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    Jwolf
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The English Year - 9. Never Have I Ever

. "If he can’t take the heat, he shouldn’t have put his dick in the fucking oven."

“So she’s his girlfriend?” Roberto asked me the next morning. I’d woken up early, showered, gotten some much needed coffee from Ground Zero and set up shop in the Chi Beta library to get some studying done. Roberto walked in, surprised to see me up and working before noon, and decided to interrupt my progress with questions about my night.

“No, she’s not,” I said. “He says she’s not. But who drives three hours to visit someone for no reason? She’s in love with him.”

“Tell me everything you two talked about. Before you got drunk.”

I took a deep breath, inhaled a large sip of coffee and told Roberto how my conversation with Pete had gone the night before.

“So what is this girl to you, anyway?” I asked as we walked back to campus from Greek Row. We were both sweating and disgusting. I was pretty drunk, but not very drunk. Pete had taken his shirt off and was just walking next to me in a wife beater.

“What do you mean? Who?”

“Dakota,” I said. I didn’t want to sound jealous or paranoid, but I wanted to know.

“Oh, she’s just a good friend,” he said. “From when I studied in the U.S. the first time. She was my first friend at SMU.”

I snapped my head towards him.

“You went to SMU for a year?”

“Just a semester,” he replied. “Why?”

“I grew up in Dallas. I know a million people at SMU.”

“I didn’t think SMU had a million people,” he snarked.

“We’re stalking your Facebook when we get home,” I said, not even realizing that I’d referred to one of our respective places as home. “I’m sure we have mutual friends. That’s so random.”

“I suppose it is. Anyway, she was one of the few people there that I connected with. And drank with. A lot.”

“So you like her?”

“She’s a great girl,” he said. I looked up at him and studied his features as we walked. He continued to stare straight ahead. “I think she did like me when we were in school together. Actually, I know she did.”

“And…”

“And I was always going to be moving back to England,” he said. “So I didn’t really allow myself to like her back, you know? It all would have been too complicated.”

“But you’re still friends with her,” I said. “You could have made it work if you’d wanted to.”

“I guess I didn’t want it to, then, did I?” It was a good counterpoint to my good point. If he’d wanted to make things work with this Dakota character, he could have. He was back in the States. They were both on the east coast this time, and all signs pointed to Pete making his life in America after he graduated. If he’d wanted it to work, it would have worked.

Or was I just telling myself that because I was essentially in the same boat as Dakota? Was I forcing the situation again? Was I insisting that if Pete and I did fall for each other, like I felt that we were, he’d throw his principles aside? That’d I’d be different than Dakota because he liked me more? It was a stretch, even I knew, but it was a sliver of hope that I held on to.

“I think you liked her,” I said softly, looking down at the ground, stuffing my hands deep in my pockets, and mimicking his pace on the sidewalk.

“You do, do you?”

“You were talking to her in your boxers,” I said. I looked at him and raised an eyebrow.

“And when I hung up with her, I was talking to you in my boxers,” he challenged with a raised eyebrow of his own. I didn’t respond. “Does that mean that I like you, too?”

“According to my theory, I guess it does,” I smiled. And then he did something that I wasn’t expecting. As I relived it, told Roberto about it, I rehashed all of the thoughts that were playing in my mind the moment he did it.

Right there, at two in the morning, on a cool, dark, deserted street, Pete put his arm around my shoulder and pulled me in. I told Roberto about the warmth I felt from Pete. The security. The safety that he provided. We walked that way for a while, in perfect step. Harmony.

And then I told him that as soon as we heard a car approaching and saw headlights in the distance, Pete dropped his arm, put his hand in his pocket, and we walked the rest of the way home pretending like that hadn’t had happened.

“Ouch,” Roberto said at the end of my tale.

“I just don’t get him,” I said.

“Dude, he totally likes you,” Roberto replied. “Why else would he put his arm around you? He just doesn’t want anyone to know right now.”

“Which I’m cool with. I’ve dated a closet case. It’s fun at first… sneaking around. I’d sneak around with him.”

“So did you go back to his place?”

“No,” I answered. “We came back here and played with Mister for a while. We stalked his Facebook, and we don’t have any mutual friends, but he has pictures from some of the same parties that my good friends would have gone to.”

“Do you think he knows Kyle?”

“Probably not. If he studied there last year, Kyle was already pledging Sigma which wouldn’t have given him much time to socialize. But they might have run into each other. Who knows?”

“That’s fucking random.”

“I know.”

“So are you ready to meet this girl?” Roberto asked me about Dakota.

“I mean, don’t I have to be? She’s coming whether I’m ready or not.”

“That’s what he said,” Roberto smiled. I shook my head.

“You know what scares me the most about meeting her? It sounds like me and her are the same person.”

“What do you mean?”

“We’re both in love with this guy that we can’t figure out. Is he straight? Gay? Does he like us? If he weren’t from across the planet, would he date us? I just feel like when I meet her, I’m going to realize he’s filed me in the same ‘undateable because it would be too complicated’ category. And as sad as I felt for her when he was telling me how much she liked him and how he didn’t reciprocate it… I dunno… I don’t want to be a sad case to this guy, you know?”

I had thought it the night before, and I was thinking it now. I didn’t like Dakota already because she was a reflection of what I would be when Pete left… and I would be the one driving three hours to see him if he ever returned, any chance I got… because I couldn’t let go.

When Roberto left, I went back to my reading, and put my obsessing aside. I had to finish all of my work for Monday before four, so that I could distribute the paper, go to Walmart and set up for game night… all before eight.

I plowed through, weathering the comers and goers of Chi Beta with surprising focus. By the time it was 3:30, I was almost done with everything I needed, and all that was left were a couple of short responses I could do between classes the next day.

I stood up, stretched, and picked up my phone. I dialed Alexandra’s number and asked if she wanted to distribute the paper with me.

“I can’t doll,” she said. “I’m at The Homestead this weekend for my horsemanship class.”

“How convenient, bitch,” I said as I packed up my books, upset that weekend at the country club known as The Homestead was actually considered schoolwork.

“I know, right? But I’m seriously looking for someone to come on as distributions manager,” she said. “Don’t worry, I’ll have someone soon.”

“Okay then,” I responded. “I’d better get a move on.”

“Actually, I’m really glad you called. So after our conversation the other night, I brought up the idea of a mixer with you all at chapter. The girls are all for it, except that according to our social chair, we don’t have a single free weekend. I tried, killer.”

I knew that dropping our plans to mix with KD and Theta would rally the girls of Kappa Kappa Gamma. It was the social law of one not wanting to be left behind.

“Y’all are booked solid every single week of the year? Until next semester?”

“That’s what it looks like. I mean, we have next Friday free, but that’s literally the only night we don’t have a mixer or a formal or a university sanctioned event. We could do a Wednesday if you guys want.”

I could tell I was talking to someone involved in campus media from how she spewed words like ‘university sanctioned event’. Regardless of her vocabulary, there was no way in hell I was doing a Wednesday mixer. Not worth it. Only the losers at SPE ever did Wednesday mixers.

“I can pull something together for next Friday,” I said without even thinking about it. I hadn’t consulted our officers. Austin would surely end me for planning an event we hadn’t budgeted for. I didn’t even want to imagine how furious Dominick would be. I was really throwing myself in front of a bus, but after Alex agreed to take it to her officers and we hung up with each other, I couldn’t help but think that it was all worth it.

Kappa was the number one house on campus. Mixing with them was like mixing with English Royalty: you didn’t say no to the chance. There was a reason their social calendar was booked solid for an entire year. This was just the kind of thing that we needed for our debut into society.

And it was just the kind of distraction that would get me through the weekend with Pete and his main squeeze. As I anticipated, Austin was less than thrilled when I called him while I was in the checkout line at Walmart.

I was waiting for the lady behind the belt to scan all six cases of Natty Light I was charging to the fraternity and explaining to him what an awesome opportunity this was.

“I get it, Corbs, I really do,” Austin explained. “And I for one am not against your aggressive social campaign. Believe me, I love Kappas. I love them hanging out at the house. I love them drunk and potentially naked in my bed. But we can’t afford it. Plain and simple.”

“I’ll cut back on the homecoming budget,” I offered. “We don’t need a DJ during homecoming.”

“We already booked Swayze,” he answered.

“Can’t we pull any money from next semester?”

“Next semester’s budget is just as tight as this one.”

“The budget will always be tight, A,” I said. I handed over my debit card and mouthed for the cashier to give me two receipts.

“I know it sucks, buddy,” Austin said. I bit my bottom lip and thought as quickly as I could.

“Listen to this,” I said. “We already have DJ Swayze coming next Friday, right?”

“Yeah.”

“So that’s taken care of. We’ll recycle the theme from last year. Guilty Pleasures is perfect, it’s easy. We have all the decorations in the attic. All that leaves is snacks and liquor.”

“And a band…”

“Fuck a band,” I said. “We’ll let that one Jewish freshman who insists that he’s a DJ play the mixer. It’ll make him feel important, and if he sucks, we’ll get Hutch to make a back-up playlist. If I talk to Swayze, he’ll totally wire the whole house for us.”

“Okay…”

“So if I can raise money from the brotherhood for liquor, we can do the party.”

It was a statement. It wasn’t a question. Austin couldn’t stop me if I had the cash in hand. I did some quick calculations with Austin over the phone. For enough liquor to satiate four dozen Kappa Kappa Gammas and get our brotherhood drunk enough to socialize with them for two hours, I’d need roughly four hundred dollars. And then there was a matter of beer, which would be another two hundred. I could probably pair that down a little bit if I tried. I could ask Vera at the dining hall for her world famous Chex-esque Mix, and that would cover snacks. All in all, I could pull off the party for 600 dollars, or roughly twenty bucks a brother.

Austin agreed that if I got every brother to agree to pitch in twenty dollars, he’d see what other funds he could move around. I clicked my phone closed and smiled at another success.

When I got home, I immediately went upstairs to set up the game room. I took the beer pong table down and pulled the coffee table to the center of the room. I pulled the two couches and some other assorted chairs close to the coffee table. As I stocked the beer fridge with my bounty, I made a few calls to make sure that people were actually coming over.

Amanda confirmed that she and Steph Doleman had finished their reading. They would be over at eight. I knew that if Steph was coming, Lee would definitely come. I texted David Marcossi who said he was just finishing up a little work and then he’d come over. Lastly, I called Hutch.

“Are you hanging out tonight?”

“I didn’t know we were hanging out tonight,” he replied.

“We are,” I said. “Bring your little freshman girl and see if she has a friend.”

“Oh hell no,” he said. “I spent all weekend avoiding her. I’m not wasting that goodwill by calling her.”

“Fine, suit yourself,” I said. “But invite someone. Invite Brandon. And Sacha. Call Sacha for me.”

I wasn’t desperate for people to come, but my theory was simple. If a tree fell in the forest and no one was around to hear it, it didn’t make a sound. But the more people who were around, the louder the sound, right? And so I figured the more people who were around for the takedown of Lee the Frosh, the louder it would sound…

“This is your party,” Hutch replied. “You call them.”

“Just invite your little freshman girlfriend, please. And come to the game room at eight.”

By 7:35, I had the whole thing set up. I sat back and cracked open a beer, just as I felt my phone vibrate.

“Hey Pete,” I answered. I had purposely refrained from inviting him to the gathering. Things were going to get dicey in about half an hour, and I wanted to spare him from having to see me do anything that would change his perception of me.

“Hey, buddy.” He sounded much more alert and cheerful than he had when I left him last night. “What are you doing tonight?”

“This and that,” I answered vaguely. One phone call to Amanda and he’d know exactly what I was doing.

“Well, if you’re studying, I was hoping you’d join me in the library.”

“Another study date?” I asked. “I get asked back.”

“You are the best study partner there is,” he replied sarcastically. “Only no foot massages this time.”

It took me a second to remember what he was talking about, and then I did. I had put my foot in his crotch a week earlier and he hadn’t forced me to remove it. That image caused blood to travel south towards my midsection for a brief moment as I took in a deep breath.

“I actually have a rush event in a couple of minutes,” I said. “If you weren’t hitting the books, I’d invite you to come.”

I figured the coast was clear to invite him now that I knew he was studying.

“Well, I was all done for tomorrow. I just thought I’d get ahead on the week.”

“Oh…”

“If you still want me to come.” He sounded tentative, probably responding to my lack of enthusiasm.

“No, definitely,” I recovered. “Amanda is coming, so… it’ll be fun. Come. We’re just drinking beer and playing games, so… it’ll be fun.”

“Okay,” he said. “I’ll head over.”

And sure enough, he did. He arrived just before eight.

“Where’s your party?” he asked, walking in on me shuffling cards on the coffee table and sipping a Natty Light.

“I told everyone eight o’clock.”

“What’s the occasion?”

“Nothing,” I replied. “Just another Sunday Funday. I don’t believe in school getting in the way of fun.”

“I’ve noticed,” he joked as he walked over to the beer fridge. “I invited one of the other international students. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Not at all. We’ve got plenty of booze.”

And as he cracked open his beer, Pete sat down next to me. Of all the seats in the room, he chose the spot on the couch right next to where I was.

Sacha and her friend Kelly were next to arrive. Kelly had been a close friend of mine freshman year, mostly because we were both the kinds of folks who didn’t say no to alcohol. I gave them both hugs and sat back down… right next to Pete. I made a point to sit even closer to him than he had when he sat down next to me. It was a subtle move, but I knew by the way he outstretched his leg and pulled his hand over his thigh, that he got it.

I decided that two could play his touchy game. If he wanted to wrap his arm around me in the dark, I’d make sure to touch his thigh when no one could see.

“Thanks for inviting us, Corbin,” Sacha said, grabbing a beer. “What’s on the agenda tonight?”

“Nothing,” I replied with a smile. “Just hanging out, playing card games. I figure we’re all due for a chill night. And a few freshman girls and guys are coming.”

“Is Newby here?” Kelly asked about one of our sophomores that she’d fucked last year and was still tracking like a hound dog.

“I think he’s studying downstairs,” I shrugged. I could tell she was slightly disappointed but I pretended not to notice.

German James came in next, followed closely by Amanda, Steph Doleman, and Lee.

“Hey y’all,” I said, playing the dutiful host. “Come on in, everybody come in.”

I gave Amanda a hug.

“I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever,” I said to her.

“We hung out last night at the band party. You did a shot off my breasts… on the porch… how do you not remember that?”

I shrugged.

“I remember it,” Pete said. I turned to see him handing out beers to our late comers. If I was the dutiful host, he was most definitely the host’s assistant.

“That’s because you wanted to take a picture, pervert,” Amanda said.

“It was art,” Pete replied to a round of laughter.

“Hey Lee,” I greeted. “It’s good to see you.”

“Likewise,” he said. He looked at me like he almost didn’t believe that I was being so nice. I was doing my best to pretend that it was water under the bridge, and that I had no idea what he’d said about me to David Marcossi.

And speaking of which, David and Brandon rounded out the circle with Hutch and Haley filing in last. I waited until everyone was on their second beer at least before I interrupted Lee’s story and announced that it was game time.

“So yeah, it’s hard for me to drink anything but Budweiser products, just because my dad works for the company, I’ve been drinking Bud since I was literally a kid.”

“How do you survive in the land of Natural Light?” Hutch joked.

“Barely,” Lee replied with a charming smile. “Say, if y’all ever need like taps or kegs of Bud Light or anything, let me know. We have a tap room at our house with like fifty different ones. My dad could easily hook you up.”

I saw the enthusiasm on Hutch’s face, and I almost felt bad for what I was about to do to his star rushee. But vengeance knows no nepotism, and I didn’t give a flying fuck who his dad was and what kind of brewing company he worked for.

“Okay everyone,” I said enthusiastically. “I thought that we’d play some games tonight. Hang out. Get to know each other. I know we’ve all raged together, but I like a good kick-back, no?”

“What are we playing?” Sacha asked from across the room.

“King’s Cup, of course,” I said, pointing to the cup on the coffee table. It was a classic college game and everyone had their own rules. I went through what our house rules were, briefly explaining each card.

“So whenever an Ace is pulled, we waterfall,” I finished describing the game. The freshman nodded at me, and I nodded at Hutch to get things going.

“Can I play with liquor?” Sacha asked before we started.

“If you want to waterfall with a mixed drink, be my guest,” I answered. She sat back, and pulled a beer from the corner fridge. I gave her a smirk.

“Want to kick us off, Lee?” I asked. And the game began.

At first, everything was normal. Everyone played on their best behaviors. Truth or dare questions and tasks were tame. The Never-Have-I-Evers were pedestrian at best. No one called anyone out for anything.

Things got slightly inappropriate once we’d been around the circle a couple of times and we each had a few beers in us. As the cards wound down, and there was still one Jack in the circle for Never-Have-I-Ever, I decided it was about time for me to put things into motion.

I opened my fifth can of beer when we continued around the circle for what had to be the last rotation. I knew one of the last handful of cards had to be that Jack, and I prayed that I got it.

Instead, David directly to my right, picked it.

“Never-Have-I-Ever!” Haley announced, holding up three fingers. She was excited and tipsy and had already revealed a little too much.

“Let’s do it!” someone echoed.

“Okay, y’all,” I slurred just a little. “Since it’s the fourth Jack, it’s Never-Have-I-Ever with two hands.”

I looked at the confused faces. It was a rule I played with back home, but no one played like that here.

“So, six fingers?” Amanda asked, putting up two hands with three fingers raised on each hand.

“Try ten, doll,” I smiled. I ignored the bulging eyes from people who knew what a round of ten Never-Have-I-Evers could lead to. Call outs from people who knew each other, and the chance for revenge when the circle made it back around. I was simply hoping that ten fingers up would give certain people the chance to embarrass themselves… outwardly.

I have to be honest, I don’t remember what the first couple of confessions were. When it was my turn, I put on a wicked smile.

“Okay, it’s time to play like adults,” I said. “Never have I ever been fucked in the ass…”

“Lies!” Hutch shouted. I smirked at him as I scanned the room. Everyone who had ever been fucked in the ass had to take a drink and drop a finger.

“It was a self-callout,” I replied with quite a bit of cheek. I looked around the room, and lingered on Lee. I waited for him to bring his cup up to his lips, but he never did. I took an honest sip and so did Sacha’s friend, Kelly. I tilted my head towards Peter who gave me a smirk.

“Are we sure that’s everyone?” I asked, my eyes firmly locked onto Lee. He avoided my gaze, brought his right hand into Steph’s crossed thigh, and pulled closer to his girlfriend.

“I think people would know if they’d ever been fucked in the ass, Corbin,” Hutch answered.

“Just making sure we’re all being truthful,” I said bitchily, without once shifting my gaze from Lee.

Peter was next up, directly to my left, and he said that he liked that I’d turned up the heat on everyone.

“Never have I ever had sex in a car…”

I drank to that one, and dropped a finger. A quick scan with peripheral vision told me that most of my peers had done it in a car at some point or other.

Not to be outdone, Amanda took in a deep breath and said that she’d never had a pregnancy scare.

“You bitch,” Sacha joked, bringing her cup up to her lips. “I’m gonna get you back.”

“Try it bitch!” Amanda joked. The only other person who drank on that one was Steph Doleman, who took that opportunity to look at Lee and scoot in closer to him.

After Amanda was one of our sophomores, Newby. He looked straight at Hutch, and without hesitation said: “Never have I ever hooked up with a current freshman.”

Hutch gave him a look that could cut glass.

“What if I am a freshman?” Haley asked, her ditziness filling the room like a cloud.

“Have you hooked up with a fellow freshman?” Newby asked as if he was talking to a four year old.

“No, I’ve only hooked up with a junior…” she whispered, looking at Hutch. I could see my friend’s face grow more and more red the more his main squeeze kept talking.

I took my sip in peace, and let the ball roll. I noticed that Amanda saw me take a drink, and I expected her to ask me about it. When she didn’t, I passed the buck next to Kelly, who had made her way from her seat to the seat on Newby’s left side over the course of the game.

“Never have I ever hooked up with a current junior…” she said.

I took my sip, drilling my gaze directly into Lee. He still refused to look at me as he took a slow and steady sip.

“Never have I ever hooked up with anyone in this circle,” Sacha said, looking around. It was a total self-callout because she’d lost her virginity to Hutch freshman year O-Week and everyone knew it. It’s how I found out that Hutch had a less than long cock before I even knew the poor guy. Everyone’s eyes followed the circle as people pulled their drinks to their lips.

Hutch and Haley drank slowly. I watched as Newby and Kelly both took a sip. Steph brought her beer to her lips just as Lee was preparing to take his drink.

Watching me take my sip, I heard Sacha direct towards me: “Who did you hook up with, Corbin?”

I smiled curtly.

“You know I never kiss and tell, girl,” I said. I let my eye roam around the circle and stop squarely at Lee. “But he knows who he is.”

My gaze was relentless, and for the first time in what felt like a long time, the freshman finally looked towards me. His face was flushed, as if it had been red for so long that it had gone pale.

I released my gaze, and shifted my eyes back to Sacha. “He shouldn’t worry though, his secret is safe.”

I saw Kelly whisper something into Sacha’s ear and I knew that she had put two and two and two together to make six. Kelly was nothing if not observant… a product of her mild OCD. I’m not sure exactly what Kelly told her, but Sacha’s face suddenly perked up as she shifted her glance from Steph to Lee and back to me.

Steph Doleman was up next and said something lame about never being in a threesome. Amanda and I laughed, looked at each other, and drank heartily.

Next up was Lee, and I honestly thought he was going to throw up at that point. The kid did not look well, and I was starting to feel bad. It must have been daunting to know that the one guy that could bring your house of cards tumbling down around you and your girlfriend was sitting across a circle of Never-Have-I-Ever from you…. And not afraid to get dirty.

He said something about never hooking up in a sorority house. The girls giggled, and drank, each having snuck a guy up into their house at some point. Hutch and Newby each took a drink.

“Now if you had said frat house, that’d be a different story, right Lee?” I asked cheekily. He looked up at me.

“I don’t know,” he mumbled.

“Corbin,” Hutch gritted my name from across the table. I turned to him.

“What?” I asked innocently. I guessed it was getting more and more awkward the more obvious it got that I had it out for Lee. My comments were targeted and anyone paying attention could see it. I saw Hutch whisper something to Amanda, who looked at me and shook her head.

By the time the game made it back to me, I could taste blood, and I was ready to go in for the kill. Again, I zeroed in my gaze on my target and spoke slowly, as if I was reading from a script.

“Never have I ever made out with a guy and a girl… in the same night,” I pressed my tongue against the back of my teeth and raised my eyebrows. It was awkward to watch Lee look at me, blink, and then look back at Steph Doleman. For the first time, Steph noticed what I was doing, and looked blankly at Lee and then back at me. I shrugged.

And then came the kicker. I couldn’t have asked for it better myself. David Marcossi turned to his friend Lee and nudged him in the side. A second later, Lee was the only one to drink.

There was nothing snarky to say after that. Everyone knew the implication. Everyone could put it together, and even if they had no clue about the specifics regarding Lee and myself, they knew that Lee had just outed himself to a room full of people. I could imagine the whispers around the circles. I could imagine what was going through everyone’s head.

Lee and Steph needed to talk.

Luckily, the game wound down quickly after that. I gave up my crusade against the Frosh as the last three cards were played. As anticipated, no one really stuck around to hang out. We all had class the next morning, and the clock was getting close to eleven.

I played gracious host once again, circling the room and saying bye and thanks for coming to everyone. I didn’t bother to shake Lee’s hand, but as he and Steph Doleman walked by, I moved in to give her a hug.

“Thanks for coming,” I said.

“We need to talk,” she whispered in my ear. I let her embrace go and told her to let me know. I noticed that the only person who had lingered about was Amanda. Even Pete had jumped ship when he realized the awkwardness of the situation.

“Aren’t you going to walk home with your roommate and her boyfriend?”

“I was going to,” she said slowly, approaching me. “But I was wondering what all of that was about.”

“What?” I asked innocently. I started picking up beer cans and putting them in the large trashcan that was in the corner.

“That last round of Never-Have-I-Ever was pretty brutal,” she said matter-of-factly.

“I didn’t notice.”

“Are you kidding? Everyone knows what you were doing.”

“What was I doing, doll?” I asked. I stopped moving, squared away, and looked directly at her.

“Did you hook up with Lee?” she asked point blank. I blinked. I shrugged.

“Ask him.”

“I’m asking you.”

“He’s the one that’s eager to tell the whole world. I’m surprised he hasn’t pulled you aside yet.”

“What are you talking about?” Amanda said. She sat down on the couch and faced me. I followed suit.

“We hooked up,” I answered. “No big deal.”

“Was it while he was dating Steph?”

“No,” I replied. “Well… maybe. The second time. I’m a little unclear about his timeline.”

“Why didn’t you say anything?”

“I told him I wouldn’t.”

“But you didn’t tell him you wouldn’t out him during a drinking game?”

“He lost the privilege of my discretion when he told his freshman buddies that he hooked up with me for a bid.”

Amanda raised her hand to her mouth.

“He didn’t.” I pursed my lips and shrugged.

“I’m sorry if I was really harsh earlier, and I feel bad for Steph, I really do. But it was going to come out anyway, and I wanted to see his face as it did.”

“Corbin, but being outed like that… that’s low, even for you,” she said. I felt the slap of her icy words across my face. I shifted in my seat.

“Do you know how stories like this get passed around, Mandy? When he tells his freshmen friends and they tell theirs and stories like this circulate around this campus, do you have any clue how that goes?”

I could feel my blood getting warmer as I spoke. My voice rose as I slowly worked my way through my speech.

“Freshman boy gets drunk and taken advantage of by an upperclassman. Guys at Chi Beta get freshmen boys drunk and they seduce them. Chi Beta brothers, specifically Corbin Crowley, exchange bids for sexual favors.”

“No one thinks that of you,” Amanda said, leaning backwards as if she were trying to escape my assault of words.

“Really? Give it a week. Give it a couple more spins around the rumor mill. He has a girlfriend, so clearly I’m the bad guy. He’s not gay, so clearly I’m the predator. I’m not going down like that, and now he knows better than to mess with me.”

“I think he’s aware. You outed him in a room full of his peers,” she said harshly. “That’s not a way to teach someone a lesson.”

“Would you have rather me to have done it in my column?” I asked, implying that he got off easy. I could sense the tension that the anger in my words caused. I was verging on hateful. Evil… and I couldn’t stop.

“Corbin… not an alternative.” She shook her head. I could hear the disapproval dripping from her voice. She was right, it wasn’t an alternative. But I was in shark mode, and I couldn’t be reasoned with.

“Look, I get it. It was fucked up. But what he did was equally as fucked up. If he can’t take the heat, he shouldn’t put his dick in the fucking oven.” I was justified in humiliating Lee. I was validated in knocking him back down the peg in which he came. Given the circumstances, I would have done it again.

My confrontation with Amanda wasn’t the last of it. Whereas I knew she understood why I had done what I had done, I could tell she didn’t approve. When I ran into Steph Doleman on Monday morning on the Colonnade, I knew there was no reasoning myself with her. I had humiliated her boyfriend and embarrassed the shit out of her.

“Hey,” I greeted, walking out of my English class and right into a waiting Steph. She’d texted me early that morning asking when my lunch break was. I told her I got out of my first block of classes at eleven if she wanted to meet up and talk.

“Hi Corbin,” she said, already sounding less than amused. “Have a good night?”

“I guess,” I replied. I looked down at her and her eyes were like daggers looking up at me.

“Listen, about that game yesterday,” she said. “I’m not exactly sure what happened between you and Lee, and quite frankly I don’t care. Just, please, if I’m a friend to you in any way, leave the kid alone.”

“Steph, I didn’t mean to embarrass you or piss you off or anything,” I said, walking in step with her. She was taking her time, as she probably had nowhere more important to be. She was defending her boyfriend’s honor… she had all the time in the world.

“I’m sure you didn’t, but what you did and said last night was humiliating,” she said. I could see a small well form in her eye and I immediately felt a boulder of guilt lodge in my throat. I swallowed hard, and it physically hurt.

“Steph, I’m really sorry,” I said. “But if you knew why I had to…”

“You didn’t have to do anything, Corbin. You chose to be the bigger asshole. That was on you.”

“He told his friends that he used me to get a bid,” I replied, hearing how hollow my words sounded. Steph Doleman didn’t care about the politics behind it. All she cared about was how humiliating the whole situation had gotten.

“I told you I don’t give a shit,” she said. I did my best to check my attitude. Sure I knew that I was justified, but what I didn’t realize until years later was that what I used for justification meant nothing to those I’d harmed. She didn’t give a flying fuck what her boyfriend had done. I was the bad guy. And as much as I thought I was prepared to be the bad guy to Lee, I wasn’t prepared to be the bad guy to a friend of mine.

“Steph, believe me, I’m sorry,” I said. And I was. If I could have taken it all back, I would have… right down to the day during O-Week that I let Lee even suck my cock.

“I’m sure you are,” she said. “And so is he. Just, it’s over, okay? He wants to end it. I want to end it, and we all just want to move on.”

“Okay,” I swallowed. “I can do that.”

Steph and I took a couple of steps in silence. When we got to the quad, I apologized again.

“Just forget it. Forget it ever happened and forget that he ever said anything about it,” she repeated. “Please?”

“Of course.” I was willing to drop my anger to preserve my friend’s feelings. I felt guilty as shit for going down that road to begin with, but at the end of the day, I’d made that decision and I couldn’t take it back.

As I walked back to the University Commons from the Colonnade, I wondered if Steph Doleman was going to stay with Lee. It wouldn’t have surprised me, especially considering how eager she was for this feud to be over. I cringed at what Lee had to have told her to get her to stay, but at the end of the day, their relationship wasn’t any of my business. I’d done my part… I was moving on.

I had the rest of the week to stress about something else. Something bigger than that for me. A hurricane with my name on it was making its way to Clifton Hill… and its name was Dakota.

I talked about her arrival with Pete as we took a study break to get ice cream later that night. We’d already gone over what a shitty thing I had done the night before, but when I told him the entire story, he understood, at least in part, why I had done it.

“I hope I never cross you, Mr. Crowley,” he said, taking his pint sized Ben and Jerry’s from Vera and giving her a warm smile. She winked at me once Pete’s back was turned and I blushed.

“I hope you never do too, Mr. Davis,” I smiled. We took a seat in the common room right next to where a fire would be raging if it were any colder. “You lose all ice cream privileges when you cross me.”

“Uh oh,” he replied. “Big punisher.”

“Shut up,” I said. I had been nervous earlier that someone like Pete, who hadn’t yet decided which course his life would take, would be highly offended by what I’d done to Lee. I could see the whole thing turning him off completely. A guy with a lack of any sort of discretion was a danger to a guy like Pete. But sitting next to him, joking about the situation, I was relieved to know that he got it, and more importantly, he got why.

“So,” I breathed, changing the subject. I fingered my spoon and looked right at Pete. “Dakota.”

“What about her?”

“Am I gonna like her?”

“She has a vagina,” he said matter-of-factly. “You tell me.”

“I’ve liked plenty of people with vaginas,” I laughed. He raised an eyebrow. “What? Just because I don’t want to have sex with someone doesn’t mean I don’t like them.” I countered. And then I decided to take this prime opportunity to flirt. I smirked at Pete and half-jokingly said: “I like you.”

“Oh, ouch,” he said. He pulled an imaginary arrow out of his heart, tossed it down, and faked his death on the couch seat next to me. I laughed out loud at his little skit.

“Honestly, I do think you’ll like her,” he said. “You’re a lot alike, you Dallas people.”

“Is she from Dallas?”

“Sherman,” he said with a spoon full of ice cream in his mouth. I’d heard of Sherman. I’d judged Sherman. It wasn’t Dallas, I thought. It was the country. The sticks. Podunk. Pete noticed my face.

“What’s wrong with Sherman?”

“Nothing,” I recovered quickly. “It’s just not Dallas.”

“I liked Dallas when I was there,” Pete said. “It was fun. Lively for a country town.”

“There’s nothing country about Dallas, you prick,” I scolding, hitting him on the arm. He looked down at his arm and then back at me.

“Oh yeah? The Stock Yards…” he baited.

“Are in Fort Worth,” I countered. “Try again.”

“Dallas, Fort Worth… it’s all the same DFW,” he said, trying to sound smart.

“Anyone really from Dallas knows never to get on I-30 westbound unless you’re going to a ball game.”

“Rangers or Cowboys?”

“Who cares… they’re right across the street from each other,” I said with a smile, proving that I did know my city better than a semester-long squatter. As we licked spoonful after spoonful of ice cream, Pete explained to me why he and Dakota had gotten so close.

“It was literally my first time away from home other than summer camp and hunting with my father,” he explained. “After a week I wanted to go back to England.”

“It was that bad?”

“You all aren’t very welcoming to outsiders,” he explained. “And even with the accent, if I didn’t go to Bishop Lynch or Country Day or Episcopalian, it was like I had the bloody plague.”

I watched Pete’s face get red as he relived those memories of arriving in Dallas, not knowing a soul, and wondering if he’d made the right decision to study abroad. SMU had its social hierarchy just like we had ours, only theirs was traced back to where your parents lived and where you went to high school. It was very hard to cross over, and I could sympathize.

“So when I met Dakota and her friends, it was a breath of fresh air,” he said. “She was so nice and so friendly, probably because she was slightly larger freshman year.”

“The big ones are the nice ones,” I interrupted. “They sort of have to be.”

Pete gave me a disapproving smile, like he wanted to laugh, but he knew it was wrong.

“Anyway, we’d go out and get ridiculously drunk, and eventually, I made my way into her circle. It truly saved the entire trip for me.”

I nodded along. The more he talked about her, the more I considered Dakota a threat. How was she any different than me? How was her taking Pete under her wing any better or worse than me doing the same? Same thing… different school.

And then came the clincher.

“I would never tell her this, because it would give her all kinds of wrong impressions,” he said. “But when I decided to study abroad again, I picked Old Dominion because it wouldn’t be too far for her to visit.”

I swallowed my entire spoonful of ice cream and felt the liquid get lodged in the lump in my throat. It didn’t matter what he said at that point. Guys didn’t do things like that for girls that were only their friend. He’d chosen OD to be close enough to her… and yet, he hadn’t chosen a school that was actually in DC. Like most things Pete, that declaration left me uncertain. And with boys you like, uncertainty and uneasiness were one and the same.

I faked it for the rest of our study session, not showing that this Dakota girl really did intimidate me. What if he did like her? Would that change anything between us? Did I only like hanging out with Pete because of the possibility that maybe one day he’d requite my crush? Was the crush the clincher?

I kept my mind off the impending visit the next day by running errand after errand after errand. I was set to announce the Kappa mixer at Chapter that night, and I didn’t want any sort of resistance, so I came up with a plan and put plan in action.

After my ten o’clock class, instead of going back to the house for a nap and then lunch, I went to the computer lab on the second floor of the library. I signed in, opened Powerpoint, and within thirty-five minutes, I created a simple, yet elegant invitation to the Kappa Kappa Gamma and Chi Beta annual mixer. The graphic was simply a picture of Zac Ephron, shirtless and in a pair of sunglasses. Across his chest in bold Calibri font, I simply wrote: Guilty Pleasures. Be There.

I listed the date and time at the bottom of the invite, and before noon on Tuesday, I sent out a copy to every brother in Chi Beta, every Kappa in their Outlook mailing group, and the Dean of Greek Life, Cole Clayman.

At five after noon, I received a text message from Dominick.

To Corbin: What the fuck is this?

I ignored the text at first, and instead, went to the second story of the student center and walked right into Cole Clayman’s office.

“Hey Dean Clayman,” I said, shaking his hand firmly. Cole was as fratty as a dean could possibly be, and I say that in the best way possible. He was strapping, an ex-football player at the University of Philadelphia. His hair was kept military short, his jaw strong, and he filled out an athletic cut suit like no body’s business. He was by far the best looking specimen walking around Dean’s Corridor, and I made no qualms about coming up to visit whenever I had to.

“I loved your email this morning,” he said. “Are you and the guys ready to be off of social probation?”

“We sure are, Dean,” I said confidently, having a seat. “Which is why I wanted to come and chat with you. I plan on doing things very differently this year.”

“I’m glad to hear it,” he said. I loved that he genuinely sounded like he was taking an interest. “Look, make sure this mixer with Kappa goes off without a hitch. I’m talking water wherever needed, noise permits posted, sober drivers that are actually sober. And I want to see you taking it easy too, son. You’re in a leadership role now.”

“Yes sir,” I nodded. “There’s really no need to worry at all. I feel like the guys have learned their lesson. Getting a late start on rush sucks. But let me tell you, Dean, Dominick Slavin, our president, is determined to run a straight ship this year.”

“Is he? You all have had some suspect guys in your president position in the past. At least since I’ve been here.”

“Not Dom, sir. He’s hands on in every aspect of rush and the social calendar. In fact, as much as I would love to take credit for this kick off mixer with Kappa, I can’t. Dominick set the whole thing up,” I said with a straight face. Dean Clayman nodded along and completely bought my bullshit. As if his ears were wringing somewhere across campus, I felt my phone vibrate and I knew I had very little time. I looked Dean Clayman right in the eye and went for the jugular… the reason I’d stopped by to begin with.

“Dean, if you wouldn’t mind doing me a favor,” I said. “I know that Dominick is uncertain about us roaring back into the social scene just a couple of days after our strike expires with such a large high profile party. I mean, mixing with Kappa is no joke. I was hoping maybe you’d send him an email with your support. Maybe echo what we talked about this afternoon, congratulate him on taking initiative on getting the social ball rolling. I know it’s a lot to ask of you, but I think it’ll assuage his anxiety about this event and we’ll finally be able to put last year behind us.”

“I’d be glad to,” Dean Clayman said, already swiveling around and pulling up Microsoft Word. As he began to type, his phone rang and he went to answer it. He waved me off by pointing to the stack of papers I would need to register our party. I took the packet, and nodded goodbye. Cole pointed at his computer screen, mouthed the words: ‘I’ll get this to him right away,’ and gave me a thumbs up.

By the time I reached the house for lunch, my work was done.

“What the hell is this?” Dom said as soon as he saw me in the dining room a few minutes later.

“What?” I feigned ignorance.

“This email,” he said.

“Which one?” I asked, gently pushing my mystery meat around my plate.

“The one with a graphic of Zac Ephron that says we’re having a mixer this weekend with Kappa.”

“Oh,” I said. “I planned a mixer this weekend with Kappa.”

“I swear to God, Corbin. Is our strike even up?”

“Ends tomorrow,” I said with a mouthful of bland food. “Already talked to Cole, already talked to Austin. Already filed the paperwork. Everything is good. I’ll present the details tonight at chapter.”

“You already… you did what?”

“Check your email again,” I said, turning away from Dom and focusing on my plate. “You’re welcome.”

Without even waiting for a response, I turned and continued talking to the group of sophomores I’d been eating lunch with. I knew there was no way in hell Dom could argue with an email of support from Cole Clayman, even if it meant me giving up credit for the event. If he wanted to make me cancel the mixer now, he’d have to do so against a Dean’s endorsement… and I knew there was no way in a thousand hells that Dominick would ever do that.

As expected, everyone else in the brotherhood was more than on board to host Kappa in a mere three days. There was something about the status of playing homemaker to the school’s top tier house that excited even the least social of the Chi Beta brotherhood. As I told everyone that we needed to raise six hundred dollars in order to stock the bar sufficiently, I reminded them all that this was a rush event and that freshmen needed to know that we were playing in the big leagues.

“Sophomores, I’ll have the freshman flyer version of the invitation ready for you tomorrow. I need it out as soon as possible. Tell anyone who will listen to you that you’re booked solid this weekend because you’re mixing with Kappa,” I echoed. “We’re getting out of the gate late, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay down for long.”

As the week progressed, I tried my hardest to keep my mind off of the one thing in my life that I couldn’t control: Hurricane Dakota.

It was like the news of her coming was the first real dose of reality that Pete and I were never going to get together. It was like I was looking into my future, and I couldn’t stop the train from wrecking.

I shared my feelings with Hutch as we set up for the mixer on Friday night. I had the sophomores moving house fixtures and lining the walls and floor. I had a couple of my pledge class helping DJ Swayze set up downstairs, and the bulk of guys were following my instructions of making sure their rooms were clean. Hutch and I were setting up the bar and making a batch of pink panty droppers when I finally told him why I’d been quiet all day.

“She’s in town now?”

“She gets in around eight,” I replied. “I guess after work.”

“Are they coming to the mixer?” he asked, pouring the sixth of eighteen beers into a trashcan that already had an entire handle of vodka, a 750 of Everclear and enough powdered lemonade to give a dozen lemonade stands early onset diabetes.

“No,” I said. “She’s going to get in, they’re going to get dinner, and then they’re meeting up with me for late night.”

“So they’re meeting up with you once you’re hammered?” Hutch couldn’t hide the look of worry on his face. I shrugged.

“Why are you so nervous about this? He told you they weren’t an item. Never have been.”

“I know,” I replied. “But his reasons for not being with her… they’re still reasons, and they still pertain to me.”

“What if his reasons for not being with her are that he’s gay, in which case they aren’t reasons at all.”

“If he was gay, he would have told me,” I said. Hutch gave me a sideways look. “What? He would have. We’ve spent the last three weeks together, nonstop. I’m his best friend here. He would have said something to his best friend, who happens to be gay, if he were gay.”

“How long did it take you to come out to me freshman year?”

“You’re not gay, Hutch,” I countered.

“But you thought I was,” he slammed back. “We were good friends. You thought I was gay, and you had a crush on me.”

“I wouldn’t say crush…” I mumbled.

“And it still took you almost an entire semester to tell me that you were into guys.”

Hutch was right. I remembered that night, and I remembered it well. I had gone to the Founder Holiday party with Hutch as my platonic date. We’d been spending quite a bit of time together, and had both talked about pledging Chi Beta. My options were dwindled down, and I was trying my best to convince my friends to take on Chi Beta with me.

That night, I got obliterated off of premixed eggnog and whiskey shots. Dark liquor and I have been on the outs ever since. I got so drunk, in fact, that on our walk to Chi Beta after the holiday party, I told Hutch that if he ever wanted a guy to suck his cock, I’d be totally down to do it. I repeated it over and over, and kept propositioning him throughout the night. By far my most embarrassing moment, I wrote him a letter the next day apologizing and officially coming out to him.

“I guess that’s different,” I said being stubborn.

“It’s really not, Corbin, and you’re being a baby about this. This girl means nothing to him, I assure you,” he said.

I tried to take Hutch’s words in stride as we prepped for the mixer. It was a big night for me. Entertaining Kappa was always a big job. I never really relaxed until I was drunk and I felt like they were having fun. Throw Dakota and Pete into the mix, and the only thing that could calm me down was a five fingered massage in the shower twenty minutes before our mixer started at eight.

I leaned against the bag wall of our shower, squeezed down on my dick and pulled slowly until it got hard in my arms. I closed my eyes and tried to think of generic hot guys. I tried to think about the last guy I’d seen in a porno. I did my best to conjure up thoughts of Leo Giamani fucking Rusty Stephens… or Ty Broderick and Kevin Crows going at it.

But I couldn’t. Instead, the face of the Brit kept creeping into my head. And as I pulled on my cock faster and more aggressively, I stopped trying to fight it. I imagined Pete’s face close to mine. I thought about what it would be like to kiss him. I let my mind wander to what his cock looked like underneath the boxer briefs I’d seen before. And as soon as my subconscious wondered what he tasted like, I let myself go, and came a gallon across the opposite wall of the shower.

I was still uneasy about meeting Dakota, but I felt infinitely better than I did before. I got dressed quickly in my High School Musical school outfit- jeans, a red letter jacket, and a white t-shirt- and wrapped my Zac Efron screen printed blanket around my neck. I checked myself in the mirror and went out to inspect everyone else’s guilty pleasures.

The guys represented well. One was a WWE cage fighter, which I thought was pretty funny. Hutch had doused himself with sunless tanner in the last hour and was dressed like Brody from The Hills. Roberto and Austin were dressed as soccer players.

“More of a hobby than a guilty pleasure, don’t you think?” I asked, pouring myself a vodka soda which was more of a vodka vodka than anything else.

“We’re David Beckham, douche bag,” Roberto retorted. I shrugged and let it go. I was clearly distracted by the idea of the night I had ahead of me. The guys continued to drink, and I continued to watch the clock.

At ten after eight, with still no girls in the house, I checked my phone to see if Alexandria had left me message. She hadn’t. But someone else had.

To Corbin: Can’t wait for you to meet Dakota, Corbs. She’s dying to meet you in person. Call me when we’re allowed to come crash your mixer.

I looked around after I read the text message, suddenly filled with anxiety about the whole thing. The mixer was a bust already. Pete was literally strangling me with this Dakota thing. I wanted to get away.

“Are you okay?” Hutch whispered to me as the other brothers tried to make the freshman who were invited to our mixer feel less awkward about the fact that no girls had showed up yet.

“Yeah,” I lied, blinking.

“You look worried,” he said. “They’ll show up. Girls are always late.”

I’m glad I had something to pin my worry on, because even I didn’t know why Hurricane Dakota was sufficient enough to stress out about. But it was stressful and I was stressed. I could see my relationship with Pete dangling by a thread at the hands of this girl that he clearly liked… or did he?

A minute later, I heard the tell-tale sounds of drunk girls giggling in the distance.

“Gird your loins, fellows,” I said with confidence. I swallowed, stood up straight and watched as a dozen Kappa Kappa Gammas filed in to our great hall. I was determined to have fun that night. I was determined to lead the house through a successful mixer. I was determined to forget about Hurricane Dakota, and let loose.

That was easier said than done…

To Be Continued.

Hey folks! Sorry about the long delay in chapters. I got derailed from my posting schedule due to work and travelling. Have no fear, we'll be right back on track not this Sunday, but the Sunday after. As usual, please let me know what you think of the chapter and the story so far. More to come soon.

Copyright © 2016 Jwolf; All Rights Reserved.
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Corbin is working out everything for everyone but himself. He arranged the mixer, talked to the Dean, and agreed to let the Lee ordeal drop.. But, he is still a nervous wreck about meeting Dakota. The kicker is as to whether or not he will be drunk as hell and make a fool of himself or make a good impression on both Dakota and Peter. Hopefully , he will do something to make Peter show his feelings in some way, and Dakota will turn out to be a great friend to both of them. Hopefully! Great chapter

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On 10/18/2012 05:57 AM, joann414 said:
Corbin is working out everything for everyone but himself. He arranged the mixer, talked to the Dean, and agreed to let the Lee ordeal drop.. But, he is still a nervous wreck about meeting Dakota. The kicker is as to whether or not he will be drunk as hell and make a fool of himself or make a good impression on both Dakota and Peter. Hopefully , he will do something to make Peter show his feelings in some way, and Dakota will turn out to be a great friend to both of them. Hopefully! Great chapter
Hey Joann! Thanks for the review. I'm sensing a little antipication from you. Have no fear, Corbin channels his nerves like a real pro in the next chapter. Doesn't mean all is rosy, but I guess that's all I'll tease for now. Thans again :)
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I don't know if I should feel sorry for Corbin or if I should just sit back and watch him dangle on his last thread. I wonder if he has ever thought about trying out for Broadway as he seems to really like his drama. He wants to be an item with Pete and yet he cannot take Pete at his word?? Pete specifically told him he was not interested in Dakota as anything but a friend. Pete described his experience his first time away from home to study abroad. Could one not deduct from that, that it is possible and probable that he would want to at least be close to someone he knew so they could visit. Pete had no idea what it was going to be like at his new school as all he had to go on was how hard it was at the previous school. DUH, Corbin...take note of what Pete is telling you. He doesn't like her like that, he nearly went home cause it was too hard at the first school, Dakota was his first friend, he knew she liked him more than a friend and still he told Corb that he was not interested in her that way....ding ding ding....If I were in Pete's shoes I am sure I would want to be as close to a friend as possible if my first experience nearly turned out like his.

 

I do suppose with the way that Corb's mind works it is fathomable to assume that he is so twist, uncertain and mixed up about Pete that he is hearing and seeing things that are not really there thus only what he thinks is there... It is possible to like someone so much that you create your own fear and mixed understandings so much that you cannot tell what is from what is not. Corb seems to have plenty of that going around between him and Pete. I think Hutch made an excellent point when he advised Corb how hard it was, and for that matter what condition Corb was in, before Corb came out to him. Further even tho Corb came out to Hutch in a very drunken state he still didn't really tell Hutch that he was gay. When he was he still didn't face Hutch but instead he wrote Hutch a letter??!!. If that is what it took for Corb to come out then can he not understand what Pete might be going through?

 

Still loving the story. Looking forward to the next chapter.

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On 10/18/2012 07:05 AM, CW Prince said:
I don't know if I should feel sorry for Corbin or if I should just sit back and watch him dangle on his last thread. I wonder if he has ever thought about trying out for Broadway as he seems to really like his drama. He wants to be an item with Pete and yet he cannot take Pete at his word?? Pete specifically told him he was not interested in Dakota as anything but a friend. Pete described his experience his first time away from home to study abroad. Could one not deduct from that, that it is possible and probable that he would want to at least be close to someone he knew so they could visit. Pete had no idea what it was going to be like at his new school as all he had to go on was how hard it was at the previous school. DUH, Corbin...take note of what Pete is telling you. He doesn't like her like that, he nearly went home cause it was too hard at the first school, Dakota was his first friend, he knew she liked him more than a friend and still he told Corb that he was not interested in her that way....ding ding ding....If I were in Pete's shoes I am sure I would want to be as close to a friend as possible if my first experience nearly turned out like his.

 

I do suppose with the way that Corb's mind works it is fathomable to assume that he is so twist, uncertain and mixed up about Pete that he is hearing and seeing things that are not really there thus only what he thinks is there... It is possible to like someone so much that you create your own fear and mixed understandings so much that you cannot tell what is from what is not. Corb seems to have plenty of that going around between him and Pete. I think Hutch made an excellent point when he advised Corb how hard it was, and for that matter what condition Corb was in, before Corb came out to him. Further even tho Corb came out to Hutch in a very drunken state he still didn't really tell Hutch that he was gay. When he was he still didn't face Hutch but instead he wrote Hutch a letter??!!. If that is what it took for Corb to come out then can he not understand what Pete might be going through?

 

Still loving the story. Looking forward to the next chapter.

Hey clock! Very astute observations, and I hope I address all of them sufficiently. I definitely agree that Corbin is psyching himself out. Having lived through it, I can appreciate Corbin's sense of anxiety over what Pete says and what Corbin thinks Pete means. However, the Pete is a big ball of contradiction and that can't be ignored. As for Corbin's talk with Hitch, I agree with you 100 percent. He doesn't see how difficult it was for him to come out, and yet he expects Pete to, if he is in fact gay that is. One thing I find funny is that in my life, it was always harder to come out to my friends and family that I knew cared about me than to come out to a complete stranger or acquaintance. I definitely think Pete and Corbin have passed that threshold where the conversation, were it to happen, would be really awkward. Until next week.
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Don't look now but Pete may be finding his balls or something. Baby steps you know. I think Corbin is taking the right track with Pete but holy cow did he goof it up with Lee. He shouldn't have called him out like that. I know he is pissed at him and I would be too. I would like to say it was an alchohol brain idea so we give him the benefit of the doubt. Plus, I really like Corbin. He is not by any means a bad guy,he is just young and trying to figure out life. I am actually mostly proud of him because he does manage to get so much done in between trying to drown his poor liver. Anyways. I hope this Dakota chick is helpful to both of them. I rather think she will be. I think she will be the catalyst to make one of them get their ass moving in the right direction. I am glad we will be back on track for chapters soon. I hope you had a wonderful time wandering around everywhere.

P.S. I totally used my Linkin Park playlist from The Thousand Suns cd to look up the spelling for Catalyst. It made me giggle.

P.S.S. As always, I so enjoy your work. I'm glad you take the time to share it with me. I bet there is enough here to create an HBO Sex in the City type show. I bet it would be way more fun for people. hahhaha.

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On 10/18/2012 10:11 AM, Carrie76 said:
Don't look now but Pete may be finding his balls or something. Baby steps you know. I think Corbin is taking the right track with Pete but holy cow did he goof it up with Lee. He shouldn't have called him out like that. I know he is pissed at him and I would be too. I would like to say it was an alchohol brain idea so we give him the benefit of the doubt. Plus, I really like Corbin. He is not by any means a bad guy,he is just young and trying to figure out life. I am actually mostly proud of him because he does manage to get so much done in between trying to drown his poor liver. Anyways. I hope this Dakota chick is helpful to both of them. I rather think she will be. I think she will be the catalyst to make one of them get their ass moving in the right direction. I am glad we will be back on track for chapters soon. I hope you had a wonderful time wandering around everywhere.

P.S. I totally used my Linkin Park playlist from The Thousand Suns cd to look up the spelling for Catalyst. It made me giggle.

P.S.S. As always, I so enjoy your work. I'm glad you take the time to share it with me. I bet there is enough here to create an HBO Sex in the City type show. I bet it would be way more fun for people. hahhaha.

Hey Carrie! Thanks for the awesome review. The next chapter is titled Hurricane Dakota, so I assure, she's a catalyst for something... I hope you dig what's around the corner. And a show would be awesome to write... O you know anyone at hbo? Lol!
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Yay, you're back! Now I can call off the search and rescue team. :2thumbs:

I totally agree w/Clockwork; Corbin is psyching himself out and stressing over something that he has no control over. And he is totally missing what Pete is telling him.

 

In the last chapter, when Corbin went over to Pete's to tell him how he felt, Pete was talking to Dakota on the computer. Pete introduced Corbin to Dakota and Dakota said that Corbin is cuter than Pete said he was. I know I said this in my last review, but straight guys don't really talk about how cute a friend is, I'm assuming. lol AND Pete thinks Corbin is cute.

 

Corbin missed when Pete explained that he would never tell Dakota why he picked OD; b/c it's not too far away from her in DC. He wouldn't tell her b/c he didn't want to give her the wrong impression. Obviously it was the same impression that Corbin had: that he liked her 'that way' and wanted to be somewhat closer to her (distance-wise). But if Corbin actually LISTENED to that sentence, he would realize that Pete DOES NOT like her 'that way', which he already explained to Corbin a few times I think. Corbin needs to get a grip and relax. I also hope he doesn't book out of there or, get wasted. He gets drunk (as they all do) way too much. lol I want him to be nice and sober when he meets Dakota.

 

Now as far as Lee is concerned, Corbin was pretty mean to him. And you know, not for nothing, but....Corbin isn't 100% positive that that's what Lee really did. He just heard heresay from David. What if David was setting Lee up b/c DAVID wanted to be with Corbin and he knew in order to throw Corbin off of Lee he had to think of something good. David already showed Corbin in the last chapter that he was interested. Just a thought.

 

Another hella awesome chapter Jon! I'm glad you're back! Can't wait for Hurricane Dakota! :)

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On 10/19/2012 03:18 AM, Lisa said:
Yay, you're back! Now I can call off the search and rescue team. :2thumbs:

I totally agree w/Clockwork; Corbin is psyching himself out and stressing over something that he has no control over. And he is totally missing what Pete is telling him.

 

In the last chapter, when Corbin went over to Pete's to tell him how he felt, Pete was talking to Dakota on the computer. Pete introduced Corbin to Dakota and Dakota said that Corbin is cuter than Pete said he was. I know I said this in my last review, but straight guys don't really talk about how cute a friend is, I'm assuming. lol AND Pete thinks Corbin is cute.

 

Corbin missed when Pete explained that he would never tell Dakota why he picked OD; b/c it's not too far away from her in DC. He wouldn't tell her b/c he didn't want to give her the wrong impression. Obviously it was the same impression that Corbin had: that he liked her 'that way' and wanted to be somewhat closer to her (distance-wise). But if Corbin actually LISTENED to that sentence, he would realize that Pete DOES NOT like her 'that way', which he already explained to Corbin a few times I think. Corbin needs to get a grip and relax. I also hope he doesn't book out of there or, get wasted. He gets drunk (as they all do) way too much. lol I want him to be nice and sober when he meets Dakota.

 

Now as far as Lee is concerned, Corbin was pretty mean to him. And you know, not for nothing, but....Corbin isn't 100% positive that that's what Lee really did. He just heard heresay from David. What if David was setting Lee up b/c DAVID wanted to be with Corbin and he knew in order to throw Corbin off of Lee he had to think of something good. David already showed Corbin in the last chapter that he was interested. Just a thought.

 

Another hella awesome chapter Jon! I'm glad you're back! Can't wait for Hurricane Dakota! :)

Hey Lisa! Thanks for the awesome review! I love reading your responses :) I think you're right, Corbin is psyching himself out. Bu I think te frustration comes from the mixed messages pete sends out. Expect Dakota to get the ball rolling, but she's not a miracle worker :) as for lee... Well that story isn't quite ready to uncomplicate just yet... Enjoy the truce while it lasts.
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Guest andydandy

Posted

Compelling as ever. I just read the first nine chapters and I'm hooked. I should make a habit of not getting into your stories until they are achieved, the wait between chapters is gruelling.

 

And I have an idea on who the Brit is based on...

As for the main relationship, the only real question mark is why the Brit keeps postponing the inevitable...

 

Hope to read more soon!!

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On 11/05/2012 12:26 AM, andydandy said:
Compelling as ever. I just read the first nine chapters and I'm hooked. I should make a habit of not getting into your stories until they are achieved, the wait between chapters is gruelling.

 

And I have an idea on who the Brit is based on...

As for the main relationship, the only real question mark is why the Brit keeps postponing the inevitable...

 

Hope to read more soon!!

Hey Andy! Thanks so much for the review. Sorry for the long wait in chapters, this time of the year is always difficult for me to balance work/life. But expect more installments soon. Also, I'm curious who you think the Brit might be based on... writing as we speak :)
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I am really loving these tiny references to DWP. ;) Also, this chapter made me miss playing Never Have I Ever with my friends. You learn so much...

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4 hours ago, jlee09 said:

I am really loving these tiny references to DWP. ;) Also, this chapter made me miss playing Never Have I Ever with my friends. You learn so much...

Always a GREAT way to get info from someone you’re curious about. What’s your most controversial Never Have I Ever?

  • Haha 1
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16 hours ago, Jwolf said:

Always a GREAT way to get info from someone you’re curious about. What’s your most controversial Never Have I Ever?

Nothing compared to this. I may have asked people to show their cards re kinks. 🤪

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