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  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
    Ethan
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  • 7,554 Words
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Noah and Jordan - 23. Chapter Twenty-Three

*** JORDAN ***

One by one they all fall, each lie, like a domino, knocking over the next. Whats left, in the pile of discarded broken blocks, is the trail of my deception. And all it took was one simple phrase, a rather ordinary introduction, to set it all in motion.

“Of course, I know who she is! It’s such a pleasure to finally meet your girlfriend! Hi, Samantha, my name is Aiden,” he says extending his hand out.

And the first block falls.

It all comes back to me instantly, that moment of sheer idiocy. When Aiden asked for a picture of my ‘girlfriend’ I thought I was being clever sending one of Jenn. I thought, how would he ever know? He was safely living far, far away. How wrong I was. Jenn looks at me with a puzzled and confused expression on her face. I should say something, but what?

“Umm, I’m sorry I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else. My name is Jennifer,” she says.

Aidens facial expression changes rather quickly. From a smile he goes rather red. Oh, I'm so sorry. My mistake. I thought you were someone else. I feel rather stupid now. Let me try this again. Hi Jennifer, my name is Aiden, Jordans not-so-smart friend, he says again sticking his hand out.

“Nice to meet you. Call me Jenn.”

Jenn is Noahs best friend, I say.

Gotcha. Well, its nice to meet you, Aiden says.

So, then who’s Samantha?” John asks.

Shit, John! I forgot that he’s also here. “She’s um ….” Fuck. What do I say? He thinks I’m single. But Aiden thinks otherwise. I’m totally screwed.

“Jordan’s girlfriend,” Aiden chimes in before I can finish my sentence.

John scoffs. “Since when? You were single like two days ago. Damn you move fast!”

Fuck! What do I say? There is no lie that can possibly cover up all the other lies I’ve told so far. One way or another one of my lies will be exposed. And I can’t tell them the truth. Not here. Not now. I’m screwed.

“Um, not exactly,” I say.

“What does that mean?” John asks.

“Hey, I could really use a drink,” Noah says rather loudly. “Anyone else want one? Aiden, you look like a guy who could use another drink. Why don’t you join me?”

How I love him. Hes trying to save me. But it doesn’t look like it’s going to work. Aiden just stands there staring at me.

“You know what,” Aiden says, “I could use a drink.”

He walks off with Noah, who grabs Jenn as well, leaving me behind with John and Caleb.

“I just met this girl recently,” I say to John. “It’s nothing serious. We’ve just been fooling around a bit.”

“Oh, okay. Whatever. I’m just glad you’re getting out there again! I was starting to worry about you,” John says. “But why did he think Jenn was Samantha?”

“Probably just got mixed up. I used to date Jenn, remember.”

Yeah, I guess so.”

Crisis averted with John and Caleb. Now, what do I say to Aiden?

*** NOAH ***

I honestly am so confused right now. I have no idea what’s going on. Why does Aiden think Jenn’s name is Samantha? It makes no sense. I’ll have to ask him later.

The only thing I do know is that I need to help Jordan! He is clearly drowning right now. My first thought is to separate the group. Jordan’s clearly told one story to Aiden, and another to John.

“What can I get you to drink?” I ask Aiden as we approach the bar.

“Can I ask you a question?” Aiden instead asks.

“Uh, sure.” Depends on what you want to ask.

“Have you ever met Samantha?”

Shit. Now he’s asking me questions! “Why do you ask?”

“You’re his roommate, so I figured you’ve probably met her by now.”

I just look at Jenn. I don’t know what to say. Technically, I have met ‘her’ because I am ‘her’. So, saying yes isn’t a lie. And, I think it will make Aiden feel better. But I could end up contradicting something Jordan has said to him previously. I hate this night.

“We’ve met before.”

“That’s good to know.” He looks a bit relieved. “So, why do his other friends think he’s single?” Aiden asks.

Why so many questions!

“I don’t know. John and Jordan aren’t that close, I think. And John’s usually a bit out to lunch, so I wouldn’t take him too seriously,” I say.

“Oh, okay. I still feel like an ass for calling you Samantha,” he says to Jenn.

“Honestly, don’t worry about it.”

“Wait, you said your name is Jenn, right? The same Jenn that was dating Jordan before?”

“That would be me, yes.”

He seems to be realizing something.

“Oh, okay. So, you’re Samantha’s best friend then, right?

Say what now? Both Jenn and I are utterly confused. What exactly did Jordan tell Aiden?

“Uh … yeah …” Jenn says hesitantly. I can tell she doesn't know what to say!

“Maybe that’s why I mixed you guys up,” he says.

“Maybe,” Jenn replies.

“Do you guys get that a lot?” he asks.

“Um … no … I can’t say I’ve ever been called Samantha before,” she says.

“How long have you known each for?” Aiden asks.

“Ah, a while,” she says.

“Cool. You guys meet at school?”

“Yeah …” I can tell she’s nervous and that’s saying a lot. She never gets nervous. She can talk her way through anything. But it’s kind of hard when you don’t know the backstory.

“Do you know why she couldn’t join us tonight?” Aiden asks.

I should have taken John and left Aiden with Jordan!

“I’m not sure, but I think she was busy,” Jenn says.

“So,” I quickly say before Aiden can ask another question, “you never told me what you’d like to drink?

Aiden just stands there, mouth open for a few seconds before he answers. “Ah, whatever is fine. I’m just going to run to the bathroom. Be right back.”

“What the hell is going on!?” Jenn says the moment Aiden leaves. “Who the hell is Samantha?”

I give her the short version of the story.

“As to why he thinks you’re Samantha, honestly, I have no idea.”

“Jordan’s really made a mess of things,” she says.

“Yeah. He has!”

“He needs to tell Aiden the truth, because I think he’s going to figure it out soon.”

“You’re right. This is getting out of control.”


*** JORDAN ***

I just need to get through tonight. Once this night is over, I will sit down with Aiden in private, and I will tell him the truth. And I’ll apologize for being an awful friend. I would tell him now, but I can’t. The place is packed. All of my friends are here. My volleyball team is here. I can’t say anything tonight.

“Where’s Aiden?” I ask when I find Noah and Jenn.

“Washroom,” Noah replies. “How did it go with John?”

“Fine. He'll be okay. I'm just worried about Aiden.

“Why does he think my name is Samantha?” Jenn asks.

But before I can answer Aiden reappears. “What are we drinking?”

Aiden acts like his normal self, like nothing happened. He doesn’t ask any more questions about my fake girlfriend, which is a huge relief, but also weird! And to be honest, I don’t really give him a chance. I kind of avoid him for the rest of the night. The bar is packed, and there are loads of people here. I talk to John, then Caleb, then my volleyball teammates. I keep watch of Aiden, to make sure he is okay, and he is fine. He is mainly with Noah and Jenn.

About an hour later, I decide to call it a night. My head is hurting. I feel like crap. Noah says he’ll come with me, but I ask him to stay and watch over Aiden. I actually want to walk home alone, clear my head. Plus, I don’t want to draw attention to the fact that I’m leaving. I was going to slip out quietly, but then I decide to say goodbye to Aiden. I can’t just leave.

“Hey, man,” I say to him. “I’m going to take off. I’m tired.”

“Oh, I’ll come with you,” he says.

“No, no, you enjoy yourself. Noah, Jenn, they’re all still here,” I say. “And I was thinking. Do you want to meet for lunch tomorrow?”

“Um, sure.”

“Cool. I’ll text you in the morning, okay?”

“Yeah. You sure you’re okay?” Aiden asks.

“I’m fine. See you later.”

Night, Jordan.”

I put on my coat and head out into the frosty winter night. After being inside the overheated, stuffy bar, the cool air feels nice against my skin. As I walk, I wonder how I got into such a mess. It’s all my fault. I’m such an idiot. I was so wrapped up in wondering if Aiden would be angry that I’m gay, that I overlooked that he might be angry that I lied to him, repeatedly! I just thought it would be a simple lie. I never realized it would balloon into this epic, colossal, fuck up.

I don’t get far when I hear a voice call my name. I turn around to see Aiden. This night just won’t end.

Jordan, wait up, Aiden calls out.

What are you doing here? I ask him.

“Jordan, what’s going on?” He looks concerned.

What do you mean?

“I wasn’t going to say anything, but … I can’t keep quiet. You’re my best friend. I know somethings up. I went through my texts,” he says taking out his phone, “and I’m pretty sure you were dating Samantha when you sent me this picture of Jenn. I’m absolutely positive. But then I thought I would give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you made a mistake. But then I found Jenn on Facebook. She doesn’t have very good privacy settings. And I was able to see her list of friends. She has no friend named Samantha. You've been super cryptic about this girl. I've asked your friends about her and everyone seems to be confused or say very little. Jenn, her supposed best friend, had only one-word answers. And then back there at the bar with your other friend John not knowing you’re dating …. I'm really starting to worry about you.”

And the final domino tips over; the outline of my deception complete.

“You’re right. I haven’t been honest with you. And I’m sorry.”

“Then be honest now,” Aiden says. “What’s going on?”

“How about we head to my place and talk. It’s a long story.”

“Lead the way.”

——— 

Where am I supposed to even start? I've been mentally preparing myself for this night for a while now. There he is, my best friend since childhood, sitting across from me, waiting to hear the truth. I feel both excited and scared. I'm not telling him because I have to or because I got caught. I'm telling him because I want to, because its the right thing to do. Because its who I am. I just don’t know how to begin.

Do you want anything to drink? I ask Aiden.

No, I'm alright.

Okay. Now the hard part. Surprisingly, Im not as nervous as I thought I would be. So, before I start, I want to apologize for lying to you. If you let me explain, I think you’ll understand why.”

“Okay.”

Okay, here I go.

“In terms of my relationship … I didn’t tell you the entire truth about my relationship … I left out some important details. Youre right … I did send you a picture of Jenn. I did that on purpose. And that was wrong. But the reason I did that was because … because Samantha doesn't actually exist. Though ... Im actually in a relationship … that part is true …”

“Okay …” he says looking completely confused. “I have no idea what you’re trying to say. Just spit it out.”

“I’m not dating a girl named Samantha … I'm dating someone else …” I pause for a few seconds. This is it. Aiden just looks at me silently. “I’m dating Noah.” I stop to let that settle in.

As in your roommate?

“Yeah …”

His expression changes. Shit. He looks angry. He rarely gets angry.

“Fuck, Jordan, be serious for once in your life,” he says angrily. “This is not the time for one of your stupid jokes. I’m trying to have an adult conversation with you right now. For once just be honest with me.”

Not the reaction I expected. Now I’m nervous.

“I’m not joking. Honestly, Noah’s not my roommate … he’s um ... he’s my boyfriend. We’re a couple. I swear.

I can see Aiden’s eyes go wide as what I said floats in the air.

“Seriously?”

“Seriously. I’m gay.” I'm surprised at how easily those words come out of my mouth. “I’m honestly not joking.” I add the last part because I still think he doesn’t fully believe I’m telling the truth.

“But you dated so many girls,” he says.

“I did. And that’s not to say I didn’t find them attractive … I guess I do find some women attractive still. I guess some people would say I'm bi. Honestly, I don’t care about the term. I just know that I like men too. And that I’m madly in love with Noah.”

Well, I honestly can say I did not see that coming,” he says still surprised.

“Is that okay?” I ask. Now I’m even more nervous.

It’s like a switch goes off inside of him. Instantly, he has a huge smile on his face.

“Of course, that’s okay! Dude, whatever makes you happy. Honestly. I’ll always support you. I love you no matter what. I’m just surprised. I didn't even have the slightest idea. You don't act … well, you know what I mean. It's going to take me a few minutes to digest what you just said. And just to make sure, seriously this isn't a joke, right? Cause I’ll be really angry if this is an elaborate prank.”

Now I smile. He accepts me for who I am! “It's not a joke.”

How long have you known?”

“A few months. It all really started when I met Noah in the fall.”

“Okay. I’m glad you didn’t say years. Because I would have beaten the crap out of you if you told me you’ve been hiding this from me for that long.”

“No, no, just a couple of months. I understand if you’re angry that I lied to you.

“I’m more disappointed! Dude, I thought you knew that you can tell me anything.”

“I do know that. But just as you found this all surprising, I did too. It scared the shit out of me at first. It’s taken me a long time to be okay with all of this.”

“And are you okay with it now?” he asks.

“Absolutely. I’ve honestly never been happier,” I say.

Look, I understand this probably wasn’t easy. But if youd been honest with me from the start, I could have helped you. That’s what friends do!

“I know. And I wouldn’t have had to make up that stupid elaborate lie.”

Yeah, it was stupid. But I understand. And besides, it’s not like I’ve been telling you the truth all these years either.”

Say what not? “What does that mean?”

“Isn’t it obvious? I’ve known for years how I feel about you. Our connection … I’m totally in love with you.”

“Real funny,” I say.

“I’m serious. That gay friend in Australia I was talking about, and going to pride. I was talking about myself. That’s why I moved away, because I needed to get away from you.”

I still don’t believe him. “You know I’m not falling for this, right?”

“Fine, don’t believe me, but it’s true. I can’t hide it anymore.”

Yeah, and I wasn’t born yesterday.”

Aiden’s never been a good liar. I can tell hes trying not to laugh.

And he cracks.

“Whatever, even if I was gay, I’d never date your ugly ass.”

“And you say I’m not serious!” I say shaking my head.

“Well, you would have been pissed if that was in fact true and I never told you!”

“Maybe,” I say.

“So, if I hadn’t run into Jenn and figured something was off, which by the way I’ve known for a while, would you not have said anything to me? Would you have stayed in the closet? Were you going to continue this lie forever?”

“No, no, no! I was going to tell you, I promise. That’s why I asked to meet tomorrow for lunch. I was going to tell you tomorrow.”

“I also wasn’t born yesterday, I bet you were,” he says.

“Honestly, Aiden, I was going to tell you. I just needed time. That’s why we had dinner the other day in the Gay Village.”

“Wait, was that you testing me?” he asks shaking his head.

“Yes. And you passed!

“I’m kind of offended now! I thought you knew me better than that!”

“I do. I just … I’m an idiot, you know that.”

“You are! So, how did it happen exactly? One day you were like, hey, he’s kind of hot?”

“No,” I laugh. “It was gradual. I explain to him how I dated Jenn, and the dumped her to be with Noah. Hence Noah being the best friend and not Samantha. As I continue with my narrative, I can tell he is finally connecting the dots in his head.

“Your cryptic messages make so much more sense now. Honestly, I thought you were dating an alien or something. It made absolutely no sense! Now I know why. You could have saved yourself a lot of trouble if you had just told me the truth from the beginning! I’m actually kind of glad this all came to bite you in the ass tonight. You totally deserve it,” Aiden says.

“I do. And I know, in hindsight this all could have been much easier. I wasn’t sure how you were going to react. Or if you would be okay. I know we joke, but platonically, I love you man. You’re the brother I never had. And I couldn’t risk losing you. You have every right to be angry.”

“I’m not angry. I get it. I know this couldn’t have been easy. I just hope you know that no matter what I’ll always be there for you. And that you can always tell me what’s going on. You’re my best friend, man. You’re stuck with me for life.”

I don’t deserve such an amazing friend.

“I know. And you’re stuck with me. Thank you. I promise to do better in the future. And, if it makes you feel any better, you’re the first person I told, well, besides Noah.”

“That actually does make me feel better. If I wasn’t the first, I would have kicked the crap out of you.”

I should add Jenn also knows, but Noah told her, not me.”

So, I’m really the second.”

“Yes. But the first person from my social circle.”

“Well, it’s better than not being told at all,” he says. “So, going back to some of our earlier conversations, it sounds like this is really serious. You’re living together. And I’m sure you said that you thought she, I’m sorry, he, that’s going to take me a while to get used to … that he is the one? Is that still the case? Or did you just say that?”

“It’s still the case. I know weve only dated for like three months and thats not that much time … but the more time we spend together ... the more I see a future with him.

So, he could be the one?” Aiden asks.

“I think so. I know I’m still young. There is so much to explore in this world, so much I havent done. But when I'm with Noah it just feels right.

“Whats next for you two then?”

“I don’t know. I think, maybe, coming out to more people. I’m just a bit worried about how my volleyball teammates might react. They may not be comfortable knowing there is a gay guy on the team.”

“That’s true. But times have changed,” Aiden says.

“They have, but not that much.”

And how does Noah feel about telling more people?”

“I don’t think he’s there yet. His parents are extremely religious. He’s super afraid that his parents will find out and that they’ll disown him. As I said, the only person who knows is Jenn, and he only told her recently.”

“That really sucks. But maybe with time and support he’ll be able to tell them.”

“I hope so. Honestly, man, it feels so nice to finally be able to talk to you and not have to worry about my words, or saying the wrong thing! I feel so free. I should have done this a long time ago.”

“You should have!”

I really should have. I finally feel free.


*** NOAH ***

I have no idea what to do. Should I go home? Should I wait? Soon after Jordan left, he texted me that Aiden confronted him outside, and the two were going back to our place. He said he was going to tell him. I wished him good luck. I decided to go to Jenn’s, because I thought it was best to give them some space. But it’s now close to midnight. I assume it should be safe to go home. I texted Jordan, but he didn’t respond.

When I reach home, I decide to knock on the door, as opposed to using my key. A few seconds later Jordan opens the door with a smile on his face. That’s a good sign!

“Hey.

“Hi.” I notice Aiden sitting on the couch as I walk in. He’s still here. That’s also a good sign. It must have gone well! “How’s it going?”

“Good,” Jordan replies. “I told Aiden about us.”

“That’s good. I assume it went well?” I ask looking from Jordan to Aiden.

“It was okay. Just one minor issue. Turns out, as expected, Aiden is a giant homophobe,” Jordan says.

Right, and that’s why I’m still here,” Aiden says. “Obviously I was amazing and supportive!

Well, you also did profess your undying love for me,” Jordan says. “But don’t worry, Noah, I told Aiden that I’m already taken.”

“So, let me see if I have this right, Aiden’s a homophobe, but also secretly gay just for you?” I ask.

“Yep!” Jordan nods his head.

“At least stick to one story!” I say.

“Exactly!” Aiden chimes in.

“Hey, many homophobes are in the closet, so it’s possible!” Jordan points out.

“So, it clearly all went well,” I say.

“It did,” Jordan says.

“Well, it went well for Jordan, but not for you,” Aiden says.

“Why do you say that?” I ask. Should I be worried?

“Jordan hit the jackpot with you,” he says. “You’re an amazing guy. But you, man, I’m really sorry. You got stuck with Jordan. For one, he’s not much to look at, and two, his personality, well it’s kind of flat. He’s not really smart or funny. Overall, he’s a pretty crappy guy. I’m sorry to say you got a damaged model, and there are absolutely no refunds.”

I laugh. Jordan gives Aiden the finger.

“Are exchanges allowed?”

“Nope. God did the world a favour and only made one version of that,” he says pointing at Jordan.

Well, then I guess I’ll just have to make do with what I have,” I say.

“You’re a modern day hero,” Aiden says. “And don’t worry, your secret is safe with me. I won’t tell anyone.”

“Thank you.

Aiden stays for about half-an-hour. We sit and talk, he asks a few questions, but nothing intrusive. He is the exact opposite of Jenn. He knows boundaries! And I can tell he is genuinely happy for both of us.

“Are we still on for lunch tomorrow?” Jordan asks as Aiden puts on his shoes.

“Oh, yeah, sure. Noah, maybe we can check out one of the restaurants you suggested, and we can go to that chocolate place?” Aiden asks.

“Absolutely,” I say.

“Perfect. Noon work for you, Noah?” Aiden asks.

“It does.”

“Great. I’ll see you then. And just so we’re clear, you’re totally not invited,” he says to Jordan.

Why?” Jordan asks.

“This is what you get for keeping secrets. Besides, this way I can tell Noah embarrassing stories from your childhood,” Aiden says.

“Oh, I like the sound of that!” I eagerly say. It’s only fair. Jenn told Jordan embarrassing stories from when I was younger.

“There are no embarrassing stories from my childhood,” Jordan responds.

“Really?” Aiden says giving him cut eye. “You sure about that?”

“Kind of.”

“Okay. You know what, I change my mind, you should come along. It will be fun to see how you react when I tell Noah all the stupid things you did as a kid.”

“Maybe I will,” Jordan says.

“You do that then. And Noah, if this guy gives you any trouble from now on, let me know, I’ll kick his ass so hard that he’ll fall back in line.”

“Will do, thank you, Aiden,” I say.

And with that he takes off. When he’s gone Jordan walks over and wraps his arms around my waist. I throw mine around his neck.

That seems to have gone well,” I say.

“It did. He was amazing.”

“How do you feel?” I ask.

Fantastic. I feel liberated.”

“I’m really happy for you. He wasn’t angry at all that you lied?”

“No, not at all. He was surprised, but happy. He really is a great friend.

“He is! You’re lucky to have him,” I say.

“I know.”

“And I’m lucky he remembers embarrassing stories from your childhood.”

“There are no embarrassing stories from my childhood,” he says.

“Sure. We’ll find out tomorrow. So, I wanted to ask, why did Aiden think Jenn was Samantha?”

“Oh yeah, that … that’s because I'm an idiot. A couple of weeks ago Aiden asked for a picture of the fake girl I was seeing. He said he would look her up on social media. Naturally, given that she wasn’t real, she didn’t have any accounts. So, I sent him a picture of Jenn. I figured he’d never know the difference. And then I forgot I ever send the pic. Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done.”

Definitely not,” I say shaking my head. “You really are an idiot.”

“I’m sorry. I know I really made a mess of everything.”

“You did, I won’t lie. But, hey, I understand. I know it was not easy. Just next time try not to create such elaborate lies.”

“I won’t. I’ve learned by lesson.”

“I hope so,” I say.

“And thank you, by the way, for saving me at the bar. I honestly had no idea what to do. And for everything else. For being patient with me. For not getting angry even though I keep making stupid mistakes. You’ve stood by me even though I keep fucking up royally. Aiden is right, I really did hit the jackpot.”

“I know you’d do the same for me.”

——— 

I know something isn’t right the moment I wake up. For one, Jordan isn’t in bed. He never wakes up before I do. Never. It always takes me a good ten minutes to wake him up. The second odd thing, I can smell food. Cooked food. We’ve only been living together now for a week, but Jordan has never cooked breakfast before. He eats either cereal, waffles, or a bagel.

I curiously get out of bed and make my way over to the kitchen.

Morning,” I say.

My voice makes him jump.

“Crap, you’re up!” he says turning around. “I mean, good morning!”

“What are you doing?”

“I was going to surprise you with breakfast in bed … but I guess I kind of missed that boat.

“That’s so sweet of you! If it helps, I can pretend to go back to sleep?” I offer.

“Nah, you’ve never been good at faking it.”

“Ha, buddy, you have no idea the things I fake in bed,” I say with a smile.

It takes him a second to realize what I just said. “Hey! What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing,” I say with a wink.

“Just go wash up, I’m almost done here.”

When I return the kitchen table is set. There are eggs. I don’t know what kind of eggs. It’s a bit unclear if he was going for fried, or scrambled, or something else. Then there are pancakes that are just a bit burned. But none of that matters. The fact that he went to all this trouble, means a lot.

“It looks good,” I say taking a seat.

“I hope it tastes good. I’m still learning,” he says.

“What’s the occasion?” I ask.

“Do I need a reason to make you breakfast? You’ve made breakfast for me several times,” he says.

“True. I just thought maybe there was a reason,” I say putting food into my plate.

“It’s just my way of saying thank you for everything, for your support, for putting up with all my stupid decisions.”

“Just make fewer dumb decisions,” I say with a smile.

“But that’s not fun,” he laughs.

“Yeah, seemed like a lot of fun last night when your lie was exposed to Aiden and John at the same time,” I remind him. “Good thing I was there to save you.”

“True. So how is it?” he asks about the food.

It’s … yeah. I don’t want to be mean and discourage him. But it’s not that good.

“It’s good, thank you,” I say.

“See, I told you that you’re bad at faking,” he says with a smile. “But don’t worry, for what I lack in cooking skills, I make up in my bedroom skills.”

“Oh, really?” I ask.

“Do you need a reminder?” he asks. “Was last night not enough to convince you?”

“How about you show me your dish washing skills instead,” I say. The kitchen looks like a disaster! Its as if he was cooking for a hundred people.

“Ugh, fine.”


*** JORDAN ***

There is always that fear, that when you reveal a big secret, that something might change, that people may treat you differently. But I’m thrilled to say that isn’t the case with Aiden. Nothing has changed at all. He is still the same guy.

After breakfast, Noah and I meet up with Aiden for lunch. We show him a couple more sites in the city, and take him to that chocolate place. The gelato is indeed amazing.

“Why didn’t you ever tell me about this place?” I ask Noah as we sit and eat.

“Because then you’d want to come here all the time! And then you’d become fat, and I’d have to roll you home,” he says.

“Fair. I do love chocolate. And you really do love my abs,” I say.

“Dude, TMI!” Aiden says laughing.

“What? They’re nice abs,” I reply.

“So, tell me Aiden, what was Jordan like when he was younger?” Noah asks.

A total loser, Aiden replies.

“You were the loser,” I protest.

You were such a loser! Honestly, joking aside, Jordan was not cool. I saved his sorry soul.

I saved you! I was in the cool group, I respond.

You were in band! Aiden laughs.

You were in band? Noah asks. “What instrument did you play?

The saxophone, which is a cool instrument!”

“And what about high school. What was Jordan like as a teen?” Noah asks.

“A clown, like he is now. But high school was better, once he got over that awful acne phase.”

“It was bad,” I confirm. I had awful acne for a while. I did not go through puberty well!

“I made him join the gym, introduced him to volleyball

You didn't introduce me to volleyball. I was the one who said we should join the team in the first place —”

No, it was me. I saw the poster remember, and then was like we should —”

No, there was no poster. The gym teacher, um, whatever his name is, said I was good and —”

He thought everyone who tried was good at sports, Aiden replies.

As I recall I made the team and you didn't, I shoot back.

Yeah, yeah, whatever. Thanks to me you made the team. My point is, Jordan became less of a loser in high school, but clearly, he became more arrogant, which still is the case today.

“I will give you this, you did push me to go to the gym,” I say.

“At least you’ll admit something!” Aiden laughs. “You were just sticks and bones before.”

“True. So, these abs you love so much,” I say to Noah, “Aiden deserves just a bit of credit.”

Noah just shakes his head. “Please just stop talking.”

“What? I like to share,” I smile.

“Oh, speaking of sharing, I think I have an old picture of my phone from when Jordan was in high school,” Aiden says.

Noah doesn't want to see that,” I say quickly.

Oh, yes I do, Noah responds with speed. “I really, really do!”

Its here somewhere, Aiden says scrolling through his phone. Aha! This is it!”

Noah’s face breaks into a huge smile. I can’t see the picture from where I’m sitting, so I don’t know why hes so happy. Though, it’s not hard to guess. I wasn’t very photogenic in high school.

“You have to send this to me,” Noah says. “This is the just the best.”

“I want to see,” I say putting my hand out.

“What style were you trying to go for exactly?” Noah says handing me the phone.

It’s an absolutely awful picture. It’s from when I was 15 maybe. My hair is parted in the middle to the sides, a hairstyle that was never cool. My face is littered with acne. I have the onset of a terrible patchy mustache. And to top it off, I’m wearing what has to be the world’s ugliest sweater. It makes that Hawaiian shirt look good!

“I want to burn this picture,” I say.

“Don’t worry, I have many more like it,” Aiden says.

“Whatever. Everyone has bad high school pics. And I have great taste now, just I have great taste in men,” I say.

“Has he always been like this?” Noah asks Aiden.

“Unfortunately, yes. And it’s not like he actually has a good reason to be cocky,” Aiden says.

“Oh, I assure you I have a very good reason to be cock-y.” I can’t help but smile. “Noah can attest to that.”

Noah puts his hand to his forehead as he shakes his head. “Dear Lord, just please stop.”

“There is no off switch,” Aiden says. “I checked. But I do know how to bring his head out of the clouds. You want to hear some fun stories from Jordan’s childhood?”

Do I ever!”

“Did he ever tell you about the time he almost peed his pants because his mom yelled at him?”

“No.”

“Not once did I ever almost pee in my pants,” I interject.

“Oh, really? You don’t remember what happened when we were 16, the day after you got your provisional driver’s license?”

“Oh, right, that. Yeah, she was pissed,” I say. She really was. My mom never hit me once growing up. But in that moment, I was certain she was going to beat the crap out of me. She was angry! “But I didn’t almost pee in my pants!”

“What exactly happened?” Noah asks.

“So, Jordan was excited because he had just gotten his learner’s permit. But he hadn’t actually driven yet. He wanted to show off and take his mom’s car around the block. He was like she’ll never know. We live on this very quiet road. So, he calls me over. I tell him this is a bad idea. But Jordan being the dimwit that he is, says it’ll be fun. And so, we get in the car. And what does genius over here do? Instead of putting the car in reverse, he puts the car in drive.”

“He didn’t?” Noah asks.

“Oh, he did. Straight into the garage. Now, he wasn’t going very fast, so it didn’t do much damage. But it made a noise. And Jordan’s mom came out. And I honestly thought she was going to kill him,” Aiden says. “It was the best moment of my life.”

“Yeah, she was scary. She was really angry with you as well!

“She was. But Mr. Brave over here, well he lost his nerve, you should have seen him tremble. I thought he was going to cry. And I’m pretty sure he did wet himself.”

“K, I didn’t wet myself, nor did I almost cry,” I say. “But I was scared for my life.”

Noah just laughs. “So, what happened after?”

“I was grounded. And I wasn’t allowed to start driving lessons for quite a while after,” I say.

“You kind of deserved that,” Noah says. “That was awesome, thanks, Aiden.”

“Who said I’m done?” Aiden asks. “I’ve got lots more to tell!”

“That’s enough for today,” I say. “We should get going.” One story per day is more than enough!

“Oh, we have time,” Noah says.

“So, once when we were ten …” Aiden starts.

Yes, I’ve done some stupid and embarrassing things in my youth. But you know what, we all do dumb shit sometimes. And I’m actually okay with Noah knowing about my past. I think it will make our bond stronger. He’ll understand why I am the way I am. But he doesn’t need to know EVERY embarrassing story. Stupid, Aiden, has to remember everything in such precise detail!


*** NOAH ***

I have no idea what we should get her. What do you get a girl like Jenn? Sure, we could buy her clothes, or perfume, or makeup, but that just doesn’t seem like the right gift. Not for a girl like Jenn. Her birthday is next week so we’re at the mall trying to find a present. Jordan says we should buy her something inappropriate, since she got me a dildo. I agree, but I’m just not sure what is inappropriate enough without being too inappropriate. Know what I mean?

“How about this shirt?” Jordan says as we walk through the mall.

“She doesn’t really link the colour pink,” I reply. It’s true. She’s never been big on pink.

“Okay. Um … that sweater is okay,” he says pointing to another item.

“I don’t know, it just seems so average,” I reply.

“It is average!” he says. “Oh, what about this hat!”

Naturally, because it’s Jordan, he puts on the hat. It’s clearly a lady’s hat with a giant bow on the front.

“Maybe you should get that for yourself,” I say.

“Maybe I should. I’m totally rocking this hat,” he says.

“Totally,” I say sarcastically.

We continue to aimlessly walk through the mall for another hour. Nothing jumps out at me.

“What about like some creams or like um, candles, or stuff like that?” Jordan says.

“No. Again, it’s just so ordinary.”

“Well, if you want unique, I already gave you an idea.”

“Okay, we’re not doing that.”

“Why? She got you one,” he reminds me.

Jordan thinks we should get her a sex toy.

“Yeah, that’s just kind of a bit too weird.”

“Exactly! Isn’t that the point? Why don’t we just go and see what they have. There is a shop not too far from here.”

“How do you know that?” I ask.

“Because I’ve walked by it so many times!”

I don’t know, two guys going to a sex shop together …” I start to say.

“So what? Who cares! We’re looking for a gift for a girl. They’ll think one of us is buying it for a girlfriend. It’s not like I’m saying we should go to the gay sex shop. Though, that would be interesting to check out one day.”

“Okay, fine, let’s go,” I say. No harm in taking a look, I suppose. And he’s right, we are getting a gift for a girl.

As we walk down the street, Jordan turns to me as if he is about to say something. But he doesn’t. I can tell something is on his mind.

“What’s up?” I ask him.

“I was just thinking … as we look for a gift for Jenn … she knows about us, Aiden knows too … what comes next.”

“Whatever we want,” I say.

“Do we tell more people?” Jordan asks.

“Do you want to tell more people?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Who do you want to tell?”

“Maybe John or Caleb or ...”

“You’re worried about your team,” I say.

“Yeah. And I know you’re worried about your family.”

“I am,” I say. “If you ask me, I kind of like the way things are now.”

I really do like the way things are going right now. I like that we’re sort of living in our own little world, and that I don’t have to worry about other’s interfering in our lives.

So do I.”

“We did just take a big step moving in together. And you did just tell Aiden.”

“I did.

“And were still getting used to living together. Maybe we just focus on that for a while,” I say.

“I guess so.”

All right, we’re here.”

So, this is what a sex shop looks like from inside. I’ve never actually been inside of one before. I’m kind of nervous. I’m hoping no one here recognizes me. I would be extremely embarrassed!

“Anything catch your eye?” Jordan asks.

Lots of things have caught my eye, but I’m not going to buy any of them! Just thinking of going up to the cashier to pay for a dildo, or a vibrator, unnerves me.

“Um, I don’t know. It’s all so …”

“Inappropriate?” he asks.

“Yeah.”

Again, isn’t that the point?”

“It is … but …” I’m just not the type of guy who can buy his best friend a sex toy! “Yeah, I can’t do this.”

“Just look around a bit, I’ll be back in a second.”

And with that he takes off. Great, now I’m alone in a sex store! That guy over there is looking at me! I quickly turn around and lower my head. I know I shouldn’t feel so weird about all of this. Sex is natural. It’s just that growing up sex was always considered a taboo subject in my house. I blame my parents for how I’m reacting right now.

A couple of minutes later Jordan returns with a box in his hands.

“What do you think?” he asks with his trademark sheepish smile. He’s holding some sort of bondage kit, complete with ropes and other gadgets.

“For Jenn?” I ask. Oh God, I could never buy her that! Besides it’s kind of mean, since she is single. What? Is she going to tie herself up?

“No. For us,” he says. “If one day you’re feeling kind of …”

Now I’m a mixture of both horny and mortified.

“Would you want to?” I ask. I’m not really sure how kinky Jordan is. We’ve never really talked about that.

“Only if you do,” he says.

I shouldn’t be so nervous to say yes, that I would be okay if we tried one day. It’s not like he’s going to judge me. Oh God, maybe he’ll judge me? No, it’s Jordan. He’s kinkier than I am (I think)!

“It’s up to you,” I say.

“That sounds like a yes to me,” he smiles. “And I thought maybe we could buy these.”

In his other hand he’s holding a very small pair of skimpy underwear. Now I’m physically getting hard picturing Jordan wearing those in our house! He would look so good.

“Again, get what you’d like,” I say.

Are you saying you don’t want to see me in these?” he asks quietly.

“I never said that.”

“Because I would love to see you in these,” he says showing me a second pair. Wow those are small!

How about this, I’m just going to wait outside while you get whatever you want.”

A couple of minutes later Jordan joins me outside. I’m glad they gave him a normal plastic bag. I do not want to be walking in the city with Jordan swinging a sex shop bag.

“Ready to go?” he asks.

“I am.”

“Should we go back to the mall and check out some other stores?”

“Why?” I ask.

“Uh, for Jenn’s gift.”

“Right, her. No, we can look another time. I’d rather go home.

“And try out perhaps one of our new purchases?” he asks with a smile.

“Maybe.”

Shopping can wait. Clearly, we have very pressing matters to deal with at the moment. As in, Jordan pressing into me. We’re going to have fun tonight!

Sorry for the delay. Hope it was worth it. I'm making major structural changes to the next 2-3 chapters, which is why it's taking a bit more time.

As always, thanks for reading, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Copyright © 2018 Ethan; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

Aiden turns out to be a great friend: He loves Jordan for who he is and provides a bedrock of support. (He also has embarrassing Jordan stories and pix, but what are friends for? 🤗)

 

Oooh! A bondage kit! Sorta like a magic kit but with kinkier rope tricks! But first, Jordan will make the skimpy undies disappear.... 😂

 

Edited by travlbug
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40 minutes ago, Fae Briona said:

You know it's your fault I'm not getting painting done in the loft because you posted this?  😉

Paint and read at the same time. I'm sure it'll all work out just fine 🙃

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Aiden truly loves Jordan, Jordan got lucky with Aiden’s reaction.  

I rejoice in any luck Noah and Jordan get because I have a feeling every reaction will not go so well;  knowing some important people are in your corner will help cushion those blows for those who may not be. 

Yay for exploration in their sex life;  It is special to be able to indulge in fantasies with the one you love (and trust).

 

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2 hours ago, FanLit said:

I rejoice in any luck Noah and Jordan get because I have a feeling every reaction will not go so well;  knowing some important people are in your corner will help cushion those blows for those who may not be. 

You're right - and that is something they will have to deal with in the upcoming chapters. Having Aiden and Jenn's support will help. 

 

1 hour ago, Timothy M. said:

I'm glad Aiden was just as cool as we all assumed.

Unless, it wasn't Aiden at all, but his evil twin Fraiden? 🤔 (If only this was a daytime soap opera ...) 

Edited by Ethan
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Aiden made this a happier chapter than Jordan anticipated. He turned out to be the friend he knew, and not the fearsome person of his imagination. Now if only Jenn and Aiden would fall for each other...

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Glad to see Aiden turned out to be the open minded friend that we all hoped he would be.... and seems he has a wicked sense of humor, too, even though Jordan wasn’t falling for Aiden’s declaration of love.

Hoping that the volleyball teammates will be as cool about it, or at least not total dicks, but then where would we get our drama fix? 

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Aiden took the news of Jordan being gay, really well. For a while there, I really thought Aiden had a thing for Jordan. That would have been interesting.

Clearly, they're in for a ground breaking sex session this evening. But I don't know what they can they get Jenn that isn't battery operated other than some leathers and a whip, perhaps.😉

 

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Aiden is awesome :D  I love the dynamic between all the characters.  You have a real knack for characterization and dialogue.  

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1 hour ago, Valkyrie said:

Aiden is awesome :D  I love the dynamic between all the characters.  You have a real knack for characterization and dialogue.  

Thank you! At times when writing this it felt like I was having a conversation with myself in my head (I know I'm totally crazy, it's fine 🤓

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3 minutes ago, Ethan said:

Thank you! At times when writing this it felt like I was having a conversation with myself in my head (I know I'm totally crazy, it's fine 🤓

Haha you're not crazy ;)  I get the same way when I really get into writing a story.  I walk around having conversations in my head and getting funny looks from people :unsure:  

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