I really didn't sleep at all well that night. I was playing back everything that James had said to me, about how this Craig guy had turned his back on him, how his mom wasn't happy with him being gay. And of course, I was thinking about him. How totally unbelievably gorgeous he was. How his face lit up even more when he laughed. And what it felt like to have him kiss me. I finally managed to sleep around 2am, but I certainly didn't feel tired the next morning. I think this having a boyfriend thing kinda agrees with me...

I put AFI's 'Black Sails in the Sunset' on, getting out of bed and showering. There's something about the first song on that album, the lyric "Through the darkness breaks the light" that seemed to signify what was going on with me and James. Well, as corny as it might sound, he's certainly the light in my life.

For the second successive day, I was ready before my mom, and sitting in the car before she even was out the front door.

"Chris, what's going on?"


"Well, this is two days in a row you've been ready before me. I know it's not cause you want to go to school so bad." Very true... unless you count 'going to school to see James,' of course.

"Well... I just thought it wasn't fair to keep you waiting every morning."

"I see," she said, so obviously not convinced. Well, it was a pretty lame ass story! "Look, Chris, I worry sometimes... "

"You worry when I don't get up on time, and you worry now I do. What's wrong with it?"

The only reply I got, was an exasperated sigh, though. Do I really piss my mom off that much? She dropped me off outside school pretty much without another word, giving me one last despairing look before I turned towards school to see James smiling at me from near the main door. It'd be an exaggeration to say I ran up the steps towards him, but I didn't hang around.

"Hey Chris."

"Hi. How's it going?"

"Pretty good. I had problems sleeping last night though."

"Me too... weird, right?"

"Well, I just had a lot to think about," he said, biting on his bottom lip gently.

"Yeah, know what you're saying. Seen Luke or anyone around?"

"Luke said he'd see us in homeroom. I think he's off to see Rhiannon or something like that."

"He got into school early to see this girl? It's getting bad."

"He did look kinda flushed."

"He usually does..."

"Yeah, but this time... Oh you knew what I meant!"

"Yeah, I know. We should probably go in, I suppose."

I so wish I could just hold his hand and walk through the hall. I wish that people wouldn't hate us for doing it, cause it just seems like the natural thing to do. I really want to tell the whole world that we're together, that he's mine and I'm his. But that's something that's got to stay under wraps, for now at least.

Luke wasn't there when we got to homeroom either, though, and during the first few classes we shared, he hardly even acknowledged my presence. At lunch, he and Rhiannon did sit with us, although they might as well not have bothered, cause they certainly didn't talk to either James, Kat or myself.

"He's gone this time," said Kat, almost as if she didn't care if Luke heard or not.

"Oh, I dunno, give him a week or so and he'll be pretty much back to normal."

"Well, I know this is Luke we're talking about, but, c'mon, have you ever known him to talk to a girl outside of his bedroom?" I hate to admit it, but she does have a point.

He caught the end of that last statement and gave Kat an amazingly bitchy look, which was surprising enough, considering he's usually pretty unflustered by just about everything. "Do you guys mind, I'm trying to have a conversation."

"Whoa... pardon me for even breathing." And after that, he just went back to talking to Rhiannon, like we didn't even exist.

"Yo, Chris man!" I turned round to see Vince Anderson, a friend of mine from basketball.

"Hey Vince. How's it going?"

"Pretty good. You coming to the party I got going on this weekend?"

"Party? Sounds good, man. When's this?"

"Saturday. My place. From about 7 until you can't stand up any more," he said, with a grin.

"Cool. I'm there. Can James and Kat come?"

"Sure, bring who you want. What about Macauley, he want to come?"

"I'll ask, but later. He's not that receptive right now."

Vince's eyes flicked over to Luke and Rhiannon and gave me a knowing, despairing glance. "I think I know what you mean. You sure this one won't be over by Saturday though?"

"He says it's serious." Another knowing glance. "We'll see, I guess. You don't mind Rhiannon coming too?"

"No, it's cool. As long as they stay out of my bed, it's all good."

"Fit a strong lock on your room then, bro."

"Might just do that. Anyway, see ya there. You too, Kat. And..."


"Yeah. See you guys later. Oh... Chris, see ya at b-ball?"

"Yeah, gonna be fun, right?"

"Aw, it's ok... Falzon ain't that bad." Well, for Vince he's not. See, some coaches have their little favorites...

"Yeah, whatever. Seeya there, man."

"Yeah, seeya!"


"Huh?" Whoa, a response!

"Party. Vince's. Saturday. Lots of alcohol. You there?"

"Yeah, whatever." WHATEVER? Ok, something's seriously wrong with this kid.

In the end, we just left and went off to class, leaving them to whatever the hell they were talking about that's so important. Classes really dragged, but it was nothing too unbearable - I had James in all of them, right until the end of the day.

Still, I had to survive through basketball training, and considering that it was the beginning of the season, and that usually means a hell of a lot of fitness training, that's not gonna be that easy. When the bell for end of classes rang, I went to James' locker, waiting for him until he turned up.

"Hey... look, what we gonna do about this evening? You want me to come over after training?"

"No, it's ok. I need to go pick some stuff up for my mom in town, so I'll do that, then come back. When do you finish?"

"Well, training's about an hour and a half. So come back then, and we can go."

"Cool. Seeya then."

"You bet." I ran off to my locker, grabbing my gear and running down to the changing room, only to find that everyone was there already. Including Mark. Fucking wonderful. At least Coach was there, so he had to keep his mouth shut. It didn't stop him giving me the dirtiest look invented by mankind though. The weird thing was that the rest of the team never get involved in the dispute between Mark and me for some reason. Maybe people don't like to be caught in the middle of a fight, I don't know.

Coach went off for a bit to 'sort something out' (have a cigarette in Falzon speak) so we hung around in the changing room for a bit. Vince sat down on the bench next to me. "So, you still on for the party?"

"Course. You know I wouldn't miss it for anything, man."

"Cool. So, who's this James guy? Don't recall having seen him around."

"He's a new guy. Moved up from Mississippi just before school started."

"Oh cool. What's he do?"

"What ya mean?"

"Well, he's too short to play basketball, he's too small to play football... "

"Oh... I dunno really. He plays guitar pretty good." And that's not all he does well...


"You sure you don't mind me bringing him and Kat?"

"Course not. Kat's always welcome, and as for James, it's always cool to meet new people." Vince was a pretty decent guy, but I wonder if he'd think the same thing if he knew that me and James weren't JUST friends.

"C'mon people, no time to sit around and wag your damn jaws, get out on the court and get moving." That would be Falzon back, then...

Practice wasn't as bad as I maybe had a right to expect, I only got a few snide comments about my manliness from Mark, which, given the circumstances was pretty much a miracle. I made him look like a complete ass a few times too. Not that he needs any help in that, in my humble opinion.

I showered quickly and ran upstairs, picking all my crap up from my locker and going out front, almost running into James who was standing pretty much exactly outside the front door of the school


"Hi. Good practice?"

"Not as bad as it might have been."

"Good. I think," he said, flashing me a little smile. "Wanna go?"



"You bet." The walk to James' house wasn't far, but it took too long, as far as we were concerned. When we got through the door, he grabbed my hand and lead me straight up to his bedroom, only pausing for us to drop our bags on the floor, locking the door the second we were on the other side of it.

"I wanted you to hold me all day, Chris. It was so bad being with you, but not being able to touch you."

"James, I felt the same way. But you know what? Now we've got all the time we need." And with that, he pressed his lips softly against mine. It'd only been about 18 hours since we last kissed, but that's far longer than I would have liked. His arms slipped around me, his fingers playing gently with the small hairs on the back of my neck. My own arms slipped round that sexy slim waist of his, and he pushed his body even closer to mine as the kiss deepened. I felt his hard-on brush up against the top of my leg and heard him gasp softly as I pushed my leg up slightly to rub against it.

He pulled his lips away from my mouth, kissing my jaw and down to my neck, making me moan quietly as his lips and tongue set off little explosions beneath my skin with each touch. My hands went to the front of his shirt, unbuttoning it as quickly as I could, given that my fingers were shaking as they stumbled over the buttons. I slipped the shirt off of him, gliding my hands over that wonderful warm, soft skin. He shivered, ground himself up against me a little more and tugged at the bottom of my T-shirt. I helped him get it off and then I was sent even higher by the feeling of our bare skin together.

My hands dropped to his ass, pulling his crotch in closer to me, feeling him thrust right up against my leg. My own tortured cock was rubbing up against the bottom of his stomach and I know he could feel it from the way he moved against me, trying to grind it into his body. All the while, those beautiful puffy lips were working their magic on my neck, as if the feel of his body against mine wasn't enough to drive me completely crazy on its own.


"Yeah?" I barely whispered by way of reply.

"You wanna... uh... lay down?"

"Uh huh." He backed towards the bed, laying back, pulling me on top of him. He attached his lips to mine once again, his tongue searching for mine, all the while, moving so that our cocks were rubbing right together through our jeans. I thought I was gonna cum on the spot when he put his hands on my butt and pushed right up, grinding his cock hard against mine. I pushed back down against him, and his head fell back away from mine, his eyes tight shut, his mouth slightly open, an expression of absolute euphoria on that perfect face. I covered his face and neck with kisses, all the while rubbing our cocks together, feeling his hard little nipples press into my chest.

He stiffened up really quite suddenly and a worried look came over his face. "Chris... "

"What's wrong, babe?"

"Nothing. Just stop, cause... well I feel like I'm gonna... "

"That's ok."

"Yeah, but I wanna touch you first." He wriggled out from underneath me, turning me over so I was on my back, his nimble fingers reaching for my belt buckle. He had it done and pulled my pants down and off slowly, massaging his way up my legs until finally his hands touched my rock hard cock through my boxers. I stiffened up so much that he pulled his hands back really quickly. "Is everything ok? Are you alright with this?"

"Uh... It's cool."

"You sure?"

"Very sure. Just please don't stop." He returned his hand to my pulsing penis, running his fingers down the length of it through the material of my shorts. I felt it twitch and a damp spot materialised underneath his caressing fingers. He leant up, still stroking gently, and kissed me, the feel of his lips on mine again causing me to push my hips off the bed and my cock harder against his hand. He broke the kiss, putting both hands on the waistband of my boxers and tugging down gently. Again, I pushed my hips up and he pulled them off me, letting my cock escape its prison at last. He lay there, just staring at it until he became aware of me looking at him.

"Sorry, Chris... it's just... so perfect." Perfect? Well, whatever floats your boat. I like it, but then I would, I suppose, it being mine and all!

He snapped out of his little daze, extending a timid hand, running his fingers along the length of my iron hard penis. I couldn't believe it, for only the second time in my life, I had someone else's hand on my cock. James slowly wrapped his fingers around the shaft, gripping it not exactly tightly, but just enough to let me know what was happening next. He pressed his body against mine, kissing me again, grinding his cloth covered cock against my hip, beginning to stroke me off slowly.

Suddenly, he was everywhere around me, the taste of his lips and tongue in my mouth, the smell of him in my nostrils, the feel of his hot body up against me and of course, the loving touch of his hands on my penis. He began to get me off a little quicker, and I knew right then that it wasn't going to last for long. I speared my tongue into his mouth, holding him tight against me. He backed off from the kiss, looking deep into my eyes as he jerked me off, getting faster and faster now as I approached what was almost definitely going to be the most amazingly intense climax I had ever had in my entire life.

"Soon, babe?"

"Oh... fuck... yeah. Real soon... " And with that, he moved down my body real quickly and took the head of my leaking cock into his mouth. My body stiffened right up, I arched my back, my hips coming off the bed towards him as the cum flew down my cock and into his mouth as I exploded into orgasm. He carried on stroking my cock, giving me the most unbelievable sensations as his tongue searched around the head of my cock for more cum to lick up. Long after I'd finished spurting, his tongue was still caressing the tip of my now-softening penis. I slowly lowered my body back to the mattress, pulling him up so that I could kiss him, slipping my arms around him. I could taste myself on him, and that made me only the more determined to return the favor. I lay him on his back, undoing his pants and pulling down his pants and boxers at the same time.

His cock was slightly over six inches long, I'd guess, cut, slightly slimmer than mine, and so hard that it looked like it was painful for him. He certainly wasn't in pain when I ran my fingers over the ridge along the underside, moving down to cup his soft balls in my right hand.

His eyes locked on mine, pleading with me to help him out. I moved my hand back up, grasping his manhood in my hand, feeling him wriggle against me as I did so. I sealed my lips to his, beginning to gently stroke the length of his cock. His pre-cum, already strongly in evidence, began to flow even more copiously, and I spread it over his length so as to lube it up a bit. His breathing got heavier and faster as I rubbed his penis, causing him to break away from my lips, moaning out "Chris, I'm gonna cum, babe... "

I dived down his slender body, taking the tip of him into my mouth. I don't really know what I was expecting it to taste like, but the second his cock touched my tongue, I knew I wanted his cum in my mouth. I slid a couple more inches into my mouth and began to suck on him, feeling him stiffen up further (in more ways than one!), his balls moved up closer to his body, and the next thing I knew he was flooding my mouth with his salty cum. He held my head in his hands as he came, running his hands through my hair and moaning my name softly, over and over. When he was done, he looked deeply into my eyes and mouthed "thank you."

"My pleasure."

"No," he said, with a slight giggle, "mine, but I know what you're saying."

"It was mine earlier," I said, getting up alongside him, slipping my arms around him.

"True," he murmured, leaning in to brush my lips with his.

I lay there, holding him right against me, looking into those deep blue eyes. "James, what did I do to deserve you?"

"I been asking myself the same question."

"No, I mean, why me? Why did you choose me?"

"Cause I like you a whole lot, you're fun to be around, a great kisser and... well, I think I just found something else you're pretty damn hot at too," he said, winking at me.

"Well, you're damn good at that too, trust me. But I just can't get over how lucky I am."

"How lucky YOU are?"

"Yeah. I mean, my life was going nowhere. I had no-one to be with, if you know what I mean. The only reason I actually got up in the morning was cause it made me feel slightly less useless than just lying in bed all day. I wasn't doing anything apart from playing guitar, riding BMX, playing basketball, smoking weed and getting drunk."

"That's ALL?"


"Well, back in Jackson, all I ever used to do was play pool all day, every day. I've never done drugs or anything, cause if my mom even so much as suspected, she'd kill me."

"Well, the pool thing shows. But your mom's really that restrictive?"

"What, so your parents know you do drugs?"

"I dunno, but if they do, they've never said anything about it."

"Well, my mom's so anti that kinda thing it's not true. I mean, she's got enough of a problem with me being gay, much less me getting stoned all the time."

"I am NOT stoned all the time."

"Oh yeah? You sure act it," he said, flashing me that amazing little smile.

I rolled over on top of him, pinning him down, holding his arms above his head. "Oh yeah? Stoned all the time, huh?"

All he did was lean up and kiss me softly on the lips. I kissed him back, running my tongue around the outline of his lips, feeling him moan softly into my mouth as I felt his cock grow bigger against me once again. Needless to say, mine responded in a similar fashion and I'd moved so that we were rubbing up against each other directly. I let his arms go and they snaked around me, holding me tight against him, his slim hips bucking up at me as I pushed down at him.

"Oh yes... Chris, that feels so good... dunno how long I can hold on for."

"Uh... let it go, babe... I'm the same way... you got me so damn close... " It wasn't long before our motions became more and more frenzied, until we came within seconds of each other, holding on tight as spasms racked our bodies, firing out our cum between us.

We lay there for a while before he leant up to kiss me, then leaning in close, whispering " That was amazing, thank you."

"No, thank you. For everything. For that, for everything."

"I... "



"No, what was it?"

"I... if you could pass the kleenex, that'd be cool, cause we kinda need to get cleaned up before my mom and my brother get back." I sighed softly and leant across him to the table by his bed, picking up a few sheets, helping him mop up the mess on our stomachs. We lay side by side for a little longer, his head on my shoulder and my arms tightly around him. "Chris, we kinda need to... "

"Ok, babe," I said sadly, letting him sit up and rummage around in the pile of clothes at the foot of the bed for his boxers. I reached a hand over and ran it slowly down the length of his spine, causing him to turn, swat my hand out the way and smile.

"Look, you want me to be able to get dressed or not?"

"What do you honestly think?"

"Yeah, well, it's not like we got much choice," he said, throwing me my boxers, pulling his on too. We got dressed, got a couple of cokes out of the fridge downstairs and sat back down in his room. "Uh... not much to do here, I'm afraid. You wanna play some guitar?"

"Yeah, that'd be cool." He opened a cupboard, dragging out a solid-looking guitar case, laying it down on the bed and opening it to reveal a cherry red Gibson Les Paul Standard. Nice... I mean, it figures that a player that good would have a real nice guitar, but only God knows where he found the money.

"It's my uncle's," he said, almost as if reading my mind. "Well, it was. He left it to me." He fitted the strap and plugged it into the amplifier in the corner of his room. And handed the guitar to me.

"You sure?"

"Yeah, try it." Moments like this made me wish I'd actually tried to practice while sober a little more. It always sounded good when I was drunk, but I suppose that's not much of an indication! Still, I managed to squeeze out a few riffs, certainly not note perfect, but good enough, I suppose. A little bit of Metallica, some AFI, and a tiny bit of Pantera's about my skill level really.

James however, is completely different. When I was done, I handed him his guitar back carefully, giving him a smile and saying, "Go on then, make me look bad."

I don't think he was deliberately showing me up, but he ripped his way through a version of Pantera's Cemetary Gates, complete with full on whammy kick in like he'd been playing it forever.

"Fuck, man, where did you learn to play that?"

"Been trying to pick it up off the CD for a week and a bit," he said, looking sheepish. FUCK! He picked that shit up by ear? I dunno how it's possible to play that song anyway, it's well beyond anything I could dream of, and he rips it out perfectly after only a couple of days of working it out. He should get himself in a band. "You should bring your guitar over sometime and we could jam around. And if we could find anyone who plays bass or drums, that'd be cool too." Ok, he's psychic as well as gorgeous.

"I'd really like that."

"It'd be cool. You sing?" ME? Well, when I'm... er... not sober. I haven't sung seriously for AGES!

"Uh, maybe."

"Really? I'd like to hear that."

"Well, I'm practically tone deaf. I don't want to damage your hearing." To be honest, I wasn't that bad. I used to sing in Junior High (don't laugh! I was only 11) and to tell the truth I wasn't too bad at all, but certain things have changed since then! I have no idea if my singing voice survived my voice breaking.

"C'mon, just something. You made me sing, don't forget." Well, he's got me there.

"Ok, what ya want me to sing?"

"Anything you like. What's your favorite song?" I have no idea!

"Don't really have one, but you know '29 times the pain' by the Wildhearts?"

"Sure. Hang on." He fiddled around with the amplifier, turning to me and kicking into the intro.

He looked at me and nodded, making me take a deep breath before opening my mouth.

"Here, sitting in my room

With the Replacements and Husker Du

Like a rebel without a clue

And the Beatles and the Stones

Get to hang out with Ramones

And the Pistols shunning fame

As they sing the old refrain

As they always will again

Like 29 times the pain... Ok, that's enough."

He stopped playing, looking kinda disappointed. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing, I just felt kinda self-conscious. I haven't sung in front of anyone for like 4 years."

"I liked it."


"You have a powerful voice."


"Yes. Not just powerful, but you got tune too." He likes my singing? Somehow, that was even more personal than anything he'd said to me before, cause it was... special. I don't know how to describe it better than that.

"Thanks. That means... a lot to me."

"Well, I mean it." And just one look in his eyes showed me he really did.

"Anyway, now you got to do one."

"Uh, ok," he said, deep in thought for a second before turning the gain and volume right down, playing the introduction to Nirvana's 'Dumb.'

"I'm not like them

but I can pretend.

The sun is gone

but I have a light.

The day is done

but I'm having fun.

I think I'm dumb

or maybe just happy.

I think I'm just happy.


My heart is broke

but I have some glue.

Help me inhale

and fix it with you.

We'll float around

and hang out on clouds.

Then we'll come down

and have a hangover.

Have a hangover...


Skin the sun

Fall asleep

Wish away

Soul is cheap

Lesson learned

Wish me luck

Soothe the burn

Wake me up


I'm not like them

but I can pretend.

The sun is gone

but I have a light.

The day is done

but I'm having fun.

I think I'm dumb.


I think I'm dumb."

He looked up, smiling faintly at me, laying the guitar down. I enveloped him in a big hug, feeling him snuggle up close to me leaning up to kiss me softly. Our kiss just finished when someone knocked on the door, causing us to jump a little.

"James, what the fuck are you doing in there? Holding a rock concert or something?"

"No, Bob, just fooling around on the guitar."

"Ok, well don't do it again. Can I come in for a bit?"


"Good," he said, opening the door. "I need to talk to you without that guy around... Oh fucking hell... " He trailed off when he saw me there, a disgusted look on his face.

"What is it, Bob?"

"I can't talk to you with HIM there."

"Yes you can."

"James, I need to talk to you ON YOUR OWN."

I saw those blue eyes of James' flash, the smile disappeared from his face and he tensed right up. "Bob, spit it out or get out."

"Oh for fuck's sake... Ok. Look, I just don't think that after what happened last time that you should go throwing yourself at some random guy the second we get up here. Mom would flip a shit if she found out."

"Yeah, I know."

"And that's what's fuckin' pissing me off. You know and you do it anyway."

"Look, Bob, it's different to what you think it is."

"How's it different? You're with a guy, James, and you should know better than anyone what mom thinks of that."

"I know, but you think I should change just to make mom's life easier? No way, Bob, no way. It's not like we're gonna go round flaunting it in her face. Or anyone else's for that matter."

"Look, bro, I'm not saying you shouldn't be who you are. You know that. You know I love you no matter who you want to be with. But for God's sake, think before you do something you can't undo."

"Like I said, Bob, I'm not going round flaunting it. I'm proud to have Chris as my boyfriend, quite simply cause I think he's amazing," BLUSH! "But I know I can't going around letting everyone know, and don't worry, I won't."

"If you're sure. I still worry, though."

"Don't, Bob," James said, putting his arm round his brother and giving his shoulder a squeeze. "We'll be fine, I'm sure of it."

"Well, I gotta go do my homework before mom gets back."

"Nah, it's ok, bro... Hang around in here for a bit."

"You ok?"

"Of course. I just wanna spend a little time with my brother, and I want you to get to know Chris, cause he's cool."

"You better stop with those compliments all the time, James, or he might just... no, I don't think he could blush any redder." Probably true.

We chatted away for about half an hour, well, until their mom came home and Robert had to go do his homework anyway. Robert was a pretty cool guy, well, for someone's younger brother. He was kinda mature for his age, but even so, I could tell that he really cared about his brother. He pretty much told me that the only reason he wasn't prepared to trust me was what Craig had done to James and he thought I might do the same. I did promise him that I wouldn't dream of doing anything like that, but even though he was really quite friendly to me, I could feel a little bit of apprehension still there.

"Sorry about that, babe," James said, when Robert had left and we were lying on his bed in each other's arms.

"It's ok, he's an nice guy."

"Yeah, he is. He worries about me far, far too much though."

"He just loves you, babe. He just wants to look out for you."

"Yeah, but he's my kid brother. I'm supposed to look out for him. I didn't need him to look after me, well, I didn't until a few months ago anyway."

"He still needs you, but I just think that he can see that you need someone to help you too."

"He has an odd way of showing it sometimes, but yeah, I guess."

We lay there, cuddling and kissing, until my mom phoned (yes, AGAIN), demanding to know where I was and when I was coming home for dinner. I kissed him goodbye, and walked home as quickly as I could, not wanting more aggravation from my mom than was actually necessary.

The rest of the week passed relatively uneventfully. James and I hardly got any time alone, which really sucked, but we managed to meet up on Saturday evening, just before we went off to Vince's party. I'd arranged for my mom to give drop us both there, and he turned up outside my door just after 7. Just one look at him told me that we'd be lucky to actually get to this party. I wouldn't have been able to keep my hands and lips off of him, if it hadn't been for the fact that my mom was in the house.

He looked absolutely amazing, wearing a loose fitting Calvin Klein shirt, with only a few buttons done up, allowing me to catch glimpses of his beautiful chest and stomach. His jeans looked like they'd actually been made to fit him. They positively hugged his body in ALL the right places, so much so that when I asked him in and followed him into the kitchen, I had to seriously restrain myself from putting my hands on that amazing bubble butt. His hair was just perfect too, just spiked up a little with gel at the front.

We didn't hang around too long, though, just enough for me to finish getting ready, and we got into the car with my mom.

Vince's street was absolutely full of cars, even at that relatively early hour and it was difficult for mom to find a place to stop, but she did, and we hopped out, me waving goodbye to mom over my shoulder. I rang on the door and Vince opened it, grinning all over his face, his girlfriend Charlotte draped all over him. "Hey Chris. And James, right? Cool to see you. Come in, get yourself a drink. There's just about every kind of beer and spirit you've ever heard of in the kitchen. And probably loads you haven't heard of. So get stuck in, man," he said, leading Charlotte off, presumably to get stuck in too.

I grabbed a couple of Buds for me and James, and we went into the living room where there were about 15 people chilling out. I sat down on the sofa, taking a pull off of my beer and sitting right back.

"Through the darkness breaks the light." How true.

Another month, another red bit, another huge (and I mean HUGE) gap in between chapters! I wrote most of this after I got home from a night out that involved my stomach contents and a back alley... Ahem, never let it be said that I find inspiration from 'normal places' if, indeed there are such things.

Email remains the same: hayabusa17@hotmail.com. Comments, criticisms, praise and grovelling welcome. I love hearing from you guys, so if you wanna write me about ANYTHING, just go for it :)

Thanx to:

Anyone who's written me so far, and all you guys that read my story - love you guys.

Chris - Oh Lord editor, where would I be without you? Well, not on nifty, that's for sure :) Thankyou for everything.

Kit and Dave - Thanx for being friends :) And as always to Kit for Not Always Easy. Gr8 story :) I know I've not written in ages, but that certainly doesn't mean I've forgotten you. Anything but.

Foz and Börät - You make me sick. How can you do NO revision and still get 1sts? Bastards! You are an inspiration for the lazy generation and I love you both.

Jamie - My start, my finish, my everything.

Thanx again to anyone I forgot.

Til next time, seeya...

 My thoughts are with the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September the 11th. I hope that the perpetrators of these acts are brought to justice swiftly.