Life of Phoenix

Chapter 18 - A Dangerous Game

Current Time: Max's POV

“Gonna come to the charity game tonight?” It was a game against a team of teachers and their friends. It was our last game before our final tournament, so it was kind of a big deal. “You can see the coach finally play a game.”

Nix laughed at the idea. “Ya definitely, I just have to go to Student Council first. Elections are coming up, and they want to get the candidates.”

“Thinking of running?” He shrugged. “Lacey is the current President right? You'd be a shoe-in with her gone.”

With a sigh, Nix sauntered away from me. “Lacey has a friend wanting to run. It will be the death of me if I get in her way again. Wish me luck?” So you’re running? “Yes, Max you'll see my name on the ballot.”

“You've already got my vote.” I blew him a kiss before he turned around and started off towards his meeting. When I turned, I saw Ken and some others from the team coming down the hallway. I tried just to walk past them, but they stood in my way. “Excuse me.”

Ken pushed me back as I tried to squeeze through them. “You're not going to show up for the bus tomorrow. In fact, you won't be at school either.” The three of them tried to look as intimidating as they could.

“Is that a threat?”

Ken puffed himself up. “You better believe it is. You're bringing down the morale of the team, and we don't need you.” I glared at him. I'm bringing down morale? Hell if anyone is it's fucking these three anti-gay bigots.

“I'm going to the tournament. It's my last of my high school life, and I will be going.” I may be bigger than all three of them, but they could easily take me down together. “Now if you don't mind, I'll be heading to the gym now. Thanks, Kenneth.” Stunned enough to let me pushed by I left the three of them to be fucktards anywhere else. I'm so done with them, and I'm reporting this to Riley and Coach.

As soon as I got to the gym, I found Riley and Coach talking to each other near the gym office. I told them what happened word for word and they both had the same reaction. “God damn it.”

Riley kicked a chair. “Why does he have to be such an idiot? Both you and Ken are great players, and we can't go without either of you. With you two in a quarrel, to no fault of yours, we don't stand a chance.”

Coach nodded his head in agreement. “I suggest you put in someone else on the first line with Max here. He's done the right thing and Ken needs to know what he has done is not okay.”

“He's going to be pissed sir.” Riley isn't wrong; Ken will be pissed if he's pulled from the starting line. “There is going to be backlash.”

“Yep, I'm counting on it.” The Coach chuckled. “I just hope it's not anything that will harm any of my players. You guys are a family, and this is going to be some of your last time playing for the team, including his. If he knows better, he won't screw it up for himself.”

“Okay, putting in a grade 11 into the first line. I'll inform the team in the locker room.” Riley walked off clearly irritated with Ken. Just glad that Ken is going to get what's coming to him.


Oliver's POV

Lakota, Mom and I stood at the airport waiting for Joshie to land. His flight was paid for a whole month now. Moms are rude with their lack of plan making involving their sons. At least Joshie is coming to Canada now!

Lakota sat there watching me walk back and forth, being very impatient for Joshie to get here. “Just because you're pacing doesn't mean Joshie will get here faster.”

“Well, why not!? It should!” Lakota laughed at my expense. I just glared at him while I turned to the door to watch for Joshie. “When does the plane land?”

“About 5 minutes ago, if it was on time.” Mom spoke calmly. It made me squirm in excitement. “He's probably just getting off the plane now.”

“Or maybe I could be right here?” That English voice! “Hey, Oliver.” I couldn't turn around and embrace my friend fast enough. I picked him up and swung him around as he laughed.

“IT'S JOSHIE!!” I squealed with joy. “How were your flights?”

He spoke through his laugh. “They were fine. Security people escorted me everywhere. I felt super important. Please let me down.” I did as I was asked to and took a look at him in awe. My best friend from England was here in Canada!!! “I'm happy I'm here. Nice to officially meet you Lakota.”

Joshie offered Lakota his hand. “Good to meet you too.” Lakota smiled and shook his hand.

The next twenty minutes was spent waiting for Joshie's luggage and joking around. Lakota warmed up to him pretty quickly; it made me very happy to see. In no time it was like three brothers together. Mom was in for one hell of a time.

Luckily it was Friday, and I was having Lakota sleepover. I thought it would help him with the whole Joshie and I having a past thing. So far they have been getting along well and hopefully that doesn't change.

With Joshie getting here from England, the jet lag got to him about an hour after getting to our house. He fell asleep on the couch and was just snoring away. Lakota and I placed a blanket on him and went up to my room, so we didn't wake him.

“How do you like Joshie?” I asked Lakota as we got into snuggling position.

I placed my head on his chest as he spoke. “He's cool, seems like a cool kid. I've only known him for about an hour and a half, though.”

"Fair enough. So you want to hang out with him more?”

Lakota kissed my hair. “He's important to you, which makes him important to me.” I giggled and pulled myself close to him for extra snuggles. I'm glad they are getting along. That's super good.


Nix's POV

“You're doing what!?” Lacey almost screamed at me. I had just announced I would be running for class president and she seemed to be super mad about that. “You won't win gay boy.”

Ms. Payne spoke up real fast. “Lacey enough! I don't care if you don't like Phoenix but you will not make personal attacks on him or anyone else in this room.” Her words were as sharp and knives. “If Phoenix wants to run for class president, I welcome it. If Chelsea wishes to run so be it, hopefully, it will be a good campaign race.”

“Thank you, Ms. Payne.” We shared a smile between us.

“Is there anyone else wishing to run for class president next year?” There was silence in the room. Not a soul raised their hands. “Okay, Phoenix Russell vs. Chelsea Peters! May it be a clean race.”

Like that, the entire room dispersed and went their own way. I had just stepped out of the classroom when there stood Lacey and Chelsea together waiting for me. I tried to walk past them, but they moved so they would be in my way.

“Excuse me.” I continued to try and walk past, but they didn't budge.

Lacey pushed me back so she could talk. “You need to drop out. I've been showing Chelsea how to run this school, and you're not going to get in the way of that. So do some thinking and get out of the race, princess.”

“Is that all your majesty? Because I really need to get going.” I walked by them and started on the way to the gym.

I thought we were done, but Lacey yelled down the hallway. “You're going to lose if you run Russell. Get out while you can!”

“You don't threaten me, Lacey. Chelsea, I wish you luck and better friends.” I didn't even turn around and see Lacey's face. It was probably so furious that she would hardly contain it. At least that's how I'd like to imagine her face.

I made it into the gym just as the team came onto the court. Ken looked furious, and he had death glares heading straight towards Max. I wonder what the hell happened; it wasn't there earlier in the day.

When the game started it was weird; Max always had someone else blocking his passes, and that someone was on his team. It was hindering their gameplay too. It cost them a few points before Riley called a huddle. Ken ended up kicking the bench when he still hadn't come into play.

Max ended up near the bench trying to get the ball past the teachers. Just as he was getting into a good spot he fell to the floor. I had never seen him even lose his balance in any of the games, and now he's on the ground? This doesn't make sense.

He immediately got up and looks mad. “The fuck was that Kenneth!?” Ken got up, and they got into each other faces pushing each other back and forth.

The coach was right there between them splitting them up. “That's enough both of you. You're both done for today.”

“I haven't even been on the court!!!” Ken scream echoed through the gym. Riley stood beside the coach and didn't say a thing. “So much for having a best friend.” Ken marched off to the change room; two others followed suit behind him.

I got up and headed after Max who headed out into the hallway. I heard Riley mention that they weren't able to continue with the players they had. It made me stop for a moment before continuing into the hallway.

There was Max just outside the doors getting some fresh air. I walked up to him as he let out a sigh. “Why do they have to be such dick heads?”

“Because they are ignorant. They don't understand it, so they lash out against us. It sucks, I know, but people have your back.” I rubbed his back trying to get him to calm down. His back was all sweaty from playing basketball and was gross to touch, but it seemed to help him. “Can't play for the rest of the game... you can still watch, though.”

“I just want to head home. I'm just going to go get into street clothes; I'll have a shower at home.” He turned around and headed to the change rooms. “I'll be out in a few minutes.”

“Okay. I'll be here.” Since Max had gone to get changed into street clothes. I was left alone, but not for long. Lyric came out of the gym. “Hey you.”

“How's Max doing? Looked like he took a nasty fall.”

I nodded. “Ya, he's headed to the change room to get into street clothes. Should be out really quick.” Lyric gave me a little smile. “How was the game for you?”

“Well, I met a nice lad and got to know him a bit.”

“You already have your eyes on someone else? It's been like a week!”

She rolled her eyes. “Can't keep me down forever.”

Just then there was a commotion from the locker room. Scott came out holding Max's stuff, and right behind him was the coach with Max holding his left arm. He looked to be in pain and constantly swearing under his breath.

Scott came up to me letting Max pass by us. “Nix, Max will be fine just listen.” I tried to push passed, but he was stronger than me. “He's got a broken arm from Ken and some other guys. They are being dealt with and kicked off the team. We're not able to head to the Tournament now, though.

“Coach is taking Max to the hospital. You can come with me Nix; I'm heading there too.” Scott grabbed my shoulder and led me towards the doors.

Lyric called out as we were leaving, “Tell him to get a sweet cast for me to sign!” I wasn't concerned about the cast; I wanted to know he was okay. Why did he have to go into those change rooms alone?

As we were leaving, I could hear two people screaming at each other from down the hall. It sounded like a heated argument. When Ken turned the corner marching off, I knew what it was. It only took Riley following him to confirm it all. Ken was getting chewed out by his best friend and team captain.


Past Time: Max – Age 15

Like any young teenage boy left home alone, Max was roaming the internet. As a teenage boy, Max had found himself looking at porn while holding his member below. Max was watching a man on woman video and not getting into it.

His eyes were focused on one thing. “I wonder what it's like with two guys.” And a new search began. Max ended up on a gay porn site watching two guys going at it. His member had become the hardest it's ever been in his experience.

Right in the middle of his ritual Max's front door opened. Scott, who was invited over earlier, had finally shown up. Arriving a little earlier than when he said he would, he just walked in like usual.

“Hey, Max,” Scott called out to his friend in the living room. “What you up...” He got close enough to see exactly what Max was up to.

It was only then that Max realized he wasn't alone. “Oh shit!” He pulled up his underwear as fast he could. When he tried to pull up his pants but they kept getting caught on his legs. “For fuck sakes!”

Scott tried his best not to laugh at his friend's misery. Then the screen caught his attention. “You were watching gay porn?”

Max stopped his bad attempt at pulling up pants and stared at his friend. Petrified. “Please don't tell anyone.”

“Why would I? It's not for me to tell anyone.” That calmed Max right down. He finally managed to get his pants back on and close the video. Once he finished clearing his internet history he turned to Scott. “So you're gay?”

Max shrugged. “I don't know; it did more than the straight stuff for me. I guess I'm at the very least into guys.”

“Okay, that's cool.” Scott shrugged it off as if it was nothing. Max stood there stunned. “It's not like that changes who you are Max. It just means you could find yourself marrying a guy one day. Have you ever done stuff with a guy?”

“Sorta... My friend Phoenix and I did some stuff before.” Max stood there embarrassed; his face turned a bright crimson.

Scott put the puzzle pieces together in his head. “Wait, you mean 'Nix'? The kid in the grade below us?” Max nodded. “I didn't know you two were friends. Do you two hang out at all?”

“Not anymore really. Ever since I started high school we sorta just stopped.” Scott stared at his friend with thinking eyes. “Are you ever not thinking about something?”

“When your parents split up... that's when you stopped hanging out with Phoenix.” Spot on Scott called his friend out. Max was noticeably affected by the comment. “Why don't you hang out with him?”

Max slouched down into his seat. “I don't want Phoenix to see me like this.”

“Like what?” Scott found a piece he couldn't connect.

Max sighed. “I live with my mom; Cooper lives with my dad. He doesn't know, as far as I know. I've basically excommunicated him for no reason, and I can't bring myself to undo that.”

“So you're just being a selfish dick.” Max nodded in agreement. “Well I won't make you talk to him, nor will I talk to him. My advice, don't cut the innocent out.”

Max rolled over. “Can we just go out and play ball or something. Serious talk is making this less fun than it should be.”

“Ya, sure.” Scott and Max headed out and moved on from their conversation. That didn't stop Max from thinking about it all day. It didn't even stop him from dreaming about Nix that night.


When he saw Nix next at school, he wanted to go over and talk to his old friend. Just couldn't bring himself to it. Frustrated with himself he headed outside and kicked the school wall.

“Why is talking to Nix so tough!?” Max whispered as he felt a tear roll down his face. After a punch to the building, he headed off away from the school, alone.

Chapter End.


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