Irrevocably Intertwined(Into the New World #2)By: Frey Ortega
Into the New World 2
Twenty years on this earth, and the only thing in Jayce Barton’s mind was curling up in bed to wake up fresh and rested in the morning and heading off to a day of work. Adjusting his glasses a bit to ward off the glare coming from his cell phone, Jayce tapped on the screen of his phone continuously as he sent message after message after message. “So much for spending the day stress-free,” Jayce thought bitterly as he wrapped the thick blankets around his body and sighed.
He gently massaged his forehead, his face scrunched and eyebrows furrowed while he exhaled deeply. “In, and out,” Jayce sounded, over and over in his head as he attempted to calm himself down. There were days like these when he realized that a single day of peace was only really going to come if he knocked himself out with a tranquilizer dart and set his phone on silent.
Although the thought did seem like a good idea for just the tiniest moment, Jayce realized he couldn’t do that. If he did, he was probably going to get ousted from his position as treasurer of the student council. Being the one handling all the money was incredibly ironic, all things considered, because for all intents and purposes, Jayce Barton did consider himself destitute when compared to some of his classmates, the Hamptons home-owning ones who often asked each other where they summered. All of this, of course, he thought whimsically, in the image of his friends dressed in ostentatious dresses and tuxedos wearing monocles and having fabulously groomed mustaches.
Shaking the image out of his head with little more than a smile, it took him a moment to realize there was, and had been, knocking on his door. Clearing his throat, he adjusted himself to sit up and turned on his bedside lamp. “Come in,” he said, and as the door opened, Jayce did exhale. He saw the familiar visage of one of his best friends, Zack, who was dressed only in a pair of pajama bottoms that covered only his lower body.
“Oh, hey,” Jayce said in greeting, looking down at his phone and sending another quick text message to his classmate before he turned toward one of his best friends. “How are you? You got in a little late,” Jayce added, his voice roughened due to how tired he was.
Zack yawned as he entered the room without much fanfare. “Ah, yeah,” he said with a little shrug. “Rain was snoring when I got here, and I thought to disturb you instead. How are you today? Still being pestered by your student council friends?”
Zack’s voice was a low baritone, just as tired, if not more so than Jayce’s own. It was strange that the two of them were such good friends, considering Zack was about seven years Jayce’s senior and his boyfriend lived right in the same flat. In fact, Jayce shared the apartment with three different people, and it had been four just a few weeks ago. One of their roommates, Ethan, decided to live with his boyfriend in Queens, farther away from the rest of them than they expected. It did wonders for Ethan, though, because whenever they all got together now, Ethan seemed happier and much more upbeat than he had.
“Yeah,” Jayce finally replied after a few moments. “Things at the council are a little tough. I guess I shouldn’t have chosen to become the treasurer. Now they’re all hitting me up for funds when I’ve always told them that they need to go through the proper channels.” Jayce closed his eyes and let out his breath.
Zack laughed, settling into the bed beside the smaller man before raising his arms to tuck them behind his head. “It looks good on paper, but your extracurricular activities aren’t everything,” he said, turned looking up at the ceiling, trying to fight off sleep.
“I know,” Jayce replied with a noncommittal shrug. “I guess keeping busy is just a way for me not to feel like I’m wasting my education. It doesn’t matter if I’m completely tired, as long as I’m making the most out of my experience.”
Zack smiled, saying nothing more. He did wiggle himself into the blankets right next to his friend, however.
“You know, it’s hard to think about things when you’re right next to me and you’re shirtless. What would Rain say?” Jayce said, a smile on his face as his friend wrapped a strong, secure arm around him. The young man knew the gesture for what it was—simply an affection of friendship, and nothing more.