Sparkling Combustion

Part 23

This hasn't been edited, I apologize for any mistakes.

So perhaps, on Monday I was a little happier than normal. Maybe it was in direct correlation to my date with Robert. Whatever the reason, I was lighter, and Laura had definitely noticed.

"You're in a good mood today." She observed at lunch.

"I'm always in a good mood." I said, laughing.

"Oh, that is so not true." Josh said, and then winked at Laura. "It was because of your date yesterday. What'd I say,


"That I'd like him." I replied.

"See, Laura, he had a great time." Josh told her.

Laura hadn't been entirely approving of my decision to accept going on a date with Rob. She maintained a neutral, safe expression on her face. "I just think it's wrong to do that to Rob. Also for you to make Kyle go out with someone when..." Laura blushed.

"Yeah, yeah, when I'm still hung up on you-know-who." I finished for her, rolling my eyes. We all had trouble broaching that particular subject, though I could hardly fathom why. After all, we told each other everything, gory gruesome details and all.

"So did you love him or what?" Josh asked, smirking.

"Uh, he was nice."I agreed.

Laura gave the both of us disapproving looks, muttering something that sounding a lot like, "Boys are so stupid."

"So how am I a bad friend? It's not like he hated it or anything. Tell me, Laura." Josh demanded.

"I refuse to say anything else on this matter. I still think Kyle should at least talk to Rob about it if he plans to see him again." They both turned to me. "Well, do you?" It was a downright demand.

"Huh?" I recoiled slightly.

"Do you plan on seeing him again?" Laura wondered impatiently.

"Oh, um, maybe." I replied.

"Maybe? Maybe?" Josh exclaimed.

"Yes, he said maybe, Josh." Laura replied. "Maybe means maybe."

"I thought he was great?" Josh speculated.

"He was but I just don't know if I want to date him. I just promised you one date right..."

"Uh, yeah, but I figured you'd at least go out with him again. He, uh, said--."

"He talked to you about me?" I was suddenly alert.

"Yeah, I talked to him this morning. He said he really liked you and was looking forward to seeing you again."

I groaned. "I really don't need this again. Nathan and Ryan were enough for a while. I mean come on..."

"But you said you liked him." Laura said, although she was smirking slightly.

"I do, he's a great guy, I like him a lot but I don't know if I want to go out with him." I don't know why part of me craved the attention and another part of me didn't. That part wanted nothing to do with Robert Dietrich in a romantic way.

"Oh, well, he'll be disappointed." Josh said.

"Why are you so bent on having Kyle date Robert anyway and what's with you pushing him into things lately?" Both Laura and I were now watching Josh, waiting for his answer.

"Um, well, I don't know...I just want my friend to be happy again and have a good time..."

Laura rolled her eyes. "Some friend you are..."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Break it up. Again...seriously, how often do you two argue? Don't answer that." I added as they both opened their mouths. Strangely enough, they listened to me that time.

"How about this, Josh, I let him call me and then I can decide if I want to see him again, okay? Thanks for setting me up but you're not my pimp or my father, so I can decide myself, now." I sighed.

"Ouch." Josh said.

"Major burn!" Laura added.

"Yeah, whatever."

"It's okay, I still love you, man." Only Josh could get away with saying that with all the confidence of someone into his prime and aware of his effect, and not just a teenager.

When Rob called me later that very lunch period and asked me if I wanted to go out with him again sometime, I found myself agreeing. Robert was calm, safe. I discovered that I really did want to see him again. So I said yes, and we agreed to meet for coffee later.

My mom was supposed to pick me up after school that day, so I waited by the front. The halls had emptied out really fast as usual and I didn't see very many people. I sat on the front steps for a while, appreciating the changing weather. I wore a spring jacket because of the slight chill but otherwise, everything looked so fresh, clean and bright today. Feeling rather cheery still, I stupidly smiled to myself.

While I sat there, people walked to and fro, coming out of the school, bounding down the steps and settling into cars or walking to the bus stop. It was a Monday, and it seemed the running club was starting up again because several people were already out heading for their run around the area of the school.

Ryan came walking down the steps, clearly not seeing me, heading for his car. He was talking to Zach, who veered off in the opposite direction midway, clearly heading for the bus-stop.

"Ryan!" I called out just as he passed by.

He turned around, looking for a fraction of a second before his green eyes settled on me. His face broke into a smile. "Oh, hey." He said. "Didn't see you."

"Yeah, I figured."I mumbled. "So, how was your weekend?"

"It was alright." He said. "I had a ton of work to do, but I managed to get some free time."

"Yeah, same. All of my things were due today, so I can relax." I said happily.

"Awesome. Yeah, me too. Hey, I have no homework tonight anyway, why not hang out?" He proposed. He looked so absolutely sexy today, I had to appreciate. His hair was a bit on the long side again and the white looked great against his golden skin. I sighed.

"I'd like to, but I sort of have plans." I said apologetically.

"Oh, it's okay." Ryan shrugged, small smile on his face. "So, what are you up to? Hot date?" He laughed.

I blushed. "Um, nothing really."

"Wow, who's he? Jeremy?" Ryan asked, looking quizzical. Apparently the blood pooling to my face gave me away there...

Fuck my life; why'd I have to fall for someone so damned perfect? Why was I going out for Coffee with Robert again? Oh, yeah, he was a great guy. Remember, Kyle, he was nice and sweet and really cute, I told myself. Ryan was just way out of my league and I happened to be the wrong gender. Get that into your head!

"Nope, uh, not Jeremy. Jeremy's like one of my best friends, Ryan, remember?" I frowned.

"Oh yeah." Ryan said, although he didn't sound particularly apologetic.

"Yeah." I said, feeling lame. I realized I was sitting and decided to stand instead. "It's um, someone Josh set me up with. One of his friends."

"Ah." Ryan said, putting his hands in his front pockets. "Well, I'm happy for you."

I found it hard to smile suddenly. "Um, thanks. Yeah, he's great."I held my chin up.

"Just be safe, you know?" Ryan reminded me.

"Excuse me?" I said.

"Oh, well, uh," Ryan gestured toward my arm."You, know, the time I came over and that guy had hurt you..." He trailed off, staring past me for a moment as if he found it difficult to look at me.

"I was fine." I said, rolling my eyes.

"Yeah, well, I'm just saying." Ryan told me, and then shocked me by asking. "So do you like him, this... Robert?" He said the name as if it were something foreign.

It was entirely unusual for me to be hearing Ryan asking me a question about my love life like this. I was slightly taken aback. "Oh, well, yeah...yeah, I like him."

"Well, that's good." Ryan concluded. "I'm glad you like him, and you think he likes you? Well, obviously, if you're seeing him tonight." Ryan chuckled a bit awkwardly, deciding it was a stupid question. He didn't seem to want to look me in the eye at the moment, so I took it upon my liberty to peruse his form.

"Yeah." I laughed.

"I'm glad, you know?" Ryan said, looking me in the eye now. "That you've found someone who can that for you. You seemed happy today." Ryan added, and then coughed lightly.

"Um, you okay, man? You look kind of tense and you're sweating a little," I peered at his forehead.

"Oh, yeah," Ryan laughed, "I'm fine." He wiped his forehead on the back of his sleeve. "It's the heat all of a sudden. I should get out of this jacket, it's stifling." He added.

"Okay. Well, you want a ride or anything?" Ryan asked after a moment, sighing.

"Nah, I'm good. My mom's picking me up." I informed him.

"Well, great. I better go now." He said. "Uh, have a good time on your date." He smiled.

"Thanks." I said, and then watched as his gorgeous muscular figure made its way down the steps and to his car.

He looked back once, and smiled.

I sighed. The world seemed right again.


"Shit." I muttered, pulling out my planner and looking at tomorrow's date. "Fuck, fuck, fuck."

"Language, Kyle!" My mom called out. I'd left my door open. I rolled my eyes and kicked it shut. How could I have missed seeing that I had a history report due tomorrow? I sat down at my desk and dragged my fingers through my hair, which was too short to grip easily at the moment. Suddenly my cream white walls felt like they were a hazy, fogged up grey.

I slid my phone out and dialed Rob's number. It was ringing, I waited a breath for him to pick up and half-hoped he wouldn't. Then I'd have to show up or else it would seem like I was standing him up. Another part of me was relieved that I couldn't go.

"Hey." I said. "This is Kyle." As soon he picked up.

"Hey, Kyle, couldn't wait to see me in a few, eh?" Rob said.

"Listen," I said, wincing, "About that, It complete escaped me, but I actually have a report due tomorrow that I need to get working on."

"Oh, dude, no..." Rob said, dejectedly. "Are you doing what I think you're doing?"

"Yeah, sorry, I'm really not going to be able to make it. I really wanted to go, but, well, this is important you know? Not that it's painful enough having to write it anyway, but now I gotta stay in."

"I feel your pain, man." Rob agreed. "What's the report on?"

"Neolithic Megaliths." I responded.

"Ah, world-history?" He asked.

"Yep." I said. "Should be fun..."

"Hey, why don't I help you?"

"Nah, man, I couldn't ask that."

"No, it's cool; I took world-history in grade eleven." Robert said, enlightening me. I had no idea he was in grade twelve and not grade eleven.

"Well, only if you want..." I said. Only Laura would find the idea of bonding and getting to know each other over an excellent essay on Neolithic megaliths romantic. I for one, would rather do something fun.

"Yeah, it's fine." He told me. "Just give me directions and I'll be over in a few."

"Great." I said, and complied.

True to his word, Rob was over in just a few minutes (he had his own car). My parents never minded when I had friends over, so they greeted him happily, although this time I got a few curious looks from my mother. She smiled at me and told me if we needed anything to ask. Smart woman...

"Kyle never does his homework," My mother felt the need to say, and then added, "It's good that you two are going to be so dedicated to school-work together." She winked.

Rob was as respectful as ever. "You bet. I don't mind helping Kyle at all. I had to do something similar last year."

I felt an urge to roll my eyes at Rob's thoughtfulness and rather cheesy response but I restrained myself and we made our way upstairs. Rob was easy to work with and didn't distract me often. We worked well together. He helped me form an outline and then I typed up the report with minimal aid from him while he flipped through a book on my bed. As great looking as he was, and as much as I liked him, it felt more like friendship to me, but then again the only real experience I'd had was with Nathan and Ryan and neither had been too great.

I typed up the last sentence on the screen two hours later, and stretched. "Done!"

"Yeah? Want me to check it over?" Rob got up from my bed and padded over, peering across my shoulder at the screen.

"I'm good." I said. "Once I get the outline done, it's fairly easy for me to put it all together."

"Yeah? I usually just sit down and type without an outline. They never help."

"Opposites." I said.

"Attract." He added.

I chuckled and stood. I wasn't too sure about that one...

"So..." Rob said from behind me. I felt his hands settle on my hips. His lips rested against my ear.

"Oh." I resisted the urge to move away. "Hey there."

"Hi," Rob chuckled. "I'm glad you're finally done. I've been watching you all evening and you looked so cute."

"Ah..." I managed to get out.

"Do you mind? I know some people don't like it. I'm just a touchy feely sorta person." He said.

"Oh,um, I'm fine." I said, and yet I managed to wriggle free using the excuse of needing to face him. He kissed me. He didn't give me any warning, there was no question asked this time, no statement made. He just leaned across and kissed me. I kissed him back. It was nice. It was more than nice. It was wonderful; He was a great kisser.

I reached out and cupped his cheek, angling my head so I could run my tongue along the seam of his mouth. He sighed and leaned into me, fingers curling into my hips and pulling forward, other hand reaching out and fisting in my hair.

And as suddenly as he had begun it, he ended it.

"Sorry." He said. "I just felt like doing that."

"It's okay." I replied. I sat down on the edge of my bed. Rob mimicked me.

"I just don't meet a lot of really nice, really cute gay boys like you." Rob said, smiling. "Not many gay boys running around."

I grinned. "Thanks, and you'd be surprised."

"Yeah?" Rob frowned. "I think Josh mentioned that you had a few gay friends."

I laughed. "Yeah, Nathan and Jeremy. Jeremy's bisexual though, and Laura is a lesbian. Oh and I've also had sort of a thing with a straight boy this year." It was much easier telling someone who was indifferent about it. It actually seemed funny.

Rob's eyebrows were in his hair. "Wow. Damn, that's a lot to be going on," He said. "And now you meet me. I'd love to meet these other gay and bisexual boys. Oh, and Laura too. The straight guy too, why not?"

I laughed. "And surprisingly, Nathan also had a bit of a thing for me."

"So Nathan had a thing for you, but you had a thing for the straight boy?"

"Ryan, yes." I said.

"Ah, Ryan."

"Yep..." I said. Rob placed his hand on mine where it rested on the bed.

"I wondered why you were so...well off when I kissed you." Rob said with a smile.

"I was off?" I frowned.

"Not like bad," He corrected gently, "Just that you seemed a bit distant. It was like kissing a person who's thinking really hard about what they should do next, you know? Instead of just feeling it and going for it."

"Ah," I said guiltily, "I confess."

He grinned. "It's alright. I get it, man. Ryan must be one hell of a straight boy."

"No that's not--." But he gave me a look that said plainly, `come on, what do you think I am, three years old?', and so I changed routes. "Okay, okay. I'm in love with him."

Rob smiled a little forlornly. "Hey, it's cool. I really like you and stuff but we can be friends."

I winced. "Ouch."

"Yeah, dude, I don't want to get mixed up with you if you're in love with someone. Frankly, from your body language, I don't think you do either. I'm not much of a masochist."

"I do, but I don't. Get it?" I said with a certain degree of exasperation.

"Yeah, I totally get it." He assured me, patting my shoulder. "Relax."

"I feel really bad." I said.

"Don't. You're a great guy but I'm not in love with you or anything." He laughed.

"Good." I said. "I've had enough drama lately."

Rob laughed. "Oh yeah, you and your gay boys' drama. So tell me about this Ryan."

I sighed. "Where to begin?"

"That bad?"

"That bad." I confirmed. "I'm getting better, though." I conceded. "Although at times I feel like I'm in some sort of gay soap opera that has no real point."

"That's good to hear. Well, the fact that you're getting better."

I smiled. "You'll love my friends."

"Yeah? I already know Josh and I've heard about Laura. Nathan and Jeremy and even Ryan should be fun to meet. But you know, we could do the classic, make your man jealous thing." Rob winked.

I groaned. "You're like another Josh."

"So no?"

"Definitely no. I'm not some jealous lover and I don't want something if it means lying and cheating to get it. Really what's the point in being with someone unless they want you too?"

"Touché. When do I get to meet your friends?"

I grinned. "We'll see. Sometime soon, maybe."

"Okay, so what's this Ryan look like?" Robert asked, chuckling.

I threw a pillow at him, and that was that.


Okay, So I've been busy lately with school. Things have been really intense and that's why I didn't get a chance to update. Hope you all liked this chapter, and I never tire of hearing from you! Oh, and I'm sorry if I haven't responded to your email yet, I promise I will, I'm just a little behind at the moment! as always.