Boy Meets BSB, Chapter 25


Warning: This is a fictional story, describing erotic relations between consenting adult men. If this makes you uncomfortable, or if it is illegal for you to read something like this, then go find something else to do.

The following story is entirely a work of fiction, and is not intended to imply anything about any real people. All of the characters in the story are fictional, and must not be confused with any real people. The characters in this story may have the same names as some real people, but the characters are in no way supposed to actually represent any real people.

Permission is hereby granted for this story to be distributed solely by the Nifty Archive: You may of course keep a copy for your own use, but you may not redistribute it.

Well, it's been a very long time since I wrote anything here. So much has happened. But this isn't about me after all.

First, if you haven't read the story recently, I'd really urge you to review the story to this point. I'm sure there's much you've forgotten. If you don't want to read it again from the beginning, please read the "News" entry I posted on Nifty. It has a quick synopsis of the outstanding issues in the story.

I'd like to say again that I really do appreciate your emails. Much to my surprise, even months after chapter 22 was posted, I still continued to get email asking me to finish the story. Well, here you go.

On with the story!

Nick's cheek was itchy. It was irritating. He slowly became aware of the itch, and rubbed his cheek against Matt's chest. That chest hair he loved so much was just itchy sometimes.

Nick opened his eyes, and marveled again at his luck. Even now, over five years since that day when he'd met Matt at the photographer's, he still couldn't believe how lucky he was to have found Matt. Most people never found love like they had.

With his head laying on Matt's chest, and his body pressed against him, Nick felt content. Even now that his musical career was slowing down, he really didn't care. So long as he had Matt. Nothing else mattered.

And today was a special day. Tonight, they would go to the Academy Awards. Matt was nominated again. Maybe this time, he'd win. Nick knew he wasn't exactly unbiased, but Matt's performance had been truly extraordinary. It wasn't everyone who could play the role of a suicidal closet case like he had in this last movie. Nick knew that the role had been hard on Matt, as it had brought old memories back. They had talked about the role for a long time, and they'd both shed tears again as they remembered how Nick had felt before Matt had come to him in Toronto. Maybe it was that experience that had made Matt's performance so memorable.

But, today was also their anniversary. It was five years today since they'd gotten married in that little chapel. Five wonderful years.

The first year had been the worst, as the demands of their careers made it impossible for them to be together. They'd gotten married during the world tour just after they'd released Millennium. Matt had put much of his career on hold that first year. He'd had to finish off that sitcom, which meant spending most of his time in LA. And the movies that he'd done that year had meant being separated for another few months.

But, throughout it all, they'd never stopped the phone calls. Or the quick trips every couple of weeks. Nick remembered how hard it had been to say goodbye to Matt when the visit was over. Matt had never once allowed Nick to fly somewhere to see him. He'd always insisted on flying to meet up with Nick and the rest of the guys. It was just one of those things that Nick loved so much about Matt. From the moment he'd found out that Nick didn't like to fly, Matt had made sure that Nick never had to fly somewhere because of him. Even when Matt had to go somewhere to shoot on location, they always took a train, or drove, or sometimes took a cruise. He was just so thoughtful.

When Matt had left the sitcom, life had gotten easier. That was the last time Matt had accepted regular work on a TV series. Matt always insisted on discussing the movies he accepted with Nick. They'd managed to arrange most of them, so that Nick could join him while he was making the movie. That had been hard at first, as Nick wasn't used to having nothing to do. But, he'd soon found he really looked forward to those times. He could concentrate on his things. He could draw for hours, write the songs he suddenly found himself composing, while Matt worked the ridiculous schedule that was needed for the movie. And Nick had been surprised to discover he loved doing the things that were needed to make a home for them. He'd always hated doing laundry, cleaning up, or cooking before. But, when Matt was making a movie, well, he just loved doing that for him. For them.

And the sex. Lord, he'd never expected sex with Matt would be like this. It had taken a while for Nick to realize that Matt's needs were a bit extraordinary. It wasn't usual for them to make love a couple of times a day. Nick had first thought that it was just because Matt had denied himself for so long, but he was worse now than he'd been before.

Not that Nick was complaining. Not at all. Even if he couldn't match Matt orgasm for orgasm, he was hardly unhappy with having an insatiable partner. Well, not totally insatiable, but pretty close. Matt was just always ready to go. Nick had learned not to worry about that. It was just the way Matt was.

And, it was fun. Matt was always fun. The hours they'd spent making love were always special. They'd never had problems keeping their desire for each other alive. Even when they didn't have sex, they always snuggled up in bed. It had been years since Nick had last slept alone, but he still remembered how hard that had been. Even when one of them was sick with something, they cuddled up anyway.

Nick felt Matt's hand move on his back, pulling him closer. He smiled and raised his head. Matt was watching him. "Morning Sexy" Nick said.

No matter how many times he said it, it never failed to bring a chuckle from Matt. "Happy Anniversary Nick" Matt said.

Nick shifted a bit, pressing his body against Matt, and moving his head up to the pillow beside Matt. He loved the feel of Matt's body against his. The hard muscles pressed against him. His hand moved on Matt's chest, and found a nipple. His fingers began caressing Matt, as he pressed against him. Nick said "Happy Anniversary Matt."

"It seems someone is excited this morning." Matt could feel Nick's hardness pressed against his hip.

"You mean, someone that isn't you? You're the one who's always hard."

Matt giggled. "Well, you just have that effect on me."

"If you must know, I've got to use the bathroom."

"Oh" Matt's face fell.

Nick sat up, and started to get out of the bed. As he stood, he felt Matt's eyes on him. He stretched, knowing that Matt would watch. Then he looked into Matt's eyes. "You're not sleepy are you?"

Matt laughed. "No, I'm not sleepy."

Nick gave him a sexy smile. "Good. I'm going to use the bathroom, then brush my teeth. I expect to find you here when I'm finished."

Matt watched as Nick turned around and walked over towards the bathroom. As he reached the bathroom door, Matt whistled. As Matt expected, Nick giggled and ran into the bathroom.

Matt sat back for a moment, remembering. Was it really more than five years ago when they had shared that hotel room in Toronto? He could still remember it like it was just yesterday. He'd felt so uncertain because Nick kept falling asleep on him. It had become a running joke between them now, as had the whistling at each other's bare butt.

Matt got up, and followed Nick into the bathroom. He came up behind him and gave him a playful pat on the bottom. "Move over sexy, I want to brush my teeth too."

There was really no need to fight over the sink, as there was another one right beside it. There was plenty of room in the bathroom--they'd designed it that way, when they'd built the house. Yet, they were just happier being close to each other whenever they could.

Matt put some toothpaste on his toothbrush, and started brushing his teeth. He looked into the mirror and found Nick watching him. He wasn't surprised. He was always watching Nick if he was in sight, just as Nick watched him. It was just when they were in public that it was difficult.

As he finished brushing his teeth, he thought once again at how nice it would be if he could hold Nick in public. He was so tired of pretending whenever he was in public. Nick meant everything to him, and he wanted everyone in the world to know that. After being together for all this time, at this point in his career, it just didn't seem to be worth the effort anymore.

Matt realized he was just standing there in thought, when Nick hugged him.

"Let's go back to bed," Nick whispered into his ear.

Matt smiled, and put down the toothbrush. He didn't need to answer Nick, he just led him back into the bedroom.

Matt looked at Nick as he sat there in the limo. Abby was sitting beside him. She was beautiful as always tonight. And of course, Nick was stunning in that tux. But, Nick was stunning in anything.

Matt turned to look at Maitland. "Are you sure Maitland? I don't want to cause you any trouble. You and Abby have been so important to us over the years. Just because I..."

"It's okay Matt." Maitland said. "I know how you feel, and I think you're right. It is time. We're not worried are we Abby?"

"Not at all" Abby said. "Maitland's career isn't likely to be affected. And even if it were, we've got enough money. We'll be okay."

"Doubts Matt?" Nick said. "I thought we'd all decided this was the right thing to do."

Matt sighed. "I know. And I know I started it. Maybe I'm just getting cold feet or something. I'm just nervous. You know how I get when I've got to do something live."

"You'll be okay Matt." Maitland said.

"No doubts" Nick said. "This is the right thing to do. It's time."

"Provided I win." Matt said.

"Yes, that's what we all decided." Maitland said.

The limo slowed down, and came to a stop. Matt had a sudden feeling of panic, thinking about what was going to happen now. He instinctively looked at Nick, and he knew it would work out. He had no reason, he just knew it would be okay. He took a deep breath as the door to the limo was opened.

He stepped out of the limo, and the crowd roared. He smiled and gave the crowd a quick wave, before turning back and helping Maitland out of the limo. She gripped his arm, like she had done hundreds of times before. They smiled to the crowd, and moved a few feet forward to allow Nick and Abby to get out of the limo.

The crowd shouted questions at Matt as the four of them walked slowly down, past the general public, and finally into the awards area. Here, there were waiters circulating with drinks, and a large number of reporters and celebrities milling about. Matt settled into the usual routine, smiling politely, introducing Maitland, Nick and Abby to anyone who asked, answering questions and generally putting on a show for the media. It took a while for them to make their way through the crush of people to their seats.

They'd all tried to spot the others as they made their way through the crowd, but it was impossible. Matt knew that Kevin, Brian, AJ, Howie and Joey were all here somewhere. He'd only been able to arrange for four seats up front where he was. They'd actually put them into the front row. But, the rest of the tickets he'd asked for had been further back. He knew that the guys and their wives would all be here though. He wondered if Joey had been able to find a date. It was really too bad that Andy had been forbidden to come.

Matt found himself getting nervous again as the evening wore on. He wished they'd just get it over with and announce the award for best actor. It had been tough, sitting here with Maitland, watching Nick as he talked to Abby. There always seemed to be a camera on them, so he'd tried his best to look interested.

"Ready?" Maitland said, as she squeezed his hand.

Matt looked at her. "What?"

"You are out of it, aren't you?" She smiled at him. "It's the next award. Get ready."

"Oh." Matt swallowed. He didn't like the feeling of panic that suddenly seemed to come from nowhere. Instinctively, he glanced over at Nick and saw him watching him. Nick smiled, and Matt suddenly knew it would be okay. No matter what happened, it would be okay.

Matt forced his attention to the stage, as the crowd started clapping. He clapped as well as he watched Jack Nicholson appear at the podium. Of course, Jack was presenting this year, as he'd won last year.

Thankfully, the jokes were short. He waited breathlessly as the nominees were all named. He knew there was a camera on him as Jack tore open the envelope. He just hoped he could maintain his composure if he lost. Or, if he won.

"And the winner is..." Jack said. Matt watched as he fumbled with the envelope. Why was it always so hard for them to open these things? Jack managed to get it open, then instead of reading it aloud, he read it to himself. Jack chuckled to himself before he looked up. "Mathew Lawrence!" he said.

Maitland, Abby and Nick jumped to their feet. Matt sat back stunned. Had he really won? It just didn't register. Then he felt Maitland and Nick pulling him up. He stood, and looked at their faces. They were all so happy. He hugged Maitland, who was right beside him. Then he hugged Abby. He could feel tears threatening, as Nick hugged him. He'd actually won.

He felt Nick's hand take his, and he knew. This was the time. This was the place. It was time.

He tightened his grip on Nick, and led him towards the stage. The crowd was roaring its approval, as they started up the stairs toward Jack. Matt didn't let go of Nick's hand. He was through with that.

As they got to the podium, it became obvious that the crowd was surprised, as it quieted down quickly. His relationship with Nick was an open secret here in LA. Matt knew that. However, the crowd wasn't expecting to see him onstage with his lover.

Matt released Nick's hand as he accepted the Oscar from Jack. He turned towards the podium, and placed it beside the microphone. He could feel Nick's presence behind him. He knew he wasn't far away.

Matt looked out over the silent audience. He was faintly surprised to discover that he wasn't nervous. Maybe he'd been nervous all those times before because of his secret.

"There are many people I'd like to thank" Matt said into the silent room. "I have had the privilege of working with many fine actors, directors, producers and writers over the years. I have been blessed with some wonderful friends, who have been very supportive when I needed them. They have become my family over the years. I wouldn't have ever managed to get this far without them."

Matt paused and searched the room for Joey. He knew he was out there somewhere.

"This was a difficult role for me, because it was so close to my own life." There was a collective gasp from the audience. "I almost lost my lover under circumstances very similar to the events in the movie. I don't think I'd be here without his love and support." Matt felt Nick's hand on his shoulder. It gave him strength.

"Too often, young gay men and women commit suicide because of society's attitude toward us. As soon as I read this script, I knew this role was something I had to do. I had to stand up and say that this is wrong."

The crowd's murmurs were getting louder now. They quieted down, when Matt raised his hand.

"I would also like to say one last thing. Tonight is the fifth anniversary of the day Nick and I got married. As great an honor as receiving this is, I must say it pales in comparison to that day five years ago when Nick and I pledged our love."

The crowd started to talk amongst themselves again, as Matt stepped back from the microphone. He turned to Nick, and kissed him. Matt concentrated on the kiss, blocking out the rest of the world. When it finally ended, he was surprised at the noise.

Nick and Matt turned toward the audience, and saw them all on their feet, yelling, clapping and screaming. It was a bit of a surprise. They both smiled at the audience, as they were led offstage with their arms wrapped around each other.

Nick sat up and rearranged the pillow, then sat back again. Matt was still in the bathroom, brushing his teeth. It had been quite a night. And it wasn't over yet.

Nick heard Matt turn the water off, and then saw him as he emerged from the bathroom and turned off the light. He smiled at Matt, as he crawled into bed beside him. Nick opened his arms, and drew Matt in close beside him.

Nick kissed him briefly and then rested his head against Matt. He just held him for a moment, thinking again how much Matt had brought into his life. From that first moment he'd seen him at that photo shoot, all those years ago, Nick had known that Matt was the guy for him.

"It's been quite a night," Nick said.

"Yeah" Matt said. Matt shifted himself a bit, so he was lying partially on top of Nick. This was his favorite place to be--as close as possible to Nick. He loved the feel of their bodies together, even when they were just cuddling like this. In many ways, this was the time he liked best.

"You made me so proud tonight" Nick said. "I couldn't have said everything that you said. Was our wedding really better than winning an Oscar?"

"Of course it was." Matt sounded surprised. "How could you ever doubt that?"

"It's just...well, I thought it was every actor's dream to win an Oscar."

"I suppose it is. But, that's never really been my dream." Matt turned to look at Nick. "You are my dream." He smiled.

Nick giggled. "You're such a sap sometimes."

Matt smiled. "You've only got yourself to blame. Remember how hard it was for me to say how I felt before? Do you remember how much I struggled that night before I left Toronto?"

"Yeah, I remember." Nick sighed. "I hurt you that night. I was trying so hard to make sure you knew how much I loved you, but..."

"It's okay Nick. That was a long time ago. We got through that. Together we can get through anything."

"Do you think we'll be in the paper tomorrow?"

"Are you kidding? I'm the first guy to come out at the Oscars. Judging from all of the reporters swarmed around us all night, I think we'll be big news."

"Good" Nick said. "I want the whole world to know about us. I'm tired of pretending."

"Me too. It was nice to see all of the support tonight. I don't think anyone said anything bad at all. Even the reporters were nice."

"That's true. And the guys were so happy. Kevin looked so proud, I thought he was going to burst. I thought Brian was going to crush me, he hugged me so hard."

Matt giggled. "Yeah, they were surprised but so happy. I guess I should have warned them, but there just wasn't time."

"Joey and Andy were proud of you too. I'm so glad Joey brought Andy. I didn't think your parents would let Andy come."

Matt sighed.

"I'm sorry Matt." Nick held him close. "I shouldn't have mentioned them."

"It's okay Nick. At least I've still got Andy and Joey."

"I wish they could understand. It's been so hard for you."

"I think it's been worse for Joey. I wish he could find a nice guy."

"Yeah. He deserves to find someone nice." Nick could still remember how he felt when he'd seen Matt in that dressing room in Toronto. He'd been so afraid that his words would cause Matt to reject him. When he'd seen Matt in that moment, he just had to run. He knew that if Matt hadn't caught him, he'd have found someway to end it all. He remembered that pain, and how certain he'd been that death was the only answer.

Matt had changed all that. Matt had taken that pain away forever. He'd stood by him when he told the guys. He'd comforted him when Brian had seen them together. He had been so certain that he'd lose Brian, but he hadn't. Matt had saved him.

Nick looked at Matt resting against him. He nuzzled Matt's face, and said, "You're still my hero."

Matt smiled. No matter how many times Nick told him that, it still amazed him. Nick was the one that had brought him to life. It was Nick that had taught him how to open himself up and love. Even if he never had his parent's love again, he had Nick. And the rest of his family of friends.

Joey and Andy were so special. Andy had fought so hard to be able to see them. He knew it was hard for him, but Andy had never given up. Neither had Joey. He'd fought his father for the right to see Andy. They'd both helped Andy sneak out, and they both had watched him grow. There had been some tense moments, like when his father had found the cell phone they'd given Andy so he could call them. Yet, through it all, Andy had persisted. No matter what his parents did, he defied them and kept contact with Joey and Matt. Eventually, his parents had given up, and they just looked the other way now.

Andy was just sixteen now, but he already had a steady stream of girlfriends. It was nice to see him so happy. At least that should keep his father happy.

Aaron had grown into a little heartbreaker too. Matt smiled. They'd managed to take Andy away for a couple of weeks over the years, and Aaron had proven to be a good friend to Andy. They were both straight, but they seemed to share a friendship much like Matt and Nick. Matt hoped they'd stay friends for a long time.

Nick's kiss was gentle, feather light. Matt looked at Nick and smiled. He was so perfect. Matt leaned over and kissed him. Firmer, with more urgency. Matt could feel his body run along Nick's body. His erection was pressed against Nick's hip. He opened his mouth, and felt Nick's tongue as it slipped past his lips. No matter how many times they made love, he always felt the same need, the same urgency.

Kevin slowed as he approached the hospital bed. He felt his breath catch again, as he looked down at the figure in the bed. He looked so frail, so small. So very fragile.

"Hello Joey"

Somehow the words sounded forced, even to his ears. But, he had to keep on, for Joey's sake. He was all Joey had anymore.

It had been months since the shooting. Since this all started. Months that had crawled by, as the trial dragged on, the funerals were arranged, and the legal battles were fought. It had been a long battle for Kevin to gain power of attorney for Joey. But, Kevin was sure that was what Joey would have wanted. After all, weren't they family?

Maybe they'd finally get some closure today. Maybe the jury would return with a guilty verdict. Maybe some justice would be finally done.

Some aspects of what happened that night seemed all too strange to have actually happened. It was like something out of a dream. No, not a dream. It was a nightmare.

Joey had been the only one to survive the shootings. Those crowds of religious fanatics outside the courthouse claimed that was so he could suffer. They said that everyone else had died too easily.

Kevin had never really thought about it before, but when he heard some of the things those kooks said about Joey, Matt and Nick, he found it hard to control his anger. He wanted to go out there and blast the whole lot of them off the face of the earth. He wanted to tell all of those bible thumping cretins that they were wrong. That they misunderstood. That God would, could never agree with their hatred.

After all, wasn't love what God was all about? If Nick and Matt didn't love each other, then they'd sure fooled him. Their love was as pure as anything he'd ever seen.

He suddenly realized that he was still standing beside Joey's bed. His legs felt cramped. How long had he stood there, lost in thought? He found the familiar chair, and pulled it up close before he sat down with a sigh. He looked at Joey's peaceful face, and allowed himself a small smile. He reached out, and took Joey's hand, just as he always did. Day after day, he'd come here and spent a few hours with Joey. It seemed the least he could do.

All these months, Kevin had come here. For the first few weeks, he'd cried all too often, seeing his best friend comatose on the bed. The doctors hadn't had much hope then. They still didn't know if he'd ever wake up from the coma. Joey's once muscular body had slowly grown thin and frail now. Was it just a matter of time?

The funeral for Matt, Nick and Andy was a very difficult time. There had been some legal trouble, as Matt and Nick's marriage wasn't legally recognized in California. Andy was still a minor when he was killed, so it was hard to deal with that. Andy's father was his only living relative other than Joey, but with him being on trial for the shootings, the legal rights to everything had been a real mess. When it was all over Kevin was surprised to find he was angry. So angry that he'd actually yelled at Joey for a while.

He's tried at first to keep everything to himself. He had tried not to tell Joey about the shootings, the funeral and the trial. But, as time went on, he'd found it harder and harder not to talk to Joey about it all. He knew that if Joey were awake, he'd have been strong enough to deal with it all. Somehow, telling Joey had made it easier for Kevin. Like sharing the problems with his best friend had made it all somehow smaller.

So, he'd told Joey about that awful night. The first Kevin had heard of it was when some stupid reporter had dared to break into the grounds of his house, setting off the security system. Before the police and security had been able to get the reporter off the property, Kevin had been woken up and he'd heard the questions.

When he'd turned on the TV, he had found out a lot more about it all. Some of the bits and pieces weren't apparent until they came to light at the trial, but it had been an awful night.

As nearly as he could figure it, when Matt's father had discovered that Matt had come out at the Oscars that night, he'd lost control. Before leaving the house, he'd apparently shot his wife dozens of times. From there, he'd waited for Joey to drop off Andy. For some reason, he'd shot both of them many times as well, but Joey had survived. Barely.

From there, Matt's father had gotten into his truck and driven out to Matt and Nick's place. It was something of a mystery how he knew where it was. The lawyers for the state had claimed that it showed clearly that the act was premeditated. He must have planned it, or he wouldn't have known where the house was. After all, he'd never been there.

Whether it was premeditated or not, once he got to the estate, he had to wait for a couple of hours before Matt and Nick arrived. He'd waited for a while longer, before he'd opened fire with an automatic rifle. Matt and Nick likely didn't know what was going on. They probably had only a moment to wonder before they were shot dead. The only room in the house that had been shot up was the bedroom. Kevin had seen pictures on the news from the outside. It looked like a war zone in there.

At least they'd died quickly.

Joey's father had been arrested at the scene, with the guns in his hands. It had taken the police a few anxious moments to disarm him, but he hadn't put up any resistance.

One of the chilling scenes that had been shown over and over again in the TV coverage was a shot of a twisted smile on his face, as he stood there with his hands on his head, waiting for the police to arrest him. The religious fanatics who'd paid for his defense had claimed it was proof that he was insane. The prosecution had claimed that it showed intent and satisfaction for his crimes--the mark of a premeditated act of a sane mind.

"Well my friend, maybe today we'll know." Kevin said into the quiet room. Once the sound of the machines had been a distraction for Kevin. Now they were all too familiar. "We'll finally know whether the jury has seen through all of the crap that the defense has been feeding them or not."

Kevin really didn't expect any response from Joey. He didn't get any.

Kevin looked up as the door to the room suddenly opened. He smiled as he saw Kim Green. She was a familiar sight. She was one of the better nurses as far as Kevin was concerned. He could tell that she really did want Joey to get better.

"Kevin? I thought you'd like to know. They're saying on the TV that the verdict will be announced in a few minutes."

"Thanks Kim." Kevin said. He released Joey's hand, before he stood up and moved his chair a bit. The remote for the TV was where he'd left it on the nightstand. It only took a moment before the TV was on. Kevin selected a news channel, and sat back down. Unconsciously, his hand gripped Joey's again as he listened to the TV.

"We're here outside the courthouse, anxiously awaiting the verdict in what has got to be the biggest trial since the O. J. Simpson trial back in the '90s. Never before has a trial gripped the hearts and minds of the world."

"You all know by now the sordid details of the crime, and the trial that ensued. It has been a long trial, which has deeply divided public opinion. The last poll we did showed that over eighty percent of the public believes that the accused is guilty of all of these murders. Yet, there is a very strong and noisy group who firmly believe he is innocent."

"That group is of course, the so called 'religious right'. These factions claim that Joey Sr. was only doing what God told him to do. They have banded together and funded the defense. And, in my opinion at least, they've put up a firm defense." The reporter paused for a moment, and turned to look behind him at the crowds.

"However the mood here in Los Angeles is best described as wary at this hour. There is widespread fear that when the verdict is announced, there will be wide spread riots. Armed bands have appeared on both sides of this issue. There are fringe groups in the gay community that have vowed to burn all of the churches if Joseph Lawrence Senior is set free. The police, fire and emergency departments are all ready to deal with any problems that may happen. Many moderates have issued pleas for patience and peace. But it seems likely that some trouble will occur tonight."

The reporter paused again, and placed his hand against his ear. After a moment, he looked back at the camera and said, "I'm told that the jury is about to return to the court room. So, we'll transfer our attention inside."

The image on the screen changed, and the now-familiar sight of the judge's desk appeared. After a few moments of silence, the judge turned to the jury. "Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict?" The judge's voice thundered through the courtroom.

"Yes your honor, we have." The speaker was a young lady, of perhaps 30 years. Kevin had always thought she looked like an old schoolteacher. The word that seemed to describe her best was 'prim'. And it certainly fit today as she stood there in her neat suit.

"Will the defense please stand" the judge said. There was a momentary scuffle as the defendant and his lawyers stood. Turning to the jury, the judge said "On the first count, that of murder in the first degree of Donna Lawrence, how do you find?"

"We find the defendant not guilty by reason of insanity."

There was a gasp as the courtroom was suddenly silent. Kevin felt his face fall. How could they?

"On the second count, that of the murder in the first degree of Andrew Lawrence, how do you find?"

Kevin couldn't believe his ears.

"On the third count, attempted murder of Joseph Lawrence, how do you find?"

Kevin was ready for the answer this time. It didn't make it any easier to handle however.

"On the fourth and final count, the murder in the first degree of Mathew Lawrence and Nicholas Carter, how do you find?"

Kevin savagely turned the TV off, and threw the remote to the ground. How could they? How could they possibly buy that crap? He slumped against Joey's bed, suddenly drained of energy.

What would Joey say? How could they possibly handle this?

As Kevin leaned against Joey and sobbed, outside the noise grew. The city was coming apart with the news.

The End.

Yeah, it really is over. It has been quite a ride. I have enjoyed writing this story. I hope you've enjoyed reading it.

I must take the opportunity to thank all of you who have written me to express your enjoyment of the story. Something like this takes a lot of work, but those encouraging emails have certainly helped me get it finished. They helped me through the inevitable writer's block, and spurred me on to my best efforts.

I've made some very special friends as a result of my writing this story. If I were to list them all, I'd probably miss someone, and I really wouldn't want to do that. Much as Matt and Nick found new friends and family, I'd like to think I've found new friends and family as well. I know I've grown because of the support and love of these friends.

I may write again in the future, but I really don't know. As you probably know, I've had a long dry spell. The last three chapters were completed over a year after the last chapter was published. There are many reasons for this, but the result is that I don't know if I'll ever write another story or not. If I do, it probably will be a while.

Thanks for all the encouragement.