Please understand that the people are fictional, the places are fictional (cities are not). If reading this material is against your morals (or your laws), please do not go beyond this point.

Thanks to everyone for the comments. If you have a question, comment, suggestion, or anything else you would like to submit, but send them to sockingsaw@hotmail.com.

***

Challenges Part IV

***

Justin sighed hard as he closed the book. He had not thought of the deep emotions he felt that day in high school. The day his life changed, both for the good and for the bad. He visited the day often to decide if it was the right choice, the wrong choice, or if the primal urges of mankind were always in control. He forgot about the intense emotions he experienced the moment he kissed Nate in front of everyone.

He looked at the clock. It was 5 o'clock and Matt would be coming in two hours. He smiled as he thought how great it would be to see his brother.

As he contemplated life deeper, he heard the front door open and close. He heard heavy footsteps coming down the hall and knew his father was coming down the hall.

His father walked past the doorway and looked in. Justin smiled at him.

"Hey dad." He said cheerfully. His dad was not that approachable, but he did love him. His dad never said anything against him when he found out, but never said anything supportive. Justin figured it was to keep the peace at home. When his mother went on a tirade, his father went to work.

"Son." His father came in and sat down in the chair opposite the couch Justin was sitting in. Justin adjusted his position so he could face his father.

They sat in silence for a few moments.

"Your brother is coming tonight. He said he had some big news." His father broke the silence.

"He didn't tell me anything." Justin pondered. He talked to him the night before, but nothing about bringing some news. "What do you imagine it could be?"

"Something big." His dad scratched the back of his hand. "Maybe they are going to have a kid."

Justin grinned. "Make mom happy."

His dad just rolled his eyes and sighed. "What about you?"

"What do you mean?" Justin's heart started to beat harder. He never had this conversation with his parents. It was an unspoken rule.

"Do you have someone in your life?" His father shifted in the chair. Justin was not sure if he was getting comfortable or becoming uncomfortable. "I know we never talk about this, and I am sorry. You are one of my sons. I love you, and I care about your life, just as much as Matt."

"I know dad." Justin shifted. He was becoming uncomfortable. "I love you too."

They sat for a moment in silence again.

"Do you have someone in your life?" his dad asked again, his voice giving off the sound he was annoyed at having to ask again.

"No." Justin frowned for a bit and looked at the floor.

"Have you talked to Nate since you have been down?"

"I drove by, but he was having a wedding party." Justin just shrugged. "He emailed me and told me he wanted to see me when I was down. Not sure how he found out I would be here."

"I told his father you would be down." His father sighed for a moment. "Figured maybe Nate would like to see you again. Heard he might be getting married, but not this soon. I am sorry son."

"It's okay dad." Justin put on a smile. "I am okay. I will be okay. I am happy. My job is good."

"Good." His father went to get up. "I am sorry I could never get your mother to accept you for you. She is a stubborn woman." He laughed for a bit. "Don't you dare tell her I said that."

Justin grinned and turned his attention back to the window.

***

Justin and Nate sat in the office waiting for their parents to arrive. Justin shook his leg nervously as he looked around the office. Ms. Nelson the office secretary was busy typing on a computer, and filling reports. Every now and then she looked over with a frown at the two sitting there, but said nothing.

Every now and then students would walk by the window and give a cheer as they saw the two sitting there. Justin grinned. He was happy to know the student body was approving at the moment. In the back of his head he wondered why they were supportive of Nate and himself, but so critical of Grayson. Maybe it was because Nate and Justin were not the stereotypical gay person. They were involved in sports, and other `male' oriented activities, while Grayson was in choir, drama, and band.

"So what do you think parents will say?" Nate said silently.

"I will probably end up on the next car ride to the mental institution." Justin frowned and lowered his head. "They never say anything positive about gay people. What about you?"

"I am okay." Nate frowned a bit. "Mom knows. I told her over the summer that I had kissed you."

"What?" Justin said louder then he anticipated.

"Shh!" Ms. Nelson snapped from behind her desk. "No talking!"

"Why didn't you tell me?" Justin said with again with bite. "I can't believe you did that and not tell me. What if she freaked out?"

"Her brother is gay." Nate just shrugged a bit. "She has always made it clear that if me or any of my siblings were gay, she would be okay with it."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Justin started to have tears in his eyes. He felt betrayed at this. Why wouldn't Nate tell him his parents knew?

"I didn't want you to feel compelled to tell your parents. I figured that you would tell them when the time was right." Nate grabbed Justin's hand and squeezed it. "It wasn't fair that I didn't tell you, but it wasn't fair that you would have felt forced to say something when you weren't ready." Nate laughed. "I guess you made up for it!"

"Shh!" Ms. Nelson said again with a sterner voice moved behind her desk and stood up. "If you can't behave yourself you can sit on separate ends of the office."

At that moment Justin's mom rushed in the door, her hair a mess. She glanced quickly at Justin and Nate and then turned sharp.

"I am Justin's mother." She didn't even wait for the secretary to respond. "I am here to see Mr. Lowe." She stood and didn't even bother looking at Justin. Justin could feel tears in his eyes but he swallowed hard and blinked his eyes quickly.

"Mrs. Leary," the principal came out of his office. "I am sorry to have called you down, but if you will step into my office?" He motioned for his door, and his mom disappeared behind the closed door.

"Well brother," a voice started Justin as he was gazing at the door, "you really know how to put on a good show."

"Matt!" Justin jumped up and hugged his brother. "Why are you here?"

"Mom was freaking out, so I drove her up here. Tried to calm her down." He shrugged. "Didn't work." Nate let his brother go and looked at Nate. "Hey little man. I see you went on a wild ride."

"Yea." He blushed. Matt was awesome about everything, and he knew it was a great support for Justin. "It was fun."

"Nate?" Another woman's voice came from the door.

"Hey mom." Nate got up and walked over. "Sorry you had to come down."

"As long as you are okay sweetie." She grabbed her son's hand and squeezed. "How are you Justin?"

"Um." He mumbled. He wasn't sure how to respond. He now looked at Nate's mom with a different light. She knew about everything, and she was accepting of it. Maybe if worst came to worse, he could stay with Nate. He sighed. "I am fine."

"It will be fine sweetie. Your mom will come around. It will take some time but she will." She took Justin's hand and squeezed it.

The principal's office door opened, and Justin jerked his hand back.

"Thank you Mrs. Leary." The principal said. "I am sorry this happened, but he can come back tomorrow."

Justin's mom said nothing, but just gave a stone cold look at Justin, and then motioned for Matt to leave. Nate's mom gave a quick squeeze of Justin's hand before he left.

***

The drive home was silent. Justin sat in the back seat, while Matt drove, and his mother sat in the front seat. She just stared out the front window without saying anything. Matt kept looking in the rear-view mirror and gave a smile now and then to show his support.

As they pulled up the driveway, Justin saw his father standing on the porch, and then ducked inside the house. Justin's mom opened her side of the door, and got out without saying anything, and closed the door.

"It will be fine." Matt said turning around in the car seat. "It will be hard, but they will be okay. You will be okay. This will be for the better."

Justin again felt the tears well up in his eyes. He did not know what to say, or if he should say anything.

"So what made you decide to just French Nate in front of the entire student body?" Nate asked.  "I mean there are more subtle ways to come out."

"Stupid Miller and Lambton were poking fun at Nate and Grayson, and I couldn't stand it anymore. I got angry. I wanted to prove that he may have been saying hurtful things, but he couldn't hurt anyone with his words." Justin squeezed his hand and punched the seat next to him several times.

"Well," Matt smiled, "I am glad you have morals and a sense of justice. Are you ready to face the music?" Matt climbed out of the car and opened the door for Justin to get out. "By the way the Bishop has been called. Mom thinks you need to do some heavy repenting."

***

Inside Justin found his mother and father sitting quietly at the bar in the kitchen. His dad was drinking a bottle of root beer, and his mother was playing with the fringe of the placemat. She had a glass of water in front of her, but was not drinking anything. Matt walked in and gave his father a hug, and stood in the middle, attempting to take the role of peacemaker.

Justin sighed heavy, and walked in.

"I can't believe you did that." His mother started. She was calm, which was a surprise. "You know that is a sin, and that is something you should never do. You have allowed for the devil to get your soul, and are making a fool of yourself, and this family. Nate must have been a bad influence on you over the summer."

"He didn't do anything." Justin mumbled. He wanted to go to his room and just go to sleep. "I wanted to do it. I wanted him!" He pounded his fist on the countertop. His dad glared at him and Justin bowed his head. "Sorry sir."

"There is nothing right about two men getting together." His mother didn't seem to hear him. "Have you two done more than just kiss?"

"That has been it." Justin said feeling the anger well up. He wanted to punch the wall, or the table, or something, but knew his father would not tolerate such actions.

"Well hopefully there will be salvation for your actions." His mother stood up and walked to the sink and dumped her water out. "I am sure Sister McGraw is just as furious with Nate. I don't think you two will be seeing each other except at school and church. But I will see to it that you two are not near each other as much as possible. You need to find yourself a girl to be with!" His mother put her hands on the sink. "I am sure everyone at Church will know of your actions, and we will be seen as the worst people in the world. I am not sure if I can or should show my face in church."

"Really mom?" Matt turned to his mother. He never argued, but he wasn't going to remain silent. "Justin is going through something that is scaring him, and you are more worried about your personal appearance and reputation in church?"

"You condone this behavior?" she spun around and glared at her oldest. "You are about to go on a mission. You need to be weary of this behavior, as it will turn you as well. Somewhere Justin was exposed to such ideas, and influenced him."

"Justin is still my brother, and I love him." Matt turned to Justin and smiled. "I am not going to catch being gay by loving him and carrying just as much for him as I always have."

"Sinful nature." His mother waved her hand. "You had better hope these ideas do not interfere with your mission eligibility, or your relationship with Lori."

"Lori thinks it's cute." Matt crossed his arms in open defiance. Justin looked at his dad who just looked blank as he took a drink of his root beer. Justin was surprised he didn't tell Matt not to talk back at his mother. "I think Nate has been good for Justin. His grades have improved, he has been happy, he has also be more involved in Church than ever before."

"Cute?!" his mother shot back. "This behavior is not cute! This behavior is deviant, disgusting behavior." She started to storm out of the room. "The Bishop will be here in a bit. I hope he can bring some clarity to this mess you have made Justin, and that you are able to turn back on the path of God. You are no longer allowed to go out, except for school and church activities!" She stormed out of the kitchen.

Justin sighed and looked at the counter trying to push back tears. He knew this would be coming, but still the flood of emotions was unexpected.

"Nate was a good farm hand. Best I had in years." His father said absently, and walked out of the room.  Justin and Matt dropped their jaw and watched with astonishment as their father walked out of the kitchen.

***

Justin was laying in bed looking out his window. His hand was absently rubbing his stomach as he thought about the day's events. He wanted to desperately call Nate, but knew his mother would see the phone in use. Just over a year ago he had given up on finding anyone to care for, and now, he had someone, his chances to be around him were disappearing as quick as the sunrays in the evening sky.

"Hey!" Matt walked into the room. He had the cordless phone in his hand. "Lori wants to say hi!"

He walked over and sat on the side of the bed. He held the phone out for Justin to grab.

"I don't want to talk to anyone." Justin pushed the phone with his hand.

"Oh come on. She is worried about you." With a wink he put the phone in Justin's hand.

With a sigh he picked up the phone. "Hey Lori."

"Hey sweetness." A male voice replied. "I am sorry."

"Hey!" Justin's face lit up. "Are you okay?"

"I am fine," Nate, said, "I am worried about you. Matt told me what happened. I wish I could be there."

"Me too." Justin tried to hold back tears, but couldn't. "I miss you. My mom said I couldn't see you anymore. Plus I have to meet with the Bishop."

"Well we will find a way. This town is not that large. We will bump into each other I am sure. And there is always school." Nate said with a cheery sound.

Justin heard the front doorbell. "I better get going. I think the Bishop is here."

"Love you."

"Love you too."

***

Justin and the Bishop sat across from each other in Justin's father office. The Bishop had a smile on his face, and was looking at everything in the room.

"It has been a while since I have been in this room." He looked around. "Me and your father go a long ways back. Used to be business partners, but I got out of the livestock business and went into science."

"He talks about it now and then." Justin mutters back.

"So your mom tells me she is concerned about stuff." The Bishop crossed his legs. "I know we had this conversation before about you having same-sex attractions."

"It's progressed a bit."

"So I hear. How long?" The Bishop had his arms resting on the arms of the chair and kept smiling. Justin felt unnerved.

"Since this summer." Justin sighed. He wasn't about to hold anything back. "We were out tending to the field and eating lunch. I knew I had a strong attraction to Nate, but never felt he had the same feelings. We ended up kissing out of nowhere. We have been together since that time."

"How do you feel about it?" the Bishop asked, not giving any hint of being angry.

"What do you mean?" Justin asked probing the question a bit. He was not sure what the Bishop was getting at.

"Well, do you feel ashamed of your behavior?"

"No." Justin shrugged. "When I kiss Nate, I feel love and compassion. I don't feel like I have done anything wrong."

"And all you have done is kissed?"

"Yes." Justin shrugged. "We both feel that going any further would be… inappropriate. I have thought about it, but never acted upon it. I am sure the urge is the same as Matt and Lori."

"I see." The Bishop paused for a moment. He closed his eyes as if he were meditating on the issue. Justin waited patiently.

"I am not a man who professes to know everything. I know what the Church says, and I know what the Bible and Book of Mormon states. I think that as long as you are keeping the commandments, there is nothing for me to do, or for you to do. You are walking a fine line however. The emotions you are feeling when you are with Nate can and will grow to something more. We all need a sense of love and belonging. Some are born with different feelings, and have to decide for themselves what path to take. You will have to decide which path to take. I can attempt to help as best I can, but if you do decide to cross that line, I would hope you come talk to me."

Justin sat silent not sure what to say. He looked at the floor waiting for the Bishop to finish.

"Know that we love you Justin. God loves you." The Bishop stood up and walked over to Justin patting him on the back. "You will still be expected to complete your duties at Church of course. Both you and Nate."

The Bishop opened the door and walked out into the living area to visit with the rest of the family. Justin was stunned. He thought he would have received a sermon on the evils of being gay and acting upon it. He sat for a few minuets contemplating what had occurred. Standing up he walked out to see what the family was talking about.

"…And Sister Lowery, I do not see any reason why Justin should not be allowed to continue he activities and have time with his friends, who ever they may be." The Bishop was talking to Justin's mom who was shaking her head. Apparently she didn't like the idea that his actions where not that dire, and that he should not be punished for those actions. "I do appreciate your hospitality, but I must be going."

He shook the hands of his mother, father, and brother before heading out. He stood and watched as his mom closed the door, and turned slowly.

"Apparently the Bishop feels that your actions are not that bad. He feels that you should be allowed to continue your activates as you see fit. Nate will not be allowed in this house ever again. I think you still need to find a girl, maybe Kimberly, and find where you went wrong." She brushed her hair out of her face.

His father walked over to the stairway and started to head up.

"Good night boys."

***

The next morning Matt decided to take Justin to school. Usually his mother drove him, but after the previous night, Matt felt it would be appropriate.

Matt pulled up to the front of the school and put the car in park.

"Are you going to be okay?" Matt looked at Justin with concern in his eyes.

Justin gripped the backpack in his lap as if it was a security blanket.  "I will be fine. Nate, Kimberly, Scott, and Mark are here." He reached for the handle to the car. "Thanks for being an awesome brother and a best friend Matt."

"See you after school." Matt patted Justin on the back as he got out.

***

As Justin made his way up the steps to enter the school, the students outside watched him, but didn't say anything. Justin did not care to notice if they were whispering amongst themselves, or just watching. He was focused on one objective: finding Nate.

As he stepped in the front door he was greeting by the principal.

"Justin." Mr. Lowe said with a slight smile on his face. Justin could tell he was under stress and he couldn't help but think it was because of his actions. "Can you step into my office for a moment. I need to talk to you about some things."

Justin nodded his head and followed Mr. Lowe into his office. He sat when Mr. Lowe pointed to the chair on one side of his desk, and he took the one opposite. Mr. Lowe had a habit of not putting the desk between him and the students when he talked. It unnerved Justin.

"Justin, about yesterday." Mr. Lowe started to talk very calm and peace like. Justin braced for a scolding. "The events of yesterday have had a profound impact on the student body. There are many students who have rallied to your side, and demanded that you be allowed to return to school. They did not know you went home for your own safety. Non-the-less many teachers complained that they were unable to control their classrooms." He paused for a moment. "There are also some students have expressed dissatisfaction towards your display, and would like to see you kicked out. I cannot do that since you have not broken any school rules that would warrant such action. I ask that you please be modest in your interactions with Nate."

"Yes sir." Justin said meekly. "I am sorry I caused you problems."

"Bah!" Mr. Lowe blurted out. "No problems, just many complaints. Nothing I can't handle." He smiled. "Now your mother was not happy about the situation, and wanted me to assure her that you would be put as far from Nate as possible."

"But…" Justin started but Mr. Lowe put his hand up to stop Justin from progressing any further.

"I am sorry Justin, but your mother is in charge of you. While I cannot stop you directly as there has been no physical harm done to you, I was forced to change your schedule. You will not be having any classes with Nate, and your lunch has been moved to the second lunch time period." Mr. Lowe grabbed a paper off his desk. "You will have the same teachers, just at different time periods."

"Yes sir." Justin grabbed the paper and looked at is and then dropped his head and sighed.

"I am truly sorry Justin." Mr. Lowe had sincerity in his voice that shocked Justin. He expected Mr. Lowe to be brimstone and fire when it came to this issue. "I hate to see my students suffer, but I have to obey your mothers wishes." He stood up and walked to his door. "Now if you rush you can have some time before the first bell rings."

Justin picked up his back and walked out of the office with his head hung low. He was looking forward to his English and History class, as he would be able to at least see Nate. Now he would have to go the whole day without seeing Nate. He figured he would get in a good 30 minuets a day with Nate, if he were lucky.

Justin made his way into the commons area, to see if Nate was there yet. Sometimes Nate was late getting to school, but today he was sitting with Kimberly, Scott, and Mark. Justin looked around the room for Grayson, but did not see him. He quickly walked over to the table.

"Hey!" he tried to seem as upbeat as possible. "How you doing?"

"Fine." Scott said in his normal calm manner. Nothing seemed to get this guy excited. "Not as fun this morning as yesterday afternoon, but still fine."

"Pish." Kimberly said. "Scott always understates the events. Yesterday afternoon was amazing. There were discussions everywhere about you and Nate kissing. The teachers couldn't do a thing."

Justin ignored Kimberly and Scott with a nod and looked at Nate. Nate just looked back.

"Missed you." Nate said finally to break the stare. He nudged Kimberly who moved over to set next to Mark.

"I missed you too." Justin sat down next to Nate, and grabbed his hand under the table.

"So what did Mr. Lowe want with you this morning?" Scott said looking a bit more interested in the activities going on with his friends.

"I had my schedule changed. Apparently my mother doesn't want me anywhere near Nate, so she had him make my schedule as inconvenient for that as possible." He put the paper on the table. "I have second lunch, so won't be able to eat with you any of you guys. I had my history and English classes flipped so we won't be in the same classes anymore. Depressing."

"I am sure we can work something out." Nate said with a smile on his face. "I am just glad we can have some time in the morning and possibly after school."

"So what did the Bishop say?" Kimberly said wanting to know that juicy information. She knew it wouldn't have been bad since it was a kiss. She had kissed boys before and never got into trouble for it. Then again she was a girl.

"It went okay. He said it wasn't as big of a deal as my mother said it was." He smiled. "He said I still had all my responsibilities at Church, along with Nate."

"Church? Bishop?" Mark said looking around the group. "What religion are you?"

"They are Mormons." Scott interjected. "Very strict moral rules. No dating till you are 16. No pre-marital sex. No personal gratification. No drinking. No smoking. No fun at all."

"That's not fair to say." Kimberly barked. She defended her faith with a sharp tongue that many did not want to cross. "We have rules to help us stay safe. Some of the rules may seem archaic and old school to some people, but if you think about it, they do prevent major problems from happening."

"They do not approve of love?" Mark pointed at Nate and Justin.

"Well yes, but not between two people of the same sex." Kimberly sighed. "There is some logic in the doctrine for it." She frowned at Justin. "I am sorry to say that."

"I agree." Justin said. "I think there is some logic to it as well. The Bishop said as long as I keep it to just kissing and making out I am fine." He looked at Nate. "But I should talk to him if I want to go further."

"We will cross that bridge when we get there." Nate smiled and squeezed Justin's hand. "For now, I am content to just hold your hand."

"There will come a day when it will not matter what your gender is. Mankind will advance to a new stage of understanding." Scott said absently. "It will take several generations, but you two will see the change."

Mark looked at Scott with some interest at his words. "I meet someone like you before. They called him crazy."

Everyone laughed.

***

The day went smoothly for Justin. No one bothered him or asked him any questions. He decided not to eat lunch, as there was no one he really wanted to sit and visit with. He ended up eating in the commons area in the spot they usually sat at in the morning. He just watched people, and found the interactions between people interesting.

"Anything interesting?" A light male voice came up behind him.

"What?" Justin jumped a bit and turned around quickly. "Ah, no. Not really."

The boy laughed a bit. "I am sorry if I scared you." He slid in the bench across from where Justin was sitting. Justin frowned, as he had no idea who this boy was.

"Name is Neil Palmer." The boy extended his hand. "I just move here and started today. I don't know anyone too well, and saw you sitting here alone, so figured I would say hi."

"Justin Leary." Justin extended his hand to shake. The boy had a firm grip, and his hand was soft and warm. Justin had to concentrate to not start into the boys face. He had short spiked blonde hair, and deep blue eyes that looked like the ocean. He had a bit of facial hair growing on his chin that gave him a rough boy image. His chin was square, and his teeth glowed with a white aura. His skin had a golden tan to it, like he spent his days outside.  "Where are you from?"

"California." He said looking around. "Parents moved here to work at Tech. Been here for about a week. I am not good at making friends, so I do apologize if I am intruding."

"No intrusion." Justin smiled. "I had to change lunches today due to my schedule, so all my friends are in class right now."

"That's a bummer." Neil looked around at the other students in the commons. He noticed some of them were whispering while looking over in his direction. "Is there any reason why they are looking at us and whispering?"

"Oh." Justin frowned. "I guess you didn't hear about the `incident' that happened yesterday."

"Yes I did." Neil tapped his finger on the table looking like this was old news to him already. "Two guys kissing in the cafeteria. Big whoop."

"Well," Justin swallowed hard. "I am the one that kissed the other guy, and they are probably whispering about if you are also," he paused for a second, "Different."

"Oh." Neil twisted his mouth to one side and looked like he was in deep thought. "Nope. I am straight." He smiled. "I thought about it, but couldn't do that. I am sorry."

Justin laughed louder then he anticipated.

"Glad to see you laugh. You look like you could laugh some." He pulled out his schedule from his pocket and handed it to Justin. "Anything we have in common?"

Justin scanned the schedule. "Nothing in the morning, but the three classes this afternoon we have together." He smiled. Maybe this wouldn't be as bad as he thought. He had made a friend, and he had someone to hang out with during lunch. If he were lucky, his other friends would be cool with him as well.

"Great!" Neil took the paper back from Justin and folded it to put back in his pocket. "I am glad I sat down with you."

"Me too." Justin smiled.

They continued to talk about random things before the bell rang to go to class.

***

"I love our German teacher." Neil said as they left the last class of the day. "He seems really neat."

"Mr. Sylver is pretty awesome." Justin said coming out right behind him. "My brother had him for three years of German and one year of French. I don't think he can speak a lick of either language, but he had a blast."

As they walked towards the lockers a female voice called out behind them. "Justin!"

Justin stopped and turned around. It was Kimberly.

"Hey Kimberly." Justin grinned. "This is Neil. He is a new student here."

"Hel…" she trailed off as she caught an eye full of Neil's good looks for the first time. She stood motionless for a moment before continuing. "…lo."

"Smooth." Justin rolled his eyes and turned around to walk towards his locker. Neil laughed a bit.

"Hi Kimberly." He said and turned to follow Justin. Kimberly followed them.

"So, uh, Justin," she said still watching Neil walk in front of her. His back looked solid and his butt was tight. "Me and Scott are going to hang at my house tonight to read the chapters assigned by Mrs. Watson. Already having to read for her class."

"I have to check with my mom." Justin paused for a moment. "Is Nate going to be there?"

"I haven't asked, but I am sure he will come." Kimberly looked at Neil. "You can come too if you like."

"Sure." Neil said with a smile.

The approached Neil's locker first, and Justin stopped to wait for him to grab his stuff.

"My mom may not let me go if Nate will be there." Justin sighed. He thought this might be a way to hang out with Nate for a bit, but his mom wouldn't allow it. "I will have to ask."

"Just tell her he won't be there." Kimberly shrugged. "What she don't know won't hurt her."

Neil closed the locker and was looking confused. "Why can't you be around this Nate?"

Justin coughed a bit. "He is the one I had the incident with yesterday."

"Ah." Neil shrugged and seemed to be caught up. "Lets go get your stuff." Justin led the way.

"She will probably call your mom and ask at various points to see if he is there." Justin shook his head and frowned. "She will go to any lengths to stop me I am sure."

"Tell her Mark, Scott, and new friend Neil will be there. I will also see if Jan can come over."

A long sigh escaped Justin's mouth. "I may not want to come at all."

Out of all the people Justin knew, Jan Stone was the one person he detested the most. She had the `mightier-then-thou' attitude. He was not sure where she got the idea that she was better than everyone else, but she seemed to always tell people the proper way to do something. He remembered one time at church he was trying to fold a tablecloth, and no matter how hard he did it, Jan never agreed it was the right way.

"She is not that bad." Kimberly dragged her finger along the lockers they passed. The halls were getting empty as people ran out the door.

As they approached Justin's locker, Nate was standing waiting. Justin eyes lit up and he put on a big smile. He had to resist the urge to break into a run.

"Hey." Justin said as he tried to act like nothing was going on.

"Hey to you." Nate grinned. "Missed you."

"I missed you too." Justin spun the lock to the proper combination and opened his locker to pull out his books. "I missed you so much, I had to replace you." He nodded his head toward Neil.

"Neil." Neil extended his hand to Nate. Nate just stared. Neil looked at his hand. "What is it with people today?"

"Just have to ignore them." A voice came up behind them. "It is not often they see someone as bronzed as you."

"Hey Scott." Kimberly said. "Scott this is Neil. Neil this is Scott. You will have to excuse him. He has no filter and says what he wants."

Neil extended his hand to Scott, and Scott took it with a firm shake. "I see you have meet our resident gay couple." He said, again with his normal, blunt way.

"Yes." Neil looked at Nate, who seemed to have recovered, and had turned his attention to Justin. "Very charming."

"Are we meeting at your house tonight Kim?" Scott said.

"Yes." She brushed a strand of hair out of her eye. "I am trying to get Justin to come, but he is afraid his mother won't let him if she knows Nate is coming."

"I will see what I can do. What time?" Justin turned around closing the locker.

"Six." She smiled. "Please try to make it." She turned her attention towards Neil. "And I hope to see you as well."

Scott and Kimberly walked of towards the exit leaving Justin, Nate, and Neil standing.

"She likie you." Nate said with a smile.

"She is quite attractive I must say." Neil grinned. "Maybe a bit hyperactive, but I am cool with that."

Nate wrote something on a piece of paper and handed it to Neil.

"This is her address, along with her number, my number, and Justin's number." He smiled. "If you need a ride just call, and I am sure I can come by and get you."

"Thanks." Neil pocketed the number and smiled. "I need to run. I think my sister is waiting for me. See you tonight." He ran off down the hall.

"I wonder how he is so fit?" Nate watched as he ran down the hall.

"I don't know. He is from California. Maybe it's the raisins or something." Justin ran his lips across his lips. "Lets go get some quality time in before Matt get's here." They both ran down the hall to the exit outside.

***

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P.S. For those of you who are wondering, there is excitement on the way.