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This story is mostly fiction. Some of the situations and characters are based off people that I know or experiences I've had. However names, & locations have all been change to better suit the story. That being said this story is mostly fictional and any likenesses to any other situations are strictly coincidental.

All events that happen are completely consensual between people involved in the story. If you are not of legal age, reside in an area where viewing such material is illegal, or are offended by homosexuality and/or homosexual themes leave this site now.  The author retains all rights to this story. No reproductions or links to other sites are allowed without the permission of the author. If you're not 18, come back when you are, it'll be worth it. 


Half In, Half Out

"The Life of a Collegiate Gymnast"

Chapter 11



*Flash Forward/Present Day August 19, 2015*

I'm sitting here on the canal waiting on him to get here. He texted me letting me know he was running a few minutes late. We've been living here in Indianapolis for almost a year now. Life sure has changed in a few years. I never thought I'd find myself living in Indianapolis of all places. But when the two of us got job offers we couldn't pass up we packed up our things left California and headed back to the Midwest. While it's not quite Columbus, its close enough that we can kind of say we returned to where we met.

It's a beautiful summer evening. The temperature is just right, I'm sitting here with a bottle of his favorite wine. I love the downtown canal. It is one of my favorite spots here in Indy. As I wait I listen to the music being played along the canal and people watch. I couldn't be happier in my life right now. My relationship is great, my career is good, I just started coaching at a gym on the north side of town. Sitting here on the bench at 28 years old I can't help but feel accomplished.

The song that was playing ended and the canal went quiet. Just the sounds of the city and the conversations of people walking by can heard. Then the music came back on a bit louder than the last song...

"Aren't you something to admire, 'cause your shine is something like a mirror
And I can't help but notice, you reflect in this heart of mine"

I smirked and closed my eyes. Thinking back to when the two of us saw Justin Timberlake back at Soldier Field a few years ago. It was the first concert the two of us attended together. He had got us amazing tickets to the concert. Center floor seats right on the 50 yard line. As Justin performed `Mirrors" he pulled me in close and threw his arm around me and sang along Justin.

"If you ever feel alone and the glare makes me hard to find
Just know that I'm always parallel on the other side"

There were 50,000 plus people in the audience there but in that moment there was only us.

"Cause with your hand in my hand and a pocket full of soul
I can tell you there's no place we couldn't go."

I opened up my eyes and had to do a double take. It couldn't be... Just then I saw Sophie, Mihai's wife walking towards me. What is going on? They were in town for nationals here last week but I thought they had went home. She walked up to me holding something.

"Sophie!" I said excitedly. She pulled me into a hug and handed me a piece of paper. It had part of the lyrics to the song on it. "Why are you still in town?"

"We just landed a few hours ago." She looked at me with tears in her eyes.

"What, why?" I was worried. "Is everything okay?"

"Yes everything is alright. Can I just tell you that Mihai and I, we consider your brother and you the sons we've never had. I'm so happy for you." She hugged me tightly.

I looked at her a bit confused. She kissed me on the cheek. And stepped off to the side. What is going on I kept wondering? Next I see Mihai coming down the stairs looking at me. He had that big smile on his face.

"Tyler." He pulls me into a hug.

I'm still a bit confused. "Mihai what's going on? I'm getting scared."

"Trust me, you're okay. Enjoy this my son." He kissed me on my forehead and handed me the same type card as Sophie.

"Cause I don't wanna lose you now
I'm looking right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold"

I wipe a few tears from my face and Mihai steps aside. My mind is going a mile a minute. The song is still playing and it's seemingly is getting louder and louder. There's a small amount of people now surrounding us. I look in the other direction and Nate is walking towards me. I lose my breath. I've lost all composure at this point.

Nate pulls me into a hug. "Hey buddy."

"Nate..." I say in his arms.

"Shh." He says to me rubbing my back while hugging me. "You're going to be fine."

I nod. "Are you sure?"

"Tyler, you know all these people coming wouldn't let anything bad happen to you. " He hands me his card and steps over by Mihai and Sophie. I was shaking at this point. Looking down at the card I read the lyrics,

"And I'll tell you, baby, it was easy
Coming back into you once I figured it out
You were right here all along
It's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me"

"Tyler!" I look up. Jess is walking towards me. I put my face in my hands.

She pulls me into a hug. The two of us are crying. "What is going on?" I ask her.

Jess looks at me. "I love you Tyler. You are so lucky." She kisses me on the cheek. "You never lost hope after all this time." She hugs me one more time.

Summer is right behind her, she hands me the card for the two of them. "Tyler Conti someone special told us to give this to you." It was more lyrics.

"Aren't you something, an original, 'cause it doesn't seem merely assembled
And I can't help but stare 'cause I see truth somewhere in your eyes
Ooh I can't ever change without you, you reflect me, I love that about you
And if I could, I would look at us all the time"

The small couple of people had now formed a small crowd around us. "Mirrors" was still playing in the background. I had tried my best to compose myself. I wiped my eyes and walking towards me is Jake. I walk to him and he pulls me into a hug.

"It's okay big guy." He has tears in his eyes too. I was crying uncontrollably at this point. I haven't seen him in a few months and was so happy to see him.

I nod and bury myself in his shoulder. "Is this what I think... "

"Tyler just take it all in." We're forehead to forehead with his hands on either side of my face. He's looking at me in the eyes. "Wipe those tears. You're going to be okay."

He hands me the card. It's okay buddy." I smile and he hugs me one more time before walking to the side. "He wraps his arms around Summer and Jess. Summer looks at him and they exchange a kiss. The two of them are still in love after all these years.

I'm breathing heavy now. Walking down the stairs are his parents and sister. I walk over to them. I'm slowing starting to figure it out now. I couldn't believe this was happening. His parents hand me their card. His dad winks at me and squeezes my shoulder while his mom just gives me a kiss on the check and a hug. They step off to the joining the rest of this small slowly expanding group.

My parents and Kyle are the next ones walking down the stairs. I break down and crouch down. My mom is looking at me with so much love. My dad had his big smile on his face and Kyle had sunglasses on no doubt hiding his emotions. They pull me into a hug.

"Mom I'm scared." I tell her.

She puts her hand on the side of my face and wipes away my tears. "Don't be sweetie."

"This can't be really happening." I tell them.

"It is bro." Kyle says with a smile on his face. There are a few tears coming down from under those sunglasses.

I nod.

"You deserve this. Both of you. Everything the two of you had been though I couldn't ask for a happier destiny for my son." My dad hugs me. I'm sobbing uncontrollably. I look down at the card they handed me.

"Yesterday is history
Tomorrow's a mystery"

I'm standing there listening to the song and turn around. I smile back at everyone behind me. I could feel the love coming from them. I take a deep breath and there he is. Dressed up in my favorite suite of his. God he looked so perfect.

"I can see you looking back at me
Keep your eyes on me
Baby, keep your eyes on me"

The tears coming down my face are a steady stream at this point. I walk towards him. As he pulls me into his arms. In that moment everything felt perfect. I couldn't believe what I think was about to happen. I look up at him.

He's singing the song to me now in my ear.

"I don't wanna lose you now
I'm looking right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold

"This better not be a joke... I'm so nervous." I tell him and wipe my eyes.

Show me how to fight for now
And I'll tell you, baby, it was easy
Coming back into you once I figured it out
You were right here all along
It's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me"

"What are you doing?" I ask him in his ear.

"I couldn't get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me
And now it's clear as this promise
That we're making two reflections into one
'Cause it's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me"

"Shhh..." He tells me and kisses me on the cheek. He pulls away from the hug. He takes my hand in his hands.

"You're scaring me babe." I say to him. I look around at everyone watching us now.

He smirks at me. "Tyler, you are the love of my life. Ever since I've met you've always been there for me. You make me want to be a better person. This life we have been building couldn't be any more than I have hoped for. It's been a long and sometimes trying ride to get here but we made it. You're love means more to me than anything else in the world. You're so kind, giving, crazy, driven, and full of love. So Tyler..." He takes a deep breath and gets on one knee pulls out a small black box. I'm in shock. "Tyler would you make me the happiest man in the world and be mine forever? Will you marry me?"

I close my eyes for a second. Our life since we first met flashes before me. All the highs and lows. I open my eyes back up and look at him. "Yes!" I say. I take the ring out and pull him up. "I love you so much." I pull him back into my arms and kiss him. "It was always you."

"I know." He laughs.

I'm crying tears of happiness. The crowd around us is clapping. I look up and everyone important in our life is there smiling and crying.

"Well dammit, you did so much better than me." I laughed while holding him.

"What do you mean?" He asked me.

"I just got you this." I pick up the bottle of wine I got for us to drink tonight.

He smiles back at me. "I love you."


(Present day in the story, November)

"Alright guys, so it's been set. I just need to know a final number of who is coming and who isn't Wednesday." Jake told the rest of the team. "We're doing Park St Cantina for dinner and then hitting up Levels after."

I shook my head. The guys were making such a big deal about my birthday. I just wanted to have a nice small get together with some friends. Maybe be able to talk to Jayden about where things are going and then of course, I wanted to get laid. Now it's become a production. I'm sure it will be fun just wish Jake would've told me first.

"So... question" Eric raised his hand. "Why Levels, isn't that a bar in the umm... gay area of town?"

Seriously Eric, you want to do this now? He's still acting like this. "Uh yeah it is. My friend Jayden knows the door guy and since Lil Conti is here it will make it easier to get him in since he's underage." I told him with probably a little more attitude than I should have.

"I'm not hearing any of this." Coach said and walked away.

"I mean, it's not a problem." Eric said.

I looked over at Nate to see if he had wanted to say anything. He looked like he wanted to say anything but was unsure with the two of us still not on speaking terms. I wish he would say something. Put that asshole in his place.

"Exactly." Jake gave him a glare. "It's NOT a problem. If anyone hasn't been there it's about a block south of North Star Café."

"I know where it is." Nate finally spoke up. He had a frown on his face. "Why are we discussing this still. Look guys this is what the plan is. Come or don't."

Nate looked at Eric almost telling him he better not show up. Glancing over at Jake we both seemed surprised Nate finally said something. Hopefully that meant he would show up. Kyle is just sitting next to me confused as to what is going on. I didn't want to tell him everything with Eric, no sense since he was graduating this year. They won't work together that much anyways. The rest of the team is looking just as confused as Kyle was.

"So any more questions guys?" I asked.

No one said anything so we finished up at the gym and headed to the locker room. I noticed Jake and Nate had pulled Eric aside. I definitely would love to be a fly on the wall in that conversation. I don't get where Eric is coming from. Especially mentioning that it was a gay bar. Who cares? Well I do, I'm not ready to come out to the whole team. I don't think they would care it's still an obstacle to tackle at a later date. For now I like the way things are. The ones important to me are the ones who know... well besides my parents. But again all for a later date.

Later that night Jake, Kyle and I were sitting around watching some tv waiting on some pizza to come. Jess and Matt were on their way. I haven't heard from Jayden all day, I figured he must have been busy and didn't want to be that guy blowing up his phone.

"So what was the deal in practice today?" Kyle asked.

Jake and I looked at each other. "It's nothing, don't worry about it bro."

"It doesn't seem like nothing. Does Eric have a problem with gay people?"

Well he put it together for the most part. "Well I don't know really." I said. "Nate came out to him and he took it bad."

"Ahh... I see." Kyle rolled his eyes. "That's so dumb, we are in the 2000s who gives a shit?"

"Exactly man. I wanted to punch that guy today." Jake told Kyle. "If he thinks it's funny trying to make Nate, Aaron or you squirm its bullshit."

"Oh I agree you guys. I felt that rush of anger come over me. But why, he wins then."

"Don't let that fuck wad win man." Kyle shook his head.

"Have no intentions on doing so. But I'm also not trying to give Nate another reason not to speak to me."

"You still haven't told me why you guys aren't talking."

Just then my phone buzzed. It was Jayden texting me

Jayden: Hey bud. Sorry been busy today with school, work, and the fraternity. How's my favorite Italian doing?

. "Quiet Kyle, its lover boy on line one." I must've smiled because Jake immediately caught on.

"Fuck off you two." I shot back at them and walked in the other room.

Tyler: He's doing well. About to smash a pizza with the roomies. How's your day going?

We continued to text for a few minutes. Jayden confirmed that he was picking up Kyle tomorrow around 10 in the morning. Kyle was going to check out Jaydens fraternity and spend the day with him. I liked that the two had hit it off well. Hopefully this was a sign of things to come with Jayden.

Jayden: So you should leave the door unlocked tonight.

Tyler: Oh yeah?

Jayden: I may want to sleep with you tonight in bed... platonically.

Tyler: Platonically?!?!

Jayden: I am exhausted! I've been running around since 8 this morning. Give a guy break.

Tyler: Oh I'm going to give you something...

Jayden: Well if it's what I think it is... I enjoyed it last time.

Tyler: I mean yours was alright.

Jayden: Alright?! I've got them lining up buddy.

Oh he wanted to play like that tonight? I can do that too.

Tyler: Oh and why do you think Jake and I are so close? We just need cover stories... sorry about it. J

Jayden: I knew it! Lol

Tyler: Okay Jayden, I'll see you tonight.

Jayden: Make sure you let know not to wear you out too much!

Jess and Matt show up with the food and we sit down at the dinner table. The five of us talk about our days and Jake mentions what happened at practice with Eric.

"What a dick." Jess said in between bites. She gets pizza sauce on the side of her face.

"Really cute there babe." Matt laughed and wiped it from her cheek.

"I live with 2 guys, can't blame a girl for picking up some of their habits."

"So what's the plan for Thanksgiving, who is staying and who is going?" Matt asked us.

"We'll all be here." Kyle spoke up.

Matt mentions having Thanksgiving dinner here at the house. Seems like it would be a great idea I thought. I instantly grab my phone and start a group chat with everyone so we can figure things out. I know Summer and Aaron would still be in town so I texted them first. I hadn't asked Jayden about what his plans were but I figured he would be here still since he's coming out for my birthday the night before. I figured I would talk to him tonight.

The rest of the night went by pretty quietly. Kyle and I FaceTime'd with our parents. Both of them were looking so tan. I was jealous. I wish I could be on a cruise right now. It was nice to hear from them. They asked and made sure Kyle was doing everything he was supposed to. Kyle actually required very little watching from me. He's such a good kid and has his head in the right place. I am a little worried about his want to join a fraternity. Not because I think he will be partying all the time. I know there's more to that than only partying. But it's a big time commitment. Jayden is always telling me how busy he gets at times.

I notice it was starting to get late and I'm starting to doze off myself. I pull my phone out and notice how late it was getting. It was almost midnight. While not late but I also had been on the go all day. I go downstairs to put the key under the doormat. Everyone is off in their own rooms so I try to be as quiet as possible. I open the door and wince, it was a cool fall night.

"Shit its cold." I hear someone say.

I'm startled a bit. I look up and see Jayden. "You asshole. You scared the crap out of me."

"I told you. I'm going to keep you on your toes Conti." He pulls me into a hug. I can smell his cologne on him it is invigorating.

"You smell good mister."

"Thank you." He pulls back and winks at me. "Aqua by Bvlgari"

"Fancy bitch." I let him in he slaps my butt playfully. "Someone's playful tonight."

"Playful yet extremely tired." He takes off his cap and tussles his hair.

We walk upstairs into my room. Kyle is on his laptop in the spare bedroom. He sees Jayden and waves and goes back to what he was doing. We get to my room. Jayden puts his down his stuff and falls onto my bed. I look at him. Gosh he is so cute. He was wearing a hoodie with his fraternity letters and a pair of basketball shorts. I wanted to jump on him right then and there.

"Come here you." He motions for me to lay down next to him. I lay down and he looks at me in the eyes. I want to kiss him but resist. "You ready for your birthday big guy?"

I sigh. "Yes!

"Why the sigh?" He ask confused.

"I don't know, I just feel like it's becoming a production."

"Did you not want to go to Levels? We can do something else."

Jayden had planned the evening with Jake a few days ago. He was the one who originally mentioned going there. He looked a little let down. I pull him closer to me.

"No it's not that." I kiss him on the forehead. "I would've been fine with like Aaron, Summer, Chase, Nate, the roomies, my brother and you. Now we've got half the team coming."

"Oh boohoo Tyler has friends." Jayden teased me.

"Shut up." I laughed. "I just you know, I'm not going to be able to be close with you like I wanted to."

He nods at what I'm saying. "Don't worry Ty. I understand not being out. Don't worry."

"I wish I was there."

"It wasn't easy for me. It still is hard at times. But you'll get there. I'll be by your side too if you'll have me."

I closed my eyes and smiled. What did I do to deserve such a great guy? Jayden has become someone in my life that I look forward to hearing from and spending time with. I roll on top of him and kiss him deeply. He nibbles on my lower lip. I pull off my shirt and look down at him. I raise an eyebrow and pull on his hoodie. He takes it off. I look at his chest, he had trimmed his chest hair since we last messed around. It had a nice stubble to it. It helped define his chest more. He pulls me down and starts to make out with me. We're feeling all over each other's bodies. I can feel him start to get hard. I wanted him.

"You're so hot Jayden." I whisper in his ear.

"I know... we make a good couple." Jayden laughed.

I stopped kissing him for a second and looked at him. Shit what do I say? I wasn't ready for this conversation yet, or was I?

"Is that what..." I begin to ask and just then there's a pound on my door. I drop my head. Seriously?

"You going to get that?" Jayden asks

"Um... it's kinda hard to do that." I look down and my hard on pushing against the fabric of my basketball shorts.

Jayden gives it a squeeze and laughs. "Answer it."

"I will as soon as you get your hand off of it."

Jayden shrugs, "Just answer it like this." He gives my now rock hard cock another squeeze.

I slap his hand. "Stop!"

Bang Bang Bang!

I roll my eyes and roll off Jayden and try and situate myself. "Come in."

It's Jake. "Hey guys."

Jayden gives a slightly annoyed wave. He's lying next to me. I'm sitting up against him. My leg is pressed against his own rock hard dick. It was actually quite comfortable.

"So I have a question. Good job being here Jayden I can now shoot this off of two guys."

"This better be good." I muttered

"What was that?" Jake asked me.

"I think Ty was said he had some wood." Jayden laughed.

"What?!" My face instantly turned red.

"Gross Ty. Get it together." Jake said.

I just shook my head. "So what do we have the pleasure of your appearance at 1 in the morning Jake?"

"Firstly, shut up." Jake said cockily. "I can come bother you whenever I'd like." He laughed and then sat at the foot of the bed. "Secondly..." He makes himself a bit more comfortable. "I've had my fair share of middle of the night disruptions from you in the 2 and a half years we've lived together."

"So what's on your mind?" Jayden asked trying to keep the conversation on track.

"Do you know Jayden he once woke me up in the middle of the night because this guy he met at the bar in Chicago who happened to live in Columbus didn't call him back. And he thought he accidentally gave him the wrong number or that the guy heard him wrong. I was like no Tyler, he wanted to bang you that night not marry you."

"Andddd now I look crazy." I shook my head.

"Well no it gets better Jayden. Cause this guy clearly did NOT live in Columbus, maybe at a time, but not anymore he said he was eating at the restaurant like two days ago that clearly is not there anymore. It had been closed for like 6 months before and this guy was there a day before he claimed." Jake was laughing and Jayden started to get a smile on his face.

"Okay..." I kick Jake lightly. "This is not about Tyler and how I have no game."

Jayden looked at me. "You have some game."

"Nope. No game."

"He has more than he thinks." Jake said.

Jayden nodded back at him. "I mean come on. He got me, and that's no easy task."

"I bet." Jake laughed.

I shake my head. "Jake, what did you want to talk about? You clearly ruined my game tonight."

Jayden just covers his face and pulls me in closer to him.

"Again, nothing you haven't done to me." He grabs my foot and squeezes it real hard.

"STOPPPPPP!" I shake my foot away from his grip.

"Ladies! I have been up since 7 this morning. Jake get on with it. Tyler are you done blushing yet?"

"Shut up." Jake and I say in unison to Jayden. Jayden playfully raises his hands and adjust himself against me.

"So I think I'm going to ask Summer to be my girlfriend."

"Seriously, you guys aren't official yet?" Jayden asks jokingly.

"I know you aren't talking buddy boy." Jake hits the bottom of Jayden's foot and gives me a look.

And I'm back to being red again I'm sure.

"Fair enough... continue." Jayden looks up at me.

Jake smirks, "I'm going to do it at your birthday."

"Whoa whoa whoa. NO! That is my day. Tyler Conti's day. NOT Tyler Conti, Jake and Summers. TYLERSSSS!"

"When did you become such a diva?" Jake has a grin on his face. "Fine, I won't do it on `Tyler Day'... causeheclearlyistheonlypersontobebornonthatday." He mutters

"Dude I think it's great. It's pretty much winter. Got to lock em down for the winter." Jayden squeezes me on the side.

Hopefully he'll ask me to be official soon. I mean, we stay over at each other's places a few times a week. I like when we stay at my place because there is just too much testosterone in his house. I mean after tonight he seems to be wanting it. Is he waiting for me? Should I say something? I like where things are going but I wouldn't mind being his boyfriend. I consider him mine. I'm not out looking for one anyways. I laugh, who am I kidding, like I would know how to find one.

Jake continues to tell us how he feels about her. I can tell he really likes her. I hope this works out for him. Like Jess his last relationship kind of broke him. Then there was that whole 3 weeks that Jess and him dates. Awkward to say the least. But we've moved on from that, thank god. And now we're one big happy family in this house. He continues to talk about how he's going to do it on Thanksgiving. Its 2:30 before Jake finally leaves the room.

"That guy sure can talk." Jayden says.

"You have no idea." I yawn and look at the time. Its 2:30 and I wanted to get a work out in the morning while you slept in."

"Well let's get some sleep then." Jayden gets under the covers.

"Okay..." I was a little bummed was hoping the two of us could mess around tonight. Stupid Jake. I'll have to get him back for this for sure.

"Don't worry. I'm going to make this up to you."

"Uh, it's not your fault."

"Yeah but I don't want Jake making it up to you."


He pulls me close and puts his hand down my shorts resting it just about my dick. He kisses the back of my head and tells me goodnight. Soon the two of us are drifting off to sleep. I couldn't be happier I thought before drifting off to sleep.



That morning Jayden and I are heading to breakfast after my workout. I let him sleep in and went for a quick workout. By the time I got back around 9:30 he was awake and shower laying down in my bed waiting for me. I have to say Jayden is such a good dresser. Like I thought his summer clothes were good, but he's doing a pretty good job with his fall lineup I joke.

"Hey." He looks up and smiles at me.

"Hey there." I walk over to him and give him a kiss. "You ready to go eat? I'm starving."

"Yes sir lets go."

We leave the house. With school being done for Thanksgiving break everyone else in the house was either asleep or not there. Having the house be that quiet is actually nice. The two of us drive to the Northstar Café and are quickly seated. I notice Heath is working today. We exchange small talk while we wait on our food. I learn the way Jayden takes his coffee and send myself a little text message so I can surprise him one day.

"So you said you saw Nate at the gym too?"


"How's that going with him?"

"It's going alright. He's still a little mad about everything that happened but hopefully we can get back to where we were."

"I can't blame him."


"Tyler, you're a great guy, and I'm not trying to boast like ohhh I won. But it's the truth."

"It wasn't a competition though."

"Uh... clearly." Jayden smiles back at me.

I look at him surprised at what he said. "Such a confident guy you are."

"Only now and then. I'm only teasing you. I'm happy. Are you?"

"I'm very happy." I look at him. Shit is this about to be the conversation we've been needing to have.

"Well good. We can continue being happy together." Jayden winks at me and takes a sip of his coffee.

I try to read his body language. Maybe I should be the one to make the first move. Fuck but I've never done this before. He was the one who made the first move with me originally maybe it is my turn? Luckily the food is bought out before I felt pressured to say anything.

I quickly bring the subject back to Nate. "So Eric told them he's moving out after winter break."

"That sucks." Jayden takes a bite of his food. "What about their lease."

"Eric said he'd give them a month's rent to figure it out. "

"Is that even legal?"

"I don't know. Nate was just very short when he told me all this."

"Yeah I would try to find that out if I was them." He said.

"I was thinking of asking my dad to help out if they have trouble."

"Tyler..." He smiled at me and squeezed my hand. I almost pulled away but didn't. I did look around to see if anyone saw us. "That's very sweet of you, a little crazy, but sweet."

"I know. I wouldn't tell Nate every. I would talk to Chase about it."

"How much would they need extra a month?"

"I don't know. I think they're paying 700 a piece."

Jayden nodded. "You're a sweet guy. How would you go about asking your father that?"

"He's a giving man. If anything I can pay it myself."

"Tyler..." Jayden looked at me.

I didn't want to tell him about money. I hate talking about it with people. My parents have done very well for themselves. They've built everything from the ground up. It was a long road but my parents have provided greatly for us. We're very well to do but I don't like talking about my financial situation with anyone.

"Jayden... look I don't really like talking about money. But if my dad didn't want to help out, I can."

Jayden looked at me for a second. "Don't have to say anymore. I understand. If my friend was in the same situation and something happened like that and I had the chance to help out. I would want to be able to."

"Thank you." I smiled back at him.

"You're a good guy Tyler Conti." He gave my hand another squeeze.

"I try to be."

Jayden looks up and ask, "Is he coming to your birthday party?"

"I hope so. I mean it might look bad if the Captain of our team and from what people know a close friend of mine doesn't show up. I asked Chase he said they both were so I'm going to take his word for it."

"Good." Jayden takes another bite of food. "I want to tell you to be the bigger person and say something to him but I think he needs time. His relationship fell apart this summer, then he kind of got outted."

"I didn't mean to!"

"I know. And I know you didn't do it maliciously."

"But then everything with his roommate and then you. Give the guy time."

I nodded. Why did Jayden have to be so understanding? His ex was an idiot for letting him go. I had to be sure if I had the opportunity to be his boyfriend I would not do what he did. Jayden is such a good guy. We finish up breakfast and head back to pick up Kyle. The two of them were going to spend the day together.

As soon we pulled in Kyle came outside. He was like an excited kid ready to go on vacation. Jayden and Kyle exchange a fist bump and the three of us go inside.

"Why don't we fist bump?" I asked him.

"We can fist bump if you want." Jayden puts his fist up.

I bump his fist. "See. We can be bros."

"Thought you wanted more than a bro." He asked me. There he goes again.

"All in time." I say back to him. The two of us can play at that game.

"Five years." He says with a smirk on his face.

"Five years, man... you are a tough one."

Jayden pulled me close to him. I threw my arms around him at his waist as we wait in the kitchen for Kyle to come back down. "You have no idea Ty Ty." He squeezed me one more time tightly.

The two of them leave and I head back up to my room to take a nap. The rest of my day was going to be me being lazy. Maybe I would go get another work out in. I know I needed to go figure out what I was going to wear for my birthday night. I wanted to make sure I had a good outfit. So maybe a trip to the mall was in order. But for now a nap was definitely on the books with the food coma I was in.


I called up Aaron later that day and the two of us hit up the mall to get some shopping done for this week. I wanted a new outfit for my birthday and Thanksgiving the following day. We discuss everything about having Thanksgiving at the house. He was going to fly back home but decided last minute not to. We finished up at the mall and stop at a Union Cafe for lunch. As we walk in we see Summer of all people sitting at the bar.

"Summer what are you doing here?" I asked and sit next to her at the bar.

"Oh, Ty." She looks up and gives me a hug. "Was just doing some shopping and wanted to grab a bite to eat.

"You eat alone?" Aaron asks slightly confused.

I look at him, "Do YOU want to eat alone mister?"

"Noted!" Aaron laughed.

"No Aaron I do not always eat alone. But I'm a little frustrated today."

"I can tell. Those are quite a few bags you have with you."

"You guys are one to talk." She points at the multiple bags we have.

"Hey! We're gay, we like to shop as much as you do." Aaron jokes.

"So what's on your mind?" I ask Summer.

"Jake." She said.

The bartender walks up. I tell him, "Well be needing a bottle of... Cab and three glasses please."

Aaron looks at me. "Tyler I don't drink wine."

"It just seems appropriate. Just go with it." I laugh. "You really have nothing to be worried about Sum."

"I know. Well I think I know."

"Dude he likes you." Aaron just flat out says it. "Jake barely likes me and I know he likes you."

The bartender places the bottle in front of us and pours us our glasses. We clink them together and take a drink.

"Jake likes you. He's totally just older brothering you." I laugh. "And Summer trust me. He likes you."

"Oh I know I'm not an idiot. I just I know how badly his relationship with his ex. I don't want that to happen to us."

"What are you worried about."

She shrugs, "I'm such a girl but I know with your guys seasons coming up we won't get to hang out as much as we do now."

"That's valid." I told her. "I mean I am worried about the time with Jayden."

"And why aren't you guys official yet by the way?" Aaron speaks up.

Aaron just keeps butting in. I'm going to big brother him in a minute. "Seriously Aaron, drink your wine."

"Yeah, drink your wine young-in!" Summer laughs at him. "By the way does everyone have a fake on your team?"

"Umm..." Aaron looked around nervously. "Don't be saying that so loudly missy."

We continue talking about everything. I listen and want to tell her that Jake is literally going to ask her in a few days but I'm doing my best to hold it in. Naturally she ask me about Jayden and what is going on with that. I tell her I'm nervous to ask him even though I know we're there already. She tells me I need to man and I tell her she needs to man up as well.

"I need to man up too." Aaron says. "I'm going to tell that asshole I'm done with him. He either likes me and acts like it or we're done. I know I'm young but dammit I know my self-worth."

"Preach!" Summer snaps her fingers.

"Okay we're getting a little too broken hearted club for me." I laugh and take a drink of my wine. "So it's decided, if you don't hear anything from Jake within the next five days you're going to ask him. I'm going to ask Jayden if he doesn't me on my birthday. And Aaron, well, Aaron..." I laugh. "You are a strong independent black women who don't need no man."

"Tyler Conti take that back!" Aaron hits me playfully on my shoulder.

"Nope. I can't it's out there. No going back."

The three of us break out laughing overly loud. A few of the other people in the restaurant are now looking over at us. None of us care. I'm feeling pretty good myself with this wine. I pull out my phone and give it to the bartender to take a picture of us. Aaron holds the bottle and the two of us are holding our glasses. I send it to Jake, Summer, and Jayden with the caption, `You know you wish you got this invite. Killing it with the random lunch squad!'

Jayden sends me a picture of Kyle and him with suspicious looks on their faces.

Jayden: Day drinking, I'm jealous. You're brother is great.

Tyler: Glad you guys are having fun. I know I am!

Jayden: Don't have too much birthday boy. I will see you tonight!

Tyler: Yeah you will!

I smirk at our convo. Summer and Aaron both tease me. The three of us were having a good time. Summer and my phones both start to vibrate. It's a text from Jake.

Jake: You assholes. Where are you I'm coming!

Summer and I both debate telling him where we were. We decided to take a picture of part of the menu and tell him to find us.

Jake: I'll see you drunk nuggests shortly!

The bartender comes over and ask if we need anything, "Yes. We're going to need another bottle and three shots of fireball please."

"Oh no..." Aaron shakes his head.

"Shut it. It's my birthday week and you will deal with it!"

"Gosh shopping and now day drinking. We're off to a good start Tyler." Summer says to me. "Oh and maybe another glass too, if Jake finds us."

"Yes mam! To Tyler week!" I pick up my glass of wine.

The two of them cheers me. "To Tyler week."

"Love you buddy!" Aaron throws his arm around me and squeezes me into a tight hug.

"You too guys. You too." I throw my arms around the backs of both of them and pull close. It was going to be a great birthday.



To Be Continued...


Well there it is, I know it's been a longggggggg time coming. I want to thank everyone for the support over the years. I got all the emails and I truly appreciate them. I am sorry I have gone MIA. But life really, really got in the way. Sometimes in a bad way but more times than not in a good way. So much has changed since I first started writing this story. I started writing it I was my first year out of college and now I've moved and am building a life as a 28 year old in a new city and loving it. I always had plans of finishing it the story it all depended on the timing. I think I'm finally in a good place where I think I'll be able to do some writing. I can't promise you guys how quickly I will post the next chapter. I will tell you it won't be three years!

To everyone who reading for the first time, welcome. To those returning, thanks for the support.

I did the flash forward for a few reasons. Partially because I needed the kick in the butt to make me finish the story and now we have an end goal. Secondly to see if I could still write. And lastly know let you guys know I'm back. Not every chapter is going to have a flashback or forward. But I needed to do something to spice it up.

As always questions, comments, concerns, hate mail, and any good song suggestions I need to check out, let me know at my email...

Thanks again everyone,