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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

In Memory of Ed Wooton

For the Love - 15. Homecoming

The early morning sun streaming in through the dusty window slowly intruded upon my consciousness, dragging me back to an awareness of unfamiliar surroundings.

The one familiar constant was the tan arm draped across my bare chest. Steve liked physical contact while he slept, and that suited me just fine. I looked to my side, and saw him lying next to me, facing me, nestled against my side, and still asleep. I was careful not to wake him, for I loved to watch him sleep.

My stomach growled as I noticed the faint scent of bacon in the air. I knew that Chad and Veronica must be up, and my stomach demanded food. I eased out from under Steve's arm, and inched my way out of the bed.

After pulling on Steve's tattered Levis, I crept out of the room and made my way to the kitchen, where I found Veronica busily making pancakes.

"Morning, Chris. You're up early. Grab some bacon if you want, the pancakes will be ready soon. I'm going to serve Chad breakfast in bed. If you want to do the same for Steve, I've got an extra tray."

After nibbling on a few slices of bacon, I helped Veronica with the pancakes. As she began setting up the trays, I retrieved the other pair of jeans from the clothesline on the patio, and our swimsuits from the edge of the pool where we had left them last night. I just hoped that Veronica hadn't seen them there. I tucked the swimsuits into the pockets of the jeans before slinging them over my shoulder. I returned to the kitchen to help Veronica and ended up pouring the orange juice as she had everything else well in hand.

I carried a tray in to the spare bedroom and found Steve barely awake, though the smell of food soon bought him around fully. We shared breakfast in bed, our first, and it was a wonderful feeling.

After breakfast Steve pulled on the jeans I'd brought in, and he grinned at me, "Hid the swimsuits in the pockets, eh? I hope you got them before Veronica saw them out there."

I chuckled, "Yeah, it would've been kinda obvious what we did."

"I don't care about that. I just know she'd make us clean the pool." Steve chuckled.

I grinned, "Yeah that was wild, fooling around in the water like that. I hope we can do that again one of these days."

A thoughtful look crossed Steve's face, "We probably can here sometimes, but I know a place in the backcountry with a swimming hole. Dad took us out camping a few years ago and we found it by accident. It is a bitch to get to, but it would be perfect, totally private and nobody for miles around. Let's go camping there sometime."

I nodded in eager agreement, and not just because of the swimming hole. Steve had taken me on my first and only camping trip not long after we had met, and I had loved it.

We greeted Chad and Veronica in the living room, but didn't stop to chat as we had plans to attend Reverend Mike's service this morning so we had to hustle. We retrieved our shoes and the gym bag from the garage, and finished installing Veronica's new mailbox.

Turning down a final swim in the pool, we headed home, arriving by nine, leaving Chad and Veronica to have some private time.

As we pulled into Steve's driveway, I noticed a movement of the blinds in Steve's bedroom window, and for a moment, I saw a set of eyes peeking out at us.

I nudged Steve as he shut off the engine, "I just saw someone in your room."

Steve narrowed his eyes, and I followed as he stormed inside. The living room was empty, but the back door was open, and the sound of hammering echoed through the house. We entered the backyard to find Mr. Williams hard at work building some furniture. He smiled at us, but there was something in his demeanor that let me know all was not well.

"Hi guys, I hope the party went ok. I've got something I need to talk to you both about." He said, as he stopped hammering.

"Dad, were you just in my room? When we pulled in, Chris saw someone look through the blinds." Steve asked.

Mr. Williams face clouded, "No, son, I wasn't, and your mom is out shopping. The news I've got to share with you is that Eric is home and confined to his room. No way in hell should he have been in yours. Goddamit, I told him this was his last chance, and already he is going off the rails. I'll bet he's looking for that Data thing."

Turning to face Eric's window, Mr. Williams let loose at full volume, "ERIC! GET YOUR ASS OUT HERE RIGHT NOW!"

I noticed the veins in his neck pulsing as Mr. Williams stood with his arms crossed. The back door opened, and I was once again face to face with Eric. He gave me an odd look, and then walked over to stand in front of his father.

"Why were you in Steve's room? What fucking part of 'confined to your room' did you not comprehend?" Mr. Williams bellowed.

"I was just looking for some paper to write on for my schoolwork. Sorry, Dad." Eric said, an apologetic look on his face.

"Cut the shit, right now. I told you that this is your last chance. Either you come clean about what you were up to with that Sheriff, and knock this shit off, or I will send you to military school, or jail, whichever I can arrange first. HAVE YOU GOT THAT?"

Eric winced a little, and replied, "I know, and you're right. I wasn't doing anything with the Sheriff. I don't know why he had me stay at his house, or why the charges were dropped. I really don't."

Mr. Williams pointed at Steve and me, "Don't you have something to say to your brother and Chris?" He shouted at Eric.

Eric walked over to where we were standing, and after giving us an appraising glance, "Sorry guys. What I did was really messed up. Chris, I'm sorry I stole your Jeep, and for all the trouble I caused you both. And I'm really sorry you got shot at, Chris." He gave us a weak smile before heading back into the house.

We watched him depart as Mr. Williams came over to us and said in a low growl, "That was some apology. I didn't think he had it in him. I still don't believe him, and from the looks on your faces you don't buy it either. I said I'd give him another chance, but if he screws up just once, I'm coming down on him like a ton of bricks. I've got to let him go to school Monday, so the schoolwork excuse he just gave is plausible, but I don't trust him."

I coughed, lightly, "Sir, could you come to my place and have a look at my sink? I think it's backing up." I said, giving him a wink.

He nodded, "Let's go."

Once he was in my apartment I closed the door, checked the window, and I asked, "Something he said just now surprised me. Did you tell him I got shot at?"

Mr. Williams' eyebrows shot up, "Yeah, I did. I figured he had to know about that due to being in cahoots with that Sheriff, and I was trying to trip him up and make him talk. Whatever you do, don't tell Eric about the footprints you saw where you guys found that Data thing. If Eric does come clean, he'll tell us about all that himself. If he doesn't, then this is all just another act."

Steve and I began filling his dad in on Dex's idea to let Eric steal a fake Data Stick.

Mr. Williams was silent as he mulled it over, and then finally nodded, "Okay. Give 'em enough rope, I always say. It might even work to get that damn sheriff, if we catch him in the act of receiving the thing from Eric. I hope Eric snaps out of this, but I've pretty much given up hope. Give it a week or so to make it look good, though. In the meantime, think up a way to make it look convincing."

Breakfast - our second one of the day - was strained. Eric was allowed to eat at the table with the rest of us, and he was mainly silent. Everyone was uncomfortable, Mrs. Williams most of all. I reflected that I was seeing a family torn apart. I think I hated Eric more for that than anything he had put me through.

Steve and I were both glad to excuse ourselves early to leave for Reverend Mike's Sunday service. I had to chuckle at that. There were a lot of things I'd been surprised by in my life, but willingly going to Church was probably the biggest of all.

Reverend Mike stood, smiling and proud, greeting people at the door. He beamed when he recognized us, "I was hoping you two would show up."

"After what you did for us Friday, how could we not? That was one hell of... Heck of a sermon, too." Steve said, looking a little uncomfortable due to his slip.

"Hell, I say hell, a hell of a lot, too." Reverend Mike chuckled, "Relax and enjoy. The sermon today will be brief, but it plays on Friday's sermon a bit. I'll be preaching about 'loving thy neighbor as thyself'."

Steve and I found a pew up front, and Reverend Mike was true to his word, the sermon was brief, but powerful, and left no doubt that hate had no place within these old walls.

After the service, we chatted briefly with Reverend Mike, who warned us that Thaddeus was preaching Leviticus at his church, yet again. It wasn't much of a surprise, but it let us know in no uncertain terms that the Fundy hate campaign against us was still in full swing.

We stopped by Rob and Joe's to say hi. The main topic of conversation, as you would expect when four gay guys got together, was the finer points of rebuilding a carburetor. After shooting the breeze for a while, we headed home. It was early afternoon when we arrived, and found Mrs. Williams tapping stakes in the gravel of the front yard.

"Hi Mom, what are you doing?" Steve asked, motioning at the stakes.

"I've been meaning to put in a flower bed for a long time, so I'm just marking it out before I start digging. So, you two went to church - never thought I'd see that!" She chuckled, "How was it?

"Better than I expected, actually. I like Reverend Mike a lot. But, it's really hot out here today. Why don't you let me dig the flower bed for you?" Steve asked.

"Me too," I chimed in, "I'd be happy to help."

Mrs. Williams gave us a smile, mopped her brow, thanked us, and told us that she had edging board in the garage, plus some bags of planting soil. She also told us that lunch would be ready in a few minutes, so we should eat before we started digging.

As his mother walked away, Steve chuckled softly, "If you ever needed it, Chris, that was proof positive that she thinks of you as family now."

I gave Steve a questioning look, to which he replied, "If anyone outside the family offered to help on something like this, she would have argued. She didn't. Trust me dude, I know my Mom, and that means she thinks of you as one of her kids now."

Our eyes met, and without words Steve picked up on what I was feeling, and smiled along with me, he patted me on the back giving me a quick hug, before turning to head for the house.

As soon as we were in the front door, the smell of pizza hit me, causing my stomach to rumble. Steve patted his stomach, "That smells good. But no point in getting our good clothes messed up, come on."

I followed Steve back to his room, glancing at Eric's closed door as we passed, wondering what the little creep was up to while confined in there all day.

As soon as we were in Steve's room, we changed as fast as we could, throwing on old jeans and t-shirts, plus old shoes. Sundays were close to a formal day at the Williams' house, because Steve always put on a shirt of some kind for meals on Sundays. We stormed back down the hall, heeding the call of baking pizza.

We arrived just in time to see Mrs. Williams remove the pizza from the oven. It was a frozen one, but she always added extra cheese and pepperoni, and at that moment, I couldn't imagine anything looking or smelling as good.

Mr. Williams joined us at the table, and the four of us sat down for lunch. Without Eric there, we were relaxed and happy, and I wondered if things would ever be as good when Eric was around again. I glanced at the quickly vanishing pizza, and wondered if Eric would be getting it cold. Mr. Williams must read minds, because he told me, "Go ahead, eat all you want. Eric isn't getting lunch today."

After lunch, Steve and I walked out to the garage and quickly gathered up the shovels, a couple of rakes, plus the edging board, and carried them out to the soon-to-be-flowerbed by the driveway.

It was a typical Sunday afternoon, and I noticed a few people in their yards at other houses on the street in spite of the heat. The Williams house was on a corner lot, so the flowerbed would have great visibility. I just hoped that Mrs. Williams could get the flowers to grow in the blazing sun.

Steve kicked at the pink gravel, "We need to rake this out of the way, then hammer in the edging before we start digging." Steve tossed me a rake, and I began pulling at the inch-sized gravel. Steve carried a rake over to the other end of the work area, and I paused to watch as he pulled off his shirt, his muscles rippling, and tossed it a dozen or so feet up the driveway where it landed on the trunk of his car. He immediately grabbed the rake and started clearing the gravel, but I noticed him sneak a glance at me out of the corner of his eye.

I knew that he was waiting to see what I'd do, so I pulled off my shirt and tossed it at him. He grabbed it out of the air, and grinned, "There is hope for you yet. I was wondering if you were going to do that or if you were going to cook in the sun instead. Glad to see ya being more confident, bro, but I'm going to keep working on ya until you feel good about yourself all the time."

I laughed, "Yeah, I do feel better, but does 'working on ya' mean Veronica is right, and you really are trying to turn me into an exhibitionist like you?"

Steve shook his head as he cracked up, "I'm not an exhibitionist. I like taking off most of my clothes, not all of them."

"I seem to remember otherwise, at the pool party." I snickered.

"Hey, that was different. You stole my swimsuit."

We laughed, and got back to work on the gravel. It didn't take long to get it cleared away and spread around the rest of the graveled part of the yard. Steve and I then hammered in the edging and staked it in place

Steve used a knife to cut the plastic, which had underlain the gravel, exposing the dirt. That was when the real work began; digging the dry, hard soil in the hot sun. We had to break it up down to a foot deep, and while we worked, Mrs. Williams appeared with two big glasses of iced lemonade. I took a long drink, and could tell that it was fresh-made, the tart sting of fresh lemons proof in the corners of my mouth. Nothing, but nothing, tastes better than iced fresh lemonade when you are working in the hot sun.

By the time we were finished it was late afternoon. Steve and I gathered up the tools, put them in the garage, and sat down on the trunk of his car, surveying our work. Steve grabbed our shirts, tossing me mine, and began dabbing off the sweat on his face and torso with his, and I followed suit with my own. The new flowerbed was done, and all Mrs. Williams would need to do was plant it. I recalled what Steve had said about his mom considering me family, and I smiled.

Steve noticed the smile, "If I had to take a guess, you are thinking about Mom, and what I said earlier about her thinking of you as family?"

"How did you know that?" I asked, my eyes widening with amazement.

Steve chuckled, "Because I know you by now, and I saw your eyes light up when I first said it. What you went through as a kid is really fucked up; I can't really imagine what it was like. When we first met, I was kinda shocked that you never wanted to see your parents again, but when you started telling me what they were like I understood, totally. I'm amazed it didn't affect you more than it did, and leave you with more than a little self-esteem problem."

I bobbed my head slightly, "I think I'm getting over that, thanks to you and Veronica, and, well, your folks, and Chad, and Rob and Joe too."

"Yup, you have been different since last night. It's subtle, but it's there. I see more of the 'you' I saw the day you were shot at; confident and fearless. I'll never forget that you were heading back to Piedmont right after being shot at, trying to save me." Steve paused, scrunching up his face a little, "That was one fucked-up day, but I think some good is coming of it."

While Steve checked out his back in the reflection of his rear window, we talked about the obvious problem: Eric. Now that he was back, things just felt awkward in the house. Neither of us thought there was any chance he would change, and we decided that he had to be just putting on an act.

"Why don't we just play along, and see what happens," Steve threw out as a suggestion, "and like Dad said, give the little creep enough rope. I don't think he would dare mess with us again, he's probably scared that we are gonna beat the crap out of him as it is."

Nodding, I agreed, and later when we went to the house for dinner, the silences with Eric at the table were awkward, but not as much as before. Eric ate in silence, his eyes never leaving his plate, so it was almost possible to forget he was there.

I felt a little uncomfortable that night when we went to bed in Steve's room, knowing Eric was right across the hall. Steve noticed, "Dude, it doesn't matter if he hears us making out. He won't make any smart-ass remarks; he knows what I'll do to him if he does. He's on a tight leash now, so don't worry about it."

I stopped worrying about Eric, and instead concentrated on pleasing the gorgeous guy I was in bed with.

We had school the next day, and I hoped that life was slowly getting back to normal. We still had a Fundy vendetta and a homicidal Sheriff to worry about, but things were finally looking up for us.

The next few days had us busy with school, and my pre-med classes took a lot out of me. Steve's car suffered no more attacks, for which we were both very grateful.

The bad news came to us on Wednesday; Reverend Thaddeus had devoted all his sermons to the evils of homosexuality, and had mentioned us by name more than once.

The glares I sometimes received from a few of my classmates were becoming more frequent, and it was obvious that the Fundy hate campaign was starting to sway at least some people.

Eric? Well, that was strange. As much as Steve and I mistrusted him, he seemed to be actually trying to make amends to his folks. He was seeing a counselor, and according to Steve's folks it was going well, though Eric still maintained he had no idea what was up with the Piedmont Sheriff, and denied all knowledge of hiding anything while stopped in the hills.

The days passed, and at first, Eric ignored us, or shied away, refusing to speak to us in any real way. A few days later, Eric knocked on Steve's door while we were in his room.

"Hey," Eric said awkwardly, "sorry about all the stuff I did. The counselor I've been going to says I'm making progress, and now I see I was wrong. I know you guys don't trust me, and I can't blame you. But, I just wanted you to know that I'm trying to change, and I'm really happy about the relationship you two have. If there is any way I can make it up to you guys, I will." Eric turned on his heels and left the room.

Steve and I shared a look, before Steve told me "I don't believe him anymore than you do. I think he's feeding Dad and that counselor a load of shit. But, as long as he leaves us alone, I'm happy."

The following days were relatively uneventful, as Steve and I were busy with school, and each other. Most nights we slept in my apartment, though some, especially school nights, we slept in Steve's room.

Our sex life was great and getting even better. I'd never imagined it could be so good. Whether we were in Steve's room or my apartment, I don't think a day passed without at least two hot and steamy lovemaking sessions.

Two weeks after the pool party, Steve and I helped Veronica with her plans for Chad's birthday party, which would be his moving-in party too. Fortunately, his Birthday fell on a Saturday, which fit well with everyone's schedule.

The following afternoon, Dex stopped by my apartment, and abruptly, in his usual fashion, told us to follow him to his van. On the way, he explained, in a hushed whisper, that he wanted to be absolutely sure we were not overheard. Steve and I piled in, remaining silent as Dex fired up his van and began driving towards town. As we drove, Dex broke his silence, "It took me a while, but I've rigged up something with the fake data stick. I wrote a little key logger TSR hooked to an autoloader."

Steve and I shared a confused look, which Dex caught, "Okay guys, I'll tone it down a little. When you put some kinds of CDs into a drive on a computer, they load up and run, right? That's because of a little file called autorun.inf, which tells the operating system to run something. In this case, I put it on the data stick, and it will run a program I wrote. The program installs itself into memory and traps keyboard keystrokes for ten minutes. Then, it opens up the e-mail program on the computer, sends the keystrokes it has logged to a server I can access, and then it deletes the sent mail record, and finally it deletes itself from both memory, and the data stick. If they use Outlook or Outlook Express for E-mail and Windows as the operating system, there is a good chance this will work."

Steve got it first, "So, somebody plugs the data stick into a computer. Your program runs, and it records whatever they type, including any passwords, then sends the information before wiping out any trace of itself?"

Dex nodded, "Got it in one. This might give us the password. Even if not, it will give us the ID of whoever tried to access it, because of the e-mail return address and the IP, the computer's address."

I laughed, "That's brilliant, Dex. How about at least letting us buy you some lunch?"

Dex patted his stomach, "I could do with some chow. I like pizza." Dex said in his usual direct manner.

We pulled into the parking lot of the only pizza place in town, and my mouth was already watering as I envisioned the calzone and pizza that Steve and I often had for lunch. As we headed for the door, a glance at Steve's bare torso reminded me that I was shirtless too, and I didn't have a shirt with me. I reflexively glanced down my chest, and Dex must have noticed;"I've got a Hawaiian shirt in my van. You want?"

Picturing myself in one of Dex's monstrosities, I shook my head, "Nah, but I don't want to go inside like this, let's just sit in the outdoor area."

Steve gave me an approving smile, and grabbed us a table near the sidewalk. We settled on pizza, and ordered a large pepperoni and sausage from the smiling waitress. I was glad that we weren't in California; I'd heard that the latest craze there was pineapple on pepperoni pizza, a thought that made my skin crawl.

The thought of California reminded me of a question to ask Dex, "Dude, when do you leave for Cal?"

Dex shrugged "Still a few weeks. But we may not have to wait that long to crack the data stick, if my little Easter Egg in the fake works."

"Easter Egg?" I asked.

Dex looked at me as if I'd just asked how to spell my own name, "Yeah, hidden code that does something unexpected. A little surprise, in this case, my key logger."

I sure hoped he was right, and that we would soon have access to whatever was on the data stick. "Dex, what do you think the chances are that this will work?"

Dex was about to answer when a shadow crossing the table caused him to pause. We all glanced up to see an unfamiliar middle-aged guy standing by our table, fidgeting nervously, "Uh, hi," He said, looking at me, "are you Chase?"

I shook my head, "Nope, Maybe you have me confused with someone else?"

"Yeah, sorry." He replied, glancing again at Steve and then me before leaving via the sidewalk.

A sudden scent of heaven drew our attention to the waitress, who arrived carrying a most welcome sight: our pizza, and it looked as good as it smelled. We attacked the pizza. The first bite burned my tongue, but it was worth it. As usual, it was perfect, right down to the deli pepperoni.

Dex dropped us off at home, with the fake Data stick safe in my pocket. We both had homework due the next day, so we went right to Steve's room.

Steve and I sat, cross-legged on the floor in his room, doing our homework. A soft tap on his door startled us, as it was open. We stared at Eric, neither of us saying a word, so he knocked again. Steve slowly nodded, "Ok, Eric, you can come in. What do you want?" he asked, sounding curt.

"I just wanted to talk to you guys, and explain what happened. I don't expect you to forgive me, but I owe you both an explanation."

Steve and I shared a troubled glance, before Steve turned to his brother, "Okay, sit down and say your piece. You might want to start with dropping the bullshit about the Sheriff."

"Yeah, I haven't been telling the truth there." Eric said, as he sat down on the floor with us, "I'll get to that. First I want to explain about the whole blackmail thing, and why I did it." Eric took a deep breath, "I knew Steve was gay, and it freaked me out. Then I found out you were gay too, Chris. I wanted to keep you two apart because I was freaked out about the whole gay thing. I had Dad's recorder pen with me, and yeah I stole it because I was having fun recording people. That's why it was turned on that day. I was scared of what Chris could do to me, so I used it to threaten him. I was scared so I played tough. I asked for money because I could, I'm kinda greedy and I like money anyway. I know that's fucked up. I figured it would keep you two apart, so I kept it up."

Eric paused until Steve asked, "So if you were so freaked out about the gay thing, why are you here?"

Eric put his head in his hands for a moment, and then dropped his hands to his lap as he stared at his feet, "I'll get to that. Anyway, when you two found out and threatened to hang me, I was fucking scared, man. Then you tied me up and turned me over to the 'rents. I didn't know what you guys would do later, and Dad was madder than I've ever seen him. I got really scared, and so I came in here to climb out the window and found Chris' keys. I was so scared that I took off. I just wanted to run; I don't know where I thought I was going. I stuck the pen caps in your tires so you couldn't follow me. Then you guys pulled in behind me on that empty highway and I thought you would really kill me. So I took that dirt road into the hills, I knew you couldn't follow me. I stopped up there because I didn't know where to go. After a while I thought of Piedmont. So I started heading for there. I was after the money from the bank 'cause I knew I'd need it."

I watched in amazement as a tear rolled down Eric's cheek. Steve, his voice a little softer now, asked, "Okay, now tell us about the data stick you hid, and why you went back for it."

"I had nothing to do with it. I didn't hide nothing up in the hills. I just stopped to eat and think. When the cops got me, they questioned me and I said where I'd been. They also said they found stolen credit cards in the Jeep and said they had my fingerprints on them. They said if I didn't help them, they would put me in jail for a long time. They told me I'd have to run some errands for them. Then the next day they hauled me out of my cell, shook me around, and started asking about the place I stopped in the hills in the Jeep. They made me go with them up there and show then where I'd stopped."

"We saw your footprints up there, when we went back. The Data Stick was in one of your Burrito wrappers when we found it, with just your footprints there, and those same prints showed you leading them right to the rock the Data Stick was hidden under. Care to explain that?" I asked, wondering what the little shit was trying to pull.

"No I didn't. They did take me up there and they pushed me in front of them when we got out. I had been there before I guess, I took a leak before driving off the night you guys were chasing me. That Sheriff was looking for something, I never heard what until I got home and Dad started asking about it. Sheriff Johnson kept me at his house, and said he didn't trust the guards at his jail around a kid my age. It was one of them who threatened me with those credit cards so I think maybe he's right. Then he told me he was dropping the charges and I'd be going home." Eric said with a shrug.

"So why the fuck was the Sheriff trying to kill Chris?" Steve growled.

Eric inched backwards on the floor, "I don't know about any of that, I didn't find out about it until I got home."

"Okay, so, why the big change of heart now?" Steve asked, the venom still evident in his voice.

"I've been talking to the counselor. I didn't like her at first, but she kinda grows on you. We talked about the gay stuff and she explained it. Nobody ever explained it to me before. I was having a lot of trouble with it because I'm gay too, and I didn't wanna be. I guess I'm okay with it now, and I'm happy you guys are together the way you, uh, are. I don't expect anyone to believe me. Mom and Dad don't, you guys don't, nobody does - I guess I deserve it. I just wanted you to know I was sorry." Eric got up, drying his tears on his shirt, and fled the room without a backwards glance.

Steve and I stared in shock at the now-empty doorway. I didn't trust Eric, I never would. The evil little bastard had done way too much. I glanced at Steve, worried that he would be taken in, and he met my eyes, "Don't worry; I don't believe the piece of shit any more than you do."

"You do read minds, don't you?" I asked in amazement.

"Nope, I just know you, and I know you think I have a soft spot for Eric because he's my brother. You're wrong there - I don't - and sure as hell never will. I'm still all for . . .," he lowered his voice to a bare whisper, "setting him up to deliver the Easter Egg. You in?"

"Count on it."

©Copyright 2007 C James; All Rights Reserved.
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Please let me know what you think; good, bad, or indifferent.  The feedback thread for this story is in my Forum. Please stop by and say "Hi!"

Many thanks to Conner for editing, support, encouragement, beta reading, and suggestions on this chapter.
Many thanks also to my editor EMoe for editing and for his support, encouragement, beta reading, and suggestions (and for thinking up a title!).

Thanks also to Shadowgod, for beta reading and advice, and for putting up with me.
Any remaining errors are mine alone.

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

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I am with the guys in this not to trust Eric stuff. Is he really gay, finally realizing it himself and coming out to his bro? Or is it all a big act to get him in good with the parents? I guess it will all come out in the wash.

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Eric is certainly not very convincing, since Chris and Steve know for sure that the data stick was hidden by Eric.  Of the other things he said, he may have spoken some truth or at least some things he thinks are truth to try to convince the guys he has changed.  He did confirm some of the things they already know about what happened.  Whether he knew about the shooting, depends on what was told him by the sheriff before he was sent home.  The confession he is gay however may be true to him even if he isn't gay.  Young sexually abused teens are easily convince that they have a sexual orientation, because they were able to get hard or even climax when sexually stimulated. If Eric is a victim of sexual abuse, it might result in him thinking that he is gay as a result of that abuse.  The key thing is that we know he is telling one major, critical lie so the rest is only speculation. That he has lied means he really hasn't changed.  He just wants others to think he has.  I hope the guys tell Chris's dad what was said.  

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Still think this:yes: Eric is a total creep and butter wouldn't melt in his mouth! Still think hanging is to good for him:rofl:

  • Haha 1
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