His Truth(6)

By: Riley Hart

Hell, Roman’s dad wouldn’t want him hangin’ out with someone like Leo either. He hated people like them. Said people like Leo’s dad tried to pretend they didn’t come from the same streets his father came from. He called people like Leo and his family soft, and to his father, that was one of the worst things you could be. Roman had seen him hurt people he thought were weak. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw the pain his father had inflicted…which was why Roman couldn’t let himself be anything but strong.

Leo’s dad and his had grown up in the same neighborhood. Both their grandfathers had been poor fishermen. Leo’s dad had wanted something better for his life. Roman’s dad didn’t give a shit. He always said people like Leo’s dad thought they were too fuckin’ good. He hated rich people, but he hated rich Italian people from his neighborhood even more.

And he didn’t hate anyone as much as he hated Leo’s dad, not just because they came from the same streets, but because now Leo’s dad was a fuckin’ judge. Not just any judge either. He’d once put Roman’s dad in jail. Roman knew because his brother dragged him to the courthouse with him. They hoped when their dad said he was raising two kids alone, it would help.

It hadn’t.

And that had been the first time he’d seen Leo. They’d been thirteen. They’d talked outside for a few minutes before Anthony came out and told him to get away from Leo. Pretty boy, piece of shit, Anthony had called Leo, and that time, Roman had listened, walking away from him.

But now, two years later? Now he didn’t. He followed Leo up the stairs. They curved. He’d never seen something like that. Why the fuck did the stairs need to curve?

“My room’s this way.” Leo walked down the long hallway. The carpet was perfect. There were nice paintings on the walls, and Roman hated himself for wondering how much they were worth. He could maybe sell somethin’ like that and make a shit-ton of money for his dad. He’d make him proud. He wanted nothing more than to make his dad proud the way his brother did.

Leo’s room was the last one on the left. It had double doors. Why did a bedroom need two fuckin’ doors?

They went inside, and Leo closed the doors behind them. Roman’s eyes wandered around the space. The bed was huge. He had a big-ass TV, video-game systems, and all sorts of other shit Roman didn’t have.

“Jesus, you’re fuckin’ spoiled.” He really needed to watch how often he took the Lord’s name in vain. His dad sold drugs, did drugs, stole shit, but they were Catholic and you didn’t say shit like that if you were Catholic.

“What?” Leo looked hurt, and Roman immediately felt guilty. Still, he didn’t take it back.

“If you think I care about all this stuff, you’re wrong. I’d trade it all for parents who gave a shit or friendships that really mattered.”

“Only a fuckin’ rich person would say stupid shit like that.” People got shot on the daily where Roman lived. Roman had seen it with his own eyes…had seen his father be a part of it. Leo was safe and sound in his perfect corner of the city.

“Screw you,” Leo replied. “Leave if you want to. I don’t care.”

But Roman didn’t want to leave. He liked Leo. Liked spending time with him. Liked… “I wanna kiss you again.” He wanted to show Leo he was good for something. Roman knew Leo didn’t like kissing his girlfriend nearly as much as he’d liked it the one time Roman kissed him.

“Okay.” He shrugged like he didn’t care. Did he really not care? Roman didn’t know if he wanted him to or not.

“Should we stand up or sit on the bed?”

“I don’t know. What do you want to do?” Leo asked.

Roman looked over at the bed with its crisp, clean blankets. It was at least a queen, maybe bigger. The pillows were fluffy and looked fuckin’ comfortable. “Let’s go to the bed.”

He walked over, ignoring the shake in his legs. He sat down, and Leo sat beside him.

“This doesn’t mean we’re queers,” Roman told him. He’d heard his father use that word too many times to count, each time with hate in his voice.

“Okay,” Leo replied.

He reached out and cupped Leo’s face, brushed his thumb over his bottom lip. Jesus, he liked touchin’ Leo. He was soft, like something new and perfect.

And now he’d not only have to worry about taking the Lord’s name in vain, next time he confessed, but kissing a boy too.

Roman leaned in, gently touching his lips to Leo’s. They just pressed their mouths together over and over for a few minutes, until he couldn’t hold back anymore. He slid his tongue past Leo’s lips. He tasted sweet, like the strawberry Starburst he’d had earlier.