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.

Kayden II

by Ryan Keith

Chapter 5 -- Party


      "So... Kayden, Zac, I really hope you can forgive me. Sometimes a woman can be so protective of her children. And because I raised Zac since he was a little baby, I've come to accept him as one of my own. I'm really sorry for what I did to you, Kayden," Grams said. She wasn't crying, but you could hear the sincerity in her voice.

      Did I care? Not one bit. She had done something so cruel, so evil; words couldn't even begin to describe it. I knew she was sorry, but something tugged at me, saying it wasn't enough.

      Of course I also felt another tug. That one was from Kayden. He pulled my arm as if telling me to say something, and to be kind about it.

      "I really care about Kayden, Grams. I hope one day you can realize that. I'll forgive you, but please don't do anything like this again," I said to her.

      The smile that came afterward was larger than I anticipated. It was like I told her she had won a billion dollars. She looked that proud.

      "I'll forgive you, ma'am. No real damage was done. You did make me realize I need to improve my grades a bit. I wouldn't want to look like a fool next to Zac," Kayden said to her.

      So typical of Kayden. He's a natural actor. Actually, I couldn't tell. Was he serious, or was he just being nice? It's one of the things I can't figure out about Kayden. His manners seem so mature and grown-up, it's hard to believe he's my age. It's one of the things that make him so fascinating.

      "Oh, thank you, boys. This really means a lot to me. I don't think...I don't think I can keep it in any longer," she smiled sadly. Within seconds, tears were streaming down her face. I had never seen her so happy.

      "All right, Victoria, that'll be enough. You're going to embarrass the boys," Gramps chuckled.

      "And I really should get home," Kayden said, turning to me. "It's really late, and if my parents call and I'm not home I could be in serious trouble."

      You always think ahead, don't you, buddy?

      "I'll drop you off, Kayden. It's the least I can do for what happened tonight." Gramps smiled at us.

      "I'll gladly accept, but under the condition that it's out of your generosity. There really isn't anything to make up for."

      Gramps let out a roaring laugh before Kayden and I went up to my room to fetch our coats.

      Dad was taking his shower, like he does after work, so I was glad Gramps offered. It really was thanks to Gramps that everything worked out perfectly. If he hadn't insisted that Kayden stay for dinner, we'd have dropped him home, thinking he was ill. That would have sucked.

      The next few days were a blur. Besides two essays that were due and another test coming up in religion, Grams kept nagging and asking if I was comfortable. I had a swim meet on Tuesday. That didn't go too well. I couldn't believe Grams insisted on going. It must have been because she was there that I did so poorly. Man, was I bitter! I guess I had a right to be bitter. It might have been her sitting with Kayden while I swam that bothered me. It looked like they were talking, but I didn't know what they were talking about. I couldn't tell if Grams was back to her old games. Apparently not, because they seemed to have a good time in each other's company. All that worry for nothing. It was actually the worst swim I've ever done.

      I did manage to get one thing done. I talked with Kurt, the guy Nikki is so taken with. He was a pretty nice guy. A hint of jockey attitude in him, and a little too much arrogance, but hey, if Nikki is into that type, who am I to judge? I mean, the guy I love is some street-fighting runaway. Surprisingly enough, Kurt already knew about the party. It looked like Mai had pulled through. She must have gotten Shin involved. It didn't matter. My part was done; Kurt was coming to the party.

      I guess the only thing annoying about the whole week was Grandma. I remembered the days when I loved Grams' protectiveness. As a child I enjoyed it because it made me really feel loved. But after the incident with Kayden, I realized that Grams still thinks of me as little Zac. She doesn't think I'm capable of doing things on my own. Dad and Gramps were able to get her off my back long enough for me to get some work finished. It didn't help that my friends found out about my grandparents' visit. They all came by on Wednesday to say "Hi". That little drop-in sort of stretched to a huge gathering that included dinner made by Grandma.

      Because of that dinner at my house, I didn't have enough time to study for the religion test the next day. It was brutal.

      I laid my head down on the desk and wished the world away. I knew I had failed the test. No way in hell did I pass.

      A hand gently pulled at my shoulder and I turned my head.

      "That bad, huh?" Maya asked, with a hint of concern on her face.

      "Horrible. This whole week is crap," I mumbled to her.

      Hearing her giggle made me wonder if she was laughing at my situation.  "Well, we're almost done, Zac. You have the Thanksgiving dinner tonight with your grandparents, right?"

      "Yeah. She invited the guys, too, and she wants you and Mai to come. She really wants to meet the two girls who tamed the beasts," I joked. 

      "Hey!" she answered, with an eyebrow raised. Her smile soon blossomed out. "I don't think any of us can come. It's a school night, and you know how parents are. I'm surprised Kayden's parents are letting him go."

      "They're both on another business trip," a voice said.

      Both Maya and I turned at Kade's entrance. He stood smiling the smile that could be packaged and sold as replacement light bulbs.

      "They travel a lot, don't they?" Maya stated.

      "Yeah, quite a bit. But I'm used to it," Kayden replied.

      I just stayed quiet. The lies are becoming more and more common. I wonder how long we can fool our friends, and if they'll be angry when they find out.

      "Well, guys, I think we should get going," Maya said as the bell rang. "I'll see you boys later."

      With that, she left the table and I began organizing my stuff.

      "It's bothering you, isn't it?" Kayden asked.

      There was no need to play stupid. I knew he could see right through me.


      "I'm sorry I have to make you deceive your friends like this." His voice was heavy with guilt.

      Looking up, I offered him what I could. "Hey, they're your friends, too. I'm just worried how they'll react when they find out the truth. They might feel cheated. I think Jett might already suspect."

      I got up and made my way towards the exit with Kayden following closely behind. For a moment we didn't say a thing.

      "You...talked with him?" he asked. "What did he say?"

      "Nothing much. He just came to the conclusion that you're keeping secrets from us. But I already know that," I said with a smile.

      "And I'm sorry I need to keep some things even from you..."

      "I'd like to know all about you one day. You're still such a mystery to me," I said, with my back to him. Turning to him, so he understood I meant it, I smiled, "But somehow I know I'm the one who understands you best. That's good enough for now."

      We didn't say much on the way to the next class. I had just spoken my mind. My cheeks were fine; I didn't feel embarrassed. Maybe I was finally getting this boyfriend notion under control.

      "Gramps...come on, let's go," I whined playfully.

      "Hold your horses, young man. I'm not as energetic as I used to be," he joked.

      "Gees, how convenient. You decide to act your age on this night." He knew I was kidding. I'd been giddy all afternoon since school let out. Everything was pretty much set. Grams and Dad were busy in the kitchen. They were throwing and tossing all kinds of food together. They were even yelling at each other. Apparently Dad had experimented with Grams' turkey gravy sauce and she wasn't too happy with it. I thought that was reason enough to leave, pronto.

      "I can't understand why you're in such a hurry to see Kayden again," Gramps chuckled. "You just saw him a few hours ago."

      "I have my reasons," I told him.

      Dad stepped in, wiping his head with a towel.

      "He doesn't get to see Kayden dress up often," Dad told Gramps. "And from what he's told me, it's a sight to see."

      "Well then, let's get going," Gramps said, more energetically.

      "Did Grandma finally throw you out of her kitchen?" I asked.

      "Yeah, she said my sauce was an embarrassment," Dad said, rolling his eyes. "She went as far as to make me wear it, so I decided to let her work her magic. I'll just go upstairs, shower, and look pretty," Dad bitched, failing at his impression of an effeminate guy.

      "Well, you know her. She's mighty proud of that sauce. It's been in her family for many generations. It's a living legend," Gramps told him.

      "No argument there. Now get going. Zac looks like he's going to go postal if you make him wait any longer."

      "Kevin!" Grams bellowed, "where the hell are your oven mitts?"

      In a flash we were gone.

      "So," Gramps said after a couple minutes of unintended silence, "you and Kayden, huh? I'm glad this generation is more accepting of you folks."

      "What do you mean?"

      "Well, in my day, when tie-dye t-shirts were still the 'thing', gays weren't really that accepted. Not by the general public, that is."

      "Did you know any?"

      "Oh, yes. A few, and one who would never admit it. The ones who did admit it were cast away by their families. They were good people, but society's unwillingness to understand turned them bitter. The only acceptance they found was in booze and drugs." Gramps kept his attention on the road. "It's quite sad, actually. The man who didn't want to admit it finally caved in one day. He took his own life."

      Lucky I am, indeed. I can't imagine what it must have been like back then. I'm happy our country has progressed so much since then, but it still has a long way to go.

      "Well, enough horror stories. Tell me, how did you two know?" he asked.

      "How did we know what?" I answered back, smiling.

      "Don't play with me, Zachary," he chimed. He turned to me when he said it. He knows I hate that name.

      "All right. Just don't call me that name," I said with agony.

      Seeing him laugh tempted me to elbow him, but he's my gramps, not one of my friends. Plus, he was driving.

      "It's not really like we wore signs around our necks, it's like...we felt it," I told him.

      "Ahh, the classic love at first sight."

      "But it was more than that," I recalled thoughtfully. "It was like everyone else I had ever met in my life were just...just people. Well, my friends were obviously my friends. But what I mean is, when I saw Kayden, there was like a light around him I couldn't ignore. I was drawn to him. I wanted to know everything about him... I guess I was the same for him..."

      I turned to Gramps, a bit concerned what his reaction would be. He was smiling proudly.

      "That's mighty romantic, Zac," he said, turning at the next street, "but how did you know he was like you? I mean, you both must have taken huge risks to share your secrets with each other. How did you know?"

      I stared out the window for a moment. How did I know?

      "I don't really remember," I told him earnestly. "I just noticed little things. His shy smiles, small gestures." Suddenly it hit me. "Oh, yeah! He kissed me while I pretended I was sleeping."

      "He kissed you? And he didn't know if you were gay or not?" he said, surprised.

      "Yeah, I guess so."

      "This Kayden fellow is something else. My type of person. One who likes to take risks. Kinda reminds me of my younger self before your grandma married me. Well, now I just make sure she doesn't screw up too much."

      The thought of Grandpa as a delinquent had me smirking like a fool.

      "What? You don't believe me? I used to jump across the subway train tracks in Union Station! My friends and I invented the concept of toilet papering a house!"

      I still grinned at him for a while as he drove. He quickly made eye contact with me and shook his head. "Well, maybe not, but I did steal a gumball once from the store."

      "Yeah, I thought so. You don't strike me as the mischievous type. I mean, you've met Scott. He's the king of it." Thinking back, I couldn't recall any recent mishaps besides the grade nine prank he pulled.

      "Actually, I wasn't much different from you, Zac. Your grandma often mentions that she sees a little bit of me in you. But I'm mighty glad your father's looks were dominant in the gene pool. He got his looks from your grandma's side of the family."

      I was enjoying this. I used to talk with Gramps all the time. After the years that have passed, we're still able to just talk, almost as if there were no missing years between us.

      In no time, we were at Kayden's house.

      I rang the doorbell twice. I always do. I waited for a moment and got no answer. Again I rang the doorbell. When I still got no answer, I got worried. Looking through the looking glass, I noticed no movement inside. On impulse, I opened the door.

      "Kade?" I called out.

      "Uh, Zac, can you wait for a moment? I'll be down in a sec," he called from upstairs.

      " prob, man. But hey, don't worry what you look like. I'm sure you look great. What are you doing, anyways?"

      "Actually, nature calls, man..." he answered after a moment.

      Suddenly understanding what he meant, I groaned. "Man, that's too much info."

      I could hear his evil laughter. "Well, you asked! I'll be down in another minute."

      "Alright, don't strain yourself."

      I took a look around. It was actually my first time in his house. I've dropped him home plenty of times, but we usually hang out at my house because it's closer to the school. I decided to take a personal tour.

      "Yo, I'm going to be snoopin' around your house," I called out. "Making sure you're taking care of yourself properly."

      "Yes, Mother," he replied.

      Damn, I love that boy.

      The kitchen was pretty normal. No extravagant tables or lights. A few plants that made me realize there is a green side to Kayden. To the best of my knowledge, everything looked neat.

      I wandered into the area that seemed to be the entertainment room. There was an old chair, a sofa, and...a mini bar?

      Well, I guess that was Rick's bar. I guess Kade didn't feel like tossing any of his stuff.

      It was a mini bar, and it was stocked with a lot of whiskey, Bailey's, and some old wine.

      The fireplace caught my attention. There was no fire, but there were picture frames sitting on the mantle.

      I walked up and examined them. It was like I had walked into a different world. There were two photos. One picture showed Kayden smiling, with some old man beside him. He looked like a gentle old man. The cheerfulness shown by the two people standing in the photo made me believe that they were happy.

      I guess you are Rick. Nice to meet you, sir. Kayden is a great guy. I'm really thankful for you watching out for him.

       The other photo was what really caught my attention. It was Kayden again with Rick, except this time there was a female companion, which was odd, since Kayden had never mentioned some lady.

      It suddenly occurred to me that the man in the second picture with Kayden wasn't Rick, but a younger man. The man and woman looked really happy, but the problem was Kade. He wasn't smiling. In fact, he looked horrible. Like he didn't care if he was dead or alive. The photo wasn't too old, perhaps two or three years.

      Wait...are these two Kayden's parents?

      I picked up the picture and examined it. No doubt about it. It was their child. Both parents were good looking, and they had features that were shared commonly with Kayden.

      "They're my parents..." Kayden said, behind me.

      "Tell me... Do you hate them?"

      "Not really. I can never hate them, but I guess you can say I'm really angry with them..."

      Turning to him, I looked at him sadly. "And I guess that's all you can tell me, huh?"

      Walking up to me, Kayden took the picture slowly and examined it before putting it back on the mantle. "For now, yeah."

      "You know I don't care about your past, Kayden," I informed him.

      Smiling forcefully, he looked downward. "That's because you don't know it."

      We stood in silence for a few minutes. I reached out and took him in my arms. I felt like it was the best thing to do.

      "Let's not worry about it now. I only care about the present...and the future. The past is in stone, but the future is still waiting to be made."

      I felt his arms around my body squeezing me gently. "You're right. Thanks, Zac. We should get going."

      I shook my head. "No, just a few more minutes."

      In silence, I held the man who means so much to me. So many secrets, so much burden. I was determined to help him open up. I was determined to share Kayden's pain; nothing about him could chase me away. Yet his words had me thinking it over. He had said I didn't care about his past because I didn't know it. That's true, but I seriously doubt that what he did in the past can change the way I think about him.


      "You boys surely took your time," Zac's grandpa greeted us as we climbed into the vehicle. "My God, Kayden, Zac was right. You are stunning when you dress up."

      I turned to my boyfriend, who was grinning from ear to ear.

      "It's nothing, sir, just something I threw together at the last moment."

      "My ass," Zac said, rolling his eyes. "You kept asking me what to wear all week. You were a bitch in distress."

      "Whoa, now, Zac. Your language is...what do you boys say? 'Cool'? Well, it's cool around me, but be careful what you say around your grams, she'll think Kevin isn't schooling you properly," Gramps chastened.

      Honestly embarrassed with his language, Zac apologized. "I'm really sorry Gramps. I didn't mean it to come out like that...I just..."

      "Well, I'm glad to know you boys are normal. I know the playground language too, and would use it myself a lot more often if it weren't for Victoria. Have no fear around me, but unless you want her going into tears and hysterics, keep it low."

      The three of us shared a good laugh. The mood was enjoyable.

      The mood in Zac's house was pleasant. It was a night ripped out of a family sitcom. There were the comedy moments, and the happy ones. I'd never seen a grown adult being chewed out, but Zac's dad got an earful. Still, you could sort of tell he enjoyed it. He laughed when his mother started to complain, and he smiled kindly when she found a flaw or problem. It was a normal family. My family was a normal family.

      Talking with Zac's grandpa and his father was special. You can tell they're father and son. Kevin seems to be a younger version of his father. They both have that calming nature. It's as if they know the secrets of the world and nothing can bother them. I wondered if Zac will grow up to be like them.

      Turning to Zac, I watched him stuff his face with some snacks his grams offered us. We were all pretty hungry, but Zac didn't seem to care that he was spoiling his appetite.

      "You should probably save some space for dinner," I told him, smiling.

      He gave me a lopsided grin. "Yeah, right! I could eat all this and more! You'll see, I'll eat more than you and Gramps together."

      Calling his bluff, I decided to joke around. "Wanna bet on it?"

      "Fine. Loser becomes slave to the winner tomorrow!" he boomed proudly.

      It was a reaction I didn't expect, but I wasn't going to back down.

      "You got it, man," I said, nodding my head with confidence.

      "Not a good idea, Kayden," Zac's grandpa said to me. "Zac can eat a lot. The boy doesn't look like it, but he could eat food like he was breathing."

      "No way! I've seen how much he eats." I shook my head.

      "You lost the bet, Kayden," Zac's father said. "When he wants to, he can actually eat four Big Macs from McDonald's."

      "What? No he can't!" I denied. "No way!"

      Both Zac's grandpa and dad just looked at me with small smiles.

      "I don't eat a lot most of the time, but once in a while I like to eat big. Thanksgiving is one of those times," Zac stated proudly.

      "It's like he has a limiter or something," Zac's father explained, "and when he wants, he could just switch it off."

      I must have looked dumbfounded. My little boyfriend has a void for a stomach? I lost a bet?


      "Okay, boys, eat up!" Zac's grandma said proudly.

      Never had I seen a feast like that one. So much food! Cranberry sauce, salad, mash potatoes, potato wedges, loaves of bread! There were some things I didn't know. Something that looked like beans and peas salad. It must be good, because everyone including Zac's grandma loaded their plate with it. The turkey was huge. It truly was a feast for kings. There were three kinds of gravy. Mrs. Hunter practically just threw one of the gravy bowls down before mumbling something about being an embarrassment to her family. I don't know what she meant, but Zac's grandpa and Kevin sure knew the meaning behind it because they roared with laughter.

      I filled my plate with pretty much everything. I had gotten enough to know that I'd be full after one plate. Looking around the table, I noticed Zac's dad taking about the same amount as me. The grandparents ate a fraction of my plate, but still relatively large amounts for people of their age and size. And finally, for the moment of truth, I turned to Zac's plate. Ever wonder what a mountain of turkey looks like surrounded by vegetables and potatoes? Topped off with three different gravy sauces and cranberry sauce. Well, that was just the tip of the iceberg on Zac's plate. I knew I'd lost the bet.

      The conversations that were shared at the table ranged from school to sports to life. Basically everything Zac's grandma and I had talked about the day I met her, except his time there were supportive comments.

      When I told them I do kickboxing and karate, Zac's grandma responded by telling me those must be pretty exhausting activities. She also commented on how good my coordination must be. I could see what she was doing, and I appreciated it. This time when she spoke to me, it was as one who was talking with her grandson's boyfriend. It was quite enjoyable.

      "So, what are your parents into, Kayden?" Mr. Hunter asked. Zac's grandpa couldn't finish his plate and was sitting back, hoping some conversation would open some space in his stomach.

      "Well, my mother owns a cosmetics company. It's in Japan. It's stuff with like herbal soaps and other skin rejuvenating products. They do a lot of export.  She's in partnership with her friend from university. Her friend's brother is actually my sensei. He taught me all I know in karate. And as for my dad, he's an architect."

      It felt good to be able to say the truth again. Sometimes it's so hard just trying to keep my story straight. But it has to be done. I won't last long here if the school finds out I live alone I'm actually a runaway.

      "Your parents must be really busy with work, then," Mrs. Hunter concluded.

      "Yeah, they do travel a lot, don't they, Kade?" Kevin said. "It's a shame I haven't met them yet. Maybe they'd like to come to dinner one day."

      "I'd like that, sir. But unfortunately my parents don't know much about me. I don't know what they'd do if they found out I'm We're not really that close. And as busy as they are, they don't really notice me when they are home..."

      Lies...more lies...

      "Oh, don't pressure the boy, Kevin," Mrs. Hunter scolded. "It must be hard for him to hide his secret from his parents. I could almost relate with him." She then turned to me. "My parents always were busy, too. They never paid me much attention. The only time I actually got their attention was when I told them I was getting married."

      "Well, hopefully I can tell them one day. I just want to be able to support myself if the worst happens."

      "You'll always have a place here!" Mrs. Hunter stated strongly. "Won't he, Kevin!"

      "Of course, Ma, he knows that, right?" Mr. Hunter said, turning to me. He gave me a look that said "Tell her! Tell her!"

      "Yeah, Zac and Mr. H said I'll always be welcome here. It means a lot," I told them.

      "Well, you call me if you have any problems, okay, dear? I wouldn't want one of Zac's close friends, especially someone like you, to be in a bind."

      I knew she meant it. It was like she was a whole new person. "That means a lot to me, ma'am. Thank you."

      "Call me Victoria. Or Grams. We're so past formalities, Kade."

      The acceptance I had just received was greater than anything I had ever felt before. I was someone's concern. People cared about me. Once again, I had an identity. I turned to my boyfriend who had been silent for most of the time. A train could have hit him and he wouldn't have noticed. It seemed like the food before him was louder than any conversation at the table. This was going to be one of the happiest nights of my life.


      I lay there on the floor. I must have fallen off my bed; everything was spinning. I crept to a chair, trying to pull myself up. My legs wouldn't move. I began to hear voices; all familiar but not known. I couldn't breathe. My eyes grew heavy with pain. Then I saw the darkness all around me. It engulfed me, throwing me into a pit of blackness. I was falling. I looked up and saw my own reflection, falling with me. The reflection was different, the eyes were closed, and the skin was pale. I reached out for it, but it was too far. As I fell, I kept reaching for my other self, not knowing why, but understanding I must reach for it.

      I saw eyes. The reflection of myself had opened his eyes; they were deep and mysterious. Something about them scared me. Their grey seemed to paralyze me. The figure grabbed my extended arms, scaring me. I tried to break free. A smile spread across my captor's face. The figure no longer looked like me; it was falling apart, into a shadow. The shadow held onto my arms as the darkness grew, surrounding my arms and wrapping around my body. I tried to shake it off, but the darkness grew until it engulfed me. I closed my eyes, letting the darkness come. The icy grips on my arms vanished, my eyes opened again, and I saw nothing. I floated in a sea of darkness. Time stood still, and a sickening feeling grew in my stomach. I heard voices again. They were synchronized, and the message was clear. I knew this was a dream.

      "Ever wonder what Mom is doing right now?"

      I quickly shook the thought loose. I wasn't going to think about them.

I ran from that family. It was ruined anyways. A broken family.

      "And whose fault was that? Wasn't it you? Didn't you destroy the family with your own two hands?"

      NO! It's wasn't my fault!

      "But it was! Don't you remember? You were the one who pushed them away."

      That was because...

      "Don't deny it. You know it deep down. You are at fault. How can you blame them? You killed him. You murdered your father!"


      "Only you know the truth... You deny it because it's true. You're sad because it's true. Why do you cry? You are the one crying... You are that sorrow..."


      I awoke, screaming. The blankets clung to me like the darkness in my dream, and I threw them off, grabbing my own body and breathing deeply. I curled up into a ball, my head buried in my arms, trying to calm my breathing. I was shaking with fear. My nails dug into my skin, ripping some flesh. I felt the blood from my shoulder drip onto the bed. I felt no pain, and my heart would not stop jumping. I eased up on my grip and looked at my shoulder. A scratch mark about three inches long was engraved into my skin. It was bleeding. I just stared at it, watching the crimson blood seep out of me, a periodic drip echoing in the still darkness.


      "Hey, you okay? You look sorta sick. You didn't eat too much last Thursday did you?" I asked the weary-looking Kayden.

      "Yeah... I'm okay..." he said sullenly. He didn't even turn towards me.

      "You sure? Friday wasn't weird, was it?" I said, flopping into the chair beside him.

      As promised, Kayden had been my slave for Friday. It was pretty fun. I had the boy tending to my every need. Well, after school anyways. During school, he just kept by me like a lap dog. He seemed to actually enjoy it. We didn't do much; Grams and Gramps were still around. They didn't fly home until Saturday afternoon.

      When he didn't answer, I guessed he hadn't heard me.

      "Come on, class is about up. Everyone's already packed up."


      He didn't move for a moment. Then, without hesitation, he started packing. I watched him get up and head for the door. He moved as if he were half alive.

      Wow, that was weird of him. I wondered if something had happened over the weekend.

      "Hey, did Kayden seem weird to you this morning?" I asked Scott.

      He held his fork halfway to his mouth, as if pausing for a quick thought.

      Maya had a student council meeting, so Scott and I sat alone near the center of the cafeteria.

      "I don't think so. He was sort of quiet, but nothing out of the ordinary. Why?"

      "He just seems kinda out of it, you know?"

      "Hmm," Scott wondered as he tapped the fork on his lips. "Did you guys get a test back recently? Maybe he's sort of down about a mark he got back."

      It suddenly hit me. We got our religion test back. The one I should have failed. God must have been really nice to me to give me a seventy percent, but wasn't too kind to Kayden. He got a sixty-one percent grade on it. Thinking back to when my grandparents arrived, I remembered that Kayden was worried how he stood compared to me in academics. Perhaps he was still bothered that his grades weren't top notch.

      "You there, man?" Scott asked.

      I looked up to see my friend giving me an odd look. His food was all gone, meaning I had zoned out.

      "Shit, sorry. I was just thinking."

      "Well, quit it, I'm done and need to grab some things from my locker before class. You sure you're not hungry?" he said, getting up.

      "Nah, I ate too much Thursday night. It feels like I still have food in my stomach and I'm living off that," I joked.

      "Fuck you, man..." He grinned while shaking his head. "While you had a feast, some people like me were left with a Kraft dinner. So screw you!"

      "Hey, I invited you guys," I answered, wiping my hands clean of the problem. "You bitched about it being on a school night."

      "Plus I had a test the next day. It's cool. Next time it's our Thanksgiving, make sure it's at your house. And bring your grandparents. It'd be cool to get all our friends and parents together for a huge Thanksgiving celebration."

      "Heeey! There's a brain in there after all," I nudged Scott. "And I thought it all dried up after you went after Maya. Good idea, though. I'll run it by Dad."

      We made our way towards the exit.

      "She actually makes me think more before I do things. I feel like a changed man, you know? It's like before I say or do something, my mind goes through this it's saying, 'Would Maya approve?'. And just from's like I see things more clearly now."

      I couldn't help it, I just turned to him and projected my not-so-idol singing voice, "I can see clearly now, the rain has gone..."

      Grinning at me, Scott couldn't seem to help but join in, "I can see all obstacles in my way..."

      Not able to contain ourselves, we busted out laughing.

      "Will you two be quiet in the hall! There are classes in progress!" a strict voice growled.

      Turning towards the lockers, we noticed our school V.P., Mr. Sanders, walking towards us, not looking too friendly. It was quite interesting, actually. Mr. Sanders has a reputation for being a ruthless asshole. He hassles students just for the sake of hassling them. It's like he enjoys it. He always brings issues up with our principal, Mr. Liscombe, who in fact is a living saint. Mr. Liscombe is a good guy with a smile always on his face, but he's still the principal. When it's necessary, he has to be strict. But whereas Mr. Sanders would suspend a student for a uniform infraction, Mr. Liscombe would wave it off with an understanding smile. Quite the opposites. And here was Mr. Sanders, trying to make our high school life more dramatic. I wondered if he was related to Mr. Sergeant, my religion teacher.

      "And what are you two doing? The lunch period isn't over. You're not allowed to wander the halls. You probably think you can get away with disrupting classes. Turn around right now and head back in there," he ordered.

      Not thinking, I was about to follow his command without argument. But Scotty-boy had other plans.

      "Actually, sir, we're on an errand for a Maya Claire," he said in a matter-of-fact tone. "She's on the student council. She asked us to talk to a teacher about some equipment she has on reserve. The teacher has lunch duty, so we had to go by the cafeteria. We're heading back to the library, so we'll be outta your way," Scott said smoothly.

      There was nothing for Mr. Sanders to do but watch us walk away. To the best of his knowledge, we had reason to be in the halls.

      "Damn, man," I smiled, shaking my head. "And here I thought you lost all your bullshit."

      "What can I say?" he shrugged modestly. "It's a gift."

      "Hello?" I said into the phone.   

      "Oh, Zac! Glad you're home," said the voice. "It's Sally."

      "Hey, Sally, what's going on?"

      I wondered why she called.

      "What's going on with you? I checked the schedule for this week. Nikki and Jeff both shifted their off hours to Friday. I called them and they said it's because they are going to your party!"

      Shit, I forgot to do that!

      "So, I figured since it's your party, you won't be working either that night."

      "Uh, yeah, sorry about that. I forgot to tell you I can't work Friday," I told her.

      "That's a big problem, Zac. Because Nikki, Jeff and you were scheduled to work from six until ten on Friday. And now I find out all three of you can't work."

      "I'm really sorry, Sally. I really should have told you sooner," I apologized sincerely.

      I could see why it was a problem. Sally understands the three of us work best together, so she puts us together as much as she can.

      "It's not really a major problem, since I caught it this morning. But run it by me next time, okay? Would you be able to work from three until six, at least? That way I could just change your shift with someone else."

      "That'd be perfect. Is that what Nikki and Jeff are doing?"

      "Pretty much. I know how it is with you kids these days. I'll let it slide this time; just don't make a habit out of this. And don't come to work the next day with a hangover. Vomit doesn't mix well with coffee," she said in a playful manner.

      "There won't be drinking. A friend who's organizing it doesn't want to deal with drunk people," I told her.

      "Well then, you're in for a surprise. I know kids like you. And a party with no alcohol would not be a party at all. Have fun, Zac."

      "Thanks, I will."

      There can't be people drinking. Mai would go psycho.

      "And why are there people drinking?" I asked Mai. I had pulled her away for a second as she went around to chat with some people she knew.

      "Well, I didn't plan for it, but some people brought their own. We really can't do much, can we? We'll just make sure people don't do stupid stuff like break things and piss on your walls."

      I gave her a look that must have seemed pretty serious, because she patted my cheek.

      "Don't be so tense, Zac. It's a party for you and Shin. Half these people don't even know it's for Shin's birthday. All they know is that it's a party."

      "And how many people are we expecting, exactly?" I asked her.

      "I think twenty, maximum thirty," she said, smiling.

      I just stared at her.

      "Are you serious?" I exclaimed.

      "Don't worry about it. I'll watch everyone and make sure nothing happens to your house. You just have a good time." Mai just kept smiling at me as I studied her face.

      "Have you been drinking?" I asked her.

      Giggling like an idiot, she nodded. "Just a shot or two. That tequila is good stuff!"

      She turned away from me and we wandered off towards other people.

      I smiled. This was a party. There were snacks and pop offered by the Well, Mai, actually...but who cares. People brought their own stuff. Shin had his mixing table and Scott's computer. Scott was a good sport about lending his PC to Shin, and Shin was having a blast. Of course, due to the popularity of hip-hop at our school, the majority of songs he played were just that. Well, there was some reggae mixed in there, too. Scott and Jett made it a point to put on some house music later on.

      The party was in full blast around ten. There were about twenty-five or so people in my basement. I made the upstairs off limits. Lucky for us, Dad had the stairs to the basement located in a mini room by the side door of our house. The room connects to the garage and the main house. What is cool is that the door that leads into the house has a lock. So we locked that door and kept the side door open. We taped a sign on the front door telling people to go through the side of the house to the basement. There was a clay pot outside for cigarette butts. The only condition Dad had was that no one smoked in the house, which was more than fine with me.

      So far, I knew all the people who were there. There was Jett chatting with Maya and Scott; Kayden having a drink with Lenne; Shin at the sound system area with his cool setup; Mai wandering around; Nikki, Jeff and Aaron chatting idly while Nikki looked around for super Kurt; and a bunch of other people I knew from school. All pretty cool people from what I could gather.

      "Hey, man! Awesome party you're having here," said the guy behind me.

      I turned and smiled at a boy I recognized from my history class. "Yeah, pretty cool. You having a good time?" I asked the boy.

      "Fuck yeah! Best party ever." With that, he let out a cheer and walked away with a beer in hand.

      I noticed all my friends were drinking. Even Maya had a cup. but it looked like she was sharing with Scott. I knew Jett's sister had something to do with it, and was grateful we had someone like her who could get us some stuff. Jett had his Southern Comfort and Seven-Up. Not many people were dancing. There was already a drunk girl, who I knew but didn't have classes with, shaking her body and nodding her head as she attempted to dance. Her friends laughed at her and took pictures. People were playing pool; others were around the foosball table. The only thing missing was the dartboard. At the last moment, Mai and I had decided to take it down. We didn't want any drunk people having dart accidents. Overall, it was a good party so far.

      "Zac! When is Kurt coming? I spent hours putting this outfit together. I can't stay sober any longer! But I don't want him to think I'm some drunk skank," Nikki complained to me.

      "Hey, I don't know when he's coming," I smiled to her. "Maybe he decided not to come."


      She didn't get to finish her sentence. I nodded to the latest entry to the room. It was Kurt, followed by a few other guys. Two were from my swim team; the rest must have been his friends. They seemed a bit hard-core. They had brought a cooler.

      "Alright, I'm going to mingle a bit, then make it towards him," she smiled. "Wish me luck."

      Before I could, she had already wandered away.

      "There's a lot of people here, Zac," Kayden said, walking up to me.

      "I know. This is great, isn't it?" I said, fascinated. I had had a glass of Jett's ever-so-famous drink, so I was loosening up a bit.

      Looking around, I noticed Jett dancing with some girl. Mai was hanging around Shin's neck, and Scott and Maya were dancing.

      "They look like they're having a good time," I said, indicating a couple who were dancing rather intimately.

      "I'll keep an eye out. Just to make sure no one breaks anything and stuff. You don't know some of these people. And those jock guys look like they might be a bit wild when they're drunk..." Kayden said, watching everything around the room with his careful eye.

      "Wow, someone had too much to drink," I joked.

      He turned to me but wasn't smiling. Okay...I guess I was wrong.

      "Dude, don't worry about it. It's a party; nothing's going to happen. Just chill. Have fun and mingle. I gotta greet the new guests. They may look like jocks, but a few of them are on my swim team. They're okay guys. Trust me."

      Without another word, I walked off to greet Kurt. He and his buds had claimed a small spot to put their cooler. The fridge in the basement was already loaded with drinks people had brought. I was hoping no one got drunk enough to steal someone else's drinks. That might have caused a few problems.


      Is this what a party is? Drunk kids acting like fools? Zac better be right. But just in case, if someone does start something, I'll end it, fast.

      The nightmare I had last weekend had had me on edge all week. I knew Zac sensed it. As much as I tried, I hoped it didn't show too much. I didn't want people asking questions, but all week I kept remembering the feelings I had felt in my dream. It felt so real.

      I'm not going to let it bother me tonight. For now, I just gotta watch those guys Kurt brought. They look like trouble.

      "What's with the serious face?"

      I knew it was Lenne. I had found out more about her. She's quite the girl. A bit of spunk like Mai, and just the right attitude to connect with. She wasn't being snobbish or annoying. She was talking with all sorts of people; it was amazing she found her way back to me.

      "Nothing... Just some things on my mind," I told her.

      "Well, aren't you a mystery? Have a drink or something. It'll calm your nerves."

      "I've had my share."

      "I was being sarcastic...Kade, is it?" she asked.

      I nodded.

      "We'll, I was just going to actually say, ease up on the drinks. I've been watching you. You've had quite a bit, don't you think?"

      "I can hold my stuff... What about you? Aren't you drinking?"

      "Nah. I don't like alcohol. I'll just stick to pop. You just looked too serious, so I thought I'd come by and keep you company." 

      That was awfully kind, but I had liked it better when I was alone.

      "Hey, you're Kayden, right?" said the voice.

      Turning, I noticed one of the guys Zac works with.

      "The name is Jeff. I saw you a few times at Tim's. How you doing, man?"

      Great. The guy's face is beet red. Either he's completely plastered, or he's one of those people who change colour when they drink.

      "Not too bad. Just chillin'," I said to him.

      "Guys, I'll be back in a sec. Mai is calling me over," Lenne said suddenly.

      Jeff and I waved to her as she made her way towards Mai.

      "Pretty cool party, huh? I might be a bit old to party with you guys, but I'm having a blast," he said.

      "Glad to see you are. Where's the guy you were with?" I asked.

      "Wow, mighty observant, aren't we?" he laughed. "Aaron went to the bathroom."

      We both scanned the scene, watching the moving bodies shift around the room. More people were dancing. Jett seemed to be hitting it off with every girl, Maya and Scott were bashfully close, and Zac was talking with his swimming buddies and that girl from his work. I didn't like her. Something about her threw me off. She had been around Zac a lot all night. I didn't even know she was invited. Does she even know Shin?

      "So, were you trying to make your move on that girl that was over here earlier?" Jeff asked suddenly.


      "That girl. Real cute. You guys looked pretty cool together. Or is she not your type?" he asked with a smile.

      "We're just friends," I said, looking away.

      "Zac's pretty lucky to have all these friends..."

      "It's because he's a great guy. His friends are really something else. There's a bond between them that no one can touch."

      Jeff chuckled. "You make it sound like you're not part of that friendship. I've seen you around Tim's enough to know you're a pretty close friend to Zac."

      "Something like that..."

      "Hmm," Jeff motioned quietly. Turning to me, he smiled. "Maybe I should set him up with one of my friends..."

      "What? Who?"

      "Zac, of course," he said, leaning back against the wall. "I mean, look at him. Doncha think there's something wrong with the picture?" he said, pointing towards Zac and the jocks.

      I looked over at Zac. He still looked like the same guy I fell head over heels for. Maybe he'd had a drink or two, but who hadn't?

      "The girl Zac is seeing must be the shittiest girlfriend of the century."

      "W-what do you mean?" I asked worriedly.

      "You should know; you're his friend. You can tell by just looking at him his girlfriend doesn't take care of him. She must be some snob or just a horrible person. He isn't being taken care of. You see how happy your other friends are. Zac doesn't look like that. The person he's seeing definitely isn't for him."

      I couldn't respond. How could I respond? I knew there was no girl. I was going out with him, and was I taking care of him, I thought. Was it that obvious? Jeff could tell, and even Zac's grandma thought I wasn't right for her grandson. Maybe she was just trying to get back on Zac's good side by being nice to me. She probably figured he'd dump me one day anyways.

      I haven't really been the best boyfriend, either. All I do is cause problems. I'm slowly turning Jett to hate me; I made a mess in Toronto... Is there anything good I've done?

      "Give me some time... One day we will," Zac had said to me the day his grandparent's came to visit.

      That's probably why he won't go all the way with me...he knows I'm not the one. He probably sees me as a fling. To give himself fully, he'd only be willing to give himself to the one he truly loves... He doesn't love me.

      The sudden realization had me eager for a drink.

      "Well, tell me when he's available and I'll hook him up," Jeff said, making his way towards the now unoccupied pool table. "It'll be something that only you and me know."

      I didn't respond. I needed a drink.


      I turned around and noticed someone I recognized. He approached me and I felt my body freeze up. I knew him...

      "Is this where you've been hiding?" he said to me.

      "What are you doing here?" I asked in an icy tone.

      "Visiting a cousin. He told me there was a party happening, so I joined him,  and I find you..." he said with a mysterious smile. "Don't be so angry. I never did anything to you."

      It's true. He never did. But I did remember him giving Sean a hard time. Sean, the first friend I made in Toronto. The boy who was killed by bastards that used him as a sex object... Suddenly my anger was renewed.

      "I should kick your ass right here, right now..." I threatened him.

      "Did you know that Philip Jacobs is dead?"

      I stood quiet. I was happy he was dead. It was news to me, but why should I care?

      "I can understand why. He was in for rape and murder of a minor. Whatever they did to him in jail must have screwed him up. But his brother, Neil... He's looking for you."

      "How's Blake?" I asked, trying to steer the conversation.

      "We're not friends anymore. The dude went clean after his brother was killed. I'm still in the business. How about it, want to make a profit? I've got some things to sell..."


      "Man! This party is unbelievable," Jett said, smiling the largest smile I've ever seen.

      "Well, you might want to stick to one girl this time," I told him jokingly. "You've been going from one girl to another, leaving the ones you previously danced with heartbroken."

      It was like the thought just came to him. He shook his head. "No. It can't be. I told them I'm not looking right now. I said I just wanted to dance."

      "Really? That's not what some of them told me..." Lenne said, smiling at me.

      I smiled back. It's fun to mess up the heads of friends when they're drunk.

      "Shit... I gotta go talk with them..." Before we could stop him, he took off trying to locate every girl he had danced with all night.

      "Think he'll be angry when he's sober?" Lenne asked.

      "Yeah, don't worry about it. He'll either forget about it or just ignore it. When he's embarrassed about himself he doesn't like to bring it to attention. He'll pretend nothing happened tonight."

      "Well, someone knows his friends pretty well," she laughed.

      "Same goes for you. You and Mai hit it off pretty well. It's weird, it's like you guys are twins. You both have that same...I don't know... Attitude? It's real cool, though," I said to her.

      "I really like Mai. She's like a sister I've never had," Lenne said, taking a sip of her pop.

      "Well, you'll be hanging around us more often. So get to know the rest of the gang, too. So far, everyone really likes you."

      "Aww...thanks, Zac," she said, smiling.

      "Not a prob."

      "Zac! I need help," Maya said, pulling me away from Lenne for a second.

      "Sorry, Lenne, I just need a word with Zac for one second," Maya said, over-apologetically.

      "No worries," Lenne smiled.

      "What's up?" I asked Maya.

      "The washroom! Some girl has been in there for like an hour! I need to go!!!"

      We only have one washroom in the basement, so when it's occupied, no one else can go. Laughing at her predicament, I got a playful shove from Maya.

      "Hey, man, how you liking your party?" I asked Shin.

      He was deep red and laughing. The poor boy gets so messed up when he drinks. I was hoping this time he wouldn't spill anything on the carpet.

      "Best time of my life, man. Thanks a lot. Never had so much fun in my entire life..." For a second he paused. "Actually, this is as great as when your dad and I traded baseball cards! Is he here? Call him over with his deck, I wanna see his collection again."

      "Right on it, buddy." I laughed, walking away. Shin was so gone.

      So far everything was great. It was nearing midnight, and there were plenty of people enjoying themselves. I had to admit, the party had been a blast. But it wasn't over yet. I knew people wouldn't be heading out until maybe around one or two. Dad was upstairs sleeping. He said he bought some earplugs. I hoped they worked. At the side entrance several people were smoking and talking loudly. I was happy the neighbors didn't call the police. Dad told me not to worry about the neighbors. We don't get along with one of them, but she's on the other side of the house. Apparently she thinks a young father like Dad is a bad role model. I was sort of hoping we'd make enough noise to annoy her.

      "Hey! Guess who hooked up?" Nikki's smile greeted me.

      "Don't tell me you were the one who was hijacking my washroom!" I teased.

      "I meant a date, you idiot!" She playfully shoved me. "We exchanged numbers before he started drinking."

      She pointed to Kurt who was obviously having a great time with his buds. They were chugging beer and roaring with teenage adrenaline.

      "Such a hunk," Nikki said dreamily.

      At that moment, Kurt let out a huge belch.

      You got weird taste, Nik.

      "And how's the party girl? Is she all set up?" Jeff crashed in cheerfully, dragging Aaron close behind him.

      Nikki just smiled, her dimples showing slightly. "Not telling! And speaking of girl..." she said, turning to me, "when are we going to meet this mystery girl, Zac?"

      "Yeah, she ain't here, what's up with that?" Jeff asked, turning to me with one hand on his hip.

      I didn't know what to say. I just looked between them, unable to speak. Maybe it was the alcohol.

      To my luck, Aaron came in and wrapped his arms around Jeff's waist, causing Nikki to look over.

      "Aww, aren't you two cute?" she said, sticking out her tongue.

      I had never seen Jeff blush, so that was a first. " Shut up, girl. What about you? Hook up with the swimming Adonis yet?"

      It was Nikki's turn to blush. "We're getting there! Right Zac?" she said, turning to me before turning back to the two. "Is it alright for you to be doing that around here, Aaron? There are some people who go to our high school here. You'll be outted."

      Aaron just shrugged and rested his head on Jeff's shoulder. "It's cool. The year is like almost half done. I don't care who knows. I can take care of myself."

      There was something about Aaron and Nikki. It was a connection.

      "Wait, you guys know each other?"

      "Yeah, well, we both go to the same high school," Aaron said, nicking Nikki's nose with his finger. "And she's my cousin. My favorite cousin, I might add!"

      "You're related?" I exclaimed. I could see the resemblance. It was remarkable.

      "Yeah, how the hell do you think these two hooked up?" Nikki said, obviously proud.

      "So you don't have a problem with your cousin being gay?" I asked idiotically.

      "And why should I?" Nikki said, upset. "It's none of my fucking business. It makes no difference, Zac."

      I scanned the three faces looking at me.

      "Sorry, it's just that... It's not really accepting to a lot of people sometimes, and I'm...or...umm. I don't care... I mean...I...oh, man..."

      Jeff looked questioningly at me.       "Zac, are you trying to tell us something?" he asked with a smile.

      I stayed quiet, already embarrassed because of my blunder.

      "All right! Another one for our team," Aaron cheered.

      Poor Nikki looked like she was going to go crazy. "Okay, what the fuck are you guys talking about?"

      "Little Zac swings our direction!" Jeff stated proudly. He grasped my shoulder and gave it a squeeze.

      "Your direction?" Nikki said, not understanding. She looked at me and her eyes shot open. You could hear the chimes going in her head.

      "You're gay!" she said in a loud whisper.

      "Shhh," I hushed her. It wasn't necessary, but I had to do something.

      "Oh my God!" Nikki smiled, clasping her mouth.

      "I knew it was all an act. You saying you had a girlfriend and stuff," Jeff said as he shook his head.

      "You did?"

      "Well, yeah. Either that or you had the worst girlfriend in the world. I was just telling Kayden that the girl you were seeing must be horrible. I mean you never talk about her. All you talk to us about is your friends and Kayden."

      Nikki threw her hands up in the air. "I know, 'Kayden this, Kayden that...' It's fucking ridiculous. It's like he's the one you're dating..."

      I knew I was blushing. And I knew I was caught. As I looked up to meet their gaze, all three of them stared at me with amazement.

      All together, like it was choreographed or something, the trio shook their heads with disbelief. "No way!"


      "Hey, Zac!" I heard Jett call out to me.

      "Jett, what's up?" I said, turning to him, leaving my three friends to continue to process things.

      "You gotta come outside. Someone's starting something with Kayden."

      It took me a second to get the message, but then in an instant I was flying upstairs. 

      When we got there, it was practically over. A guy was leaning against the wall holding his jaw and nose. There was some blood leaking from his nose. All I saw was red. I noticed Kayden being held back by Maya and Scott. Kayden looked angry.

      "What the fuck are you doing, man? You think you can start shit at my house?" I yelled to the guy leaning against the wall.

      Whoever messes with Kayden messes with me.

      "I didn't fucking do anything. That fucker just was in my face and fuckin' punched me," the boy roared as he slid down to the ground.

      "You know that isn't the truth, dude. I was here. You were about to smoke up," Jett said, stepping in. "We told you not smoke up here. He also has X on him, Zac. He showed it to us." Jett suddenly turned back to the scumbag. "We don't want any drugs here, but you just wouldn't take no for an answer."

      I couldn't believe some guy had brought ecstasy to my party.

      "Man, if you're going to act like some toughass punk, you better be sure you can take us on. That's the first time I saw Kayden break loose, and fuck, I don't want to mess with him," Scott said, finally letting Kayden go.

      Kayden didn't say anything. He just stared daggers at the guy on the ground.

      "He's right, Zac. We saw him pull out weed. Kayden told him not to do that stuff here but the guy started acting like he owned the place," Maya said, lending me her insight. "Then he started pressing Kayden like he was looking for a fight."

      "Get the fuck out, man. I don't know you but if you aren't gone in two minutes, I'm gonna call the police to bust your ass. Now fuck off," I shouted at the guy.

      He got up smugly and tried to look like he was in no hurry. He turned to Kayden and said with a smirk, "You better be careful, man... It'll suck for you if he finds out..."

      "You have thirty seconds!" I said, getting much angrier. "Thirty seconds before I set my friend on you again. This time no one will stop him until the police rip him off you!"

      Without another word, the punk took off. I was fuming. The people who were outside, including my friends, were all staring at me.

      "Sorry, guys. I didn't mean to wreck the party," I said after a moment.

      "Fuck no! The party is still on!" someone hollered.

      Within a moment, another few people roared and headed back in. I was surprised at the sudden aggressiveness I'd showed.

      "Good job, Zac. Must be the alcohol in you, dude," Scott said, knuckling my shoulder.   

      "Thanks, guys. You really saved my butt here. If that guy went on unnoticed, it could have turned pretty ugly," I said to them.

      "It was mostly Kayden and Jett, though," Maya said, smiling kindly to them. "Kayden immediately pulled that guy aside, and Jett broke them up before going to call you."

      "Sorry, guys," Kayden said sullenly. "I didn't mean to go so far..."
      "Hey, don't worry about it. Let's just go back to the party," Jett said, turning away.

      Maya and Scott headed in with Jett, leaving Kayden and me alone.

      "I think I screwed up, Zac..."

      "Nah, you did good," I said to my little fighter.

      "I got a little carried away..."

      "Yeah, you might have overreacted a bit, but it's alright. It was stupid of me to think there wouldn't be any idiots like that..."

      "Sorry... I've had a bit to drink," Kade said unsteadily.

      He looked so cute. I wanted to just take him upstairs and forget about the party.

      "Well, lets head in. I'll take care of you for the rest of the night."

      For the first time that week, Kade had a smile on. Might have been a little forced, but a smile is still a smile.


December 14, 2004

Sup, dudes and dudettes, lol just watched Bill and Ted the movie with my bf. I could have sworn they used those terms in that movie, I was wrong. Great movie btw. Yeah, I needed a good break during exams, just like how you guys might need one too. To all you hard studiers out there, good luck.

Now this is my own little area where I'm allowed to bitch and scream without appearing whiney. Why the HELL do some universities insist you write two exams in one day? I studied so hard for them, and got only 2 hours of sleep yesterday before waking up from freakish nightmares where I failed these exams. Studying with my bf, but he has a mind like computer, and can remember stuff easily....not me! Sometimes I love my best friend and my bf for doing drastic things for me, like taking my books away and making me sleep. muhahaha, I crashed in my friends room in rez, little does she know I woke up after two hours and studied some more.

Funny how when you're studying, you miss out the biggest signs in the world...Like while I was studying at this one building the other day, a nice girl asked to join me and I was pleased to have her join me. Well, we talked for like 10 minutes, in which I finally suggest that we get back to work....Somehow I left that place with her number on my cell phone...I didn't realize it until I told my bf about, I was hit on while studying!!! who does that? I don't think properly during exams.

Lets take a look at Calc. Now this is multivariable Vector Calculus. I memorized the Taylor series expansion to the third degree! Well knowing it would be on the exam...but it wasn't!. Then I couldn't figure out this easy chain rule expansion of partial derivatives and get a function. I over analyzed...Then verifying the Green, stokes, and gausses!!! 20 makes each??!!

wow, 9 A.M in the morning exams suck, 3 hours too...then another one at 2 PM. This time it was Earth Structure and Space science....WOW! I love my prof. If I wasn't such a good student who tried so hard, I don't think my prof would have given me hints like he did yesterday. I'm so grateful, cause I didn't do too well in that last test. But still, I got owned.

Now here's the juicy bits. If you're offended my sexual humour, you might want to stop here, because this is where I talk about my school work in very disturbing terms, but honestly, cannot be described in any better terms.

Actually, I have no way to describe this event yesterday other than this diagram. Therefore, in lack of better terms;

.   <----Me before exams

O  <----After

My good friend in the same program asked me a question that best describes our situation:  "so, did you take it in the teeth or in the ass?"

Sorry for this sick humour, but exams were that bad. Oh well, 3 down 3 to go. And these ones are the ones I'm most worried about...more sleepless night a head of me. Good luck to you all, and to you highschoolers, if you're going into engineering, be ready for these things...I wish someone warned me, id have developed better studying habits in hs.

So by now, you might have grown accustomed to the gang. The gang? I mean Zac, Kayden, Shin, Maya, Scott, Jett, Mai, and Lenne. I myself have a very clear picture of what my characters look like. Do you guys have a clear picture of what these people look like to you? Either a favorite model, actor/actress, photo from the net? I really would like to know^^. So send me a picture of someone who best represents these guy, or other characters in the story. I'll set up a picture reference area during the Winter break so you guys can view how other people see Zac and the gang, and perhaps my own pictures of what the gang looks like. Please, no nudity^^ And if it's someone's photo, please ask before you swipe it^^. Some people put their pictures on the net for friends, it'll be weird for their friends to find them in a site of potential characters in a gay story.

LAtez (wow this was long)


Anyways, feedback is always appreciated. Remember it's Special thanks to Aaron of The Mail Crew, as always, for his editing. He makes these chapters make sense. Their site has my latest chapters first, so be sure to check it out^.