I let a breath out through my teeth and gave my brown hair one last brush through. I scurried down the stairs, the doorbell had just rung and I knew exactly who it was. I sucked in a breath and straightened my top. I reached out to the cold doorknob and opened it up to the cool afternoon air. "Hey." Emily said with a smile

"Hi." I replied "Come in." I stepped aside and swept my arm up, some of my nervousness forgotten

"So, you get that studying done?" she asked

"Yeah, you finish your Chem homework?"

"Yeah thanks for asking." An awkward silence stretched between us and Emily chuckled at our behaviour "Okay, so why is this really awkward?" she asked

"Well it is the first time you've met my parents as my girlfriend." I suggested stiffly, I was nervous as hell. The last time Emily had spoken with my dad was, well never. Nick McCullers had avoided the Fields family like the plague since the incident after the swim meet. Pam had embarrassed him that day and Nick did not take too kindly to humiliation.

"Fair point." Emily looked as nervous as me now but lent forward for a kiss anyway. I pushed her away and she looked hurt.

"I'm sorry it's just…" I trailed off not entirely sure how to voice my inhibitions. "Last time you saw my dad he was complaining to the school about you, now you're my girlfriend and to be quite frank, I'm scared shitless about this."

"Don't worry, it'll be fine. You're parents are okay with you being gay now aren't they? So there's nothing to worry about." She said taking my hand in her own; I relaxed slightly at her touch

"Yeah but they've only just gotten over the fact that I am gay," I squeezed her hand "I'm not sure they're ready for seeing me kiss another girl."

"Okay, I understand." Emily nodded and I pulled her in for a hug

"Ready to meet the parents from hell?" I asked

"As I'll ever be."

I cleared away the plates from the main course and sighed in content, the dinner was going much better than I thought it would. Nick and Dianne had really taken a shine to Emily, despite my father's afore conceived view of her. I turned to the cutlery draw to get the spoons out, suddenly I felt hands wrapped around my waist and I flinched in surprise. I noticed black hair as my assailant leant their head on my shoulder "Hey babe, need a hand?" Emily asked and I instantly relaxed

"If you don't mind getting the bowls from the cupboard over there?" I jerked my chin in the direction I meant

"Sure." She smiled and I smiled back, I got the dessert spoons out and the cake knife to cut the cheesecake I had made earlier that day. I loved to cook so I had made most of tonight's dinner myself "Want me to bring those in with you?" Emily asked once I had served everything up

"I would love that." I smiled and I saw a slight blush rise in Emily's cheeks. "Crap I left the cream!" I said as we made it to the dining room door

"I'll go back and get it." Em smiled and I returned the smile to show my gratitude, I leant against the doorframe and overheard my parent's conversation

"We can't carry on like this Nick." My mom said and I paid closer attention

"I know Di but what can we do? It's not like we can blatantly come out and say that we don't like the girl." My father replied and I furrowed my brows

"We can't lie to Paige and maybe Emily won't be as bad as you think, she seems quite nice." Dianne tried to reason

"What are we supposed to say when Emily leaves? Are we going to say it's all peachy, that we love her and approve of this? That girl is poison, she always has been as a matter of fact I believe the whole family is." My dad replied and my breath hitched in my throat

"Nick!" My mother scolded and my lip twitched in rage

"Emily is a bad influence, did you hear about how she was taking steroids? And I also heard that her last girlfriend smoked pot, I bet she does that and that is not good for Paige. None of this is good for her." I slammed the bowls down on the side table and their heads shot round in my direction, just as Emily came up behind me

"Paige!" My mother exclaimed and I puffed in fury

"How dare you?"

"Paige honey it's not what you think…" My dad trailed off and I widened my eyes, that were glazed over in anger

"Not what I think eh? Well then what I think is that you don't like my girlfriend and so are making up excuses as to why that is, is it because of all the rumours about her? Or that fact that she is a 'her'? Are you really as okay about me being gay as you made me believe or was that all just an act like tonight?" I took a few steps forward and Emily whispered behind me

"Paige, you don't-" But I cut her off

"Oh but I do," I turned my attention back to my parents who were sitting with guilty looks plastered to their faces "So what is it then? The girl or the fact she is a girl? Come on speak up! I'm sure we all want to hear this!" my father mumbled something "What was that?"

"I said it's because she's a girl." Nick spat out and rose up to meet my eye level, a knife clattered to the floor "When you first said you were gay I thought nothing of it, thought it was nothing but a phase and then you bring her," He pointed to Emily "into my house and expect me to be okay with this? You honestly thought I could ever approve of this?!" He yelled

"Yes!" I shrieked back "And how wrong I was! For once in my life I'm happy, having fun and actually okay with who I am, none of that would be possible without Emily." I gestured to the beautiful girl behind me "I am happy, does that not mean anything to you?" Nick opened his mouth to answer "Actually no, don't answer that I'm not finished." I rose up on my tiptoes to meet his eyes "Emily is a beautiful girl, a girl who I have loved for four years, four years! Alison tormented me because of it, every chance she got. I thought nothing could be as bad as her torture but then came the realisation I could never be with Emily; that struck me to my core. Then all of a sudden I am with her, I'm going out happy, receiving texts that make me smile and making Emily happy too. I love her dad and if you don't like that then I don't care because I'm happy and that's all that matters." I finished breathing heavily. I looked up into his eyes again and glared, "Now if you don't mind I'm going to go and say goodnight to my girlfriend." I turned around and reached my hand out towards Emily, she grasped it and we walked out into the hall. I looked into Emily's dark chocolate eyes and sighed "I am so sorry Em." Tears welled in my eyes and she pulled me into a tight embrace, I sighed again.

"It's okay, understand."

"No it's not, you didn't hear the things he said about you, I've never known someone be so horrible." I let the tears fall and my voice cracked

"Paige, look at me." She took my chin in her thumb and forefinger "I love you and no matter what your parents say that will never change." Emily placed a delicate kiss on my lips and I leant into it, I heard a gasp and after a few more seconds we broke away to find my parents standing looking at us, my dad looked furious I turned to them.

"This is who I am and if you don't like it then that's fine but don't go complaining that it's Emily's fault." I stood in front of her so they couldn't hurt her

"Paige, this is not negotiable Emily must leave, now." My father said gruffly

"Nick! That is enough!" My mom suddenly butted in a stood in front of my raging father "You told me Emily was a horrible girl who was only interested in beating Paige in the swim team, that she was a bad influence and would only cause trouble. I agreed to this dinner to prove you right but you were wrong, Emily is a lovely girl and we should be glad that she makes Paige so happy." She came to stand in front of me and looked into my eyes and smiled sadly then she turned her attention to Emily "I'm so sorry about Nick, he's…" She trailed off unsure of how to continue "Nick, to me you're a pretty young girl who is making my Paige happy and to me that's all that matters." She smiled at her and Emily shakily smiled back "I'm sorry for the trouble Nick has caused."

"I'm just getting started!" He fumed and Dianne turned round eyes blazing

"You will do no such thing!" she shrieked and instantly composed herself, mom rarely got mad but when she did it was a sight to behold "Now how about you girls go out and have some fun, I'll try and calm your father down." I pulled my mom into a hug

"Thanks mom." She hugged back

"No problem sweetie." She then turned her attention to my father "Kitchen now." They walked away and I turned to Emily

"I am so sorry." I apologised and she placed a kiss on my cheek

"It's okay, do you want to go back to mine?" she asked tentatively, placing an arm around my shoulder

"I would love that."

Paige's mom is rather okay about it