“Pain’s like water.― Katie Kacvinsky
It finds a way to push through any seal.
There’s no way to stop it.
Sometimes you have to let yourself sink inside of it before you can learn how to swim to the surface.”
University of Britchester On-Campus Home Cameron / Vatore / Hanson
Unlocking the front door to the on-campus home he shared with his fiancée Hailey and best friend Colton, Chase heard his name, as he turned he saw Nadia approaching.
“Hey, sorry to ambush you like this, but got a sec?” she asked.
With a quick glance at his wristwatch, Chase nodded.
“Yeah, but really just a sec. Got soccer practice in an hour, need to get ready for that.”
“I’ll be quick, promise.”
Chase nodded and let her in, standing in the entrance and living area he looked at Nadia, who appeared uncomfortable.
“Come on Nads, out with it. Not trying to be rude here, but I really don’t have time for long-winded debates, sorry, just bad timing.”
“No, I get it. It’s just so iffy, and I hate to do this, but remember last time, when you said we were still friends and to come to you for help?”
“Sure, meant every word of that. Whatcha need?”
“Well, since you seem to be the one person left in the world not judging me for my bad choices, and you also are the richest person I know … umm..”
“Ah. That. Sure. How much?” Chase wasn’t a stranger to people wanting to borrow money from him. The crux of being born into wealth and fame. Evidently Nadia really needed it, so he didn’t even ask questions.
“I’ll pay you back, Chase. I swear. Just a loan, so I can make rent, promise. I just really do not know whom else to ask. My sister doesn’t have a dime to spare and we’re not exactly on the best of terms at the moment and ..”
“How much, Nads?” Chase said, while pulling up a pay app on his phone.
“Holy shit girl, where do you live? Highland Hills in DSV? You balling big!”
“No, San Myshuno, where the rent even for tiny, crappy places like mine are bloated, but I cannot afford a car, so I have to go where the jobs are. Not having much luck with work either, so I am about to be evicted, pretty behind on rent. This will shut the landlord up until I can come up with the rest.”
“The rest? For heaven’s sake, Nads!” shaking his head, Chase asked her payment information, then sent a large sum to her.
Her phone beeped with the notification, her eyes got big.
“Oh crap, Chase, I cannot pay so much back!”
“Then don’t. Pay your bills and then buy something cute for the baby, unless the baby daddy surfaced and has a problem with another dude giving you money for his kid.”
“He won’t. Especially not after I told him something I recently realized about myself. He’s long gone. For good. Actually, I want to talk to you about this as well …”
“If you are gonna tell me something about you and Colton, save your breath, Nads. That’s between you and him. I am Switzerland here. I’ll help you out wherever I can, but I am not getting in the middle of your thing with Colton.”
“No, Chase, there is no thing with Colton, all history. I am telling you that I am gay. There is this girl I met and she gives me all sorts of feels, I mean, stumbling over my own feet while drooling kinda feels. Butterflies, pounding heart, that type. That real love kinda thing. We’ve only been together a few times, but it is incredible. Nothing like before, so much better.”
“Ahem … TMI, Nadia. I really don’t need details, but I admit I am confused AF right now and a bit skeptical. You’ve been with Colton for 3 years, then that baby daddy guy who knocked you up. Not once have I ever heard you imply anything for any girls we have been around, only ever dudes … how can you suddenly discover you’re gay? Shouldn’t that have come up by now? Are you sure?”
“It’s not like there is a manual for this or a checklist. I told you, Colton was my first and you know you and he are not exactly average guys. And I told you how I ended up pregnant. That wasn’t love to begin with, even though I think I will always somehow love Colton – and you too. But this girl, it’s so different, a different level, I swear this is the real deal. I am in love, really in love for the first time, Chase.”
“Okay, fine. If you are so sure then I am happy for ya that you figured it out.” Chase said, wanting to say more, but didn’t get the chance.
The door was unlocked, so he and Nadia stepped aside to make room, right as Colton entered with Hailey, both surprised before Colton’s face darkened.
“That bitch again!? Gimme a ton of breaks! Can you quit letting every fucking stray into this house, Chase?!” Colton instantly went into the offense.
“Colton! Seriously! Behave!” snarled Hailey next to him, punching him in the arm.
“Ouw, what’s with you, Hailz? Pick a team, woman!” Colton protested.
“I am team ‘use-your-brain’, Colton, you should join us! Chase, you handle him – and this. Sorry, hi Nadia, nice to see you again but I am seriously in a bit of a rush. Work called and threw an extra shift at me, gotta get ready like right now.” Hailey and Nadia hugged briefly, then Hailey disappeared in her and Chase’s bedroom.
“You guys need to talk. I’ll go help Hailey with a zipper or something, while I change too, we have practice today, Colton. Keep this civil and make it quick or I will kick your ass, I mean it, bud.” said Chase.
“Yeah, yeah, you betcha. All right, then talk, Nadia, you heard my man, he and I have places to be. TIC TOC.”
When Hailey and Chase reemerged twenty or so minutes later, Hailey immediately left for her shift, while Chase found Colton in the kitchen, alone.
“Nadia, left, said to tell you ‘thanks again’ from her and that you are ‘her hero’. Not sure what for and I am not sure I wanna know.”
“Never mind that. So, did you talk? I mean, did she tell you?”
“Tell me what?”
“About her realizing something very important about herself, concerning you and any relationships she may have in future.”
“Oh, the gay thing. Yup, she mentioned that.”
“You’re taking that much better than I expected.”
“Sure I am, cos it’s a bunch of bullshit. She’ll snap out of it. Or maybe she won’t. All the same to me.”
“Colton, I don’t think it’s a phase or whatever you seem to think. She spoke about some female she met and who had her feeling pretty strongly about her. The way she looked when she told me, I’d say she’s got it bad for that girl, said she makes her feel amazing.”
“However that chick makes her feel, I can top that. Case in point, until just minutes before you came back I had her moaning my name, bent over this table before you, while I screwed her brains out. Didn’t take her long at all to finish, tells me she was hungry for it.”
“WHAT?!” Chase thought he didn’t hear his best friend right.
“Yeah, so much for gay. The results are in and the highly accurate Colton meter in my pants said she’s definitely not. Or she rolls both ways, but definitely not exclusively gay, cos I can be accused of a lot of things, but I am not very feminine, seeing how I have a wanker and all, which Nadia appreciated a lot more than any lesbian would.”
“You better be kidding! Are you insane!? That is so wrong on so many levels! And WTF is wrong with you doing it on the kitchen table! Hailey eats there, we write our papers on that! That’s disgusting and better be a joke!”
“Chill out dude, not like our shit is radioactive or something, I’ll wipe it down with sanitizer after we get back from practice and if you don’t tattle, Hailz will be none the wiser. Besides, your dad used to live in this place with frequent drive-bys from your mom. If houses were sentient, this one would be curled up in a ball sucking its thumb somewhere so lay off me, man.”
“My parents weren’t even dating back then, my dad was with Bristol. Anyway, you will wipe it down right the fuck now with industrial strength cleaners or I swear I’ll burn every piece of furniture in this place! Patches will be home before us and … no! Gross. I don’t want her exposed to your … nasty spills, knowingly or otherwise. For future reference – and I can’t believe I have to tell you that – don’t EVER screw girls on shared furniture EVER AGAIN! And definitely don’t screw Nadia again! Remember Luna, your current girlfriend!? I don’t want my best friend to be some cheating bastard! You’re better than that, man! Nadia’s got it rough enough, she’s confused and you made it worse now! And it’s a dick move towards Luna! I mean, how old are you, Cole? 13? Grow up! We’re adults, or supposed to be!”
“What I did? FYI – I did NOTHING. Nadia fucking kissed ME! SHE kissed ME, not the other way around, SHE rubbed up against me, hard. Then it was open season, no need to send me a formal invite, and you don’t do that to a guy if you area lesbian and just wanna have a platonic chat. SHE initiated it! SHE wanted it. SHE wanted ME! And I rolled with it. Not like I could accidently knock her up more than she already is. And once she really starts showing, I am gonna be out for good anyway. No thanks. Gross.”
“What kinda idiotic BULLSHIT is that?! I am gonna ignore the sum of the entire last part, but all the women in my family hug you, some tighter than others, Hailey kisses you, on the cheek, like a friend, as do my mother and sisters, your mother, grandmother. I sure as fuck hope you never take that as in invite to try to bend them over tables!”
“If they kissed me like Nadia did, I just might! The tip of her tongue was swirling my intestines around, dude! We’re not talking peck on the cheek here. She was tongue-fucking me, man! And not once did she even attempt to stop me after I started making my moves.”
“Colton, I am going to tell you once more, stay away from Nadia. She is your ex and she is gay. She likes girls, you are NOT a girl, she is pregnant, all alone unless that girl pans out to be something serious and is willing to help raise Nadia’s kid with her. Nads has enough problems. As do you. We are getting to the end of the semester and you know that means they’ll rain assignments, tests and finals on us, plus we still have a band to consider. Get your priorities straight. And remember you have a girl already. Cheating is always wrong and bad, no matter your excuse, but you KNOW there is nothing worse than a female vampire scorned. Especially after all Luna’s already been through. Don’t be that guy. Especially not while living with Hailey and me. I don’t need a half-mad vampire around my mortal fiancée.”
“Fine, I’ll dump Luna after practice. She’ll think I am a douche, and won’t come around here, she’s not the needy type, so chill out.”
“No Colton! That’s not what I am saying! Keep Luna and stay away from Nadia, unless you can keep it in your pants and manage to be just friends with her.”
“No, can’t do, my man, on all counts. If Nadia offers again, I will take and Luna is gonna be single after tonight. She’s just not cutting it for me, honestly, I kept her around to have someone to call when I needed to … you know … ‘talk’.” Colton wiggled his eyebrows making clear that talking was code for something else.
“Why?! I thought you liked Luna. If not, why did you even bother. And what the hell is wrong with her? She is stunning, no worries about her getting the vampire thing, no need to keep secrets …”
“Okay, answer me this, Chase. Why are you with Hailey and not one like us? Oh, I know, I know!” Colton theatrically waved his arm like an elementary school kid, before he continued dead serious
“Because we both are into warm-blooded chicks. They are just different. No matter how nice and sweet any vamp chick may be, she’s just not like a mortal. And I realized I just don’t want to screw a female version of me. Look around you. Both our families consist of old vamps or naturally born vamps who married mortals, and the only reason they were turned was because nobody wants to deal with them aging and dying – or they screwed up like your mother did when she accidentally turned your dad. They all wanted mortals. There is a reason for that. Even Luna’s ex is a mortal. Notice a pattern here? Try to argue that away. And don’t tell me Hailey’s ass isn’t gonna get turned as soon as the first signs of aging hit, cos you are most definitely not gonna watch her get old and die like my dad did with his first wife. But until then, you are gonna enjoy her warmth and breathing and the fact she’s a delicious lil snack for you here and there. Oh, yeah, I’ve seen you two. You drink from her and you both like it.”
“Fine, you got me there, so then break up and date some mortal, but NOT Nads.”
“Who says anything about that anyway. A casual fuck does not a relationship make, Chase. Fool me once … I decided that am not getting involved with anyone permanently, least of all some preggers ex who ripped my heart out, then took a dump in the deep hole it left, then walked away. Not with what we have planned. I want to be single while we go on tour during semester break. And I am gonna see which town has the hottest piece of ass. I’ll give you my detailed review afterwards if you like. If you excuse me now, I am gonna hop in the shower so I don’t smell like Nadia’s potentially gay pussy.”
Rendered speechless, and very frustrated, Chase let his best friend saunter off into the bathroom.
This was much worse than he had thought. He knew Colton, probably better than he knew himself sometimes. Colton wasn’t a player, nor such a douche and not the sarcastic prick he was turning into, otherwise there was no way Hailey would like him as much as she did, as that girl had an incredible BS meter for people, reading them like open books.
Chase suspected the Nadia drama had hit him much harder than anyone could see, he was STILL not over her and what happened today only opened that abyss further. Colton’s defense mechanism to a lost love seemed to be to turn into some version of rake. If his father found out about any of this, college would be over for Colton and possibly the band too. Chase sighed wondering how he was supposed to help ‘fix’ his friend, and if that was even possible.