Nathan sits with me on my bunk, one arm around my shoulders. I rest my head in the crook of his neck, letting out a sigh.
"The sex just reminded me how much I miss being at home, y'know? It's not that I don't like being with you or anything, because I really do, it's just not the same."
He tries to hide a look of disappointment at that and nods understandingly, but I've spent too much time with him and to me, the disappointed look is kinda obvious.
I sigh, "sorry, Nate." He punches my arm lightly at the use of his shortened name.
"It's just as well I like you too much to hit you harder for calling me that," he smiles slightly. I return his smile, putting my head back on his shoulder.
"You know you love me, even if I'm an ass," I say jokingly.
"That's the problem," he mumbles so quietly I'm not even sure I hear him right.
"What's the problem?" I ask cautiously. He says nothing and sits forward, dislodging me. I stick a hand out to support myself and watch his back for a moment.
"Wanna go for a smoke?" He queries after a couple of awkwardly silent minutes. I nod as he glances back at me and we stand together his hand finding mine. I look down at our intertwined fingers, wondering how I'm supposed to feel about it. As much as I miss Kyle, and as loyal as I am to him (or as loyal as anyone can be in a prison like this), holding hands with Nathan doesn't feel wrong. Should it? I don't know any more.
We ignore the usual cat calls of 'faggot' and the like as we walk out into the yard and sit down on the ground together out of everyone's way. I've barely lit my cigarette when one of the homophobes in the yard decides now is a really good time to pick on Nathan, just because he can't throw a decent punch to save his life. Guess they forgot about me, then.
A basket ball smacks him square in the face. His head whips back, stopped only by the mesh fence behind him. I'd have been worried about him getting whiplash from it if it weren't the alarming amount of blood pouring from his nose and upper lip. I pushed aside the wave of rage long enough to tell him to pinch his nose and tilt his head back before I jump up and launch myself at the dickwad that threw the ball.