Waiting Outside The Lines

Chapter 17

The closer we got to this 'Mingus' boy, the more beautiful he became. Frighteningly so. Perhaps it was my gentle struggle with the fact that I was being physically pushed in his direction by Asa and Chandler simultaneously that caused Mingus to notice our approach. He didn't seem distressed, necessarily, but I did see him straighten up a bit, a very slight gesture with his hand to lightly brush the few loose strands of blond hair off of his forehead.

Wow...did he do that in slow motion? Or did I just imagine that?

Asa spoke first, just as we got within ten feet of him. "Mingus! What's the word, angel?" He smiled.

I don't think I've ever seen a rose colored blush come to a boy's face so fast. Then again, his skin was so flawless and smooth that the nearly pale cheeks looked paper thin. I saw his hands go into the pockets of his unzipped sweatshirt top and push down a bit, stretching the fabric over his slender shoulders. "Hi guys..." His voice was very gentle, the hushed whisper of a choir boy's song.

"Come by to see your dad again, huh?" Asa grinned.

"Yeah." Mingus mumbled softly.

"Hey, Mingus." Chandler smiled, and Mingus just sort of gave him a bashful nod and waved to him a little from the hip, without removing his hands from his jacket.

There was a brief pause between us where nobody said anything at all, and yet...it didn't feel half as awkward as you'd think it would be. There was this really delicate beauty about him that made you just want to stare at him in silence for a while and appreciate the fact that you get to bear witness to what must be a full bodied erotic event for everyone else who got to see him since he got out of bed this morning. Making conversation with him was the equivalent of holding a snuggly little rabbit in your arms to keep it from running away. It was just something you did to prolong the experience for as long as you could.

"You should come by more often, Mingus. I'm always telling you that." Asa told him. "Just hang out. Have some fun with us. Play some video games or whatever. I mean, you don't have school or anything right now, right?"

Mingus shrugged, his eyes looking down at his shoes. "Nope. No school." Then he peeked up for a moment, almost as if he was just doing it because he was obligated to be polite. "I have a soccer gam later. So...my mom and dad were going to stop by for a while."

Chandler smiled at him. "Can we come? I'd watch you run around in shiny shorts for a few hours."

Mingus grinned to himself, his blush deepening with every word. "I dunno." He shrugged. "I guess. If you want. It's whatever."

Everything about him was coated with a certain angelic grace. I don't know why, but it just made me nervous for some reason. I don't even think it was an actual emotion causing the vibrating flutters in my stomach. I think it was more of an involuntary biological reaction to his beauty alone. Something about him just stood out when pitted against the mundane vision of the rest of reality. And that's saying a LOT when you're standing between Chandler Riggs and Asa Butterfield.

Asa turned to me and said, "Mingus, here, is a man of very few words. He's such a shy guy. It's adorable."

"I'm not shy..." Mingus snickered, now taking one hand out of his pocket to cover his smile up. I thought he might say something else, but he just let his eyes connect to mine for a moment and then he looked right back down to his shoes again.

"He's such a sweetheart." Chandler said. "This is our friend, Evan. He's brand new for this season and stuff. We're hoping to keep him around for a while."

Arrrghhh!!! The only thing worse than my inability to keep from staring at this boy is being put in the temporary spotlight for him to stare at me first!

"Hey, Evan." He could be so quiet...and yet, his voice would cause you to swoon anyway. "I hope you get to stay for a while."

Omigod, did he just say that to me? Awwwww! I started to breathe a little heavier, my beating heart squeezing the oxygen out of my lungs, one erratic thud at a time. "Th-Th-Thanks..."

"Who knows with THIS show? Right? Hehehe!" Chandler grinned, and he moved in closer just as Mingus reached up his long, thin, fingers to brush his blond locks aside again. I could tell that Asa was getting excited. I half expected him to do something really wild right there and then, but he kept his self control. It made me think of shy little Mingus being coerced into that trailer and sitting between them the way I was earlier today. Would he make the same choice that I did? Or would he give in? Would they be lovingly sucking on both sides of his neck right now if they had cornered him first this afternoon instead of me? I watched as Mingus bashfully chuckled at their further comments. He seemed to like the attention, but that might have been as far as things went with him. Who knows? This whole situation just made me feel so HEAVY inside! Ugh!

"I like your T-shirt..." Asa smirked, and put his hand on the boy's chest. I didn't know how loosely fitted the shirt was until Asa pressed it closely against his narrow frame. "It's so soft. Hehehe! How do you keep your shirts so white?"

"I wash 'em. Heh..." It was the tiniest of giggles, but a very sweet attempt at letting his humor bloom through his usually timid nature. "I like white. So I have to wash it right away and don't wait too long or it gets dingy. My mom got me this stuff." It was the most he had said to us since we started talking, and Asa's heart must have skipped several beats as he leaned into him.

Mingus leaned away at first, but Asa said, "Wait wait, hold on. I just want to tell you something."

"Something like what?" Mingus asked.

"Well, I can't tell you if you don't come here. I don't want them to hear it."

"Hehehe, why not?"

"Just...come close. It'll only take a second. Come here." Asa said, and reluctantly...Mingus leaned in again. Asa cupped his hand over Mingus' ear and began whispering into it. He leaned in even closer, and I'm pretty sure that his lips were touching his ear. Mingus snickered and shied away from him again, shrugging one of his shoulders as his face turned red all over again. "What? What's the matter?"

Mingus said, "Hehehe, quit. That tickles."

"It does not. Come back here."

"It does."

Asa giggled, "Just...give me a second, k?"

"Well, hurry up then." Mingus let Asa go back to whispering in his ear, with a few ticklish twitches here and there, and then he finally said, "I don't know. I can't."

Asa asked, "Why not? It'll be fun."

Mingus shrugged bashfully again. "I think my friends and I have plans. We were planning on making a day of it."

"Are you sure?" Asa asked. "Because it's gonna be a really sweet time. Chandler's gonna be there. We're both trying to get Evan, here, to come as well. It'll just be us boys, nobody else." Then Asa asked, "Do you know who Greyson Chance is?" My ears suddenly perked up, and I watched as Mingus gently shook his head. "Ah, well, whatever. Greyson Chance is amazing! You'd love him if you met him!"

Chandler piped in with, "Maybe if YOU come by this weekend, then we can get Evan to come by too. And Evan knows Greyson really well! So, if Evan can convince him to come too...maybe all FIVE of us can get together and have some fun!"

Wait, WHAT?!?!?!

I started to say something, but Chandler pressed his finger to his lips to tell me to be quiet.

Mingus gave me a little peek, and he giggled a bit but stifled it as he fixed his hair again. "I don't know, you guys..."

At that moment, my phone rang, and I found myself thankful for the distraction. What the hell was even HAPPENING, right now???

OMIGOD, it's Greyson!!! Shit! where is he? Can he see me? Does he, like...feel a disturbance in the 'force' or something right now! Shit! I've got to get out of here! Like...right now!

"I did what? No I didn't!" I said, still feeling those near orgasmic tingles rushing over my shoulders and rising up behind my ears. My, oh my, what that boy does to me with just a few connected words and a smile.

"You DID!" He chuckled. "Well, technically, it was my fault too. I was filming a big scene for my music video and you called me. I totally forgot to turn my cell phone off, so everybody had to stop and they kinda laughed at me. Sooooo embarrassing! Luckily the director didn't mind too much."

"Oh my gosh, Greyson, I'm sorry! I didn't know." I said.

"Hehehe, well of course you didn't know. How would you? Don't worry, I'm just teasin' ya." Then, Greyson asked me, "Evan? Are you ok?"

I suddenly tensed up. "Yeah. I'm fine. Why?"

"I don't know, you're breathing all heavy and stuff. Sounds like something's got you all excited."

He can HEAR that??? I glanced back at Asa and Chandler, standing on either side of Mingus Reedus and cautiously closing in on him from either side when he wasn't looking at them. Wow, those two definitely had the art of getting super hot boys to feel frisky down to a science. Nervously, I answered, "No. No, I'm just...I've got a lot of caffeine in my system. Maybe that's it." Caffeine in my system? Where the hell did I pull THAT lame excuse from? That sounds like something my mom would tell my old Cub Scout leader when I was being too hyper.

Greyson just grinned and said, "I'm not saying that I don't like it. It's kinda sexy."

"Whoah, hehehe! I'll keep that in mind, then. I'll write it in my awesome stuff to remember about Greyson Chance notebook." I said. "I didn't really want anything when I called earlier. I just wanted to hear your voice. It's crazy, but I think of you every minute of the day and it's sort of hard to control myself when it comes to just being able to call you up and say hello. I guess you could say that I still haven't gotten past that whole celebrity aura or yours yet."

Greyson giggled in the cutest way. "You act like I'm Michael Jackson or something. You're spending your Summer on a set full of celebrities..."

"Yeah, but I don't love them like I love you." I can't say that I regretted saying that so casually over the phone...but I wish I had taken a quick second to phrase it in a way that didn't make me sound so...desperate.

I wouldn't slip up so much if it wasn't so true.

Greyson just gave me an, "Awwwww...you're sweet." But I could practically hear him wiggling with infatuation when I said it. Then he sighed and told me, "Out of all the people in the world, and all the places that I've been, I have no idea how the heck I found myself a boy like you, Evan. I'm just glad I did. My life would be so uneventful right now without you in it."

I heard Mingus laugh a little bit, and I walked to move further away from them. From any eavesdropping ears, in fact. I just wanted Greyson to hear me out, if only for a few more seconds. "Greyson? You still there?" I asked.

"Hehehe, yeah. Why?"

A part of me wanted to shout it all out without thinking. Speak from the heart and make no apologies, right? But another part of me wanted to use some tact and a bit of strategy when it came to saying this. the last thing I wanted to do was run him off and leave Greyson thinking that I was some sort of a creep, or just a blind fan among the masses, screaming and crying like everybody else in the crowd. It was quick and it was sudden and it's not like we had experienced any kind of extended courtship or anything...but...after everything that's happened today, I wanted him to know. Like...without goofing around about it.

"Greyson...I..." where did my breath go? It suddenly got stolen from me.

"Huh? What's going on...?" He asked. "Are you there?"

"Yeah. I'm here." I said. It would have been so easy for me to surrender to the despair involved with not being able to say the words out loud...but I kept fighting. Kicking against the current. Even if I sound silly for making such a giant leap of faith and hoping that these wild butterflies in my stomach will somehow use their frantic wings to carry me to the other side...I'll take it. I'll be the clown. The court jester. As long as I make Greyson smile. As long as he knows how utterly entranced I am by everything he does...and everything he is.

Now that I've been thinking about it for so long, I almost wish those were the words I had used to explain my clumsy conversation...instead of thinking them up in my head and not being able to articulate my feelings without any need for translation.

I didn't even get a chance to take a deep breath. I just started babbling. "I KNOW this is going to sound so stupid, but...from the moment that you and I spent that night alone in your room..." I saw some other people walking around on set near me, so I moved even further away from the action to get some more privacy. "No, wait! Scratch that. Actually...even before that! Like...when you invited me to come over in the first place. No wait...hold on..." I walked even further away so I wouldn't have to speak so softly. I wanted to say this right. Without any pressure of having anybody listening in on us. I wanted it to just be me and Greyson. Just like it should be. "...I think it was even before that!" I said. "You know, when you brought me lunch and stuff, and you told Asa and Chandler that you just wanted to be with me...and we went out to have lunch by that tiny lake...or was it a pond? And you did that REALLY cute thing with the ladybug?"

"With a ladybug?" He asked. "Hehehe, I'm afraid you're losing me, Evan."

"Omigod, you don't remember?" I smirked. "I had a bug on me and you took it off?"

He said, "I sorta remember. I just didn't expect you to keep a thing like that in mind, I guess." Was I messing this up? Why am I SHAKING like this? "Evan, where are you going with all this? Hehehe!"

I grunted to myself. "I think what I'm trying to say is..."

"Evan Elliott?" The random voice startled me for a second, and I looked up to see one of many adults walking around the set with an earpiece and a clipboard. "They're just about ready for you."

"K. Thanks." I told him, and waited for him to get away from me so I could get back to what I was doing. "Greyson?"

"Uh huh?"

"Ok...what I'm trying to say is..."

"Actors, on set. Take your marks, people. Let's make some magic happen." The director called out.

Shit. Ok...so much for a lengthy confession. "Greyson, when I say that I'm falling...or...that I fell in love with you...you know that I'm not just trying to be sweet, right? I mean, it's not just because you're cute. And it's not because I'm some crazy stalker fanboy that's all hyped up about your celebrity. And it's not just because we...when we did...what we did. Heh...gosh, this is harder than I thought it would be. But maybe that's a good thing. Call it a testament to how much it means to me to tell you this."

"Wait...are you saying...?"

"I love you, Greyson. Not, like...puppy love. I truly adore everything about you. I think about your smile and it brightens my whole day. I get a quiet moment to myself, and it's like I can hear your voice in my ear. All of these cute boys to look at around here, but not a single one of them makes me tremble the way I do when I hear your voice on the phone. Even if it's just your voicemail. I feel like I'm going crazy here and it's scary sometimes, but...all I can think about is being close to you again, if for no other reason than to see just how 'crazy' things can get." There was a brief silence, and it made me nervous. "I'm not making any sense right now, am I?"

"Heh..." Wait. Oh no! He sounds sad! What did I do? Did I make him sad? Is this where he totally rejects me and tells me we can't be together anymore? What's going on??? "You're making perfectsense, Evan. Wow..." I heard a light sniffle, and he said, "You know...I've traveled all around the world, I've gone to places that I can't even pronounce where I don't know anybody, I don't speak the language, I don't even know what food I've got sitting on the plate right in front of me. I've got to get on stage in front of thousands of people who spent their hard earned money just to hear me sing for a while. And you wanna know something?" He sniffled again. "I don't think I've ever been more scared than I am at this very moment. Hehehe, geez...give me a minute..." He said.

I 'scare' him. Ok, so that...that could be a good thing, right?

"Evan! We need you in front of the camera, buddy." The director called out. I even saw my mom walking over to interrupt my moment. So, in a panic, I said, "Greyson, I've gotta run. They're forcing me to get back to work. But...I really really REALLY love you! Ok? I've been afraid to say it the way I wanted to. I was worried it was too silly and too soon...but if I didn't make a true effort to tell you how I felt about you, I was going to explode! I hope this is ok."

"Hehehe! Yes, Evan. It's more than ok." He whimpered. "I love you too. More than I was ready to admit before you said it first. You're more beautiful than you give yourself credit for, you know that?"

"Having you tell me that makes me a believer. Hehehe!" I started to get a bit misty eyed myself. I think the adrenaline rush of being able to talk to Greyson like this was triggering an emotional response that I wasn't quite ready for. But I had to quickly turn my back to my mom as she got closer. Didn't want her to ask me any questions that I couldn't answer.

"Evan? What are you doing? They're calling for you. You can talk to your friends later."

"Ok, ok...just a second." I said, walking away from her as she followed me. "I'm so SO sorry, but I've gotta hang up now."

"Go on. Call me later, k?" Greyson smiled. "Make me proud, Evan Elliott."

"I will. Promise."

Then...Greyson said, "I love you, Evan."

The goosebumps that those few words raised on my skin were making me so sensitive that the slightest breeze would have caused me to collapse from the tingles inside. Hehehe! Ok, so love is scary...but it's also fun. Every minute of the day is like that first drop of a roller coaster. How do people FUNCTION in normal, every day, life with this level of lovey dovey nitro shooting through their system during every waking moment of their lives?

"Love you too, Greyson." I whispered, and tried to give him a soft and quiet kiss before quickly hanging up the phone.

I stood up straight and spun around to see my mother looking at me, face to face. "What are you doing?" She asked, seeing the water in my eyes.

I wiped them on the back of my hands and tried to settle down enough so my voice wouldn't quiver when I spoke. "I just needed a few seconds to get into character. That's all. I'm ready now." She gave me a strange look, but once I smiled and started heading towards the set, she assumed that I must be alright and let me go.

I did it. I told him. I mean, I may have said the words before in some sort of awkward attempt at expressing the excitement inside...but it wasn't like this. No, I think I'm actually in love. YIKES! Breathe, Evan. Keep breathing.

And quit grinning like a PSYCHO!!! Jesus...I'm shaking so bad, my hands are numb! Hehehe!

If love gets any better than this, I don't know how my heart is going to handle it!