Notes, disclaimer, etc. in part 0. This part is rated R for language and a moment of well, you'll see.


"I'm so glad we were able to work everything out," Veronica said as she started shaving her legs. She waited for a moment for Dante's reply, but there was none. That was odd. She mentally shrugged and continued talking. "Are you sure you won't come with me to the college and talk to a counselor? I know you're tired of hearing about it, but you don't need an appointment and they're very helpful."

Veronica was so happy to have her man back in her life. They had worked out the "Caitlin issue," so that was no longer a threat. They had talked everything out, over one long night.

Dante tried to shut out Veronica's voice as he rolled over the bed to where his jeans had fallen the night before. He fished around in the pockets until he found what he was looking for. A creased, well-worn picture of Randal, smiling at the camera.

He rolled back to the middle of the bed, and held Randal's picture up with his left hand. Dante's other hand slipped under the sheets and into his boxers. He squeezed his stiffening cock as he took in the familiar sight of Randal once more. Oh, how he wished he could run his fingers through Randal's hair while he held him in his arms. But Dante knew that would never happen, because he was sure that Randal didn't feel that way about him.

Dante shoved such thoughts aside and focused on the fantasy. "Oh, Randal." he moaned as he started to stroke his dick. He imagined deeply kissing Randal, his goatee and mustache bristling against the smooth skin on Randal's face as they kissed. Dante closed his eyes, and gave in to the fantasy.

In Dante's mind, he slipped his hands under Randal's shirt, trailing his fingers up and down the smooth skin.

Veronica finished shaving her legs and walked out of the bathroom. "Dante, are you okay? You never answered my question." Her voice trailed off as she saw Dante.

"Oh my God! Dante, what are you doing?"

The picture of Randal fluttered to the floor, forgotten.

"Veronica! I, um." Dante's voice trailed off as he sat up in the bed. He made sure the sheets covered his crotch as he frantically tried to think of an explanation.

"Don't I satisfy you? Don't I take care of you in bed? To find you doing this, while I'm getting ready for school, is insulting! And in the bed we share, too!"

"Veronica, I can explain!" He leaned over the bed and hunted for his jeans. Finding them, he hastily got dressed and out of bed.

"Okay, I'm listening. Go ahead." Veronica stood there, trying to hold back the anger.

"I was just thinking of you, and I just couldn't help myself. You're so hot and sexy that I couldn't wait for you."

"Well why didn't you say so, Dante? Jesus! You're forgiven. Just try to make sure it doesn't happen again, okay? I mean, I think you're really hot too, but c'mon!"

Dante's shoulders sagged with relief. She had believed him!

Veronica turned to head back to the bathroom when she stepped on the picture of Randal. She heard the photo crumple under her foot, and bent down to pick it up. "Dante, what's this picture of Randal doing here?"

Dante tried to think of a reasonable explanation for the presence of the picture of Randal.

"I'm waiting," Veronica said. As she waited, she began to think. She had found Randal's picture close to where Dante had been lying in the bed. She realized what Dante had been doing. "Oh my God, Dante! Randal *was* right about you being gay!"

Veronica slapped him and then began shoving him out of the bedroom and towards the front door.

"But Veronica, I love you! That picture of Randal doesn't mean anything! I swear!"

"Get out of here! Dante Hicks, I never want to see you again!"

Veronica continued to push him in the direction of the front door, ignoring the protests from Dante. She opened up the door and shoved him outside. Veronica slammed the door, but realized that she still had the photo of Randal in her hand. She opened the door and found Dante standin g there, looking like a wounded puppy.

Dante's expression changed as he heard the door open again. "Veronica! I 'm so glad you changed your mind!"

"You forgot your boyfriend, you jerk!" she told him, slamming the picture of Randal into his chest. Veronica slammed the door one more time, leaving Dante alone, outside.

Dante stumbled back a few feet, stunned by what had happened.

Somehow, he found his way to his car, and got inside. Dante started up the Crown Victoria, its engine rumbling. Instinctively, he drove, half-blinded by tears, back to the house he shared with his parents. They were out, so he didn't have to explain why he had been crying.

Dante crawled into his bed and pulled the covers up. Soon, I'll wake up and this will all have been a bad dream, he told himself. He had nearly drifted off to sleep when the phone rang.

"Hello?" Dante paused to listen to the voice on the other end. "What do you mean he can't come in this afternoon? Are you sure?" He sighed heavily as he listened to the response. "Fine. I'll be in by two." The voice on the other end spoke again. "What? You want me to close, too?!" Dante sighed again and agreed.

He hung up the phone and slammed back down on the bed. This was turning out to be the perfect day, he sarcastically noted. How could he face Randal at work? Randal would take one look at him and know something was wrong.

Dante got up from the bed and went into the bathroom. He splashed cold water on his face and tried to think of something to tell Randal when he asked.

An hour or so later, Dante pulled into the lot of the local Snappy Snack Shack. He knew his ass would be fired if the boss caught him there, but they made really great coffee. He considered it his daily spitting of water at life.

He was pouring his coffee when someone bumped into him. Dante sloshed a bit of the dark brown liquid on the floor, narrowly missing his shoes. He turned to apologize to whoever it was, and nearly dropped his cup.

"Well, well. If it isn't Randal Graves's little friend."

"Tell 'em Steve-Dave!"

"Shut up, Walt," Steve-Dave told the shorter man. Turning to Dante, he asked, "So, the coffee at QuickStop isn't good enough for you? You have to come to the Snappy Snack Shack, near our store?"

Dante sighed. "Look, all I want to do is get my coffee and get to work. I could care less if Randal insulted the two of you while buying some rare Star Wars figure at your store."

Steve-Dave looked at Walt. "What did Randal call us again?"

"I think it was 'Twink Nazis'," was the reply. "And I'm pretty sure he called your mom a 'Kitten Groper.'"

Steve-Dave glared at Walt. "Shut up!" Turning his attention back to Dante, he pointed at him and told him, "You tell Graves to stay away from our store or else we'll kick his ass."

Dante shrugged and walked away. "Whatever," he muttered as he headed for the counter to pay for his coffee.

"You told him, Steve-Dave!"

"I *know* I did," was the exasperated reply. "C'mon, let's get this shit paid for and then we need to get to the store. Ever since Brodie opened his store, we've been losing business. We've got to come up with some way to get our customers back."

Outside of the Snappy Snack Shack, Jay was consoling Silent Bob.

"I told you we would go to the video store and see if they had a copy. Now stop crying like some little girl with a skinned knee!"

Bob pulled a tissue from a pocket in his coat and wiped his eyes. He looked over at Jay.

"C'mon, let's go! We'll never get there if we have to stop every damn time you start crying. It's just a video!" Jay grabbed Bob's crotch and gave it a squeeze. "And then we can get back to what we were doing before. Mmm. Yeah," he whispered as he flicked his tongue in Bob's ear.