Junior year hasnít started very well for Ives Fay; his father passed away over the summer and heís still having trouble accepting it, his mother is dealing with her own depression by chain-smoking and drinking, his sister finds it necessary to sleep with every guy she can in order to deal with her own emotions, and he has an androgynous stalker who comes to school as a guy one day and a girl the next. Itís all really messing with his mind. So he finds his escape in self-mutilation and bottles of alcohol stashed in his closet, hoping that the temporary fix will somehow become permanent. Then, when heís on a fast track to an early end, he meets Tomi, a guy so much like himself, but so very different. Could their nearly instant friendship be enough to save Ives from his dangerous path? And could Tomi give enough to be Ivesí saving grace?
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The Book Stash
Junior year hasn’t started very well for Ives Fay; his father passed away over the summer and he’s still having trouble accepting it, his mother is dealing with her own depression by chain-smoking and drinking, his sister finds it necessary to sleep with every guy she can in order to deal with her own emotions, and he has an androgynous stalker who comes to school as a guy one day and a girl the next. It’s all really messing with his mind. So he finds his escape in self-mutilation and bottles of alcohol stashed in his closet, hoping that the temporary fix will somehow become permanent. Then, when he’s on a fast track to an early end, he meets Tomi, a guy so much like himself, but so very different. Could their nearly instant friendship be enough to save Ives from his dangerous path? And could Tomi give enough to be Ives’ saving grace? Or will Tomi’s own troubles prevent either of them from ever finding happiness?
Two days later, Ives decided he needed to escape the house. It was a Saturday afternoon, and his mom was filling the house with cigarette smoke. As he was trying to decide where to go, Kylle walked into his room unannounced. "I'm going to the mall. I'll be there all day if you want to come." Apparently she knew exactly how he felt.
"Yes," Ives replied immediately, jumping up from where he sat on his bed.
Kylle abandoned him as soon as they got to the mall in Madison, and Ives found himself wandering toward a hair salon just outside the food court he had been ditched in. His hair was getting out of control, and was becoming brown again, instead of black. So he checked his wallet to see how much cash he had to spare, then entered.
He was assaulted by the smell of shampoo and hairspray before he even made it across the threshold. The blond girl at the counter took his name and told him there would be a twenty-minute wait. Having nothing better to do, Ives thanked her and sat down in the waiting area.
Two seats away from him was a guy who instantly caught his attention. He was the only other person sitting there, and he looked bored with the magazine he was flipping through. His hair was chestnut with faded black highlights, and hung in his face so that he had to hold it back slightly in order to see the magazine in his lap. His hand had chipped black nail polish and a couple of silver rings. He wore battered jeans, black sneakers, and a plain black hoodie. He appeared to be about Ives' height, which Ives happily noted. When he pulled his hair back further, Ives could see five silver piercings in his ear.
He also spotted Ives staring at him then.
Ives nodded to him. "Hey. You're pretty cute."
Pale green eyes blinked with surprise. "Uh... thanks?" he replied, blushing slightly.
Normally, that was the best part of the game, seeing the other person's reaction, but this time he realized that he actually wanted someone to talk to. He couldn't remember the last time he'd had a conversation with anyone except his sister and his teammates. "Okay, that's probably not a good conversation starter," he said by means of apology.
The other guy shrugged and flipped through his magazine some more. "It's a new one," he commented.
"I'm Ives," he offered.
"Tomi," was the reply, green eyes glancing up.
"'Toe-me'?" Ives pronounced it slowly and deliberately, finding it a very odd name.
"Pretty much." Tomi glanced at him again and noticed his Raynor archery hoodie. "You're on the archery team for Raynor?"
Ives nodded, deciding that the kid couldn't be from Raynor if they didn't recognize each other. "That's why I have the hoodie."
"You've probably seen some of my friends, then," the guy stated. He sounded excited.
"Your friends are on one of the teams?" Ives asked, slightly surprised.
Tomi nodded. "Madison."
Ives was even more curious. "Who are they?"
"One is Shauna Fabian," Tomi replied.
Ives thought a moment, then nodded. "She's okay."
"And Seth Salvador-Knight," Tomi offered next.
"Would that be S-K?Ē Ives asked, nodding. "He's pretty good."
"They're all better than I would be. What about Kiona Carson?" he went on.
Ives let out a surprised laugh. "You know Carson? Man, she is a fucking goddess of archery. She's probably one of the best in the league. Don't tell me you're friends with Kashmir, too."
Tomi smiled as he shrugged. "You mean Nelson? I sit with him and Seth at lunch a lot, so I'd say he's a friend."
Ives laughed again. "You think you could arrange for them to give me lessons?"
"Nelson and Kiona taught Seth how to shoot," Tomi replied, grinning. "But if they helped you they would be aiding the enemy, wouldn't they?"
"I would switch teams in a heartbeat just to have them give me lessons," Ives stated.
Tomi laughed. "I'm sure your team would miss you."
The conversation ended abruptly there, because the hairdresser came for Tomi, who set down his magazine. He waved to Ives as he followed the woman. "See ya."
Ives waved back and said goodbye. He was still smiling a few minutes later when another hairdresser called his name. Smiling was something he wasn't used to, at all, and he loved it.