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  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
    Jwolf
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The English Year - 34. A Whore, a Liar, Vindictive, and Petty

You have baggage, I have baggage. No one is perfect. Nothing is easy... but your problem is that you assume your baggage is the biggest of all.

I sat across from Nick Persons at lunch at the Blue Roof Bistro in downtown Clifton Hill, knowing that he was speaking, but not listening to what he had to say.

I could see his mouth move, his lips release words into the atmosphere, and I knew my head was nodding along, giving him every indication I was following along.

But I wasn’t. My head was a million miles away. It wasn’t fixated on a Brit, or a VMI cadet sitting in confinement, or a freshman counting down the hours until his first rush date that evening. My mind wasn’t on any one of those things, but swirling around every single one of those things.

And as it swirled, as I circled around everything that was going on in my mind, I stopped at the image of David Marcossi, the latest guy to enter those thoughts, lying under me with his impossibly cherubic face, looking up at me and waiting for me to fuck him.

But I hadn’t fucked him. I hadn’t leaned forward, arched my back, and led his hard cock into my waiting ass. I hadn’t done that, I told myself, because of the man sitting in front of me, talking while I was too busy swirling to listen.

“Why do you like me?” I asked, suddenly, my mind snapping back to the present reality. I looked at Nick and asked again, slower this time. “Why do you like me?”

“What do you mean?” he replied, taking a bite out of his turkey and havarti sandwich on rye. He was even cute when he ate, I thought. Too cute. Too cute for someone like me. Too cute for someone who would rather day dream about fucking a freshman than appreciate the perfectly good specimen in front of him.

“I mean you could have anyone on this campus, let’s be honest. And you’re sitting here having lunch with me. And you know all of my baggage, and you’re sitting here anyway.”

“You saying you’re a shit boyfriend?”

“I’m saying anyone with a brain would think so,” I replied truthfully. It wasn’t fair to Nick what I’d done the night before. What was even more unfair was the fact I’d slept soundly after kissing David Marcossi and justifying it in my brain. The act was unfair in its own right. The aftermath was the blow.

“I’m not stupid, Corbin,” Nick put down his sandwich and squared his jaw towards me. “You have baggage. I have baggage. No one is perfect. Nothing is easy.”

“I know, but-”

“But your problem is you assume your baggage is the biggest of all. You aren’t hard to like, let me tell you. You’re funny, you’re confident- present conversation aside- and when you walk into any room on this campus, you own the space as if you bought it. Even a guy like me, as you put it, finds that attractive. Baggage or no baggage, you’re a catch. And I don’t scare easy.”

I swallowed. I thought maybe this might go easier. I thought maybe I could lead Nick to a reason why pursuing me wasn’t worth his time. I thought maybe I could scare him with my own fear of commitment, or whatever it was that was holding me back from the one perfect thing that had ever happened to me. I thought this might go easy, but I was wrong. I leaned back, adjusted my Ray-Bans over my face, and continued to listen.

“Remember when I told you you’re all about the chase? That you aren’t satisfied with things which are too easy?”

“Yeah,” I nodded.

“All guys are like that. You aren’t special.”

“What are you chasing? You have me. I’m sitting right here.”

“You are,” he said, picking his sandwich up again and bringing it to his lips. “You are indeed sitting right there. But sometimes when you’re sitting right there, Corbin, you could be a hundred miles away. I like the chase too. And I like the idea that one day, I will wear you down, and maybe, just maybe, you might stop looking at the door.”

I cut my eyes away from where I’d been staring, and met Nick’s gaze, his eyes as hidden behind tinted frames as mine were. But even though I couldn’t see into his eyes, I could read his face like a page in a book. His reasons with me were the same reasons I had with Pete. His wants for me were the same as my wants for a Brit I simultaneously couldn’t have and couldn’t stop thinking about. I hadn’t seen him in days, and yet his smile, his eyes, his face were so deeply etched in my memory, that I could picture exactly what he looked like right then and there.

I was Nick’s kryptonite, I realized. I was his undoing. I would be the one who broke his heart at some point, while he sat there eating turkey and havarti on rye, waiting for me to stop looking at the door.

“You know what gets me about you, though, Corbin?”

I turned my head to face him.

“What gets me is that even behind all of that bravado and charm and confidence, you’ve been told ‘no’ so many times by guys who don’t see you for who you are, that when a guy comes along who does… who tells you 'yes', and sees you… you can’t even bring yourself to believe him.”

I watched, unresponsive, as Nick put his sandwich down, leaned over the table, and gave me a kiss.

“Believe me when I tell you yes. And when I tell you that baggage and all, you are worth loving.”

I turned back from gazing at the door, slowly took my sunglasses off and put them on the table. I folded my arms, and leaned back in my chair, ready to do what I had known I would one day have to do from the first time Nick told me he loved me, and I didn’t say it back.

“I fucked a freshman last night.” Point blank. No pretense, no sugar coating those words. They were what they were.

And they were a massive lie. The door was there, I thought. And I would never stop looking at the door, not for a guy like Nick. As perfect as he was, and as good as he made me feel, I always knew where the door was, and I knew I wouldn’t stop looking. He could wait and wait forever, but he wasn’t the one. And dragging it on, as the door got further and smaller, would only make it hurt more when I inevitably got up and walked towards it.

Nick wasn’t the one. He wasn’t my everything, my eternal. He was a good college boyfriend, that much I could admit. But knowing where he was headed, and what he wanted from me, not only scared me, it made it impossible for me to continue leading him on.

I could have done it, and enjoyed it for a very long time. But there would always be freshman I would want to fuck. There would always be Brits and cadets lingering in the background. There would always be a door in my peripheral vision. And if he was honest with himself, he’d know that even if I could someday stop looking at the door, wanting to exit, he would always wonder if that’s where my gaze was at any given moment.

And for those reasons, that Tuesday in January, the afternoon after I didn’t fuck a freshman because I had a boyfriend, I lied to my boyfriend and told him that I had.

“What?”

“Last night. I snuck a freshman into my room, and I fucked him.”

“No you didn’t,” Nick spat at me, dropping his sandwich like it was a million degrees. “You did not do that.”

“I did. I told you I had rush, but really I was balls deep.”

“Corbin stop.”

“I couldn’t help myself,” I said, my voice almost too deadpan to believe. I put my glasses back on so Nick wouldn’t see my eyes well up. I swallowed. “I know you’re mad.”

“You are lying. You wouldn’t do that, not after…”

“After what? You took me down to Tucker Hall? That was fun, Nick, it really was, but I just… I dunno. He was there and he wanted to, and so I fucked him.”

“You’re sick.”

“I know,” I said, crossing my arms again, and taking a very deep breath.

“Is that why…? All this today? What the fuck?”

“I just wanted to know why you like me because right now, sitting in front of you, smelling of a freshman from the night before, I don’t particularly like myself very much,” I choked. I tried not to feel too bad about what I was doing, knowing it wasn’t about me and my pain. I had to walk through the door while the door was still in view.

“Why are you doing this?” there was a pain in Nick’s voice that slayed me, and for a second, I almost took it back and told him the truth.

“I’m sorry to hurt you,” I said deliberately, doing my best not to choke on my words.

“No you aren’t,” Nick chuckled. “You’re fine hurting me because it saves you from facing the truth about you.”

“Okay, come on.”

“What? Did I strike a nerve? Why can’t you just be happy, Corbin? Why can’t good enough just be good enough?” he raised his voice, and I noticed a few of the other students at the bistro turning to look at us.

“Nick…”

“What are you chasing after? Some fucking fairy tale dream that doesn’t exist, is what. This is a relationship. This is what loving someone is about.”

“No, Nick, loving someone is telling them it’s not going to work out before it’s too late. Loving someone is doing something that hurts them before that pain is too much to handle. Loving someone is breaking up with them now, not dragging this thing out until I break you so badly you can’t put yourself together again. Loving someone is seeing where this is going, knowing if I let this go on, one day you’ll be sitting on my side of the table staring at the door, incapable of letting someone love you. I’m sorry, I fucked up, but it is what it is. You deserve better than me, and I know that, so I’m letting you go.”

By this point, the entire dining room had stopped its conversation, and was glued to what I had just told Nick Persons. I sniffed, swallowed, and waited for his reaction. I wanted so desperately to disappear, but I knew I was doing the right thing, for myself and for Nick.

“You are making a mistake,” Nick said softly and slowly. He pushed himself back from his chair, put his napkin on his half eaten plate, picked up his Northface jacket, and turned, and walked out the door. I took a deep breath for the first time. I took a bite of my sandwich, pretending like I didn’t want to vomit, and that I didn’t know every eye in the entire restaurant was turned to me.

I couldn’t concentrate the rest of the day. My afternoon classes were more or less a blur, and it didn’t help anything that the January sky had started to darken by the time I left class and headed back to Chi Beta to get dressed for our first night of rush.

My mood was a direct reflection of the weather, and when Hutch asked me if I wanted to get ready in his room with the other guys in my class, I didn’t answer, but simply shrugged.

My thoughts had circled all day long, and it wasn’t until I was able to take a shower that evening, knowing the level of concentration I’d need to survive our rush dates that night, that I was able to slow down and sort through my thoughts.

I had done the right thing, in that, I was confident. Nick Persons was a great guy, and he would have been an amazing guy to date, but that’s all we would have done. We would have dated, gone to formals, and the Fancy Ball together. Spent weekends away together at his family’s cabin. I even could have brought him home to Dallas and introduced him to my parents. That was the kind of guy Nick was.

And that was the kind of guy Nick needed. He didn’t need someone like me, and eventually he would realize that. I wasn’t the ‘let’s date and see what happens’ kind of guy. His promise to keep things interesting was intriguing, but as I had laid there with David the night before, as I had tasted him on my lips for that brief moment, I realized I need more from a relationship than just interesting.

I craved the complications. I couldn’t tie things up with a tidy little bow and let myself live in the moment. The danger with David, the idea that Dom had been in my room a minute earlier, that we could have gotten caught, that everything I’d been planning hinged on seducing David over the course of the next few days, was infinitely more interesting to me than a perfect guy like Nick was.

And while I lathered shampoo through my hair, I wondered if it would always be like that for me. Would I find an equal? Would I ever find someone who satisfied that last part in me? I told myself I wanted the Brit. I told myself I wanted Mike the Vmee. I told myself I’d be content with one of those two guys, and everyone else was a placeholder.

But what if I got what I wanted? What if Pete had reciprocated my love, had kissed me back, and told me he loved me too? Would I have been content? Would I have wanted more?

I had had it all with Nick. He’d called me every day, made me laugh, made me see a future as far as I could see it. But I couldn’t see an end with him. All I saw was a meanwhile.

And he was too important to be a placeholder.

Was there an end with the others?

The question lingered in my mind as I dried myself off, walked into my room, and was met with Hutch holding two drinks and sitting on my couch.

“I thought you were going for a shower length record,” he said, handing me a Collins glass filled with gin and tonic. I took a sip, knowing that in a couple of hours I’d be burping juniper berries in freshmen’s faces.

“I had a lot on my mind.”

“And you planned to shampoo it all out?” he asked. I smirked at him, walked to my closet and pulled my pre-approved black slacks, grey shirt and red tie.

“Are you going to watch me change?” I asked, walking around my couch to the bed so that I could put my pants on behind Hutch instead of mooning him completely. Still, the fact that I was naked and a pledge brother who I’d spent a bit of time freshman year crushing on was five feet away made me feel slightly awkward.

“I just wanted to make sure you were okay for tonight,” Hutch said, sipping his glass and keeping his eyes peeled forward.

“What do you mean?”

“You looked sort of grim when I saw you this afternoon.”

“Yeah, well, that’s what eight hours of class and a dark sky will do to you.”

“You’ve never suffered from seasonal depression,” Hutch said, putting one arm on the back of my couch. I pulled my pants up, and looped my black patent leather belt through the holes.

“I have a lot going on, but rush is my priority for the next few hours. Rest assured.”

“Is there anything you want to talk about?”

“Not particularly,” I replied, pulling my Express shirt over my shoulders. It felt snug, a sign that I was still carrying some holiday weight on my bones.

“Are we going to come out on top of this PCP thing?”

“Ah, and there it is.”

“You said you’d take care of it,” Hutch reminded, turning his head to face me for the first time.

“And I’ve taken care of it. Lee is back in the saddle.”

“How’d you pull that off?”

“I groveled with Dom. Told him I was emotional. Too much soy milk in my coffee or something.” Hutch didn’t appreciate my joke. I circled the couch and sat down next to him, taking another sip of my heavy handed gin and tonic. “I made him see reason. We can all agree that of the boys we’re rushing, Lee is the biggest glutton for punishment, so… he’ll make a fine president one day.”

“Good,” Hutch scratched his knee. “And have you talked to Lee at all? Since…”

“No. Was I supposed to?”

“No,” Hutch answered quickly. I raised an eyebrow. “I just… I know that you and him go back and forth. Sometimes you’re close. Sometimes you aren’t. I wasn’t sure if you’d discussed the idea of having him as a little.”

I tilted my head.

“I’d rather have a rabid dog as a little brother than Lee Dornan, trust me. I’m nice to him to get him here. But that’s as far as my loyalty towards him goes.”

“Oh. Okay.”

“If you want him as your little, have at it.”

Hutch swallowed, leaned forward to the edge of the couch and took the last sip of his drink.

“Alright then. That’s settled then.”

“I mean, he still has to pick you, but… I’m sure he will. He can’t possibly think I want anything to do with him after all of this is over.”

I knew Hutch was fishing for a little because his last year had defected on a mid-term during his second semester and gotten an Honor Violation, kicking him out of school forever. Hutch had rushed him hard, and taken it very badly when his little left. I wasn’t surprised that he was going after it again with Lee, but almost felt bad he was putting that much pressure on himself.

“No. I just… I wasn’t sure, so I thought I’d ask. Do you not want a little for you line? I feel like Jackson and Joe would appreciate you furthering the family.”

“I might have to take my chances with the next crop of guys, honestly,” I sighed, leaning back, and realizing I hadn’t put half as much thought into getting a little brother as I probably should have.

Lines that died out were rare, and quite frankly frowned upon. On the flip side, rushing hard enough as a senior to get a little would require more effort than I would probably be willing to give. I shrugged. I had too much on my mind to stress out about the possibility of getting a little, or the shame of not getting one. I watched Hutch leave my room, finished getting ready, and with only a couple minutes to spare before six, made my way downstairs for our first rush dinner of the week.

The best thing about rush for me was that I didn’t have to do the usual set up I did for other formal dinners. That was all left up to the rush committee. They used my contacts of course to book caterers, bartenders, and get decorations, but that was as far as my hand extended. It was the one week I got to go downstairs and enjoy myself… theoretically.

The first wave of freshmen came in at exactly six o’clock, all dressed in the ‘frat uniform’ of khakis and navy blazers, hair combed well for the first time in months. It was a sea of hellos and handshakes as everyone awkwardly made their way to a table, the brothers pretending as if everything wasn’t pre-choreographed, in order to make the inevitably awkward that much less so.

I watched as David came in, and for the first time since lunch that afternoon, I had a genuine smile on my face. He wasn’t on my list of frosh to talk to, so I could only watch as Roberto and Sam shook his hand and made small talk. He was a lock, and so he went to the table with our less effective rushers. Meanwhile, I stood there, laughing at Hutch’s jokes while we talked to the nephew of a Chi Beta alumnus who I was confident was only there as a favor to his uncle.

Dinner was grueling. The small talk was harder than it normally was for me. My mind kept wandering to what I’d done that afternoon to Nick Persons, wondering if I’d done the right thing, or made an epic mistake.

And when I wasn’t wondering that, I kept catching glimpses of David Marcossi enjoying himself, pulling me away from the conversation, and remembering that kiss we’d shared.

‘What’s your major?’

‘What do your parents do?’

‘Are you in any clubs? Play any sports?’

The rehearsed list of questions came out of me like a kiosk, with no flavor to them, and I knew Hutch was working double duty to keep things moving, but I didn’t care. I wanted to be a million miles away, I thought. And yet, this was what I’d been working towards for so long.

After the hour long dinner, Dom stood up to make a toast. We chanted our Chi Beta call-and-response, raised our glasses of watered down drinks, and gave the freshman a smoke-and-mirror look into what brotherhood was like.

The first group was dismissed at 7:15, and we watched as most of them walked out of the Great Hall to their next date.

A few guys, the suicide squad of potential new members, lingered around. Lee and Artie stayed in the library for a drink, whispering with one of Artie’s friends. Those guys were in, no need to go to another location. They’d had their talks, we’d made our promises, and they were there to help us talk up Chi Beta to the next group.

Brandon and David Marcossi stuck around as well, talking to Dom and Oli about something in the corner.

“Get your shit together,” Hutch whispered in my ear, breaking my gaze of David from across the library. I snapped back to reality, swallowed and nodded. “You’re leaving me out to dry here. I thought you said you were okay today.”

“I’m fine. I just…”

“Have a lot on your mind? No shit, Sherlock. We all do. Suck it up. One more hour and you can wallow in your room, okay?”

I nodded, tilted my head, and took another sip of my drink. We had been instructed a million times that refilling our drinks with anything other than our mixer was strictly forbidden. Freshman couldn’t see us walking around getting sloshed, but we also didn’t want them thinking we were sober sisters all night long. Another illusion to make us look like gentlemen.

I ignored that instruction and refilled my drink half with gin, some ice, and a top off of tonic water and lemon juice. I would need the help, I decided, to sit through another rush date. And so I lubed up, took a big sip, and resolved to do better with dessert.

And I did, I thought. This time Hutch, Austin and myself sat with some freshman from the soccer club that had come in at Austin’s invitation. One of the guys was a strong maybe for us, and he helped curb the conversation for the other guys. I could tell he would rush Chi Beta if he could convince one of his buddies to as well.

Instead of sitting there like a dead brick, I peppered some zingers into the conversation that was mostly led by Austin and the freshman he knew.

“Corbin here set our team to a third place finish in last year’s volleyball finals,” Austin mentioned. I smiled, tipped my glass and took a sip.

“It wasn’t much, really. Sky the ball up to Austin or Roberto and let them take a rip. Of course, that’s assuming Hutch with his two left feet could get a pass to the net.”

Everyone laughed.

“So you guys do pretty well in intramurals?” one of the frosh asked.

“We don’t embarrass ourselves,” I replied with a smile. “But we’re not gonna win the intramural cup any time soon.”

“You never know,” Hutch said. “We’ve got some swimmers thinking of coming in, that would add some athleticism. We do well in basketball and volleyball. With you guys, soccer would be a lock, I’m sure. Kickball too. Our stock is looking up.”

I sat back and let them talk more about the soccer club and their hopes for it in the next few years, sipping my drink, and keeping myself from looking across the room. I was engaged, for the most part, and didn’t let my gaze drift to David until our second group of guys was dismissed.

It was the end of the night, and no contact with freshman was about to begin. They had to be out of the house by nine, and then we couldn’t influence their decisions until the following day at the first dinner at six o’clock.

“Mr. Marcossi,” I said professionally when David finally came within proximity of where I stood, watching most of the other guys get their goodbyes from brothers. “Mind if I walk you out the back?”

“Not at all,” he replied, knowingly. He followed me to the back door that led to our back alley and straight to the dorms.

“You’ve been avoiding me tonight,” he smirked when we were safely outside and out of earshot of anyone in the Great Hall.

“I could say the same for you,” I tilted my head. “Did you have fun?”

“Yeah. Looks like we’ll get a few guys. Unless there are any surprises,” he replied.

“There are always surprises when it comes to rush, trust me.”

“You keep saying that… trust me.”

“Do you?”

“Do you think I don’t?” It was a response I couldn’t quite place, and instead of answering him with words, I gave him a curt smile.

“Speaking of surprises,” David continued. “I thought maybe you’d like one tonight. Through your window again.”

I raised an eyebrow, but again didn’t answer. I wanted David to fill the void, the silence. Tip his hand, and tell me exactly what was on his mind.

“I’ve been thinking… about how you kissed me last night.”

I tilted my head, but maintained our intense eye contact.

“I’d like to do that again.”

“Tonight?” I asked.

“If you’re up for it.”

I took a deep breath, straightened my back, and replied.

“As tempting as that surprise through my window would be, I don’t think it’s a great idea.” And then there it was. I saw the disappointment paint David’s face from forehead to chin. I knew I had him, despite the confident façade he’d tried to play. The kid liked me. My speech the day before had worked on him, and there he was, standing there, liking me.

And then Hutch’s words played into my ear.

A little… everyone, including myself, had spent so much time wondering about Lee, the golden child. And there was David, liking me, ripe for the taking.

And I wanted him, that much was clear. I couldn’t stop looking at him all night, thinking about our time together the last few days. We’d barely done anything, and yet he was engrained in my mind.

“Are you sure?” he asked softly, his voice dripping with disappointment.

“I’m positive.” I kept a straight face. I would have loved for him to come over, but in order to grow my influence over him, I needed to establish some healthy desire, and that meant boundaries. “It would be way too risky.”

“I thought you made your own rules, remember.”

“I do,” I answered quickly. “But sometimes when this much is on the line, it’s best to follow the rules that are already there.”

He nodded and took a step down towards the alley. I could tell he understood, but was disappointed nonetheless. I felt something when I spoke to David, something I didn’t feel with Lee, and I knew he felt it too. There was more of a mutual admiration there. It went beyond arrangements, scheming, and planning. It went beyond dominating Lee when he was feeling submissive. There was a respect of feelings, of wills, and even as I disappointed him that night, I knew David understood it was for the greater good, and that attracted me to him even more.

“David,” I called him back with nothing more than a whisper. “Saturday.”

“What happens Saturday?” he asked, turning to face me from the bottom of our back landing steps.

“Anything you want.” I gave him my best naughty grin, thinking about all of the things David and I could do on Tear Night after spending the rest of the week in limited contact.

He raised an eyebrow and I smiled at him, watched him turn, and head straight for the freshmen dorms with the haste of a young man who had been turned on, let down, and needed some alone time with a bottle of lotion.

I hoped I wasn’t making a mistake. I hoped he wouldn’t get a text from the seniors to smoke out and listen to their brand of influence. I hoped that by not giving up all my cards, it would make him want me more, and the ultimate payoff would be greater.

I knew a lot could happen between now and Saturday, and I hoped nothing would come up that could derail my ultimate plan for David Marcossi.

I went straight to bed that night, thinking about everything that had happened in the last twenty-four hours. From breaking up with Nick Persons to giving just enough hope to keep stringing David Marcossi along, I felt like I was finally getting back in control of my own emotions. As I pulled the sheets over myself, I congratulated myself on not thinking about, letting alone dwelling on, the Brit that entire day.

I was awoken by a sharp knock on my door, and as I sat up in bed, scratching my eyes and wondering who was in my room while it was still dark outside, I made out a figure open the door and walk towards my bed.

“I need to talk to you.” The voice was deep and determined, and it took me a second to recognize who it belonged to.

“Corbin, I really need to talk to you.”

“Right now?” I croaked, my throat dry and my breath reeking.

“I couldn’t get any sleep last night, and I had to stop by to talk to you.”

“What time is it?” I said, reaching for my cell phone. There wasn’t enough light in the room to make out a face, but I knew whose voice it was, and I coiled with my knees to my chest when I felt him sit on the edge of my bed.

“I was thinking about yesterday, all night long, and it doesn’t make any sense to me. We were fine before we had lunch. We were good. We fucked in Tucker Hall the other day, for crying out loud, and then you drop a bomb on me like that… like… you don’t even like me at all and want to break up. It doesn’t make any sense.”

“And it’ll still make no sense in about three hours when normal people wake up, Nick. Can we talk about this then?” My eyes were finally clear and adjusting to the darkness. It was just after six, and Nick was dressed for a morning workout. I yawned as he glared at me.

“You asked me why I like you. And to be honest, Corbin, the way you treat me and the way you treat people and the way you put yourself above all else, I don’t know why. But you’re special. You’re infectious, and I can’t get you out of my mind at any point on any day.”

I looked him, blinking, trying to figure out if he wanted me to respond, or if he was going to continue on.

“I’ve never been in a relationship like this. I’ve never liked someone, or lost sleep over someone, or wanted something to work out with someone so badly that I would barge into his room in the middle of the night. I’ve never felt this way.”

I pulled my knees closer to my chest, not breaking eye contact with Nick at all. Instead, I pulled my body further away from him. I knew breaking up with the perfect boy wouldn’t be easy; I never anticipated it would be quite this hard.

“I don’t know why I like you so much, but I know I do. And I know I like you enough not to let you throw this away because you’re afraid. That’s what I know.”

Those were very romantic words, and on anyone else, they may have worked. But I’d already made my decision about Nick. I’d already severed the tie, cut the cord, and made up my mind.

“I will hurt you, Nick,” I said softly. Slowly. “It isn’t a matter of if. It’s a matter of when. Maybe not tomorrow or next week or even a year from now, but eventually, I will hurt you. I will break up with you, and I will break your heart.”

He looked at me like a puppy. A gorgeous puppy, and I felt terrible. My heart sank into my stomach, and for a second I thought about taking it back to a protect him, to ease his pain. I thought about letting him into my bed and finishing my night of sleep. I thought about erasing what I’d said the day before, starting over. But I couldn’t, and I knew it. And so I pressed on.

“You’ve never been in a relationship before. You’ve never been in love before…”

“I-”

I cut him off before he had a chance to finish his thought.

“You lost a single night of sleep because I told you I couldn’t love you forever… call me when you’ve lost a hundred. Call me when you can’t eat. Or when the person you’re in love with takes up residence in the corner of your mind, and no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, and no matter how many guys you fuck, you can’t evict him from that corner. Call me when your heart is so broken into so many pieces that you don’t know if you’ll ever be able to put them all back together again. I like you, Nick. And you like me. But let’s be real, and honest for just one second. You are not in love with me. You have never even been in love. I like you too much to let you go on thinking that what this is, this Christmas fling that we’ve had is anything other than two guys who happen to like each other. But make no mistake, this is not forever. This is not love. One day, you will fall in love and this right here will feel like nothing. I promise you that. And I like you enough to let you go before you confuse the difference, and while you still have the capacity to fall in love with someone who deserves you. Someone who will treat you like a prince. Someone who will want to spend the rest of his life with you. That isn’t me, Nick. That isn’t this. I’m sorry.”

I watched Nick as he processed everything that I’d said. His eyes went narrow, and then big again. I saw his lips move as if he were about to speak, and then he shut them, as if he didn’t know quite what to say. I felt bad for him, I really did. He’d poured his heart out, and I’d crushed it anyway. I held on to the notion that one day, he’d realize I did the right thing, and understand. I needed to hold on to that notion to keep my own heart from sinking.

“What do we do now?” he asked after a minute of letting my words sink in.

“Besides get a little more sleep?” I joked. Nick smiled. I took a deep breath. “You go home and take a long shower. You tell your friends what a jerk I am, and how I fucked you over, and all the things you say when someone breaks up with you. You eat a ton of ice cream from the student commons and maybe rent out Titanic or something super sappy from the library. I think they have Love Actually, too… that might be a good one. And in a couple weeks, you forget how you ever felt about me, and you meet someone else, and you give them a chance, and you rinse and repeat until someone stays.”

I bit my bottom lip as Nick stared back at me.

Love Actually, huh?”

“It’s a good one,” I raised an eyebrow. I took a deep breath, and for the first time since Nick had come in my room, I let my guard down.

“I guess I’ll let you get back to sleep,” he said, standing, lingering just enough to make it awkward, and then retreating out of my room. I took a deep breath, ran my hands through my hair, and lay back down.

As tired as I was, I was unable to sleep the rest of the morning, and instead decided to take an early shower, walk to campus, and study for a few hours before my first class at 10:10.

There was a hush on campus on that middle Wednesday of rush. Or maybe I just hadn’t been on campus that early in a long time, long enough to forget how quiet and tranquil the winter mornings in Virginia really were. I watched my breath circle in the wind as I walked to the commons, ordered a coffee and a Sunrise Sandwich and set up shop to read near the fire in the commons area.

I was deep in reading about Arnold Friend for my Gossips and Con-Artists English class, another one I’d signed up for with one of my favorite professors. There was an undertone of how manipulative the antagonist was, with only his words, his demeanor, and how imposed his own will over Connie, the main character.

I was beginning to question why I related to the character so deeply when I heard footsteps approach my couch, and felt a thud land next to me.

I looked up from Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been to see the tall, broad, blonde Brit sitting down right beside me.

I hadn’t seen him since I got back on campus, when I told him I was dating someone who I was no longer dating, and I hadn’t thought about him in what felt like an eternity, but in reality was less than a day. I was taken aback by him sitting there, looking at me, a neutral look on his face. I pursed my lips, remembering he was the one who’d left things confused and couldn’t give me any kind of assurance about how he felt, and I was the one who’d had to move on.

“Good morning,” he said, his voice above a whisper, but still respectful of the peaceful space that morning.

“Its morning, at least,” I replied with as much attitude as I’d left off the last time I saw him. What did he want? I thought. Why was he there? I tensed, waiting for a reason.

And yet part of me hoped there was none. Part of me hoped he was on his way to breakfast, spotted me, and wanted to sit and talk… like old friends. Part of me wanted to think things were getting back to normal between us, and even though I couldn’t handle normal with him for long without falling back, a minute of normal in front of the fire on that cold morning would have done my body good.

“You’re boyfriend,” he said without any precursor. No warning… no pretense… he went right in, as matter-of-fact as his lilted voice could be. “He’s a Sigma Chi, no?”

I wasn’t sure what that had to do with the price of tea in China, and having to remember Nick Persons was no longer my boyfriend sent a pang through my stomach. I didn’t answer, but simply nodded, afraid of how my voice would come out of my dry mouth.

“Tell me something. Would he be the reason I received this under my door this morning?”

Pete handed me a note card, plain white with an embossed blue and gold crest on the top. In blue letters was a handwritten message that took me a few seconds to read.

Mr. Peter Williamson Davis Jr., the brothers of Sigma Chi appreciate your interest in joining as a social member. While you exhibit many qualities we look for in a brother, we will not be pursuing a bid for you at this time. We hope this notice finds you with enough time to make other arrangements. Sincerely, Brothers of Sigma Chi

I looked up and read the look on Pete’s face. It was altogether frustration, confusion, and disappointment, and for a moment I felt bad for him.

“What’s the deal here? Is he jealous or something? Threatened?”

And that moment quickly passed me by as Pete hurled his accusations towards me from across the couch. I tilted my head and raised an eye brow.

“Excuse me?”

“You’re dating a Sigma Chi,” he spewed. I didn’t correct him, but instead let him finish. “I sent you that voicemail this weekend, and then I get this under my door from a Sigma Chi? After I’ve been rushing with them since Tamia took me there for Homecoming? Come on… it’s fairly obvious, isn’t it?”

“Actually, it isn’t.” I stood my ground.

“He’s jealous of whatever… feelings… you’ve had towards me.”

And that’s when I lost my cool. I shifted in my seat so I was facing Pete square on.

“That is rich, coming from you. Jealous? Really. Does the name Mike Loggerman ring a bell to you? You invented the feeling jealous, and for a smart guy like you, Pete, I’m sure the irony isn’t lost that you’re sitting here accusing someone else of being just that.”

“Explain it to me, then, Corbin. I was in until you decided to bed someone in that house. And I know you have your fingers in everything that goes on around this campus, and just because I didn’t requite-”

“Seriously?” I exhaled.

“He’s getting back at me on your behalf. Congrats, Corbin. Should I be expecting any more of these gentle reminders that you run everyone’s lives around here? Do you have boyfriends in all of the other houses I’m interested in as well?”

I clenched my teeth in anger, and took a deep breath. Had I opened my mouth to speak too soon, I would have had nothing but incoherent expletives to say. Instead, I unclenched my jaw, took a deep breath, and traced the front of my teeth slowly, waiting for the words to fill my brain.

But I never got the chance to respond. Instead, Pete continued his assault while I sat there, clenching my teeth with baited breath, waiting for my chance to respond.

“You must love this. Is this what you two discussed while you were laying there in bed? Really, Corbin? But let me guess, while you were laying next to him, you were thinking about me, and that’s what set him off.”

Pete leaned in to me, closer than he’d been before, and definitely too close for comfort. I retreated while he spoke.

“Tell me the truth. You were thinking about me the entire time. While he lay there next to you, breathing on your neck, kissing you, his arms around you. You were picturing me the entire time, and he just couldn’t handle it, could he?”

And with that, I lost it completely. I was done. Whatever I’d ever felt for Pete evaporated, up in smoke like that fire in the commons that had once warmed me while I read about Arnold Friend, and was now scorching the side of my leg, and had ignited the most painful areas of my heart.

I had never been spoken to that way, and never had I wanted to rip someone’s head off so cleanly. I couldn’t even begin to think this was the same Pete who I had once presumed to love, the same guy who had swept me off my feet, who I’d pined for for months and months, and who I would have given up anyone else in all of Clifton Hill for. This guy sitting next to me saying such hurtful things wasn’t the same guy.

I felt the tears well up in my eyes, and fought with every ounce of my body to hold them back. There was no way in hell he would see me cry. None. Not after that assault. Never again.

And yet, as angry as I was, I couldn’t forget how hurt I felt in that very moment. I took a deep breath, called back all levels of emotion, and barreled into the man I had once felt so strongly towards, and now could barely even look at.

“In the past two minutes, you have called me a whore, a liar, vindictive, and petty, which means this is the last time you and I will ever be speaking. Ever. Again. But let me leave you with this, and hear me loud and clear, killer, because this is the last time you will ever hear my voice in your ears. Fuck you. Fuck you and whatever entitled, disrespectful, and completely wrong boat you sailed in on. I may be a whore, a liar, vindictive, and petty for all you care, but it takes a special kind of fucking asshole to come in here and say what you just said to me. If I wanted to ruin your semester here, believe me, I would, but yours is not a life worth ruining. Get the fuck over yourself, and leave me the fuck alone.”

“Corbin-” I could see his face soften as I spoke, and instead of waiting for a response, I picked up my bag, and my coffee, turned to Pete and drilled my finger right into his chest.

“Go to hell.” I stood up and walked straight for the exit. I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew I was done in that room with that man, and especially with that energy. My face was on fire as I walked outside, my mind racing in a million different directions.

But one thing was perfectly clear. I never wanted to see Pete again. I was more than done with him, and I couldn’t believe for a second I had given up on more than one guy because of the possibility he could ever love me back some day.

That ship had sailed, and part of me was relieved to see it go. Part of me welcomed the freedom he had just given me. I didn’t need to pine any longer, he’d freed me of that with his accusations and his words. My anger at that point ran so deep, that I welcomed a future in which I didn’t love someone who didn’t love me back.

And yet, even as I walked away from Pete, liberated by the fact my anger flowed past the port of hatred and through the port of indifference, I knew it wouldn’t always be that simple.

His and my reactions both to being hurt beyond measure that morning were reactions from two people who had so much emotion bottled up, waiting just below the surface.

And so while I walked away from Pete that morning, I knew in my heart, I would never be able to walk away from him forever.

Thanks for reading the chapter! I hope you enjoyed it. This was another very personal chapter for me, so I hope you'll take the time to leave your reviews, questions, comments, or thoughts in the reviews section or back here at the conversation thread. More drama to come next week! Thanks again!

Copyright © 2016 Jwolf; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments



It will be such a relief to be over the rush and the other ridiculous frat stuff, so Corbin and we can try to sort out his fucked up love life. Although I do enjoy Dom getting fucked over by the pretend-submissive power-bottom. :rofl:
I can see my predictions from ch.31 more or less came true. Corbin did break Nick's heart, but at least PEP (Pete the English Penishead) didn't worm his way back into Corbin's good graces. Who does he think he is to make such an unfounded accusation? :pissed: I'm not surprised Corbin was furious and hurt, and I hope he does manage to stay away from PEP and ignore him, even though he had doubts even as he walked away. Or at least makes him grovel and apologize and admit he's the jealous one, before he even considers speaking to him again. :angry:
I miss Mike... :(

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This was very difficult for me to read but I very much connected with this chapter more than any. Seriously...job well done. For some reason, I don't know who to feel sorry or more connected to.

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On 08/05/2016 02:37 PM, Timothy M. said:

It will be such a relief to be over the rush and the other ridiculous frat stuff, so Corbin and we can try to sort out his fucked up love life. Although I do enjoy Dom getting fucked over by the pretend-submissive power-bottom. :rofl:

I can see my predictions from ch.31 more or less came true. Corbin did break Nick's heart, but at least PEP (Pete the English Penishead) didn't worm his way back into Corbin's good graces. Who does he think he is to make such an unfounded accusation? :pissed: I'm not surprised Corbin was furious and hurt, and I hope he does manage to stay away from PEP and ignore him, even though he had doubts even as he walked away. Or at least makes him grovel and apologize and admit he's the jealous one, before he even considers speaking to him again. :angry:

I miss Mike... :(

Thanks for the review! Your prediction was right, but it certainly might not be the last we see of nick. Corbin has a way of keeping these guys hanging around, no? More mike to come! Thanks again.

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On 08/05/2016 02:43 PM, C B said:

This was very difficult for me to read but I very much connected with this chapter more than any. Seriously...job well done. For some reason, I don't know who to feel sorry or more connected to.

Thanks for the review. This was a much more difficult chapter for me to right as well. I'm glad the emotions and angst came through. More to come aoon!

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A beautiful chapter, Jwolf!

 

Corbin seemed a little deeper (in the good way) here, growing up? idk--we'll need to see more.

 

Pete was a bit disappointing. But then, Pete is a bit disappointing in every chapter he's in. :P

 

You do such a good job in portraying this complex set or relationships--both the personal ones and the political ones. Really excellent writing.

 

I get eager every time I see another chapter has been posted!

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How do you do it? I get so worked up when I read these chapters. The emotions feel so real. Maybe I'm a manipulative, yet loveable asshole too, which is why I relate so well, haha. The story is amazing, thank you for sharing. But even greater is your writing, I've never felt so much emotion while reading a story. Thank you for that!

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I love this story and I love that Corbin may be (finally) clueing in to the fact that Pete is a hugeass loser. If the title of the story wasn't "The English Year", I would (almost) feel secure in the belief that we've seen the last of Pete. Somehow unfortunately I have a feeling this is not the case....
Corbin's evil machinations are awesome and his ability to conjure up these intricate schemes to manipulate and control almost everyone around him is totally entertaining. If Pete were any other character in this story, Corbin would use the rage he's now feeling as the fuel to develop a foolprooof strategy to get Pete kicked out of school and then promptly and permanently deported. I'm hoping against hope that this is what Corbin will do!
On a totally different subject, do you think it's possible that Dominic harbors a secret lust for Corbin?
Thank you for writing this thoroughly enjoyable story, it really brightens my day whenever I discover that a new chapter has been posted.

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oh man... you're killing me.
I love this story and I love the Brit. Thx for picking it up again.

 

I can't wait for more :)

 

pfox

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On 08/06/2016 12:12 AM, skinnydragon said:

A beautiful chapter, Jwolf!

 

Corbin seemed a little deeper (in the good way) here, growing up? idk--we'll need to see more.

 

Pete was a bit disappointing. But then, Pete is a bit disappointing in every chapter he's in. :P

 

You do such a good job in portraying this complex set or relationships--both the personal ones and the political ones. Really excellent writing.

 

I get eager every time I see another chapter has been posted!

Thanks for the compliment on the writing. I'd like to think Corbin is growing deeper and wiser as the chapters progress, and we'll see what that means for him soon. More to come!

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On 08/06/2016 12:32 AM, Rolfe45 said:

How do you do it? I get so worked up when I read these chapters. The emotions feel so real. Maybe I'm a manipulative, yet loveable asshole too, which is why I relate so well, haha. The story is amazing, thank you for sharing. But even greater is your writing, I've never felt so much emotion while reading a story. Thank you for that!

Manipulative yet lovable asshole... I love it. A good way to describe Corbin, I'm thinking. Thanks for the compliment on the writing. A lot of emotion coming through on the next few chapters as well, so hopefully you stay connected. :)

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On 08/06/2016 02:39 AM, mg777 said:

I love this story and I love that Corbin may be (finally) clueing in to the fact that Pete is a hugeass loser. If the title of the story wasn't "The English Year", I would (almost) feel secure in the belief that we've seen the last of Pete. Somehow unfortunately I have a feeling this is not the case....

Corbin's evil machinations are awesome and his ability to conjure up these intricate schemes to manipulate and control almost everyone around him is totally entertaining. If Pete were any other character in this story, Corbin would use the rage he's now feeling as the fuel to develop a foolprooof strategy to get Pete kicked out of school and then promptly and permanently deported. I'm hoping against hope that this is what Corbin will do!

On a totally different subject, do you think it's possible that Dominic harbors a secret lust for Corbin?

Thank you for writing this thoroughly enjoyable story, it really brightens my day whenever I discover that a new chapter has been posted.

Thanks for the major props! I'm glad you love the story. You're right to assume this isn't the last we've seen Pete... You've made some solid predictions in your review... but I won't tease anything :) More to come very soon... also, an interesting read on Corbin and Dom's relationship... could be interesting to explore... who knows.

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On 08/06/2016 05:06 AM, pfox25 said:

oh man... you're killing me.

I love this story and I love the Brit. Thx for picking it up again.

 

I can't wait for more :)

 

pfox

You're welcome. Thanks for the support. This community is awesome! No plans to leave for an extended period of time any time soon... Thanks again!

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An emotional chapter to great story (my favorite story). Thank you. Corbin is quite a piece of work, always scheming and not very reliable. Pete? I don't know. I think my heart goes out to Nick in this chapter.
Good work! I can hardly wait for the next chapter.

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WTF, CORBIN??????? Seriously, you just broke Nick Person's heart?????? Well, fuck. Send him my way; I'll make him bat for the other team! :rofl: Damn, Nick is so nice and hot and sweet and hot and kind and hot...did I mention he was hot? Corbin, are you smokin' too much ganja with David Marcossi? That stuff is fucking up your brain.

 

I don't get Corbin. Really, I don't. He's what, twenty? He thinks he's gonna find his soulmate in college? Really? Ok, granted, some people do, but college is for experimenting and sowing your oats and all that good shit. (Hmmm, maybe that was just me. :P) Corbin thinks Nick is great but he doesn't what, feel the spark? But he feels it with David Marcossi? Seriously? It's only because he hasn't fucked David yet. I think I see a pattern here. lol If he ever gets to the Brit, he dump him too. Although...he didn't dump the Vmee...so maybe I have it all wrong.

 

I still think he's too young to think at twenty he's gonna find true love. And why on earth did he have to hurt Nick so much when he lied to him about the freshman? He couldn't just tell him what he was thinking without hurting him even worse? I'm really pissed at him now.

 

And as far as Pete goes...he was pretty nasty to Corbin, I will admit that. Not sure if I would have blown up like Corbin did (actually, I wouldn't have; I've never blown up at anyone), especially since it's obvious he hasn't gotten the Brit out of his head like he thought he had.

 

I'm just really annoyed with Corbin. I think he was a real ass in this chapter.

 

Oh, and did I ever tell you there's a guy on another site who posts stories and his name is Mike Loggerman? lol I may have told you, I don't remember. Old age. :lol:

 

Now I'm really looking forward to the next chapter. Hoping against all hope that Corbin reneged on his breakup. :devil:

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On 08/07/2016 11:38 AM, Arran said:

An emotional chapter to great story (my favorite story). Thank you. Corbin is quite a piece of work, always scheming and not very reliable. Pete? I don't know. I think my heart goes out to Nick in this chapter.

Good work! I can hardly wait for the next chapter.

Thanks for the review, and the compliment on the writing! Glad you enjoy the story. Next chapter will be out soon... not a super long wait!

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On 08/07/2016 12:12 PM, Lisa said:

WTF, CORBIN??????? Seriously, you just broke Nick Person's heart?????? Well, fuck. Send him my way; I'll make him bat for the other team! :rofl: Damn, Nick is so nice and hot and sweet and hot and kind and hot...did I mention he was hot? Corbin, are you smokin' too much ganja with David Marcossi? That stuff is fucking up your brain.

 

I don't get Corbin. Really, I don't. He's what, twenty? He thinks he's gonna find his soulmate in college? Really? Ok, granted, some people do, but college is for experimenting and sowing your oats and all that good shit. (Hmmm, maybe that was just me. :P) Corbin thinks Nick is great but he doesn't what, feel the spark? But he feels it with David Marcossi? Seriously? It's only because he hasn't fucked David yet. I think I see a pattern here. lol If he ever gets to the Brit, he dump him too. Although...he didn't dump the Vmee...so maybe I have it all wrong.

 

I still think he's too young to think at twenty he's gonna find true love. And why on earth did he have to hurt Nick so much when he lied to him about the freshman? He couldn't just tell him what he was thinking without hurting him even worse? I'm really pissed at him now.

 

And as far as Pete goes...he was pretty nasty to Corbin, I will admit that. Not sure if I would have blown up like Corbin did (actually, I wouldn't have; I've never blown up at anyone), especially since it's obvious he hasn't gotten the Brit out of his head like he thought he had.

 

I'm just really annoyed with Corbin. I think he was a real ass in this chapter.

 

Oh, and did I ever tell you there's a guy on another site who posts stories and his name is Mike Loggerman? lol I may have told you, I don't remember. Old age. :lol:

 

Now I'm really looking forward to the next chapter. Hoping against all hope that Corbin reneged on his breakup. :devil:

Hey Hey! I loved this review. Corbin really made you mad this chapter! I think you're spot on about a couple of things... he didn't go about the breakup the most graceful way possible, but does he ever do things with grace? I think his intentions were definitely noble though. He knew what direction his relationship with Nick was going... and he knew it was best to avoid it... more to come soon! And yes, more ganja with David, of course...!

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Crazy mixed-up, ambition driven, juggler of people and their emotions, Corbs! What a mess! What a glorious f-d-up mess! But I still love you! Damn! I think that must be how poor Nick must be feeling, though he must be thinking that Corbs will never come back to him and that he's lost him forever, sadly. I really appreciate how Corbs has let him go before he really, really gets too involved and breaks his heart beyond mending. That is tremendously big of him. I wonder if he's regretting it now that the Brit has pissed him off so thoroughly. I guess not, since he still thinks somehow, somewhere, sometime he and the Brit will be together. Isn't this just so like life: A loves B but B can't love A because B loves C!
You've done it yet again, Mr Wolf! Taken us on the highs and the lows of the roller-coaster ride of Corbin's love life, frat life, manipulations and machinations, and still left us with no clear answers or directions in anything. Still this wild hope of coming together with the Brit (love is such a terrible prison warden!), perhaps a nice distraction with David M, and still waiting for the man in uniform to reappear and sweep Corbs off his feet.
But I can't let it go anymore than Corbs in the recesses of his deepest heart's feelings can let the blasted Brit go. Roll on more Mr Brilliant Author. I love it!

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Ahh Corbin. I want to hug him and smack him at the same time. To hurt Nick like that though seemed unnecessary. I get his reasons and understand why he thinks it has to be so, but I have to wonder if he's running from and not chasing. What is it that's he's really afraid of if he lets his defences down and just be in the moment however long it lasts. Unless I'm really underestimating the commitment fear, there has to be a deeper reason why he would sabotage the self admitted best thing to happen to him.. Even if it wasn't true love and he wasn't over Mike and Pete, that would have been a more honest conversation to have instead of shredding the guy. I liked Nick too..

 

Pete - I don't even know what to say about him, except that from his POV, he feels rejected, jealous and angry at Corbs so this was him lashing out? But it's his own fault for being flip floppy..
Then Corbin saying that he may not be completely, totally, absolutely over Pete..Oi!
Keep it coming Jwolf, very well done and solid writing too... I loves...

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On 08/09/2016 12:35 AM, Jaro_423 said:

Crazy mixed-up, ambition driven, juggler of people and their emotions, Corbs! What a mess! What a glorious f-d-up mess! But I still love you! Damn! I think that must be how poor Nick must be feeling, though he must be thinking that Corbs will never come back to him and that he's lost him forever, sadly. I really appreciate how Corbs has let him go before he really, really gets too involved and breaks his heart beyond mending. That is tremendously big of him. I wonder if he's regretting it now that the Brit has pissed him off so thoroughly. I guess not, since he still thinks somehow, somewhere, sometime he and the Brit will be together. Isn't this just so like life: A loves B but B can't love A because B loves C!

You've done it yet again, Mr Wolf! Taken us on the highs and the lows of the roller-coaster ride of Corbin's love life, frat life, manipulations and machinations, and still left us with no clear answers or directions in anything. Still this wild hope of coming together with the Brit (love is such a terrible prison warden!), perhaps a nice distraction with David M, and still waiting for the man in uniform to reappear and sweep Corbs off his feet.

But I can't let it go anymore than Corbs in the recesses of his deepest heart's feelings can let the blasted Brit go. Roll on more Mr Brilliant Author. I love it!

Wow, what an awesome review. Thank you so much! Glad you're loving the roller-coaster ride. I might have to steal that line- love is a terrible prison warden. I think you've hit the nail on the head that Corbin finally gets what he put Nick, and to an extent Mike and Lee, through with this latest round from the Brit. More to come soon!

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On 08/09/2016 06:47 AM, Defiance19 said:

Ahh Corbin. I want to hug him and smack him at the same time. To hurt Nick like that though seemed unnecessary. I get his reasons and understand why he thinks it has to be so, but I have to wonder if he's running from and not chasing. What is it that's he's really afraid of if he lets his defences down and just be in the moment however long it lasts. Unless I'm really underestimating the commitment fear, there has to be a deeper reason why he would sabotage the self admitted best thing to happen to him.. Even if it wasn't true love and he wasn't over Mike and Pete, that would have been a more honest conversation to have instead of shredding the guy. I liked Nick too..

 

Pete - I don't even know what to say about him, except that from his POV, he feels rejected, jealous and angry at Corbs so this was him lashing out? But it's his own fault for being flip floppy..

Then Corbin saying that he may not be completely, totally, absolutely over Pete..Oi!

Keep it coming Jwolf, very well done and solid writing too... I loves...

Thanks for the review! Very insightful. I think one way to read Corbin's actions with Nick is that it's precisely because he likes and admires him that he cuts him free... agree he was harsh, but I think Corbin meant for a clean break. Either way, more to come very soon! Interesting on your take on Pete's POV... I think you might be right about how he's feeling... shall see.

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I've been coming back frequently to check for an update and I'm so glad to see that there's 3 new chapters. Oh Corbin, I don't know what to do with him. Sometimes I just want to smack him in the head. But there's this attitude of him that I could really relate. In a way, like him, I also like the thrill of chase and I just don't like it at all when love is right there in front of me. I don't like that attitude of mine though. Its frustrating. So yeah, I could relate to him in some way. But really, Nick is such a nice guy so its really saddening. And then Pete, I can understand him since he's straight and the things with Corbin is new to him.. I think I'll just have to see what happens next. Looking forward for the next chapter. :)

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I stumbled across this story a week ago, and I haven't been able to look away. I love your portrayal of Corbin's conflicting emotions. The demise of Corbin and Nick's relationship has devastated me. I truly thought this was the solution to Corbin's turmoil over Pete and Mike. He really needs to just write off that manipulative Brit, but we all know we sometimes don't choose who we fall in love with, no matter how destructive they are to our well being. I hope there is a new chapter coming soon.

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I really hope you will one day continue this story, it's amazing, I'm completely hooked on the characters. The raw displays of Corbin's emotions are so carefully and justly worded, it's both endearing and annoying. You are pushing the characters to extremes without falling into caricature, and that is a fine and difficult line to draw. It's drawn admirably. Fictional characters have our language, our weaknesses, our strengths. Their universe is neither more beautiful nor more edifying than ours. They, at least, run to the end of their fate and there are never more overwhelming characters than those who go to the extremes of their passions. Bis repetita, I'm hooked and it's so frustrating that this work is not complete, from now one I will stop reading stories on this site that are marked as "in progress".

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Author! It's been mire than a year already. Did you quit for good? What happend to "more drama yo cone next week"? I couldn't be more disapointed after reading a story that came to like this much in one sit. Please give me and all other readers an answer. Thank you.

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On 26 de janeiro de 2017 at 10:12 AM, chouquette said:

I really hope you will one day continue this story, it's amazing, I'm completely hooked on the characters. The raw displays of Corbin's emotions are so carefully and justly worded, it's both endearing and annoying. You are pushing the characters to extremes without falling into caricature, and that is a fine and difficult line to draw. It's drawn admirably. Fictional characters have our language, our weaknesses, our strengths. Their universe is neither more beautiful nor more edifying than ours. They, at least, run to the end of their fate and there are never more overwhelming characters than those who go to the extremes of their passions. Bis repetita, I'm hooked and it's so frustrating that this work is not complete, from now one I will stop reading stories on this site that are marked as "in progress".

 

On 26 de janeiro de 2017 at 10:12 AM, chouquette said:

I really hope you will one day continue this story, it's amazing, I'm completely hooked on the characters. The raw displays of Corbin's emotions are so carefully and justly worded, it's both endearing and annoying. You are pushing the characters to extremes without falling into caricature, and that is a fine and difficult line to draw. It's drawn admirably. Fictional characters have our language, our weaknesses, our strengths. Their universe is neither more beautiful nor more edifying than ours. They, at least, run to the end of their fate and there are never more overwhelming characters than those who go to the extremes of their passions. Bis repetita, I'm hooked and it's so frustrating that this work is not complete, from now one I will stop reading stories on this site that are marked as "in progress".

 

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