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Eighteen-year-old Alex Matthews is smart, good-looking, the star of most of the plays his high school puts on, and gay. Since he came out of the closet in middle school he's been tormented by the same group of boys he goes to high school with, the jocks on the baseball team who have shown him no mercy. He keeps to himself as much as he can and doesn't even tell his mother who raised him alone and has been his best friend. So, when his mother meets and marries the father of one of those very same boys an Alex is faced with a choice between breaking his mother's heart and living under the same roof as one of his tormenters, he chooses the latter. Now the question he faces is how to survive with Ryan Reed, one of the most popular guys on the baseball team living in the room next door. Alex tries to ignore him both at home and at school, but in spite of all of the years of strife between them, Alex begins to see something in Ryan that goes way beyond his hot body, gorgeous face and seemingly black soul. Can Alex save Ryan from himself, and if so, at what cost to his own life?
Ryan Reed is good-looking, athletic and one of the most popular seniors in school. He's grown up with a single father so most of what he's learned about life was how a "real man" would handle things. He has it in his head that masculinity also means keeping your emotions tucked away where no one can see them and they can't be used against you. He's learned how to channel his feelings into baseball and any angst that's left over is used spent in the torture he and his friend's heap on his new step-brother, Alex Matthews. Picking on Alex is not as much of an option now however since his father has warned him not to. But not participating in the actual bullying and doing something to stop it are two different things and Ryan's not ready to risk his reputation to save a boy he's not even sure he likes.