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    Naptowngirl
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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. 

Then Came You... - 1. Chapter 1...Denial

This story is not your traditional love story, but life is that way sometimes. It's a short story spanning the lives of Brad, Maxwell and Drake. The title, my beta said, says it all, but the journey hopefully worth your time (read) and review...

Enjoy,

Kim

“Unto Almighty God we commend the soul of our brother departed, and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; Let us pray.”

Everyone bowed his or her head except Maxwell. He did just the opposite. He looked up, the wind catching his hair, gently lifting it off his forehead as he glanced around to all the mournful faces standing around the silver-tone steel casket that would be lowered into the ground.

He lifted the collar of his black, wool trench coat snuggly around his ears, in an effort to protect them from the stinging winds slapping his face mercilessly, before shoving his hands deep inside his pockets. He wasn’t sure what the clergyman was mumbling, nor did he care. Probably something memorized, Maxwell guessed, something he said at all the funerals. Besides, he knew nothing about the man lying there so his words offered no comfort.

The sky was dark and gloomy much like his heart. It was almost impossible to breathe and each day became more challenging. He felt as if he was losing his resolve… his will as it were. It was a struggle to get out of bed in the mornings, to which he hadn’t done for the past three days and he only got out today to attend the funeral service otherwise he’d still be wrapped in his covers hiding from the world.

He glanced around chewing on the inside of his cheek when his eyes fell upon one man in particular. Their eyes locked briefly, sharing a forlorn glance. Dark gray eyes filled with concern as if asking jaded green ones “Are you okay?” Maxwell bit his lower lip, shaking his head… ‘No’. The man nodded his understanding as he casually wrapped his arm around the guy standing next to him before turning his attention back to the clergyman.

He wasn’t sure if he could ever repay the man standing across from him. He allowed Maxwell to feed off his strength since that dreaded night. He was the reason he got out of bed this morning. The reason he was able to make the funeral arrangements. He had carried him every step of the way.

It was almost impossible to fathom that Brad was gone. After being in a coma for two weeks, he’d finally succumbed to his injuries. Maxwell’s mind drifted, forcing him to relive that horrific evening as he had done so many times before. Reliving it…wondering if there was anything he could have done differently. Maybe if he had been driving he would have seen the car coming.

Flashback…

“No..no. That’s not true.” Brad laughed shaking his head disagreeably. “You’re the one who said we could make seven books.” He glanced off the road for a moment.

“I said five and a possible.” Maxwell corrected. “I don’t see how you got seven from that.” He spat teasingly while crossing his arms defiantly over his chest.

“A strong possible, you said you had a strong possible…remember.” Brad arched his brow.

“Whatever…” Maxwell huffed pretending to be upset. They had just left a friend’s house where they spent the evening playing cards. The game tonight was Spades and they lost.

“You got us set, little man and for that you have to pay.” Brad lowered his voice into a playful, menacing tone. “But I’ll go easy on you, because I love you.” He smiled as he reached for his husband’s hand, taking his eyes off the road for a second. A mere second…

“SLAM…!

The bright lights of the oncoming car still blinded him even in the daylight. Screeching tires desperately trying to grip the slick road, but failing miserably, only came to a stop when the cars collided, sending theirs spinning out of control to be t-boned by a truck unable to stop. The sound of metal crushing around them still kept him awake at night.

“Max…” A gentle voice startled him, pulling him from his trance-like state

“Huh…?” He jumps suddenly, turning to see his mother’s worried gaze.

“Everyone is leaving.” She informed him forcing a sad smile. “We’re going back to the house for a small dinner.” She said softly. Maxwell glanced over his mother’s shoulder and sure enough, the small group gathered under the green tarp tent had started descending to their cars. He twisted his lips nervously biting on the inside of his lower one, noticing over two dozen long stem roses on top of the casket. He still held his tightly in his hand.

“Max…Are you sure you won’t join us? I mean everyone wants…”

“Everyone?” He questioned sharply before realizing the harshness in his tone. “I’m sorry, Mom, but I’m not in the mood.” He sighed. “I don’t want to smile in people’s faces and thank them for coming or sending the mounds of sympathy cards I have yet to open and probably won’t.” He admitted while combing his fingers through his hair. “I just can’t.” He frowned lowering his head through a heavy sigh.

“I understand.” She said sympathetically, as she pulled her son into her embrace. “And so do they.” She nodded to the cars caravanning slowly through the cemetery.

“Well, I don’t. I don’t understand.” He stated bitterly…brazenly even. “I sure wish someone would explain it to me.”

“You’re hurting. You two were very much in love.” She smiled as she kissed him on the forehead. “But, Son, we’re hurting too. We loved Bradley and you keeping to yourself is not healthy.”

“I’m grieving…” He replied sarcastically. He never talked to his mother that way, but he couldn’t help it. He knew it wasn’t her fault, none of it was, but he was angry…Mad at the world. How could Brad be dead and he walked away with a small gash to the head. One that didn’t even require stitches. His mother bit back the words she was about to speak and conceded.

“Okay…” She smiled even as she pushed his soft blond hair from his eyes revealing the small scar that would be his permanent reminder and hers too. She placed her finger tenderly to his cheek to catch the tear that slid down it. “My baby.” She pulled him tightly into her arms. “And this too shall pass.” She whispered soothingly. He shook his head doubtfully as he wept silently within his mother’s embrace.

“Go ahead, Drake.” His boyfriend patted him on the arm as they watched the scene play out before them. “Take him home.” Cody suggested thoughtfully, his eyes still focused on Maxwell.

“I think that’s a good idea.” He agreed as the crease between his brows deepened. “He’s not doing well at all.” He noted with concern as he caressed the small of his boyfriend’s back.

“What do you expect, Drake?” Cody asked looking up into Drake’s dark eyes. “I would be a basket case if I lost you.” He stated, his eyes filled with admiration while his fingers traced the contours of Drake’s jaw.

Drake gently removed Cody’s hand taking it into his own. He kissed it tenderly before releasing it and returning his attention back to Maxwell and his mom.

“I’ll go back to the house with everyone and see if I can’t be of any help there.” Cody suggested his attention now averted to their friend. “You can meet me there when you’re done.”

“Okay…” Drake said faintly before kissing him softly on the cheek. “You have been amazing through all this.” He admitted appreciatively. “Thank you.”

“He wasn’t just your best friend.” Cody forced a sad smile before turning to walk away.

“I loved him too, you know.”

Drake shoved his hands into his coat pockets, tilting his head slightly, with a thoughtful expression as he watched his boyfriend walk toward the few remaining cars that lined the road.

He and Cody had been dating exclusively for a little over a year. They met at a soccer tournament that Cody was also attending; his boyfriend at the time was playing on one of the teams. Drake wouldn’t have been there if it wasn’t for his best friends, Brad and Max insisting he join them.

Flashback…

“Third wheel?” Brad laughed as he followed Drake into the living room.

“Yes…” Drake replied before taking a bite of his apple. “I don’t want to be a third wheel, a tag along…Three’s a crowd… remember?” He smirked swallowing hard as he dropped down on the sofa.

“No…actually Three’s company.” Maxwell giggled as he swung around on the barstool and hopped off. He smiled sheepishly into his boyfriend’s eyes receiving an agreeing nod even as he pulled Maxwell into his embrace.

“He’s right, Drake.” Brad grinned before kissing Maxwell on the lips. “Besides, we bought your ticket already.”

“Yeah…and you don’t want us to waste our money do you?” Maxwell added.

“How much did you pay for it?” Drake asked before taking another bite of his granny smith green apple. “I can pay you for the ticket.”

“Ummm…” Maxwell hummed as if he was trying to remember. He bit on his lower lip squinting toward the ceiling playfully. “Don’t know.” He shrugged.

“Come on, Man.” Brad pleaded. “Besides, It’s soccer for goodness sake,” He bobbed his head excitedly, “Hot dudes all over the place…Uphf!” He exhaled windily after receiving a swift jab to the ribs. “Not that I’ll be looking.” He cleared his throat. Drake shook his head through an amused chuckle before sinking his teeth deep into his apple.

“Go ahead, Baby, convince him.” Brad laughed as he pushed Maxwell forward. Drake eyes widened as he looked between the two of them skeptically. He arched his brow as Maxwell sauntered over to him. He laughed boisterously falling back against the cushion when Maxwell pounced on him unexpectedly, straddling him as he wrapped his arms loosely around his neck.

“Come on Drake-y…” He purred into his ear before licking the outer shell. He glanced back over his shoulder to Brad who snorted into his fist in an attempt to keep a straight face.

“I’ve…I..I got to…Um” He licked his lips that were suddenly dry, “Study. I have an exam tomorrow.” He stuttered as he shifted uncomfortably beneath Maxwell. Brad chuckled as he watched his boyfriend play suggestively with their best friend.

“All work and no play makes Drake a very…very dull boy. That’s probably why you don’t have a steady guy.” He said with a click of the tongue.

“No…” Drake grabbed Maxwell around the waist. “I don’t have a steady guy because I don’t want one right now.” He corrected. “Medical school and boyfriends don’t mix.” He stated simply.

“That’s because you haven’t met the right guy.” Maxwell winked before stealing a quick peck on the lips.

“That’s enough…” Drake voice trying to pull himself together. He literally lifted Maxwell off his lap sitting him on the sofa next to him.

“Heyyyy…” Maxwell objected falling backwards. Drake’s solid six-foot two frame was no match for Maxwell’s five-foot seven one. Brad laughed holding his belly with one hand as he assisted his boyfriend off the couch with the other.

“See, you need to loosen up, Dude.” Brad said as his laughter faded to a soft chuckle. “You going to come or not?” He asked pointedly as he wrapped Maxwell tightly into his arms.

“Yeah…come on.” Maxwell pouted before resting his head against Brad’s shoulder.

Drake rolled his eyes exasperatedly and hoisted himself off the sofa eyeing the both of them. He knew they meant well and he had been studying all weekend. Stepping away from the books for a few hours couldn’t hurt he reasoned as he glanced at his friends once more.

“Well?” Brad pushed, waiting anxiously for an answer.

“Okay...okay.” Drake smirked through an exaggerated sigh. “I’ll go.”

“YAY!” Maxwell clapped his hands excitedly before kissing Brad on the lips. “You’ll have fun.” He said while nodding to his boyfriend. “We promise.” They both grinned confidently. Drake laughed at his friends shaking his head as he grabbed his jacket off the back of the chair.

“Let’s go, fellas, I do have to finish studying you know.” He smiled as he opened the door ushering them out first.

~*~*~

The sound of the car starting pulled him from his reverie. Cody waved and blew Drake a kiss as the limo pulled onto the main road. Drake pulled his hand from his pocket and waved back through a sad smile. He took a deep breath before heading toward Maxwell and his mother. He stood motionless for a moment as he viewed the casket covered with roses, now halfway lowered in the ground. He shook his head keeping his own tears at bay. He and Brad had been friends since high school. Theirs was an instant connect, one you didn’t see every day.

They met during a track and field meet, both competing in the javelin toss. Young, strong and gorgeous, not to mention gay, and yet they were not attracted to each other at all. Brad was out, proud and a tad bit promiscuous; a different guy every night…nothing serious. Drake on the other hand was always looking for something more, a one on one type of relationship, a steady partner. Even at the tender age of 16, he knew what he wanted.

Brad changed when he met Maxwell; Drake was with him at the time. Now in their mid-twenties, Brad a college graduate and graphic design artist, with Drake a third year medical student were still best friends. They spent the day at the Pride Parade in New York where they were both natives and ended up at the Townhouse, an upscale gay club off East 58th street. That’s where they met Maxwell. He was tending bar that night. Blond hair, green eyes, flirtatious, witty and beautiful, any man would have deemed it an honor to take him home that night, and it just so happened to be Brad that won the prize. They had been together ever since. He sighed as he walked slowly to Maxwell.

“Mrs. Reynolds.” He spoke respectfully as he reached for her hand.

“Drake…” She replied as she extended her hand to meet his…Her voice laced with appreciation and relief. They shared a sorrowful glance before Drake turned his attention to Maxwell.

“Hey…” He forced a smile as he reached for Max’s hand. Mrs. Reynolds nudged her son gently guiding him toward Drake.

“Hey…” Maxwell frowned as he allowed Drake to take his hand into his own.

“I was just telling Maxwell that he should join us for dinner before he goes home.” She mentioned softly as she caressed her son’s shoulder. Drake glanced down trying to meet Maxwell’s gaze.

“And I was telling her I didn’t want to go. I just want to go home.” He said as he lowered his head avoiding eye contact.

“Hum…” Drake hummed thoughtfully. “Then you should go home.” He sided with his friend. “Mrs. Reynolds, I’ll make sure he gets something to eat. Cody went with the others to help out if you need him.”

“That’s very thoughtful of him.” She smiled. “The two of you have been a god send.” She admitted as she glanced at the casket. “I don’t know what we would have done without you both.”

“There’s no other place for me to be right now then here. They were…are” He corrected as he pulled Maxwell into his tight hug, “My family.” He felt the other man relax into his arms as he rested his head against his chest. “Are you ready?” He glanced down to Maxwell.

“Mm-hm…” He sighed. Drake extended his hand toward Mrs. Reynolds lacing their fingers together as he led them toward the waiting limousine at the bottom of the hill.

“Wait!” Maxwell yelled as he twisted from Drake’s embrace. They stopped and watched as he headed back to the casket. Drake wrapped his arm around Mrs. Reynolds’s shoulder as they stood back waiting patiently. His back was toward them and they couldn’t hear what he was saying, but after a few moments he gently laid his faded rose on top of the casket. He used the palm of his hand to wipe away the tears that streaked his cheek, before returning to join them.

He stuffed his hands deep inside his coat pockets as he made his way toward them. Drake extended his hand which Max accepted willingly.

“Are you sure, son?” Mrs. Reynolds asked making one last attempt.

“Mom…” Maxwell sighed.

“Okay…okay.” I was just making sure.” She smiled from the backseat of the limo.

“I’ll take care of him.” Drake promised.

“I know you will.” She smiled contently before leaning back into her seat. Drake tapped the top of the car stepping back as it slowly pulled onto the road.

“Let’s go.”

“You know, you don’t have to do this.” Maxwell said as he followed Drake to his car. “I’ll be okay. I kind of want to be alone anyway.” Drake just nodded as he continued walking. “Did you hear me, Drake?”

“Yes…”

“Well…” He replied. “Shouldn’t you be with Cody anyway?”

“Get in.” Drake demanded as he opened the passenger side door ignoring the previous question, motioning toward his friend. Maxwell sighed conceding before getting inside. He watched as Drake walked around to the driver’s side and got in. He placed the key into the ignition but didn’t turn it. Taking a deep breath, he looked at Maxwell biting on his lower lip before speaking.

“Bradley was a wonderful guy, so full of life. One of the best people I’ve ever met. He wouldn’t want you to wallow in self pity.”

“I’m not…” Maxwell objected.

“See that you don’t.” He stated passionately. “Don’t push the people away that care about you. He wouldn’t want you to do that.” He leaned over trying to make eye contact. Maxwell rolled his eyes and smirked sarcastically before turning away. “I’m going to take you home, see that you eat, and if you truly want me to leave then I will, but if you need me to stay...” He let the statement hang. Maxwell rested his head against the window and nodded slowly. Drake pressed his lips together in a tight smile, started the car, and put it into drive.

He adjusted the rearview mirror watching as the attendant lowered his friend’s body into the ground. ‘This is really it…really happening’. He thought to himself. He tried to catch the tear that slipped down his cheek before Maxwell saw it. As he pulled through the rod iron gates, he glanced back once more to the place where he was leaving his best friend to rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TBC

Comments fuel the writers soul...so let me know what you think, I'm not thin skinned....lol love all comments....

Copyright © 2012 Naptowngirl; 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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Chapter Comments

Guess you're starting this story on an upbeat, what with the funeral and all.

You landed me after the first couple of sentences.

Undoubtedly you'll have me hook, line and all that other stuff until the very end of this too.

This story almost looks as tasteyas that other one with what's his name and that other boy, um, what was his name .... oh yeah KALEB!

Thanks Kim.

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Awesome start. So sad to bury the one you truly loved. And probably even harder to let them go in your heart once another threatens to take their place. Your way with words in this chapter really helped to portray that feeling of deep love and distraught by Maxwell. Hope to read more soon

 

CK

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Incredible emotion. I want to learn more about the characters. Hope out of despair is very hard to pull off but I have faith that you will do wonderfully.

Looking forward to the next update!

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Such a moving first chapter. I can't wait to see what you do with this, I'm amazed at how different the vibe of this is from your last story. You definitely have a gift for making characters relatable :)

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On 01/05/2012 01:12 PM, Swhouston44 said:
Guess you're starting this story on an upbeat, what with the funeral and all.

You landed me after the first couple of sentences.

Undoubtedly you'll have me hook, line and all that other stuff until the very end of this too.

This story almost looks as tasteyas that other one with what's his name and that other boy, um, what was his name .... oh yeah KALEB!

Thanks Kim.

Hold up already...hehehehe... don't tell me you've forgotten Kaleb, his feeling might be hurt if he found out...lol Whats' his name is used to it. But anyway, glad to see you enjoyed the first chapter, it is a little different, came to me during the night literally. It should be an interesting ride to say the least. the fun part for me will be seeing which one you favor as the story progresses...

 

Thanks, Swhouston44 for the review,

 

Kim :)

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On 01/05/2012 01:52 PM, C.K. said:
Awesome start. So sad to bury the one you truly loved. And probably even harder to let them go in your heart once another threatens to take their place. Your way with words in this chapter really helped to portray that feeling of deep love and distraught by Maxwell. Hope to read more soon

 

CK

Thank you CK, you are right dealing with death can be tramatic, especially when it's so close to home. I'm hoping you will stick with Maxwell as he tries to cope with life and possible love after Brad..

Thanks for taking time to post a review.

 

Kim :D

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On 01/05/2012 03:27 PM, Rebelghost85 said:
Incredible emotion. I want to learn more about the characters. Hope out of despair is very hard to pull off but I have faith that you will do wonderfully.

Looking forward to the next update!

Thanks for encouraging words, now the pressure is on...lol. The characters in this story are a little different, and I've already fallen in love with one... the flashbacks will help us understand who Brad was and why he was so important in Maxwell and Drake's life. I hope I do the story justice and you enjoy it...

 

Merci, Rebelghost85

 

Kim :D

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On 01/05/2012 05:03 PM, intune said:
Such a moving first chapter. I can't wait to see what you do with this, I'm amazed at how different the vibe of this is from your last story. You definitely have a gift for making characters relatable :)
Thanks intune. Yep it's a totally different vibe, and I hope to keep your attention and keep you reading. and thank you for the compliment, You Rock!

 

Kim :)

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i'm so happy to get back here and found another story.. another story from you , yet so different to the last one. but one thing is the same, i felt in an instant for the characters and i'm already curious where this trip will lead me.. it's a really sad start though, to loose his husband had to be very hard on Max .. a mere second changed their lifes and it is horrible image ( at least for me) to be in this accident together, where one of them died and the other get out almost safe and sound... this guilt and the question why would haunt me and from what i can tell by now it's hard for Max too. i get that he wants to just withdraw himself from everything but i'm glad that there's one person that helps him getting through this .. Drake.. looks like there's a deep friendship here and i loved your flashback to how all four of them came together.. Brad and Drake friends since highshool with a unique connection met Maxwell and than Cody... want to know more... thank you again for taking me on this trip ... <3 Annette

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On 03/21/2012 12:07 AM, asonearth said:
i'm so happy to get back here and found another story.. another story from you , yet so different to the last one. but one thing is the same, i felt in an instant for the characters and i'm already curious where this trip will lead me.. it's a really sad start though, to loose his husband had to be very hard on Max .. a mere second changed their lifes and it is horrible image ( at least for me) to be in this accident together, where one of them died and the other get out almost safe and sound... this guilt and the question why would haunt me and from what i can tell by now it's hard for Max too. i get that he wants to just withdraw himself from everything but i'm glad that there's one person that helps him getting through this .. Drake.. looks like there's a deep friendship here and i loved your flashback to how all four of them came together.. Brad and Drake friends since highshool with a unique connection met Maxwell and than Cody... want to know more... thank you again for taking me on this trip ... <3 Annette
Nettie Poo, welcome back, chica. Glad you enjoyed the chapter, this is a short story. dealing with the stages of grief, so I hope you like it, hope you enjoy the journey! yep theirs was a tight friendship and one is gone so that must be hard...

thanks for the review sweets :D

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I think you shouldn't include "flashback" as a label prior to a scene : P Otherwise, this is a strong beginning, full of emotion and awesome to read

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On 05/17/2012 05:20 PM, Luc Rosen said:
I think you shouldn't include "flashback" as a label prior to a scene : P Otherwise, this is a strong beginning, full of emotion and awesome to read
Thanks for the review FishWings. I'm happy you enjoyed the story. and yes, the editor took off the "flashback" prior to which was a great idea. thanks for taking the time to read Then Came You, but most importantly thanks for taking the time to leave a review.

 

Kim :)

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