I've never been 'babied' before or coddled. But now it's like I'm this innocent little thing that needs protecting. And Jack Winston and Nolan Ryan are like my adoptive gay parents. Except they're not gay and they're more like…it's more like I'm their pet puppy.

"So we can paint right when we get home or after dinner." Jack suggests as he puts a French fry in his mouth.

At the round table there's an empty space next to me. Nolan's at my right, this one guy named Emmerson is next to him, Jack, Emile and a sleepy kid.

"Um we can wait if you want-doesn't matter." I pick at my salad.

Nolan lightly nudges me with his side and I look up at him.

"Want something else to eat?" He whispers.

"No thanks,"

"You sure?"

I nod and look away.

Nolan gives my back a little rub and returns his attention to the other guys.

I have the earliest period lunch with Nolan and Jack then after lunch I go to French with Nolan. Math with Jack is the last class of the day.

I don't hate being around them.

I just don't want to be with them-I want to be alone. I don't want to be with anybody at any time. That's how it was before and that's how I like it.

"Hey I'm going to the bathroom." I get up and leave. Surprisingly no one stops me and no one comes after me. I let out a sigh of relief as I exit out the cafeteria doors.

Girls definitely have tried to be my friend. I'm sure many of them were just to benefit themselves. To gain popularity, to get to Nolan or Jack, etc. Of course there are some girls who are genuinely nice and want to be my friend.

Nolan and Jack are definitely both very attractive guys. Girls easily flirt with them. They're not exactly the top dogs, but they have some rule here too.

I think there isn't exactly a top dog here. It's just who's well known and who isn't-the attractive and the less notable looking.


I look at the boy approaching me. He looks a bit like Nolan, but not much.


"I'm Pierce," He gives me a 'charm you out of your pants' smile.


"I heard," He smiles again; "The rumors don't do you any justice."


"Although that quality lives up. I can warm up that cold heart of yours."

"No thanks," I give him a dirty look. He has got to be kidding me.

"We should go out, I can show you around and you'll change your mind."

"I doubt that," I give him a pointed look, "Plus I've got your brother to show me around."

"Ouch that hurts," He touches his chest, "I'm better than my brother."

I shake my head and start walking.

"Correction, I'm better in bed than he is-and I'm clearly the better looking brother." He winks and heads off.

Admittedly they're both pretty damn attractive. Both very different, but I have to say that Nolan is better looking. He's more manly-dresses nice and his hair is perfect…and his face. Pouty lips, strong jaw and nose. Blue eyes that could debatably melt me. Pierce has just this smoldering generic look. He's hot and something you'd see in pop culture. While Nolan is sexy and kind of like a rare find.

"Hey," Nolan lightly touches my arm as I sit down.


"Where's Jack?" I ask. The sleepy kid stirs a bit and I can see some drool, "And what's with him?"

"That's Charlie," Emile answers, "If you like pot then go to him. But he just had an all-night cram session. Trying to impress some chick by looking smart."

I make a slightly impressed face, he's asleep and already earn some bonus points with me.

"Jack's trying to get someone to copy homework off of," Nolan adds, "Miss him?" He grins.

I shrug, "Just curious. Is there like a reason why he's so…already comfortable with me being here?"

"He knew about you ever since your parents started dating."

"That was like two weeks ago."

"Three," Nolan corrects, "Tom told him right off the bat. Jack's been giddy ever since. Hasn't your mom dated a guy with a son before?"

I sigh, "Yeah he told everyone that he was sleeping with me."

The guys chuckle at this, "Were you?" Emile asks.

"He wishes," I roll my eyes, "Another kid was a year younger. He never spoke much. To me or anyone."

"You're just a bag full of friendly Princess." Nolan jokes.

"Friendliest girl around."

"My first thought when I met you." Emile chimes in.

I make a small hand gesture dismissing it, "Anyway, I'm going to be blunt here-"

"You're about as blunt as a broken pencil."

I lightly jab him, "Jack's just too attached for his own good."

"Why do you expect to leave so soon?" Nolan looks at me.

"Because I always leave."

"Maybe this time will be different."

"I doubt it-I'm just going to head off to class now."

"Remember Cal we're in the same class." Nolan chuckles. Why does he have to be right?

It's blowing my mind that she wants to live with Tom and Jack now. In November…the month with Thanksgiving and shortly after comes Christmas. Was I supposed to buy them Christmas gifts? Was I supposed to buy Nolan one? I didn't expect to be here by Christmas, but if we did stay for the extra month then what to do? Buy the a gift to only return it to them?

And Christ Thanksgiving is a family thing too. Were we going to meet their whole family?

Is my mouth out of her damn mind?

"Finally wearing some pants," Jack jokes.

I look down at my grey cotton shorts and plain white t-shirt.

I shrug, "Rare moment."

"So why don't you like wearing pants?" Jack finishes up taping the walls.

"Pants are for suckers."

Jack touches his heart and wipes away an imaginary tear, "Sweet baby Jesus Callie you're too great."

"Except Jack, I wear skirts and dresses. It'd be socially unacceptable if you didn't wear pants."

Don't you think that I have the legs for it? If you've got nice legs then it doesn't matter."

I make a face, "They're okay. A little chickeny if you ask me."

"Well I didn't ask you," Jack ruffles my hair, "I am nothing like a chicken."

"Alright let's get started." Nolan walks in with a wife beater on and some black athletic shorts, "I see the Princess is wearing pants."

Nolan smiles as I hit his arm.

"Princesses don't wear pants Nole," Jack pours some paint into the tray.

"Jasmine did." Nolan states.

"Well she had a pet tiger. She can bloody wear pants as long as she'd like."

I bite my lip-against my judgment I say, "Do you guys watch Disney movies too?"

Nolan decides to help me paint a wall while Jack's fending for himself.

"Of course we do," Nolan playfully bumps my hip with his.

I furrow my eyebrows and give him a look.

"Classic Disney movies are classic Callie. How could we not?" Jack says, "My favorite's The Princess and the Frog."

"I cried during that." I admit.

"Me too!" Jack walks over and gives me a high five. I shake my head but oblige anyway.

"I have a top five," Nolan says, "Peter Pan, 101 Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, Tangled and all three of the Toy Stories."

"The three Toy Stories are completely separate movies-you can't lump them together." I inform him.

"I can if I want. It's the Toy Story Trilogy."

"No sweetie it doesn't work that way." I point at him with my paint roller.

"It does-completely and totally works that way."

"No it doesn't!"

"Sorry Princess, but you're wrong."

"I think we need to find a way to settle this." Jack puts his roller down and walks over to us.

"How is that?" Nolan raises an eyebrow.

"Rock, Paper, Scissors." Jack declares.

I used to love that game.

I look at Nolan and he smiles at me, "I'm game."

I look away and put a hand on my hip.

"So?" Jack says.


"Two out of three." Nolan tells me before we start.

"Nuh uh. One game and that's it." I poke his chest.

Nolan feigns a dramatic sigh, "If we must."





My face breaks out in a triumphant smile, "I win."

"I'm pretty sure rock beats paper." Nolan tries to defend.

"Sorry bro-you lost." Jack returns to his side of the room.

"Fine, Princess Callie wins." He winks at me.

I turn and step over a bit.

"Finally got a smile out of you," Nolan beams, "Albeit it cost me my firm belief in the Toy Story trilogy."

"Are you saying that you let me win?"

"I'm a rock, paper, scissors champion." He gives me a knowing look.


"Truths-but it was worth it."

"What?" I look up at his blue eyes.

"My title as rock, paper, scissors Champion was worth your smile."

"Aren't you just a regular Prince Charming." I tap his arm with my paint roller.

Nolan's jaw drops ever so slightly, "Did you just put paint on me? I'm flabbergasted."

I imagine Nolan just grabbing me and kissing me senseless.

So maybe we tried to paint my room last week. Jack and Tom overheard me talking to my mom about how I don't want to paint my room. What I really meant was that I didn't want to paint it at all because I felt bad painting it when I knew that we wouldn't stay long.

What they interpreted it as was-she doesn't like the color anymore so let's get a different color because she's a teenage girl and they change their minds all the time.

I ended up getting a pastel blue and stalled for a bit.

And since then I've developed an itty bitty crush on Nolan. Especially since I've seen him without a shirt and I ended up taking a nap in his arms. Of course Stanley was lying on top of me and Jack was asleep on the ground by us-so totally innocent.

Lo and behold that Pierce Ryan had made a few attempts to flirt with me.

"You sure you don't want to come with us? Jack spoons in some more cereal into his mouth.

"I'd love to, but Natalia wants to hang out for some reason." Nolan shrugs as he slips on a grey American Apparel hoodie.

"You two should come with us." Jack suggests.

"Nah-" He pats Jack's back, "Have fun though." Nolan gives me a little wink and heads out.

Jack sighs then smiles, "Just us."

"Yep," I touch his arm.

Jack genuinely grins, "Go get ready yeah? Then we'll head to the carnival."

So Tom suggested that we all go to the carnival together. The four of us…like we're a family.

Oh help me.

A/n: This'll get better-I'm mostly writing this to help get my creative juices flowing since I need to start my art show soon. Whomp whomp school-I get my schedule tomorrow though so yay!