A Different Fear


Disclaimer! This fictional story is the property of the author, Evago Rush. It is intended for readers age 18 and over. It is a romance, but if you are offended by sexual content, graphic and otherwise-I am worried about you. The people are entirely fictional; the town is loosely based on real places. It is the same town that Home to Jude takes place in. I always enjoy feedback, and hope you enjoy this story. It will continue long after Ty and Jase leave high school although it begins there. I recognize the plot is pretty cliche and well all I can say is I like it! I love stories like this and wrote it to feed my own need for it.


evagoxrush@gmail.com <mailto:evagoxrush@gmail.com>

Chapter 1 He freaks me out.

When he ran up behind me and overtook me, I jerked reflexively to the side. Fuck. Jase Stanton, the jock, captain of the soccer team, ran on by with a mumbled, "Dude." It was supposed to be a greeting or something but he fucking scared me. My heartbeat was already hyped from the run.

The PE teacher in this small town was lazy, lazier than the neighboring small town where I had transferred in from. He gave the students a map and had us run down West Waterfront, and back up South Jackson Street to Mount Howard High. It was a timed exercise, and for those who couldn't run, they got a walk path along the stream path and back. I ran.

I ran because I had learned when I was fourteen I was gay. Oh, I had known long before that that I was different. But when I was fourteen I knew it without reservation. And, this was the 21rst century in a relatively liberal part of the country. It didn't occur to me that I couldn't be gay. Oh don't get me wrong. I was ashamed. I hid it. But not very well apparently, and my then 17 year old girl cousin, who I would later come to live with, knew and so all her friends knew and pretty much everyone who was anyone in my life was in the loop pretty soon thereafter. And while I had moved here just half way through the year, pretty much everyone in Mount Howard High knew someone from Shannon High.

And we shared a small town newspaper, and while my name had never appeared in print everyone knew I was the gay kid the dean of students had tried to force feed religion and salvation in the guise of assault and false imprisonment. My uncle and his new girlfriend had decided to transfer me to Mount Howard. I was numb, and spent two weeks after winter break refusing to go to school. It wasn't like I had enjoyed Shannon, I had only moved there last summer after my mom died, and I came to live with my uncle Lenny.

I loved Lenny and his girlfriend Liza was pretty awesome too. Losing mom had been hell, don't get me wrong, but Lenny was the dad I never had. I had been singing with Lenny's band since I was 13, at weddings, company picnics and so on. And this fall, bars. Yeah, I am only 18, but entertainers get permits to perform. Well, okay, only six times since September had we done a bar gig. Lenny got all-nervous and shit letting me do that. So, we only did it infrequently. I made money. Enough money, thank god, that I had my own car. I couldn't imagine life being gay without wheels in this small town.

Yeah, like I said, pretty liberal. There won't be a gang of kids beating me up behind a dumpster anywhere. But kids are cruel, and ...well fuck; I had been worked over a time or two. Jase Stanton scared me.

For lotsa reasons.

He runs by me, breathing really hard. I know he was ahead of me. So, what I don't know is where he snuck off to and what he was doing. I only think about it for a second. Because his panting, and the bobbing ass ahead of me, the slick skin on his biceps... distract me, rather annoyingly. Okay, yeah, I am gay. But I don't drool over every hot straight guy that runs on by. In fact, I was so gay I felt like a girl sometimes. I am more into the story of falling in love than the actual specifics of sex. Sure, I am guy! Don't even think I don't rock hard at least six times a day. But, ya know, looking at a hot guy is full of anxiety and so I had pretty rigid control over my wandering fantasies.

Shit. All right, yeah, why did he scare me so much? Because I love the way his watch dangles from his wrist. His is a masculine, tanned, strong wrist. He had long tapered hands, with strong forearms and nice nails. Eighteen-year-old high school senior, captain of the soccer team, track star and hot center of my fantasies ran by me and I felt my heart lurch. I hated to be near him. Hated it. Because he was everything I wanted but couldn't have. Well, everything I imagined I wanted physically anyway. Because personality wise, he never gave me a hard time, but had made eye contact with me all of one time.

So, when we ran into the courtyard behind the gym, practically together, I felt weird. Sure it could have been an accident, but he would have tried harder to not run in with me, you'd think. Because of course, Nate Milliner made a sneering comment that the only word that made its way into my self induced lurching fog, was "Fag." I just keep walking. I had mastered the non-look, the not bravado walk. It is more than not responding, it is a dismissive assumption that the aggressor really doesn't want to make a scene and get all up in my face. So, I just believe it, and keep going.

If only I could have been inside what I was feeling outside. Because, Jase Stanton moved down the lockers to stand a few closer to me while he dressed. No one seemed to notice, but me. What the fuck was he doing? My stomach hurt as I tried hard not to race into my clothes. He didn't look over at me while I dressed; I glanced at him to check. And of course, that is when he did look down at me. He is at least 6'0 tall, I could pretty much be assured of this, because I am 5'8 and my eyes are about level with his chin. His eyes were a warm hazel with just a hint of green. The expression on his face was... apologetic.

"Stanton! Castle!"

I jumped and now he flashed me a reassuring smile, before turning to face the coach.

When I turned around, Coach Crawly was glowering. He was a short, shorter than me, stocky, hair covered wrestle maniac. What the fuck did he want with me? I wasn't in sports and he wasn't our PE teacher.

"OFFICE!" He boomed as if we were deaf or stupid. I felt stupid. Something had happened and somehow I was indirectly roped into responsibility. I didn't have my socks or shoes on, so I closed my locker and carried them with me. Jase slammed his with a tough guy crash and stalked over to the office. There were snickers and catcalls. Fuck. Fuck. Then, another comment that I didn't quite hear but got the gist of when the response rang out.

"Shut the fuck up man, I am sure it's nothing. Don't be a prick Keller, " It was Sanje Morio, one of Jase's friends. "Jase doesn't even know that dude."

Weirder and weirder. Sanje was a cocky bastard whose mouth was always getting him into trouble and while they were friends, defending Jase wasn't necessary. Everyone knew it. In fact, defending him...was more dangerous.

But I couldn't think about it. I suddenly had this weird lightheaded fear. Shit, I was going into an office with a teacher. I only caught myself shaking when Jase looked over at me and blinked, his hand came up like he was going to touch me, or help me. I jerked. He frowned. "S'ok, dude." He said very quietly. Coach was in the office and the doors automatically closed, we were at least 15 feet from the nearest other person and he gave me a sincere look of ...well support.

Then he opened the door and went in, glancing back at me with that apology in his eyes but also strength. I don't know that I could have walked in without that. But I did. How did I survive the next two minutes? I am not really sure what the coach said entirely. He yelled, his voice shook the glass in the window that overlooked the locker room. (You know it is kind of perverted that coaches and teachers can sit in here with that one way glass and look out over the locker room.) I got it, the basics of what he was so worked up and lathered mad about. He had gotten a call; some kids had been seen at the Save-A-Lot buying cigarettes on the run. The description had matched Jase, everyone knew him, and the other kid was shorter, dirty blond hair, dark gray shorts. Fuck. Me. And Sanje.

We didn't look a thing alike really. My shorts were longer and darker. I was lean and smaller than Sanje. He was kind of square. Not lean, more like a bulldog. It didn't matter; he and Jase had gotten him out of trouble and dragged me in. To protect Sanje.
Shit. When coach asked what happened, Jase explained that he had not gone in the store with anyone else. But the coach exploded and then turned on me.

"So, you weren't there!? I have two witnesses, do I need to bring them in here?" I flinched, my leg felt like it was cramping. I mean what the fuck is that? Why is my leg cramping? Oh, I knew why, but I shoved it down so far I didn't acknowledge it at that moment.

"Coach." Jase tried to interfere and Crawly told him to, SHUT THE FUCK UP. How do they do that? Get away with this kind of abuse. I had been truly tortured by a complete fuckup pervert, but wasn't this wrong too? Jase looked at me, holding my gaze locked on his green eyes. He drew a deep breath and tilted his head as if telling me to breathe. Breathe Ty, come on. He mouthed that. And the coach turned on me again as I sucked in a shuddering lung full of air.

If I answered either way I was fucked. Yes, I was there. Oh look, Jase Stanton is a liar. I was not there, they would find out about Sanje. And for some reason, I knew Jase was protecting his friend, and felt guilty as hell about it.

"It was accidental that we both went in." I lied. Was that my voice? How did I say that so clearly? "I went in for an energy drink." Almost as bad as the smokes. The school board was on an anti soda, energy drinks are drugs kick. Kids who brought soda into the school were sent home. And selling it to other students was like a freaking drug offense.

He yelled some more, standing half between Jase and I, as we faced him and each other. It was weird. Jase keep his gaze on me. I felt pinned, and I was horrified by how his gaze made me feel...safer. He never broke the hold. Just keep his eyes locked on me, as if touching me. He knew I needed him to not let go.

We got...detention. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Oh my god, fuck. The kindest kids in school weren't in detention. It was an invitation to five days of hell for me. I barely held it together when the coach chased us out of the office with his voice still shaking the goddamn pervert window. I really do pride myself on my courage. I know I am gay. I don't apologize for it. I stand my ground.

I fled. I made it to my next class four minutes early. My mouth was dry, and my leg cramped. My leg. She had whipped me, that anti gay Dean. Her whip had opened my calf to the bone. Well, it was a leather crop really. She also hit me with a paddle. It didn't look bad now, it was a red line, and had little small scars next to it. The faint white scars on the front of my thighs and my back bothered me more. I was in a stupor through all of my Critical Issues class. And then lunch.

Somehow I made it across the campus to the yard beside the Library. I pulled the water bottle out of my pack and sat on the ledge. My friends Nell and Morris came up. They were punk. Nell had safety pins in her lip today. Despite myself, I grinned. I didn't dress like them, or think like them, or enjoy pretty much anything they did. But we were outsiders and they were cool.

Apparently, the hour in CI had bought me the time I needed to be cool about it outwardly. I told my story, unaware that while they ate, I didn't touch the orange in my pack, or the cookies Nell offered. Then her eyes widened and she grabbed the hem of my jeans, tugging on the frayed edge, like she was trying to move me. I blinked at her.

My entire body jerked suddenly. Because I realized in that instant that someone was close behind me. Beside me. And god, I knew it was Jase without looking. His scent hit me. When did I recognize his smell? Weeks ago. He crouched down and said, "Hey guys." He must be smiling, because Nell and Morris gave him a sick sort of-- is that a bug or a hairless rodent?-- smile. `You guys are buds, so I am gonna just talk with Tyler for a sec. K?" Jase wasn't an idiot. He had to know I would probably not have spoken to him privately. Or he didn't want to be seen talking with me alone. Okay that was a more likely scenario. What a drag. That made me really feel bad.

His knee bumped my shoulder. I looked up at him. Lost myself for half a second before I slammed the `Ty's bored of this game' look on my face. Yeah, I actually stood in front a mirror and worked on that one. `Course he actually smiled. "Sup?" I managed.

"He wouldn't graduate with another suspension. He is a fuck, and I shoulda let him hang. But he is my bud, right? Still, I didn't think." He was really going out there. He was apologizing. Not a `sorry, dude.' But, a `I fucked up, but I had a good hearted reason to do it.' "I am sorry."

I shrugged. God, my voice was gone. So, I shrugged like it was no big thing. But I didn't look away and his nostrils flared for a second then he looked at me, his gaze danced over where I sat, legs outstretched, one knee up. I actually watched him look me over. And I thought okay, what the hell!? His knee bumped my shoulder again and my eyes bounced to between his legs. Okay, god. Why did I do that? Why did I look at the warm curve of his cock pressing against his otherwise lose jeans? He made a sound and my eyes jerked back to his face. I do that a lot around him. Jerk. I am graceless in my nervousness. He smiled at me. A small smile filled with awareness and humor. Just fucking beam me up Scotty. The aliens have landed.

"Don't worry, it'll be okay in detention." He said and stood up. "Later."

"Later." Nell sneered. "Don't buy that shit, Ty! He got what he wanted, his friend outta trouble and you are paying for it." She raged.

"No big deal. Just an hour after school, for five days." I shrugged, but my face was red and there was no missing the sarcastic last two words.

"And when it is done he will ignore you just like before!" She hissed. Nell saw too much.

"He'll ignore me now. That was an apology for his benefit, not mine." And it was true, I knew. He felt guilt and apologizing assuaged his guilt enough for him to not worry about it anymore. And I had a couple minutes of Jase in my life to file away in my stupid imagination file.

It was a bad porn story. Skinny high school guy gets turned on and fucked by the hot jock star. Or worse, and more common, it was a Fuck Buddy story. It is what nearly happened to me last year in Oregon. A guy came on to me, pretended to be `in the closet' and just so in love with me. Shame surrounded that memory. Oh, I had been aroused when I had blown him. But, in the end I had realized what was happening. Something in his voice, and when I had stopped and questioned it, he had taken a swing.

Guys give better head than chicks, he had explained. I could be his buddy. Yeah, right. How bad did I need it? Hell no. Seriously, I didn't hesitate. It sucked for a couple of weeks, but Ty's bored look cured him of his taunts. In the end he had begun to look like the lady who doth protest too much.

What if Jase thought he could get a fuck buddy? Ugh. Would I be tempted? My throat felt tight and the warning bell rang. Oh, Nell and Morris and I had talked about...something. But hell if I was paying attention.

It is a universal truth. When you are waiting for something you want time drags by. Time flew. That shoulda told me how afraid I was. I had two kinds of fear sucking away my energy and I shuffled down the stairs to the basement hall, and the rows of desks. And found six other guys, no girls, milling about. Was that relief? Jase was there and he was standing off to the side.

"Whoa, lookie, it's the gay kid with the `I am so-" it was his tone that must have alerted Jase. Because Jase moved, like how did he move so fast, moved. He shoved a desk with enough force to make a loud screech. The kid, whose name I sure didn't know, broke off and gave Jase a startled look and Jase glowered.

"Shut the fuck up."

"What? You a fag---" too. That was what he was going to say but the kids own friend smacked him on the back of the head, "Shut yer hole Eli. Seriously, dude. He's a senior."

Other kids snickered and I stood there. Jase glanced over at me, his eyes narrowing with meaning. Sit down, Ty. Oh, then of course, he actually says the words. "Sit down, Ty."

I obeyed. I looked straight ahead, my fists locked on the desk. I am eighteen now. I am not fucking going to puke. I am not afraid. Why am I so afraid? I wasn't afraid before? I handled the ribbing, the poking and the spitting even. Jase sat behind me. He hooked his feet on the rung beneath my seat and I struggled to breath. The seat I had chosen was along a section of old lockers, three desks in the row, and he had shoved the third away. We were kinna isolated and when the teacher showed up I had barely relaxed. Thank god it was Mrs. Haskins. She was ancient. And sometimes talked to herself. She could screech, but she was harmless.

"S'ok, Ty." He said quietly, softly. A whisper they would hear, but I was a singer so I understood how vocal cords worked, he pitched his voice low. No one heard it. He was protecting me. I melted. I am gay but I don't imagine myself as the melty sort. I am not sure what sort I am. But, I melted. My chin dropped to my chest and I became aware of the uneven beat of my heart. My cock throbbed. In my head I was catching up like a computer download. He was protecting me. He had been since that first minute in the locker room. He'd registered the panic on my face for that moment and acknowledged it. He actually felt bad.

God, I felt worse. His response to my fear, my problems, my fucked up anxieties made me feel like I was weak. Tears stung my eyes and it was all I could do to surreptitiously wipe them away. Still he FUCKING KNEW.

He had long legs. He ran and played forward in soccer. He stretched out and pressed one foot on the side of my knee, just firmly enough to make me, yeah, jerk slightly and glance back at him. He tilted his head and said, "Quit it."

I nodded. Now, looking back, I am freaked out by my response. But then, I turned back forward and flipped open my folder, and stared at the pages of notes. Calmer. He told me to stop crying, not in a mean way. He used a bossy authoritative tone, and I responded to it.

Remember that thing about time? It flew by. You think I don't realize it should have crawled?

There were other gays in my new school. But I was famous. Or is that infamous and even they avoided me. I had to be fucked up so they honestly just stayed away. I drew danger like a magnet. Well, I saw it that way, rather egotistic if you look at it. Here I am, eighteen, and I can't for the life of me understand how to be what I am. I don't act gay. I look like a rather ordinary eighteen year old. I shave a couple of times a week at best. I dress in jeans and t-shirts or something similar. I wear vans or tennis shoes every day. Half of winter I forget my jacket, like every other teenage boy.

I don't get my hair cut often enough, so it grows down into my eyes and Lenny finally says something.

So, when we walked out of there, I wondered for the millionth time in my life, why the fuck I couldn't just be friends with this guy. Then he turned his bone melting voice on me and said, "One down, four to go. See ya tomorrow, Ty." And we parted ways at the top of the stairs. I wished I had a recording of his voice saying anything to me, especially in that tone.

There it was, PE. Again, and this time it took a minute or two for me to realize Jase was standing beside me, but on the left row of lockers just behind mine. He could watch me, but no one would notice. Jesus. I had chosen this locker, on this row because it was closer to the door, where the air was cold and everyone else changed further around the right and back to the left. The only way you could see my cock when I was naked was to stand beside me, which no one did, or there. Where he was. I always wore a long t-shirt and too baggy drawstring shorts. Always. I wasn't a fucking moron. But I still had to snap them on over my hard on. I ignored him. I could_not_look_at_him.

And when we took off running, I ran like hell to try and put some distance between me and everyone else and yes, all that bouncing hurt. But he and Sanje passed me, and cool as you please, Sanje turns around and says, "Thanks, dude. You rock." And then they are gone.

I was walking into the detention dungeon when he came up behind me, and gave me a little shove. Did I pause in the doorway or something? Yeah. He wasn't inside and my brain had short-circuited. His hand opened on my back, just below my neck and he sort of held on and pushed at the same time. I felt the touch to my toes and I prayed to god no one saw my face. He didn't say anything, just sat behind me. His fingers had trailed off my shoulder, pressing lightly for a second. It was reassurance and I was going quietly out of my mind.

The third day of our punishment, my personal intimate hell, was a Friday, and I had a gig in Olympia. Lenny came to pick me up, and that sucked. I looked forward to my drive to and from school and not having the car made me feel like a prisoner. I must have looked cagey. Because he came over to me as I was walking to the courtyard at lunch. He caught me at the bottom of the stairs on the backside of the west building. It was raining and cold and still me and my friends never ate inside. "Ty, hey man, I was wonderin if you might want to go down to Sanje's after detention?" Did he just as me to hang out with him? I mean I know he wasn't asking me out. I had fantasies, not delusions.

"Uh, you know, I can't." He was just feeling guilty anyway and I oughta let him off the hook.

"It isn't because I feel guilty," He said, and fucking read my mind, "Cause while I appreciate it, I just thought ya know, you bein' new and all. San's a cool guy, he just has no self control."

"I work. Tonight in Olympia. With my uncle." I sort of rambled this out, inwardly groaning at how pathetic I sounded, I was not going to say, "I wish I could, thanks." Dammit, why did I have to sound so fucking sincere!

We were actually standing in the rain. His dark hair was starting to shine and I worked hard at keeping my eyes from his. "Work?" He said and leaned to the side, which of course collided his gaze with mine. My fingers curled into my palms. I wanted to stroke his wet hair, feel the silkiness of it.

"Yeah." I am sure he wasn't but it looked like he was looking at my mouth. He wasn't was he? I blushed.

"So, I think that was pretty good for our first conversation." He grinned at me, it was a friendly teasing grin, full of promise and it did not so strange things to my insides. He was standing real close. Close enough that I could feel the heat radiating off of him, and close enough that I could smell him. It freaked me out, that I was totally hot for his smell. He smelled like man, and some cologne that wasn't grocery store bought. It was never strong. Subtle, and it totally made me imagine pressing my nose and lips to his chest and throat, and fuck. I am staring at him. "Next time, tell me what exactly `work' is. See ya later."

Not a soul had wandered by, and I felt like the universe was conspiring to crash on me again. Seriously. The best three minutes of my life were right then. He was looking at me, aware of my...helpless attraction and he didn't get mad. He smiled and took off back down the stairs.

There it was again, that fucked up feeling. He could not possibly be sending me he signals I thought he was. Or might be. And if he was it had to because of the not so uncommon thing...you know fuck buddies. But it wasn't really fucking, was it? It was oral sex. Some straight guys didn't consider it `sex.' And definitely not gay sex. That had to be what it was. He saw me looking at his package and he thought about what it would be like for me to...

For a guy, I have a pretty nice mouth. My lower lip is kina full, and the entire structure is perpetually turned in a slight smile. Jade, my cousin says I have a wicked sort of fallen angel mouth. Yeah, I am vain enough to admit I like that idea. I sing, and play guitar, but my first love is singing. I grew up bellowing in the shower, in the kitchen, to the radio...everywhere and anywhere. I have incredible range and while I only ever worked with one voice coach, he insisted I had great range. My audience was never anyone I KNEW outside the family.

Next month that could change. I was still pissed about that. But, more about that later.
That Eli person must have finished his detention and here were two new guys, both with scratched faces and both freshman. Ah, some kinna, `I am a bigger man, fuck you' dust up. They didn't know me. Hardly looked at me. And I was standing there looking a little anxious and slack jawed. Apparently, they had tossed the old desks-that were too small for us anyway. Now we had gym mats on the floor. And oh yay, a new detention person.

Mrs. Yeller. She made us meditate. No shit. I could not believe it. And I was dieing. Jase came right up and sat next to me on the mat and I gave him a `oh god, please stop torturing me look.' And the bastard smiled.

"Supposed to relax, Ty." He said in that quiet voice of his that no one in the universe ever seemed to be able to hear and I felt the palm of his hand on the small of my back as he sat cross-legged beside me. A buzz seemed to travel up my spine and give me courage so I looked over at him. Not at his face, but at his lap, again. I glanced down, my hair over my eyes but he knew what I was doing and he relaxed his knees, his legs dropping apart.

I tore my eyes away, more like peeling them away painfully. Why you ask? He was aroused. His cock was hard and pressing rather insistently against the leg of his jeans. His pose and shirt hid it from everyone but me. I tugged on my shirt, exhaling slowly, closing my eyes and trying unsuccessfully not to imagine what it would feel like if I could touch him. Instead, I just sat there the entire hour, suffering the agony of being turned on and trapped, unable to even adjust myself.

He got away with it though, he stretched, leaned back, sat up again, his shoulder bumping mine, his knee hitting my thigh. He didn't say anything else. And when she released us, my leg was in knots from sitting there unmoving for too long. I yelped, and he looked at me funny. Like amused at my discomfort then he squatted down and really looked at me. Of course I tried my mutinous face. But he must have seen through it, "Leg ok?"

"I'm fine." I gritted and braced my hand on the floor. It had to be plain that I didn't want his help. But, he ignored me, as usual and tucked his arm under mine and helped me stand. Whoa, fuck, rush of blood and shooting pain. Mrs. Yeller came over and the misery of my humiliation was about to get tragic.

"S'ok, Mrs. Y, just a leg cramp," He actually braced his hip in front of me and I was leaning on him. I flexed my ankle trying to pull the tendon so it would stop.

"Rub it." She suggested helpfully and I choked. The rest of the prisoners had disappeared. "Just relax, Tyler. You should lay back down and stretch." My eyes had to be bugging out of my head. Just where was my `Ty's bored,' look now?

"It will go away in a sec," I said. "I gotta get going, the crew will be here to pick me up." I was protesting verbally, but not physically. He pushed gently on my chest and Mrs. Yeller walked away, disappearing around a corner. And then I was sitting down, laying down on my back my arm thrown over my eyes. Oh my god, fuck!

He touched my calf, both hands. "I've seen the scar, so I am assuming this is it?" his hands had to be scorching, and he was gentle, tugging my pants leg up with the back of his hand as he gently pressed and stroked the tight muscle, "Seriously, Ty, breathe, and relax." He directed, and squeezed to emphasize his point. He was good at this, his fingers pressed and he pulled towards the foot he had pressed on his thigh. I was dieing. That had to be it. He was touching the physical reminder, the literal scar, left behind by the very real monster that had tortured me, and all I could think of was how warm his hands were and how I wanted him to never stop. I relaxed. It just happened, I exhaled and my other knee drooped and he exhaled too, "See, Ty. I am not gonna hurt ya. "

I jerked. Suddenly, viscerally aroused, I tried to pull my leg from his grip, and he curled his hand around my ankle. "What are you doing Jase?" I whispered. Now, what I did next had to be automatic, cause no way did I intend to look at his face and see his eyes.

He was not exactly smiling. Okay, not at all. He was serious, his eyes wide and intense, he tilted his head in that way of his, "Helping...no fuck. I...guess this," he twisted and then was kneeling and I tried to sit up but he was half straddling me and he put a hand on my chest, "Trying to show you I am interested, without freaking you out."

I think I got dizzy, because I fell back and he hovered over me all of a sudden, this had to be a nightmare. A dream? What the hell kinna game was he playing? My reaction to him terrified me. He was playing me, had to be, and I didn't care.

"But you are freaked out. Whenever I get close to you, you do it." He touched my cheek and I jerked, this time he felt it, the vibration that went through me, "But maybe it isn't what I thought it was," He mused aloud. It sounded like musing, because there was wonder and inner curiosity. "It's not fear."

"It is fear." I breathed. I spoke again! He was touching my face, his fingers pressing against the hollow of my cheeks and then his thumb touched my lower lip and it was a command, he opened my eyes with that touch and I shuddered.

"Not the kind of fear I thought, " He whispered, "This is the kind of fear you have when you...want someone." He kissed me.

First kisses are usually awkward, fierce, or one or both people try too hard. In fact, how many kisses have you had in your life where it defined itself? His mouth touched mine softly for a single moment, just pressing, moist and parted and then he used his mouth to caress mine. He licked the corners of my mouth, tugged on my lower lip with his teeth and when I groaned and slid my arm around his neck he hummed and opened over me. It was carnal and until then the most erotic moment of my life.

He held me tight against his chest, and I felt the rush of his breath and heart and there was no mistaking his arousal, or the intensely intimate kiss. It could not be calculating. He was kissing me like there was no mistake, like he was hungry for it. Needed to have my mouth to live.

The thunk on the stairs around the corner made me stiffen, but he just held me a long second. "I don't care Ty," He said firmly. And rose up in front of me, reaching out a hand to pull me to my feet. "I don't care who might find out, not now. Because before there just never was anyone worth it. You are. So, think about it while you are at ...work. I will see you Monday." He was gone. In the distance I heard Sanje's voice, and he sounded perplexed.