Haven't written on this in awhile, but felt the urge. Hope you like!

Running Into You: Chapter 3

xxxxxx (Ryan's p-o-v)

Ryan bounced on the balls of his feet as he waited outside his dorm for Jason to pick him up. He had been anxiously counting down the days until this one. Nervous excitement was curled up inside of him. He was anxious to meet Jason's friends and make a good impression. Despite his nervous feelings, he was looking forward to meeting more people and to be getting to know Jason better.

Jason's car pulled up and Ryan hopped in with a grin. Lady was in the backseat and woofed happily, tail wagging.

"Hey," he greeted Jason before reaching to the back seat to pet the dog. "I didn't expect to see Lady today."

"Chris and Rachel have a fenced backyard," Jason replied, glancing over at Ryan as he drove.

Jason looked handsome. He was casual in jeans and a charcoal grey t-shirt. He had a bit of stubble on his cheeks.

"So you took the day off today?" Ryan asked.

"Just half the day off."

"Oh. You didn't shave," he blurted out.

Jason gave him a look that was slightly weirded out.

"Nevermind," Ryan muttered, feeling dumb. He attempted to distract himself from the slight tension in the air by petting Lady.

Jason cleared his throat, "So, how was class?"

"Oh, it was class. I have a big paper due next week and I don't even know what topic I want to write it on. With classes I don't like I suck at pacing myself and end up procrastinating…" Ryan felt like he was babbling and abruptly stopped talking.

Jason looked a little amused actually, his lips were quirked upwards. "What class?"

"It's an English class for my liberal arts requirements. It's not what I thought it was going to be when I registered for it."

"That's unfortunate," Jason's voice was low and sympathetic sounding.

"Yeah," Ryan was unsure of how to continue their conversation and they ended up pretty much silent until they pulled into the driveway of the residence they were visiting.

"Follow me out back. They're probably all out there already," Jason instructed as he released Lady from the car. She woofed happily, seeming to know where they were headed and leading the way. Jason examined Ryan's face. "It'll be okay."

"I know."

"You look nervous."

"You don't," Ryan shot back. Jason just seemed cool and collected. Ryan was a little jealous of his composure.

Jason touched his shoulder. "I'm not worried. You shouldn't be either. They'll like you."

"I'm glad you're so certain." Jason's words did make him feel a little better. He was excited, but now that he was actually there, he felt nerves creeping up on him.

They came around the back together to see Lady already greeting one of the men who was working the barbeque, and the rest of the friends seated at a picnic table.

"Jason!" One of the women squealed, rushing up to greet them. She hugged Jason then hugged Ryan as well. "You must be Ryan! I'm Rachel. Jason's been so mysterious about you. You are a cutie pie!"

The man manning the barbeque chuckled. "Rachel, give the boy some air. You're scaring him."

"Oh, don't listen to him! That's my husband Chris." She linked her arm through his and led him to the table. Jason shot him an amused look over her head.

She introduced the other couple as Steve and Mandy. They both had easy grins and a welcoming demeanor.

"Well, at least he's a man and not a pretty little twink," the man at the grill, Chris, commented with a wink in Ryan's direction.

"Ummmm…Thanks?" Ryan settled on a picnic bench, straddling it sidewise to face the group, not sure if that was a compliment or purely a rude stereotypical comment.

"No really, you're not some skinny-jean wearing, lisping, limp-wristed woman-substitute. You're a man. Sturdy." If Ryan hadn't know that Chris was happily married, he would have thought Chris was giving him an appraising look.

"And you thought I was the one making him uncomfortable!" Rachel teased her husband, smacking his arm playfully. He swatted her back with a towel and they playfully poked and prodded each other.

"Are they always like this?" Ryan was amused.

"Oh yes," Mandy answered with a grin.

"I'm glad you approve Chris," Jason's dry chuckle came from behind Ryan, almost causing him to jump.

Ryan turned his head to see that Jason had straddled the bench behind him, Jason's legs alongside Ryan's hips. It felt very close. Jason's hand ghosted over Ryan's shoulder and Ryan had to resist the natural urge to lean into it.

Wow.

For a straight guy, Jason was good at making them seem like a couple. Hell, that move was almost more romantic and intimate than things Ryan's actual boyfriends had done to him in public.

He glanced back and met Jason's eyes. Jason gave him a small smile and rubbed his hand over Ryan's back, this time firmly.

It was right about then that Chris finished up the hamburgers and hotdogs and called them all over. They piled their plates and settled to eat.

During the dinner, Ryan discovered a lot about the group of friends. He learned that Steve, while quiet and laid back, was a guitarist in a band, Chris owned a bar that they often hung out in, and Rachel and Mandy co-owned a boutique. Jason, Chris, and Steve have been friends since childhood. They all met Rachel, Mandy and Lisa in college. It was kind of sad to hear them talk about Jason's deceased wife. It was like a gaping hole in the group. Ryan could kind of see why the group would push for Jason to be in a relationship, if only to dull their own pain from the loss.

Ryan liked them.

Chris and Rachel were very outspoken and rambunctious. Mandy and Steve were more laid back and quiet, bit it wasn't a snooty quiet, it was a calming zen-like quiet. And they all fit together.

Jason stuck close to Ryan during the experience, Lady too. She was laying right on Ryan's feet under the table. Every now and then she'd poke her nose into his thigh, begging for treats. He was sneaking her a piece of burger, when Jason noticed for the first time.

"You're spoiling my dog. She's not going to want to come home with me now," Jason joked.

Rachel giggled. "Jason's like the strict daddy. Now Ryan's the mommy that gives in."

"Yeah and Ryan can withhold sex until Jason loosens up," Chris added.

Ryan felt himself tensing and his face flushing at that comment. Did they think that they were having sex? He glanced at Jason. Jason looked a little uncomfortable.

Chris picked up on it. "What? You guys haven't had sex?"

"No. We're taking it slow," Jason answered, which was good because Ryan wasn't sure what to say.

"Really? I thought gay guys were sex addicts," Chris commented.

"Wow. That was loaded with stereotypes," Ryan replied.

"You're okay with him not giving you the cock?" Chris continued.

Rachel smacked him. "Why do you have to be so crude baby!"

"It's fine. I'm glad we're taking it slow. My last boyfriend wasn't the nicest guy," Ryan volunteered the information.

"Jason's been good to you right?" Rachel asked.

"Yeah, it's been good," Ryan found his fingers interlaced with Jason's. When had that happened? And why didn't he notice it?

"You're a good person Ryan. I think you are a good fit for Jason," Steve commented. Ryan felt like his gaze was seeing through him.

The friends were all smiling and Ryan felt like he was one of them.

xxxxxx

It's been awhile for this, I have some ideas, but they seem kinda meh…I hope you liked it!