Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 21:21:36 -0800 From: Jordan Faulkner <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Red Ribbon ch.3 Disclaimer: This story is purely fictional and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is pure coincidence. This story is posted in the Nifty Archives for the sole enjoyment of the readers and contains homosexual subject matter. If you are forbidden by law to read such materials please leave now. The author claims all copyrights to this story and no duplication or publication of this story is allowed, except by The Nifty Archive, without the express written consent of the author. This story will, at times, contain graphic sex scenes, and if you are forbidden to read these, or it is illegal, please leave now! My eyes shot open to a room of darkness. I felt my surroundings and my head seeped with pain once more. The area around me was cold and hard and I smelled a familiar smoky haze. I coughed out loud to clear my throat. I felt a burning scratch buried deep inside my throat as I kept coughing. The familiar acrid scent filled my nostrils sending a heaving gulp of bile out of me. My vomiting echoed throughout the room. My stomach was churning acid. "Hello!?" I shouted. The room burst into flames lighting the world around me. I looked up to see the shadowed figure from before. He stood tall and erect disguised by the shadows of fire. He held a knife in his hand that reflected from the embers glare. I shot up to my feet and slowly walked backwards as he made his way towards me. "Don't run away now..." he called out with a laugh. I turned to run and saw an open door. I cried out with relief. My feet hit the cold floor with determination. The room grew hotter and ash filled the room as I saw flames envelope my exit. I stopped dead in my tracks. I began panting at the hell I was in. I turned around to see no one there. "I said don't run away," he snarled. I screamed and turned around to see the man standing right in front of me. His knife glistened against the fevering flames. I cried out and began panting. "What do you want from me?" I cried. The flames seemed to grow higher and higher diminishing the space around us. The circle that was once big now constricted us closer. I was breathing faster and faster. He stepped closer to me with his knife raised to my cheek. He grabbed me by the neck and tightened his grip sending chokes out of me. I screamed in pain. My chest began to tighten as adrenaline surged through my veins. "One down," he whispered sinisterly. He plunged the knife into my stomach sending a sharp pain through my chest and out of my throat. "AHHHHHHHHH!" I screamed. My eye's shot open to my living room. My hands surveyed my surroundings as I felt the soft comfort of the couch underneath me. I felt my stomach and chest and felt neither blood nor any pain. I turned over to find Charlotte, who looked disheveled and concerned, and Kris, who looked just plain concerned, running into the living room. "Jesus fucking Christ Asher," shouted Charlotte, "You need to stop screaming!" Kris was down by my side and he cupped my face while glaring at Charlotte, "Hey. You ok?" "Oh no, it's ok. I didn't find my friend's dead and mutilated body earlier," muffled Charlotte. "She's dead...isn't she?" I asked softly. Charlotte walked over towards the coffee table and snatched the remote with a fierce swing. She angrily clicked on the television. The static filled the room until the ten o'clock news displayed its top story. A young African American woman stood outside of a house with police cars everywhere and bright yellow caution tape. "Becky the body of 17 year old Janelle King was found a few hours earlier by a close friend. The witness explained she arrived for a study session with the girl and was concerned after more than twenty minutes went by when the victim did not return any phone calls. Apparently the friend noticed a crack in the front door with a red smudge, later discovered to be the victim's blood, and immediately burst inside through the back door. Her body was then discovered in her bedroom. What's most noticeable about this case was that the killer seemed to adorn the victim with a red ribbon around the neck. Citizens may remember that last year, eighteen year old Natalie Ryan..." Charlotte clicked off the t.v. with a loud click then turned back to me. "Yeah. She's fucking dead," she snapped. I tensed up at the harsh vocals Charlotte emitted. Kris rubbed me up and down in attempt to ease my tension. "Charlotte," Kris snapped. "What?" yelled Charlotte, "I just found a fucking dead body, of my friend and team mate no less, and I have to watch a girl I knew for over eleven years make the fucking ten o'clock news. I have the right to fucking PMS right now, ok?" I got up and walked over to Charlotte embracing her. I felt her shudder underneath me and burst into tears. Kris came up behind me and enveloped me as well. We stood there in a tight hug. Charlotte's sobs ricocheted off my chest and back into her in a never ending cycle. I slowly released the puffy faced creature that was once Charlotte. Her brown eyes flashed memories that will haunt her forever. For once I saw vulnerability in Charlotte's eyes. We all moved over to the couch in understanding silence. I was in between Charlotte who was resting her head on my shoulder while I leaned on Kris as he had his arm wrapped around my shoulder. I felt his hand brush against me and I noticed he was running his fingers through Charlotte's hair. His own attempt at comforting his baby sister. Well, Charlotte was born a minute earlier than Kris but he still classifies himself as the oldest. "So," I began, "Can you tell us what you saw?" "Ash," said Kris in an attempt to diffuse the conversation from happening. "No," said Charlotte, "He has a right to know." "Ok," agreed Kris. I squeezed Charlotte's hand as she began her story. "I stopped by Taco Taco on my way over, right? You know how that bitch always conned food off of me," she laughed with a stifled tear dropping off her face, "Well I called her when I was in her drive way to let her know I was there. I needed help with carrying the food and she didn't answer. I kept calling and calling so I figured I'd just walk in and find her. I walked to the door and tried opening it but it was locked. I rang the bell and stood there for about ten minutes calling her house phone and everything. That's when I noticed the crack in the glass on her front door. I got nervous so I went around the back and found the door wide open with some of the furniture tossed over. I kept calling out for her and I started to get really nervous. I walked into her kitchen and saw the phone smashed on the floor and the knife on the floor. So I got all frantic screaming for her right? I thought she was playing some stupid joke on me. Well I walked over to her front door and that's when I noticed the crack on the window with the blood. There was a trail of it running up the stairs, so I went up there. I kept calling her name but all I heard was this deathly silence. Then I saw the hallway..." she trailed off. She started to choke up and regained composure. "The hallway...was...so much blood," she cried, "I saw her hand prints and trails of it along the wall. I even saw pieces of her hair along the floor. I walked over to her room and that's where...where...where I found her." Charlotte continued sobbing some more as she replayed the horrible sights that can never be erased from her memory. I squeezed her hand tighter and shared the pain with her. I knew her pain. I felt it. I remembered it. "I saw her just staring back at me. Her eyes were so empty and she was completely covered with blood. I screamed and I saw the writing on the wall. Literally. With her blood. The fucker wrote a message on her wall with her blood. You should've seen her mom's face when the ambulance arrived. I...I..." she trailed off again into another cry. My body tensed up at the pain she was feeling. It all felt so similar. It was real. This was real. It was happening all over again. "What did the message say?" I asked tensely. Charlotte looked up over at Kris who sighed. They both looked visibly stricken. They communicated their silent twin stuff and finally Kris nodded. Charlotte looked in front of me and squeezed my hand in preparation. "It said the same thing Natalie's wall said," she said quickly. The words spat out like acid that sizzled my ears. I choked up for a minute. "It's happening again," I cried. "They caught him, Asher," spoke Kris. "Yeah," agreed Charlotte, "What happened to Natalie was tragic, and so is this, but it doesn't mean they're connected." I sat there baffled and I shot up and turned to face them, "HELLO! Red ribbon? Writing on the wall? How are they not similar?" They both stared at me silently. The room was filled with tension. They didn't argue because there was no argument. Someone had tried to replicate my sister's murder. "Why her?" I asked, "Why Janelle?" "To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance..." spoke Charlotte. The quote shivered up my spine. I'll never forget seeing those crimson letters against the pale white walls. Neither would Charlotte. I needed sleep. I wasn't looking forward to school tomorrow. "Are you going tomorrow?" sensed Charlotte. "I believe that question applies more to you," I asked. "Yeah. I'd rather be with you guys than being at home by myself." "Good thing we have first period together," I huffed as I leaned back into Kris. I felt his reassuring squeeze and I noticed Charlotte surveying us. "Oh my god," she cried out as she turned towards Kris, "I ruined it didn't I?" "No," spoke Kris, "You didn't ruin anything." "Did I miss something?" I asked confused. "No!" they both shot out in unison. I was utterly confused at them but dismissed it. I didn't have time to think. I didn't have any effort to think. I was dreading tomorrow. The warmth of Kris enveloped me as I leaned in closer. I remembered we were about to kiss. I almost kissed my best friend. I shot up in thought. So much for not thinking. "You ok?" asked Kris. "Yeah," I said, "Uhm. You guys should get going...it's getting late." "Yeah," agreed Charlotte, "Am I picking you up tomorrow Kris or what?" "Well do you want me to spend the night Ash?" asked Kris. I looked over at Kris and his big brown eyes. I can tell he wanted to be here for me and I didn't want to be alone. I nodded a yes and watched Charlotte leave. It was just me and Kris on my couch. It was hard to believe only a few hours earlier Janelle was alive and happy... and now she was dead. Murdered. In the same way my sister had been murdered. I shivered as I recalled the events from almost a year ago. "I don't know how to comfort or explain any of this Ash," began Kris, "But let me be here for you." I agreed and leaned in to Kris. He wrapped his arms around me as I continued leaning into him. I slowly fell asleep in my best friend's arms. I heard a soft whisper before I drifted off into sleep. "I love you," whispered Kris. I woke up in Kris' arms. I was a little stiff but the warmth and security I felt from him was all that I needed. I stirred and ended up waking Kris up. "Hey," he said groggily stretching his neck out, "Hope you slept well." I laughed, "Next time we'll opt for the bed instead of the couch." "Promises, promises," he laughed as he wiggled his eyebrows. I smacked him flirtatiously. He grabbed my arm and pulled me across the couch. I was on my back as he was on top of me. We were back into the original position from last night. He stared down at me as he contemplated moving in for our first kissed. I tightened my grip around his shirt as I began to pull him closer to me...closer to us. His warm forehead rested on mine as our noses clicked, sending off a spark that woke us both up. I felt a stir in both our pants. I felt his breath upon my lips as he inched forward. I felt the ignition of fireworks in my heart. Unfortunately the entire situation was diffused as the house phone rang in a familiar fashion. Kris grunted out loud and handed me the phone. "Last time I answered someone was murdered. It's your turn. I'm hopping in the shower," he said with a faint smile. The phone continued to ring in my hand as Kris got up. I got up but quickly reached his hand in mine and pulled him into me squishing the ringing phone in between us. I meant to pull his lips into mine with a swift romantic movement but instead I just banged our heads together. We both laughed as the phone continued ringing out into the morning air of teenage awkwardness. I was rubbing my forehead as I clicked on the phone, "Hello?" "Hello" said a familiar voice, "Asher?" "Bridgette?" I asked back. "I just saw the news. Are you ok?" Kris looked up at me and motioned he was going to step into the shower. He took his shirt off in front of me and I stood in awe as I watched his perfect body glimmer in the morning sunlight. He threw his shirt on me and I wafted in his protective musky scent. I peeked out from behind the shirt to see him in his boxer briefs with a semi erection. My pants stirred as he began teasing me. "Asher? You there?" asked Bridgette. I waved my hand at Kris as I answered back into the phone, "Yeah I'm here. Just distracted. Sort of déjà vu, ya know?" "Oh I know. I just wanted to see if you were ok. It's like it's happening all over again," she spoke, "Anyways. I'll be in town soon and I think we should have a talk. I'll keep in touch." "Ok. Bye Bridgette." "Bye Asher," she said with a final click. I turned to see a half naked Kris hovering inches away from me. He leaned in closer and licked the side of my face. His tongue felt like a warm slimy eel that sent electric charges across my skin. The morning breeze intensified these electric surges. I pushed him off me. My hands tensed at his chiseled pectoral muscles and I about melted underneath him. "Get ready," I said, "We'll be late." "Make me some breakfast...baby," he laughed. "Not until I see a ring on my finger," I chimed wiggling my hand at him. We scurried around the house and continued getting ready. Kris took a shower while I ate breakfast then we switched positions. I showered quickly even though I wanted to stay under the warm spray forever. I scurried out of the bathroom quickly drying off and finished getting ready. I slipped on my favorite jeans and a silver v-neck. I put on an owl necklace Kris got me for my birthday last year and slipped on my red wine cardigan that I adored. After slipping on my white canvas slip on shoes and putting on my knitted cap I headed down stairs. Kris looked up and did a double take as I passed him dropping his stuff in the process. "You ok?" I asked laughing. "Yeah," he said, "It's just that you look...so handsome today." I began blushing profusely and he laughed at me. He hugged me tight and kissed my cheek. I leaned up on my toes and kissed his cheek right back. We stayed silent for a minute as we stood gazing at each other. I got lost in his brown eyes that seemed to flicker sparks of emotion every time I tried to search deeper and deeper into them. Our hands slowly touched and entwined themselves together. I felt an electric current running through our fingers and cycling through our grip and surging into our hearts. "Come on," he said, "We'll be late." He lead me to the car with hand's still entwined. We drove to school in silence and emerged upon a circus of reporters and police officers. His hand tightened around mine as I pulled into the school parking lot. All of this felt so familiar. Me and Kris got out of the car and headed our way across campus. Reporters were interviewing students and police were trying to warn them off. Student's where crying and it was just one buzz of energy. Everyone kept staring at me and Kris as we walked towards the fountain. Sure enough our entire gang was sitting in their usual spots. Candace was consoling Charlotte while Quentin and Nikko were talking. "Hey guys," I said. They all replied with a "Hey. What's up?" "Can you believe all of this?" asked Candace, "I mean it's just like last year with Natalie, ya know?" I tensed up at the mentioning of Natalie and Kris slipped his hand into mine giving a reassuring squeeze. I quickly tried to pull away before anyone saw but I was too late. Candace spotted and squealed with excitement. "Finally!" she squealed, "Baby, look!" Quentin looked over at mine and Kris public display of affection and gave a big smile of approval. Niko gave a small smile and so did Charlotte. I turned over at Kris who was smiling just as big as Candace was. I looked around and noticed everyone whispering and typing on their phones. "Did I miss something?" I asked. "They know Ash...everyone does," replied Kris. I stood a little uncomfortable at this quick adjustment. I wasn't expecting everyone knowing my sexuality, let alone silently declaring I'm dating my best friend, and coping with a replicated murder all in one day. I gave a half hearted smile and sat down on the fountain with Candace and Charlotte. Kris made his way over towards Niko and Quentin who gave him reassuring pats on the back. "So have you guys had sex?" piped Candace. "Oh my god don't answer that," pleaded Charlotte. I turned a bright red and began blushing. I laughed it off and turned towards Candace, "No. We haven't even kissed yet." "What!? Quentin they haven't even kissed yet!" I blushed right back again. Candace got up and pulled Kris over, "Kiss him you fool!" As oblivious as Candace was I was now a new shade of red that I had to send to Crayola. Everyone was waiting for me and Kris to kiss and fortunately I was saved by the bell. "Oh no. The bell. How unfortunate," I moaned sarcastically. Candace gave me an upsetting glare with her lip out in a pout. "What? I don't control the bell!" I laughed. I turned towards Kris and shrugged my shoulders. "This is it..." I said slowly. I arched forward and pulled Kris in for our first kiss. Our lips finally met with a surge of electric explosion. I heard muffled squeals from Candace and cat calls from both Quentin and Niko. Our lips departed with a final spark and we turned back to our friends who all fashioned happy glances, except Charlotte who stayed her respectable distance. I walked over towards her after saying goodbye to everyone else. I held out my hand for Charlotte, "Ready?" She sighed and looked at me then took my hand with a reassuring squeeze, "Yeah." "Rough morning?" I asked. "Well I'm not sure how long I can handle the, `That's her' stare but I'm holding up. I'm sorry I'm not as excited as I should be for you and my brother." I shook my head and reassured her, "It's no big deal. I've been where you're at Charlotte. I'm still there with you." We walked into our Chemistry class and sat down at our lab table. I told Charlotte to sit this experiment out and let me do everything so she can catch up on her rest. After listening to a brief lecture and fiddling with chemicals I finished our experiment in good pace. The bell released us to our next period and I gave Charlotte a quick hug goodbye. I zoned out of my second period Geometry class and third period Government class. I quickly became adjusted to the constant questions from people I never talked too and I dismissed the, `Yeah, just like his sister...' looks. The day rolled around to my fourth period T.A. class. I walked in and noticed we had a sub. She was a younger woman with a petite frame. Her auburn hair was straightened nicely and she wore thin wire frame glasses. Her brown sweater matched with her denim skirt giving her a young and fresh appearance. "You must be Asher," she said, "It says on the lesson plans you aren't required to do anything so feel free to roam around if you wish." I thanked her and decided to peruse the Library since I knew Kris would be in there for his T.A. period. I wandered through the empty halls with my iPOD blasting in my ears. It was my indie princess once again telling me how even though she was hurt she still kept her face up. I finally made my way into the library and noticed Kris shelving books from his cart. I poked up behind him and tickled him. He lunged forward in fright and let out a small yelp. We were met with a hushing sound from our librarian. "Mr. Ryan, you will either assist Mr. Roberts or leave my library," commanded the librarian. She stared fiercely through her pince-nez and returned to her paperwork. I grabbed the books off the cart and started shelving the books trying my hardest not to laugh. "You're gonna get me fired from here if you keep doing that," he laughed. "Please. They only use you for your height," I chuckled back. "Hey," he snapped, "I am very talented with the alphabet, ok?" We snickered some more and continued down the isle of shelves. We worked out a system to where I would hand him the books and he'd shelf them. We finished the cart in no time as we made our way deeper and deeper into the library. I didn't realize it was as big as it was. "I never fully realized how big this place is. You could get lost in it," I laughed. "Well then you're at a real loss since you don't know how to read. How would you ever find your way back?" flirted Kris. His eye's sparked emotion at my quick glance. "Well," I started as I inched forward to Kris running my fingers up his button down shirt, "As long as I have you here I shouldn't have to worry now would I?" I wiggled my eyebrows at him as he leaned down to kiss me. Our lips met with an explosion for the second time today that set tingles down my back. I felt Kris' hand on the small of my back and push me forward into him. I was lost in our quick bliss that I didn't realize someone come up behind us. "I prefer to make out in the Religion section," huffed the man. I jumped and spun around with cheeks red as a sunburn. Kris started chuckling at my embarrassment at the fact I appeared a bit startled. He rubbed his hands on my shoulder and drew me into his arms. He kissed the back of my neck and whispered, "It's ok. He's gay too." My eye's lit up at the mention of the word gay. Was that me? I just thought I was in love with my best friend? Why the labels. Then again, I am a sucker for a pair of broad shoulders than I am for a pair of tits. I laughed as Kris tried squeezing his arms around me and picking me up. I wacked him to stop. "I'm Kyle," he said leaning over offering his hand, "I can see you two are having fun." "Asher," I replied shaking his hand, "And hardly. I was helping him shelve books. He's all play and no work. Aren't you on the baseball team?" "Yes. Yes, I am," he replied. He ran his fingers through his sandy blonde hair. His pectoral muscles tensed and I fully examined his good looking body. I felt like a rock amongst a bed of flowers. He flashed a white smile my way which made my heart skip a beat. "Hey," interrupted Kris playfully, "You kissed me here. Rubbing all up on my shirt so don't start pointing fingers at me." I began to blush at the correction Kris gave me. I feigned it off with a smile and turned back to Kyle, "So how long have you and Kris known each other?" I felt Kris tense up behind me and I looked back to see him shaking his head at Kyle. Kyle stood there like a deer in head lights. His blue eyes were wide with decision. I was just plain old confused. "Did I say something wrong?" I asked cautiously. "Me and Kris dated," started Kyle, "But we decided we were better off as friends and well, here I am. I normally help him shelve books but I can see the position has been filled for today, and tomorrow, and the next day. Damn this economy!" I forced a slight chuckle as I looked back at Kris who seemed to be uncomfortable. Why didn't he want me to know he dated someone else? Let alone a guy! I mean...he was my best friend. Even if we weren't together back then...why didn't I know he was gay? What else do I not know about him? "Funny," I said as I released myself from Kris arms and turned to face him, "He never mentioned you...or anyone for that matter." I turned back to Kyle who realized he said the wrong thing, "The position has just opened up. Congratulations. You're qualifications overshadow mine." "And what qualifications does he have that you don't?" asked Kris defensively. "Knowledge of your past," I said as I walked away. I turned back to Kyle, "It was nice meeting you. I swear I'm not normally this bitchy. It just sucks when you're best friend fails to keep a relationship likes this secret." "Asher wait," yelled Kris but I was already making my way up the hall and out the door. I glanced up at the clock and saw that it was almost time for lunch anyways. I made my way towards my locker to put my stuff in it and grab my car keys. I figured I would go off campus today. Maybe take Charlotte out and find out some more about Kris. I can't believe he didn't tell me this! After opening my locker and grabbing my stuff I made my way towards Charlotte's classroom. She had English right now and I was sure I could squeeze her out early. I knocked on the classroom door and entered. Mrs. Duporee stared me down fiercely. I gulped silently and stood there anxiously. "May I help you Mr. Ryan?" asked Mrs. Duporee. "I'm here to escort Charlotte Roberts to the office," I replied, "That is if you'll let her leave." The class chuckled which sent a stern glare from Mrs. Duporee to me. She finished writing her sentence on the board and gave instructions the turned back to me. "Ms. Roberts you are free to leave as soon as I talk to Mr. Ryan's outside- alone," instructed Mrs. Duporee who waved a finger at me to wait outside. I stood outside the classroom and waited for Mrs. Duporee who appeared seconds later. She pushed up her glass and fixed her hair. She ruffled her shirt a bit and fiddled with her hands. Wait. Was she nervous? "Mr. Ryan," she began, "How is she doing? I know she isn't going to the office but that isn't the point. And foremost, how are you doing?" I smiled and answered, "She's a bit shaken I believe but I think she'll eventually come around. It took me a while and I figured I'd surprise her and take her to lunch. Talk to her a bit. As for me...it feels a bit like it happened all over again, but I'll live. Thank you for asking." "I would also like to inform you that this is the only time I'll let you get away with lying to me due to circumstances being what they are. And there won't be a quiz tomorrow," she winked. With that she walked back inside and seconds later Charlotte appeared. I gave her a quick hug while she pulled her phone out of her purse. She used it as a quick mirror and surveyed her appearance. She held dark circles under her eyes and looked visibly splotchy. "I thought I'd take you out to lunch," I said. "Thanks, but I'm not hungry. Still, lets go to the park?" "Yeah. I'll stop and get me a sandwich and we'll sit on the fountain." My pants began buzzing as we walked towards my car. I already knew it was Kris and I flipped open my phone to check his message, "Don't b mad @ me. I didn't want u 2 get jealous. I panicked. I'm sorry :(" I began replying with my fingers typing angrily, "I'm mad b/c u failed to confide in me b4 we happened. When u were my best friend and not my...u know what I mean." "Trouble in paradise?" asked Charlotte. She squeezed my arm as we hopped into my car. My pants vibrated once again and I pulled my phone out. I read his message, "U still are my best friend. I'm sorry ok. I just didn't know how to tell u I dated a guy. It shouldn't matter n e ways. I'm with u- not him." "But it isn't even about him!" I shouted at my phone. Charlotte just looked at me and gave an understanding nod. "You found out about Kyle, didn't you?" she asked. "You knew?" "Well...I sort of walked in on them kissing," she laughed, "I came home early and I needed to borrow Kris' stuff for whatever and I walked in and there they were. In all their gay glory." "Is he still a virgin?" I asked. "I don't know nor do I want too," she replied, "I'm the only one that knew because I accidentally stumbled upon the answer. Don't take it personally." Charlotte's phone buzzed and she answered it, "Yes I'm with him. Yes I'm explaining the situation. He's taking me to lunch. Because he can. You shook your head and he saw? Well yeah, doesn't make you look innocent! This is your mess Kristov. No. He's fine. Just upset. Fine. Fine. Fine. FINE!" Charlotte covered the phone with her hand and handed it to me, "He wants to talk to you." I grabbed it and answered with attitude, "Hello?" "Baby, don't be mad!" "I'm not mad! I'm just upset that during our friendship you didn't bother to tell me you dated someone. Are you a virgin?" Charlotte put her hands over her ears and started humming loudly in hopes to drown out the noise. I giggled at her silently. She began to violently shake her head as if she was possessed. "How could you even ask me a question like that?" he yelled. "The fact that you deflected the entire question already answers it for me," I huffed. "I am, ok. I was saving it for you. Does that make you feel better? I didn't tell you I was gay nor did I tell you I was in love with you because I was too busy taking care of you. I was busy being your best friend and when you took all this time for yourself and ditched the rest of us- I was hurting. So I found solace in a friend's arms. Just because you date someone doesn't automatically mean they've had sex. And you want to know another thing jackass? We only dated for two days because I was in love with you and he understood that. He was the one who really pushed me to you," he spouted, "I just hope you're happy now." "Kris..." "Save it," he snapped, "It's obvious you don't trust me." "Kris..." "I just cannot believe you...," he started. "Kris..." "I thought you'd be the kind of person who'd at least approach me about this instead of walk off all dramatic," he complained. "KRIS!" I yelled. "WHAT!?" he yelled back. "I'm sorry, ok? I'm sorry for all the implications and walking away like a dramatic little bitch. I'm sorry I didn't realize that the best thing for me through everything that happened then and everything that's happening now is you. You just spoke some of the kindest words. Please forgive me," I asked. "Where are you?" he sighed. "My car. We haven't even left yet," I said quickly. "Look up," he said. I looked up to see Kris holding a rose in his hand outside my car. I got out of the car and ran to him, jumping into his arms. He kissed me quickly and squeezed me tight. We heard catcalls from Candace, Niko, and Quentin who were just a few feet behind him. Charlotte hopped out of my car and joined in. "I promise I won't be stupid next time," I laughed in between kisses. "I promise I won't be stupid next time either," he replied with a kiss. "Awwwwww, the lovebirds are making up," cooed Niko, "But what caused the two doves to fly away?" "I dated someone and I didn't tell him," explained Kris, "Then I tried covering it up and yeah. Big no-no." "WHAT!" laughed Niko, "Even I know obvious denial is a big no-no and I'm single." "Gee, I wonder why?" laughed Candace. "Who was...he?" asked Quentin. "Kyle Baker," I responded. Everyone stopped dead in their tracks and looked at me with big eyes. I turned to see Kris with his mouth slightly agape. "Did I say something?" I asked. "You dated Kyle Baker?" asked Niko, "Dang dude. You sure know how to pick them." "He isn't out yet guys," began Kris, "I wasn't going to tell you but unfortunately I didn't give Ash the memo. Please don't say anything." "Oh fuck," I said, "I'm sorry." I turned to Kris and gave him another quick kiss with a small pout. I batted my eyes and got a smile out of him. He squeezed me tight once again. "It's ok boo. I didn't tell you and it was an honest mistake," he said. "I'm still waiting to go to the park!" shouted Charlotte. "Oh the park. Count us in!" shouted Candace and Quentin. "Hello fountain and hot dog stand" cried Niko, "Let's tear this puppy up!" He banged on my car and loaded himself in the back seat with Quentin and Candace. Kris gave me a reassuring squeeze and pushed me forward. I hopped into the front seat and laughed at Kris trying to squish himself in the back seat. We drove off as soon as the doors closed and had a blast. It was one of the funnest lunches in a long time. We laid around the fountain while Charlotte and Candace waded their feet. The sun was shining on us as we ate hot dogs and other junk foods to fuel us for the 2nd half of school. We barely made it back to school on time because Niko was being a goofball and trying to get quarters out of the fountain. We all ran back into the building to our 5th period classes with both me and Kris barely sneaking into English. Mrs. Duporee let it slide thankfully. English flew by and this time with no nightmares. So far it was beginning to shape up into a good Wednesday. I barely even remembered all the commotion from this morning concerning Janelle. The bell rang letting me and Kris run free for 6th period. After stopping by our lockers and mindlessly chatting we began walking over towards the fountain. That's when I saw it. Janelle's locker was decorated with remembrance signage and flowers adorned her locker. I stiffened at the sight of her locker and knew next period would be tough to go through. I'm not sure if I could handle the "That's him" stares. Kris grabbed my hand and continued leading me outside. "Wait," I said, "I'll catch up with you in a second." "Ok," he said with a quick kiss, "Be quick. I miss you already." I smiled and turned back towards my locker. I spun my combination and grabbed the rose Kris gave me earlier. I knew he wouldn't mind but I wanted to place it on Janelle's locker. I shut my locker and turned around only to be slammed back into it. I grunted really loud as my back hit the lockers sending a soft echo through the halls. "What the fuck is your problem man?" sneered Kyle. I was regaining my composure and finally spoke, "I believe I should as you the same question. Look. I didn't mean to out you like that. I swear. I had no idea." "Oh really?" he spat, "Bullshit. Don't take your anger out on me because Kris failed to tell you about me. You're just like your fucking sister." "What did you just say?" I asked quickly, fist tightened around the stem of the rose. "You fucking heard me. You're sister was a life ruiner...just like you. Thanks to you people know about me. Thanks to you my life is ruined." "What the fuck? Only four of our friends heard it and they promised not to say anything," I explained. "Oh really?" he spat again as he began to pull out his phone, "Look at this." His phone screen displayed our school's gossip twitter page and its most recent coverage was "the gay lovers' quarrel between hottie Kris Roberts and his independent boyfriend Asher Ryan against the mystery ex Kyle Baker". My heart sank and I heaved a sigh. I reached out to Kyle but he catapulted away from my touch. "Don't fucking touch me," he yelled, "You are JUST like your sister." "Don't bring her into this," I snapped, "My sister has NOTHING to do with this." "No, she doesn't, because she's dead. Serves that bitch right. She was a fucking whore and everyone knew it. Its unfortunate Janelle had to leave this world mirroring a murder like your sisters. At least she was respectable and nice unlike your fucking trash ass bitch sister," he snarled, "You stay the fuck away from me." I was boiling with anger and my fists were shaking. The rose in my hand had already snapped and fallen to the ground. Kyle walked past me brushing up against my shoulder and stepping onto my rose squishing it under his feet. The screech of his sneaker against the tile floor sent me over the edge. I turned around to tackle him shouting, "Mother fucker!" I was on top of him screaming and punching. I felt like I was on beating him for an eternity until I felt a familiar pair of arms lift me off him and hold me back. Another student was holding Kyle back with as much effort as he could. "You did not come home to find her murdered body you asshole!" I cried. "Asher," snapped Kris who was holding me back, "Calm down." By now classroom doors were opening and students were peering out into the halls. Several teachers made their way over to break up the fight and I noticed Candace, Quentin, Charlotte, and Niko make their way up to the front of the crowd. "Please. Your sister was a tramp. Whoever gutted her did this town a favor. I may be the only one who says this but everyone else thought it. Everyone HATED her," he yelled, "And you're just like her." Kris yelled, "Hey! Dude that's so not cool." "Oh please," he yelled back, "Like you were complaining when I was all over your dick!" "Does someone want to share with me what is going on?" bellowed our Principal Mr. Keegan. "Yeah," started Kyle, "His dead sister was a fucking slut. How's that for sharing?" I lunged forward wiggling my right arm loose from Kris' tight grip and swung my fist with as much force as humanly possible. It shattered against Kyle's face as I yelled, `I'll share with you!" "That is enough sharing!" yelled Principal Keegan, "Both of you two to my office." Kyle got up as he spat blood from his lip and felt his jaw. Kris tightened his grip around me and gave reassuring squeezes and spun me around, "What the fuck was that?" The gang soon circled around me as the hall began clearing out and gave me pats and reassurance. "I cannot believe he said those things to you Ash," cried Candace. "Yeah, those were some serious low blows," said Quentin and Niko. "What the fuck happened?" asked Charlotte. "Mr. Ryan this is where you follow me to my office. You can play catch-up with your friends later," commanded Principal Keegan. After a quick kiss from Kris and a wide-eyed Principal Keegan I made my way towards his office. As soon as I stepped inside it the bell for 7th period rang out. I sat waiting for a good while until I watched Kyle step out with an ice pack covering his jaw. He sat next to me and turned towards me, "I'm really sorry about the stuff I said." I sat their silent. Was this fucker really apologizing to me right now? I turned to glare at him. He sat there in silence. "I'm not expecting you to say anything, but I hope that you'll at least understand I was not of sound mind when that happened. I was hurt, confused, and even jealous," he continued explaining. I still sat there staring at him with shock. This fucker really is trying to justify half the shit he said to me. "You're free to go in now. Just know I took full responsibility," he said. He stood up and walked out the office just like that. Ice pack and all. I got up and made my way into Mr. Keegan's office. I sat down in the chair as he looked at me through his thick glasses. He hunched over with the weight of a high school on his shoulders and sighed heavily. "Mr. Ryan's you are free to go. He took the blame for everything and he has given me his word he will stay away from you. However, you both have detention after school for the rest of the week. You'll be cleaning the library," he said with a smile, "Now off you go. There's only a few minutes left of 7th period but just head down to the library. Mr. Baker should already be there and I warn you. No more violence. If this happens again then you'll both be suspended regardless of who takes the blame." He dismissed me and I got up. I made my way out the office cursing under my breath. I trudged to my locker and slammed my back pack into it. I pulled out my phone and shot Kris a text, "Detention. Library. Call u 2nite. XXXO." I started walking to the Library with my iPod blasting music again. My Indie Princess was crying out to me and telling me not to raise my fists but to open my heart. I laughed at the irony of it all. "Two minutes too late bitch," I muttered. I walked into the library and saw cleaning supplies set out for me. I began working and paying my debt to society. My knuckles still ached a bit and I laughed that I had to spend time with Kyle in the exact place where I met him. I just couldn't wait for this week to be over. My pants vibrated and I flipped out my phone to see a text message from Kris, "K, talk 2 u 2night. Xoxo <3 I shut my phone and began wiping down the study tables with some crappy blue liquid that burned my nostrils. My Indie Princess kept telling me to open my heart to the world around me. I glanced over to see Kyle dusting the shelves softly. He occasionally glanced in my direction and finally made his way deeper into the library. I too began going deeper into the library cleaning the unused study carousels. I felt a vibration in my pants and I took my phone out to see "Unknown" flash before my eyes. I flipped open my phone and answered, "Hello?" "Hello Asher," spoke an unfamiliar man's voice that sent a chill down my spine, "Remember me?"