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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Desert Dropping - 23. Seeking Company

A/N Thanks to Jim for editing!

Eddies office was downtown, right across from the courthouse. The small firm he worked for was on the fourth floor, while the rest of the building consisted of two competing real-estate agencies and a gym, which he happened to be a member of.

Working for Eddie was definitely not the most thrilling experience of my life. The temp hed hired was a seventy-year-old woman with a hearing problem, and she kept falling asleep at the front desk; but I guess it didnt matter, since Id picked up how the phone system worked faster than she had, anyway. I did find the paper shredder my first day there, though. That kept me entertained for a whole ten minutes before I accidentally shredded something that Eddie needed and he told me I couldnt play with it anymore. He wouldnt even let me listen in to his end of the phone calls that sounded like they might be a little bit interesting. All I was allowed to do was answer phones. I was so bored that I asked Eddie to give me something to do that would at least keep me busy. He ended up handing me the windex and a roll of paper towels. That kept me busy, but only because when I was done with his office, he told me I could take care of the rest of the floor, too. The next day, I borrowed a few of Jases books to take along with me.

I dont think it was the best idea for Eddie to take me to work with him, and not just because I didnt like it. It was also because in his office I think I annoyed him. He was a different person there. Direct. Decisive. Way too serious. Every time he met with someone his smile seemed fake to me, but maybe thats because Id seen Eddies real smile. I didnt really care for Office Eddie all that much.

But just because I didnt take to going to work with Eddie, didnt mean that I considered the experience a complete waste of time. The next two days gave me time to cool down about Aaron. I didnt know if hed tried to call. Luke had blocked his number from the phone. But, I didnt see him, and I think that was for the best. And Eddie seemed to like me going to work with him, even if we could both agree that it wasnt the perfect job for me. On Monday and Tuesday he took long lunches. On Monday we ate across the street with Tom Conner, who couldnt stop talking about how much his wife liked the patio; and afterwards, Eddie and I went to see a movie. On Tuesday, we did lunch, and then ice cream, and right when I thought we were headed back to the office, Eddie said that he wanted to do some shopping. I was pretty sure that he was taking these long breaks to convince me that I wasnt being punished, but when I brought it up to him, telling him that he didnt have to, his response to me was that it wasnt about trying to prove anything. He just wanted to spend time with me.

On Wednesday, I woke up at nine in the morning, and panicked. I was under the impression that I was supposed to wake up at six in the morning and go to work with Eddie, at least for the rest of the week. Upon further investigation, I discovered that Eddie had already left to work. Luke and Jase were gone, too, so I couldnt even ask why he hadnt woken me up.

I was surprised by how disappointed I was by this. I mean, I hated being cooped up in that office, but when Eddie wasnt working, I really had been having fun. It was a good distraction from everything else. I was worried that my performance in his office had been so poor that he didnt want me there anymore, and this bothered me.

I made my way to the kitchen and looked on the refrigerator door, feeling pleased to find that Eddies office number was still there. I called it, talked the temp through how to transfer me, and then dialed it again when she accidentally hung up. On my third attempt, shed at least had the sense to tell Eddie that I was trying to get through and he answered the phone himself.


"You didnt wake me up," I accused, and then hoped that I wasnt incorrect. It was completely possible that Eddie had tried to wake me up and found the task impossible. Id been up late the night before swimming and watching movies with Luke.

"I know," Eddie replied, sounding mildly amused. "I thought you might want a break. Besides, Ill be in court for most of the day and youd be bored out of your mind."


"Ill probably be home a few hours before dinner. Do you want to give driving a try again?"

"Yeah, sure," I replied, still feeling a little disappointed. Keeping busy had become a great strategy to keep my mind off other aggravating things. Id planned on being busy again today, but now that my schedule had been pretty much cleared, I had no idea what to do with myself.

"I should be home by four, but Ill call you if its going to be any later, alright? Ive got to get going, Rory."

"Okay, bye." I hung up the phone and looked over at Chey. She was scratching at the door. Obviously, she wasnt the only one who wasnt a fan of staying inside all day. Which is exactly what I figured Id end up doing.

I let Chey out and headed downstairs to get dressed, not sure why I was bothering. I was probably going to end up lying on the sofa all day. But, my mood did improve when I discovered that the bruise on my face was practically gone. There was still a place next to my eye that was a little red, but it wasnt noticeable. And even better, the hickey had almost completely faded. Over the last few days, Id taken to telling myself that it was my last reminder of Aaron, and when it was gone, he would be, too. Im sure things werent really as simple as I tried to make them out to be, but either way, I wanted that hickey gone.

By the time I was at the back door letting Chey back inside, Id decided that I wasnt going to just sit around all day doing nothing. I had all day before Eddie would be home and I had any plans. And it wasnt like I wasnt allowed to leave the house. I had no idea where I planned to go, but I figured that as long as I had that cell phone there was no way I could run into trouble, at least where Eddie was concerned.

I decided to borrow the bike again, and this time, I let Chey come with me. I stayed off the road, navigating my way through brush and more than a few cactuses, Chey circling me as I went, exploring the land surrounding the house, and then beyond it as I followed the road towards Seth Fishers house.

Yes, I was deliberately going in the direction of Seths house. I wasnt sure what I planned to do when I got there. There was a good chance that Id just look at it before I turned around and headed back home. But, Id been thinking about Seth. Oddly enough, Id been thinking about Seth more than Aaron. But, that could have been because every time Aaron crept into my mind, Id end up with knots in my stomach, so I avoided it every time I could. But Seth--Id managed to spend hours with him on Sunday without going completely crazy. While I hated that he wouldnt give me all the information that I wanted regarding Aaron, like Id told Luke, Seth wasnt that bad. At least, this new side of him wasnt so bad. This nice side of him. He was being nice to me. That whole thing really threw me for a loop. It made me suspicious, but it also got me thinking. I wondered if Seth had always been nice, and I just hadnt noticed before. Maybe his previous attitude had been to match the one I had towards him. And, I did have an attitude towards him. I could admit it. But in my defense, hed given me enough reason to hate his guts when I first met him. Maybe it had all been a misunderstanding, or maybe Seth was playing me for a fool. Logic told me to stay away from the situation entirely. Curiosity had me riding into his driveway and leaving the bike next to the blue truck parked there.

The German shepherds in the backyard started barking, probably because Chey was with me, so I grabbed her collar as I headed for the door, not wanting her to go wandering off while I was distracted. But, before I even reached the door with Chey, it opened and Seth stepped out, wearing the hat hed purchased when I was with him on Sunday, and looking twice when he saw me there.

"Hey," he said, taking a cautious step in my direction. "What are you doing here?"

"I dont know," I answered honestly.

"Oh..." Seth replied, obviously accepting my response, even as he looked past me in a suspicious manner that suggested that he wasnt sure if I was alone. "So, you didnt stop by to egg my house or write something dirty on the driveway with shaving cream, right?"

I considered the question.

"No," I decided.

"Okay. So, do you wanna put your dog in the backyard and come in?"

I looked down at Chey, hesitated for a moment, and then shrugged.

"Okay, but Im not, like, interrupting anything, am I?" I really wasnt in the mood to help out with anymore of Seths family projects. At least not at the moment.

"Just me and the pool boy," Seth responded as he headed towards the gate. He stopped when he realized that I wasnt with him, and looked back to see something resembling shock and perhaps curiosity on my face. He laughed. "Youve been in my backyard. We dont even have a pool, and the only boy around here who would be forced to clean it if we did, is me."

"Right," I replied, shaking my head as I pulled Chey forward and let her slip through the gate with Seths dogs when he opened it.

"I didnt know if youd come back," Seth said honestly as I followed him into the house.

"Neither did I."

"And you dont know why youre here?"


"Fair enough. So did you get in trouble the other day for forgetting your phone?"

"Not really," I replied. Maybe Eddie had gotten kinda mad at me, but I really didnt feel like Id been in too much trouble. Plus, Eddies insistence that I go to work with him had been a good thing. Things felt like they were calming down after Aaron. I needed that. I needed to not think about him. And oddly enough, I think thats part of why Id ended up with Seth. If Seth had made anything clear, it was that he didnt want to talk about Aaron. A few days ago that had annoyed me. Now, it suited me just fine.

"Thats good; want something to drink?"

"No thanks," I replied. "Um... I probably wont be here long."

"Oh, okay. So, you wanna go upstairs? I was just hanging out and waiting for Angela to call, anyway."

"Were you planning on leaving?" I asked, wondering why he hadnt said something when Id asked if I was interrupting anything.

"When she calls," Seth replied, shrugging as he led the way upstairs. "I have to go to work later, too, but not until four thirty. She could call anytime between then and now."


We reached Seths room, and a quick look around told me that there was no way of telling exactly what hed been doing before I got there. He had a pile of laundry on his bed, half of which was folded; there was an opened book on the sofa and a race car video game on his television; a new photo album was on the floor, next to a pile of photographs ready to be placed inside of it; and the stereo was blaring. His room wasnt trashed by any means, but it wasnt as organized as it had been the last few times I was there.

Seth took a seat on the sofa, pushing the book aside as he lifted a remote control and changed the television screen to cable, flipping through the muted channels.

"Why do you act like youre going out with her if shes not your girlfriend?" I asked.

"What are you talking about?"

"Angela," I replied. "You act like shes your girlfriend."

"Well, shes not."

"Yeah, I know; but, why do you act like it? I mean, you guys hang all over each other, she holds your hand...and, youre sitting around here waiting for her to call," I pointed out, and I thought I made good points. "Plus, you let everyone think you were going out."

"Seth looked in my direction, smiling slightly, as if he were amused by my observations.

"Its not like that," he insisted. "I just dont like it when people talk about me and not to me. Its like, if anyone wanted to know what was going on with me and Angela, they could have asked--were just friends. I mean, shes comfortable, you know? Like, I can be close to her without having to be close to her. I dont know, its been like that ever since we met. My mom keeps saying that its too bad Angela isnt a guy because wed be perfect together," he added, rolling his eyes.

It took me a moment to realize what he was telling me, but once it sank in, I found myself abruptly sitting up straighter in my seat.

"Your parents know youre gay?" I asked, the announcement surprising me.


"And theyre okay with it?"

Seth looked thoughtful for a moment, and then shrugged.

"Sometimes I think my dad doesnt really understand it. Like, after I told them, he did a lot of research and stuff, but he still thinks it might go away when I get older. But its not like hes not supportive. I mean, I dont think it bothers him that much. I bet youre lucky, though. Whats it like to have a dad who completely understands you?"

I immediately rolled my eyes.

"I wouldnt know. I met Eddie last month and until recently, its been one lie after another. There hasnt been a whole lot of time for understanding."

"Right; but I mean, come on, didnt you think it was just as little bit great when you found out he was gay, too?"


? I bit my lip to keep from laughing at Seths choice of words. Great? At the time, no.

"Not really," I replied. "I was kind of pissed about being lied to." Seth rolled his eyes, but instead of feeling the need to tell him to fuck off, I suddenly found it very important to defend myself instead. "It wasnt just about that lie," I continued, and Seth leaned back on the sofa, obviously willing to listen. "There was more to it; I mean, maybe I was a little relieved, when I found out. But it was still just another lie. And, I mean, a lie. Its not like it was another omission. He did things to hide it from me..."

I thought that was reason enough to not think it was great, but when Seth continued to look at me, as if he expected me to say something more, I started to feel a little awkward, and kept talking like I couldnt control it.

"Okay, when I met Eddie, I thought he was just some asshole who ditched me and my mom. And, he let me think it, when really, he never even knew I existed. When we met, it started out with a lie, and then everyone... they kept lying, and right when I thought the lies stopped... well, it was stupid to think they stopped. Everyone lied. So no, it wasnt really great when I found out Eddie lied to me again."

As I fell silent, Seth studied me for a long moment before shaking his head.

"Whoa. It sucks to be you, huh?"

Im not sure what I found so funny about that, but the next thing I knew, I was laughing until Seth joined me before I abruptly stopped and looked at him.

"Hey, wheres your family today?"

"Well, my moms working, and my sisters at day camp, and my dads spending the day with my uncle."

"Does your dad work?" I asked curiously, wondering what a guy like Mars Fisher did for a living.

"Yeah, he owns the place where I work. Three others just like it, too, actually."

"Oh...so, if your dad owns it, shouldnt you just be able to call in sick or something if you dont feel like working?"

"It doesnt really work that way," Seth responded, cracking a smile.


"Its not like it sucks working there, though," he insisted. "I just dont feel like doing it tonight. Ive worked doubles for the last two days in a row because someone else had to quit, and starting tonight Im on the schedule for the next eight days straight--thats what I get for being the bosss kid. But, hopefully my dad will hire someone else and Ill get a day off before next year. You dont want a job, do you? I cant get Angela to come work with me."

"I already work with Eddie," I replied, shrugging. "But, I dont think Im really that good at it. I think he just wants me there because he thinks its the only way well ever spend time together; and maybe hes trying to keep an eye on me, I dont really know."

"Well, if your dad fires you, let me know. I know where theres a job."

I shrugged, and then gave Seth a measuring look.

"Hey, can you... just call him Eddie, okay? The dad thing always sounds kinda weird."

"Yeah, sure...no problem."

"Thanks," I replied, nodding as I redirected my attention towards the television for a few moments as he continued to flip through channels.

"Do you wanna come over?" I abruptly asked, trying to ignore the way that those words sounded completely out of place coming out of my mouth when they were directed at Seth. His eyes practically snapped to mine.

"Seriously?" he asked, as if Id just sworn that there was a two-headed elephant in the backyard. I guess I couldnt blame him. He probably thought the invitation was a strange as I did.

"Yeah. I mean, you dont have a pool and we do, so maybe we couldgo in it. You said you didnt have to wait for Angela to call here, so..."

"Oh. Um, yeah. Okay. But, what about your...I mean, Eddie? What about Eddie? I know my parents liked him, but I dont know how he feels about..."

"I dont think he has a problem with you," I said honestly. "Hes not there, anyway. No one is."

"Okay, when do you wanna go?"

I studied Seth for a moment. Maybe he was agreeing to come over, but there was something in his tone that got my attention. If I didnt know any better, Id say that he was nervous. There was something mildly amusing about that.


"Alright," he said, almost determinedly as he suddenly stood up. "Just, give me a second to get ready. Its okay if we drive over there, right? If Angela calls..."

I wasnt really surprised when a phone started ringing right when he started to say that. It sounded like a cell phone, only it was coming from downstairs, and Seth looked at me apologetically before he rushed to go get it. I shrugged, stood up, and took the stairs a lot slower than he had. By the time I reached Seth, he was on the phone, telling Angela that he was on his way to meet her.

I headed to the front door where I waited for Seth to hang up before I left. When he did, he walked towards me looking a little uncomfortable.

"Hey..." he started.

"Um, Im just gonna grab Chey and go," I cut him off.

"Do you want to come with me?" Seth asked. "I mean, I promised Angela Id meet her, but shell probably just wanna go hang out somewhere. I could get both of you back home before I have to go to work; or, if you need to leave earlier, I can do that, too."

"Thats okay, maybe Ill see you later. Theres probably stuff I need to do, anyway"

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, Im gonna go," I decided; and, I think I was disappointed about that.

As I headed home, I realized that I was a little disappointed. And, in all honesty, a little annoyed with Angela. That last thing was completely unjustified, I know, but the prospect of hanging out with Seth hadnt been a bad one. It would have given me something to do with my time. I was disappointed that it wasnt happening now, and as I thought about it, the reason why I suddenly found myself seeking out Seth Fisher began to make a little more sense.

He lived close, for one thing. My transportation was pretty much limited, so that made showing up at Seths convenient. Add to that, I was utterly desperate for some type of companionship, and it explained a lot. It was something that Id figured out over the last few days while working with Eddie. Maybe I didnt particularly care for the office, but at least I wasnt all by myself at the house, waiting for someone to show up. And in Aarons case, wondering if he was going to show up most of the time. With Luke, and Eddie and Jase always gone, it was often difficult not to come down with a case of cabin fever, and more than anything, Id discovered that I really didnt like being alone as much as I thought I did.

And now, as I headed back towards the house on a borrowed bike, I was alone, except for Chey, who was staying closer than normal as she moved along next to me. But I decided not to feel too put out by having to go home alone. After all, my reasoning for feeling disappointed was that Seth wasnt coming back with me. Seth. It wasnt really like we were friends--not that we were exactly enemies at this point, either. Either way, I told myself that it was nothing to get upset over. It wasnt like wed had plans or anything. Plans with Seth. That was laughable. Kinda. I guess it was just as funny as the idea of spending a day with Seth, playing stupid games, helping him and his dad with a project, or going ice skating--and Id already done all that.

As Chey and I got closer to the house, I decided that I might as well go swimming, anyway. Doing laps wouldnt hurt, and it might even cure some of my restlessness. But, as I saw a familiar brown car coming towards Chey and me, I decided swimming laps might even be better for getting out some built-up aggression, if the encounter I was about to have with Aaron Keslin didnt do the trick.

And there would be an encounter. As I stopped, and glared at the car, hoping that it would pass us, it pulled over, further up the road. He wasnt even going to give me a chance to simply pass him, or pretend that he wasnt there. He was waiting, making his point by getting out of the car to sit on the hood, watching me as I forced myself to keep riding towards him. I told myself that it was because Chey had already taken off to go bark at him, and it wouldnt be a good thing if she bit him. Wouldnt want her to get rabies.

I looked straight ahead, not at Aaron, or how good he looked. I hated that he always looked good. Currently, I wished that he was wearing a shirt, and I wished that he wasnt looking at me with one of those little, teasing smiles that had always made me blush before. He had no right to look at me like that. He had no right to look at me at all.

As I reached his car, I immediately started to ride around it, deciding the best thing to do would be to ignore him.

"Chey," I called, hoping that shed just stop barking at Aaron and follow me. She didnt. I had to stop riding, and that was my first mistake. "Chey, come on!"


I let out a breath. He wasnt supposed to talk to me. He wasnt supposed to be ignoring Chey, either, as he walked around the car. At least she followed him and I was able to grab her collar.

"Chey, lets go," I insisted, tugging on her collar. At least she stopped barking. But, it wasnt the easiest task in the world, attempting to stay on the bike and pull her along.

"Ive been trying to call you," Aaron said, as he started to walk next to me. It was easy for him to keep up. I was practically crawling along as I held Chey, who was trying to get at Aaron again, growling when the collar wasnt choking her.

"I wouldnt know," I retorted. And I would have preferred to keep it that way. I made another effort of getting Chey to move along, but when Aaron suddenly touched my arm I let go of her all together, shook him off, and glared.

"You cant just ignore me."

"Dont fucking touch me," I warned. "What are you even doing here? Just leave me alone."

"Not until you talk to me, Rory. Look, I know youre mad..."

"Mad?" I demanded, meeting his eyes furiously. "Are you fucking kidding me? After what you did? And then, you just show up and pick a fight with Luke, and you think Im just fucking mad? Do me a favor, asshole. Fuck off. Chey!"

When I started riding again, this time the dog followed me. Both of them.

"Rory, Lukes the one who started it with me," Aaron argued. "And, its not like I knew what was going on when I went over there. I just wanted to talk to you!"

"So you didnt see the cars parked fucking everywhere?" I demanded. "Youre so full of fucking shit, Aaron. Just stay away from me."

I started to pedal harder wanting to get away from him, but came to an abrupt halt when he jumped directly in front of the bike and grabbed the handlebars, glaring at me.

"Why is it so hard to believe that I just wanted to talk to you?" Aaron demanded. "You hung up on me! Do you have any idea what it took for me to just show up there? All I wanted was a chance to... explain. I just wanted to talk to you." He let out a breath, and there was a troubled frown in his brow as his eyes held mine, obviously pleading. In response, I sat back on the bike seat, crossed my arms defensively, and raised an eyebrow.

"Explain?" I repeated. "Okay, you can explain. Why dont you start by telling me why you ever asked me out in the first place if the only reason you were doing it was to make Seth jealous? Or, why dont you explain why you told me you dumped him when he was the one who broke up with you; or tell me what you said to him about me when you were bragging about how fucking easy I was! Go ahead, fucking explain that, Aaron."

"Dont tell me you believe anything Seth had to say," Aaron immediately retorted. "Rory, you were right about him in the first place when..."

"No, I wasnt," I cut him off. "And yeah, I do believe him. So what? If Im wrong, Im still done with you. That makes me pretty well off, either way. Get out of my way."

"Rory!" Aaron actually sounded shocked. Believingly shocked. There was something satisfying about that. But, at the same time, there was also something about that that pissed me off.

"You dont even like me, Aaron!" I snapped. "Now just stop!"

I pushed past him, bike and all, and didnt even stop when I ran over his foot and he winced. I also didnt bother to look back, not even to make sure that Chey was there, so I guess I was relieved when she ran ahead of me once we reached the house. I was also relieved that Aaron had made no further effort to follow me, and even more so, that Lukes jeep was parked out front.

I left the bike in the garage and went through the kitchen. Luke was probably just home for lunch, and I was eager to rant about my most recent encounter with Aaron before he had to go back to work. I started to call his name as soon as I got to the kitchen, but stopped abruptly when I realized that he wasnt alone, and not dressed for work. This time it was Rick with him. Luke smiled when he saw me, and then knelt down to pet Chey.

"Hey," he said. "Whereve you been?"

My immediate instinct was to tell him about Aaron, but to be honest, I didnt feel much like ranting with Rick standing there. Things probably would have been different if it had been Dave. It was true that Rick had probably figured things out for himself at his birthday party, but I wasnt quite ready to openly talk about things in front of him.

"Seths," I replied, shrugging, and Lukes brow shot up as Rick flashed me a strange look.

"Again?" Luke responded, smirking. But, he didnt say anything more about it. "Well, we were stopping by to see if you wanted to come with us."

"Where? Arent you supposed to be working or something?"

"I only worked a half-day," Luke explained. "Were going over to Brians. Wanna come with?"

"Yeah," I said immediately. The choice wasnt that hard to make. With Aaron in the area, I just wanted to get the hell out of there. But, then I remembered Eddie. "Wait; when are you coming back? I told Eddie Id be here around four--we were gonna go do something."

"No problem," Luke insisted. "Just call him. He can pick you up at Brians after work. Its on the way." I smiled. Luke was already fishing his cell phone out of his pocket.


I called Eddie and left him a message, explaining that I was with Luke, and asking him to call me. Now, I just hoped that hed get it. Meanwhile, as we drove over to Brians, I kept looking at Luke, wanting to tell him about seeing Aaron. It wasnt advice I was looking for, it was just the need to talk about it. I was pissed, and just seeing Aaron had spiraled me back into a pattern of thinking about him. I didnt want to think about him. At least Rick proved to be a decent distraction. He was completely shameless. He was hitting on basically every female we drove by, huffing on the window and either writing out or drawing vulgar figures; he yelled nice ass twice, nice tits once, and mooned an elderly woman. I was beginning to realize that I didnt really care for Rick very much. But obviously there was something that Luke liked about him, because he kept laughing.

When we reached Brians house, we found that his parents werent home and he was with Cathy and Meg, and three other girls who Im sure Id seen around plenty of times, but I didnt exactly know their names. Rick immediately demanded to know how Brian always got the girls. Cathy, in return, smacked Rick and informed him that Brian only had one girl. Rick was apologizing as Brian led us all down a short hall and into a wide living room. I was following Luke, noticing the way that his ass looked particularly good in the jeans he was wearing today, and not paying much attention to anything else, which would explain why I carelessly ran into a body smaller than mine and reached out to catch it.

"Sorry," I said quickly, and then stopped and stared, feeling completely surprised when I realized that I was face to face with Angela Conner. "Hey..."

"Hi, Rory," she said, smiling, and as I released her she turned and tapped Luke on the shoulder to say hello before I had a chance to ask her why she wasnt with Seth. For a moment I actually found myself brooding, wondering if hed made up meeting Angela just to blow me off. The idea was irritating, mostly because it sounded like something that I would do to him. But, a moment later when Seth Fisher rounded the corner and looked bored out of his mind as we came face to face, the thought disappeared entirely.

Seth looked as surprised to see me as I was to see him, and as everyone moved into the living room, I found myself just standing there with him, seemingly unable to speak. This was unexpected. I was surprised again when he suddenly smiled, like he was happy to see me. Hed obviously recovered first.

"What are you doing here?" he asked.

"Avoiding Aaron. Why are you here?" It seemed like a reasonable question. It wasnt like Seth gave off any impression that he liked any of these people other than Angela. But Angela, was exactly who he pointed to, as if it explained everything. I guess it did. He was there because she was, plain and simple.

"Avoiding Aaron?" he asked quietly.

"I ran into him after I left your place," I explained, suddenly feeling very relieved to have someone to tell this to. "Told him to fuck off." Yup, just saying that made me feel better. Seth, however, looked concerned.

"Did he say what he was doing over there?"

"I didnt really ask," I replied, finding it a strange question. Seth didnt ask anything more about it, though.

"So are you staying here for a while?" he asked.

"Probably. Im here with Luke."

The moment I answered the question, Angela was pushing herself between us and looking at Seth.

"Still ready to go?" she asked him, and to my surprise, Seth looked awkwardly towards me for a moment, almost as if he was trying to figure out if I wanted him to go. In all honesty--I didnt. But, I tried to look indifferent.

"Actually," he finally said. "I can stay a little longer."

"I thought they wanted you to go to work earlier," Angela replied, looking confused.

"I got out of it," Seth replied. "Ive still gotta go in later, though."

"Oh, good," she said smiling. "So do you mind if we stick around here for a little while?"

"Its fine with me," Seth replied, glancing at me again as Angela grabbed his hand and led him into the living room. I looked after them curiously, understanding perfectly, and at the same time, not at all. Obviously, Seth had lied about having to go to work early so he wouldnt have to stick around. It also seemed obvious that my sudden appearance had changed his mind about that. The only thing I hadnt figured out, was why.

I moved into the living room, pausing momentarily when I caught Lukes eyes. He was regarding me curiously. Obviously, hed seen my encounter with Seth. I found myself wondering what he thought about that. I glanced to the other side of the room, where Angela had brought Seth to talk to Meg and the other two girls I didnt know, one of whom, Rick was hitting on. Seth glanced over his shoulder and flashed me a small smile. I went to sit with Luke, where hed started talking to Brian and Cathy. But, as soon as I sat down, his attention turned towards me.

"You saw Aaron, huh?"

I guess hed heard Seth and me, too.


I noticed two things over the next hour and a half as everyone just hung out in Brians living room. The first, was that Seth was beginning to look less bored than he had when I first arrived. And, everyone seemed to be warming to him. I wondered if Luke and his friends were still people he was uncomfortable around. If they were, you couldnt tell, because he was talking to Luke as easily as he had at Angelas house. Only this time, I was part of it. It seemed that Luke was right. Seth kinda was shy--in a way. He was quiet, and tended to stay out of conversations unless he was included in them; and when Luke included him, Seth would join right in. Only, hed start out answering one of Lukes questions, or sharing his opinion about something Luke said, but hed end up with his attention directed towards me, and often times I found that we were having our own little conversations while everyone else was chatting around us. I guess it made sense for that to happen, though; Seth and I were both still new to this group. To be honest, apart from Luke being there, I discovered that I was actually more comfortable conversing with Seth than I was anyone else there. But, that could have been because of the second thing Id noticed.

At Ricks party, Id successfully been outed. Id figured that people would sort of figure things out. Id just been hoping that theyd ignore it. It was Brian who came out of nowhere, asking me how long Id liked guys. I nearly choked on my own tongue, unsure of how to respond. It wasnt that I was afraid of these particular people knowing about me. It was more like, I wasnt used to finding myself in situations like this, and when attention was drawn to my sexuality, I found myself uncomfortable. Luke rescued me from the question, though. He made a joke out of it, insisting that Id been into guys ever since Id met Brian. Luke swore it was love at first sight. Brian didnt see the humor here, but everyone else did, and it really did put me at ease. Later, it was Cathy who very bluntly told me I was an idiot for having been involved with Aaron. Luke told her to leave it alone, and I might have gotten upset, if Seth hadnt heard her comment across the room and started laughing at her choice of words. When I glared at Seth, he winked at me. I flipped him off, but I was smiling. Kind of. So, I was out, and didnt know how to react to it. Oddly enough, I found that I minded everyone knowing about me and Aaron more than I minded everyone knowing that I was gay. But, at least Meg wasnt hitting on me anymore. Luke swore it was because hed convinced her I had a hemorrhoid problem, so I should be thanking him.

It was after two oclock when everyone moved to the backyard to play darts. Seth appeared to be pretty good at the game, and it pretty much came down to him and Brian. It wasnt unentertaining to watch, which is why I chose a quiet place to sit on a bench in Brians yard. Within five minutes of sitting down Luke was sitting down next to me and handing me a bottle of water.

"Its the only one I could find," he said. "All Brian ever has around here is soda."

"Thanks," I replied, taking a drink before I passed it back to Luke.

"So what are you and Eddie going to do today?"

"Driving lesson."

"Ill make sure to stay off the roads," Luke replied, smirking, but then turned serious. "Are you going to tell him about seeing Aaron?"

I let out a breath and frowned. I hadnt really thought of that.

"Im not sure," I admitted. "I mean, its not like anything big really happened. Do you think I should?"

"Not while either of you are driving," Luke remarked, laughing. "I dont know, Rory. I think you did the right thing with Aaron. Mentioning it will probably just piss Eddie off; but, I dont know, you could talk to him, if you feel like it. Its up to you."

"Yeah," I replied, wondering if I should mention it to Eddie or not. In all honesty, the thought probably wouldnt have crossed my mind if Luke hadnt brought it up. I decided to keep my mind off of it for the time being. At least until I was with Eddie. Then I could decide if I wanted to tell him about it or not. "What are you doing tonight, Luke?"

"Ill probably hang out here for a while. Im meeting Dave a little later. Im not sure what were doing yet."

"Where is Dave?" I asked, suddenly noticing that he hadnt been around all day.


"Oh," I replied, and followed Lukes eyes to where Angela was hanging on Seths arm again. "Um... Seth sort of said that Angela might know Dave likes her; I mean, just in case you want to pass that along or something."

Luke looked at me, and I waited for him to start asking questions about Angela. He didnt.

"So, are you and Seth friends now or something?"

"Huh? I dont know," I said honestly. "I mean, like you said, hes not that much of a jerk, you know?"

"Yeah, hes kind of cool," Luke replied. "I just didnt think youd ever like him."

"I didnt say I liked him," I insisted, as if the notion were actually insulting. Luke laughed at me.

"Hey, if youre hanging out with him, then the company you keep has definitely improved."

"Im not hanging out with him," I argued. "I mean, I did go over there again today, but only because Eddie didnt wake me up to go to work with him and I was bored. Seth lives close. I didnt know you were getting off work early."

"Okay," Luke replied, rolling his eyes, and then looked at me thoughtfully. "You should invite him over some night."


"Because I could invite Dave over," Luke insisted. "Maybe if he sees that Seth isnt such a bad guy, hell talk to him about Angela."

"Oh; well, why doesnt Dave just talk to Angela?"

"Because he turns into a blubbering freak around her," Luke said simply. "He needs to figure out shes human first, I think."


"I was thinking about asking Seth to come over when I was talking to him earlier, anyway."

"You were?"

"Well, yeah. I just didnt know if you would be okay with it. I mean, I wanted to apologize to him for accusing him of being with Aaron the other night. You know, let him know were good?"

"Oh..." I said. I could understand that, I guess. "So, are you going to apologize for what you did at Angelas house, too? Cause, he sort of knows what you were doing."

Luke looked incredulous.

"You told him?" Luke demanded.

"No," I replied, laughing. "He already knew."

"Oh." Luke looked in Seths direction curiously for a moment, and then shrugged. "Yeah, sure. Why not? Ill apologize for that, too--although, that was some of my best material, and technically, he should be thanking me."

I wondered if I should mention to Luke that Seth had also said Lukes ass waving in his face would have been better if Luke hadnt been wearing pants, but I was afraid that Luke would have taken that as a challenge, so I decided against it.

"Yeah, probably," I agreed, and Luke smiled at me.

"So are you going to invite him over some..." Luke started to ask, but abruptly stopped when Seth began walking towards us, and our attention was redirected towards him. I found myself shifting closer to Luke when Seth abruptly sat down to tie his shoe, looking at me out of the corner of his eye.

"Im out of here," he said, as if this information might interest me. Luke was the one who responded to him.

"Where are you going?"

"Gotta get to work," Seth replied, and then looked at me again as he finished tying his shoe and sat up. "Sorry about earlier. Its too bad I didnt know we would both end up here. You could have come with us."

"Yeah, I guess," I agreed. At least that way, I would have avoided Aaron.

"Well, hey," Seth said. "Um, I dont work again until tomorrow night. I mean, if you get bored again, its not like you cant..."

"Okay, maybe," I replied quickly, understanding the invitation. I was actually a little surprised by it.

"Well, Ill see you later," he said, standing up, and gave Luke a small wave. "Bye, Luke."

"Later," Luke responded, watching Seth with mild interest as he walked away from us. The moment he was out of earshot, Luke looked at me pointedly. "He likes you. Like, hes into you."

I opened my mouth, instinctively ready to argue with such an absurd notion. But, I didnt. Because the thing is, Id already come to that same conclusion, so there really wasnt the point. I knew he liked me. In all honesty, Id known it since Sunday, when I kept asking myself why Seth was being so nice to me. That was the answer Id come up with and ignored. Only, hearing it from Luke seemed to turn the idea of Seth Fisher being interested in me from suspicion to fact.

"Yeah, I know." I said quietly.

"Really? So are you going to do something about it?"

I just shook my head.

"Not really. Probably not. I dont know."


It was past four oclock when my phone finally rang, and it was Eddie. By then, we were back inside and Brians dad was home, insisting we keep down the noise one minute and getting loud with us himself the next. He was a pretty nice guy, and I was having a good time listening to him and Brian argue about random things. When Eddie heard the noise in the background and asked where I was, I explained that I was still with Luke at Brians, and asked if it would be alright for him to pick me up there.

"You know, if youre having fun with your friends right now, I dont have to get you, Rory," Eddie insisted, although, he sounded a little disappointed. "Why dont you just come home with Luke? No problem. Will you guys be home for dinner?"

"I dont know," I said honestly. "But listen, if its on the way, you can still come get me. I dont mind leaving. I mean, youre still gonna show me how to drive, right?"

"Of course; Im just saying, if you dont feel like it tonight..."

"I want to," I cut him off. And, I actually meant it. "Are you going to come get me?"

"Yeah," he said quickly, "Ill be there in ten minutes."

Copyright © 2010 DomLuka; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Ok, is it just me or is Rory just not seeing that Luke likes him a bit more then just a friend? Yes Luke made the comment about practically being related but I think that might have been a defense thing as I believe at the time Luke knew that Rory was interested in someone else (I may be wrong there tho).


Really enjoying the story. Again great characters and very believable plot and real emotions. Easy to get wrapped up in the story.

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I think things are finally starting to settle down for Rory and I am glad he's starting to get a bit closer to Eddie.

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Even though I adore Luke, Seth would be good for Rory. Thanks for creating such awesome characters.

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Even though I adore Luke, Seth would be good for Rory. Thanks for creating such awesome characters.

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Here we go again. The whole "family" has to walk on eggshells if Rory is in a bad mood. Playing baseball everybody had fun because Rory wasn't being a prick that day.


Everybody has to operate on Rory's terms. Eddie, grandma, Jase, Seth. Luke because he "likes" Rory, is 10 times the person and thinks Rory is redeemable.


Talk about a spoiled 2-year old.

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On 1/28/2015 at 6:12 PM, Lagnar said:

Here we go again. The whole "family" has to walk on eggshells if Rory is in a bad mood. Playing baseball everybody had fun because Rory wasn't being a prick that day.


Everybody has to operate on Rory's terms. Eddie, grandma, Jase, Seth. Luke because he "likes" Rory, is 10 times the person and thinks Rory is redeemable.


Talk about a spoiled 2-year old.


I know this is old but this is definitely not the impression I got. I really don’t like Rory’s grandmother. Her reasons for lying supposedly was because it’s what his mother would have wanted but the letter to Rory from his mother said that if his grandmother did as she was supposed to he would have gotten it right after the funeral. Seems like grandma doesn’t walk on egg shells around him but does whatever she wants believing she’s always right. I don’t get the impression Eddie & Jace treat him in ways underserving/giving him extra privileges as they let Luke get away with plenty too. I think Rory had every right to be upset over the lies and Luke kinda irritated me when he claimed it was the same as him not revealing his sexuality to them because it wasn’t the same in my eyes. I mean sure he wasn’t honest either but as Luke admitted Rory wasn’t open about his sexuality with very many people so there was no reason to automatically trust them with that secret while they were all openly gay to everyone except him. It’s just not that they lied but Luke’s friends lied for them. 


Luke is simply being a good friend from what I see but is obviously still hiding things because he clearly likes Rory not that I blame him for being cautious with his heart after Aaron, Eddie is not letting Rory just run wild but had put his foot down, and Jace gave him the lovely sex talk though it was ridiculous telling him to be a good little virgin to avoid STDs lol. I don’t see him as a spoiled kid just a insecure & upset teenager. He just realized his emotions were being toyed with by the first guy he’s ever had a relationship with and this all happens after moving to a strange place following his mother’s death. Rory is going to need time to adjust to everything that’s happened in a short period of time and Eddie may let him slide a little on some things because he wants his son in his life.

Edited by NimirRaj
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On ‎10‎/‎16‎/‎2012 at 9:39 PM, CW Prince said:

Ok, is it just me or is Rory just not seeing that Luke likes him a bit more then just a friend? Yes Luke made the comment about practically being related but I think that might have been a defense thing as I believe at the time Luke knew that Rory was interested in someone else (I may be wrong there tho).


Really enjoying the story. Again great characters and very believable plot and real emotions. Easy to get wrapped up in the story.

I have felt like that ever since the beginning when Rory moved in with the guys. Luke has had the hots for him ever since. If Rory would just open his eyes he could see it too. But Luke needed to said something as soon as Rory found out that they were not cousins or related in in way. Now that Luke thinks there might be something going on between Rory and Seth he will not make the move for sure.

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Saint Luke! A heart of pure gold and the patience of Joshua. While I agree, Seth would make a good friend for Rory, I definitely don't see dating beginning there as a compatible thing. I mean really, the immature Rory bouncing out of one disaster of a relationships right into another one HMPF! The only time Rory is not being halfway bitchy with everyone is when he's with Luke which tells you there's an equality there, a bond, something deeper than with anyone else, and he's too damn blind to see it. Maybe in the next chapter Luker's will grow some balls and tell Rory how he really feels and who he feels it about! One can only hope! :) 

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