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Frankie had heard whispers that Zach would be attending the party. He wasn’t sure if they were true. God, he hoped they weren’t true. He really couldn’t handle it tonight.

He’d already had a really long week. He’d spent the first part of the week in New York dealing with lawyers and contracts and all kinds of things that just got in the way. He’d finally made his way back to LA on Friday night. He’d flown a red eye, so he’d gotten in pretty late. He’d slept as much as he could, but he had a meeting with one of his producers for lunch. Frankie was definitely driven and hard working, but a business lunch on a Saturday was even a little hard for him to swallow. No matter, he’d made it through. The deal was almost done anyway. He was so excited to get started with the casting and the filming. He was basically going to have a reality TV film crew follow him around as he produced his next Broadway play. He was thrilled, but utterly exhausted.

Brittany was hosting a sort of BB16 reunion at her house tonight. Frankie was really excited to see some of his friends again. He knew Caleb was coming. He’d been spending a lot of time in LA recently promoting his new music. Things were going pretty well for Caleb. He was having a blast with his music and he had a beautiful girlfriend. Caleb and Frankie had remained really good friends. Caleb had a heart of gold and Frankie was truly grateful they had become such good friends. Frankie had heard that Amber, Paola, Cody, Nicole, Hayden, and Christine were coming as well. He was definitely cordial with all of them. He wished Derrick would come, but he was busy with his adorable little girl and Frankie could certainly find no fault with that.

It was Caleb who had mentioned in passing that he’d heard from Cody that Zach was coming. Frankie had tried his hardest not to know what was up in the life of Zachary Rance. He avoided anything that might have to do with Zach and had certainly built up enough of a professional life to no longer be asked about Zach in interviews, or at least he had enough clout to demand not to be asked about Zach. Last he’d heard, a few months ago, Zach had decided to relocate from NYC to LA. Frankie didn’t know the reason, mostly because when he was told he quickly shut up the fan that was telling him by offering more selfies and signed memorabilia.

Frankie pulled up outside of Brittany’s house around 8 pm. It was an early fall day. The party was basically just a reunion, but it also happened to fall on the two-year anniversary of the BB16 finale. Big Brother 18 would be having its own finale in a couple of days. This was basically a pre-party for all of the shenanigans that would be happening once all the finale parties were in full swing. Frankie had attended those parties last year, with Zach in tow. Frankie shook his head a little, trying to block out the memories. He and Zach had been best friends at the time. There were occasional kisses and some cuddle sessions taking place back in NYC where they had been living in pretty close proximity. Things had turned sour shortly after the BB17 finale though.

Frankie looked at the cars parked around Brittany’s house and he walked up to the front door. He wasn’t sure why he bothered to look though; he didn’t know what anyone drove. The only time he ever saw anyone from Big Brother was when they came to visit New York City. Caleb was the only exception, he had been to Kentucky twice in the last year, just to visit and have some time to relax.

Frankie took a deep breath and prepared himself for what may or may not be waiting for him behind the front door when he rang the bell. Amber answered the door. She was as gorgeous as ever and smiling. She welcomed him inside and he took a quick inventory. He sighed a deep breath of relief when he didn’t see Zach. He relaxed instantly and made the rounds. He was thrilled for Nicole and Hayden who had recently gotten engaged. He greeted Cody warmly, even if it wasn’t entirely genuine. He spoke briefly to Pao. He saw Pao a lot in NYC anyway. Christine was thrilled to see Frankie. They talked a lot, but he hadn’t seen her in a year. Tim was with her and Frankie asked about the baby and cooed over their pictures. Their son was only three months old. He had a great time gossiping with Brittany for a while and then he got to hang out with Caleb and his girlfriend. This was easily where he was the most relaxed.

Frankie was having a pretty good time and he was two drinks in when Cody suddenly announced that Zach would be there in five minutes. Frankie felt himself panic. He sat up straight and put his new drink down on the table immediately. Everyone else was cheering the news. Everyone still loved Zach. This was nothing new. Caleb seemed to be the only one who noticed the panic in Frankie’s eyes. Frankie looked up and saw Caleb watching him. Frankie cleared his throat and stood up. He said, “Um, I just need to use the little boy’s room for a minute. Do you know where it is?”

Caleb pointed to the hall behind him and said, “First door on the left.” Frankie quickly walked away. He locked the bathroom door and stood looking at himself in the mirror. He started primping and fixing his hair before he stopped himself. What an idiot he thought to himself. He had to stop. It didn’t matter. He didn’t care. Zachary Rance could go fuck himself for all Frankie cared. He didn’t care. He wouldn’t care. Zach was no friend of Frankie’s and he wouldn’t pretend otherwise. They weren’t speaking and as far as Frankie was concerned it could remain that way indefinitely. Frankie would not run away scared either. He was a fucking Grande. He would stand his ground. He would have fun with his castmates and rub it in Zach’s face. Zach was the one missing out, not Frankie.

The doorbell rang while Frankie was still in the bathroom. He quickly flushed to hide suspicion and washed his hands. When Frankie walked out of the bathroom he could hear Zach’s booming voice already. Zach had never been the quiet one. He saw Zach from behind first. He was dressed in some skinny jeans that hugged in the right places and his button up shirt was stylish, but a little understated. Zach had foregone the baseball hat tonight. His hair was almost perfect. It looked like Frankie remembered it looking when Zach had run his hand through it a few too many times in an effort to make it perfect. The thought made Frankie’s heart ache. Frankie inwardly cursed himself and reminded himself that Zach was not his, was never his, and would never be his. Zach was off-limits. They were not friends. They couldn’t be friends after everything that had happened.

Frankie made his way back to Caleb. He was careful to avoid actually falling into Zach’s line of sight and quickly sat down and grabbed his drink. He drank half of it in one huge gulp. Caleb smiled at Frankie and seemed to chuckle a little. Suddenly Frankie heard his name coming out of Zach’s mouth. The way Zach said his name pulled at Frankie’s heart and made him want to melt right there, but Frankie held tough. Frankie turned himself slightly so he could see Zach. Zach looked down at the floor and then looked back at Frankie and smiled nervously. Frankie nodded curtly and turned back around. A few minutes later, Frankie could hear Zach nervously complaining to Cody that he didn’t tell him that Frankie was going to be there. Frankie took pride in this. If he was going to have to be uncomfortable, he was glad that Zach was too.

Zach was angry. He was annoyed with Cody for failing to inform him that he would have to see Frankie if he came to this party. What kind of friend was Cody? Real friends warn you before you’re about to be stuck in a small group with your former best friend with no way to escape without looking like a complete ass. So Zach made small talk with everyone else. He avoided Frankie beyond their initial encounter, which had really only consisted of Zach saying Frankie’s name. Zach had to remind himself that they were not friends. They hadn’t spoken in 11 months and he wasn’t particularly eager to break the trend. He’d moved from NYC to LA so he could avoid things that reminded him of Frankie. That wasn’t the only reason, but it certainly was a big part of it in Zach’s mind.

Zach’s music career was doing modestly well. He’d recorded a whole album and it had done pretty decently on the charts. He was working on writing new stuff and had moved to LA for the opportunity to work with some new producers and collaborators that weren’t available in NYC. He’d really only moved to NYC in the first place because it was easier than LA and Frankie lived there.

Time passed by pretty slowly for both boys. Finally, it was 10 pm (not that he’d been checking the time every two minutes), and Frankie thought he could make an excuse to leave. He’d been there for two hours and he really was exhausted. Frankie stood up to go when Caleb pulled him aside not two seconds after he’d stood up. Frankie had just spent the better part of an hour talking to Caleb, so he wasn’t sure what this was all about, but he let Caleb pull him into the guest room down the hall. Caleb left the door open a crack and then said, “Dude, I need your opinion. I bought Ashley an engagement ring. I want to propose to her while we’re out in LA. Where should I take her? You know this area better than me.”

Frankie smiled at Caleb. Caleb was adorable really. Frankie couldn’t think of a single thing he didn’t like about Caleb. Frankie gave Caleb some advice about different nice restaurants and some hiking trails that had pretty views at sunset to offer Caleb a variety of places to look into. Caleb thanked Frankie. Frankie was starting to leave the room when Caleb grabbed him by the arm and said, “Wait here. I’m gonna go grab the ring from my truck. I want you to see it. You’re more into current styles and fashion than me. I want your opinion on the ring.”

Before Frankie could answer, Caleb had slipped out the door and was gone. The door was still only halfway open and Frankie sat down on the bed while he waited.

Caleb tipped his hat at Cody as he sat down on the sofa next to Ashley. Cody nodded his head and grabbed Zach by the arm and yanked him away from his very obvious attempts at flirting with Pao. Zach whined a little and asked Cody, “What the hell dude?” Cody didn’t answer. Cody just said, “Fix it,” as he shoved him through a partially open door off the hall. Then Cody pulled the door shut.

Zach turned around and saw Frankie sitting on the bed. Zach was pissed. Zach gritted his teeth together and spat out, “Did you do this?”

Frankie’s jaw dropped and he stood up. The indignation was rising in his chest. He retorted, “Don’t flatter yourself Rance. I want nothing to do with you.”

Frankie walked to the door and tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge. It was locked. Frankie thought it was strange there was a lock on the door to the guest bedroom, but he wasn’t really in a position to ponder the doorknobs in Brittany’s house. Frankie banged on the door. He heard Caleb’s voice say, “You two work this out. You’re not coming out until you do. So, get to work.”

Frankie groaned in frustration and banged on the door a couple more times. Zach was pacing on the other side of the room. His fists were clenched and he was walking faster and faster. Zach wanted to punch the wall, but he was afraid he’d do actual damage and he really didn’t want to damage someone else’s house. Zach hated Cody almost as much as he hated Frankie in this moment. Zach realized now that Cody had set him up for this. He knew Zach wouldn’t have come if he’d known Frankie would be there.

Frankie slowly turned around to look at Zach. He watched him pace for a minute or two. Frankie’s mind was racing. He was beyond pissed at Caleb. How dare he do this to him? This was not Caleb’s place. Frankie was perfectly fine without Zach in his life—better really. His life was so much calmer now. He didn’t have to worry about what anyone else was doing or saying. He didn’t have any messes to clean up.

Finally Frankie said, “Stop pacing! Just stop. Let’s get this the fuck over with. We’ll make nice and pretend and then we can get out of this house and never speak again. Deal?”

Zach considered it. It was a good deal. Zach should take the deal, but Zach was too hot-headed to go for something so reasonable. He shook his head no and said, “Fuck you! You’re so pretentious. You just have everything figured out and I should just do whatever it is that you want me to do.” Zach had stopped pacing. He was practically yelling in Frankie’s face at this point. He pushed Frankie back against the door. Frankie’s eyes were wide. He looked scared of Zach. This hurt Zach, just a little bit.

Zach backed up. Frankie felt the fire light inside himself and he pushed Zach back and yelled, “You’re such an asshole. You better figure out what you actually want then!”

Zach took a half step back and chuckled. “Really? That’s all you got Grande?” Zach taunted.

Frankie pushed him a little harder and Zach stumbled backwards, still laughing. Frankie was irate. How dare Zach do this to him? After all, Frankie was the one who had walked away with a broken heart. Frankie pulled his fist back and hit Zach in the stomach. Zach doubled over, but he recovered quickly and swung his fist at Frankie’s head. Frankie ducked and managed to avoid it. Zach kicked out and hit Frankie’s leg knocking him sideways. Frankie fell onto his side on the floor. It really hadn’t hurt that bad and Frankie found himself laughing at his physical pain.

Zach looked down at Frankie who was laughing on the floor. Zach was fuming mad, but Frankie’s laughter was softening the edges of his anger. Zach sunk to the ground. He was sitting now, watching Frankie laugh. Tears were coming out of the corner of Frankie’s eyes. Frankie tried to choke out some words as he was laughing, “Who would’ve…ever guessed…we’d…be…the ones…getting into…a fist fight…with each…other?!”

Zach had to smile. The thought was actually kind of absurd. Frankie was far from a fighter. Zach had definitely gotten into some fistfights. The most notable one had landed him in surgery, but Zach had gotten his anger and his drinking under better control since then. Zach reminded himself that he was angry with Frankie. Frankie had been ruthless and mean and pushy and far from understanding the last time they had talked.

Frankie sobered up pretty quickly too. He sat up and faced Zach. Frankie couldn’t hold it in anymore, so he said, “I’m mad at you.”

“I’m mad at you too,” Zach responded.

They were both silent for a minute. Zach spoke first, “You’re the one that shut me out. I didn’t do anything to deserve it. You had a ridiculous idea of what I was and what I should be and I didn’t fit your mold. Sorry, but I won’t be sorry for that. That’s your own issue.” Frankie just stared at him and it was infuriating. Zach wanted to hurt Frankie. He couldn’t stop himself. So he said, “I’m sorry your ego couldn’t handle it when I didn’t turn out to be gay for you.”

Frankie felt it like a slap to the face. Slowly, he drew in a deep breath before he responded. His voice was calm as he said, “You are the one that played me. You strung me along. You kissed me. You are the one that asked to cuddle with me. I didn’t push a damn thing on you. Then you show up out of the blue and tell me that you have met some girl. You tell me you’ve been dating her for a month, without mentioning it to me. Then, you tell me that you are going to take her to Germany with you. Where is that girl tonight? What was her fucking name anyway? Caroline? Catherine? Cassandra?”

Zach mumbles, “Caitlin.”

Frankie nods. His voice is getting louder. He’s starting to yell now, “Caitlin. Yes, I remember now—that sorority chick that latched herself to you. She dressed and acted just like you said you like on all your youtube videos. How’d that trip end up for you Zach?” Frankie smirked. He knew the answer. He’d been heartbroken by Zach’s decisions, but he had heard through the grapevine that Caitlin had found a rich businessman in Germany and abandoned Zach halfway through the trip.

Zach was wounded. His gaze dropped and he played with the hem of his jeans. When he looked back up, Frankie’s eyes were icy. Zach said, “Clearly you know the answer. This is hopeless. Neither of us is going to budge. Let’s just get them to let us out of here.” Zach stood up and was pounding at the door.

Frankie was surprised when his stomach dropped at Zach’s words. Frankie tried to remind himself that he hated Zach, that he didn’t need Zach, that he should let Zach go. Instead, Frankie found himself standing up next to Zach and putting a hand on his shoulder. Zach looked over at Frankie and stopped pounding on the door. Frankie dropped his hand and looked at the ground.

Frankie looked back up and looked Zach in the eye. He tried to speak, but nothing was coming out. Zach looked at the pain in Frankie’s eyes. The icy stare was gone, all he saw was the darkness of Frankie’s eyes and how they were beginning to water. Before he could actually think about it, Zach said, “You broke my heart.”

Frankie blinked and a tear escaped. Frankie quickly wiped it away and said, “I broke your heart? Zach, you ripped my chest open. Pulled my heart out and threw it out the window to be run over a million times by all the taxis driving through the street. I was completely devastated. I thought you loved me.”

“I did love you,” Zach said. It was all he could get out. He’d taken a step back from the door. Frankie went and sat down on the edge of the bed. Zach stared at him. Zach wasn’t sure how they’d ended up here. Zach dropped to his knees in front of Frankie. He could still feel a dull pain in his stomach where Frankie had punched him just minutes ago. The dull ache helped Zach regain some of his anger. He looked Frankie in the eyes and said, “You pretended to care about me no matter what and when I made one decision you didn’t like, you shut me out. You were downright cold.”

Frankie sighed. He was wounded by Zach’s words, but he couldn’t deny that he had turned on him. He’d shut him out. It was self-preservation really. Frankie made a split second decision. If it got him punched in the face, he was okay with that. “How’s this for cold?” Frankie asked as he leaned forward and grabbed Zach’s face. Frankie pressed his lips to Zach’s. The kiss was hard. He was trying to prove a point. He held Zach there, his lips unmoving for the better part of a minute. When he let go, Frankie braced himself to get hit, but the punch didn’t come.

Instead Zach was staring at him. There was fire burning in his eyes. Frankie wasn’t sure if it was anger or lust. He thought maybe it was a little bit of both. Suddenly, Zach was grabbing Frankie’s face and Zach’s lips were once again pressed against Frankie’s. Frankie gave in a little bit. He moved his lips with Zach’s. Frankie’s hands were on Zach’s chest and he could feel Zach’s rapid heartbeat.

Zach’s hands found their way into Frankie’s hair and Zach pulled Frankie’s head back. Zach was kissing and biting at Frankie’s neck. Frankie whimpered a little. The grip Zach had on his hair was hard and bordering on painful. Frankie returned the favor and pulled Zach’s hair. He pulled until Zach could no longer get his mouth on Frankie. Zach let go. Frankie did too. They were both panting and looking at each other.

Zach moved first. He tackled Frankie to the bed. He pulled Frankie’s shirt over his head. Frankie grabbed Zach’s shirt and pulled it apart. A few buttons flew across the room. Neither one cared. Frankie ran his hands up Zach’s body and pulled the shirt off. Frankie dug his nails in Zach’s back and ran them down his body. Zach shivered a little and his eyes were still blazing when he looked down at Frankie again. He kissed Frankie roughly. He didn’t wait for permission; instead, he forced his tongue into Frankie’s mouth. Kissing Frankie was familiar. Zach moaned into the kiss. He felt Frankie buck his hips up at Zach and he could feel how hard he was. Zach knew that he was hard too. Zach ground his hips roughly into Frankie’s. Frankie growled and pulled Zach’s head back. Frankie ducked his head and bit one of Zach’s nipples, hard. Zach cried out a little, and tried to push Frankie back, but Frankie wouldn’t budge as he licked and kissed the nipple he’d bitten before he turned his attention to the other side.

Before everything had gone wrong between them, Frankie and Zach had shared numerous kisses and some cuddle sessions. There were two incidents that involved hand jobs. They’d never gone farther than that.

Zach’s hands dropped to Frankie’s pants and he undid the button and zipper. He pulled them off. Frankie made quick work of Zach’s jeans too. They both paused for a moment, looking at each other, nearly naked. Frankie spoke first, “Are we really doing this?”

Zach looked back at Frankie. He took in the sculpted abs and toned arms and legs. He looked at Frankie’s beautiful face and gorgeous, huge eyes. Zach said, “Yes. Better to get the aggression out than keep it in?” Zach tried to say it like he was joking, but he wasn’t.

Frankie pulled Zach on top of him. Frankie’s hands slid inside Zach’s boxers and gripped his ass. Frankie whispered in Zach’s ear, “In that case, you better prepare yourself, because I’m going to fuck you so hard.”

Zach felt himself blush, and then he groaned as his head fell to Frankie’s shoulder. Frankie pulled Zach’s boxers down and off. He grabbed Zach’s hips and flipped them over so that he was on top. Frankie pulled his own briefs off. Zach watched, his eyes trailing over Frankie’s body. Zach licked his lips. Frankie’s hand started to jerk Zach off. Zach closed his eyes now, remembering how it felt the last time Frankie had touched him. It was over a year ago. Zach was certain no one had been able to make him feel the same way since then.

Frankie continued to stroke Zach’s cock for a couple minutes before he instructed Zach to turn over. Zach complied, but he dug his face into the pillows. Frankie pressed his hard cock against Zach’s ass and lay on top of him. He moved a pillow over and Zach turned his head to look at him. Frankie kissed him. It was passionate. Zach’s mind was reeling. Was he really about to let Frankie fuck him in the ass? This was the one thing Zach had always said he wouldn’t do. He would never take it in the ass or put it in someone’s ass. The year and built up frustration was boiling over and Zach didn’t even care anymore. He was so turned on. His anger was fading and being overtaken by desires and needs he’d been denying for too long.

Frankie loved the dominance. Zach was letting him dominate him. Frankie was certain Zach was enjoying it. Frankie bit Zach’s bottom lip and pulled on it. Zach moaned in pleasure. Frankie needed this. He wanted to let go of all of his anger and hurt. He felt it ebbing as he and Zach fell deeper into each other, but he still wanted to—no needed to—take Zach, all the way.

Frankie didn’t have any lube on him, and it wasn’t like he could go in search of some. He did have an extra lubed condom in his wallet. He got up and put it on the bedside table before he crawled back on top of Zach. Frankie put his lips against Zach’s ear. He bit down on Zach’s ear before he said, “This is going to hurt more than it could have. I don’t have any lube. If it hurts too much, say popsicle and I’ll stop.”

Zach nodded and grabbed another pillow. He buried his face in the pillows as Frankie started massaging Zach’s ass. Zach was moaning underneath him. Frankie bent down and touched his tongue to Zach’s tight hole. Zach bucked his hips, surprised. Frankie continued to lick and massage Zach with his tongue. Zach began to groan underneath him. Frankie stopped and kissed each of Zach’s ass cheeks before he stuck one of his fingers in his mouth to wet it before he placed it at Zach’s entrance. He pushed the finger in slowly, but didn’t stop until it was all the way in. Zach whimpered underneath Frankie. Frankie moved his finger around until the sounds pouring out of Zach’s mouth more closely resembled moans.

Frankie slid a second finger inside of Zach. Zach was biting a pillow at this point and whined Frankie’s name. The sensation Zach was feeling was too much. It hurt and it felt great all at the same time. Zach couldn’t decide whether he loved it or hated it before he realized the question wasn’t whether he loved it or hated it. The question was how had he ever lived without it as he began to push himself back on Frankie’s fingers. He felt Frankie insert a third finger and Zach hissed. It burned. He could feel his ass stretching and it burned. A few seconds later, he felt better. He was moaning involuntarily when suddenly Frankie was gone. He heard Frankie tear open the condom.

Frankie rolled the condom on himself and looked down at Zach. His face was buried in pillows, but his ass was up in the air, begging for Frankie. Frankie didn’t want to wait any longer. He positioned himself over Zach and said, “Bite the pillow baby. This will hurt.” Frankie slid his hard cock inside Zach. He didn’t go slow, but he didn’t go too fast either. He went all the way in and heard Zach’s scream muffled in the pillow. Frankie waited until Zach was moaning and pushing back into Frankie before Frankie started to move.

Frankie thrust into Zach. Frankie was thrusting hard, short strokes into Zach. Zach was so tight. It felt amazing. Frankie squeezed Zach’s ass and slapped each cheek once. Zach’s head resurfaced from the pillows and he threw it back, moaning. Frankie pushed all the way into Zach and pushed his chest to Zach’s back. Frankie said, “You like this.” It wasn’t a question. Frankie continued, “I’m going to fuck you until you come.”

Zach closed his eyes and said, “Please, Frankie. Please.”

Frankie changed his angle and pounded his hard cock into Zach’s ass. Frankie could feel Zach tightening around him as he was coming undone underneath him. Zach gasped, “More…Harder…More…”

Frankie complied with Zach’s wishes and Zach came all over the comforter after two more thrusts. Frankie felt fully satisfied and came into the condom after a few more thrusts. He collapsed on top of Zach. Both of them were breathing heavily.

After a minute, Frankie got up. He discarded the condom and turned back to Zach who had removed the comforter and was laying under the sheets of the bed. Frankie climbed in next to him. They turned to face each other.

“So…” Frankie said.

“So. You punched me in the stomach,” Zach responded.

Frankie laughed a little. He said, “Well, I didn’t want to punch you in the face, after you already had surgery once.” Frankie smiled weakly at Zach. Zach found it endlessly endearing that Frankie was concerned about his face and the surgery that was over three years ago. It was quiet for a while.

“I feel better now,” Frankie said, “I don’t really know what to say. I guess I was wrong to shut you out, I was just so hurt and the hurt turned into anger and I couldn’t see my way out of it.”

“No, Frankie. I was a jerk. I led you on. Clearly, it wasn’t entirely a lie, but I wasn’t willing to be truthful with myself at the time and that wasn’t fair. I’m so sorry. I wish I had taken you to Germany,” Zach said, finally meeting Frankie’s eyes.

Frankie melted at Zach’s words. Frankie cuddled into Zach’s side and Zach began to rub Frankie’s back just like he used to. Frankie looked up and kissed Zach softly, sweetly. Zach smiled.

When Frankie had resituated himself into Zach’s side, carefully drawing circles and other shaped into Zach’s stomach and chest, Zach spoke again. “I should confess, I lied to you earlier. Well, I didn’t exactly lie. I omitted.”

Frankie looked up at Zach and nodded. Zach continued, “I said I loved you back then. I didn’t say that I always loved you and that I still love you.”

Frankie felt himself tearing up as he looked back at Zach. He barely managed to get the words out, but Frankie said, “Oh, Zach. I loved you then and now. I expect to love you forever. I’m in love with you.”

Zach whispered, “I’m in love with you too,” before he kissed Frankie again. The kiss was passionate and loving. Frankie could feel his toes curl and he couldn’t imagine ever finding a kiss that would live up to what Zachary Rance had just given him. Zach pulled away and said, “Can we start over? Or at least move forward? Together? I need you, in too many ways to count.”

“Of course. You are definitely a lunatic, but as long as you’re my lunatic, I can handle it. I don’t ever want to let you go,” Frankie replied.

Zach smiled and chuckled a little before he said, “Well that might be hard considering we’re in Brittany’s guest room.” Frankie laughed. Zach continued, “Um, I guess we have to thank beast mode and that traitor Cody. We also definitely have to buy Brittany a new comforter for this bed.”

Zach suddenly turned bright red and pulled a pillow over his face. “Oh my god, Frankie, do you think they heard us?” Zach asked.

Frankie chuckled and nodded his head. Frankie said, “If we’re lucky, they relocated outside…”

Zach looked mortified and then he started laughing and Frankie joined him. Frankie rolled out of bed and moved to the door. He tested the door handle and it turned. Someone had unlocked the door. This caused both of them to break into an even more hysterical fit of laughter.

Frankie laid his head on Zach’s chest and he sighed at the level of comfort he felt there. Zach was both new and old and it felt amazing. Frankie knew they hadn’t worked everything out, but he was feeling confident about it. Frankie said, “I don’t want to ever go through this again. We can’t do this again. I won’t survive it another time.”

Zach said, “I can’t ever be without you again. We’ll figure this out. I love you, I promise.” Zach meant it. He knew the words Frankie had spoken were true. Frankie wouldn’t survive another fall out and Zach knew he wouldn’t either.

Frankie smiled at Zach’s use of one of their old inside jokes. Frankie responded. “I love U too. With a capital U.”

Zach rubbed Frankie’s back and said, “Can we stay here, just a little longer? I don’t want to deal with what’s out there when what’s in here is so perfect.”

“Yes, please. Five minutes. Then you are coming home with me.” Frankie murmured against Zach’s chest. Zach nodded in agreement. Frankie couldn’t see it, but he didn’t have to.