This is gay-oriented fiction. I don't like writing `bout sex, so you won't find it here. I might suggest some of it, but no hardcore. This story is not about my life, although certain people portrayed in the story may be real. There is no sex... blah, blah, blah. You know the rest. If you've come this far, I can't stop you anymore.


by Ryan Keith

Chapter 10 - Places

"Scott..." I whispered.

"I... I don't understand." Scott looked away from me. "W-what is this? What the hell am I supposed to think of this? Zac... "

He ran. He ran out the door before I could say anything. My face fell into my hands as I shuddered.

What am I supposed to do now? I've been caught. Oh my God, Scott. Please don't hate me! He must think I'm a freak. What does this mean for me? Have I lost my friend? A friend of almost ten years? Is he going to out me? Is he going to tell Shin and Jett? Is he going to ruin me?

Millions of thoughts rushed through my head. Despite my efforts to stop them, tears welled up in my eyes and I let out a painful groan. Pain. Pain like I had never felt tore at my chest. I felt like heaving. I stood quickly and tried to move for the bathroom. I stumbled and lost my balance. I couldn't focus; everything was in disarray. I grabbed onto the wall trying to support myself, but fell. Someone tried to help me up. Kayden. His face was marked with worry. Words were coming from his mouth but I couldn't hear. My mind faded into darkness.

I shot up from wherever I was, panic stricken and breathing hard. I looked around, confused. Where was I?

"Zac... calm down, buddy... please. Breathe! What's wrong?"

I turned to the voice. Kayden was kneeling by my bed. He was beyond worry. He looked really torn.

"Did I do something wrong? Zac, please tell me what I did," Kayden pleaded.

I sat up and grabbed my mouth. Tears flowed freely from my face as I tried to comprehend what had happened.

"H-he knows," I choked.

"Who?" "What?"

"Scott. He saw us. I tried to call out to him but he ran. He knows, Kayden! And he's angry. He's going to ruin us," I cried.

"How can this be? When?"

"The door... it probably wasn't locked. He never bothers knocking if the door is unlocked," I moaned.

I just shook my head. Nightmares. Scott and everyone else I know were looking down on me. They were angry, disgusted.

"I don't know. I just hate those people. It doesn't make sense to me. How can two know, fuck each other? It's not right. It's not meant to be." Scott's words echoed in my head.

I felt arms envelop me. Kayden sat on my bed while his arms pulled me to his chest.

"It's going to be alright. It's okay. He's not going to do this to you. If he is truly a friend, and from what I've seen, he is, then he won't do anything to hurt you, Zac. He's just confused right now." He cradled my head as if I were about to shatter.

I felt a bit better. Kayden gave me strength. If he hadn't been there, I don't know what I would have done.

"This is all my fault. I should have never forced you... "

"You didn't force me to do anything, Kayden. I wanted to do that. I wanted to make you feel good. I don't regret it one bit."

"You did please me, in more ways that I can even grasp right now," he said, as he shyly smiled through his mask of gloom. "You made me feel amazing. No one ever has or ever will make me feel like that. No one but you. I love you, Zac, and we'll get through this."

We sat in silence. I felt a bit at ease. I was going to have to confront Scott. Confront everyone. My friends had the right to know.

The rest of the night was filled with Kayden close to my side.

"Yo!" Shin called out, pulling me out of a daze.

"Hey, Shin," I returned his greeting.

It was Monday. The religion test hadn't been so bad. I think I passed, but the whole time I couldn't stop thinking of Scott. Even Alicia's stares weren't bothering me that morning. I was hoping to see Scott and maybe even talk to him. I had to know where he stood in all this.

"You haven't seen Scott, have you?" he asked.

I felt my spine freeze.

"Uh... no, I haven't seen him"

"That's weird, I thought he was on this lunch. He called me last night. He was sort of out of it. Sounded really tired. Said something about you, but hung up. I just wanted to know if anything was up," Shin said causally, taking a seat next to me.

"I think I know what it's about, Shin."

"Really? What is it?"
I looked up at him, and could tell that he really was clueless. His black and fiery-red dyed hair was gelled up and spiked. He wore the uniform like any other student, messy and in disarray. He was a friend. A close friend, meaning I had to tell him. He deserved to know, before he heard it from someone else.

"Can we talk, outside?" I asked.

"Yeah, sure. I skipped my class hoping to catch the dude during his lunch, so I can't go back to class. Might as well hang out with you."

We headed out of the cafeteria, my stomach wrenching from what I knew I had to say.

"...and so I told Mai that I didn't own a tie, because I hate them. Then she took me out shopping and not only made me try on a thousand ties, but also made me buy other clothes she thought looked good on me. I mean..."

I was happy for Shin. I mean, how many people get to find love like he has? Still, I listened with patience. It's hard for Shin to shut up, even for a little bit.

"Shin...," I said, "that's great and all, but we need to talk about Scott."

It was like a light bulb clicked on in his head.

"Oh, yeah! So what's up with him, anyway?" he asked, stretching his legs out on the grass.

"Well, you know how I always keep my door unlocked, and whenever you guys swing by, you just walk in?" I asked.

Shin busted out laughing. "Hehehe, remember when Scott and I pretended to break into your house? We scared the shit outta..."

Shin closed his mouth but his lips were slowly breaking into a smile. I simply shook my head and continued, "Well, Scott kinda walked in, and saw something I didn't mean for him to see."

Shin pulled his head back in surprise and giggled. "What... were you jackin' off or something?"

I let out a sigh. "No, Shin. What the fuck... this is taking forever." I paused for a moment. "I'm gay!"

I immediately turned away from him. I didn't want to see his reaction. I stared at the trees that surround the school. I started to get worried when I didn't hear anything from Shin.

I hesitantly turned my head to look at my friend. I almost burst out laughing, but considering the situation, I maintained my stare. Shin's face was frozen, with his eyes large, mouth open, but he was smiling. He does that when he's too surprised to react to things.

"Shin," I began.

"Bwahahaha!!!" Shin roared, "You're gay? Wow, what a surprise! Holy shit, I didn't even suspect."

I quickly glanced around, hoping no one was close enough to hear him. Thankfully, we were alone.

"Can you keep your voice down?" I whispered in anger. "I'm not out to the school yet."

"W-wait," he said, through his laugh. "Does this mean you're into buttfu..." Again, he exploded into a stream of laughter, this time clutching his sides. I told him again to shut up; someone might be listening.

Shin grabbed his mouth with both hands, trying to stop his outrageous laugh. It didn't work; he started chuckling through his hands. I knew what this was leading up to. In an instant he removed his hands and let out his hearty laughter, tears threatening to drop from his eyes. He started smacking his lap hard with his eyes closed and face down. His mouth was open but no sound came out; he was at the climax of his laugh.

For a moment, I thought he was sort of back. "Oww, ouch, my leg. Butt... bwahahaha!!!" I'm known to be wrong at times.

As I was finally getting Shin to calm down, he was taking the deepest breaths I've ever seen anyone gulp.

"So, I guess you don't mind, then?" I questioned.

Shin looked at me and was about to burst into another frenzy, but my stare stopped him. "No, not at all. Hell, if you want to be chasing after boys, then I'll even help you. It might be more fun than finding you a girlfriend." Shin stopped for a second, "So where does Scott fit into this? Did he catch you on some gay website or something?"
"No, not really. I was with someone..."
It was over. Shin rolled in laughter, clutching his sides like they were going to burst. This was going to take forever. I just waited for him to calm down.

Suddenly, Shin sat up and spoke, "So, I guess Kayden is gay too? You really like him, don't you Zac?" His tone was comforting, yet there a was lot of curiosity in his voice.

I felt scared, because I hadn't planned on outing Kayden. I didn't want to say anything unless he was cool with it. "What do you mean, man? That guy gay? Riiiight... Sure, Kade is a great guy. Who couldn't like him?" I said, trying my best to hide my nervousness.

"You can't fool me, man." Shin's voice all of a sudden had become serious, but its softness was still there.

He continued, "I see it in the way you look at him. I know you don't see him as just a friend; you see much more."

The way he said it scared me. How much does he know? I asked myself.

"And the way he looks at you puts me at ease"

I was taken aback by his words. "What?"

He looked at me and grinned. "Dude, if you haven't noticed it yet, you are such a blind fool." He stared at me and giggled. "He's the same as you, with a sparkle in his eyes when you speak with each other. I'm just now realizing you want to be more than just friends with him, and I'm cool with that"

I was shocked beyond words and I couldn't speak, but Shin didn't give me a chance, anyway. "I can see why, too. I'm straight as an arrow, and I have Mai, but that kid has amazing eyes. I'm sure you've noticed them," he said gently.

I looked meekly at the ground, wondering if I was really that transparent.

He smiled at me and grabbed my neck with his arm. "I told you not to worry about it, I never knew until today. In fact, I never even suspected, but I'm cool with it. You look so happy with him, kind of different from when you're with the rest of us, and I want you to know I have your back."

I just nodded my head, simply overwhelmed by how well Shin was taking this. I wanted to cry tears of joy, but I knew that would look weird.

"Thanks, man," I said, freeing myself from his hold. "I'm still hiding, but I've been wanting to tell Jett, Scott, and you."

I wanted to tell him not to say anything, but I couldn't form the words.

He sensed my predicament. "No worries, I'll keep quiet about this until you're ready. If anyone gets on your case, I have your back."

I felt so relieved when he said that, and I wanted to know how he was so cool about it.

"Shin, how can you be so understanding? I thought people like you would think of me as unclean or perverted," I said.

He looked insulted. "Zac, I'm not like 'those' people. Not all straight people are like that. Plus, my cousin is gay. He came out, and my family and his family support him. Not everyone is out to get you, so rest easy." I hugged Shin, tight. I'd never felt so happy. He smiled and didn't even push me off. To him I was the same Zac.

I sat in history class waiting for the teacher to come in. Scott still hadn't shown up. The conversation with Shin had gone well. That's if `well' is defined as thirty-five minutes of his laughing and only five minutes of talking. It was impossible to get everything out to Shin. I wasn't hesitant about telling him more, but he just wouldn't shut up. I suddenly remembered why I only share the important stuff with Scott and Jett. If I have to tell Shin anything, I have to make sure Scott is there to tell him to shut up. When I had finally gotten through to Shin what I had to say, he made it clear that it didn't matter to him. He also told me not to worry too much about Scott and to give him some time.

Everyone started to file into the classroom. Still no sign of Scott. I stared at the door, hoping he would walk in and be grinning and ready to make one of his usual jokes.

Someone was obviously watching over me, because a second later, Scott walked into the room. But he wasn't smiling. Far from it.

He halted in his steps, took a look at me, and walked out. I didn't know what that meant. I couldn't read his face. There was no anger, no rejection, no disgust. There wasn't any happiness either; he just looked sad. I stared at the empty desk beside me most of the class, praying and hoping that Scott would burst in with all his laughs and smiles. I wanted his acceptance.

Gym was pretty boring. Actually, I was pretty boring. We were playing basketball again, but I couldn't focus. Jett was on my side this time, and he kept trying to boost my spirits. I just wasn't in the mood. Kayden must have sensed my problem. Every time I looked at him, he gave a sympathetic smile. My game was horrible; I didn't even break a sweat. Jett came by a few times and told me not to worry about it. I guess he realized I wasn't in the right state of mind.

In the change room I silently put my clothes on and made my way to the door. Kayden was right behind me, as well as Jett. I didn't stick around to chat with anyone.

I felt a tug on my shirt and turned to see Kayden. Jett had stayed behind, talking with the coach.

"We're meeting Scott after school," he told me.

"How?" I asked sadly. "Scott can't even bear to stay in the same room with me."

"Don't worry about it, I have it covered," Kayden winked with a thumbs up.

"You ok, Zac?" Jett asked, catching up to us. "You were so totally dying out on the court today."
"I have a lot on my mind, Jett," I said. "Sorry I didn't look alive out there."

"Oh, ok. Don't be too hard on yourself; we all get bad days. Don't let it get to you."

I just smiled at him as we stepped through the school doors.

I really didn't expect to see Scott waiting for us. Yet, there he was, looking rather tired until he saw me. He tried walking away, but Maya was beside him and grabbed his arms, pulling him towards us with her face beaming.

"Hey, guys, what a coincidence, bumping into you," Maya said cheerfully.

Maya looked at me and smiled, then turned to Kayden and winked. Kayden gave her a thumbs up and chuckled. Scott continued to tug until he was free. He still didn't look at me.

Maya quickly started talking with Jett, and it looked like she was trying to steer him away. Jett isn't stupid. He listened to her, but kept an eye on both Scott and me.

"Scott," I whispered.

He stopped me, saying, "Zac, please, I can't bear looking at you right now. Just... I don't know, just leave me alone."

He wasn't angry; he sounded tired. With that, Scott walked away.

By now Maya had stopped talking and Jett just stood staring at me.

"So," Jett said with no hurry, "what's that all about?"

I knew I had to tell him. Knowing Shin was okay with it, I knew it wasn't going to be too rough for my best friend.

I decided to tell both Jett and Maya. It wasn't right to hide it any longer.

"Guys, I have to tell you something. This is going to be hard for me, so please, just listen," I said carefully.

"I already know," Maya said proudly.

"What? How?" I exclaimed.

She gave me a cute smile, her dimples more visible than usual.

"Kayden and I had a little chat at your house on Saturday. It's okay. I'm cool with it. Today he told me what happened with Scott."

I smiled and nodded. Kayden seemed to find his shoes amusing and silently looked at them from every angle.

"Know what, exactly?" Jett asked.

I took a deep breath and told him.

"... and Scott walked in while I was sitting with Kayden, holding his hand. Scott saw that and ran. I didn't know it would bother him so much," I quietly retold the story outside our school.

We were alone, so I wasn't worried about being overheard. I had to kind of tweak the story a bit; I wasn't about to tell them what I did with Kayden. That stuff is secret. It's between him and me... and the couch.

Letting out a sigh, I said, "So, I guess he's kind of angry at me."

"Of course he's angry," Jett said furiously. "I am too. Holy shit, Zac, what the hell?!"

I held my breath; this wasn't the response I was expecting from Jett. I thought he would understand.

"I mean, how long have we been best friends? And you never told me!" he almost yelled. "What the hell was all that about watching each other's back, about being there for each other? Were they just empty promises?" Jett spat bitterly.

"Jett," I swallowed. I was scared. I didn't realize I had doubted our friendship by not being truthful with him.

"You have to understand!" I pleaded. "There was no way of predicting your reaction. Recently I have felt I could tell you and Shin, and I've wanted to. But Scott wasn't ready. I didn't want to hide it from only him. I wanted to wait until he was as ready to hear it as I hoped you and Shin would be. I'm sorry."

I looked away from Jett. I felt like I had betrayed our trust. How could I not trust him? He had every reason to be angry with me.

Kayden touched my arm and I almost broke down. If it hadn't been for Jett's sudden reply, I really would have.

"No... I'm sorry for losing it. You're dealing with a lot right now. It's not right for me to get angry with you for that. I guess... I guess you had reason to keep it secret. I'm just glad you've told me."

Jett grabbed my shoulder and gave it a tight squeeze. "I still mean what I said, though. I'm solid for you and you can tell me anything. I'll forgive you this time, but don't doubt me again, please."

I swallowed hard, trying to hold back my emotions. I nodded dismally, happy but still guilty.

"So, I guess Kayden and you are sort of together," Jett said firmly. He was smiling, but it seemed like a sad smile.

"I guess I'm glad it's him," Jett said, nodding his head towards Kade. "I approve of your relationship, Zac."

I couldn't help but hug Jett; I was glad he was happy for me. "Yes, Dad. Does that mean Kayden can take me out next weekend?" I joked.

"As long as he has you home before midnight." He turned to Kayden. "And you! You treat my boy good. If I see him sad or crying because of you, you better haul your ass to China or someplace."

Kade simply grinned and continued the joke, "Yes sir, home before midnight. I'll be the perfect gentleman."

We stood in our little world of laughter for a moment before Maya quickly stepped up and cleared her throat. "I'm glad everything is in order, boys, but there's still Scott to worry about."

Everyone seemed to understand that it was going to be hard talking to him.

"Leave it to me. I'll go talk to him," I said.

"He won't even look at you," Maya sighed, twirling her finger around a few strands of hair. "Maybe I should talk to him first. That way... "

I cut her off. "I appreciate it Maya, but I need to do this myself. This is between him and me."

"But how are you going to get to him? Show up at his house?" Jett questioned, crossing his arms.

"I know where he is," I told them.

"If I know Scott like I think I do, then I know where he went off to, to think," I replied.

Kayden and Maya looked confused. Only Jett seemed to understand.

"Good idea, lets go!" Jett decided.

"I'm going alone, Jett. Please?"

Jett looked at me blankly. I tried my best to stare him in the eye. I wanted to do this alone.

"Okay, but when you get home, I'll want to know how it went, okay?" he demanded.

I agreed.

"Hey, me too!" Maya called out.

I shook my head jokingly, and waved to them.

Maya and Jett started walking away. Only Kayden lingered, and he gave me a warning look. I waved him off. There was no reason for him to worry. Even if Scott couldn't deal with it, he wasn't going to hurt me.

Everyone has their own little place just for them. For Jett, it's that hidden field we used to play in when we were kids. Mine is my roof, staring at the stars. Shin... well, everyone has a place; I'm just not sure where his is. Scott's is more of a place just for himself. No one is supposed to know about it. I came across it when I followed him one day. He always seemed to be going somewhere by himself, so that day I decided to find out where. It is this abandoned old building that has some cool platforms at the back. A great place for a skater like Scott.

When I had followed him to his spot those few years back, Scott had made me promise not to tell anyone, not even Jett and Shin. It was his safe haven, a place to get away from everything and to think freely without any outside disturbances. I knew I'd find him there.

Within twenty minutes, I'd made my way to the end of that old road that seems to lead nowhere in particular. I navigated my way through the old structure, heading towards the back. As I walked I heard the sound of wheels rolling, the sound of a skateboard lifting off the pavement and then hitting it again.

As I stepped out into the open area, I came across a young man. His face revealed his total concentration on his footwork. I made my way to a high ledge and jumped up, taking a seat. The young guy picked up speed with his board and made another round. As he came around a bend, he crouched and then jumped up with his board. It was a perfect ollie; jumping off the pavement by using just the right force exerted through your legs. He wasn't done. At the apex of his jump, he flicked his front foot off the board, making it flip in mid air. He landed on his board flawlessly and continued his stride. It was a perfect kick-flip. My friend, Scott, had smoothly pulled the move he's been dying to perfect in all the years I've known him. I had never seen him do it so well.

I was amazed, but I also decided it was time to make my presence known. I jumped off the ledge with a smile and slowly clapped my hands.

"Look's like you finally got that move down, huh? You've improved a lot since you first started."

Scott, with his back to me, jumped off his board, making it raise up just high enough for him to grab it with ease. Taking a deep breath, he turned around.

As I looked at the boy I consider to be a really good friend, I realized how hurtful it can be to be simply stared at by him. He was completely unreadable. I couldn't tell if he was angry, upset, or sad. He just stared at me.

I swallowed hard, trying to find my voice, but Scott spoke up before me, "What are you doing here?"

"I know you come here to get away from everything," I sighed, suddenly weary. "I knew I would find you here."

" So? What are you doing here?"

I looked down. I didn't want to look into those eyes. I couldn't analyze them; it was better to look at something else.

"I just want to fix things," I said stiffly.

"Fine!" Scott said curtly, dropping his skateboard carelessly, making his way towards me. "Let's get this over with."

I stood frozen, unable to move.

Scott wouldn't hurt me, would he?

Scott stood a few inches from my face. "Well? Come on, do your worst, man."

I was confused, "Wha... what is this? What are you trying..."

"Hit me, you idiot!" Scott growled, shoving my shoulders.

I stumbled back. "Scott... please, man. What are you trying to get me to do? I can't hit you. You're my friend!"

"Fuck that! I'm no friend!" Scott yelled angrily.

It finally hit me. Scott wasn't going to accept me. Scott didn't want to be friends with some fag.

Is that all I am? A worthless fag? I'm not worthy of having friends?

I was ready to just walk away. Walk away empty handed, all my hopes crushed. Instead, I just stood frozen.

"I'm no fuckin' friend, Zac." Scott trembled. He fell to his knees, unable to look up at me. "What kind of friend am I?"

There was uncertainty in his voice. "How can I be a friend? After all those things I said?"

Scott finally looked up at me. He was pleading with his eyes. Searching for something in my eyes, but what?

"Scott... what are you..."

"I didn't mean what I said before, Zac," he whispered. "I didn't know you're gay. If I had known, I wouldn't have said those things."

I knelt beside him and gripped his shoulder. "What things?"

"You know those bullshit things I said. All that stuff about gay guys, how it was wrong and stuff. That insult to the bellboy? All of it. I swear it was just bullshit talk, all of it!" Scott said, torn. "Fuck, guy, I didn't mean any of it. I was just trying to be macho to you, or something. Damn, I'm such an idiot!" Scott yelled in disgust. "I don't deserve a friend like you. I'm low."

"Stop it!" I glared at him. "Stop saying that. I choose my friends; you don't decide who I want to be friends with, got that? I forgive you, man, you didn't know! Remember, we talked about this already. It's over with. I don't care anymore about those things you said."

Scott finally looked up at me. "You mean you forgive me?"

I let out a sigh. "I should be asking for your forgiveness. I hid it from all of you. Jett and Shin included. What kind of friend hides who they are from the people closest to them? I'm sorry, ok?"

"Fuck that," Scott shouted. "You don't have to apologize for anything. You're the nicest guy in the world. You haven't done anything but be who you are."

"So, is this mutual forgiveness, then?" I asked.

Scott grinned that grin I had missed for what seemed like so long a time. "If you want to put it that way, fine."

Before I could respond, Scott pulled me into a tight hug.

"Thanks a lot bro, you're the best," Scott said, his voice full of energy again. "I guess I don't have to be jealous of Kayden. I didn't know he had that kind of special place in your heart."

I pushed him away playfully, and he just grinned at me.

"You're such a joker, you know that?"

"Well, one of us has to be," he retorted.

We both just chuckled.

Eventually, I filled him in on what had happened with Shin and Jett. He listened attentively and nodded at the right moments.

"Well then, I guess that means everyone knows now, right?" he asked.

"Yeah, but only you know what you saw. Everyone else thinks you walked in while I was holding Kayden's hand," I said casually.

"So... what were you guys doing?" Scott joked. "Why was he stripped down to his boxer briefs like that? And why weren't you stripped down, too?"

I blushed at the memory and heard Scott laugh. I turned towards him and smacked him on the shoulder.

We just sat back and talked for a couple of hours. Nothing in particular. Maybe a bit on how Kayden and I had discovered each other, with me omitting the parts about Kayden's past. I hate hiding this stuff from my friends, but it isn't my place to tell them.

In the midst of our chat, I came to the sudden realization that I had almost lost a friend. If my legs hadn't been frozen while Scott was going off on a tantrum, I might have left without knowing the truth about what Scott was feeling.

All that time I had thought he was mad at me. Wow, what a misunderstanding.

Copyright 2004 Ryan Keith

7/17/04: This chapter has been meticulously edited by Aaron, a crewmember at, He's a tough kid, and he's tough on me. Thanks, Aaron.

This chapter ends "Kayden" but "Kayden 2" is already in the writing and editing processes. The next segment will explore what happens now that the tight group of friends know about Kayden and Zac. And we still have the mystery of Kayden's past hanging out there, don't we? ^^

Note From Ryan:

'One Life' is another project I had worked on during this summer. Check it out at Many people have asked if I had any other work, this is that other work^. Enjoy guys.

E-mail is always appreciated. It gives me feedback on how many people are reading my story.^^ Wouldn't want to write a story no one is reading. E-mail is