The locker room had nearly emptied by the time I decided to leave. Every once in awhile, I liked to take the time to thoroughly inspect and clean my equipment. From my cleats to my pads, making sure everything was up to standard. It was a smart move, but also worked well to clear my head. The silence of the empty training facility was nice.

After throwing everything back into my locker, I step out into the cool winter air. A light breeze blows my bangs into my eyes and I pull up the hood of my sweatshirt as I step across the pavement towards my car.

A vibration in my pocket catches my attention and I pull my phone from my pocket. An unknown number flashes before my eyes. For a second, I consider ignoring the call. Most the people I know are in my phone, who could be calling now.

With a shrug, I place the phone to my ear.


"Hey, kid." A gruff voice speaks to me through the other line. There's a brief sense of familiarity, but I can't place it.

"Who's this?"

The caller chuckles into the receiver, "You mean you don't recognize my voice? Damn, kid, figured we've talked enough by now."

I think a moment. The gruff voice of a cigarette smoker and the constant calling of a kid finally brings home who this is. "Freddie?"

"There ya go." He laughs to himself and I roll my eyes. "Got your number from Dive's phone. You boys talk quite a bit, huh?"

As we talk, I come to my car and throw my bag in the backseat before leaning against the door. Dive and I do talk pretty consistently, at least through texting. However, it'd been a few days since I heard from the guy. I was actually planning to giving him a call tonight...

"You want something, Freddie? Can't imagine you just wanted to chat."

"Sure, yeah, right to the point." Freddie clears his throat, "Know what today is?"


"No shit. Man, I'd be disappointed if I didn't know how coy Dive liked to play things." The mention of Dive piques my attention as I unlock the door to my car and slide into the seat, "It's Dive's birthday."

"Really?" I ask, honestly surprised. It hurts a little to know that Dive didn't even bother to mention it to me, but then I really shouldn't be surprised. Dive doesn't tell me anything.

"Oh, yeah." I can hear a light chuckle on the other line. I'm not sure what to make of that. "Look, we're throwing a little shindig for him at Starr's tonight. I thought it might make him happy to have you there. What ya think?"

It'd make Dive happy to have me there? In other words, Dive didn't ask for me to come. This was Freddie's idea. If Dive really wanted me there, wouldn't he have asked himself? My mind runs through these pointless thoughts before I realize that, really, I wanted to see Dive.

"Uh, sure, I can come." I finally answer, "When?"

"Festivities are already underway." Freddie laughs and I notice a hint of inebriation in his voice. It really says something about Freddie's drinking habits that a little drunken slur is part of his normal speech, "Come when ya can."

With that, he hangs up. I sigh and put my phone on the passenger seat next to me and grip the wheel of my car. For a moment, I ruminate about the fact that Dive never mentioned his birthday. But then, why would he? It's none of my business. He probably doesn't even want me there. This is his night with this friends.

Sighing, I start my car and prepare to head home. I'd already decided to go, no backing out now. Besides, the possibility to seeing how Dive interacts with his friends was rather tempting...

The sun had already set by the time I pulled my car into Starr's parking lot. None of the usual lights or signs were up outside, making things look rather foreign. After a moment of fighting with myself to leave, I step out of the car.

Embarrassingly, I'd taken longer than I would care to admit in getting ready. I'd showered and took a good half an hour to decide on an outfit. I ended on a pair of my nicer jeans and a button-up grey shirt, one of my more expensive pieces of clothing. I also wore a matching beanie that pushed my blond locks against my face. I'd chosen this outfit after denying about five others.

I try not to think about how girly those actions had been.

In the waiting area of Starr's, I'm a little confused not to find the usual bouncer there. And also a little relieved. It was getting uncomfortable how the bouncer of a men's strip club was becoming familiar with me.

I can hear the light beating of music inside the main area of the club and my heart races a moment. This wasn't like the feeling I got when I would usually go to meet Dive. This was more anxious. Like, I wanted to make a good impression. For the most part, these were all going to be strangers. And for some really weird reason, I wanted them to like me.

After building up my nerve, I pull open the door and step in. Inside, the area looks much different than usual. Normally, the main part of the club is dimly lit with pounding dance music, full of strangers of all shapes and appearances.

Now, the room was fully illuminated. Most the people were congregated around a few tables in the center of the club. There were no scantily clad men dancing on poles and stages. Those stages now were lined with empty cans and bottles.

I survey the scene for a moment before my focus is interuppted suddenly by the sound of the door behind my slamming shut. I grit up teeth and I can feel blood rush to my face as all eyes turn towards me. Things are eerily quiet for a moment as they stare.

Finally, the awkwardness is interrupted. Bet no one can guess by who.

"There he is!" Freddie shouts as he stands from his seat and walks briskly towards me. I force an awkward smile as the larger, mustachioed man wraps a strong arm around my shoulder, "Took ya long enough, kid! Traffic bad?"

I'm not given a chance to reply as Freddie drags me towards the group of people. The population is mixed. Mostly male but a few women. Everyone appears around the age of Dive, and everyone is strangely attractive. Well, I guess its not so strange when you think of what profession most these people have.

"Everyone, everyone." Freddie shouts to get everyone's attention, as if he didn't already have it. "This here is Jeice. He's just a bambi so be nice to him, okay? He's Dive's... uh..."

"Friend." My head jerks to the sound of the familiar voice. Dive sits in the corner of the table, almost hidden. He smiles to me and nods. Wearing his usual dark palette, his hair is tied in a ponytail making his face seem more angular. He looks casual, it's a nice look for him.

"Yeah, that." Freddie finally removed his arm from my shoulder and gives me a rough slap on the back, "Beer's in the fridge, help yourself."

The group returns to their conversations and I feel myself drift back into awkwardness. My eyes float over the people before eventually landing on Dive. He smiles lightly and lifts his beer to me, I blink before blushing lightly and turning abruptly to head to the fridge behind the bar.

Inside, there is a large amount of alcohol that I've never heard of before. Mostly craft selections and imports. I randomly grab one whose label featured a rather drunk looking panda before building my nerves and returning to the group.

My search for a place in the group takes longer than I'd like before a woman sitting next to Dive motions for me. Rather meekly I slide into the seat in-between Dive and the woman, she smiles welcomingly to me as I pop the cap off my beer.

"Didn't know you were coming." Dive says with a light grin. Despite the many empty bottles around him, he seems to be holding his composure well.

"Freddie called me." I said, taking a long gulp from my beer before remembering exactly why this shindig was even going down at all, "Happy birthday!"

Dive chuckles lightly and nods. I'm not given a chance to continue our conversation as the girl next to be pokes me in the arm, "So, who's this?"

I blink and turn to the girl. She's rather glamorously dressed with dark skin and dark, amber eyes. The light pink lipstick stands out sharply against her dark tone, "Um, Jeice. I'm Jeice."

"Oh, Jeice. I'm Alexis. Are you the one whose been stealing so much of our dear Dive's time lately?"

My cheeks begin to glow lightly as I quickly drink more of my beer in an attempt to hide it. Thankfully, Dive comes to my rescue, "He's the one whose been saving me from having to spend too much time with you deviants."

Alexis laughs and shakes her head and I sigh assuredly. At least Dive is willing to save me from being too uncomfortable. I'm about to return to speaking with Dive when a commotion from the back catches my attention.

A group of about three men exit a back room, laughing rather obnoxiously. I follow them as they head behind the bar and retrieve a number of bottles before heading over to the table. A tall, bald-headed man slams a clear bottle on the table and begins placing small shot glasses along with it.

He's a well-built but still lean looking man with a bit of stubble on his chin. His head is shaved clean and he almost looks like he's wearing eyeliner, although it's tough to make out. He slaps an arm on Dive's shoulder and sidles up next to him.

"Shot time, fuckers." He bellows out and begins pouring helpings of clear liquid into the glasses. He slides them to seemingly random people at the table before his eyes turn to me. They narrow as he peers into my own. "Who's the squeaker?"

The corners of my lips turn down a bit at the word. Although, I was wondering how long it'd take for someone to comment on my youth.

"This is Jeice." Alexis cuts in, placing an arm on my shoulder, "He's Dive newest pet."

Again, I feel a frown appearing on my face but quickly try to hide it as the bald man pushes a shot glass in front of him, almost aggressively.

"Is that right?" The man snorts as he sits back and pushes a glasses over to Dive, "Well, we'll keep ya at one shot. Wouldn't want to corrupt a child too much. You ever drink before?"

I roll my eyes as I pick up my shot and prepare to retort but Dive quickly interjects, "Don't be a dick, Jun."

Jun. That's the asshole's name, huh? Kind of an Asian sounding name for someone who hardly looks the part. Probably another stripper alias, I imagine.

The bald man laughs loudly and drapes an arm around Dive's shoulder, I resist the urge to throw that arm off of him and instead grip the shot tighter. "Just trying to look out for your jailbait, Dive. Now, take your shot, birthday boy."

Everyone raises their glasses and downs the liquor. I can't help at the sharp feeling of warmth that fills my insides and I open my eyes to see Jun smiling devilishly at me, "Too much for ya?"

I shake my head quickly and push my empty glass towards the man, "Another?"

The two of us stare at one another for a moment before he shrugs his shoulders and begins re-filling people's glasses. I glance over at Dive to see him looking at me curiously. He sighs and leans in a bit closer, "No need to be competitive, Jeice." He whispers.

It's hard not to. You don't become one of the most talked about athletes in the country without being super competitive. And right now, Jun was really testing me.

Another few rounds come and go and I can feel my cheeks from pink with inebriation. However, with the feeling of drunkenness I can feel my social inhibitions begin to lessen. The discomfort I feel around these people slowly vanishes and I find myself feeling right at home with the group of strangers.

I grow to learn a bit more about them. The majority of them worked at Starr's in some way or another. Alexis, the dark-skinned girl, was a bartender here. Jun worked part-time as a performer, but the company refused to give him a full-time contract for some reason. I imagine it has something to do with him being a dick. Who wants to hire a dick? Even at a place where dicks are kind of the only commodity.

Somehow, the topic of my athletic career comes up. Probably because Freddie has a loud-mouth and enjoys embarrassing me. This conversation eventually evolves into an arm-wrestling competition between myself and the mustachioed drunk. My competitive side rearing it's ugly head again.

Despite my confidence, Freddie wins rather easily. My arm strength was always one of the things radio analysts liked to bring up about my faults, but I felt like I could beat a flamboyant stripper like Freddie. I guess I underestimated him.

I'm able to beat a few other of the party's patrons, and I finally notice Dive standing a few feet away, catching with a grin on his face. He claps as I defeat Carlos, one of the club's bouncers and I can feel myself beam with pride. I don't take time to think of my his approval makes me feel so good.

My attention is stolen, however, when a bottle of beer slams on the table. I watch as Jun and a few of his friends sidle up. The bald man takes a seat and puts his arm out, "How long you know you were a fairy, kid?"

I put my elbow on the table and glare at Jun, "Pretty personal question for someone I've known for an hour."

"We're all friends here, right?" Jun laughs as his hand claps my own, "You know, Dive and I used to be pretty close too. Hell, I bet he's shown you a few things he learned from me."

My blood boils. The fact that Dive would even consider someone like Jun really irks me, almost more than the insults be keeps passive-aggressively throwing my way. This drives me to really want to win.

I roll up my sleeve a bit as Alexis claps her hands, signaling the start of the match. I grit my teeth and put my full strength into pushing his arm down. I get about halfway down before I meet resistance.

My eyes instinctively glance up at Jun. His face is red and veins show on his neck. I can tell he's at his full power. All I have to do is hold out to finish him off.

I feel the last bit of Jun's strength give out and push forward. The empty bottles on the table topple to the ground as his knuckles smash into the wood. A smile of accomplishment crosses my face and I pull away, just in time to see Jun rise to his feet in frustration.

Jun appear ready to say something, his eyes flashing with anger, but he isn't given a chance as a large arm drapes around his shoulder. Feddie laughs loudly and gives me a thumps up. That guy really has a way of knowing when to diffuse situations, even when he's sloshed.

I take the opportunity to excuse myself from the table, it takes every ounce of my being to refuse the urge to gloat, but I know that'd only cause more issues. I stumble a bit as I leave the table and look around, looking for the person I was here for and yet hadn't really got the chance to see.

His eyes apparently had found me first as I see Dive standing at the bar with a few other people. I smile as a float over to him, he returns my gesture.

"You really hide your competitive side when you're sober." He says with a chuckle.

"Some people bring it out of me." I say with a cocky smirk as I retrieve another beer from the fridge behind the bar, "You really hang out with some characters."

"Jun can be an asshole when he's drunk, don't mind him." Says a busty blond girl standing next to Dive. She speaks with a Southern accent and looks out of place in the crowd. She looks more like someone who would frequent dancing partying in barns rather than those found in strip clubs, "He's just jealous someone else is taking Dive's attention."

Dive rolls his eyes at the girl, "I try to forget every hooking up with him."

"I didn't realize so many of you would know about me." I state quietly with a grin, although deep down it gives me pleasure to know someone has been talking about me.

"Blame Freddie." He says with a shrug. Big surprise there.

"Dive's found himself a cute little time waster though." The Southern woman says with a grin. I'm really not sure how to feel about that statement, "And apparently he's got a strong arm. That's gotta be a plus, eh, Dive?"

I blush and try to hide it with my beer bottle. As I do so, a group from across the club shout for Dive's attention. With an almost dejected sigh, he excuses himself to head over. I prepare to follow the group but an arm hooking around my own catches me attention. I turn around almost expecting to see Laney only to be met with the amber eyes of Alexis.

"Hey, cute stuff." She breathes at me with a wide grin, "Nice to see you're fitting in around here."

I smile back, "Yeah, everyone seems pretty cool."

"Oh, yeah. We're very accepting, even of young kids like yourself." Another smart remark about my age. "Hey, why don't you come with me. I can show you something fun."

I pause, looking at the girl. She seems to see the look in my face and laughs, waving her hand at me, "Nothing sexual, darling. I know you don't quite swing that way. Follow me."

Resisting the urge to correct her about my sexuality, I find myself being drawn towards a back room with the girl. She opens it up and pulls me inside.

The room is full of cigarette smoke and a small group of people. I recognize a few of them. Jun and his crew is there along with a few others I'd met through the night. They sit around a small table and all eyes turn to me as I enter.

"Thought I'd invite our new friend to join." Alexis quips as she takes a seat, motioning for me to do the same, "No complaints?"

"Sure." States a long-haired boy in the corner. He's fishing around in his wallet. I remember him from one of my times visiting the club during working hours, he's another dancer. "The more, the merrier."

"What..." I start, peering around the table. In the center is a pie of fine, white powder. I sits almost like it has its own presence, everyone surrounding it. I feel a sense of foreboding by looking at it, "... are we doing?"

Alexis chuckles as she drums her fingers on the table, "Having fun. Want to try something new?"

Before I'm able to reply, Jun speaks up, "Don't wanna get the kid over his head. He's already wasted."

I grit my teeth at the bald man, "I'm fine."

Suddenly, another man speaks up. He's an older, bearded man. He pulls the plate holding the powder towards him and sighs. I recognize him as one of the managers of Starr's. Felix, or something like that.

"Ever do anything like this before?" He speaks in a low, gruff voice as he uses a card to split the powder into lines.

"No." I answer. My knuckles are turning white from my fists, "Is that coke?"

A loud laugh echoes through the room and I shoot a glare towards Jun. I really don't like this guy.

"Opana." Felix states quietly, "It's prescription. Oxymorphone to be exact. It's an opiate."

The man pauses and reaches over to retrieve a dollar from the long-haired boy. He rolls it into a thin tube before glancing up at me, "How much you drink tonight?"

"Uh, I dunno. Not too much."

The man nods slowly to himself before raising the bill to his nose. He snorts up a line of the drug too quickly for me even to see and sniffs loudly before pushing the plate to his left, to Alexis. She repeats the process before sliding the plate and dollar to me.

"Careful, kid." Jun says from his seat in the room, "That stuff ain't for kids."

Alexis groans, "Quit trying to be such a hard ass, Jun. Jeice'll be fine. He's already shown he can hold his own."

The combination of praise from Alexis and insults from Jun is enough to push any apprehension out of my mind. I take the dollar and lean down to one of the lines of powder.

"Just hold one of your nostrils closed and snort quickly." I hear Felix say in a monotonous tone, "It may hurt at first but you'll be fine."

I nod quickly before doing as he says. The inside of my nasal passage burns painfully but I power through, eventually breathing in all the ground up pill. I pull away and snort loudly, dropping the dollar onto the table. My hand goes to my nose and I try to breath normally.

The burning does slowly subside but its replaced with an intense feeling of needing to cough as the unfamiliar substance makes it way down my throat. I can't help but cough and feel Alexis patting my back.

"That was good for a first timer. Cleared a whole line!" She rains the praise on my as I slowly regain my composure.

I lean back in my seat and close my eyes, waiting for the odd sensation in my through to die down. It doesn't. Opening eyes eyelids, I watch as the plate and dollar leave my presence and circle around the table. Everyone else takes their lines like it's nothing, I think Jun even does two before it comes back to Felix.

I do one more line before the table decides to return to the table. As I stand up, it feels like a head rush. A pleasurable sensation pulses through my body and I feel a grin grow on my face as if against my will. The rest of the group flashes past me and I force my body to follow.

Stepping out of the smoke-filled back room into the much louder, brighter main area feels like crossing the threshold into a new land, and the feelings that come with it are equally drastic. My eyes dart around the room. The majority of the crowd is at the main table, laughing and playing some mindless drinking game.

I continue looking from person-to-person until my eyes find someone else looking at me. My grin grows even wider as Dive looks quizzically at me. I briskly stumble across the floor to him and my arms wrap around him in a hug.

Dive pulls away after a second, "Where were you?"

"Somewhere else." I spit out, surprised by how slurred my words sound. It's like those lines doubles my drunkenness, "I feel really good."

"Jesus." Dive mutters as he pulls me over and sits me down at the table, a bit away from the main crowd, "What were they doing in there?"

My mind searches for the unfamiliar name Felix had uttered, "O.. Op... O-something? I dunno. It's really good though!" I laugh, not really sure what I find so funny. "You should try it. Where's Felix. He has it."

Dive groans as he peers around the room, "That fucker. You shouldn't have taken that stuff, Jeice. You're already drunk."

I wave Dive off and lean forward to get closer to him, "I'm fine. Really! I'm great. Where's my beer?" I murmur the last line out, looking around. I see a bottle sitting in front of Dive and reach over and grab it, taking a long swig.

The sudden foul liquid combined with my still sensitive throat cause me to sputter and cough. Dive takes the bottle from my hand before I'm able to drop it.

"I think you've had enough, Jeice." Dive states bluntly as he placed the bottle on the table. Even that statement makes me chuckle and I reach my hand out to cup his chin, "You look good tonight."

The older man chuckles and pushes my hand away, "Just try to keep yourself under control."

I'm shocked when three glasses materialize in front of me. I stare at them quizzically before finding their source. Jun stands before us and pours more clear liquid into the glasses, "More birthday presents, Diver."

Dive sighs, "Cmon, Jun. We've got an iss-"

"No, denying shit." Jun laughs loudly as he steps behind Dive, placing his arms on Dive's shoulders. He leans in close to Dive and grabs his own glass, his face way too close to Dive's for my comfort.

"Sit this one out, Jeice." Dive whispers as he grabs his glass. I see Jun's eyes peering at me humorously, just that look offending me. I grit my teeth and grab the half-full glass off the table.

"Fuck that." I spit out and sling the liquid down the throat, my eyes never leaving Jun's. At least, until I've finished the drink and feel a sudden wave of nausea. My throat closes up as I sputter, leaning forward in my seat.

Quickly, Dive's arm reach out and start leading my away. I can hear Jun laughing and Dive ushers me into a bathroom and pushes me towards one of the stalls. My protests grow useless as Dive's intervention grows ever more justified.

I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd one day be puking my guts out in a male strip club, with someone like Dive rubbing my back.

Coughs echo loudly from my throat as I fall back and lean my head against the stall door, "Sorry." I mutter and Dive shakes his head.

"You're fine." He states calmly before retrieving a paper towel from the dispenser. My eyes lock on his face as he wipes my face clean, "I think we should get you home."

"No." I murmur, again surprised at how slurred and indecipherable my words are, "I don't wanna make you-"

"No. We're leaving." He pulls me to my feet and holds out his hands, "Keys."

Reluctantly, I fumble around and pull my car keys from my pocket, handing them over to him with embarrassment. This really isn't how I pictured the night going. I prepare to head out but nearly topple over, only Dive's arms enough to keep my from slamming into the pavement. He wraps my arm around his neck and leads me out of the bathroom.

"Everything okay, Diver?" I hear Freddie's loud voice boom, but I'm unable to look up out of a combination of embarrassment and nausea.

"Yeah, we're cool." I hear Dive say as we continue moving, "Just gonna take Jeice home. Thanks for the party, man."

"No prob! Happy birthday, brother!"

The cool night air does a little to relieve my feelings of nausea as I lean my back against what I assume to be my car. I blink quickly, my vision blurry and doubled as Dive unlocks the drivers side door.

"Yo, where you going!?"

I groan and turn my head to see Jun jogging up to us. I almost feeling like throwing up again at seeing him.

"Home." Dive states bluntly as he returns to me. He opens the passenger side door to help me get in.

"Aw, but its your birthday." Jun laughs as he steps up to us. The moonlight shines off his bald scalp. "Not your fault the kid here's a lightweight."

"That's enough, Jun." Dive's voice is monotonous, no sense of hostility or annoyance to be heard. It calms me down.

"Just hang out a bit longer. You're hardly even drunk. You can crash at my place."

A sigh escapes Dive's lips and he shuts the passenger door as soon as he gets me in. I watch as Dive steps up to Jun and exchanges words, but cant make them out through the car door. Jun motions angrily at me and Dive puts his hands up, his voice seeming to rise. I yearn to hear their words, but the confrontation is over nearly as soon as it's begun. Dive leaves Jun and slides into the driver's seat.

Before I can even say anything, we're moving.

The car drives steadily down the road. I rest my head against the pane of the window, shifting between watching the passing scenery and keeping my eyes shut to keep my nausea at bay. The guilt at my actions slowly rising up.

Dive is quiet. I glance over at him every now and then but he keeps his eyes on the road. We haven't spoken since the drive start.

I swallow hard, "Sorry... about ruining your birthday."

A chuckle emits from Dive's throat, "Please, you gave me an excuse to leave."

"... why? It's your birthday party." I swallow again, trying to keep my words to sound legible as possible, "Weren't those your friends?"

"Not really." He states quietly, I watch him as he speaks. "Most were just using it as an excuse to party to be honestly.

"What about Freddie?"

"Freddie's the exception."

"... and Jun?"

Dive sighs and shakes his head, "Don't worry about Jun. He's a self-hating asshole who likes to project it onto others. I regret ever... doing anything with him."

"Wow." I chuckle a little, leaning my head back against the window, "Dive has regrets. It's almost like you're a real person."

Another sigh and I look over to him. His eyes continue to follow the road, but his demeanor seems to have changed. Did my words hurt him?

"Everyone has regrets, Jeice."

I hang on his words. It's gotten to the point where getting any tiny glimpse into Dive's psyche is a huge breakthrough. I don't know whether to push him or not. Shockingly, Dive doesn't make me pry.

"I used to hook up with him every now and then a few years ago." He states quietly, really selling the fact that he tries to forget about him. "He's mindless and dumb, but was good in bed. That's really all there is to it. He has attachment issues. He wasn't even invited tonight."

I nod slowly, thankfulness filling me. Not only at the fact that Dive had let me know Jun really did mean nothing to him, but also that Dive had opened up, even that little bit.

"How many times have you come to my rescue now?"

This gets a laugh out of Dive, "You just keep needing rescuing, I guess."

The car once again grows quiet, but my mind doesn't relax. It remains on Dive. How he always seems so selfless when I'm nothing but selfish. He just keeps coming through when I need him and yet I never return the favor. All I do is take.

Why does he do this? And yet he keep saying none of this is meant to mean anything. That it's still just a business relationship. I like to pretend like I don't care, but an embarrassing amount of my day is spent thinking about him.

Why? Am I...

"I think I'm falling for you." I whisper out. I'm not even sure if I said those word out loud until Dive replies.

"Don't say that." He states almost comically.

"Why?" I ask, really wanting to know the reason. It's not even that I want to know if he feels the same. Just yearning for a reason why our relationship is the way it is.

"You're fucking wasted, Jeice." He states in a matter-of-fact tone. "Don't say anything you'll regret."

"I don't get you." I spit out, sitting up in my seat. A bit of nausea creeps into my stomach and my head spins, but I don't relent. "You do so much for me. Spend all this time with me and help me. But you don't want anything in return? You don't feel anything for me? It's all just some fucking diversion for me but what do you get out of it. And don't spout any of that 'I'm the distraction,' bullshit, okay?"

Dive doesn't reply. The car grows silent once more.

I groan and return to leaning my head against the window. Eventually, we pull into Dive's apartment complex and he turns off the car. I'm about to open the door when Dive's voice catches my attention.

"You won't remember any of this tomorrow." He states quietly. His eyes don't turn towards my direction, "Just... don't say anything that's going to ruin what we've got now, okay? What's wrong with the now?"

"I don't know." I whisper out, my eyes feeling watery. I'm not sure if thats due to my inebriation or something else. "I just... I feel something..."

"Forget it." Is all Dive says before he opens the car door and steps out. I follow suit, feeling defeated.

We make our way up to Dive's apartment and he helps me undress. I collapse onto the bed and watch as Dive does the same. He lies next to me and I can't help but reach over and touch his face. He turns towards me and my lips meet his.

The moments is quick but meaningful. All the nights events, the embarrassment and guilt, the feelings of guilt I felt internally and spouted out in front of Dive, all seem to melt away under his kiss.

Our lips part and Dive murmurs a good night as he turns his head. I stare at him a long moment, still fighting with myself on whether to press the matter or not.

Finally, I sigh and reach over to drape an arm over his chest.

"Don't leave me, tonight." I whisper out. I see Dive's eyes open, but he doesn't turn to look at me. He knows what I mean. "Just... stay tonight. Just tonight... please?"

He's silent for a moment, before his hand reaches up and grasps my own. His thump circles around my knuckle affectionately.


I smile faintly and nuzzle up against him. I feel his chest rise and fall as sleep eventually overcomes him, but my eyes continue to follow his every move. My mind doesn't rest.

I think I love Dive.

To Be Continued...

Author's Note

Little more meat in this one. And Jeice is finally becoming self-aware! Hope that makes up for the sparse updates. I plan on finishing this story, for sure. It's one of my vows for the year. Hope people will continue to read.

Thanks a lot!