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Second Shot – The Senior Year: Chapter 30


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“Congrats again.” The football player whose name escaped Jason held out his hand to Peter. The two shook, but the guy never let go of his girlfriend. “See you two later.”

“Bye.” Jason gave him a half-hearted wave and watched them walk off. They’d had random people come up several times since the verdict and it still felt awkward. He felt Peter hand’s brush up against his and he grabbed it. “What was his name?”

Peter snickered. “I was hoping you’d know. He seemed to know you.”

“He acted like he knew us.” They started walking toward the Java Shack again.

“So what did you think about your brother’s girlfriend.”

Jason heard the disapproval in his boyfriend’s voice. “She seemed nice. She’s pretty—if you like that type.”

“You know that’s not what I meant.”

“Actually, I think I did answer your question.” Since humor didn’t work, he decided to take a more direct approach. “I thought she was pleasant enough. They were on their date, I didn’t expect her to be all that interested in chatting with us.”

“Did you see how she glared at us when we walked up?” Peter looked over, but never let him answer. “And then when she realized who you were, she suddenly turned friendly?”

Jason wanted to say no, but he’d seen the same thing. Rather than give voice to his disappointment, he nodded silently.

“What are we going to do?” Peter asked.


“Yeah, do; what are we going to do about her? Your brother should know the truth.”

“What truth?” Jason knew what he thought he saw, but was that enough? “That we think she gave us dirty looks when we walked up?”

“You don’t think we should talk to Dean?” The tone of Peter’s question told Jason they neared the point that this became an argument. Even if he wasn’t as tight lipped as his mother, he didn’t want to air their problems in public.

He pulled them to a stop by an empty bench. People continued to walk by, so he motioned for them to sit. For a moment he thought Peter might resist, but when Jason sat, his boyfriend did too.

“I do think we should talk to him, but I also know him. If you think I’m stubborn, he’ll show you the real meaning of the word.”

Peter twisted his lips in the way that Jason had learned meant he was mulling something over. When he started to run his thumb over their joined hands, Jason knew they’d turned the corner from angry to calm discussion.

“First, you’re not the stubborn one in the relationship, I am. And second, I already know Dean is my biggest challenger for most stubborn male in the house.” He squeezed their hands once and relaxed. “Maybe I’m just overly sensitive, but I’m not willing to just let things go anymore. Not after…. ”

“Right.” The times Jason could have confronted Jordan over the last fifteen years and he didn’t still haunted him. “Do you really think this is the same?”

Peter shrugged and stared at the cement. “Maybe.”

That summed up the problem. Were they being overly sensitive and looking for issues that didn’t exist, or was this a legitimate first sign that needed to be confronted?

“Listen, Pete.” He squeezed his fingers tighter. “I won’t make the same mistake twice. Not on this. But I also don’t want to make up stuff and lump her in with Asshole.”

Peter smirked at Jason’s use of one of their many new nicknames for Jordan. “I know, but I really don’t feel this is me trying to find something just to find it. She was glaring at us when we walked up. And she totally did a one-eighty once you told her who you were. It’s like a switch got thrown.”

He’d seen the same thing. “Dean told Darryl he thinks she’ll see things differently if she spends time around me and you.”

Peter laid his free hand on the two that were connected. “I think at this point we should just keep an eye on things. I don’t want to start a witch-hunt, but I also don’t want to ignore things. I seriously doubt Hanna will turn into the next Jordan Colmar.”

The comment had been meant to make Jason feel better, but it had the opposite effect. Had he listened to Darryl instead of dismissing his comments, he might have prevented Jordan from attacking Peter.

“I never thought Jordan would turn into Jordan.” He kept his gaze on their hands. Peter’s knuckles no longer had the constant bruises he’d gotten from training. “I think maybe we shouldn’t be so passive. Darryl’s probably right, if she really is homophobic, just being around us won’t change her.”

When Peter didn’t answer, Jason let the silence drag on. Peter might not say it, but as the older brother, the task of confronting Dean fell to him.

“Why the change of heart?”

“The risk of being wrong is too great.” He glanced down and noticed he’d been gently rubbing Peter’s knuckles. “Maybe she isn’t Jordan, but we don’t know who she hangs out with.”

Peter shifted in the seat and angled himself so he faced Jason. “What are you going to say to him?”

“I don’t know. Something.” Pushing up, he pulled Peter to his feet. “Let’s get going.”

Back on his feet, Peter leaned over and bumped shoulders. “Do you still want to go get coffee?”

“If you don’t mind, yeah I do.”

“It’s all good.” He started moving, gently tugging Jason with him. “I only asked because I know how you are when you’ve got a lot on your mind.”

Jason laughed. He stopped and let Peter’s momentum pull him around. When they were face to face, he stepped closer until they were inches apart. “And just how am I?”

He saw people approaching, so Jason moved them to the side.

“You like your space, and you like it quiet.” He gave a little laugh and shrugged. “Obviously I got at least one of those wrong.”

“Nope you’re totally right on both counts.” Jason snatched a quick kiss and made another attempt to make it to the Java Shack. “But I’m not going to let Hanna or Dean or whatever ruin tonight. We came out to celebrate. Not sit at home alone.”

“I don’t know.” He wiggled his eyebrows and smirked. “Sitting at home alone might not be so bad. Depends on where we sit and what we’re wearing—or not wearing.”

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