"Where have you been?" Toby asked, as
I walked into the kitchen the following afternoon.
"I was at the twins' house," I
replied. I didn't think there was any need to tell him yet what
had happened between me and Ben.
"What the hell happened here
yesterday?" he asked. "When I got home this morning to say goodbye to
Ryan before he left for baseball camp, he was a mess."
Surprisingly, I was glad to hear that ... that Ryan actually felt something, for a change. Or at
least acted like it.
"Hmmm, let's see," I started, making a dramatic pause and scratching my
chin. Then I continued.
"Oh, yeah ... the police called, and they caught the guy who
attacked me, so I had to go down there by myself to identify his
picture and talk with the assistant D.A. The assistant D.A. turns out
to be Sally Bolero's mother, who informed me that your wonderful
brother, my ex-boyfriend, is now dating her daughter. Then, I came
home, trashed Ryan's door, screamed at him, and then went over to see
Ben and Derek. I think that about covers it."
I didn't mean to come off sounding so sarcastic, but it was a long and
complicated story, and I wasn't exactly eager to go through it all
again. Especially not right after I got in the door from having a
darn good night, despite all of the shit that I'd had to deal with the
"Shit," Toby muttered.
"Yeah, well, shit does tend to happen," I replied.
"I mean ... Sally Bolero," Toby said, turning red and looking slightly
"What about her?" I asked, arching an eyebrow.
"It wasn't what you're thinking, Connor," Toby blurted out.
"What?!" I practically shouted. "You mean, you knew about that? And you
didn't even tell me? Jesus Christ, Toby!"
Hell, I could deal with Ryan keeping things from me. He hadn't talked
to me for a whole month. But Toby? That was like getting yet another
knife driven into my back.
"Connor, please, just listen to me," Toby pleaded.
"Well, whatever you have to say, Toby, you'd better say it fast," I
said. "I think I'll be on my way back to the twins' house pretty soon."
"Sally Bolero asked him to go hang out, so he said yes. He said he
didn't think it was a 'date' until she tried to kiss him, and he told
her he wasn't interested. He told me about it that night, and I thought
it would be better not to tell you because you'd been upset enough as
it is, and nothing really happened. It was just all a big
"Well, whatever," I sighed. "It doesn't matter anyway. Ryan can do
whatever he wants. I've moved on."
"What did you say to him yesterday?" Toby asked. "I haven't seen him so
upset in a really long time."
"I think I made some sort of remark about his ADD and being retarded or
something," I replied, starting to feel guilty all over again for
having crossed that line.
"Why in the hell did you do that?" Toby asked, raising his voice again.
"You know how sensitive he is about that."
"So now you're defending him?" I shouted back.
"I'm not defending anyone, Connor!" Toby retorted. "He's my brother,
and I love him. I don't like seeing him get hurt. I love you, too, and
what he did to you was beyond wrong, but as my mom always loves to tell
me, 'two wrongs don't make a right.'"
"Yeah, well, I said it, and I regret it, ok?" I said, shrugging my
shoulders. "I'll apologize to him when he gets back. I know it was
wrong. But I was pissed, and wasn't exactly in the mood to hear his
little explanation about Sally Bolero."
"There is definitely way too much drama in this house," Toby sighed.
"Tell me about it," I agreed.
"Wait a minute," Toby said, perking up again. "What exactly did you
mean when you said you've already 'moved on'?"
Might as well get this over with now,
Connor, I thought to myself.
"Ben and I," I answered.
"Holy shit!" Toby gasped, appearing scandalized. "You turned Ben gay?
And you're together now?"
"We're not exactly 'together'
together ... yet," I replied. "And I don't think I turned Ben anything.
He's been flirting with me for a while now, and I just decided to flirt
back. We're gonna take things slow and see what happens."
"Good God almighty," Toby sighed, shaking his head. "This is really