Sunday, June 2, 2013

Episode 6: Partners In Crime Are Hard To Find

Episode 6: Partners In Crime Are Hard To Find

Kelly rolled over, taking someone’s body with him.  An arm around his waist firmly held his back to someone’s chest.  He cracked open an eye, groaning at the daylight breaking into his cozy nest… on the floor?

“What the hell,” he grumbled.  

His shirt was gone.  His shoes and socks were piled in the middle of the room.  A mattress had been dragged off of another one and put on the floor, where he had slept.  The arm around his waist twitched.  Kelly’s other eye opened.  Reality hit him.  Slowly, Kelly craned his neck, adjusting his body around to see who the hell was snuggled against him.

Luca was passed out on his side.  His mouth was opened a bit.  His wavy brown bangs fell over one closed eye.  His arm still remained around Kelly’s waist as their bare chests met.  Out of curiosity, Kelly pushed Luca’s hair out of his eyes to see what his RA would do.  Kelly smiled as his fingers brushed softly against Luca’s forehead.

He could remember dancing the night away.  He remembered taking shots from bottle after bottle.  He remembered Luca moving against him, smiling and sexy; sure of every single step they made.  Kelly had been confident and uncaring about who was watching.  He didn’t worry about touching another guy so intimately in public.  He remembered feeling so good that he never wanted the night to end.

But what Kelly couldn’t remember was how they had come to stay in this cabin.  He couldn’t remember the people sleeping in the bed across the way from them.  He couldn’t remember much of anything after the last time he saw Jagger.  His friend had been tongue locked with some guy on the beach.  That was it.  Those crucial memories failed to lend him help to piece together how he got here.

A scary thought occurred to Kelly.  What if he’d done things with Luca… or with some other guy that he couldn’t remember?  He did a mental check of his body, hoping to heck he was wrong.  Other than a migraine floating around his skull, Kelly was pleased to find he hadn’t been taken advantage of that he knew of.  He’d never had sex before.  How would he know what to look for?  Wouldn’t he just know? 

Against his better judgment, Kelly gently shook Luca’s shoulder.  He was starting to freak out.  Where was he?  Where was Jagger?  What time was it?  What day?  Was he prepared for the repercussions of his first party, where he’d let himself go so easily, and lost part of his night in the process?  Would they be in trouble with the cops, being underage and drinking so publicly?  Were there pictures his dad could see?  What about that Holmes guy?  What if he had blasted a bunch of stuff while they’d slept?

“Huh?”  Luca groaned.  He hugged Kelly, obviously into their snuggling, and buried his face in Kelly’s chest.

“Luca, wake up,” Kelly whispered.  When Luca’s breathing indicated he’d fallen right back to sleep, Kelly shook him harder.

A phone went off somewhere in the cabin.  Kelly really started to panic. He didn’t know exactly why, many reasons he guessed, but he didn’t like the feeling one bit.  “Luca,” he said sternly.  “Wake up.”

“What?”  Luca rolled onto his back, coming awake quicker than Kelly had expected.  Greenish gold eyes stared up at him; recognition rolled through them.  “Oh. Hey.”

Sexy, sleepy boy voice was Kelly’s new kryptonite.  He followed the movement of Luca’s fingers down his chest, where his RA scratched himself lazily.  A light dusting of hair peeked out from the top of Luca’s boxers. 

Kelly quickly looked away.  “Hey.”

Luca’s hand brought Kelly’s face back around.  “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know.”  Kelly moved away.

Luca rubbed his eyes, squinting at the sunlight coming in the windows.  He sat up, getting his bearings.  “Kelly, what’s wrong, seriously.”

“My head hurts.”

Luca snorted.  “That’s a given after how much you drank last night.  And kudos on not popping pills.  I was impressed.”

“Pills?”  Kelly whipped his head around.  “What happened last night?”

“A party.”  Luca saw how scared Kelly seemed and tugged him back to the middle of the mattress. “Didn’t you have fun?  I thought you had a good time.  I had a great time.”

“I can’t remember…  Did we… I mean, did you and I like…”  Kelly hid his eyes behind his bed head; a move that came easily for him.  He was the nerdy loner kid.  It had always been his best defense against the world.

“You mean did we have sex?”

The question hung in the air.  Kelly wrapped his arms around himself and nodded.

“No.  I would never do that to you.  A lot of kids around here will tell you losing your virginity isn’t a big deal, but the truth is, it’s a huge deal, at least to me it is.”

“I’m not a virgin.”  Kelly’s cheeks flushed with heat.  His embarrassment caused his arms to wrap tighter around his chest.

Luca lifted his head to make sure the other couple across the room was fast asleep.  He put his arm around Kelly’s shoulders.  “You don’t have to lie to me, Kelly.  Being a virgin isn’t a bad thing.  It doesn’t mean no one wants you.  It doesn’t mean you’re not attractive or good enough.  It means you just aren’t ready yet or that you haven’t found the right person, or both.”

“The right person?  That’s such bull shit.  There is no right person.”  Kelly wiped his eyes.

“Sure there is.  I have to believe that after all of the wrong people I’ve allowed into my life.”  Luca patted the mattress, lying out again.  He stared at Kelly.  “I wasn’t cool in high school either, Kelly.  I know how terrifying coming into college is.  I also know how scary it is to be at Hedgewater, because they make you feel worthless.  All of these rich kids thinking they know exactly who you are and what you come from like you’re trash.  How are you supposed to feel confident mixed up in all of that, right?”

Kelly nodded.  Trusting in Luca’s words, he laid back down, staring at him.  “Right.”

“The first week of my freshmen year, I kind of had a meltdown.  I didn’t want to go anywhere or see anyone.  I didn’t want to hear them calling me a nerd.  I didn’t want to run the risk of being ganged up on like in high school.  I missed home.  I called my mom like every day, sometimes more than once a day.  I just… I didn’t think I was meant to be here.”

“What happened?”  Kelly put his head on Luca’s arm, relaxing into the moment.

“I made a friend, a popular one.”  Luca sniffed, staring out the window above.  “I thought he was nice, and hot, and well liked enough that if anyone made fun of me he would put them in their place.  He did at first.  He got me out of my shell and took me to parties.  I joined up with HGG because he said I would fit right in.  As it turns out I did fit in with them.

“The more I grew into my own skin and he saw how popular I’d become on my own, the more he seemed to fade away.  To him, I was just another face in the crowd.  It was like he’d done his duty and he didn’t need to guide me anymore, but all I wanted was to be his friend and maybe more.  He didn’t see it that way.  He said he had to get serious about water polo.  He had to be more involved in his school work and he didn’t have time for me if he wanted to graduate with honors.  I knew something else was going on, Kelly.

“I knew he was hiding something big from me.  He just became this different person overnight.  He stopped talking to me and looking at me altogether.  It hurt.  It really hurt me.  He’d somehow lied to me.  He’d broken my heart and he knew it and didn’t care.  But I cared, so right before second semester started, over Christmas break, I went to his parent’s house.”

“Luca, who are you talking about?”  Kelly propped up, looking down at Luca.

Luca shook his head.  “It doesn’t matter.  What mattered was that night.  I went there with every intention of telling him off and making a scene in front of his parents because he’d led me on for so long that I couldn’t take it anymore.  I wanted to hurt him like he’d hurt me.  But, when I got there, I found him all alone.  It was three days before Christmas and his parents had gone out of town.  They’d just left him there like he was nothing to them.  I thought I had his problem pegged.  I thought he was having family issues, I just…

“I couldn’t leave him.  He didn’t argue when I stayed.  He wanted someone there, even if he didn’t say it.  He wanted me there and it felt so good.  I thought he was the one, Kelly.  I was so desperate for his attention that I convinced myself I was in love with him, and that if he saw how much I cared, he would care back.  Every gay boy’s dream, the hot jock falls for the geeky wannabe.”

“Luca?”  Kelly rubbed Luca’s hand over his chest.

“I let him fuck me because he was lonely.  I let him use me, without any protection or even the favor of warming me up because I thought if I was man enough to have sex, to give him my virginity, he would be man enough to tell me he loved me.  Turns out I gave him my first time for nothing.  He didn’t kiss me.  He didn’t hold me.  He didn’t even have the balls to say anything to me, Kelly.  Out of desperation, I had given up the one thing that was mine to give. 

“So don’t tell me it’s not important.  Don’t tell me having sex for the first time doesn’t mean shit to you. And don’t ever lie about who you are or what you want just to be someone special.  Find a guy who gives a shit about you.  Don’t settle for someone you have to make excuses for to yourself.  If you don’t know one hundred percent in your heart that you can trust them completely and know you’re ready for that, don’t give in.

Luca grabbed his hand.  “I didn’t fuck you and I won’t ever fuck anyone ever again.  The next time I have sex, I’ll make sure it’s with someone I love for real, or at the very least with someone who respects me.”

Kelly was stunned.  He studied Luca’s steady gaze on the window and knew how hard it was for him to say all of that.  He knew exactly what Luca was telling him.  For all the jokes Kelly had made about losing his v-card, he was scared shitless to actually do it.  He was scared to let someone tell him he was attractive because he’d been told by everyone except his family how ugly he was, how worthless and stupid.

He was terrified to let someone see him naked, even though last night’s run had been the most exhilarating moment of his life thus far.  He was scared to let someone into his heart and mind, because that would mean another person would know his thoughts, what he wanted, and how much he wanted to be wanted.   Tack on the added pressure of love and Kelly didn’t know how he would ever get there. 

Kelly did know he didn’t ever want to be in the position Luca had been in.  He didn’t want to be used.  That would devastate him and mostly like end whatever confidence he was building. 

“Thank you,” he blurted.  “Also, I’m sorry he did that to you, whoever he is.  He’s an asshole.”

“No.  I let him do it, Kelly.  He was hurting just like I was.  I still wonder what changed him like that, but I know it was something big.  And the worst part is I know he didn’t mean to hurt me.  I’ve always known that.  I know that he carried that guilt around with him for a long time and it makes me sad.  What I want you to take from this, though, is don’t beg.  Don’t change yourself.  Don’t let him talk you into something you’re not ready for, no matter how hard it is to say no.  And don’t you ever just give up on finding the person that feels right.  He exists somewhere, maybe right here, maybe not.  But, you can’t shut yourself off from the rest of the world until he randomly falls into your lap.  You have to be open, but not that open until you’re ready.”

Luca cracked a smile.  Kelly couldn’t resist hugging him.  “Pervert.”

“Only sometimes.”  Luca chuckled.  Gone was his serious stare and the vulnerable quiver of his lip.  He replaced his sad face with a beaming smile.  “Now, are you done thinking I ravished you in your sleep?  I don’t think I can handle another pep talk before I get some coffee.  Also, can you stop squeezing me?  Not that I don’t like it. I just really have to pee.”

Laughing, Kelly released Luca.  “Sorry for jumping to conclusions.  I kind of wigged out.”

“Kind of?”  Luca winked.  “It’s cool.  Last night was your first big party.  You drank a lot.  You smoked a little.  You let go and your first reaction when you woke up was that you were going to be in trouble.  You wouldn’t be the first freshmen to panic and you won’t be the last.”

“You say freshmen like you really mean kid.”


Kelly met Luca’s eyes.  He put his hands up on instinct as Luca kissed him hard, tangling a hand in his hair.  When Luca pulled away, eyes mischievous, he said, “I don’t kiss children like that.”

Kelly’s mouth opened a little.  He tried to find a response, but someone’s cell rang.  Luca’s eyes darted around until he found the phone on the other side of the mattress.  He frowned, looking at it.

“Shit.”  He slid his thumb across the screen.  “Hello?”

Studying Luca’s face, Kelly gathered whoever was on the other end wasn’t saying anything good.  Luca turned away from him, nodding dumbly for a few tense minutes.  “I’ll meet you at the front gates, dean Michaelson.  I apologize for not returning—”

Luca put the phone down.  “He fucking hung up on me.”

“What’s going on?  Did you just say the dean is here?”

Wearing a look of sorrow, Luca put his hand on Kelly’s knee.  “Don’t freak out, okay?”

“Why would I freak out?” Kelly leaned back. “Luca?”

“Kelly, River was found outside the ER last night.  Someone beat him up pretty bad and they’re clearing Docker’s Landing of students so they can question them.  They want me to help filter parents that are showing up.”

Kelly’s heart skipped a beat.  “Is he okay?”

“I don’t know anything else yet, but I’m gonna have to say no if they have cops here.  I think you should go find Jagger and both of you call your parents.  Everyone’s going to have heard by now.”

Kelly scrambled to his belongings, relieved to find his cell in one of his sneakers. Even on a low battery, his message light blinked over and over.  Thirty-seven unread texts, fifteen missed calls from his dad, and seven from his aunt.  Shit.

“I have to go.”  Kelly slipped on his socks.  “I’m sorry.”

“Hey, call me when you get back.  I want to know you’re safe, both of you.  Stick with Winegarten, got it?”  Luca crawled over the mattress.  He leaned forward, bringing his lips to Kelly’s.

Kelly kissed him back like it was the most normal thing in the world.  Luca oozed comfort, something he wasn’t immune to.  Kelly liked how familiar Luca’s kisses were becoming.  He liked it a lot.  “How are you going to get back?”

“I’ll catch a ride.  Don’t worry about me, okay?”


“I’ll be fine,” Luca murmured over Kelly’s lips.

“I’ll call you when we get on the road.  Maybe after, I don’t know.  My dad blew up my phone.  He must be going nuts.”  Kelly sighed, scrolling through his missed calls.  He pushed his feet into his sneakers and stood up.  Luca tossed him his shirt.  He slid it on.  “You sure you’re gonna be okay?  I can call Jagger and stick around here, catch a ride back with you.”

“No.  Kelly, if River is in the hospital they’re going to be looking closely at Jagger.  I was given some details about this summer.  Shit was pretty bad for him.  He didn’t have anyone to stick up for him then, but I think he does now.”  Luca eyed him, waiting.

“Oh my god, what if they’re out there looking for him right now? What if they already found him? He must be so freaked out.  Um, I’ll… I’ll call you.”

“Kelly?”  Luca asked before Kelly could run out the door.


“For the record,” Luca smiled, “I’m putting myself in the running.”


“For your Mr. Right.”

Squealing on the inside, Kelly bit his lip and closed the cabin door behind him.  He stood there on the cabin steps for a second, following the gravel path with his eyes before crunching his sneakers over the lumpy trail.  Luca liked him.  A boy he was crushing on liked him back.  Caught between panic and swooning, Kelly smiled, despite the pressure he was under.  He took a deep breath before he could get carried away.  He wanted to be mature about this new situation he found himself in.

He wanted to get to know Luca before he did something stupid or possibly good.  His boy troubles would have to wait at the moment.  Right now, he had to find Winegarten.  His call to Jagger went unanswered, so he kept on walking.

The cabin they’d slept in seemed to be separated from the others from last night.  Kelly figured the path would lead him back to party starting point along the beach, but the more he walked, the more he became confused.

The path dead ended at a fire pit clearing.  Four logs surrounded a simmering fire, indicating it had been going all night.  Bits and pieces of a Hedgewater College flag were strewn around the edges of the pit.  In the middle of it all was a metal pole that had been stabbed into the ashy pile of kindle.  A scrap of white fabric had been knotted around the pole, fashioning a flag of sorts.

Kelly looked around the clearing.  He saw no one.  He didn’t hear anything close, but in the distance he heard a megaphone and the distinct sounds of vehicles.  Being close to the water, the wind rolled in like a wave.  A heavy gust blew the flag to the side.  Kelly saw something printed on the other side in big block letters.

Taking a few steps, he held the flag between his fingers and stretched it out to read.

Roses are red.  Violets are blue.  Revenge is going to suck.  I’m coming after you.

“What the fuck?”  Kelly dropped his hand quickly and stepped away.  He slapped a hand over his mouth to keep from screaming when a pair of boots stretched out from behind a log.  The decision to run or keep looking was a hard one.  Always a man of many questions, Kelly leaned over.


“Who… what?”  Jagger sat straight up.  Eyes bleary and hair an absolute mess, there was nothing sexy about Jagger’s morning look, other than his impressive bare chest.  His pecs were absolutely mesmerizing.

“Oh, thank god!  Dude, seriously, I know this is harsh and you just woke up on the ground, but we have to get out here.”

Even from a distance, Kelly heard Jagger’s back and neck crack.  Jagger was in disarray and a little disoriented, but willing to try and stand.  He wobbled, reaching out a hand for Kelly.  “What the hell...”

“I hear ya on that one, bro.”  Kelly steadied Jagger until he could stand on his own.  “We really need to get out of here, though, Jagger.  Something bad happened.  Hell, looks like it’s still happening.”  He glanced at the flag.

“Where’s Lee?”  Jagger squinted then blinked a couple of times.  He rubbed his eyes to clear them of sleep.


“Lee, my guy from last night, I thought he was here with me.”  He turned to Kelly.  “Did you say something bad happened?  Did Luca do some shit to you?”

“I don’t know about Lee, and no, Luca didn’t do anything to me, Jagger.  Something happened to River.  Luca got a call from the dean this morning.  He said there were cops meeting us all at the front gates.  They want to question everybody before we leave, get statements or something.  My dad’s been trying to call me all night, my aunt, too.  Check your phone.”

Jagger pushed his hair back, breathing deeply.  “River?”

“All I know is they found him outside of the ER last night.  I think it’s bad, Jagger.”

Jagger kicked the log next to him, growling through his clenched teeth.  “Fuck!”

“Calm down.” Kelly put his hands up.  “We need to get you up there before they start jumping to conclusions.”

“I didn’t do shit, if that’s what you’re implying.  I never did.”  Jagger pointed his finger at Kelly; his chest heaving.

“I know you didn’t.  You were with me the entire time and I’ll tell them that.  If anyone should be grilled by the cops, it’s Francis and Owen.  You heard what they said to River yesterday.  Fuck, I’m hungover and I can still remember.”  Kelly crossed his arms. 

“Something isn’t right here and no one seems to give a fuck.  Think about it.  Hedgewater has all these attacks on boys connected to our college.  Someone puts the blame on the two of you when you’ve both been cleared by the cops numerous times.  They make this big scene out of you, Shay, and River and all of you are ruined by it.  No one has heard from the killer in weeks and then boom, all of the sudden you’re the victim of a so called prank, River ends up in the hospital, and then this…”

Kelly lifted the flag for Jagger to see.  “Jagger, who’s Lee?”

Jagger rubbed his arms to chase away the chill streamlining through his body.  The same words that had been painted across his chest were now printed on a flag above the word revenge.  Jagger spun in a circle, feeling more defenseless than he ever had.  “I-I don’t know.”

“Did you sleep with him?”

“I don’t remember.  I don’t fucking remember, De Angelo.  Shit.”  Jagger messed up his hair with both hands, standing razor cut pieces to attention on his head.  “This is a game, Kelly.  Someone is playing us.”

“And I’ll bet you good money they’re watching us right this second.”  Kelly yanked on Jagger’s hand.  “We’re leaving right now.”  He tore the flag down.  “And we’re taking this shit with us.  We’re telling the cops everything we know about last night and I don’t care what you say.  You’re my friend and this isn’t entertaining or funny to anyone.  This is your life and I want you to be safe.”

Jagger threaded his fingers through Kelly’s. He couldn’t cry, not if he wanted to.  His brain was set on torching someone’s ass for hurting River.  No matter how rocky their relationship had become, River was still a part of his life, and he wanted someone to answer for what they’d done to his friend.  Not only that, but Jagger was filled with determination because of the pretty little smartass leading him through the woods.

He’d never had a friend like Kelly; someone so trusting and loyal; someone that made him want to have standards and hopes and dreams.  Even though he couldn’t say it because of his pride, Jagger was more than thankful for having met Kelly De Angelo.

“We tell them everything we know.”  He squeezed Kelly’s hand.  “And then we face the wrath of our parents.”

Kelly cast him a sidelong glance.  “Sounds like a plan.”


Owen waited next to his dad’s suburban.  A dozen police vehicles blocked the streets off.  Angry parents berated law and school officials, tugging their ‘of age’ sons or daughters behind them like they were small children.  The feds had made an appearance about an hour ago.  Shit was getting too real for him.

He glanced at Francis, who had a hand over his eyes, seated on the ground a few feet away.  “You awake?”

“Don’t talk to me, Owen.  I’m not in the mood.”

Biting back his snide reply, Owen caught a glimpse of Kelly and Jagger walking to a car with one of the special agents on the Hedgewater killer case.  Circling back to the crowd, Owen saw Luca staring at Kelly from across the road.  His blood boiled, not out of jealousy, out of rage.  He hated Luca.  Everyone thought Luca was so fucking perfect. Then again, they didn’t know shit about anything other than themselves or what Holmes fed them.  If they did, they’d put Luca at the top of the suspect list.

Hell if Owen would start a campaign against him, though.  Luca might seem sweet and charming, geeky and loved by everyone around him, but the kid was smart and connected, dangerously so.  He had the resources and smarts to carry out those attacks.  He had a motive for killing.  At one time, Luca had been so fucked up, Owen thought he’d never recover.  But, low and behold, Luca swam above his troubles and came back this year a different person. He came back to Hedgewater as an RA, the president of his nerd fan club, and had a different haircut.

Everyone liked him.

Everyone thought he was special.

Everyone was being lied to.

“I didn’t do this, Owen.  I won’t go down for you.”

Owen focused back on Francis.  “Neither of are going down.  We’ll be fine.”

His dad conversed with the agent from far away, looking at something in his hands.  It looked to be a t-shirt maybe, or a rag?  Owen crouched down next to Francis as his dad started walking their way.  “Don’t try to be a hero, Francis.  What’s done is done and I feel like shit about it.  You have to believe that, but you and I have been friends forever.  You owe me this.”

For the first time in a long time, Francis really looked at him.  His eyes held such sadness; such a brief glimpse into his true feelings before it flickered away.  “Just this once.”

Francis got up from the ground, slapping away Owen’s hand.  “Did they get anything, the agents,” he directed to the Chief.

Chief Trusou wore a murderous look.  He opened the back door of the suburban.  “Get in.”

“Sir, I need to—”

“I said get in the damn vehicle.”  The Chief’s hand shook.  His dark eyes could’ve burned holes into the ground.

“Yes, sir.”  Francis slipped into the backseat.  The door slammed behind him.

Owen sidestepped his father, thinking he would go around the vehicle.  Instead, his father took hold of his forearm, gripping until Owen thought it would snap.  The Chief leaned in.  “I know what you did last night.  I know why you did it and I know how.  I personally pulled the footage from last night’s traffic cameras and spent half of my night watching them.  And the other half I spent looking for your ass because I thought you would flip and do something stupid on top something stupid.”

“Dad,” Owen breathed.  He was no match for his father.  The man was a beast.  Chief Trusou had every right to act like he was now.

“Don’t you fucking say a word when I’m talking to you.  I know you put that boy in the hospital.  I saw you lift his goddamn body out of Francis’s trunk.  And thank your fucking stars I was the only one who saw it.  That is until I went into my glove compartment this morning, thinking the stashed footage would be there, but it was not.”


“Yes, they’re gone and you can save your hoping that those tapes didn’t go to Holmes or worse.  They’re gone.  They have my prints on them.  They have your fucking face on them.  I put my neck out for you today.  I thought of every detail I could to sway your innocence because you got all up in River’s face yesterday. But every minute that passes is another minute that someone has those tapes.  If they go public, I lose my job, and you go to jail with your boyfriend here.”

“He’s not my—”

“Save it, Owen.”  The Chief flipped his phone around so Owen could see.  A rather explicit picture of him and Francis at the cabin was on his dad’s phone, with the tagline:  Good partners in crime are hard to find.  “Someone is fucking with us; the killer, Holmes, maybe some vengeful college kid.  I don’t have a clue about them, but I do know you better start getting your shit together and stop whoring around with that asshole.  After today, it’s pretty clear you can’t trust anyone.  This entire investigation has been one big ass game, one of which you just put yourself in the middle of.  You have no idea who you’ve fucked with.  You couldn’t just punch the kid and get it out of your system.  No, you had to go and make like a damn killer and tie his ass up and torture him.”

“Dad, I’m sorry…”

“The fuck you are.  I taught you better than that.  You knew better.  Whatever happens from here on out, Owen, know you did this to yourself.”

Owen tried to see through the tinted windows.  He looked for Francis.  Did he hear?  Did he know?  What happened next for them?  At the same time Owen was dealing with his own crisis, he saw Jagger and Kelly walking to Jagger’s car.  The agent seemed to be pulling ahead to wait for them.  If he couldn’t trust anyone, neither could Kelly.  Owen had to warn him.

He shook off his father’s hand and ran across the street.  “De Angelo.  Hey, wait up!”

Jagger stepped in front of Kelly.  This time he wasn’t going to stand by and let Owen manipulate his friend.  “What do you want?”

“I don’t have beef with you, man.  I want to talk to Kelly.”  Owen pleaded with his eyes.

“Owen,” his dad yelled.

Owen shook his head.  “It doesn’t matter if we talk in private, I guess.  You should know, too, Winegarten.”

“Know what exactly?”  Kelly came closer.  “That you did this?”

Owen shook his head.  “This isn’t about last night or River.  This is about whatever the fuck is happening in this town, to all of us, something I think you should know.”

“Spit it out.”  Jagger narrowed his eyes.

“Last year, before Luca was an RA, he was kind of lost in his own world.”

“Don’t you dare bring Luca into this,” Kelly snarled.  “Fuck you.”

“No, Kelly, you don’t get it.  He was in love with someone who wasn’t in love with him.  He went off the deep end for a minute and then comes back this totally different person, like it doesn’t even matter that he’s dead.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”  Jagger lifted a hand.  “Are you high?”

Kelly put a hand on Jagger’s forearm, silencing him.  “It doesn’t matter if who’s dead?”

“The guy Luca was so head over heels for, the only one of the victims who died, Garrett Fromme.”

With that tidbit of information left open for interpretation, Owen walked away.

Kelly and Jagger found Luca staring right at them.  Their RA lifted a hand in acknowledgment.  Kelly smiled weakly, waving back.

“Jagger,” he said through his clenched teeth.

Jagger waved at Luca then turned them back around.  “Don’t assume anything.  This is all a game to someone.  They wanted Owen to tell you that.  They want me to look like a suspect.  They want to ruin Shay and River.  They want Francis to hate you.  They want to keep mixing the pot until they’re satisfied, and I’m pretty sure that will only happen when someone truly suffers.”

“You’ve been thinking about this before, haven’t you?”  Kelly opened his car door.

Jagger looked over the car at Kelly.  “I’ve had an entire summer’s worth of solitary to think about it.”

“So, we’re on the same page then?”

Jagger nodded.  He glanced at the agent’s car, waiting a few yards ahead for them.  “Yeah, it’s time to do a little digging of our own.”

Kelly’s eyes narrowed.  “Sounds like a plan… bro.”




See you next week!


  1. Wow! I am getting addicted to this story.
    Feel so sorry for River, want to see him recover and be happy. While Shay feels sorry and bad for what happened, I don't think he deserves another chance with him, unless he grovels A LOT and maybe not even then. I like the characters of Kelly and jagger, want to see how their investigation goes, lol. Owen and Francis need to go down, want to see them get caught and dealt with, assholes... Luca is interesting, clearly more to his story.... Im rambling... Lol, great chapter Night. :)

  2. Love love love it! I was so happy for Kelly to find Luca but its a soap opera not a love story I have to keep reminding myself. I still hope Luca's innocent tho!

    Can't wait for next weeks!

  3. I think Luca displays the clear-eyed logic and maturity of someone who's been through months of intensive therapy. I don't think he's the psychopath. And man am I glad someone got those tapes! The chief's son should have to face the music, along with the chief, who tried to cover it up. Rooting for Jagger and Kelly and River. On the fence about Shay because of what he allowed to happen to River. I appreciate the Garrett twist. I kinda want Francis to kill himself (it's fiction, so I don't feel so bad saying that). So glad you decided to keep going, Night! PS: Holmes can't be a student because he doesn't have time to attend classes! So is this like the Dread Pirate Roberts in "Princess Bride," where new people keep cycling in to take advantage of a feared reputation?

  4. Glad the boys survived the party and came out alive. The part between Kelly and Luca was sweet. Hope it doesn't turn out to be a sham. With this new info on Luca, it makes me a little suspicious of him. At least two of the boys attacked 2 were water polo jocks. If Luca is is the killer that would be his motive because of what that Garrett guy did to him. I have a feeling it is more twisted and dark than thst though.

    Glad Owen's dad knows what he did.also hope those tapes make it mainstream so people know how bad of a thing he did to River. Have no idea who the Holmes person is, but I have a feeling it is all interconnected. Sooo happy Kelly and Jagger have each other. Kinda seems like Kelly is melting the ice around Jaggers heart.

    Great epi this week. I'm hooked on this story and wracking my brain to try and figure it out. There are so many juicy angles to explore.


  5. Love it, as always, keep it coming!

  6. I love this story so much. I have no idea who is behind all of this, there are so many suspects, and so much intigue. I'm hooked. All I can say is this, I am really, really, really hoping Jagger and Kelly can maintain their friendship; I know it's a soap so tons of drama, but I am really rooting for those 2.

    Great job as always, Night.