Billy couldn’t stop pacing his room. They were cooked. Burnt toast. For sure Daniel was going straight to The General and Colonel. He was probably on the phone right now.
Footsteps padded down the hall. They weren’t the familiar clomp of Daniel’s formidable gait but René’s smooth saunter. Billy dashed to his door and threw it open to René on the other side. There might as well have been a thundercloud above his head with pouring rain.
“He’s gonna tell your parents, isn’t he?” Billy managed to squeak out through the ball forming in his throat.
This couldn’t be happening. They were in love. Madly, deeply in love. They hadn’t fought after René had pulled the unthinkable last year. They’d been getting along perfectly. Naturally, what they’d shared had almost led to sex. That was what happened when two people were crazy about each other.
Regret and hopelessness loomed in René’s eyes. He reached out and drew Billy into his arms, smothering him with his familiar crisp, clean scent. Being blanketed in such a tender embrace was enough to expand the lump in Billy’s throat. He couldn’t stop the tears from welling up.
“Wh-why?” Releasing those words when he could barely speak was like trying to suck a boulder through a straw.
“You know why,” René whispered. He stroked Billy’s back and used his broad chin to nuzzle him.
“Wh-what’d he say?” But Billy had his answer already. He clutched René tighter.
“What I keep telling you. I’m eighteen. I’m a high school graduate. You’re fostering at my place. You don’t need to take advanced grade twelve algebra to figure this calculation.” Pure misery was in René’s limp reply.
Then if he didn’t want to see them come to an end, why not fight for them? Billy squirmed until he was free of René’s clinch. He set his palms on René’s biceps and bore down on his despondent gaze. “You’re eighteen. You can make your own—”
“No.” René shook his head. He trailed his finger down Billy’s cheek. “You know why we had to keep us a secret.”
Billy buried himself back in René’s arms. “Can’t you talk to him? Can’t you tell him to keep it quiet?”
“I can try talk to him, but I know already what he’s going to say, Billy.”