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    Parker Owens
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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.

A to Z - 49. Chapter 49 Trust

Trust

No special warnings for this chapter.

Questions and issues raised in this chapter or any other chapter can be discussed at the A to Z story thread here: http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/topic/40860-a-to-z/

Mom let us take her car into school early on Monday for your swim lesson. You were probably more nervous than I was, but not by much. The idea that something about getting in the pool with me might make you want to run and hide was pretty unsettling. And I’d seen you run. Kaz could beat any of us at a distance run, but I swear you’d win any sprint.

And then, what would happen if I pissed you off trying to teach you swimming? If I did something to ruin what you felt for me? So I was kind of scared, too. Okay, more than kind of scared.

We got to the dark school parking lot early. I parked and shut off the car. Coach wasn’t there yet – his little Suzuki was missing from its usual spot - so we sat and waited for Coach to show up. Both of us fidgeted.

“Thanks for doing this, Zander,” I heard you say into the darkness.

“I wanted to do this. It’ll be fun,” I said, trying to convince myself that this wasn’t a horrible mistake.

We were momentarily blinded by the headlights of a car entering the parking lot. Coach had arrived. He greeted us after we scrambled out of the Toyota.

“Morning, Zander,” he smiled in our direction as we walked toward the athletic entrance of the school building. “Why don't you introduce me to your friend?”

“Hey, Coach. Andy, meet Coach Simpson. Coach, this is my friend, Andy.”

You stuck out your hand, and Coach shook it. “Pleased to meet you, Andy. You’ve got one hell of a teacher. I won’t ask what deal you pulled to get him out of bed so early in the morning, but you’re pretty lucky.”

I didn’t think you saw me blushing.

“Zander, you know pretty much what to teach; you’re aiming for level two or three,” Coach said as he unlocked the door. “I’ll come out and check on you two from time to time, but I’m going to be in my office for the most part. Is that okay with you?” It wasn’t clear whether he said all this for your benefit, or mine, but I nodded.

You shut yourself up in a shower stall to change as soon as we got into the locker room. I was used to changing quickly and had it down to a science. I looked at you as you came out, towel strategically draped over your shoulder and down your back, arms folded protectively across your front. My heart went out to you; you were the epitome of scared and uncomfortable. But you were also lovely. I grinned involuntarily when I remembered how you took off your shirt for me. But then I swallowed hard, because I remembered how much you were trusting me, too. The board shorts I gave you were kind of big on your wiry frame, but knew they’d be all right for our time together.

The lights in the pool area were on for us, and I welcomed the familiar moist warmth into my lungs as we entered through locker room door. I put my towel down on a bench by the wall and walked over to the shallow end where the water was three and a half feet deep. We’d start there. You hung back but followed me over to where I stood when I motioned you over.

“So, you ready?” I asked cheerfully.

Big sigh from you.“Okay.”

Without thinking, I hopped down into the water. Miraculously, it was warm – at some morning practices, the pool felt icy. You stood there, looking down at me from the deck.

“Come on in, the water’s warm,” I tried, encouragingly.

You sat, deliberately. Your legs and feet dangled in the water. I watched, resisting the urge to reach out and tug you into the pool with me. Then suddenly, you scrunched up your face, held your nose and pushed yourself off the deck and into the pool.

You stood there, the water up to your waist, holding your arms out and away from your body for the first time, looking uncertain. And beautiful. Muscles with real definition, but not overly ripped. Is that what farm work did to you? Wiry, taut. Thin. Still too thin, though Mom was working on that.

“Quick, come on out a little deeper with me,” I prompted. You followed warily. “Now, duck down so that the water comes up to your neck, like this.” I demonstrated, and you copied my movements. “When you do that, the water reflects the light back and pretty much obscures the view of your lower body under the water,” I explained. “If Coach comes to see how we’re doing, he really won’t see much.”

You seemed to relax a little at that.

“Great. Now we’re going to work on floating,” I began. For the next forty minutes, I tried to teach you as much as I could about floating on your back, on your stomach, and about getting comfortable in the water. It was a fantastic opportunity to touch you, supporting you while you learned to trust your own body to float. So my clever plan was born of ulterior motives. I admit it, and I loved every moment.

You got so absorbed in trying to float on your own that you didn’t even notice Coach stroll in to watch us for a few minutes. When our time was up, I had you floating and sculling a little with your hands. This was great progress.

And then, in the locker room, we heard Kaz in the shower. He’d had to go running without us. For an instant, you froze, alarmed. Then, at your usual shower stall, you turned and kissed me, quick and hard. “Thanks, Zander,” you whispered, barely audible above the noise of running water. “I love you.” I flushed, and my body burned. And then you disappeared into the stall, and started up your shower.

March 9

When I got home Tuesday, there was something waiting for me. Mr. Stevenson was home early and Monica was grinning from ear to ear.

“There was some important mail for you today, Andy,” Mr. Stevenson said quietly.

I looked puzzled. “For me?”

He nodded and handed me a very official looking envelope. It was actually addressed to ‘Mr. Garrett Stevenson, Esq.’ It had been opened already. There were two items inside. The first was a letter which didn’t make a great deal of sense until I landed on the paragraph which stated:

“Comparison of the data provided and our records indicates a match between finger and foot prints of Andrew Stevenson and Stefan Anders Ericsson. It can be concluded that these persons are one and the same. Accordingly, your request for official birth documents for Stefan Anders Ericsson may be granted. Please find official, notarized copies enclosed with this letter.”

I looked at the other paper. It was my birth certificate. I was me. Officially. Somehow, that felt liberating, even though it legally made me Stefan Ericsson, not a Stevenson at all. But it meant that I had a real identity, like every other normal person. Normal. Me, normal? Hard to think about that. But then I thought of something else.

“Mr. Stevenson?” I asked, looking up at his smiling face. “Does this mean we can go see Judge Harrison about changing my name now?”

“That it does, Andy. I hope you don’t mind, but as soon as I got this in my hand, I made an appointment to see the Judge. Thursday all right with you?”

Yeah. That meant another meeting with the judge –which happened today. As it happened, it went really quickly, and almost painlessly. Of course, it meant missing a weight room or running session with Kaz – poor guy must be feeling lonely lately. But getting my name changed was most important to me.

This afternoon, Judge Harrison was supposed to be in his office in the county court building. The room was dark and wood paneled; framed diplomas and pictures of the smiling judge decorated the walls. Piles of folders and files were stacked on his desk and on the floor next to his desk. At least the chairs were cleared, and Mr. Stevenson and I could sit. The judge himself was missing. I glanced around nervously.

“Don’t worry,” Mr. Stevenson assured me, “Judge Harrison is just running a little late. That happens as the afternoon wears on.”

A few moments later, a door behind the desk opened, and Judge Harrison bustled in and plopped himself in his chair. Somehow, this wasn’t the precise, tidy, white-haired gentleman I’d met the first time. This time, he looked very old and tired.

“So, Garrett, Andrew,” he said nodding at us, “to what do I owe the pleasure of your company?”

“Your honor, we’re here to petition for…” began Mr. Stevenson, but the Judge cut him off testily.

“Oh, cut the crap, Garrett. Sorry, I’m tired.”

I was taken aback by Judge Harrison’s tone, but Mr. Stevenson continued smoothly, without missing a beat. “Andrew wants to change his name. I’ve got the forms and the documents required, right here.” He handed them over.

Judge Harrison looked them over, nodded, once or twice, then put the papers down. He fixed me with a keen stare. “Do you affirm that you are, in fact, Stefan Anders Ericsson, the person named in these documents?”

“Yessir. I do,” I got out.

“And is it your stated wish to change your name?”

“Yes. Yes it is. Sir,” I replied, nervous.

The Judge returned to the papers in front of him. “I see you haven’t written in the new name you want to choose. Is that because you changed your mind?”

“No, sir. I want my name to be Andrew Stevenson. Andrew E. Stevenson.” I’d thought about this. I knew exactly what I wanted. I watched the Judge fill in the spaces on the form with a fountain pen.

“What does the middle initial ‘E.’ stand for?” he asked.

“Eustace. E is for Eustace,” I told him. Mr. Stevenson looked at me oddly.

“Eustace?” he asked, surprised.

Judge Harrison didn’t bat an eye, however, and filled the name in. “Very well, Andrew Eustace Stevenson, you are now officially changed. You have a new name. Congratulations. The court clerk will file my copies, and these are yours,” he said, handing me a set of original documents, along with my birth records. “You will need to file a request for an amended birth certificate, noting the change of name. You can do that at the courthouse, tomorrow, unless your lawyer friend here is going to do it for you.” For the first time in our brief visit, the Judge smiled.

"By the way, young man, I heard something from Carlsberg."

Suddenly, I was all attention.

"Seems my contact there was on vacation," Judge Harrison went on, "so that's why we haven't heard anything. Could be we'll have some news next week."

That sounded ominous. I nodded. "Thank you, sir."

But even this news couldn't darken my spirits too much. Part of my sorry past was gone. Just like that, impossible became accomplished fact. Somehow, I felt just a little lighter walking out of the courthouse. My Ericsson name, and its baggage, were all going to be history. And all because I fell in love with Zander.

Now that Zander and I are together, I've started to worry about how Zander relates to his friends. It’s not Kaz and Terry I worry about. They’re great; they greeted my news about my upcoming permanent name change to Stevenson with joy and congratulations. They know about us, and about me. But his bigger circle of friends – people he used to hang out with a year ago – his teammates and so on – he doesn’t seem to talk so much with them.

His old girlfriend, Alyssa, sometimes sits at our lunch table and flirts with Zander good-naturedly, but she somehow knows his attention is someplace else. The guys from running and swimming and track sometimes join us, or catch Zander in the hallway between classes. I’ve even talked with some of them myself. They talk about parties or social events, but Zander never makes anything more than polite noises about them. I wonder if I’m holding him back, somehow. But then I think about my own life. Even a year ago, I had no friends and nobody I could talk to. How the world has changed.

Add swimming to the long list of things that are possible with Zander. Hell, swimming with Zander rates as a fantastic experience, which I wouldn’t have guessed even a few weeks ago. The way he knows what to do, and the way he always encourages – never criticizes – that makes him a great teacher.

I know that Coach Simpson has been in to watch us a couple of times, but I hardly noticed. My attention has been focused on Zander.

Zander has had me working on getting comfortable under water, holding my breath, floating, gliding, and something he calls “sculling.” This morning, he had me use this foam board, so I could practice kicking. He really made me work, and he got me to kick my way across the pool faster and faster each time. Kaz would have been proud.

The fact that I’m alone in the pool, getting touched and handled by the hottest boy on the face of the planet makes getting up early all worthwhile. I’m getting used to him seeing my body, touching me in the pool – and in bed. The truth is that I really yearn for Zander’s touch, that I feel somehow incomplete when I’m not close to him. I don’t think I can sleep without being snuggled up against him.

I’m going to have to manage it, though, because Zander is going off to the big state invitational meet this weekend. He goes with the coach and a couple of his teammates on Friday night. Tomorrow. The event is at the swimming complex at one of the state universities in the eastern part of the state. Zander says they’ll meet up with a bigger group from our region that will ride a bus together. Monica and Garrett won’t be going – it’s just too long a trip, and too big an event. Ironically, Zander won’t be very far from Carlsberg. At least he won’t have to meet that kid – James fucking Ackerman – from my old school. He’s a football player, not a swimmer. I thought about that this during Art class. I suppose I should have thanked James F. Ackerman. Without him getting me in such trouble with Dad, I wouldn’t be here now.

Is that the way to look at things? To say that the bad stuff was really good because everything seems to have turned out okay? I talked about that with Dr. O’Shea this afternoon. I saw a flicker of concern cross her face before she turned on her impassive professional mask when I asked her about that.

“What do you think?” she asked. “Do you think what was done to you was a good thing? Did these things make you feel happy?”

I shook my head. “No, but if they didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be here. And I’m happier here than I’ve been since I can remember.”

“But what do you think about what happened? About what your uncle did, or about what you father did? Were they good? Would you have chosen them?”

Questions. Always questions. Of course I wouldn’t have chosen to be raped in my own bed. To be beaten regularly for eight years. To be forced to flee, alone and hungry. Nobody would choose that.

“No. I wouldn’t have chosen them. Dad and Uncle Ray were evil,” I said with some conviction. “But if the evil leads to something good, don’t I have to accept that?”

“Is there a difference between accepting and being happy about it?” she countered. God, the woman never let up. On the other hand, it’s worth thinking about. I pondered her question for a time, and there was silence between us again.

“Accepting means that I have to agree these things happened. Accepting means I can’t pretend they didn’t,” I said slowly. “Accepting doesn’t mean I have to like what happened.”

“And did those evil things which you accept cause the good things to happen?” she volleyed right back.

I shook my head, as much to clear it as to disagree. Dad’s beatings didn’t directly land me here in Blackburn. Uncle Ray forcing himself on me didn’t make me try school again. And James fucking Ackerman didn’t make me go running with Kaz or get a smile out of Zander. “There’s no cause and effect there,” I said.

Dr. O’Shea actually smiled at that. She let me go soon after. I might be ready to talk about everything with Zander now. Tonight.

It was our habit to stretch out on the bed after supper to do homework, or watch a movie, or something. That night, it was easy to tell you had something on your mind. I slogged through the assignments I had written down, but every time I glanced your way, you were watching me. You waited until I closed my math textbook before getting up and closing the door. Then you dropped your biggest bombshell yet.

Even though I’d read the first part of your journal, I knew I didn’t know everything. There was the truck driver. And the whole movie night disaster that almost got you murdered. These made me heartsick. But when you first told me about your Uncle Ray, and what he’d done to you, I got physically ill. My stomach heaved. Supper just about came back up, but a quick dash to the bathroom saved me somehow from losing it. Suddenly, it was so much clearer why your physical boundaries were so tough to penetrate. It wasn’t just the beatings and the whippings that made you afraid and confused. It was what that man had done to you.

“Zander, are you all right?” You stood at the bathroom door, peering in at me as I propped myself up at the sink, breathing hard.

“I’m fine, just shocked,” I croaked, slowly feeling better. What had they done to you? What further revelations would there be?

“I’m sorry,” you went on. “I had to tell you. But…I’ll understand if…” and here your voice nearly broke, “…if you don’t want to be with me anymore.”

I pushed myself up and turned to you. Your face was a mask of anxiety and unhappiness. In a split second, I had you in my arms again, hugging you fiercely to me, rocking us from side to side. “Stop it. Stop it, Andy. You think I’d give up on you like that? You think that?”

Your voice was low and choked with emotion. You shook your head; “I…I just have trouble believing, sometimes, Zander. When I feel so dirty and damaged, it’s hard to believe anybody would want me.” You paused a moment, then continued: “But with you, with you, I feel like it’s possible to be alive. Like I could be okay again.”

We stood there, embracing for a long time. You needed to know that, no matter what, I wasn’t letting you go. That we’d be okay. Both of us, together.

(undated postscript)

I told Zander last night about Uncle Ray. At first, he scrambled away from me, off the bed. I thought he was bolting, running away, but no – he told me that it made his stomach heave to hear what I’d been through. And we wound up standing there, in my bedroom, holding each other.

Slowly, as if we were dancing, we moved toward my bed, never releasing our hold on each other. Carefully, gently, Zander moved me back onto the mattress, bending over me as I lay back. His lips found mine, and he kissed me, tenderly. I moved back onto the bed, and Zander followed, his mouth on mine. He hovered there, over me, only our lips touching, sharing the kisses that spoke of love, of life, of healing. But I wanted more. I wanted to be entirely Zander’s.

I pulled him to me, deepening our kiss, my hands around his back. My legs just naturally spread a little so Zander could nestle between them. I was deliciously pressed back against the pillows. I ran my fingers through the short stubble of the hairs on his neck, then tracing his spine through his t-shirt. When I got to the hem, I couldn’t help myself. I started pulling it up, so I could get at his perfect skin underneath. Zander let go of me just long enough to wrestle out of it, and then we were connected again. His skin felt so smooth and flawless under my hands. Zander pushed himself up a little, so that he could get at my shirt buttons, but our kiss didn’t break. And then he was on me again, flesh on flesh, heat on heat. I felt Zander grind his hips down on me. I groaned into him.

Suddenly, the kissing stopped, and I blinked to find Zander’s eyes, worried, fixed on me. “Shit, I’m sorry Andy. I can’t believe I just did that, right after you told me…"

I stopped him from talking anymore by reaching up and tugging us together again. And then, very deliberately, I thrust my hips back up into Zander. He loved me, and he so obviously wanted me, despite everything he knew about me. I wasn’t going to question it right then. Zander hummed appreciatively and pressed himself back, creating a delicious friction in my jeans.

His lips left mine, and he started kissing my face, my jawline, down my neck. I experienced a jolt when he found a spot on the base of my neck where it joins my shoulder and collarbone. Very gently, Zander worried that spot with his teeth and lips and tongue. I swear, that place must be wired directly to my groin. I cried out a little and arched up into him, it felt so good. I craned my head back to give him better access. I felt my legs wrap themselves around Zander’s thighs, holding him close, grinding myself into him. I was lost in a blissful fog of pleasure.

Suddenly, there was a sharp rap on Zander’s bedroom door, audible through the adjoining bathroom. We froze, hearts beating wildly, breath quick.

“Boys?” Monica called out.

This wasn't a moment I wanted Monica to witness.

“Shit,” hissed Zander, and he scrambled off of me, grabbing his shirt and heading for the bathroom.

There were footsteps in the hall. I tried to get one or two of my buttons done up again. I might have succeeded when the sharp knocking came again.

“Boys?” she repeated, perhaps more determinedly.

I turned onto my side, facing away from the door. “Come in,” I called back, trying hard to sound normal. Perhaps she wouldn’t see my open shirt or my raging hard on that way. I pretended to look at a book.

The door opened, and Monica peered in.

“Where’s Zander?” she inquired.

I turned my head and motioned with it toward the other door. “In the bathroom.”

“Oh,” she said, nodding. At that moment, I heard the toilet flush and Zander appeared in the other doorway. With his t-shirt on, thank God.

“Sorry, Mom, I heard you, but…” he smiled sheepishly.

“That’s fine,” she finished for him. “Tomorrow’s a big day for Zander,” she said, addressing both of us. “I think it would be good for both of you to get to bed early. Like, now,” she added for emphasis.

“All right, Mom,” Zander agreed. I sighed. It was true. Friday would be a long, long day for Zander. We still had early morning swim lessons. Then he’d leave school at noon with Coach Simpson and two other teammates, travel almost all the way across the state, check into a hotel, and start his statewide competition – all tomorrow. I closed the book that I hadn’t been reading, as a signal that I’d gotten the message.

But Monica wasn’t done. “And boys,” she continued, “I think we agreed that studying was to be done with the door open, didn’t we?”

Both of us nodded in unison.

“And I think it would be a smart thing if you two slept in separate beds tonight,” she finished with a tiniest hint of a smirk on her face. What did she know? How could she have known it? But neither of us nodded in agreement. She pointedly left the door wide open when she moved on down the hall to her own room.

“That was close,” Zander whispered at me, returning to the bed, and planting a small kiss on my lips.

“But she has a point,” I said, returning it. “You need your rest for tomorrow and the whole weekend.”

“Yeah, well, we can go to bed, and we can even sleep,” Zander murmured as he kissed me again. The door was open and his parents could see in if they walked by. He didn't mind. For that matter, I’m not sure I did, either. “But I’m not giving you up tonight. I sleep better with you than without you.”

I actually giggled a little.

"I'm sorry. Really. I got kind of carried away, and I shouldn't have started anything," Zander said, more seriously. "I'm not trying to…"

I didn't know how to tell Zander that it's different with him. That he makes me feel whole, not broken. But maybe right then wasn't the time to get into a deep psychological discussion.

"It's okay," I said, cutting him off. "I was just as carried away as you. But maybe we should sleep now."

We readied ourselves for bed, and while we brushed our teeth, we agreed to use Zander’s room for sleep. I dressed for bed in my oldest t-shirt and shorts, then passed on through to Zander’s room. When I slid under the covers, I asked, “Can we trade tonight?”

Zander looked puzzled.

“You always spoon behind me. Can I be the one holding you tonight?”

After a moment’s hesitation, Zander said, “Sure.” He turned over, presenting his back to me. In a few seconds, I had him in my arms, cuddled up to him. I gently inhaled his scent, and kissed his neck. My hands slowly caressed his chest. Zander snuggled back into me, pressing his butt against my hardening semi.

“Hey, you realize we won’t get much sleep this way,” he whispered.

“Yeah. Sorry,” I replied, easing off a little.

He tugged on my arms to pull me closer again. “Don’t be sorry. I can see why you like this. I could get used to this myself.”

I smiled against his neck. I was already addicted to him.

Craftingmom was the editor for this and every chapter. Her assistance and deep abiding patience with my grammar were invaluable. I am most grateful.

Please leave a review. I value your comments and reflections, no matter what they may be.

Copyright © 2016 Parker Owens; 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

Loved it as usual. It's really good to see Andy becoming so open, not only to Zander but to Dr.O'shea as well. I hope hearing from Carlsberg isn't going to throw a wrench into things, but Andy does seem to be doing better at resisting the urge to flee!

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Andy is getting so brave! Swimming, telling Zander about his past and then daring to get physical to how his love. Coming a long way and all because he knows people will catch him if he falls. Not only Zander, but Garret and Monica. Terry and Kaz. He's got his little village now.

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On 01/16/2016 06:37 AM, Puppilull said:

Andy is getting so brave! Swimming, telling Zander about his past and then daring to get physical to how his love. Coming a long way and all because he knows people will catch him if he falls. Not only Zander, but Garret and Monica. Terry and Kaz. He's got his little village now.

Thanks for your thoughtful review. Slowly, subtly, Andy is getting more sure of himself. His confidence is growing, and his sharing the truth about Uncle Ray with Zander shows this. And getting bolder about showing physical love with Zander is another facet, too. He is really fortunate to have been welcomed by such a great family.

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On 01/16/2016 04:03 AM, Kjamieson said:

Loved it as usual. It's really good to see Andy becoming so open, not only to Zander but to Dr.O'shea as well. I hope hearing from Carlsberg isn't going to throw a wrench into things, but Andy does seem to be doing better at resisting the urge to flee!

I am so glad you liked this chapter. The best hope is that Judge Harrison hears nothing back from Carlsberg, so that Andy can continue growing into himself. That he could trust Zander with the truth about Uncle Ray was surely an enormous step forward. Thanks for reading so far into the story!

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Thank you for another wonderful chapter Parker!

 

I enjoyed the quiet tone greatly. Andy deserves a little break. Zander's POV was interesting. He seems to have gained a real understanding of his boyfriend, even if he still lacks some important details. It was very sweet how he gently advised Andy to lower himself in the water should the coach approach them.

 

Andy continues to impress me as he pushes through the barriers in his own psyche. He seems to be gaining some genuine self confidence: not being distracted by the coach's presence at the pool, telling Zander about Ray, asserting himself sexually. My favorite example of his growing confconfidence was his response to Monica's untimely interruption and mommy-ness. He was not cowed; his reactions were fairly well ... normal.

 

Now that it's official, I suppose congratulations are in order: congratulations Andrew Eustace Stevenson.

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On 01/16/2016 07:56 AM, said:

Thank you for another wonderful chapter Parker!

 

I enjoyed the quiet tone greatly. Andy deserves a little break. Zander's POV was interesting. He seems to have gained a real understanding of his boyfriend, even if he still lacks some important details. It was very sweet how he gently advised Andy to lower himself in the water should the coach approach them.

 

Andy continues to impress me as he pushes through the barriers in his own psyche. He seems to be gaining some genuine self confidence: not being distracted by the coach's presence at the pool, telling Zander about Ray, asserting himself sexually. My favorite example of his growing confconfidence was his response to Monica's untimely interruption and mommy-ness. He was not cowed; his reactions were fairly well ... normal.

 

Now that it's official, I suppose congratulations are in order: congratulations Andrew Eustace Stevenson.

Thanks for your thoughts and insights. Yes, it's official, Andrew Eustace Stevenson. It just seemed right. That Andy could trust Zander with swimming was a milestone; that he trusted Zander with Uncle Ray was huge; that he could allow himself to let go physically with Zander was almost as big. No teen likes being interrupted by a parent at such a moment, I suppose. Thanks so much for reading with Andy!

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I love his choice of middle name. :) I wonder if he'll ever return to the farm and tell Eustace about his past? Another lovely chapter. :)

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The neatest part was when they each decided to sleep together anyway, despite Monica, and with the door open. A little show of understanding between them of what's between them.
In the same paragraph, Zander admitted he slept better with Andy than without. A subtle reversal of realizations from a few chapters ago. Nicely done Parker!

 

It'll be interesting to see the dynamics between these two going forward!

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Another great chapter Parker!! It was nice to see Andy pay tribute to Eustice by adding his name to his own. He is making great progress in the trust department as well.

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Oh Andy, I am so proud of your progress. Yes it's in small stages but it's impressive considering all he went through. Zander in his own right, is showing amazing growth and maturity as well, though we see a bit of his vulnerability. They're each learning about themselves in some form, from each other. The trust is there and it's growing.. I love that they slept together anyway, because they can't do it any other way.. I bet that bathroom run didn't fool Zander's mom either.. Lol.
Also love that Andy added Eustace as his middle name. That was great.

 

Lovely chapter Parker, Thank you..

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On 01/16/2016 09:36 AM, Valkyrie said:

I love his choice of middle name. :) I wonder if he'll ever return to the farm and tell Eustace about his past? Another lovely chapter. :)

Andy must still have good thoughts about the old man - he remembers some of his time there happily. Name changes don't always make the news, but this one was important. I am so glad you liked this chapter. Thanks for reading and for your review!

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On 01/16/2016 09:52 AM, skinnydragon said:

The neatest part was when they each decided to sleep together anyway, despite Monica, and with the door open. A little show of understanding between them of what's between them.

In the same paragraph, Zander admitted he slept better with Andy than without. A subtle reversal of realizations from a few chapters ago. Nicely done Parker!

 

It'll be interesting to see the dynamics between these two going forward!

The boys have come to understand that the other is the most important person in their lives right now. How wonderful for Andy to have such a person. The interplay between Zander and Andy is both fun to watch and hard to write - one wants to include everything sometimes, and the reader can easily find it tedious. I'm glad this chapter gave you that snapshot while still retaining your interest. Thanks for your thoughtful reading and reviewing.

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On 01/16/2016 10:27 AM, slapshot said:

Another great chapter Parker!! It was nice to see Andy pay tribute to Eustice by adding his name to his own. He is making great progress in the trust department as well.

Yes, Andy is making progress trusting and in speaking the truth about himself. And he still remembers the farm as a place where had been happy. As you say, a great tribute. Thanks for reading with Andy, and for your review.

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On 01/16/2016 03:14 PM, Defiance19 said:

Oh Andy, I am so proud of your progress. Yes it's in small stages but it's impressive considering all he went through. Zander in his own right, is showing amazing growth and maturity as well, though we see a bit of his vulnerability. They're each learning about themselves in some form, from each other. The trust is there and it's growing.. I love that they slept together anyway, because they can't do it any other way.. I bet that bathroom run didn't fool Zander's mom either.. Lol.

Also love that Andy added Eustace as his middle name. That was great.

 

Lovely chapter Parker, Thank you..

I grinned when you addressed Andy directly in your review. In this chapter, he seems to be particularly vivid, especially real to me. Zander and Andy are clearly attached to one another, and it was fun writing about their developing love and interplay. Wonder what Monica thought she interrupted? I liked the new middle name, too. Thanks for your kind review, and for your thoughtful reading.

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The first time people hear your horrors, it takes a moment to realize it's not you causing that reaction. ... nice to watch Andy becoming...

 

Great chapter, Parker

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On 01/20/2016 12:39 AM, Mikiesboy said:

The first time people hear your horrors, it takes a moment to realize it's not you causing that reaction. ... nice to watch Andy becoming...

 

Great chapter, Parker

Yeah, that's exactly how it wanted it to feel. I've had to listen - to be in Zander's place - and it is sometimes very hard not to react. Poor Zander got a little ambushed; but he recovered well. And yes, it is wonderful to be able to write about Andy growing into himself. Thanks, Tim for your encouragement and support. Thanks for reading!

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Love Andy's new name. Andy has finally managed to open up and tell Zander everything. We saw how shocked Zander was, when he felt physically sick. Andy and Zander are good for each other.

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4 hours ago, chris191070 said:

Love Andy's new name. Andy has finally managed to open up and tell Zander everything. We saw how shocked Zander was, when he felt physically sick. Andy and Zander are good for each other.

I'm glad you liked Andy's new name. And now that it's official, he can cast off some of his old baggage. At least that what he can hope. Zander and Andy are indeed very, very good together. It will be hard for him to be gone, even if it's only for a little while.

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