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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.

Paper Walls - 24. Chapter 24

*Tyler*

 

I pull my jacket closer to me, and scoot to the edge of my seat. My anxiety has been on high this whole game. I see Ryder get tackled again, and I let out a wince. “Sweetie, it’s okay.” Mrs. K says beside me.

I let out a little laugh, “I know, it’s just I hate seeing him get tackled!”

“Dude, man up!” Jaxson says.

“Shut up!” I counter.

“Why can’t he just pass the ball to Jeremy?” Jaxson asks Mrs. G.

“Well, baby, if they do that nonstop the other team will catch on.”

I love watching Ryder play football. He smiles every time he looks up and sees us in the stands. He seems like a different person – he’s more confident on that field, he holds himself full of pride, almost cocky, which in all honesty is so hot. It is a change from the sweet shy guy that I love. I watch as Ryder throws the ball to Jeremy this time, and Jeremy catches it with ease. Jaxson starts losing it, cheering so loud for Jeremy.

We watch as Jeremy runs into the end zone for the touchdown. I only know what that is because Ryder spent all day yesterday coaching me on the terms of football. It I got it right, he would take off a piece of clothing; if I got it wrong, he would put it back on. Let’s just say I learned A LOT! My cheeks blush from thinking about what we did yesterday.

We are up by four touchdowns. Ryder said if they won tonight, that they would have a little over a week and they would play for the state championship. I lean back, and look at Mrs. K, who is smiling. “You smiling because of the touchdown, or about how Coach has that smirk on his face?”

She laughs. “You caught me watching my handsome man.”

I can’t help but smile, they are so in love. I hope Ryder and I have that same love. I watched how they teased each other while they were cooking the other night. You wouldn’t believe that Coach was in the kitchen as much as he is. If it’s not football, he talks about grilling, or art. Which sadly, Jaxson said was stupid, only making Coach shake his head.

“So when is Ryder supposed to meet Wilder?” I ask.

Her smile falters a little. “Well, we are bringing Wilder home tomorrow. We wanted to set a meet with them, but Ryder has been so preoccupied with football that either he or Coach were always busy. “

I feel a bit guilty. “You should have told me. I would have brought him home.

She laughs. “Honey, it’s fine. It did Ryder good to get out of the house. It’s been nice seeing him so happy lately.”

“Really?”

“Yes, there has been a change in him. He doesn’t seem so scared or weighed down.”

This makes me smile more. “Ughh, can you stop with the mushy crap. I feel like I am going to be sick!” Jaxson says, making these gagging noises and acting like he is going to shove his fingers down his throat.

I roll my eyes. “You are just jealous ‘cause your fling of the week is over,” I jab.

He cuts me a dirty look. “Jerk.”

“Just how fast do you work through girlfriends, Jaxson?” Mrs. K asks.

“It was a boyfriend, and I don’t know, he just couldn’t handle my amazing personality.”

I laugh so hard at this. “You mean he couldn’t handle your mood swings.”

This causes Jaxson to hit me. “Boys, stop!” Mrs. K says. “Tyler, that wasn’t nice, and Jaxson, you don’t just hit people!” she scolds.

“He was being an ass,” he says, and starts to pout.

I know she’s going to cave, and she does. She pulls him in for a hug, and I just shake my head. I go back to watching my boyfriend on the field. I see him on the sidelines, and his butt looks so good in that football uniform. The buzzer goes off, signaling the end of the game.

“Come on, boys. Let’s go meet them by the locker room before they go in and congratulate them,” Mrs. K says.

We walk onto the other side of the stands and they start to come in. I see Coach, Ryder, and Jeremy approach us. I see Coach lean in and give Mrs. K a kiss. Jaxson runs up to Jeremy and hugs him. I go in for a hug, but Ryder turns it in to a bro hug. “What’s that about?” I ask, confused.

“Just giving you a hug. So did you see that last touchdown?” he asks, breaking the hug.

“Yeah, I saw…what was up with that hug?”

He shrugs his shoulder. “Well, what did you think of the game?” he says, avoiding the question.

Then it hits me like a ton of bricks, straight to the stomach. “Oh my god…you aren’t out, are you?”

“Tye…” he says, grabbing my arm.

“No, Ryder.” I pull my arm away. “You aren’t out to the team, are you?”

“Tyler, it’s just complicated,” he says, shifting his weight onto the other foot.

“No, it’s not. You say you love me, but when it comes to actually being open about it, you’d rather not. Maybe you need to decide what you want, Ryder. I love you, but I won’t go back into the closet for you.”

He hesitates. “I gotta go shower.”

I let out a sigh. “Whatever, man.”

He grabs my hands. “I do love you, Tyler. I don’t have an issue coming out. I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal.”

“I can’t even express how I feel about you when you are Mr. Football.”

“I know. I’m sorry. I will fix it, I promise,” he says.

“Just go shower, Ryder. You don’t want to miss the bus,” I tell him.

I feel a twinge of guilt. He was supposed to ride back with us, but I feel like this would be better. I don’t want to fight about this tonight. I’m hurt that he pulled away from me like that. My ex was like that, and it sucks to be a secret. I can’t blame him - I know it’s hard, but I wish he would have given me a heads up first, just like a, ‘Hey, I’m not out to the whole team.’

Oh…ok…. Call me tomorrow, please, Tyler? I love you,” he says sadly.

“I love you too, Ryder, I’ll text you tomorrow.” I watch him walk away, his head hanging. I feel bad, but at the same time, I am hurt that he responded like that. He could have just told me so I would have had some kind of heads up about this.

 

*Ryder*

 

I kick off my shoes at the door, and check my phone for the millionth time since 5:30 a.m.. I know I hurt Tyler last night, and I should have told him, but I didn’t. He didn’t text me at all last night, and I don’t want to keep texting him. I couldn’t sleep, so I went for a run, and now, I have no idea what to do. It’s only seven. I hear someone in the kitchen, and I go check who it is. “Hey, Mom.”

“Hey,” she says, looking up from her coffee cup to me.

“You okay?” I go into the kitchen and grab a cup from the cabinets to pour some juice.

She lets out a sigh. “Couldn’t sleep well last night.”

I finish pouring the juice and sit next to her. “Why?”

She takes another sip of her coffee. She looks tired. I rarely see my mom in pajamas - she’s always awake and dressed for the day. “I want everything to work out with Wilder. I hope he likes it here, and I hope you and he get along. Why were you up so early this morning?”

“You heard me?”

She nods her head. “Yes, I have been up since five. Ryder, how do you feel about us adopting another kid?”

I don’t answer her just yet. I have thought a lot about it, but I don’t know how I feel about it. “I mean, I don’t know, really. It’s going to be different,” I mumble.

“Are you worried that we will neglect you?” she asks, putting her hand on my arm.

“I can’t say I haven’t thought about it. Does that make me a bad person?” I ask. “Because I have tortured myself over this, to the point I made myself sick, and I feel guilty for being selfish.”

“No, sweetie, it doesn’t make you a bad person. That makes you human, I promise you we will not neglect or forget about you at all. I think we have more than enough love to go around this house to have another kid here. I wish we could have had time for you to meet him before we bring him home.” She pauses. “Honey, is everything okay with you and Tyler?” I can see the concern on her face.

I run my hands through my hair. “No, I messed up, Mom.”

She pulls me into a hug. “What happened? Tyler opted to sit in the back of the SUV last night, and I know I heard him crying.”

I feel the heat of shame wash over me. “He went to hug me last night, and I pulled away and turned it into a bro hug.”

“Oh, sweetie….”

“Mom, I feel like an asshole! I should have told him I wasn’t out to the team, and he would have been okay with it, but I told him I loved him, and then turned around and denied what we have!” I tell her, getting upset. I can’t believe I really did this to him. I start to feel the tightening in my chest.

My mom snaps her fingers in front of my face. “Ryder, ground yourself!”

I reach out and grab her. “I’m okay,” I say shakily.

She pulls me into a hug. “Baby, you need to go lay down. Get some rest. You do not need to overwork yourself into a panic attack. Give Tyler some space. He’s probably hurt, but he’s a smart person, okay? Yes, what you did wasn’t okay, and you know that, but don’t keep obsessing over it. You are going to cause yourself to go into a panic attack, and that’s not ok. I know you will fix it, because that’s the kind of person you are - the kind of person we raised. So stop beating yourself up.”

I nod and she hugs me tighter. “I think I am going to go lay down. I am so exhausted.”

“Okay, sweetie. I am just going to make some breakfast for everyone. I will leave you some food in the microwave. We might be gone by the time you get up.”

I nod my head, and hug her again. “Thanks, Mom.”

I walk up to my room and shut the door. I lean against it and let out a sigh. I don’t know what I should do, or how I make this up to him. I know my mom is right. I don’t need to obsess over this. I did what I did, now I just need to make it up to him. I take off my shirt and shorts, pushing my compression boxers down with it.

I started sleeping naked after Tyler and I took a shower together and laid in bed naked. I don’t know, he loves the way I look, and it’s boosted my self-confidence. I don’t even know how I slept with boxers on, ever. I crawl into bed and pull the sheets over me.

              

*

Waking up, I feel like I have a huge hangover, like the morning after I drank. My head is pounding as I get out of bed. I make my way over to my shorts and grab my phone. I have a few text messages from Callen asking if I wanted to go for a run, and one from Jaxson.

I read the one from Jaxson, and it says, “He’s moping around. This is stupid. Talk to him.”

I roll my eyes. Leave it to Jaxson to just throw it out there like that. I reply back, “I don’t know what to say I messed up.”

Jax: no shit you messed up…fix it.

Me: you are not helping, did you read the part I said I don’t know what to say???

Jax: no I read it…I just think you’re dumb, he’s your boyfriend make it up to him suck his dick.

Me: JAXSON!

Jax: don’t act like you don’t, yall aren’t quiet as you think you are.

Me: we are not talking about this!

Jax: sissy.

Me: Is he okay though, he isn’t like harming himself?

Jax: you mean is he popping pills?

Me: yes…

Jax: don’t think so, I’ve hid all the pills.

Me: do you think he might?

Jax: Idk. He’s just really sad.

Me: I don’t know what to do…

Jax: talk to him. make it right, I don’t know what you did but he loves you, and I’ve never seen him this sad.

Me: I am going to.

Jax: good.

My stomach grumbles and I look at the time. It’s noon. Damn, I didn’t think I would nap that long. I pull on some boxers and head downstairs. Walking into the kitchen, I remember my mom telling me she would leave some food in the microwave for me.

Walking over, I check the microwave, and there is some bacon and toast. I don’t even heat it up, I just start eating it. I put the dirty plate in the sink and grab a bottle of water from the fridge. I wonder how much time before they get back with this kid. Hell, I don’t even know if Jeremy is home.

I walk over to his room, and knock on the door. I open it to find an empty room. I have no idea where he even went. I haven’t seen him since the locker room last night, he sat with some of his friends on the bus ride home. He took his Jeep home while I rode with Coach. I close his door and make my way to my room. I pick up the shorts where I left them on the floor and toss them into my dirty clothes basket. My phone goes off, and I make my way to it. I grab it and it’s Mom. “Hello?”

“Hey sweetie, you finally got up?” she says.

I nod my head, I have no idea why, knowing she can’t even see me. “Yeah, I was kind of tired.”

I hear my dad in the background talking. “Yes, I can understand, you looked exhausted this morning. We should be home soon we needed to stop at a store and grab a few things. Did you need anything?”

I walk to my dresser and pick up my deodorant. “Yeah, I need more deodorant,” I tell her.

“Okay, but do you need any socks, boxers, shirts or anything?” she asks.

“No, I am good for awhile.”

She hesitates. “Okay sweetie, I will see you in a little bit.”

“Ok, see you soon.” I tell her goodbye and hang up.

I pull open a drawer and grab a pair of clean shorts. Sliding them on, I adjust myself and the legs of my boxers. I grab my phone again, and decide to text Tyler.

 

Me: Hey.

Tye: hey…

Me: can you talk?

He doesn’t answer me back right away, so I sit on my bed and put my head in my hands, I can’t help the nervous bouncing of my leg. I feel worse than I did this morning. My phone buzzes, and I see it’s Tyler trying to FaceTime me. I answer it.

As the screen loads, I can see that I in fact look like crap. I have dark circles under my eyes. His screen finally connects and I see him. “Hey.”

He gives me a small smile. “Hey.” I can’t see any details really because his room is so dark, and the only thing illuminating his face is the phone screen.

“I’m sorry,” I say, feeling my skin turn hot.

“Ryder…” he starts to say, but I cut him off.

“I know I am the worst boyfriend in the world. I should have said something to you about it. I am not ashamed to be your boyfriend ‘cause you are so fucking perfect to me. I know I fucked up and I betrayed your trust. I really do love you, Tyler…. I love you so much, it hurts to just think about the fact you might not want to be with me anymore.” I have to take a deep breath ‘cause I am on the verge of crying.

“Rye, I still want to be with you. Yeah, you hurt me, but it’s something I can get over. It just took me by surprise is all. I love you, babe, and I still want to be with you, no matter what. I’m sorry you thought I wanted to break up with you.”

I smile and lean back onto my bed. “I miss you.”

“I miss you, too. You should come over.”

I let out a loud sigh. “I would, but I have to do some studying, and they are bringing that kid here today.”

He gives me a scowl. “The kid has a name. It’s Wilder, and they are bringing him home. Why are you so against this?”

I don’t know what to tell him - it’s just the fact I am jealous and nervous at the same time. “What if he hates me?”

I watch as Tyler laughs, I love how he laughs - his eyes crinkle and I want to kiss his red lips. “No one could hate you, Ryder. Stop stressing it, and give him a chance. Besides, what if he’s the next football legend?”

I puff out my chest, and beat it with my free hand. “No one is the next legend besides me!”

This has Tyler laughing so hard. “I love you, goofball.”

“I love you, too. I am going to go, babe. I need to study. I have a huge test on Monday.”

“They don’t let the football star be excused?”

“Ha! I wish, maybe we can get lunch tomorrow?” I ask.

He nods his head. “That sounds good, babe. I am going to go have some alone time. Seeing you shirtless has got me…aroused,” he says, blushing.

“Can I see?” I ask.

He flips the camera view, and sure enough his gym shorts are tented. “Told you.”

He flips the camera back to his face, and I lick my lips. “Too bad I am not there.”

“You are terrible! Go study!”

“You better moan my name!” I say.

“Bye, love you,” he says, smiling and blushing.

“Love you, too. You should send me pics!”

He shakes his head and disconnects. As much as I want some alone time like he’s about to do, I really do need to study for my test. I roll over to the foot of my bed and grab my history book out of my book bag, my note cards, and a pen. I settle down on my bed so I can start making flash cards for the vocabulary words.

My phone vibrates, and I see it’s a picture message from Tyler. I open it up, and it’s him in his boxers. I can see the outline of his dick perfectly, he is so hard.

I snap a picture of my history book. I caption it, saying I wish I was there instead and hit send. I barely put down the phone and it buzzes again. Checking the phone, I blush. This time, it is a picture of his hand in his boxers, gripping himself. “Wish you were here, too.”

I start feeling a little daring and lie on my back and flex, showing off my abs and my bulge. I take the picture and hit send. I take another one with my hand rubbing my abs, and I send it, as well, with a text saying, I am getting so horny.

He sends a text back, telling me how sexy I am. A few seconds later, he sends a picture with his dick out of his boxers. It’s flat against his stomach and I can see a little precum. Dang it, why does he tease me like this?

I send him a picture back with my hands in my boxers. He sends a text, saying holy fuck, I want to be grabbing that. I hear the door open downstairs. I text I have to go - family is home. I turn over to hide my hard on in case my mom comes in my room, and I move down to my book and try to focus on the words, instead on my hard on.

I hear a knock on my door, I yell for them to come in. I don’t turn around to see who it is. I already know it’s my mom. I can smell her perfume. It’s a soft vanilla. “Hey, baby.”

“Hey Mom,” I say, writing down a vocabulary word.

She comes and pats me on the leg to move over, and I do. “What are you doing?”

I look at her and she smiles. “Just some studying. I have this test Monday.”

She pats my leg. “Think you can take a break and come meet Wilder?”

I turn over, now that my hard on has gone away, and I pull my legs to me, sitting criss cross. “How is he doing?”

She give a little laugh, “He’s scared. He doesn’t talk much. He actually isn’t a huge talker at all.”

I don’t get it. “Why isn’t he?”

My mom just shrugs her shoulders. “He just doesn’t talk much. He was evaluated and he’s able to talk, he just chooses not to talk a lot. He might not have been able to talk a lot at his house without being punished. We don’t really know.”

“That’s weird,” I say.

“Ryder, he talks. He says yes ma’am, no ma’am. Now come on, let’s go get you two introduced to each other.”

I get off the bed, and grab my tank top from yesterday. “Hey where is Jeremy?”

My mom stops at the door. “He’s downstairs. He was with us.”

I don’t say anything, I just follow her down stairs and into the living room. I see a scrawny kid with a tan complexion sitting next to Coach. The kid is pressed right up against him, and he looks over and meets my eyes. I don’t know if he’s just scared or what, but his green eyes with a hint of hazel don’t keep contact with mine. They dart to my mom and to the door, and then back to the floor.

Jeremy comes in the room from the kitchen, carrying a few bottles of water. “What’s up, Rye?” he says, and nudges me as he passes.

“Nothing, studying,” I say, moving into the living room.

I look at Wilder, who still won’t look at me, and he seems so small. “Wilder,” my mom says next to me.

His eyes snap up to her. “This is Ryder. I guess he is your big brother now, as well as Jeremy.”

I walk over and put my hand out for him to fist bump and he looks at me and leans into Coach more. “What’s up, buddy?”

“It’s okay, Wilder, Ryder won’t hurt you,” Coach says, placing a hand on his back, and I can see him tense up at the touch. It’s okay, buddy, we are here. Nothing is going to happen to you.”

Wilder extends his fist to bump me, and draws his arm back into his lap. I don’t know what to do. He won’t talk to me, so I say that I am going to go back up to my room and study. I look back and see Coach talking to him. I have never had anyone ever be scared of me. It was normally the opposite reaction - I was normally nervous and scared to meet other people.

My mom follows me into my room. “Ryder, I know that wasn’t the best of meetings, just give him time to adjust.”

I let out a sigh. “Mom, I get it, he’s scared of everything. You can see the wild look in his eyes like he wants to run. Do you really think he was ready?” I know, I feel like I am being a bit harsh, but someone needed to ask the hard questions.

Her eyebrows scrunch down as if she is trying to understand what I meant. “Ryder Kessler! You know a few some odd years ago, do you know who acted just like that? You! Young man, you had that same scared look on your face as that little boy down there has on his! I don’t know where you learned to not have compassion for others, but it damn sure wasn’t from me or your father. What if we would have left you in the Russian orphanage instead of bringing you here? Giving you this nice life where you haven’t had to want or need anything since the day we brought you home! You want to know what would have happened? You would probably be dead! Most orphans don’t last long in that country! All of us in this house have catered to your needs and not one of us has ever felt it was a burden or uncomfortable for us. I don’t know what has gotten into you, but it ends now!”

The look on her face tells me how upset she is. “Mom….”

“Ryder, just not right now. I am disappointed in you. Please just study. I will have Jeremy bring you up a plate for dinner. I don’t think I want your presence at the table tonight with your attitude.”

She slams my door as she leaves. I feel embarrassed - I don’t know why I let my jealousy get the best of me. I have never been jealous before, so this is a whole new feeling for me. She’s right, I should be the more sympathetic one. Out of everyone, I know how it feels to be the new person. I know I am exhausted and sore, plus I am still pissed at myself for last night, but it doesn’t give me the right to take it out on Wilder.

I go after her. “Mom, I’m sorry. You are right, I am being a jerk. I am sorry I have disappointed you, I am just exhausted, sore, and angry with myself from last night. I know it’s not an excuse to be how I was. I am very grateful for everything that you and dad have done for me. Please forgive me, I love you!”

“Ryder, I didn’t mean to say I’m disappointed in you, just your attitude. I know you are stressed out and tired. You are right, it’s not an excuse, but at least you are aware of what you were doing. You know you can still talk to us. I know, being a teenager, no one wants to talk to their parents, but we have never judged you yet, and never will. Just, please give Wilder a chance. I love you, baby. Now I am going to go back downstairs, and I will have Jeremy bring up dinner when it’s done. I know how you are about studying.”

I walk over and give her a hug, and she hugs me back. I finally break the hug. She smooths my hair down, cupping my face, and kisses me on the forehead. “I gotta study now. I need to pass this test to keep my GPA up.”

“You will, sweetie,” she says, I watch her go down the stairs and I head back to my room. I shut the door and lean against it, letting out a sigh of relief.

I feel a little better, but I still feel guilty as hell. I take off my shirt and flop on my bed, and open my text book up. I hate history - it’s boring and cannot hold my attention span for long. Give me any other subject and I don’t even have to study, I just retain the information.

I grab my phone and open up Instagram. I never really use it, let alone post anything, but I follow people just to see what their life is like. I hear a tapping on my window, and I look over and see Tyler outside my window. I move to the window and open it up. “What are you doing?”

He gives me this goofy grin and removes my screen. “I wanted to see you.”

“You know we have a front door!” I tell him, moving out of the way so he can come in.

He tosses his shoes over my bed, “I know, but what fun is that?”

He finally gets in and settles down on my bed. “You are ridiculous!” I tell him and give him a kiss.

“Only when it comes to you,” he says, lifting his butt up and moving my phone from underneath him.

I lay beside him, and he puts his arm around me. “I missed you.”

He kisses the side of my head. “I miss you. I didn’t know you had an Instagram,” he says, scrolling through it.

“Eh…I don’t post anything, I just follow people,” I tell him.

He stops on one picture with a shirtless guy who has a nice set of abs, and his boxers are showing. “Yeah, I know why you have Instagram now! Who is Case Nikson?” he asks, teasing me because I liked the picture.

“I don’t know, just some social media model or something. He’s cute. But you are hot!” I say, and take my phone out of his hand and straddle him.

“Oh, am I?” he asks, licking his lips.

I lean down and give him a passionate kiss. I break it off and wrap my arms under his, and lay on his chest. “I’m sorry for last night,” I say, breathing in his cologne.

He is running his hands along my back, causing me to shiver. It feels good to be held by him. “It’s okay. I was hurt, but next time just give me a heads up, babe.”

“I know, and that hurts me to know that I hurt you so much. How long are you staying?” I ask.

“Not long. I have to pick up Jaxson from a friend’s here soon.”

“Speaking of him, please read the texts between me and him!” I say, pushing my phone in his face.

He takes a few minutes, and then bursts out laughing. “Jaxson, my man!”

I slap him on the chest. “You think it’s funny!”

He laughs again. “Well, I mean, he isn’t wrong,” he says, waggling his eyebrows.

I move off of him. “Well, if memory serves me correct, you already took care of yourself!”

His jaw drops. “You are such a brat!”

“But you love me,” I say, leaning in and giving him a squeeze, causing him to jump a little.

“I do love you, but doing that would cause more attention to be needed!”

“I would love to, but you need to go pick up Jaxson, and I need to study some more, since someone interrupted me!”

He shakes his head. “Yeah, you’re right.” He gets up and kisses me and gives me a squeeze back, and I instantly get hard. He laughs and heads out the window.

“That’s not fair!”

“All is fair in love and war, babe,” he says.

I watch him climb down to make sure he makes it safe, and close my window.

I go back to studying and eventually, Jeremy brings me a plate of food. We talk for a little bit while I eat. I ask him what he thinks of Wilder, and he seems to think once he comes out of his shell, he will fit right in with us. I hope he’s right. He tells me to get to studying after a while.

              

I jolt awake causing my book to fall off the bed. I hear the clap of thunder again, and my heart starts racing. I bolt out of my room, across the hall to Jeremy’s. I open the door and walk to his bed. The flash of lightning lights up his room, and I see his bed is empty.

The nauseous feeling in my stomach grows. I make my way downstairs, and the big clap of thunder makes me jump. I can hear the rain pounding on the windows. I cross my arms over my bare stomach to try and stop from shaking, as I make it into the living room.

Another flash of lightning and I see Wilder on the couch. I lean over and turn on the lamp on the side table. I look over at Wilder, who has his knees drawn up to his chest, and he’s crying. “Are you okay?”

He shakes his head violently, no. I sit on the couch on the other end so I don’t freak him out. “What’s wrong, buddy?” He keeps looking around as if trying to figure out what way to run if he needs to, I know this because I used to do the same, but that habit stopped ages ago.

“I don’t like that storm,” he whispers, looking towards the window, I see another tremor pass through him.

It shocks me to actually hear his voice. He has a thick accent that I have no idea where it’s from, and it sounds as if he’s older than I thought. “I don’t like it, either. I actually am terrified of them.”

“I am, too; I feel so scared,” he says, still shaking again.

“Wilder, how old are you, and where are you from originally?” I ask, trying to take his mind off the storm and figure him out.

He looks at me, his hazel green eyes studying me. “I am from Norway. I was moved here by family, but they were bad people and were taken to jail, because of the drugs. I am 13, how old are you?”

“I knew that they were into drugs, but I thought they were Mexican. I am 15, almost 16,” I tell him. Looking at him, he seems so fragile. I want to give him a hug to comfort him so bad, but I don’t want to push the limits. I don’t know how comfortable he would be if I was to reach over and give him a hug. Another flash of lightning streaks the sky outside the window, and the thunder that follows shakes the windows. We both jump. I feel my heart speeding up. I crack my knuckles to try to shake the nervousness off.

“Not Mexican, they just got caught up with a bunch of drug people that were. The police were everywhere,” he says, looking around as if he was being watched.

“Hey, buddy, you know you are safe, right?”

He nods his head. “Ryder, I was in that room. They told me it’s mine, but I woke up from the thunder and the rain. I didn’t want to be alone, but no one was in here when I came.

“I get it, man. I was scared, too. I still get scared,” I tell him.

He looks at me for the first time directly in my eyes, “You get scared?”

Nodding my head, “Yeah, I hate thunderstorms. I never can sleep during them. Hence the reason I am up.” It’s honestly because I was going to go sleep with Jeremy because of the storm, I heard the wind howling through the window, and it had me terrified.

I hear the wind howling again, and goosebumps run down my arm. I see Wilder tremble. I look out the window in time to see another lightning flash, and the lights flicker. I don’t have time to react before he lunges at me and wraps his arms around me. I can feel his tiny frame shaking. “I’m sorry,” he mutters into my chest.

I wrap my arms around him. “It’s okay, I used to do the same to Jeremy when I was first adopted. Honestly, I was going to go sleep with him, but he isn’t in his room.”

I know he is crying. I can feel the tears on my chest. I just hold him tight as his body shakes. I wonder if this is how Jeremy felt when I would cling to him. I feel like I want to protect him from the entire world, that I will do anything to make sure he doesn’t get hurt.

Eventually, his shaking stops and I feel his breathing go into a regular pace. He must have finally fallen asleep. I don’t want to wake him, but my leg is going numb. “Wilder, come on, buddy. I got to move you so I can get repositioned.” He mumbles, but I know he is still asleep. I push him forward just a little, so I can slip out from under him easily as possible.

The couch is big enough for both of us to sleep on. I love sleeping on this leather couch. It’s comfortable. I know that for a fact since Tyler and I have fallen asleep on it on multiple occasions, and since Wilder is considerably smaller than either of us it shouldn’t be an issue. Wilder wakes up just a little, enough to look around the room, and I can see the fear overcome him, and it breaks my heart. “Hey buddy, I am right here. I was just turning off the light and grabbing the blanket.”

“Don’t leave, please,” he whispers, rubbing his eyes.

“I’m not.” I reassure him and sit back on the couch, I stretch out, and Wilder moves so I can get comfortable. I barely stop moving, and he moves into the crook of my arm, and snuggles into my side. There is just enough space between me and the back of the couch for him. I tell him to turn off the light, and he does quickly. I pull the blanket that we keep on the back of the couch down to cover us.

“Thank you.” Wilder murmurs into my chest.

I squeeze him tighter. “It’s okay, Wilder, I got you. No one is going to hurt you,” I whisper to him before I doze off to the sound of the rain hitting the roof.

We have one more chapter left! Just a warning chapter 25 will take a bit to get posted since it will be the longest chapter. I promise that I will do this story justice, and besides part two will be in the works!!!!!!!

Copyright © 2017 KD_stories; 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.
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Chapter Comments

Great story and chapter, looks like Ryder and Wilder are going to become close brothers. But curious as to where Jeremy is. Keep up the great writing.

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That was an interesting way for Wilder and Ryder to bond. Kind of odd, but it seemed natural. Things can only get better after that rocky start.

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I think Ryder has just overcome his resentment of having a new brother :) He is also working out his problems with Tyler, but Jaxsom stole the scene :D

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10 hours ago, Graeme said:

I think Ryder has just overcome his resentment of having a new brother :) He is also working out his problems with Tyler, but Jaxsom stole the scene :D

Doesn't he always! 

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There's a lot to like in this chapter. You started with good bones, but you fleshed it all out very well. Again, you went well beyond any suggestions I made, and your technique, especially on the last rewrite, was great, and smoothed out the chapter beautifully.

 

I loved the internal dialogue from Ryder and the narrative when he and Tyler were texting, and the physicality he showed when he straddled Tyler on his bed. It helps put Ryder in context. He's a jock, so he's gonna be physical. The play between the two guys is really true to character, and makes me smile.

 

Good character development on Mrs. K, and Coach's presence is pitched well. As for Jaxson, I just want to take him home with me, but he'd drive me nuts.

 

Your writing has come a long way on this story. Tremendous effort, bud, great job.

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Awww... how cool! There is nothing more therapeutic for someone like Ryder than to get out of himself and share his struggles with someone who shares the same struggles. It's a beautiful, time-honored realism that it 'takes one to know one'. I think that Ryder and Wilder are going to be very good for each other.  Right now, Ryder is feeling jealous and not sure if he wants to share the people who have been his salvation but, in fact, they are the ones who made this happen... they figured out that they just weren't enough for Ryder. Ryder needed someone to share his experience, strength and hope with and his parents brought both him and Wilder together, either knowingly or unknowingly ;). Either way, it has gone full circle. Ryder can finally get out of himself and help someone and Wilder will get the help he needs from Ryder.

 

You better damn well NOT skimp on the last chapter. There will be an adjustment but I'm guessing that Ryder and Wilder are, and will come to realize, that they are soul-mates.

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11 hours ago, Nahrung said:

Awww... how cool! There is nothing more therapeutic for someone like Ryder than to get out of himself and share his struggles with someone who shares the same struggles. It's a beautiful, time-honored realism that it 'takes one to know one'. I think that Ryder and Wilder are going to be very good for each other.  Right now, Ryder is feeling jealous and not sure if he wants to share the people who have been his salvation but, in fact, they are the ones who made this happen... they figured out that they just weren't enough for Ryder. Ryder needed someone to share his experience, strength and hope with and his parents brought both him and Wilder together, either knowingly or unknowingly ;). Either way, it has gone full circle. Ryder can finally get out of himself and help someone and Wilder will get the help he needs from Ryder.

 

You better damn well NOT skimp on the last chapter. There will be an adjustment but I'm guessing that Ryder and Wilder are, and will come to realize, that they are soul-mates.

I don't know about soulmates but the last chapter is going to be good I can promise that. 

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Yeah... soulmates may be a bit strong but they have a connection that nobody else can understand and I think that they are going to be very good for each other.

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