Hello and welcome back to Free Fiction Friday! We’re back to the prequels to Turning His Life Around! There are seven parts to this one, called Jealousy, and five more short stories after this one. Yay! 🙂

Please remember that the guys are technically underage in these. Any sex is fairly tame (described, yes, but tame) until much later in the series.

If you haven’t read Turning yet, you might consider checking it out. These stories make a lot more sense if you’ve read it first. These should also be read in order:

Nightmares and Waking Dreams (Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 )
Homework Break (Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 )

I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for reading and feel free to let me know what you think. I always love to hear from my readers. 😀

Read Part 1 here * Read Part 2 here * Read Part 3 here * Read Part 4 here

Read Part 5 here * Read Part 6 here  * Read Part 7 here * Read Part 8 here

Read Part 9 here * Read Part 10 here * Read Part 11 here * Read Part 12 here

Read Part 13 here * Read Part 14 here * Read Part 15 here * Read Part 16 here

Read Part 17 here * Read Part 18 here * Read Part 19 here * Read Part 20 here

Read Part 21 here

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“I know,” Ian said from next to him, as he turned on the water and snatched up his toothbrush. “Could it have been worse?” Ian asked then turned to Kane. “Kane? What’s wrong?”

Kane turned from the cabinet and looked at his friend, the color rising in his cheeks. “Um…”

Ian blinked. “What, Kane?”

Kane opened the cabinet door just a little farther and Ian’s eyes widened. His face paled; then color bloomed on his cheeks. Their eyes met, and Kane carefully pushed the cabinet door closed.

“That wasn’t what I thought it was, was it?” Ian asked with a squeak in his voice. “Please, please please tell me it wasn’t…”

“I’m afraid it was. Those… weren’t there last night.” Kane’s voice reflected the shock going through him.

Ian shook his head. “No, no, neither the box nor the… bottle was there.” He stumbled over his words.

“And… did she have to buy both?” Kane asked, his color getting worse. He peered around the door and out into the hallway, but their mom’s door was closed.

“How did she know… I mean, did she ask someone?” Ian asked, nearly stuttering, color darkening even more.

“I have no idea. God, the thought of her asking someone about… about…” He stopped, unable to say gay sex, the thought just a little too much for him. “I love our mom, I really do,” Kane said, “but this has to be the single most embarrassing thing she’s ever done.”

“And… geez, if they stay there, she’ll think we’re not safe and having sex—” Ian’s gaze met Kane’s.

“And if we take them, she’ll know we’re having sex.” Kane finished.

“Shit.” Ian’s gaze moved back to the closed cabinet door.

Kane cleared his throat, working to reorient his world just a little bit. “Well, what’s… worse? Thinking we are and unsafe?”

“Or thinking we are and safe?” Ian asked, his eyes still glued to the wood. He raised one hand to his face and started chewing on a single finger.

“Yeah. Um…” Kane turned back to the cabinet and opened it again. They both stared at the box of condoms and ridiculously big bottle of lube for two full minutes, neither moving a muscle.

“So… take them out,” Ian prompted.

Kane looked over at his best friend, incredulously. “Why me?”

“Cause you’re closer.” Ian waved a hand toward the offending objects.

Kane solved that problem by stepping around Ian. “There. Now you’re closer.”

Ian rolled his eyes. “Oh, for God’s sake,” he growled but the ridiculousness of the situation finally got through and effectively broke him from his stupor. He pulled the box and bottle out of the cabinet and set it on the counter next to the sink with a thunk!, then snatched up the toothpaste. He squeezed it onto his toothbrush with a bit more force than was necessary and shoved the tube at Kane.

They bushed their teeth in silence, neither obviously having a clue what to say. When they finished and put their brushes away, Ian stared at the two items for another moment before getting annoyed with himself and grabbing them up with a glance at Kane. His best friend shrugged and he turned and hurried into their room.

Once there, however, he had no idea what to do with them. Even if he and Kane did something, which he wasn’t sure he would, they had no need to worry about safe sex. Neither of them had ever been with anyone else. He ended up shoving the condoms into his underwear drawer and throwing the bottle at their bunk, where it landed in the middle. He stared at it for a moment before forcing himself to turn away.

They changed quickly into pajamas and curled up on Kane’s bunk without speaking. The bottle got nudged under a pillow and, mostly, ignored.

But neither of them was quite ready to sleep. They lay on their sides and stared at each other for long moments. There was a slight lump under the edge of the pillow between them and both sets of eyes kept straying to it.

All of this succeeded in distracting both of them from the biggest problem of the day. As the silence grew, however, Hayden’s face came to the front of Ian’s thoughts again, and he frowned, his throat working as he tried to contain his emotions.

“Don’t think about him. He’s not worth it, Ian. You’re a hundred times the man he is,” Kane said, quietly, pulling his friend to him. “You’re way better than he is,” he whispered, running his hand over his friend’s back in an attempt to stave off the tears.

Ian curled up, tucking his head under Kane’s chin and accepting the comfort quietly. He fought with the tears, fought the hurt, but in the end they won, anyway. They were silent tears, though, dripping down Ian’s cheeks and onto the muscled chest under his face.

Ian recognized that there was anger leaking through the hurt. Anger that, though Hayden said he loved Ian, he wasn’t willing to give him a single chance to explain.

Anger that, despite the billion and one times he and Kane could have done something, they didn’t. Anger that, after all of that, he’d still held them back. And maybe if his mom hadn’t interrupted them, they might have anyway, but they didn’t.

It just wasn’t fucking fair.

The anger and pain were a potent mix in an already confused mind. Confusion is the name of the game for any teenager. Add in the preferences that aren’t part of the “norm,” a very attractive best friend, unusual sleeping arrangements, and a broken relationship and the situation was just down on its knees begging for trouble. With a very large curly-cued capital “T.” In bold. And italics. And underlined. Twice.

So when Ian pulled back and looked up at his best friend—his very attractive, very hot best friend, the one that thought he was just as hot and attractive right back, it was difficult at best to not react to the heat in those dark eyes. When he was already feeling low and hurt, already confused and frustrated, already angry, it was nearly impossible to not react to the body up against his.

And when he was as tired as he was after the long-ass emotional rollercoaster of a day he’d had, it was no wonder he gave up.

Ian was sure Kane was no better off. He’d found himself in the brand new situation of comforting the comforter. He couldn’t miss that Kane was just as emotionally volatile, just as confused and crazy after the day that they’d had. So when their gazes met, both of Ian’s eyes after the bangs had fallen away, and the emotion Ian was sure was in them showed, it was no wonder that Kane, too, gave up.

They lay there in a sort of suspended animation. It had to be seconds, couldn’t truly have been more than that, but it felt like it could have been counted in seasons instead. The truth of what they both wanted, what they were going to do was right there between them.

In the form of a not-quite innocuous lump under the edge of the pillow.


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Make sure to check out the rest of the stories from Free Fiction Friday!