Thursday, November 13, 2019
Simon Lewis had his life cut out for him, well as much as it can while in high school as a seventeen-year-old junior.
"Thanks for the money fag," Casper Sterling said shoving his backpack at Simon's chest, a wad of cash of his allowance doing chores in his hand. Belinda Bell and his stupid gang of friends were smirking behind their leader, and Simon had remembered back then when his friend Jon Cartwright had smirked that same smirk back when they were a freshman and just entered high school as Simon's personal bully. Now the two of them were the best of buds and was part of his wonderful group of friends that he made with Clary.
The thought of his friends finding out that Sterling and his gang had taken his snack bar money that he earned was going to be a disaster, and that Jon, Jordan and, Jace were going to be very pissed off.
"I'm pansexual," Simon grumbled, "totally different sexuality to insult."
"What did you say." Casper made a fist about to punch Simon, who closed his eyes ready for the strike of the punch, clutching the backpack close to his chest tightly, that the knuckles of his hand turned white. When the punch didn't come, he opened his eyes and they widened at what he saw in front of me.
"I don't think so." Raphael Santiago the resident school somewhat lone wolf and crush since middle school had Casper's fist in his hand, blocking the punch, covering Simon's body from view. He then punched Casper square In the face, causing him to knock into Belinda who caught him in her arms
"Come on," he took Simon's backpack and took his wrist, dragging them away from the scene before Casper reacted to hit back until they reached the sidewalk where a Harley Davidson was leaning. They arrived and Raphael smoothly got on the motorcycle. "Get on, " he said.
Simon blinked. "You want me to get on that?" He had never been on a motorcycle before, and especially not on a Harley Davidson that was clearly from 2010 since it wasn't like the ones owned by his schools more well off students.
"Get on, Simon." Raphael sighed, starting the up the Harley.
Simon's mouth had made an o. While he had English with Raphael, he never knew Raphael knew his name. He put the backpack on and got on behind him, feeling uncomfortable and very shy to wrap my his arms around his waist. Though he did anyway when Raphael made an impatient noise, and the experience was bliss, his chest was instantly warm by he pressed himself up in against Raphael and hold on tightly as they drove onto the road.
It had only taken them just ten minutes to get to Simon's house by 8:10. The lights were on, so he knew his mom was back from work. Simon then noticed that Hodge's red Honda was parked on the sidewalk, which meant he was back from his therapy sessions today.
Simon got off the Harley and turned to Raphael who was leaning on the handlebars and just now noticed what the teen was wearing; he was wearing a dark red hoodie underneath an expensive-looking black leather biker jacket with expensive designer washout, faded dark blue jeans and dark blue Yeezys with gold lining.
Simon felt out of place wearing his Made In Brooklyn T-shirt with a thin jacket and ratty jeans with holes at the knees.
"Thanks for the save and ride back there," Simon said leaning on the balls of his feet.
"No problem, any time." Raphael smiled, a curl of hair imperfectly resting on his forehead, Simon thought about pushing the piece of hair back and blushed at his own thought.
"Which means what?" Simon asked, looking around instead of Raphael.
"Which means," Raphael emphasized, "that I can be your bodyguard whenever you want me to beat up those assholes for you if they bother you again." He stared at Simon with a serious look. "Is that okay with you?"
Simon blinked dumbfounded and nodded without even paying attention to what he was agreeing to until it was too late when Raphael said "see you at school" and started the Harley and drove away.
Simon followed his retreating form until Raphael was out of sight and groaned. "Dammit, Simon really," he hit his head with his fist, "You can do nothing but nod, stupid." He sighed and went to walk up the steps to the door getting out his keys, sliding the key into the slot and turned it, the lock clicking and opened the door.
There was something good cooking in the kitchen as Simon came in closing the door and locking it. The delicious scent made his mouth water.
"Mom! Hodge! Nora?" Simon called, putting his keys on the hook by the door with the other keys lined up belonging to the members of the household.
"Hey, Simon," Hodge Starkweather, his mother's boyfriend came out from the kitchen, wearing a basic white t-shirt and jeans. "Dinner will be ready in ten minutes. I just made tuna casserole, cooked fried chicken drum sticks, and bread rolls slathered with butter."
"Yum," Simon said. "Where's a mom? Nora?"
"She's asleep in her room, Nora's finishing up her science project," Hodge ran a hand through his blond hair, looking tired. "How was school."
"School was cool," Simon shrugged nonchalantly, though inside he was feeling the thrum of remaining adrenaline that was still existing through his body. "I'm going to get changed for the night, I'll come down to finish my homework."
"Good," Hodge said nodding, though his body language was hesitant and a concerned uncomfortableness on his face. "You okay, son. You look pale."
Simon waved away the concern. "I'm fine, my stomachs a little queasy."
"Well, you should get some rest before dinner." Hodge voiced his concern, the worry clear in his eyes.
"Yeah, I'll do just that." Simon turned to walk up the stairs but stopped at the third step. "Hodge." He turned back to the man.
"Yeah?" Hodge had a curious expectant look on his face.
"Thanks for taking care of my mother." Both Hodge and Simon smiled.
"My pleasure Simon."
Before Simon got ready for dinner, he opened the door to his mom's room very quietly to quickly check-in on her. Elaine Lewis was blissfully curled up on Hodge's side of the bed, wearing black yoga pants and a pink tank top. Simon smiled at the peaceful look on her sleeping face and noticed her hand placed gently on her second-trimester belly.
Simon closed the door softly and quietly. He then went to his soon to be step-sister Nora's room which was at the end of the hallway that was next to Rebecca's room. Opening the door, since Nora never locked her room only for a good reason, he found her at her desk finishing up her shoebox Solar System for Science class and had on her blue over-ear headphones listening to a make-up tutorial on Youtube.
Kenickie; named after Kenickie Murdoch from the movie Grease Nora's dog, a Golden Retriever and German Shepherd mix, was sleeping at the end of her bed on top of her Pixar Toy Story covers. Simon smiled and closed her door quietly behind him.
Simon then quickly came in his own room changing out of his clothes throwing them into his Star Wars R2-D2 laundry hamper, getting out of his shoes and socks off. He then climbed into the shower, glad that each room in the house had their own bathroom's.
He set down his glasses on the shower dish soap holder with a handle that was part of the wall of the inside shower.
The muscles in his back tensed than relaxed as the warm water from the showerhead washed down over his body, wetting his hair and washing away the dirt from between his toes. Simon sighed as he reached for the light green loofah, wetting it, and the shower gel, powering the gel on the sponge, then lathered the now sudsy loofah around his whole body, his genitals, and butthole. He then stepped under the showerhead, the suds washing away. The steam of the shower was somewhat stuffy but Simon felt it very calming and sorted through the events that happened today through his mind.
Before Casper and his gang suddenly threatened him into giving them his allowance money he was hanging out with Clary and Isabelle at the bakery and coffee shop Angel Delights after school, then they went their separate ways. Clary and Isabelle went to her house for a sleepover, and him walking down the sidewalk away from the opposite direction, minding his own business until Casper and his goons jumped him in the alleyway behind the small laundry mat Simon goes to do laundry himself because there were things that even a mother shouldn't find when her son is sexually active with his underwear. Where also he found himself being ten minutes ago by Raphael from getting punched. The shock of the whole thing was still running through his veins and then Simon found himself shivering violently.
Simon twisted the handle turning the shower off. He then winced when a burning sensation appeared on the underside of his arm, imagining what it must have felt like for the Hogwarts Students as I Will Not Tell Lies appeared on their arm by the Black Q that they used to write the sentence down on paper revert back to them.
Simon looked down rolling his right arm to the side where the sting was and choked at what he saw on his arm, black words like ink was on his arm that was like a slap on the face.
Simon's heart skipped a beat in intense palpitations and his stomach filled with butterflies.
His "crush" was his soulmate.
Well, this is interesting and terrifying.
Raphael looked up from his copy of One Thousand and One Nights at his butler Alfred Pemberton, a tall man at 6'4" with slicked-back graying, blond hair and handlebar mustache holding a folded paper.
"What is it, Alfred?" Raphael sighed setting the book on the coffee table.
"A letter to you from Master Bane." Alfred gave the young man the paper.
Raphael sighed this time in exasperation, mumbling his breath "what does that despicable old man want," he flipped the paper and found it was a letter, the contents in it had him feeling a sense of dred deep in his stomach.
Dear, nephew, I have found for you to be the fiancé of my fellow business associate and my business rival's daughter Camille Belcourt in holy matrimony.
Unless you are in a relationship you are not out of this union or so help me I will cut you off from the luxuries I have given you and my son Magnus.
Do not disappoint me, Raphael Ortiz Santiago.
Y our dearest uncle, Asmodeus Bane.
"That bastard," Raphael hissed throwing the letter into the burning fireplace, "Setting me to be engaged to that demonic bitch that broke Magnus's heart."
"What will you do, master Santiago?" Alfred asked.
Raphael did not answer, instead, he watched the flames trying to collect his thoughts then an idea popped in.
"I have an idea."
Simon woke from his slumber at someone shaking his shoulder.
"Simon, Simon." The voice of his mother sounding gentle in the quiet room. Streaks of morning light washed his room in a golden sheen. The feel of something furry on the end of his bed nudges his feet. It was Cleopatra the cat."
"You're going to be late for school."
Simon stretched his arms above his head, grunting at the cracking sound coming from his back and yawned, "okay, I'm up."
"What's this?" Elaine asks taking her son's arm with his soulmate bond.
Simon froze. He forgot to wear the long-sleeved white sweater with his school's emblem on the front with the mascot Dave The Dove on the back that he was planning to sleep in. Instead, he was wearing a simple Calvin Klein black t-shirt and boxers that his friend Julie Beauvale gave him for Christmas last year. He must have very been out of it last night yesterday when he was going to bed.
"You got your soulmate," Elaine says sounding excited, "I'm so happy for you."
"It's nothing really," Simon says trying to act nonchalant taking his arm from his mother's firm grip.
"But this is great." Elaine insisted. "Having your soulmate is an honor."
She was right about that. It was an honor; Everyone in the whole world had a soulmate: either one of the same-sex and the opposite sex, non-binary, the transgender, queer and everyone involved in the LGBTQ community, heck even Drag Queens had their own soulmates. The soulmate bond thing first started with the Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks and so forth to the whole world as white people and black people and every one of skin color had they're own. Having a soulmate was like puberty, where you are fully growing into a person you're going to be as an adult, and in soulmate terms, you're going to be a different person when in life they're soulmate make you better.
"So who's this Raphael Santiago boy?" Elaine asks gushing like it was a casual thing she always did when it came to anything remotely involving anyone he might like. When Simon had come out as pansexual, she became a potential life partner matchmaker. It was quite embarrassing. "Is it that Raphael from middle school you have a crush on."
The heat appeared high on Simon's cheekbones. "Mom, I have school we're not going to talk about this now."
"Okay, we'll have to talk about this after school then." Elaine declared in a final way, giving Simon her 'you're not getting out of this' look. Simon was so busy talking at the moment that he hadn't even noticed what his mom was wearing this morning. She was wearing a maternity shirt with Pikachu on the front wearing cheap store-bought glasses without the lenses and a black, white polka dot necktie with the words Professor Pikachu above the cute Pokemon that Nora had helped her pick out on their maternity clothes shopping spree and sweatpants. His mother was rocking the pregnant mom thing. He suddenly wanted to say how much he loved her.
"Hey, mom." Elaine poked her head inside. "I love you."
Elaine smiled. "I love you to sport."
Simon nervously fiddled with his bangs self-consciously using the mirror on his door as he did a clothes outfit check. He was wearing a turtleneck with a t-shirt over it that said I AM Hilarious and jeans. He'd seen Raphael wear stylish turtlenecks all the time in the cooler months of November through March. This day was different than all of his eight years of crushing on Raphael, this day was different because he was trying to impress the guy who saved him from getting punched or worst beaten up until he was battered and bruised, it was kind of like those clichés of the damsel in distress saved by her knight in shining armor, her prince charming. It was pleasant and made his stomach flutter.
"You look fine Simon let's go." Nora was leaning on the door jamb of his doorway wearing a Goonies t-shirt and her yellow puffer jacket with a hood and her boho bag across her body with an impatient expression on her face. Her shoulder-length dark blonde hair was pulled up into a simple ponytail and was wearing contacts today. Cleopatra the family black cat was at her feet. The funny thing was that Nora and Hodge were the only blonds in this soon-to-be meshed family and people always still mistaken them as siblings. While Nora did have the quirky Lewis look to her, she looked like Hodge but with blue eyes.
Simon blushed, putting on his jacket zipping it up and picking up his rucksack from the hook on his door. "Right sorry. Where's your project?"
"In the kitchen. Hodge's making breakfast." The other thing about Nora is also her relationship with Hodge. As a sperm donor baby, it was a habit for Nora to call her biological father by his name or just by dad and it has been this way since she was two.
They arrived at the kitchen smell of syrup, french toast, eggs, bacon, and toast that was set on the dinner table. Hodge was pouring his coffee from the pot with Elaine sitting next to him drinking her blackberry tea.
"Good morning." Hodge greeted pouring a second coffee mug for Simon who took it thanking him.
"Good morning." Simon smiled taking a sip of the black coffee and grimaced. He took the sugar putting two spoons full and four creams and stirring. Nora filled both their plates with eggs, bacon, two waffles, and five sticks of French toast.
"Did both of you get a good night's sleep?" Hodge asked opening the morning newspaper, taking the comic strip section and set it on the table.
While most teenagers would wonder why some people still read the newspaper Simon always felt like they were an everyday normal early 2000's step-family, who's soon to be step-father reads the newspaper, mom drinking tea, little step-sister laughing at comic strips, a brother eating his breakfast, older sister coming home soon for Thanksgiving, and Mystery gender baby kicking mom's stomach once in a while. A nice and happy family full of love and new beginnings this year.
"I did," Nora said shoveling eggs in her mouth. "Before bed, I had milk, a granola bar and chocolate pudding for a late-night snack."
Elaine tried looking stern but failed as she loved Nora as her own. "Don't indulge yourself in food at night young lady, it's not healthy."
Nora looked slightly guilty. "Sorry, momma."
Elaine looked pleased. Since Hodge and his mom had been dating, Nora had taken an attached interest in everyone and had gotten closer to Elaine, and looked up to her as a third mother figure. Since they were going to get married on December 25, Nora had gotten to the habit of calling Elaine, momma.
The family sat in a comfortable atmosphere as everyone talked amongst each other, Simon and Nora laughing over the newspaper comic strips, and Hodge and Elaine talking about getting a mobile crime for the baby for a few minutes until the sound of a car honking drew the family's attention.
"Jace and Clary are here." Simon finished the last bite of waffle and shoulder his rucksack.
Nora took the last bite of her eggs and picked up her science project from the counter her boho bag already with her.
"You have a nice day at school." Elaine smiled as both Simon and Nora kissed her cheek.
"Be safe," Hodge said taking a sip of his coffee.
"We will," Nora said following Simon.
Both soon-to-be step-siblings went out the door and walking toward Jace's sleek black Lamborghini. The thing was fucking expensive even for the very well-off wealthy Lightwood family. Simon had been slightly unsure about Jace when Clary started dating him since he was an arrogant bad boy but after spending three months together at his and Clary's usual table with their group, they started slowly becoming friends. Though to say Jace was still arrogant and liked to playfully tease him was an understatement.
"Hey, Simon." Clary greeted Simon with a smile as both he and Nora got in the car closing their doors putting on their seatbelts. Nora put her shoebox science project on her lap and her boho bag was on the ground at her seat.
"Thanks for taking me and Nora to school while my van is getting repairs," Simon said. His van that his friend Eric gave him as a birthday, had broken down on his way to school with Nora and both had to walk to school the rest of the way that day. The van was getting repairs done at his friend George Lovelace's grandfather's car garage repair shop and he would be getting it back today.
"No problem," Clary smiled, "hey you feeling confident you'll get an A," she asked looking at Nora.
Nora put on a determined confident face. "I sure hope I do."
"That's the spirit kid." Jace encouraged turning on the radio where the Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow" was playing.
Simon stared at his friends with a smile, while Nora was playing a racing game on her phone in relative silence as both Jace and Clary talked. They were holding hands as Jace had his other hand on the steering wheel. His mother Elaine who worked at the DMV would have scolded the blond if she found him doing so. Both of them were so in love that Simon was envious of not having anyone to share that with. He wanted what his father and mother and now Hodge had together.
"You okay dude?" Simon snapped out of his thoughts to make eye contact with the worried eyes of Jace in the rearview mirror.
"I'm okay." He shrugged nonchalantly looking out the window breaking contact.
"Okay." Clary shared a worried glance with Jace and Nora narrowed her eyes.
They arrived at school in record time but Jace was having a problem with finding a parking space in the front since some of the students took some good spots making the parking lot crowded.
"Can't the rich all fucking park anywhere else," Jace grumbled finally sliding his car in a space between a Toyota Corolla and Tundra.
They all got out of the car. Jace, Clary, and Simon went to the gate of the high school while Nora went to the gate of the middle school toward her friend's at the stone step stairs science project in hand.
Simon had noticed Casper Sterling's gang standing around each other near the table bench's so he pulled his hood up in order to not maintain eye contact, following Jace and Clary up their very own school stone steps, not noticing Raphael's group, especially Raphael watching the scene unfold and sending wary looks at Casper's gang.