All other content or otherwise are works of my own imagination. All events are fictitious in nature.

Any similarities to persons living, dead, or otherwise are purely coincidental.

This story contains strong themes of homosexual content, if this offends you in any way, please refrain from reading further. If you are not of legal age to read this, please leave now.

A/N: I'd like to thank TalonRider for editing this chapter. His unparalleled brilliance and tireless effort applied to my work is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

American Differences
-By Emulated

Chapter 18: Celebration

He spun around for me, “What d’ya think?“ He asked.

I looked at him, my eyes drifting up from his black Nikes, his dark jeans, to rest on his black leather jacket. I was speechless, he looked amazing!

“Well…” He asked.

I glanced up at his face, “You look stunning.”

He smiled at that, “Stunning?”

I nodded, looking him up and down again, “Super hot.” I replied, “I love that jacket, why haven’t you worn it before?”

“It’s been in storage.” He replied, “Dad got a few things out the other day and brought this back.”

I walked forward and ran my hand across the soft material, before I reached out and cupped the back of his neck, pulling him forward and kissing him lightly. I pulled back, “You should wear it more often.”

“I will.” He replied, before looking at me, “I’m ready to head over to Connor’s house if you are.”

“Sure.” I nodded, as I thought, “I’m not sure what I’m going to wear yet.”

He walked over to his desk, picking up his phone and slipping it into his pocket, “Haven’t you got anything at Connor’s house?”

“I have, but I can’t remember what they brought back for me.”

He nodded, “You can borrow anything of mine.” He offered, “We’re virtually the same size anyway.”

I’m not sure why, but the thought of walking around wearing Jamie’s clothes was quite hot. I smiled at him, “I’m sure there’ll be something for me to wear, but thanks.”

“You know I wash my clothes after I wear them, so they’d be clean. If that’s what you’re worrying about.” He joked.

I shook my head, “No, I’m fine, really.” I replied as I headed over to the door, “Besides, who said I’d want the
clean clothes?” I asked, wiggling my eyebrows.

“Dirty boy!” He giggled, as he headed over.

“What? It’s not like you smell bad anyway.” I replied, before I sniffed at him, “No, not bad at all.”

“Come on, “ He said, as he walked down the stairs, “Otherwise I’d tell Connor why we were late to his Birthday celebrations.”

I grinned, “Oh, and what would you say?” I asked, “Sorry Connor, Matt and I were late to your Birthday because we were too busy ha-“ I began, before Jamie covered my mouth.

“Dude! Dad’s home.”

I smiled, “So? You didn’t know what I was gonna say.”

“Yeah! Like I couldn’t have guessed anyway.”

I managed to remain quiet as we made our way downstairs. I slipped my shoes and coat on as Jamie called out.

“We’re going now, I’ll see ya later, Dad!”

Noah stepped out from the downstairs office/study, “Ok then, have a great time guys.” He said, “Just give me a call if you guys wanna get picked up or anything later.”

Jamie nodded, “Thanks Dad, we’ll see you later.”

He smiled, “See ya, bye Matt.”

I nodded, “Bye.” I replied, as we stepped out of the door.

Jamie closed it behind us, before he walked down the path, as I followed closely behind.

After we walked for a few minutes, I tuned to him, “You better beat Max today.” I warned.

He looked at me, “At what?”

“The bowling.” I replied, “I want you to win.”

He giggled, “ Yes, Sir.”

“That’s a good boyfriend.” I praised.

He giggled again, “I’m not your pet!”

I reached out and pretended to rub him behind the ears, “I know that, baby.”

He swerved away from me, avoiding my touch, “And don’t mess up the hair. I worked hard on this.”

I looked up at his dark blond locks, true, he had spent a while in his bathroom perfecting the ‘spiked up’ look. Mind you, as I looked at his hair, I began to realise just how long it was getting. When soaking wet, it must be like half way down his ears. “Since when did your hair get so long?”

He turned to me, “I’ve only had it cut twice since I’ve been here. But I’m letting it grow some now.”

I smiled, “Let it grow, it looks good.”

He nodded, “Thanks.”

We talked to each other for a while longer until we reached Connor’s house where we found that we were the first ones there. Saying that, we weren’t going out for a few hours yet, but we still wanted to hang out for a bit beforehand. But those extra few minutes gave me enough time to look through the clothes that I had with me and decide on something to wear.

“That looks cool.” Said Connor, pointing to a blue shirt.

Jamie shook his head, “Naah, the white one with the writing looks better.”

“White one it is.” I replied, picking it up.

Connor looked at me, “What? Oh, take his word then!”

I turned around, “I was gonna pick the white one anyways.” I replied, “It’s not my fault Jamie has a good fashion sense.”

“Like I don’t?” He replied.

I looked at him, “You look ok.” I joked.

“Oh, thanks!” He replied with a smile.

I turned back and picked out some black jeans of my own, I glanced at the other two, “You guys mind if I get dressed here?”

Being comical, Jamie immediately answered with a loud, “No.” Causing Connor to laugh.

“I bet you wouldn’t!” Connor laughed, before looking at me, “No, go right ahead.” He said, before he reached over, covering Jamie’s eyes.

Jamie giggled, “Come on, I won’t look. Promise.”

“Mmm, you better not.” He replied, letting go, before Adam called out from downstairs.

“Connor, Ayo’s here!”

Connor stood up, walked over to the door, opening it, and headed downstairs himself.

I finished getting dressed, without the Jamie overseeing the activity with his
prying eyes. “It’s ok, you can look now.” I said to him, as I heard Connor and Ayo coming up the stairs.

“Hey guys.” Called out Ayo, as he walked in, alongside Connor, who was carrying another present, no doubt from Ayo.

“Heya, how you doing?” I asked.

He nodded, “I’m ok, you?”

“Yeah, I’m good.” I replied, as he went over to greet Jamie.

Connor sat down and began to unwrap his present, which turned out to be some Boss fragrance. Quite a nice one too. “Hey, thanks for that man.”

“No problem.” He replied, as he took a seat on Connor’s sofa.

Connor put away the bottle, before he turned to us, “You guys wanna play on the Playstation?”

Ayo nodded, “Sure.”

“So what do you guys wanna play?” He asked, “How about Fifa?”

“Yeah, that’d be good.” I replied, as Connor handed us a controller each.

Connor sat down next to Ayo, “I’ll let you and Jamie play together.”

I smiled, “What? Jamie? The guy can’t even kick a ball!” I retorted.

“Ok, fine, you go with me, Jamie can be on Ayo’s team. Happy now?” Asked Connor.

I nodded, “Yep.”

Ayo turned to Jamie, “Don’t worry, we’ll whip their asses at this.”

“I could whip Matt’s ass anyway.” Said Jamie.

“Hey, hey, tone it down guys. Ayo’s too young to hear that talk!” He laughed.

Ayo turned to him, “Yeah, I suppose. I mean you must feel real grown up with that box of Strawberry ‘sweets’ Max bought you!”

Connor blushed, “You heard about that?”

Ayo nodded, “It was hilarious.”

I nudged Jamie to get his attention, before I looked at Connor, “Oh yeah, about that. I was wondering, I mean if
you’re not gonna use them perhaps I…” I began, before he shook his head madly.

“Whoa! Matt! WAY too much detail! I don’t wanna hear that!” He laughed, with Ayo and Jamie also in hysterics.

I giggled, “Sorry, but I’ve been thinking that one up ALL day!”

He laughed even harder at that.

“No, don’t worry. I won’t steal them.” I said, pausing, “But don’t keep them at the bottom of your wardrobe, otherwise I’d be tempted.”

He turned to me, eyes wide, “How did you know where they were?”

“Because that’s where you hide ALL your dodgy stuff.”

Jamie laughed at that, “Hehehe, ‘dodgy’ stuff!”

“It’s true!” I exclaimed, “I mean at first it was just the one magazine, but then-“ I began, before Connor interrupted me.

“What? There has NEVER been any magazines!” He cried, “You’re making me out to be some right villain!”

I slapped my hand against his mattress, “I demand you relinquish that stash of smut, Connor Reed!!!”

Jamie and Ayo were almost wetting themselves.

Connor opened his mouth but was saved when his mum called up to tell him that Max was there. “I’ll be right down!” He called out, as he walked to the door.

Jamie poked me in the ribs softly, “Why are you so funny all of a sudden?” He giggled.

I shrugged, “I’m always funny.” I replied, “I guess I’m just in a good mood.”

A few seconds later Connor appeared with Max in tow. I figured that the evening might go better if I could get Max in a good mood, and not have him thinking about Jamie and me the entire time.

“Hey, Max, you know about Connor’s secret stash, don’t you?”

He smiled, “The one at the bottom of his wardrobe?” He asked, grinning, “What about it?”

Connor looked infuriated, “What stash?!?”

Max sat on the bed and looked at him, “Aww man, don’t deny it. It’s all good anyway.”

Connor shook his head in frustration.

Ayo frowned, “I don’t get it, what’s this all about?”

I looked at Max, “Should we say?”

He nodded, “Go on.”

“Ok,” I began, looking at Connor, “You remember when we had that sleepover a year or so ago, just us three?”


“Well, Max, decided to bring along something a little…fun.” I said, giggling slightly, “He brought this magazine with him.”

“What? I don’t remember that!” He replied.

I shook my head, “No, you weren’t here when he took it out.” I said, “Anyway, we’d thought it’d be funny if we hid it somewhere, so we looked about and put it in your wardrobe, where we found your little safe, where you keep your change.”

He nodded, “Ok…”

I giggled, “So we hid the magazine under it.”

“What? No you didn’t!” He replied.

“Yeah we did. Man, it was there for like a whole month, we checked every time we came over.”

Jamie looked at us, “What happened after a month?” He asked, “Did his parents find it?”

Connor’s eyes widened at that, “No! Tell me you guys took it back!”

I glanced over at Max, “Yeah, we took it back. But it was bloody hilarious. I mean you didn’t even notice it!”

Connor shook his head and buried his face in his hands, “You guys are so evil!”

I grinned, “And that is the story of Connor Reed’s secret stash.”

Ayo looked over, “But how did you know that it was where he’d keep the…’sweets’?”

I shrugged, “I figured that if he hid his safe there, he’d hide those with it, or inside.” I said, before I picked up the Playstation controller, “So, we gonna play?”

Connor nodded, “Yeah, you guys start playing, I’ll go grab us some drinks.” He said, “You guys all good for Coke?” He asked.

We all nodded at him, “Yeah, that’d be great.” Answered Jamie.

Connor turned and walked out of the room, going to retrieve the Cokes.

We managed to set up the game, but with Connor downstairs, Max and I were on the same team, with Ayo and Jamie on the other. Seeing as Chelsea was our favourite team, we were them, while Ayo and Jamie were Real Madrid. Yeah, like they stood a chance anyway. Perhaps I’d spoken a little too soon, because it turned out that Ayo was quite good, really good actually.

“Damn, how often do you play this, boy?” I asked.

He smiled, “Every now and again. Not that much though.”

Jamie, while not as good as Ayo, was learning quickly, and was enjoying these little flashy moves. These little tricks with the ball. I swear, the guy thought it was Tekken or something, he was trying all these button-combos!

It took us a few minutes, but Max and I finally managed to get a goal in, but we were still one goal behind Ayo and Jamie.

“See, I told you we’d whip them. Just keep doing what you’re doing and we’re gonna win.” Said Ayo to Jamie.

I giggled, “Yeah, he doesn’t even know what you’re doing.”

“I’m winning.”

Connor walked up the stairs and stepped in with a Tesco shopping bag, “I couldn’t carry them all from downstairs.” He said, explaining the bag. Before he placed it on the bed and handed us each a can.

We played on the console for about an hour or so, just till the time passed five o’clock before we decided that we’d better head over to the Leisure Centre, where the Arcade and Bowling Alley was. It wasn’t too far, about ten-minutes on the bus. So after a short journey, we found ourselves in town, in the Leisure Centre.

“So guys, what should we do first?” I asked, “We have the whole evening.”

“Bowling.” Said Jamie, looking at Max.

Max looked at him, shaking his head, “You can’t beat me.”

“Oh really?” Mocked Jamie.

He nodded, “Yeah, really.”

I smiled at them before I turned to Connor, “What do you want to do?” I asked, “It’s your Birthday!”

“Bowling’s cool.” He replied.

I nodded, “Alright, let’s go.”

We wandered over to the Bowling Alley and stepped inside. While it was quite a large building, it was also a bit crowded inside, meaning we had to queue for a bit before we arrived at the desk. After a quick chat to the guy there, we were getting our shoes ready to trade for their shoes. I liked that part, it was the way the Bowling shoes felt on the alley. Kinda slick, but not slick if you get what I mean. It was all good.

Max took it upon himself to set up the machine, along with our names, while Jamie and I ordered some drinks for us. When we returned with the drinks, we looked up at the screen and found that everyone’s names were fine, except for Max’s, which was ‘The Almighty’, while Jamie’s was ‘The American’. We got a laugh out of that, before things became serious, at least for Max and Jamie.


We watched in awe as the ball rolled down the alley, before smashing back the pins. Strike.

“Noo!” I cried out in dismay.

Jamie turned around and grinned at us, “And that is how it’s done.”

“But I was so close!” I replied. True, I had been playing exceptionally well that evening, I’d gotten myself two spares, and even a strike! But even so, Max and Jamie were still a way ahead of us. It was kinda like we were playing two games, there were Ayo, Connor and me playing one, and the other two playing the other.

I looked up at the screen, Jamie was in the lead for the moment, with Max close behind. Ayo came in third, just above me, while Connor was just below me, by three points.

I searched for the ball I’d been using, the one with the slight gash on the side of it. My ‘lucky gash’, as I had poetically called it, before I stepped up, ready to take my go.

“You better not play too well, Matt. You wouldn’t want Connor to come last on his Birthday now, would you?” Called out Ayo. I looked at him.

“Then how about you play badly, so you can slip behind?” I retorted, grinning at him, before I faced the pins. I lined myself up, pulled back my arm, and bowled the ball, sliding my right leg behind my left leg. I watched as it rolled down the alley, before it resulted in a strike. I clenched my fists and faced the other guys. “And THAT is how it’s done!”

We played for a little longer, before we came to the end of the first of two games. Max came out on top, with Jamie behind him. Connor came ahead of us three, with me coming fourth, and Ayo coming last.

Then we played and finished the second game, but this time Jamie won, with Max coming second, me coming third, Ayo came fourth and Connor came last. Regardless of where we came, it was loads of great fun. Better still, with Max and Jamie playing against each other, hopefully Max was seeing that Jamie was just the same as he always was, even before he knew that he was gay. I wasn’t expecting the Bowling to be the ultimate cure, but at least it seemed to forge some kind of bond between them. One that I was very thankful for.


After we finished up in the Bowling alley, we headed over to the Arcade and played about a but. Again, it seemed that Max and Jamie were hanging around together, while the rest of us wandered about together. We played on a few of the machines, mostly the shooting ones, which, unsurprisingly, Ayo was good at. I was never a fan of the driving ones, mostly because I’m not a great lover of cars, but Connor liked them, so we had a little race there, with him winning that.

A short while later, our stomachs demanded that we rest and eat some food. A few months back, during our trip into London, we had already decided that we were going to eat at one of the newer restaurants at the Leisure Centre. It was kinda like a steakhouse, but it served a little bit of everything, including quite an extended Italian range. It was also notorious for serving up large amounts of food that tasted good. It was a little more expensive than some of the other places, but considering the occasion, it was worth the little extra.

Of course it was Connor’s choice on where we would eat, but he was content with that, actually he
demanded that we eat there. Fortunately for us, it seemed that a few large groups of people were leaving as we walked in, so we only had to wait a few minutes for the tables to be cleaned before we could sit. The table we sat at was like half in a booth, and half on chairs. I sat on one of the chairs, alongside Ayo, while the others sat in the booth, with Jamie opposite me.

I looked down at the menu, wondering about what to order. I glanced at the food,
garlic chicken…fillet steak…hand made ravioli; it all sounded delicious. I peeked over the top of the menu to steal a look at Jamie, but I found him staring at me. He was giving me this look, not his Jamie look, but this other more affectionate one. And in that brief moment, I imagined that it was only Jamie and me at the table, that it was some kinda date. I tried to imagine what it’d be like, to take him out somewhere, where we could be a couple. Where we could go and ask for a ‘table for two’, where I could reach across and hold his hand in plain sight of everyone else. That was what I wanted. But I couldn’t have that. Not without a heap load of trouble accompanying it. I found myself getting angry at it, so I broke the stare and looked at the menu again, still unsure of what to eat.

Several minutes later I had decided on and ordered one of their folded pizzas, along with a Coke. After I handed the waitress my menu, I brought my hands to my nose and sniffed. Boy, did they stink or what!?!

“Hey, I think I’m gonna go and wash my hands, they stink.” I said.

They all sniffed their hands and pulled similar faces of disgust.

“Yeah, I think I’ll go with you.” Said Jamie.

Ayo nodded, “I’ll go once you guys are back, don’t wanna get too crowded in there.”

Jamie and I got out of our seats and stood up.

“If you take too long, we WILL come and look for you!” Warned Connor.

“Oh be quiet.” I retorted, before we made our way through the restaurant and into the toilets. We stepped inside and began to wash our hands.

“You should tell them about Li.” Said Jamie.

I looked at him, “You sure? I mean, perhaps I shouldn’t, not today.”

He thought for a moment, “I guess, but we’re going to have to tell them at some point, in case they find out later, but not from us.”

I nodded, “Yeah.”

Once we dried our hands and made our way back to the table, we sat down and listened to the conversation in place.

“Sarah’s not with Dean anymore, they ended that.” Said Ayo.

Connor nodded, “So who’s he dating then, Li?” He asked.

My ears perked up at that.

“I dunno, he’s always kinda liked her.”

I glanced at Jamie, catching his attention. “I tell them?”, I mouthed in broken English

He nodded.

I turned and looked at them, “Actually, I kinda have something to tell you guys. It happened at school earlier, in the last period.”

They nodded and focused in on me.

“In English, I found out that Li fancies Jamie.”

“What?” They asked.

I nodded, “She does, she really likes him.”

“How’d you know?” Asked Ayo.

“She had me read her English Coursework, it was all about this American boy that she liked. Every detail was the same as Jamie.” I said, “She even asked me at the end if I knew who she was talking about!”

“Well that…sucks.” Said Max.

Connor nodded, “Yeah, I mean…damn, she doesn’t know about any of this. Of you two.” He said quietly.

Jamie nodded, “I know, it’s a little bit messed up.”

“You could always use the excuse you used on us.” Suggested Max as he took a sip of his drink.

I looked at him, “What excuse?”

He turned to Jamie, “When we asked you if you liked English girls, you said that you just came out of a relationship back at home.”

Jamie nodded, “I kinda remember that, but it was just after I joined the school.”

Max looked at him, “So? Just say that you tried the long distance stuff but it didn’t work out. Say you guys broke up last week or something.”

I looked at Jamie, “Yeah, that’d work.”

“And it’d stop her from knowing the truth.” Added Connor.

I nodded at that, before a smile made its way onto my face. It seemed that Max had come to our rescue. He’d seen our little dilemma and offered us an out. I started to feel happier already. Not that I wasn’t happy to begin with, but it was still another thing at the back of my mind.

The food arrived about fifteen minutes later, and much to our delight, it was both perfectly cooked and tasted delicious. The folded pizza was excellent, and very large too. Even after I passed some of it around, I still had some left. I wasn’t full though, I purposely left some room as I wanted a dessert. And once the waitress came around to collect the plates, she gave us a dessert menu.

I looked through the choices and ordered one of them. It was one of those desserts with the cream on top, ice cream beneath that and some warm melted chocolate at the bottom. The others also ordered some desserts, with Jamie having some apple pie and ice cream.

“Here.” I said, as I lifted the small stemmed fruit to Jamie, “Want my cherry?”

He looked at me for a second, before looking at the cherry, “Don’t you like them?”

I shook my head, “Not really.”

He nodded and took it from me, “Thanks.”

We finished eating our
glorious desserts and asked for the bill. Once we got it, Ayo took it and read it.

“Ok, now split that four ways…” He said to himself, doing the calculation on his phone.

“Four ways?” Asked Connor.

“Yeah. You’re not paying.” He replied.

He looked at us, “You guys don’t have to do that.”

“It’s your Birthday, you’re not supposed to pay!” I said.

He smiled, “Thanks.”

It wasn’t that much for a meal out, and including the bowling, the arcades and a tip, it wasn’t too bad at all. Once we finished in the restaurant, we rode the bus back together, but got off a stop early, near to Jamie’s house so we could walk him home first, as it was already quite dark.

The other guys waited back on the pavement of his street, while I walked him up to his door. He turned around and stared at me, his grey eyes piercing mine. He was so wonderful. I just wanted to follow him into his house, into his room, his bed and fall asleep holding him in my arms.

“Goodnight, babes.” I said gently.

“Goodnight, Matt.” He replied.

I quickly glanced around, noting that only the guys were about, so I leaned in and tenderly placed a kiss on his lips, “I love you.”

“I love you too.” He said softly, staring at me a moment longer, before he turned, unlocked the door and stepped inside the house.

“Bye.” I called out.

“Bye.” He replied, as he closed the door.

I stood there for a second, grinning to myself before I walked back down to the others.

“You know, we wouldn’t have minded waiting if you wanted to tuck him in.” Teased Connor, eliciting giggles from the other two.

I smiled at him, “If I’d done that then I wouldn’t have left.”

Connor threw an arm around me, “You really like him, don’t you?”

I nodded, “Yeah, I do.” I replied, looking at him, “More than anything.”

I hope you enjoyed reading this chapter of American Differences.

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Copyright © 2009 By Emulated