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turn of events

Chapter Six

September 4 2006

It’s amazing what a pseudo relationship can do for one’s out look.

I mean, I was sort of with Grant, even if it was on the sly and for some reason, I found myself enjoying Texas a whole lot more and willing the time to go a little more slowly.

I berated myself for acting like some lovesick teenager. Then again I was a teenager even if the love part was too soon to tell.

It was just fun being with Grant and actually wanting to be in his company instead of just hooking up with some guy at a club. I actually knew Grant and liked his personality.

Too bad I couldn’t share my joy with my friends here. I never asked Grant, but I did tell Julie and Danny. I could never keep secrets from those two and I knew they would have no problem with Grant and would keep quiet about the whole thing.

I thought back to when I told Julie on the phone what had happened and her reaction was so amusing that I still smile about it sometimes.

“You and Grant!” she squealed in an awfully high pitched sound. I cringed and held the phone away from my ear.

“Yes,” I responded in Chinese, not wanting Blair or anyone else to understand me.

“No way! I never would have guessed. When did this happen? Did you guys kiss and do anything else? Is he going to come out?” she blurted excitedly.

I laughed, “Damn Julie, one question at a time.”

“It happened Friday night. He came over for dinner and no one else was home. We were talking, I went upstairs to get a movie, and he followed me-”

I was interrupted by her excited squeal.

“Julie!” I warned.

“Ok, continue.”

“He kissed me, but I was so surprised I pushed him away-”

“Are you crazy? Grant’s hot!”

“I know, but I was so caught off guard! Anyway, he was all embarrassed and then started telling me how he liked me all along, and liked me even more when he got to know my charming personality,” I paused when Julie started giggling, “then when I told him I was gay too he got all bummed, wondering why I didn’t want to kiss him.”

“Aww,” Julie hummed.

“Yeah, so I said I did like him too, but I didn’t want things to get complicated since I was leaving. What was the point, right?”

“Mmmhmm,” Julie murmured waiting for me to go on.

“But he kissed me anyway, and he’s a good kisser Julie. Once he started, I couldn’t try to pull away even if I wanted to,” I said.

Julie laughed, “Yeah Pete, I’m sure you tried real hard to get away from that hunky blond haired, blue eyed Texan dreamboat.”

“Julie, you’re lame! Since when do you use the word hunky and dreamboat?” I asked, my voice dripping with sarcasm.

“Whatever!” she responded chuckling, “So what’s the deal with you guys now?”

“Well, he’s not out and even I don’t want to be out over here,” I explained, “We haven’t talked about a real relationship. For now we’re just hanging out.”

“And you’re ok with that? Won’t it be hard to leave him in May?”

I sighed, not wanting to think about it, “I’ll worry about it when the time comes.”


My thoughts were interrupted when David burst into my room.

“What?” I asked slightly startled.

“Oh nothing,” David said slightly out of breath, “Ready to go for lunch? I was calling you for awhile now.”

I stood up, “Oh sorry. I was thinking.”


“Julie and stuff back home.”

“Oh,” he said quietly but didn’t delve further into anything, but instead led me down the stairs and outside to his truck.

It was our weekly, “father/son” lunch. I had been looking forward to it.

“So you seem more adjusted these days,” David said after we ordered.

“What?” I asked not understanding.

“Well, you have friends and a job, and you’re more civil in general to everyone. Anything happen to create this change?” he asked casually.

I studied him, wondering if he knew what was going on, but shook my head. There was no way he could know anything.

“No, not really,” I said shrugging.

"Ok, well how are things with your friends back home? Julie and Danny?"

I smiled, "Great. Julie is going to UCLA and she has all this stuff planned for when I come home. Like parties and things to do before she leaves. And Danny and I are going to NYU together. We're gonna dorm together. Although we may not dorm our entire four years, but we want to try at least one semester."

David nodded and smiled, "Sounds good. You're well on your way to your future."

"Yeah," I agreed.

"Umm, so about NYU. How, I mean, can you afford it?" he asked hesitantly.

"Yeah. Mom took care of everything."


I cocked my head, "Why?"

"I was just wondering."

"Ok," I replied not wanting to ask more questions.

“So are you looking forward to college?”

I nodded, “Sure. I mean, the actual school part will suck, but I’ve never had problems academically. I’m excited to have that dorm life. And Danny will be my roommate if all goes well.”

David nodded, “That’s great,” he said quietly.

I looked at him carefully, “Are you ok?”

He didn’t answer me immediately since the waiter stopped by and brought us our food.

“Yeah, I’m just realizing that you and Blair will be graduating and both of you will be off to college.”

I smirked, “Well Blair will be in Texas. I’m sure you’ll see lots of him.”

“Yeah, but you won’t be in Texas. And I don’t know how much I’ll see of you.”

I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, not knowing how to respond.

David sensed my discomfort and sighed, “Pete, I know we agreed not to discuss this kind of stuff, but before you know it, April will be here, and the end of the school year flies by so quickly, I feel like I won’t ever have enough time with you.”

“I know how eager you are to go home, but even though you may never consider me your Dad, I was hoping we could be friends and see each other periodically and I’m almost afraid that once you leave, this is it.”

“David,” I began carefully, “It’s not that I don’t want to be in your life or not have you in mine. But my life is elsewhere. I’m starting a new chapter in my life with college, and I honestly can’t promise you anything. I just don’t know enough yet.”

David nodded, “I just didn’t realize it would be so hard. I mean, finding out about you, getting to know you, and then having to say goodbye, maybe forever.”

I inwardly groaned. I hated guilt trips. How come parents were so good at that?

Wait, did I just consider David a parent?

Woah there, shake it off, shake it off.

David continued, “I know you probably think I wouldn’t care if you let, that you’re just some stranger living in my house. And even though we don’t know each other that well, you’re still mine. You’re my kid, my son, my blood. It’s like I already feel a bond or something. And it’s hard for me to let go. Even harder than it is for me to let go of Blair. At least I know he’ll come back.”

My brow lifted when he said that.

“No shit,” I said before I could stop myself and David frowned slightly.

“Sorry,” I apologized, “You just threw a lot at me.”

David chuckled, “I know I did. I’m sorry. This is just what I’ve been feeling lately.”

I shifted in my seat and sighed, trying to figure out what to say to his admission.

I really didn’t know where to start and I think David could sense that, so he just leaned back and waited patiently, with a neutral expression on his face.

I licked my lips, “I like you David,” and he smiled at me, “I mean when Mom died, I was devastated and even more stunned and angry that I had to go move to Texas and live with you,” David looked down at his hands, “But as difficult as I was and the adjustment was, I can’t help liking you more and more as I get to know you. You made some past mistakes, but I’m not perfect either. We all make mistakes and you were young back in the day. I get it and I’m not mad.”

I paused, “I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like you a whole lot more than I expected I would and I know I will miss you when I leave. I can’t write anything in stone, but I would like to keep in touch, some way or another, as well.”

David beamed when I said that and I couldn’t help smiling too.

“And I do consider you a friend,” I added.

“Good,” David said.

And since great minds think alike, we simultaneously began to eat our lunch.


That night at dinner, Grant was over, which wasn’t really a surprise.

As normal, I took my seat across from Blair. I would have much preferred to sit across from Grant and look at his gorgeous face, but it would seem odd, and plus, I totally looked forward to eating dinner across from Blair and causing problems.

Did I mention I was a complete ass?

This time there was no fighting between us. Everyone appeared to be in good moods. I guess it was the weekend, and Blair was feeling good because of some girl. I was feeling good because my talk with David went well, I had Grant and for the time being he was mine, and before I knew it, I would be back home in NY. Things weren’t looking so bad.

I ate my food and smiled and nodded at Kelly and David. Even Kelly was growing on me. She was still an annoying perky housewife, but she wasn’t so bad.

I peeked at Grant every so often and even Grant was glancing at me. Luckily Blair was talking about himself as usual and was too dimwitted to notice the both of us ogling one another.

That was one good quality about Blair. And I honestly didn’t think Grant had to worry much about Blair finding out. He was too self involved.

I stared at Grant and admired his good looks. Today he was wearing a blue shirt that really brought out his eyes and went well with his tan complexion.

He had recently gotten his hair cut so his curls were more manageable, but a few still hung over his forehead.

He caught my eye, blushed, and looked down at his plate of food. I couldn’t help smiling. Normally people as hot as Grant would be cocky or something, but Grant was so, I don’t know, innocent and down to earth. I swear if we were alone right now I would jump on him, flying across the table and all that jazz.

Luckily I was able to control myself.

Well for now at least.


The following Monday, during work, I was on the computer while Parker tutored someone in Chemistry.

I tutored a few younger girls in junior high with their math and when they were done, I had some time on my hands before Grant would show up.

So I surfed the net and was looking up tuition prices and dorm expenses at NYU.

Danny and I had already responded to our acceptance letters, but I still liked to know what was going on with the financial situation of next year.

It was overwhelming. I needed to see Danny in person and discuss things and talk to my lawyer.

I was totally engrossed in my thoughts that I jumped a little when I felt a tap on my shoulder.

“Hey,” Grant said with concern, “Are you ok?” He glanced at the computer screen.

I smiled, “I’m fine, I was just thinking and you startled me.”

I walked over to our usual table with him following me.

“Looking at college stuff?”

I nodded, “Yeah, before I know it, I’ll have to get things in order. But when I get home, I can deal with that stuff. Plenty of time.”

Grant nodded and became quiet.

"You ready to work?"

He nodded again and I found his solemn demeanor odd, but I let it go.

We mainly focused on his calc and English papers. He wanted to really bring up his grades before school ended. I didn't think he had to worry or work so hard. He already got accepted into college, and his grades were already mostly A's. But Grant was a hardworking guy, evidently.

When we were finished, he was still quiet, but not in a bad mood necessarily.

I cocked my head at him, "Grant, are you ok? Something happen?"

He shook his head, "No, I just get all bummed when we talk about college next year and you leaving."

I averted my eyes, "Sorry man. I won't mention it anymore."

Grant looked up at me, "No, don't do that. It just gets me thinking of the future and it stresses me out or makes me over think stuff, and I hate that."

I smiled, "I understand. I don't want to think about what’s gonna happen in the future. I just want to enjoy now."

"Me, too."

With that he smiled and the old Grant was back.

“So uh, this weekend, well, Friday night, do you, uh maybe, wanna go out?” he stammered slightly looking at his hands.

Grant was too cute.

I smiled, “Why my dear Grant, are you asking me out on a date?”

He blushed, “Yeah, I guess I am.”

“Where are we gonna go?” I wondered.


“Wouldn’t people see us?”

Grant looked down at the table, “Maybe, but if we go somewhere further out, no one would get suspicious.”

“Are you sure?” I asked. I didn’t want him to somehow get labeled as gay. It would cause some problems.

Grant nodded, “Yeah, I miss you. Hanging out while tutoring isn’t enough time with you, Pete.”

I smiled and leaned back in my chair, “Yes, everyone wants more with the Pete man,” I drawled out.

Grant flicked my hand, “Well don’t you want more time with me?”

“Yes,” I replied honestly, causing him to grin like a little kid.

We just stared at each other for a bit with goofy smiles on our faces until a thought occurred to me.

“Wait, what about Blair?” I asked.

Grant blinked, “Oh yeah, we have a party to go to that night. He’s bringing Kelly and she’s bringing one of her friends, for me, I suppose.”

I raised my brow, “A girl, huh? Interesting.”

Grant shook his head, “It’s not like that, Pete. When we get to the party, Blair is gonna get shit faced, as are the girls, they’ll probably crash at the party and I’ll be sober and leave whenever I want. The earlier the better, of course,” he said nodding at me meaningfully.

“Well, that’s good to hear,” I mused.

Grant smiled, “Would it bother you if I was with a girl.”

I looked at him directly and smiled, “Well, those thoughts wouldn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, if you know what I mean.”

He smiled again and nodded.

“Do you have a curfew?” he asked.

“Not that I know of,” I responded, “We‘ll find out if I come home too late and one of the parental figures go all ape shit on me.”

“Pick you up at 9 then?”” he asked, “I’ll call your cell if anything else changes.”

“Sounds good, man,” I said smiling at him.


“I don’t want to rollerblade,” I said firmly, crossing my arms.

“Oh come on, it’s fun,” Grant said holding out a spare pair for me to use.

“I don’t know how to,” I said.

“I can teach you, I’m a good teacher,” Grant said softly coming closer to me and wrapping his arm around my waist.

“Grant,” I whined stamping my foot and he laughed, kissing my neck quickly.

“Mr. Tough guy from New York is whining like a little girl?” he teased, pecking me on the lips, and full blown hugging me to his chest now.

For our Friday night date, we opted not to go out to dinner, but instead got some coffee and then hit a park in the next town over. Since it was late at night, there was no one around, but there were plenty of street lamps around, so it wasn’t so bad.

“You’re calling me a girl?” I demanded in mock anger as I grabbed onto his hips and returned his kiss more deeply.

Grant didn’t answer, but instead ran his hands up and down my back, practically yanking me into him, his lips sucking on mine hungrily.

I pulled back to breathe and looked into his eyes panting.

“Wow, Grant, you’re kind of attacking me,” I said.

He smiled and looked down, still holding me, “I can’t help it, Pete. You’re so, just so beautiful, I have to touch you whenever I’m with you.”

“Hmm, well that line of thinking or actions can get you into a lot of trouble,” I said patting his cheek.

Grant pulled me toward a little roof area where there were benches that overlooked the lake.

There was a nice breeze in the air and we sat down, close to each other, enjoying the serenity of it all.

“Hey Pete,” Grant began hesitantly.

“Yeah Grant?” I asked still staring out into the lake.

“I know we said we wouldn’t discuss the future since it was so depressing, but, when you leave, do you see yourself coming back or anything?”

I turned to face him, “That’s funny, I just had this same conversation with David like last week.”

“Oh sorry.”

“No, it’s ok,” I answered taking his hand, “At first I thought I would leave and never come back, but now that I’ve been here for awhile, I met some people that I just have to see again. And that includes you,” I said smiling at him.

“You think you’ll ever come back to Texas?” he asked quietly.

I looked at his profile, studying his angelic features, “Honestly Grant, probably not.”

He looked at me, his eyes looking a bit sad.

“I would like people to visit me and see New York. I mean, I have places for you to stay, without an entire family breathing down my neck and New York has so much to offer,” I explained, “And I just don’t like Texas enough or feel comfortable to come back.”

“Like,” I continued, “Jet and Lawrence are going to Florida, Parker, Stacey, and you will be in Texas, Julie will be in California, me and Danny in New York; if we wanted to hang out we could always meet somewhere for a vacation during the school year. Like Vegas and Hawaii, which are awesome by the way, or a cruise!” I said my eyes lighting up.

Grant was quiet while I rambled on excitedly and laid his head in my lap.

“Pete, will you miss me when you go home?” he asked.

I ran my fingers through his soft blond curls and smiled down at him, “Of course I will Grant. You’re the first guy that I’ve sort of been with that I actually care about enough to get to know.”

“It’s just sad, you know.”

“What is?” I asked confused.

“That you run into people during the course of your life and meet someone amazing, and then by circumstance, you’ll never encounter these amazing people again. It’s just sad, because all you’ll have are the memories to go on which is all in the past, and in a way, you’re living in the past, you know?” Grant said.

I touched his cheek and then his lips, “Grant, don’t be sad,” I murmured, “You will see me again, just not as often since we’ll be kind of far away.”

“Yeah, we say that now, but once we get settled into our own lives, it won’t be as easy. Before you know it, we’ll stop emailing, or calling, and then talking, period,” Grant said sounding bummed.

“You’ve thought a lot about this, haven’t you?” I asked.

He shrugged, “Not really.”

“We’ll just have to make more of an effort then to stay in touch,” I said.

“Pete, you’re the only good thing in my life in such a long time,” he said softly.

“What do you mean?” I asked, my interest piqued.

“Remember the time when we sort of first met and you asked me why I was always over at your house?”


“I told you me and my Dad don’t get along, but there’s more to it than that. He’s abusive.”

I inhaled sharply and gripped his shoulder.

He touched my hand gently, “Not anymore though, Pete. Well, that’s not true. He doesn’t hit me anymore, but the verbal insults are still there whenever I’m home,” he admitted.

I softly ran my fingers along his neck, waiting for him to go on.

“When I was 10, my Mom upped and left. My Dad was abusive back then even and hit her as well. She was so depressed and broken and couldn’t take it anymore and she left one day and never came back,” he said sadly.

I was appalled; the bitch left her own son with a monster? What the fuck man?

“Then he got really bad once she left. All his energy was directed towards me. But then something happened that kind of helped me,” he said.


“He got into a car accident and he’s paralyzed from the waist down,” Grant finished.

“Wow,” I breathed.

“Yeah, so he has someone to help him out and he gets disability, which is why I’m working so hard for scholarships wherever I can get them. Whenever I do go home, he attacks me, the stuff he says are so terrible, that I hate being there. Which is why Blair in a way, is my savior. He let me stay with him and basically live in his house. Almost like a brother.”

I couldn’t believe an asshole like Blair could be so caring.

“I hate my Dad Pete,” he said fiercely, “but for some reason I still can’t leave here. It has so many memories and Blair and everyone. That and I’m scared. I don’t know if I can make it anywhere else,” he said miserably.

“Grant,” I began.

“If I had more balls or guts, I would follow you to New York, as stalkerish as that sounds,” Grant said.

I smiled, “It sounds a bit stalkerish but I wouldn’t mind having you around to see more often in New York. You are awfully pretty.”

Grant bit my knee teasingly.

“I’ve always felt a bit empty, well my entire life actually. I go to school, I play football, I hang out with my so called friends who don’t really know me. My entire life is a lie, a façade, an image, and I’m sick of it.”

He sat up and faced me, “With you, I get to be me, honest with myself, and happy.”

“I’m glad Grant. I like the real you,” I said caressing his neck, loving the feel of his smooth skin beneath my fingertips.

“My happiness will be taken away when you leave. I have to hide who I am again,” Grant said.

“I won’t ditch you Grant. We’ll stay in touch, I promise,” I said and I leaned forward, grabbing his face, unable to bear his sad puppy look and kissed him.

I kissed the shit out of him.

I leaned on him until he fell backwards and laid my body on top of his, my hands cradling his face.

My tongue swept inside his mouth, finding his tongue and the only sounds between us were soft moans, heavy breathing, and our lips moving rapidly over one another’s.

I wanted to kiss his pain away.

Grant was a good person.

“Pete,” Grant groaned as his lips traveled over my face, ears, and nick until he was kissing me again, his arms hugging me tightly to him as if I was a source of comfort.

Why did the good people have to hurt?

This world was completely fucked up.


“Someone’s birthday is coming up,” Stacey sang out as she saw me walk in for work.

Damn it, she remembered.

My birthday was coming up in two and a half weeks and I had seriously been hoping she wouldn’t remember, but she did. This girl remembered everything.

“Oh no,” I muttered and Parker laughed as he laid his bag on a chair.

“You’re gonna be the big 18, we should celebrate,” Stacey said smiling at me, her green eyes twinkling.

“Stacey,” I began.

She scrunched up her face adorably, “Oh come on Pete, it will be fun, I promise. I am in a dire need of a party. It can be small if you want. Just a few people, I promise. Your friends, me and my brother, who is due for a visit. You don’t want my baby brother to come visit and have nothing to do, do you?” she asked sticking out her bottom lip.

I laughed and looked at Parker who was muffling a laugh.

“Dude, she’s got you,” Parker guffawed and I shot him a dirty look.

“Thanks for the help, pal,” I said sarcastically and he simply shrugged.

“What do you say Pete?” Stacey asked charmingly.

I sighed and ran my fingers through my hair, tugging on it slightly, “Ok, fine.”

She jumped up and down, clapping her hands and giggling, “Awesome!”

“At your house?” Parker asked.

Stacey nodded, “I’ll plan it and give you the details or you can give me your invite list and it can be a pseudo surprise party,” she suggested.

“Uh,” I said thinking it over, “Ok, if you want.”

She nodded, “I like planning parties. I should have been a party planner. I missed my calling man, damn,” she said comically shaking her head.

“Fine, you take care of it. I don’t wanna deal with it,” I said smiling at her slightly.

“Typical man,” she said grinning at me.

“Whatever, you’re the woman, take care of me,” I said in a exaggerated macho deep voice causing Stacey to giggle at me.


Since Grant and I had our official “date” or night out together things have been great between us.

We weren’t like officially going out since we would probably be tied to stakes and burned in this town, but between tutoring and seeing each other at school or sneaking little kisses and stuff when Grant came over to the house, it felt like we were spending a lot of time together. And every minute spent together made me happy.

Which is why time was flying by so quickly.

Isn’t it amazing how when you’re wishing for time to go faster, it seems to move slower; so slowly, your insides are churning with anger and frustration and anxiety, creating an ulcer.

But then when things were going well and you were happy, and say you found a gorgeous, sweet, blond guy, the time was zooming by at such a rapid pace that I couldn’t even hold onto it if I tried to.

Not to mention I was turning 18 tomorrow and even though I was hardly considered old by any standards, I felt like I was getting old.

I really didn’t want any party celebration, but Stacey was so freaking persistent. It didn’t seem right having a celebration without Julie, Danny, my grandmother, or my Mom.

My Mom.

My first birthday without my Mom.

That thought made my stomach ache badly.

I always told my mother to not buy me anything since she always gave me so much. Or as I willingly admit; she spoiled me rotten.

Yet like clockwork, she always got me something. Some fancy electronic that just came out, a new cell phone since she knew I loved getting the fanciest upgrade, or she would buy me sneakers or hand over a gift card from my favorite store.

I would miss her leaving my gift on my desk before I went to school, so the first thing I saw on my birthday would be some ridiculously wrapped package.

I would shake my head, open the gift, and call my Mom, gushing my thanks.

I would do anything now to hear her voice or see a package on my desk.

I guess I would have to push those thoughts out of my mind now because today was Saturday, the day of my party and coincidentally, the exact day of my wonderful birth.

I couldn’t get out of this shin dig even if I fought like crazy to because Stacey was so excited about it.

Even thought Stacey was about 8 years older than me, she was like a kid and we had become good friends over time. I really didn’t want to hurt her feelings at all. She had never been anything but nice to me.

I recalled her yesterday while I was in the middle of tutoring, reminding me to get my ass to her house at 8:00 sharp at her house.

I played dumb, “Whatever for?” I asked innocently batting my eyelashes.

Stacey mock glared at me, “You know for what. Now come tomorrow night and prepare to have fun or at least relax, ok? Oh and if you want to crash at my house, you can.”

“Why would I crash at your house?” I asked puzzled.

She smiled, “In case you drink too much.”

“You’re serving alcohol to a bunch of underage drinkers and some minors?” I asked smiling, “How responsible of you,” I added sarcastically.

She opened her eyes wide, “What?” she asked holding out her hands, “I’m providing a safe place to stay until everyone becomes sober again. What’s NOT responsible about that?” she asked.

I laughed, “Ok, I promise to be there,” I said several times over the evening.

It’s not like I didn’t know who would be there. I only had so many friends here in Texas and Stacey knew who they were.

Jet, Lawrence, and Parker. They could all be listed on one hand.

And Jet basically flat out told me she was excited to go to a party since she hadn’t been to one in ages.

There went the idea of pretending to have a surprise party. Where was the surprise when I knew what was going on.

I would have liked Grant to come, but it wouldn’t be wise.

Jet knew I was gay and suspected Grant liking me back, but she didn’t know anything or what had been going on between us. I wouldn’t disrespect Grant by spewing all our private business.

If Grant showed up, people would ask questions. My friends weren’t mean and didn’t gossip, but Lawrence and Parker knew that a popular football jock wouldn’t show up at my party; I was a guy that basically went out of my way to be disliked around here.

The one good thing about my birthday was that I got so many gifts from friends back home.

Similar to Christmas, gifts started pouring in about two weeks ago.

Of course I got the nicest gifts from Julie and Danny since they were the closest to me and my grandmother sent money which wasn’t necessary, but I guess it was tradition.

From my old classmates I got tons of cards, some more Cds and DVDs that had come out recently.

David would glance over my gifts and the immense amount of cards and I received and would comment quietly, “I guess all your friends miss you.”

I knew what he was getting at and it all revolved around my leaving. I simply nodded, not wanting to get into the whole topic all over again.

I hated rehashing issues over and over again, especially the ones that made me uncomfortable.


I followed the directions to Stacey’s house and got there with no problem.

David lent me his truck and told me to have a good time.

When I mentioned I might be crashing at her house, he just smiled and gave me one of those fatherly expressions, if I even knew what that really was.

I didn’t like driving such a huge car. I was used to either driving a small sports car or hauling ass on foot or by train.

It definitely took some getting used to driving a boat sized vehicle.

I knocked on the door and waited with a small smile on my face for Stacey to answer the door.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw the door swing open.

“Stacey,” I began but when I looked up, my words died on my lips.

I looked right into a pair of green eyes and I was speechless for a second.

Green eyes were kind of uncommon and when I saw a pair of them, I always got lost in them, trying to decipher if it was the lighting or it they were really blue eyes with a tint.

But this guy had rich and deep green eyes that were evident against his tan skin.

I knew this had to be Stacey’s brother. The resemblance was uncanny.

He was tall, 6’2 and lean. Their family must have tall people because even Stacey was 5’9 and a half, which was big, for a woman.

They had the same even tan skin and some light freckles across their long straight perfect noses.

And beautiful hair that I loved.

Chestnut and curly, cut close cropped so they wouldn’t get out of hand.

I always thought Stacey was pretty, being tall, tan, and thin with those green eyes and long thick wavy brown hair, but those features on a man, fucking WOW!

“Hi,” I managed to stutter out.

He smiled easily and his smile was inviting and beautifully white.

“Hey, you must be Pete,” he said easily.

“That’s me,” I said regaining my composure.

He grinned even wider and opened the door for me, “Come inside then Pete, everyone is waiting for you. By the way, name’s Deacon,” he said and I shook his hand as I walked in.

His grip was firm and his hand wrapped around mine.

I had to force myself to breathe and remain calm and not blush. I hated blushing, it gave too much away.

“Nice to meet you finally,” I said smoothly, “Stacey has been talking about your visiting for weeks now if not more.”

Deacon laughed and the sound resonated loudly in the hallway.

“Yeah, Stacey and I are really close despite the six year age gap. She really misses me while I’m at school,” he said rubbing his neck.

“You go to school close by?” I asked.

He nodded, “I usually visit every weekend, but it’s difficult with the commute and whenever I do come home, I have homework and seeing our parents and friends. So yeah, our hanging out time is usually way too short,” he added.

“Must be nice,” I commented.

“Only child?” he asked smiling.


He motioned for me to follow and I did.

I walked inside Stacey’s house until I got into her living room and I saw Parker, Jet, and Lawrence jump up from their seats and yell “Surprise! Happy birthday!”

I laughed and smiled.

“Thanks guys,” I said and I walked over to everyone, giving the ladies hugs and the guys the ‘man to man’ handshake.

“Happy 18th!” Jet cheered as she kissed my cheek.

“Thanks Jet,” I said but couldn’t say more as Stacey grabbed me and pulled me over to her.

“Here are your presents,” she said waving to a coffee table with gift wrapped boxes, “And here is the fantastic cake I baked!” she said motioning toward a rather nice looking chocolate cake.

“You baked this?” I asked, “Get out.”

She slapped my arm, “I went to all this trouble of having a party for you and inviting your friends and baking this cake,” she pointed to the icing and little flowers made of frosting, “And look at this design. This is a professional cake design.”

I pulled her into my arms and hugged her, “Aw, thanks Stacey. It’s great, I love it, really. Thank you so much.”

I did indeed feel touched she went to so much trouble for my birthday. It was nice.

Then I saw the alcohol collection.

I turned to Stacey with surprise, “Stacey, are you trying to give every one of us alcohol poisoning or something?”

She laughed and nudged me, “Come on, we can make fun drinks. This is what we young ins do.”

Deacon tugged on her hair, “Yah, back when you were young,” and she pinched his stomach.

“So have fun birthday boy,” Stacey said and then I heard a timer go off, “Ooh, my food!” she exclaimed as she ran into the kitchen.

I looked at Deacon, “She cooked too?” I asked incredulously.

Deacon laughed loudly bending forward at one point, “She’s old, but she likes to entertain when she can. It makes her feel alive or some shit like that.”

“I guess,” I stated as I looked around and saw my friends talking in a circle with Jet eating some chips.

Deacon wrapped his arm around my shoulder, “Come Pete, let me make you a drink. I’m awesome at making drinks, you know, being in college and all that.”

I smirked, “Oh, it’s nice to see education going to good use.”

“You know it,” Deacon said as he reached for a bottle of Bacardi.

I shared a smile with him and accepted the drink he handed me while staring into this green eyes.


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