There's no way the Shack Out Back website could celebrate its tenth anniversary Summer without bringing back the series that started it all! So here is a brand new chapter for you guys to read! I hope you like it, and can jump back into the series from where it left off. Let me know what you think at or stop by my website at (And don't forget to sign the guestbook!)

"New Kid In School 41"

The next school day was one that made me wanna shout, "Thank God, it's Friday!" from the second I crawled out of bed.

Even breakfast tastes a little bit better on Fridays, you know? It's like that last long stretch before getting to a very eventful weekend. Even though I wasn't looking forward to final exams starting on Monday, I was anxious to get past them so I could FINALLY race my way to Spring Break!

Maybe it's just me...but it seems like this Spring Break has been a few YEARS coming!

It seems that Ryan's dad had gotten sick and called into work today, which was awesome, because Ryan was able to work it out so he could take the car today! He honked the horn outside as loud as he could, making my mom chuckle happily as I grabbed my stuff to go join him. "See you later, Mom!" I said, rushing out in a hurry.

"Hey! What are we forgetting?" She said, sticking her cheek out a bit.

"Awww, Mom..." I said, but she just pointed to her cheek with a finger, and I hurried back over to give her a kiss. "Love you, Mom."

"Much better." She said. "You boys drive careful, ok?"

"We will!" I yelled back as I rushed out of the house and hopped into the car with Ryan, who had already had the seat repositioned and the radio stations changed.

"You ready to ride?" He asked.

"You know it!" And he screeched out of the driveway, taking us down the street quickly before my mom had a chance to come outside and tell us to slow it down. Hehehe, parents.

Tyler had already left early that morning again to go pick up Ariel from school. I thought it was a bit strange, as Ariel had definitely made it a point to always come over to his house instead. Suddenly, they're over there...being all secretive again. I guess their relationship is pretty much on 'autopilot' from here on out, huh? Hehehe, you know...I'm gonna MISS the frustration of getting those two together.'s better just seeing them happy. They deserve it. They've both been through sooooo much. I wish them all the best.

"So....I talked to Hailey last night." Ryan said as we were at a red light.

"You did WHAT??? You actually called her?"

"Yeah. Come on, Randy, I couldn't just..'ignore' her, you know?"

"Sure you could! I do it everyday. I just bring up a list of people I don't need making me feel miserable...and I put her on the list. Done and done."

Ryan smiled a bit, but not much. "She's really hurt, you know? About me and her."

I sighed a bit, but tried to humor him anyway. "I wish I knew what to tell you, Ryan. She's just..." Where are the words? How do I say it in a way that he'll understand. "...She just wants to wreck things for you. That's why she's doing this. Hailey gets everything she wants, and you're just a smudge on her crystal clear record. That's all. It's not like she's in 'love' or anything."

"I know, I know..." He said. "It's just...I talked to her for almost an hour last night, and she was all like, 'we need to get back together' it was some soap opera or something. And I kept trying to explain that it wouldn't work out, and she kept asking me WHY, and...." He shrugged his shoulders, taking a short pause. "...And I was running out of excuses."

I looked over at him for a moment. "You're not still thinking about coming out to her, are you?"

"It might be the only way to make her understand, Randy."

"No it isn't. It's not gonna make her understand ANYTHING! She's gonna turn around and tell everybody she can get to listen that you're gay. That WE'RE gay! And that's it. That's the end." I told him.

"The end of what?"

"The end of EVERYTHING, dude! I can't have my mom finding out! Or the other kids in school! Are you crazy?"

"Well what's wrong with it? I mean, it's who we are, right?" He said...and there was a silence in the car. That statement...that one little what has been the eternal stalemate between homosexuals since the beginning of time. To 'tell' or 'not to tell'. It was a line that Ryan and I had never really been on opposite sides of before. "You keep talking about us like we're some dirty little secret, but honestly...I don't think there's anything inappropriate about us being together."

"I....I know, Ryan. And I love you, I really do...but..."

"But you don't want anybody else to know that you love me." He added.

"NO! That's not it at all. Dude...I know it sucks, sneaking around all the time. I know. But...I'm not read to just...tell everybody about us yet, ok?" Ryan sulked a bit, trying to hide his eyes from me while he was driving. "Right now, we can tell the few people that we trust, and we can make decisions on our own about who knows and who doesn't. Right now it's under our control, and we can manage it a lot better. But...once it starts getting whispered between kids on the public bus and in the gym locker'll be totally out of our hands. And I don't want to be some stupid rumor written on the bathroom wall." I said. "I want to be with YOU, Ryan. I want us to be happy together without all those idiots interfering with what we do and who we are. I like it better when it's just you and me."

He didn't say anything at first, and I reached over to rub his shoulder, hoping that he'd understand. And he said, "I understand. I just...wish this wasn't even an issue." He turned into the school parking lot to find a space. "If you love should be able to love them in the open. Everybody else can go to hell if they don't get it. They don't have anything to do with it anyway."

I almost didn't want to say it, but just seeing the look of disappointment on his face was enough to make me feel like a jerk for not offering some kind of compromise. "Listen...I'm not saying 'never', ok? Just"

"But someday though, right?" He asked, his bright hazel eyes looking at me with such hope.

"Yeah. Someday. I...I promise." And that was it. I was locked into it. And for Ryan, I'd keep that promise. I'd do it if he really wanted me to. I can only hope that it won't happen for a long...long...*LONG*...LOOOONNNNNNGGGGGG time!

We got out of the car, and started walking towards the school. I asked him, "So did this phone conversation, like...solve anything?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, Hailey gonna stop wishing you were dead every minute of the day now, or what?"

Ryan shrugged his shoulders again. "I don't know. I guess we'll both find out today. I think she was kinda expecting me to just hear her voice and beg her forgiveness or something. When I didn't...things got kinda weird But maybe she'll cut me some slack. She said she was sorry for being so mean to me since the break up."

"Really? Hailey apologized? That's a first." I said. "Did she say anything else?"

Ryan wrinkled up his forehead a bit, "Yeah! She made up some weird story about Ariel yelling at her yesterday in the hallway, and then giving her the finger!"

"Hahaha! ARIEL??? Psh! Yeah right!"

"Exactly! I'm not buying that for a second. She'll have to come up with a much more believable lie than that one."

In our history class, Hailey seemed to be a much more civil person than she was before. Well...'civil' considering the fact that she can be a total bitch when she wants to be. It was nice to have some of the heat taken off of us, and I hoped that it was enough to help Ryan feel a bit better about her hating him so much. be honest, something about them 'talking' was beginning to worry me. Hailey isn't really one to give up easy, and the more she keeps pushing and pushing Ryan to give her a reason to get back together, the more he's gonna push me to tell her the truth. And as much as I love my boyfriend, I mean REALLY love my boyfriend...I didn't know if I could handle that. It's not like I WANT to be selfish about this...I just...I can't even begin to predict what kind of chaos that confession could throw my life into. Once it's out there, it's really OUT there! And it never goes away. Nobody would ever look at me in the same way ever again. I could lose everything. Seriously...everything. I just hope Ryan will understand that my hesitation to tell people doesn't have ANYTHING to do with how much I love him and want to dedicate the rest of my life to him. It's not about 'shame''s just...about avoiding a change in my life that I can't handle right now. That's all.

The idea plagued me for a while, and I was about to drive myself crazy until I saw Ariel in art class...practically beaming. I thought he had noticed me walk into the room and sit beside him, but he was evidently just staring off into space with a smile. "Ariel?" I asked, and he smiled sweetly at me.

"Hey. When did you get here?"

"Hehehe, just now. You seem...'happy'."

A subtle little blush flooded his cheeks, and he giggled a bit to himself, unable to even answer me. He tried to hold it in, his frail little body almost trembling from the joy bouncing around inside of him, and he finally managed to mumble, "I'm just thinking about stuff."

"Good stuff?" I asked.

"Yeah. Hehehe...good stuff." He brushed his dark hair out of his eyes and tried to keep the giggles down as much as he could. "Sorry. It's just...they were doing construction outside of my house this"

I gave him a weird look. "They were doing construction outside of your house? Annnnndd....that makes you happy?"

"It did today." He grinned. Then his blush got deeper as he attempted to shake it off. "Never mind. Hehehe, it's's a long story." And believe it or not, Ariel hardly said two words to me for the rest of the period. Every once in a while, for no reason whatsoever, he'd start giggling again to himself. But he'd just clear his throat and straighten up before he drew too much attention to himself. It was an odd display, even for Ariel. But what could I do but just sit back and let him enjoy it. I don't think I've ever seen his eyes twinkle like that. I guess Tyler is taking good care of our baby boy.

When the bell rang, Ariel and I were walking down the hall together. I was trying to get a little bit of a hint as to what was going on with him lately. Especially since him and Tyler dipped off from us at lunch yesterday. But he was pretty tight lipped about the whole thing. The most I could get out of him were a few more bashful snickers and a timid shrug of the shoulder. Which only made me MORE curious! a hushed whisper, I had to ask, " guys didn't have SEX, did you?"

Ariel's eyes opened wide, and his mouth dropped open in total shock, "Omigod, Randy, NO! We...I...we never..." He was literally squirming at the idea, even through his smile. "...No...we didn' it yet..."

"Oh. Ok. It's seem so...giddy today."

Ariel's shyness was increasing by the second, covering him like a thick blanket of fog. "I am? Oh...I didn't mean to make it look like...well, no. We just...umm...I don't know, anything about...'that stuff'." He said. He paused for a moment, and then it looked like he had gotten an idea. "You know what? I've gotta go. I...I need to go get something from my locker" And he turned around completely and started walking in the opposite direction. "I'll see ya later..." Wow, he was being a real weirdo today. And just when I thought he couldn't be any more strange, he crossed paths with Hailey and Amber in the hallway. She started to speak to him but he just put up his hand without even breaking stride. "I'm not talking to you" He said, and kept walking. Hahaha, if nothing else, THAT one moment made my day!

"Randy, what's up, man?" I turned around, and while the voice sounded familiar, the smiling face didn't seem to match it at all.

"Cody? You'" I said, as he approached me with a smirk.

"Where else would I be? I kinda have to be here."

"What happened to ditching Friday so your suspension could be a full week?"

"Ahh well, I was getting bored at home anyway. Might as well come here and get spit on by pissed off jocks and homophobes, right?" He said, his black eye barely visible now after healing up from his 'run in' earlier in the week.

"Are you alright?" I asked. It's not like Cody to really be so 'friendly' Cool, yes. Witty, sure. I'd even go so far as to say that he was relatively pleasant to be around. But friendly? That's not exactly his style. Ronnie was's almost an unnatural fit on him.

He gave me a strange look, "Don't be a dope. I'm fine. Listen, I've gotta run, but maybe I'll catch up with you later?"

"You're always welcome at the lunch table." I offered.

"Cool. I'll see you then." He'll see me then? Really? It wasn't really what I expected, but if Cody's happy, then I guess I'm happy. Geez, between him and Ariel, I'm starting to think the school put something in the water fountains.

Ryan and I walked down to the cafeteria together, grabbing our lunch trays and making it out to the table. Ryan seemed to be in a much brighter mood than he was in this morning, and it was refreshing to see him smile a bit. I didn't want to bring up anything negative for fear that I'd ruin the moment. But it was a perfect opportunity to at least make an effort to show him I cared. "So, what's up for next week? Your last final exam is on Thursday, right?" I asked.

"Yeah, how come?"

"Duh...our date?"

Ryan gave me a smirk, and playfully rolled his eyes at me. "You were serious about that? I thought we were just, you know...talking, or whatever."

"Well, yeah, we were talking. But it's still a good idea. I think we should totally do it." I told him. "We could go out to a movie, have a nice sit down dinner somewhere, and then just spend some quality time together. Just the two of us."

I think he was trying to hide it from me, but Ryan wiggled a bit inside from the thought of it. "So you really wanna go on a real date? No bullshit?"

"We might as well, we've done everything else. Hehehe, and I don't have to worry about the pressure behind whether or not I'll look too forward by trying to kiss you at the end of the night."

"You? Too forward? Nahhhh..." He giggled.

"This from the boy who tackled me to the floor, pinned me down, and forced me to kiss him the first time."

"Oh yeah, you struggled sooooo hard. Don't know how I was ever able to hold you down." He smirked sarcastically.

"So, does this mean it's a date?"

"It's definitely a date." He said. "I'll see if I can get the car again too. It'll make things more official, you know?" Then he added, "But, just so you know...if you don't put out, you're walking home. So wear your nice panties, sweetheart."

Hehehe, I dutifully gave him a kick in the shin for that comment and we shared a laugh about it as Cody came to sit down at our table with us. Wow..he actually came over without me dragging him this time. "Sup, fellas?"

"Hey, Cody." Ryan said. "Ooh, you know what? I'm glad you came by tonight There's this guy in my gym class, really cute, kinda 'pretty' almost. I wanted to know if you could tell me whether or not he was gay." He saw me flashing him a surprised look. "What? It's not like I'm gonna ask him out, I just wanna know."

"Why, does he set off your gaydar or something?" Cody asked scarfing some of his food down.

"A little bit, but I can't really tell. It's like, sometimes he seems like he'd totally be into guys, and other times...I'm not so sure." He replied. "So, do you think you could maybe take a look at him? Tell me what you think?"

"Hey, no problem."

"Sweet! I want my sixth sense to be as strong as yours some day." Ryan grinned.

"Patience, young Padawan. All in due time." Cody said, and I couldn't help but smile as I noticed how different Cody seemed without his defenses up so high. Don't get me wrong, I doubt he was anywhere close to crying on anybody's shoulder or anything...he'd still probably cut you to pieces with his razor sharp tongue if he had to. But it was nice to see that he could be slightly more vulnerable once you got him comfortable enough.

I told Ryan, "I was kind of hoping that Ariel and Tyler would come and sit down with us today, but it looks like they ran off again."

Ryan giggled. "You mean Ariel didn't tell you?"

"Tell me what?" I asked.

"Ariel? That's the shy kid, with the dark hair, right?" Cody asked.

Ryan nodded, and said, "Well...I talk to Tyler an hour or so ago. And it appears that Ariel whisked him away to aprivate video room in the library yesterday during lunch for a little smooching and groping." My mouth opened wide and I had to cover it with my hand.

"Omigod! You're fucking KIDDING me!!!" I said.

"No! Seriously! Tyler said it shocked the shit out of him, but it was amazing! Evidently, our little Ariel is a VERY good kisser." Ryan smiled.

"How good."

"VERY good! Hehehe!"

"Wow...way to go, Ariel." I said softly, trying to imagine it.

"So...apparently they're making some 'plans' to get together again soon." Ryan said with a raised eyebrow. "Dude...they are going to have one HELL of a Spring Break this year!"

"That Ariel has a really cute ass on him." Cody said out of nowhere as he opened his soda.

Ryan laughed. "You SEE? I TOLD you Ariel had a hot ass!"

Cody grinned to himself. "It's the truth. It's really quite perfect. Small little cups at the bottom, round, just the right amount of 'squish' to's sexy. Plus its kinda 'pushed up' on his thighs, you know? I'd do him."

I hadn't really taken as close a look at Ariel's butt as they obviously have, but this was something that I was gonna have to see for myself. We laughed about it for a few minutes, when I saw Ryan's head lift up a bit, and he beckoned somebody over to our table. Cody and I both looked over our shoulders to see who i was....and caught sight of Sean walking towards our table. His blond hair swaying slowly with his every step as he approached.

Cody immediately turned back around, his once cheery mood evaporating into thin air right before my eyes as his smile vanished, and his shoulders sank. He looked back down at his tray, and for a moment, I felt....bad for him. Ryan smiled as Sean came to his side of the table and sat down next to him. "Thanks for saving me a seat." Sean popped open his soda, and gave me a nod. "Randy. Cody."

I said hello back to him, but Cody remained silent. But it only lasted a few seconds, when he started arranging the stuff on his tray. "You know what, I think I'm gonna go." His whole demeanor had changed. It had dropped down in temperature until it gave us all a chill.

"You don't have to go, do you, Cody?" I asked.

"Yeah...I do. It's been real." He said, took his tray, and left. Jesus, poor Cody. This boy REALLY has a nasty effect on him!

"Wow...cold shoulder." Ryan said quietly.

Sean was quick to shrug his shoulders. "It's ok. I'm kind of used to it by now. To be honest, I think I would be slightly worried if Cody didn't treat me like dirt at this point."

Ryan did his best to make Sean feel welcome, but I just kept my mouth shut. I didn't see what the big deal was. Sean was cute, there's no denying that, but he hardly seemed malicious in any way. The only reason I even bothered to keep my ears perked up was because of Cody's horror stories. As much as I hate to judge Sean before I even got to know anything about him...Cody wasn't really the malicious type either. In fact, I doubt he'd take the time to be concerned about anybody else unless he had a damn god reason to be. "I'm sorry, man. I'm sure he didn't mean it."

"Oh he MEANT it, believe me." Sean unwrapped his sandwich and flashed me a subtle smile as he took a bite. "I'm sure Cody told you that we used to date?" He asked me.

"Yeah. He kinda mentioned it." I said.

"Kinda mentioned it, huh?" Sean grinned. "I take it that means that you heard the royally screwed up monster movie version of it, then." He smiled over at Ryan, and I attempted to work up a somewhat halfhearted grin of my own. "Honestly, Randy, I promise you that I'm not as bad as he says. I's not like I wanted to hurt him. We had our time together, and it was a lot of fun. Things just didn't work out."

"That's kinda what I figured." Ryan said, which almost stung a little bit Ryan doesn't know anything ABOUT Cody to just jump on Sean's side like that. Then again, to be fair, I don't know much about Sean to instantly take Cody's side either.

Sean said, almost sarcastically, "In case you haven't noticed, Cody has a tendency to hold a grudge."

"Yeah...I guess." I said quietly. It felt like a betrayal even sitting here with him. I can't explain why, it just...felt that way.

"I mean, come on, this is high school. That's how things are supposed to work around here. Right?" Sean added. "I mean, come on. How many people actually grow up and marry their high school sweetheart, you know? If I went my whole academic career and only had ONE boyfriend, I'd wanna kill myself." The comment lingered over the table in silence like a thick cloud of smoke as he took a sip of his drink. Ryan's eyes met mine for a second from across the table, and we both looked away at the same time. I think the pause in conversation got Sean's attention, and he instantly put his soda down. "Oh wow...I didn't mean...shit, are you guys, like...'firt timers'?" He asked.

Ryan blushed a bit and said, "Yeah, I guess you could say that."

Sean playfully cringed for a second. "Yikes. Sorry, hehehe. I didn't know. I kinda thought...well, I mean you two really do have a 'choice' selection of boys in this place. I would have thought the two of you would have burned through at least half of them by now." He grinned when we didn't respond to the awkwardness of the situation. More awkward for me than for Ryan apparently, but awkward nonetheless. " know, don't mind me. You guys are happy with each other. That' know...'cute'."

'Cute'? Did he just say our loving and faithful relationship was 'cute'?

It was something that I never really got from Sean before, and I'm sure that a lot of it was Cody's not-so-subtle brainwashing...but there was definitely an aspect of Sean's personality that rubbed me the wrong way. It wasn't anything blatant, nothing I could put my finger on. But somewhere, hidden behind his soft-spoken comments, and the way he tossed his floppy blond hair around...was a 'slickness' that I didn't really like.

Ryan smiled at me, and said, "Actually, Randy and I are making some plans for next week. We're going out on our first real 'date' once finals are over."

"Awww, that's adorable." Sean said. "Well, I hope it's a good time for both of you. My first date was a disaster. The other boy was really afraid of being gay, and he was scared to be seen with me so we had to go waaaaaay out to another town just to have dinner, and he was looking over his shoulder the whole was a disaster. Not to mention, we had, like, zero in common with each other."

"Hehehe, so what happened?" Ryan giggled. I just kept my head down and focused on my lunch, listening to bits and pieces of his story as he went on.

"Well, by the end of the date, I was pretty much fed up with him and would have ended it right then and there. But he And I had been waiting forever to get a piece of him. So I ended up going out with him a second time, just so we could make out. And the third time...jackpot."

"You banged him?" Ryan asked.

"You're damn right, I banged him! I told you, he was hot! Plus he was one of those really sweet and squeaky clean Christian I felt like I was getting bonus points for turning him out, you know? Hehehe!" Sean went on and on, and I just sat there, trying NOT to be as invisible as I felt at that moment. "Ryan, dude...he had the TIGHTEST ass I've ever seen! But boy did he love giving it up to me. He's definitely one of my top five greatest lays of all time." Ryan seemed...impressed. What's so impressive about using some other boy for sex just because he's cute? "Anyway, I dumped him a week later. But we had some really hot times, me and him. I wonder if he's got another boyfriend by now? I wish I still had his number. I would totally go back for an instant replay of that first time."

"Dude, that's awesome." Ryan was smiling at him, and I bothered me already.

"Well, that's what I'm talking about. Sex is everywhere,and there are TONS of cute guys out there who want it and lots of it. So what's the big deal? Me AND that other kid both have a hot story to tell now, and we might never even run into each other again, but it doesn't take anything away from those few weeks when we were naked and sucking each other senseless. That boy probably knelt before ME more than he has an altar at church, believe me! Hehehe!" That's when Sean's eyes glanced over at me again, and with a sly smile he said, "But, you know...that's just me. The ultimate goal, of course, is to be like you two. All snuggly and sugar sweet together...forever." He snickered a bit, nudging Ryan's arm and, much to my amazement, Ryan giggled a bit too. I gave Ryan a look, and it almost seemed like he had no idea what was wrong with him doing that.

"What?" He asked me, and with Sean sitting right there, I just didn't say anything. I actually felt the impulsive need to just shrug my shoulders and shake my head.

"Nothing." I said. Why did I say that? To be polite? It wasn't nothing...he's making fun of us being...'exclusive'.

Sean looked me in the eye, and said, "I think Randy's just a little sensitive about my teasing, that's all."

"No, I'm not. I get it. I'm just...I'm thinking about something else, that's all." I lied.

"'re not really taking him seriously, are you? Sean's just kidding." Ryan asked me, and I lied again, this time with a more convincing smile.

"Yeah, I knew that. Psh! Hehehe, really, my mind's just elsewhere."

"Well...just in case you DID take me seriously..." Sean continued, "You have nothing to worry about. If I thought I had any chance with Ryan whatsoever, he would have been the FIRST boy that I went after. So you're safe."

Ryan playfully gave him a shove, and Sean grinned as he pushed him back. "'re always saying shit like that."

"It's TRUE! You're not 'just hot', you know? I was beginning to think that the whole total package concept didn't exist in the gay community. You, like, disprove that 100 times over." Sean told him. "Randy, if I had someone as amazing and as...SEXY as Ryan is, I'd make him my one and only too. Believe me." I tried to give Sean a smile, but it was getting harder and harder by the second. Especially when he added, "It just sucks that you're keeping him off the market for the rest of us. It's a tragedy, really."

I stopped eating at this point, and put my sandwich back down. I seriously wanted this lunch period to be over. Like...NOW! Ryan looked at my face, and knowing me better than anyone else on the planet, he stopped his overly flattered giggles for a moment. "Uhh...ok, Sean, that's enough, dude"

"Hehehe, what?" He said, still gently poking Ryan in the ribs.

"No...dude, really. C'mon, stop. Ok?" Ryan was being as nice about it as he could, but he sorta shrugged away from Sean and put a stop to the fooling around. Sean wrinkled up his forehead for a moment and they both looked at me.

Sean understood immediately. "Ohhh, I get it. The boyfriend is a bit jealous."

"No, it's just..." Ryan gave me another glance, "...It's not cool. Really K?"

"I'm sorry, Randy. Honestly, it's just a game we play sometimes. That's all." Sean assured me. "Ryan, you too. Sorry. I crossed the line, I guess. I'll behave."

Shortly after that, the bell rang, and I was never so happy to go back to class. Was I thinking too much again? Was my mind working overtime, allowing my stupid insecurities get the best of me when they shouldn't? It was so hard to tell sometimes, but I tried to keep my balance regardless. Somewhere between 'jealous boyfriend', 'paranoid idiot', and gullible victim'...were my true feelings about Sean's apparent closeness to the love of my life. And I wasn't sure what those feelings were. At least not yet.

We threw our garbage out, and Ryan and I were walking together as Sean caught up to us. he still HERE? "So, are you guys still coming to the carnival over Spring Break? We'll bring some friends, make a day out of it!"

"I'm definitely gonna be there. Wouldn't miss it for the world." Ryan replied, and Sean didn't even really bother asking me if I was going too.

"Cool! It'll be awesome!" He said, and was ready to walk off with Ryan to their fancy little drama class together. Where they could engage in their little 'game' some more without me around to interfere. Great.

Ryan stayed back with me for a second, and told Sean, "You know what? Umm..go ahead, I'll meet you there in a bit. I just wanna talk to Randy for a second."

"Sure thing. Talk to you later, Randy." He said cheerfully, and I tried not to 'gag' as I waved him off to class.

When I looked back at Ryan's eyes, he was giggling to himself. "What?" I asked him.

"You are REALLY not good at hiding your emotions, you know that?" He snickered.

"I'm sorry, he's just...he's all 'look at me...I'm gorgeous and sleep with lots of people'. Blah blah blah, good for you." I said, a slightly pouty tone in my voice.

"Come on, Randy, he's not that bad."

"Well, I'm sure YOU don't think so. I mean if he pad you one more 'sexy' compliment, I was gonna get up from the table and leave you two to be alone."

"Hey hey, now..." Ryan said, pulling me to the side for a moment, and ducking his head down a bit to look me in the eye. "...Randy? Look at me." I hesitantly connected my eyes with his, and he said, "I'm not going anywhere. Ok? I promise. That's just Sean's sense of humor. He's got enough boys chasing after him to worry about me. And besides, I already know what my number one pick is. And if he'd stop worrying so much, he'd see that." Ryan said, and his bright hazel eyes glowed with an honesty that I knew that I could trust. Trust, and fall in love with all over again, with the beginning of each new day. "Ok?"

"You suck for being so special, you know that?" I said.

"Damn right, I do." Ryan giggled. "Now, if you'll excuse me...I'm gonna let Sean give me a blowjob."

I immediately punched Ryan in the arm! "ASSHOLE! Hehehe!"

"Owww, GENTLE, gentle! Geez!" And he gave me a wink as he turned to go off to class. I'd be lying if I said that his comments put me completely at ease...but it did make me feel a lot better. A LOT! Like I said before, it might just be Cody's warnings making me look at Sean in such a negative light. But between my watchful eye, and Ryan's loving devotion, I'm sure things will be alright. I'm sure of it.

"I take it that you had an 'interesting' lunch period?" Came a voice from behind me, and I saw Cody and his sister, Ronnie, coming out of the lunchroom together. I started to say hello to Ronnie, but she turned and walked in the other direction before saying a word. Cody said, "Don't mind her. She's got detention after school today because she told her creative writing teacher she was an idiot. The ego's in this place? I didn't even know teachers could GIVE detention for that kinda thing." He smiled, and smiled along with him...but it didn't last long. Cody walked beside me for a few steps before saying, "I know that look."

"What look?"

"Gee, I don't know. Worry. Doubt. Self consciousness. I've seen it before It's usually floating on the waves in the wake of hurricane Sean as he enters anybody's life." He said.

"No. No, it's not that. Really. I don't have anything to worry about. He flirts a lot, sure, but it's harmless."

"When have you ever known flirting to be harmless, Randy?" He said with a tilted smirk. "Listen to me, k? If something about Sean set your inner alarm off, trust your instincts. Don't swallow it and pretend like it doesn't matter, because it does."

"No, really...Sean isn't that bad." What if Cody really is just holding a grudge? What if I've got this all backwards? "Ryan and Sean have a class together, and Ryan's just naturally accepting of new faces. Just like I am. I mean...they're friends, you know? I can't just jump on him every time he makes a suggestive comment."

"Dude...don't you get it?" Cody said, shaking his head and giving me a serious look. "That's the magic trick. This is what he does. He makes all the moves right in front of your face to keep him from looking like he was sneaking around behind your back. He's an expert at making this whole thing look 'accidental' and innocent. Like he never meant for any of it to happen. But he really DOES, Randy. And in the meantime, you look like an idiot for trying to block him from making little 'harmless comments' to your boyfriend, while Ryan just keeps sucking it up like it's all a game." He told me. "Trust me. I've been through this before, ok? I know what I'm talking about. That's who Sean is, Randy. He does all the 'dirt' and makes YOU look like the bad guy while he's doing it." I don't think I've ever seen such a look of 'concern' on Cody's face before. He really did believe what he was telling me. " were..sighhhh, 'nice' to me in this place when nobody else was. And I wouldn't lie to you about this. GUARD your boyfriend around him, ok? The SECOND Sean finds an angle...he'll move in on him. And he'll win if you're not prepared for it." He told me. And then he patted me on the back as he started to walk off to go to his locker. "Just looking out for you, bud. You don't deserve the kind of heartache I've been through." And with that, he was gone. Mixed into the crowd while I was left standing there wondering just how 'stable' a foundation I was standing on.

Part of me wanted to believe that me and Ryan were beyond ok. Another part of me wanted to accept Sean as a threat and take care of him before anything got out of hand. But until I knew for sure...I was stuck. Completely stuck. And I was going to have to play this out like a pro if I wanted to match wits with the blond prince spending time with my boyfriend when I wasn't around.

I might need Cody's help more than I thought on this one.

I hope you all enjoyed the return of "New Kid In School" for the site's TENTH ANNIVERSARY Summer! Expect a LOT more soon! There's plenty more to go! Hehehe! Let me know what you think at or just stop by my website at and say hello! Seezya soon! :)