A meteoric rise

by TheMuscleMaker

Whilst fleeing from their trio of bullies, a group of four friends stumble across a very big (and very strange) discovery. A tale of love, revenge, betrayal and (of course) massive growth ensues.

Added: Nov 2021 1,455 words 4,869 views 4.5 stars (4 votes)

A

As he sat staring through the car window at the storm clouds gathering outside, Ben couldn’t help but feel the incoming miserable weather was fitting, given the equally miserable day he’d just endured. Standing at a respectable six feet tall with a solid, if a little chubby, frame at 20 years old he could hardly be considered small—not that this deterred the resident trio of bullies at his university from seeing him and his friends as an easy target. Today had been particularly rough, ending up with him being sent home early with a black eye and busted lip for attempting to stand up to them.

Zac, the leader of the group, was an imposing figure standing no taller than Ben but with considerably more muscle and a passion for throwing his weight around. James, Zac’s long time right hand man, was about a head shorter than Ben with a distinctly average build and a talent for provocation, confident that Zac would be there to step in to defend him whenever he crossed a line. Calum, the final member of Zac’s exclusive clique, was tall, lean and athletic, stereotypically good looking and wildly successful with the ladies with an insufferable ego to match.

Not a day went by where Zac and his gang didn’t make a target out of one of their classmates, and today it was Jack. At only 18, Jack was the quintessential twink, smooth, slim, flirtatious and, much to Ben’s delight, his long-term boyfriend.

A soft knock on the passenger side window shook Ben from his mindless self-pity. Reaching to unlock the door, Ben saw Jack standing there, tears still rolling down his face, also sporting a bust lip. Seeing his love hurting and knowing he couldn’t prevent it made Ben’s anger swell once again as Jack climbed into the car and broke down in his arms.

“I’m so sorry, Ben, I didn’t mean for you to get hit,” sobbed Jack, reaching out to stroke the bruises covering Ben’s face.

“Don’t be stupid, this wasn’t your fault. It’s never your fault, those assholes don’t need a reason to beat me up, they do it for fun anyway. I’d rather it was me than you, love,” Ben said softly kissing Jack’s forehead.

It was true, Ben would do anything to protect Jack, no punch could ever cause as much hurt as seeing his boyfriend in pain. Just as the two of them broke their embrace an almighty crash came from behind. Glancing at the rearview mirror Ben could see his two other friends, Daniel and Tom, sprinting out of the doors to their building followed closely behind by Zac and his crew.

Drive!” Tom shouted with a smirk on his face as both he and Daniel piled into the backseat of Ben’s car.

Not needing to be told twice, Ben turned the ignition and put his foot down, glancing again in his mirrors and seeing the trio diving into James’s truck, maintaining their pursuit. Ben drove as fast as he dared, hoping to avoid ending up in two fist fights in one day, desperately thinking of the best route to take to get away from their tormentors who were following close behind.

Whooo!! That was awesome, did you see the look on their faces?!” hollered Tom. Tom was 21 and around 5’ 11” with a rugged build and messy, dirty blond hair and was the joker of their little group, always finding a way to draw more attention than any of the others wanted.

“That wasn’t funny Tom, they’re already out for blood today!” shouted Daniel, his face aghast “Look at what they did to Ben and Jack!”

Daniel was only 19 but had already established himself as the sensible, responsible member of the group and the complete opposite of Tom in terms of temperament. Despite Daniel’s continued protestations Tom continued to laugh his way through the conversation, thoroughly enjoying the chase they were now all involved in, much to Daniel’s annoyance.

“Would somebody please tell me what is happening right now? Why are they chasing us again?” demanded Ben as he continued weaving through town’s streets looking for an avenue of escape.

“Probably because they’ve got two weeks’ worth of detention after your little wrestling match in the hallway earlier whilst you two have gotten off free,” giggled Tom, gesturing towards Jack and Ben.

“Or maybe it has something to do with the not so anonymous tip-off you gave the principal about them cheating on all of their tests this year,” replied an exasperated Daniel.

“Ah well, doesn’t matter now does it! I suggest you put your foot down Ben, they’re catching up” Tom laughed.

There! Take that turning into the woods, their truck is too big to follow us through there…” yelled a terrified Jack.

Ben swerved sharply, joining the dirt track into the woods, glancing at his mirrors to see the truck still following.

“Uhhh any more ideas guys?” asked Ben as Tom and Daniel shrugged their shoulders “Hold on…we’re leaving the track!”

Ben turned sharply, leaving the dirt road and making for a small cut in the trees hoping that James’ truck would be too big to follow. The uneven ground below them shook the car and its occupants violently as they continued to speed through the narrow gaps in the trees…

“I think we might have lost them,” said Daniel, craning his neck to look out of the back window

“Keep going for a bit, just to make sure, it looks like there is a clearing up ahead anyway,” begged Jack.

Ben continued driving, albeit slowing slightly, listening for the characteristic low rumble of the trio’s truck engine until they broke through a small line of trees into a modest sized clearing. Shaking from the adrenaline Ben looked around frantically, checking for any sign of Zac and his thugs catching up to them.

“Well… that was fun. We should do this again sometime,” joked Tom. The comment was met with a stern glare from Daniel and little more than a look of disbelief from Ben, both of whom were too distracted to notice Jack had slipped out of the car and was walking towards the far edge of the clearing.

“Umm Ben, I think we should go after your boyfriend…” Tom said, pointing towards Jack through the windscreen.

“Oh, great, now look what you’ve done! As if he hadn’t already had a tough enough day to start with,” exclaimed Ben as he jumped out of the car before jogging to catch up with Jack.

“Ughh come on…” sighed Daniel, gesturing for Tom to join him in catching up with their two friends.

By the time Daniel and Tom had caught up, Ben held Jack in a tight embrace comforting the sobbing man. A flicker of guilt crossed Tom’s rugged face as he saw just how scared Jack had been.

“Hey, don’t get upset,” Tom said, trying to console Jack. “Look, it’ll be fine, we’ll ditch classes tomorrow and give them a chance to cool off, and then when we get back next week I’ll take the beat down. After what I did, they probably won’t even remember why they were pissed at you.”

“You know that’s not how it works, Tom, they’re pissed at all of us all the time!” shouted Jack, breaking his embrace with Ben. “They’re not just gonna leave us alone if you let yourself take a beating. Look at what they did to Ben today and they still chased us into the middle of nowhere!”

“Look, you’re right… okay? I get it, I’m an asshole and I probably shouldn’t have provoked them, but I’m sick of them doing whatever they want to us and us not being able to retaliate…I just wanted to strike back for once…” said Tom, moving in to hug Jack by way of an apology.

Suddenly, the clearing was lit up with a bright orangey-yellow light from beyond the treeline.

“Oh god, they’ve found us!” exclaimed Daniel.

“No, it’s not them. It’s too bright to be a torch and there’s no engine noise, so it can’t be headlights,” mused Ben as he broke away from the group to investigate.

The remaining three looked on with a nervous curiosity before Ben called out, “Uhhh…guys. I think you should come look at this…whatever it is.”

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