Hey guys, this is a longer chapter. Hope it is entertaining.
Nathaniel's good mood lasted for the whole night. He was singing in the shower, smiling while re-reading Dane's messages, touching his lips while smiling and worst of all he laid on his back, on his bed, and replayed the conversation that they had in the car, over and over again in his head. At some point he forced himself to open his Geography textbook and got some studying done for his exams tomorrow. Dane and his sexy kisses were never too far from his mind.
Nathaniel woke up thirty minutes before his alarm went off and dashed around his room, taking great care with how he looked today. When he went downstairs, earlier than usual, his mom was already eating toast and coffee.
"Wow, you are in a good mood, this morning", she observed. Nathaniel smiled and went to get his breakfast. His mom was still looking at him. "Is that the outfit you vowed to never wear in a million years because you do not consider yourself to be a manikin on Rodeo Drive?”
“Well I didn’t want it to go to waste. It…It was already paid for.” Nathaniel looked down at his outfit self-consciously. He thought the black and white striped sweater and Jeans looked good but he was no expert on this. “It’s just jeans and a top, mom, no big deal”. He said in an attempt to brush off her comment.
His mom smiled and looked at him, “Oh, O.K. No big deal indeed”. She said with amusement. She got up and rushed upstairs. She was back down in a few minutes. She kissed him and was about to ruffle his hair when he shielded his head. “Oh sorry, I don’t want to mess the hair up.” She sighed and gave him one of those looks that forced him to look back at her. “I hope this person appreciates the effort you made this morning. Are you dating? If so, I am glad. You are going to be eighteen in a few days and I was seriously beginning to wonder”. She hugged him then put her coat on as soon as a car pulled up at the gate.
“See you later, hon. You should dress up more often, it suits you. Remember its December so wear a Jacket”. She spoke swiftly and her sentences run into each other. Nathaniel knew that when she gets like this he does not have a chance in hell to get a word in, so he just waved as she exited the door, leaving quietness behind.
Forty five minutes later, at 7:25, Dane opened the car door for him and closed it as Nathaniel took a seat.
“You are early,” Nathaniel noted as Dane took his seat.
Dane smiled and leaned over Nathaniel, “No, I am right on-time. I factored time in to kiss you good morning”. With that he lowered his head and teased Nathaniel’s mouth open. The fact that they were still at his gate, where the neighbors could see them, flew from Nathaniel’s head as Dane groaned and deepened the kiss.
When Dane finally lifted his head Nathaniel looked as if he was in a daze. “Morning, handsome.” Dane said huskily. Nathaniel cleared his throat and let out a high pitched “Hi”. Dane smiled at his response and started the car.
As the car moved towards the town center, Nathaniel saw Dane’s Identification badge pinned to the dashboard of the car. Nathaniel looked at it with interest. Dane noticed and chuckled, “A little bit late for that, isn’t it?” He asked with amusement.
“What?” Nathaniel asked quizzically.
“Checking out my ID to see if I am authentic”, Dane offered, glancing quickly at Nathaniel.
“I am just ……It’s Just that……… I really don’t know anything about you”. Nathaniel stammered.
“Oh….O.K.” Dane said thoughtfully. “Let’s change that right now.” He took a deep breath and spoke again. “ My name is Dane Gregory Wynters. I am 23 years old. First child for Bradley and Venice Wynters. They live in Florida. I have a younger sister, age 16. She lives with our parents”, the car slowed to a stop as he approached a stop light. He looked over at his passenger and smiled his cocky smile , “anything I missed?” He asked as he turned his attention back to the road as the light changed to green.
“You sound as if you have said that, exactly like that, before. It sounds rehearsed”. Nathaniel observed as he noted that Dane behaved older than twenty three. From the little interactions they have had, Nathaniel has seen that he likes to “take care” of him as a guy would do for a girl. Nathaniel felt uncomfortable about that, but he was not really sure if it was all in his head.
Nathaniel heard Dane exhaled on a soft whistle. “What? Wondering if I had to say that to the Police right after they arrested me for something that we Cabbys are known to do?”
Nathaniel looked over at Dane and realized that he was not joking. “I did not mean that, I just………. Look, I can’t just push my hang-ups in a bag and don’t think like that anymore. It is gonna take a little time for me to………. You know…..?” He used his hands to try to finish his sentence.
Dane reached the school’s parking lot and found a place to park, keeping the engine running. Nathaniel was looking around nervously as students hurried from parked vehicles to get inside. “Don’t worry about it Nate,” Dane smiled, “I am going to have so much fun tearing down that wall that you are shoring up.”
Nathaniel hurriedly opened the door to get out. “When will you be finished today?” Dane asked.
Nathaniel bent back inside the car to talk to him. “I finish by two o’clock but you really don’t have to do that, I can get something home”. Nathaniel got out and closed the door.
“Keep your phone on, Nate”, Dane warned, as he pulled out of the parking lot.
Nathaniel stood for a few seconds and watched as the car pulled away from him feeling disappointed that he didn’t get another kiss. He started to make his way towards the building when his phone chimed. “Have a great day, my beautiful snob XXX.” Nathaniel smile when he read the message and he was still smiling when Lana came up beside him.
“Oh my Fucking God! What the hell happened?” She asked eyeing him up and down, while walking around him. Nathaniel had to stop walking, afraid that he wound trip over Lana as she inspected her friend. “You look hot as fuck!”
“Will you stop cursing like a sailor?” Nathaniel asked. “And stop exaggerating”.
“No, Nathaniel seriously, this is an improvement of insurmountable amounts. How come you didn’t snaz up like this before I knew about your preference? Dang, what a waste!” She shook her head from side to side.
“Insurmountable amounts?’ What? So I use to walk around looking like a refugee? Is that what you are saying?” Nathaniel looked at his friend with mock indignation.
“Oh please, they dress better than you did”, she laughed as she looped her arms through his and they continued into the building.
Nathaniel did his final exam and was outside with Lana. He was nervous as hell because he didn’t want Lana to know anything was up with him and Dane. Lana was going on and on about Christmas shopping and relatives that will be visiting for the holidays. Nathaniel was trying to tune her out a little.
“Lana, I told you that not all gays have the shopping gene”, Nathaniel whispered as Lana asked him to go shopping with her next week. She pouted and Nathaniel smiled, “that don’t work on me either. Barking up the wrong tree hon, barking up the wrong tree”. Nathaniel laugh out loud as she stamped her foot like a two year old.
“How do I get my way then? Cause nothing is working on you!” She said looking frustrated.
“Maybe someone needs to learn to accept the word ‘no”. Nathaniel smiled as he saw Dane coming to a stop beside him. “Oh, a taxi is here, I’ll call you later”. He opened the rear passenger door and got in. Lana was protesting, telling him to get another one. Nathaniel looked at her apologetically and said, “got to do something for mom, later. I’ll call you.” He promised again as the car pulled away and joined the traffic into Town.
Nathaniel realized that the front seat was empty but a female was in the back. Nathaniel caught Dane’s eyes in the rear view mirror and realized that he was looking and smiling at him. “Hey Nate”, he said. Nathaniel felt his cheeks burn and he looked uncertainly at the other passenger in the car and back to Dane’s eyes. Dane cocked his head expectantly.
“Hi”, Nathaniel said and turned his attention to outside where they wizzed passed high-rise buildings.
The passenger got out when they reached town. Dane then headed towards Nathaniel’s home. “You know, nobody can tell that we are more than friends by us just saying ‘hello’ to each other”. Dane said pulling into a park.
“What are we doing here?” Nathaniel asked noticing couples on blankets under trees.
Dane rolled his eyes and exhaled noisily. “Nate, will you stop looking at me as if I am going to jump you at any moment?” He began. “Did you really had to get home or was that for your friend’s purpose?”
“No, mom will be home around six,” Nathaniel said looking at his hands in his lap.
“Are you afraid of me? Because you behave as if you are. I can assure you that I can control myself” , Dane said seriously.
“Its not you I am worried about”, Nathaniel said under his breath. He then looked up at Dane and saw his cocky smile return. “Shit, you were not supposed to hear that.”
“But I did”, he said, fully turning to look at Nathaniel. “Babe, you can jump my bones any time you want. After all, I know I am irresistible”. He smirked.
“Don’t worry, the moment has passed”, Nathaniel said turning his head to hide a smile. He then looked down at the seat and saw three thick text books on the seat. “Oh hell, a passenger left their books.” He picked up the first one and read aloud, “Understanding Electromagnetic 2”, he read the cover of the second, “Probabilistic Methods in Engineering”, Nathaniel whistled and read the third, “Introduction to Circuits’, wow these are some heavy reads, the owner must be freaking out”, he flipped the cover of one of them hoping that the owner had a name or address or something so they can get the book to them.
Dane was watching him intently, with a smile playing around his lips. Nathaniel eyes widened and he looked up to meet Dane’s eyes. “These are your books?” Nathaniel asked with shock in his voice.
Dane looked at him for a while, and then burst out laughing. Nathaniel sat back and looked at him as if he was crazy. Dane calmed down and took a deep breath, “you know, it is a good thing I am not easily offended, you little snob. Your expression tells me that you think I can’t even pronounce the names on those books let alone read the content”.
“Well, you are totally wrong, I never……” Nathaniel started indignantly.
“Forget it Nate. I am getting to know you pretty well. Come on, I want to walk”. He opened the door, grabbed Nathaniel’s hand and helped him out of the car.
They walked in silence for a while until Nathaniel couldn’t take it anymore and blurted out. “ Well!?”
Dane stopped and looked at him, all innocently, “well what?” he asked.
“Stop playing, you know what. I thought we were getting to know each other”, Nathaniel sighed and rubbed his forehead with the tip of his fingers. “This is frustrating”, he said under his breath.
Dane looked at him quizzically and asked, “would it make me more worthy of you if you find out that I have better prospects than that of being a cab driver?” He asked seriously.
“That’s not fair Dane.” Nathaniel said, his anger stirring. “Are you saying I should not want an ambitious man? I should not want someone who can grow with me? You can call me a snob all you want but I know myself and I know that a handsome face alone won’t do it for me,” Nathaniel folded his hands across his chest and looked up at Danes dark eyes.
Dane smiled and bit his bottom lip. “Point taken”, he nodded at Nathaniel who mumbled, “Only trying to be honest”.
“And I really appreciate the honesty, Nate.” He sighed apologetically. “Sorry babe, I have a few “hang ups” too. All right, let’s sit over here and I will tell you more about me, tomorrow it will be your turn and I want something juicy”. He laughed as he held Nathaniel’s hand and led him to a bench that was under a tree.
“You know that you have a damn good university in the neighboring town right?” He started off. Nathaniel nodded and stated that he planned to attend there next year. “Good, good” Dane nodded.
“My parents didn’t really see it that way, especially not when I got accepted to go to Stanford University. My parents were ecstatic when the acceptance letter came. I had scouted out a few universities and I felt at home and comfortable at Worthington University. It was not as large and as well-known as the others but they had an excellent Engineering Department. So long story short, I defied them and enrolled in Worthington and I have not regretted it. When I enrolled, my parents issued an ultimatum that I either accepted the space at Stanford or they are not going to help me financially. I decided that I was going to support myself, hence the taxi. During the summer, before I started, they apologized but I had already started working and realized that I could actually do this while studying. So to make it up to me they got me a generous gift and have been trying ever since to make me forget”. He looked over at Nathaniel as he finished.
“Wow! That…that…. You are right when you say “never judge a book by the cover.” Nathaniel breathed in surprised.
Dane smiled and bumped him with his shoulder and then continued, “I am now in second year doing Electrical Engineering. The program is pretty flexible, where time is concerned so I mainly attend classes in the evenings and on one Saturday or Sunday of each month. The parents wanted me to go into Bio-medical Engineering but honestly, this is where my passion lies”. He finished and leaned back on the bench, long legs stretched out.
“Thank you for telling me”. Nathaniel said, smiling at him.
“As I said before, tomorrow is your turn, I want something juicy”. Dane gave him one of his cocky smerks.
‘Sorry to disappoint but by life is anything but exciting”, Nathaniel joked.
“Hmm”, Dane said looking him in the eyes, “We are defiantly going to have to work on that.”