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Dear Jack,


After spending the remainder of the afternoon with Jack in the cemetery under the old oak tree; just sitting there with the sun shining down on top of us and both of us enjoying the peaceful tranquillity of the place, I really was starting to feel much better about the thought of moving ahead with our friendship and getting to know him some more. I know that this will probably sound a little bit crazy, but I’m really glad that he decided to give me another shot because if he didn’t…well, I probably wouldn’t be feeling as optimistic as I am at this moment in time.

As the sun was starting to make its spiralling decent from the clear Baltimore evening sky, Jack and I thought that it was time to say our goodbyes for the night; which resulted in Jack wrapping his right arm around me whilst his left hand found my pocket, stuffing something deep inside of it before retracting back and resting instead, on the small of my back. It was a few seconds before he pulled away from me, giving me a cheeky wink and a small wave in the process as he turns to walk away, leaving me standing under the oak tree, all on my own.

I wait until Jack has stepped out through the wrought iron gates of the cemetery entrance before reaching a hand into my hoodie pocket and pulling out whatever it was that he had put in there; my expression turning to confusion as I glance down at a scrunched up piece of paper. My hands started to shake as I unravelled the crisp white sheet, a small smile spreading across my lips as I recognized Jack’s messy scrawl of handwriting trailing across the wrinkled page.

Seeing as you’ve accepted my invitation to the party, you’ll probably need to know where I live.
So, check out the address at the bottom and don’t keep me waiting too long!
- J

I shake my head as I read through the note again, with each word that I read; I can feel the smile stretching itself wider across my features. I made a mental note to call Jack a presumptuous loser when I next saw him; purely for the fact that he just assumed that I would agree to go to a party with him. Okay, so technically I wasn’t going to be going with him as it was being held at his house but still, he did invite me so it still counts right?

Taking in a deep breath, I shove my hands along with the note, deep into my pockets as I begin to make my own way towards the cemetery gates, but my feet had other plans and started to lead me towards the right pathway and down past the old Mausoleums and to a plot which I knew contains my Grandma’s body and casket.

It suddenly dawned on me that it had been a month since her funeral and in that time; I hadn’t visited her grave once. As I take a seat on the path on the edge of the plot, I felt like kicking myself for not bringing any flowers with me, but then again, I hadn’t planned on stopping here with Jack as long as I did. Without even realising that they were there, I wiped the tears from my eyes and started apologising between breaths, my hands shakily reaching forward to rest on the cold marble headstone.

“I’m so sorry for being such a poor excuse of a grandson…” I whisper as a sob makes its way out of my throat.

Leaning forward, I rest my forehead against the gravelled path and let out a pained scream. Every emotion that I had been holding back and every emotion that was taken over by the numbness of the past month came rushing to the surface. I suddenly felt angry at myself for being a pathetic waste of bones that couldn’t be left alone without getting scared that something bad would happen. I felt angry at my Grandma for leaving me all alone when I had no one else. I thought of my parents and brother who had also left me. I thought that I was dealing with all of this better, but in all honesty; it all still hurts just as much as the time when the nurses had told me that my Grandma, Mom, Dad and Brother had all passed away. I was all alone, and as much as I tried to deny it; I knew that it was all my fault.


By the time I actually managed to control my emotions enough to pick myself up off of the gravelled cemetery pathway and drive back home, it was nearing nine pm. Pulling up into the driveway half an hour later, I let out a sigh as I saw the living room light on; Rian was still here. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rian like an over-protective brother but I just don’t think that I have the energy needed to deal with his questions about my whereabouts tonight.

Shutting off the engine, I open the door and step out into the cool Baltimore evening; the wind hitting me in the face like a splash of water before shrugging myself further down into my jacket for warmth. After making sure that I hadn’t left any of my CD’s on show and locked the car, I walk at a brisk pace up to the front door; shoving the key into the lock and slipping into the warm, well-lit hallway but before I could even begin to remove my shoes and jacket, Rian was rushing out of the living room and right into my arms; a look of pure worry and what seemed to be relief etched plainly across his face as he buries his head into the crook of my neck.

“There you are! Where the hell have you been?!” Rian breathes out as he pulls away from the hug and uses his fists to punch me lightly, but with purpose, on my chest. ”I have been going crazy here thinking that something bad had happened to you; I was just about to call the cops to go out looking for you! Why didn’t you call or text to let me know that you were okay?!”

“Rian…” I start to say, but he’s too worked up to listen to what I have to say and I’m way too tired to try and shut him up.

“No Alex, I’m being serious! Why the hell didn’t you text or answer my calls and don’t try to bullshit me by saying that you forgot your phone as I know damn well that you had it in your pocket when you left earlier. I’ve been worrying myself sick here for the past four hours wondering where the hell you could have gotten to! I even started thinking about calling round all of the hospitals and morgues to see if you were there…Anything could have happened to you!” Rian cried out in an exasperated tone, his fists connecting against my chest with every sentence spoken. “Where were you?!”

I reached up and grabbed hold of Rian’s wrists, holding them in a tight grip so that he couldn’t hit me again. I look into his eyes and I can tell that I won’t be able to lie to him about where I was or who I was with, so I may as well suck up all of the courage and energy that I had left and tell him the truth…of course, when I do that I know that this is where the real argument is going to occur…And I wasn’t wrong.

“Rian, I’m sorry that I didn’t answer your call but I honestly didn’t hear it. I had to shut it off earlier when I was…visiting someone at the hospital and after that, well, I just needed some time to think things through and get my head together so I went and spent the afternoon in the cemetery…with Jack.” I explain tiredly, my voice breaking off as I say Jack’s name, my eyes avoiding Rian’s as I await for what was to come next.

“You were with…Jack?” Rian repeats, his tone confused as he fits everything into place. “You mean after everything that took place after that disastrous first meeting, you just went ahead and met up with him again even though you told me that you weren’t going to have any more personal contact with him apart from the letters for your project? Are you freakin’ kidding me, Alex?!”

“Listen to me, I know what I told you Rian and I originally wasn’t going to talk to him, but after I spoke to someone else, I realised that I can’t keep shutting people out of my life when all they want to do is help. I need to start taking some chances, get my life back onto a more permanent track and as for Jack…he just so happens to be a part of my life and a chance that I’m willing to take.” I explain quickly, my voice at a calm level as I keep a tight hold of his wrists.

I didn’t have to look up at Rian to know that he was thinking through my words, the way his body tensed up as I spoke said all I needed to know; he was not impressed and in a way, I couldn’t blame him. After everything that has happened since the start of the English project, I wouldn’t have expected myself to make a decision like this so fast, especially since I don’t even talk to any of the people that I meet on a day-to-day basis apart from Rian but I’ve told myself that I can’t keep hiding myself away from the world and blaming myself for every single thing that happens. It will end up destroying me so it’s time that I actually take a chance and live my life to the fullest. It’s just something that I have to do and if Rian can’t accept that, then I don’t know why he’s even bothering to sticking around.

“I’ve already decided on the first chance that I’m going to take, and I’ve also decided on another…I’m going to the party that Jack invited me to, and I’m going to have a good time as that’s what normal people do, right? They enjoy life by having a good time.”

I don’t wait for Rian to say anything in response, I just let go of his wrists, say a quick “I’m going to bed” before unzipping my jacket and kicking off my shoes, it was as I was taking the car keys out of my pocket and placing them on top of the polished table under the hallway mirror that Rian had made any sign of movement; he turned his head to watch me walk towards the stairs and when I looked up at him, I saw just how pissed off he was. I was just about to step up onto the bottom step when he lost it and started an argument that I’m sure that he’d been wanting to have for a while now.

“I just can’t believe you, Alex!” Rian bursts out exasperatedly as he shakes his head, folding his arms across his chest in order to stop himself from running his hands through his short brown hair, taking in a deep breath before continuing on in a frustrated tone. “You know, I feel as though I don’t even know who you are anymore!”

“Well, I don’t feel like I know who you are either! I thought that as my best friend, you’d want to see me happy after all the shit that I’ve been through recently!” I snap back at him, it wasn’t like I was planning on being snappy, but I just wasn’t in the mood for this. “Obviously, I was wrong.”

“No, you’re not wrong, Alex. I do want to see you happy as you’re right you have been through a lot of shit recently, I just think that you’re going about it all wrong…Especially when he’s concerned.” Rian tilted his head back with a look of utter disgust on his face as he said the last part, making sure that I understood completely his feelings about Jack.

“Well that’s your opinion. I know that I’m not going about it all wrong and if you actually made the time and actually spoke to Jack, to get to know him then you wouldn’t be acting like the world’s biggest douchebag right now.” I state, my voice sounding shaky as I control my urge to scream in his face.

“So, I’m a douchebag now? Just because I don’t trust my best friend’s new soldier friend? That’s real low, Alex.” Rian glares as he takes a step backwards from me, edging further towards the living area. I knew that this conversation was drawing to a close. “I’m trying to protect you here, yet you’re just going to throw it all back in my face? I really don’t understand you anymore.”

“No, you’re right, you don’t understand me. Nor, do you trust me. If you were really my best friend, then you would be supporting me no matter what I choose to do; but you’re not. It seems that I went about our ‘friendship’ all wrong, not with Jack.” I whisper the last part before turning and legging it up the starts and down to my room, shutting the door with more force than I had intended and flung myself on top of my bed.

I knew that those last words probably hurt Rian, but he needed to hear them and before I could comprehend what was happening, I was curling my body up into a tight ball and wiping away the tears from my cheeks; at the rate I’m going, I’m not going to have anyone that I care about in my life.


By the time morning arrived, Rian was nowhere to be seen. In all fairness, I didn’t expect him to stay after what had been said last night, but I couldn’t help but feel guilty about what I had said and disappointed that he didn’t stay to at least try and work things out this morning. Letting out a sigh, I push away the untouched bowl of cereal that I’d poured out after the quick search for Rian and rest my head in my hands.

I shouldn’t be mad at him, as he is just looking out for me like any good friend would do, but the fact that he doesn’t trust me enough when I say that Jack is a good person; it just pisses me off. True, Jack is a little older than me, and in a way I don’t know all that much about him but from what I do know; I can tell that he’s a truly cool guy…one that I can see myself becoming great friends with, if given the chance.

Letting out another sigh, I push my body away from the counter and tip the cereal away before heading upstairs to take a shower and freshen myself up. There are still a few hours to go until I had to leave for Jack’s place, so I decided to do a little pre-party shopping; which included buying some beverages to offer Jack and a bouquet of flowers for both his Mother and his sister, who Jack had informed me rather brightly, would be there. If only he knew that I wasn’t the straight guy he thought I was…


As the time approaches six o’clock, I find myself pulling up outside the Barakat residence; at a first glance, I was surprised at how many cars were actually crammed on the short driveway. When Jack had mentioned the party he had said that it was going to be mostly family there, but Alex had no idea just how many family members he actually had that were available to turn up on such short notice. Or at least, not as short a notice as what I had been given.

Gathering up the wine and the two bouquets of flowers into my left hand, I open the door with my right and step out into the cool evening air. If there is one thing that I love about Baltimore, it’s the weather. Looking up to the sky, I let the breeze sweep through my hair, blowing my fringe to the side, as I use my free hand to straighten my clothes. Seeing as though Jack didn’t say if there was any particular dress code, I had gone with wearing my newest pair of black skinny jeans, my favourite black and white striped t-shirt with my red hoodie and favourite pair of black converses. I had to give myself some credit, when it comes to getting ready and making myself presentable; I can do it with minimal amount of effort and I must say, even though I’m not vain type even I can’t argue that I look rather hot in these jeans.

Don’t kid yourself, Alex. You can be such a comedian at times, you know that? My inner monologue scoffs as I let out a defeated sigh, running a hand nervously through my hair before starting the small trek up the driveway and to the Barakat’s front door. Before I could even reach my hand up to knock, the door was being pulled open wide by a beaming Jack. As I see the smile light up his features, I can’t help but smile in return, I couldn’t resist; he just looked so happy to see me.

“You came!” Jack cheers as his words slur ever so slightly; but I think that it might just have been his little lisp making him sound drunker than what he already was. “And you brought gifts too!”

“I did, thank you for inviting me. You started drinking early, I take it?” I chuckle lightly as I hand him over the bottle of wine that I had picked up at one of my favourite vineyards located in the southernmost parts of Baltimore.

“Why thank you!” Jack smiles as he accepts the bottle of wine, reading the label before grabbing hold of my wrist, pulling me through the front door and up against his chest where his breath hit my cheek and I could smell the amount of alcohol that he had already downed. “I’ve only had one drink while I was helping to set everything up…which might have then turned into two…It’s all good though, come on let’s go and get you a drink!”

I was about to protest and say that I was fine at the moment, but Jack’s grip on my wrist was tight and I didn’t want to be the one to spoil what was looking to be a rather amazing night. Despite the driveway being packed with cars, there weren’t a lot of people to be seen in the house; but as we drew nearer to the kitchen, I could hear the music and happy singing drifting in from the back garden. While I was being led through the living room and hallway, I took it upon myself to take a look at my surroundings.

Although Jack’s house didn’t look like much from the outside, the inside however was totally different. From what I could see, most of the furniture that was spread around the living room were antique pieces; I didn’t know much about antique furniture, but what I did know I had picked up from one of my Grandma’s friends who owned a small furniture store in downtown Baltimore. The walls had the typical traditional wallpaper that you would find in any household, complete with hundreds of photo frames that were crammed full with photographs which documented entire lives of the people within them. There was definitely a ‘family’ feel about the place, and I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous at the fact that Jack has a family that truly loves him when I have no one except Rian as well as feeling a little angry that he’s risking his life thousands of miles away from them, causing them to constantly worry about him.

Jack must have seen the mixed emotion on my face when he turned round as the next thing I knew, he stopped in his tracks and just looked at me, as though trying to work out what was going on through my mind; but it was hopeless, no one is able to read my mind; I don’t allow myself to be that transparent. Jack opened his mouth to ask me what was wrong when he was interrupted by a long haired brunette who I assumed was Jack’s sister; it was hard not to notice the family resemblance.

“Jaaaaaack, how long does it take you to answer a damn door? Come on, we’re all waiting for you to introduce us to your new man friend!” She smiles as she turns to face me. “I’m Jack’s sister, May! It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you too, I’m Alex.” I reply as I reach my hand out for her to shake, to which she just simply shakes her head and pulls me into a hug only to let me go a moment later when I clear my throat nervously and hand over one of the bouquets that I was still holding. “Erm, I didn’t know which ones that you would like, so I just got you these…I hope that they’re okay…”

“Aw, these are beautiful! Thank you, Alex; you’re an absolute sweetheart!” May smiles as she accepts them graciously, putting them up to her nose and taking in the flowery scent before she turns to enter the kitchen to find a vase to put them in.

Jack just shakes his head before turning back to look at me, a smile spread across his face again as he tugs on my wrist. “Come on; let’s get all of the introductions out of the way before we really kick this party off!”

With that, I was being pulled out through the double doors and out into a garden that was full of people, loud music, fairy lights and most importantly; tables upon tables of alcohol ranging from Tequila to Whiskey to just plain beer. For the next twenty minutes, I was being introduced to a wide variety of people from Jack’s Mom who had the same reaction to the flowers as May did, to a couple of his crazy cousins, a handful of curious aunts and uncles, a few old school friends and last but not least, Matthew James Flyzik; his fellow soldier and overall, best friend.

At first, I was a little intimidated by Matt; I mean, come on he could kill me without a second thought if he wanted to…he’s had the training for it and let me tell you it wouldn’t exactly be hard; I’m not a fighter. I don’t have the muscles for it! But after speaking to him for the best part of ten minutes, I needn’t have worried; I couldn’t have imagined meeting a cooler dude anywhere, well apart from Jack of course. True to his word, Matt had indeed given me a little more insight into soldier life and gave his own opinion of what Jack was like which I caught all on video for the sake of my English project. I had wanted to ask Matt if he had any more stories involving Jack but that’s when the soldier in question thought that it would be amusing to jump into the pool and fire a water pistol at everyone in the vicinity.

This of course led onto a full blown water riot, where everyone who had gotten attacked by Jack and his little pistol wanted revenge so they teamed up with anyone that they could and grabbed whatever was near them in order to get him back. Out of the whole night, that must have been my personal highlight…well, up until Jack thought that it was rather mean of me to stand at the back door laughing my ass off and so decided to run at me, pick me up in a fireman’s lift before running back and jumping into the pool.

As soon as my body was submerged under the warm water of the swimming pool, my mind began to freak out. My arms and legs were flailing about trying to grab hold of one of the edges or to at least reach the surface but I couldn’t move. Ever since I was a little boy and my parents took me and my brother on a little camping trip by the lake, I was always afraid of going near copious amounts of water but as I opened my mouth to scream, water burnt at my throat, causing me to go light headed, my body giving up the fight against the blue abyss. That was when I felt someone grab a hold of my waist and pulled me up to the surface where I spent the next few minutes coughing up the water that I had ingested.

“Fuck, Alex! I am so sorry; I should not have done that!” Jack apologized as he helped Matt lift me out of the pool and onto the cold tiles. I could feel the eyes of everyone in the garden watching me but I couldn’t do anything to stop them but listen to Jack’s voice was keeping my mind off of them and instead focusing on just breathing. “I didn’t know that you couldn’t swim…Fuck, I’m really so fucking sorry! Are you okay? Can you breathe?”

I tried to say that it was okay, he didn’t need to apologize, but all I could do was cough up more water before collapsing back on the tiles, causing Jack to reach forward and catch me before my head hit the tiles. I shouldn’t be feeling this lightheaded but with a mixture of alcohol and not having anything to eat before coming, and of course the almost drowning it made it hard for my body to do what my mind ordered it too, which was to sit up.

“Shit…Matt, can you go inside and get some towels from the airing cabinet?” Jack asked his best friend with panic in his voice but I just shake my head and try to sit up again, my breathing levelling out as I get the last of the pool water out of my mouth.

“Matt, Jack. It’s fine…I’m okay…Although, I may need a dry set of clothes…” I sputter trying my best to smile as I turn my head to look into Jack’s worried gaze.

He let out a relieved sort of chuckle before helping me to stand up and leading me back into the house and up the stairs into what I presumed to be his bedroom. As soon as we were inside he quickly murmured something about waiting here for a moment while he heads over to his closet and starts to rummage through it before pulling out what looks to be a clean t-shirt and sweatpants.

“Here, you’re going to need to dry off before you catch a cold so why don’t you head to the bathroom which is just across the hall and use whichever towels are in there to dry off and get changed into these. I’ll meet you downstairs once I get changed too.” Jack instructs as he pushes the soft fabric into my hand and smiles anxiously at me as if waiting for me to snap at him for almost killing me.

“Thank you.” I reply, nodding once at him before making my way unsteadily to the bathroom, taking a seat on the side of the bathtub and waiting for the room to stop spinning before reaching out to grab the first towel that I could see.

Five minutes later, I was dry and in a fresh set of clothes. I have to admit, when Jack isn’t wearing the standard army uniform, he has a pretty great sense of style. The t-shirt was a little bit tight but it was better than wearing a soaking wet shirt for the rest of the night. I left the bathroom feeling much steadier on my feet and began to navigate myself back down the stairs and towards the kitchen where I was met with the sight of May pouring out a glass of wine.

“Hey…are you feeling okay? I’ve warned Jack before about throwing people in the pool as they might not like it but he never listens, even though I’m his older sister and is therefore always right.” She smiles brightly, turning to face me as she leans against the worktop.

“I’m okay, and really it’s no big deal. I never told Jack that I couldn’t swim, well…I can swim but I just, I don’t know, I just sort of froze when I realized what was happening.” I admit sheepishly as I look down at my feet.

“Well that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Most people can’t swim; in actual fact, did you know that less and less children nowadays are being taught to swim, so they start to develop this irrational fear of the water.” May states proudly as she cocks her head slightly to the side.

“Well, I can tell you now that I did use to swim as a kid, I was practically forced to, but I don’t want to talk to about it.” I say quietly as I cross my arms against my chest.

Despite already having a list of topics that I tend to stray away from, this was another one that needed to be added onto it. I’ve never really spoke about what had happened at the lake to anyone, and the only other person who knew about it besides from my parents and brother is my Grandma and that’s only because my Mother had to tell her why I kept running away from the pool whenever she mentioned going for a swim. Just thinking about my Grandma caused the pain from yesterday to fill up in my chest; it hurt but I wasn’t going to cry, especially not in front of Jack’s sister.

“You know, I can certainly see why my brother is so smitten with you…not only are you charming but you’re a little hottie to boot!” May winks as she grabs her wine glass from the counter, running her hand down my chest in a flirtatious manner before she begins to make her way back towards the garden where I could hear someone start to scream the lyrics to ‘Fight For Your Right (To Party)’ by The Beastie Boys.

I turned my head to watch her walk out into the garden, but I couldn’t get my feet to follow her. What did she mean when she said that her brother is so smitten with me? How did we even get onto the topic of Jack? Was he…? No, he couldn’t be…I mean; he’s a soldier for pity’s sake! I thought that the army had some sort of code that they had to follow when they signed up, as let’s face it; how many gay guys do you actually see in the army? Practically none, it’s just not heard of.

May’s words were repeating through my head as I furrowed my brow. Did May know something about Jack that I didn’t know? Most likely as you know, she is his sister, I’m sure that there’s a lot about Jack that she knows and I don’t. As if on cue, Jack walked in a towel in hand as he runs it through his hair, making it stick up in all directions.

“Are you okay?” He asks as he leans up against the counter beside me, towel hanging over his arm as he crosses them over his chest.

“Yeah. I’m good.” I say quietly as I give him a small smile. “Although, I’m thinking about maybe calling it a night. It’s just been a long day and what with the near death experience out there, I’m just feeling a little drained.”

“That’s okay, and I really am sorry about that. If I’d have known, then I would have thrown Matt in the pool instead…” Jack murmurs as he looks around nervously.

While we were upstairs, most of the guests had gone home; apparently having someone nearly drown is a good way to say that this party is over. I felt bad for being the one to ruin the party mood but it wasn’t as if I was intending on being thrown into a big pool of water by someone I was just learning to trust. There were still a couple of Jack’s cousins dancing around the garden although they’ve moved on from The Beastie Boys and were now doing a rather dramatic rendition of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen.

Jack let out a little smirk as he saw what was going on out in the garden and shook his head before reaching into a cabinet and pulling out a roll of trash bags. He turned to look at the sides where mountains of paper cups and plastic plates where stacking up and he let out a sigh. I knew that the last thing he wanted to do right now was tidy up, especially after how much he had to drink and I’m guessing after how early he had woken up; my mind telling me that most soldiers like to stick to a certain routine and as hard as they try to break through it, they always end up stuck in a rut that has been burned into the minds since the very start of their training days. I assume that Jack is no different so the least I could do is offer to help him clean up before I leave.

“It’s really okay, just forget about it. I’m alive and that’s all that matters. I’ll help you tidy up before I head off, it’s the least I can do to say sorry for ruining the party.” I say as I reach to take the black trash bag from his hand, my cheeks starting to burn a nice bright red colour as my skin brushes against his own.

“Thanks…And, just so you know, you didn’t ruin the party at all; that was all down to me and my genius idea of turning an average joke into an ultimate water fight.” Jack smiles as he picks up another black trash bag and sets to work clearing the coffee table of empty beer cans, empty disposable plates and cutlery.

I let out a little chuckle at that before we started to clear up one end of the counter. We ended up cleaning in silence for a few minutes before I thought that now would be as good a time as any to bring up the conversation that I had held with May in the kitchen before he had come back downstairs.

“So…um, listen before you came downstairs I was talking to May and she…”

“Whatever she said to you about me, don’t listen to her as I can guarantee that she’s probably lying or trying to embarrass me, either way it’s probably not true.” Jack interrupts, turning to look at me and I could see his expression change when he saw my expression change from hopeful to deflated. “Just out of curiousity…what did she actually say to you?”

“It doesn’t matter now…” I say quietly as I continue to pick up the empty beer cans and plastic cups that have managed to find themselves scattered across every surface of the room.


I let out a sigh before placing the half full trash bag onto the counter, taking in a deep breath before turning round to face him. “She said that she could see why you were so smitten with me. I’m not even sure what she means by that but…It just got me thinking, that’s all.”

Jack was quiet as I looked up at him through my long eyelashes, scared of what his reaction would be. I was about to say something else, but before I could, Jack was putting his own trash bag to the side, avoiding my gaze as he did so.

“She’s drunk. She rambles a lot when she’s had something to drink, I wouldn’t pay any attention to her.” He says calmly, his tone awkward.

“Oh…well, I didn’t think that it made much sense, so it probably was just a load of drunken nonsense.” I reply, trying my hardest not to sound too disappointed in Jack’s answer. “Thanks again for the invite, but I probably should be heading back home. I’m sure that you want to grab a few hours’ sleep before you head off to the airport, am I right?”

“How did you know that I was heading back to the airport tomorrow?” He asks me, as he pushes himself away from the countertop, a look of relief washing across his features at the change of topic which just peeked my interest to his reaction even more.

“Matt.” I state simply as I start to make my way towards the hallway, stopping to pick up the carrier bag that held my soaking wet clothes. “So, I was just wondering if I could maybe go with you to the airport and you know, say goodbye to you there as we’re probably not going to be seeing each other again for a while now.”

“Of course he told you…” Jack sighs as he runs a hand through his relatively dry hair. “I would really like that a lot and you’re right; the next time we’re back home will be near Christmas if everything goes according to plan.”

“Great, well…I’ll see you tomorrow then. Thanks again for the invite, I had a good time, and thanks for the dry clothes…I’ll return them to you as soon as I get them washed.”

“Don’t worry about it, keep them; I have hundreds of them in my closet and I don’t really wear them as I’m not home so, you may as well get some use out of them.” Jack smiles as he follows me to the front door, his arms wrapping around my waist as he hugs me goodbye; an action that causes my stomach to do a little flip. “I’ll meet you at the airport at two tomorrow? I usually get a lift with Matt.”

“Two sounds good to me. I’ll see you there.” I nod, smiling in return as I hug him back. “Goodnight, Jack.”

“Goodnight, Alex.” He says quietly as I slip out through the front door and back down the driveway to where my car was parked.


As I pull into my own driveway, I couldn’t help but note that all of the lights were out, as much as I was annoyed at Rian, I couldn’t stop the feeling of disappointment that was settling itself in my chest. I was so sure that he would have come back here after cooling off a little, but I was obviously wrong, just like this morning. Maybe I should just call him up and apologize, it wasn’t his fault that I snapped but at the same time, I was still pissed off about what he had said to me.

I decided that first thing in the morning, I’d give him a ring and apologize, but for now all my brain and body wanted to do was sleep and put an end to today. It had been a long time since I properly went out anywhere, and even though it was only half ten in the evening, I was tired. Stepping into the hallway, I put the carrier bag with my clothes in underneath the coat rack and kicked off my shoes before walking into the dark living room. I was just about to crash out on the couch when I jumped up in surprise at the voice coming from the corner of the room.

“I’m sorry about earlier, Alex.” Rian speaks out through the darkness, as I bound towards the light switch, flicking it on and seeing Rian sat in one of the leather armchairs. “You’re right; I was being a douche and I do want to see you happy and if Jack makes you happy then…I’ll try to be civil around him, for you.“

After my heart had stopped trying to jump out of my chest from the shock, I took a seat on the couch opposite him. “Thank you, Rian. That really means a lot.”

“I just don’t want to see you get hurt again, that’s all.” Rian says softly, as he gets up from the armchair and over to the couch beside me, wrapping his arms around my waist, his head resting lightly on my shoulder.

I let out a small sigh and hug him back, burrowing my head in the crook of his neck.

“I know, and I’m really grateful to have you around, you know that right?”

“Well, I know that now…” He says quietly and I can’t help but internally kick myself.

“Hey, erm, I forgot to ask you yesterday but do you think that Danny and Vinny would be up for coming round here tomorrow for lunch? There’s something that I really need to talk to them about.”

“Sure…I’ll give them a call when I get in tonight.” Rian promises as he gives me another hug before pulling away. “I promised Cassadee that I’d take her out to a late dinner and movie viewing tonight…are you going to be alright here on your own?”

“Rian, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big boy now; I think that I can handle spending the night on my own.” I state, my body shaking internally at the thought of being here alone all night but I don’t let it show; instead I let a smile spread across my features as I push him towards the front door. “Don’t worry about me. You kids go and have fun and remember to use protection!”

“Fuck you, asshole.” Rian scoffs as he sends a smile in my direction, waving goodbye at me with his car keys in hand, as we get up and walk towards the front door. “I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow!” He calls over his shoulder before getting into his car and backing carefully out of the drive, leaving me standing in the doorway all alone and for once…I was okay with that, I wasn’t scared and I had a feeling that that was all because of Jack.


*This is the account to follow for new updates!*

EarthToLottie; EarthToLottie;

i miss this story so much

JalexInMyButt JalexInMyButt


AllTimeSlut AllTimeSlut


Well, thank you :D

@Dean Winchester;
Yaaay! :D This story is awesome, by the way.

MakeMeLoveATL MakeMeLoveATL