Disclaimer: This is a complete work of fiction that comes from my imagination.

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By: Tony


Starting Over



Chapter 12



For the rest of the day it seemed like I couldn't escape Nathan. In one way or another he was there. Either in my thoughts or physically right in front of me. I thought I could get some relief at lunch when I usually meet up with Cole in the library. I thought that the seclusion of the library and Cole's presence would make Nathan go away but apparently it had the opposite effect.

I had spotted Cole sitting at our normal table in the back of the library (for more privacy). I sat down across from him and he gave me such a bright smile that I almost forgot about how he ignored me while talking to Nathan.

"Hey, Matt," he said in a quiet voice.

"Hey," I grumbled back. I said, but I still was annoyed about how he acted earlier today.

"What's eating you?"

I stared at him for a second with an expression that said 'Really!?'."Like you don't know," I replied petulantly.

He scrunched his eyebrows in thought, "I really don't know, so why don't you tell me." His obliviousness was making me more irritated.

"The way you acted around Nathan this morning."

He just looked more confused,"The way I acted. You mean friendly?"

"No, I mean you ignored me." I was starting to sound like a bratty child.

"I'm sure I said Hi to you. Plus I was just trying to be nice to him."

I scoffed, "Yeah, a bit too nice if you ask me."then I imitated his voice, "Oh I think my family is from Germany." I said with a fake giggle. "What the fuck was that?"

He looked insulted, "Look I was being polite and anyways I thought he was your friend. You were showing him around after all."

I quickly jumped in, "No, no I wasn't showing him anything. He just made that up. He seems to do that a lot."

"Didn't he say you guys met in detention?" Cole asked.

"Yeah, what's your point?"

"Well see, he didn't make that up."

"Yeah but you don't understand, he's so weird and I think a little bit disturbed. He's--"

"Standing right behind you." I heard a voice said behind me and I physically jumped in my seat. I quickly turned around and Nathan was standing there with a big smile on his face, like he wasn't affected by my words at all.

I turned my head back to look at Cole's reaction and he had wide eyes and looked a bit mortified. Then he quickly looked at Nathan and tried to recover, "Matt didn't mean that, he was joking because he knew that you were standing there. It's a little joke we play on people."

Nathan walked to the other side of the table and sat down in the seat next to Cole and just stared at him for a second, like he had done to me in detention.

Then he spoke, "Oh, don't apologize for him Cole. I'm used to people talking about me. It comes with being the new kid." He just kept smiling, but it was a smile that looked strained and fake. However, Cole seemed to buy it because he smiled right back.

"So, what are you guys doing in the library during lunch time. Shouldn't you be in the cafeteria?" Nathan asked both of us but was only looking at Cole.

"Yeah, we've kind of been coming here instead of the cafeteria because we like more quiet settings and there's just a lot going on in the cafeteria." Cole replied.

I interjected, "Yeah and we really enjoy privacy." I emphasized the word 'privacy' as I looked directly at Nathan.

He turned to me with a dark look in his eyes, "Oh do you guys like to get up to things that are only meant for two people." He said all while staring me down. I felt uncomfortable and didn't like what he was implying.

"I don't know what you mean."

"Oh, I'm sure you do." He retaliated.

Cole broke the tension though, "So Nathan, where are you from?"

Nathan broke our eye contact and looked at Cole with a smile, "What do you mean?" he asked.

"Well you said earlier that you were new here, so I was wondering where you lived before."

"Oh, yeah I'm new to the school, not to the area. I had to change schools." He replied evasively.

"Why did you change schools?" I asked quickly, but then Cole gave me an admonishing look and I realized I shouldn't of asked that.

But Nathan seemed unaffected, as usual, "Oh, for some reason or another." Then he looked far off for a second.

"When did you start school here because I haven't seen you around before today." Cole asked.

"I got here about a week ago."

"And you already had detention?" Cole said quietly and then realized that Nathan had heard it. He looked guiltily at Nathan, "Sorry."

He waved his hand in dismissal and smirked, "It's funny that's what Matt said as well. And like I said to him, I have some issues of my own, but let's not dwell on it. Let's change the subject so that we can get over that awkward moment." He said with a smile.

"It wasn't awkward until you said it was," I muttered with an eye roll. I just wanted him to leave.

"Correction. This is the awkward moment. Let's just make it more awkward." He turned to look at me, "Matt why don't you tell us about your amnesia?" He smirked at me and I think I audibly growled.

"Nathan why don't you tell us why you're in detention after being at a school for a week." I said sarcastically. While Nathan and I stared each other down.

Cole just looked at our back and forth exchange, like it was a TV show or something. I wanted him to say something to diffuse the tension but he stayed silent.

"Matt, this tension we have is incredible. We might as well be an after school special. There's never a dull moment with you. That's why I like you. You keep me on my toes." Nathan said enthusiastically.

Finally Cole interjected, "Yeah, Matt can always keep you interested."

"I'm sure," Nathan said suggestively while looking between Cole and me.

Nathan's presence was really starting to irritate me. Then I had a thought, "Hey, why are you in the library during lunch?"

Nathan seemed thrown by my question but he recovered quickly, "I also like quiet spaces with privacy, so naturally, the library seemed like the place to go."

"Well maybe we should leave you alone so you can have some quiet time." I remarked quickly.

Then I felt someone kick me under the table and I look up to see Cole's angry eyes staring back at me. "Sorry Nathan, I don't know why Matt's being such an asshole today." Cole said while still glaring at me.

It unsettled me that Cole would so quickly take his side and not mine.

"It's okay. I'm new here and I've been having trouble meeting people. Then I saw you guys sitting over here and since you're the only people who are willing to talk to me-- I don't know. I just thought we could be friends. I'm sorry if I'm bothering you." I could see right through his fake sad front that he was putting on just to get sympathy.

But I could tell he had Cole in the palm of his hands. As soon as Nathan slowly motioned to leave Cole put his hand on Nathan's arm to make him sit back down.

"No, Nathan, it's no problem. You're not bothering us, really." Cole said while rubbing his hand comfortingly along Nathan's arm. His rubbing was reminding me of another type of rubbing and it made me furious that he was giving this type of affection to Nathan. "In fact, why don't you hang out with us today, after school. We were planning to chill at Matt's house and we'd love it if you would come." Cole said excitedly.

"Wait," I said quickly.

But my comment was trumped by Nathan, "Really? You're not just being nice?" He looked at Cole as he shook his head. "Well even if you were just being nice I've gotten worse things from people just being nice. Okay, I'll take you up on your offer." Then he looked at me and then back at Cole, "Oh, we should exchange numbers so that you can text me your address."

"Okay," Cole said and then pulled out his phone.

"Great," I said sarcastically. But again, everyone seemed to be ignoring me.

This guy is going to be a fucking problem.

_____________________________________________________________


We were currently sitting in my room in an uncomfortable silence. I was lounging on my bed, Cole was sitting on the floor leaning up against the bed, and Nathan was sitting in my desk chair looking at us expectantly.

"So... what do you guys normally do when you hang out together?" Nathan asked looking between the two of us.

We both hesitated since that was such a loaded question. Obviously we knew what we did together (which mainly consists of making out and heavy petting) but we didn't want Nathan to know that. Cole and I exchanged nervous glances.

Finally Cole spoke up,"Uh, well... we mainly do our homework, watch TV, talk. You know, the usual." he said while nodding his head nervously.

Nathan looks skeptical, "Oh, is that all..."

I jump in quickly, "Yeah, that's all." Then I looked at him still wearing his leather jacket inside. "Why don't you take off your jacket? You're indoors." I said impatiently.

Nathan looked at me curiously then replied with a quiet,"Sure," as he shrugged off his jacket. When he was pulling off the jacket his shirt sleeve rolled up on his shoulder and revealed a tattoo. It was black ink tattoo showing a cluster of flowers with a name scrawled at the bottom. It was so quick that I couldn't distinguish the name, but I could tell that the first letter was a 'D'.

Apparently I wasn't the only one who had noticed because Cole was looking at Nathan with a peculiar expression.

Then he asked, "Nathan, do you have a tattoo?"

Nathan looked caught off guard, as if he'd forgotten he even had a tattoo. "Yeah, I do ," he replied quickly while pulling down his shirt sleeve to cover it again. He looked uncomfortable...for once.

I wouldn't let him forget the subject that easily though, I wanted to make him as uncomfortable as he had made me.

"Care to explain the tattoo. It's kind of unusual for someone your age to have one." I pried with a smirk.

He looked at me pointedly like he was ready to challenge, "I got it to remember someone who was very special to me." Then he looked down, "Is that a good enough reason."

I suddenly felt like a dick. I could tell that the tattoo was personal to him, "Yeah, that's fine. I was just curious," I mumbled under my breath.

"Oh, and it's a very nice looking tattoo as well." Cole added, trying to diffuse the tension.

Nathan walked over to Cole and sat on the floor next to him. His mood seemed to change as he smiled at Cole.

He got right in Cole's face,"Thank you, but really, it's no big deal. I've actually got another tattoo as well."

"Really? Can I see it?" Cole asked innocently.

Nathan smirked and leaned in, "Well the other one is in a more... intimate place on my body. But if you play your cards right maybe you'll see it soon." He quipped with a wink and a smile.

Cole seemed caught off guard as he blushed and leaned back from Nathan. Meanwhile, I was seething.

Then Nathan stood up and looked at me, "Where's the bathroom?" He looked at me as if nothing unusual had just happened. Like he hadn't just flirted with Cole.

I just pointed out the door, "Down the hall," and he walked out the room without another word.

I instantly scooted to sit on the edge of the bed while Cole sat up on his knees facing me so that we could be almost eye to eye.

"What the fuck was that?" I ask as I sit there dumbfounded. "Yeah, I don't know. But I think Nathan might be gay."

"Yeah, no kidding. He was all over you." I said with jealousy seeping through.

He shook his head, "No, not because of that...well partly because of that, but mainly because of his tattoo."

"What about it?"

"Did you see the name on it?" I shook my head, he continued, "The name was Daniel." he said enthusiastically as if he'd explained it all. Except I was lost.

"And?"

"And, he said that the tattoo was from someone very 'special' to him. And Daniel is a guy's name. So his special someone is a guy, which means he must be gay. This guy must be really special if Nathan got a tattoo for him."

"Cole we can't just assume that the tattoo is for a lover. Daniel could be anyone. It's just like Nathan to be so mysterious and vague about the whole thing. Also, if this guy is so special then why is Nathan constantly hitting on you?" I said in a huff.

Cole reached up and stroked my cheek to calm me down, "He doesn't constantly hit on me. It was just once and I backed away."

"Clearly you don't know when you're being flirted with." I grumbled.

"Oh is it happening right now." He says sarcastically.

"Whatever. Why did you have to invite him here anyway?"

"Because you were being rude to him and I felt bad." Then he pulled me into a kiss before I could object.

Before I could get into the kiss, Cole parted and sat back on the floor. And good thing he did because a couple seconds later Nathan walked back in and he wasn't alone.

"Look who I found in the hallway. Matt, you didn't tell me you had a model living with you." Next to him was my sister Christine. By the looks of it, she was basking in his compliments. That put me on edge.

"She's my sister and she's 14." I remarked sternly.

Then Nathan proceeded to put his arm around her shoulders. "Well, I know that she's your sister. I can see the resemblance, but she's obviously just a bit prettier than you. No offense."

First Cole now Christine, is this kid trying to get a beating. I quickly stood up from the bed, walked over to them, pried Nathan's arm off my sister.

"How bout you not touch my sister." I muttered while trying to get between them.

Christine looked embarrassed, "I don't mind, Matt. Your friend--"

"Nathan," he replied.

"Yeah, Nathan here was being very nice to me." Christine said proudly while looking at him starry-eyed. Geez, girls can develop a crush so quickly.

"Yeah, a little too nice. Nathan why don't you sit down." Nathan sat back in the desk chair but he wouldn't stop smiling at Christine.

When I finally got in her line of view so that she would take her eyes off Nathan, she noticed there was someone else in the room besides the three of us.

She turned to Cole, "Oh, sorry I don't think we've met."

He stood up, "Hi I'm Cole," he said to her as he half waved awkwardly.

But she looked shocked, "You're Cole... the Cole? Matt's Cole. Oh my gosh, how have I not met you yet!?" she gushed and I was mortified.

I thought she'd play it a little bit cooler than that and in front of Nathan no less. I quickly looked over at Nathan and he had a shit-eating grin on his face. Then I looked back to Cole and he looked wide-eyed and surprised.

Christine rushed up to Cole and hugged him. Cole looked so stunned he didn't even move his arms, he just stood there stiffly while she wrapped her arms around his body.

I finally moved into action. I pulled Christine off of Cole, "Christine what are you doing. You're freaking him out."

She smiled big and looked between the two of us. "I'm sorry, it's just, I've heard so much about you and you make my brother so--"

"Okay, Christine, time to go back to your room," as I was pushing her out the door.

"I was just going to say happy. He makes you happy." She squealed as I pushed her out into the hallway and then roughly closed the door.

I sighed with my back facing Nathan and Cole. Then I mustered up the strength to turn around and look at Nathan's reaction. I wasn't surprised when I saw Nathan with a huge smile on his face.

Nathan bounced up and stood in between us. "Oh this is just too good!" he exclaimed at he looked between me and Cole. "I knew something weird was going on between the two of you. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. But I should've known because whenever I stood too close to Cole or touched him, Matt would look all flustered. Oh how cute--"

I stood in front of a shell shocked Cole and looked sternly into Nathan's eyes. "Look, Nathan. What you know about us, doesn't leave this room. Got it," I emphasized each word by poking him in the chest with my finger.

But he didn't seem intimidated by my words at all, he just seemed amused. He had a mischievous twinkle in his eye that was infuriating me. I knew no good could come of it.

Nathan just pushed my hand away and wrapped his arm around my shoulder and then did the same thing to Cole with his other arm, so that he was between us. "Listen boys, there is nothing to worry about. I'm not someone to blab other people's business, I have self-control." He said while looking pointedly at me. "Look, I'm a very open-minded person. My motto is: love all the people. I don't care if you're gay. If anything, I think it makes you guys exponentially more interesting. For awhile I was almost believing that all you two did together was homework and watch TV. Trust me this is way better."

Cole was the first one to move out of his grasp then I followed suit. Cole still looked concerned like he didn't fully believe Nathan. He was wringing his hands and looking the epitome of worried.

Then he spoke,"So, you're really not going to tell anyone. Because we're trying to keep this a secret."

He smiled real big and cupped Cole's face in his hands, "Of course I'll keep this a secret. I think we could have a lot of fun with this--"

I cut him off swiftly and pushed him away from Cole, "Okay Nathan now that you know about our relationship. I can tell you clearly, to keep your fucking hands off of him. Got it."

He put his hands up defensively, "Okay, I see we're not too fond of sharing." He laughed a bit then saw my face and instantly got serious. "Okay, you're serious, I get it. I won't touch you're beloved anymore. For such a hot guy, you're really uptight."

"Maybe you should just leave."

He instantly got a dark look in his eyes, "You want me to go now that I know your deepest darkest secret. Oh Matthew, that's not very wise of you."

"What are you going to blackmail me?" I scoffed.

He quirked his eyebrow and had a devious look. "It would be in your best interest if you didn't piss me off too much. Staying on my good side would insure that no one finds out about you and your little boyfriend's relationship. Now, as I told Cole just a minute ago, I won't tell anyone. And I meant that, but I only like keeping secrets for friends. It's simple, isn't it. And we're all friends right?"

I was seriously about to knock him out but Cole could tell I was about to do something stupid and he stopped me by jumping in between us.

"Yeah Nathan, of course we're all friends. We would've never invited you if you weren't our friend. Right?" Cole looked hesitantly at me.

I just muttered a, "Yeah," Nathan seemed satisfied with that response.

I don't know if he actually thought we were his friends or if he was fine with us pretending. Maybe in his twisted mind he thought that we were his friends even though he was obviously manipulating us. Either way, I didn't like his presence before, and now I really don't trust it.



To Be Continued....

____________________________________________________________


I hope you like it. This is a transition chapter so it's setting up to something else that will happen soon in the series. Hopefully this installment doesn't seem too short.

-Tony :)

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Tony

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