This story involves sexual contact and male/male relationships. If this is something that you find offensive, you have no business being here and need to leave now. If you are under the age of 18 or not of legal age in your area, GET OUT. If this content is illegal in your area LEAVE.

This story is property of the author and is not to be copied or posted elsewhere without written permission of the author. All characters and plot lines are fictional. Any resemblance is strictly coincidental and should be noted as such.

Anyone else, have a good read. Feedback is always appreciated.

CHAPTER THREE: Before the Party

I was shocked. Troy??? As in Troy Harrington? As in Troy, the-only-boy-I-had-ever-slept-with? My mind raced. What should I do? What should I do? I contemplated hanging up.

"Don't hang up," said the voice on the other side.

I jerked at the vehemence of the command and cast a suspicious glance around my room. Was he watching me? Get a grip, I told myself.

"Liam," Troy said when I continued to remain silent. At the sound of my name I was brought out of my paranoid thoughts.

I wanted to say something, anything, but I only found myself mute. I had a year's worth of words but they were nowhere to be found. There were so many things I wanted to say, but my voice was lodged in my throat. Things I had accumulated in my hurt and anger, questions that I had waited months to ask. Now was the perfect opportunity, but for some reason I couldn't speak.

I wished I could talk so that I could come up with something vicious. I wanted to say something cutting and mean, something that would hurt him the way that he had hurt me. But that wasn't me, and I wasn't good at these things. I wasn't the kind of guy that would say something intentionally hurtful. Even if it was necessary, even if the person deserved it. That's why I could never really articulate how I felt, for fear of hurting someone's feelings. I considered just hanging up the phone and ending it once and for all, but something held me back.

"Liam?" Troy asked. I shook off my shock.

"What -," I began, but my voice squeaked. Clearing my throat, I tried again. "What do you want?" I asked in the most hostile voice I could muster.

Good, I thought, giving myself a mental pat on the back. That oughtta teach him.

I was just settling into smugness when Troy's next comment caught me off guard.

"I have to see you," Troy said.

What?!? my mind screamed. I scrambled for something to say as my mind flashed back to the last time that he and I had been alone together. My heartbeat quickened just a little more and I cursed myself for being so easy.

"I don't think that's a good idea," I said.

What could he possibly need to see me for, I wondered? He probably thought he could come over and get a little nooky and I would be happy to spread my legs for him. Well, that was just too damn bad. After not hearing from him for a year, it was pretty random for him to just call me out of the blue and expect that I would be game for whatever he had planned.

"I need to talk to you," Troy said, and this time he sounded a little more desperate.

Despite myself, my interest was peaked. There was a voice in the back of my head telling me not to say yes, and assuring me that if I did I would regret it.

"No," I said.

"Please," Troy said softly, and that was it: my resistance shattered.

Why is it that we never listen to that voice? The voice we know is right. The voice that will eventually end up saying "I told you so". I knew that I was making a mistake, even as I made it. I knew that I'd be sorry, but I heard myself say it anyway. I wanted to say no. My head was screaming for me to say no, but instead I heard myself utter the one damning word, "Okay."


Twenty minutes had passed since the phone call and I was pacing my room like a lunatic. I couldn't sit still. Why had I said it was okay for him to come over? Why? I had done a few stupid things in my life, like sleeping with Troy for example, but I had a feeling that this would trump them all.

It's like the saying goes: `Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me', or something to that effect. Needless to say, I was about to be shamed. It was upsetting to discover that after an entire year, I hadn't learned my lesson and I was just as weak as I had always been where Troy was concerned.

What was wrong with me? Was I a glutton for punishment? Humiliation? Apparently so. All I had to do was say "no". A simple, two-letter word signifying refusal. But I couldn't do it. And now Troy Harrington, the Troy Harrington, was headed over to my house. What was I going to do?

The minute I had hung up the phone, I had sat still in shock for about two seconds before I jumped out of bed and started rifling through my wardrobe for something to wear. I tried on six different pairs of jeans before I came to my senses. What was I getting dressed up for? Why should I care what Troy thought of my appearance?

I put back on what I was originally wearing, slacks and a polo shirt. I popped my collar, ran my fingers roughly through my hair and put on a little Axe body spray. Just because I had decided that I wasn't going to try and impress Troy didn't mean I had to look like a homeless bum either.

I looked at my watch. Twenty-five minutes had passed. Where was he? It didn't take that long to get to my house. I was starting to get an attack of nerves waiting in my bedroom. What could be taking him so long? He was still coming, right? And then I had a thought. Maybe he wasn't coming after all. I told myself not to feel disappointed. It was better off this way. And it wouldn't be the first time he had backed out of plans. I should have learned from experience that his word couldn't be trusted.

Suddenly I felt angry. Who the fuck did Troy think he was? What right did he have to ask anything of me after all this time? And to blow me off on top of it! I couldn't believe that he was going to do it to me again. It was just like the time he had promised to call, a year ago. And I fell for it ... again. There was something seriously wrong with me. I shouldn't allow myself to be treated this way.

I needed to get out of the house. I was no longer sleepy and maybe a drive somewhere would help me clear my thoughts. I grabbed my keys, my jacket and my wallet and headed down the stairs. I wasn't sure where I would go, but I didn't want to stay in the house any longer where I was constantly being reminded of what a fool I was.

When I reached the front door and yanked it open to step outside, I found Troy standing at my doorstep with one arm raised, his hand curled in a fist as though he was just about to knock. I narrowly avoided running my face into his fist and I jerked back. I stared at him, frozen, for a minute, unable to say anything.

I took in his appearance. His hair was wet and slicked back, like he had just taken a shower and hadn't had time to dry his hair. He was wearing a form-fitting gray t-shirt and very worn blue jeans. The clothes fit his large, athletic body perfectly. I tried not to stare, but it was hard, considering that I remembered everything that was underneath those clothes with vivid clarity.

Troy also remained mute and returned the inspection, letting his eyes travel down my body. I knew that I looked good in my black striped polo and low riding slacks. Neither of us had said a word since I opened the door and I found myself at a loss for what to say. Instead, I watched Troy's gaze sharpen when he took in fact that I was wearing my jacket and carrying my car keys.

"Were you leaving?" Troy asked with a frown.

I felt a blush heat my cheeks because that was exactly what I had been doing. But, I couldn't tell him that. I didn't want to explain that I thought he had stood me up for the second time so I just kept quiet and looked away.

"I see," Troy said. I caught something in his voice ... sadness maybe?

I stepped aside in a gesture meant to invite him inside. He hesitated for only a second before stepping over the threshold and into the house. I shut the door behind him and then just waited for him to say something. I was acutely aware that I had been silent since his arrival, but I wasn't even sure what the visit was about, so I would wait before contributing.

Troy turned around and he and I faced each other less than three feet apart. It felt as though the air around us cackled. It was as though I was trapped inside with a wild lion. I was tense and my entire body was stiff. I felt the need to stay on my guard in case he tried something. One minute passed, and then another and we just continued to look at each other.

I decided to remove my jacket since it was obvious that I was no longer going anywhere. My movements were slightly awkward and Troy watched me silently as I hung my jacket up on a hook near the door. It had been a whole year since he had been in my house and it was definitely strange seeing him there. Prior to our sleeping together, he and I had not been particularly close to begin with. And we certainly weren't any closer now.

I was just about to ask him what was going on when he broke the silence.

"How have you been?" he finally asked.

I was surprised by the question and managed to say, "I've ... I've been okay. And you?"

"I'm alright," he responded.

It seemed like an odd conversation to be having. It was very ... fake. We fell back into another uncomfortable silence. I didn't know what to do, so I pointed to the couches, indicating that he should take a seat. I watched and waited to see which seat he chose and then carefully sat down across from him.

"Liam, I ... I," Troy began slowly.

My ears pricked up. There was something in his tone and expression. I knew that he was going to say something important. I thought that maybe, finally, he was going to tell me exactly what had happened last year and supply the rest of the story. I leaned forward in anticipation, and then I saw his face change. I knew the moment he substituted something else for what he had been about to say.

"I talked to Danny," he finished.

I tried not to let the disappointment creep into my tone when I said, "Oh?"

It was the second thing I had said since he had arrived and one of the few words I'd spoken. I didn't even know if `oh' constituted as a word, but at least it was something. And what was the big deal about him talking to Danny? To my knowledge, the two of them spoke every day. I wasn't sure where he was going with this, but the conversation was fast becoming confusing.

"Yeah," he said, "in fact, I talked to all the guys."

"Oookay," I said, and this time I didn't even try to hide the fact that I was confused as to what he was trying to say.

"The thing is ..." he hedged and shifted uncomfortably on the couch, "they want us to try and get along."

Suddenly, I knew where he was going with this. And I knew why he was here. He had come because of the guys. They had probably pressured him into doing it. They wanted Troy and I to make up and play nice. And Troy had obliged them. That irritated me beyond reason. He hadn't come here because he was truly sorry or contrite or regretful or even apologetic. He had come because of the guys and their incessant meddling.

That pissed me off. Knowing there was no way he would have come for me, because he had hurt me or because he missed me. No, he had come for Danny, Ian and Scott because he respected their wishes. I was the one he fucked, but they were the ones he listened to.

Troy was looking at me expectantly and suddenly I couldn't take it any more.

"You have a lot of nerve, do you know that?" I asked, getting to my feet. It was impossible for me to sit down any longer. "I don't hear from you for one whole year, and then all of a sudden you randomly call me up and ask me to come over."

Troy looked a little surprised because as I had spoken, my voice had risen and I was now yelling, but I didn't care. He was the one that had started this and I was determined to tell him what was on my mind.

"One year, Troy. One fucking year, and you never said a word to me. You never even looked at me! You just acted like I wasn't there. After everything we had done together. And now, all of a sudden, you expect me to welcome you with open arms?" I was now talking at the top of my voice, with my chest heaving and standing half way across the room.

Troy sat still on the couch, staring at me as though I had just morphed into something unimaginable. He clearly hadn't been expecting me to blow up as I did. In truth, I had surprised myself. I had anticipated many possible outcomes to this meeting, but letting Troy have it wasn't one of them. Still, I was glad I did it though. I already felt better. It was as though some weight had been lifted off my chest.

I gazed across the room at Troy waiting for him to respond to my accusations. I expected denials and refutations, but that was fine with me because I was almost itching for a fight. I waited and waited and still he said nothing. I was beginning to lose my anger high. Wasn't he going to say anything? Defend himself? Damn it, I wanted a fucking explanation for his behavior. I needed to know that he had a reason - a reason that I wasn't aware of - for his withdrawal.

Just when I thought I couldn't take his silence any more, he said, "You don't understand."

I blinked once, then twice, and asked, "Dude, what the fuck are you talking about? Cut the fucking bullshit and stop with this cryptic crap."

"Liam ..." he began, rising up from the couch.

"No," I said forcefully, placing a hand out in the air as if to keep him back. I needed us to maintain a distance. If he came close to me, touched me, I didn't know if I would be able to sustain my anger. And I needed my anger right now. It was my armor, my shield. Without it I was defenseless against Troy and his charms.

"Liam, I ..." he began again before he stopped again.

"What?" I asked, and then, "WHAT??" I yelled when there was no response.

Troy just continued to stare at me with a woeful expression on his face. He looked like he desperately wanted to say something, but as usual he wasn't going to say it. I felt myself deflate at the realization that I wasn't going to get any answers. My shoulders slumped and I looked at the floor.

"Just go," I said weakly.

"Liam ..."

"Please," I added. I didn't want to hear my name on his lips any more.

I turned around and faced the steps, silently dismissing him. I didn't want to see him leave. I waited to hear the front door open, signaling his departure. I felt like a wreck. Talking to him had brought so many emotions to the surface. I felt like crying, but I wasn't going to do that. Not just because crying was for losers, but also because I didn't want to cry over Troy. That would just be too much.

I bit down on the inside of my cheek hoping that the sting would help me keep myself collected until he left. But as I waited, I didn't hear anything and I wondered what he was hanging around for. Why didn't he just leave? I was about to turn around and ask him that very question when I felt a large, roughly callused hand brush my arm.

I jumped, but Troy anticipated the movement and grabbed my arm.

"Don't," I choked out.

"Liam," he whispered and the way he said my name sounded like a caress. "It was never my intention to hurt you."

My eyes slid shut and I wilted. Why did he have to go and say stuff like that? I had just made up my mind that he was a heartless jerk and now he had to come out with an APOLOGY? When it came to Troy, I never knew what he was going to say or do next. The boy was an anomaly.

His other hand slid under my arm and onto my torso until it was cupping my chest. Beneath his palm my traitorous nipple stiffened. His big body was pressed up against mine and I shook with something very similar to fear. I didn't know what was happening, what I was doing. I didn't want to think about it for fear of regaining my rationale.

Having Troy Harrington, the Troy Harrington, put his hands on me once again was unbelievable. My dick immediately got hard. I would have liked nothing more than to remain unaffected in his embrace but that was impossible. All Troy had to do was look at me a certain way and I felt faint. There was no doubt he knew how easy it would be for him to get into my pants again.

Troy pushed his face into the crook of my neck and inhaled deeply, giving me goose bumps. His hand began rubbing my arm and, despite my resolve to stay still, I moved, proving that immunity against Troy was impossible. After all this time, I still wanted him. Badly.

Troy's hips pushed forward and I felt the bulge in his pants. My mind immediately flashed back to the dream I had been having earlier and I unconsciously licked my lips. My dick continued to strain. I was so aroused that it almost hurt. Sometimes I seriously hated being a teenager; fucking hormones were nothing but trouble.

I hadn't had sex in a year. I was so horny I was in agony. And pressed up behind me was my fantasy. Of course my dick was going crazy. But what else was new? Troy and I both knew I couldn't control myself when he was around. And that's what made me push away; the knowledge that he could.

"Don't," I said again as I stepped forward, but there wasn't much conviction in my voice.

"Look at me," Troy said.

Suddenly the room felt small to me and there wasn't enough space. I couldn't get far enough away from him and his tempting body. I wanted him so badly it took everything I had not to turn around and ask him to do whatever he wanted with me.

Troy came around and stepped in front of me to try and get my attention. I looked everywhere but at him, and then finally settled on his shoes. I waited for him to do something, to grab me and kiss me. But, instead he surprised me and did nothing.

"Liam," he said after a time, "I won't touch you if you don't want me to."

What was this? I thought. What was he trying to say? Was this some sort of game? Was he asking for my permission? This was just like Troy. He knew just what to say to throw me off balance. I opened my mouth to say something, but nothing came out. Then it struck me that there was nothing I could say. If I said yes, then that would mean admitting that I still wanted him and if I said no, then he would leave. I didn't want that either.

I looked up and caught Troy staring at me expectantly. I tried again to speak.

"I ... it's ... it's okay," I heard myself say.

There was that friggin word again. Who knew a word as simple and mundane as `okay' could get someone into so much trouble? But every time that I said it, I was agreeing to something against my better judgment. The word also became incredibly dangerous and powerful when it had anything to do with Troy.

I watched the expressions on Troy's face change and I realized that what I had interpreted as cockiness had actually been apprehension. I hadn't realized it at the time, but he had been scared over what my answer would be. And now that I had agreed, I could see the relief in his eyes when he smiled and took a step closer to me. For some reason, my first instinct was to move away, but I caught myself in time before I did.

I wasn't scared - I was excited. Troy was close enough that I could smell him, and his clean, sexy scent reminded me of the last time we had been alone in my house. Now that he had my permission or acquiescence or whatever, Troy seemed content to take his time. He was just looking at me and I didn't know why. Sometimes he did that. He would just stare at me hard. I tried not to let it bother me, but it did. What was he looking at?

After a while, I ducked my head again and decided that I would just wait and see what he did. Troy leaned over and planted a soft kiss ... on my cheek. I didn't know what to make of that and just looked at him questioningly. He didn't seem bothered by my puzzled expression; in fact he had a huge smile on his face like a boy that had just been given the keys to a candy store.

He brought his hand up to my neck and curled it around, cupping my skin. His fingers slid into the hair at my nape and I shivered. Troy had such big hands. Before I knew what he was doing, he began pulling my face towards his own. My eyes slid shut just as our lips touched and I almost came right then and there. I knew that it was stupid, but I felt as though I could kiss Troy for all eternity.

I just liked him SOOO much. I had tried to tell myself that I didn't, but I knew now that it was stupid. Just having him kiss me made my head feel light and my feet feel heavy. It also made my cock feel hard. Rock hard. Troy's other arm came around my waist and he drew me close. He kissed me deeper, pushing his tongue past my lips and my head swam.

Suddenly, I no longer cared that it was Troy Harrington. I no longer cared that he had taken my virginity and then stopped speaking to me. None of that mattered to me. All that mattered was that he was here, and that he was kissing me. I never wanted it to end. I wasn't even sure what "it" was. Had I committed to sleeping with him again? Did this mean that we were fuck buddies?

Troy was kissing me really hard now. It was like he was trying to fit his entire head into my mouth. We were pressed against each other kissing like crazy and I loved it. I didn't have much experience with kissing, and I thought everything was going well until Troy pulled away.

"Kiss me back," he said, which confused me because I thought I was kissing him back.

"I am," I said.

Troy looked at me intensely for a moment before he kissed me again. This time he was twice as hungry. I could feel my lips bruising from the pressure. It was like he was looking for something from me but I didn't know what it was. When he leaned back a second time, I didn't give him the chance to say anything, I just followed his mouth with my own. He was startled and didn't respond for a moment, and then I felt his lips widen and realized that he was smiling.

I felt Troy's hands at the hem of my shirt, and the next thing I knew, he was stepping back and pulling my shirt over my head. When my torso was bared, he brought his hand up to my navel and used his index finger to poke my belly button. I glanced up at him incredulously and he chuckled.

"I couldn't resist," he said by way of explanation, "you have such a cute innie."

For some reason I blushed. Troy had never said anything like that to me before. Instead of responding, I grabbed a hold of his shirt and began drawing it up over his chest. He obliged me and raised his arms to help me get the item of clothing off quicker. When the shirt was gone, he slowly lowered his hefty arms and we both looked at one another.

We were going infinitely slower than the first time. I hadn't even really known him back then, but we had managed to get naked and jump into bed within minutes of him arriving at my house. I liked our pace better this time. We were kissing and I liked it. It felt intimate. I knew it sounded strange considering he had taken me in the most intimate way possible, but there was just something so erotic about the way we were kissing. It was deep and slow and thorough.

I could have stayed like that all day, but Troy had other ideas. Before I knew what was happening, Troy had tackled me onto the floor and landed on top of me with an "oomph". There was a brief struggle that ended with Troy straddling my body. I tried to escape, but he easily kept me in place.

"What are you doing?" I asked, frustrated that I couldn't get him off me.

"Getting ready to take advantage of you," he answered.

Unable to resist, my eyes lowered and I caught a glimpse of the good-sized bulge in his pants.

"You're going to do it right here?" my voice squeaked when I spoke.

"Sure, why not? You dad's not home is he?" he asked.

"No, but ... right here?" I asked.

He had a gleam in his eye that had me worried that he was serious. And as much as I liked the idea of him taking advantage of me, I didn't want it to be on the floor of my hallway.

"Yeah," he said.

I was torn between my natural inclination towards propriety and just saying "fuck it" and letting him hump me into the floorboards. It wasn't an easy decision, so I let my dick make it for me. I reached up and I gripped the front clasp on Troy's pants, his eyes widened for a moment and that's when I knew that he had been bluffing. He hadn't thought I'd actually agree to do it right here.

That's what happens when you don't get laid for a year. You get so horny you'll do it anywhere. My desire surged as I watched my fingers fumble against Troy's pants until I was able to unzip the front. The room was silent and the sound of the zipper sliding down seemed louder than normal. We were both breathing hard and I could almost hear Troy's thoughts wondering how far I would go.

I was excited to see what his cock would look like at close range. The first time that I had seen it, I had been so nervous about what was taking place that I hadn't taken the time to get a good look. Now was my opportunity. His cock was rock hard as it sprang into the open. Again I almost felt like running away when I saw the size of it. I wondered if I would feel this way every time we were together. Troy's cock was long, longer than any cock I'd ever seen - not that I'd seen all that many - and it was so thick that for a moment I doubted if my fingers would be able to fit around it.

At my first contact with his big, hard penis, Troy stopped breathing and held perfectly still. I handled him like a delicate piece of glass that would shatter if I wasn't careful. My own cock was throbbing impatiently, but I decided to ignore it for now and focus on Troy's. I ran my hand lightly up and down his length, toying with his dick. I wish that our positions were reversed and that I was on top so that I could have bent down and taken him into my mouth.

I wanted to use my mouth to cover his big cock. I envisioned myself using my tongue to flick kisses on the head until Troy was completely mindless with arousal and his cock was so hard it was pulsing. I wrapped my fingers around his hard throbbing meat. His skin was hot to the touch. I was about to begin jerking when I felt the pressure of his strong hands. He grasped onto my wrists, hard, forcing me to halt what I was about to do.

"Let me," I said.

He looked indecisive for a moment before his hands slowly released my wrists. I ran my hand up and down his dick, slowly, testing to see if he was really going to let me. He made no move to stop me. It felt nice to be the one to control things. I wanted to take my time stroking him, getting used to the size and feel of him. This was the first time that I'd held a penis, other than my own, in my hands. I was glad that it was Troy's.

I wanted to take things easy and savor the experience, but before I knew it my hand was pumping on his penis. I watched as my fist flew up and down his cock, pulling on it really fast. My hand banged against his pelvis each time I jerked his dick and I saw drops of precum begin to leak from the tip.

Troy's mouth fell open as his eyes slid shut and his head fell back. I just kept sliding my hand back and forth over his penis. I kept up a steady pace and squeezed my fingers around his shaft. Troy grunted. He seemed to like it when I used more pressure, so I did it again.

Up until this point, Troy hadn't been participating, but he brought his hand up to his mouth and I watched as he licked his fingertips with his tongue. Then he used his wet fingertips to rub my hard little nipples. I'd never had anyone touch my nipples before and I had never imagined that they could be so erogenous.

Troy was breathing faster so I knew that he was getting closer to coming. I was also very turned on and I knew that it would take very little for me to get off. I pushed my hips up from the floor and rubbed my hard cock up against Troy's tight ass as he sat on top of me. I lifted my hips in time with my jerking hand. I was so lost in concentration with what I was doing that when Troy used his other hand to stroke my face, I was startled.

Our eyes connected for one second, before Troy's eyelids slipped and he began coming. I felt the first shot of hot semen land square on my chest. Troy's hand slid from my cheek to my neck and he gripped me as he shook with his orgasm. He squeezed my neck really hard as he came. He shot more and more semen onto my chest until I was almost covered with it. I couldn't help but think what a big load he had.

He finished coming and fell forward onto me. He was out of breath and breathing hard. Our chests mashed together, the wet semen causing it to make a sticky sound. His fingers finally let go of my neck and ran down my arm until he reached my hand. He laced his fingers through my own so that our hands were intertwined. His palm was a little sweaty from his recent exertion but it didn't matter. I liked holding his hand. I shuddered and I felt a thrill run through me.

Troy continued breathing hard for a few more moments. For some reason, I felt very comfortable lying beneath him as he came down from his climax. His forehead rested against my own and I looked at his face up close. His eyes were shut and his lips were parted. He had the longest eyelashes. Up close like this I could see a few tiny freckles sprinkled across the bridge of his nose. I had no idea that he had freckles. They made him even cuter.

"Liam," he whispered with his eyes still closed. He sounded very satisfied and I saw a lazy smile appear on his lips. I felt myself smile in response. Suddenly, I didn't care that I was still hard and hadn't come. I was happy that I had done this for Troy. I had given him pleasure, and that had given me pleasure.

"Liam," he whispered again, and then tilted his head so that he could press his lips into the hollow of my throat.

"I've never had that before," he said.

That caught my attention, because I was pretty certain that Troy had had sex before AND had orgasms before. Maybe I had misunderstood what he meant.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Nobody ...," he began, then hesitated and said more softly, "nobody's ever done that for me before."

"You've never gotten a hand job before?" I couldn't keep the shock from my voice.

"No. I mean, yes, I have, but that's not what I meant," he said and he sounded a little uncomfortable.

"What did you mean?" I asked for the second time.

"I mean ...," he stopped again and took a deep breath before continuing, "no one's ever touched me just for me."

I still wasn't sure what he meant, but I didn't ask him to clarify. I just kept quiet, hoping he would explain what he was trying to say.

"Liam, the last time that we were together -," he began, but the phone rang.

Shit, I thought. Why did the phone have to ring now, at this exact moment? Just when Troy was about to tell me something important. I wanted to scream in frustration. Troy rolled off of me to let me get up and get the receiver. I didn't want to answer the phone. I wanted to say fuck it and ask Troy to finish what he had been about to say. But he was already turning away and heading towards the guest bathroom.

I went over the phone and picked it up.

"Hello?" I snapped.

"Liam? It's me." It was my dad.

"Oh, hey dad," I said. I immediately came to attention because my dad very rarely called. He never had time.

"I'm calling to let you know that I won't be home tonight. I'm at the airport. I'm on my way to Seattle. I know that this is last minute, but there was an emergency at one of the plants and I have to go make sure everything is okay."

"Okay," was all I said.

"I just wanted to call and let you know. You'll be okay by yourself for a few days, right?" he asked.

"Yeah," I said.

I heard some background noise followed by some garbling before my dad said, "They're calling my flight. I have to go. I'll give you a call from my hotel when I arrive. I love you, son."

"I love you too," I said, but the line was already dead. I let out a sigh and replaced the receiver.

I went looking for Troy in the guest bathroom and found him dabbing his chest with a hand towel. His shirt was on top of the closed toilet lid.

He saw me coming and turned, saying, "I have to get going."

So this was it, I thought. He'd gotten off and now he was ready to leave. I'd known this was going to happen even though I had hoped it wouldn't. At the very least, I hadn't expected him to want to leave so soon. I tried to cover my disappointment and ended up sounding abrupt.

"So go," I said, stepping back from the bathroom door to make way for his exit.

Troy looked at me for a moment before saying, "This wasn't what I had planned when I asked to come over here."

I didn't say anything so he just sighed and hung back the towel he had been using. He picked up his shirt and pulled it back on over his head and stepped out of the bathroom. I moved back as he emerged to make sure that our bodies didn't have contact.

Troy noticed the movement and stopped, saying, "I'll be back tonight, okay? We'll talk, I promise."

Yeah right, I thought, but I didn't say anything. This wasn't the first time he had promised to get in touch after fooling around with me in my house. Maybe that was his standard line because he felt guilty or something. Troy must have realized that I wasn't in the mood to talk about it because he didn't say anything more. I watched as he made his way over to the door and let himself out.

I stood in the same spot for a long, long while trying to decide what to do. I knew what I wasn't going to do, and that was wait for Troy to come back. I wasn't going to let him hurt me again. After a few more minutes I made up my mind and went back into the living room.

I picked up the phone and dialed Danny's number. He picked up after two rings.

"Hello?" he asked.

"Hey, Danny," I said, "It's me. I need you to give me Roman's number."