Part 2 Chapter 2 : Paradise Lost.

Copyright 2005-2006. All rights reserved. Applies to all chapters in this series.

This story is fictional based on fictional characters. Any similarity to any person living or dead is coincidence. This story may contain man/teen boy or man/preteen boy or teen/preteen boy sex. It may contain no sex at all. I haven't decided yet.

If this is legal for you to read and is the sort of stuff you enjoy reading then read and enjoy. If this is not legal for you to read and/or is not the sort of stuff that you enjoy then do not read. You have the choice.

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It's been a little over 2 weeks since I last wrote. A lot has happened since then.

The ride in the helicopter was interesting, and kind of fun. The talk with Steve and Captain Alister wasn't. They weren't to pleased with me doing what I did.

But I'm home. I'm sure that Mum is happy about that. She is not alone any more.

I don't care if David is alone or not. This time it's for real. This time it's permanent.

It's over.

Whatever it takes, I will never see him again. After what he did to me, he can go to hell. And so can that betraying bastard Peter.

Peter was released from the hospital after a couple of days. No major damage, although he would have some problems for a few more days. At his parents suggestion, a few days after he left we headed out camping. We picked a spot somewhere within a few hours drive, packed up a weeks worth of supplies and camping gear, and headed out on the road.

The spot was perfect. I cannot fault David for his ability to find wonderful scenic places. Apparently, this one he found while exploring some tracks that 4 wheel drives find difficult.. On his cruiser..

Very remote, but properly set up with tank water, fire places, and even wood-fired bbq pits. And the scenery.. I cannot even begin to describe it. I never imagined such a beautiful place could exist.

And the air! A hundred miles from the nearest city. No major roads for at least 50 miles. And the water of the nearby stream was also incredible. It flows through a wide crack in the rocks of this area, and from it's source until it gets past here it never really touches soil. All the ground around is rocky with a light covering of grass. Low soil means low silt. The water is clean, clear, and tastes wonderful!

The first two days of our trip were fantastic. While David generally relaxed, often with me at his side, Bob, Peter and I all just got out and enjoyed ourselves. Peter took a little bit to unwind, but once he got going.. It was like a dam had been blown or something. He let go of restraint. He let go of rules. He just had fun.

The first few hours we were there David and Peter spent together, watching Bob and I as we played in the stream, and lay on the grass and talked, and did whatever else we felt like doing. Often, I saw David hugging Peter as Peter found some new thing to cry about. At times I felt jealous but then I remembered that Peter was the whole reason we were there. We went so that he and David could have this time together, time to talk things through without interruption, without interference.

The third day, it all started to unravel. I didn't see it at first.

Peter cast off yet another layer of restraint. His new found freedom and joy of life was finding new ways to express itself. That day, he decided to spend naked. To “really get back to nature”.

Peter is very handsome. Very. Naked, he is something else. And I know that David noticed. I felt a real pang of jealousy when I realised that he could have eyes for another no matter how devoted to me he was.

Bob, being ADHD and often willing to try new ideas, was soon as naked as Peter. I know that Bob being naked is nothing new to David, but as he watched Bob and Peter play together, I knew he was more than interested in what was going on. Bob isn't as hot as Peter is, but he isn't ugly either. I could see what David saw. Two very good looking boys playing together naked, out in a natural place barely known by man. David took many photos that day, using up a whole memory stick. I doubt I was on even one of those pictures.

I spent most of that day in a sour mood. I also spent it close to David. He knew that something was wrong with me. He kept trying to find out what it was, but I was to ashamed of my jealousy to tell him. His questioning made me feel my shame over and over, and that made me feel worse each time. Each time he asked, and each time my shame rose, I felt worse.

He tried to be affectionate, tried to be loving. But I think it was all because he was turned on by watching Bob and Peter and wanted something for himself. Bob and Peter would never go along with it so his only option was me. But I still wasn't ready, especially not under those circumstances. No way would our first time be spoilt by his thinking of someone else.

I changed a bit that night. When we settled down to bed, which seemed to be surprisingly early, I had calmed a bit and could happily sleep in David's arms again. Something was different though. There had been a change in David that I could not place. Just a feeling, but it was enough. Something else was entering his life and that would mean less room for me.

Whatever it was, he is welcome to it. It seemed to be making him happier than he had been with me.

The morning of the fourth day was incredible. We were awake in time to watch the sun rise over the nearby mountains, an amazing red sunrise. The snow on the more distant and higher mountains was almost the colour of blood. Just watching the colour slowly seep into the hills and valleys around us would be worth it if I never saw again. If that was the last thing I ever saw, I am sure I could be happy. At least, so long as I forget about Peter and David I could be happy.

Bob suggested that he and I spend a couple of hours out exploring the nearby countryside while leaving Peter and David alone to talk things through. Knowing that is why we were there, and still stupidly trusting David, I decided to go. We planned to be out for about 4 hours.

After about an hour, Bob and I realised why the sun rise had been so red. Rain was coming, and we decided to head back to camp well ahead of schedule.

When we got back to the camp site, the place seemed deserted. There was a strange sense in the air. Something had changed, something was dead.. At the time I didn't realise what it was, even though I could sense it.

It didn't take long for us to find them. David and Peter were lying down in our tent. David was staring into Peter's eyes, with the smile and look in his eyes that I thought was reserved for me. He was stroking Peter's face as he did for me. Gently running the back of his middle finger across my cheek while he looks deep into my eyes. A touch so gentle that it can barely be felt, and I sometimes wondered if it was only the heat from his finger that I was feeling. Gentle, and yet communicating so much, The best poet would fail to capture the beauty of it. The best scientist would be unable to describe the effects of it. The best psychiatrist could never hope to describe how it made me feel. So gentle, and yet so strong. A touch that held a magical power that I can not ever hope to describe. It could heal hurts and remove sorrows.

I realised immediately that even if they were not having sex right there and then, they were making love as David and I had done many times before.

I realised then what it was that had died. It was our relationship.

The last image I will ever have of David is the look of shock on his face when he realised that he had been discovered. I left him to his new lover.

I ran.

I don't know how far or for how long I ran. But by the time I stopped, all sound of the camp site was gone. All sight of the road was gone. I was lost. Lost in bush that I knew nothing about.

We may not have bears or tigers or other animals like that in this country, but we do have plenty of animals that can be dangerous when you are alone and unarmed in one of our forests. And night was closing in.

The rain started. Gently at first but then it started to get heavier. I sat under a tree and waited, hoping that maybe Bob had given chase and was not far behind. But no Bob. Another hour past. Nothing. No one. Just the sounds of the bush and the rain. No cars, no planes, and worst of all, no voices.

Night continued to close in as I wondered what to do.

In the end, I slept in a hastily made bed on some soft grass with a few branches from some plant with a lot of “fingers” coming off it's branch for blankets, and my pants for a pillow. Not much. During the night, it continued to rain. It rained hard.

I had never felt so broken and alone in my life. I had no hope of anyone to talk to. I had no way of finding anyone to talk to. For a brief moment I thought about trying talking to God but then I realised. David talks to God. Peter talks to God. David and Peter are arseholes, so arseholes talk to God. Not me.

The next morning was cold, but the sun was out. I was soaked. I knew I needed to dry out but it still took me an hour to strip. Even out there in the bush, with no one around, I was still shy. But finally, I stripped, hung my clothes over some nearby shrubs to dry, and I lay down in the grass of a clearing. I soon fell asleep again.

My sleep was tortured. I kept dreaming of times that David and I were together, where I wanted us both to be naked together, alone, and making love. But in the dreams, Peter would turn up and David would leave me for him. In other dreams, David was hunting me but could never find me. He wanted me back, he was crying, but I was making sure that he could never see me again.

In still other dreams, I was lost in bush much like this only every few minutes I found someone I love hanging from a tree, their dead eyes somehow accusing me of their death. This was the most troubling of all. I felt that somehow it was I who had betrayed them, that I had destroyed them. That their pain was my fault. I cannot understand this one.

I don't know how long I slept. From the position of the sun, I guess it was 3 or 4 hours. But my mind was tortured by my dreams, and that made it feel like it was a lot longer. I could not be sure if I was still on day 4 of our trip, or day 5.

Either way, I was warm and my clothes were dry. I dressed and headed out.

Using the sun for direction, I headed to where I figured the stream that we had camped near ran. After a few hours of walking, I was elated when I came across it. I also suddenly realised how thirsty I was. I stopped for a drink, then headed up stream.

As I walked, I was aware that I was on the wrong side of the stream, and could not remember crossing it during my run. But I still kept going. Following it upstream would lead me to our camp site. I figured that I must have either crossed it in a daze, or that in my run the day (or was it two days?) before, I had simply looped around the source of the stream. I did not run in any particular direction, and the source of the stream was only a half hour's walk from the camp.

After a couple of hours walking, my heart sank as I came across the source of the stream I was following. I was on the wrong side of it because it was the wrong stream. The sun was getting low. I again would be spending a night alone in the bush. I had no idea what to do.

I sat and thought for a few minutes before I heard a welcome sound, that of a distant helicopter. I realised that someone was probably out looking for me, that by now David and the other arseholes had reported me missing and that there was someone out searching for me. But it seemed a long way away. I also realised the stupidity of my choice of clothing, because most of what I was wearing was green or brown. There was nothing that would be useful as a signal, it would all blend in with the surrounding bush.

In the end, with little daylight left, I decided that I would spend what I could of the rest of the light finding wood to build a signal fire, and the following morning I would try to get it going. I spent maybe another hour collecting what I could find before I realised that it was getting very hard to see, and I had not prepared shelter for the night.

It was a full moon thankfully, so I had some light to see by while I finished off my shelter for the night. A bivouac this time, branches stacked against a tree on an angle to give some shelter from any rain, although I hoped there would be none that night.

It did cloud over, but there was no rain. I was thankful for that much because the cloud cover meant a warmer night.

The next morning I finished off the pile for the fire, and set about starting it. Starting a fire by rubbing two sticks together is no simple task, and I soon gave up on that idea. Then I remembered something I had seen on TV where someone rolled a thin straight stick in between his hands, while keeping the end of the stick pressed down onto a larger piece of wood. It took several goes and my arms were aching by the time I finished, but I finally had some glowing embers. With a bit of blowing, I managed to get a flame which, after a few attempts, I managed to get to the dried grass at the bottom of the pile of wood. I had probably started trying to light the fire at about 8am, maybe earlier. By the time I got it going, it felt like it was maybe 12pm. But it was going.

Once it was going I started pulling green grass and throwing it on the fire. The smoke the grass made was thick and choking, and I spent many minutes on the ground coughing and spluttering, and dry retching as well. I was getting weak but I kept on fighting. After maybe an hour I gave up, knowing I would have to get more wood, and went back over to the stream to get a drink.

While I was drinking I heard the welcome sound of a helicopter again. Much nearer this time than the night before. I got up and ran back to the edge of the bush to grab more wood for the fire, ignoring the burning in me legs, ignoring the aching of my stomach, and ignoring the throbbing of my head. I wanted to get the fire back to something I could use to make thick smoke again before the helicopter missed me and moved on.

But it wasn't necessary. Although the fire had died down, someone had seen enough. It wasn't expected to be me as it was so far from where they were searching, but eventually someone realised that there was probably to much smoke for some hunter's fire, and a chopper was sent over to check it out. Seeing that thing appear over the tree line was one of the most welcome sights I could ever have imagined. A few minutes later I was airborne and headed back to civilisation.

I was taken straight to the hospital that I had spent many days in before, at the bedside of someone else. Mom, David, Peter, Bob and his parents, Steve and Captain Alister were all waiting for my arrival. The hospital only let mum into my room at first after they had me settled, and that was fine with me. The others had not seen me yet and I made it quite clear with mum that I was never going to see David or Peter again. I told her to make sure that they left, and that I did not want to hear from them, and asked her to get someone to collect my things from David's house because I would not be returning. I asked her to get whoever picked my stuff up to make sure that David was there to take back everything that he had given me. I want no reminders of him.

Captain Alister did come in. We spoke for a while about why I had run off, and he wasn't very happy when he found out why. He explained about the cost of the search for me, and about how upset the others had been when they could not find me. I told him that I was sorry about the cost of the search but that I could not care about the others. He tried to convince me that maybe I was mistaken with the meaning of what I had seen with David and Peter, and that he could not believe that either of them would do that to me. But I knew what I had seen, and told him that I would not be seeing either of them again, and that I wanted that made clear. I told him that if David really was the great guy he thought he was, then I would not have seen him in bed with another boy.

So here I sit. I am home with mum. She is no longer alone. I've survived a couple of days in the bush on my own. I did not survive well, but I survived it. I can handle being without David. I don't need him anymore.

I wonder if Melody is home tonight. I think I'll give her a call.

[So... Where from here? When I started writing this chapter I had things planned – that Peter and David would have a close moment that Nathan would misunderstand, and that the camping trip would take place and so on.. But until I started writing I had no plans for the relationship to be over before the chapter was even half way through. Sometimes these things have a life of their own.. This chapter really has blown my plans for much of the rest of the story but oh well.. I will come up with something.. I hope..

Thanks to Cale T and John EC for their suggestions that have been included in this chapter. Also, thanks to Bijous for “Needing a Reason to Die” - I am sure you will recognise your influence on parts of this chapter. The imagery you used there is powerful and I thank you for it. I hope you don't mind my version of those same images :-) And as always, and never as an afterthought, thanks to God for everything :-) ]