AUTHOR'S NOTE: Don't ask me where this came from. I started typing the next chapter of "A Brave New World" and this came out instead. It's different from what I've written before and I'm curious to know what you all think?


Chapter 1

The heavy wooden door opened with a long creak, interrupting my daily meditation. I sighed and looked over from where I was sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the couch. My roommate, Tommy gave me an apologetic grin as he sauntered into the room and shut the door behind him with a bang.

"You're home early," I groused irritably.

I got up and stretched my arms behind me, looking at the clock. Noting the time, I decided to forgive him the interruption, as I would have been finished in five minutes anyway. Pushing the dark brown strands of my long hair from my grey eyes, I yawned and bent over to stretch my legs.

"Sorry, Kee."

I straightened then shrugged and picked up my water bottle, downing the whole thing in a few long gulps while he watched me. Tommy was a big guy and right now he was folding his large frame into a small rocking chair that we kept by the fireplace. His normally neat, wheat-colored short hair was tousled and stuck up in areas. He regarded me carefully with his big ice-water blue eyes, and I suddenly became very wary.

"What?" I snapped, tossing my bottle aside.

There was something up here. I could feel it.

"Nothing." Tommy tried another lopsided grin.

That didn't fool me. He came home early for a reason. I know he did. And I also know that whatever that reason was, I wasn't going to like it.

"Say it."

"Say what?" He feigned surprise.

I sighed and rubbed at my temples with two fingers from each hand, feeling the calming effects of the meditation drain out of me.

"Thanks a lot, fucker!" I grumbled. "Now I'll have to start the whole thing all over again!"

Tommy gave a low deep laugh that seemed to rumble right out from his toes. I sighed in frustration and sat on the couch. He looked a little uncomfortable when I made no further move to interrogate him. I just stared at him, hoping to burn a hole through his head.

"Kee, stop!"

"Stop what?" I demanded gruffly.

"Stop staring!"

"Oh, you don't like me staring at you?" I asked innocently as a smirk crept over my lips. "Staring at your big, strapping, beautiful, manly body?"

"Stop!" he yelped indignantly. "You always said you wouldn't tease me!"

"I'm teasing?"

"You know I'm not gay!"

"And?" I asked nonchalantly, purposely infusing as much sexual tension into the conversation as I could. That's right, asshole! Now we'll both have to meditate!

Tommy grunted as he leapt from the chair and paced the length of the room. "I said cut it the fuck out!"

"Hey, you're the one who interrupted me," I reminded him hotly. "Pay back's a bitch with tiny tits, isn't it?"

"You don't even like tits!" he countered.

"Yeah, but you do."

He glared at me before he peeled his suit jacket off and loosened his tie.

"So, why don't you tell me why I have the distinct displeasure of your company so early," I suggested when he finally settled back into the rocking chair.

He looked down at the shaggy area rug for a minute and sighed. Oh shit! I knew whatever it was I was so not going to like it. Finally, he nodded to himself as if in a bid for confidence before he looked back over to me.

"How long have you been out now, Kee?"

What? What the fuck kind of a question was that?

"What the fuck kind of a question is that?"

"Hey, first I think it then I say it. There is no censorship with me.

"It's a normal one," he reasoned. "How long?"

"You know how the fuck long!" I snapped again. "Three fucking years!"

I know what you're all thinking. How can a guy this high-strung be into meditation? If you've seen my blood pressure, you'd know. I was ordered to find some way to relax and this happened to be the least invasive. I hate taking artificial supplements to control anything if I don't have to. You need a reason? Check the news. Every other week, they're pulling another med from the shelves for killing people. Fuck that noise! I'd rather meditate myself into a coma than take a pill that puts me there.

"And in all that time," Tommy went on, "how many relationships have you had?"

What the fuck do you care? It's my business, jerk-off! I was startled into silence for a minute. I could feel my face growing hotter by the second and Tommy's eyes were beginning to widen in fear. Good!

"What the fuck?" I shouted at the top of my lungs. Ever since I quit smoking, I've found that I have quite the capacity for shrieking. And judging by the horrified look on my roommate's face, he's now aware of this.

"Calm down!" he started weakly.

"Calm down?" I jumped up and marched over to his chair, standing over him ominously. "Calm down? Are you out of your fucking mind? I'm ready to rip your arm off and beat you over the head with it!"

"Look, we're best friends!" he yelled back. His voice can boom louder than mine. No fair!

"We were!"

"Are!" he corrected me. "And you know I only care about you!"

I stopped and stood back, glowering at him. "I never knew," I purred at him. "Does Lauren know?"

"Cut the shit!" he growled, no longer intimidated by me. "You know I worry about you."

"Sweet as that is," I replied. "You won't have to worry much longer."

"Which is why I've decided to do something now."



"That's right," he nodded with conviction. I haven't seen that determined look on his face since fifth grade, when he took on Joey Gillson in the school wrestling tournament. Shit! Holy mother of fucking shit! That hadn't worked out well for Joey, and I was sure I was about to share his fate.

"What do you mean?" I asked with morbid resignation.

"I found you a date."

"Mother fucker!"

"Calm down."

I started pacing around again.

"Calm down?" I screeched. "How the fuck do you expect me to calm down?"

"You could start by sitting."

Oh so helpful, you blonde penis with no brain!

"I think I'll stand," I told him haughtily.

He shrugged. I wanted to rip both his arms off now.

"Mind telling me how my straight best friend found me a date?" I asked in a deceptively soft voice.

"I went to Kelly's," he stated flatly, his cheeks tinged with a small bit of pink.

"You what?" I screeched again. "Kelly's is a gay bar."

"I know."

"I haven't even been to Kelly's."

"I know that too," he smirked.

If looks could kill, he'd be nothing but a smoldering black pile of ashes. Still, he sat there smiling at me, like this was the most normal thing a man could do for another man.

"Look," I decided to try diplomacy now. "I know you're just trying to help me out. I know you're all worried about how I'll get by without you. But I'll be fine."

"You will not!" he frowned. "I'm getting married in less than a year. I know you better than anyone else! When I'm gone and you're not at work, you'll stay in this apartment, working on your yoga or meditation, and never get out and meet someone."

"How does this affect you?"

"You're my best friend! It affects me!"

I shook my head trying to get this to sink in. Why would he think I'd agree to this?

"I'm invoking the rule." He stared at me menacingly, daring me to defy him.

"Oh, no you don't!" I hiss. "The rule is only for life and death! Not dating!"

"This is life," he shot back. "Your life! And I'm not letting you sit back and let it go by! The rule is invoked!"

I stood there in shock as he grinned up at me triumphantly.


"Kee," he laughed. "You'd better get ready!"


"We leave in 45 minutes."