Mike straightened his tie.
"Are you sure you can do this?" His dad put a hand on his shoulder and squeezed it reassuringly.
"Yeah, This bastard deserves what ever he gets and more." Mike said firmly.
'Alex used to squeeze my shoulder like that. NO. You cant start thinking about him. You can't or you will just start crying again.' He scolded himself.
"Mike?" He snapped out of his reverie of the last time he held Alex by his dads voice. "Maybe we should just go home I don't think you're ready for this." His dad shook his head and looked towards the door.
"No dad, I need to be there." Mike straightened his tie for the fifth time and took a deep breath.
"Alright." His dad nodded reluctantly. They stepped into the courtroom and took a seat. Randall sat on the right side of the room with his lawyer next to him. He had a smug look on his face like he was proud of what he had done. Mike felt like punching the bastard in the face.
The trial went on as a normal one would. They asked questions, Randall answered questions. They questioned teachers and students. Most of which had never even talked to Alex. It was mentioned that he was infected and Mike saw several of the jury get a sick look on their face. Most showed no reaction at all though. One woman looked like she was about to cry.
They discussed the first attack on Alex. And many of the jury seemed to turn against Randall when they found out about the first assault. Mike looked around the courtroom and saw several people, some he didn't know some he did. It was then that he saw Ethan sitting in the back row. His anger flared and it took everything he had to not beat the living crap out of Ethan. He glared at him until he heard them announce they were taking a break for the jurors to make their decision. People stood and headed towards the restroom or to get a drink of water or countless other things. Mike kept his eyes on Ethan the whole time and followed him out of the courtroom. He could hear his dad trying to keep up behind him but was focused only on Ethan's form heading out the door. As the group of people thinned out it was easier to catch up with him. As soon as he was at arms length he grabbed his shoulder and spun Ethan around to face him.
"You piece of shit!" He screamed and pulled his fist back.
"Wait, please!" He threw his hands up to cover his face. Mike hesitated.
"Mike, dude, just wait please." Ethan begged. He winced, still preparing for Mike to hit him.
"Why should I? Did you stop when Alex asked you to? Did Randall wait before he pulled the trigger?" Mike yelled and shoved him with the fist that was holding the collar of his shirt.
"I never wanted that to happen. I really didn't, I swear. I never wanted him to die. I just.... I just wanted-"
"Wanted him to hurt? To suffer?" Mike interrupted Ethan's explanation.
"No! I was just.... I was just mad I don't know. I swear I never wanted him to die!" Ethan kept his hands up near his face, ready to defend against the blows he was sure would come. The rage left Mike in a sudden rush. He dropped his raised fist and let go of Ethan's collar.
"We were friends, man. What the hell happened?" Mike sighed and shook his head at Ethan. He leaned against the wall and sunk to the ground.
"How did it get to this. It wasn't even a year ago we were best friends talking about shitty teachers and hard homework." He put his head in his hands and sighed. He couldn't cry now. If he started now he would never stop.
"I swear, Mike. I never wanted anything like this to happen. I didn't like the guy. That doesn't mean I wanted him dead. I'm so sorry about what has happened." Ethan said honestly. Mike looked at him quietly.
"He was so beautiful. The sweetest, Most innocent, kindest guy I've ever met. It's one thing that hes gone. Its another thing that no one knew he even existed." Mike stood from where he sat on the ground and walked back into the courtroom.
They waited for a while longer and soon the jury came out and decided their verdict. Guilty. Randall was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. Mike saw Randall's face drop.
' The bastard actually thought he was going to get away with it.' Mike thought to himself. He knew Randall was arrogant but he didn't think he was that stupid. His lawyer sighed and rubbed took off his glasses to rub his temples. Mike thought it seemed that as soon as someone stepped into the courtroom their finger tips were permanently glued to their temples, rubbing little circles to try and relieve the stress.
The rest of the day went by in a blur. Mike remembered his dad bringing him home, and his mom trying to talk to him. He walked past her and straight to his room. He sat on the bed and laid down. He thought about the first time he had made love to Alex here. The time him and Ethan had sat on the bed talking about girls and doing their homework. After Alex had been beaten he had sat on this bed and hugged him while he cried.
So many things had happened in this room, his room. And now he was going to collage. Not with Ethan, not with Randall, and definitely not with Alex. All of his plans, and his dreams, were ruined. Everything had changed so fast. He hardly had time to adjust. His parents had suggested waiting a year until going to collage but he didn't want to get behind, he also didn't want to think to much about Alex.
Mike finished packing the last of his clothes and headed downstairs with his bag. The front door was open and he saw his dad packing his boxes into the back of their car. His mom stood in the drive way wiping away tears. Mike put down his bag and went to his mom. He gave her a big hug and kissed the top of her head.
"Mom, we're still at home. You have to at least wait until we get on the campus to start crying." He laughed.
"You know what I don't want to hear it. You've gotten to sit in your room and cry for months its my turn now." She wiped away the last of her tears. Mike laughed and hugged his mom again.
"I'll be fine, mom. I promise to call and come visit." Mike assured her. She let go of him and dabbed at her eyes with a tissue she had been holding.
They arrived at the housing office and Mike walked up to the woman at the desk She asked for his name and looked up his room number,
"You're roommate is an infected. If that's a problem we can change it." The woman said after looking at the computer in front of her.
Usually Mike wouldn't have cared at all, But now. What were the odds of him getting a roommate with bird traits? Could he handle that? Either way he couldn't ask to change it. That was just rude. How would the other guy feel when they told him his roommate didn't want someone infected.
"No, that's fine." Mike smiled at the woman.
She gave him his room number and he picked up most of his bags and headed up to find his room. Once he found it he came back down and his parents helped him move the last of his stuff in. After another bout of tears from his mom and his dad hugging him and wishing him good luck he managed to finally get to be alone.
His roommate hadn't arrived yet but he made sure to give him the side closest to the window. And left the top drawers open for his clothing. He looked around the room and began unpacking. He set up the posters of his favorite bands, and set up his movie collection, and his CD collection. He plugged in his laptop to charge and set up the rest of his stuff. He finished hanging up a poster when he heard his door open. He turned around and saw a man about his age standing in the doorway looking around the room.
"Hi, I'm Anthony." He smiled.
"I'm Mike." He held out his hand and Anthony shook it. He noticed he had long claws that tipped each of his fingers. The back of his hand also had a light dusting of fine black fur.
"I'm definitely thankful for being talonless." Alex's voice echoed in his mind when he saw the sharp claws. He winced and pulled his hand away from Anthony's.
"They did warn you that I was infected didn't they? I was hoping it wouldn't be a problem." Anthony looked uncomfortable.
"No its not that, I just remembered something. I'm glad we're roommates." Mike smiled. Anthony beamed.
"Cool." He set his bags down on the unmade bed Mike left for him.
Mike took a moment to look at him. Luckily he wasn't a bird. Mike didn't think he could handle that. He had short pointed ears on the top of his head that moved from side to side when he heard something. His eyes were bright yellow, thankfully not orange. And he had a few patches of black fur. Mike had to look closely to see he had small whiskers near his nose. When he turned to begin unpacking Mike saw he had a hole cut in his jeans so that a long black tail could swish back and forth lazily.
"So what are you exactly?" Mike asked. He thought it might be rude to just come out and ask like that but he had been so used to talking to Alex about his infection that it didn't occur to him to be shy about it anymore.
Anthony looked up like he was surprised that a non-infected would be so blunt about it, most tried to guess or assume.
"I'm a panther. Just a random change." he shrugged and continued unpacking. Mike turned back towards his things and quickly finished putting his clothes away and setting out various other belongings.
Anthony hummed and swished his hips to some unheard beat and Mike couldn't help but glance at the other mans slender hips. He felt his cock twitch in his pants and immediately felt horrible.
'Alex hasn't even been gone half a year and you're already thinking about someone else? How could you?' He yelled at himself and looked away to try and focus on unpacking.
"Are you one of those guys who likes complete silence while he studies?" Anthony asked suddenly while setting up his own music collection.
"No." Mike shook his head and thought of back when he and Alex would study together and get distracted by loving kisses or touches. They would tease each other for hours before they finally got into bed.
"Good, I like loud music when I study. I hope that doesn't bother you. If it does I can go buy some headphones once I find a job." Anthony said.
"It wont bother me." Mike shook his head.
"Cool, and There's one other thing...." Anthony looked uncomfortable again. "I'm gay. If that's a problem just go down to housing and tell them you don't want an infected as a roommate they will change it." He shook his head nonchalantly. Mike smiled sadly.
"It's not a problem, I'm gay." He said.
"Oh! Awesome." Anthony shrugged and plugged in a CD player. Mike was surprised he still used one. Most people just used YouTube or iTunes or something more....modern.
"So There's a party tonight. Are you gonna go?" Anthony asked.
"Classes haven't even started yet and theirs a party?" Mike was surprised. He knew this was a party school but didn't know it was that bad.
"Yeah I know. But it should be fun." Anthony put his clothes away, he didn't bother to fold them just shoved them in a drawer or two.
"I think I'll pass. I'm not much for parties." Mike said as he unpacked the last of his movies. He took out 'The blob' and remembered the night he and Alex had watched the movie. He ran his hands over the case and found it was still sticky from where he had spilled a soda. He sighed and put it on the shelf.
"Oh come on. I doubt someone as good looking as you doesn't like to party." Anthony laughed. Mike felt uncomfortable around Anthony.
"I'm more of a 'stay inside and watch bad movies' kind of guy." He smiled. He finished unpacking his last bag and pulled out the only picture he had of him and Alex. It was a day Alex had convinced him to go out to the park despite his allergies. They had had a picnic and laid on a blanket in the grass. They had fallen asleep and were woken up when a kid hit him in the head with a soccer ball. The picture was taken while they had been eating. Mike sat behind Alex with his arms wrapped around him. They both looked at the camera and Alex reached his hand back to stroke Mikes neck. They looked so happy together. That was a month before he had been shot. He carefully set the picture on his nightstand and wiped a bit of dust off the glass of the frame.
"Is that your boyfriend?" Anthony asked cheerily. Mike fought the oncoming tears.
"He was." He said simply.
"Oh... bad break up?" Anthony asked. Mike sighed heavily.
"He died." He didn't take his eyes off the picture. They both smiled brightly and you could see they were happy.
"Oh, damn. I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to bring up bad memories or anything like that." Anthony stopped unpacking and apologized.
"Its alright. You didn't know." Mike looked away from the picture and put his empty bags under his bed.
"What was his name? If you don't mind me asking." Anthony sat down on his bed.
"Alex. He was infected too. He was a northern goshawk." Mike remembered the first time he got to touch those beautiful wings.
"You two made a great couple." Anthony said and looked at the picture. Mike smiled and looked at it too.
"Damn straight we did." He laughed. It had been so long since he laughed the sound was unfamiliar to him.
"How long ago did he die?" Anthony got serious.
"Four months ago. He was nineteen." Mike stroked the smooth glass that preserved the picture. Silenced passed between them and Anthony looked like he wanted to say something.
"He was shot." Mike knew he wanted to ask and just got it out of the way. Anthony looked shocked.
"Why?" He asked.
"I ask myself that everyday." Mike said.
There will be more chapters soon and I hope this makes up for the last chapter of Wings of Gray. It will get better I promise don't mourn Alex's death for to long :) Keep checking back. And for those who are worried I just rushed through to get Ethan and Randall out of the way, i'm not quite done with them yet, so dont worry.