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. 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 5

"Trouble For Me"


I laid in my bed listening to the sound of the rain steadily hit my window. After last night, all I wanted to do was just lay there. I didn't have practice until later today and had every intention on being as lazy as I wanted to be until then. This was the first time I had been home all by myself. No one came home last night and the only noises were from the sound of my iPod playing music lightly in the background and the rain. I sat there staring at my ceiling thinking to myself. How did things go from good to bad so quickly last night? I was having a great time with Jayden. Even if he had gotten back together with his ex, the two of us had a great time just hanging out as friends. We were joking with each other, just hanging out like two friends would. Then there was the kiss. God, he was such a good kisser. I've kissed other people before but kissing Jayden was much, much better. I checked my phone to see if there were any text messages I had missed. Nothing. I sighed. It was 11 and I was going slightly crazy being by myself. I contemplated calling Kyle but then I remembered that he was probably in school right now. I decided to jump on facebook until someone got home, so I grabbed my laptop and opened the page. I checked my newsfeed to see what everyone was doing.

Kyle Conti: Bored as usual in class. Updating your status during class is the new note passing... Is it next August yet? O - H - ...

45 minutes ago via Android

I smiled at that and responded back saying, "Keep updating during class and you won't make it here! Oh...and to finish that off...I - O!". I kept scrolling through and looking at the various statuses.

Nate Mirza: I love rainy days. Those are the best times to go for a jog, who wants to join me?

20 minutes ago via Web

Chelsea Clark: These early practices are killing me. Why can't we just be like the boys?? :(

2 hours ago via iPhone

Jake Colletti: I need to get home to Ty! Had a great night with a special girl... Nate is a bad influence on me!! Where the hell is my his ass at?!?!

1 hour ago via Android

Jayden Banks: ...too much shit on my mind... throwing myself head first into my frat responsibilities. Do not disturb... -_-

8 hours ago via iPhone

I closed my laptop and tossed it to my side. Jayden was obviously still a little upset about last night. I laid back in my bed and just listened to the music and tried to get my mind off of things.


I hurried and got out of the bed. I stood in front of my door blocking Jayden. "Jayden calm down."

"Tyler, I need to go." Jayden said calmly.

I moved aside. My mind was racing. What the hell was going on? Everything was going great. I finally let my guard down and this is what happens? I started following Jayden down the stairs.

"Jayden please..." I said.

Jayden turned around and looked at me. "Ty...I'm sorry I kissed you. I shouldn't have done that."

"Don't be sorry." I said. I walked down the stairs. We were standing in the living room. The room was dark, only lit by the streetlights that lined our streets. "I'm not freaking out about it."

It was silent for a moment, Jayden cracked a smile and said, "Look Ty, you're a great guy. You deserve someone much better than me. I can't with you." He shook his head.

"Why not?" I asked him. Hearing him say `I can't with you' stung like a bitch.

"Because..." He took a deep breath, "Because I got back together with my boyfriend, Ethan. After we talked in your room and your car last week, I thought I should give it another chance. People deserve second chances."

I felt like I was being punched in the gut repeatedly. I had assumed that he and his ex had possibly gotten back together, but hearing it really hurt. "His name is Ethan?"

"Yes. We dated for a year and a half, Ty. I can't just throw that away. It's not that I don't think you're a great guy. Up until about 10 minutes ago I wasn't even sure if you were gay. You guard yourself well."

"Do not even put the blame on me for this." I said sternly.

He defended himself quickly. "It's not that. I get it. I know you have tons of pressure on you and I know you can't afford to risk getting outted. It's just...Ty, it's not that I don't like being your friend or hanging out with you. I DO like you...I just...I loved Ethan." He sat down on the couch opposite of me.

I sat there staring into the dark. I didn't know what to say. I can't be like `choose me now'; he clearly had made his choice. I took a deep breath. "Jayden you should go." I said, defeated.

"Don't be mad at me Tyler." I could see he was shocked at what I had told him.

I shook my head, "I'm not mad. I just...I started to let my guard down and this is what happens. It's awesome." Truthfully I wanted him to go before I got mad and had a severe case of word vomit.

"If you would've given me even a hint Tyler."

"A hint?" I shot back at him.

Jayden shook his head. "I just meant, I didn't know if you liked me like that. But now it's too late. I still want to be friends. I want to hang out with you! I have so much fun when we hang out."

I looked back at him. The pain was starting to turn into anger. "No you know what? Friends...we ARE just friends. Classmates to put it correctly."

"Tyler, don't act like this." Jayden picked his bag back up. "I'm serious. Don't act like you didn't feel something."

"I didn't. I was only in this for a hit it and quit it." I lied.

Jayden looked a little shocked at that. "Oh fuck you bro. Hit it and quit it...huh? You're a horrible liar, Ty." He was getting angry too.

"Is it? Maybe not a hit it and quit it, but I'm not the one who went back to someone who cheated on them. And it wasn't like this was once or twice. This was an ongoing thing for two months. You honestly don't think he won't do it again? You're not that dumb Jayden." I was starting to get mad, I tried to calm myself down. I looked at Jayden and I could tell that was a low blow. "I didn't mean that..."

"Oh no..." Jayden cut me off. "Whatever you meant came through loud and clear right there. I'll see you later Tyler." Jayden said. He walked out of the house and slammed the door on the way out.

"Fuck!" I screamed.

I can't believe I let that get so out of hand. That argument was my fault. I should've kept a cooler head. I walked back upstairs and slammed my door. I pulled out my phone and sent Jake a text letting him know we needed to talk. I opened up mine and Jayden's texting conversation. I started to tell him that I was sorry, but I figured I would apologize in a few days. I shouldn't have said what I said. I was mad, but those were some low blows.


I heard a knock on my door. "Come in." I must've fallen asleep.

Jake walked in with a smile on his face. "What's going on buddy? Sorry I didn't come home last night." He sat down on the edge of my bed. "After the date, Nate texted me and told me to come over and play some 360. We figured you were still with Jayden, so we didn't want to disrupt you. By the time we were done it was hella late, so I just crashed on the couch."

"It's cool. Don't worry about it." I told him. "But last night did NOT go as planned." I said, faking a laugh.

"This story isn't going to end with you telling me that Jayden is 'straight', is it?" Jake laughed as he laid across the end of my bed. "Throw me a pillow, I'm interested in this story."

I tossed him a pillow and said, "No this story does NOT end with him saying he's straight...cause he's not. He is definitely gay."

Jake clapped his hands together, "I knew it!"

I laughed and told him, "Oh he's gay alright. Came through quite clear as we started to make out." I paused. Jake was listening to the story intently. "But then he told me he was back with his ex..." I trailed off.

Jake smacked his head, "I'm sorry buddy. So I take it we should start from the beginning then


I told him about how well the night was going when we went to dinner and the movie, and about bumping into Matt and having him try to set up a double date with Jess and me. I told him about how great of a time we were having hanging out when we came back to the house and how he saw the pictures of last Cinco de Mayo in Chicago.

Jake stopped me at that point, "So wait...he saw the pictures of you puking for your life on Cinco and still kissed you?" He laughed.

"Shut up. It's not like I had just thrown up right there." I laughed.

"But still...who wants to kiss after seeing all that?"

I just shook my head continued on in the story to when we kissed. He had a big smile on his face. "Oh there's more. And like I said, it doesn't end well."

I continued telling him how after Jayden kissed me a second time, things unraveled badly downstairs. When I told him about what I said, Jake gave my leg a slight rub. "I'm sorry buddy." Jake was such a great guy. I joked to myself, `why can't he just be gay?' I laughed and Jake looked at me and just shook his head. Almost like he knew what I was thinking. He took a second to process everything I had just told him. Telling Jake what happened made me realize that the situation was so messed up.

"Damn you and your hot blooded, Italian self!" Jake said, trying to make me feel a little better.

"Oh I word vomit."

Jake nodded his head, "OH so much word vomit is more like it."

"I really fucked that one up, didn't I?" I asked him.

"Oh, that's putting it lightly. Now I don't think you've completely ruined anything between the two of you. He's as much to blame as you are. He should've said something to you the night of the party." Jake said.

"I know. I think that's why I got so pissed." I told him.

"Look buddy. Give it a few days. You both made mistakes. Talk to him on Monday at class or something, but I think it's best if maybe this weekend we take a break from all that. Let everyone calm down. We can hang out with the girls, or some of the guys." Jake said.

He had a point. A weekend off and just relaxing was definitely in order. We had been going pretty hard since school had started back up. I certainly could use a break from all the drinking and get my mind off of everything with Jayden. I decided that over the weekend I was going to throw myself into my schoolwork and do some serious extra training in the gym. The season would be here before I knew it, and these distractions needed to go away.

"So tell me how the date went." I said to Jake.

"How about we do it over lunch? I'm starved." Jake replied.

We both showered up and got ready for the day. I was trying my best not to think about what happened last night. Yeah, I said some stuff that I probably shouldn't have but I was angry. He was just as much to blame as I was for that argument. I knew I was going to have to apologize for the argument, but like I told Jake, I think we need some time apart. I was packing my gym bag so that I could just lounge around after lunch till practice at 3. As I was finished packing my bag I heard the door open.

"Tyler Savino Conti!" I heard Jess yell from the first floor. "You tell me what happened last night right this moment!"

I laughed and walked downstairs. "Well good afternoon to you too." I said with a smirk. "Where did you go last night?"

"Oh, some of us girls decided to have a girls night out. Matt texted me, so the girls and I went over to the house." She said.

"Oh you did? Did you see Jayden?" I asked, half hoping she did and half hoping she didn't. Judging by her outburst when she walked in, I figured that she had.

Jake had walked downstairs at that point. I think he could kind of hear what was going on because the first thing he said was, "Now don't point the finger at Ty, Jess."

"I'm not." She playfully said as Jake sat next to her. "But yeah, we saw him. He stormed back into the house slamming pretty much every door he came into contact with. I didn't say anything."

"Did Matt tell you anything?" I asked.

"No, he was completely clueless too." She said.

I had pissed him off, I sighed. "It's a long story. One I just finished telling Jake. We're going to go grab a bite to eat, do you want to come with?" I asked her.

"No, I gotta work in an hour. But it's alright, you don't have to tell me now. But I want to hear what happened sometime today."

I nodded. "You will." I assured her. As we got up and headed for the door, I stopped and turned around, "Do you work with Jayden today?"

"I think so. I know he texted me earlier this week asking if I could switch though, so I don't know if he's going in today or not." Jess said.

I told her okay and Jake and I left. We walked down the street to Chipotle. Once we got our food, we sat in the corner and Jake told me about his date. He said he took her to Little Havana's for dinner and a drink. Afterwards, they went and saw a movie. He said they tried to get tickets to see the same movie that Jayden and I saw, but he didn't get there in time and they were sold out so they saw a different movie.

"I was a little pissed that we couldn't get tickets for the special preview." Jake said. "Was it good?"

"Oh totally. Best movie I've seen in awhile." I said.

Jake crumbled up a napkin and threw it at me, "Thanks."

"Who are you, me?" I laughed and told him how I did the same thing to Jayden last night.

"Yeah, yeah. So after the movie we just went for a walk around campus and talked. I think I'm really liking her." Jake said.

"Well I'd hope so!" I laughed. "I mean, we're all friends so play this one carefully."

"Oh I know. Why do you think we haven't had sex yet?" Jake said.

I shrugged, "I don't know...I thought one of you was always too drunk."

"Well that, and the fact that I don't just want to be like, you know, friends with benefits. I think I want to DATE HER, date her you know? She's hot, and a blast to hang out with. Plus we have a lot of similar friends. So that's always cool too."

"Yeah. Plus she knows how busy you can be already, so you don't have to worry about that." I took a bite of my burrito.

"I know!"

We finished eating and headed back to the house. I felt like I was going to explode, I was so full. Once we got back to the house Jess was already gone for work. We both collapsed on the couches in our front room and watched TV while we waited for practice to start. Jake would keep talking about his date with Summer. I could tell that he had definitely taken a liking to her. Jake is usually a player of sorts. He likes to hook up mainly, he doesn't really do the dates, so for him to be so enamored with someone was actually quite cool to see. Well, there's that and the fact that I wouldn't have to play wingman for a while. That was good too.

Over the next few days I threw myself into my schoolwork and spending extra time in the gym. I was perfecting little things here and there, and had almost gotten my new routines set for the high bar & parallel bars. Since rings' and pommel horse are my weaker events, it's important to make sure I have my other routines be as perfected and competitive as possible. Floor and vault are my strongest and are coming along great. I've started doing some of my new passes on our actual floor instead of the tumble track and my vaults are coming along as steady she goes.

One of the main things I had to work on now was my mount on parallel bars, since I had planned to do a tricky combination. It wasn't necessarily a hard skill, but doing it back to back in combination with my mount was going to take some getting used to.

Jake and Nate were right there pushing me every step of the way. Jake was doing great himself. I had a great feeling about this season, as our team was looking really good. There were massive upgrades to everyones' routines going on. Jake had been pushing himself harder than I've seen him in a long time, plus Nate was coming around as well. He was determined to get his all around spot back. Those first few days I tried my best to be with him and watch him to make sure he wasn't pushing himself too fast. After awhile though, I saw that he was being smart and backed off a bit. My biggest surprise was Aaron. He had started to come along from those first few days where he was falling and sitting down everything. But like I told him, everything takes some getting used to.

We were finishing up practice Saturday when I stopped Aaron. "Hey man, you're doing really great."

"You think so man? I'm really trying my best. You were right, training here is so different from what we were used to." Aaron said.

I laughed, "Yeah I know. When I went home for the summer, Mihai tried to get me back into his training regimen for a few weeks and it was killing me!"

"I bet." Aaron took a drink of his water, "Hey, do you want to hang out sometime this weekend?"

I nodded, "Funny you ask, I was going to see if you wanted to come over sometime and hang out with Jake and me at the house."

He looked really excited. "Sure man. I need to hang out with a fellow California guy!"

I laughed, "I know. At first I was going crazy, cause I would talk about things and no one would have the slightest idea what I was talking about. Jake finally discovered the greatness that is In-N-Out burgers this summer. He was in love." I laughed. After our first trip to In-N-Out Jake was obsessed. He kept wanting to go back.

"God, I miss In-N-Out! Five Guys is good, but you can't touch an In-N-Out burger!" Aaron said.

"Hell yeah! So yeah dude, you're always welcome to come over. Just... we can't let you pass out in Jake's bed again." I laughed.

"Noted." Aaron laughed with me.

Sunday morning I was sitting in the spare bedroom doing some schoolwork with Jess when Jake came in and sat down with us. He was doing some work himself. We got to talking about what we were cooking for dinner that night. I mentioned possibly going out to eat instead of cooking. They both agreed and we started talking about where to go.

"How about South Star?" I suggested. I looked over at Jake and he just shrugged saying he didn't really care.

I looked over at Jess who was giving the two of us a funny look. "You two sure you want to go there? I'm shocked you even went there with Jayden on Thursday night."

I was confused as to what she meant by that. "What do you mean?"

Jake looked just as confused. "Yeah...the food is good there."

Jess rolled her eyes. "Are you two that aloof?"

"Aloof?" We both laughed at her. "Who says that anymore?" Jake said.

Jake and I looked at each other laughing. I was trying to figure out what she meant by that. We then turned to Jess who was still sitting there almost as though she was waiting for us to come to a realization of something. Almost at the same time mine and Jake's eyes got really big.

I spoke up first, "HOLY SHIT!"

"Nate worked there this summer, didn't he?" Jake asked me excitedly.

"God you two! Sometimes I don't know how the both of you have the grades you have." Jess teased us.

"Wait...oh my I know why I kept looking at our waiter funny." I said.

They both shot me a look. "Your waiter was NOT Heath was it?" Jess spoke up first.

"Well, his name was Heath, but I don't know if he was Nate's Heath." I said.

They both rolled their eyes at me. "How many Heaths do you think work at the exact same restaurant that our Nate worked at?" Jake said.


"Do you think he recognized you?" Jess asked me. I wondered if he had. But I doubted it. I mean sure Nate and I have pictures together on Facebook, but even if I was dating someone I doubt I'd remember random people in their Facebook pictures.

"Doubtful." I said.

"Oh man this is great. We're definitely going there tonight. We gotta do some research for Nate." Jake said.

"Research?" I asked.

"Dude, you know Nate still likes him. He just ended it cause Eric was being an ass and he was worried what would happen if it came out. But now with all of us back together I doubt Eric would cause trouble." Jake said.

"So what are you thinking?" Jess asked. "Should we invite Nate out?"

I shook my head. "No...because now that we decided to eat there, the food is too good. If things go bad, I don't want to have to leave." I laughed.

Jake nodded, "Yeah, we should just go and try to talk to him or something."

"Sounds good." Jess and I both said.

Once the shock wore off from what we had just figured out, we went back to our schoolwork. I was still a little unsure whether or not we should actually go to dinner at South Star. I didn't know how Nate would feel about us meddling with that situation, but at the same time I knew Nate still had feelings for Heath so I reasoned with myself that it couldn't hurt just to go and check it out. I figured if anything, we could maybe mention how we knew someone who used to work there or something. Once I finished my schoolwork I checked the time. Since it was only five I figured I would go for a run and be back in time to go out to dinner.

While on my run I started thinking about the whole situation with Jayden again. I thought about running towards fraternity row, but I didn't want to risk bumping into him on the street. I didn't want him to think I was creeping on him. I decided instead to try and talk to him again on Monday after class. That way, if things didn't go well, I could just leave instead of having to sit next to him for eighty minutes. I just needed to make sure that we would be civil enough to still be able to finish the project. After that, if he didn't want anything to do with me, while that would suck, at least my grade wouldn't be affected. I did like Jayden, it just had seemed it has become one thing after another with him. I don't want to be with him if it's going to be drama filled.

I finished my run and went home. Jess and Jake were both waiting for me when I got back. I ran upstairs and hurried and showered up. We jumped in my car and drove to South Star. It was funny because I felt a little anxious as we drove there. As soon as we walked in I did a quick scan of the restaurant to see if I saw Heath. I didn't see him but he could be off somewhere else.

"Do you see him anywhere?" Jess asked.

"Nope." I said.

The host greeted us, "How many?"

"Three." Jake said. "Also do you know if Heath is here?" Jess and I both looked at him kind of shocked that Jake would be so forward.

"Yeah..." The host said.

"Awesome. If it's not too big of an issue can we sit in his section?" Jake said.

The host looked at us questionably for second then said, "Sure."

Once we were seated I felt a little more relaxed. Jake and Jess were looking around trying to see if he was coming. I laughed because they didn't know who they were even looking for. A few minutes later Heath walked up to our table.

"Hey man what's going on?" He said to me with a smile.

I nodded, "Not much man. Starving."

Heath laughed at that, "Yeah sorry, it's a little crazy here today." He looked over at Jake and Jess who were sitting opposite of me. "You were in here a few days ago weren't you?" He asked me.

I was slightly shocked that he remembered me. Maybe he did recognize me. "...Yeah. My friend Jayden and I had dinner together." I caught Jess and Jake checking out Heath out of the corner of my eye.

"So good you had to come back, huh?" Heath said with a smirk.

"Yeah." I laughed.

Heath took our drink orders. While he was looking at Jess and Jake I checked him out again. He looked the exact same as last time. His longer sandy brown hair was swooped to the side. His green eyes still had to be some of the greenest eyes I had ever seen. After a closer look I noticed he had to be about 5'10" or so. His build was smaller than Jake or me. He didn't look like a twig though. He was cute and his smile was reminiscent of Jayden's.

"Shit...all the good ones are always gay." Jess said after Heath left.

"Hey!" Jake piped in.

"Oh shut up. The jury is still out on you Jake." Jess said laughing.

I just shook my head at the two of them. "Uh...not to make things awkward. But I remember when you two used to hook up."

"Exactly...I know from experience, the jury is still out." Jess said laughing and rubbed Jakes arm. He knew she was just teasing him.

At that moment Heath came back with our drinks. He stopped and chatted with us for a second then took our food orders. While we waited we snacked on chip and salsa. Jake joked that these were the healthiest chips and salsa he's ever eaten since all the food here was organic. I asked Jess about her date with Matt last night.

"Oh it was fun. We went and saw The Social Network." she said.

I felt a tinge of jealousy; I should've been on that date. "Oh that's cool. Did he tell you he bumped into Jayden and me Thursday night when we saw it?"

"Yeah..." Jess said and looked away from me. It felt like she was keeping something.

I looked at her, "That `yeah' says so much."

"Oh, he just said that he had invited you to come with, but when Jayden came back slamming doors everywhere Thursday night he figured that wasn't happening." She said.

"So he told you that Jayden is gay?" I asked.

"Like he had too." Jake laughed.

"Oh shut up Jake. That was debatable at first too. I couldn't tell until all this with Ty went down."

"I know. I just like to tease Ty Ty here."

"So what do you think is going to go on with you two?" I asked.

Jess shrugged, "I don't know. I mean he's really nice and he's cute. But I have never seen myself as someone who dates a frat guy."

"Me either." I laughed.

We continued to talk while we waited for our food to come. Once Heath brought out the food. We talked about Jake's date and how school was going. I really enjoy our Sunday "family dinners". We can get so busy during the week sometimes that we don't get to catch up with each other enough. I mean Jake and I see each other a lot because we train together, but it's a different type of catching up. Once we were almost finished, the conversation switched to Nate and Heath.

"So...who is going to be the one to say something?" I asked.

We all looked at each other, Jake finally said, "I guess that means me."

"Okay but don't be creepy." I said.

Heath walked back up, "How was everything?"

"Good man..." Jake said. "Hey, you look familiar from somewhere..."

Heath kind of looked back and forth. "I do?" he said with a smirk.

"Yeah. My friend used to work here." Jake said.

I was looking at Jess because I didn't want to start smiling. This exchange was too funny for even me.

Heath started grabbed Jake's plate and said, "Oh yeah, what's their name?"

I felt my heart start to pound. Oh it comes. Jake looked over at me really quick and then back up at Heath, "Nathan Mirza".

Just then Jake's plate slipped out of Heath's hand and fell on the table. It spilled my glass of water onto the table and myself. "Dude!" I said and looked over at Jake. He just shrugged.

"Shit!" Heath said. "I'll be right back."

I started to wipe the water off myself and the table using napkins. "Well that went well." I said. I looked down at my shorts. It looked like I had pissed myself.

Jess was laughing, "Well I didn't see this backfiring like that."

I shot her an angry glare. "You see you two. I told you this wasn't a good idea."

Heath came back with a rag and started wiping down the table. "I'm sorry. That just caught me off guard a little. I haven't talked to him in awhile." Heath looked a little flustered. "How is he?" He said in a tone that sounded a little hopeful.

"Oh he's good." Jess said. "He finally finished rehabbing his shoulder injury and is back to normal and training."

Heath smiled, "That's good. He made things a little difficult serving this summer. We'd have to run his food sometimes when his shoulder would bother him."

"His lazy ass." Jake said.

We all laughed at that. "I didn't mind it too much..." Heath said and kind of frowned. "You should tell him to stop in sometime. We miss him around here." Heath said as he placed the check on the table. "He's a good guy." he said and walked away.

" what you two?" I asked them.

"Well it's obvious he isn't angry towards him. I think he might even like him a bit." Jake said.

"Yeah?" I asked.

"Oh yeah!" Jess said. "Didn't you see him when he started talking about them missing him here?" She looked at the two of us. We both nodded, "Well obviously `us' is him."

"Okay. So what do you think we should do then? Have Nate come in sometime? I think it'd be a little too creeper-ish if we invited him out." I said.

"I agree." Jake laughed.

Jess sat there for a second. "You know boys, I saw this on a Friends & How I Met Your Mother episode before. We're throwing a party but the idea behind the party is..."

Jake cut her off, "Ecume?" I laughed at hearing him say it like that. "We're throwing a party... and what kind of party are you thinking?"

"Well, I mean, sure we can party, but how about something similar to the bbq? We have an amazing house that is ideal for a party." Jess said.

"Yeah, and I'd like to keep it amazing!" I said.

"You had no problem when Aaron was puking in the toilet." Jake added to the conversation.

"Shut up. That was not my fault." I said.

Just then Heath walked up, "Sorry again about the spill, man. I haven't done that in so long." I told him not to worry about it. "I just haven't heard from Nate in awhile...that's all."

I felt bad for Heath. "Well hey man, how about you give me your number and we can all hang out sometime." I said.

The two of them looked at me. I just shrugged. "Sure." Heath said. I put his number in my phone and saved it. "Text me sometime and we'll all hang out."

Jake handed him his credit card, "I've got dinner tonight you two."

We finished up at the restaurant and headed back to the house. `What a night', I thought. Once we got home I played around on Facebook for a bit. I saw Jayden online and thought about starting a chat with him, but before I could send him a message he logged off. I told myself that I could just talk to him tomorrow. I wasn't tired so I went downstairs and watched a movie with Jess. We talked a little bit about what she had in mind for a party. We decided that we would have a party two weeks from now on a Saturday to kick off Homecoming Week.

I woke up that next morning on the couch. I must have fallen asleep during the movie. I got ready for class and headed out the door. I was always the last one to leave on Mondays so it was nice to have the house quiet and peaceful. I was on my way to class when I started to get nervous. I was going to be seeing Jayden for the first time since Thursday night. I got to the door and took a deep breath. I had to take a second to compose myself. As I walked into the classroom I didn't see Jayden at our table. I did a quick scan around the room and didn't see him anywhere. I sat down and texted Jess that he wasn't in class and wondering if she had heard anything from him.

Jess: No... I haven't seen him since Thursday night. Our work schedules have been screwy lately. I know he was really busy working on things with the pledges. Maybe he's tied up with something at the frat?

Tyler: Alright... I'll just wait and see. Should I text him?

Jess: No. Just wait it out.

I was only 5 minutes early but Jayden was almost always in class before I was. Our Professor showed up and took attendance. I guess he wasn't going to show up. I sighed. I hope it wasn't because he was still upset about what happened last week. I tried my best to concentrate on our lecture but I kept zoning out. I think I took notes for about 5 slides and then just tuned out our Professor all together. Class was almost over when I felt my phone vibrate. I figured it had to be Jayden saying something. I pulled it out and was disappointed to see it was Aaron asking if I wanted to meet for a bite after class got out. I texted him back and told him that I would meet him at the Union after I got out of class. I felt my phone vibrate once more and figured it was just Aaron telling me okay so I didn't check it. Class went on boringly as usual. I found myself so bored when Jayden wasn't there. At least he would laugh at the same things I would, or I could catch him drawing little doodles on the sides of his notebook when he would get tired of taking notes. Class ended and I headed to meet up with Aaron. I checked my phone. It was a text message from Jayden.

"Dammit." I said out loud as Aaron walked towards me.

Aaron looked at me funny, "Nice to see you too, buddy."

"No..." I said. "Sorry, it's my project partner. He wasn't in class today."

"Oh. What did he want?" Aaron asked.

I looked down at the message. It was short and to the point:

Jayden: I'm not going to be in class today. I emailed the Professor asking for a copy of the power point. Don't worry about taking notes for me.

There goes that punched in the gut feeling I had from our last conversation again. I decided not to respond to it. "Oh, he was just telling me that he wasn't going to be in class. That's all." I told Aaron. We walked out of the Union. "Lets go eat at 5 Guys... I need to something greasy." I laughed.

"Hell I said. It's no In-N-Out but it'll do!" Aaron said excitedly. We walked down the street to 5 Guys. We were talking about things regarding the team. " long did it take you all to become so close? Like you and Jake?" Aaron asked.

"Oh...well we just started hanging out together. We were in the same hall just on different floors so it made it easier. How are you getting along with the new freshmen?" I asked him. Truthfully, I hadn't really paid too much attention to how Aaron was doing outside of the gym.

"It's been good. Sam and I are becoming close. We're on the same floor as each other. We were thinking about seeing if our roommates wouldn't mind switching with us. I actually wanted to ask you about that." Aaron said.

We grabbed our food and sat down. "What'd you want to know?"

"God this is going to kill us today." Aaron laughed.

"Ehh...don't worry about it. It's only Monday so we'll practice easily today." I said.

"So I know you and Jake live together now. But how long have you guys lived together?"

"Oh man, since freshman year." I told Aaron and took a bite of my burger, "God this is delicious. We got lucky though. Since we don't have the same major, we use that time away from each other so we don't drive one and other crazy.

Aaron laughed at that. "Alright that's cool. Sam seems like a cool guy. I think we'd live together well."

"Well then, I definitely would recommend it. Just so you know though, if they don't want to switch just talk to Coach. He'll talk to the Athletic Director and get it handled." I responded.

Aaron looked a little shocked at that, "No shit?"

I smirked, "Consider it one of those perks we get as athletes. Just say your schedules aren't working very well or something."

"Awesome." Aaron said.

We continued talking about things we missed from California. He told me how he missed going to Magic Mountain & Knott's. I told him not to worry, if we can figure out something before the end of October we have two parks within reasonable driving distance that makes Magic Mountain look like a dump. I really had a good time hanging out with Aaron. It's nice to be able to talk about home. I'm also happy to see that he was adjusting to being so far from home well. I know he had gotten off to a rocky start here. If anything I figured this would be practice for me when Kyle comes next year. I love my brother but I don't want him to lean only on me for friends. I want him to experience college as someone other than Tyler's little brother. We finished up our food and headed to practice.


It was Wednesday morning and I woke up early so I could go for a run with Jake. I mentioned how we hadn't seen Summer around the house. He said that she'd been really busy with her classes. She was taking the maximum amount of credit hours you can per semester this year and it kept her pretty busy lately with all the work. He mentioned the last time the two of them had hung out was Monday after practice. I had already told him what happened Monday during class with Jayden. We finished our run and sat down off to the side of the elevated track that overlooked our training gym.

"Dude. You need to talk to him today at class. If he's not there, then you call him." Jake said.

Jake was right, "I know. I will. I need to see how the work is going on our project. It's worth 30 percent of our grade!"

"Exactly. Don't let him fuck you over on your grade for something petty. Who cares if he decided to go back to his ex-boyfriend...which was a stupid idea to begin with." Jake said.

I took off my shirt and laid back trying to catch my breath, "Yeah, but you know. All that word vomit I had."

"Yeah, but this is going on a week now. It's not like you said his mother was fat and he had a little dick or something similar." Jake laughed, "He needs to quit being a queen about the situation...and you too!"

"Don't call me a queen!" I nudged him with my knee.

Jake playfully pushed me back playfully, "Well, then make sure you say something today."

We showered up and went our separate ways. I headed back to the classroom and the same uneasy feeling I had from Monday had returned. I pushed it out of my head and told myself that I had nothing to worry about this time. He was the one who didn't show up on Monday, not me. I turned the corner halfway expecting not to see Jayden but there he was. He was wearing a blue zip up hoodie with his fraternity's letters on one side of it. He had his iPod on and was facing the opposite direction. I sat down next to him and started taking my things out. He didn't look in my direction. Once our Professor came in he took out his ear buds. I thought I heard him listening to Jason Mraz and it was confirmed once he popped out his earphones. I smirked because he was actually listening to one of my favorite songs, "The Remedy".

He looked over at me for the first time since I had sat down and said, "Hey man."

"Hey." I said with a smile.

"Sorry about Monday. Got busy with things for the fraternity. I've been working on our project though. I'm almost done with my half of the research and I started the power point already." He said in a tone that kind of came across that he was all business today.

"Alright. I'm almost done with mine too. Should we..." I said.

Before I could finish my sentence Jayden cut me off. "Good. I'll drop off my flash drive at your house in a day or so."

"...okay." I said.

With that our Professor had started lecture. I tried my best to keep my mind on our Professor and take notes. Every now and then I would glance over at Jayden to see what he was doing. He was doing his usual work of taking notes and doodling. I think he caught me looking one time and quickly quit drawing whatever he was drawing. I sighed and went back to note taking. I just wanted to get out of class. Finally, after the longest 80 minutes of my life, class was over. By the time I had finished stuffing my book into my bag Jayden was already at the door. I hurried up and tried to exit the class. As I was grabbing the last of my things my Professor stopped me.

" Tyler, can I talk to you?" Professor Sawyer asked.

I stopped dead in my tracks, 'great' I thought. "Sure. What's going on Professor?"

"How is everything going with your project? Are you guys working together well?" He asked.

"Yes sir. Everything is going well." I was hoping this conversation could end quickly so I could try and see if I could catch up with Jayden.

"Alright...because if you need more time I can accommodate it." Great, I thought. I hate it when I'm singled out at times. I mean, it does have its advantages but right now was not the time.

I was getting frustrated, "No sir. I don't need any special treatment." I said a little more firmly possibly than even I realized it. "I'm sorry. It's been a stressful day. I really do appreciate it, but we'll be ready to go next Wednesday."

"Alright. I just wanted to make sure everything was going well. Your partner has been missing class lately. I hope I didn't put you with someone who is leaving you with all the work."

I smiled back at the Professor, "I can assure you he's carrying his own weight in the project Sir. You have nothing to worry about."

"Sounds good. I can't wait to see your presentation next week, then."

I laughed, "Neither can I..."

Professor Sawyer looked back at me questionably. "Oh?"

"It was a joke..." I tried to make him laugh but obviously I failed at it. He looked like he was about to say something back to me. "Don't worry. Jayden and I will be ready to go next Wednesday."

I walked out the classroom and headed to the Union since I had some time to kill before my nutrition class. I knew Jess and Summer would probably be there. If I was lucky, maybe Jayden would be there too. I decided I would call him so that way I can avoid the deer in headlights moment. The phone rang a few times. I was sure he was either going to send me to voicemail or wait until the phone sent me to voicemail. To my shock he answered.

"Hey Tyler." He said.

"Hey man, what's going on?"

"Nothing much. I'm with Scooter and Jess right now at the Union. Did you need something?"

"Well... I kinda wanted to talk to you about what happened Thursday night." I said. I started walking towards the library. I had my laptop with me so I figured I would just go up to the top floor and do some studying while I waited for practice to start.

There was a slight pause, I thought I heard Jess in the background. I felt a little annoyed that I felt like I couldn't go see my own friend right now because of what was going on between the two of us. "Well...go ahead."

I sighed into the phone. He wasn't going to make this easy. "Look. I wanted to say sorry for the way I acted that night. I know I said some bad things. It's just..." I paused for a second. "When I get mad I have a bad tendency to say things I don't mean. Jake says it's the Italian in me...I didn't mean it."

"Yeah well don't worry about it." Jayden said in an unconvincing tone. "It's cool man no hard feelings. We're just classmates who have common friends like you said. I'll drop the flash drive off to Jess tomorrow at work." I heard Jess say something in the background to Jayden but couldn't make out what she was saying.

"Jayden, don't be like that." I said as I stopped in front of the Library doors. Just then I felt someone tap my shoulder. I turned around to see who it was. It was some random girl I've never seen before. "I'm on the phone...did you need something?" I asked them trying my best to not sound that annoyed.

"You're Tyler Conti from the men's gymnastics team, aren't you?" The girl said.

Really? Of all the damn moments to be recognized, today had to be one of them. "Uh...yeah..." I nodded toward my phone trying to give the hint that now was NOT the time. "Jayden are you still there?"

"Yes." He sounded as annoyed as I was right now.

"Oh my brother Zac goes to a gym you guys volunteer at during the season." I tried to remember who she was talking about but couldn't put a name to the face. "I just wanted to tell you they really apprecia..." the girl continued to talk I had zoned her out.

"Tyler I've got to go. Don't sweat it we're jus..."

"Jayden, wait!" Today was not a good day for me at all. I turned my direction towards the girl, "Hey I'm really sorry but I'm on an important phone call right now." Just then I heard my phone beep telling me Jayden had just hung up. "Well I was..." I tried to keep my cool. I had to remember always in the back of my head that I was representing the university at all moments of the day.

"Oh... I'm so sorry." The girl said.

I took a breath, "No it's fine..." I forced myself to smile.

"I just wanted to say you guys do a great job. They really look up to you guys." She said. I wasn't feeling like much of a role model right about now.

"Oh no, don't worry about it. I know we are doing a clinic in a few weeks with our incoming freshmen next year at the gym and we've invited a few local gyms to watch a practice. I'll keep an eye out for your brother." I had calmed down the best I could.

She smiled at me, "Really? You're so nice. Alright, I'll let you go. I'm sorry I interrupted your phone call." I shook my head at her, "I just wanted to let you know how much it means to them when you guys come to the gym and do clinics."

I smiled back at her almost forgetting about the situation that just happened. "No, it's not important. Don't worry about it. I can talk to them at another time." It made me feel a little better hearing her tell me how much they appreciate us coming out there and doing clinics. She caught me off guard when she gave me a quick hug. I laughed and put my arm around her. "Have a nice day." Volunteering was something I really liked that we did as a team. It helps the sport, the school, and the team. Since men's gymnastics isn't as mainstream as say, women's gymnastics or our football team, we have to put the little extra effort into getting the team known around the community and such. I walked into the library and started studying.

Later that day at practice, I was talking to Jake and Nate about what had happened. They both laughed at me because I was recognized. It doesn't happen too often, so it was funny to them that it had to happen at that moment. It does throw me sometimes because I try my best to be as normal as possible when I'm not in the gym or competing. The same thing happened at Starbucks one time when Kyle was visiting. The barista said I looked familiar and I tried to play it off like we may have had a class together. But Kyle piped in that I was on the gymnastics team and she realized that that was where she knew me from.

We were working on our last rotation and I was feeling pretty beat up. I had a rough practice to match my rough day. I missed almost every release move on the high bar and sat down or made mistakes on almost all of my passes on floor. Pommels were a disaster unto themselves. Jake tried his best to make me concentrate. Today was just one of those days. I kept thinking about this poster we have in the hallway as you enter our training center that said, "Even your worst day in the gym is better than your best day at the office". Yeah, I thought, if I could talk to the person who thought that one up. The three of us were working on parallel bars together when Jake started talking about the weekend coming up.

"Man, we need to get your mind off of this." Jake said.

I had just mounted the bars and was in a handstand about to start my mount combination when I responded, "What do you have in mind?"

Jake was spotting me close to the bar, "We're going to have a wolf pack night."

I shook my head and concentrated on what I had to do. I swung myself as hard as I could to get momentum for the release between the bars. I let go and started the release move. I was in the second flip about to catch the bar when I miss timed the catch and fell down between the bars with a splat.

"Son of a bitch." I said loudly and slapped the mat. Not only was I pissed that I missed the move, but it hurt like a bitch too.

I saw Jake wince, "Sorry buddy. I didn't mean to distract..."

I shook my head, "Don't worry about it, it's just one of those damn days." Nate stuck out his hand to help me up. I walked over to the chalk bucket to chalk back up. "So what do you guys have in mind?" I asked.

"How about Saturday night, Nate, Chase, you, and I go out? No girls. Just guys. We can even go to the Short North!" Jake said. I smiled cause I knew what type of bars that were in that area, "I'm serious. Chase and I will take one for the team and we're taking you boys out."

Nate looked as surprised as me, "Really? Have you talked to Chase about this whole `taking one for the team'?"

"Well no, but if I'm going to do it, I'm making him too." Jake said.

I laughed and got back on the bars. "We can just go out...we don't have to go to the Short North." I said as I was getting ready to try my mount again. "It's no big deal."

"Are you sure? I mean, we always go to the regular bars, now it's time to try something different...for you guys..." Jake laughed. "Maybe we can find you two someone...well someone's."

I swung again and started to do the release move. I made the same mistake as last time and splatted down to the mat again. I laid there for a second looking up at the two of them. "Fuck it. We're going."

"Hell yeah!" Nate said.

Jake was laughing at me, "That's what I thought." He pulled me back up and I decided I would take a second before trying it again. I got the springboard ready for Jake to mount.

We finished practice and talked about the weekend. Nate seemed really excited about the thought of going to the Short North. I was a bit too. But my mind was just all over the place after the day I had. But I was determined that Saturday night I was going to go and get myself 'White girl wasted' like we all joke around and say. We haven't been to that area in a while and I've never gone out with Nate there. Usually if we go there it's just the 4 of us, Jake, Summer, Jess, and I. It should prove to be interesting now that I have another gay guy with me, and I am curious to see how Chase reacts to it.


That Saturday practice had flown by. I was back to training like normal after that horrible practice Wednesday. Like he said, Jayden had given his flash drive to Jess at work the following day. I haven't even looked at what he's done so far. I've been busy with other schoolwork and was putting off working on the project for as long as possible. I told myself that I would work on everything Sunday during the day. Besides, according to Jayden's profile he was out of town for the weekend. Visiting the boyfriend I assumed. I got up and headed to Jake's room to try and figure out the plan for the night.

"So what is the plan?" I asked Jake.

"Well...I'm going to need you to take a shower." Jake laughed. "Then I told Chase we could go eat and pre-game a little somewhere then head to down to mo-ville."

I laughed at Jake calling it mo-ville. "You're evil. You're lucky you're my best friend. No one else would get away with that."

"All in love buddy. It's all in love. Now we're going to get you good and drunk and then get you some. Make sure you wear something that will drive the guys crazy." Jake said.

"What are you thinking about wearing?" I asked him.

Jake looked at me and shrugged, "I don't know. I'll figure something out. I'm going to go jump in the shower and I'll figure it out after."

"Alright. I'm going to lay around a little longer." I said and laid down on his bed. "What did Summer say when you told her where we were going?"

"She just laughed and said that I needed to remember it's still cheating even if it's with a boy." Jake said as he grabbed his towel.

I laughed at him and changed the TV channel. I laid around trying to figure out what I was going to wear. I checked the weather and saw it was going to be a nice night out tonight for mid-October, so jeans and some sort of shirt or something was in order. I laid in Jakes bed for a few more minutes before I got up and headed into my own room. Once I heard Jake get out of the bathroom I jumped in the shower myself. I hurried and showered so we could head over to the guys' place. As I was getting dressed I got a picture text from Nate asking if what they were wearing was alright. I laughed. I told him he looked good.

I stepped out of my room and headed to the bathroom when I saw what Jake was wearing, "We match." I said.

Jake looked at himself in the mirror and then back at me, "Son of a bitch." I had a light blue v-neck on that clung to my body quite nicely and a pair of dark blue jeans. Jake was wearing the same shirt basically but it was bright yellow and dark blue jeans. "Who's going to change?"

"Not me!" I said.

"Well not me either. I look good. Go change Tyler."

I gave him a look that said `bitch please'. "You're not even trying to hook up with anyone. You go change."

"Fine...I will." Jake left the background and headed toward my room. "You never said whose clothes I had to change into though!"

"You bitch!" I told him as I did my hair.

Jake came back wearing a plaid button up of mine, "Is this better?" I checked him out. I had to give it to him. He did fill out the shirt better than I did. I loved the fact that we're basically the same size and build so in case I didn't feel like doing laundry, or times like this, I always have a second closet to choose from. Jess always complains that she wants another girl to live with us so she could do the same.

I nodded, "Yeah it does. And now we don't look like boyfriends."

"You say that like it's a bad thing!" Jake joked with me.

We finished getting ready and headed to pick up Nate and Chase. Nate had a big smile, and I thought he was looking pretty hot himself. Chase looked the least enthused about the night, but wore a solid black military polo and dark pair of jeans. We took off and headed to the restaurant where we were eating. As we drove down High St. towards the Short North, I couldn't help but laugh at Jake. He turned the XM to some station that was playing an old 2Pac song and was blasting it.

"Over compensating much?" I joked.

"Don't act like you don't like this song." Jake said back to me.

We decided to eat at this restaurant/lounge called the Bi-Level. I've eaten there before and they have a nice selection of food to choose from. The cool thing is that at night it turns into more of a lounge/club type of place. We sat down and ordered drinks. Nate ordered us all a round of shots.

"So you guys read for tonight?" Nate said.

Chase grinned, "As ready as I'll ever be. Jake, you're my wingman tonight!"

"Gotcha." Jake said.

"The good thing is, there will be a lot of single ladies for you two..." I said then corrected myself, "I mean for you Chase. Jake can look but not touch."

"Yep. I'm on the way to being officially taken." Jake said. "We're not `facebook' official yet." He laughed at that, "But we're well on the way."

Our waitress bought us back our drinks and shots. Nate passed them out to us and raised his shot. "To a great and crazy night tonight. Just the four of us!"

"Hell yeah!" Jake said. We all clanked our glasses and took the shot.

We ate dinner and continued drinking. Everyone was feeling pretty good and laughing. Chase had loosened up and he and Jake were scouting the 'talent', as they say. Nate and I were doing the same, and would occasionally look around at the guys walking past us. I found a few that I thought were cute. I already knew that it was going to be a good night. Around 11:00 the restaurant portion was closing and they were changing over to the lounge/club portion of the night. We ordered another round of Vegas Bombs before heading to the next bar. As we walked out and headed down the street I saw the street pizza vendor outside the bar.

"You guys I'm going to need some street meat before we leave." I said.

"Watch what you say around here talking about street meat." Chase said.

I laughed at him, "You're right."

We got to the next bar, The Station, and walked in. I had been there before and it's a pretty nice place. Like Bi-Level they have a restaurant and a bar section. The bar also has an outdoor street patio that's pretty awesome. We walked in and went straight to the bar. I ordered us all a round of drinks. Jake and Nate were looking around the bar for girls. While we were waiting for our drinks, Nate leaned into me.

"Thank you." He said.

I looked at him. "What do you mean?"

"The last time I was out in this area was when I was with Heath." Nate said. I was tempted to tell him that we bumped into Heath, but figured it would be a better idea not to tonight.

"Dude, thank you. You and Jake have helped me deal with all this stress lately. Lets just let go and go crazy tonight." The bartender came back with our drinks. I passed them out to the guys. We headed to a booth toward the dance area.

"Dude this place is actually pretty nice. Plus there's a lot of talent for Jake and me here." Chase said.

"Hell yeah, us too!" I said.

"I even saw a few girls looking at you two." Chase laughed. "But then I caught them checking you two out and shook my head. They laughed and walked away."

"Well clearly they're barking up the wrong tree. They won't be getting the dick from me!" I said.

"That's what I'm talking about." Chase said and cheered me.

Just then the waitress came over with a round of huge shots. They actually looked like they were 4 drinks, not shots, judging from how much was in the glasses. "Whoa whoa hun, we didn't order any shots." Jake said.

The pretty blonde waitress said, "Oh I know. These are from the bar manager, Marco." She pointed toward the bar. I looked over and he waved hi to me. "He said he recognized one of you guys and wanted to pay you back for his dog waking you up a few weeks ago."

I laughed, the rest of the guys looked at me like I was crazy. The waitress handed us the shots, "Tell him I said thank you and I'll be over in a few to talk to him."

"Okay sweetie." She said.

I explained to them what had happened and how when I was on a run I laid down for a few and his dog woke me up. I thought that was a really nice gesture and wanted to be sure to go back and say thank you. Just then the DJ turned on "Bottoms Up" and the crowd all instantly raised their glass.

"Well. Looks like you can't say no to that." Chase said. "Like the song says guys, bottoms up!"

We took our shots. I struggled taking that it a bit. There was a lot of alcohol in that shot. "PHEW!" I said after I took the shot.

"Anddddd the night just got taken to a whole other level now. Let's go boys!" Jake said.

We got up and did a round through the bar. Nate and Chase stopped and were talking to a girl who Chase thought was hot. Jake and I walked over to the bar. Marco walked up to us with a big smile on his face.

"How were those shots?" He asked.

"You killed us." Jake said.

I nodded laughing, "Hell yeah man!"

"Good." He stuck out his hand for me to shake. "That was the idea." He laughed.

"This is my best friend Jake." I said. Jake stuck out his hand to shake. "That's crazy that we would bump into each other here."

"Nice to meet you man." Jake said.

"Yeah you too." Marco smiled at him. "Yeah, it is kinda crazy to see a few of State's athletes here also. Don't worry...secrets safe with me." Marco said.

He must've been able to tell from my face I was a little taken aback by what he had said. "Oh no, Jake is straight, I'm the gay one."

"Doesn't matter. Like I said, secret's safe with me. You two aren't the only ones I've seen here." Marco said. He grabbed 2 more glasses. "What you guys having?"

" don't have to." I said.

"Two Kettle Ones and Sprite." Jake said.

"Coming right up." Marco said. He started pouring the drinks. "Don't worry about it...I'm the bar manager."

"Alright, sounds good." I said. We continued to talk for a bit while drinking. Marco told us that his partner, Alex, was actually the owner of the bar and Marco was just helping out as bar manager for now since they're between managers.

A few minutes later Nate and Chase came back up to us. I introduced the two of them to Marco. "Alright...I kinda wanna dance." Nate said.

"Hell yeah man. Get up there!" Marco said.

I acted like I didn't want to dance but I kind of did. Jake and Chase stayed at the bar while Nate and I walked out to where everyone was dancing. The music was bumping loud. There were so many people it was a tight fit. Nate and I were pushed pretty close together as we danced. The DJ was playing some good music. The best part of it was that it wasn't your normal club beats, he was mixing in regular music too, which is what I like to dance to most. We were dancing really close to each other. Nate was quite a good dancer. Just then the crowd erupted as the DJ switched the song to "3" by Britney Spears. I got really excited and had this huge smile on my face. I turned around and was dancing with my back to Nate grinding into to him. I turned around and saw Nate had a huge smile on his face. During the slow part of the song we were moving together slowly.

" ...lets just do it you and me... or four.. on the floor." Nate whispered in my ear singing along with the song.

I looked at him and raised my eyebrow. As the song started to pick up he reached behind me and picked me up. It caught me off guard at first. I threw my legs around his waist and started grinding into his waist. I was starting to get really turned on dancing with Nate like this. I saw a few guys looking over at the two of us. As the song ended Nate put me back down. I couldn't help but laugh at what just happened. Nate looked like he was having just as good of a time as I was. We looked at each other and the two of us started cracking up.

"Lets make them go crazy." Nate leaned in and said.

"What are you thinking?" I asked him.

Nate nudged some random girl and asked her to hold our drinks for a second. "I meant this." He grabbed the bottom of my shirt and started pulling it up.

"You serious?" I asked him.

"Hell yeah!" Nate said and pulled my shirt off. I tucked it in into the back of my pants and took off Nate's shirt.

The girl handed us our drinks back, "You two are so cute together."

"Thanks. This is my friend Tyler." Nate said. The girl leaned in and gave my a hug. "My name is Nathan, what's your name pretty lady?"


"Nice to meet you." I said.

"You too." She said. Nate pulled her in between the two of us and started dancing with her. We continued dancing with her for a few songs. I looked over at the bar where I saw Chase and Jake talking to some girls. Jake caught my eye and gave me a thumbs up.

The DJ switched the song again to a remix, "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love". Megan had left us and it was just Nate and I again. It was just the two of us dancing close to each other. Our bodies were sweating a bit. Nate dipped down and then came back up. I was laughing at him and pulled him in close so we were chest to chest on the dance floor. Nate grabbed my hands and put them around his neck. I could feel him starting to get hard through his jeans. I looked up at him and our eyes met for a split second. He gave me a funny look and I smiled back at him. Nate's hands were on my lower back and moved slowly down to my butt. He gave it a squeeze and I leaned in closer to him and our lips met. We both pulled away for a second and kept dancing. Nate looked at me with a raised eyebrow that said, "Are we really going to do this?" I leaned in to him again and started kissing him, slowly at first, then harder each time. I pushed my tongue into his mouth. At first he was hesitant with kissing me back but then soon we were making out on the dance floor. Kissing Nate was different than kissing Jayden. Not that Nate was a bad kisser, because he wasn't, but I could tell that this was just two friends being drunk and having fun together.

We finished kissing and I opened my eyes, Nate had a surprised look on his face. I just laughed, "You're crazy!"

"So are you!" He shot back at me. We both laughed and headed back to the bar. We met the guys who were talking to each other.

"Hey you two..." Jake looked at us. I was a little red in the face. "What were you two doing?" He asked.

"Shut up." I said.

Chase laughed at the two of us. "Nice to see you guys felt the need to take off your shirts. Who are you trying to show up?" He said.

We just shrugged at each other. We were standing behind them when I felt Nate's hand on my lower back again. I looked at him and smiled and moved in a little close. I saw Jake look at us out the corner of his eyes. He shot a look at me when Nate was looking the other way. I just shrugged.

" least we've got your mind off of things. Just wanted you two to have fun." Jake said in my ear.

I nodded back at him, "Don't worry. We're just drunk. Nothing serious."

Jake nodded back at me and pulled out his phone. "It's almost last call, you want to head out?"

"Sure let me just say bye to Marco." I told Jake. I waved Marco down from the other end of the bar. "Hey man. Thanks for the drinks and the shots. We're going to head out."

Marco reached over and gave me a hug, "Not a problem man. Looks like you guys had a good night!"

I smiled back at him, "We did!" Marco shook Chase and Jake's hands and gave Nate a hug too. "We'll have to come back sometime."

"Hell yeah man! Here let me give you my number." Marco said. I grabbed my phone and started entering in his phone number. "You guys good to drive back or do you need to get a cab?"

"Nah, we've got it. I'm going to drive." Jake said. "Have a good night Marco. Thanks again, these two needed this!" Jake said.

"Not a problem. See ya guys!" Marco said and went back to work.

We walked out of the bar with Jake and Chase leading the way. I was following behind when Nate reached back and grabbed my hand. As we walked out I saw a few guys checking us out. We got to the street and I realized the two of us were holding hands still as we walking down the street. I was a little taken aback. Rewind back to last year. Never did I think I'd be walking down High St. through the Short North holding a guy's hand, let alone Nate's. I still had feelings Jayden. Tonight though, Nate and I were just having fun. I knew he still had feelings for Heath. Nate was a great guy and under different circumstances maybe something more could happen but I didn't want to risk anything for the team or our friendship.

To Be Continued...

Before I say anything else, I need to give my editor Joe a little shout out to show my appreciation. I was a dick who forgot to give him credit for helping last time. He's been helping me out with editing since Chapter 4 and has been doing a great job I think so far. Joe's responsible for making sense of my at times clunky writing and making it readable. So thank you very much Joe! I really, really appreciate you helping me out!! I'm very sorry for forgetting to give you credit last time!

Also my apologies to all my readers. Trust me I don't intend to have it take this much time between chapters! It's summer and I've been a busy, busy guy. Thank you everyone for your emails and for your continued patience with my at times slow releases & responses.

As always, any questions, comments, feedback, hate mail (haha) are appreciated! You can email me at





**** 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.