"Well I lent him some DVDs that you lent me and I was gonna go pick them up before I met with you and since-"
The sentence was cut off abruptly as Charles snapped his phone closed, effectively ending the conversation. He didn't care about what Jay was doing with his movies, he just wanted to get his DVDs back and get the lunch he came there for. But apparently Metis's poor directional skills deprived him of both. With a heavy sigh, Charles pocketed the small phone, getting ready to leave. He was about to get up but a cheery voice stopped him in his tracks.
"Hey! Metis was right! You haven't changed much at all," the man in front of him said, blue eyes swimming with a playfulness that unnerved Charles in a way he would never admit. Auburn curls bounced slightly as the man shifted his weight and rested his elbow on his hip, forearm lifted to show him holding a stack of disks.
You've got to be kidding me, Charles thought.
"You have," he said simply.
"Can I sit?" Jay asked with a smile.
"Sure." It was hard, but Charles refrained from making a snarky comment at the idiotic question. He wasn't sure what it was about the other male; every time Jay came around he felt the need to torment him. His heart rate elevated whenever he had to see that timid smile, Jay irritated him that much.
Jay laughed, a sweet and musical noise that only worsened Charles's discomfort. "Well, a lot of things have happened since high school."
That was true. Metis had grown out of his emo phase for the most part and decided to attend college to major in Literature. Being the loyal boyfriend that he was, Josh attended the same college on a full-ride scholarship for football. The two were still together and didn't seem like they were going to be splitting up any time soon. Charles was mostly fine with this, other than the fact that Josh was like a puppy dog with the way he tailed Metis all of the time. If he ever invited his friend to do something then he would most likely have to deal with his pet jock.
Samuel and Erik went through a rough patch but came out even stronger afterwards. The little narcoleptic had even tossed around the idea of marriage in jest, making Erik blush like a schoolgirl. Charles was only aware of this because Erik and Metis had started spending more time with each other since they were taking the same Literature course. Other than that, he had no idea what happened to everyone he was forced into contact with in high school. That included Jay.
"I'm sure," he droned, not particularly interested in having this conversation. For old time's sake though, Charles decided it'd be amusing to taunt the man seated across from him. "You still smoke?"
He was almost sure that Jay's weak will wouldn't allow him to quit, so the answer he received was almost shocking. Jay propped his head up on his hand with a charming little smile. "I haven't touched a cigarette in over two years, actually. I quit during our senior year. It took a few tries but I finally kicked the habit."
Charles had still hung around Jay during their senior year, so why hadn't he noticed the absence of that repulsive smoky smell? Unconsciously, he sniffed the air to see if he could catch a bit of that scent, surprised when he only found the warm scent of vanilla and cinnamon. That definitely wasn't coming from his coffee cup.
"That's nice," he said absentmindedly, gaze lingering on Jay. Charles wondered what else had changed in Jay because this definitely wasn't the boy he used to know. The shy awkwardness was completely gone along with the lack of self-confidence.
"What's new with you, hm?" Jay queried with a voice light and curious. As he formulated an answer, Charles ignored how his stomach churned.
"I'm studying cinematography at the college down the street. Other than that, there's nothing new to report."
"Really? No love interests? Oh right, I forgot, the Great Charles is too good to be in a relationship with just anyone," Jay taunted, a hint of venom in those sugary words. The smile was still in place. Charles narrowed his eyes slightly when Jay laughed. "Sorry, I couldn't resist."
"I'm sure. So what happened to the doormat I knew in high school?" He didn't at all try to hide his annoyance, which flared up even more when Jay continued to flash that peppy smile.
"I grew up," Jay said with a chuckle. "Did you expect me to stay the same forever?"
Charles didn't dignify that with a response because yes, he had thought that.
"I'm studying cosmetology at the state university now."
A pale blonde eyebrow rose at that. "Well, that's very-"
"Gay? Yeah, I know," Jay cut in, twirling a ringlet around his finger as he chewed his lower lip. Charles couldn't help but stare as those teeth nibbled at the rosy pink flesh. And then he couldn't help but wonder why the hell he was thinking about that. "But I'm more comfortable with myself now. I am who I am and I'm proud of it. I've even met someone special."
"Is that so?" Charles did what he could to keep the distaste out of his voice. It wasn't because he had a thing against homosexuals; his best friend was as straight as a circle for Pete's sake. He had even been attracted to a few guys before in the past. Gender really wasn't an issue when it came to romance. No, he was so flustered from the fact that Jay had grown up and moved on. He had always assumed he would be that sheepish little scene kid that he could tease. Seeing him as a grown up, so mature and dare he say alluring, threw Charles off.
His train of thought crashed and burned when Jay pushed the stack of DVDs across the table until they nudged his arm. Jay's sapphire eyes were flicking from him down to the face of his watch. "I'm supposed to be meeting Dustin soon, so I've gotta get going. Maybe we can meet up some time?"
"Sure," Charles said. He hadn't expected Jay to pull a Sharpie from his pocket and scribble a phone number on his palm. The skin to skin contact unsettled him enough for an entire swarm of butterflies to take flight in his stomach.
"Just call me when you want to hang out," Jay called over his shoulder with a wave as he exited to café.
Charles stood there absolutely dumbfounded for a few moments before the vibrating of his cell phone snapped him out of it.
In that moment, he decided that he really didn't like whoever this Dustin guy was, and that Metis was getting a GPS system for Christmas.
I love HoneySyn ^.^ Jay and Charles are just too cute together, I had to make a little something for them. Please review and tell me how you like (or don't like) it!