Here is a short update that I had a lot of fun writing. And I was finally ready to introduce a "new" character. Hope you enjoy! Thanks for your support.
"Yo Catalano, what's with the face? You look like you've given new meaning to the term 'blue balls,'" Shane shoved him playfully, threatening to knock the cigarette that was perched between his lips.
"Speak for yourself," Jordan growled, but his lips twisted into a frown as he tried to light his cigarette with a spent lighter. Irritated, he hurled the empty lighter to the ground.
"Hey I only propositioned her, and yeah she turned me down but whatever, it's not like we've been dating for months and months." He flicked his own lighter and lit Jordan's smoke.
"Not yet, anyway," Jordan scoffed, exhaling.
"A girl like that don't wanna date me," Shane said. "She cares too much about her reputation and shit."
"I can't believe you said that to her," Jordan shook his head. "Real smooth, man."
"Hey you don't know until you try."
"You're goddam crazy, man. That kinda shit will get you in trouble."
"Can't be any worse than the trouble you're in." He gestured at his friend with his cigarette. "All these hot chicks wanna get with you and you want a girl who won't put out."
"Her parents are always home. She's not some slut." He tossed his half-smoked cigarette onto the grass and ground it out. "What am I gonna do, bring her to my place?" The frustration was evident in his voice.
Shane shrugged. "I guess not."
"Are you fucking kidding me? There's no way she's meeting my old man, or his skank girlfriend. "
They sat in silence for a while, Shane smoking and flicking his lighter, Jordan kicking at the rocks on the playground.
"You could just leave, you know," Shane began quietly. It wasn't the first or last time he was saying it and they both knew it.
"It's not that simple," Jordan said brusquely. Shane heard the edge in his voice but something made him press on.
"Are you hoping she'll come back or something?"
Jordan's head snapped up. "Who?"
"You know who." Shane's voice was blunt, though not unkind.
He sighed. "It's not like it'll be any better if she's there."
"When was the last time you saw her?"
Jordan closed his eyes. "Three, four years or something. Showed up out of the blue." He shoved his hands into his pockets and slouched down. "I hope she never comes back."
"Does she – Angela – know anything about this stuff?"
"She knows it's not good." Jordan shrugged again, tracing a line in the dirt with his foot. "You'd better not say anything-"
"You can still crash at my place whenever shit gets rough."
"Yeah, I'm sure the Doc would love that," Jordan said sarcastically.
"He told you so himself, after that time –"
Jordan held out his hand, silencing him. "So my dad's an asshole… sometimes. Big deal, I can handle it."
"I'm just saying," Shane said.
"Don't worry about it."
More silence. They both shifted uncomfortably, knowing they never talked about this kind of stuff because it never went anywhere.
"Louie's?" Shane said finally, breaking the silence first. "Tino said some of the guys might be there."
"Yeah, okay," Jordan said absently. He reached into his jeans pocket and pulled out his keys.
"Catalano, Jones, so kind of you to grace us with your presence," the dark-haired, chiseled, olive-skinned young man spoke up as they arrived. He was surrounded by the usual entourage and had clearly just ordered a giant tray of shots, most of which had already been consumed. He picked up two full shot glasses and shoved them towards the newcomers.
"I know, Valentino, we really shouldn't have," Shane grinned, downing the shot. Jordan followed suit.
"What's the occasion, Tino?" he asked, slamming the glass on the table upside-down and reaching for another.
"Why must there be a reason to celebrate? Isn't the fact that we're young, alive and beautiful enough?" he cocked his eyebrow and a slow, crooked grin spread across his face.
"Hear hear!" Shane picked up another shot and raised his glass.
"He was talking about everyone except you," Rayanne piped up. Jordan hadn't noticed her sitting there amongst his friends, although he shouldn't have been surprised. Tino liked having her around.
The table erupted in a chorus of "Ooohs."
"Shut up, Graf," Shane said good-naturedly. "I know you think I'm sexy."
"You're just irresistible," she shot back, not missing a beat. "A regular ladies' man."
"Aw shucks," he shoved his hands into his pockets, shrugged his shoulders and cocked his head. "I'm so flattered. The sophomore with Most Slut Potential thinks I'm irresistible."
The table erupted into laughter, Rayanne included. Jordan had to hand it to her, she didn't take herself too seriously, which sort of made her like one of the guys… except she wasn't.
It was common knowledge that Rayanne and Tino fooled around but they were just as adamant that it meant nothing and never compromised their friendship. If there were two people who could pull that off, it was them. Jordan had half-expected some kind of fallout after what happened that night but it never happened. Tino was one of his oldest friends but he was completely unpredictable and notorious for his nasty temper, which meant he was difficult to figure out. He could, however, also be incredibly generous, and he knew absolutely everybody, so it was never a good idea to get on his bad side. He couldn't figure out if the Rayanne thing was an example of this generosity, or if Tino truly didn't care.
"Catalano, my man, I feel like we haven't seen each other in forever. Where you been?" Tino cleared the seat beside him and gestured for Jordan to come sit.
"Around," Jordan said, sliding into the seat at the crowded table.
"Have another drink." Tino shoved the tray towards him.
"There's only one left," Jordan said.
"I'll order more," Tino waved his hand dismissively. Jordan shrugged and took the shot.
"Jordan's in love with my girl," Rayanne chimed in.
"Stay out of this, Graf," Jordan shot back.
"Why the animosity, friends?" Tino asked, raising his hand to signal the waitress.
"Hey whatever, I'm cool," Rayanne held her hands up, as if to show that she didn't bear any hard feelings.
"Me too," Jordan said.
"Can I get another round? And why don't you join us when your shift's done," Tino smiled suggestively at the waitress.
"Aw Tino, I don't get off til one-thirty," she pouted.
"Well have a drink with me when you come back with the shots doll," he said, giving her a squeeze around the waist.
"Alright, anything for you," she winked and sashayed off.
"Well done, Tino," Rayanne clapped her hands.
"Jealous?" Shane grinned wickedly.
"Hardly," she scoffed. "Jealousy is so beneath me."
"Exactly," Tino affirmed. "Useless emotion, really. But if you're in love… maybe you would feel differently." He turned to Jordan. "So what's it like?"
"Don't play dumb with me Catalano," Tino's lip curled affectionately. "I want to know, what's it like to be in love?"
"Who said anything about me being in love?" he asked gruffly. Suddenly the atmosphere was starting to feel suffocating.
"Ever the gentleman," Tino proclaimed. "My man Catalano never talks about his affairs of the heart. Very classy."
"He hardly has the vocabulary to describe his trysts," Rayanne said loudly.
"The word of the day is 'blue balls,'" Shane added in helpfully.
"Quit it," Jordan said to them both. He started to get up, but Tino clamped a hand on his shoulder.
"Look, if you guys need a place to um… spend some quality time alone, let me know," he said quietly so only he could hear. "I'm talking higher calibre than that house on Cloverdale. I've heard this girl is worth it."
"I'll think about it," Jordan said so Tino wouldn't continue to push the issue. "I'm gonna have a smoke."
"Don't leave us," Tino chastised him good-naturedly.
"Damnit Catalano," Shane whispered fiercely. He knew Jordan was gone.