Like Kings

By Blue C.

Disclaimer: Don't be stupid. This story depicts homosexual males kissing, dancing, having sex, and other activities that they find enjoyable. If that is not your thing, then really, why are you here?

Copyright 2003-5 by the author. This story is not to be posted anywhere without the author's permission.

Part 7-"You Satisfy Me"
"Drew, have I ever told you that I absolutely despise the rain?"

Drew laughed at his mother's bitter sarcasm. She was calling him long distance from Chicago to check in on him. Drew juggled the cordless with one hand while struggling to put pants on with the other. "I believe you have mentioned it once or twice, yes. If I remember correctly, that was the major selling point about this dinky little town you moved us to: something about more than 300 sunny days a year." Drew gestured towards the window, even though his mother could not see him. "Oh look, today's even one of them."

"Not out here it isn't. It's raining like Noah's flood is finally getting its encore." The irritation in Melissa's voice made Drew chuckle.

"It can't really be THAT bad mom." His voice turned teasing as he said, "It sounds like someone's having a bad day at work."

"Quiet you. I just don't understand why someone else couldn't have handled this one little trip. They know I get angry when wet. It says so right on my laundry instructions.  And they could have at least given me fair warning about it first, instead of the rain just materializing out of thin air while I'm eating brunch."

"Leaving aside the fact that rain always materializes out of thin air, did you at least close the sale?"

"Well, of course I did. It'll take another day to settle the paperwork, but the deal's done."

"Maybe that's why they sent you instead of someone else."

"Ah, the price of success. Well, what are you up to?"

"Oh, I'm just getting ready to go out to a party."

"What kind of party?"

"The kind I don't really like going to. Some twit on my team, come to think of it you've met him, Aaron,  and his girlfriend are throwing a party to celebrate the fact that we made it to playoffs. I don't see what the fanfare is for though, we make it every year. I guess it doesn`t matter, I have to go to support the cause." Melissa heard Drew's eye roll perfectly.

"Your school has to celebrate something. With Braden injured, the football team is nothing to call home about, so I guess soccer is going to have to fill in the gap."

"Now I feel really special. Thanks mom."

"Oh stop, Drew, you know you love the attention. Especially from certain select admirers."

"Braden would admire me if I was the water boy. He's easy to impress."

"Is Jake?"

"Seeing as I'm not dating Peroxide, I doubt I'm quite as impressive to him as I am to Braden."

`Yeah. Right.' thought Melissa. "Speaking of Jake, is he still staying the night tonight?"

"Yeah, he is last I heard. Unless his mom goes all psycho possessive about her baby by the time I pick him up. And there is a distinct possibility of that happening. By the way, have I ever mentioned to you how much I appreciate the fact that you are not like Peroxide's mom. She's crazy."

"I'm sure she'd say the same about me. Just don't tell her I'm in Chicago, and she'll probably be okay. But of course, that means that if anything goes wrong, you are going to be in a world of trouble."

"Relax Mom. We'll be fine. As soon as we get through this evil party that is."

"It looks like they are making me go outside again, so I'll have to let you go. Enjoy the rest of this weekend. I'll be back late tomorrow."

"Okay mom. You have fun, too. Singing in the rain and all that."

"I don't sing." Drew cackled at his mother's sarcasm. She paused. Her voice changed to more serious tone. "Drew, be careful, alright?"

"I always am. Bye mom."

The phone cut off in Melissa ear. `The hell you are,' she thought at Drew, saying a sending up a silent prayer for her son.

Drew entered the party, already dancing a little to the beat as he walked. He was dressed as he always was: simply, comfortably, and looking about a thousand times better than his peers as he did it. Tonight, he looked especially good looking, with the return of the sleek black shirt over a dark khaki tee with matching cotton pants and black boots. Behind him was Jake, better dressed than he usually was (he'd borrowed Drew's clothes), and the sight of both of them caught every eye at the party. Drew noticed this, and tossed an arm over his friend, drawing him close. He whispered into Jake's ear, "Let's drive them all wild." Meanwhile, his breath was starting to drive Jake wild, if the growing warmth in his pants was any indication. `Yes,' thought Jake, `let's.'

"Well look who finally showed up."

Drew turned towards the voice, and found Jessie, looking hot as she always did, even when she smirked. "Well I would have been here sooner," said Drew, "But I wound up going out of my way to pick up someone who'd already left by the time I got over to her house."

"Yeah, sorry about that." said Jessie, not looking sorry at all. "But someone else insisted on driving me here, and I simply could not say no to him." On cue, Braden stepped out of shadows behind her.

Drew actually goggled. Braden never went to parties. Never. It was one of the founding, unchangeable laws of the world, like gravity and the speed of light. `Looks like they're serving ice cream in hell tonight.' thought Drew. "I can't say I blame you." he said to Jessie. "He's hot as fuck." Braden smiled at his boyfriend's compliment.

"I figured you wouldn't mind" said Jessie, still smirking.

Braden's eyes moved to the blonde, person (Braden was trying to not to think `Twerp,') standing next to Drew. "Jake." he said, voice cool.

"Braden." said Jake, nodding a little. The two held each others gaze until Jessie began to get annoyed.

"Do you think you two can shit-can the rivalry for just one evening? Please?" she said. Braden and Jake both glared at her. Jessie didn't care; they had been steadily getting worse since the beginning of October when they all started hanging out together. Now three weeks later, every time they walked into the same room, both started puffing up over Drew like daycare bullies over some prized toy.

"Why are you two always fighting? I don't understand it at all." said Drew, shaking his head in innocence. `Check your mirror,' thought Jessie.

When neither showed signs of backing down Jessie sighed. "Alright then," she said, "do you think that one of you can at least get me something to drink? Jake?" Jake nodded, and made his way to the makeshift bar. As soon as he had stepped away, Braden went to Drew's side and threw one arm over his boyfriend's shoulder possessively.

Drew regarded Braden's action with an inquisitive look. "What?" Braden asked gruffly. Drew just shook his head once more.

"Nothing at all my friend," Drew replied. "Nothing at all."

Cory was waiting for Jake by the bar. "Hey Peroxide." he said.

Jake corrected automatically "Jake."

Cory looked confused. "Drew calls you Peroxide."

"Yes, he does." Jake said, a little colder than he meant to. Though Jessie had tried for weeks to impress upon him that Cory was Satan, Jake remained unconvinced. He seemed like a nice enough guy, for a jock. Still, Jake hated when anyone called him by anything other than his name.

Cory took the hint. "Sorry man, didn't mean to call you by your pet name."

"My what?" Jake asked, with head cocked in confusion.

"Your-, never mind." Cory's lips quirked into an odd half-smile, one that belied some secret joke that he would not share. "Let me get you something to drink. What do you want?"

"Oh, nothing for me. I was just getting something for Jessie."

"Really now? Jessie?" For some reason, Cory's tone reminded Jake strongly of Drew.

"Yes, Jessie." said Jake, suddenly unsure of the answer.

"In that case, I know exactly what to make. Just a minute." Cory's movements behind the bar had a practiced flourish that impressed Jake; so much in fact that he did not notice the small pill that quickly dissolved into the red-orange concoction. "Here you are Jake." offered Cory with a Cheshire cat expression: at once mocking and kind.

"Thanks Cory! Talk to you later." Jake's grateful smile captivated Cory for a brief moment. `Wow, he's young.' he thought.  Jake, drink in hand, walked over to the waiting Jessie.

Cory watched him walk. Watched the way he walked, the easy genuineness to his countenance, his face that was oh so nice to look at. Desire flooded Cory in a way that it seldom had for almost two years. `Hot as fuck.' thought Cory.

Meanwhile, Jake had handed off the cup to Jessie. Her eyes rose in surprise once she tasted it. "A Barbados? Jake, how the hell did you get this out of the bar? Who even knows how to make these?

Jake waggled his eyebrows suggestively. "The bartender and I came to a mutual understanding. And my knowledge knows no bounds."

"Well, however you managed it, thanks." said Jessie, taking another long pull from the cup. She smacked her lips in approval. "Damn, your mystery bartender got it just the way I like it too: plenty of grenadine and even more rum. I might have to thank him in person."

"Yes, you just might." agreed Jake, himself wondering how Cory had gotten to know Jessie so well that fast. He resolved to keep the two separated for the night; Jessie was crazy (and mean) enough sober.

"Speaking of drinks, I think I might want one too." said Drew. "Something mind numbing might make this party easier to take." Drew took a step towards the bar, but Jessie and Jake grabbed his arms before he could go further.

"You can't drink!" started Jessie.

"You're designated driver." said Jake.

"SOMEONE has to drive us home!" they finished together.

Braden started laughing. "Has this been a problem before?"

Drew sighed audibly. "Only once."

Jessie muttered darkly, "Once was enough." Jake nodded agreement.

Drew's irritation was visible. "Alright damn it, a soda then. Either of you want something?" he asked the other boys.

"I'm good." said Jake.

"You know I don't drink." said Braden.

Drew raised an eyebrow. "You also don't party, and yet here you are."

Braden smiled at his boyfriend. "One step at a time."

"Where`s the fun in that?" asked his sister, draining the last of her cup. "Una mas, Seņior."

The music called to him. Drew was one of those people whose only need in the world was to be themselves, as hard as they could possibly be, and part of what made up Drew was always dancing. He could no more resist the music than Braden could resist his eyes. In fact, that very thought occurred to Drew, which is why he said to Braden, "Dance with me."


"Dance with me," repeated Drew. "Come on. Just this once, tell Sierra High and your father to go fuck themselves and dance with me."

"That's very easy for you to say," remarked Jessie, her tone as dry as a California windstorm. "You never have to face the consequences of your actions, because everything just falls into place for you. For us lesser mortals, it isn't easy to tell the whole world to go fuck itself. We are still in High School you know."

Drew ignored her. "Please Braden. Just do this one thing for me?"

"You know I can't Drew," he said, with almost regret. But that wasn't good enough.

"WHY THE HELL NOT?" Drew snapped.

"Keep your voice down," hissed Jessie.

"Oh, no one cares!" Drew said, waving his hand in a brush-away gesture.

"I care," Braden said. "Look Drew, I really wish you'd quit trying stuff like this. You know I can't do it. You know it, yet you don't care. What do I have to do to get it-"

"I'll dance with you." Jake interjected. Braden stopped talking, and the rest looked at Jake in amazement, as they'd all temporarily forgotten he was there.

"What?" Jake asked. "Drew wants to dance, you can't, and since I don't care what people say anymore than Drew does..." he shrugged, as if that finished his argument for him. He walked over to Drew and asked in all graciousness, "May I have this dance?"

Drew was floored, but he prided himself on his fast recoveries from surprises. "You may, sir." He took Jake's hand, and together they moved closer to the music.

Jessie and Braden did not speak or look at each other for a handful of heartbeats. Braden finally broke the silence by saying, "I just fucked up there, didn't I? AND I got out-maneuvered by a freshman."

"It's just one dance, what's the worst that can happen?"

"I could lose him Jessie. After all I gave up to keep him, I think I'm going to lose him anyways."

Jessie knew better than to agree with him, even if he was right. So she held up her rapidly emptying cup and asked, "Ready for that drink now big brother?"

"I am definitely ready for a drink," he replied.

"Good me too. Let's celebrate the traditional Summers way then: get smashed than smash something fragile." Her face light up with sudden inspiration. "Hey! I wonder if Denise is around?"

Denise was there in fact. With Cory. The senior had come to the freshman when she felt the most alone and torn up over Jake, said soothing words and showed her that she was in fact a very pretty young woman. Then it started getting ugly. It would be wrong to say that she had been date raped by the senior, but neither was she completely comfortable knowing that she'd given her virginity to him. She'd always thought that Jake would be her first, and now it had been Cory. The only good part that Denise could see was that since  Cory had gotten what he wanted out of her, he was starting to tire of her. She knew it would only be a matter of time before she was "dumped." The thought cheered her.

The party was boring, as they always were. It was annoying acting so fucking peppy all the time, but she couldn't seem to shake the habit. It was expected of her now, and she couldn't see a way to drop the act without losing what friends she still had. Most of the freshman she'd known from elementary and middle school had been steadily dropped as she and Jake moved up into the popular circle. Now she had no real friends she could depend on, or even talk to without her tearful admissions being the next days gossip. She really, really missed Jake.

"Hey Denise. How you doing?" asked Cory as he oozed up behind her, holding her. Denise sighed; she apparently would not be dumped tonight.

"Just fine Cory," she replied. The smell of vodka already clung to him, and she knew what he was after. 'And he called Drew a sexual predator.' Sure enough, his hand drifted up from her hip towards her breast. Usually, she let him get away with it, but tonight she'd also had some liquid courage, and she didn't much feel like playing dumb and eager. She pushed his hand away.

He was surprised; Denise had been especially easy to conquer, which was why he'd kept her around longer than usual. He placed his hand once again on Denise's body, and again she pushed it away. It turned into a struggle, when finally Denise said, "Cory stop. Cory I said stop. LET ME GO!" she shouted, drawing stares.

All those practices flipping other girls into the air had given Denise a surprising amount of strength, which she used to her advantage. She pushed Cory away roughly, making him lose his balance. He looked at her, angry and shocked that she'd suddenly grown a spine. Weren't girls supposed to be more willing after they had a few, not less? "Damn it Denise, I just wanted to fucking hold you. No need to flip out."

"I know exactly what you wanted Cory, so don't give me that loving bullshit." The words coming out of her mouth had little of the cheery squeak Cory usually associated with her. But then, Cory did not know her before high school, where her and Jessie could cut gym teachers down to size. Jessie might have a better flair for words, but Denise was no slouch herself, and her glares her were an art form. She turned one of them on Cory. "I am not in the mood for you tonight Cory, so why don't you just go away and bang someone else. Not like being faithful was a high priority for you anyways."

"Fuck you bitch."

"WHAT A COMEBACK!" Denise said. "Here's a better one: I may be a bitch, but I am not your bitch. Not today anyways." She left him sputtering, and she wondered what Jessie would have said if she'd witnessed the exchange. 'Maybe I'm not such a wimp after all.' Denise hoped.

Across the party, another freshman was savoring triumph. Drew had guided Jake by hand towards the sound system, and discreetly queued up the next song as one of his favorites, something he that he could really move to. When it started playing, Jake recognized the song as Ian Van Dahl's "Satisfy Me." It was the same song that had played when Jake watched Drew dance at the Sadie Hawkins's Dance. Jake smiled at the memory, and Drew smiled too, blissfully letting the chords seep into him. Then, one hand on either side of Jake, Drew began to dance.

You'll always be the only one, you satisfy me.
You'll always be the one I love, you satisfy me.
Before you I was blind, you opened up my mind.

And everyday I want you more, you satisfy me.
And every night I need your touch, you satisfy me.
>From now on you'll be mine, until the end of time.

Don't need no words,
to know that you're mine.
I see your face you make me smile,
when I'm with you I feel so high.

>From where Jake stood, he could not tell if Drew danced to music, or if music played to Drew. Music filled him; flexing muscles carried the beat, melody moved to shifting feet. His movements pressed them together, closing them to kissing distance. Eyes closed, Drew whispered out the lyrics as his breath nuzzled Jake's cheek. Dimly, Jake noticed Drew sang off key. A flaw! He actually has one! Somehow, that discovery made Drew seem even more perfect.

"You satisfy me." Drew sang. Satisfaction began to threaten Jake's jeans.

As Braden predicted, everyone at the party began to stare at the duo. Cory saw them, moving as one, so close together they practically were one whole. Several emotions hit him at once. The first was intense longing. He enjoyed hating Drew, but that didn't make the bastard any less beautiful. Jake had his own charm, even if his magnetic innocence was being violated by Drew's base sensuality (it looked to many of the witnesses, not just Cory, that the two weren`t so much dancing as having sex with each other despite their clothing). That led to Cory second emotion: he became so horny he nearly apologized to Denise. Then he got a better idea.

Denise saw them. Since she had come with Cory, and he was prick enough to strand her if she didn't put out, she had spent the previous several minutes looking for a ride home. Chance diverted her attention to Jake and his dance partner, and amazement held her for the entire song.

Jessie saw them, dimly. The drinks have never hit her so hard in her life. She'd barely had two, and already her eyesight was blurring and mouth felt not quite her own. She'd actually had tgo stare for a number of seconds before she was sure of what she was seeing: Drew and Jake, having a VERY good time with one another. 'That's it, Braden's history.' She realized. Jessie knew ocne she realized that Jake liked Drew back her brother's days as Drew's boy were numbered. Fearing the inevitable explosion once Braden came to his own realization, she stopped fighting the intoxication. Oblivion would be welcome tonight.

Braden saw them. And it pissed him off. "That's it." he said. He started towards the door, taking very long strides that Jessie struggled to match.

"Whatareyado-ing" she slurred.

"Leaving. If I have to watch those two for one more minute, I'm going to break something. Or someone." said Braden.

"What about me?"

"Get a ride with asshole, I don't really care right now."

"But..." Braden slammed the door in her face.

`Tonight was going so well.' she thought, leaning her forehead against the door.

"Where is your brother going?"

Jessie turned around to the voice and immediately regretted it. When her vision focused, it revealed Drew leaning on Jake's shoulder. "I think he's going to go break something." she said.

"Why for?" asked Jake.

Jessie raised one eyebrow in sarcasm. "It might have had something to do with the do-it-yourself porno you two were making on the dance floor." Jake looked confused.

Drew looked angry; his face twisted into an expression of rage that matched Braden`s. Both the freshman backed away from him, almost involuntarily, as neither of them had ever seen Drew get that mad before. But before he reached the explosion point, he said, gesturing wildly, "You know what: Fuck him. If he doesn't trust me by now, he's never going to trust me. And I for one am sick of bending over backwards trying to keep that self-centered prick happy."

Jessie suddenly felt very sober. "But Drew it's not that he doesn't trust you, it's..." Drew cut her off.

"Save it Jessie. I don't care anymore. I'm sick of tiptoeing around him and his issues. I'm tired of it, and I'm not going to do it anymore. And if Braden doesn't like it, he can kiss my ass."

"So what are you going to do?" asked Jake.

"Right now? I'm going to get drunk. Excuse me." Drew started towards the bar.

"But, Drew!" called Jake.

Drew turned back to Jake with eyes as cold as a New York February. "What is it Jake?" he said, keeping his voice even.

"You're DD. You can't get drunk, remember?" Drew's eyes widened, and then, out of nowhere he started to laugh. Drew's laughter was usually, like the rest of him, a thing of beauty, attention grabbing like good vodka and always infectious. This laugh wasn't. Even though Drew's whole body was wracked by the heaving, the laughter's bitterness penetrated Jessie's haze; cut her as if it was made of sharp-edged glass. `He laughs so he doesn't scream,' she though to herself in a surprising moment of clarity.

Drew cut himself off abruptly, his jaw snapping shut into a tight grimace. "Getting drunk would complicate things, wouldn`t it?." he asked, though his tone made it clear he did not expect to be answered. No one spoke. Back on the dance floor, four girls starting screaming in excitement as "Love Shack" by the B-52's began to play. They immediately started belting out the lyrics at the top of their lungs, making it all but impossible to hold conversation in the area. Jake tried anyways.

"So what are you going to do, if not get drunk?"

Drew didn't answer at first, but his grimace melted away slowly into tiredness. "Well, I don't feel up to dancing. Talking to these idiots" he said, gesturing towards the singers, who`d just gotten to the bit about the Chrysler, "is painful at the best times. I really just want to go home now. That alright with you two?"


"Huh?" said Jessie. She hadn't noticed the conversation. She moved closer to Jake, then suddenly put all her weight on his shoulder.

"I guess we need to get her to her home anyways." said Jake, struggling not to drop her.

"Probably a good idea. Move her to the front door, and I'll see if I can move my car any closer." said Drew, almost shouting. Instead of hushing the quartet, other partiers had joined in.

"Okay." shouted Jake.

Drew nodded his acknowledgement, and then walked towards the door. It happened to take him past the drunken singers. When he got up to them, he suddenly snapped out "Would y'all SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY!" To Jake's amazement, and no doubt theirs as well, they did, and Drew moved on without looking back. Jake didn't even understand how they'd heard Drew over themselves.

"Is there anything he can't do?" asked a voice to Jake`s side. He looked up, and saw Cory holding up a wall. He seemed to be looking at Drew with begrudged admiration.

"Yeah." said Jake, even though Cory hadn't really been talking to him. "Sing and cook."


"Nothing." said Jake, readjusting Jessie's position. Judging from her face, Jake surmised that she was trying to work up the energy to glare at Cory, but couldn't quite remember how to do it correctly. She settled to murmuring, "Piss off, Cory." before closing her eyes again. "You know, I haven't seen her this drunk in a long while. And we weren't even here that long. Do you think she may have come drunk already?" asked Jake, making conversation.

"That's always a possibility with Jessie, but no, it looks like somebody slipped something in her drink. I've seen it before. You better keep a good eye on her. If something were to happen to her, that would be, tragic." Cory's expression did not match his words.  Jake tried to figure out what Cory meant by that, but he had already seem to have forgotten. He looked away from his ex, to the place where Drew had been only moments before. "It's weird, you know. I've known Drew for years now, and a lot of stuff has gone down between us. Just when I think I've gotten the little fucker figured out, he pulls out a new rabbit from his hat that proves to me I don't. I don't think I'll ever get him, or the way everything just falls into place for him."

Jake was a little stunned; he wouldn't have guessed that Cory even knew all those words. Then he was skeptical, defensive even. "Far as I can see, you and the rest of the popular set, me included I guess, seem to get everything handed to you on silver platters as well. So what if Drew gets away with murder. We all do."

"Yes, but the popular can only get away with murder. Drew could get away with anything. If he were to strip naked in the middle of Sierra, two-thirds of the teachers wouldn`t bat an eye. The rest would be waving twenties in the air."

"What makes you say that?" asked Jake, suddenly intrigued.

Cory shrugged. "Who knows. It isn't so much that he's good-looking, even beautiful sometimes." The two were so engaged by the conversation that neither found anything odd with Cory complimenting Drew's looks. "It might be that he's just so fucking free, or maybe unrestrained. It's like anything for him is possible because he wants it to be. And them same is true for people around him; if he says you're wonderful, that's what you become. Even the popular will worship someone like that." Cory next words came out barely audible and very hesitant, like someone was prying them one by one from his jaw. "Even I could forgive him, I think."

Jake edged closer to Cory in an effort to hear him speak. "Forgive him for what?"

Cory looked at the freshman in dismay, like he had temporarily forgotten Jake's existence. His shocked face rapidly became angry, and then he grinned wide. He leaned over Jake, who had come within arms reach, and suddenly Cory's face was as close to Jake's as Drew's had been only minutes before. "Wouldn't you like to know?" Jake was motionless as Cory placed a hand on Jake's shoulder and backed him into a wall. Still holding onto Jessie, Jake couldn't make Cory back off, and he looked desperately for an exit. "Tell me something Peroxide, what is the deal between you and Drew? And don't lie, I saw your dance extravaganza. Everyone saw."

Jake didn't know what to say, or what to do. He was now trapped by Cory, and his back was literally to the wall. "We weren't doing-" he started to deny.

"Cory Samson Shaw." Judging from his voice, Drew was still pissed off. And Cory had provided him with a convenient target for his rage. "What the fuck do you think you're doing?"

"Why, hello Drew." Cory said, turning casually away from Jake to face this aggressor. "How's it going?"

Drew ignored Cory. "You alright Peroxide?"

"Yeah Drew, I'm fine." Jake was pulling Jessie and himself away from Cory, around him to the door.

"See Drew, we weren't doing anything, exciting. Nothing like that floor show you two put on earlier."

At the mention of the dance, Drew got even more angry. "Why do I get the impression," he said, moving closer to Cory, "that the only reason you weren't doing something, as you say, exciting, was because I came back?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about Drew. I'm the harmless one. You're the heartless jerk."

Drew stopped going closer, as he was only a foot away from Cory. Then he smiled warmly at Cory. "You know, I haven't looked in awhile, but I like your haircut Cory."

"What?" Cory said, caught off guard by Drew's non sequitur.

"Your hair cut." Drew replied, moving his hand up to it. "You cut it a lot shorter than it used to be, but it's still very nice." His hand came to the fringes of Cory's hair, and he gently ran his fingers along the tips. "Very, very nice." He repeated. Cory shivered, his eyes closed. "Still my little puppy dog, I see." Drew said, his tone mocking.

Cory's fist damn near whistled, so hard did it travel through the air. But he was too close, and Drew deflected it easily. Lightning fast, Drew's hand was around Cory's throat before Cory was aware he'd moved. "Remember this Cory. You may be bigger and stronger now, but I'm still faster, and I can still take you apart. If you get a punch in, it's because I LET you. If you ever win against me, it's because I'm too lazy to crush you. SO STOP FUCKING WITH ME!" With the hand he had Cory's throat by, he shoved Cory backwards, letting go and causing Cory to slam into the wall he'd backed Jake into. Surprisingly, Cory did not get back up to challenge Drew.

"Jake, Jessie. Let's get the hell out of here." Drew ordered, walking out the door. He passed the freshmen without glancing at them, fishing his keys out of his pocket and leaving the door open for them to close behind him. Jake half carried Jessie to the car, and tried to keep up as best he could. He was pretty sure that he was the only one who saw that the hand that Drew carried his keys in, the same that had grasped Cory's neck and touched his hair, was shaking.  Jake wasn't the only one who noticed of course. Cory saw it too. Jake shut the door on the party as he exited. Cory moved as if to go after them, but Denise stepped from the sidelines and barred his way to the door. No words were exchanged, but Cory backed down all the same. The rest of the partiers had already started to forget what had just taken place.

Silence reigned the whole ride to Drew's house, even when they dropped off Jessie and Jake noticed that Braden's car was not there. When he got to his own driveway, Drew turned off the ignition, but made no move to exit the vehicle. Jake took this as a sign that Drew wanted to talk about something. "That was really stupid, wasn't it?" Drew asked aloud.

"What was stupid?"

"Challenging Cory like that. He is eventually going to kill me, if I keep messing with him like that. But for crying out loud, it's been almost two years now. You'd think he'd be able to let that particular grudge go by now."

That rang a bell for Jake. "He said something like that earlier tonight. I wondered what he meant." Jake thought that remark could almost be taken as a question, but he guessed Drew wasn't ready to answer.

He was right. "Come on Jake, it's getting late, and I'm ready for bed." With that, he opened the car door and headed for the house. Jake followed.