In His Songs

Chapter 15: Do-Overs
 



With a slow yawn, Xavier slipped out of bed. He ran his fingers through his ginger hair as he walked to the shower. He turned the knobs and checked the temperature. 'Too cold,' he thought to himself as he turned the hot water to full blast. While waiting for it to warm up, he pulled out his morning wood and took a good long leak.

'December 3,' he remembered, as he flushed. He pulled off his boxers and walked under the warm spray of water. He took a deep breath, feeling the steady trickle of water cascading down his defined physique. Xavier made a checklist in his head of the things he needed to do that day. He had a lunch meeting with one of his dad's old colleagues at the Four Seasons, a date with Kevin in the evening... 'Date,' Xavier shook his head. It wasn't a date. It was just going to be a dinner and a movie with a friend. 'Just a friend,' Xavier reminded himself.

He let the water hit his head, feeling the warmth run down his face. It was a little past ten in the morning, he still had some time to kill. He ran his hand on his chest as his other hand found its way down his cock. He felt it in his palm, aching for sweet release. He hadn't had sex ever since he and Kevin broke up in October. Xavier turned around and let the hot spray hit every inch of his back.

He gently wrapped it in his fingers and started stroking it, slowly, wanting to make it last as long as he could. He thought of Kevin's lips-- 'No,' Xavier stopped. He couldn't do it. 'Kevin's just a friend,' he repeated to himself. Xavier had made a conscious decision not to pursue any kind of romance with Kevin after spending Thanksgiving with him and Vince. The two were perfect for each other; he convinced himself they were. He had never seen Kevin happier in his life, and he knew that there was something about that guy with the funny accent that brought it out of his friend. He didn't want to destroy it, no matter what.

He felt his cock getting limp. He sighed as he turned the water off. He needed release, badly. He wrapped a towel around his waist and looked at himself in the foggy mirror. He wiped the mist off with the palm of his hand and got a good long look at himself; he needed a shave. He took the razor and gently ran it down his chin, feeling the cold, sharp blade pressing against his skin.

He lay in bed, towel wrapped around his waist, for a good five minutes. It was definitely one of those days where you just wanted to sleep in and just wake up late in the afternoon -- when there's actually something to look forward to... his 'date.' Xavier covered his head with a pillow. He felt like a giddy little girl with a crush. He hated it. He needed a distraction. He flipped himself over, head still under a pillow, thinking of something that would get his mind off Kevin. The pressure of his body against the soft warm bed made his cock jump. He started grinding against the mattress.

Just then, he felt it, a strong hand clasping his chin, as he got penetrated repeatedly from behind. Xavier let out a short moan as he relived that night, the guy's face etched in his memory, those sharp eyes and permanent smirk. Xavier rolled over and lay on his back and let that stranger's hands graze his skin, leaving prominent marks on his chest. Xavier felt his body quiver with every thrust. He felt that rigid cock impaling him from behind.

Xavier moaned as he slipped one finger in his waiting hole. That guy knew what he wanted and had his way with him as he fucked him repeatedly, hitting him just at the right spot. Xavier gripped his own tool and stroked slowly, remembering the guy doing exactly the same thing the third time they fucked that night. He wanted to feel him inside, fucking him hard and rough. He wanted to feel it. Xavier pushed two fingers in and forced another, he needed to feel it. He remembered getting nibbled on the shoulder as the guy came into him. Jet after jet of cum flew from Xavier's cock, splattering all over the hotel sheets, his own cum spewing onto his body. His fingers locked on his tool as they continued their work, glazed by his thick seed. It took him a minute or so before the wave subsided and his cum just trickled down his already drenched hand.

Xavier gasped for air. His body felt hot and was covered in light sweat and cum. He rubbed his hand all over his torso as the other hand smeared the sweat on his chest. That was the first time, in a long time, he came like that; he smiled before standing up and heading to the shower for the second time that morning.



"Take those off."

Andrew pretended not to hear his father as he turned his head aside, his black eye still sore from behind his designer shades.

"Don't let me repeat myself. I said take them off," Anthony repeated sternly.

Andrew let out a blatant sigh of irritation and took the shades off and casually slid them into his jacket pocket.

"I told you not to go out last night."

"I didn't," Andrew looked out at limousine window as they went down the busy avenue, "It was morning when I left."

Anthony furrowed his brow in disappointment as he looked over to his son, "How can I trust you with anything if you can't even control yourself?"

Andrew just smirked.

"I can't believe you'd go out and pick a fight with a helpless kid. You should know better, after what your sister did-"

Andrew looked at his dad, his eyes darting through him. "First off, leave Ally out of this. She's been through hell and that bitch deserved it. And second, that guy wasn't a helpless kid."

"He's a Vanderbilt!"

"Who cares? He was talking shit about her. What did you expect me to do? Smile like nothing happened?"

"That's not how we deal with things. If he was spreading rumors we can always fight back."

"With what? A press release? Dad, cut the crap. I'm tired of playing these stupid games."

"You can't just act recklessly. You'll ruin our reputation."

"We already did," Andrew looked back out the window.

"Now, let me tell you something and you better listen," Anthony raised his voice, "I've been trying to clean up the mess your sister made when she tried to-"

Andrew shot a look at his dad, "Kill herself? She didn't. You know she didn't."

Anthony sighed, "I don't need you two screwing things up for me again."

"You're trying to keep up appearances. We're not perfect."

"Well you better be if you want to get one cent of your inheritance."

Andrew turned to face his dad with a defeated sigh, "Why do you even need me to show up today?"

"I'm meeting with a friend's son and I need someone who can relate to him. Our stocks are going down and we need their support. If we don't get this, you can say goodbye to your trust fund."

Andrew pursed his lips and leaned back on the seat just as the car slowed down to a halt.



"Would you like to order anything sir?"

"Not yet. I'm still waiting for someone."

"Okay sir," the young waiter walked away as Xavier looked at his watch.

He tapped his foot on the floor, wishing that time would pass by quickly. He had a date in a couple of hours. 'Not a date,' he repeated in his head.

"Xavier."

Xavier looked up to see a guy, in his early forties, wearing a custom-tailored business suit walking up to his table. He quickly stood up to shake hands and smiled, "Mr. Gallagher."

"It's Anthony."

"Right," Xavier smiled.

"Oh, and this is my son Andrew. I hope you don't mind me bringing him along," Anthony stepped aside.

Xavier's heart stopped when he recognized the face. The same shocked expression was painted on Andrew's as they both shook hands.

"Nice to meet you," Andrew put on a fake smile.

"Yeah. You too... What happened to your eye?"

"Just a little altercation," Anthony answered for his son.

"Oh," said Xavier, his tense hand still in Andrew's. They exchanged stares as both withdrew their hands.

"Shall we?" Xavier invited them to sit down as their waiter approached the table.

"Are you gentlemen ready with you orders?"

Andrew eyed the waiter meticulously. He liked what he saw. He was about 5'10", slender, and was either part Thai, Japanese or Vietnamese, Andrew wasn't really sure. He read the name tag pinned on his shirt, 'Kenji.' He made a mental note.

"Order anything you want. I'll take care of the bill," Xavier smiled.

"No. Let me. I promised your dad I'd take care of it. How is he by the way?"

"He's fine. He's still in Melbourne keeping things together."

"That's good to hear... I'll have the filet mignon."

"Excellent choice. How about you sir?" Kenji turned to Xavier.

"I'll have the same," Xavier smiled as he passed the menu back to Kenji.

"And you sir?" Kenji looked at Andrew.

"Why don't you start by serving me wine? Red and probably bottled last year. I like my wine sweet, fresh and young," Andrew took his time, slowly letting the last three words of that sentence to escape his lips. Xavier felt goose bumps on the back of his neck.

"Are you sure you don't want to eat anything?" Anthony questioned his son.

"I just had brunch before you picked me up. I'll eat a little later," Andrew replied, his eyes on Xavier.

"Okay sir," Kenji replied. Just as he was about to turn around, he tripped and fell on the floor. Andrew couldn't help but smirk as Xavier got out of his chair and tried to help him up.

"I'm okay," the young waiter embarrassingly got up and walked back to the kitchen.

"Well that was humiliating," Andrew smirked as his father shot him a stern look.

"So, Xavier. I heard you're studying in NYU."

"Yes sir."

Anthony smirked, "Interesting choice of school. Why there when you can go to Columbia?"

Xavier caught a little condescension from the guy's tone and answered, "I like the crowd."

Anthony sighed, "Andrew here, and his sister Allison, chose to go to that school for reasons I'll never know."

"It's easier to prowl," Andrew whispered which made Xavier smile. "So what made you decide to move here?"

"Things weren't working out for me in Melbourne," Xavier felt Andrew's heavy eyes on him.

"I heard Melbourne was good. We went there about a year ago... I had the time of my life," Andrew smirked as Xavier felt a lump in his throat.

"Yes, quite a beautiful place. Do you have any plans of going back there after you graduate?"

"Um. I'm taking it one step at the time. I don't have any grand plans yet."

"But you are going to take over your father's company, right?" Anthony asked quite inquisitively.

"Uh. I still haven't decided yet."

"You aren't serious, are you? Who would take over? You're the only son."

"My father can always give the company to someone else. If I find it necessary to step in, I will."

Kenji cut the awkwardness when he came back and with the chilled bottle of wine. He carefully popped the cork and nervously poured the wine into Andrew's glass. Xavier watched as, in a split second, Kenji managed to dump half of the wine bottle's contents all over Andrew's suit.

"What the hell?" Andrew quickly stood up and backed away as Kenji stopped pouring the wine.

"I'm sorry sir. I didn't mean to."

Andrew stormed off to the washroom leaving a fuming manager to fix the mess at the table. He quickly faced Mr. Gallagher and pushed Kenji aside. The pudgy manager's words were like bullets from a machine gun, firing away apologies in a frenzy. "I'm terribly sorry for what happened. It was an accident. Our waiter is new."

"Excuse me," Xavier got out of his chair, leaving the manager with his apologies to Mr. Gallagher. He quickly walked off to the restroom. Once he got there, he pushed open the door just in time to see Andrew taking off his coat and tie as he began to try to wash the red stains off his white shirt.

"Hi."

Andrew looked at Xavier's reflection in the mirror and smirked. "So your name's Xavier? It's funny we're meeting again like this."

"Your dad's a friend of my dad. Weird twist of fate, huh?"

"What are you doing here?" Andrew stopped washing his shirt and turned the water off. He turned around to face Xavier. "Why did you follow me?"

"I wanted to talk to you."

Andrew went to the hand dryer and turned it on. "We could've talked outside."

"My dad doesn't know I'm gay-"

Andrew's smirk stretched a little more, "What's the matter? Are you afraid of him knowing that his son loves taking it up his ass?"

Xavier swallowed hard and whispered, "Keep it down."

"Why? We're all alone here," Andrew smirked as he approached Xavier, the sound of the electric dryer whirring in the background.

"Look, I know your dad's here for business and I want to keep it that way."

"Of course," Andrew smiled and gave him a manly tap on the shoulder. He leaned forward and whispered slowly in his ear, "I'm just here to be the mascot. I'm strictly here for business... not unless, you want it to be more."

Xavier felt his body go numb as Andrew quickly pulled away and patted him again on the shoulder with his left hand, "But business is business. Time to go back before anyone suspects you're up to no good."

Andrew walked out, leaving Xavier to catch his breath. His gaze turned towards the sink and found that Andrew had left his jacket. He quickly grabbed it and headed for the door. Just as he was about to pull it open, it slammed against face and knocked him back.

"Holy shit! I'm sorry!" Kenji raised his hands and went to check to see if Xavier was okay. "I'm sorry sir, I didn't mean to-"

"Just get away from me, please," Xavier covered his left eye and carried Andrew's stained jacket out with him. He got back to the table where Andrew and his dad were talking about the poor service.

"You left this," Xavier handed the jacket to Andrew.

"Thanks," Andrew smiled as he put it on.

"What happened to your eye?" Anthony noted as blood started dripping from the nasty cut on Xavier's brow.

"It's nothing. I hit my head on the door frame on my way out of the bathroom," Xavier said as he sat down.

Andrew smirked.

"We can reschedule if you want. I think you have to get that looked at. Let me pay for this and we'll give you a ride to the hospital."

"No. You don't need to. It's just a small cut," Xavier lied as he felt the room slowly spinning. He pulled his handkerchief out and pressed it against his wound. "Anyone care for a cocktail? I need one."



Matt had a confused look trying to figure out what Kevin was doing as he took several peeks of his roommate's naked body. Kevin was opening several drawers trying to look for a good clean pair of boxers. He sighed and turned to Matt, who quickly went back to his books.

"This sounds a little weird, but would you mind if I borrowed a pair of underwear? Just for today."

"Sure," Matt stood up from his desk, trying to conceal his bulge, and took a clean pair of underwear from his own drawer and handed it to Kevin, "Where did you put yours anyway?"

Kevin put them on as he spoke, "Well I haven't done my laundry yet and I think I left a couple of pairs at Vince's"

Matt laughed as Kevin adjusted the front of the fabric, "These are pretty loose. How big are you packing in these things?"

Matt blushed, "Nothing you haven't seen before."

"Well apparently, I haven't seen it all."

Matt shook his head as he blushed further, "Where are you going anyway? Oh, let me guess... Vince's?"

Kevin smiled, "Yeah."

"But you have a date with Xavier, right?"

"It's not a date. We're just going to see a movie," Kevin spoke as he put on a pair of jeans, "I just wanted to hang out with him again and this'd be a good start." Kevin held his phone up to check the time, he still had an hour. Kevin put his phone aside and grabbed a shirt hanging in his closet.

"Is Vince okay with it? You, hanging out with your ex?"

"Yeah. Vince isn't the jealous type," Kevin spoke as he pulled the shirt down over his head. "Besides, they'd gotten time to know each other over Thanksgiving."

"How can you be sure he isn't jealous? I mean, you and Xavier had a history together."

Kevin sat down on his bed to put on his shoes. "Vince is my boyfriend. I know he isn't jealous," Kevin stated in an authoritative tone.

"So-rry," Matt apologized.

Kevin fixed his hair in the mirror and pulled on a jacket, "I'll just go to Vince's really quick and run down to the cinema... How about you? Don't you have any plans tonight?"

"I still have some studying to do."

"Finals isn't for two weeks, chill."

"I can't," Matt sighed helplessly, staring at the pile of books on his desk.

"Well, good luck with that," Kevin put on his coat, waved goodbye and walked out.

Matt went back to the book in his hands. He decided to take a break from his contacts and decided to wear his glasses. This proved to be a bad idea since he was having a hard time getting used to them again. He took them off and rubbed his eyes. Matt yawned as he put them back on. He looked at the books and wanted to throw up. The truth was, no matter how he wanted to bury himself in academics, he just couldn't study, his stomach was churning from the inside as he thought of Keegan.

He hadn't seen him at school since the break. He tried calling him and waiting for him on IM to no avail. It was as if Keegan had been avoiding him on purpose. Matt was stumped. The very last conversation he had with him was when Keegan had invited him to go on IM on Thanksgiving break. Matt felt his cock stir in his boxers at the very thought of Keegan blowing his load on screen, with his eyes weak and fixated on Matt.

Matt unconsciously rubbed the back of his neck. He wanted to be with him. He wanted to feel his lips on his. He wanted to taste his skin. Matt's hand found its way inside his boxers as he slowly tugged on his hardening cock. He closed his eyes as he started feeling up his own chest. It was Keegan's hands on him, his lips moving slowly up his tool. Matt moaned as he stroked himself more. He stopped to pull down his boxers and spread his legs a bit to give himself better access. He continued his stroking, tightening his grip a little bit as precum slowly spilled out. He pulled his stiff rod up and used his other hand to rub his sac. Matt licked his lips as he tilted his head back. His stroking had hastened a little bit in increments as his other hand found itself moving down to his own hole. He gently rubbed down, feeling the gentle sensation his fingers were giving him. Just as he was about to try sticking one in, a knock came at the door.

"Shit," Matt muttered to himself as he quickly pulled up his boxers. He heard another knock on the door and shouted, "Hold on just a sec."

Matt tried pulling down his boner to no avail. He was way too horny. "Go down. Go down!" Matt continued whispering to himself as he opened the door.

Xavier stared at a very flushed Matt standing by the door, "Is Kev here?"

"You just missed him... What happened to your eye?" Matt pointed out the cut on Xavier's eyebrow.

"It's nothing... He left already?"

"Yeah, a couple of minutes ago," Matt spoke hurriedly, wanting Xavier to leave immediately so he could go on to whatever he was doing.

Xavier noticed the tent in Matt's boxers which Matt had been pressing down since he opened the door, "Oh. I'll just give him a call then."

"Okay," Matt quickly closed the door on Xavier's face.

"O-kay?" Xavier turned towards the elevator and pulled out his cellphone.

Matt had chucked off his boxers and found a spot on his bed. He had gripped his semi-hard cock and started stroking. Just as he lay his back on the sheets, he heard a phone ring.

"What now?" Matt exclaimed as he check his cellphone. It wasn't his. He glanced over to Kevin's bed and saw that Kevin had left it there. He checked the name and sighed before answering it, "He left his phone."

"Kev?"

"No. It's Matt. He left his phone."

"Oh. Um, if ever he drops by there first, or calls you... yeah, um, tell him I'll be waiting at the cinema."

"Will do. Bye," Matt ended the call and sighed. He tossed the phone over to Kevin's bed and looked at the pile of books on his desk and muttered, "Shit."



Kevin heard Vince on his guitar as he walked up to the door. He listened for a second or two trying to guess what he was playing before knocking on the door.

"Who is it?" he heard Vince's voice from the other side.

"Guess who," Kevin smiled to himself.

"Come right in. The door's open," Vince hollered.

"So what's the big sur-" Kevin stopped halfway through his sentence the second he saw his boyfriend sitting naked on his couch with the guitar placed over his lap.

"Hi," Vince grinned.

Kevin pulled his open jaw up and smiled sheepishly. He closed the door behind him and walked towards the couch where Vince was sitting.

"I wrote a song for you," Vince announced gleefully.

"Let me hear it," Kevin beamed as he took off his coat and stood in front of his boyfriend.

"It's still shite right now and I don't have the words but I do have the melody set."

"Are you gonna play it or what?" Kevin joked.

"Alright," Vince put his hand on the fret and started strumming a tune. Kevin watched as his fingers moved effortlessly on the strings. Kevin closed his eyes and listened to every beautiful vibration coming together. It was his song--

"Wait. Why did you stop?" Kevin looked at Vince.

"Well, that was it. I still haven't finished it yet," Vince pouted a little bit. "So, did 'ya like it?"

Kevin smiled and stepped closer to his boyfriend. He took the guitar from Vince's hands and set it aside. He leaned forward and straddled Vince's naked lap, both of them facing each other. Kevin wrapped his arms around his neck and kissed him.

"I'm taking that as a yes," Vince grinned.

"I love you," Kevin looked at Vince, their eyes locked in a dreamy gaze.

"I love you," Vince smiled back and leaned forward to kiss Kevin. He slipped his hands down Kevin's back and pulled him closer.

Kevin spread his legs a bit so he could pin Vince down on the back of the couch. He moved his hand from behind Vince's neck over to his chest, feeling the rhythmic beats of his heart. He pressed down on his skin grabbing hold of his chest as he kissed him again; their lips, softly mashing against each other. Kevin smiled as he pulled away, his hands still firmly pressed against Vince.

"What?" Vince grinned as he watched Kevin smile at him.

"I just thought of something."

"What is it?"

Kevin slowly slid his hands down Vince's stomach, "You can read my mind, can't you?"

Vince grinned wider and gently grabbed Kevin's head by the hair with one hand and started kissing the side of his neck. Kevin's hands moved to the side of Vince's waist as Vince continued his tongue's assault. He gripped Vince's stiffening cock and stroked it slowly, eliciting a moan which he felt on his skin. Vince pulled back and started pulling up Kevin's shirt over his head. He tossed it aside and let his lips work their magic on Kevin's chest.

Kevin closed his eyes as he clawed his way up Vince's back, his fingers leaving marks of pain and pleasure on his skin. Vince tilted his head up and met eye to eye with the guy straddling his lap. Kevin softly traced the outline of Vince's lips with his finger as he leaned in for another kiss.



"How's Paris?"

"Well mother's been annoying, as usual. She thinks I'm always up to no good. I swear, I can't take another day of exile here. Wait, what are you doing now exactly?"

"What do you think I'm doing?" Andrew let his cellphone down for a second to nod at the bartender. He took a sip of his martini as he scouted the room.

"You're prowling," Ally answered from the other side.

"It's still too early to prowl."

Ally giggled, "It's never too early for you."

"Well I'm not prowling today. I already have someone in sight."

"Who is it?"

Andrew didn't answer for a minute as he watched Nadia and a younger guy walk in the restaurant, "Nobody you know."

"Let me guess. It's the Nadia girl."

"I'll talk to you later," Andrew started pocketing his cellphone just as Ally was about to say something. His eyes followed the two as they were escorted to their table. Andrew smirked as a waiter tended to their orders.



"I'll have the sea bass. How about you?" Nadia put down her menu and stared at the young guy sitting across her. He was reading the menu carefully and looked at the waiter, "What's escargot?"

"It's fresh snail. Ours is cooked in mild wine and drizzled with olive oil and a hint of garlic creme."

"Oh... I'll just have what she's having then," the young man handed back the menu and looked back at his sister. "Why did we have to eat here?"

"I made reservations." Nadia turned to the waiter, "That'll be all. Thank you."

"Reservations? I just wanted a pizza," the young man sighed as he slouched in his seat.

"You can have a pizza at home." Nadia's eyes moved from her brother to the guy moving towards their table. "Oh god. Here it goes."

"What?"

Nadia looked to the other side as Andrew stopped beside her.

"Nadia Connors. I wasn't expecting you here."

"Of course you weren't," Nadia spoke with a condescending tone.

Andrew turned to Nadia's company, "And this is?"

"He's none of your business."

"I'm Hadji," the young man stood up as he stretched out his hand. "You're Andrew Gallagher. You're famous here... what happened to your eye?"

Andrew smirked as he shook the young guy's hand. Hadji looked innocent except for his striking eyebrows. Judging by his other features, Andrew guessed he was about fifteen or sixteen. "I got into a fight. I showed him a thing or two though. Hadji, you're a good man. Are you her brother?"

"Don't answer him," Nadia scolded her brother.

"Sure... sis," Hadji smirked. "Why don't you sit with us? We're just having dinner."

"No. He's not," Nadia snapped at Hadji then turned her attention back at Andrew, "I know what you want Gallagher. The answer is no."

"I just wanted to say hi."

"Well you've said hi. Please leave before I call security on you."

"That would be fine, but I own shares in this restaurant."

"You do? Cool!" Hadji butt in.

"Shut up," Nadia snapped at her brother. "Then we're leaving."

"Hey! We just got here."

"Hadji, shut up. We're going." Nadia stood up and took her purse. Her brother followed suit. He offered his hand out and shook Andrew's hand once more. "It was nice meeting you Mr. Gallagher."

"It's Andrew," he smirked and whispered, "Your sister seems to like me."

Hadji laughed as he said goodbye. Andrew's eyes followed them as they left. He pulled out his phone and punched a number. "This is Andrew Gallagher. Yeah, I want you to do another background check on Ms. Connors. make sure every single detail's included, especially the people she made contact with for the past month. Oh, and also do a profile on Hadji Connors. Yes, the brother, have them sent to my desk in the morning."



Kevin moved his head on the back of the couch as Vince's lips traced down his neck. He let his fingers run up Vince's neck, brushing through his hair. Vince held Kevin's chin and gave him one more long kiss. They pulled away from each other, their eyes still locked.

"You're gonna be late," Vince reminded Kevin.

"It's your fault."

"What? I can't help but be irresistible."

Kevin laughed as he took a good look at his boyfriend and run his hand through Vince's thick hair, "You should get your hair cut."

"I was thinking of letting it grow out. Is that okay with you?"

"Anything looks good on you."

Vince grinned, "I know."

"You know, if you weren't my boyfriend, I'd have kicked your arrogant ass a long time ago."

"Hey, you're the one who said it, I just agreed."

Kevin looked at the clock on the wall and got up from the couch, "I need to go, Xavier's waiting." Kevin slipped on his boxers and grabbed his clothes off the floor.

"Wait. I have to give 'ya somethin'"

Kevin pulled on his jeans and watched as Vince went to his dresser and took out a small envelope. Vince walked over to Kevin and took his hand.

"What is it?" Kevin asked.

Vince opened the packet and dropped the key in Kevin's palm. "It's a key to the apartment. You can come in anytime you want," Vince grinned.

Kevin stood speechless as he stared at the key in his hands.

"What?"

"Nothing, I'm just... wow. Are you seriously giving me a key?"

"Why not? You're my boyfriend."

"But... yeah. Isn't this kinda fast?"

"Kev, I wanna be with you and I know you wanna be with me. This isn't a problem."

"I don't know what to say... This is big."

"Yep. It is. I love you. So please, take it," Vince closed Kevin's palm around the key.

"Of course," Kevin smiled and put the key in his pocket. He leaned over and wrapped his arms around Vince's neck and kissed him.

Vince pulled back, "Aren't 'ya supposed to be somewhere?"

"What? I can miss a few minutes," Kevin smiled.



Xavier looked at his watch. There were only two minutes before the movie started and Kevin wasn't there. He was starting to get a little frustrated and was thinking of walking out until--

"Xavier!" Michelle excitedly walked towards him, "Hey! I haven't seen you in a while."

"Yeah. I've been busy." Xavier took off his baseball cap and ran his hand through his red hair before putting it back on.

"Aww, you cut your eyebrow," Michelle took notice as she tried placing a finger on it.

Xavier backed away a bit, "It's fine."

"It looks like it hurts... Anyway, who're you with?"

"I was expecting to see a friend but he's not here yet."

"A boyfriend?" Michelle asked curiously with a bit of jeering in her tone.

"No. Just a friend," Xavier responded, hoping that no one heard her.

"Hey I want you to meet someone. Wait a sec," Michelle raised her finger telling Xavier to stay where he was as she went to grab the guy who just finished buying popcorn from the concession stand. Xavier watched as Michelle pulled the guy and walked over to him.

"Xavier this is Caleb. He's my husband."

"Husband?"

"Soon to be," the guy smiled. "We're engaged."

"Well congratulations then," Xavier politely shook Caleb's hand.

Caleb had a strong grip. He was tall and fair, a little rugged looking with the hints of facial hair lining his jaw. He had a well-built body but he wasn't too bulky. He had a thick black coat on with a hoodie, covering a red shirt which matched Michelle's similar outfit.

"He's hot, isn't he?" Michelle ran her hand on Caleb's chest, making him back away a bit. "He's just shy," Michelle whispered.

"So how did you two meet?"

"Oh, a friend introduced us and we've been dating for two years."

"Two years?" Xavier asked, a little surprised. He looked at Michelle and mouthed, "You've been dating for two years?"

"Oh, don't worry about our date. I told him about it."

"It wasn't a date," Xavier informed Caleb.

"It's okay. She told me," Caleb smiled.

"It's an open relationship," Michelle butt in, "We can see anyone we want until we're married." Michelle noticed Xavier's confusion, "Don't worry. It's actually a lot simpler than most people think."

"Oh... okay?" Xavier replied, kind of unsure if it was the right response for such a revelation.

"Babe, I think we should go in now. The movie's already starting."

"Oh," Michelle smiled at Xavier as she gave him a friendly rub on the shoulder, "Well, I'll see you around then."

"It was nice meeting you," Caleb smiled and wrapped an arm around Michelle's hip before the two of them went inside the theatre.

Xavier was, again, all alone, standing by the concession stand. Just when he was about to walk out, he saw Kevin walking through the door.

"Hey. I'm sorry I'm late. Were you trying to call me? I forgot my cellphone at the dorm. Do you want me to buy the tickets?"

"The movie started already," Xavier replied with a blank expression on his face although his eyes mirrored his disappointment.

"We can catch another movie. There are other cinemas around the area."

"It's okay. Why don't we just eat somewhere?"

"Sure," Kevin smiled. He noticed the cut on Xavier's eyebrow but just as he was about to point it out, Xavier answered him with, "It's just a cut. It's okay now."

The two guys went out the cinema and started walking down the street. Kevin sensed the hostility in Xavier's silence. There was something wrong.

"Where do you wanna eat?"

"Anywhere's fine," Xavier replied, still expressionless.

"Are you mad?"

"What do you think?"

"I was late for a few minutes. What's the deal?"

"Nothing," Xavier replied coldly.

Kevin pulled Xavier by the arm as the two of them stopped walking, "I said I was sorry."

"Yeah. I heard you. Let's just eat okay?"

"I thought you wanted to hang out."

"I do. It's just that I didn't know if you'd come. I was waiting for you for an hour and you showed up late. You didn't even bother calling me."

"I told you, I forgot my phone at the dorm."

"Vince has a phone."

Kevin stopped. "So that's it?"

"What?"

"You're jealous because I was with Vince?"

"No. I'm pissed off because I really thought we could be good friends but it seems like I'm the only one making an effort. You know what? Let's just call this off."

Kevin pulled Xavier's arm before he started walking away.

"I'm sorry, okay? Something important came up with Vince. I had to be there. Please, let's do this. I want to be friends with you again."

Xavier sighed and looked at Kevin. He looked into his eyes. He knew the apology was sincere. "Okay."

"Okay," Kevin nodded. "So where do you wanna eat? My treat."



Vince walked towards the hotel service entrance and saw Lewis waiting for him by the door. "What's the emergency?"

"I'll tell you when we get there."

Vince followed Lewis inside and made their way through the delivery bay. Lewis kept greeting his co-workers as they passed them. "How did it go?"

"He said yes," Vince grinned.

"Congratulations then," Lewis pat Vince's shoulder. They stopped by the service elevator and waited for it to come down. "Where is he?"

"He's out with Xavier. They went to a movie then dinner."

Lewis looked suspiciously at his friend, "That sounds like a date to me."

"It isn't a date. They're best mates who need some catching up."

"By catching up, you mean sex?"

"No. They're just catching up," Vince was starting to get peeved by his friend's insistence.

The elevator doors opened and the two of them went in.

"So where are 'ya takin' me?"

"Remember when you brought Xavier over for Thanksgiving at our place?"

"Yep. Good times."

Lewis watched as the light moved from number to number as the elevator ascended. "Well Deb thinks he's trying to win Kevin back."

"That's ridiculous."

"Deb's never wrong on her hunches."

"So what're you proposin'?"

The elevator stopped at their floor. Vince followed Lewis down a familiar hallway. He remembered delivering a cheesecake their once. "No," Vince said as he watched Lewis take out a key card and used it to open Xavier's suite. "I'm not going in there."

"I have to check the room anyway. The maid owes me a favor."

"You're totally mental! I'd be trespassing if I went with you."

"Just go inside with me. If we don't see anything suspicious, we'll just leave."

"Suspicious? Like what? Voodoo dolls and shrines? I don't think so."

"Don't be a fucking wuss man. Your boyfriend's on a date with his ex-boyfriend. They've been together longer than you have, and you and I both know that your boyfriend is capable of swinging back and forth in relationships."

"Hey--"

"It's the truth, man. So are you going to go in?"

"No."

"Fine. I'll just go and have a look-see by myself."

Vince stood by the hallway as Lewis walked in. He hesitated for a second. "Fuckin' hell," Vince whispered in frustration as he quickly followed Lewis inside.

"I'll look over here. Try checking his bedroom," Lewis looked around and looked through Xavier's bookshelf. He started going through compartment through compartment looking for something that would reveal his real intentions.

Vince just stood there, hating his own guts for feeling a little bothered by what Lewis had just said. Was he jealous? Was he doubting his boyfriend? He didn't know. Vince walked towards the counter to see a couple of empty bottles of alcohol. He didn't want to touch them so he walked inside the bedroom. The bed was completely made and clean. He noticed a small booklet sitting on one of the bedside tables. His curiosity got the best of him and picked it up. It was a plain black moleskin journal. He flipped it open to a bookmarked page. He was supposed to read an entry written, but his eyes were drawn to the photo that was used as a bookmark. It was a photo of Xavier and Kevin at what seemed to be like Olivia's L.A. diner. Both of them were still in their high school uniform, smiling like two drunken fiends. He quickly closed the journal and placed it back on its original position. He carefully walked out and found Lewis going through the bar.

"What the hell are you doing?"

Lewis screwed the wine bottle back and placed it in the chiller. "It was just a sip. He wouldn't mind."

"Fuck this Lew! Let's get out of here. This is wrong."

"But we need to find something."

"There's nothing to find you wanker!" Vince shouted. "This is my relationship! Mine! You and Deb should stay out of it!"

The room fell silent for a moment as Vince calmed down a bit. "I'm sorry. I know you were trying to help."

"Forget it. Let's just go," Lewis walked towards the door, not once looking at Vince. Both of them walked out, locked the door, and went down the service elevator in complete silence.



Kevin watched as Xavier devoured the pie in front of him. He'd never seen his friend eat with so much gusto. His eyes followed Xavier's coffee mug as he emptied it with one final gulp.

"How the heck did you fit all that in your stomach?"

Xavier was wiping his mouth with a napkin and smiled. Kevin was talking about the two burgers, a plate of greasy fries, a tall chocolate soda sub, a blueberry pie, and a cup of hot coffee Xavier downed in one sitting. "I love the food here."

"Since when did you love diner food? You don't even like the food we serve up at our diner in L.A."

"Well I like it here."

"Good lord! You're done already, hun?"

"Yeah," Xavier smiled as Agnes refilled Xavier's cup.

"How about you honey? Would like some coffee?"

"No thanks. I'm good," Kevin smiled politely.

"This one isn't talkative, is he?" the old waitress raised her eyebrow.

"No. He talks a lot. He's just a little shy."

"Boy, you better not be shy with Agnes," the old woman smiled at Kevin, "Are you two related?"

"No. we're just friends."

"Just friends?" Agnes asked.

"We're friends," Xavier butt in. "We're high school buddies actually. He studied here and I followed him."

"You followed him all the way here? Some kind of friendship you have there."

"How much do I owe you?" Xavier took out his wallet.

"Wait. I'll get your bill."

The old waitress walked away as Kevin looked back at Xavier. "You come here often?"



"Why didn't you tell me you got mugged?" Kevin raised his voice as the two of them walked out the diner. Xavier had just told him how he discovered the diner and met Agnes for the first time, how he got mugged and was left to die by two hoodlums right after they broke up.

"It's not a big deal," Xavier spoke as they walked a couple of blocks to the subway.

"It is. You almost got killed!"

Xavier stopped, "I know. But I couldn't call you even if I wanted to. We just broke up remember? You were pissed. I was pissed. End of story."

"I'm sorry."

Xavier smirked. "You don't have to apologize. It's done. At least I finally got to experience New York in a new light."

"Don't joke about that." Kevin looked around to see if anyone was trying to sneak up on them and rob them of everything they had.

"Lighten up, Kev," Xavier wrapped an arm around his friend and smiled.

As the two of them were walking, Xavier's arm started feeling heavy around Kevin's neck. Even though it was perfectly normal for them in high school, it felt weird this time. Xavier must have felt the same way since he withdrew his arm as they approached the subway entrance.



Both of them stood in silence as they waited for the train to come. Xavier had his hands in his sweatshirt pocket as he rocked back and forth by the edge of the platform. Kevin stood silently, staring at the train tracks, his fingers fidgeting.

"So, how's Vince?"

Kevin smiled, "He asked me to move in with him."

"Whoa... That's big."

"Yeah," Kevin's smile got bigger as he bit his lip.

"So what did you say?"

Kevin pulled the key out of his pocket and showed it to Xavier.

"That's great," Xavier looked at the key in Kevin's hand. His voice was genuine enough, but his face couldn't hide his jealousy.

The lights of the train flashed as the two moved away from the edge of the platform. Kevin carefully placed the key back in his pocket and waited for the train to stop. "You know what?"

"What?" Xavier looked at Kevin as the train slowed down to a halt.

"I missed hanging out with you."

Xavier nodded as the train doors opened.



Xavier walked into his suite, tired but satisfied. He headed over to the bar and opened the fridge. He went for the wine bottle, but pulled out a bottled water instead. He twisted the cap off and took a long drink of water. He turned on the television and dropped down on his king-sized bed. He felt the soft, newly-changed sheets and started to drift off. He yawned and scratched his head as he fished for the cellphone that was ringing in his pocket. "Hello?"

"Good. You're still awake."

"How did you get my number?"

"We exchanged numbers before we left the Four Seasons remember?" Andrew stirred his gin and tonic with his bare finger before taking a sip.

"Oh yeah. It's late. Why are you calling me?"

"I was wondering if you might be interested in a little get together."

"We're not having sex."

"No. It's a party I'm throwing out."

"When is it?"

"Next Friday. Wear anything you want. It's a casual party."

 

"Sure. Just text me the details and I'll be there."

 

"I'll see you there."

 

Xavier put his phone aside and kicked his shoes off. He tossed his sweater aside and buried his head in his pillow. Considering all the mishaps, it was a good day.



Kevin and Vince were walking below the frozen trees at Central Park as he was talking about his plans of moving in in the new year once the term was over. Vince was awfully quiet and Kevin took notice. "What's up?"

"I have something to tell you and I don't think you'll like it," Vince was staring at the snow covered path as they continued their morning walk.

"I don't like the sound of that."

"We snooped around Xavier's place last night."

"What?" Kevin stopped and looked at Vince, his face was pale and a little rosy from the cold.

Vince stared back at Kevin then looked elsewhere. He couldn't keep eye contact with him. "Lewis took me to his suite. He and Deb had this crazy idea that Xavier was trying to steal you away from me."

"Yeah. That is crazy," Kevin repeated, obviously pissed off. "So you went with him to see if it was true?"

"Yeah," Vince answered, "But it wasn't like that."

"You broke in and snooped around. That's a felony, Vince. What the hell were you thinking? And what pisses me off even more is the fact that you can't even fucking trust me. You told me to trust you once when you couldn't tell me why you did what you did for Andrew Gallagher, but you can't even trust me to go out with an old friend, that you had to break in and do one of your background checks."

"It's not like that--"

Kevin sighed and took the key out of his pocket, "I think this is yours."

"No. Don't. Please Kev, just listen."

"I can't listen to you right now Vince. I'm pissed off... seriously. Take it or I'll throw it away."

Vince took the key from Kevin's hand and looked at him with pleading eyes. "I'm sorry."

"I'm not the one who needs your apology. I'm going back to my dorm."

Vince felt the cold key in his hand as he placed it in his pocket.



Matt was having trouble carrying a large stack of books back to the library. He carefully counted every step, making sure he wasn't going to trip on anything. He stopped by the door thinking whether he should push it with his body or let somebody open it for him. Of course he could have put all the books in his duffel bag and carried them easily, but his mind was a mess lately and he couldn't really think straight. He had a major test the following day and he was still frustrated with the whole Keegan issue. A young brunette saw him struggling with the books and kindly opened the door for him.

"Thanks," Matt smiled, still trying to balance all the books.

"Need help with those?"

"No thanks I think I can handle--"

"Hey? I've been lookin' everywhere for you."

Matt recognized the voice as he saw Keegan wrap an arm around the girl from behind and give her a quick peck on the cheek. Losing his concentration, some of the books fell from his stack.

"Let me help you with that." Keegan knelt down and picked up the books and froze when he saw who was carrying them. "Matty?"

"You know him?" the girl asked.

"Uh... yeah," Keegan wore an awkward smile, " He's from the swim team. Lizzie this is Matt. Matt this is Lizzie, my girlfriend."

Matt accidentally dropped a couple more books on the floor right after Keegan's revelation. "Oh. Hi."

Lizzie picked up the rest of the books on the floor and handed them to her boyfriend. "Nice to meet you Matt. Why don't you let Keegan carry the rest of those for you?"

"Yeah," Keegan offered.

"Sure. Thanks," Matt replied awkwardly. He didn't know what else to say.

Lizzie took a couple more books off Matt's stack and handed them to Keegan. "I'm meeting up with ZoŽ in the coffee shop. I'll see you later after class?"

"I'll call you."

Lizzie smiled and gave Keegan a quick kiss on the cheek. "Bye. It was nice meeting you Matt."

"You too," Matt smiled courteously as Lizzie walked away.

"So... Where do you want me to carry these?"

"Just to the circulation desk," Matt answered as he started to walk.

Both of them stayed quiet for a couple of minutes before Matt tried to break the ice, "Lizzie seems nice."

"Yeah."

"When have you two been dating?"

"Since after Thanksgiving. I met her on the trip back here. She's great. She's a senior like me and she's moving to Hollywood right after graduation. She got a major production deal."

"That's cool."

"Yeah... and I'm coming with her."

They left the books at the desk as the librarian started checking each one.

"Look, I'm sorry about not answering you calls."

"I had the impression you were avoiding me."

Keegan lowered down his voice, "About what happened between us. That was a really stupid mistake that shouldn't have happened. I was depressed and I wasn't thinking straight. You know?"

"Yeah. We were just fooling around," Matt lied.

"Exactly! It was one of those drunken nights where guys just do stupid stuff."

"You weren't drunk."

"I was," Keegan answered defensively. "If I was sober I wouldn't have done it. I'd be crazy to do it with a guy. I'm not gay. That's stupid."

"What?" Matt wanted to hit him right there but the librarian was looking at them.

"Well... yeah," Keegan checked his watch, "I have to go."

"This one's overdue."

"What?" Matt asked the librarian.

"I said, this one's overdue."

Matt didn't pay attention to her as he watched Keegan disappear behind the rows of bookshelves.



Xavier was laughing as he grabbed a couple more chips and shoveled them into his mouth. He was enjoying one of those Family Guy reruns on TV when he heard someone at the door. He turned the volume down and saw who it was.

"Hey. What're you doing here? Come in."

He stepped aside to let Vince and Lewis in.

"Would you like something to drink?"

"No thanks," Vince replied, "We actually came here to apologize."

"Apologize for what?"

"Tell him," Vince nudged Lewis.

"I used my access card to check your room yesterday. Deb and I thought you were trying to steal Kevin back."

"Steal him back? Wait? You broke into my suite?"

"Yeah, but we didn't do anything," Lewis defended himself.

"No. You took a sip from his wine," Vince spoke up.

"What?" Xavier raised his voice, "That's a 2001 Pinot! You don't drink it from the bottle! I can have you fired and both of you arrested."

"Xavier, I'm sorry. It was a stupid thing. I tried to stop him, but my curiosity got the best of me. I came here to apologize directly to you because I know, even though we didn't steal anything or do damage, the whole thing was wrong. Please, Lewis needs this job. If you want to have me arrested you can do it. Just let him go."

Xavier shook his head. "You're unbelievable. I told Kevin you were a good guy."

"I am. It's just I did something really stupid. I love Kevin with all my heart. That's why I want to fix this. I want to reclaim his trust by reclaiming yours. Honestly, I am sorry."

"Get out."

Vince and Lewis started walking to the door.

"Vince, stay. I want to talk to you."

Lewis looked back at his friend before closing the door.

Xavier looked at him and sighed, "You want a drink?"

"No thanks."

"I insist."

Xavier took out the Pinot out of the chiller and poured two small goblets with wine. He moved over to the couch in front of the TV and asked Vince to sit with him. He handed Vince a glass and took a sip of his own.

"Do you know how bad I want to beat you up right now?"

Vince sat quietly as Brian the dog was doing the Peanut-Butter Jelly Time on TV.

"But I won't. You're the first nice guy I've met who's perfect for Kevin. Take care of him. I promise you, if you do, I won't ever try to take him away from you. You have to trust him and trust me on this. Nothing is going on between us. We're just great friends. But if I hear you do something stupid like this again, I'll make sure you get what you deserve."

Vince nodded.

Xavier broke into smile and took another sip from his wine. "I'm surprised actually. I've never seen you like this."

"I can't really be Mr. Smiley right now. I feel like shit."

"Don't. I like you better when you're happy and full of yourself."

Vince grinned.

"I heard you asked him to move in with you."

"He told you?"

"Of course. He's my best friend."

"Well he returned the key I gave him this morning. He was mad at me for doing what I did. I can't blame him."

"Well at least you're honest and quick to apologize." Xavier twirled the wine in his glass, "I like that. I could help you do something that could probably get you guys in good terms again."

"What?"

"I'm still thinking of it," Xavier smiled as he looked at Vince.

"I'm listening," Vince grinned as he took a sip of his wine.



Hadji was idly staring at the board as their teacher was talking about some equation on the board. He glanced at the clock hanging on one side of the room, he still had about forty minutes of class left before the day was done. He frowned and looked ahead. Someone knocked at the classroom door. He watched as his teacher talked with their headmaster. Both of them were looking at him.

"Connors. Take all your stuff with you and please follow Mr. Wallace."

Hadji was clueless but followed as he was instructed. Mr. Wallace pat the young student by the shoulder and smiled, "How are you today Mr. Connors?"

"I'm okay sir. Um, why did you call me?"

"It was requested by one of the members of our board to meet with you privately. It seems that he has taken interest in your academic prowess."

'Academic prowess?' Hadji thought to himself as Mr. Wallace showed him to his office. Hadji smiled when he saw Andrew sitting in front of the headmaster's desk.

"Connors, this is Mr. Andrew Gallagher. He and his parents are members of the school board. Mr. Gallagher, this is Hadji Connors."

"A pleasure to meet you," Andrew smirked as he shook Hadji's hand. He turned to the headmaster, "Can I have a word with this young man in private?"

"Of course," the headmaster walked out of his office and closed the door.

Andrew pointed to the chair as Hadji put down his bag and sat down. "So, Hadji, we meet again."

"You're a board member here?"

"Just recently," Andrew smiled as he walked over to one of the headmaster's side desks. He moved some books aside to reveal a glass canister with bourbon. "Would you like one?"

"Sure," Hadji beamed.

Andrew poured two glasses of alcohol and handed one to the kid. "School's always been a drag for me. Much of the real learning is actually done outside."

"Yeah," Hadji agreed as he quickly downed the bourbon in his glass. He felt the heat moving down his throat as his face started getting red.

"What do you say we go out on a little fieldtrip?"

"Sure. That'd be awesome."

Andrew smirked as he took a sip from his bourbon, never letting the young man out of his sight.



The shadows kept shifting on the ceiling as a dozen cars passed by a few floors below. Matt watched them move, his eyes unflinching. He felt restless but his body was still. He heard the lock click open as his eyes shot to the door, Kevin had just walked in. He watched as his roommate took off his jacket and tossed it over to his bed, "Hey."

"Hey. What are you still doing up? I thought you had a test tomorrow?"

"Can't sleep," Matt sat up and stretched his arms as he yawned.

"You look beat."

"Yeah," Matt watched as Kevin pulled off his pants. "Keegan broke up with me."

"What?" Kevin looked at Matt.

"Yeah. It's stupid. I shouldn't even use the term break up since technically we were never really--"

"Wait up," Kevin cut his friend off mid sentence, "What happened?"

"Well the reason why he didn't call me after Thanksgiving was because he found a- a girl," Matt stuttered a little. "He's interested in her. She's working for some production company in LA and--"

Kevin cut his friend off again, "He dumped you because he met a girl who just happens to be in movies."

"Well, yeah but--"

"That asshole."

"Please, let me finish," Matt pleaded weakly.

"I'm sorry," Kevin apologized as he looked at Matt. Even through the dark, he could see Matt's ever-cheery face dip into grief.

"It's not like that at all. Keegan was never my boyfriend. He's right, it was just some stupid thing guys did. He's straight, he was alone and horny, and it was just a stupid mistake. I shouldn't have thought more of it. It's my fault."

Kevin sat beside his friend and put his arm around his shoulder, "Matty, it's not your fault. I told you to go for it. I should be the one apologizing. If I only knew the guy was a jerk, I wouldn't have said anything."

"He's not a jerk." Matt snapped.

Kevin withdrew his arm from Matt, "Why are you trying to defend him?"

"You don't know how it feels Kev. I actually think I'm in love with him."

Kevin smirked. "In love with him? How can you be in love with a guy you hardly even know?"

"Yeah? Well you fell for Vince when you didn't even know much about him."

"That's exactly my point."

Matt was confused, "Wait, what? You and Vince are--"

"I don't know. Sometimes I don't know if I can trust him. There are things he does that just piss me off. You know, he asked me to move in with him."

"What did you say?"

"I gave him back his key."

The two roommates fell silent. Matt didn't know how to respond, and Kevin didn't want to say anything further. He just forced a smile and got up from Matt's bed. He pulled his shirt off and tossed it in the hamper. Kevin's naked torso was visible in the shadows. Matt could make out the lines on his defined body. Kevin caught him staring as both of them quickly looked away. Kevin pulled off his pants and stood there with just his boxers on. He slowly slipped inside his bed and stared at the ceiling.

"I was thinking of something."

"What?" Matt was looking up the ceiling as well.

"If things don't work out with me and Vince, do you think we'd make a good couple?"

Matt turned to his side and faced Kevin, "You're joking, right?"

Kevin laughed as he continued staring at the ceiling, "It is a possibility."

"I don't know. I feel weird even talking about it."

Kevin turned to his side and looked at his roommate, "I love you Matty."

"Same here."

"Goodnight," Kevin smiled and turned to face the wall in a couple of minutes, he fell asleep, leaving Matt wide awake, thinking.



He felt his chest burn as he dashed off the side of the pool. Matt had been doing laps non-stop for the past hour. What Kevin said threw him off. He didn't know if he was serious or just toying with him. But he knew Kevin; he knew that he wouldn't be that mean to kid around about such things. He loved the guy, he really did. He just wasn't sure if he loved him that way. He reached the opposite wall and went up for air. He gasped as he felt his heart pounding more than usual.

"I thought you'd be here."

Matt looked up to see Keegan walking to the edge of the pool.

"Can we talk?"



"Are you sure you don't want anything?"

Matt stared at his pale hands as he sat across Keegan in the coffee shop. His hair was still a bit wet from his morning shower. "No thanks."

"I know you hate me, but it's not what it looks like."

Matt looked at Keegan and tried to talk to him straight, trying to show no emotion, but his weak voice betrayed him. "I get it. You don't have to tell me."

Keegan reach out his hand but Matt moved his hands away.

"I need this. This is my shot."

"By fucking her?" Matt didn't know where that question came from, but it slipped out of his lips automatically.

"That's business." Keegan noticed Matt's discomfort. "Look, what we did, I take back what I said... It wasn't a mistake. I'm glad it happened."

"I'm not. I thought-- I thought," Matt fumbled with his words.

"Don't think about it. It was what it was. Let's keep it that way. I really am sorry if it meant more to you than it did for me."

Matt sighed in frustration. He didn't want to be there. "Are we done? I still have classes to go to."

"Look, we can still stay in touch. We're friends, right?"

"I don't think so." Matt got out of his chair and pulled his jacket. "By the way, I'm quitting the team... good luck with your career though."

Keegan watched as Matt walked away.

 

"Oh," Matt stopped, "I take it back. I hope you crash and burn and your stupid films suck." He absolutely didn't know why he said that as he left Keegan sitting there. His heart was broken over something that was never really there. He left him even though he asked to be friends. 'Was it stupid?' Matt asked himself as he walked out of the coffee shop. He left Keegan alone. He left him alone for good.



He could hear the sound of cars driving by outside. He wrapped the blanket around himself as he lay still in his bed. Kevin was thinking when he woke up. He dreamt of Vince and how good life would be to live with him. They would be perfect, he thought. He looked across the room, to Matt's empty bed. He said something that he shouldn't have. It was a joke, of course, but part of him meant it. Matt was a good guy who deserved a good and honest guy to love him back. Kevin wished he could do something to help him, but he didn't know what. He couldn't even fix his own relationship.

He heard a knocking on the door. He shifted in bed and slowly got out. His hair was a mess and his eyes still puffy from trying to fall back into sleep. He moved his bare feet across the floor. "Who is it?"

"It's me."

Kevin opened the door for Xavier. "What's up?"

"You need to come with me," Xavier spoke as he walked over to Kevin's dresser.

"Where are we going?"

Xavier tossed Kevin a shirt. "Shut up and just go with me okay?" Xavier smiled, "It's a surprise."

"You know I can't stand your surprises."

"Well you're gonna love this one. Now get that shirt on and wash your face."

"Yes mom," Kevin groaned as he pulled the shirt over his head.



"Where the hell are we going?" Kevin looked outside the frosted cab window as they stopped at Central Park.

Xavier paid the driver and opened the door. "Come on. Let's go."

"You have to tell me what we're doing here."

"You have to stop talking or I'll make you stop," Xavier joked.

"Fine," Kevin said reluctantly as he followed Xavier down the path.

By the clearing, Kevin saw a table for two set up. The wood matched the winter trees. There was a small spread with a couple of breakfast stuff which he assumed had come from Agnes' diner. Kevin smiled, "You're kidding."

Xavier pulled a chair and let Kevin sit down. He pulled the other chair and sat across from him. Xavier poured Kevin a cup of hot chocolate from a thermos bottle and handed it to him. "Breakfast at Central Park."

"This is awesome. Cheers!" Kevin raised his cup and took a sip from his hot chocolate. "What made you come up with this?"

"We're celebrating."

"Celebrating what?"

"Your moving in with Vince."

"What?" Kevin looked puzzled as Xavier pointed behind Kevin.

Kevin turned around to see Vince standing behind him. He knelt down on the cold ground and held Kevin's hand.

I feel stupid but it's something that comes and goes.

"What are you doing?" Kevin looked around to see if other people were seeing what was happening.

I've been changing. I think it's funny how no one knows.
We don't talk about the little things that we do without,
When that whole mad season comes around.
So are you gonna sit there or are you gonna help me out?

Kevin smiled at Vince's little improv.

We need to be together now.

I need you now.


"Kev. I'm sorry. It was completely stupid of me to do what I did. I already apologized to Xavier. He actually-" Vince grinned, "This was actually his idea."

Kevin looked at Xavier from across the table. Xavier was pretending to look elsewhere, minding his own business.

"I love you. I can't be without you. Please, move in with me." Vince pulled out a key from his pocket and handed it to Kevin.

Kevin smiled and shook his head. "This is fucking insane, you know that? This shit doesn't happen in real life."

"Well I'm making it happen just for you. So what do you say?" Vince stared into Kevin's eyes, still waiting.

Kevin bit his lip and stood up. He pulled Vince up to his feet and kissed him, for everyone to see. He pulled back. "Give me my key."

Vince grinned as Kevin took the key from him.

"I love you."

 

 

 

Author's Note:

 

I'm back, and hopefully for good this time. I want to apologize to those people who wrote me since October. I know I promised some of you that I'd send this chapter out last year or early this year... obviously that didn't happen. Life has a weird way of dealing with you when you least expect it. I just took the time to deal with things first before I went back to writing this. I'd like to thank Brad A. for offering to help me with this chapter and making me look like a good writer. Lol!

 

The song at the park was Matchbox Twenty's Mad Season, just in case you were wondering. Just imagine it sung acapella with the line "I need you now" semi-spoken at the end.

 

I hope you guys liked this chapter. As always, if you have any comments, suggestions, rants or raves about the story so far, be honest and be brutal if you wish. Send me an email through zenlikewriter@yahoo.com I'd also like to apologize to the people who sent me emails since March. I apologize not responding to any of them 'til today. I hope you guys understand. I really do love the kind words.

 

Thanks for again for reading!

 

Cheers!

 

-gabe