Hey everyone. Last chapter of the four chapter week. Thank you all for the amount of support you've all given me with this new story. It's great to know people are really liking what I've written so far and I really appreciate what you've said so far.

Next week, I'm heading off to college. I'm not sure what it's going to be like posting for me next week, but I'll try to post on Monday and Thursday. But be aware, I may not be able to to post. Just keep that in mind. College is going to be a new experience for me and I'm pretty nervous for it. But I hope that I can do well.

Thank you all again. Here's chapter 8 of 'Could I Be...?'


Chapter 8

After a nice and relaxing Thanksgiving weekend, I'm about ready to head back to school with Zane. We mostly spent the break with my parents, Travis and Brandon, catching up on missed time. Zane and I even managed to get together a few times for a little...private time, which was incredible for the both of us (nothing more than oral).

Two hours sitting of sitting on a plane later, we walk back onto campus together and quickly arrive back at Florence Moore Hall, both of us exhausted after the flight. "You want to go out on a date tonight?" I ask.

"Sounds good, but I'm going to need a nap. Sitting on a plane really takes a lot out of you."

"I hear you. How about we go out into the town tonight instead of staying on campus? There are a lot of great restaurants that we haven't tried yet that seem good."

"Choose whatever you want. I'll see you in a few hours."

Zane gives me a light kiss and walks into his dorm room. I walk into mine and find Josh sitting on his bed, his laptop in his lap. He hears me close the door and looks up. "Hey, Eric," he says. "How'd everything go with your parents?"

I set my stuff down by my desk and flop into my bed. "It didn't start out too well," I say. "My Dad kind of freaked out and called me a few choice words and almost slapped me."

Josh sets his laptop aside and looks over at me. "He what?"

"Don't worry. He and I had a talk the next day and he just reacted the way he did because he was afraid I would get hurt because of me being gay. My two friends from high school, Travis and Brandon, were pretty shocked when I told them I was gay and they kind of treated Zane like a piece of shit.

"They apologized afterword and now we're back to being friends again. Overall, it started with a shit storm and ended with a lot of apologies and acceptances."

Josh smiles at me. "That's good to hear, Eric. I'm happy that your friends and family have accepted you."

"Me too. What'd you do over the break?"

"Not much. Had Thanksgiving dinner with my family and spent a few days catching up with a few friends from high school. The usual."

I stifle a yawn. "I think I'm going to take a little nap," I say. "I'm taking Zane out to dinner tonight in town. Do you know any good restaurants?"

"Try 'Dawn.' It's an American restaurant that serves really good food and the atmosphere is pretty homey. It's a nice place."

"I'll make a reservation for 7:00 then."

"And I'll let you sleep." He gets up from his bed and starts putting on a pair of tennis shoes. "I'm meeting Leo at the campus café anyway. Have a good nap."

Josh walks out the door and closes it behind him. I start undressing and as I'm taking off my shirt I see something out the window that catches my eye. I walk over to the glass and look down at the ground. Standing behind a bush is a man who looks to be in his early thirties with a very high-powered camera in his hands.

I initially think he's taking pictures of the campus for a magazine or something, but he keeps the camera lens fixated on one spot: the window to the left of my own, Zane and Leo's dorm room. He puts his camera down and pulls out what appears to be a notepad and jostles down a few notes and walks out of sight.

What the hell was that? Still thinking about the man, I crawl into bed and make a quick call to Dawn and make a reservation for 7:00. The exhaustion from the flight starts to get to me and everything goes black.

I wake up about two hours later and see that it's quarter to six. Climbing out of bed, I slip on a pair of jeans and walk out to the hallway and knock on Zane and Leo's door. Zane opens the door, a sleepy look on his face. "Hey, Sleeping Beauty," I say.

"Hello, Prince Charming," he jokes. "What's up?"

"We have a dinner reservation at Dawn at 7:00 and we need to get ready for it."

"Okay. I just need to take a quick shower and then we can head out."

"Same here. I'll meet you in a little while."

I walk back to my dorm room and strip down and wrap a towel around my waist and grab a few of my toiletries. I go against shaving because I like how this five o'clock shadow looks on my face. I make my way across the hall and find that only one shower is running and a familiar black towel is sitting on a hook outside of it.

Smiling to myself and feeling a bit dirty, I walk over to the running shower and stop outside of it. "Got any room for one more in there?" I ask.

There's a bit of a yelp, followed by a giggle. "You'll have to squeeze in really close."

I grin and wrap my towel on a hook. I step into the shower eyes closed, grab the body in there and pull him close to me, pressing my lips to his neck. "You taste so good," I growl.

"Only the best for you, Josh."

JOSH?! I open my eyes and while I expect to see a body covered in tattoos, the only one I see is on this person's left shoulder. I spin the body around and I'm met by Leo, whose mouth drops open at the sight of me. "ERIC?!"

I jump out of the shower, grabbing my towel as I jump out, and slip on the tiled floor, falling right onto my hip. Ignoring the pain, I cover myself with my towel as Leo opens the shower curtain, the black towel around his waist. "What the hell, Leo?!" I yell.

"I'm so sorry, Eric!" he says. "You and Josh sound really similar and I thought you were him!"

"Why do you have one of Zane's towels? Aren't yours grey?"

"They're all dirty and are in the laundry, so I just borrowed one of his. Josh and I wanted to get a little...kinky, and decided to have sex in the shower. We haven't done it like that in a while, and we wanted to take a risk with this."

We stare at each other in silence for a few seconds before we both burst out laughing. Footsteps walk over the tiles and we see Josh and Zane walk in together. "You guys okay?" Josh asks.

I can see why Leo wanted to get in the shower with Josh. His body's as flawless as a Greek God. But I pay more attention to Zane. "Yeah, we just had a bit of an accident," I say.

"And by accident, he means he confused me for Zane and I confused him for you," says Leo.

Both Josh and Zane laugh just as Leo and I did. "If you wanted his dick that badly, you could've asked!" Josh says. "Leo's even bigger than you, Eric. Watch."

Josh walks over to Leo and slips his tongue inside Leo's mouth, who accepts the kiss. The towel around Leo's waist starts to tent and I can see Josh was right. It's a fucking monster! Josh pulls away from Leo and I can see Leo's bright red and a little out of breath. "Eleven inches," he breathes out. "And only Josh can get me to full strength."

Zane's and my jaws hit the floor. Josh just smiles and wraps his arm around Leo's shoulders. "We'll be in the shower if you need us."

Josh leads Leo into the shower and he and Leo lose their towels and step inside, leaving just me and Zane, who walks over and looks down at me and offers a hand. "You were that horny, huh?"

I look where Zane's looking and see my own towel is tenting itself. "I guess so," I say, taking Zane's hand and rising back to my feet.

"Let's follow their example."

Zane walks me to a shower and pulls me into the stall, ripping my towel off as we walk in. "Someone's eager," I say.

"I wanted you when I saw you on the floor with your towel barely covering you," he replies, taking his own towel off.

I take both towels and place them on the hook outside the shower stall. Zane's hand wraps around my rapidly hardening cock and gives it a few tugs, making me moan. "Before you get started, want to learn a secret?"

Zane and I both jump at the sudden voice, which I recognize to be Josh's. "Uh...sure?" I say.

The curtain to Zane and my shower opens and I see Josh and Leo standing there, no towels, soaking wet, a shower caddy in Josh's hand. "Follow us," Leo says with a devilish grin.

A bit reluctant, Zane and I hesitate. "Don't worry," Josh says. "The whole floor knows that when there's a sock on the shower room door, wait until that sock comes off before coming in."

It takes a second to move, but Zane and I follow Josh and Leo. I can't help but watch their solid asses as we follow them and I see Zane looking as well. We get to a shower stall that looks a lot bigger then the other ones. "What's this?" I ask, having never noticed this before.

"The handicap shower," Josh says. "Leo and I found it about three weeks ago. It's three times the size of the other showers, but no one on the floor uses it because they think it doesn't work."

"But they're wrong," says Leo. "It runs great and the water pressure is higher than the other showers. It's also clean and secluded from the other showers."

Josh pulls the curtain back and I see they're right. Instead of one showerhead, there are two. The tile is an immaculate white and it even smells clean in here. We walk in and Leo closes the curtain behind us. "I get Zane, you get Eric?" Leo asks Josh.

"I like it," he replies, setting the caddy in his hand down. Excuse me? Josh looks to me and Zane, still smiling. "You two up for a little experimentation?"

"How so?" Zane asks.

They walk over to the two showerheads and turn them on. Two blasts of water shoot out of the heads and the higher pressure feels great, the water the perfect temperature. "What happens in this stall, stays in this stall," says Leo. "We all remember who's dating who and this doesn't change any of that."

I'm still really confused, but Josh suddenly stands in front of me, a few inches from my face. "Ready?" he asks.

"For what?" I ask.


Josh's hand hooks around my neck and he presses his lips to mine. I suck in a sudden breath from the shock. I look through my peripheral at Zane and see he's not upset in the least. In fact, he looks very aroused. Leo steps in front of Zane and kisses him as well. Zane eases into the kiss and I feel myself starting to do the same.

I wrap my arms around Josh's firm back and press my fingertips into the muscular skin. I feel my cock hardening and the head pushes into Josh's lower abdomen. Who knew Josh was suck a good kisser? It feels like my cock is about to explode just from making out with him.

Josh pulls away from me and smiles. "How was that?" he asks.

"Does 'holy fuck' count as an answer?" I ask.

He grins and looks over at Leo and Zane, who're still making out. "Switch?" he asks.

Leo separates from Zane and smiles as well. "Switch." He and Josh swap places and Leo's not standing in front of me, all eleven inches of his cock hard and standing full mast in front of him. "Josh is good at getting people hard and hot," he says. "I'm good at keeping them hard and hot."

Leo's hand goes straight for my left pec and he gives my nipple a firm squeeze, making me moan in pleasure. Keeping a firm grip on my nipple, Leo's mouth dives for my other one, planting on it with a hard suction. Hard within a second, my nipple is subject to Leo's mouth and tongue, which swipes over every goose bump on it.

Barely managing to open my eyes, I glance over at Zane, who being subjected to his own pleasure. Josh is standing behind Zane, sucking his neck like a pro. Quiet moans escape Zane's lips and pure ecstasy coats his face. His hands reach back and feel all over every available inch of Josh's body, grazing every muscle and vein.

Leo pops off my nipple and smiles. "How's a hairy chest for you, Leo?" asks Josh.

"I think I prefer a smooth one, like yours," Leo replies.

"I'd like to give it a try," Josh says. "Switch again."

Leo goes back to Zane and I feel Josh stop behind me, his arms wrapping around my chest and running over the wet hairs that coat me. "Feels pretty good to me," Josh says. "I think I might want a little more."

I'm too out of it to respond and the only sound I make is a moan. Josh spins around me and quickly gets on his knees. "Oh yeah," Leo says. "Josh is one of the best cocksuckers you'll ever meet."

Josh grabs my cock by the root and swallows every inch within a second, almost making me scream. His hands reach back around me and his fingers press into my butt cheeks, keeping me from moving. Josh does all the work for me, sliding up and down my cock like a pro. I feel my cockhead hit the back of Josh's throat, but he doesn't even react.

Hearing a moan from my left, I see Leo's on his knees in front of Zane, taking Zane's hard cock. Unable to resist not touching Zane, I grab the side of his neck and pull him toward me, sliding my tongue into his open mouth. His hand cups my left pec and squeezes it a bit, causing my cock to spasm in Josh's mouth.

Josh slides off my cock and I see Leo pull off of Zane. "Want to see us go a step further?" Josh asks Zane and me.

"W-What do you mean?" Zane asks, still out of breath.

Josh walks over to the shower caddy he had carried in here and produces a small clear bottle. I know that kind of bottle anywhere: it's lube. "You mean...?" I start.

Josh and Leo nod. "We're going to show you what anal sex is like," Leo says.

I feel my heart skip a beat and I see Zane turn even redder than he is. Zane and I watch as Josh hands the bottle of lube to Leo and steps out of the sprays of water and bends over a little. "Wait," I say. "Josh, you're the one that's getting fucked?"

"That's right," he says, smiling. "Leo and I alternate when we have sex and since I fucked him last, it's his turn to fuck me."

Leo pops the top on the lube and dries his hand on the tile wall. "Now pay close attention," he says. "If you aren't careful, you can really hurt you partner. So it's extremely important to prepare your partner before you start anything."

It still baffles me how anyone can take almost a foot of another guy's cock in him, but I'd like to learn how it's done. Leo pours a little lube onto his fingers. "Lubrication is key when having sex with your partner, so be sure to use it vigorously."

He takes the bottle and holds it over Josh's ass and a clear line of lube falls from the bottle and slides into Josh's exposed ass. Leo takes his lube-covered hand and slides it in Josh's crack, filling the stall with sloppy noises and quiet moans from Josh. "When preparing your partner, you need to make sure he's open enough to take another man's dick, so you need to finger him to open them up. Come and get a closer look."

Zane and I walk over behind Josh just as Leo slides a finger into Josh, making him moan even louder. "Doesn't that hurt him?" I ask.

"Only if you're forceful," Leo replies. "If you go slowly, then the sensation is fantastic. Plus after the first time, it starts to get easier."

Leo slides in and out of Josh, whose moans start getting louder and louder. "Why is he moaning so much?" Zane asks.

"The prostate is a pleasure center for a lot of men," Leo says. "If you rub it gently, it makes the receiver feel like he's melting from the inside out."

Am I the only one here who feels like this is like a cooking show? It's more like a cocking show...

I look back at Josh and see his face is frozen with pleasure. Leo inserts another finger into Josh and opens him up even further. I look at Josh's rock hard cock and see a long line of clear pre-cum pouring out of the tip. Watching this all take place is making my own cock feel like a piece of iron.

With a third finger in Josh, Leo increases the pace he fingers Josh. Josh's moans get louder and louder as Leo's fingers slide in and out of him. Leo's fingers finally leave Josh and I feel pre-cum of my own sliding out of my cock, just from watching these two get it on. Leo takes the bottle of lube and pours a little more into his hand and coats his cock in the clear substance.

Leo positions his cock at Josh's ass and looks back at Zane and me. "Now when you start to enter your partner, be sure to enter very slowly. Josh and I have been doing this a long time and we don't need to be slow anymore, but we'll demonstrate like this is his first time."

"I don't care," Josh moans. "Just fuck me..."

Wow. Josh Rusden, star rookie for the Stanford Cardinal and all-around macho, cool guy, is begging his boyfriend to fuck him. "The head is the hardest part for a lot of people," Leo explains. "But once you get that in, it's a lot easier."

Zane I watch in anticipation as Leo's cock slowly starts to slide into Josh. The muscle of Josh's hole starts to stretch around Leo's cock, opening slowly to the monster about to enter him. After a painful amount of time, Leo's head is finally in Josh. "Once you get the head in," Leo says, his face getting redder by the second, "you need to wait for your partner to adjust to the feeling of having another man in him before continuing."

I glance at Zane, who is paying complete attention at he watches Leo fuck Josh. After a minute, Leo moves a little more into Josh, slowly going inch by inch. Josh's face tightens with every inch Leo puts into him. "It hurts the first time," Josh explains. "But the pain isn't much and it eases after a few minutes."

Finally, Leo slides the last few inches into Josh and Josh has all of Leo in him. Zane I stare in both amazement and ecstasy at the sight, our cocks practically pouring pre-cum. "When you start moving," Leo says, "you need to start out slow or you can hurt your partner. The more you fuck them, the more accustomed they become to the feeling and the faster and harder you can go."

Leo suddenly pulls out of Josh and Josh stands back up straight. "I thought you guys were going to have sex," I say.

"Oh, we're having sex," Josh says, "but Leo isn't fucking me, and I'm not fucking him."

It takes me a second, but I put the pieces together and it makes my cock twitch. Leo takes the bottle of lube, pours some into his hand and rubs his as crack with it. He and Josh turn around and bend over, exposing their holes to me and Zane. "Y-You want us to...fuck you?" Zane stutters.

"Only if you want to," Leo replies.

Zane and I glance at each other. "Give us a minute," I say.

Zane and I walk over to the other side of the stall, which is only five feet away. "What do you think?" Zane asks.

"I-I'm not sure," I say. "I'm really tempted to, but I want you to be the first guy I have sex with."

"But remember what they said earlier? 'What happens in this stall, stays in this stall.' We could have sex with them, but you would be the first guy I would make love with. This would just be sexual release, but with you, it's love. What do you say?"

I take Zane and give him a hard kiss. "Okay." We walk back over to Josh and Leo, who are patiently waiting. "We're ready."

Josh and Leo bend back over and spread their holes. "You don't need to be gentle entering us, but you need to lube up," says Josh.

Leo hands Zane and me the lube and we both apply a generous amount to our cocks. "Who do you want?" Zane asks me.

"I think I want Josh," I say.

Zane nods and walks behind Leo, his cock throbbing. "You guys ready?" Zane asks.

"Whenever you are," Leo says.

I look at Zane, who nods once, and look back at Josh's ass. I hold the head of my cock at Josh's hole and I can feel the heat radiating off of him. "Um...are you..." I start to ask Josh.

"Don't worry," he says. "Leo and I are both clean. Question is, are you guys? If you're not sure, I brought condoms in here."

"I'm clean," Zane says. "I got checked a month ago."

"Me too," I say.

"Then let's go," Leo says.

Taking a deep breath, I take my cock and slowly start to enter Josh, feeling his flesh wrap tightly around my cockhead. With a hard push, I force more of my cock into Josh, making him scream. "Sorry!" I say. "Did I hurt you?"

"Not at all," he says. "It felt great. Keep going..."

I look over at Zane and see he's already all the way in Leo, his jaw slack from the pleasure. I push a little more into Josh and feel his heat warming my cock, making me almost burst right there. I slide back out and then back in, it feeling fucking fantastic. "Holy...shit..." I breathe out.

"Welcome to gay sex," Josh says, followed by pleasured moans.

I keep at my steady rhythm, sliding in and out of Josh with equal force every time. Zane's doing the same, fucking Leo with the same amount of strength every time he enters and leaves. I can see on Zane's face that he's in complete euphoria right now and I feel like I'm in the brink of insanity it feels so good.

Josh and Leo moan in unison as Zane and I fuck them slow and sensually. Leo grabs Josh and pulls his face to his lips, their tongues dancing with one another. I feel a hand grab my head and Zane kisses me hard, forcing his tongue deep into my mouth. My hips keep thrusting as my hands find purchase on Zane's face.

My thrusts get harder and I can feel pressure building in my balls. "I-I'm going to...cum," I say. "Should I s-shoot in or...out?"

"Either," Josh moans. "I want to feel your hot cum... I-I'm cumming too!"

"M-Me too!" Zane yells.

"Shoot it...in me!" Leo shouts.

I push myself deep into Josh and I feel the first shot of cum start to build up. With a deep thrust, I push myself as deep in Josh as I can and shoot my load. I can feel Josh cumming too and he tightens around my cock, only making me cum even harder. My chest falls against Josh's back as I cum and I feel Josh's muscle tighten as he cums.

Managing to open my eyes for a second, I see Zane's on Leo's back, his cock deep inside Leo too and I see Leo's horse cock shooting cum by the bucket load. My orgasm starts to subside and finally falls from its peak. Hot breaths fill the shower stall as everyone eases from their climax. "T-That was...incredible," Zane quietly says.

"Yeah..." I whisper.

I slowly slide my softening cock out of Josh and I finally pull out, cum coating my cock. Looking at the tiled floor, I see a large pool of cum underneath Josh. He didn't even touch himself and he came so much. It's the same with Leo, who has even more cum on the floor than Josh.

Zane pulls out of Leo and suddenly looks like he's about to pass out. I rush over to his side and grab and shoulder to support him. Josh and Leo stand back up and smile back at us. "So, did you have fun?" Josh asks.

"Fun is an understatement," I say. "That was awesome."

"I almost blacked out from that," Zane says.

"Maybe because it's so hot in here," Leo says, cocking his head at the still running showerheads.

I walk with Zane to one of the showerheads and we let the water run over both of us. Josh and Leo slide under the second one and wet themselves as well. "Catch." Josh tosses a bar of soap over to me and Zane and I catch it. "The best part of having sex in the shower is that after you get down and dirty, you can help your partner clean up," Josh says.

Zane and I smile and I take the bar of soap and rub Zane down, making sure not to miss an inch of his skin. Once he rinses off, Zane does the same for me. It's actually really romantic of how two people can do something like this. We all finish soaping up and rinsing off and we shut off the showerheads.

We walk out of the handicap stall and get back to our towels and start to dry off. "Thanks for this, guys," I say.

"Yeah," Zane says. "It really helped both of us prepare for what we do in the future together."

"No problem," Leo says. "It was pretty fun for us too."

"Now remember," Josh says. "The only feelings in there were for your respective boyfriend. If you felt anything in there for anyone other than the one you're with, speak up now." The shower room stays silent. "Good. Now, Eric and Zane? I believe you two have a date to get to. Don't worry. You have plenty of time to get to Dawn."

We wrap our towels around our waists before walking out into the hall. We're met by many of the people who live on our floor, waiting for us. "How was the sex?" some girl calls out.

And...we're busted. "Fucking amazing," Zane confidently says.

Everyone laughs and the people that were waiting for the bathroom rush in. Josh and I walk back into our room and Zane and Leo walk back into theirs. Josh and I start to change into some clothes, me putting on something nicer for my date. "Put this on over your collared shirt along with a tie," Josh says, holding up a black vest.

"Is Dawn a restaurant with a dress code?" I ask, taking the vest and setting it on my bed.

"Smart casual, but a lot of people wear dark jeans when they go in there. Sports coats are also worn a lot, but they aren't a requirement."

I walk over to my closet and grab a grey tie and a white collared shirt. Slipping on a white undershirt and a pair of dark jeans, I put on the collared shirt and roll the sleeves up to my elbows, tie the tie and finish up with the vest. I look in the mirror and see that I actually look pretty damn good. "Does being gay come with increased sense for fashion?" I ask, adjusting my tie.

Josh rolls his eyes. "No, I've always just known what to wear and how to look good while wearing it. Being gay just makes people see it a lot more."

I laugh a bit. "Thanks, Josh. You've really helped Zane and me today. You and Leo both."

"It was nothing. Just remember what we taught you when you and Zane get together in the future."

He tosses me my phone and wallet and I slip them into my pockets. I put on a pair of black Chucks and tie the laces. "What's your and Leo's plan tonight?" I ask.

"We're probably just going to order a pizza and spend the night in together."

"Sounds like a good plan. I think Zane and I will be back around 11:00, but don't hold me to that. See you later."

I give Josh a wave and walk out into the hall, where I find Zane standing. He's wearing a black collared shirt rolled up to his elbows as well with a pair of grey jeans, a light grey tie and a pair of black boots. All his piercings are in, his hair is swooped up and his tattoos are on display for the world to see. "You look good," he says with a smile.

"You have Josh to thank for that," I say. ""But you look fantastic."

I give Zane a light kiss and we head out, receiving a few double takes as we pass some people, which helps to boost our confidence. As Zane and I walk through the cool early evening air, I feel something weird at the back of my mind. It feels like...Zane and I are being watched. I glance behind me for a second and see that there's no one behind us. "You okay?" Zane asks me.

"Yeah," I say. "Just thought I heard something."

I take Zane's hand in mine and we continue our way to the restaurant, the feeling in my head still not going away.


Dinner at Dawn with Zane was phenomenal. The food was great, the conversation kept going for over three hours and we really enjoyed just being alone with each other. We even spent a good thirty minutes watching other people in the restaurant and making our own creative conversations for them the entire time.

At about 10:30, Zane and I decide that it's about time to head back to the dorm. I finish paying the bill, giving our waiter a good tip, and Zane and I start to walk back to Florence Moore Hall. "Want to take the long way back?" I ask Zane.

"Sure. It's a nice night out."

I wrap my arm around Zane waist and we take a right at the street corner, walking down a less taken sidewalk back to campus. As we walk through the comfortable air, the same feeling from earlier comes back to me, the feeling of being watched. I pretend to look down at Zane when I really glance behind me. There's only one other person on the street, and they're keeping a good distance between us.

Feeling a bit concerned, I tighten my grip on Zane's waist. "Walk a little faster," I whisper to him.

"What's wrong?" he asks.

"Just don't look back. I think someone's following us."

Zane and I quicken our pace, continuing down the street. I glance back for a second and see the man is keeping up with us. "Shit, he really is following us," I quietly say.

I see Zane looks incredible scared. "W-What if he saw us in the restaurant?" he says. "What if he wants to hurt us?"

"He won't. I have a plan." Picking up the pace a little more and hearing the guy keeping us with us, I pull Zane around a street corner and guard him behind me. "Stay still on don't make a sound," I whisper.

Zane nods and I tighten my fist. My heart's racing from anxiety and fear, but I stand my ground. The footsteps of the man start getting closer and closer and I hear him just on the other side of the corner. With one final step, I let my fist fly right at the man and it connects with his face, sending him to the pavement below.

Before he can get for any weapon he may have, I jump on top of him and hold his arms down. "P-Please don't hurt me!" he yells.

"Why are you following us?!" I scream at him.

"Because it was what I was assigned to do!"

Huh? I look down and recognize the guy as the same one who was taking pictures of Zane and Leo's dorm room. "Who the hell are you?" I ask.

"My name is Patrick Simms, I'm a private investigator. You can check my pocket for my badge to see I'm not lying."

I reach into his jacket pocket and pull out a leather wallet, which opens to reveal Patrick's face with a private investigator's badge next to it. "Okay," I say. "But that still doesn't explain why you were following us."

"It's because it's what I was assigned to do. I was hired to look for a specific someone."



I see Patrick's looking right behind me, right at Zane. "Me?" Zane says.

"You're Zane Mercer, right?" Patrick asks. "I've been trying to find you for almost four months now. And now I can finally close this case and get paid for my duties."

I glance at Zane, confused by the name 'Mercer.' "The hell you can," I say, reaching for the bag Patrick's carrying and rip it off him. "Private investigators don't have the same privileges police officers do, so they have no grounds for stalking. So I think a little phone call to the cops will do nicely to terminate your private investigator license."

"No!" Patrick screams.

"Then give me the name of the people that sent you after my boyfriend!"

Patrick's face fills with confliction. "I...I can't! If I do, then I won't get paid! They asked me to not tell anyone their names!"

I glance at the bag that Patrick was carrying. "What's in here?" I ask.

"My camera," Patrick responds. "I was taking a few photos earlier."

"Oh yeah, that was a nice camera. It would be a shame if it...broke..."

Patrick's face fills with shock. "NO! That camera and the lenses with it cost me more than eight grand!"

"Then tell me who sent you, or you camera turns into confetti!"

Patrick stays silent. "I...I can't..." he quietly says.

I raise the bag above my head and get ready to throw it. "Goodbye, expensive camera..."

I cock my arm back and am about to throw it. "Richard and Monica Mercer!" Patrick yells. "Richard and Monica Mercer sent me!"

Mercer? Why the hell do I keep hearing that name? I look back at Zane, whose face is as white as a sheet. "My...parents?" he quietly says.

Patrick nods. "Richard and Monica hired me back in July to try and find you. I've gotten nowhere until three days ago when I found some of your name in the Stanford student log. So I came out to California to investigate and found you."

"Do...do my parents know you've found me?"

"No. I wanted to see if I could find you before I told them. They still don't know where you are."

"And it's going to stay that way."

Zane walks over to my side and rips the bag out of my hand. Taking it in one arm, he throws it as hard as he can again the brick wall next to us and the bag hits the wall with a sickening crack. "NO!" Patrick screams.

Just as I think Zane's done, he grabs the bag and throws it again the wall, again, and again, and again. After the eighth throw, it looks like he's done, and I can hear bits and pieces of what used to be a camera and lenses rattle inside the bag. "I don't want to be found by my parents or anyone from Dallas," Zane says. "So you can take your broken camera and go back to wherever you came from without any evidence of where I am."

Patrick suddenly pushes against me and I fall off of him. I see pure rage in his eyes as he gets back to his feet. He reaches inside his jacket and I see the barrel of a gun appear. He holds the gun in front of him and points it right at Zane. "I want my fucking payment!" Patrick screams. "So you're going back to Dallas, dead or alive!"

My body moves faster than I even knew it could move and my fist flies right at Patrick's face and collides with Patrick's jaw, which crunches under my punch and Patrick's head smacks against the brink wall and Patrick goes down, unconscious. I kick the gun away and look at Zane, who still looks to be frozen with fear. "Zane," I say. "Are you okay?"

He runs into me and presses his face against my chest and I hold him tight as he starts to softly sob. "It's okay," I whisper. "I'm right here."


After a call to the police, Patrick is loaded into an ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital. The police ask me and Zane question after question regarding what happened, which we answer. They tell us that Patrick will probably be sent to jail on charges of attempted assault with a deadly weapon and stalking.

Patrick woke up a few minutes after the police arrived, but he had no memory of the last seven days. I hide Zane behind me so Patrick doesn't see him, and it works. Patrick now has no evidence of where Zane is and has no memory that he even saw Zane. All he knows is that he somehow ended up in Stanford.

Zane and I finish up with the police and an officer offers to drive us back to campus, which we accept. We arrive a few minutes later, thank the officer, and start to walk back to Florence Moore Hall. "You lied to me," I say.

Zane glances at me and looks to the sidewalk. "I'm sorry..."

"Your last name is Mercer? As is Mercer Industries? That's one of the biggest oil and gas companies in the country. And you're the heir to the company?" Zane nods and doesn't look up. "Why didn't you tell me? And Quinn isn't your last name?"

"No, it's my middle name. My full name is Zane Quinn Mercer. Zane Quinn is the name I used when I applied to Stanford and I've used it ever since I ran away. I only used it so no one would ever find me if they ever wanted to look for me. I never told anyone because I was afraid."

"Afraid of being found?"

Zane nods again. "I don't want anyone from Dallas to find me. I'm scared of going back and everything will be just like it was before and I would be miserable."

I sigh to myself. "I understand why you lied, Zane. But you could've trusted me with a secret like that. Don't you love me enough to trust me?"

Zane snaps his head up at me. "Of course I love and trust you, Eric! I...I just...didn't know what to do with my secret. I was going to tell you at some point, but I just didn't know when. I'm sorry..."

I see a tear slide down Zane's cheek and I stop and pull him into a hug. "Hey...hey it's okay. I'm not mad at you, just a little surprised. If you had to lie to protect yourself, then I understand. So please don't cry. It'll make me cry."

Zane pulls away and sniffs his nose and wipes his eyes. "Thanks, Eric."

He and I keep walking. "How're you feeling about all of this?" I ask Zane, indicating what happened with Patrick.

"Kind of...shell-shocked," he replies. "My parents sent Patrick to try and find me, the same parents who threw me out eight months ago and told me to never come back. They're...looking for me..."

"So what do you want to do?"

Zane wipes his eyes and looks up at me. "Nothing."

"Nothing?" I ask, surprised. "You just found out your parents are actually trying to look for you and you don't want to do anything about it?"

"Those two can take their search for me and shove it as far up their asses as they can. I hate them both and they're probably only looking for me because Dallas knows Richard and Monica Mercer kicked their own son out and let him vanish into thin air and something like that can ruin the image people have of them. I don't care about either of them anymore, just like they never cared about me..."

I see another tear slide down Zane's cheek and I stop and pull him into a hug. "That's not how you really feel, is it?" I say.

Zane presses his face into my shoulder. "T-They're looking for me..." he cries. "They're actually looking for me..."

"Are you happy?"

"I'm...relieved." He pulls away and wipes his eyes. "But I still don't want to be found. What if Patrick remembers something and calls back home?"

"With the hit he took earlier, he'd be lucky to remember your parents' number and the photos he took of your dorm room are long gone. But Zane? Do you ever want to go back to Dallas?"

He shakes his head. "Not in the least. I want to stay with my new life here and with you, Eric. I don't want to go back to the place that's caused me enough pain to last a lifetime. I love you, Eric. And I'm not going anywhere."

I smile and lightly kiss Zane's lips. "Neither am I. And I love you, Zane Quinn Mercer. Your secret's safe with me."

Zane smiles back at me and we continue back to the dorm together.



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