Hey, guys! I am so excited to get this first chapter out. PLEASE REVIEW!! I have worked so hard on this! And I'm not sure about the title, so any suggestions? I'm officially vowing to make each chapter 2,000 words long at least, or I'll post 2k at a time (one ch. with 1,000 and another with 500 and another with 500) I'm really busy with school and another short story called "What If" that I am actually almost kind of sort of ish done with. If I get enough reviews I'll post it when I'm done.



I watched his distraught expression as he tried to think of what to say. Fingers hovering over the small touch screen of his cell phone, he licked his lips and tapped out a few words before deciding it sounded wrong.

"Girlfriend troubles?" I asked from the seat on the other side one row behind him. Something in the back of my mind, for some reason, wanted him to deny it.

"Close enough. How'd you—?" He asked, curious who this boy, who could seemingly read minds, was.

"Obvious. I'd say it's all in the face, but I'd be lying. You're face does show distress, though. The lines around your eyes, the frown that's not just a relaxed mouth, lifting your head toward the ceiling is a big one, too." I moved up one row on the bus so that I would be sitting next to him. "I know it's personal, because guys don't text guy friends. They text girls and girlfriends. And you're anxious. You have your cell in your hand, not your pocket or backpack."

"I was just—"

"You're nervous and stressed, so I guessed in a fight with the girlfriend. You can tell a lot about a person if you watch closely."

"Wow. That's… almost creepy, but it stops at really fascinating, hah."

"I'm Nathan. I'm not a stalker, just an observer, hahah. I moved into town a week ago."

"Hi, I'm Quinn. I've lived here all my life. Nice to meet you. I'll show you around."

"That'd be great. Thanks." My mood boiled to excited. I don't know why, but Quinn seemed to have it all together, and that's exactly the influence I needed for this new start at Kingwood High School.



Nathan was standing awkwardly on the side of the cafeteria. I caught his eye, smiled, and nodded, motioning for him to come with me. He seemed relieved to have seen me. The look on his face was just so adorable, like a helpless kid at an amusement park who just found his mommy. Did I really just say his face was adorable? Well, it was!

"So, how was your first four hours of classes without me? Did you make it out okay?" I ask teasingly.

"Are you kidding? I was awesome. This school will be worshipping me by the end of the week." He replied with obvious sarcasm.

"That bad?"

"First period I sat down in three different peoples' assigned seats. Second, I walked into a wall, and third was fine, but in fourth I was gullible enough to believe that the teacher didn't know English, so I tried speaking Italian. He looked at me and said, with a very Texan accent, 'What in the devil's name are you doin', son?'"

"You're kidding. Let's hope the rest of your day goes better. What'd you say to Mr. Feudo?"

[In Italian]

"Good morning, sir. I'm new here."

"Are you fluent?"

"Yeah. I lived in Rome for the first nine years of my life."

"Wow. I'm impressed."

"How'd you know it was Mr. Feudo?"

"The accent. And he's the only one who'd say something like that." He laughed at that. Somehow, his smile was making me uncomfortable. It was bright; true. And oddly enough, I liked this kind of uncomfortable.



I felt like I had history with this guy. That sounds so gay, I know, but that's the way it is. I felt like this guy, Quinn, had been my best friend for years or at least we would be friends for years. Quinn, you are going to make this year great.

We sat outside at the picnic tables, eating lunch. He's introduced me to a few friends: Chase, Destrey, Lenah, Krynn, and Mathias, more commonly known as Mas. Chase is dating Lenah; Mas is dating Krynn, and Quinn is dating Destrey. I felt like such a third wheel. Chase and Lenah look like they belong together. With silk-blonde hair and blue eyes, Chase is probably considered a God by the girls at this school. Lenah is beautiful, too. She looks like she'd win Prom Queen against any girl at this school. Krynn and Destrey are just as stunning, but in less noticeable ways. Krynn is black with curly dark hair to her shoulders. She is shapely, but has an athletic build. Mas seems her perfect match. He has a deep-brown complexion with a buzz cut. He has the look of a baseball player. Quinn and Destrey, on the other hand, don't seem to mesh quite as well. Destrey, with long strawberry curls and pale skin to match her pale blue eyes, looked bubbly and carefree. Quinn, on the other hand, looked serious, passionate, real.

His hair was not long, but not short. Dark brown and straight, his hair reached his eyebrows and barely touched the bottom of his earlobe. It framed his face well. His average skin looked pale next to it, and his dark green eyes brightened when he smiled. His jawline was something some models would pay big money for, but on him, it looked casual with a little scruff from not shaving. His neck was smooth and strong looking. His shoulders broad in a lean way, his arms toned and powerful, but not bulky. The same with the rest of his body. He wore straight cut jeans with tan moccasins. Covering his well-defined chest was a classic black, white, and navy plaid button-up shirt, sleeves cuffed to his elbows. They were both good-looking kids, but they just didn't entirely match up.

"Earth to Nate. Stop staring at your little crush over there and come back to the real world." Mas joked, pulling me back to reality. Crush? They were all laughing at whatever he meant.

"Crush?" I asked voicing my thoughts.

"Were you, or were you not just drooling over Quinn over there?" Chase enunciated.

"Oh. Hahah. No, just off in space. I end up staring at people on accident." I blushed, hard, and hope no one noticed.

"Naw, not with that look you had on your face. Contemplative. You shoulda' seen it." Mas chuckled.

"Just trying to figure things out. Observing. I do that."

"Now, what exactly are you trying to figure out? Trust me, dude, Quinn isn't that deep."

"There's just—" I stop myself, not knowing if they've been told about his troubles with Destrey. "Nothing. Nevermind," Quinn shoots a quick 'thank you' glare in my direction. The table seems to have come alive with the entertainment of this joke— of me. After trying to ignore them, I send Quinn a hopeless plea with my eyes, hoping he'd catch on.



There's desperation in his eyes when he looks at me. Their gay jokes have never bothered me before, but today they're really getting to me. When they're against him, they're really getting to me. When they feel like they're against me, they're really getting to me.

"Dude, leave the poor kid alone." I finally spit.

"Aww, look at that. Protecting your little boyfriend. How cute." Chase retorted.

"Really? You want to go there with me? You may be able to beat me in a fight, but there are so many ways, more lasting ways, too, that I could hurt you." Chase shut up fast, his girlfriend eyeing him.

"Quinn, chill. It's just a joke. But, I guess it wouldn't be if you were a fag, so I can see why…" Mas provoked.

"And you, Mathias. You are such a hypocrite. You saying someone's a freak because they're gay is like anyone else saying you're violent and angry because you're black. Have some respect people. And what's worse, is you're just assuming he's gay. He's not." At this point in time, I'm almost yelling and my face is red from frustration. I look over at Nathan and his face is something I can't read. As is the silence broke him from a trance. He gets up and leaves, walking quickly.

"Guys! Be quiet! What if… if, like, his dad was a fag or something? You could have, like, really offended him," Destrey said. Nothing but bubbles of rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns ever came out of her mouth. She was such an airhead.

I was already headed after Nathan seconds after he left. I was getting sick of these jock-heads and their stupid jokes that were never funny.



I had no idea where I was going. Earlier, though, I had passed a library, so I was hoping I'd find my way back to that. Being in a library always calmed me down. I grew up in an apartment with my mother while she worked at the Angelica Library in Rome. I would spend afternoons there as a kid. After school let out, my mom's shift would start. We'd load up into our small car and head to the library.

Public libraries around here were never even close to the same, but as I walked along the shelves and ran my index finger across the spines, I could almost hear the quiet rustle of pages synonymous with those of Rome. A mix of my mother's perfume and ancient paper-and-cardboard art enveloped my senses, and, if I closed my eyes, I could see my mother smiling down at me, telling me about her favorite books. Her crystal blue eyes told stories of their own as they danced with the words she read.

There's a tap on my shoulder and I jumped about fifteen feet in the air. A worried face, belonging to the ever intriguing Quinn, stared back at me. Sheepishly, I look at him, then at my shoes.

"You didn't have to defend me. Or follow me. You've known me since this morning." I whispered, my voice afraid to reveal what was going on in my head. What is going on in my head?

"If I don't say something, how do I know someone else will? It's not cool to pick on the new guy. Or use homosexuality as an insult. Ugh." He rolled his eyes and crossed his arms, making me wonder…

"Well, thanks," I mumble, quietly smiling up at him.

"Wait, you don't think I'm… do you?" He said suddenly.

"Oh! No! Not at all. Ew, why would I care? I'm definitely not." I shifted my weight, like I was lying, even though I wasn't— I don't think.

"Oh, good. I'm not. I am totally 100% into girls. Yeah. Boobs all the way." He blushed when he said that, but it was the cutest thing ever. He bit his lips together and held onto his right arm from behind him, looking down, then to the right. He was hiding something, but that's none of my business right now. I just chuckled.



Boobs all the way?! I am truly an idiot. Well, I am straight, but there's no way he's going to believe that now. He's laughing at me, too. I'd be mad, but can anyone really be mad when someone has a laugh like that? It's contagious. I glance over, and he meets it. We crack up in hysterics. I'm sure the two of us look like a couple of patients that just escaped from a mental hospital. The librarian came over and hushed us, so we put on our calmest faces and walked out of the door.

"What a perfectly awkward start to a friendship." Nathan nodded his head in agreement, still recovering laughing fit. After a few minutes, he was able to speak.

"Hey, some of my best friendships have started in similar ways. Back in Italy, my best friend rescued me from the little girl in the apartment down the hall. I was a scrawny, pathetically weak child."

"Well you could probably at least make baseball with any skill. You're pretty well defined, if you ask me. And I'd know. I'm the first baseman." I hope he didn't take that the wrong way…

"Really? You think? Thanks. When I moved to Alabama with my dad, he was hell bent on teaching me football. I sucked. So then we took up playing catch. I was better at that, but it only lasted three months before he started dating Mila and got 'busy' on weekends."

Mila? What happened to his mom? I didn't ask. It wasn't my business. "Maybe while the season's winding down I could see what you've got and help you out a bit. By next year, you'll be the star of the team! Next to me, of course." I smiled slyly.

"Yeah. Sounds cool. That'd be great." And with that, the bell rang and we headed back to class.

A/N: Thoughts? Review please. I am nothing without reviews.

Much LOVE!