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  2. tim and Reader ‘this story is about choices good / bad right wrong so we will have to let tim tell us which way it Stavor chooses let’s hope “he chosed wisely “
  3. mikedup

    Chapter 2

    Interesting chapter, interesting times ahead
  4. Hermetically Sealed

    Chapter 23

    I would think if anyone was messing with will stuff, it'd have to be family. Tyler's mom would have nothing to do with a will, as they were divorced and Tyler is an adult. Now his aunt or dad's other s/o that abandoned him, on the other hand. I could see the them throwing a wrench into the works.
  5. Yes, but will he have the fortitude to go against his god if he thinks his god is wrong or up to no good? Time will tell. Okay , that’s it for me because I need to finish my coffee and get ready for the day. I’ll be out of wifi range until about 5 or so. Will check in laterz....
  6. Jrm1

    Tying Up Loose Ends

    Thanks, glad Maggie is now their with the other loved ones watching over the well being of the Hotel, and approves of Josh and Jake.
  7. chris191070

    Chapter 2

    Awesome chapter
  8. My lips are zipped. They are both binge worthy reads, so lucky you, rick. You’ll enjoy them both, that I guarantee.
  9. No, i won't say that, cuz you did. LOL. This story is an adventure, a journey. It is a physical one and a mental one for our characters. Stravor has been given his orders. He will need to carry them out or risk the wrath of their god. We will take the journey with them. Won't be much fun if i just tell you everything that happens.
  10. Hmm... I don’t quite remember it that way. Need to go back and read that bit again.
  11. Yep, now I know why the flooring my dad put down in my parents family room stands up better to nicks from falling objects than mine. Go figure a condo builder doesn’t put in top of the line (or closer to that) when they’re building a large project. Anyway, I digress (yes, I know I started it), back to Stravor. The dreamer in me wonders just how far and how deep the relationship between Stravor and Keter is going to go. I suppose you’re just going to tell me to wait, read the story, and see what happens. Right?
  12. You could be right ... Hemothracene warns Stravor about the boy and more, in fact he is pretty clear, saying kill him ... yet Stravor's own father warns him about the man-boy. So what does that mean?
  13. Canuk

    Chapter 20

    So the next installment for us Grainger whores ... fanatics, is in "a bit" . Being a mere Canadian/Australian, I am unaccustomed to this measure of time. I can all but hope it is akin to the Australian "bloody soon"....😁 Love the ingenuous, cunning, sexy bastard!
  14. After leaving the church, Joe drove to his walk-up apartment where he lived since his wife, Linda, told him to leave. It had been a surprise when he arrived home one night and there were his suitcases in the living room. His wife had packed his clothes that day and said it was time for him to move out and move on with his life. They had married right out of high school and were as happy as he thought married couples were supposed to be. They had a routine. Sunday was for church and then lunch with Linda’s parents. The entire afternoon was spent at their home. Linda’s brothers, their wives and children were always there. The house was filled with people, laughter, and the men enjoyed a few beers in the living room while the women gossiped in the kitchen. They were working class folks. There were no pretentions about how hard life was. Linda’s dad was a cop as were two of her brothers. They would joke it was the family business. Another brother was a defector and became a fireman. They were all big brute Irish guys. Joe, being Scottish, was seen as an outsider. Plus, he worked with his hands doing carpentry. They didn’t look down on him but rather thought that he didn’t have the smarts to either be a cop or a fireman. They indulged him and he felt the slight every week. He didn’t want to be indulged. He wanted to be treated as an equal. Linda’s brothers had all married and had two kids each. Joe knew that if one of the wives got pregnant with a third kid the other two brothers would knock up their wives also. It was always an unspoken competition among them. They were always trying to one-up each other. But the reality was they couldn’t afford to have more kids so Joe wondered how they kept their wives from getting pregnant. Hell, maybe they weren’t having sex. That was something Joe could relate to. He and Linda had not had sex in months. The last time he tried, Joe ended up on the sofa for the night. He had been so hard and needy and thought they could make it happen. They had gone out to dinner on Friday night which was the norm for them. Italian. They always ate Italian on Friday night. Joe ordered a bottle of wine. Business had been good and he decided to celebrate. He had signed a contract that day for a big job that would pay him lots of money. Linda lightly sipped her wine. Joe encouraged her to drink up. The more she refused the more he imbibed. Luckily, the restaurant was within walking distance of their apartment because he was too drunk to drive. They walked home with Linda supporting Joe when he would lean too far to the left or to the right. He would laugh and say it was a wonderful evening. He would also lean over and kiss her on the lips. She would push him away and say they shouldn’t do that in public. He told her what he wanted to do to her in private. She turned scarlet red. Linda did not like sex. Or more specifically, Linda did not like sex with Joe. She called him a sex maniac because unlike the rest of their life together he had needs that didn’t fit a fixed time schedule. On some days, he would arrive home from work, walk into the kitchen in his filthy work clothes, drop his pants, pull out his cock and try to fuck Linda while she was pushed back against the kitchen cabinet. She would beat on his chest and tell him to stop. She would resist at first and then her hips would start rocking and she would moan and tell him that he was ripping her apart. He kept up his assault, as she called it. Finally, he would deposit a man’s load into her and smirk when he pulled his cock out and thank her for a hot fuck. She hated that word. She hated what it meant. She would flee to the bathroom and Joe could hear the water running in the tub. He knew it meant another night when he would eat alone at the kitchen table. After arriving home from dinner Joe was amorous and needed to feel loved. He tried to kiss Linda. He felt her small breasts. He tried to lift her skirt and she pushed his hand away. He kept telling her that he loved her and needed her. She called him a pervert, ran into the bedroom, closed the door and then locked it. Joe knew he could easily break through the door but also knew that Linda would be so angry he wouldn’t get any. He passed out on the sofa, his turgid cock straining his pants. When he awoke Saturday morning, he noted that the apartment was quiet. Linda wasn’t there. He bathed and then fixed himself breakfast. Maybe she went shopping or maybe she had an appointment and he forgot. Maybe she had to go to her mother’s house and he dismissed the idea at the time. He knew that he was lying to himself. He knew that she had left him alone because she could not stand being with him. She knew his deep dark secret and didn’t want to carry the baby of a homosexual. God, he hated that word. He thought it ironic that he was gay but was able to have sex with his wife. He was more than capable. Sometimes he wished that his cock would go limp with her. But it didn’t. The more he tried to prove to himself that he was normal the more intent he became in fathering a child. He wanted a kid to prove to Linda, her parents and brothers that he was a normal, red blooded guy just like them. He didn’t make love to Linda, he was trying to breed her. He felt incomplete as a man without a little boy or two. Hell, with the contract he just signed they could afford three children. Ha! Let the Irish bastards keep up with him. He would sire a half dozen, struggle to pay the bills if he had to, just to outshine his in-laws. They lived in silent combat for several months after that night. Joe slept on the couch since they only had one bedroom. They both were depressed and it showed on a Sunday when Linda’s brothers asked him what the hell was going on. They said he looked miserable and so did Linda. Joe told them it was a small problem and they would get it resolved. They told him he needed to man up. One of the brothers grabbed his crotch when that was said. They all laughed; except Joe. He came home that Monday and Linda had packed his bags. When she told Joe to leave, all three brothers walked out of the bedroom where they had been waiting. They glared at him. Joe knew that Linda had told them. This was a set-up and Joe recognized he had no choice. He picked up his bags and walked down the steps of the apartment and placed them in the foyer. Joe went to the garage on the next block where he kept his truck, drove back to the apartment, picked up the bags and never looked back. One of Linda’s brothers found him one day, handed over the divorce papers, smirked and grabbed his crotch as he walked off. Joe moved into a studio apartment. His work continued to expand and he found that he had very little time for a social life. On weekends he started to explore the gay world of Philadelphia. He hadn’t known when he rented the apartment that he was in the middle of a gay neighborhood. All he had to do was to step outside and he saw gay men everywhere. He considered that it was a gift given to him. In his exploration of the neighborhood he discovered a coffee shop down the street from his apartment. On Saturday mornings, he would go there for breakfast. He would sit for hours drinking coffee, reading the newspaper, and looking at the patrons who would come and go. Sometimes he would read the “Philadelphia Inquirer” through twice while he watched men. He would catch the eye of a good looking man but then wouldn’t know how to proceed. He was shy and unsure of himself. It took an assertive man one morning to make a move on him before he shared his bed. Afterwards, he thought he was in love. He lay in bed holding and kissing the man. He felt complete. The simple act of coupling left him vulnerable to the emotional rollercoaster that became his life. He equated sex with love and didn’t understand why other men didn’t see life the same way. It took a few months before he had hardened his heart to the emotional toll that resulted from another erogenous encounter that ended with the man thanking him for the fuck and then walking out. He realized that he wasn’t cut from the same cloth as those who were just out for a physical release. He needed someone who also knit the physical with the emotional. Joe wanted a partner. Someone to be with every day for life. Joe thought he found that someone in Bob. Joe and Bob had been dating for two months when Bob lowered the boom. Bob told Joe that he was too possessive and he wanted to date around and see who else was available. Joe had been thinking that they would get an apartment together and set up housekeeping. Joe had made a mental commitment to the relationship and saw them together for the rest of their lives. Such was Joe’s view of how the world functioned. After Bob’s startling denouement, Joe decided he needed a break from dating. He was laser focused on his work and was even more successful. He was making enough money that he could buy a house, furnish it, buy a new work truck and take a vacation any time he wanted. He did none of those things. He put the money into a savings account and thought that someday when he needed a life change, he would have the money to make it happen. Joe also put his heart into a bank vault that he swore he wouldn’t open and make available to anyone again. He couldn’t stand the sexual transactions that left his bereft and incomplete. When he met Thomas he had totally retrenched and wasn’t interested in dating anyone. Much less a priest. He didn’t know then that when Thomas saw something or someone he wanted, that he was persistent until he got what he wanted. They each carried a lot of hurt and were looking for the same salve. Thomas had grown up in the low country of South Carolina. His father’s family were transplants; meaning that they did not trace the family line back to the founding of the colony. The family had settled on John’s Island after the ‘late unpleasantness’. His great-great grandfather had settled in the area after the war rather than return to the harsh existence in Maine. He actually wasn’t a carpetbagger as he didn’t have the money but rather was a hard working man who built his small fortune from setting up a seafood distribution system for the fishermen. His business acumen paid off and the family settled in. His grandfather added to the fortune. The family was respected but never included in Charleston society. Thomas’ grandfather had married a local beauty who was of Charleston proper. She moved herself and many family possessions to the plantation that Thomas’ grandfather had purchased. He had restored the home, filled it with priceless southern furniture and married a local woman thinking that would buy him a place in society. He was wrong. It was after Thomas’ parents married that the family was invited to the inner circle society events. Thomas was even invited to the St. Cecelia Ball each year. That was something his grandfather had striven for but had not achieved success in that pursuit. At last, the family had made it into society. Thomas was an outstanding student. Tall, handsome and athletic. The local girls wanted to date him but it was the members of the football team who drew his attention. His parents wanted him to attend the Citadel but he decided he wanted to go to the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. It was while he was a student there that he decided he was called to a vocation in the church. He had attended St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Charleston faithfully while growing up but he was always attracted to the pomp and ceremony of the services plus the beautiful historic church that kept him going back Sunday after Sunday. His parents were disappointed that their only child had chosen a life in the church. He told them he was Episcopalian and not Catholic. He could marry when he found the right girl though Thomas knew there would never be the right girl. His mother was particularly upset wondering what would happen to the family furniture, the plantation, the family business. Thomas was somewhat cavalier with her which he regretted later in life when her will stated that everything was to be sold. He told her he chose God not the Chippendale furniture even though he loved the furnishings of the family home. He finished his bachelor’s degree and then entered seminary. He had settled into a beautiful apartment in Sewanee which his mother had decorated. Few of the students lived in such pleasant surroundings. When he completed his degree, he was ordained as a deacon and sent to a church in Nashville. Again, his mother decorated his house using family heirlooms. He lived in an older neighborhood near the University. The city gave way to a neighborhood with quiet streets and early 20th century houses primarily of Arts and Crafts architecture. His yard was filled with pine trees and azaleas. It looked like home, it looked settled. The rooms were filled with light that reflected off the oak and walnut furniture, the oriental rugs and oil paintings. His den had oak lawyer bookcases filled with historic tomes and his current religious books. The leather Chesterfield sofa in a deep green looked old and well tended. The house felt like he had lived in it his entire life. Being young and athletic he oversaw the youth program at church. It was difficult for him. The young men were tempting but Thomas knew to keep his hands to himself. He couldn’t afford the emotional attachment or the scandal. Several of the young men let him know they would only be too happy to jump into bed with him. He was tempted but ultimately resisted. He continued at the church and was ordained to the priesthood. He was seen as a rising star in the church and the diocese. It was after his ordination that he started venturing into the city life of Nashville. He discovered that Nashville was a big city but a small town. It didn’t take long before the rumors started about him being seen in the gay bars in town. He immediately went back into the closet and stayed home except when he was at church. He didn’t put himself in a position of being gossiped about. He even started dating women. Something he had not done since high school. The call from the Bishop’s office startled him. He was told that the Bishop would like to meet with him the following week. He started to build his defense testimony regarding the rumors. He prayed. The more he thought about his defense the worse he felt. His prayers turned into pleas with God to get him through this mess. He tried to bargain that he would never have sex with a man again. It was to no avail. He had made himself so sick that he was not able to preach that Sunday. He knew that his life could not continue on this pathway. What would happen if he told the truth? He was in a daze as he drove to the Bishop’s office. It was a pleasant enough meeting. The Bishop said he was following up with Thomas since his ordination and wanted his thoughts on where his pastoral career might take him. “You are too talented to remain the assistant priest in a parish. Where do you see yourself in five years?” Thomas was stupefied as he hadn’t thought about that. He assumed he would continue in the parish until the elderly rector retired and then he would move into that position. “Let me suggest that now is a good time for you to be looking for a parish. I think, perhaps, that Tennessee is too small for you. Too backwards. Too narrow minded……” Thomas could only look at him and wonder what he knew. “I think the Northeast might be good for you. They seem to be more liberal minded. Either that or the west coast. It is important that you be in a place where you can be yourself. You should not have to live a lie.” Thomas could only nod his head. “Keep me apprised as you progress with your search. Our deployment officer will work closely with you to find a suitable parish. Do not sell yourself short. You have many gifts that parishes would love to have. But look at parishes outside of this diocese, please.” Thomas knew that the Bishop knew. He also knew the Bishop was conflict avoidant and was giving him a pass rather than confront the reality of Thomas being gay. Thomas undertook the search process with the same rigor he used in his studies where he was a Dean’s list student. That led him to Philadelphia.
  15. Oh, and I do think Hemothracene is bad and he/it wants to destroy Keter (with a name like Keter, he has to be good, imo) because Keter is the one destined to topple Hemothracene and bring goodness and light back to the Land. Am I right or am I right? Okay, that’s a bit fanciful, but you get what I’m saying.
  16. Oh yes, the Janka Hardness Scale ... wow who knew? For those super interested.. http://www.superiorflooring.ca/education-center/janka-hardness-scale
  17. Drewbie

    Chapter 1

    Enjoying the story so far please keep up the good work
  18. All the work you put into making those stories “right” showed. All those details like the Janta(?) rated flooring helped make those stories real as if it was possible to meet Don and Louis someday. I keep hoping...
  19. Today
  20. I'm enjoying the story so far please keep up the good work :)
  21. Katya Dee

    Interlude

    Interlude “Tell me everything.” “I already did.” “Do it again then!” “Fine, fine… Calm down.” “Don’t tell me to calm down!” “Okay, I won’t. They are going to pronounce him dead at eleven-forty-five on December thirtieth. She’ll find out about it at twelve-forty-seven in the morning of the thirty first. She is going to realize that it’s her fault. She will jump at one-thirty in the morning on December thirty first.” “Oh, God… Seth, what am I supposed to do?” “I don’t know.” “You saw her. You know what condition she is in… She won’t even talk to me, you realize that, right?” “Right.” “Then what the hell am I supposed to do?” “I don’t know. Figure it out.” “Shit…” “You can start in two hours.” “I know that.” “Just saying.” “I’m gonna go…” “Umm, Rayne?” “What?” “Umm, your disguise…?” “None this time.” “Huh… You sure it’s…” “Yes, I am sure. Now leave me alone. I gotta think.” “Okay… Rayne…” “What?!” “Merry Christmas.” “Ugh…!”
  22. - XIII - LEX Thanksgiving came and went, nothing spectacular, the same turkey as always. Russell was ecstatic to get his car finally. Jess was acting stranger and stranger every day. Sometimes, it seemed like she could go without any sleep for a full week, and then she wouldn’t get out of bed for the entire weekend. Her eating habits were bizarre as well. I was having really bad suspicions about the whole thing, even though I really didn’t want to believe it. I knew that sooner or later, I would have to talk to her about it. I was never a fan of pep talks or interventions, and I never believed that those actually worked. Well, maybe sometimes they did, I don’t know. I promised to myself that if nothing changed in a couple of weeks, I’d definitely talk to her. She'll probably tell me to go to hell, but I’d do it nevertheless. Talk to her, I mean, not go to hell part. Although that could be entirely possible as well, you never know. Russell and I hung out all the time now. I couldn’t help myself -- I fell for him more and more every time we spent time together. Jess would ask me if we made some bizarre no-sex pact or something like that, and I would avoid the conversation like a plague. Finally, she stopped asking me, and it seemed like she couldn't care less about the whole thing. The truth was that we never made such a pact. It was more like a silent agreement between us. Neither of us spoke about it, but neither of us tried to push anything further. So far it worked. Today was the first Friday of December, and when I got home from school, there was Jess, sitting on the steps, waiting for me. She was chewing on her fingernails, dark circles underneath her eyes so huge that she looked like a panda bear. “Hey,” I said when I got closer. “What’s up?” “Hey,” she muttered back and stood up without pulling her finger out of her mouth. “Can I borrow a hundred bucks? I’ll pay you back, I swear!” That was another thing with her lately. She was always one of those people who hated borrowing money. Every time she had to do that, it looked like she was about to get her teeth pulled. But in the last month she borrowed probably five hundred bucks from me. I knew that she’d pay me back sooner or later, so I didn’t care. I was lucky enough not to have money problems. As I mentioned before, I am fairly good when it comes to computers, and I can fix pretty much anything. So I would always have people asking for help, and thus, I never ran out of money. That and my mother kept sending me two hundred bucks or so every two weeks, even though I told her a hundred times to stop doing that. She just ignored me, and continued with her 'financial help' as she called it. I had to admit, it was nice, so I stopped bitching about it and just accepted the good thing. I hated being a dick to Jess, but the truth was that right now money was sort of tight with Christmas coming up and all. I also ended up upgrading my cell phone, and that cost me a hefty amount. “Jess,” I sighed. “I can spare maybe fifty bucks, I’m sorry…” “I’ll pay you back!” her voice flew up a desperate octave. “I swear!” “I know you will,” I nodded. “That’s not the reason, okay? The holidays are coming up; I have a couple of payments I have to make, so I really don’t have much money right now. I am sorry! But as I said, I can spare fifty bucks if you still need it.” She chewed on her fingernail with great gusto. “Fine,” she snapped finally. “Fifty is better than nothing…” “Wanna come in?” I pulled out my keys. “It’s cold out here. I’ll make coffee.” “Yeah,” she muttered. “Sure.” Ten minutes later, I was debating with myself whether to do the whole intervention thing or not. “You okay?” I asked finally, and she just moved her head jerkily. “I’m fine,” she said. “Why?” “Never mind,” I said, thinking that now was probably not the best time for the talk that was looming in the back of my mind. She grabbed the check I wrote for her, shoved it into her pocket, and said that she really needed to go. “Coffee’s almost ready,” I said. “No time,” she muttered. “Thanks, Lex! I’ll see you later.” She ran out the door, and then I heard her angry yelp. “Dammit!!” I went outside to see what that was about. Apparently, she ran full speed into Russell who was on his way up the steps, and almost fell down. “You okay?” he asked, and she shook off his hand. “Fine,” she snapped. “Watch where you going!” I watched her get into her car and I bit my lip. Crap, I have to talk to her. The sooner the better, too. Russell walked in, his face thoughtful. “Coffee?” I asked. “Always,” he nodded. “I think she’s in some deep shit,” he said suddenly. “I know,” I grimaced. “I’ve been thinking the same thing… What do you think she’s doing?” He took the mug out of my hands and sat down. “I don’t know,” he said finally. “But it looks hard-core.” “Ecstasy?” I offered, and he immediately shook his head. “I don’t think so. You don’t get a come down like that from ecstasy. I tried that shit when I was seventeen. It can mess you up pretty bad, but nothing like what she is going through…” “Coke?” “Mm-mm,” he shook his head again. “It’s way too expensive. I’d say crack or meth.” “No way!” Now it was my turn to do some violent shaking. “Not Jess!” “The symptoms fit,” he shrugged. “You live with her,” I frowned. “Is she doing anything at home?” “Breaks stuff mostly,” he shrugged again. “I tried talking to her, but every time I say something, she literally snarls at me. So I left her alone.” “Son of a bitch,” I sighed. “I’ll talk to her. I've been thinking about it for a while now..." “Well,” he set his mug on the table. “Let me know when you gonna talk to her.” “Why? You wanna help or something?” “God, no!” he said seriously. “I’ll get out of the apartment.” “Great,” I sighed. “I don’t think she likes me much,” he said. “I don’t know why, but every time she sees me, she gets this look on her face… You know, the one that says, 'If I knew I’d get away with murdering you, I would've done it by now'? That sort of look…” “You are seeing things,” I snorted. He shrugged. “Maybe.” He dropped his head on his elbow and looked at me very thoughtfully. I drank my coffee in silence, leaning on the counter. “What?” I asked finally after several minutes, when he just kept staring at me. “Thinking,” he said seriously. “About?” I finished my coffee and set my mug aside. “You look like you planning something…” He sighed and got up. “Close enough,” he nodded and stepped closer to me. “I am trying to come up with a really good excuse, actually.” “An excuse...?” I frowned. “For what?” “This,” he said simply, and the next thing I knew, his mouth was on mine. Unlike that night in early November, when he kissed me like it was the last thing he would do in this life, right now he was really slow and gentle. My head was spinning and my heart was trying to jump into my throat. I put my hands on his shoulders and kissed him back. I had no idea if that was the right thing to do or not, but I didn’t care. He pulled the hairband off my ponytail and buried his fingers in my hair. It felt like his fingers sent electrical currents down my entire body. We kissed for what felt like an eternity, and I didn’t want it to end. Finally, he slightly pulled away and pressed his forehead against mine, his hands still tangled up in my hair. “I couldn’t come up with any excuse,” he muttered, his breath warm on my face. “That’s a good excuse right there,” I said, my breath nowhere near normal. “You think so?” he straightened up and looked at me seriously. “Yeah,” I breathed. “Hmm,” he said thoughtfully. “I am better than I thought…” I laughed, and then he kissed me again, and this time, we didn’t come up for air for a very long time. _____________________________________ JESS It’s a week 'till Christmas; there is holiday spirit everywhere; Santa Clauses keep “Ho-ho-ho”-ing everyone in sight; Christmas music has taken over every single radio station and store around. I used to love Christmas. Right now, I hate it. I don’t have a slightest idea how I managed not to flunk anything in school. Remember how I said that I would do the damn drug until the end of the semester, and how it would help me to stay on top in school? Yeah, right. By the end of November, I couldn't care less about school. Somehow, I managed to finish this semester with three C’s and several very shaky B’s. Still surprises the hell out of me. I thought I’d flunk everything. It’s officially Christmas break now, and this is the time when I was supposed to start my detox. Right, like that ever gonna happen… Oh, and yesterday I found my new low. The sad part was that it didn’t even bother me. Oh, now you want to know what I did, huh… Well, now that my share is not seventy bucks anymore but a hundred instead, that puts me in constant need for money. The eightball lasts maybe two days for us now, which means I have to cough up two hundred bucks every week. That’s eight hundred a month. I have no idea how much I owe Lex by now. Used to make me feel guilty, but now I don’t even give a crap. But anyway, I had to pay my hundred yesterday, and of course, I didn’t have it. I thought about asking Lex again, but then figured that it would be absolutely futile. Plus, he’s been trying to 'talk' to me for almost two weeks now. I knew exactly what he wanted to talk about. Lex is not a complete idiot, even though the thought had crossed my mind, because guess what? Russell and him are fucking each other’s brains out now. That’s idiotic in my book. I mean, how thick can someone get, really? Does he seriously believe that Russell doesn’t see that guy Brian every time he sees Lex’s face? Come on! But anyway, it’s his problem. I don’t even care anymore. To be honest, he is really annoying lately. But enough about Lex. Back to yesterday when I needed money. So I needed cash, which I didn’t have, so what did I do? I went into my beloved roommate’s bedroom, and I went through every single drawer and pocket that I could find. Finally, I came across some cash -- almost two hundred bucks, to be exact -- and I could almost hear angels sing. That would solve my money problem for a whole week! So yes, that was my new low; and nope, I didn’t feel anything but giddy joy after I stole that money. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night, completely horrified of everything I was doing. I would cry until my head felt like it was on fire. I would make all kinds of promises to God, myself, and whoever else came to my mind, that I was going to stop this insanity. But then in the morning, I would just go back to Landley’s (who looked like hell lately, by the way), and the whole thing would just start all over again. Maybe I’ll be finally able to stop… I mean, Christmas is almost here. There is such thing as a Christmas miracle, right? Yeah, whatever…
  23. Butcher56

    Oce Chapter 15

    Fantastic chapter and story. I’m glad that the restoration project was such a huge success and the tourism is going well with positive reviews from the first visitors to the islands. The animals reintroduced to the island was a great idea by the parks and wildlife service in the area and after their two days they were very impressed by the work done by Travis and his staff over an 18 month period. Thank you for the fantastic story of Travis and the rest of the people from Aquaria and Oceania I always love to read what they have for them as they have done many things over the years.
  24. Strange music from north of the US border? Did the deposed despot get into another farting contest with Michael Moore?
  25. MythOfHappiness

    Chapter 2

    Chapter 2 When I get home I find my aunt has left a casserole on the dining table. She also cleaned the house in her usual haphazard way, shoving things into closets and behind the couch to make the room appear marginally neater. I’m not hungry so I shove the dish into the mostly empty fridge. I guess I’m gonna have to buy food at some point. When I close the refrigerator door I am confronted with a list of groceries that my father had written and stuck to the door with a magnet from our trip to Las Vegas three years ago. “Eggs, Bacon, Bell Peppers, Corn, don’t forget to call the internet company”. I need to do something, anything. I turn on the tv. Some sitcom about young people living in a far-off coastal city that I’ll never visit. Perfect. I don’t think for several hours until I get hungry enough to risk trying my aunt’s cooking. This time I don’t look at the list. It’s edible. Not good but not bad either. When I’ve finished I take my dish to the sink and notice a paper laying on the counter where I dropped it when I came in this morning. It’s the boy’s number. I also realize that I am still wearing his tight yellow shirt. I pull out my phone and dial the number. It goes to voicemail and a chipper voice answers “Hey, this is Ash!” and then there is an extended silence with occasional shuffling before the beep. “Uh… hi. This is Kenan. From before. I have your bag and stuff. Call me back.” It wasn’t until after I hung up that I realized I forgot to leave a number. So I call again and leave a somehow even more awkward follow up message with my phone number and also address for some reason. I think I’ve gotten too far away from the situation because I’ve forgotten how annoying he was and am suddenly thinking about the way that he looked in running shorts. Which, as I’m sure you know, is not a line of thought that is particularly conducive to reasonable conversation. He did burn my third favorite shirt though. It’s about two hours later when I hear a knock on my front door. I’d busted out the last carton of ice cream and was just about halfway through the pint, so I put it down on the table and paused the tv. To my surprise and annoyance, standing on my doorstep was Asher. “Um… hi?” I say, somewhat surprised to find this weirdo pyromaniac pretty boy on my stoop. “Hey. You asked me to come pick up my stuff? Also, you’re wearing my shirt.” He points at my chest, still proudly declaring my love of both the Iowa State Fair and the color yellow. “Oh. Right. Come in.” Suddenly I feel like crawling into a bush somewhere and just staying there forever. Why am I embarrassed? He burned my shirt. I scoop up the bag with his clothes suddenly very aware of how obvious it was that I had been digging around in it. He takes it from me and then just sort of stands there looking at me. “Uhh…” He gestures. “Oh! Right… you want me to…” I start to pull off the shirt and then realize that I am both a dumbass and inside my own house. “I’ll just go upstairs. You wait here.” In my room I realize that I am freaking out and I’m not sure why. Something just threw me off when I suddenly saw Asher, standing at my front door. Why am I so worried about this stuff. I should be pissed at him. My third favorite shirt! I take off his shirt and switch to my fourth favorite shirt. Back downstairs and he has moved to the living room. He’s looking at a photo of my mom and my little sister from a fishing trip last summer. I don’t comment, just hold out his shirt. “There you go. You’re welcome, I guess? You owe me a shirt.” He nods and takes it from me. “I’m really sorry. Sometimes I can’t help it. Can you not… tell anybody about this?” he reaches into his pocket and hands me a twenty dollar bill. “For the shirt.” “How can you not… whatever. Fine.” I pocket the twenty. “So, is it just you here tonight?” “... yeah. I live alone.” Never one to beat around the bush are you, Asher? Always cutting straight to the one thing you could say to hurt me. “Really? For how long?” He smiles at me and for a half second I feel weird and kinda warm, like I’m pointing my face directly at the sun on a clear day or standing too close to a fireplace. “Two weeks. Today was supposed to be my first day back to school. After.” “After? After wh… oh. You… oh. I didn’t know.” Suddenly he hugs me. “I’m sorry. I’ve just been awful to you haven’t I? Oh man, that’s why you were... Damn, I’m so sorry.” He pulls me tighter and I’m suddenly aware of exactly how close we are to each other. Pressed like this, tight and chest to chest, waist to - I push him off me, a little too hard, and jump back a foot or so. “Yeah. Very sad. Anyway, don’t you have somewhere to be?” I straighten my fourth best shirt. He looks a little hurt and now I feel bad for brushing him off. “Yeah. I’ll go ahead and go, if you’re…” he looks over at the still paused tv and half pint of now liquid ice cream “busy. But before I do, would you be willing to train with me? Please? I’ll do anything. Tryouts are in a month and I want to be ready.” His eyes beg and I am annoyed to find myself wavering under their gaze. “Fine. You can come with me on my runs in the morning. Where do you live?” He gives me his address which is only about three blocks out of the way of my normal running path. “Ok, I’ll be running by your house at about five fifteen tomorrow morning. Be ready, because I won’t slow down.” “I will! Thank you so much!” He starts to go in for another hug but backs of when he sees me flinch. “Ok. See you tomorrow!” Then he turns and again he actually jogs away, out my door and down the street.
  26. mayday

    Chapter 23

    What I really admire about your writing is that whatever scenario I come up with the next chapter always contains at least one surprise. And then, after reading I feel that this latest development is only logical, so I wonder why I was surprised in the first place. Thank God, Tyler has gotten out of that relationship! And I am so relieved to read that he could stand up for himself in the end. Still, his friends are exactly the right group to be there for him - David, the father, Kyle the experienced one who sees and recognizes abuse and knows the "tricks", Andy who knows how to fight and who has finally found himself again - strange to see him well for the first time since ages while he is using his combat skills once more for a "good" cause. Jacob, Brian and Troy simply there for him. Thanks for another great chapter and turning-point.
  27. Changes and Changes, Again ... were labours of love. Changes took a full year to write because of the research. It was a long time and a lot of work but it had to be as right as i could make it. And frankly, after posting the first chapter one person commented that his husband had gone through the same kind of accident ... my heart stopped when i read that ... because it had never dawned on me that someone this had happened to would read that story. And it validated every hour i'd invested in learning about the subject. So if you decide to read it.. i hope you enjoy it and Don and Louis.
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