That night Harmon sat up late, thinking about all the possibilities that were opened by obtaining Girard's email address and cell number. Of course, he would never have the guts to do anything about it. He couldn't deny that knowing his teacher was also gay was something of a comfort, and it felt less scandalous to dream about him, in his waking life or otherwise.

Around two in the morning he fell asleep. He couldn't stay awake any longer, despite all the imaginings rattling around and enveloping him.

He got out of bed at six-forty-five, as always. He showered and dressed in dark jeans and his Crow shirt. When he went down for breakfast, his mom had waffles and bowls of fresh fruit ready to eat. Leigh was sitting at the table, still in her pajamas, groggily eating her food. Her face brightened when her brother came down the stairs, patting the empty seat between herself and their father. His plate was still clean and unused, and he dropped into the chair and served himself waffles, a large scoop of strawberries, and a dollop of whipped cream.

"Good morning, Harmon." His mother greeted him.

"Morning," he replied around a mouthful of waffle. Leigh eagerly poured him a glass of orange juice, never less than eager to help out. "Thanks." Harmon swallowed and lifted the glass to his lips.

When he was done eating breakfast, he went out to his car and started it. He went back in to let it warm up, and he helped his mom get Leigh ready for school.

"Do you have your new pack of crayons in your bag already?"


"Good, go have mom fix your hair. I'm going to school now. Love you," he leaned down and kissed her on the forehead.

"Love you, sweetie! I'll see you when I get home," his mother called from the laundry room, where she was tossing a load in the dryer before she had to go.

With that, he left and drove to school, Leigh's bus pulling up minutes after he left.

As usual, he arrived ten minutes early for school. He easily found a spot in student parking; half of the other high school drivers were late to school. He finished listening to Lightning Crashes before getting out of the car. He slung his dark blue bag over his shoulder and climbed out, shutting the door and locking it. He turned to the school doors to cross the street and go inside, but instead he yelped when Mr. Girard stood, blocking him.

Sitting in the car he hadn't seen anyone approach the vehicle from any side. "Yes?" Harmon offered, his heart racing.

"I need to talk to you, since I told you my secret."

"Yeah? Wh-... What about it?" Harmon assumed he meant it pertained to the conversation they had at the bookstore. He felt a flicker of hope, since there was the shrivel of chance Girard was into him. Though there was also the fact that teachers and students in anything more than a school relationship could destroy them both, mostly Girard.

"Can we sit in your car? I don't think it would be best if we were out in the open for this."

"Uh, yeah, sure!" His hope grew a little stronger.

"Great, great." He smiled and waited for the doors to unlock. Harmon quickly opened the doors, letting himself and his teacher inside. He took a deep breath before looking his teacher in the eyes. Elias leaned in towards Harmon. The teenager was in an internal panic and he didn't move; he closed his eyes and felt something soft and suspiciously similar to skin against his lips. He dared to open one eye. Sure enough, it was Mr. Girard's lips on his own.

A hand felt for his, and he didn't move. This was his first kiss, and he sure as hell didn't want to do anything to mess it up. The hand slipped up his wrist, forearm, to his shoulder and down his collarbone. What did I do?

Then a second hand came up, and Harmon was more focused on keeping his breathing in check than paying attention to everything else. He didn't want to seem like a fool.

Suddenly he was no longer being kissed and the hands were around his neck, fingertips to fingertips tightening. He gasped and grabbed at the slightly stronger hands, the ones belonging to his three year affection. He tried to scream, but nothing came out. Shit, shit, shit, I'm stupid! But... Then again, who would have seen this coming? I can't... air... I need air...

Everything was fading quickly, his vision spotty and his pulse slowing. This must be it.

Harmon shot upwards into a sitting position, rapidly sucking in deep breaths and clawing at nonexistant hands. He was still in his room, everything came back to him. He crossed the room and flicked on his light. The clock informed him it was four-fourteen AM and that he could still sleep another two and a half hours. Not that it would be easy to go back to bed at this point.