Authors Notes:

This is a work of fiction – a bit of science fiction and fantasy mixed together in fact.  None of the characters, names or personalities, are based on real people.  Any resemblance to a real person is entirely coincidental and not intentional.  I do live in the Atlanta area and use a lot of places I’ve been in the story. 

If you are offended by sex between adult men don’t read any further. 

If you are not of legal age don’t read any further. 

If this type of story is illegal where you live, for whatever reason, don’t read any further.

This story is copyrighted to me and cannot be reproduced without my express written consent.

If you have any comments you can send them to  I appreciate anything that anyone has to say good or bad.  If you have bad things to say please at least be polite.  I’ll try to respond to anyone who sends me an email.  I appreciate all the comments readers have sent me so far.  Nifty has some really nice and cool people in the reader base, and I already feel like I've made some new friends.

I still consider myself to be out of practice as far as writing goes.  This is the first thing I've tried to write in nearly 25 years, so bear with the story if it's a little rough around the edges.

I am not in nor ever have been in the military, so I apologize for getting anything wrong.  The characters are all Navy Seals in the Prologue, where the story starts.

There are some songs I listen to that inspired parts of this story.  Some of those songs make it into the story.  The following song shows up at the end of this chapter and I really really really hope you will take the time to listen to it.  In the story the character Lane Weaver writes the  music and the words as a part of the process of his awakening abilities.  I wish  in no way shape or form to take anything away from the actual, real life songwriter/singer. It's an amazing song, and if you are a fan of the Transformer movies you might have heard it before.    Here's a link if you want to listen to it:

The Humbling River (duet mix) by Puscifer

There are a few more songs that will be showing up soon.  Here's a link to one in case you want to listen to it:

Evanescence - Bring Me To Life

There's one more thing I need to mention about the Prelude that starts off this submission.  I made a couple of references that I hope you all get.  If you are a fan of Monty Python and the Holy Grail you will definitely get one of them.  The other one is actually two references from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams.  If you aren't familiar with the books you can google Douglas Adams 42 or the quote I put in and it should explain enough to make sense.  If not email me and I'll try to explain.

I truly hope you enjoy the story!

Also please remember that needs your donations to keep providing all these cool and wonderful stories!  You can donate at:

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Prelude to Chapter 4

Retired General Theodore Burgess anxiously awaited his meeting with Dr. Cromwell.  After all these years, he would finally have the information necessary to restart Project Glass Hand, except this time it would be under his direct command and not some panty waste doctor!  He still had his contacts at the Pentagon, and with the financial backing of his new benefactor, he could recreate the Spec Ops team and use them however he wanted. 

His new patron would not meet him in person, and so far all communications were completely one sided, but they shared a common goal, and the General was practically willing to sell his soul to get revenge on that wretched Dr. Thomas for ruining his career.  Little did the General realize that his soul was exactly what his new mysterious patron wanted as payment.

Dr. Thomas had covered his tracks so well that even after nearly twenty years the General never was able to discern his whereabouts, or the identities of any member of the Glass Hand Project.  His new benefactor must have deep pockets and even deeper contacts because he not only managed to identify former Commander Bruce Dutcher, now Ken Habersham, he also found at least one other member of the team, a Lt. Alan Whetherson, now known as Brad Wilson. 

Of the two, Dutcher was the one he wanted.  If he could manage to duplicate Dutcher’s physical attributes and abilities, he could create a team that would be unstoppable.  Then he would discover who this so called benefactor was, and take him out so he could run things the way he wanted.

He wished Cromwell would hurry up.  It was hot outside and the AC in his Escalade was having trouble keeping up with the outside temperature.

A few minutes later he heard another vehicle pull up.  Looking into his rear view mirror he saw Dr. Cromwell’s tall thin form get out of the car.  He wanted to get this over with quickly; the man reeked of pipe tobacco, which always made him sneeze.

He got out of the car and let Cromwell come up to him.

“So do you have it?”

“Yes, General.  I think you will be most pleased with the results.  My team is still deciphering much of the data, but we have enough to start moving forward; perhaps as soon as next week.”

Dr. Cromwell handed the General a small flash drive.

The General’s normal gruff demeanor didn’t change, but internally he was elated.  Finally, revenge on Dr. Thomas was within his grasp!  When he had his team together, Dr. Thomas and the original Glass Hand operatives would be his first targets, then his new benefactor, and then anyone he wanted who might get in his way.

“Just keep the data coming Cromwell, and keep me apprised of your progress.  I’ll contact you in another week to see what else you manage to uncover.  I want to know as soon as you think we can start working on live subjects.”

“Yes, General.  I am sure it will not be long.”





General Burgess couldn’t wait to get back to his house and review at the contents of the flash drive.

As soon as he arrived home he hurried up to his office and plugged the drive into his PC.  When the contents of the drive appeared he entered his encryption code and clicked on the summary file first.

NO! He couldn’t believe it!  This had to be a joke!  What the hell was Cromwell thinking!?

The title across the top of the page read, “Calculating the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow.”

The General slammed his fist down so hard his keyboard popped up and nearly fell off his desk.

Surely there was some type of mistake!  He yanked the flash drive out and looked at it.  The number 42 was written on the outer casing of the flash drive.  In his haste to put it in he must have missed it.  Cromwell was an idiot, putting the encryption key on the outside for anyone to see it.

He put the drive back in and entered ‘42’ instead of his normal encryption code.  The screen went blank.  After a short delay, text started appearing a letter at a time in a large font.  It spelled out:


“So long, General Burgess,

and thanks for all the fish!”


The Generals eyes turned white and he stared blankly at the screen after reading the message.  He sat there for a few minutes and then got up, flushed the flash drive down the toilet, and went downstairs to clean his golf clubs.  All thought and knowledge of his time with Project Glass Hand was now gone from his mind, as though it never existed.

Dr. Cromwell was now in charge of a team of top secret scientists who would spend billions of dollars to calculate the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow; both the African and the European variety, in case there was any doubt of the speed between the two. All memories of their project and time involving Ken were gone.





The Order - Chapter 4

Brad seemed to be going downhill fast and Ken didn’t know what to do about it.  That day, while Ken was out on assignment with Kevin, he texted the doc and asked to meet at the lab that afternoon.  It was a 711 message and the doctor texted him back immediately and said he would be in the lab all day and to come as quickly as time allowed.  When they were finished with the job that afternoon Ken said, “Kev buddy we need to swing back by the lab before we go to the office.”

“Bro you’ve been majorly distracted all day today. Is there somethin goin on you wanna talk about?”

“Brad’s been actin weird the last few weeks and it’s getting worse.  He’s not sleepin good and he won’t talk to me about it.  I want to talk to the doc.”

“Shit man I’m sorry.  You know if there’s anythin me or Bill or any of the guys can do all you gotta do is say the word.  I’m sure the doc will figure out what’s up.”

“Yeah I hope so, man.  Shit I really hope so.” Ken let out a heavy sigh and just stared out the window, worried about Brad, as they drove back to the lab.



When Ken got to the lab he was surprised to see the doc’s office door closed and Bryan and Lane in talking to him. From what he could see it looked like a serious conversation.  When the doctor saw Ken through the glass he quickly brought things to a close.

Ken hadn’t seen Lane or Bryan for a few days, and when they came out of the doctor’s office he noticed that Lane looked rough.  His handsome face was haggard and his hair was disheveled.  He gave a ‘whaddup’ nod to Kevin and Ken and gave them a subdued “Hey fellas” as he walked by, but his usual mischievous grin was absent.  Bryan, following him out, had a helpless look on his face.  Bryan gave Kevin and Ken passing backslap’s on his way out but didn’t say anything.

Ken lowered his head and said under his breath, “Shit! Is everything goin to pot now?  What was that about?”

The doctor was standing at the door to his office and said, “Nothing you need to be concerned about Kenneth.  They will be fine, and you will know more soon enough.  Trust me that it is not a bad thing.  Now come in and have a seat.”

Kevin told him, “Take your time bro.  I’ve got plenty of paperwork to catch up on.  Just let me know when you’re ready to leave.”

Ken went in, shut the door and sat down. The doc asked, “Now what did you wish to discuss today?”

“Doc, its Brad.  I think somethin’s going on with him, but he keeps sayin he’s fine.  He’s not sleeping well, and he’s been having nightmares.  Every time I try to talk to him he says he doesn’t remember what they’re about.”

“He’s been having these cold spells where he shivers, and then other times his body just starts trembling, but he’s not cold.  Sometimes I’ll catch him standin still starin at nothin, but when I ask him what’s goin on he tries to hide it and act like everything is ok.”  Once Ken started talking, everything seemed to come out in a rush.

“Doc, he’s pulling away from me.  I can feel it, and it hurts like hell, and nothing I do seems to make a difference.”  Ken rubbed a hand roughly over his face in frustration; his eyes were red and bright with unshed tears.

“Kenneth, why did you wait to talk to me about this?”

“Because Brad made me promise not to.  I’ve tried talkin with him about this but he insists that everythin is fine and said he didn’t want to bother you.”

The doctor looked at Ken with a raised eyebrow and he felt like a little kid in the principal’s office being brought to task. 

“Kenneth, I am sorry to ask this but it is important.  How are you and Bradford doing in bed since this started?”

“Well, at first everythin was normal; better than normal.  With that new bonding trick sex with Brad has been amazing.  But this last week has been… well… strange… it’s hard to describe.  On one hand he seems to be pullin away emotionally, but on the other hand when we are makin love he almost seems desperate.  The other night he was holdin on to me like his life depended on it.  But when we aren’t makin love, I feel like he’s afraid for me to touch him.”

“And how are you doing?”

“I’m holdin myself together for now.  I’m tryin to do everythin I can around the house to give him some alone time and sleep in since he’s been so tired.  But I’m pretty much doin everythin by myself right now.  I’m scared for him, kinda pissed at him, and hurt.  I don’t understand what’s happenin or why he would act like he is.  And it hurts like hell that he’s shuttin me out and not lettin me help him.  And to top it all off I feel like I’m neglectin the guys.”

The doctor got up from behind his desk and moved around to sit in the chair beside Ken.  He patted Ken on the shoulder and gave him a tight squeeze.  “I know it hurts, son, but based on what you have told me, I do not think that Bradford is himself right now.”

Ken’s brow furrowed and he looked intently at the doc, “Wait doc, do you know what’s goin on with him?”

“I am not absolutely sure, no.  But I have some suspicions, and I was dreading that something like this might happen.  I have been waiting, and hoping, that my fears would prove fruitless.”

“Spill it doc!”

With a heavy sigh, the doctor leaned back and looked long and hard at Ken, staring deeply into his eyes like he was hoping to find something, and when he didn’t it seemed to confirm his suspicions. 

“Kenneth, how much do you remember of your abduction, and what was done to you up until the night you were rescued?”

“Doc we’ve gone over this, what does that have to do with Brad?”

“Please Kenneth; it is pertinent to the situation.  Answer the question.”

“Well… I haven’t thought about it much to be honest.  I don’t really want to remember.  I… well….” Ken frowned and he looked confused.  He didn’t want to remember that horrible time but now that he tried he didn’t seem to be able to recall much at all.  It all seemed hazy and detached, mostly bits and pieces, and the worst parts were missing completely, leaving big gaps in his memories.

Ken’s eyes went wide.  “Doc I don’t remember much at all!”

The doctor nodded, “I thought that might be the case.”

“Doc what’s goin on?  Why can’t I remember!?”

“There are many possibilities, but two seem to be the most prominent.  One, you suffered a huge mental and physical trauma and to protect yourself, your mind has sealed off the experience and made it unavailable to your conscious mind.  It is a known type of self-induced amnesia, a defensive mechanism that many people employ for self-survival.   The other possibility is that the memories are no longer there; which begs the question of where they are and how they got removed.”

“I designed you to be resilient, both mentally and physically, but the type of torture you experienced, which was made possible because of your superior physiology, was beyond human imagining.  I was fearful that by the time we rescued you your mind would be broken beyond repair.  And yet here you sit, in full mental and physical health, mere weeks after an experience that should have left you dead, or at the very least insane.”

“My boy, you and your brothers from the Program have exceeded my wildest expectations, but even your recovery is too much for me to take credit for.  You are still human, even if you are the pinnacle of human potential.  By all accounts you should not be sitting here looking at me.”

Ken wasn’t sure how to react to that.  What do you say when someone tells you that you should be dead?  Brad, what the fuck have you done?!

“While you were still in an induced coma, the second day after we rescued you, we found Bradford in your room, sleeping on top of you.  He was also in an induced coma, and yet he managed to disengage himself from my equipment, and go into your room and climb into your bed.  The next morning when we found the two of you, the parts of your body that were touching seemed to be outwardly healed.”

“I still do not know exactly what Bradford did, or how, but he should not have been able to move, let alone accomplish what he did.  At first I thought it might have been some physiological reaction between your body chemistry and his, but only you were affected.  Whatever it was he did took its toll on him.  I was as worried about losing him as I was you for a time.”

“When your heart stopped briefly during the rescue, Bradford almost died as well, and it severed the connection between the two of you.  I believe that Bradford somehow figured out how to re-engage your bond, but in a non-reciprocal psychic manner.  There is so much I do not know or understand about what happened that night, and I am guessing at much of this.  But the results so far support my hypothesis.”

“So what are you sayin doc?  What did he do to me?”

“I think he saved not only your life, but your mind.  The question is at what cost to himself?”

Ken was in shock.  He just sat back in the chair with a stunned look on his face.  What had Brad done to him?  No… not to him… for him.  It was so humbling... and infuriating!   As all the emotions behind what the doctor said came boiling back to the surface, Ken felt like he was going to throw up.  The only thing he could think of was he was going to lose Brad, and it was because of him.

The doctor had known Ken for nearly twenty years, and he could see the thought processes going through Ken’s face.  “Doc…”

“No Kenneth! You are NOT responsible for this!  Do not go there son.  Bradford did this of his own volition.  He did it because he loves you.  You would do the same for him, so do not blame him either.  Accept the fact of what he has done, and let us find a way to help him.”

Ken took a deep breath, trying to get himself under control; his only objective for the time being needed to be Brad and helping him.

“Alright, doc.  What do we do for starters?”

“I need to examine him, but it will take me some time to prepare and recalibrate some of the equipment.   You and Kevin return to the office and then you and Bradford come back here after dinner.  You can stop and pick up food for me on your way over.  It will be a long night.  You and Bradford are excused from work until further notice.  I will let everyone know.”

“Doc, can you wait to send that text until after we get back here tonight?”


“And doc, what do I tell Kevin and the others?”

“Nothing yet.  They need to be told, but let me worry about that.  And do not feel like you are neglecting them.  You are one man and, and as strong as your shoulders are, you cannot carry the weight of everything on your own.”

Kevin was still doing paperwork when he saw Ken finish up with the doc and come over towards his desk.  He could see that Ken was really upset but knew his friend would talk when he was ready.

“Ready to go, bud?”

“Yeah man let’s head out.”

The drive back to the office was silent.  Kevin kept looking over at Ken with a worried look on his face.  Ken was his Captain and still the unofficial leader of all of them; it was unsettling to see him like this and he didn’t know what to do to help.



Kevin dropped Ken off at the entrance to their building and picked up Bill, who was waiting inside the door.  Ken walked into the lobby of the suite their office was in and took the stairs up to the fifth floor. When he walked in, Sally was on the phone, so he waved to her as he went by.

Ken went back to the office he and Brad shared.  Brad was sitting behind his desk; his chair turned around and staring out the window.

Ken’s greeting was subdued, “Hey B, you ready to head out?”

Brad spun his chair slowly around.  His eyes had that faraway look again, like he was somewhere else.  He stood up, grabbed Ken by the tie, and pushed him down into the chair.  He shut and locked the door.

“B, look man it’s been a long day, and I…”

Brad held his finger up to his lips. “Shhhh…”

Brad knelt down between Ken’s thighs and started running his hands up and down Ken’s legs and over his crotch.

“B, what the fuck man, we don’t have time for this.”

Brad unzipped Ken’s pants and stuck his hand in to grab his soft dick.  Normally this would have Ken rock hard in seconds, but not after everything he had just learned.  Brad tried desperately to get Ken hard for a few minutes… jacking and sucking but Ken just sat there in the chair with a stony look on his face and he remained soft.  When Brad realized his efforts weren’t getting any reaction from Ken he seemed to get a little desperate, and tried that much harder.

Ken finally said, “Look, B just give it up.  I’m tired and the magic ain’t happenin today bro.   I’m sorry.”

Brad’s voice sounded sad and he quietly said, “Not as sorry as I am.” Brad unlocked the door and walked out.   Ken stuffed himself back in his pants, zipped up, and walked out to the lobby where Brad was waiting for him.

They both went to the car in silence.  Brad normally drove, but Ken jumped into the driver’s seat before he had a chance to get in.

As soon as Brad realized they weren’t going home he asked where they were going.  “We need to pick up some dinner for the doc and swing by the lab to pick up a few things.  I say we get something for us too.  I don’t feel like cooking tonight.”

Brad didn’t say anything and just stared out the window.

They swung through the drive in window at Long John Silver’s for the doctor.  Ken called PF Chang’s and ordered for pickup.  It was close to the lab, so they swung by and got their food and they arrived at the lab a few minutes later.


Brad knew something was up when they walked into the lab, but Ken was being careful and keeping an eye on him.  He didn’t have a chance to run.  Besides, Ken could catch him in a heartbeat, and there was no way Brad could overpower or outrun him.

The doctor took his food into his office and left Brad and Ken in the break area to eat their dinner.  Instead of sitting at the table, they were both standing and leaning against the counter.  Ken had taken his tie off, undone the top few buttons of his shirt, and rolled up his sleeves.  To Brad he looked sexy as hell.

Ken had his takeout box of food open and was literally jabbing the chopsticks into his dinner.

Brad said, “If you aren’t careful you’re gonna poke a hole through that box and make a mess.”

Ken didn’t respond and continued chewing angrily.

Brad just stared at Ken, going over every detail of his handsome face.   He was going to miss the way Ken’s jaw muscles moved when he ate; the way his temples moved as he chewed; the way his throat flexed as he swallowed; the way the muscles in his forearms moved as he used the chopsticks.  “God, Ken I am going to miss you so much.”  Too late, Brad realized he said that out loud.  Ken froze and went white as a sheet.  He felt like he just got punched in the gut. 

He looked at Brad, and with a steely glint in his eye he said, “Look B.  I’m gonna say this once and only once.  I don’t know what the fuck you’ve done, but you aren’t goin anywhere and neither am I.”  Ken moved over in front of Brad and was poking Brad hard in the chest as he said that, pushing him back until Brad almost fell over backwards across the counter.  Ken lost it and fell to his knees grabbing Brad around the waist and pressing his face against Brad’s stomach.  He held on tight, sobbing helplessly.  Brad had an almost terrified look on his face.

Ken felt Brad’s hand tentatively touch his head, running his fingers through his hair.  It started as a comforting, loving caress, but then Brad’s hands started trembling violently, and he started frantically trying to push Ken away.  It was almost like Ken’s touch was physically painful.  Brad was breathing heavily and could barely talk, but he started repeating under his breath, “Don’t touch me!  I can’t handle it!”

Ken let go of Brad, turned around and slumped down on the floor with his back against the cabinets.  He held his head in his hands and continued sobbing.

The doctor witnessed most of the exchange, his heart breaking for the two young men.

“Bradford, come here.  Kenneth, come in when you are ready, son.”

The doctor led Brad into one of the exam rooms.  “Please strip down to your underwear and get on the bed.”

Like a zombie Brad did as he was told, got on the bed, and lay back.

The doctor gave him a general physical.  Brad’s pupils were non-responsive, his blood pressure was high, and he had slight hypothermia.   He drew some of Brad’s blood and as he went out to put the vials in the centrifuge, Ken came into the room.  He had changed clothes into jeans and t-shirt.  His eyes were red and puffy and he looked pale.

Brad seemed to shirk away from Ken when he walked into the room.  Ken noticed and stayed over by the door.  Brad’s voice was weak, but he looked over at Ken and said, “Please leave.”

“I love you B; no matter what.  Surely after all this time you know that right?” Ken walked out of the room to find the doctor.

“He asked me to leave Doc.  He doesn’t want me in the room.”

“Kenneth, I know this is painful for you.   I am so sorry my boy; for both of you.   If you wish you can watch on the monitor at your desk.  Bradford does not know I have turned on the camera.  I think you should watch if you can bring yourself to do it.”

The doctor went back into the room where Brad was waiting.

“Now Bradford, while I am waiting for those tests to run, you are going to tell me, from the beginning, what is going on.  If I feel you are being dishonest with me in the slightest, I will resort to drastic and unpleasant means.”

“Just keep Ken out of the room, doc, or I won’t be able to do this.”

“You know, Bradford, that you are breaking his heart? How can you not see what you are doing to him?”

“At least he’ll be alive doc.  He’s such a great man.  He’s my best friend.  I didn’t think it was possible to love someone so much until I met him.”  Brad’s eyes were swimming with tears.

“You say you love him, and yet you are doing this to him.  Bradford you are one of the brightest men I know; how can you say this when you know it does not make sense?”

“Are you familiar with Superman doc?  He gets his power from the yellow sun and kryptonite is his weakness? Well imagine that Ken is both of these things to me right now… he’s keeping me alive and killing me at the same time.”

“Explain yourself.”

“You see doc, when Ken and I were connected, and I knew what they were doing to him, I was desperate to save him.  You said there might be consequences from the bond between us staying up so long.  You were right.  I’m still not sure, but I think the connection left an imprint on my brain because it was on for so long. “

“When you suppressed that part of me, I’ve never felt so alone.  It was more than I could take.  It sounds silly to talk about it, but the intensity was soul crushing.  I think we feel love stronger than normal people, because of all the changes we’ve been through.  And I think because of that, we feel the opposite more too.  When Ken’s presence left, I wanted to die.  I couldn’t fathom living without him.  And you probably know this, but the human brain perceives time differently when it’s asleep.  While I was unconscious for only a few minutes, it seemed like days to me and I was on the verge of losing my mind.”

“I’ve never been so desperate in my entire life.  So my subconscious figured out a way to reconnect me to Ken.  By the time I figured out how to do that, what was left of his mind was nearly gone.  What I connected to was almost unrecognizable as the man I love beyond words.  The last shred of his sanity was begging for Kevin to kill him to stop the pain.”

“I didn’t know how else to save him doc.  I took all that pain, all the broken pieces, his death wish, and took it away from him, into me.  I know what a remarkable man Ken is, and I knew he would survive the physical torture if his body had a chance to do what you designed it to do.”

“The problem now, is that all of that is in me and it wants out.  It wants to get back to Ken and destroy him.  It’s constantly pushing and trying to find a way out through the connection I have with him.   I’m holding it back, but it’s killing me.  But I’ll be damned if I’m going to let it out.  I’m going to die with it in me so Ken can live.” 

“When he touches me, this thing in me can feel him and it starts clawing like a wild animal inside my mind.  That’s why I can’t have him around me right now.  But at the same time, the boost I get from Ken when we make love makes me stronger.  It feeds off my love of him and I know how strong that love is, so I have to keep him away or it will punch through before I can stop it.”

The doctor was silent for a few minutes, his brain taking all this in and using his vast knowledge and intellect to figure out a solution.  He was stunned at Brad’s bravery and his foolishness, and at what he managed to accomplish.  The part of him that did this was supposed to be dormant for years to come.  With the proper training this never would have happened.  How could things be advancing so quickly and so… coincidentally?  First Ken discovered the bonding, now Bradford, and Lane making his new discovery… He would have to consider all of this carefully and devise a new strategy moving forward.  Assuming he could find a way to save Brad.  Ahh Albrecht I miss you now more than ever. 


The doctor was shaken out of his thoughts when he heard Ken shout from the other room, “Doc!”

The doctor reached over and squeezed Brad’s arm.  “You were foolish to try and handle this alone, my boy.  I am not saying I know what to do, but I would have had more time to work on a solution if you had confided in me earlier.”

“In my defense doc, early on I wasn’t in complete control and it fought me tooth and nail not to let anyone know what was happening. I’m sorry.”

“I understand, my boy.  Lie still and I will be right back.”  With that he went out to find out what Ken was yelling about.

“Did you hear?”

“Yeah, doc, I heard everything.  That stupid son of a bitch is killing himself to save me!” Ken’s voice choked up as he said that, and he was shaking badly.  He had something in his hand but the doctor couldn’t make it out.

“I need to check on the test results.  What is it you were yelling at me about?”

Ken lowered his head as if he was embarrassed.  “Well… I heard what he was sayin about the sun and kryptonite and I had an idea.  Uh… well I figure I can give him what he needs without touching him.”  With that he put the cup on the counter that he had in his hand. 

“Is that…”

Ken blushed a deeper shade of red.  “Yeah.”  It was a sample cup full of Ken’s cum.

“Kenneth that is brilliant.”

“I was thinkin you could start with this, but maybe make a serum or sumthin that would make it stronger and last longer.”

“Kenneth that is also brilliant.  Perhaps I should let you take over my duties.  Such a simple solution; no pun intended, of course.”

Ken gave the doc a sheepish grin.  “Well there’s plenty more where that came from, so just let me know…”

The doctor reached over and picked up the largest empty beaker he could find and shoved it into Ken’s hands.  “Go get to work, my boy.  Remember to drink plenty of liquids so you don’t dehydrate yourself.”

The doctor filled a syringe with the contents of the cup and hurried back to Brad’s bedside.

“Bradford this is a bit unorthodox but I see no reason why it will not work.  Please roll over.” 

Brad saw the syringe and told the doc, “No!  Your suppression serum won’t work on this, and I can’t take any sedatives.  Weren’t you listening to me?!”

“Bradford calm down, this is neither.  If anything I would consider this a stimulant.”  He jabbed the needle into Brad’s butt and pressed the plunger.

Immediately Brad’s eyes widened in surprise.  “Doc what the hell was that?”

“It is helping?”

“Yes!  I can feel the pressure letting up already.”

“You can thank Kenneth, this was entirely his idea.”

Brad’s eyes lost their glazed look and he let out a sigh of relief and his body visibly relaxed; the doc could see the tension leave his body with the boost in strength he just received.  Brad lay back on the bed, closed his eyes and in seconds he fell asleep. 




When Brad woke up the next morning, the first thing he saw was a haggard looking Ken sitting in a chair by his bedside watching him.  His eyes were red, his hair was disheveled and had a little cowlick on the top of his head, and he needed to shave.  To Brad he looked more handsome than ever.

Brad’s initial reaction was to try and move away, but he was groggy and still weak.

“’s okay.  The doc gave you another injection an hour ago.  You didn’t even wake up.”

Brad couldn’t make eye contact with Ken, and just stared at his feet instead.

Ken had all night to think about everything he heard.  He still didn’t know what to say but he knew he had to say something. 

“B… before I say anythin else I want to tell you again how much you mean to me bro. You don’t have to look at me but I’m gonna have my say and you aren’t budgin from that bed until I’m done.”

“I can’t imagine bein in this world without you buddy.  I want you to know that I understand what you did and why you did it.  I wish I could stay mad at you but I know I would’ve done the same thing for you.  That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt like hell.  When you won’t look at me, and I know my touch causes you pain… it hurts me too bro.  We’re in this together man and with the doc’s help we’ll figure a way out of this.”

Brad still couldn’t bring himself to look at Ken.  It was taking all his willpower to sit there and not rush over and grab ahold of Ken and hold him tight. Tears started falling down his face while Ken was talking and he began quietly sobbing; his shoulders shaking.  He sat up and pulled his knees up to his chest and put his head down and cried.

Ken watched Brad curl his body up on the bed crying.  The effort not to move over and take Brad into his arms was almost more than he could take.  Ken was breathing hard from the effort and his whole body was shaking.

“God, B, this is killing both of us man, being apart like this.  Don’t you know there isn’t anythin we can’t handle if we’re together? I can’t stand just sittin here and watchin you suffer because of me.”

Brad’s shoulders slumped and he quietly said “I wish I was as strong as you Ken.  I’ve never been as strong as you.”

Ken was stunned and blurted out, “What the fuck are you talkin about bro?  You are the strongest person I know!  Oh my God man how can you say that?  You have no idea do you?  For someone so smart you can sure be a dumbass sometimes!”

There was a short pause, while each of them thought about what the other just said.

Ken broke the silence first. “Ok Brad, here it is.  The reason we’ve made it all these years is because we complement each other.  For instance someone has to be the handsome one so that is obviously me…”

Brad’s reaction was instinctive, “Oh Fuck nooo dude, no way!  Not with those Dumbo ears of yours!” Brad stopped when realized what Ken just did.  The brief grin on his face faded a little bit and he said, “You douche.”

Ken had a hint of a smile on his face, but his heart leapt in his chest when he saw Brad smile, even for a second.  It was the sign he needed that this wasn’t a lost cause and that Brad still had a lot more in him than he realized.

“Ok bro, seriously.  We do complement each other.  And we’ve always been there for each other, through the good times and the bad.  This time isn’t any different.  It’s probably the worst fuckin situation we’ve ever been in, hands down, but still.  We’ve learned to lean on each other.  And right now you need to lean on me.  I don’t care how fuckin hard you have to lean on me; you keep pushin until I say uncle or you break my back.    I know I can’t touch you, but I can deal with that as long as I know you are fightin for us.  If you don’t give up we can figure out a way to win this. Do you hear me?”

Brad felt a glimmer of hope.  Being here with Ken was still hard as hell.  He could feel the beast inside of him clawing and pushing up, trying to break out and destroy Ken.  But the hope he felt gave him the strength to push it back down.

Brad looked up and made eye contact with Ken and quietly said “Ok.”

“You promise?”

“Yeah man I promise.”

“Damn that means I’m gonna have to run out to the drugstore.”


“I need to stock up on lube man.  Do you know how many times I’m gonna have to jack off to keep you goin?”

“You know you love it or you wouldn’t be bragging about it.”

“Hey B?


“Now isn’t this a lot better both of us just cryin like babies?”

Brad had a small smile on his face and said, “Yeah.  Hey Ken?”

“Yeah buddy?”

“Come here a sec.”

Ken moved over to the bed.  Brad scooted over to the edge of the bed and put his legs around Ken’s waste.  He lowered his forehead and pressed it against the upper part of Ken’s chest, took a deep breath, inhaling Ken’s musky smell, and said, “Fuck this is gonna hurt.”  With that he looked up and took Ken’s face in his hands, feeling his strength, and brought their lips together.  It was short but extremely intense and they were both breathing hard when Brad pulled his lips away.  He reached his hands around Ken and brought him in for a tight hug.  He squeezed as hard as he could and he felt Ken’s arms wrap around him pushing his face tighter against his chest.  Ken could feel Brad’s warm breath against him through his t-shirt.  They were both hard.

They both said “I love you buddy” at the same time, which caused them both to chuckle.

Ken leaned down and kissed the top of Brad’s head.  He could see the strain on Brad’s face and knew that display of affection cost him a lot so he moved away.  “B I’m sorry man but I need to get outta here for a minute and cool or off or I’m gonna end up rippin your clothes off.”

“Yeah we need to cool off.  I love you bro but that really hurt.  I’m not sure I can do that again anytime soon.”

“Hey are you hungry?”

“Yeah I’m starving.”

“Alright I’ll be back in a bit.”

Brad watched Ken as he turned and headed out; those blue jeans hugging his marbled ass, and that t-shirt hugging his huge frame.  I promise I’ll hold out as long as I can man.  I’ll give it everything I have for you.  But deep down Brad already had an idea of what was happening inside his body and he didn’t know how much time he had left.

Ken got to his Explorer but instead of getting in he collapsed on the ground with his back against the front tire and just sat still.  The events of the previous night and today were repeating in his mind and the front that he put on for Brad finally shattered; he crossed his arms over his knees and put his head down and he fell apart.  He had to get it out of his system, and he couldn’t do it in front of Brad.  He had to stay strong and be the rock. He knew that Brad wasn’t out of the woods yet, but at least now Ken felt like they had a fighting chance. 

Ken heard a car pulling into the parking lot.  Bryan and Lane pulled up next to his Explorer and got out.

Even as Lane was saying “Hey Ken… fuck bro what’s wrong?”  Lane saw Ken on the ground, his face a wreck and wet with tears, unshaven, and eyes bloodshot.  Lane and Bryan both rushed over to him, their faces full of concern for their friend. 

Ken’s voice was raw with emotion and he said, “Hey guys… sorry I wasn’t expectin you to pull up and I was just gettin some shit outta my system.  Brad’s not doing so good.” Ken’s head dropped and the tears started up again, his shoulders shaking.  Bryan knelt down and grabbed Ken, pulling him into a tight bear hug and whispered, “Take as long as you need to get it out.”  Ken felt Lane join the hug from behind, pushing up against his back.   The two big men had him sandwiched between them and they held him until he stopped crying. 

Once Ken calmed down and could talk, Lane asked him, “Ok Ken, we know something’s up.  The doc has been a bit tight lipped, but it’s obvious to all of us that there’s some leftover shit goin on.”

Bryan put a hand up and interrupted Lane, “Where are you off to?”

Ken sniffed and wiped his eyes with the back of his hand.  “I was headin out to get some food for me and Brad and the doc.”

“Get in and tell us what you can on the way.  We want to know everything about what’s goin on so we can help.”

Ken filled them in on everything that happened, leaving nothing out.  He wasn’t sure the doctor wanted anyone else knowing what was going on just yet, but Ken badly needed to talk with someone else that could relate to what he was going through.

When he was finished, Ken noticed that Bryan and Lane exchange a look between them.  Ken asked them, “Is there something else goin on?  Fuck I don’t know how much more I can take.”

Lane piped in quickly, “No bro it’s nothing like that.  Look, the doc didn’t want us talkin about this quite yet either, but with everything that you just told us… well fuck I don’t know, I just think you should know too.”

“Know what?”

“Well Bry and I, we tried that trick that you and Brad figured out.  It’s been fuckin awesome, just like you said.”  Bryan just grinned.

Lane continued, “But in the last few weeks something else has happened.  I started havin this dream, after me and Bry would finish up makin out.  You know how much into music I am right?  Well in this dream I’ve been working on a song, but when I wake up I can’t remember the words or the music.  But here’s where it gets weird… while I’m workin on the song, I’m sittin on a rock outside in the sunshine.  I don’t know where it is but it’s beautiful there; really peaceful. There’s this big river flowing by, and Brad’s on the other side, looking like he wants to get across but he can’t.  Bry is there to, and all the guys except for you and the doc.  It’s like we are camping.   Everyone’s talkin but no one except me see’s Brad.   I’m feelin frustrated with the words to the song, and all of the sudden we hear this horrible scream from the woods across the water.  The scream sounds like you man. That’s when I wake up every time.”

“We were on our way in to talk to the doc more about this when we ran into you.”

“So what does he think about this?”

“He thinks it’s another ability manifesting, but he’s not sure what.  He said it might be precognitive, whatever the fuck that means.  The only thing is I feel like I need to finish that song and it’s drivin me nuts.”

In between their conversation they hit PF Chang’s and everybody got some food to go.  They hit Long John Silver’s for the doc on the way back.

When they got back, as they were getting out of the car, Ken gave them both a big, heartfelt hug.  “Thanks guys.  I feel better bein able to talk about this shit with someone who can relate.  I love the doc but sometimes I’m not sure he gets everythin on the emotional side.”

Lane put his arm around Ken’s shoulder and squeezed hard.  “Look here Ken, you and Brad are family.  You know you don’t have to go through any of this shit by yourself.  I know you want to be all macho and studly like you don’t need anybody’s help but that’s bullshit man.  Lean on us as much as you need to bro.  We mean that.  And that goes for Brad too, that dumb fucker.  If you don’t we’ll have to kick both your sorry ugly asses.  You got that?”

Ken just laughed and shook his head, seeing the irony of what Lane just told him.  Lane asked him, “What’s so funny?”

“That’s exactly what I told Brad before we left.”

Lane laughed and said, “See man, you need to listen to your own bullshit.”

Ken felt much better after his little outing with Bryan and Lane.  Lesson learned.




Bryan and Lane talked with the doctor but Ken wasn’t privy to the conversation.  They stopped into Brad’s room briefly before they left, and soundly berated him for being a dumbass, while giving him a big hug.  They gave Brad the same speech they gave Ken and they made both Ken and Brad promise, again, to let them know how they could help, no matter what it might be.

Ken was able to spend more time with Brad now.  They kept their physical distance but were able to talk now without the tension.   The doctor managed to increase the potency of the injections so Ken didn’t have to jack off quite so much.  Ken could always tell when Brad needed another shot, and joked that Brad was hooked and Ken was now his ‘cum dealer.’

The next day the doctor called Ken into his office.  He shut the door after Ken came in and he had a serious look on his face.

Ken looked at him at him, steeling himself for bad news.

“Kenneth, I think I have enough data collected to form a prognosis.  I will continue to run the tests in case there are any changes, but right now it looks like Bradford’s organs are starting to shut down.  Whatever this thing is inside of him is slowly killing his body.”

“Doc, how can that be?  It’s not even real.”

“There, my boy, I think you are wrong.  We have stepped beyond science here.  What Bradford did, he should not have been able to do, at least not yet.  It was not just the memories of the pain he took from you.  He took the part of your soul that was damaged beyond repair into himself.  I am afraid it is real, and very much alive.  It has intellect, of that I am now certain, in its own primal way.  We have thwarted it temporarily, but it has discovered a way around us.  It is killing Bradford because it wishes to return home, and it hopes that we will not allow Bradford to sacrifice himself.   In essence it is holding him hostage.”

Ken had a knot in his stomach. He struggled to keep his voice even and asked “How long?”

“It is not exact but another few weeks at best.  I might be able to counter the effects and slow it down, but at this point the end result is inevitable.  I am so sorry.” 

“I don’t want to tell him doc.  He has enough on his plate and he doesn’t need this.”

“As you wish.  I think he already suspects, but I will not bring it up if he does not.  I am not giving up Kenneth, please know this.  And there are other forces at play here that are still unknown.  Again I am faced with what appears to be a coincidence, and I feel that Lane, Bryan, and perhaps the others still have a role to play in this that I cannot see yet.”




Brad was beyond tired.  His soul was exhausted with the constant battle to keep the beast caged inside of him.   He wished Ken was here right now, but at the same time was glad he wasn’t; kryptonite and yellow sun.  Brad drifted off to sleep…

… and was in the dream again.  It was beautiful here.  He had wonderful memories of this place from his childhood.  One of the few memories he had or cared to remember.  The river flowed by slow but strong.  The bubbling sound of the water was soothing.  He heard the beast scream and Brad walked back down the little trail to the cage.  It was really an old fort that he and a friend had built when they were kids.  He could see the little structure rattling, and some of the boards were coming loose, but it was holding.  The strength of this memory, and how happy he was as a kid when he was here, was still too strong for it.

He picked a few dead branches from the ground and tried to shore up the little fort as best he could.  There were knot holes in some of the boards and he could see a few bloody fingers poking through trying to get a grip and break out.  Moving closer, he tried to get a better look at the creature through one of the knot holes.  A piercing green eye appeared at the knot hole startling him and causing him to jump back and lose his balance.

He could tell the creature was getting stronger.  It was changing; looking more and more like Ken from the night of the rescue. It had all the broken bones, the flayed and burned skin, and it was covered in dark, wet, slick, blood. He knew it wasn’t Ken.  Not his Ken, but a part of Ken that he needed to keep here.  If he died, then this place would die with him, and the creature would be gone forever and unable to get to Ken.

About halfway back to the beach Brad heard music.  It was faint, but it sounded like someone playing a guitar.  He made it back to the beach and looked around.  Across the river he saw a man sitting on a large rock, holding a guitar in his lap, playing a song.  The melody was hauntingly beautiful.

The man wasn’t alone.  There were a whole group of people over there camping.  His blood ran cold when he saw Ken walk out from the tree line and stop at the water’s edge.  He recognized all of them now; Kevin, Bill, Pat, Darren, Ricky, Loy, Bryan, Lane, and Ken. 

Lane was the one sitting on the rock playing his guitar.  He was a great musician, and he always played and sang for them when they would have pool parties at the house.  Brad smiled fondly, remembering all the good times they had at the house with their friends.  In the winter when the pool was covered, they had a nice fire pit and they would all cook out together and Lane would play his guitar.  Bryan would sometimes play the bongos, and even sing, if he had time to practice with Lane beforehand.   His deep, rumbling baritone complimented Lane’s smooth tenor nicely.

Lane seemed to be the only one who saw Brad, and he stood up and waved.  Snapping back to himself, Brad moved to the edge of the water and started frantically yelling for them to leave.  They had to get Ken out of this place or everything he’s gone through will be wasted, and Ken would die!

The creature screamed again, a long howl filled with rage and frustration.  He rushed back down the trail towards the fort.


Brad jerked awake and sat up in bed, trembling and sweating.  He wasn’t sure what time it was but the lights were out and Ken was sleeping in the chair by the door.  Ken must have sensed the motion or heard the sheets move because he immediately sat up.

His voice was a little groggy, but he said “Hey B… you alright?  Another nightmare?”

Ken was shocked at how bad Brad looked.  Earlier tonight he looked tired but now he looked like death warmed over.

“Do you need me to get the doc?”

His eyes were open wide in a panic and his chest was heaving “Ken! Hurry man! I need a shot now!  No time to get the doc!”  He sounded desperate and exhausted and his body was shaking violently.

There was a small glass refrigerator in the cabinet by the door with syringes the doc had prepared ahead of time.  Ken opened the door and grabbed one.  Brad was already leaning on his side and had pulled his shorts down, waiting for the shot.  Ken jabbed the needle into Brad’s butt and pressed the plunger and backed off quickly.

After a few seconds, Brad’s breathing started to slow and the trembling lessened.

Ken tentatively asked, “You ok now man?”

“Yeah.”  He leaned over and turned on the bed lamp and then fell back on the pillows and closed his eyes, exhausted.  He didn’t see the tears or the look of desperation on Ken’s face.



Ken woke up before Brad.  The lamp was still on and he stood up and moved over beside the bed.  Brad looked tired but not nearly as bad as last night.  Whatever that nightmare was it had taken its toll on him, but he looked a little better now.

He heard the lab door open, and quietly left the room so he wouldn’t disturb Brad.  Kevin and Bill arrived with breakfast.  Ken knew he looked rough, and probably smelled, but didn’t care.

Kevin just said, “Come here buddy” and pulled him into a tight hug.

Bill said, “Bry and Lane called everyone together at the office last night and filled us all in.  Everybody knew somethin was up but we had no idea how serious it was.  Fuck man, we’re so sorry. How’s Brad doin this morning?”

“He’s asleep right now.   We had a close call in the middle of the night.  If I hadn’t been sleeping in the chair things might’ve gone south quick.  I’m gonna talk to the doc when he wakes up but I don’t think we can leave him alone anymore.”

Bill moved over behind Ken and pushed him down onto one of the lab stools and started rubbing his shoulders. “Dude I’m sorry to break the news to you, but you look like shit.  You need to take better care of yourself if you’re gonna to be of any use to Brad.”

No one heard the doctor until he said, “You are quite right William.  And I agree Kenneth, Bradford should not be left alone any longer.  I will prepare a schedule and email it out to everyone.”

“Lane and Bryan are on their way here to take you home for a few hours.  No argument, my boy.  Kevin, you and William can start now and stay here with Bradford through lunch.”

Lane and Bryan showed up and took Ken back to his house.  Ken got some clothes together but asked if they would mind taking him over to their place.

“This place doesn’t seem like home without Brad.  It’s too empty and quiet.”

Bryan and Lane only lived about fifteen minutes away.  They had a really nice place too.  Bryan was quite the gardener and their yard was in full bloom, and when Ken looked at the backyard, he saw the vegetable garden and the flower beds were going strong.  He stood there staring into the back yard through the sliding glass doors and tears started slowly falling down his face.  He was thinking how happy Bryan and Lane were, and how happy he and Brad have been all these years.  Now everything was uncertain and thinking about a life without Brad scared the hell out of him.  Pretty soon, Brad was going to be gone, unless they could figure something out.  And right now the doc was fresh out of ideas.

Lane saw Ken standing at the back door looking out into the yard.  Ken was trying to stay strong but the situation was taking its toll on him, and his friends could see how physically and emotionally drained he was.   Lane motioned for Bryan to follow him out to the garage so they could have a private conversation.  He whispered his idea to Bryan, who didn’t hesitate to nod yes.  Bryan leaned down and kissed Lane on the lips and then popped him on his ass as he turned to go back into the house.

Lane went up to Ken and grabbed his hand and pulled him down the hallway and into the bathroom.  He started the hot water running in the huge bathtub they had, and squirted something into the bath water.  Ken seemed to be in a bit of a fog and was letting himself be led around.  Lane untucked Ken’s shirt and lifted it over his head.

“Ken, I don’t know how to say this other than to be blunt.”

Ken looked at him, his brow creased slightly in curiosity.

“I know you’re a stud, and you’ve been jerking off like a zillion times for Brad.  But that’s not what you’re used to.  How long has it been since you and Brad made out?”

“Honestly I don’t remember.  Weeks I think.”

“I’m not pushin this, but I know how highly sexed you are.  You aren’t getting your needs taken care of like they should be.  So I’m offering that to you if you want me to help you out.  Bryan is totally cool with it, before you ask.”

Ken sniffed as he teared up again; this time out of love for his friends and what they were willing to do for him.

“Thanks Lane.  You really don’t know how much I appreciate that, but right now it would feel like cheatin on Brad.  It’s not you bro, you are one seriously good lookin man and such a good friend, and it would be way too easy to say yes.  But if Brad is goin without, then I am too.  It sounds weird, but it’s another way I’m tyrin to support the sacrifice he’s makin for me.”

“Ok man. I totally respect that.”

Lane grinned, and added, “But honestly I was hoping you would say yes, cause I’ve had the hots for you for a long time.  The offer stands until Brad is better.  After that it’s back to both of us being off limits.”

Ken laughed and said, “Ok man.  I doubt I’ll change my mind.  Just don’t parade around naked in front of me or we might both be in trouble.”

“You got it stud.  Ok now that’s out of the way, I’m takin over Brad’s other duties while he’s resting.  Strip and get into the water.”

Ken took off the rest of his clothes and stepped into the hot water, now full of soapy bubbles.

“A bubble bath?  Really?”

“Don’t you be dissin Mister Bubble, bro.  He takes care of business.”

Lane took off his shirt so he wouldn’t get it wet or soapy, grabbed a washcloth, and started washing Ken.  Lane was very thorough and Ken relaxed, enjoying the feel of someone else taking care of him.  Lane was humming a song under his breath while he was using the washcloth to scrub Ken’s body.  The song was unfamiliar and very soothing.

Lane rolled up a towel and laid it down as a headrest.

“Ok man I need you to lean back and put your head on the towel.  Just relax.”

Lane got on the floor and knelt over him, so when Ken opened his eyes he was staring upside down at Lane’s big chest. 

Lane saw him looking and grinned. “Quit peepin.  Close your eyes and relax.”

The next thing Ken felt was hot shaving cream being smoothed over his face.  Lane pulled out a straight razor and flicked it back and forth on a razor strap hanging from the wall.  Ken had not had a hot shave in years, and it felt amazing. Lane had a steaming hot towel ready to wipe the excess lather off his face.  He leaned forward so Lane could get the back of his neck.

“Ok now for part two.  You have some serious bedhead goin on.  You’re way overdue for a haircut.”  Lane was a great barber and had Ken looking like his old self in no time.

“Alright let’s get you dried off and come with me.  You can keep a towel on if you want but I’m sure Bry would enjoy the show if you wanna leave it here.”  Ken heard Lane’s infectious laugh and Lane said, “He’s already gonna be jealous that I’ve been handlin the goods.”

Lane took him into their bedroom, which had the same massage chair that he and Brad had in theirs.  Again Lane was very thorough, and spent a good hour going over Ken, working every kink out of his huge muscled frame.  Lane was humming that tune again as he worked, and between his soothing voice and his strong hands Ken was so relaxed that he fell asleep shortly into the massage.

When Lane was finished, he was horny as hell and dripping with sweat.  He left as quietly as he could and tried not to wake Ken up.  He ran down the hallway and got Bryan.

“Hey man he’s passed out in the chair.  Can you come help me get him into bed?”

Bryan got up off the couch, where he had been reading the new issue of Organic Gardening on his Kindle Fire.  He got up and wet down the hall to their bedroom.

Bryan saw Ken’s big body on the massage chair and leaned over and whispered into Ken’s ear.  “Just relax man. You’re exhausted and need to take a nap, so I’m gonna put you into our bed.”

Ken was like putty.  He was so exhausted he was like a little kid that never really wakes up when they are taken out of their car seat and put into bed.  Bryan effortlessly moved Ken over to their bed and lifted his head gently onto a pillow.  He pulled their comforter over to cover him up and shut the door to let him sleep.

When Bryan came back to the living room he had a big grin on his face.  A very sweaty, very handsome Lane was standing there in just a towel, and it was tented out at full mast.   Their eyes flashed white and Bryan stripped off his shirt and pulled Lane’s towel off.  They tried really hard to be quiet over the next few hours and not wake Ken up.


When Ken finally woke up it was dark outside.  He found his clothes, washed and folded, on the dresser.  He felt like a new man.  Something smelled delicious and his stomach rumbled loudly. 

He found Bryan and Lane in the kitchen.  Lane was setting out the plates and Bryan was pulling a huge pan of lasagna out of the oven along with two big loaves of garlic bread wrapped in foil.  There was a big bowl filled with Greek salad already on the table.

Bryan’s deep voice greeted him as soon as he saw Ken coming down the hallway, “How’d ya sleep man?”

“Like a fuckin rock.  You guys shouldn’t have let me sleep so long.”

“Everything is fine bro, and you obviously needed the shut eye.  I talked with the doc a little while ago.  Rick and Loy are with Brad and he’s doin fine.  We’re supposed to take some lasagna in for them.  Don’t worry I made two pans.  Grab a plate and dig in.”

“Shit guys, this is awesome.”

Lane went over to the fridge and opened the door, “What’cha wanna drink man?  We got a great red wine, beer, sweet tea, Coke, Dr. Pepper, milk, or water.”

“Beer sounds great.”

“Beer it is.  There’s plenty in the fridge if you want more.  In fact there’s plenty of everything, so you eat and drink your fill.  I’m gonna take a look at that fine stomach of yours after dinner and all I want to see is bloat, no abs.”

Ken knew what Bryan and Lane were doing, and it made him feel good.  After everything that’s been going on in the last few weeks Ken relished in the normalcy of a good dinner with good friends.  He joined the friendly banter that was a constant between his two buddies, just like it was with him and Brad.   He didn’t realize how badly he needed this.  He felt guilty that Brad wasn’t here, and couldn’t join them. 

The doctor always says the human brain is a funny thing; in the time spent with his two friends, Ken came to a conscious decision that he realized he had already made and just hadn’t admitted to himself yet.  He would stand with Brad and they would beat this thing together or they would both die trying.

He helped Bryan and Lane clean up and get the food packed up to take back to the lab.  He felt his mood shift when they pulled up to the lab, but his friends had done wonders for him and he didn’t let his mood get the best of him.  Now that he had made his decision he felt a tremendous weight lift off his shoulders.

Bryan and Lane dropped off Ken and the food, and they both gave Ken a long supportive hug before they left.   When they got back to the house Lane got out his guitar and started working on the song from his dream again.  He was frustrated because it seemed just out of reach and he was so close.

Since Lane and Bryan spent all afternoon making out, they only had one round of sex before they went to bed.  Lane fell asleep with his head lying on Bryan’s chest, listening to his heartbeat and letting it relax him. 

Lane shot out of bed about three am and ran naked out of the bedroom and into the den.

Bryan let out a low “What the fuck?” and took off after him.

Lane was on the couch and had his guitar on his lap.  He was strumming some chords.

Bryan stopped and stared not sure what was going on.  Lane’s emerald green eyes were almost white.  Lane turned and looked into Bryan’s eyes and said, “Fuck yeah, bro!  I got this son of a bitch!”

Bryan was proud of Lane, and he knew that Lane would figure this out.   Bryan was always optimistic, even if his outward demeanor seemed shy and stoic.  Most people had a hard time reading him, because his handsome face seldom displayed what he was thinking.  Except Lane, who could, as he put it, read him like ‘a cheap romance novel.’

“Play it for me Little Buddy.  I want to hear what all this fuss has been about.”

Lane started playing, and it was both beautiful and haunting at the same time.  By the end of the first stanza, Bryan’s crystal blue eyes went white and his mouth opened up in surprise. He felt a tugging at his mind, and he felt warm sunshine on his face, and a gentle warm breeze flowing over his body.

As soon as Ken got back to the lab he went to check on Brad and found him asleep.  His skin was starting to look grey and his face was haggard.  Ken sat down in the chair by the door and stayed with Brad through the night sleeping lightly in case Brad needed anything.  Brad woke up once to go to the bathroom and saw Ken was there.

As soon as Brad got close he could smell Ken.  Brad noticed that he had shaved and gotten a haircut – probably Lane.  As soon as he breathed in the clean, fresh smell, and the distinct smell of Ken, it caused him to stumble like he had been hit by a truck.  The smell was like crack to the creature and it went wild inside of him, ripping and clawing at the cage in Brad’s mind.  His hand instinctively went out to try and regain his balance and he ended up grabbing onto Ken’s shoulder.  As soon as his hand touched Ken it was like Brad had a full body seizure.  His back arched and he lost control and would have fallen if Ken wasn’t there to catch him.  Ken was prepared and had a syringe ready and waiting, expecting this to happen.  He was starting to figure out how this thing worked.  He pulled Brad to his chest with one arm and with the other he jabbed the needle into Brad’s ass.  He got Brad on the bed as quickly as he could and moved away.  It took a lot longer this time for Brad to recover.  He was breathing hard and was exhausted.

He mumbled a weak, “Thanks” as soon as he could talk.

“Do you need me to get the doc to help you into the bathroom?”

“No think I can manage, but thanks.”

Brad got back out of the bed and it took him a few minutes to make it to the bathroom.  He moved slow and deliberate, grabbing onto things as he got close to help stabilize him.

Ken’s tears weren’t from sadness this time, they were from anger.  Hold on just one more day, Brad.  Tomorrow night we are going to end this one way or the other.

By the time Brad got back from the bathroom he was white as a sheet and fell asleep immediately.  Ken left Brad’s room and watched him over the monitor at his desk trying to give Brad some distance so he could rest easier.

Ken didn’t sleep the rest of the night, but he was sharp and wide awake the next morning.  He was waiting for the doctor to get up and eat breakfast so they could have a talk.

A couple of the guys dropped off food for Brad, Ken, and the doctor.  Once the doctor finished he went over to his office and nodded for Ken to follow him in.  He shut the door and sat down.

“You have something to say.”  It was a statement, not a question.

“Yes, sir.”

“You have made a decision?”

“Yes, sir.  But I don’t want Brad to know what’s going on.  That thing inside of him will know too.”

“That is probably a very wise move.”

“Doc, I can’t take watchin him slowly die in front of me like this.  Tonight, I want to have everyone over to the house for a cookout.  I want to tell Brad it’s for him, to get him out of here for a night and to be with all our friends.  And that’s not a lie.  Spending time with Bryan and Lane last night did wonders for me.”

“Doc… This is my decision and I take full responsibility, for both of us.  Brad is gonna die anyways if we don’t do anythin, and I can’t envision a life without him.  I’m gonna force a showdown with this creature tonight.  I think that we can beat it if Brad and I stand together.  If we can’t, then we’ll both still be together; just not here.  And that thing will be gone either way.”

The doctor looked at him long and hard.  “No matter what happens, Kenneth, I want you to know how much I love you and Bradford.  You are like sons to me.  I am so proud of all you have become.  I respect your decision, and frankly, I have no alternatives for you.  The only thing, and I beg your forgiveness for this, is that I cannot be there.”

Ken didn’t expect that, and asked him, “Doc, why not?”

“Believe me, my boy, it is for the best.  My presence could seriously hamper your chances of success.  I wish that were not so, but it is.  Rest assured I will be close by, but I am not permitted to say more.”

“Alright, doc.  If Brad and I make it through this, then one day we are gonna sit down over a beer and you can explain to me exactly what you just meant by that.”




Ken got in touch with everyone about getting together at his place that night.  Everyone said they would be there come hell or high water.  Ken asked them to be over a little early so he could talk with them.  He asked Kevin and Bill if they would mind going to get Brad after the meeting.

Ken went into Brad’s room.  Brad’s eyes were closed but Ken knew he was awake.  His breathing was shallow.  His skin was turning yellow from jaundice.

“Hey buddy, how you doin?”

“I’m gettin tired man.  I’m sorry bro, I’m still fightin, but I don’t know how much longer I can hold on.”

“I know buddy.  I know.  Hey I had an idea.  Last night Bry and Lane took me to their place.  Just being out of this stuffy lab for a few hours did wonders for me.  What say we have a little gathering tonight at our place?  All the guys want to see you.  I’ll have some shots there if you need them, and I’ll give you plenty of space to make it as easy as possible for you.  The doc said it was ok if you feel up to it.”

Brad didn’t respond at first. After a minute he said, “I’d like that.   I wasn’t sure how to bring it up, because I didn’t want you to think that I’m givin up, but I’d like to see everyone.  It might be my last chance and I’d like to say goodbye to everyone.”

Ken lowered his head, his throat tight with emotion.  “Yeah, there’s that.  I’ll c’ya tonight buddy.  Kevin and Bill will be by around six’ish to pick you up.”

Ken left quickly before he lost it again.  Seeing Brad like this tore him up, but it also strengthened his resolve to win this fight and save them both.




Ken went to buy groceries and get the house ready.  He had to go against orders and go by himself because of the work schedule at the office.  He dared anyone or anything to mess with him; even wishing someone would show up and claim responsibility for everything so he could beat the shit out of them.  It took most of the day to get the house in order and the food prepared.  Ken got cleaned up and he put on Brad’s favorite cologne.  Everyone started showing up around five. 

Ken noticed that Lane had brought two of his guitars, one acoustic and one electric, and that Bryan had his bongo drums under one arm and a big amplifier under his other. 

The den was full with everyone packed into the room.  They were all paired up as partners, either on the couch, on the floor, or in chairs.  Ken noticed, maybe because Brad wasn’t here, that everyone was touching; either holding hands, or an arm around the other’s shoulder, or one leaning back against the other.

The mood was very subdued and there was none of the usual banter.  Most of them had a beer or a glass of wine in hand.

They all looked at him expectantly.  Ken was their Captain and they were waiting for what he had to say.

“Thanks guys for bein here tonight.  It means the world to me and I know it will to Brad too.  You all know the basics of what’s goin on.  Brad’s in a bad way.  He made a decision to do what he did to save me and that decision is costin him his life.  I can’t stand seein him suffer like he is because of me, and I can’t stand the thought of livin without him.”

Ken’s throat was starting to tighten up.  Most of the guy’s eyes were bright with unshed tears.  “As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures.  I’m going to end this tonight, one way or another.  Either I save us both, or we both die tonight, along with the thing that is inside Brad.”

There were some whispered ‘oh shits’ and ‘fuck me’s’ when he said that.

Kevin asked, “Where’s the doc.  Even if you win this fight, you might be in bad shape.”

“The doc can’t be here tonight.”

There were some confused looks when Ken said that.

“It’s cool guys.  I talked with him this morning and there’s a good reason he can’t be here.  But he won’t be far away and he can be here quickly if he’s needed.”

“Brad doesn’t know any of this and I couldn’t tell him; the thing inside of him would know too and I don’t want to lose the element of surprise.  Honestly I don’t even know how this is going to go down.  I’m not sure what will happen when this starts or what you will see or hear.”

“I want you all to know how much you mean to me and Brad.  If tonight goes south… well then this is goodbye.  Brad thinks tonight is about saying goodbye.  If I’m going to have any chance of success I’ll need every ounce of strength that he has left in him.  I think together we can beat this thing.”

Lane raised his hand to get Ken’s attention.   “Ken, I’m not sure how this is gonna to play out, but I finished the song last night, and I know it’s connected to this somehow.  I think somehow it’ll help, I just don’t know how.  All I know is that I need to play it tonight.”

Trying to lighten the mood some, Ken smiled and said, “I don’t know how anything that has been brewin in that wacky brain of yours could help Lanester, but beggars can’t be choosers.  I’ll take whatever you got bro.”

“Okay ladies, time to use the Kleenex and shut off the water works.  Remember that tonight is about Brad.  The better he feels the stronger he will be.  Everyone just be your normal fuck up selves and make him happy.”


Kevin and Bill left to go get Brad.  Rick, Loy, Pat, and Darren wanted a little more info.  They had been covering the security jobs the last week and were the most out of the loop.  Ken did his best to fill them in.  Lane set up his amp and Bryan started the grill.

Everyone was quiet and pensive; this was uncharted territory for all of them.  This wasn’t an enemy that they could shoot or fight with their hands.  But every one of them indicated to Ken in their own way that they were there for him and Brad, and would do whatever was required of them. 

Lane pulled Ken aside for a moment after everyone had a chance to express their support.

“Ok man, I’m really goin with my gut on this.  After dinner, me and Bry will play some songs as usual.  Just give me the sign when you are ready and I’ll start.   And hold on to your hat when I do.”

“What do you think is gonna happen?  Should I be worried?”

“Hell yeah you should be worried!  I don’t have a fuckin clue how this works.  But the doc said to trust and have faith in myself.  He also said he thinks that all this is more than coincidence; which is scary as hell, so I’m tryin not to think too hard about that.” 

It wasn’t long before Kevin and Bill were back with Brad.  When Ken heard them pulling up the driveway he made himself scarce.

It was almost dark by the time they pulled up.  Brad was weak and moving slow, but he insisted on making his own way into the gathering.  As soon as he made it to the door into the kitchen he was greeted loudly and happily by all his brothers.  All of the guys covered their emotions really well even though they were all shocked by how he looked when he came through the door.  He had lost a lot of weight, and was moving very slow.  Everyone gave him a tight hug and a slap on the back.  Someone shoved a beer into his hand at some point.  As soon as anyone pulled him into a hug they realized how weak he was; but everyone acted like this was just another summer get together, one of many, with many more to come.

Brad looked around for Ken and didn’t see him.   He smiled briefly but sadly, and headed out to the back yard.  Bryan had his apron on and was grilling the steaks.  Their grill was huge, because of all the cookouts they had.  Their house was the main gathering place for most of the parties.  Bryan had the steaks on one side of the grill, and on the other side he had ears of corn wrapped in foil, baked potatoes, and fresh asparagus coated in butter.  Brad could smell bread baking in the kitchen; probably Bryan’s famous yeast rolls.  Brad hadn’t felt hungry in days, but his stomach actually rumbled from all the smells.

Someone had started a small fire in the fire pit, and even though he was wearing a hoodie over his t-shirt he felt chilled, so he moved over and sat down on the grass by the fire with his back to the small brick retaining wall that made up part of the flower bed.  He leaned his head back and tried to soak everything in.  He felt better now than when he walked in the door.  Ken was right; this was good for him, but it just prolonged the inevitable.

Rick brought him a lap tray with a plate filled with more food than he could possibly eat, even when he was completely healthy.  Brad did his best to make a dent, but was full in just a few bites.

Everyone moved into the back yard and found a place close to him.  They all wanted some time with him, to catch up on things.  Of course Brad didn’t have much to offer, but they all filled him in on what had been going on with them and at the office.  They had some new funny stories about clients, and talked about Sally’s latest boyfriend troubles.  Brad found himself laughing more and more as the night went on. 

While Brad stayed put, everyone chipped in on clearing all the plates and getting them into the kitchen.  The warmth of the fire, the clean fresh air, the voices of his friends all around him; it all made him feel very content.  The only thing missing was Ken.  Brad put his head back and closed his eyes.  He was really tired, but for the first time in days it was a normal tired.  He felt like he could drift off to sleep, surrounded by the warmth of the fire and the sound of all his friends talking. 

Lane broke out his electric guitar and he and Bryan started singing and taking requests.  Bryan must have been practicing; his drum playing and his singing had improved tremendously.

Brad did doze for a bit, but he woke up when he felt a hand on his shoulder.  He could smell Ken even before he opened his eyes.

“Hey B, scoot up a little man.”  Ken practically picked Brad up and moved him forward, and Ken sat down so his back was against the brick wall, and he pulled Brad back against his chest, his strong arms wrapping around him.  Brad felt a needle stick in his arm.


“Relax B.  I know what I’m doin.”  He nodded over to Lane, who put down his electric guitar and picked up his acoustic one.

Lane looked over at Brad and with his infectious grin said, “Here goes nothing!”, and he started playing the most beautiful haunting melody. 

Nature nurture heaven and home
Sum of all and by them driven
To conquer every mountain shown
But I've never crossed the river

By the end of the first stanza, Lane’s eyes turned white.  Bryan started on the drums and his eyes flared white as well.  Lane felt his mind opening up, like he was being transcended by the music.  He felt it lift his spirit up, and he felt Bryan right there with him.  He had never experienced anything like this in his life, and it was wonderful.  It was like he could see the music in the air around him, moving out from his guitar and through his body and igniting something inside of him, and all of them, that could never again be extinguished.

Everyone could feel the music.  I wasn’t just a song; it had some deeper meaning and all of them could feel it tugging at their minds.  All of them felt something unlock inside of them, like a door opening that could never be closed.   Ken felt it and knew it was the right time to start his plan.

None of them could see or hear the giant robed form of a man crouched by the hedges.  Even crouched his head nearly reached the roofline.   A cowl covered his face, but he was watching intently, and as soon as Lane started playing his song the figure stood up and looked skyward.  His massive head nodded once and he bowed to the humans who were unaware of his presence, and vanished.

Ken leaned forward and kissed Brad’s cheek and hugged him tighter.  “I love you man.  I can’t stand this anymore, so we are ending this tonight one way or another.  Don’t fight me B… help me kill this thing so we can be rid of it.”  Ken closed his eyes tight and buried his face in the crook of Brad’s shoulder. 

Brad panicked and tried to move away, but Ken had him securely in his grip.  “Fuck! You idiot, you don’t understand…”  Brad’s voice faded as he lost consciousness, his eyes going white and his body slumped back against Ken.  The song carried them both out of their bodies and to the River.

Braved the forests, braved the stone
Braved the icy winds and fire
Braved and beat them on my own
Yet I'm helpless by the river

Angel, angel, what have I done?
I've faced the quakes, the wind, the fire
I've conquered country, crown, and throne
Why can't I cross this river?

Angel, angel, what have I done?
I've faced the quakes, the wind, the fire
I've conquered country, crown, and throne
Why can't I cross this river?

Pay no mind to the battles you've won
It'll take a lot more than rage and muscle
Open your heart and hands, my son
Or you'll never make it over the river

It'll take a lot more than words and guns
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we'll cross the river

It'll take a lot more than words and guns
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we'll cross the river

(Nature, nurture heaven and home) - Bryan
It'll take a lot more than words and guns
(Sum of all, and by them, driven) - Bryan
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
(To conquer every mountain shown) - Bryan
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we'll cross the river

(Braved the forests, braved the stone) - Bryan
It'll take a lot more than words and guns
(Braved the icy winds and fire) - Bryan
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
(Braved and beat them on my own) - Bryan
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we'll cross the river

And together we'll cross the river – Bryan and Lane
And together we'll cross the river – Bryan and Lane

Nature, nurture heaven and home –Lane
And together we'll cross the river – Bryan and Lane
And together we'll cross the river – Bryan and Lane

Nature, nurture heaven and home –Lane
And together we'll cross the river – Bryan and Lane
And together we'll cross the river– Bryan and Lane


Ken no longer felt the brick wall against his back.  He opened his eyes and was surprised to see he was sitting on a beach, beside a huge bonfire next to a river.  The moon was nearly full, and very bright, so Ken could easily see the cove around him.

He realized that Brad wasn’t with him, but he could hear him yelling from far off.  It took him a few seconds but in the light of the full moon he saw Brad across the River, on the shore waving his arms frantically.   Fuck!  We were supposed to be together!



Ok that’s it for Chapter 4… I hope you enjoyed it! 

Chapter 5 is soon to follow so stay tuned to find out if Brad and Ken can make it out of the mess I put them in!

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