This newest chapter of "BTL" is extremely overdue, and for that, I apologize! I've been writing SO much lately that I really don't realize how much time has passed between chapters until I look and gasp in horor! Hehehe, but I hope you guys will enjoy it nonetheless! Take care, and please let me know what you think at or stop by my website at (And don't forget to sign the guestbook!)

"Between The Lines 3"

Climbing into bed with Chris that night was....difficult, to say the least. He was snoring soooo loud, his breath was ripe with alcohol, and his hair messy and reeking of sweat and cigarette smoke from running around with those miscellaneous 'people' in our room all afternoon. Even when I had gotten back from my walk, they were still there, shouting for no reason and looking for dumb reasons to laugh at things that weren't even remotely funny. It was SO annoying! And embarrassing me in front of Devon was just too much. I came back into the dorm room and pretty much just locked myself in the bedroom until everybody left. Was I mad? Of course I was mad! Chris was being a total JERK today, and the worst part was...he was having so much fun doing it that he barely noticed me avoiding him and his boozer friends from down the hall. Like...what difference could I possibly make when they're just...lost in their stupid little 'moment', you know?

And now, here I was, trying to roll away from the stench of him, as though I'd ever be able to avoid the noise. I just couldn't scoot over far enough to get away from him in our bed to be comfortable. Finally, it got to the point where I just had to pick up my pillow and decided to sleep out on the couch...provided THAT wasn't soaked in liquor and smoke as well. I just couldn't take any more. You know? Yuck.

It was then that something strange happened. It was dark, and I was hopelessly frustrated, so it might have just been a momentary lapse in judgment. But....when I turned around...and I looked down at Chris sleeping there...sighhhh....I don't know. He seemed like such a stranger to me all of the sudden. I mean...I was looking at this familiar face, and this familiar sexy body, and could clearly remember our hot times together and what they meant to me at the time. But...for some odd reason, everything that I thought I knew or loved about him was gone. In an instant. It freaked me out for a moment. It was like I had to 'search' my memories and look for something happy just to keep from...hating him. Is that stupid, or what? Trying to find a sane reason to not be totally disgusted with my own boyfriend for what he did today? I just..I didn't like what I saw in front of me, and I didn't know why I couldn't get that wonderful feeling of satisfaction back again.

The feeling sat in the bottom of my stomach as I went out to the living room couch. It was as though I had just swallowed an entire six pack of soda without opening the cans first. It was like this intense build up of questions that I suddenly couldn't find the answers to any more. Nor could I find anyone to answer them for me. I didn't understand. This is CHRIS! This is my boyfriend! This is the reason that I've been so unbelievably happy in college the past few months. This is the reason I wake up smiling every morning. He's my friend, and my lover, and my companion. We have plans made. We have a FUTURE together...don't we? I mean...arrrgh....this is supposed to fucking 'work'. It's supposed to make me grin from ear to ear and float on a cloud of joy, day in and day out. Without question. EVER! And I...I love him. So...if all that is true, and love is what it's supposed to be....

..Then why, while standing here in a room with a half naked adonis who would gladly wake up and make love to me right NOW if I asked him to, do I feel so utterly alone?

What's worse...why has Devon become the only cure that I can think of for that loneliness?

I grabbed an extra blanket, and took it with me. The cushions definitely had the 'party aroma' in them, but when I turned them all over, it was a little more bearable. I lay there, staring up at the ceiling in the dark, still hearing Chris calling hogs from the other room in his sleep. I just wanted to lose consciousness for a while. Be away from here. Away from my thoughts. Away from my life, really. Thinking only makes things all the more weird. And the confusion only leads to more thinking. I wanted it to stop, just for a little while.

I felt stuck. Because my mind was filled with little flashes of Devon's beauty. And I'm not just talking about his 'looks'. I'm talking about...sighhh...the way he looks away from you when he giggles. Or...the way he always stretches his legs way out in front of his desk in class when he's comfortable. Or, like...the really cute way he sometimes brushes his long blond hair out of his eyes using only two fingers...pulling it back gently...and letting the splendor of his soft hazel eyes shine through unhindered. the way his voice always gets just a little bit more raspy whenever he pays someone a compliment.'s nervous about having them hear it and really appreciate it. So many cute habits. And I never miss a single detail. Never. I sat there in the dark, thinking about him and his quirky little habits and his mind-blowing smile...and I just wished that I could stop. I wish that I honestly WANTED to stop. But he had such a deep rooted hold on me that I couldn't let him go. And the more I thought about Chris...the more I hated him for not being...well...Devon.

Bad thoughts to sleep on, believe me.

I'm not sure when I drifted off to sleep, but the peace and quiet provided by a bit of isolation hit me pretty hard. I pretty much 'fainted' from fatigue at that point. So waking up to daylight was a surprise. The room was so much brighter than before, and the second I opened the blinds...the sun poured in and showed the glory of the mess I was standing in. Our dorm room looked like shit, from one wall to the next. Plastic cups on the floor, cigarette ashes mashed into the carpet, half empty beer cans littered all over our kitchen stove and sink, more cigarette ashes sprinkled all over our counter was quite the immaculate disaster.

My only comfort was that nothing was broken or stolen. At least, not that I know of. I didn't want to have anything to do with cleaning this up. it wasn't my mess, it wasn't my fault, it wasn't my idea. Why should I even 'assist' in clearing this garbage out of here? But...something tells me that if I left it for Chris to clean up, it would be days before he even picked up a broom. I don't plan to live in squalor for that long. Sighhh...this just sucks, you know that?

I could hear the sound of the shower as Chris was getting ready to leave for class, and while I was hoping that I'd be rid of all those rotten feelings that I had for him last night...they felt even worse than before. Much like the rest of the apartment, the morning just seemed to illuminate the 'mess' much more clearly. I felt...guilty. Ashamed. Am I actually cheating on my boyfriend by being totally wrapped in someone else? Is it Devon's perfection that makes me look at Chris with such...disgust? And who's to say Devon is perfection, anyway? I mean, I thought the same thing about Chris at one time, didn't I? Maybe it's just one of those 'grass is always greener' situations, where I just want what I can't have. Maybe I'm just building up some dumb fantasy in my head. I have a good thing here I made a commitment to him, and I should stick around. That's it. End of story.

My mind got to working out the kinks, and I thought that I should use some of this deep thinking on my story. It was one of those moments when I just felt the inspiration hit me all of the sudden, and knew that I had something to say. Something important to add. It was the kind of mood when my writing was at its best. But when I looked at my desk, I remembered that I had disconnected my computer to move it all into the bedroom last night. Arrrgh! It wouldn't take long to reassemble the few parts and get it running, but that small amount of frustration didn't seem worth it at the moment. Maybe I'll just go to the computer lab instead. Hey...maybe Devon is there! I mean...not that it matters...or anything. I don't care either way.

Just then, I heard the shower stop, and Chris was turning off the faucet. You was the strangest fucking thing, but I suddenly felt this weir sense of 'panic' in the pit of my stomach. I just didn't want to see him right now. I didn't want to talk to him. I didn't want him to talk to me. I just...I was overwhelmed with this need to get out of that room before he came out of the shower. If he does so much as give me a good morning kiss, I think I'm gonna completely lose it and do something that I know I'll regret later.

I didn't take the time to figure anything out. I just grabbed my notebook and my back pack, and shoved a washcloth in it as well as a travel sized tube of toothpaste and some deodorant. I got dressed as fast as I possibly could, hoping and praying that I'd be completely put together before Chris finished drying off and slipping on his boxers and t-shirt. I rushed and I hurried and I hopped and I stumbled...I even banged my knee against the corner of the closet door. But I didn't cry out. I held my breath and tried to ignore the agony while I slipped on a pair of socks. I can clean up in the public dorm bathroom downstairs. Just so long as I don't have to look him in the face when he comes out from behind that bathroom door.

I could hear him moving around a bit, and he slung his damp towel over the rack. I was seriously freaking out here! And I headed for the front door just as I heard Chris come out of the bathroom. "Eli...?" He said, but I pretended not to hear him. I just charged out into the hallway and quickly closed the door behind me. Even though I had left the room, my heart was still pounding hard in my chest, and I kept nervously patting my leg as I waited for the elevator to open up and take me to the ground level.

Did I really just do that? Did I just 'run away' from my own boyfriend? What the hell is the MATTER with me? I fixed my hair as best as I could in the dull reflected image of the elevator doors, and when they opened, I went to the community restroom in the lobby. I had to brush my teeth with my finger, but it was better than nothing. I washed up and got myself together, still wondering what happened back there. Still confused as to what was going through my head. Or better yet, what was going through my heart. It was a spontaneous and irrational act, I know....but...Chris just wasn't Chris any more. At least not to me he wasn't. The boy in that room was some kind of...random stranger. A late night hook up. A one night stand that had gone on for many more nights than it should have. Ugh! What a fucking terrible thing to say about him! That's not cool, not at all. But...was it true?

When all the kisses and the sex and the joy of not being alone any more was taken out of the picture...what was really left for me to enjoy? How satisfying were the leftover scraps that I got once the de-virginizing appeal of him was gone? I mean...did we even have anything in common? I couldn't even tell the last thing we really talked about that went deeper than 'what's on TV?' or 'Wanna get pizza?' I looked at myself in the mirror, and realized that the more I tried to defend our relationship...the less I had to work with. And I felt....lost.

Dear God...I think Devon has single-handedly tossed me out of my own life Evicted me from my own comfort, and forced me to stand outside in the cold all over again. All alone. Back to wondering if he likes me, wondering if he doesn't like me, if I have a chance with him, if he's gonna break my heart in the end. I thought I was DONE with all of that garbage! I FOUND my happiness! I had it right here in the palm of my hand...and...and I was HAPPY! I'm sure of it! At least I think I was. It's so hard to tell. Everything has gotten so 'complicated' since Devon came along. Please God...don't let me screw up a relationship AND a friendship by having them both leave me! I don't want to ruin this. Just..give me some wisdom here, and help me to make the right decision.

I put everything back in my bag, and made sure to carefully scan the dorm lobby to make sure that Chris wasn't walking through it. I have no idea why. It's not like I'd be able to avoid him for the rest of the semester. I just needed some more time to get my thoughts together so I could come back and make a better attempt at being his boyfriend. That's all. I can do that. It's a crush. It happens to everybody every now and then. I can be stronger than that. No problem. I just need to let it run its course, and then I'll be done with it all. Right? Right. Good. Cool. all I've got to do is sneak out of this building without being seen.

Yeah, it felt awkward at first, but as soon as I got out into the morning air and away from the dorms...I started to breathe easier. That's better At least now I was thinking clearly. I headed towards the computer lab, my thoughts alive with inner conversations and unwritten sentences. It was like my inspiration couldn't wait for my fingers to touch those keys so that it could be represented and expressed. I even developed a slight grin as I entered the building. You know...there was a part of me that was secretly anxious to see if Devon would be there. I kinda tried to deny it, writing it off as something else, but it was definitely there. Like a tremble in the gut, causing my ribs to vibrate to the point where my heart tingled and my lungs got heavy. It would have truly made me smile to see Devon's beauty as soon as I walked into that computer lab...sitting by the window, with the sunshine gracefully highlighting his every intoxicating feature. The subtle details of his alluring curves and lines. The sweetness of his blushed lips in profile, and the spellbinding color of his bright hazel eyes, glowing as they greeted you and caused you to lose your breath. If I had come in and seen his long thin fingers touching that keyboard, I would have been overjoyed. But...he wasn't there.

In fact, the place was pretty empty. The window spot was wide open, and I kinda dragged my feet going over there to sit down. I looked across the room a few times, as though I could have actually missed him, or overlooked him, in a room with only six other people in it. Yeah...I was instantly disappointed. I sat down and uploaded everything I needed to work, but...sighhh....whatever. It doesn't matter. I should be trying to calm down my excitement surrounding his company anyway.

I started typing, and the words were basically weaving their own little web right in front of me. It was definitely a good day to write something new. But to tell you the absolute heart wasn't really in it. I'm glad the muse was so strong, and my fingers were just 'taking dictation'...because if any of this stuff took any more actual concentration on my part, I wouldn't have been able to write a single word. Every time the door to the computer lab opened, my head popped up, and I anxiously looked towards the door to see if he was coming to join me. But...disappointment after disappointment after disappointment. It was heartbreaking. I started to despise anybody who walked through that door that wasn't Devon. Just because they got my heart pumping for nothing.

I had plans to spend my free day just typing away for hours and hours on end. But after about 90 minutes of being in that place without Devon's smile to keep me warm, I decided to get up and leave. I don't even remember if I saved what I wrote out or not. Ah, what does it matter. I think my dismal attitude was starting to seep into my story and take it into a completely different direction anyway. I shouldn't write when I get like this. I tend to just detour and derail everything I'm trying to do. I need a break. I'll finish it later.

I went downstairs to the cafeteria to grab something to eat, and was munching on a bag of chips when I felt an arm reach over my shoulder and grab some chips out of my bag. I smiled instantly. I knew those sweet fingers anywhere. "Hey!" I said, looking up to see Devon's golden locks hanging forward, curtaining both sides of that hypnotic smile.

"Sup, party man?" He teased, and dropped his bag in the seat on the other side of the table.

"Don't even get me started." I said, with a roll of my eyes.

"I take it that means you have a slight 'mess' to clean up, then?"

"I think ground zero at the World Trade Center was a 'slight mess' in comparison. It's better that I don't even think about it." I said.

"Note taken." He reached into his pocket to count out a few crumpled up dollar bills. "I'm gonna grab a snack. Be right back."

"Um...ok." I said, and I watched him walk over to the counter to buy something. I just...I stared at him, and tried my best to keep from smiling. His hips were so amazingly slim. I'm surprised that he was able to manage holding his pants up as well as he did. And even then, when he reached for something, you could see his boxers were almost a full two inches above his belt. And his belt was always pulled tight you know? With that extra dangling part that almost looked like a second penis the way it hung down. I swear that he wore it like that on purpose. Still, as hot as he wasn't a sexual thrill that I was really getting from watching him. It was something else. He was just....beautiful, you know? I kept trying to bat away the warm sensation crawling up my spine...but I couldn't help but think...

This is it. This is what I should be feeling.

When he came back to the table, I instantly looked back down at my bag of chips. It almost hurt to look at him. He was pretty enough to create a complete lack of confidence in you whenever those hazel eyes graced your vision. He did that thing where he lightly taps the top of his Snapple bottle with his fingertips before opening it, and I sighed to myself. I don't know why he did that. I doubt even HE knew why he did that. But it was just one more habit of his that I noted and took to heart, happy to see it in person no matter how many times I had seen him do it before.

"So did you get any more writing done, or what?" He asked me.

"A little. Not much though. My heart wasn't in it this morning."

"No? Why not?"

"I don't know. Just...I'm moody, I guess." I said, watching his lips kiss the edge of that juice bottle and wet them with his first sip.

"Yeah, I guess I can understand that. I didn't really write much either yesterday. I had some ideas, but they're not really working out the way I wanted them to. But, hey, struggle is a good thing, right? It just means it'll turn out a lot better later on." He grinned.

"Yeah...I suppose." I saw Devon lean back and he spread his legs out beneath the table. I could probably spread my legs JUST a few inches, and could probably touch his feet with my own. I could rub my leg against his calf, and just swoon from the touch of him. Normally, such a thing wouldn't do anything for me. But at that moment, the thought of having our legs or feet touching was the most erotic thing in the world! I think I actually started to blush a bit. "I guess I just need a break too. Too much writing can be emotionally exhausting, you know?"

"True. But don't take too much of a rest. Because I wanna actually get a chance to READ it before the end of the semester! You promised me, remember?" He said. He could be so...special.

"Yeah, when it's finished, you'll be the first to know. Promise."

"Well, I don't have to be the FIRST. Just make sure you put me somewhere on the VIP list." He then lowered his eyes for a second, and directed his smile at the table top. His voice lowered a bit as he bashfully asked me, ", what does Chris think about it? I'm sure you let 'him' read it without having to wait."

It was awkward. I didn't want to talk about him. I certainly didn't want to talk about him in front of Devon. But I was conflicted between what made me uncomfortable and what Devon wanted. Because, to be honest, Devon could have ANYTHING he wanted as far as I was concerned.

"Oh...well...he's seen it before. I mean, when I first started writing it, he read the first few pages, so...." I trailed off, and Devon was evidently looking for more.

"Well? What did he say?"

"He uh...he likes it. He said it was good."

Devon giggled a bit. "He said it was 'good'? He's a descriptive one, isn't he?"

"No, no...he said more than just THAT. I mean..."

"Well, what did he say? Give me a hint. I wanna know what I'm in for."

"He said a lot of stuff. I don't remember all of it. It was a long time ago, but he liked it."

"Well, how could he NOT like it? He said it was 'good'. Hehehe!" He teased me some more, and it made me smile.

"Screw you. Just for that, you don't get to read it now."

"That's totally unfair. C'mon...let me see it. Let me read the first half"

"NO...I can't." I said, blushing like crazy now.

"I can't read the first half? How about the first quarter?"

"I tell you what, I'll let you read the first page. That's it. And if you decide it sucks, then you don't have to read any more."

He rolled his eyes in the most adorable way. "A whole page. Gee thanks."

"Well what do you want from me?"

"I want the first HALF!"

"Five pages." I offered.

"TWENTY five." He countered.

"Sighhhh.....TEN. And that's my final offer. Take it or leave it."

"Dude, ten pages is hardly enough to know whether or not I'm gonna like your story."

"Does that mean you're 'leaving' it?" I smirked.

"No no! I'll take it. Ten pages. But you have to give it to me today. No exceptions. And the title page does NOT count as a page!" He said.

"Deal." I reached into my bag, and I counted off the first ten pages that I had printed off of my story. I always made sure to actually print something, just in case my computer crashed and I lost it all. Devon watched with a boyish smile as I counted them off, one by one. Then I took them out and handed him the stack of papers. "Guard these with your life."

"Definitely." He said, and he opened it up and started reading it right away.

"Wait...what are you doing?"

"I'm reading the first page. What's it look like I'm doing?"

I covered it up with my hand. "No way! That's not part of the deal! Don't read it right in FRONT of me! You've gotta read it later."

"Hehehe, I didn't agree to that." He pulled the papers back out of my reach and saw the pained look on my face. "WHAT? Are you serious? I can't read it now? How am I supposed to tell you whether or not I like it?"

"You can...take it home and tell me tomorrow."

"What? Get outta here."

"Seriously! Don't read it right now, ok? Please?" Devon looked at my eyes as I was practically 'whining' for him to not embarrass me, my fingers still reaching out for the pages as he held them just out of my grasp. "PLEASE???" I pleaded again as I saw him giving in.

"Aw, you suck." He said, and he put it in his bag for later. "You worry too much, Eli. I've never seen a bad story from you, you know that right?"

"I'm self conscious about it, ok? It bothers me to know that my emotions are just...'on display' like that."

"They're supposed to be on display. That's the point."

"I know...I just...I worry that people are gonna hate it. And if they hate it...then that pretty much means they hate me too."

"I'm NOT gonna hate it, Eli! And I'm certainly not gonna hate YOU. Hehehe, you've got to learn to have a little faith in your art, man. Trust me, you've got nothing to worry about. I don't even think you're capable of writing something that I could actually 'hate'. It's not in you."

"That's easy for you to say. You're not the one with your heart and soul totally exposed and sitting in somebody else's book bag." I said shyly.

Devon looked at me for a second or two, then he reached into his bag and pulled out a big folder that looked like it was just overstuffed with papers. Then he counted off ten pages of his own side story, and handed it to me. "There. Now we're even." He said. I looked at him in surprise, and he said, "Oh...yeah, I keep some pages printed out. I had my computer crash once. Lost everything. Big tragedy, man." Then he looked at the clock and said, "Shit, I've gotta run. My next class starts in like ten minutes. You better read my story."

"I..I will." I said, almost speechless from his ability to totally understand me.

"Let me know if it's 'good'. Hehehe!" He said, grabbed his stuff, and took off. I just sat there at the table, staring at the pages, and wondering how the hell I got lucky enough to have such a true angel sent into my life. I didn't even turn to see him walk out of the cafeteria...I just....sat there. Almost trembling. I love him...don't I? I mean...this isn't some dumb crush or some silly infatuation. I think...I think I'm actually in LOVE with this boy. I've never been so captivated by another person. So repeatedly impressed. So utterly confused. And as I looked down at his words typed out on paper, I felt my whole body brace itself for a rush of joy from the realization that I was being enveloped by the greatest feeling in existence.

Devon had instantly become a part of me from the first time I laid eyes on him, and there was no fucking WAY that I'd be able to just 'get rid of him' now. Not any more. He was literally inside of me. He was a part of my very life essence. To lose him now would be to lose a piece of myself. And that was going to make things all the more difficult.

I wandered the streets for a while. Wondering if going back to the dorms was ever going to be possible. Wondering if I'd ever be able to see in Chris what I see in Devon. If I could even see what I saw in him before...I'd at least have some kind of defense. They say you can't love two people at once, but it was like all of the love I had for Chris before had just jumped ship and clung to Devon instead. What if I'm making a mistake? What if I'm wrong? What if Devon isn't even interested in me? I'd be throwing things away for nothing.

But...what happens when I go back? Is it sane to think that I'll be able to deal with Chris' boozing and lack of affection now that I've found something much more to my liking? Can I promise him my heart and make a real go of this when I know that there's a beautiful boy out there somewhere who's practically my living, breathing, 'soulmate' in every way imaginable? Somehow, I think it's going to be one hell of an act to pull off the next time I kiss Chris on the lips and think about how much I wish it was somebody else instead.

I decided to give my relationship with Chris a try. I mean, I wasn't expecting to ever meet someone like Devon in my lifetime. That kind of stuff happens on television and in the movies, occasionally in a good book...but not in real life. Nobody really believes in that stuff any more. Hell, one of the reasons I write about romance so much is because I know how rare something like that really is. It's practically a concept that I had equated with science fiction in terms of the possibility of it ever happening. To ANYBODY, much less to me. Still...I have a boyfriend. Someone who loves me and was there for me when I needed someone to help me find myself. I'm not going to hurt him by running off with the first pretty face that comes my way in college. I'm not that big of an asshole And I need to think with more than 'just' my attractions if I plan to make this work.

So I went back to the dorms, our empty room, and with a sigh...I grabbed a garbage bag out of the kitchen, and I started cleaning up from the party.

The place smelled even worse once the beer stained carpet and smoke filled fabrics had grown stale in the daylight. So I opened up the windows, and turned a fan on to pull some of the stink out of the place. I didn't get it spotless, but it looked a hell of a lot more livable than it did when I woke up to this disaster. By the time Chris came home, I had reassembled my computer on my desk, and was spilling my soul out on the screen again. I had gotten about an hour's worth of writing in, and was on a really good roll when he walked in, leaned over and gave me a sweet kiss on the cheek.

"Hey." I said softly, doing my best to fall back into the softened cradle of his love. Trying hard to find that magic that I had been so happy with before.

"Why'd you run out on me today?" He asked, kicking his shoes off.

"Today? mind must have been elsewhere. That's all."

"Didn't you hear me calling you?"

"No. Sorry. I was going to the computer lab." I said.

"What the heck are you going to the lab for? You've got a computer right here." He said, taking off his shirt.

"Sometimes I write better when I'm not all cooped up in this place. I just like to move around a bit, that's all." I said. I stared at his chest and stomach. I can remember being so amazed at their chiseled look. The strength of his appearance, and his biceps, and his hot legs. But...for some reason, he looked kinda bulky tonight. I can't really explain it, but his body looked hard, and uncomfortable, like a tank or something. Not like Devon...who was slim, and sleek, and soft to the touch. With long blond hair and a bashful smile, and a this gentle and 'flexible' appeal. He was boyish and smooth and sweet...the kind of boy who would smile while he was kissing you on the lips. The kind of boy who would melt in your arms and just hold you until you forced him to let go. The kind of guy you couldn't stop kissing and cuddling with, even if you wanted to.

"Hey, staying cooped up in here is your idea, not mine." Chris said, snapping me out of my daze. "You should back away from that keyboard once in a while and get an actual 'life' outside for a little while. You might like it."

"So much of my life is in this's more of a substitute than a sacrifice, you know?" I said, and he wrinkled up his forehead, not knowing what I meant. "I just mean that I live more honestly through my stories than I do in real life sometimes. That's all."

" should stop that. It's creepy." He grinned. "Only serial killers and drug addicts keep that kind of obsession going until all hours of the night like you do."

"Yeah...I guess." I said. Then I thought about what Devon said, and gave Chris a little grin, " know, I've gone way past my 100th page now I might actually be finishing this story off soon."

He gave me half a nod. "Well...hey, that's cool. Good news."

He walked away from my desk to get something to drink out of the fridge. I hesitated for a moment, but then said, " kinda said that we'd go out and celebrate when I got past my 100th page. Like...maybe a dinner or something? Just a night out, you know?"

"Oh. Right. Well, I think Kyle is having a house party this weekend. He'll have two kegs and a live DJ. Why don't we go and crash it hard?" He suggested.

I shrugged my shoulders. "Well...I mean, that's fine and all. But I wasn't talking about some obnoxious party with a bunch of screaming drunks. I know...maybe we could do something together. Just you and me. Something quiet, where we can talk."

"Oh. Well...I mean, I guess that's cool too. If you want." He seemed so....disappointed.Like I was making him do something...'corny' or something.

"It'll just be a good time for us to re-connect, you know? We never talk any more."

"You usually have your mouth full." He winked, licking his lips. I faked a little bit of a grin for him, and he gave me another kiss on the cheek. "You name the place, and we'll go. Ok? Whenever."

"Ok. I'll...I'll pick us out a place." I said, and we smiled at each other as he plopped down on the couch and turned on the TV.

It was then that I looked down and saw Devon's first ten pages on my desktop, just waiting for me to tear into it. I just knew that it was gonna be awesome. GOD, I hope he likes mine too! I should have changed SO much stuff before I even let him look at it! Arrrgh! It's so fucked up! He's gonna totally hate it. He said he wouldn't, and he's probably gonna tell me it was fine...but he won't mean it. It sucks. Even worse...he probably won't say anything at all. When people don't say anything, that means they REALLY hated it, but just don't want to say anything. I can take a bit of criticism, but silence??? UGH! It's like having a giant metal tow truck hook plunged into your fucking HEART and having it drag you all over town for everybody else to see!

But...just looking at it, made me think. "Hey Chris?"


"You remember when I let you read the beginning of my story?"

"Uh, sure. Yeah. Why?"

"Well...I liked it right? I mean...was there anything wrong with it?"

"Wrong with it, like what?" He asked.

" it bore you? Or did the characters seem realistic? Was the dialogue ok? Just...what did you think of it?"

And without taking his eyes off of the TV, he said, "I told you already. It was 'good'. You should keep writing."

"It was...'good', huh?" I said softly.

"Yeah. It was good. What do you want me to say?"

I thought about it for a second, and said, "Nothing. Forget it." I turned back to the screen, hoping to just go right back to typing. But the mood was gone. Vanished into thin air. And I don't think I had anything more to say tonight.

I saved my progress with a sigh, and turned off the computer. I took Devon's story into the bedroom with me, turned on the light, and started reading. I guess I can just hear what he thought about it tomorrow. If he gives me two descriptive words, I'll at least have double what I have now.

Ok...Devon's one.

It better not be better than mine!

Thanks so much for reading this latest chapter! I'm finishing up the final section as you read this, and hope to have it posted soon! Sorry for the long delay! Anyway, please let me know what you guys think at or just stop by the website at and say hello! Thanks a lot! And I'll seezya soon! :)