-The games we play-
Joni didn’t know why it had been so important to him, to see that Misha was jealous and he knew he was and it made him giddy for the rest of the weekend. Even his dad seemed rather suspicious when seeing that he was grinning to himself and for that reason he had to make up a lie.
And Ivo, he didn’t mind spending time with the man, though maybe his feelings weren’t quite the ones they should have been in regards with how the date went, but other than that… Well this kind of puzzled Joni; Ivo was handsome, nice and all in all what was there to stop him from having those feelings? His age? Or perhaps that… he was… Misha’s brother? Joni didn’t really want to think of this, but it was there, in his mind all along, or rather, he was there. The fact was that he had never thought about someone as much as he thought about Misha. And just when had Misha’s reactions and thoughts and jealousy become such an important thing to him? Sure it had started from wanting to make Misha notice him, make him want him and he had wanted him… he had slept with him…. and then ignored him again… and now…
Lying on his bed, he began to chew on his bottom lip in deep thought, did he want Misha? But he hated him, right? He had wanted revenge? But when he thought of it, Misha’s gray eyes, his full lips, how they felt against his, his body, naked, the well formed muscles underneath the perfect velvety skin…The faint trail of blondish hair that started from his navel traveling down to his… Joni could feel his skin getting ticklish and hot all over and yet he wanted to fight it, he didn’t want to get aroused thinking of HIM, because he hated him, didn’t he?
He groaned with frustration and buried his face against the pillow beneath him and no matter what the thoughts refused to leave him, instead they grew more persistent, arousing him against his will. And his hips moved, pressing harder against the mattress, while his mind still battled, hate and want mixing, to the point where he had to question whether or not it had ever been hate? Perhaps he hated himself more? Hated because Misha could evoke these feelings in him? Because he made him lose his control and cool. Because he had somehow changed him and now Joni wasn’t sure anymore who he was and what he wanted.
His thoughts took him back to that night, offering him images, memories of his touch on his body and he could feel himself blush, he could feel himself beginning to harden and he wanted so badly to touch himself and at the same time to keep himself from doing so.
This confusion was driving him mad … and he was feeling so… horny. He kept his eyes closed and pushed his hips forward again. He bit his lip, he shouldn’t, he wouldn’t… not for him… not to his images…
His breathing was getting difficult to control and the heat spread through his body and just as he was about to allow himself the touch, a knock on his door startled him.
He pulled the blanket over him, so it would seem that he was only taking a nap and…
”Hm…Yeah?” He answered, faking a sleepy voice.
”You were sleeping?” His father’s voice asked and Joni turned lazily to lie on his back, his arousal luckily leaving him.
”Yeah, tried to,” he yawned, ”what is it?”
”I just came to tell you that we’re leaving soon. So, Sini is now taking her nap, and the boys are playing outside, there’s food in the fridge, you can just reheat it in the oven.” Asko smiled at him, Joni frowned, feeling a bit at loss.
”Wait… what?” He sat up.
”Katja and I are going out; to the movies and dinner, it’s our anniversary and you promised to babysit. ” His father said slowly.
”Today?? But it’s Saturday!” Joni whined.
”Indeed it is and you made a promise to me a month ago.”
”But… I had plans…” Joni looked at him.
”Then cancel them, you can live one night without seeing your friends, Joni. We don’t have the chance to go out much with Katja, so please, just for this night…” His father sounded tired.
”Well… when will you be back?” Joni sighed, figuring that he’d just have to try and please his father for once and cancel the date he had with Ivo.
”Before midnight I’m sure…” Asko smiled now. ”So put the children to bed early, lock the doors before nine, and… If you go to the sauna, you can have one beer from the fridge.” Joni raised his eyebrow.
”One beer? Oh joy this will certainly be the best Saturday ever…” He replied with sarcasm.
”Joni…” His father warned.
”Yeah, yeah… was there something else?”
”There’s also some chips and coke, but if they don’t eat dinner nicely then they won’t get any treats either, ok? And I rented some movies to keep you entertained.”
”Great…” Joni muttered, getting up from the bed, his Saturday was officially doomed.
”Remember to lock the doors, okay?” His father reminded him, while helping Katja get her coat on.
”And we have our keys with us, so you don’t need to answer the door after dark.”
Joni couldn’t help but to laugh.
”Honestly dad… What are you afraid of?”
”Well… you never know…we would just feel a lot better if you’d do this. There have been some robberies around this neighborhood.”
”Well I still seriously doubt that they’d ring the doorbell…” Joni grinned, to which his father gave a serious glare.
”But fine, I won’t open the door unless I’m expecting someone.”
”And you’re not, not tonight.”
”Fine…” Joni muttered, he really wasn’t thrilled with the fact that his Saturday would be spent babysitting.
After his father and stepmother had left Joni went to get his phone to call Ivo.
”Hi Joni, miss me already?” The cheerful voice asked.
”Er…” He hadn’t expected that, ”Yes, of course,” he decided then and smiled at his own answer, ”but I’m sorry to say that I have to cancel our plans after all.”
”Oh, that’s a shame; I was really looking forward to seeing you.”
”Um, yeah, my parents…They have this anniversary thing and I promised to babysit, it sucks, but I promised and… ”
”It’s okay babe, though I will miss you of course, but hopefully I’ll see you tomorrow then?”
Babe? Joni wondered silently and swallowed.
”Tomorrow…yes, I think I’m free then…”
”Brilliant! I’ll call you tomorrow then, enjoy your evening. I’m thinking of you, kiss kiss.” Joni blinked, this phone call was rather… not what he had expected. He heard a loud crack from the background and wondered what it was, almost like glass breaking?
”Um… thanks… er… same to you…and see you then…” He stuttered. ”…Bye,”
When ending the call Joni remained seated and blinked several times, staring at his phone wondering what had just happened. Kiss kiss? Odd… very odd… And calling him babe? Rather…unnerving…
Ivo was sitting in the living room, watching TV, feeling rather amused by everything that was going on. Dima was annoyed with him, it didn’t really bother him, because he was sure that once Dima would find out just why he was dating Joni he would understand and forgive him… in the meantime, Ivo was quite comfortable, hell it wasn’t the first time that his younger brothers were annoyed with him, perhaps not this badly but at least he had a fine cause; love.
Thinking that he could get a beer for himself, he got up and walked into the kitchen where Misha was washing the dishes. Just then his phone started to ring on the kitchen table where he had left it; Joni, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
”Hi Joni, miss me already?” He asked cheerfully and most importantly; loudly, so Misha would hear every word.
”Er…” the boy was taken by surprise, Ivo smirked. ”Yes, of course…but I’m sorry to say that I have to cancel our plans after all,”
”Oh, that’s a shame; I was really looking forward to seeing you,” Ivo told him, which he actually had been.
”Um, yeah, my parents…They have this anniversary thing and I promised to babysit, it sucks, but I promised and… ” Ivo glanced at Misha, seeing that his expression had darkened and he was washing the dishes almost angrily.
”It’s okay babe, though I will miss you of course, but hopefully I’ll see you tomorrow then?” In his head Ivo almost laughed, he would have paid handsomely just to see Joni’s face just then, at least Misha’s was worth looking at; he even got an angry glare directed straight at him.
”Tomorrow…yes, I think I’m free then…” The boy sounded hesitant.
”Brilliant! I’ll call you tomorrow then, enjoy your evening. I’m thinking of you, kiss kiss.” A glass broke on the floor and Ivo glanced at his brother raising his eyebrow; silently, Misha cursed and kneeled down to clean the pieces.
”Um… thanks… er… same to you…and see you then…” Joni was stuttering now, poor kid, he must have been confused. ”…Bye,”
”Bye, Joni…” Ivo closed his cell phone.
”You should be more careful Misha when washing those, those glasses weren’t cheap, you know?”
Misha muttered something that he couldn’t make out of. Ivo grinned and finally took the beer that he had come there for. Without a word he left, it was just a matter of time, he knew it.
Joni was quite sure that he’d never even dream of having kids of his own, which worked perfectly well with him being gay.
6 year old twin boys could be exceedingly annoying and… a handful! They were loud and… they were running around in different directions, eating their dinner took forever, they seemed to have some own secret code of language that no one else could understand and… Yes; annoying.
And then there was Sini, his baby sister who… well… she followed him like a puppy… and then… he even had to change her diaper, he definitely hadn’t signed up for that! He almost vomited in the bathroom and then had to wash her behind… It was definite that he would never, ever have children of his own, no matter what.
By the end of the day he was feeling exhausted. But finally it was quiet and even watching Finding Nemo dubbed in Finnish didn’t bother him, in fact it was the highlight of the day (well seeing Misha jealous had been the highlight, but other than that…) and… The scariest part was that one point he found himself actually enjoying his siblings company. Holding Sini in his arms, answering the twins’ silly questions, he actually noticed that they all seemed to find him interesting and… were looking up to him? Strange…
Of course he could never tell a living soul that he had spent his Saturday night babysitting his siblings, going to bed at nine and actually noticing that he rather liked all three of them, cared for them even.
Next day Ivo came to pick him up and they drove back to his house: Joni was somewhat disappointed and nervous to find that they were alone. He had hoped to see Misha and what if… The phone call from last night was still rather odd… Making him wonder what it meant and…
”So how was it? The babysitting?” Ivo asked when they were seated in the kitchen.
”Hm… Well lets see…” Joni grossed his arms over the table looking at Ivo who poured him a class of coke. ”It was kind of exhausting really, I don’t know how my stepmother does it everyday… we watched Finding Nemo and Shrek; the first one, and I got to change the poop diaper.” Joni made a disgusted face to which Ivo laughed.
”Oh you poor thing.” Ivo patted his head with a grin.
”Hm… so what’s the plan?” Joni asked then.
”The plan is… to make dinner for Misha and Dima… who are at the moment… well Dima’s at Eva’s and Misha… at the gym I’d imagine…” Ivo walked to the fridge, taking out ingredients for lunch, ”they’re hiding from me….” He whispered.
”Yes… well, they’ll get over it.” He nodded and Joni couldn’t help but feel slightly guilty, after all, he wasn’t really serious with this and… what if Ivo was serious with him?
”Hm… we’re both the eldest,” Joni said, then taking a sip of his drink. Ivo gave him a curious look. ”My brothers, they are now 5 years old, so it’s almost the same age difference as between you and Misha … My sister, she’s 2, so…” Joni was about to say that the age difference was almost the same between Ivo and Dima when he realized that… Ivo smiled at him, nodded, but didn’t say it, he didn’t need to.
Joni suddenly had an image of his sister, his small sister bringing home a guy his age and… he didn’t like it.
”What were your parents like?” Joni asked, wanting to change the subject.
”Hm…” Ivo started washing the vegetables. ”Our father was quite strict, he worked a lot, he wanted us to be tough, he was quite traditional I suppose; believed that wife’s should take care of home and children, while men would work… As for our mother, she was gentle and quiet, I don’t think she was very happy with her life… I only saw it when I was older, especially after I had moved out and those last times I visited home…”
”Do you miss her?” Joni asked.
”Yes, I do miss her; I miss them both in different ways. It wasn’t easy for Misha and Dima especially, when it was so sudden. Misha only 15 and Dima only 11… Leave everything familiar behind…Grieving while having to deal with some amount of prejudice, learning a new language…” Ivo glanced at Joni, ”but as I’ve said before we’ve dealt with it quite well.”
”Dima never really talks about them or about how his life was like back then,” Joni took note.
”Yes, I suppose he wouldn’t, it’s just Dima’s way… he’s always been quieter and more reserved I guess, Misha on the other hand, well he can be loud and headstrong, but he too can hide his thoughts and feelings well when it suits him…” Ivo again looked at Joni, noticing the interest in him when he mentioned Misha’s name, also when meeting with his eyes, Joni quickly looked down. Ivo smiled to himself. ”…or when it doesn’t suit him…”
”Why do you call him Vodka sometimes?” Joni asked then, unable to stop himself, he was interested in knowing more and he didn’t know how to talk with Misha, since the other seemed so uninterested in talking to him.
”Well,” Ivo grinned, ”back when he was a teenager, it was often that I found him stealing from my bar cabinet… There he was, 16 year old Misha, drinking in his room from my bottle of vodka… and yes, he liked his vodka, and actually his tolerance for alcohol is quite good… but it was funny, I tried to be angry with him, trust me…but…”
”So he was 16 and drank vodka?” Joni raised his eyebrow and Ivo chuckled.
”Yes, I see what you mean… The thing is my brother is a bit of a hypocrite and whether he likes to admit it or not, he does place himself on a higher level… He sees you as too young to drink, when at your age I bet that he drank more.”
”Hypocrite is right,” Joni snorted. ”Has he ever even dated?” Joni asked, tilting his head.
”Yes, he has,” Ivo nodded, now more sure than ever that Joni did have feelings for Misha. ”but he gets bored easily, because every guy he’s dated has fallen for him too easily, ready to give him everything and more… Misha wants and needs someone who can challenge him, someone who’ll drive him crazy and passionate at the same time…someone that…” Ivo took a pause, opened the fridge and got some more ingredients that he needed, again he glanced at Joni who was quietly listening, quietly and clearly interested. ”…someone he thinks he hates perhaps.” Ivo finished, looking directly into Joni’s eyes so he’d get the hint. Sure enough the boy’s expression changed to almost an embarrassed one and he quickly drifted his gaze down.
”Now this is the point where I want to ask you a question, Joni.” Ivo walked closer and sat in front of the table in front of him. ”What is it that you feel for my brother?”
Joni could feel panic rising inside, the silence that followed added to the pressure and his heart began to race, he didn’t like to be surprised like this, when he didn’t have time to plan his answer and…
”I- what kind of question is that?” He asked nervously, while his mind went blank of any rational thoughts.
”It’s a perfectly logical question, and I need to know the answer to it before taking the next step,” Ivo smiled at the blank expression Joni’s face had adapted. ”The next step being … either taking this further or … helping you out, Joni.”
Joni shook his head, looking away from him.
”Your brother is an idiot.” He muttered, his hands resting on the table and suddenly feeling so foreign on his body; he wasn’t sure what to do with them. ”He’s an idiot,” he repeated, nodding firmly, ”I feel that your brother, Misha, is an idiot,” It seemed that he had lost every other word besides that.
”Oh, he is an idiot, truly,” Ivo chuckled amused. ”The biggest idiot for not allowing himself to see certain things … that’s why I’m trying to make him see them. Now the question is … do you want me to make him see?”
Joni looked at him now, his brown eyes wide and almost confused, he opened his mouth and closed it, looking almost helpless and desperate at the same time.
”I don’t know what I want…” he breathed out, ”but he can’t just sleep with me and then still call me a brat!” He burst out next and quickly drifted his gaze away, ”thus, he’s an idiot…”
”That we agreed on, and I’m not saying it’s going to be peachy right from the start,” Ivo gave a sympathetic look to him, ”In fact, as far as I know my brother, he’ll go denying everything … but weren’t you denying things, too?” he reached out to poke Joni’s arm, still gently smiling at the youth.
”I hate him… I want to hate him… I don’t know when I stopped hating him or if I ever really hated him and… I don’t understand my feelings; I don’t understand why I can’t get him out of my head.”
”I’m guessing you’re not the only one with such a problem,” Ivo smirked again, his brother had been extremely sensitive about ’the brat’ topic and no one has ever caused so much torment for him. Which Ivo thought to indicate just one thing; he was falling for Joni, falling fast and hard and because he didn’t allow himself to realize what was going on, he kept denying it, denying feeling anything. Joni drifted his eyes on him again.
”I’m… did you know? I mean… all along?” He still felt confused about everything.
”Joni, I’ve admired you from the moment I first saw you, admired but never thought I’d do anything about it, because you are so much younger. Then after I saw…” Ivo took a pause, cleared his throat.
”Well, after I saw you two and after watching my brother’s stubbornness, I decided to try and open his eyes… and I’d be lying if I said that I’ve felt no temptation when alone with you… Had you now said that you couldn’t care less for my brother and had I believed it, I think I would have ignored even the age difference and… Well, it would have been wrong of me in either case. And so… now that I know what’s between us … how about we have some fun? And torture my idiot brother?”
Joni smiled at him, feeling more relaxed now, the panic he had at first felt left him and he could feel something heavy being lifted from his shoulders.
”It does sound like fun,” he grinned in return.
”Misha won’t know what hit him,” Ivo smirked again, wider, more openly, already seeing his brother’s face. ”So when he comes home… hm… I might have to kiss you, touch you more, can you deal with that?”
Joni bit his lip, wondering what he had just admitted. He had admitted that he really did like Misha, that he wanted him and now… He nodded to Ivo’s question, gave him a small smile.
”I can… deal with it.” He told him. ”Do you really think that…?” He started, this was all happening so fast and…
”Yes, I’m positive that Misha has feelings for you… I’ve known him for his whole life after all… our dating will eventually push him over the edge.” Ivo smiled in a way that made Joni believe him.
Now the game would really begin.
Misha was feeling exhausted, mentally, physically, as if something invisible was draining the life out of him. He wasn’t sleeping well and even at days he felt constant restlessness. He blamed the brat; it was his entire freaking fault, his and Ivo’s.
And Ivo certainly didn’t make things any easier; he was constantly smiling as if not seeing what he caused! It had only been a week and it was certainly one week too much! The brat had only been once at their house, since that doomed sleepover, but Ivo apparently had seen him more than just that once. What did they do when they were alone? Misha wasn’t sure if he wanted to know. It was just too sick with their age difference!
And Misha was quite sure that it was just sex for Ivo, of course it had to be, the brat was a brat, intelligent conversation with him? Impossible! But then coming home that one time and seeing the two whispering to each other, sharing quiet snickers as if telling deep secrets… Talking… Misha wasn’t sure which bothered him more, that the relationship was simply based on sex, or that it was in danger of becoming something deeper than that.
But wasn’t Ivo always just talking about how good Joni looked? It had to be just sex… talking to Ivo seemed useless though, he just didn’t want to listen… It was only a matter of time before the brat would come and spend another night at their house and… Misha simply hated the idea and he wasn’t sure how long he could take it anymore, how long could he watch the odd pair from the side.
And then, next Saturday evening, they were supposed to spend time as a family, like they used to, just three brothers together watching films, perhaps having a beer or two, just a normal, quiet evening at home, just what they all needed.
Ivo had gone out to rent the film, he and Dima were seated in the living room, Dima was reading, he was flipping through TV channels, waiting.
”Have you tried talking to Ivo?” Misha asked after staying quiet for sometime.
”Hm… I’ve tried but… he always seems too busy to listen and Joni as well…” Dima muttered and sighed deeply.
”Perhaps we could try and talk to him tonight, you know, get him relaxed first, then talk some sense into him.”
”Hm… yes we could try that,” Dima nodded.
”I think-” Misha was cut off by the sound of the door opening, which could only mean that Ivo was back with the film.
”I’m back,” they heard Ivo’s voice just as Misha had predicted. ”And I brought somebody with me!” It made Misha open his eyes with alarm. NO! Not again!
”I hope you…” Ivo entered the living room, keeping a huge plastic bucket full of popcorn, smiling brightly, happily, with a tingle of evilness in it. ”…don’t mind, I thought we could spend a nice evening, the four of us?” Misha wondered if Ivo was indeed stupid; couldn’t he see that every time that they spent time, just the FOUR of them, there were problems?!
”Uhh…” Misha made a gruffly noise, but remained on the sofa; if they wanted to sit there, they would have to sit separately!
Joni stood by Ivo’s side, and greeted them both with a smile. Only Dima greeted him back, though not sounding all too happy about it.
”Hnn,” Misha just made another sound, not really able to bring himself to greet the brat and he looked away.
”I thought our parents brought you up better, Misha. Saying ’hello’ won’t kill you. You always complain that he’s behaving like a brat but right now it’s you who’s all stupid and bratty.” Ivo corrected him, speaking in Russian, which he did rarely if they had a guest, who couldn’t understand.
Misha sent him the coldest, most condescending glare he could make and without looking at Joni, he muttered, ”Hi.”
Joni almost snickered at Misha’s behavior, but managed to keep himself from doing so. He gave Ivo a knowing glance before making his way towards the couch and since Misha was seated right in the middle, he had no other choice but to take a seat next to him.
”I know you’re not happy to see me here, but we could at least try and get along, right?” Joni said to him.
Why should he try? Misha wanted to stubbornly ask, but then Ivo sat next to him, placing the bucket of popcorn on his lap.
”Try to say otherwise and you’ll regret it,” he said in Russian, smiling softly as if he hadn’t just threatened Misha to … ”Dima, can you turn on the film?” He asked their youngest brother in Finnish and then gave another meaningful look at Misha. ”So … how’s it going to be, Misha? Are you going to start to be civil with Joni?” Instead of giving him an answer, Misha took a handful of popcorn and popped it in his mouth. Hah!
Joni felt the familiar grip in the bottom of his stomach when sitting so close to Misha, breathing normally had never proven to be so difficult and he tried to will himself to stay calm, make himself comfortable and not be affected by the familiar smell of Misha’s cologne. He was perfectly at ease, at least this was what he told himself, but his heart was beating rapidly and when he reached to take some popcorn from the bucket placed on Misha’s lap, he even noticed his hand trembling slightly. Mentally he wanted to hit himself, why couldn’t he stay focused? What was wrong with him?
Misha’s lap… he wondered… his thoughts once again escaping to direction where they shouldn’t have… He brought the popcorn in his mouth and tried to focus on something else.
Joni’s wriggling was driving Misha crazy, especially when Ivo was getting more comfortable and by doing so pushed him even closer to the brat! And then Joni groped popcorn from the bucket on his lap!… it was… well… he should stop doing it; all this wriggling and popcorn groping!
”What’s… the film?” He asked, trying to stay calm.
”A comedy, they recommended it so I thought why not? The mood has been a bit dark lately at home,” Ivo took a handful of popcorn, too. ”You know, why don’t we trade places? So that I sit closer to …” before Ivo could finish, Dima, who had gotten the DVD into the player, sat between him and Ivo, making it even tighter on the couch! The traitor! Misha thought to himself, feeling the warmth of Joni’s body against his side, making him very aware of him and he could also smell the cologne the brat was wearing, was it the same he had worn that night? Suddenly he felt nervous or something akin to nervousness.
”Are you uncomfortable?” The brat asked then, when he tried to somehow make himself feel…less nervous.
”No,” He muttered. If he said ’yes’ Joni would move somewhere else, most probably on Ivo’s lap. And Misha didn’t want that! ”I’m all comfy like that,” He added.
”Well, that’s good,” Joni nodded and leaned back slightly resting his head on the headrest for a while. He suddenly felt at a loss as to where to keep his hands, suddenly his arms seemed like two extra limbs with nowhere to put them. Joni turned his face, so he could get a glimpse of Ivo.
”Ivo,” he whispered, catching his eyes. ”Are you comfortable?” He grinned at the man, who instantly grinned back.
”It’s a bit … constricted here,” he answered Joni’s question and then keeping the same smirk he suggested, ”How about making it a bit less tight for the others?”
”I think it would be best for everyone,” Joni nodded and carefully stood with a small; ”excuse me” given to Misha. He walked over to Ivo and seated himself on his lap, wrapping his arms around his shoulders.
”There. More room for everyone,” he smiled.
Misha threw a poisonous look at both of them and made himself more comfortable on the sofa, well making it only an outside look, inside he was anything but comfortable. Dima was also huffing with barely hidden anger.
And Ivo didn’t even seem to notice! Instead he just rounded Joni with his arms, smirking, brushing his lips against his neck as if wanting to taste! It was… disturbing!
Misha couldn’t concentrate on the movie, he just couldn’t, he tried, but… The anger was getting unbearable; he wanted to grasp the brat from Ivo’s arms and… He gave another look at the pair; he wanted to… he didn’t want Ivo to touch Joni! He wasn’t supposed to be touching Joni like that, he didn’t have the right! Why? Because… Because Joni was too young and because…. Misha had to pause again, Joni… the brat! That freaking brat! His breathing was turning dangerously uneasy; it would reveal him, surely…
”I’ve had enough!” Dima finally snapped and stood up having seen a trying kiss that Ivo had planted in the lips of his friend.
”He’s my school friend and that’s fucking sick that you’re dating him! Or touching him! Let alone sleeping with him!” Dima was angry; it was rare for him to raise his voice like that and…
”Dima…” Joni said slowly, surprised as well… Of course he had known that Dima wanted them to stop, but for him to get mad like this…
”It’s alright Joni,” Ivo said with calm voice, ”I understand Dima how you feel, but…”
*Oh, do you? You’re fucking my school friend, you, my freaking guardian! Just how do you imagine I feel??* Dima had switched to Russian, leaving Joni puzzled as to what he said.
”Joni, let me go talk to Dima…maybe it’s time to let him know.” Ivo whispered so that only he could hear him and Joni nodded carefully, getting up from his lap.
*Okay, Dima, can I talk with you for a second?* Ivo asked, standing up.
*I want you to break it up with him, will you?* Dima asked, folding his arms over his chest. Ivo sighed tiredly, seeing Misha’s keen interest in their conversation, waiting for his answer.
*No, I’m sorry Dima, but I don’t want to do that.*
*He’s too young, Ivo… You should listen to Dima and not think with your…dick…* Misha said then, glaring at him and then giving a brief look to Joni who was sitting there looking very much confused.
*All I can say is that I’m sorry you feel that way, however, it’s my life and Joni’s life, if he is okay with this it’s all that matters. Besides, this isn’t very polite or considerate for him…talking in his company without him being able to understand.* Ivo said, looking at Joni as well, then back to his brothers. *With that being said…* Ivo took a pause, ”Joni, go and get your coat, let’s go someplace else, obviously these two find our relationship too difficult to swallow.”
Joni stood up, looking hesitantly between his friend and Misha… at least it seemed that Misha was jealous? But at the same time he didn’t feel comfortable with Dima’s anger. Nevertheless, he decided to stay quiet and do what Ivo had told him.
*I won’t accept it.* Dima told him firmly, *I think it’s wrong; you’re just using him…*
Ivo gave a long look at his little brother, and then at Misha, who looked back at him, but didn’t say anything.
*Think what you will… But this is my life and my choice.* He muttered and walked into the hall where Joni waited.
”Where are we going?” Joni asked.
”Out,” Ivo told him, putting his coat on, ”let’s go.”
”Dima didn’t take it too well,” Joni said while they were seated in the car heading towards the town.
”No, he didn’t, he thinks I’m using you…” Ivo told him, staring at the road, with a serious expression.
”I’m sorry… Maybe we should stop this; it isn’t worth spoiling your relationship with your brothers.” During this one week, Joni had begun to care for Ivo, as one would care for a friend and he didn’t want to complicate his life for his own selfish reasons.
Ivo glanced at him.
”Hey, I knew what I was getting myself into, Joni… Misha is on the edge of admitting his feelings. I just know it and Dima… Well…” Ivo sighed; in truth he didn’t feel comfortable with Dima thinking that he was only using his friend. ”Maybe… we could tell Dima, the truth?”
Joni was silent for a moment.
”Tell him that it’s all for Misha… to tell him that I… like Misha?” Joni spoke out loud as if tasting the words in his mouth; he stared out from the window. What would Dima think? And what if… what if Misha would refuse him after all and then Dima would know and… how could he face him again? How could he face all three of them? And where did all this insecurity suddenly come from?
”I don’t want Dima to be angry at you because of me.” He decided then. He had really grown to like Ivo and he knew it must have bothered the man to be accused of something he wasn’t really guilty of. The man smiled at him.
”Let’s get some coffee and send a text message to him, I don’t know if he’d answer either of us if we would call.”
Dima, I’m not really having a relationship with Joni, at least not the kind you think we’re having. We haven’t slept together, but you mustn’t say anything for Misha, ok? This is all a cover up, you know how stubborn he can be and the truth is that he has feelings for Joni. I’ll talk to you later, and remember; not a word!
”Okay, it’s sent,” Ivo told him, putting his phone away. Joni nodded and took a sip of his coffee, already wondering how he would explain everything to Dima. Would Dima ask questions? Why this entire act? Why hadn’t he told him before? And… Joni didn’t know how to answer; he couldn’t even answer himself. He didn’t know why, why did he want Misha? When had he started caring for him this way? He didn’t know.
And what scared him the most, was that Misha hated him, that he would never mean anything at all to him. When did it change? When did he become important to him?
Joni looked around at the coffee house, the sound of the front door opening drew his attention and to his surprise he saw Kasper entering. It was just his luck; he thought when their eyes met for a brief second.
”Is something wrong?” Ivo asked, noticing the sudden change on Joni’s face.
Joni looked at him, shook his head and turned his attention back on his coffee mug. Ivo frowned, looked around and saw the boy that Joni had dated earlier. He was with some girl, both dressed in black walking towards the front counter.
”Joni… wasn’t he your boyfriend? The one who was at our house that one time?”
”Yeah,” Joni replied shortly and took another sip of his coffee.
Ivo was quiet for a while, again looking toward the other boy, whose face seemed even paler than before, whose eyes looked almost haunted and… the boy who was repeatedly stealing glances of Joni and him.
”What happened between you two?” Ivo asked, studying Joni’s face. They hadn’t even greeted one another.
”I broke it off.” He told him, shrugging his shoulders as if to say that it was no big deal.
”What happened before it?” Ivo asked, sensing something else that was not told and again Joni just shrugged his shoulders, remaining quiet. ”Joni?”
”He was an idiot.”
”Hm… can we leave?” Joni asked, seeming suddenly uncomfortable on his seat.
Ivo nodded and stood up with him. He glanced once more at Kasper; it seemed obvious that the boy still had some sort of crush on Joni and the break up might not have been so easy on him?
They were soon seated in the car.
”Joni, what happened?” Ivo asked, having no intention of starting the car before he knew. Something seemed to weigh on Joni’s mind and he was quite sure that it was something more than just Misha and their plan.
”You’ll say that it’s all my fault too.” Joni muttered, not looking at him.
”And what would that be?” Ivo asked calmly, Joni didn’t answer. ”Hm… did you sleep together? Kasper and you?”
”I take it as a yes… so… you slept together and you left him and now…”
”He didn’t stop, ok?” Joni snapped, crossing his arms on his chest. ”I know you think it’s my fault too… oh evil Joni broke little Kasper’s heart and made him miserable. Of course I’m the bad guy, because I don’t want to talk to him, even though he claims to love me. I am who I am and I am to be blamed, right? For everything…I shouldn’t have…” Joni’s voice trailed off.
”Joni…” Ivo looked at him with concern, ”what do you mean he didn’t stop?”
Joni shrugged his shoulders again.
”I didn’t like it, it hurt… I asked him to stop, but he didn’t… It’s not like he didn’t hear me, he did, but once it’s in, it doesn’t matter, right?” Ivo frowned.
”Did he rape you?” He asked a bit tensely, feeling a sudden rush of anger going through him.
”No…” Joni shook his head, ”…I don’t know… I don’t know what to call it, but… I don’t want to call it with that word… I didn’t like it, he didn’t stop… I shouldn’t have gone there in the first place, I never felt that way for him, I knew it, and I don’t know why I did it… Or I do… and still don’t… I know it doesn’t make any sense.”
”He did wrong; he should have stopped no matter what. When someone asks the other to stop, then the partner must do this, it doesn’t matter if it’s… already in or not.” Ivo placed his hand on Joni’s shoulder. ”Joni, I want you to remember this… And it’s good that you told me.”
”It’s no big deal…” Joni muttered, ”I’m not scared by it or anything… I-”
”But it does bother you, doesn’t it? Or at least it has.” Joni was silent and Ivo lowered his hand.
Joni gazed out from the window.
”I’m not proud of myself, if that’s what you mean.” He finally said, glancing at Ivo. ”If I could make it so that it would have never happened, I would… I don’t want… I want him to stop looking at me, I want… I don’t want him to think that he loves me, or say that he does, I don’t believe it’s real… I would just want to move past it, but I can’t because he’s there, at school, staring at me and looking as though something was broken and I don’t want that responsibility. It… irritates me.”
”Have you talked with him?” To this Joni shook his head.
”He’s tried to talk with me… but… I don’t want to talk with him; I don’t know what to say to him. I’m feeling angry…. angry that…” Joni sighed with frustration. ”I don’t know…” he shook his head then. ”Everything is so confusing.”
”You have the right to be angry at him. It’s perfectly logical. We should be able to have control of our body’s, or what’s being done to them… Maybe he didn’t mean to harm you, he is human after all and sometimes we make mistakes. It doesn’t make it right, but I think for both your sake, it would be good if you’d talk… In the long run, it’s best that there’s nothing left unsolved in out past that could haunt us later.”
”Perhaps…” Joni nodded, thinking about it.
”Also…” Ivo started, wondering if he should stay silent about it, Joni could take what he wanted to say the wrong way and…
”Well… The thing is… You’re a very handsome boy, Joni, as I’m sure you know…” Ivo started a bit awkwardly, which made Joni smile, curious and flattered. ”…it’s easy to lose one’s head over you… but also… there will be lots of men willing to take advantage if given the chance… so I’m… Just be careful Joni… What you think is innocent flirting can be taken as an open invitation and…
”So you are saying that it is my fault.” Joni’s voice took an annoyed tone.
”No!… No, Joni, it’s not what I’m saying, just that some people’s logic works differently, unfortunately this is not a safe world, nor an easy world, I want you to be careful, because I know what kind of people are out there and you… attract attention…So just for your own safety, be careful of how you present yourself and what kind of company you’re at… ok? I’ve seen a lot, I like you and I want to see you growing up, be careful.”
Joni wasn’t sure what to say, but he knew Ivo was right, he remembered the night at the club and the man who had gotten him the drink that had drugged him. If Misha hadn’t been there, or if he wouldn’t have cared enough to… Whatever Misha’s faults were, at least Joni knew that he had cared enough to go look for him. If he hadn’t… Joni didn’t want to think of it… even the word; rape, sounded so gruesome, evil…something final, something to stain you for the rest of your life. Rape was something that happened to others, not to you. What Kasper had done, wasn’t bad enough for him to label it as rape, he wouldn’t want to deal with something as bad as that. He would talk to Kasper, talk and settle things between them, once and for all.
”So what is this thing with you and Misha?” Dima asked when they were waiting for the first lesson to start on Monday morning.
”Um…” Joni still didn’t know how to answer.
”You like him?” Dima raised his eyebrow, ”strange…” he shook his head with a grin on his face, ”and I thought you couldn’t stand each other! How blind I was!” He chuckled and Joni watched his friend with surprise. He wasn’t bothered with it? ”Oh! That night! When Ivo had the party, you were there… I saw you the next morning and you said you slept in my room but… You slept with Misha!” Dima looked at him, ”you did… I was wondering why my bed was so neat and… This explains so much! Misha is such a hypocrite!”
Joni just blinked, Dima seemed amused now, not angry, not weirded out, not…
”I must say that I’m relieved.” Dima nodded then, ”I was thinking you were out of your mind! Both of you! Dating Ivo! He’s soooo old!” Dima grinned at him.
”He’s not THAT old…” Joni felt the strange urge to defend him.
”He is if YOU are DATING him!” Dima nodded. ”Four years of age difference is definitely better than fourteen! Though are you really sure? I mean about Misha? I mean most of the time he acts as though something is biting him in the arse. And he really is a hypocrite, Joni, sleeping with you and then… I should be angry at him, really.”
”Dima… it’s…” Joni wasn’t sure what to say, ”…he does annoy me, he is by no means perfect and I’m not really sure why… I just…” He sighed.
”It’s okay… I won’t say anything to Misha… but he is freaking blind, isn’t he?” Dima nodded. ”But hey… if you really start dating him… well, don’t forget that I’m your friend too, not just Misha’s brother, ok?” Dima poked his arm. Joni grinned at him.
”Of course I won’t, even if it would end with a world war three with me and Misha… you’re my pal… And it is quite likely for that war to start, isn’t it?” Joni laughed, ”so I really must be out of my mind.”
”Perhaps… a little… but I will take no sides, should such a war be created, I’ll do my best to stay neutral. And I suppose I can start visiting you at your house then.”
”Oh well thanks a lot, Dima, for the trust.” Joni grinned, glad to have his friend back.
”Anytime.” Dima grinned back.
Joni had been meaning to talk with Kasper, but he wasn’t at school that day, nor the next day; Eva told Dima that he was sick, but also expressed her worry for her friend, she said he hadn’t been himself lately, which made Joni worry even more.
The previous day Kasper really had seemed quite depressed and then seeing him at the coffee house, what if… could he do something stupid to himself? Joni wondered, starting to worry about it. He definitely wouldn’t welcome such a feeling of responsibility and guilt that it would cause.
So on Wednesday afternoon he decided to go over and see him. When he rang the doorbell it took almost forever before the door was opened, just before he was getting ready to leave.
”Oh, it’s you…” Kasper looked at him, tilting his head.
”Can I come in?” Joni asked carefully, the other boy looked at him, smirked and shrugging his shoulders he turned from the door, leaving it open. Joni stepped in, unsure, he watched as Kasper slowly made his way towards where his room was; should he follow him? Before disappearing around the corner, the boy turned back to him.
”What’s the matter? Are you afraid?” He smirked again, raised his eyebrow and continued his way.
Joni felt annoyed, afraid? Of course he wasn’t. So he kicked his shoes off and silently followed. The music was loud, German rock, dark and noisy; the house seemed otherwise empty.
When he stepped into the room, he found the other boy sitting on his bed looking at him, his face almost indifferent and yet somehow strangely amused.
Only now Joni could smell the booze on Kasper’s breath, the air in the room was stifling and it was … messy… It made him want to keep some distance from him.
”So, you wanted to come up here and see if I have killed myself for you?” Kasper asked bluntly.
”You seemed so depressed; you haven’t been at school…” Joni said standing near the bookshelf. Kasper gave a crooked smile at him, ”and…” he looked around the room, ”you’ve been drinking,” he said when his eyes settled to a bottle of vodka on the corner of the table.
”Oh yes, so what?” Kasper asked.
”Well… it’s school tomorrow and…”
”You don’t need to pretend that you care, Joni. After all, you only really care for yourself, right?”
Joni was beginning to get annoyed.
”I came here to make peace with you! I came here to tell you that I’m sorry, I was quite harsh on you, I realize that now, I realize that I could have done things differently and it wasn’t perhaps entirely your fault, though what you did was wrong… ”
”Not entirely, huh?” Kasper asked, ”Why did you really come here Joni? Did you finally grow a conscience? Or perhaps this is what your new boyfriend is doing? Did he encourage you here? To talk to me? Did you tell him what happened? Did he kiss you and make it alright?” Joni gave him a puzzled look. ”It’s a shame that Dima is straight, isn’t it? Then you could go through all three of them, but now, you only have to settle for the two oldest.”
”Just what are you suggesting here?” Joni asked, frowning at him.
”Is it another one of your games, Joni? A game to make Misha jealous? This time by sleeping with the eldest brother as it didn’t work with me, did it? And perhaps as a bonus, you’ll manage to break Ivo’s heart as well?”
”I’m not playing any games!” Joni snapped.
”Really? Are you not?” Kasper asked standing up, he was smiling again, turning the music down a bit ”I think you are, in fact, I know you are. Oh I was warned about you, but I didn’t listen, I foolishly believed that maybe, if I was nice to you…” Kasper walked closer, ”…you’d be nice back. I was wrong. Do you think that Misha could ever like you? Do you think that he could ever love you?” Kasper asked, Joni could do nothing but stare at him. ”Well?” With Kasper getting closer, the reek of alcohol filling Joni’s nostrils, he backed away.
”He does like me,” Joni answered then, feeling confused and uncertain, he didn’t like this feeling, not at all. ”He wants me.”
”If he does, then why are you with his brother and not him?”
”I don’t have to explain my life to you, as I said; I came here to make peace with you, but obviously I shouldn’t have…” Joni turned towards the door, Kasper grasped his arm.
”Misha is too good for you, Joni… Sure he fucked you, when given the opportunity; I bet you flirted with him like you did with me… Oh and I’m sure there’s not many that would refuse if you so willingly offer your body for them… but it’s just that Joni, at the end of the day, what else do you have to offer?”
”Stop it Kasper, you’re acting like a drunken fool… you’re just…”
”Jealous? Or perhaps I just finally opened up my eyes to what you are; a slut.” Joni tried to pull his arm free. ”
”I don’t have to listen to this!”
”I got what I wanted from you, Joni, so did Misha… and Ivo? In the end, when he’s dipped his dick in you enough times, he’ll get bored with you as well… Face it Joni; you’re a slut! A whore… Does it get you hard; being fucked by those Russians? … Do you wish that they both would take you at the same time? I bet you do…” when Joni pushed him away, Kasper still managed to block his way out of the room.
”Are you scared?” He taunted, ”uuh, not so tough without your friends, are you? Our perfect model boy scared of the geeky fag?”
”Kasper you’re drunk… just drop it…” He made another attempt to walk past the other boy, but was again stopped and Kasper was still grinning. Joni didn’t want to admit it, but he was scared.
”Oh what is the drunken fool going to do Joni?” He continued to tease him, took another step closer which in turn made Joni take another one back.
”Stop it Kasper, or don’t you understand the word stop?” Joni asked, almost bitterly now.
”Perhaps I don’t, or perhaps I just don’t care when it comes from you, because from you, no can mean yes and stop can mean continue.”
”You’re… crazy, and drunk.” Joni brought his chin up, ”when I say stop I mean it and no does mean no.”
Kasper smiled again, in a way that was creepy and unnerving. Joni didn’t want to stay anymore, he felt uneasy now. He tried again to move past the other boy, feeling somewhat trapped when with every move that he made, Kasper followed.
When Kasper made a sudden move forward, Joni jumped back and the drunken boy laughed.
”Oh this is sweet, you really are afraid of me.” He grinned, but his grin disappeared soon and turned serious. ”Do you think that I-?” Kasper started, looking at him, not finishing his question.
”Kasper… I… I just want to leave…”
”Why did you come here Joni?” Kasper asked again.
”I already told you,” Joni replied, he had been prepared just what to say to Kasper, but it had all gone to hell the moment he had stepped into the room. Kasper reached out to brush his face with his fingers; Joni shuddered away from the touch.
”What Misha sees in you, is only this; pretty face, sexy body… to him it was only one night of sex. You are spoiled, vain…” Kasper looked up and down at him, sneering as he looked at his face, ”a whore in making…” He whispered,”That’s right Joni, a whore! That’s what you are.” He repeated with a cold voice.
It did hurt him, hearing it like this, hearing it for the first time. For a while Joni couldn’t find his voice, he felt speechless, he wanted to say something equally hurtful, but nothing came to his mind.
”Fuck you Kasper!” His voice sounded almost bitter and worst of all; hurt.
”No, fuck you Joni,” Kasper sneered, ”and I’m sure many men will.”
Joni shoved Kasper away, hurrying towards the door and numbly Kasper stared after him, leaning against the table and with a loud bang his door slammed shut.
Wearily he turned, filled his glass and drank. There was a part of him that wanted to run after Joni, wanting to tell him that he was sorry, that he didn’t mean it, that he loved him… while another part felt some satisfaction being able to hurt him, just like he had done to him. Joni deserved that, a voice within him whispered, but why did it still hurt?
Web published: April 8th, 2008.
My Secret Shore