Maybe two or three months into dating

In the hallway at the end of lunch, Angela stands with Jordan as he talks with his friend Nate. From the south entrance Shane and Tino approach, jostling each other as they progress down the corridor. Shane is ebullient, "Okay. It's on!" Everyone but Angela seems to know what this means; there are smirks and chuckles. "Cathy," Shane head nods to Nate as he mentions his girlfriend, "came through with the Costco card — the car's all loaded."

Tino corrects him, "Both of 'em." Shane's grin grows.

Moving in beside her to also lean against the wall of lockers, tino nudges Angela, "You in?" Only afterwards does he think to check back with Shane, who at this point can really only shrug.

Angela looks to Jordan then back to Tino. "I think I'm a little behind."

Jordan tilts his head towards her to explain, "It's his dad's anniversary."

As this isn't quite enough information, Nate extrapolates this for her, "We're TP'ing his house."

Angela's face crinkles, she's still behind, "Shane's?"

"My dad's."

Tino provides the necessary capstone to the story, "We hate, his stepmom."

His excitement growing just talking about it, Shane shadow boxes Tino as he adds, "Do it twice a year—"

"Birthday and anniversary—" Nate contributes.

"For the past six years." Shane continues to— "Oh!"

Tino's actually socked him in the stomach. Grinning at his mischief, and patting the back of the now hunched over Shane, Tino brags, "And bad. Really bad."

Straightening up, recovering from his knockout, Shane breathlessly adds, still relishing past memories, "Drives 'em crazy."

"But," Angela, who's still trying to get it all straight, asks, "don't they know it's you?"

Shane answers her with a blank look, "And?"

"And..." not really accustomed to questioning, or actually even conversing with Shane, she hesitates before questioning, "don't they know to expect you?"

Blithely Shane shrugs. "What're they gonna do?"

Jordan leans in a little and lays it out for her, "No cop's gonna sit outside a house waiting to see if kids throw toilet paper at it."


But at this second 'but' Tino cuts her off; "I think this is why we don't bring skirts."

Jordan leans into her again, reassuring her, "It's fine." He'd never met anyone more afraid of the cops than she is. And considering her one encounter with the police, after he'd finally heard the real story, he doesn't think she has much of a reason for it.

Losing interest fast, Tino takes charge, "Ok, reconnoiter at 23:00. Chase, how's that arm?"

Feeling slightly like she needs to defend and, or, redeem herself amongst all these boys, Angela nods slightly, "I can throw a roll."

In turn Tino looks her over smugly, "Yeah?" He smirks jovially. "Okay, I want you all in black — think 'ninja'." He turns from her, "Catalano, you're on eggs." Patting Nate's handsome, smooth cheek, Tino assigns him, "Shaving cream. Chase, I'm putting you on salt."

"Salt?" She couldn't imagine what that was for.

"Yeh, N-A — salt," Tino repeats himself.

Nate, dependably nicer than the others, illuminates her, "Kills grass." Angela's expression turns worried.

Shane rolls his eyes in characterized irritation, "Here we go." Girls had never been a part of this because girls did things like care about grass dying.

But Tino steps in, mollifying Shane by mollifying Angela. "They're loaded," he assures her. "They can resod their lawn."

Biting down on a toothpick, Jordan confirms, "It's not a big deal."

But Shane, who does not want his plans thwarted or his enjoyment dampened, eyes Angela doubtfully as he excuses himself from his friends. "I got more stuff to pickup..." He points at Jordan before heading down the hallway, "Tonight." Jordan smiles and nods.

Nate too nods a goodbye to the group, "Gotta find my girl." He backs off down the hallway in the opposite direction as Shane, heading to the girl's gym to catch his girlfriend before volleyball practice.

With Shane and Nate gone Jordan looks back at Angela, "You don't have to go."

Tino though takes offense and adds his two cents, "You don't have to if all you ever do is what 'you have to'. C'mon Angela, get in some trouble already. What's the point'a seeing this guy if you're always going to play it safe?"

With a wry smile she queries, "Is that why he's here?" There's a small, bashful smile that momentarily crosses Jordan's lips, but then, he isn't sure he wants her mixing this far into his world, nor that he likes the idea of Tino egging her on and the two of 'em conspiring against him in jokes and plan-making. He thinks she's cute when she's sassy — it's not her given nature — but there's a limit.

Tino, of course, pushes further, "Wake up. Know you're alive." This word choice registers with Angela and he sees it in her face. "Say it with me now: 'T - P.'" He cajoles her out of her silence, "I didn't hear that…"


Not discouraged by her tepid response he continues to rally her on, "Uh huh. And who aren't we afraid of?"

Angela answers with a little more agency, "The cops?"

Tino grins; nodding slowly, he feels a real sense of accomplishment in this, "That's it." He pats Jordan's shoulder appreciatively, "There's hope for 'er yet." At this point he too heads off, but not before he turns back and points with intensity at Angela, speaking with authority, loud enough for passersby to hear, "And Chase — we don't tolerate snitches, turncoats, or pansyasses. Get your thug on." With that he moves down the hallway and reaches up and knocks against the fire alarm bell, creating a satisfying "ding" as he does.

Amused and incredulous, finding the adolescent prank almost endearing, Angela turns to Jordan, "You TP?"


Loving this discovery she smiles as she scrutinizes him from her newly gained perspective, "It's not too juvenile for you?"

Disinterested in being inspected Jordan shrugs, "Make an exception for Shane's stepmom."

At the mention of this Angela grows more serious, her brow wrinkles and she asks, "So, how bad does it get?"

Slowly, deliberately Jordan pushes his index finger into the wrinkle, making the point for her to 'lighten up'. "Don't come if you don't wanna."

Angela sidesteps this out and tries still to pinpoint an answer, "Vandalism?" Jordan shrugs and scratches his head; he swings his shoulders and passively surveys the hallway while she keeps at trying to gauge just what she'd be getting herself into. "Anything that's gonna end the night with a high speed car chase, police in pursuit?" Jordan just laughs at her.

"Anyway," playfully he shoves her, "you should be stoked; you always think Shane doesn't like you."

"Tino invited me," she amends.

It's the same difference to Jordan; "You're in with Tino, you're in with the world." Angela sees how this is somewhat true.

The bell rings and they move down the hallway. Still she cannot let it go, "You're going to kill the grass?"

"Oh my God." And he shoves her a little at the shoulder as they walk.

The boys, are meeting in the parking lot behind Louie's. Jordan, Nate, Joey, Laurence, Kirk and Tino stand about their cars drinking and joking around. Angela returns from using the restroom, and Tino, who arrived late and's just seeing her now, lets out a hoot, "And she's wearing a black turtleneck! I love it."

Angela realizes, too late, that the ninja instruction had simply been hyperbole on Tino's part. She smiles, "Oh; did I miss the joke?"

"Forget it," Tino says warmly; "nothing wrong with following direction."

Joey can't resist the innuendo, "Eh, Catalano?" In answer Jordan dispassionately socks his friend in the side.

Angela chooses to skip over all this; she's never really warmed up to Joey. She looks around, "Where's Shane?"

Kirk does a head nod in the directions she's just come from. Shane and a younger boy, who looks exactly like him, emerge from Louie's, both carrying armloads of toilet paper they've stolen from the supply closet. Dumping them in the back of Shane's brown truck Shane shrugs and lights a cigarette, "Can't have too much." He reaches into the cooler and pulls out a forty, pops the top, and hands it to the little guy beside him. Then raises his own beer, "To Litte Trude's first night!" They all cheer and slap the kid on the back. Shane gets that Angela hasn't met his kid brother yet, and he gruffly rushes through an introduction, "Angela, my little bro Zeke Trudenowsi," he's already sounding bored with the exchange, "Zeke, Angela Chase; she's with Catalano."

Angela subtly rolls her eyes at having to be introduced with this qualifier, but she smiles and says, "Hi."

Zeke, the world's most self-possessed eighth grader since Jordan Catalano, responds with a tight-lipped smile, raised eyebrow combo. Then he drinks from his beer. Shane, who doesn't actually have any particular problem with Angela, but enjoys giving her a hard time just for the hell of it, gets a real kick out of this.

Tino's bored. "Are we waiting for the eggs to rot? What's happening?"

Shane's more than ready to go, and he crushes the beer in his hand, throws the can to the ground, cracks open another one and decidedly, "Shit, yeah, let's go."

Shane, Zeke, and Joey take Shane's truck, with Laurence and Kirk riding in the bed. Jordan, Nate and Angela ride in Tino's Cadillac, peeling out into the road, cutting Shane off on the way out the parking lot.

Riding in the car to Shane's dad's house, Angela raises a question, "How old is that kid?"

Tino takes his eyes off the road to glance at her, "Zeke?" Eyes back on the road, Tino considers, "I don't know," he looks into the rearview mirror to the other two. "What? Thirteen?"

Angela's trying to make her point, "And he was drinking beer?"

"Yeah, well, he tried to join the temperance movement, but turns out that died out sixty years ago," Tino winks at her.

From the backseat Nate chimes in, "Angela, if it makes you feel any better, when Shane called his dad and stepmom from the hospital when Little Trude broke his arm, his leg, and had a concussion from getting hit by a car while on his bike, all the stepbitch said was, 'You ruined our vacation.'"

"Come on, Angela," Tino winningly appeals to her sense of right and wrong, "you'd begrudge the little guy a drink the first night he partakes in the great 'Screw-you-edenowski?'" Feigning outrage he strikes the steering wheel, "Come on!" Angela rolls her eyes and smiles in spite of herself. She meets Jordan's eyes in the rearview mirror and he winks at her. "Aw, there you go; now that's cute."

Jordan rolls his eyes, "Jesus".

During the most epic TPing that had ever been perpetrated, Jordan rivaled Tino in animation and bravado, which was a side of Jordan Angela rarely gets to experience. She enjoyed herself thoroughly, and observing her work, the boys, even Shane, did not regret her having tagged along. She especially enjoyed the part when Jordan pulled her into the bed of Shane's truck for a quick mid-mayhem make out session. Eventually Shane's stepmom called the cops and his dad came out with a fire extinguisher — he'd learned from past years that using the hose on them only resulted in sopping wet toilet paper in his very tall oak trees; but the damage had already been done, and they were in their cars and on the road in less than twenty seconds.

Speeding down the road, out of the money neighborhood, Tino remarks, "They might as well save themselves the trouble and just hack those trees down." This is met with bouts of laughter.


As they drop her off outside her house, Angela's surprised to see Jordan also climbing out of the vehicle. In a loud whisper she demands, "What are you doing?"

Jordan's answer is confident, self-assured and self-evident, "I'm coming in."

She looks about her out of confusion and whispers again, "No you're not."

Evenly Jordan smiles at her, "Yes I am."

Nate, as he climbs into the passenger seat to take Jordan's place contributes, "Angela, yes he is."

"No," she shakes her head slowly. Already there's not enough resolve in it and there's not a boy among them who doubts he's making it to her room within the next five minutes.

Resting his arm though his lowered window, Tino leans out a bit and reasons with her like she's only just forgotten that, of course he's meant to come in, "You TP'd a house; now he's coming inside." He looks around, "Everybody good? Okay, goodnight then," he gives a quick wave to Angela, and before she can further protest he Nate and Kirk drive off to meet up with the others.

In the street, Angela stands wide-eyed, looking at Jordan. It'd happened so quickly she's not sure how it happened. But there he is, outside her dark house, late in the night, without a ride, and... And oh so beautiful. "I guess…" She swallows, giving herself a chance to back out... "I guess you're coming inside." Jordan, still several feet away, smiles sanguinely; after all, it was only news to her, it already having been decided upon — three minutes earlier, it had not been a plan from the start. With nothing else to do she smiles at him, and then holds out her hand. In three lanky steps he's reached her and taken her hand in his. As she starts towards her house, she whispers back at him, "Be really quiet." He revels in the small squeeze she gives him.

"Shoot," he kids dryly, "I thought this'd be a good time for a guitar solo." Angela stifles a chuckle as she retrieves her key and points for him to take off his boots.

This story originally ended in the parking lot, but as I was reformatting it, I just kept going. Whether they sleep together or not is up for you to decide – I haven't decided exactly where this fits into my timeline in that regards, and that event keeps moving – but either way, this is not their first time (though as of now, it would be their first, and only time "in [her] bedroom while [her] parents are sleeping"). Thanks to anyone who's reading!

Posted 9/3/12