In the library, actually doing homework during study hall on Thursday, Cameron looked up and smiled seeing Cole sitting down across from him. God he's sexy, he thought as he filled with the warmth that always consumed him when he was in Cole's presence.
Cole looked at him, his big green eyes very serious. "I heard about your dad. How's he doing?"
Cameron shrugged not wanting to think about it, something he had been trying to do for two days since he'd seen his father in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. "They don't really know anything yet."
Cole looked down at his hands and nodded, sensing Cameron didn't want to talk about it. Something he understood all too well. "I think I changed my mind about the color."
"Of the house."
"OH," Cameron nodded understanding hitting him. "What color you thinking now?"
"Well I was thinking a kinda medium color green. Not real dark but dark enough so it covers the gray good."
Able to picture that, and picture it looking nice Cameron nodded. "Well we'll just have to take the paint back we got then we can start soon as we get back to your house."
Cole grinned. "I already did that."
"So you were beyond the thinking point?" Cameron asked grinning himself.
Chuckling he nodded. "Yeah I was trying to break it to you gently. I didn't want you to feel bad. Cause I know we agreed on the last color."
Thinking that was about the sweetest thing ever, Cameron smiled at him. "I don't feel bad. It's your house. You're the one that has to live there." God he just wanted to hug him!
"How's life going with Mr. Harris?"
Cameron shrugged again. He didn't really want to complain about the man that was taking him in but felt the need to get a few things off his chest and since Cole asked…"I don't know. I feel kinda like I've lost control of my own life. Like I haven't got a say in anything anymore. It seems like the only things I ever say to that man are ‘yes sir.' It's starting to make me a little sick."
"Yeah he sure is a bossy guy. I don't think I could handle living with him."
"He's not all bad." Cameron added starting to feel guilty. "I'm just not used to it I guess."
Cole looked confused. "Used to it?"
"Someone telling me what to do."
"Oh, wasn't your father strict?"
Cameron shook his head. "No, he just left me alone."
"Really? I figured he was since he kicked you out in all."
Uncomfortable with the conversation Cameron fidgeted in his chair scratching at an imaginary itch on his leg. "No, I lived my life he lived his. I got kicked out because my life was interfering with his too much." His eyes widened as he said that, he hadn't realized he had come to that conclusion, but apparently he had since now it was out it made perfect sense to him.
"So his fathering skills left little to be desired?"
Cameron looked at him and half smiled. "Yeah, I guess you could say that." He watched the other boy nod hoping the conversation would end there.
"You want to spend the night Friday night?"
SHIT do I ever!! He knew Mr. Harris too well though. "I don't think I'm going to be allowed to do that."
"Geez man, it's been two weeks how in hell long you grounded for?"
"I think until I'm eighteen." Cameron laughed a bitter laugh. He looked at Cole his heart melting at the pouty look on his face.
"Can you ask though? Maybe that stick fell out of his butt."
Cameron nodded he wanted to spend the night sooo bad he would definitely ask. "Just don't get your hopes up." He said aloud something he kept on repeating to himself.
Mr. Harris was barely in the door that evening when Cameron walked up to him. "Can I ask you a question sir?" He asked as the man kicked off his shoes.
"It's not Saturday night Cameron."
"I know sir, but what I have to ask you takes place before Saturday so I need to ask you now." He didn't miss the annoyed look on the man's face as he nodded and led him down the hall. Cameron followed begrudgingly, hating that a simple question had to be made into an official affair.
Once they were both seated in the official chairs in the man's office Cameron started to chicken out.
"Well?" Mr. Harris prodded his voice portraying he had very little patience making him even more scared, sure the man was so annoyed now he would never get a yes in answer to his question.
Knowing silence would only piss Ken Harris off more Cameron took a deep breath and spit it out. "Am I still grounded?"
Ken's eyes narrowed as he looked over the boy. "Why?"
Wringing his hands together he answered. "I want to spend the night at Cole's on Friday….so we can get an earlier start." Yeah that may help a little.
"I highly doubt if you spent the night you'd start any earlier then seven like last week. And yes, you are still grounded so you can't spend the night."
Before he could even say another word Mr. Harris stood up and walked out of the office leaving Cameron sitting there, a little stunned, a little sad, and definitely a little pissed. He wanted to chase after the asshole and give him a piece of his mind for passing him off so quickly. For just thinking he was all knowing in his opinion of them starting early. Where in hell did he get off thinking he knew everything?
He felt like he was five years old for Christ's sake. Did he really have to ask permission to go to a friend's house? He didn't see Kyle asking for permission for every little thing. Of course Kyle was their real kid. They loved Kyle. They didn't love him. They were only putting up with him cause they knew he didn't have any other place else to go.
Not the mention the fact that Kyle was nothing less then an angel. That he wouldn't know how to do anything wrong even if he wanted to. He supposed that could happen if parents actually loved their kids enough to teach them right from wrong.
Cameron had been good though. For two whole weeks, he had done everything that was asked of him. Every chore, every rule, he hadn't had sex, hadn't done drugs, had done his homework. He even got an A on his history test the day before. Mr. Harris knew that too. He had asked Cameron how he did. Then he didn't seem to care at all when Cameron had proudly told him he'd gotten an A. It had made him feel ashamed for thinking it was such a big deal in the first place. Obviously it wasn't.
He jumped as he heard Mr. Harris's voice. "You going to come eat, or sick there and sulk all night?"
He literally had to bite his tongue not to tell the man to f**k off again. He stood up and faced him. "I think I'll go to my room without dinner instead." He said sarcastically. "Perhaps that will teach to ask for such silly things in the future." He felt a tiny bit of satisfaction as Mr. Harris's eyes turned hard yet nothing came out of his mouth. Seeing he wasn't going to get yelled at or anything, he brushed past him and walked up the stairs to his room. He gently closed the door fighting the urge to slam it, and then flopped down on the bed cursing The Harris's, his mother, his father everyone who he felt was responsible for his current living situation.
His week got even worse Friday evening. The night he should have been staying at Cole's. Mr. Harris called him into his office just after dinner. Even though Cameron had no desire to talk to the man he followed along obediently and sat in the chair he was beginning to hate.
"Your stepmother's funeral is tomorrow. We'll all be going."
Cameron's mouth fell open "What?" he asked in total shock.
"It's a matter of respect Cameron; I don't want any argument on this."
"They all hate me. Are you kidding? They're not gonna want me there. They're going to assume I'm being disrespectful because that's just the ass they all think I am."
Mr. Harris waved his hand looking exasperated at Cameron's attitude. "What are you talking about? Who hates you?"
"Her family!" he snapped just as exasperated.
"Why do you say that?"
"Because it's true."
"Why do you think that then?"
Cameron let out a long sigh and sat back a little in the leather chair getting ready to divulge any information that may save him from going to the funeral. "They used to come and visit. Not all at once, except on Holidays, then the whole damn flock showed up."
"I can do without the swearing."
Rolling his eyes Cameron took a deep breath, certainly irritated. "I could tell by the way they looked at me. How they hardly ever talked to me. How they talked about me like I wasn't even there. They called me the ‘boy' they said it like they were talking about some deadly disease or something." He stopped to take another breath a little surprised how fast the words were pouring out. "I overheard them more then once comforting her because she had to put up with me. That it was too bad I was there otherwise she'd have the perfect marriage. How they should just ship me off to military school or something." He gripped the armrests of the chair so hard it hurt. "When they did decide they were going to talk to me, it was to ask me what in hel…. heck my problem was. To give me the third degree about how I could be such a loser."
"I think your being a little over dramatic Cameron." Mr. Harris cut in.
Cameron's thoughts froze on his tongue as anger surged through him. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Here he was pouring his heart out and the jerk off thought he was lying? He made an instant pact with himself never to tell the man anything again. It was more then apparent he didn't care. That he did not even trust him enough to believe what he was saying. He was so distraught over what had just happened he lost all rational thinking and closed himself off. He wasn't going to let the man hurt him again.
"I'm supposed to be at the Parker's tomorrow." He uttered blankly.
"You can go after the funeral. We'll be home by noon."
"Can I call him and tell him I'll be late?" he asked not looking up from the floor.
"Do you have the number?"
Mr. Harris shook his head. "I don't either. You'll just have to explain it when you get there at noon. We can drop you off after the funeral."
Oh how generous. Cameron thought bitterly. Save me a whole one-minute walk. He was too angry and upset to think of asking for a phone book. He stood up figuring the conversation was over.
"We understand each other then?" Mr. Harris asked as Cameron turned to leave the room.
Cameron half turned back but didn't look at the man. "I understand you now sir." Not waiting for any response he turned back around and left the room. He walked up the stairs and into his bedroom the only place he seemed to want to be after each wonderful episode in the man's office. He sat on the edge of his bed, propped his elbows up on his thighs, and buried his face in his hands.
He didn't know what he was more upset about. Having to go to the funeral, or the way Mr. Harris had just dismissed all he had said. He wasn't a whiner, and he certainly was not a drama queen. He never would have said anything at all if he weren't trying to save himself from going, but that didn't mean he made any of it up. Even though he knew everything he had said was true, he still felt like an idiot. Mr. Harris seemed to have a way to always make him feel stupid.
He remembered the day Mr. Harris picked him up from the police station. How elated and happy he had been that he didn't have to go to foster care. He remembered the man's words. ‘There's many ways one can fulfill them-selves. He wondered if Mr. Harris's way was to look down on other people, and make them feel inferior to him; inferior to most people. Cameron certainly didn't feel very fulfilled. He had more self esteem when he lived with his father. His father just ignored him. He didn't pick apart what he did, or call him a liar, he just never talked.
He doubted if he lived in a foster home that he would have had to go see his father, or have to go to the stupid funeral. He had just about made up his mind to find a phonebook and call child welfare himself when someone knocked on his door.
He pulled his head out of his hands and looked at the door. He didn't want to say come in. He expected it to be Mr. Harris and the last thing he wanted to do was invite the man on in. Despite his lack of communication though, the door opened. He was relieved when he saw Kyle, not his father, walk into the room.
"Dad says you're mad."
"Wow isn't he smart." Cameron snapped even more pissed the man obviously reported his behavior to his entire perfect little family.
Kyle walked over and sat down on the end of the bed. "Is it because you don't want to go to the funeral?"
He wiped his hand down his face trying to calm down. The last thing he wanted to do was piss Kyle off. He felt Kyle was the only one in the world that he could count on right then. "Partly."
"What's the other part?"
Cameron shook his head. "It's not important."
Kyle turned to face him, but didn't speak until Cameron looked up at him wondering what all the silence was about. "Obviously it is or you wouldn't be upset."
"Maybe I'm just being dramatic."
"Ohhh," Cameron watched as his friends filled with understanding. "He pulled the old ‘you're just being dramatic' trick on you huh?"
"Yeah he says that to me all the time. It's no big deal Cameron he just likes to say it. Makes him feel in control, or something I guess."
His mind stuck on one part of what Kyle had said he repeated it. "He does it to you all the time?"
"Yeah I think it must come with the cop training."
Cameron nodded, he couldn't believe it, but that one sentence made him feel a lot better. Somehow it was nice to know he wasn't the only one Mr. Harris said that to. That it wasn't him just being singled out to feel stupid. Perhaps the man hadn't meant that at all. Maybe that was just his way of communication; and though Cameron thought it sucked, it still felt good to know that he wasn't just being picked on.
"I tried to talk him out of making you go to that funeral Cameron, I really did."
"Thanks man, I appreciate it."
Kyle nodded feeling bad that his friend still had to go. "I remember stories you told me about that family. But just so's you know I'll be there right by your side all day. You won't be alone with them this time. You'll have me and the whole family with you."
Cameron smiled at him getting just another reminder of why Kyle was such a good friend. He didn't know how the kid could turn out so nice when his father was such a pompous ass. He wasn't about to question it though, he liked Kyle just the way he was.
"You aren't going to leave are you?"
Still looking at him Cameron smiled a little wider. "Well I was thinking about it. But I think I've calmed down now. And I do like living with you so I guess I can put up with your dad."
Kyle leaned over and gave him a quick hug. "Good cause I like living with you too." He let go of him then stood up. "My dad's not really a total jerk. He just comes across that way sometimes. He does really care about you, and he wants you to be happy."
Cameron looked up at him nodded though he didn't really believe it.
He got up at seven the next morning and went directly to the bathroom. He had to piss like a racehorse, since he hadn't dared leave his room again the night before to go before he fell asleep. Once he'd relieved himself he returned to his room just long enough to pick out some clothes.
He had never been to a funeral but knew enough about them that black was the proper color to wear. He really didn't care about having correct etiquette he just didn't want to stand out anymore then he possibly had to. Though he knew just by being there, he would stand out plenty to his step mother's loved ones.
Once he had picked out a pair of black pants and a dark green button up shirt he returned to the bathroom and took a long hot shower. Letting the hot water wash over him hoping it would wash some of the tension and worry down the drain.
He spent an extra five minutes in the shower, but even with the extra five minutes he still felt like crap when he got out. He thought of just pretending to be real sick, but he had a good idea Mr. Harris wouldn't believe him even if he was throwing up all over the place.
He pulled on his clothes and wiped the steam off the mirror. He sighed at his reflection. His dark hair stuck up in disarray from his quick towel dry. He hated his eyes; he wished they were half as beautiful as Cole's brilliant green eyes. His were grayish and not one bit brilliant at all. They had no shine to them, not like Cole's did.
He ran a comb through his hair so it wasn't quite such a mess. He could really use a hair cut. He wondered how he would be able to get one only being allowed to keep a twenty dollar a week allowance, and not wanting to ask the Harris's if they would let him get one.
After leaving the bathroom he went to the top of the stairs and took a deep breath. He didn't want to face Mr. Harris. He knew the man would be sitting at the dining room table and reading his precious paper, which meant there was no avoiding him. But he had to show he was up and ready. Had to show what a responsible young man he was. He rolled his eyes at his own thoughts as he took off down over the stairs walking a bit slower then usual.
Like every other Saturday morning that he had been there, Mr. Harris was at the table, his face behind the paper, while Mrs. Harris was at the stove cooking a hearty breakfast for her family. He walked into the room trying to make as little sound as possible; trying to delay the inevitable. It wasn't until he sat down in the chair that had been dubbed as his that he was noticed.
"Morning hon," Mrs. Harris said cheerfully from the stove. "Omelets this morning, what do you want in yours?"
Cameron looked wearily over at the paper Mr. Harris was hiding behind then back at Mrs. Harris. "Uh cheese and onion please." He said nervously watching the paper out of the corner of his eyes hoping it wouldn't lower and the man's beady little eyes would start staring over at him.
The ten minutes he sat there waiting for his breakfast were very tense. Mr. Harris never said a word to him, but the not knowing, and the dreading nearly made Cameron break into a sweat. He wasn't ready to talk to the man, and he certainly did not want the man talking to him. Honestly he thought he would never be ready to talk to the man again. He always walked away feeling stupid; and despite what Kyle had said the night before, he got the feeling that Mr. Harris enjoyed making people feel that way. He was not going to add to the man's joy anymore, that he was sure of.
After he finished eating he rinsed off his plate, put it in the dishwasher, and then headed up the stairs to brush his teeth. He then went to his room and sat on his bed for about forty five minutes dreading the morning to come and picturing himself at Cole's that afternoon, the morning already over. He sat there until Kyle poked his head in the room. "We're going now. You ready?"
Cameron nodded and shakily stood up. "Ready as I'll ever be." He followed his friend down the stairs to where the rest of the Harris family was waiting.
Mr. Harris looked at up at him immediately like it was the first time they had been in the same room that morning. His stomach clenched as the man's eyes narrowed. "Don't you have a tie son?"
Looking at Kyle then back to Mr. Harris and seeing they both had ties on he shook his head. He saw the father look to his son. "Get him a tie."
Kyle took Cameron by the elbow and led him back up the stairs and into his room. Cameron stood near the bed biting his tongue so he wouldn't go spouting off, while Kyle went through one of his bureau drawers.
A minute later Kyle turned back around with a simple black tie in his hand and handed it off to Cameron who looked down at it. "I don't know how to tie a tie Kyle." He admitted feeling pretty dumb.
"Oh sorry." Kyle said as walked up to him and within seconds Cameron had a perfectly tied tie around his neck, and they were headed back down the stairs.
At ten minutes to nine the clan pulled into a small churches parking lot. Though the church was small, its good-sized parking lot was full and Cameron wondered idly how so many people would fit inside. As they got out of the car he had to smile at Mrs. Harris as she made sure everyone's tie was straight, and her daughter's dress was just perfectly hanging around her. She acted almost like the event was a place to showcase her family; she had always been like that as long as he had known her though. Everything always had to be just so.
They all walked together to the church, Cameron was a bit amazed despite his churning stomach once they stepped inside. The inside of the church did not look like it could possibly fit inside the building from what he had seen on the outside. He felt like he may have walked into Willy Wonka's chocolate factory or something; because nothing appeared to be what it really was..
The pews were full, he didn't see any that the whole family would fit into. Mr. & Mrs. Harris found a place for themselves and the twins, while Kyle and Cameron stood fending for themselves to find a seat. On the far side of the 2nd to last row they managed to find a seat they could both fit into. Cameron was relieved that Kyle was keeping his promise to stick by his side.
He did not see anyone he recognized this far back in the church; but when he looked up to the front he saw the weeping members of the family that used to come and visit. The ones that he knew all hated him. He was glad to see them all way up there, he felt somewhat safe in the back of the room. If he was lucky, none of them would even notice he was there at all.
An hour later he was sweating, his tie was driving him crazy, and his ass hurt from sitting on the hard pew. He never thought funerals would be so long. It seemed like everyone had to get up and do some long, tear-filled speech. He hadn't remembered how they were all so long-winded until he saw them all again.
He thought about his father and what he would have said if he had been able to come, or even if he would have said anything at all. He figured if it was him, and he had lost his entire family, he would not be able to contain his emotions enough to get up and speak in front of a room full of people. His father had never been too good with words in the first place, not even with the part of the family he liked.
During some of the speeches he felt a little guilty for not being more upset then he was about her death. The truth was he just wanted the funeral over with. He had hardly known the woman and though he was a little sad, like he would be if a classmate that he hardly knew died, he felt nothing more.
He let out a long slow breath as the service ended and he watched people walking up to the front where a closed casket was covered with a large bouquet of yellow flowers. He looked to Mr. Harris was sitting with his wife and two younger kids and hoped beyond hope that the man wouldn't make him walk up there.
About half the people had left the room before he finally saw Mr. Harris stand up. He watched the man's eyes scan the rows behind him before his eyes fell on Cameron and Kyle. Cameron wanted to shrink down under the pew sure that the man would make him go up to the casket.
His whole body relaxed considerably as the man nodded to them then pointed out the back before heading off that way with his family. He and Kyle stood up simultaneously, made their way through the crowd into the lobby area of the church, where they met up with the rest of the Harris family.
They all headed for the door Cameron feeling great relief that this was almost over. He shivered as he heard a loud wailing beside him and wanted to hurry his step, but was stopped by a hand on his arm. The hand connected to the wailing woman she walked around in front of him tears streaming down her face. Cameron cringed when he saw it was his stepmother's sister.
"IT'S YOUR FAULT!" she screamed in his face. "I HOPE YOU AND YOUR FATHER ROT IN HELL!" She shoved him backwards and Mr. Harris stepped in and put his arms around the woman trying to soothe her while Cameron regained his footing.
Cameron felt Kyle's hand on his back as he looked at the woman and Mr. Harris.
"Go out to the car guys." Mr. Harris said his arms still around the woman. "I'll be out in a minute."
More then happy to oblige Cameron skirted around the woman as he was walking away he heard her still screaming. "YOUR FATHER'S A MURDERER! HE KILLED MY SISTER!" Cameron didn't stop walking until he reached the car then waited impatiently for Mrs. Harris to unlock it just wanting to get inside and out of everyone's staring eyes.
Once they were in the car, Kyle put his hand on his knee. "You okay?"
Cameron only nodded though he wasn't certain he was. He didn't ever like being screamed at, let alone by a crazed woman in front of a crowd of people that already hated him. He also felt mad at the woman. His father hadn't murdered her sister. It was an accident. He didn't know how she could feel that way. Didn't she understand that accidents happened? How could she stand there and call him a murderer? His father may not be the greatest guy in the world, but he certainly shouldn't be being called a murderer in front of hundreds of people.
He pictured his father as he had last seen him, lying unconscious and helpless in a hospital bed. His heart panged with pity at him not even being able to even defend himself. He knew his father would be devastated whenever he found out that he had lost his whole family; and he knew the fact he was being blamed for their deaths would devastate him even more. It wasn't fair.
It felt like they had sat there in the car forever when Mr. Harris finally got in behind the steering wheel. "Poor lady." He said clucking his tongue and shaking his head.
Cameron's eyes widened. ‘Poor lady?' What the f**k? Did that man have to always see things the opposite way as he did? Could he just not see simple reason at all? Or did he just always know exactly how to piss Cameron off the most?
He sat fuming while Mr. Harris went on and on about the loss the poor woman suffered, all the way to Cole's house. By the time the van stopped he got out and slammed the door without saying a word to anyone. Which didn't seem to matter; since the man didn't seem to care he was in the car in the first place.
He watched the van pull away just wanting to throw something at it, he was so mad. After the van slowed, and pulled into the Harris driveway he turned and looked at Cole's house. Cole was making his way down a ladder, a small part of the front of the house already painted. He walked up the driveway as Cole descended the ladder.
"Where you been?" Cole asked, his handsome face speckled with paint, as he walked up to him, a paintbrush still in his hand.
"I had to go to a f**king funeral."
Cole nodded looking Cameron over. "Yeah I thought you were a little dressed up for painting."
Cameron looked down at himself, "Oh f**k."
"I forgot my change of clothes in the van."
"Oh well that's okay you can wear something of mine. It should fit."
Cameron nodded, but didn't anything.
"You okay?" Cole asked studying his downcast face.
"Nah, I'm pissed." He spouted off before he could even think of just keeping it to himself.
Cole put his hand up on Cameron's shoulder then ran it down to his bicep where he wrapped his fingers around it and led Cameron up the stairs to the porch where his mother was sitting in her wheel chair. He led him over to a porch swing and Cameron sat down.
"I'll get you something to drink, I need one anyways. Do you like lemonade?"
"Is it spiked?"
Cole chuckled. "No, I'm sorry. Gram wasn't a drinker."
"Lemonade is good, thanks."
Cole nodded and walked into the house. Cameron sat on the porch swing, letting the cool late April breeze wash over him, calming his anger some. He could not believe how badly he was feeling for his father. He honestly did not think he would care that much. He wasn't even feeling upset that he was caring at this point. He felt like his father needed someone to stick up for him, to at least be by his side. He knew his father did not have any close family. He had pretty much alienated them like he had alienated Cameron.
Maybe now that he had no one else he would like him again. Maybe he could have his father back. He shook his head, even if he could have him back, why would he want him? The man all but abandoned him. He certainly never cared about Cameron's needs after his first wife left. Why should Cameron care about him? He just had to get these thoughts out of his head.
He was relieved to see Cole coming back out of the house with two tall glasses of lemonade. If anyone could get his mind away from these crazy thoughts it was Cole. Besides he had forgotten today was ‘try to be more then friends with Cole day!' He honestly didn't give a crap about Mr. Harris's feelings about fags anymore.
Cole walked over to the swing, handed him a glass of lemonade, and then sat down beside him taking a long sip. Cameron inhaled deeply as Cole's scent filled his nostrils. He smelt clean, but with an arousing scent of musky sweat mixed in, obviously from his morning of painting.
"I'm real sorry I'm late. I would have called, but I didn't have your number. I gotta get that from you today before I go….if it's okay. That way if my schedule gets f**ked up again I can at least call you."
"Sure no problem." Cole sat back and took another long drink. "I take it you didn't want to go to that funeral today?"
Cameron shook his head as he stared at the ice he was swirling around in his glass.
"Mr. Harris is at it again?"
He laughed bitterly as he nodded. "I'm really starting to hate that man."
"Well like I said, I don't know how you can live with him in the first place."
"If it wasn't for Kyle being there I don't think I would still be there." He looked over at Cole's mom he was staring out at the roadway. "Does she know you're gay?" He asked quietly.
"Yeah, I imagine so. If she understands when I talk to her and I like to think she does, then she knows."
"So you told her then? Since the accident? She didn't know before?"
Cole looked over at his mother and shook his head. "I wasn't even sure before. I mean I knew I was always looking twice at other boys and no matter how many of my friends pointed out some girl I just never saw the big deal. They never attracted me like the guys did. But I couldn't put what I was feeling into words. Let alone one word." He paused and looked at Cameron. "It's kinda a scary word you know? Gay?"
Cameron nodded, loving to hear Cole talk.
"I'm not so scared of it anymore, but back then I sure was." He nodded over to his mother. "My parents were great though. I don't think either of them would have cared much. I never heard them badmouthing anyone."
Cameron watched as he stared at his mom while a small smile formed on his lips. "And when I did tell her she didn't get mad. In fact she didn't say a word."
Narrowing his eyes in confusion Cameron looked at Cole as Cole looked back at him, a small chuckle coming out of his mouth.
"I know, I have a sick sense of humor, but if I don't crack jokes now and then I'd just be sad all the time, and I don't want that." He looked briefly back at his mother then back at Cameron. "Can I ask you a question?"
"Where's your mom?"
"I haven't got any idea." He took a long drink of lemonade not sure if he should say more or not. By the time he lowered his glass he decided Cole was being so open he should try to be to. "She left when I was like five."
"Just walked out?"
He nodded again looking down at Cole's hand that had landed on his knee. ‘God that's a nice hand' he thought, as he sighed, a deep sigh of contentment. He looked back up at Cole as Cole slowly withdrew his hand his eyes widened in surprise.
"What?" he asked nervously.
"I thought you just wanted to be friends?"
Cameron looked at him like he had two heads. How in hell could he figure me out from just that? "Huh?" was all he managed to get out of his mouth.
Cole's eyes narrowed and locked into Cameron's. "Don't play dumb, I know what I see."
"What did you see?" he asked flustered, and not realizing that he was denying his feelings.
"I saw your reaction when I touched you. I felt it."
"Felt what?" He looked down at himself to check sure he hadn't gotten hard.
"What are you flamboyant or something?"
Cole shook his head and half laughed. "What?"
"You know those people that can sense things." His eyes narrowed as Cole laughed even harder. "What's so funny?" he asked almost laughing himself as Cole's laughed harder and harder. It took him nearly a full minute to answer.
"Clairvoyant, NOT flamboyant." He said between laughs. "And no I'm not flamboyant or clairvoyant!"
Though he felt like a big idiot he laughed a little along with Cole. "So what's this charge you are talking about?" he asked once Cole had recomposed himself.
Cole shook his head. "I don't know how to explain it, but I'm right aren't I? You don't want to be just friends do you?"
Feeling so put on the spot Cameron almost said no, this wasn't the romantic event he pictured happening when he revealed his feelings to Cole. But the last fifteen minutes of conversation had only made his feelings stronger and he couldn't bring himself to deny them. He couldn't miss out on a chance to see what could happen.
Cole sat there staring from him to the ground back to him until Cameron just couldn't take it anymore.
"Aren't you gonna say anything?"
Cole only held up his hand opting for a moment to stare at the ground. Cameron waited again, refusing to run away in shame. Needing to have some kind of response to what he had just admitted.
"You really hurt me Cameron. That first night, well not the first night, but the next day I saw you, and you didn't even know who I was." He finally said.
"I know Cole, and I'm sorry. I don't even drink anymore."
Cole looked at him and nodded his eyes squinting against the sun that was shining brightly behind Cameron. "But what about after you leave the Harris's? The only reason you aren't drinking now is because you are staying there."
He nodded that being a fair point. "I kinda like sobriety. I mean if I actually had a problem or needed the alcohol; don't you think I'd have found a way to have some, even though I'm staying there?"
"You wanted alcohol today."
Damnit, another good point! "I was joking mostly. I'd had a bad morning. I was lightening my own mood."
"But if I'd had it would you have wanted some?"
"I don't know. Maybe at that second, but I don't anymore."
Cole sighed, as he sat back so his back was against the back of the swing, he stretched his long legs out in front of him and crossed them at the ankles. "I'm not a goodie-goodie Cameron. I don't hate someone that drinks. Just your drinking was a direct result of me getting my feelings hurt. Maybe I'm a pansy, I don't know; but I don't like being hurt."
Cameron nodded discovering Cole sure could make a person feel guilty, as his gut was twisting in remorse. "I really am sorry."
Cole started talking again like he didn't even hear it. "I do like you. I have since I first saw you. Course that was lust, I didn't even know you. But you definitely have the look I am looking for. And the last couple weekends we've spent together I've had a great time. In fact, I lay in bed every night telling myself not to fall too hard for you, that was partly because I didn't think you wanted more, and partly because I don't want to get hurt again." He stopped talking for a moment then turned and looked at Cameron again dead in the eye. "I know you can't promise you would never hurt me and I don't expect you to tell me that. But if we do this, we gotta take it slow Cameron."
He nodded excitement rumbling in his gut. Taking it slow was certainly fine with him. He just wanted more then what they had now. He wanted Cole, and for more then just sex. Hearing a car pull into the driveway he turned and swore under his breath seeing it was Mr. Harris. He'd hoped since they'd gone to the funeral that morning that the man wouldn't be doing his visit. Apparently God's work didn't stop for anything.
His enjoyment about Cole subsided as anger burned inside him while he watched the man get out of his car, his eyes on Cameron the whole time he made his way up onto the porch where he stood and looked over at the two of them on the bench.
"I thought you were coming here to work?"
"We are sir," Cole spoke up. "I just needed a break."
Mr. Harris didn't acknowledge Cole at all as he looked Cameron up and down. "You haven't even changed you clothes, you've been here an hour."
"I forget them in your car."
"He's gonna borrow mine," Cole stood up, not looking at Mr. Harris. "Come on Cameron, let's go get you those clothes."
Glad to be able to reach the porch Cameron got up and gratefully followed Cole inside. They walked up the stairs just inside the door and down a short hallway before turning into Cole's bedroom
Not having been in there before Cameron took a quick look around while Cole went to his bureau drawers. There was a double bed with a white bedspread on it. One that looked like it had been there since Cole's grandmother owned the place; it wasn't in bad shape, just old fashioned. The floor was hard wood, though mostly covered in a gray area rug.
The only things he really saw in the room that made it look like a teenager's room was a stereo on a desk with a few stacks of CD's, and a few posters that he grinned at. "You have hot guy posters on your walls?"
Cole turned away from the dresser some clothes in his arms and grinned. "Ya, why not?"
Cameron shrugged, "I don't know, I guess I just never seen it before."
Cole dropped the clothes on the edge of his bed and walked up to Cameron. "Does it make you jealous?"
He grinned and shook his head. "No, I think I can handle it."
Cole smiled at him then took another step closer and wrapped his arms tightly around Cameron holding him tightly. "I'm so glad you changed your mind about the friend's thing."
Cameron put his arms around Cole, inhaling his wonderful scent. "I thought you felt the same way."
"I was lying."
Cameron chuckled at his bluntness as he rubbed his hand up and down Cole's back, absolutely loving the feeling of him in his arms. It ended far too soon as Cole pulled back a little. "You better get changed so Mr. Harris doesn't strain his ass muscle with all that clenching." He leaned forward and gave Cameron a much too quick peck on the lips, then turned and left the room.
Cameron stood looking at the door Cole had just passed through and put a finger to his smiling, glistening lips. He sighed a sigh of complete contentment; feeling happier then he could ever remember feeling before. He couldn't wait for his next chance to hold Cole in his arms.