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    Ethan
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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 - 5. Chapter Five

*** JORDAN ***

One hop. Two hop. Three hop

It’s been a week and a half but I finally feel like I’m kind of, sort of, maybe getting used to these damn crutches! I’m not all that fast; a turtle could probably beat me in a race. But I’m not as slow as I was before. Though, it still takes me longer to get to places than it normally would. Right now I’m making my way to my English class. I can’t wait to see Noah. In theory, I should thank him for being a good friend, for coming to yesterday’s game, and for drinks last night. But I have a bone to pick with him.

“Hey,” I say as I hop up to the back row.

“Hi,” he says with a big yawn.

“Tired?”

“Yeah. I got home late, woke up early. This is why I don’t go out on a school night!”

“Whatever old man. And about last night, I’m totally pissed at you.”

He looks surprised. “Why? What did I do?”

“Oh, you know what you did,” I say. I know Im being over dramatic. I’m not actually angry.

“Ah, I was a nice person. I came to your game to cheer on the team. Then I went to a bar, even though it was a school night. Wow, I truly am an awful person, he says sarcastically.

“You ditched me.”

“I didn’t ditch you!”

“I was looking for you and you were gone!”

“I went to get a drink and ended up talking to Sebastian for a while. Besides, you were with your teammates. I didn’t want to bother you.”

“You could have at least told me you were leaving.”

“I texted you!”

“Not cool man. You should have said goodbye. I was looking for you!

He sighs. “Fine. I’m sorry. I was wrong. I should have told you I was leaving.

That’s when I smile. “Thank you.”

He shakes his head. “You’re not really angry, are you?” He’s pretty perceptive.

“No, not really,” I say with a laugh.

“Then what was that all about!” he says arching his eyebrows.

“Just felt like it.”

“You really are an odd duck. I hope someone has told you that before.”

“My mom once maybe said something

Noah cuts me off. “Class is starting. Concentrate!” He starts taking notes.

Okay, today I’m going to concentrate. Pay attention, Jordan. Listen to the prof. I only manage a few minutes before my mind starts to drift. I lean closer to Noah. “Yo, look at money bags over there,” I say, “he’s picking his nose!”

Noah looks up and makes a face, says “gross” and then goes back to taking notes. Clearly that didn’t work. I have to try something else. I like being goofy around Noah. Something about him just puts me at ease.

I lean in again. “Honestly, could his clothes BE any tighter? How does he even move?” I know fitted clothes are in fashion, but this guy has taken that trend to a different level.

Noah turns to me. “Says the guy wearing rather tight pants.”

“These are not skinny jeans!” I insist. They’re not. I have to wear a looser pair because of my foot. Not to say I don’t own skinnier jeans …

Noah looks back at me and raises an eyebrow. “Sure, buddy.”

“Okay fine, they’re fitted, but they aren’t THAT tight. Besides, not like your jeans are any looser.”

He looks up. “I’m glad you’ve been checking out my legs. And for the record, these are a slim fit. It's just you and your friend over there wearing tight pants.”

“Whatever, you’d kill for these legs,” I say.

And then he starts to chuckle a bit too loudly. Everyone stops and stares at him.

“Something funny we’re all missing?” the professor asks Noah.

“No, sir. I’m very sorry, he responds.

“What was that?” I ask when the prof resumes his lecture.

“Shut up,” he says to me rather quietly and in a serious voice.

“I want to know what was so funny?”

“Fine. You said I’d kill for your legs. Sure, chicken legs, I’ll pass,” he says with a smile.

“I do not have chicken legs!” I protest. “And now who is checking out legs, hypocrite.”

“Is there something the two of you would like to share with the rest of the class?” the professor asks me. Crap.

“Ah, no …”

Noah saves me. “We were just talking about the book and what you said about the core message. While survival is a big part of the novel, I feel the central theme is also a critique on human nature.”

“Interesting, continue,” the prof says.

“Well, if you look at the main character and what he does to survive …” Noah says to the class. I have no idea what he is talking about, or what book he is even referring to for that matter. I really should pay attention. He goes on to say a lot of things that sound really smart, and I’m sure they are. When Noah is done the pretentious know-it-all nose-picker puts his hand up.

“Don’t you think that’s a really simplistic view of the book? I think if you look deeper …” What a prick, I think to myself. If you want to make a point, then make a point, but don’t try to act like you’re smarter than everyone else.

“Would you care to respond to that?” the professor asks Noah.

Noah sits there silently for a second, his eyes glued to the paper in front of him. When he looks up he pauses before speaking. “I think there can be multiple interpretations, there is no one right answer. But what I took away from the book was …” One by one Noah knocks down every argument made by the brat. The difference is Noah doesn’t gloat, but rather calmly states his view.

“If eyes could kill,” I whisper to Noah.

“Then I’d be dead,” he responds.

The pretentious kid is staring at Noah with these extremely intense eyes. He looks pissed.

“You totally out-nerded him,” I say. Out-nerded. I like that phrase.

No I didn’t.”

“That was a total mic drop moment.

“Sorry, guys,” the brat says out loud. “Do you mind not talking in class? Some of us are trying to concentrate.”

Everyone stops and looks at us again.

“I’m sorry, we won’t say anything,” I respond. What an ass.

For the rest of the class Noah keeps his eyes focused on his notebook as he jots down notes. When class ends he quickly packs his bags. He usually waits for me, but he darts out of the class. From the corner of my eye I see know-it-all. He has this stupid smirk on his face. I don’t say anything. I notice Noah is waiting for me outside. We both walk in silence until Noah stops and turns to me. He has a very serious expression on his face. Crap. Maybe I went too far ...

*** NOAH ***

I stare at him trying to keep my composure. I want Jordan to think I’m pissed. It's working. He’s worried. I can see it in his eyes. But I can’t hold this expression for long. I start to smile. I try to cover my mouth with my hands but that doesn’t help. I start to laugh.

“Oh God, what an ass!” I say. “Who does that!?”

“I know! You were fucking awesome though. You really knocked him down a couple of pegs. He was so pissed. It was great!”

“I know it shouldn't have, but it felt great! Something about him just bugs me.”

“I know what you mean. He’s a know-it-all, Jordan says.

“I hope I don’t come across like that.

“No, not even close. You come across smart, not demeaning.”

“And what is up with you tight pants? Do you not pay attention in any of your classes?”

“For one, my pants aren’t THAT tight, and secondly I pay attention … sometimes.”

“I don’t know what Im going to do with you,” I say.

“Feed me?” he says trying to act all innocent.

“All you get is a fiber bar.”

“Ha, ha. No, seriously. I actually owe you dinner.”

No you don’t.”

“Seriously, I owe you for all of your help. If you’re free now we can grab a bite.”

“You don’t owe me anything. And I’m not, sorry man. I’m actually going to grab some food with Jenn, then we’re going to a pub. Jenn’s friend is part of a band and they’re playing tonight.”

“Oh, sounds fun. Another time then.”

He looks disappointed. I know I want to keep my two social groups separate, but I feel bad. “You’re more than welcome to join us, I say.

“I don’t want to impose,” he says.

“You’re not imposing. Jenn won’t mind at all … she actually wants to meet you.

“Really?”

Yeah. Naturally, I’ve told her horrible things about you, and she’s curious.”

“That makes sense. You sure about tonight?” he asks.

Am I sure? No. But whatever. “Positive. I’ll text you the details once I firm them up with Jenn.

“Absolutely. See you later.”

——— 

I know I’m getting close to dangerous territory. But I can’t help myself. When I’m with him nothing else matters. I haven’t felt this connection with another person since I met Jenn a few years ago. But with Jordan it’s different. He makes me feel different. Being with him, seeing him, brings up emotions I’ve tried for years to ignore or suppress. Even though I know I should keep my distance, I can’t. I want to be near him.

Okay, think Noah. He’s a friend. Only a friend. You’ll get past all of the other feelings. Don’t screw this up. I can’t get distracted, especially tonight. Tonight, Jordan meets Jenn. I’m an idiot for bringing the two together, but it was bound to happen. Jenn was ecstatic when I told her Jordan would be joining us tonight. I warned her though, no being weird, or in her case extra weird. She is weird by default. I hammer that point again when we meet for dinner.

“Seriously, Jenn, best behaviour tonight,” I say to her.

“I get it, Noah. I won’t say anything, you can trust me.”

I shake my head. “Yeah, I’m totally screwed.”

“You really like this guy, don’t you?”

What? What is she trying to say? “No, not like, no. He’s just, you know, a friend, classmate.”

“I’ve never seen you this nervous,” she says with a smile.

“I’m not nervous.” I’m fucking nervous (and I don’t swear!). I’m sweating buckets.

“Relax, dude.”

“I am relaxed!” I’m so not relaxed. God, why did I ever agree to this?

“I’m going to run to the washroom, be right back,” Jenn says getting up.

Quiet. I like it when it is quiet. I can think. I take out my phone to see if Jordan has sent a message. He’s running late, but there is no message. Instead I see a friend request. It's from Sebastian. My finger hovers over his name. Something about him gives me a weird feeling. He’s a nice guy, friendly … but there is just something about him. Still, I hit the accept button. As I put my phone away I see Jordan walk in. I wave him over. He hops to the table as Jenn gets back.

“You made it,” I say to Jordan.

“Sorry, I’m late. It still takes me forever getting anywhere,” he says.

“No worries. Jordan this is Jennifer, and Jennifer this is Jordan,” I say.

“Nice to meet you, Jennifer” he says shaking her hand.

“Likewise. Call me Jenn. I’ve heard a few things about you,” she says.

“I hope at least some of those were good,” Jordan responds.

Oh, no, they were awful, absolutely awful. Shockingly disturbing,” she says.

“Sounds about right,” he says with a smile. “I’m afraid though Noah hasn’t said much about you.”

Jenn turns to me with an angry look. “Is that so? Huh. Seeing how I’m the centre of his life, I find that surprising.”

“There’s not much to say,” I reply to Jordan.

“I’m sure that’s not true,” he says.

“Jenn and I are both studying history. She is as crazy as she appears, and that is really all you need to know,” I say.

“There has to be more,” Jordan says.

“No, that about sums it up well,” Jenn adds laughing. “So, what about you? Noah says you’re a volleyball player, studying life sciences and you want to go to med school. That’s pretty much all he has told me, despite my repeated attempts to interfere in his life.”

“That’s all correct. Noah can be a quiet guy at times,” Jordan says, “it’s hard to get information out of him. But I think he’s starting to open up.”

“It takes him time,” Jenn responds, “but yeah, took me weeks to learn everything about him, including the good embarrassing stories.”

“Ooh, I like embarrassing stories,” Jordan says.

Oh God. I give Jenn a stern look.

“Maybe we’ll save those for later,” she says. “I was told in order for me to come tonight I had to be on my best behaviour. No being crazy or weird or embarrassing Mr. Sensitive over here.”

I hate her. I really do. I start to blush. “I never said that!”

Yes you did!”

I did, but I can’t admit that in front of Jordan. “Not in those words,” I say in my defence.

“You’ll notice quickly, there is not much love lost between us,” Jenn says. “I love bugging him.”

“I can see that,” Jordan says. And I know, it is kind of fun. I do the same in English class. The prof got annoyed with him for laughing in class today. You should have seen his face. I didn’t know humans can go that red.”

“Kind of like the shade of red he is now?” Jenn says pointing to my flush face.

“Yeah, like that!”

“I wasn’t red, and I’m not red now!” My protest lands on deaf ears.

“I’ve never seen you laugh in class before,” Jenn says smacking my arm.

“Because you’re boring,” I say to her.

“I’m the joy of our life,” she says.

“Pain of my life, more like it,” I respond.

The rest of dinner goes by just the same. Jenn and Jordan laugh, mainly at my expense. Overall though Jenn behaves herself. She doesn’t say anything super embarrassing. Jordan is his usual care-free, goofy self. After dinner we move to the club. As we walk, I notice I have some missed messages from Sebastian. He just says hi and asks how I’m doing. I respond back to him that I’m well and put my phone away. There is something about him that I can’t put my finger on just yet. I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually.

*** JORDAN ***

I can see why theyre together. They truly are the perfect couple. They complement each other so nicely. Both are sarcastic with the same sense of humour. They complete each other's sentences. They share similar hobbies. They are cute together. I’m glad they have each other. Though, I’m surprised Noah never mentioned he has a girlfriend. Its weird because he truly had started to open up and share more with me. He mentioned his previous girlfriend. I wonder why he wouldn’t tell me about Jenn? I thought maybe it was a new relationship, but they’ve known each other for a long time. I’m sure he has his reasons.

“So, how long have you two been dating?” I ask. I’ve been dying to know.

Jenn and Noah look at one another, then burst out in laughter.

“That’s a good one,” Jenn says.

“What’s so funny?” I’m totally confused.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love Noah, but we’re not dating. We’d kill each other,” she says.

“Probably within the first hour,” Noah adds.

“Really? But you two seem so good together. I thought …” I’m totally surprised. Truth be told I am also a bit relieved. I have no idea why.

“Jenn is my best friend. I love her, she is awesome, but that’s all.”

“We would be awesome together,” she says. “But that wouldn’t be fair to all the other couples in the world.”

“I love your sense of modesty,” I say to her.

“Thank you. It is one of my better-known qualities,” she says. “But yeah, I’m single, so if any of your hot volleyball friends are looking …”

I laugh. “I’ll keep that in mind. So now that I’ve put my foot in my mouth, I think it is only fair I get to hear an embarrassing Noah story.”

“How is that fair?” he protests. “I didn’t tell you to put your foot in your mouth.”

“True, but I don’t think that matters. Jenn, your thoughts?”

“I agree, I think you’ve earned one,” she says. “I’ll start with something that isnt too bad. Did you hear about the time Noah went to a birthday party?

“No,” I say.

“So, yeah. He was invited to a party when he was a kid at this place that does these types of events. His mom drops him off and off he goes. He doesn’t recognize anyone at this party, yet he stays. When his mom picks him up he tells her he had a great time. The next day the birthday boy’s mom calls Noah’s mom and asks why he didn’t show up. Naturally, his mom is confused and says he was there the entire time. The boy’s mom says he was not. Confused, she asks Noah. That’s when Noah says he didn’t actually recognize any of the children. Turns out he went into the wrong room and just stayed there. He may be a nerd now, but clearly he wasn’t always this smart.”

“That’s awesome,” I say laughing.

“In my defence, I was five years old,” Noah says. “And my mom probably should have dropped me off in the room, and not outside the room. I blame her. That was totally her fault.”

“You know what, I’ll give you that.

I haven’t laughed this much in a while. Tonight with Jenn and Noah was fantastic. Both of them are hilarious. It was a nice and relaxed evening. Good food, good music, good company. I couldn’t have asked for more. Plus, now I know who the mystery girl is. Turns out she is not Noah’s girlfriend. That makes me happy. I don’t know why.

*** NOAH ***

I would love to say I woke up fresh and ready to face the world today, but I didn't. Those restless and sleepless nights are back again with full force. For the past few nights all I do is look up and stare at the ceiling. I should be happy. School is going well, things with Jenn are great, I’ve made some new friends. Yet I’m not happy. I know why. I’m suppressing part of who I am. For a while it was easy. I locked all that up and closed the door. But Jordan pried those doors open. Now I don’t know what to do.

Since dinner last Wednesday with Jordan and Jenn, I’ve met Jordan several more times. Of course, we had class again on Friday. That time Jordan behaved. Perhaps behaved is a strong word. Did he try to distract me? Yes. Did it work? Some what. I was a bit more resolved not to get distracted, though I really did have to force myself not to laugh a few times. The pretentious kid came back with a vengeance and really wanted to get into a war of words with me again, but I didn’t fall for his trap. I silently took notes. By the end of class the brat looked smug. He probably thinks he won, and I was backing down. The truth is I honestly don’t care to engage with him. He can think what he wants.

I desperately wanted to hang out with Jordan over the weekend, but I also didn’t want to come across as desperate so I didn’t say anything. I was hoping he would but he had plans. I also had plans with Jenn, but I would have ditched her in a heartbeat. He did call again on Sunday. I was thrilled to see his name on my phone, yet the timing wasn’t super great. I was in the middle of, you know, taking care of myself. So I stopped. It took me a while to go soft. Hearing his voice didn’t help …

The reason Jordan called on Sunday was to invite me to his second volleyball game. Again, he would be sitting on the sidelines and asked if I would join him. I agreed to go. I wanted to spend time with him. Then the conversation went off in another direction. Usually Jordan is silly, our conversations are light-hearted, but this one was serious. We ended up talking for close to two hours about the news, politics, and world affairs. I was surprised at how much he knew; he doesn’t come across as someone who keeps up with the news. But he clearly does, and he clearly reads a lot and listens to a bunch of podcasts. It was fascinating to see another side of Jordan, a more mature side, if you will. I love our goofy conversations, but I have to say, the politics one is probably one of my favourites.

The next time I saw Jordan was at his volleyball game last night, on Tuesday. The team won, which was great. Everyone was thrilled, including Sebastian. I’ve been talking to him more as well. He messaged me on Facebook last week and weve been exchanging messages ever since. He is a nice guy, funny, smart, but there is something off about him. Jordan did mention he is super competitive, and that part is clear. But there is something else. I’m always a bit cautious when I talk to him.

Now, since I wasted so much time last week socializing, I’m now behind on my work. I’m actually sitting in the library waiting for Jenn. We had class this morning together. We both have a two-hour break before our next class, in my case English, so we decided to study. She had to run home to grab a book. I decided to come find a spot for us to sit. I’m on the eight floor near the back. This place is always empty. I like it here. There is no one around, it is quiet, and you can get your work done easily.

Hey, Noah.”

I know that voice. What is he doing here? I look up and turn to see Sebastian. As always, he is beaming with confidence. Standing there erect and tall before me, wearing dark faded jeans, a snug t-shirt which shows off his defined muscles, his bag flung over his left shoulder, sunglasses perched on his slick hair, and a smile that showcases teeth that seem too white to be real. Honestly, he looks like he just walked straight out of a magazine.

Hey, Sebastian.

“How are you?” he asks.

“I’m okay, you?” Where in the world did he come from?

“I’m well. Do you mind if I sit down?

Honestly, I’d prefer it if he left. I always fear I’m going to make an ass of myself in front of him. But I can’t be rude. “Of course, please.”

I’m hoping he sits across from me, but nope. He pulls the chair adjacent to me and sits down a bit too close. Our knees are almost touching. I try to nudge my seat back but it's no use. The legs barely move on the carpet. Stupid cheap chairs and cheap carpet.

“So, did you enjoy the game last night?” he asks.

“Yeah, it was a lot of fun. Congratulations on the win.”

“Thanks. See I told you we were a better team.”

“I never doubted you,” I say.

“How come you didn’t join us for drinks last night? We had a lot to celebrate.”

Sebastian already asked me that last night. He messaged me when I didn’t show up with Jordan.

“As I said last night, I have a lot of work to get through, and I’m really behind. Sorry. I promise, next time I’ll be there.”

“I’ll hold you to that,” he says. “You shouldn’t be afraid to put yourself out there more. I can tell you’re shy, but you’re a good guy. You’re funny, smart. People enjoy your company.”

I smile. “Thank you, Sebastian. That’s very kind of you to say. You’re a good guy, as well.” The last part I add to be nice.

“I think we could be good friends, we have a lot in common,” he says.

Really? I don’t feel like we have much in common at all. We’re different in many ways. But sometimes thats a good thing, I suppose. Saying all of that would be rude, so instead I just nod. “Of course.”

“Do you mind if I tell you a secret?” he says leaning in closer to me. There is no reason to lean, there is no one here. “It’s something very few people know.”

This is getting a bit too weird. We’re not that close of friends. “Sure.”

“But you have to promise you won’t tell anyone, especially Jordan. This is something really personal.”

“Of course not.” I am beyond intrigued.

Some thoughts from Noah from the next chapter:

I thought I had changed. I ran from my past. But you can only escape life for so long before it catches up with you. After years of running mine finally has.

 

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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Loving the story so far! Noah and Jordan are so cute together. Their night out with Jenn sounded like a lot of fun. She's one of my faves. I'm also beyond intrigued as to what Sebastian's secret is! Does he have a thing for Noah? Maybe he has a thing for Jordan? Maybe he's a homophobe and has figured Noah out?? Omg, the next chapter can't come soon enough!! 

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Hated Sebastian before and still hate him. Also it seems like there’s a character difference already between this and the original. 

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The cliff you left your readers sure is high. I am now perched and can't wait for a new cliffhanger to be had! 😁

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Sebastian seems like he would get Noah drunk and take advantage of him; Partly because he’s genuinely interested in him (class from two years ago) and mainly to cock block Jordan before anything happens (because he can clearly see what the two of them are denying).

Or, his bisexual behind is just totally trying to make another conquest (and cock blocking Jordan will be a bonus).  Either way, I get a date rape drug feel about him.

Noah seems like he’s been suppressing attraction to guys for a while, I’m wondering if he is totally gay or bisexual.

The build up between Noah & Jordan is slow and kind of cute, I’m wondering how long it’ll take before anything happens between them;  They’re building up to a mega hot first kiss.

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6 hours ago, ObicanDecko said:

Man, Jordan and Noah have the worst gayday ever. At least Sebastian seems to be making moves (I believe he's gay and wants to hook up with Noah). :P

 

I thinks he’s bi and wants to hookup with Noah too, just not too sure of his motive behind it.

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5 hours ago, FanLit said:

Sebastian seems like he would get Noah drunk and take advantage of him; Partly because he’s genuinely interested in him (class from two years ago) and mainly to cock block Jordan before anything happens (because he can clearly see what the two of them are denying).

Or, his bisexual behind is just totally trying to make another conquest (and cock blocking Jordan will be a bonus).  Either way, I get a date rape drug feel about him.

Noah seems like he’s been suppressing attraction to guys for a while, I’m wondering if he is totally gay or bisexual.

The build up between Noah & Jordan is slow and kind of cute, I’m wondering how long it’ll take before anything happens between them;  They’re building up to a mega hot first kiss.

Interesting observations .... 🤔. You'll find out soon!. Also, sorry the story development is slow ... if people feel it is too slow, I could try to speed things up. Though, I purposely tried to pace the story as to really get an understanding of the characters and what is driving their emotions/actions. 

Edited by Ethan
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I don't think anyone would want you to speed up the pace of the story. Just maintaining the pace of the updates would be fine, though. 

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Noah is sailing in uncharted, if not somewhat dangerous, waters. His attraction to Jordan is waxing strong. It makes him feel great, as you show so well. You have done a great job letting us see the two men drifting into each other’s orbits. But now Sebastian seems intent becoming some kind of force in Noah’s mind. But what? 

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2 hours ago, Parker Owens said:

Noah is sailing in uncharted, if not somewhat dangerous, waters. His attraction to Jordan is waxing strong. It makes him feel great, as you show so well. You have done a great job letting us see the two men drifting into each other’s orbits. But now Sebastian seems intent becoming some kind of force in Noah’s mind. But what? 

Thank you! 

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This is such a great feel good story. Loving the the relaxed, slow reveal of Noah, Jordan and Jenn's deeper thoughts and feelings. 

Noah having mistakenly sat in on another boys birthday party and thinking that everyone ignoring him was fairly normal, was hilarious, poor lad.

Noah is beginning to recognise a side of him that he has managed to suppress and forget before the advent of Jordan. He clearly wants to deny this part of himself, as he needs Jordan's friendship and is convinced that he would lose that, if Jordan became aware of Noahs genuine feelings for him.

I'm curious about Jenn. I think she suspects her best friend maybe Bi, at the very least. Why would she say to Noah: you're really keen on Jordan, aren't you?

Sebastian is a player. I think we've all picked that up.

Fabulous story Ethan, a perfect read so far.

Edited by Bard Simpson
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@Bard Simpson Thank you so much for all of your nice comments! I really appreciate all of them! I'm glad you're enjoying the story. I hope that continues as you read on! Now I'm a bit nervous ... 🙃

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I think Jenn suspects Noah's feelings toward Jordan and vice versa.  She didn't hit on him and asked about being set up with other hot volleyball players.  I can't quite figure Sebastian out either.  I think he's after Noah and wants to hook up, but I don't think he wants an actual relationship.  I think Noah is right to be wary of him.  I hope there's nothing more nefarious going on... Great chapter!

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