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  2. drpaladin

    Chapter 13

    SThis is likely the closest to normal Julian has been in many years.
  3. I remember my father working n his sermons, handwritten on those large yellow legal pads. Later he bought an Apple PowerBook 100 when it was being cleared out at Costco (I later added RAM for him and I still have the now-non-functional laptop that was designed and built by Sony for Apple). He had regular office hours every weekday, plus he attended almost every meeting that was held in the evening (prayer meetings, Board meetings, Deacon’s meetings, etc), and Sunday services. And then there were meetings associated with the denomination and other organizations that he attended as the church's representative. Add in hospital and home visits and random phone calls at any time of the day and you bering to realize how consuming his profession was. But it was a life he chose. On the other hand, I had no choice in his decision, yet I was forced to suffer anyway. People expected more of PKs than they did of any other of my peers. In a pre-answering machine world, I learned to take very detailed messages at an early age, including a contact number and the time of the call. Children should not be seen as special because of who their parents are (either positively or negatively) – all children should be expected to be well-behaved and polite to everyone, but they shouldn’t be expected to be more perfect than any other child.
  4. How did I miss this? Fantastic news! Well done, Tim. You truly deserve this.
  5. chris191070

    An Arrangement

    Wow what a chapter. So Nate went with Christopher and Tad knows and his happy for them, interesting situation. I’m glad Kent and Nate made up. Markus home life is terrible, hopefully things will get better for him.
  6. I love Grandslather. The sluppies sound cute , with there two hearts. Poor Larry unexpectedly fisted by the doctor.
  7. Today
  8. quttzik

    GMA XXVII

    I think I mentioned before I started this Series or rather I should say EPIC SAGA on nifty I read at least the first 2 or 3 books from there then somehow lost track of the postings. When I found the GA site I saw there were way more books then I had read and for a while I avoided reading because I knew I was going to have to reread to pick back up on them. Well needless to say I eventually picked back up re-read from the beginning and loved the SAGA from beginning to end just now. These are some of my most favorite characters and its always sad to see a story like this reach its end however everything has an end eventually. I do have to say the title of this book kinda scared me as someone else mentioned "Goodnight My Angel" I swore someone most likely a main character was dying in this book. I am happy that didn't happen of course. I started to figure the title out as I picked up the hints as to what was going on involving Owens sister. Looking forward to any and all new CJ shorts or new book if it ever happens and any new writings you decide. I know you said this was your first fictional story and the first few chapters showed that, however I did see an improvement in your writing over time I never would have thought even from the first couple chapters that this was a new venture for you. Its been one great job from the beginning in my book. Thanks Carlos for sharing your talent with me and the rest of the readers here on GA and anywhere else your stories are found. You are able to give a much needed break for a while out of reality when we really need it. Q
  9. Luno The three strangers pull Tobias into a room. They are most likely going to plan out how to get that necklace. I am not entirely sure how a necklace is supposed to help us bring back all the humans, but if the Mother Goddess says it will, then we had better get it. While they brainstorm over all of that, I am left wondering why the Mother Goddess did not bring the necklace herself. Nor did she say why we needed the necklace. Surely she would have told someone how it works. Now that I think about it, why did Drulai bring herself here? Mother used to say that the Goddess keeps to herself. That she never speaks with anyone. Why is she speaking to humans of all things? It is strange. I am not sure how I feel about that. Not only is that whole situation weird in on itself, the family tree that Vlad’s family was trying to show us brought strange memories. This...Laneer feels familiar. Just the name on my tongue feels as if I have said it plenty of times before. It is just...I know for a fact that I have never even seen or heard that name before in my life. Yet, I feel as though I have met him. Frowning, I stare at the letters placed into the family tree made of stone. This man died over a thousand years ago. I was never born back then. I am barely over three hundred years old! I am just standing there staring at the name in confusion but then someone speaks behind me. “Your friend is not very friendly,” Vlad says behind me with a laugh. “He must have taken a liking to you. That, or he is a very loyal bodyguard.” I turn to him and raise an eyebrow. “Well,” I say. “People have made their threats against him for if he were to fail. I personally hope I am not making it hard on him. He really is a nice guy! You just have to get to know him better!” Vlad nods in thought and juts his chin to Laneer’s name. “You find Laneer’s ending confusing as well,” he says more than asks. “For all we know, he could have started another line of family. There could be more with the Bancroft blood out there.” I tilt my head in confusion. “Why is your family so obsessed with your blood? It makes you all sound full of yourselves.” He shrugs. “Trust me, it was not our decision. If anything, we were hoping to change our ways with that. Unfortunately, so many of the common folk are still in love with Violette.” “Why?” I ask. “It is quite strange in all honesty.” Vlad laughs and nods. “You’re not wrong. My guess is that it has something to do with how she unified the kingdoms to defeat many evil forces. She took over in the Serendian war, the war with the Hollowed, and a war against Demons.” I frown. “Hollowed? What is that? And Demons? Why?” “Well, the Hollowed are a strange beings who are created by raw magic. They are pretty much as smart as a walking corpse, but their numbers were massive once upon a time. Nobody is sure where they came from.” “And the Demons?” I ask. He actually looks a little uncomfortable with this topic. “The Demons were teaming with the Serendians,” He says. “When the Serendians lost, the Demons were angry. So many of their contracts had ended against their will. They chose to attack us in retaliation.” “In the end we won,” He grins. I can only frown at how he says that with enthusiasm. You should never be happy that war has or had taken place. “Is this all you humans know,” I ask. “War? Pain? Even against your own kind, you still bring more of the two. Why? Why must you do such things? You act as if the Serendians were so different from you, when really, they simply lived further away.” Vlad actually looks sympathetic in my small outburst. He almost acts like he understands. “Your guess is as good as mine,” he gives a sad smile. “Believe me, I wish it never had to happen. My cousins are not as open minded about it, but they also agree that sometimes, it just is not worth questioning it. I imagine like yourself, the Gods look down at us with a crease in their brow.” I shrug. “I guess so. Did Raiyo not say that was a thing? I imagine he did. He tends to say a lot of things. That is what I have gathered recently.” At the mention of Raiyo, Vlad’s face becomes a bit grim. “What is it like,” He asks. “Working for him. Is he as cruel as the stories say? The only time he ever seems peaceful or kind is when it comes to the truly underprivileged people.” I can only shrug again. “In all honesty,” I say. “It can never tell. I have only just met him recently, but I can tell that it is more of a guessing game with him. I thought he was nice, but then I did not for a time. Now after what you have just told me about Halehigh, I do not find him nice in the slightest.” Vlad gives a sad smile. “Yeah. I figured it would be somewhat complicated on your end. Did he really send you both here to bring us back? Forgive me if I find that hard to believe.” I nod. “He really did. That was not a lie. We were pretty much ordered by him to bring everyone back to life.” He hums and pinches his chin in thought. “Do you think he is planning something?” He asks. “Surely there is something he is planning with all of us.” “I think so,” I say. “I think Tobias does as well. He told me that he was seriously doubting the leadership he brings over the Demons.” Vlad looks surprised by that. “Really? A Demon is questioning his master? My, the world really has gone crazy, hasn't it?” He chuckles. Another shrug from me. What else do I say to that? I still blame a lot of the people, but the Gods are definitely making it worse, even if they probably think otherwise. “Would you like to join me in the war room?” He asks while holding a hand towards the doors that Tobias and the other King and Queens entered. The last thing I want to do is enter a place called ‘The War Room’. It sounds awful in there. Do they make mini versions of their armies fight one another? Yes, I would rather not go in there today or ever. Shaking my head, I glance over my shoulder to the entrance of this room, ready to leave. “Sorry, but I need to feed my friends. I promise to be back in an hour or so.” Vlad looks a bit confused but in the end, he bows to me and walks through the War Room doors. ~~~ The city is so strange. It feels empty. I get that it is cold, but there is not a single soul out here. Sure, every now and then there is a guard, but I mainly find them close to the little bonfires that are littered across the city. I do not want to be here. I want to be back out in the woods where it is safe. In here, I feel trapped. Unfortunately, it is freezing right now. When did it ever get so cold? With a loud whistle, I look up the skies, hoping for Enfi to come down. I could use her warmth. It would be perfect honestly. Instantly, a bundle of red feathers can be seen flying my way. I smile at how majestic she looks in the sky. Enfi flies down and lands on my shoulder. She chirps and rubs her face against my cheek. “Thank you, pretty bird,” I smile and make her a strawberry out of thin air. A gasp to my right grabs mine and Enfi’s attention. At first I think it is nothing but an empty house, but when I look closer, I see that there is a small child standing behind the window. She is trying to hide behind the curtain. I smile and walk closer. “Hello,” I wave to her. “I’m Luno!” She stares wide-eyed at Enfi. “Oh don’t be afraid,” I say. “She is harmless! She might try to cuddle with you honestly.” Shrugging her off my shoulder, I make Enfi drop onto the window. She shrinks down a bit more to make herself not seem like a threat to the little girl. Her idea works! The little girl slowly peeks out and stares at Enfi. She looks up at me as if she needs permission. I only nod with a smile. “Go on,” I say. “She won’t bite.” Hesitantly, the girl holds her hand out to Enfi. At first, she backs away when Enfi looks up at her, but eventually the girl is able to have her hand rubbed on by Enfi. She giggles and looks up at me with a smile that shines in her eyes. Okay. So maybe the Humans are not that bad. It has just been awhile since I have met some nice ones. A long, long time. Not wanting to stay here any longer, I wave goodbye to the girl before whistling for Enfi to get on my shoulder. Doubling checking that Kulu is alright, I walk back the way that I got into this city. Don’t get me wrong, the little girl was nice, but she feels like only a small light in this city full of war and violence. I can practically feel the tension on the walls of each of the homes. It is not right. To be fair, their anger is most likely towards what has been happening to their people. It is just strange that even with something as awful as that is happening, they still continue to have wars with one another. The day that Tobias met me on that cove, I was fixing the damage from one of those human wars. Was it really worth killing all that life for some stupid problems that can be solved without such violence? With a sigh, I push open the gates and walk out onto the road for a few minutes. I only want to put some distance between me and Halehigh. After awhile, I walk off course and trudge my way through the snowy woods. It is pretty out here. I will admit that. The snow is nice and bright, the trees are tall and covered up in the white sheets. The green pine needles smell especially good right now. Not a lot of creatures out here right now. That is...until I look behind me. A small family of moose are following me. Two adults and one baby. They are rather silent and when I notice them, they bow their heads. The father’s antlers are especially big. Smiling, I make small piles of catkins for each of them to eat. Maybe they were following me for food? Best to give them some just to be sure. A small rush of air comes up behind me. At first I get scared than an Angel is about to attack me, but then I feel the familiar vibration that Mother gives off. Recently, I learned that Raiyo does the same. I guess that means that I can sense all of the Gods? Or maybe just those two? I turn to her with a small smile. It is nice to smile right? “Hello, Mother,” I say. “It has been a long time.” “Yes, yes it has,” She says with a sigh. It is moments like this where I wish I could see her. I can’t quite tell how she is feeling at the moment. She sounds...sad? Bored? Angry? Maybe a little happy? I do not know. If I were to see her face, maybe I would have been able to tell. With a flick of my finger, a drop of light falls into the snow-covered ground. A sapling begins to grow at an astonishing rate. It grows green and then as it thickens, it turns brown. It’s hard bark twists around until it makes a small bench. One for me and Mother to us. That is, if she wants to use it. She could always just fly. That is what I assume she does. Or maybe she floats? I sit on the bench and hug myself. Enfi sits next to me, providing warmth from the fires of her wings. “How do we even begin this talk?” I ask. “There are so many things to ask. I don't even know where to start!” Mother sighs again. Her energy becomes stronger in the empty space next to me. Surprisingly, a warmth can be felt on my shoulder. “I know,” She says. “I never should have kept so many things from you. I just-...I never wanted you to experience the dark, twisted ways of the world. You are so innocent and kind. I did not want you to lose that about yourself.” Shaking my head, I stare hard at the ground. “That was never your decision! Let me choose who or what I want to be!” A small pause from her. “I will not stop you now, Luno. You can do whatever you want. I only wish I had done so sooner. Forgive me and my...harsh rules. I only wanted what was best for you.” Now it is my turn to sigh. “Mother,” I say. “You were harsh at times, but I knew you cared for me. Do not think I am completely angry with you. You taught me so many things. You taught me how to be careful and also how to keep my magic under control! I only wish you did not have to keep so many secrets from me. For instance, I finally learned what I am! Unfortunately, I learned it from another God.” At that, Mother scoffs. I guess I should have known bringing up Raiyo would bring her attitude out, but it is true! He did tell me these things. “Yes, you are a Star,” She says. “A Star that my...husband...had brought down from the skies. I am sorry that happened to you, Luno. You did not deserve this life filled with so many things to taint your purity. You should be up there. Not here where all the filth beckons for you.” I tilt my head. “Why did Morgoren bring me down here?” I ask. “What did he want to use me for?” Mother’s energy seems to vibrate at a faster pace now. That usually happens when she becomes angry or agitated. “He wanted to use you as a way to replicate what he lost,” She says. I frown. What he lost? What does that mean...he lost Raiyo? That does not really make sense to me. “Morgoren was going to use you as his champion,” Mother continues. “Raiyo was originally his champion, but things had changed. Most likely because of me. You were to be Raiyo replacement. Morgoren tried to make you as close to Raiyo’s resemblance as possible. Raiyo was his favorite after all.” She clears her throat. “You were to do all that he wished. He tried to taint you with the vilest of spells, but I happened to come across his experiments.” A shiver runs down my spine at that. This makes me more scared of Morgoren. “When I saw your face, I thought you were Raiyo. I wanted to kill you right then and there, but then I looked closer and saw that you were not an Archdemon, but a Star. A Star that was carved to look like Morgoren’s whore.” Well...hearing that does not exactly make me feel better, but I guess it is good to know why I am here. “In a way to keep you from harm, I brought you to the Sanctuary,” She says, her vibrations calming down. “There, you awoke for the first time. I hated you. I hated you with every fiber of my being. I wanted to kill you myself so many times, I lost count.” I hug myself a little tighter, not exactly liking this talk anymore. “But then,” She says after a time. “I realized that you were so different from any other being I know. You were genuinely kind and caring. Never doing things to gain from it like so many others do. It amazed me just how different you were. How much you were the opposite of what Morgoren wanted.” A warmth wraps around me in a small squeeze. Mother is hugging me. “I grew from hating you to loving you,” She says. “I know I was harsh, but I just wanted you to stay safe. You were so carefree, I was only a bit worried for your safety.” I would argue that I would have been fine without her worrying, but that is not entirely true. I had learned that I was not ready long ago. “Thank you for everything,” I say. “For giving me a home. For sparing me. For loving me. Even for teaching me how to control my magic. That night, back in Varen. It still haunts me from time to time. I wish you had taught me how to control it back then. Maybe Viktor and Monie would have lived.” “Oh Luno,” Mother’s voice trembles. “I have kept another thing from you.” I am not entirely surprised about that. I have been with her for quite a long time. “On that night in Varen,” She says. At that I sit up and look in her direction. She continues. “You never burned down that home. You never did anything wrong. You did not kill the two Humans. You have never lost control before that night. The only time that you have was when you let your anger get the better of you.” Not really able to keep sitting, I stand and pace back and forth in front of the bench. “Morgoren was there,” She says. “He knew you were staying in that village because we did not know we were supposed to hide back then. He started the fire. He made the river drown the little girl. He spread whispers through the people that you were doing magic and that you were a demon. It was all him.” I shake my head while walking back and forth. This...this cannot be true! I was so sad and angry with Moni’s death that I started the fire in my sleep. I had to be me! I never even felt Morgoren’s presence. I did not feel anything. I start breathing too fast and I cover my eyes. Anything to not think about those images. The darkness should help me forget. “I’m sorry, Luno,” Mother says, her warmth surrounding me again. “I truly am. I never should have kept this from you.” All these years, I have been trying my best to ‘perfect’ my magic, when really, I never lost control? I never killed Viktor and Monie? I have felt guilty for two hundred and fifty years for nothing? “Is there...is there anything else?” I ask, my voice shaking. Mother is silent for a few moments. No doubt thinking over her lies. “No,” She says. “That is all. I am afraid I must also leave as well, my child.” Frowning, I look up at where she should be standing. She has never called me her child. “Just know,” She says, almost as if she is about to cry. “I have loved you more than anything in this world. You were a beckon of love for me. I can never thank you enough for that.” For some reason, hearing that makes tears start to fall. Maybe it is because she has never told me she loved me until today. Maybe it is because she has called me her child. Either way, it leaves me so incredibly happy, that I can’t help but cry. A portal opens in the air. It has a pretty white glow that does not blind me. I feel Mother’s presence slipping away into the portal. Just as she passes through, I forget how to breathe. There, on the other side of the portal, stands a woman. Her skin does not have one color, but thousands. Strands of colors that I have never even seen before dance across her skin and hair. Her eyes are a solid blue color that glow. Behind her is a set of great wings that are both color and see-through, they remind me of stained glass. All too soon, Mother and her portal disappear. Why...why has she allowed me to see her true form?
  10. chris191070

    Chapter 13

    Awesome chapter. That’s the least violent sex they have had. It will be interesting them living together.
  11. Monday came far too early for Kent. But he rolled out of bed, showered, put himself together, and walked to the bookstore. Luckily, he lived in Eureka, and though it was a long walk, he could manage to do it in a half hour. His car was still in the shop and would be until a little after lunch. Liz said she'd take him there on her lunch break, and then he'd have wheels again. He would miss one of his afternoon classes at Humboldt State today, but a single absence wasn't going to hurt him too much. He was a good student and kept up on his courses. Stanley had taken him home yesterday in the early afternoon. They had spent the morning together, and they got lunch in Eureka before the blue-eyed man grudgingly took Kent home. "I really liked having you over." Stanley's eyes took in Kent's features, an enigmatic smile on his face. "Can we meet up tomorrow night? After you pick up your car? I should be home a little after six." Of course, Kent had agreed. Stanley was something utterly new to him. He allowed Kent to explore his tastes, desires, and he was so patient. Stanley made Kent feel strong, powerful, and masculine. Everything about their time together gave Kent confidence he had never possessed. Kent timed things well for his arrival at work. He walked up to the bookstore right as Liz was opening. She smiled at him through the glass of the doors, and the bolt scraped back as she turned it from inside. "Hi, Kent." She pushed the door and he helped prop it open. "Hi, Liz. Good morning." Kent felt good, and he was happy to have his job at the bookstore. He only worked part time around his school schedule, but it was great to earn his own money and support himself as he worked his way through his first semester at HSU. That also kept his student loans to a manageable level. He entered with her about five minutes before his starting time of nine a.m. A couple of minutes later Nate came in. Nate put his bag down behind the counter and nodded in greeting at Kent. Kent debated, then he walked over. "Hey, good morning, Nate." Nate seemed to be in a better mood compared to the last time he was in the store. Though it would be hard for him to be in a worse one. Still, Kent was happy to see Nate more positive. Nate seemed pleasantly surprised that Kent spoke to him. "Hi, good morning, Kent." His smile spread a bit. "How are you?" Kent smiled back at him. "I'm pretty good. Thanks for asking." Nate nodded while he eyed Kent. Then he sighed. "Kent, I'm sorry." He shook his head. "I've given some thought to how things went between us, and I could have been a better friend." He grimaced. "I never meant to hurt you, at all. I just wasn't being very empathetic." Hearing Nate apologize gave Kent pause. He had no idea the man even had an awareness of what he had done. Kent smiled in happy surprise. "You know, it's okay." Kent said the words, and he internalized them at the same time. He really was fine with Nate, now that the guy showed some remorse for his callousness. Kent patted Nate's back. "Thanks. I accept your apology." "You're welcome." Nate smiled, and he looked more carefully at Kent. "You doing all right? You seem a little different." Kent wasn't sure what he meant. "Uh, yeah. I'm fine." Then he grinned. "I'm actually great. Thanks for asking." Nate grinned back at him, then he looked across the store. Liz stood, her hands on her hips, and a big smile on her face as she saw the guys interact. Nate rolled his eyes and snorted a laugh. Kent snickered and they got their day started. He had a feeling that it was going to be a good one. ∞ It was lunchtime, and Nate drove to Tad's apartment. He was taking his whole hour today to hang out and just be with his dark-haired boyfriend. He also had designs on maybe tempting his lover into a little bit of fun after they ate the sandwiches Tad planned to make for them. He tried the door to the place and found it unlocked. Nate pushed it open. "Hey, Tad?" "Come in, Nate!" Tad's voice came from around the partition between the living room and the kitchen. Nate stepped inside, and Kali met him with a rub around his ankles. He grinned as he reached down to stroke her sleek, black little body. She loved on him for a bit, then she was off again, padding into the apartment. Nate followed her inside. He entered the kitchen to find Tad putting a couple of thick, meaty sandwiches together. He caught a glimpse of pepper-jack, avocado, spinach, tomato, onion, roast beef, and stone ground mustard before Tad put the bread on. "Hey, Nate." Tad turned with the sandwiches on a plate. He smiled as Nate stepped close. "How has your day been so far?" Nate leaned in, careful to avoid knocking the plate out of his hands. They kissed. It was short, but it carried the promise of what Nate wanted out of his time with Tad today. "Mmm. It's better now." Nate grinned. Tad chuckled. "Okay, loverboy." He nodded at the small kitchen table against the wall. "Let's eat. And I need to talk to you about something too." "All right." Nate pulled out chairs for them, Tad put the plate with their food on the table and they both sat. "Man, that looks good." Nate picked up the nearest one and looked at the thick stack of fillings in the middle. "Jeez, it's like a Dagwood sandwich or something!" Tad laughed. "Dagwood?" He smiled affectionately at Nate. "I've not heard that name in a while. You're going back for that pop culture reference." Nate took a bite, and he shrugged. He chewed, made an appreciative sound, then he swallowed. "Yep. That's me. A throwback to the eighties and nineties." He sighed. "I was born thirty years too late." Tad chuckled and looked knowingly at Nate. "They didn't have Grindr thirty years ago." Nate guffawed. He shook his head. "Fine," he acquiesced. He looked at Tad, then pulled out his phone. Tad watched with a quizzical expression as Nate unlocked the device. Then he selected Grindr. "Annnnd, uninstalled." Nate put the phone on the table and looked up at Tad. He shrugged. "I don't really need that anymore." Tad's face shifted. Now he looked at Nate with a completely unguarded, bittersweet smile. "Well, I appreciate the display." He stood up, and he took Nate's hand. "I need to show you something. Unfortunately, it's nothing sweet." Nate got up, and he let the dark-haired man lead him into the kitchen. Tad swallowed nervously, then he nodded at a sticky note on the fridge. "So, this is pretty important." He watched Nate's face as the man began to read. "It's a list of symptoms to watch for. Some are things I might not recognize myself. My sister has one too." Tad watched as Nate's smile melted. "I'm sorry. I know it's a little bit of a buzzkill." 'Headache, Temperature Fluctuations, Nausea, Drowsiness, Vision Problems, Personality Changes, Seizures, Breathing Pattern Changes.' Nate read through it then set his jaw. He couldn't entirely hide his dread. "So, once any of these starts then it means you don't have much time left?" Tad nodded. "Yeah. It could be as short as a few weeks to as long as a year and a half." He shrugged. "I try not to think too much about it. I can't. I just, I just live. Every day." He pulled Nate close. "I'm so sorry to do this to you, but I'm glad I'm not alone. I know it makes me a terrible person, but I can't help it." Nate began to speak, but Tad continued, "I love you, Nate. I know I do." Nate squeezed Tad, and he cleared his tight throat. "I love you. And you're not terrible. You're," Nate closed his eyes as he held on, "you're wonderful." Their food lay forgotten on the plate, and the two men clung to one another as they stood in Tad's little kitchen. ∞ Markus helped Victoria Cooper set the table. He had been invited over for an evening barbecue to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather. His father, Tony, was outside at the grill, and his uncles and aunts were on the way as well. There would be a pile of Coopers in the house soon, each bearing some side dish to go along with the chicken and flank steak Tony grilled. Victoria brushed by her son as she set plates out. "Mom?" Markus put the last set of silverware down in its place on the long, wooden table. Colorful, cloth napkins lay folded carefully under the utensils. He rubbed his sweaty palms on his pants. "Mom, can I talk to you?" She glanced at him, then checked his work at setting out the silverware. It met with her approval and she nodded once. "Sure." Victoria went back to prettying up the table, primping the flowers in the vase in the center. Markus knew she wanted everything to be perfect for the family. Her husband's kin always judged Victoria with a harsher eye than most. She was Hispanic, while Tony was white. So, growing up, Markus watched his mother rise to meet the challenge with a tremendous effort to always meet with their approval; even if it meant putting on a happy face. Markus took a breath and fought against a maddening fear. "Mom, I ah," Markus struggled to get the words to come out of his mouth, "I have to tell you something." She frowned in impatience. "Okay, well, it'll have to be quick." The graying, heavyset woman finally stopped moving and turned to him. "What is it? They'll be here soon." Markus nodded. "Yeah, I know." He blinked and tried hard to get it out. He didn't know of a way to soften the words, so they just blurted from him. "I'm gay." His mother's countenance shifted. There was a subtle narrowing of eyes, and her jaw tightened. Markus's stomach dropped as she stepped close. "Don't you ever say that again." She stared up at him, her brown eyes hard. She slowly shook her head. "Don't ever say that again in this house. We didn't raise you that way." "Mom, I, I can't help it." Markus hung his head. "I've tried. I can't help it." "I always wondered." The disappointed tone in her words was almost too much for Markus to bear. "God help me, I don't know what I did to deserve this." Markus began to say something when his father opened the back door. Victoria grabbed his arm, her grip like steel. "Don't say anything to your father." She shook him and her voice dropped to a mutter. "Do you understand me?" Tony frowned at them as Victoria stepped back. His green eyes were suspicious. "Everything all right?" "Oh, yes. Everything's fine." The facade of happiness presented by Victoria almost sickened Markus. She looked at her son. "Isn't it, Markus?" It was everything he could do to keep his voice level and smile at his father. "Of course. Everything's fine, Dad." ∞ Christopher was in the middle of his Monday night dinner prep. He hadn't had a chance to do much more than preheat his oven when he heard the slightest knock on his door. He frowned and moved into the living room. Chris checked the peephole, and his face fell. He opened the door and Nate leaned forward with both of his hands on the doorframe. His head was down and he exhaled. Chris quietly put an arm around his shoulders, and he straightened with the redhead. "Come on." He led Nate over to the futon and helped the deeply emotional man sit. He put a hand on Nate's shoulder. "Talk to me. What's going on?" Nate's expression was one of lost desolation. "I, ah..." He cleared his throat. "Tad showed me the list. The symptoms." His eyes were so far away as he stared at imagined horrors. "I just, it's just so real now. I want to save him. I want to help him, and I can't." Chris felt his own emotions twist in agony. Everything Nate experienced, he had too. He knew how the blue-eyed man hurt, and how impotent he felt. "You can't focus on that. You have to understand, Tad doesn't want you to save him. He just wants you to love him." Nate blinked, and he looked up at Chris. "That's what he wanted from you, too." Chris felt as if he'd been punched in the face. He stared at Nate. He wasn't angry, or even upset with Nate. Instead, his mind struggled. 'He's right. Oh god. I left him. I left him alone when all he needed was for me to hold him.' While Chris fought with his own thoughts, Nate dropped his eyes back to his hands. "I don't know if I can do this." Nate shook his head and blew out a forlorn, shaky breath. "I thought I could. But the closer I get to him, the scarier it becomes." He put his head in his hands. "God, this is so fucking hard, Chris." Christopher looked down at Nate where he sat on the futon. He hadn't had a chance to wash up, so he remained filthy from work, and he still wore his mechanic jumper. But that wasn't the priority right now. He sat beside the struggling man. "How can I help, Nate?" He put an arm over Nate's shoulders and pulled the smaller guy close. "Tell me what you need." "This," Nate whispered, and he pressed his body against Chris's. "Just, let me be here for a while." Christopher couldn't help how his body reacted to Nate. Something about the redhead turned all of his desires into overdrive. Add to that his growing regard for him as a person, and it meant that Nate rang all kinds of alarms. It took more and more willpower to avoid seeing him as a potential sexual partner. He hated his weakness but also enjoyed Nate in his arms. "Okay." They sat together awkwardly on the futon. Then, after a few minutes, Chris grimaced as his back began to complain. He shifted, and Nate sat up. Then Nate stood. "I'm sorry." He turned to the door. "It's getting late. I'll let you get back to your dinner." Chris could feel Nate's distress and his desolation. He couldn't let him leave that way. "No. Wait." He stepped into Nate, and the men hugged. Chris's hand was on the back of Nate's neck and his face was down against the smaller man's cheek. They both stood and breathed together. Chris swallowed, then he let his lips scrape the tender skin of Nate's neck. "You," the tall, brown-haired man breathed Nate's scent, "you smell like Tad." The words were hushed and his voice wavered. Nate raised his face, and their lips barely brushed. Christopher's breath grew ragged. He struggled for control and nearly conquered the instinct to pull Nate to him. Then Nate kissed him. It was a slow-motion study in desire, emotions held in check for too long, and the raw need for comfort. 'No, no, no.' Chris's mind thrashed as his tongue entered Nate's mouth. 'You can't. It's not right. No.' His body was not listening. And his strong hands rubbed down Nate's spine to grip his perfect, firm rear. Nate gasped, and then he stepped back and peeled off his shirt. Chris unzipped his jumper and stepped out of it. He wore only his underwear beneath, and he helped Nate take off his jeans. There were only two thin layers between their bodies now. As Nate's blue, needful eyes stared, he rubbed his hand over Christopher's barely-contained dick. Christopher groaned. Then he pulled Nate's underwear from his hips. While he stood and appreciated the sight of Nate's fiery pubes and his cut cock, the redhead stripped Chris's underwear as well. They embraced again, this time all of their skin touching. Christopher's long, thick penis was as hard as it had ever been, and he rubbed his bearded face against Nate's neck. The smaller man sat on the futon and pulled Chris down with him. Nate lay back, and it felt so natural as Chris knelt between his legs and pulled him into position. A generous dose of lube out of the nightstand drawer went on Chris's cock, and then he rubbed some on Nate's opening. Chris pulled Nate toward himself, and he leaned over. He pressed forward, and Nate's mouth opened as Chris's bare, wet organ began to enter him. His head slid inside, and Nate exhaled. Chris leaned into him. The kiss was one of hunger - greed, desire, almost pure lust. Chris's hips began to slowly move forward. The warmth and pressure of Nate's body felt amazing around him and Chris moaned as he finally bottomed out. Nate's cock streamed a continual flow of precome, and he made incoherent noises as Chris started to move his pelvis. As he continued to slide into and out of Nate, Chris took Nate's hard, wet dick and began to stroke the writhing man. Chris felt his own finish approach, which was just as well because Nate's eyes rolled back and he tensed up. The redhead's cock spasmed in Christopher's grip and a shot of come landed in a streak up his body. He continued to twitch and moan in the throes of the moment, right as Christopher began his own. He exhaled his breath in a rush, and Christopher pushed himself deep into Nate. He held there, speared as far as he could reach inside Nate's body, then grunted as he unloaded. He continued pumping in time to his releases. Finally, they were still. Sweat ran down Chris's furry body and they both panted. Each stared at the other. Each wore an expression of disbelief and shame. Nate broke their silence. "Oh my god." He shook his head as he looked up at Christopher. "What have we done?" ∞ Christopher paced in his apartment, and Nate bit his lip as he watched the brown-haired man. "What are we gonna do?" Chris rubbed his face. Some of the engine grease on his fingers left a black mark on his cheek. They had both put their underwear back on, and now they flailed about, trying to come up with a plan. "Fuck, what, what is wrong with me?" Nate sat on the couch and hung his head. He set his jaw, slowly nodding. "This is my fault. I kissed you." Chris had stopped moving, and he stared at Nate from his spot a few feet away. "It wasn't all you. I knew better. I let it happen." "Doesn't matter." Nate closed his eyes. "God, I've wrecked everything. I've wrecked everything." "No. No, everything's still fine." Nate heard the insistent tone in Christopher's voice. "Nothing is wrecked. You can still be with Tad. Everything's fine." His voice shifted and almost sounded panicked. "I can't have fucked this up. It has to be fine." Nate looked up at him. "What? We're going to lie to him? I'm going to lie to a dying…" he felt a spear of intense self-hatred, and he grimaced. "I can't. He just told me he loves me. He told me today." Christopher audibly groaned. His hands hung at his sides, and his shoulders slumped. "Fuck." "Yeah." Nate lay back and looked up at the ceiling. "And, Jesus, I let you fuck me bare." Chris flinched. "I don't have anything," Christopher said. "You're the only one, ah, since Tad." Nate nodded. "Well, that's good. I'm clear too. And that's the first time I've ever been screwed without a condom." They were both quiet for some time as each man's mind turned madly. Christopher sat beside Nate on the couch and cleared his throat. "What are you going to tell him?" Nate's jaw moved as he clenched it. "I'm not going to lie to him. If he ever has a reason to ask, if he ever wonders, I'm going to come clean." Christopher processed that, then nodded. "Okay." Nate forced the next words out of his mouth. "I don't think I should come here anymore, Chris." He felt as if he had swallowed a block of ice when he thought about not seeing Christopher again. The tall man took a moment, then he reached. He put a warm hand on Nate's back. Nate hated that he liked it, but he did. "If that's what it'll take, then okay. But I know this is hard for you - being with Tad. I would rather you come see me, as a friend, if it will keep you with him." Christopher let out a big breath. "I, ah, we'll just not do this again." He nodded, reaffirming his decision. "Yeah. I mean, we're not slaves to our hormones. We'll just be friends, and that's that." Nate closed his eyes, debating. He chuckled at his plight. "I don't think I trust myself." "I'll keep you honest." Christopher's voice became more certain. "Yeah, we'll just make sure things stay platonic, from here on." Nate didn't say what he was thinking - that Christopher had failed to keep things platonic when Nate had caved and kissed him. Instead, he nodded. "Okay." Christopher smiled with relief. "Good." Nate stood while Chris looked up at him from the futon. "Shit, what time is it? I have to get home. Tad's coming by tonight." "Ah, hang on." Chris fished his phone out of his mechanic jumper lying on the floor. "Uh, it's almost seven." Nate frowned. "Yeah, definitely gotta go. He's spending the night with me." Chris handed him his clothes and Nate quickly dressed. Nate tied his shoes and stood up. He walked to the door and looked with worried eyes at Christopher. "Wish me luck." Chris nodded and did his best to look confident. "You won't need it, but good luck." Nate smiled slightly in thanks. Then he opened the door, and he headed home. ∞ Tad got to Nate's place around fifteen after seven. He grinned at the redhead when he opened the door. "Hey, boyfriend." A smile flickered on Nate's lips. "Hey, Tad." He stepped aside. "Come in." Tad entered and Nate walked to his kitchen. "Do you need anything? Want any snacks?" Tad stood in the living room, and he debated for a moment. "Do you have popcorn? Can we make some and watch a movie?" He smiled at Nate. "I wanna sit on the couch and snuggle with you." Nate nodded, and he pulled a box from a shelf. He began to unwrap a packet of microwave popcorn. Tad stepped over next to the kitchen counter near him. "How was the rest of your day?" He made a face. "I hope you didn't dwell too much on the whole 'brain tumor' thing." Nate glanced at him. His expression was an odd neutral. "I admit, I thought a lot about it." He put the popcorn into the microwave and set the timer, then turned to Tad again. "I ah, I visited Christopher to talk it through." Tad grinned. "Yeah? That's good. I'm glad you guys have each other." Tad wasn't the jealous type, so Nate's connection with Christopher was something he tried hard to encourage. "Chris really needs someone." He frowned. "Has he been looking for anybody? I mean, to date?" Nate's face didn't change at all. "I, I don't know. I don't think so." Tad felt disappointment, and then, much to his annoyance with himself, he also experienced relief. "Ah, that's too bad. I hope he finds what he is looking for - whatever it is." Nate swallowed, his Adam's apple sliding up and down. "Yeah." Nate turned away again. He seemed to watch the microwave count down. Tad felt something in the air. There was something on Nate's mind. Tad stepped up behind him and let his arms circle the moody redhead. "You're not still upset because of the list, are you?" "Maybe a little." Nate shrugged while Tad held him. "Sorry, I'm not trying to be a downer." Tad raised his face, and he started to speak. Then his nose picked up a faint but familiar odor. 'Engine grease.' Tad's eyes widened just a little, and he drew back to get a look at Nate's head. 'Oh shit.' There was a greasy mark behind Nate's left ear. A big meaty thumb was very clearly outlined there. Tad's intelligent, logical mind went to work on the information. It didn't take long for him to come to a conclusion. Tad still held Nate, and he cleared his throat. His feelings were so complicated. He felt a roiling mess of them, and he forced himself to think before he spoke. The microwave beeped, and Nate opened it. Then he put his hands on Tad's arms that still held him. Nate hung his head. "Tad, I have to tell you…" "Wait." Tad had decided, and he forged forward. "I just wanted to say, Christopher is one of the most important people in my life. And I know that makes me a terrible boyfriend to you, because of all I still feel for him - because of the value I place on his happiness." He squeezed Nate from behind. "But, I want you to be happy too." He turned Nate around. The redhead looked at him, near-panic on his face. "Nate, I just want you to be happy. And Chris. Because those two things? Well, they would make me happy too." Nate stared at him. As he did, tears gathered in his eyes, and the tiny drops gently rolled until they streaked down his face. Nate shook his head. "I, I'm sorry." "Don't be sorry." Tad cried tears of his own and hugged Nate close. "Chris was my last, big worry. The guilt from knowing I would leave him behind, it was," he inhaled, "it was crushing." Tad laughed. "But you're here for me." He pushed back, and the two teary-eyed men looked at each other. "And you're there for him too." Tad had one final fear, and he gave it voice. "I just, I just hope you can find enough room for us both?" Nate's face fell. "Tad, I won't leave you." The black-haired man couldn't help the sob that escaped him. He squeezed Nate tight to his chest. Nate's head was down, and Tad put his chin to rest on the redhead's hair. He breathed, in and out. Tad spoke with a wavering, unsteady voice, "if you ever have to choose, then you choose Christopher." He uttered the words and meant them. Nate answered by squeezing him, then Tad felt him shake his head. Despite Nate's refusal, or perhaps because of it, Tad smiled through his tears.
  12. Been a while since we’ve had an entry in this thread. Hope this video works... https://www.cbsnews.com/live/video/20190615005154-a-colorado-middle-school-teacher-becomes-more-than-a-mentor-for-one-of-his-students/
  13. A great week for GA's newest Signature Author! And if you haven't seen it yet, please check out the collected tributes for the Pulse victims and survivors @Mikiesboyposted for us
  14. GanymedeRex

    UJ Chapter 4

    Okay interesting. I don't see why press would be following these people.
  15. Well this turned out to be a very interesting week here at the GA News Blog. It wasn't planned this way, but it just worked out that 3 of the 4 entries were like the 4 planets lining up with the sun. In this case, the sun is Tim aka @Mikiesboy Monday, Renee shared with us a great review written up by @Cole Matthews: Then, this is where things started to fall in place! Tuesday, Graeme announced our newest Signature Author, @Mikiesboy: Jump ahead a couple of days, and Renee was back with the final announcement of the Spring Anthology. 4 new stories and links to get to the previous 2 announced releases! So I said 3 of 4 entries this week, well what is the 3rd involving Tim? By total coincidence the list I'm using had the below Reader Recommended Story. Any one want to hazard a guess before scrolling down who's story was recommended? Anthologies 2019 Fall Anthology: Fall From Grace - Due November 15th 2019 Fall Anthology: Raincheck - Due November 15th Blog Opportunities Ask An Author: Send your questions for your favorite authors to @Carlos Hazday (no questions = no Ask An Author) Story Recommendations: Open to all GA authors & readers. PM your recommendation and why you recommend it to a Site Admin. Guess the Author: Open to all GA authors. PM @Renee Stevens to participate. 3 Story Promo: Open to all GA Authors. PM @Renee Stevens to participate. Author Interview: Open to all GA Authors. PM @Renee Stevens to participate. Favorite Self-Written Story: Open to all GA authors. PM @Renee Stevens to participate. Story Recommendations: Open to all GA authors & readers. PM @Renee Stevens to participate. Questions & Answers: Open to all GA authors, readers, and editors. Visit the thread and PM @Renee Stevens to participate. Reader Recommended: Recommend a completed Poem/Story/Series for a short blurb at the end of the Weekly Wrap Up and PM @wildone to share your favourite stories. Premium Updates: Heartache & Terror by quokka *Premium* Classic Updates: Henry in High Politics by Mike Arram Reminiscing About the Future by Altimexis The Castaway Hotel: Next Generation Book 3 by Bill W Signature Updates: Adrift by Mann Ramblings Aria Graice by Nephylim Denied by Cia Gone Fishing by Headstall Love Looked at Me and Laughed and other poems by AC Benus; Book 11 of Verse One Hundred and Fifty-Five Sonnets by AC Benus; Book 5 of Verse Reflection: Commemorating PULSE by Mikiesboy Tragic Genius by Cynus Promising Updates: Georgetown: Goodnight, My Angel by Carlos Hazday In My Head by Thorn Wilde Sauna Sunset by Thorn Wilde The Golden City by Aceinthehole **Reader Recommended** Recommended by @Brayon Don't forget.... Read, Write, and REVIEW!!!
  16. wildone

    Chapter 5

    Interesting chapter. First off, for some reason I didn’t figure Jack to be out to his parents. I’m curious if this party is the beginning of the end between Lauren and Jared. If so, what will happen to Derry and Jack?
  17. Excellent chapter! Brandon and Danny’s birthday trip is giving them some time alone as a couple and to recharge and reconnect. All of the other adults stepping up to complete the renovations for Holly’s room, while they attend Elliot’s commencement ceremony and graduation. This family is the ideal so many of those children living in less than favorable conditions dream of finding themselves being taken in by. It’s ashamed that there’s not a network of hotels that can house and give hope to teens who are abused, tossed out for being who their meant to be, runaways and any others who need help and guidance. They would be expensive to run and the religious right would be totally against them. Finding qualified house parents and counselors would be problematic also. Reality sucks and I wish we all could live inside your universe. Thank you for another great chapter and an uplifting story for us all. I’m definitely looking forward to the next chapter! 😃❤️
  18. Parker Owens

    Distant Truths

    Thanks for this wonderful collaboration.
  19. Palantir

    Chapter 28

    Thank you, Centex. That quote is one my father loved to use and has a special value to me. lol - and it's so apt too.
  20. MacGreg

    Distant Truths

    Thanks for reading, Geron!
  21. centexhairysub

    Chapter 28

    Oh what tangled webs we weave; when at first we practice to deceive. Talk about getting good, can't wait for whatever you have planned next.
  22. Katya Dee

    Chapter 13

    - XIII - When Raven woke up, it was almost eleven in the morning. He blinked several times, chasing sleep away from his hazy eyes, and then he noticed Julian’s arm wrapped around his waist. He thought of last night, and an unwilling smile snaked across his lips. He thoughtfully looked at the peacefully snoozing blond, trying to figure out whether he wanted him to wake up or to stay asleep. Then he frowned, realizing that usually, at this time, Julian would be in one of his offices for almost three hours by now. He thought about what day of the week it was. Wednesday, he remembered. Yup, the blond would be definitely in one of his offices. He slowly ran his fingers through that luminous blond hair that was somewhat splattered with blood due to last night. Julian slightly shifted without opening his eyes, and that was when Raven knew that he definitely wanted the blond awake right now. He propped himself on one elbow and started tracing his finger down the sleeping man’s face, as if he were painting him onto invisible canvas. He traced his eyebrows and smoothly slid down the bridge of his nose, thinking that the blond was definitely one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen in his entire life. Dangerous, twisted, sometimes even demented, but beautiful nevertheless. His fingertip made its way towards that sensual mouth, and Raven was tracing it slowly, one lip at a time, when Julian’s eyelids finally fluttered, and his eyes slowly peeled open. “What...” he muttered in a low from sleep voice, and Raven didn’t let him say anything else, covering his mouth with his own. Julian’s eyes stayed open for several seconds, and then they slowly closed and his hands made their way towards Raven’s hair. To his own amazement, Raven didn’t feel like hurting the blond right now. That was new; usually, he would be almost shaking with anticipation of inflicting at least something on him, it didn’t even matter what – anything would feel good. Right now, however, he didn’t want to hurt him at all. He caressed Salamander’s mouth with his tongue, and when the blond made an attempt to get on top, Raven pushed him back down without saying anything and without breaking the kiss. Julian obliged and sank his fingers even deeper in Raven’s hair, responding to the kiss hungrily by now. Raven loved that hunger, it made him almost dizzy. He pushed off the blanket and slid out of blond’s mouth, starting to travel across his face and down his neck and chest. He didn’t place a single hard bite on that smooth skin – just nibbles. Then he briefly wondered if the blond was even enjoying this, and threw a quick glance at his hips. Yeah, he was definitely enjoying this, Raven thought with relief as the proof of that enjoyment twitched in hard appreciation. Raven made his way towards that proof, and when his quick tongue wrapped around it, Julian’s throat produced a low moan, which made Raven lap at the first tears harder. The blond tangled his fingers in Raven’s disheveled by now hair, and the smaller man expected him to start guiding his head or setting up a certain rhythm, but Julian never did. He just caressed Raven’s hair without as much as pushing his head, giving him all the control, which was also new. Usually, Salamander would be the one to set up tempo, rhythm, and everything else. Raven never complained about that – it was more than fine with him. Right now, however, he wanted to be in charge, and he expected the blond to refuse to give up the control, and when he didn’t, it made Raven’s head spin even more. He lapped at those tears that kept on coming, and worked his mouth slowly and thoroughly, making blond’s hips lift off the sheets, getting intoxicated on the moans Julian’s throat was producing pretty much nonstop by now. He performed a certain tongue trick, which was one of his best moves, and blond’s hips thrust upwards almost violently when he did that. “Oh, fuck, Raven...” he muttered breathlessly, and that made Raven to slow down drastically. There was not a single time the blond would call out his name while they were getting lost in a haze, not a single time since late August. Raven would scream out Salamander’s name quite often, but Julian never moaned Raven’s out even once. He realized that he slowed down too much and picked up speed, making those hips to lift off the sheets once more. After a long while, and after at least three more ‘Oh, fuck, Raven...!’ the dark-haired man started traveling upwards, still without a single hard bite. He made it all the way to Julian’s face and latched onto blond’s mouth, letting him to taste himself on Raven’s tongue. Julian’s hunger was in full bloom by now, and that almost made Raven to lock his teeth hard on one of blond’s lips, but he stopped himself at the last second. He didn’t want to hurt him right now, and even his thirst for blood wasn’t strong enough to outweigh that. He kissed the blond for several more minutes, and then he pushed him down once again after Julian attempted to pull himself up. Julian dropped down on the pillows, his breathing nowhere near composed by now, and he watched the smaller man with a silent question in his lilac eyes. He growled something unintelligible, which ended with ‘...Raven...!’ when the dark-haired thief suddenly impaled himself on his body, and then he placed his hands on the slender hips that were mounting him. Raven threw his head back, moving excruciatingly slowly, setting his own rhythm, musing about the fact that the blond was letting go of control so willingly, letting Raven to be the one in charge this time. He found the right angle almost instantly (with Julian it was an unbelievably easy thing to do) and shuddered sweetly, welcoming those brilliant sparks. He looked down when he felt Salamander’s touch on his right wrist. Julian guided Raven’s hand towards brunet’s leaking by now length, and placed it onto the warm slick flesh. “I like watching you...” he muttered breathlessly, and Raven gave him a small smile, wrapping his fingers around himself. He started sliding his hand up and down, his slow strokes matching the rhythm of his hips, making sure that he only applied minimal pressure – unlike Salamander, Raven couldn’t last for as long as he wanted, therefore, he took precautions. He kept that excruciatingly slow rhythm for a while, Julian’s fingers digging into his hips without trying to grasp control, and finally, his body started moving faster – all on its own, it seemed. The blond watched him with half-lidded eyes, his teeth locked on his bottom lip, his breathing short and uneven. That intent, hungry look made Raven’s fingers to wrap tighter around his pulsating self, and his hand set a quicker pace – the pace that his hips followed immediately. He knew that as of now, he wouldn’t last much longer if he didn’t slow down, and he wouldn’t do that – it felt too damn good to slow down right now. His hips agreed with him wholeheartedly and picked up even more speed, making his hand to mimic that. Julian’s hips followed the rhythm eagerly, meeting Raven’s movements halfway, satisfying that silent ‘More, more, more...!’ demand that was pulsating in Raven’s hazed mind. Raven bit his lip and threw his head back when he felt that oh-so-familiar splash in the pit of his stomach. To his surprise, it wasn’t growing as quickly as he thought it would. Instead, it was building up slowly, almost lazily, making him shudder in sweet anticipation. He knew that he was moaning so loudly by now that it was probably heard by whoever happened to be in the house at the moment, even though the door of the bedroom was closed, and he didn’t care. His hand tightened its grip and started moving faster yet, making the build-up to grow a hell of a lot quicker. “Julian...” he moaned without opening his eyes. “Julian, oh, God...” “Raven...” the blond muttered in a very uneven voice. “Shit, Raven... Come for me...” Those words were the final push, and Raven screamed out when his body eagerly obliged, making the fingers of his free hand to helplessly dig into blond’s hip. The blond mumbled something unintelligible, his back arched tightly, and Raven felt his wild spasms, which made him shudder even more. “God...” he breathed after they both stopped thrashing, and fell on top of the breathless blond, panting. “God...” “That was... different,” Julian said after a minute or so without opening his eyes, and Raven managed to lift himself up on one elbow. “I didn’t feel like hurting you... Did you like that?” he asked in a low voice, and the blond looked thoughtful for a few seconds. “Yes,” he said finally to Raven’s satisfaction. “Once in a while it would be actually okay...” he opened his eyes and looked at Raven. “Just don’t make it a habit,” he finished, and Raven smiled at that. “I won’t,” he promised and kissed Salamander’s mouth. He laid his head on Julian’s chest several minutes later and closed his eyes, feeling a great nap looming on the horizon. “Why aren’t you at work, by the way?” he asked without opening his eyes, and the blond shrugged. “Didn’t feel like it,” he replied. “Don’t worry...” he said a few seconds later. “I am not going to go broke because of slacking off...” Raven laughed at that softly. “I am going to call a moving agency in a couple of hours,” the blond said, and Raven opened his eyes just so he could blink and frown. “Why?” he asked with genuine puzzlement. “You need to move something?” “Yes,” Julian said casually. “Your stuff... I will tell them not to take any furniture though... Unless there is something you really want or need.” Raven remained completely mute for almost a full minute. “Come again...?” he said finally. “Give me at least ten minutes,” the blond said seriously, and Raven didn’t even smile at that. “You are going to move my stuff...?” Raven lifted himself up on his elbow once more. “Where to...? And why for that matter?” “Here,” the blond said as seriously as before. “As for why...” he shrugged. “Because that’s what I want.” “I don’t think so,” Raven said after another minute of stunned silence. “First of all, I like my apartment...! Second of all, I paid rent for the next month already...! Third of all... I don’t think so!” he said again with determination. “So I take it as a no for the furniture?” Julian asked as if he didn’t hear a single word. “You don’t need or want anything?” “Julian...” Raven said with great restraint. “I am not moving...!” “Don’t worry about the rent,” the blond ignored those words as well. “They will give it back to you.” “It’s non-refundable,” Raven said automatically and closed his eyes. “Believe me,” the blond said with content. “They will give it back to you.” “Julian...” Raven said again, and the blond pulled him down without letting him finish whatever Raven was about to say. Raven gritted his teeth with helpless frustration while Salamander’s arms wrapped around his smaller frame rather tightly. “Goddammit, Julian...” he said finally. “Look, I have a great deal on my apartment right now, okay? I don’t want to lose it because of your sudden whim...!” “Whim?” the blond repeated with an audible frown in his voice. “Yes,” Raven nodded against his chest. “Whim...! I am not one of your toys, and I don’t want to be thrown out into nowhere when you decide that you are tired of this particular game!” Julian pulled away just a little and propped himself up on one elbow, looking at Raven with a dark frown. Raven looked back at him without shifting his gaze. “This is not a whim,” the blond said slowly. “And no, you are not a toy; and no, I am not going to throw you out...” “Being on your sex-call six days a week is not enough anymore?” Raven asked quietly. “You want it to be twenty-four-seven now...?” Julian’s eyes darkened a little. “This is not about sex... Not anymore,” he said in the same quiet manner. “Then what is it about?” Raven wouldn’t look away. The blond looked at him silently for several minutes. “You,” he said finally, and now it was Raven who fell silent. “I want my desk,” he said finally, and the blond blinked at that. “Also make sure they get all my books.” “They will,” Julian nodded and lay down, pulling Raven closer. Raven sighed and wrapped his arm around blond’s waist, melancholically thinking that he would never even imagine that one dark-green rock would lead to this. “By the way,” the blond said a minute or two later. “Mmm...?” Raven asked without looking up. “If you will ever fuck anyone behind my back, I will kill you,” Julian said calmly, and Raven knew that he meant it. He looked up. “Ditto,” he said quietly, and now the blond looked thoughtful. “Parties...?” he said, and Raven gave him a small smile. “Those are okay as long as I am a major part of them,” he said, and the blond slowly nodded. “All right...” “And as long as the... guests... don’t appear on the scene more than once; no repetitions.” “All right...” “And I am not doing anyone younger than seventeen,” Raven finished, and now, the blond was silent for a long time. “Pity,” he murmured finally. “But all right...” Raven sighed once again, wrapped his arm tighter around Julian’s waist, and buried his face in the blond’s chest. He closed his eyes, knowing that this final ‘All right’ was as close to ‘I love you’ as it could possibly get in Salamander’s case. He was willing to give up one of his most favorite kinks for Raven, and that was enough to convince the dark-haired thief that he would not need his apartment from now on.
  23. Katya Dee

    Chapter 12

    He does. He just doesn't care.
  24. Bill W

    A Trial Run

    Thanks for the excellent feedback, flesco, and this will certainly change the dynamics of the family. The new kids are embracing their new family because they are aware of their mother's situation, and the Curries are willing to accommodate their needs. Not only will they have to limit the nudity now that there will be a female living at the house, but it may lead to other interesting developments as well. Only time will tell.
  25. Geron Kees

    Distant Truths

    Very interesting experiment. Thanks for sharing the results!
  26. Headstall

    Chapter 1 Hooked

    I'm all for second chances too, and first loves are really hard to forget, often defining us to some degree. I love exploring possibilities through writing, so I'm glad to hear Anthony's, Clark's and even Andrew's story, ticked all the boxes for you. What you say, Jeffrey, is what keeps us writers going... that reward for creating something out of nothing but the desire to tell a story. I thank you for taking the time to read and let me know what you thought. Anthony has always known what he wanted... he just didn't realize it... and he got the details wrong, but Clark ticked all his boxes too, and now they both have that chance. Let's hope Andrew doesn't live to regret his choice... I doubt he will, though, and I salute his courage... Thanks again, my friend... your support means a lot. Cheers... Gary....
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