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Fever Dreams

By Ari Kristine Garrett All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Romance

Chapter 1: Captivated

It all started during the summer before my senior year. I’m not gay, but looking at this boy, it became clear that maybe I’m not entirely straight.
My name is Ethan Wilde. I’m seventeen and I’m a real smart motherfucker. I’m not being full of myself; ask my GPA. Before what happened, I’d never really been interested in anything other than school. You could say my soul is kind of empty.
Again, I’m not gay, but I can’t say I’m straight either. Because looking at that boy at the concessions stand is making my soul feel too full for comfort.
I’d never seen him before. I’d always been pretty aware of my surroundings, so he couldn’t be native to the area.
This year was the year I’d let my friends drag me to the Queenstown fair. I don’t know why I agreed to go. I don’t really like talking to people all that much and it’s too damn hot outside. I finished my books, there was nothing on TV, I wasn’t doing college prep; why not go out and get some sun for a change.
The boy smiled at the next customer. “Hi! How may I help you!”
He was pale, with black hair and eyes so icy that they were nearly transparent. And yes, I am close enough to describe him and hear him speak. In fact, I’d probably been standing three feet from the concessions counter for the better part of ten minutes. Why was I being such a stalker, anyway?
“Hey, you!”
There wasn’t anybody in front of the counter, so who was he calling to? Wait, he’s looking at me.
“Me?” I asked obtusely.
He grinned and I could’ve sworn something within me roared to life. “Yeah, are you okay? You haven’t moved for a while and I thought you might be a standing corpse.”
Okay, so maybe I wasn’t as inconspicuous as I thought.
“Sorry, I was in my headspace, I guess.”
“Do you live around here? I’m new to the area and wanted to meet someone before I started school.”
I nodded. “I’m a senior this year. Ethan Wilde.” I extended my hand.
He shook it, and I almost didn’t release him. His skin was so soft. “I’m Silas McHale. I’m a junior.”
“So what brings you here, Silas?”
“My mom transferred to this town’s catering company, which is how I ended up working here. We’re from back east.”
“You must’ve bought that big house up on Palomino, then.”
He nodded. “Yeah. Do you live around there?”
“I live on the adjoining street, Upton.”
“Oh, I know the one. Well, I better be getting back to work. See you around, Ethan.”
I swear my name had never sounded sweeter on anyone’s lips.
“See you, Silas.”

“Welcome home, Ethan.”
My mom and dad were in the kitchen with my little sister Kallie. The smell of cookies attacked my senses, but I really wasn’t all that hungry. I had an odd feeling in the pit of my stomach, and whether that was the arousal of something I’d buried inside or just gas from those damn street-vendor funnel cakes I wasn’t sure.
“Did you have fun sweetie?” Mom asked.
How exactly does one go about telling someone they’d been stalking another boy?
“Sure, Mom.”
She smiled. “Would you like a cookie?”
“They’re good!” Kallie added, smiling up at me with teeth decorated in melted chocolate and cookie crumbs.
I held down my gag reflex. “I’m good. I think I’m just going to head upstairs.”
And that I did.
I threw my phone onto my bed and checked myself out in the mirror. My brown hair was, surprisingly, still spiked up in the front. Which was pretty impressive considering the onslaught of eighty-percent of humidity.
I guess you could say I have a thing for grooming. I spend a lifetime on my hair, and tweeze my eyebrows. My girl friends are always saying how my eyebrows are better than anyone’s around. After all, there’s nothing wrong with looking your best.
Maybe I’m really not that straight.

The thing about throwing your entire life away to move across three states: It sucks. Thanks Mom. I have to leave my friends, work at this county fair concessions stand to appease you, and deal with this tall, gangly dude staring at me like I’m the damn Mona Lisa.
I can’t say that one’s all that bad though. He’s pretty good-looking. What can I say: I’ve always had a thing for boys with green eyes.
That sounds gay, I know. I’m a bisexual, though. I lean more towards guys though. Girls are usually too moody for my tastes, but they still have nice bodies.
I’m not sure what this boy’s deal is. Whether he’s gay or not, though, really isn’t an issue. Where I come from, I’m known as “Double-Team Gay-Bait.” That’s basically a really obnoxious way of saying that I always seem to attract the attention of all guys, whether they be gay or straight. To be honest, it’s more of a curse than anything. When straight boys start to have feelings for me, it makes them mad. The short version: I’m bullied a lot.
So I wonder if this town will entail the same fate.
Maybe I should call out to him. He might just be spacing out and not even looking at me.
“Hey, you!”
He seemed to jump three feet in the air, looking around. “Me?”
I couldn’t help but grin; I’d never seen someone look aware and absolutely clueless at the same time. “Yeah, are you okay? You haven’t moved for a while and I thought you might be a standing corpse.”
He seemed to mentally face palm. “Sorry, I was in my headspace, I guess.”
Ah, so he was spacing out. “Do you live around here? I’m new to the area and wanted to meet someone before I started school.”
The boy nodded. “I’m a senior this year. Ethan Wilde.” He extended his hand.
I shook it, and nearly gasped as something fluttered within me from his touch. “I’m Silas McHale. I’m a junior.”
“So what brings you here, Silas?”
“My mom transferred to this town’s catering company, which is how I ended up working here. We’re from back east.” Why am I spilling my guts to this strange guy?
“You must’ve bought that big house up on Palomino, then.”
I nodded. “Yeah. Do you live around there?”
“I live on the adjoining street, Upton.”
“Oh, I know the one.” I have to get out of here before I hand over my soul or something. I’ve never been this prone to word-vomiting. “Well, I better be getting back to work. See you around, Ethan.”
I liked the way his name sounded on my lips.
“See you, Silas.”
And I liked the way mine sounded on his.
Fuck, what am I going to do?

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