"No!" Chris yelled, slamming his fist on the desk. "No, no, no, no, no!"
Amber ran to Chris. "What is it," she asked, startled.
Chris hit his head against the desk before burying his face in his hands. "This can't be happening..," he mumbled.
"What is it sweety?" She rubbed his back consolingly.
Normally Chris didn't act out in anger like this. There they were enjoying lunch in Chris' decked out trailer, when he suddenly started freaking out after rifling through some papers.
"The new cast member," Chris groaned, barely believing it. "Of all people..,"
"Who is it?" Amber was curious now.
"His name is Darren Criss," Chris sighed.
Chris slid the paper toward her so she could see. "Aw, he's cute," she exclaimed, eyeing his bright eyes and curly hair. He seemed like a nice guy to hang around with, judging by his photograph alone.
"So what's the problem?"
Chris finally looked up at her, his eyes pleading. "We used to date in high school."
Darren stretched out on the lawn, twisting his fingers in Chris' thick hair.
"I love you so much, you know that right?" Darren sighed. He closed his eyes, soaking up the sun of the beautiful spring day. Chris took a moment to look up from his studying to admire Darren's long black lashes fanning across his cheeks. Chris was crazy about this boy, and he wanted to spend forever with him.
"I do," Chris smiled, placing a chaste kiss on Darren's lips. "I love you, too."
"It's crazy that I'm graduating already. I can hardly believe it," Darren had a sense of wonder in his tone.
"I know," Chris agreed with a hint of sadness. Although Darren was only 2 years older than him, he knew Darren wanted to stay in California and pursue his dream of either being a musican or an actor. Their relationship could survive this. A couple hour drive wouldn't kill them.
Darren opened his big hazel eyes and gazed at Chris like he was the most beautiful thing in the world. "Don't worry, babe. I'll still be here for you."
Chris sighed. "I just wish I wasn't younger than you, that's all."
Darren shrugged. "Age doesn't matter, you know that. Plus, you're a lot more mature beyond your years, Chris."
Chris blushed at the compliment, but chose not to respond. He looked back at his History book again, copying down quick notes for the test tomorrow.
"So have you gotten any college acceptance letters yet?" Chris asked, curious.
"Yeah," Darren chuckled. "So far only from the University of Michigan, isn't that wierd?"
Chris' heart constricted painfully. "Why did you apply there?"
"My mom said it might be a great experience for me to go to college somewhere far from here, but I told her I couldn't leave you," Darren smiled slightly, sliding his thumb across Chris' cheek. "So stop worrying."
"Sorry," Chris was ashamed of his attachment to Darren, but he had done so much for Chris in such a short period of time. "It's just that.. you saved me, Darren. I'm not sure how to function without you."
Darren's eyes shined with emotion, knowing all too well the bad place Chris was in last year. He was being tormented constantly by his peers, to the point where he stopped eating and skipped class out of fear.
"I mean, thank goodness you moved to Clovis for some ungodly reason. I'm not sure if I would still be here if you hadn't."
Darren grabbed Chris' face, but Chris stared pointedly at the ground. This was not a subject he took lightly, and he was uncomfortable whenever him and Darren talked about it.
"Don't say things like that, Chris," Darren's voice broke. "You have so much to live for. You can't let assholes bring you down. Fight. Win. You are an extraordinary person destined for greatness, don't you ever forget that."
Chris looked up to Darren, his eyes welling with tears. "When you say things like that, it makes me feel like you aren't real."
Darren pulled Chris into a tight embrace, stroking his back. Darren kissed his hair.
"You are the most amazing person I know," Darren breathed. "Just go after your dreams. I know for a fact that you will fufill them all."
Chris pulled back, holding Darren's neck and crashed their lips together. Darren kissed back with just as much passion. He guided Chris slowly down onto the towel they were laying on, and slipped his thigh between Chris' legs.
Still to this day whenever Darren traced Chris' bottom lip with his tongue, Chris got shivers all the way down his spine. Chris granted his tongue access, and Darren slipped it in, searching. Chris sucked on his tongue slightly, ellicting a groan from the older boy. Darren rutted his pelvis into Chris'. With a shock, Chris realized Darren was hard.
Chris gasped, breaking the kiss, but made it off to be lack of oxygen, not surprise; so he nibbled his way down Darren's neck, sucking and biting just enough not to give him any bruises.
Darren was Chris' first boyfriend, and despite them being together for quite a while, they hadn't ventured much down the physical road. They were very close friends for a long time before actually getting together, but Chris appreciated the support system all the same.
When Darren arrived in Clovis from San Fransisco, it was like the heavens had sent him to Chris by workings of fate. Chris was being shoved into lockers, getting swirlies, and belongings vadalized on a regular basis. Chris contemplated self harm, and even entertained the thought of suicide because it was so bad. But there was always the thought in the back of his mind of how he couldn't do that to his parents and sister; and how selfish it would be.
So he stuck his neck out with his new, out and proud companion, and faced high school with as much courage as possible. Being bonded under such grave circumstances changes people; and one thing led to another, they eventually started dating. It was mostly platonic, save for the occasionally kissing and hand holding, but Chris was supremely happy.
Darren still mentioned from time to time that he wasn't even sure if he was fully gay or bi or what, but Chris was absolutely sure, so he didn't want to push Darren. Whenever things got a little heated, they would maybe frot for a bit or feel each other up through each other's clothes, but the activity never really lasted for long. It was mostly because Chris was extremely insecure about his borderline chubby physique and his delicate, almost feminine-like skin and voice. However, Darren always insisted he loved Chris just the way he was.
But now, Darren wasn't stopping, and Chris was estatic. He felt sexy. He felt wanted. Chris stroked down Darren's back before daringly grabbing the perfect swell of his ass, grinding up into him. Darren moaned, fisting Chris' hair and pulling slightly. Chris bit harshly into his collarbone, causing Darren to thrust down once more. The sensation was overwhelming.
Chris gasped again, licking the shell of Darren's earlobe, and in the heat of the moment whispered, "Wanna go all the way?"
With that, Darren stiffened and got off of Chris, looking a little shaken. "Oh, shit I forgot I needed to be home early for dinner tonight. See you later!"
Darren bolted out of Chris' backyard, leaving him flustered and frustrated. What was that? Chris was beyond confused, and still a bit hazy from his high.
Chris packed up his homework and went back inside, trying to push down the swarming of worrying thoughts about Darren's behavior. Chris reasoned that he probably thought they were moving too fast and needed to cease and dissis. That was perfectly fine with Chris. They had all the time in the world to discover each other fully.
What Chris didn't know was how wrong he was.
Since that day, Darren started becoming more distant.
He would smile warmly and be his usual bubbly self on most occasions, but whenever Chris would try to be at least a little intimate, Darren got weird. Chris felt rejection flow through him every time, but he knew that if something was really wrong, Darren would talk to him about it. That's what they always did. It was possible he was just stressed about finals and his impending graduation.
Darren still walked with him down the hallways and to class, keeping an eye out for people who were planning on giving them a hard time, but he seemed oddly silent.
Already having targets painted on their backs for being gay, they would never kiss or anything like that in public, but he usually gave Chris a hug before parting ways. He did not do that this time.
But Chris' dread over what was to come of this was snuffed by his workload and preparation for Darren's graduation. Chris fussed over whether he should throw a party for Darren, but decided against it, since Darren's mom insisted that Chris just go over to their place afterward.
In no time, it was the day of, and Chris was perched on his chair next to his and Darren's parents, camera out and peering out into the sea of uniform clad grads. Darren looked up and waved to them, and Chris waved enthusiastially back, then snapped a picture.
Chris got bored halfway through the ceremony, so he just watched Darren, thankful to have somebody so wonderful in his life. He stared in a trance when Darren would sneak a peek at his cellphone or scratch his nose. He was so precious and perfect.
Once they all strode out to the music, Chris nearly ran out to congradulate his boyfriend, the parents hot as his heels. However, Darren was nowhere to be found.
After several minutes of frantic searching, Darren's father placed a hand on Chris' shoulder.
"Hey, son, Darren just called. He isn't feeling well and wants us to come straight home. He said he'll give you a call later."
"O.. kay," Chris said, uneasy. Darren seemed fine earlier. Maybe it was a sudden stomach flu?
Chris went home with his parents and hung out with his sister, Hannah for a while. They played some boardgames, while Chris kept his phone nearby. But a call never came. All through dinner Chris had to fight off the sense of foreboding in his stomach so he wouldn't have a panic attack or throw up.
Even though Chris knew something was very wrong, he didn't want to be annoying, so he decided to let Darren rest for the night, and if he didn't call tomorrow, Chris would call him instead. Just to check up on him.
Chris slept badly that night, and kept having nightmares of abandoment and regret. When he woke up he felt awful, but he couldn't take it anymore. He needed to find out if Darren was okay. If they were okay. Darren was his rock, his safe place. He couldn't lose him now, not ever.
Chris called Darren's cellphone periodically throughout the day, but there was never any answer. Chris even considered sending a text, but he knew his dad would be mad since their plan didn't cover that kind of usage. Chris decided to switch tactics and call Darren's house phone.
Someone answered on first ring. "Hello?" It was Darren's mom. She seemed like she was slightly out of breath.
"Oh, hi Mrs. Criss. It's Chris. Is Darren there?"
"Uh, yeah, but he's indisposed at the moment. Can I leave a message?"
Chris couldn't help but pick up on her uncomfortable tone. "Is he okay? I was just worried he hadn't called."
"Yeah, he's fine," she assured. "He's just packing."
"Packing?" Chris was utterly confused.
"Yeah, he got accepted into the University of Michigan! Isn't that great? He leaves tomorrow."
"What?" Chris nearly yelled, completely floored.
"Did he not tell you honey?" She sounded unsure.
"No!" Chris' tone was dejected.
"Oh, well I'm sure he'll come by and explain everything, you know.. say goodbye," she reasoned in a soft voice. "You should be happy for him, he's taking a huge step in his life!"
"But I thought he would talk to me about this!" Chris knew he sounded like a child, but this was a serious slap to the face.
There was shuffling on the other line. "Chris, dear. Let me have him call you back, okay?"
"We're a bit tied up at the moment, he has a lot of things, as you know..,"
"Please tell him to come by later," Chris begged.
"I will dear," she promised. "Goodbye."
Chris hung up, his heart in his throat. Was this some sick joke? Why would Darren suddenly decide to move halfway across the country without telling his best friend and boyfriend about it?
Chris threw his cellphone at the wall, and it fell apart with a clatter. Anger tears were streaming down his face.
He couldn't believe it! Darren of all people would keep something like this from him? They were supposed to be partners! Chris knew he would have enough respect to tell Darren something so game-changing.
Chris knew for a fact that Darren wasn't a coward. So why was he running? He must have been considering this since that fateful day, but he made it sound like he wasn't interesting in leaving Chris. Quite the contrary actually. What changed?
Chris waited all day for Darren to come by. But he never did.