Pacing between his and Cody’s bed he had to force himself to stop and breathe more than once as he paced. He tried to paint, do some art but he just couldn’t. He couldn’t stop thinking…he’d done it. He’d let a guy kiss him-no, he had to be honest. He kissed a guy. This wasn’t on Shaun, this was on both of them. He’d kissed a guy.
And it felt right.
It all just felt right. And not just the kiss. He liked sitting and talking with Shaun, liked how the heat of his body felt as they looked over his art book. The feel of Shaun’s breathe on his neck. Fuck he even liked the way Shaun smelled all salty ocean like. And he liked that it was a guy next to him.
It all just felt nice and he felt eager for more.
Glancing at his bed he didn’t need to dig out his old charcoal art book nor flip to the page filled with black lines to see the sketches in his mind. To remember every line of the old half drawing of guys, of a guy-of Luke-that filled the page. And it wasn’t any harder to remember the moment he realized- the moment it happened…
”Thanks for meeting me, if I don’t make at least a B on that test there is no way my parents are going to let me have any freedom when we hit Aspen next week,” Zach’s fellow junior said as he sat down next to Zach in their school’s library.
“You’re going to Aspen for the break? I thought you hated skiing Luke?” Zach asked a little surprised as he opened their history text to the current chapter, “at least I remember this big rant last year about why the winter Olympics suck and the summer Olympics are the fucking bomb man,” he added mimicking his friend.
“Oh skiing is fucking lame and I will never get on a pair, don’t get me wrong,” Luke said firmly, “But snow boarding is bad ass and the guys that do it are sick man. They have girls all over them and party like all night every year and this year,” Luke grinned, “and this year I’m going to be one of them because I’ve got my own board and I’m finally old enough to hit the adult slopes without the parents.”
Zach couldn’t help but grin back a little, “Nice man,” he said giving Luke a high five, “then let’s get you ready for the test,” he added as he slide the book between them.
“Right, lets do this,” Luke said as he slide his chair close to Zach’s so they could share the book-stopping then they were closer than shoulder to shoulder and Luke had to drape his hand over the back of Zach’s chair.
“Yes, so what do you remember about the Gilded Age,” Zach asked then listened to Luke’s answer as he explained what he remembered from class. Zach had to work hard to keep his focus-his mind-on the topic at hand and not on how Luke’s arm felt, warm and solid, as it half rested on his back. How good Luke’s deodorant smelled.
“So what do you think the essay questions will be?” Luke asked as he leaned over their shared book, his voice deep voice barely more than a whisper.
But Zach heard every word-Luke’s breath on his cheek helping him to feel every word making it impossible to miss but almost as impossible to put together an answer. Zach knew it was a crap study session as he fumbled to answer Luke’s question. “ah, probably about either the corruption of the people, rich people I mean. Like the steel guy or the oil one, how they came to control so much,” he made his way through knowing it was a shitty explanation of the likely essay but Zach just couldn’t focus enough to even remember the dudes names.
But Luke seemed to like it, “yeah having to write about that Rockefeller guy and that Carnegie dude sounds about right. Maybe I’ll do Carnegie and use the Ducktail clip he showed as evidence. What do you think?” Luke asked with a smile.
A smile that Zach didn’t want to look away from, “Yeah, sure. What’s why he showed it right,” Zach quickly as he forced himself to look anyways and toward the book, flipping through the pages to find the session on the two Industrialists robber barons, anything to give himself something else to focus, look, at.
But his search became more and more frantic as he couldn’t find the pages he needed until suddenly his hand couldn’t move. He felt like the his whole body had just stopped and he couldn’t figure out why. Why did he felt so warm, do nice, so something. Then he saw-felt- Luke’s hand on his. Penning it to the book. As Zach turned his head Luke was right there with his curious and worried look. So close but all Zach wanted was for him to be closer, to grab the rest of him and, and what?
Thinking back to the moment Zach now knew what he had wanted Luke to do, really he’s always known. He’d wanted Luke to lean in the kiss him.
Only that had never happened. After what felt like the hours Luke had finally leaned back and asked him if he was okay just as the bell ending study hall rang finishing off the moment.
Zach had let the moment pass, had let Luke walk away, had walked away himself.
There was so many reasons to walk away. He didn’t know of Luke like guys, was he miss reading it all? Did he even really like guys? Was he like that? Those questions kept him from acting, kept him from trying anything. Doing anything.
But not this time.
No, this time he was going to answer his questions Zach decided as he grabbed his keys and got back into his truck. His time he was going to be honest with himself and go after what he wanted and right now what he wanted was Shaun.