This is a rewrite. Proofed by Lisa

Chapter One

(The past)

The first time I met Ren was at my friend Chris' house. As soon as I was through the front door Chris grabbed my arm and dragged me in his living room, where he pushed me onto his couch. "All right, Jonah, tell me what you think, and be honest, okay? Ren here offered to show me some cool moves so that I will blow Mark's socks off on the dance floor tonight!"

"Um...okay." I know I perched on the edge of his sofa as if I was about to run, but what the hell? Cool moves? To get my ex?

Right on cue, a slow, sensual song started and Ren slid behind Chris. All I thought was Neat. Must be one of his well-practiced moves.

Placing his hands on Chris' hips, he slowly gyrated their bodies to the music. "Now rub your cute ass against me."

Chris followed accordingly, which promptly got him a "Yesss that's it. Let me feel you, baby."

Honestly? I couldn't believe what I was seeing... and hearing. Cute ass? I mean yeah, Chris' ass is hot, still... But it got better.

"Now lean your head back on my shoulder, yeah like that baby, bare your throat to me. Hands on my hands. Where do you want to feel Mark's touch? Guide me like you will guide him."

The problem was he didn't look at Chris once while he put him through the moves; his dark eyes bored into mine instead. "On your waist?" And he moved their joined hands slowly over Chris' stomach to his left side until they rested on his waist. "On your chest? Your face? Your thigh?" And every time their hands wandered to said parts of Chris' body, Ren constantly dared me with his eyes to react, never in danger of missing a beat.

I know I sat there with my jaw dropping to the floor. I mean, it was hot to look at, it really was, but at the same time it was just plain wrong. This was so not Chris.

Keep telling you this... Shut up Zack.

When I just sat there, because what could I say and still be Chris' friend afterwards, the jerk had the audacity to flat out ask me. "So, what do you think Jonah, as you are like Mark's best friend? You know how to push all his buttons, I heard." He actually winked at me. "Do you think he'll go for it?"

I had the feeling he already knew what I was thinking and challenged me to say it out loud. I never refuse a challenge, so I scrunched up my forehead, and pretended to do some heavy thinking.

"Well, he might stomp away from the dance floor, and won't speak a word to Chris for the foreseeable future because he thinks he's making fun of him. Maybe he'll think Chris had contact with an um...unsavory person and was infected by the slut-virus." Here I looked pointedly at Ren, waggling with my eyebrows for good measure. "Or, by a very small chance, he'll drag Chris to the nearest bathroom stall to continue in private and then Chris got himself a new boyfriend. But seriously, I doubt that is going to happen, and if it does, it's not because of his 'cool moves'," I scoffed.

"How would you react?" Ren then asked me, clearly unimpressed by my ranting.

As embarrassing as it might be, his calmness angered me even more. 'Who the hell does he think he is? Fucker!' Then I remembered that Chris had mentioned him before; he's half Japanese, half German, which would explain the pretty almond shaped eyes. I looked closer. Six-feet-two, sleek shoulder-length black hair, seemingly worked out a lot, screaming loud and clear 'I'm rich, I'm gorgeous and I know it!' Gah! Ew...

Of course my mouth fast, faster than my brain, and I asked, "Being Chris or being Mark?" Shit! I shouldn't have asked, shouldn't have played his game.

"Being Mark."

"Oh, either I'd stomp away from the dance floor, not to speaking a word to Chris for the next week because I would think he's fucking with me; I'd think he'd be infected by the slut-virus, or…"

"I think I get it," he snapped and I silently crowed. I was not the only one who got riled up here.

"So, how would you like to be… ahem… wooed?" He was mocking me, I knew that.

"Wooed, huh?" I grinned. "Is that even a word? Woo-ed?" When I saw him scowling, I cheered inwardly. Yes! Asshole. Take that! Then I kindly elaborated. "I prefer a more subtle and tentative approach, someone who is creative and doesn't try to woo me with a line I've heard a million times."

Don't ask me why I got so defensive with him, I just did.

"Or maybe, just maybe, I could like to be the woo~er and not the woo~ee?" Speaking of new words...

The fucker had the nerve to grin. "Interesting, and could it be that you predicted Mark's response like you did because it would be the way you would like him to react?"

Ouch. Sore point. "And why would I want that?"

"I don't know, perhaps because you're not over him yet and want him for yourself, rather than seeing him with someone else, even if it was Chris?"

How a man could grin that evilly? I paled and I knew it and at this moment, I hated Ren with all my fucking heart. In minutes he had figured out my best kept secret, or my thought-best-kept-secret. Had I been that transparent? And for him to speak it out loud in front of Chris?

He had caught me and I felt embarrassed, devastated, crushed, dead. I think I kept my face blank nevertheless, at least for Chris. I couldn't stay there a minute longer, though, or I'd have lost it.

"Hah, you know what Chris, although your friend -Ren was it, right?- is quite amusing, I'm not in the mood to laugh that hard, so I think I'll leave you two alone - rehearsing? See you tonight." I left.

I know Zack, lame, but it was the best I could do.


I didn't feel like clubbing that evening, so I stayed at home working. Which was weird, even for me...Jonah working...on a Friday night! And because I didn't want to think about Chris and Mark or even Ren - Ren just ew -I poured myself a nice glass of red wine, my I'm-alone-and-I'm-comfortable-with-it-beverage, changed Chris' ring tone from 'Peacemaker' to 'Dancing Queen', and went to bed early. What? Sometimes I like to be childish.

I dreamt of Rumpelstilzchen jumping around me screaming, "You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life". When I finally registered it was my phone it stopped. Just when I started to fall asleep, it rang again.

"What?! Chris it's about 2 a.m., someone's trying to sleep here!"

"You mean you were trying to sleep." Hah, the guy could be so funny. I hung up. Guess what, it rang again.

"Chris I'll kill you!"

"Jonah, come on, meet the new boyfriend!"

"And that can't wait till tomorrow?"

"Nooo, please! Besides it is tomorrow."

What can I say? He had a point. I opened the door and there stood Chris and Mark, who had both arms around Chris' waist, grinning at me apologetically. I had a bad feeling. Lifting my gaze I saw Ren leaning with his left shoulder against the wall beside my door, arms crossed over his chest, grinning mockingly. I never had felt the urge to kill something, or more precisely, someone, as strong as I did then.

"Well surprise - I think? Come in, come in, let's celebrate then. Somewhere hidden on my terrace should be a bottle of champagne, and since it's twenty-three degrees outside it should be the right temperature to drink." You can't even imagine how proud I was of myself, giving the extremely-pleased-supportive-glad-for-my-friends-f riend; even if I was babbling.

When Chris and Mark were through the door and Ren started to come in also, I closed the door quickly right in his face and he had to pull back very fast, otherwise the door would have crushed his nose. Yay me!

The boyfriends went into the living room, immediately kissing and cuddling on my new sofa as I got the glasses and the champagne. Just when I was opening the bottle, Mark suddenly asked, "Hey, where's Ren? Didn't he come upstairs with us?"

"Ren?" I asked innocently. Hey, I was so good.

"Yes, he drove us here, and I think he came with us, did he not, Chris?"

"Sure he did, he was right behind us in the hall. It was his idea to come here and tell Jonah the good news, after all."

"Is that so?" I asked barely hiding my fury. Of course I remained where I was, so that Chris finally went looking for Ren. I held my breath, but fortunately, the fucker was already gone by then. Phew!