DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Chapter One


It was never really my intention to punch him in front of my English teacher, but he didn't give me a choice. Why does he have to be such a fucking dick? Is it my fault that I can't see the fucking board? Is it my fault that he's just so fucking huge that I can't see a fucking thing in front of me?

Fuck! Just what I needed. Now I'm gonna get what I haven't had since seventh grade. A detention.

But let me fill you in first on what caused this thing to happen - what made that single punch change my entire life in an instant.


"Daniel! Get that lazy ass of yours out of bed or you'll be late for school!"

Urgh. That voice. I've been hearing that voice for the fifteen years of my existence. I would recognize that voice anywhere.

"Come down now, honey, or me and Steph'll just have to let you eat the dishes." she called out in a sing-song voice.

"Yeah, mom. I'll be there in fifteen."

So, I got out of bed and felt something that was poking my boxers. Shit. The worst thing that happens to me in the morning is to find out that I've got a fucking boner . . . and . . . knowing that time is not a luxury that I can afford. But this morning, I was in luck! I glanced at my bedside table. My clock says I still have 40 minutes before the bus arrives.


Taking a long, hot shower is definitely the best way to start my mornings. With the warm water cascading over my stiff muscles (oh yes, including THAT long, tubular, type of fleshy muscle - especially THAT long, tubular type of fleshy muscle) and the hot, heady steam filling my lungs, it's as if nothing wrong could possibly happen.

How wrong was I.

Turning the shower button off and stepping out of the bathroom (with my boner taken care of, of course) I toweled myself dry.

Never really a guy who gives a damn about how he looks, I just donned the first pieces of clothing I found as I opened my drawers. As I faced the mirror, I stopped dressing and just stood there . . . admiring myself.

"Hello, handsome." I chuckled.

But, what the hell! I may not be your typical Prince Charming, but I ain't no Shrek, either! Years of swimming honed my 5 foot 6 inches frame to a lean and toned physique - especially my back part. Girls just can't get enough of my bubble-butt.

Let me tell you that I ain't a sore in the eyes, either. Looking up, I saw my face. My light brown hair borders my cute, angelic face (What?! That's how they describe my face! I can't do anything about it!). I have a creamy complexion that doesn't look too pallid, too pale, or too tanned. And those eyes - so big, so deep, so brown. These characteristics gave people the impression that I was a couple of years younger than my real age.

"Really? You're too cute to be fifteen!" That's what I usually hear. But I never really cared. Being cute is good, right?

Looking up again, I studied my face more closely. I do this every single day since I started High School. I always look for signs of . . . well, let's say . . . maturity. Same brown eyes. Same cute, little, button nose. Same long, wavy, brown hair - covering both eyes and ears partially. Same everything.

I smiled at myself. Yep, same old blinding white, perfect teeth. Hey! I'm not being conceited or anything, but, if there is one thing that I am most proud of, it would be my smile. People say it's infectious. And being infectious is good, right?

I sighed and again looked over at my clock. Shit! Gotta hurry up.

I started dressing up. First, I pulled my three-year old boxer shorts on and adjusted my manhood inside. I know, I know. Three years of using the same old boxers?! Seriously?!

Well, fuck you! This single piece of garment was a gift - a very special gift. The only gift, in fact, that I got from my dad ever since he and my mom separated. I have only met him twice. Once, on my 7th birthday, and the most recent, three years ago - when he gave me his old boxer shorts for my Christmas present. So, don't tell me crap about my underwear. That fucking underwear means so fucking much to me.

"Daniel Christopher Mockins, do I need to send a SWAT Team for a Retrieval Operation to get your ass down here in the kitchen, like, RIGHT NOW?"

I immediately got pulled back to reality.

"Okay, okay. I'm coming! Geesh!"

I put on tight-fitting jeans and a white tank-top that both accentuated my bum and my well defined upper torso, topped it with a sweater to keep the November temperature down, and put on a pair of sneakers. I sprayed on some cheap cologne, got my bag and my Irvine High baseball cap, and was out of my bedroom, down the stairs, and into the kitchen where my 35 year old mother and 13 year old sister awaits.

"Finally!" My mom exclaimed dramatically with her hands thrown up in the air.

"We were beginning to think that you drowned in the shower." My sister added.

"HA-HA. Very funny, Stephanie," I said as I sat down. "Let's just eat, shall we?"

Only my mom and Stephanie knows about my sexuality. I have accepted the fact that I was gay when I was 12. It was during those preteen jack-off sessions where I realized that I get more turned on when looking at a thick, juicy, veiny cock rather than a gaping, wet, sloppy pussy. I knew then. And I never looked back.

Revealing myself to my mom was a very tough decision to make. First, I didn't know how she would react. I considered the possibility of being disowned and thrown out into the cold, heartless streets of the city. I also thought about its effects on my 'not-so-social' social life. I can't afford to be the town's laughing stock, not to mention becoming every fucking homophobe's punching bag.

One random evening, I just told my mom everything. I wasn't prepared for her reaction. But, she just stopped cutting her vegetables, stood up, walked towards me, and hugged the shit out of me! I was shocked. She told me that she was very proud of me and that she admired my bravery and honesty and even asked me why it took me that long to confess.

What shocked me more was when she said that she might have always known, maybe even before I have added one and one and concluded that I was gay. That was really a special day for me. It was as if a very heavy weight was lifted off of my shoulders.

Telling my younger sister about my heart's most dirty, little secret was not what I expected. I was rooting for her to be a total Diva and act all homophobic towards me. But, no! I told her and she just said, "So? Can I do anything about it?", and returned to reading her fashion magazine.

Life was good.

At least.

I downed my toast, egg and bacon with warm milk, brushed my teeth, gathered my things, and was out of the door before the bus stopped by. After about thirty seconds of waiting, it arrived. I got on and immediately headed for the farthest seat at the back.

Only one guy was sitting there, smiling cheekily at me. This may be weird, on different circumstances - for I didn't really have many friends and am not really a popular kid in school - but it isn't. He smiled and I finally reached him.

"How're you, buddy?" The guy said and raised his knuckles, to which I countered with a fist bump.

Oh, yeah, that guy I'm telling you about is my very hot, very gorgeous best friend, Keith Princeton.

I sat beside Keith and just replied with a simple "Never better," and looked out the window.

Sitting beside Keith every day, I have memorized even the minutest detail of his perfect body. He has this extremely jet-black hair that's cut short on the sides and a bit longer on top. His large, green, seductive eyes makes you want to grant every wish that he commanded. His nose was the most elegant-looking nose that I have ever seen. Even his jaw muscles flex every time he speaks. His thick, muscular neck connects a handsome head to very broad, muscular shoulders and the tight, black shirt he wore does not hide his thick, meaty pectorals. I know for a fact that he has started to grow some hair on his chest. Lucky bastard! Just below his tight, flat stomach lies a trail of silky dark hair that leads you to a very prominent bulge that. . .

"Danny." The voice brought me back to the bus. I looked up and saw that Keith was looking at me, an inquisitive look plastered on his face. "Are you okay? What are you looking at?" He said, looking consciously down to his feet.

"What? Um . . . Yeah, I'm fine." I stuttered. I was pretty sure I was blushing. This is one of those times when I wanted the earth to just open up and swallow me alive. "Um . . . nothing. I was just . . . looking at your . . . um. . . . your shoes. Yeah, I was looking at your shoes." I lied. "You're a size 12, right?"

"Oh. Yeah. Right." He smiled a cocky grin. Shit. Did he see me looking at his crotch? "Well . . . Okay." He was still smiling.

"What?" I demanded, feeling self-conscious.

"Oh, nothing. . ." Then for a few minutes later, "So, what do you think about me and baseball?"

"What about it?" I noticed the sudden change of subject.

"Well, should I go for it? It isn't too late to try out, right?" There was a serious look on his face now.

I sighed. Here we go again. This topic has been opened and closed for a million times over the span of three months since September, when classes started.

"Keith, Keith, Keith . . . how many times do I have to say that it's okay? It's great, really. You should go for it. That's what you've always wanted, right? To play for our school?" He just nodded. "Well, there's no need to think twice. You . . ." I raised my right hand, "and Baseball . . ." I raised my left one, "are destined for eternity." I then let my hands kiss each other and made loud, smooching noises.

"Fuck you." He chuckled and punched me lightly on the shoulder.

"Try if you can."

He looked at me and gave me a confused glare. I immediately regretted the words that came out of my mouth. I can feel my cheeks burning up.

"What I mean is . . . you should try it, Keith. Baseball has been your favorite ever since primary school. Damn! You've been playing the sport since you were ten or something."

"Well . . . if you put it like that. Okay. But . . . what about you, Danny?" He asked with a sad face, "You've always told me that I should swim with you. That we would swim together."

Sadly, that was true. Ever since we learned how to swim, we've sworn to each other that when we reached High School we would try out for the swim team, we'd then compete, and we'd win. It really hurt me that first time when Keith said that he'd try out for the baseball team, instead. But, I understood him. Baseball is what he wants. Who am I to stop him from his dreams?

"Keith . . ." I started, trying to keep a straight, yet passionate face, "I understand, completely. It's okay. I mean, even though you'll be in the Baseball team and me in the Swim team . . . we'd still be best friends, right?" I asked hopefully, with my tears threatening to fall. "Right?"

He sighed and looked at me. "Danny, I will never stop being your best friend. No matter what. You'll always be mine, and I'll always be yours. Do you understand that?"

I just nodded. A single tear rolled down my face.


And we shared the bus ride in silence. I wish he'd still want to be friends with me once he would know the only secret that I've been keeping from him.

Chapter Two


The bell rang for third period. I ran out of the cafeteria and headed for my English class - books and notes in one hand and my backpack slung on my shoulder. I knew I was late. Again. It has always been this way since I started my Freshman Year. Shit! Why did I have to finish that damn banana pie?

Just around the corner.

Other kids were still strolling around the hallways while I was praying to the Gods of Tardy People. And then suddenly, out of nowhere, I bumped onto a mountain.

"Fuck! What the fuck!" The mountain growled at me. "Watch where you're goin', Fockins!" And what a pissed off mountain he really was!

"Mockins." I mumbled irritably.

"What?" He snapped back as he was reaching for his backpack - and what I assumed to be a soaked up letter. Was it because of tears? Hmmm. . .

"My name is Mockins, you fat pig! Not Fockins! How many times do I have to say that to you? Stop being a jerk for once, will you?" I answered bravely. I stood up and looked at him. His eyes were a bit puffy. What the fuck was that all about?

"Whatever!" He simply uttered.

Hmmm! That was odd. For everything that I have just said, especially calling him a 'fat pig', always ends up with me either punched hard or brutally shoved onto a locker. What's wrong with him?

I just watched as he walked away and entered my English class. MY ENGLISH CLASS! Shit! I'm very late!

I ran off after him and entered English Room 1.

"Well, well, well . . . another late comer!" I tried to stifle a laugh with the double entrendre. "What. A. Shock." The teacher mocked me, "I know that you are an exceptional student, Mr. Mockins, but your attitude towards punctuality is unacceptable! How many times have I told you that?" Hmmm . . . how ironic could that be? I just said those exact words to the mountain two minutes ago. "Where are you students going off to? Late! Always late! When I was your age. . ." and our bitchy mid-50s professor continued rambling about her 'old days', as if she isn't old TODAY.

I went looking for an empty seat.




Except . . . I sighed. Just my luck! The seat behind mountain guy was very empty. I headed towards the middle-back part of the classroom. "Shit!" I mumbled as I sat down.

"As I was explaining, before our special students came in; this term, I will pair you up and give you topics for a Research Paper. These topics will be varying from Sports, Politics, Economics, Education, History, et cetera, et cetera. And by the end of the term, I expect a more than average performance from you - nothing less!" she stressed. "Deadline of submission will be on the third week of January next year. You have exactly two months to work on the project. So, don't give me excuses if you cannot fulfill this simple requirement on or before the said deadline." She paused. "Are there any questions?"


"Very well . . ." She went to the board. "I need you to copy some things on the board, first."

She started writing about 'How to Write an Effective Research Paper' and we began our copy-the-writings-on-the-board session. I was sitting in the back part of the classroom, so the board was a good distance away from me. It was hard copying with a mountain in front of you, and our teacher's minuscule writing was totally not helping.

"Bruce? Excuse me." I nudged him with my pen. "Can you move a bit to your left, please? I can't see the board." I whispered to the mountain. But just like a mountain, I received no response.

"Bruce!" I said in a louder voice. He moved - TO HIS RIGHT - completely blocking my view. What a fucking dickhead!

"Bruce! Fuck man, do me a favor, please!" I pleaded.

"Shhhhhh!" some of my classmates whispered. I looked at them apologetically, smiled forcefully, and turned to Bruce.


He stood up (thank God!), turned around (What's he doing?), and gave me the finger. (Shit! That does it!)

With unbelievable speed, which surprised the both of us, I punched him square on the nose. Fuck it hurt! But I didn't show it. He growled an agonized scream. I heard the various gasps and chattering from the people nearest us who witnessed my total epicness. "Way to go, Daniel!", "Yeah! Show him!", "Good one, Mockins!" some of my classmates praised me while Bruce tended to a bleeding nose.

The teacher heard the ruckus and turned around from her writings. She saw an agonized Bruce - nose, bloody - and of course, me - standing with my fists clenched, a scowl written all over my angelic face.

"WHAT . . . IS GOING ON . . . HERE?!" She shrieked. Everyone got silent and turned to face an enraged Mrs. Elmers "I demand an explanation-"

"That fucking faggot just punched me-"

"He was blocking my view and I was just-"

We both started.

"LATER!" She stopped us with a raised palm. "For now. . ." she stated calmly "You will proceed to the Principal's office and explain your childish behavior." She smiled a very disgusting smile, one that reminded me of a squashed, fly-eating frog.

"But I have football -"

"But Ma'am, I still need to -"

"NO buts, gentlemen! You should have thought about the possible consequences of your actions before you started making trouble." She smiled her squashed, fly-eating frog smile again.

We sighed. "Yes, Ma'am." We both resigned. We stood up and went for the door.

"One more thing boys. . ." we turned around "I want you to report to me after the Principal dismisses you."

We nodded.

So, now you know why I landed that punch; why I am now headed for the Principal's office.

Bruce was following a few paces behind me. He was mumbling and I caught phrases with "Bitch" in it, a few with "Mrs. Elmers" in it, and most with "Fuckin' faggot" in it. Dickhead!

Upon reaching the Principal's office, I knocked on the door. Nothing. Then suddenly-


"Bruce, stop it!" But he still continued with his own version of politely knocking on a door. He gave it a few more 'taps', then stopped and immediately went behind me.

The doors burst open and a surprised Principal Hark stood by the doorway. Principal Hark was a guy who was already in his mid to late 30s, but it was evident that time has been kind to him. He was rather good looking and still in shape despite his age.

"Mr. Mockins!" he gasped. "What are you doing? You could have knocked my door off its hinges! I expected you to be more civilized than that!"

"But, Mr. Hark, it was not-"

"Fine. Just forget it. What can I do for you, Daniel? I'm quite busy, you know and-" He stopped as he saw the bloody Bruce behind me, "Oh!"

He let us in.

"Explain yourselves." Principal Hark said as he sat behind his desk, chin resting on his entwined fingers, face dead serious. Bruce and I were face-to-face before him. For a moment, no one spoke. I couldn't seem to find the words to explain about my guilty actions and stain a very clean record with the Principal. Even Bruce seemed to be lost for words.

Finally, I found the guts and spoke up - no matter what. I didn't care anymore.

"I punched him." I stated nonchalantly.

"Well, I can see that." Principal Hark mumbled, "The question, Mr. Mockins, is why?"

"It's just because the fucking faggot can't see the fucking writings on the fucking board!" Bruce growled at the Principal.

"Words, Mr. Adams! Watch your words!" The principal warned. "Well? What do you have to say to that, Mr. Mockins?"

"Well. . ." I looked at Bruce and saw that he too was looking at me. I saw fear in his eyes - as if he didn't want the principal to know that not only did he intentionally block my view, but also made a finger at me. "Well . . . it's all my fault, really. I never should have punched him for such a little thing. I think I just lost my temper." Then added, "But I'm not a faggot!"

Bruce snapped his head towards me - his face full of shock.

"Very well . . . I want the both of you to say your apologies . . . and . . . you will serve detention for the rest of the day in the storage room." Principal Hark said. "Go on."

I stood up and offered my hand. Bruce looked up at my outstretched arm, hesitated, and then took it into his. We shook hands a mere five seconds more than what was appropriate. Bruce was not easing up on his grip - his eyes staring straight at mine. What the hell!

I feigned a cough. "Uhmm . . . Ehem!" That did the trick. He let go of my hand.

"Oh . . . I'm sorry." He said. I could've sworn he was blushing. Bruce Adams was blushing!

"Very good, gentlemen! Now, I want you to go to the storage room and-" Principal Hark instructed us on what he intends us to do.

For the rest of the day, we were sorting and filing papers. No one spoke. If not for the furtive glances that I was giving Bruce, I would've convinced myself that I was alone in the room. I looked over my shoulder and glanced at Bruce's massive back. I noticed that his shoulders were trembling.

"Bruce? Are you okay?" I asked tentatively.

No response. So I went back to my work. A few minutes later, I heard him sniff.

"Bruce? Are you-"

"Please, just mind your fucking business, will you?" He turned around to face me. He was a good ten feet away from me but I could still clearly see his face. He was crying. I heard him sniff once again.

Well, at least I tried to help. So, I did what he wanted me to do. I minded my own business.

"Okay. That's it. Time's up!" Principal Hark suddenly appeared on the doorway. "Remember, gentlemen, I don't need any of these kinds of incidents to ever happen again. Can I count on you with that?" The principal said with a smile. We nodded and he then returned to his desk.

We got ourselves out of his office and I walked off with my things.

"Hey! Where are you going?" I looked around. There was only Bruce and me. He was wearing a very amused look on his face. As if he just heard the funniest thing in the world. It was nearing five in the afternoon and light shining through the windows from outside was hitting his face at a certain angle which gave his usually scary and frowning features a youthful and happy glow. Shit! I have never thought of Bruce as handsome, I have not even considered him as cute. But there he was - smiling like all was well in the world - like nothing wrong could ever possibly happen. Damn! He looks like a cute, chubby prince the way he was smiling at me.

Stop it, Danny! Yes, he is cute! But don't you ever forget that he is still a bully - a big, fat, mean bully. Remember that he is the bully who shoves you onto the lockers with every chance he gets. He was the bully who put a dissected frog inside your shoes during gym class one time, right? He was the bully who creatively splattered mud all over your weekly Science essay. He is a bully.

Do you remember the very first time you met him?

Well, of course, I do! Who'd forget something like that?

It was the first day of class and, like what happened earlier, I was running late for my class - running through the hallways like a madman. I was on the door when it suddenly opened and, before I could stop my momentum, I crashed onto HIM - Bruce.

He was carrying a hamburger and a tall glass of orange juice that time so you could only imagine what happened to his very white shirt after I bumped onto him.

"Fuck!" he yelled. Yep! That's right! Fuck! Here was this extremely huge and extremely tall guy and I just spilled his breakfast all over his shirt. His hands were very large; he could easily strangle me to death.

"Oh, God! I'm so, so sorry!" I tried cleaning up the mess I made. I looked up his face and, behind a fringe of strikingly blonde hair, noticed the bluest pair of eyes that I have ever seen on a human being. I gasped audibly. Looking into them feels like looking into two deep, circular pools of clear, fresh water.

"Well, your sorry's not gonna undo the damage you made, now, would it? And get your filthy hands off me!" He shoved me out of the way and headed for the bathroom. "Fuck!"

I later learned from a Herbert Stallings that the guy's name was Bruce Adams, and that he was sent outside because he was eating inside the classroom - which was evidently prohibited.

"Daniel? Are you okay?" the voice brought me back from time.

"Huh? What?" I asked Bruce.

"Shouldn't we head for Mrs. Elmers' office . . . we were supposed to report to her after detention, right?"

"Oh, right." I replied nonchalantly. How could I have forgotten that?

He turned around and started walking. As I was following him, I took notice of his big, fat butt. What a turn off!

I turned the corner for Mrs. Elmers' office and saw that Bruce was already there - waiting by the door. It was such a gentleman's move. Hmmm . . . maybe he's not such a ba - Stop it, Danny! He's a prick! He'll always be a prick - because that's what he has always been to you ever since the first time he met you. I told myself and kept a straight face to mask my emotions.

I entered the room and went over to Mrs. Elmers' desk. She was writing something on tiny pieces of paper.

"Sit down." She said without looking up. She put the papers into a cup and jumbled the contents. "Pick one." She told us.

I looked at Bruce and he shrugged his shoulders and motioned for me to pick one. I took one, saw what was written, and was shocked at what it says.

"Well?" Mrs. Elmers inquired.

I just stood there - unable to speak - unable to move. The three-letter word kept swimming right in front of my face. Bruce didn't wait for a reply. He took the piece of paper and read it aloud.

"SEX?" I flinched. "What's this supposed to mean?" Bruce asked in a bored manner.

A sudden image of Mrs. Elmers sucking on my long, hot cock while Bruce ploughs her sloppy, old pussy with his fucker flashed across my mind. I had the sudden urge to throw up. Both of them noticed.

"Are you okay, Daniel?" Mrs. Elmers asked. Bruce looked at me, a mischievous grin pasted on his face. As if he knew what I was thinking of.

"Yeah . . . uh . . . yeah, I'm fine." I choked on my words.

"Very well. So! SEX!" She emphasized the word. I flinched again. "That will be the topic for your Research Paper. You can choose any specific topic, as long as it correlates with sex."

I just stood there. Too stunned to move, or even speak. Here we are. Our teacher just told us that we - Bruce and I - would be spending some quality time for the next three or so months talking and discussing about sex, until the whole damn paper is finished and submitted. Just me . . . and Bruce. Fuck! Just the mere thought gives me goosebumps.

Why does it have to be him? Why does it have to be Bruce Adams? Of all the people in my class, why him? Why couldn't it be the nerdy Jonathan Plum? At least we'll have something in common. But, Bruce Adams? I sighed.

"Uhmm . . . Mrs. Elmers . . . are you . . . saying . . . that Daniel and I . . . that you're . . . pairing . . . us?" Bruce stuttered. That was a shock for me. Never in my whole life have I imagined that Bruce - a massive chunk of a guy - would lose his confidence.

"Yes, that's what I planned. Seeing that you and Daniel needed to work on your . . . cooperation . . . I just think it's wise to let you . . . work . . . with each other." Mrs. Elmers smiled her squashed, fly-eating frog smile again, which just worsened the tightening of my guts. "Are there any objections?"

"Please, Mrs. Elmers! I can't work with a faggo - with Daniel!" Bruce pleaded.

"And why is that Bruce? You're not afraid of a FAGGOT, are you?" I snapped at him. Not realizing that I have somehow confirmed his claims about my sexuality.

He stood up and made a lunge for my face.

"STOP!" Mrs. Elmers was now standing up, glaring at the two of us. "You two will pair up no matter what happens . . . whether you like it or not! NO MORE DISCUSSIONS!"

"But-" Bruce said.

"I SAID NO MORE DISCUSSION!" Mrs. Elmers repeated.

We just stood in silence. I glimpsed at Bruce's cheerless face. He was deep in thought. I wonder what he was thinking.

"Yes, Ma'am." I heard Bruce say.

Looking at me, Mrs. Elmers said, "Daniel?"

"Uhm . . . no, Mrs. Elmers. I'm fine with it."

"Good! Now, that will be all. You may now leave. Good day, gentlemen."

I went out before Bruce could catch up. Shit! Good day? Who was she kidding? The only thing that made this day good was missing the boring lecture that I could have received from Mr. Douglas in History. Good day! HA!

Fuck you, Mrs. Elmers!

Fuck your useless project!


Chapter Three


It has been a long and tiring week for me and I was greatly annoyed and terribly disappointed. Annoyed, for the fact that I will be talking all about SEX for my god damned Research Paper and disappointed that I got Bruce to work it with. It was only days ago when I got out of bed and went on with my usual routine. And now, the days when I would just wake up, prepare for school, attend classes, go home, and sleep soundly are long gone. Now, I had to think of ways on how to accomplish this requirement. Now, I had to deal with Bruce. All of that suddenly changed when I punched him in front of a whole room of students; in front of our teacher.

If you were to ask me, the guy deserved it. He definitely deserved it! He had it coming. He was nothing more than a bully - a big, fat, worthless git - and bullies need to learn a few lessons every once in a while. I surely gave him that lesson. I just hope that he learned from it.

Our bus rolled along Walnut Avenue in a steady pace. The sun was shining along the horizon - getting ready to leave the world in darkness. And I was trying to flatten my face onto a window.

I sighed really deeply, when somebody nudged me.

"Huh? What?" I asked without looking up. I was still depressed about the kind of hell that I had to go through during the week. Out of all the high school kids in California, why did it have to happen to me?

There goes the nudge again.

"What?!" I was really annoyed by now, but still, I did not look up. It was Mrs. Elmers', Mr. Hark's, and Bruce Adam's faces that lingered before my retina - making me feel down - making me feel like I was the ickle boy made fun by Nancy Summers and her gang during recess.


"OW!" I exclaimed. "What do you think you're-" and as I looked up, I stopped and stared at a very handsome face, "Oh . . . It's you," then I turned to look outside the window again.

"Yeah, it's me!" he exclaimed, "What the fuck, Danny! I've been sitting here beside you for ten fucking minutes and you never even muttered a single 'Hi!' . . . HELLO," he waved ten, long, thick fingers on my face, "BEST FRIEND sitting here two inches from you! What the fuck is your problem? If there's something wrong, then I'm your guy! Or did you forget that? Dump everything on me!" He said both in a sarcastic and annoyed manner, which only made me crack up. Not to mention that, during the whole time, he was pouting and whining like a little child asking for candy.

"What the - UNBELIEVABLE!" He said incredulously, "One minute you're a sulking piece of shit, and the next you're cracking up like the crazy madman from Harry Potter!"

"There wasn't a 'crazy madman' in Harry Potter!" I defended between fits of laughter.

"Of course there was - Sirius Black - Duh!" he countered.

"He WASN'T mad!" I remarked.

"Of course he was! Did you forget that one scene where he was laughing in front of a camera? For no fucking reason? The guy's mad!"

"Well . . . if you put it that way, then, maybe a little."

"No! He's definitely mad. Sirius-ly mad!"

I continued laughing for a mile or two. He was just too fucking adorable! I'm talking about Keith here, not Sirius Black.

"Oh, Keith. What am I supposed to do without you?" I sighed and wrapped an arm over his massive shoulders, hugging him to me tight. "You don't know how lucky I am to be your friend." I held his deltoids. God! It was like squeezing a rock!

"No, you're not, Mister!" he snapped. I turned to him, giving him the what-the-fuck-does-that-mean look, "You're so lucky to be my BEST friend." He retorted smartly.

That made me smile, "Oh, yeah, that." I turned to him. He was staring at me - his face, inches from mine.

"Um . . . Keith?"


His breath was all over my face. It was warm and there was a hint of apples and something chocolaty in it.

"Keith, you're staring. . ."

God - those eyes! So green, and so seductive! You know, I could live like this forever - staring into the depths of my best friend's soul; holding him close to me tight.

"I know, Danny . . . So are you. . ."

My eyes travelled downward. Have I ever told you about the elegance of his nose? Mmmm-Hmmm . . . That's the word for it - ELEGANT. It makes him look like a young, Greek god - a very hot, young, Greek god. And those lips - so full, so red, and oh, so juicy it makes me think of cherries - and God help me - I wanted to just close the gap, lick those cherries, and devour them whole. By this time, my teenage cock was so hard I was afraid it would rip my jeans apart. I was wearing no underwear, so I know that Keith would soon notice it. I shifted in my seat and took my backpack to conceal the tent that I was making.

"Danny?" he asked - his warm breath sending shivers all over my neck.

"Hmmm?" It was getting harder to control myself now. These kinds of opportunities are just too rare to pass up. Should I? Should I not? A raging battle was happening inside my head. Oh, Keith . . . Why do you have to be so fucking HOT?

Should I? Should I not?

"What's wrong?" He asked seriously and lightly squeezed my shoulder.

I released my buddy, sat properly, and turned my head towards the window. My cock, disappointed, was now slowly going back to a flaccid state.

"Nothing's wrong, Keith. Really." I told him.

"Really?" He touched my thigh.


He sighed. "Come on, Danny. We've been friends, for what, six years? Seven? I know when there's something wrong with you. I can tell it just by looking at that cute, little face of yours. Come on! You can tell me."

I thought of it.

Well . . . you definitely owe him the truth, Danny. He's your best friend. You trust him more than anyone, don't you?

Yes, I do. But. . .

No, Danny! There will be no buts! This isn't the right time to say it. This isn't the right place to say it. It's still too risky. Shut that mouth of yours and keep that to yourself. Think of the homophobes you've met in school! Hell, think of every fucking homophobe living in this town! You don't want to live in hell, do you?

I sighed.

I was right. Well, I was talking to myself, so I was right. Right?

"I can't, Keith. I don't know how to . . . I don't know if you would understand." I dropped my shoulders and bowed my head. I was now on the brink of breaking down in front of my best friend. "I don't want to lose you because of it, Keith." I blurted.

"It's okay, Danny. It's okay. I understand. You just need time." he said, "But I'll wait. Okay? Whenever you want to tell me, I'll be here. Okay?"

"Okay." I smiled at him, "Thank you, Keith . . . for understanding."

"Hey! What are best friends for?" he then did something that made me tear up - he hugged me. "I'm here, Danny. I'll always be here." He softly whispered against my ear.

I was moved. No. I was shocked! Why is he suddenly hugging me? Yes, we are best friends, but he never was the sentimental type. That would have to be me. When I was down and low, he would just usually pat me on the shoulder, or squeeze my thigh, then say words of comfort - or just simply sit with me. That was his way. That was who he is.

"Hey, Princeton!" Someone called out, "Let go of Mockins so we can get a move on, will you?" I looked around. Every living soul in the bus was looking at us. There were catcalls and whistles. Because of our moment, we didn't even notice that the bus had stopped and we were now parked outside my house.

Keith then let go of me and laughed, "See you at school, buddy."

I smiled back at him, "Yeah, see you, Keith." then I got up and stepped off the bus.


The halls were full of students - chatting, heading to their respective classes, copying answers from the teacher's pet's assignments, or just standing there, passing the time - but I still fought my way through and looked for my locker.

As I was walking, there was a sudden uproar of 'Heys!', 'Watch Its!', and 'Look Outs!', and before I knew it, I was shoved hard onto the lockers.

"Uhmmph!" I grunted as my forehead made contact with an opened locker door. "WHAT is your PROBLEM?" I growled as I turned to get up.

The guy stopped in his tracks, turned around, and glared at me, then smiled cockily.

"Well, what do we have here?" He marched slowly towards me. Shit! Wrong move, Danny! I recognized him. He was a Junior. And he was a member of the Football team. A very big member of the Football team.

I just watched, open-mouthed, as he strolled towards me. "A nice, brave Freshman! You talking back to me?" he growled, "Huh, boy? You think you're tough enough for my Cannons?"

"Your Cannons?" I snapped.

"Yeah, that's what I call my biceps, dipshit!" He then flexed them. Damn! I would've been impressed enough to cream my pants - if only I wasn't too overwhelmed with anger.

I scoffed, despite being scared. I would not give him the pleasure of bullying me. I already have a bully and I don't need to deal with another brainless jock throughout my entire high school years.

"You know, with that level of creativity, I just hope that you've got a brain that's as big as those 'cannons' of yours!" I made air-quotes as I said 'cannons'.

That hit a nerve.

"You fucking bastard!" He swung his mighty fist at me. But before it connected, someone grabbed his wrist and yanked him to the floor. Butt first. The crowd surrounding us gave an audible gasp.

"What the fuck, Adams!" the guy growled.

Adams? What does he . . . I looked up. Sure, enough. There was Bruce!

"You siding with him? You siding with a loser now?"

Bruce stepped forward and looked down on the guy, "I'm not siding with anyone." he remarked calmly, "And wouldn't it make you more of a loser if you hit kids twice as small as you? Find someone your own size, Murphy!" so that was Cannons' name. "And if you don't want the Coach to know that you've been making trouble in the halls, you better leave. Now."

He glared at Bruce, "Fine." then turned to me, "See you later, Smart Boy."

The people surrounding us dispersed now that our typical High School drama was over.

As Murphy turned a corner, I went to Bruce.

"Um . . . Thanks, Bruce . . . I guess." I said. "Thank you."

"Yeah, whatever." He said, and then turned away.

What the fuck is his fucking problem?


Later that afternoon, Keith sent me a text message.

'Meet me at the cafet. Nid 2 talk bout sumthin.'

Oh My God! Does he know now? Are my secrets finally revealed? My paranoia started.

Don't be absurd, Danny! How could he possibly know? Only your mom and your sister knows about it. And if they didn't spill the beans, then there's no way on earth that Keith would know.

"Yeah! That's right. He couldn't possibly know. He couldn't. He shouldn't." I muttered.

So, I slowly made my way through the crowd and entered the cafeteria.

"Hey, Danny! Over here." Keith called me over. Have I ever told you that Keith was the most famous Freshman in our year? Yep, that's right! He is! So at that moment, I felt really, really proud of myself. Keith Princeton just called me over to his table and he was none other than my best friend!

Suck that, bitches!

He was sitting with some of our friends. Well . . . mostly HIS friends. They wouldn't even talk to me if Keith wasn't around.

"Push 'em off a boat and they'll float." I chuckled at the joke that I made for 'Plastics'.

"Hey." I simply said and sat between Tony and Derek. "What's this all about?" I asked Keith.

"You tell him. It was not my idea, after all." He told no one in particular.

"So . . . Dan . . . December's coming and Keith here told me that Luke told him that he was throwing a party. You know, sort of his own Christmas Party." Tony said.

"Really? Luke said that? That's great! When? Where?"

"Weekend before Winter break. His place." Derek said while wrapping an arm over Andrea.

"And, Daniel, he says we'll be having an exchanging of gifts!" Andrea said. "I'm so excited!"

"And we'll be bringing some booze!" Jake said excitedly.

"WHAT! Aren't we too young to-?"

"He's joking." Keith cut me off.

"And, of course, there'll be girls!" Arthur said while cupping imaginary boobs.

"And, of course, don't forget - the boys." Stacey, Arthur's current girlfriend, said while bravely cupping Arthur's crotch. But nobody seemed to notice but me.

"And we'll have an absolutely fuckintastic great time!" Keith finished, punching the air.

Oh, well. At least Keith will have a great time. I never really liked parties. Every time I went to one, I just find myself sitting alone in a corner, cursing myself on why I attended, while everyone was having the time of their lives.

What is that? You have a question? Shoot!

Oh, right! Sorry. Who the hell is Luke? Well, let me put it this way. He is one of the hottest guys that ever walked this entire planet. Actually, in my Hotness Meter right now, he ranks second - right after his brother, Keith.

Yep, that's right! Luke is Keith Princeton's big brother. And what a stud he was! I really think it runs in their family.

"Wow. I'm sure the entire school will be there." I enthused, "I mean . . . we can bring friends, right? It's not only exclusive for us, is it?" My subconscious rolled his eyes at me. As if you have a lot of friends.

"Yeah, sure!" Keith said enthusiastically, "The more, the merrier, right?"

"Right!" the others said harmoniously.

"I'll tell Luke you'll be coming. And you're staying the night. No more discussions. Meeting adjourned. Bye." Everyone immediately got up and left. He never even wanted to know if I was okay with it.

Well . . . whatever.


Luke's party was only a week away.

Classes were hectic. Assignments were overflowing. Teachers were growing more impatient. And the students were becoming more and more restless. It was as if everyone was rushing everything before the holidays came. And all that I can think of is my god damned English project!

My partner and I have never - not once - even talked about it.

I never catch Bruce after classes. I never see him alone. And every time I spot his fat ass, he's always surrounded by other jocks. I try catching his attention, but when he sees me, he just ignores my presence, as if I wasn't around. I even hear him laugh with the other jocks whenever I pass their circle - like I was the funniest thing in the world. What the fuck! We only have a month and a half before submission, and we haven't even picked a topic yet.

"Fuckin' jocks! All they think of are games, pussies, championships, workouts - and pussies!" I mumbled as I sat down.

"You said pussies twice."

"HOLY SHIT!" I freaked out, "Keith! You scared the shit out of me!" I was lucky Mr. Dawson didn't hear me - he was explaining something about the rules on multiplying polynomials. Whatever!

"What! I heard you mumbling about our jocks, and I thought I should ask." He said, "Well? You have a problem with our jocks?"

I sighed. "It's just Bruce. Never mind it."

"Bruce? Bruce Adams?"

I nodded.

"The Bruce Adams? The one who ruined your-"

"Science Essay? Yep, that's the one."

Mr. Dawson suddenly turned to face us. "Tell me, class. How does the FOIL method work?"

We stopped talking.

"That's when you wrap food in aluminum for heating, isn't it, Mr. Dawson?" Someone jeered.

The class laughed at the silly remark.

"Very funny, Ms. Harrison. Now the FOIL method is done by simply multiplying. . ." And he returned to his discussion.

"So? What's with him?" Keith asked as soon as Mr. Dawson turned.

"Huh? What? Mr. Dawson?"

"We were talking about Bruce. . ."

"Oh . . . I've told you that he's my partner for the research paper, haven't I?"

"Oh, yeah. You might have mentioned it. Hmmm . . . Let me guess - you haven't started with it yet, have you?"

I nodded. "The fucking bastard won't even talk to me."

He turned to face the board, and then said, "Hmmm . . . Why don't you confront him? Give him no escape."

"How, do you suppose, would I do that?"

"You know, just talk to him. And don't let him walk away without discussing your project."

I thought about his suggestion.

"You know what? I might just do that." I smiled and calculated my plans. We'll see, Bruce Adams. We'll see."


Our Football team always has their after-school practice games. I sighed, "I should wait till they're done, I guess. 'Cause you're not escaping me this time, Bruce! You can count on it."

I was sitting on the bleachers when I spotted Bruce. It was a piece of cake, really. He's easily the biggest guy on the field. He's even larger than the Seniors. I guess his size gave him the advantage to make it in the team.

I watched Number 63 as he tackled an opponent. Whew! I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that attack. Bruce was strong, I give him that. And he was fast, despite his humongous size. And he was cute when - Stop it, Danny! We're not here for that! Focus!

I took a deep breath.

The practice game was finished fifteen minutes after five. I waited as the team headed for a well-deserved hot shower.

Ten minutes.

Most of the guys have now showered and left.

Another ten, long minutes of waiting but Bruce still hasn't gone out. "What's taking him? The team's already left. Even their coach has already gone home." I mumbled.

I got up from the bleachers and headed inside. As I entered the locker room, the aura of pure maleness and masculinity enveloped me. I thought that the Football team's locker room would be sexy. How wrong was I. The smell was simply overwhelming - yet somehow, I loved it. Weird, right? Jockstraps were scattered everywhere; some were lying on the benches, others on the floor. Shirts, gym shorts, and Football gears were strewn everywhere. Fuck, I even saw a used condom thrown over a corner!

Damn! How can they stand using this kind of room? Didn't they know the word 'cleanliness'? If I was their Momma, I'd line them all and whip their asses up - including their coach.

I laughed at the image.

I looked around. Bruce was nowhere to be seen. Where is he? I turned to leave the room when suddenly I heard the sound of the showers running. Hmmm . . . I guess he's still in the showers.

I finally noticed that one locker was opened ajar. I walked towards it and opened it. Hey, it's not like I'm stealing or anything, I'm just having a look. And most of all, I was just curious.

I knew it. It was Bruce's. A photo of him was attached in there. He was half-naked, bare-chested, with only his gym shorts on. He was sweating, as though he has just finished a workout session or something. HAHA! I chuckled. If he was working out, then the results are not that impressive.

I took the photo for a closer look.

"Hmmm . . . You'd be quite a stud, you know - IF you lose those fats!" I pointed at him in the photo and laughed silently.


A chill ran up my spine. I quickly turned around and hid the photo behind me.

"Bruce," I croaked nervously, my voice coming out an octave higher than normal.

He was standing there before me - his whole body was glistening from the shower that he recently took. AND he was drying himself off. I was mesmerized by the fairness of his skin. I haven't touched it, but I can tell that it was as soft and as smooth as a baby's. Well, he was actually as naked now as he was when he was born. And damn! EVERY thing was in proportion, if you know what I mean.

"Oh, my God." I nearly fainted.

"Are you okay?" he smirked.


His cock was totally soft. (Straight Guys!) But even though, it was already a good 4 or 5 inches of Prime A American Football Jock meat - and he was still growing. I wonder how long he gets when hard. A system of veins can be easily seen encircling the shaft. He has an uncut cock and it can be seen beneath the foreskin that his cockhead was wider in girth than his shaft. Fuck! Why does it look so good to me? I have instantly forgotten that I hated the guy's guts and unconsciously licked my lips.

"Anything I can do for you, Fockins?" he growled as he dried his blonde hair.

"Um. . ." BULLY. The word suddenly flashed across my mind.

"Yeah?" He stopped toweling and wrapped the heavy cloth around his humongous waist. Shame.

"Um. . ." He's a bully, Danny! Stop drooling! You hate bullies! You hate him!

"Come on, dipshit! What is it?" He growled impatiently.

"Um. . ."

"Say 'Um' one more time, faggot, and I'll plug those luscious lips of yours with something long, warm, and juicy!"

I stared at him and processed what he had just said.

I didn't know which one of us was more shocked. He didn't just say that, did he? I really was not that good with riddles but I think I know perfectly well what he meant by it. I suddenly came to my senses and brought my guard back up.

"What the fuck does that mean, Adams?" I asked him furiously.

"I didn't mean anything by that!" he snapped and turned to his locker. He got a pair of shorts and donned it. He was blushing. I swear to God I've just seen him blush for the second time!

After donning a pair of shorts, he sat down and looked at me. He took a deep breath.

"What do you want, Mockins?" he asked in a milder tone.

"Wow!" I said smiling.


"That was nice to hear."

"What's nice?"


"Me?" He chuckled.

"Yeah, you." That was the first time that he called me by my surname correctly.

"What's so nice about me?" He asked, confused.

"Never mind. By the way-"

"No. What's so nice about-?"

"I said never mind, Bruce!" I snapped at him.

"What the fuck! If you don't want me to mind then what are you doing here, Fockins?!" He snapped angrily. Oh, joy! The bully is back.

"I'm here for our god damned project, Bruce!" I growled.

That got him.


"Yeah, oh! That's all that you can say? We only have a month or so and all you can say is 'Oh!'? I've been trying to make contact with you, but every time I see you, you wouldn't even look at me! I can't do all the god damned work, Bruce . . . I mean . . . of course, I can do it. But it's called a group project, for Christ's sake!"

"Fine! What do you want to do about it?" He took a shirt and put it on. The poor fabric, trying to accommodate his size, was stretched to its limits.

I sighed, deeply. "We need a time and a place."

"Okay - a time and a place. When? Where?" He asked.

"Meet me in the Library. Monday. Five o'clock. And don't be late!" I snapped and turned to go out.

"Fine!" He shouted and got his shoes on, "But, give me your number first!" He commanded.

"What?" I turned around.

"You heard me, Braniac! Give me your number."

"What do you want my number for?"

"I'm going to chew it, then shove it in your ears - I'll use it to contact you, of course! What do you think numbers are used for?" he retorted.

So, I gave him my number and he gave me his, and then I turned to leave.

"Uhmm . . . Mockins?" he called as I was on the doorway.

"What now, Bruce?" I snapped.

"Can I have my picture back?" He was fighting the urge to smile. It was now my turn to blush.

I looked down to my hand. Sure, there it was.

"Oh . . . Sorry . . . I was just. . ." But I cut myself off before I embarrass myself more. I handed him his photo and scurried out of the locker room, out of the gym, and out of the campus; wondering what perverted thoughts are running around that Football jock's mind.

Chapter Four


The California sun was setting low along the horizon. The library was eerily quiet. All of the other students who were here earlier have already finished their respective businesses and have just left for the weekend. The librarian was notoriously creepy. And I am sitting here all alone - waiting for a guy - feeling like a total fool, reading an article about the evolution of mankind and how it changed his sexual preferences. Actually, it would have been an interesting read - if only I wasn't too angry with Bruce and his irresponsibility.

5:25 PM

The clock ticked. Where is he? He should've been here, like, twenty minutes ago. I took a deep breath and concentrated on my reading. Oh, well. Maybe someone totally sucked at practice and made the team do laps.

Face it, Danny. He's bailed on you. And you know that he'd rather do laps than be with you.

5:37 PM

The clock teased. He's bailed on you, Danny. The voice inside my head kept nagging.

Shut up! Maybe something happened and he needed to be late. He'll be here soon. I retorted.

Whatever you say. . .

5:49 PM

The clock pestered. Don't be a fool, Danny. Do you think that that guy - that Football jock - would want to be seen hanging out with a guy like YOU? Inside the Library? Get some sense, Danny! He's bailed on you. Get your tight butt off of that chair and let's get the hell out of here.

I tried calling his phone. Nothing.

Just a little more time. Please. He'll be here. He told me so. He'll be here.

He told you so? He TOLD you so? Since when have you ever actually believed in the words that he says?

Shut up, okay! You're just my subconscious! When I say 'we wait', we wait! And there's nothing you can do to change that.

6:01 PM

Okay. You've had your 'little more time', Danny. Now, are we leaving or not? Look at the time! It's getting late and your mom will get worried. Stand up already!

I glanced at the clock again.

Without my consent, my feet took me out of the library and into the cold December night.

I was furious. How could he? Does he have to be such a dickhead every time? What the fuck! It's his project, too. If I ever see hair or hide of that ungrateful jock, I'll give him something he'll never forget. Maybe after that he'll do better than bail on me. Fuck him!


My phone was ringing as I was getting ready for bed. I stood up and took it out of my bag.

"Hello." I said with a sigh.

"Hey, Danny."


"Yeah." I wonder what happened. He only calls me when something really important happens.

"What's up? Is something wrong?" I asked anxiously.

"I should be the one asking that." he stated matter-of-factly.

I took a deep breath and smiled. The boy knows me too much - much more than I know myself. Well . . . not all, really. I thought.

"Bruce is being a dick." I stressed.

"Aaaaaaaand why is that?"

"WHY? You really have to ask me that? Keith, the guy doesn't text back! He doesn't answer his phone. He never showed up in class since Monday. And there's just this inconsequential and insignificant little thing called project which I have barely started and is sooooo far from finished!" I exclaimed heatedly. "I don't know what to do anymore!"

"You know, you sound just like you're his crazy jealous girlfriend or something." He laughed.

"HA-HA! Very funny, Keith. Come on, this is serious, man!"

"Okay. Okay. I'm sorry. Hmmm . . . I wonder what's wrong with him. His team mates told me that during practice last Friday afternoon, he received a phone call and hurriedly went home. They think it had something to do with an emergency or something. They haven't heard from him since."

I thought about this. Hmmm . . . What if something really happened? Should I be feeling bad for him? Should I just forget the long minutes that I have lingered in the library for his arrival? Should I be sympathetic if and when I see him?

Hmmm . . . IF something really did happen, then I hope he has a valid explanation for his misbehavior. He was the one who asked for my phone number, so he should have been more responsible. What's so fucking important that he can't even call or send a single text message?

"Danny?" I forgot that Keith was on the other line.

"Oh, sorry . . . Yeah?"

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just a little stressed out, I think."

He sighed. "Well...Danny, there's something that I need to tell you."

"What is it, Keith?"

"Well . . . I . . . um . . . I. . ."


He laughed, "Forget it. Have a good night. See you at school tomorrow." And then he hung up.

What was he going to say? I laid down and thought of my best friend until everything went dark and I was sleeping.


The school registrar was reluctant upon giving me Bruce's home address. She says that the information is too confidential and it's her job to keep it that way. What the fuck! She acts as if she's in a freaking CIA movie or something. I ain't no serial killer!

But when I told her that my purpose was something personal and very important - which is really true - she finally gave in.

It says that Bruce and his mom lives in an apartment building somewhere in Woodbridge. "That's just a couple of miles from here." So, I got on a bus and headed out.


"Number 401. Here it is." I announced to myself.


I waited. The place was neat, for an apartment. But it seemed like there was nobody home. I couldn't see any light coming from the doorway. And there seems to be no noise, whatsoever, coming from inside. Creepy. I suddenly felt like I was in a freaky Sci-Fi horror movie or something.


A door finally opened. But it was not the one that I was knocking on. It was from its neighboring room - Room 402.

"Who are you looking for, boy?" an old man, probably in his sixties, asked.

"Oh. I'm looking for Bruce, sir. Bruce Adams?"

"Oh, young Bruce." He chimed. "He's probably in the hospital right now." he said.

"The Hospital?" I gasped. What's he doing in the hospital? He couldn't be sick, could he?

"Yes. His mother has been diagnosed last week. Poor woman."

Oh my God. I've been whining all week about Bruce for not showing up when his mother is sick and hospitalized.

"Why? What happened to her, sir?"

"Well, son . . . young Bruce tells me that she has Leukemia." he sighed, "Such a sad, sad fate for someone so caring and so sweet. You know, there was one time when-"

"Um . . . Ahem . . . Excuse me, sir." I cut in before he starts an account about a certain this and about a certain that.

"Yes, boy?"

"Do you know what hospital she's in?" I asked. "You see, it's sort of an emergency."

"Oh, she would be in Sunrise Healthcare Center - the one by Walnut Avenue. You know the place?"

"Yes, I do. Thank you, sir." I answered. "Have a good night."

And then I left for another bus ride across town.


Room 602.

Nope. The attendant from the nurse's station told me that Lilybeth Adams would be in Room 613.

Room 605.

I moved onto the next door.

Room 607.

I wonder what I should say. I haven't told Bruce anything about this surprise visit. Duh! It's a surprise, Danny, of course he shouldn't know! But what if he beats the shit out of me? He wouldn't dare do that, would he? His mom will be in the room.

Room 611.

I hope Bruce won't get mad for this.

"Room 613. This is it. It's now or never, Danny." I mumbled.

An old woman, who was just passing by, looked at me like I was fucking crazy.

"Mind your own business, lady!" [What! Don't blame me! It's my fucking period!]


"Come in." a sweet voice from the other side of the door rang out. "You know, Brucey, you don't have to knock every single time you-" she stopped as soon as she saw me.

"Um. . ." Hmmm . . . Brucey? Awkward.

"Who are you?" she demanded. And I suddenly had to ask myself, 'Do I really look like a freakin' serial killer?'

"Um . . . Uh . . . Hi, ma'am. My name is Daniel. Bruce . . . uh . . . Bruce and I are classmates. . ." I stammered.

"Oh. Daniel. Hmmm . . . Daniel?" she said as if remembering something, "You wouldn't, by any chance, be Daniel Mockins, would you?" she asked timidly.

Huh? That was weird. How did she know my complete name? She even got my last name right. Did Bruce. . . ? Hmmm . . . Never mind.

"Yes, ma'am. That would be me." I replied.

"Ooooh . . . So YOU'RE Daniel!" She then smiled at me and nodded repeatedly. "Finally." She mumbled, she thought I couldn't hear her. What was that all about? I suddenly felt self-conscious. "Well . . . Bruce isn't around yet. He said he had to go someplace else. Says it's really important."

She paused and stared at me. "You can wait for him. He said he won't be long." She smiled again. Now I know where Bruce got his smile. "Please, make yourself comfortable."

So, I sat down and placed my backpack beside me. I studied Bruce's mom. She looked like she was in her mid to late thirties - much like my mom, really - maybe younger. And despite her condition, she was simply stunning! Curly, blonde hair frames her doll-like features and highlights her pale complexion. Her eyes, like Bruce's, were of a deep ice blue. Come to think of it, she looks like the female version of Bruce - only thinner. HEHEHE. . .

"So, Daniel, you and Bruce are classmates, right?"

I just said that, didn't I?

"Yes, ma'am." I politely replied.

"Oh God, how rude of me! I'm Lilybeth Adams, by the way." she chuckled, "But please call me Lily."

"Oh. I sort of figured that part already. You know - your name." I smiled at her.

"So . . . what brings you here, Daniel?" She asked after a few unnecessary shufflings with my belongings.

"Oh, you see, Bruce and I were paired up to make a Research Paper for English. We should have been working on it, but he hasn't contacted me nor showed up in school since Monday."

"Oh. . ." she said sadly, "I see. But, how did you know where to find us?"

"Um . . . I went to the school registrar . . . and . . . I asked for your home address." I said sheepishly, "I hoped you wouldn't mind."

"It's okay. There was no harm done. And...?"

"And so, I went to your apartment. But when I got there, no one was home. Luckily, your neighbor, the old man from 402-"

"Mr. Simmons?" She inquired.

"Well . . . Yeah, Mr. Simmons." I continued, I didn't care who Mr. Simmons was, "He told me that you were diagnosed . . . and he said that you would be here . . . and so . . . here I am!"

"Hmmm . . . That's quite tiring, don't you think? I'm sorry for the trouble, Daniel."

"Oh, it's okay. At least I can see Bruce now and talk about our project."

"Well . . . thank you so much, Daniel."

"Oh, it's nothing, Mrs. Adams."

So, I stayed for a few more hours. Lily was great to chat with. I feel comfortable talking to her. We talked about anything that comes up to mind - we even had a conversation on Sports!

Seven o'clock passed. Bruce still wasn't around. I wonder where he'd gone.

"I would like to ask a question, Mrs. Adams."

"Please, Daniel, call me Lily." she cut in, "What is it?"

"Okay . . . but first, let me tell you that it doesn't make me feel right . . . I mean, me calling you Lily." I smiled nervously, "I just feel like I should call you Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Adams, if you wouldn't mind."

"Oh, very well." She resigned, "If you insist. It just makes me feel really old, you know? When someone calls me that." She laughed.

"Well, you're not, Mrs. Adams."

"That's so sweet of you. So . . . what was your question?"

"Okay. . ." I paused - trying to figure out how to ask her. "Well . . . you see . . . Bruce and I. . ." I cleared my throat, "We don't really sort of . . . um . . . we're not what you would call . . . buddies. We don't really linger on the same frequencies." I gauged for her reaction.

"So far, I haven't heard any questions, Daniel." She simply stated.

"Um . . . has he . . . has he always been . . . a bully?" I stuttered.

"Oh . . . so that's what this is all about." she said dejectedly.

"Um . . . I'm sorry, Mrs. Adams. Please, just never mind that question. Just pretend that I never said that. That was out of-"

"No, no Daniel. It's okay." she sighed, "It's okay."

She took another deep breath.

"Well . . . honestly, Danny, I have been expecting this conversation for a while now." Really? "But I never expected to have it with one of Bruce's classmates. I always pictured that I would be talking to a school official or something. . ." She paused. "You see, Daniel, Bruce has had a tough childhood. We just moved here from Texas last year and, you may not believe this but, back there, HE was the one being bullied." She sat up in bed and looked out the dark window. "He may not speak of it, but I know. His 'friends'," she quoted, "Well . . . they talked to me and confided about what the school jerks do and say to my son. I would often hear him at night - crying. But every time he wakes up, he would always smile at me. He would always make it his day's goal to make me happy. And he never failed at that - up until now." She turned to look at me, "He still manages to make me smile, Daniel. Bully or not - he still does."

My feelings were really conflicted by now. Bruce - my bully - was once also a subject to bullying? Who the fuck could've guessed!

"I can understand why he bullies other people, and I'm really sorry if he does. And I know that it's wrong but . . . but, I think that that's just his own way of protecting himself - you know, like his defense mechanism, if I must say."

We sat there in silence. Only the droning sound of Glee's cast singing some prehistoric Christmas song about a donkey carrying a pregnant woman to a city called Bethlehem could be heard. Or was it the donkey that was preggy and then was carried by a bitch named Bethlehem? Hmmm . . . doesn't matter.

"Does he bully you, Daniel?" Mrs. Adams asked me out of the blue.

"Um. . ."

"You can tell me, Daniel."

I took a deep breath and said, "Yes. He did. He still does, actually. Ever since the first time we've met. I think he really hates me, Mrs. Adams. I just don't know why."

Lily got out of her bed and went over to the couch where I was seated. She took my hand.

"I'm so sorry, Daniel." She said, "I'm so sorry. I don't know about Bruce, but as far as I can see . . . there's nothing to hate about you. And let me tell you this, Daniel. You may not see it but, Bruce . . . my Bruce . . . he's a very good boy. He's a very good son."

I just nodded. I understood now. And I know why he feels like that. He was bullied. He was like me, too. And I NEED to understand that. Well, at least, for now.


But I can't just let Bruce be Bruce. I need to do something about it. I know that it'd be risky, and totally depressing for Mrs. Adam's part, but I need to do it.

"Mrs. Adams?" I tentatively asked.

"Yes, Daniel?" she chirped.

"I need to ask you a favor. It's really, really a bad idea and you would totally hate it, but I think that this could break through Bruce. We need to do this for him."

She contemplated on my offer, "What do you have in mind?"

"I need you to give me everything - and I mean every thing - you got on Bruce."

"Oh, you're planning a surprise for him?" She asked excitedly.

Oh, Jesus! "Um . . . I'm thinking of something . . . more in line with . . . 'Blackmail'."

"Oh." She said, "Oh."

Mrs. Adams was hesitant at first. She thinks it's a bit too personal. Too destructive. But I assured her that I would only use it for . . . well, for blackmail. I wouldn't really expose what she'll share to everyone. Promise!

Really great, right? Conniving with the mother to discipline the son.

But this is needed. It has to be done.

After a few minutes of sales talk, she gave in. But she let me promise that I wouldn't share it to any other else.

And I gave her my word.

Eight o'clock passed and there was still no Bruce to be seen.

"Daniel?" Mrs. Adams asked. She was now back in her bed - lying down and reading a Michael Scott book. She told me she was into fictional novels.

"Hmmm?" I looked up.

"Why don't you head home now? Your parents are probably worried about you." she said.

Hmmm . . . She's right. I haven't asked my mother's permission in the first place. She's probably waiting by the porch by now.

"Yeah. I guess I do have to leave." I got up and grabbed my backpack.

"Thank you for the visit, Daniel." She said thoughtfully, then added, "And I'm sorry about you and Bruce."

"It's okay, Mrs. Adams." I said as I thought about the horrifying past that Bruce has had. "I understand his situation now."

"Still. I'm sorry."

I went over to her bed and hugged her. I don't know why but I had the sudden urge to comfort her.

"It's okay, Mrs. Adams." I said over her shoulder, "Things'll be better. They should be."

"Thank you." She then kissed my cheek. "And, Danny?" I faced her at arm's length. "I'll hold you to your word, okay?"

"I promise, Mrs. Adams." I said, "I wouldn't want to hurt anyone intentionally. That's not me."

She smiled and patted my cheek. "Thank you."

"I'll see you soon, okay?" I said by the doorway.

"I'll be looking forward for that day." She smiled and I closed the door.


It was cold and dark as I walked along the sidewalk towards the nearest bus stop, when I heard someone yell.

"Give it to me, or I will beat the shit out of you, you fucking bastard!" It was a guy.

"Please, sir, this is all I've got. This is for my son!"

"You don't understand what I'm saying, do you? Do you!"

GRUNT. "Please, sir!" GRUNT. "Please..." The other guy pleaded. "This is for my son!" GRUNT.

I still couldn't see where they were.

"I!" PUNCH. "Don't give!" KICK. "A damn!" PUNCH. "About your fucking!" KICK. "Child!"

"HEY!" another guy shouted - he sounded younger.

I could tell that the other guy had stopped his torture. Then he called back.

"Who's there? Show yourself and don't be a fucking coward like this-"

But he never finished his speech. I heard the other guy run and I heard punches and kicks being landed. It was not long before I could hear the guy who beat the poor beggar grunt and scream for mercy.

"Now, it's you who's pleading for mercy!" He chuckled, "Give back the money or I'll fucking beat your pathetic body till all your bones break!" The guy commanded menacingly. I listened to the guy and thought that he sounded kind of familiar. But, they were far away from me. Maybe it's just my imagination. Oh, well.

"Yes, sir. Here you go, sir." I heard dimes rattle in a can.

"NOT TO ME, YOU IDIOT!" The guy growled.

"Oh, okay sir, here you go." I then heard him hand over the money that he took.

"NOW LEAVE!" The guy growled, "And if I ever see you here again, I wouldn't hesitate to finish what I have started, and trust me, you wouldn't like that." He finished threateningly.

Gulp! He was scary. But he was a hero. A real hero. It's just sad that it was very dark. The guy's voice sounded really hot.


"Mom, I'm home!" I announced as soon as I got in.

"I'm in the kitchen, honey." She called. So, I went into the kitchen and stopped by the sink. "Where have you been?" She was smiling. That was odd. Why is she grinning at me? She should've been scolding me right now for going out without her permission.

"Mom, are you okay? You look like the freakin' Cheshire Cat right now. It's really creepy."

"What! Really, where have you been?" The grin was still pasted all over her face.

"I've been out to see a friend."

"He's been out to see his boyfriend . . . Out to see his boyfriend . . . Out to see his BOYFRIEND. . ."

"JESUS! You scared me!" My sister suddenly went into the kitchen and danced her way around me, singing stupidly. My mom was laughing.

"MOM!" I whined, "What boyfriend? I have no boyfriend!" I said defensively.

"La la la la boyfriend . . . La la la la boyfriend. . ." My sister continued.

"Mom, will you stop her, please!" I pleaded, but she just continued laughing. "Mom, this isn't funny! Stop her before the neighbors hear."

"You're so cute when you're blushing, do you know that?" She remarked while chuckling.

"What's this all about?" I asked, enraged.

"Don't yell at me!" She retorted.

"I am NOT yelling!" I yelled.

"Yes. You. ARE!" She sang.

What the hell is wrong with them? BOYFRIEND? I scoffed.


"Really, mom, what happened?" I asked seriously as I was chewing on a celery. We were eating dinner.

"Well . . . Someone came over here and asked for you this afternoon." She informed.

Really? I haven't had visitors for a very long time. Well . . . except Keith.

"So?" I asked impassively.


"So, who was it? Why are you acting all weird . . . and what's with this boyfriend stuff?"

"He says his name was Bruuuuuce. . ." My sister teased.

Bruce? He came over to find me?


I left home hoping that I could talk to him and we ended our nights talking to each other's moms. I smiled at the irony.

"Mom, Danny's smiling! He's smiling!" She laughed and teased some more.

"Ahem . . . So, what happened? What did he say?" I asked, despite my sister's antics.

"Well . . . I let him in and we talked about stuff. You know, about school, girlfriends, the usual. He stayed till seven, by the way. Where were you? I think he was really cute. And such a charmer. And he also said that he needs to talk to you BADLY."

"Yep! That's what he said - BADLY." My sister butts in.

"He wants to talk to you about something PERSONAL, he says." My mom's Cheshire Cat smile was back.

"Ughh! Mom! Stop smiling, will you?" I covered my face with both of my hands. I was blushing, and I knew it. "I'm going to bed."


As I went up, I can still hear Stephanie's "Danny Has A Boyfriend" song. I just smiled.

I can't believe it! Bruce - a real charmer? I can hardly imagine.

And what more - Bruce - my boyfriend? My mom must be crazy. We can't even stand being in each other's presence - we're not even friends, for Christ's sake! How can we even be boyfriends? Absurd, right?

Bruce? My Boyfriend?

"I don't think so. . ." I scoffed and chuckled at the thought, "I don't think so."

Chapter Five


I was having a wonderful dream about my buddy, Keith, when a four-limbed creature suddenly jumped on top of me.

"Come on! Wake up! Wake up! Come on, Daniel! Wake up!"

I tried getting her hands off of my face and successfully pushed her off the bed.

"Alright! Alright! I'm up. What's with the emergency wakeup call? Last time I checked, there was nothing wrong with my alarm clock. . ." I grumbled as I cleared my eyes.

"We're going shopping!" my sister exclaimed excitedly and sat beside me, "Christmas shopping, Daniel! Come on! Come on! Get out of bed already! We'll be waiting for you downstairs. Mom says you have ten minutes or we'll leave you!"


"Your love's a permanent distraction, a perfect interaction. I'm feeling so extreme. I lost my appetite to eat; I barely get to sleep, 'cause you're even in my dreams. . ." I was singing in the shower when my phone beeped.

3 New Messages

I checked the first. "Oh, joy!" It was from the president of an organization that I was in - saying that we were to meet and discuss about 'Waste Management in the School Cafeteria' in an hour. Fuck the cafeteria. That was the least of my priorities for now.

The next one was from an unregistered number. Hmmm. . .


BA? Bad-Ass motherfucker? HAHA. Oh, well. He must've heard from his mom. At least he texted, even though it's a little too late.

"Don't worry, Bruce. Your record has been cleaned - for now." I mumbled.

The last one was from Keith.

'Be hir at 5. Nid ur help. AND bring MY gift! :P'

I smiled.

"Yeah, right." I muttered.


That Saturday morning we went Christmas shopping. We bought a Christmas tree, a few lines of Christmas lights, some boxes of Christmas balls in assorted colors and sizes, and just about everything that has something Christmassy in it.

"Oh, I almost forgot!" I practically shouted. The couple walking before us turned their heads in alarm.

"What? What is it?" My mom asked.

"I need to buy a gift!"

"For your BOYfriend?" My sister teased.

"No! For the party. Luke's Christmas party, remember?"

"Okay! Okay! We get it. There's no need to be defensive!" My mom chimed.

"I'm SO not being defensive, Mom!"

"Oookaaay . . . if you say so . . . Mr. Defensive!"

She turned before I could react.

"So, you have no idea if it's for a girl or for a boy?"

"Yes, Mom. For the millionth time, YES."

"How about a bracelet?" Stephanie suggested.

"Too corny."

"An anklet?"

"Steph, they're basically the same thing . . . and they're both corny."

"A book?"


"I know! How about an alarm clock?" My mom suggested brilliantly.

"Absolutely NO, Mom! Everybody hates it when they receive an alarm clock for Christmas." I said.

"Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I sort of remember giving you an alarm clock for last Christmas." My Mom said hurtfully.

"Well . . . I admit . . . I hated it." And I laughed at her reaction. We all laughed.

"Well, if we choose something, it should be unisex. And it should-" But I never heard what my mom was saying. All of my attention was now focused on something that was on display.

"Perfect." I whispered to myself.

"What?" My mom asked.

"Oh, nothing. Let's go home. I can't find anything." I lied.

"But Luke's party is tonight, right?" Steph inquired.

"Yeah. Don't worry. I'll find something. Maybe later."

"Hmmm . . . Okay. Let's go, then."

"You wait by the car. I need to take a leak first."

So, my mom and my sister went out first, and I walked as if I was headed to the restroom. Once they were out of sight, I immediately retraced my steps and purchased the item on display.

"I'm sorry for asking, sir, but isn't this a bit . . . too big . . . for you?" The woman behind the counter asked.

"Oh. Those are not for me." I simply stated, though I was sure I was already a very deep scarlet.

"Oh, your dad's, perhaps?"

"Just give me the box, will you?" I snapped.

"Oh, sorry." She then handed me the package - already wrapped up, complete with a ribbon swathed graciously around it and a card that wishes him (or her) a Merry, Merry Christmas. She then smiled toothily, "Well . . . Happy Holidays!"

Yeah. Like you care.


We arrived from our shopping at half past twelve. After arranging and stocking the goods - and listening to my sister's newest single, 'Danny Has A Boyfriend' - I slipped into my room and closed the door. The item that I bought [Thank God it was small!] was safely kept in my pocket, hidden from the suspicious eyes of my mother. I took the small package out and put it on top of my bedside table beside my The Avengers action figures.

Fuckin' yeah! Hate me if you want, but I totally love The Avengers! I can stay up all night staring at Chris Evans' or Chris Hemsworth's photos - clothed or stripped. I'm a geek that way.

"Hmmm . . . Whoever gets this should know the meaning of the word 'creativity'." I said as I eyed the gift, "If he's a guy - he'll definitely know how to use it. If she's a gal - well, I'll let her use her imaginative skills."

I lied down on my bed. "Five hours till the party." I sighed. "What to do? What to do?"

I spotted my laptop and took it to my bed. I checked my social networking accounts.

"What. The. Fuck!" Jesse Porter, our Football Quarterback just updated his status. I've always admired Jesse's athletic skills, but what I admired the most from him was his entire physique. He was easily the most muscular guy in school. Scratch that. He was easily the most muscular guy in town.

'Wazzup mothafuckerz! Going 2 my buddies Luke n Keith Princetons' party tonite! Can't w8 to see 'em bitches get wasted! Whoohoo!'

Well, he IS a jock. That's how they act. There's gotta be a downside for everything. But, FUCK! How cool is that? If Jesse's attending, then it wouldn't be a shock if the entire body of High School jocks would be there. An entire house filled with hot, horny, High School jocks! FUCK!

My Twitter account was filled with tweets about the party, too.

'Hey, sweeties! Hope to see u at Princey's party...If u want me, I'll be the one under the mistletoe! Mwah! :*'

"That bitch! Can't pass up an opportunity." I grumbled. If the rumors were true, then I wonder how many gallons of cum she'll be taking home once the night ends. "Why does the Principal even let that kind of woman be the school's cheerleading captain? Fuckin' bitch! Slut!"

I continued browsing and suddenly realized that Luke's party would be a real blast.


The door closed with a bang and everything went dark. It was a weird kind of darkness. I held myself and stood up from a fetal position.

"Hello!" I called out. I've seen enough horror movies to know that shouting in dark, scary places was a B-A-D idea, but I still did it. Crazy, right?

"Anybody out there?" My voice was a bit raspy, as though I have just been crying. I felt my eyes and realized that I WAS actually crying. Tears were falling endlessly and each and every teardrop was creating loud, clanging noises on the nonexistent floor.


Why was I crying?

"Hello!" I called again. Then a sudden gust of wind opened a doorway. A bright kind of bluish-white light was emanating from it. It blinded me for a few seconds and as soon as my sight was restored, I saw two, big figures - I assumed they were men - enter the room and started to walk towards me.

As they got nearer, I made out dress shirts and ties and slacks and pointed shoes - they looked like bodybuilders dressed in business executive attires. One guy was wearing all white, while the other was wearing all black. The only things that were sort of out of place were their hoods. It looked like a witch's hat; only, it conceals the wearer's forehead up to the tip of his nose. Two holes were cut out for the eyes and their mouths were uncovered.

The guy in white walked past me and stayed at the back of the room. The guy in black just stood before me. I was surrounded.

"Who are you? What do you want from me?" I asked nervously.

I heard the one behind me chuckle. "Stop acting like you're in drama series or something, will you? One thing's for sure - we're not gonna hurt you. YET." then they laughed.

Shit. What are they going to do to me? This reminded me of an action movie that I have watched years ago, where the protagonist was helplessly beaten and then left bleeding in the middle of the street.

"The both of you fuckers just leave me alone . . . or I will call the police!" I threatened. I should let them know that I wasn't afraid of them.

"We don't care about the police. All we care about is that you're finally here and that Daddy's not here anymore to protect little Danny." Said the guy behind me.

"What the hell are you talking about? What's this got to do with my Dad? Who are you?" I asked again.

"Let's just say . . . that we are . . . your worst nightmare." The one before me spoke. He took a step forward.

"Stay back!" I warned. I looked behind me and saw that the other guy was doing the same. "Or else-"

"Or else what?" The guy behind me drawled, "You gonna cry for help? Look around, Daniel. Do you see anyone?" He chuckled.

I looked around. He was right. I was in the middle of nowhere - trapped by two, hulking strangers. Alone. Helpless.

"I thought so." he murmured.

"How do you even know me? I don't remember meeting any of you!" I snapped at them.

"Trust me, Daniel. We have met. A long, long time ago." The guy before me said. "Now . . . Enough talk. Time for more action."

With that, the guy behind me wrapped both of his massive arms around my chest. Encircling me with his thick, muscular arms.

"Let go of me! Let go of me!" I struggled to break free. But it was useless. Even with a single arm, I know he'd still have me trapped. He was strong. The muscles on his arms bulged as they held me.

"Just relax, Daniel. We'll take care of you." The other guy stood before me and, surprisingly, caressed my cheek. I whimpered.

"Shhh . . . Shhh . . . Shhh . . . We'll take care of you." And with another beat of my heart, he kissed me. At first, it was a very soft kiss, with only his lips touching mine. I turned my head to the side and struggled aimlessly to break free.

"Fuck you!" I spat on his face.

He took a step back and removed his hood.


He was . . . He was . . . I can't find the perfect word to describe him. Oh, that's right. PERFECT. He was perfect beyond explanation. He was a Greek god. If the circumstances were different, I would've fallen in lust for him.

But he was a monster.

"Oooh . . . I like 'em feisty!" He grabbed my face and held it steady. "Come on, Daniel. I know you want it."

"I'm not going to let you-" He kissed me again. This time it was more forceful. More powerful. His lips were smashed against mine and they were warm - and so soft. He held my face firmly, but not too strongly it would hurt. He was kissing me, but I dare not make a move. This was not how I imagined my first kiss would be. This was rape. He was raping my mouth.

The tip of his tongue brushed the outline of my lips. I knew what he wanted.

No, Danny! Don't let that bastard!

His tongue was insistent, forceful - like a snake attacking its prey. I moaned. It was completely unintentional. He stopped his assault and pressed his forehead against mine.

"See? What did I tell you? You're liking it already!" His warm breath was all over my face.

"I . . . that was . . . I did not mean to-"

"You were moaning like a bitch in heat. Don't tell me otherwise, boy. You're a bitch and you like it!" The guy behind me growled into my ears.

Fuck, he was right. And him calling me boy sounded really hot. I liked it. And as much as I hated them, I liked the kiss.

"You want more, baby?" The guy behind me asked seductively. I had a glimpse of his face. Damn! He was the equal but opposite of the man before me. Where the man before was white, the man behind was black. His lips were softly, slowly, enticingly showering my neck and jawline with tender, little kisses. I can feel his stubble brushing my cheeks. "We can give you all the pleasure that you want." He gripped me harder, pressing his rock hard torso against my back. His pecs were so hard and so muscular; I can feel his nipples boring onto my shoulder blades. Something was poking on my bum. Fuck! He was having a boner. The pervert was liking this shit and was getting a hard-on.

"Please . . . Let me go. . ." I whimpered.

"Not yet, sweetheart." He said. The guy before me fumbled with my buckle and freed my raging hard-on. They did the same thing. They freed foot-long uncircumcised cocks. Fuck! They were big! Oh, God!

"Fuck, you've got a nice ass!" The guy remarked, and he ground his rock hard cock onto my virgin ass. Pre-cum was constantly flowing from the piss slit. As he ground his blunt cockhead against my puckered hole, he took hold of my nipples and pinched them mercilessly.

"Please . . . No . . . Oh, God. That hurts . . . Ohhh . . . God. . ."

The guy before me took my face again and kissed me. This time, I didn't fight it. What was the point? They were bigger than me - stronger. The both of them were kissing me - the Black American was ravaging my neck and the white Greek God was devouring my lips. Both of their massive cocks were grinding against my teenage body, making my pelvis slick with pre-cum. Their muscles were bulging everywhere. And their muscles were all over me.

They were grinding their pelvises onto mine. God! I had to admit - it was starting to feel really good. I grabbed the black guy's butt and pulled his manhood hard onto my ass. His cock was pulsing through the fabric of my pants. I did the same to the other guy. Fuck! I was acting like a slut! A shameful, useless, and filthy slut!

"Ohhhh, God. Yes!" I hissed, "Harder, sirs. Grind it to me harder. Fuck, you two are so hot. Ohhhh, God. So hot."

They chuckled devilishly - and then everything shifted.

Everything went dark again. A slight breeze swept around my sweating torso. I cannot see a thing. In fact, there seems to be nothing around me. Just utter darkness. Total emptiness.

The men were gone. They were nowhere to be seen. They just left me breathless and sporting a fucking hard-on. Fuck!

"Hello." I whispered. I was shivering. It was cold in this place, wherever this is, but the chill that I was feeling was not because of the surroundings, but because of the emptiness that I felt inside. It was as if everything suddenly became nothing. I had no more worries. I felt no pain. No sorrow. I felt invincible. It was as if, in this place, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. I can be whoever I want without worrying about what others might think. I can be myself. I was free.

"Whoohoo!" I screamed. I was overwhelmed with pure happiness, despite the total darkness. "WHOOHOO!"

And then there was light. I squinted from the sudden brightness. It was so bright I couldn't see anything.

"Hello?" I called out. "Is anybody there?"

And with that said, I saw a figure on the horizon. I couldn't tell if he (or she) was heading towards me or walking away from me and into the light.

"Hey!" I called again. "I need your help." I was jumping and waving my hands - trying to catch his (or her) attention.

The figure was getting bigger, taller, getting nearer.

"Yes! Thank God!" I was practically crying by now. Tears of utter joy. "Yes! I need your help!"

Twenty feet.


Thirteen feet.

Thank God!

Seven feet.

And then I saw. The figure was a 'he'. And not just any 'he'.

Two feet.

How can this be possible?

"Keith?" I asked the guy before me, unsure.

He smiled. Oh my God! It was Keith. But not really. Or is he really?


"Is that the only word you know?" He smiled that lopsided grin of his. It was definitely him. I'd bet my Grandma Mary's underwear on it.

"What happened to you?"

He has definitely gone taller, leaner, more muscular, more defined. I was standing before a boy - No! Scratch that! - a man! The face that I have memorized for so long was now more angular - matured. It was my best friend. The older version of my best friend.

"I don't understand. What happened to you?" I asked again.

"What happened to ME?" he retorted, "What happened to YOU?"

"Why? What-" And then a mirror suddenly appeared out of nowhere and I saw him. He looked just like me. But like Keith, he has gone taller, and looked more mature. The signs of his boyishness were all gone - replaced by the features of a handsome, young man. "Oh my God! What's happening, Keith? This is totally freaking me out." I heard the man in the mirror ask.

"This," Keith turned to face me, "Is what's happening." And with that he took me in his arms and kissed me. I was passionately locked in his arms. I was so shocked I was not moving. Not a single muscle was moving. Not even my cock was responding.

Snap out of it, Danny! This is what you've been fantasizing about, isn't it? Now act on it! Now!


Keith moaned as I parted my lips and returned his kisses. "Oh, God." he murmured in between kisses, "Oh, Danny."

I wrapped my arms around his muscular shoulders and traced the muscles under his shirt. I pulled him into me - tighter, harder. I did not want this moment to end. We were now practically making out. With no cares in the world. We were now in our own world. With nothing but him and me.

His hands were cupping my ass and he ground his engorged manhood against mine. Fuck! He was big! And hard! And hot! The heat from his massive cock was emanating through the denim of his jeans. "Oh, God. Keith . . . You're so hot."

I reached for his cock. He was kissing my neck. I took hold of his fly and snapped it open. He wasn't wearing any underwear. "Ohhh. . ." he moaned as I gingerly held his manhood. "Ohhh, Danny. Your hand feels so fucking good. Pump me, Danny. Pump my cock." I encircled his shaft - my fingers couldn't even meet. God, he was thick! "I want to get inside you, Danny." He moaned, "Please, Danny. Let me fuck you." He pleaded as I pumped his cock.

"Yes, Keith. Fuck me." I didn't even hesitate as I was nibbling on his ears. "Make me yours. I want this thick inches of yours inside my virgin pussy. Ride me like a stallion, Keith. Breed me!"

He took off his shirt and I marveled at my best friend's body. Fuck! Talk about perfection! His pecs were so thick and meaty; I could not hold them in my hands. His biceps rippled as he moved his arms around me, pulling me tight for another kiss.

"Oh, Keith. I love your body. You're so hot, man." I moaned as I kissed his six-pack - no wait - he has five rows of it, so that makes a ten! Fuck! He's got the whole set! "Ohhh, God."

"Fuck, man. Please don't tease me. Suck me, man! Let me fuck your juicy mouth!"

So I took his cock and lapped up the pre-cum that glistened around his massive cockhead.

"Ooooohhhhhh. . ." He moaned as I took four inches of his cock into my mouth. And that was still far from being halfway. Oh God!

"God, Keith. How big is this?"

"You don't want to find out. Just suck it, Danny. It feels so fucking good. I've wanted this to happen for so long. Just suck it and. . . Oooohhhh. . ." He couldn't continue for I was already sucking him into my throat like there was no tomorrow.

Up and down. In and out. Up and down. I sucked him fast. Hard. Getting his penis all wet and slimy with my throat juice.

"Oh, God, Danny. Your mouth feels so good. Ohhh, yeah . . . Suck that fucker . . . Ohhh . . . Have you . . . done this before? Ohhh. . ."

I chuckled and got off of his fuck pole and replied. "Nope. This is my first." And I went back to sucking his juicy manhood. "God, you taste so good, Keith."

"Ohhh . . . Ohhh, yeah . . . Suck me . . . Ohhh . . . Suck that cock . . . Suck my hard cock . . . Oh, you look so hot down there . . . With your lips stretched out around my cock . . . Ohhhhh . . ."

I sucked him for a few more minutes. He was moaning and begging me to suck him more.

"Stand up." He suddenly ordered.


"Stand up."

I got off of his cock and stood before him.

"D'ya wanna ride me now?"

"Ohhh, God, Keith. I don't know if I could-"

"Come on. You'll love having my hard cock pounding your ass you'll never want me to get it out. Please, Danny. I've wanted you for so long."

I straddled him and he took hold of my thighs. I wrapped my legs around his waist and held his neck for leverage, and I slowly lowered myself onto his long, thick, veiny cock.

"Ooohhh. . ." I moaned as I felt his cockhead push against my outer ring. "Oh, fuck, Keith. . ."

"Yeah, we'll get to that later. I have to get in first. You have to relax your pussy and open it up for me. Come on, baby. Open it up for me."

He pushed me down - harder.

"AWWWWGGGGHHHH. . ." His head popped through. "OHHH, GODDAMIT! IT FUCKING HURTS! FUCK! FUCKING SHHHHHHHIT!" Fuck! I didn't imagine that something like this could hurt so much. His cock was stretching my asshole so wide I felt like I would die. It fucking hurt so much I wanted to die. Fuck! It's going to be a long and bumpy ride. "KEITH . . . OHHH . . . Slowly . . . Ohhh . . . GOD! SLOWLY . . . YOU'RE RIPPING ME APART! ARGGGGHHHHHH!"

He didn't wait for me to get used to it. He pushed all eleven thick inches into my already not-so-virgin butthole and pumped me good. He pounded my guts. He ravaged my virginity.

"Ohhh . . . Danny . . . God! Your pussy is so tight. Oh, God. It feels so good . . . Ohhh. . ." Hearing his moans of pleasure gave me the strength to forget the pain and just ride his thick cock into me over and over and over again. I wanted him so much. I wanted to please him some more. I wanted to be anything for his pleasure.

"OHHHH, KEITH! YEAH! FUCK ME, MAN! Pound my fucking pussy like you mean it! Harder, you pussy! HARDER . . . OHHHH GODDAMIT, HARDER YOU FUCKING STUD. . .!"

"YEAH, you like that, don't you? You like my long, hard cock up your man-pussy?" He said as he pushed his massive tool into my overstretched asshole.

"OHHHH. . ."

"You like THIS?" He gave another assault.

"OHHH, That feels so fucking good! FUCK ME, BUDDY . . . OHHH . . . GOD YOU FEEL SO GOOD INSIDE ME! FUCK ME . . . OHHH . . . OHHHHH. . ."

"Ohhhh . . . Danny . . . Ohhh . . . OHHH . . . DANNY . . . OHHHHH . . . DANNY!"

"Danny!" A woman called.

What? Where the fuck is that coming from?

"Danny! Wake up!" There she goes again. "Hey! You're going to be late for the party!"

My eyes snapped open. It was my mom. I looked around and instantly got nervous. Did she see us? Oh, my God! Did she see us?

I looked at her and at myself. I was still dressed. Fully clothed. Huh?

And, with sadness, I finally realized.

"It was just a dream. . ." I murmured.

"What?" Yeah, she tends to always ask me that question.

"Um . . . Nothing. Thanks for waking me up, mom."

"Oh . . . alright. I'll leave you, then. Get ready."

She then left.

I got up from my bed and headed for the shower. As the water flowed over my body, I thought about my dream. The erotic nightmare that I have shared with the hot business executives. The fantasy that I had with my best friend, Keith. They were so vivid, I thought they were true.

"I wish it was true. God it felt so real. It felt so good. . ." My tears mixed with the falling jets of water.

It's okay, Danny. It was just a dream.

See, that's the problem! How can it be okay? It was just a dream.

Dreams do come true, Danny. No matter how impossible they may seem. You just have to believe in it.

Do they? This isn't a fairytale. And I hate to be given false hopes and wait for my happy ending to come when, truthfully, it wouldn't!

You need to have hope, Danny. Have faith. And keep on believing.

I sighed.

"Keep on believing. . ." I closed my eyes and muttered to myself, "Keep on believing."

Chapter Six


"Remember the rules, Danny: you are not to drink too much, you're definitely not taking any kind of drugs, and most of all, you are not getting involved in any type of sexual activity - especially with a boy."

"Come on, Mom! You've been repeating that for the last . . .ten minutes!" I whined, "And honestly, do you really think I'm a drunk? Or do drugs, for that matter? Seriously?" I demanded, she gave me a passive glance, "And why would I get 'involved' with another guy? I'm not even 'out' yet. You should know better than that, Mom!"

"Fine. I know I can trust you with that." and she turned her attention back on the wheel. "I'm just sayin'."

My mom was driving me to Luke and Keith's place for the party. Says she wants to make sure I get there safe and sound. What the hell! She acts as if I was a freaking three-year old! I tried telling her that I should just use my bike - or that I would just take a bus ride to the Princetons' - but no, she had to drive me there.

Oh, well. Whatever!

"You know, Dan. . ."

"What?" I snapped boringly.

"You know you can tell me, right?"

Uh-oh. I don't like where this is headed.

"Tell you what, exactly?" I inquired suspiciously. I turned to face my mother.

"About Bruce?" she glanced at me sideways.

"Urgh, Mom! Not this again, please? I told you. Bruce is NOT my boyfriend. That guy hates my guts! And you have no idea how vain. . ." I slammed the words, "and conceited . . . immature . . . boastful . . . irresponsible . . . and how big of a bully he is!"

"Hmmm . . . Sounds like a very adorable boy." My mom sarcastically remarked.

I took a deep breath, "I hate that guy, Mom. Never - and I mean it - never will he find himself in the position of being my boyfriend. Whatever happens, he'll never be my boyfriend."

"Fine. Fine. Fine." She muttered.



I watched my mom's car as it drove away. There were still a few flickers of sunlight here and there, but it was basically dark, what with the trees creating a canopy above. I turned right into a wide driveway that led off the road. The high hedges, grown on both sides, curved with the drive, running off into the distance beyond a pair of tall, impressive iron-wrought gates.

I took a deep breath of cool, fresh, oxygen-filled air. This really is a nice place. Far enough to have some privacy and relaxation, but not too far away from civilization. For over the years, I've learned to love the place.

I reached the gates. I rang and waited for a few moments before an electric voice answered me.

"Who is it?" The intercom queried.

"It's Danny, Giuseppe." I replied quite cheerfully. Giuseppe was the Princetons' butler. Yep! They have a butler. How fortunate, right? And I was envious.

"Oh! Master Daniel!" he chimed, "Welcome! Please. . ." And the gates mechanically swung open, "Come in. The Princetons have been expecting your arrival."

I grunted a simple thank you and got in.

At the end of the drive, a handsome mansion grew out of the afternoon darkness; six tall columns lined the entire face of the house, with the lights already glinting through the diamond-paned downstairs windows. It looked like a classical Grecian building. I can hear the fountain playing somewhere in the dark garden beyond the hedge. Gravel crackled beneath my feet as I sped toward the front door; which swung inward at my arrival.

"Master Daniel!" Giuseppe, a short, plump, old man greeted welcomingly. "Welcome back."

"Daniel!" Another voice called as I got in.

A pair of large feet made its way down the grand staircase. My eyes moved upwards and I saw two hairy, muscular legs attached to tree-trunk-like thighs. The thighs bulged and flexed as the person made his way down.

"How's it been, Dan?"H asked enthusiastically, "I haven't seen you in ages."

"Um . . . It's been good. I guess." I replied, trying to control the shakiness that his presence brings in my voice.

I raked his muscular torso. Damn! How could someone look so good? His thick pectorals were outlined by the tight gray shirt he was wearing, his nipples pushing through the material, and his biceps were stretching the fabric something awful. Even through his shirt, I can see the ridges of his eight-pack abs. Whew!

"So glad you could make it, mate!" He said as he approached and gave me a tight, warm bear hug. I always liked it when he does that. I feel safe . . . protected. He was the big brother that I never had.

"You know I wouldn't miss it for the world." I replied, "And thanks for the invite, Luke."

"No need for your thanks, dickhead. You're my younger brother's best friend. You're practically family."

I just smiled and surveyed my surroundings.

"Listen. Keith is still in his room. Probably jerking off." He joked, "He'll be here in a sec . . . And I'll be by the pool if you need me. Okay?"

Their entrance hall was large, brightly lit, and sumptuously decorated, with a magnificent silver-and-blue carpet covering most of the stone floor.

I went for the stairs and headed towards Keith's room. I've been to the Princetons' place for about a hundred times already, but I still walk in awe whenever I tread on their floors. They lived in a God damned mansion - probably five times larger than our house. And our house was not a small shack, either. That says a lot. I'd like to know what their parents do to afford such a living. I just might take a similar career path.

I reached the top of the stairs and I heard music - loud music - coming from one of the many rooms along the hallway. I sauntered towards the last one and arrived at the door from which the noise was loudest.


I got myself in and made my way to his couch. Yep! He's got his very own lounge. In his room. Says it's for entertaining guests or shit. As if their ginormous living room downstairs was not enough. Well, that's one of the bazillion things that I envy of him. They were just so God damned wealthy!

"Keeeeiiiith. . ." I called again.

I got comfortable on the couch and took a Sports magazine from the coffee table. Hmmm . . . Baseball . . . Baseball . . . Baseball . . . The guy really loved the sport. I don't blame him, really. I've told you that. It's just that I feel . . . I don't know . . . left out? What if Keith finds someone more fun to be with? Someone who's better than me? Someone who can relate to his love for the sport?

Sigh. I just hate to think that Keith would stop being my friend. I don't even know what I'll do if that ever happens.

Then suddenly, everything went dark. A pair of cold, large hands covered my eyes and held my head steady.

"Keith . . . come on, man. This is childish!" I remarked.

"This. Is. Not. Keith." He tried to pull a robot-voice, "This. Is. Sentinel. Papa. Alpha . . . And. I. Do. Not. Come. In. Peace . . . Do. Not. Make. Any. Sudden. Movements. Or. I. Will. Cut. Your. Genitals. Off. And. Feed. Them. To. Prince."

I sighed, "Prince is sort of a vegetarian." I simply stated.

"Oh . . . right."

"And Papa Alpha?" I freed my head and turned to face him, "Seriously?"

"What! Papa Alpha sounds cool!" He said defensively as he sprawled on the couch beside me, "Isn't it?"

I didn't have to answer - we laughed.


By the time Keith and I got down by the pool, Luke was almost finished with the preparations for the party, with the help, of course, of Giuseppe and five other house helpers.

Tables were filled with different kinds of dishes. Finger foods. Christmas bulbs hovered above our heads. Speakers boomed from inside and outside the manor. They even had a Karaoke placed in the pool house. A bar was set by the pool, filled with different kinds of booze and goodies. They also hired two DJs to take care of the music. And there were bouncy-houses at either sides of the pool - both connected to slides. Overall, it was a BLAST!

"That's it!" Luke announced over the noise as we neared. "What do you think?"

I just gaped at the awesomeness of what I was seeing, "Nice work, Luke!" I declared as I read a signage placed by the pool that read 'NAKED GIRLS ONLY'. Though I secretly wished that he also placed 'NAKED GUYS ONLY' beside it.

"Yeah, bro. This is fantastic! You really outdid yourself this time. Only. . ." Keith paused dramatically.

"What?" Luke asked instantly. He seemed perplexed by Keith's attitude.

"Chill, bro!" He chuckled at his brother's distress. "It's just . . . where are the guests?"

"Oh." Luke glanced at his wrist watch. "They should be arriving in a bit. I told them to come by six. Don't worry."

"Oh, I'm not worrying. We can still party with or without them, right?" Keith said encouragingly and glanced at me.

Yeah, what kind of party would that be, I wonder?



"Finally!" Keith joyously announced as he opened the front doors to reveal their first guests. "Hey guys!"

"See! I told you!" One guy remarked as he saw the host.

"Told him what?" Keith inquired.

"That this is where you live." He answered amusedly, "They saw the house - um, the mansion - and had second thoughts. They thought it belonged to a Billionaire or something and that we should just leave. But we heard the music booming and I was quite positive, I checked the address, you see." He paused and took in his surroundings. "Fuck! Fuckin' nice!" He then whistled. He seemed lightheaded. All of them, in fact. "I never thought I'd have the privilege to be in a place like this. Fuck."

"Yeah . . . well, thanks. Come in. And let's get this party started!"


"I got . . . Krystal Montgomery!" The guy, Scott or something, announced over the mic, "Krystal?"

Everyone applauded as Krystal stood up and shyly made her way to Luke and Scott who were waiting in the pool house.

The party was suspended for a bit to give way for the Exchanging of Gifts. It has been going for a while now, with my heart skipping a beat when a certain DArren or a certain DArwin, or a certain DANica was called.

Another applause was given as Scott handed over his gift to shy Krystal, to which she took quite excitedly.

"Okay, K, now it's your turn." Luke handed her the bowl with our names, "Shake it, mix it, and pick!"

Krystal got her pick and fumbled with the small piece of paper.

"Um . . . Dannil . . . Dannil Mookins." She mumbled over the microphone.

The crowd was silent, contemplating on who the fuck she was talking about, when, "That's Daniel Mockins, you dumbass!" Someone shouted.

And everyone got a laugh. Poor Krystal just stood there, and said "Oh." It was confirmed. She's a bit slow.

I made my way to the pool house, bringing the package that I purchased, and accepted my gift from dumbass Krystal.

"My mom picked it for me." Krystal said with a smile, "I hope you like it, Daniel."

I hugged her and muttered my thanks. Well, at least she's sweet.

"Oookaay! Daniel's turn!" Luke announced.

My hands were a bit shaky. Earthquake kind of shaky. But I got my pick and read out the scribbles written on the small parchment.

"I have . . . Jake . . . Jake Collins?" And I viewed the crowd.

The crowd again applauded as Alexander Ludwig, er, I mean Jake Collins made his way to us. Now that I see him - Fuck! He is as hot as I pictured him out to be. Well, not really. I've already seen him in school. He's part of Luke's inner circle, I think. With wide shoulders, bulging biceps, killer arms, a narrow waistline, tree-trunk thighs, and muscular legs, he was a gay guy's dream come true. I chuckled. Jake Collins would DEFINITELY know how to use my gift. ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE!

I just smiled as I handed him my gift. He then hugged me, which made the crowd go catcalling and whistling and stuff. My cock gave a dangerous twitch, and I took deep, long breaths to control myself.

"Thanks, Dannil." He joked.

"Um, yeah. Don't mention it." Then I went back to my spot next to Keith, hoping that no one would notice my hardening prick.

"What was in the gift, enlighten me?" He asked.

I just smiled devilishly.


By 09:00 PM, the house - um, the mansion - was jam-packed. People were scattered everywhere: chatting, drinking, eating, swimming, or just dancing and having the time of their lives. Oh, I forgot. There were people who were making out, too. Sucking their partner's faces off in the open like it was the most natural thing to do.

"Whoohoo!" Somebody yelled. I turned my attention from talking to Keith and the gang to find Jesse Porter, the Football Quarterback that I told you about, running around the pool wearing nothing but very brief yellow briefs. He maneuvered his glorious body around - carrying a jockstrap and twirling it up above his head like a Cowboy - and hugged a very amused Luke.

"Fucking party, man! Yeah! WHOOHOO!" Clearly, he was already buzzed. "SUCK THIS, BITCHES!" He yelled as he groped his crotch obscenely.

We watched as Jesse made a spectacle of himself. GOD, he looked really hot!

Two other Seniors got hold of him and tossed him into the pool with a loud splash. As soon as he got in the water, about ten girls - who were all half-naked, by the way - swarmed around him . . . and . . . God knows what they were doing to poor Jesse.

Shit! Those lucky bitches!

"You know, Danny." Keith poked me on the ribs, "That'll be us, too." He referred to Porter, who was now making out with two girls at a time - GROSS! "We'll grow into studs like that Jesse Porter someday."

I sipped from my third beer bottle and managed a simple "Yeah". I'm sure Keith will. He was the more athletic one. I, on the other hand, was the teacher's pet.

"Yeah." He slurred, "And they'll demand for our attention . . . Yeah. . ."


"And we'll be like . . . Gods. Gods, Danny!" Undoubtedly, he was drunk.

I patted his back and looked up to the moonlit skies. "Dream on, buddy. Dream on."

"Fuck you." He grinned at me. "I'll prove to you, fucker! Sooner than you think, I'll be looking like that Porter dude. I'll even surpass him! I know I'm better than him. I'm much better!"

"You're drunk, that's what you are." I goaded.

"Fuck you!"

"Hey, guys!" Keith and I were slouched on the poolside chairs - nursing our beers - when Jake Collins, the one who got my gift, made his way to us. "Great party, right?" He exclaimed. Flashing those pearly whities at me. Damn! We were just talking about studs and - BAM! - one magically shows up.

I was practically shaking. I know that by this time he may have already opened his gift. He wasn't charging me, so, that's a good sign.

"What're you doing here?" Keith demanded, "I thought you got lucky, bro. I saw you walking off into the woods with that Blondie you were sucking faces with." He teased, "What happened, man?"

"Well . . . It's really . . . Um . . . It's quite embarrassing, actually . . . better if I don't . . . speak of it." He chuckled nervously.

"Come on, man. Spill. We've got plenty of beer to drain it with." Then he glanced at his beer bottle, "Shit . . . I'm out of beer." He then stood up. "Why don't you two get acquainted while I get us a few more beers? Sound good?"

As Keith left, I shuffled in my chair and discreetly glanced at the muscle-god sitting beside me. God! Don't he look glorious! With his well-developed chest, vein-streaked biceps, and Surfer Dude looks - FUCK! I watched as his jaw muscles flexed.

"We haven't officially met. Daniel, right?" He asked.

He knows my name! "Yeah." I beamed.

"I'm Jake." He offered his hand, and I took it. I can't help but notice how my boyish hand disappeared into his manlier ones. It looked completely dominating.

I collected myself, pulled out my straight-boy act, and managed an innocent smile. "So . . . what happened to your date?" I didn't want to sound assuming, when we've just met and all, but I couldn't think of anything else to talk about.

"Oh . . . you know . . . we went for a walk in the woods . . . hoping that I could put your gifts to good use. . ." My head jerked towards him, I just chuckled nervously, "And . . . let's just say that I had trouble keeping it . . . up." He grinned, and I understood, I think.

"Oh. That's . . . well . . . Um . . . That's. . ."

"Embarrassing?" He supplied, and then chuckled. It was hot looking at his Adam's apple bobbing up and down as he did so.

"No!" I redeemed, "Not embarrassing."


"No! Definitely not." I answered, "It's just . . . maybe she's just not the one. Or . . . maybe your - you know - is still . . . waiting . . . for the right one. Or. . ." I glanced at him and the sexy grin plastered all over his handsome face made me giggle, "I'm not making much of a sense here, am I?"

He laughed. "I think you're cute."

"WHAT?!" I doubled back. Did I just hear him right? My grin suddenly vanished.

"I think you're cute." He repeated daringly. He scooted to my chair and leaned closer to me. Oh my God! Is he . . .? Is that why . . .?

"What are you doing?" I asked nervously. "What are you talking about?"

"You heard me. I think you're cute, Daniel" He leaned closer; I can smell the sexy scent of beer coming from him.

"Jake, you're just drunk." I tried to scoot away.

"And I am doing my best to hold back from kissing those luscious lips of yours." He continued.

Shit! The guy was coming onto me!

I remained motionless, speechless - immobilized that this . . . hunk of a man is . . . Shit!

He just chuckled, "I think I know your dirty, little secret, Daniel."

"W-what are you talking about?" I stuttered, my heart beating fast.

He leaned to whisper to my ear, "Let's go somewhere . . . private, shall we?"

He stood up and walked towards the workshop. Mr. Princeton owns one. I hesitantly followed; glancing all around, seeing to it that no one saw us. Well, of course someone would see us. The thing is - they just wouldn't care.

"Jake . . . are you . . . what I think you are?" I asked tentatively as I followed him through the bustling crowd.

"How would I know if what you're thinking is what I'm thinking?" he glanced back with a shit-eating grin, "And not here, Daniel. Too many people . . . Wait. Okay?"

As we entered the workshop, we caught a couple making out . . . quite intimately [okay, fine . . . they were having oral sex] and they greeted us with a dozen animated variety of curses and shit.

"Okay. Time's up. Show's over. Chop-Chop. If you would just please leave the premises. We have some business to attend to." Jake announced over the guy's moans of ecstasy.

The pair scrambled to their feet and tried to cover their sweaty bodies. At least they managed to get their underwear on.

"Fuck you, man!" The guy growled. "I was so close to losing my virginity and you just fuckin' blew it away! Fuck!"

We broke into fits of laughter as we heard the door slam shut.

"That was priceless!" Jake laughed. "Oh my God, I can't believe I just did that!"

"You should've seen their faces!" I added. "Oh, God!"

After a few minutes of laughter, we settled. I sipped from my beer, sat down, and pulled off my serious tone.

"So . . . ahem . . . Jake . . . are you?" I asked the guy sitting before me.

He just grinned at me.

"Fuck, man, are you gay or not?" I snapped angrily.

"Now that's more like it! Straightforward. Direct to the point."

"Just answer the fucking question, man, and quit messing with my head."

"I'm bisexual . . . leaning more to gay." He confidently answered.

"Fuck!" I muttered, "I wouldn't have known."

"Of course you shouldn't. It wouldn't be good for my rep if everyone knew I was gay, would it?" He just chuckled. His whole body trembling. His muscles flexing. "It's good to know that someone you know is playing for your team, too, is it?" He asked enthusiastically.

I glanced at his beautiful face and tried to decide whether to spill my guts or not. He basically knows it already, Danny. Why should you deny it more? Urgh! I just really hope I wouldn't regret this. "H-how . . . how did you know, Jake?" I started, "I mean . . . am I that obvious?" I asked nervously.


"What was that?" I turned towards the dark corner where the unnerving sound came.

"I don't know." Jake said.

"Who's there?" I called.

My heart was beating fast. What if someone heard us? OH MY GOD! It'll be the end of Daniel Mockins. OH MY GOD!



Was that . . .?

"Who's there?"

"MREOOW!" A pair of golden yellow eyes glinted in the darkness.

It is!

"PRINCE!" I practically jumped and scooped the black furball in my arms! "God, you don't know how happy I am to see you, you sneaky thing!"

"Thank God, it was just a cat." Jake sighed.

"Yeah, I don't know what I would've done if someone found out." I returned to the table and sat down, with Prince cradled in my arms. "So, about my question?"

"What was it again?"

"About me? Being obvious?"

"Oh . . . No, man! You're really straight acting. As straight as the next guy." He assured me, "It's just . . . the way you look at other guys . . . especially when you look at that hottie bestie of yours. . ." He teased.

"Shut up." I giggled.

"You need to be more careful with those looks, though. If another guy misinterprets that, you might end up in a very big trouble. With the wrong guy, you could end up in real deep shit. Do you get me?"

I just nodded.

I grasped what he was saying. He was making real sense. I just OFFICIALLY met the guy, but I was already trusting him - like a big brother or something.


"Hmmm?" he turned to face me.

"Thank you."

"Thank you? For what?" He seemed confused.

"For telling me these. I really needed someone like you in my life right now. You have no idea." I muttered.

"Actually, I have." He paused and took my hand into his, "I've been there, so I greatly understand. I know what you're going through; the pressure and the hormones and the shit. So, you don't have to thank me. Okay? I understand."

I smiled.

"And if you need some advice . . . don't hesitate to come ask, alright?"

"Yeah, that'd be a sight! A Senior talking to a Freshman." I droned.

"Hey, I don't care what people say. You're my friend, right? And friends help each other out. You want me to jerk you off now?" He joked.

I laughed and punched him on the shoulder, "Prick!"

"Ready to return to the party?" Jake asked.

"Yeah. Keith must be looking for us."

We stood up. Just as we were near the door, Jake stopped and faced me.

"Thank you again for the condoms, Daniel." He grinned. "It's the perfect Christmas gift."


Jake and I were heading towards Keith by the pool house, when a hand grabbed my wrist and pulled me into the sidelines. He shoved me forward and directed me back into the workshop.

"Hey, what the hell do you think you're doing? Let me go!" I yelled over the loud music. "Stop what you're doing! I'm no good for you. Jake! Help!" There was too much noise. And Jake was already ten heads away and couldn't hear. "HELP!" But it was a party. Nobody gives you second looks if you get kidnapped and raped and murdered. "Hey!"

"Stop being such a drama queen, Fockins. It's just me." The guy said as he slammed the door shut.

I turned to face my captor. Oh, joy!

"What the hell are you doing here, Bruce?" I demanded.

"I was invited. I came to party. Isn't that obvious?" He retorted.

"Ohhh . . . so, you came to party." I mocked, "In here? You want to party with the wrenches and the pliers, Bruce?" I growled.

"Stop being such a dick, Daniel!"

"Oh, now I'M being a dick!" I growled. I admit, I was now a bit drunk, despite my mother's admonition. [Sorry, Mom!] And I was pissed. Royally pissed. All the anger that I had suppressed suddenly burst out and I concentrated it to no one but the elephant standing right before me. "Let's see. You made me wait for nothing. You never called. You didn't even text me! You made me look like a God damned fool waiting in that God forsaken library! And now you're telling me that I'M being a dick?"

"Daniel, just shut up."

"Don't tell me to shut up, Bruce Adams, you DICK! YOU SHUT UP!" My nostrils were flaring, my chest heaving, my heartbeat rising - I was already on Full-Attack Destroy-Bully-Elephant Mode by now. "I don't care what your Mama says to you! I don't care if you've been bullied back from where you came from! I don't care if you think you're the top-man! 'Cause this?" I slammed my fists on his chest. He seemed taken aback, "What you're doing to me, and to God knows how many others more . . . you're no better than the guys back home. You are the most arrogant," I slammed my fists again, "pathethic, vain, conceited, irresponsible jerk that I have ever had the misfortune to meet!"

I slammed my fists onto his barrel chest one more time.

"Are you done?" He asked plainly, looking down at me.

Urgh! Control yourself, Danny. He's not worth it. Deal with this like how a civilized young man would.

I deeply sighed, "Yes." and turned away.

"Can I speak now?"

Another sigh. "Yes, Bruce, you can speak now!" I paced the room back and forth. I was still reeling with rage.

"Will you please sit down?" He pleaded, "You're making me sick."

I glared at him and momentarily took a seat.

"Now . . . listen to what I have to say." He started, I looked at him squarely on the face, "I want to apologize. I'm really sorry for bailing on you, Daniel. I know that that wasn't cool."

"You think?" I snapped.

He raised a palm to silence me.

"Bruce, I'm tired of this." I spoke impatiently. "We have a project to work on."

"That project again? That project's bullshit!"

"That project's going to have a big impact to our grades, dickhead! Why can't you fucking understand that? How thick can your skull be to absorb a simple idea like that?"

"Thick enough to knock your faggot head down!" He snapped.

"Do we really have to go through this every single day, Bruce? You being the mean bully" I said, throwing my hands up mockingly, "And torturing a pathetic teacher's pet like me? Huh?" I growled, "Fuck you!"

"You know what?" He glared, "I better go party. This conversation's nonsense. See you, Fockins." Then he walked for the door.

Alright, that's the last straw!

"I guess I'll just have to tell everybody about what really happened in Texas, now, would I?" I said. That got him. He turned around and faced me, a hint of confusion lurking on his face, "About why you transferred? About 'your' bullying activities back home? About your mom's condition? Just choose, Bruce. What should I spread first?" I goaded more. "The Internet is such a big crowd, you know. I can't wait to let everyone in on your precious secrets!"

"You fucking prick! How did you. . ." He growled and grabbed the front of my shirt. His eyes were filled with panic. He lifted me from the floor. "Don't you dare involve my mom in this!"

"Fine!" I spat and glared right into his eyes, "But, whether you like it or not, you need to do the project with me! And I don't want to hear you complain about anything or, I swear to God, I will reveal EVERY fucking secret that you have!"

I paused, took a deep breath, and smiled at his enraged face. His hold got tighter.

"Think about it, dickhead!" I gasped.

He glared at me some more and, "FUCK!" He slammed me to the table.

I got quite a landing, and I may have scraped an elbow or two, but thankfully, my butt got most of the pressure. I massaged my strangled neck and coughed a few times. I sat up. "So?" I rasped.

"I just do the project with you for you to keep your pussymouth shut?" He glared.

"That's about it." I replied.

He punched the table. "FUCK!" He paced the floor before me. A few minutes later, he calmed down and stopped in front of me, "You've got yourself a fucking deal." Then walked away, "And you better keep your word, Fockins or I will fucking kill you!" And he was gone.


Look at who's pulling on the strings now!

Ta-Tada-Da! Danny the Bully!

Hmm . . . Sounds weird, right? But, whatever!

This should be an interesting Christmas break!

Chapter Seven


"Here, man. I think this can help. Look at the graph." He handed me the heavy material, "See the statistics on that thing? It's quite accurate, don't you think?"

Hmmm . . . The bastard's right. More than 80 percent of High School students have already lost their "Big V" even before Graduation. Both girls and boys. And the number increases every successive year. Which is really, really sad.

Well . . . not really.

This is one of the gazillion dilemmas I have in my puny, little, simple life.

Come here. I have a secret to tell.

Come on, dipshit, closer!

Closer, so I can whisper in your ear.

That's it.


Now, listen.

Here's what I'm planning:

'I'm planning to lose my "Big V" before the ever-craved-for diploma lands in the palm of my hands.'

There, I finally said it.

You don't get it? Hmmm . . . Let me rephrase that.

'I plan to get fucked in the ass - by the biggest cock around - so hard my pussy would be gaping wide open for weeks and weeks to come!'

NOW, you get me?


Now, you know! It's a really great plan, isn't it? HAHA!

I looked at the elephant sitting across the table from me.

"Good job, Adams! You know . . . you're not as worthless as I thought you were." I remarked with a mocking smile, and went back to my writing.

"Watch that smart-ass mouth of yours, Fockins!" He snapped, "You wouldn't want MY not-so-worthless mouth to say things that you wouldn't like, would you?"

I looked up, startled, yet he was already busy writing his own draft. So, I dismissed it. It was kind of weird though. It was as if he knew something. As if he knows something. Whatever!

This has been the second week that we've been hanging out in the Public Library. Well, we weren't really "hanging out". We were actually quite busy with our project, what with the school days fast approaching.

It has been a bit of a routine these past few days - we'd meet up, make some drafts, edit some lines, and do a serious lot of research.

When we were not meeting up and I was bored, I would visit his mom and bring her flowers and books and DVDs to keep her occupied rather than being cooped-up in her bed in the hospital room with nothing to entertain her but the crappy TV.

We always had something to talk about. Great times, indeed!

Whenever Bruce was around, we would often connect and she would give me a wink and I would give her a knowing smile.

We had a secret, you see.

[WHAT SECRET? Seriously? I won't relate it to you again. It'd take too much space. And time. And energy. Just read Chapter Four: MEETING LILY or, for more details, read THE RUMOUR-FILLED TOTALLY FALSE ACCOUNT OF HOW I RUINED MY USED-TO-BE STRAIGHT AND FLAWLESS REPUTATION, then you'll see.]

"Daniel?" I snapped back to the present.

"Huh?" Was my very intellectual response.

"I'm hungry." Bruce said above a whisper, leaning closer so I could hear. "Let's go grab something to eat."

I leaned closer, too, and whispered back. "But we're not finished with the drafts yet. Let's get this done first, and then we'll go get something to eat."

"The drafts can wait." He whined, "I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to think when my stomach's empty, you know."

Sigh. Stubborn. Stubborn. Stubborn. Yet also has a point. But still. Stubborn.

Come to think of it, I was a bit hungry, too, so I decided and said, "Yeah, sure. Let's go."

There was a burger joint a few blocks from the library (Bruce told me) so we trudged our way towards the store and ordered. I got myself the usual hamburger and fries and paired it with a diet Coke. Bruce got himself the same, but quadruple on the hamburger. Figures.

As I neared the table, Bruce walked ahead of me and got hold of my chair. Fuckin' dickhead! There were, what, 6 tables with 4 chairs around each surrounding us, and he just grabs mine like I wasn't even there? Fuckin' bullshark!

I tried to snap at him . . . but he just stood there staring at me . . . his icy-blue eyes piercing my deep brown ones . . . holding the chair out . . . for ME.


To say that I was shocked was an understatement. Bruce had to call me twice to get my attention.

Did he just do that for me? He just acted like a real gentleman. I didn't know what the people who saw would take from that. I didn't even know if anyone saw. But, hell, I just didn't care! All that I can think of is . . . WOW!

I muttered my thanks and got my tray on the table. Bruce just smiled (he wasn't grinning mockingly or cockily - he was just smiling my favorite smile) and sat across from me.

I sat down before my knees would give.

I heard my stomach rumble and I cleared my head for the task at hand. Concentrate, Danny. Look at all that food! You're supposed to be hungry, right?

"Bon appetite!" Bruce mumbled and started ravishing the poor cow.

I took my hamburger and removed the upper bun. I sprinkled my fries on top of the patty and showered it with lots of banana ketchup. Then, I replaced the bun and started munching. Mmmmm . . . just how I like it!

Bruce just gaped at me. "You're crazy, you know that, right?" He exclaimed. I ALWAYS get THAT reaction, "What's that supposed to taste like?" Bruce asked, grinning at me, a lettuce sticking out of a corner of his mouth.

FUCK! There goes that smile again . . . SNAP! Don't go there, Danny! Concentrate!

I composed myself and barked, "What! I call it Danny's BF." I retorted.

"Seriously?" He choked on a burger, "Danny's BF?" And chuckled heartily.

"Yep! Danny's Burger with Fries." And I took another bite. Bruce was now giggling. "Why are you laughing at me?" I demanded.

"Do I really need to answer that?" He chuckled more, "You're fucking hilarious! You eat a hamburger with fries in it. IN IT, Danny!"

"So?" I can't seem to find the humor.

"So, I think it's absurd." And he took a sip at his Coke.

"You're eating FOUR hamburgers, THAT'S absurd!"

He just ignored me, but I heard him mutter 'Danny's BF' before he finished his last piece, downed his Coke, stood up, and walked back, smiling, to the library.

I just giggled like a school girl and asked myself, "Was that Bruce Gregory Adams?"


As Christmas arrived, Bruce and I decided that we'll finish the project when school starts. It was okay for me. It was nearly done, anyway.

12 midnight on the 25th came and the three of us - me, my sister, and my mom - ate and chatted and did all of those Christmas shit. Every now and then, carolers would stop by and sing Justin Bieber's 'Mistletoe' [HEHEHE . . . Just joking!] and we would give them treats or money or something Christmassy.

All in all, it was Christmas. Plain, old, merry Christmas.

And to top it all off, I didn't receive an alarm clock this year! HA!

Thanks for the necklace, mom! I really love it. Honestly.



06:00 AM

I barely opened my eyes and realized that it was already Monday. The very first Monday of the year. And you know what that means?


Yep! That's what it means. My mom was back to being my personal alarm clock.

"DANNY! Wake up already!"

Sigh. Well, I'm glad the school days are back. At least the nights when I would pointlessly stay awake at night, waiting for Santa Clause to come and hand me my gift, was over. Joking.

At least I had something to occupy myself with now. SCHOOL SCHOOL SCHOOL.

"I'm awake, Mom!" I shouted back, then muttered "And I'm SO excited for school. Yay! Love school. Urgh. . ."


Walking to my class, I saw Keith leaning near my English room door.

"Hey, Keith!"

"Oh, Danny! Hey!"

And he gave me a warm, bear hug. Hmmm . . . He smells really good . . . feels really hard . . . and now he's pulling away. Damn!

"Dude, how was your holidays?" He queried.

"How was YOURS?" I implied, "Europe, right?"

"Haha. Yeah. It was great." He mumbled, and scanned the area behind me, "Snow and stockings and all that shit. . ."

"And I'm fucking envious!" I momentarily glanced behind my back. What is he looking at? "Listen, we'll talk about your Europe escapades later, okay? Get ready to spill everything! Everything!"

"Uh . . . Yeah . . . Sure, Danny." He was still looking for something . . . or someone.

"Uh . . . Did you find it already?" I asked.


"What are you looking for?" I glanced behind my back again, "And what are you doing here?" I demanded, "Your class is in another building, right?"

"Uh . . . Yeah . . . I was just waiting for Sta- . . . Um . . . never mind. It's nothing . . . Uh . . . I'll just go. Talk to yah later!"

That was odd. Hmmm . . . Never mind.

As I got in, I saw Bruce and I didn't hesitate to say 'Hey' and smile at him. He looked my way and flashed me a toothy grin before answering with another 'Hey' then gave me a wink. Now that's a nice improvement! Mighty nice!

Nancy Summers, who saw the odd exchange, shook her head violently. A did-that-just-fucking-happen look plastered all over her freckly face. Well, I couldn't blame her. It's not every day that you see the Bully and the Bullied exchange smiles and greetings like they were best buddies or something. Her reaction was just priceless. I had the sudden urge to LOL.

"Ooookaaay . . . Welcome back to school!" Mrs. Elmers announced as she slumped her way through the door and towards her front desk, "I hope you had a splendid vacation, guys, 'cause as of. . ." she glanced at her watch and the school bell rang, ". . . right now . . . you're back in Hell!"

Groans of disappointment echoed around the walls of the classroom.

What a great way to start the class! What a great way to start the New Year!

Bruce was busy poking Nancy Summers' ears with a pencil, while Mrs. Elmers had a discussion on Paraphrasing. I threw him a crumpled piece of paper and he took it and started reading my scribbles.



. . .OR AM I?

He looked up and gave me a quick nod of agreement and rolled his eyes. Well . . . I think he's not that changed yet.

So, by quarter to 5, I headed towards the school library. And as I turned the corner, I got a little - or not so little - surprise.

"You're already here!" I gasped audibly.

"And you look surprised." He retorted with a smile.

I took a deep breath, "And you had a shower. Good."

"Fuck you, Danny." He giggled.

I shook my head and just went in. That afternoon was just like the few afternoons that Bruce and I were together over the holidays. It was routine work - researching, drafting, editing, and Bruce complaining and whining about a certain this and about a certain that. It was nerve-wrecking!

About two hours later, Bruce got really annoying with his 'Can I go now?'s and 'Are we done yet?'s, so I dismissed his whiney ass and we went our separate ways.

"Bye, Brucey!" I chimed as I got out of the doors.

"I told you not to call me that!" He spat, then looked around to make sure no one heard, "You're not my mom, Daniel!"

"Oh, whatever. Sorry. My bad." And I left.

"Um, Danny. Wait!"

I turned, ready for a fight. "Yeah?"

But when I saw him, he was looking at me funny. His expression was uncertain - it was as if he wants to smile, or laugh, or cry at the same time, or whatever. I wonder what he was thinking.

"Thank you." He breathed.

A pause. Someone coughed in the background. And I heard little church bells ring.

"What for?"

"Just . . . thank you, Danny." He smiled sheepishly and squeezed my shoulder, then left.

Well . . . I guess Mrs. Adams was right. I think he's not all baddy bad bad. We may have hope. Um . . . I mean he may have hope. [Nervous chuckle]


4th Week, January

"Let's get this over with, shall we?" Mrs. Elmers said boringly. "When I call your names, you step forward and claim your papers. I have checked and graded them already. So, long story short: Good Luck, I'm Sorry, and Congratulations!"

Peter Allison and Betty Reeves got a B-plus. Not bad. But I'm sure Betty had more to do with it than Pete.

Lopez and Johnson. Connery and Park. McNolan and King. Pair by pair we were called. There were the lucky ones who got B-minuses and B-pluses; some even got an A-minus. The dumbest from our class (sorry, but it's true) even got a C, though I suspect it was his partner's doing. Oh, well. . .

Every last one was called but us, until, "Mockins and Adams." called the squashed fly-eating frog. (That's how I describe Mrs. Elmers' horrid face. HEHEHE. . .)

I stood up and walked towards the front, Bruce trotting lazily at my heels. I don't literally mean heels as in heels. I don't wear one. I'm straight, remember? [Wink! Wink!]

I took our paper from Mrs. Elmers' clutch, but she held onto it tight.

"Uh-uh-uh . . . now, wait a minute. Stay and face your classmates first." She ushered, "Come on, Bruce. Stand beside Daniel. Come on, don't be shy."

"Yeah, Bruce. Don't be shy!" His friends teased, "Stand beside Daniel. Wrap him in your arms and sweep him off his feet." This caused a series of laughter and . . . well . . . more teasings. And I did what I always tend to do during these kinds of occasions. I blushed. Shit!

"See, Bruce, he's heating up just hearing about it!" More teasings, more laughter.

I glanced at Bruce. He was just smiling at me. Typical. The guy has no cares in the world. But he was smiling at me! URGH!

"Okay, okay. That's enough, Douglas. Or maybe you'd like to grab Mr. Stevens there and sweep him off his feet, too?" Mrs. Elmers intervened. That made everyone laugh. But it momentarily stopped, what with Mrs. Elmers staring daggers at everyone.

The remaining time was consumed by Mrs. Elmers' speech about the accuracy and the 'detailed' work that Bruce and I submitted. I knew we'd be making a great project, but I didn't expect a perfect A! That made all of our hard work and daily 'dramas' worth it. Now, it's finally over! It's finally over. YEAH! It's finally over!

". . . for showing us the importance of Safe Consensual Sex! Good job, Mr. Mockins, Mr. Adams!" Mrs. Elmers announced, "Let us give these gentlemen another round of applause!"

Everybody was clapping their hands.

Without my approval, Bruce held my right hand and raised our entwined fingers for all to see. This made everyone clap more. Again, I didn't care what others might think about it. I was overwhelmed with joy. And that's what matters most. It was finally over. Our God damned English project is finally over.

It was a moment for me. All my - ahem, I mean our - hardwork and perseverance has finally paid off. All the nights that I sat on my desk and continued writing up until the early hours of the following day finally bore its fruits. It was a success. I was very happy I almost shed a tear.

But as the day ended, with my dick already limp, and hot, sticky cum splattered all over my torso, a single question was lurking inside my fifteen-year old brain -

What now?


#I still don't have the reason#

#And you don't have the time#

#And it really makes me wonder#

#If I ever gave a thought about you#

My phone rang. "Speak up, it's your dime!" I lamely greeted as I fumbled with the key.

"Where are you now?" A gruff voice answered.

It's been exactly 2 weeks, 5 days, 8 hours and approximately 11 minutes since Mrs. Elmers, our English Literature instructor, gave us the well-deserved mark of a perfect "A" for submitting an "above expectations" project. It's been a while. . . and as far as I can remember, Bruce has been kinder to me since! YES! Let the gods strike my horny cock dead, but believe it or not, he's gone SOFT towards me! [No pun intended.]

No more regular games of Push-the-nerdy-Danny-onto-the-lockers . . . or perhaps the occasional yet more creative Get-all-of-nerdy-Danny's-undergears-and-flush-them-into-the-toilet (though they only happen during PE classes.)

These day-to-day High School activities were no more! They were as bone dead as the tyrannosaurus rex and as null as the people worshipping rocks, trees and spirits deep in the mountains of the Philippines. They were gone! History!

And like a miracle, all of my prayers were heard! [Well, at least the part where it concerns my bully.]

And this! During lunch he would invite me to sit at their table - where all the school's top jocks are seated. I know what you're going to ask! And the answer is YES! Definitely YES! Who, never mind if he's straight or gay, in their bloody right minds would say no to such a tempting offer? Sitting with the school's most popular guys?! That's a gay guy's secret heaven!

"Oi! You still there?"

Shit! I forgot that I was on the phone. "Yeah. And I'm still at my locker. Why?"

He cleared his throat. "Well . . . Um . . . Any plans for tonight?"

I was leaning down for my locker [which was on the lower row, by the way] but immediately straightened up as soon as he asked of my plans. I thought for a while. Hmmm . . . Let's see . . . Well . . . I was definitely free for the night.

But why the hell is he suddenly asking? Yes, I know we've been practically hanging out for almost three weeks now, but it was always in-campus; we would chat along the hallways, we would walk to each other's lockers during breaks, and he would sit beside me during classes. It's weird to admit, but, you wouldn't find the one without the other . . . most of the times, anyway. That's how creepy our "relationship" has become.

I took a deep breath as I reminisced the past few weeks' happenings. HOO! I was getting to know the guy better . . . And the guy that he's showing me is actually a very likeable guy.


"Helloooooow! Honestly, Daniel, how long does it take for you to answer a very simple question?" He asked impatiently.

"Sorry. I was just thinking." And I paused, "Well . . . It's Friday. I'm free, I guess."

"Great!" He immediately replied, quite excitedly. As if he was really pleased with my response.

But I still am quite confused.

"Um . . . Dude, I don't want to be rude and make this conversation awkward for the both of us, but . . . why are you suddenly asking?" I wondered, "Don't get me wrong! It's just that . . . you've never asked before."



"Like, never?"


A pause. It was quite a long one.


"Yeah, still here." He muttered.


Another gap of dead silence.

"D'ya wanna . . . um . . ." He hesitated.

"Come on, out with it!"

"Um. . ."

"Let's not wait for the grass to grow, shall we? You're wasting a lot of precious time here."

"Um . . . do you wanna grab something . . . um . . . do you wanna grab something to eat?" He stammered.

That's it? That's what he is calling for? I scoffed. "Sure! Let's! I'll meet you at the cafeteria."

"No!" He said, "I meant . . . like eat, you know, outside?" He whispered, but it was clear enough to hear. [That actually rhymed! Bravo me!]

And whoa! Didn't see THAT one coming! I thought he just wanted to . . . well . . . when it comes to him, I just don't know what to think of anymore. Urgh! What the hell is happening to me?


"Y-yeah?" It was my turn to stutter.

"Well . . . Do you?"

Danny, wait! I think this is one of those turning points that people say would change the course of one's life. You know, like in movies, when the protagonist would be presented with a situation and he would decide what he would do to assess the situation. You should think about it. Hard. Consider all the possibilities - the consequences that may result from a wrong choice.

What would happen if you say 'Yes'? Or, what if you say 'No'? What if you get hurt? What if this is just his way for getting back at you for blackmailing him? What if-?

Alright, alright, Mr. Danny Conscience, just relax. I get it! But how should I know what'll happen if I just stay here and think about the possibilities? I should be heading out and venture for . . . for whatever's out there, shouldn't I? Right?

Hmmm. . .

But I do think he's serious enough. He was stumbling over his own words, wasn't he?

But he's 'supposedly' straight! Why would he be asking you out?

Well . . . We've been around each other for the past few . . . months. We've gotten to know each other quite a bit - a lot, really. I guess he just wants to show his appreciation for the project.

That's bullcrap! Bruce? I don't think so!

Well, he's been good to me for the past few weeks, hasn't he? I think he's serious about this.

HA! If he's really serious about this, then he definitely is scared shit right now!

That's riiiiiiiiight!

And an idea suddenly sprang out of my innocent, little mind . . . I decided to tease him. Heehee.

"Oh, how sweet of you! Are you asking me out to be your Valentines date, Brucey?" I pouted and said through the most childlike voice that I could muster. The few people around me gave me varied looks of shock and disgust. I just ignored them . . . Fuck 'em!

"This most definitely is not a date, Danny!" He giggled, "And Valentines' Day is tomorrow. Not today."

"Hmmm . . . Are you sure about that?" I goaded, while putting my things in the locker, "Coz I seem to remember I was going out with my mom and sis tonight."

"Fine!" he snapped, "I'll just go alone, then."

I laughed at his temper. "No! Bruce, wait, wait, wait!" I laughed more, "You need to watch that temper of yours, man! Haha . . . I'll meet you at the flagpole in five minutes. And, yes, I'll go out with you." And I slammed my locker shut.

"Danny, please remember that this is not a da-" I shut my phone off and trudged through the crowd of staring faces.

"What are you looking at?!" I snapped at them, "Mind your own business, you eavesdroppers!"

I still received a few disgusted looks from people, but it just doesn't matter right now . . . I was going out on a 'not-a-date' with a boy! And what's more, it's with my Bully. HA! How crazy is that!


I was walking down the few steps towards the courtyard. My head was still quite confused with the startling turn of events, and my stomach was rumbling, when I bumped onto something hard, sweaty and musky.

"Whoa, Danny! Where'd your eyes go off?" Keith laughed.

I looked up and mumbled, "Sorry, man. I'm just thinking about something." and I took a whiff of his luscious aroma, "Man, you reek like a locker room!"

And I feigned disgust, but secretly, I LOVED it! I was so fucking turned on by his sweaty presence. His shirt was sticking onto his torso that his muscular chest and ridged abs were almost see-through! FUCK! I hope he wouldn't notice my boner!

"Fuck you! We just had a game with the Sophomores, of course I'd reek like a fucking jockstrap!" He retorted, "So . . . Is it a girl you were thinking of?"

"WHAT? NO!" I replied, quite defensively. Come to think of it, it was kind of too much. He looked confused. So I added, "It's girls, man! PLURAL!"

I wouldn't want my Buddy to think I was repulsed with girls, now, would I?

He laughed. "Man, that's fucking awesome! Who are the lucky ladies?"

"I'm not telling." And I started walking towards the flagpole.

"Danny, wait! Where are you going? It's Friday. It's Valentine's Eve. Let's watch a movie . . . Um . . . I mean, the gang's going out tonight. Please come."

FUUUUUUUUUUCK! Why now? Why do you have to be two minutes too late? WHY?

"Shit, man. I'm so sorry. I can't." I said slowly, cursing myself for saying 'No'.

"Why? What're ya up to tonight?" He replied with a toothy grin. "Does it involve a word with G in it and rhymes with curl but 'plural' in form?"

"Fuck you." And I punched his rock hard chest. He just stood there unmoved. Damn! What a stud!

He giggled. "Really, what are you doing tonight?" And he draped a sweaty arm over my shoulder and walked with me.

"Well. . ." Shit! I can't tell him about my appointment with Bruce. Think, Danny, think! "Um . . . I'm . . . I'm on babysitter duty tonight." I rushed the words out, "Yeah, that's right! Babysitting. Mom's going to Granny's tonight." I managed. Fingers crossed behind my butt.

Fuck, Danny! Now you're lying to your best buddy? Just great!

"Oh . . . Really?" I looked into his dark-green eyes and I can tell that he wasn't that convinced.

"Yeah." I gave a sorry smile.

"But isn't Stephanie old enough to change her own diapers by now?" He joked.

CRAP! I forgot my sister was already thirteen years old!


"Well . . . I don't want to leave her for a few hours and return to find our house burning like hell!" I replied and tried to make a joke of it, too.

But it didn't work.

He just sighed, his smile now gone. "Well . . . Okay . . . But make sure you're good for next time, alright?" He squeezed me into him, "I want to spend more time with you, Danny. Especially on your birthday! It's not every day your best friend turns sixteen!" He gave me a genuine smile. My heart was melting with love.

"Oh, Keith. . ." I smiled at him.

I must have had that misty-eyed and happy look on my face, because he immediately added, "Hey, I just miss ya, buddy! There's no need to be all queer about it!" And laughed.

I almost doubled-over. But I retorted with a throaty chuckle, gave him the finger, mouthed 'Fuck You!', then freed myself and left.

I heard him shout, "Clear the 21st on your calendar, okay? That day is scheduled for us. You'll be a year older than me by then!"

Without looking back, I gave him the OK hand gesture.

He wants to spend more time with you, Danny! He fucking misses you! And that fucking elephant chooses this time to hang out with you! Just fucking great! URGH!

What the hell is happening to me? Are fifteen-almost-sixteen-year olds supposed to experience this kind of stage during their lives?

I thought my life would be normal.



"Hey." he beamed at me as I neared the flagpole.

"Hi." I breathed.

"This is not a date." He stated.

"Yeah. I know." I replied.

We stood there for a few more seconds; him beaming down at me, showing off those pearly whities, and me, infected by his grin, smiling just as enthusiastically. We must have looked like stupid clowns that time, smiling like fools for nothing.

"If you're going to kiss, I'm going to puke!" Huh? Who said that?

I looked around. "Stacey! Oh, God, no. We were just-"

"Smiling at each other like you're fucking crazy. HAHA." She laughed. Her two sidekicks, Tessa and Diane, automatically laughed, too.

"Yeah. That." I, too, gave a nervous chuckle.

Stacey Moore was in my English class. She was really pretty, intelligent, friendly and sweet enough to be the President of the Freshman Student Council. We're good friends, I guess. Not like some of my 'friends' from Keith's circle.

Well . . . what more can I say?

Hmmm . . . she's hot, too! I think! At least, I'll go out with her. [If I were into girls.]

"What are you two doing here?" She chimed. "It's Valentines' Eve! Where are your dates?"

"Um . . . Bruce-"

"I borrowed his pen and we decided to meet here so I can return it." Bruce interjected. "Here, Danny." And he handed me HIS pen.

I took it and slipped it in my pocket. Why the hell did he have to do that?

"Let's go?" Bruce tugged at my shirt.

"Where are you going?" Stacey asked.

"Um . . . I told Danny to-"

"Bruce told me he has a . . . he told me he has a G.I. Joe Collection and asked me if I wanted to see them." I interjected this time. "Right, Bruce?" And I eyed him.

"Y-yeah. That's right." And he eyed me back.

"Really?" She asked plainly, unconvinced, "A G.I. Joe Collection?"

We both nodded.

"That's . . . that's nice."

"Yeah, thanks. Now, Danny, can we go now?" Bruce tugged at my shirt again, pulling me away from the trio.

"Um . . . guys, I'll see you later, okay?"

"Come on!" Another tug.

"Yeah, sure . . . But . . . Um . . . Didn't Keith-" But Bruce was already pushing me towards the gate. Stacey never got to finish her sentence. What did she want to tell me? I'm sure I heard her say 'Keith'.

"Bruce! That was mighty rude of you! Fuck, man! We were still talking!" I growled as we got out of campus.

"Sorry . . . It's just . . ." and he gave me a sly grin, "She's wasting a lot of precious time."

"HA-HA . . . Touché!" And I started walking again - to hide my blushing face.

"And G.I. Joe Collection?!" He mocked.

"What? That was all that I can think of!"

"That's just fucking childish!" He laughed. "I haven't thought of my G.I. Joe dolls since fifth grade!"

"Oh, I'm so sorry, Einstein!" I countered, "I'm sorry I can't think of other 'greater' ideas like 'borrowing-then-meeting-by-the-fucking-flagpole-to-return-my-pen' like you did. That was 'really' convincing, by the way!"

And we glared at each other. Both looking majorly pissed off. And the image of what we were doing finally sank in - and we laughed, all the way to the bus stop.

"Wait, Danny. I think we should go home first. You know, get changed and stuff." He timidly said as we waited for the bus.

"Huh? Why?"

"Just go home and get dressed. Wear something casual. Nothing too formal." He said, "I'll come by your house maybe 30 minutes before 6. Okay?"

"You know where I live?" I sort-of-shrieked before realizing how stupid my question was.

"Uh . . . Yeah . . . I spoke with your mom a few months ago, remember?" he giggled.

"Oh, right."

"Here's your ride." He declared as the bus approached, and the doors opened for me to get in.

"I'll see you at nightfall, then?"

He just smiled, nodded and called a cab. I guess he's going to his mom first.


Back at home, my mom was preparing dinner when I kissed her cheeks and nervously told her, "Mom! I'm going out tonight, okay?"

It was really seldom that I got out of the house. So, upon hearing it, my mom was all a go for it. She turned around and gasped.


"Oh, nothing, honey. You just look . . . you look really handsome." She smiled at me. "You know . . . you remind me of your dad."

"Thanks, mom. I guess." I blushed. I think because she compared me to my dad. She seldom talks about him. "So, you're okay with it? You're gonna live through dinner without me?"

"Of course, honey. You have a good night." She returned to preparing dinner, "Send my regards to Keith, okay?"

"Um . . . I'm not going out with Keith. Not tonight." I breathed.

"Well, who then?" She turned to look at me again. A grin pasted on her face.

I didn't have to answer the question. My sister was already screaming for all the people of the nation of the United States of America to hear.

"Mom! There's the boy! The boy! Mom! MOM! He's walking towards our house! MOM! COME HERE! The boy! THE BOY!"

"Stephanie, shut up! You're gonna wake up the other side of the world! Mom, tell her to shut up! MOM!"

She was just laughing, and then ran for the windows beside my sister. "Oh, my God! Don't he look dashing! He looks bigger since last time!" She noted, "Wait! Has he lost his belly? I think he's lost his man-boobs, too! Oh, my God! Stephanie, this'll be good!" They both giggled.

What the hell!

Bigger? Yes, he's gained a few pounds, but he also lost some of his fattiness and replaced it with pure, buff muscles. Thus, buffer, I think.

But dashing? I don't think so! [Well, maybe a teensy, tiny bit.]

"Urgh . . . I'm leaving! Goodbye!" And I slammed the door shut just as Bruce arrived at our steps. "Turn around. Stop talking. And start walking." I commanded.

"What's happening?" I can still see my mom and sister waving at us through the windows.

"If you wanna live, Bruce Adams, just do as I say!" I snapped menacingly.

And so we walked towards the bus stop. And waited.



Waited for someone to break the silence.

I took a deep breath and decided I should start it. After all, I was the one who silenced him. "You can speak now, Brucey." and I giggled at his puppy-like obedience.

"Thank goodness! I thought we were not talking for the rest of the night." He beamed brightly, then added confidently, "You look great, by the way."

I blushed. Thank God it was dark enough to not be noticed.

"Oh . . . Thank you? I guess." I glanced at him. Yep! Cute as hell! "You're not so bad yourself." I told him. It was an understatement - up close, he really was dashing! Then I laughed . . . or sort of giggled.

"What?" he quipped, "What's funny?"

"Nothing." How ironic is it to describe Bruce as cute, right? Seeing that he's humongously massive and all. HAHA!

"Come on! Spill it!"

But the bus arrived. I pushed him in and he led the way towards the very end - where the only vacant seats were located.

"Come on, spill." He nudged as we settled.

"Nuh-uh!" And I looked outside the window as we passed my neighbors' houses.

"Fockins!" He threatened under his breath.

I turned to face him, "Don't you 'Fockins' me, mister! It's personal and I ain't telling you!" I pointed out, "Now . . . where are you taking me tonight?"

"It's a secret."

"WHAT! No, really, where?" I asked again.

"Nuh-uh. It's a secret. You aren't telling yours, I ain't telling mine." And he stuck out his tongue at me. Childish, yes. But adorably cute!

"Fine." I snapped.

The bus ride was . . . I don't know . . . Unnerving? I was fucking hard for the whole time! As the bus moves, our legs (which were in a very close proximity from each other, by the way. Thanks to Bruce's size) would rub against each other and I can't help but feel aroused by the heated, muscular contact. The bus has an AC system, but the warm-blooded animal sitting beside me was emitting too much heat enough to boil ice-cold Antarctican water. I would shift closer to the window so I can avoid the contact, but it was no use, the seat was just too small for the both of us. [Translation: Bruce is too fucking big for the poor, little seat.]

That felt like the longest bus ride that I ever had. But actually, it was just about ten minutes; more or less.

After we got out of the bus, Bruce led the way and we walked for a few blocks before arriving at an Italian-ish restaurant called Antonio Gustav's Place.

"Hmmm. . ." I thought, "Not a date, eh?"

It was just a small place, but once you get in, you get the feeling that this is where Hollywood Stars eat. The place was really grandiose and elegant. The kind of place where the rich and famous would like to dine in. I wonder how Bruce could afford the services.

After declaring of his reservation, an usher guided us to our table. Thank God Bruce got the one that was located on the dimmed, secluded part of the restaurant. This is the first time that I have been in a restaurant that was as sophisticated as the place that we were in now. And I don't want anyone to recognize me if I make a total fool of my ignorant self.

After a few minutes of waiting, dinner was then served. We didn't have to order or wait long; Bruce had already picked the food to eat and had them ready to serve. I wonder how long Bruce has planned for this.

As soon as the food was laid, I didn't have any complaints! EVERYTHING looks and smells really good!

We started eating.

"I never thought you had a sophisticated side, Bruce" I remarked.

"There are still a lot of things that you do not know of me, Mr. Mockins." he retorted with a British accent, then whispered "I have secrets that would haunt your head forever."

He laughed.

"Oh, is that so?" I went along with his antics. "And what might those secrets be, Monsieur Adams? Please . . . do tell!"

"Well . . . they wouldn't be called secrets if I indulge them with you, now, would they?"

I just raised my glass of soda. He raised his and we toasted. We can't be served with any kind of liquor because we were underage, so, soda, it is.

We continued eating. And, occasionally, I would notice him stealing glances at me - a warm smile on his chubby face. I tried to ignore him. But, God, it was so hard to comply! He was just so - dashing - tonight!

We were almost done with the meal, when Bruce stopped eating and just freely looked at me as I ate. I think he now knows that I can see him looking at me, but that never seemed to faze him.

"What? Do I have something on my face?" I asked, instinctively wiping my mouth with a napkin.

"Oh . . . Sorry . . . I just don't understand how I could . . . I don't get how I could be so stupid to . . . to be so. . ." he mumbled, his eyes now wandering everywhere but my face.

"Bruce? What is it?" I asked, "Hey . . . Look at me . . . Look at me. . ."

He slowly did. Then he took a very deep breath.

"There's something that I have to tell you, Danny."

My mind went into auto-pilot and my mouth went into overdrive.

"If it's about the project, you don't have to thank me,

Bruce. It was a group effort. We made that together." I nervously chuckled. "Don't be ridiculous! Don't thank me for that!"

"No . . . It's not that. . ."

It's not that? Then what? I was starting to get really nervous now. SHIT!

"Okay. If you're still worried about the whole blackmailing stuff, please, don't. I'm really sorry about that, I do - but at that time I needed . . . a leverage . . . or something to get your complete attention. I wasn't really planning on exposing your history. I respect people's privacy. And actually, I couldn't have done it anyway. I wasn't born to be a blackmailer. Promise!"

"Dan, it's not that either." He impatiently replied.

"Or maybe it is because I keep visiting your mom and-"

"Danny, just shut up!" He barked. Everyone in the restaurant looked our way. Even an old lady's Chihuahua stopped chewing and looked at the odd pair that we were making. He cleared his throat [Bruce, not the Chihuahua.] "Just listen. Okay?"

I nodded.

"First of all, I want to thank you." He started, "Not only because of that stupid project, but also because . . . because you stayed by me, Danny. Even though I've been mean - harsh - to you, you still believed that I can do better. That I can be a better person: someone who can do fucking research," he chuckled, "someone who can make friends, someone who can care and understand . . . someone who is human. Though you showed it to me the hard way, I still am grateful for you. I know that I can do better. Truly, I know. But, as you have known, I've been bullied at my former school, and because of that terrible experience, I made it my life's priority to build a new reputation; the kind in which, just by looking at me, people would know that it would be better if they do not mess with me."

He paused to take a sip from his glass.

"I now know that what I did was wrong. Terribly wrong. All of those. So, the next thing I want to say to you is that . . . I'm sorry, Danny. Since day one, I've made your life a living hell. No one deserves the hell that I've brought down on you. Not even the baddest of the bad don't deserve the things that I have done to you. And every day I always ask God for forgiveness for the things that I have done. But I know that that isn't enough. If God would reply, I know that he'd say, 'Say that to Danny's face, you dumbass!' or something."

That made me giggle.

"So, Danny, I hope you would forgive me. I'm really sorry. For everything."

I nodded repeatedly, but I kept silent. I had a feeling that he hasn't finished speaking yet.

He looked squarely at my face. The dim lights glinting on his now dark blue eyes, creating the impression that he was teary eyed. Or maybe he was?

"Bruce. . ." I calmly stated.

"Danny, there's one more thing. I need to get this out before I explode." He cut in. He was sitting across from me, but he stood and sat at the chair located beside me. He looked at me, "Do you remember the first time we met?"

HA! What. A. Question!

"Of course I do! I would never forget it." I replied and smiled as I remembered that specific moment.

"Well . . . what do you recall of it?" He timidly asked.

"Hmmm . . . let's see. I think the highlight of that encounter was when I splashed your shirt with the orange juice and hamburger that you were bringing. Then I looked at you-"

"No, you were gaping." He interjected and laughed, "I remember how wide your eyes and mouth were, Danny."

"Really? I was?" He nodded amusedly. "Fine, I was gaping at you, then! But who wouldn't? Have you seen yourself in the mirror lately? You're incredibly humongous!"

He laughed for a bit, then he took another heavy breath and his expression changed into something that says 'I'm serious now'.

He started speaking. "Well, Danny . . . that was the time - the moment - that I realized one thing . . . one simple thing. . ."

He trailed.

"Aaaaaand what is that?" I queried.

He looked into my eyes. His icy-blue orbs penetrating my deep-brown ones. My heart was now going over 80 miles an hour. Under the table, I was squeezing the life out of my napkin. "Every time I remember that very first time that we met - that specific encounter - I can't help but feel happy."

I felt my heart drop to the floor.

"Danny, I gradually realized . . . that before I met you . . . before I met you, I never knew what it was like . . . to look at someone and smile for no reason at all."

Danny: (stops moving, mouth agape, looks squarely at Bruce)

Bruce: (smiles warmly and reaches his right hand to one of Danny's)

Danny: (hands tremble and drops napkin onto the floor)

It took me about a minute and a half to fully grasp what he had just said. OH MY GOD!




"Bruce. . ." I croaked, "What're you. . ." I had to drink the whole glass to clear my thoughts - and also my throat. I took a deep breath to keep my emotions from overwhelming me.

All this time Bruce was looking at me expectantly. Holding my hand. And smiling that gentle smile of his that I deeply adored.

"Bruce, what are you trying to say?" I finally mustered. I was so close to crying by now. "If this is your idea of a sick joke, then you better stop!"


I pulled my hand free and slammed my palms onto the table, "Bruce, I swear to God, if this is some kind of a prank. . ." I trailed off. Tears were now rolling down my cheeks. I was feeling really confused right at the moment. "What are you doing to me, Bruce?"

He took my hand again.

"Danny, this isn't a joke. The thing that I've always wanted to tell you . . . ever since you redecorated my white shirt with ketchup and orange juice . . . is that I-"


We were both startled by his phone suddenly ringing. He rejected the call and looked at me again.

"Danny, ever since that day I have always been in-"


"FUCK!" he growled.

"Just take that call, Bruce." I said in between sobs. God, why am I acting this way? "We'll talk about this at school, okay?" I said shakily and stood up.

"No, Danny, wait!" He pulled me down.

"Take the call!" I snapped.

After letting a tear roll down his chubby cheeks, he released my hand, stood up and took the call. I got up and started to leave when, "WHAT?!"

Bruce exclaimed and I turned to look at his terrified expression. He started shaking, clearly he was on the edge of breaking down, "Oh, my God! No . . . No, no, no, no. . ."

Seconds passed. Bruce got his wallet out and paid the bill with shaking hands, leaving a generous amount of tip.

"But first I have to go to the-" he was cut by the caller. He kept shaking his head.

"Wait, Daniel? It reads Daniel Mockins?" He asked, surprised. "What has Danny got to do with this?"

"Bruce, what's happening?" I asked him. I was getting nervous just by looking at his tear-streaked face. He was shaking so badly, I grabbed his arm to steady him.

"Fine. Alright. OK. I'll be there in. . ." he choked, "I'll be there in 15 minutes." And as soon as he shut his phone, he broke down. It was heartbreaking to notice. I felt bad looking at the massive guy crying before me. He fell onto his chair, and drooped his massive shoulders, crying into the palms of his hands.

I squatted down and hugged him. I hugged him to me tight; his tears streaming onto the sleeves of my shirt. I hugged him, still. Let the people stare!

"Bruce, what's happening?" I breathed onto his neck with no comprehensive reply.

For minutes, he continued sobbing on my shoulders, muttering 'No' over and over and over again. Then, slowly, he looked at me - his face filled with pain and heartache - and spoke the words that, not once, have I expected.

"Danny. . ." he gushed out, "She's gone, Danny . . . she's gone. . ."


His words echoed in my throbbing head as we made our way out of the restaurant, into the night, and down to the bus stop. I watched as his massive back shook from every tremor that elicits from his sobs. The boy that I've laughed and joked with for the last three hours was gone. The boy that took me on my very first date was nowhere to be seen. And I felt really bad for the boy that replaced him - the boy trudging before me. Really, really bad.


"Hmmm?" He softly answered, trying to cover the sorrow and despair in his voice.

"Do you want to talk about it?" I whispered tentatively as I neared his slumping form.

I saw him slowly shake his head.

"You know that you don't have to go through this all by yourself, don't you?" I rushed, "Bruce, I'm here if you want to-"

"MY MOM IS DEAD!" He turned to face me, "MY MOM IS FUCKING DEAD, DANIEL! WHAT do you want me to fucking do about it? WHAT do you want me to fucking say to that?!" He growled at me, his face mere inches from mine, and as he saw the fear in my eyes, he screamed into the night and pulled on the locks of his caramel-blond hair before he took a deep breath and calmed himself down, "I just lost my mother, Danny. I know you're just trying to make me feel better. But, right now, I don't want to talk about it. So, please. . ."

I looked up to his eyes and saw the tears streaming down his rosy cheeks. I slowly nodded. I can understand if he would scream and hit and curse at me right now. For the few weeks that we've sat and talked and laughed together, Lily has been a great addition to my life. She was like the sun that shined on me during my rainy days. She was warm, and friendly, and kind and I almost called her "Mom" one time when Bruce locked me inside our classroom so he could skip one of our drafting and editing sessions. Lily is a great part of my life.

So, I completely understand what Bruce is feeling. I, too, feel his pain. Bruce lost a mother, I lost a friend.

I walked beside him and, without hesitation, held his trembling hand. I tried to drape my other arm over his broad shoulders and tried to somehow sever him from his pain.

"Thank you, Danny." He whispered back at me a while later, leaning his head to mine, "Thank you for going out with me tonight. You really made me happy tonight."

I hugged him to me tighter as we reached the bus stop; the streetlights shining over our mourning figures.

I kept chanting "It's going to be okay, Bruce." As we waited for the bus and Bruce kept at his silent sobs while I patted and squeezed his massive back. We were sitting down on a bench now, so the task was easier, now that I can reach his muscular back better. He slumped his body onto mine and continued weeping on my delicate shoulders, his face hidden on the soft curvature of my neck. His lips slightly touching the sensitive skin just below my jawline. I ignored my libido and just kept on comforting him.

"Well, well, well . . . I'm guessing babysitter duty is over, then?" Someone, from somewhere, coldly spoke. My mind went suddenly blank. "Or was there really someone to babysit with in the first place?"

I nervously surveyed my surroundings, looking for the source of the anger-ingested remark. And as my eyes got used to the darkness, I saw him - emerging from the shadows of a nearby tree - and my heart thumped harder and faster like there was no tomorrow. How did he . . .? SHIT!

"Keith!" I gasped, "It's not what you think!"

He just glared at me and stopped five meters from our intimately entwined limbs.

"Keith, what are you doing here? I thought you and the others . . . Keith, were you following us?" I demanded.

"Oh! Me? Following you? NO! That's just absurd!" He laughed, but the anger was still lurking in his voice, "We just got out of the cinema and decided to call it a night. I told you we were going out, didn't I?" he suddenly snapped, "I even remember asking if you wanted to come! But I see you've already booked your entire weekend with your new best friend!"

I stood up and practically pushed Bruce off of me.

"Keith, don't you fucking say that! We're not . . . I didn't want to-"

"Shut up, Danny!" That was the very first time that Keith growled at me, he looked so angry my tears were threatening to leak out of my eyes again. "You know, you could've just told me! You know that I would understand! How hard can it be to tell your best friend?!"

"Keith, I didn't want to hurt your feelings." I pleaded. "I thought you'd get angry if I'd tell you I was already in an appointment with Bruce."

"And, what?" He barked, "Do you think I'm NOT ANGRY RIGHT NOW, DANIEL?! You fucking lied to me!"

"Dude, I don't think Danny meant anything wrong with his actions." Bruce interrupted. "I was the one who asked him out, I should be the one who-"

"Stay out of this, Adams!" Keith pushed him and coldly retorted, "If you know what's good for you, you fucking stay out of this!"

Keith's anger blinded him of the fact that, though he was at least two inches taller, Bruce was still twice his size. But, still, Bruce backed off. He was in an emotional wreck right now and Keith is being a fucking prick!

"Keith, I'm really sorry," I started, "I didn't want to lie to you, but right now, you're really getting out of line here! I'm really sorry. I'm really-"

"Your sorry's not going to change anything, Danny! I'm getting out of line? Fuck you! The fact that you lied to me. . ." he choked, "It fucking hurts, man! And then, just as I started to go home from a great night with my friends, I see MY best buddy kissing HIS fucking bully - HIS sworn enemy!"

"WHAT?! We were not kissing!"

"SHUT UP!" He roared.

I was terrified of the ferocity in his eyes. I've never seen Keith like this before. Never have I seen someone get so angry like he did.

"I wanted to leave and just act like I never saw the two of you . . . but then I realized - what then? It's not like I would just forget what I witnessed." He hastily wiped a tear from his cheek, "You don't know how it fucking hurts, Daniel!"

"But, Keith, we were not-"


He was crying steadily now. His attempts to wipe the wetness from his handsome face were futile. Tears were falling like a stream from his deep green eyes.

I stepped towards him, but he backed away. That simple gesture hurt me like hell!

"Keith. . ." I breathed hopelessly. "You don't understand what's happening here. I was just comforting Bruce because he-"

"No, Danny!" He shook his head, "I know what I saw! Alright? Enough! It's over. I don't want to listen to your lame excuses now! I don't want to listen to your made-up stories again! Fuck, I don't want to hear you talk anymore! It's over!"

My eyes gaped wide open. "No. Keith, what are you saying? What you saw isn't what you're thinking!" I, too, now, was crying.

"No . . . We're over, Danny." He blankly stated, "I can't have a liar for a friend . . . and I can't afford a friend who can't even trust me." He sobbed, "I'm sorry, Danny. This friendship is over."

And he turned and vanished into the night.

Breathing heavily, I slumped to the ground; wailing for Keith to come back. Wishing this was all just a bad dream. Cursing my entire being for fucking things up!

The last thing I remember was Bruce sitting beside me - hugging me to his warm, soft body - calling my name and telling me it's going to be okay over and over and over again. And everything went black.


"Danny?" a voice woke me from my slumber. "Danny?"

I suddenly felt like I was a computer that has just been turned on. My mind did a quick process of booting my system up and loading the memories from my latest session right before I unexpectedly crashed. And it made my head throb like crazy. It was like I was the catcher at home base and the batter just fucking swung too much and hit me with his bat in the fucking head.

"Ugh. . ." I groaned as I made myself into a sitting position.

"Easy, now, cupcake. Easy." The voice spoke to me again.

I looked around and realized that I was somewhere that I've never been before. I turned my head and saw an unfamiliar face looking down at me, assisting me as I sat up, and holding out what I assumed was some kind of pain-reliever and a glass of water.

"Here. Take this. Drink up. It'll make you feel better." He spoke.

I studied him and - from what he was wearing - I concluded that he was a doctor. A stereotypical one at that.

I took the medicine.

I tried standing up, but my legs were feeling kinda wobbly. So, I sat back down.

"Who are you?" I rasped, "Where am I? What happened to me? How did I get here? Why am I-"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow down, cowboy!" He chuckled and wiped my forehead of perspiration, "You're starting to sound like you're having amnesia, or something. Just relax."

I laughed at my silliness and mumbled, "Sorry . . . Just kind of panicking."

"How are you feeling?" he asked.

"Um. . . I feel okay. My head is throbbing and I'm a little lightheaded, but I'm okay."

"Good! Now, you just need to rest for a few more hours and you'll be good as new." He said. "And, to answer your questions, I am Dr. Charles Griffith - I am the Adams' family doctor. You're in Master Adams' apartment right now. He called me over an hour ago and told me about what happened. And so, here I am."

Master Adams, huh? That's weird. I can't imagine addressing Bruce as master. I don't see him as master material. HAHA.

"What, exactly, happened to me, Doctor?" I asked.

"Well, from what Master Bruce told me, you sort of blacked out. It seems you're under quite a lot of stress right now."

You don't know half of it, I thought.

"And that is why I'll leave you to rest now." He stood up.

"Wait. Where's Bruce? He needs me - I mean - he needs someone to talk to right now. He's just lost his mom and he's all alone right now and-"

"Oh, he's at the living room. He's just discussing a few things with Judge Robertson right now."

"Judge? Like 'Department of Justice Judge' Judge?" He nodded. "Why is he talking to a judge? Is he in some kind of trouble?" I asked. It scared me, though - how I was feeling so concerned about Bruce right now - it fucking scares me. Why am I feeling . . . whatever this is for him?

"No. He's not in trouble, silly." The doctor laughed, "But you are going to be if you don't close your eyes and rest." He stated with a genuine smile, "Just rest, Daniel. You'll talk with Bruce once you're stable on your own feet. Okay?"

And he left.

Taking his advice, I tried to relax then laid back in bed and rested.


"Why am I here?" I impatiently asked as I looked at Judge Robertson's pudgy face. Bruce told me that he was the one who called last night. Funny how the Judge knew first before Bruce did.

Bruce and I sat side by side on the couch while Judge Robertson placed the chair that he procured from the dining table before us. He began to speak, "Well . . . While you were sleeping, Mr. Mockins, Bruce and I have been discussing the matter about Mrs. Adams' funeral. . ." he paused, "And more recently . . . her last will and testament."

He took out a small chest, a couple of envelopes and some legal documents, and then laid them on the coffee table between us.

"That doesn't answer my question . . . Sir. I still don't get why you would need me here." I replied.

The somewhere-in-his-late-50s judge cleared his throat and looked at me.

"To cut the story short, Daniel . . . Lily left you something. That is why you are required here." He started, "I still don't know what it is, or what's in it, but Mrs. Adams definitely meant for you to have it. It was one of the recent additions that she made in her will."

I took a deep breath. Why would Lily leave me something?

"Okay. But are you okay with this, Bruce?" I turned to him, "Because . . . I mean . . . I don't want to get something that isn't rightfully mine."

He smiled and turned to me. "You don't have to get what's mine, Danny. I completely trust my mom. I'm sure that she wanted this. Whatever my mom left you, it's yours. Not mine. Okay?"

He squeezed my thigh for reassurance. I just nodded.

The next half hour was spent on the reading and the discussion of Lily's will and testament. It was a good thing she's leaving Bruce enough to get on with High School - College, if he wants to - and more for what he plans after graduation.

"So, now comes Daniel's part." The Judge stated, "There's nothing to it, really. She just states here that . . . she's leaving you that chest." he pointed to the small chest on the coffee table.

He handed me the chest and I took it. It was quite heavy, didn't expect it from an 8" by 12" box. On top of it was written my name: Daniel Christopher Mockins. Then Judge Robertson passed me a key. Just like the chest, it looked ancient and has quite an intricate design to it and I began to question how old these things were. I was fumbling with the lock, when Judge Robertson stopped me.

"Wait, Daniel. Lily had specific instructions written in her will." He said, "She states here that 'Daniel can only open the box once he is sure he is alone, and only after he has read his letter.'"

I looked at him, then at the envelopes lying on the table. "And by letter, you mean those?"

He nodded. "Yes and no. You only get to read one of the three. Bruce gets to read the other, and the last one is for her husband." He noted.

"Okay, then." And I took the envelope with D.C.M. written on it. "But, Bruce . . . I haven't asked you this before, but . . . does your Dad know? Where is he now?"

But before he could respond,


My phone rang. I took it and checked my inbox.

"FUCK! My mom's going apeshit! 15 missed calls! 27 messages!" I looked at Bruce, trying to convey a message.

"It's okay, Dan. Your mom's. . ." he choked, "Your mom's probably worried about you now. Come on, get your things. I'll take you home."

"No, Bruce. You should stay. I can get home myself. You have far more important things to deal with here." I reasoned, looking at his tired face, "And you need a rest, too! Did you even sleep last night? You look like a wreck!"

He smiled. "I'm okay. But . . . well . . . Okay. I'll let you know when the . . . when she's . . . I'll let you know about the preparation." He faltered.

I stepped before him and hugged him tight. "It's going to be okay, Bruce. You're strong. You'll get over this."

"Thank you, Danny." He said as he hugged me back. I can feel his heart beating against my cheek. "Listen . . . about Keith and our little talk over dinner. . ."

I shushed him, "I've been meaning to . . . to tell you this last night. . . You're getting deeper than my nerves, you know that?" I looked at him in arm's length, and he immediately blushed. "We'll talk about that soon, okay? But, in the meantime, I need to get home and face my mom's wrath and you need to rest."

He nodded.

"You'll be fine, Bruce." and I kissed his cheek - just centimeters from his trembling lips - three seconds longer than the normal.

I left his apartment with an envelope that contains Lily's letter for me, an antique chest filled with who-knows-what, and a wide grin pasted on my blushing face.

Chapter Eight


"DANIEL CHRISTOPHER MOCKINS!" I heard my mom scream as soon as she heard the door slamming behind me. [Urgh. Wrong move, Daniel! You should've been in Stealth Mode! Well . . . it's too late for that now.] I saw my mom emerge from the kitchen with an apron around her waist, a butcher's knife in her hand and a crazy look twisting her already enraged features. "WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?!"

"Mom-" I started.


"MOM!" I barked. "I'm all right! I was with Bruce the whole night!"


"MOM! NO!" I retorted, "Bruce is straight! And how could you think of me like that?"


"BRUCE'S MOM DIED!" I screamed at the top of my lungs. Word for word.

She stood there - her breathing heavy, her mouth gaping, her eyes wide with shock. Silence passed as we stared at each other. I can her my heart beating as she opened her mouth, as if to speak, and closed it again.

"Bruce's mom died." I slowly repeated. "That was why I haven't managed to return your calls."

"Oh, my God . . . Lilybeth?" She gasped, backing down onto the nearest couch. She used a palm to cover her trembling lips, and the other to grip her shaking knees.

I sat beside her. "Yes, mom. Just last night. That was why I couldn't come home. Bruce, with his dad working somewhere on the east coast . . . and with no other relatives around . . . well, he needed someone . . . and I was there . . . so . . ."

"Oh, my God . . . Lilybeth," she muttered again. And then, as I wipe a tear streaking my face, my mind cleared a bit and I realized one thing.

"Wait . . . Mom?" I tentatively asked.

She didn't respond, she was now crouching on the couch, her face hidden in her hands.

"Mom?" I asked, "How did you know her name was Lilybeth?"

She instantly looked up, her face still filled with the shock that the news brought.

"Mom, how did you know her name was Lilybeth?" I demanded.

She laughed. "Oh . . . you know . . . um . . . I met Lily once . . . at the . . . uh . . . at your school . . ." She shakily replied. A single tear fell from her eye.

"Mom, why are you even crying?" I demanded. I have a feeling that there was something she wasn't telling me. "Why are you so disturbed by this news? You barely know the woman."

She suddenly looked up at me, her face filled with a pained expression. "Oh, Danny!" That's what she said before she rapidly walked towards me and hugged me to her tight, finally breaking down, and never answering my question.

Oookaaay . . . too emotional to reply. So, I just let it slip.

For now, at least.


After going through my mother's unexpected duh-ramah, I went up to my room - carrying the chest and the envelope in my hands - wondering about my mom's mind-boggling reaction.

I wonder what the story is behind all those tears. She can't have just 'met' Lily once at school and bawl upon hearing that she's dead. There's got to be more. You can't just cry for someone you barely know. Which reminds me. . .

"Keith. . ." I hesitated before continuing, "I know that you're angry at me right now . . . but I really wish that you'd try to listen and understand. We need to talk . . . you and me. You don't know the whole story . . . and . . . and I really want to fix this. . ." my voice trembled as tears threatened to fall, "I don't want a simple misunderstanding to destroy years and years of friendship . . . you're my best friend and . . . I can't afford to lose you, buddy . . . Please, Keith. . ." and I ended the voice message before I started to cry.

I sat on my bed and opened the envelope with trembling hands. As expected, a letter was inside. I took it out and held it in front of me. The scribbled handwriting on the paper, I assumed, was of Lilybeth Adams.

I took a deep breath and started reading.

'Dearest Daniel,

Let me just tell you that I've started writing this letter since the night after you first visited me here at the hospital. I remember the exact moment when you came into my room, I didn't tell you then, but you reminded me of someone very special in my life. Not only in physique, but in how you relate and express yourself to others - especially to me.

You truly are a remarkable boy, Daniel! A remarkable young man. And I am glad that Bruce found a friend in you. Yes, Daniel, I know that neither of you would admit it, but believe me or not, you are both good for each other. Trust me when I say that.

I am writing this letter because I have a couple of favors to ask, Daniel. And I hope that they're not too much.

First, as you may have already known, a chest is to be passed on to you. This chest contains very precious items that I have acquired over the years - precious, for they represent both great monetary and sentimental values. As you open the chest, the very first thing that you will see is a band of envelopes. Please make sure that there are 15 of them. No more, no less. I trust that these letters would be delivered to Mary as soon as you take hold of them.'

WHAT? MARY? Is she talking about MY mom?

'And I also trust that you would not read nor even glance at its contents. It is very important that only she would read them. Though, let it be known that it is her own choice if she would convey with you or not the details in those letters.'

"What the fuck!" I muttered. My mom knew that Bruce's mom's name was Lily. And now, Lily tells me to give my mom her letters; which only concludes that, "They knew each other! They fucking knew each other and neither one told anyone about it! Fuck!"

And I continued reading.

'Under the letters are some of my jewelries. Do as you please with them, Daniel. They are all yours now. Well . . . except for ONE special item.

Within the jewelries, I want you to find a silver necklace. This necklace has a heart shaped locket with it. Like the letters, it should be handed to Mary. Please make sure that she accepts it. Please see to it that she takes it back.'

Takes it back? Hmmm . . . Interesting . . .

'The second favor that I ask of you is a very personal request. This request comes from a mother for her son.

Please take care of him, Daniel. Please be there for him. Bruce means so much to me and I don't want to see him led astray by his anger and sense of revenge towards the people that hurt him. I've seen him waste his time and energy trying to bully his way through school these months, and I ache for him - for there is nothing that we can prove nor accomplish with hatred and revenge. And I know that you can change his view on things. You're like that, Daniel. You change people.

I just want to see him happy, Daniel, and I know that only you can make it happen. I've seen him when he's with you and I am glad that he had the luck to meet you; because when you're with him, he is who he was years ago - the jolly, fun, and happy-go-lucky son that I so longed to return back to me.

And though, sometimes, you may bring out the worst in him, Danny, it is very evident now that he is also at his very best when he's with you. You have this . . . effect on him.

Most of all, I want him to learn how to love. I want him to be loved - because there is only one word that frees us of all the weight, the hatred, the pain and the anger that we have in life. That word is LOVE, Daniel. And I want you to teach him that.

Remember, Danny, you are both good for each other. Great, even. Keep each other safe. And tell him that I love him. I love the both of you.

I had fun, Daniel!

Always and forever,

Lily Adams

P.S. That punch you gave him made a great change. And as horrible as it may sound, I want to thank you for that.'


Curiosity and, yes, I admit, a huge deal of temptation, were creeping along my fingertips as I sat on my bed and fumbled with the key to open the antique-looking chest. It looked as if it was made during the age where no woman wore dresses with hemlines higher than their kneecaps, and I can't think of anything but wonder how the men during that age could find their vaginas with this crazy mantelpiece covering them all up.

"This thing's fucking ancient." I muttered as the lock clicked. I slowly opened and saw that what Lily wrote was true - the very first things that caught my attention were the envelopes. They were tied together by a silky, red ribbon. I took them into my hands and noticed that the first one on top had a year written on its upper-right corner. I inspected the others. All fifteen of them had years written on them - starting from the year 1995 to the year 2009. This'll take a lot of time to read, I thought - especially that my mom would be the one reading them. The most that she has read lately, I think, were the recipe books that she bought from the local bookstore.

As much as I was tempted to open just one, I didn't want to break the trust that Lily has indisputably given me. This thought made me tear up again. "Shit, Lily! If you can hear me, I just want to say that I'm fucking pissed with you . . . making me cry and shit like a freaking two-year old!" I chuckled at myself. "Shit!"

I placed the letters on top of my pillow and moved on to the next task - finding the silver necklace.

Lily specifically mentioned that everything inside the chest was mine (which I still find very hard to believe). Well, everything except for the letters and for the necklace. They were supposed to be handed over to my mom. Which is really, really weird. I didn't even know that they knew each other. And now Lily's handing her over letters and a silver necklace like they're old pals or something.

Hmmm . . . maybe . . . Whatever! It's their business, not mine. But I promise to know as much as I can. I'll be bugging my mom for the rest of her life if I had to.

Now that I was looking more closely into the chest, reality finally sunk in and my eyes gaped with shock! FUCK!

"Shit! These can't be all mine! What am I going to do with these?!" my voice went two octaves higher as I saw various jewels and accessories filling the space that the envelopes haven't occupied. There were necklaces, bracelets, anklets, rings, earrings, trinkets, crowns, all of which fashionably embedded with different stones like rubies, jades, diamonds, sapphires, amethysts, obsidians, and fuck, you name it! There were even golden coins in it! "This is a fucking treasure chest! Fuck! If I had this kind of wealth, I'd buy a mansion and I'd send my son to the best school in town. Hell, I'd send him to the best school in the world!"

I tried to look for the necklace that Lily wanted my mom to have.

"Heart shaped locket. Heart shaped locket. Heart shaped locket." I mumbled repeatedly as I searched for it. I tried shoving the other items to one side but it was pointless, they just fell over and mixed with the other yet-to-be-inspected jewels. So, I changed my strategy. Every time I inspected an object and concluded that it wasn't what I was looking for, I would lay it on my bed and move on to the next one. So, in the end, my room looked like a queen's treasure chamber. Which I thought was kinda sexy. Heehee. . .

And then, I saw it.

It was a very stylish silver necklace. But it was the locket that caught my attention. It was a heart, alright. I took it into my hands and felt the coolness of the object. It was light, almost featherlike. And it glimmered as the light shines on its smooth, slick, lustrous surface.

I opened it and I got the greatest shock of my life. Well, not really, but I was still shocked.

Anyways . . . Placed on one side of the locket was MY mom's photo. Well, I guess it was her when she was younger - Senior Year, perhaps. She was really beautiful. Quite the stunner. A real breath taker.

But when I looked at the other half - BAM! My eyes practically shot out of their sockets. My mom was in the photo, yes. But in this one, she was all wrapped up in the arms of a man. Whilst absorbed in each other's arms, they were staring at each other - you know, just like how couples in cheesy romantic movies looked at each other during the 'Happy Ending' scenes. God was I jealous.

Then, as I looked at him more, I realized something. The guy smiling at her in the photo looked exactly like ME! Though he looked a bit more athletic, muscular, and a bit taller, his face, that angelic face, that smile - he was me!

"Dad," I breathed as it hit me. I examined the photo more closely, "Wow."

It was really sweet and, at the same time, creepy looking at my mom and dad in their youths. Especially that it was in a locket. A heart shaped locket. They looked really happy. And now I wonder why they didn't marry? We would've become a one, big happy family then if they did. I'd have to ask mom. And, if possible, I'd have to ask dad.

But the question that bugged me more right now was something entirely different.

Why was this locket in Lilybeth Adams' possession?

FUCK! My head is a mass of mush! What the hell am I missing here? What are they not telling me? What's with all these secrets? FUCK!

"MOM!" I shouted as I sprinted down the stairs, carrying the envelopes in one hand and the silver necklace in the other.

"I'm in the kitchen, honey." She weakly replied. "What is it?"



"Are we playing Cop-and-Suspect here? Because I got a lot of more important things to do in the kitchen. What's with all the questions, Daniel?" my mom asked, irritated.

"Here are the ground rules, mom." I seriously replied, "A) I ask the questions here and you answer, 2) There are a few special items that someone wants me to pass on to you, but if you don't answer my questions honestly, they'd go bye-bye before you even say Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism."


"And D) Don't even try not answering my questions, cause I know and you know and even Stephanie knows that I would just bug you with them for the rest of your mere mortal life. So, you better answer them here and now." I paused for dramatic effect, "Now, are we clear on that?"

She rolled her eyes, muttered, "Sir, yes, Sir!" and did a hand salute.

"Good!" I smiled at myself, "And we're not role playing here . . . this is serious drama, Mom."

"Fine, whatever you say." She rolled her eyes again.

"Let's get back to business, shall we?" I said, "Now . . . question one: How did you know Lilybeth Adams?" I sounded, felt, and acted like a lawyer in a court trial and it excited my 15-almost-16-year old guts! "And don't tell me that you met her in my school or in the grocery or in the mall, 'cause I ain't gonna buy it."

She took a deep breath and started.

"Lilybeth Stewart," she sighed. "That was her maiden name. We went to High School together. Back when my family was still in New York. I spent almost four years of my life with Lily." and then she broke down in tears, "She was my best friend, Daniel . . . God, why does it have to be Lily?!"

Best friend? Whoa! That's news! And 'Why does it have to be Lily?' What does she mean by that? Is she talking about her sickness? About her death? What?

She continued with her sobs while I, upon hearing the news and put one and one together, managed my breathing. FUCK! They were best friends? Lily never mentioned anything about my mom . . . she didn't mention anything about her High School years, either. I wonder what had happened.

"Lily was a silent type of girl," I heard my mom's rasping voice continue, "She was almost called a loner, you know. But I knew her better. She is the greatest person that I have ever met. She's so bubbly and energetic, she's so charming and full of wonderful ideas, she's kind and she's got this smile that makes her look like she has no worries or something. She's the smartest girl I know, too!" She laughed for a bit, "While I was the Head Cheerleader, she was the President of almost every organization in school." she laughed again and had this faraway look on her face, "I really am amazed of the fact that we - opposites that we were - became best of friends! Lily . . . Oh, Lily. . ."

And she bent her head and cried.

"God, Danny, why does it have to be her?!" she screamed her agony.

There goes that question again. Hmmm. . .

"Mom, it's alright," I approached her and held her hand. I caressed her trembling shoulders and repeated the mantra "It's going to be alright."

What the hell is happening? I seem to be comforting quite a lot of people nowadays - hugs here, hugs there, hugs everywhere - it's driving me crazy!

"Mom. Here," I handed her the envelopes. "She meant for me to give these to you."

"She? Lily? What are these for?" she asked as she saw the envelopes.

I just shrugged. "Beats me. She didn't want me to read them. Says they're for your eyes only."

"Really?" she sounded out of breath. And she took the envelopes and twirled it around her trembling hands.

"And there's one more thing," I added, "She's giving you this, too. Or returning it. Or whatever." I held the necklace out for her.

And as she saw the object, her eyes bulged out of their sockets. It was like she was seeing a ghost or something. But instead of fear, happiness sparkled in her deep brown eyes.

"My necklace!" she happily gasped.

My hunch was right. It was hers.

"I knew it." I sounded my thoughts, "Which leads me to my next question. Why was it in Lily's possession, mom?"

She took the locket, stood up, and gawked at me.

"That is for me to know and for you to not mind."

"But, mom-" I whined.

"Enough with the questions, Daniel." she sternly interrupted. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have lot of reading to do."

And as she sauntered across the living room and closed her bedroom door, she turned to smile at me.

At least someone's happy.

SHIT! Now what?


Wednesday, 18th of February, 2010

A chilly breeze was blowing, bringing with it a slight downpour of rain. We were all dressed in black. I was amazed at the number of people who attended. I guess I didn't expect Lily to have met so many.

My eyes swept the place, looking across the crowd of individuals, realizing that there were familiar faces amongst it. There was Mr. Simmons, the Adams' 60-ish-year old neighbor to whom I had a conversation once. There was Principal Harks and a few members of the faculty - including Mrs. Elmers, of course. Some of our classmates were there. I was real glad that they found the time. Even a handful of the people that Bruce used to bully were there, too. Unbelievable! And there, too, were a few of Bruce's mates from the Football team. The other faces were alien. And, oh, I almost forgot. My sister and my mom were present, too. So were Luke Princeton and the twins Jake and Blake Collins.

Moments later, the place, though filled, was masked with an eerie silence. It was so quiet I could've sworn I'd gone deaf. A leaf would have fallen and all of us would have heard it.

After a few minutes of constant silence, the priest started the memorial service. I don't remember much about what the priest was saying. But I guess it was the usual stuff that they say in the movies.

I was more concerned with another thing. If it was my mom lying in there, I would've been bawling and howling and screaming and thrashing and cursing God and everybody else by now. But, not Bruce. I was sitting beside him, unconsciously holding his right hand. He was physically here with me, but the blank look in his face suggested that he'd gone off someplace else. Someplace rather than reality. I squeezed his hand. A small gesture to tell him to come back. He slightly turned to look at me and I saw the pain draining the life from his icy-blue eyes. I squeezed his hand harder. Physically telling him that I was there and he was not alone. He squeezed back and a hint of a smile momentarily crossed his face. But it was only temporary as the pain settled back again.

The service continued.

I know I shouldn't gape and stare during a funeral, but as this really tall, hot-looking, hunk of a guy stood on the podium, I forgot where I was and the pain and devastation that I felt was instantly replaced with raw lust and admiration. He was one of the many people who gave a speech about Lily and I loved listening to his warm, rich and, almost, seductive voice as he delivered.

You're in a funeral, Daniel. Behave! I scolded myself. I repressed my feelings and reminded myself of why I was there.

'Funeral. Funeral. Funeral. Sexy, hot stud - NO! Funeral. Funeral. Funeral.' I kept repeating the word in my mind.

As Lily's casket was lowered into the ground, Bruce stood up and hurriedly left. Just like that.

"Bruce," I tried to minimize my voice as I called him, but a fair few people still heard me. Whatever! I stood up and followed. He made his way out of the gathering and went on to a tree at the very far end of the cemetery then sat and leant onto it.


"Please, Danny, I don't want to talk right now."

I nodded.

Words were not a good enough choice right now, so I sat beside him and watched the crowd slowly disperse.

We sat there for a long time - neither knowing what words to say. I didn't know if I should cheer him up, comfort him, stay with him, leave him be, converse with him. I was a bit lost. I don't even know why I followed him here.

"Hey," someone softly spoke.

I looked to my right and inadvertently gasped. There stood the very hot-looking guy who gave the speech a while ago. From afar he was incredibly huge and definitely appealing, but now that he's standing only a few yards from where I was, I can't help but notice how ripped and muscled he really was. And fuck as hell, he was ruggedly handsome, for lack of better words to use. Think 'Chris Evans' and you'll know what I'm talking about. Sexy, fucking Chris Evans!

"Uh. . ." was my very intelligent reply. Shit! I hope I wasn't blushing! Why is he here? My loin was starting to tingle with anticipation.

"I was wondering where you and Bruce went to," He said with a warm smile. Then he saw Bruce's tear-streaked face, "Come here, big guy."

Bruce stood up and threw himself into the man's waiting arms and started bawling, "Oh, Uncle Bill. Mom's gone. She's gone, Uncle Bill. . ."

I know I should be concerned with Bruce right now, but I can't help but gape at how ripped and godlike the guy was. His biceps were straining the black shirt he was wearing. The muscles in his arms were greatly defined and his veins were popping here and there. His substantial neck was as thick as his head! And Fuck! I also thought about how comfortable it would be to lay your head on those thick slabs of meat settling on his rib cage. And to hold that muscular back. And to stroke those rippled abs. And to squeeze that firm bubble butt. Even though I couldn't see them, I know that they're there. Just waiting to be licked and worshipped by someone like me.

To say the least, I was a bit jealous of Bruce. I wanted Uncle Bill, I mean, I wanted an uncle, too!

"It's okay, Bruce," the guy cooed. "It's okay."

I just stood there taking the scene like I was watching a drama series or something. Then, Chris Evans' startlingly electric blue eyes looked at me, "Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm William McClane, by the way," He said over Bruce's shoulder and extended his hand to mine. "I'm his uncle." We shook and for a few seconds I relished the moment when our fingers touched. Fuck, his were really thick and huge! He completely engulfed mine! I wondered how they would feel like touching my body, kneading my butt, stroking my . . . OH, SHIT! I can feel my cock leaking pre-cum!

'Oh, God, I thought I told you to contain yourself!' In my mind, I scolded my raging hard-on.

"Um . . . I'm Daniel . . . Um . . . Daniel Mockins." I managed as I discreetly tried to reposition my unbelievably hard dick through my jeans.

"Nice to meet you, Daniel-Um-Daniel-Mockins," he joked and gave me a warm smile. I giggled. SHIT! What is it with Bruce, his relatives, and that dick-hardening smile of theirs? Are they genetically modified to have perfect smiles to boost up little gay boys' fantasies? FUCK!

"I never thought you could come," I heard Bruce mutter. "I thought you were busy moving in with Uncle Doug."

WHOA! WHAT. THE. FUCK? Moving in? With 'Uncle Doug'? Did I hear that right? Does that mean what I think it means? Is he-?

"Daniel, breathe." I saw William looking at my awed, but nonetheless, puzzled expression. He looked amused. And I breathed. "And to answer your un-asked-yet-obviously-lurking-in-your-eyes questions, yes, Daniel, I am gay. I have a wonderful partner named Douglas and we have a son named Richard."

I was sure my mouth formed a perfect circle. William just laughed at my expression.


Then he turned to Bruce, "And speaking of moving - we're moving here. In California. With you." He paused for Bruce's reaction, "Though Doug will have to wait till Rickie finishes this term, then they'll move in here with us, too."

"What? You're moving in? With me? Now?" Bruce was surprised.


"But . . . Why didn't you tell me sooner? Don't I have a say in this?" Bruce exclaimed, and then his expression changed. He got an angry scowl on his face, "Did Dad ask you to do this, Uncle Bill? Did he set this up?" He plainly asked.

William took a deep breath then held both of Bruce's shoulders. "I don't have to lie. Yes. He asked. But it'll be for your own good, Bruce. And, anyway, we liked the idea. Doug wants a new working environment. Rickie wants a new school to worship his 'beauty'," he made air-quotes.

I guess they're a very 'gay' family, then.

"And I want to be able to take care of you." He finished.

Bruce slumped his shoulders and nodded, obviously thinking.

A few minutes of silence later, he replied, "Fine. But you better tell him that I hate him. I know you're here to look after me, Uncle Bill, and I really appreciate that, but tell him that this should have been a perfect chance for him to prove himself as my dad - and not just my father!" And, again, he started crying. Then he stomped towards the cemetery's parking lot.

I looked apologetically at William. "I'm so sorry for that, Sir. It's just that . . . he's so stressed right now . . . and . . ."

"Oh, no need for apologies, Daniel. I understand what he's going through." He said, "And please call me William, or Bill. 'Sir' makes me feel old." He smiled and gave me a wink.

I smiled back and nodded, "Okay, William."


As I neared the parking lot, my heart hammered as I saw a VERY unexpected scenario.

There, stood Bruce talking to another boy. The boy was explaining something incomprehensible and Bruce was nodding. And then they hugged.

I gapped the distance.

"What are you doing here?" I sourly asked the boy as I stopped behind him. William was following behind.

The boy turned around and approached me, "Daniel," he gasped. "I'm a fucking prick and I deserve to be kicked on the balls." He said.

"You know what? I just might take you on that offer!" I heatedly answered.

He looked at his feet and mumbled.

"What?" I asked.

"I said [gibberish]. . ." he continued.

"KEITH! Spit that out or I'll fucking cut your balls off and bury them in the concrete! Right here! Right now!"

"I SAID I'M SORRY, OKAY?" he shouted.

"Then, why are you shouting?" I retorted.

"I AM NOT SHOUTING . . ." I raised an eyebrow, "I'm just . . . expressing a point. Look, Danny, I'm so sorry. I wasn't thinking clear that night. And I regret the things that I said. Please . . . I'm really sorry."

"You're sorry?" I looked at him, all cute and pouting and shuffling on his feet like a little child waiting for his Christmas gift. Then I launched at him, wrapped an arm around his neck and repeatedly punched his head. "FIRST, YOU ACCUSE ME OF SOMETHING I WOULDN'T DO . . . THEN, YOU THREATENED TO BREAK OUR FRIENDSHIP . . . AND NOT TO MENTION LAST FRIDAY YOU LEFT ME SHOUTING AND SCREAMING AFTER YOU LIKE I WAS A FUCKING MADMAN . . ." He was spinning around as he tried to push me off and shouted for me to stop, but I clung like a fucking ninja. I went on, "THEN, YOU IGNORE ALL OF MY MESSAGES, ALL OF MY EMAILS, AND ALL OF MY CALLS . . . AND NOW YOU'RE SAYING YOU'RE SORRY? NOW YOU'RE ASKING FOR MY FORGIVENESS?" I continued pounding his head. "WHAT MAKES YOU FUCKING THINK THAT I WOULD FUCKING FORGIVE YOU, KEITH? HUH?"

"BECAUSE YOU LOVE ME, DANNY! THAT'S WHY!" He shouted, and that made me stop.

We were both breathing hard.

"What?" I exhaled. I was still clinging onto his back so I couldn't see his face. I, on the other hand, was undoubtedly a very deep shade of scarlet. I saw Bruce looking at me. His expression was impassive. Almost robot-like. Then he motioned for William to follow him to the car.

"What do you mean?" I gasped.

"I meant . . . we're best friends and . . . well, best friends love each other, right?" He stuttered. "And would you get off my back, please? You're heavier than you think." He slightly chuckled.

I looked at Bruce's departing figure and I shook my head. URGH! Why am I even thinking of him when I have Keith to deal with?

Oh, ignore him, Danny. Like you said, you've got Keith to deal with now.

I got off and Keith slowly turned to look at me.

"You love me, right?" He asked me again, a hint of a smile playing on his lips, "'Cause I know damn well that I love you, buddy!"

I melted deep inside. All of my hatred, all of my anger, all of my fury just suddenly disappeared. All that I can see now is the boy standing before me, asking for my forgiveness, taking all the courage that he can find to admit to his faults and ask for forgiveness. I admire him more now than ever. And a dominant part of my subconscious was screaming for me to kiss my best friend right here in the middle of a cemetery! Oh, those lips! Those luscious, red lips! Oh, the temptation! Heaven help me!

"Right?" He asked again.

And then he smiled. And I knew then that my tough-guy act was bested.

"Oh, you fucking prick!" I spat at him, "This is unfair. You're unfair! You're impossible to hate, and you know that!" I shouted at him and he just smiled, "You know I love you, too . . . buddy!" I hastily added.

He broke into a shit-eating grin, and before I knew it, he swept me off my feet, and took me into his muscular arms, spinning us in the almost empty parking lot, both laughing like old fools, as the rain drizzled on us.

And at that moment, I don't know how I could have been more happier.

I got my buddy back!

Chapter Nine


"But that doesn't mean anything, Keith!" I cried as a defense.

"Doesn't mean anything, Danny?" He barked mockingly. Everyone in the room looked at us. He laughed even louder. "Nothing? Like, 'nothing' nothing? OUCH! You heard that Bruce? It fucking doesn't mean anything to him!"

Bruce nervously looked around. Despite his size, he looked completely small and vulnerable right now - crouched down low on the couch with his face hidden with shame and sorrow.

"Keith, calm down. Please! Let's talk about this in your room!" I literally begged, tears shamelessly streaming down my face, "Please, Keith! Please!"

"Is everything all right here?" My mom suddenly came up to me.

"No, Mrs. Mockins! Stay out of this!" Keith hissed as my mom tried to hold me. Then in a very cold, commanding voice he said, "Danny, Bruce and I will just have a conversation in my room upstairs. Right now!"

And he marched to his room, leaving an eerie silence hovering around the room filled with our panic-stricken audience.

I looked at them - my mom Mary, my sister Stephanie, my cousin Andrew, Luke, Jake and Blake, and little Charlie - and gave them a tiny smile. Reassuring them that everything was okay.

Even though, deep inside, I knew that I was only lying to myself.

I turned to Bruce. He shakily stood up and motioned for me to follow. I, too, stood and went after the looming figure of my best friend.

Hoping that everything would be okay.


13 Hours Earlier


"I just can't believe it, you know? How can something entirely quaint and simple turn out to be so . . . difficult and hard and complicated?" I grumbled to no one in particular. "I've been staying up for most of my nights just thinking about this . . . dilemma. I don't know what to do about this whole situation anymore."

I stopped pacing and sat down.

"You know, Danny. What you need is a breather," he said. "What are you even doing here? It's Saturday. You should go out! Relax! Keep your mind focused on other things! Occupy yourself!"

"Really?" I pondered.

"Yeah. I think you're just too tense and edgy and stressed out these past few days." He replied.

"Tense . . . Really?" I raised an eyebrow. "Jake, I have . . . feelings - forbidden feelings, for God's sake - for my best friend, I just buried a dear friend three days ago, and not to mention there's this other guy sending . . . vibes or signals or whatever, and you're telling me I'm too tense and edgy and stressed out?" I retorted with heated sarcasm, "Thanks for stating the obvious, Captain Obvious!"

"See?" He rolled his eyes at me and laughed. "You're too tense, man! Even for a gay guy, you're too tense."

I stared at him. He stared back. I don't know. We must have found the whole situation hilarious, because the next thing that happened, we were both laughing our gay asses off for no damn reason like two drug addicts smoking pot and getting all Cloud Nine-y and shit on a Friday night.

"What's so funny?" someone interrupted.

I looked around and saw Bruce approaching our table, cute as usual - whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa - I didn't just think that, did I?

"Bruce!" I sort of cried out, "What are you doing here?"

"Oh . . . I got bored at the apartment. Uncle William's gone to New York for the weekend to be with his family and Mr. Simmons is supposed to be 'babysitting me', but I feel more like I was a prisoner when he's around." He sighed as he sat down, "So, what are you two doing here?"

"I have football practice in an hour." "I have a meeting later." Jake and I respectively answered.

"Oh. Okay."

The awkward silence that followed was broken by the ringing of Jake's and Bruce's phones at the exact same time. Must be coincidence.

I watched as they both read their respective messages. And as they flipped their phones shut, there was a moment or two when their eyes lingered at each other's and shared a look that says, 'Copy that!'

Now, THAT was odd!

"Who was that?" I inquired Jake.

"Blake." He simply answered.

I turned to Bruce.

"What?" He innocently asked. I kept on staring and I narrowed my eyes at him. "Fine. It was . . . it was Uncle Bill. Just . . . uh . . . just checking out on me."

Okay. I just shrugged it off.

"So what were you two talking about?"

"Oh, nothing in particular." Jake said, then gave me a wink to which Bruce haven't noticed, "We're planning on going out later. . ."

I looked at him and gave him a 'what-do-you-think-you're-doing' look. Wait. It was really more of a glare than a look.

"Really?" Bruce said. "That sounds great. Well . . . hope you two have fun." He sounded crestfallen.

"Wait! You should come with us!" Jake suggested (I'm surprised I wasn't surprised), "You have no plans, right?"

"Jake, what are you doing?" I hissed and grabbed his arm, "I thought this was supposed to be for MY relaxation!"

"It will still be! But the only difference is, Bruce will be there."

"I thought the whole reason for this 'Night Out' was to distance myself from," I whispered, "Him!"

"Uh . . . why are you two whispering?" Bruce interrupted.

We both turned and forced a smile to hide our guilt-ridden faces. "Nothing!" We gushed simultaneously.

"Really? 'Cause it's okay if you don't want me to come, Danny." Bruce muttered.

SHIT! Why does he have to make me feel guilty? Damn you, Jake Collins!

I took a deep breath and turned to face him. "It's okay, Bruce . . . you should come . . . it'll be fun . . . the three of us . . . going out . . . the three of us. . ." I mumbled incomprehensively.

I don't know if I was just imagining things, but I think he seemed to be really happy about my decision.

"Great!" he said as he stood to leave. "So, when? Where?"

"See you at three, man," Jake called. "We'll meet you here!"

"Yeah. See you."

URGH! I turned to Jake and mouthed "Bitch!" as Bruce left. He just stuck out his tongue at me, stood up, and made his way out of the double doors.

"Oh, and we're watching The Back-Up Plan tonight. Alex O'Loughlin is HOT-HOT-HOT!!!" and he got out of the cafeteria.


I was cursing Jake Collins as I sat waiting by the bleachers when my phone suddenly rang.

"This is Mockins, speak up."

"You sound pissed off." the guy chortled.

"Oh. Keith. I'm sorry," I hyperventilated - sort of, "What's up?" And now I wonder if I always sound so breathless whenever I spoke with or to him. God, I hope I wasn't too obvious.

"Well . . . um . . . just called to ask, are you free tonight?" He inquired.

DOUBLE SHIT! This situation seems very oddly familiar. GOD DAMN IT!

The last time this happened, Danny, you lied. And it almost cost you your friendship. My subconscious reminded. Don't try to mess it up again.

"Um . . . Keith?" I slowly started.

He sighed, "You've got plans later, don't you?" Disappointment was clearly embedded in his deep, warm voice.

"Yeah." I replied, "But. . ."

"But what?"

"It won't take my whole night out . . . I mean, my plans."


I took a deep breath and an idea suddenly popped in my mind, "When was the last time that we had a sleepover?"

"A sleepover?" He was silent for a while, thinking probably, before answering, "Uh . . . I don't know. Back when Luke had a party, I think."

"That's seems like a long time ago . . . How do you feel about me sleeping over at your place tonight?" I quipped.

"Really? That'd . . . that'd be great!" he exclaimed, quite excitedly at that. Then I heard a balloon pop. He shushed someone.

"What was that?" I asked.

"Oh. It's nothing. It's just Blake and Luke fooling around." He replied.

"Oh. Okay."

Then I heard someone that really sounded like my mom yell, "Don't you think the tarpaulins are too much, Keith? And do you really have to use that mascot?" Then Keith replied with a shush and added something inaudible.

"Keith, is it only me, or was that my mom I just heard?" I asked, "What is she doing there?"

"Oh, no," he chuckled nervously, "That was Mrs. . . . Mrs. Harper. She's our new cook."

"Oh . . . So you're having 'tarpaulins' for dinner?" I uttered with sarcasm. "And mascot? What mascot is she talking about?"

"Never mind that." He just laughed.

"So. . ."


"So, I'll just drop by at . . . let's say . . . seven, eight tops? Is that okay?"

"Yeah! Sure. That'd give us, I mean me, that'd give me . . . uh . . . more time to prepare to . . . uh . . . to prepare your . . . to prepare your bed."

"Hey, I can prepare my bed." I offered, "That's the least I can do if I would sleep over at your place."

"I'm having none of that. Just . . . just be here, okay?"

"Fine. Yeah," I replied, "I'll be there."


"Yes, Keith. I promise." I assured.

"I'll be waiting, okay? See yah!" He sounded really excited as he hung up.

"Having a change of plans?"

I turned around and stood face-to-face with Bruce in his corpulent and chubby yet incredibly cute and cuddly glory.

"Oh, no." I answered breathlessly. There goes that word again. I wonder who else makes me feel like this. "Just have more plans after our . . . thing tonight."

"Oh. Great. That's good." He grinned, "'Cause for a moment there I thought it'd only be Jake and me tonight."

I chuckled, "Now, wouldn't that be a sight to see?"

He was silent, so I looked up. I can feel the tension brewing in the air around us.

"Danny. . ." he paused to run his fingers through his hair, "We need to talk."

My heart did a double-take. I think I know where this conversation was going to.

"Do you remember the last time we went out?" He asked.

Gulp. I knew it. But I just nodded.

"Well . . . do you remember the last things that I told you, or sort of started telling you before I got called?"

My throat was too dry to create a sound. Again, I just nodded.

"Well . . . Phew!" He laughed nervously, "How can something so simple be this hard to express?" He muttered.

Hmmm. . .Those words seem kind of familiar. I wonder who said those? Oh. Right. It was me.

"Danny . . . I . . . I . . ."

"Great! We're all here!" Ever the great intruder with the greatest timing, Jake arrived, then stared at the two of us. "Oh . . . my entrance was too soon, was it?"

We both sighed; me because of gratified relief and Bruce because of utter disappointment. Secretly, I was thanking Jake. I don't want to deal with this kind of drama right now. I want to relax and have fun tonight. And not talk about boy issues. Especially that one of the said boys was going with us tonight.

"It's five o'clock and we're here now. So . . . Let's go?" I enthusiastically asked.

They both nodded and I led the way.


Inside the theater, my Circulatory, Respiratory, Muscular, Nervous, and certain parts of my Endocrine and Reproductive systems were working overtime.

[Why? You don't want to know . . . Oh, wait . . . You do. That's why you're reading this crap. Okay!]

Well . . . here's why.

For the whole duration of the first half of the movie, Bruce kept shuffling in his seat and I can't help but feel him rubbing his left leg all over mine. Accidental or deliberate, I couldn't know. And then there's the problem with his hand. He placed his hand on my arm rest - palm up - it was a vicious but, I got to admit, effective contraption, that, which if successfully wielded, would be able to ensnare my unsuspecting hand.

Jake, on the other hand, was the braver of the two. I don't know if he knows that I know or if he's just testing my patience or my . . . libido, but he, during the movie's climax when everyone was busy wiping their tears dry, slowly but deliberately slid his hand onto my inner thigh, slightly brushing my hardening boy-cock.

"Jake!" I hissed as I discreetly slapped his malicious hand. He just grinned at me devilishly in the dark, repeatedly pushed his tongue against the back of his cheek, and signaled that we should go to the restroom. Shit! I think I know what that means.

I just rolled my eyes at him. I can't believe the nerve of this fucking Senior stud.

I admit. Yes, I'm a virgin - and the only intimate relationship that my cock has ever had was with my left hand (sometimes my right) but I was not planning on losing it with Jake. Yes, Jake's a really hot guy, yes, he's a very dear friend, and yes, he's ultimately gay (though still in the closet), but I want my first time to be really special. I want to experience it with a special someone, my special someone, whoever that may be. And, more importantly, I don't plan on doing it here, either. The risk of being caught with my pants down even in a dark theatre was too much for me. Maybe when I'm older, more experienced.

So, I ignored Jake, much to my cock's disappointment. Actually, I ignored the both of them.

I cuddled myself into a ball of human flesh and hugged all of my limbs as close to my body as possible. "I'm cold," I said as an excuse.

And from then on, I focused on watching the ultimately cheesy movie, repressing off all dirty thoughts to the deepest recesses of my horned-up brain.


"So . . . How did you two guys meet exactly?" Jake asked as we were sitting over coffee. We just finished watching 'The Back-Up Plan' and Jake was still giggly with love and romanticism. Come to think of it, why did Jake choose that icky movie in the first place? He was obviously drooling over Alex O'Loughlin's body. Isn't he worried that Bruce might get suspicious of his sexuality?

"Well . . . uh . . . It was sort of an accident, actually." I supplied.

"Accident my ass. It was fate, more like it." Bruce muttered under his breath. I can't believe he just said that. In front of me, it would've been fine. But in front of Jake? I think that's a bit reckless. No one knows he's gay but me and his family, or at least Lily does.

"I heard that, you know." I turned to him.

"Well, it's true. That can't have been an accident." He stated.

"Yeah, right. I showered you with hamburger, fries, ketchup, and orange juice. Of course, it wasn't an accident." I replied with sarcasm.

"I shouldn't have brought food in the class, but I did. You shouldn't have been late, but you were. Teachers shouldn't act like bitches, but Mrs. Elmers was," he countered. "It can't have been anything but fate. We were meant to meet under that type of circumstances. Plain and simple."

"It was nothing but a silly accident."

"It was fate - twisted, yes - but fate, nevertheless."







"Alright, stop! Stop! STOP IT!" Jake laughed at our banter. "Whether it was a freaking accident or just some twisted fate, you're making me jealous with your ranting and your LQs!"

"LQs?" We both snapped at him.

"Yeah," he excitedly retorted, "Love Quarrels!"

"Love?", "Quarrels?" We simultaneously replied.

"See!" He giggled like a three-year old, "You're even finishing each other's sentences off. That's so sweet!"

"That wasn't even a sentence." Bruce muttered.

"Whatever." Jake said, giving the two of us a malicious grin.

"Fuck off, Jake!" Bruce snapped.

"You know what? I'm just gonna do that. I shouldn't even have been here in the first place." He said, "I think you have some . . . things to talk about between the two of you."

"No, wait! Ja-" But he was already dashing through the diner and out of the door, leaving me staring across Bruce and his grumpy face and shocking electric-blue eyes.

"You were saying?" I quipped.


"He's right. Let's use this time. We need to talk. Clarify some things."

"Here? Now?"

"Yeah. What's the problem with here and now?" I asked, "Just talk. I want you to talk. Tell me what you're thinking. You never seem to talk much, so, talk. What were you saying before Jake arrived earlier?"

"When was that?"

"That was after I spoke to Keith on the phone and before Jake arrived."

"Oh . . . that. Uhmm. . ."

I looked at him. I don't know but, it makes me smile with satisfaction to see a guy who's nervous enough to can't string simple words to create coherent sentences. I can see it from the tension etching across his face.

To ease his nervousness, I did the bravest (or the most foolish) thing that I did in my life till then - I reached my hands across the table and held his slightly sweating ones.

"Whoa, you're sweating like a pig!" I remarked. At first, he sort of yanked his hands from my fingers, but I held on tight and gave him a smile and squeeze his digits gently.

He sighed then muttered, "Pigs don't have sweat glands, so they're incapable of sweating."

I just looked at him in awe. I didn't know that piece of information.


"Yeah." He nodded, then he looked down at our hands.

"Does this make you uncomfortable?" I inquired.

He looked around, then looked at me. "We shouldn't."

"Huh?" What does he mean?

"We can't, Daniel . . . it's . . . we just can't . . . the letter . . . we can't." He was now shaking his fingers off. I held on.

"What are you talking about, Bruce? What letter? Your mom's letter? What does the letter have to do with this?"

"I'm so sorry, Daniel. I gotta go."


He left.


As I finished packing the few necessities needed for the sleepover, I pondered more on Bruce and his odd behavior.

That guy is fucking messing with your head! My subconscious was telling me. He's giving you mixed signals.

I seriously don't know what to do. One moment, he's all googley eyes and wanting to hold hands with me, and the next, he's all high-tempered and unpredictable - storming off for no apparent reason.

SHIT! Why are you even caring? It's not like you're dating!

[Excuse me, I just need to throw up. There, done. Where were we?]

I know that he's gay (or at least that's the main idea of the secrets that Lily told me a few months ago) and I 'think' he has these . . . inkling feelings for me - small and a bit questionable, but still, feelings.

But why is he acting this way? If he likes me, then isn't he supposed to at least try and make me feel like he really does?

You already feel it, Danny. You know he does. My subconscious interrupts.

Ugh! Shut up!

Anyway . . . this is what Lily wanted, right? Is this what she meant that we are good for each other? Was she hinting that we should be together?

But still. He doesn't know I'm gay. He thinks I'm straight. Right? Well, maybe that's the reason why it's so hard for him to share his feelings with me.

But, right now, what are we?

Hmmm . . . Whatever. I don't want to think about it anymore.

But I still don't like what he's doing to me.


The cab was nearing Keith's house - er, mansion - when I noticed another cab following mine. As the cab stopped just outside of the gate, the cab behind us stopped, too. I paid the driver and got off. Then, I waited for whoever was at the passenger seat on the other car to get out.

"What are you doing here? Are you stalking me?" I called to the guy who just got out.

"Danny, we've got to talk."

"Not now, Bruce. I'm busy." I rang for the gates to open.

I heard the familiar voice of Giuseppe, the Princetons' butler, from the intercom and I waved at the CCTV camera installed just above the gate towers, then he invited me in.

I stepped through the gates as soon as they were opened. Bruce stomped through the gravel behind.

"What word from 'I'm busy' can't you understand, Bruce? Leave me alone! You can't be here."

"I'm not leaving until you talk to me," he said sternly.

"You have thirty seconds before I reach the door. Oops! That's twenty-nine now! Twenty-eight! Twenty-seven!"

"Danny, we need to talk before you get in. We need to talk properly! Not like this." He hurriedly answered.

"You had your chance earlier at the diner, Bruce. I was there . . . listening. And what did you do? You left! Seventeen!"

"All right, I'm sorry I left! Now, will you stop walking away?! We need to talk! This is serious, man!"

"Twelve!" As I got closer, I saw our school mascot, standing just a few yards to the left of the door. Must be one of Blake and Luke's ideas of a prank. I just ignored it.

"Don't you dare get in until you hear what I have to say, Daniel! Stop walking and look at me!" He grabbed my arm, but I yanked myself free. "You don't even remember what day today is, do you?"

"I don't really care if today is the fucking end of the world, Bruce! Just go away! I don't want you around me! Nine!"

I kept on walking.

"Danny, stop walking or I swear to God I would-"

"You would what, huh? You would what?" I spat at him and then I kept on walking. The door was a mere five feet from me now. "Four!"

I rang the doorbell.


I rang the doorbell again.


I rang the doorbell yet again.

"GOD DAMN IT, MOCKINS!" He growled, and then, from out of the blue, he grabbed my shoulders and spun me around. Slamming my back onto the wooden doors, he grabbed my spinning head and crushed his lips to mine.

There I stood with my back rammed against the door, my head held by two massive hands; incapacitating me of any restraint.

And then I realized - I wasn't really trying to resist his advancements.

I just stood there. Incapable of moving. Immobile. Shocked.

'He's kissing you.' My subconscious kept on shouting, 'Bruce is kissing you.'

I don't know if I should be glad or repulsed with myself for letting him kiss me. That one physical contact drained me of the difference between good and bad, or of what should and shouldn't be happening, or of how my reaction should be.


I can't remember if it was an hour, a minute or maybe a second later until he broke away from the kiss.

Our kiss.

All I can remember was during that short moment I felt . . . I don't know . . . alive?

Suddenly, all of my senses were heightened. It was as if, during that brief moment, I was in an entirely different dimension. I acutely distinguished his scent as he crushed his soft, warm, luscious lips to mine. I heard myself moan as I felt his tongue snake its way into the depths of my mouth. My tongue feasted on the foreign tastes of sweetness that his hungry mouth delivered. I felt his heart pounding savagely against my own heaving chest, his fingers sliding through the locks of my tousled hair. And then, I saw a pair of the most stunning electric-blue eyes plunging into the abyss of my very deep-brown ones.

It was unbelievable. Unexplainable. But as sudden as that brand new experience began, it abruptly came to an end.

He released me from his vice-like grip, and I would've slumped onto the ground if it wasn't for the door supporting my frame.

"Fuck the letter," I faintly heard Bruce mutter as he leant his forehead onto mine and I felt his ragged breath flowing through my flaring nostrils as my lungs tried to keep up with the beating of my heart. His chest was heaving against mine.

"Bruce-" my voice broke as I started to speak. What does he mean with what he said? 'Fuck the letter'? I looked up into his eyes and they were stern yet warm and tender at the same time.

"You don't have to say anything, Danny." he rasped and he gave me a lopsided smile, "At least not now."


"Shhhh!" He held a finger to my lips. "We can talk about this some other time. For now, I just want you to enjoy your birthday, okay?"


My look must've been priceless because he immediately backed away and started howling with unrestrained laughter.

"Oh, my God! I totally forgot!" I muttered to myself, "It's my fucking birthday!"

Because of everything that I've been through for the past three days, I completely forgot that today was the 21st of February. I groaned in annoyance as I repeatedly slapped my forehead.

Bruce was still laughing his head off, pointing at me as he clutched his stomach, holding onto his sanity.

And just then the doors opened and a loud chorus of 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANIEL!' echoed through the quiet night!

It was as if I was stuck on the spot. Definitely stuck on the moment. My eyes and my mouth was wide with shock. My brain was commanding me to breathe but my lungs couldn't seem to understand. Every little piece of my subconscious was shouting 'Move!' but my body just wouldn't budge a single centimeter.

Jake's and Bruce's odd text message. The balloons. The tarpaulin. The mascot. And Mrs. Harper - the woman that I heard earlier on the phone who, I later learned, was really my mom. All of it now finally made sense. So this is what kept Keith busy earlier on the phone! They've been planning my 16th Birthday Party all along.

I didn't want to get all sappy and shit at that moment but tears suddenly started to fall from my eyes. I quickly wiped them off with a brush of my forearm and I tried to hide the sudden flush of emotion overwhelming my entire being with a chuckle.

From the small gathering, I saw Jake and Blake take a step forward. Separately, they gave me a hug, muttered a 'Happy Birthday', and guided me towards the heart of the party where an exquisitely designed table was laden with food. Lots and lots and LOTS of food. I squinted my eyes and saw tarpaulins and balloons hanging and floating around the grandiose living room. The place was nothing but amazing.

"Jake, you bastard." I slightly punched his arm, "Why didn't you tell me you were doing this?"

"SURPRISE!" The twins both shouted excitedly.

"There. We just told you. You happy now?" Blake asked amusedly.

I giggled and just let them guide me towards the table. My mom was waiting for me there. As soon as she could, she took me from the twins, held me in her arms and gave me a tight, motherly hug. And they sang me the traditional birthday song. At that same instant, I saw Bruce hanging out in the background. Actually, he sort of doesn't kinda fit in the background. So far, everyone was smiling and singing me a Happy Birthday. Everyone but him. I wonder what his problem was.

And speaking of everyone, where the hell was Keith?

My best friend is missing? On my birthday?

"Happy Birthday, sweetheart!" I heard my mom greet happily as she released me from her clutch.

"Thanks, mom." I answered, "But you really didn't have to do this."

"Oh, this wasn't my idea. All I had planned for your birthday was pizza and some drinks."

"Wow, mom! That's real sweet of you." I replied sarcastically as I rolled my eyes at her.

"Hey, I can't afford this!" She defended, referring to everything in the party, "But if you're looking for someone to blame, blame it on your best friend! He planned this whole damn thing in less than 48 hours!"

"Really? He did?" I asked, awe-struck, "Where is he, anyway? I'm gonna have to punch him for this. He knows that he didn't have to do this."

She just nodded with a smile, "He's . . . around. He was supposed to open the doors for you." She took a quick glance around the room, "I don't know where he's gone now. But loosen up a bit, will you? Just enjoy your party! You're way too tense."

Yep! Heard that before.

She then handed me a drink.

"Hey, who's that boy talking to Steph?"

My mom turned to look at the direction that I was pointing to.

"Oh! That is your cousin Andrew!" She answered, "He goes to Middle School with your sister. Why?"

"Oh, nothing." Shit! Too bad he's a cousin! Andrew was cute as hell! I was hoping that he'd be a good distraction, "How come I haven't met him before?"

"Oh, I don't know. You can talk to him now, if you want." My mom suggested.

"Maybe later." I then drank my juice in one gulp. I noticed I was trembling. I don't know why.

Was this because of Keith's surprise?

Nah. Can't be that. I can definitely handle surprises.

Was this because of the cute guy talking to your sister?

Andrew? Of course not! Crushes. I got tons of them. That can't be it.

Was this because of Bruce?

Hmmm . . . Well, that . . . maybe.

Was this because of the kiss?

My subconscious was silent.

Come on, Danny! Are you trembling because of the kiss? Are you? Huh? Are you?

Of course not!

"What was that, honey?" My mom quipped.

Oh, shit! I must have muttered my thoughts out loud.

"Oh, nothing mom. . . Nothing. . ." I replied.

"Daniel, your lips look pale! Are you okay?" She asked concernedly, checking me up, "And you're trembling!"

I instinctively touched my lips, my until recently untouched lips, and I saw Bruce. "Yeah. . . I'm okay, mom. . . I'm okay." I muttered, brushing her hands off.

Bruce was sitting on a couch; talking to Charles - the twins' very cute eight-year old brother - or at least little Charlie was talking to him. Bruce was just nodding and posing and shrugging and grunting like a fully-grown mountain troll.

Good luck with that Charlie! Let me see how you try to make a conversation with a statue.

"Hey." I greeted as I flopped myself into the couch.

"Unca Dan! Unca Dan!!!" Charlie immediately went for my lap and hugged the shit out of me. I wasn't really his uncle, but, I don't know, he just got used to it, I think. "Happy Birthday, Unca Dan!"

"Hey! Thanks a lot, kiddo!" I replied as I ruffled his blond curls, "But where's Unca Dan's present? I thought you got presents for Unca Dan. You got any candy for Unca Dan?"

"I'll get it for ya, Unca Dan! I'll get it for ya!" And the little tyke rushed off.

"Why are you sitting here all alone?" I asked Bruce as we sat silently, separated only by a meter or two of air.

He shrugged. "Just thinking."

"About what?"

"If I did the right thing."

I froze. He's talking about the kiss. Deep breaths, Danny. Deep breaths. Calm that freaking heart of yours. Concentrate.

"Why, Bruce?" I silently asked.

He looked up to me, confusion dominant on his face, "Why, what?"

I looked down at my feet and I stammered as I asked him. "Why . . . why did you . . . kiss me?"

For a couple minutes, I didn't hear him respond, so I looked at his face. He was only staring back at me. And it'd be too dramatic to say, but his eyes were sparkling. It was as if they wanted to say something but his mouth wasn't cooperating.

"I was there." He finally uttered.

"What are you talking about?" I demanded.

"I was there." He muttered again.

"Spill it, Bruce! You're starting to scare me!"

He rearranged himself on the couch so I can only see half of his face and he started again, "That night. In the workshop. I was there."

"What workshop? The workshop? Keith's dad's workshop?" He affirmed with a tiny nod. I felt a slight tingle at the back of my mind, "That doesn't explain why you kissed me." I laughed at him. "Bruce, just tell me!"

"Your conversation with Jake," he whispered, "I heard it. All of it."

My whole body shuddered. OH, MY GOD! He was there?

I tried to laugh my nervousness away, "Haha. Nice one, Bruce. You really think I would believe that? Haha!" But inside I was battling with my subconscious. SHIT! He heard! How? When? Where?

"'It's good to know that someone you know is playing for your team, too, is it?'" He muttered, and the tingle that I felt earlier became a scratching sensation. He WAS there. "Those were Jake's words, weren't they? Remember that now?"

"Oh, my God!" I gasped, clapping my hands to my forehead, "You were there!"

He nodded.

"You were . . . there. OH, GOD! The clanging sound! I thought that was just Prince's doing! I thought it was just the cat's doing!"

He shook his head. "That was me. I tripped on a can and tumbled on a table with wrenches filed on top of it. They fell." He explained, "I was just lucky the cat followed me there."

"Oh, shit! Oh, shit! Oh, shit!" I massaged my temple. "But that doesn't answer my question, Bruce!" I suddenly snapped at him.

"I know." He simply replied, "I still have to figure it out."

"Shit! Then why did you have to kiss me, God damn it? Ever since I met you, you've done nothing but mess with my head! Why are you doing this to me, Bruce?"

"I'm so sorry, Danny." He choked back a sob, "I don't know. I'm so sorry."

"Fuck you!" I hissed at him. So the others wouldn't hear. "Stop that! You don't have the right to cry right now!"

"Yeah, Bruce. Stop crying. What you need right now is another kiss, isn't it?" A voice spoke behind me.

I quickly spun around.

"KEITH!" I gasped.

"Go on. Kiss him. Look at how frail and sad and confused the little boy is!" He coldly snapped, completely ignoring my shock.

"Keith, what are you talking about?" I instantly paled. My whole body trembled. My heart thundered.

"Don't play dumb, Danny!" He growled.

"Oh, my God!" It suddenly dawned on me, "But how did you . . .? You saw?"

"Remember the mascot?" He supplied with a menacing look.

"Oh, shit! SHIT! But that doesn't mean anything, Keith!" I cried as a defense.

"Doesn't mean anything, Danny?" He barked mockingly. Everyone in the room looked at us. He laughed even louder. "Nothing? Like, 'nothing' nothing? OUCH! You heard that Bruce? It fucking doesn't mean anything to him!"

Bruce nervously looked around. Despite his size, he looked completely small and vulnerable right now - crouched down low on the couch with his face hidden with shame and sorrow.

"Keith, calm down. Please! Let's talk about this in your room!" I literally begged, tears shamelessly streaming down my face, "Please, Keith! Please!"

"Is everything all right here?" My mom suddenly came up to me.

"No, Mrs. Mockins! Stay out of this!" Keith hissed as my mom tried to hold me. Then in a very cold, commanding voice he said, "Danny, Bruce and I will just have a conversation in my room upstairs. Right now!"

And he marched to his room, leaving an eerie silence hovering around the room filled with our panic-stricken audience.

I looked at the people around - my mom, my sister, my cousin Andrew, Luke, Jake and Blake, little Charlie - and gave them a tiny smile. Reassuring them that everything was okay.

Even though, deep inside, I knew that I was only lying to myself.

I turned to Bruce. He shakily stood up and motioned for me to follow. I, too, stood and went after the looming figure of my best friend.

Hoping that everything would be okay.

As Bruce closed the door, Keith screamed at my face, "WHY DIDN'T YOU FUCKING TELL ME, DANNY?!"

"Keith, I didn't know how to tell you." I cried out.

"Oh! Wow! You can't tell your best friend that you're . . . GAY" he sputtered disgustedly, "But you can kiss HIM?!"

"Oh, God, I can't believe you just used your best friend card on me!" I scoffed slapping my forehead, "Keith, you really think it's as simple as that? That I'd just come up to you and say 'Hey, Keith! Guess what? YOUR BEST FRIEND'S GAY! Come on let's play some cards and while the time!'" I growled at him, "You don't know how fucking hard it is for me to even open up to you! Every time I get the nerve to start talking, I would remember all the fucking times you made fag-jokes and said horrid things about gay people and all that I can say to myself is, 'You know, Danny, maybe next time.' And you don't know how many fucking times I said those fucking words to my fucking self, thinking that it wasn't the right time, that it wasn't the right place. And now? Now, you've just proven to me how right I am to not have fucking confessed to you!" I paused, "And for the record, Keith, HE kissed ME!"

"Don't try to twist the story, Daniel! I SAW YOU!" He yelled disgustedly. Then, he slammed his hands onto the table, "I SAW YOU WITH MY OWN TWO EYES!"

"But what you saw was nothing like that!" I retorted.

"The hell it wasn't!" He growled. "YOU KISSED HIM BACK!"

"I didn't-"

"What the fuck, Danny!" Bruce finally snapped at me. He, too, was seething with anger, "I thought. . ."

"Whatever you're thinking, Bruce, it's not helping! So, just STOP HOPING! I may be gay, you may be gay, and you may even have covered up your freaking 'mistakes' with that tough-guy-bully act you're making, but I know who you are! I know what you did and I know what you are! AND I SERIOUSLY DON'T FALL FOR SLUTS LIKE YOU!"

The room suddenly filled with silence. I looked at Keith. He scoffed and was shaking his head with disbelief. Bruce's face was pale with shock. I just looked at him with a shock that equaled his. He instinctively took a step back, opened the door and slammed it on his way out.

I groaned and hugged myself, my tears staining the front side of my shirt. And I instinctively turned to Keith for comfort. But he instantly backed away.

"Way to go, Daniel." I heard Keith's husky voice whisper, "You just broke two hearts in one night."

And just like the other guy who I was starting to like, he left with the door glaring angrily back at me - his words echoing endlessly in my mind.

What have you done, Danny?

Chapter Ten


"Three months and a half," I muttered as I crossed out the 5th of June from my calendar. I sighed deeply as I drowned in my own depression. I hate myself. I hate the things that I did. And I hate all of the stupid decisions that I've made.

Bruce is back to tormenting me. Keith acts as if I wasn't around. They've literally both turned around and gave me the fucking cold shoulder.

I was alone.

I was back from the very start. I can clearly remember the last time that I felt like this. Seventh Grade. That was the period before I met Keith. That was the time when I had no one to talk to, no one to hang out with, no one to grab onto, and no one to remind myself that I'm still a part of the world.

I was alone and I longed for two of my best friends.

I wish I could turn back time and just tell Keith about my secret. I wish I was brave enough to make him understand what I was going through. I wish I was confident enough to be able to trust him. Otherwise, I wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

I was alone.

Then, there was the matter with Bruce. I hurt him like hell. I practically broke his heart. I wholeheartedly admit it - I was a bastard. I am a fucking bastard. I don't know how to reach to him. I don't know how to redeem myself to him. I don't know how to restore the bond that, up until that moment, I didn't know we had.

I failed them both.

I didn't even think! I never think. And I hated myself even more for that.

I hurt Keith with my lies and Bruce with my insensitivity.

"Danny! Danny!" My sister yelled from the other side of the room, yanking me from my depressing state. "Danny, come quick!"

"What is it?" I grumbled unenthusiastically, sitting up in bed and pushing the covers off of me.

"Just come! QUICK!" She answered.

So, I got out of bed and made my way to Stephanie's bedroom. Luckily, it was only a ten-second walk. As I got in, I saw her sitting on her desk, facing her laptop with an evil, amused grin pasted on her face.

"You're never gonna believe what's on Gossip Girl tonight!" She shrieked as I entered.

"What's on what?" I cried. I wasn't sure if I had heard her right.

"Gossip Girl! You know . . . the country's biggest gossip? She posts all of America's juiciest rumors and scandals. She, like, knows everything and anything that's happening around here."

"Wait!" I held up a hand, "You're kidding. Right?"

"No, I'm not. It's true." She retorted.

"Gossip Girl? THE Gossip Girl? Manhattan's Gossip Girl? In California?"

She nodded enthusiastically. "It's crazy, right? But believe me, Dan, it's true. Gossip Girl is now apparently working nationwide. Or at least, she's hawking over California as far as I know. Where were you these past three months?" She mumbled incessantly, "Anyway, you need to LOOK. AT. THIS!"

I looked over her shoulder and noticed an article with pictures posted above it.

"WHAT THE HELL?" I gasped, finally making out what was on the pictures.

Then, I pushed Stephanie off of her seat, landing her on the floor with a thump, and started reading aloud:

Irvine High School's Freshman Student Council president and campus sweetheart, Stacey Moore, was just seen spotted outside Starbuck's arm-in-arm with Football quarterback Lucas Princeton's younger brother, Keith Nathaniel. As you all remember, it has almost been about two months ago that the two lovebirds were rumored to be exclusively dating. And remember what S says? "We're just friends." But, we all know that those tiny, little, safe words are just a code for something more - something more complicated than 'just' being 'friends'. Sneaky sneaky! Whether true or not, I guess it's safe for me to say that, what we're seeing in these photos are not 'just friends' material. I guess it's time, little birdies! SPILL IT OR KILL IT! What'll it be, K? - XOXO Gossip Girl

I took a deep breath.

"WOW! Now, that's something. Gossip Girl!" I gasped unbelievably, "She just posted a blast about him! WOW!"

"I know, right? She's SO cool!"

"But how come I just heard about this if they've been . . . dating for the past couple months?!" Suddenly, I demanded.

"Why?" Stephanie teased, "Is my big brother jealous?"

"WHAT?! NO!" I retorted. "I'm just-"

"Whatever you say! You know, you still haven't told us exactly why Keith and Bruce are avoiding you." She chimed, then continued, "As for the news, Danny, you haven't actually been socializing nowadays. Every time I get home, you're already in your room. Vegetating! It's no wonder you're late on the latest gossips." My sister reluctantly answered, taking over the computer and scrolling over the photos of Keith and Stacey all sweet and cheesy outside the cafe. My gut twitched with jealousy. A huge part of my subconscious was screaming 'Get off him, bitch! He's mine!'

But then, she was right. I WAS vegetating. I was hiding from everyone. I was hiding the fact that I was alone. I was running away from the real truth that I was lonely; that I was sad. That I was depressed.

"I know, Steph." I sighed and slumped on her bed, "I'm just afraid, you know? That if anyone would make the effort of talking to me, I'd get too trusting, and then they'd somehow get the truth out of me, and then blabber it for the whole world to know. I don't want that, Steph. I'm not ready to . . . come out just yet."

"Well . . . you need to start moving, anyway." She chimed, "And work back on your social status. Gossip Girl's been comparing you to Dan Humphrey, you know that? She calls you California's Lonely Boy." She mocked, giggling. "You can't just mope here and torture yourself for your mistakes. You said you made bad decisions, so what? Don't we all do? You said you said hurtful words to the people you love, so what? Is it too hard to apologize now? I mean . . . when will you try to fix things back together? I don't want to see you like this anymore. It's starting to get infectious!"

"Wait, she said that? 'California's Lonely Boy'? She actually talked about me?" I queried excitedly.

"She did." She nodded happily. "But, don't get it through that thick head of yours!"

I looked at her and laughed, "You know, you need to stop talking before I get the idea that you're getting smarter than I am."

She giggled, "Just think about what I'm saying. The clock's ticking, 'Lonely Boy.' School's almost over."

I lay down across her bed, my arms folded behind my head.

She then looked at me with an affectionate smile. "I have an idea!" She yelped, "I'm going to recommend you to someone who may be able to help you with your boy issues."

"Oh, thank God! I could really use a clown or a comedian right now!" I replied with sarcasm.

"I'm serious, Dan. He's new in town, but I think you know him. He's your school Guidance Counselor. I heard he's really good on dealing with problems."

"Hmmm." I thought about it. Then blushed. I guess she still doesn't know. "Him? Why him?"

"Come on, Danny! Just give it a shot. You're not gonna regret it!" She seemed really sure of herself. "Plus, I hear he's really hot!"

You got that absolutely right! I thought.

"Okay, fine. I'll try." I dismissed the topic with a sigh. "I'll try talking to him."

Then, I knotted my forehead. "Anyway, do you have any idea who Gossip Girl is?" I asked, changing the topic, "How long has she been doing this in Irvine?"

"Now, that's the million dollar question, brother. No one still knows." She answered, "But in terms of how long, she's been at it for almost two, three months now, I think."

"Ah. Okay. Doesn't matter, anyway." And we shrugged.



Mr. Connor just stared at me with that predatory look of his. He shuffled in his seat and started to play with the assortment of pencils that he had on his desk. I wonder how he got his position in this school? One look from him would make anyone - and I mean, anyone - turn to stone!

Douglas Connor is a thirty-something guy who worked as a lawyer from New York and, as what Principal Harks told everyone during the introductions, was looking for greener pastures to graze at. Or so he says 'cause Connor says.

But I, nevertheless, think suspiciously of him. There's just something about the way he moves, the way he talks, the way he looks at people, that makes me think that there is so much more to him than meets the eye. The only problem is, WHAT?

I cleared my throat, "Well, sir . . . I've done my part here. I've shared. I've confessed. I basically poured my heart out . . ." Still staring. "Um . . . I think it's your turn now to . . . give advice?"

RATTLE RATTLE RATTLE, goes the little pencils.

"Um. Sir?" I mumbled.

TUMBLE TUMBLE TUMBLE, hope they wouldn't crumble.

I sighed in defeat. "Okay. I think I'll just leave you with your pencils, then. Thank you for your time."

With a heavy sigh, I got my things and went for the door.

See, Danny? What the hell were you thinking? He's just some homophobe who doesn't even give a damn about anybody's problem - especially a gay-guy's love life.

Curse you, Connor!

And damn you, cock! You've been hard ever since you entered the room! So what if he's so tall, so built, and so handsome? He's just a jerk who got lucky to land a job as 'Medusa' in replacement for your old guidance counselor.


He spoke. I thought I misheard, but it was actually him who muttered. I turned around. "Excuse me?"


Now it was my turn to stare.


Is he high or something?

Then a pair of hypnotizing gray eyes turned to look at me. I froze.

"Sit, Daniel." He made it sound like it was a command. So I complied.

It took all of my willpower to blink my eyes and sit back down before this highly, intimidating man.

"First of all, I have no problem with gay people. The first time that William told me of a guy whom his nephew had a crush on, he told me the guy was . . . charming." he started. "I guess he was right."

My mind did a back-flip, then a triple-cartwheel. "Did you just say William?" I asked, confused.

"Yes. I guess I just did." He replied.

And then everything came to place: William. Nephew. Connor. Douglas Connor. New York.

"Oh, my God!" I practically shouted, "You're William's lover!"

I blushed at my choice of words. He just nodded and gave me a gentle smile.

"But, William told me you weren't coming till your son finishes the semester."

"We talked. And he says that Bruce didn't want him living there in the apartment with him. He wanted space. That's what he said to Will." He answered, "So, he figured, he didn't want William. And he didn't want Bruce living alone, so, he swapped places with me. Now I'm living with William's nephew and he's living with my son."

And I left it at that. I guess this wasn't the right place for me to ask any more questions about his personal life.

"Um . . . so . . . you were saying?"

"Ah . . . Okay . . ." He cleared his throat, "Second; what you're dealing with now is still too complicated for a fifteen year old,"

"Sixteen." I cut in.

"Third, you need to seek professional help."

"But that's why I'm here, aren't I?" I retorted heatedly.

"And that's why I'm telling you this. Your best friend acted the way he acted because he was hurt. As your best friend, he would think that a secret as big as what you just told me shouldn't be kept from him. He is now thinking that you violated his trust. That you degraded his moral judgment. And the fact that you kissed another guy, enraged him. He thinks that you betrayed him."

"But I didn't know how to tell him! And that kiss was completely one-sided! I was trapped! Bruce surprised me!" I reprimanded. "What was I supposed to do?"

But he continued, anyways, as if I didn't cut him.

"Bruce, on the other hand, is the more complex character. You are saying that he . . . likes you?"

I didn't know what to say, so I just nodded. Then, after a few seconds of contemplation, I muttered, "Yeah, I think he does. Or, yeah, actually, he does. The kiss. That's proof enough, isn't it?"

He nodded. "And you literally rejected him in front of your best friend? In front of someone, who until then did not know about his sexual preference?"

I gave him a nod and I dropped my head in shame. Only up until that moment did I fully realize how harsh I acted upon Bruce.

"Did you really mean it, though? What you said to him before he left?" He asked.

"Of course, I didn't. I was just too panicked and confused that night that words just came out of my mouth. I never really meant to hurt any of them." I answered shakily.

Mr. Connor nodded repeatedly before asking, "So, are the feelings mutual?"


"Yeah. Between you and Bruce? I mean, do you like him, too?"

"What do you mean, like? You mean like like like? Or like like like?" I giggled at my words.

But he still answered professionally, "Are you attracted to him? Physically? Emotionally?"

I contemplated on this thought. Honestly, I still didn't know what I felt about him. Because Bruce . . . he's . . . he's a really great guy once you really get to know him. But, in terms of that. . .

"I don't know." I told him. "I don't know if I really do like him." It wasn't true, but it wasn't a lie either.

A few moments of silence passed.

"Hmmm . . . You broke his heart, Daniel." Mr. Connor concluded. "And now, he's back to bullying you?"

I said yes.

"Hmmm. . ." He sat there, thinking.

After a few minutes of silence, I spoke up.

"What do I have to do, Mr. Connor?" I croaked.

"Well," he sighed, "You can start by calling me Doug."

I was surprised by what he said, but I quickly recovered.

"Oh. Uh . . ." I huffed a laugh, "Okay. What do I have to do, Doug?"

Then, he smiled. That was the first time I saw him smile. And damn, was it worth it! All I can think of now is that Mr. Connor - er, Doug - doesn't deserve to be cramped up in a tiny office, giving advice to problematic teenagers. He should be on the catwalk, or on TV, doing modeling, or endorsements, or making movies. He was just too good looking to be a Guidance Counselor.

He then continued giving his advice, "First, you need to find your neutral place. A place where the two of you would feel comfortable enough to talk. It is best to talk to them separately. You need to tell them what you feel. Tell them honestly why you did what you did. Then . . . tell them you're sorry. IF you are."

I took a deep breath, then nodded. Telling him I understood.

Doug gave me one last smile then motioned for me to leave; the session was done. I muttered a simple thanks before departing.

Well, there's one thing I know: Some things are just easier said than done.

I just really wish I could pull this off before the school year ends. Before it's too late.


The sun was brightly shining through the crowded halls of Irvine High; almost all too brightly for my dampened, depressed soul. I was walking, humming to Beyonce's 'Single Ladies', when someone suddenly yanked me from behind. He pulled me backwards into a vacant corner of the halls and pushed me to the wall. I yelled my protests, turned to my captor and realized that he was actually a she.

"Stacey! What the hell are you doing?" I cried as I tended to a throbbing elbow.

She turned around. "Sorry. We don't have time. Ms. Hernandez checks her attendance twice every meeting and I can't afford to be tardy again."

"But why are we-"

"SHHHH!" She cut me off. "I have something to tell you."

"Do we really have to whisper? Are you a secret agent on a very covert mission or something?" I joked.

"This is serious, Danny!" She hissed as she pushed me against the wall. Again.

"Okay. Okay. God! Chillax, Stace! What is it?" I whined.

"It's Keith," she said.

I gave no response. I mean, what should I say to that?

"Danny?" She snapped her fingers at me, "Are you listening?"

"Uh . . . Yeah. Well . . . Uh . . . What's with him?"

"He's changed." She simply stated.

"Changed? What do you mean changed?"

"I mean. When he was still courting me five, six, months ago-"

"Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Wait! Six months ago?"

"Yeah. We've been going out since he returned from his trip on Europe. Didn't he tell you?" She asked, surprised. I see now why Keith has been waiting outside our English class that first day after the break; he was waiting on Stacey. I just shook my head. "Well, as I was saying, he courted me for two months and when I finally said yes, he was real sweet and charming and everything that a girl would ever need from her boyfriend. . ."

"I can't help but sense a 'but' coming." I said as she stopped talking.

She took a deep breath, then added, "But by late February . . . he's been . . . distant, cold, silent . . . and I don't know what's wrong with him." She muttered. Oh, God! Late February?

"Did he tell you something? Did I do something wrong? Did I say something? What did he say, Daniel?"

I gave her a shaky laugh before starting, "Okay, Stacey. You need to stop before you start with the waterworks!"

She composed herself wiped her teary eyes.

"Okay now?" She nodded, "Okay. Listen. There are . . . a lot of reasons why you shouldn't be asking me these questions. First of all, Keith and I . . . we haven't been talking since my . . . since February-"

"Really?" She gasped. "But you're his best friend! God, I'm so sorry for asking. I didn't know."

"Well . . . we are. I mean, we were." I paused as I grasped what I was saying. "But as far as I know, we're basically nothing but strangers right now. He completely ignores my existence."

She just stared at me, confused.

"The second reason; I didn't and wouldn't even have known that you two were an item if my sister didn't show me an article about the two of you on Gossip Girl last night."

"Oh, God. You saw that," she gasped again, this time, blushing. "I thought he told you we were together."

"Believe me, he didn't." I sighed, "And lastly . . . I don't think it's a very good idea if we were seen together. If Keith would know that we were even talking, he'd probably think the worst of it."

"But we're only talking! You're my friend!" She cried out.

"Yes, we are. And yes, I am. But Keith . . . Keith and I . . . we're dealing with a really big mess right now. And we haven't quite worked it out yet, so it's probably best if we distance ourselves from each other before it costs you your relationship."

"But, Dan, I need your advice. You're his best friend, and I want to know how to make him open up to me. We need to communicate for our relationship to survive."

"I know." I sighed. I definitely know. I, too, need to talk to him if I want to salvage our friendship. Or what was left of it.

I sighed and gave her a sorry look.

"I'm sorry, Danny. I shouldn't have bothered. I should just go." She stated. "Thanks for listening, anyway."

"No, no, no. Wait! Stacey," I grabbed her arm. She turned and bit her lip. "Take care of him, okay?"

She gave me a weak smile, nodded, then walked away to Ms. Hernandez's class.


The hours passed by as I sat and listened to Mr. Douglas' historical droning about the Civil War. Honestly, right now, I just didn't care about it.

I looked at the far-left side of the classroom to where my best friend sat chatting with Stacey under their breaths. And I wondered why Stacey said what she said. Keith seemed fine. If what she was saying was true, then why does Keith look happy? She told him Keith was distant, but he was even holding her hands.

Is he acting? Or is he really alright and Stacey was just being paranoid?

I shrugged.

Then, I felt something hit the back of my head. It was a crumpled piece of paper. I picked it up and flattened it on my desk. There were words written on it. Bold and catchy, it read, "Fockin' Faggot!"

I turned to glance at the back to where Bruce sat. He caught my eye for a second then blinked and returned to drawing on the edges of his notes.


They really hate you, Danny. My subconscious told me, I almost cried. Then I heard someone call my name.

I turned around to find Carter Davis and Isabella Martinez glaring at me.

"What?" I snapped.

"Don't you 'what' me!" Isabella snapped. "Do you know the latest gossip?"

"Let me guess: Stacey. Keith. Starbucks. Right?" I answered imperviously.

Carter just shook his head disapprovingly. "Um . . . that's old news, man! That was, like, 15 hours ago. I meant the latest."

"Well, then, I seriously have no idea what you two are talking about." I replied.

Isabella just handed me her phone. "Take a look, and see for yourself."

Confused, I took her phone. SHIT! It was another Gossip Girl blast. What the hell!

I was just glad it wasn't about me. But I got nervous as I saw the pictures above it.

I read the article.

'Seems like we know now why the Freshmen's Prince and their resident Bully stare daggers at each other every chance they get. Ooooh. That's right, Irvine High! Sneaky, sneaky! They say, "It takes two to tango." But what kind of tango would it be if another pair of hands and feet would add to the mix? I just wonder how B balances this equation? Well, it looks to me like the princess is taking care of her very own agendas outside the prince's court. Be careful, S. The last girl who played with fire totally combusted . . . with heated humiliation and pitifully scorched . . . under the people's unified glare. Anyway, everybody's just dying with anticipation on what's going to happen next. - XOXO Gossip Girl

And just like the previous blast from last night, photos were posted above the article. Photos of Stacey and Bruce. Shit! From the angle of the shot, it looked like Stacey and Bruce were about to kiss - her hands were on his shoulders and his hands were on her hips. How the hell is this possible? I felt the familiar gut-wrenching feeling that I felt last night as I saw Stacey with Keith. SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!!!

I suddenly looked at Keith. Stacey was sitting beside him and she had a frightened look upon her face. I looked at Bruce. He was just smiling at Keith. What the fuck! What is he up to? What are he and Stacey up to?

Keith, however, was impassive. I couldn't tell if he was angry or not. He was just looking at Bruce. I couldn't tell what he was thinking.

I opened my mouth to speak to him, but nothing came out.

Oh, shit! What the fuck is Bruce doing? I hope he didn't fuck things up between Stacey and Keith.


The bell finally rang.

I hurried outside and waited for the others to come out. Keith passed by and I called him.

"What?" He turned. His eyes were on me, but he was not looking at me. I was hurt, but I let it pass.

Again, I felt my mouth open but no sound came out. But after a few moments of gaping like a fish, I started talking.

"Keith, about the photo . . . Bruce isn't . . . he wouldn't . . ."

He scoffed at me. He leaned close then lowered his voice so only I could hear. "Of course it's nothing, Daniel. People like you would rather it be you kissing Bruce than Stacey, am I right?" He smirked.

With that, anger surged all throughout my body I almost punched him. His hatred sparked the hurt and disappointment that I felt against him. Wasn't he supposed to be my best friend? He should understand me; but what is he doing, hurting me more? Isn't it enough that he's ignoring me? Should he really rub it on my face that I was gay? That he hated people like me? That he hated ME?

Luckily, my subconscious told me to stop and I grabbed hold of myself. I didn't want to cause a scene, though eyes and ears were already trained on us.

"Keith, please. I already said I was sorry. These three months, I couldn't do anything but damn myself for doing it to you. I'm sorry, man. I'm so so sorry." I whimpered, "I know what I did was wrong and I keep punishing myself for what I did to you. Please, forgive me! I need my best friend back. I'm alone." I started crying, oblivious to the fact that people were staring at me.

Keith took a step back, smirked some more, and through the most menacing voice I ever heard he said, "Serves you right, don't you think, Daniel?" then turned around and left with Stacey on his heels.

I watched as they made their way through the crowd. As I turned to walk the other way, someone pushed me out of the way, sending me all the way to the lockers knocking the air out of me. I groaned in agony.

"Oops! Watch it, Fockins!" I just glared at Bruce's massive figure as he went his way.

Keith heard the bang of the lockers, and in anger, he turned back and marched off to Bruce who was walking towards him.

The two guys stopped walking, maintaining the distance of a foot between their angry features.

Then I heard Bruce coldly say, "You're standing in my way, Princeton."

Keith smiled then gave Bruce an overall look.

"Obviously." Keith replied, with the same tone of coldness.

I heard the crowd muttering and whispering, but not loud enough to be heard for fear of what the two giants would do to them.

"What do you want?" Bruce growled, giving Keith a gentle shove.

"You damn well know what I want, Adams!" Keith shouted as he pushed back. "Stay away from my girlfriend!"

"Oh, really?" Bruce mocked, "And what makes you think I would do that? You know, your girlfriend's pretty hot!"

Keith's face flushed with anger and he raised his hand to punch Bruce. And with impossible reflexes, I quickly went to my feet and came in between them, a hand restraining a heaving chest. I didn't care if it was a foolish move. I didn't want either of them to get hurt. I just heard myself shout, 'Stop!', and both of them retreated.

But Keith leaned close and hissed at Bruce, "I don't care what you are doing, you motherfucking son of a bitch, just leave my girlfriend out of it! You've already taken-"

"Yeah? Taken what?" Bruce cried, his chest heaving with anger. "Taken what, huh, Keith?"

I was left frozen. Speechless. I had a very distinct idea on what Keith was about to say. But, I just stood there in between, feeling like a fool. There was nothing I could do but sob and tremble.

"Never mind." Keith backed away, then he pointed at Bruce's chest, "Just stay away from Stacey!"

And he grabbed her and swept her through the crowd, leaving me with Bruce, glaring at Keith's vanishing figure.

My arm was still clasping his shirt. As soon as he realized this, he swatted it away and stormed off to the opposite direction.

They hate me too much. I broke down and cried.


"You're shitting me!" Jake gasped. Blake and Luke just gaped at me like I was the world's nastiest seafood ever created. After my encounter with Keith, then Bruce, I was left standing, crying on the hallway. Lucky for me, the trio found and comforted me. With all the pent up anger and frustration that I felt for Bruce, Keith and myself, I finally broke down and told them everything. Well, not every thing. I skipped Bruce's history when he was still in Texas. I thought it wasn't my position to just confide it to anyone.

"I wish I was, Jake." I breathed.

"Fucking shit!" said Jake. "Bruce? I don't believe it!"

"But, guys, you have to promise me: no one has to know about this!"

"You have my word, bro." Blake said. "I don't do gossip, anyway."

"And mine, too." Luke added. "It's no wonder Keith seems so . . . distant and silent nowadays. I just wish you could've told us sooner, Dan. We would've done something to fix this."

I just gave Luke a smile and I turned to Jake.


"Let me just process this, Daniel. Bruce? Is gay?" He shook his head, "Unbelievable! Unlike you, I never would have thought Bruce was one of us. And, what more . . . he . . . kissed . . . you?"

I affirmed with a nod.

He huffed a sigh. "Okay. I'm not telling a word to anyone. However hot this information is, I'm not that kind of a guy to out a fellow 'brother.'"

I sighed. At least some of my closest friends understand. Now, I didn't feel so hopeless anymore.

Now, I need to talk and reconcile to one of them before I truly explode with pent-up anger and depression.


I waited for him to pick up. He did.

"Oh, thank God, you responded!" I gasped through the phone. "Bruce, I really really need to talk to you!"

"Um, this is William. Is this you, Daniel?"

"Oh, sorry. I thought it was Bruce." I apologized, "So, you're at Bruce's apartment? I thought you and Doug swapped places. Anyway, where . . . um . . . where is he, Will?"

"He was just out running errands." He answered.

Just then, I heard Bruce calling, "I'm home, Uncle Bill!"

"He just got home. I'll hand him his phone. Wait a sec."

I waited.

"Hello?" It was Bruce.

I took a deep breath before answering. "Bruce? It's me. Danny."

"Why are you calling me, Fockins? D'ya wanna get beat up again?"

"Please, Bruce. We need to talk." I pleaded, tears almost leaking from my eyes.

"Fine. But, only because you're fucking annoying and I can't keep on ignoring your pathetic messages anymore." He gruffly answered.

Okay. At least he's listening.

"Bruce. We need to meet." I hesitantly stated.


"I have something to say."

"Why don't you just say it now?"

"I . . . I can't." I weakly answered. "I want to see you when I say it. I need to see you when I say it." Honestly, I just wanted to see if he'd still take me back if he would hear what I have to say.

I heard static through the line as he contemplated on his answer.

"Fine." He huffed. "Where?"

"Meet me outside of school. Near the gateway. Eight o'clock. I'll be waiting."

"Okay. Fine. I'll give you an hour to explain your sorry ass." He snapped and hung up.


Even thought the night was dark, it was warm enough to soothe my nerves and free my body of some of the stress that I felt.

Then, as I was comfortable enough, I heard footsteps approaching. It was Bruce. I can clearly see his hulking figure walking towards me.

"I'm here." He said, "Speak."

I took a deep breath before I started. I took a step closer. "Bruce, do you remember the day before Valentine's Day?"

"Oh, yeah, that was when my mother died, right? How could I possibly forget?" He snapped sarcastically. Now, I was getting impatient.

"No, I meant . . . I meant, our very first . . . our very first date." I mumbled. "Remember?"

"Hmmm. . ." He scoffed, "Funny. We both know that that wasn't a date, Daniel."

"Will you just shut up and let me finish?" I snapped.

"No, you shut up! I don't want to talk about this anymore. Now, why don't you just say what you have to say, so I can go and move on with my life."

I looked at him and I stifled a laugh. I have forgotten just how cute he is when he grumbles and complains.

"What's so funny, Fockins?" He hissed as he grabbed the front of my shirt.

"No, Bruce . . . it's just . . . I wanna say that I'm sorry. I'm sorry for the things that I said the last time we were at Keith's." As hostile as his reaction was, I didn't really feel intimidated with him. Shockingly, I felt glad he did it. When he pulled my shirt, we were close enough that I could smell him; that I could feel his breath on my skin. And then suddenly, I realized something.

It was a feeling.

This feeling - this giddy, jumpy, happy feeling that I feel - I realized I only feel it when I am with him. No matter the place. No matter the time. No matter the circumstances. I am happy when I am with him. I laughed with happiness with the sudden realization.

"That's all? You're sorry?" he sighed indignantly, "Okay . . . So, are you only gonna stare and laugh at me or are you gonna say something more? You're wasting precious time!" He growled impatiently as he stretched my shirt more. He leaned in closer. "Well?"

I smiled at him and leaned in closer. "And I also like you. . ."

My heart pounded as soon as the truth came out of my mouth. This caused him to immediately back off, releasing my shirt from his grip. He, too, released a deep, heavy breath and took a step backward. His face showed confusion. "Wha - What did you just say to me?"

"I realized it last year when I saw the real you. The 'you' when you are with your mom. It's just up until now that I have fully accepted it." I pursed my lips to steady them from shaking, "I like you, Bruce. I mean . . . I might be falling in 'like' with you if that's even possible," I looked at him and giggled at his confused glare.

He opened his mouth. Then, closed it again. Then, he shook his head and gaped at me some more. I'm sure this bulky piece of a boy was uncertain of what was happening.

So, I continued. "No matter how harsh and tormenting you are to me, I couldn't seem to truly hate you. 'Cause I know deep in my heart - deep in your heart - that you are not that kind of person. You are . . . the only person that makes me feel . . . vulnerable . . . yet at the same time, you push me and challenge me and make me feel confident . . . and protected . . . and stable . . . and strong." I took his hands in mine and looked up into his icy-blue eyes, he was tearing up. With this, a great surge of energy shot up through my veins and I smiled through the tears flowing down my own cheeks. "You're a wonderful person, Bruce. I know that now. You're sweet, caring, patient, kind," I chuckled a bit, "At times, you may be a bit stubborn and harsh, but, still . . . you're wonderful!"

I sighed. Suddenly, I felt lighter; as if a very heavy load was just taken from my shoulders.

"I like you, Bruce Adams." I repeated as I gripped his hands for emphasis. "And I know for a fact, no matter how much you deny it, that you like me, too . . . This feeling that I have when we're together . . . it's like . . . I feel like I'm standing on the edge of something really big and I see you standing there with me," I caressed his cheek, "Take a leap with me, Bruce. Take a chance on us."

Bruce was shaking with tears streaming down his face. He grabbed my back and pulled my body to his. He laughed at this. "Danny, I . . . I. . ."

"Shhh!" I held a finger to stop him. I stood on my toes and gave him a peck on his smiling, warm lips. "No need to speak, Bruce . . . I know."

Our lips touched one more time and, it may sound like such a cliché, but sparks flew behind my tightly shut eyes. This time, our kiss was filled with much more passion. Tongues were caressing each other's warm cavernous mouths as hands grabbed and gripped hair, hips, and shoulders.

When our lips parted, he gave me the most genuine smile that I've ever seen on his cute and chubby features. Then, he grabbed my waist one more time and hugged the shit out of me, laughing at the same time, swaying our bodies from side to side as our laughter echoed through the night.

Everything was almost perfect. And now, all I have to do is talk to -

"Keith." I heard Bruce gasp. My mind filled with confusion. Why is he suddenly talking about Keith? Then, he released me from his embrace and I looked up to his face. He was looking at something that was behind me. I quickly turned around to face the enraged face of . . . my best friend.

He was standing before us, giving us the most menacing glare I'd ever seen on someone, "So, this is why you called me?" He shouted. "To gloat? To make me feel bad! Huh? Is that it, you fucking bastard?"

"Keith, please relax," then I faced Bruce, "Bruce, what is going on here?"

"Keith, listen. Danny has nothing to do with this. I called you so you and Danny can talk. Believe me. . ."

"NO! SHUT UP!" He snapped nastily, "I can't believe he'd ever want to be friends again with me . . . when he's obviously got you now! You made sure you got him to yourself. You must be really glad!" He growled.

"Keith, please. Don't be absurd! Of course I still want to be friends with you! You're my best friend! And I need you! Please, Keith, please!" I cried as I grabbed his shoulders.

He shrugged me off. "NO! Get off me! GET OFF ME! I don't want to have anything to do with either of you anymore! You make me sick!"

"No, Keith! Keith, don't go! KEITH!" I shouted, "I need you! KEITH!"

"No, Keith, wait!" I saw Bruce through my tear-filled eyes as he stormed after my best friend.

He was gone.

I cried on the sidewalk. I can't believe I've lost him again. But right now, I know I've lost him for good. Whatever chances that we'll ever even be friends again are now gone. He banished me. He doesn't want anything to do with me anymore.

He's gone.

The sidewalk was cold; the ground was hard, my tears splashed onto the concrete, my face hidden in my arms.

This is not how it's supposed to be.

This is not what I had planned.

This is not where it's supposed to be heading.

This is not what I wanted.

This is not what I needed.

"Keith. . ." I heard my own weak voice echo through the cold, dark, silent night. "Come back . . . Come back, Keith. . ."

No! This can't be happening! It can't be. No! Please, no. I can't go through with this. No.

"Keith. . ." I heard my subconscious breathe through clenched teeth, "I love you. . . come back. . ."

And then the darkness that surrounded consumed me; leaving me confused of my feelings. Confused of myself.

Confused and all alone.

*End of Book One*


Author's Note: Hey guys! Book One: FRESHMAN YEAR is finally finished. I thank you all for your support especially Gaydemon.com for giving writers like me the chance to share their stories.

Let me know of your reactions, comments, suggestions, and questions so I can use them to further my work and help make my stories lean closer to the fantasies buried in that subconscious of yours.

The first chapters from Book Two: SOPHOMORE YEAR should be finished within the next couple of weeks. So, just hang on! Bruce, Keith and Danny will be coming back SOON!

If you want, you can contact me through my email address >>> [email protected] <<< and you can also follow me on Twitter @ANerdyJock for further interaction.

Words are not enough for me to show how much I love you guys! May more blessings 'cum' your way and good luck and God bless!

- XOXO Nerdy Jock


Nerdy Jock

[email protected]


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