Picture Me And You

Chapter 11

It's kind of hard for me to keep myself from grinning, ear to ear, like this. You know? It's like being possessed by this joyful demon that refuses to let me slip away from the total bliss in my heart for even a moment to selfishly keep it all to myself. Hehehe! It's sooooo euphoric, walking around like this all morning long. It really is. I wake up thinking about Rory's smile, I go to sleep trying to calm down enough to actually free myself from this blast of inexhaustible energy so I can get some rest. And I feel like I spend every waking moment in between trying to understand the physics of me suddenly being paired up with one of the most beautiful boys on the entire planet, all while doubting my own sanity at the same time. It just...it doesn't feel real. I'm trying to embrace the idea of it, but I can't without feeling as though I'm falling into some crazy pit of denial and delusion. I mean...does he really love me too? Is that possible?

Having a boyfriend of Rory's caliber is just...it forces you to re-evaluate everything that you ever thought you understood about love and attraction in the first place. I mean...I KNOW why I feel so hard for him! I know why he caused my every sensual nerve to burn itself out at the very first sight of him. It makes total sense. But me? Ugh...why me?

I know that I should probably just relax and enjoy this for whatever it is...but it isn't easy. Because I'm always afraid that he's going to 'wake up' out of whatever amateur love spell that I cast on him at any second, and he's going to wonder why he ever fell for that deceptive magic trick in the first place.

I am SO much like the 'man behind the curtain' in the Wizard Of Oz right now!

Still, I managed to slide out of bed this morning and hop in the shower to clean up without laying back on my pillow for another twenty minutes, sighing to myself and squirming at the idea of actually being able to maybe wrap my arms around Rory's waist again some time soon and kiss those exquisitely soft lips of his again...feeling him shiver slightly as he enjoyed every last moment of it.

Omigod...I'm so in love! That's so weird to say to myself, but it's true. I'm, like...really REALLY in love with another boy right now! What the hell am I supposed to do with this feeling, you know?

I was coming out of the shower, drying my hair off with a towel and standing around in nothing but a pair of my boxers...and I saw that I got a text on my phone while I was away. It was short and sweet and to the point. Just Rory saying good morning, sending me a kiss, and wishing me a 'happy happy day' today. Awwww...could he be any more adorable? He does so much to me with so little effort. If he ever turned his boyish charm up to a complete 'ten'...I'd be helpless to stop him from taking complete and total control of my heart and soul. Seriously...he drives me wild without even trying. I love it!

I made sure to answer him back as soon as I got dressed, and he giggled in response, texting, "Love you, Kevin!"

Ok, now I'm actually getting a bad case of the wiggles in the center of my stomach. Hehehe, they tickle! "Love you too, Rory!" I replied, and we agreed to talk some more a bit later on in the evening. I guess he was heading out somewhere with his parents or something, so he couldn't talk for too long. Or too candidly, for that matter. But that was cool. I was going over to Kyle's house for a bit today anyway. Not for anything in particular. Just to hang out. Heh...I hope he'll still be able to have time for me these days. Ever since he's been talking to this 'Gabriel' guy online, he's been a little bit more evolved than he was before. I can't put my finger on it, but it's like...parts of his casual conversation have changed. To be honest, I think we were beginning to relate to one another a lot better, and we were getting back in sync like we were when we were kids. You know, before this whole dating ten score boys became such a big part of Kyle's and Jason's life. I felt so much more relaxed just talking to him. About...well...everything.

I won't hide from the fact that I spent a great deal of my time being jealous of the fact that they were getting laid almost every weekend. And not just from random hook ups, but by the kind of super sexy boys that I could only dream about. I hated being the third wheel in that whole situation, watching them have fun and bond over their shared interest of picking and choosing the cream of the crop when it came to cutest fucking boys in town. Yeah...it hurt. It felt like my best friends were maturing and moving on without me. I felt left behind.

Then...Rory comes along...

And you know what? I am SO glad that I waited! I mean, I'm still waiting for the big moment when we can be together and take things to the next level...but the truth is...I've been waiting my whole teenage life to find someone like Rory. So, waiting a little bit longer while still being able to date and smile and laugh together without committing to something before either one of us are truly ready for it? It's hardly an issue for me. Just having him randomly tell me that he loves me in a text with a giggle is almost too much for me to handle as it is. So...I guess building up to the main event is the way to go here. Because I doubt that I'd last more than thirty seconds with a boy that gorgeous. Hehehe! I'd try my best...but let's be real, dude. There's no WAY that I could ever even LOOK at Rory naked without cumming in my pants and fainting at his feet!

Best to save that highly embarrassing moment for later...when I can maybe hold out for a full minute or two.

I called Kyle to let him know that I was on my way over, and he was already deep into some game that he was chipping away at on his Playstation, so his attention was severely detached from anything that I was saying to him. "Yeah. Whatever. Come over. Back door's open..." He said, then grunting, "...ACKKK!!! You son of a BITCH! FUCK this game, man!"

Giggling, I said, "Use the 'force', dude. It'll guide you through."

"Fuck off!" He said.

"Hahaha! Alright, be there in a few minutes." I hung up the phone, but I was tempted to send Rory another message to just...I don't know...let him know that I was thinking about him. Is that excessive? I don't want to come off as being too clingy. I just exchanged texts with him, like...fifteen minutes ago. I'll send him something a bit later. I need to have some kind of restraint, right?

Anyway, I made sure to ring the doorbell before opening Kyle's back door and coming inside. Just in case he was in there scratching his nuts or something. All I could hear was him still cursing at his TV as I gave his bedroom door a light knock and wandered in. He was quick to pause the game and stand up to give me a proper 'bro hug'. "Whassup, Kev? You feeling good?"

"Yeah, actually." I smiled. "Surprisingly good, to be honest."

"You too? Hehehe, it's crazy, right? I've been feeling like this 24/7 ever since Gabe and I made plans for our first date. I can't even shake it. I feel like dancing. ALL the time!" He laughed.

"Whoah whoah whoah...where did this come from? You guys made a date? Like, to meet up and stuff?" I asked, a bit shocked by the sudden development with his newest pursuit.

"I didn't tell you about that? I guess we were just thinking about it the last time you and I talked, but...yeah. We're going to try out that deli that he was raving about. He even offered to pay for it all, but I'm probably gonna pay my own way anyway. I just want to spend some quality time with him."

I wrinkled up my forehead, giving Kyle a sideways look, "Look at this...hehehe...you're actually being...a gentleman in all this. What's that about?"

Kyle gave me a little shove. "I've always been a gentleman, asshole! I'm just...I doing things different this time." He said. "Gabe is like...he's worth it. You know?"

Experiencing a blast of tingles and sparkles running through my deepest feels at that moment, I just grinned wide and put my arm over Kyle's shoulder. "You really like him, don't you?"

"Honestly?" He said. "I don't think I've ever liked another boy more. It's like...I didn't even know what I was looking for in a boyf until Gabe showed it to me. He's really special to me, dude." Then he sighed and said, "I'll be honest, I really did think that you were all out of whack, talking about your feelings and searching for somebody special. It seemed so ridiculous at the time, but...I think that I'm kinda liking this new approach right now. Every time I just see his name in my messages...that alone feels like an orgasm. It's actually pretty awesome."

"I KNOW, right???" I giggled. "Me too! I mean, we've never really done anything more than make out a few times, but I feel like we had sex a thousand times, just from a little eye contact and a smile. It's insane!" I was so happy to hear that Kyle could actually understand where I was coming from for once! You have no idea how happy it made me to feel like we fit together again like the two pieces of the puzzle that we used to be when we were kids.

Then...the doorbell rang downstairs, and I heard the back door open again.

"You expecting more company?" I asked.

It was a brief hesitation, but a hesitation, nonetheless. "Jason was coming over to chill for a bit. I hope you don't mind."

"I don't mind." I told him. "I just..."

But, as Jason walked up the stairs and opened the door to Kyle's bedroom...he took one look at me and it was almost like his whole mood had suddenly changed. Like, he didn't expect me to be there today...and was kind of pissed off that I was.

Really, dude? I mean...what could I have possibly done to make him so angry and standoffish every time he came within ten feet of me? I spoke up and said hello to him, trying to wipe the slate clean and pretend that I didn't see the instant disdain for my presence the second I entered the room. I've known Jason for a year or two now, and I know he can be stubborn about certain things...but he doesn't usually hold his grudges for very long. He gets upset, he lashes out, pouts for a day or two...and then it's back to business as usual. Or...at least, that was the routine that Kyle and I had both gotten used to at this point.

But this time, as Jason looked away from me and mumbled, "Oh. Hey." And walked over to Kyle's desk to play around on his computer, it was easy to tell that something was seriously wrong with him this time around. He REALLY didn't want to talk to me all of a sudden. Or even look me in the eye. Seriously, what the fuck did I ever do to HIM to make him feel so sour when it came to addressing me like a rational human being?

He didn't seem to have much of a problem grinning in my face when he thought he was so much better than me for racking up points on his 'cute boy scoreboard'. Now I get ONE boy of my very own...just ONE...and he acts like I had some kind of unfair advantage over him or something. Like I cheated, somehow, and don't deserve the warm feelings in my heart right now...simply because he didn't get to feel them first. It's like he's mad that he didn't give us permission to enjoy our lives too.

Honestly, I refused to let Jason's bullshit attitude make me feel uncomfortable. Kyle and I are getting along just fine. He can either have fun with us, or he can sit there and sulk in a corner like a fucking BABY all by himself. Who really gives a shit anymore?

"So when is this deli date of yours? Is it soon?" I asked Kyle, ignoring Jason's silent treatment as he picked up the video game controller and tried to bait us into begging him to tell us what the fuck his malfunction was. I refused to give him the satisfaction of ruining our good time.

"Hehehe, tomorrow. Three O' Clock. I was thinking of getting up early and maybe getting him one of those frosted cupcakes from the lower level of the mall."

"Oooh, the vanilla frosted ones with the sprinkles?" I grinned.

"Omigod, YES! Those are the ones! I don't think Gabe's ever tried one of those before. I think he'll like it." Kyle said. "You don't think it's too sweet or anything, do you?"

"Nah. No way. Those cupcakes are delicious dude! I'm sure he'll love it..."

"FUCK!!!" Jason suddenly said out of nowhere. I thought it might have been him losing at the game at first, but he was just harboring this intense hatred for what Kyle and I were talking about. "What the fuck has happened to you two?"

Kyle was like, "What happened to who? What are you talking about?"

"Vanilla cupcakes, dude??? Seriously? When did you turn into a total BITCH on my, Kyle?" He growled. "Just because Kevin got lucky ONE time with some hottie, it doesn't mean that you have to totally lick his ass every time he comes over here with that puppy love bullshit!"

"Nobody's licking anybody's ass, Jason. Kevin's in love. Why is that a bad thing?"

"He's NOT in love! GOD! Stop saying that!" Jason grunted. "Just stop talking about your 'ten score' boyfriend already! It's obnoxious. He's not all that, you know?"

"Jesus, Jason..." Kyle said, actually kind of offended by his little tirade. I was offended too, but I didn't say a word.

"I'm just telling the truth. You haven't even fucked him yet, Kevin. If he hadn't lied about what he looked like, I could have taken him from you in a heartbeat. And we would have been screwing every weekend instead of holding hands at the lake like a couple of lames. It's pathetic. The hottest boy ever...and you're still a fucking virgin! What have you got to brag about?"

There were times when an outburst like this would have really hurt my feelings. It would have destroyed me, inside and out...and I probably would have gone home and cried my eyes out from the shame of being so humiliated in this way. But...not anymore. No...not anymore.

I narrowed my eyes for a moment, looking at Jason as he tried to vent his childish frustrations, and I saw his harsh words and aggressive feelings for what they really were. It was just this moment of true clarity that spared me from bearing the brunt of any of his comments at all. In fact, they all fell limp, right at my feet...and it only made me feel stronger. Not weaker.

Kyle spoke up to say, "What is it with you and the backhanded comments, Jason! Chill out! What the fuck is WRONG with you? Did you really have to say all that? Or ANY of that?"

But I put a hand out to keep Kyle from standing up for me. This was something that I wanted to do for myself this time.

"Why are you so angry at me, Jason. Really. I want to know." I said.

"Whatever. Fuck off."

"No, I MEAN it! What is it about me being 'happy' and succeeding in something that I really care about that makes you want to suddenly pop up and try to downplay it and want so desperately for me to fail? Make little comments and fight to tear me down when all I want is to be left alone? Are you really that jealous? That petty?" I said, and Jason gave me the most lethal look that hes ever given me since I've known him. "You can yell and scream all the insults that you want, but you've got no control at all when it comes to me being happy. Just know that. I'm not ever going to make myself miserable or doubt myself ever again for your benefit. That's not how this works."

Jason stood up and actually got in my face! "You are so FULL of yourself. You smug son of a bitch! Not only are you constantly going on and on about your goofy boyfriend bullshit, but now you've got Kyle doing that shit too. It's so stupid." He said. He was really agitated by us being happy. How sad is that. I mean, he's been harboring this inner conflict for days now. Maybe even longer. "Get laid ONE time! Just once! Then you can come and talk to me about love and giggles. Until then you're just a fake. I don't believe your bullshit at all. You and your internet 'pal' are destined to fail. Period. And I'm going to be right here when it happens to tell you that I told you so."

At this point, Kyle just lowered his eyes to his bedroom floor and shook his head. "Dude...you know what? If you're gonna act like this, I need you to leave my house. For real, get your shit and go."

"Fine! I don't care! You're being a faker too!" Jason said, tossing his controller across the room. "You got soft on my, Kyle! You're acting like just as much of a virgin as Kevin is..."

But I told him, "You may not realize it right now, Jason...but until you actually allow yourself to stop being so fucking shallow and rating gay boys by their looks and nothing else...until you feel what I feel for Rory, or what Kyle feels for Gabe...YOUR the only 'virgin' here. Grow the fuck up!"

"FUCK YOU BOTH!!!" Jason shouted, and he angrily stomped his way out of the house just as quickly as he came in. And I didn't want to bring the hammer down on him the way that I did, because, at the end of the day..Jason really has been like a little brother to Kyle and me over the years. It may not seem like it now, but despite a few tantrums, Jason has always been a lot easier to deal with. But we'll be damned if we let him step that far out of line without putting him back in check like a duo of big brothers are supposed to. Fuck that!

"I'm sorry, Kev. I don't know what's going on with him. Jason's been a real asshole about this whole thing." Kyle told me.

"It's ok. He'll either get over it, or he won't. I mean, every word that comes out of his mouth just exposes him for the jealous piece of shit that he is. He makes himself look worse and worse. He'd be better off if he said nothing at all."

"Jason could actually FIND himself a hot boyfriend if he just learned from his mistakes and tried to make a genuine connection with somebody instead of always swiping through pictures on his cell phone to find some cute blond to pound for one night and never see again."

"I know." I said, still feeling bad for running Jason out of the house like that. not that I SHOULD! He was being a fucking JERK! "Just...what kind of person gets upset over somebody else's good fortune, and then actively tries to ruin it for no other reason than they don't want you to have it? How psychotic is that? It's like...be happy for me, you know? What the hell?"

"Don't sweat it, Kevin. Jason's got some maturing to do. But we can't let that be our problem. I've got a date to prepare for tomorrow. A real 'date'. Hehehe! And if this deli place is any good, I'll give you the goods on it, and maybe you can take Rory there too some time. Deal?"

With a smile, I said, "Ummm, hehehe, ok! That would be cool!" Then I said, "Maybe, one of these days, all four of us can go together. That could be fun."

But Kyle was quick to say, "No! That's not gonna happen."

"No? Why not?"

He looked me directly in the eye and said, "Really, dude? No way. I'm not bringing your boyf anywhere NEAR my boyf!!! Fuck that! Hehehe! Rory is the kind of boy that can distract satellites in space with the way he looks. You keep him away from my Gabe! I'll have to cut you, bro!"

"Hahaha! Ok, ok...I can take a hint..." I said.

"Fuck a 'hint'! You keep that hottie under wraps for as long as you can. THEN we can talk about hanging out together later on." He said. "MUCH later on!"

"Alright. Deal." I said. And I felt that deep bond that Kyle and I used to have coming back in full force as he smiled at me and I smiled back at him. It's just...it's so cool to know that you've got a good friend in your corner again. It really is.