eyes, why did Misha have to be like this? Couldn’t he see that he was simply trying to talk with him? Have a normal, friendly conversation. ”You’re very tense around me, aren’t you?” He took note, tilting his head and shifting to a more comfortable position on the sofa.
”Tense?” Misha snorted amusedly. Joni had no idea how TENSE he was, almost enraged whenever he was near, with Ivo! ”Why would I be tense, huh?”
Joni continued to watch him; he didn’t know how one should say it, how to tell a person you like that you like them. He didn’t know any other way than…
“You tell me why?” He whispered as he slowly moved closer to the man, close enough to touch. His heart was beating madly, but he tried not to let his nervousness show. ”You are tense though, just like right now…”
”I am not damn tense, I don’t know where you’re taking your delusions from,” Misha scoffed at him, noticing the suddenly shorter distance between them. What was Joni playing at?
A small smile played on Joni’s lips, he looked up to Misha’s eyes; noticing the icy stare and his smile died slowly, every word he thought of sounded silly now, he didn’t know what would be the right words.
“I know that you…” He started, hesitantly, he really wasn’t used to this, “…that you don’t like us together…” At least he tried.
”Oh?” Misha made a sarcastic sound, looking at him fully, crossing his arms on his chest. ”What else is it about me that you KNOW, Joni?”
For a moment Joni was silent, looking down and then back at him.
”You… wouldn’t have to be so tense… around me…” He said quietly and placed his hand on his arm, he had never been so nervous when touching someone, not when the touch was this innocent, but perhaps actions would speak louder than his words could. He leaned forward, brushing his lips against Misha’s cheek. “We’re alone now…” he whispered, glancing into his eyes again, he wanted to kiss him, he wanted Misha to kiss him, prove Kasper wrong.
Narrowing his eyes at him in a dangerous expression Misha uncrossed his arms and set his hand on his shoulder while the other tightened. He was in the middle of a storm; wanting something so bad it hurt inside, but at the same time there was anger in him, too.
”You haven’t answered my question, Joni,” he reminded him coldly. ”What is it that you THINK you know about me?”
”I think… that you… you’re jealous…”Joni told him, ”I think that you like me…that you want me.” There, he had said it; there was no taking back those words.
”I think you’re wrong,” Misha spoke with all the certainty he could muster. ”If I wanted you, I’d take you. Do you see me doing it?”
Joni narrowed his eyes, refusing to accept this answer,
“I think you’re in denial…” he said bluntly before deciding to act to prove it, act before he’d have time to hesitate and change his mind “…I’ll prove it.” He told Misha before climbing on his lap and not giving him any time to protest; he brought his lips on his, kissing him, hungrily, forcefully almost, urging him to respond to him.
It was seconds of fire, everything inside Misha was screaming to take Joni, his body burning with angry passion, he flipped the boy under him on the couch, took his wrists pinning them above his head. He was breathing heavily, kissing Joni with anger and heat, until he finally found the strength to lift his head and look at the one beneath him.
He released his wrist, grasping his chin instead, looking at him, his eyes burning with both anger and lust.
“Is this what you want?! Huh?” He growled.
Joni breathed fast, whimpering softly when Misha’s hold began to hurt him. Misha looked so angry that he was frightened.
“You what?!” Misha asked, grasping Joni’s hair, pulling him up with him, until pushing him onto the floor, where Joni landed with a thud. “Just what were you trying to do?!” He growled, standing up.
Joni looked up wide eyed, what ever he had been expecting, this wasn’t on that list. Misha grasped his shirt and pulled him up to face himself, “listen, BRAT,” he emphasized the word, “this slutty act of yours doesn’t work on me,” Misha knew that his words were hurtful, but he wanted to hurt him.
”Aren’t you forgetting one SMALL detail? I-V-O,” He spelt the name sarcastically. ”Your current boyfriend and by chance my brother. I’m not into threesomes and definitely not into incest.”
Joni fought back the tears, Kasper had been right, he blinked, his breathing uneasy and fast; dangerously close to crying, but he didn’t want to cry; it would only add to his humiliation. He pulled back, unsure what to say, “I wasn’t…” he shook his head, “…it’s not…” he wanted to tell the truth, but it felt difficult now; Misha hated him… Kasper hated him… he had screwed everything up.
The sound of the front door opening and closing, Ivo’s voice, steps that neared the living room.
“Joni…” The man smiled, “I got home a little earlier, what-?” He asked, but Joni couldn’t take it anymore, he rushed away from them, to Ivo’s bedroom, he couldn’t hold back the tears anymore.
Ivo felt confused; he looked after Joni then at his brother,
“What happened?” He asked.
Misha spread his lips in a parody of a smile.
“Nothing, we were just having a friendly chat; cleared the things between us a lot.” He told his brother, not looking back is he walked to the hall, “I’m going out!” he shouted, took his jacket and left the house. It had to stop. He had to do something to separate those two.
It really was too easy, all you had to do was to type a person’s name and location, send a text message and you’d have their phone number and address sent back in one instant. Good thing Joni hadn’t chosen to cover his traces. Misha drove to the house, but having not driven there before, it took him close to 20minutes to find for what normally should have taken about 5-10 minutes.
He looked at the house; it was quite big with a large garden, looked like a peaceful neighbourhood, but of course the brat’s parents would be well off, to afford the taste of such a bratty, vain boy as Joni was.
Determined, Misha walked to the front door and rang the doorbell, a moment of wait, he could hear running steps and laughter, the door opened, two boys, maybe 5 years old? Stood there, looking at him, both with light chestnut hair and blue eyes; twins.
“Daddy! A stranger!” The other one shrieked in a loud voice eyeing him with suspicion. Soon enough a fit looking man, with sand colour hair and bright blue eyes walked towards the door,
“Didn’t I tell you boys to let dad open?” he scolded the young ones, before he looked at Misha. “I’m sorry if my boys gave you trouble,” The man smiled. Misha was surprised that Joni’s father looked so young, he was a fit, and handsome man, though looking at Joni, it could be guessed that his parents had good genes; the darkness however must have come from the mother’s side.
“He’s taller than you dad,” The other twin made note, looking between them, the man placed his hands on the boy’s shoulder and smiled, then looked back at Misha,
“If you’re selling something, we’re not buying.” He said as the young man had yet to speak.
Misha shook his head and gave the man a tight smile, ”Excuse me for intruding like this … I’m not a salesperson of any kind, I just wanted to talk about your son, Joni,” He said as politely as he could.
He saw the look of worry settling in the man’s blue eyes, he looked at the two children who still stood there silently just staring at him,
“Boys, go to the living room to your mother.” He told them,
“Joni is in trouble again,” one boy made note to his twin as they walked away.
“What is it about my son?” The man asked as soon as the boys were out of sight, “is he okay? Is he hurt?”
”No, Joni is not hurt, but …” Misha paused, he had never really thought of how to put it. ”He’s … dating a guy, a much older guy and my younger brother, Dima, who is also Joni’s friend, is worrying about him.”
Asko was silent for a moment, putting the pieces together, the way that Joni had been acting lately, coming and going not really bothering to explain where he had been, and the way he came home that one morning…
“How much older?” He asked a bit tightly.
“A lot older, 14 years,” Misha said, and then after a small pause he decided to add, “In fact … the guy is … our family and we’ve tried to talk to him but … it didn’t work and now Dima is all worried about Joni, and he wants him safe … but he knows that Joni can go … ballistic … so … if you could not mention to Joni that Dima had anything to do with this.”
Asko could feel the anger rising in him, 14 years! It was too much, definitely too much!
“Thank you… for letting me know…” His voice was still tight, “Obviously this can’t continue, Joni is too young.” He nodded firmly. “Do you know where he is now?”
“He’s at our house, with my brother.” Misha told the man, smirking inwardly; one thing he regretted was that he wouldn’t be able to see the brat’s face when his father would come to bring him home.
”I can show you the way but like I said, I don’t want to be seen by Joni, if he sees me, he might think Dima has something to do with this.” It was a lie, in a way, a lie to cover his own ass from Ivo.
Asko nodded his head, searched for his car keys,
“Katja, I’m going to get Joni home!” He shouted to his wife, quickly throwing on his jacket and shoes.
“Don’t worry, he doesn’t have to know who told me… and thank you, that boy is really getting out of my hands.”
”Thank you, sir,” Misha said as politely as he could, something in him feeling awfully pleased, or in fact he was pleased that he wouldn’t see Ivo and Joni together anymore. ”I have my car here, I’ll lead you to where I live and then I’ll have to leave you there,” he said as he walked down the few steps and then towards the car, waiting for Joni’s father to get his own car from the garage.
Ivo walked into the bedroom where he found Joni sitting on his bed, hiding his face from him.
“Hey, what happened?” He asked softly, walking closer until he sat beside him. Joni was still looking away, his hand on his face, it was obvious to Ivo that he was crying, and he placed his hand on his shoulder, “Joni?”
Joni shook his head, embarrassed, he didn’t want to cry in front of Ivo or anyone; it made him look so weak.
“It’s alright, talk to me,” Ivo urged rubbing his shoulders.
“I talked to Kasper…” Joni told him, his head was aching now, the tears burned his eyes.
Joni felt uncomfortable; he pulled his legs up, knees close to his chest, hiding his face against them.
Then he looked up, still away from Ivo, gave a dry laughter.
“I’m a slut, no, a whore, apparently….” He shook his head, his hand going to his forehead, “he was right though… he doesn’t care…he doesn’t like me… it was just sex, just one night of sex…”
“Are you talking about Misha now?” He asked, Joni only nodded, “You’re not a slut or a whore and … Misha does care for you.”
“No he doesn’t.” Joni shook his head, “he hates me. And… gods…” Joni looked up, laughing again without joy, “he thinks that I’m a slut too… whatever, perhaps I am… you know, whatever.”
“He said that?” Ivo was getting angry, angry at his younger brother who was acting like a stupid ass.
Joni was silent again, hiding his face against his knees, his hands in his hair,
“Joni, come on, it’s alright…” Ivo urged him to look up, he wasn’t used to handling crying young men, but he tried,
“God I feel like an idiot!” He wiped the tears away, “I’m sorry, you don’t need this now, you so don’t need this,” he shook his head, trying to stop crying.
“Come here…” Ivo pulled him close, holding him against his chest, “…sounds to me like you had a shitty day, it’s okay…” Ivo stroked his back, “you’re not a slut, don’t ever believe it.” He told him. “Misha is a bloody idiot and that other boy… don’t believe them, Joni.”
“I guess our plan went to hell,” Joni muttered, his head resting against Ivo’s chest, he stared at the wall in front of him, feeling exhausted now, exhausted and hurt; Misha didn’t care, he didn’t feel the same way and he would just have to accept it. Ivo stroked his hair gently; Misha would hear about this later, he would truly get an earful…
“I’ll talk to Misha,” Ivo said, “I’ll tell him the truth about us….”
“I don’t think it will help,” Joni sighed, “it’s true that he finds me disgusting because of our relationship, but… knowing we lied…I don’t have high hopes.” He close his eyes, words that both Kasper and Misha had used echoing in his mind, it hurt…His chest felt heavy, he felt so foolish, foolish that he had believed Misha could feel the same way about him.
“He’ll regret it later if he lets you go…” Ivo said, “he’ll come around.”
The door bell interrupted them, Ivo sighed,
“Wait here, I’ll go and see who it is.” He said getting up, Joni nodded, laid down on the bed, he just felt so tired.
He closed his eyes for a second, hearing Ivo leave the room, walking towards the hall, the front door…
“Okay, where is he?! Where’s my son??” To his surprise he heard his father’s voice screaming and with surprise he sat up, angry steps nearing the room, “Joni?!” Before Joni had time to do anything, his father had already found his way into the room, looking at him; anger clear in his eyes.
“We’re leaving! Get into the car Joni!”
“No buts, NOW!”
Ivo stepped into the room,
“Oh don’t you even try!” Asko pointed at him, “you sick pervert! Seducing young teenage boys, you’re disgusting!”
“Dad,” Joni got up from the bed, realizing how bad this might have looked, ”he hasn’t done anything, calm down.”
“Don’t you try to defend him!” Asko took another look at his son; his tear stained face, the bed, the man; only 6 years younger than him. “What have you done?!”
“Sir, calm down, nothing has happened,” Ivo tried to stay calm himself.
“Nothing has happened?!” Asko almost laughed, “he’s 17! Only 17! What did you do to make him cry?! Huh?! Did you try to force him??”
“Dad, stop it, he didn’t do anything!”
“Joni, get into the car, NOW!” Asko shouted at him, Joni shook his head, Asko grasped his arm and started dragging him towards the hall, Ivo followed. “You get into the car and wait for me there! No buts! Don’t make me drag you!”
Joni had never seen his dad this angry, he watched helplessly at Ivo who nodded his head at him, signaling that he should just do like his father asked. Joni put his outdoor clothes on and left the house.
“And you,” Asko narrowed his eyes at the taller man; “Don’t you ever come near my son again, or so help me God!”
“Sir, I assure you, I have done nothing to your son”
“Why the fuck should I believe you? I know you’ve been dating him, I know it! He is 17 years old, you’re over 30, you should know better! You truly disgust me! Just stay away from him!”
Ivo could see that it was pointless to try and talk to the man now when he was this furious, he didn’t even give him a chance to try.
Asko left the house, walked to the car where his son was already seated.
“I can’t believe you Joni,” He said when he started the car, shaking his head, “this…” He tried to calm down, “14 years! He is 14 years your senior!”
“Dad…it’s not what you think…” Joni tried to tell him, his dad gave him a stern look, shaking his head while concentrating back on the road.
“You’re just 17, that MAN did wrong, seducing his brother’s school friend!? And YOU should think better! You are too young for such a relationship!”
Joni started to get pissed off, he was hurt and tired and on top of everything he didn’t need this from his father. He didn’t want to listen to his rant.
The drive home was tense; as soon as they pulled to the driveway Joni got up and hurried to the house.
“I’m not through talking with you young man!” His father shouted as soon as they were in.
“It’s none of your business!”
“Yes it is! And you are grounded! You will never go to that house again!”
Asko grasped his arm,
“Don’t use that tongue with me! What were you thinking?? What on earth were you thinking?”
Joni glared at him with his eyes glimmering, Ivo had been nothing but good to him, what should it matter even if they had been together?
“He is a good man! He has never hurt me! Why the fuck should it matter?? And don’t try giving me that crap about my age!” Joni shouted.
“He is a grown man Joni! What could he possibly want from you other than…”
“Other than sex??” Joni asked, pulling his arm free, “of course I can’t have anything else to offer than that? Oh all the gay men just can’t wait their chance to shove it in me?? Right??”
“I didn’t say that, I’m saying that he’s too old, that you are too young for him! I won’t accept it! You are getting out of hands!”
“SO I’m 17! so fucking what?? Guess what dad?? I love sex, I freaking love it! I love it when they fuck me! Oh yes I do.” Joni was mad, he didn’t care, why should he? He was already labeled as a slut, perhaps even by his father?
Asko’s eyes widened, he looked at him in shock and disbelief.
“You… Go to your room! Now!“
Joni did, he ran upstairs and banged the door shut after him.
Asko tried to calm his breathing, this was not his little boy, his little boy didn’t just tell him that… He squeezed his hands into fists; his daughter began to cry in her room, the shouting must have woken her. And his wife soon rushed into the hall, gave him a somewhat angry look before rushing upstairs to her youngest.
“Okay, what on earth was that?” Katja asked after putting the children to sleep. Asko was seated in the kitchen with a bottle of beer.
“He’s been sleeping with a man 14 years older than him,” he said, taking another sip. “You heard what he said; hell the whole neighborhood must have heard him.” He stood up, walked in front of the window, staring out. “He is getting out of my hands; I don’t know what to do anymore… I think… the best thing… would be to send him away for sometime, somewhere he can’t get into so much trouble…”
“Just where would that be?”
“My parents, up north, for the holidays at least.” He told her.
“Asko…” She walked closer, standing behind him, her chin against his shoulder, “I don’t know… It doesn’t sound like the best way.” She said carefully.
“Well he’s my son. He’s 18 soon… I don’t like the way he is going. I have to do something while I still can.”
“Then talk to him! Try to understand him! Asko, I’m afraid that this… sending him away will do more harm than good…”
He turned around to look at her,
“He’s been sleeping with some 30 year old Russian, he’s… promiscuous and… you know… I don’t want him getting ill with something with this attitude of his! How could it be worse than it is!”
Katja stared at her husband for awhile.
“Trust me, it could be worse, you can’t keep him from the world, I’m sorry, but he’ll make his mistakes and he needs you to be there for him. He needs to have someone he can trust, someone to turn to when he’s… well fucked it all up!”
“I’ve made up my mind Katja, I’ll send him there, and it will be for the best. That’s final.” And with that he walked away, leaving her alone in the kitchen.
Misha felt oddly like a child who had just told on someone, it was a weird sensation that didn’t want to leave him, never mind the fact that he knew he did the right thing. Joni was too young for Ivo, it couldn’t continue; this illicit affair. He felt slightly relieved, but mostly, he felt foul… the way he had treated Joni that day…
He returned home late, later than he had planned, after dropping by at the pub, having a few drinks with friends. But even that hadn’t washed away the stupid feeling of incomprehensive guilt, but it truly had to stop! Especially after Joni behaving the way he did… Dating his brother and then coming on to him; sick!
Ivo sat in the kitchen, drinking beer, thinking how things couldn’t have turned out worse than they were. Instead of helping Joni, somehow, he had made it worse. And he knew just who it was that had told his parents…
He waited, exhausted and angry, finally he heard the front door opening and since Dima was spending the night with Eva, it could only be Misha. Without a hurry, he walked over to the hall to meet him, still holding his beer.
“Had fun?” He asked flatly, taking a sip of his beer.
“Had fun,” Misha answered cockily, the alcohol in him not making him drunk but lending him its bravado. ”Wasn’t it you who said that a little alcohol is always fun?” He added, aiming at pissing Ivo off, he guessed. ”Did you? With him?”
”Do I look happy?” Ivo asked, raising his eyebrow. ”I suppose you’re feeling very proud of yourself?”
So Ivo knew, or suspected… there was no reason for Misha to beat around the bush then.
”You knew we didn’t … neither me nor Dima … we didn’t think it was something intelligent to do, for you to get involved with the brat.” He took off his jacket and hung it up, trying to dismiss Ivo’s hard look.
”You asked if I had fun with him?” Ivo spoke slowly, ”I did, I like him, I like him a lot… and today I had to comfort a 17-year old boy, who was crying, because apparently he had a quite nasty day…”
”Spare me teary stories of how I hurt him because obviously you don’t know the whole truth,” Misha snorted. ”Your BOYFRIEND was coming onto me.”
Ivo gave him a tired, unhappy smile,
”Yes, for some reason, Joni really likes you…” he started, ”… We never slept together Misha, we slept on the same bed, but I didn’t touch him; I could see from early on that he didn’t want it, all he saw in me was a friend… and what he saw in you…” he shook his head sighing.
Misha felt surprised, stunned in fact, they… didn’t? They really didn’t? Then… why the act? Why the hell had they… Was it because of him?
”I knew he was an idiot,” He muttered quietly, ”I told him a million times I have no interest in him…” It wasn’t a complete lie… okay; part of it was… he did have an interest.
”You are so fucking blind!” Ivo couldn’t help but to raise his voice. ”No interest in him my ass!… I know you have interest in him and today he tried to tell you about his feelings, and what did you do? threw him away? What words did you use? Probably not as bad as that idiot he met before you, but… God dammit Misha! Don’t you understand what you did?!”Ivo had the urge to walk over to his brother and shake him.
”Just fuck off, Ivo, I have no patience to go through the same fucking ’he loves you’ talk again,” Misha answered tiredly, the whole situation feeling surreal to him. ”I’m going to sleep.”
”Well go, by all means go!” I vo waived his hand, “You won’t have to see him again, I think his father will take good care of that chance happening anytime soon, perhaps the knowledge will make you happy…” Ivo was already walking towards his room, but then he turned to him and added, ”If I were you though…” then he shook his head, ”Ah, why bother? Why would you care? Even if you just lost the one person that could come to mean more to you than any other?… just so you know; they don’t come along that often, and I should know… Well. Goodnight then, little brother.”
Misha watched as his brother walked into his room, closing the door after himself. He didn’t want to start to examine his own feelings deeper; he didn’t want to think what it would mean to never see Joni again. He wouldn’t miss him, right?
Web published: May 11th, 2008.
My Secret Shore