Hello everyone, long time no see! Well I'm back for now and I've got this new chapter for ya. Wanna see? Of course ya do! I'm not sure what kind of chapter everyone will be expecting this time around (especially after chapter six's steamy "climax") but here is where the story continues. Some important things to take notice of here, and much much more to come in the future. Remember that I love to get feedback on my stories so feel free to email me at thelizard@teenboyauthors.org and/or visit the website at www.teenboyauthors.org/thelizard. Enjoy the story!

The Sky In His Eyes

Chapter Seven: Mixed Signals

   Monday's are horrible. Doesn't matter if you have a real job or if you're just a teen in school...no, especially if you're a teen in school, Monday's just suck. The infamous first day back at the grindstone. I'd spent the whole weekend with Skyler, loving every minute of it. And then we had sex! WOW! I was still trying to accept that. Only hours had passed but I was already missing him. I'd heard somewhere that true love is missing someone even when you're together. In that case there was no doubt about it, this was true love! I would go so far as saying that I was excited to go to school that Monday morning just so I could see him again. I was liking school! Can you believe that?

   My shirtless reflection gazed back at me from the bathroom mirror that morning as I wondered if there was anything different about the way I looked, any visible change. I wasn't sure what would have changed, but I wasn't a virgin anymore (WOO HOO!!) so anything was possible. Maybe like that movie "Pleasantville" I would be 'in color' or something. I didn't have a big hickey on my neck or anything obvious, other then that grin. Besides making a mental note that I needed more definition in my chest I couldn't find anything of importance. But don't they always say that love is blind? I wondered if anyone else would notice, like maybe the way I acted or talked or something. I doubted that I'd be any different, maybe a little happier. but what about when me and Skyler were together again? Is this why people on sitcoms and movies always feel so awkward around the person they had sex with the night before? I'd just have to make a conscious effort to act normal and casual, even if thoughts of Skyler were turning my insides to Jell-o.

   I pulled on a pair of cut off shorts and a loose shirt and padded barefoot down to the kitchen for breakfast. If I could pass the "mom test" I'd be fine. You know how it is, mom's can always tell when something is going on.

   "Hey there morning head. How do you want your eggs?" she asked as I walked into the kitchen.

   "And how do you know I want eggs?" I replied in a playfully argumentive way.

   "Because there would have to be something seriously wrong for you to pass on a real breakfast," she answered.

   "Scrambled," I said quickly. Good call.

   "G'morning," my dad said without looking up from his newspaper.

   "Mornin," I replied as I sat down across from him at the kitchen table.

   "So was he your first yesterday?" He asked.

   Omigod!! I was frozen with shock! Did my dad just ask me if Skyler was my first???

   "W-w-what?" I stammered.

   "Your first day...of track practice...it's today right?" he asked again looking at me quizzically.

   "Oh...um...yeah...after school," I said.

   I was relieved I'd misunderstood him but it took a couple minutes for my heartbeat to return to normal.

   "Just watch out," he said with a grin, "the girls will be all over you now that you're an athlete."

   I smiled and blushed at his girl comment but my smile faded as soon as he turned back to his paper. What's going to happen if the girls are all over me and I'm spending all my time with Skyler instead? How big of a hint are people going to need before they find out about us? The only answer I had was that if my parents were going to find out I was going to be the one to tell them. Even if it meant I had to come out to them before I was ready, I wasn't going to have them find out from somebody else or from some rumor about "fags" in the schools.

   "Here ya go," my mom said placing a large plate in front of me. "And make sure you eat all his meat."

   My jaw hit the floor again!

   "Eat what?" I asked cautiously.

   "Eat all your meat. You need the protein," she said firmly.

   I tried to clear my mind and think calmly, but all this talk of meat and protein was doing strange things to me. My glass of milk was doing a good job reminding me of my swallowing experience the day before as well. I just kept quiet and ate my breakfast as quickly as I could.

   My dad finished his food and left for work, patting me on the back and warning me not to overexert myself. It took me a minute to realize he was talking about track practice again! On the outside I smiled back, on the inside I was wondering if he'd be disappointed to find out his only son was gay. Sometimes I wished I could just be straight and live the simple life.

   Nah, too late for that, I'm not trading Skyler for all the girls in the world, I thought to myself as I popped the last sausage link into my mouth and headed for my room to get my back pack.

   "What's wrong?" my mom asked as I walked past her.


   "Out of clean socks?" she said looking down at my bare feet.

   "Oh, no I just haven't put em on yet," I answered, realizing that it was rare for me to go around barefoot.

   "Ya don't want to get blisters now that you're going to be running everyday," she reminded me in her usual motherly way. I agreed and went back upstairs to get some socks. I put my shoes on, tossed my back pack over my shoulder, kissed her goodbye and was on my way.

   I wasn't sure if I had passed the mom test or not. She didn't really confront me about anything but she did notice me being a little different. Somedays I really had to wonder if she already suspected it.

   That question was still on my mind as I walked through school, more aware of everyone around me, scanning the crowd for glances or stares in my direction. Could anybody tell that I'd had sex with a boy? Man, I'm being so damned paranoid.

   But what about when Skyler and I are together? Will we both be acting different? the voice in my head asked.

   Just be calm and go on with the day like nothing ever happened, I assured myself. Yeah, easier said then done.

   I rounded a corner, still absorbed in my thoughts and...WHAM! My books went skidding across the floor as I collided head on with a short blond figure. Books and papers scattered as the kid fell to the floor with a squeaky yelp. I was startled by the whole thing of course, but my breath really caught in my throat when I saw who had run into me. It was Sean! His wide green eyes met mine for a brief moment before he looked away, quickly covering his face with his arms. For a minute I couldn't figure out what he was doing just laying there on the floor hiding his head. Then I realized what was happening. He was bracing himself for an attack! He actually expected me to beat him up or something for running into me! Or rather for being the "fag" who ran into me. Already nearby people had turned to watch. Some probably eagerly anticipating the spectacle of the little queer kid getting his ass kicked once again.

   "You all right, dude?" I asked. Sean remained motionless, almost in a fetal position, still awaiting the brutal response he'd probably received so many times before. A few seconds later my words of concern began to register as he opened his eyes, looking up at me questioningly.

   "Hello? Damage report?" I asked again.

   Sean let his guard down only to immediately begin gathering up his things, stuffing papers randomly into books and folders. His only goal at that moment seemed to be getting away from me as fast as possible.

   "I hope you weren't on your way to Driver's Ed," I quipped, trying to make the incident appear as trivial as it really was.

   "Me? No, I was going - I'm sorry, I didn't mean - I won't..." he babbled nervously, speaking in one long breath. His voice was cracking in the cutest way but I couldn't tell if it always sounded that way or just because he was so scared right then.

   "Hey, it's all cool, no harm done," I said casually as I bent down to pick up my own books. For a second Sean stopped forcing the crumpled pages into his books and looked at me with an expression of disbelief. Normally if anybody had looked at me like that I'd be scared there was a huge spider on my shoulder or something. He was staring at me like I had three heads! That's when the paranoid thoughts of earlier that morning hit me again. What does he see? What does he think? Does he know? Can he see right through me?

   "I'm sorry I gotta go!" he said quickly. He scooped up his books, the brown paper covers dangling off, notebook pages dropping out, and sped off down the hall weaving between other students. Most didn't pay him the least attention, but a few gave him disgusted looks or quick insults as he passed.

   It was difficult to not stare as I watched him run down the hall. I was still aware of the people who had stopped to watch the little scene though, now more then ever since my paranoia had kicked in again. I took some satisfaction in disappointing the ones who had waited, anxious to see me pummel the poor kid. At the same time I had to worry about how this made me look. It had become painfully clear to me in these first weeks of school just how universally hated Sean was. He was like some kind of "untouchable". Just by showing him basic kindness and manners I risked being lumped into the "fag" category with him. Is that what would happen to me if I talked to him or defended him? I got the impression that Luke was at least willing to agree that Sean was a fellow human being, but would everyone else be so accepting if I tried to be his friend, or would I become the schools "other homo"? They'd be right after all. I mean I am gay, I'm in love with another boy, I had sex with him just the day before, but I sure didn't need the whole school to know that stuff. I wanted to help Sean out if I could but, as selfish as it sounds, I didn't want to risk my new friends and my new love. I couldn't, not after I'd found so much. I mean I was so psyched that I was starting a relationship with the boy of my dreams that until that morning I hadn't really stopped to think of the ways these decisions were going to effect my future, my life, friends and other people. Oh my God, I sound like a guidance counselor!!

   The bell rang, reminding me that I was going to be late to Geometry. Quickly picking up the last of my things I noticed a notebook on the floor that wasn't mine. Sean must have forgotten it in his rush to get away. I'd have to find him and give it back sometime, but for now I had to get to class and see my beautiful Aussie.

   The butterflies began to flutter in my stomach again just like they did every time I was on my way to see him, even more so after that weekend. That day had confirmed what I'd known all along, that it was true, pure love. I couldn't believe how nervous I was over seeing him in class again. If those butterflies didn't stop flappin around so much they were gonna stir up my breakfast. Geez, wouldn't that give Skyler the wrong impression!

   Confidently I strolled through the door of the classroom...and my eyes immediately went to Skyler. He took one look at me and his face lit up. That blushing smile of his always drives me nuts. Too bad I was sweating bullets at that moment. We were both acting differently. Hopefully it wasn't perceptible to anyone else. My fears had some stiff competition for my attention though. That beautiful boy was the fire that melted my heart of butter. I'd never seen him like this. He was so obviously...happy! Instead of looking like he was miserable and scared to death just to be sitting in class he looked cheerful. Still shy, but smiling and so much more relaxed. My God, he was twice as cute as he'd been before!

   "'Ello Nick," he said cheerfully as soon as I sat down. "Cuttin it close today huh?"

   "Um...yeah. Had a little...accident down the hall," I said, looking out the corner of my eye to see if anyone was watching us.

   "What happened?" he asked curiously. Boy he was talkative. He talked to me plenty outside of school, but he'd always been very tight lipped around other people. What a change. Did I do that to him? The thought of Skyler's "tight lips" caused a stirring in my shorts and I tensed up more. I did NOT need a boner right then.

   "Just um...I'll tell you about it later," I said, shifting uncomfortably in my seat.

   I saw Mrs. Crabtree shoot me her evil eye and knew I'd better keep quiet. Since the first day when she'd caught us talking she'd been watching us like a hawk. Not much of a lady for second chances I guess, and I didn't want to press my luck and have her move our seats.

   I made an honest effort to pay attention to the lesson, both because it was new stuff that I wasn't understanding and because I was trying to avoid Skyler's glances. He was going all puppy dog on me right there in class. I knew it would all be over if we made eye contact. My concentration would be shot to hell for the rest of the day. Not only that, but I was well aware that most teenagers are not this happy to be in school on Monday and they don't normally exchange loving glances with other boys.

   Like most days we didn't have much more of a chance to talk that period and Mrs. Crabtree had that annoying teaching habit of going on and on right up to the bell. The new lesson was going way over my head and I knew I'd have to stay and ask her to clarify some things. She didn't like giving late passes either though, and with the gym at the other end of the building I had to be quick. The bell rang, everyone shuffled out and I quickly got my questions answered. But when I left the room and started down the hallway Skyler was nowhere to be found. Presumably he'd gone ahead to gym without waiting for me. Not that I could blame him though. Nothing draws attention to yourself like being late, and Skyler certainly didn't want to draw any unwanted attention to himself.

   It's really too bad, I thought. He's such a great guy, he should let more people see that.

   As expected the bell rang on my way to gym and I arrived just as most everyone was filing out of the locker room. It seemed like I was destined to be late for everything that day.

   "Hey dude, now that you're the new track star you should try running. It'll get you to class faster," Luke teased as I passed him in the locker room.

   "You should try not talking so much, it'll keep you from looking so stupid," I rebutted with a laugh.

   "Damn!" Luke said, acting insulted. "I owe ya for that one."

   We both chuckled and went our separate ways. I got to my locker and started changing as fast as I could. I was alone in the locker room, everyone was already out warming up, including Skyler. For a second I glanced at his locker and actually considered opening it, just to hold his shirt against my face and breath his warm scent. Maybe if I'd had more time I would've tried it, but I was late already.

   Warm ups were done by the time I got done changing and everyone was getting into teams. We were still doing the volleyball thing but this time we were in smaller teams so we could concentrate on practicing our techniques and crap. None of that mattered, as long as I would be on the same team with Skyler.

   "Shafer!" the coach barked. "You're late."

   "Um...yeah...sorry," I confessed with an apologetic look.

   "Don't make a habit of it. You're over there with team two," he said pointing to the corner of the gym. Unfortunately Skyler was walking the opposite direction to join his team and my heart sank a little. I wasn't sure which was worse, being completely separated from him or being in the same room and unable to talk. At least I could look. He was soooo sexy in his gym shorts and t-shirt. Well, he was always sexy, but those gym clothes were about as sexy as he could get without being naked. The way the thin, shiny fabric clung to his hips, showing the perfectly round globes of his ass. The muscles in his long, smooth legs moved sensuously beneath his skin as he walked. What would they feel like wrapped around my waist? Would I get the chance to find out? We'd said we love each other, but how far is he willing to go with that love? He said he doesn't like guys so he's not gay, but he does like me, so is he bi? The big question was raised again. Would he want to...


   I turned to see a volleyball rocketing towards my head! I ducked and knocked it away with my arm just in time, both amusing and disappointing Luke at the same time.

   "Shit dude, ya tryin to take my head off?" I said a bit angrily.

   "Nah, looks like your head was somewhere else anyway," he said trotting to retrieve the ball. What did he mean by that? He was talking faster then usual and began dribbling the volleyball under his leg and around his back excitedly.

   "Little too much sugar on your Wheaties this morning?" I asked. "What the hell are you so hyper about?"

   Luke grinned and I swear his eyes were sparkling.

   "You should've stayed and gone to Jake's house with us yesterday." he said.

   "Why? What happened?"

   "Well nothing happened...yet. But Jake's sister was there. Oh my God!" he said swooning at the memory. "She is unbelievable! Talk about a hottie!"

   At the mention of the word 'hottie' I subconsciously looked over to Skyler again. I started to stare but mentally slapped myself for being so obvious. It was so hard to not look at him, not to sit and daydream about holding him in my arms, kissing his soft lips, feeling his smooth skin against mine...

   "See what I mean, you're getting all dreamy just hearing about her," Luke said.

   "Huh? Who?" I asked, jolting myself back to the present. Luke must have thought I was kidding around and laughed at my lack of attention. God, it can be so difficult to concentrate on anything with Skyler around. Containing my love and feelings was so painful. I'm doing it again!! Recover quick!! "So...um...what's her name?"

   "Vivian...but everyone calls her Viv," he said, his eyes sparkling again. Geez, I hoped I wasn't that obvious with my love for Skyler. It was very easy to tell that Luke was head over heels for this girl.

   "Boy, I turn my back for a few minutes to help the other team and you girls get lazy on me," coach Barkely said loudly interrupting us. What a fitting name for a guy like him. He was a little young for it but he would've made a great drill sergeant in a war movie.

   We had to endure his watchful eye the rest of class, endlessly practicing our serving and how to properly hit the ball until our hands were red and sore. I was thankful the bell rang when it did, much more of that and my hands would be too raw to jack off! Which I could tell Luke would be doing a lot of. He just wouldn't shut up about Valerie, or whatever her name was. Before long I felt like I knew more about her then I did about my own mother! Of course I don't make a point of comparing my mom's chest to large fruit like Luke was doing to this girl. Maybe it was for the best though. At least it kept my attention away from the delicious, gentle curves of Skyler's smooth, near naked body.

   I took advantage of Luke's constant rambling while we were in the shower to help prevent any embarrassing things that might "arise". A small room full of naked boys was torture enough, but there was the possibility that Skyler would come walking in as well. I just couldn't keep the images out of my mind! As soon as I'd rinsed the soap off myself I made a break for my locker and got dressed.

   Luke was still chattering away non-stop as we left the locker room but I'd spotted Skyler in the hallway ahead and everything else in the world was immediately blocked out. The happy, bubbly mood he'd been in that morning had disappeared. He was just walking along, slowly, with his head down. It wasn't really any different from his normal timid behavior, but I got some strange vibes that something wasn't right. He turned down another hall on his way to class and I followed without thinking.

   "Hey Nick, the lunch room is this way," Luke called out to me.

   "Oh, yeah...um...I have to stop by my locker for something first, I'll meet ya there," I answered. I didn't even wait to get a reply from him. Something seemed wrong with Skyler and I had to find out what it was.

   "Hey bud" I said catching up to Skyler, but he stayed silent with his head hanging. This wasn't right at all. "You look upset. Is something wrong?"

   "I dunno...is there?" he said quietly after a pause. There was so much pain in his voice that it scared me. He bit his bottom lip, probably to keep it from quivering judging by his eyes which were becoming wet and glossy. "You don't wanna be around me anymore do ya?"

   That look of terrible fear I'd seen in the thunderstorm had returned. Then it hit me. In all my paranoid efforts to act casual, all the weird events of that morning and being late for every class, I'd inadvertently been almost ignoring Skyler. He must have gotten the wrong impression, that I regretted everything from the day before. Or maybe that I was just trying to get in his pants and now I was leaving him behind after I got my quick lay like some kind of sexual conquest. That look in Skyler's eyes made me weak again, but for all the wrong reasons this time. He'd put his trust in me and let me into his heart. Now he must have felt so hurt, abandoned and betrayed. What had I done to my love?

   "Oh, man...Skyler, I'm sorry..." I began. How could I explain this and apologize in the hallway with so many people around? A warm tight hug would have said so much if we'd only had the privacy.

   "Come here," I said, looking around quickly then ducking into the boys room. I knew there wouldn't be anyone in there. I mean why would anybody go to the restroom between classes when you could use it as an excuse to get out of class? Just as I thought it was empty.

   "Skyler, I'm soooo sorry man. I wasn't tryin to ignore you, not at all. But we gotta be careful. If we get caught it'll be the end of us both, and I don't want to risk that...not now that I've got such a good thing going," I said with a loving grin.

   We stood there looking into each other eyes for a moment. I opened my mouth, ready to tell him that I was just as in love with him now as I was the day before, when I was suddenly cut short. We both jumped as the sound of a toilet flushing roared through the restroom. We weren't alone!! Somebody had been in a stall!! We were both paralyzed with fear. Every word that I'd spoken echoed in my head as I tried to recall if I'd said anything incriminating. The stall door creaked open and I tried to swallow my heart. Visions of Adrian coming out of the stall to kick the crap out of the two faggots ran through my mind. The door swung open completely and out stepped...Mr. Butler, the History teacher. I wasn't sure whether to be relieved or panic.

   "I'd say that's a wise decision, Mr. Shafer," he said looking down at me.

   "S-s-sir?" I stuttered. Could he possibly know what I was talking about?

   "We suspend people for three days for smoking in the restrooms. Even first timers," he said sternly as he bent over the sink to wash his hands.

   Wait a minute...he thought we were in here to smoke?

   I nearly laughed out loud when the full meaning hit me. He had no clue! It was even more humorous because everyone knew Mr. Butler was practically a chain smoker himself! The kind of guy who would start having nicotine fits in the middle of class and come up with some excuse about leaving our assignments in the teacher's lounge just so he could sneak away for a few minutes.

   "If you boys are going to smoke do it off school grounds. And you'd be smart to give it up completely," he said looking at us over the top of his horn rimmed glasses.

   "Yes sir," we both replied in unison.

   Mr. Butler gave us a small nod then turned and left. All the tension and fear of being discovered had disappeared in a rush, replaced by bubbly relief. A little giggle slipped out at first, then a laugh, and soon I was leaning against the sink holding my side! I couldn't control it. The more I thought about it the funnier it seemed.

   Skyler checked all the other stalls and once he was sure we were alone came straight over and surprised me with a tight hug. I melted in his arms. It felt so good, all I could do was smile and hold him against me as my laughter faded. He sniffled. Then again. Slowly I pulled him away to look at his face. Two small streams of tears ran from his sapphire blue eyes down his smooth cheeks.

   "Why ya cryin?" I asked concerned.

   "Cause...*sniff*...I thought I...*sniff*...was gonna lose ya," he said.

   I knew how much Skyler meant to me, from the very beginning. Now I was learning how much I meant to him. I'd always assumed that I was important because I was his first American friend, but now I could see this was much, much more then just friendship to him. My God, he really is in love with me as much as I'm in love with him.

   I looked deep into Skyler's eyes and spoke quietly, but with conviction. "You're not gonna lose me, Skyler. I promise. I'll be here for you, always. I love you."

   His face brightened and he smiled weakly, wiping the tears away with his hands and sighing in relief.

   "Thanks Nick. I'd be hurtin without ya," he said. I felt those small pangs of heartbreak again. Such a beautiful boy shouldn't have to hurt for any reason. There was more in his statement then what appeared on the surface but this wasn't the time nor the place to discuss it.

   "Wash your face off," I said giving him another hug. "We're already gonna be late."

So what did ya think? Is it still moving in an interesting direction? Did I get boring on ya? Disappointed that there wasn't any sex? Tell me whatever is on your mind. (Wow, I'm really leaving the door open there, huh?)