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a sandwich to kill for

It had been a while since I'd had something like a significant other, all of which were empty heterosexual relationships anyway, so I was completely thunderstruck by the feelings of security and, christ, the heat that appeared on the days following Chase's confession.

For one, we made out. A lot. Seriously a lot. Like it may have been unhealthy, but it was so fucking hot I didn't care. Clearly neither did he considering it seemed like every time I went to pull away his lips were up against mine only moments later. And I wasn't complaining, like at all, because did I mention it was really fucking hot?

The entire weekend was spent migrating only from one bed to another, maybe a couch in between, with varying degrees of clothing actually on our bodies but mostly strewn all over the floor. This, of course, I had absolutely no qualms about, considering I had basically doubled the amount of sexual interaction I'd ever experienced in a weekend, and even better it was with Chase.

I still felt a little like a pinch was needed to rip me back into reality, but if this was all a dream than I would rather live it out as long as possible. Looking over as his toned soccer player body, splayed out next to me, all sun kissed and seemingly sculpted by Michelangelo himself, my breath hitched in my throat. Instinctively my fingers reached out to brush against the exposed skin, drinking in the view, goosebumps rising to my touch.

“That tickles,” Chase groaned childishly, shifting away from my offending hands and turning his back toward me. “And there are way better things that you can do with those hands.”

I rolled my eyes, absolutely amazed and at the same time not at all by Chase's bordering on nymphomaniac tendencies. I knew that I was a catch, my ass was admittedly to die for, but it seemed every time I tried to leave the bed those arms pulled me back in.

Finding an opportunity for escape, I threw off the covers and allowed my bare feet to greet the unforgiving hardwood. A shiver crawled up my side by the sudden coolness, but it was welcomed with the promise of food. Christ, I would trade my first born for a sandwich at that moment, because my stomach was basically eating itself.

“Hey,” Chase whined, eyebrows furrowed. “That was an invitation for sexy things, not to leave.”

My gaze met his, lit with unwavering determination. “Chase, as a human being, I need nourishment to sustain myself, and if anyone gets in the way between me and that sandwich so help me they will meet their end in the most gruesome of ways.”

Realizing there was no room for argument, Chase scoffed, rolling over again. “Fine then, who needs you?” he huffed.

A smile involuntarily tugged at the corners of my mouth as I relished in the view one last time. With the sunlight pouring in through the window, stretching lazily across Chase's bed, his bedhead reflected the golden touch. It was surreal, but my stomach was also creating ravenous sounds that sounded something like a demon possession, so I turned on my heel.

Padding down the stairs of Chase's home, in nothing but a pair of slouchy sweatpants, I was thankful that every Sunday morning his mom went over to my house for their little book club. We'd managed to be rather discrete the entire weekend, but it was nice to just relax, feel the relief sink into my bone marrow.

Slathering the peanut butter on the slice of toast, I felt a pair of arms wrap around my waist, and a kiss in the crook my neck. “That's for me, right?” came Chase's sleepy grumble into my skin, thumbs rubbing circles into my hips.

I barked out a laugh. “I am honestly prepared to defend this sandwich gladiator style if anyone tries to touch it, so,” I challenged, but he just continued peppering kisses across my shoulder blades. I could feel him smirk into my skin as he dug his fingertips harder, and I felt a sigh of defeat climb up my throat. “Fine, I'll give you half,” I relented, “but by half I mean I still get three quarters.”

“If I knew I could seduce you to get what I want, I would've done this years ago.”

I rolled my eyes, again, but felt a little tinge of happiness warm in my stomach regardless. Or that could have been the hunger. It was hard to tell on the brink of starvation.

When I set the two plates on the table, it was clear that the lack of food wasn't only affecting me as Chase's eyes lit up with new found vigour at the sight. I'd ended up making two sandwiches, because I knew that half to Chase meant eating the entire thing, and I was in no mood for sharing.

“You're the best, Ash,” Chase moaned into his sandwich after his first bite, between the chewed up bits that he'd yet to swallow. “You're a sandwich-making god.”

“I know,” I mused with a cheeky grin and began devouring my own sandwich. Modesty had nothing to do with my delicious sandwich making skills.

As I felt another buzz in my right pocket, the knot in the pit of my stomach began to form itself again, in all anxious fashion. Without even checking the name on the screen, I had a pretty good idea it was either Layla, or more likely Mason, both of whom I'd been shamelessly ignoring the entire weekend. Acknowledging them, however, was acknowledging any sort of reality, and I was much too wrapped up in the dream world I'd been lounging in for the past few days to think about that.

But it was Sunday, and then tomorrow was Monday, and with the promise of school came the promising crash of reality on my heart. I'd have to face Layla, who would probably bite my head off for ignoring her and then reattach it only to bite it off again when I told her I was with Chase. And then there was Mason, and leaving off on such an awkward note, and him rapid fire texting me apologies all weekend.

Just to be sure it wasn't my mom, I fished my phone out of my pocket, only to be met once again with Mason's name. A lump threatened to form in my throat as the uneasiness I'd been hopelessly trying to escape came crawling back into my lungs. Apparently my shift in mood was evident, as Chase's eyes looked at me, saturated with concern.

“What's up? All weekend you've been avoiding your phone, don't think I didn't notice, and you've been more popular than me.” A smirk touched Chase's lips, but his eyes never lost their concerned shine.

I bit my lip unconsciously, feeling a tightness return to my chest. “Just, uh, Mason. I think I might go to talk to him today, or something. No, yeah, I'm gonna talk to him,” I decided, nodding my head in affirmation, to myself more than anything. But I couldn't ignore the shortness of breath it caused me to think about it.

Chase scrunched his nose out of habit at Mason's name, which caused the edge of my mouth to quirk up. “Okay,” Chase yielded, albeit unwillingly. “I mean, I can't stop you,” he admitted, but the hopeful look he gave me wasn't entirely dismissive of this idea.

“You can't stop me,” I agreed, a chuckle punctuating my words.

His face fell momentarily in defeat. “I know, I know, but just... be careful, okay?” he cautioned, and the worry creasing his forehead tugged at my heartstrings. “Just say you'll be careful.”

“I'll be fine,” I reassured him, finishing the last bite of my delicious sandwich with a grin. “I promise.”

When I got up, I collected both our plates in one hand, and used the other to ruffle his hair in the same patronizing way he always did. When he caught my hand, I paused, and took a couple steps back.

He grinned up at me. “I think you're forgetting something?”

I snorted, but a betraying smile somehow still found my lips. “Christ, you're so stupid,” I said, but planted a kiss on his mouth nonetheless.

The sensation of warmth spilling across my muscles was one that I clung to, the memory of his lips brushing against mine, his breath caressing the nape of my neck. It helped to soothe my frazzled nerves as I texted Mason, telling him I'd come over in a bit, and my entire journey there. It was a strange clash of emotions that battled amidst my stomach acid, and it didn't help the nearer I got. When I found myself standing on Mason's doorstep, it took all my willpower not to throw up in the bushes and book it as fast as I could in the other direction.

In fact, I was contemplating if that was still as possibility seconds after I pressed the door bell, but it seemed all hope was lost as in record speed the door was pulled open.

There stood Mason, in all his blond beanie glory, wearing a slouchy sweater and an expression of nauseating anxiousness that was probably echoed on my face too. It was a strange contrast to his usual cheeky grin, which didn't help ease my nerves in the slightest.

“Uh, um, hey,” I stuttered out, clearing my throat in all awkward fashion. The only reason I stopped myself from waving was due to my hands being shoved deep into my pant pockets, balled up in fists.

“Come in,” he invited, stepping out of the way to make a path. “Thanks for coming.”

I nodded, not trusting my words, and stepped inside, recognizing the familiarity of Mason's house. I felt oddly foreign amongst the walls that used to hold such comfort. A weekend seemed like a lifetime ago.

In silence he led me into his room, which barely broke a minute but felt like the other side of the world. I was half-expecting him to just turn around and tackle me into a hug, laughing manically in my ear in usual Mason-like fashion, but it never happened.

His room was the same, which wasn't surprising at all because logic told me that he obviously didn't redecorate over the weekend, but the air felt different. It no longer held that warm and inviting atmosphere, where a few months ago Mason was proposing to draw my face down on one knee. The bizarre contrast only tightened the knot in my stomach.

Mason sat on the computer chair, gesturing towards the bed for myself. Obediently, I sat down, still rather rigid, and swallowing hard. The silence that flooded between us was deafening.

“Sorry about, uh, your notebook. That was a total invasion of privacy. I really shouldn't have looked at it,” I broke the quiet, my voice cracking unsure in between, booming in my ears. “I'm really sorry.”

“It's fine,” Mason reassured me, voice quiet. “I'm sorry for the whole... coming on to you, thing.”

His face was still unreadable, entirely sombre, just like that day. I never knew what Mason was thinking, that was just a part of his character, but it never really mattered, until now.

“It's fine,” I echoed, breathing deep in hopes of relaxing the tightness in my chest. “It was just, uh, well a little... unexpected. Where'd that come from? I mean it was always a joke but...?” I left the question hanging in the air, my eyes searching desperately for any break in his facade. I'd been playing that moment over and over in my mind whenever I found myself alone with my thoughts, and still couldn't discover any reasonable explanation.

“It's just seeing you with Chase, and just knowing... knowing what it's like. Why do you subject yourself to that? Why do you go crawling back every time, even though you know, you know, it's never going to change,” he spoke, and I squirmed under his unbreakable eye contact. “Why can't you, why can't we just have someone that actually wants us back? No bullshit, no dancing around, no fucking behind everyone's backs, just... honest.”

“But he does,” I insisted, softly. “Want me. He does. And I know you're hurting from what happened to you but this is, I don't know, it's different. I know that it probably sucks but... was it that guy in the drawings? Is that the straight guy?”

Mason's mouth twisted into what looked like a smile, but it was empty, hallow. “Derek Millow, lacrosse captain, how fucking cliché, am I right?”

Empathy bloomed in my heart, with full understanding, knowing. He didn't have to say anything else.

“But, Chase, he's not... he's changed, he said that he wanted me, no bullshit.” I smiled at him, softly, feeling a new kind of anxiety blossom in my veins.

“Is that what he said?” Mason asked, doubt ringing in his words. “Specifically, that you're his boyfriend? Or did he just tell you some pretty words about how he cares and then shoved his tongue down your throat?”

“I- well, we haven't talked about specific titles,” I faltered, swallowing. “But it's not like that, he really... he wants to make this work,” I assured Mason, but I couldn't ignore the way my words stumbled.

“Ash,” he said, concern glimmering in those storm grey eyes. He lifted to his feet and crossed over to the bed, sinking down next to me. “They always do this, and it sucks, and I just want to protect you from them.”
“Protect?” I echoed.

“Chase, Derek, guys like that do this all the time. They tell you that you're special, that you're important, you're the one for them. But they're just homophobic assholes who go on with their heterosexual lives and fuck us on the side every time they have a 'poker night' or just need their dick touched. They're never going to change! We'll always be a dirty little secret and goddamnit, Ash, you can't let him do this to us. To you, to me, we're worth more than that!”

“Chase's different,” I asserted, voice barely breaking above a whisper.

“I wish he was, but he's not. Just wait till school and he'll barely even be able to look you in the eye.”

I absorbed Mason, the chaotic mess of emotions rampaging inside my head killing any syllables that rested on my tongue. There was a part of me, a huge part, that wanted to disregard everything he said. To just plug my ears and close my eyes and sing my way back to Chase's arms, but there was a little voice that agreed with him. It realised the truth in his words, that realised that Chase was exactly the guy he was talking about, that nothing had changed.

Gulping down the lump that had formed in my throat, I sighed. “Mason, I-”

“I know,” he murmured, a comforting hand running up and down my back. “I just, don't totally discount what I'm saying. I just want you to be cautious. I just wanted to save you from it all, but I guess it's just one of things we all gotta experience,” he said, smiling wryly at me.

As he rubbed my back, I dropped my head in my hands. I knew there was nothing romantic between us, and the platonic comfort he gave was everything I needed. With the confusion ripping up every shred of sanity I had, it was crucial. We sat there for a while, and I clung to the sense of security that came with his presence.

Mason was wrong, I told myself, Chase wasn't like that. Chase wanted me. And he wanted me in the way that normal people wanted other normal people, and that's all I wanted. To be normal.

School was the last thing I wanted to do tomorrow.
♠ ♠ ♠
all right. so. i'll make this short and sweet.

1. i am a terrible person.
2. like, ridiculously terrible. possibly the worst. no, definitely the worst.
3. sorry is not a strong enough word. condense a million sorry's into a word, and then times that by a million.
4. thank you for reading this, to the one reader i probably don't even have left, you mean the world to be, i love you, you're the best.
5. i have finished the story, it is typed up on my computer, finito! so do not fret about it not being finished.
6. i will be posting the rest of it every 2 days, because i think we can all agree that one reader, you have waited long enough.
7. after this, there is 2 chapters and a prologue.
8. did i mention i'm the worst?

i think that covers anything, i hope you will forgive me and finish ash and chase's story, it's so close to being done, and so i hope you guys will finish it all the way through. ♥