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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.

Noah and Jordan - 10. Chapter Ten

*** NOAH ***

Beep, beep, beep, beep ...

The monotonous drone of the alarm clock shatters the dull, aching silence. I stick my lifeless arm out of my blanket in a futile attempt to find and shut off that awful noise. Instead, I manage to knock over half of the items on my nightstand. Eventually I find the right button. Silence returns.

All I want to do is just stay in bed with the blanket over my face for the rest of the day. I’m not ready to face the world just yet. All weekend long I’ve dreaded going back to school. I don't want to be anywhere near campus. The main reason, Jordan. I don't know how I can face him after what happened on Friday. I don’t know if he told anyone. It's like high school all over again, wondering what people are saying behind my back. I don’t want to go through that again. Unlike last time, this time I have nowhere to run.

I thought, maybe, perhaps, I would hear from Jordan. He saw me with Sebastian on Friday. It’s now Tuesday morning. But nothing. I know I could always message him, but he needs to make the first move. He ran away. I didn’t.

He did though message Jenn on Saturday. She was still at my place. This was only a few hours after I came out to her. Jordan messaged to say he had a great time on Friday night and to tell her he was out of town for the weekend. He decided to go home. The news took both of us by surprise. Jordan never said he planned on going away.

While I may not know what’s going on with Jordan, at least I can say everything with Jenn is great. She stayed at my place almost all of Saturday. We spoke for hours. It was so refreshing talking to her, being fully honest with her. Of course, she asked some very inappropriate questions, but that’s just Jenn. It feels like nothing has changed between us. She is still the same loud, obnoxious, sarcastic crazy lady she has always been. Actually, no, that’s not true. Something has changed. I actually feel a lot closer to her now.

Jenn ended up coming over again on Monday for Thanksgiving. We didn’t do anything special because it was just the two of us. We ended up making dinner. Nothing fancy. We roasted a chicken. I made mac and cheese and mashed potatoes, she made a salad and a cheese cake. It wasn’t grand, but it was perfect.

I did also hear from Sebastian over the weekend. He ended up going up to his family’s cottage for Thanksgiving. He messaged a couple of times to apologize for leaving, and to remind me I don’t need Jordan in my life. He also said he would try to call, but because he was surrounded by family, he wasn’t able to get away. I told him it was okay. Truth be told, it was kind of nice to have this weekend alone to think. Not that I was actually alone, I had Jenn.

Okay, I need to get out of bed. Getting up now.



Nope. Still in bed.

Okay, now.

Oh, I give up. I don't want to go anywhere today. I'm just going to stay in bed and relax.

Of course, now my phone starts to ring. My heart jumps. There is no reason for me to get all worked up, but for an instant I think it might be Jordan calling. I grab the phone to take a look. It's Sebastian. My heart calms down a bit knowing it's not Jordan, but then it goes right back to full speed when I realize it's Sebastian, the guy who kissed me on Friday.

“Hey, Sebastian, I say trying to sound as casual as possible.

“Hey, Noah. How are you? How was Thanksgiving?”

I briefly tell him about my low-key weekend with Jenn. He again apologizes for having to leave and not being able to call.

“I just got back to the city this morning,” he says. I’m on my way to school now. Just thought I would see how you’re feeling after Friday night.”

“Everything's fine.” I just don't ever want to leave my bed. Besides that, it’s all good. “I’m sorry for the way I acted on Friday night. I know you were trying to be helpful and I was kind of rude.”

“You were fine. I understand it was a lot to happen all at once. Did you talk to Jordan?”

“No, I haven’t heard from him.”

“I’m sure he won’t tell anyone. Anyway, I was hoping I can make up for leaving this weekend by treating you to a fantastic meal tomorrow. Are you free?”

“I should be,” I say. I want to spend more time with Sebastian. He’s a good guy.


Where would you like to go?”

“Actually, I thought I would cook for you,” he says.

You don’t have to go through the trouble.”

“No trouble at all. I want to.

“Sounds good then.”

“Perfect. I’ll see you tomorrow night at my place. I’ll text you my address. Bye, Noah.”

“Bye, Sebastian.”

Alright, time to get out of bed. Time to face the world.

*** JORDAN ***

Today has been an utter waste. I’ve done nothing but wait. My flight was supposed to leave at noon, but it kept getting delayed. Something about some mechanical issue. Around five in the afternoon the flight was cancelled. The airline was able to book me on another one, but it doesn’t leave until 11 p.m.

Once I realize I won’t be getting back home today I text Noah. I was supposed to meet him to go over our presentation. I tell him I can’t make it because my flight has been delayed. Part of me is relieved. I don’t think I'm ready to meet him in person just yet. I know I can also just pick up the phone and call him, but I’m scared I’ll say something stupid. It’s why I’ve avoided messaging or calling him all weekend. How am I supposed to talk about Clarissa's sexuality and confusion when I am this confused myself? What if I say too much? I don't know if I can talk to him about any of this.

I thought going away for a few days would help clear my head. It didn’t. I still feel just as confused. But in some ways, it did help. It gave me clarity on what to do next: nothing.

Here is how I see it: Noah is with Sebastian. He has a boyfriend. The two clearly like each other. I don’t even know how Noah feels about me. He very well might not be attracted to me at all. I shouldn’t assume just because I have this connection with Noah, that he too feels the same way. Heck, he probably hates me now for the way I’ve been acting. I wouldn’t blame him if he did. I hate myself for the way I’ve acted! Plus, it wouldn’t be fair to tell him how I feel. I don’t know what I want and I don’t want to give him false hope. Sebastian can give him all that he wants and deserves. I can’t. Also, I’m with Jenn. She’s a great girl. She likes me. I like her. Why ruin that? Everyone seems to be happy. Why rock the boat unnecessarily?

I also know from my failed experiment earlier I can’t just cut Noah out of my life. Yes, it will be easier to avoid him once we finish our English project, but that’s not what I want. I want him to be in my life, even if it is difficult. I owe him that much, that is, if he still wants to be friends. So, my plan is this. When I see him tomorrow I will apologize. I’ll tell him I am okay with his sexuality. And then I hope we go back to the way things were. Will I be just as chummy and friendly with him as I was before? Maybe not. Maybe it is best I treat him like I would treat John or Caleb. I’m friends with them but it is casual. I’ll be the same with Noah. Casual.

This will work. My plan will work. I can do it.

I hope I can do it.

*** NOAH ***

At first, I was skeptical. I didn’t believe Jordan’s flight was delayed. But then I checked online. He was telling the truth. I can’t blame him for his flight being cancelled. But he could have at least called me yesterday. We could have discussed our presentation over the phone. But no. All I get is a text.

After my morning lecture with Jenn I head straight for my English class. I still have two hours, but I’m hoping Jordan will also be early so that we can talk. I texted him this morning asking if we can meet before class, but I haven’t heard back. I know he is back in town. He texted Jenn when he landed last night. He didn’t get in until like two in the morning.

As expected, when I arrive the classroom is empty. There is not a soul in site. I take out my notes and go over them. Im prepared. I rehearsed everything over the weekend several times. Speaking about these themes is risky; I don’t want to say something that will make people suspicious. I think I have everything down in a neutral way that won’t give my sexuality away. Now I just have to wait for Jordan to show up.

As the hour fades away the room starts to fill up. There is still no sign of Jordan. I’m starting to get nervous. Part of me is uneasy over the presentation; public speaking has never been something I am fond of. The other part is seeing Jordan. But as the minute hand gets closer to the top of the clock there is still no sign of him. He wouldn’t not show up, right? I understand he may hate me, but he wouldn’t miss a presentation and ruin his grades. He’s not that stupid. He knows he needs good grades to get into medical school. But with five minutes left there is still no sign of him. Maybe Jenn knows his whereabouts.

“Hey, Noah,” she says answering her phone.

“Hey. Have you heard from Jordan recently?”

“No, just the text last night I told you about. Why? Is he not there yet? Class starts in like a few minutes.”

“I know. He’s not here.”

“Hold on. Let me give him a call and call you back.”

I hate waiting. Class starts in three minutes. This prof doesn’t wait. He always starts on time.

“Hey, did you reach him?” I ask Jenn when she calls back.

“No. It went to voicemail.”


“Sorry, Noah. Are you able to do the presentation on your own if it comes to that?” she asks.

“Yeah, I think so. But I hope it doesn’t come to that. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Bye. Good luck.”

Two minutes left. I’m going to have to do this alone. I can’t believe him. I can’t believe he would let a personal matter come in the way of all of the work we’ve done.

One minute.

Thirty seconds.

The final nail is about to be pounded into the coffin. The professor starts to walk towards the door. When he shuts it, that’s it. He doesn’t let anyone in. His hand is on the door. He is starting to push. Great. Thanks a lot Jordan.

*** JORDAN ***

Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!

I can’t believe I’m going to be late. I completely forgot to turn on my alarm clock last night! I was exhausted when I got home. Plus, my room looked like a tornado swept through it. It also smelled like dried cum. I should have washed my sheets before I left town. By the time I got to bed it was about four in the morning. Next thing I know I look at my clock and realize I have just a few minutes to get to class. I put on the first articles of clothing I could find and just ran. I even forgot to grab my bag! I left all of my notes at home. By the time I realized my mistake it was too late. I knew I would be late if I went back home.

I look down at my watch. I have four minutes. I’m almost there. I run down the hallway. Of course there are like a million students who keep coming in my way! I think I’ve hit a number of people. I don’t apologize or anything. I don’t have the time. The prof already hates me. And he is a prick. Once he closes the door he won’t let me in.

Elevator or stairs? Um ... Stairs are probably faster.

I sprint up the stairs as fast as I can. By the time I reach the third floor I am completely winded. But I can’t stop. I have a minute left. I can see the classroom. The door is open. Excellent! Oh shit. The professor is at the door. I pick up speed. I make a frantic dash towards the door. Just as he is about to close it I slip right in.

“Sorry, sir,” I say panting.

Shit, I’m out of breath! My lungs are burning. I find the first available seat and plop down. I’m exhausted. Alright, calm down. I made it. I know Noah is sitting behind me. I saw him when I sat down. He looked pissed. Everyone around me is taking notes. Shit, I have nothing to write on or with. I nudge the person beside me and ask them to borrow a sheet of paper and pen. The prof speaks nonstop for what seems like hours. In reality he only talks for half an hour. He then asks for the presentation group to come and set up. I make my way to the front. Noah joins me a moment later.

“Oh right, you two are presenting,” the prof says quietly to us. “This should be interesting.”

Great, we’re so getting an F.

“Hey,” I say to him, just glancing his way.

“Should we use the power point presentation? I finished it, but we never finalized anything …”

“Noah, I'm sorry

“Are you two ready?” the prof asks.

God, I hate that guy.

“Yes,” Noah says out loud. Then quietly to me. “I guess we will go without it then.” He turns back around. “Hi everyone, I’m Noah.”

He looks my way. What am I supposed to say? Shit. He begins to glare at me and motion with his hands. Right my name.

“And I'm Jordan.”

He turns back to the class. “Today we’re going to talk about Mrs. Dalloway. Specifically, we will be looking at the theme of sexuality. At first glance it would seem Clarissa is straight. She is your ordinary housewife back at that time. She is in a heterosexual relationship and married to a guy named Richard. However, as we get deeper into the book we start to learn about Clarissa’s past. We learn she once knew a girl named Sally. At first, they are friends, but then that starts to change. At one point in time we learn that Sally and Clarissa once kissed. Clarissa goes on to describe that moment as the happiest in her life.

“Woolf writes, She and Sally fell a little behind. Then came the most exquisite moment of her whole life, passing a stone urn with flowers in it Sally stopped; picked a flower; kissed her on the lips. The whole world might have turned upside down! The others disappeared; there she was alone with Sally. And she felt that she had been given a present, wrapped up, and told just to keep it, not to look at it - a diamond, something infinitely precious, wrapped up, which, as they walked (up and down, up and down), she uncovered, or the radiance burnt through, the revelation, the religious feeling!’”

Noah is clearly prepared. He speaks eloquently about the book. I don’t even remember what I am supposed to talk about or when Im supposed to jump in. I am way too nervous. He continues talking.

“Woolf says that Clarissa feels about women ‘as men feel’ though she doesn’t see this as being homosexual. To her, one could interpret, this is just living life. The kiss was a present, but not one to look at. The kiss was not something to act upon. And yet Clarissa dwells on it. She keeps hold of that present her entire life. She never forgets. It means so much to her, but she doesn’t truly admit that to herself. This is part of the reason why she ends up marrying Richard.”

Sounds good so far. Just keeping talking Noah. Just keeping talking. Then he stops. Damn, he is looking at me!

“Jordan will now talk about Clarissa's relationship with Richard, he says.

There is that look of death. Damn, he is angry. He looks cute when he is angry. His eyes go a bit darker. Fuck. I can’t think about that right now. Right, the presentation.

“Yes. Right … uh … as Noah was … um … was saying, Clarissa marries Richard.” Calm down, dude! You got this. “We never really get a true understanding in this book if she loves Richard. Instead we are led to believe she only marries him out of convenience. Marrying Richard confirms to her that she is straight, it is proof that she is not gay. And yet she doesn't seem to feel the same way about Richard as she does about Sally …” You got this. Just keeping talking. What you’re saying makes sense. Keep going.

I continue: “Though, of course this theory of Clarissa being a lesbian is cast in doubt with the introduction of Peter. Throughout the day Clarissa wonders what it would have been like if she married him instead. From the way Clarissa talks about Peter it does seem like she has or had genuine feelings for him. This is Woolf throwing in a curve ball you could say. Perhaps Clarissa is bisexual. She seems to have feelings for men as well as women.”

“Right,” Noah says taking over. Good let him talk now. “Woolf does throw in the possibility that Clarissa was bisexual. And the reason she might have done that is because of her own experience. There were always rumours that Woolf was a lesbian. Many scholars believe that is the case. Perhaps Woolf was trying to fool herself. She wanted to write a scenario where Clarissa could have been happy marrying a guy, because that would give her some comfort. Woolf also married a guy in real life. But, as we know, Woolf was depressed and eventually she stuffed her pockets with rocks and walked into a river.”

He continues to talk about Virginia Woolf, the book, and sexuality. But then he looks at me again. This time he mouths something. I don't get it. He says it again “Septimus.” Right, I'm supposed to talk about him.

“Right ... ah ... yeah as Noah was saying ... Woolf as we all knows kills herself. In the book Septimus, another character, a former soldier who is suffering from what was once called shell shock, kills himself at the end. He is depressed because his good friend Evans dies. He fought in the war with Evans and the two grew very close together. In fact, some say they were more than friends; they were gay. Now this is only eluded to in the book, we don't really know. There is evidence to showcase this though. Septimus turns away from his wife and abstains from having sex with her. He seems obsessed in the memory of his fallen friend. Not being able to be with his friend hurts him so much that he kills himself. A life to him is nothing without his friend. It's meaningless. That is one interpretation. Some say he kills himself because of what he saw during the war.

Now, when Clarissa gets word of this at the end of her dinner party, she sees it as a way of Septimus preserving his memories. Her reaction is very bizarre one would say. She doesn't see it as sad, that a soldier who is depressed kills himself, but rather she sees it as a way to preserve what once was. Because that is all that Clarissa has really. She lives in the past. That kiss with Sally, that perfect moment, wondering about life with Peter. Her life is her past, all she has is her memories. So, to her, life does not seem to have that much value because the life she is living isn't really the life she wants to live.

“Perhaps that is one of the messages Woolf is trying to get across in this book. She is not saying nor recommending that suicide is the way to go if you are depressed; that of course is not something one should do. But she is saying you can live in the past or wonder how it would have been, or you can just live your life the way you want. There is no point in wondering what was, because you will only be left guessing and miserable in the end. You have to grasp life now and just live it. Now is the time you have and so ... now is the time to follow what you really want. That is just one way perhaps to look at the book.”

I don't know where all of that came from at the end. I just kept going on and on. I think I went on for a couple of minutes. Noah is just standing there in silence. Right, I forgot about Sally.

I continue: “And of course, one last note, there is Sally. The irony of her character is that she gets married and becomes a happy housewife with kids. She was just living in the moment, being impulsive. She didn't care what others thought, she did what she wanted to do. Maybe she is bisexual. Yet she manages to be happy. So perhaps there is always a way. Woolf was a complicated writer. In this story Sally seems to be the exception.”

Noah just looks at me for a few seconds. He then turns around to the class. “So, does anyone have any questions?”

*** NOAH ***

He made it. I can't believe he actually made it. The door was almost shut and yet he managed to get in just at the right time. I sit back and sigh. I'm going to kill him. Damn guy causing me so much distress! We haven't even talked about anything. I have no idea how we are structuring this presentation. This is going to be a disaster. Great.

“Hi everyone, I'm Noah.”


I look at Jordan. What the hell is he doing? He's just standing there like an idiot. I look at him and motion with my hands for him to say something.

“And I'm Jordan.”

This is already a train wreck. He forgot the easiest part of the presentation, his own name! I turn to the class and just start talking about the book. It looks like Im going to have to sell this to everyone. I look over at Jordan a few times. He seems oblivious to what is going on. It looks like Im going to have to remind him about his segments.

“And now Jordan will talk about Clarissa's relationship with Richard.”

He starts talking about their relationship. Not bad. So far he seems coherent and he knows what he is talking about. This is almost over. Just a few more segments and then we are done, and I am done with him. I can't believe he almost missed the presentation!

He wraps up and I start on the next segment, about Clarissa being bisexual. Alright, just one more part to go and we are done. I look over at Jordan. He seems like he is on another planet.

I mouth the word “Septimus” to him.


I do it again.

There you go, a light bulb clicks in his head.

“Right ... ah ... yeah as Noah was saying ... Woolf as we all knows kills herself.”

Where is all of this ‘live life now’ stuff coming from? We never discussed any of this! It seems though like Jordan is directly talking to me. Telling me I should do what makes me happy and not hide who I truly am. He never looks at me during his rant, but it feels like he is the entire time.

“Now is the time you have and so ... now is the time to follow what you really want. That is just one way perhaps to look at the book,” he says.

I don't even know what to say. I look at Jordan who is looking at the class. “So, does anyone have any questions?”

I barely finish my question and the pretentious brat’s hand is in the air. He’s been waiting for this. Waiting for his turn to take me down.

“That's an interesting theory you have about Septimus and Evans,” he says. “Woolf never really directly says the two are gay, and one could just assume the two are really good friends. They did fight in a war together. As you mentioned, Septimus was married. Also, with Septimus and his depression, couldn't that just be the reason why he was obsessively mourning over Evans? It perhaps had to do with war and how the atrocities he saw plunged him into depression. This story is in part a commentary on war and shell shock, which we now call PTSD, which Septimus has to deal with. He goes to doctors who never really help him, which is sort of like what Woolf went through. So really, wouldn't Woolf's overall message have more to do with her critiquing war and how health officials deal with depression, then with Septimus being possibly gay? Because we never really get concrete evidence that he is gay.”

I’m about to respond but Jordan beats me to it.

“You very well could be correct,” Jordan says. “I never said that Woolf only had one message; as I said she is a very complicated and a very good writer who draws upon many themes. Yes, to a degree the book comments on how war vets are treated and how health officials deal with shell shock. But I would also say one of her themes is definitely sexuality. Sexuality is a complicated thing, which we don't truly understand sometimes. We live in a society where we are told a man is supposed to love a woman; that message is enshrined in our heads as we grow up. So, when someone has feelings for the same sex it doesn't really make sense at first, because to us it's not what we think is natural. Connecting this with the book, yes Septimus is married, but by all means we have heard of gay guys being married to women. And perhaps Septimus isn't gay. Maybe that isn't the label Woolf wanted to put on him. Instead, what she is doing is subtly illustrating that bonds between two male friends can turn into something more, something sexual.

“We read about how the two fought together, did everything together and were for the most part inseparable. Perhaps Woolf was showcasing that a relationship doesn't have to be about gender but rather the person. That you can fall in love with someone, another man, even if you always thought you liked women. Septimus might have been the biggest womanizer, and not been into guys at all, but with Evans it was a relationship that went beyond gender … it was perhaps two people's souls or personalities connecting with each other. It doesn't have to be about being gay or straight, it has to do more with connecting with that other person. Today we would label the two as gay, but perhaps Woolf didn't and so she wrote their relationship without labels. You can take any interpretation you want from this book, all of them could very well be correct. It all depends on I guess your personal experiences and what you bring to the book.”

I hang on to every word coming out of Jordan’s mouth. We never discussed any of this and it feels so weird hearing him say it. That it isn’t about labels or being gay or straight, but rather about connecting with that other person regardless of their gender. I don’t know if he believes that or is just saying that. Because if he believes it then why did he react the way he did when he found out that I’m gay? The last line also sticks with me. What does he mean by it all depends on your personal experiences and what you bring to the book. What personal experience does he have with any of this?

“Alright, if there are no more questions then class is dismissed. I will see you all here on Friday," the prof says. "Not bad gentlemen. I had my doubts at the beginning about you two, but you did well. Both of you clearly spent a lot of time thinking about this book. And a nice rebuttal to the question as well, you stood your ground. Well done. You both get an A.”

Just for a moment I’m relieved. But then I look at Jordan and it all comes back to me. He's about to say something but I speak first.

“Well, I guess we’re finally done. It was good working with you. But you’re free of me now. I’ll see you around Jordan.” It’s time I walk away while I still have an ounce of dignity.

“Noah, I … I’m really sorry. The presentation, not showing up on time, my behaviour at your house. I acted like a jerk. And you don’t deserve that. You deserve better.

“It’s okay, Jordan. It is the way it is. Take care, man.” I walk up the stairs, grab my bag and head out the door. I can’t do this anymore.

“Noah, wait,” Jordan says running up beside me in the hallway. “Do you have a few minutes? I want to show you something.”

With that look of sorrow in his eyes it’s hard to say no. But then I remember the look in his eyes on Friday. That makes it easier.

“I don’t. Another time, maybe.”

“Honestly, just ten minutes. Please. Just trust me.”

I stop and look at him. I shouldn’t. I really shouldn’t. “Fine. I’ll give you five.”

“Excellent. Alright, follow me!”

*** JORDAN ***

Fuck! I’ve really screwed things up. First, almost missing the presentation. Then what I said during! What the hell is wrong with me? I just went off like an idiot! I said way too much! Then with Noah. The look on his face. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him look so crushed. And when he said I’m free of him … I felt like the worst person in the world. I have one chance to fix this. One chance to clean up the gigantic mess that I’ve made. I can’t screw this up.

We walk into the school gym. It’s empty. We don't have practice until tomorrow night.

“Why are we here?” Noah asks as I make my way over to the storage locker.

“You’ll see in a second,” I say. I retrieve a volleyball from the locker and make my way back onto the court. “You can drop your bag at the side. Then stand right there,” I say pointing to a line on the court.

“Why?” he asks. He looks curious but also annoyed.

“Just trust me. Here,” I say tossing the ball towards him.

He catches it. “Why are you giving this to me?”

“Volley it back.” I once made him a promise. I intend to keep it.

“Jordan, I don’t have time to play games.” Now he is clearly angry.

“This will only take a second. Volley it back.”

He pauses to think. “No.” He drops the ball. “I can’t do this. Unless you tell me what the hell is going on, I’m leaving.” I’ve never seen him this serious.

I lower my head. “I’m sorry, Noah.”

“You said that already, but you didn’t say what you’re sorry for.”

I pause. “I’m sorry for the way I acted on Friday night. I’m sorry for almost missing the presentation. I’m sorry for being a jerk.

“If you hate me because I’m —”

“No, no, no, of course not,” I say cutting him off. “I don’t hate you. I would never hate you. Noah, if you want to be with Sebastian or any other guy, I’m happy for you. Whatever makes you happy, honestly.”

“Then why did you run away?”

If only I could tell him the real reason. “Because I’m an idiot. A jerk. An asshole. I was surprised, Noah. Really surprised. Not only did I not suspect that you are gay, I had no idea about Sebastian. I just over reacted. And I’m sorry.”

“If you’re okay with who I am then why not call before the presentation? Why show up ten seconds before class starts? Why avoid me?”

“It's not like that at all,” I insist.

“From my perspective it is like that. If I’m wrong then tell me.”

Silence. I don't know what to say. He’s right. I was avoiding him.

“I thought so,” he says. “As you know, I’ve never really been good at this whole friend thing. I’m surprised that I’m even here right now. The old me would have walked away. But I thought … you know what, it doesn’t matter what I thought. The fact of the matter is our presentation is over. You don’t have to pretend to like me anymore. You’re free of me, just like you wanted to be. I won’t bother you anymore. Goodbye, Jordan.”

“Wait, Noah! Please. Look, I know you have no reason to trust me. But you promised me five minutes. If after that you still want to leave then I won’t stop you.”

He stops and turns around. “You have two minutes left.”

I didn’t think that was going to work. I have another shot. I can’t botch this again.

“Okay. Pick up the ball and volley it towards me.”

“I don’t want to play games,” he says.

“You gave me two minutes. I get to choose what I do with them. Pick up the ball.”

“Fine,” he says while reluctantly picking up the ball. “You know I suck at this.”

“I’ll be the judge of that. Throw it up, spread out your fingers and then volley it back.”


He throws it up and hits it with his hand, or rather slaps it with his fingers. The ball barely reaches me.

“Okay, not bad, but you’re not trying to hit it with your hand, just the tips of your fingers. Like this,” I volley it back to him. “See.”

“What's the point of all of this Jordan?" he asks catching the ball.

“Why do you have to ask so many questions? For once can you just follow instructions? I still have a minute and a half left. Stop wasting time!”

“Fine …” he says rolling his eyes.

“I can see you roll your eyes from here!”

“You were meant to!” he yells back.

“Now try again. Let the ball come closer to you and push out your arms with your elbows. Hey! That was much better. See you're learning already.” It was only marginally better.

“Great ... I can volley a ball.”

“Almost. Here try it again. This time don’t catch the ball but volley it back.”

One minute left,” he says as we volley the ball back and forth. Well I hit it back, he mainly misses. He is really bad.

“Much better,” I say. “Now you won’t get hit in the head with a volleyball again. I don’t know if you remember this but a while back you challenged me that I couldn’t teach you how to play volleyball. I told you I could. I keep my word, Noah. Do you think I just said a lot of stuff in class to pass time? I know I acted like a jerk, and I am honestly sorry for that, but that doesn’t mean I lied before when I said I thought we were friends. I still think we’re friends. I’m not pretending to like you. I have no idea where you got that from. I like spending time with you! So, I don’t know what you mean when you say I’m free of you, because buddy, the way I see it, you’re not free of me.”

“Jordan, you don’t —”

I cut him off. “I only have a couple of seconds left so no talking! Now, this time try not to cringe when you hit the ball, it won’t kill you! You might break a nail though, I can’t guarantee anything.”

“Wow, really funny,” he says volleying the ball back to me.

“That’s much better!” It actually is. “See, you’re getting the hang of this.”

"Don't pity me. I know I suck. And your two minutes are up.”

“But we haven’t even gotten to bumping or serving yet,” I say. “What can I do to get you to trust me again?”

He looks at me for what feels like a long time. “You can be honest with me. I can believe why you ran from my apartment on Friday night, and if that was it, I would get over that. But that’s not it. You've been different these past few days. At your party you were avoiding me. You tell someone that you think I'm weird and clingy, that we're not friends. Then you tell me we are friends. But then you avoid me and run away. And even now, everything you said, you haven't explained what is actually going on.”

“You're right. I acted like a jerk. But I want to clarify I never called you weird or clingy. I don’t know who told you that. But they lied. You've never been clingy. If anyone has, it’s probably been me! As for weird, yes you are, but in the best way possible. I like hanging out with you because you're weird, because you're unique. You're different. You don’t pretend to be someone else. You're simply you. And that’s why I like hanging out with you. That's why I invited you to my volleyball games. Honestly, Noah I never used those words.

“As for the rest of what you said … look, I can't change the past but I can tell you this, I won't act like a jerk again. I promise. I want you to stay. But if you feel like you can’t forgive me and you decide to walk out the door I’ll understand. Just know that if you do, I’m going to make sure I make you laugh in every English class from now on until the prof hates you as much as he hates me. Fair warning,” I say picking up the ball. “As I said you may be done with me, but I’m not done with you.”

He doesn’t move. I take that as a sign he forgives me.

“Alright, so next up bumping!”

*** NOAH ***

I don’t know what to do. On the one hand, Jordan seems genuine. It feels as if he is finally telling me the truth. But on the other hand, it also feels like he isn’t telling me the entire truth. His story doesn’t fully add up. I feel he is still hiding something. But I don’t know what that is. Maybe its all in my head. I know I don’t owe him anything, but I don’t want to throw away our friendship either. If this was anyone else, I would be out the door already. But it's Jordan. I really am an idiot. I hope I don’t regret this.

“My arms are multi shades of red,” I say. Damn my arms hurt! Bumping is hard.

“Yeah, that happens the first time you play after a while. Don't worry it will go away in a day or two ... So, can I ask you something personal?”

“Depends,” I say missing the ball. I really suck.

“You dated girls before … so I was just wondering if you also like girls? Are you bisexual?”

So now he wants to talk about my sexuality. “There was a time in my life I didn’t know what I wanted. Dating girls was part of that time.”

“And now you know what you want?” he follows up.

“No, not really. I’m still figuring that out. Right now, I’m seeing what’s out there. Why all the questions?”

“Because I want you to know I’m okay with who you are, and that I’m engaged. I want to know more about you. If you don’t mind me asking, how long have you been with Sebastian? And remember to bend your knees a bit, don’t stand so rigid.”

I honestly don’t know how much to say. There really isn’t a point in keeping any of this secret. Jordan knows the truth about both of us. “Not long. Friday was actually our first date.”

“Have you dated other guys before?”

“No, that was sort of my first …”

His eyes go wide. “Wait, are you telling me I ruined your first ever date with a guy?”

“Sort of.”

“Dude, I’m so sorry! I had no idea. I’m such an ass.”

“It's fine, Jordan, you didn’t know. You are an ass though,” I say with a smile.

“I deserve that.

“That reminds me,” I say. Why did you come to my house that night?”

“I came to tell you that I never called you clingy or weird. I wanted you to know the truth that I thought we are friends. It honestly hurt me to think that I hurt you.

“Oh.” Now I know.

Look, I don’t know how comfortable you are talking about all of this, so you can tell me to shut up at any time.”

“I will. Being with Sebastian, talking about all of this … it's all new to me and I am still trying to figure out how I feel. So, maybe we’ll play twenty questions another day,” I say bumping the ball back to him. That actually went straight! Progress!

“That’s fair. I’m here for you. You can talk to me whenever you want,” he says.

“Thank you, that means a lot.”

“And don't worry, your two secrets are safe with me.”

“Two secrets?” What other secret?

The first being you and Sebastian … but the other big secret I can’t promise anything.”

“What other big one?” I’m totally confused.

"Your amazing volleyball skills ... not sure I can keep that secret to myself.”

“You're hilarious.”

“I know. DUDE! Don't move away from the ball. This isn't dodgeball!!! Dear lord you have a lot to learn …”


My arms are in so much pain. I think that volleyball was out to kill me. And despite what Jordan said, I know I sucked. He failed at the challenge. He taught me how to play volleyball, yes, but not well! We played, or well, I pretended to play for about an hour. We talked a while longer. He made fun of me, cursed my skill level. I made fun of him. Everything seemed normal again. It was like nothing ever happened. Yet, deep down I know we’re still not normal. I’m not sure we’ll ever go back to the way we were. I hope we can.

Overall, our conversation did not go as I expected. My plan was to get closure, to put Jordan in my past. Yet he managed to reel me back in. Am I making the right decision? I don’t know. I may just be setting myself up to get hurt again. But it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

After our game Jenn called to find out how the presentation went - and if I sorted everything out with Jordan. I didn't go into too much detail but I said everything went well. She mentioned how Jordan had asked her out on a second date, and she was waiting to find out what I thought before giving him an answer. I gave her my blessing. Jordan and I may have issues, but I think we'll be okay.

Anyway, I don't have time to think about that because I’m off to meet Sebastian. Getting closer to him could also be a risk; I could get hurt, or I could fall for him. But like being friends with Jordan, I feel like this is something I need to do. I get buzzed in and make my way over to Sebastian’s apartment. Even before I ring the doorbell I can tell what we are having, Chinese food. I can smell it from outside. I can also hear dishes clattering. I knock on the door and exhale.

“Hey, Noah!” Sebastian says with a smile. Fuck, he is hot.

“Hi, Sebastian.”

“Someone sure looks sexy tonight,” he says eyeing me from top to bottom.

I blush. “Thank you. You clean up well too.”

“Come on in, make yourself at home!”

I walk into his apartment with high expectations. A nice, quiet dinner with Sebastian. A time to unwind and relax. A time to get to know one another, and get closer. This can work between the two of us. I have a good feeling about this. Sebastian really cares. This is the right thing to do.

If only I knew the truth.

In an hour those expectations are crushed and I leave his house in a state I could never have imagined.

*** JORDAN ***

I always feel a rush of adrenaline when I’m on the court playing volleyball with my team. It doesn’t matter if it is a competitive game, or just practice like tonight. I feel at home on the court.

Tonight also happens to be the first time I’ve see Sebastian since last Friday, when I saw him kiss Noah. My plan is to act normal. Nothing happened. I didn’t see anything. It is none of my business. As for Sebastian, he treats me like he normally does; a mixture of politeness and an air of indifference.

During our break I’m tossing around a ball with a friend when I miss and it rolls away. It rolls behind the bleachers. As I’m retrieving it I hear Sebastian talking to one of his friends. I know I shouldn’t eavesdrop, but I can’t help myself.

“How was your Thanksgiving weekend?” the guy asks Sebastian.

“It was okay. Spent time with my family. You?”

“Better than yours! Me and my girlfriend went away for a few days. Spent the weekend in bed, if you know what I mean.”

“Nice. But why do you assume it was better than mine? Who says I didn’t get lucky,” Sebastian shoots back.

“Finally! Is it that girl you were telling me about, the one that wanted to take it slow?”

“No, another chick I'm seeing. Guy has his needs, you know.”

“I hear you. A guy can’t wait forever!”

“No, but I’m persuasive. Let’s just say the other girl is no longer a virgin either …”

A gush of warm blood rushes to my head. Sebastian’s words make my body shake with anger. Though, I don’t actually know what to make of what he just said. I know hes gay, so there is no girl. Unless he is bi and there is a girl. But I doubt there’s a girl. So, he is either making up crap because he is competitive or he is substituting the word ‘girl’ for ‘guy’. If he is, then it seems like he cheated on Noah. And then maybe slept with Noah a few days later? The problem is I have no way to know. Sebastian is super competitive. I wouldn’t put it past him to just make up stuff to seem more popular than he is. And without proof I can’t say anything to Noah. Fuck.


I should say something to him. It’s been eating me up inside since yesterday. Noah should know Sebastian is a douche. He probably cheated. Sebastian seems like the type of guy that would cheat. But I don’t have any proof! It all could backfire. Noah could think I’m trying to break them up because I’m not okay with him being gay. Or, he could simply tell me to mind my own business.

It doesn’t matter. I have to tell him. I have to at least warn him. It’s my duty as his friend. I’ll tell him after English class today.

Slowly the room starts to fill in. I keep looking at the door expecting Noah to walk in at any moment, but he doesn't. I text him but he doesn’t respond. The prof makes his way in and shuts the door. I guess Noah decided to skip today.

Perhaps it is a good thing Noah isn’t here. I actually pay attention and take proper notes! I figure Noah will need them too. After an hour the prof lets us go and be free in the world. I wonder why Noah didn’t show up?

Even though I have some time before my game, I make my way to the locker room and change. At one point in time I realize my eyes are lingering on one of my teammate's abs. He has really nice abs. Fuck. I look away before anyone notices.

By the time I enter the gym the stands are starting to fill up. There are a few people here, though not that many. I look around for Jenn and Noah. Neither are here yet. I’m sure they are on their way. Even when the game starts I see no sign of them. I don’t play for too long. Coach is still being extra careful about my foot. It’s probably a good thing. My foot is fine, but my anger was about to become an issue. Sebastian was kind of pissing me off. He wasn’t being a good team leader. He was being rude to one guy, even though it was Sebastian’s fault we lost a point. I wanted to say something but coach pulled me before I could.

It’s only after the game wraps that I notice Jenn enter the gym. I separate myself from my teammates and make my way over to her.

“Jordan, I’m so sorry for missing your game,” Jenn say.

“It’s fine. Is everything okay?” She seems a bit distracted.

Yeah … I'm just looking for Noah. Is he here?

“Ah, nope. I haven’t seen him. Why?”

“It’s strange … I haven’t heard from him since Wednesday night. He missed class yesterday and today. He won’t answer his phone. I even went to his place and he wasn’t there either. I’m really starting to get worried,” she says. “Was he in English class today?”

That is strange. “No. I messaged him earlier but I didn’t hear back.”

“When was the last time you saw him?” she asks.

Um … Wednesday afternoon. I was teaching him how to play volleyball.”

“Yeah he told me about that. He called me after he left to complain about his arms hurting. But I haven't heard from him since. This is not like him,” she says. “He usually calls me back or is easy to find. I checked the library, the local coffee shop we often go to, but nothing.”

“Maybe he went back home?” I doubt it, but maybe.

“No, I checked there too. I know his mom so I called her to wish her a happy Thanksgiving. It was the only cover I could think of! He’s not there either.”

“Anywhere else he could have gone?” I ask. Shit. This is weird. I have a bad feeling.

“Not that I can think of. I'm really worried about him.”

“I’m sure he’s fine. There is probably a very simple explanation for all of this. I’m just going to go quickly change then I’ll come help you find him. Be back in five, okay? Just wait here.”

“Okay. I'm going to call some of his other friends in the meantime.”

I'm sure it's nothing. He probably just misplaced his phone, or maybe he lost it. I’m sure there is a reasonable explanation to all of this. Though, two days without a word is weird. Even I'm worried. Say if something happened to him? No, he’s fine. My heart starts to pump blood faster. I feel sick in my stomach. This doesn’t make sense. No one just disappears for two days without leaving some physical or digital trace.

I skip taking a shower, quickly change and make my way back to Jenn.

“Alright, thanks, bye.” Jenn says shutting her phone. “Nothing,” she says turning to me. “No one has heard from him.”

“Do you want to stick together or split up and cover more ground?” I ask her.

“I guess it makes sense to split up.”

We hatch a plan of where to search. “I’ll also call the local hospitals to see if —”

She cuts me of. You don’t think he’s hurt?”

“No, no, no. I’m sure he’s fine, but just as a precaution.”

"Okay. I’m going to go back to the library. Call me if you hear anything, okay?”

“I will, I promise.”

“Thank you, Jordan. I'm sorry I ruined our date.”

“Don't be, this is more important.”

We part ways outside of the gym. Okay. It’s fine. He’s fine. No need to worry. But I am worried. Say if he isn’t okay? Say if we can’t find him? If I took anything away from the book ‘Mrs. Dalloway it was that you need to live life now. Don’t give yourself reasons to regret your decisions. Yet I’ve been an idiot. I keep running away. Say if its too late now? Say if I never get the chance again and end up like the guy in the book, Septimus, depressed in thoughts? I'm over reacting. Im sure he is fine. Well, for now at least. I think when we find him Jenn is going to kick the crap out of him. I might have to throw in some kicks as well.

I call the two main hospitals in the area. Nothing. For the first time I let out a sigh of relief. I’m glad he isn’t at either. But then where is he? Jenn doesn't wait for me to call. She calls me first.

“Anything?” she asks.

“Not at either hospital.”

“Well, that’s good.”

“Yeah, it is,” I say.

“But where the hell is he!?” she asks.

After searching for an hour, we decide to meet up at the student centre to regroup.

We've tried everywhere, I say.

“Should we file a report with the police?” Jenn asks.

Fuck. “I guess so. But first you need something warm to drink, you're shivering.”

“I'm fine, Jordan.”

“No, you're not. You need your energy. I’m getting you a hot chocolate. Be back in a second.”

I walk up to the counter and place the order. But when it comes time to pay, I realize I don’t have my wallet. Shit! I left it in my locker at the gym! I walk back over to Jenn and tell her I will be back soon. The building is close by. It should only take me a few minutes.

I run back out into the cold night. Noah where the fuck are you? I keep convincing myself he's okay, but it's getting harder and harder to do so. In my mind Im sure he is fine, but my emotions keep saying something else. What if I blew it? What if I don't ever get another chance again? Then what?

I run into the change room and open my locker. I quickly grab my wallet and run back out into the gym. Im almost across the court when I notice something in the corner of my eye. I turn around and look towards the bleachers. Someone is sitting there, head down.


They look up.

Thank God.

Fuck. It's him.

I can finally breathe.

I run over to the bleachers.

“Hi …” he says standing up.

“Hey …”

I look into his hazel eyes. I put my right arm around his slender waist, lean in, and without thinking ...

AH! What happened inside Sebastian's apartment? Where did Noah go for two days? What is Jordan about to do at the end? So many questions!
Let me know your thoughts/theories/comments below as you all enjoy the cliffhanger. Who doesn't love a good cliffhanger?

Also, I just realized (kind of slow here) some authors do forums for their stories. Is that a thing? Should I? Any point?

Copyright © 2018 Ethan; 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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Chapter Comments

Uh oh. This makes my stomach queasy. Your first time is difficult enough, but to be forced (raped) is awful. 

Be sure to let Jordan beat Sebastian to a pulp please. 

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5 minutes ago, Jeff Reynolds said:

Please, for the love of Cheesus, make sure Sebasturd gets a full dose of Karma and make it hurt. 

I think that I have missed something as I don’t see where Sebastian raped Noah? 

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1 hour ago, ObicanDecko said:

That's what I always say! :D 

(but I low-key hate you for this, grrrrr!)

I'm loving this story!


1 hour ago, Starrynight22 said:


You mean mean meanie pants.  Ending like that 

@Starrynight22 @ObicanDecko I have no regrets 🤣 Gotta make sure they keep coming back for more.  


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23 minutes ago, Bft said:

I think that I have missed something as I don’t see where Sebastian raped Noah? 

Something happens inside Sebastian's apartment with Noah. I haven't said what yet. That will be disclosed later. But that is one possibility some readers have suggested. 

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Okay, I need to get out of bed. Getting up now.



Nope. Still in bed.

Okay, now.

That is so relatable! I sometimes even fall back asleep and dream about getting up.

I wake up...Why am I still in bed? I thought I got up 5 minutes ago!

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7 hours ago, Fitzhugh said:

Uh oh. This makes my stomach queasy. Your first time is difficult enough, but to be forced (raped) is awful. 

Be sure to let Jordan beat Sebastian to a pulp please. 

<Charges Sawz-All battery and searches for the dullest blade available...>

Edited by GLH
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Fucking Sebastian.

Did he rape him awake or unconscious?

Asswipe, how dare he ruin Noah’s first time!!  (I hope I’m wrong)

I’m glad Jordan convinced Noah that he truly cared for him, something tells me he’s going to need his support.  

Thanks for the very full chapter, can’t wait for the next one.

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8 hours ago, FanLit said:

Thanks for the very full chapter, can’t wait for the next one.

Glad you liked it! This was actually two chapters that I combined into one, because I wanted to move things a long a bit. And, from what I heard last time from readers was that a longer chapter was okay as long as it was relevant and entertaining. Hope it was! 


1 hour ago, frigidjason said:

Next few lines better be good .......

You think I'm that nice? 🤔

Edited by Ethan
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39 minutes ago, Ethan said:

Glad you liked it! This was actually two chapters that I combined into one, because I wanted to move things a long a bit. And, from what I heard last time from readers was that a longer chapter was okay as long as it was relevant and entertaining. Hope it was! 

It definitely was.  :yes:

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Excellent chapter. Have to admit it too. Hate cliffhangers!!!!

Edited by Tonyr
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Of course I want to know what happened to crush Noah’s spirit. What destroyed him? Was it Jordan’s methods or his desperation, or just his appeal that helped keep his connection to Noah intact? I have tons of questions, but perhaps you’ll answer them in the next chapter. Which is coming very, very soon, right? Please? 

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3 hours ago, Parker Owens said:

I have tons of questions, but perhaps you’ll answer them in the next chapter. Which is coming very, very soon, right? Please? 

@Parker OwensYou'll get a lot of answers in the next chapter, but it will be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. 

As for timing of the next one, I'm just trying to fix one part. I'm not completely satisfied. I think I can make it stronger and better. As you can imagine it is a pivotal chapter. 

I'm hoping to post Sunday afternoon, or Monday afternoon at the latest. Sorry! 

Edited by Ethan
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I've only really noticed one minor change so far in this version compared to Nifty's. Other than that the Nifty file size seems a lot bigger per chapter.  Are you cutting out some original material?



The only change I've seen so far is that zit face is changed with a know it all. 


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9 hours ago, Hunter of Porn said:

I've only really noticed one minor change so far in this version compared to Nifty's. Other than that the Nifty file size seems a lot bigger per chapter.  Are you cutting out some original material?

First, I got rid of some grammatical errors that were driving me crazy! There are actually many subtle changes. I've also really focused more on character development, than I did in the original. You'll also notice I condensed several scenes (and took some right out). I have cut out a lot of material that I felt was either unnecessary or redundant. I also have added a fair bit of new stuff, but you'll notice more of that in the upcoming chapters. I hope this new version is worth the read, and is living up to your expectations. 


If anyone notices spelling or grammatical errors please do send me a private message. I can go back and edit! I'm trying my best to catch everything. I really hate errors! 

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I hope as bad as it still would be that Noah is just heartbroken and that Sebastian revealed he was just interested in sex rather than actually romantically interested in him as the idea Sebastian possibly raping him is sickening. I wish Noah had been thinking clearly after talking with Jordan as if he believed Jordan didn’t call him weird or clingy then the only conclusion he could come to is that Sebastian lied. That lie if realized would have been a red flag regarding how well Sebastian could be trusted but sadly poor Noah has been hurt deeply.

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That was intense. Where to begin?

Sebastian clearly made an attempt to rape Noah and judging by what Jordan overheard behind the bleachers, he succeeded too. Noah will probably be too embarrassed to tell. Let's hear the facts first but I expect Sebastian needs to feel some swift justice.

That whole presentation of Mrs Dalloway was intense too. Not knowing whether Jordan would make it to the presentation and then right through to Jordan's impassioned, free speaking summary that was covertly, yet undeniably, for Noahs benefit:

"... you can live in the past or wonder how it would have been, or you can just live your life the way you want. There is no point in wondering what was, because you will only be left guessing and miserable in the end. You have to grasp life now and just live it. Now is the time you have and so ... now is the time to follow what you really want."

Sadly and ironically, Jordan needed to take heed of his own words, even more than Noah.

The intensity never let up, as it seemed that Noah would walk away and forever deny Jordan the opportunity to explain.

So just five minutes proffered and Jordan decides to waste it teaching volleyball. WTF? So frustrating.

I totally get that Jordan is far from the stage of understanding himself well enough to declare his sexuality. But would it have hurt him to say that he has had those confusing thoughts too, without committing himself?  A small amount of honesty to open some dialogue where they could both share and understand eachother better. 

As for the ending, I hope it was hugs and maybe even a kiss.

Another gem of a chapter Ethan. I cant believe that there is so much more to go. 😊

Edited by Bard Simpson
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15 hours ago, Bard Simpson said:

Another gem of a chapter Ethan. I cant believe that there is so much more to go. 😊

Many, many more ups and downs to go, friend! A lot happens in the next 27 chapters. There's that whole alien invasion chapter .... (kidding, there are no aliens) 

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GAH!!  I'm so glad this story is complete so I don't have to wait for more chapters!  Sebastian has shown his true colors :angry:  I hope Jordan kicks the shit out of him :angry:  I hope he didn't force himself on Noah.  Maybe Noah saw a text from Sebastian's other guy.  I'm thinking Jordan draws Noah in for a hug... Ok have to continue reading now... 

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