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  2. Forevermotion

    Chapter 1

    Sweet little story. Loved it.
  3. Katya Dee

    Chapter 19

    - XIX - When he woke up, the room was bathing in sunlight. He blinked and glanced around, thankful for the fact that the chills were gone and he didn’t shake as bad as before. He propped himself on one elbow and reached for the water bottle. He drank some water, and then regretfully put the bottle away, remembering Desmond’s warning. He felt slightly nauseous, but it was nothing compared to what he felt yesterday. “Was it yesterday?” he thought with a small frown. “Yeah, probably... It was dark, and now it looks like it’s daytime... Hell, what’s the date today...? Dammit, where am I?” “Morning,” he heard, and turned his head towards the door. “You slept for fourteen hours straight,” Desmond walked closer, a small bowl in his hands. When he was close enough, Raven could smell chicken, and suddenly, his stomach revolted and his arm shot forward to grab the bucket while he was desperately trying to hold all that gurgling behind his teeth. “Oh, hell,” Desmond sighed and put the bowl on top of the small dresser, not too far from the bed. The smell was still very present, getting deeper into Raven’s throat, making him gag even more. “Smell... Bowl...Nngh...!” was all Raven managed before he started producing more bile. Desmond blinked at that, and then there was ‘Oh, shit!’ expression on his face. He grabbed the bowl and left the room. Several minutes later, he came back and swung the window open. “Sorry about that,” he muttered and looked at Raven when the dark-haired man finally stopped convulsing. He waited for another minute, just to make sure, then nodded, grabbed the bucket, and left the room again. He came back with a wet towel and another bottle of water. He cleaned Raven’s face, looking quite thoughtful. “Well, damn,” he said finally after giving Raven some water. “You need to eat something... Not chicken, obviously,” he nodded. “No... Food...” Raven said in what he thought was a firm whisper. “When was the last time you ate anything?” Desmond narrowed his eyes, and Raven honestly tried to remember. He had no idea. “You need to eat something,” Desmond nodded. “Yeah, you probably will throw it all up right after you finish it,” he shrugged, answering Raven’s silent, torturous question. “But something will still stay there... Seriously, you need at least something...” “What...” Raven closed his eyes. Goddammit, he thought furiously. He hated this! At least, he wasn’t still with Magda’s goons or Magda herself for that matter... Yeah, that was very good indeed. He sighed and opened his eyes. “What... date... is...” “April eighth,” Desmond nodded, and Raven just stared at him. April eighth?! He was injected for the first time on Wednesday... What date was that? He thought about it for a few seconds, and then remembered. March 27, he thought numbly. “Holy hell,” he blinked silently. “They got me longer than a week ago...?” He remembered Magda telling him that one time that all she needed was a week. “I guess it didn’t go as smoothly as she thought it would...” he thought with some weird dark satisfaction. He looked at Desmond again. “What happened...?” He was impressed with himself being able to say two words in a row. “You don’t remember?” Desmond slightly narrowed his eyes, and Raven slowly shook his head. Desmond sighed and sat down on the edge of the bed. “I was walking home yesterday afternoon,” he said. “Heard some weird noise, went to investigate... Saw two buffoons trying to shove you into the van, and you were resisting like a man possessed even though you were higher than a kite,” he nodded. Raven blinked at that. He was resisting? He remembered nothing. In fact, the last thing he remembered was that guy (“What was his name...? Marcellus...? Yeah, that’s it...”) injecting him after Magda left. They kept him under for more than ten days? He felt cold, thinking that he was very lucky he didn’t get addicted to anything. Otherwise, he would be in very deep shit right now; being on ‘dirty water’ for three days in a row was bad enough – it would guarantee someone at least four months of rehab. Being on it for eleven days... “Well, I tried to avoid violence,” Desmond was saying meanwhile. “It didn’t work,” he nodded. “Then, after you realized that you were safe, you passed out,” he finished. “Thanks...” Raven whispered. “Yeah,” Desmond shrugged. “Anyway, I am going to make you some toast. It doesn’t smell like anything, it’s dry and plain... Should be good,” he got up. “I...” Raven said, and Desmond simply waved his hand at him in a 'shut up' gesture. “I will also make you some tea with sugar in it,” he said and left the room. Raven sighed and closed his eyes, feeling exhausted. This last retching fit made him feel beyond weak. “I guess he is right,” he thought melancholically. “I do need to eat something... Shit, I need to call Julian...! If I was gone since last Wednesday and today is...” he frowned without opening his eyes, counting quickly. “Holy shit! It’s Monday! Crap, I need to call him... Except, I can’t talk right now... Goddammit...!” He helplessly gritted his teeth. Finally, he sighed once again and thought that he would try calling the blond tomorrow. He feverishly hoped that by tomorrow he would feel a hell of a lot better. 'Dirty water' or not, he still should be able to recover fast. Desmond came back fifteen or so minutes later, and this time, a tall, brown-haired man, whose expression was quite curious, accompanied him. “This is Gabriel,” Desmond said and put a plate with one single toast on it onto the dresser. Then he carefully set a mug with steaming tea next to it. “Give me your arm,” he said and pulled a syringe and some capsule out of his pocket. Raven immediately became wary. “This will help you with the nausea,” Desmond said patiently after seeing the look on his face. “Plus, it will help flushing all that crap out of your system quicker.” Raven frowned for several seconds, then bit his lip and gave Desmond a slow nod, stretching his arm towards the green-eyed man. “Interesting eye color,” Gabriel said thoughtfully, and Raven managed to grin weakly at that. Then he let out a small hiss and winced at the sensation of the needle piercing his skin. “Sorry,” Desmond threw a quick glance at him and slowly emptied the syringe into Raven’s arm. “Okay...” was all Raven managed. Desmond got up and put the syringe on the dresser. He grabbed the plate with the toast on it and sat down again. “Well,” Gabriel sighed. “I have to get back to work... I am glad you are feeling better,” he nodded at Raven. “Was curious as hell,” he grinned at the smaller man. “Had to see you in conscious condition...” Raven gave him a weak smile, and Gabriel left. Desmond set the plate in front of the dark-haired man, balancing it on the blanket. Raven stared at the toast with trapped desperation. He knew he had to eat at least some of it, but he felt as if he wouldn’t be able to swallow a single bite right now. Finally, he sighed, broke a small piece of plain toast, and carefully put it in his mouth. He was relieved when he was able to swallow it, and even more relieved when there was no immediate nausea as he was afraid would be the case. He ate a half of it, and finally, he couldn’t eat any more. “Done...” he muttered and looked at Desmond, feeling incredibly tired. At least, he wasn’t nauseous. “All right,” Desmond nodded and took the plate. “Here...” he said a few seconds later and brought a mug with tea to Raven’s mouth. Raven didn’t even try holding it himself; he was too damn tired, so he just pressed his lips to the edge of the warm mug and drank some of the faintly sweetened black tea. “Sleep now,” Desmond sighed after strange-eyed man dropped his head onto the pillow, looking beyond exhausted. He got up, grabbed the plate and the syringe off the dresser, and walked to the door. Right before he left the room, he stopped and threw a brief glance at Raven. The smaller man was asleep. **** He woke up the next morning, and felt so much better, he almost cried with relief. He was still weak, and there still was faint nausea splashing in the pit of his stomach, but in overall, he felt a hell of a lot better. He frowned when he realized that he needed to use the bathroom, and rather soon. The bedroom had a bathroom in it, so he figured that he would be able to shuffle there by himself. He was not going to throw that rubber ball into the wall, wait for Desmond, and say something like, “Take me to the bathroom, I need to take a piss...” He sighed and carefully got off the bed. The trip to the bathroom turned out to be not as bad as he thought at first. He had to hold onto the wall the whole time, but other than that, it went fine. He made his way back to the bed, still leaning on the wall, and sighed when he realized that right now, he was as close to being an invalid as it could possibly get. “Goddammit, Magda!” he fumed darkly while getting on the bed. “You are the one who did this to me! Fuck...! Who would’ve thought that Julian would be a hell of a better choice than Magda?” Thinking of Julian immediately sent some serious waves all the way down to his toes. He missed the blond so much right now that his heart started to ache. He blinked when he realized that; he never missed him before. “God...” he thought numbly. “I do love him...” He was still musing about that fact when Desmond walked into the room. “You look much better,” the green-eyed man said with approval. “I feel better too,” Raven nodded. “Holy hell, you can speak...!” Desmond’s eyes widened a bit, and Raven laughed. “Yeah... Hey, I need to make a phone call, is that all right?” “Sure,” Desmond pulled a small phone out of his pocket and tossed it at the smaller man. “I’m gonna go make breakfast... Toast?” Raven’s stomach growled at that, and he realized that he was starving. “Two,” he said quickly, and Desmond grinned. “Okay,” he nodded and headed out of the room. Right before he left, he stopped and looked at the dark-haired thief. “Whom are you going to call?” he asked with a hint of curiosity. “My...” Raven hesitated for several seconds. “...mate,” he finished in a softer voice, and Desmond nodded again. Raven waited until the taller man left, and then flipped the phone open and punched in the number he remembered by heart, his fingers trembling. He listened to several excruciatingly long beeps, wondering if the blond didn’t have his phone, when something clicked, and there was a very familiar voice: “Yeah!” The voice wasn’t anywhere near purring right now; it was sharp, tired, and pissed off. “Hey...” Raven said quietly and closed his eyes when there was nothing but stunned silence. “Raven...” the blond muttered finally, and he sounded like he wasn’t sure whether this was some sort of prank. “Yeah,” Raven said as quietly as before. “Where are you?” the sharpness was back. “Umm...” Raven opened his eyes and frowned. That was a very good question. “I am not sure,” he admitted. “I’ll ask, hold on...” He slowly got off the bed, making sure he was moving carefully enough not to trip and fall. “Are you okay?” sharpness was diluted with impatience now. “No,” Raven said honestly. “But I am alive, and I am free, so it’s all good... I just feel like shit, that’s all...” “How did you get away from her?” Raven blinked. He knows about Magda? Then he shrugged to himself. It’s Julian, he thought; he’d be surprised otherwise. “Some guy helped me,” he said, glad that he was almost by the door now. “Saved my ass, took me home, flushed all that shit out of my system... Yeah,” he nodded energetically. “I owe him, all right...!” “I owe him...” the blond muttered. “Ask him about the address.” “Working on it,” Raven nodded again even though he knew that Julian couldn’t see him right now. He made it into the kitchen in two minutes, give or take, and Desmond’s eyebrow flew up when he saw Raven’s shuffling figure. Raven sat on the chair and sighed with relief. “Hold on,” he said into the phone. “What is your address?” he asked Desmond. “Oh, right...” Desmond muttered, and then told him. Raven blinked when he heard the name of the city. “Holy hell...” he muttered and pressed the phone against his ear. “It’s...” “I heard,” the blond said busily. “You did...?” Raven blinked. “Good hearing you’ve got there...” “Can’t complain,” Julian agreed. “No wonder not a single damn Locator could find you! It’s all the way across the bloody world...! Goddamn... All right, I’ll be there in a few hours.” “Yeah,” Raven smiled, knowing that the blond was probably doing flight arrangements right now while still talking on the phone. “Shit, Raven...” Julian stopped talking and drew a deep breath. “I’ll see you in a few hours,” he said finally and hung up the phone. Raven sighed and closed the phone. “Thanks,” he handed it to Desmond, who simply nodded without saying anything. “He’ll be here in a few hours... Desmond, I just want to thank you for everything you did... Seriously, you...” “Don’t sweat it,” Desmond waved his hand and set a plate with two slices of toast in front of Raven. “Coffee or orange juice?” “Coffee!” Raven said with so much hunger that Desmond just hemmed. “All right...” He started working the coffeemaker. “So your mate is on his way then?” “Yeah,” Raven couldn’t believe how good the toast tasted. “He’ll be flying in...” “Does he need a lift from the airport?” “No,” Raven shook his head. “He’ll be fine...” He glanced at Desmond who was waiting for the coffeemaker to stop huffing and puffing. “Believe me,” he said with a small smile. “He is the type who can handle himself pretty much anywhere...” “Good for him,” Desmond nodded and handed Raven a full by now coffee mug. “Well, if you are sure you’ll be fine on your own, I’m gonna take off for an hour or so.” “I will be fine,” Raven nodded. “Thanks again!” “Welcome,” Desmond flashed him a quick grin. “See you later!” ...He came back home a couple of hours later, and glanced into the bedroom on his way to the office. Raven was asleep again or so it seemed. Desmond nodded to himself, wondering when the man’s mate was going to show up. He realized that he never asked Raven about what city he was from. Then he shrugged. Probably somewhere rather far, since his mate was flying in here. “Wonder how in bloody hell did he even get here?” he thought and turned on his computer. He was in the middle of putting together the final exam for his classes, when the doorbell rang. Desmond glanced at the clock. It was 2:45. That would be the mate, he thought melancholically and got up. He glanced into the bedroom on his way to the door. Raven was awake, and it seemed, he was about to get off the bed. “I guess that’s your mate,” Desmond said, and Raven’s expression became so hungry all of a sudden, that Desmond blinked. “I’m gonna let him in,” he grinned, and Raven quickly nodded without saying anything. Desmond made his way to the front door, took off the door chain, swung the door open, and then he froze in his spot, unable to blink or even breathe. “I received a phone call from...” the blond turned his head to look at him, and then he became mute.
  4. drpaladin

    Chapter 19

    Matt refers to Henry as still a boy. I believe he's shown more maturity than that.
  5. The next week was fairly hectic as the boys worked on various end of the year assignments and continued reviewing for finals, while at the same time Noah, Ryan, Brandon, and I were preparing for our trip. Friday night, Brandon checked with Noah and Ryan to make sure they’d packed everything they would need in the suitcase they were going to share. He also told them that they could pack their toiletries in the morning, since they’d be using them before they went to bed and again after they ate breakfast in the morning. He explained that we could load the suitcases into the car just before we left, seeing there would only be two suitcases – one they were sharing and another for Brandon and me. We had decided to take the car instead of the SUV, since it was just going to be the four of us. After a very early breakfast, we packed the final items into our suitcases, carried them out to the car, and loaded them into the trunk. The boys had put their books in their backpacks so they’d have those items with them during the ride, and we were on the road by 6:30. We’d planned on this early departure time since it was going to be a very long trip. Brandon offered to drive first, since we’d be sharing the duty, and I noticed the boys were sound asleep by the time we hit the interstate. They ‘napped’ for a couple of hours, and when they awoke I urged them to start hitting the books. I didn’t really pay much attention to what they were doing after that, at least until one of them spoke just before 11:00. “Are we going to be stopping soon?” Ryan asked. “We ate breakfast a long time ago and I’m hungry.” “Yes, we’ve been reading the signs to see what choices there are at each exit and we’ll stop as soon as we locate an establishment that serves something other than fast food.” That happened about twenty minutes later when we found a sign for a local restaurant that looked promising. The place turned out to be very clean, the staff efficient, and the food better than average. After we filled our stomachs, we made a short drive down the street to fill up the gas tank next, and then I moved behind the wheel to drive the rest of the way. Shortly after we’d crossed into Connecticut, I asked Brandon to call Elliot and let him know we were getting close. “Hey, Elliot, we wanted to let you know that we just entered Connecticut, but we’re going to check into the hotel first and freshen up. After we do that, we’ll drive over to the campus to pick you up so we can go out for dinner.” I took it that Elliot had no problems with our plan, because the next thing I heard was Brandon saying this. “No, we didn’t bring everyone with us, because it’s the end of the school year for the boys too and they’re busy studying for finals. We let Ryan and Noah come with us, because they agreed to study in the car. Love you and we’ll see you soon.” When we got to the hotel, we took our suitcases out of the trunk and carried them to the front desk to check in. As soon as we had our card keys, we headed up to our room, splashed some water on our faces, brushed our teeth, and made sure our hair looked good. Then we returned to the lobby and headed out to the car so we could drive over to the campus to meet up with Elliot. Brandon called him on our way there so he would be waiting at the front entrance of his residence hall when we arrived. He didn’t notice us at first, so I honked the horn and Brandon waved at him out the window to get his attention. As soon as he realized who it was, he rushed over to join us. “Hi, I’m glad you made it, but why didn’t you drive the SUV?” he asked as he climbed into the back with the other two. Unfortunately for Ryan, it forced him to sit between his two older brothers. “It didn’t make much sense, because there were just the four of us, and the SUV sucks up a lot more gas than the car.” “Yeah, I didn’t think of that,” he conceded. “I’m just glad you came, though.” “We wouldn’t have missed this for the world,” Brandon assured him. “And we’re going the film the ceremony so the others can see it when we get back.” “There will be more than one, so I hope that’s ok, and I’m eager to see the rest of them in a couple of days.” He then began chatting with the other two and catching up on what they’d been up to since he was home for Christmas, while at the same time directing me to a nearby restaurant. I realized we should have made a reservation in advance, because the place was packed and we had to wait, but we hadn’t done it because we weren’t sure what time we’d be arriving there. While we waited for our name to be called, we quizzed Elliot about the various activities that were planned for the weekend, and we only stopped our conversation when the hostess led us to our table. By this time we were all starving, so I ordered a couple of appetizers to tide us over until our meals were served, and thankfully it stopped the boys from complaining that they were hungry. Unsurprisingly, those items disappeared quite quickly, so we merely continued to sip our drinks and chat until the entrees were delivered. Even though Brandon and I attempted to chat with Elliot while we were eating, his responses were minimal so he could continue eating. I watched in awe as the boys’ knives and forks whizzed across their plates, and I thought I even glimpsed an occasional spark that was generated by this frantic activity. As this feeding frenzy began to slow down, Elliot made a suggestion. “If we hurry, I think we might still be able to get to the Yale Dramatic Association’s Commencement Musical.” “Is it worth going to?” Noah challenged, not sounding convinced. “It should be. Their performances are usually very high quality and it will probably be pretty funny too, so I think you’ll enjoy it.” Ryan and Noah agreed to give it a try, so after I took care of paying the tab we loaded into the car again and Elliot directed me on how to get there. It wasn’t as crowded as I’d expected, and Elliot explained it was most likely due to the fact that there were other activities going on at the same time. Once we located a good spot to sit, we settled in for the show to begin. As Elliot had suggested, the musical was quite funny and very well done, so we were happy that he’d suggested we do this. As we were getting ready to leave, Elliot asked a question. “Do you have two rooms or a double?” “I just reserved a double; since I thought only Noah would be coming with us.” “Queen or King beds?” “Two Queens.” “It will be a little crowded, but would you guys mind if I stayed with you tonight?” he asked as he looked at Ryan and Noah. “Nah, we’ll be fine,” Ryan responded, and then he turned toward Brandon and me. “I know we promised not to peek when you had sex, but I can’t vouch for Elliot.” “Ewww,” Elliot groaned. “I like sex, but seeing our dads making love is not a picture I want stuck in my brain.” The other two were laughing as he made his point. “I’m not worried, because nothing is going to happen, except for us cuddling while we sleep.” “In that case, I just need to grab a few things from my room before I go with you. The Worship Service starts at 10:00 and I want to have everything with me.” We didn’t have a problem with what he wanted to do, and when we stopped to let him pick up the things he needed, Ryan and Noah went with him so they could check out his dorm room. Brandon and I chose to wait in the car, and once they returned I drove over to the hotel. The boys took turns showering before they got in bed, but Brandon and I opted to shower in the morning. We knew we’d probably wake up before the boys so it wouldn’t be a problem, and we bid each other goodnight as we turned in. Brandon and I were awake by 7:00, so we took our showers without turning on the light in the room. The light from the bathroom proved to be more than sufficient, since we had taken the bed closest to it. As soon as we’d both showered, we woke up the boys so we could take advantage of the complimentary breakfast before heading over to the first activity of the day. The hotel would be taking a loss on this, since the five of us were taking advantage of the free meal, but I wasn’t about to feel sorry for them. Considering the price they’d charged me for the room, they would still be coming out ahead. Once everyone was ready, we drove over to the campus again for the University Church Worship. Since we attended church every Sunday, this would merely take the place of our normal service. It was well attended and I was pleased to see so many students there with their parents. The Church Worship was followed by the Baccalaureate Service, but this time Elliot had to leave us and join the other graduates on the floor of Woolsey Hall, while we went to sit with the other families. There was a horseshoe balcony overlooking the hall, as well as a third level at the end farthest away from the stage. I started to record the ceremony, which got underway with the Dean of Yale College offering a variety of readings, and that was followed by the Yale President giving a formal address. When the ceremony ended, Brandon, the boys, and I headed to the spot where Elliot had suggested we should meet him afterward, and when he arrived I immediately asked what was next. “We have time to grab lunch before the Class Day Exercises get underway, because it isn’t scheduled to begin until 2:00.” “Is that when you’ll finally graduate?” Noah asked, since he was becoming slightly exasperated with how the process was dragging out. “No, the Class Day Exercises is where they’ll present the academic, artistic, and athletic awards.” “Are you getting any of those?” Noah followed. “I don’t think so, but the entire senior class will be there.” “So when do you actually graduate?” Ryan wanted to know. “That will happen tomorrow morning at the Commencement Ceremony.” “Damn, do all colleges make you go through all of these things when you graduate?” Noah groaned as he looked at Brandon and me. “To some extent,” I answered, “but Yale seems to drag things out more than what Brandon and I went through when we graduated.” “And I’m not even taking you to everything, just the important or fun stuff,” Elliot added. “Thank god for that much,” Noah mumbled. “Yeah, cuz if all colleges were like this one I might reconsider wanting to go to college,” Ryan chipped in. Noah and Ryan seemed to perk up after lunch, and then Elliot told me where to park when we got back to campus, because he needed to stop at his dorm room before we continued. When he returned, he explained that we would walk to the next activity, and then he placed a weird looking hat on his head. “What the hell is that about?” Ryan demanded as he stared at Elliot. “It’s Silly Hat Day and all of the graduating seniors will be wearing a stupid looking hat along with their robe.” When we got there and were able to see some of the other ‘silly’ hats, Elliot’s didn’t look quite as crazy as we first thought. It just wasn’t something you would expect to see on the head of someone wearing a black robe. Along with announcing the winners of the various awards, there was also a keynote speaker. We were amazed to see who was giving the address. “Did you know Hillary Clinton was going to be doing this?” Noah asked. “No, Elliot didn’t happen to mention it,” I said after glancing at Brandon to see if he knew about this in advance. He merely shook his head and shrugged his shoulders in response. “It’s kinda neat, though, cuz I’ve never seen anyone as important as her in person before,” Ryan stated after hearing my response. Once this particular activity ended, we met up with Elliot again, and almost immediately Noah made a comment. “I hope there isn’t any more of this stuff we’ve got to go to now.” “Only one more activity tonight and another one tomorrow," Elliot responded. “I thought you might like to go to the Whiffenpoofs and Whim’n Rhythm Commencement Concert.” “So I guess it means there will be music,” Ryan stated while making a face. “Yes, and it should be fun.” “So what’s the other activity?” Noah followed. “The Commencement Ceremony, which will be held tomorrow at 10:00.” “Is that when you’ll finally graduate?” “Yes, although I won’t be getting my diploma then. They’ll mail it to me later.” “Ok, I guess I can hold out until then.” After going to a different restaurant for dinner, we headed back to campus for the concert. It wasn’t exactly a rock concert, but it was enjoyable and a nice way to unwind after a long day. “It wasn’t the best music, but there was plenty to look at,” Ryan commented after it ended. He’d been busy scoping out the various members of both sexes in the crowd while he listened to the concert. After going back to the car, we dropped Elliot off at his dorm, because he was going to spend the night there. He told us that he had to assemble with the other seniors at 9:15 to march in the procession that would begin at 10:00. The Commencement Ceremony was scheduled to start at 10:30, which meant we’d have a little more time to get ready in the morning than he would. After we dropped Elliot off, the rest of us went back to the hotel and Ryan and Noah showered quickly before settling in to get a little rest. Brandon and I agreed to shower in the morning again, and then we’d wake the boys to go with us for breakfast. After cracking the proverbial whip to get them moving after we’d awakened them, we had a quick breakfast before heading to our final stop on this lengthy and hectic weekend. We got there in time to take our seats before the procession of graduates entered Connecticut Hall, and I filmed them as they walked to their seats. It wasn’t exactly your typical high school or small college ceremony where the graduates paraded across the stage to accept their diplomas. Instead, the Dean of each academic specialty verbally petitioned the President to grant his or her request to bestow degrees on that particular group. Once this process had been repeated with each of the Deans, the various Deans and the Yale President awarded the honorary degrees to a dozen or more prominent individuals. Shortly after that had been completed, the Commencement Ceremony ended and we were free to leave. The previous evening we’d agreed to meet Elliot at his residence hall after the ceremony ended, because we knew he’d want to mingle with the other graduates first. When he finally arrived, we helped him load up his car, because we would be leaving as soon as that had been taken care of He’d packed up nearly everything before we’d arrived on campus, so all we had to do was help him carry the boxes down to his car. We placed some of the items in the trunk and loaded the overflow on the backseat, and since it didn’t all fit in those areas, we put the excess into the trunk of our car, next to our suitcases. It was well after noon by the time we finished, so we followed Elliot to another place to eat so we could grab a quick bite before driving home. “Are you going to follow us back?” I asked Elliot after we’d ordered. “Yeah, as long as you don’t drive too slowly.” “Don’t worry, Speed Racer, but I don’t think either of us wants to get a ticket on the way home.” He nodded in understanding. “We’ll stop for gas and change drivers at about the halfway point, just so you know what to expect.” “Can I ride with Elliot, and then I can split the driving with him?” Noah followed. I merely looked at Elliot, since this would have to be his decision. “Yeah, ok. I don’t usually let anyone else drive my car, but if you promise to be real careful then I’ll let you do it. It’s a long drive for one person to make, especially after such a busy morning.” “Yeah, and I promise to be really careful,” Noah agreed. “Besides, we’ll be following them back, so I won’t have to worry about getting lost.” “Just take your backpack with you so you can study while Elliot is driving,” I added. “I was hoping you’d forget about that,” Noah joked. “You won’t have to do it right away, because I’m going to let you drive first. That’s because I’m not sure I trust you to drive after dark,” Elliot explained. “That’s probably a good idea,” I agreed, “but make sure he cracks the books after you change places.” “Don’t worry, I will,” Elliot agreed before we split up. When we got in the car, I heard Ryan sigh before he spoke. “At least now I’ve got room to stretch out.” “So you should be comfortable while you’re studying,” I replied, which caused him to groan, but he didn’t comment. I drove first this time, and about halfway back we decided to stop, eat, use the restrooms, and fill up the gas tanks before switching drivers and continuing on. It was well after dark before we arrived at the house, and the other boys were already in bed. We told Ryan and Noah to head upstairs and get ready for bed too, because they had school in the morning. After releasing a few groans, they grudgingly did as they were told. Once they had gone, we explained to Elliot that we were going to turn in as well, since we both had to work in the morning, After we said goodnight to him, he gave us both a hug before we headed up to our bedroom, and then he followed Grandpa Josh to the family room so they could chat.
  6. Thorn Wilde

    Three

    I'm so glad these three found each other. The dynamic between them is so wonderful. Thank you for showing the world how wonderful and loving these types of relationships can be.
  7. Ginge_4

    Chapter 45

    Now with the name like David Cameron-Bell, all i thought with a name like that he was sick bastard and the more i read the chapter the more i was thinking, that name this story https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piggate
  8. Today
  9. DRINK Dave's readying in Nate's kitchen - PASTA
  10. chris191070

    Chapter 2

    Awesome chapter.
  11. Christmas holidays came all too rapidly. Henry was unpacking his locker again, and about to say goodbye to Ed. At least they would meet up the week after Christmas, when Ed had petitioned – in fact demanded – that Matt and Andy take Henry with them to the Rothenian Alps. As usual, Henry’s mum and dad were joining the grandparents somewhere sunny for that week, so everything was working out nicely. Rudi had likewise demanded of the parents of his growing number of straight friends at Medwardine – which included Mark Peters – that their sons join him for his winter stay at the castle of Zenda, south of the capital. David, though now out and proud at school, was one of this group too, and his attendance was particularly required in Rothenia because he was Rudi’s study buddy for their business coursework. The grand finale for them all would be Rudi’s New Year’s Ball in the capital. The monarchy was living up to the people’s hopes of providing a focus for the nation’s social as well as political life. Oskar had drafted a regular programme of major events and levées which would form a stable social calendar that would not disrupt the young king’s education too badly. Jammed in the edge of the hall mirror at home, so that visiting parishioners could admire it, was an ornate invitation card, gold embossed, from HM the King of Rothenia to Henry Robert Atwood Esq OHL. It was a nice Christmas. Ricky, Henry’s brother, was in a really good mood after having been reunited with his girlfriend, Helen Peters. Henry could hear the consequences of it if he paused outside Ricky’s room door when Helen was sleeping over. It had to be said that Henry, in his curiosity about the heterosexual urges he did not possess, lingered there a little more than was healthy, straining to catch the groans and squeals. He sneaked off, ashamed of himself, in the end. Henry’s dad celebrated services in five different churches on Christmas Day. As a result, by late afternoon he was lying comatose on the sofa in the lounge. Henry was going through his university options with mum, who agreed with him that Cranwell was the best of the bunch. Unfortunately, the finances did not look good. Between them, mum and dad earned enough to reduce the level of maintenance grant he could hope for, but not enough to offer much support. What was more, during Henry’s first year, Ricky would still be in his final year at Manchester. ‘Face it,’ declared mum, ‘we timed you two really badly. But you are at least going to get some sort of rebate on your fees if your grades are what you expect, and Cranwell does offer the best deal.’ ‘Cranwell McDonald’s it is then,’ sighed Henry. ‘I’m sorry, Henry,’ mum commiserated. ‘When you were born, university fees were not something we expected to have to pay, or we would have tried to save for them. Your university career clearly isn’t going to be as carefree as ours was in the eighties.’ Henry hugged his mum. ‘I wasn’t criticising, honest. I shall put my shoulder to the wheel. I want to do university and it’ll pay off in the end.’ Mum was still not happy, and indeed was a little resentful at another’s luck. ‘It looks like Edward will be enjoying a very different university career, with Peacher money behind him and the high table of Trinity in front. Yet you don’t seem envious, darling. That says a lot about you.’ ‘It’s the fact that we’ll be in two different universities that bothers me most. Ours is such a staccato relationship … on and off all the time. I’d hoped that cohabiting at university would be our chance to find out how compatible we really are.’ Mum gave him a narrow look. ‘That sounds almost as if you had some doubts.’ Henry sighed once again. ‘Not about him, mum. It’s me that’s the bother. I’ve not been a good boy. I played around with David Skipper, whom I fancied a bit, and I wonder if I can live up to the standards Ed expects of me. If we’re over a hundred miles apart, the possibilities of drifting away from each other are multiplied. I don’t think I can resist temptation. If I have an itch I need to scratch it.’ Mum gave Henry a calculating look. ‘Then perhaps you just have to give each other time to grow a little. Coming out so young has forced you and Edward to be more mature than your years might allow. Maybe in this case separation might be better. You both need space to grow. And, yes, I can see the guilt building up in you, Henry. You two may have had a rough time, but you are both sensitive boys and have learned a lot more about love than most people your age. The point is, you just haven’t had a chance to learn how exceptional your experiences have been.’ Henry laughed. ‘It makes me think about poor Fritzy. He’s on his third girlfriend now, and he’s only fourteen. All his little affairs seem to go wrong, like clockwork. But I see what you mean. By the time he’s my age, he’ll have more experience of relationships to draw on, and know better how to value them when they go right. Is that what you’re saying?’ ‘Something like that, although it’s complicated by your being gay, poor Henry. Life will never be easy for you.’ *** ‘So it’s to be Cranwell for you, is it?’ Matt White was smiling very indulgently at Henry. ‘Looks like, Matt.’. ‘Good old Finkle Road, how I miss it.’ Matt’s smile widened. ‘Seriously?’ ‘Well, yes. It may seem like a row of crummy terraces to you, but for me it represented my discovery of life. Finkle Road to me was what the Beagle was to Charles Darwin: where I really began.’ ‘That’s an interesting way of putting it. I hope it works out the same way for me.’ ‘University is about all sorts of education, little Henry, not just academic. Cranwell was very good for me. I still go down there from time to time; I’m a research fellow of the history department. Also, my dad still owns 25 Finkle Road, where I lived when I was a student. ‘That’s what I want to talk to you about. One of the flats there falls vacant next year. My dad says you can have it rent-free if you’ll take over the duty of maintaining the house … changing light bulbs and weeding the garden sort of thing.’ ‘Seriously?’ ‘Seriously. You’ll miss out on life in hall, but hall’s a mixed blessing. You’re a confident, pleasant and funny kid. You’ll make lots of friends without the hall experience.’ ‘Matt … that’s brilliant! It’ll help no end.’ ‘Thought so. Good. It’s settled then. But I do have an ulterior motive. Dad has deliberately emptied the house and we’re refilling it carefully for a reason.’ Henry was intrigued. ‘And what would that reason be?’ ‘Have you ever met Andy’s youngest brother, Eddie?’ ‘Yeah … last New Year at your house.’ ‘Oh yes, I remember. How did you get on?’ ‘Okay … he’s very dry and American. We had a good couple of days. What’s this about?’ ‘Andy’s father, the great Richard Peacher, is moving back to the UK, which is bad news for the Republican Party. He fell out with the President over middle-eastern policies. He’s bought a place in Suffolk, quite near Andy’s, and a big house in Mayfair here in London. The point is, Richard will be putting Eddie through university in Britain, not the US. Eddie has not been a good boy this last year, and not just the usual pot-smoking, as I hear. This didn’t get into the papers, but he tangled with the justice system of the state of California and had a narrow escape. He’s not got the sort of grades to interest the leading universities, even with the Peacher money, so he has been shuffled off to Cranwell. He’s going to be the second Peacher to live in 25 Finkle Road, which is why we’re vetting the other occupants. You, we know we can trust, Henry.’ Henry smiled. ‘That’s doubly brilliant, Matt.’ All of a sudden the Cranwell experience was beginning to look very interesting. ‘I’ll give your number to my dad and you can sort out the details between you. Just get your A Levels.’ Henry couldn’t resist doing a Henry thing, and launched himself round Matt’s neck to kiss that beautiful man. Matt smiled and hugged Henry back. ‘You know who you remind me of?’ he asked. ‘Who?’ ‘My little Andy when he was a teen. You’ve got all the puppy-like affection and humour … as well as the shortness.’ Henry laughed. ‘Just need the money then, don’t I?’ He was staying briefly in Highgate before they flew out to Rothenia. It was great to be reunited with Ed and cuddle in next to him at night, to wake up during the night and find arms around him. But they both admitted that Matt’s house had suffered when Justin moved out. It might have been quieter but it had lost an aura of cheerfulness. To his astonishment, Henry heard Mrs Atkinson regretting Justin’s absence. ‘But he annoyed the hell out of you, Mrs Atkinson,’ he protested. ‘Oh, that was all on the surface. He was smelly, noisy and undomesticated, but he brought some life to the house. Although Edward is a nice boy, quietness and politeness and – save us – tidiness, do not add to life’s interest.’ ‘You’re a complicated person, Mrs Atkinson.’ Justin was between contracts for Terry and had gone down to Ipswich, where he was cheerfully manning the tills and stocking shelves for Nathan at the garden centre. Matt said Justin seemed to enjoy it very much. His pet-supplies idea was paying off in a modest sort of way, which pleased Nathan, who was trying to hike the profit margin for his uncle. Haddesley Hall was not a major stately home and needed all the income it could get, apart from agriculture and tourism. The next day, a row of vans stood in front of Matt’s house, and staff were busily loading them with bags. Andy had come up from Suffolk. The two men were sitting happily together over breakfast, facing Ed and Henry, while Matt went through the details. They were taking a Peacher jet to the airport at Rechtenberg and going from there to a mountain chalet Matt had rented above the city. On the day itself they were to be taken by helicopter to Strelzen for the ball at the Residenz. Matt was checking that the boys had the required dress. It was then that Andy mentioned Terry’s intention of joining them. ‘It surprised me, because he’s no great fan of skiing. He used to say that anything likely to give him a leg injury and affect his dance practice was obviously not worth the trouble. Now, he wants to join us for New Year.’ Henry gave a noise between a snuffle and a giggle. Matt raised an eyebrow. ‘What do you know that we don’t, Henry?’ ‘It’s Davey.’ ‘Davey being?’ ‘Our friend, David Skipper. He and Terry fell for each other big time down in Cranwell when Terry gave us a lift for the open day.’ ‘I don’t believe it!’ declared Matt. ‘Well I do,’ retorted Andy. ‘When he went on the scent of pickups in the old days, it was always slim and dark younger boys he chased, and your Davey is just that, isn’t he? Slim and dark, and quite pretty too.’ Henry pursued the point. ‘Davey’s gone to Zenda to join Rudi’s house party, so Terry’s decided to come to Rothenia too. I can’t believe it’s coincidence. I bet they’ve planned a date.’ Andy looked at Matt, who said, ‘It’s as well. Poor Terry couldn’t grieve forever … but a teenager? I’m not sure that that’s such a good thing … saving your presence, lads.’ ‘No offence taken,’ said Ed. ‘But don’t prejudge Davey. He’s very sensitive – oversensitive some might say – and very kind, when his brain’s working properly. I think he might do Terry good. It may only be a temporary fling, but I’m quite sure Davey will be the better for it. He’s different with Terry, not so prickly and wayward. It’s like Terry steadies him and puts him on an even keel.’ Andy snorted. ‘I’ll keep my fingers crossed. It’s nice you two boys agree the affair has mileage in it. You obviously like your friend.’ Henry nodded, although he felt a little troubled when he looked at the smiling and relaxed face of his own boyfriend. Was there still mileage in their affair? *** Rechtenberg airport was full of school parties from Britain returning from and arriving for the skiing. Nine months of monarchy had made a noticeable difference. The post boxes had a crown above the postal horn. Many things, including the post office, the national airline, the railways and the national bank, were now ‘kungliche’ or ‘Royal’. The airport shops had a range of King Rudolf wares: mugs, posters, postcards and tea cloths. Henry resisted the temptation to buy any. Vans and cars were waiting to take them up into the mountains, where their ‘chalet’ turned out to be more substantial than the word indicated; it was in fact practically a small hotel. Attached to the property was a ski instructor, who took Henry in hand as a beginner and Edward as an intermediate. They had a good time, although Henry doubted he would ever have any real talent for the sport. He did feel cool on the piste, sipping his vin chaud and posing in the fashionable and expensive gear Matt had bought him in London. Henry and Ed had a really good time on their own with Matt and Andy. The two men were an education to be around, and the depth of their relationship was a little awesome to Henry, whose doubts about himself were not letting up. Of the two, Matt was the one he found easier to relate to, and so he manoeuvred himself into a one-on-one encounter off the slope when they went to get a coffee. Matt smiled at Henry. ‘You okay, little one?’ ‘Is it that obvious?’ ‘Mmm, to me anyway. You really are very like what Andy was as a boy. You could always read what was going on behind his eyes, especially when he was uncomfortable … so, spit it out, Henry.’ ‘It’s like this, then. With me and Ed going our different ways when we’re off to university ... I’ve got doubts, Matt. I’m pretty sure I’m not the stuff long distance relationships are made of. To be honest, I suspect there’s a bit of the tart in me. I haven’t got the moral strength to turn the stopcock on my sex drive. I’ve already been in trouble a couple of times. Ed forgave me, but he’ll have a lot more to forgive when we’re over a hundred miles apart. I’m sure he doesn’t see it. I think he believes I’m as steady a guy as he is. But I know I’m not. Tempt me and I will fall. I just hate the idea of disappointing him and worry that he may learn to despise me.’ ‘Oh, Henry, you think I can advise you? I’m the wrong person. It’s Andy who has strayed away from our bed, not me. The real authority on bed-hopping is Terry … not that you’re ever likely to be as adventurous and wild as he was. Or is it because I’m enough like Ed that you want to see how I react?’ ‘Maybe,’ decided Henry sadly. ‘Then what can I say? Ed is a fine man … I won’t call him a boy any more … besides, he’s eighteen now. He is straightforward and steady. I have no doubt he has a great life and career ahead of him, because he has recognised who he is, subdued himself and caged his passions. You said once that, when you first met him, he was frustrated and unpredictable. Now he’s conquered that and gone through fire with his parents. But Henry, you haven’t. You have a loving family and have had a wonderful upbringing. What you haven’t had is any really harsh challenge in your life. Even coming out at Medwardine seems to have been easy for you.’ Henry felt it necessary to assert that his decision to come out had not been without its cost, until as he began he realised it was not so. Somehow he had maintained his popularity amongst his peer group. He faltered. Matt continued, ‘You’re a lovely, happy boy, Henry, and you I will call a boy. It’s not just because you’re still seventeen. People like you instinctively. They see the charm and happiness of the boy you still are and they love you for it. What you have yet to find, however, is a foundation of experience on which to build something more mature. Basically, little man, you’ve not needed to grow up because life has been kind. You can’t go on being a boy, though. Growing up is about learning to make tough choices, and what’ll happen next year is going to be the first big trial of your life.’ Henry’s heart fell. He had hoped Matt would have an easy solution, rather than revealing to him things about himself he did not really want to know. His woeful look touched Matt. ‘I’m sorry, Henry, telling you this is like kicking a puppy, but it has to be said. And I have no solutions. Someone’s going to get hurt over this university business. It’s in your hands who that person will be, and how he will be hurt. Scary, isn’t it, life? All I will say is that, when push comes to shove, you have to be your own man, if you’re going to be a man.’ * * * Terry turned up on the morning of New Year’s Eve. ‘Have I missed the skiing? Shame. Might have broken something interesting. You okay, Henry? Brave little lad, doing this terrifying thing with snow.’ ‘Nicely timed, Terry,’ said Andy, who was a demon on the slopes. ‘You have indeed missed the last day’s skiing.’ ‘Aw shucks. When’re we off to the party?’ Matt smiled. ‘The helicopter’s coming to pick us up at four. It’s formal, so as a knight of the Order of the Rose, you’d better have your insignia.’ Terry grinned a little sheepishly. ‘Well, I couldn’t exactly not bring it, could I? Poor Andy, you’re the only one without a Rothenian gong.’ Andy laughed. ‘Oh, give me a break. However, I’ve brought my insignia from my British knighthood. I may not be as colourful as you, but still I shall not be out of place. Rudi will be proud of us.’ Flying in over Strelzen in the early evening was an experience. At Matt’s request, the helicopter pilot took them in an arc across the city so Henry could see the street plan and buildings from above. They landed at a small, private airport north of the Spa, where a big car was waiting. Since they were already in full dress, the car took them directly to join the long queue up the Rodolferplaz, as the social élite of Rothenia gathered for the first great occasion of its new calendar. Matt and Andy’s party rather stood out when they went up the grand staircase, as it didn’t include females, but such was the crush that it hardly mattered. At the door of the ballroom a chamberlain took their tickets before announcing them in stentorian tones. They were swept into a world of colour and music. People were standing around in groups, waiting for the dancing to start. Oskar, in suit and decorations, soon found Matt, Terry and Andy. He dragged them to a side table to update them on events, leaving Ed and Henry to find a glass of wine and stare around. At eight on the dot the boom of the chamberlain’s staff rapping on the floor subdued the murmur. An avenue opened through the crowd as the king appeared at the door, with the countess his mother on his arm. The national anthem played, the room bowed and curtseyed, and the king made his way to a pair of chairs placed on a dais. He spoke a few suitable words, took his mother on the floor, and the dancing began. Rothenians are great dancers, and the Strausses in their day had worked at the Ruritanian court. It was exciting to see the couples moving and spinning to the chamber orchestra. Ed and Henry sat it out, as there was no chance of male-on-male dancing there. Terry stood by them for a while, twitching with the need to get out on the floor under the blazing chandeliers. ‘Why couldn’t you be a transvestite, Henry?’ he cursed. ‘Sorry, I think,’ Henry apologised. Finally Terry found an unattached lady who was willing to take a chance with this dashing and handsome man wearing an order of chivalry across his chest, and out they spun. The boys didn’t see him again for hours. In truth, after the first excitement the ball became boring for them, and they were only too glad when David showed up and led them into a side room where food was laid out. ‘So, how’s it been, Davey?’ Ed asked. ‘Interesting. There are two Rudis, y’know. There’s the Medwardine Rudi, who chews the end of a pencil when he’s thinking and tells very risqué jokes. Then there’s this other Rudi lurking inside: the king, cool and very self-possessed. He seems to switch from one to the other without any problem. I reckon he’s a high-level schizophrenic.’ ‘That would account for a lot,’ Ed reflected. ‘What happened at Zenda?’ ‘It was great … Morton, Westenra, Ahmed and Peters were there too. The castle’s amazing. It’s got this medieval fairy-tale keep in the middle of a lake, and this grand neo-Classical mansion next to it. Christmas was awesome. Rudi threw this banquet for the foresters and their families: roasted oxen, barrels of wine, flambeaux sort of thing in this big feudal hall. The next day we went out in Tyrolean hats with dogs to shoot boar. Thank God we didn’t see any; I’m not sure what I would have done. Peters let his gun off, cos he goes shooting with his dad, but it knocked him flat and brought a tree branch down.’ He looked around expectantly. ‘Seen Terry?’ ‘We came with him … he’s out there in the ballroom lost in a world of waltz.’ ‘He’s gonna teach me to dance. He says I have the perfect body for it.’ Henry laughed. ‘I’m sure he thinks you have the perfect body for a lot of other things too.’ David actually blushed. ‘We’re going away for a few days after this is over, and he’ll get me back to England.’ Henry had to ask, ‘Are you coming out to your parents, Davey?’ David shook his head. ‘I may be out in school, but I’ll leave breaking the news to my ‘rents till I go to university. I’m not eighteen till March. It’ll save problems. Then me and Terry can go to the next stage.’ ‘Which is?’ ‘He’s gonna buy a flat in Cranwell and we’re gonna live together when he’s in town.’ ‘That’ll save costs too,’ Henry reflected, a little enviously. At that moment, a sudden stir in the crowd round the tables caused his neck to prickle. He turned to find the king behind him and people bowing and curtseying. Henry too gave the Rothenian bow, although he didn’t take Rudi’s hand to kiss as some Rothenians did. ‘Cool party, your majesty.’ ‘You’re not dancing, Henry.’ ‘I asked Westenra, sir, but he turned me down flat, the git.’ ‘You’re not his type, Outfield. Now, I have a proposal for you of another sort.’ ‘Sir?’ ‘In two days, I have a date to keep in Glottenberh with the Black Virgin. I want you to come with me.’
  12. ObicanDecko

    Reawakened

    Glad I could surprise you! We'll see how the others fare against Xaviel. Ahh you noticed I changed some details! I knew you would. Thanks!
  13. Peter G

    Chapter 45

    Just a quikkie, you introduced David as Sir David Carpenter-Bell then referred to him as Sir David Campbell-Bell 6 paragraphs latter.
  14. Timothy M.

    Three

    @ColumbusGuy will approve of the word Triad. He uses that in his sci-fi story. It was the perfect solution for Tad, Chris and Nate. I hope someone remembered to feed the cat.
  15. Bill W

    Fitting In.

    I appreciate the support, but I'm not sure if I have the stamina.
  16. Dathi

    Chapter 2

    Well written and well paced, I am really enjoying you story so far. Thank you for sharing this story, very well done.
  17. JeffreyL

    Three

    So, I assume the flu was just that and not a sign Ian's cancer is active? I like the way Stanley and Kent are getting closer, and I love the triad! How about trio? Is that acceptable? 😆 Thanks for another great chapter!
  18. Hawgdad

    Three

    Stanley and Kent continue to experiment and find their own way. Circumstances congeal Nate, Tad, and Christopher as a loving threesome. And again we know what brought these things about, how things happened, and why they work for the guys. The momentum builds... another great chapter. The farther we go I become more and more invested. Thank you for sharing your insight and talents with us. Tom
  19. centexhairysub

    Chapter 45

    There is a special place in hell.... He was actually one of the two that I had thought of but never could decide between the two of them. This was an amazing chapter for all of the right and wrong reasons, the pacing and writing were just spot on.
  20. drpaladin

    Chapter 45

    He is a manipulator. I'd say he'll simply continue on trying to manipulate any environment he is placed in.
  21. Geron Kees

    Chapter 3

    Thanks for explaining. I'll be sure to ask if i am not sure about anything else!
  22. Geron Kees

    Chapter 2

    I guess it all depends on which side of interesting you are standing on. The Chinese always have been pessimists. I happen to believe that interesting is a positive thing. Instead of trying to be clever, the Chinese should have simply said, 'may you live in really crappy times', and dispensed with the ability of others to interpret.
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