In my dream, I kissed him over and over. I kissed his tears away. I kissed his cheeks. I kissed his forehead and the tip of his nose. And finally I kissed his lips. His arms were tight around my waist. It was warm, hot. Then neither of us were wearing shirts and I kissed his neck, the hot skin over his collar bone. My kisses trailed down his chest. I took his nipple in my mouth and swirled my tongue around it. His body moved underneath me. A moan escaped his lips. My kisses trailed down the muscles of his stomach, my lips on the indentations and mounds of his muscles. I suddenly had a desire to taste his skin on my tongue so I licked him from the base of his stomach up to his neck. He shuddered beneath me.
The alarm on my phone buzzed. My eyes flashed open. Well, if I had any doubt that something inside me had been opened with Vincent's kiss, that dream would have squashed it. It might have sounded strange, but I had never had a dream like that. And the tent forming in my blanket was further proof.
I grabbed my phone and shut off the alarm. I had to think of other things. I had to get up and get ready, but I couldn't let my family see me like that. Think of puppies, cute little puppies with floppy ears and floofy fur and when they run they look adorable in all their uncoordinatedness...ness. Great. Now I wanted to get a puppy, but the tent had disappeared.
I got up and got dressed. I could hear Kannika moving around in her room. Someone was in the shower and since my dad was in the kitchen packing his and Kannika's lunch, I assumed it was my mom.
"How was your time with your friends last night?" my dad asked. He handed me a piece of toast with a fried egg on it.
A smile crept onto my face. "Good," I said. I quickly bit into the toast and egg hoping that would wipe my smile away, but it didn't. I wanted to see him. Vincent. Why hadn't I thought to ask him for his phone number last night? That seemed like a basic.
"It seems like you had fun," my dad said. "You're in a good mood."
"I'm always in a good mood," I said as I took another bite.
My dad handed me a glass of orange juice. The shower turned off in the bathroom. I couldn't hear it from the kitchen - I wasn't Kannika with super hearing - but the pipes were old and when water was running in the bathroom, the pipes in the kitchen made a quiet sound which stopped when the water in the bathroom was turned off.
"That's true," my dad said. He took a bite of his own toast with egg, "but this time it seems a little different."
"Don't talk with your mouth full," I mimicked mom's tone. Dad made a face at me. "I made a new friend," I said. "The person who was trying to break up Mateo and his boyfriend has come around, I think."
"That's good to hear," my dad said.
The bathroom door opened. I quickly stuffed the rest of my toast in my mouth and ran to the bathroom arriving just a split moment before Kannika. I went into the bathroom and locked the door. Kannika pounded on the door. "I have to get ready too!" she called out.
"I just need to pee," I said.
She sighed like the over dramatic teenager she was and stomped off. Having only one bathroom in a house with four people wasn't easy, but when there had been five people it had been a lot worse. Especially since it used to take Kiet an hour to get ready. I finished using the bathroom, brushed through my hair quickly and called out to Kannika, "The bathroom's free."
I went back into the kitchen. Mom sat at the table with dad. He had finished his toast, but he waited for her. "Bye," I said. I gave them both a quick hug. I grabbed my backpack from my room and made my way through the neighborhood to the bus stop. I always tried to be at least 5 minutes early. The bus was usually right on time or a few minutes late, but there had been a few times where it was early and I couldn't afford to miss the bus. I guess I could miss it, but it would mess up my morning routine.
The bus was on time. I got on and sat near the back of the bus. It wasn't too busy yet. I always left early so I could go exercise. I got off at the sports building. I went inside to the locker room and quickly changed. I went out to run the track. I wasn't the only one, but I was the only one currently from the soccer team. I nodded to the regulars. When I was finished running, I went inside and lifted some weights working my legs and back. I showered and went to the main floor. There was a section for athletes to get a free breakfast. It was welcome for all the athletes, but mostly geared for the football players as they were the ones that needed to bulk up. I usually ate there anyway, even if I already ate at home.
I sat at a table eating an orange. A couple of the regular football players sat down to talk to me, but they ended up talking to each other when they realized I wasn't in a talkative mood.
How was I going to find Vincent? It seemed like Mateo was pretty angry with him last night so I doubted I could ask him or Alex for Vincent's info. I didn't even know what he was studying so I couldn't go stalk his department. I supposed I should find out what Vincent had done the previous night to set Mateo off like that. How could Vincent's family have treated him that way? Poor Vincent believing them. But at least it seemed he was willing to try to believe in me now. There had been that time we had met at the cafeteria. That was what I would do. After my written communication class, I would go to the cafeteria and wait for him to hopefully show up until it was time for my intro to sports management class.
My morning class was agonizing as I sat and waited for it to be over. As soon as the professor ended it, I grabbed my bag and rushed out the door before the professor had even left. I made my way to the cafeteria. My eyes scanned the parking lot. My heart dropped when I didn't see his silver car. Was I really that attached already?
"Chet," his voice called me. And then I saw him standing towards the back of the parking lot. A large truck had hidden his car. I bounded across the parking lot until I stood in front of him. I tried to contain my smile, but it didn't work. He was smiling too though.
"Hi," I said.
"Hi," he replied. "Do you want to go get something to eat?"
"You don't want to eat at the cafeteria? We're already here."
He looked at the building across the parking lot. "I'd rather eat somewhere off campus," he said.
"Okay," I said, "but I need to be back in an hour for my next class."
"Me too," he said.
We got into his car and he started it up. He pulled out of the parking lot.
"Can I ask why Mateo was so angry with you last night?" I asked.
Vincent let out a low sigh. "Yes," he said, "but first put your number in my phone." He handed me his phone while he drove.
I opened his contacts and saved my phone number under the name favoritesoccerplayer. Then I sent myself a text from his phone so I'd have his number too. I placed his phone between us. On my phone, I opened his number to save in my contacts.
"What is your major?" I asked.
I saved his number as favoriteentrepreneur.
"So last night..." I reminded him.
"How much do you really know about Jason?" he asked.
I hesitated. I didn't want to get Melissa in trouble, but maybe if I didn't mention her by name it would be okay. "Someone told me a rumor they heard that Jason slept with Alex and secretly recorded it. Then Jason tried to blackmail him."
"That's accurate," he said. "If I tell you what I did last night, will you promise not to get angry with me? Alex and Mateo are already mad at me."
"I don't know that I can promise I won't get mad," I said, "but I promised last night not to avoid whatever this is between us and I will keep that promise."
"Okay," Vincent said. He opened his mouth to tell me, but paused for a moment and then said, "Wait, who told you about the rumor? Was it Alex or Mateo?"
"It wasn't them," I said. He waited. "Alright," I said, "I'll tell you, but you have to promise not to get mad at the person who told me and I in turn won't get mad when you tell me what you did last night."
"Okay," Vincent readily agreed.
"It was Melissa."
"You know, Melissa. The girl I was with at the cafeteria a few weeks ago."
"How would she know?" he asked with his brows knotted together. He pulled into the parking lot of my favorite pizza place. It wasn't technically on campus, but it was so close that its main customers were college students.
"You don't know Melissa?" I asked because she had clearly known him and Alex.
"She seemed vaguely familiar. Should I know her?"
"She went to North High," I said.
"Oh. I didn't really pay attention to people that weren't already my friends. Is she just going around telling people about Jason and Alex?" His voice was getting dangerous.
"No, no," I assured him. "I asked her. It is true that Mateo and Alex mentioned Jason in front of me before, but wouldn't tell me what he had done and I was curious so when I found out she was from North High too, I asked her."
We sat in the parking lot with his car now off, but we didn't get out of the car.
"So...what did you do last night?" I asked.
His hands gripped the steering wheel until his knuckles turned white. "Something terrible," he said. "Jason had taken Alex to a hotel. That was where he had secretly recorded him. I was so obsessed with breaking up Alex and Mateo that I almost suggested Mateo take him to a hotel. I knew it would hurt Alex and cause them to break up. I stopped myself mid-sentence when I realized how much that would hurt Alex, but Mateo figured out what I was going to say and he already knew about the hotel. He was deservedly angry."
His eyes turned to me already waiting for the anger and judgement he thought I would give him. And it had been horrible of him, but I had seen the state of him last night.
"Have you ever done anything like that before?" I asked, but I already knew the answer.
He shook his head.
"And will you do anything like that again in the future?" I asked, but I was sure I already knew the answer to that too.
"No," he said vehemently. "Never again. I will never risk hurting Alex like that."
"And you've apologized?"
"Many times," he said. "Alex isn't speaking to me right now, but our other friend - Trevon - called me this morning and told me Alex just needed some time."
"Alex is a great person," I said.
"He really is," Vincent said.
"So...can we go in now and eat pizza?" I asked.
He smiled at me. "One more thing," he said, "can we keep it a secret that we're dating when we're in public."
My heart leapt in my chest at the confirmation that we were dating, but it fell when I realized he was asking to keep it a secret.
"Why?" I asked. "You don't want anyone to know you are gay?"
"I'm not gay. I'm bisexual, but I guess it doesn't really matter. My family can't find out I'm dating a man. They will kick me out."
"Maybe they'll be understanding," I started, but he was immediately shaking his head.
"They've made it very clear since the third grade that if I ended up liking a boy like Alex likes boys that they will kick me out. I will no longer be part of the family."
His family wouldn't really kick him out just for that would they? Then again, they had said all those horrible things to him.
"Okay," I said. "We can just be friends in public for now, but how long can we keep up that pretense?"
He shrugged not really having an answer for me.
"I know you don't like lies," he said. "Are you really okay with that?"
"It's not a lie," I said. "It's withholding some information to keep you safe."
"Have you told anyone you are gay?" he asked me.
"I'm not gay," I said easily.
He raised an eyebrow at me.
"I actually thought I was asexual," I said. "Until you kissed me last night and then something inside me opened and I'm suddenly attracted to you so now I think I might be demisexual, but I'm not really sure about that either. I just know that when you kissed me I was suddenly attracted to you. I even had a dream about you last night."
"You had a dream about me?"
I nodded and felt my cheeks grow hot as the blood rushed to them.
"What kind of dream?" he asked with a smirk that told me he knew exactly what kind of dream it was.
"You know," I said.
"So...if you are having dreams like that about me, can I have dreams like that about you?" His smirk got a little bigger.
"Don't ask," I said, "just do it."
He laughed. It was bright and airy and I loved it. "Okay," he said, "let's go eat."
"One last thing," I said. He paused with his hand on the door handle. "We split everything," I said. "I pay for what I eat, you pay for what you eat."
"I'm okay buying for you," he said.
I shook my head. "Be honest. You have trust issues about people using you for your money and for good reason. I don't want you to ever have cause to worry about that between you and me. So I'll pay for myself."
"Okay," Vincent nodded.
I smiled. I never thought I would be in a relationship. "Let's go eat then," I said.