Chapter 1: Skittered

Sal swore out into the sky. "I knew it was coming when he found out Max and I are together," he grumbled, "but he didn't have to go that far. Now where am I supposed to go?" he kicked a tuna can on the ground. It skittered ahead of him, making a hollow sound.

He sat on an electric box and ran a hand through his long black hair. He remembered the last time Max had done that and smiled. Max… he thought, remembering the reason he had been kicked out of his dad's house. He took out his cell phone and called him up.

"Max's office. We will be with you shortly." Came a voice on the other end. Sal could distinguish Max's squeaky refrigerator creak closed in the backround. "Max speaking."

Sal rolled his eyes and said, "Hi Max. Guess what happened today?"

"What?"

"I got kicked outta my house. I told you making a video of us was a bad idea."

"But it was fun, wasn't it?" Max said, and broke off giggling.

Sal scoffed, "Chyea right. And having my dad throw random crap at me and mourn me for dead is really fun, too."

"Well, uh, come over and we'll figure something out, okay?" Max said, and hung up.

Sal leaned back on the edge of the electric box, smiling, and looking up at the stars. His smile faded as he realized he'd have to go back to his dad's house to pick up his car. He walked three blocks back and paused at the hedgerow of his father's house. He panted in the cool night air. He prayed his Dad wouldn't see him, and dove into the driveway. He snapped up the handle of the car door.

Rii-oww

Rii-oww

Rii-oww

The car alarm screamed to life and sent panic through Sal's mind. Sal scrambled to get his keys out of his pocket, "Why did I forget that? Why did I forget that!" he muttered to himself. The door exploded open. The squat, pale man standing in the doorway soon turned into a squat, red man upon seeing his son's face.

Sal opened the door and got inside as the flood of Italian curses started raining down on him. Don Cocci was furious, waving his beefy arms up and down in some kind of strange angry-little-man dance. Sal rammed the key into the ignition and peeled out of the driveway. Sal sighed in relief as he glided over the hills of Indiana. The trees were green with the fresh spray of summer leaves mingled with the dark blue night. The suburban homes disappeared into lightly forested outskirts, out to the RV park, where Sal found Max.

He got out of his car and knocked, listening to it resound over the heavy metal door. Max opened it. "Hi." He said, "come on in." he gestured towards the inside, and Sal sat down at the tiny kitchen table. Max had bright red hair and was taller and fairer-skinned than Sal. "So…" he whistled and clicked his tongue, "You are-a no longer a part-a the Cocci fam-eelia, eh?" he said, with the fakest Italian accent Sal had ever heard.

Sal headdesked, disturbing a pot of coffee lying there. "What do I dooo, Max?" he whined, his straight hair spreading in silky midnight-black swirls. "What do I dooo?"

"Hmm…" Max paused a minute to think. Grinning, he said, "Don't worry, I'll take good care of you." He put his hand covered with the sleeve of his green sweatshirt on Sal's head and played with his hair.

"What?"

"Well, you're going to college next year, right?"

"Yeah, at Amherst. Don't you remember?" Sal straightened up, perplexed.

"And you just finished with high school here, so you've got nothing tying you down…"

Sal suddenly realized what Max was getting at. "Oh, no no no no. No. You're not thinking what I think you're thinking, are you?"

Max smiled so hard his eyes squished shut and nodded his head vigorously. "Oh, yes yes yes yes yes. We take the RV and follow the highway to Massachusetts. You didn't happen to grab any cash on your way out, by any chance?"

"Yup. Managed to get my whole savings." Sal said with a smile, "But that's beside the point." His strict demeanor returned. "My Mom would probably still let me stay, you know. She, at least, is halfway reasonable." Sal's phone rang in his pocket. He picked up and answered it. "Give me a minute." He mouthed to Max. "Hello? … uh-huh, uh-huh…" Sal covered the speaker and whispered, "It's my mom." He went back to talking.

Max waited. Drummed his fingers. Watched the wood between his hands. It was boring. He waited for an opportunity, then jumped in and took the phone from Sal. "Hello," he said in a high-pitched voice, "This is Terrance's mom speaking. I have Sal here, and we're prepared to keep him here for oh—around three months, until the end of the summer at least. Bye-bye, now!" he squeaked and hung up.

"Hey!" Sal said, "Give me that back!"

"Nuh-uh." Max said, waving his finger at Sal and tossing the phone behind him into the sink, where it lit the water with bolts of electricity before completely shorting out with a fizzle.

"Max!" Sal shouted, "Argh! You killed my phone!" he set his hands before him and curled and uncurled his fists.

"Oh, come on, it's just a phone." Max said. He put both hands behind his head and leaned back in his chair. Sal stared at him with angry eyes. After a second, his gaze started to soften and he looked aside to hide it. "Sal?" Max asked. "Sal?" He came up close. Sal continued to ignore him. Sal felt a soft, wet bristling under his chin.

"Yuck. I'm trying to be mad at you here, don't go licking me!" Sal scorned, wiping it off.

"Butyou'resosexy." Max raised his eyebrows. "Marry me, Sal…"

"Rrrr…" Sal growled. He tried to turn away, but he couldn't, and met Max's kiss halfway. Max reached down his back, but Sal stopped him. "Not until we're married." He said, and busied himself making a bed on the couch. "I hope you don't mind if I sleep here?" He asked, and got in bed without waiting for an answer.

Max stood there, stupefied. Sal had refused him, but… by saying that… he implied that he accepted, that he had agreed to marry Max… it was quite a commitment…

"Goodnight Sal." Max said. He turned off the light and walked into his room. Sweet dreams…he thought, drifting off to sleep.

Kaori: So, what do you all think so far? It's a project for creative writing class... it can only be up to five pages doublespaced, though, and it's definitely going to end up more than that. So I guess I'll have to turn in an uber-shortened version. Lucky! You guys get the real version... :3 mweeheehee. I'll have the next chapter up soon.