Jay & Miles

by ColumbusGuy

Chapter 25


POV: Mikey, Greg

I stared at Greg as if he'd suddenly sprouted a second head—where did people come up with this shit? My part of the fight, except for the brief swing with my book bag that only made Timmy Zane madder, was mostly confined to lying on the ground after throwing up my lunch after the big goon hit me. Denny had been the more effective one, holding Zane back until Benny grabbed him. In all my eleven years of school, I'd never been the focus of attention unless it was to be picked on, so I didn't know quite what to make of the whole situation—and it looked like Jay and Denny had had their share of fame too. Almost simultaneous with my exclamation, I heard my fork hit the floor with a clatter. Damn it, I didn't want to walk back to the lunch line for another one—then I realized there was nothing about baked beans and ice cream that needed a fork. Out of habit, I looked down to spot it, and couldn't see it. "You guys tell him, I gotta find my fork."

I ducked under the table, trying to look under my seat, but it wasn't there either. It sounded like it had bounced or something, so I got on the floor to look under the table. I had to admit that the view from under here was much more interesting than staring at my tray. All four of us were wearing jeans today: mine black, Jay's light blue, while Denny and Greg's were medium blue. Denny had on his black loafers, while my boyfriend and Greg wore sneakers. I crawled a little farther under the table and spotted the errant utensil nearly in the middle between Jay and Denny's seats, but my arm wouldn't reach—so I moved another few inches to pick it up. I accidentally brushed Jay's calf with my arm, which caused his leg to twitch just a little. I could hear Denny telling Greg what he'd seen yesterday and his part in it, and I knew I had only a few seconds before my absence would begin to look suspicious. With an evil grin, I ran my hand up the inside of Jay's thigh and rested my fingers on his bulge, which was growing nicely under my touch. As I pulled my hand back, I ran it briefly up his calf under the leg of his jeans, then untied the laces on his sneakers before moving back toward my chair. "Found it—it bounced and landed almost under your chair, Jay!" With masterful acting skill, I held the stainless steel fork up for all to see.

I thought I was pretty clever until Jay's blue eyes locked on my grinning face; he was tossing in a few details to Denny's description of the fight, but all that time his eyes were on me as he discarded his hot dog bun and speared the wiener with his fork—then moved it toward his lips, licking them in anticipation. Just before his mouth closed on it, he rotated it slightly and gently bit off the tip with a satisfied moan. His next bite, he took after sliding the dog in a little farther. "Mmm, I wish they'd buy foot-longs, or a nice thick bratwurst…one of those could satisfy my appetite better, don't you think Mikey?" To prove his point, he slid half the dog into his mouth and began nipping his way down one nibble at a time. My head was suddenly filled with memories of our fun Sunday morning when we'd had our first try at sucking each other and I was instantly hardening in my jeans. Somehow, Jay managed to smirk while dealing with his hot dog. My head jerked to look at Greg when he touched my arm to get my attention.

"Sorry, Greg—what did you say?" Greg was really sharp, as I'd discovered while talking with him about spotting other gay guys last week, and I'd lay money on him noticing my blush now. I only hoped he was too pre-occupied with the talk about the fight to give my red face any serious thought. Maybe my next words would throw him off track. "I was thinking about all the stupid things people make up when they don't know the real story…."

It looked like I'd succeeded in my goal when Greg repeated his question. "I heard some guys calling you—" here he pointed first at Jay, then Denny, "—'Jabber' and 'Dancer'. What's up with that?" I looked blankly at my two companions since this was the first time I'd heard the two nick-names. It was my newest friend who mumbled something about it being like the names boxers used, or wrestlers on television. I was sorely tempted to laugh until I remembered how I'd just felt being called 'Mauler'. Instead, I moved my foot under the table to rub Jay's ankle with my own. His smile at that dispelled my anxiety over the things the other kids said about the fight—I'd do it all again for my Jay. I let my fingers brush the silver oak charm around my neck, and his smile grew wider when his own hand went to grip his Pegasus pendant.

You know the old saying, 'if wishes were fishes…', well, my hopes to allay any suspicions were just the same--fruitless. Greg's pale blue eyes went from me to Jay and back again, and he ran a hand through his tawny red hair. He started to say something, then stopped. Jay and I had decided that we'd tell him about us in as roundabout a way as possible to avoid other people catching onto our secret…and I'd suggested we use the names 'Dave' and 'Tim' which Greg had used the first time he called each of us for phone sex. They were common enough not to draw attention to our talk, and Greg would certainly get the implication that Jay and I were now a couple. The only difficulty having this conversation just then was that Denny was part of our group—not that he was a problem, he was great company—but while he knew about us, and we knew about him, would he be okay with us enlisting Greg to help find him a boyfriend? Greg was the one with the 'gay vibe detector', so he would be perfect for Operation: Boyfriend. For that matter, would Greg want anyone besides me and Jay to know about him? I guess we should have talked about this part of the plan with Denny last night while we were studying together. To make matters worse, Denny knew nothing of the calls Greg had been making to find other gay-friendly guys.

Greg's eyes narrowed slightly when Jay took the bull by the horns. "I've heard enough about that stupid 'fight' for one day, haven't you guys?" Denny was quick to nod—he'd been in gym with Jay today where I could only imagine that the talk and teasing about it was the worst. I absolutely hated even the thought of 'Mauler Miles', so I was quick to join in agreeing with Jay's suggestion. Before our red-headed friend could say anything, Jay went on: "Mikey and I ran into a couple friends of yours over the weekend—you remember Dave and Tim, right?"

From the surprised look on Greg's face, I learned two things: first, that there had been no friends by those names, and second, that he'd never had his little ruse uncovered before. I guess he didn't think that since Jay and I were casual friends, we'd compare notes on something as personal as our sex lives, but even with the need to stay 'closeted', Jay's impetuosity had driven him to take a chance on finding what he wanted by writing that note to me on Tuesday. If it failed, he could play it off as more of the joking we'd been doing for months. Unfortunately for Greg, Jay's note had been spectacularly successful, and led to us sitting here today trying to impart sensitive information without any other people besides us four finding it out.

I had to admit that apart from the first glimmer of surprise, Greg was a great actor. "Oh really? I haven't talked to Tim in a while, but I did talk to Dave last Wednesday. What have they been up to?" That was clever—'Dave' was the name he'd used as the wrong number when calling me. As we'd planned, I took up the next part of our campaign.

"They were just bumming around, and since Jay and I had nothing better to do, we started talking, and decided we liked hanging out together." I'd emphasized that last word just enough to make it stand out, and as I said it, I began to tap my fingers on the table. When Greg glanced at them, I crossed my index and middle finger together like the good luck sign, hoping he'd get the meaning that we were now linked like those two fingers. Just to make sure, I added, "By the time we left them, Jay and I were a lot closer to one another, and we spent all day Saturday and Sunday hanging out together." Again, I tapped and twined my fingers together when he looked a second time. There was no way he could miss my meaning, or so I hoped. It would be awkward to drag him from the room and find a private spot to tell him straight out, or try to catch him after school before he got on his bus to go home.

Like I said earlier, Greg wasn't dumb, and he nodded slowly while looking at the three of us…still, he was being cautious with Denny present as an unknown quantity. "That's really neat, guys, I'm glad the four of you hit it off so well; I like it when people make new friends—it keeps life from getting boring, and God knows this town could use all the help it can get. How long can you watch the paint dry or the stop light on the north end of town?" He wasn't far off on that statement; it had been years since a train had stopped at our little two-room depot…even the Landmark Feed and Grain store next to the tracks got its supplies by truck these days.

As Jay and I planned, he took up the next part, where we would get Greg to help us find a 'friend' for Denny. I think we watched too many cop shows or something, because I was starting to feel like we were in one of those 'good cop-bad cop' routines. When my eyes settled on Denny and I gave him a smile, he looked puzzled and confused. I could have smacked myself on the head—he didn't know how we'd work out finding him a boyfriend—he must have thought we'd just know somehow who would be good to ask since we'd been going to school with all these guys for years. He had been working steadily at his lunch, and was nearly finished, just having his banana left on his tray. I leaned slightly closer to him so he could hear my words without attracting the attention of the girls sitting nearby. "I know you like looking at bananas, so why haven't you gobbled that one down?" When he laughed, he leaned in too, and I used the noise as cover to clue him in to what was going on. "Greg is the guy who can help us with your problem…he watches a lot of people through his job behind the lunch line, and is very good at keeping secrets." The confused look slipped from Denny's face and was replaced by his smile—then he peered over at Greg with a speculative glance before turning back to me.

"Is Greg, um…you know…." He wouldn't take the chance of having that word even hinted at during school, knowing what it could lead to with assholes like Timmy Zane around. It wasn't my place to say anything without Greg's permission, so I simply shrugged my shoulders. "He knows more than he lets on, that's all I'll say, besides him being a great guy to know. You saw his sense of humor yesterday with the Soylent Green joke, but if he doesn't know you he's almost as quiet as a church mouse." Whatever we were going to say next was halted by the conversation between Jay and Greg.

"C'mon, Greg…with finals a month away, we can all use help studying…Mikey, Denny and me have started a little group, and you'd fit right in! We study most nights at my house—it's got the room, and my parents will even feed us….Try it tonight, just to see if you like it, but I'm sure you will." This was new, not what Jay and I had talked about before—something must have caused him to change our plan—but I could see it would make things a lot easier all around if Greg came over. Jay added a little more persuasion as a deal sweetener. "I've got the math part covered, Mikey is good at English…and Denny, well…it looks like he's pretty good at history, so you're bound to pick up something from all that brain power."

I smiled when Greg nodded, and Jay told him to meet us at his truck after the last bell. Greg said he didn't know what it looked like, so I told him to look for the big old blue Ford that was twice as tall as Jay. That got laughs from all of us, and even more when he glared at me and called me a 'dick'. Greg got up then and moved with his tray to the trash can, and we noticed that others had already begun to leave too. Ten minutes until lunch was over, and it hadn't seemed like more than ten since we'd sat down. Denny still hadn't eaten his banana, so Jay offered to eat it for him, and Denny replied, "Keep your lips off my banana." With laughs from us all at the joke, he began to remove the peel. It was nice of him to break it into thirds and give Jay and me a piece of it. I had a weakness for bananas, and one of my favorite snacks was a Banana Flip: a folded half-moon-shaped sponge cake with banana cream filling, so I gladly took my piece.

Since we were finished with our food, I stood and took my tray to the trash, and was followed by Denny. Then I heard a crash and turned around to see Jay lying on the floor—one of his sneakers was gone, and he had a few strings of sauerkraut contrasting with the dark blue of his shirt and in his hair! He was staring perplexedly at his feet, where one untied sneaker still dangled. Shit—I didn't mean for him to actually trip over the laces….I reached him first, and started picking the kraut off him, but he slapped my hands away and winced as he sat back down in the chair he'd just left. Denny was back in a second holding out his lost sneaker, but when my boyfriend tried to bend down to put it on, he winced a second time. Greg came running over to clean up the dropped tray, and to see if he was okay.

I knelt in front of Jay and put his shoe back on him, then laced them both up again, feeling it was far too little for me to do since I'd caused the accident in the first place. From what I could see from my position on the floor, he'd need a trip to the rest room to wipe off his shirt and wash his face and hands…so I helped him to his feet as we headed for the nearest bathroom that was in the main corridor across from the gym. I felt even worse because Jay was moving very stiffly and limping a bit. The other kids who had gathered to watch our impromptu show parted to let us through, and I was just glad that Linda wasn't one of them—that would be the last thing I needed, to fend off her anger because I'd broken her brother!

The hall was mostly empty with most of the other kids gathering outside close to the exits so they could hear the bell ending 5th period. The earlier drizzle had ended and the sun was out in force burning off the chill and drying the grounds around the school. The kids who smoked were lighting up outside the doors on the western side of the school near the vocational and industrial arts rooms since they were farthest away from the Office, while others were chatting next to their lockers or sitting in the courtyard. Jay was leaning on me a little as we approached our destination, and that only increased my dismay at what I'd done—he waved away my queries about where it hurt or if he needed to see the Nurse. I held the bathroom door open for him, apologizing for what seemed the hundredth time as I let it close and led him over to the sink. I watched anxiously as he surveyed himself in the large mirror and began picking sauerkraut off his shirt, and I looked around for something to wipe off the shirt but came up empty—the school used dispensers with a continuous cloth towel for drying your hands.

I had a bright idea and started looking in the stalls for toilet paper—it wasn't the best option, but it was all we had. All four were unoccupied, and I got lucky enough to find a spare roll of tissue that I brought over to the sink. I tore off a large handful, dampened it under the faucet, and proceeded to dab at Jay's shirt. He ran some water and soaped up his hands from the dispenser to begin scrubbing at his face, then leaned in closer to the mirror to examine his hair for unwanted vegetables. "You missed a spot…" he said, and took my hand with the tissue and placed it on his crotch, pressing into my fingers with a sigh. Despite knowing we were alone for the moment, my eyes darted around in panic before my fingers began to rub him and then explore his thighs. All I found was worn denim hiding warm Jay flesh with no sign of any stray cabbage. He tilted my head up so I was looking into his eyes rather than at his groin, and I saw grim determination in those blue depths. Uh oh, Jay had that 'look', and I knew it would lead us into trouble….

"You owe me for that dirty trick in the lunch room…" Though he was trying to sound stern, I could hear the amused laughter barely hidden underneath his words. He raised both hands to my shoulders and maneuvered me to one of the stalls, and closed the metal door behind us. I heard the bolt as he slid it home, then his lips were on mine, and his tongue was probing at my mouth to gain entry. What could I do but let him in? Our bodies melted together as our lips and tongues gently explored now-familiar territory, and it took all my will-power not to moan when I felt his fingers lift the back of my tee-shirt to reach bare skin. My own hands slipped under Jay's blue sweatshirt to roam his back and pull him tighter into me. Jay's dick was as hard as mine, and we began grinding them together—but after a bit of oral abandonment, I had to come up for air.

"Much as I love kissing you, I hate the taste of sauerkraut…and it's too dangerous to do this at school." I felt Jay nod against my lips, but instead of pulling back, his hands went to my belt and unbuckled it, then went to work on my button and zipper. "Jay, what the fuck?" I didn't know what he was up to, but this was far too risky. I was even more puzzled when he stopped and began to undo his own pants. When all that was left for either of us was to pull them down, he took a half step back. "You cheated yesterday when you said grape didn't count toward our game, so now that we're playing for real, and since you didn't show me today's color this morning, we do it now. On the count of three…" Did I ever mention that my boyfriend is a dick—and he's fucking crazy?

With our pants down at mid-thigh, we took a long look at our briefs, and the bulges that were very prominent in each. Mine were bright lemon yellow; Jay's were the golden-yellow, which matched the color of his hair so perfectly. Like steel filings drawn to a magnet, our hands went out to cup and caress each others dicks through the soft cotton…I sighed and trembled slightly as he put just the slightest pressure around my shaft, and moved his thumb across the head of my dick—it wouldn't take much for me to lose it right there and then. My eyes bugged out when Jay bent over and ran his tongue around the end of my dick through my underwear, then he looked up and whispered, "Tell me this counts as a match."

All I could do was croak out a ragged "Y..ye…sss," and press my hands to the back of his head so I was tangled in his blond mop. With a last swipe of his tongue, and a nibble at the tip, Jay stood up and leaned against the stall door. His evil grin was in full force as he pulled his jeans up and put himself in order. When he was set, and had pulled the bolt on the stall door, he leaned in and kissed me deeply one last time. "You'd better straighten up, elskede. Nobody sees your undies but me." Once all my parts were back where they should be, if not entirely soft, he opened the stall and walked over to the sink to rinse his hands and do one final inspection.

"Hey—what happened to your limp? I really thought you had hurt yourself!" Was this all some trick to get back at me for causing him to trip? That really didn't sound like him, it was too mean…but his reply reassured me. "It did hurt…I landed right on my tail-bone, and I couldn't bend down to do my laces…but that began to wear off on the way in here. I wanted to kiss you, to let you know I wasn't mad, but also because I needed to–especially after you felt me up under the table…" then he hung his head a little. "I was a little mean when I opened your pants in there, but I had to see if I'd won my reward or not. I'm sorry Mikey, but I can't resist you when we start to fool around. I'll make it up to you after the guys leave tonight…I'll give you my reward for being my true love."

I pulled him into my arms and kissed his forehead, running my fingers through his blond hair and along his jaw for a few seconds before stepping back. Before I could say anything, we were interrupted by a cough from inside the door, and jumped when Denny spoke up. "Guys, you've got maybe fifteen seconds before the bell rings…" He looked us over and snickered. "I don't know about sauerkraut, but I think you two found Jay's bratwurst!" He walked over to one of the urinals, flushed it, and then did the same for one of the toilets before coming to the sink to wash his hands. I caught on first, and rinsed my own hands and ran them over my face before drying them on the towel. Jay had already done his before Denny entered.

"Now, let's get our asses to class. Keeping an eye on you two is gonna be hard work—I think Linda owes me a raise!" We were laughing our heads off when we left the john and headed to our lockers to get our stuff for our last two classes.

The one good thing about my schedule this semester was having Vocational Agriculture right after lunch; Mamaw C always gave me a pass in case I was late getting my work done in the cafeteria, and Mr. Vincent knew I needed the job, so he made sure I had the assignments and notes before the 6th Period was over. For kids in a farming district, even those like me who lived in one of the three small towns rather than on actual farms, we were close enough to the land to grasp most of the lessons he taught so well. Thanks to Department of Agriculture bulletins and reports from the County Extension Service, we were learning the latest farming methods of crop growth, livestock management and conservation. Dad's older brother got Grandpa's farm when he died, but I hoped someday to have one of my own—I just didn't know how or when. From my dad's small portion of Grandpa's estate, I had money to go to OSU, if I worked part-time, and received some financial aid. I wasn't sure what I wanted to study--the money in farming nowadays was in livestock or specialty crops, but saving enough to get into either of those would take several years. I needed something to earn my keep right away…I had to start helping set money aside for my younger brother to go to college, then he'd do the same for the next one. Lately, I'd been thinking of Accounting or some sort of Business classes along with something like Animal Husbandry.

When I got back to the kitchen, I quietly filled Mamaw C in on what really happened with the fight, and she gave a sigh of relief that no one was seriously hurt…but she couldn't help adding that Timmy Zane had always caused trouble. I was rounding up trays once I had my apron on, and noticed that, once again, Benny was sitting with his other friends on the wrestling team—but in a way which allowed him to keep Cal Schuyler in full view. It wasn't obvious, but I knew Benny fairly well since he lived on the next street over from mine, and we'd often played together when we were younger. Even in elementary, he'd been the biggest kid in class, and was very physical—always touching friends on the shoulder, or putting an arm around them—but he was also careful not to hurt anyone. We were friendly enough, but didn't really hang out since I wasn't into sports like he was. As I moved around, I saw Calvin finishing up, and took his tray to the trash for him, receiving a smile in return.

I really hoped he would tell Benny of his feelings soon, the two of them were just right for each other if they'd only admit it. A few years ago, when boys think about doing some 'experimenting', a couple of us had tried jacking off together—never touching each other—but it had only been a few times for most of us. At the same time, Benny started to show an interest in wrestling, and so we'd tried that too—and found it was just as much fun rolling around on the floor or in the yard with another guy on top of you. Of course, we all got hard. Now, even though I'm fairly quiet, I'm also stubborn, and I would often keep struggling with Benny despite him always winning our little matches. One day in his back yard, after the other guys had left, we had a wrestle with a difference: it was a very hot summer day and we were dressed only in shorts and sneakers, and sweat was dripping from our bodies making them slide against each other almost frictionlessly. He'd beaten me earlier, and I was going to do my best to win this time, so I kept on and on, trying to pin him down only to have him slip out of my grasp and climb on top of me. When I tried twisting and bucking him off even harder, he grinned down at me and thrust his groin into mine so I could barely move. Sweat from his face was dripping onto mine, and he pressed harder into me, giving his hips a little extra twist so that we were dick-to-dick.

I tried a few more thrusts to get free, then my eyes locked with his; at nearly sixteen, wrestling with him was nothing new anymore, but something changed at that moment—for me at least. His green eyes were bright with an intensity I'd never seen, and I let my body relax under his weight—I didn't want to fight him anymore. Over the years, guys in our circle had looked at one another as we masturbated, but nothing like the look I saw in Benny's eyes that day. I felt his dick mold itself alongside mine as we let our bodies mesh, and the heat from his broad chest against mine was incredibly arousing as he began a slow slide up and down–just enough to make my skin break out in goose-bumps. The feel of his nipples rubbing mine sent fire into the depths of my mind, making the thought of anything else impossible. I tried to keep my wits, not wanting to go too far, but when Benny finally lowered his face and his lips brushed mine, I was gone. My hands were frantically grabbing at his back and ass, pulling him harder and harder against me, until one found its way into his black hair and pulled his face to mine as I opened for his tongue to enter my panting mouth. We swapped saliva, sweat and moans while our bodies went thrust-for-thrust in a rush toward explosive satisfaction. The fronts of our shorts, already sweat-drenched, were flooded with two massive loads of cum in just a few minutes, so high had we built our desires. I gave a slight push, and Benny rolled off of me, but he kept me in his grip so that I wound up on top, trading kisses and breath as we drifted back to the present. We were lucky that his sister was off shopping with friends, otherwise we might have been caught. She was less than a year older than we were, but had her license, so she was rarely home except for meals. That hot summer day was the start of nearly a year for Benny and me—a time of hot make-out sessions which almost always led to us blowing each other…and yet, we didn't hang out very much socially—I had my friends, and he had his; oh, we were friends—just with very different interests…except for sex.

When he turned seventeen just before our junior year, he got his car, and our encounters tapered off with the demands on his time from his other friends and sports camp. Being the guy that he is, he came to me and apologized for not having the time to meet regularly, and I told him it was all right…and it was. I'd known it almost from the start—there was no chemistry between us other than the thrill of being hot and sweaty in each other's arms, so I came up with the idea to make phone calls to find a new 'friend'; I'd already talked to one or two guys, Cal being among the first. About a month into the school year, he started to see Linda, Jay's sister, who was a year older than we were. That went on until Thanksgiving break, when he appeared at my house and asked me to have a hamburger with him in Columbus. Over chocolate malts, crinkly fries and a tray of a dozen White Castle's small square burgers, we had our talk. Like most of them, this one had a very small dining room, so we sat in the farthest corner we could and kept our voices low.

"I'm breaking up with Linda…," he said quietly, almost in a whisper. The few people in the restaurant were more concerned with their own meals than what we were saying, but it was second nature to keep from being overheard by grown-ups. And, the topic of our talk wasn't one to encourage being boisterous. When I asked him what was wrong, he gave me a brief, regretful smile. "It's not fair to her, Greg. I like her a lot, and I want to stay friends with her if I can—but I don't love her–" his voice dropped even lower as he leaned closer. "I thought I might be bi, but there just wasn't any connection between us when we had sex."

I had to smile at that comment, but then I had a flash of insight—despite the casualness of our sexual activities, it hadn't been purely physical–even if we weren't boyfriends—we did care for each other, and that made it work. "Could it just be that she's not the right girl for you Benny? Maybe you should date another girl?" I've always known what I wanted when it came to boys or girls, but for most guys it was just 'fun' before they settled down with a girl…and I thought that might be true for Benny as well. We hadn't gone 'all the way', but he was damn good at everything else we'd done!

It was cute the way his face turned red—very few people would guess that the big wrestling champ was shy or easily embarrassed. Most kids at school just saw his muscles, but if he let you past that, then you would find one of the kindest guys around—and I was pretty sure that was why he wrestled rather than play at some other, rougher sport. I saw him swallow before he took a sip of his shake. "Greg, that's not it—I had to work at it—despite her looks and all the foreplay, I really had to force myself to finish. I never had to do that with you."

On the way home that day, I held his hand and told him I'd be there for him after he talked with Linda…his other friends might be closer on a daily basis, but it was me he came to when he had emotional problems he needed to talk through. The following Sunday, just before school started again, he invited me over and told me that he'd talked with her, and that they were still going to be friends. I asked if he'd 'come out' to her, and he said "technically no". He chuckled and said he'd only gotten a few words out when she patted his hand and said, "I know", then kissed his cheek before saying, "I hope you find the right guy to make sex fun, just let me meet him when you do so I can see if he's good enough for you."

And that's how I knew that Calvin Schuyler and Benny Ross were right for one another. I got the idea after they first met at wrestling tryouts, and the two each mentioned the other to me in conversation within a week of that first encounter. I could be more open when I talked to Benny, and I encouraged him to make the first approach in the 'high school mating dance', but he wanted to wait for Calvin to do it—in the meantime, he was content to get to know the blond better. I could understand part of that reluctance as him not wanting to appear intimidating to Calvin, but the blond seemed to be waiting for some sign from on high that Benny would be interested in being more than friends. What was frustrating me was that the old pre-hunting accident Calvin would have gone for the risk.

The clatter of a falling tray and a curse caused my head to whip around to where Jay was lying on the linoleum floor, covered with bits of sauerkraut and one shoe missing. Not many kids were left in the cafeteria, but those who were had turned to see what was going on. I put down my stack of empty trays and rushed over, but Miles was already helping Jay to a chair, so I began wiping up the mess with my towel after asking if they needed my help. Denny came up with Jay's missing shoe, and I shook my head when I saw that the laces had been undone—knowing now why Miles had been 'fork hunting' so long under the table. If his not-so-subtle hint about he and Jay being a couple hadn't been clear, the solicitous way he was fussing over the blond was my final proof. I smiled to myself as I watched Miles help Jay to his feet and toward the exit, supporting at least part of his boyfriend's weight. Denny started to trail after them, but turned back to whisper to me before going, "I think I better look out for them—I mean, Jay might need to go see the Nurse."

I gave the runner a smirk and a soft snicker in reply. "Right—the Nurse—I think Miles has appointed himself the role of doctor." Denny's grin as he turned to follow told me that he too suspected that Jay and Miles were more than friends, and it seemed that he was okay with that. Maybe some day I'd find a guy of my own who was so open-minded. A little voice in the back of my mind spoke up then: Could Denny Watson be the one?

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