This story details explicit gay sex between men, teens and boys. If you find this kind of thing distasteful, or if you are underage wherever you live, then stop reading this now, and delete this file. The story is completely fictional; the author does not condone or encourage any of the acts contained herein.
By: Tim Keppler (email@example.com)
Edited by: Bob Leahy
We've been to the park. The Rose Garden is about a five-minute walk from our house. It's over by the library. We all love it. The boys love it because it's a really-good place to play Frisbee, and the rest of us love it because it's an exceptional garden, full of all kinds of roses that are beautifully maintained. They're pruned so that they're in full bloom by about Mothers' Day, and the blossoms just keep coming. So, we take the boys over there a couple of times a week for some exercise, and then we stroll in the garden itself. Today, I notice that they've added a new rose, something called Gingersnap which is a really-vibrant orange, my favorite color. It's a floribunda, and although this rose is classified as a hybrid, the color is pure. It's not yellow and red. It's really orange, and a fiery orange at that. It's breathtaking. I resolve when I get home to see if I can locate a distributor. I'd love to have a Gingersnap rose growing in our back garden. I know just the place for it.
Dinh and I get home with the boys, we find Jason in the living room talking to
someone who sits with his back to us on the couch. As I open the door, the
mystery guy swings around and I find myself staring at...Nathan...seconds before
chaos ensues. Nathan was my best-friend
"Uncle Nathan!" Kai shouts in surprise the moment he sees him, running to him and hugging him.
"You've grown, baby!" Nathan screams. "You're so tall."
Kevin's next, running to him and hugging him. "It's so good to see you," Kevin says. "We've missed you."
Dinh is in tears. He runs to Nathan and they hug, and then kiss. "God, how I've missed you," Nathan whimpers. "I've missed you so much!"
Dinh nods, and just keeps hugging him.
Finally, it's my turn. I hug him fondly, and kiss him. "How are you, sweetie? We really have missed you. You okay?"
Nathan nods. He looks older to me somehow, and a little...gaunt. I'm a little worried, to be honest, but he seems like his old fun-loving self, so maybe I'm imagining things. "You've lost some weight, haven't you?" I ask.
"Yeah," he nods. "I've been busy."
I nod. "So, what brings you to town, Nathan? Can you stay for a while?"
"Nathan was just asking if he could stay with us for a couple of days," Jason responds.
"Please...please...please...!" Kai says, jumping up and down.
"Of course he can stay with us for a couple of days. You can stay with us for as long as you want. You know that."
Nathan leans over and kisses me. "I know, but I had to ask." He's so cute!
Of course, tonight's meal is spectacular. Nathan is a serious Asian cook, like Jason. They take off for Ranch 99, the Asian supermarket, and come back with some serious stuff. They've got long beans, halibut, sprouted soybeans, and all kinds of other goodies. We end up with a Sardine Salad of Butter Lettuce and Fennel root, Stir-fried Nokkien Noodles with Roast Pork, Szechuan-style Egg Plant, Steamed Halibut in Ginger Sauce, Long Beans in Black Bean Sauce, and Egg Custard for dessert. "Yummy!" Kai screams as the dishes come out. "Can you come live with us again?" he asks.
"You don't like my cooking?" Jason demands, looking serious, but barely suppressing his laughter.
"Or mine?" Kenny says, looking fierce.
"Or mine?" Dinh asks, looking hurt.
"You guys are okay," Kai says, realizing that he's being played with, "but Uncle Nathan can really cook."
Kenny, Jason and Dinh all tackle Kai at once, tickling him ferociously. Kai screams with laughter, struggling to get away, but not succeeding. Finally after maybe a minute, they break their huddle. "See if you ever eat again," Jason says, giggling.
"We're going to send you to IHOP with Ian," Kenny says, with mock-petulance.
And then we sit down to eat, and it is just delicious. "Yummy!" says Kai. "This is really..."
Dinh glares at him across the table, and Kai stops in mid-sentence. Finally, he starts to giggle. "This is really good!" he screams.
"Umm...yeeaaahhhh," Dinh agrees, giggling.
talk politics over dinner. The owner of the Manchester
Grand Hyatt Hotel in
"A lot," Nathan tells me. "He's still getting business, but nothing like what he was getting before the election, and the damage he's done to other Hyatt properties has pissed off the mother ship, apparently. Doug Manchester may not be in the hotel business much longer, despite trying to give $25,000 to various gay groups that have, apparently, all returned his donations. He's a pariah within the gay community, and should be. He's slime."
After dinner, and a very nice Mozart Piano Sonata by Jason, we get the boys to bed, and Kenny makes us a pot of mint tea -- nothing that's going to keep us up at night, but something to warm us and wet the whistle. And we talk...
would actually like to stay for more than a couple of days. He and his partner
have broken up. He's actually despondent about this, and once the boys are out
of the way, he begins to cry softly, and to tell us the story. Dinh rushes to
his side and hugs him, and Jason take his place on the other side of him. "This
just happened recently," he tells us. "Three days ago," he sobs. "Several weeks
ago he told me he wanted an `open relationship'," which usually means that your
mate is playing around. Sure enough: "He was playing around. He was sleeping
mostly with an ex-boyfriend in
Dinh looks shocked, and then stricken. Then he starts to cry. He's lays in
Nathan's lap, holding him tight while Nathan strokes his hair. Jason, too, is
crying. Nathan is one of his best friends, maybe his all-time-best friend. They
both love to cook, to giggle, and to read. They're very much alike. They came
to this country at about the same age, albeit from different places, and came
with no English skills. Their backgrounds are nearly identical, although
Nathan's immigration was more...urgent than Jason's. And, of course, Nathan and
Dinh were...lovers. They were both deeply in love with
"When Steven, my partner, discovered I was ill...this ill...he sort of...dissolved. Our relationship changed...overnight. He didn't come home at night sometimes. I don't necessarily think he was with his ex. I think he just couldn't face me. We talked, and he admitted that he couldn't deal with this illness. He wanted out. We agreed to separate. It was his house, so I agreed to leave. I loved him, but I think the relationship would have ended soon anyway. He wanted to play the field. I didn't."
and I are in shock. Neither of us knows what to say. I walk to the kitchen and
make myself a Scotch and Soda, and then wander back to the living room where I
have the sense that nothing more has been said since I left. I sit down in my
chair, set my glass carefully on a coaster on the table, and then I start to
cry. This is the last piece of
Kenny flies to me, and we hug. "How do you know?" I ask Nathan. "How do you know you've got this tumor; how do you know it's inoperable? How do you know?" I'm angry now, but I'm not sure who I'm angry at. "How the fuck do you know?" I shout.
starts to cry again. "That's exactly how
"Of course you can fucking stay," I shout, still sobbing. "Try to...leave! Just try!"
Nathan disentangles himself from Dinh and Jason and floats across the room to me. He sits on my lap, and kisses me. "Thank you."
I drape myself over his shoulder and sob, nearly choking him with my hug. "I love you, Nathan. We all do," I choke. "Please don't...umm...die."
He starts to cry again. "I'm not sure I can control that. I'll try, but please don't hold me to it."
In the course of the next two hours we learn more about the tumor, and the brain, than I ever wanted to know. Nathan's tumor, which is by now about the size of a golf ball, lies at the base of the temporal lobe. The temporal lobe itself is that area of the cerebral cortex that sits at the bottom of the brain, beneath the frontal lobe and the parietal lobe. Nathan's tumor is pressing against his cerebellum, which makes him shake a bit, and has impacted his coordination. It's also impacted his ability to...understand. "Sometimes Steven would be talking to me, and I'd just stare at him. I had no idea what he was saying. This is what initially made me think something was wrong. Sometimes I just really sort of...space."
As much as I detest Steven for abandoning Nathan, I can sort of understand why he did it. You cannot know how painful it is to sit and talk to Nathan knowing he may well be dead soon, knowing that he has nowhere to go, knowing that we are his only family. I have a very hard time controlling my emotions. I have a very hard time not breaking into tears over and over again. It takes every bit of willpower I have. Finally, I can't listen any more. "Let's go to bed," I say. "I'm exhausted."
Everyone nods. "Which room should I put Nathan in?" Jason asks.
"Ours," I respond. "He should sleep with us...if he wants to."
Nathan instantly tears up, and hugs me. "Yes, please." I can't stand the idea of him being alone, sleeping in some cold bed all by himself. We need to nurture him as much as we can, as much as he'll let us. We need to nurture and protect him, because that's what I think he needs. Steven, his partner, has abandoned him. He's basically left him by the side of the road to die. We need to care for him, both emotionally and physically, and tomorrow that'll mean a visit to Dr. Cohen, my GP, to get a recommendation for a second opinion on his medical status.
it turns out, knows Dr. Mathew Jamison of
"There is a tumor," she tells Nathan, "but you should not lose hope. To say that it is `inoperable,' as I think you were told by your previous doctor, is to suggest that there is no cure for this. That is not the case. Many tumors are `inoperable,' and that only means that we cannot cut them out, that we cannot reach them physically and remove them surgically. But, there are other ways to treat cancer." She recommends a regimen of chemotherapy followed by targeted radiation. "I will not deceive you," she says. "This tumor will not be easy to treat, and the treatment will sometimes be very bitter, very unpleasant, but it is treatable, and I believe you have a better than even chance of recovery."
Nathan is nearly beside himself, sobbing as she gives him her verdict. He might live! You just can't know how happy that makes us all. Nathan has no health insurance, though, so this is going to put a bit of a strain on the "college fund," but that's what it's there for. That's what we've all been working for. The nest egg is there for...umm...a rainy day, and for Nathan this is a storm. So, Dr. Chan arranges to start the chemo in three days, the earliest appointment she can find.
I have to confess that, when we get home, I have to excuse myself and retreat to the office. Driving Nathan home, I was purposefully upbeat, laughing and joking. When we get home, I leave Nathan with Jason, and go off to...cry. This is good news, great news, but the whole situation...frightens me so much. I try to imagine how I would feel if this was Jason, or Kenny, or Dinh. I don't know if I could live through that. I would never abandon them as Steven has abandoned Nathan, but I don't know if I'm emotionally equipped for something like that with a loved one. I guess you do what you have to do, but I think the uncertainty would take its toll. In fact, I think this uncertainty will take its toll. It's taking its toll now. My absence from the kitchen at this particular hour makes Jason uneasy. I'm usually in there with the family by now. Jason leaves Nathan with Dinh and the boys to come find me, and he does. He finds me sitting at the desk staring at a blank computer screen...in tears. He comes and sits on my lap.
"What's wrong? It was good news, wasn't it?"
I nod. "It was," I choke, "but I just can't help thinking..."
He hugs me. "But, it wasn't, was it? It wasn't one of us," he says, reading my mind.
I shake my head. Most of me is just so relieved. I'm relieved that it wasn't, in fact, one of them, and I'm relieved that I don't have to explain why I'm so upset. He knows. Jason understands me very well. I'm sorry, though, that I'm relieved, because I honestly love Nathan. I'm so sorry for what I imagine he's going to have to go through. I'm so sorry for him.
And well I should be. When we get back from his first session of chemotherapy, Nathan rushes inside to throw up. His is a particularly-violent reaction to the drugs, Dr. Chan tells me, but these are the best drugs for his condition. She makes his chemo appointments early in the morning so he can come in without having eaten first. "He will probably still be nauseated," she tells me, "but perhaps less so on an empty stomach." And, she's right. Either because he hasn't eaten, or because he gets used to the drugs, his nausea gets less severe. We come home each day, and I take him to the bedroom, and we cuddle. He wants to be held. I think he wants to be made to feel that he's not a freak and that he'll survive this. Most of all, I think he wants to feel loved. Steven's abandonment hasn't left him confident. Dinh and Jason work very hard to raise his spirits, even when Nathan starts to lose his hair, which is devastating for him.
"It's okay, baby," Jason keeps telling him. "It'll grow back." Nathan nods, sorrowfully, staring at himself in the mirror.
"But I look so...awful, right now."
And he does.
It isn't long before he's basically bald. It's Dinh who comes to the rescue. He
does the obvious thing. He goes out and finds him a wig. It's a woman's wig
made up of natural hair, Asian hair. He takes it and an old photo of Nathan to
the woman who styled Nathan's hair before he moved with Steven to
"Why do you need a wig, Uncle Nathan?" Kai asks him a few minutes later.
"Because my hair's falling out."
"But why?" Kay asks.
"Because I'm sick, baby, and what the doctors are using to make me feel better also makes my hair fall out."
Kai is confused, but he doesn't really know what else to ask. "Oh," he says, simply. Dinh did a really-good job with this. It looks natural. I can't tell that it is a wig. And Nathan is clearly so much more comfortable being out and about. "It's a little hot," he says, "but so worth it."
After about a month of chemo, Dr. Chan does another series of tests, and what she finds is "remarkable," she says, so remarkable, in fact, that she performs a second MRI to confirm her findings. "I could not find the tumor," she tells him. "It was not evident in the first scan. That seemed improbable, so we did the second scan from a different angle. I still don't see it. You may be cancer-free. I am not sure. But I want to continue with the chemotherapy, and I still want to irradiate. How do you feel?" she asks Nathan.
"Umm...pretty awful after the chemotherapy sessions, but after that I feel pretty good. I've stopped shaking, and I've stopped spacing out when people talk to me. I guess I feel pretty good."
"And you look good," she says, laughing, tousling his wig.
He giggles. "This was a gift from a friend. It does look good, doesn't it?"
"It looks very nice, indeed," she says with a laugh. "Sometimes this is exactly what is needed."
I'm nearly frantic to get Nathan home, both because I keep dissolving into tears, and because I'm just so anxious to tell Jason, Dinh and Kenny the news. "We're eating out!" I scream the moment I'm in the door. Jason comes bouncing out of the kitchen with a big smile. This is a Jason night, and he knows how much I love his cooking. If we're giving up a Jason meal, it's important, and by the smile on my face, he knows that the news is good. So does Dinh when he flies out of the bedroom. He attaches himself to Nathan -- arms around his neck, and legs around his waist. And then Kenny and the boys emerge from the living room. Kenny kisses Nathan fondly, and Kevin and Kai both hug him, not knowing exactly why, just because they love him I guess. "Where?" I ask.
"Vung Tau!" Dinh screams.
Vung Tau it is. Vung Tau is the best Vietnamese restaurant in town. If you want Phở, this is not the place to go. But, if you want Lemon Grass Pork Chops, Clay-Pot Rice, Shredded Pork, Spring Rolls, Sour Catfish Soup, a three-bean dessert drink, or any of a number of other Vietnamese delicacies, this is where you get them. It's where you go to celebrate, and a celebration is what I have planned. We all pile into my VW Westfalia and take off, and are there in under ten minutes because the restaurants is just downtown. They haven't opened the back room for the evening yet, but I convince them to open it for us. I convince them to put us back there alone. And, I convince them to close the door. We order, and the waiter disappears.
"So, what specifically are we celebrating?" Dinh asks, hopefully.
I answer very softly. "Don't get your hopes up yet, but...umm..."
"My oncologist can't find the tumor," Nathan says softly. "She thinks it might be...gone."
"What?" Dinh shrieks. "Gone?"
Nathan nods, and then tears up.
"Gone? Like, for good, gone?" Jason asks.
Nathan nods. "She can't find it. And I'm feeling better than I was."
"Which is not to say that she's going to stop torturing. He has another month of chemotherapy, and then a course of radiation. But, she can't see it in the MRI." I start to cry...for about the seventeenth time today. "She can't fucking find it," I whisper. "That's what we're celebrating. She thinks...umm...maybe it's gone."
"What's it mean, Daddy?" Kai asks.
"It means that Uncle Nathan's doctor thinks he might be getting better."
Kai's eyes absolutely light up. He's sitting directly across the table from Nathan, and suddenly he slides to the floor, crawls under the table, and up into Nathan's lap, hugging him. And Nathan hugs him back. They are just so cute together that when the waiter comes back with the food, he stops and waits. This is a very emotional moment. Everyone is in tears and the waiter is completely flummoxed. He waits until we get ourselves under control, and then starts delivering the dishes, looking at all of us quizzically as he loads the table with food. As he finally leaves, Jason follows him out. We need more plates because we intend to share all this, and when the waiter returns with those plates, he hugs Nathan. Jason has told him what this is about in an attempt to keep this room private, at least for the moment. "Congratulations," he whispers. And then he leaves. The room remains ours for another hour and a half, despite a long line of would-be diners. And, when we leave this room, I notice that someone has taped a sign to the outside of the door. "Private Party," it says. I give our waiter a really, really good tip.
By the time we get home, it's way past the boys' bedtime, so the first order of business is getting them tucked up. Then, as we're converging on the living room, Nathan corners me in the office. "Umm...Tim...I have a serious...favor to ask..."
I tear up instantly. I know exactly what he's going to ask. I nod. "Who?"
"I'll...umm...have to ask the..."
"I did that. They're going to sleep in your room tonight. Jason said we should use...the...spare room."
The spare room has a queen-size bed that's just right for the two of us. We move back to the living room for some mint tea. After an hour or so, during which Jason plays some Beethoven on the piano, Nathan smiles at me. I look at the guys, and they all smile. It's time for bed.
We make our way to the spare room, and get undressed. Nathan spreads himself out on the bed and waits for me, and I snuggle in next to him. "What would you like to do, Nathan?"
He flips over and kisses me, and Nathan can kiss. He knows just how to use his puffy lips of his to best advantage, while caressing my tongue with his own. This is a long and sumptuous kiss, a kiss that allows us to grind our naked bodies together. After maybe twenty minutes, he breaks the kiss. We're both hard, and both nearly desperate. "I'd...uhh...really like you to fuck me, Tim. I'm clean... I'm sorry. That's not what I meant to say. I'm negative. I've been tested regularly. I didn't trust Steven toward the end of our relationship. I started to insist that we use condoms, and I started to get tested every month. I'm negative. We're safe, I think."
be honest, I've longed to do this. Nathan is one of the most-beautiful guys
I've ever seen, second only to Jason, Dinh and Kenny. He's spectacular. I have
secretly lusted after him for many years, and that causes me a certain amount
of guilt. First, it's made me feel a little...unfaithful...both to Jason and Kenny,
"I'm not sure I can do this, Nathan. Would it be okay if we did this with Jason, Kenny and Dinh?"
He looks at me for a long moment, and then smiles. "Will you still fuck me?" he asks.
I nod. "I just want them...to be with us."
He nods. We wander out, naked, and the guys still haven't gone to bed. They're still in the living room. I'm a little teary-eyed when we find them. "I don't feel...right about this. Could you guys...join us?"
Jason smiles and takes Kenny's hand, hoisting him off the couch, and Kenny grabs Dinh's hand, pulling him up as well. We all move to the bedroom, where Nathan and I, already naked, flop down on the bed while the others strip. This feels so much better, so much more comfortable. Sex without Jason, Kenny and Dinh is just that -- sex. Sex with them truly is making love. I know that sounds sappy, but it's how I've come to feel. I don't like just sex anymore. I mean, to revisit that Paul Newman quote, if you have steak at home, why eat hamburger? I love Nathan, and would never classify him as hamburger, but I don't have quite the emotional attachment to him that I have to Jason, Dinh or Kenny. I love him, but I'm not in love with him, if that makes sense. I'm very attracted to him, but that attraction still is mostly physical. No, that's not true. Nathan is one of the sweetest guys I've ever met -- sweet, and flamboyant. He's effervescent. The world is so much better because he's in it. But... I'm not in love with him...yet. That "yet" is significant, I think. It makes me feel a little...guilty. Steven, his partner, left him to die alone because he couldn't deal with the stress of going through this illness with him. My reaction was different, or was it? I gave him a place to live, friends to be with, and the money he needed to be treated for this disease. But, I think I've kept an emotional distance because I've been afraid of...being hurt. When he dies. My sins are that emotional distance, and not having faith that he'd recover. That's what so impressed me about Dr. Chan. His previous doctor, Dr. Jamison at Stanford, told him he was going to die -- get used to it. Dr. Chan told him he should plan to live. She had faith in his ability to beat this. "Many tumors are `inoperable'," she said, "but, there are other ways to treat cancer besides surgery."
I guess what I'm saying is that I feel sort of unfaithful to Nathan, too. Jesus-fucking-Christ, I guess I feel unfaithful to everyone. I feel unfaithful to Nathan because I didn't believe enough in his recovery that I could let down my guard, that I could let myself get close to him, that I could let my lust turn into love. And I feel unfaithful to Dinh, Kenny and Jason for having that lust in the first place, and for almost consummating it, even though the three of them knew I was about to do that. I'm so damned confused, and Jason knows it. Jason is truly my soul-mate. He always knows what I'm thinking and feeling. How? I have no idea. It's as though he inhabits my brain with me. The minute he's naked, he flops down on the bed with Nathan and me and kisses me. "It's okay to love him," he whispers in my ear. "If he died tomorrow, wouldn't you regret not loving him today?"
I tear up, and bury my face in the pillow, sobbing for a few seconds. Then I muster my resolve, and come up for air. By now, Dinh and Kenny have joined us. Now we begin the negotiations. "Nathan would like me to fuck him," I announce, and Nathan turns three shade of red while giggling furiously. "And...umm...I think I'd sorta like to fuck him...sorta." Nathan cuffs me with a shy smile. "But...umm...I'm feeling selfish tonight, so I'd...like...Kenny to fuck me. Would you?" I ask, with a sort of dreamy-star-struck-adolescent look on my face. Kenny giggles, and cuffs me next.
"What about us?" Dinh shrieks, motioning to Jason.
"Have I ever let you down?" I ask with an glint in my eye.
Dinh pauses. "No," he says with a smile.
"Feel free to talk amongst yourselves," I respond, smiling.
The five of us go at it for four full hours. We start with a sandwich in which I'm in the middle. Kenny and I have done this...often over the years, and it is just indescribable. It's indescribable to have your dick buried in someone special while someone special has his dick buried in you. There's a feeling of...fullness to it, of over-stimulation. I had a cat once, a kitten that we'd rescued from the streets. You could pet him, but not for too long, because if you pet him for too long, he'd bite you. He got over-stimulated, and over-excited. That bite was his way of screaming incoherently. That's how I feel now -- incoherent. I have Nathan locked in a very firm embrace while I piston in and out of him, and Kenny has me locked in just that same embrace as he pistons in and out of me. It's...one of the most...delicious things...I can possibly...imagine. Finally I can't take it any more. I scream and cum, and so does Kenny, and so does Nathan. And then we slump for a half hour or so, until Dinh and Jason begin...inciting us. I take Jason, and Kenny and Nathan take Dinh. Dinh's experience may be more interesting, because he has Kenny fucking him while Nathan kisses him and strokes him off at the same time. Jason doesn't complain, though, and groans loudly as I enter him. He's very keyed up. I'm not sure why. As I fuck him, he leans in to me, sealing his lips to mine, and kisses me...passionately, really passionately. This is one of the best kisses I can ever remember having, but that's how every kiss should be, isn't it? His lips are soft and moist, and warm. I've never noticed their warmth before. And, his tongue is...roving. It reminds me of that Byron poem:
So we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
Jason is roving. His hands are everywhere -- stroking my back, caressing my torso, and pinching my nipples. And...I just can't...get enough of him. I want as much of my skin to touch his skin as I can manage. I want to be inside him and on top of him at the same time. I want him to envelope me, and for me to envelope him. I want to feel him everywhere. And then the most miraculous thing happens. Kenny pushes me forward, and enters me again as Jason and I kiss. Oh...my...fucking...god. I am not expecting this. I have to make this last. And, I do...for a while. But not for long enough. For the rest of my life would be long enough. I last for something under ten minutes, and then I groan. I want to scream, but I just...can't...break this...kiss. I groan and I cum, and the dominoes fall. Jason is next, followed by Kenny who, all this time, has been kissing Nathan. It is just spectacular. It's like the cannons in Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. It's like those drums in the first 45 seconds of Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra. It's like Ravel's Bolero, which I've always thought of as a chestnut, a hackneyed and overplayed piece of music, but I now realize can never be played enough. But... What I find playing in my head is The Calling. What I find playing in my head is "Wherever You Will Go".
So lately, I've been wondering
Who will be there to take my place
When I'm gone, you'll need love
To light the shadows on your face
If a great wave should fall
It would fall upon us all
And between the sand and stone
Could you make it on your own
If I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low
I'll go wherever you will go
And maybe, I'll find out
The way to make it back someday
To watch you, to guide you
Through the darkest of your days
I am totally confused. Why is this playing on my internal CD? Why am I listening to this? And then I get it, and start to cry, thinking of Nathan, who might well have been dead by now, and of Jason, Dinh and Kenny. I doubt that I'll "find out the way to make it back someday." I doubt that, if I die, I'll have the chance to guide them "through the darkest of [their] days." I doubt it, and that makes me feel...profoundly...fragile. Profoundly ephemeral. And that's probably as it should be.
Published first at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nemo-stories/