“I don’t know why you don’t just tell him.” Benji says as he flops onto Luis’s bed.
“He has zero interest in me. He doesn’t see me that way at all and never has.” Luis sighs.
“He’s not that picky. And he’s a great boyfriend.” Benji says.
“That you two were a great couple, makes it even harder, too much to live up to.” Luis says.
“You are too much hard work. Date Liam and make Aaron jealous.” Benji suggests.
“You would tell me if you wanted Aaron back.” Luis says.
“I do not want Aaron back. He’s my best friend and I love him. But I don’t like him that way anymore. You know that. He’s all yours. You just need to get his attention.” Benji says.
“I feel bad using Liam. He’s not that bad.” Luis says.
“Its just a date. He might not even say yes.” Benji says.
“He will. I’m going to do this right. Go in with an open mind.” Luis says.
“And drop him like a hot potato when Aaron notices.” Benji says.
“I’m not that much of a dick.” Luis says.
“What if he’s jealous of you? Sparks have been flying between him and Liam.” Benji says.
“I know. It’s like bang already. Aaron would go insane dating Liam, it would never work.” Luis says.
“Or he would spend all weekend in the mall with Liam, letting him treat him like a live ken doll.” Benji says.
“He should so choose me. I’d totally veg on the couch with him and watch him playing xbox.” Luis says.
“Believe me it is not fun.” Benji says.
“But he went with you to dance class and helped you stretch and held your hand in public.” Luis says.
“Yes, he did and I supported him. It wasn’t all him, it was a relationship.” Benji says.
“I know. Sorry. I don’t mean anything by it. You were, are, out of his league physically. He was lucky to have you.” Luis says.
“You are hotter than him too and you’re an athlete. He just hasn’t noticed you are an option yet.” Benji says.
“You are the best. So what should I say to Liam?” Luis asks.
Liam awakes trembling.
“Oh fuck.” He mutters under his breath and cleans himself up. Yet another sex dream about Aaron. Ugh why can’t his sexual brain and romantic brain agree.
Aaron would never in a million years date him, he knows that. Liam checks the time and sighs and gets up and into the shower.
For the millionth time he wishes he had a friend he could just call and vent to. He wishes Carla wasn’t Aaron’s best friend, he adores her and knows she would have great advice.
Maybe he should go ahead and ask Brett out and make Aaron crazy. Liam smiles to himself at the thought and then thinks about how humiliating it would be to have his boyfriend stolen by Aaron and everyone knowing.
He’s not even hot, doesn’t play sports. Yet he’s so damn masculine and fucking confident.
The club night cannot come fast enough. All the clubs they have contacted in other schools have been receptive and one has invited them to their LGBTQ softball game the following day, which is going to be a great follow up.
Liam shakes all thoughts out of his head and picks an outfit for the day. Maybe he should tone it down a little, go butch. Liam flicks through his closet and sighs, he has to be himself. Picks out knee length denim shorts, a tiny white crop top and adds a flannel shirt and boots. He looks great he smiles to himself.
He gives his face a final check in the mirror, flawless. He knows how amazing it is to be blessed with great skin. All their group is lucky that way, except Benjamin and his is mostly under control now.
Aaron didn’t give a stuff about Benji’s skin Liam sighs and tries to snap himself out of it again.
This week they should have more members in group and maybe he can finally find a hag of his own.
As predicted there are a bunch of girls in group, none interested in Carla, all there for Brett and Luis.
They all report on progress and tickets sold. The night is already viable and they are getting excited.
“Liam can I talk to you?” Luis asks as the session breaks up.
“Sure, want a ride home?” Liam asks.
“That would be awesome.” Luis grins and takes a deep breath. Liam isn’t as bad as he always thought. He has been amazing and focused on the club night and not bitched once about him and Brett not being able to contribute as much time.
“So many girls trying to give you their numbers tonight. And you only had eyes for Aaron.” Liam teases as they get in the car.
“It’s obvious to everyone but him. I know it is never going to happen which is what I wanted to talk to you about.” Luis says.
“I’m not trying to steal him from you. He would never go for me, it would hurt his pride.” Liam says.
“I actually wanted to ask you out. On a date. Will you come on a date with me on Friday? I thought we could go for food while the game is on.” Luis says trembling.
“You want to date me? But you want it to be when everyone is at the game so no one knows?” Liam asks insulted.
“Are you kidding? You’re hot, underneath all the flamboyance, you’re hot. I thought it would be easier to get a table somewhere during the game and we can hit a party after or just go for a walk.” Luis says unable to work out why this is going so badly.
“You think I’m hot?” Liam asks.
“You know your hot, its why you never wear a shirt that fits and squeeze your ass into the smallest shorts you can. Working with you on the club night has made me see you differently.” Luis says.
“I would love to go on a date Friday. I love Italian but hate pizza. I’ll pick you up at 5. Unless you want your aunt to drive us or something. I really don’t know how this works. I never really had a proper date before.” Liam says suddenly nervous and shy.
“Me neither. Well Benji and I went out once but not formally. You driving would be best, then we can keep plans loose. I will book a table. Do you prefer flowers or chocolates or is that too hero?” Luis asks.
“You better bring me flowers and nothing cheap and nasty. I would prefer a single rose or gerbia to a shitty bunch of carnations with baby breath.” Liam says snapping back to himself.
“Thanks Liam. For the ride and for the date.” Luis says smiling.
Liam floats on air into his house.
“Mom, I have a date Friday, with a basketball player. Can you believe it?” Liam says bouncing.
“Baby that is wonderful. Tell me everything.” Liam’s mom says.
“He is so hot, let me show you.” Liam says fishing out his phone and bring up Luis’s bio on the school website.
“Wow, he’s only a sophomore. You be careful. Do we need to have a sex talk?” Liam’s mom says.
“Mom I do not ever need a sex talk. Ever. And he’s too young and I am not ready and its one freaking date.” Liam says.
“It sounds like a big deal to you both. Be prepared. There are condoms in the bathroom cabinet and lube. I think you are too young but I am realistic, I don’t want you getting an STI because you were too scared to shop for supplies.” Liam’s mom says.
“Mom! Way over the line. You did not buy me lube. OMG I am going to die.” Liam says and stomps off to his room, fully prepared to die of embarrassment.
Liam takes real care over his outfit on Friday, for once he is covering up and puts on a crisp white shirt, skinny jeans and a blazer.
“You look beautiful darling.” Liam’s mom says as he does a twirl for her before skipping out the door.
When he gets to Luis’s house he isn’t sure if he should honk or knock. He decides on knocking as that is what he would want Aaron to do. Shit. Shit. He’s not doing this to make Aaron notice. Luis is hot and was really sweet asking him out.
Liam takes a breath and knocks on the door.
“You must be Liam, come in.” Luis’s aunt says opening the door with a big smile.
“It is so nice to meet you, you have a lovely home.” Liam says.
“Thank-you. You are so much more polite that Luis’s other friends.
“Auntie J you cannot embarrass me like this. Liam you look gorgeous, these are for you.” Luis says handing Liam a bunch of flowers.
“These are perfect. Orange is my favorite color. Luis thank-you.” Liam says and kisses his cheek.
“Pictures.” Aunt J says.
“It’s not prom.” Luis protests.
“Come on we look cute. Its our first date and should be documented.” Liam says putting his arm around Luis and putting on a big smile.
Aunt J takes a bunch of pictures. Liam helps Luis relax and they throw some crazy poses.
“Honestly, thanks for the flowers. I love them so much. It was really sweet of you.” Liam says.
“I knew you’d be pretty pissed off with one flower. We’re going to Aaron’s mom’s restaurant. Is that okay? We won’t get any shit there for being gay and a mixed race couple. Not that we would elsewhere. It is just something I panicked about when I was working out what to do tonight.” Luis says.
“That is really thoughtful. I get shit everywhere, alone, with girls, with guys, with my mom.” Liam says.
“I’m sorry. And I’m sorry for when I have been a part of that.” Luis says.
“You guys give me shit in group but you defend me outside of it. I might not be that close to you four but you’re essentially my best friends after my mom. I mean I wish that wasn’t true but it is.” Liam says.
“You should hang out with us on Sundays. We could do with shaking up the group and if Brett is coming along you should too. Although that’s risky for me, given he likes you.” Luis says.
“He’s gross. I mean it. I was flattered initially and then I wasn’t. I don’t want a boyfriend who would do what he did. I mean giving a bj at a party to a guy you’re not in to. Just not my style.” Liam says.
“Me either. Its one of the upsides to being gay, I don’t have to join in locker talk about girls after parties. No one wants to know what I do. Which is nothing. But I don’t get teased for that, because they all assume I’m a slut.” Luis says.
“Right, I get that too. This is my first date, I have barely been kissed and people assume I am a slut. I mean I plan to be in college.” Liam says with a giggle and Luis laughs.
“I am dreading you guys being gone.” Luis says.
“You’ll have Carla.” Liam says.
“Yeah, Carla is the best.” Luis says.
“Please don’t be offended but I am putting the flowers in the trunk. I don’t want them to wilt too much.” Liam says.
“That’s cool, they have a water wrap thing round the ends.” Luis says.
“Cute and smart.” Liam says with a grin.
Luis takes Liam’s hand and they head inside. Liam’s heart is beating out of his chest. Luis is a dream and this is going to be the best date ever.
“This is a nice table. I know you are friends with the owner but I am still impressed you managed to get a table, and such a good one. This is probably one of the only places where it is still hard to get a table during the game.” Liam says.
“I knew you wouldn’t want to be hidden away. I knew you’d be dressed in an outfit to be seen in. And maybe I want to show you off.” Luis says. They are sat in the middle of the floor, on a set of tables that are on a podium.
“You have paid attention.” Liam says.
“You command attention.” Luis says.
“So do you, given you’re a giant.” Liam says.
The two try and find some common ground, they both like similar music, which they already knew and Luis finds Liam’s Gaga obsession kind of endearing. Sparks are not flying. They are not getting electric shocks when their hands meet.
But they are having a good time and enjoying each other’s company.
“Your aunt seemed excited for us tonight. A lot different to the rest of your family?” Liam asks.
“Yeah. She has been amazing, taking me in and raising me when she didn’t have to. She was twenty and in college when I washed up. She came here at 16 with my great grandmother. Completed four years of high school in two and got a great scholarship to college.
My great grandmother had a heart attack and died upon hearing the news of my parents and Aunt J pushed aside all her grief and took me in, juggled me and college and did an amazing job. I owe her everything. She loves me so much and would never, ever have rejected me. I never worried about coming out to her. But we both know our catholic family back home would not be so happy about it.” Luis says.
“You have suffered so much loss. Everyone looks at you and sees the athlete. They see you as walking dollar signs. That is such a small part of you.” Liam says.
“Thanks. I have to pursue the sports. I owe it to Aunt J, to pay her back for everything, to look after my family back home. I hope that I can make it. I know it’s a one in a million shot so I study hard as I am going to make something of myself either way.” Luis says.
“I believe you. You are such a great guy. I am really glad you asked me out. Can we do it again?” Liam asks as they take a walk after dinner.
“I really hope so. I’m surprised you’re being so direct. I thought you would be all coy about it, make it a drama.” Luis says.
“I love drama, live for it. But not in my personal life. I live for everyone else’s drama. Brett, Aaron and Benji provide so much without trying. I don’t need to create my own.” Liam says.
“I love my friends but they really are a bunch of dramaqueens. Another thing that is crazy, is my schedule. I really want to make time for you, but I can’t promise lots of nights like tonight.” Luis says.
“Luis, I know your practice schedule, I know when you work and when you have a game. Shit, I sound like a stalker. Pulling together the Gaga gathering I needed to know when I could call on you all.” Liam says.
“I pretty much know your schedule too. Please come hang out with us all on Sundays. You, Aaron and Benji are clearly past the worst and we’ve been wrong to exclude you all this time. Then maybe we can hang out on our own after. Go to the mall or something.” Luis says.
“That sounds perfect. You are such a gentleman.” Liam says and kisses Luis gently on the mouth.
Luis takes Liam’s head in his hands and kisses back passionately.