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About FlyOnTheWall

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  1. FlyOnTheWall

    Chapter Four

    I remember reading this a while back. I have to say I really like the updated version. I think I'm in for a binge-read! Great work!
  2. Remember when I thought I was feeling better? HA! It wasn't but a few weeks after that when I ended up in the hospital for a 5-week stay. Turns out I've been diabetic for the last two years and it really never even crossed my mind since diabetes has never been in my family. I had a pretty severe bone infection on two vertebrae and the disc in between them.

    It took nearly four weeks for that infection to finally drain and then they found another one that was hiding behind it. That took another week to drain. After I was released from the hospital, it took another six weeks to finally get rid of the infection. So on top of learning how to be a diabetic, I had this tube (PICC line) sticking out of my arm and had to do a series of four injections three times a day.

    Good news... I'm infection free, pain-free, and it's entirely possible that if my glucose numbers and other numbers keep improving at the rate they are improving, i might just be diabetes-free!

    I'm writing again, but many of you know I'm also a musician, and Holiday time is CRRRRRRAZY time. I'm rehearsing FOUR musicals and two Christmas concerts right now!

    I've missed my interactions with you all... and will have some new chapters soon!

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. FlyOnTheWall


      Page!! I love that you were the first to respond! You've made my day! ❤️


    3. Page Scrawler

      Page Scrawler

      That's what friends are for, buddy.  :)

    4. Boybig007


      keep on the mend and good luck the with the holidays shows and enjoy.. 

  3. FlyOnTheWall

    We Need a Hero

    ALWAYS by Geoff Chassen Chapter 10 – WE NEED A HERO The first thing I wanted to do when I got home was take a shower. I wanted to wash off the hospital and all the bullshit from Monday. Pop gave me a wrap that would keep my stitches dry and asked if I needed any help. I grinned and looked at Billy and Pop just shook his head, “No, not that kind of help, nothing strenuous until the end of the week.” “Awwwww, man… okay, I’ll be good… and I’ll be fine. I’ll holler if I need anything.” Wow! I think that was the best shower ever, even with that plastic thing covering my stitches. I washed my hair twice and the minty soap just felt better than ever. I dried off and hit my hair with the dryer. Damn. I felt a million times better now that I was clean. I walked out to the kitchen and Billy was helping Pop with lunch. Pop was making tomato soup from scratch. Sorry, I thought you just opened a can! Billy was making grilled cheese sandwiches with ham-stuffed between the slices of cheese. Things were smelling good when Noah came in from the pool. The text from the school had come in and they could get their cars anytime in the afternoon. Billy was totally excited about getting his car back. Noah? He just shrugged his shoulders and sat down on the stool next to me. Something wasn’t right. “Dude. Are you okay?” “Yeah… no… I don’t know… maybe?” “Noah, what’s going on?” “I got a text from Liam Webster, Hannah’s brother. He’s on the swim team. He wants to come over and talk… I haven’t answered him yet.” “Is he bat-shit crazy like his dad and sister?” “Language, Nick.” “Sorry, Pop.” “No, Nick. Liam’s actually the only sane one in the bunch. You’ll meet him when you get to swim team. He’s a Junior… a year older than us.” Pop turned away from the stove and asked, “Maybe he’s trying to reach out to you… maybe let you know that he understands how things happened.” “I think that’s what he was getting at. He said his family exploded… He and his Mom have moved into a hotel. When I asked what happened, he said he would rather tell me in person.” I looked my brother in the eyes and asked him what his gut was telling him. “That Liam is kinda freaking out and needs someone to talk to… someone he can trust.” “Oh, and you think he can trust you?” “Yeah. Before Hannah, he and I used to hang out a lot. He kinda faded away after I started dating his sister.” Pop placed bowls of soup in front of us and at the other two places at the breakfast bar. “It’s okay with me if he comes over. I’ve actually missed having him around the house.” “Yeah, I miss him too, now that you mention it.” Noah grabbed his phone and started texting again as Billy brought a mountain of sandwiches to the counter. We all grabbed a couple of sandwiches and dug into lunch. Damn! That was the best-ever soup I’ve ever had! No more canned shit for me! Well, hopefully! “Hey Pop, Liam wants to know if we could pick him up at the hotel when we go get our cars. His mom is out for the afternoon.” “That shouldn’t be a problem. Where is he?” Noah tapped into his phone and his eyes widened. “They’re at the Guild. Whoa! Nice digs!” “It’s a bit out of our way, but it looks like we’re one of his only options. Tell him we’ll pick him up and he can come over after he gets his car.” “Thanks, Pop! You’re the best!” Noah leaned in and gave Pop a kiss on the cheek and he texted a bit more and then settled in to his lunch along with the rest of us.” Billy looked over at me with those gorgeous eyes and mouthed, “I love you” and just totally melted my heart. Pop asked me how I did with the shower. “The plastic thing was a little weird and reaching up with my left arm pulled a bit on the stitches, but it was the best shower I’ve had in my life!” We kept eating lunch and just as we were finishing, the doorbell rang. Pop got up to answer the door and returned with Mrs. Rodriguez. Looks like our second surprise visit! “Good afternoon, Nicholas, Noah… and this is…” “Hi, Ms. Rodriguez. This is Billy McCallister. I told you about him last time.” “Oh, yes! The boyfriend! It’s so nice to meet you, Billy!” Billy looked at me, blushing while I just smiled at him. Pop told Noah to let Liam know that something had come up at home and we’d be there an hour or so from now. Billy offered Mrs. Rodriguez some lunch. She declined but told me to bring the rest of mine out to the patio so we could talk. I only had half a sandwich left and decided I could finish it when I was finished talking with her. Pop said he would put it in the warmer. We sat down at the patio table and Mrs. Rodriguez started right in with the hero crap. “Well that was some first day of school, wasn’t it? How are you feeling?” “I’m a little sore and the stitches bug the heck outta me. But this ‘hero’ thing has gone way too far.” “But you DID save a couple of lives at the minimum… almost thirty lives if you think about it.” “But all I did was push my friends out of the way. Anyone would do that, wouldn’t they?” “One would hope so, Nick. But I’ve been thinking a lot about your situation. There have been so many tragic incidents at so many schools around the country, but what happened yesterday is so different. You are the first positive thing that has come out of all this tragedy. It’s the people who really do need you to be their hero right now. You’ve given a glimmer of hope. I think it might be more about the people who need… or want… a hero than it is about you.” “Yeah, I can see that, I guess.” “So, be the hero for those who need you to be. That doesn’t mean you have to strut around like someone all full of themselves. All you have to do is thank the people who say something to you. Acknowledge the praise and then just move on. And I promise you this will all blow over in a week or so and you can move on with your life.” “I never really thought about it that way. I guess I see what you’re saying and I’ll just deal with it and let it become old news.” “Now… about your life… how are things going with you and the White’s?” “It still kind of blows my mind. Every day I feel less like a foster kid and more like a part of a family… a pretty awesome family, if you ask me. But yesterday, I completely felt like a full-on family member. Noah and the dads stayed with me pretty much the whole day. I mean, even when we weren’t talking and they were just sitting in the room with me… we were there together… just like a real family.” “You called them ‘the dads.’ Is there something I should read into that?” “You know I never had a dad. Until now, the closest thing I ever had was one who treated me like his live-in slave and one who beat the crap out of me when his son kissed me. Things are so different with David and Andrew. They treat me the same way they treat Noah. They really care about what’s happening with me. A while back, it just slipped out. I called David ‘Pop’ without even thinking about it.” “How did they take that?” “They kinda cried a little. It made them really happy.” “That’s wonderful, Nick. They love you. There are a lot of people who love you. I’m so happy to see how you’ve grown into a special young man… the young man Mrs. Cranston has always said you were.” “Well, I’ve not said it to all of them, but I love them, too. It’s kind of easy to love people who care about you… and love you… back.” “And Billy… is there anything you want to tell me about him? He seems to be a very special young man.” “I still find it hard to believe that someone like Billy McCallister would even give me a second look, let alone want to be my boyfriend. I mean, he’s a jock on the wrestling team. Incredibly handsome, so smart… pretty much everything I’m not. But then he tells me that what he loves the most about us is the differences. He says it makes the everyday things in our life together so much more interesting.” “And the things you listed about Billy… my guess is that those are the things you might love about him?” “Wow. This is kinda embarrassing, but yeah… I guess you’re right. But it’s more than that. It’s like when we’re together everything is so different. It’s calm, it’s so comfortable, it’s complete… it’s so different from anything I’ve ever felt before.” “Well Nick, I don’t think I’ve seen a young man adjust so well, so quickly. It makes me extremely happy that this experimental program seems to be working so well.” “Are you ready for a tour?” “Oh, I don’t think that’s necessary today. I do need to have a quick chat with your brother and dad, and then I’ll be out of here. Again, Nick… I’m so pleased and proud of you. Especially after all you went through yesterday. You are a remarkable young man.” “Thank you, Ms. Rodriguez. Do you want them one at a time?” “You can send them out together today.” I went back into the house and told Pop and Noah that Mrs. Rodriguez wanted to see them together. As soon as I sat down, Billy had the rest of my lunch in front of me and was sitting on the stool next to me. “How’d it go, babe?” “It was good. She helped put this hero stuff into a place where I think I can deal with it. And we talked about you… and us… quite a bit.” “Oh?” “Yeah. It turns out the things we BOTH love about each other are the things that are different about us. She thinks that we have the base of a really good relationship going.” “She’s a smart lady.” Billy leaned in and gave me a kiss. I finished my lunch and helped Billy clean the kitchen and load the dishwasher. Well, as much as I could with those damned stitches. By the time we finished the kitchen Pop and Noah came back into the house with Ms. Rodriguez. She thanked us for our time and Pop showed her out the door. When Pop came back into the kitchen he told Noah to let Liam know they were leaving the house. I decided I would stay home and take a much-needed nap. So… what happened over the next couple of hours seems to be pretty important, but I wasn’t there so I’m going to let Noah take over and let you in on everything. ********** Hey y’all. Noah here. Nick decided to take a nap. Damn, he definitely has earned it over the last couple of days! He asked me to tell you about the next hour or so. A lot of shit… mostly good shit… came down that he wanted me to tell you about it. Maybe I’ll have to write my own story someday. Liam Webster. Where should I start? The beginning? I guess that’s a good place. I met Liam last year at swim team. Fate just kinda threw us together. We ended up sitting next to each other on the bleachers that first day of practice… listening to the coach ramble on and on. That first day we learned each other’s names and discovered we were both new to the team and at the bottom of the team totem pole. We didn’t get as much pool time as the upperclassmen and it seemed whenever we were sitting on the bench, Liam was always sitting next to me. I guess it was nice since we got to know each other. A few weeks into swim practice it hit me that when we would hit the showers, Liam would either be next to me or across from me. You know how you can “feel” someone’s eyes when they are looking at you? I began to get that feeling from Liam just about every time. I would turn and catch his eye, but the strange thing was he wouldn’t turn away. He would smile at me. I would smile at him and we would just continue with our shower business. A couple weeks later, we had just finished a pool workout and we moved to the benches. He kinda surprised me when he asked if I was seeing anyone. Unfortunately, I was. I was seeing another dude… an asshole of a dude… but I was trying really hard to make things work. I told Liam that I was seeing someone and it broke my heart when I saw the dejected look on his face… especially since I knew that Liam would be a MUCH better boyfriend than the one I had. Of course, I told him I really did want to stay friends and he half-heartedly agreed. So, not long after that exchange, I got dumped by the so-called boyfriend. Why? Because I wouldn’t let him fuck me… or fuck him. About six weeks before the end of the school year, our History teacher paired people up for an end-of-the-year project. Enter Hannah Webster. At first, I thought that this might be a good way to see Liam again and maybe rebuild our friendship. What I didn’t realize until a couple of weeks later was that Liam and Hannah totally hated each other and were never in the same room together except at meals. I will have to admit that Hannah was an excellent partner and we had our powerpoint presentation nearly finished way ahead of the others in the class. But one afternoon, we were watching our presentation and we got to a part that was really cool. She hugged me, I looked at her, she kissed me… and the saga began… As you have probably figured out from Nick’s writing, Hannah Webster can be pretty aggressive. Should I have stopped her when things began to get intense? Probably. But keep in mind… I was a horny, hormonal fifteen-year-old with a dick that had a mind of its own. By the end of the school year, we were fucking on a pretty regular basis and she made sure the entire school knew that we were together. The only thing was, I didn’t feel like we were together. My heart wasn’t into it and soon I was fucking Hannah just to keep her from bitching. Well, you know how that all ended, and while I really hated that she had to die, I’ve been having this liberating feeling of relief… until Liam texted me. As we’re driving to his hotel, I’m having this mixed feelings of excitement and confusion. We pulled up to the front of the hotel and Liam was out front waiting for us. He hopped into the back seat with me and flashed that familiar smile and I was pretty sure the direction things were going. Billy, who was in the front seat with Pop, introduced himself to Liam and Pop asked him if everything was okay. Duh! Liam and his mom have moved into a hotel. Doesn’t sound like everything is okay to me! Liam explained that this morning, his dad and two older brothers were going off about all this was the fault of the “country club fags.” He said they just wouldn’t stop and the discussion then turned to what they would do to ANY fag that crossed their path. Liam said he reached a boiling point and blurted out that they could start with him. He then stood up and announced that he was packing his bags, that he could no longer be a part of this family. One of his brothers got up and started to follow Liam upstairs and his mother let out a sound he had never heard before. At least the brother had enough respect for his mother to stop. She then went into her bedroom as his dad and brothers finished their breakfast. Liam couldn’t hear what was being said since the yelling had stopped. About twenty minutes later, he took the other stairs down to the front door and found his mother there. She had been crying and told him to put his bags into her car. She said her bags were already there. She followed him out the door and they made their way downtown to the hotel. His mom didn’t even tell anyone that she was also leaving. She decided to let them figure it out on their own. Pop asked if they were going to be okay on their own. Liam told him that money was not an issue at all since most of their money came from a family trust and she was the only one who had access to the share left to her by her grandmother. By the time Liam had finished his story, we had arrived at the high school. We directed Pop to the Underclassmen parking lot, which was WAY behind the main building. Liam and I were parked pretty close to each other so Pop dropped us off first. Before we split off to our cars, Liam asked, “Hey, can we talk for a minute?” “Sure. My car or yours?” “How ‘bout yours? My AC isn’t very reliable lately.” We got into my car and had it cooled down in just a few minutes. Liam twisted his body around so he was facing me directly. “I think the first thing I need to do is seriously apologize to you.” “What are you talking about, Liam? You don’t have anything to apologize for.” “Yeah, I do. I should never have pulled away after you told me you were seeing someone. And then, when you started dating Hannah, that was the hardest thing for me to see and I pulled completely away. And speaking of Hannah, I want you to know that… from the bottom of my heart… I’m so sorry for all the trouble she caused you and your family. You won’t hear that from anyone else except maybe my mother.” “Like I said, you have absolutely nothing to apologize for, Liam… but I totally appreciate your honesty.” “Thanks, Noah… but I want us to start up our friendship again so I need to be 100% honest with you. When I asked you if you were seeing someone, it was because I was hoping you weren’t and that I was hoping you were gay. I had no idea you were straight, or I would have ever gone there.” “Um, Liam… I was with Julian Decker back then. I’m not straight.” “But… Hannah. What…?” “I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you to know that Hannah was in control of that relationship… and most of the time I would do stuff with her to shut her up. I didn’t really love either Julian or Hannah. They were both bad decisions on my part.” “So… could that mean… you know… maybe… do I have a chance with you?” I leaned over to Liam and kissed him lightly on the lips. I pulled away after a few seconds and told him, “Yeah.” I started to move back to my seat but Liam pulled me back and kissed me… and there was nothing light or chaste about it. In fact, it was one of the nicest kisses I’ve ever had. Looking back, I think it was because I didn’t feel any pressure to give more than I was ready to give. It was a kiss where Liam just shared himself with me. Oh, and while we were kissing he made these cute-as-fuck whimper noises. We finished the kiss and Liam thanked me for making his day more perfect than he could have wished for. He promised not to push me into something I wasn’t ready for and then he went to his car and pulled out of the parking lot. When he drove by me, he had the cutest grin on his face. So yeah, it looks like Liam and I are going to do some exploring and see where things take us. And for the first time, I’m not nervous or apprehensive at all. Already off to a good start! ********** I had started to wake up from my nap when Noah literally came bouncing into the room. “Dude! You awake?” “I am now! What’s got you so keyed up?” “I need to ask you a question. Just between you and me, k?” “Sure, what’s up?” “Do you remember the first kiss you and Billy had?” “Of course I do. You can’t forget something like that!” “Can you tell me what it was like? Why you’ll never forget it?” “Did you and Liam….” “No. No. No. I really need to know, Nick!” “Okay. I guess the main thing I remember was that it was an amazing kiss. Like none I’ve ever experienced. It was like I could feel Billy filling up my entire soul, and I could feel Billy letting me in. Oh… and as amazing as that kiss was, I didn’t feel any pressure or expectations… we were just in this amazing moment.” “Yeah… that’s exactly what it felt like! Oh man, this is so cool!” “Liam?” “Yeah.” Noah actually blushed as he threw himself down on his bed. “You know, I’ve never seen you like this. It’s kinda cool... weird, but cool! But then, I totally get it.” “You know, I’ve really only kissed two other people in my life. Those kissed were NOTHING like this. It was like it was just about the act of kissing... the physical stuff. And with Hanna, Hell... that was more for my own survival.” Noah laughed a bit and then looked at me with a serious face. “How do I know it’s real, Nick?” “Not that I have that much experience with this kinda shit, but I remember that pretty all I could think about was Billy until I got to see him again. I think we texted each other a hundred times that night.” Right on cue, Noah’s phone buzzed and he got that goofy grin that I remembered quite well. I decided to head out to the kitchen for some iced tea and text Billy... giving Noah some privacy. I didn’t have to text Billy. While I was pouring my tea, my phone vibrated on the breakfast bar. When I sat down, I saw a text had come in from Billy. BILLYMAC: hi baby. how ya feelin ❤️ NICKSWIM03: good nap. just having some iced tea ❤️ ❤️ BILLYMAC: did noah come home NICKSWIM03: yeah. he got his car but came home alone BILLYMAC: how was he NICKSWIM03: why would u ask that BILLYMAC: cuz when I drove by noah’s car is saw him and liam kissing... REALLY kissing NICKSWIM03: yup. he told me and asked what our first kiss was like BILLYMAC: what did u tell him NICKSWIM03: that it was ok BILLYMAC: WTF?!?! NICKSWIM03: haha! told him it was the most amazing thing ever. told him it was like I could feel your soul inside me BILLYMAC: nice. i felt the same thing u know NICKSWIM03: sweet BILLYMAC: mom wanted me to ask if you could go out to dinner with us tonite. maybe do a sleepover. she’ll take u home in the morning after we go to school NICKSWIM03: 2 things... gotta ask pop first and... we can’t have sex BILLYMAC: I know that. but being with u is what I need NICKSWIM03: lemme ask pop brb I walked out to the patio where Pop was reading his book and asked him. He was concerned about the sleepover part since it was a school night. “Pop. It’s not like we can do anything that will keep us up late. We just want some time together.” “Have Billy’s mom give me a call and then I’ll let you know.” I texted Billy the message from Pop and I swear, in less than fifteen seconds his phone was ringing. My boy works fast! I think I love Billy’s mom! She had convinced Pop in just minutes and in no time Billy came by and took me over to his house. We had dinner at P.F. Chang’s downtown. Okay... another first. You see, the only Chinese food I’ve ever had was that fast-food place Panda Express. I liked that well enough but wow! Can I just say lettuce wraps might just be my new favorite food. I’ll have to ask Pop if he knows how to make those! I ordered the Beef and Broccoli and then had a chopstick lesson from our cute waiter. Billy kept giggling as the waiter had his hands all over my fingers. It was too cute. But, believe it or not, this zero-experienced foster kid got the hang of it pretty quick and I was chowing down with the whole family. That night, Billy tried to strip down to nothing, but I knew that wouldn’t be a good idea for either of us. We both wore sleep pants and with me on my back, Billy snuggled up on my right side. I guess we were both more tired than we thought. We were asleep in just minutes and had the most wonderful sleep...straight through the night. I guess just being with the boy you love more than life itself is all you need to feel safe, calm, and completely at ease. Damn! I sure do love this new life! I think I always will… Always.
  4. FlyOnTheWall

    A Whole New World

    I had no idea! I'm not a country music listener at all.
  5. FlyOnTheWall

    A Day In San Antonio, A Night In Heaven

    I have a feeling that not all of Hannah's three brothers are sane. Oh. Wait. I know the answer to that, don't I?
  6. Yeah, sorry this chapter took a while. I started teaching my summer theatre camps and I'm playing piano in the pit for one show and getting ready to start rehearsals for another! On top of that I had to spend some extra time at the Google School of Medicine so I would get the medical stuff as right as possible!
  7. Shhhh. It's a secret. Don't tell anyone. But we're definitely not finished with Hannah's family. hehe
  8. FlyOnTheWall

    The First Day of School, The Last Day of Fear

    ALWAYS by Geoff Chassen Chapter 9 – THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, THE LAST DAY OF FEAR “Gun!” I yelled at the top of my voice. Holy crap! Hannah the Horrible is standing in front of the class with a gun. I throw myself at Billy and Noah and jump down behind the platform that we are sitting on. Only thing is, as we are diving the bitch fires her gun. Fuck! She shot me! The pain in my side is ridiculous! “Fuck! She shot me!” Apparently, Miss Garner hit some kind of alarm because we hear the lock-down alarms and in just seconds the police come running into the classroom. “Put down the gun! Put down the gun!” Billy was holding me with his hand pressed into my side. From what I understand, Hannah turned to face the police officer and held her gun toward him. We heard a gunshot and several of us drama kids screamed out loud. The police officer told us to stay where we were. It was Noah who shouted out that I had been hit. I heard the police talk on his radio thing that they needed two ambulances. Two students were down. I was able to see through the space between the platforms that the other student hit was Hannah. Only the front of her top was covered in blood. Holy fuck! They killed Hannah!?! I mean, she is totally an uber-bitch but kill her? What the fuck? She wasn’t moving. The police officer came around behind the platform to find me. He asked Noah, Cal, and Billy to move so he could look at me. Billy told the cop that he was applying pressure to the wound and was not going to let go. And he didn’t. He is now my life-saving hero! I could hear the sirens from a shitload of cars pulling up to the school. I hope one of those is an ambulance. Hannah needs help bad, I think. The medics came in and one group went to Hannah while another group came to me. They finally convinced Billy to let go of me and they bandaged me up with a compression thing and stuck a needle in my arm. They got me on the gurney and started rolling me out of the classroom. Billy told the EMT’s that he needed to go with me but they said only one family member could do that. Noah told them he was my brother which they thought was a joke. He explained that I was his foster brother and that he needed to go with me and contact his parents so they could meet us at the hospital. When the other guys verified that Noah was telling the truth, they let my brother come with me in the ambulance. Holy shit! When they wheeled me out of the school, there were cameras and reporters all over the place! The EMT’s asked Noah to help shield my face and to keep his own face down. They didn’t want anyone to identify either of us. I asked the EMT guys (who were awfully nice, by the way) how Hannah was. They couldn’t… or wouldn’t… tell me anything. We pulled out of the school parking lot and headed to the hospital. Noah asked where we were going and they told him to St. David’s South. He got on his cell and called Pop. Of course, I could only hear one end of the conversation. “Hey Pop.” (pause) “We’re okay.” (pause) “Yeah, it was Hannah.” (pause) “She shot Nick, but it doesn’t seem too bad. We’re in the ambulance and they’re taking him to St. David’s South.” (pause) Yeah, we’ll see you there. Call Dad, will you? (pause) “Yeah, Pop. We love you, too… and I promise we’re okay.” We got to the hospital in about ten minutes and I’ll be damned if there weren’t reporters all over the place there, too! I was starting to feel a little woozy and remember Noah telling me to hang in and that Pop should be there soon. I was starting to hurt… and I wanted to go to sleep. A nurse came in to take Noah out to the waiting area. He wanted to stay until Pop got to the hospital, but the nurse said even he would be asked to leave so the doctors could work better. Then they took scissors… fucking scissors… and cut my new shirt off! I liked that shirt, too! At least they took off my skinny jeans off normally, even though that was probably harder to do than it would have been to take my shirt off normally! They had me naked on the table and started looking at my wound. I didn’t understand a lot of what they were saying. I heard spleen. Something about a rib and bone fragments. I heard the word surgery. Then I heard Pop’s voice. Then they covered me with a blanket and let Pop in to see me. “It’s okay, Nick. I’m here. Andrew is on his way. They’re going to take you up to surgery and we’ll all be waiting for you when you get out.” “Billy?” “I called the police and they said the school is still on lockdown. As soon as the kids are released, Billy will be here. I’m talking with him through text. He loves you, Nick. He’s so scared.” “I love him, too Pop. More than you’ll ever know. He saved my life today.” “I think it’s the other way around. As soon as you saw the gun, you pushed Noah and Billy back and down behind the platform. You were hit as you were dropping down. But the doctors are going to be able to fix you up as good as new. By the time you wake up, we’ll be here with you.” I smiled at Pop. He made everything better just by being with me, holding my hand, and talking to me. So THIS is what it’s like to be part of a family, huh? Sure feels good! “Thanks for getting here, Pop. I love you.” Oh fuck, I made him cry. I’m such an idiot! “Those are the three most beautiful words I’ve heard in a long time, Nick. You DO realize that Noah, Andrew and I love you just as if you’ve been a part of our family since the day you were born. If we were to ever lose--” And then he just started sobbing. “Don’t cry, Pop. I don’t want to make you cry!” “You didn’t. It’s the thought of things being a lot worse than they are. Scares the shit out of me!” “Uh, Pop… language?” Yay! That made him smile! Just in time, too. A bunch of people came in and told Pop that they were going to take me up to surgery now. They squeezed something into the tube going into my arm and I don’t think I was awake even two minutes. -------- The next thing I remember was lying in a bed with my upper body raised up. I heard a strange voice talking, saying something about they needed to run a scan to make sure they got all the bone fragments and shrapnel before they closed me up permanently. He said I would be in the hospital a total of one or two days. Then I heard Noah say, “I think he’s coming around. Nick? Buddy? Can you hear me?” I opened my eyes and saw my brother looking awfully worried. “Noah? You okay?” “I am now that you’re awake. But I’m supposed to ask you that, aren’t I?” I looked past Noah and saw the dads talking to another man in a white coat. Must be one of the doctors. Then my stomach growled. “I’m hungry!” “Hi Nick, I’m Dr. Jameson. I was the one who fixed you up in surgery. I can’t have you eat any solid food quite yet because we might have to have one more surgery tomorrow. I can get you some soup if you’d like.” “Anything would be good.” “I’ll order some for you as soon as we’re done here.” “Can you tell me what happened to me?” “Well son, I would say that you are a very lucky young man. The bullet hit your 8th rib and damaged your spleen to the point where we had to remove it. Now, you can live a fairly normal life without your spleen, so you don’t have to worry about that. The only side effect of not having a spleen is that it puts at risk for developing infections. So, to prevent that we will put you on a schedule of vaccinations that will take care of any infection threats that your spleen would have normally handled. “The reason we are considering another surgery is that we want to make sure there are no bone or bullet fragments left. We’ll be doing a CT scan later this afternoon to make sure we got everything. If not, we’ll go in first thing in the morning and take care of anything we find. “If you don’t need another surgery, you should be able to go home tomorrow. If you need another surgery, we can probably let you go the next day. Any questions?” “Well, I have a couple but they’re not about me or my surgery.” “Maybe someone in the room can answer your questions. I’m going to go order that soup. How about a double order?” “Sounds great!” The doctor left the room and I was surrounded by my family. My real, honest-to-God family! But God… I wanted Billy there so bad! “Where’s Billy?” Noah looked at his phone and said he had to go home with his mom after they let him out of school. “They had to talk some before she would let him come here. He should be here in about ten minutes.” “Dad? Pop? What happened to Hannah?” Dad took a sigh and answered. “She was in surgery the same time you were. I’m afraid it doesn’t look good for her. She’s in ICU and in a coma.” That made me sad, in a weird kind of way. “That’s terrible. I mean, sure… she needed to pay for the things she had done, but I don’t want her to die because she doesn’t like me.” I took a deep sigh and the tears started. “No one should die because of me. It’s not worth it.” Andrew came over and sat on the side of the bed, putting his arm around my shoulder and leaning into me. “Son, you have to understand that everything Hannah has done, she did because she is a sick girl. If it wasn’t you this morning, I promise you it would have been someone else next month… or next week. But the fact is, you saved about thirty lives this morning. You yelled out when you saw that gun being pulled from her purse. You took Noah and Billy down behind the platform with you and she was only able to get the one shot off. “All three of you boys are extremely lucky. Things could have been so much worse. Luckily the campus police officer was in your area of the building when the alarm went out. As soon as he saw where the alarm originated, he ran to the drama classroom. He told Hannah to put down the gun but instead of doing that she turned and pointed the gun at the officer. He had to shoot her. She was shot in the chest. It’s bad.” “I understand all that, it’s just…” “Nicky! Are you okay?” “Billy!” Finally! My Billy was here! Noah got out of the way and Billy immediately leaned in and kissed me. Ow! He tried to hug me, too. That’s not gonna work! “No hugs, baby. Hurts too much!” “Oh God! I’m sorry! I’m just so glad… so happy… you could’ve…” Oh shit. Billy just put his face in his hands and started sobbing. I’m glad Noah was there since he was the one to pull Billy up off the chair and stood him up, facing him. “Billy. Stop. We’ve talked about this before. You can’t go through life freaking out about what could’ve happened. The fact is, you have a boyfriend who pretty much saved your life… mine, too. Yeah, he got injured, but it’s not serious. We should be happy about that, not freaking out over what could have happened if Hannah actually knew how to aim a gun.” Pop interrupted us, saying he just got a text from Kevin, the neighbor, saying we should turn on CNN since they were going to cover the shooting after the commercial break. He flipped on the television and found CNN just as they were coming back from the commercials: “Welcome back to CNN. We have breaking news from Austin, Texas where there has been yet another school shooting. This one is quite different from the others we keep reporting on. The shooter, in this case, was a girl. As you can see from our overhead cameras, students are being escorted out of the building with their hands in the air. They are being led to school buses where they will be taken to a pick-up location away from campus. We are going to go live to Ben Hamilton. Ben, what is the current situation there in Austin?” “It’s yet another school shooting and the second one in Texas in just the last few months. Only this is a rather unusual incident in that the shooter was a 16-year-old girl. The girl was shot by a school police officer when she pointed her gun at him. We don’t have a lot of details other than she is now out of surgery and has been listed in grave condition. “Another unusual twist to the story is the young hero. Sixteen-year-old Nick Jacobs was the first to spot the gun as she began to pull it out of her purse. He shouted “gun” and then dove at two other students, pulling them to safety. His quick action caused all of the students in the room to dive for safety, saving what could have been several lives. We are told this young man was hit by one of the shooter’s bullets. He is also out of surgery and is in fair condition. He is expected to make a full recovery.” “Ben, this is Jake back in the studio. We are told that the entire event happened very quickly. What is it that this particular school did that made things come to a resolution so fast?” “Jake, this is the first day of school after Spring break. During the break, every teacher’s desk was outfitted with a panic button. We were told that the button sends an immediate lock-down alarm and opens the intercom between the office and the classroom. The teacher, Miss Maria Garner said two words… “Active Shooter” and in less than twenty seconds, one of the school’s police officers was in the room with the shooter, the teacher, and the students.” “It sounds like this is a school that proactively planned for such a tragic event. What’s happening now? We see students being led out of the building and onto school buses.” “Yes, Jake. Students are being taken to the school’s football stadium which is several blocks from the main campus. Parents have been contacted and told they can pick up their children at that location.” “Ben, sorry to interrupt, but we have a press conference coming up from the front of the high school. We’re going to go live to the conference right now.” “Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I’m Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez and I would like to first apologize for the lack of information the last time we spoke with you. We do have quite a bit of information for you this time. “At 8:04 a.m. a female student, her name is Hannah Webster, entered her theatre class late. When the teacher asked for her late pass, the student reached into her purse and instead of a pass, she pulled out a gun. “Another student, a Nick Jacobs saw the gun before she had even pulled it out of her bag and shouted a warning to the other students in the classroom. Mr. Jacobs then leaped toward and grabbed two other students and pulled them to safety. The other students also hid behind tables and chairs. “Mr. Jacobs was hit by one of Miss Webster's bullets and was taken to the hospital. Soon after Mr. Jacobs was struck, one of the school’s resource officers entered the scene and told Miss Webster to put the gun down. She did not follow orders and turned to the officer and pointed the gun at him. “The officer fired one shot, hitting Miss Webster in the chest. She was also transported to the hospital and is reported in grave condition after emergency surgery. “I’m now going to turn the podium over to Sally Peterson of the Eanes Independent School District.” “Thank you, Sherrif Hernandez. I’m Sally Peterson, spokesperson for the Eanes Independent School District. I would like to say that in spite of the tragic event that took place at Westlake High School this morning, I would like to thank the school officials for making sure the preparations that have been taking place helped everyone involved handle the situation in the most proficient way. “We have held lockdown drills several times during the school year so our students knew exactly what to do when the alarm sounded this morning. In addition, special panic alarm buttons have recently been installed on each of the teachers’ desks. When activated, the button immediately triggers the lockdown alarm and a communication is opened between the classroom, the office, and the police officers’ communication system. I asked the dads to turn off the television. I’d heard enough. I can’t believe they’re trying to make me a hero out of all this. Billy took my hand and kissed it. “I’m proud of you, Nicky. You may not think so, but you really did save my life… and Noah’s.” “All I did was try to push you out of the way… or try to.” “And that bullet could have hit any of us. I can’t tell you how much I hate that it hit you. I wish it was me in that bed right now.” “I can move over!” “Yeah, I don’t think the nurses would like that too much! But hey, I need to tell you something.” “Uh-oh. I always hate hearing that sentence… and somehow, it seems like it might be worse since it came from my boyfriend.” “No. No. No. It’s not that bad. But when Mom was driving me home she couldn’t understand why I was so freaked out and worried about you. So, I had to tell her it was because you were my boyfriend.” “Oh, Jesus. I hope she didn’t drive off the road or anything.” “No. I was surprised. She said she kinda figured it out already. Told me moms know these things. She said it was the look on my face when I would talk about you. Or the goofy look on my face whenever I would get a text from you. Then she said she was almost 100% sure there was something going on by the way I got so excited about the sleepover.” “So now… when I finally meet her, she’s going to look at me as the boy who plays with her son’s dick?” “Watch the language, Nick.” Andrew tried to be serious, but he couldn’t help but laugh. “No. But she and Dad want to come by and see you tonight.” “Oh, great!” “No. Stop that. They want to thank you for saving my life.” “Dad. Pop. I don’t want to be a hero. I’m just a kid who tried to help his brother and boyfriend get out of the way.” Just then a nurse walked in with a tray holding two bowls. Yay! Lunch! Boy! Was that a disappointment! I was given two bowls of chicken broth and a few saltine crackers. The nurse said that would tide me over until I had my scan and if everything is clear on that, I can have a regular dinner. Dad asked why they were doing a CT scan instead of an MRI. She said that since there was a slight chance that there might still be bullet fragments in my body, they couldn’t do an MRI because of the high-powered magnetic fields that were used. Well, I was hungry enough that even plain, boring chicken broth tasted awfully good. Billy and Noah’s phones chimed with a text message. It was from the school. There would be no school tomorrow because the cops had to finish their investigation. That was all good, but I just realized I didn’t have my phone. I think it’s still in my backpack back at the school. Shit! My laptop was there, too! Andrew said he would call the school office now that things seem to have calmed down a bit and see about getting my things. He said he figured they would do whatever they could to make their hero happy. I gave him a look of disgust, but I think he figured it was about my not-so-delicious lunch. The nurse came in and asked if I was wearing any metal chains or had any piercings. I told her I had a watch but didn’t know where it was. Dad said they had it with my stuff they took off when I got to the ER. That’s a good thing. My watch was a gift from Mrs. C. when I was living back at the home. She told me my CT scan would be in about two hours and suggested I rest before then. The dads suggest that they go down to the cafeteria and get some coffee and a snack. I begged for Billy to stay with me, and they allowed that, promising to bring him a cup of coffee when they returned. Now it was just me and Billy. My dear, sweet Billy. “I love you so fucking much, Nicky. The thought of losing you literally tore me to pieces today.” “Hey, but that didn’t happen, so stop worrying about that, okay?” “You really did save my life. You were amazing.” “You know something, Billy? You have saved my life.” “What are you talking about? I haven’t done anything.” “You don’t get it, do you? A week ago… can you believe it’s only been a week? Anyway, it was a week ago when you kissed me for the first time. Me! This scared… no terrified… foster kid who had no clue as to why these people wanted me in their lives. I was a boy who couldn’t figure out why such an amazing boy like you would want to kiss me… or do ANYTHING with me. “But then something happened. I found that the more I spent time with you, I discovered things about me that I didn’t even know existed. Somehow, I found confidence. I found things about me that weren’t so bad after all. But the most important thing I found was that I was a much better person with you standing by my side. “I also found out that I never really knew what true happiness was until you came along. I love you with all my heart and soul. And no matter what happens in our lives, I know that even twenty years from now, it will always be you who made me a pretty cool dude that people actually wanted to hang with.” “Wow! That’s… that’s… so much! But I have to tell you that you have brought so many changes in my life… besides the sex stuff! Nicky, you helped me find myself. Even more important… you helped me accept myself. You see, no matter how insecure you were about shit, you were always so fucking cool about your being gay. You made me realize that it really wasn’t any more relevant than the color of my hair or eyes.” “So I guess what you’re saying is that we’re pretty fucking awesome together, huh?” And then I yawned one of the biggest yawns in the history of mankind. “Damn, Billy. I’m really sleepy. Did that nurse put something in my IV?” “Yeah, I saw her shoot a needle of stuff in there. Maybe something for pain?” “Well, I’m not feeling any pain. Could you do something for me, babe?” “Whatever you want, Nicky.” “Will you rub my head while I fall asleep?” And those fingers lulled me to sleep in about ten seconds. The next thing I knew I was being lifted out of bed and onto a gurney. I was groggy as shit but my guys were sitting on the other end of the room. I heard someone say they would be there when I got back. I think it was Dad. Maybe Pop. Maybe the fucking president. I don’t know. I just knew someone would be there when I got back. The scan didn’t take all that long and the dude that was doing everything told me they should have the results in an hour or so. God, I hope I can go home tomorrow! So it was back on the gurney. Only this time it hurt like Hell where I had my stitches. Maybe the nice nurse with the good drugs will be there to make me feel good again! It didn’t take long to get back to the room and when they moved me back on the bed it hurt even worse… and they knew it from the groans I was making. The orderly said he would send the nurse in to give me something for pain. As soon as I was settled in my bed, Billy pulled a chair up to me Noah sat on the foot of the bed. Noah was looking a little down so I asked him what was bothering him. “We were watching the news while you were gone… and… (sigh)… Hannah didn’t make it. She died. It’s weird, I’ve never known anyone who died.” “Noah, I hate that anyone had to die… even Hannah. But she did this. She pointed that gun at a cop. A cop will always shoot if they think there is a threat. And they have a lot better aim than she did.” “I know. The sad thing is that we had a lot of good times, Hannah and me… but now when I think about her, all I can see and hear is the hateful stuff she said and did. And it sucks that those are the memories I’m going to have of her.” My favorite nurse came into the room. “Gentlemen, I’m going to have to ask you to leave. There are a couple of police officers that would like to speak with Nick. Nick, I’m going to go ahead and put some morphine into your IV. It won’t be as much as the last dose, and you’ll probably want to fall asleep in about twenty minutes… just long enough for the police to get what they want and get out.” Billy stood up from the chair and kissed me goodbye! In front of the nurse, even! They all left the room leaving me with my nurse. “You boys are very lucky to have each other. It makes me happy to see be so natural with your feelings. I wish my son was as comfortable within his own skin as you are.” “You have a son who’s…” “Gay. Yes. He’s twenty-four and still is trying to keep this big secret. He’s so worried what everyone else thinks that he doesn’t allow himself to accept himself.” “Well, sometimes all it takes is the right boy to come along. That’s how it was with me and Billy. He had always dated girls until we met.” “I don’t think he’s going to go back to that. I’ve never seen so much love in a boy’s eyes as I see in his. You’re very lucky… and so is he. Now, let me get those officers in here so they can talk to you and get this done with.” The nurse left and two cops came into the room. What surprised me was Dad came in with them. He told them he was my attorney and he just wanted to be there while they spoke with me. Andrew fucking rocks! The female cop was really nice. She asked if she could record our conversation so they would be sure to get everything right. I didn’t mind. It wasn’t like I had anything to hide. The dude cop, who was kinda hot in an older dude kind of way, asked me to tell them what had happened at the school. I told them what was being said on TV was exactly what happened, but he wanted me to tell it in my own words. So I told them exactly what everyone had already heard on TV. Then it got interesting. The female cop asked why I thought Hannah would want to do such a thing. I looked over at Dad and just nodded. So I told them about moving into the house, how Noah was so awesome, spending time with me and making me feel part of the family. I told them how Hannah was jealous of the time Noah was spending with me. I told them about the name-calling and how Noah had canceled her invitation to San Antonio. I told them about the spray painting “fags burn in hell” on our garage door and how she was arrested for that. The last thing I told them was about the Facebook comments she had posted about our pics from Six Flags. And then I told them that was all I had. The dude cop looked at Dad and asked if there was anything to add and he said there wasn’t. By the time he had turned around to me, I was starting to doze off. “Officers, my son has had an incredibly stressful day, and as you can see, he’s about done with the questioning. Do you mind?” “No sir, we have all we need right now. We’ll be in touch if there’s anything else.” And that was the last thing I heard. It was the doctor who woke me up. He wanted to check me out and find out how I was feeling. So I told him my side hurt. Why did everyone think that was so funny? So the doc says my CT scan showed no fragments of any kind and that I would be able to go home in the morning! He also ordered me a normal meal for my dinner! With no school, that means I get to spend the day with my boys! Uh-oh. Doc then tells me I need to stay home the rest of the week. No strenuous activity and I have to keep my stitches dry for at least a week. I motioned for the doctor to come close. I didn’t want the whole room to hear what I needed to ask. “What about sex?” “Son, you’re 16 years old. If that’s not a strenuous activity then we have a whole other set of problems that need to be addressed.” Fuck! Did he have to say that out loud? Poor Billy, if he turned any redder he would catch on fire! The dads were trying really hard not to laugh and Noah just kept sniggering. “Now, let’s talk about pain management once you get home. I have prescribed a minimal amount of opiate painkillers while you are here in the hospital. However, I will not be prescribing any for you to use at home. Is it possible to get Nick to acupuncture on a daily basis? “Yes, I’m sure we can. If we can make the appointment for after three, I’ll be done with my classes and will be able to get to wherever you need us to be.” “We have found acupuncture to be extremely beneficial for pain management, and it also helps the incision heal about 20% faster, in some cases. Along with that, I will be prescribing a non-opiate analgesic that will work as a pain blocker. Do you have a family doctor?” “Yes. Dr. Kevin Moreland. He’s our next-door neighbor as well.” “Oh! Well that’s convenient. I know Kevin quite well. I’ll give him a call. If the acupuncture therapy goes well, I’ll see if he would be willing to remove the sutures on Sunday so you can go back to school next Monday. Otherwise, I will have to do it Monday afternoon and you would start back Tuesday. Any questions?” I looked at the doc and smiled. “Thanks for taking such good care of me. I don’t have any more questions… especially since you announce the answers to the world!” He looked at the dads and high-fived Pop as he turned and walked out the door. By now it was 4:00 and everyone wanted to watch Ellen. I’d never seen it before but since everyone wanted to watch I thought it would be okay. Wait a fucking minute! The most popular talk show on television is run by a lesbian? Wow! I never thought that could happen! The show was great but I had to hold a pillow to my side so help with the pain when I laughed. At least I knew there was ONE show I would like watching while everyone was at school or work! Just as the show was ending, Principal Harmon knocked on the door. He was carrying my backpack with my phone and laptop! “There he is! How are you doing Mr. Jacobs?” “I’m a lot better now that I have my backpack back!” “Well, I just wanted to thank you on behalf of the entire school for your quick thinking and bravery. Whether you believe it or not, you saved a lot of lives this morning.” “Thank you, sir. That’s what everyone is saying, but I just don’t get it.” “Well, I just want you to know that we don’t usually plan that much excitement for a new student’s first day of school. It’s generally a pretty peaceful place. How long will you be out?” “Doc said I should be able to go back to school next Monday. I guess I’ll have Noah and Billy pick up my homework and help me stay caught up.” “That should work fine. Nick, I just wanted to drop your backpack off and check and see that you were doing okay. I’m glad to see that you are.” He went over to the dads and shook their hands, “Guys, I think you have a definite keeper with this one!” It was Pop who told him they did. Damn! That just felt so good! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to hearing those little things that tell me that I’m wanted, loved, and cared for. It’s such a new feeling for me… and I like it… a lot! Dinner came in a few minutes later and the guys all decided to head down to the cafeteria for a bite. Wow! Pork chops, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans, a small (REAL small) salad, and watermelon cubes. Okay, it looked a lot better than it actually was. I would say hospital food is about a click above school food. At least it’s a balanced meal and somewhat healthy. I just finished my iced tea when there was a knock on the door. “Mrs. C.! Wow! You didn’t have to come here!” “Of course I did! I’ve been worried about you all day, seeing you all over the tv and all!” “Oh, God… I wish they would stop trying to make me into some kind of hero that I’m not. It’s really embarrassing. I mean, when I saw the gun, I just pushed Noah and Billy out of the way. Anyone would do that. They say I shouted ‘gun’ when I saw it but I don’t remember doing that.” “But you did do that and that gave your teacher the extra seconds to hit the panic alarm and all the other kids in the class a chance to take cover. That makes you a hero in so many people’s eyes. And you know something? In a crisis situation, people hope and pray that there will be a hero to save the day. They need you to be their hero, Nick… and because of you being their hero, they will sleep better tonight. Because they have a hero, many of them will be able to return to school and feel safer.” “I still don’t think I’m a hero, Mrs. C.” “You know, most heroes don’t think they’re heroes. You’re doing it exactly the way you’re supposed to.” “Okay, if you say so.” “Enough of this hero talk. How are you feeling?” “I’m a little sore. Probably will be for a few days. But I’m going home tomorrow. So that’s good.” “I know you weren’t there long, but how was going to school today? I know you were pretty nervous about it.” “You know, believe it or not, I was even excited to start. I had my three best friends and they had my back. That was pretty awesome. And one of them is my boyfriend. Why wouldn’t I be excited?” “Oh, my dear boy. I’m so proud of how far you’ve come and how well you are adjusting to your new home.” “It’s more than a new home, Mrs. C. It’s a new life. Thank you for everything you did to make this happen. You know… YOU are my hero.” “Oh, nonsense my sweet boy. I was just doing my job. It doesn’t always work out, but sometimes… it’s just perfect.” “See? You’re doing the hero thing pretty well, too.” Mrs. C. leaned down and kissed me on the forehead. “I’m so relieved you are okay and doing well with the Whites.” “Speaking of the Whites…” The gang came back into the room and everyone said their ‘hellos.’ I took Billy’s hand and introduced him to Mrs. C. “Billy, this is Mrs. Cranston. She ran the group home I lived in before I went to the White’s. She’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to a real mom. Mrs. C., this is Billy McCallister… my boyfriend.” “Well, it’s certainly nice to meet you, Billy. And I want to thank you… no, ALL of you for giving Nick everything he needed to become the remarkable young man he has so quickly become.” Noah took his place at the foot of the bed and said, “We didn’t do anything, really. All we did was love him… easiest thing in the world to do, by the way.” “Yes, it is, isn’t it?” She gave me that mom smile again. “Well, I should be getting back to the home. Mary Grace agreed to stay on a bit so I could stop by and see you. Gentlement, I’m so happy things seem to be working out for all of you. And Nick, don’t be a stranger, okay? You’re practically family to me and you don’t get to just disappear on me!” She gave me another kiss on the forehead and walked out of the room. Mrs. C. is so fucking cool. Like I said, she’s the closest thing to a mom I ever had and I’m happy as fuck she wants to stay a part of my life. We kinda chilled a bit and the dads decided they would be going home. Pop said he would pick me up in the morning and get me checked out. He’d be at the hospital around 9:00 in the morning. Dad, Pop, and Noah all gave me kiss on the cheek and told me they loved me. I started to get fucking choked up… just from all the love I was getting. Billy stayed with me since his parents were going to be by soon. About ten minutes after my family (hehe… I like that!) left, he got a text from his mom saying they were there and on the way up to my room. I was getting nervous and Billy was just smiling at me. He told me to relax, that his parents were just as cool as my dads and just as he gave me a kiss, they walked in the room. Of course, Maddie was the one to make a smart-ass comment, “Do you boys need us to wait in the hall for a few minutes?” Yeah, I wanted to die. Billy just giggled. “Hi, Maddie.” “Hey, sis!” Mr. And Mrs. McCallister walked in and Billy’s mom was the first to speak. “So this is him. This is the boy who saved my children’s lives.” I looked up and she nudged Billy out of the way and took my hands. Mrs. McCallister was a pretty lady. She wasn’t real tall and was kind of smallish. She had blond hair and blue eyes. “Nick Jacobs. You are a beautiful young man and now that I know why Billy’s been walking around all goofy and crazy for the last several days, I just want you to know that his dad and I couldn’t be more proud to have you a part of the family.” Billy’s dad walked up behind his mom and said, “Nick, what you did this morning was incredibly brave. I understand all this attention’s been a little hard for you to take, and that’s okay. Things will calm down in a week or so, but just know that our family will forever be grateful to you… not just for this morning, but also for helping our son find what truly makes him happy.” “So, you’re okay with Billy and me? I mean, that we’re…” Billy’s mom squeezed my hand. “Of course we are. Billy’s father and I strongly believe that when it comes to our children, we love them, unconditionally. It’s not for us to try to make them into some type of people we want them to be. It’s for us to nurture, encourage, and love them. When I saw how happy Billy has been in the last week, I know he found something incredibly special.” Fuck me! I was so confused. Parents aren’t supposed to accept their gay children… unless they’re gay themselves, but that didn’t seem to be the case with Billy’s ‘rents. I looked up at Billy and he just had the biggest smile on his face. I just smiled back as Maddie watched our little exchange and said, “I just freakin’ love you guys!” Billy’s dad had been holding a vase filled with flowers and he set them down on the table next to my bed. “Nick, these are from the entire family. We just wanted to leave you with something to let you think about your second family every now and then.” “Thank you, Mr. McCallister. They’re really nice!” “No. No. No. Please call me Mike, Nick.” “And I’m Catherine… none of this Mr. and Mrs stuff, okay? It makes me feel so old!” “Okay, I’ll do my best, but it might be hard to do right off, okay?” We chatted things up for another ten minutes or so when Mr. and… oops… Mike and Catherine said they were going to head back home. Maddie convinced them to let her stay and ride home with Billy. That was cool. I really do like Maddie. Billy, on the other hand, wasn’t all that thrilled. What? Like he was gonna sit on my cock and have hot boy sex with me in the middle of the hospital? He did ask Maddie if she would go down to the lobby Starbucks and get a Café Mocha for him, a Peppermint Mocha for me, and whatever she wanted. What the fuck? There’s a Starbuck’s in the lobby? When she left, Billy leaned down and gave me a good and proper horny boyfriend kiss. Yup, everything was still working, as Billy discovered when he reached down and squeezed my hard cock. “Wanna quick blowjob?” “Billy, the doctor said no sex until Friday. I’m not allowed to do anything strenuous or my stitches could rip.” “Okay. Damn. I was hoping…” He looked into my eyes and he started bawling like a little baby, even though he tried so hard to hold it back. “Dammit Nicky, when I think how close it got to me losing you, it freaks my shit out. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have you in my life now.” “Hey babe, you gotta stop thinking about that shit. It didn’t happen that way, so you gotta let it go. That’s like me freaking out every time you get in a car and thinking about what would happen if there was a terrible accident. If we worry about the ‘could-have-beens’ in our lives, we’re gonna go batshit crazy!” “It’s just…” “Shhhh. Stop. I tell you what… tell me what happened after they took me away this morning.” “Miss Garner kinda freaked out. But why not, two of her students got shot in her classroom. But we were on lockdown and once they took you guys away, we had to sit until they cleared each classroom to go. We were the first to get cleared but I think that’s so the cops could do their thing… you know, crime scene and all. “Once we got out, they made us get on a bus and they took everyone to the football stadium. We had to sit together by classroom. Once we were there we were allowed to call our parents to let them know we were alright and they could pick us up.” “Didn’t they let you get your car?” “No, they said they would let us know tomorrow when we could get them. So I’m driving Mom’s car until I can get mine back.” Maddie came back with our coffees and boy, did they ever taste good! She was afraid I was gonna be up all night and got us all decaf. They still tasted good, but really?!? What’s the purpose? Maddie thanked me again for being so awesome this morning. I asked her to make that the last time… that I was ready for things… well, at least US… to get back to normal. Billy and Maddie left a short time after with Billy promising to be back in the morning. I told him he could just come to the house around lunchtime but he wanted to have breakfast with me. He also promised me breakfast tacos from Rudy’s BBQ. Okay, good food always wins out, right? So, I have just one question. How the fuck does anyone get well in a hospital? They woke me the fuck up every two hours to check my temperature, or some machine, or whatever. It’s 8:00 Tuesday morning and Billy had texted me that he was on the way with breakfast. The hospital brought me some crap that was supposed to be eggs and I just couldn’t bear to even try them. I had a banana and drank my so-so coffee. I texted Billy and asked him to stop at that Starbucks in the lobby and get us some good coffee. He texted back that he was doing just that and would see me in a few. Sure enough, Billy was walking into my room a few minutes later. He got some sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast tacos and had the gooooooood coffee with him. Breakfast was awesome, and I’m guessing that sharing it with my Billy only made it better! Pop walked into the room about thirty minutes later and had a fresh change of clothes for me. He said my Vans I was wearing yesterday had bloodstains and we’d get a new pair later in the week. I got out of bed and slipped on my fresh underwear under my hospital gown, then took it off to finish dressing. Pop brought my regular jeans, my other Vans, and a plain gray tee-shirt. I felt almost human again, except for the soreness from my stitches. I went into the bathroom and pulled my hair back up into a bun since it looked like Hell right now. The doctor walked in and I took off my t-shirt again. Damn, that was a lot harder than putting it on! He said everything looked good. He handed Pop a bunch of papers and said that was everything I needed to know about aftercare. He said he had sent a copy to Kevin since he was our family doctor. Then they made me sit in a wheelchair to leave the hospital. Stupid-ass rules! Billy carried my flowers and Pop had the bag with my personal shit. I asked him if he had to go sign stuff or pay something and he said that he and Dad took care of everything yesterday. The orderly pushed me out the front door and told me I could get out of the chair. I was on my own now! Pop got the SUV and pulled it to the front. Soon we were on our way home. Home. For the first time, I thought of home and it was just that… home. My home. With MY family. When I think of where my life has come in the past week, I know I’m the luckiest boy in the world. Hell, I just got shot. There’s not much more to be afraid of. Not with a boyfriend and family who will always love me, no matter what. Always… funny how the meaning of the word is different everytime I think of it. Always.
  9. FlyOnTheWall

    A Day In San Antonio, A Night In Heaven

    ALWAYS by Geoff Chassen Chapter 8 – A DAY IN SAN ANTONIO, A NIGHT IN HEAVEN “Rise and shine boys! Breakfast is ready!” I looked over to the next bed and Noah sat up, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. “Sometimes I hate that fucking intercom!” Noah dragged his body out of bed and headed to the bathroom, led by his hard cock. I pulled my covers back and gave my hard cock a few strokes. Hell, I’m sixteen. I couldn’t stop and pulled out a fast nut while my brother was doing whatever he was doing in the bathroom. Noah walked out of the bathroom and into his closet so I went into the bathroom with my chest and abs covered with spooge. I grabbed some toilet paper to wipe myself off and when I looked down to toss it in the toilet, I saw Noah missed and there was a glob of his own nut on the rim. I wiped it up and had my morning piss, pleased to know I had some smack ammo for later. I went into my closet and pulled on a pair of sleep pants and a tee so I could head out for some breakfast. David, Noah, and Andrew were already eating and I grabbed a plate of scrambled eggs, ham, and grits. David had a bowl of melted butter for the grits… just the way I like it. Andrew and David finished eating and said they were going to go pick up the rented van. They told us to get our showers and get dressed so we could be ready to go when they got back. Noah and I finished our breakfast and cleaned up the dishes. Noah took his shower first while I went into my closet to find my outfit for the day. I grabbed a pair of khaki shorts and my new Dr. Pepper tee. I went out on the patio with my phone and checked out my new Facebook account. Damn! I had 17 friend requests from overnight! I only accepted the ones from people I knew… except one. Why the fuck did Hannah Webster want to be my facebook friend? NOT gonna happen! I’ll show the others to Noah and see if they are people I’m going to be knowing once I start back to school. Noah came out to the patio with a couple cups of coffee and sat at the table with me. He was wearing sandals, blue basketball shorts, and a white tank top. Mr. Casual was looking hot as ever! I might need a pair of sandals, but I’m not saying a thing to the family. I’ll just pick them up with my allowance sometime in the next day or so. Noah looked over my friend requests of the people I didn’t know and he told me he had suggested me for their friend lists. He said they were all in the musical theatre class. I told him I ignored Hannah’s request and he just rolled his eyes and laughed. “That stupid bitch thinks she can keep track of me through you.” Just then David and Andrew came out to the patio and asked us if we were ready to go. Andrew was especially excited saying that the case he was in trial for was settled about an hour ago and he was going to be able to join us. The dads changed quickly and we all headed out the front door and to the van. As we were climbing in, Hannah the Horrible pulled into the driveway in her little white Beamer. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Noah so pissed. “What the Hell are you doing here? I made it pretty damned clear that you were not welcome on our trip!” “You didn’t invite me, Noah. Your father did. If he doesn’t want me to come, he can tell me himself.” The dads stepped out of the van and walked over to Hannah and Noah. David was the first to let Hannah know she wasn’t welcome. “Hannah, after speaking with Noah last night, it’s my understanding that he broke up with you and you’re no longer welcome on this trip. I’m sorry, but you need to go back home, now.” Hannah scowled at Noah and shouted, “Somebody has to keep an eye on you with that faggot you have tagging along… and it SHOULD be your girlfriend!” I was amazed that Noah was able to lower his voice. “Hannah, I don’t have a girlfriend. I don’t WANT a girlfriend. And NO ONE… not you, or anybody else will ever talk about my family like that and be welcome anywhere near us. Now go home. Stay Home. And stay out of my life.” “Nobody breaks up with me, Noah White. If you think you can get away with this, you have another thing coming your way. You have a nice time with your faggot fake-brother. You two deserve each other!” “Yes, we do… more than you could ever know. Now go before I call the cops and have them drag you off our property.” Hannah huffed, got into her car, and drove off. Now the miracle was I wasn’t crying. In fact, I felt so incredibly safe and protected it kinda freaked my shit. Noah and the dads got into the van. David asked Andrew to get on the security app and remove her passcode to the gate. He then looked back to Noah in the rear-view mirror. “Are you okay, son? I’m sorry you had to go through that but I have to say you handled the entire thing as well as anyone could.” “I just can’t believe how clueless she is. I tell you what, dads. I think she pretty much ruined the whole idea of girls for me. It’s so much easier with guys.” “Son, I don’t think you Pop or I would want you to make that type of decision right now. Let’s just take things day by day… and today is all about fun!” “Next stop… Cal!” We got to Cal’s house and as soon as we pulled into the driveway he bounded out the door with an overnight bag slung over his shoulder. “Dudes! This is gonna be so amazing! Thanks for doing this Dr. and Mr. White!” Cal got settled into the seat next to Noah and we headed to Billy’s house. Billy! Just knowing that I was going to see him in a few minutes brought a huge smile to my face. We pulled into the driveway and Billy and Maddie were waiting on the front steps. Maddie looked into the van and asked where Hannah was. When Noah told her she wouldn’t be coming, she thought for a minute and then said, “I guess it’s not such a problem to be the only girl with three cute boys and two handsome dads!” Billy smiled and looked at her, “Three? There are four of us.” “Billy, you’re my brother. Calling you cute is just way too creepy for me!” We shifted around in the van with Billy and me on the back bench, Cal and Noah on the next one and Maddie on the bench right behind the dads. Before we knew it, we were on I-35 heading south to San Antonio. About 45 minutes into the trip, Andrew got a “ping” on his phone. “Oh my God! Noah, call Kevin and Emily next door and ask them to call the police. I need to stay on my phone and watch this.” “What’s going on, Dad?” “Our friend Hannah has returned to the house and appears to be spray-painting a message on our garage door.” Noah made the call and I swear I could see steam coming out of David’s ears. I started feeling like shit again. “Dads… I’m so sorry! None of this would be happening if I hadn’t moved into your house. This is all about her hating me.” And yes, the tears started. Billy held me in his arms and Maddie moved to the back of the van. Maddie put her hand on my arm and told me, “Nick, none of this is about you. Sorry to burst your bubble. But Hannah’s a scary-psycho-bitch-from-hell. When things don’t go her way she goes crazy. We’ve all seen it. She can’t stand that Noah broke up with her. She needs to be the one doing the breaking up… the one in control.” “Dad, Kevin called the cops and club security. He also moved his car to the street to block Hannah from driving away.” “I see that. She’s screaming at him now… and security just pulled up. She’s stopped fighting and they’ve handcuffed her. I guess they’re waiting for the police.” “Dad? How are you seeing all this?” Okay, I was confused. “Well, Nick… we installed motion-activated wireless cameras around the front of the house several months ago. We turn them on when we are away and when they are activated, they automatically send the feed to our phones while recording them.” “Dad. Pop. Please press charges. She needs to spend time in jail. She’s too dangerous.” “Well, we’ll see what happens. She’s only sixteen, it’s all up to the DA and whether she wants to press charges as an adult or a youth offender. Let me call Kevin and see what he can tell me.” I just leaned into Billy and he kept telling me not to worry. He was pretty sure Andrew and David were going to take care of everything so Hannah wouldn’t bother anyone again. Maddie just kept looking at us and smiling. “You know big brother. You two are so awesome together. Billy, I’m proud of you that you took the chance on your feelings. Nick… you have made my brother so damned happy I will probably love you forever.” “Maddie, you are just too awesome. Actually… you are the Anti-Hannah. You are going to make some boy the luckiest dude in the world someday.” “Hey Nick, that’s sweet… but you never know… it might be a girl! Happened to my brother when the right boy walked in. That just proves it could happen to anyone, right?” I leaned forward and hugged Maddie. “Girl you are fucking amaaaazing! Billy is sure lucky to have you as a sister!” “Damned right, Nick! And both of you better never forget it!” Maddie moved back to her seat and put her earbuds back on. Andrew hung up the phone and started punching away. Noah held his head in his hands and was shaking it. I leaned forward and told Noah to come back with me for a minute. Billy smiled and moved up to where Noah had been sitting. “How ya doin’ Noah? You can’t let her ruin your day, ya know.” “Fucking bitch has ruined my life.” He took a deep sigh and shook his head. “C’mere, bro.” I pulled Noah into my arms, just like Billy had with me earlier. “She’s a bully. Trust me, I know bullies. Bullies do stupid shit for short-term results. What they never think about are the long-term consequences. She doesn’t scare me. She’s just like all the other bullies I’ve dealt with in my life. But when you let that bitch ruin your day, you let her win. That’s what she wants. That’s what they all want.” “You’re right, Nick. Dammit! Once again, you show me how you got my back. You definitely ARE the best brother I could have asked for. I love you, Nick. Billy! You are one lucky boy!” Nick got up and traded places with Billy and he slid into my arms. “You know something, Nicky? I AM a lucky boy! You are amazing and every day there is something else I find amazing about you.” “Yeah? You wanna know something, B-Mac? I read some of those stories last night. You don’t have any idea about amazing yet!” “Great! Now I’m gonna have a boner the whole day in the park thinking about what you might have planned tonight!” We smiled and just chilled the rest of the trip. Actually, all of us pretty much chilled, except for Andrew. He was tap-tap-tapping away on his cell phone pretty much until we pulled into the Six Flags parking lot. We got parked and took this trolly car thing up to the front gate. David got our tickets and I began what was probably the biggest “first” adventure of my entire life! There were photographers at the front of the park and we had a group shot of the seven of us. Then the four boys had a pic made and then Billy and I had one with just us! Yay! I finally have a pic of me and my hot-as-fuck boyfriend! I blushed when Billy leaned into me and said the exact same thing! The dads gathered us around and said they were going to go out on their own and that we would meet at the BBQ restaurant at 12:30. Sweet! That gave us three hours to do our own thing. And since I had no idea what was going on I just followed the lead of my friends. I was pretty sure Dad was going to be on his cell all morning dealing with the Hannah shit. They guys knew I had never done anything like this before so they decided to start off with a fun and easy-going roller coaster. The Roadrunner was a blast! It was just enough to make me want more… a lot more! Well, that was an easy decision… the Iron Rattler was the next coaster up the path. Damn! This ride was humongous. The information they had posted for those of us in line said there were only two coasters like this in the world. The supports and structure were the old-fashioned wooden coaster design, but the tracks and cars were modern steel. They said you got the thrill of the wooden coasters with the speed of the steel coasters. The only problem was that there were two people to a car and there were seven of us. Noah and Cal said they would take turns riding with strangers so Maddie could always ride with one of them. Noah looked over at Billy and me and said he wouldn’t even think of breaking up the two of us. How can I not love my new brother?!? Holy. Shit! That was a fast-as-fuck roller coaster! It was a blast. When we got off my legs were a little shaky. We were walking to the exit and there on the video screen was the group of us screaming our asses off… Noah and Cal had their hands in the air and the rest of us were holding on for dear life. Cal went up to the counter and bought the picture. It was awesome! We were trying to figure out what to do next when Billy suggested the Gully Washer. It’s this whitewater rapid ride and we would all get wet but would dry off in time for lunch. We got to the entrance and rented a locker so we could stash our phones and wallets (and Maddie’s purse). The ride was both relaxing and a blast. We all were able to fit in one boat and I’m pretty sure Cal got the worst of the water… especially when we went under a waterfall that hit him directly. So much fun! The day continued and we got in another coaster before lunch. This was one of the big thrill-rides. It’s called Goliath. Fucking awesome! This is different because you hang from an overhead track. It was my first loop, too. There was another great pic of me a Billy screaming our asses off and he had to get it! Once we got our legs to stop wobbling, we headed to the restaurant to meed the dads for some Texas BBQ. Okay, this was sort of a first since the only BBQ I’ve ever had was the crap served at school. This was definitely NOT crap! Pop was telling us that Fiesta Texas had some of the best park food in the country since they hired chefs to head up their food preparations. That was the most delicious BBQ I’ve ever had and while I was raving about it, Billy and Noah were laughing at me. They said they would take me to a place that had even better BBQ. The afternoon was filled with more roller coasters and thrill rides. Turns out I have a stomach of steel! As the afternoon was drawing to a close, Billy laid down a challenge. He wanted to do the Texas Gunslinger. It’s probably to scariest, most intense ride in the entire park. We went back to the Crackaxle Canyon part of the park and watched for a bit. They put you in this two-person capsule thing and then this cable starts pulling you back and up. The capsule is suspended between two giant steel towers. Once the cable has pulled you up and back as far as possible, it releases you and you fly for like two hundred feet! It looked scary as fuck, but dammit… I was challenged by my boyfriend. You can’t turn something like that down! Noah said he would record the whole thing so I would have something uber-cool to put on my new Facebook page. I think I was literally shaking like a leaf when they put us into the capsule. Billy was so calm and collected I told him I hated him. That’s when he confessed he’s done the ride two other times. He just wanted me to experience the thrill. Then he tells me the only thing more thrilling was what he had planned for me later tonight. Billy starts talking dirty and I’m boning up as we’re being pulled back farther and higher. And then we stop moving. “I love you, Nicky!” Click. HOLYSHITMOTHEROFGOD!! We were literally flying over the park! It was the most amazing, scary, exciting, terrifying, fun thing I’ve ever done in my life… and that might have to include the amazing blowjob I got from Billy the other day! When the capsule came to a rest, we were both so fucking pumped! We got out and without thinking I grabbed Billy and laid a kiss on his smiling lips. Holding hands, we threw our arms up in the air and ran down to our friends! I didn’t even hear the cheers from the crowd. Noah said people started cheering when I kissed Billy. Wow! I would never have thought we would find that kind of reception in San Antonio, but it was pretty damned cool to see the smiles and feel the pats on my back from complete strangers! We made our way out of the park and found the photo booth that had the pictures we had taken when we arrived. They all turned out great! I couldn’t wait to post them on my page! We took the trolley back to the van and climbed in. It had been such an awesome day! As we were driving into the city for dinner, I got a little overwhelmed and Billy sensed it right away, pulling me into his arms. Yes, there were a few tears but being in Billy’s arms made everything perfect. It took us about thirty minutes to get into the city. We parked in a garage close to the Riverwalk and made our way to the restaurant. Pop said Boudro’s was one of the most popular restaurants on the Riverwalk, and from what I could see, that’s pretty much all there was on the riverwalk… restaurant after restaurant after restaurant. We got to the host stand and Pop gave our name. We were then escorted outside where there was a flatboat with a table and chairs. The table was all done up with a white tablecloth and linens. There was a hot-as-fuck latino server named Freddy. As soon as we were settled at the table, the boat launched and we were moving down the river at a nice, slow pace. I have to tell you about the meal. It was the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced. Yes, another one of those firsts that Cal had told me about. There was this amazing salsa on the table and then Freddy made guacamole right there on the boat… from scratch! Sure as Hell beat the shit out of the stuff you get at Taco Bell! Then he put Caesar salads down in front of us. Of course, it was the best damned salad I’ve ever had. Then came the main dish. Whoa! It was a filet mignon AND a seafood enchilada with some kind of creamy sauce that was out of this fucking world! Dessert was this Nut Brittle ice cream that was sitting in this pool of hot fudge. The coolest part was that we were floating up and down the river in the middle of San Antonio. I know people were watching us and wishing they could be sitting in that boat with us! I could now die a happy man. I finally had sex with an amazing boy. I’ve been told I was loved by that boy AND the family I was now living with. And I’ve just had the most amazing meal ever served on Planet Earth. Okay, let me take that back… I want more sex with Billy. A LOT more… and that starts when we get home tonight! We finally did get back home around 11 that night. We dropped Maddie off at her house. Before she got out of the van she whispered something to Billy that made him smile and blush. She kissed me on the cheek and told me to take good care of her brother. As we were pulling into the driveway, I noticed that whatever Hannah had spray-painted on the garage door was covered. Andrew said that Kevin painted over it. It wasn’t a very good match but at least it was gone from the neighborhood’s view. The dads said they were going to bed. They were exhausted. They also asked us to shower downstairs in our room, even though we would be sleeping upstairs. He didn’t want us to mess up the upstairs bathroom and cause extra work for Elena. The dads went to their room and we decided to let Cal and Noah shower first since they all figured Billy and I would be taking a little more time. What were they talking about? But first, now that the dads were tucked away for the night, Noah told us to grab a water and take a seat out on our deck. I sat back in one of the chaise lounges and Billy scooted in front of me. He laid his back against my chest and sighed. Cal took the other chaise and pulled the back up so it was straight and he sat with his legs on either side. That left room for Noah. Billy leaned his head up to me and told me that it had been months since he had a deck session with Noah and that I should be warned that he gets extremely horny. I told him he was in for a rockin’ night because I was the same way. Noah came out with his bong and loaded it. “Guys, I just want to say that today was fucking awesome. Thanks to my new brother, I was able to have a blast and not think about other distractions. And then he shows us he’s just a bad-ass bro by doing the Gunslinger with Billy.” “Dude… and then he kisses me in front of the whole fucking park!” “And they cheered! They fuckin’ cheered!” We all took about three hits off the bong and were feeling no pain. Cal was the first to get up and announce he was taking his shower, leaving Billy and me with Noah. “Billy, dude… I’m so fucking happy that you and my brother found each other. I’ve been watching you all day and damn, it’s just perfect. You two are fucking perfect. I want that. I want that with a dude. I’m done with girls. I promised myself I’d give it a try. Well, even if I were to find a girl that was only half the pain that Hannah was, it’d still be too much.” “Did you bone her?” “No… that’s the other thing. Making out was cool. Feeling her tits was nice. But whenever she wanted me to play with her pussy or she’d reach for my cock… nothing. I couldn’t do it. Didn’t want to. But tonight… did you see how that server Freddy was flirting with me?” “Uh… yeah! So did the dads, bro.” “I have to say, that felt so fucking good. I was hard all the way through dinner. He slipped me his digits as we were leaving. We’ve already been texting.” “You mean sexting!” “Naw… but it is nice being flirty with a dude… even if it is on the phone. I mean, he lives an hour-and-a-half away. I want someone here… who’s still a teenager maybe?” Billy started flipping through his Facebook friends page on his phone. “There!” He handed his phone to Noah. “His name Aaron Webster. He’s in the 130 weight class division on the wrestling team. Strong little fucker, too. He’s hit on me a couple of times, but I was dating girls at the time. Please ask him out so he won’t be too pissed at me when he finds out I have a boyfriend now!” “I know Aaron! He has two moms and we all go to the same church. He’s kinda cute, too. I mean he’s always been nice to me. But I never knew he was gay. I mean, is he?” “Totally into dick… and the dudes that have em.” Noah grinned and nodded his head as Cal walked out onto the deck, totally nude, and drying his hair. “You’re up, Noah.” “Dude! Put some clothes on! Billy and Nick don’t need to see your junk!” “Everyone needs to see my junk! Noah laughed and made his way to the bathroom. Cal sat on the chaise across from us. “So dudes, you know you’re the first gay couple I’ve had as friends. I don’t want to sound stupid or anything like, but I’m not sure how I’m supposed to treat you or act around you.” “Like you always have, dufus! I’m the same person I’ve always been, and Nick’s just… amazing, awesome, hot, hung, cute….” “Stop! Enough already! No, but seriously. It’s awesome as shit. And Nick… dude! You’ve got yourself some major cajones, kissing the Irish boy in front of God and Fiesta Texas!” “Scottish… and he’s got the nicest balls!” “So Nick, I’m worried about Hannah. She’s not going to stop, you know. She’ll probably out you, probably Billy, and throw Noah and me into the mix because that’s the kind of bitch she is. How are you going to be if that happens.” “I’ve thought about it. I hate that Billy gets thrown into the mix and it’s laughable that you and Noah have to get caught up in it. But I’m not near as worried as I was at the beginning of the week. I know you guys have my back. Hell, three of the school’s most popular jocks have my back. But more importantly, the three of you are my best friends… and that’s more important than anything. Hell, that’s three friends more than I’ve ever had at other schools. I think I’ll be okay.” “Nicky, by the time school starts back up, I’ll be out to my parents. So I won’t have any kind of problem with being outed at school. I don’t think there will be a problem with the wrestling team since there’s at least one other guy on the team that’s out. It’s pretty much a non-issue with him. He does his job, wins his matches, and that’s all that matters. Besides, when the hottest boy in the school is in love with you, nothing else matters!” Billy leaned up and kissed me as Noah came out to the deck wrapped in a towel. “Let’s go upstairs and let our lovebirds get at it in the shower. Dudes, just make sure the spooge is washed down the drain, k?” I looked at Noah with an evil grin, “Did you wash yours down?” “Fuck yeah, Cal?” “Just like always!” Finally! Noah and Cal went upstairs to the movie room and I was alone with my beautiful boy! Billy got up and gave me his hand to help me up, throwing me into his arms for a long-awaited kiss. When he broke the kiss he led me through the bedroom and into the bathroom where he began taking off my clothes. Once I was totally naked with my hard seven inches pointing upward, he reached behind my head and undid the hair tie. “Fuuuuuuck! How did I get to be so damned lucky?” I gave Billy a quick peck on the lips and proceeded to undress him. Holy crap, I can’t believe my boy’s body. His skin is so fucking smooth, not a hair in sight. It’s like he was carved out of this amazing white marble with every ridge and indention of his muscles just waiting to be caressed or licked. “Jesus, Billy… I just can’t stop perving on your body… it’s just… fuck… perfect.” We kissed one more time before making our way into the shower. The double heads covered us in a soft tropical rain shower as our hard cocks danced together as we kissed, running our hands over each other’s bodies. Billy reached for the shampoo and applied it to my hair. I moaned deeply as I felt my boyfriend’s fingers work through my hair and massage my scalp. Billy tilted my head back and let the water rinse my hair clean. He then grabbed the conditioner and smoothed out my curls and tangles. Then it was my turn. I washed and conditioned Billy’s hair, letting my long, slender fingers work their magic in my boyfriend’s scalp. When I was done with Billy’s hair, I grabbed the minty liquid soap and spread it all over Billy’s smooth body. I turned Billy around and massaged/cleaned his back and legs. Then I took some more soap and moved my hand between Billy’s muscular ass cheeks, making sure to tease his hole… coaxing a guttural moan from my boy. “You didn’t wash my cock, baby. It needs cleaning, too!” “Don’t you worry about that… I have plans! Would you like to clean me up?” Billy repeated everything I had done to him, including teasing my tight little pucker. And yes, that drew a long and protracted moan as well. Once we were both rinsed and squeaky clean, I stepped away from Billy and stared at the stunning body in front of me. I exhaled sharply and looked into Billy’s eyes. “Jerk off for me. I want to watch you jerk off while you watch me jerk off while I’m watching you.” Okay, so maybe I got the idea from my first night with Noah… but you already know I thought it was hot as fuck… even though it was a litte weird with my brother. But this is Billy. I had a feeling that he’d be into it. “Oh fuck! I was wondering what you looked like when you jerked off!” “I’ve thought the same about you sooooo many times.” Both of us poured a small amount of liquid soap into our right hands and began stroking our already throbbing cocks. Billy was fascinated watching how I took my free hand and cupped my balls… gently rubbing them around. On the other hand, all I could do was moan as I watched Billy’s free hand rub his abs and occasionally pinch a nipple. Each pinch brought out a moan as Billy would throw his head back. I couldn’t stand it much longer. The hottest thing I’d ever seen was watching Billy watch me jerk off. “So. Fucking. Hot. Gonna. Close!” Before I knew it, I had the biggest jerk-off orgasm I’d ever had, spraying my boyfriend with my hot nut. That sent Billy over the edge and he let out one final low moan, throwing his head back again and showering me with his hot, scalding essence. Billy’s legs were shaking so hard, he had to lean into the shower wall to keep his balance. “Jesus, Nicky! That was one of the hottest things I’ve ever seen. Watching you jerk off while watching me jerk off sounds weird, but Fuck! That was so hot! We cleaned each other again and stepped out of the shower. We dried each other off and then brushed our teeth and dried our hair. When we left the bathroom and walked into the bedroom, I locked the door and led Billy to my bed. “Shouldn’t we go upstairs?” “Why? Noah and Cal know exactly what we’re doing, and they’re having a blast with the video games. I want you in my bed with me, Billy. I want to feel your body all over mine!” I pulled the blankets back and pulled Billy into bed with me. We were kissing and rolling all over the place… panting, moaning, cursing, and loving every minute of it! Our young cocks had never fully deflated after the shower fun, and they were both again hard and throbbing. I told Billy to lay on his back and I crawled over on top of him, letting my cock lower into his mouth. Just as he took me in, I lowered my head over his amazing tool. Without speaking a word, we mirrored each other’s actions. Oh. My. God! It was like feeling what I was doing. Billy placed his hands on my slender hips and controlled my movement. Every time I lowered my head down Billy’s cock, he would lower me into his mouth. When I opened my throat to let Billy all the way in… Whoa!!! He did it! Billy opened his throat and I was all the way in! That caused deep moans from both of us… moans that vibrated through our cocks and into our entire bodies. Oh fuck! It was incredible! But I had bigger plans for Billy. I pulled my mouth off his cock, and he did the same. I then took his legs and pulled them up, hooking them under my arms. There it was, his stunning rosebud. It was completely hairless. It didn’t even have the ridges and wrinkles I had. It was a smooth opening… just waiting for my tongue. I started by licking his smooth ballsac. I loved feeling his nuts in my mouth as I would roll them around with my tongue. I especially loved feeling MY nuts in Billy’s mouth! Oh, fuck me! This was so much better than I had thought it would be! I let Billy’s balls pop out of my mouth and I then licked, sucked and chewed on that thin ridge of skin that ran from his balls to his ass. I read that it was super-sensitive, but didn’t realize how much until Billy started doing the same to me. Jesus! I think I just dumped a gallon of precum all over Billy! But now… the moment of truth. I pulled his rock-solid cheeks apart and ran my tongue over Billy’s hole. “Jesus! Nicky! That’s so…. Oh, fuck…. Ooooooh!” Yeah, I just pushed my tongue into his hole. I was surprised. I didn’t know what it would taste like. I guess I was relieved as fuck it didn’t taste like shit. It tasted like… I don’t know… it tasted like Billy! Once I built up a rhythm of tongue-fucking my boy, he began mirroring me and I finally… for the first time in my life… had something in my ass besides my finger. Oh my God! That was an incredible feeling! I had no idea! But it was Billy, on his path of gay-discovery, who found that his ass, his beautiful ass was his most sensitive spot… so sensitive that in just a few minutes of getting tongue-fucked, he came all over his abs and chest, screaming into my ass as he tongue-fucked me. Wow! Just wow! After he came, Billy fell back on the pillow, panting as if he had just run a race. I pulled myself down onto the bed and lay beside him as he started to come back down to earth. “Jesus, Nicky… what the fuck was that? I’ve never… how did you… fuuuuuck!” “You like that, huh?” “Oh my God! That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever felt. I mean, I never even imagined anything could feel that good!” “Yeah, it was pretty amazing… what you were doing!” I leaned over and kissed Billy. Not too hard, he was still in a daze. And then he noticed that I hadn’t cum yet. “Nicky, you need to cum, baby.” “I will. I want you to recover a bit though.” “You know what I want?” “Anything you want, I’ll give it to you, baby.” “I want you to cum inside me. I want you to fuck me.” “I don’t have any lube babe. It would really hurt you.” “Yes you do. My chest and abs are covered with it.” Billy Fucking McCallister then told me to lie on my back as he scooped up his cum In his hand. He just looked at me with a look so full of lust he made me shiver. He took the cum in his hand and slathered on my cock. I swear it had never been harder in my life. Once he had me all slicked up he took what was left and spread it on (and in) his ass. “Are you sure, Billy? I don’t want to hurt you!” “If I don’t get you inside me, I might just have to hurt you!” Now, I have to tell you… one of the hottest things I’ve ever seen was my red-headed Greek god of a boyfriend position himself over my cock and hearing him tell me that he loved me as he lined things up. I stayed as still as humanly possible so Billy could be in complete control. I felt the head of my cock nestled between his rock-hard ass cheeks. Then it happened. Billy pushed down just enough for the head to slip into the most amazing warmth I’ve ever felt! He held himself there long enough to get used to the intrusion, his breathing coming in short, rapid gasps. Billy took a deep breath and let it out telling me how much he loved me, how much he loved my cock, and he slowly lowered himself. “Oh… WOW… you feel so fucking good inside me, Nicky! This is amazing!” He took one last deep breath and dropped down the rest of the way. Holy shit! I was all the way inside my Billy! He started rocking back and forth and suddenly let out a gasp. “That’s it. Fuck! That’s the spot!” Billy was leaning back slightly and he started to move up and down on my cock. As he would rise up, he would squeeze his as around me. As he would go back down, he would release his hold on me. It was the most amazing thing ever! “Oh God! Oh! Oh! Yess! So Good! Fuck me, Nicky… fuck me now!’ I began thrusting up into him as he would lower himself and in no time we had a hot rhythm going. The sound of my body slapping into his ass only made things hotter. We were both blabbering, cursing, moaning, and panting. The hottest part was knowing that the lube was Billy’s cum! Bill stopped the fucking and bent over and kissed me with more passion and heat than he ever had before. He then wrapped his arms around my shoulders and pulled me up so he was sitting on my lap with my cock deep inside him. “Baby, I want to hold you close to me when you cum.” “Oh, fuck yes! It won’t be long Billy. You are so fucking hot! I love you!” Billy started to kiss me as he started moving up and down again. I couldn’t meet his moves with him on my lap, but once again… my Billy was in control. Damn! The feeling of his amazing ass wrapped around my cock was something I never even dreamed could feel so awesome. So Billy’s working my cock with his ass. Billy’s cock is getting worked between our abs and it’s leaking fountains of precum. And we’re kissing… kissing like we never have before. The different sensations were just about more than I could take. “Billy… Oh fuck… I’m so… so… close… Oh fuck, here it comes!” “Fill me up, Nicky. Give it to me!” And did I ever! I think I shot at least ten jets of cum deep inside my boy and about halfway through my ginormous nut, Billy gasped and unloaded his third load between us. We were panting and holding on to each other for dear life. I’ll never understand how you can love someone with all your heart and soul, and then something monumental happens and that love explodes into something even bigger… and way better. Our sweaty foreheads were touching and Billy started to return to the land of the living. “No matter what happens in my life, no matter how amazing sex will be in the future. This, Nicky. This… it will always be my first time. I’ll never forget this night. You are so fucking amazing. I love you, Nick Jacobs.” “Yeah, it really is something like I never even dreamed possible. You are my life, my heart, and my love, Billy McCallister.” We hopped back into the shower and cleaned up again. Then we threw on some sleep pants and made our way upstairs to the movie room. The guys had pizza and sodas and thankfully they left some for us… we kinda worked up a bit of an appetite! Cal had already passed out on one of the leather sofas. Noah looked up from his phone and grinned. “Damn Nick, took you long enough! As if we didn’t have to ask what took you guys so long!” Noah smiled at me and winked. I smiled back at Noah and told him, “We played around in the shower and when we were drying off I figured I would rather not mess up the sheets in the guest room so we played a bit in my own bed.” “Yeah, I could hear you guys when I went to get the pizza. Y’all are pretty loud, ya know. I can’t imagine how loud you’re gonna be when you get down to actual fucking! Oh, and the pizza boy thought it was hot, too!” Billy started to blush and Noah looked over at him. “No way. Did you guys… I mean…” Noah lowered his voice. “Did you guys actually fuck?” Billy and I smiled at each other and both of us blushed. “You guys okay? I mean, nothing awkward happening?” Billy smiled, “Noah, you’re my best friend… well next to Nicky… but if you had told me last week that I would be begging my new boyfriend to fuck me, I would have thought you were crazy thinking I would have a boyfriend AND that I was gonna let some dude put his dick in my ass. But dude, I have to tell you… it was the most fan-fucking-tastic thing I’ve ever experienced.” “I want that Billy. When I see what you have done for Nick… and when I see what YOU have done for Billy. It blows my mind and makes me a little bit jealous.” “Noah… you, Billy and Cal are the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my life. I mean it wasn’t that long ago that I never really felt what real love is. And then all of a sudden, I’m surrounded by it… and all that love opened something in me. I was able to actually love not just another human being… but five! Five! Noah, if there are five people who love me and I can love back, I know there’s one… one special person just waiting for you to come into their life… and to come into yours.” “Damn, Nick! When did you get to be so fucking wise?” “I guess since I learned that it’s okay to be Nick Jacobs. That is doesn’t matter that I’m a foster kid. That the only thing that really matters is the people in your life who let you be a part of their life. I’m like the luckiest person in the entire fucking world. I have a family now… and an amazing boyfriend who just gave me the most intimate thing one person could give another.” We stayed up and talked a bit more and then decided to get to bed. Noah and Cal took the guest room with the twin beds and let Billy and me have the room with the queen-sized bed. The two bedrooms shared a bathroom and we left that light on so we could find our way if one of us needed to get up in the middle of the night. Billy and I undressed each other and crawled into the bed. “Are you okay, B-Mac? I didn’t hurt you, did I?” “Nicky. Nicky. Nicky. I’m probably gonna be a little sore tomorrow, but damn… knowing that you were always going to be the first person to do that… oh man, it only made me love you even more… and I sure as hell didn’t think THAT was even possible.” “I can’t wait for you to be inside me like that. When I saw the look on your face while we were fu… no… making love, all I could think about was that I wanted to feel it too. I want you to be the first and only person to take me that way.” We kissed again and fell asleep in each other’s arms. The dads were only fairly gentle the next morning. The intercom wake-ups came at 9:00… which was a helluva lot better than 7:30! I opened my eyes and found my stunning boy with his head propped up on his elbow. He was staring at me, which normally would be a little creepy. “How long have you been awake?” “About ten minutes. I was just watching you sleep. You look so peaceful.” “I hope I didn’t nut all over last night. I know all I dreamt about was you, your rockin’ hot body, and my cock in your ass!” “Funny thing, sexy boy… I was having those same dreams!” “How are you feeling? Are you sore?” “Not terrible. I mean, I can definitely feel it, but I kinda like it… it’s a reminder that you… Nick Jacobs… were inside me and making me feel all sorts of goooooood!” “We should throw on our pants and head downstairs. All our stuff is down there.” We took our morning piss, slid on the sleep pants, and made our way down to the bedroom. When we walked in, Billy looked over to the bed. “Ahhh, the scene of the crime!” We kissed lightly and went to brush our teeth so we could enjoy at least one serious kiss before breakfast. We threw on t-shirts, had that yummy kiss, made up the bed, and headed out to the kitchen. “Good morning, boys! Did you sleep well?” “Yup! I think sleeping with Billy makes for the best night’s sleep ever!” Andrew looked at us with some screwy expression on his face. “The two of you were supposed to take the twin beds!” “What? We didn’t know! I’m sorry! I should have respected your home!” David started laughing. “Andrew White! You’re terrible! He’s yanking your chain, Billy. We knew the two of you would sleep together. I would have been concerned if you hadn’t, actually!” Noah and Cal made their way into the kitchen and David pulled a platter of Belgium Waffles out of the warming oven. He also had sausage links, orange juice, and coffee. The perfect breakfast! I asked the dads if they had heard anything about Hannah. Andrew told us that she spent the night in Juvenile Detention and would probably be there until Monday since Juvenile court isn’t in session on the weekends. “But… we’re going to have to take Billy and Cal home after breakfast. Mr. Webster is coming over at 11:00 to have a sit-down with the family. And, well… I hope you understand.” “Maybe you boys can hit the gym and see a movie tonight. We don’t have anything planned for the evening.” Noah asked the question I was wanting to ask. “What does Mr. Webster want? Why is he coming here?” “Good question, Noah. David and I want him to see the video of Hannah in action. After that, I wouldn’t be surprised that we get down to a little negotiating. I just heard from the DA’s office. They won’t try her as an adult, but they do want to tack on the hate crime charge to everything else. That could be a bad thing for Hannah.” “But it WAS a hate crime, Dad. You saw what she wrote. And I promise you, that girl was so full of hate it scared the crap out of me.” Pop told us that after breakfast we should take the time and get our pictures from the park straightened out and then he told Noah that he could use his SUV so that he and I could take Cal and Billy home. I really hated that our time together was being cut short, but a night out at the movies sure did sound like a lot of fun. About an hour later we took the boys home and headed back to the house for the big meeting. When we pulled into the driveway, Noah told me that was Mr. Webster was looking at the garage door with the dads and he was just shaking his head. We waited for them to finish looking and Noah opened the garage door and we pulled in. Before we got out, I felt like I needed to say something to Noah. “I know you’re pissed off over this whole Hannah thing. But you have to keep one thing in mind. WE have the upper hand here. We need to let Dad and Pop handle things. No matter what, you and I need to keep our cool and just be observers. If they want our input, they’ll ask. I’ve dealt with bullies and their parents pretty much my whole life. I promise, if we keep our mouths shut, Mr. Webster will probably dig a hole that’s even deeper than the one he’s already in.” “Yeah, you’re right. Nick, I’m so glad you’re part of this family now. You probably just saved me a shitload of embarrassment.” We walked into the house and found Mr. Webster and the dads sitting in the living room. They invited us to sit with them and Mr. Webster was the first to speak. “Gentlemen, before we get started I really need to let you know how mortified my family and I are of Hannah’s behavior and at the same time how sorry she took her issues out on your family in such a personal way. I want you to know from the outset that I understand and completely agree that my daughter needs to be punished for her actions. I just hope we can work something out that’s agreeable to all of us so we can keep this out of court.” “Thank you, Frank. We do appreciate your words. So I guess we should start with the current state of things. About twenty minutes ago I spoke with the DA. She is wanting us to press charges so they can begin work on their case. I told her we were meeting this morning to work out a settlement. If we are able to come up with something, the first thing we do is send it to her for approval. If she approves, she will not press charges and will file our settlement.” “Did the DA say what type of charges they are looking at?” “Yes. And there is good news and bad news for your family. The good news is that since Hannah’s never been in trouble before, they are going to charge her as a juvenile rather than as an adult. The bad news is that they are classifying what Hannah did a hate crime. That means if she is found guilty in a trial, they will tack on quite a bit of time to her sentence.” “What are her chances if it goes to trial?” “Frank, the police and the DA have the video that clearly shows her spray painting our garage door. It’s pretty cut and dry. It doesn’t look good for Hannah, I’m afraid.” I looked over at Noah and he started to smile. I caught his eye and gently shook my head “no” and he stopped. “What do you want from us?” “Let’s start with the easy stuff. We want her off all social media until she’s eighteen. She has a habit of airing dirty laundry on Facebook and Instagram. We aren’t asking that she not be allowed to use a cell phone, or to use text messages.” “We’ve already taken her cell phone and canceled her account. Canceling her social media accounts won’t be a problem at all. What else?” “We would like to have the garage door replaced.” “Of course, we had planned to do that anyway. Is there anything else would you like from us?” Andrew took a deep breath and continued. “We have filed a restraining order to keep Hannah a minimum of 1000 feet from our family and property.” “But that would be impossible to enforce with school, wouldn’t it?” “I’m afraid you will have to enroll her in another school.” “I can’t agree to that, Andrew.” “Well, then David and I will let the DA know that she can proceed with her case on Monday. But, I do have to tell you that the restraining order has been entered and if it’s approved, you will have no choice other than to comply.” “What about your son. He hasn’t said a word.” “Noah?” “I agree with everything Dad has said. Hannah needs to pay the price for her actions.” “Nick?” Wait… what does this boy have to do with anything? He’s not your son.” “Ah, but he is our foster son, and the brunt of Hannah’s actions were directed toward him. He definitely has a say. Go ahead, Nick. What do you think?” “May I say something first?” “Of course you can, son.” Frank Webster huffed, “Son… whatever.” Andrew interrupted, “Frank, it’s beginning to look like the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. You are in OUR home and will respect our son and not make any more childish comments. Go ahead, Nick.” “Mr. Webster. At first, I blamed myself for all the trouble your daughter was giving my brother. But when I heard the things she said to him, the names she called him… I realized she was nothing more than a bully. I’ve been dealing with bullies my entire life and she is no different than any of them. A bully will say and do whatever they can to try and get the upper hand. And those actions get more severe and bizarre as time moves on. So yes, Hannah Webster is a bully. Plain and simple… and not a very good one at that. But I promise you that I will stand behind my dads and brother 100%. She took her beef with me and went after the people that mean more to me than anything in the world. “And let me tell you one more thing, Mr. Webster. I AM a foster kid. I know a lot of other foster kids and a lot of them spent time in juvie. I know what juvie’s like. I also know that Hannah will NOT survive. IF she comes out alive, she will not be the same girl you know today.” “I’ll have to talk to my wife about this.” “You told us your wife gave you permission to make a settlement.” “But we had no idea that you would force us to enroll Hannah in another school. That’s ridiculous. I mean, come on… everything she said about… about this boy here… it’s true. Isn’t it? Isn’t it true?” “Yes it is. I’m a gay, mixed-race, foster kid. But that doesn’t give ANYONE the right to damage the home of my family.” “Frank, you have a choice. You can sign the settlement or you can go to trial.” “We’re going to go to trial. I will not have you try to destroy my family with your ridiculous demands. Hannah will be released on bail and in school Monday morning. My attornies are already working on it. Good day, gentlemen. I’m sorry we couldn’t work something out. We’ll see you in court.” “Yes you will, sir.” Damn! Andrew was pissed! Frank Webster is a total dick. So, the rest of the weekend was pretty quiet. Apparently, the Webster’s have enough cash to burn through the system and get Hannah released on bail. We didn’t really hear from her except on Facebook. Noah posted the picture of the four of us at the front of the park and she commented, ‘Awww… look at the Six Flags Fags! I bet they had a lot of fun with each other!’ I posted the picture of Billy and me and she just posted, ‘Fags.’ What an idiot. You know the DA has already added that to the evidence against her! On Sunday, Billy came over and we rehearsed our song one more time. We were so pumped! The song is in great shape and we’re ready to knock some socks on Monday morning! And then it was Monday… my first day at my new school. I think the thing that shocked me the most was that I was excited… really excited! The four of us joined a group of musical theatre kids in the cafeteria and hung out. They were great! Most of them were Facebook friends and we kind of already met. The bell rang and we headed into class. Miss Garner welcomed us back from break and then introduced me to the class. Ugh, she wanted me to tell people about myself and I stood up and told them very little, but just enough. Then things happened so fast, I don’t remember too many of the details. Hannah the horrible came into the class late. Miss Garner was sitting at her desk and was not pleased. She asked Hannah for her late pass. “Sure Miss Garner.” Hannah reached into her purse and didn’t pull out a pass… she pulled out a gun. Fuck! It's always something. Always.
  10. FlyOnTheWall

    Moving Forward & Epilogue

    Oops! Fixed! Too many cute boys to keep track of I guess! LOL
  11. FlyOnTheWall

    TC2 - Chapter 7: Retribution

    I love this story! I'm glad to see Rob and Giles getting along so well. Okay, Adam and Duncan make me happy too! Keep up the good writing! A bit of a sidebar: You're making me a little homesick. I lived in Florida for a long, long time and Tampa was my city of choice for long weekends and general fun. Thanks!
  12. VIC GREENLEY COMES HOME By Geoff Chassen CHAPTER 15 – MOVING FORWARD & EPILOGUE JOURNAL ENTRY 12/28 December 28. One year ago I lost Hayden. It’s been a fucked up year, to say the least. When we found out just how sick Hayden was, it was way too late to do anything. The cancer had spread to his lungs, kidneys, and pretty much everything else you could name. The doctors decided that we needed to follow a pain control treatment to make Hayden’s last weeks as comfortable as possible. We were lucky that they would be able to take care of Hayden at home. Mrs. Oglethorpe was amazing, telling me to take all the time I needed. She would use my office to do her work and keep an eye on things. Hunter and Perry all but moved in and helped me take care of Hayden… but the biggest thing they did was help take care of me. They made sure I ate and Hunter would literally drag my ass out of the house two or three times a week and make me run. The strange thing is that it wasn’t the running that did me any good… it was the crying… the full-out, balls-to-the-wall crying that Hunter let me do. I couldn’t… or wouldn’t… cry around Hayden. He didn’t need to see that. Hayden’s parents came to the house several times. They were able to talk through and work out a lot of their differences… or I should say INdifference. Having that taken care of was a huge help for Hayden in his final days. The funeral was too much. He always claimed that he didn’t have many friends, but the church was packed and there were a lot of people I didn’t know. Hayden’s sister and his boss spoke, but I couldn’t tell you a word they said. I think the one thing I will never forget came from one of our trips to New York. We had just seen “Wicked” and he casually mentioned that when he died, he wanted ‘For Good’ sung at his funeral. It was just a passing comment, but I remembered it at the last minute while we were planning his funeral. Cam and Ian sang it. Oh my God, it was beautiful. I don’t remember the whole song, but I’ll never forget the first verse and the chorus: I've heard it said That people come into our lives for a reason Bringing something we must learn And we are led To those who help us most to grow If we let them And we help them in return Well, I don't know if I believe that's true But I know I'm who I am today Because I knew you... Like a comet pulled from orbit As it passes a sun Like a stream that meets a boulder Halfway through the wood Who can say if I've been changed for the better? Because I knew you I have been changed for good. I’ll be right back. JOURNAL ENTRY: 5/17 Okay, so I didn’t come back. It’s fucking May now! It’s funny when I think back on my life with Hayden, it sometimes makes me laugh. I mean, we were two guys who were total opposites. He was the consummate nerd. Me? Total Jock. I think that’s one of the reasons we clicked so fast… there was just so much for us to learn about and show each other. Every day we were together, it seemed like there was something new to discover. My love for Hayden grew exponentially every day. His last Christmas was truly difficult. I had bought a ring and had planned to propose to him after we had opened presents with the family. I still gave him the ring, and he never took it off, even though it was too large for his thinning fingers. After I had given him his ring, he told me to dig through the bottom of his t-shirt drawer. Yes, Hayden had also planned to propose to me on Christmas Day. And yes, I still wear his ring. The only thing was that before he gave me the ring, he made me promise that I would move on… that I would open my heart to someone again. He gave me his blessing and made me promise that I would share my life with an amazing man when he came into my life. So yes, every time I look at that beautiful ring, I hear his words… “Promise me, dammit! I will come back and haunt the shit out of you if you don’t let yourself love again!” About a week after school started again, I called Mrs. Oglethorpe and told her I was ready to go back to work. She thought it was too soon, but I had to get out of the fucking house. And you know something? I was able to give 110% to my job and was a fucking awesome principal. It was just going home that sucked. So for the rest of the school year, it seemed like I was living some kind of double life. Awesome at work, sad and lonely at home. It was during Spring Break when Hunter, Perry, Vic, and Jack Fletcher (one of my first hires) came to the house and drug me out to dinner. It was actually a really nice time, but I remember feeling a little weirded out when I would catch Jack just staring at me and smiling. When school started back up, I would find Jack standing next to me when I would watch over the kids in the cafeteria. When there was a fire to put out, he would be there with me. It was strange, but he actually was a big help. Then, about once a week he would ask me if I would like to go to dinner or a movie. I would just sigh and tell him I wasn’t ready for anything like that yet. He would say, “Okay” and walk away. The shit really hit the fan in the other day. I went into my office and opened my email account. There was a letter from Jack… a letter of resignation. What the fuck? He was one of my best teachers! About thirty minutes before the first bell, my door flew open and Vic Stallings stormed into my office. She locked the door and stood there staring at me… damn, she was pissed! “Come here, stand in front of me and look me in the eye, Greenley!” “What are you doing?” “What are YOU doing? Now get your principal ass over here. NOW!” I got up and stood in front of my best friend and she proceeded to call me a major ass and slapped me across the face. I was stunned. What the fuck was that about? Well, of course she told me! “My OTHER best friend at this fucking school just told me he turned in his letter of resignation. Do you know WHY he’s leaving?” “No. I’m going to talk to him about it later today.” “Jesus Vic! He’s leaving because he’s in love with you! Why? I have no idea because you’ve turned into the most UNlovable piece of shit.” She then grabbed my left hand and held it in front of my face. “See this ring? You told me Hayden made you promise to let yourself love again… well, every time you pushed Jack away, you dishonored Hayden, his memory, and your fucking promise!” I couldn’t help it. I just started sobbing in the middle of my office. “If you let Jack leave, you’re going to lose me, too. I can’t stand seeing you like this… especially when you don’t have to be. God dammit, Vic! You promised Hayden you would live your life again. It’s time. Talk to Jack. Open your fucking eyes and let him in. Jack Fletcher loves you, Vic. I don’t know why the fuck he does… but it’s time to live again. At least give him a shot!” I stopped crying and we just held each other. I think I apologized a hundred times. I knew she was right. And I promised her I would make things right before the end of the day. I sent a message to Jack and asked him to come and see me in my office during his free period. Oh my God! I was so nervous… it was like a was a kid again… and it kinda felt good. Jack came into my office at the beginning of fourth period. The first thing he did was apologize. “You have nothing to apologize for, Jack.” “Yeah, I definitely do. When I told Vic about the email I sent you, I didn’t think she would come in here and beat the shit out of you!” “She didn’t beat the shit out of me! She just… slapped me… hard. Real hard!” “Oh God! I’m so sorry, Greenley!” “No! No! I think I actually needed that. Now, what do I need to do to get you to stay? I don’t want to lose you.” “I don’t know… it’s just been a hard semester for me. I know it’s been hard for you, too… but I’m just burned out.” “And for that, I apologize. I’m so sorry to have pushed you away like I did. I didn’t even give you the courtesy of an explanation.” “No, I understand. It’s been terrible for you and I pushed too hard… too soon. I’ll find something else… it’ll be good.” “Like Hell, you will!” I don’t know what came over me but I walked over to Jack and kissed him… no… kissed the hell out of him. And then I panicked. “Oh God! I’m so sorry Jack! I just soooo sexually harassed the fuck out of you! I’m so sorry, it just happened!” “Fine. Harass me one more time and I will have to rescind my resignation and ask you to join me Friday night at my father’s suite at Fenway for the Red Sox-Yankees game.” So I kissed him again… a little gentler this time. “Wait a minute? A Suite? At Fenway? Who are you?” Jack chuckled and told me it belonged to his father’s company, Fletcher Construction. Holy Shit! They’ve built most of the new high-rises in Boston over the last twenty years! So it’s Friday and Jack will be here in about ten minutes. But it was the bizarre dream I had last night that as actually got me excited about this. Hayden came to me in my dreams… only this time it was like he was really there… sitting at the foot of my bed. He told me to get over it. He told me Jack was amazing and there were great things in store for us… but only if I’d let it happen. He told me he loved me and that he was in a good place. And then he told me I wouldn’t see him again like that. And then I woke up. I woke up to the brightest, sunniest day I’ve seen in years. I gotta go now. Jack is at the door. Here goes nothing! Vic was more than a little nervous on the way to Boston. He hadn’t been on a date in years, and knowing how Jack felt about him didn’t exactly calm him down. But things started looking up when Jack hooked up his phone and went to his playlist. Vic smiled broadly when Journey came blasting through the speakers. “I hope you’re okay with Eighties rock. It’s kinda my only addiction.” “Oh, we’re going to get along just fine… ‘cause you know they stopped writing good music in 1990.” Jack pulled the car into the VIP parking lot and the two made their way to the elevator and into the suite. Vic was surprised at the size of the suite, and it only seemed larger because it was just the two of them. There was a kitchen at one end of the suite with a food warmer and dishes of salads and snacks on ice. Jack opened the lid to the warm food and smile. “Thanks Pop! This is awesome!” Vic walked over and his jaw dropped at the sight of the filet mignon and lobster tails. The other warmer held what looked like Parmigiano-crusted asparagus and buttered corn-on-the-cob. “Jesus Jack, there’s like a week’s worth of food here!” “And it’s all ours. There are thousands of people in this stadium, and we’re all alone. 100% privacy. We can eat, watch the game, sit and talk. At this point, I really don’t care. I fell like I’m alone in the world with Vic Greenley. I can now die a happy man…. Oh… sorry… I didn’t mean…” “Stop… stop… I know this is new territory for both of us, but please… promise me you won’t walk on eggshells, or be afraid to say something on account of how I might take it. And I’m going to promise you that there may be times I get a little emotional… but I promise to let you help me get through them. Deal?” “Hell yeah, Vic. Whatever you need, whatever you want, anything. I’m here for you!” As it happened, during one of the most highly-attended games of the season, Jack and Vic sat on the white leather sofa, enjoying their dinner, talking, and glancing down to the field whenever the crowd noise seeped into the suite. Vic particularly enjoyed learning about Jack. There were, however, a few things that completely surprised him. Jack attended the Episcopalian Church in Barnstable on a fairly regular basis. He didn’t quite understand why that surprised him but he did like the smile on Jack’s face when he asked if he would like company at church on Sunday. He was completely surprised to learn that Jack had never had a boyfriend… well, a serious boyfriend. He said he had had a couple of semi-almost-boyfriends but things just never worked out. “So here I am… twenty-nine years old… and a virgin.” THAT totally surprised… no… shocked Vic. Jack was an incredibly handsome man. The kind of handsome that could probably hand-pick any man for any need. Vic was a bit embarrassed to tell Jack his history. Jack was super cool, though. He loved hearing about his exploits with Hunter (only after he promised not to let Hunter know he knew some stuff on him) and he thought Vic’s story about Andy was one of the most romantic things he’d heard in forever. When Vic started to tell his story with Hayden, Jack stopped him and told him he didn’t have to do that. “No, I want to. I want us to start with a clean slate. And that means I need to tell you about Hayden… unless you don’t want to hear about him.” “No, no, no… you tell me what you want to tell me.” Vic took a deep breath and prepared himself to tell a long story. He told about meeting Hayden as a student newspaper editor his first year at the high school. He told Jack about Hayden’s slouch in the front row, showing off his hardness every morning. Jack heard about the hospital and the surprise kisses, he heard about the dinner date and ride back to the Cape from the hospital. Vic and Jack both laughed at the teacher-student fantasy that played out, although Vic didn’t share the more intimate parts. Vic became a bit wistful as he talked about how their love grew and how they kept surprising each other. He told Jack about their last Christmas and rings both had bought for each other. And yes, Vic told Jack about the promise he made to Hayden about allowing his heart to open and moving on with life. There were some tears… from both Vic and Jack. Jack pulled Vic into his arms. The first thing he noticed was how nice it was to be enveloped by another man. He and Jack were similar in build, with Jack being slightly bulkier. “Vic, Hayden was an incredibly lucky man to have you in his life like he did.” “No, we were both lucky, I think.” “Do you know how lucky you are to have had two fucking beautiful relationships in your life? I hope I can meet David someday and thank him for helping you become the compassionate and caring man that you are today. I won’t get to meet Hayden, but I will mention him in my prayers and probably light a shitload of candles at church… just to thank him for making you the fun-loving, big-hearted, beautiful man that I’m getting to know.” The crowd outside the suite went crazy again as the Red Sox pulled ahead at the bottom of the ninth and took down the Yankees. “So Mr. Fletcher, you sure do put together one helluva first date! But you may have ruined yourself. This is a pretty high bar you’ve set for any future dates!” “So you’re interested in future dates, Mr. Greenley?” “You’ve helped open a door that I thought was sealed shut. Hell, I think I’d be a total idiot to not want more of this.” * * * * * * * * * Summer vacation flew by. Hunter took over the lifeguard program at the community pool which left Vic with more time to enjoy his own pool… along with Jack… nearly every morning. Vic found himself getting closer and closer to Jack but still was conflicted with the lingering feelings he had for Hayden. It was at the family Fourth of July picnic that he and Jack were able to sit in living room and talk about it. “Jack, I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me to be spending time with you. It’s been a miracle that you’ve been able to help me see into the future… and it’s a future with you.” “I like it, too. Vic, I’m so glad you didn’t call my bluff with that letter of resignation back in the Spring. I don’t know what I would have done if you had accepted it.” “You mean? You weren’t going too…” Jack leaned in and kissed Vic. “Are you kidding? Even with you frustrating the Hell outta me, that was better than not having you in my life at all.” “Hehe… I kinda like that risk-taking, crazy side of Jack Fletcher. Keeps an element of surprise into the mix! But… the reason I asked you inside was I have made a decision and it’s only fair that I share it with you, especially since it involves you indirectly, anyway.” “Is this bad news?” “You know, I’m tired of bad news. No… I’ve decided to see a therapist to help me get past these last lingering feelings for Hayden. I mean, things are so much better now… but I know I’m ready to move things to the next level with you, but I need to be able to do that without thinking about Hayden… or what Hayden would think. “Don’t get me wrong, you know as well as anyone that Hayden will always have a place in my heart. But I also hope you know that you’ve shown me the amazing ability the heart has to grow and allow another amazing and wonderful and beautiful and… hot… man in. “I just wanted you to know that I’m doing this and I wanted you to know that’s it’s so I can move on an be what you… no, we… need me to be.” Jack sat on the sofa, smiling and looking at Vic with tears glistening in his eyes. “Damn you, Vic! Just when I think I couldn’t fall in love with you more, you come up with something that completely sends me over the edge.” Jack and Vic had a wonderful and relatively relaxing summer. Vic only needed a few sessions with Dr. Hargrove. She was a therapist that was recommended by Ginny, his next-door neighbor. It didn’t take him long to get back on track with the “you-have-to-take-care-of-yourself-first” thing before you can even begin to help take care of the others in your life. And although it took a couple of extra visits, he finally did realize that there was probably something to the “visits” he kept getting from Hayden. When Vic finally listened to Hayden and let himself fall in love with Jack Fletcher, the “visits” ended… just like Hayden said they would. July 22nd … four days before Jack’s birthday. The landline in Vic’s house rang. It was Vic’s experience that if the landline rang in the middle of the morning, it was usually bad news. “H-Hello?” “Is this Vic Greenley?” “Who may I ask is calling?” “Oh! This is Sheila Fletcher… Jack’s mother.” “OH! Hello, Mrs. Fletcher.” “Please call me Sheila. But the reason I’m calling is you probably know Jack’s birthday is in just a few days and it’s the big 3-0! Dear God, how did I ever get old enough to have three children all in their thirties?” “Jack has shown me your picture. You look more like a sister than their mother if you ask me.” “Oh my! My son definitely has good taste in men!” “Why thank you!” “So dear, the reason I’m calling is while I asked Jack to spend the week with us so we could celebrate his birthday properly, I’m afraid I had a young man who is beside himself seeing that a certain brilliant and handsome principal is nowhere around.” “Oh, I’ll definitely give him a call tonight. He needs to be happy. This is a special week!” “Exactly! Please tell me you can be available Friday for the big dinner and can stay with weekend with us?” “Oh my! Really? Does Jack know about this?” “Absolutely not! It would be a wonderful surprise and I know Jack’s brothers and sister would love to meet you as well.” “Oh boy! No pressure there…. Nope! None at all!” “You’ve already met the parents and passed with flying colors. The siblings are a piece of cake. And trust me, none of us have ever seen Jack happier… well, except for the little mopey-butt running around here the last two days.” “Well, I would love to come… and I’m guessing this will be a surprise for Jack!” “Most definitely! We all get to see just how much he loves you when you show up out of the blue! Oh! I just had another brilliant idea! Yes, it’s obvious Jack gets it from his mother!” Vic chuckled into the phone, “You crack me up!” “Well, I will have one of Jackson’s drivers pick you up late Friday afternoon and drive you directly to the restaurant. Then at the end of the weekend, the two of you can ride back to the Cape together. “You don’t have to do that, Sheila.” “Of course I don’t. I choose to… because you are such an important part of my son’s life… and that makes you an important part of our family’s life. Now give me your cell number and I’ll text you all the information you need. This is going to be so much fun!” “I’m really looking forward to it, Sheila. And I promise… not a word to Jack when I talk to him tonight.” Vic waited about an hour and made his call to Jack. It made him feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy to hear how much Jack missed him. It made Jack feel wonderful to hear Vic tell him the same thing. Jack asked Vic to try and come to his birthday dinner and Vic had to lie and tell him he had a family thing that he just couldn’t get out of. Four days later, Jack’s birthday had arrived. Vic was feeling great in that he finished his final session with his therapist. Vic received a text that morning Sheila that the event was a coat & tie affair and they had a private dining room booked at the Ritz-Carlton. The car would be at his house at 5:30. They would be arriving at the hotel at 6:30 and dinner would be served at 7:00. They would be expecting him to arrive between 6:30 and 6:45. She wanted him to try and walk up behind Jack, wrap his arms around him and whisper, “Happy Birthday.” She would do everything she could to make sure Jack’s back was to the door when he arrived. NO GIFTS! When Vic realized the dinner was at one of the finest hotels in the country, he knew he needed to up his wardrobe game. He made a quick call to Cam to see if they had any suits on the rack that might fit him. Fortunately, the shop had a couple that would work and between him and his assistant Charlie, they would be able to get him hooked up in time for his trip in to the city. Vic made it to the tailor shop and walked in. When he heard the bell, Eli looked up from the back room and ran out screaming, “Unca Vic! Unca Vic!” Cam semi-scolded his three-year-old, “Eli, you know you’re not supposed to run out into the shop. You need to stay in the back room with me or Uncle Charlie.” Eli grabbed onto Vic’s leg and whined, “But it Unca Vic. I wuv Unca Vic and he miss me!” “God it was so much easier before he learned to talk! How are you, Vic? What’s the big event tonight?” “Jack’s family is throwing a big thirtieth birthday party for him at the Ritz-Carlton and my principal suits just won’t cut it.” Cam walked over to the rack to find something that might work for Vic. “Speaking of Jack… how are things on that front?” “Cam… it’s wonderful… even better than Jack knows. That’s going to be his birthday present!” “Nice! I’m so happy for you! Ian will be, too! Cam found two suits that looked like they would fit Vic. One was a deep burgundy silk suit and the other was a deep-blue suit that was a silk-wool blend. Vic really liked the blue suit, especially with flashed of black that would appear as the fabric moved. Vic went into the dressing room and put on the suit, which fit almost perfectly. He needed the jacket sleeves and the pants hemmed and Cam wanted to take in the back of the jacket a bit to show off Vic’s narrow waist. Cam had Vic stand on the block by the dressing room and he began to pin the hems and the back of the jacket. Vic went back into the dressing room and took off the suit. Before taking Vic into the back, he stuck his head to make sure Eli wasn’t going to wreak havoc again. Charlie was reading a book to the little guy, who was about ten seconds from falling into his afternoon nap. The hemming and tucking took less than thirty minutes. Vic paid for the suit and headed back home to shower and get ready. Right on time, the car pulled into Vic’s driveway and he was relieved that it wasn’t a stretch limo. It was, however a stretch sedan and Vic certainly enjoyed the ride into Boston. By the time they reached the Ritz-Carlton, Vic was practically bouncing with excitement. The driver said he will text Mrs. Fletcher to let her know you were on the way up. He gave Vic directions to the private dining room and he grabbed his overnight bag. Vic was off to the festivities. He opened the door slowly, trying not to attract any attention. He caught Sheila’s eye and she smiled and nodded in Jack’s direction. He was talking to his sister as Vic quietly slid behind him, wrapped his arms around him, and whispered into his ear, “Happy birthday, Jack. I was in the neighborhood and had to stop by and tell you I’m ready.” “Oh my God!” Jack and his sister both gasped as their eyes widened. Jack turned around with glistening eyes. “Are you sure? You really are?” “I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life and yes, I really am completely ready to begin this long, long journey with you.” Jack’s lip began to quiver and he looked into Vic’s eyes, “Damn you! I told Mom there were to be no presents and here you go giving me the most amazing birthday gift I’ve ever received.” Jack ran his finger along the side of Vic’s face, hooking it under his chin, and pulled him in for what would be the most chaste kiss of the night. “I love you, Jack. Let’s go tell your parents.” “Seriously? Is this for real?” “Hell yeah, big boy. Careful what you ask for… you might just get it!” Everyone was thrilled to see Jack so happy. Dinner was magnificent with a jumbo shrimp cocktail appetizer, a delicious chilled cauliflower soup, and imported Icelandic lobster with baked potato and asparagus. Vic found himself sitting between Jack and his sister. After the dishes were cleared away Jessica leaned in to whisper to Vic. “Vic, I need to let you know that the kids have planned a little play to tease Jack. It’s a mock funeral. It’s adorable as hell, but if it’s something you’re not ready for, we all would understand if you needed to slip out for about ten minutes.” “No Jessica, It’s all fine. It sounds hilarious, actually. Don’t worry about me, I’m good.” Jaxon, Jack’s thirteen-year-old nephew and clicked a water glass. “Ladies & Gentlemen. We have gathered here this evening to pay tribute to our dear Uncle Jack. The sudden loss of our late Uncle has left us… well, them… speechless.” Solemn music began playing over the sound system as four kids carried in a wooden box with the sixth nephew, Jarod, lying in it with his arms folded over his chest. He was dressed in football gear and trying very hard not to smile or giggle. Everyone at the table was howling with laughter when Jack suddenly panicked. He leaned forward to Vic and asked, “Oh my God. Are you okay? Do you want to leave?” Vic turned around, laughing and smiling. “I’m great! This is hilarious! You should be enjoying it!” The “pallbearers” set the coffin on the floor and Jacob hopped up and started to sing one of Vic’s favorite songs from the musical Spamalot. I am not dead yet I can dance and I can sing I am not dead yet I can do the highland fling I am not dead yet No need to go to bed No need to call the doctor 'Cos I'm not yet dead “But Uncle Jack… You’re Thirty!” Well, now he’s dead You played games with his head Sure now he's dead It makes me just see red You are such a brute To murder that old coot At the end of the song, the kids all took a bow. Vic was the one leading the cheers and the standing ovation. Jack spun him around and hugged him. “Who the Hell are you and what did you do with the hot principal I’ve been going out with the last several months?” “I don’t know, but if he doesn’t show up soon, I’m going to steal away the sexiest man in this room!” Just then a two-tiered cake, loaded with sparklers, was rolled in and everyone sang a rousing “Happy Birthday” to a happy and teary-eyed Jack. As the cake was eaten, the kids who performed the skit and song all came up to Jack for hugs and congratulations. Danilyn, Jack’s twelve-year-old niece broke away from the crowd and went to Vic. “Can I sit on your lap?” “You sure can…” “Danilyn… I’m Uncle Jack’s favorite niece.” “I’m sure you are!” She climbed onto Vic’s lap and leaned into him so only he could hear. “You’re Uncle Jack’s boyfriend aren’t you?” “I think I might just be. I hope so anyway.” “Good, cause you make him real happy. Will you make me a promise?” “I’ll try my best.” “Please don’t go away. It would make Uncle Jack so sad. And that would make all of us sad, too.” “Oh, you sweet, sweet girl. The last thing in the world I would want to do is make your Uncle Jack sad.” “Do you love him?” “More than anything in the world, Danilyn.” The pretty, young girl leaned up and kissed Vic on the cheek. “I think I’ll call you Uncle Vic now.” She then hopped off his lap and gathered the rest of the nieces and nephews around and led them away. As they were walking to the other end of the table Vic and Jack heard her tell the others, “Oh yeah, he’s going to stay!” A smiling Jack mouthed ‘I love you’ to Vic the same time Vic mouthed the same to Jack. It was soon time to call it a night. Jack wiggled his eyebrows as he asked Vic if he could return to the Cape with him instead of going home with his parents. “Believe it or not, your mother sent one of your dad’s drivers to pick me up and told me to plan on staying until Sunday.” “And I told her no birthday presents!” The entire family piled into their cars with Jack and Vic riding with Sheila and Jackson. Vic was blown away by the rambling house situated on over an acre of land. Everyone made their way to their rooms to change, leaving Vic in the foyer with Jack. “Well, I’m guessing since every spare room is occupied by visiting family, my sneaky mother is expecting you to share my room. Is that okay with you?” “I feel like it’s my birthday now!” Vic followed Jack upstairs to his bedroom and Jack shut and locked the door behind them. As soon as the door was closed, Vic reached into his bag and pulled out a small, square box. “I know you said no gifts, but this is for something way beyond your birthday.” Vic gave the box to Jack and he opened it. He found a stunning solid-silver bracelet with the word “Ready” engraved. On the inside of the bracelet were the words “I love you, Jack. 7/26” Jack put the bracelet on his left wrist and pulled Vic into his arms for a deep, long, and passionate kiss. “You do know we’re making love tonight. We’ve waited long enough!” “In your parent’s house? Isn’t that a little scandalous?” “Look at all the kids and siblings running around this house. It’s seen more than enough scandal, I assure you!” “But we need to make nice and visit with the family a bit. We’ve waited this long, another hour or two won’t kill us.” “Jesus Christ, Vic… It’s been killing me for months!” The adults sat out on the patio with some cocktails while the kids settled in the great room with the latest Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The conversation was light, fun, and there was only a minimal amount of teasing Jack about the big 3-0. About an hour later, Jack told Vic he wanted to show him the pool. It was a long, rectangular lap pool with three lanes and an infinity effect at the far end. They took off their shoes and socks and sat on the edge with their feet dangling in the water. “So can I ask what brought all this on tonight? Not that I’m complaining or anything!” “I had my last scheduled therapy session on Tuesday, and I really didn’t think I was going to be able to let that be my last session. But she was firing questions at me so fast. There were questions about me, questions about you, about school, about Hayden… and the funniest thing happened. I stopped her and it was like I could actually see a light bulb go off. “This wasn’t about holding on to memories of Hayden. I didn’t have to hold on to anything, they were a part of me already. This wasn’t about my fear of letting myself get involved in another relationship. I already WAS in another relationship. When I stopped her, it was perfectly clear that I was the one holding everyone in my life either back or away. “I had to do nothing but do what I’ve done all my life… let go of all the bullshit and live in the moment, carpe diam, seize the day!” “And you still want to give this a go?” “Shit, I can’t believe you waited this long!” “Really? Really?? I’m a thirty-year-old virgin… by choice, mind you. Waiting has NEVER been an issue for me!” “Hi boys, mind if I join you?” “Hi Dad. Of course you can. And hey… thanks again for an amazing birthday dinner.” Jackson took off his shoes and rolled up his pants legs, wedging himself between Vic and Jack. “Hehe… Yeah, just call me the old man cock-blocker!” “Dad!” “Aw hell, we all have one and I’m not a prude by any means. But I don’t get a chance to sit and just talk to my boy… one-on-one…” “Oh, hey, I’m sorry… let me head on back to the patio and leave you two along.” “Stay right here, I want to include you in on this little chit-chat.” “Oooooookay….” “I just want to say… first and foremost… I don’t think a father could be any more proud of a son than I am of you, Jack. I have so many colleagues and friends who are in similar positions as I… and their sons do what they think they have to do and go into the family business. “But tell me, Vic. Is there anything you noticed about our family tonight?” “Every one is happy. Truly, genuinely happy.” “Exactly. And I’ll tell you why that’s the most important thing in the world. I would sell my business tomorrow morning if I thought it brought one ounce of regret or remorse to any member of my family. I have told each and every one of my children that all I wanted for them in life was to find their passion and then find a way to make a living doing it. “Jack’s passion is teaching young people… not just his favorite subject… which for the life of me I still can’t figure how History filled that bill… but he has a passion for teaching young people about the way the world works. He loves teaching them life lessons that they can carry with them for the rest of their young lives. “Vic, you and Jack are cut from the same cloth. I can’t tell you how my heart swelled tonight when I saw my granddaughter sitting in your lap and talking with you. I bet you didn’t know that the only other person she is that comfortable with is Jack. That’s how I can tell the two of you are living and working your passion. Kids pick up on that and are instantly comfortable with it. “Now, I don’t know… well, none of us actually knows… where this journey you two boys have embarked on is going to lead. But I want you to know… both of you… you have the support and blessing of Sheila and me… as well as Jack’s sister and brothers. “Jack, your mother and I could not be happier than when we see the way you two look at each other. You are kind to each other, you respect each other, and you both have that rare and unique look that is only meant for one other person in this world. “That’s all, I’m done… we’ll see you boys in the morning. It’s a rare day for the two of you… Take advantage of the freedom to sleep in tomorrow. We’ll hold breakfast for you.” Jackson pulled himself out of the pool and bent down to kiss Jack on the top of his head. He then did the same thing to Vic. He turned to walk away and then stopped and went back to the boys. “Everybody knows you’ll be sleeping together. The kids think it’s nothing more than a fun sleepover. We adults know better… and we’re totally okay with it. All I ask is that you keep the noise down so the kids don’t get any weird ideas for their next sleepover.” And with a pat on the shoulders, Jackson turned around and chuckled all the way back to the patio. The boys did make love that night… several times. But the best part for both was sleeping a full night in each other’s arms for the first time. And although the temptation was greater than either could have imagined, both Jack and Vic were able to keep Jack’s virtue intact. ***** November 24… Jack and Vic were driving to Vermont to spend the Thanksgiving weekend at the Fletcher vacation cabin. Needless to say, Vic was expecting a small wooden house on a hill, perhaps overlooking a small lake. Vic should have known the Fletchers don’t do small. The “cabin” was a sprawling five-bedroom log home on the banks of Sadawga Lake in Southern Vermont. Once again, the entire family had gathered for the holiday and Vic found himself a little shadow named Danilyn. The dinner was magnificent. Sheila and Jessica had prepared the vast majority of the dinner with the assistance of Jack and Vic. On Friday, Jack, Vic, and Jessica drove into Brattleboro for some time away from the kids and to enjoy a nice lunch with Jack’s sister. The truth of the matter is that Vic and Jessica had a plan all along. After lunch, the three went for a brisk stroll in a park close to the restaurant. Jessica had her cell phone ready when Vic stopped and turned to face Jack. “Jack, I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’ve let me be a part of your family. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure all this is real. In fact…” Vic pinched himself on the arm. “Yep! This is real… and so is this.” Vic then reached into his pocket and got on one knee. He opened the small box as he said, “Jack, please make this real and marry me?” Jack stood and stared at Vic with a look of shock on his face. Jessica could barely hold the phone still for the combination of crying and laughing… for you see, she also knew what was coming up. “Are you fucking kidding me? Really? Oh my…. What the….” Jack then pulled an almost identical small box out of his pocket, lowered to one knee as he opened his box and said, “Only if you’ll marry me, too!” “Of course I will! No fucking way we both planned the same surprise.! “Guys, c’mon… watch the language. We can never show this to the kids!” Both yelled out “Sorry, kids!” and then kissed after they put the rings on each other’s fingers. When the three got back to the cabin, everyone was thrilled at the news. Jessica ran upstairs to edit the obscenities out of the video and in short time came down and shared it the rest of the family. Of course Jaxon, now fourteen announced, “I know what you said, Uncle Jack and Uncle Vic. Not very romantic is it?” As soon as he returned to Barnstable, Vic made the call he was not looking forward to. He had to tell Mrs. Oglethorpe what was happening directly so she didn’t hear things through the gossip mill. “Mrs. Oglethorpe? This is Vic Greenley.” “Ohhhh… I get the Mrs… must be official business.” “Well, in a way I guess it is. I just wanted to be the one to tell you directly. I’m engaged to be married.” “Oh Vic! That’s the most wonderful thing I’ve heard all year! Who is the lucky man?” “Well, I am. And that’s because I’m going to be marrying Jack Fletcher. I hope that’s not a problem.” “I don’t see why that would be a problem, Vic. We have several married couples working together throughout the school system. I trust your judgment, I know you won’t be doing anything that would cause the school any kind of embarrassment. And as our handbook says, no couple is to show any PDA’s while on school grounds. If you look, you’ll see it says absolutely nothing about the make-up of the couple.” “Well, I’m glad I called you. There is one other thing.” “If you tell me you’re leaving, I’m going to come to your house and torment you until you call off the wedding!” “No. No. No. Nothing like that. Jack and I would love for you to do one of the readings for the service. It’s going to take place the afternoon of New Year’s Eve at the Episcopal church.” “Oh my! I would be honored to be a part of your celebration! And Vic?” “Yes, Mrs. Ogl… Helen?” “I am so very happy for you and Jack. I can’t think of two young men more deserving of each other. Will you be needing time off for a honeymoon?” “No. We talked about that and have decided that we will take our honeymoon during Spring Break. Probably make a trip to London.” “How lovely! Oh! I just can’t believe how happy this makes me!” “You have no idea how happy it makes me, Helen.” Happy,.. a word that, not so long ago, Vic never thought he would be able to relate to ever again. Happy… two families were overflowing with the emotion on that cold New Year’s Eve afternoon as Jack Fletcher and Vic Greenley looked into each other’s gaze and vowed to share and spend their lives together. EPILOGUE Although he was offered several times, Vic decided to not accept the position of. Superintendent. He kept hearing Jackson Fletcher’s words about passion and finding something to do that involved your personal passion. For Vic and Jack… their passion was the kids whose lives they touched on a daily basis. Vic and Jack were married on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve. Vic had initially chosen Ian to be his best man, but Ian insisted that he pick Hunter. Ian, Perry, and Cam stood in as Ushers. Jack had his brother James stand in as his best man with Jacob and his nephew Jaxon as ushers. Eli was the ring bearer and stole the hears of pretty much everyone in attendance. Helen Oglethorpe gave the reading for the wedding and insisted that it be from First Corinthians and the often-used verses about love. She felt that is was even more appropriate for Jack and Vic. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. She continued, “I would like to say something that wasn’t part of this afternoon’s script. I have known Vic Greenley since he returned home from college. Many of you know Vic as the athlete… the record holder… the coach… but I am one of the fortunate ones that got to know Vic as a remarkable young man. The hero who saved his cousin’s life. The teacher who insisted that each and every student have a place of respect in their school. Vic is a man whose passion is only exceeded by his drive to make it the foundation of his life. And then Jack Fletcher came into his life. Who, in their wildest dreams could have imagined that Jack and Vic were cut from the same cloth. They love the kids they teach. They want nothing more than to show each of the students in their school that they matter… that they count. Well, I am here to say that Vic and Jack matter. They count. I am proud to call them associates… and even prouder to call them friends.” Jack was the first to give his vows, “The very first day I walked into you scary office to interview for your old job, I knew I was in trouble. I saw the twinkle in your eye. I saw the truth behind your smile. I heard the sincerity in your words. What even you don’t know is that that was the moment I knew I would be standing here… with you… getting married. “When tragedy came into your life. I knew I needed patience. That’s that ‘Love is patient’ part Helen was talking about. But through it all, I saw the loving, caring, compassionate, and… sometimes… funny man that I choose to spend my life with. We’ve already seen the better AND the worse. And we have so many adventures ahead of us. You are the man I choose. You are my best friend, my lover, my confidante, and before we know it, my husband.” Then it was Vic’s turn for his vows, “Wow. Why did I ever agree to let you go first? Oh yeah, because I owed you one. Well, to be honest, I owe you so much more than just one. When I was at my lowest, you hung in there, never giving up on me. You let me find my way back to the world of the living. I thank God every day that the man that world revolves around is Jack… my Jack… my sweet, dear, Jack Fletcher. “Thank you for letting me into that world. Thank you for letting me find my way there. Thank you for saying ‘yes’ when I proposed to you. I love you, Jack. Standing next to you for the rest of my life is something I didn’t think could ever happen. I love you, Jack… now, until the end of time.” The dinner and reception were both hits with the guests, ending with watching the ball drop in Times Square. By 1:00 a.m. all the guests and caterers had left the house and Jack took Vic to their bedroom to finally consummate their new life as a married couple After the wedding, Vic moved into jack’s much larger (surprise) house located on the beach. He was thrilled that he didn’t have to sell his old house as Ian and Cam needed the extra space as Eli was now four and basement living just wasn’t good for their family. The only thing that needed to be changed was a child-safety fence was put around the pool and a childproof cover was added to the hot tub. Vic did miss his pool but both he and Jack became avid beach runners. For their wedding present, Jackson and Sheila gave them a new lap pool for their backyard. Jackson had his own crew put it in and it was ready to go by summertime. It was during the summer of the pool, Jack and Vic began to take the required coursework to become foster parents. They were done with their coursework and in just three weeks, they took in a young seven-year-old boy while his parents were investigated for a variety of situations, including physical abuse. Marco was scared, quiet, and cried quite a bit, but after three weeks in the Greenley-Fletcher home, he was able to be reunited with his mother.- Then, in December, as Vic and Jack were nearing their second anniversary, they got a call from their pastor. It seems there are a set of twins… girls… from Boston, that the state wanted to get out of the city as the father was deeply involved in the underground drugs scene. The father had murdered his wife when she threatened to turn him in. The father’s parental rights had been rescinded and he was sitting in prison. There were no other relatives where the girls could be placed. A meeting was set up with girls at the house. Cassidy and Caroline were nine years old and, in Vic’s mind, the two most beautiful girls he had ever laid eyes on. Their late mother was apparently Asian while their father was Caucasian. Jack had always believed that mixed-race children were naturally beautiful. After the initial meeting, the girls became quite comfortable around Jack and Vic and were moved in that very day. Of course, losing their mother in such a violent way had a lasting impression on the girls and it took them a while to move through their processes. But by the time Spring Break rolled around, and the surprise trip to Disneyworld, the girls were fully invested in their new family and their Dad (Vic) and Daddy (Jack). It was at the Greenley Fourth of July family picnic when Vic realized just how remarkable his life was. The girls were doting on their cousin Eli. Vic and Jack, along with Cam and Ian and their friends Charlie and Jacob sat around a table, talking about life’s joys and trials as gay couples raising children. Helen Oglethorpe, who insisted that she be Cassidy and Caroline’s surrogate grandmother was having a wonderful time with Cam’s mother and Claire. After the picnic, the plan was to move the gathering to Jack and Vic’s and all watch the fireworks from the beach behind their home. It was three days later when Sam contacted Vic and Jack to tell them all the paperwork had been completed and they were approved for the adoption of the girls. And for the best birthday present of Jack’s life, July 26 was also the court date for the adoption. Jack’s entire family was in attendance as well as Vic’s. At the end of the proceedings, the judge commented on how wonderful it was to see that the girls were going to have such a huge family to provide them with the love and support everyone should have throughout their life. There was a large family portrait with Cassidy and Caroline standing front and center, holding up their adoption certificates. That portrait now hangs over the fireplace in the Greenley-Fletcher home. As the picture was being taken, Vic smiled as he thought about the judge’s words. The love he felt from his family and husband was one of the greatest things he’s ever felt. But it’s the support he gets from every member of his family that completes the picture. And if you look closely at the portrait, you will see the light reflecting off a single tear coming down the smiling faces of both Vic and Jack.
  13. FlyOnTheWall

    The Road Vic Didn't Want to Take

    i promise that the part of the next chapter that deals with Hayden's death will NOT be drawn out. The main theme of the next chapter will be Vic's struggle to move forward... and I promise he eventually will, with the help of his family and friends. Why do you think I brought Hunter back to town?
  14. FlyOnTheWall

    A Florida Christmas and Beyond

    I would like to think it was Mrs. Cho. Mothers always know when they have a gay son. I would like to think Mrs. Cho is like a tiger... and Mr. Cho knows he better do as she says or there will be hell to pay!
  15. FlyOnTheWall

    The Road Vic Didn't Want to Take

    I know, it totally sucks, but as you know, my stories all have happy/hopeful endings... I promise you'll like the conclusion to this story!

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