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    shortmix
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Moving Over - 2. Chapter 2

Boy befriends boy

A couple of minutes had already gone by before Zane could hear footsteps coming to the front door and the handle jiggle. In his head he prayed that it wouldn't be Meg answering the door. He wasn't really looking for any sort of drama today and considering what happened last time, she seemed to be someone who carried it around with her. The door cracked open and Mrs. Finley popped her head out.

"Yes? Oh, hi-eh Zack, was it?" she said.

"It's Zane, ma'am. It's nice to see you again, Mrs. Finley." he said.

"Oh, my apologies. Well, I'm sorry but if you're looking for Meg, she's not here. She went off to that mall nearby on her own. Maybe you can catch up to her there."

"No" said Zane, "I was wondering if Jack was home."

Mrs. Finley allowed herself a smile.

"Oh, right. I was hoping you'd say that. Please, come in." she said and opened the door for him. Zane stepped inside and she continued.

"Jack is in his room, he usually is. Jack!" she called upstairs "Jack, come down please."

There was no answer.

"Well, you can just go up and see him" she said "I have to get back to work now, I'm sure you two will be fine. Make yourself at home okay?"

With that, Mrs. Finley rushed off into another room on the ground floor. She probably had a study room or an office where she wrote her columns. Zane climbed up the stairs. This house was built a lot like his, three bedrooms and two bathrooms, the usual. One of the doors he passed was open and Zane looked in to see it decked out in pinks and white, a cheerleading uniform, a mirror full of pictures. Gag. If there ever was a stereotypical teenage girl room, she'd have it. What a nightmare. The other room had the door closed and a cheesy sign on the front that said "Stay Out!" Zane chuckled to himself. He didn't know people still used these things on their doors. What was this, the nineties? Just as Zane was about to knock, he thought he heard the sound of movement and music. He tried to listen closely butt was playing too softly for him to figure out what it was. More shuffling about, Zane wasn't sure what was going on in there but there was only one way to find out. Gently he grasped the door knob and every so slowly turned it. Dang, no use. The door was locked. He could feel the knob stop and wouldn't budge. He shrugged, time to knock. Almost immediately after his fist touched the door once the music shut off.

"What? What do you want, mom?" called Jack's voice through the door. Zane was surprised. This was the loudest he'd ever heard Jack speak yet.

"It's Zane" he replied.

There was a dull crash and a whole bunch of shuffling. It sounded like there was a rhino stumbling around his room high.

"You alright in there?" Zane asked.

"What-what are you doing here. Wait just-ugh wait!" Jack was covering something up, Zane was sure, but was could it be? Zane chuckled as he could only guess. The door unlocked suddenly and was wrenched open.

"What do you want!" Jack's big blue eyes met Zane's for a second before he lowered them "Sorry, I mean, what are you-uh-what are you doing here" he said more softly.

"Well, yesterday I asked if you wanted to hang out and you said yes so…" Zane crooked him a smile and Jack glanced at it before going back to staring at his feet.

"Yeah okay" said Jack and he seemed to relax just a bit before asking "where are we going?"

"Well," said Zane, looking into Jack's room, "I was going to take you to the mall, but your sister's already there, so that's out of the question. Do you have anything to do here?"

Jack looked back into his room uncertainly and said "Well…"

"I want to see your room" Zane pressed "Meg's looks so…cliché. I was wondering if it ran in the family."

Zane smiled down at Jack who shot him another one of his looks.

"My room is not cliché, jerk." he said. Zane just giggled and tried to stoop in his room to look.

"Come on, Jackie. I'll show you mine if you show me yours."

"What did you just say?" Jack's tone was deadpan and Zane looked down to see he was being given a very cold stare.

"What? I'm sorry, I didn't mean to-it was a joke okay? I meant show me your room, not show…whatever you think I meant."

"Why did you call me Jackie?"

"I just-I don't know. I didn't mean it in a bad way, okay? It's like a nickname. Like a pet name-not that you're a pet or anything! It's like- I like you so I gave you-wait, I mean, I'm not saying I like you, like you, but…" Zane was rambling and he looked down at Jack who's stare turned into a very weird look.

"What?...Just show me your room!" huffed Zane. Oh how the tables had turned, now he was the one stumbling over his words like an idiot.

Jack let his weird look linger for a few moments longer before he finally said "fine" and led Zane in.

Jack's room was cliché of a typical teenager's room only in that it was a mess. There was a big pile of clothes in two corners of the room, if one was clean and one was dirty, Zane couldn't tell the difference. On his walls were pieces of art that looked to be from when he was young. There was a paper mache mask, a charcoal drawing of some desk objects, a painting of a sunset. On his desk there were pencils, pens, and colored pencils strewn about everywhere, random bits of papers flung here and there, the bottom of a stapler. For being new to the neighborhood, Jack certainly knew how to make a mess very quickly. His bed sat in the middle of the room against the far wall, directly on the floor without any bedframe. Needless to say, his bed was not made and there was even a smaller pile of clothes hanging out on his pillow.

"Holy ****, Jack. This is, what, your second day here? What'd you do, just dump everything out onto the floor?" Zane motioned to the mess around him. Jack looked a bit shamed but only shrugged in response and sat down on the foot of his bed.

"You seen it, now what?" said Jack.

"I see you like art" said Zane, "are you an artist?"

"I doodle" said Jack, still looking down at his feet. His arms were crossed and he almost looked as if he were pouting. He looked kind of cute like that. Today he was in another over-sized t-shirt and baggy pajama pants. His curls looked hastily matted down into an acceptable shape, but Zane could tell that Jack hadn't thought much about going out.

"What?" said Jack, breaking the silence. Zane was going to have to be more careful about staring. It was just a bit too obvious.

"Nothing" he replied and spotted a television. "So do you play video games?"

"Who doesn't?" Jack said sarcastically.

"Your sister?"

"She can't play video games. She's too busy playing with her boyfriends'…you know…" Jack trailed off.

"They're d***s?" said Zane and he laughed as Jack nearly died. He could say "s***" all the time but throw in the word "d***" and he's as red as a beet.

Jack sat started up the game system and for a good, long time the two enjoyed each other's company. Zane was amazed at how competitive Jack actually was. Beneath that tiny little exterior there was a fire burning just as bright as anyone's. In fact, with most of the games they played, Jack would win. Best of all though, whenever Zane looked over, Jack looked like he was actually, truly having fun. He wasn't completely out of his shell yet, but he was smiling the most of the time, which was a good thing.

Eventually lunch came along and Jack's mother called them down for dinner. She was far too busy that day to make anything so delivery pizza it was. She grabbed a slice, asked the boys how they were doing, smiled and then hurried back to her den to continue her work. Throughout lunch and for the next couple of hours Jack and Zane talked. Well, Zane did most of the talking. Jack began asking Zane about his family. Zane's felt like his family wasn't anything special. His mother was a secretary for some big law firm and his father was a was the manager of a marketing company. Both of them were based in the big city about an hour drive from their house and so spent a lot of time away from home. Zane had an older brother who had joined the army and was stationed somewhere in Colorado. No one was particularly interesting, no one had any dark pasts, or juicy secrets, well, except for him. Still, Jack sat through it all and kept asking questions and soon they were laying back in his room, on top of the bed next to each other, just talking.

After a while Zane slipped his hand under the pillow to better support his head and felt the pages of something. He pulled it out and looked at it.

"Vogue magazine?" he said.

Jack nearly screamed and shot up, "that's not mine, okay!"

"Whoa" Zane said gently, "calm down, it's no big-."

"I just-I look at it because-umm-the girls are hot, okay"

Jack was staring wide-eyed at his hands and he was shaking visibly. He was panicking. Zane knew better though and although he tried not to show it, his face betrayed him and had a look that said "really, queen?"

Jack saw this and got up from the bed.

"What?!" he was shouting now, "It isn't mine, okay!"

"Jack" Zane started, getting up from the bed, but Jack wasn't going to have it.

"Just get out! Get out now!"

Jack's scrawny little arms were a lot stronger than they seemed as he pushed Zane out of his room amidst the boy's protests. Zane was trying to tell him that it was okay. He was trying to tell him he wasn't going to judge him. He very nearly told him the truth about himself, but Jack shoved him out and slammed the door before Zane could get a word in edge-wise. He heard the lock click and sighed. There was no use trying now, Jack was too hysterical to listen to anything he had to say right now and so he made his way downstairs. At the bottom, Jack's mother met him with a concerned look.

"I'm so sorry," he said before she could ask, "there was a huge misunderstanding and now he's upset. I didn't mean to…"

Zane felt his own voice trail off as a lump started to grow in his throat. He felt really bad about how that all went down, he really did. He and Jack were really starting to connect and now he blew it.

"Oh, Jack" Mrs. Finley said with a sigh. She looked down at Zane and tried to comfort him. "It's not your fault, I'm sure. Jack just-he's very sensitive to things, you know?"

She looked tired and a bit worn out like she had dealt with this problem before.

"Before our move" she continued, "he didn't have all that many friends, and now that we're someplace new, he has no one."

An almost pleading look came into her eyes and she laid a hand on his shoulder. "Just let him be for now. I do hope you'll be by again tomorrow. Maybe he will have cooled down by then. You really are one of the only friends he has."

Zane nodded. Of course he wouldn't be giving up on Jack. In fact, now, more than ever, he was determined to make things work. He left with a short goodbye and as he walked back home he looked down at the Vogue magazine in his hand. At least now he had proof. Well, not exactly concrete proof, but proof enough for him.

The next day Zane arrived at Jack's house and knocked. This time Meg answered the door.

"Hiii Zaaane" Meg said in her sweetest voice, posing in the doorway. Zane was going to puke.

"Is Jack home?" he asked.

Meg rolled her eyes and let him into the house "yeah, the little **** is in his room. Has been all morning."

Zane walked in, magazine held tightly rolled up in his hand. He was trying not to make it noticeable. Meg whipped around to give him her puppy dog eyes.

"Why do you even care about my little brother? I'm so much more interesting" she said and laid herself seductively over the living room couch. Zane tried not to audibly gag.

"You know who I think you'd find interesting?" Zane said, "Ben Hennessey."

Zane knew they would match perfectly. Ben also had a…reputation.

"Oh, I met him" Meg said matter-of-factly just as her phone buzzed.

"Speak of the devil" she said and walked away to take the call with an oh so sweet "Hellooo!"

Zane made his way upstairs and Jack's door was closed. He knocked but no one answered. Why would he? He probably spent the night crying his eyes out. He tried knocking again.

"Go away!" called a rather weak voice from inside.

Zane knew that Jack would never let him in at this point and he wasn't about to yell through the door that he knew all about Jack's secret. Quietly he unfurled the magazine and slipped it through the bottom of the door. With that he walked down the stairs, out the door, and back to his house. In his room he waited. He prayed to whomever was up there that Jack would get his little note stuck to the top of the magazine. Last night he had done some reading and this morning he took out a sticky note and wrote his address and the words "I like the article on page 15. Come over please so we can talk about it together!"

Hooray! You finished without giving up on me...yet. Please stay tuned for part 3. :thankyou:

Copyright © 2015 shortmix; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Jack is a tough nut to crack, but Zane is a very smart and focused boy. He's patient
and plans ahead. Very atypical behavior for a teen, -and he's good not evil. He's a
nice guy and I like him. He's not all cynical and dramatic, but he is bored, lonely...

 

I've enjoyed this story so far, thanks.

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I think I'd already be so annoyed with Jack that I'd look somewhere else for a boyfriend, but I for my part have never actually seen those huge puppy eyes of Jack, maybe if I had, I couldn't resist them either? ;)
So far this is alright, some spelling errors here and there (like Zane asking "You're sister?" instead of "Your sister?" when they talk about video games) but nothing major. Keep going! :)

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I have a feeling Jack's been hurt before, so he's reluctant to trust anyone - especially someone he just met. It seems like he'll be worth the effort to break through his walls. Hopefully Zane will succeed. ;)
The story is moving at a good pace and I'm enjoying it so far. I look forward to seeing where you take us. You might want to think about posting in the writing support requests forum for an editor to clean up the story a little bit. There are some grammatical and spelling errors. Also, I find the use of the asterisks in place of the swear words a bit distracting. It's ok to swear here. ;) On to the next chapter...

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