Evening came and Zack picked me up though the car ride was strangely quiet.
“Are you annoyed about what I said before?” I finally asked. Zack seemed surprised by the question and shook his head.
“No, I actually tried to talk to my dad about it. He was pretty set on never,” Zack replied. I shared his frown and then slide across the seats so I could hold him. He wrapped his arms in return and squeezed tight.
“Can't breath,” I whispered in his ear after a few seconds and he laughed, easing up.
“Sorry, but I think I really need that,” Zack said, nuzzling my hair.
“I guessed,” I said, feeling a happy buzz from cheering him up. But the buzz faded when I realised what I'd have to warn him about.
“I think Lewis and Derek have something planned-” I started.
“I figured as much myself. We just need to stay with the group. Amber won't let them do anything on her watch. We shouldn't let the others wander off either. If they catch Kim and Anisha being close they might choose to go for them just to spite us,” Zack said. Oh wow, he'd really been thinking about this. I chewed my lower lip, if I was going to tell him about all the Derek stuff, now would be the time. I stared out the window trying to plan out my exact words, I couldn't help thinking after all this time – would Zack think I'd done something wrong? I knew I hadn't and that Zack wasn't the type to jump to conclusions, but I couldn't help the niggling worry.
“Nice clothes by the way. Why didn't you tell me you were shopping? I could've helped,” Zack said, pulling at my shirt collar and interrupting my careful planning. Then his lips hit mine and our tongue played. When he pulled away I knew I was flushed and breathing hard just like him.
“Knowing you, you would've bought the whole store,” I replied when I caught my breath.
“Nothing wrong with wanting to spoil my boyfriend,” Zack defended with a grin. Then we did some more kissing, and any thoughts of explaining Derek flew away and were replaced by Zack's fingers brushing along my waistband. Then he remembered we were still in the back of his car and pulled away.
The party had already started when they walked in, the living room was loud music and moving bodies. The double-doors leading the dining room had been opened and the room had been changed into a hang out area with bean bags sprawled out. I saw that Lily was there along with Kim and Anisha and headed there.
“I see you decided to show up afterall,” Lewis shouted across the room. The msuic kept going but some people stopped to watch.
“This is technically my house, so yes,” Zack replied. Lewis gave a whistle, admiring the big room.
“Must be nice to get a perfect life laid out for you faggot,” Lewis said. Then he returned into the crowd. I glared at where he'd been standing for a while before Zack grabbed my hand and we joined the others.
“This isn't turning out to be as fun as I thought,” Kim said the moment we sat down. Anisha nodded silently. For a second date, it didn't seem to be going well.
“Then maybe we should have our own? I have games upstairs,” Zack suggested. Kim didn't reply, just held out an expectant hand for a high-five.
“No, no ditching the party,” Amber said, plopping onto a nearby cushion out of nowhere, her cheeks were flushed from work, and yet she still managed to have perfect make-up. Zack studied his cousin, waiting for a reason and she sighed loudly.
“I'm worried about what might happen. I mean between Lewis hating you guys and Derek clearly jealous-”. I felt Zack stiffen next to me and knew there was no way to hide my guilt as I choked on my drink.
“Why would he be jealous? He's one of the people giving Mikey trouble,” Zack said, his voice horribly defensive. Amber blinked at him then raised an eyebrow at me.
“You didn't tell him?” she asked, planting the last nail in my coffin. Everyone was watching me now. Except Zack, that was worrying.
“Shortly after he found out about me he confessed he thought he was gay and he suspected I used to like him,” I gave up. There was no way to make it sound like I wasn't hiding something bad.
“Did you tell him you did?” Zack asked. My expression answered for me. I opened my mouth to explain but he stood up abruptly and walked out the room.
“Fuck,” I stood up and ran after him. I think I heard Amber trying to make a joke about me swearing but I didn't care.
I got to the main hall and heard footsteps on the staircase and raced up then. I guessed it was his room he was heading too. I reached the corner and heard voices that stopped me.
“Knew it was just a matter of waiting. Though it's a shame you're boyfriend's a cheat. Right, Derek?” Lewis I realised instantly, and Derek was with him. I closed my eyes and prayed he'd have some shred of humanity, that he wouldn't really-
“Yeah, he's a good kisser,” Derek said. Zack won't believe I thought, Derek sounded too sure of himself. And like Lewis would be teaming up with him if he were gay. Right?
“I don't believe you,” Zack said, but his voice was too strained. I could feel my body sliding down the wall and into a crippled heap on the floor. No I begged silently, don't believe them.