“What?” He raised a brow and shook his head. “Peter, what is going on with you? We’ve changed together before– we’ve even showered together, or have you forgotten? Why have you been so weird the past few days?”
“Just do it,” Peter insisted, spinning his finger in the gesture that meant ‘turn around.’
Even though he didn’t understand, Bayani did what his boyfriend wanted, and twisted his body around on the bed in order to avert his eyes. Peter rushed to get out of his Type O Negative t-shirt, and was in such a hurry that he managed to get his arms twisted in the black cotton. As much as he was trying not to make a sound, he gave a small grunt while he worked the clothe off of himself.
It was that sound that made Bayani wonder what was going on. Even though he knew Peter didn’t want him to, he turned back around to look at at him. What he saw made his eyes widen, and he jumped up from the bed and rushed over to his side.
“What happened here?!” he flustered, nearly laying his hand on the left side of Peter’s abdomen, but stopping himself just in time.
“I told you to turn around!” Peter reminded him, refusing to answer the question.
It was a bruise. Wide and purple, the edges yellowed, it spread out from his side towards his front, wider than a fist. Bayani worried that it came from several. Bayani’s mind went straight to the only thing he imagined might have caused such an injury.
“It was those bullies, wasn’t it?” he asked Peter.
Peter only glared at him, clearly upset that his wounds hand been discovered. He refused to say a single word about it.
“And what about this?” he added, going up to the upper part of Peter’s right arm. The mark there was almost completely faded, but it had obviously once been a bruise. “This one is old enough to be from that time you were avoiding sitting to close to me. I remember the way you avoided me. Do you have any other marks on you?”
Peter stared into his eyes, and Bayani could tell– he could not have explained how– that he wanted to say something, but was too afraid.
“Do you know one good thing about being in Summerlay, Peter? The bullies can’t get you here. Now explain what these bruises are from.”
Bayani waited only a moment before adding, just as Peter was opening his mouth, “And don’t say it was football. I know you avoid contact sports like the plague.”
“Fine,” Peter grumbled. “The coach made me play soccer.”
“Quit lying,” Bayani told him. “You’d rather have a zero for the day than kick the ball around. That’s why they let you enroll in swimming instead. What did they threaten you with to keep those handsome lips of yours sealed?”
“They didn’t threaten me,” Peter said. He back fidgeting with the shirt to figure out to get it on.
Bayani grabbed his hands and held him still. “They really managed to make you lie, though. Just tell me the truth. It’s about time they get expelled, and we got an order–” “They threatened you,” peter told him, the words just as sudden as a lightning strike.
“Me?” Bayani replied. “They never even– oh…”