Introduction – 92
„May I introduce you to Casey Connor; he is new in our company, maybe you could take him under your wings for some days;“ but Zeke didn't listen for longer; it seemed to be ages that he had seen the boy... not, not a boy any longer, always wearing geeky checkered shirts and a camera around his neck, he was grown up and in his tight black denim he looked very self-confident; but his blue eyes were still the same, and like back in Highschool, they made his heart beating quicker.
making history – 113 words
When Zeke stopped the GTO at the parking lot of Herrington High Casey's heart suddenly was up to his mouth; it had sounded so tempting to show up at prom together with Zeke, laughing into everyone's face, because he, Casey Connor, the outsider at school, bullied and ignored from almost everyone, was the one who had managed it to win Zeke's heart, but suddenly he was not so sure anymore if the great coming out was a good idea; it was, as if Zeke could read his mind, he turned to him, grabbing for his hand, his hazelnut brown eyes sparkling mischievously and said: “No need to worry, we two are going to make history tonight.“
obsession – 46 words
Casey would always be thankful, that his parents, though they never could understand his obsession for photography, nevertheless had always supported him as best as they could; without them, he probably would never have made his way to the most famous art school of San Francisco.
lost – 60 words
Zeke had never thought that this could ever happen to him; he was so used to it to live on his own, and he knew to avoid too much nearness, but Casey sneaked into his life before he even noticed it, step by step he got closer to his heart until Zeke realized that he would be lost without him.
silence – 38 words
Zeke had never thought that he would miss Casey so much; the boy was only at a three-day photo-workshop, but even after some hours alone in his garage, the silence around already started to drive him crazy.
opportunity – 64 words
„Of course, you need to grab the chance,“ Casey said, trying to keep smiling, “the city college in Akron is such a great opportunity for you,“ but deep inside he couldn't believe, that all their wonderful future plans seemed to break down like a cardhouse; when Zeke decided to stay Ohio because of college, Casey would have to go to the west coast all alone.
dance – 48 words
Casey had never thought that he would enjoy a night in a club that much, but the moment he had entered the dance floor, he forgot the world around him and started to move to the loud music, unaware of all the pairs of eyes, resting on him.
life – 40 words
„It's your life,“ Zeke said, putting his arm around Casey's shaking shoulder, „maybe you should finally take into your own hands because when you always follow other people's wishes, you will never find out what to do with it.“
pain – 63 words
Casey squeezed his eyes shut and bit his tongue so hard that he could taste blood; the pain was almost unbearable, but no way that he would give in again and cry; he was stronger than Gabe and all the others who used to bully him thought, and it was about time they realized that it was not so easy to break him.
good morning – 36 words
„Good morning, geek boy,“ Zeke greeted him with a wide grin on his face,“ what do think about a ride to school,“ Casey frowned suspiciously: „What the heck is wrong with you today, Zeke Tyler?“
singing – 51 words
„Hey, everything okay,“ Zeke asked chuckling when he heard Casey singing aloud under the shower, not perfect, for sure not, but wholeheartedly; the boy giggled and grabbed for his arm to pull him in under the warm water cascade: “It's a perfect way to start such a great Sunday morning, c'mon, sing along.“
hope – 46 words
Casey had a hard time to fight his tears back; all his hopes broken down like a card house; the photo school in New York had accepted his application, but they had declined a full scholarship, which meant that he probably would never be able to go there.
moving – 88 words
Casey stuffed the last books into the box and closed it, sighing slightly; finally ready with packing his stuff for college and while he looked around in his room, he suddenly felt tears burning in his eyes; of course, moving to New York was exiting; a new life, art school, an apartment together with Zeke; so long he had he dreamed about all this, but he had always refused to think about it that it also meant to say goodbye to his parents, his home, his childhood.
horse – 53 words
Casey laughed out loud: “Don't worry, Pete is one of the most calm horses in the stable, he won't pitch you;“ Zeke cursed inwardly while desperately trying to keep his balance; what the heck had gotten into him, that he had agreed to Casey's suggestion to spend this weekend on a western farm?
workshop – 27 words
Casey turned around, and his heart almost stopped beating; the last one he had expected to meet at a weekend workshop for modern art was Zeke Tyler.
yellow – 54 words
„This is Sunny,“ Casey told Zeke, grinning wide,“ so, what do you think about a trip,“ and Zeke didn't hesitate to nod, though the thought to spend the next hour in an old, cramped, neon yellow Beetle was not very tempting; but he knew how proud Casey was of his first own car.
trouble – 62 words
Zeke often got into trouble, and he had never cared much so far but maybe it was time to change his life; no skipping school anymore, no wild parties and dubious dealings in the park; no, he would graduate, finally go to college, and he would prove Casey, that he was not the shallow guy, who didn't care about anything but himself.
rain – 40 words
It was good that it was early in the morning and no one else was around; Casey knew well enough, that they would call him a pathic geek once again, but he had always loved it to dance in the rain.
wedding – 31 words
„What's going on,“ Zeke asked, pointing at the letter in Casey's hand; the boy giggled and answered:“ You won't believe it, Stokely is inviting us to her wedding with Stan.“
bar – 57
So many night Zeke had spend in bars, flirting with pretty girls, though deep inside he knew, that he actually wanted something different; but he had always been too scared to face the truth until he had met him, Casey Connor, and he realized that the guy was the only one he could imagine spending his life with.
promise - 64 words
„Promise me, that you don't give up,“ Zeke murmured, not able to turn his eyes away from Casey's pale face,“ after all we did go through tonight it can't be that this stupid alien bitch at the end wins, and kills you,“ and the relief was so great when a weak smile hushed over Casey's lips; "No need to freak out, I'm fine."
tree – 74 words
„I thought we could build a treehouse in the backyard,“ Zeke answered when Casey asked him about his plans for the weekend, and when the boy looked slightly puzzled, he laughed: “When I was a child I always wanted to have one, but my dad was much too busy to spend some time with me,“ he blinked and added,“ and to be honest, I'm sure together with you will be much more fun.“
birthday – 70 words
When Casey woke up early in the morning his eyes fall onto the calendar over his desk; it was his birthday, he realized, finally legal; so long he had waited for this day when he finally would be allowed to take his life into his own hands; he knew, it wouldn't be easy, without any help of his parents who disapproved his future plans, but it would be worth it.
sanctuary – 69 words
Curious Casey looked around in Zeke garage, and finally he dared to asked: “Why don't you live in the house,“ Zeke hesitated before he answered: „It's the house of my parents but not my home; when I was younger it scared the shit out of me to be alone there, while my parents were somewhere in Europa or Asia; the garage was my sanctuary where I could sleep without nightmares.“
number – 40 words
„What's your lucky number,“ Zeke asked, and Casey answered without hesitation:“ 21; it's the birthday of my mom;“ Zeke grinned and pushed all his chips on the 21; „If I win, I will buy her a bunch of flowers.“
shadow – 54 words
It was Zeke who finally found Casey after the alien incident, covered in slime, shaking all over, half-unconscious but still alive; feeling relieved Zeke pulled him into his arms, murmuring reassuring: “Most of the time it looked as if you are afraid of your own shadow, but tonight you have proved everyone wrong.“
rose – 67 words
„I hate Val Day,“ Zeke said and dropped down on the wooden bench of the bleachers; Casey looked up and smirked: „I can't see any reason for that; you are the guy who got the most roses today; even Gabe was secretly bursting with envy,“ Zeke hesitated, then he bent forward to place a kiss on Casey's lips, „Problem is, I am not interested,“ he said.
flying - 36 words
Zeke breathed in deeply when they finally reached the airfield; laughing Casey grabbed for his hand and squeezed it reassuring: “Don't worry, flying in a sports airplane isn't more dangerous than a road trip in your GTO.“
midnight – 39 words
„I will meet you at midnight at the old mill,“ Zeke said, chuckling slightly when he noticed Casey shuddering visibly, „I've heard it's the best place when you want to find some proof for the existence of ghosts.“
painting – 48 words
„Wow that's a very impressing painting,“ Casey said half surprised, half amazed when he noticed the picture at the wall of Zeke's garage; this kind of art he hadn't expected to find here; Zeke smiled: „Yes, my grandma was a great artist; you would have liked her.“
mind – 39 words
Casey rolled his eyes: “ Really, Tyler, I don't know what's going on in your mind; you are much too brilliant to ruin your future; so why don't you stop acting like an idiot and finally start to grow up?“
leave – 42 words
„Just leave me alone, okay,“ Zeke had yelled at him with threatening dark eyes, but after a short moment of hesitating Casey shook his head:“ What kind of a friend would I be if I would ignore your cry for help?“
destruction – 90 words
Zeke stared at the scene of destruction, which had been his garage once; the only place where he always had felt like home were gone because of this stupid bitch of a cheerleader; he never cried, because he had learned early that this didn't change anything, but this time he couldn't hold back his tears; he sniffed uncontrolled while his body was shaking wildly until he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder: “Hey, it's nothing that can't be fixed again,“ Casey whispered, „we are still alive, that's a lot, isn't it?“
hate – 66 words
Zeke watched Gabe running into Casey deliberately, yelling: “Hey, you geek, get out of my way,“ the boy pressed a hand against his hip, his face a painfully grimace, and Zeke hated himself once again; it would be so easy for him to step in and to help Casey, but this would be against his rule number one, always to stay out of other people's business.
red – 35 words
„Red is the color of love, that's what all romantic people will tell you,“ Casey said, and Zeke smirked and answered: “Red is the color of blood, that's what every scientist will tell you.“
blood – 30 words
„Mom, no need to make such a fuss,“ Casey sighed when Mrs. C. grabbed for the first-aid box, „ it's only a scratch, and it has already stopped bleeding.“
happiness – 47 words
Sometimes Zeke wondered how Casey could, despite all the teasing and bullying he had to go through every day at school, still could be so content; he never complained and his blue eyes sparkled so hilariously as if the whole world was one big place of happiness.
angry – 67 words
„Hey, leave him alone, you dumbass,“ Casey yelled, his voice loud and angry; Zeke looked up from his car magazine, inwardly grinning; this boy was always good for a surprise; he went through all the bullying by the jocks since months without complaining, but when they finally decided to look for a new victim, Casey was the first one who did stand up for the boy.
sugar – 32 words
„When you eat one more muffin you will for sure get a sugar shock,“ Zeke said and smirked; Casey giggled: “But they are sooo good; I need to try all of them.“
empty – 60 words
Groaning loudly Zeke stared at the empty bottle of Whisky on the floor, his sight blurred, his head was hammering wild, he couldn't remember when he had felt so lousy for the last time; obviously getting drunk hadn't been the best idea, and it hadn't even helped; as ridiculous as it was, he just couldn't get Casey Connor out of his mind.
inside – 61 words
He was used to it to play the wild rebel, who didn't give much about any rules; he was respected by the boys, the girls crushed for him, they called him the king from school, but no one knew what was going on inside him, the loneliness he felt, and the secret wishes he didn't even dare to admit to himself.
sand – 39 words
Zeke had never thought that one day he would write love letters in the sand, but Casey had turned his whole life around, and Zeke had to admit that he enjoyed it so much more now than ever before.
hallucination – 29 words
Casey swallowed hard; this had to be a hallucination; it was impossible that Zeke Tyler, the school's heartbreaker number one, was making out under the bleachers... with a guy.
nest – 32 words
„So, you did finally build your own nest,“ Zeke asked, looking around in Casey's dorm curiously, “was about time that you left Ohio behind to live the life you want.“
song – 62 words
Zeke hit the break hard when the song started to play on the radio; shit, shit, shit, it had needed weeks with a lot of parties and flirting like mad to get a clear head again, but this one song brought back all the memories of a pair of deep blue eyes, blushed cheeks and soft lips in a split of a second.
bird – 51 words
Zeke watched him secretly; sometimes Casey reminded him of a young bird, pushed out of the nest; he looked so small and helpless, but his indomitable will to survive was stronger than everyone would think; soon enough he would sprawl out his wings to fly away into a new, exciting world.
blanket – 19 words
„Cold,“ Casey murmured, shaking visibly, and Zeke pulled the thick blanket closer around them to keep him warm.
saturday – 64 words
Zeke noticed the frustration in the girl's eyes when he told her that he would not come to her birthday party on Saturday, but to be honest, he didn't care much; he was so sick of these endless parties with too much booze and mindless sex; all he wanted was to spend the evening together with Casey, watching a movie or playing video games.
light – 30 words
Zeke chuckled satisfied when he saw the sign from Casey's flashlight; his parents had finally left the house and a long weekend without any curfews was lying ahead of them.
mystery – 35 words
Annoyed Casey shook his head; of course, it was not his business, but it was a mystery for him why someone with a brilliant mind like Zeke seemed to be wildly resolved to ruin his whole life.
over - 51 words
Zeke felt tears burning in his eyes when the door fall shut behind Casey; it had never been a question that the boy would go to college after graduation, but suddenly Zeke wasn't sure anymore if he would ever get over it that he had decided to move to San Fransisco.
desert - 39 words
„He was not a perfect dad, more a workaholic, but I've never thought that he would ever do this,“ Casey sniffed,“ to desert my mom and me because of his secretary, who is barely older then I am.“
illusion – 33 words
Zeke called himself an idiot; it had been just an illusion to think that someone like Casey, smart, and always following the rules, would overstep the lines and come over for a one-night-stand.
school – 44 words
School had never been fun for Casey because he was not like the others and got teased and bullied all day long, but since two weeks this had changed, since Zeke Tyler, the coolest boy at school, had started to hang around with him.
tramp – 34 words
„After graduation I will tramp around the world for a while, finding out what I will do with my future life,“ Casey told Zeke; the older boy grinned:“ Can you need some company?“
girl – 36 words
Delilah was the only girl Casey had ever dated; he noticed soon that this was not what he wanted; every night he was dreaming about a boy with hazelnut brown eyes and the most amazing smile.
young – 43 words
Mrs. Connor looked shocked:“ But you were much too young to live alone with barely fourteen,“ Zeke only shrugged, impossible to explain to her how much he had struggled with the loneliness back then until he finally had learned to survive on his own.
moon – 30 words
Casey did enjoy the night in the observatory like never before; the sky was starry, and it was a full moon... and he was here with the hottest guy from school.
winter – 37 words
Zeke stared out of the window with narrowed eyes; there was even more snow this morning and did ruin his plan to go on a long road trip together with Casey over the weekend; God, he hated winter!
hot – 25 words
The water in the whirlpool was comforting hot, and Zeke closed his eyes, thinking about the days in New York last summer, together with Casey.
forrest – 72 words
After watching the movie, Zeke could understand better why Casey loved it so much; it was a movie about a guy who got teased and bullied for a long time but finally made his way despite the fate throwing enough stones into his way; Casey was like Forrest, he would give all for the people he loved, and he would always do the right thing, no matter what it meant for him.
flowers – 60 words
Casey had thought long about it, what to get his mom for her 40th birthday; he didn't have so much pocket money to buy her the expensive perfume she loved, and he had already given her a photo collage for Christmas; then his eyes fall onto the meadow with colorful wildflowers, and he knew, sometimes it was so easy.
theatre – 45 words
When his shrink suggested to try out impro theatre, Casey had called it a ridiculous idea, but when he finally dared the step onto the stage, he felt free and happy, maybe for the first time in his life, because he just could be like he was.
planet – 30 words
„It's not your job to save the planet again and again,“ Zeke told Casey,“ leave it to others and start to think about yourself at least now and then.“
strawberries - 42 words
„What's that,“ Casey asked surprised; Zeke chuckled: “It's red, it's sweet, I would say these are the first strawberries of this year; I bought them this morning at the farmers market because I know you are addicted to strawberry cake with cream.“
book – 29 words
Casey's most famous place in town was the old library, he loved the silence and the smell of books, and he was safe from the bullying of the jocks.
education – 90 words
„Education is so important for your life,“ Casey had told him this morning, sounding annoyed; Zeke had only shrugged; all he connected with school were private teachers who actually didn't care much about him, and boarding schools, far away from home; when his father had finally given up and sent him to Herrington High he had turned soon enough into the schools rebel, the dealer at the parking lot, the boy who did break a lot of hearts; it hadn't made him happy but at least he was respected now.
music – 34 words
Zeke had learned early to play the piano; it was not that he loved this kind of music, but it helped him to forget the silence in the house at least for a while.
dirty – 29 words
Zeke finally closed the hood of the GTO, his fingers and face dirty, and Casey thought that he looked even hotter in his overall than in his tight jeans.
heaven – 27 words
This had to be heaven, Casey thought, his heart beating wild when Zeke pulled him closer and kissed him, because only in heaven dreams did come true.
enemy – 23 words
„Hey, calm down,“ Zeke said, smirking slightly, when he noticed Casey wincing,“ I'm not your enemy, and I would never hurt you.“
cave – 43 words
Sometimes Casey was dreaming about it that the aliens were still out there, hidden somewhere under the sea in a dark cave no human had ever seen, only waiting for the right moment to come back and to finish what Mary Beth had begun.
invisible – 62 words
Often Casey wished to be invisible; when the jocks watched him with a mean grin on their faces, and he knew they were thinking about another tournament or when coach Willis mocked him because he failed again by climbing the rope, but when he was alone at the bleachers, daydreaming about a great future as a photographer his life was almost perfect.
height – 44 words
Zeke had never been afraid of heights, but when Casey suggested a stay in one of the glassy overnight cabs, hanging 1000 feet up the side of a mountain, he swallowed hard and had to admit that this was not his cup of tea.
accident – 29 words
Casey was shaking all over when he heard about the rumors that Zeke had been involved in a serious accident this morning and had been taken to the hospital.
entry – 38 words
„C'mon in, I promise not to bite you,“ Zeke teased him when he noticed Casey still standing at the door to his garage, obviously not sure if he should dare it to enter or better to take flight.
office – 47 words
Mr. Connor had always hoped that Casey would work together with him in his architect's office one day, but the older he got the more his father realized, that his son was a dreamer through and through, and working in an office would only make him unhappy.
archive – 41 words
„Let's have a look at the old archive of the library,“ Zeke had suggested, and now, in the only dim-lit, empty room Casey realized that Zeke had something else in mind than searching for information for their history presentation.
style – 34 words
„Casey, you really have to work on your style,“ Zeke said, eyeing him with a smirk, „this checkered shirt is a no go for a club night even for a geek like you.“
police – 37 words
„Calm down, Case,“ Zeke laughed, when the police officer waved shortly and then got back into his car,“ officer Miller is almost a friend; he knows that I would never be that stupid to sell drugs.“
friend – 25 words
First, they had barely changed a word, then they had gotten friends, and now, about four months later Zeke suddenly bent forward to kiss Casey.
trace – 36 words
Without any trace of emotion, Casey knew to endure all the daily bullying at school; only some months, then he would be free to leave Ohio behind and to start a new life in New York.
pretty – 72 words
Annoyed about himself Zeke took another sip of his beer; it was Saturday evening, and he was sitting at home, alone, though there were at least three parties he was invited to; all because of the new boy in class; silly checkered shirts und much too wide denim, the camera around his neck did only completed this his geeky outlook... but he had the most pretty eyes Zeke had ever seen.
lake – 55 words
This afternoon at the little lake was the best since months; Zeke couldn't even remember when he had felt so relaxed for the last time; all the time he played the role of the uncaring rebel, was much too afraid to show any weakness, but here, alone with Casey, he could put off his mask.
alpha – 31 words
„I am not interested to play the alpha any longer,“ Zeke told Casey one day, „not together with you because I know you will never take advantage out of it.“
sun – 28 words
Finally, after endless grey and much too cold winter days, the sun was shining again, and Zeke couldn't wait to go on long road trips together with Casey.
sleepless – 46 words
Zeke tossed and turned around in his bed sleeplessly; the news he had gotten today had hit him even harder than he wanted to admit; finally he gave up and grabbed for his cellphone; it was almost midnight, but he knew Casey would listen to him.
farm – 43 words
Zeke wasn't sure if he was ready for a visit at granny Conner's farm but Casey reassured him, that his grandma would instantly take him into her heart, „All she wants is me to be happy,“ he said,“ and you make me happy.“
photo – 48 words
Casey stiffened in every movement when Zeke looked up right in the moment when he wanted to take another quick snapshot of him; the older boy smiled widely: “When you are interested in a photoshoot, why don't you ask; I'm sure we will come to terms about the payment.“
truck – 46 words
„You did trade in the GTO for this,“ Casey asked shocked when Zeke stopped in front of the Connor's house with a green-black pickup truck; „Only for the weekend,“ Zeke laughed, “I thought it might be easier this way to bring all our stuff to Boston.“
early – 34 words
It was much too early in the morning when Zeke did wake up from a knocking at his window: “Hey, get up, you sleepyhead, did you forget that we want to go to Cleveland today?“
family – 39 words
„The birthday of your mom is a family day,“ Zeke protested when Casey told him that he invited to come over; the boy grinned: “And my mom only told yesterday evening that you are like a son to her.“
disturbing – 64 words
It had been a disturbing thought to meet the Conner's; Zeke was sure, that they would never accept it, that he was Casey's best friend... even more, his boyfriend, but Mrs. Conner had greeted him with wide-open arms and also Mr. Connor had given up his slight concerns soon when he did find out, that Zeke was interested in Oldtimer like he was.
thief – 23 words
„I never did believe this shit,“ Casey told Zeke, „you may like to play the rebel, but you are not a thief.“
animals – 35 words
Zeke had never wanted a pet like other children, but he had loved Oscar, his rat; to kill him almost broke his heart, but it was necessary if they all wanted to survive this night.
truth – 63 words
Sometimes it was not easy to face the truth; after Mary Beth Casey had been together with Delilah for a while and it had felt good not be the outsider any longer, his parents had been so proud of him; but soon enough he realized that this was not enough; she would never be able to give him, what he was secretly dreaming about.
spring – 47 words
Casey breathed in deeply; the air was still cold but he could already smell spring with all its flowers, green grass, and sunshine; finally, he would be able to spend the day outside again, with the camera in his hands; a freedom he was so looking for.
purple – 59 words
Holy shit; Zeke stood in awe; he knew Casey from school, a geek who used to wear outdated shirts and wide denim, a camera around his neck; Zeke had never expected to meet him at an in-club like the LUX, the hair styled, tight black jeans and a silky purple shirt; dancing and flirting with a slender, blonde guy.
quick – 51 words
When he found Casey under the bleachers making out with a guy, Zeke felt anger risen up; not that he did care much about other peoples business, but Casey was someone special, not as shallow as most of the others, and for sure he deserved better than a quicky at lunchbreak.
house – 72 words
Zeke threw a last glance onto the house; he had lived here since he was born, but it had never felt like a real home; Casey had warned him not to rush things, maybe renting the house would be smarter than to sell it, but all Zeke wanted was finally to get rid of all the painful memories and to start a new life in New York together with boy he loved.