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    *HJ*
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Always - 14. Pitching Tents

Edited.

3 days later:

Drew awoke stiff as a board, and to make things worse he rolled over and fell off the futon with a thud.

"Fucking rock,” Drew growled.

Luke stood in the doorway laughing. He was wearing only a towel, and his hair was dripping, sending beads of water cascading down his chest and back.

"Are you alright,” he asked, limping over to Drew.

Drew picked himself up off the floor with a grunt. He gave the futon a swift kick causing him to grab his foot in pain and begin hopping around. Luke grabbed his arms and smiled at him, “Did you honestly think you were going to hurt the futon?”

Drew laughed, “Well, at the time it seemed like a good idea.” Drew let his eyes wander over Luke’s slight six pack and his broad shoulders. He wasn’t as muscular as Drew but he looked damn good.

Luke kissed his nose. “Are you alright?”

Drew pulled Luke into his arms and let his hands slide down his hips. He felt Luke’s hands venture up under his shirt and up his back, and he couldn’t help but to sigh and push him away.

"When you’re better. For now let’s try our best to stop causing each other to pitch tents in our pants. We need to get that bandage changed too.”

"Fine, but I don’t think we are going to be very successful. Besides, I’m not wearing any pants.”

"I know and as much as I hate to ask,” Drew said as he ran his lips over Luke’s ear, “Can you please get dressed before I have no choice but to take you to the hospital after I’ve ripped off your towel and taken advantage of you.”

Luke grinned devilishly and grabbed the waist of Drew’s boxers and pulled him into another kiss.

"A trip well worth it,” Luke said as Drew pulled himself away from Luke and ran for the door.

"When you’re better,” he said dashing down the hall to take a shower.


Drew returned to the room fifteen minutes later in only a towel to find Luke setting on the futon fully dressed in jeans, white socks, and a green and tan pin striped dress shirt over a plain white t-shirt. His hair had been gelled and to Drew he was perfect as he sat there with his sketch pad.

Luke’s eyes snapped up to look at Drew’s nearly naked body. He smiled.

"What did you just tell me to get dressed for?” Luke asked, staring at Drew’s body. He sported a complete and chiseled six pack and strong biceps. Luke nearly drooled at the sight of Drew’s treasure trail that disappeared under his towel.

"I’ll just be a sec. I ran out without my clothes when I was trying to escape your lips. I’m going to go get dressed and when I come back you and I are going to do something special.”

"What? Where are we going to go at nine o’clock in the morning?”

"You’ll see.”

Drew dressed in his faded blue jeans and his Jordans, and a solid blue dress shirt over a plain white t-shirt. He came back into the room with his hair gelled into to soft tuffs all over his head. Luke’s jaw dropped as Drew did a model turn for him.

"How do I look?” he asked sitting down beside Luke.

"Amazing,” was all he could bring himself to say.

"I’m not the only one. Now we better get going. We have a bit of a drive ahead of us.”

"You really won’t tell me where we are going? Not even a hint?”

"Not a chance, but bring your sketch pad.”

Drew put Luke’s converse on for him and they headed out to his mom’s Escalade.

"Where is your car?” Luke asked as they climbed in.

"Mom took it to work this morning so we could take this.”

"Why?”

"This is better fitting for four people then my Camaro.”

"Jeff and Rose?”

Drew nodded, “Were supposed to pick them up at Rose’s. She said you would show me the way.”

"Only if you give me a hint about where you are taking me.”

"Let’s just say that we won’t have to worry about privacy. Good enough?”

"I guess, make a left as you pull out of the driveway.”

Luke navigated Drew to Rose’s house without any problem, and they were greeted in the stone drive by the grinning couple. Rose and Jeff hoped in the back and simultaneously cooed, “Aw”. Luke and Drew rolled their eyes.

"We knew it!” Rose chimed. “You guys were made for each other!”

"Is this a good time to say I told you so?” Jeff asked Drew, who rolled his eyes again.

"Does everyone know where we are going except me?” Luke asked, annoyed but smiling.

They all just nodded.

"We have to know…have you two…ya know…yet?” Rose asked, leaning forward.

Drew nearly hit the car in front of him. “Rose, little personal don’t ya think? Besides it hurts when he just breathes.”

"He just doesn’t want to get blood everywhere when my stitches rip open.” Luke smiled over at Drew, knowing Rose had her answer.

"Talk about mental pictures. Hello! Straight guy in the backseat,” Jeff said, trying not to picture anything.

"Hey, blame Rose she is the one that brought it up,” Luke said.

"Hey, I was just curious you gave us the details.”

"So did anyone see the game last night?” Jeff asked, desperately trying to change the subject.

"Naw dude, who won?” Drew asked, trying to help out.

"I don’t know.”

"What sport are you two talking about?” Rose asked smiling at Luke.

"Basketball,” Drew said.

"Football,” Jeff said simultaneously.

Rose and Luke began to laugh hysterically. Drew and Jeff just hung their heads in defeat.

"Drew did you bring my pain pills?” Luke asked, slightly grimacing.

"Yeah they are in my pocket,” Drew said quickly, pulling them out and handing them to him. “Is it your ribs or your abdomen?”

"Abdomen,” Luke said, popping one of the pills into his mouth before taking a big drink of bottled water Drew had brought for him.

"You alright?” Drew asked slightly concerned.

"Yeah it isn’t as bad as yesterday.”

"At least you have your own personal doctor living at home,” Jeff said and smiled, trying to lighten the now concerned atmosphere.

"True, that does have its advantages and it disadvantages. Example: you never get away with playing sick,” Drew said.

"I guess that would kind of suck.”

"Totally dude.”

After that the car ride was filled with pointless chatter and laughter. Luke fell asleep toward the end, and Jeff did as well leaving only Rose and Drew to talk.

"You love him don’t you?” Rose stated more then she asked.

"Yeah, yeah I do,” Drew said as he looked over at a sleeping Luke.

"He loves you too. I can tell. I have never seen him this happy before.” There was a silence and then Rose continued. “I want to thank you so much for bringing him back into our lives.”

"Believe me Rose, it was my pleasure. I don’t know what I would do without him. I mean you have known him your whole life, but I haven’t even known him a week and I would do anything for him.”

"I know he would do the same for you.”


Drew pulled off the main road and began to navigate down a low maintenance road. Trees, whose leaves had turned and had begun to fall, lined each side of the narrow strip and the wind whistled outside the car. The sky was light blue and the sun was shining brightly.

Drew drove until he reached the clearing at the end of the road. The clearing was vast and beautiful. At the far edge it dropped off nearly a thousand feet, overlooking the mountains. The edges were woven with thick trees and sown in the wild grass were multitudes of wildflowers.

Drew shut off the car and put a hand on Luke’s knee and patted it softly.

"Hey, wake up sleepy. We’re here,” Drew said smiling.

Luke stirred to life and looked over at Drew after rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He smiled up at him.

"Where is here exactly?” Luke asked, looking around.

"The location of our first date,” Drew said.

"How long have I been asleep?”

"Couple of hours. Are you hungry?”

"Starved.”

Drew opened the door and hopped out. Rose had woken Jeff from his slumber and they had followed Drew’s lead.

Jeff began helping Drew with the blankets and picnic basket that Jane had put together for them.

"What is all this?” Luke asked, staring at Drew.

"A late birthday celebration for you,” Rose chirped.

"Yeah, it was all Drew’s idea,” Jeff said as he and Rose walked into the clearing with the blankets.

"You mean this is for me?” Luke asked, looking at Drew with surprised eyes.

"Of course it is. You didn’t think that we weren’t going to do anything for your birthday did you? What kind of boyfriend would I be?” Drew asked as he put his arm around Luke’s shoulder and kissed him gently.

"Boyfriend…I like the sound of that.”

Drew laughed and they walked over to where Jeff and Rose had spread out the blankets. Drew sat the basket down and pulled Luke into his arms as Rose skipped back with the CD player.

"What’s for lunch?” she asked after crashing into Jeff’s arms.

"I don’t have a clue what Mom packed, but I guess we’ll find out.”

Drew helped Luke sit down on the ground beside him and he let Jeff and Rose begin to empty the basket. Drew just enjoyed life as Luke nibbled at his ear.

Jane had packed them everything needed for sub sandwiches. She also packed cans of Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew and cream soda. After they polished off their lunch they found themselves engaged in conversation.

"Luke I still can’t believe that you didn’t tell me that you’re gay,” Rose said disbelievingly.

"I’m sorry Rose it is just that I knew you would want me to tell the world and that was just something I couldn’t bring myself to do. I told David because I thought that he was different than his father. I mean he had been one of my best friends since we were little kids.”

"What about you Drew? When did you realize you were gay?” Jeff asked.

Drew kissed Luke’s forehead. “I guess the signs have always been there. It wasn’t until I met Luke that I realized it and it wasn’t til a few days ago that I acted on it.”

"Are you going to tell your mom?” Jeff asked.

"Yeah, I just don’t know when. I just don’t know how she will react.”

"I think she will be cool with it. I’ve seen the way she acts with you two. I think she might already know,” said Rose.

Drew shrugged, “Enough about me, what about you guys? I’m interested in what ever made Rose want to date David.”

They all started to laugh.

"Well, he used to be an okay guy,” Rose said. “I mean he was always a little cocky but you know how that goes. Then he started that gang and he just kept going downhill from there. Then I met Jeff and David couldn’t hold a candle to him.”

Jeff smiled and held Rose even closer to him as he kissed the top of her head.

"So was it really the start of this gang that made David change so much?” Drew asked.

"Yeah, that’s when it all started. With his social standing in the community and him being on the football team everyone knew who he was. They also knew that with his father being the mayor he could pretty much get away with anything. I guess it all just went to his head,” Jeff replied, sort of disgusted.

"It drove him crazy that Luke was the quarterback,” Rose began, causing Luke to squeeze Drew’s hand. “Luke was always just slightly more popular then David and that always got on his nerves.”

"That’s why he shattered my knee. He knew that football was basically my life. Well, that and the fact that he wants me to suffer as much as possible before he kills me.”

"I’m not going to let him kill you.” Drew said before pulling Luke into a gentle embrace.

"There is one thing I just don’t understand. I don’t get why he would go to such extremes,” Jeff said with a puzzled look as Drew let go of Luke. “You guys used to be best friends. I mean you told him you were gay and he was fine with it and then all of a sudden he just does a one eighty and decides he wants you dead at all costs and on top of that he wants you to suffer as much as possible. It just doesn’t add up.”

"You know I agree with Jeff,” Rose chimed in, “Everything was fine one minute and then he’s going off the deep end the next. I mean it just does not add up. Sure he was mad that Luke defended Tyler, but that’s no reason to try and kill him. Plus, we know that it wasn’t Tyler’s death that set him off.”

"I don’t have the slightest clue what David’s motive is. I just know he has one, and honestly I’m just trying to stay alive,” Luke responded

"Well, at least now you’re trying,” Rose said in all seriousness.

"Why was Tyler at the party in the first place?” Drew asked with a confused expression.

"The party was open to everyone. I mean no one told Tyler he couldn’t come, but the fact that Tyler was there is puzzling. Tyler wasn’t socially accepted, and you would think he would avoid a party where he knew all of his tormentors were in attendance,” Rose replied.

There was a silence that fell and Luke felt as if something needed to be said.

"Tyler was a good guy. He didn’t deserve what people dished out to him. The sad part was it was dished out to him for the sole purpose that he was gay. I don’t know who killed him, but I do know the reason he was killed.”

They all exchanged sorrowful looks and Drew held Luke closer and a playful smile crossed his lips. Rose looked at Jeff and they gave each other a nod. They both sprang from the ground and quickly made their way to the escalade and set a large box out of the back before hopping in and taking off.

Luke sat in Drew’s arms completely stunned as he stared after the car. Before he could say anything, Drew kissed his cheek and quickly went to retrieve the box. Drew picked it up and carried it over to where Luke sat and sat it down beside him.

"Open it.” Drew smiled as he sat down beside Luke.

"What is this?” Luke asked with a mystified expression.

"It’s a late birthday present. Now just open it.”

Luke opened the box and peered inside. He just sat a starred at the perfectly wrapped professional art set. As he looked at the contents of the box he felt a tear slip down his cheek, and Drew’s arms found their way around Luke. Drew rested his lips in the nape of Luke’s neck.

"Happy birthday,” Drew whispered as he kissed Luke’s neck.

Another tear escaped Luke’s eye as he lifted out the newly framed drawing he had drawn Drew just other night. Luke’s heart warmed as he read the small loopy hand writing in the top left hand corner of the drawing.

I will always be here for you to draw…

Luke held the picture tight to his chest as he let his eyes close and a smile fall upon his lips. Drew continued to kiss the nape of Luke’s neck as Luke’s hands found Drew’s.

"I’m not ever going to let anything happen to you. I can’t live without you,” Drew said pressing his cheek next to Luke’s.

"The same applies to you. If something were to happen to you I promise I would follow close behind.”

"No, you made me promise you. Now you have to promise me that you will keep living if I were to ever die for whatever reason.”

"No Drew. I can’t promise you that. I didn’t tell you this because I thought it might freak you out before. The other night when you found me I was dying. Believe me I know what it feels like. It was pulling me away and then you were we there. I felt your hand on my shoulder and then I heard your voice. I just wanted to die and stop everyone’s pain. That’s when you asked me to live for you. After that no matter how much I thought dying was the right thing to do I decided to be selfish. I decided to live because I wanted to be with you. I wanted to be a part of your life in some way. That was the first time in a long time that I wanted to live. So, please understand my decision of not sticking around too long if you were ever taken from me.”

Drew sighed, “Then you will have to respect my decision to do the same. Before I met you…I…I don’t know if I would have been able to make it much longer.”

"Drew, what happened to your brother and your mom wasn’t your fault. You couldn’t have known that he was going to show up that night.”

"Maybe not but if it wasn’t for me we wouldn’t have been hiding from him in the first place.”

"Drew if you hadn’t done what you did Jane would still be with him; hiding the bruises. Telling her friends she bumped into doors, and slipped in the shower. I know what it’s like. My father abused me for years, and there isn’t a day goes by that I wish I had someone who could have been there for me. Someone who could have stopped him. The only thing that kept me from taking my life was Rose and, ironic as it seems, David.”

Drew tightened his arms around Luke. The wind was a light breeze and it tickled at the warmth in Drew’s skin. The sky was beginning to dim slightly from its once bright blue as dark clouds began to roll in from the horizon.

Drew felt Luke shiver in his arms.

"Rose and Jeff won’t be gone long. They will back before the rain moves in,” Drew said as he felt another cool breeze.

Luke stayed silent for a little while before speaking again. His voice was quiet and as soon as he spoke the words Drew knew exactly what he was talking about.

"Sometimes I wonder what she was like...If she would have loved me,” Luke said quietly as he looked up at the sky. “I wish I could have at least known what she looked like.”

"You don’t even have a picture of her?” Drew asked, surprised.

"No, I don’t even know where she is buried. My father always told me that it was because of me that she died and I didn’t deserve to know her.”

"That isn’t true Luke. Your mother died bringing you into the world but she loved you more than anything. She would have wanted you to be happy.”

"How do you know that? How do you know that she would have loved me? No one has ever loved me Drew. No one.”

"Luke she was a mother. That is how I know she loved you.”

"She couldn’t love me Drew. I’m a killer. I killed her and I killed my father.”

"Luke, you listen to me,” Drew said not being as gentle as normal. “Neither of those deaths were your fault. All your life you have been told over and over again that they were, but they’re not.”

"I just can’t accept that Drew. If I were never born none of this would have ever happened.”

"You know you are right,” Drew said, standing up. His tone was irate and Luke knew he had hit a nerve. “If you had not have been born your mother would still be dead because she would have had another baby anyway. Your father would have still been a drunken abusive ass and I probably would have ducked out of life by now! So you are completely right on that account!”

Drew was pacing back and forth, trying to keep clam. Luke felt a tear drop to his arm. He stood up rather quickly, ignoring the pain, and stopped Drew in his tracks. Throwing his arms around him, Luke kissed him passionately only pulling away to say, “Sorry. I can be a jackass sometimes.”

"Yeah, you can,” Drew said, hugging him tight to his chest.

"How about we just forget our pasts for the rest of the day and just enjoy ourselves.”

"I think that is the best idea you have had.”

"Dance with me.”

A blush flooded Drew’s cheeks and he looked down shyly at his feet. Luke grinned and tilted his chin up with his index finger. He stared into Drew’s emerald eyes.

"You don’t know how to dance do you?” Luke grinned.

Drew shook his head trying to look away from Luke’s gaze. He was unsuccessful. Luke let his smile and his warm caramel eyes melt Drew into his arms. Drew began to slowly shuffle his feet with Luke’s. They could both hear ‘Breathe Me’ by Sia playing softy from Rose’s CD player.

"You are amazing,” Luke said.

"Not nearly as much as you.”

Their lips found each other’s and they stood there as the clouds rolled in. Thunder rolled in the distance but they did not notice nor did they care. Their kissing was soft and slow. Drew could feel the rhythm of Luke’s heart beat and he loved it. A tiny rain drop fell on Drew’s cheek and he looked to the sky. The rain began to fall and then they noticed the thunder.

Drew looked into Luke’s eyes and saw the traces of fear. This time he could comfort him they way he had wanted in the hospital; they way he needed to be comforted. Drew cradled Luke’s face in his hands and pressed his forehead to his. Their noses were slightly touching and their lips only centimeters apart.

"I’m never going to let anything happen to you,” Drew said.

"Kiss me?” Luke asked.

Drew kissed him.

The rain began to fall and they were both smiling. Rose and Jeff pulled up and Luke laughed, “This is such a romantic movie cliché.”

"Yeah, but it is our romantic movie cliché.”

Drew kissed Luke one more passionate time and Rose elbowed Jeff who smiled and kissed her on the head.

Copyright © 2013 *HJ*; All Rights Reserved.
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I have decided that you are not capable of writing even a blah line or two, let alone a chapter. That was so great! Made me want to hole up all weekend and watch old romantic movies.

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On 08/11/2012 01:43 AM, joann414 said:
I have decided that you are not capable of writing even a blah line or two, let alone a chapter. That was so great! Made me want to hole up all weekend and watch old romantic movies.
Yeah, chapter 14 is one of those fluffy chapters that I love so much. Although, I would suggest reading chapters 13 & 14 again once they are edited. A lot on the information in the conversations will change.
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