Standard disclaimers apply to this story. All rights & ownership of this story are reserved by the Author.

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.


Half in, Half out

"The Life of a Collegiate Gymnast"


Chapter 4

Don't Let Me Stop You


"Where do you want to go eat at Tyler?" My mom asked me as we walked out of the bookstore.

I sighed, "I don't care." Truth be told I was dreading this moment.

"Just pick a place already." Kyle said with a little bit of an attitude. He was doing his best to try and act like he didn't care about me moving out.

We had moved everything into my dorm room the night before and now my family and I were going to eat breakfast before I dropped them off at the airport to fly back to California. I was the older of two kids in my family; my brother Kyle was a few years younger than me. I had moved all the way across country to compete for a major university in the Midwest on scholarship for their gymnastic team. The fact that I was soon going to be so far away from my family and friends was starting to hit me. I honestly didn't feel like eating. I was a mess of emotions and eating was the last thing on my mind.

"I saw a doughnut shop across the street next to that Pita Pit place. We could go there. It's quick, and I don't want you guys to be late for your flight." I said.

"Don't worry about it. But if that's where you want to go, we can go there." My dad said.

We took my schoolbooks and other things that we had bought back to my room. My roommate wouldn't be showing up for another week and a half so I had the room to myself to get ready for the school year. Since I was an athlete for the school I got to move in a little earlier so I could get settled, meet with advisors and coaches and get ready for the school year. It was one of the perks I was getting used to, and my parents were thrilled they weren't going to have to be moving me in with that mess of people that will be the next few weeks. As we walked from my dorm to the doughnut shop my parents were walking ahead of my brother and me talking about campus. Kyle and I were being equally quiet as we lagged behind.

"I'm going to miss you, you know." I told my brother.

My brother who had his sunglasses resting on his head pulled them down to cover his eyes. "Shut up." I wasn't lying though.

My brother and me were insanely close. He was the only person I've ever told that I was gay. We were both gymnasts and shared the same coach. It was going to take some getting used to, to not have him around. Yeah, we're brothers and do fight like brothers, but the fact I wasn't going to be able to hang out with him in the gym was going to take some getting used to.

We got to the doughnut shop and my father looked over at me. "You sure you want to eat here?" he asked.

"Yes dad. I'm not that hungry anyway."

"Don't be upset. You need to eat." My dad told me.

We ordered some food and sat down at a table that looked out at the street. Looking around the restaurant you could tell that we were in a college town. They had a bunch of posters and pictures of coaches, players, and newspaper clippings that were framed on the wall. The little shop didn't have seating for many but it's location so close to campus surely had to make it a popular place to eat. While we waited for our food I looked out the window at the people going about their day. I thought about being so far away from home and not knowing anyone and how it seemed that all these people walking by me already had friends out here. I was determined to make the best of it. I knew I was going to miss home, but I didn't want to make my experience here one that I hated. Not only that, but in a few hours we had our first practice and I would finally get to meet the rest of the team. My concentration was broken when I heard the cook call out our orders.

We sat there in silence not really saying much. I picked at my food. "Okay you guys, stop acting like someone just died." My dad said. "Yes, it's sad that Tyler is moving all the way across the country. But we shouldn't be sad. We should be excited and proud. He's about to be competing for a major university and we should be excited for him."

My mom looked up at my dad with a smile. "You're right. Tyler, quit picking at your food." My mom hit my hand. I hadn't really touched any of my breakfast sandwich. "Can we at least enjoy our last family meal together without it being like someone just shot the dog?" My mom laughed.

I cracked a smile and looked over at my brother. "I agree. What do ya' say Kyle?"

He was still wearing his sunglasses. I nudged him with my elbow. "Yeah, yeah." he said not too convincingly.

We continued to eat our breakfast together. My parents and I were talking. Kyle would add in the additional comment here and there. Once we finished our food I took the trays up to counter. The lady behind the counter smiled at me and said 'thank you'. As I turned around I saw a guy walk in with a friend of his. He was wearing a school t-shirt that said gymnastics under it. He looked a little tall to be a gymnast though. I wondered if he was a member of the team. I was tempted to say something but decided not to. I think he caught me looking at him because he gave me a funny look.

"You guys ready?" I asked.

We got up and started to leave. My brother saw the guy at the register and nodded his head over to him and said his shirt said State Gymnastics. My father must've heard him because he stopped and looked at him.

My dad walked over to him as we were leaving. "Hey bud." My dad said to him.

The guy looked at him confused for a second. 'Shit' I thought to myself. "Uhh...yes sir?"

"I don't mean to interrupt..." My dad said as he looked between the guy in the gymnastics shirt and his friend. "I saw your shirt, it said Sate Gymnastics."

"Oh yeah." The guy smiled at my dad. I was taken aback at how big his smile was. "I'm on the University's gymnastics team. It's my second year here."

My dad stuck his hand out to shake it. "Is that so? That's funny actually."

The guy looked over at him confused. "Why is that if you don't mind me asking?"

I think my dad realized he thought the guy thought he was about to make a smart comment about the sport, "Oh no. I don't mean it's funny you're on the team. I have two sons who are gymnasts actually. I was just saying it was funny `cause my son..." My dad reached back for me. "My son Tyler is a freshman here and joining the team."

"Oh, I thought he looked familiar." The guy said. "Hi, I'm Nate." He stuck out his hand for me to shake. "I've seen your submission video. This is my friend Chase." Nate turned around to point at Chase. "He's not on the team though, we're just roommates." I shook Chase's hand. "So are you excited to be here?"

"Yeah man, a little nervous since I'm going to be so far away from home, but I'm excited to meet all the guys." I replied.

"Dude, you have nothing to be nervous about." Nate laughed. "We're a pretty good group of guys, you should fit right in."

"That's cool." I said with a smile on my face. It was the first time in a few days that I felt a little relieved.

The lady behind the counter handed Nate and Chase their food. "Well hey man, we're going to sit down and eat. It was nice meeting you sir." Nate said to my dad. "And...Tyler was it?" Nate looked over at me. "Don't be too nervous about meeting us. You'll fit right in. I'll see you at practice in a few hours."

I nodded my head and said, "Alright, sounds good. I'll see ya later then."

We walked out of the doughnut shop. I felt a little relieved that I had already met one of the guys on the team and that they seemed cool. My relief quickly turned back to nerves as we walked back to my dorm to get my car. It dawned on me that this was it; I was about to take my family to the airport to see them off. As we drove my parents went on and on about how exciting it was that I already met one of the guys. I just nodded my head and listened to them. I agreed with them mostly. I thought Nate seemed like a nice guy, so I hoped the rest of the guys were too. We made our way to the airport and I parked on the curb. My dad unloaded the bags out of my car and put them on the curb. I had my taken a cue from my brother and was now wearing my sunglasses too. I was afraid if I looked at my parents I would lose it.

"Alright, well I guess it's time to say bye for now." My dad said. He pulled me into a hug. I felt a lump in my throat. "We're going to miss you buddy." I pulled back from him and looked up at him. "Essere sicuro e mi fanno figlio orgoglioso." He said to me in Italian, which meant 'be safe and make me proud'. I always knew when my dad was serious about something because he would start speaking in Italian.

I almost lost it at that moment. I looked up at him. "I will. I'll even call you now and then too." I joked. It was the most I could do to try and keep the mood positive.

"Yeah, you better." He gave me one more hug and then kissed my forehead.

I walked over to my mom who was tearing up. "Don't cry mom."

"I'm trying not to." She wiped her eyes. "You don't know how proud we are of you." She said as she pulled me into a hug. "I want you to take care of yourself. Don't dwell on being away from home. Make a lot of friends." I was dying at this moment. I was trying to keep it together as much as possible. "Really, Tyler. You've worked so hard for this, I want you to enjoy every minute of it."

I nodded my head and choked out, "I will."

"But if you so much as get a girl pregnant I will personally fly out here, Coach, Redeye, you name it, and chop off your penis. You understand me?" I rolled my eyes and laughed at my mom.

"I think I got it mom." I don't think she had much too worry about.

"Good." She gave me one last hug and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

I walked over to Kyle who had tears coming out from under his sunglasses. I looked back at my parents. "Mom, Dad, why don't you guys go inside. I'm going to talk to Kyle for a minute."

"Alright, but don't be too long, we need to check in for our flight." Dad said.

I watched as they walked into the airport. I looked over at Kyle, and felt a lump in my throat. My brother is the most fun loving person you'd ever meet and to see him upset hurt me. I pulled off my sunglasses and sniffed.

"So dbag... I'm going to miss you. You know that right?" I told him. Kyle was still looking at me with his sunglasses on. "You don't have to say it, I know you'll miss me too." He finally cracked a smile. "So I guess this is where I give you the big brotherly talk about everything, but I'm only going to say this." I took a deep breath, I felt the tears coming. "Don't drive Mihai crazy." Mihai was our coach. "I know you're a good kid so I won't tell you all that crap. But I will say, do not drive him crazy."

Kyle laughed at that, "No more than usual."

"And you better..." I punched him on his shoulder, "You better train hard. I expect you here with me in a few years."

My brother had a steady stream of tears coming from his sunglasses. "I will. I can't wait to put my older bro to shame in college."

I smiled. I pulled him into a hug. "I'm going to miss my best friend." I heard him cry. At that point I had lost it. "Don't cry. I'm a phone call away. I promise."

"I know." He wiped his own eyes now. "But I'm going to miss you so much. Being at home or in the gym is going to be so different without you, especially if Mom or Dad are away on business. It's going to be just me. I'm going to miss you."

"I know." I hugged him one last time. "It won't be only you, Jan will be there too." I laughed. Jan was our housekeeper who comes over twice a week. Kyle and I couldn't stand her but our parents loved her. "Alright, we've gotta stop this..." I laughed. "We're probably looking like two boyfriends saying bye to each other right now."

Kyle smiled, "I don't care."

He hugged me really quick. "Alright get going. Go kick some ass and show them how us Conti's get down."

I laughed at him. "Will do. Love you bro."

"I know you do." He said as he started walking into the terminal. I looked over to the doors. My parents were standing there, I waved to them. I could tell my mom was crying because my dad had his arm over her shoulder rubbing it.

"I love you guys!" I yelled to them. My mom blew me a kiss. My dad waved to me and nodded.

Kyle was at the doors when he turned around and looked at me. "Hey dbag..." I looked over at him. He took off his sunglasses for the first time today. I finally saw how red his eyes were. "I love you too bro." He smiled and waved to me. My dad put his arm around him. I took one last look at them and turned around and started walking back to my car. As I walked to my car I tried to hold it together. I sat down inside my car and took a deep breath. I sat there for a second. I put the keys into the ignition and just lost it.


The smell of breakfast seeped up into my room. I jumped from my bed in a state of shock. I hadn't dreamed of the time when I said goodbye to my family freshman year in years. I grabbed my phone to check and see if something happened and I subconsciously thought about them. I sent Kyle a text message,

Tyler: Hey. How's everything going out there bro?

I looked at the clock. It was ten thirty in the morning. I wondered who would be up this early, let alone who would be making breakfast downstairs. I walked to the bathroom to use it and saw Jakes door still closed. I went to the bathroom and heard Jakes door open. Someone knocked on the bathroom door.

"I'm pissing, give me a sec." I said.

"Oh...hurry Ty, I gotta use it!" Summer said from the other side.

I opened the door. She was wearing a pair of Jake's shorts and a t-shirt. Her hair was looking a mess. I laughed at the way she looked.

"Rough night last night, huh?" I said to her.

"No rougher than your night on the stairs." Summer replied.

"I'm going to kick Jake's ass for telling you about that." I told her jokingly.

Summer walked into the bathroom and I walked into Jake's room. Jake was lying there shirtless in a pair of shorts. His room was lit only by the sun coming through the window. I sat down on the end of his bed.

"You guys just wake up?" I asked.

"Yeah, the smell of bacon started working its way up the stairs and woke us up." Jake laughed.

"You hit it last night?" I asked him.

"Ty, I'm a gentlemen!" Jake laughed. "But no..." Jake sighed. "She's surfing the crimson tide right now and I don't get down like that."

"Gross." I laughed at him. "So who is making breakfast then?"

Summer came back into the room and sat down on the bed. "I need some water." She said.

The three of us walked down the stairs. I looked over to the couch immediately and saw the covers were folded just like last time Jayden had stayed over and left before any of us woke up. 'Damn' I thought to myself. Jake nudged me and nodded over at the couch. I shook my head.

He looked back and frowned. "Sorry bud."

"Yeah, yeah." I said.

We walked into the kitchen, I was still clearing my eyes out, "Well it's about time you guys woke up. Breakfast is almost ready." I looked up and saw Jayden and Matt cooking. Jess was sitting at the table drinking a bottle of water.

"Morning guys." I said.

Jake looked over at me with a raised eyebrow, "He makes breakfast too. We've gotta keep him."

I shook my head and grabbed us a few bottles of water out of the fridge. "You guys didn't have to make breakfast."

"No, it wasn't a problem. Considering the fact the fact that I've crashed on your guys' couch twice in less than a month, think of it as me returning the favor." Jayden said. He was still wearing my shorts and didn't have his shirt on.

"Well I'm not complaining." Jake said. He walked over to the food. "What's for breakfast?"

"Pancakes, bacon, and eggs." Matt said.

I looked over at Jess. She had a smile on her face. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail. I looked at him then at her and silently asked if they hooked up. She just smiled and shrugged. The guys finished cooking the food and I grabbed a few plates. It was a little crowded in the kitchen, reminding me of a cafeteria line. We were lined up with plates grabbing food. We all went to the dining room to sit down and eat.

"This bacon taste funny." Summer said.

"It's turkey bacon." Jess said. "That's the only kind the boys would let me buy."

"Gotta stay fit." I said.

Summer rolled her eyes. "So how were everyone's sleeping accommodations yesterday?" She asked. No one said anything. "Well mine were good. `Till Jake started to snore." We all laughed.

We continued to eat and talk about the party last night. Jayden and Matt mostly talked about rush and how they had to decide whom they were going to give bids to tonight. The rest of us just listened. It was weird to me how seriously they take all that.

"So what ever happened to your ex Jayden?" Jess asked.

I caught Jayden look at Matt really quickly. "Oh that wasted mess?" Matt said.

"Yeah, I wanted to meet them." Jess said. "Did she get too drunk?"

Jayden took a drink of his water. "Sure did. Blowing up my phone last night. I had to turn it off so Ty and me could finish the movie."

"Oh she was?" Jake looked up from his plate. Putting emphasis on the word, she.

I looked between Jess, Jayden, and him. Jayden looked like he was about to say something but didn't know how to say it. I didn't want this breakfast to become another accidental outing, we've had enough of those with Nate's last week.

"Yeah, they kept calling." I spoke up quickly to break the tension. "Thank god Jayden turned off the phone before I threw it." I said jokingly.

Jayden laughed, "Yeah, I was about to break it too."

Jake looked at him then at me. I shook my head and mouthed, 'not now'. He nodded back at me. We continued to talk about the party and the mass amount of White Castle that we had eaten the night before. Once we were all finished the guys collected the plates for us. Jess tried to stop them but they wouldn't have any of it. Summer went back up to Jake's room to change. Jake took her home and Jess and I were sitting around the kitchen talking with the guys. She mentioned having to catch up on some homework later on. It was noon when the guys said they needed to get back to the house.

"I can take you guys if you want." I said.

"You sure man? You don't have to." Matt said.

Jayden was looking over at me. "Yeah man, you can relax, isn't this one of the few days you don't have to practice?"

"Yeah, but I'm going to go running in a bit anyway so it doesn't matter."

"Sounds good, whenever you're ready." Jayden said.

"Let me just take a quick shower and I'll be ready. I feel a bit disgusting right about now." I said.

I ran upstairs and checked my phone to see if Kyle had texted me back.

Kyle: Dude! What the hell!? It's Sunday! Time difference... haha. But everything is good at home. Why what's up?

Tyler: Oh, I just had a crazy dream last night. It was about when you guys left freshman year that's all. I'll call you later though, I've got to take my buddy back to his place.

I grabbed my towel and was about to head to the bathroom when I heard my phone go off.

Kyle: Sweet! You hook up last night? Call me. I'll need the details... well not too many. haha.

I shook my head laughing and headed to the bathroom. I showered up quickly. By the time I was out Jake was already back from taking Summer home. I saw him in the spare bedroom on Facebook. I stopped in the doorway to talk to him. Before I could say anything he spoke up.

"So how was last night?" Jake asked.

"Can't talk about it right now." I pointed downstairs. "But I think you might be right."

"I knew it!" Jake said.

"Yeah, yeah. I think I might say something when I take him home." I told him. "But that little stunt at breakfast..."

"Yeah sorry about that..." Jake shrugged, "Hey look at this." He showed me a picture that Summer had taken on her phone and uploaded it to Facebook already from last night. It was a picture of Jake, Jayden, and me last night. I was in the center of the picture. Jayden had his arm around my lower back and Jake had his arm around my shoulders. I didn't really remember taking a picture but it was taken on the balcony outside by the table where we played flip cup.

"That's a really good pic." Jake said.

"Ha..." I said. "It really is... well I mean, except that it's got you in it." I teased.

Jake rolled his eyes, "Yeah, yeah."

I turned around to walk back to my room, I left the door cracked so I could still talk to Jake, "Hey, I'm going to take the guys back to their house. I should be back in a bit. Do you want to go for a run later?"

"Yeah man. Just text me when you're on your way back to the house."

I finished changing and went down stairs. It was a little cooler today so I threw my Under Armor turtle neck on and a team shirt over it. I had my basketball shorts on so I'd be ready to go when I got back. I walked downstairs and the guys were both waiting for me. Matt and Jess were sitting next to each other and Jayden was texting on his phone.

Jayden looked up from his phone, "Going to work out after you drop us off?"

"Yeah, Jake & I were going to go for a run. Jess did you want to come too?" I asked her.

"Nah, I'm going to be lazy today." She yawned, "I've got to finish up some school work and then get ready for dinner."

"You're going to make it yourself tonight?" I asked.

She nodded, "Yeah, I've got it tonight. So don't take too long on you run."

"Sounds good." I told her. "You guys ready?"

We jumped in my car and headed over to their house. We didn't say much along the way. Jayden was busy texting someone on his phone. Matt was asking about what it was like being on the team and an athlete for the school. Once we got onto their street it was busy with what looked like the last remains of people doing their 'walk of shame' from the prior night. I laughed at the sight of some of the girls. Matt mentioned that it was quite common to see that on Sundays. I pulled up to the house and parked my car.

Matt unbuckled his seatbelt, "Hey man thanks for the ride." He stepped out of the car, "I owe you one. Tell Jess to call me sometime."

"Will do." I said.

We both looked over at Jayden who didn't even seem to notice that we were at his frat house. Matt tapped him on the shoulder, "Dude put your phone down for a second, we're home."

Jayden looked up from his phone and realized where we were, "Oh..." he unfastened his belt. "Go ahead and head in, I'll be in, in a sec." Matt gave me a final wave and shut the door.

I looked over at Jayden wondering why he didn't get out, "Something up man?"

"Oh..." He tucked his phone into his pocket. "I just wanted to say thanks for helping me out last night."

I shrugged, "Dude it was no problem. You looked pretty tore up towards the end of the night."

"Yeah, it was a bit stressful towards the end." He laughed, "The end of the party I meant. I didn't mean to slam the door in your face, my ex and I had gotten into it and I didn't want you to see pissed off Jayden."

"Nah man, it's cool. Don't worry about it."

Jayden rubbed his hand threw his hair, "So I was thinking after I went downstairs last night. After I left your room I called my ex, I let them stay in my room last night."

I was looking at him. If only he knew I was also listening in on the conversation last night. " did that go?"

"We're going to talk today before they leave and figure out things." Jayden said to me.

I felt a little annoyed by hearing him say that, "Oh yeah...?"

"Yeah..." He adjusted himself in his chair. "I just think maybe we're not finished..."

I felt a flash of hotness run through my body. I tried not to look too shocked at what he was saying right now. "Really...that's a different story than last night."

"I know..." Jayden took a second. "I just think...I don't know. Maybe this other person I'm interested in, it's better as just friends. I get that people make mistakes. Maybe I can look past the cheating?" Jayden looked over at me, it seemed like he wanted me to tell him not to. But who was I to tell him not to go for his ex?

I swallowed, "You really think you're going to look past that? I thought you said that you couldn't look past something like that."

"I can't. I don't even know if I still feel the same for them. But I think I should try." Jayden said.

It was quiet for a second. I just wanted Jayden to get out the car. I was getting annoyed with where this conversation was going. "Yeah... well hey, let me know how it goes. I've got to get going." I started the car. "I want to get my run in with Jake and then I've got to tackle the books."

Jayden frowned a bit, "I'm confused. I mean...if this other person..." His phone started to ring. He looked at the phone and it looked like he was about to hit ignore but then decided to answer it, "Yeah, I'm here. I'll be in, in a minute." He hung up the phone. "Well I gotta go. " Jayden looked a little annoyed. He nodded his head toward the house and sighed, "I guess I'll see ya in class Monday?"

"Sounds good." I was looking forward. I took a deep breath to calm down for a second. I turned to Jayden and smiled at him, "Good luck in there buddy."

Jayden looked at me surprised for a second, "Really?" He asked me.

"Yep." I tried to say as neutral as possible.

He kinda smirked then looked confused for a second, "Alright then..." He paused and opened the door to get out, "I'll talk to you Monday."

He got out the car and shut the door. He shut it a little harder almost like he slammed it. He started walking up to the house looked back towards me for a second. I gave a thumbs up and faked a small wave. He looked a little upset and he turned around. God I felt so stupid. Even if he was gay, he still wanted to try and work things out with his ex and who was I to get in the way of that. "Son of a bitch!" I said angrily and punched my steering wheel. My hand slipped hit the center of the steering wheel. The horn sounded. Jayden turned around and looked at me confused. 'Shit' I thought, what do I do? I gave him a thumbs up and forced out a smile. He just shook his head and went into his house. 'Good job dumb ass' I told myself as I put the car in drive and drove off quickly.

I turned up the radio in my car and drove off. I didn't feel like heading back to the house right away. I thought about texting Jake and letting him know what was up but I didn't want to discuss it yet because I needed to figure things out myself. I jumped on the expressway and just started driving. I needed to get away from campus to figure this all out. I saw a sign that said Olentangy Nature Trail next exit. I pulled off the expressway and headed there. I figured I would go for a run there. I knew there was a trail that went along the river and around a lake. I figure I could run a few laps and just clear my head. I parked my car and got out. I stretched a bit in a grassy area down by the water. It was a beautiful day, a little chilly but beautiful with the sun out. I laid back for a second and just took it in. The park was beautiful, there were a few people there just going about their day.

I got up and started jogging. It felt good being outside on this beautiful day. I was still thinking about the situation that had been going on. I wish I knew if Jayden was gay or not. It was moments like this that I hated being an athlete for the University. While there is no rule saying you can't be gay, it's just a difficult situation to be put in. It was times like this, while not very often, that I wish I could just be another college student who goes to school, attends classes and hooks up with whoever I want and do whatever I want.

'Shut up' I told myself. Being a gymnast has given me so many opportunities. I had a great group of friends, which I could largely attribute to being on the team. I'm experiencing college in a unique way and I should be thankful. I was thankful for it, but I just wished that sometimes things were a little easier. I tried to push that all out of my head and concentrate on my running.

I was really hitting my stride and quickly the thoughts of Jayden and all that mess had cleared from my head. I was feeling amazing. I told myself to just be friends with Jayden. Don't force something to happen. He's a good guy and I did like him. I would just have to get used to being just friends with him. He was different from a lot of my guy friends I had here at State. Since most of my guy friends are on the team, it's great to have a few of them that aren't directly associated with gymnastics or the team. I had ran a few miles at this point I was sure of it when I stopped to take a quick break.

I walked down a path to a dock that extended from the trail onto the lake. I walked past a mom and her child. I smiled at the both of them and the mom said, "Hi." to me. I walked to the end of the dock and leaned against the railing, I was breathing a little heavy. I looked around for a second. I felt amazing at that moment. I had cleared my head of all that mess with Jayden and his ex. There was a bench next to me I sat down on. It was nice to be away from campus for a while. Eventually I ended up lying down across the bench. The breeze going across the lake felt amazing. No one else was around so all I could hear was the sound of the trees blowing and the sound of the highway off in the distance. It was oddly relaxing. I felt myself start to doze off.

"Don't you go over there! Come back here right now Rocky!" I heard a guy saying to someone.

I was just waking up from my nap on the dock. I was still lying down and opened my eyes. They were still adjusting to the sunlight. Then I felt something wet go across my face. It felt like I tongue. I tried to swat it away but they kept licking me. I sat up and a dog jumped into my lap.

"I'm so sorry!" The guy said.

I was petting the dog. "Nah, it's not a problem. I was just napping right now. It's cool." I said. I put the dog down on the ground. "He's a beautiful dog."

The owner smiled at me. "Thank you. He can be a handful sometimes."

"I bet."

I looked over the owner. He seemed to be in his late 20's early 30's. He looked like he might be Hispanic. He had dark hair and dark brown eyes. His was dressed like he was about to go work out. Overall he seemed very well put together and attractive.

"I'm Tyler." I stuck my hand out to shake his hand.

"I'm Marco." He shook my hand. "This is Rocky." He patted his dog's head.

I stuck my hand out to the dog that was now sitting. He put his paw up to my hand. "Oh man! That's so awesome." I said.

"Yeah, his daddy has been training him to do that." Marco said proudly.

"That's awesome. I'm sure you're a good dad." I stood up.

"Yeah..." Marco looked at me for a second. "Are you on the gymnastics team or something?"

I wondered how he knew that. "Yeah. How'd you know?"

"Your shirt says State Gymnastics." He pointed to it.

I laughed. "Oh... yeah I'm a junior on the team. I just came out here to run and get my mind off of things."

"I know what you mean. It's beautiful here. Rocky and I had to get away too."

"Oh..." I paused. "Well it was nice meeting you sir. I should probably head back to my place. My roommate is going to kill me."

Marco laughed at me. "That's cool. Sorry about Rocky licking your face."

I bent down to pet Rocky. "Don't mention it." I said bye to the dog and gave Marco a half wave. "Nice talking to ya. Hopefully you can clear your head like I did."

"I'll do my best." Marco said. "Hey good luck this season. Bring that national title home this year!"

I smiled at him, "We're working on it."

"And don't call a 28 yr old guy Sir ever." I heard him say as I walked away.

I turned around and nodded to him. I walked back to my car and opened up my trunk. I grabbed a t-shirt out of my gym bag and changed shirts in the parking lot. My under armor had made me sweaty since I fell asleep in the sunlight after a run. I looked over to the dock and saw Marco playing with Rocky. I sighed, I wish I had the time for a dog. I jumped into my car and checked my phone. I had 4 text messages from Jake asking me what happened. As I drove back to the house I called Jake to let him know I needed to go for a run by myself to clear my head.

"Well you could've at least texted me dbag. I got tired of waiting and ended up going for one myself." Jake said to me on the phone.

"Yeah my bad. I'll be home in like 20 minutes. We'll discuss everything at dinner tonight."

"Okay, come in through the front door. Jess said we're not allowed in the kitchen"

"Uh oh..." I said. "I don't know if that makes me excited for dinner or not."

"I know, I'll see ya in a few bud." Jake said as he hung up.

I got to my house and walked in through the front door. I opened the door and could smell the food coming from the kitchen. "It smells delicious Jess!" I said as I walked straight up the stairs.

"Should be ready in like a half hour. Go shower up." Jess said to me as I walked up the stairs.

I walked into my room and grabbed a towel. I walked past Jake in the computer room doing some homework. I told him I was home and walked into the shower. I turned on the water and took my clothes off. I examined my body in the mirror. I had lost the few extra pounds I put on this summer. I was satisfied with what I saw. My chest hair was starting to grow back. I told myself that I'd have to shave that soon. It's not required to shave but I don't like the way it looks when I'm in uniform.

I jumped in the shower and let the water hit me. It felt amazing. Not having to practice the past two days had been great. It's not all that often that I get a weekend off so when I do I take full advantage of it. I got out the shower, dried off and headed to change in my room.

"Hey man." Jake said from the computer room.

"What's up?" I said.

"What's going on, why'd you need that alone time after you asked me to come with you? I sat around for like an hour when I heard nothing, I was like forget it and went for a run myself." Jake said.

"Yeah sorry about that. We can talk about it downstairs cause I'm sure Jess is going to want to hear too." I said.

"Alright sounds good. Food smells amazing. Any idea as to what we're eating?" I asked.



"You guys, food will be ready in five minutes!" Jess yelled from upstairs.

I went into my room to change. I threw a pair of jeans on and a t-shirt. Wasn't playing on going anywhere but I wasn't going to come downstairs in a pair of gym shorts and t-shirt after it seemed Jess put actual effort into our dinner. Jess called for us to come down to eat. I was excited to eat since I hadn't eaten since earlier, and the run really perked up my appetite. We were sitting in the dining room when Jess came in from the kitchen with a salad, some garlic bread, and lasagna. I felt my mouth salivate looking at the food.

"Holy shit girl!" I said.

"Hell yeah Jess! You out did yourself!" Jake said excitedly.

Jess started to blush, "Thanks guys! I hope you enjoy the food."

"Wait a minute. What's the occasion for such good food?" Jake asked.

"Oh nothing...." Jess looked away.

"You got laid didn't you!" I said.

"Oh my gosh, she did, look at her!" Jake pointed at her. Jess' face was completely red. "Isn't this some bullshit. The girl of house has gotten further than the two guys in the house have!"

Jess looked up at us, "You guys shut up. Matt was very nice."

"I bet he was." I said, laughing.

Jake laughed too. "Jess got some smush smush! Jess smushed last night!"

"Laugh it up you two." She said as she started to eat her salad. "I can't help it if I can get more action than the two of you!"

"Hey!" Jake and me said at the same time.

"We're both working on it." Jake said.

"Well up until last night we were." I said.

Jess took a drink of her water. "So what the hell gives with Jayden and his girlfriend situation? I mean ex since he insist on being so ambiguous with that whole situation. Cause the way he's acting, he can't be straight...unless she's hideous!"

We all laughed at that. "You know, aren't you friends with him on Facebook Jess?" Jake said.

"We're not Facebook creeping him." I said.

"Oh, we so are after dinner!" Jake laughed.

Jess took another bite of her food. "I haven't really looked at any of his pictures. But I know his, 'Interested In" portion is blank."

"Come on Ty, let me have this one." Jake said as he took a bite of his food.

"Fine. But this doesn't leave the house!" I said with a smile on my face.

We changed the subject back to the hook up of Matt & Jess. It was the first guy she had been with since her boyfriend and her broke up. I was happy for her. She deserved to get some after the mess that she was after her last relationship. We were talking about the party last night when my phone vibrated on the table. I looked at it.

"Uh, oh. Is that the boyfriend?" Jake said.

"Stop calling him my boyfriend before you slip up one time and he hears you." I said.

"Well who is it?" Jess asked.

I looked down at my phone. I swiped over the screen to open my text messages.

Jayden: Hey man, I just wanted to say thanks for the ride home. Also... I tried to add you on Facebook but you can't add you. What gives?

"Well it was Jayden." I said with a smile on my face. "He was just saying thanks for the ride home & that he was trying to add me on Facebook and couldn't."

"That's stupid how the University has that stupid social networking rule we have to abide by." Jake said.

We had a rule that while we can have Facebook, a Twitter, or any other social media content. We just had to make it so that not just anyone can access it. Everything had to bet set to private and only out friends that we approve or add ourselves can see it.

"Yeah, I hate it." I said.

"So you going to add him?" Jess asked.

"Of course. Why wouldn't I?" I said.

"So, you changed the subject. What is going on with him and his ex?" Jess said.

I explained to them what happened last night when he came up into my room. Jake laughed at the comment about him singing along to the song. Then I told them what led to me sleeping on the floor and instead of my bed. Jess made fun of me. But we all agreed that something was a bit fishy with his ex.

"So then, I'm driving him back to his house. He's texting the whole ride so I'm holding small talk with Matt. Then Matt gets out and he tells me that he's going to try and work things out with his ex!"

"Are you fucking kidding me?" Jake said. "That guy is retarded. And you are too. He clearly was talking about you. Why didn't you make your move?"

"Was I really supposed to just be like, `uhh pick me'?" I asked.

"I would've." They both said.

"Liars." I said.

Jess and Jake looked at each other and then at me. Jess said, "Well not the way you said it but something similar. But I wouldn't have let him leave the car the way you did."

"Yeah bro, no bueno." Jake shook his head. "I'm going have to teach you the rules of a relationship...or at least having some type of game."

"Yeah, yeah..." I rolled my eyes. "You know I'm bad at that."

They both nodded. "Exactly Ty. But I think you should back off from him for now. He's got ex baggage and even though he says he's over it he clearly is still a bit hung up on the whole thing." Jess said.

"Plus, I don't want you to get hurt. I'll kick his ass...well, I'll kick anyone's ass who hurts you." Jake said.

I smiled at the both of them. It made me feel good that I had friends who were so protective over me. "Thanks guys." I said to them. "I would do the same for you too... " We finished up eating and cleaned up the food. I was so full. Jess did an amazing job with dinner. Jake and I were going to have our work cut out for us to match her.

"Lets make this a little fun." Jess said. We both looked at her. "Next person to get laid cooks dinner that Sunday by themselves. Then so on and so forth from there."

Jake patted me on my shoulder. "Well we know who will be cooking dinner last."

I elbowed Jake. "You bitches."

"Oh come on Ty!" Jess said.

"Fine. Deal!" I said. I shook my head. I probably would be the last one to make dinner. I laughed at it and put the last of the dishes in the dishwasher.

After dinner we all crowded around Jess' laptop to check out Jayden's Facebook. Jess was clicking through his pictures to figure out who his ex was. She said she had narrowed it down three potential people, one guy and two girls. Jess said she was going to try and talk to him at work tomorrow. After about 20 minutes of creeping on him I got on my own laptop to work on some schoolwork and play around on the net for a while. It was almost midnight before I decided to call it a night. I jumped on Facebook really quick to send Jayden a friend request. I clicked on the link and close my laptop and went into my room. I was laying there in silence try to fall asleep. I was still pretty energized from my nap but I wanted to wake up early so I can possibly get a work out in before class. Around 1 I felt my phone vibrate.

Jayden: Hey! Thanks for the friend request... um.. I'm not going to be in class tomorrow. Can you take notes for me? I've gotta take a certain someone back their school.

I knew exactly whom he was talking about. I felt a little bit of jealousy about the fact that he was spending the night with his ex. I was going to have to hit Jake for this. He kept pushing and pushing the fact that I might like Jayden. Now that I do, he's back to hooking up with his ex. I didn't feel like responding to his text, so no response was his response. I put my phone down on my nightstand and quickly feel asleep.

A few days later, on Wednesday, Jake and I went to get an early morning workout in at the gym before classes. We were running along the elevated track that overlooks our training gym. We finished running a few miles along the track and were cooling down when Jake decided to ask me about something I didn't really want to talk about.

"So did you find out anything more about the Jayden and his ex situation?" Jake asked.

"No. He wasn't in class on Monday." I said.

"Oh yeah I forgot you had told me he took his ex back to school Monday." Jake said as he caught his breath. "Sorry bud." He tapped me on the shoulder. "I shouldn't have been like, 'Oh like him, he's gay! Go for him!"

"No, it's alright man. It's about time I at least semi put myself out there. Ya know?" I said.

"That's my boy!" Jake said. "We're going to find you a guy in no time!"

"Or at least a quick lay, damn it. I need to get some." I said.

Jake laughed at me. "We could always take a trip down to the Short North." Some of the girls on the gymnastic team were walking by us. We waved to them. We were friends with some of the girls on the team, but our coach didn't like us socializing with them too much while at practice.

I laughed at him. "That we could!" The Short North was an area close to campus where there were a few gay bars. We don't head that way often, but occasionally I can talk Jake into going out down there since it was on the way to some other bars in the Arena District.

"You know our problem is we're hanging out at all the wrong bars for you." Jake said.

"I like going to the Cantina and the Fishbowl, or even out in the Arena District." I said. Those were all bars or areas where we went.

"Yeah, but they're all straight bars." Jake said. "We've gotta find us one like, right on the outskirts of the Short North. You can get that mixed crowd there."

I nodded my head. "Whatev. I'm convinced you can't find anyone of quality at a bar."

"You found Jayden at a bar." Jake said dully.

"Shut up." I told him.

"So I'm doing it today." Jake said.

I looked at him slightly confused, "Doing what?"

Jake had a big smile on his face. "I'm finally asking Summer out on a real date."

I gave him a high five, "Dude that's awesome!"

"You think she's going to say yes?"

"Does a bear shit in the woods?" I said.

Jake laughed then shook his head, "I'm just saying this because the most time we spend together is after we go out or something."

"Dude she's going to say yes! You're a tard if you think she doesn't like you!"

Jake looked at me with a cocky grin. "Hell yeah she likes me."

"There's the Jake I know." I laughed at him.

"I was thinking about meeting her after her class gets out today."

"Right before practice?" I said.

Jake hit his head with his palm. "Damn it...maybe after practice then? I don't need any distractions while I'm here."

"Sounds like a plan." I said.

We got up to head for the showers. Jake had class in 45 minutes and I had mine in about an hour. I wondered if Jayden was going to be there today. I got dressed and headed towards class. I bumped into my friend Chelsea along the way. Chelsea was a gymnast on the girls' squad.

"Hey Chels, what's up?" I said.

"Nothing. I saw you walking and thought I'd catch up with you." She said.

I couldn't tell if it was cause my hair was still wet or if the temperature was changing but you could definitely tell October was just around the corner. "Oh, well where you heading to?" I asked her.

"Bolz Hall." She said.

I nodded. "That's right across the street. Why haven't we walked together more often?" Truthfully, I wanted to take the time to walk from the gym over to class to prepare myself to see Jayden but maybe some company couldn't hurt.

She laughed. "Oh you know, you boys only come in every so often to work out in the morning."

"Yeah, I hate working out in the morning. I'm horrible. I need my body to be up and functioning before I start doing anything."

"I know. I hate morning workouts too." Chelsea said. "I hate that that's what our coach prefers."

"I bet." I shook my head.

"So how was your weekend?" Chelsea asked.

"Oh...I've had better. A few of us guys on the team went to a frat party at one of my friends fraternity house."

Chelsea playfully slapped my right arm, "A frat party and you didn't invite me?"

I looked at her and smiled. "Sorry."

"Better than my weekend. The girls wanted to have a bonding weekend. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but my idea of bonding doesn't include sleepovers with 14 girls in one house." She laughed.

We crossed the street to our buildings. Mine was the first one to come up. "Well, this is my building. You should come out with us sometime." I told her.

"Sounds good. Text me." She said. She gave me a half hug and went on her way.

I walked into the building. God it was freezing. As I walked up to the third floor I felt my heart start to beat a little faster. I was getting anxious to walk in and see Jayden. I was about to be at the door. I took a deep breath and walked in. I saw Jayden looking at the door. The second he saw me walk in his face let up. I tried not to smile back at him.

"Hey buddy!" Jayden said excitedly. I smiled back at him. He pulled my chair out. "Haven't heard from ya in a few days."

"Yeah..." I sat down. It was nice to see him again. "I've been a little busy with practice and such lately."

"Oh I bet. I'm so happy we have our pledges worked out. Now my job is basically done. I just have to oversee everything."

"That's cool. Maybe now you'll have some free time." That slipped out I thought.

He looked at me for a second. "Yeah, we should hang out sometime. No alcohol involved."

I laughed at that. "Maybe I'll take you to the gym."

"I go to the gym." He said.

"No...I meant our practice gym. I can show you a thing or two."

"That'd be awesome. But I don't want to see any of your routines."

I looked at him confused for a second. "Why not?"

"I'd rather see them when Jess and I come to a meet."

It still felt good to know he wanted to come to one of our meets. The annoyance of his ex being here had finally left me. Our professor walked in and we finished up our conversation. Class seemed to be going by horribly slow. We had about fifteen minutes before class was over. I looked over at Jayden. He had his head down and was sleeping. I smiled at the sight of him sitting there sleeping while our professor went on and on about nonsense. I was fighting falling asleep myself when our professor said he was going to pass out our presentation schedule.

I nudged Jayden to wake up. "Jayden wake up. We're about to get our presentation schedule."

"What?" He groggily.

"Our group project, we're about to get the schedule for it." The professor passed out the sheet with the schedule I hoped we went closer to the beginning of the semester. Any time after the beginning of December was horrible for me. That's when we start training real hard for the season. I looked over the sheet. I saw our names,

Tyler Conti & Jayden Banks --- October 13, 2010

"Phew," I felt relieved.

"Fuck man. We're the first group to go." Jayden said. I looked over the schedule again then checked my calendar on my phone.

"That's in two weeks!" My relief I felt quickly left. "Man I hate being the first to go for these things."

"Me too."

After class had ended, my professor stopped Jayden and me on the way out. "I hope you guys don't mind going first. Due to Tyler's special circumstances I wanted to make sure the group work did not affect his other obligations to the university." He said with a smile on his face.

"Well thank you sir. It's very much appreciated." I said with a smile, I was lying right to his face. Jayden and I walked out of class. I had texted Jess to meet me at Panera after class to grab a bite before I headed out to practice. I didn't realize it at first but Jayden was right next to me walking with me. I figured he had somewhere else to go after class.

I looked over at him. "Sorry about my, "special circumstances" Jayden." I laughed.

Jayden just gave me a shrug, "Doesn't matter. I guess I'm going to have to get used to being friends with someone who is an college athlete."

"None of the guys in the frat or on any teams?"

"We've got 2 guys who are on the tennis team, and another who is a soccer player. But I'm not too close with them." Jayden said.

I looked over and smiled at him, "Well..." I paused for a second. "It only gets worse as the year goes on. So..." I said nervously. " can bail if you'd like at any time."

"Psh. I think I'll stick around, buddy." Hearing Jayden say that made me feel a little more at ease. "I mean, seriously, it can't be that's not like you're on the basketball team or the football team." Jayden laughed. "You know, the important teams."

I gave him a push with my shoulder, I knew he was kidding with me. "Thanks ass. Well no...nothing too major. We do have the occasional photo shoot, interview, appearance, our charity work, and camps. Then our competition schedule owns me every weekend pretty much from late December till April. But my favorite time is what I like to call, 'Swag Day'!"

"Oh yeah, what's that?"

"Sometime before the season, soon actually. We get a bunch of stuff for free. We'll get our warm ups, new uniforms, shoes, new training things like grips and such, shirts, shorts. All this university gear that people have to pay for we get for free."

"Sounds like I'm keeping those shorts then." Jayden said.

"Haha, I'll be needing those back actually."

Jayden faked a sigh, "I guess. So where we going?"

"You don't have class?" I asked him.

"Nope, I'm free for a few hours."

"I'm starving so I was going to go eat a salad or something with Jess."

"Oh..." Jayden said. "Did you call her yet?"

I had thought about inviting Jayden too while we were at class but since he was sleeping I figured I would just go with Jess. "Yeah, I texted her, she's going to meet me at Panera. You want to come too?"

"Sure. We haven't worked together since last Thursday. I haven't talked to her since Sunday morning."

We continued walking to Panera. I checked my watch and noticed that I had exactly an hour before I needed to leave and head to practice. We walked in and I saw Jess was already sitting down. Summer was with her. Those two are inseparable I thought. I waved at them. Jess looked a little surprised when she saw Jayden walk in with me. Summer immediately whipped out her phone and started texting someone who I assumed was Jake. We ordered our food and sat down next to the girls.

"Hi boys." Summer said with a devilish smile on her face. "We weren't expecting Jayden too."

I cut her off. "I wasn't expecting you either." I just wanted to have a normal bite to eat without the inquisition.

Jess and Summer must've caught my drift because they quickly changed their tone. We sat around eating our food and talking about our day. I told them about my "special circumstances". They both laughed at it. Jess had become victim to me being an athlete a few times when we had classes together. Trying to schedule some free time with me would drive her crazy.

"It's even worse come Nationals week, Jayden." Jess said. She took a drink of her water. "Before I lived with the boys, I would see Jake and Tyler maybe every other day. Towards the end of the season, I was lucky to see them at least once a week."

"It's not that bad." I said.

"Then the week of Nationals. Forget about it." She laughed. "Isn't Nationals here this year?"

"It is?" Summer asked.

"Yep. We just found out a few weeks ago. I can't wait. Plus I won't have to be stuffed up in a hotel after practices and the meets. I get to go back to my own bed!" I said.

"Dude that's so cool!" Jayden said and hit me on arm.

"I guess." I faked like it hurt. "But coach already told us, we won't be in class or have any type of life. So it's like I'm not really home anyways. But I'm ready to kick ass at Nationals." I said.

"How's your training coming?" Summer asked.

"Great. Should be good to go come December." I was really excited how my new sets were coming. I was doing most of my new tumbling passes on the competition floor and the rest of events were coming along too.

"What about Jake? Every time I try to talk to him about it he just says, 'Good'." Summer laughed.

"He's doing well too. He's not changing as much as me. He's doing a few tweaks here and there. He's working on a new vault and a few new ring skills though." I said.

I looked at my watch and realized I needed to leave if I was going to make it to the gym with enough time to get ready for practice. After taking my food to the trash I grabbed my bag and got ready to leave. I said goodbye to Jayden and the girls and left. As I was walking through campus I ran through the previous days in my head. It's been almost a week and we still have no confirmation as to whom he is dating. Plus the fact that he wasn't in class Monday cause he took his ex back to school doesn't bode too well for any sort of closure. I got to the gym and threw my book bag in my trunk and grabbed my gear and headed into the training gym.

Practice was going smoothly so far. Nate was back working on all events and seemed to be in good spirits. Even though the doctor had given him the okay to start training 100% again, I was a little worried he might be pushing himself too hard too soon. I made sure to be in his group as we did rotations just to keep a watchful eye over him. I didn't want to even think about him getting hurt again. We had two more rotations to go in practice. We were taking it easy today for the most part. Since Wednesdays were in the middle of the week we go easy before having real tough practices Thursday and Friday. Our group training group today consisted of Aaron, Nate, and me. We were heading towards the last two apparatuses in training, high bar and vault, which are two events where your shoulders definitely get a work out.

While we were at the chalk bucket chalking up I asked Nate, "So how is the shoulder holding out?"

"Good so far." Nate said.

"Going to try any releases today?" I asked.

Nate shrugged, "I don't know. Just going to play it by ear."

I nodded my head. Just then our coach came over. "Nate, I don't want you working on any big releases today. You've gotta get used to swinging bars again. It's going to be one of hardest things for you to get back."

Nate looked a little disappointed, "If that's what you think."

"I do." Coach said. He put his arm around Nate's shoulder, "Don't you worry. We'll get you back to where you were. But you know it's going to take time. I don't want to rush you back into everything and have our captain get injured again. Trust me."

Nate looking a little less annoyed now, "You're right."

"Tyler." Coach called me from the bucket. "You're spotting him. I don't want to see you two screwing around."

"Got it coach. " I told the Coach.

Just then Aaron was walking over to join us and tripped over the mat. "Jesus Christ, and watch him too." Coach said talking about Aaron.

We got started on the bar. I jumped up first, I warmed up doing a couple of giants (those were basic flips in a handstand position while holding the bar). After a few minutes of being warmed up I started doing a few easy skills. I didn't want to throw anything too big today that would make Nate want to try and throw something too. I practiced a few my release moves over the pit. I caught my two releases, a Liukin ( a release move where you throw your body in a stretched out position over the bar with a full twist and then catch the bar again) and my Tkatchev (which was pretty much the same skill without the twist). It was my third release move, a Kovacs which is where you do a back flip over the bar with a full twist in a laid out position and catch the bar when I missed the bar completely and crashed into the pit. I tried it again and the same thing. I was getting frustrated and decided to let Nate go.

"Alright man, you're up. You ready?" I asked him.

"As I'll ever be." Nate said excitedly. Aaron watched us from the other side of the mat.

"Alright, remember, be smart. Nothing major today." I said cautiously.

"I'm not going to break, Tyler." Nate said with a smile on his face.

Nate jumped on the bar and I immediately got nervous. I knew he was cleared to practice 100% again, but I knew he'd push himself too hard. I watched as he did some basic skills and few different pirouettes. Coach was watching over him too. I saw Jake look over too while Nate was swinging on bar. He pointed up and smiled at Nate. Watching Nate swing bars again made our team feel complete again. All of us were practicing together and getting ready for the season.

"Alright Nate, let's try a double layout into the pit." Coach said. I saw Nate do a few giant swings to get enough momentum to do the dismount. Since he was practicing over the pit he didn't have to worry about landing or anything. He let go over the bar and I watched him flip over twice and then fall into the pit. He had a big smile on his face.

"Alright Nate!" I said enthusiastically.

"Whooow!" I heard Jake yell. "Get it Nate!"

The rest of the guys from the team came over and congratulated him. He climbed out the pit and I gave him a high five.

I put my arm over his shoulder as we walked over to the vault to get ready for the next rotation. "That's what I'm talking about. Playing it safe and we'll have you back in no time."

Nate had a huge smile on his face, "God it feels good to be back. After this summer and all that crap with Heath and Eric pressuring me. I finally can channel all that into something constructive."

"Yeah man." I said. We got to the vaulting area and started chalking up. "I'm here for you." I told him trying to be supportive. I still felt a little bad about not being here for him during the summer.

"Alright let's get started." Coach said.

"Conti I want you warming up your old vaults on the competition floor and your new ones into a pit. Aaron you continue training your Rudi into a pit too. Nate I want you doing handspring timers into a pit for now." Our Coach said.

We all nodded our heads and started warming up. Jake came over and was talking to me about practice. He said he was surprised at how good Nate was looking already. I told him that I was too but I was worried he would push himself too fast. Jake shrugged it off letting me know that he what he was doing. We were almost done with practice when I had just finished practicing my new vaults into the pit. I was sitting there resting for a second after my last vault. I thought Nate had saw me sitting there but Iguess he didn't. I tried to get out of the pit as soon as I saw Nate running down the runway. I tried to climb out of the pit quickly but you can only move so fast in a pit of foam squares. Nate hit the vault and I just saw him flying towards me. I braved myself and saw him land on the mat we had set up on top of the foam squares. Next thing I know Nate was crashing into me and we were flipping over the mats in the pit.

I started cracking up. "I'm going to kill you." I told him.

"Why didn't you get out of the way?" Nate said laughing. Nate was laying on top of me in the foam pit.

"Uh...I was trying to." I said. I looked over to the side of the pit and Jake and Aaron were standing there looking at us. "You couldn't have waited like 2.5 for me to climb out of the way?" Jake had an eyebrow raised. "Get off me." I said and pushed Nate off the top of me.

"Sorry." Nate said with a smile on his face.

"Well, you two looked comfortable." Jake said.

I shook my head, "Now you're going to say I need to date Nate?"

Jake looked at me in shock, "Well...not while we're on the same team. But you can't deny chemistry...that's all I'm saying."

I just laughed at that and we finished up practice. Besides the cuddling I couldn't see Nate as anything other than a friend. He's becoming a good friend, but he was just least while we were on the same team. I could never get involved with him while we were on the same team, it'd mess up the whole dynamic. Plus I'm sure our coaches would be thrilled to find out I was banging our captain.

"Alright gather around you guys." Coach said. "As you know this year we're going to try something new with our incoming freshmen for next year. We're going to have 4 training camps, 1 will be optional, the other 3 are mandatory for the freshmen to be here. Our first one is going to be November 18 through the 21st."

"Dude your brother is going to be so excited." Jake leaned over and whispered to me.

"I know!" I had a smile on my face. My brother was going to be so pumped to hear the news.

"Wait... dude that's your birthday weekend!"

It took me a second to realize it too, "Shit." I wasn't as excited anymore. "Welp, there goes my birthday weekend."

"I've worked with the Athletic Director of the University to help figure out the schedule. We're still working on housing ideas right now. The new recruits will be here Thursday morning and we'll have practice that night and dinner as a team. Friday, we're going to be having a morning and evening practice. Then Saturday we're going to have a morning conditioning practice then an afternoon practice."

Shit. From the sounds of it, that weekend was going to suck. "Well maybe we'll just celebrate it Saturday night." Jake said.

"Let him finish..." I said.

"Then Sunday is their free day. I expect some of you to take the new freshmen under your wings and show them around campus." Coach said.

Jake leaned over, "See. We're good then. Saturday night is the party!"

I nodded my head. With that, practice was over so I grabbed my things out of the locker and headed home. Since I lived so close to the gym I just wanted to shower in my own shower today. I sent my brother a text letting him know I had to talk to him. Jake called me along the way to tell me he was about to call Summer and ask her out on a real date tomorrow.

"I'm so nervous." Jake said.

I laughed from the other end of the phone. "It seriously takes us 5 minutes to get from the gym to our house. You couldn't wait to tell me this?"

"Shut up Ty. I don't know why I'm so nervous."

"Me either." I said. We both got to our house at the same time. I pulled into the drive way right behind him. We were still talking on the phone as we got out our cars.

"Look, sit out here." I closed the trunk door. " Think about what you're going to say then come in after you make the call."

"Yeah, I will." Jake said handing me his bags. "I'm going to hang up now."

"Alright buddy. Good luck." I laughed at him.

"Thanks man. I really like her, that's why I'm so nervous." Jake said as he sat down on our stoop.

I went inside. Jess was at work so the house was quiet. I went upstairs and started the shower. I checked my phone to see if Kyle had called or texted me back yet but he hadn't. I figured he was still at practice. I called my mom to tell her the news. She was so excited for him and told me that she was going to tell Dad, but wanted me to be the one to tell Kyle. I told her to have him call me later. We talked for a few more minutes then I got off to jump in the shower. Jake still wasn't inside yet. I was finishing up washing my hair when I heard a knock on the door.

"You decent?" Jake said.

"As decent as I can be in the shower." I laughed. I turned off the water. Jake handed me my towel. "So... what happened?"

"She said yes." Jake said excitedly.

"You act like you're surprise."

"I know. But I was worried she might say no." Jake was leaning against the wall. "There's just that chance, you know, that she just wanted to keep this a hook up thing."

"Please. I could tell she wanted you after Jayden's party last week."

Jake made a face at me. "No way."

I started brushing my teeth. "Yes way." I said muffled from the toothpaste in my mouth. I spit it out. "Don't you remember when we were playing beer pong and you were like that's my girl!" I reminded him, doing my best impression.

Jake laughed, "Yeah... I was pretty drunk at that point."

"Well...her face lit up." I looked at him. "And besides, as much as I hate to admit it. You're a catch."

"Yeah I am." Jake said with a big smile on his face.

I rolled my eyes and left the bathroom. I heard him start the shower as I walked into my room. I laid down on my bed with just my towel on. I picked up my phone to call Kyle. Hopefully he was out of practice and we could talk. The phone rang a few times before Kyle finally picked up.

"Hey bro, what's up?" Kyle said.

"Oh nothing. I just got out of the shower and was laying around in my room and thought I would call you." I said trying to sound as laid back as possible.

"Yeah?" Kyle sounded like he wasn't buying it. "You call home today? Mom is in an extra good mood for some reason. We're going out to dinner when Dad gets home."

Geeze, I didn't get a dinner for every little step going into college I thought, though jokingly. "Oh yeah. We talked for a bit. I miss her."

"So what did you have to tell me?" He asked.

"You're wasting no time are you?" I laughed. "Well the good news is I know when the first training camp is. I told Coach I wanted to be the first one to tell you."

"When is it?!" Kyle sounded super excited.

"My birthday weekend!" I said.

"Shut the fuck up! I get to be out there for your birthday weekend AND we have our first Training Camp then too? I can't wait."

I laughed at him. "Yeah, you're expected here Thursday morning. We have practice Thursday night and a team dinner. Be sure to be well rested. Then we're doing two a days on Friday and Saturday."

"Oh man...sounds tough!" he said. And he was right.

"Uh...I know. We don't train like that until late in the season!"

We talked for a little while longer about training and how things were going at home. I was excited to have my brother here for the weekend. It was going to be nice to see him before Thanksgiving. I was a little disappointed because that will limit what we were going to do since he's only 18, he wouldn't be able to get into any of the good bars. Maybe I'll have to see if anyone has any connections so we can still have a good time.

Later on that night I was doing my homework. I needed to talk to Jayden so we could figure out how we wanted to work out this project since we only had two weeks from now. I had finished all the studying I wanted to do that night. It was close to 1 in the morning. I wondered if Jayden would still be up. I figured, 'What the hell?' and called him.

"Hey bud, what's up?" Jayden said. It was loud in the background.

Partying on a Wednesday night I thought, "Did I interrupt anything?"

"Nah man, give me a sec, let me walk outside." I heard him tell a few people he'd be back. "Sorry about that, we were playing beer pong. One of the brothers got an internship with the Mayo Clinic this spring semester and we decided to toss it up in celebration.... want to come over?"

I thought about it for a second but I knew I would regret it the next day. "Nah...thanks for the invite, though. I have practice and a long day of classes tomorrow. Probably best I stay in."

"Oh come on!" Jayden said pleadingly.

It was tempting. But I couldn't. I would seriously regret it tomorrow. "I can't...I want to, but if I end up hung over at practice Coach would kill me. Plus it's almost 1:30 in the morning."

"Fine..." Jayden said. He sounded slightly disappointed. "What'd you need?"

"Oh...yeah. I just wanted to see if you wanted to meet up with me tomorrow after practice? We could maybe grab a bite to eat and then discuss how we're going to split up the work for the project." I said.

"Throw in a movie and I'm down."

"A movie too?" I did want to see the 'Social Network' and they were doing an early screening of it Thursday night at the theatre across from The Fish Bowl, so I figured it'd work fine. "Alright...but I get to pick." I laughed into the phone.

I could tell Jayden was smiling at the other end of the phone. "Sure man. What ya thinking?"

"The Social Network."

"The Facebook movie?" Jayden asked. "Alright sounds good. I'll pick up tickets, they're doing early screening at the theatre across from The Fish Bowl. What time is practice done?"

"We're usually done by 7:30. I could probably pick you up around 8?" I said.

"How about I just meet you at your place? We can walk from there if it's nice enough." Jayden said. I thought that sounded kinda dumb since I lived further away from the theatre than he did. I guess I'll just play it by ear then.

"Alright, sounds good. I'll see ya then." I said.

" sure you don't want to come over? It's not only brothers here." Jayden said.

That boy was persistent, "Yeah, sorry. I'll see ya tomorrow buddy."

I laughed at the thought of how awkward it'd be if I showed up to the house at 1:30 in the morning to play beer pong. I laid there in my bed listening to my iPod. Before I knew it I was out for the night.

Thursday seemed to pass by horribly slow. I hated Thursdays, as those were my long days. I had my first class from 8:30 till 9:45, then had to book it over to my nutrition class that I still hadn't hit Jake for making me take from 10:00 till 11:25. After I got out of my second class I was already feeling pretty beat. I thought about skipping my next class but since I was more than sure I was going to be missing class in a few weeks to pick up my brother I figured I would tough it out. I met with Chase and Nate for lunch. We talked about what our plans for the upcoming weekend. When I told Nate that Jayden and me had plans for me tonight he got a really curious face. Chase laughed and told me to go get laid. Nate and I left Chase and headed towards the building where I had my nutrition class. Nate had a different class in that same building.

"So are you nervous?" Nate asked me.

I looked over at him, "Why would I be nervous? We're just hanging out."

"If you say so. Where are you guys going to eat?"

I shrugged, "I don't know. Somewhere casual."

"Good. Keep it casual." Nate said. He patted my back, "Did you ever find out the situation with the ex?"

"Nope. Nothing different from what I told you after practice a few days ago. "

"That sucks." I think he could tell that I was disappointed.

I nodded my head. "I know." We got to the floor that I had my class on. "I'll see ya at practice, bud."

"Yeah man. See you then." We pounded fists and I went into class.

During class I thought I was going to fall asleep. The time from 1:00 till 2:30 seemed to crawl by. I hated this class, and I hated Jake even more for telling me this class would be easy. Yeah, it's easy for him. He's into all this stuff. He was majoring in Sport & Leisure Studies with a specialization in Sports & Wellness. But for me, a person majoring in Marketing with a minor in Hospitality Management this was the most random elective I've ever picked. I was sucking it up and taking the class but I wasn't happy about it. Once class was over I headed over to the gym and caught a quick nap in my car that was parked in the training gym's parking lot. Jake woke me up and scared the crap out of me by pounding on my window really loud. I thought someone was trying to break in for a second.

We went through practice pretty quickly. I had a pretty good practice. I was still training my new vaults in pits but I thought I was almost ready to start training them onto competition mats. My floor and new parallel bars routines were coming along. Coach wanted to add a new connection to my mount on p-bars to get me a few extra tenths for my start value. It was a bit tricky and was going to take some work but I knew I would get it. Rings and pommels were rings and pommels. Those two are my weakest events so I try to make up for my weakness in this area in other events. But pommels were coming along this year actually. If there was one thing that Mihai couldn't coach for whatever reason back at home it was Pommel Horse. Kyle wasn't that good at it either. I didn't miss any releases on high bar either! Once practice was over I raced home to shower and get ready. I texted Jayden and told him to meet me at my house in a half hour. I had just gotten out of the shower when I heard a knock at my door.

It was Jess, "So what are you doing tonight?" She asked.

"Oh, Jayden and I have a project for class. We're going to grab a bite to eat and see 'The Social Network' then head back here and see how we're going to divvy up the work." I said.

"Sounds like a date." Jess said. She had a smile on her face.

I was doing my hair I stopped and turned around, "It's not a date. Isn't he back with his ex?"

"I don't know. I stopped asking about it after Sunday morning. I didn't want him to think I was obsessed with his ex, Tyler." She said.


"Plus you two made me Facebook stalk him." She was grinning.

I laughed at her, "Shut up. It was just as much my idea as it was yours." I changed my shirt. I put on a brown V-neck undershirt and pulled my beige long sleeve A&F Henley. I looked over at Jess. "Shorts and flops or Jeans and flops?" I asked her.

"Hmm.. I like this shirt with some khaki shorts and your brown leather flip flops." Jess said.

"Sounds like a plan." I said and put my shorts on. "What are you going to do?" I asked Jess.

"Aw, you look so cute. But there's something missing." She went over to the top of my dresser where I had all my little accessories like bracelets and necklaces. "Here, put this on." She handed me a brown leather wrist bracelet. "Oh and this too." She handed me a brown string necklace with a small key in the center of it. "There you go. You're perfect now. Even if you're not going on a date. No sense in not making other people jealous they're not with you." She laughed and moved me in front of my mirror.

I checked myself out in the mirror. The girl did have a point. Jess gave me a hug from behind. "Thanks Jess." I said with a smile on my face.

"Anything for my baby boy." Jess said with a smile on her face.

I threw my arm behind her and hugged her over her shoulder. "So what are you doing tonight? You've got the house to yourself since Jake is taking Summer out on their date."

"Oh yeah I do, don't I? Girls night in the house then!" Jess said. "I'm probably going to call Natalie and Ashton and see if they want to come over." I heard a knock at the door.

"That's probably Jayden. Alright, I'll see you later." I felt nervous as I walked downstairs. "Jake I'm leaving. I'll see you later. Good luck tonight!"

"Thanks bud." I heard him call from his room.

I walked downstairs and opened the door. Jayden was standing there. He looked up at me. "You ready to go man? Movie is at 10 and I'm starving. Let's go eat." I looked him over. He was wearing a white Hurley v-neck and some dark grey shorts & black flip flops. He had his hair done the same way it was when I first met him.

"Yeah, I'm starving too." I locked the door. "Should we walk or do you want to drive?"

"Nah, it's nice out, lets walk." Jayden said. We started walking down towards High St. We walked by a black Mazda 3 with tented windows. Jayden clicked his alarm to make sure it was on.

"And you think I have a nice car?" I joked with him.

"You do. What is that, a 2010?" He asked me. "Mine is a 2009, my grandparents got it for me. You should've seen the piece I used to drive. I called it the beast."

"Must've been a magnet for prospective hook ups."

Jayden smirked, "Oh yeah. I snagged the best one of them all too."

We walked down the street towards where all the restaurants were. We decided we would eat at the South Star restaurant. It was right across the street from the White Castle we ate that night. It was a little pretentious but their food was so good. It was all natural and organic. We sat down and the waiter came up to us.

"Hey guys. How are you two doing tonight?" He said.

"Good." We both said at the same time.

"Sounds awesome. My name is Heath and I'll be your waiter. Can I start you guys with a drink?" The waiter asked. I looked him over. He had straight sandy brown hair with bangs that he swooped to the side like Justin Bieber. He had probably some of the greenest eyes I had ever seen. His skin was just as tan as mine was. I could tell he wasn't as built as me, or even Jayden but he wasn't a twig either. I couldn't help but think I knew him from somewhere.

"Tyler!" Jayden said "What did you want to drink." I heard Jayden ask me. He sounded a bit annoyed.

Shit, I hope I wasn't staring, "Oh...can I just get one of those margaritas with Grand Marnier on the rocks please?" I said.

"Yep sounds good. I'll be back with your drinks and I'll take your order then." Heath said.

Jayden looked at me confused, "Do you know him?"

"No... maybe... I think I might know him from somewhere, why?" I wasn't actually sure if I was telling the truth.

"You were staring." He laughed at me.

"I was not. The name sounds familiar. I just can't figure out where I know it from." I said.

"Alright. I felt awkward for a minute." Jayden said.

I laughed at him, "Oh shut up."

Heath bought our drinks back. We ordered or food and continued to talk. Jayden was telling me how rush was going. He said the pledges were some of the best they had in years. He said he was still unsure if he was going to be a big brother or not this year with as much as he got going on. He said some of the brothers were pressuring him to since he was the head of the rush committee and on the pledge committee. We changed over to talking about team practice. I told him how Nate had been cleared by the doctor to resume training 100%. Our waiter bought our food to our table. God it looked delicious. We continued talking while we were eating.

"Oh, I forgot. We're doing this thing this year that's kinda new. We're having training camps with our incoming freshman throughout the year. Our first one is in November."

Jayden took a bite of his food. "Awesome. So when do I get to meet baby Conti."

I smiled at that, "Please don't call him that in his presence. He's already worried about being in my shadow."

"I'm sure he has nothing to worry about. You're not that awesome. I've seen the videos." Jayden said as he sipped his margarita.

"Asshole." I bunched up a napkin and threw it at him.

Jayden dodged it, "Hey! What are we, 8?" He said jokingly, "Who throws napkins at the dinner table?"

We were both laughing. I was having a blast with Jayden. I don't care to know about what was going on with his ex and him. I'm sure if he wanted to talk about it, I figured he would. Until then, I would just let it be. We finished our food and left the restaurant. I looked back at our waiter, Heath, one more time. I couldn't put my finger on it but that name sounded familiar. We walked down High St. to the theatre. We were joking around laughing at the already drunk people walking up and down the street. Jayden bumped into a few of his brothers.

"Hey guys, this is my buddy Tyler." He introduced me to the group. I recognized a few of them from the party last week. I saw Matt with them.

"Nice to meet you man." A guy said.

I shook their hands, "Yeah, nice to meet you guys too."

"Hey bud, what's up?" Matt asked.

"We're just heading into see 'The Social Network' preview upstairs." I said.

"Damn." Matt hit Jayden. "Where was my invite Jayden? I told you I wanted to go see it."

Jayden laughed, "Yeah man. Sorry. Kinda was a last minute thing."

"Alright. But I'm dragging you out to see it again this weekend. Tyler you should come too." Matt said. I nodded my head, "I'll talk to Jess, maybe we can set something up."

"Yeah man. Just let me know." I said.

"Alright bro, we're going to go. I'll see ya back at the house later." Matt said to Jayden.

"Will do." Jayden said. He had a smile on his face. I could tell he loved being in his fraternity and it was a big part of his life.

"Nice seeing ya again Tyler." Matt said as he shook my hand.

"You too." I said.

Matt started walking away with the group and turned around, "Oh and Tyler." I turned around and looked at him, "Next time you're invited to play beer pong at the house. Show up! Doesn't matter what time." He said and winked at me.

I looked over at Jayden who was looking back at me. I just shook my head and didn't say anything. We walked into the theatre. I grabbed a cherry ICEE and Jayden got some candy. We walked and found our seats. I was excited to see the movie. I had brought the book that the movie was based on this summer I just didn't have a chance to read it yet. Once the movie started the theatre was dead silent. It was uncommon for a theatre at State to be so quiet during the movie. I had to piss about 3/4th of the way through the movie but held it in cause I didn't want to miss it. Once the movie was done a few people clapped. I stood up and stretched out. We headed out of the theatre and started walking back to my house.

"So did you like the movie?" I asked Jayden.

Jayden shook his head up and down, "Hell yea man. I didn't know what to expect but it was probably one of the best movies I had seen this year."

"Yeah me too."

"Makes me think again before I jump on Facebook." Jayden laughed.

He was on his phone texting something. I didn't look over to see what was up. I didn't care. We were hanging out as buds and that's all that mattered. The bars that littered High St. were packed with people at this point. We got back to my street and started walking to the house. Jayden had us stop at his car so he could grab his laptop out of his car. We walked up to the house it was completely dark. I wondered where Jess was and sent her a text. I figured she went out or something. I turned on the living room light, and went to the kitchen to grab the two of us a bottle of water. I figured we would go into the computer room and start working but when I got upstairs Jayden had already sat down in my room on my chair with his feet resting on my bed.

"What's your guys' internet name so I can log onto the wifi?" Jayden asked.

"What you couldn't guess it?" I laughed. I crouched down next to him, "It's that one."

Jayden looked at me, then back at the screen then back at me. "Seriously." He said smirking at me. "Three's Company?"

"Shut up. Jess thought of it." I was lying, it was actually me who thought of it.

"Sure she did."

"Shut up. The password is Half in, half out 7." I told him.

Jayden looked up at me. "Weird."

"No it's not." I laughed at him.

I sat down on my bed and opened up my laptop. I grabbed my book and took out my notebook. Jayden grabbed the project outline out of his bag and sat it down next to the bed. I decided to jump on Facebook before we started doing any work. I was looking at my newsfeed and I saw a status from Jayden. I looked closer:

Jayden Banks: Having a good night tonight! Good dinner, good movie, and now I guess we can work on our project... :-/

30 minutes ago via iPhone

I was going to comment on it but decided I would later. I scooted towards Jayden who was sitting next to the bed in a chair. I accidentally moved a little too close and his foot was resting against my calf. His feet were pretty cold I thought. I looked down and thought I should maybe move. But I figured what the hell? I looked over and Jayden who was chewing on his pen. He looked up at me.

"What?" He asked.

I caught myself and nodded towards the sheet with the project outline. "Let's start figuring out what we should do."

"Alright sounds good." Jayden said.

We read over the outline then looked back at what we were going to do. We decided we would split the work 50/50 and then work together on the power point once we got that done. We were bouncing ideas off of each other for about a half hour or so. It was obvious we were both spent from the day. Once we figured out what we were going to do I closed my book and started looking at pictures on my laptop.

"Get off of Facebook, Ty." Jayden said jokingly.

"I am not on Facebook." I looked up with a smile. "I'm just looking at pictures."

"Oh yeah?" Jayden got up and put his laptop down. "What are you looking at?"

"Oh, just pictures from last year that's all."

"Scoot over." Jayden said. I moved over to give him room to sit next to me. I sat up and put the laptop on the bed. "Where was this one taken?"

"That's just a picture of us after our first meet last year. We won. All the guys were really excited." We continued to look through the pictures.

"You all seem really close. It's almost like your own little fraternity." Jayden said.

"Well we are. I'm closest obviously with Nate and Jake. The new freshmen, Aaron he's really cool too." I had just realized that Nate was leaning against me with his shoulder.

"Yeah, I bet." Jayden said. I flipped it to the next picture. "Oh shit! Where was that?" Jayden said excitedly.

I took me a second to realize we had now switched to the pictures of last year's Cinco de Mayo celebration in Chicago. "I don't want to talk about it." I was wearing this huge sombrero and looked so wasted. I continued clicking through the pictures. Then it happened, there was one of me when I reached the point of no return with tequila.

"Are you puking?" Jayden said laughing at me.

Jake had taken a picture of me on my hands and knees puking into some plants on the street. Jess was rubbing my back. "Shut up. I got so wasted on tequila that night."

"Yeah looks like it." Jayden laughed and nudged me.

"It wasn't that bad." I clicked the next the picture, I lied it was worst.

"Really, cause that picture says it got much worst." It was picture of me after I had puked. I took my shirt off and Chase was holding me up as I walked back to Jess' place. Jess and Summer were in the background making faces as we walked.

"Whatever." I said. I felt my face getting red. "That's enough of Cinco de Drinkos pictures." I closed my laptop and put it

"Aw Tyler. Don't be a poor sport." Jayden said and reached over to grab my laptop.

"Nope. That's enough, I've embarrassed myself enough today." I said.

It was then that I realized how close Jayden was to me. He was sitting next to me and his torso was reaching over top of me to try and get my laptop. I could smell his cologne that he was wearing. He had a smile on his face as he tried to each for my laptop. He looked up at me.

"Let me see your laptop."Jayden said to me. He had a big smile on his face while he looked up at me. I was staring into his brown eyes.

"No." I laughed.

Jayden was looking at me. "Come on Ty. We've all had bad nights. I'll just look on Facebook when I get home if you don't show me now." He said. He was still half on top of me.

"I'll have to untag myself then." I said.

"Fine. Be like that." He pulled away and sat back up. He was now sitting right next to me facing me.

"Or I could just unfriend you." I said with a laugh.

Jayden looked at me and frowned. "You wouldn't."

"Or would I?" I said devilishly.

"You wouldn't." Jayden moved closer.

"Oh?" I said. I was starting to get aware of how close we were again, debating whether or not I should back off. I gulped. "And why not?"

"Cause I wouldn't like that." He was inches away from my face. "And I don't think you would either." he said, barely whispering.

Next thing I know I felt his lips pressed against mine. It felt like a surge of electricity had gone through the two of us. I've kissed other people before but this time it felt different. I sat there motionless completely caught off guard as to what just happened. I put my hand to the side of his head to pull him in closer. He pulled back for a second and looked at me in my eyes. I saw something different in him then before. There was passion behind the way he looked at me. He pulled closer and then then pressed his lips against mine once more. I exhaled and he pulled away.

I looked up and Jayden who was looking down at me. His face changed from passion to dread. "Shit." he said.

I looked at him confused for a second. He got off of me and jumped off the bed. "What?" I asked him.

"I shouldn't have done that. I should go." Jayden said as he started packing up his things. "I'm sorry I did that." He started to head for the door.



So it finally happened, Jayden made a move. But, what will happen now?? I hope you guys liked the flashback! Since I started the story with Tyler as a Junior we have these friendships that have already been established and there's a history to each of them. So I thought it would be cool to show his first encounter with Nate. Just as a way to give some background to the characters and a look into their past. There will be more to come. Also did anyone notice the little Easter Eggs I left in there for future chapters? Hope you guys enjoyed this chapter!

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has wrote in and shared with me their comments, questions, and thoughts on the story. For being my first story, the response has been truly overwhelming! Once again I appreciate all the feedback and try to respond to those that write in. Any feedback, comments, questions please send to

*** Sorry about how long it took to get this chapter out. The last two weeks have been a little crazy for me. I was in a wedding, there was Pride weekend, and I pretty much destroyed my immune system last weekend and have had a bad cold. Ideally I would like to get chapters out between 7 - 10 days but with work and a social life it can get a little hard. Thanks for everyone patience! ***


**** Any use of trademarked, or copyrighted material (i.e. song lyrics, store names, clothing brands, etc), used throughout the story is simply intended to advance the story, setting, and plot along. I take no ownership of any of the aforementioned brands or material.