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Chapter Six

"What was that all about?" Tommy asked me. I looked at him and hesitated. "Okay, Aubrey came up with a way to get Tanner off my back." He looked at me questioningly. "Why is he on your back?" he asked. I breathed in deep. "Tanner came by here today." I said nervously. Tommy sat up. The look on his face was something between confused and mad. "Why?" he asked in his deep voice. "He wanted to know what's going on with me and you. My car was parked right there so he knew I was here." I said. "What happened?" "He was mad." I said. "He kept asking why I called him Tommy and if I had a thing for you he had me up against the wall, so I told him to calm down and sit." Tommy's eyes narrowed when I told him about the wall. "I told him I was sorry for calling him you. I told him that there was nothing going on with us." I said. Tommy sat there staring at me. "And" he said. "He believed me. Then he told me that he likes me and that I'm the only guy he keeps going after. He said he got jealous when I said Tommy. He didn't know what to do, so he left." Tommy got up, I got scared that he was going to leave. Instead, he walked to the double doors; he stood in front of them, looking out.

"Did you do anything with him?" he asked turning his head to me. I felt my heart pounding hard in my chest. Lightning flashed into the room, I didn't know what to say. My silence answered his question, and he looked down. Slowly, he turned and looked out the doors again. His hands were in his pockets and I could tell he was clenching his fists.

I stood up and walked to him. He stared at me, emotionless. He shook his head and walked away. A loud thunder sounded as he did, making it more dramatic. I walked after him up the stairs. "Tommy" I said to him as he went into the bedroom. He didn't respond. I walked in the room as he came out of the closet with his bag. "Don't leave." I pleaded. "Why?" he asked. "I don't have any reason to stay here." "Tommy please" "Why Collin? How could you?" he asked. I walked up to him again. I unclenched his fists and took his hands in mine. "I'm sorry Tommy. I'm sorry." I said. Tears came into my eyes. He looked back at me; his eyes seemed watery too. "I'm sorry." I repeated. He looked down; my heart was ripping up inside of me from my guilt and the disappointment in Tommy's eyes. I put my hand under his chin and lifted his head so he was looking at me. "Tommy, please don't leave please don't hate me." I pleaded. Tears were running down my face now and I squeezed my eyes shut. I hate crying, I've always hated crying. The last time I cried was when my grandmother passed away, four years ago. I realized that there was something more with Tommy, something that made me swell up with emotion at the thought of him hurting. "Why did I do this to him? How can I make someone I care for more than anything, feel so sad?" I asked myself.

I pulled him towards me, put my arms around his waist and put my head next to his; our bodies touching. "Please don't leave me." I whispered in his ear. "I need you. I'm sorry." I said, tears still flowing. Tommy just stood there, not responding. I could feel his heart pounding against my chest. Actually, I couldn't tell if it was mine or his. We stood there, my arms around him, holding him against me. It hurt; him just standing there, not reacting to me. "I'm sorry." I said to him again. I felt his soft whimpers; his breathing was slow and hard. Finally, he lifted his arms and wrapped them around me, pulling me tightly against him.

I pulled away from him to look into his eyes. There were tears coming down his face too. "Tommy please don't hate me." I said to him again. "I don't hate you, I can't hate you." He said. He wiped the tears off his face with the back of his hand, and then wiped mine. "Does Tanner mean anything to you?" he asked. "No." I said. "Do I?" he asked. "Yes." I replied. "Collin, do you really want to be with me? Because, I know that I'm your first boyfriend, and I know it's hard to get used to not being with anyone else." I opened my mouth to say something, but he put his finger over it. "Wait, just here me." He said. "I don't want you to be involved in something you can't commit to. I don't want to be with anyone else but you, and I want you to feel the same way about me." He then looked deeply at me. "I do want to be with you, more than anything. I don't know why I gave in to Tanner. Believe me, I feel like shit, below shit. And I'm scared to death that you'll leave me, but I wouldn't blame you if you did." I said "I'm not going to, I wouldn't be happy if I did. I just, I just want you to promise me that you'll never cheat on me, again." He said. "I promise."

I took him closer to me again. Despite Tommy taking this fairly well, I still felt like shit. We stood in each others arms, not moving or talking, just breathing. He took my head and turned it towards him, looking at me. I brushed the hair away from his face. "So what does Aubrey want you to do?" he asked. "Lets sit down." I said. We walked over to the couch in my room and sat. "She thinks I should tell Tanner that I'm getting involved with someone else. Not you." I said. "Who?" he asked. "This guy, his name is Kyle. He's really cool, and he knows it's just pretend." I looked at Tommy for any sign of refusal or protest. "For how long?" he asked. "Just until Tanner backs off. Aubrey suggested Kyle so that Tanner wouldn't suspect you." "It's cool I guess." Tommy said. "Really? Cause I don't have to do this if you don't want me to." I told him. "No, go ahead. I just want Tanner to go away, without any problems." Tommy's voice was low, not coming out with any noticeable tone.

I called Aubrey and told her about what had happened. She gave me Kyle's number and insisted that I call him right after we got off the phone. I sat, looking at Kyle's number. "Well, are you gonna call him?" Tommy asked. "Yeah." I replied. I don't know why, I felt nervous. I dialed the number and heard the phone ring. "Hello." I heard Kyle say. "Kyle? This is Collin Cruz." "Hey, what's up man?" he said in a cheerful voice. "Not much, just finished talking to Aubrey." I said. "So, how've you been? I haven't seen you since the last time Trent threw a party." He said. "Yeah, I've been okay. Better actually, than I was when you saw me." "Tommy?" he asked. "What?" I responded confused. "Better cause of Tommy?" he asked differently. "Oh, yeah. Definitely because of him." I smiled and looked over at Tommy; he was staring at the TV, but didn't seem to be paying it attention. "We should meet somewhere, so we can discuss this better. How about tomorrow?" he asked. "Um, tomorrow's good." I said. "Okay, do you know where Williams Square is?" "Yeah, it's close to where I live." I told him. "Cool, then there at two. Is that okay?" "Yeah." I replied. "Alright, bring Tommy." He told me. I was a little surprised, but found it comforting. "I will. See you then." We said our goodbyes and hung up. "Well?" Tommy said. "He wants us to meet at Williams Square tomorrow." Tommy nodded and looked at the TV. "He wants you to go to." I said. "He does? Why?" he asked. "Cause I don't know, he just wants you there." Tommy smiled a little. I could tell he was a little uncomfortable, maybe still thinking about what I had did.

The rest of the night went on uneventful and without much talking between us. I hated it, it was the kind of silence where you can tell the other person wants to say something but doesn't. Every time I looked over at him, he seemed to be in a far off place. Around twelve he got up and told me he was going to bed. I watched him as he walked up stairs; long slow steps. I closed my eyes and cursed myself. I knew there was something he wanted to ask me or say but for some reason wasn't saying it. I stayed on the couch for a while, maybe half an hour. I turned off the TV and went upstairs. I entered the dark room, lit only by the dim light coming through the balcony doors. I undressed and slowly got into bed. Tommy was lying on the right side of the bed, not facing me. I wanted to take him in my arms and hold him until all these feelings of ours went away. Instead, I just let him lay there.

I was resting there on my back, many thoughts running through my head. I didn't know what to say to Tommy anymore, things felt so uncomfortable right now. "Collin, are you asleep?" he asked me quietly. "No." I replied. "What happened with you and Tanner?" he asked. "What?" I asked back. "When he showed up here, what all happened?" I felt a very cold chill come over me. "I want you to tell me everything." He said. "Everything?!?!" "Well, um I was in the bathroom, and I heard the door bell and then knocking. I looked through the peep hole and saw him standing there. I waited to open the door, I didn't want to open it, but my car was right there. When I opened it, I said hey, then he asked me why I called him Tommy. I tried to explain, but he asked what was going on with us, if I had a thing for you. He walked in and backed me up against the wall. He had his arms up and wouldn't let me out. He was really angry, I told him to calm down and sit in the living room. He put his arm down and followed me. I asked him why he was so upset about you, why he wanted to know if we had something going on. That's when he told me that he liked me, and that I was the only guy he went after and the first to know he was actually gay. I couldn't believe it, it's Tanner. He told me that the only reason he showed up at the party was to tell me how he felt. And when I said Tommy, he didn't know what to do, so he left." I laid quiet for a moment, waiting for Tommy to say something. "What else?" he said.

I continued, "I told him that there was nothing going on with you and me, we were only friends. He got up and sat next to me, told me he wanted me. I felt his hand on my face, and he pulled me towards him; he kissed me." I stopped; I didn't want to go on. It hurt me to tell him about Tanner, even if he wanted me to. "Is that all?" Tommy asked. "No we went on from there, kissing, you know. When he was on top of me, we weren't having sex yet. I looked up at him and realized what I was doing. I told him to stop and I tried to push him off, but he only got more aggressive." Again, I stopped. There was a silence that seemed to go on for ever. "Was he here when I called?" he asked. I felt my heart pounding. I didn't want to lie to him, but I didn't want to hurt him either. "No. He had already left." I lied.