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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 5 (Quetzocoatyl [pronounced Lee])

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Quetzocoatyl stepped back at Eric’s sudden refusal. “What’s wrong?” His brow furrowed in confusion.

“I – I can’t do this,” Eric looked down. A wave of disappointment threatened to overwhelm Quetzocoatyl.

“You were kissing me back!”

“I was, I know, but… This is happening too fast, I can’t –” His sentence stopped abruptly. “I need some time to think.”

Quetzocoatyl hesitated and then nodded sharply. “Excuse me,” he muttered, opening the door. The other boy stood aside as he stepped over the threshold, into the hall.

He slumped to the hall floor the second the door shut, kneading his eyes to stop the tears that were threatening.

He buried his face in his arm as he heard footsteps approaching; the last thing he wanted now was to socialise or answer questions.

The footsteps stopped in front of him.

“Uh, hey,” an unfamiliar, deep voice spoke from somewhere above him, “Can you help me? I’m not sure where my room is… Hey, are you okay?”

Quetzocoatyl swiped at his face with his arm and looked up into a pair of red eyes. Wait, red?

The boy standing in front of him was albino, he noticed with surprise. His eyes were bright red, standing out sharply in an extremely pale, narrow face framed by long white hair pulled back in a ponytail. He had high cheekbones and sensuous lips, which were set in a concerned pout, his brow furrowed as his red eyes fixed their gaze on Quetzocoatyl’s face.

His heart skipped a beat and he felt himself blush slightly as he nodded slowly. “I’m alright now,” he murmured, “What’s your name?”

Interest sparked in the eyes of the albino but at the mention of his name, his face flamed briefly, “Uh, Charlie, yours?” He offered his hand to Quetzocoatyl who took it and lurched to his feet.

Quetzocoatyl didn’t let go. “I’m Quetzocoatyl, and of course I can help you find your room,” he murmured, putting as much meaning behind his words as possible.

Charlie’s lips tilted into a lopsided smile as he handed a scrap of paper to him.

“You’re in room 3?” He asked incredulously after glancing at the paper Charlie had handed him.

“Yeah, what’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing, it’s just you’re standing next to the door already.”

Charlie turned and looked at the door next to Quetzocoatyl’s door. “But isn’t that room 7?” He asked, frowning at the number on the door.

“No, it’s room three. You count the doors from the main entrance. You can never trust the numbers on the doors; the other students here change the numbers around every day. Look, mine says 69. There aren’t sixty nine rooms in this building. You’ll get used to it quickly.”

“Ah, okay,” Charlie smiled again, and then hesitated, “Hold up a sec, we’re neighbours?”

Quetzocoatyl grinned, “Sure are baby.”

Charlie’s eyes lit up and he slung his arm over Quetzocoatyl’s shoulders, “I guess we’re going to be seeing a lot of each other, then.”

“Yes we are. Perhaps you should invite me in and we could get better acquainted,” He quirked an eyebrow at Charlie.

Charlie laughed, “As much as I would love to take you up on your offer, I do have to move my shit into my new room. Maybe you could help me?”

The sudden cuss surprised Quetzocoatyl slightly but he kept grinning, “Of course I can.”

He followed Charlie out the door to a minivan that was parked in front of the dormitory. A short woman wearing a turtleneck sweater and a long skirt scampered from the minivan to meet them.

“Oh, Charlotte, who’s this?” She asked, dimpling up at them both. Quetzocoatyl’s eyebrows flew up as he turned to face Charlie, whose face was bright red. “You’re a chick?”

“Fuck, no – Suzie, goddamn, call me Charlie for fucks sake – no, Quetzocoatyl, I’m not a fucking chick.” Quetzocoatyl’s eyebrows remained where they were.

Charlie growled and turned to Suzie, “Suzie, this is Quetzocoatyl. He helped me find my room and he was going to help me move my shit.”

“Ah, um, Charlotte, I thought–”

Charlie.

“Uh, right, Charlie, I thought that you were going to move it yourself. What about Millie?”

Just like that, Charlie was instantly calm again. If Quetzocoatyl hadn’t seen him furious earlier, he would have thought nothing had happened. The change in the boy was almost spooky.

“Nah, Quetzocoatyl’s cool. I’ll take Millie myself of course, and if Quetzocoatyl helps me I’ll only need to make one trip.”

He reached through the door and grabbed a box, which he handled carefully, almost reverently.

“What’s in the box?” Quetzocoatyl asked, trying to look in.

“Oh, just my stuff. Don’t open it,” he said as Quetzocoatyl’s hand snaked over.

“Uh, okay. Whaddaya want me to take?”

“Could you grab that big box, over there?”

“Sure, what’s in this one?”

“Just clothing.”

Quetzocoatyl did as he was asked and grabbed the box, hefting it above his head. Charlie smiled at him before turning and striding back to the dorm.

“Goodbye, Charlie,” Suzie called after him but Quetzocoatyl wasn’t sure whether he heard her or not. He trotted after Charlie as Suzie climbed back into the van. Charlie was holding the door open for him when he got back to the room so he slipped inside with a quick, “Thanks”.

He looked around once he was in the door. The room was smaller than the one he shared with Eric; it had only one bed, next to the window. There was a desk in the corner and Charlie set his box down on it.

“Where do you want this?” Quetzocoatyl asked, hefting his box.

“Just wherever,” Charlie muttered opening his box.

“Okie dokie.”

He set his box down on the bed and stepped up behind Charlie, leaning over him to see what was in the other box. A quick movement startled him and he found himself suddenly face to face with a pair of beady black eyes set in a furry face.

“Ah!” Quetzocoatyl yelled, leaping back. A ferret glared at him from on top of Charlie’s shoulder. “What is that?!”

“She’s my ferret,” he turned to it, “Millie, be nice.”

“It’s name’s Millie?”

“Yes, she’s sweet… Usually. You should hold your hand up to her so she can get to know your scent.”

Quetzocoatyl hesitated and then held his hand up for the ferret to inspect. She stretched forward, wrinkling her nose delicately. Her whiskers tickled the back of his hand and he smiled. “She’s cute, I guess.”

Charlie opened the window and Millie scampered out. He then turned and smiled at Quetzocoatyl, “So are you.”

He put his hand on the side of Quetzocoatyl’s face, hesitated, and then leaned in and kissed him.

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