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The Hidden Ones: Resurrection - 37. Oli vs The Music World!


As practice wound down I couldn’t help but notice Teddy watching me carefully. I told you I was good at this! I told you this was my element! And I’m going to prove it too! I’m not just some stupid annoying moody teenager! I’ve been listening to music, well, since the second I was born! Literally! My mom said my dad jumped at the chance to play me music! That it was practically on at all hours when I was a baby! Well I’m not a baby anymore, and I’m done just listening. It’s time to start creating. It’s time to etch my name onto the great big tree of rock and rollers, and you better believe I’m putting it right above Ryder Sullivan’s!

That night I was too excited to sleep. They know who I am now. For the first time ever they’re talking about Oliver Haner. And they can say whatever they want. They can claim that I’m a joke. That Ryder is just using me to get into Teddy’s pants. Actually, I encourage them to! Because the second they see me behind a kit, well, I’ll make them look like the clueless morons they are!

Yet as I woke up and made my way downstairs I hit my first real roadblock, parents! “What do you mean I can’t interview?” I cried out.

“It means no.” Mom dismissed, looking from me to Ryder. “I’m sorry, but you should’ve asked us before you got his hopes up.”

I saw Ryder working it over in his mind as he tried to find the right words to say. “Mrs. Haner,” He began.

“Jill,” She corrected, trying to throw him off even more.

“Jill,” He began once more, but I could tell using my mom’s first name threw him off. “Look, I’ve been in this industry since before Oli was born. I know the only way to stop rumors is to come out with it all.”

“Well I know what being in front of a camera does to people.” She reprimanded. “And I don’t want that for my thirteen year old son. Maybe when he matures a little more or,”

“But I am mature!” I argued in a whine.

“Not helping.” Ryder quietly sighed.

“It’s just ABC’s morning show, they have kids on there all the time.” Ryder continued to argue. “They’re family friendly and ask softball questions. I wouldn’t put him in a spot where he could fail.”

“I don’t care what questions they are, I know my child.” She warned, starting to grow serious. “The second Oli gets in front of the camera is the second, well, the whole country knows Oliver Haner. And he, he’s just not ready for that yet.”

“I’m ready! You’re the one who’s not!” I argued as Ryder grabbed me.

“Let it go.” Ryder instructed patting me on the chest. “And don’t talk to your mother like that. We may not like her decision, but we have to respect it.”

“Sorry.” I grumbled, not meaning a word of it.

“Oliver,” She began.

“I’m going to swim.” I interrupted, walking out the door before she could plead her case.

I don’t care what she has to say! I’m ready for the big time! I’m ready to be a rock star! People have been talking shit about me since I was in kindergarten! It’s nothing I won’t be used to! Plus, I have Ryder around to help me through it! And doesn’t she always say to do what scares me? Doesn’t she tell me that’s how people grow! She’s so full of shit!

“Don’t sulk.” Ryder tried to comfort as he joined me out in the ocean. “Your friend the lifeguard is even back.”

“I don’t care.” I muttered, having already noticed the chiseled man in the chair.

“I think you do.” He teased, starting to playfully push me.

“Stop!” I exclaimed, trying to hide a smile. “I’m not in the mood!”

“It’s not like she said we have to stop making music.” He rolled his eyes. “She just doesn’t want you on T.V., I get that.”

“Well I don’t.” I grumbled.

“You will.” He slowly nodded his head. “But for now, just be a kid.”

“Yeah, yeah.” I shook my head, trying to push him over. “Fatty.” I remarked, but the truth was he’s mostly muscle. He doesn’t have abs or anything, but his body is still firm like a rock.

“Hey!” He laughed. “You won’t be calling me that when I start training you!”

“Training me?” I asked, still trying my hardest to get him to fall.

“Yeah.” he nodded his head. “You need to be in top shape to tour, plus it won’t hurt our sales to have a heartthrob behind the drums.”

“I, I’m,” I blushed. “I’ll never be,”

“Sure you will.” Ryder giggled, seeing how uncomfortable I had grown. “Like we’ve already told you, people used to throw themselves at Teddy. Throw a six pack on you, and all the boys and girls will be crowd surfing to get to you.”

“Can I, can I look like him?” I asked, glancing over to the ripped lifeguard.

“I don’t know about that.” He said as his smile grew. “But we’ll work on it.”

“I’ll look better than you, that’s for sure!” I shouted, but before I knew it he pushed back and sent me into the water.

Eventually Teddy and my dad came out and joined us in the water. I never thought I’d see the day where Teddy consistently went in the ocean, yet here it is! It’s clear he doesn’t love it, but he’s having fun! We all are! And that, it’s what I’ve always wanted with him.

As my stomach started to grumble I felt my dad push me towards the shore. “Go eat.” He instructed. “Your mom will make you a sandwich or something.”

“But I,”

“We’re all getting out for now anyway.” Teddy interrupted, knowing exactly how to get me to take a break.

“Yeah, I could use a nap.” Ryder stretching, faking a yawn. I shook my head as Teddy quickly took the chance and shoved Ryder into the deeper water.

As their laughter turned more flirtatious I swam to the shore and made my way to the house. “Hey!” The lifeguard suddenly called, freezing me in my tracks. “You’re the kid they keep talking about on T.V., aren’t you?”

“I, uh, yeah.” I nodded my head as red started to coat my cheeks.

“That’s awesome!” He smiled, keeping his eyes on the water. “Revival’s a great song.”

“Re-really?!” I excitedly asked.

“Yeah.” He quickly nodded. “They had it on at the gym yesterday. I knew I’d be working for Ryder Sullivan, but I didn’t expect to meet two rock stars.” I opened my mouth but all that came out was a nervous laugh. “I’m excited to see what else you guys write.”

“I, we have a ton of plans.” I snapped back into it. “I-I’ll tell Ryder to keep your information, and-and if we tour here we’ll send you tickets.”

“That’d be awesome!” His smile grew. “My name’s Jacob by the way.”

“I-I’m Oli.” I introduced as he glanced to me, nodded and looked back to the water. “I’ll see you later.” Was all I could manage out as my blush became too much to bare.

“Ooo!” My mom howled as I stepped inside. “What were you talking to the lifeguard about?”

“Nothing.” I forced out, trying to hide my blush from her.

“Didn’t look like nothing.” She teased. “Are you hungry? Do you want something to eat?” I stayed quiet but as I turned to make myself something I felt her reached around me with a towel. “You’re getting water everywhere!”

“I know! I was just about to get a towel!” I lied. “I’m not a baby!”

“You’re still frustrated about the interview?” She sighed, watching me closely. I stayed quiet, and pulled the towel around me tighter. “Can’t you at least see where I’m coming from?”

“Not really.” I confessed. I went to grab something out of the fridge but she grabbed it before I could.

“I’ll make it.” She dismissed, waiving me to a chair.

“I can do it!” I shouted. “I’m not a child anymore! I can make myself lunch, and-and I can stay home alone, and I-I can go on TV and promote my band if I want!”

“That’s enough Oliver.” She reprimanded.

“It’s not!” I continued to argue. “I don’t know what I did, but you never take me seriously! I wrote a really popular song and you still act like I’m some clueless brat!”

“Oliver I didn’t,”

“I’m good at this mom.” I began. “I’m actually good at this! I-I can’t even believe it myself, but I, I’m actually a good drummer. For once, for once I’m not a fuck up.” I pleaded. “And I just want my band to be as successful as possible, so why are you trying to hold me back?”

“How am I holding you back?” She asked in a breath.

“By keeping me from going out and interviewing with Ryder.” I shook my head. “And I know you’re going to say Ryder can interview by himself but that, that makes me look even more like a joke! Don’t you understand they don’t think I wrote it?” I asked as my voice grew more and more aggravated. “Don’t you understand they’re going to try and trash talk me every chance they get? I-I want to fight back! I want to show them who I am!”

“But you’re only,”

“I don’t care what my age is!” I shook my head. “I’ll have Ryder there with me, and he-he’s changed mom! He’ll take care of me.”

“You’re asking me to try and understand a lot of things Oliver,” She began in a soft voice. “But I-I need you to understand that maybe, maybe I still want to be the one to take care of you.” I gulped as her voice began to break. “You’re growing up so fast and now, well you don’t even come to me with your problems anymore. You go straight to Ryder and Teddy.”

I grew quiet as she tried her hardest not to cry. “I thought it was hard when Teddy grew up, but you’re growing up so much faster. You’re already so much more independent than he was at your age.” She shook her head. “And I, I can’t stand that you don’t need me anymore.”

“I still need you.” I confessed in a breath.

“When Oli?” She asked as the first tear fell.

“Every day.” I admitted, trying to stop the tears falling from my own eyes. “Like-like when we were flying and I was scared, and I-I just needed you.”

“Okay, but that was once, when else,”

“Every day.” I repeated as she reached out for me. “Just because I don’t say it, doesn’t mean I don’t need you.” I felt tears starting to fall as she held me tightly. “You can ask dad,” I forced out. “I hate the mornings when you leave for work before I wake up. I just, I love you.”

“I love you too.” She exhaled, rubbing my back. “I’m so sorry for how much I’ve let you down. I’m so sorry I told you I don’t know what to do with you, I’m so sorry I made you feel like a burden.” She cried. “You’re so amazingly gifted and talented. You’re my little genius.”

I stayed quiet and let her hold me for a minute or two. “Promise me you won’t grow up too fast.”

“I promise.” I quickly nodded.

“Promise me you’ll never stop being a kid.”

“I promise.”

“Promise me you’ll never lose your curiosity.”

“I promise.”

“Promise me you’ll always push your limits.”

“I promise.” A minute or two passed until I finally looked back up at her. “So can I interview?”

She let out a deep sigh and thought it over. “Only with that morning show for now, and only if Teddy goes on with you both.”

“But mom,”

“That’s non-negotiable.” She warned. “I trust Ryder, but I-I need Teddy up there with you.”

I nodded and let her hold me for a little longer, but the second I heard the door open I jumped back. “Uh oh.” Teddy couldn’t help but tease. “Looks like someone just had a mother son moment.”

“Shut up.” I swatted, trying to hit him.

“What was it about?” Teddy prodded, trying to see what he could learn.

“None of your business.” Mom replied with a smile. “But you’re joining him and Ryder in their interview.”

“Hell no.” He shook his head. “I-I can’t,”

“I think that’s a great idea.” Ryder interrupted with a smile. “It’ll add a family dynamic to it.”

“No, but,”

“Tough.” I shrugged, giving him a push.

Teddy looked to Ryder but let out a sigh as he saw there was no way out. “One condition.” He suddenly announced turning to me. “You have to tell me what you and the lifeguard were talking about.”

“Who? Jacob?” I asked with a grin. “Nothing.”

“You know his name?” Teddy smirked, looking back to Ryder.

“He just told me he likes Revival.” I shrugged. “Guess he has good taste in music.”

“Oli!” Ryder couldn’t help but smile. “Look at you flirting with an older man.”

“We weren’t flirting.” I rolled my eyes. “But, but I said we’d try to get him tickets to a show here if we tour.”

“I have no problem with that.” Ryder cackled as Teddy gave him a nudge.

“Do I, do I have to tell Mark about this?” I nervously asked.

“You were just talking to him.” Mom laughed, starting to make me lunch. “It’s not like you were actually flirting.”

“Yeah but,”

“You’re overthinking it again.” Ryder rolled his eyes.

“It’s so sweet that you’re concerned about Mark’s feelings.” Mom began. “But I’m sure Mark would admit Jacob is good looking too. And sometimes, well sometimes it’s just nice to get a compliment from a good looking person.” She sighed. “Maybe that’s not right, and maybe it doesn’t help society to fix itself, but it’s just the way humans are. So you might as well enjoy it.”

“Okay.” I nodded as a genuine smile finally grew on my face.

“And Mark’s no slouch either.” She tried to comfort.

“Mom!” I yelped as Teddy nodded his head.

“He’s a cute kid.” He weighed in. “I would keep him around Oli, because he’s going to be a looker when you two grow up.”

“Well so is Oli.” Ryder supported, trying to raise my self-confidence. “Especially if he keeps looking like you.”

“Ew!” I screeched for the millionth time this week.

I couldn’t help but smile as they all laughed at my scream. The next few days felt picture perfect. We would spend all day at the beach, and all night playing music together. At some point my dad even joined us for a practice or two! Things, they just felt, felt, perfect! I know they like to talk about the good old days. About the summer when Teddy first dated Ryder, but I can’t imagine that feels better than this does. I can’t imagine there was more love in our family than there is now.


The flight home was just as scary as the flight there but between Mom, Dad, Teddy and Ryder I found a way to survive it. There was a certain sadness in the air that day, one that showed we would all miss the easy going atmosphere of Florida. But it’s time to get back to reality. It’s time for all of us to get back to work!

That was way easier said than done as the next morning I found myself in the dressing room of a T.V. studio. My heart only raced faster as a woman peered in and waived for us to follow her.

“We’ve got this.” Ryder nodded giving me a firm pat on the back.

I nodded but stayed quiet as my stomach began to do flips. I know I said I’m ready for this, but, but I don’t know! As I looked back to my mom and she saw the nerves on my face she quickly caught up. “Oliver.” She began with a smile. “You were made for this.”


“But nothing.” She shook her head. “You’ve been looking forward to this for days now. Are you really going to let nerves stop you?”

“No.” I decided with a shake of my head.

“That’s my boy.” She proudly smiled and laid a quick kiss on my head.

But the second we turned the corner and saw the set I swear my heart stopped! A large crowd stood outside the studio windows covered in Messiah t-shirts and signs. There were a few that read Unity, but for the most part it seemed like Ryder was the reason they were here.

As Teddy looked back to me I saw the same nerves going through his heart. “We’ve got this.” I tried to encourage, not fully believing the words myself.

“Yeah.” He forced out, trying his hardest not to look concerned.

“Trust me,” Ryder began turning around. “These things are fun, especially when it’s a morning show like this. Just smile and say what you think is right and you’ll be fine.”

As the woman in a headset sat us down and the hosts walked towards us I took in a deep breath and exhaled it. I’ve been dreaming of this moment ever since I first saw a Messiah music video. I’m not going to let it slip away!

“This is George and Karen.” Ryder introduced as they reached us. “George and Karen, this is Oliver and Theodore Haner.”

“How often are you here?” I asked as the two adults shook our hands.

“He’s been here a good seven or eight times over the years.” The woman happily announced. “The bad boy of music has a soft spot for us.”

“They don’t twist anything I say.” He shrugged. “They keep interviews honest and live, so I just like it here.”

“Make sure you share that with your friends in the music world.” George politely teased.

Ryder nodded his head but watched as they carefully observed me. “You guys are lucky you have the first crack at this kid.” He proudly bragged. “He’s something special.” They happily nodded but Ryder slowly leaned in. “No cursing.” He whispered. “Or you’ll get the interview shut down. Understand?”

“No promises.” I whispered back, mimicking his nod.

“Really special.” Ryder echoed hoping they hadn’t overheard us.

She nodded her head as I heard some shouting from behind the camera. “It’s go time.” Ryder whispered once more as my heart beat began to pick up again.

Three, two,” A man behind the camera counted down.

“Good morning!” The two hosts shouted.

“We’re here this morning with Ryder Sullivan of Messiah and Unity,” She had to pause as the crowd outside started to scream and bounce behind us. “His boyfriend Dr. Theodore Haner, and of course music’s newest star Unity’s Oliver Haner.” I couldn’t help but smile as my name drew some screams from outside.

“So,” Karen began. “Tell us about Revival. What inspired it?”

Ryder shrugged as they looked to him. “Oliver wrote it.” He insisted. “The lyrics were something I whipped up one morning, but they’re not what makes the song special.”

“No.” Karen agreed with a smile. “I’d say the old school feel is what does that!”

“So Oliver,” George shifted. “How does a kid like you write a song that sounds like it’s out of the sixties?”

“I don’t know.” I nervously began. “My dad’s been showing me rock music my whole life, like everything from Zepplin to Messiah.” I shrugged. “And I-I knew when Ryder wanted to start a band that I wanted to make a song that sounded like classic rock. So we just sat down and did it.”

“Just like that?” George asked as I nodded my head. “So then Ryder, you end Messiah a few months ago, get quiet for a while, get your health in order, and start a band with a thirteen year old? How does that happen?”

“It’s hard to say.” Ryder laughed. “My health and sobriety, it was an issue. And I, I fell out of love with music for a while.” He lightly grasped Teddy’s hand as he spoke. “Then Teddy came back into my life and helped me put the pieces back together, and Oli, he’s probably Messiah’s biggest fan.” He remarked drawing screaming from the crowd.

“So immediately he was hounding me about music. What I need to do next, what I need to listen to, what I need to play. And every now and again I would sit down and listen to him play drums, and it was like, a thirteen year old is playing like this? You’ve gotta be kidding me.” He smiled. “I mean, he would’ve slotted in as our touring drummer if I knew him two years ago.” Ryder confessed.

“But the real magic began when he started making me listen to an album a week.” Ryder smiled looking to me. “And one week he picked Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses by Slipknot, and it just, it sparked me. He brought me back to life just as much as Teddy did.”

“What do you have to say about that Oliver?” George asked. “What’s it like having the singer of your favorite band say this stuff?”

“It’s just Ryder.” I shrugged. “Helping him, it’d be just like if you helped your brother or sister.”

“So then you see him as a brother?” Karen pried.

“Yeah.” I nodded my head. “He’s a big goofball. We fight with one another, we play together, we write together, he’s just fun to be around I guess.”

“Well that sounds like a big change from the Ryder Sullivan the music world once saw.” George began. “You were once looked at as the kind of bad boy of rock and roll, would you say you turned a new leaf?”

“I just cleaned myself up.” Ryder shrugged. “I wouldn’t expect anything different from me other than living clean from drugs and alcohol.”

“But surely being in a band with a thirteen year old will help you behave a little more.” Karen led, seeing what he would say.

Teddy let out a laugh as he heard her words. “With this thirteen year old?” Ryder asked giving me a nudge. “Not a chance.”

“Are you a trouble make Oliver?” George asked in a laugh.

“Yeah.” I softly admitted. “I’ve been suspended like a million times, and had detention a million more.” I couldn’t help but smile. “But my school never knew how to really handle me. They just kept pushing me along and never really dealt with bullies or anything.”

“Really?” Karen asked as genuine surprise entered her face.

“Yeah.” I nodded. “I’d get into fights and they would just suspend us then let us back in a few days later. No one ever tried to stop it.”

“Bullying was one of your big platforms when you first rose to stardom Ryder, so what’s it like hearing nothing’s really changed?” George prodded jumping at the chance to get a juicy story.

“It sucks.” He shrugged. “I went to the same middle school as Oliver, but in the years between us nothing’s changed. “

“Yeah like get it together River Edge Middle School.” I jumped in, making sure to say the school by name. “Especially the principal Mrs. Flores.”

“Okay Oli.” Ryder nervously laughed, not expecting me to name drop.

“And what’s this like for you Dr. Haner?” Karen asked as George began to laugh. “What’s it like seeing your brother and boyfriend share this bond?”

“I love it.” Teddy shrugged. “It took some getting used to, but at the end of the day I’ve always wanted Ryder to feel like family.”

“Well you two go way back, correct?” George asked, delicately trying to get the story.

Ryder went to speak but Teddy squeezed his hand. “We dated for a while in high school. But just like the saying goes, if you love something you have to let it go, and if it doesn’t come back it wasn’t meant to be.” Teddy bravely explained. “Lucky for me he came back.”

Ryder had to look down and hide his growing smile as Teddy’s words bounced around in his head. “Let’s talk music.” I boldly interrupted, noticing Teddy wasn’t willing to share much more.

“Alright.” George laughed. “Where is this band going?

“Everywhere.” I proudly let out, finally growing comfortable. “My goal is to write a song for every genre in music.”

“Really?” George sat back as my answer caught him off guard.

“I love rock music.” I clarified. “And I guess we’ll wind up being a rock band, but I want influences from all genres. I want hip hop, and pop and EDM and those fun country riffs.”

“He’s an ambitious kid.” Ryder shrugged. “Contrary to what people out there are saying, he’s the heart behind this band. I’m just along for the ride.”

“It’s interesting you bring that up, because there are a lot of people who doubt you Oli. How do you take that?” Karen asked.

“Honestly?” I asked as she nodded. “They can all go,” Before I could finish my sentence Ryder quickly threw his hand over my mouth. The crowd behind me roared at our antics at they got their first real taste of who I was.

“Watch it.” He warned as the two hosts nervously watched me.

“They’re just a bunch of unintelligent morons.” I cleaned up, trying my hardest to censor myself. “Just like the producers at Universal, and Warner Bro’s.”

“What happened with them?” George asked, feeding me further.

I looked to Ryder but he shrugged his shoulders, more than happy to let me go off. “Morons.” I shook my head. “They laughed in our faces when we sent them Revival, well who’s laughing now?” I asked as the crowd screamed even louder. “We’re not letting labels tell us what we can or can’t do. I’m gonna make the music I want and no one can tell me otherwise.”

“Trust me, I’ve tried.” Ryder teased, trying to support me.

“So you know better than them?” George fed, seeing where I’d take it.

“Anyone with ears does!” I shrugged. “They should just sit down and shut up.”

“Do you agree Ryder?” Karen asked.

“Someone had to say it.” He shrugged.

“Because it’s out of control.” I began, starting to go on a rant. “They sign young bands just to try and take their royalties and money. I mean what is that sh-stuff? It’s disgusting and pathetic!”

“Okay Oli.” Teddy laughed. “You’ve made your point.”

“Is he always like this?” George examined.

“Since he could talk.” Teddy nodded his head.

“So then you must be a proud big brother?”

“Very.” He smiled. “He’s the type of genius schools don’t recognize, so I’m happy to see he’s getting what he deserves.”

“What do you say Oli, are you a genius?” Karen poked.

“No.” I shook my head. “I’m just dumb enough to open my mouth.” I couldn’t help but smile as they both laughed.

“Final question before we have to take a break.” Karen began. “Is Unity the real deal?”

“Absolutely!” I exclaimed before Ryder could say anything. “Get used to us. We’re here for a long time to come.”

Ryder shook his head and laughed. “Yeah.” He submitted. “Look at him,” He exhaled. “You think he’s going away anytime soon?”

“Nope.” George smiled. “This has been Unity, you can check out their debut single Revival on the radio or wherever music is sold. We’ll be right back!”

People in the studio slowly clapped we as stood up and shook the hosts hands. “You’ve got one brave kid on your hands.” George remarked.

“He’s going to burn down the music world and rebuild it his way.” Ryder shook his head as my smile grew.

“That’s very admirable Oliver.” Karen shook my hand. “We wish you luck, and you’re always welcome back.”

I nodded my head as Ryder waived to the crowd and led us off set. “What’d you think? How was your first interview?”

“Pretty cool.” I shrugged. “They didn’t really ask much about our music though.”

“No,” Ryder shook his head. “But they’re not really music people. This was just easy P.R. for us.”

“Hey!” Dad clapped as we reached them. “There’s my boy!” He shouted, trying to pull me in for a hug.

“He didn’t burn you guys by going after labels, did he?” Mom sighed, looking over to Ryder.

“Not at all.” He shook his head. “People will love him for it, it was genuine and real. Besides, there are a million labels out there.”

My parents made sure to keep me near them on our way out. At first I thought it was because they were worried, but as I saw their smiles I realized they were just proud. I had to bite my lip to stop my smile from spreading from ear to ear. I’ve always dreamed of this moment. Of making them proud with my music, of showing them I’m not some sort of monster. And now, well now it’s finally here, and I won’t let it slip away!

“So how about we go out to celebrate?” Dad offered as security led us to our car.

“Actually I, I was hoping I could uh,”

“Go to Mark’s?” Teddy finished for me as I lightly nodded my head.

“Is his dad okay with that?” Mom asked, staring me down.

“Yeah, Mark said I could stop by anytime I get free today.” I quickly replied with a bashful grin.

“Okay.” Dad sighed. “You did just spend a week trapped with us.”

“Thank you! Thank you!” I shouted as my excitement got the better of me. “I mean,” The car couldn’t help but start laughing as a blush grew on my face.

“We’ll just go out to dinner tomorrow.” Ryder suggested drawing smiles from everyone but Teddy.

“I have work tomorrow.” Teddy groaned. “It’s going to be a long day and,”

“Teddy, remember what you said about making more time for family?” Dad pressured, making sure everything stayed as planned.

“Yeah.” He sighed. “Okay, I, I get off at six.”

“Perfect, we’ll leave the second you get home.” Ryder proudly smiled as things quickly fell into place. “Quick Oli! Roll down your window!” He distracted, before Teddy could pick up on anything.

I did as instructed and looked at the crowds of people as we drove by. “Unity!” I shouted as they turned and stared.

“Ryder! Ryder! Ryder!” A bunch of them shouted as they got a look into the car.

“Oli!” Another voice suddenly called out as I slowly rolled the window back up. I couldn’t help but blush as our names interchanged in chants.

Every now and again my parents would turn around and shoot me another proud look, but for the most part things stayed normal. Just one single and things are already getting this crazy? I can’t wait to see what happens when we record the second song! I looked to Ryder and nodded my head with a smile. I know you’ve played stadiums and have multiplatinum records, but I’m going to show you a side of music you’ve never seen! I swear I will!


As we pulled up to the small one floor house I ripped my door open and quickly ran out.

“Hey!” My mom shouted as she rolled down her window. “Remember your manners and text us when you’re ready to be picked up!”

“Okay!” I shouted back before turning and anxiously knocking on the front door.

It took a few seconds but before I knew it a big man appeared at the door. “From T.V. to my door step, how do you like that?” The man remarked.

“Hey Mr. Roberts!” I yelped, looking around him.

“You did a great job today Oliver.” He congratulated stepping aside so I could squeeze in. “Mark was practically glued to the screen all interview. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him get up that early on a Saturday!” I couldn’t help but blush at his words. “And that song of yours’, it’s a killer!”

“You like it?” I asked, looking back at him.

“Of course!” He quickly nodded. “I’m not big into metal, but I’m all about classic rock, you know that!”

“Yeah.” I smiled.

“And you working hand in hand with Ryder Sullivan.” He shook his head. “That must be really cool.”

“Eh, it’s just Ryder.” I dismissed, giving the same answer as this morning.

He let out a big booming laugh and shook his head. “You’re a funny kid Oli.” He exhaled, giving me a hard pat on the back. “How come you didn’t tell me Teddy is dating him?”

“I don’t know,” I shrugged. “Guess last time I was over they hadn’t started dating yet.” He nodded his head and took a seat back on the couch. “I, that’s not a problem right?”

“What’s not a problem?” He asked, giving me a curious look.

“That my brother is gay.” I checked in a nervous gulp.

His look grew more confused as he heard my question. “Why would that be a problem?”

“I don’t know.” I anxiously shrugged. “Some people don’t like it.”

“I’m not going to lie to you Oliver.” He sighed. “I don’t fully understand it, but it’s not for me to understand anyway! He can live his own life. Ryder can live his own life. You can live your own life. Mark can live his own life. As long as we’re all healthy and happy, it is what it is.” A smile overtook my face as I nodded my head. “Now go ahead, you know where Mark’s room is.”

I nodded once more and quickly made my way to the back of the house, with a quick knock I pushed open the door. “Dad!” Mark groaned. “How many times do I have to, oh!” He froze as I stepped in. “Wh-when did you get here?”

“Just now.” I shrugged, slowly shutting the door behind me. “I-I missed you.” I forced out, slowly walking over to him.”

“I missed you too.” He smiled, standing up and pulling me in close. Before he could fully pull away I leaned in and laid a kiss on his lips. “What was that for?” He excitedly asked as I pulled away.

“I-I don’t know.” I giggled. “I just wanted to.”

Before I knew it he leaned back in and gave me another kiss. We both couldn’t help but nervously laugh as I pulled away and took a seat. “I’m so proud of you, you know that?”

“So you liked the interview?” I eagerly asked.

“Yup.” He happily nodded. “You did great! And you totally called out Mrs. Flores! I bet she’s shitting herself right now!”

“I’m gonna be in soo much trouble on Monday.” I said in a laugh.

“It was worth it though.” He supported.

“Yeah, it was.” I agreed. “Unless I get suspended.”

“That’s just more winter break.” He teased with a contagious smile. “Besides, rock stars don’t need school.”

“Yeah but, but then I don’t get to be with you.” I shyly admitted.

“Oh, yeah.” He nodded. “But someone has to deliver homework to your house.” He smirked. “And as your best friend and boyfriend, I volunteer.”

“My hero.” I smirked as a knock sounded on his door and we both straightened up.

“Hey boys, I have to run into work for a few hours.” He sighed. “I left pizza money on the counter, and there are left overs in the fridge.”

“Did you leave enough for wings?” Mark eagerly asked.

“Of course I left enough for wings.” He shook his head. “What am I? An Animal?”

Me and Mark let out a short laugh as he began to shut the door. “Love you Mark.”

“Love you!” He shouted back. We patiently waited as we heard the jingle of keys being pulled off the counter, followed by the slam of the front door.

“You know, he’s uh, he’s cool with gay people.” I timidly began.

“How do you know that?” Mark suspiciously asked.

“I-I asked when he asked about Teddy.” I shrugged. “And he said everyone is free to live their own lives.”

“Oh.” Mark exhaled, turning to hide the look of relief on his face. “Well I knew that.”

“So are you going to tell him?” I uneasily asked.

“Maybe.” He shrugged. “But not for a while. Like I said, he was all over with me when I dated Jess, and I-I don’t want that with you.”

“No?” I giggled.

“Nope.” He proudly smiled. “I like being left alone with my rock star boyfriend.”

I nodded but grew nervous as I realized what it meant to be alone with him. So, I, do we have to do it now? I know I told Teddy and Ryder I want to try stuff with him, but I-I don’t know. I just got here and, what if it gets weird? What if we’re not ready?

“Come lay down.” Mark encouraged as he jumped on his bed. “My dad bought a ton of movies over the break, so we can just watch them all day.”

I nervously joined him but the second I reached his level he snuggled up next to me. “So, uh, what do you want to watch?”

“I don’t know.” He shrugged, flipping through the movies. “Power Rangers?”

“Didn’t that just come out?” I asked, trying to hide how shaky my voice was growing.

“Yeah.” He giggled. “But my dad knows a guy.” I nodded my head but as Mark laid his head against my chest he felt how nervous I had grown. “I, do you not like cuddling?”

“I do.” I quickly answered, praying he wouldn’t move away.

He nodded but carefully watched me, trying his hardest to figure out what was wrong. “We don’t have to do anything you know?” He checked as I hesitantly reached my arm around him. “I know we spoke about it while you were in Florida, but I-I’m cool with just cuddling and watching movies.”

“Really?” I asked trying to hide my relief. “I mean, I’m totally down to if you want.”

“You’re such a bad liar.” He giggled. “But yeah I, I don’t want this to be about sex, I-I want this to be about spending time with my best friend. There will be plenty of time for that other stuff later on.” I happily nodded my head and eased up as my hand began to pet his curly hair. “Besides you still need more practice on your own.”

“Hey!” I cackled as he bashfully grinned. “I’ll have you know I worked in plenty last week!”

“Oli!” He cackled with a blush. “You’re something else, you know that?”

“I’ve been told.” I nodded. “Do you want to come to the Barn tomorrow night? Something’s going on and It would really mean a lot if you came.”

“Okay.” He slowly nodded. “But isn’t that place super old? And isn’t the food kind of um,”

“Crappy?” I finished for him as he laughed once more. “Yeah but apparently it means something to Teddy and Ryder or some shit.”

“Oh.” He let out. “But yeah, I’m sure my dad will let me go.”

I smiled as he hit play on the movie and snuggled closer. He’s right, I don’t want this to be a race to losing our virginity. I want this to be about us. I want to look back and be able to have stories like Ryder and Teddy. No! I want to have new ones! Ones about Oli and Mark!

Copyright © 2018 Aceinthehole; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

It’s funny how Jill uses Harry’s name all the time (usually when he’s in trouble), but Harrison never uses her name (did he forget it too?)!  ;-)


I’ve read that some authors keep notes on things like birthdays and physical characteristics.  ;-)

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I think Oli will be able to overcome his nervousness over interviews and plane rides. He’ll have plenty of chances to get used to them in his future! Eventually, he won’t need Jill, Harry, and Teddy as support in those situations.  ;-)

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20 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

It’s funny how Jill uses Harry’s name all the time (usually when he’s in trouble), but Harrison never uses her name (did he forget it too?)!  ;-)


I’ve read that some authors keep notes on things like birthdays and physical characteristics.  ;-)

I actually have that list, well to keep track of last names. Yay another PR reference!I loved the interview, but can we have a teddy chapter next please?

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Apple has a utility called Stickies that used to be more prominently visible on the Mac. It’s the software version of Post-It Notes and there’s an unrelated freeware clone available for that other OS. Apparently it’s still included on the Mac, but it’s hiding as a widget in Dashboard. It’s also included as an example in some versions of Xcode.  ;-)


You might want to use Stickies or Post-It Notes for those sorts of details…  ;-)

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6 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

You might want to use Stickies or Post-It Notes for those sorts of details…  ;-)

I love digital sticky notes! My desktop is littered with them! 


I probably should use them for significant details of stories though! Right now I just use them to track quotes that I inspire characters. For example, I've had "The brighter the star the shorter the life" on my desktop since I started Spotlight!

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Yeah I went to check her name yesterday too... Got me thinking about those family meetings, they were a gathering of friendship and love that Oli never got to see, I think he said to Ryder they don't do that anymore.. Maybe they should start again.

Anyway, great  chapter, as I expected, Oliver openness to feelings and affection is paying off, even for him. He talked with his mother and they understood each other. The interview was great, apart from calling a teacher by name ( he can get a mild headache about it) he was very cool, good answers and even when he was about to curse their antics were probably seem as fun.

Edited by Sweetlion
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While I loved this chapter, the initial third left me teary-eyed: While Oli always seems so confident, he shows some of his own sadness and frustration, saying, "People have been talking shit about me since I was in kindergarten" and "I'm not just some stupid annoying moody teenager," showing how he feels that others perceive him.  When it appears that he will finally have his moment to let the world know who he really is, his own mother becomes the stumbling block, citing her fear that--if he gets in front of a camera--the world will indeed find out who Oli Haner is (and not in a good way). You can feel Oli's hurt at what he must feel as the ultimate betrayal. Of course, this sets us up for even more tears as mom finally gets it and gives her permission for the interview. The subsequent mother-son moment is truly touching and makes up for the heart-stopping moment when she first said no.


The interview itself was pure Oli (with a little help from Teddy and Ryder). My favorite moment is when Ryder has to put his hand over Oli' s mouth to prevent an expletive. (Later, George asks, "Is he always like this?" and Teddy answers, "Since he could talk.")  Maybe Oli and Jill's expectations were both realized as the world finally meets Oli Haner!

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14 minutes ago, Aceinthehole said:

I love digital sticky notes! My desktop is littered with them! 


I probably should use them for significant details of stories though! Right now I just use them to track quotes that I inspire characters. For example, I've had "The brighter the star the shorter the life" on my desktop since I started Spotlight!

That quote holds truth. Especially in music. There’s The 27 Club, musicians dying at 27... Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Amy Winehouse to name a few.

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The anti-Ryder, Andy Gibb had just turned 30 when he died. He was suffering from drug addiction and depression. He was the baby brother of the Bee Gees. Poor older brother Barry survives after all three of his brothers died (they died in reverse order: Andy, Maurice, and 35 minute older fraternal twin Robin).  ;-)

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That was fantastic. I am so glad that Oli and Mark are growing in their friendship before the pants come down. Sex is so much better when the time is right.  I liked every moment of this chapter. It felt like I was there standing off to the side watching as things happened. Great job. 

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1 hour ago, droughtquake said:

It’s funny how Jill uses Harry’s name all the time (usually when he’s in trouble), but Harrison never uses her name (did he forget it too?)!  ;-)


I’ve read that some authors keep notes on things like birthdays and physical characteristics.  ;-)


1 hour ago, Wesley8890 said:

I actually have that list, well to keep track of last names. Yay another PR reference!I loved the interview, but can we have a teddy chapter next please?

You need a list to remember that Jill, Harry, Teddy, and Oli are all Haners? Or that Ryder and Florence’s last name is Sullivan? Oh, you meant your characters’ last names!  ;-)

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40 minutes ago, BlindAmbition said:

That quote holds truth. Especially in music. There’s The 27 Club, musicians dying at 27... Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Amy Winehouse to name a few.


Absolutely. All amazing inspirations. The musician who I got the name Sullivan from is unfortunately a member of the 27 club.


Ryder being 31 allows for all of us (myself included) to let out a deep breath of relief. 

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Better late than never , I know Jill is a working mom but she can’t abdicate her duties then bemoan the fact that Oliver has found another support base . The bonding moment though was intense and sweet! It’s good to see the Haner family drawing back together again into their previous dysfunctional unity. 

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My goal is to write a song for every genre in music.

I’m waiting to hear you describe Oliver’s Opera or Symphony (every genre, right?)!  ;-)

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It is good to see Oliver grow as a person. As a thirteen year old (almost fourteen 😜) he still has lots of changes coming. I think this new sense of self-worth will really help him. Thanks for more of this really good story.

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Oh, forgot to add that I think Marc father might suspect, and he might be ok. It is easy to be "supportive" when it's not your family, but he did include Marc, and Oli, in his "live your own life, and be happy" speech. Was he just being nice, or did he have a meaning behind it?

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That was a great and moving chapter.  The scene on the beach with Jacob had to show Oli just what he is getting into.  His shy reaction at first showed that he has some growing to do, But by the end he was much more confident and added free tickets to a Unity show for him.  The interview was classic Oliver, and the hand over the mouth was a very touching moment that showed the family dynamic very well......  Next stop the Barn,  what surprises will there be in store there?????? 


Proposal I hope!!!!  and maybe Oli on stage????



Thanks Ace for an awesome chapter!!

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12 hours ago, droughtquake said:

I think Oli will be able to overcome his nervousness over interviews and plane rides. He’ll have plenty of chances to get used to them in his future! Eventually, he won’t need Jill, Harry, and Teddy as support in those situations.  ;-)


Even if he doesn't NEED their support I hope that he take full advantage of it

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Lovely chapter, I was worried that Jill was manipulating Oli a bit at first but it seemed heartfelt

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