“Are you ok?” Bambi asks me at that moment.

“I'm fine. Perfect.”

I wasn't. Nothing was right in the world. Nothing was perfect.

We are sitting at the table. I look across the table and notice Greg staring at Jax. Jax is staring at me. Bambi is just staring at everyone at the table. It isn't until halfway through lunch that Jae Jae and Kaysha join us scooting Chyna over a little bit. My friends are just sitting around the table looking at us.

“Look who decided to join us...” Bambi smiles.

It breaks the awkwardness to have Jae Jae and Kaysha come over and sit with us.

Jae Jae smiles weakly, “How're you guys doing?”

We all know why Jae Jae is upset. Bambi is faking a smile but we are all aware. The staff has come over to ask each one of us about Jae Jae. Maybe people just assumed that since Jae Jae sat with us that everyone in this little group was real cool. Mia LaPerla wanted the person who smuggled Dre on board and she wanted that person bad.

“Better then you man,” Greg says.

Bambi elbows her brother at that moment, “Shut the hell up Greg.”

“What's that supposed to mean?” Jae Jae asks Greg.

We all look around. There is this awkwardness in the air.

I'm not surprised when Jax stands up for Greg, “Look, Greg didn't mean anything by it Jae Jae. He just goes off at the mouth some time. We all know the staff on the Exodus are looking for you man. They've been questioning us.”

Jae Jae face gets a little weird at that moment.

“Great...” he responds.

“We aren't going to snitch man,” Jax states, “Any friend of my man Mario is a friend of ours.”

His 'man' Mario? Jax does something that is so obvious right then. He stares at me from across the table. His eyes glue onto mine. He licks his lips slowly and eagerly just watching me at that moment. I can admit Jax is FINE enough to make a black man blush. I'm sitting here looking back at him and my heart is beating faster and faster at that moment.

I'm not the only one who realizes how Jax is acting. Bambi as though it wasn't obvious enough adds a warm, “Isn't that cute?”

The awkwardness at the table goes from an 8 to a 10 at that moment. Greg looks over at me. He looks over at Jax.

He seems to give me a funny face and turns back to Jae Jae, “We got your back Jae Jae. You my main supplier anyway. We can't have you going away. It's nice that you got your girl beside you too. She actually holds you down and doesn't jump ship as soon as another cute face comes along...”

Is Greg taking a dig at me? Is he talking about the fact that Jax turned onto me? If he is then Jax doesn't notice it. Jax is hardly noticing anything. He's staring at me. He's smiling. I want to get lost in Jax too...but I can't. I just can't right now.

“I'm not his girl,” Kaysha quickly responds.

“Girl you need to give up that lie,” Chyna responds.

“Right,” Bambi states, “It's kind of obvious. I think everyone should just...come out. You know?”

Bambi looks over at me and winks. God. I know exactly what the fuck she is referring too. She isn't even trying to hide it right now. Bambi is intent on Jax and I getting together.

“I'm serious,” Kaysha responds blushing just as hard as I am, “We're just friends.”

“Is that true Jae Jae?” Greg asks, “You guys just friends?”

Jae Jae stares at the ground for a minute.

“Even if I wanted to be more...I'm probably going to get locked up soon anyway. My life is over.”

“Jae Jae, don't say that man,” I respond to him.

“It's true. My life is fucking over and there's nothing I can do about it,” Jae Jae responds, “I'm helpless. It's just a matter of time before they come drag me off.”

The tension is heavy at that moment. Smiles fade. Not even Bambi can manipulate the situation we are in right now. It's just heavily sad. I can see Jae Jae sitting there next to Kaysha. Every part of me can almost feel that he wants to console her. He wants to be close to her but he's holding back. Is he holding back because he doesn't want to lead her on before he goes to jail? Does he think he's protecting her?

The heavy moments soon begin to pass before Bambi breaks everything up again.

“Everyone excited about the Mars Ball?” Bambi changes the subject after the heaviness of this all clearly starts effecting her, “I'm wearing Roberto Cavalli...”

“Versace here,” Chyna butts in.

“I'm not going,” Jae Jae states.

“C`mon, Jae Jae...you have to go. You going to make me go alone?” Kaysha asks him.

“You're surrounded by friends. Sorry guys...excuse me,” Jae Jae states.

He's down. It's written on his face. In the next minute Jae Jae gets off the table after excusing himself. His face is red and flushed with depression. I've never seen him really like this since I've met him. Jae Jae was talkative. We'd spend hours together just chatting about this and that. We'd chat about a bunch of nothing.

I lean over and console Kaysha who is sitting to my left. I rub her back a little bit.

“Things are going to be ok...” I tell her.

“Really? Because it seems like everything is falling apart,” Kaysha tells me.

Bambi butts in at that moment, “Think of the positive things. Like the ball coming up...”

Sometimes I think Bambi is the biggest bitch but other times like now she actually seems like she has some sort of a heart under all that MAC makeup. She gives a sincere smile to Kaysha that even I feel at that moment.

“Kaysha's right. Listen. We are all far away from home,” I tell the table, “We have to look out for each other. And if there is a way to help Jae Jae. We'll find it.”

Kaysha smiles weakly, “You're right. I'm an OG. We'll find a way to get through this. Well...do you have a date for the ball Mario?”

“Yeah he does...” Jax butts in almost quickly

It's too quick. I immediately bite my lip. Is Jax about to tell everyone about us?

Jax immediately adds the rest of it when he sees everyone at the table stare at him, “I mean he's going with um...um...”

“Me,” Bambi states.

“I am?” I ask.

“Yeah dummy. Did you forget?” Bambi rolls her eyes, “I picked out everything for you.”

Jax smiles, “Yeah it's gonna be exciting. I have something I want everyone to know about when we get to the ball.”

Chyna raises an eyebrow, “Can you just tell us now? I like surprises.”

Bambi rolls her eyes, “Bitch he said he's going to wait.”

“Oh yeah. Sorry...”

Bambi smiles, “It's settled then. I'll see you all of you at the ball and you better be...DONE. Don't let me the fuck down...”


“Damn look at you,” I say staring at Kaysha.

Kaysha comes to my room later that day. I know she's checking for Jae Jae. It's clear she is. It's the day of the Mars ball. On Monday we were going to be in Mars. We've been in space now for a total of 160 days. The excitement is building and this is the big celebration of our arrival to Mars. This is big news and even though I won't be walking on Mars I'm excited for all the people that get the chance to go out.

“Bambi got to me,” Kaysha states as though she is complaining.

To be honest I should have known. Bambi must do this makeover shit for a living back on Earth. That's the only way that I can describe it. It's the best that I've seen Kaysha. Kaysha has extensions. She is finally wearing make up. Her face is contoured in a way that makes her look like she lost almost 20 pounds. I mean she isn't on Bambi and Pia's level. Her dress isn't some lavish expensive dress lke they wear. It's something tight and basic showing off her curves in the right area. She may never be on that level, but I have to admit that the girl is beautiful as hell right now.

It makes sense why she shows up at my door now before the ball. She clearly wants someone to notice.

“We'll have to take some pics for Jae Jae.”

“He isn't here is he?”

“He's barely sleeps here anymore,” I let her know.

Kaysha leans over on the bed at that moment, “I'm worried about him.”

“Mia LaPerla hasn't been asking around as much lately,” I let Kaysha know, “Maybe they dropped the case...”

“Or maybe they solved it,” Kaysha argues, “Maybe they are just waiting to arrest him.”

“Have faith,” I tell Kaysha.

I put my hand on her shoulder.

“You're a good friend Mario. Don't let anyone ever tell you differently.”

I was a good friend. Maybe one day that would be my own downfall...

“Let's just have some fun tonight and take our minds off of things,” I tell her, “You can roll with me if you want. I'm about to head over to Bambi's room right now actually and get ready.”

“I was actually asked by Greg.”

“Greg isn't taking Chyna?” I ask.

“No. And truth is she doesn't care. You know that girl's such a fucking airhead,” Kaysha smiles, “Everytime I talk to her I feel like Einstein or something.”

“Welcome to the Dollhouse,” I laugh.

“Oh God...” Kaysha smiles, “I used to be obsessed with them...from a distance. Being one of them is another story. Hell I don't even know if I'm one of them. I don't even know if I make the cut. Let's just say being around them is a different story. Jesus...”

Kaysha is turning and walking out.

I think for a moment, “It gets worse...”

Kaysha turns at that moment and stares at me suspiciously, “What do you mean Mario?”

I hesitate...thinking about telling Kaysha everything that is really going on but instead I just shake my head and force a smile the best way that I can.

“Nothing doll. I'll see you at the ball.”

I'm just thinking about everything at this moment. I am thinking about Pia. I'm thinking about the secret agreement that we had. I'm thinking if I could really go through with this shit. Can I really put others before myself and what I want?

The thoughts gather in my head and almost make me spin. By the time I get to Bambi's room I'm blown. I knock a few times and realize that a week ago Bambi gave me her room key.

I open the door and step inside.

“Bambi I hope you're close to being done!” I scream out as soon as I enter the bedroom, “It takes you hours...”

I step inside of the room. There is heat coming from the back. I make my way towards the side of the suite. The huge suite is similar to Jax's suite. I walk past the kitchen and step into the hallway. The bathroom door at the end of the hallway is open. A gust of deep steam comes out of the bathroom. Someone steps out of the bathroom.

I stare at that moment and notice Jax walk out.

He's naked...completely butt ass naked.

“Bambi's not home,” he smiles.

Jax leans up against the wall. He notices me staring him up and down and a priceless Kodak smile is his reaction to it. He begins to walk towards me. His muscular defined legs are wet with steam. He emerges from the team like a phoenix. He almost brings the heat towards me and by the time he is down the hall I'm sweating a little bit.

He stands inches away from me. Jax's mouth hovers over me at that moment.

“Bambi planned this didn't she?” I ask him.

“She wanted our night to be special...she didn't want Greg or Chyna interrupting us so she let me have her suite.”

“Interrupting us?”

Jax leans over at that moment and kisses me. His lifts are soft and smooth. They pucker up to mine. When I open my mouth Jax literally sucks the air out of my lips. I'm struggling to sit there and find a way to contain myself. His warm body presses up against mine.

I struggle to move backward at that moment.

“Yeah...interrupting us,” he tells me.

“Fuck you're sexy,” I admit to him but quickly find myself snapping out of it, “Look. I need to tell you something Jax. Something very...very...”

I can't talk. Jax is nibbling at the bottom of my lip. He sucks on the bottom of my lip hard. As I continue to attempt to talk this naked man is stroking me up and down. His dick is getting hard between my thighs. His muscles surround me. He lowers his hands right below my ass and begins to squeeze gently.

“Sorry,” he whispers seductively, “I can't help myself. I love how your lips pucker out when you get serious man. I can't help myself.”

“Jax be serious...”

“Mhmm...yeah like that.”

As soon as I open my mouth to speak again Jax shoves his tongue down my throat. FUCK! My heart is racing so hard at that moment. I can't believe he wants me this bad. I can't believe Jax is here kissing me and acting like I'm the only man in the universe.

How the fuck did I get this lucky?

“Jax...please focus...” I pant in a way that almost feels like I'm begging.

“Shit. You're right. I don't want you to think what we have is going to be all about sex?” Jax states, “Come here...”

“What we have?” my heart is racing.

“What we are going to build...together,” Jax states and before I can respond again he grabs my hand, “Come here.”

“Jax...we need to talk.”

“Stop the serious talk. It makes me want to kiss you man. Just shut up and follow me. Close your eyes.”


“You trust me?”

“Of course I do.”

“Then do what I say. Close your eyes. Matter of fact...here...”

Jax walks behind me. He cuffs his hands around my eyes so that I'm blind. I can feel his naked body pressed up against my backside. This is making me even more excited. His dick is so big. It's semi hard still and pressed right up against the crack of my ass. He leads me from behind letting his body guide me one step at a time.

We walk closely almost as though we are attached to one another. When we get to the bedroom Jax removes his hands from away from me.

“What do you think?” Jax asks.

“You're joking...”

My heart is racing. Jax has matching suits hung up in the bathroom. They are both white with a dark grey lapel. I look over at the suits and my heart is racing. They have this signature look.

I can see Jax in the mirror. He is looking at my reaction, “I'm going to take that as you like them. I figured since tonight is our coming out thing we can go there matching. You know. Do the whole 9. And I'll just get up and I'll tell everyone what's up between us. I mean I'm pretty sure everyone knows. I'm sure Bambi knows, I'm assuming Chyna may know, Greg knows. Everyone supports us...”

“Wait...Greg supports us?” I ask.

“He's my best friend Mario...”

“Your best friend that you also was fucking.”

“It's complicated,” Jax responds.

“I think he still likes you. You don't know how deep his feelings went.”

Jax rolls his eyes, “Greg is not like that man. C`mon. We haven't even made it official and you're staring to get jealous on me already.”

“Whoa...I never said I was jealous,” I respond defensively.

Jax sighs at that moment, “Mario. Listen. I trust Greg. If we are going to do this. You're going to have to just understand that. And you're going to have to trust him too at some point.”

I don't want to argue with Jax but I remember how Greg looks at me. I remember how he reacts to me about things. Greg's actions just didn't seem trustworthy. Greg leading me over to Pia so that Pia can reveal her little plan to me wasn't trustworthy. Greg telling Dre that Jax and I were sleeping together prematurely wasn't trustworthy either.

“There's something about that guy Jax...”

Jax says at that moment, “I'm cool with your friends right? Ok Greg and I slept together but our relationship is deeper than that. He had some time to think about what I told him about me and you. He says he's happy for me and I believe him. I'll do anything for my friends in the same way that I'm sure you'll do anything for yours...”


“I guess you're right.”

“ Listen. Let's not argue about Greg or Pia or Dre or anyone else,” Jax states pulling me in, “Tonight I want it to be about us. Ok?”

I sit there forcing my smile as hard as I can. Truth is I want to run. I want to run as far away as humanly possible.


The VIP section is catered off from the rest of the party. I know about half of the people in the section. There are a couple of guys that Greg has invited that usually party with him. They introduce themeselves to me a few times but honestly I block it out of my mind. I am trying my best not to get involved with Greg.

Kaysha, Bambi and Chyna are sitting off to themselves. Kaysha is pretending like she doesn't like being the mix but the truth is I can tell a part of her is really enjoying this popularity thing. I can see a couple of guys eyeing her that never probably gave her the second time of the day. What is even more interesting is the fact the the guys seem to be intimidated by her.

“You going to dance or no Mario?” Greg asks me.

“He's not trying to fuck up the white,” Jax speaks for me.

Jax touches the smalls of my back at that moment.

“I am noticing the theme here?” Chyna asks, “Was that intentional?”

Jax looks over at me. Our eyes connect. It's that moment where I feel like he is drawing something inside of my soul and sketching it on a piece of paper. I am melting underneath his stare. I find myself moving closer to him without even realizing it.

We are so close right now. Our bodies almost inseparable.

“Maybe,” Jax responds to Chyna but looks me right in my eyes.

Bambi fans herself at that moment, “It's getting hot in here. Greg, Jax why don't you guys go get us drinks...”

“I want want too,” Chyna states.

“Bitch there's only two boys. Go get your own drink,” Bambi lets her know.

Jax looks over at me, “What do you want to drink?”

“Whatever you think is good,” I respond.

Jax smiles at me flashing pearly white teeth, “I'll make it special...”

He walks away at that moment. The music is blasting and I can't help but to see him walk away. He's nonchalantly talking to Greg but he looks happy. Ever since I've met him I haven't seen Jax smile as much as he's smiling tonight.

Did I make him this happy?

Was I the cause?

“You two are fucking cute together,” Bambi states, “Aren't they Kaysha?”

Kaysha raises her eyebrows, “I don't know what you're talking about...”

“Oh cut the shit,” Bambi responds, “I know and you know that Jax is about to ask Mario to be his man, his boo, his bae...”

“He told you that?” I ask.

My heart is racing. WHAT THE FUCK?

“Duh. Jax hasn't been secretive about you guys. The secret is out...” Bambi responds.

Kaysha gives in at that moment and stops trying to hide my little secret, “Bambi's right. Every minute you're not around Jax won't stop talking about you. I mean I have Chemistry with him and he's like a little hornball...”

“Still a relationship is a big deal. We aren't there yet.”

“Bullshit. You've been there from the moment you've met him,” Bambi replies and then stops at that moment.

Kaysha seems to really be channeling my attitude at that moment, “Why the long face? Shouldn't you be happy about this?”

“I am...it's just...”

“It's perfect,” Bambi lets me know, “My plan worked. You get your man. Pia: The Wick Witch of the West gets to watch in her lonely corner as her man confesses to love another man. Yes. Perfect.”

Bambi smiles in her own little conniving way. Only thing about Bambi is with all her conniving she seems to want the same thing I want. She seems to have my best interest in mind even if it was for her own selfish reasons.

Kaysha leans in at that moment, “Mario...I know you. What's wrong?”

“I know what's wrong,” Bambi butts in, “A rat's coming our way...”

I know who Bambi is talking about before she does. In the next minute Pia walks over to the VIP section. When I see what Pia is wearing I'm literally shocked and appalled. Kaysha and I are like two people stuck between landmines. We don't know which way to turn.


“Interesting,” Pia states staring at Bambi.

Bambi stares back at her ex-bestfriend, “Really?”

At that moment Jax and the others come walking over to the VIP area. Greg's friends are with him and they are almost immediately laughing when they see that Pia and Bambi are both wearing the exact same Cavalli sleeveless dress with a plunging neckline.

“Twins?” Greg asks laughing.

Chyna's eyes get wide as she looks at Bambi, “Oh...my god Bambi. Bitch stole your look.”

There is more laughter from Greg's friends. It's clear that Bambi is embarrassed. If she didn't hate Pia before...she definitely hated her now.

“You did this on purpose...” Bambi tells Pia.

Pia rolls her eyes, “Of course I didn't. I mean how could I have known what you were wearing Bambi? Look. Our shoes are different. You're shoes are last seasons darling.”

Chyna is staring at Bambi, “Oh my god Bambi...Pia's shoes aren't even on the rack yet...”

“SHUT THE FUCK UP!” Bambi responds before turning to Pia, “Bitch where the fuck are our bottles...

“They are coming,” Pia responds, “Here's one now...I have someone breaking out the others...”

She hands Bambi a bottle of Ciroc.

Bambi yanks it out her hand, “Bye...you can leave now...”

I stand at that moment and stop Pia from leaving before anyone can say anything differently, “Actually Pia, why don't you stay?”

Jax looks over at me, “Stay?”

Clearly no one wants Pia around and it's for good reason. She's been nothing but trouble.

Luckily Bambi has my back, “Yeah...actually Pia why don't you stay. Jax just had an announcement to make to everyone.”

Fuck. Fuck...Fuck...

My heart is racing.

Jax leans over at that moment, “Yeah actually I do have a really big announcement. Can I have everyone's attention.”

I turn to my right. Bambi is standing next to Chyna and Kaysha. A smile spreads over her face. She couldn't be happier to see what is about to happen. If she was smart she would notice something else though. She would notice Pia's smile as well. She would notice Pia doesn't seem to have a care in the world right now.

Jax is smiling as well. I've never seen him so happy. He slowly makes his way towards me. He stands right next to me.

“EVERYONE SHUT UP!” Greg announces, “Let my best friend talk. He has something he wants to say...”

Greg's friends shut up. I can tell most of these guys are bandwagon guys. They look for someone like Greg or Jax to lead them. They follow around Greg and Jax hoping that they would be able to get with girls like Bambi and Chyna if they were just around. I realize how fast they shut up. They'd do whatever Greg told them to.

The man of my dreams stares in my eyes right now, “So...we've been on this space station for a while now and I've had a lot of time to reflect. I had a lot of time to stare out into the stars. I've just had time to think about what I really want out of life. Being in space made me realize just how small my world was. And I've realized just how big the universe was. And I've wanted more...”

“I think I'm about to cry,” I hear Kaysha whispering next to me.

I look over to her. I realize that Bambi has beaten her to it. Bambi is fucking crying. Jesus Christ everyone is putting so much into this.

Jax looks over at me, “I've allowed myself to face emotions that I didn't think I could face. And I allowed myself to break out of a box. I got out. You know what I mean. I'm getting out of the box that society sets. Because I'm Jax Christopher I have to date the perfect young, light skin girl with long hair and cares only about fashion. Because I'm Jax Christopher I'm supposed to be what this idle of male perfection. I'm done with that box. I get out. I'm coming out...”

Pia stops him, “Before you finish...”


“Bitch you're so rude,” Bambi responds, “Can't you see Jax is talking?”

“What---I was just going to say let's bring out some more bottles so we can properly toast to Jax's news...”

At that moment someone is breaking out more bottles. Someone rolls the cart up. I realize who it is before anyone else does. The person rolling up the bottles gets the most stares out of everyone.


“What's going on here?” Jax asks Pia, “What the fuck?”

“What---I was going to let you finish,” Pia responds, “It's just Dre...”

“I thought he was in jail,” Kaysha adds in.

“My mother decided why keep someone locked up. Instead of having him in class why not just have him join the staff and work off his debt to the LaPerla's...” Pia responds, “What's the big deal? I mean weren't we all gathered to listen to what Jax had to say. Go on Jax...finish what you were saying...”

Bambi, Chyna and Kaysha are staring over at Pia. They don't trust her. They have the right reason to. Her bringing Dre here at this very moment. That was her plan. It was her plan all along.

I stare over at Dre. Our eyes connect.

Jax shakes off everyone at that moment, “I wanted to tell everyone that I'm gay. I'm gay and I'm falling for someone. And that person is Mario Kane...”

Jax reaches over at that moment and grabs my hand. He grabs my hand in front of everyone in an attempt to hold my hand. As he holds my hand I can see Bambi, Chyna, Kaysha start clapping. What I'm surprised at is Greg walk over to Jax.

“I'm happy for you man...”

Everyone else seems a little confused.

They are even more confused when I pull away from Jax. I yank my hand away from him.

“Actually that's not going to work,” I tell Jax.

“Mario?” Jax seems confused. His hand is reached out to me at that moment desperately hoping that I'd grab it back up again.

I don't grab it.

I walk across the VIP and make my way over to Dre.

“I'm already in love with someone else,” I tell him...before I stick my tongue down Dre's throat.

I don't have time to see everyone's responses. I am hoping to block out everyone standing behind me. It's silent. It's so silent. I think the DJ even shut off the music at the ball at this point. I'm standing here kissing Dre and he's kissing back. He's kissing me back and he desperately wants it.

Just at that moment I see Pia raise her glass, “I'll toast to that!”