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    KD_stories
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The Sound of Starting Over - 6. Chapter 6*

As we are walking to the car, Liam asks, “You okay?” I can’t stop thinking about the conversation that me and Chandler were having not even five minutes ago.

“Yeah, just, this fucking hangover sucks,” I tell him.

I didn’t even notice that Chandler was following behind us. “You’re coming?”

“Yeah, might as well, nothing to do here,” he says not meeting my eye.

“Dude, of course, he is,” Liam says, smiling, as he unlocks the door.

I walk to the back of the car not wanting to be riding next to Mr. Sunshine. So I get into the back seat and letting Chandler sit next to him. “So, you want to play online for a bit when we get to the house?” Liam asks.

“Yeah, sounds good,” Chandler says.

I zone out while staring out the window. I can’t remember the last time I actually had a friendship like those two. I used to have a best friend until he walked in on me and his mom. I wanted his mom for a while, and she talked to Mrs. Heartlane and she set it up. Zach wasn’t supposed to even be home just yet. He had been given a suspension for a week and then had to do three weeks of after school detention for smoking weed in the bathroom. I was there smoking, too, I just didn’t get caught.

I was supposed to just wait in his room for him; we were supposed to smoke and go skate for a bit. That was the plan, but his mom got home an hour before Zach was supposed to. You can imagine what we got to doing, and the shitty thing was, we fucked in Zach’s bed. He walked into the room, and well, he didn’t expect to see his mom riding me.

Needless to say, we had a huge blowout. It ended up with me knocking his ass down, and he told me just to leave and not to talk to him ever again. I just shrugged my shoulders. I actually cried that night, because that’s when I knew I was fucked up. I let a good friendship be destroyed because I needed no wanted physical contact.

I snap out of the memory and notice we are back at the house. I get out of the car, not saying anything. I walk into the house and almost run right into Hank.

“Whoa, buddy, what’s the rush?” he says, grabbing me by the shoulder, and I stiffen up at his touch.

“I just wanted to change before we head out,” I tell him, not meeting his eyes.

“No problem go change. I will go get the car started.”

Walking into my room, I shut the door behind me and lock it, and let out a sigh of relief. Relax, Landon, just because you had a drunken emotional meltdown on Chandler last night doesn’t mean everyone fucking knows you’re a little bitch. I walk to the closet and grab a plain white shirt and a clean pair of jeans, with one of my hoodies since it’s still cold out.

Not wanting to keep Hank waiting, I toss on the clothes, and I am out the door. I walk out to the driveway and Hank is waiting in his BMW. It’s a beautiful car. I slide into the passenger seat, noticing that it has a leather interior.

“Nice car,” I say, shutting the door.

He smiles. “Thank you, it’s my toy, as your mother calls it.”

I nod. “That sounds like something Helen would say.”

We don’t talk much on the way to the coffee shop. He lets me mess around with the radio, but since I don’t really know any of the stations here, I just leave it on a mix station. It’s not an uncomfortable silence like the one Helen and I had the other day. I look over at him as he drives, and he doesn’t have the creased forehead that my father does when I’m around. It kind of makes me think he really wants to spend time with me.

“So, I am taking you to the first coffee shop that I opened,” Hank says.

“Cool,” I reply, not knowing what else to say.

Five minutes later, we pull up to a jam-packed coffee shop. The sign read Coffee Lover’s Paradise. “It looks really busy,” I comment.

Hank chuckles. “That’s why I am opening up my thirteenth coffee shop.”

“How do you keep the customers coming back?” I ask.

“That’s really easy. I keep the menu simple. Not trying to say the other coffee shops are horrible for having a ton of different options, but with more options, prices go up. I keep it simple, offer different flavors, hot or iced, and a few baked goods. Prices are reasonable. We focus on making customers happy and driving home the fact that it’s a safe place to be, and you can be whoever you want.”

“That makes sense,” I tell him.

“Let’s go in,” he says, getting out of the car.

I follow him into the shop. It is busy, there is music playing, and I notice a lot of people are on their laptops and talking. “Mr. G in the house!” I hear someone shout.

Hank just laughs as he greets the boy behind the counter “Kale, how are you?”

“I’m doing super,” he says, smiling. “You want the normal?”

“Yes, please, and what would you like, Landon?” Hank asks.

I don’t like that he said my name because now, this Kale dude is looking me over. I furrow my brow. “Just an ice mocha,” I say.

“Do you want extra espresso?” Kale asks.

“No,” I say, firmly.

He shrugs his shoulders. “Suit yourself, but it looks like you need a pick me up.”

“Tell Jennie I am here, Kale. I will be sitting over in the corner,” Hank says, motioning for me to follow.

We sit down opposite each other in the booth. “So how was last night?”

“It was ok. Nothing much went on, really,” I tell him, avoiding his eyes.

“So on a scale of one to ten, how hung-over are you?” he asks.

“I…I…,” I try to say something, but I keep stammering.

He holds up a finger and I shut my mouth. “Helen might have bought the whole you and Chandler got chummy line, but I don’t. I know a hung-over person when I see one. Landon, we talked about having an honest relationship. Don’t go back on that. I am not trying to grill you about getting drunk. You’re a teenager, and you are going to. I would rather you not.”

“You might know when someone is hung-over, but you don’t know anything about me,” I spit out.

“You are correct. That’s why I wanted to take you here to spend some time with you, get to know my stepson.”

I open my mouth, but I am interrupted when a brown-haired woman comes up to the booth. “Hank! How are you?”

“Jennie, how are you?” Hank asks, getting up and giving her a hug.

“Great, business is booming, as you see. Kale is on the honor roll again! So, his chances of getting into a good school are even better! How is Helen? Let her know it’s time to get our nails done!”

“I see business is going great, and I will tell Helen. Jennie, this is my stepson, Landon,” he says, motioning to me.

“Aww, aren’t you just adorable? I am Jennie, General Manager for Hank,” she says, sticking out her hand for me to shake.

“Good to meet you,” I say, shaking her hand. I hold her hand a little longer than necessary. I mean, she is pretty.

“Well, I have a few calls to make. Kale should be bringing your drinks over,” she says, not even giving me a second glance as she walks off, which kind of hits me in the stomach, that she was so quick to dismiss me.

“Kale is her son?” I ask.

“Yup, that is her pride and joy,” Hank says, smiling.

This makes me dislike Kale even more. His mom is so proud of him, and she shows it without hesitation. I roll my eyes at the thought of it all. “You know he is gay, right?” I tell Hank, trying to gauge his reaction, in case Chandler ever grows the balls to tell them.

He chuckles. “Yes, I know he is gay. Kale is a good kid and a senior. Hell, it would do you some good to be around someone as nice as him.”

“What does that mean?” I ask defensively.

“Meaning that he could be a good influence on you. Landon, I am not your enemy. I wish you could understand that.”

I go to say something back, but I am interrupted by Kale, who rapidly approaches the table.

“Here you go, Mr. G!” Kale says and sits down with the two drinks in hand

“Thank you, Kale. By the way, this is my stepson, Landon.”

“Good to meet you officially,” Kale says, smiling, showing his bright white teeth. He looks like his mother - shaggy brown hair and green eyes.

“Yeah, you too,” I mumble.

“You have to excuse him. He is hung-over from a party last night,” Hank tells him.

I shoot Hank a dirty look. “The one from school?” Kale asks.

“Yeah, I guess that’s the one,” I reply.

“I was there. I didn’t see you, and I would have remembered your face,” he says, blushing a little.

“Yeah, well, I was busy,” I tell him.

I think he finally gets the hint because he says his goodbyes and goes back to the counter. I take a drink of my mocha, and I hate to admit it, but it is so good. “Thanks for the coffee,” I tell Hank.

“It’s no problem. Care to tell me why you are so resistant to me?”

“Look, it’s nothing against you. Just, I have a tough time trusting adults, okay? I haven’t met one adult who hasn’t royally fucked me over.” Little does he know I mean it in a literal sense, as well.

“So that’s it, huh? You just throw me in with everyone else who has burned you, not even trying to give me a chance?” he asks.

I just look at him. I don’t know what the fuck he expects from me. To layout all my issues on the table right here? I mean, he knows I don’t want to be here, that I miss my old life. “I don’t know what to tell you.”

He shakes his head. “Well, I can tell you that you’re more stubborn than any of the other boys. I just want you to be happy, Landon, and I want you to do well here.”

“At what cost? There is always a catch with adults. That’s how it works in y’all’s world. You probably don’t even really want to spend time with me. You have two kids of your own. Why would you?” I ask. Because everything really did come with a cost. I mean, that’s what Mrs. H taught me. I shudder, thinking about how she used to make me beg to touch her. She would tell me that I needed to show how much I wanted it, that there is a price for things that I want. That I needed to show that I really wanted it.

He looks at me, confused, “There is no cost. I might not be your biological father, but there is no cost for me caring about you. There is no catch to me wanting to spend time with you. Yeah, trying to get my other boys to spend five minutes with me is like pulling teeth, much less letting me take them to a coffee shop. Neither of them enjoys coffee,” he reassures me.

“So, you take pity on me?”

“No, I can’t say that I do. Landon, you have some deep trust issues, but I am not going to hurt you or make you doubt me. I just need you to give me a chance.” He says, rubbing the stubble on his chin.

“I can’t guarantee that I will be okay with you right away,” I tell him, taking another drink of my coffee. I don’t know if I can trust him or not, I really want to, but every time I have, I got screwed over. Mrs. H never even defended me when her husband caught us. She acted like it was my fucking fault.

He smiles, “I don’t expect you to, but we have to start somewhere. So, finish up, we will go grab lunch later and head to the mall, maybe catch a movie or something.”

*Chandler*

I put the play station controller down. “I'm done man,” I tell Jake.

I wasn’t focused, and I was not about to get my ass kicked again by him. “Tired of getting owned?” Jake asks.

I just laugh it off. “Yeah, I am. Why aren’t you at your friend’s?”

“I’m going there in a bit. Was going to talk to Dad, but he and Landon aren’t back yet,” Jake says, as he turns off the play station.

I lean back into the couch. “Yeah, they have been gone all day.”

“Let’s hope Dad hasn’t dropped Landon off in a pond,” Jake says, laughing.

I laugh at the thought. “He can be a handful,” I admit, and remember the conversation where he called me out on being gay. I pick up the controller, and let out a silent sigh, and put the control back down again.

“I heard Liam tell Mom he stayed at your house. How was that?”

I shrug my shoulders. “It was ok. We just talked for a little bit and went to bed.”

“That sounds boring,” he says, getting up, and grabbing the bag of chips.

“What sounds boring?” Liam asks as he flops down next to me.

“Chandler and Landon just talking last night,” Jake says, as he leaves the living room.

“Yeah, for real, how did last night go? Bro, thank you again for saving my ass,” Liam says, gripping my shoulder, and sits next to me. I want to tell him the truth - that it was intense and weird, and that he needs to tell his mom that Landon has so much going on in his head.

I shrug. “It’s no problem, and honestly wasn’t that bad. He was still drunk, so we talked for a minute and then went to bed.” I hate lying to Liam and it makes me sick to my stomach.

“Have you had any nightmares recently?” He leans forward looks at my closely examining me to see if I lie. I decided to just tell him the truth

I, not my head. “Yeah, I have had them almost every day this week, except for last night.” I think it’s the only night that I haven’t had one, I actually slept decently."

“I’m sorry, man. Have you seen your therapist lately?”

“No, haven’t had the money,” I tell him, hoping he just drop the subject, but I know Liam won’t.

“Dude just let Mom know. You know you are a part of this family!” He says, getting worked up. He scoots to the edge of the seat and turns to look at me.

“Look, man, I have told you this a million times! I feel like a charity case, and it’s my bullshit that I need to deal with. I don’t want to…. Never mind, dude, forget it I don’t want to talk about this,” I say, getting up from the couch.

It’s still early, and I don’t want to go straight to bed. I run my hands through my hair out of frustration and take off my glasses. I’m not even tired, so I grab my hoodie and make my way out of the window onto the roof.

I sit down and pull my knees to my chest. I hate myself right now. I hate that I just freaked out on Liam, hate the fact I can’t stop these stupid nightmares, and I hate the fact I have feelings for a straight boy that makes me so damn frustrated it makes him that much more attractive.

I don’t know how long I have been sitting on the roof when I hear someone flop down beside me, and I jump a little bit.

“Did I scare you?”

I am still trying to catch my breath. “Yes.”

Landon just gives me that grin that I love. “What are you doing up here?”

“Just needed some fresh air,” I tell him.

“Well, I think you got some. I’ve been home for thirty minutes,” he says, looking at me. He bumps shoulders with me.

“Yeah, you and Hank were gone all day. How was it?” I bump him back.

I actually hear the enthusiasm in his voice, like when a little kid has something important to tell you. “He took me to one of his coffee shops, and it was so amazing. I really love coffee. I don’t think anyone can understand how much I really like coffee. I met this employee, Kale. He is gay.”

“Yeah, I know Kale, he goes to our school. He is a nice guy,” I tell him.

“So like, why aren’t you and him dating?” he asks.

I just look over at him. “Because he and I aren’t a good match.”

He just shakes his head. “How? He likes dudes and you like dudes - what more do you need?”

I just laugh. “It doesn't work like that man. We aren't compatible.”

He shrugs his shoulders. “Hank wouldn’t care if you are gay.”

“Landon!” I pull my knees closer to me. I cannot believe he is bringing this up right now.

“He wouldn’t. Hell, none of them would. You, like, walk on water with them.”

I roll my eyes. “No, I don’t. I am just who I am with them.”

“’ Cept for the fact that you’re gay and being abused. SO, Yeah, totally being who you are with them,” he says, sarcasm dripping in his voice.

“Stop being ridiculous Landon, you haven’t told them you were sexually abused,” I shoot back.

Landon completely ignores what I just said and rolls his eyes. “He also said it would do me some good to be around Kale, that he is so nice.”

“You going to ignore that topic, huh?” I know I am poking a bear, by bringing this subject up again

He shrugs his shoulders again, “No idea what you’re talking about.”

I shake my head, “You are impossible.”

“You think it’s sexy,” he says, winking at me.

“Kale is a cool person. I have spent a lot of time with him,” I say. “Honestly, he is probably the only person that knows I am gay besides you now.”

He doesn’t say anything for a minute. “What would it change if you told them you were gay?”

“I don’t know… I’m just not ready to tell them. Why didn’t you tell Hank about your past?” I counter.

“Fuck you, Chandler! You just don’t know when to leave shit alone do you?” he yells at me, and I know I hit a nerve with him. His voice cracked.

“Fuck me? You are the one who keeps bringing shit up, but I’m not allowed to? What the fuck is that?” I say catching him off guard.

“You don’t fucking understand! Fuck you Chandler, fuck you.” He screams at me.

He gets up and starts to head back in through the window. I turn to go after him, but Liam is in the room. “Landon, what’s wrong?” I don’t enter the room just yet, wanting to see what happens next.

“Nothing! Besides your fucking gay best friend is the biggest dick in the world, but no everyone thinks he is just this shy little fucked up nerd why don't you ask him about all his fucking secrets he keeps. Now GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!” he says, pushing Liam.

My heart sinks in my chest. I look to my bag and look at Liam, and I climb into the room. Liam positions himself in front of me to stop me from grabbing my bag. “What the fuck just happened, and what did he mean?”

“I gotta go, Liam.” I back away from him, feeling trapped I just want to get my bag and get the hell out here.

“No! You don’t,” he says, grabbing my arm, I know he doesn’t mean to grip me so hard.

“Please, just let me go,” I say, tears threatening to start.

“Not until you tell me what’s going on,” he tells me, his grip tighter on my arm.

“You heard him,” I say. “Please let me go, you’re hurting me.” I’m in tears now.

“You really are gay?” he says softly.

I just nod my head, and he lets go of my arm finally. I grab my bag, but he stops me and wraps me in a hug. “I love you, Chand. I don’t care if you are gay.”

I hug him back. He moves his arm away, and when he does, he hits my ribs. I let out a wince, and I move away from him. “I really need to go.”

“Lift up your shirt,” he says.

“Liam, I really need to go,” I say, trying to move around him.

He blocks my way again. “Lift up your fucking shirt, Chandler.”

I am trying to control my breathing, but it’s getting harder to. “Liam.”

He grabs my shirt, and I try to pull away, and the shirt rips. He grabs my arm again, and I stop fighting him, he lifts the ripped shirt, and I can’t look at him. I want to just fucking disappear. I feel like everything I never wanted to be out in the open is on full display now. “Did Landon do this to you?” He pulls the rest of the shirt off me

“No, my foster family,” I whisper.

“How long?” He demands. I can tell he is getting upset he runs his hands through his hair. His words are clipped.

“For a long time,” I manage to choke out.

“Why didn’t you say something?” he says, his voice getting higher.

“It’s complicated. Please stop yelling.” I cry out not even fighting the tears now.

“NO, it’s not! You are being abused!” he shouts, and I wince, and I can see his anger disappear and shame wash over his face. "How did I not know this was happening, am I that bad of a friend that I didn't see the signs? Fuck, I am so sorry Chandler."

Before I can reply, Helen is in the room. “Liam, what is going on?”

“Mom…”

“Please don’t,” I beg.

“Chandler, what happened baby?” Helen asks.

Liam moves and guides me in front. “He’s being hit, Mom.”

Helen comes over and looks at my ribs. “Is your foster family doing this?”

Hank comes in the room. “Helen, Landon just took off with a bag.”

“Chandler is being hit at home,” she tells him.

“Helen, did you hear me?!” he asks.

“What?” she looks confused.

“Wait, who’s being hit?” Hank asks, confused at what’s happening in the room.

“Chandler is being hit at home, look at his torso, look at his back my god the scars!” Helen says. I feel miserable being put on display like this I want to sink into the floor.

“How is this possible? Chandler, why didn’t you say something to us?”

“I didn’t want to be taken away,” I tell him, barely able to contain myself.

“Wait, where is Landon?” Helen asks.

Hank let’s out a long sigh. “I don’t know. He took off out of the house with a bag. He seemed upset. Do you know why?”

“Chandler, you would know better than anyone. When he came in, he was on the verge of crying” Liam says.

“I will go after him,” Helen says.

Hank stops her, “Honey, take care of Chandler he needs you right now. I will bring our son home, sweetie, now take care of Chandler.”

“He’s MY son, Hank!” she says, getting upset.

“Helen, he’s right. He should be the one. When we talked earlier, I could tell he really admires Hank,” I choke out.

She looks hurt, but she nods, and Hank leaves. “Come here, baby, I need to see how bad the bruising is, and we need to take pictures of this.”

Copyright © 2017 KD_stories; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

I like this story so far, I just wish it had more priority in your updating.  Not pointing fingers because I have several active stories going on too...but when I like something, I want more.  :) 

There are more than a couple stories I enjoy which seem to get new chapters only when nothing else is going on, which is now making me hesitant about starting new ones.  Will they stall mid-plot, or just stop being written?  I am slower at posting than I used to be with my vision problems now, but I won't ever abandon one of my 'babies'.  Working on chapters for both of mine now, and a new short.

More please, KD!

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I remember reading this story and just recently signed up to this website, but I want to say I love this story and can't wait for the next chapter:2thumbs:

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1 hour ago, ColumbusGuy said:

I like this story so far, I just wish it had more priority in your updating.  Not pointing fingers because I have several active stories going on too...but when I like something, I want more.  :) 

There are more than a couple stories I enjoy which seem to get new chapters only when nothing else is going on, which is now making me hesitant about starting new ones.  Will they stall mid-plot, or just stop being written?  I am slower at posting than I used to be with my vision problems now, but I won't ever abandon one of my 'babies'.  Working on chapters for both of mine now, and a new short.

More please, KD!

Well Unfortunately, between one job that is full time, and my other job which is 25 hours a week, and going to college. Time doesnt seem to be my friend at all. While I wished I had more time to post because I have multiple stories on a back burner that I have never put up it's not the case I work on what I can and when I experience writers block on one I switch to work on another. As to starting to read new stories thats always going to be a gamble, life happens. 

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1 hour ago, KD_stories said:

Well Unfortunately, between one job that is full time, and my other job which is 25 hours a week, and going to college. Time doesnt seem to be my friend at all. While I wished I had more time to post because I have multiple stories on a back burner that I have never put up it's not the case I work on what I can and when I experience writers block on one I switch to work on another. As to starting to read new stories thats always going to be a gamble, life happens. 

 

Like I said, not a criticism at all!  I'm just glad to see your chapters come up.  With all you mention, I'm surprised you can do it at all--and I do the same cycling between chapters if I get stuck in one for a bit.  I write on the fly rather than do outlines with every detail and event predetermined, so I can get stuck on one until a new inspiration hits.  For me that's usually in a scene I have while sleeping. 

I have an alternate history thing going in Word that was supposed to be a slightly longer prompt...but it's at nearly 7k words and wants to keep going, so it's no longer suitable for that...but it will be finished some time soon.

Oh, and I'm retired with no social life, and yet my writing is often slowed by me getting involved in reading online both here and other gay fiction sites.  :)

 

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Interesting story so far, very engaging characters. I wonder how long until Landon's past is revealed to the family? Also, I wonder if Jake will have a storyline of his own?

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Oh Landon! 

He is more true with feelings now, but still can't control his explosions and rage. Not Nice outing Chandler, although it was probably good in the end. I am starting to like Hank. Still despising Helen, might be wonderful with the others, but on regard to Landon, she is aloof and seems to think that saying "he is my son" makes her a mother.

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6 hours ago, ObicanDecko said:

Interesting story so far, very engaging characters. I wonder how long until Landon's past is revealed to the family? Also, I wonder if Jake will have a storyline of his own?

I think things will start to slowly unravel in the next chapter or so! 

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I love KD stories!

I am glad the abuse got “aired” now. But where did Landon go? I just hope Hank finds him asap. Hope the fosters parents rot in hell!😡

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4 hours ago, Smoothy said:

I love KD stories!

I am glad the abuse got “aired” now. But where did Landon go? I just hope Hank finds him asap. Hope the fosters parents rot in hell!😡

THANK YOU!  

Chapter 7 will be dealing with the fall out of everything, and it's possible that Landon's past comes back get him once again

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Well I hope Helen will be able to help Chandler now that she knows he’s being abused! I realize they already have too much on their plate with Landon, but it’s too bad they can’t foster Chandler themselves! And it appears that Landon and Hank have reached the somewhat tentative beginnings of a relationship.  ;-)

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All I can say is wow!  I hope the very best for Chandler now and now I hope Landon can trust someone and begin to heal. 

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I hope you’re able to get back to this story soon; it’s too good to let it die here. Thanks for sharing this tale and remember even smaller installments can still move it forward without the full burden of the story chapter. 😁

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3 minutes ago, Philippe said:

I hope you’re able to get back to this story soon; it’s too good to let it die here. Thanks for sharing this tale and remember even smaller installments can still move it forward without the full burden of the story chapter. 😁

Sooner than you think 😉😉

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