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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. 

For Everything You Were - 2. Snooping Around

Some days when I looked at Cody, it was all I could do not to run up to him and sink my teeth into him; he was so attractive. Down at the beach today was one of those instances, as he ran down the grassy hill onto the sand, stripping off his t-shirt.

Standing there looking back at me, he had a mischievous look on his face. "Coming in, or do I have to drag you in?"

"Naa, you go for it. I'll lay out the towels and come join you in a bit."

"Suit yourself," he replied, smiling before taking off his jean shorts. I watched as he adjusted his tackle, tightly packed in a pair of Adidas swim shorts before running towards the light waves and jumping in the sea.

The great thing about living where we did was the beach was literally a ten-minute walk, and on a hot summers day, it was really cool to have that outlet. Cody had always loved the beach, and we used to frequent it very often when we were younger, just because it was there.

Sitting there on my freshly laid towel, I thought of those days gone by where I would secretly crush on my best friend as his body flexed and glistened in the sun. I didn't have to do that now, of course, and I knew every inch of his body and he mine.

I pulled some sunblock out of our bag and started to rub some onto my shoulders, keeping a careful eye on Cody, who always seemed to go far out when he went swimming. Sure he was a strong swimmer, but sometimes, a strong current could grab you if you went too far out, which always worried me.

Propping myself up on my elbows, I laid there bare-chested with my sunglasses on and soaked up the rays while switching my eyes between Cody and a man throwing a ball into the water for his dog to fetch. While doing that, it suddenly occurred to me that I had not been thinking about Ethen for a few minutes. Knowing that left me feeling one part relieved and one part guilty.

I sighed.

Living in the desert all his life, I bet that Ethen would have loved it here, plus the fact there was plenty to look at, seeing as it was the school and college holidays. For instance, in the past few minutes, I had spotted at least three boys that would be considered eye candy judging by their golden tans and tight bodies. That was the nice thing about summer. It was always a good time to do a bit of talent spotting.

"I caught you," Cody teased, walking towards me, soaking wet.

"Uh, maybe so, but at least my pecker isn't looking as revealing as yours, Mister," I replied, looking at his groin area.

"Damn, that always happens when I come out of water." He began adjusting himself before looking around, making sure nobody had seen. I started to chuckle.

Cody looked at me thoughtfully. "It's good to see you laugh. It doesn't seem to happen very often."

I heaved a breath in. "Yeah, I know. I'm sorry if I've been an ass to live with. I think once I get this day out of the way, I will feel better. It just seems so raw still, you know?"

"I know, babe, but we have each other, and I dunno what that means to you, but for me, it means just that… we have each other, the same as we always have. I just wish you would talk to me more."

Cody picked up his towel and started to dry himself, no doubt waiting for my response. I sat up and took on a serious pose.

"I know I need to leave the past behind and move on. God, I know that, Cody. But, I also know I have been an ass to you more frequently than you deserve."

Cody laid his towel back down on the sand and sat next to me, placing his sunglasses on. "Just know that I'm here for you, okay?"

"I do know that deep down, it's just hard sometimes, what with our history and how intertwined we all were back in Beale, it just seems kinda surreal that we are together sometimes. Although, I'll admit, sometimes talking to you about Ethen does feel strange because I know how you felt about him being with me."

"He had what I wanted, fact, but the situation goes beyond being a jealous brat. I know you need support, and above all, Jake, I am your best friend, not just… well, whatever we are."

"You're my boyfriend, stupid!" I said, letting out a small chuckle. Cody was still serious.

"Am I, I mean, am I, really?"

"Yeah, you are, and maybe in a cruel, twisted way that was always meant to be the case."

"What makes you say that?"

"Well, look at the facts, somehow you had a row with your folks, ended up halfway across the world to end up living with me there, and now you live with me back here. It's like something, or someone was trying to push us together."

"Well, that may be the case, but it takes some kind of twisted fuck to have to kill the person you WAS with so that we could be together."

I dropped my head. "Yeah, it doesn't make no sense, does it."

"Still, whether it was fate or just chance, I like to think whatever we have is good enough for you."

I felt Cody's comment referred to the fact that we had not started having sex again until around three months ago because every time I got into bed with him, I felt like I was still cheating on Ethen. The strange thing was, Cody and I had got together much earlier with an agreement that whatever happened, we would take things slow. I don't think he even realised just how slow things were going to go.

"Do you miss it?" He asked, turning to face me.

"America?"

"Yeah."

I stared out to sea and thought for a moment. "It's… It's kind of like it wasn't real, Cody, but at the same time, it felt like something that happened for a reason."

"I don't understand."

I shook my head. "Nor do I really. It's hard to explain, but it's almost like I was meant to go over there just to see Ethen die and then come home again. I know that sounds ridiculous, but what else was I there for?"

Cody raised a brow. "Your dad's job might have something to do with it."

"Yeah, and what was all that about? I mean, did he really need to even go in the end? Sure he got more money for a while, but now we are back in the UK; what's changed?"

"I think I know what you are getting at, but you're right; it does feel like it could have all been a dream."

"Do you still think about Luke?"

"Uh."

"I don't mind if you do, you know."

"No, I didn't mean uh as if I was trying to hide something, I just mean uh because I don't know if I do all that much anymore."

"Really?" I asked, turning to look Cody in the eye.

"That sounds bad, don't it, but you gotta remember it's different for me. I mean, if I really wanted to, I could go visit him because he's still technically within reach. I suppose it makes it a little easier for me to move on from him."

"Yeah, I guess. So do you think you ever go visit him?"

I heard Cody sigh. "In the beginning, like, when we first got back home, I thought about nothing else. At the time, I resented you for pulling us apart, but if you are asking me now… Nah, I don't think I ever would."

"Why not?" I asked, curious.

"Well, firstly, because I'm with you so it would look a bit strange if I suddenly jetted off to see a guy I was romantically involved with. Secondly… well, why open up old wounds for him, and me for that matter."

"Hmm, well, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit pleased about that."

"Meh, you know I'd never leave you."

"Come to think of it, no, you never have. Even when I go thousands of miles away, you turn up," I teased.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

"So, Ethen?" Cody suddenly said after almost an hour of silence as we laid soaking up the sun.

"What about him?" I asked, wondering why the change of topic.

"What was it about him that you'd turn down this?" Cody asked, running his hand the length of his body.

I smirked but then stared into space dreamily. "It was just instant chemistry, I guess. I don't know what you thought of him, but he was fucking sexy. I guess dominant... which I found attractive too. His personality was caring, nurturing and slightly bad bay. Add that to his obvious intelligence, and there we are."

"Gods gift?"

"You could say that. Mind you, different people are attracted to different things, aren't they? Some people would find his dominance and stuff a turnoff. I suppose it depends on who you like. His deep fucking voice was a turn on as well.

Cody laughed, but I knew the laugh was fake. The last thing he wanted was me talking about Ethen in the way I was. I'm sure he just wanted me to forget him, and I guess most people would if they were thinking about their partner's ex.

"Wanna head back? I'm roasting here?" Cody asked.

"Sure."

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Walking back home from the beach, I felt much more relaxed and realised that going there had been just what the doctor ordered. The atmosphere and being with Cody had somewhat taken my mind off Ethen, and despite me feeling guilty about that, it did come as a relief.

"Looks like you caught the sun today," Cody said, looking at my bare shoulders.

"Yeah, not the only one I see. Oh, and I do wish you wouldn't swim so far out as well. It makes me nervous."

"Haha, you don't get rid of me that easy. So what did you wanna do tonight then, Jakey?"

"Hmm, you know what, I would like us to have a quiet evening in bed watching a movie. My mind feels exhausted."

"Whatever you want to do is fine with me. I'm just really glad you are feeling happier than when the day started."

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I was sweating by the time we got home, the mid-afternoon sun beating down relentlessly on us. In need of a cold drink, I asked Cody to fetch us both one while I ran upstairs and pulled out the letter that had been sent to me.

Stashed on top of the closet, I pulled out the piece of paper once more just to make sure THAT wasn't just a dream. I reread the words another two times, wondering what would be at the end of this, whatever it was.

I planned to go to the phone shop tomorrow. The only reason I didn't go today was that I could not, for the life of me, think of an excuse to get out of the house on my own without Cody wanting to come. I hated keeping this from him, but I got the feeling from the way the letter was written that the information and outcome was intended for my eyes only.

Standing on tip-toes, I placed the letter back on top of our closet before reaching into my drawer for a fresh t-shirt.

"Mum has gone out," Cody announced from the doorway."

"Shit, you scared the crap out of me."

"Bit jumpy, aren't we? So what are you doing up here anyway?" he asked, holding two glasses of orange juice.

"Just getting a new t-shirt… one of them for me?" I asked, wiping my wet forehead.

"No, I just thought I'd make two for myself. Of course, one's for you, silly."

"Thanks." I took the glass from him and gulped down the entire contents before putting it back in his hand.

"What did your last slave die of?"

"He didn't. I'm looking at him." Cody rolled his eyes and left the room with me following.

Downstairs I flung open the back door to the yard and stepped outside onto the patio, and took a seat at the table. Cody came out moments later and pushed up the umbrella to give us some shade.

"Did she say where she was going?" I asked, placing my hands behind my head.

"Food shopping."

"Oh, she'll be gone hours then. She always takes forever doing that. Dunno where dad is though, I thought he was only going out to get us a bed."

"Perhaps he went into work. He did mention that to me earlier."

"Guess we have the house to ourselves then." I declared. Cody gave me a wry smile and winked. "Don't get any ideas. I'm not in the mood right now."

"Follow!" Cody whined.

"Hey, I give you plenty of sex, so don't start that, Jesus, you're like a dog on heat."

"How about you just jerk me off? I won't take long, I promise."

"Cheeky fucker, I'm already worn out," I grinned. "If you're that horny, go do it yourself."

"Yeah, but it's no fun without you."

"I'm glad you hold me in such high regard."

Cody was just about to come back with some smart comment, I was certain, when dad walked out of the back door and approached us.

"Boys, give me a hand with this bed, will you? It's mainly the mattress, the rest is flat packed, and I'll get that part."

"Cool, dad, no worries… so how has your day been?"

"Strange," he replied, shaking his head and looking at a fixed point as if trying to remember something. He then walked off through the house to the front, no doubt wanting us to follow.

"What's up with him?" Cody asked.

"Beats me, C'mon, we better go help."

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

It was approaching seven in the evening, and I knew I had just over twenty-four hours until I would be receiving my 'phone call'. I must admit, the nerves were starting to build as I ran through scenarios as to what all this was about. Right now, though, it was dad who was occupying my mind as he had seemed to be in a weird mood since getting back with this bed. Normally quite talkative over dinner, he had sat there pretty quiet, and I wondered what the hell was going on.

Laying upstairs on our bed with our belly's full, Cody was flicking through the channels on the TV while I was far away in my mind.

"What time do you wanna watch a movie then?" he asked.

"I wonder if he is losing his job," I replied, ignoring Cody's question.

"Your dad?"

"Yeah, I wonder if he went into work today and found out he was being made redundant."

"I'm sure if it was anything critical like that, he would have told us, especially with me being here. After all, I am an extra mouth to feed."

"Hmm, you could be right… hey, you wanna drink? I'm pretty thirsty after those pork chops."

"Sure, Coke, please."

"Okay, I'll be right back. Why don't you set something up to watch, oh and Cody? No horrors, okay?"

I hopped off the bed and went downstairs. As I got closer to the bottom, I could see the lounge door was shut, which was unusual seeing as it rubbed on the carpet and would have to be pushed with quite a bit of force to close it.

Making my footsteps light, I went up to it suspiciously and put my ear against it, hearing mum and dad's voices talking.

"Jenny, I'm telling you something weird is going on… they said he didn't exist. Now, unless we are both going mad, that can't be possible because we both saw him on more than one occasion. Jesus, I worked with the guy." I heard my dad say, frustration in his tone.

"Alan, I'm not saying you are going mad. I'm just saying you might be mistaken; what did your boss Trevor say?"

"That's just it. He's being coy about the whole thing too. I tried to do a bit of digging and look up the files of him and the work we did, but the database is gone, everything has been erased, it's like he never existed… it's like we never went."

"Well, I must admit it does all sound a bit strange, so when you say Trevor is being coy, what do you mean?"

"He tried to make out he didn't know anything, and when I called him in to look at the database records, he said it must be a glitch, and he was sure it was normal. So then he advised me against looking too much into it. I mean, I know what I do is secret, but it shouldn't be secret to me for fuck sake."

"Just calm down love, I'm sure it will all come out in the wash."

I scratched my head, wondering what they were talking about. Cody came to the landing and hung over the bannister.

"Hey, did you go to Coca Cola to get it direct?" he said, smirking.

"Shhhh," I said, putting my finger to my lips.

Cody gave me 'what's up' look, creasing his forehead, and slowly came down the stairs as I placed my ear back against the door.

"What are you doing? He whispered, now standing next to me.

"Something strange is going on at dad's work, something about a deleted database; he sounds pretty stressed."

"Deleted database, did he do it? Is he in trouble?"

"No, he's saying someone else has. I can't make out what he is so worried about, though. He keeps saying some guy he worked with has vanished."

"Wow, sounds really James Bond," Cody sniggered.

"Shhh, it's not a joke. This has really upset dad by the sounds of it."

"What else are they saying?"

"I don't know. I can't hear because you keep talking."

I was just about to put my ear back to the door again when it opened. Cody and I went to scatter in whatever direction we were facing, but what we were doing was obvious. We both froze, not able to meet my dad's gaze as he stood there looking at us.

"How much did you hear, you little snoopers?" he said, surprisingly calm.

"Uh… erm, nothing ."

"And you're a crap liar Jake," dad said, folding his arms. "Both of you better come in here. I guess it would be something of interest to you."

Cody and I filed past him and took a seat on one of the couches as mum stared at us, wondering what we were doing there, I imagined.

"Is everything okay?" I asked innocently. Dad tilted his head up towards the ceiling and sighed.

"What I am about to tell you both does not go out of this room, and I am only revealing it to you because I guess you have a right to know, especially you, Jake. In answer to your question, is everything okay? The truth is, I don't know.

©Copyright 2014 James Matthews, Mark Baker; All Rights Reserved.'
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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. 
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Let's see here, a mystery that needs to unravel...Ethan's father, as long as government records and databases are concerned, no longer exist or Ethan for that matter. 

The conspiracy theorist in me has to wonder if Collin or Ethan were some sort of foreign agent, or in something like witness protection, and whatever, that cover was blown...meaning that somewhere exists persons named Collin and Ethan, more to the point, this would explain the closed casket for Ethan's viewing. The fatal, supposed injury, and this is difficult, wasn't disfiguring to the point that would warrant a closed casket.

One other thought in the back of my crime scene mind's' eye, when the medics first reached Ethan, the pulse was faint...

At some point, the medics must have given Colin a piece of bad news as Jake watched him shake his head, sad. Colin quickly walked over to the boys as the doctors prepared to lift Ethen and take him to the waiting chopper.

"How is he? Will he be okay?"

"I don't know Jake; they need to get him on board before they can do any work. They say he has a very weak pulse. Look, can any of you drive because I need to go with him?"

Later on, we are told he died instantly, that his neck was broken and he didn't feel anything...

"That's not true, Colin; he loved you very much. He told me so, more than once."

"I hope so. Listen, I know you don't want to hear this right now, but the doctors told me…." Colin took in a deep breath before continuing. "….They said that the impact of the fall broke his neck, and he would have felt no pain, died unconscious, they say. So….whatever you might be thinking….well, there was nothing you or anyone else could have done."

With a snapped, broken neck, death generally, is instantaneous, what I can't explain for the life of me is the blood, if it wasn't real...how was it faked...or...if it and the accident was real, was that the triggering incident that "caused"  the disappearance from government records for whatever reason(s) that exposed their cover???

My head hurts now

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The mystery deepens... seems odd that dad is locked out of files he created and that there's no records... he does work in intelligence though. The letter Jake received is also weird... so basically I'm presuming Colin and Ethen are alive and somehow involved in the CIA or etc.? Can't wait to find out more.

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I waited to read until it was complete, I'm glad I did because this looks like it will be a page turner!  I'm also guessing the mystery letter is from Colin or Ethen.  I had a hard time reconciling the idea of an intelligence officer allowing his smart son drop out of highschool.  Also, he showed up in military uniform the first time he met Jake, even though he was an underage drop-out.  Didn't make any sense at the time.  Super secret spy stuff is now becoming more likely.

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More mystery with the disappearance of Colin and Ethen from the data bases, and a directive to not snoop!  I do love mysteries...as long as a certain author provides some clues for us to ferret out and analyse.  It makes reading this story so much fun.  Just to let a certain author know, I don't like the idea of Jake and Cody as lovers. Best friends and fellow investigators? Awesomely Great.  Luke and Callum need to be included in this story also.  James owes us all after cruelly killing Ethan in the first book.:yes:🤨

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