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Clinging to the Closet Door

Novel By: teampeeta99
Romance



TRIGGER WARNING: attempted suicide, bulimia, bullying, and mentions of past verbal child abuse (if you squint, and it only comes up in a few chapters) and depression (I have a fucked up mind)
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Hayden and Jace are best friends. Finally in their last year of High School, all that’s on their mind is winning the school their first ever football trophy. Well, that’s all that’s on Jace's mind. Hayden's mind is elsewhere. All he's thinking about is how he's going to tell Jace that he's gay.
When Hayden's dad plans an unexpected trip to Lake Michigan for the rest of the summer, Hayden and Jace are forced to share a room. Now, this wouldn't be so bad if Hayden wasn't in love with Jace, or if Jace wasn't discovering that he just might love Hayden back…
Clinging to the Closet Door showcases love between two guys. One that knows he's gay and has come to terms with it, and the other that still hasn't wrapped his head around it, and is "Clinging to the Closet Door"
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There was going to be a sequel to this, but I've since left Booksie. THIS story is complete, but it ends at an awkward place because I thought I'd be writing a sequel. Sorry, but a sequel just isn't in the cards anymore. Maybe someday.
Brandi x View table of contents...


Chapters:

1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Submitted:May 19, 2012    Reads: 593    Comments: 30    Likes: 10   


(Copyright 2012 teampeeta99)

boyxboy; don't like, don't read

~Chapter One~

Song for this chapter: Bad Day, by Daniel Powter

Jace's Point of View...

I started laughing hysterically, putting my hands in front of my mouth to try to stop. I struggled for breath, my body shaking.

"Y-You're joking, right?!" I managed to squeeze out. Hayden just looked at me with a scared look in his bright blue eyes, but a calm demeanor otherwise. "No, I'm not joking." He said, staring at me intently, gauging my reaction. I took in a deep breath, trying to wrap my head around what he's telling me, all my laughter gone, and seriousness replacing it.

"So…" I started. "You're a fag now, huh?" He cringed.

"Don't call me that."

"Why not, fag?"

"I said don't call me that." He said threateningly. I smirked, "Yeah? Fag, fag, fag, faggot!" I yelled angrily. I don't know why I was angry. Probably because he's lying to me. "You're not a fag!"

"Jace, I swear, if you call me that again I will personally punch you in the face." He seethed. My eyes narrowed, but I just rolled my eyes. "Whatever," I muttered, agitated.

Hayden just looked away, so I said, "Dude, it's just a phase, I'm sure. Probably just sex withdrawal. There's an All Grown-Up costume party at Josh's tonight, just go bang some French Maid and all thoughts of fa- err… Gays will be gone."

He looked away. "Jace, I thought you'd understand… Obviously not. Never mind, just forget I ever told you. But don't tell anyone." He said seriously.

I rolled my eyes. "I can't just fucking forget about this! No best friend of mine is gay!" I screamed, jumping up from my seat. He looked away and I saw water in the corner of his eyes. I was fully ready to punch the hell out of him until he came back to his senses, but when I looked at his eyes, all the resolve in me vanished. Hayden just trusted me with a huge secret, something that not even his family knows about, and I was ready to punch him for it? He can't help it!

"Hayden… It's just, you don't seem gay, is all." I sighed, pinching the bridge of my nose, calming myself down.

It's true. He didn't look gay at all. I thought gays were supposed to wear sparkly pink V-neck T-shirts and sequined purple pants, running around with a high squeaky voice and kissing everyone on the cheek. Was that too stereotypical? I mean, I've never actually known a gay person… Guess I never wanted to, either. You have to admit, it's kind of gross to like your own gender, right? Is Hayden any different?

"It's fine… It's not just a phase," He mocked my voice, "I've known for two years, Jace. I didn't tell you because…" He didn't have to finish, I knew what he was going to say. I looked down, embarrassed. "Sorry…" I mumbled, not fully wanting him to hear it. I never say sorry. I'm always right, so why say sorry? But this time, I knew what I said was beyond wrong. It's not like one morning he woke up and was all like, hey! I think I'll be gay today!

I chuckled slightly, imagining that exaggerated scene in my head playing out.

Hayden gave me a weird look, and then a grin spread across his face. He jumped up from his spot on the beanbag chair and started laughing. "Ha! You said sorry! Wait, say it again, I have to record it!" He cried, scrambling to get his iPhone and getting the video set up. I shook my head no and crossed my arms. He glared at me. "Fine, then I'll just tell your very Christian mom that you banged your neighbor in eighth grade… And every girl you've met since." He said nonchalantly.

I rolled my eyes. "Sorry," I half mumbled, half whispered. He raised his eyebrows. "What was that?" He laughed at my uncomfortable expression.

I groaned. "Sorry," I mumbled a little louder.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Jace. Mrs. Martin? I need to tell you someth-"

"Sorry! God, you're such a bastard!" I cried, lunging for the cell phone, trying to stop the recording and then delete it. When I grabbed it, the screen was black, and when I pressed the home button, the camera app didn't pop up. I was confused for a minute, before I realized that the whole time he wasn't actually recording it.

He laughed and took the phone back, pressing some buttons. I don't know what he was doing, but it looked important, so I left him alone.

Finally, after what felt like hours but was only three minutes in reality, I cried out, "What the hell are you doing?! Texting the president?!" His concentrated expression irritated me. He should be paying attention to me. Oh god, I'm so fucking selfish. But now that I think about it, I'm only selfish around Hayden. Like I want him to be mine. Not mine in a boyfriend… Err… Boyfriend/boyfriend way, but as a friend way. I'm always over protective of the people I care about, and with Hayden, I feel even more compelled to protect him. Not like he needs protection, I just… I'm confusing myself…

He laughed and then showed me what he was doing; playing Angry Birds.

"Really?! You were playing a game?! God, you're an idiot!"

"Well, at least you're not calling me a fag anymore."

My laughing stopped immediately. I looked at the floor, wishing I'd never called him that, but having too much pride to say sorry again. He got the point, right?

Hayden's Point of View…

I ran a hand through my hair and cleared my throat, desperately trying to get rid of the awkward silence that lapsed between Jace and me.

"Well… I um… I'm going home." I stated, feeling like a thousand pound weight was being placed on my back. I thought that admitting things was supposed to feel like taking off the weight, not gaining it. Jace looked like he was going to say something, but changed his mind and nodded.

"See ya," He mock saluted. I smiled and did it back. At least one thing went unchanged; our special way of saying goodbye.

I pulled the bedroom door open and then shut it on the way out. My hand hovered on the handle for a minute, waiting for something, anything, to happen. But it didn't, so I let go and walked down the stairs and into the kitchen.

"Oh, honey, are you boys getting hungry?" Jace's mom, Megan asked me. I chewed on my bottom lip. "I'm sorry, Megan." I said and left it at that. Surely Jace would tell her what I told him, and then she'd hate me forever. Once she even said that all gay people deserve to burn in Hell. She's the nicest woman you'll ever meet… Until you mentions gays.

I side-stepped her and walked through the side door at the end of the kitchen.

"Weren't you staying over?" My sister Taryn asked. I grunted. "I… No. No, I changed my mind." I said.

She narrowed her eyes. "You told him, didn't you?" She asked softly. I looked at the floor and wished I could dig a hole and die in it. "Maybe just a little…" Taryn scrunched up her nose. "I told you that you should've waited."

"I couldn't fucking wait anymore, Taryn! Every time I look at him, all I can think is, 'he's going to hate me so much when he finds out'. I can't stand it! Never mind the fact that he'll never ever love me the way I love him. You don't know what it feels like. You have no fucking idea." I broke down, letting out all my frustrations in what I said. Taryn didn't deserve yelling at; she's just trying to help me, but the true impact of what I just did hit me then. Jace will hate me, never want to be around me, talk or play football again, and that would hurt me more than anything.

Tears formed in Taryn's eyes, and I immediately felt guilty. "Ryn, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to make you cry, I just… You don't know how hard it is to see him every day and not be able to..." I didn't finish. She knew what I was going to say anyways.

"Come here, little bro." She sniffled, tugging me by the collar. I sighed.

"Not another one of your lectures about safe sex, right? Just because Mom walked out doesn't mean you have to act like her," I laugh. "And you're only four minutes older than me."

"I'm still older though," She rolled her eyes. "And no, it's not a safe sex lesson. This time. I think you need to sleep. I have an early birthday present for you and I, from Dad, but you need sleep. Go, shoo, leave, sleep!" She cried, waving her arms around for emphasis.

I gave her a weird look, but said ok nonetheless and walked across the hall to my bedroom and flopped down on my soft bed. I sighed contently, not thinking about anything in particular. If I did think about Jace, I'd fork up my manliness by crying; something I most definitely didn't need right now.

I closed my eyes and snuggled closer to the blankets, but not putting them on me. Without opening my eyes, I unbutton my jeans and pulled them off, throwing them on the floor somewhere. 'Much better', I thought, and drifted off to sleep…

Jace planted little kisses all over my face, finally landing on my lips. I parted them slightly, letting his tongue explore the inside of my mouth. It felt so… Right. So warm, so right. We fit together like two puzzle pieces, as cheesy as it sounds.

"My," I started, trying to catch my breath. "Sister… She's home. We have to stop." I whispered, but my actions said different. I reached my hand out and placed it on his chiseled abs. He smirked.

"So what… Let her find us…" He murmured and went back to kissing me. I couldn't help it; it had taken all my will-power to say that we had to stop the first time; I wasn't going to say it again. Jace's lips just looked so inviting. I kissed back whole-heartedly, praying that this wasn't a dream. Everything felt so surreal, though. Jace pulled off my T-shirt without a second thought and smiled, tracing his fingers over my flat stomach.

I smiled a little and connected my lips with his again. I played with a fraying string on his boxers, wondering when exactly he took his pants off, but then not really caring all that much.

"Are you awake?" Jace yelled suddenly. My face contorted as I wondered what he said and why he said it.

"Wake up!" He cried. Slowly, his face morphed into Taryn's, making me jump out of the bed screaming.

I woke up with a start, hearing laughter in the room.

Taryn was there, laughing her ass off. "Oh, oh Jace! Don't stop! Don't ever stop!" She mocked, making her voice go up ten times higher. I rolled my eyes. "Thanks to you, I never got to say that to him." My eyes widened, mortified, when I realized I said that out loud.

Taryn giggled. "Whatever. Get your horny ass downstairs, Dad's gonna give us the present!" She cried. I deathly glared at her, but got up nonetheless. Thankfully I didn't need to take care of anything in the bathroom. I never thought I'd be happy to not reach that point…

"Surprise!" Dad cried from the living room. I half-expected it, half-didn't, so I jumped a little. I looked around the room but didn't see anything.

"Uh… Dad?" I asked, confused. He laughed and I honestly thought he was going insane.

"Here, open it." He said, handing us a white envelope. Taryn snatched it from my hands and opened it up. "Oh. My. God! Seriously?!" She screamed at the top of her lungs, staring wide-eyed at whatever was in the envelope.

I looked over her shoulder at what she was staring at, and my mouth flew open. "A cottage? You bought us… A cottage." I cried, taking the envelope that had pictures of the beach-side cottage and the legal stuff with Dad's signature.

Dad looked at us happily. "It's on Lake Michigan. It'll be a two and a half hour flight, so when you pack, make sure to pack something to do on the plane. We'll be at the cottage for about a month."

I stared at the five plane tickets. "But, Dad, why are there five tickets… There's only three of us."

Dad shrugged. "I figured you guys could each take a friend. I knew you'd pick Jace," He looked at me, and then switched his gaze to Taryn. "And I knew you'd pick Gavvy, so I just told their parents and they gave me the money to buy the tickets. We leave in five hours, pack!" He laughed, shooing us away.

My face paled considerably. What if Jace doesn't want to go anymore? Because of what I told him?

I shoved that aside and tried to think about something different. When I just stood there, Dad got worried. "Something you want to talk about, son?" He asked me. I looked down and played with my hands. Dad doesn't know I'm gay. Only Taryn and now Jace do.

"Nothing… Jace and I just got in a fight."

Dad patted me on the back and said, "Don't worry. You'll work it out. Don't let it ruin this trip for you guys."

I nodded and left to go pack my bags. I grabbed my backpack and emptied it off all my old papers that I never turned in before school ended last year, and started stuffing random clothes in it. A few pairs of jeans, a billion T-shirts, pajama pants that I most likely won't be wearing anytime soon, socks, boxers, and my cologne. I scanned over it all and decided it would suffice. If need be, I can just borrow something from Jace.

I sighed, thinking about Jace again.

"Hey little bro, I need you to go pick up Gavvy." Taryn burst into my room and said, rather than asked.

I nodded. Anything to take my mind off Jace.

"Yay! Thanks so much Denny!" I cringed at the nickname. "I'm not going to pick her up if you don't stop calling me that."

She squinted at me, trying to tell whether I was lying or not. I sat there with an amused look on my face. "Fine, I give. Hurry before we're late."

"Ryn, the plane doesn't leave for another five hours." I laugh. She rolls her eyes. "Do you know nothing about airports? It takes an hour to get to the airport, then we have to spend forever getting to our place and security and stuff, and then we have to be on the plane after that. And I want to hang out before we leave. So go!"

I laughed and walked out the front door, quickly driving over to Gavvy's house and then driving back home. Gavvy is a blonde haired, blue eyed beauty, and I think she knows it. She shows off what she has, but she isn't a slut. She's just not as modest as most.

"Hi!" She cried, hugging me. I laughed and gave her a quick hug, opening the door for her. I know that she's been crushing on me for a while, but I just can't stop thinking that Gavvy is like my sister. I've seen her at her best and her worst. And, you know, there's just that one little fact about me… I'm gay.

"Ready to go?" I asked her, helping her put her bags in the trunk at the same time as I helped her into the seat. She giggled and nodded. "I'm so fucking excited!" She squealed. I laughed and shook my head.

When we got in the car, Gavvy immediately stopped ranting about what she looks for in a guy or whatever she was talking about. "You're sad." She stated simply. She bit her lip, looking away. I sighed and gripped the steering wheel tighter. I don't know what she's thinking; I just don't want her to catch onto anything. She may seem like the typical dumb blonde at first, but she's truly a genius at knowing what other people's moods are. She's a mind reader, I swear.

"Why are you sad?"

I ignored her, and started asking her random questions. "You know, I can't really remember your favorite color. What is it?" I asked pleasantly. She deadpanned.

"I'm not stupid. You're changing the subject. Stop it!" She cried when I tried opening my mouth again.

"Nothing, Jace and I got in a fight." I repeated to the second person that day. She raised her eyebrows and her lips went in a tight line. "You guys never fight,"

I stared ahead of me, focusing on the road. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Gavvy putting her feet up on the dashboard, making me cringe. "Feet. Off." She glared at me but nonetheless took them off.

"It's not like you lick the dashboard or anything. And my shoes aren't dirty. I just bought these."

I rolled my eyes. "Still, it's gross, Gav."

She didn't respond, so I turned up the music. Coldplay's Viva La Vida was playing, so I turned it up just a little bit louder for Gavvy; this is her favorite song. Sure enough, she started singing along, swinging her head around wildly; laughing so hard it was interfering with her singing, which made her laugh harder. It made me happy to see her so happy, because lately she hasn't been her normal self. I'm pretty sure her parents are getting a divorce, and both of them want full custody of Gavvy. No wonder she's stressed and sad.

A few minutes later I pull into our paved driveway, pulling the keys out of the ignition and opening my door.

"Taryn, you crazy bitch! Get over here!" She screamed at the top of her lungs before I even got to step foot into our driveway. Taryn ran out of the house, a huge smile plastered on her face. You'd think they haven't seen each other in years, but in reality it's been less than twenty four hours.

They hugged and then skipped back into the house, their arms linked. "Fine, just leave me to carry the bags." I grumbled, angrily grabbing two of Gavvy's many suitcases and shoving them inside the trunk of my dad's van. I still don't get why we aren't just taking my car. There's exactly enough seats for everyone, even if it would be really cramped. It sounds weird, but I like cramped spaces. When I was five, I'd sit inside the cupboard for hours. Someone would have to bring me meals in there. Eventually I put a blanket in there, moved all the dishes out, and brought my Game Boy to play with. I think my dad has a video of it.

I went back for more suitcases and was happy to see that I only had to lug three more bags down the driveway. "Seriously… How many suitcases does she think she needs? There's this thing… It's called a washing machine. It washes things so you can wear them more than once." I said to myself.

"Need some help?"

I grumbled and hoped Jace wouldn't start punching me or anything.

"I thought you wouldn't come…" I said honestly, forgetting to act strong and act like myself for a moment. My back was facing him, and I was just waiting the moment he spun me around and declared me his punching bag. It's bound to happen. He's never hit me before unless it was a joke or accident, but his fight or flight reaction is definitely not the latter.

"Why wouldn't I?" Jace asked confusedly.

I turned around and tried to keep my eyes on his, fighting the urge to check him out.

"Well, I just thought… Since… So you aren't mad?"

"I said sorry earlier. I'm not going to make fun of you. You can't help who you like."

Understatement of the year. It's more like you can't help who you love, I think to myself.

I rolled my eyes at Jace's fruitless attempts to join the "Mile High Club" with a lady just old enough to be his mom. "Come on, please? You'll enjoy it! I promise. Hey! Ma'am, where are you going? To the bathroom? Ok, I'll be in there in a few." He said desperately, pouting when the lady flipped him off and requested a new seat. Lucky for her, she was in the wrong seat in the first place. She sighed in relief and hurried to the right seat, on the complete other side of the plane.

"Not funny. I so wanna join the Mile High Club. Wait, would that be illegal, because I'm not eighteen yet? Oh shit! Eh, I still want to."

I bit my tongue to keep from laughing. "We've been on the plane for five minutes, the plane hasn't even taken off, and you're already trying to get lucky?"

"I'm determined." He said, his face hardening. I rolled my eyes again and said, "There are no girls anywhere near you."

"Fuck," He hissed. "You're dad bought this place, right? So we can come here every summer?" His eyes lit up when I nodded slowly. I was surprised by his sudden change in conversation topic. "That means I can try again every year! I'm not doomed to die alone!"

I sighed. Of course he'd find a way to change the conversation back to sex. It's like his talent; his skill.

The pilot gave a brief, scratchy-voiced, over-the-speakers, "We're taking off in five minutes. Please secure your seatbelts." And Jace and I's conversation was lost. I put my hands in my sleeves and used my sleeves to clip my seat belt shut. "What the hell?" He asked when he noticed I was putting on the seatbelt with my sleeves. "Do you know how many germs there are on this thing?" He smirked and grabbed his seatbelt and licked it. Licked it!

"Jace! That's disgusting!" I cried. He shrugged. "Yeah, yeah. Whatever."

"Fine, live your life the way you want to. I'm happy with being alive."

The five minutes went by quickly, and then the pilot was announcing "We're taking off,"

After two hours of complete jealousness, Jace stopped trying to find someone to have sex with. Thank God, I thought, it would only be a matter of time before I blurt that I'd have sex with him.

"How much longer?" Jace whined, slumping in his seat. I rolled my eyes and pulled out my ear buds, shutting off the song. "Half an hour. You'll survive."

"No I won't. I'm going to die before we even get to the beach," He said. "Entertain me."

I deadpanned. Really, Jace, really? It's a plane. You're not supposed to be entertained.

"I told you that you should've charged your phone before we came, but no! Why would you listen to me? It's not like I'm the one with all the common sense!" I said sarcastically.

"Shut up! The battery was full yesterday."

"You really thought it would last the whole plane trip?"

"Maybe…"

"You, sir, are a royal idiot."

"You, sir, are a royal fag."

I cringed and looked away. I thought we were done talking about this. I thought he was done calling me that. His words were like knives, slicing through my gut one after the other. I never should have told him. I knew he wouldn't take it very well; I just thought that for some reason he would accept me and not talk about it anymore. I'm a guy who likes guys, so what? I don't see why some people make such a big deal about gays. If people weren't so rude, I'd probably be fully out of the closet to everyone. I'd be so much happier that way.

I kept my eyes on the window, trying to make out the shapes of trees and cars. Anything to keep my mind off the hurt that would inevitably make me cry. Jace really doesn't know how much he hurts me. If it were anyone else saying that, I would've flipped them off and not dwelled on this, but it wasn't someone else. It was Jace.

"Hayden…" He sighed. I watched him in my peripheral vision.

"Hay," He started again, but never finished. Some time passed before he even tried speaking to me again.

"Look at me, dammit!" He cried angrily.

I bit my lip and shook my head no, focusing on a small scratch in the paint on the airplane's wall as unshed tears clouded my eyes.

"Listen, Hayden. It's just going to take some getting used to. I don't mean to hurt you."

"Too late," I muttered. Either he didn't hear me or ignored me, but he didn't say anything.

The rest of the plane ride was silent. The only word I said was "no" when the flight attendant asked if I wanted peanuts. After the plane landed, we all shuffled out of it, going through security and getting our many suitcases. I carried my backpack, two of Gavvy's bags, and one of Taryn's. My dad and Jace got the rest, but I still had to carry more than them. Which really isn't fair considering I'm the smallest one of them all.

"Gavvy, Ryn, why aren't you carrying anything?" I asked, pulled the bags higher onto my back with a grunt. I said "lazy bums" under my breath, but apparently they heard it.

"Don't make me go all Shaniqua on your sorry ass!" She joked. Taryn slapped her on the arm and gasped. "That's racist!" Gavvy shrugged.

"Anyway, we're not carrying anything because our nails are still drying."

I rolled my eyes.

"Alright, kids. Down to business. Since there are apparently no taxis like I thought there would be, we have to walk down to the car rental building." Dad said with a slight sigh.

Jace groaned. "How far away is that?"

Dad frowned. "Um… Four and a half miles…"

I shrugged. "Fine. Let's go!" I cried enthusiastically while everyone else sulked. This is what I do in my free time. Four and half miles is nothing. I can sprint it all without stopping.

I started running out of the parking lot, but no one followed me. I sighed and turned around, running back over to the un-athletic idiots. Even Jace was pouting, which was surprising because he's usually big on sports. "This is my vacation," He whined. "I don't wanna run…"

I ground my teeth together and dumped all the bags I was carrying onto the ground.

"Fine, then. You guys stay here and I'll get the car and drive it back to pick you up."

"Oh," Gavvy looked sheepish, laughing nervously. "You know how you told me to grab your license on the way out? Well, uh…" She didn't need to say anything before I was face-palming.

"Gavvy!" I cried. She cringed. "I'm sorry! I forgot to grab it! Blame Taryn!"

"What?!" Taryn yelled. "How is this my fault?!"

Gavvy sighed. "It's not… I just don't like taking the blame."

Jace stood up and said, "Luckily, I'm not a dumbass that trusts Gavvy," He shot a look at me. "And I brought mine. I'll drive."

"I'll come with," I said before I could stop myself. I bit my tongue and cringed. Why would I say that? Especially so quickly? Now he'll know something's up. I'm usually easy to read, but this is ridiculous. If Jace can't tell that I love him, he's more of an idiot than I thought.

"Ok." Jace said, seemingly unaware of my feelings. I rolled my eyes, making him give me a confused look. I waved him off and he shrugged.

"Well, you boys have fun!" Gavvy chirped, laughing. I raised my eyebrow at her, "Yeah… Fun…"

"So, do you think there'll be any parties?" Jace asked, continuing down the road in the rental truck, on the way back to the airport.

"Even if there are, you aren't going to them."

"And why not?"

"Because I said so."

"Are you my mom, Hayden?"

I raised an eyebrow. "Do I look like a woman?"

He shrugged "You have the same facial structure. And your eyes are like a girl's. And you kind of act like a girl. You're short like a girl. And, no offense, but you kind of dress like a girl. But like a girl that doesn't like girly things. Like a tomboy! You have very little muscle… Oh, and, you're gay, so…"

I glared at him. "Wow, thanks so much," I said sarcastically.

"What? I said no offense."

"Hm, no sorry?" I asked expectantly, but not getting my hopes up.

"Not this time, bitch," He joked. "We're here."

He opened up his door and stepped out, closing it behind him. He walked around the side of his truck and stood with his arms crossed while I tried to open the door. I gripped the handle tightly and pressed on it. When that didn't work, I tried pulling it towards me and then pushing it out. Still nothing. I put one foot on the door, both hands on the handle, and my other foot firmly on the ground, and pushed the door out as hard as I could.

I did not expect to fall to the ground though…

My back hit the ground with a thud, making me groan. I grit my teeth and stood up, gasping when I saw that I fell right into a mud puddle. I laughed in anger, making Jace start laughing even harder than he already was.

"It is so weird how you laugh when you're mad." Jace said when he finally calmed down enough.

I glared. "It's your fault! If you had just opened the stupid door for me, I wouldn't have fallen!"

"So, now wouldn't be a good time to tell you that the guy said that door is broken and you have to climb over the seats and get out the driver's side?" Jace chuckled.

I groaned and fruitlessly attempted to wipe off the mud on my butt. Jace grabbed my arm and dragged me back to my dad, Gavvy, and Taryn.

"Woah, there. You couldn't have waited to use the bathroom until you got to the airport?" Taryn laughed, covering her mouth a little. I glared at her and once again tried to wipe off the mud. Soon I was laughing in anger, something I've done ever since I was a little kid. It's not me trying to laugh anything off; I just start laughing whenever I'm mad.

"Ha ha," I said sarcastically. "I fell in a mud puddle because Jace failed to tell me the door was broken."

Jace shrugged. "Whoops. Oh, you didn't give me enough money to buy the good car, so I had to get the one with the broken door for cheaper. Everything works except the door, though." He said, talking to my dad.

My dad nodded and took the keys from Jace's outstretched hand.

"Alright! Everyone in!" My dad called, walking to the rental truck.

"No… Way…" Taryn breathed, staring at the the beach. It was private, so very few people were there. Only the residents. It was nearing sunset, the sky turned a slightly orange color. The sun and moon were both out, reflecting in the water.

"You want to take a quick swim before dinner?" My dad asked us. We all nodded excitedly and pulled off our clothes, glad we put our bathing suits underneath. Gavvy was wearing some kind of skimpy piece of cloth that barely covered anything and could not be considered a bikini. She kept trying to rub up against me. Jace gave me that knowing look and laughed, continuing to take off his shoes. Taryn was wearing a much more modest bikini, a simple black piece. Jace had on black swim trunks with dark grey, light grey, white, and navy blue plaid. I wore almost the same exact thing.

"Fuck! This is fu- cold!" Gavvy screamed, but then stopped herself from swearing again, as if she realized only then where she was and who she was with. I don't mind swearing much, but since I don't swear, everyone thinks that I have something against it, so they refrain from swearing around me. Not that I'm complaining, though.

I dipped my toe in, shivering. I hope it's not cold like this all summer!

"Get in or lay down?" Jace asked, raising an eyebrow.

"I don't think you could handle the cold." I said honestly. He gasped and held a hand to his chest dramatically, holding his other hand on his forehead, palm up towards the sky.

He dropped his act, grinning. "Yeah, you're probably right. So, you set up the towel, I'll go find some girls."

I nodded, chewing on my bottom lip slightly. I shouldn't be so offended. But I can't help it… Jace doesn't usually make me hang out with any girls I don't want to. He knows that I like it better when it's just the two of us, so he doesn't try to include anyone other than Taryn and sometimes Gavvy.

Taryn patted my arm, a sympathetic look on her face. "Stop biting your lip. I'm not the only one that notices that." She gave a meaningful look towards Jace, who was interacting with three teenage girls. Two were blonde, the other was a pretty brunette. Surprisingly, they didn't look nearly as slutty as the kind Jace usually goes for, so that was a bit reassuring.

"Wait, what?" I asked, realizing what Taryn said. I'm not the only one that notices that. What did she mean by that? I opened my mouth to ask her what she meant, but she only smiled and ran into the ocean after Gavvy who was trying to get as far out as possible.

Still, I forced myself to stop chewing on my lip. I'm sure that it's not a very attractive habit.

"Hey, are you Hayden?" The brunette girl that Jace was talking to asked me. I nodded.

"Yeah, what's your name?"

She smiled. "Kirsten."

I stood awkwardly biting my lip unconsciously. I hate meeting strangers. It's not so much the strangers themselves that's nerve-racking, it's the whole "Hi, my name is…" stage, where you don't know what to say or do because you're afraid of offending them.

"So, are you here on vacation?" She asked eventually.

"We're here all summer."

She shrugged. "That's cool. My friend Hannah's parents bought her a cottage for her eighteenth birthday, so we come up here every summer."

"Oh. Nice…" I remarked, stopping myself from asking how old she is. She made it seem like she's been coming here a long time. And if that's true, then she's way older than eighteen. But she looks to be younger than eighteen. If I had to take a guess, I'd say she was only sixteen.

"I know what you're thinking," She giggled. "I'm only seventeen. Hannah is turning twenty-two this fall, and my other friend Levi is nineteen.

Once again, I had to stop myself from asking another question. That being, how do you guys know each other if you are so spread apart age-wise?

Jace came walking over, the two blondes trailing right behind him. A jolt of jealousy floods through my veins, but I ignore it and act as friendly as I can towards the girls. Who knows, I think sadly, maybe one of them will "tame" Jace and they'll be together. After all, Jace is straight as a pole, anyone could tell that. My chances with him are too small to be seen under a microscope.

"Kirsten!" The blonde with the blue eyes calls, giggling. "I found my jailbait." It seemed to be an inside joke between the two, because they started cracking up laughing, clutching their stomachs and repeating over and over, "I'm sorry!" yet they couldn't stop giggling. Jace gave me a weird look, and I returned it.

"Mind filling me in?" I turned towards the blonde with brown eyes that was smiling a bit and chuckling, but not laughing nearly as much as Kirsten and the blue-eyed-blonde.

She shrugged. "It's really not that funny. On the way here, Hannah said she wanted to find a boyfriend, and Kirsten said, 'all good guys are either gay or jailbait' so then they were talking about what their jailbait would look like, even though it would only be jailbait for Hannah, and she described a guy similar to him," She pointed exasperatedly towards Jace.

"Ok, then… So I'm guessing you're Levi?" She nodded and rolled her eyes. "My parents were expecting a boy, then I came out a girl, my mom freaked out and told the doctors that my name is Levi."

"It could be worse," I offered. She huffed. Looks like someone's a little angry… Duly noted to not talk about her name.

"My name is-" She cut me off by saying, "Yeah, yeah. Jace told us. Your name is Hayden."

Her brusqueness took me by surprise. "Oh, ok. So… Where do you guys live?" I asked out of sheer boredom. Levi laughed.

"Do you realize how stalkerish and weird that sounded?"

I cringed. "I didn't mean it like that! I meant, like, what state do you guys live in. I swear I wouldn't try to stalk you or something. I'm not that weird. I mean, I'm not weird at all… I hope not, but anyway, sorry if it sounded weir-" Levi laughed.

"I was joking."

"Oh. I knew that."

Kirsten and Hannah finally pulled themselves together and quit laughing. Hannah seemed to just now realize that I was there, and gasped. She ran over to me and started touching my face all over. I stood there awkwardly, praying that I didn't have anything on my face. But why else would she be touching it? How long has it been there? Did Jace notice it and didn't say anything? Oh god, why didn't I notice it before? Why didn't someone say anything?

"How do you get your skin so soft?" I relaxed considerably when I heard her ask me that.

"Um… I don't know… I didn't do anything to it."

"Damn, perfect skin wasted on a guy. And you've got long eyelashes, too. Ugh, why the hell do the guys always get the good looks?" She grumbled.

I laughed nervously, stepping away. She stepped towards me, closing the distance again. I shot a weary glance at Jace, who was laughing his ass off like he knew something that I didn't.

"Uh, what are you do-mphhbrgrlph…" My words were muffled by her lips suddenly smashing onto mine. I stood stock still until I came to my senses and pushed her away. She frowned, but then leaned in again. My eyes went wide and I started shuffling backwards.

"Oh come on, I'm not a bad kisser or anything!" She cried, stepping forward yet again. God, this girl can't take a hint! If you could call what I'm doing a hint. It's more like a, hey, lady! You're freaking me out! Get out of my personal bubble!

"Why won't you kiss me?" She looked a little hurt.

I chewed on my bottom lip. I'm about to say something along the lines of because I'm in a relationship or something, but then I realize that I could care less what these people think of me. It's not like I'll be seeing them every day. If I don't like them, I can just not talk to them. Simple as that. So why pretend that I'm not gay?

"Well, maybe I'd be more attracted to you if I was straight."

"Dammit! God, you're both! Jailbait and gay!" She stomped on the ground. Despite her outburst, I doubt that she'll say anything bad about me. Or rather, who I am.

"Uh… Sorry?" I said as more of a question. So I'm bad with talking to strangers, sue me!

She sighed. "Come on, Kirsten, Levi… I have to make dinner."

They trooped off, Kirsten giving Jace the "flirty fingers" and Levi just laughing at my red face. Hannah faced forward, not looking back.

When they were officially out of sight, Jace raised his eyebrows and said, "So, you're going to come out to the whole school when we get back?" I closed my eyes and tried to imagine it; what people would do. Surely some of them would accept me, right? But I know that a great majority of the school would absolutely hate me just because I like the same gender. What's so wrong about it? People will get offended over the stupidest things. I can see it now. Guys that were supposed to be my friends shoving me into the lockers, calling me stupid names, or worse…

"No. No, I'm not. I can't, you know?" I said.

"Well, no. I don't know."

"Oh shut up! You knew what I meant, you just have to be a smart-ass."

"Aw, you think I'm smart?"

"No, I think you're an ass."

"Well, I think that you need a haircut."

I gave him a weird look and run my fingers through my hair. "I like my hair."

"Yeah, so do I. It was just the first thing that came to mind…"

Jace is a weird, weird person… A weird weird person that I love.

A/N: So, I see that you decided to venture out of your comfort zone and read something like this... CONGRATULATIONS! xD I'm really happy that you read this, and I thank you SO much!! :)

Just so you know, most of my chapters will not be this long, but they aren't very short either.

If you haven't seen the character pics for this, and you want to, click HERE!

Next chapter will be out sometime (hopefully) soon! :D

~Brandi <3

PS. Comments and Suggestions would be MUCH appreciated!! :)))





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