A/N: Hello, fine readers! Just wanted to say 'thank you!' to everyone who has been reading.

WordsxOfxWisdom: Aww, thank you! Glad you like it!

Instead I settle for listening to him breathe, the rhythmic sound lulls me into a drowsy state. I turn the TV down, and crawl under the comforter. I keep my distance from Loren, even though I'd very much enjoy snuggling up to his chest.

I wake up groggily, and glance at the clock, it's only been like an hour and a half. Only 1:48, according to the clock. I'm starving, didn't get to eat breakfast. Loren is still napping, and I don't have the heart to wake him so I just slide carefully out of bed and go over to the phone.

I dial the number for the local pizza joint, Marlin's, which is run primarily by Marlin, who is this perpetually cranky 20-something.
Pizza's great, but the friendly service doesn't exist. I order a medium cheese pizza, considering I have only a crumpled ten dollar bill.

Loren is stirring over in the bed. He wakes, and then sits up.

I smile. "Hey, sleepyhead." I say, Loren blushes sleepily and stretches. "I ordered pizza."

"Okay." He says, and leans against the headboard. I walk over to him and sit on the edge of the bed, one leg on the floor and one up on the mattress. I light another cigarette, and take a pull.

"Um, Gabe?"


Loren takes a deep breath, like he's about to leap into a pool.

"I'm..." He begins, in a whisper. He clears his throat. "I'm...I'm g-gay."

I grin. He DOES play for my team! Well, I dig guys and girls and anyone between, but whatever. "Fine by me. I'm pansexual." I say, Loren looks at me blankly. "I like guys, girls and anyone in between." He nods. "That makes me sound like a slut, but I'm not. Well, I kinda was. But no more."

"Y-you're the first person I've told." Loren says, and when glance back at him, his face is all scrunched up like he might cry.

"Oh, please don't cry." I say, but it's no use. Loren starts crying, big crocodile tears that roll down his face and drip off his chin. I turn to him and put my arms around him. I rub his back, and he cries into my shoulder. "It's okay, it's okay. You're fine." I murmur almost directly into his ear, my lips are actually touching his ear.
Loren's hair tickles my nose. He doesn't cry for long, the tears stop and he just keeps his head buried in my shoulder and his arms around me.

I stroke his hair, which is soft and silky and smells like coffee. We just sit and hold each other for a while. Then there is a loud banging on the door, so I untangle myself from Loren and go to the door.

Marlin is standing there, with a sour look on his face. "Medium cheese pizza. Eight bucks." He looks as if he just rolled out of bed, with his crumpled red polo, tangled hair and sleepy eyes. Marlin does not comment on my choice of underwear.

"Uh, hold on." I go back into my room and locate my ten bucks. Loren is sitting on the edge of the bed, wiping his eyes with a napkin.

I pay Marlin and take the pizza back to the little table in one corner. I shove off a newspaper from three days ago, and set down the box.

I open up the pizza box and pull out a slice. Loren gets up and walks over to the pizza. He looks at me.

"Go on, take a piece." I say, so he does. The only cash I get is from Lackey, who gives me about $75 a week, in exchange for me helping with the little kids, and a few afterschool programs. 75 dollars usually gets me from Sunday to Thursday or Friday, so it's not a bad gig. I mean, I mostly eat crappy fast food and stuff I can microwave, but it's not bad. I don't have a fridge, so if I need to keep
something cold I fill the sink with ice and put a Styrofoam takeout
container over it.

Loren sits in one of the two chairs, amd nibbles his pizza. I eat mine in about three bites, and go for another piece. Marlin makes good pizza. Or his cook does. I've never actually been to Marlin's, I always get it delivered. And every time I've ordered, Marlin or Yip delivers.

Yes, Yip the Recovering Heroin Addict delivers pizza. He only does evenings though, because he has school. Kid's only like fifteen or sixteen. I guess he sure made a mess for his family when he got into heroin, they're pretty high class and whatever. So I guess he screwed up their lives a bit, when he overdosed and almost died. They kicked him out. He was homeless junkie, at like fifteen. Through some turn of events he got clean with Lackey's help, and he went back to his parents', and they took him back. He kept his job at Marlin's, and he still comes to group. He's a sweet kid, Yip. His real name isn't Yip, though, it's Arthur. I guess he started getting called Yip because of his fascination with coyotes or wolves or both.

Loren finishes his slice of pizza and takes a second. He picks off all the cheese and eats it by itself. I polish off my second piece, and then pick up a bottle of water off the floor. I take a sip. It's warm.

I lightly kick Loren's foot with my own, and he whips his head up from his pizza crust. I give him my most winning look, and he smiles. When he smiles, his entire face changes. He's even more beautiful when he smiles.

I want to kiss him.

I want, I want, I want.

But I don't know how he will react. So I will wait. I watch him nibble on his pizza crust. When he finishes it, he has a little splotch of tomato sauce on his upper lip. Mmmmm, I would so lick that off him.

"Dude, you've got sauce right here." I tell him, pointing at the area on my own face.

He licks his lips. Oh, fuck. Bonerrrrrr. "Did I get it?" He did.

"Yep, you're good." I'm so freaking creepy. I almost told him it was still there, just to get him to lick his lips again.

"What do you want to do?" I ask, Loren looks at me.

"I d-don't know." He stumbles over the 'don't' for some reason.

"Out? Or in?"

Loren shudders. "Not out."

"In, then." I pick up a pen, then set it down again. Usually, if I were by myself, I'd go back to the center, or sneak into a movie. But with Loren I'm drawing a blank. "Well, what now?"

"Um. I have my Sega Genesis in my room." I have no idea what that means, but it's something.

"Okay." Loren gets up, and pads out if my room to his room. I follow him.

He turns on his TV, then gets a black game system out of his backpack, which he plugs into the TV. I sit down on the floor, my back against his bed. Loren finishes plugging in the console, and hands me a controller. A menu pops up on the screen, after the opening graphics. A blue hedgehog runs along the bottom of the screen.

"What's this game?" I ask, the title hasn't come up yet.

Loren looks at me, mouth wide open, eyes as wide as his mouth.
"What? You don't know Sonic?"

"Um. No."

"Holy crap. We must get you two acquainted." Loren says, and presses start.

Within moments we are racing around something Loren refers to lovingly as 'Green Hill Zone'. I'm doing badly, I think. Never had time to play videogames when I was younger. Actually, I never even had videogames.

My childhood was pretty much nonexistent. Lackey says that's why I like the little kids so much. Because I get to play games and stuff with them.