LbN: This was the winner out of the Covenant fics on the poll. Happy reading!
Tyler closed his locker and dropped his swimming medal into his backpack. Slinging it over his shoulder, he scanned the hall Reid.
A group of girls were walking toward him. The one who spoke walked up to hug him.
"Hey Amy," he said, smiling. "You going home for the weekend?"
"Yeah, I need to go shopping. Plus my parents want to see me."
"That's cool." An arm wrapped around Tyler's waist, and he turned to see Reid. "Hey Reid. Tell them about the party," he said, grinning.
"It's gonna be off the hook!" Reid said. "We're thinking Grammy's meets prom minus the tuxes and dresses."
"Sounds awesome," Amy said. "Let me know when you have details."
"Sure thing," Tyler said. He waved as she walked away. Smiling at Reid, he said, "Possessive much?"
Reid stuck his tongue out at him. "You're a complete chick magnet even though you're gay. I'm just keeping the swarm away."
Tyler laughed as they got into his car. "Are you still coming over tomorrow?"
"Yeah. We've got major planning to do for your birthday!"
"First I've got to clear it with the parents," Tyler said.
Tyler's parents were the youngest of Ipswich and one of the youngest in all of the families. They were happy, and indulgent, and didn't feel the need to discipline at all. Thus, when Tyler straightened his tie and walked down to dinner with them, he was reasonably sure that they would be okay with his birthday party being in their backyard. He sat in the middle of the table and took a drink of water.
"How was your week?" his mom asked as she and Mr. Simms sat down.
"Fine," he said. "I finished my thesis draft. And I got my medal from the last meet."
"Good!" his dad said, passing the salad bowl to him. "We'll put it in your trophy case. Where's Reid tonight?"
"He's at his house. He's coming over in the morning. Or we might go out to Gorman's."
"Why are you going to Gorman's?"
"Just to say hi. We haven't been out there since Pogue ascended. We're planning my birthday party."
"What do you have in mind?" his mom asked.
"I was thinking…maybe I could have it here? Just outside, by the pool?"
"How many are we talking about?"
"That's what we're deciding tomorrow. Not too many."
"What do you think, Annalise?" his dad, looking across the table at Mrs. Simms.
"I think that would be okay," she said. "So long as we don't have hundreds of kids running around the house. And no alcohol—I don't want the cops coming for us."
"We'll keep it together, promise," Tyler said, laughing.
The rain started that night. Around 10:30, Tyler's butler knocked on his door.
"Young master Garwin is here to see you," he said.
"Thanks Alfred. Show him up please." Tyler smiled at his butler. When Mr. Simms had first told Tyler that he was to have his butler, Tyler was a seven-year-old comic book fan, & his only requirement had been that his dad find someone named Alfred. The man had been with him ever since. "Hey," Tyler said when Reid came in a moment later. "I thought you weren't coming until tomorrow."
"Dad's using again. I didn't want to be around it."
They played video games in the loft for about an hour before getting ready for bed. Tyler's head was splitting as he slid into bed next to Reid. He flinched when Reid clapped to turn the lights off.
"What's wrong?" Reid asked.
"Headache. I'm fine." He kissed him. "Goodnight."
Tyler walked through the woods. It was one of the lesser known paths of Ipswich, but he'd been here before. It was weird, everything looked different. The trees looked smaller—younger. He looked around and headed toward the town. He walked about a mile when he came to a clearing. He stopped dead. Across the clearing there were three people, each tied to a tree. He ran to them. Taking out his pocket knife, he cut through the chicken wire that was holding Reid to the small tree. "Reid," he said, catching his boyfriend as he fell.
"You have to go," Reid said weakly. "You have to leave. They'll find you."
"It's going to be okay," Tyler said. "I'm going to get Pogue and Caleb down, and then I'll heal all of you."
"You have to run," Reid said.
Before he could do anything else, he was pulled away from Reid. Two men, dressed in Pilgrim clothes, slammed him into a tree that was facing the others. Some more villagers were tying Reid back and splashing him and the other two with some kind of strong smelling liquid. He struggled, feeling the chicken wire cutting into his skin, as two men brought torches forward. A minister was reading from the Bible. They set the trees on fire, and came to him. Someone dumped a bucket of the oily substance on him. It ran into his eyes and the cuts in his skin and burned. He could still vaguely hear the minister in the background. A man thrust a torch into his stomach. He screamed.
Tyler opened his eyes. He was tingling all over, and sweating. He saw his dad looking down at him with concern. "Reid," he croaked finally. "Where's Reid?" He struggled to sit up and looked around, eyes wide.
"I'm right here," Reid said, sitting next to him.
Tyler pulled him into a hug, still breathing hard.
"What's wrong?" Reid asked softly. "What happened?"
"You were shaking all over," his dad said. "We couldn't wake you up."
Tyler explained the dream to them once he'd gotten his breath back.
His dad was quiet for a moment. "I'm sure it was just a nightmare," he said finally. "Do you feel okay?"
"Actually, I feel fine now," Tyler said, surprised. "I had a headache when I went to bed, but now it's gone."
His dad gave him an odd look for a moment, but simply ruffled his hair and said, "Sleep. I'm sure it's nothing. Good night boys."
LbN: Hope you liked it! Send reviews!