His girlfriend continues with a trip to Miami
I should have known better than to come to you with this. I don't want to see anybody get hurt, but I could have guessed you wouldn't care. Everyone knows you ditched James the minute he came out. I'll handle it myself."
"Wait." Ash didn't hang up, so Dillon took that as his cue to continue. "I'm sorry, man. I'll handle it. You did the right thing by calling me. Thanks." There were only two things he could do, hang up, or change the subject. He went for the subject change. "So, you got a hot date tonight?"
"Yep. Chad and I are doubling with Blair Dees and Nina Ivan."
Dillon shook his head. The two easiest girls in school. He should have known, given Ash's reputation with the ladies. "Who gets who?"
Ash snorted. "Who cares? We're only going to be at that lame-ass dance long enough to put in an appearance, anyway. Then it's straight down to Pepper Road. You taking Megan?"
"Yep. I was on my way into the shower when you called."
"Hey, don't let me keep you. I had P.E. with you three years running. I know how nasty those pits of yours get. I'll catch you tonight. And Carver?"
"I'm sorry for what I said. About you dropping James, I mean."
"Hey, the truth's the truth. You and me, we're good."
"Sweet. See you tonight."
Dillon disconnected and debated his next move. He could call Principal Morgan directly, or any one of a dozen teachers. But as president of the G.S.A., it was pretty much Jamie's call. He picked the phone back up and punched in the familiar numbers. Even after two years, his fingers wove an automatic pattern over the keys.
Jamie answered on the second ring, his voice rich and smooth. "Hello?"
Dillon's mind went blank. Hearing Jamie's voice did something to him. Jamie said hello twice more before Dillon was able to say, "James?"
"Yeah, this is James." A pause. "Dillon? Is that you?"
"Ah, yeah. Have you got a minute?"
The surprise Dillon had first heard turned to wariness. "Just one. What do you need?"
If only he knew what Dillon needed. But he couldn't tell him. Not yet. Instead, he said, "I just got a call from one of the guys at school. He seems to think there's gonna be some trouble at the dance tonight." He repeated what Ash had said, without giving away his identity.
When he was finished, Jamie said, "Why?"
"I don't know. I guess some guys just like to start trouble."
"That's not what I meant. I want to know why you're calling me with this."
"I told you, some guys are planning on starting trouble. I thought you'd want to know."
"Not to seem ungrateful, but since when do you care what happens to a bunch of queers?"
Damn. "Jamie, I--"
"Look, Dillon, I've gotta go. Thanks for the info. I'll pass it along." He hung up before Dillon could say another word.
Jamie couldn't help but laugh at Ben's choice of attire. The dance wasn't formal, by any means, but somehow he doubted Ben's ripped jeans, black leather jacket, and white wife-beater were what the dance committee had in mind when they recommended casual wear. Jamie looked down at his black pants and his dark blue button-front shirt. "Why is it I always feel overdressed when you're around?"
"Probably because you are. Looks good on you, though." He stood in the doorway, giving Jamie a good looking over. "Are you ready to go, or do we need to say goodbye to your aunt first?"
"Good. Now, you wanna tell me why we have to be there so damn early? You were a little hazy on the phone."
"I got a phone call warning me there was gonna be trouble tonight. I called Principle Morgan and he suggested an emergency meeting of the G.S.A. and the Student Council to decide how we want to handle it."
"A phone call, huh? Who from?"
Jamie hesitated. "Dillon Carver."
Ben whistled. "Carver, huh? Wonder what he's up to?"
Jamie shrugged, trying his best to cover the confusion and longing inside him.